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07/26/21 01:37 PM #9699    


John Jackson

Jim, you have scientific/medical training and if you’re going to reference those credentials you shouldn’t rely on innuendos.  So you need to step up to the plate and give us concrete examples for why you think “that his (Biden’s) intelligence is, at the very least, questionable”.  If you can’t do that (and be prepared to defend your answers), you should stop implying that your political views have any kind of medical basis.

07/26/21 01:41 PM #9700    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Mike, I do not understand what you are referring to when you state that voting rights are being "assaulted".  Every American citizen has the ability to vote. If one cannot get to their polling site on election day, they can request an absentee ballot.  It is not at all complicated, it does, however, require a little forethought and a small amount of effort to do so.  As for mail-in voting, I can relate one personal story.  My son's mother-in-law and her mother moved to Ohio from Georgia over 4 years ago. At the time of the 2020 election they both received mal-in ballots from Georgia. Do you not wonder how many times that happens?  Shouldn't we all want to see voter lists get updated and cleaned up well ahead of any state or general elections?   In regards to requiring a voter ID, which some say targets minorities, I would offer the following notice as an example of one of the many situations in an American's daily life where a photo ID is required. To infer that a person who lives below the poverty line or who may be a person who legally immigrated to the U.S. and has subsequently become an American citizen, is somehow incapable of getting some type of photo ID is insulting.  Such a belief perpetuates the false notion that only people living in certain zip codes have an intellect. 

07/26/21 02:21 PM #9701    


John Jackson

MM - if, as every responsible study has found, there is no widespread voting fraud, what problem are the new laws trying to fix?  Could it be that people like you are trying to make it harder for people who disagree with your views to vote?  Wasn't this what Jim Crow laws were all about? 

07/26/21 02:32 PM #9702    


Michael McLeod

It's a brilliant strategy.

Make it harder for people of color to vote next time around. (You have been watching the stories about voting regulations, right MM1? And you do know some people live in neighborhoods different from yours, have lives different than yours, need help in terms of when and how and where they can vote?)

To continue: launch a sly assault on voting rights, particularly when it comes to the underprivileged.

Then try to make it look like there's some vicious, methodical plan afoot called critical race theory that is attacking white folks and brainwashing our children so you'll stir up your conservative base.

I gotta hand it to 'em. They have a plan, and a good one.



Oh and there's this on the russia thing:



See what I mean? Whatever you have to say about news today you have a ton of info to go through to make up your minds. Or changed them. Or confirm your preconceptions.


It’s official: The Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

In an explosive development, the Biden administration confirmed that a Russian government agent with close connections to Donald Trump’s top 2016 campaign official “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and [Trump] campaign strategy.”

This revelation demolishes, once and for all, Trump’s ceaseless claims that he was the victim of the “greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” (Recall that a Trump appointee directed Robert Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”)


But just how valuable was the polling and campaign strategy data that Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, gave to a Russian agent?

According to Brad Parscale, Trump’s election data guru, the information that Manafort handed directly to Russian intelligence was of critical importance, determining “98 percent” of the campaign’s resource allocations (such as spending on TV, radio and social media ads, rallies, field operations, and so on).

Indeed, the data was so important that Parscale kept a visualization of the information on his iPad at all times, allowing him to tell then-candidate Trump where to conduct his next rally at a moment’s notice.

According to the then-Republican-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the ultrasensitive campaign information that Manafort passed to a Russian spy “identified voter bases in blue-collar, democratic-leaning states which Trump could swing,” including in “Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.”

Moreover, the Russian intelligence officer who received the information “was capable of comprehending the complex polling data.”


That leaves a lot of unanswered questions as to what Russia’s spies did with the information.

Perhaps worse, Trump ultimately pardoned Manafort. Trump’s potential political rivals would be wise to remember that he handed the ultimate political favor to the man who colluded with Russia amid Moscow’s campaign to undermine American democracy.

But Manafort’s malfeasance fits a broader pattern.

As former Trump adviser Steve Bannon — indicted on fraud charges — aptly noted, top Trump officials engaged in a “treasonous” meeting with a former Russian counterintelligence officer and a woman with “extensive and concerning” links to Russian intelligence services.

