Saturday, October 31, 2020

Of Enemies and Allies

One of the benefits of being part of Toastmasters is that we get to here so many interesting stories and speeches about a whole range of topics from beyond our own realm of experience. Thursday evening, Bert Hursh gave a speech about "Enemies and Allies" that really stimulated my thinking. 

The foundation of Bert's speech was his personal experience on a nuclear submarine near the end of the Cold War. What made the speech powerful though was the way he applied the insights from the first half of his speech to personal real life situations. Whether in school, the workplace or life in general, there's a sense in which we have all experienced some of these realities. It's important to know who your enemies are and who are your allies. 

I asked Mr. Hursh, who is a teacher in the Ashland school district I believe, for permission to share his speech here. 

Enemies and Allies

My mission today is twofold. First, enemy identification and second, relying on allied support.

In my time of service in the United States Navy, I experienced many days of stress. I served during the Cold War, underwater for 80 days in a submarine, living less than 100 feet from a nuclear reactor where I slept 10 feet above a nuclear missile. 

I was in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm.  I even had to share screen time with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, while they were  filming The Hunt for Red October.  (Check out this story about the USS Dallas.)

Two other missions that were especially stressful I can’t talk about. Well, I could, but you know how the saying goes. What I can say is that I spent some time in enemy territory, and can attest to the fear and anxiety that comes from being surrounded in hostile waters.

When this happened, it was my job during a battle station situation to plot on a chart the relative location of all the ships in the area. It is tricky to do when you cannot see any of them. I had to totally rely on our sonar men to identify them simply by listening to them. Every ship in the world has its own signature sound and it takes an expert to make that identification.  Knowing where your enemy is, as any veteran will tell you, is very, very important. We could only identify our enemy by the sound it made. 

My two brothers are also veterans as is our father. My younger brother, Robert, did multiple tours of duty to Iraq where it was his role to teach ethics to the local police force as well as doing security outings in Baghdad. Some circumstances were pretty tough with IEDs and other risks to fear. He was responsible for the safety of his unit and some dangerous times came to him. Afterward, and even now, he does not speak of some of those times. He does speak of his allies, his buddies who were there with him, his friends and family. 

We all need allies, people who support us and have our backs. These are other veterans, family members, friends, neighbors… 

Growing up as I did, I had enemies. I could identify them because I could hear them. They sounded like this;


--What did you do that for? 

--Dummy, can’t you do anything right? 

--You ‘re so stupid. 

--Nobody cares.  

--You want to try some of this? It will make you feel better

Sometimes it was my own inner voice:  

--I hate this place.

--I don’t need this.

--I can’t do it.

--I don’t know what I am doing.

I knew this enemy and he was lying to me. 

Fortunately, I had Allies to defend me and help me. I came to believe that God had placed people around me to rescue me. My grandparents, my social studies teacher and basketball coach Mr. Mike Jahn, my science teacher George Olson, people at my church. They all helped me identify and conquer those destructive enemies. 

Some of you here might have the same lying enemy. 

That enemy inside us who doesn't wear a uniform and is our hardest enemy to fight. He nags at you and tells you that you are not good enough. He says you have done bad things so now you are worthless, making you angry at everything and everyone, and you just don’t want to deal with it anymore. 

My friends, you have allies! I know this because I am one of them. 

Looking around, (at our local group of fellow Toastmasters) I find that my enemy is not here. What I see here are allies. They are friends, neighbors, teammates, brothers and sisters, school staff. Look around. Your enemy is not here. All around you are allies.

If we wrongly identify and consider them as hostile to us, the worst can happen. Now I have not been in an accident that is considered friendly fire, but I know that any soldier or sailor would say that bringing harm to an ally is a tragedy that is unimaginable, unthinkable. 


In the Navy there is one honor that cannot be done alone to earn it. The Battle “E”. It signifies that your ship or unit was able to carry out Efficient and Excellent battle plans against the enemy. It is not an individual award. Every crew member must be at their best to earn this one. 

We are on the same team!

Be an ally to someone like my sonar man. Help identify the unseen enemy. When the battle plan can be carried out, you can conquer that enemy.  

* * * *

Thank you, Bert, for sharing these thoughts with our Toastmasters group and allowing me to reproduce them here for others to reflect on.

