Why Do Americans Love Their Guns?


Back in the early 1980’s when I was helping to ‘arm’ America as a gun wholesaler, I was asked by a major gun manufacturer to be a member of a panel which help the company better understand the types of people who were buying its guns. The company paid a lot of money to a consulting group which had conducted a detailed survey both of gun owners and non-gun owners, and me and some other gun dealers spent several days in a group meeting analyzing the results.

What struck me about the survey’s findings was one particular point: no matter how you sliced and diced the composition of the people who answered the survey – gun owners, non-gun owners, men, women, Black, White, urban dwellers, rural dwellers, Republicans, Democrats, Protestants, Catholics, Jews – two-thirds of the survey respondents believed that a law-abiding resident of the United States had the ‘right’ to own a gun.

The results of this survey (I can’t reveal the gun company which conducted the study because I signed a confidentiality agreement prior to participating) defines one of the two basic fault lines which divide the views of pro-gun versus anti-gun activists. The other fault line is the idea that a home with a gun is more safe and secure than a home without a gun. Two thirds of all Americans support this idea as well.

In terms of our love affair with guns, the United States is a true outlier among advanced nation-states (a.k.a., OECD.)  But with this status comes another unique condition, namely, the use of guns in illegal or improper ways which results in 125,000 intentional fatal and non-fatal gun injuries every year. There is no other OECD country which suffers even a fraction of such events, there is also no other country whose residents own a fraction of our civilian guns.

John Lott has just published a new book, which like his other works, makes the argument that guns are more of a benefit than a risk. The argument has gained him a degree of recognition on the pro-gun side. As for gun-control advocates and researchers, he is considered an illicit promoter of the worst, most dangerous, pro-gun ideas.

This book is John’s attempt to compare his findings which focus on self-protection and safety, as opposed to the arguments which focus on guns as risk. The text also recount some of the many instances in which his views have either been rejected, ignored or mis-stated by gun-control activists and media venues representing the other side. John writes clearly and his viewpoint deserves to be considered seriously by Gun-control Nation, and here’s the reason why.

I have yet to see one, single gun-control activist or researcher attempt to figure out why 40 percent of all American homes happen to contain a gun. Sorry, but the fact that the NRA has 4 million members or thereabouts doesn’t explain why maybe 10 times that number own guns even though they don’t belong to the NRA.

You may not like John’s argument about the link between gun ownership and guns as a benefit rather than a risk. You might also find it somewhat difficult (as I do) to accept the idea that the issuance of a concealed-carry license is the reason why shootings by people carrying illegal guns have gone down (although lately they seem to be going back up.) But I’m still waiting for the other side, my side, to come up with an argument that can explain why so many Americans love their guns.

And the reason I’m still waiting is because until and unless Gun-nut Nation can figure out why people like me love to wander in and out of gun shops all the time, coming up with a convincing narrative to make me stop and think before buying another gun is simply something that won’t take place. I hate to break it to my gun-control friends, but gun owners don’t need to be lectured by non-gun owners about how to behave ‘safely’ and ‘reasonably’ with their guns.

In that regard, reading John’s new book is a good place to start.

Think We’ll Reduce Gun Violence By Getting Rid Of The NRA? Think Again.

              I took a sabbatical earlier this year because I wanted to focus my thoughts and work on more general political issue, in particular the 2020 Presidential campaign. But many of the stories which have shaped the campaign happen to revolve around guns. Think about all the pictures of anti-lockdown demonstrators running around legislative buildings with their AR’s, or the couple in St. Louis brandishing guns to protect their home from a BLM rampage, or the near-daily stories about the sudden increase in shootings here and there – you get the point.

              But the incident which made me decide to begin again contributing my fifty cents to the gun debate was what happened yesterday when New York State’s Attorney General, Letitia James, announced that she was going to try to get rid of America’s ‘first civil rights organization,’ a.k.a, the NRA.

              Now I happen to have been a member of the NRA since 1955, and I am currently a Patriot Life Member Benefactor member, which means I give them enough money each year so they can’t throw me out, no matter what I say. I recently renewed my Golden Eagle membership, and received a lovely, little pen-knife with the NRA logo. I also just chipped in some more money to the Joe Biden Victory Fund for which I received a picture of Joe. . Anyway, back to the NRA.