At the same time, the then-GOP-led Senate committee made clear that Trump knew of and discussed the release of tens of thousands of Russian-hacked documents and emails pilfered from the Democratic National Committee.


Indeed, Trump may have instructed a close confidant, Roger Stone, to orchestrate the leak of Russian-stolen documents as a political distraction at a make-or-break moment during the 2016 campaign.

But it gets worse. According to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, in surreptitious conversations with a top Russian official, Trump’s soon-to-be national security adviser Michael Flynn was “neutering” American sanctions designed to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf.

At the time, Flynn’s previous links to Russia made him the target of a counterintelligence probe, thoroughly justifying the FBI’s investigation into his collusive calls with a senior Russian government official.

Perhaps worst of all, Trump’s political allies released sensitive document after sensitive document in a desperate — and ill-fated — bid to score cheap political points for their boss.

Among other damaging revelations, these selective, politically driven leaks of once highly classified information gave America’s adversaries an intimate look into how America’s secretive spy catchers conduct their work. The long-term damage to national security and to America’s counterintelligence efforts will be debated for years to come.

07/26/21 04:13 PM #9703    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

Mike, John, once again I resent both of  your condescending remarks and the not so subtley implied notion that I hold racist opinions. I am simply sharing information and asking questions that you do not care to answer.  I will therefore, leave it to those who are of a different skin color than I, but who share the same views on critical race theory and voting laws as I do, to explain it to you.


07/26/21 04:42 PM #9704    


James Hamilton, M. D.


As I stated in Post #9691, I do not attempt to render an accurate diagnosis on anyone whom I have not examined.

A "thorough exam" should be done when a primary care physician or other health care provider begins an ongoing professional relationship with a patient. This may take several visits and be tailored to the age, physical, social and mental needs of that individual patient. There are many facets to such encounters including history of present illnesses, past medical, surgical and mental history, allergies, current (and past) medications (including over the counter and illicit drugs and supplements), review of systems, family history, occupational history and perhaps other pertinent information in addition to the actual physical examination. This is often done by the patient on a "check list" before the visit, a practice that, to one who was trained in the old ways, is not the best.

When I used the word "questionable" with regards to President Biden's intelligence, I was not making a medical statement. There are many clips of him where he has trouble with train of thought, stumbling on words and names, and having to refer to pocket notes when questioned by others. Yes, Fox does show these frequently but they are real. Some prefer to call them "gaffes". 

Many people in his (and our) age group have memory lapses and some of that is normal aging. There is perhaps, a fine line between "Minimal Cognative Impairment" (MCI) and normal aging. True MCI can progress to full blown dementia, the most common form being Alzheimers Disease (AD). There are numerous other forms of dementia including - but not limited to - acute, chronic or recurrent brain trauma, vascular causes, infections, strokes, tumors, medication/drugs and the list goes on. President Biden does have a (publically documented) history of two brain aneurysms, one of which bled, that were surgically clipped in 1988. 

Presidents are subject to physical exams but not mental health testing. My contention is that individuals in any high ranking offices - especially those of president and presidential succession positions - should undergo at least basic cognative testing if over the age of 65 or have a history of brain injury or symptoms suggestive of difficulty in speech or actions. 

President Trump was accused of such things and did undergo testing - I believe it was the Montreal Cognative Assessment (MoCA) test. He passed. There are several basic screening tests that can be used, the MoCA is considered to be one of the best.

I just asked a simple question if you believed President Biden should be tested.

As for medicine and politics: I do not allow my political views to control my medical views or decisions in any way. I feel that doctors who are involved in speaking publically about about issues that have been politicized (vaccines, for instance) are under tremendous pressure and could be dealing with conflict of interest areas. They should be used as advisors and not spokespersons - at least in my opinion.



07/27/21 11:05 AM #9705    


Michael McLeod

Good grief. Start quoting legitimate sources and I'll start taking you seriously.


07/27/21 12:39 PM #9706    


James Hamilton, M. D.

"Legitimate" source: 


          - USMC Col Nathan Jessup (AKA Jack Nicholson)


(I'm not a movie buff but I love the quote!)


