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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 11/19/20

Biden's victory has left us in a dark place

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Like so many others reacting to the record numbers of early in-person and mail-in votes, I indulged the fantasy that a powerful cleansing wave of ballots cast by an angry and disgusted citizenry would wash away our national shame on Nov. 3. It would topple a regime of grifters and incompetents led by an infantile sociopath, and shatter the political party that inflicted it on us. Trump did lose the election, but so much else didn't happen. I was left with a quick dose of intense relief slowly giving way to a mix of confusion and dread.

We can be glad that one of the worst human beings in the world will no longer be President as of January 20, though he has a couple of months to sow more chaos. Perhaps the Democrats will be able to build on the political energy of Stacy Abrams in Georgia and win both fiercely contested Senate run-offs on Jan. 5. That would result in a 50-50 Senate split, with Vice President Harris able to decide a tie vote, giving the Democrats a slender, weak majority.

In a 50-50 Senate, Democrats would need to have total unanimity against a united GOP in order to end the filibuster and pass meaningful legislation to address global warming, economic collapse, soaring economic inequality, and a broken health-care system. Would conservative Democrats cooperate? Remember how hard Obama had to struggle in 2009 to get all 60 Senate Democrats to vote for Obamacare--a corporate-friendly plan originally supported by Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation. In the likelier event of a 51-49 or 52-48 GOP Senate majority, Mitch McConnell will be a ghoulish Co-President reigning over an undead Senate for two more years at least.

The 2020 election was further evidence of the weakness and incompetence of the Democratic Party. Although Democrats retained control of the House, they lost 10 to 15 seats. Republicans retained control of 30 state legislatures, with which they can continue to gerrymander districts and engage in voter suppression. As Ryan Grim just reported in Bad News, "Republicans are salivating at the prospect of a gerrymandered 2022 midterm wipeout."

Ironically enough, at the state level Biden's 'victory' really is a continuation of the Obama legacy. As Jeff Cohen pointed out in Common Dreams, under Obama the party lost "nearly 1,000 state legislative seats, while the 50 governorships shifted from a strong Democratic margin to strong Republican majority." The Democrats continue to pay a price for their failure to connect to rural America.

Although Trump lost this time, his share of the total vote went up from 46.1% in 2016 to 47.5% in 2020. He received ten million more votes than in 2016. For the past four years Trump has been an exhibitionist about his moral, intellectual and psychological unfitness. The list of his bad behaviors is too long and familiar to recite here. The ugly götterdämmerung of his administration has two acts. The first is his decision to lie about the severity and danger of COVID-19 after being warned as early as January of 2020. He continued this lie despite hundreds of thousands of infections and deaths, and even discouraged the wearing of masks. For this, he should be classified as a mass reckless homicide.

The second act of the Trumpdämmerung is his ongoing attempt to sabotage the 2020 election. During the campaign, he repeatedly told his maskless MAGA throngs that "The only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged." As late as Nov. 15, Trump tweeted that "He [Biden] only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING!" The ranks of Trumpists include people openly toting semi-automatic rifles, militant white supremacists, and dazed QAnon conspiracists. Is Trump hoping or fantasizing that his supporters will engage in an armed insurrection to restore him?

Seventy-three million Americans just voted for 4 more years of this. Given their level of unconditional devotion, if COVID hadn't happened, or if Trump had acknowledged the danger of the virus and made himself commander-in-chief of an all-out war against it, it's likely that he would have won the election. What a horrifying thought--the pandemic as savior!

There seems to be no domain of shared facts or even of shared moral values to which we can appeal in an effort to bridge the chasm between Them and Us. There is a rebellion among Trumpists against education, science, expertise, civility, and even rationality and logic as banners of an arrogant ruling class. Trumpists reject a cultured elite who disrespect ordinary people and don't care about the damage done to them by stagnant wages and job insecurity. Trump had a f--k you attitude toward elite values that seems to have lent an appearance of sincerity to his promises of a better life for workers.

Of course, this sort of anti-elitism is self-destructive. 'Truth doesn't matter' is the ultimate lie. But why were so many people receptive to it? The liberal political establishment denounced Trump's rants about "fake news" and "rigged elections" as an assault on "our democracy." But the establishment's professed reverence for democracy is itself a lie that invites the disrespect and cynicism of Trump supporters.

