“The tree of liberty must be refreshed … with the blood of patriots & tyrants.”

The title of this post was taken from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in Paris, on Nov. 13. 1787. He sent that letter to William Smith. Those words do not appear in the Declaration of Independence. Those words do not appear in the U.S. Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, and had a major influence on the United States Constitution. Jefferson’s quote about refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots & tyrants was an opinion to a friend, not for the public or justification for a revolution or civil war to replace the government.

In fact, Jefferson “wanted the new Constitution to be accompanied by a written ‘bill of rights’ to guarantee personal liberties, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom from standing armies, trial by jury, and habeas corpus.” — THE FIRST AMENDMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA

When Jefferson was sworn in to become the third president of the United States (1801—1809), he took the same oath that is enshrined in the US. Constitution. Every president has taken that oath, an oath that defines what the Founding Fathers thought a patriot should be

There are many in the United States today that think they are patriots, but, because of that Constitutional Oath, some so-called patriots are wrong. They are not patriots. They are anarchists, loyalists (to Trump or another authoritarian), and traitors.

Patriotism is not defined as blind loyalty to an individual, the flag, a religion, or a militia. For instance: The Oath Keepers or The Three Percenters, et al. To these violent militias, nothing matters but defending what they blindly think is their country against anyone they see as a threat, and that means anyone that doesn’t think like them. If we disagree with what they think, they often reply with something like, “Go home. Go back to Russia, or Africa, or China…. Get out of my country.”

Imagine what it must be like to be blindly loyal to someone like Donald Trump and/or the U.S. flag with little or no knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. For those ignorant, misguided Americans, the concept of patriotism tied to the U.S. Constitution would seem alien because not every American takes the Constitutional Oath of Office, and many Americans don’t know what the U.S. Constitution says beyond the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and many also get the meaning of those two amendments wrong.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you’re free to say whatever you want. For some liars, we have libel and slander laws. And writing for the Supreme Court in the 1919 case of Schenck v. United States, Justice Holmes argued, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

Just one year after Schenck, United States Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, in congressional testimony, claimed, “A man may say what he will, as has often been said; but if he cries ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, with the intent to injure the people there assembled, certainly his right of free speech does not protect him against the punishment that is his just desert [sic].”

So, deliberately making a false statement that might harm someone, may not fall under the protections offered by the 1st Amendment. Still, the individual making such a false statement is innocent until proven guilty.

“The founders (including Jefferson) required an oath for federal and state officials—absent a religious test—in the Constitution, but the specifics—such as the wording of the oath—were left to the First Congress (1789–1791). In its first act, Congress specified the wording: “I, ­______, do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” This oath was used for all federal officials except the President, whose oath was prescribed specifically in the Constitution (Article II, section 1, clause 8).”

Today, who is required to take the oath to defend the U.S. Constitution against both foreign and domestic enemies?

1. Every President of the United States

2. Every member of Congress

3. Every member of the state legislatures and all executive and judicial officers, the United States and the states. (Again, think of all the Republicans in charge of state elections that defied President Donald Trump’s attempts to find votes that would make him the winner.)

4. Every judge (Think of the dozens of judges that ruled against Donald Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election, even judges appointed by Trump.)

5. FBI agents and other federal law enforcement officers

6. Federal employees, including postal workers

7. Both officers and enlisted servicemembers swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, but in the Oath of Enlistment, service members swear they will “obey the orders of the president of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over [them], according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” However, officers do not include the president in their Oath of Office.

That may not be the complete list.

Most Americans who take that oath also live by that oath, and it doesn’t matter if they are Democrats, Republicans, or independent voters. To millions of Americans, regardless of their political and religious beliefs, their loyalty is to the U.S. Constitution, not to an individual, religion, or private militia. Still, some that have taken the oath never intended to defend the U.S. Constitution. Case in point: On January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump told his supporters at a rally near the capital to “fight like hell.” He also told them to march on the capital, and they did.  Then they attempted to pull off a violent coup and install Trump as president for life.

I have no doubts that most if not all of that violent mob that attacked the US capital on January 6, 2021, thanks to Donald Trump urging them to “fight like hell” saw themselves as patriots following the flags they carried. But which flag: that mob carried US flags, Confederate flags, and flags with only TRUMP’s name on them?

The real patriots on January 6, were the capital police, risking their lives to save and preserve the U.S. Constitution they took an oath to defend, not Trump’s mob of loyalists, anarchists, and alleged fascists.

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164 thoughts on ““The tree of liberty must be refreshed … with the blood of patriots & tyrants.”

  1. Lloyd Lofthouse, I do like this essay. However, you got it all wrong when you say, “There are many in the United States today that think they are patriots, but, because of that Constitutional Oath, some so-called patriots are wrong. They are not patriots. They are anarchists, loyalists (to Trump or another authoritarian), and traitors.” Were it not for Donald Trump’s foreign policy, we would be likely to have been in the Middle East for a much longer period of time.

    • The US is still in the Middle East. Instead of traditional troops and warfare, Special Operators, the SEALS, Green Beret, and DELTA, conduct raids, in and out of dozens of countries annually.

      https://www.military.com/special-operations

      The CIA has its own teams of Special Operators but we may never find out about what they do or how many there are.

      “The Special Activities Division, sometimes referred to as the ‘Special Operations Group’, is made up of Paramilitary Operations Officers. CIA Paramilitaries are typically ex-military personnel and veterans of military special operations units such as the Green Berets or Marine Force Recon.”

      https://www.americanspecialops.com/cia-special-operations/#:~:text=The%20Special%20Activities%20Division%2C%20sometimes,Berets%20or%20Marine%20Force%20Recon.

      Many of these raids we will never hear about because they are classified. The ones we do hear about are usually high profile, the capture or killing of a high ranking Islamic terrorist high in the leadership of one of the many Islamic terrorist organization’s around the world. The next link lists all the foreign terrorist organizations the US is still at war with, but instead of traditional troops and traditional combat. missions, these are small unit raids from Special Operators or private midair contractors.

      https://www.state.gov/foreign-terrorist-organizations/

      Today, there are around 2,500 US soldiers in Iraq, along with about 4,500 Department of Defense contractors. There are also around 1,000 soldiers from the other coalition countries stationed in Iraq. Dec 18, 2021

      The next link leads to information listed on the White House website. I don’t know how often it’s updated but it does report that the US pulled its troops out of Afghanistan. Scroll down and you’ll see how many troops we have in several Middle Eastern countries and other areas of the world. Exact numbers may not be given because of

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/12/07/letter-to-the-speaker-of-the-house-and-president-pro-tempore-of-the-senate-regarding-the-war-powers-report-2/

      This is the size of US Special Operations forces.

      United States Army Special Operations Command (Airborne)
      Size 33,805 personnel authorized: 32,552 military personnel 1,253 civilian personnel
      Part of U.S. Special Operations Command
      Headquarters Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S.
      Motto(s) “Sine Pari” (Without Equal)

      “US drone and airstrikes have killed at least 22,000 civilians – and perhaps as many as 48,000 – since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, according to new analysis published by the civilian harm monitoring group Airwars.

      “The analysis, based on the US military’s own assertion that it has conducted almost 100,000 airstrikes since 2001, represents an attempt to estimate the number of civilian deaths across the multiple conflicts that have comprised aspects of the “war on terror”.

      “The figures, released just ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, come as the US president, Joe Biden, promised to end the “forever wars” that have marked the past two decades, and with the US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/sep/07/us-airstrikes-killed-at-least-22000-civilians-since-911-analysis-finds

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, your points are conceded. Regarding 9/11/2001, the attack on the World Trade Center, since the people who did that were of Saudi Arabian origin, Saudi Arabia should have been the place to look for them. Just my thoughts. Even though this is one of quite a few issues we differ on, I am enjoying your blog and find it to be enlightening.

      • I agree about Saudi Arabia. Most of the terrorists we are dealing with were educated in Islamic religious schools that are funded by Saudi Arabia that are no better than terrorist boot camps.

        The reason the West bends over backwards to be screwed by Saudi Arabia while ignoring that fact is because of oil. That is why I’m cheering on renewable energy like solar, wind, tide, hydro. The sooner we get rid of oil and coal, the sooner we can get oil and coal out of politics.

      • No problem. I’ve shared many link over the years. But I don’t expect anyone to use them to find out what’s at the other end. How about a summary of who this person is. Lets say in 100 words or less. maybe you can copy and paste.

        I find that the length of a piece determines if I’m going to invest the time to read it.

        Now, I do read books but most of the books I read are for entertainment. Have you read anything by Marko Kloos? I’m almost done with his ninth book. Tomorrow I’ll order the next on in that series.

