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Monday, November 2, 2020

Our Editorial on the U.S. Election

In our last podcast we took a few minutes to share with our listeners our views on the U.S. election and who we think they should vote for.  Here is the text of what we said.   We stand by every word.

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Just days before a very important U.S. election we feel obligated to express our opinion and to let our listeners in the U.S. know who we think they should support.

Some of you will think this is inappropriate -- we disagree.  Several of the long-running and more recent themes of SolderSmoke are wrapped up in this election:

SolderSmoke is all about global community, the International Brotherhood of Electronic Wizards.  Trump just rejects the idea of global community. He is all about building walls, imposing travel bans, rejecting refugees, circling the wagons, and blaming our problems on foreigners.  This is one of the reasons we oppose him.

SolderSmoke is all about Science and Technology. Trump is anti-science.  He is a climate change denier. That's another reason we oppose him.

Speaking of science, since the onset of the pandemic we have been urging SolderSmoke listeners to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by following the advice of doctors and scientists.  We urge them to socially distance, and to wear masks. We even invented an acronym in support of this -- SITS – “Stay In The Shack.”  Incredibly, Trump has been pushing in the opposite direction:  He ridicules the use of masks.  He calls our leading doctors "idiots."  He stages super-spreader events at his rallies and at the White House. Look, more than 200,000 Americans have been killed by this thing.  I know five people who have buried close relatives.  Yet Trump STILL treats this virus as some sort of political hoax.  This is one of the many reasons we oppose him.

We are both military veterans.  We have both been offended by the way Trump -- who is a draft dodger himself -- has disparaged those who have gone into harm's way for the United States.  We remember what he said about John McCain.  His scorn for veterans and service members is another reason we oppose him. 

There are many other reasons to oppose Trump, but those are the ones we feel are most relevant to SolderSmoke. 

Election day is Tuesday.  PLEASE, for the good of the country and the world, get out there and vote against Trump. Wear your mask and stay safe as you do so, but get out and vote.  Especially if you are living in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, or Omaha, Nebraska, please help vote Trump out of office and please urge your friends and relatives to do the same.

71 comments:

  1. Thank you,it is heartening to see you speak up and provide reasons for your position. Agree or disagree, but doing so in a manner that is calculated and measures should be the order of the day, not frothing at the mouth fanaticism (from either side). I happen to agree with you, even if I'd have picked different reasons (though yours are more relevant to the environment of Amateur Radio).

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  2. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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  3. You idiots are drinking the koolaid. Do your research on the corruption of the individuals you are promoting.

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    1. Following Trump is similar to drinking Jim Jones koolaid. Some Koolaid is bad, some is just hydrating lol

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    2. If you pull your ass our of Trumps ass you might be able to see the truth.

      Have fun with your buddies on 80mtr..

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    3. pull your head out of trumps ass...

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  4. Thank you both for standing up and opposing the atrocities that are gripping our country, even though it may mean the loss of a few listeners. And what does that matter in face of bigger issues, like saving our democracy and way of life.
    At this time of world crisis I don’t care who you vote for as long as it’s NOT Trump. Get out and vote!

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  5. Right On Bill and Pete! Even Scientific American broke 175 years of political neutrality with their Biden endorsement because they thought the stakes so great.

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  6. Bill, Pete - I listened and cheered. Thank you for stating what many of us have been thinking. I voted early - and as someone here locally recently commented "I would have walked through broken glass and hot coals to vote for Biden and against Trump." Your editorial just scratched the surface and I won't add to it all of my other reasons for opposing Trump and supporting Biden. I normally keep politics out of my social media discourse, and always keep it off the air (unlike some of our colleagues) - however, this really is the most important election of our lives and we have all lived long enough to see some important elections. If you haven't voted tomorrow is the day! Wear your mask, keep your social distance, bring your own pen. #nomoreyears

    73 gents,
    Dean
    KK4DAS

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  7. Thank you Bill and Pete. It can't be said plainly enough. Mike N2HTT

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  8. BRAVO!
    Thank you for the courage.
    let us hope education prevails over ignorance.

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  9. Thanks for taking a stand. Two thumbs up!