A democracy is supposed to be a society in which the will of the majority drives policy. In ground-breaking research first published in 2014, political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page present compelling evidence that "economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In other words, the United States is an oligarchy or plutocracy, with some democratic trappings such as elections and freedom of speech. We can't expect much from elections that let us choose between two candidates pre-certified as posing no threat to the wealth of those who fund their campaigns.

 

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Brian Cooney Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I'm a retired philosophy professor at Centre College. My last book was Posthumanity-Thinking Philosophically about the Future (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). I am an anti-capitalist.

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13 people are discussing this page, with 39 comments  Post Comment


Brian Cooney

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We seem to be trapped by an anti-majoritarian constitution and an inexorable rightward drift in our two-party stucture.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 at 4:16:36 AM

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Carol Jackson

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People generally seem quite content with a low wage, slave labor system as long as a majority are doing fairly well and "can send their kids to college," which seems to be the gold standard for a great democratic society (ha ha). That control of our unjust society becomes increasingly difficult, the Praetorian guard and prison system will need considerable beefing up. While the rest of the world is modernizing and socially advancing we, the U.S. will be slipping back to "Dark ages" rule.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 at 8:03:19 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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Biden's victory leaves us in pretty much the same dark place we were in before the election. Voting results show just how entrenched the support of evil politics is among the US population.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 at 8:05:07 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Meet the new boss, same as. . . "you know the thing." Except this new old demented guy is not only not a friend of the environment, but is an unrepentant tool of the Military Security State, as I've been saying for years now. A real Daily Double. So for those who subconsciously felt compelled to vote for him in order to virtue signal their class status (everything liberals do can always be traced back to elitism), you just fucked up. Again. And not just the future of your own self-interest, but Generation Z's future and that of the POCs targeted on Biden's PNAC drawing board.

Hopefully now those nutty fantasies of Trump "shredding" the constitution on the way to being Emperor have been washed away. Biden just threw a bucket of cold water in your faces by appointing Richard Stengel to his trasition team, a man infamous for his publicly declared desire to "shred" the first Amendment, and anti-environmental lobbyist extraordinaire, Michael McCabe, to head the EPA.

Expect full on censorship, lockdowns, war, high taxes, no universal health care, a dirty cop waiting in the wings and a new environment-raping president! So either hang on to your fantasies like the fool on the hill or admit you got played. Every four years it's an existential choice that can be count on.

---

From Ronnie Cummins' Organic Consumers Association:

Eco Disaster

Let's not mince words.

We are horrified that President-elect Joe Biden has installed Michael McCabe in his EPA transition team.

McCabe is a revolving door lobbyist who moved from a high level position as a communications consultant to companies like DuPont, to a position of real influence inside the U.S. government. He helped DuPont avoid responsibility for PFAS pollution. In fact, he was the architect of DuPont's campaign to control the EPA's regulatory decision-making.

He should be charged with criminal conspiracy and forever barred from having anything to do with the EPA. Instead he has been rewarded with more power and influence.

We need to take a stand. The incoming administration must appoint leaders at the EPA who have no ties to chemical companies or corporate lobbyistsand who are ready to fight with the urgency the crisis of pollution-related disease demands.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 at 8:29:12 PM

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Dink Winkerton

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

JOE BIDEN has spent a lot of time, riding trains to work, and then back to home sweet home.

He might DIE if he caught cooties left behind by Trump or His Three Sons, or any male prostitutes they might know.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 at 10:17:41 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Dink Winkerton:   New Content

You should get your head out of the gutter. But if you're comfrotable there, think about how Trump just prefers MeToo-ing with porn stars rather than raping his interns like old demented Two-Fingers Biden.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 12:14:40 AM

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Andrew Kreig

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

The "digital rape" slur against Biden has been debunked, with not even Trump, the RNC or their media outlets daring to use it in any meaningful way since the claimant chickened out of her Fox News interview last spring after she was exposed as a serial liar.

For you to revive it here with no new information is akin to repeating the racist and bogus "Birther" fantasy against Obama or sex smear "Pizzagate" lie against Hillary Clinton.

There's plenty of real scandal regarding public figures, as well as life-and-death issues affecting the population during a pandemic and job/health care losses.