      • I discovered Koontz late in life, a few yeas ago and I haven’t read all of his work. Interestingly, last night, I watched a movie made from one of his books called “Odd Thomas”. I’ve read all but one of the Odd Thomas book series, and I think that film was from the 1st book in the series. Didn’t know the film existed until a couple of days ago.

      • Let’s just say it is true Koontz. It was successful enough to turn into a series and ended up as at least one movie. But I can’t remember if there was a dog in the first Odd Thomas. I enjoyed it enough to read all but one of the series and the only reason I haven’t read taht one is I forgot which one I haven’t read because all the titles are so close.

  2. Lloyd Lofthouse, here is a summary in the simplest of terms: Zuhdi Jasser, also known as M. Zuhdi Jasser and Mohamed Zuhdi Jasser (Arabic: محمد زهدي جاسر; born 17 November 1967) is an American religious and political commentator and medical doctor specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology in Phoenix, Arizona.[2] Jasser is a former lieutenant commander in the United States Navy,[3] where he served as staff internist in the Office of the Attending Physician of the United States Congress.[4] In 2003, with a group of American Muslims, Jasser founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) based in Phoenix, Arizona,[5][6] and in 2004 he was one of the founders of the Center for Islamic Pluralism.

    He is also a contributor to national and international media, where he has advocated separation of mosque and state and spoken against the ideology of “political Islam” or Islamism. He has been a frequent guest on conservative outlets like Fox News Channel, Newsmax TV and The Blaze Media. He has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC and CBS a couple of times and contributed articles to nationally read newspapers such as the Arizona Republic, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Times.

    Born on November 17, 1967 in Dayton, Ohio,[citation needed] Jasser is the son of Syrians who immigrated to the United States in the 1960s, owing to repression in their homeland. His grandfather, Zuhdi Jasser, who owned a vegetable oil company in Syria was a devout Muslim with an admiration of the West. His father, Mohamed Kais Jasser, is a cardiologist who studied medicine at the University of London and Syria in the early 1960s, he was an active critic through his newspaper columns, which led to his migration with his pharmacist wife in 1963 from Beirut, Lebanon to the United States. Jasser was raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, until the age of 6. The family then moved to Neenah, Wisconsin, where he was raised in the Sunni branch of Islam.

    He attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, earning his bachelor of science in 1988; then he attended the Medical College of Wisconsin on a U.S. Navy scholarship, receiving his M.D. in 1992. He served in the Navy for 11 years, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal and attaining the rank of lieutenant commander by the time of his honorable discharge in 1999.

    There is a lot more, however, I thought that the above was the most pertinent part for the purpose of my response. By the way, even though I have admittedly more libertarian-leaning inclinations, I have been enjoying all of your essays, particularly about the matter of Sweden and the alleged damage by free market reforms. I also remembered you mentioning that if we were to have some degree of a free market system that you suggested that Finland’s model would be worth emulating, emulating being my choice of word.

    • Thank. He sounds like an interesting guy.

      I seriously doubt the United States will ever attempt the use Finland as a model to follow. I think that too many of the most powerful people in the United States have worshiped greed for so long, the seduction of their corruption is too deep. They’ll never allow it.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, even though I disagree with you on the matter of inheritable wealth, I am enjoying your blogs and find them to be very enlightening.

  3. Lloyd Lofthouse, I know that we disagree on a lot of things. Having said that, I am glad that we have some degree of agreement regarding liking Dean Koontz.

  4. Lloyd Lofthouse, it did not take too long to work through the book I mentioned. The suspense would build and definitely kept me guessing as to what happened next. It took me a couple of weeks to finish the book, however, I recall thoroughly enjoying it. If there had been an accompanying movie, I would have definitely watched it. Just my thoughts.

  5. Lloyd Lofthouse, I know that you have your blogs and other things that keep you busy, so I will govern my comments accordingly. Despite the fact that we disagree on a lot of things, I am enjoying your blogs and find them to be enlightening.

    • I don’t spend much time writing for my blogs anymore. Blogging is time consuming and doesn’t leave much time for other writing and goals. I stopped producing new blog posts some time ago. My focus now is on finishing two more novels and the new desk I’m building.

      • I am sort of the same way with my blog. As I have stuff to blog about, which is a here and there thing, I upload as many posts as often as is possible. When I don’t, I put it off to the side.

      • Since I slowed down, I have written posts that I never published, because I can’t stand the new WordPress editor program using their BLOCK method. I’d used old editor program for about 10 years and was use to it, and I didn’t like the BLOCK style that changed everything, but to keep the old editing program, Wordpess told me that I’d have to pay $300 a year.

        Crap, that pissed me off!

        So, since there was no one to complain to in person, I thought, “Fuck it!”

      • I have WordPress for the purpose of my blog. This is not an issue I have experienced myself. Your blogs I have enjoyed reading and found to be enlightening, however, I will limit my comments. I don’t know if it will help, however, do you think establishing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will make any difference?

      • This desktop is supposed to have VPN security protection from Bitdefender. I’ll check to see if it is still active.

        So, I checked and it wasn’t active. The VPN Bitdefender offers was supposed to be active. I turned it on again. I don’t know why it was off unless some hacker has a backdoor into this desktop and has been turning Bitdefender’s VPN protection off.

        https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/vpn.html

      • I had NORD and got rid of it after my computer was taken over by ransomware. After I paid a local computer company to fix that problem I switched to Bitdefender.

      • Wired.com says what I’ve been reading and hoarding from other sources for some time now.

        “The software available for macOS is just so much better than what’s available for Windows. Not only do most companies make and update their macOS software first (hello, GoPro), but the Mac versions by and large work better than their Windows counterparts. Some programs you can’t even get for Windows.” May 17, 2020

        https://www.wired.com/story/rant-switching-from-mac-to-windows/

        The challenge for me is I’m use to Windows and what works to get the same task done on Windows isn’t the way its done on the iMac. But when I call Apple for tech help, I almost always reach a human to help me solve problems I’m having with my new iMac in a short period of time. Compared to when I needed help from Microsoft, I ended up getting stuck with an automated system that ran my in frustrating circles solving and learning nothing and reaching a human seems impossible.

        The only way I could fix problems with my old Windows desktop was to pay a local tech from a local business. When I decided to switch, I called them and asked if they helped with iMacs too, they said no. They don’t work on or sell Apple products. The number of Apple retail stores amounted to 272 in the United States as of October 2021. As Apple’s home market, the U.S. has by far the largest number of Apple stores worldwide; there were over 50 such stores in California alone, more than the total number of Apple stores in the United Kingdom. When my former wife needed help with her iPhone or iMac laptop, she’d drive to the closest apple store and got help from a tech face to face in the store.

        I read that Microsoft has stores like that too, but I’ve never seen one. I wonder where they are hiding.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I have a Panasonic CF-52 type computer, a laptop. Linux Mint is the operating system. Never used Microsoft Windows and never will.

      • The only reason I ended up using Microsoft Windows was because when I was still teaching, the school district switched from Apple to computers using Microsoft crap when the district was given a classroom full of free computers for each of its 19 schools.

        Because the new grading programs we were required to use where written for Microsoft.

        Since most teachers work more hours at home than teaching at school, correcting work, planning lessens and doing grades, I was forced to switch. I wasn’t happy about that. I’d teach 5 to 6 classes a day with class loads of 34 students on average for about 25 to 30 hours a week and spend another 30 to 70 hours working at home in the evenings and on days off including the winter and spring breaks.

        Now, since my old Windows based desktop is dying, I’m switching back to Mac.

      • The tragedy and/or crime was that those free computers only lasted a couple of years before they ended up in storage, never to be used again. The students didn’t like the Windows programs and they sabotaged the computers to force the district to let them study from the texts and printed material they’d been using before. The teachers never wanted the computers anyways, but district administration forced the reading teachers to use them.

        Those computer labs were all reading classes where students reading below grade level went in an attempt to help them catch up. But few of them ever did because the only place they even attempted to read was in classrooms. Once they left, they were either watching TV all the time at home or hanging out on the streets or the local shopping areas.

        Proof that it’s true that you can drag a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink.

      • Maybe you started your blog after WordPress switched from the traditional editor program to the new block editor program, so you started with the new one and learned that. You may also be younger than me and grew up with computers and learning how to use new apps is the norm for you, maybe.