Toastmasters as an organization is nearly 100 years old. It's purpose is not simply to help people become better public speakers, but also to develop leaders. Our own Toastmasters Club 1523 meets on Thursday evenings, and guests are always warmly welcomed. In fact, with Zoom, if you live overseas you can still attend one of our meetings. Some of our members have attended other groups elsewhere in the world.

For more information, visit our club website.

Related Link: Before Going Into Battle We Must Know WWAUA


Top: USS San Juan. Photo by Paul Farley, public domain, courtesy US Navy

Next: USS Michigan. US Navy photo by Brian Norkell

Bottom: Submarine insignia known as The Dolphins, honoring the 105 officers and men who perished in the sinking of the US Argonaut.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Twin Ports Art: The November Art Scene Unfolds Before Us

Esther's Twin Ports Art schedule for November was released a few days early this month. Why? Because it includes a number of Halloween weekend events. If you want to skip my appetizers here and go straight to the main course, head right on over:

Lake Superior Art Glass has announced a Great Pumpkin Hunt for Saturday, Halloween day. Kids should be in costume as they look about the city in search of the 16 beautiful glass pumpkins produced by Lake Superior Glass. Cool idea! Here are the details:

The Northern Expressions Arts Collective is also having an event for kids as well called A Socially Distanced Scavenger Hunt. (I want to be a kid again!) This one starts at 1 p.m. out near Pike Lake where Midway Road crosses Highway 53.  Details here:

The Nordic Center is doing its Gingerbread House event again. Sunday, November 1, is the last day you can order your Gingerbread House Making Kit. Details here:

MY DAY HAS BEEN FULL AND THIS BLOG POST IS EMPTY, BUT that is OK. Big round of applause to Esther Piszczek for her ongoing commitment to assemble all these dates and events and contact information. It's all here at the Twin Ports Arts Blog, November Edition.

* * * *

Susie has always been a busy bee  generating creative gifts (for kids, grandkids) and projects that others can do. This summer she created Art Classes 2 Go which you can find at Art on the Planet in Superior. (PLEASE SHOP THERE FOR CHRISTMAS because they sell art and gifts for more 160 local artists.)

Susie now has several other items for sale in the Facebook Marketplace. Here are three hotlinks to check out.  

Gift Boxes Art Classes to Go
(Example at top of page.)

Art Class to Go for Kids

Greeting Card Art Class to Go for Kids & Adults
(Example at right)

I have nothing against Hallmark personally, but when I see the delight in peoples' eyes or hear the feedback from friends and family when we send cards Susie has created here... well, there's something special in that. Home made or locally made... whatever avenue you choose, creative love is best.

* * * *

OK, all of you who like me have been waiting and waiting and waiting for the Tweed to open again... The good news is that the Tweed Museum of Art is open for students, faculty and staff right now, from Tuesday to Thursday each week, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There are a number of new exhibits on display now, including a Carl Gawboy retrospective that I'm eager to see, and a half dozen other exhibits, along with an Adam Swanson mural project in the main gallery. Think I can get a special pass as a rep from the Media? 

* * * *

Goin' Postal
No "Fall Art Show" this year but if you have to ship packages via FedEx, UPS or USPS, I have a lot of paintings on display, and will bring a few new things. 

Meantime, art goes on all around us. Especially here in the Twin Ports.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Basquiat, Revisited

Talented? Yes. Exploited? Yes. Role model? No. Tragedy? Yes.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is to art what Jimi Hendrix was to music. Rare, talented, original, producing remarkable work, and dead by age 27, by his own self-destructive instability. I first heard of him through the film Basquiat, starring notables Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken and David Bowie. Something about the film was off-putting at the time I began watching it and I turned it off in about twenty minutes. But the name stuck.

As a regular reader of the ArtDaily Newsletter, the recurring themes remind you of who and what are important in the art scene. Sotheby's, Museums of Modern Art, Picasso and Warhol all receive their due portions. And then there's Basquiat. Black. Puerto Rican. Fifteen year old runaway. Graffiti artist who lived hard, died of a heroin overdose like his heroes.

