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When Americans cast their votes for president, they are in reality directing other people — called electors — to vote for the candidate who receives the most votes in their state. The political party of the winning candidate in each state then sends its preselected electors to the state capital to vote. This is the Electoral College, and its members elect the president and vice president of the United States.

Why does this process exist? The framers of the Constitution established the Electoral College in the Constitution to forge a compromise between those who wanted the president to be elected by members of Congress and those who wanted a president elected by a popular vote.

Today, 538 electors constitute the Electoral College. Each state is allocated electors equal to its number of representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives (currently a total of 435) plus its two senators (a total of 100). The District of Columbia is also allocated three electors. These numbers can change every 10 years, based on the results of the census. State laws differ on how electors are chosen.

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have a winner-take-all policy that the Electoral College must follow. That means that a candidate who wins, say, 51% of the state’s popular vote is awarded 100% of the state’s electors.

Since the nation’s founding, hundreds of proposals to reform or eliminate the Electoral College have aimed to change how Americans elect a president. But since the process is defined in the Constitution, only an amendment can change the system. Passing a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives and in the Senate plus the approval of three-quarters of the states, or a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of state legislatures (which has never happened).

Maine and Nebraska allow electors to be split between parties, proportionally to how their candidates won in different parts of the state. However, a selection of mixed-party electors has happened only twice: in Nebraska in 2008 and in Maine in 2016.

Five times in our history has a president has been elected by winning the Electoral College vote but not the popular vote. This happened in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.

Two times in our history has presidential election been decided in the House of Representatives because of a tie in electoral votes. This chamber of Congress elects the president if no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes and did so in 1800 and 1824.

sm no smile face with sunglasses

Town of Fort Myers Beach resident Chris Patton, with financial support from the Lani Kai Island Resort, (Robert Conidaris, owner of Lani Kai, told The News-Press last year he would help fund Patton's legal fees.) dropped their latest lawsuit to halt the proposed Margaritaville Resort late on Wednesday, August 5.

This came after Town Council’s Monday, August 3, meeting, where the elective body, supported by numerous island residents in “Public Comment,” resolved to take firm action against the controversial Fort Myers Beach hotel known for its extensive emergency response calls from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and Fort Myers Beach Fire Department, culminating in a murder on its beachfront early on Wednesday, July 15, as well as its protracted lawsuits to stop the Margaritaville construction.

While not an agenda item, the Lani Kai was the meeting’s preeminent topic. Seventeen residents addressed Council during “Public Comment,” all in favor of the Town taking strict measures to regulate the Lani Kai, including the establishment of a Nuisance Abatement Board to curtail criminal and other unwanted activities.

Mari Torgerson, wife of Margaritaville Board Chairman Tom Torgerson, spoke first, saying that “the Second District Court of Appeals dismissed their appeal on July 8 and on July 9, they filed another lawsuit! Our taxpayers are concerned about the amount of money spent on these frivolous lawsuits, so we ask Council to finally end this fiasco once and for all, as these delays are simply a personal agenda. Margaritaville will be a tremendous asset, as the people of Fort Myers Beach deserve better.”

Marty Harrity, co-owner of several area restaurants including The Whale, directly across from the Lani Kai, added that “‘frivolous’ seems to be the word of the day! Margaritaville received 100% approval from three Town Councils, including this one. It will fix the decaying entrance to the island, except for these frivolous lawsuits. All one has to do is just look at the police reports for the last 18 months of what’s going on in Town. For the past 23 years, I owned and operated The Whale, and watched my sales deteriorate to the point that my partner and I are looking at other options for The Whale. I ask this Council to do whatever it takes to stop these lawsuits and to put a stop to the lawlessness at the Lani Kai!”

Dawn Thomas, who lives near the Lani Kai, said that “since January 2019, our neighbor has had 1,345 LCSO calls, ranging from battery, sexual assault, grand theft, indecent behavior, domestic violence, narcotics, wanted criminals, hit-&-run, stabbings, and now murder. It’s time to clean up this property and hold them responsible.”

