What Do We Really Know?

A Twitter friend went into the way back machine and reminded me of the Nuclear Freeze movement of the 1980s. I guess you’d have to be at least 50 to have any memory of it at all: so, a lot of the youngsters in the world wouldn’t know what it was about. Of course, you could Google it – but if you did that, you almost certainly won’t find out about it.

Oh, you’d read a lot about it. And what you read would be almost invariably praising it to the skies. But what you probably won’t read about it is that it was nothing more than a Soviet front organization. We were about to build and deploy a type of nuclear weapon the USSR (a) couldn’t build and (b) couldn’t defend against. Our having these weapons while the USSR didn’t would put us in the driver’s seat – the USSR would essentially be forced to throw in the towel on Cold War competition. So, the USSR did the one thing it was actually good at: call forth the Useful Idiots of the West to ensure the USA shot itself in the foot.

I remember it, now, very well. Especially one of the leading voices of it: Dr Helen Caldicott. She was just about everywhere during the time. Highly in demand for your Soviet inspired peace march and conferences around the world. And she was an Authority on it! She knew was she was talking about! After all, she’s a doctor.

Well, a pediatrician…who never had any experience dealing with either nuclear power or weapons…but she fit the bill: someone who seemed oh, so nice and had Smart credentials and how can you argue against her? You can’t hug your kid with nuclear arms!

The drivel almost worked – huge pressure was placed on Reagan and Thatcher to ditch the new weapons. But, they didn’t…and then the weapons (along with other Reagan tactics) did precisely what they were supposed to do: force the Soviets to the table at a disadvantage and eventually unravel their Empire in Europe (the fall of the USSR was really just a bonus that nobody could foresee).

But that isn’t our issue for the moment – the real issue is that a pack of ridiculous lies nearly sunk Reagan’s USSR policy and even though the lies failed at that, they still managed to implant into the public mind that nuclear power is somehow extra dangerous and that the only safe thing to do with nuclear power is have nothing to do with it. By this time in our history, almost all our electricity production should come from nuclear power. A whole series of plants all across America should be humming with cheap, clean nuclear energy providing far more than our greatest need. We’re not because of people like Caldicott got themselves fooled and then managed to fool enough other people.

And, heck, I have to admit – back there in the late 80s and early 90s, I was wary of nuclear power. I still figured we should go for it, but I had this mental image of it being extra dangerous and we had to take extra care around it…and this was after I got out of the Navy, when I had literally stood next to an operating nuclear power plant aboard a submarine. How could I have been so stupid?

Of course it had to be operated properly – but so does any device. Operate a solar plant incorrectly and you’ll cause a lot of problems. We got into our minds, though, that nuke was Super Dangerous! Thousands of years must pass before it is clean! For goodness sake, at no point did people stop living in Hiroshima. A few days after the bomb went off and all the bodies were cleared away, the people were already starting to rebuild. It is a city of nearly 1.2 million people: far larger than it was when bombed in 1945. Here’s the photo of the iconic dome of Hiroshima. Tell me, what immediately leaps out here?

That is doesn’t quite look like the wasteland of 1945…the trees really take away from the whole End of the World vibe we’re supposed to get here.

Obviously, nuclear weapons are very destructive and nuclear power is something that you have to be careful with…but there is clearly a bit of a mental psychosis in the popular imagination about it which is not supported by things we can easily observe. Things we can know just by knowing them. I doesn’t take special knowledge or insight to know that Hiroshima is a thriving city…but we, in a sense, don’t know it…and so we fear nuclear power and think that using a nuclear weapon is unthinkable.

And then you start to ponder: what else are we refusing to know? How much of what we “know” are lies?

You can do this yourself: just take some subject and think about it. Think about what you know but then take the crucial step: pretend you don’t know it and think about it for a bit. Does what you “know” match up with what you think? Like this:

One of the things you’ll find asserted – in books, movies, documentaries, everywhere – is that the Anglo-American alliance could not have defeated Nazi Germany without the USSR. This is an article of faith. It is true and may not be questioned. If you do, you’re an idiot. I mean, think about it – at least 5 million German and Axis soldiers fell against the USSR. If the USSR hadn’t killed them, then they would have all been turned against us and we never could have won!

Makes sense, right? I mean, that is a lot of dead Krauts and it would have taken us a powerful long time to off them, ourselves. But when examined, it simply falls apart.

At the end of the war, more than 21 million Americans and Brits were in the armed forces. This does not count British Empire forces: even excluding Britain’s Indian Army, this probably worked out to two or three million more. But lets just go with the Yanks and the Limeys.

