Jan 15 2018

Oprah Would Be a Disaster

I know that Oprah has not stated she is considering running for president in 2020 and the initial buzz about her is just a fantasy. But some of her people have stated that she would consider running, and it is possible that they are testing the waters. Let’s put the idea out there and see how the public responds.

Those who are enthusiastic about Oprah after her rousing speech at the Golden Globes have failed to fully appreciate what the real problem with Trump is (at least from this skeptic’s perspective). This is not about politics, and all the ways that Oprah is different than Trump don’t affect the ways in which she is the same – and those similarities are what I am primarily concerned about.

Marc Fisher, writing for The Citizen, describes what Trump apparently means when he calls himself a genius. Trump thinks that being smart is succeeding without trying. He congratulated himself on getting through school without ever really studying (like those other chumps). He admires instinct, his ability to feel in his gut what the answer is. He criticizes academics, and brags that the most important thing he learned at school was that academics don’t really know anything.

By all accounts that it his approach to the presidency. The very fact that he thought he could be president without any prior relevant experience betrays this attitude. It did not appear to bother him, or even occur to him, that being the executive of a large and complex government might requires skills and experience that he had never honed, or even tested. He thought he could sit in the Oval Office and just shoot from the hip, rely on his gut to divine the right answer to the country’s and the world’s complex problems. He would have a staff of eggheads to worry about the details.

Don’t confuse this approach with appropriate delegation to proper experts. Trump does not recognize experts, or the value of expertise, or apparently that there is even such a thing. The Trump presidency is an anti-intellectual assault on the very notion of objective knowledge, the benefits of hard intellectual work, and the very notion of expertise. That, to me, is the real threat to our society. It does not matter that Trump is enabling one side or the other of the political spectrum.

As if to demonstrate this point, the notion of Oprah as president presents the same problems. Sure, she has a different temperament and personality than Trump. But Oprah’s media career represents just as much of an anti-intellectual assault on expertise as does Trump, with perhaps a far greater negative impact on our society.

First, Oprah has no relevant experience. If she thinks she can walk into the presidency as an entry-level position, than clearly she does not respect experience itself. She must think that whatever qualities she has are more important than knowledge and experience (to be clear, I think both generic virtues and specific experience are important). I would consider part of the qualification for president a respect for the complexity of the job, and a willingness to put in the hard work that this respect deserves. The very fact that she thinks (if she does) that she could be president without prior experience, to me, is disqualifying. Run for governor or the senate, put in your time, then decide if the presidency is for you.

Another way in which Trump and Oprah are similar is their embrace of quackery (this, in my opinion, is a symptom of a deeper problem, the lack of respect for appropriate expertise). Trump is anti-vaccine and embraces conspiracy theories. Oprah has perhaps done more to fuel the anti-intellectual movement in our society than anyone else in the last few decades.

As others have already pointed out, she is responsible for making the likes of Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and Jenny McCarthy famous. She promoted all sorts of pseudoscience and nonsense, like The Secret, Deepak Chopra, New Age spiritual delusions, and every flavor of dangerous alternative medicine. Her show has largely been a platform for mainstreaming and promoting pseudoscience and fantasy at the expense of science and reason.

Collectively the beliefs that she promoted are premised on the notion that we do not have to carefully study the universe with scientific rigor, humility, and critical thinking. We can just feel the answer, listen to our guts, and wish our desires into reality.

If the left embraces this approach as the right has, then our descent into post-enlightenment magical thinking will accelerate. It would also indicate a general failure to fully appreciate the real lessons of Trump. Expertise, knowledge, and experience really do matter – no matter your personality or other qualities.

I have previously pointed out a more subtle version of this lack of proper respect for expertise, and that is the fact that I think our culture overvalues talent and undervalues skill. We tend to admire those with “natural talent” that succeed without having to try too hard. There are also subtle (or not-so-subtle) ways we denigrate those who work hard to succeed, as “grinds”, eggheads, or “book smart.”

Pychologists, however, have demonstrated that this approach is counterproductive. It is always better to focus on what you can do and what you can change, and not on those things beyond your control. You cannot control the talents you are born with. In a way, focusing on talent relieves us of the burden of having to try. When we think our success or position in life is beyond our control, we are less likely to do something about it.

Focusing on skill and knowledge, however, and recognizing their ability to help us succeed motivates us to work harder, and to take the step necessary to succeed. In fact, we should not focus so much on the goal as the process the get there. What is the next step? That is what matters.

To me Trump’s presidency is the perfect example of what happens when you overemphasize natural ability. Trump thinks his natural “genius” means he can succeed at anything without really trying. If the polls are any indication then at least a majority of Americans recognize that this is perhaps not such a good idea, especially for a job as complex and important as the presidency.

This is a good historic opportunity to reinforce this lesson. I don’t think most people would want a surgeon with the same qualities, and lack of respect for knowledge and technical skill.

Now we need to push back against this trial balloon of Oprah in 2020 to reinforce this core lesson. Even if this is not serious, it doesn’t matter. The idea is now out there. It is a thought-experiment if nothing else. It is therefore also a great opportunity to remind everyone the real lessons from Trump, and why Oprah, the Queen of pseudoscience, magical thinking, and anti-intellectualism, would be a disaster.

138 responses so far

138 thoughts on “Oprah Would Be a Disaster”

  1. Michael Finfer, MD says:

    I would have no objection if someone intelligent and well meaning was elected president if he/she appointed the best people in each discipline to staff the executive branch. Trump is incompetent and has surrounded himself with incompetents.

    What you see is what you get.

  2. michaelegnor says:

    Steven,

    What’s noteworthy about your post is that you omit any reference to Trump’s accomplishments as president. You concerns are all about “process” and your inferences about Trump’s personality, integrity, etc. Nothing at all about his accomplishments, as President.

    As President, he has inspired and signed historic tax-cut legislation, put Neil Gorsuch (an outstanding jurist) in the Supreme Court, dramatically remade the federal judiciary with an historic number of outstanding appointments, rolled back federal regulations and cut the federal bureaucracy quite radically, markedly reduced illegal immigration, imposed a travel ban that makes us much safer, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (which it obviously is), withdrawn from the fraudulent Paris climate accord, pulled out of the Trans-Pacific partnership thus saving many American jobs, began repealing Obama’s net neutrality, getting us much closer to energy independence with opening up land for drilling, and utterly destroying the military power of Isis.

    He has reinvigorated the stock market, with an astonishing 7000 point rise in the Dow, adding nearly 6 trillion $ in wealth to Americans’ retirement accounts and savings.

    But you said not a word about any of this.

    Of course you may disagree with some or all of his policies. That’s fine. But you don’t seem to disagree–you just ignore them, and carry on about his personality.

    That’s pretty low analysis. It’s the kind of thing you might find on Oprah’s show, ironically.

  3. Willy says:

    Spot on, Dr. Novella. My jaw hit the floor when I heard she was considering running and I was doubly amazed at how many talking heads spoke positively of that possibility. Never once did I hear one of ’em acknowledge her support of quackery.

  4. edamame says:

    egnor as usual veers off track, attempting to drag the conversation to his premade talking points. He must have a file somewhere that he cuts and pastes from. If Egnor were a superhero, his name would be *The Red Herring*.

  5. zapp7 says:

    michaelegnor: This blog promotes science and critical thinking. You’re not going to get very far by posting Fox News talking points. Try elsewhere.

  6. Michael Finfer, MD says:

    I am very concerned about Trump’s economic policies. Yes, the Dow is up 7000 points, but when one’s economic policy is entirely about goosing the stock market, one runs the risk of inflation and creating a bubble. We saw what the last bubble did. If this keeps going, I fear that the next one will be much worse, and the backlash to these policies will also be very bad.

  7. Willy says:

    You are pretty funny, Doc. Appointing judges of a particular ideology/judicial outlook is historic? Shirley you jest! You are giving Trump credit as the inspiration for the tax bill? Really? Tax cuts have been a Republican mantra for decades. The stock market has been on the rise for almost nine years–Trump gets credit for that? Was Clinton responsible for the markets in the 90s? Will Trump be responsible when the markets hit an inevitable swoon?

    You saying AGW is a hoax doesn’t make it so. Pulling out of the Paris Accord may well be a big mistake, as may the administration’s abdication of world leadership. Regardless, Trump is clueless about what he is really doing. He famously refuses to read or even be briefed for any length of time. He “believes” what ever will get the best applause lines. Didja ever wonder how many abortions and birth control pills he’s paid for?

    Trump, the man who said the following INDEFENSIBLE statements:

    On May 11, 2017, Trump said: “But in a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care. And we did the right negotiating, and actually it’s a very interesting subject,”

    In his July 19, 2017 NYT interview, Trump said: “So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. Here’s something where you walk up and say, “I want my insurance.” It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.”

    Hey, Doc, maybe you should get Sarah Sander’s job. Only sycophants need apply.

  8. Willy says:

    BTW, Doc. It’s nice to see how regularly you do check in here. It makes your frequent silence all too telling.

  9. edamame says:

    Egnor is the master of red herrings.

  10. michaelegnor says:

    [“Appointing judges of a particular ideology/judicial outlook is historic?…”]

    My goodness. A Trump-hater is actually making a factual argument about Trump’s policies. Call Guinness’ Book of World Records! This is historic.

  11. Wilko says:

    I am an official member of the Trump Hatters Club, but I have to defend Trump on most of his judicial nominations.
    For the most part, he is picking judges from a list recommended by the Federalist Society. This group has great expertise pushing for conservative judges. You might not agree with them, but it shows that Trump is delegating to experts, at least when it comes to most judicial appointments.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/federalist-society-white-house-cooperation-on-judges-paying-benefits/2017/11/18/4b69b4da-cb20-11e7-8321-481fd63f174d_story.html?utm_term=.e5bd3d8607b2
    You can point to some crazy appointments by the Trump administration, but remember that JFK made his brother Attorney General.

  12. Grimbeard says:

    “As President, he has inspired and signed historic tax-cut legislation”

    Not a Trump thing, as Willy has pointed out this is generic Republican policy. It is also a bad thing, as it means less money for public services, and has been targeted primarily at the rich, who need it least. ‘Trump does bad thing badly’ is hardly an endorsement, but you seem to think is it.

    “put Neil Gorsuch (an outstanding jurist) in the Supreme Court, dramatically remade the federal judiciary with an historic number of outstanding appointments”

    More accurately, ‘has made the Supreme Court and federal judiciary extremely right-wing biased an unrepresentative of the country it represents’. Again, Trump does a bad thing and you think it’s good.

    “rolled back federal regulations and cut the federal bureaucracy quite radically”

    Regulations exist to protect people. Trump does bad, you say good.

    “markedly reduced illegal immigration, imposed a travel ban that makes us much safer”

    How exactly has this made you safer? Perhaps you should consider the facts, rather than Trump’s lies. Here are some: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/immigration-stats-by-the-numbers-trnd/index.html

    “recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (which it obviously is)”

    Congress recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 1995, Obama called it that in 2008, and all Trump has done is said that the US embassy should move.