Captain Andrew Prisco of the LCSO informed Council that the Sheriff’s Office will establish a Community Response Unit near the Lani Kai by mid-August, but not to confuse that for a LCSO Substation.

Mayor Ray Murphy acknowledged that the Patton has yet to serve him with the July 9 lawsuit. Town Attorney John Herin, Junior, stated that the lawyer can wait 120 days before serving the Mayor, as a delaying tactic. Council unanimously instructed Herin to accept the lawsuit on the Town’s behalf, to move forward the process as quickly as possible.

Council member Bill Veach doubts that a Nuisance Abatement Board will be effective against the Lani Kai, but may be beneficial in future situations, while admitting that the number of emergency calls to the Lani Kai is “quite stunning!” Council member Jim Atterholt noted that in addition to the LCSO Lani Kai calls, the FMB Fire Department made more stops there over the past four years than any other island address, agreeing that “the numbers are stunning! Fort Myers Beach taxpayers are in affect subsidizing their business model and this must stop now; enough is enough so let’s roll!” Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros would like Council to put together a strategy with the LCSO “to take stronger action in regard to that property.” Council member Dan Allers believed the Nuisance Abatement Board would be “a step in the right direction but will not solve all the issues. We must do everything in our power to end this sooner rather than later.” Murphy noted he met with the Lani Kai ownership “and I see a positive resolution coming down the road!

Let’s see how this thing develops over the next week or so.”

During Council’s Agenda items, they unanimously approved a “Solid Waste Interlocal Agreement” with Lee County; a “Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Agreement” for an Old San Carlos BoulevardTraffic Signal for $695,000; a Matanzas Pass Bridge FDOT Maintenance Agreement for $21,317; will not allocate $54,640 to fund half the pay for the Beach Elementary School Resource Officer; named Murphy as the 2020 “Florida League of Cities” Voting Delegate; and appointed Veach as the “Estero Bay Agency” Management Representative.

 

The U.S. Census Bureau's new deadline to finish the decennial headcount likely ensures census undercounts in Florida that could cost the state billions over the next 10 years and douses its long-shot hopes of picking up a third new congressional seat.

The deadline to finish the count, which determines federal and state allocations for the next decade, now is Sept. 30, four weeks earlier than planned since spring.

The bureau reported Monday that 93 million households, nearly 63 percent of all households in the nation, have self-responded to the census and at least 60 million households remain uncounted. They will need to be ferreted out by 500,000 door-knockers the bureau said it is dispatching to the streets this month.

More than 41 percent of households in Florida failed to self-report and remained uncounted as of late July, Census Bureau Assistant Regional Manager Marilyn Stephens told the Capitol News Service.

“So Florida’s not pleased with where it is right now, and that’s why we are working so hard on this push to get more households to self-respond,” Stephens said.

Areas with undercounts face significant repercussions in not receiving their share of $700 billion in annual federal funding – a projected $1.5 trillion through 2030 – to be distributed by census-based formulas.

An estimated 200,670-person undercount in the 2000 census cost Florida about $225 million annually, or more than $2.5 billion over the decade, according to the bureau.

An estimated 1.4 million undercount in Florida’s 2010 census – the third-highest in the nation – cost the state more than $20 billion in federal allocations this decade, the bureau estimated.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic skewered the Census Bureau’s timelines and the headcount was accelerated by a month, an Urban Institute study predicted Florida’s Hispanic and Black populations would be undercounted and its white population overcounted, making the state’s census among the nation’s most inaccurate.

The Washington-based nonpartisan think tank outlined three scenarios in its census projections, with anywhere from 97,000 to 320,000 people – roughly the population of Orlando – going uncounted, at least.