I have been reading Phoebe Hoban's uncomplimentary and thoroughly researched bio called Basquiat: A Quick Killing In Art. I say "uncomplimentary" because it is essentially an honest telling of his life and of those who exploited him. There are a lot of not so pretty pictures in the mix. The book opens with his overdose, an acute mix of heroin and cocaine. At the time he claims to have been doing up to one hundred bags of heroin a day.

In order to properly shed light on a life, one must see the context of that life as well, and Hoban's work is equally devoted to shedding light on the New York art scene. Beneath all the glam is "a pressure-cooker art scene where quantity matters more than quality, aggressive art dealers push prices through the roof, avaricious new collectors speculate wildly, auction houses create instant inflation, and the media magnifies the entire circus through a hyperbolic lens."

Hoban goes on to write that "Basquiat's brief life was a little bang that attracted its own temporary universe of powerful planets, whose orbits were in every way more constant than his own."

"The players who instantly recognized the phenomenon of Jean-Michael Basquiat and knew how to market it were older, more cynical, and ultimately easier to analyze than the lonely, alienated, and disenfranchised artist whose constant need to produce -- out of his own untrammeled creativity, deep-seated desire for approval, and insatiable demand for the cash that would buy him drugs -- became their ready source of profit."

Sound like the troubled street walkers who put out only to have money for another fix. Except the latter are simply used, whereas Basquiat's name has been elevated to the theater marquis, his paintings worth millions each.

His story again raises questions. What gives art its value? If the life is ugly and the work is beautiful, is it beautiful art? If Basquiat had had a religious conversion, survived the drug scene, repudiated Warhol and stopped "playing the art dealers' games" would his work be worth less today? If Basquiat had ceased being a sexually-charged vagabond infecting women with VD, settled into a monogamous relationship, raised a family and made art for twenty five more years, would they have made a major film about him, canonizing his free spirited "life without boundaries"?

Let me say here that I think his paintings are incredible. I enjoy the vibrant colors, the bold statements, the scope of his work. If he had simply been a middle class art major and produced the same paintings, would he have been so lionized?

I remember reading about creative people who were afraid to get therapy because they somehow tied their creative achievements to their unbalanced, inwardly disturbed state-of-mind. Where does this idea come from that creativity and madness go hand-in-hand?

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Thoughts On Revolution from a Volume by Richard Pipes

This year I've been reading quite a bit about the Russian Revolution. Though primarily Solzhenitsyn's perspectives, I've gleaned some from Leon Trotsky's book on the Russian Revolution. In sharing insights from Solzhenitsyn on Medium, someone left me three other book recommendations including two volumes by Richard Pipes, a Baird Professor of History at Harvard. I found Pipes' books in our library and have begun the smaller volume, A Concise History of the Russian Revolution. (416 pages)

The following two excerpts from the introduction caught my attention, specifically in light on the ongoing night time protests and violence in some of our cities, particularly Portland and Seattle. Pipes wrote:

Nineteenth-century Europe witnessed the emergence of professional revolutionaries, intellectuals who devoted themselves full-time to studying the history of past upheavals in quest of tactical guidelines, analyzing their own time for signs of coming upheavals, and once they occurred, stepping in to direct spontaneous rebellion into conscious revolution. Such radical intellectuals saw the future as marked by violent disturbances, and progress as requiring the destruction of the traditional system of human relations.

A little further on he writes:

It is radical intellectuals who translate these concrete concrete complaints into an all-consuming destructive force. They desire not reforms but a complete obliteration of the present in order to create a world order that has never existed except in a mythical Golden Age.

How much are we paying attention to what is going on right now? How concerned should we be about the threat to our way of life? 

* * * *

Unlike any other book on this subject that I've read, Pipes lays groundwork by explaining a few concepts that I've never had pointed out. Chapter one is about life in Russia in 1900. It is essential for establishing the context in which these events took place.

For example, 80% of the population consisted of peasants living off the land, totally untouched by the Westernization that had been occurring in the rest of Europe. Pipes explains the three key institutions of peasant culture: the family, the village and the commune.  

Another definition early on was also helpful. All my life I've heard reference to the "intelligentsia" when reading about the Revolution. I also assumed it was just another word for the educated or the intellectuals. Pipes notes that intelligentsia and intellectuals are two separated categories. Intellectuals are those who merely talk about about issues. They may be erudite, but not personally invested in the social upheaval their ideas toy with. 