        The World Wide Web that eats up so much of our time today is about 30 years old and I’m almost 77. My daughter grew up in the WWW world and when I have a problem I can’t solve that deals with an app, I usually call her for help. Gosh, when I was a child of five or seven, my parents first phone was a party line. Since the entire street was on the same line, when you called someone or someone called you, there was no way to tell how many people might be listening to the conversation. That was about the same time the first televisions came out and the neighbor that bought the first big console set, invited the entire block to watch I Love Lucy, at least I think that’s what we watched. Let’s see, that would have been about 1951, and I Love Lucy first aired October 15, 1951.

        Recently it occurred to me that most of the time we spend on the WWW was filled by reading newspapers being tossed in our driveways every morning. My parents spent hours reading the newspapers every day. As a kid, all I was interested in was the comics.

      • Age does not mean we know more or have more wisdom. It just means we are biologically older. There are plenty of very ignorant people that are older. And the more I learn, the more I’m aware of how much I don’t know.

        When our daughters was a child, I often thought she had more common sense than me and her mother. Then when she became an adolescent I observed a significant drop in her common sense and wisdom. Now that she’s 30, I think that common sense and wisdom from her childhood may be returning, I hope.

      • Social media is a major part of the problem today, but this issue of misleading people with lies, cherry-picked misinformation and conspiracy theories started back in 1987, soon after lying President Teflon Ronald Reagan got rid of the Fairness Doctrine. opening the door to lying hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh became very wealthy peddling his hate and lies to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I remember denouncing Bernie Sanders as a Marxist. Maybe that was exxagerated, however, if he believes in redistribution of wealth, he should start with his own.

      • I don’t know much about Bernie Sanders (even though I’m aware that he’s 6’1″ tall) and since he is only one Senator out of 100, I doubt that he’s gong to turn the US into a socialist/communist country.

        I also just learned this: “The Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), an election survey of about 50,000 people, found that 12% of Sanders voters voted for Trump in 2016.” I also learned that he’s “the 3rd most popular Democrat and the 4th most popular politician in the U.S.” so I suspect many voters in the working class think his interests are more in line with theirs, not to turn the US into Putin’s Russia, as lying Republicans want voters to think, but to make sure worked are paid a livable wage, are not abused in the workplace by their employers, have medical care that won’t bankrupt them, and that jobs are available for all able bodied willing workers.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, this may or may not surprise you, however, despite my more Libertarian-leaning inclinations, I am in favor of Medicare For All.

      • Also, drug prices should be negated like the VA does or most if not all countries in the EU, Canada, and UK. Outside of the VA, Costco and Kaiser, U.S. drug prices are almost always the highest in the world.

        I wonder how close to the prices in the EU, Canada and the UK are tp Costco, Kaiser and the VA.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, due to my having Epilepsy, I am admittedly concerned about supply chain issues for Epilepsy medications, as well as many other medications.

      • There will be no supply chain if Putin starts a nuclear war to punish the West for helping Ukraine. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live in that world depending on how many nukes are used. If every city is hit in North America, Europe, and Russia, I expect we’ll all be dead or dying.

        The only good thing that comes out of that war will be no more super powers to bully anyone that survives in the Southern Hemisphere.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I know of your disdain for Donald Trump, so that does not bear repeating. Having said that, this Russia collusion witch hunt and the unleashing of the virus from China that plagued the world were unnecessary.

      • There is no evidence, yet, other than Trump’s endless lies that China manufactured and released the COVID virus, but there has been several investigations by other countries other than the US that have verified the virus was not manufactured but natural.

        These three pieces explains the alleged why.

        https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-lab-manmade-myth-debunked-2020-6

        https://www.science.org/content/article/why-many-scientists-say-unlikely-sars-cov-2-originated-lab-leak

        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01529-3

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, assuming that it is possible that China was involved in it, even Anthony Fauci for that matter with his Gain Of Function experiments, what should the established procedure for dealing with it have been from your way of thinking? I would be open to your ideas.

      • I’m not a genetic scientist that knows how to analyze the virus in a lab and sequence its genome so my suggesting how to determine if COVID was created in a lab or naturally would be like an illiterate homeless person that hates to read telling a PhD that designed rocket engines for SpaceX’s rockets how to build them so the main stage can carry its cargo to space and then return and land.

        So, who do we believe?

        A serial liar (more than 30,000 just when he was president), a wife cheater, a mistress cheater, a business failure with that cost our government and banks almost $2,000,000,000 in loses from his business failure/bankruptcies (and this serial liar claimed in 2016 during the presidential debates he’d never had a bankruptcy — I was watching. I heard him say it. I saw his lying lips moving and then a fact checked that lie and learned it was a lie and I did that on my own. No one had to tell me. The history of his failures is easy to find.), a man that is currently facing a grand juries (and maybe more) for lying to banks and lying to the property tax collectors about the value of his property, a man who planned and instigated a violent failed insurrection in an attempt to grab power and become the founder of a family political dynasty of dictators, a man that brags on tape about molesting women, a man who was friends with a child sex trafficker and from his own words apparently knew Epstein preferred underage girls but taht didn’t stop him for years attending the pimp’s parties, a president who is responsible for more than 1,000,000 known deaths, more than any country on the planet, from the virus he claims China made in a lab. a man who said we could kill the virus with horse worming medicine, bleach, ultraviolet lights, the only president in US history to be impeached twice, the only president in US history that years after he lost an election is still spouting his BIG LIE that the election was stolen from him, a president, a president caught on tape telling an elected official in Georgia to find enough votes so he’d win the election in taht state (another grand jury is looking into that, too), et al.

        Or genetic expert scientists.

        “Coronavirus Evolved Naturally, and ‘Is Not a Laboratory Construct,’ Genetic Study Shows”

        https://www.genengnews.com/news/coronavirus-evolved-naturally-and-is-not-a-laboratory-construct-genetic-study-shows/

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I am not defending anything that took place in Donald Trump’s past. Regarding the people who I mentioned believing about the issue of the pandemic, I know that even medical specialists are human and by default faliable. What I find to be absurd and ultimately destroyed his credibility is Anthony Fauci getting involved in GOF research and basically lying about it before Congress.

      • Suggestion: Unless Fauci was found guilty in a court instead of by the traditional media (That does not include FOX fake NEWS), social media, and/or fringe elements of our country, my suggestion is to use the word “allegations” instead of “basically”.

        Since I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the extreme right’s circus of conspiracy theory horrors, including allegations against Fauci for doing his job, I’m not aware of Fauci allegedly lying to Congress so I “just” checked and found this.

        “At a July 20 Senate hearing, Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, once again had a testy exchange over whether the U.S. funded gain-of-function research in China, with each man accusing the other of “lying.” …

        “There’s no evidence that Fauci lied to Congress, as Paul asserted (alleged) in the July 20 hearing, given that the NIH unequivocally backs up Fauci’s statement that the grant-backed research ‘was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain-of-function.'”

        Where did the allegations Fauci lied to Congress come from? SOCIAL MEDIA!

        “In the July 20 hearing, Paul, again, tied the U.S. funding of the Wuhan lab to the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and after the hearing, the hashtag #FauciLiedPeopleDied began trending on Twitter.”

        “But as Fauci correctly said, there’s no evidence the lab had a coronavirus that could possibly be manipulated enough to lead to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to several experts. Paul then said he wasn’t implying that.”

        https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/scicheck-fauci-and-paul-round-2/

        https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/scicheck-fauci-and-paul-round-2/

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I know that you may have had a seemingly favorable experience with the Moderna vaccine. Up until most recently, I had been willing to consider the Pfizer vaccine, even the J&J vaccine. What turned me off from them, as well as the others, are reports by people in their own words of undesirable after-effects. While it is true that all medicines have side-effects, what causes me concern are the reported cardiac issues that are mentioned, neurological damage, blod clots, strokes, paralysis, even death. To be fair, I am not blaming it entirely on the vaccines. Some people may have gotten the wrong vaccines in error or had underlying conditions that would have otherwise made getting them inadvisable. If factcheck.org was not slanted and solely interested in the facts, I might view them as a credible source.

      • Being vaccinated is still a choice even for people that work for companies and/or institutions that mandate vaccination to remain employed.

        As for factcheck.org being biased, I think everyone is biased to some degree, one way or the other. Even news stories that avoid stating opinions may be considered biased depending on word choices and the number of sources quoted. A news piece that quotes several sources that are conservative or progressive vs a few the other way is biased, but that doesn’t mean they are lying.

        A lie is defined as follows: To make a statement that one knows to be false, especially with the intent to deceive. There are several ways that lies are told for instance, there are white lies, lies of omission, bold faced lies, and lies of exaggeration.

        Bias is a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief. In science and engineering, a bias is a systematic error.

        Between accepting what I read from factcheck.org vs a viral twitter social media hash tag, I’ll go with fact check.org every time. At least fact check provides reputable sources to support its judgement call.

