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    Default The pivot begins...

    Edit to add preface: The best thing about not voting for federal offices and remaining apolitical, is that it's easier to observe society form into tribes and each party (and there's more than two) develop their political strategy - better known as planks in a platform. I have to lean toward each mob to catch what they're really saying, and sometimes I get too close and stumble upon the zealots. Some of each stripe are on this forum too. Society's polarized. That's interesting too.

    The problem with leveraging the pandemic against the GOP is that it paints the Democrats into the opposite corner. All the impossible standards and demagoguery imposed to oust one executive left the successor burdened with the same. At some point that has to change.

    So I found it surprising that The Atlantic of all places would I see the pivot. Apple news lets me browse back issues, The Atlantic is very left-leaning, so I digitally thumbed through the headlines of the last 18 months. Of course it's Trump sucks and Joe has a plan. I don't even say that to be snarky. They were playing their role in the system. Joe won, and here we are. But the party leadership is still saddled with the hysteria they whipped up.

    I just was waiting to see what their strategy would be to get out of it.

    Here's the pivot.

    The Pandemic Is Ending With a Whimper

    The decision to move on to the recovery phase needs to be made by politicians, not scientists.

    Perhaps you’ve figured this out already: The pandemic will not have a discrete end. The coronavirus will not raise a white flag. There will be no peace treaty, no parade, no announcement from the CDC that the United States is done worrying about COVID. You will not get closure. The signs remain too mixed. The virus continues to spread, even as widening vaccine eligibility, booster shots, and improved medical treatments limit the damage the virus can do. The death rate has been declining since late September, but more than 1,000 Americans have perished each day for most of the past two weeks. A minority of Americans are still acting irresponsibly; a smattering of people would even prefer to lose their job than take a free, lifesaving vaccine.

    But America remains in limbo for another reason: The Biden administration has yet to come out and say that the emergency is ending. To even contemplate it seems disrespectful to the nearly 800,000 dead. The Delta variant and vaccine resistance scuttled President Joe Biden’s hopes of declaring a “summer of joy” this past Fourth of July. Yet even though the threat still exists, the country needs to be nudged into the recovery phase—and only elected leaders can provide that nudge.

    Biden and his party pledged to “follow the science” in dealing with the coronavirus. Their embrace of professionalism was a point of distinction between them and former President Donald Trump, who in the early days of the pandemic denied the seriousness of the viral threat and refused to help states acquire essential supplies.

    Yet the question of when a crisis is over isn’t an objective matter that Anthony Fauci or any other scientific expert can decide. What is an acceptable trade-off between preventing infections and promoting the resumption of pre-pandemic routines? Should employers and school districts base their policies on the expectations of the most risk-averse people or those who have a higher tolerance?

    Meanwhile, the perception that the emergency has not ended, and perhaps will never end, has consequences too. Some Americans who are acting cautiously—for instance, by routinely masking outdoors, even after being vaccinated—seem more worried than they should be. In areas with high vaccination rates, schools that extend mask mandates longer than necessary or reinstate rigid socializing rules after a few positive tests risk damaging students’ education with marginal benefit to public health. Americans need not throw out all precautions; indeed, efforts to promote vaccination, whether through gentle cajoling of vaccine refusers or overt pressure on employers, are essential to ending the emergency. We must focus urgently on our recovery—and assess how cautious we should be when the virus becomes endemic but widely available vaccines radically reduce the possibility of hospitalization and death.

    In a normal disaster-management framework, an immediate harm—such as a terrorist attack, an ecological catastrophe, or an earthquake or a hurricane—triggers a multifaceted initial government response: search and rescue, mass sheltering, and emergency medical care. Firefighters, police, health officials, and other professionals step in to protect people who cannot protect themselves. But this period gives way to a recovery mode, in which the focus shifts to mourning the dead, rebuilding damaged physical and social infrastructures, and revitalizing the economy. The first responders who take command in the early days are replaced over time by builders and city planners who, in consultation with the public, chart a long-term plan to get systems running again. Many of the decisions that have to be made in a recovery are judgment calls—mere guesses about the best uses of resources. Indeed, one might call them political.

    I was working at the Department of Homeland Security when a BP oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The Coast Guard oversaw the immediate efforts to deal with the spill, America’s largest-ever marine oil disaster. But to oversee the recovery, President Barack Obama tapped a politician: the Navy secretary and former Mississippi governor Ray Mabus. Mabus’s job wasn’t to pick up tar balls on the seashore. It was to oversee the billions of dollars in recovery funds that BP had put up to support rebuilding efforts in the fishing and oil industries, the cleaning of marshlands and beaches, and the equitable distribution of funds to Native American and Black communities harmed by the spill.