By 1945, the Brits were at maximum strength: 5 million was about what their population could sustain in the field. The USA could still call up three or four million more than we had, though that would be pushing it. The Germans, if they strained every nerve to the breaking point, could maybe get 10 million into uniform. Starting to see something here? Just the Anglo-Americans, alone, vastly outnumbered the Germans. Throw in the Italians and minor Axis allies and you still have a big advantage for the Anglo-Americans. When you add in that the UK/USA had vastly more economic capacity than the entire Axis (including Japan) and had open access to all the resources in the world what you conclude is that regardless of how any particular engagement went, the only question on defeating Germany was how long it was going to take? Having the USSR in got the job done in 1945, rather than 1946 or 1947. That’s it. Good thing, of course; but certainly far different from “we must be thankful because without the USSR we couldn’t have won the war.”

And who likely floated the idea that we had to have the USSR? The USSR – and their useful idiots in the United States. Starting with those who gave away the store at Yalta in order to get Russia into a war against Japan we had already won.

That is just one mental exercise which, once concluded, lays to rest a myth which is believed really for no other reason than it has been repeated over and over again. But I think we all have to start doing this – start thinking entirely fresh. Roll it around in your. They say this happened: well, does it make sense that it would happen, or happen that way? They say we must do this: why? They say we have retain this policy or alliance: are we sure?

Last night I posted a Tweet where I asserted that the US government must keep no secrets. That a Republic must do her business in the open for all the citizens to see as it is done. Very smart people said we can’t have that – even George Washington believed in keeping diplomatic secrets! Well, sure: if Washington was President today, I’d probably trust him to keep some things confidential. But we’ve got Pudding Brain and his merry band of morons running the show: you really want them to be able to keep what they’re doing secret from you?

But I came to this conclusion by a bit of a winding intellectual road and it just flashed in my mind that secrets are for con artists You don’t keep secret honest dealings – you keep a con secret because if your con gets out into the open, enough people will see it in time to warn your mark off. Heck, even God doesn’t really keep secrets from us – He’s got some Mysteries, but He has shown them to us: we just can’t fully understand God. Go figure. But secrets are just not good – and in government, they are downright bad. And so, the whole FBI/CIA/NSA “National Security” apparatus, in my view, has to be ditched. It is keeping secrets mostly to hide its incompetence. But I only got to this view by thinking anew about everything – by taking nothing for granted. I got here by thinking – and we really do have only two ways to live:

  1. By thought that has been thought out.
  2. By thought that hasn’t been thought out.

For nigh to a century, we’ve been going on “not thought out”. I think we need to change that. We need to find out what we really know.

32 thoughts on “What Do We Really Know?

  1. Retired Spook September 23, 2022 / 9:48 am

    • jdge1 September 23, 2022 / 11:19 am

      Stupid people – There was an article written by Carlo Cipolla, an economic historian, back in the 70’s titled: “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity”.

      A quick summary

      1. Everyone underestimates the number of stupid people,
      2. That a person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic,
      3. A stupid person causes loses to others without gains to themselves (consistently),
      4. Non stupid people underestimates the danger of the stupid,
      5. Stupid people are the most dangerous people.

      He basically placed people in a x/y graph with 4 quadrants:
      1. Those who do things that help themselves and others (intelligent),
      2. Those who do things that help other but without gains to themselves (helpless),
      3. Those who do things for gain to themselves but hurt other (bandits (or as Mark suggest – con artist),
      4. Those who do things that hurt themselves and others (stupid).

      Seems many destructive “leaders” (especially political) fall into category 3 and most of their followers into category 4.

      “It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person” – Bill Murray

  2. Retired Spook September 23, 2022 / 10:54 am

    It just gets interestinger and interestinger:

    The Biden Raid case looks even more ridiculous after an alert reader linked a Conservative Treehouse article that has uncovered a September 11, 2018 Obama letter to the National Archivist, which is the same deep-state department complaining about Trump having classified records. Obama’s letter advised the Archivist about the status of millions of records that Obama took with him:

    Take a look at paragraph seven:

    Classified and unclassified records. “Classified.” As of the date of the letter, Obama had obviously been hanging on to a bunch of classified documents, in a place called Hoffman Estates. Hoffman Estates is a fancy name for a renovated Chicago warehouse. It’s not a secure storage facility or anything.

    Now, it’s true that Obama’s letter was talking about MAYBE moving the documents back into a NARA-run facility, subject to “negotiation of terms,” but it is also true that these are records that, by the letter’s plain language, will also be “digitized” into the Obama library. Including the classified documents, which don’t seem to be much of a big deal to anybody, for some reason.

    No demands for immediate return of documents. No FBI raid. No criminal investigation. If it weren’t for double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

    • Cluster September 23, 2022 / 12:18 pm

      Jim Comey detailed the number of classified materials Hillary had on her off site private server and then said “no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute”

      That’s the standard for Democrats. No such standard exists for Conservatives. It’s a two tiered justice system. We live in a Banana Republic.