              I knew the boys in Fairfax made a big mistake when they endorsed Trump at their annual meeting in May, 2016. The NRA had never previously endorsed a candidate until October, and they always endorsed the GOP nominee anyway. The gun group then donated $30 million to the Trump campaign, more than twice what they gave Romney in 2012.

              I never understood these actions because what was Trump going to do? Come out against gun ‘rights?’ If anything, he used the 2nd Amendment as a leitmotif for his campaign, which only ended up putting the NRA in the cross-hairs of the other side. Prior to the election, the NRA had also done something really stupid by sending a delegation to a gun ‘rights’ conference in Russia, a country that has almost no civilian gun ‘rights’ at all. This stupid trip was the handiwork of a Russian, Maria Butina, who was ultimately arrested in 2018 and convicted of being a Russian ‘spy.’

              Butina was a spy like I’m a spy. She didn’t register as a ‘foreign agent’ because she was just young, stupid, and dumb. But the way the law reads, if you’re paid by a foreign government to do anything political in the United States, you have to register with the DOJ. Because Butina went palling around in DC with this lobbyist and that government official, she was engaged in political work and was, therefore, a spy.

              What was going on in D.C. during 2018? The Mueller investigation was going on. So the alleged Russian infiltration into American politics was everybody’s media headline every day. What a perfect time for the NRA to appear as yet another handmaiden for the Putin-Trump gang.

              There’s a lot more to how and why the NRA ended up facing the New York State AG’s firing squad, not the least of it having to do with the stupid insurance scam the NRA tried to peddle to its membership, the bizarre decision to hire Oliver North as organizational President when he was already on the payroll of the NRA’s advertising agency, the public battle with the ad agency, Ackerman-McQueen, which brought all kids of sleazy behavior into view; there’s plenty more and you can read it right here.

              That being said, I don’t think that the response of the gun-control community is necessarily the right way to go. Because putting up statements on the internet supporting a shut-down of Wayne-o and his gang doesn’t deal with the fundamental problem that confronts us in trying to reduce the violence that causes 125,000 deaths and injuries every year.

              And that fundamental problem is that a majority of Americans, including non-gun owners, happen to believe that having a gun around the house is more of a benefit than a risk. And this viewpoint won’t go away even if the NRA goes away.

New York State Goes After The NRA.

When I was a kid living in Washington, D.C., my two favorite places to visit was the FBI Building and the gun museum at the headquarters of the NRA. I loved going on the FBI tour because at the end of the tour you went into the firing range and watched one of the agents shoot off a fully-automatic machine gun. And then they would ask if anyone wanted to take home the spent shells! I had boxes of empty 45-caliber brass in my bedroom for years (my mother bless her soul, threw all that crap out.)

What I didn’t know back then was that even though the NRA’s home office was situated in Washington, D.C., in fact the organization was still registered as a non-profit in New York State. That’s because the NRA had been founded in New York State and operated a firing range out on the border of Queens and Nassau Counties, where a state mental hospital named Creedmore now stands.

The NRA moved down to D.C. sometime shortly before or after World War II. The home office was then relocated in a D.C. suburb, Fairfax, VA, sometime later on. When the sh*t started to hit the fan a couple of years ago with stories about financial mismanagement by Wayne-o and the gang, for the life of me I never understood why the organization didn’t move its non-profit registration to another state.

I ran several non-profit organizations in New York back in the 1980’s, and I can tell you that New York State even back then did a regulatory job on non-profits like no other place. They not only required every non-profit to file a state tax return, they also had rules on the percentage of money you collected which could be spent for anything other than the express purpose of the charity itself. I don’t think there was any other state that has ever imposed requirements on non-profit expenditures which are in any way as comprehensive as what exists in New York.

Not only does New York State tell every charity how much they can and cannot spend on salaries, travel, perks and so forth, the state also has a separate agency which watches the behavior of all charities to make sure that they operate on the up-and-up. Again, this is very much unlike other states.

You would think that at some point in the last 20 years as the argument over gun control grew more heated all the time, that the NRA would have simply filed its non-profit registration in another, less regulatory-minded state. Didn’t those guys in Fairfax remember that the current Governor of New York, Andy Cuomo, is the same Andy Cuomo who wrote and brokered the gun-control deal between he Clinton Administration and Smith & Wesson which almost put the gunmaker out of business and scared the sh*t out of the rest of the gun industry back in 1990-1991?