    Dave
    KF7JAF

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  10. I am surprised, pleasantly, that you’re taking a position. There is nothing I disagree with. Also as a veteran I stand with you that this draft dodging ... is totally repugnant with the statements he has made about all those in the military. His treatment of John McCain was most repugnant.

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  11. Michigan Dave, here. Our household of four voted early by absentee ballot, and I hand-carried the ballots to our city clerk's office and placed them in the lock-box in the lobby. We've already received emails that they have been processed, so we do not have to risk our lives to vote in person this year.

    Please, everyone, stay safe, and VOTE.

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  12. Sigh... I enjoyed the podcast as a respite from the daily droning political blathering of the talking heads. We all have our strongly held opinions and are free to express them and I respect the opinions of all, whether I agree with them or not... but the SolderSmoke podcast wasn't the appropriate forum to jump on your soapbox... but hey - it is your podcast so I guess you can do with it as you please. I sincerely wish all the best to you and Pete. I'm moving on to try to find another apolitical geeky respite. Sad at your choice to bring politics into SolderSmoke. All the best. Stay healthy.

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    1. I do will be moving on as I don't need to hear about your political views. Good luck as I have deleted your feed

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  13. Hmmmmm......it's interesting that you used this bully pulpit to express your political opinions on a site that is theoretically geared toward a fun hobby, where personal reflections on such "hot button" topics as politics should NEVER come into play. Unfortunately, I can no longer be a part of SolderSmoke. Politics and religion have absolutely no place on this forum.

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    1. Unfortunately Trumpist have politized everything and are behaving like bullies. Time to punch them back.

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  14. Someone please make a number sticker:
    Trump lost its no longer OK to be an asshole.

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  15. SolderSmoke brought us all together thought a common love for home brewing and radio electrics. All you have built, the goodwill of the community and a commonality of purpose is now being torn apart along partisan party lines. I really hope you think this excursion into politics is actually worth it.

    Do you really think that 3 days before the election you are going to change anyone's mind? Let alone enough peoples minds to change the course of the election?

    You are always banging on about tribal knowledge, well, tribal wisdom would dictate that this is a fools errand. Soldersmoke is now truly tribal. Its drawn along party lines and everyone is now shouting at each other, where we once spoke to each other with respect and dignity.

    Soldersmoke was an escape from the pox that is US politics and now, its just another platform for people to yell at each other.

    I hope tearing your own community apart is actually worth it. I won't be back.

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    1. Amen,

      Ham Radio has been my hobby for over 60 years now and your introducing blatant partisanship into what has been my favorite electronics site is a great disappointment to me. I've never experienced this kind of thing among people in the ham community before and I likely won't ever again after I leave this site.

      Jim
      W3BH
      Brookline, NH


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  16. Politics from the "I hate the other guy" perspective sucks. What do they stand for? What does their voting record reflect? Talk is cheap on BOTH SIDES!

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  17. US politics have become so poisonous, I'm disappointed it showed up here. I grew up in a place where people could disagree on religion and politics and still enjoy each other's company. That place has almost completely disappeared. However, I'm not part of the "cancel culture", so I am going to continue to listen your great technical discussions. To all: Please be kind to those around you that you disagree with. None of us are 100% right about anything, and it is foolish to believe one party is righteous and the other is evil.

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  18. A lot of "both sides" stuff here. When one side lacks any respect for truth, justice, or indeed the American Way, they can go to hell.

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  19. Good luck America! Stay safe everyone!

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  20. you had to bring politics into it didn't you.....you guys really disappointed me on this one...have a nice life, good bye

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  21. Bill, Thank you so much for your comments. Our daughrter has spent 7 years living in Qatar and the UAE and she understands the need for a gloval view. My wife who was in family practice understands the science of a virus and how to manage the spread. I suggest Soldersmoke readers read The Cult of Trump and Hoax to get a better understanding of how we have been misled by a President who does not have the people of America as his first priority.

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  22. Thomas Jefferson wrote of the need of an informed electorate. I fear we are degenerating into a nation whose citizens think being informed is listening to a 30 second sound bite that may be or may not be factual or accurate and where discourse is seen not as a civil discussion but yelling and name calling directed at those that have a different position.

    If one does not learn and understand positions one disagrees with, one cannot show you why their position is a better choice than the position you have chosen. Sometimes I wonder if people fear learning about the "other side" because that knowledge would lead them to question their own position.