07/27/21 06:39 PM #9707    


David Mitchell

Sure wish I had Cable TV.

Watching Tucker tonight, a few hours after those four ("liberal left-wing activiist") cops have testified should be pretty darned interesting. 


But, I'll catch it some time later on You Tube. 

07/27/21 10:48 PM #9708    


John Jackson

MM,  when I raised a question about what problem the new laws in red/purple states to restrict ballot access for people who disagree with your views, why did you respond with a broadside about CRT?  What's the relevance? - if you're born in this country, it shouldn't be hard for you to vote. 

What would you think if I argued that we should make it difficult for voters who get most of their information from Fox News or right wing websites to vote? 

07/27/21 11:28 PM #9709    


John Jackson

Jim, with all due respect, you don’t know what you’re talking about.  If I’m not mistaken you’re an internist and I sincerely applaud you for choosing that specialty - from my understanding of our health care system we definitely need more GP’s and internists rather than high-priced specialists.

But my own sister Liz is an MD/psychiatrist (and a Dominican sister from the same order who taught us at Watterson) who has practiced in various capacities for 40 years, including the VA for nearly 20 years.  I would think her psychiatric training renders her much better able than you  to render an opinion on Biden’s competence to serve, and I can tell you that she does not agree with your assessment.   I can also assure you that if asked to render an opinion on Trump she would, without hesitation, tell you that he is one sick puppy.

My brother-in-law is an anesthesiologist (probably about as relevant as your training) and he is appalled at Trump.  And my son-in-law (a physical medicine and rehab doctor in his late 30’s) in no way shares your view.

Having said all this, I don’t think it’s all that helpful for any of us to make arguments based on whether this or that doctor shares our view.  I just want to call into question your tactic of implying that your medical training in any way validates your political views – and, even though you deny it, when you employ all the medical jargon that you do in your posts, you’re definitely playing the doctor card.

07/28/21 11:47 AM #9710    


James Hamilton, M. D.


Your comments have now become insulting and offensive - of course, "with all due respect". 

Interestingly, you berate my comments because I am a physician even though I made it clear that I was not assigning any specific diagnosis to President Biden since I have never examined him. I explained that process in my Post #9704. If I had seen him as a patient it would have been unethical (patient-doctor confidentiality) to do so unless it was demanded by the law. It does not take a medical degree for one to see that President Biden struggles with some answers and statements but I never would presume to establish a definitive diagnosis in his case.

Your family members with medical/psychiatric backgrounds (talk about playing the "doctor cards")  may choose to give a more insightful view of a public figure's mental status than I am capable (or willing) to do. You gave the example that Liz would call President Trump "one sick puppy". (By the way, I cannot find that specific diagnosis mentioned in the DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association.) Perhaps in her career she may have had a professional appointment with President Trump. I do not know but I doubt it since making such a statement would, perhaps, be unethical and I highly suspect she is a very ethical doctor and person.

Again, all I was asking is if you believe that President Biden should submit to an examination such as the one that President Trump took. 

Oh, and I don't think any of those exams include how many push-ups he is capable of doing.




07/28/21 11:56 AM #9711    


Michael McLeod

John: With all due respect, gonna have to side with the doc on this one. I think subjecting Biden to a mental examination and an accompanying questionairre is absolutely called for.

I'm no specialist in mental health issues myself. It's been a long time since I spent those years at the institute, and of course during most of my stay there I was heavily sedated.  But I'd like to suggest a few questions just the same.

Here's my first one:

"Mr. President, Do you think we could cure the covid virus by introducing light to internal organs, or perhaps injecting people with Clorox?"

Second question: "What country is the "prince of whales" from?"

Third question (tricky one; will demonstrate quick thinking and hand-eye coordination): "Using this white board, can you please demonstrate how weather forecasters use magic markers to track the path of a hurricane?"

Now, in our fourth question, we're really gonna see if we can trip ol' sleepy Joe up with a geographic two-parter: First: "How much does a Greenland cost?" Second: "If we put a wall across Colorado to keep foreigners out, where would be the best place to put it?"

And finally, an American history zinger: "Please name the airports that the patriots captured during the Revolutionary War."


I say if he can handle those doozies, we have a president we can be proud of.