The NRA didn’t bring this suit on just because Wayne-o and a couple of his cronies allegedly couldn’t keep their hands out of the till. They brought it on by turning a blind eye to the fact that they are still operating in a state whose governor has compiled the strongest, anti-gun record of any state-level politician in recent years.

Want more proof? Just take a look at the New York SAFE Act that Andy pushed through the legislature one night after Sandy Hook.

Who Makes Up Trump’s Real Base?

              Christopher Caldwell is what we would call a ‘responsible’ conservative advocate and publicist, as opposed to someone like Rush Limbaugh or Laura Ingraham who peddle various self-help medical ‘remedies’ and so-called news which is nothing but pure crap. He now hangs out at the Claremont Institute, which is a right-wing think tank with emphasis on ‘right’ and not ‘think.’

              Anyway, he came out with a book in January which attempts to explain the Trump phenomenon by promoting the idea that many Whites have been attracted to Trump because of how the 1964 Civil Rights Act ended up being used to advance opportunities for all kinds of groups – women, Hispanics, illegal immigrants – except one group; i.e., Whites. In fact, as the fortunes of all these other groups went up through what he says are mis-applications of the Civil Rights law, the fortunes of many Whites have gone down.

              The book is basically an argument against ‘intersectionality’ and PC; the former meaning putting disparate groups together into one, organized mass, the latter meaning what we all know PC to mean. Caldwell argues that this strategy depended on using he Civil Rights law in an extra-Constitutional way, meaning that Obama could reward his supporters by creating government programs and financial rewards without going through traditional legislative channels at all.

              Caldwell spices his argument up with descriptions of events here and there where liberal policy-makers and/or advocates sometimes tried to move the needle a little too far. So, for example, Obama could instruct his Department of Agriculture to make school lunch menus contain more ‘healthy’ foods, and if the kids didn’t like the fact that they couldn’t eat a Hershey bar for lunch, too bad for them.

              Where did Trump come from and how did he understand that White men and women were feeling resentful towards a liberal elite which was rewarding other groups while ignoring or penalizing them? Answer: The rise of the Tea Party which reflected the fact that “those who lost most from the new rights-based politics were white men.” [P. 276.]

              Caldwell’s book is just the latest in a long line of explanations (from both conservatives and liberals, by the way) which uses the rhetoric of the Tea Party to explain both Trump’s 2016 victory as well as the continued support of his ‘base.’ Which is all well and good except that the resentments and anger of the so-called forgotten White majority didn’t first emerge in a rant by CNBC’s Rick Santelli in 2009.

              The GOP has been making common cause with pissed-off White men since Jerry Falwell invented the Moral Majority back in 1979. And what were these White men pissed off about back then? They were pissed off at the fact that a Southerner named Jimmy Carter was reversing Richard Nixon’s pledge to ‘go slow’ on civil rights.

              To deny that the Republican Party hasn’t been playing the race card since Reagan was elected if not before, is to deny the reality of American politics from then until now. And how Caldwell can write an entire book about why White men support Trump and not mention Jerry Falwell even once is beyond me.

              Where did Trump after he was elected President give his first commencement speech? At Liberty University on May 12, 2017. He also spoke at Liberty University in January, 2016. And even though he referred to the Second Corinthians as the ‘”two Corinthians,” he was greeted like a conquering hero by his good friend Jerry Falwell, Jr., who compared him favorably to Ronald Reagan and – ready? – Martin Luther King!

              The only place where anyone would ever dare mention Trump’s name and Martin Luther King’s name in the same positive terms would be at an Evangelical university which was founded by a guy who wanted to give White parents a place where they could send their children to a segregated school.

              This is what Trump’s so-called ‘base’ is based on: racism pure and simple. Nothing else. And no matter what Trump and his acolytes say, racism just isn’t all that popular anymore, which is why all of a sudden Trump’s tweet today refers to his electoral opponent as ‘Joe Biden.’

              What happened to ‘Sleepy Joe?’

Trump’s Wartime Report: “It Is What It Is.”

A week after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt held a meeting with a group of close associates. He was now Commander in Chief of a war effort that would have to defeat both the Germans and the Japanese. So he needed to know whether he could count on his current military leadership, given how they had screwed up the intelligence which allowed the Japanese to wreck our Pacific fleet.