    Likewise, after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of housing and urban development, organized the government’s recovery efforts. He wasn’t saving people from drowning; other professionals had handled the initial phase. Donovan’s mandate was to distribute post-Sandy relief in order to better prepare communities for the future. These roles require not specialized technical expertise but an ability to mediate between competing values and priorities.

    Similarly, the enormous challenges of America’s pandemic recovery—lost learning and lost staffing in schools, the great exodus from the workforce, and a profound disruption of office life—have no scientific solutions. We must own the political nature of this recovery, and it’s not anti-science to recognize that not all decisions are matters of science.

    Elected officials do science no favors by putting fundamentally political decisions in the hands of technical experts. The recent local and state pushback against the federal government’s original limited guidance on eligibility for booster shots underscores the problem. Biden himself was pushing for boosters. He clearly understood that, in the face of organized vaccine resistance, many Americans who had been rigorously observing safety protocols for a year and a half would want to maximize their own immunity before resuming travel, in-person work, and other activities. Many public-health experts, in contrast, expressed skepticism about offering boosters to American adults rather than sending vaccine doses overseas. Two top FDA vaccine regulators resigned in protest over what Politico called “Biden’s top-down booster plan.”

    In September, the FDA and the CDC authorized booster shots only for certain high-risk groups. But the agencies’ task arguably should have been limited to assessing whether boosters were safe and would help the people to whom they would be administered; the answer on both counts was obviously yes. After even Democratic mayors and governors balked at limitations on booster shots, the FDA and the CDC finally opened up boosters to all adults.

    The muddle was avoidable. Elected officials must make political decisions without hiding behind scientific advisers’ white coats. Doing so forthrightly will, in the end, protect the integrity of science.

    The coronavirus arrived like a tidal wave, but its worst effects are now ebbing, at least for vaccinated people. The United States has entered a phase that I have previously described as an adaptive recovery, a long period in which the virus persists but Americans figure out how best to manage it. The choice now facing the U.S. is whether to acknowledge the progress we’ve made—and the subjective, political, nonscientific nature of the value judgments that face us.

    Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary for homeland security under President Barack Obama, is the faculty chair of the homeland-security program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of the forthcoming book The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters.
    Last edited by dneal; November 24th, 2021 at 05:27 PM. Reason: added preface
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    I don't see anything here that wasn't already known before. To take just a single example, nobody in relevant science/health fields ever really believes that a pandemic has a discrete end. How the media and/or politicians and/or self-serving people portray this is another matter entirely. Furthermore, when talking about recoveries it needs to be kept in mind that the pandemic was a rapidly evolving situation without a clear solution, and the recovery will likely be the same. Again, we will no doubt be swamped with media expressions that are replete with spin.

    The past couple of years have, for me, highlighted just how determined a lot of people are to point fingers instead of joining heads in an attempt to find better solutions.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Many of us have known this for some time, but this language is verboten in American left mainstream and social media. I bet if I shared it on Facebook it would get a generic Covid warning. The Atlantic is American left media. The narrative on that side is changing.

    —edit—

    An example as soon as I looked at FB. The Babylon Bee got a label for this piece of satire, for example, because it used a word on the “controlled” list.

    Bee Covid Label.png
    Last edited by dneal; November 24th, 2021 at 08:21 PM.
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Being apolitical does not make one objective. Objectivity is a choice of how to think regardless of how you vote since the choices are only one or the other.

    Being conservative doesn’t mean you like Reagan, Bush, or Trump equally. Some voted for Biden because the alternative was Trump.

    I since a smugness here that is self perpetuating. If one chooses not to vote, whiles it’s their choice, they take themselves out of the process of freedom. It doesn’t make them more or less.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Sorry sense

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Being apolitical does not make one objective. Objectivity is a choice of how to think regardless of how you vote since the choices are only one or the other.

    Being conservative doesn’t mean you like Reagan, Bush, or Trump equally. Some voted for Biden because the alternative was Trump.

    I since a smugness here that is self perpetuating. If one chooses not to vote, whiles it’s their choice, they take themselves out of the process of freedom. It doesn’t make them more or less.
    It's less so now, but there used to be intense pressure for officers to join AUSA (the Association for the U.S. Army). It is primarily a lobbyist group. It holds powerful sway on the politics of the military. Defense funding, what programs get developed, etc... When I was a lieutenant, the brigade commander had a list of who was a member and who wasn't. He would have "OPD's" (Officer Professional Development) sessions with a guest speaker from AUSA, and a membership drive that followed. He directed battalion commanders to counsel their officers who hadn't joined.