    I have not listened to the podcast but I will be listening to it soon. (I'm behind on a number of podcasts.) When I do, I'll take your positions and supporting discussions as an effort to help create an informed electorate whether or not I agree with your position. And I will continue listening to the podcast to become better informed on the topics you discuss.

    If some reader disagrees with me, I ask that the carefully consider what I wrote and determine why they disagree. Do they not like Jefferson? Do they think I have reached a bad conclusion? To these questions I would ask them to explain their conclusion and convince me that I should change my position.

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  23. I've been listening since the beginning (the ones with co-host Mike KL7R). Enjoyed every episode. With a heavy heart I must now wish you 73. Thanks for all the terrific content and entertainment. David/KE0AZ

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  24. A perspective from a different nation, a different hemisphere, a different reigion, but a common hobby and passion, Ham Radio being International and a channel of idea-interchange (discussion):
    Here in NZ we've just had our elections. Our term of office is 3 years, so we're more accustomed to change: we have less time to develop such fixed and polarized mindset - though some still do.
    Our election delivered a landslide to our version of Democrats: our Labour Party - which allows it to govern alone, yet we co-opt the expertise of a (the) Green Party. We have our protests, on many of the same issues as America, but would rather discuss than shoot. It seems you folk would rather pontificate then shoot. NZ can teach a lot, we're leaders in many fields, remember Lord Rutherford? A Kiwi. My Dad did his bit in WWII supplying the Desert Rats' defeat of Rommel from his "tick-bound bug-bound dugout in Matruh" (research the lyrics), and he worked where and when our Labour Party was formalized..
    Our version of Republicans is the National Party, now severely depleted, that had 3 terms at the helm, its dollar-chasing materialism (sound familiar?) setting back our social wellbeing decades: a re-hash of the 1980s' "Rob's (Muldoon) country, turn clocks back 25 years". I'm hoping the USA will deliver likewise - and learn from that.
    I'm very much saddened that some folks are so closed-minded they're so disturbed by this topic that they'll 'turn off' SolderSmoke. Not me, Bill and Pete are true Hams, investigating the 'why' of things and publicizing their 'because' findings, a valuable education resource - and entertaining to boot.
    This missive may not be so entertaining, but but it's another view of the 'why' of things that I hope has been educational.
    [ politics off]

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    1. Have your started your Mandarin lessons yet?

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  25. I disagree but we can still be friends!

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  26. Bill & Pete, Thanks for your thoughtful editorial. I have always enjoyed your approach to uniting the Brotherhood of Wizards and I have great respect for your military service, and in Bill’s case, Foreign Service in world hotspots.
    As a Canadian who has lived in the US, I’m optimistic that the polarization of the last few years will fade and my friends in the tribes to the south will find a way forward.
    thanks for having the courage to speak up for what you believe is right. Love rhe Podcast!

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  28. Ive enjoyed your podcasts over the years. Everyone has the right to believe their way but think you should kept politics out of the podcast. Its not like you changed any minds. You just help further polarize the situation. Sincerely es 73 de N0XO

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  30. Ironically, I came to Soldersmoke this morning looking for respite from the political news. I was saddened to see this.

    Those who agree with you will cheer, some who don't will be offended; I am just disheartened. Anyone aware of your career at State could guess your political affinities, and who cares what they are. Around half the country will disagree with you.

    My gripe is twofold: That you had to inject a partisan political position into the blog, and the way you did it. It would have been one thing to exhort people to vote, even to
    say that because you disagree with Trump on immigration policy, climate policy, pandemic policy, whatever. But you couldn't resist the ad hominems. Trump is a xenophobe, a "science-denier" and a draft-dodger. This is a good example of how people have forgotten, or just don't care any more, how to disagree and converse with each other civilly. It is also disrespectful of your listeners.

    You have promoted something on this blog that transcended all of this. You tossed it overboard so that you could express your anger about Trump. A lot of people will be wondering if your disdain extends as well to those who do not share your opinion of him or your views on immigration, climate policy, and the best Covid response.

    So much for Brotherhood.

    Tom
    K3TCM

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  31. Kudos Bill and Pete, as MLK is quoted, Silence is a form of complicity. To those who like to say "I voted for him because he is a good businessman or he speaks his mind" .... you've fooled no one.