    “withdrawn from the fraudulent Paris climate accord”

    Anthropogenic climate change is happening, so something needs to be done and it needs to be done internationally. Once again, Trump does something incalculably stupid and bad, and you think it’s good. You know, that doesn’t reflect well on you.

    “pulled out of the Trans-Pacific partnership thus saving many American jobs”

    Reducing opportunities for international free trade helps save jobs. Uh-huh.

    “began repealing Obama’s net neutrality”

    Another bad thing that you think is good, although this one is a little complex so I recommend you listen to the SGU podcast which went into it in detail.

    “getting us much closer to energy independence with opening up land for drilling”

    Or, you know, helping to destroy the environment. Yet another bad thing Trump has done that you think is good.

    “and utterly destroying the military power of Isis.”

    Hilarious. You seem to forget that this was an ongoing conflict with multiple participants. Even if we give Trump some credit, there are also the Brits, the Kurds and a variety of local militias to thank. Partial credit for this claim, I suppose.

    “He has reinvigorated the stock market, with an astonishing 7000 point rise in the Dow, adding nearly 6 trillion $ in wealth to Americans’ retirement accounts and savings.”

    I suppose you could partially credit Trump for this (although a lot of stock market movement is due to international economic forces), but the credit would have to be for his cuts to corporate taxes. That’s, again, not a good thing – it means less money for public services and more money for those who need it least. Oh, and the idea that this money ends up in ordinary people’s “retirement accounts and savings” is hilariously naive. The money ends up in the offshore tax havens of billionaires. You know, people like Trump (and, I suspect, not people like you).

    So, in summary, all the good things you claim Trump has done are actually bad things, things that he can’t take credit for, or simply not true. Wow, you must have put a lot of effort into being so comprehensively wrong – kudos!

  13. bachfiend says:

    The job of American President is perhaps the most difficult one in the world. The success of an American President depends much more on the ability of the Presidential advisors and the willingness of the President to listen to them.

    An American President can’t know everything.

    Trump fails dismally. He doesn’t even have second rate advisors, and the ones he’s appointed he’s gone through at a rapid rate, insulting them at the same time. So his chances of getting first class advisors drops precipitously (and working for Trump isn’t a plus for a future CV). And he doesn’t listen to the ones he has.

    Fortunately the American President doesn’t have absolute power. His (and hopefully, some day there will be a her) power is restricted by the other two branches of government.

    The Republicans might have got their cherished large tax cut for corporations and the very rich. Hopefully it won’t end badly. They’re already talking about making large cuts to welfare in order to prevent the deficit blowing out. Cutting welfare is a major blow to the economy. The poor and less well off spend whatever money they have in the local economy, creating jobs. The rich have a propensity to either save their money or spend it on imported goods or travel abroad, not creating local jobs.

    If I had to compare Trump to a previous President it would be to the one of 100 years ago – Woodrow Wilson (who had at least some experience in politics as governor of New Jersey). Wilson was elected as something he wasn’t (he was a conservative not a progressive), he had major personality defects (he thought that he was always right, and anyone who disagreed with him was not just wrong, but was also morally wrong), and he didn’t listen to most of his advisors or cabinet secretaries, making ups his own mind. In addition, Wilson had strokes before becoming President. And strokes while in office, so he was physically impaired for the job.

    Hopefully, Trump won’t have the negative effects that Wilson had in history. Wilson’s support of Britain during the early days of World War I despite claims of neutrality led to the war lasting till 1918. There should have been a negotiated settlement in late 1914 or 1915 at the latest. The history of the twentieth century would have been markedly different if the great tragedy of WWI hadn’t lasted as long as it did. For one thing, the Bolshevik Revolution wouldn’t have happened.

  14. Sawyer says:

    Is there no line of petty bickering you are unwilling to stoop to, Egnor? Dr. Novella specifically made a post about emerging anti-intellectualism *on the political left*, which should have made you ecstatic, but you still couldn’t help yourself.

    Even if the accomplishments you cited were somehow objectively “good” (or real, in the case of ISIS), it would still say nothing of the anti-intellectualism and recklessness of Trump and his cabinet, and the broader impact on American politics. That is the focus of this post, and it’s a general concern shared by virtually every scientifically-minded person not swept up in the celebrities-for-president bandwagon. You might actually convince people here you had a shred of dignity when it comes to promoting scientific literacy in politics if you had simply agreed that Oprah wouldn’t be a great president. But no, you must never miss an opportunity to badger your opponents for not properly praising Dear Leader.

    Also please keep mentioning Neil Gorsuch at even opportunity, as it reminds everyone of the US Senate’s complete betrayal of democratic principles in failing to hold hearings for Merrick Garland.

  15. justme says:

    Thank you, Steve Novella, for such an interesting viewpoint. I would be elated to have presidential candidates that embrace science and intellect. We must continue to allow a place for personal belief systems, as long as the environment and health and safety are maintained. Anti-vaxxers are a danger to society, and especially children and people with diminished immune function. When we have hard science to support the care of the environment, and health and safety, then science-based law and regulation is the way to go. Anything else is dangerously foolish.

  16. SleepyJean says:

    Oprah is representative of her corporation; she demands good press every day to sell media and products to the people who watch. Oprah finally made Cecil B. DeMille proud after her Me too Award, she was a person in the Epic mudslide in Montecito, California. Is she really ready for Trumplike landslides?

  17. michaelegnor says:

    The value of each of Trump’s accomplishments can be debated. Im a conservative, so I like most of what he has done. Also, like him or not, you have to admit that he has kept his pre-election promises, for the most part, to the best of his ability. That’s something rather unusual for a politician.

    He’s been unusually effective in public policy–whether you like his effects is another matter.

    But the debate on CNN, MSNBC, etc centers almost exclusively on crazy fake news conspiracy theories (He colluded with Russia!!!!!!!) and his personality (he’s demented!, he’s narcissistic!!, he’s immature!!!, he’s unstable!!!!, he’s a bully!!!!!, etc etc). Leftie (and some righty) critiques sound more like gossip in a junior high cafeteria than like thoughtful public policy analysis.

    What Trump has done is he’s made the MSM and the political class (left and right) reveal themselves–reveal their own shallowness and self-serving behavior. He cast light on the swamp. He did it be baiting them–by trolling them, which is what he’s doing with Twitter. It’s very clever.

    I think he’s doing a great job. He’s the best president in my memory, better even than Reagan, who I revere. He’s has a ton of personal flaws (he undoubtedly meets several criteria for personality disorder in the DSM. He’s incredibly narcissistic.), but I didn’t vote for him to be my spiritual mentor, I voted for him to do public policy, and he’s done that very well. And he’s just getting started.

    He’s revealed much of our government and MSM media to be horrendous people–liars and haters and criminals (it looks like the FBI actively collaborated with the Clinton campaign to throw the election to the crooked Bitch. People who do that belong in federal prison, and hopefully will end up there.)

    As I’ve said before, Trump is just the implement, not the cause. There are tens of millions of Americans–the normal decent segment of our population–who are fed up with elite a**holes. We’re taking our country back.

    If you take Trump down, through lies/impeachment/25th amendment, there will be civil war.

    And if you don’t like Trump, you really won’t like what comes after him, if you take him out with an implicit coup.

  18. michaelegnor says:

    Here’s a map of what Trump should have called a lot of these countries–“sh*tholes” was being too nice.

    https://static.pjmedia.com/trending/user-content/51/files/2018/01/MAP2.jpg

  19. trumpproctor says:

    “There isn’t a single fortune 300 company or even a University or any other respectable institution in this country which has a board of directors which three years ago would have said the following: “You know what we need to take our organization to the next level? We need a truly brilliant leader. We need someone with vision and integrity. Someone who is ethical and deeply knowledgeable. We need the wisest person we can find to take us forward. You know who we need? We need Donald Trump.”

    I am confidant that had those words been said in any boardroom in America, the result would have been derisive laughter, and there are good reasons for that. Yet now Trump is the president of the United states.

    Yet all the reasons people would have laughed 3 years ago are even more obvious now. But the people who support him don’t concede any of his obvious flaws. They have re-branded his pettiness, vindictiveness, boastfulness, dishonesty, and inarticulateness as some sort of 21st century virtues.”

    – Sam Harris

  20. trumpproctor says:

    M E,

    To quote Luke Skywalker: “Everything word you said is completely wrong.”

    I’m beginning to think we need a new word for when someone take motivated reasoning and cognitive dissonance to a level that is a complete order of magnitude higher.

  21. trumpproctor says:

    ME,

    There’s something missing on that map you liked to of shithole countries: “Being run by a fucking moron” pointing to the USA.

  22. trumpproctor says:

    ME,

    You could also add “Highest rate of gun violence” and point to the USA.

  23. michaelegnor says:

    [I am confidant that had those words been said in any boardroom in America, the result would have been derisive laughter, and there are good reasons for that. Yet now Trump is the president of the United states.]

    The increase in the stock market alone has added 6 trillion dollars to (mostly American) wealth, including tens of millions of ordinary people through their retirement accounts.

    Who’s laughing now?

  24. michaelegnor says:

    [I am confidant that had those words been said in any boardroom in America, the result would have been derisive laughter, and there are good reasons for that. Yet now Trump is the president of the United states.]

    … says a voter for a never-really-employed hard left corrupt Chicago Democrat Dailey machine “community organizer” whose spiritual mentor was a psychotic anti-semitic preacher in whose pews he sat contentedly for 20 years…

    … says a voter for a congenital liar and felon who runs a crime syndicate in which she used her top diplomatic post to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of influence to foreign governments and potentates…

    … her main antagonist for her party’s nomination was a confused septuagenarian communist who laments the collapse of the Soviet Union (where he traveled for his honeymoon)…

    About that derivative laughter…

  25. michaelegnor says:

    [You could also add “Highest rate of gun violence” and point to the USA.]

    Yea. We should have really strict gun control because gun control really eliminates gun violence, like in Mexico, which has more or less the most stringent gun control laws in the world.