Whatever the motives in touting this false narrative -- and there could be lots of them -- basic respect for the audience demands that the smear be countered as often as it is repeated, especially when, as here, the trolling is clearly off-topic and with no new angle, much less persuasive evidence.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 8:03:46 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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You're basing that dumbbell opinion on her "chickening" out of an interview? Apparently, you know absloutley nothing about the psychological effects of rape on women. After watching her interview with Krystal Ball - who let her speak without steering the questioning to a predetermined outcome - and seeing the demented expression on Two-finger Joe's face when questioned about it, I'll trust my gut impressions over the media's jockeying around the edges of this very disturbing story. You can point your finger at whomever the f*ck you want. Mine's pointed at Joe Biden.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 8:33:06 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Thank you for conceding, it appears, that you're basing your repeated sex slurs against Biden largely on your hatred of him and your fleeting gut impression from a one-side interview. Readers deserve to know that's how you operate here.

It could be worse for readers. In general, a lot of the sex smear commentary on political sites is generated from paid trolls and automatic bot operations whereby a single intelligence operative can use sophisticated software to generate massive numbers of politically divisive comments on the sites semi-automatically, thus advancing the agendas of whatever puppet masters are orchestrating that particular show.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:07:37 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Andrew Kreig:   New Content

As with all the fulminations and invective flying around in this deranged era, little to none can be proven certain. So don't be such a hypocrite, Krieg. If Trump had done what I believe - not "fleetingly" feel - Biden did, you'd be all over it like a fly on dog-doo.

But since we've all become armchair psycholgists on this site after 2016, I ask that you consider the profound difference in the psycholgoical effect on a rape victim who was victimized by an elected national figure and one who was similarly victimized by a private individual. Do you not understand that in the time span since Tara Reade first came out with her story and the Fox event you reference, thousands of people came crashing down on her with physcial threats, vile inuendo and character assassination? Reade had to contend with the extraordinarily increased load of guilt that she was essentially cancelling the man that many of her family, friends and fellow citizens ELECTED. Over time, it makes holding fast to your story nearly impossible for all but the superhuman. So it is logical that Reade might withdraw from being interviewed at that point. Much more so than it is logical to conclude she made up the story. The bottom line is the severity of the species of crime that Biden was alleged to have committed is many, many magnitudes worse.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:53:04 PM

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kappie

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

you must be a republican stooge to hold trump blameless while blasting joe.remember trump had over 20 people come forth and say trump groped or raped them.as republicans like yourself ignored these people

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:59:46 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to kappie:   New Content

Yes, and I strongly beleive that Trump should be prosectued for what he did and hopefuly get jail time. Reread what I wrote. This time for comprehension, if you can manage that. Maybe then you'll see how thoroughly idiotic and illogical you're conclusion is that I'm a Republican (never once voted Republican, not that there is anything less sinful in that). In your tiny little world, it's ok to rant and rave, but if someone criticizes your candidate - a verifiable warmonger and neoliberal - they must be republican, angry, emotionally damaged or ipso facto a bad person. The hypocricy is waist deep.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 12:17:09 AM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

John as many times as we have exposed the common enemy which holds control over both political parties, and all three branches of the US government as being a transnational criminal cabal some persist in either blindly following the pied piper or if not, then a willing participant in divide and conquer for maintaining and protecting the status quo. The Iron Law of Oligarchy is the only power and modus operandi on steroids which slices and dices the control of the populace not only at home but internationally as well. It is done through acts of war, sanctions, denial of free speech, threats of imprisonment, death, their denomination of individuals and groups to include nations in what is clearly divide and conquer on a massive scale. There are those who claim to be speaking as citizens who in fact are tied to the institutions we have come to recognize as part and parcel of the common enemies to forming more perfect union/s among the citizenry.

Keep the faith, stay strong as this will all change as we see it is crumbling on a massive scale.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 6:34:54 PM

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"and if all that isn't bad enough throw in Kamala Harris to take over when Biden resigns for health reasons. Her total lack of being able to think "off-script" should scare everyone. She is mentally deranged which reveals itself when she giggles while seeing people in hurtful situations as a result of her decisions.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 12:24:57 PM

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

Yes, that crazy, supercilious laugh. Always in inappropriate situations. Difficult to assess which of the two is more demented. Even more mindboggling is the fact that some otherwise really intellignet people actually campaigned for these two screwballs. Never underestimate the power of self-delusion.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 7:26:07 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Hi John,

For some reason I thought of this:

You may be aware that in the yoga system there are subtle energy centers called chakras.