    • fortyacresbeyond September 23, 2022 / 7:01 pm

      Spook, there’s a big difference between the two cases. The Hoffman Estates facility is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. It was leased by the United States government months before Obama left office specifically for the purpose of storing the Obama presidential records. It is staffed by employees of the National Archives. Planning for the storage of the Obama records at Hoffman Estates began months before Obama left office, in coordination with NARA.

      Contrast to that to Donald Trump, who merely took classified and unclassified records home with him without bothering to tell anyone. Furthermore, he and his lawyers lied to NARA about what they had at Mar-a-Lago.

      You claim to have been an intelligence officer of the United States of America. It is really hard to believe that you take such a cavalier attitude toward classified documents of the United States government, but as with everything else involving Donald Trump, your fealty to him overrides all else.

      • Amazona September 23, 2022 / 7:15 pm

        It is staffed by employees of the National Archives. This does not answer some key questions. What does “staffed” mean? Does it mean secretaries and janitorial staff, or security staffing? Do the security staff meet the same criteria as Secret Service agents? Do the archives have the same level of overall security as the home of the former president has? What, exactly, IS the level of security of this warehouse? And why, if the documents are so important that they deserve to be classified, is it OK to make copies of them? After all, if the original is Classified or Secret or Top Secret, isn’t a digitized copy of that original equally classified?

        If Trump never told anyone he was taking documents, how did anyone know he took documents? When and in what way did “he and his lawyers lied to NARA about what they had at Mar-a-Lago”? He made a formal statement that he had declassified the Crossfire Hurricane documents, then he filed a formal memo to that effect, and in addition he stated on Twitter and in a public statement that they had been declassified.

        What is it about you as a person that makes it imperative for you to accompany your posts with snideness, personal attacks and accusations such as having a “cavalier attitude toward classified documents”? And why can’t you people get over your conviction that defending Trump is based on “fealty”? This projection of irrational emotional involvement and making decisions based on it is not only tiresome, it is an increasingly obnoxious projection of the emotional basis for Leftist allegiances.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 23, 2022 / 8:03 pm

        “What does “staffed” mean?” Oh please. Yeah, it’s difficult to think of what National Archives staff members might do. A curious mind, such as you purport to have, might actually try to answer such questions by one’s self, but you don’t actually want answers. You just want to play semantic games, as usual.

        “If Trump never told anyone he was taking documents, how did anyone know he took documents?” They discovered they were missing.

        “When and in what way did ‘he and his lawyers lied to NARA about what they had at Mar-a-Lago’”? Trump’s lawyers swore in a signed letter to the DOJ that there were no classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. This was in June. Turns out there were a dozen or so boxes of classified documents there when they swore there weren’t any. Ergo, they lied.

        “What is it about you as a person that makes it imperative for you to accompany your posts with snideness, personal attacks and accusations such as having a ‘cavalier attitude toward classified documents’?” Pot meet kettle. I’ll tell you what. I’ll refrain from any “snideness” so long as none is directed at me. Can you abide by that?

        “And why can’t you people get over your conviction that defending Trump is based on ‘fealty’?” Okay. Give me an explanation for why you all in general have renounced so many of your previously stated convictions in order to support this man that doesn’t involve fealty. I’m happy to listen.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 10:20 am

        Turns out there were a dozen or so boxes of classified documents there when they swore there weren’t any.

        Let’s take a look at this claim. You say “they lied” when “they” said there were no classified documents present. Trump said that he, as president, had declassified them, so they were no longer classified. meaning that no, no one “lied”.

        So this entire breathless account of all this “lying” comes down to Trump (and many legal authorities) confirming that he had the authority to declassify documents and that he had done so, and anti-Trumpists claiming he had no such right and even if he did he didn’t declassify according to some rules or procedures somewhere.

        So….what rules? What procedures? And if there are any, are they the ONLY procedures possible? Speak up. Don’t be shy. Tell us, please, exactly what process MUST be followed to properly declassify a document.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 10:46 am

        You just want to play semantic games, as usual.

        Funny, coming from a strident supporter of the political model that depends on semantic infiltration and manipulation. You’re the one who claimed that being “staffed” somehow implied dedicated security for sensitive documents. I merely asked you what kind of “staffing” was in place. Obviously the word is vague, covering as it does everything from janitors to highly trained and armed security personnel. As YOU are the one who claimed that being “staffed” was sufficient (in a way implying that this was at least as secure as the protection provided by Secret Service agents at Mar-A-Lago) why do you get your panties all in a twist when I ask for specifics? (Other than the usual huffiness of any Lefty when some narrative is challenged, that is.)