On the other hand, the intelligentsia that Pipes describes are opportunists actively looking for opportunities to disrupt, to change the course of history. Philosophers interpret the world, the intelligentsia seek to reshape it. 

* * * *

How concerned should we be when we go online and see people calling for revolution today? Or when I come across tweets like this one: 

When we choose revolution, we do what is morally right
instead of picking a lesser or greater evil. Choose revolution.

The image at the top of the page here is from 1905 where revolutionaries set up a barricade in the streets of Moscow. Except for the clothing, it's not too different from Seattle earlier this summer.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Mindfulness as a Form of Transactional Analysis with the World

Transactional Analysis is a school of thought or method of psychotherapy developed in the 1950s by Eric Berne. At its most fundamental level, one studies the social transactions between oneself and others in order to better understand our behavior. His most famous book on this topic, published in 1964, was titled Games People Play

You may remember the hit song by Joe South that starts like this:

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean.

* * * * 

This weekend the thought occurred to me that there may be  a sense in which the Mindfulness movement parallels TA. In TA we pay attention to the ways in which we interact with others. In so doing we identify our behavior and ego states, and gain a better self-understanding. Awareness is the first step toward personal growth as we recognize things that need to change. (We won't fix a problem that we're oblivious to.)

So it is that mindfulness is a method of paying attention to how we interact with the world around us, from our personal space to our community space. In short, we live consciously, and grow by observing what is happening within us as we engage the world we live in.

The more we pay attention, the more we can learn to recognize our own self-defeating behaviors and change them. On that pursuit I'll quote Bob Marley here, "Don't give up the fight."

* * * *

Related Link
Unlocking New Ways to Think and See--Dr. DeBono's Six Thinking Hats

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Little Backstory on The M Zone

My short story The M Zone is about a supremely successful tech geek who developed a way for people to re-experience their favorite memories, over and over again. Richard Busby called his product the MZA. That is, The Memory Zone Activator. To say it made him rich is an understatement.

The product was designed to help people in their twilight years re-experience their best memories of a lifetime, much the same way photo albums are often used, except in this case you not only have the memories but re-experience them in full. 

Elderly people were the initial target market. When Busby realized that everyone would want to re-experience their best times the marketing team exploited the general consumer markets with ads like, "Relive the Best Times of Your Life!" and "Can Memory Be More Real Than Reality? Try It & See" and "Deja View? Yes, You May!"

Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men do oft go awry.

I wrote the story at a time when I was reading and thinking a lot about how the brain works, how memories work. I, for one, have forever been grateful that when I remember that painful time in the hospital back in 1973 that I do not re-experience the pain.  I only remember it was something I didn't want to go through again.

* * * *

An artist friend shared this with me after reading The M Zone:

I was very amused by the story especially because as soon as I started reading I connected it with Edelman, Gerald & Tononi, Giulio, Consciousness – How Matter Becomes Imagination, Penguin Books, 2001 which I read some years ago and repeatedly states that our brain is not a computer, still all the information you give there is completely accurate making it a wonderful fiction tale based on the right information. I also reminds me of Memento (the film) in some ways, but what truly got to me was your idea of memory for it is beautiful and that reported me to one of my absolute favourite artists Howard Hodgkin who claims that his work solely refers to feelings and memory, and memory being exactly what you state in your story for he rejects ideas - he says: "I'm a painter of feelings, not ideas. Other people can represent ideas/concepts with their work, I cannot." He is for me Proust in a visual art form and as far as the memory lane goes Proust was the Master of it and I can imagine him saying "all of their good memories, memories designed to comfort us in our old age when memory is all that we have." I also think that Proust's re-lived memories are in all and all similar to the necessity that human's have to cherish their precious memories that you describe here, only, in a different set.

* * * * 

After posting The M Zone on my website in the mid-90's, I was contacted by a screenwriter who asking permission to turn it into a short film. They sent me a 3 or 4 page script. I liked it. A month later they sent a 5 page script.

Their concept was to open with a TV news reporter standing out in front of an office building where a mob has gathered. Something is going on inside but they do not yet know what. Various rumors are shared. Then it cuts to the story. 