Now imagine what would have happened if Roosevelt hadn’t reviewed the report a month later, immediately cashiered the entire military general staff, and replaced them with a brilliant group of commanders – Marshall, King, Eisenhower, Arnold – who organized and won a worldwide, two-front war. Imagine if a year after Pearl Harbor we hadn’t already defeated the Japanese at Midway; imagine if we weren’t about to land at North Africa, and imagine if Roosevelt had been asked by a reporter to assess the war’s progress and had said, “It is what it is.”

Let’s remember that back in March, Trump considered himself to be a ‘wartime President.’ I didn’t say that – he did. So when he was asked last week to tell us how the war was going, the best he could come up with was: “It is what it is.” This is how you give the American public an assessment of how well we are fighting a war?

Back in 2016, a story began floating around that Trump had told People Magazine in 1998 that if he ran for President he would run as a Republican, because  “Republicans are the dumbest voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News.”

The story has been debunked numerous times, but when Trump describes his Covid-19 effort as ‘it is what it is,’ he must believe that his supporters are as dumb as they come. He must. Nobody could say something that stupid in the midst of a political campaign.

Or maybe it isn’t the Trump ‘base’ which is so friggin’ dumb. Maybe it’s Trump who speaks up to his base rather than down. But wait a minute – you can’t be that stupid and yet build a fairly-successful Manhattan real estate business featuring luxury condos and five-star hotels.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that Trump wasn’t exactly someone who had any kind of connection or previous experience with anything having to do with planning or fighting a war. The last President who actually saw combat action was George H. W. Bush, and he didn’t do a bad job of planning Desert Storm. If anything, he was more successful fighting Saddam Hussein in 1990 than fighting Bill Clinton in 1992.

And this is exactly the reason why Trump has been such a miserable failure when it comes to his non-response to Covid-19. Because from the day we first learned about the virus, Trump has been dealing with it as a political problem, as if this is just another part of his Presidential campaign.

The first thing he did was spend a month going after the Chinese ‘thugs,’ the same way he went after ‘Hillary the crook.’ He then said the problem could be solved by keeping people from China out of the United States, just another riff on how that now-forgotten Mexican wall would keep us safe. Then he put together a ‘task force’ led by none other than the renowned medical expert Jared Kushner, whose work in helping Trump get elected the first time around guaranteed that he would quickly develop and implement a plan to defeat the virus in its tracks.

In other words, Trump did everything except the one thing he should have done. He should have gotten the best and the brightest experts on fighting pandemics together, told them to come up with a plan and then use this plan to tell the American people what they all needed to do.

This is what Franklin Roosevelt did in 1941. This is the reason we won World War II. This is what Trump is unable to do which is why we now have a virus killing 1,000 people every day which is what it is.

On November 3rd: Vote Early, Vote Often.

Where’s The Trump Campaign?

 Last Friday, the President of the United States, a.k.a. Donald Trump, flew down to Florida to meet with a group of cops and get their endorsement for his re-election campaign. The cops are probably the only people in the whole country who are willing to even meet with Trump these days, never mind support his attempt to take another four-year White House lease.

              The picture above is Air Force 1 landing at the Tampa airport and as you can see, there was a large crowd waiting for the nation’s Chief Executive to come bounding down the stairs.

There’s only one little problem.  The above picture is what Trump would have posted on his Twitter except that a photographer got a shot of the entire crowd:

              And here’s a photograph of the thousands of Trump fans who couldn’t squeeze into the airport but were happy and willing to greet their beloved President as he came outside:

              This is how Trump described his trip to Florida in a tweet: ”My visits last week to Texas and Frorida had massive numbers of cheering people gathered along the roads and highways, thousands and thousands, even bigger (by far) than the crowds of 2016. Saw no Biden supporters, and yet some in the Fake News said it was an equal number. Sad!” And don’t think for one second that the way he spelled Florida was a mistake. It’s just another example of how racism (in this case against Asians) permeates his campaign. He really is a POS.

              If the ‘Chinese flu’ had never arrived, right now Trump would be holding one of his Nuremburg-style rallies every day. Instead, he spent the weekend playing golf, something he has done more than 270 times since he was inaugurated in 2017. That’s only an average of one golf outing every five days. Just like Ike. Hey – that’s a new slogan for Trump. Just like Ike.

              Back to the polls. Here’s how the swing-state numbers look today: 

              There really has been no change from last week. Note that Joe has his largest leads in the states where he is at or just about at 50 percent (FL, WI, MI, PA, and NH.)  If he wins those 5 states along with all the Commie-Socialist states, he’s well past 300 electoral votes. So that’s the good news today. And here’s some more good news.