        So “they discovered they (some documents) were missing.” Really? Who do you mean by “they” and in what way were the documents “discovered” to be “missing”? Was there an inventory list and documents were checked off against it as they were filed? Isn’t it far more likely that when the boxes and their contents were examined on the earlier trip, when they were left behind with nothing more than a request that an additional lock be placed on the door, notes were made about what had been left behind (that is, not deemed important enough to take) and this is what comprised the later list of “missing” documents?

        I respond directly to you and to comments made by you. Don’t like it, feel free to take a hike.

        Give me an explanation for why you all in general have renounced so many of your previously stated convictions in order to support this man

        See, this is the kind of distorted thinking that seems to define you people. Which “previously stated convictions” have been “renounced”? And who do you include in “you all”? And why do you assume that if there have been any changes in attitude they are based on nothing but support for Donald Trump?

        You are the one linking objective analysis and beliefs on one side with blind and passionate allegiance on another. And who are you to demand explanations from anyone? If you were capable of simply reading what people say and not filtering everything through your Trump Hatred filters you wouldn’t be so baffled.

        As for support for Trump, we have gone into this and explained it many times, but you simply refuse to admit anything into your limited field of vision that does not comply with your bias. Part of that bias is evident in your perspective that demanding fairness and accuracy is the same thing as “support” for someone.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 10:48 am

        This is a question you dodged: And why, if the documents are so important that they deserve to be classified, is it OK to make copies of them? After all, if the original is Classified or Secret or Top Secret, isn’t a digitized copy of that original equally classified?

      • fortyacresbeyond September 23, 2022 / 8:26 pm

        Oh, and by the way, 166 House Republicans have co-sponsored a bill to make abortion illegal nationwide. So much for your states rights theory about this.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 9:07 am

        One of the great things about not being a Lefty is that we are not required to march in rigid lockstep with the collective

      • Retired Spook September 23, 2022 / 10:11 pm

        Turns out there were a dozen or so boxes of classified documents there when they swore there weren’t any. Ergo, they lied.

        Must have been small boxes. There were only around 100 classified documents, and that’s assuming they were still classified. Hillary had more than that on an illegal private server that was almost certainly penetrated by domestic and/or foreign adversaries. I do agree that Trump should be treated as harshly as Hillary if he broke the law.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 23, 2022 / 11:31 pm

        “Must have been small boxes. There were only around 100 classified documents, and that’s assuming they were still classified.”

        Yes, I should have said a dozen or so boxes, some of which contained classified documents, including, it was reported, the details of the nuclear weapons program of a foreign country. If I had to speculate, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Israel. This is information that, say, Saudi Arabia, would be very interested in, and as we know, the Trumps and Saudi Arabia have significant financial ties. Always follow the money with Donald Trump. Anyway, none of this excuses Trump’s lawyers from lying about what was at Mar-a-Lago, does it.

        As for “assuming they were still classified,” the Special Master has asked Trump’s lawyers to specify which documents are declassified, so we will see. Talk is cheap. I don’t think the Special Master will accept Trump declassifying them “by thinking about it.”

        And as for Hillary Clinton, I agree: Let the FBI and DOJ thoroughly investigate and determine whether charges are warranted. That’s what they did with Clinton.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 9:27 am

        I don’t believe Trump ever claimed that any documents were declassified merely by him “thinking about it”. This is the kind of bizarre fantasy that seems to define Lefties, much like the elaborate skein of inventions based on nothing but “reports” from anonymous “sources” that Trump retained some kind of information about some kind of nuclear program. From this nugget of vague innuendo this particular Lefty has spun a sinister plot in which the nuclear information was really about Israeli nuclear secrets which Trump would then want to sell to Saudi Arabia because of his “significant financial ties.” with that country. This is supported by the cynical claim of “Always follow the money with Donald Trump.”

        What’s so funny about this is the assumption that Trump is motivated by greed. This is a common belief among people who have never had much money or known people who do, who then project their own greed and obsession with money onto others. Early in a business career, acquisition of money is a powerful motivator, but after a certain point money becomes an abstraction, merely a way to keep score. What could any country pay Trump to betray an ally that could possibly make much of a difference in his life?

        No, this silly speculation says much less about Donald Trump than it does about the sick minds who wallow in it, both about their unsophisticated perception of the importance of money to the very rich and about their inner conviction that everyone else is as unethical as they are.

        While a petty grifter like Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton would happily sell out his or her country for a few million dollars (as we have seen) because to them that’s seriously big bucks, to a billionaire like Trump a few million dollars would probably not even make much of a blip on his bottom line.