I thought this was a nice setup, and could make a great film short. If you know anyone so inclined, let's discuss. 

* * * * 

You can read the full story here:

It's also the lead story in my second volume of stories, Newmanesque, available Here on Amazon for 99 cents.

EdNote: The painting at top is available for sale at Art on the Planet in Superior.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

"Isn't It A Pity." Harrison's Words More Relevant Than Ever

On Thursday evening one of the members of our Toastmasters group gave a speech titled "We All Have Something To Say."  She began by talking about the breakdown of community discourse and the barriers that separate us. One of these is our increasing social anxiety, but there are other kinds of barriers to connectedness as well. 

The statement that especially jumped out for me--besides the shocking statistics she shared--was this one. When our inner thoughts are bottled up inside us, we live a diminished existence.

This is a recurring theme in many George Harrisons songs: love, meaning and connection. Within You Without You from Sgt. Pepper speaks of this in a sense, as does "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on The White Album. Even "Blue Jay Way" from Magical Mystery Tour speaks with solemnity about being lost, alienated, in a fog.

Isn't It a Pity doesn't appear on a Beatles album.  Rather, we find it on Harrison's solo album All Things Must Pass after the Beatles' breakup. The surprising thing is that it was written in 1966, the year Revolver was recorded in released. 

As nearly every Beatles fan knows, the agreement John Lennon and Paul McCartney made with George was to limit the number of Harrison songs on each album. Many people, therefore, were surprised at how prolific George became after the breakup of the Fab Four. 

I'm fairly certain that I was not the only one who kept buying albums by all four of the Beatles after they split. All Things Must Pass was George's offering in November 1970. I snapped it up and found it rewarding from the first time. The album was produced by Phil Spector, who also took the thousand-plus hours of studio mish mash and crafted Let It Be for the Beatles. (Paul didn't like what Sector produced, and remastered it in 2009. Beatles fans, however, were grateful that SOMEONE stepped up to the plate and finished this project. I still remember the first time I listed to it that fall.)

One of the great features of All Things Must Pass are the jam session recordings on sides five and six. Clapton and other musician friends really rock it out, knock it out of the park. 

Isn't It a Pity is essentially two stanzas with the first one repeated again as the third. It initially sets the tone, gets amplified in verse two, then serves as an echo of itself as verse three. Here are the lyrics, carried forward by an swelling and ebbing undercurrent of lament.

Isn't it a pity
Isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Now isn't it a pity

Some things take so long
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we're all the same
And because of all your tears
Your eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that surrounds us
Now, isn't it a pity

Isn't it a pity, 
Now, isn't is a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Now, isn't it a pity 

The pity here isn't just that we cause each other pain. It's that we cause our own pain, but don't see it. And as a result we also miss the beauty that surrounds us.

What is it that causes this cycle of suffering? Forgetting to give back, he sings. 

Our own self-centeredness leaves us isolated. Perhaps its our personal feeling of self-importance that causes us to have a sense of entitlement, so we don't really appreciate what others do for us. We wanted (expected) more so that instead of gratitude we feel disappointment. As a result of our sense of self-importance, we generate our own isolation.

Here are three versions of the song. The first is George Harrison's original, remastered. The second is Eric Clapton. The last is Nina Simone.

Eric Clapton (Live)

Nina Simone

* * * *

Are we building walls or building bridges? Eleanor Rigby comes to mind. "Ah, look at all the lonely people."

And this one from Bob Dylan's "Fourth Time Around": "Everyone must give something back for something they get."

* * * *

The other problem Harrison pinpoints is the notion of we/they. "Not too many people can see we're all the same," he sings. 

Our culture has become increasingly splintered along many fault lines. We see this not just in political spheres, but also gender, race, religion and more. We've lost sight of our essential and fundamental humanity, the "essence" that we share in common. A quest for meaning. A hunger for hope. A creative urge. Personality. Bone, flesh, blood. A need for affirmation.

We're really all the same. How have we lost sight of this?

Friday, October 23, 2020

Harnessing the Wind Can Be Harrowing for Birds

Last night's presidential debate included a brief exchange regarding wind power and energy issues. President Trump, overstating with his usual hyperbole as he often seems to do, said, "Wind energy will kill all the birds." 