        What follows is from:

        https://libguides.tru.ca/fakenews/characteristics

        Fake News is a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically. Fake News is related to propaganda whose purpose is to spread information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

        Fake news is not a new phenomenon. But what makes it important now? It is primarily because fake news is easy to create, spreads rapidly and is easily consumed in our 24/7 news cycle. And it isn’t as obvious what is fake news anymore, not like the examples below.

        Fake News is easy to fall for, for a number of reasons:

        a growing decline in trust of the media and government

        people can now create content unburdened by the layers of editing and fact-checking that news organisations adhere to
        content is aggregated into a single “news” feed – mixing updates from friends and family with identical-looking links to stories across the web

        lower attention spans

        fake news stories appeal to our emotions

        proliferation of internet bots

        BIAS

        We all have biases. However, it is up to us to recognize those biases and keep them in check.

        Implicit bias: implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Implicit bias is grounded in a basic human tendency to divide the social world into groups. We are inclined to trust people we consider a member of our own group more than those of a different group. Social media (facebook, twitter and the like) tend cultivate an information bubble – friends and family that share the same values and points of view.

        Confirmation bias: is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. We don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our preconceived notion of how things are supposed to be. …

        To read the rest, click the link.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I don’t have a confirmation-bias to the extreme. I just prefer to make up my own mind and hear all angles to a story. Example: Some people may get the vaccines with limited side-effects and be perfectly fine and some may have no side-effects. What it boils down to is a lack of accountability on the part of vaccine manufacturers. Get rid of all legal liability and then they may very likely be more careful with the vaccine production.

      • Well, once again, I spent some time to verify your allegations that vaccine manufactures are not accountable, and learned that the answer was more complicated than that. In short: YES and NO.

        I’ve included a few pull quotes from the source link below to show what I meant by YES and NO.

        “When most drugs cause harm, the pharmaceutical companies that make them can be sued in product liability lawsuits. But that isn’t the case with vaccines. In 1986, Congress passed a law that protects vaccine manufacturers from being sued in civil personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits resulting from vaccine injuries.” …

        Congress stepped in with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (the Vaccine Act) as a way to ensure that the injured would receive compensation, but also to protect drugmakers from open-ended liability.

        In 2011, an important United States Supreme Court ruling clarified the type of lawsuits vaccine manufacturers are protected from under the Vaccine Act. In a 6-2 decision, the Court ruled that the federal law protects drugmakers from design-defect claims as long as the vaccine was properly manufactured and carried adequate warnings labels. …

        Because the program is not fault-based, people claiming vaccine injuries do not have to prove that the vaccine actually caused the injury. Instead, they only have to show that the injury occurred immediately after the vaccine was given.

        Additionally, the vaccine-related injury has to be included on the vaccine court’s list of side effects, called the Vaccine Injury Table. The vaccine involved must also be covered by the program. All routinely administered vaccines are included: …

        “The first step in filing a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is to file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the court that handles vaccine injury claims. The court then notifies the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), which represent HHS in the vaccine court process. ..

        THERE’s a lot more info at the linked source.

        https://www.findlaw.com/healthcare/patient-rights/can-i-sue-vaccine-manufacturers-.html

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, if it was not for the reports being ignored by the media, maybe more people would be willing to speak freely about it. I am sure that you disagree with his politics, however, Ron Johnson was willing to help people by giving them the opportunity to tell their stories. Here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mxqC9SiRh8 You don’t have to watch the whole thing to completion, however, some people report significant adverse events.

      • Without evidence from what I consider reliable sources, your allegations that the media ignored (what) reports, means nothing to me. Just more wasted time and hot air. This is not how to conduct a discussion of issues.

        In a discussion of issues, we start by introducing our perspective. Then we make statements based on facts (with an emphasis on facts not lies), then the most important step is providing proof that supports your statement and that proof is not based on more opinions but from reputable sources with links, then there’s what’s known as “refutation” refutation followed by a conclusion.

        In the refutation we prove that something the other side thinks is wrong or false, again with facts from reputable linked sources.

        I have noticed more than once when we end up having a discussion of issues, you almost always if not all the time, skip the proof and the refutation (with links to reliable sources not more opinions), and this is what I have noticed with talking heads like Rush Limbaugh (thank God he’s gone – what a blight he was) and Tucker (hateful, lying lying through his nostrils and his ass) Carlson.

        I don’t think you know how to have a proper discussion on issues. You lecture and switch topics when you aren’t getting anywhere, the same tactics that talking heads like Tucker use. If someone knowledgeable debated Carlson on any issue and could shut him up long enough to be heard without being challenged, Tucker would lose. Carlson and those like him are hot air balloons. Poke a hole in their balloon and it collapses.

        Although I’ve heard the name Ron Johnson before in passing, I do not know who he is so I checked:

        “WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Two-term Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, reversed course and announced on Sunday that he now intends to run for a third term, rather than retire as previously planned.”

        https://wordpress.com/comment/thesoulfulveteran.com/5792?action=approve

        “Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world. The agency was established in London in 1851 by the German-born Paul Reuter. It was acquired by the Thomson Corporation in 2008 and now makes up the media division of Thomson Reuters.”

        I clicked the link to the Reuters piece and read it to learn more about about who Ron Johnson was, and I would not trust him to flush his turds out of any toilet.

        Then I went to VOTE SMART to learn more about Ron Johnson.

        https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/126217/ron-johnson

        My reaction to reading Johnson’s record on Vote Smart was that I do not trust him! And I think he is a total ASS HOLE!

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, if you really think that, you have been getting trapped in the same confirmation-bias that you had the gall to lecture me about on Diane Ravitch’s blog.

      • Ah, you sling accusations of confirmation bias that rightly fit you and not me.

        Instead of turning to allegedly lying politicians like Ron Johnson and those other talking heads I never heard of before as evidence to support your thinking, I mostly link to reliable sources.

        But, individuals with serious confirmation bias will always reject reliable sources lilke Vote Smart that do not support their confirmation bias.

        Vote Smart bases its information on facts and nothing but the facts. Facts like an elected officials voting record, bills they sponsored or co sponsored, where their campaign donations come from, what profits or nonprofits recommend voting for them, and their speeches and campaign promises that are part of the public record easy to verify.

        Vote Smart clearly says they do not publish opinions or lecture anyone. They provide only the facts and point out what those facts reveal about each candidate. The longer the elected official has been in office, the more info they have on them.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, you once accused me of living in a bubble of confirmation-bias. In case you did not get the memo, everyone has a built-in degree of confirmation-bias.

      • In this latest. recent thread of comments, you made the first accusation of confirmation bias based on a conclusion I made from information provided by a totally unbiased primary source. Vote Smart is not a news media site. Vote Smart does not publish opinions or lecture others how they should think.

        You, on the other hand, seem to base all your he support for your thinking that says what you want to hear. That is the definition of confirmation bias.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I look for every possible source of information on a variety of subjects and decide for myself which is true or based in fact, even just opinions and make up my own mind on things.

      • I do not agree with what you are claiming. The sources you mention are almost always individuals with their own biases and personal objectives. When you mentioned Republican Senator Ron Johnson, I’d heard the name before but never went out of my way to find out what the evidence shows he really stands for.

        After you used him as a source to support your thinking, I turned to one news piece from Reuters and nothing but the facts from Vote Smart to determine what his real objectives are. I didn’t like what I learned. I do not agree with him. I do not trust him. What I learned from the results of his voting record in the US Senate on Vote Smart (I provided the link), revealed a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This link, again, leads to a Vote Smart page that reveals how his votes in the Senate support his real positions, not what he might write or say to an audience of potential supporters.

        https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/126217/ron-johnson

        This link leads to Ron Johnson’s ratings and endorsements

        https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/126217/ron-johnson

        The next link leads to Ron Johnson’s Finances. Where that money comes from also reveals the real Ron Johnson.

        https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/campaign-finance/126217/ron-johnson

        I would NEVER go to Ron Johnson to find out who he really is because most if not all elected repreantives (Democrats and Republicans) are charlatans that will tell you what they think you want to hear to get your vote and/or your money.

        I also did not ask Hillary Clinton who she is. Instead, in 2016, I studied Hillary Clinton’s info on Vote Smart. Since Traitor Trump the serial liar, cheat, fraud, con man and crook didn’t have a history as an elected representatives on vote smart back then, I turned to authors of the five bibliographies written about him. After 4-years in the White House as president, he now has a file on Vote Smart.

        https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/15723/donald-trump

        Your previous comment was deleted because you attacked me and Diane Ravitch for not agreeing with your way of thinking. And I will continue to delete comments where you do the same thing again.