Urban Institute researchers concluded the census will fail to count about 2.4 percent of Black Americans and 2 percent of Hispanic Americans while slightly overcounting second home owners and seasonal residents, who tend to be seniors and white.

Florida ranks 11th among states in Black residents who comprise about 18 percent of the state’s population and sixth in total Hispanic share of the population, 27 percent.

Florida was slow to gear up for the census. After maintaining for months the headcount was best left to the bureau and more than 120 local committees across the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez in January to lead a 19-member Florida Complete Count Committee.

Unlike California, which has spent nearly $200 million preparing for the 2020 census – New York City spent $40 million and Illinois spent $29 million – Florida did not allocate money for the census.

What may have spurred DeSantis to join 45 other states in lending executive assistance to the headcounters was the outside potential of qualifying for a third new congressional district.

The bureau estimated in January that Florida’s population was 21.48 million, which means the state virtually is assured of adding two members to its 27-member Congressional delegation and gaining two votes in the Electoral College.

Virginia-based political consulting firm Election Data Services, however, projected Florida was about 172,000 people away from adding another seat, nearly 200,000 people closer to qualifying for a third new congressional district than it was in 2018.

John Haughey
The Center Square

Friday, 07 August 2020 17:11

Pick of the Week: Summerlin Cafe

I decided to check out a new restaurant that bravely opened up DURING THIS PANDEMIC ... It's called The Summerlin Cafe.

I asked if the owners were in and met with John & Nick Drivas, they have been in restaurant business some 30 years, starting and growing up in the family business up in Tampa... now open for Breakfast and Lunch at this time and are scheduled to add dinner in October... God willing.

Serving breakfast all day with coffee, tea or juice included... offering specialty skillets, omelets, pancakes, French Toast, Crepes, Waffles and all the traditional dishes as well. They post daily breakfast and lunch specials everyday on their Facebook page, the day I was there they had Crunchy Coconut French Toast as their breakfast specials. (see picture) Salads come with a free bowl of soup, always made from scratch and all sandwiches come with one side..

coconut curnchy french toast sm

They purchased the building that the old Sunflower Cafe Restaurant was in, and spent months remodeling, the location feels squeaky clean and wide open ... Located at 11370 Summerlin Square Dr. on the very outer edge of Fort Myers Beach on the road that parallels

Summerlin Road by the new Wal-Mart and they want everybody to know that they are practicing all CDC guidelines and social distancing.

John and Nick are Greek so you'll find some great traditional Greek dishes like Gyros, Traditionally cooked on premises or my all time Greek
favorite .... Chicken Souvlaki, (see picture below) a chicken shish kabob marinated in lemon, garlic, oregano and Greek Seasonings, laid over pita bread with tomatoes & onions with homemade tzatziki sauce on the side. and many others dishes with an added Greek flair.

siyvkaki sm

So come on out and help support this new venture....

Mention you saw this article and get 1 BOGO Mimosa or Bloody Mary for breakfast or lunch.

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"Take a look at my record, man. ... I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I've run." -- Joe Biden, May 22, 2020, on "The Breakfast Club," hosted by Charlamagne tha God.

No, the NAACP has not "endorsed" Joe Biden for any of his races, let alone all of them. Following Biden's claim, the NAACP stated: "We want to clarify that the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level."

There's the Nelson Mandela lie Biden told in February at a campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, a claim Biden repeated days later at the Nevada Black Legislative Caucus:

"This day 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid. I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto, trying to get to see him on Robbens Island. When he came to the United States, when he came to the White House -- to the Senate, I was chairman of the committee. ... He walked across in that private room with the big table we have in the executive room, and he walked over. And I said, 'Mr. President,' and he leaned out and he said, 'Thank you, thank you for trying to come and see me.'"

 

But Snopes, a left-leaning fact-checker website, said:

"Firstly, the former vice president claimed in South Carolina to have been arrested along with the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a reference to (Andrew)Young, a Georgia congressman who traveled to Lesotho with

Biden in December 1976 before he became U.N. ambassador (and who later served as mayor of Atlanta during the 1980s).