    Oh, wait…

  26. trumpproctor says:

    ME,

    Also forgot to mention in Trump’s “accomplishments” the most lying POTUS ever in his first year:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-claims-database/?tid=a_mcntx&utm_term=.f94b31c9ec9a

    Not to mention that in his first year, he’s golfed more than Tiger Woods. Let that sink in. Oh, and this is after repeatedly bashing Obama for occasionally golfing once in a while. Trump: “If I am president, I will be too busy to go golfing, I’ll be working for the American People”. An obvious bold face lie that you simply can not defend. Guess I missed Trump’s campaign promise that he would go golfing twice a week and stick us with the damn bill because he owns the place. Which brings up conflict’s of interest. Don’t tell me that putting his companies in a “blind trust” and giving control over to his children means shit. “Hey, take care of my companies kids, and I’ll see you at dinner. *wink wink*” is NOT a blind trust. Throughout all of human history, conflicts of interest has equaled corruption EVERY SINGLE TIME. So anyone who turns a blind eye to Trump’s conflicts of interests as no big deal, the word “stupid” is not strong enough. Case in point, the GOP tax scam. Trump pushes through a multi-million dollar tax savings (per year) plan for himself, while the typical american gets a few hundred to a couple thousand (at best) tax break, oh, which by the way will go away in a couple of years, while Trump’s tax theft is permanent (unless congress changes the tax law again in the future). And trickle down doesn’t work. It didn’t work with Reagan, and it’s not going to work now.. all it will do is explode the already insane wealth gap between the top .01% and everyone else. Please name ONE corporation that was fleeing the US because of it’s high tax rate?

    Trump just robbed us, bought people like you off cheap while he reaps tens of millions, and you see it as a good thing? *rolls eyes and shakes head*

  27. trumpproctor says:

    ME: “The increase in the stock market alone has added 6 trillion dollars to (mostly American) wealth, including tens of millions of ordinary people through their retirement accounts.

    Who’s laughing now?”

    1) The market (US and worldwide) is continuing on the trajectory it’s been on since 2010. Trump has done nothing that has contributed meaningfully to this.

    2) This market mostly only helps the top 20-30%, and most of that still goes to the top 1%

    3) The market was up 250% under Obama, so you must have REALLY loved that? Right? Oh, or is that factual data “fake news”?

  28. michaelegnor says:

    [Not to mention that in his first year, he’s golfed more than Tiger Woods.]

    A devastating critique. I’m at a loss for a reply.

    [Don’t tell me that putting his companies in a “blind trust” and giving control over to his children means shit.]

    At least he earned his money legally. Not like Felonia Von Pantsuit, who made hundreds of millions and then deleted 30,000 emails relevant to how she made hundreds of millions. What exactly were those foreign governments and potentates paying for, when she was Secretary of State and amassing all that fortune?

    [Trump pushes through a multi-million dollar tax savings (per year) plan for himself…]

    Right. We did so well with Obamanomics, why change?

    This tax cut will cause an economic expansion that will be historic–we’re already seeing it in the stock market, and that will help tens of millions of the middle class,who were f*cked by the federal swamp for decades with anti-growth taxation, horrendous trade deals, etc.

    And it’s not Trump who’s in bed with big business. Hillary was loading her pockets with contributions, and Obama’s nickname was “President Goldman-Sachs”.

  29. trumpproctor says:

    ME:”Yea. We should have really strict gun control because gun control really eliminates gun violence, like in Mexico, which has more or less the most stringent gun control laws in the world.”

    Maybe you should check into that. Their laws are not that strict, certainly not the most strict in the world, with 15 out of every 100 citizens owning a firearm. *rolls eyes*

  30. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “This tax cut will cause an economic expansion that will be historic–we’re already seeing it in the stock market, and that will help tens of millions of the middle class,who were f*cked by the federal swamp for decades with anti-growth taxation, horrendous trade deals, etc.”

    Oh, so the 30% that the stock market up is helping 10s of millions, but the 250% that it was up under Obama didn’t do anything? *rolls eyes*

    ME: “And it’s not Trump who’s in bed with big business. Hillary was loading her pockets with contributions, and Obama’s nickname was “President Goldman-Sachs”.

    Yea, about that, Mr. Drain the Swamp who appointed no less than 5 Goldman-Sachs executives?

    “At least he earned his money legally. Not like Felonia Von Pantsuit, who made hundreds of millions and then deleted 30,000 emails relevant to how she made hundreds of millions. What exactly were those foreign governments and potentates paying for, when she was Secretary of State and amassing all that fortune?”

    What’s your source for all this? Fox Propoganda? Brietbart? Infowars? I guess we now see where ME get’s his information from.

  31. trumpproctor says:

    ME: “At least he earned his money legally.”

    Oh, and about that. Well, let’s start with a $200M inheritance, which Mr. Brilliant Business man turned into a full time 40 year plus job while losing $8B in the process. Had Trump just invested his inheritance into the stock market that you are so fond of pointing too, and just golfed every day of his life, he would actually be as rich as he has always lied about being.

    So he is where he is by loosing $8B by turning daddy’s money into a full time job, oh, and not to mention favorable bankruptcy laws. How many times has Trump been in bankruptcy? I’ve lost count.

    Then, let’s start looking into the money laundering. You do know that real estate is one of the top, if not the top way to launder money? And the number of accusations against trump for shady business dealings is too big to even list. But, maybe he could clear all that up if he just released his taxes, like he said he would, oh about 100 times. Gee.. another lie, imagine my shock!

  32. trumpproctor says:

    Apparently this is the pecking order:

    Trump: *Overtly racist statement*

    CNN: Trump’s a racist.
    MSNBC: Trump’s always been a racist.
    NYT: Is the President a racist? Coal miners don’t think so.
    WSJ: Dude. You’re not making this easy for us.
    Daily Stormer, Brietbart, Infowars: We love our racist!
    Fox, ME: Hillary is the real racist.

  33. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “[Not to mention that in his first year, he’s golfed more than Tiger Woods.]

    A devastating critique. I’m at a loss for a reply.”

    I guess you failed to comprehend the point that it isn’t strictly about Trump golfing more than Tiger Woods, it’s that he constantly criticized Obama for golfing occasionally, made a bold face lie that as president he would be too busy golfing, and then turns around and golfs 10X more than Obama, while fleecing the american tax payer while doing so because he owns the courses.

    I suppose it never dawns on Trump worshipers that if their local mayor were to be going away to some resort every weekend and pocketing the taxpayer money from the trip (not just for themselves but for all their entourage of staff/security/etc.) because they owned the resort, they would get out torches and pitchforks. But for some reason they give Trump a pass. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  34. trumpproctor says:

    ME: “At least he earned his money legally.”

    Oh, I forgot to mention the whole Trump University fraud…

  35. michaelegnor says:

    [Apparently this is the pecking order:

    Trump: *Overtly racist statement*

    CNN: Trump’s a racist.
    MSNBC: Trump’s always been a racist.
    NYT: Is the President a racist? Coal miners don’t think so.
    WSJ: Dude. You’re not making this easy for us.
    Daily Stormer, Brietbart, Infowars: We love our racist!
    Fox, ME: Hillary is the real racist.]

    That’s spelled raaaaaacist!!!

    Definition of “racist”: what you are when you’re winning an argument with a leftist.

  36. michaelegnor says:

    [What’s your source for all this? Fox Propoganda? Brietbart? Infowars? I guess we now see where ME get’s his information from.]

    Which if these is untrue:

    “Not like Felonia Von Pantsuit…

    1) who made hundreds of millions
    2) and then deleted 30,000 emails relevant to how she made hundreds of millions.
    3) What exactly were those foreign governments and potentates paying for, when she was Secretary of State and amassing all that fortune?”

    What, exactly, were all of those governments and people paying millions of dollars for?

  37. michaelegnor says:

    Then there’s the problem of Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills lying to the FBI about Hillary’s secret unsecure server, and they were never charged (unlike Mike Flynn, who lied about much less and is now a felon).

    And the problem of Hillary’s folks smashing cell phones with hammers after they were subpoenaed by Congress, or using Bleachbit to erase hard drives.

    Lecture me all you want about corruption, Hillary devotee. It just makes me laugh.

  38. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “Lecture me all you want about corruption, Hillary devotee. It just makes me laugh.”

    Hmm, funny, I haven’t mentioned a single thing about Hillary. That’s what you Trump worshipers do:

    1) It’s a total lie, never happened, fake news.

    2) It happened, but it’s not a big deal.

    3) Ok, it might be a big deal, but it isn’t illegal

    4) Ok, it’s illegal, but Hillary and Obama something something, so it’s ok.

    5) Get over it, libturd, you’re just a sore loser.

  39. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “1) who made hundreds of millions
    2) and then deleted 30,000 emails relevant to how she made hundreds of millions.
    3) What exactly were those foreign governments and potentates paying for, when she was Secretary of State and amassing all that fortune?”

    I didn’t ask for you to repeat your questions, I asked what your sources for this are?

  40. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “Definition of “racist”: what you are when you’re winning an argument with a leftist.”

    It’s so adorable that you think you’re winning anything. RMAOLOL

  41. michaelegnor says:

    [I asked what your sources for this are?]

    So you have no other reply to my list of widely known facts, other than to demand my sources?

    Pitiful.

  42. bachfiend says:

    Trump has dirty Russian money stuck to his hands. My source is the recently published book ‘Collusion’ by Luke Harding.

    Russia isn’t a normal state. It’s a Russian Mafia controlled state run by criminals. Trump was a long term investment which has unfortunately succeeded for the Russians big time.

    In 2004, Trump paid $41 million for a Florida mansion. In 2008, he sold it to a Russian oligarch with ties to Putin for $95 million. Why?

    In 2008 he was in default to Deutsche Bank for commercial loans he had personally guaranteed. He actually had the nerve to sue Deutsche Bank arguing that it was responsible partly for the GFC and hence he didn’t actually owe it any money.

    Despite Trump having problems with Deutsche Bank, it (or rather its private wealth division) lent money to him again in 2010. At about the same time that Deutsche Bank was laundering Russian money. The theory is that Trump is borrowing around $300 million in Russian money via Deutsche Bank in order to remain solvent.

  43. trumpproctor says:

    Bachfiend: “In 2004, Trump paid $41 million for a Florida mansion. In 2008, he sold it to a Russian oligarch with ties to Putin for $95 million. Why?”

    Because it’s OBVIOUS that a $41 million mansion would double in price in less than 4 years w/o Trump doing nothing to the property. Right? *eyes roll*

  44. BillyJoe7 says:

    I think the comments must be in a parallel universe.

    I read the topic header again…yes it’s definitely about Oprah Winfrey…I read all 33comments again….nope, not a single mention of the name Oprah Winfrey…oh but there’s about a thousand mentions of some dude called Trump…but wasn’t he just a foil here?…hmmm…

    Well, at least she’s now in the comments at last.

  45. michaelegnor says:

    “In 2004, Trump paid $41 million for a Florida mansion. In 2008, he sold it to a Russian oligarch with ties to Putin for $95 million. Why?”

    It was the RUSSIANS!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. BillyJoe7 says:

    …sorry, 34 comments!

  47. michaelegnor says:

    [not a single mention of the name Oprah Winfrey]

    Oprah’d be a terrible president, because she’s a libtard.

    So there.

  48. bachfiend says:

    Michael ‘Duck’ Egnor,

    Yes, it was the Russians. Aren’t you paying attention? Or perhaps there’s something wrong with your ‘immaterial mind.’

    You seem to have dropped out of the ‘astrology’ thread after your blunder with the ‘no intellectual seizures.’

  49. trumpproctor says:

    ME: “Oprah’d be a terrible president, because she’s a libtard.”