        Let’s see if the DOJ will determine that no matter what Trump may or may not have done “no prosecutor would file charges” as was done with Hillary. I doubt it, because in this case the purpose is not to pursue justice or prosecute crime, it is to try to rig the next presidential election by preemptively keeping Trump out of the race, by any means necessary. And if they can’t keep him off the ticket, at least they can keep smearing him and piling up accusations and indictments (which are really nothing but dressed-up accusations) to convince the low information voters that there is really something very bad going on here, even if it can’t really be discovered, defined or identified. Just……SOMETHING.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 24, 2022 / 11:37 am

        “I don’t believe Trump ever claimed that any documents were declassified merely by him ‘thinking about it’. ”

        Yes he did. On the Sean Hannity Show earlier this week.

        “There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” Trump told Hannity. “You know, there’s different people say different things, but as I understand, there doesn’t have to be — if you’re the President of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, even by thinking about it. Because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it. And there doesn’t have to be a process. There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president – you make that decision. So when you send it, it’s declassified. I declassified everything.”

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-claims-presidents-can-declassify-documents-even-by-thinking-about-it/

      • fortyacresbeyond September 24, 2022 / 11:50 am

        “What’s so funny about this is the assumption that Trump is motivated by greed.”

        It’s not an assumption. It is based on his own actions. His self-dealing foundation. Trump University. The routine lying about the value of his properties to secure hundreds of millions in bank loans and tax breaks. It just goes on and on.

        “This is a common belief among people who have never had much money or known people who do, who then project their own greed and obsession with money onto others.”

        This is your attempt to project your beliefs about other people onto me. Nice try.

        “Early in a business career, acquisition of money is a powerful motivator, but after a certain point money becomes an abstraction, merely a way to keep score.”

        Well, if we know anything about Donald Trump, we do know that using money to keep score is extremely important to him. We know, for instance, that he demanded that his CFO continually produce financial documents that showed his net worth ever increasing. It’s part of what has gotten him into trouble with the State of New York. And if money is no longer a powerful motivator for the ultra rich Donald Trump, why has he and his company continued to lie and cheat on its taxes? That’s pretty small-time stuff for someone who is so rich he should no longer care.

        “What could any country pay Trump to betray an ally that could possibly make much of a difference in his life?”

        We could start with the $2 billion investment that Saudi Arabia made to Donald’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s business.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 12:38 pm

        Thank you for your willingness to exhibit your limited grasp of finance, business and reality in general, as well as your dependence on wholly biased, anti-Trump “information”. Every claim you make sounds like it comes directly from The View or Tater or Maddow. Of course, none of it has any relationship to the job he did as president. You need to steer clear of that, and stick to his past.

        So what’s your point? To prompt more bickering, so you can drag out all the nonsense and crap you have so eagerly gobbled up at the feet of the Agenda Media? To make converts into the Hysterical Anti-Trump Brigade?

        What does go “on and on” is this truly insane compulsion to obsess about this man. Why do you care? What is it about your persona that has such a desperate need to obsess and hate? You think he personifies all that is evil—then don’t vote for him. You are convinced that his history is one of corruption in the world of business—then vote for the guy whose history is one of corruption in the world of political power and its abuses. You are focused on what you see as greed in business—fine, vote for the guy whose greed has been played out in the sale of access to our government.

        But what you won’t, and can’t, consider is the simple fact that this man you claim is so deeply flawed was still a great president, a problem solver who didn’t care whose toes he stepped on as he worked to try to drag this nation back from the cliff-edge of total control by unelected political appointees. You go right on obsessing about details of his personal life, because that is so much safer for you than comparing the state of this nation under Trump to the sorry hot mess it has become in less than two years. You go right on projecting the Identity Politics that drive you onto people who don’t base our political choices on personalities or images, but who can identify the problems we have. You have chosen your lane, which is the pseudo-political equivalent of TMZ, and you get to do that. You get to pretend that wallowing in sleazy gossip is really political discourse, because it is so much easier and safer (and emotionally gratifying) than dealing with the reality of the best blueprint for governing the nation and the best people to apply that blueprint. You stick to the shallows of sniping, sneering and posturing as occupying a Higher Moral Ground and leave the heavy lifting of actual POLTICAL analysis and action to others.

        As I always said, I didn’t want to date Donald Trump, I wanted to hire him. And I did, and I liked the job he did, and I would hire him again in a heartbeat. So you and people like you can bleat all you want about all the horrible horrible absolutely awful things you believe about him—and aside from your little tribe of hatemongers no one cares.

      • Mark Noonan September 24, 2022 / 2:33 pm

        Your problem is that you didn’t read this post – you really need to think about what you “know”.