Otherwise, no. Not hardly.


07/28/21 03:21 PM #9712    


Mark Schweickart

Mike -- where's that rimshot when you need it! Good memory of bad times funnily stated.

07/28/21 04:36 PM #9713    

Joseph Gentilini

In the conversation regarding Biden and trump - I don't think it takes a medicatl or psychiatric exam, nor to be trained as a physician or psychiatrist to realize that trump is seriously mentally ill.  On that point, I agree with John Jackson.

07/28/21 09:01 PM #9714    


David Mitchell

I dunno, what do you call a guy who has spent his entire adult life, cheating, lying, chiseling, defaulting, draft-dodging, suing (over 4,000 times), insulting dead soldiers, and bragging about how brave he is because of how many "dangerous vaginas" he's been in? 

Is there a medical term for that?

Would " fun-loving, all-American guy" work?


07/28/21 09:51 PM #9715    


David Mitchell

On a more serious side, I was deeply saddened for my country last night when I listened to the comments by Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham about the first day tesitimony of those 4 Capital policemen.  

What a shameful disgusting spin job they both put on these four men. How dare they redirect blame onto them for defending the Capital from a brutal attack by a bunch of wild hooligans?

What ever became of the "Party of Law and Order"?  

(Goldwater, Nixon, and Reagan must be rolling over in their graves about now). 


These people and these childish cowards Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and their gang of circus clowns have absolutely no shame. Some of the officers are receiving death threats and being called "scum" by right-wing morons who don't deserve to walk the streets free. 


I'm feeling old tonight. How old?

So old I can remember way back when my Republican Party stood for something decent? 

07/28/21 11:05 PM #9716    


John Jackson

Jim, when I tempered my previous comments by saying “I don’t think it’s all that helpful for any of us to make arguments based on whether this or that doctor shares our view”  I also meant for that comment to apply to me.  I mentioned three doctors opposing your view and I’d be surprised if you can't recruit other doctors to bolster your case.  But I just think it’s misleading to claim you have some special insight based on the limited  training doctors typically get in their psychiatric rotation in med school.  I only mentioned the three doctors I know very well, not because their views are definitive, but because I wanted to dispel the notion that your view is in any way typical of doctors in general.



07/28/21 11:18 PM #9717    


John Jackson

OK, I need to change the subject, lest you all think (quite accurately) that I do nothing more these days than fixate on the sorry state that our nation's political dialog and civic life have fallen into.
30 years ago while driving to Columbus late at night with wife Carol and young kids asleep in the back seat I tuned in to public radio (KDKA) in Pittsburgh and blundered upon a full length broadcast of the CD of "Granuaile", a 45 minute long song cycle describing the life of Grace O'Malley, Ireland's 16th century "pirate queen" described in this National Geographic story today:
The music was written by Irish composer Shaun Davey to be sung by his wife Rita Connolly backed by a full orchestra.   It took me a year or two (this was the 1990's) to track down the recording which was made at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin (of U2 fame). The full CD is available on Amazon (I'm surprised because it's so obscure) -
I'm a fool for high clear Irish female voices and Rita Connolloy has one of the most glorious voices in all of Irish music. Here's a link to the full album on YouTube:
I'm sure a lot of the details of Grace O'Malley's life are apocryphal (this was, after all, 16th centrury Ireland, not long after St. Patrick banished all the snakes into the sea) but the music is wonderful.
You can probably also find some tracks on I-tunes if you search for Shaun Davey or Rita Connolly but don't get fooled by the soundtrack for a  Broadway play called The Pirate Queen - the music is completely different.

07/29/21 09:19 AM #9718    


Michael McLeod

wow, jj. That's quite a rumination. I'll check it out.

In the meantime I did want to point out something fabulous: The James Webb is going to rock this world -- via its unprecedented view of other worlds.

Did not realize it's finally going up, fingers crossed, in Nov.

From my layman's pov it's going to revolutionize our picture of planets outside our solar system, and relatively soon.

Seems darkly apt that at a time when this world can be so disillusioning we'll be getting a glimpse of others in much better detail than before.