    No, she would be no better than Trump, not because she’s a “libtard” but because she peddles many of the same pseudoscience bullshit that you do. Surprised you don’t actually like her.

  50. michaelegnor says:

    [because she peddles many of the same pseudoscience bullshit that you do.]

    Which?

  51. BillyJoe7 says:

    SN: “Oprah…rousing speech at the Golden Globes”

    Yes good, but nearly bad. She very early failed to mention 50% of the population. I was waiting…waiting…waiting…and very relieved when she scraped home. Unfortunately MeToo is turning into “mass hysteria” and a “witch hunt” (or as someone said, a “wizard hunt”).
    The pendulum always swings too far.

    The most recent victim of the “wizard hunt” being Aziz Ansari, whose date was debating with herself the next morning as to whether the night before was just bad sex or sexual assault and, after texting back and forth between her friends, decided it was sexual assault.
    Before long, it will be “never be in a room alone with a woman”.

    Anyway, as for her presidential aspirations, I’m pretty sure she won’t.
    She’s not a complete fool like that foil I mentioned before.

  52. michaelegnor says:

    [Unfortunately MeToo is turning into “mass hysteria” and a “witch hunt” (or as someone said, a “wizard hunt”). The pendulum always swings too far.]

    Agreed. It will go too far, as it has on college campuses.

    That said, much of what has been revealed is criminal–rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure. Mixed with coercion and blackmail. Many of these men belong in prison. If they did any of that sh*t to my daughters I’d want to kill them.

    Also guilty are women (and men) who knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it,or actually went along with it. Most of Hollywood and much of the media fall into that category. Scum.

  53. michaelegnor says:

    That collaborating scum would include Oprah.

  54. jospf says:

    Ooops, looked at the comments.

  55. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME: “Oprah’d be a terrible president, because she’s a libtard”

    Says more about you.

    No, the reason she’d be a terrible president is that she relies on intiution rather than reason, as evidenced by her promotion of:

    – Shirley MacLaine
    – Marianne Wiliamson
    – Deepak Chopra
    – Jennifer McCarthy
    – Mehmet Oz
    – Rhonda Byrne

  56. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “So you have no other reply to my list of widely known facts, other than to demand my sources?”

    So pitiful that you sprout far right conspiracy theories that you CLAIM are “widely known facts” then won’t source your far right conspiracy theory sources. Hmmmm.

    Yes, there are deleted emails in question. However, if you look at the facts and not far right conspiracy theories, those emails were scheduled for deletion (following protocols already in place) months before any subpoena for information from the FBI. An employee deleted them (following protocols) when realized they hadn’t been deleted months prior. This was investigated and no evidence was found that the emails were deleted deliberately.

    Unlike you, IF there is wrongdoing, I DO want to know about it. I don’t think anyone is above the law. Trump, Obama, Hillary, or even the local school board. But right now, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing. Only far right conspiracy theories.

    However, you and your Trump worshipers blindly keep spouting these conspiracy theories that there MUST be something there, or those emails wouldn’t have been deleted (despite it being protocol that those were to be deleted), but you turn a blind eye to EVERYTHING that Trump does. Your logic about Hillary should demand that you also look at Trump saying that he will release his taxes (multiple times) but then doesn’t. Your own logic that you use against Hillary should make you question if he’s hiding something. Then when he stops logging visitors to the white house and to Mar-$-lago so that we, his EMPLOYER, doesn’t know who he’s seeing, YOUR OWN LOGIC should question if he’s hiding something. Then when he has a meeting with two Russian diplomats with no one else present, YOUR OWN LOGIC should question if he’s hiding something. Then when he has a private meeting with Putin, with no one else present, YOUR OWN LOGIC should question if he’s hiding something.

    Then you spouse that his “Muslim ban” is keeping us safe. Yet is was so hastily thrown together, it’s like he didn’t know what he was doing or didn’t consult any other department. By golly, he didn’t know what he was doing nor did he consult anyone. And you had ridiculous scenario like flight crews that were IN AIR and on their way to the US that had to be diverted because of one of the crew came from one of those countries (doesn’t matter they’ve been living legally in the US for years) and that’s just ONE of the hundreds of crazy things his poorly thrown together ban caused. But then even more so is the three countries NOT on the ban (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey) are actually the places where terrorist have come from, not any of the countries that were on his ban. Hmm.. why those three countries not on the ban list? I thought it was about making us safe? Oh.. that’s right, those are the three countries that Trump personally does business with!! Imagine my shock… didn’t see that coming. But you criticize everyone else, yet the only 4-D chess Trump is playing is fooling you and the rest of his worshipers.

    Your hypocrisy is so thick I couldn’t cut it with a chainsaw.

  57. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    Oh look.. we can play that game too.

    It’s Malenia with a sexual predator, and look, Weinstein is there too:

    http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/171009110559-harvey-weinstein-donald-trump-2009-super-tease.jpg

  58. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME;

    “That said, much of what has been revealed is criminal–rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure. Mixed with coercion and blackmail. Many of these men belong in prison”

    The problem is that it is either black or white. You’re either totally innocent, or you’re as guilty as the worst offender. And it’s trial by the media and public opinion. A mere accusation is enough to kill the alleged perpetrator professionally and socially. It’s going the way of the Salem witch hunts and satanic cult hysteria. The sort of society that this will lead to is good neither for men nor women.

    “Also guilty are women (and men) who knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it,or actually went along with it. Most of Hollywood and much of the media fall into that category.”

    The female victims didn’t speak up because they feared not being believed, and they feared losing careers or potential careers. Those who knew about it also didn’t speak up for the same reasons. It would have taken a really brave individual to speak up back then. I’m not going to condemn them. And the media are always late to the party and, of course, they needed brave individuals to speak up. Now the media is aiding and abetting the hysteria and witch hunts.
    Seems we just can’t get it right.

  59. michaelegnor says:

    [An employee deleted them (following protocols) when realized they hadn’t been deleted months prior. This was investigated and no evidence was found that the emails were deleted deliberately.]

    That’s right. Nothing says “innocently deleted” like BleachBit.

    [But right now, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing. Only far right conspiracy theories.]

    Hillary’s Blackberries, under subpoena, were destroyed with hammers.

    [This was investigated and no evidence was found…]

    … by FBI honcho Strozk and his mistress, both Hillary-loving Trump-haters. Strozk was the one who revised Comey’s exoneration memo months before the investigation was completed to ensure that it did not contain phrases that implied criminality. Strozk “interviewed” Hillary off the record, without any recording of the interview, and cleared her. Several months after the memo clearing her was written.

    [Then when he has a meeting with two Russian diplomats with no one else present… Then when he has a private meeting with Putin, with no one else present…]

    RUUUUSIANS!!!!

    Actually, I do remember a serendipitously recorded agreement between the American President and the Russian President to influence the presidential election:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9167332/Barack-Obama-microphone-gaffe-Ill-have-more-flexibility-after-election.html

    Money quote:

    Mr Obama says: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”
    Mr Medvedev replies: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you …”
    Mr Obama retorts: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
    And Mr Medvedev finishes: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin].”

    Russian “space” was needed for Obama to ensure his re-election.

    [Then you spouse that his “Muslim ban” is keeping us safe. Yet is was so hastily thrown together, it’s like he didn’t know what he was doing or didn’t consult any other department. By golly, he didn’t know what he was doing nor did he consult anyone.]

    The countries Trump chose were the ones Obama identified as lacking sufficient governmental authority to vet immigrants.

  60. michaelegnor says:

    [The problem is that it is either black or white. You’re either totally innocent, or you’re as guilty as the worst offender. And it’s trial by the media and public opinion. A mere accusation is enough to kill the alleged perpetrator professionally and socially. It’s going the way of the Salem witch hunts and satanic cult hysteria. The sort of society that this will lead to is good neither for men nor women.]

    I agree. It’s nasty, and procedurally unfair. But I don’t have much sympathy for the men so far who have been implicated: from what I can see, they deserve much worse than they’re getting.

    [The female victims didn’t speak up because they feared not being believed, and they feared losing careers or potential careers. Those who knew about it also didn’t speak up for the same reasons. It would have taken a really brave individual to speak up back then. I’m not going to condemn them. Seems we just can’t get it right.]

    Obviously some women faced career threats if they spoke up. But this is what they did: in the interest of their own careers, money, fame, etc they enabled innocent young women (and men) to be assaulted, raped and blackmailed.

    I condemn them. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.

    Note the irony that many of these Hollywood enablers were busy saving the planet, protecting the seals, and hawking their favorite b.s. political cause, publicly posturing as courageous fighters against injustice and for the defenseless, all the while they were protecting Harvey Weinstein et al and leaving unsuspecting young women at their mercy.

    Makes me want to vomit.

  61. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    The more you talk the more you show you see conspiracy theories everywhere when it’s the “other side”, but you dismiss blatant things about Trump that’s right in front of you.

    I repeatedly have shown you some of Trump’s blatant lies. This isn’t “putting a spin on something” or “stretching the truth”, and the information isn’t coming out of far left talking heads. It’s coming straight out of Trump’s mouth. Hell, he even BRAGS about lying. He said in the Art of the Deal “Lie three times and they’ll believe you. Sell someone a fantasy and then close the deal”. He repeats this many times, practically boasting about lying. Hell, under deposition during a lawsuit, Trump’s own lawyers stated they would not even speak to him without a recorder due to his constant lying. Yet this is somehow Ok with you? If you don’t hold Trump to the same standard that you are trying to impose on “the other side” and don’t care about his blatant and continuous lying, this is just further evidence that you simply do not care what is actually true or not.

    Not that we didn’t already know this about you.

  62. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “I condemn them. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.”

    Then do you condemn the pussy-grabber-in-chief?

  63. michaelegnor says:

    tp:

    Trump is no moral paragon. But there’s a difference between a narcissistic New York real estate tycoon with a flair for self-promotion and a felon who runs a crime syndicate.

    Trump is a character, sometimes lies, and is an obvious narcissist. I see no reason to believe he is a criminal, and as president, he’s done a remarkably good job. I really like that he speaks plainly: for example, most people, if you ask them to be candid, would describe many of the countries from which these immigrants are fleeing as ‘sh*tholes’.

    Clinton is a criminal. She (along with her “husband”) runs a crime syndicate called the Clinton Foundation, which exists only to launder money given to her in order to buy political favors and influence. She did this while she was Secretary of State, which is despicable. She is corrupt to the bone.

    There is a difference between the candidates in this last election.

  64. michaelegnor says:

    [Then do you condemn the pussy-grabber-in-chief?]

    If he assaulted women, he should be prosecuted.

  65. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “Clinton is a criminal. She (along with her “husband”) runs a crime syndicate called the Clinton Foundation, which exists only to launder money given to her in order to buy political favors and influence. She did this while she was Secretary of State, which is despicable. She is corrupt to the bone.”