      • I’m deleting your personal attacks on me and/or others because we do not agree with your thinking. I’m also deleting your comments that attempt to justify your thinking while rejecting what others say when they disagree with your thinking. Until you prove to me that you have learned how to debate properly, I will delete your comments.

        RE: GOP Senator Ron Johnson, I have included links to two news pieces reported by the Christian Science Monitor, one of the most respected and trusted traditional media publications and sites in the country if not the world. This publication works hard to keep bias out of their news reporting. These stories are news, not opinions. Any opinion in these news stories are quotes from sources mentioned in theses news pieces. I think the reporters did a good job keeping their own opinions out of these news pieces. The sources they quote does not mean they agree with those sources. It’s the reporter’s job to gather the facts from outside sources involved in the news they are reporting and that includes quotes from sources that may be offering their opinions. If what the source says fits the issue being reported, then it is acceptable to include that source and quote in a news piece. In an opinion piece and/or OpEd, the reporter/editor/writers is including their opinions and if done properly supporting what they think from reliable primary sources.

        https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2022/0109/Why-Wisconsin-GOP-Sen.-Ron-Johnson-decided-not-to-retire

        https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2021/1208/Why-GOP-is-stepping-up-fight-against-vaccine-mandates

      • I am al so deleting an comments you attempt to post that go back and dig up old crap that apparently is meant to make you look good and me bad because I won’t do what you want me to do.

        I still contend that you do not know how to conduct a proper debate or discussion on an issue. Until you prove to me that you have learned how, I will keep deleting your comments.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, a proper debate involves both civility on the parts of the respective people in the debate and bringing relevant matters up for said debate.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I have disdain for shouting matches like what they put on TV. Just debate and discuss the relevant topics and let each side speak freely.

      • The rules set forth by the Fairness Doctrine, that two GOP Presidents killed, gave birth to conservative hate radio. The Fairness Doctrine even passed the US Supreme Court test, back then. It probably wouldn’t make it today because honesty is not the policy of conservatives today as it was in the early half of the 20th century. In the 21st century the Republican party is only interested in winning elections even if they have to cater to extremely biased voters, the MAGA mob by supporting Trump’s BIG LIE and repeating conspiracy theories born without a shred of honesty and truth.

        The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters.

        Freedom of speech as protected by the 1st Amendment does not guarantee the right to lie and mislead.

      • The Fairness Doctrine should be brought back as law voted in through legislation by Congress and applied to not only the news media but to all opinionated media and social media. And the Fairness Doctrine should include some rules regarding debates, that all issues be debated according to the rules of a proper debate with both sides being heard.

        Those who spread HATE will not like that. They don’t want the people to hear the other side that uses facts and evidence to support their opinions. The only evidence HATE uses is alternative facts (two words that were coined by Traitor Trump’s administration) that are not based in reality. Instead of using the word lie, they changed it to “alternative facts”.

        The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        The First Amendment “protects freedom of speech, the press and …” but the US Constitution was designed to change with the times. That is why an Amendment process was included. It’s time to vote out the Republican majoirties in Congress, keep a Republican out of the White House and take back enough states to pass an Amendment that makes speaking hate based on those “alternative facts” a crime.

        “alternative facts:

        Alternative facts was a phrase coined by White House adviser Kellyanne Conway to defend a false statement by press secretary Sean Spicer about the attendance of President Trump’s inauguration.

        When pressed during an interview to explain why Spicer would “utter a provable falsehood”, Conway stated that Spicer was simply giving “alternative facts.”

        As the Washington Post noted, this “wasn’t the first time the Trump team and its supporters have responded to journalists calling out their falsehoods by claiming the truth isn’t so black and white or that it’s not a big deal.”

        https://politicaldictionary.com/words/alternative-facts/

        Going down the black hole of alternative facts will destroy this country and flush the US Constitution down the toilet.

        It is crucial for a Democracy to have an informed public that votes, not voters that have willing allowe4d their bias to be programs to only accept those “alternative facts”.

        Democracies cannot be built and survive based on lies, but brutal dictatorships survive on a foundation of nothing but lies.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I agree with most of your latest comment. The issue of the so-called Fairness Doctrine is that there is no uniformity n the matter of fairness. Before his death, when Alan Colmes was paired up as a cohost with Sean Hannity, I politically agreed more with Sean Hannity than I did with Alan Colmes. Having said that, there was a level of fairness and civility on both sides.

      • Let me guess: Hannity and Colmes were hired to debate issues. That isn’t the same thing. In a proper debate, who debates who should not be hired for the job and paid by the same source.

        When Fox Fake News is paying both debaters, whoever hired them controls the debate and in this case that was Roger Ailes, a fucking monster that helped give birth to the extremism we live with today by making sure his conservative extremism was always staged the way he wanted it reported. Roger Ailes was an morally corrupt autocrat, a troll and a bully and Rupert Murdock was his boss, another mortally corrupt autocrat.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, this is true. If a debate in the sense that you are speaking of consisted of Ben Shapiro and David Pakman, 2 people who are polar opposites politically, how should that work in terms of debate criteria?

      • I don’t know. I have never listened to Ben Shapiro or David Pakman. In fact, the last talking head I listened to regular waa Dennis Prager and before him Rush Limbaugh. Back in the 1980s, I listened to Limbaugh a lot. He called people like me his “ditto head” and told us we didn’t have to think because he’d do our thinking for us. Rush also challenged listeners all the time to fact check him because according to him, he was never wrong.

        Then one day, this “ditto head” decided to fact check one of his claims. He took a phrase out of a long speech by an elected Democrat and Rush built his show that day around that one phrase, less than a dozen words out of hundreds of words in that Democrats campaign speech. To fact check Rush, I got hold of the transcripts of that that speech (it was also recorded live) and read all of it. Rush was totally wrong and deliberately misleading. After that, I fact checked all of his claims and they were all misleading. All of them.

        So I stopped being a ditto head and ended up following Dennis Prager for a few years until I decided to fact check him too, discovering he was another fucking serial liar deliberately misleading people off a far right extremist cliff, so I stopped listening to all the talking heads, and learned how to fact check from as many reliable primary sources as possible and THINK FOR MYSELF.

        You see, almost all the facts from primary sources that are not part of the Tradition media or social media are out there if you are willing to take the time to find them. In fact, we can use the traditional news media (not opinions, editorials, Op-Eds, or talking heads ) to find those primary sources and backcheck them because traditional news reporting almost always lists the sources they used for the facts in the news.

        Most of the news reported by the traditional media is reported accurately and sources from primary sources, but we cannot blindly trust anyone that is only telling us what they think. Those are opinions and should all be fact checked all the time.

        Roger Ailes was a mastermind of audience manipulation. Ailes had FOX fake News, including Hannity and Tucker, feed what the audience Ailes was targeting wanted to hear, feeding their confirmation bias with boxcars full of lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories leading straight to Traitor Trump’s election as president and then that violent mob of trained/programmed ditto heads that attempted to overturn OUR government on January 6th, a day that should be added to a short list: the day Lincoln was assassinated and the day Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan.

        If that mob had succeeded, Traitor Trump would have become the first ruthless, heartless, Dear Leader for Life in the US.

      • No, Traitor Trump does not have that power alone, but on January 6th, his frenzied, feverish, hateful MAGA mob failed to hand him the government. Then the traitor true to form would have stripped the US Construction of its power that was written to protect us from monsters lie him and the government at all times.

        The Founders that wrote OUR Constitution were wise enough to know taht over time most if not all governments end up corrupt and it is apparent their intent was to protect the citizens of the country they founded from that corruption. Making sure the Constitution could be addend was also part of taht intent.

        But the Founders did not make it easy to add Amendments to the US Constitution.

        “An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or, if two-thirds of the States request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or three-fourths of conventions called in each State for ratification.”

        https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/our-government/the-constitution/#:~:text=An%20amendment%20may%20be%20proposed,in%20each%20State%20for%20ratification.

        Russia did not have that level or protection for the Constitution they wrote after the Soviet Union collapsed and that made it easy for Putin to become a brutal dictator, monster, war monger,and murderer for life.

        China also did not have that level of protection for the Constitution that country wrote after Mao died making it easy for China’s Xi to become that country’s authoritarian leader for the rest of his life. After Mao died the CCP rewrote the country’s Constitution implementing two five year terms in any elected position with mandatory retirement at I think 64. Xi managed to get rid of those limits.

        Fortunately for Russia and China, both Putin and Xi are allegedly having serious health problems and might be dead soon, but the term limits that existed in both Russia and China’s Constitutions are not there anymore, not for the president anyway.