Just wish they weren't all so damn far away,  I'm so intrigued by the possibility that we escape the earth as a species and navigate the universe, though practically speaking it looks absolutely unattainable.

The good thing is that when our descendants have to leave the planet they will know where to go - we'll have discovered destinations, habitable planets - before they set out, likely on journeys that will take generations.


07/29/21 09:32 AM #9719    


Janie Albright (Blank)

Excellent commentary on where rights and freedom intersect. Also one on love thy neighbor.

07/29/21 10:49 AM #9720    


Michael McLeod

Nothing but respect for these two. Plus I'm a sucker for Cherry Garcia.


By Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield

Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield founded Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings in 1978.

We are the founders of Ben & Jerry’s. We are also proud Jews. It’s part of who we are and how we’ve identified ourselves for our whole lives. As our company began to expand internationally, Israel was one of our first overseas markets. We were then, and remain today, supporters of the State of Israel.

But it’s possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies, just as we’ve opposed policies of the U.S. government. As such, we unequivocally support the decision of the company to end business in the occupied territories, which a majority of the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation.

While we no longer have any operational control of the company we founded in 1978, we’re proud of its action and believe it is on the right side of history. In our view, ending the sales of ice cream in the occupied territories is one of the most important decisions the company has made in its 43-year history. It was especially brave of the company. Even though it undoubtedly knew that the response would be swift and powerful, Ben & Jerry’s took the step to align its business and operations with its progressive values.

That we support the company’s decision is not a contradiction nor is it anti-Semitic. In fact, we believe this act can and should be seen as advancing the concepts of justice and human rights, core tenets of Judaism.


Continue reading the main story

Ben & Jerry’s is a company that advocates peace. It has long called on Congress to reduce the U.S. military budget. Ben & Jerry’s opposed the Persian Gulf war of 1991. But it wasn’t just talk. One of our very first social-mission initiatives, in 1988, was to introduce the Peace Pop. It was part of an effort to promote the idea of redirecting 1 percent of national defense budgets around the world to fund peace-promoting activities. We see the company’s recent action as part of a similar trajectory — not as anti-Israel, but as part of a long history of being pro-peace.

In its statement, the company drew a contrast between the democratic territory of Israel and the territories Israel occupies. The decision to halt sales outside Israel’s democratic borders is not a boycott of Israel. The Ben & Jerry’s statement did not endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The company’s stated decision to more fully align its operations with its values is not a rejection of Israel. It is a rejection of Israeli policy, which perpetuates an illegal occupation that is a barrier to peace and violates the basic human rights of the Palestinian people who live under the occupation. As Jewish supporters of the State of Israel, we fundamentally reject the notion that it is anti-Semitic to question the policies of the State of Israel.

When we left the helm of the company, we signed a unique governance structure in the acquisition agreement with Unilever back in 2000. That structure is the magic behind both Ben & Jerry’s continued independence and its success. As part of the agreement, the company retained an independent board of directors with a responsibility to protect the company’s essential brand integrity and to pursue its social mission.

We believe business is among the most powerful entities in society. We believe that companies have a responsibility to use their power and influence to advance the wider common good. Over the years, we’ve also come to believe that there is a spiritual aspect to business, just as there is to the lives of individuals. As you give, you receive. We hope that for Ben & Jerry’s, that is at the heart of the business. To us, that’s what this decision represents, and that is why we are proud that 43 years after starting an ice cream shop in a dilapidated gas station in Burlington, Vt., our names are still on the package.

07/29/21 02:40 PM #9721    


Michael McLeod

thanks for posting janie. the sistah speaks the truth

07/29/21 03:40 PM #9722    


Mary Margaret Clark (Schultheis)

The COVID-19 virus is .1 micron in size and as such it is entirely too small for any type of mask save for, perhaps an N95 mask, to block the viral particles from exiting or from entering.  This is not my opinion, it is not conjecture, there is science behind it from industiral engineers who are concerned with identifying, evaluation, and controlling real or potential workplace environmental stressors or hazard that can affect the wellbeing of workers and community members. If one really wants to follow the science reading the first linked article is a good place to start.

07/29/21 08:57 PM #9723    


Michael McLeod

yep.n95 is the way to go.

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