    Yea, according to far right conspiracy sources that also believe they are running a child sex ring in the non-existent basement of a DC pizza joint.

    Listen, I don’t care about Hillary Clinton, it’s you and other Trump worshipers who can’t defend Trump who keep bringing her up.

  66. michaelegnor says:

    [Listen, I don’t care about Hillary Clinton]

    I do. Elections are choices. Trump was way down my list as a choice. But he was infinitely better than felonia von pantsuit, and we do have to make choices.

    This debate is really less about Trump and Clinton than it is about the people who voted for them. ‘

    Clinton voters/supporters have no standing whatsoever to condemn dishonesty, sleaze, criminality etc.

    Trump is a very imperfect man, although I suspect that he is a more decent person than his public persona would imply (I know people who have dealt with him, and they say he’s a lot better person than his public persona).

    Whatever, I didn’t vote for him to be pope. As president, he’s doing a damn good job, despite astonishing slander and viciousness from his haters.

  67. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME,

    “Withdrawn from the fraudulent Paris climate accord”

    Because, like yourself, he is a climate denier.
    More recent evidence for climate change to add to the already overwhelmingly undeniable evidence:

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/australia-green-sea-turtles-turning-female-climate-change-raine-island-sex-temperature/

    According to the article, the female to male sex ratio of the green turtle along the Northern Great Barrier Reef, was 6:1 in the 1970s and 1980s, and is now 116:1. The eggs hatch in beach sand, and the hotter the sand temperature the more likely they are to hatch as females. Also rising sea levels is drowning nesting sites, and erosion due to rising sea levels is creating cliffs that defeat the turtles. Both are reducing populations of sea turtles

  68. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “If he assaulted women, he should be prosecuted.”

    Then let’s prosecute him, he ADMITTED this, and has no less than 19 accusers and counting. Oh, not to mention bragging about walking in on naked teenage girls during the Miss Teen USA pageants on purpose.

    And now more reports coming out about paying hush money to porn stars to keep his affairs with them secret. I don’t know if there’s enough evidence to say for certain these are true yet, and if consensual, I’m not saying they are assault, but gee, what a swell guy considering the first claim would have happened right after him and Melania had their child. Again, I’m waiting to see more evidence come out, but Bannon was quoted as saying there could be over 100 women Trump’s lawyers “took care of”. Would be real interesting if true to see where the hush money came from… hmm… from the campaign pledges? Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

    But none the less, going to love to see how the conservative religious right is going to spin these. I’m sure it will start out as “fake news”, but if more evidence comes out, this is going to be fun to see another example of motivated reasoning in real time. Trump and his followers have given us countless examples of this.

  69. Willy says:

    Dr. Egnor is incapable of defending the pussy-grabber-in chief, old “two scoops, bone spurs Donnie”. Instead, he needs to stoop to “but Hillary”. Hey Doc, what do you think of Trump’s understanding of health care? It’s pathetic that you are happy with this man in charge of anything beyond deciding what goes into a taco bowl in the Trump Tower tourist rip-off “restaurant. Are you so unaware that you too think a taco bowl is Mexican food? Areya a big fan of KFC and Big Macs? Areya a germophobe?

    Here’s a clue, Doc–Hillary is history. We’re now stuck with a POTUS who is utterly clueless about anything beyond his own self glory. Get a clue. Or did you too spend the tough Viet Nam years avoiding STDs?

  70. michaelegnor says:

    [Then let’s prosecute him, he ADMITTED this, and has no less than 19 accusers and counting.]

    Seems like there’s quite a payday for women willing to claim that Trump accosted them.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/15/attorney-lisa-bloom-sought-to-line-up-paydays-for-women-accusing-trump-sexual-misconduct-report.html

    If they have a case, bring it to the police.

  71. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “(I know people who have dealt with him, and they say he’s a lot better person than his public persona).”

    Delt with him in what way? Anyone can come accross as a decent person if you only meet them for 5 minutes.

    Let’s look at what some of his acquaintances have said about him:

    Jared Kushner: “He (Trump) doesn’t really believe the birther conspiracy. He just says it because he knows republicans are stupid and will believe it”.

    Tony Schwartz: “If I were writing the Art of the Deal today, i would call it “The Sociopath”. I put lipstick on a pig”

    H.R. McMaster: “Trump is an idiot and a dope with the intelligence of a kindergartner”

    Rex Tillerson: “Trump is a fucking moron”

    Mitt Romeny: “Trump is a phony and a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University”

  72. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    Fox “news” is a laugh.. it’s simply nothing but Trump ass kissing propaganda. Shep Smith is the only person Fox has that can even marginally be considered “news”. Fox is such propoganda that when they can’t defend Trump, they simply resort back to the Obama/Hillary hate porn they had been pushing for the 8 years prior.

  73. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME,

    “Obviously some women faced career threats if they spoke up. But this is what they did: in the interest of their own careers, money, fame, etc they enabled innocent young women (and men) to be assaulted, raped and blackmailed….I condemn them. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard”

    You are being unreasonable.

    It was not only the threat to their careers, it was also the fear that they would not be believed, or that they would be blamed for what happened thereby becoming victims all over again. Some actresses did, in fact, report these incidents to their management companies and got no support whatsoever and were told that they probably misinterpreted what happened. I don’t condemn them. And you can’t condemn without full and complete knowledge of their individual circumstances.

    With your unreasonableness, you actually risk making the victims a third time.

  74. michaelegnor says:

    BJ:

    Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Staying silent is complicity.

  75. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME: “If they have a case, bring it to the police”

    Have to agree with this.
    Due process, not conviction and professional death by media and public opinion.
    And no personal injury lawyers till there is a conviction.

  76. michaelegnor says:

    [Get a clue. Or did you too spend the tough Viet Nam years avoiding STDs?]

    I enlisted in the Army at 17 in August 1973. Missed Vietnam (we stopped sending troops when I finished basic). Was a medic in the 82nd Airborne until 76. Went to college on the GI bill. Never got STD’s, but got a bad case of fungus from the swamp at Camp Lejeune on maneuvers with the Marines.

    I never said Trump was a military hero. Just that he’s not so bad, and doing a fine job as president.

  77. trumpproctor says:

    ME:

    “I never said Trump was a military hero. Just that he’s not so bad, and doing a fine job as president.”

    Some of his idiocy must be rubbing off the shine for you, because that’s a LOT tamer than previous threads where you claimed he was a 4-D Chess playing mastermind. LOL

  78. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME,

    “Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Staying silent is complicity”

    Just being a victim of sexual assault is hard.

    And no-one stays silent about sexual assault And this applies to all those who were victims of sexual assault by Catholic priests over many decades. It’s just that they have met with sufficient resistance from those they have told to put their already damaged egos into self-preservation mode.

    You are blaming the victim all over again.

  79. BillyJoe7 says:

    ME,

    “I enlisted in the Army at 17 in August 1973. Missed Vietnam (we stopped sending troops when I finished basic). Was a medic in the 82nd Airborne until 76. Went to college on the GI bill. Never got STD’s, but got a bad case of fungus from the swamp at Camp Lejeune on maneuvers with the Marines”

    I would have been more impressed if you had been a conscientious objector and gone to jail.
    Just saying.

  80. michaelegnor says:

    [you claimed he was a 4-D Chess playing mastermind. LOL]

    He beat 17 opponents in the primaries, beat the Clinton machine, destroyed the Bush dynasty. Beat the MSM and is radically reinventing the Republican party. He is becoming the most transformative American politician since FDR. American politics will never be the same.

    Much of his misbehavior is trolling– he’s getting you to respond, to jump to whatever he wants you to jump to. He is like a man playing laser tag with a cat. He makes you (and his enemies) jump at nonsense, and you look foolish.

    His “sh*thole” comment is a good example. I’m not so sure he actually said it, but he clearly meant it and must have said something like it. Now every sane person knows that most of these countries from which these teeming masses flee are in fact sh*tholes. That’s why they’re refugees. People aren’t refugees from prosperous happy stable countries.

    After the storm dies down, Americans will remember that Trump told the truth, that he said out loud what everybody knows is the truth. He has also reinforced, in a very effective way, that he is serious about protecting America from unfettered immigration. He has also made his political enemies side with the sh*thole countries, and make them excuses for them.

    4D chess.

  81. michaelegnor says:

    [I would have been more impressed if you had been a conscientious objector and gone to jail.]

    I was a conscientious objector. I objected to communist tyranny, and did my conscientious duty. And I wasn’t interested in impressing you anyway, in case you didn’t notice.

  82. michaelegnor says:

    [I would have been more impressed if you had been a conscientious objector and gone to jail.]

    There were two types of “conscientious objectors” during Vietnam. I knew both types.

    One type volunteered to be a combat medic–to go into combat to save lives in a war they believed was unjust.

    The other type refused to risk their own skin to save lives, and fled the country.

    As I said, I wasn’t a conscientious objector. I thought (and still think) that our participation in the war was just (although perhaps not prudent). Communism is a horrendous tyranny, no less than Nazism.

    A genuinely moral conscientious objector is willing to risk his own life to save lives, even if the war is unjust. Desmond Doss is an example.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacksaw_Ridge

  83. michaelegnor says:

    bj:

    [You are blaming the victim all over again.]

    I’m not referring mainly to victims about assault. i’m referring to people who obviously knew, but refused to speak up in order to protect their status. Merrill Streep and Oprah Winfrey come to mind, among countless others.

    As far as victims go, I understand that their position is difficult, but I still condemn silence, because it means that others will be victimized.

    Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.

  84. michaelegnor says:

    bj:

    Imagine that you are a victim. That Harvey Weinstein raped you as a precondition for your getting a part in a movie. You don’t want to speak up–go to the police or whatever–because you would damage your career, perhaps terminally.

    Then for the rest of your life, you know that young women just like you are going to be going through what you went through, just so you can have success and fame and money.

    That’s not moral.

  85. Michael – as is typical of you, you entirely missed the point of this article and overlayed what you wanted to see and talk about. I was very clear that this is NOT about politics. It is not about Trump’s party affiliation, or his ideological views. It is about his process, his attitude toward expertise, knowledge, and how it applies to the presidency. That is how I could make an analogy to Oprah, who is ideologically pretty much opposite to him.

    Despite the fact that I made it very clear that is what I was writing about, you criticized the article for not being what you wanted it to be about. Then you listed a bunch of partisan ideological moves that Trump has made and subjectively labeled them as “accomplishments.”

  86. ME – You are shockingly ignorant of the topic of the Weinstein abuses, and your opinion reflects that. While I certainly admire the courage of anyone who would speak out at the risk of their own career, it is hard to condemn those who did not, if you understand the situation.

    The system was rigged against these women. Weinstein had the power and money to defend himself, to destroy the reputations of those who did speak out, to cast doubt on their character, and to ruin them. He was also enabled by the system – the companies who looked the other way, or minimized his conduct, made excuses, etc.