    I told my battalion commander (a fine man who respected my view) that I thought one of the biggest problems with politics was the lobbying, and I wouldn't be a part of it even when the lobbyist group had my interest (indirectly) in mind.

    It's a point of integrity, for me. Yeah, that probably does come off as "smug" to those without it; but it is indeed a choice to remain objective. A conscious effort to recognize potential for bias and a conscious effort to not succumb - within the constraints of the human condition, of course.

    I don't vote for federal office for similar reasons. I'll do what the country asks, within the context of the moral and legal. I won't put my thumb on the scale of what the country asks. You'll have to develop a more convincing argument than mockery to convince someone who gave 30+ years of their life to defending the process of freedom, that they've taken themself out of that process. I chose a different role within the process than you did. I don't judge you for the role you chose.

    I'm trained to develop and evaluate courses of action, and to analyze and assess friendly and enemy action - although in some cases (like the Peloponnesian war, for example); there is no "friendly" and "enemy" side other than from the perspective of each. It's the same to me with D's, R's, Libertarians, Green Party, etc...

    A quote, and a (actual) meme for your consideration; no mockery intended. They simply convey a couple of ideas, succinctly.

    “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

    Consider that (from John Stuart Mill, btw) in the terms of the 'how to convince people Trump lost' thread. I can see both sides, because I am able to remain pretty objective. You've just never seen me argue the other side, against the "election was definitely stolen" people; because they don't post here. Instead, my experience becomes what this meme conveys:

    BothSides.jpeg
    Last edited by dneal; November 25th, 2021 at 07:08 AM.
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Babylon Bee is amazing stuff

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    "While in uniform" regarding voting that I found, but others encourage voting. You cannot be in the military without being a citizen and as a citizen you have responsibilites including voting.
    https://www.armytimes.com/opinion/20...ells-officers/

    If you express your opinions in your circle of influence as you do here, you should vote since you certainly do take a side.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal
    I bet if I shared it on Facebook it would get a generic Covid warning.
    11 hours later...

    IMG_0012.jpeg
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Michgan is not whimpering. 3800 new cases with 20% ICU.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    "While in uniform" regarding voting that I found, but others encourage voting. You cannot be in the military without being a citizen and as a citizen you have responsibilites including voting.
    https://www.armytimes.com/opinion/20...ells-officers/

    If you express your opinions in your circle of influence as you do here, you should vote since you certainly do take a side.
    I notice you don't include the NYT article your Army Times article cites, nor the quote from it:

    "Wednesday’s New York Times includes an opinion column suggesting military officers shouldn’t vote. It is good for the Army and for the nation to hear from its officers and enlisted service members. However, I could not disagree more strongly with the author.

    While supporting officers’ constitutional right to vote, the column argues they shouldn’t exercise that right. It cites some notable senior officers who expressed that they chose not to vote while in uniform —Gens. Ulysses Grant, George Marshall, George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower among them. The column suggests that by voting for the winner, an officer is somehow beholden to that person. In contrast, those who vote for the loser will be against the new commander in chief."

    General Ham is entitled to his opinion. I'm entitled to mine. It falls with the Generals listed, but is not made because they held that opinion. It is because I agree with the idea for its intrinsic value. Your argument is an appeal to authority (a logical fallacy). Mine is a conclusion reached through consideration. Like General Ham, I simply advocate why I make my choice. Again, I vote in every election except those for federal office (my representative, two senators and President). You will not likely change my choice, and certainly not with the continued fallacious methods of ad hominem / appeal to ridicule, or appeal to authority.

    --edit--

    Now perhaps you can address the topic, rather than diverting and focusing on me?
    Last edited by dneal; November 25th, 2021 at 08:05 AM.
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Michgan is not whimpering. 3800 new cases with 20% ICU.
    Just wait Chuck. Your media overlords are changing the narrative. This will be acceptable.

    I'm really just noting this for posterity. An experiment of sorts, although by posting it I am influencing the outcome. Will you follow the change in narrative, documenting my hypothesis? or will you now have to "stick to your guns" out of fear of documenting the change?

    Last prediction: those who swing with the shift in narrative will argue they have always thought that ("that" being whatever the narrative changes to). I almost predicted the "this article tells us what we already know" comment correctly. I just thought it would be TSherbs instead of EoC.