        You, for instance, “know” that Trump University was a scam to enrich Trump. How do you know this? Well, it is what’s been told to you. That’s it. You didn’t look into it, yourself (and you really can’t because you won’t be given access to all the relevant documentation on both sides of the issue – that is for historians 100 years from now) and, clearly, you never thought about it.

        The university ran from 2005 to 2010 and ceased operations in 2011. What did it do? Well, it parlayed Trump’s name – and real estate reputation – to try to sell people on a program to learn how to make money in real estate. The first seminar was free – and, like all such seminars, it tried hard to sell you on the notion of buying the product…the actual expertise to make money in real estate. In the natural course of events, most people who tried this weren’t going to become billionaires…and, naturally, given the Trump name on it, some of those who didn’t become billionaires sued.

        Whether or not the university was a good idea is something you and I can’t rule on – we didn’t attend it and so can’t provide any insight into that. But, clearly, some people were disappointed in the product they had paid for. How honest were the plaintiffs? We can’t say as a whole…but the main plaintiff sued in court to have Trump declared a public figure and so he couldn’t be defamed unless he could prove actual malice…in other words, the lead plaintiff went to court to get permission to lie about Trump; and got it. Once Trump was declared a public figure, it became almost impossible for him to assert libel in the claims made against him and the university.

        As Trump started to run for 2016, it was his GOP opponents who first dug all this up…and naturally cast it in the worst possible light. Once Trump was the GOP nominee, the Democrats picked it up and cast it in an even worse light…and all the while, their MSM water-carriers painted the most lurid picture possible…that somehow Trump was dragooning people into his university and forcing them to pay and then laughing all the way to the bank.

        One problem: Trump was a billionaire before the university. At most, the thing was going to make him a couple million dollars. It wasn’t like he was taking people’s money and investing it in risky real estate scams. It was just a straight proposition: pay for the service of learning some real estate insights from Trump and his people. Personally, I wouldn’t do it – but people do these sorts of things, often thinking there is some magic talisman to great wealth. As to whether or not anything useful was imparted – we can only say that hardly anyone sued. The number of people with complaints about it was very small compared to the total number of people who participated. Maybe something useful was imparted? We’ll never know because the one thing no Trump opponent or MSMers (BIRM) will do is find people who were happy with it. Maybe there’s some guy out there right now sitting on a tidy fortune because of the insights he was given at Trump University? You don’t know – all you know is what people who hate him told you.

        So, to the point of this post: think about it. Maybe some of the people who hate Trump are telling the truth about him. But, hey, maybe they’re lying about him? They sure in hell lied about Trump-Russia on a grand scale. Maybe those who hate Trump and have lied about him in one area are also lying about him in other areas?

        Maybe the guy who one offered to by Ed McMahon’s home to save the dying celebrity from being evicted isn’t the rat bastard you think he is? Perhaps the man who remained friends with his ex-wife so their children wouldn’t have to deal with rancor isn’t total garbage? Just maybe, if you think about it, you’ll realize that you only started hating Trump after he became a threat to the Democrat establishment?

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 4:35 pm

        Thanks for your analysis of the Trump University kerfluffle. All of the actions against Trump ae equally dependent on lots of noise but little content.

        One thing I think we all find amusing, though disgusting, is the inherent dishonesty in the bleating about Trump. He has never used his political clout to enrich himself. The snarl about Saudi Arabia investing $2 billion in a Jared Kushner business stops right there, depending on some rabid minds filling in the blanks. So, what then? Why did the country get involved with a Kushner business? What was the business? Was it a valid business? And did Donald Trump as president engage in any preferential treatment for Saudi Arabia in exchange for this investment? My memory is that Trump basically told the Saudis he hoped they could eat or drink their oil because we weren’t going to buy it any more—not much bang for the Saudi bucks, was it, if there was supposed to be a quid pro quo. I sure didn’t see any outrage over China “investing” billions in a bogus company run by Joe Biden’s incompetent drug addict son, even after President Biden has acted in China’s favor for his entire presidency.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 24, 2022 / 11:52 am

        “One of the great things about not being a Lefty is that we are not required to march in rigid lockstep with the collective.”

        I love the cavalier way in which Amazona dismisses the fact that almost every single Republican member of the House ignores the Tenth Amendment. You know, the Amendment that Amazona has told us repeatedly is at the heart of her ideology.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 12:08 pm

        I assume there is legal analysis of the Tenth Amendment as well as of allowed authority of the federal government. I have expressed my opinion but I also know my limitations regarding legal analysis. I have no problem admitting when I am wrong, and am always open to new insights and information. I haven’t “dismissed” anything, nor do I have a “cavalier” attitude toward political differences. I don’t have enough information to make an informed decision or opinion, and not being a Leftist bickerer I don’t based faux opinions on emotion.