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  32. Thanks, Bill and Pete, for your editorial. It was a gutsy and necessary thing to do. Stay safe.

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  33. Thanks Bill & Pete,

    In contradistinction to those living under autocratic regimes, Americans have a civic duty to engage in polite political discourse.

    “Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people...”

    Dwight D. Eisenhower (1/28/1954)

    Hopefully, the Phoenix that was our beloved country will emerge from the ashes.

    73,
    Mike, AA1TJ

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  34. I look at it as which is the lesser evil, one guy who has been in the game for 47 years and is corrupt as they get, ties to CCP, all kinds of foreign money, too old and has dementia. Really you guys haven't done your homework.

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    1. You have 2 guys running for president would not not even be fit to hold a drivers license in Australia.

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  35. we cant all get a cushy government job and retire early along with the presidential health insurance plan "not obamas plan of course", for ourselves and our whole family for life. If we did, we could pontificate on how bad those money grubbing basket of deplorables are too.....

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  36. I really enjoyed this podcast until you guys started sharing your socialist views. I'll get my ham radio podcast from other sources from now on.

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  37. Many years I enjoyed and supported your podcast. I even paid to read both of your books. I am done with you and your podcast. You ruined it for me. I will not be wasting another minute or another nickel on you.

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  38. You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but at the same time you have to understand that not everything has to be about politics. When it begins to encroach on my escapes from politics and the real world (music, ham radio, etc) are no longer entertaining.

    Yes, you can use your blog and podcast as a bully pulpit, but you must realize that many of us will vote with our feet and flee for safer havens.

    Adios, Bill. I wish you'd just stuck with ham radio.

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  39. adiós humo de soldadura

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  40. This was my favorite podcast but no more. I'm very disappointed, especially in Bill after having read his book. 73 SK moving on ...

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  41. From some of your comments on your podcast, it seemed to me that both of you guys were Catholic. It's amazing that you could go out there and encourage your listeners to vote for the most pro-abortion candidates to ever get on the ballot for President and Vice President. I will say a Hail Mary for your souls and I suggest that you issue a retraction of your reckless comments. Although it may be very difficult to undue the damage that you have done.

    I understand that this virus can be deadly in some people but the survival rate is now north of 99.9%. You guys talk about "science" but you don't mention this science.

    In the meantime, people's lives and businesses are dying. Alcoholism and suicide and divorce and abuse are way up because of this lockdown. It's also a fact that there are hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people in third world countries that are starving because they cannot get the food that our country normally supplies to them but cannot because of these insane lockdowns.

    All these problems but you guys act like locking down has no consequences besides "saving lives."

    Our entire family got the Coronavirus. I am 55 and my wife is 47. Our children are 17, 16, 13, 11, and 6. Our 16 year old caught it first. He works and Walmart part time and caught it even though he wears a mask all the time per company policy. We tested positive for it so we know that is what it was.

    And it was a minor cold for all of us including our 16 year old who has asthma and our 6 year old who is a type 1 diabetic on insulin. The media has blown this thing way out of proportion.

    Donald Trump has done more for this country than any President in my lifetime. The economy that he created was incredible. And now you guys want to allow a couple of pro-abortion socialists to destroy it all because you are afraid of a virus. You really need to turn off CNN and start praying your Rosaries.

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  42. Why divide your audience? Makes no sense to ambush your tech listeners with politics. I've always enjoyed your content but I'm "gone". 73,

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  43. I was disappointed that you decided to do a political editorial in your podcasts which I eagerly look forward to. You can’t watch sports without politics brought into it, and now it is in ham radio.
    While I disagree with your views, I support your right to speak them. I listened to them for a while and exercised my rights. I don’t have to listen to it. So, I fast forwarded to the stuff I come back for, building radio gear, and enjoyed the rest of the pod cast.
    Unlike too many on both sides, I am willing to agree to disagree. We still have a common interest, ham radio. I still support and recommend Solder Smoke and hope in the future you will stick to radio and related topics.