              Back at the end of March when the Democratic primaries were basically finished and done, according to the Federal Election Commission, Biden had $26.3 million on hand, Trump’s campaign was sitting on almost $100 million bucks.  As of June 30, Trump had $113 million in the bank, Joe had $108 million waiting to be spent. Biden raised $63 million in June, Trump raised $55 million, but Trump’s campaign spent $50 million that same month, Joe’s gang spent $36 million and change. When you’re raising less and spending more and your numbers don’t improve, sending out a completely phony tweet about the ‘massive’ crowds in Florida won’t help you one bit.

              Today the Trump bunch resumed their TV advertising campaign by placing an ad in four swing states: AZ, FL, GA, and NC.  They had paused their ads for two weeks so that the new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, could re-evaluate their messaging and come up with a new and more powerful ad. So what’s the message this time around? That Biden is a ‘tool’ of the ‘radical Left’ who will triple your taxes, defund the police, and lead the country down to radical Socialism or worse.

              This advertising blitz doesn’t mention the corona virus, not once. But Trump  mentioned it on Twitter this morning when he criticized his own virus expert, Deborah Birx. I think Trump is smart by pretending that the Covid-19 emergency won’t hurt his campaign. After all, three out of ten Americans still believe that what he says about the virus is true. So if 30% are willing to give this liar and racist MF any kind of credibility at all, add to that group the Sedaris 10% dog-shit vote and maybe you’re still in the game.

              Don’t relax, don’t think it’s done. It’s not done and this is a very serious time.

Weekly Update On Senate Races.

 As promised, the purpose of today’s column is to update the status of Senate races which might flip from red to blue and help bring the federal government back to some kind of reality stance. Above is how the races looked as of yesterday’s polls:

Note that the blue candidates in two races – Arizona and Colorado – are at or near the magic 50% mark. If you compare this chart to last week’s chart, you’ll see that in none of these races has the GOP candidate narrowed the gap. However, with the exception of Arizona and Colorado, the other 4 races could still go either way. But what these numbers underscore was the message that Mitch McConnell sent to the entire GOP Senate caucus this week.

              Last week Trump tried to divert attention away again from his massive failure to do anything about the corona virus by saying something incredibly stupid about postponing the election beyond November 3rd. The comment drew immediate rebukes from the entire Senate GOP leadership group, none of whom would have said one friggin’ word without clearing their remarks all the way up the leadership chain. Trump has also been ranting about the mail-in voter ‘fraud,’ but here again he’s a voice out there by himself.

              The Democrats apparently fear that if the election goes their way, that Trump and his supporters will do whatever they can do to prevent the election results from taking place. To which all I want to say is that if we make sure that everyone votes early and often on November 3rd, that on November 4th Trump will be able to count all his supporters on the fingers of one hand.

              If you take a look at a national map of Covid-19 infections, you’ll notice that the infection rates may have initially been highest in blue states with large, inner-city, minority populations, but now the pandemic is tearing its way through many red states. And from the beginning of the crisis, Trump defined the federal response in partisan-political terms, which meant there would be no national response because why waste time, money, and resources on populations in states who won’t help you get re-elected anyway?

              I’m not being paranoid or indulging in my own version of a conspiracy theory by saying that the President of the United States is killing people to further his political goals. I am saying that credible evidence is now emerging which shows this to be the case. When Trump made the decision in March to forego a national testing plan, he was relying on the judgement of Dr. Deborah Birx, who claimed that high infection rates in cities like Chicago and New York didn’t necessarily mean that other, less-urbanized state populations were at risk. And Dr. Birx bolstered her advice to Trump with two studies which have since been retracted by the medical journals where they appeared because they were so wrong.

              Guess what? If your campaign strategy is based on suppressing the minority vote and turning out the highest possible number of voters from non-urban states, then Birx’s approach isn’t just predictive, it’s also a convenient, self-fulfilling prophecy around which a national campaign strategy can and should be built. Unfortunately, the Tulsa rally debacle laid that bright idea to rest, and I notice how a Trump campaign ‘official’ said the New Hampshire rally might take place in mid-August. And I’ll lose 10 pounds on my latest diet by mid-August. Yea, right.