        I continue to state that my understanding of the Tenth Amendment does lie at the heart of my ideology. Which, I continue to remind forty, I can explain and defend. Yet to date we have never seen him/her explain or defend his/her ideology. As far as I can tell it exists solely as a sniping platform against a poorly understood Invented Other, based on emotion which seems to be exclusively malignant.

        What a sad and petty little life, reduced to snouting around in a site where one is so obviously not respected much less welcomed, hoping to find tidbits that can be manipulated to create the illusion of a “gotcha”. Usually, when someone is dedicated to trying to undermine a political ideology this is due to a commitment to its alternative, which naturally leads us to assume forty has a preference for a collectivist political system based on a Central Authority and one which rejects most of the tenets of our Constitution, such as free speech, state sovereignty and limited federal authority. Yet we never hear an explanation of this preference or a defense of it—just petty sniping, mostly dependent on distortion of what was said but which supposedly forms the basis for said sniping.

      • fortyacresbeyond September 24, 2022 / 6:15 pm

        “You, for instance, ‘know’ that Trump University was a scam to enrich Trump. How do you know this? Well, it is what’s been told to you. That’s it. You didn’t look into it, yourself (and you really can’t because you won’t be given access to all the relevant documentation on both sides of the issue – that is for historians 100 years from now) and, clearly, you never thought about it.”

        Wow. So now you’re going to defend Trump University? Like, we can’t know that it was a scam? After multiple lawsuits and testimonials? I actually tried googling “was anyone happy with their trump university experience?” Couldn’t find any.

        We don’t need 100 years to know that it was a scam. It was a scam. It has been proven. To hear you tell it, we could never prosecute anyone for a crime until a hundred years after the fact. That is absurd.

        I’m reminded of the fact that you explained to us some months ago that we couldn’t know whether the Beatles actually played their instruments. This despite the Beatles being probably the most documented band in history and subject of a recent eight-hour documentary in which we all watched them, you know, play their instruments. There are things we can know, Mark. That you can’t says more about your analytical skills than it does about anyone else’s.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 6:46 pm

        Several, if not many, people saw Trump University as a short cut to success, and were quite distressed to learn that although they would learn from the experiences of seasoned realtors they would still have to work their butts off, make cold calls, endure rejection and in general go through what every successful real estate investor and salesperson has had to learn from experience. Many were able to put their lessons to good use, many were not willing to try and just had temper tantrums and claimed they were promised the business equivalent of participation trophies. What WERE they promised?

        So what, exactly, about it was a “scam”? And how much was Trump “enriched”? Get your facts straight before coming here to scold and lecture.

        Ask Cluster how many people get into real estate because they think it will be easy, and fail quite quickly. I know at least a dozen people who have decided they, too, can make a lot of money in real estate and fallen flat because it’s actually WORK. I have a feeling the same snowflakes who thought that signing up for some classes was a shortcut to wealth are the same types who think that mouthing platitudes on the Left is a shortcut to the Higher Moral Ground.

        Naturally you would side with the whiners and the slackers.

  3. Cluster September 24, 2022 / 10:53 am

    Good to see that Forty is focused on what the State media feeds her. She is mentally pliable and easily led.

    • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 11:02 am

      Funny that you should say this, as I just came back to comment on the intense focus on the distraction of the document raid on Trump’s home. In reality, it is not a big deal. Aside from its illustration of the dangers of turning into a Police State in which the government itself becomes an arm of a political party used to crush the opposition, it is really just the government waving some shiny stuff around hollering LOOK AT THIS! LOOK AT THIS! DON’T LOOK AT THAT!

      So while the bickerers bicker over what Trump “should have done” to declassify documents, blah blah blah, and nitpick and quibble, this is what we are NOT supposed to look at.

      Another Police State effort to damage a conservative fails.

      A week that started off with a huge chip on its shoulder after last week’s dramatic post-CPI plunge, and which was the worst since June, only got worse, as stocks tumbled a jarring 5% this week, which together with last week’s 4.7% means that in just the past two weeks the S&P has lost 10% of its value (it could have been worse if spoos had not bounced modestly off their June, and YTD, lows of 3,660).

      the Federal Reserve knows it better do something about price inflation which even the Fed now admits shows no signs of even moderating.

      The total number of reported deaths after COVID vaccination was extraordinarily large in 2021; so was the number shown by the incomplete data of 2022. In the majority of these cases, the patients passed away 0 to 7 days after COVID-19 vaccination; and in around half of the cases, deaths took place within 0 to 3 days after vaccination. Such short durations clearly indicate the causal relationship between COVID-19 vaccination and these deaths.