        Oh, you are the first person I want to share this with. I just got my first threatening anonymous hate mail today. It arrived on Saturday but I didn’t get my mail out of the locked box until today. It’s unsigned by the post office says it was mailed from Miami. I know who it came from. There’s someone on Quora that has been attacking at least one of my comments there and maybe more than one. The threatening letter was unsigned. My finger prints are on it now but if the creep that is threatening me wasn’t wearing latex gloves when he mailed it, his/her prints will be there too.

        This person said he had 20 pounds of evidence that proved Hillary was guilty of all of her alleged crimes that I pointed out no court and not even a Congress with a GOP majority could find her guilty of. This troll wanted me to give him my address so he could mail the 20 pounds of evidence to me. I replied taht if he had taht evidence, take it to a GOP lawyer and to court, and I refused to give him my address knowing that if he wanted to find out where I lived, he could pay a small price to get that info on the internet. Well, he/she did.

        I plan to take photos of the threatening, anonymous letter and create a blog post to share it on my blogs.. But that might take a few days. my schedule this week is packed and creating one blog post can takes hour I don’t have to spare right now. However, just in case I end up dead soon under mysterious circumstances, you are the first one who will see the letter and envelope that I opened minutes ago.

        If he licked the stamp, his saliva and DNA will be there. After I take these two photos, I’ll lock it up in my weapons safe.

        And look at the Forever stamp this troll used. I’ve never seen one like that before.

        Unfortunately for some reason, I can’t copy and paste the two images here. Damn. And I don’t see anyway to attach the photos as files to this comment box.

      • Well, according to SNOPES, Hillary did not smash her cellphones or hard drives. If they were smashes, someone else did it when an old cell phone was replaced by a new one. That is a common method in an attempt to make sure no one ever gets hold of the old cell phone and steals your personals information and contact info.

        I have actually done the same thing to old desktops and old mobile phones. I even bought a powerful magnet that is supposed to wipe the memory clean on those devices. The last time I pounded the wardrive from an old desktop, I also used my skill saw with a carbide blade on it to cut the hard drive in half. I also beat the crap out of it with a heavy sledge hammer.

        Now, I don’t have the money the Clinton’s have to replace old desktops and mobile phones every time a new model comes out so I don’t do it as often as they might have.

        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hillary-clinton-smash-phone-hammer/

        Anyway, the Republicans investigated that too, and found no evidence it was done to destroy evidence. It has been documented that Traitor Trump does the same thing and other GOPers, too.

        As for the deleted emails, just more BS from the traitor and GOP.

        Trump’s timeline is correct. The congressional subpoena came on March 4, 2015, and an employee deleted the emails sometime after March 25, 2015, three weeks later.

        However, the implication — that Clinton deleted emails relevant to the subpoena in order to avoid scrutiny — is unprovable if not flat wrong.

        The FBI’s investigation did find several thousand emails among those deleted that were work-related and should have been turned over to the State Department. However, FBI Director James Comey said in a July 2016 statement that the FBI investigation “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

        Comey added in a later congressional hearing that the FBI learned no one on Clinton’s staff specifically asked the employee to delete the emails following the New York Times story and subpoena. Rather, the employee made that decision on his own.

        Clinton told the FBI that she did was not involved in deciding whether individual emails should be sent to State Department, nor “did she instruct anyone to delete her emails to avoid complying with FOIA, State or FBI requests for information.”

        https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2016/oct/09/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-hillary-clinton-deleted-33000-em/

        What’s interesting is that Hillary sat through days of testimony as Republican’s grilled her in an attempt to find her guilty of anything and they didn’t. And most of what the investigators wanted was turned over.

        By the way, this manufactured controversy over Hillary using private email servers is the same thing the traitor did when he was in the White House but no one on the extreme right seems interested that the traitor was doing the same stuff they accused Hillary of.

      • Yes, that is true.

        I’m not going to say she’s out of politics, but I think she isn’t going to run for election again. But I won’t swear to that either. If she returns to politics, she might run for the US Senate again in NY.

        She’s 74 and doesn’t look all that healthy or energetic. She never, in my view, came across as likable as Bill did, and his health is probably worse than hers. I think the odds favor that they have left the insane political circus behind.

        But some MAGA GOPers just wont quit. They still want to throw her in jail and probably grumble about evidence, lawyers, our Constitutional protections (you know due process, innocent until found guilty), and the courts. Hillary’s enemies are many and some of them would like nothing better than to lock her up without a trial.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I am not a Hillary Clinton fan by any means, however, every legitimate U.S. citizen is entitled to due process.

      • But not every country has agreed to abide by international law. Even the US has not agreed to all of those laws.

        One example: The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most rapidly and widely ratified human rights treaty in history—with 194 countries as “states parties.” The only countries that have not ratified the treaty are Somalia, South Sudan, and the United States.

        https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/11/17/25th-anniversary-convention-rights-child

      • Not much. I think one’s a joke. For anything to work, everyone needs to be involved. The other is a way for the US government to avoid the US justice system when it comes to alleged terrorists, who never experience due process.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, according to the Geneva Convention, people who are captured on the battlefield are to be treated humanely. I wish that concept was applicable to both sides in any war.

  6. I agree with you on that. While it would not surprise me to see it in some people, I did not suffer from a know-it-all mentality to the extreme. Before our war of words on Diane Ravitch’s blog, I remember encouraging you to look at the evident stupidity in places like California. Even though he is a conservative, Mark Dice effectively demonstrates that there is a lack of common sense among many, if not all, California natives.

    • Never all, but always some.

      I think it is safe to say that just because someone lives in California, that doesn’t men they do not have common sense. That’s BS promoted by misleading crap propaganda from the likes of mortally corrupted idiots that work for FOX fake news.

      I’m also convinced that common sense is not exclusive to registered Republicans, Democrats or Independents. Common sense may be found in every political party and even among unregistered voters that never vote.

      Even in Russia, with Putin the Barbarian in control of that country’s state controlled propaganda based FOX style fake news media, there are still Russians that know what’s really going on in Ukraine.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, while I agree with Donald Trump on the issue of foreign policy, education, trade, China, I think that he should have gotten advice on how to deal with the pandemic from more than just one person. What are your thoughts on MDs such as Simone Gold, Rashid Buttar, Judy Mikovitz, Stella Immanuel and Joseph Mercola?

      • Since I’ve never heard of or maybe did but forget about MDs Simone Gold, Rashid Buttar, Judy Mikovitz, Stella Immanuel and Joseph Mercola, I have no opinion about them and I’m not interested spending precious time to learn who they are or what they think.

        As individuals, we all only have so much time each day and during our limited lifetimes we should all be free to decide what we want to spend some of our precious time on when learning new things and/or about other people like the few MD’s you listed.

        When we consider the world and its almost 8 billion humans in addition to all the other species on this planet, what we think is important is only important to us as an individual. Hopefully, what we think and do in our limited lives leads to a healthier environment and better quality of life for those we leave behind when we’re gone.

        Imagine limiting your knowledge of only a few MDs when there are so many, so I learned something new — just one trivial fact that didn’t take much time to learn: there are 938,966 Total Active Physicians but only 620,520 active MDs in the US.

        https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/workforce/interactive-data/active-physicians-us-doctor-medicine-us-md-degree-specialty-2019

      • I respect that. You made an individual decision to learn more about these few MDs because you felt they are interesting. We all make our own decisions based on who we are and our interests.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I know that it is a time intensive thing, however, I like to learn as much about as many of these people as I can. Some may be quacks, however, I think that many are well-meaning.

      • I agree that some people that turn out to be quacks are or were well meaning. A lot of damage may have been done throughout history by well meaning quacks.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I prefer to hear MDs make their cases for what they believe in their own words and do my own background research and make up my own mind what is true. Being told by news anchors who have no medical degrees and no medical knowledge aside from any medical situations for family members that people who spend years in medical school don’t know what they are talking about is absurd.

  7. Lloyd Lofthouse, I am sure that the Moderna vaccine may have provided some benefit to you. What concerns me is the reports of bad experiences out there. If the side-effects were reported to and readily acknowledged by VAERS, maybe Moderna would be more mindful of the ingredients in its vaccine. This is true for the rest of the vaccines.

    • “Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), even if its unclear whether the vaccine was the cause.”

      https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/work-groups-vast/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fvaccines%2Fsafety%2Fsafety-of-vaccines.html

      These numbers were the most current when I just checked.:
      For the United States, not the rest of the world.