The third center (which is in the subtle body, but corresponds with the solar plexus) deals with power - whether self-mastery or power over others. The fourth center corresponds with the center of the chest and is known as the "heart chakra." It deals with love, compassion, power with others, etc. (There also are both higher and lower centers).

It is possible to move our energy from the third to the fourth. Humans need to do so, but what a journey - a few inches in the body, but a chasm in terms of our species.

So simple, yet not so simple, given our stuckness. If we can survive the next 40 years (if you wish, see Duane Elgin's new book, Choosing Earth) we will realize that love is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

Currently, we are living in a precious window of opportunity in which our own and the survival of the Biosphere is at stake.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 10:10:24 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Yeah, thanks Blair. My girlfriend is a diehard practioner and often a yoga instructor as well. In grad school I was a devotee and did lengthy siddha sun salutes in the morning. But I've unfortunately fallen away from practice, though I get constant proding from her to get back in the saddle. ;-)

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 10:12:27 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

John,

For what it's worth -

My guides have included:

Ram Dass

Jack Kornfield

Amma (Ammachi)

Mother Meera

Thich Naht Hanh

We need to unlock a leap in consciousness, and in my experience these teachers have keys.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 12:10:50 AM

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Thanks. Don't know all of them, but the ones I do, like Thich Naht Hanh and Ram Dass are certainly on the A-list! My girlfriend adores Amma. She's met her many times.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 2:40:16 AM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Great!

As always, the key is using one's discriminative awareness and giving each the "smell test."

Sadly, RD has died (he used to do "Heart-to-Heart" sessions via Skype. I did a few with him, years after spending one on one time together in earlier years).

And TNH had a stroke.

But I'm a firm believer in getting in the same physical space with beings who may be at a higher/deeper level of consciousness, and then - not just dialoguing - but attuning to their vibration.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 4:25:24 AM

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Blair, You must know all the story. RD learned that he and a lady I know had a son, whom he

later in life recognized . I am acquainted with her (she's still alive) and another son who is

caring for her,no kinship with Ram.

Enjoy the rapport you're having with John Lawrence R., one astounding chap, including

being Italian, a lawyer and a Massachusetts resident.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 9:30:33 PM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to Nels Wight:   New Content

though not too close to Brookline.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 9:34:53 PM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

Guys, of course, you see the mimicry of Our Love Hillary when she observed the horrors

of Gaddafi's anal penetration destruction.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 11:46:59 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

The ability to quickly (and effectively) think "off script" is not the least bit necessary for a President or VP, although it can help in a debate. Preparedness is far more important.

As for "mentally deranged", I am unaware of the giggles and their context, so if you have a good link I would appreciate you posting it.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 1:03:19 PM

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Dink Winkerton

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wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_page

Where are man pages for our elected political action figures? We all need to know how to programatically interface with our public servants, at all hours of the day or night.

A name is just a name, but a man page is troff

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 19, 2020 at 10:06:54 PM

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Mike Preston

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Does anyone watch The History Guy?-- .youtube.com/channel/UC4sEmXUuWIFlxRIFBRV6VXQ

He likes to end his videos with "it is history worth remembering." There is a person who went by the Internet name of chlamor. I don't know what happened to chlamor. He could have easily been done in by the Patriot Act because he spoke with wisdom and knowledge about how to break our chains. What I admired most about him was his energy.

Some of his work still survives for now at amor-deepintheheartofnowhere.blogspot.com/

I hope some people scroll through his entries and look for grains of guidance. I have some chlamor history worth remembering relevant to the topic in the following blog:

Monday, December 10, 2007 The Function of the Democratic Party in the Political System (Redux)

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 1:53:13 AM

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Nels Wight

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thanks, my friend, Michael!

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 11:49:42 PM

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kappie

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i don't know about you but i was in a dark place when the only 2 candidates were trump and Biden.Both are just defenders of the corporate elite and all the liberal media BS about having to push Biden more left is just that,Bs.the American people again had a choice just like with Dennis kucinich abo ut pushing this country left and actually accomplishing something and again turned their backs on decency and concern for their fellow man.even if we elect 2 Democratic senators from georgia which is unlikely the courts are packed with republican stooges who will overrule anything decent happening this country deserves what is happening to them for the next 30 or 40 years until global warming destroys us

Submitted on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at 11:13:43 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to kappie:   New Content

"Both are just defenders of the corporate elite and all the liberal media BS about having to push Biden more left is just that, Bs." Exactly. . . well said. And to think we could have had a person like Dennis, namely Tulis Gabbard, this time around if it wasn't for the corruption and "rot" in the DNC.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 12:38:22 AM

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Rob Kall

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Yes, the setting up of Biden as the primary candidate victor was machinated by the DNC, neoliberal James Clyburn and the Democratic leadership, including Pelosi and Schumer. That is the real problem-- a system that prevents true democracy.