    --edit--

    My (vaccinated) wife's comment: "Maybe Michigan should look into Ivermectin as a treatment..."
    Last edited by dneal; November 25th, 2021 at 10:16 AM.
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    "While in uniform" regarding voting that I found, but others encourage voting. You cannot be in the military without being a citizen and as a citizen you have responsibilites including voting.
    https://www.armytimes.com/opinion/20...ells-officers/

    If you express your opinions in your circle of influence as you do here, you should vote since you certainly do take a side.
    I notice you don't include the NYT article your Army Times article cites, nor the quote from it:

    "Wednesday’s New York Times includes an opinion column suggesting military officers shouldn’t vote. It is good for the Army and for the nation to hear from its officers and enlisted service members. However, I could not disagree more strongly with the author.

    While supporting officers’ constitutional right to vote, the column argues they shouldn’t exercise that right. It cites some notable senior officers who expressed that they chose not to vote while in uniform —Gens. Ulysses Grant, George Marshall, George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower among them. The column suggests that by voting for the winner, an officer is somehow beholden to that person. In contrast, those who vote for the loser will be against the new commander in chief."

    General Ham is entitled to his opinion. I'm entitled to mine. It falls with the Generals listed, but is not made because they held that opinion. It is because I agree with the idea for its intrinsic value. Your argument is an appeal to authority (a logical fallacy). Mine is a conclusion reached through consideration. Like General Ham, I simply advocate why I make my choice. Again, I vote in every election except those for federal office (my representative, two senators and President). You will not likely change my choice, and certainly not with the continued fallacious methods of ad hominem / appeal to ridicule, or appeal to authority.

    --edit--

    Now perhaps you can address the topic, rather than diverting and focusing on me?
    I just posted Ham to show that your practice is your practice and not some sort of honor code or suggestion that your're objective. It is just what you want to do, pure and simple. No need to hide behind the flag @dneal.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Michgan is not whimpering. 3800 new cases with 20% ICU.
    Just wait Chuck. Your media overlords are changing the narrative. This will be acceptable.

    I'm really just noting this for posterity. An experiment of sorts, although by posting it I am influencing the outcome. Will you follow the change in narrative, documenting my hypothesis? or will you now have to "stick to your guns" out of fear of documenting the change?

    Last prediction: those who swing with the shift in narrative will argue they have always thought that ("that" being whatever the narrative changes to). I almost predicted the "this article tells us what we already know" comment correctly. I just thought it would be TSherbs instead of EoC.
    Good dodge. LOL!! Don't let yourself be confused by the fact, @dneal.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    More projection... Your Michigan post is a dodge. It confirms my point about narrative, and your full acceptance of it. The unsubstantiated rhetoric you use in #14 is the real dodge.
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    I just posted Ham to show that your practice is your practice and not some sort of honor code or suggestion that your're objective. It is just what you want to do, pure and simple. No need to hide behind the flag @dneal.
    It's still a fallacious appeal to authority - i.e.: You're right and I'm wrong because General Ham said so.
    You still ignore the other side of the coin - that other prominent generals chose otherwise.
    You still think mocking through straw man is a rational argument.
    I still maintain my position, for the reasons I have conveyed. I made an ethical decision on what I will and won't do. No hiding behind anything.
    Be your own tenth man.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Last prediction: those who swing with the shift in narrative will argue they have always thought that ("that" being whatever the narrative changes to). I almost predicted the "this article tells us what we already know" comment correctly. I just thought it would be TSherbs instead of EoC.
    That's really funny because I totally predicted you would essay this line of argument.


    The reality is that for those who work in related fields and/or are experts in related fields, the fuzziness of disease expression and course in populations has been known and understood for a very long time. Only people with the mindset of Trump (just as a convenient example) would publicly state that a pandemic would just stop or go away. While we may hope to eradicate a particular pathogen - smallpox comes to mind - the more pragmatic approach has been to mitigate effects and attempt to reduce the status of a pandemic (or any infectious disease). Spanish flu still exists, bubonic plague still exists, polio still exists, the list could go on and on. None of them just 'went away one day'. This is a matter of historical record.

    So, no. From the general perspective of the relevant sciences what the article says does not represent a swing in the narrative. Where the narrative is swinging - and I am by no means being comprehensive here - is in the media, in politics, and among various activists.