    So the hypothetical woman you are so quick to morally criticize felt powerless. She had a reason to conclude that openly accusing Weinstein would not have protected other women, only ruined herself. So what they did instead was go underground and warn women away from him (and other abusers) with a whisper campaign.

    The metoo movement has caused a cultural shift, however. It recognizes that the system is broken, and the only way to change it is for lots of women to go public. Now we have to shift into a phase where we figure out how to fix the system, so that metoo becomes unnecessary.

    If you have any desire to enlighten yourself, here is a good and balanced article by Margaret Atwood on the topic: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/opinion/am-i-a-bad-feminist/article37591823/

  87. michaelegnor says:

    Steven,

    Regarding Trump, there is much to say about his personality, some of it good, some of it not. But the vast majority of criticism of him from the right and the left is about his personality, not about his policies. And even when his policies are criticized, it is usually in the context of “he’s such a bully/imbecile, look what he did!”

    His personality is a mixed bag. I think that he is that rare politician who is a better person than he appears to be. His family is admirable in many ways (despite the divorces). His kids seem, all things considered, like decent people. If I were their father, I’d be proud of them. His employees seem loyal and reasonably happy. He’s a New York real estate tycoon, so he necessarily skirts the edge at times on business propriety, but he has (to my knowledge) committed no crimes or moral outrages in his business affairs.

    He is obviously a narcissist, and has a thin filter between his id and his tongue. I didn’t support him at first–I thought he was a joke, at best. But as I listened to his speeches and got to know him, I realized that I agreed with nearly all that he said, and I admired his candor and unwillingness to bow to political correctness. Also, I liked the fact that he was willing to fight–he gave as good as he got. I became a supporter.

    I understand that you only intended to analyze his personality in order to compare him to Oprah. But your analysis falls far short of the man–you sound like something the DNC or CNN (the same thing) would put out.

    Regarding the Harvey Weinstein stuff, I don’t have such a sanguine view of women and men who knew and were silent. Women who were assaulted by him could have gone to the police. Weinstein was powerful, but so are police and DA’s, and an accusation of rape or sexual assault is taken very seriously.

    I understand that some women were in difficult positions: they wanted careers and fame and money, and honesty about Weinstein was an impediment to that goal. So on one hand, outing Weinstein risked their personal prosperity. On the other hand, outing Weinstein served justice, truth and protected other innocent women. The moral choice there is obvious.

    Then there are the men and women who were not victims, and who were powerful enough to speak the truth and probably retain their careers– Streep and Oprah come to mind, but there are many many others. They are execrable. What cowards. They are complicit in what Weinstein and others like him did to innocent people.

    A deeper question is: why have we as a culture ceded moral credibility to Hollywood, the media, politicians and such? People driving cabs and sweeping floors have more moral probity. We are a sick culture.

  88. michaelegnor says:

    If you want a genuinely perceptive analysis of Trump and of his policies, here’s one:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455453/president-trump-undoes-obama-legacy-commonsense-nobama

  89. Willy says:

    Said Dr. Egnor: “We’re taking our country back. If you take Trump down, through lies/impeachment/25th amendment, there will be civil war.”

    Let’s all enjoy the image of Dr. Egnor in full camo carrying a gun through the streets. It just seems so…plausible, doesn’t it? LOL

    Doc, there are no “lies” about Trump; there is only a reality about his buffoonishness and total ignorance that you can’t, or won’t, recognize. This really isn’t about his awful personality; it’s about his deep ignorance and his unwillingness to learn. There will be no impeachment unless Meuller reveals crimes. There will be no 25th amendment “coup”. Does Fox tell you that these things are in the cards?

    You do know, deep down, what a buffoon Trump is. That’s why you don’t even attempt to address his idiotic remarks on healthcare and “nuclear”. There is no defense, is there, Doc?

    Finally, Dr. Novella notes that you have once again derailed a thread with an irrelevant side issue. You could have gleefully joined in on this topic, railed against our celebrity culture and noted that Oprah is indeed unqualified. But no, you did as you always do. You jumped into a thread and did what you always do—divert it to discussions of Thomism, or “fraudulent science”, or your political views. By the way, I’d bet almost everyone here agrees 100% that our culture IS shallow and that that is a sad fact. One difference between us and you is that we recognize the election of Trump as a reflection of that shallowness; you cannot see that Trump is exactly that. He’s a tabloid giant brought to life by people who can’t see what a huckster he is—I offer The Apprentice, countless tabloid headlines about infidelities, numerous appearances on the that Howard Stern Show (bragging that Ivanka’s “parts” are real), and his numerous business failures and thousands of lawsuits as evidence.

  90. PunctureKit says:

    Far better if Trump is not impeached. If successful, this only means MP as president. He has all the execrable ideology with an at least plausible credential as a politician. A dire mix indeed. Better that Trump stands for reelection and gets beaten, and preferably NOT by a fellow celebrity. No bleating about plots and libtard stitch ups then. Thereafter any wrongdoing would be dealt with through the criminal courts. It just needs a credible opponent who can mobilize the vast constituencies who are being screwed by the GOP, and who see the irreversible damage Trump does to the reputation of America and its presidency.

  91. michaelegnor says:

    [Far better if Trump is not impeached…Better that Trump stands for reelection and gets beaten]

    Fine. That’s how democracy works. What is being proposed now about Trump–that he be impeached (for what?) or removed via Article 25 is just a coup.

  92. michaelegnor says:

    On a related note, the Dow is up 8000 points (that’s 8 with three zeros) since Trump’s election.

    http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/16/investing/dow-26000-stocks-wall-street/index.html

  93. Willy says:

    The Dow is up 8,000 points and it’s ALL because of Trump! LOL

    Are you going to give Clinton credit for the boom of the 90s? What are you going to say–who will you blame–when the market crashes?

    You know Doc, you are just as much a biased, blinded SJW as the “libtards”, “femi-nazis”, and “eco-terrorists” as they are. My way or the highway, right?

    I don’t think you have an objective bone in your body. Doc Egnor, who believes the Inquisition didn’t go far enough. Good grief.

  94. DrNick says:

    “If you want a genuinely perceptive analysis of Trump and of his policies, here’s one:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455453/president-trump-undoes-obama-legacy-commonsense-nobama

    Missing from that article is a single mention of ANY actual policy achievement by the Trump administration. Not one! It’s one long screed of white christian conservative culture war identity politics utterly devoid of any substance. Just like your posts, really.

    “On a related note, the Dow is up 8000 points (that’s 8 with three zeros) since Trump’s election.”

    That’s great, so the economic trends of the last 7 years of the Obama administration are continuing. The stock market is growing at roughly the same the first year under Trump as it did the final year under Obama.

    Even if presidents had any control or real influence over the stock market (they don’t), and even if the Dow were a remotely useful indicator of the overall health of the economy (it’s not), you think a key achievement of Trump’s presidency is that the economic trends of Obama’s 2nd term have continued uninterrupted? And you wonder why no one here takes you seriously.

  95. Willy says:

    “Fine. That’s how democracy works. What is being proposed now about Trump–that he be impeached (for what?) or removed via Article 25 is just a coup.”

    They said the same crap about Obama for eight years, Doc. It’s all a political sideshow with no basis in reality at this point. There is no serious attempt to stage these “coups” you claim to see. Can’t you distinguish empty noise when you hear it?

    I notice you ducked most of the points recently raised–as you always do.

    BTW, we live in a republic, not a democracy.

  96. MosBen says:

    The thing is, there are legitimate applications of impeachment and invoking the 25th Amendment. We don’t know what Mueller’s investigation has uncovered, but it very well may have found evidence which warrants impeachment. What warrants impeachment is a thorny constitutional issue, but there’s a reasonable argument that the founders intended the bar to be lower than people today consider it to be. And to the extent that they have built a case for obstruction of justice similar to the what Nixon did, then is would also meet the historical use of the impeachment process.

    As for the 25th Amendment, Trump has not been physically incapacitated by a medical emergency, which is generally what people think of when discussing those powers. Nevertheless, it’s not completely unreasonable that a basic inability to perform the functions of the office could be a justification for invoking the 25th Amendment. You’d need to make a really strong case though, because it’d be blazing new territory and would be ripe for political abuse.

    But regardless, it’s extremely unlikely that either of those options will be exercised. A Republican Congress will forgive any number of crimes committed by a member of their own party, but even if Democrats take both Houses after the midterms this fall I would expect that Mueller would need to uncover something pretty extreme in order for them to impeach, or Trump would have to fire Mueller.

  97. trumpproctor says:

    “The Dow is up 8,000 points and it’s ALL because of Trump! LOL

    Are you going to give Clinton credit for the boom of the 90s? What are you going to say–who will you blame–when the market crashes?”

    ME seems to think Trump is a genious because the stock market is up 30%, but as you say it’s just trending what it’s been doing for the past 7 years, and ALL markets world wide are up. But since he won’t comment on it, ME must think that the 250% the market was up under Obama is “fake news”. Not to mention that Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that the “real” unemployment number is more like 40% but the minute he takes office, then the 4.something% is “real”. Another bold face lie.

  98. trumpproctor says:

    Trump’s MO is “I can lie faster than you can fact check”. An acquaintance of Trump was quoted as saying “He’ll lie to you about the time of day, just for practice”

  99. Willy says:

    My understanding is that Trump has very few real friends aside from his clearly defective family. Now THERE, by the way, is a good lie from Hillary–remember when she said The Donald’s kids seemed fine. Clearly, they are cut from the same cloth as dear old dad–anything for a buck and self-glory.

    I especially love Trump berating companies for going overseas, when his and Ivanka’s clothing/shoe lines are made out-of-country. Trump’s clothing–one of his few apparently successful businesses, unlike:

    Trump Shuttle
    Trump Vodka
    Trump Steaks
    Trump Mortgage
    Trump Taj Mahal
    Trump: The Game
    GoTrump.com
    Trump Water
    Trump Magazine
    Trump U
    The NJ Generals–Trump pretty much single-handedly destroyed the USFL
    Four bankruptcies
    Thousands of lawsuits
    The Polish Brigade

    As Trump once noted, when you owe the banks $1M, you’re in trouble. When you owe the banks hundreds of millions, it’s the banks that are in trouble. He’s a con man through and through.