"In February 2020, Young told both The New York Times and The Washington Post that he himself had never been arrested in South Africa, and he said he did not think Biden was either.

"Secondly, in the same South Carolina speech, Biden said he was arrested with Young 'on the streets of Soweto' while trying to visit Mandela on Robben Island (Biden repeatedly and mistakenly referred to the place where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years as 'Robbens Island').

"On its face, this claim appears utterly implausible since Soweto, a township of South Africa's largest city Johannesburg, is located nearly 900 miles northeast of Robben Island, which is off the coast of Cape Town -- the two locations are effectively on opposite ends of the country."

 

Then there's Biden's alleged civil rights record:

"When I was 17, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses. And my stomach turned upon hearing the voices of (Arkansas Democratic Gov. Orval) Faubus and (Alabama Democratic Gov. George) Wallace. My soul raged on seeing (Birmingham, Alabama Commissioner of Public Safety) Bull Connor and his dogs." -- Biden, 1983, at the New Jersey State Democratic Convention.

"As a young man, he took part in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants along U.S. 40 in Delaware," reported the Baltimore Sun following an interview with Biden in 1986. A Morning News article in September 1975 said that Biden "joined in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants along U.S. 40 before he joined the Senate."

"When I was 17 years old, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses of Wilmington, Delaware." --Biden, 1987, California Democratic Convention.

"Well, I got my education ... in the Black church. Not a joke -- because when we used to get organized on Sundays to go out and desegregate movie theaters and things like that, we'd do it through the Black church. I got to admit to you I'd go to my Catholic mass at 7:30 first, and then I'd show up in the Black church." --Joe Biden, Dec. 6, 2019, Iowa campaign stop.

But last year, The New York Times wrote: "In ... 1987 ... more than once, advisers had gently reminded Mr. Biden of the problem with this formulation: He had not actually marched during the civil rights movement. And more than once, Mr. Biden assured them he understood -- and kept telling the story anyway."

Biden and the race card have had a long, cozy relationship.

Recall that Biden, during the Obama-Biden 2012 reelection campaign, said to a racially mixed crowd: "Romney wants to let the -- he said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, 'unchain Wall Street.' They're going to put y'all back in chains." And this year, in the interview with Charlemagne Tha God, Biden said, "You got more questions but I tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black."

What do these repeated lies illustrate? Biden sees Black people as pawns to whom condescending lies can be told with no fear of retribution, no matter how blatant the falsehood.

 

Larry Elder

Chef Cristof Danzi of Cristof' on McGregor has been creating culinary masterpieces for over 20 years here in Fort Myers. He started his cullinary adventure in Lee County at the McGregor Grill back in 1999 when he took over the restaurant, after 12 years there he outgrew the space and found a new location nearby on the corner Royal Palm Square Blvd and McGregor Blvd in a cozy 1940's cottage home converted into a comfortable eatery with an open feeling but with private spaces and even a private dining room off the bar for special gatherings, with indoor and outdoor dining.... it really has a spacious feel.

Cristof started his restaurant career washing dishes in Italy while attending college and learned all aspects of back house from the ground up, eventually cooking his way across England, Eurasia and Barbados. If you've ever worked in a restaurant as I have (in a previous life), you want a boss who is someone that has done every aspect of the business... they make the best bosses because they know each job and the challenges that they face... when overly busy, or understaffed etc.

With his vast worldly experience Cristof’s menu is a blend of Louisiana, Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisines, but all the dishes are made with an Italian accent but you'll find all the traditional Italian appetizers you would expect like Bruschetta, Caprese Salad, Fresh Mussels, Calamari ever so lightly cooked to perfection... and some new twists too like Tuna Carpaccio and even Fried Green Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Italian style Bacon.

cristof1christof2smchristof smcristof

In the spirit of something for everyone.... Vegan diners will be happy with the black-bean burger and the portobello burger.

