What we're about

This group is dedicated to finding common ground on political issues. Our purpose is not to create argument and anger, but respectful political debate in bars in the Ardmore/Havertown/Bryn Mawr area.

There are smart people on both sides of most political issues, and we should all be prepared to listen to the other side. The person who gets angry is the person who has run out of better ideas. We welcome all political viewpoints. Come meet others for a night of fun discussion over drinks. This is a free speech zone.

*The Burke-Paine Society ( https://www.burkepainesociety.org/ ) is a non-partisan national group dedicated to the free and cordial exchange of ideas. Burke-Paine discussions (called "salons") welcome and cherish all people and thoughts.

Please come with an open mind, a respectful attitude and commitment to listening to others.

Upcoming events (2)

Is our government fair?

Online event

The Bill of Rights protects US citizens from the excesses of tyrannical government. We must strive to balance the rights of all Americans; race, sex, creed, or politics shouldn't matter. We should protect civil rights, and suppress biases, even when it means a “win” for the other side. Mike Flynn was a hothead. Obama fired him, he worked with Russians, and he led the “lock her up” chants in early Trump rallies. Yet it is beginning to look like he committed no crime. Our government got him fired, bankrupted him, and sent him to jail anyway. The Mueller investigation started on a bad note. Flynn’s crime was “committed” when two FBI agents stepped into Flynn’s office for a"friendly chat" while he was still moving in. He was not under oath, and he wasn't told he was being investigated(1). It was “a perjury trap:” a strong arm tactic used by thugs, like “no-knock warrants,” "stop and frisk," "warrantless wiretaps," and extra-legal lynch mobs. Unfortunately, many in the FBI now regard entrapment as their job. Both FBI agents testified they were ordered to get Flynn to lie (6), and both said later that they thought he didn't(2). But their “302” interview report was doctored to jail Flynn (3). Who altered it? (8) Who leaked Flynn's name to the press? Both are felonies with serious jail time. The “lie” is that Flynn misstated the date of a call to the Russian ambassador. It doesn’t matter anyway: the National Security Advisor can talk to anyone he wants, when he wants. The government threatened to prosecute Flynn’s son if Flynn did not plead guilty (7), and he eventually did. Lovely. We will be learning much more about Flynn’s “lie” in the coming weeks. The transcript of the call is being declassified; the original “302” will be probably be given to Flynn’s defense team (withholding exculpatory evidence - as they did in Flynn's trial - is another criminal act). Was the investigation of Russian collusion a smokescreen to obscure the real crimes? James Clapper, Jim Comey, John Brennan, and Susan Rice have all testified under oath that they never saw any hard evidence of anything illegal with Russia (5). But that did not keep them from going on TV to describing the mountain of evidence they had seen. The government paid $40 million to the bulldog lawyers who strong armed Flynn, and altered documents to send him to jail. They hoped he would give them something (anything?) they could use. Their only other evidence was a dubious "dossier" paid for by Hillary, and some gossip from an unpaid campaign intern (9). The media shamelessly served as a government PR team, printing unattributed leaks as "breaking news" that would surely seal Trump's fate. Even The New York Times pocketed a Pulitzer for its Russia coverage, much of which now reads as obvious fiction. Flynn is going free. Who should be going to jail? 1. https://www.worldtribune.com/flynns-new-attorney-requested-barr-to-do-independent-review-before-she-got-started/ 2. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2018/02/13/waitthe-fbi-agents-who-interviewed-michael-flynn-didnt-think-he-lied-n2448344 3. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fbi-agents-manipulated-flynn-file-as-clapper-urged-kill-shot-court-filing 4. Andrew McCabe testified in an executive session of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that “the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying:” https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180322/108023/HRPT-115-1_1-p1-U3.pdf 5. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/obama-spy-chief-and-other-top-officials-had-no-direct-evidence-of-trump-russia-collusion-transcripts 6.https://www.nationalreview.com/news/fbi-agent-questioned-whether-goal-of-flynn-interview-was-to-get-him-fired-handwritten-notes-show/ 7. https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852582068/mike-flynn-pleaded-guilty-why-is-the-justice-department-dropping-the-charges 8. Why doesn't the FBI doesn't record such interviews? 9. And that too is an interesting story

We survived the Wuhan Flu (?). But will the panic destroy our economy?

By the time this Meetup occurs in June(!), it is quite possible that no one in the group will know anybody who died from the Wuhan Flu. The media has whipped up full-blown paranoia (as it often does), and it is probably unjustified. By June, I think (hope?) that will be clear. That is not to downplay how serious things are. As of this writing, we are beginning a national two week slumber. It will slow the infection rate so that we don't overwhelm our hospitals. Many people will eventually get this disease, and for most of us, it will be mild or even unnoticeable. The international numbers are extremely unreliable at this point (2). Data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship is closest thing we have to a clinical trial, and it is reassuring (1). Strikingly, only 17% of the passengers got infected. Most people avoided infection even after eating at communal buffets and swimming together; this suggests that the Wuhan Flu not as contagious as many fear. Of the 619 confirmed infections, most never felt sick and were asymptomatic. Six have died (all elderly), but there were 3700 people on the ship. If those numbers are rolled on the US population, it would suggest about 500,000 deaths, mostly among people with other health issues. That is ten times worse than a bad flu season. It could be much less, especially if we take precautions (like locking down social interaction). Very worrisome, but not the end of the world. Consider that 700,000 Americans die every year from cancer. It's bad, but the nation will recover: 500,000 people is 1 out of every 700 Americans. It could have been much worse: the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak would equate to nearly 3 million dead Americans today. But what can we learn from this? I think we have learned three things: 1. Government can do better (5). Bureaucratic screw-ups often made the CDC and FDA part of the problem. The FDA insisted on certifying all labs running tests, and the CDC wanted to control all testing. Private labs wanted to test for COVID-19 in suspected flu samples, but they were told that it was HIPAA violation - even if the patients remained anonymous(4). Those moves lost the country valuable time in the early stages of the pandemic (3). Congress should look closely at the regulations that led to such decisions. 2. The Chinese Communist Party is not to be trusted. At the early stages, Chinese secrecy turned a disease outbreak into global pandemic. It should concern everyone that the bulk of the world's medicines and health equipment is produced in China. Chinese officials are currently blaming the US for COVID-19 (6). What reasonable person would trust that criminal state with our intellectual property, financial information, or internet data? Our trade relationship with China will have to change, and this appears to be a rare instance of bipartisan agreement. 3. The media coverage of this thing has not been helpful. Yes, we must take precautions, but the media-driven stampedes to buy up toilet paper don't really help. The perception of mass chaos causes people to be unduly terrified. It doesn't matter how good your hospitals are if their staff are too terrified to go to work. In June, there will be much more to add. Take care everyone, and stay healthy. Hopefully, my optimism is not far off. Or maybe it is? Let me have it in the comments! John (1) https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/en/2019-ncov-e/9417-covid-dp-fe-02.html (2)https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/trump-and-the-coronavirus-death-rate/ (3)https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/27/809936132/cdc-fixes-issue-delaying-coronavirus-testing-in-u-s (4)https://podscribe.app/feeds/http-joeroganexpjoeroganlibsynprocom-rss/episodes/58e30d30-46ea-4a20-b44b-f192bdfe9cb2 (5) It is not political. The government's pandemic procedures don't change with the president. Anthony Fauci is about as apolitical as you can get. (6)https://www.foxnews.com/us/china-smear-united-states-coronavirus-wuhan

Past events (73)

Is America fair? Was it ever?

Online event

Photos (103)