  100. BillyJoe7 says:

    Michael,

    SN: “If you have any desire to enlighten yourself, here is a good and balanced article by Margaret Atwood on the topic: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/opinion/am-i-a-bad-feminist/article37591823/

    Interesting article from a woman’s perspective.
    Ironically, Margaret Atwood has been “misogynised” by the “anti-mysogynists”. Some unquestioningly and naively support every aspect of MeToo and delight in pulverising anyone who dares to question the obvious, if unintended negative effects of the MeToo movement.
    I don’t know if you read it, so here are the salient points…

    The positive aspects of the MeToo movement:

    “The #MeToo movement is a symptom of a broken legal system. All too frequently, women and other sexual-abuse complainants couldn’t get a fair hearing through institutions – including corporate structures – so they used a new tool: the internet…This has been very effective, and has been seen as a massive wake-up call”

    MeToo was a wake up call to a broken legal system. It wasn’t the victims who were to blame. It was the system that failed them. Complaints were made and ignored and complaints stopped because they were being ignored.
    But what now…

    The negative aspects of the MeToo movement:

    “But what next? The legal system can be fixed, or our society could dispose of it. Institutions, corporations and workplaces can houseclean, or they can expect more cases of guilty because accused….If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers?…In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated”

    I inserted the “guilty because accused” here because the meaning of the phrase she used may not be clear if you haven’t read the article. She used the “guilty because accused” phrase earlier on in the article. And this is exactly what has happened. You are guilty as soon as you are accused. Crucified by the media, especially social media feeding public outrage and moral panic.

    Summary:
    MeToo was a necessary and probably inevitable response to systemic failure within organisations, corporations, and the legal system itself to deal with this issue. But we need to move on from MeToo. The system needs to be reformed from within or without so that is does deal with these issues. We cannot continue to have a situation where you are “guilty because accused”.

    For a more upbeat and even more personal view:

    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/12/06/the-warlock-hunt/

    This is an article by Claire Berlinski. She is the daughter of creationist David Berlinski, and her political position is to the right of centre, but don’t let that prejudice your reading of her article. She shows how the present hysteria and what she calls the “witch wizard hunt” is bad for both men and women in their relationships with each other.

  101. BillyJoe7 says:

    …maybe I’m going off topic here, but it’s certainly more relevant than the Michael Egnor Trump sidetrack!

  102. BillyJoe7 says:

    …and, sorry, I forgot to close a bracket.

  103. civil says:

    My first thought when people started the “Oprah 2020” buzz: “Surgeon General Mehmet Oz? Oh no no no no no.”

  104. michaelegnor says:

    [MeToo was a wake up call to a broken legal system.]

    Not really. What’s noteworthy is how little the legal system is used here. After all, most of the reported incidents are crimes, and many are felonies. None were reported to the police. That includes rapes.

    The legal system is far from perfect, but the massive sexual abuse in Hollywood and elsewhere isn’t caused by a “broken legal system”.

    It is caused by a broken culture, which is the consequence of a loss of traditional morality. In the West, that is Christian morality. What we are experiencing now is the predictable consequence of the Pill, the free love movement of the Sixties, and the abandonment of the belief that sex is for marriage and marriage only.

    We reap what we’ve sown.

  105. michaelegnor says:

    If the legal system is the bulwark you are counting on to protect innocents from sexual assault, you’ve already lost the battle.

    We need a healthier moral climate. And that is a return to Christian morality.

  106. Willy says:

    Are we once again seeing Dr. Egnor turn tail and run? Perhaps tomorrow will tell. One thing is for certain; he WILL NOT defend Trump’s statements on healthcare and “nuclear” because even he knows they are indefensible. Based on several of his recent posts, I’m thinking even he is giving up on the utterly foolish “3-D chess player” meme. Yes, Doc, Trump knows how to grab headlines and fool his followers, but he is still an imbecile. You know that too, dontcha?

  107. BillyJoe7 says:

    Michael,

    “It is caused by a broken culture, which is the consequence of a loss of traditional morality. In the West, that is Christian morality. What we are experiencing now is the predictable consequence of the Pill, the free love movement of the Sixties, and the abandonment of the belief that sex is for marriage and marriage only”

    Actually, that is a broken record.
    In more ways than one.

  108. Willy says:

    “…a broken culture” as epitomized by the election of an empty, vulgar, uncultured man named Donald Trump who is famous for simply being “famous”. A man for whom money and adulation are everything. A man with no principles and no moral compass whatsoever. A man who boasts about gold plumbing and his daughter’s “real” parts.

    Oh, for the good old days, when the peasants barely scraped by while the Church officials lived in relative splendor, along with the corrupt aristocrats they supported. Oh, for the days of burning people at the stake. Whatever have we sown where people reject such high ideals?

  109. michaelegnor says:

    bj:

    Was the Sexual Revolution really liberating?

    After AIDS, STD epidemics, unwed pregnancy epidemic, divorce epidemic, child molestation scandals, campus bacchanalia, kangaroo courts, ubiquitous pornography, and Harvey Weinsteins, it looks like it only liberated bad behavior and bad consequences.

    The Sexual Revolution–“Free Love” (which isn’t love and isn’t free) has been a civilizational nightmare.

    Now we’re going to see the Warlock hunt, with innocent men getting their reputations destroyed along with the guilty. And women will be hurt too, because men will be reluctant to deal with them professionally for fear of being falsely accused.

    The Church warned us. None of this would happen if men and women behaved chastely. Sex outside of marital love is destructive, to souls and to society.

  110. Willy says:

    “Sex outside of marital love is destructive, to souls and to society.”

    Does this apply to the king of philanderers, your hero Trump? You know, the pussy grabber, the serial cheater?

    Gawd, you are a single-minded, blind man.

    I must say that your reference to child molesters is particularly funny.

  111. bachfiend says:

    Michael ‘Duck’ Egnor,

    The 19th century wasn’t exactly an age of sexual probity despite Christianity haven’t much greater influence than now.

    Everything you mention as downsides of the sexual revolution (with the exception of AIDS – and it’s certain when HIV infection entered human communities) were rife before the sexual revolution.

    The difference nowadays is that much more publicity to the things you mention.

  112. thrashmikki says:

    “Collectively the beliefs that she promoted are premised on the notion that we do not have to carefully study the universe with scientific rigor, humility, and critical thinking. We can just feel the answer, listen to our guts, and wish our desires into reality.”

    This illustrates my primary issue with so many people: they “think” with their emotions rather than thinking critically, using reason and logic. The far-left and the far-right (socio-politically) are equally guilty. I’ve spent many years trying to get my college-level science students out of this ridiculously bad habit. Sadly, it is becoming more difficult with time as so many college instructors/professors encourage just the opposite. “Feelings” are more important than facts and truth.

  113. trumpproctor says:

    “Does this apply to the king of philanderers, your hero Trump? You know, the pussy grabber, the serial cheater?”

    Exactly, Egnor trying to state Christian sexual morality while supporting Trump? I thought his hypocrisy was so thick you couldn’t cut it with a chainsaw, now he’s reached heights that we need to create an award.

    Trump, bragging about grabbing women by the pussy (not to mention the time frame he is saying this he was married). Trump, with 3 marriages. Trump who brags about walking in on naked teen girls during the Miss Teen USA agents. BTW..this would get any teacher fired for doing the same thing, and possibly arrested. Apparently Egnor and the far right has higher standards for teachers than he does for the POTUS. Trump who tells a 10 year old girl “I’ll be dating you in 10 years”. Trump who has 19 accusers, thus far, of sexual assault. Trump, who it looks like more and more evidence is coming forward was having an affair with a pornstar (possibly more than one) while married and just having a baby with his wife.

    Sorry Egnor, you and any Trump worshiper’s opinions on sexual morality means absolutely nothing.

    The only 4D Chess Trump is playing is playing you and his worshipers for a fool.

  114. BillyJoe7 says:

    Michael,

    “Was the Sexual Revolution really liberating?”

    What was liberating for me was throwing of the religious straight jacket into which I was born.

  115. bachfiend says:

    The sexual revolution managed to completely bypass me. I was not interested in it.

    What I found liberating about it was that old white males such as the ‘Duck’ lost their control over the rest of us.

    And the old white males didn’t like it, so they voted for characters such as Trump in revenge.

  116. PunctureKit says:

    ME

    Crime and violence are in decline across the world, although gun deaths in America are especially stubborn. (How many more times is an American likely to be murdered by their neighbor than by an Islamist? Anyone?) This decline correlates with, although is not caused by, a rise in secularism. This isn’t consistent with your conservative analysis, a point I’ve made before that you deemed unworthy of comment. How do you account for Iceland, the safest yet most secular nation on earth? It’s OK, I don’t expect a response this time either.

  117. trumpproctor says:

    ” It’s OK, I don’t expect a response this time either.”

    Yea, data that doesn’t fit his agenda or that he can’t defend won’t get a response. Just like saying that states with the tighter gun controls have fewer gun deaths. I’m sure ME would respond “Oh YEA (just like Bob on the SGU), well that can’t possibly be true, just look at Chicago”. This is the typical cherry picked outlier that all gun advocates point to, and they won’t accept the truth that Chicago could outright ban all guns and it wouldn’t make a difference b/c they are a 10 minute drive from Indiana, a state with some of the loosest gun control laws.

    I have some in-laws that have been spoon fed Obama hate porn for 8+ years from the likes of Fox Propaganda, Bill O’reily, Rush Limbaugh, The Drudge Report, etc. So much to the point that they will instantly believe anything negative about Obama/Hillary/Democrats without a hint of skepticism, no matter how ridiculous the claim.

    Obama is a Kenyan born muslim who founded ISIS and is out to destroy our military and convert the US to Islam. Check! And their proof of this? Because of a claim (probably seen on Facebook) that Obama has never flown on an airplane with the family dog, Muslims won’t fly on a plane with a dog. Both of those statements could not be more false. Muslims could care less about if their is a dog on a plane with them, AND Obama has flown with their family dog multiple times. But even correcting these false claims, they’ll go right back to parroting them a month later. My father-in-law for 75 years has never felt the need to own a gun (for personal protection), and certainly not carry one on him. Now he has a gun and a concealed carry permit and carries it wherever he is allowed to. He’s so convinced that the Dems are “coming for your guns” (They’re not, just like any rational person, they just want sensible gun laws), that Muslims are out to blow him up, blacks are out to rape his wife and daughter and that gay marriage is the seventh sign of the Apocalypse. All this considering the data that we actually live in the safest time in all of human history.

    How many people have relatives like this or know some people?

    I’m fairly confidence that a large percentage of Trump’s core worshipers have never stepped foot outside of the state that they were born and live in.

    Rationality has left the building.

  118. I agree that our culture could use a healthier moral climate. I also would agree that there is much in (true) Christian morality that is valuable. Christianity was basically a repackaging of the Greek enlightenment morality, combined with the prevailing mythology of the day and grafted onto some pagan rituals.

    Unfortunately, what passes for mainstream Christianity today focuses way too much on the magic, the hate, the separation, and a childish attempt to feel holier-than-thou. It is not very “Christian.”

    But of course I do not think our morality should be tied to any belief system or tradition. It needs to be based in logic and reason, and we have finely developed moral philosophy as a guide. Secular morality is far superior, in my opinion, to any religion. That won’t stop me, however, from recognizing what is good in Christian (really Greek) morality and incorporating it.