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  44. The Solder smoke podcast has been a great learning experience for me as a new ham, I have lots to learn about this new hobby, and I am grateful for its insightful technical content. Introducing politics into a technical discussion to me is a mistake but it isn’t my podcast. I was always told to limit aggravation in life, avoid discussions of politics, religion and money. I plan on listening to future podcasts as long as this was just a temporary lapse in judgement. To be fair I avoid seeking ham radio advice from politicians too.

    KD2LZI

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  45. Good for you guys!!! Tip of the hat to Smoke and Solder!!!

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  46. I've been a SolderSmoke podcast listener from the beginning. That's a lot of years. I always enjoy hearing about what you guys are working on and tinkering with.
    Unfortunately, you decided to alienate half of your listener base with personal attacks on the president. Your political opinions are irrelevant and best kept out of the podcast.
    Goodbye and good luck.

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  47. Thanks for publicly standing on the side of rationalism.

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  48. Paulette Quick WB9VHFNovember 7, 2020 at 4:17 AM

    Thanks for supporting Biden/Harris. I agree with you completely.

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  49. Listening to the soldersmoke podcast is an outlet for me to enjoy comradery among friends to talk about ham radio, building, and workbenches. It is a comfort in a world that tries to divide us by internal and external influences. I understand you feeling compelled to share your opposition. I too have reservations of our political candidates, but I choose not to share them among my own small ham community (read “club”) for fear of losing alleys, knowledge, and friendship. I was very disappointed in the comments made as knowing the United States is already divided. Understanding that the undecided vote is no more than 5 percent, the appeal made would serve only to divide your American audience, and reduce the soldersmoke community.
    I thank you for your continued support of the best hobby in the world and wish for our communities to rally around a love for the hobby, and not disdain of a political candidate. 73 de W4XXV.

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  50. And I'm guessing that you guys are fine with all the cheating that is going on. The Democrats are making our country look like a banana republic so that they can regain their power and keep the baby killing machine and the Biden family corruption going. I hope you you two retired guys are having fun "SITS"-ing in your shacks while the country is burning and going into a depression because you believed the medial lies about the "scary" covid-19. Maybe you would think a little differently if you were younger and trying to raise and support a family. But I guess it's all about you and your ignorance.

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  52. Respect! Thank you Pete and Bill

    - Dan Random -

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  53. I only heard it today. At first I thought it was the beginning of a joke but then I was delighted to realize that you were dead serious and even more delighted with the result. In the words of the mayor of Paris, "Welcome back America!".

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  54. Bill & Pete

    Sorry that I'm a bit late to the party here but I want to add my voice to those who are praising you for speaking up about the election.

    As a public health epidemiologist/scientist and a ham for 60 years, it would be appalling had you not spoken out. All of the other issues aside, ours is a hobby that is empirically and scientifically based--to deny and demean the role of science is an attack on us all. Science is about having an open mind, a willingness to question assumptions, experimenting, transparency and truth telling. The election was, in part, a referendum on all of these. We are currently living with the consequences of having had a leader who refused to accept any of this. It has cost us dearly in the form of tens of premature deaths, hams among them. It is sad that you felt compelled to address these issues, but personally I'm grateful you did. 73's.

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  55. Bill, I am heartbroken that you have broken the cardinal rule of HAM radio communication and entered into politics. You not only gave your choice of candidate, but proceeded to insult anyone who might disagree with your choice. I have been a loyal listener for many years and read your books. However, as a retired member of the USAF and combat veteran, retired professor with an MD, and MPH I resent your condescending tone as your parrot the talking points of the DNC. I am disappointed at your ignorance. Over 70 million Americans know you are wrong.
    I wish you and your family well. I will no longer listen to your feed.
    73.

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  56. You just insulted half of the country.
    No longer a listener.

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  57. Thanks for speaking your minds. Men fought for your right to do.

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  58. Kudos to those that disagree yet state their intention to hang around. To those storming off with self inflicted nose wounds, don't let let the door hit ya where God split ya. 73 de AC3K

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  59. I understand your issues with President Trump. However I couldn't vote for Biden because of the graft and corruption in his family and the political direction Biden will take our country. And there is something seriously wrong with Biden's cognitive abilities. Economically, I have had my retirement accounts rearranged to support the crash that will come in February/March of 2021. One other thought - will Biden be able to keep his hands off of the tax code long enough for the employment situation and economy to recover from Covid? Just askin'...

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