      Coronavirus Cases:
      84,206,198

      Deaths:
      1,026,616

      Recovered:
      81,243,328

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

      Now we have all the information we need and can calculate the death rates:

      of 10 unvaccinated people, 5 died → the death rate among the unvaccinated is 50%
      of 50 vaccinated people, 5 died → the death rate among the vaccinated is 10%
      We therefore see that the death rate among the vaccinated is 5-times lower than among the unvaccinated.

      https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths-by-vaccination

      AMA survey shows over 96% of doctors fully vaccinated against COVID-19

      https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-survey-shows-over-96-doctors-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19

      ‘Long COVID has potentially affected up to 23 million Americans, pushing an estimated 1 million people out of work. The full magnitude of health and economic effects is unknown but is expected to be significant. The causes of long COVID are not fully understood, complicating diagnosis and treatment. The condition raises policy questions, such as how best to support patients.’

      https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-105666

      Every source I used in this reply is what’s known as a primary source and these sources, just like VOTE SMART, are not the traditionally media that reports the news and published opinions on Op-Ed pages that clearly identify those as opinions, or social media spreading misinformation, lies, hoaxes and conspiracy theories as if it is fact when it isn’t.

      Hundreds of thousands of MDs, nurses, hospitals, physicians and scientists in the US that are the first line of defense against infectious diseases, vaccinations rates, deaths, and who report the survival rates along with how many infected people survive but end up living with Long COVID, and from what I’ve learned about the horrors of Long COVID survivors, I think I’d rather be dead.

      These are the hard facts that are reported regularly on schedule to thee agencies I used in my reply. From what I understand, they are required by law to issue reports to the public and the media on a regular basis. The traditional news media then turns these facts into news reports and uses even them in Op-Eds to support opinions. However, there are unscrupulous people that often spew opinions and cherry-pick these facts to support their flawed and dangerous opinions. Traitor Trump is one of those people, and so his GOP Senator Ron Johnson.

      NOTE: But I have no doubt at this time that no amount of evidence from reliable primary sources is going to change your mind. It’s apparent to me that GOP Senator Ron Johnson is one of the few voices you trust.

      I do not trust GOP Senator Ron Johnson. I also do not trust anyone that trusts people like GOP Senator Ron Johnson who is not alone in spreading lies, misinformation, hate, fear, and giving out free but horribly bad advice that I’m convinced is killing willing people, et al.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I was willing to consider the Pfizer vaccine. The issue is that the vaccine manufacturers seem to be more interested in lining their own pockets than in our health.

      • I had the same opinion of Pfizer, but Pfizer did not develop the COVID vaccine they produce in the United States. The vaccine Pfizer produces was developed in Germany by another company that has an agreement with Pfizer. Pfizer provides research funding and gets the right to produce vaccines in the U.S. the German company develops. If the VA had offered me the Pfizer vaccine, I would have received that one. But the day I showed up for my jabs at the VA, the only vaccine they were using was Maderno and I was told they use all of the approved vaccines when a shipment arrived.

        HEALTH AND SCIENCE – CNBC
        What you need to know about BioNTech — the European company behind Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine

        https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/11/biontech-the-european-company-behind-pfizers-covid-19-vaccine.html

        Meet BioNTech, the German upstart behind the Pfizer COVID vaccine technology
        Small German biotech firm, started by a husband and wife team with Turkish roots, has never brought a vaccine to market before …

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/meet-biontech-a-german-upstart-behind-the-pfizer-covid-vaccine-technology/

        Behind Pfizer’s vaccine, an understated husband-and-wife “dream team”

        https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-biontech-ceo-newsmake/behind-pfizers-vaccine-an-understated-husband-and-wife-dream-team-idUSKBN27P1O5

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I am familiar with Reuters. I disagree with some of the things Reuters talks about, but have generally liked what I have read. The Pfizer vaccine I had high hopes for until some very disturbing details arose related to it.

      • Reuters is rated LEAST BIASED by https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/reuters/

        These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biases sources.

        Overall, we rate Reuters Least Biased based on objective reporting and Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information with minimal bias and a clean fact check record.

        Detailed Report

        Bias Rating: LEAST BIASED
        Factual Reporting: VERY HIGH
        Country: United Kingdom
        Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
        Media Type: News Agency
        Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
        MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
        History

        Founded in 1851, Reuters is the world’s leading international multimedia news agency. It is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

        Reuters was founded by Paul Julius Reuter, a German-born immigrant who moved to London and opened an office that transmitted stock market quotations between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover cable. He had previously used pigeons to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels, which was also common to dispatch news. However, the Agence Havas (the predecessor of today’s AFP) was the first to start using the Morse telegraph. According to an article titled ”CHRONOLOGY: Reuters, from pigeons to multimedia merger,” overland telegraph and undersea cables enabled Reuters to expand its service beyond Europe to the Far East in 1872 and South America by 1874.

        During both World Wars, Reuters came under pressure from the British government to serve British interests. In 1941 Reuters avoided this pressure by restructuring itself as a private company. Stephen J. Adler is the President and Editor-in-Chief of Reuters.

        In April 2008, the British company Reuters Group was acquired by Thomson Corporation and formed Thomson Reuters. Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, which is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals and is owned by The Woodbridge Company Limited, which owns approximately 62.35% of common shares and is the principal and controlling shareholder of Thomson Reuters – see Fact Book 2017 (pg 83) and Annual Report 2017. The Woodbridge Company Limited is based in Toronto, Canada. The chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters is James (Jim) C. Smith, and the chairman is David Thomson, who is also a Chairman of Woodbridge.
        Analysis / Bias

        In 2018, Reuters was named the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes on international reporting for exposing the methods of police killing squads in Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and for feature photography documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

        In review, when covering Trump administration news, Reuters Editor In Chief wrote this message to staff “Covering Trump the Reuters Way,” urging them to stick with the Reuters “Trust Principles.” However, after the Capital Gazette shooting, Reuters Breaking news editor Rob Cox tweeted, “This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.” Cox later apologized and deleted the tweet. Regarding the incident, Steve Adler, Editor-in-Chief, published a statement regarding Rob Cox’s tweet stating, “Mr. Cox’s actions were inconsistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles requiring journalists to maintain freedom from bias. We do not condone his behavior and will take appropriate action.”

        In reporting, Reuters uses minimally biased emotional language in their headlines such as “Oregon right-wingers clash with anti-fascists at march in Portland” and “Trump lawyer Cohen vows to defend himself, puts family first: ABC News,” sourcing credible local sources such as the Oregonian newspaper and ABC news. In most cases, Reuters journalists are the primary source of stories and consistently report with minimal bias, covering both sides of issues.
        Failed Fact Checks

        They are a certified IFCN Fact-Checker.

        Overall, we rate Reuters Least Biased based on objective reporting and Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information with minimal bias and a clean fact check record. (7/10/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 02/25/2022)

        Source: https://www.reuters.com

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I don’t have a problem with a news source being biased per se. The only thing I want is the truth, even if it is just an opinion on a new news story.

      • And what did the analysis say about Reuters reporting accuracy? The very light/slight bias mentioned comes from the editorial opinions and Op-Ed pieces. Not the news reporting.

  8. Lloyd Lofthouse, if you want to have a rational dialogue, I am willing to engage. Regarding the detail you mentioned about getting the Moderna vaccine, I was admittedly skeptical of the Moderna vaccine because of conflicting stories about it. Are people who report adverse reactions to VAERS worthy of being heard as to their concerns?

  9. Lloyd Lofthouse, the charge of hypocrisy was uncalled for. I do not like to issue charges of such a nature generally speaking without some degree of evidence to back it up. Example: If someone uses the phrase “My body, my choice” as an argument for the legality of abortion but does not give that argument any validity regarding other medical issues, that is both hypocritical and a double-standard.

    • Refusing to take the COVID vaccine to protect others from being infected by the person refusing = “My body my choice.”

      Refusing to wear a mask around other people, family, friends or strangers, = “My body my choice”.

      Refusing medical care when you have a terminal disease and there’s a fifty-fifty chance of survival if you undertake the painful, horribl3e medical care = “My body my choice.”

      A woman who gets pregnant no matter how, rape date drug, incest, rape without drugs, date rape, and she’s refused an abortion takes away her “my body my choice.”

      Making abortion illegal at least during the 1st trimester when the kidney bean sized fetus has no brain, no heart, no nerves, is refusing a woman the right to make decisions for “her body, her choice” but the heartbeat means nothing unless the fetus can survive outside of the womb. Then there’s this fact: “Doctors now consider 22 weeks the earliest gestational age when a baby is “viable,” or able to survive outside the womb. But this is still extremely premature, and a baby born at this age will need a great deal of medical attention.”

      I have to go back and find where I charged you with “hypocrisy”, the exact word. I don’t remember using that exact word.