Even so, I think Biden will be better for the world than a floridly psychotic, malignant narcissist psychopath who cares nothing for anyone but himself and maybe a few also narcissistic if not psychopathic family members.

It's all relative. At least Biden will get us back in the environmental agreement. And yes, I know, one of his first appointments is an enemy of the environmental movement. Trump showed us how bad he was. I hope Biden proves better than your expectations, and hope that we can put pressure on him. I certainly fought against in him in the primaries as long as there was any possibility of preventing him from winning.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 3:44:54 PM

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George King

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Is that hope like in "hope and change" in the last two Democrat Presidential terms or Republican terms either? Rob this is all just getting to be nauseous and absurd.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 7:06:34 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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"At least Biden will get us back in the environmental agreement." If you're referring to the Paris agreement, then maybe. But in any case, it's a toothless attemtpt to prove that progress is being made. As for real environmental progress, Rob, don't count on it. Appointing Michael McCabe at EPA is a step backward from even Trump.

We Americans rarely understand that the "environment" is a global environment. When superpowers like the US make free trade deals, they invariably result in deep, lasting destruction to agricultural/silvicultural infrastructures and the ecosystems they impact. And I don't have to explain how war and the resultant massive shifts in refugees affects the environment. So, having pro-war, neoliberals like Biden/Harris in the White House will be a disaster for the environment. . . it just won't be readily visble unless you look deeper over time. But by then it will be too late.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 10:02:20 PM

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George King

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Aye John, rarely do most understand that the "environment" is a global environment although others would expand that to universal as in universe and beyond our understanding. "When superpowers like the US make free trade deals, they invariably result in deep, lasting destruction to agricultural/silvicultural infrastructures and the ecosystems they impact".

Just recently in the past few days trade agreements in the Asian Summit but not limited to have pasted trade agreements the US axis had been trying to force through for the last decade or two by dropping the corporate protections against environmental damage to nations, their commons, treasure and inalienable rights. A truly remarkable giant stride forward we can understand in our limited mindsets.

As above so below takes on a new perspective, indeed.

An astrophysicist at the University of Bologna and a neurosurgeon at the University of Verona compared the network of neuronal cells in the human brain with the cosmic network of galaxies and surprising similarities have emerged.

In their paper published in Frontiers in Physics, Franco Vazza (astrophysicist at the University of Bologna) and Alberto Feletti (neurosurgeon at the University of Verona) investigated the similarities between two of the most challenging and complex systems in nature: the cosmic network of galaxies and the network of neuronal cells in the human brain.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 9:55:27 PM

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George King

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The link for the article quoted above, Does the human brain resemble the Universe?

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 10:16:00 PM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

BRAVO, Rob!!! I'm glad to hear your voice (with reservations).

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 7:32:54 PM

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Nels Wight

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Brian, with the threatened loss of the Presidency, I can only hope

for a GOP Senate & House to offset the Dastardly Democratic Duo. I think we may have jumped from the frypan into the flames, perhaps ETERNAL, that the DNC has blessed for us.

I first voted for FDR and democrats ever since, but I now wished

that I had voted for the chimpanzee. Danville and Centre College may still entertain regrets.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 7:19:31 PM

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I'm grateful to John Lawrence and George to stand square--footed

and confront ignorance where it may exist.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 7:29:29 PM

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Reply to Nels Wight:   New Content

Nels, I will stand with you in giving tribute to John Lawerence R'e but please understand my humility in not giving a thumbs up vote for a comment on myself. You are most gracious even when calling a spade a spade, which is an endearing trait most of us lack in character.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 10:04:05 PM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to George King:   New Content

George, I LOVE YOU GUYS. TAKE CREDIT YOU DESERVE.

At my point in life, I.M GLAD TO RECOGNIZE A SHOVEL, what can I lose?

Submitted on Monday, Nov 23, 2020 at 12:13:07 AM

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