Joe Biden made fun of this, as if it were ludicrous. (OK, yes, the statement as it stands is ludicrous.)

Having read quite a bit about wind energy, and having worked at a company that served that industry, I was well aware of the issue the president was referring to. Wind turbines not only kill birds, the companies that run these wind turbines get fined big bucks when they're equipment kills endangered species.

I remember a number of years back when a North Dakota company was fined a million dollars because its turbine (or turbine blades) killed some species of golden eagle or falcon. The following headlines appeared when I did a Google search. 

Wind Power Co. to Pay $2.5 Million for Killing Golden Eagles, Other Protected Birds

The Endangered Species Act And Wind Power: A Rule, Or More Of A Guideline?

Wind Turbine Company Heavily Fined for Killing Birds at Wind Farm in Wyoming

To put things in perspective, all kinds of human activity endangers birds. According to the Clean Grid Alliance, cats kill more than 10% of the birds. (This is why we do not have a bird feeder. Our barn cat Chirps is a very effective hunter, ever on the prowl for the unwary chickadee. (His eye is on the sparrow as well.) 

More than half of all birds killed by humans die by flying into windows and buildings. 14% die by power lines, 7% by pesticide and 9% by cars. I remember how my dad would occasionally have to remove a bird from the grill of our car after that one hour drive to my grandparents house. (I also remember the Burma Shave signs on that route.)

The Audubon Society counters with this article: Will Wind Turbines Ever Be Safe for Birds?

It may be Green Energy, but currently the turbines kill between 140,000 and 328,000 birds each year in North America alone. 

Actually, though, when I look at those numbers, it seems quite low. If there are 50,000 wind turbines in the U.S., that means (according to the above numbers) that each turbine kills between 3 and 8 birds a year. If it were three, then this would be one every four month. I think the windows on my house--and a small house at that--kill about three birds a year.

It's the bald eagles and golden eagles that Audubon Society cares about most, though. 

For more on this topic check out:

Ten Myths About Wind Energy and Birds

Wind Energy and Birds

(Above link goes to documents from the Clean Grid Alliance)

Top of page: "For the Birds"--painting by the author, 24"x 24" 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Election 2020: A Rude Awakening is Coming. Will It Be for Trump's or Biden’s Supporters?

Yesterday my Medium feed (recommended articles) included a story titled A Rude Awakening is Coming for Trump and His Supporters.  Now generally I do not have time to read everything that gets sent to me in this fashion. Nevertheless, some things do catch my eye. The article essentially outlined all the reasons this author believes a Biden/Harris landslide is coming. More interesting to me, however, was reading the comments that followed. 

The 5 minute read explains why Trump and his zealous followers will soon be facing the biggest disillusionment of their lives. 

After reading half the comments, I thought it might be fun to play off the title of Frank Lucacovic's essay because the confidence on both sides seems to be so strong that it will indeed be a rude awakening for one team or the other when this thing is over.

Here are some of the comments, extracted from over 130 attached to the original piece. You can read the whole article here first if you prefer, or start with these excerpts. Or skip these excerpts and read the growing river of responses there if you like.

What's interesting to me is hearing people on both sides talk about this election as if it won't even be close. That may be the biggest surprise for some. My own personal fear is that whoever wins, the results will be disputed.



I appreciate your confidence but you may have overlooked two key factors. Many Trump supporters are either shy in their political opinions, or outright lie to pollsters for fun. This factor will decide many of the swing states that Democrats think are in the bag.


Your wishful thinking lost me in sentence two - which contains two parts pure opinion and one fact.

For the coming Biden landslide you describe to be true, we'd be on the verge of a 1984-style Reagan win. Not even close - Reagan had momentum, near hysteria - he could draw 10k to small towns in blue states. Biden can't draw his entire family to an event.

Like recent past, this will be a tight election decided by one or two states.

The early voting numbers seem to be muxh stronger with Republicans than Democrats, so I think you may be surprised there.

Proclaiming victory 2 weeks before the election is just not smart. But, please, go ahead.


As a mere observer from the other side of the pond, I find this piece and the comments on it a bit depressing - because so predictable and emotive. A word like 'evil' should be weighed very carefully and to dismiss all your President's followers as 'ignorant and selfish' shows a huge contempt for those who think and feel otherwise. And no, I'm not a Trump fan!