      So, I returned after a global search for the use of the word “hypocrisy” in this thread and want to point out that I have not used the word “hypocrisy” in this thread.

      • No, I was not saying that about either of us specifically. In one comment, I used the word hypocrisy, a comment that I think you may have deleted as it was seen as an ad hominem.

      • I don’t remember if I deleted a comment with the word “hypocrisy” in it. But I spend about an hour or two every day deleting a lot of emails that I don’t bother to open. There’s only so much time in a day and we have to sleep for about a third of that 24 hours, eat, chores, et al.

        I think we were better off before the Internet. It didn’t bother me that if I wanted to learn something, I had to go to a library and do research out of books, magazines, journals, newspapers, et al. Before the internet we had real privacy. We don’t have privacy anymore. Corporations spy on us 24/7 through our mobile phones, our tablets, our laptops, our desktops. They know what we read, what we watch on our computers and TVs, what we eat, what kind of clothes we wear and even everywhere we go if we have a car because our cars are reporting where we go to them too.

        I actually enjoyed visiting the library and bookstores. Now all most of us do is sit in front of a screen and Google something when we want to know more about it, and then we can’t even trust most of the sources because there’s so much crap out there.

        I wonder if identity theft would be the threat it is now to ruin lives before the internet. I don’t remember ever hearing about identify theft like I read about it today. Bank accounts being raided. Credit card numbers being sold on the dark web. What the hell?!?!?

        Instead of MAGA, I think MAPSA would be better.

        Make American Peaceful and Safer Again. We should get rid of the internet.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I have mixed opinions on the internet in general and social media in particular. It is nice to be able to interact with like-minded people and also to learn things from people with whom one disagrees. Even though we clearly disagree on many things, I find your blogs to be eye-opening and very enlightening.

      • I’m old enough to remember what it was like before the internet to actually interact with people face-to-face that were like-minded, and we agreed to agree or disagree, too. Some of the best conversations took place on all day hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains that hover over Los Angeles County. It’s a small mountain range and most of it is wilderness and rugged. There are deer, bears, cougars, coyotes, rattlers, poison oak, et al. I haven’t forgotten the bear I came face to face with on one hike. I rounded a huge boulder on the trail that was calming several thousand feet toward the cloud shrouded mountain peaks and we met, eye to eye, a few feet apart. I didn’t move. The bear froze, too, then, looking stunned, however bear looks when stunned, it took off running up a mountainside to escape me, a mountain that must have been steeper than a 60 degree angle and it didn’t stop running. It was a jaw drooping sight to watch that wild bear running full out up that slope without slowing down. It never looked back. Or, on another hike near what’s known as the three Ts, all mountains close to 10,000 above sea level, we were climbing a steep trail through a portion of the old growth forest that had never been logged and I rounded this huge tree to come face to face with a mule deer that must have weighted at least 500 pounds. That deer was as closer to me than the bear had been. Our eyes locked and we didn’t for what felt like a long time when I said, “I’ll just take a few steps back until I’m behind that tree and that way you can take off without stressing out what I’m doing behind you.” A moment later, I return from behind that tree and there was no sight of that deer. I had no idea which way it went to get away from this human. I did tell it I was a vegan and it had nothing to worry about. I wonder if it understood what i said.

        We hikers shared a lot of laughter too, and when I was a child growing up before becoming another confused adolescent, we played outside a lot using our imaginations to fill the time, riding peddle bikes, playing games like Monopoly or Scrabble, pretending to be pirates, reading real books in quiet rooms.

  10. Lloyd Lofthouse, it has been a long time since I read it, however, the book Trust No One had my full attention as I read it. It honestly had an almost X-Files type level of mystery and intrigue.

    • I’ve had a question bouncing around in my head for some time

      Is this lack of trust and division in our country’s population and the growing unwillingness to compromise while violence is increasing from the extreme right on everyone to the left of those fascists, one of the main reasons that has caused other great civilizations to have collapsed in the past?

      When different political factions stop working together based on trust and honesty to reach compromises, what’s left to hold that country together? The shooting has already started and most of the mass killings can be linked to fascists on the extreme right.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I have admittedly libertarian-leaning inclinations and believe in the non-aggression principle. Regarding Left vs. Right, that is a false argument, as they are all owned by corporate interests.

      • I don’t think that is a false argument. If corporate interests are funding extreme right domestic terrorists, please provide links to reliable fact-based evidence. And even if corporate interested were funding domestic fascists, all that means is the CEOs and major stock holders of those companies are also fascists. It is arguable that billiaonres like Charles Koch and Rupert Murdock are fascists, too, based on what they do, what they fund, their actions, not their words and lies. Koch may claim he is a libertarian but his money and his actions reveal he is a fascist.

        To simplify the violent extreme right movement, I think of them as domestic fascists since the definition for fascism fits their thinking and violent behavior.

        ​”(Fascism) an extreme right-wing political system or attitude that is in favour of strong central government, aggressively promoting your own country or race above others, and that does not allow any opposition.”

        https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/fascism

        The Rise of Far-Right Extremism in the United States

        “The threat from right-wing terrorism in the United States—and Europe—appears to be rising. Of particular concern are white supremacists and anti-government extremists, such as militia groups and so-called sovereign citizens interested in plotting attacks against government, racial, religious, and political targets in the United States.1”

        https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-far-right-extremism-united-states

        These domestic terrorists are not libertarians, they are fascists by their actions that fit the definition of fascism

        They cannot be libertarians since a libertarian is committed to the principle that liberty is the most important political value. Liberty means being free to make your own choices about your own life, that what you do with your body and your property ought to be up to you. Other people must not forcibly interfere with your liberty, and you must not forcibly interfere with theirs. True libertarians wouldn’t be involved in these hate crimes and mass killings.

        The extreme right fascists in the US are against abortion, hates Jews, hates minorities, is against LGBTQ rights, et al.

      • No matter what you are I think about abortion, it should not be a crime. Women should be free to decide what to do with their own bodies. The two sides to abortion should be willing to compromise, to limit abortion to the first trimester and to abort pregnancies caused by rape and incest at any time, especially when the life of the mother is threatened if the pregnancy is carried to term.

        But the domestic fascists don’t want women to have any say over their bodies, none. If you were raped, no matter who raped you, and you got pregnant, no abortion. If the pregnancy will kill you, no abortion. That is wrong!

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I know we disagree on many things, however, I am enjoying your blogs. They have opened my eyes to information about things I may not have otherwise considered.

      • I think that libertarianism would only work if everyone was a libertarian, everyone was honest, trustworthy, and willing to respect each other. I don’t see how libertarianism could work without every single person on the same page with the same thinking.

        All it would take is one person with the support of a fraction of the population to destory a system built on the trust necessary for libertarianism to work, someone like Trump, Putin, DeSantis, Abbot in Texas, et al.

        There are always going to be political liberals, moderates, progressives, conservatives, fascists, nationalists, people living in poverty, the unemployed, the disabled, homeless people, people with serious psychological problems, rapists, thieves, lazy people, malignant narcists, narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, frauds, cons, killers, crooks, autocrats, biblical false prophets, et al.

        Because of that, government must always have a roll to manage social safety net programs and keep criminals accountable for their crimes and also have safeguard built in so government doesn’t become the problem with too much power in the hands of only a few people that end up abusing that power..

      • Lloyd Lofthouse, I was studying some stuff related to Finland’s economic system worked and I recall inquiring as to your thoughts on the best way to have some degree of a free market system. You pointed to Finland as a good example. Did you ever get the chance to see Finland firsthand and that is how you came to the answer you provided?

      • See???? How would I “see” firsthand how Finland works?

        I read about Finland and the Cuddly Capitalism used in Nordic Countries. I’ve read how the public schools work in Finland where teachers are trusted, treated like professionals, and paid accordingly Where standardized tests are not mandatory and it’s up to teachers to give them or not. That Finland has a national set of teaching/subject standards but leaves it up to the teachers what to teach from that list and how to teach it.

        And I just found this piece in one of the most respected and least biased media sources out there, The Christian Science Monitor. If you haven’t read the CSM, don’t let the name mislead you.

        “Nordic cuddly capitalism: Utopia, no. But a global model for equity”

        https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0511/Nordic-cuddly-capitalism-Utopia-no.-But-a-global-model-for-equity

        “Christian Science, religious denomination founded in the United States in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), author of the book that contains the definitive statement of its teaching, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875). It is widely known for its highly controversial practice of spiritual healing.”

        https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christian-Science

        https://www.csmonitor.com/About

        https://www.zippia.com/christian-sci-monitor-careers-1131589/history/

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