    Edited: to rephrase
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; November 25th, 2021 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    I just posted Ham to show that your practice is your practice and not some sort of honor code or suggestion that your're objective. It is just what you want to do, pure and simple. No need to hide behind the flag @dneal.
    It's still a fallacious appeal to authority - i.e.: You're right and I'm wrong because General Ham said so.
    You still ignore the other side of the coin - that other prominent generals chose otherwise.
    You still think mocking through straw man is a rational argument.
    I still maintain my position, for the reasons I have conveyed. I made an ethical decision on what I will and won't do. No hiding behind anything.
    Give it a rest, @dneal. You says something that unsupported just like your abstracted Sowell quotes. When you are found out you go off.

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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Last prediction: those who swing with the shift in narrative will argue they have always thought that ("that" being whatever the narrative changes to). I almost predicted the "this article tells us what we already know" comment correctly. I just thought it would be TSherbs instead of EoC.
    That's really funny because I totally predicted you would essay this line of argument.


    The reality is that for those who work in related fields and/or are experts in related fields, the fuzziness of disease expression and course in populations has been known and understood for a very long time. Only people with the mindset of Trump (just as a convenient example) would publicly state that a pandemic would just stop or go away. While we may hope to eradicate a particular pathogen - smallpox comes to mind - the more pragmatic approach has been to mitigate effects and attempt to reduce the status of a pandemic (or any infectious disease). Spanish flu still exists, bubonic plague still exists, polio still exists, the list could go on and on. None of them just 'went away one day'. This is a matter of historical record.

    So, no. From the general perspective of the relevant sciences what the article says does not represent a swing in the narrative. Where the narrative is swinging - and I am by no means being comprehensive here - is in the media, in politics, and among various activists.



    Edited: to rephrase
    This is about American politics, not COVID science. I'm not arguing the science. I agree with the majority of the article. Science is argument. It is competing hypotheses being challenged and refined by experts intent on proving or disproving those hypotheses. I'm with you on that. That has been shut down in American media (because our politics are insane now), and it's dangerous to society. It also happens to be what much of what Dr. Bhattacharya said. I even typed it out in post #5 of the the "What Happened" thread: "Public health policy, he asserts, is political science. Politicians must weigh benefits and consequences within the totality of the circumstances, yet it was handed off to people who are paid to have a single focus. We should have a wider view in the future."

    Look how Chuck reacts when the "I" word (sorry, horse-dewormer) comes up. Look how Facebook tagged my sharing of The Atlantic article with their "COVID resource" page or whatever "official" narrative they're pushing is.

    The bolded sentence is the point. The Atlantic is part of "the media". The fact that it in particular (as a left-leaning publication who toes the line) is changing the narrative is what's significant. The content is only important in that they are saying it publicly.

    So to restate my thesis: Democrats leveraged the pandemic to oust Trump. But they painted themselves into a corner by doing that, and have to figure a way out. They need the media that's on their side to do the lifting on the messaging. The Atlantic is on their side. If this article was on FoxNews, you would see a completely different response. It would be "dangerous". It would be "denying science" or "follow the science" and then "debunked". But it's not on Fox. It's in one of the most liberal magazines in the country, and that's significant. It is a pivot.

    This is just a more complex version of liberals (like the current VP) declaring they didn't trust the "Trump Vaccine", but then advocating everyone get the "no-longer-Trump Vaccine" once they won the election. They have to pivot on a lot of issues.

    Oil prices (and policy) is already doing the same thing. The inflation narrative is disastrous, and they'll pivot on that too. But all that (particularly the economy) hinges on changing the COVID narrative, because they're not going to eradicate it. They just got their asses handed to them in various elections (hello, Virginia). A truck driver bought a box of donuts and beat a multi-million dollar reelection campaign by the senior democrat in the New Jersey senate. They have to do something to keep from taking a worse beating in next year's midterm elections.
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    Default Re: The pivot begins...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post

    I just posted Ham to show that your practice is your practice and not some sort of honor code or suggestion that your're objective. It is just what you want to do, pure and simple. No need to hide behind the flag @dneal.
    It's still a fallacious appeal to authority - i.e.: You're right and I'm wrong because General Ham said so.
    You still ignore the other side of the coin - that other prominent generals chose otherwise.
    You still think mocking through straw man is a rational argument.
    I still maintain my position, for the reasons I have conveyed. I made an ethical decision on what I will and won't do. No hiding behind anything.
    Give it a rest, @dneal. You says something that unsupported just like your abstracted Sowell quotes. When you are found out you go off.
    You took Ham out of context, and ignored his reference to generals who present the opposing argument. Hypocrisy is your forte though…
    Be your own tenth man.

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