Much as I dislike Trump and all he stands for, right now, after Giuliani's latest revelations regarding the contents of Hunter Biden's hard drive, I wouldn't put a cent on Biden winning. Neither he nor his family deserve to be near the White House any more than the Trumps do. US politics is one giant swamp.


Biden is corrupt, senile and a patsy for the elites who lost control when Trump came in and messed up their swamp.

The biden family along with many politicians on both sides are deeply fincanced by foreign interests and I don't think americans want to go back on the plantation.

There is no energy in Biden or the so-called democratic platform that is consistently veering further left and offering nothing but hate and fearmongering.

Remember what the talking points were in 16? WW3 is coming and NATO will fall apart, bla. bla.. and now NATO is stronger than ever, North Korea and Islamic State are pacified. There are peace deals being made with Israel and Arab nations. China has lost its grip. US is energy independent. Pedofile rings and human trafficking being unraveled like never before.

The screeching leftists have the microphone and are supported by mainstream media and big corrupt money. But they don't stand a chance against the calm and thoughtfull people who still are the majority and will decide the vote.


I wonder if this was written before or after the bombshell news about Hunter Biden's laptop and the implications of corruption it portrays for Joe Biden.


Trump is going to win ... in a landslide. The Biden-Harris ticket is the weakest in the history of presidential elections. See you in two weeks.


Frank I pray you are correct but I fear you are placing too much faith in polling numbers. Almost all political polling in the past 50 years has leaned heavily on telephone polling. We have reached a time where the overwhelming number of households no longer own a home phone and even among those with a home phone it is there for emergencies and rarely if ever gets answered for fear of telemarketers. A good number of those who just use cell phones also don't answer if they don't know who it is or they will let it go to voice mail and return the call if it is someone they actually do know. Additionally, one of the strongest parts of Trump's base is white males without a college degree. From the research I have done, it is a demographic almost impossible to quantify in polling data and they will come out heavily for Trump.


This article, and others in mainstream media, is truly remarkable. EVERYTHING TRUMP DOES IS WRONG AND EVERYTHING BIDEN DOES IN RIGHT!! Remarkable indeed. Biden does not even have to campaign and he will win. In other words, the media elites who graduated from Ivy league schools and other universities are so much smarter than the average American, they will effectively pick the president for the people and tell them which box to tick. The strategy? Constantly report negative news on the guy they don't like, suppress and hide the bad news about the guy they like. Do this constantly, day in day out for 3-years, and then say the voters chose. By the way, any voter of public figure who strays from that narrative should be cancelled. That is the cesspool of pathology that palms itself of for American journalism as they lecture China and Russia about freedom of the press and propaganda. I haven't even dealt with the world's number one propaganda and indoctrination machine-Hollywood.


You realize Clinton was up more vs Biden in swing states last election and Trump won. You also realize nbc and wsj polls in 2016 also had clinton at +11 in same first half of October time period. Common sense says just look at turn out and parades for Trump.


It’s stunning how many people still feel that the spoiled man-child currently sitting in the Oval Office is acceptable to be the leader of this nation. Really? He’s an incompetent embarrassment, a narcissist and a liar. Only the wealthy seeking tax breaks and those who would aspire to be like him will vote for him. It’s frightening to think anyone admires him enough to see him continue his plunder of this country. They have truly set their bar very low. The dumbing down of America & celebrity worship is directly responsible for this debacle.


Sure Biden is going to win, you can see the support in his rallies.

Also, he thinks he's running for senate:

“that’s why I’m running as a Democrat for the Senate” (min 25:20).


I've spent time reading articles from both sides. What I've noticed is that both sides are anticipating a landslide victory. Both sides believe that if they do lose the election, it will be because of fraud and corruption.

Emotions are running sky high on both sides and both sides believe the other side to be morally flawed at best, and an enemy to be defeated and cast aside at worst.

What should be very concerning to us as the American people is that we are being set up to be even more divided after the election than before - regardless of the outcome.

To quote Abraham Lincoln who quoted Jesus, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

As we allow ourselves to become more divided, the house begins to collapse from the inside out.

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