              Here’s today’s national ‘red spot’ map from the ‘failing’ New York Times:

              Where are the worst hit spot-clusters?  In red states like Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, and Tennessee – states which Trump needs. But as one medical expert that Trump doesn’t listen to said, “The virus does what it wants to do. We don’t tell it what to do.”

              On November 3rd, however, we can tell Donald Trump what to do. He can kiss America’s rear end in Macy’s window.  That’s what he can do.

Where Are All The People Who Used To Love Donald Trump?

So yesterday my sister, who loves to torment me, sent me an article from Vanity Fair where some reporter went out to a beaten-down town in Pennsylvania and claims to have found a couple of women who voted for Obama but then voted for Trump and are planning to vote for him again. Can Biden bring those gals back to the Democratic fold? No, he can’t. They love Trump.

When Graydon Carter was Editor of Vanity Fair, he would never have published such crap. Who cares if some sixty-ish lady sitting in a diner in Allentown and says she used to be a Democrat is in love with Donald Trump? Biden needs to chase those votes like he needs a hole in his head.

In 2016, Trump won 30 states. As of today, we have current polls for 23 of those states. The 7 states for which we have no current polls together count a whole, big 34 electoral votes. The remaining 23 states provided Trump with 270 EV’s, and with the exception of a 1-point gain in Utah, in not one of those states is his current margin as great now as it was back then.

In 11 of those 23 states, he is basically tied with Joe. In the other 12 states he is not carrying one single state with as wide a margin as he racked up four years ago: These other 12 states are so reliably red that we never spend one second thinking about which way they will go, Yet Trump right now is anywhere between 4 and 13 points below his winning margin of 2016. Numbers from Nate Silver’s website as of last night:

State% in 2016% in 2020

I’m not saying that Trump will lose any of what we should start calling the red, no-mask states. What I am saying is that if Trump can’t hold onto his support in reliably-red states, what does this say about whether he can come out ahead in any of the must-win, swing states? So the real story which should have been published by Vanity Fair wasn’t about a few older ladies who just can’t stop loving Donald Trump. The real story is how come so many people who loved him in 2016 have decided it’s time to end their love affair.

The big difference between 2016 and this year’s campaign is that Trump is now the incumbent, and for all the talk about the advantages of incumbency, the incumbent becomes the target when things go wrong. And how can anyone imagine that things haven’t gone wrong when the national Covid-19 death count is now well past 150,000, a number which includes Herman Cain, pictured (above) at the Tulsa rally without wearing a mask?

What Will We Write About If Biden Wins?

              The latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly contains an article which makes the case that Trump could still pull things out in November because he has key advantages that our side doesn’t have. The problem with this article, however, is that it’s based on a mish-mash of quotes from various sources, all of whom will find themselves without anyone to talk to if Biden actually wins. Let’s look at each argument in turn.

              Argument #1. Trump will spin a slight recovery into the beginning of a real economic return. To buttress this point, the author of The Atlantic piece, Peter Nicholas, says that a new ABC-WaPo survey still gives Trump a 50 percent mark for how he’s handled the economy. Except the mark is actually 47%, Trump is tied with Joe in the new poll and his positive number has dropped by 19 points since March.

              Argument #2. The polls are no more correct than they were in 2016.  Which experts does Nicholas quote for this idea? None other than KellyAnne Conway, who deserves the Lifetime Medal of Freedom for how much bullshit she has pitched for Trump over the past four years.

              Argument #3. Trump can use the powers of incumbency to campaign all the time. Nicholas uses as an example of Trump’s media presence his daily briefing on Covid-19. Except there’s only one little problem. Trump has now twice abandoned those briefing because he looks and sounds like a fool.

              Argument #4. Biden still can’t convince the Bernie supporters to get onboard. This argument is bolstered by a comment from big-mouth Nina Turner, a co-chair of the Sanders campaign, who believes that voting for Biden is like eating a “bowl of shit.” The pro-Trump media has had a field-day with that one.

              Argument #5. Biden’s vote might be suppressed because Trump is against the mail-in vote and in-person voting sites are being reduced as a protection from Covid-19. Why do we assume that making people wait longer to vote will only hurt Biden? Why couldn’t the same lack of voting sites hurt Trump?

              Argument #6. Trump could always pull an October surprise. Trump can pretend that a vaccine is ready to hit the market, but how does such news mitigate the fact that because of how Trump responded to the ‘Chinese plague’ back in February, we need to rush a vaccine into production at all? And what about the possibility that an October surprise would be pulled off by Biden against Trump?