    Regarding the downsides of the sexual revolution – there is always a price for freedom. When people are free to make their own decisions, some will make bad decisions. Usually when the oppressive lid is removed, there is an explosion of bad decisions because people don’t have experience with the new freedom. What we want is not a return of oppression, but a maturity that comes through education, experience, and thoughtfulness. That is the process that has been steadily decreasing crime and essentially all negative social ills over the centuries.

  119. trumpproctor says:

    Steve,

    One of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians is “Without God and the bible where do you get your morals”? Or even where does morality come from AT ALL, without God/Bible/etc.

    My thought is that if the only thing keeping you from raping, killing, murdering, or just trying not to be a dick, is the belief in a 2000+ year old texts written by people who didn’t know where the sun went at night, then by all means, please keep believing in your book.

    For the rest of us, I don’t need wishful, fairytail beliefs to be a decent rational human being. Am I perfect? Of course not. Am I selfish sometimes times? Of course. That’s called “being human”. But why is it so hard to at least consider that morality simply started at some point in the distant past where a group of our ancestors got together and said (paraphrasing here :)) “I would rather not be killed, raped, or have my stuff stolen” and everyone listening said “Hey, that sounds like a revolutionary idea to me”. From there it simply has evolved more or less based on a philosophy of what reduces suffering and causes the least harm. Religions then evolved to co opted these ideas, while trying to take credit for inventing them.

  120. trumpproctor says:

    ME: “And the problem of Hillary’s folks smashing cell phones with hammers after they were subpoenaed by Congress, or using Bleachbit to erase hard drives.

    Lecture me all you want about corruption, Hillary devotee. It just makes me laugh.”

    First you want to roast Hillary for “insecure server”, but then you want to roast her for securely deleting emails. Yes, simply deleting them for you and me and most people are just fine, but you’re roasting her for having a potentially insecure server, but then flip the coin and want to roast her about properly deleting emails in a secure manor. Do you know if that’s the procedure they use to delete ALL emails at all times? Do you know, or do you even care?

    Then when she gets a new cell phone, the previous one is destroyed. What would you have her do? Donate it to be used by someone else? Just toss it in the trash? You would be roasting her for that for NOT destroying her old cell phones for being a security risk..

    You’re trying to have your cake and eat it to, and everyone else can see this but you.

  121. trumpproctor says:

    Steve,

    “I also would agree that there is much in (true) Christian morality that is valuable.”

    Agreed, but another point to consider is that morality is a lot more complicated and grey than the bible that Christian’s profess is the source of morality. Case in point: Thou shalt not murder. If Christians were to actually follow this, they should be explicitly against any and all wars, guns, weapons, military, etc. They are clearly not against this considering the far right conservative Christians seem to own the most number of guns and be the most vocal about blocking any sensible gun control laws. However, their “morality” accepts that it’s ok to kill to protect yourself (or if an accident, or any number of other “grey” involuntary reasons). While this is certainly reasonable, the bible doesn’t allow for these. So they accept the grey areas of morality that we’ve come to follow through secularism and reason, but wanting to keep professing that the bible is the source of morality.

    On a side note: Most Christians do not even know what that actual ten commandments are. They can spew maybe 6 out of 10 of the things that they commonly THINK are the ten commandments. But most haven’t even read the bible, if you keep reading, the actual laws given to Moses on the mountain, written on stone tablets, and called by God “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS” contain such wisdom as “Thou shalt not boil a goat in it’s mother’s milk” and “Thou shalt observe the festival of weeks” and “Thou shalt not use leaven when sacrificing to Yahweh.” Exodus 34:14-27

    Yea..

  122. Willy says:

    Seth Andrews had some good commentary on Oprah in a recent podcast: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/podcast/noprah-2020-the-new-age-nonsense-of-oprah-winfrey

    Dr. Novella’s article again makes obvious the difference between our two doctors. No doubt Oprah’s overall outlook would be closer to Dr. Novella’s outlook (not saying they would even largely be the same) than would Trump’s, but he has the good sense to recognize her serious downsides. Dr. Egnor, OTOH, just can’t escape his tribalism to see the serious flaws in Trump. He is the epitome of a true believer.

  123. bachfiend says:

    Willy,

    Agreed. Another example of Egnor’s tribalism is that on his now defunct blog he often attacked Woodrow Wilson as one of the most progressive American presidents for the nasty things he did as a means of attacking liberals living today.

    Except Wilson wasn’t progressive. He was conservative. He expoused progressive ideas to get elected, and then reverted to form. In my opinion, he was one of the worst American presidents with many of the character flaws of Trump. Except, he had excuses in that he had strokes before becoming president. And during his terms, including a major one at the end which led him to believe that he could win a third term (if the 25th amendment had been in place then, his cabinet would certainly have removed him from office and had it confirmed in Congress).

    There’s a recent book ‘the World Remade’ by GJ Meyer which discusses America in WWI (the companion volume to ‘the World Undone’ by the same author, both of which are very good regarding the history of WWI, the greatest tragedy of the 20th century).

  124. Willy says:

    bach: I ended up not buying “Fire and Fury” because, based on the interviews and excerpts I’ve seen and read, it sounds like it describes to a T the Trump we already know. I did get “Devil’s Bargain” and “Insane Clown President” from the library. Both were good, but I think DB gives more real insight into the election and how Bannon ran a very good campaign. ICP is fun.

    I’ll check out the books you mentioned.

  125. bachfiend says:

    Willy,

    I agree ‘Fire and Fury’ is flawed. But it’s still great fun reading. I’ll look at ‘Devil’s Bargain’ too.

  126. Willy says:

    bach: I didn’t mean to say F&F was flawed; I just heard enough about it that I figured it’d be a VERY fun read, but wouldn’t add to my “understanding” of Trump. It’d just reinforce my very low opinion of him–a shallow husk of a man. I will get it from the library when the hoopla dies down.

    I’m hoping that Melania gets fed up with all of Trump’s dirty laundry being aired and has enough disgust and honor that she’ll speak up and dump him as well.

  127. trumpproctor says:

    “I’m hoping that Melania gets fed up with all of Trump’s dirty laundry being aired and has enough disgust and honor that she’ll speak up and dump him as well.”

    Who knows what’s going to happen in the future, but someday (possibly when Trump is gone, meaning dead), Melania’s tell all book is going to be VERY interesting to say the least. Will she continue to lie and con to save face for her and her children? Or will she say, fuck it, I’m free.. here’s the truth.

    It’s really sad to think that what most of his worshipers know about Trump is from the apprentice, not knowing that each episode there was potentially hours of footage that they edited down to just the best couple minutes of him to not make him look like the imbecile he is. I have only seen a very few episodes of the Apprentice, and I could tell from just the two minutes of “good” footage they would use of him in the episode that he was an asshole and a conman.

  128. bachfiend says:

    Willy,

    I’m about halfway through ‘Devil’s Bargain’ and I’m finding it very good, so far, in a very painful way. It’s not an enjoyable experience. ‘Narrative truth’ instead of ‘factual truth’ seems to apply more to ‘Fire and Fury.’

    I tend to find reading multiple books on the same topic is better than reading one book more than once. ‘Devil’s Bargain’ complements ‘Fire and Fury’ which complements ‘Collusion’ which complements everything else I’ve read about Trump.

    And Egnor’s defence of Trump seems to me increasingly pathetic.

  129. BillyJoe7 says:

    The 7:30 report tonight featured Michael Woolfe who wrote “Fire and Fury”.

    He says the White House is chaotic and Trump is chaotic and he doesn’t want to be there. He says they expected to lose the election and they were making plans as if they were going to lose. They were all flabbergasted to win and were unprepared for their jobs, didn’t want to do their jobs, and weren’t able to do their jobs. He says Trump doesn’t listen to his advisors. He continually talks off topic, drones on and on, and is frequently incoherent. He keeps repeating the same three stories over and over – like every 15 to 30 minutes – in exactly the same way.

    He doesn’t know what he wants to do except he doesn’t want to work much and he just wants to win, to be praised, and to have good press. He just wants everyone to like him but doesn’t actually do anything to win them over. He says Trump does not want to be president and wants to go back to being Donald Trump. The White House is poor rental accommodation for him and would rather be back in his luxuriant apartments. He says that there are no indications that things will change and it will all end in tears.

    How on Earth is he going to last for four years?
    Perhaps he is hoping he will be impeached so he can go out a martyre.
    Perhaps that’s the motive behind all the stupid things he does.

    And to think that Michael Egnor wants to have a civil wall is he is impeached!!

  130. Willy says:

    I’m still chuckling at the thought of Michael in camo, carrying a gun.

  131. Kabbor says:

    He just wants people who share his ideology to kill people who disagree with him. He wouldn’t jeopardize his heaven entry form with murder. Thou shall not allow petty disagreements over domestic policy to escalate to murder or the threat of murder, and all those. Good thing that one isn’t a commandment! Dodged that bullet!

  132. bachfiend says:

    Presidential candidates are given federal funding before the election in order to plan the new administration in case they win. They need to have most of the positions nominally filled so that when they take over on January 20 they can hit the ground running. This includes having the new administrators of departments being briefed on what the department actually does.

    Christie, who was in charge of the transition, had to tell Trump that the funding couldn’t be used for campaigning.

    The transition was so chaotic that vital departments, such as the Department of Energy, set aside considerable time, resources and space to brief the new administrators, and no one turned up.

    You don’t ‘drain the swamp’ by setting in amateurs who have no idea what ‘the swamp’ is.

  133. Willy says:

    Trump is draining the swamp by pumping swamp water, and associated swamp creatures, onto his own boat.

  134. bachfiend says:

    Willy,

    I’ve finished ‘Devil’s Bargain.’ It was very good.

    I’m currently reading PZ Myers’ recommendation ‘Alt America’ by David Neiwert, and I’m enjoying it greatly.

    I wondered when I was reading the checklist of characteristics of Alt America how many Michael Egnor displays. The answer is – all of them.

  135. BillyJoe7 says:

    Of course, PZ Myers has his own problems.

    Like being unable to complete a sentence without swearing, especially in the form of adjectives and nouns thrown at people with whom he disagrees; not listening to what other people are actually saying; rushing to judgement; cherry picking minor errors, amplifying them absurdly, and using that as a basis for dismissing everything the person says, has said, or will ever say; and doing the previous except mistaking his own misinterpretation of what someone has said for errors.

    Most of his commentariat are likewise afflicted and together they form an echo chamber of regressive left ideology and identity politics, by abusing and accusing those with whom they disagree until they leave their cozy little den of back-slappers.

    He does have a couple of good points:
    Apparently in person he is an affable, quietly spoken – speaks through his beard as someone characterised it – humble sort of guy.
    He writes the occasional interesting article on evolutionary biology.

  136. bachfiend says:

    BillyJoe,

    Of course, you have to take the good and bad in any person. There are some things that Steven Novella has written that I disagree with. I don’t necessarily agree with – or take an interest in – everything that’s written on the blogs I regularly read.

    It’s a point that hardnose and Michael Egnor seem to have difficulty in understanding.

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