      Then there is Russia’s threat to use nukes in Ukraine and Farmer’s Almanac predictions of a bitterly cold winter in the NE as we face even higher costs to heat our homes this winter. No wonder the government, with the usual aid of the lapdog Agenda Media, wants us to be focused on Trump.

      • Cluster September 24, 2022 / 1:47 pm

        Exactly. It’s a useful distraction from their failures.

  4. Cluster September 24, 2022 / 1:46 pm

    There is as much substance to the “classified docs” story as there was to Russia collusion. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. But that doesn’t stop the Media and people like Forty from hyperventilating over it. They’re so easily manipulated.

  5. fortyacresbeyond September 24, 2022 / 3:14 pm

    Amazona: “I assume there is legal analysis of the Tenth Amendment as well as of allowed authority of the federal government. I have expressed my opinion but I also know my limitations regarding legal analysis.”

    That’s funny, because you have never, ever admitted that there was any wiggle room when it came to the Tenth Amendment. In fact, you recently said, “Look up the Amendment it references. Then sit and ponder for a while. Probably, knowing you, a very very very long while. Then go back and see if there is anything in the Constitution that references, even tangentially. federal authority over abortion or anything relating to it.”

    Now it’s, well, there may be some legal analysis of the Tenth Amendment that permits the federal government authority over abortion.

    You also recently said, “This, of course, is based on the ongoing failure to understand the Constitution, or the Dobbs ruling. The ruling pointed out that Roe was faulty law because nowhere in the Constitution is authority over abortion, or health care, delegated to the federal government. Therefore the Court cited the Tenth Amendment (which is part of the Constitution, FYI).”

    You also said, the Tenth Amendment “will not have changed under a Republican president or Congress. Even then, the 10th Amendment will be the defining law regarding assertion of federal authority over abortion.”

    Now? It’s subject to legal analysis. Why, I dare say you’re starting to sound like someone who believes in a living Constitution.

    • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 4:25 pm

      Do you pay any attention to what I say? You quote it, but evidently it is too complex for you to understand. So let’s look at it again: “…go back and see if there is anything in the Constitution that references, even tangentially, federal authority over abortion or anything relating to it.”” This is a tacit admission that there might be something there I have missed. I think I understand the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, but I am not an expert. I invited you to find something, but of course, as this would have involved reading, thought and analysis you opted for your default response of sneering. I give my personal opinion, and good little collectivist that you are you act as if I am speaking for the entire party, or at least the Republicans in Congress.

      Do you know what the proposed bill says, or will say? Have you read it? So how can you pontificate on its compliance with, or contradiction to, the Constitution? How does it relate to Dobbs? I have no idea how it might be constructed, but as many of those supporting it seem to be pretty smart and pretty well grounded in Constitutional governance I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Unlike you, I think facts matter so am not in a position to pontificate on a specific effort without knowing what it is.

      In other words, you are totally ignorant of the actual proposed bill, but as usual you don’t allow your ignorance to slow down the velocity of your nastiness. It is my personal opinion, based solely on my understanding of the Constitution, that in general my comments are accurate. I am not backing off on that. But at the same time I can see how some laws might be passed that on the surface could appear to contradict the Constitution.

      An example might be an effort to federalize the presidential election. The Constitution states that states have authority over elections. But I can see how it might be possible to pass some kind of general national guidelines regarding election integrity that would comply with state control over elections but still impose some general standards. So I can accept that it might be possible to do something similar regarding abortion.

      But all you can see is what you think is a chance to spew even more spite and malice and to play “gotcha”. It’s this total lack of honesty on your part that gets you kicked off the blog when your toxicity becomes too obnoxious to tolerate any more. In the meantime I guess that you serve the purpose of reminding us, including the lurkers who read this blog but don’t participate, how shallow and ugly Leftist “political discourse” really is.

    • fortyacresbeyond September 24, 2022 / 6:30 pm

      “This is a tacit admission that there might be something there I have missed.”

      No, it’s not. You are ignoring the context in which you wrote it, which was to criticize Casper for suggesting that the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade might favor Democrats electorally. You were basically sneering that he would find nothing in the Constitution that references, even tangentially, federal authority over abortion or anything relating to it. Now you have opened up the door to that possibility.

      Oh, and as for explaining my ideology, I started down that road with you and got no response.

      • Amazona September 24, 2022 / 6:51 pm

        You never even got onto the entrance ramp to serious political discourse, so you can stop making that silly claim. As for your interpretation of “context” I am tired of seeing what comes out of your mental digestive tract after it’s been processed by your bias and seething hatred. Let’s just say it has a lot in common with what comes out of the other one, and is equally unrecognizable from what went in.

        You admit to providing your own take on what I said when you say I was “basically” saying something. Just go away. Your incessant nagging, scolding, whining and sneering are more tiresome with every toxic post.

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