              Trump may want to believe that he’s a ‘wartime’ President but Americans aren’t lining up to support him the way they supported George Bush after the Twin Towers came down. Why not? Because Trump isn’t a wartime President. He’s a real-estate salesman who figured out how to use social media against an opponent who ran a totally inept and mismanaged campaign.

              When Obama was President, every time I walked into a bookshop there was always a big display of anti-Obama books. He was undermining the Constitution, he was promoting nefarious social policies, he was born outside the United States, he was doing this or doing that.  Now I go into bookstores and that same display case is filled with anti-Trump books. He’s a Fascist, a crook, a liar, next month Michael Cohen’s tell-all will be on display.

              So here’s the question: What are all these writers going to do if Biden wins? Can you imagine an anti-Biden book which argues that he’s a threat to this or a threat to that? If things keep going the way they are going in this campaign, nobody’s going to buy a book which tries to prove that Biden’s anything other than what he really is – a nice guy who might have beaten Trump in 2016 except he didn’t run because of the untimely death of his older son.

              Yesterday the President of the United States got up in public and promoted the medical views of a doctor who actually believes that DNA from outer-space aliens is being used to treat patients here on Earth. And Biden’s the demented candidate this year?

What Does Portland Really Mean?


What did Karl Marx say in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte? Something about you know you’re at the moment of great crisis when the best becomes the worst and the worst becomes the best. Okay – so he stole it from Dickens.  But I think what he said then, may hold true now.

Let’s start with the FBI. When I was a kid, J. Edgar Hoover was at the top of every liberal shit-list. Could there have been a McCarthyism without the FBI going after every Red under every bed?  I doubt it.

Now the FBI is a must-save organization for liberals because it has been the target of endless Trump attacks. But Trump is so much against the FBI that he wants to spend $1.5 billion to give this Deep State agency a new headquarters building, which happens to be located right across the street from Trump’s hotel. And by the way, even Republicans on the committee which oversees the FBI’s budget decided last month that the cost of a new building was way too high.

The day that liberals would be defending the FBI against conservatives is a day I never thought I would see. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg must be spinning in their graves. But notice how Trump manages to take advantage of a situation he created with his endless rantings about the ‘deep state.’

If you think that the best has become and worst and the worst has become the best is represented by the goings-on at the FBI, the situation in Portland as reported by NPR is even more of a comment on how things seem to have changed. Basically, the story out of Portland is that the demonstrations don’t seem to have attracted much attention from right-wing militia groups who have previously strutted their stuff in Portland and other Western states.

One of the groups which has appeared in Portland with their assault rifles, camo outfits and (of course) MAGA hats, is a group calling itself Proud Boys, who describe themselves as ‘Western chauvinists’ and have posted an interview on their website with – ready? – Roger Stone! To quote my grandfather, these guys are real drek. And if you don’t know what drek means, I’ll give you a little hint. It’s what is rubbed off on the toilet paper after you wipe your ass.

The militia movement has been a staple of right-wing political media entertainment ever since 2014 when that idiot Cliven (‘let me tell you about your Negro’) Bundy called for a national get-together of militia groups outside his ranch. They showed up again in Charlottesville for the 2017 rally which resulted in the death of a young woman and then provoked Trump to deplore the violence on ‘both sides.’

Bits and pieces of these schmucky groups have appeared in rallies protesting state lockdowns, and some of them were particularly abusive towards Governor Whitmer in Michigan, a mini-riot that was applauded by Trump.

But here is what I don’t understand. One of our friends sent us an email from a participant in the Portland demonstrations which said: “The unfortunate effect of the Federales is that the Black Lives Matter and police reform protests are taking a back seat. The troops are a distraction, are inciting rioting and unwanted.” In other words, the demonstrations have become a response of local residents to the appearance and behavior of federal cops.

Now I thought that the militia movement and all their bullshit about 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ was a reaction to the ‘tyranny’ of the national state. So why aren’t all these drek groups out there guarding the Black Lives Matter people and the Mothers and Grandmothers from the tear gas and assaults that go on every night?

I’ll tell you why. Because the only time we need to worry about federal government ‘overreach’ is when the federal government is run by liberals and worse, if the federal government happens to be run by a liberal who is also Black.

Like Marx said, the best has become the worst and the worst has become the best. Welcome to the Age of Trump.