My group didn't even get to the main dishes as we ordered and shared 4 apps and found them to be exquisite, we are all looking forward to returning with hardier appetites .

His love of cooking can be expressed best by his quote "With the passion I have for cooking, it’s like I never work."

As of July 15, 2020 for the safety of their patrons and their staff, they are mandating a mask/ face covering policy to enter the restaurant. When you are seated at your table, you may remove your covering.

Cristof on McGregor
10231 McGregor Blvd,
Fort Myers, FL 33919
(239) 791-8473

Do We Have A Cure For Civid 19? - I Do Believe…That Dr. Richard Bartlett of Houston Texas, Does Have a Cure For Covid-19!

How Many Times Does the Medical “Profession” Have to Be Hit over The Head…To Wake Up?!!

Dr. Richard Bartlett is a practicing Doctor, MD, Surgeon who has treated …now listen carefully…Hundreds of patients with confirmed Covid-19 and cured them…ALL!  Not a “few”, nor 10 or a 100, but hundreds…and he cured ALL that he treated!  How do I know because he said so and I believe him? There are some people who are truth tellers and in my opinion…he is a truth teller. He’s been practicing medicine for 3 decades. He has no reason to lie…like so many do.

I read his “paper” but don’t understand much of the medical terms but when a legit person who has little to gain and everything to lose by making a profound statement, that effects the lives of millions…those nonbelieving morons need to stick their pride, in their …back pocket, and listen instead of jump to the conclusion, “he did not find a cure” .That is what these Medical professionals, who didn’t think to try what he tried, are doing. These 15 year college graduates apparently didn’t learn a thing in 15 years of college and higher education and the “practice” of medicine!

The man says “he’…him, personally, treated hundreds of patients in various stages of Covid19 and he cured 100% with the same type of treatment as they treat asthma patients except he used a common medicine (Steroid) called Budesonide with a nebulizer, and an upper respiratory antibiotic. It cured, them in a few days… they tested negative after a few days of treatment, at a cost of $200 and they all lived!

So, let’s assume he told the truth and he cured those patents as he said …what does that mean?

To me…a Federal Investigator for 3 decades, with an education in Engineering (Math, Science,  Chemistry and such), I think we should drop whatever we’re doing and immediately, take the sickest people ( ventilator/ elderly) and see if we can save these hopeless cases who have no other hope or way to go. I believe we should put any other studies that seem to have good results and pour all our resources into Dr Bartlett’s protocol that so far, works 100%.

In Mathematical terms that’s a little better than …pretty good. Are there any other protocols that have cured hundreds of Covid19 patients and have a 100% success rate? If you, Mr CDC have one, where the hell is it?

Are we NUTS or what?

Instead of praising this guy’s success in saving lives…100%... these CDC experts will take a look at it in October, set up a study for 6 months and …get back to us!

Listen Mr CDC that is NOT good enough!

I say “bend” your freaking protocol, pull your heads out of the dark place you have them stuck, so at least your ears pop free and do away with Bureaucratic Regulations and do it NOW!  TRY HIS PROTOCOL…NOW!

How many people will die by the time you get all the approvals, all the regulations, set up studies, read up on your protocols, see if there are any favored medicines(big pharma) that are close to being successful, that you and you colleagues have invested money in?

When a man says he has the cure, who is well respected…quit putting him down challenging whether he followed protocols…he did…he saved Lives…that’s the only protocol that matters!

Whether he did it in a study, at a college, clinic, in a hospital or on a battlefield makes no difference…100% is 100% …come back to reality!

Mr President his name is Dr. Richard Bartlett,Odessa Tex, area. His cure is Budesonide w/ nebulizer and oh yes…you are correct, according to him, Hydroxychloroquine does work too…his words, not mine!

One of Dr Bartlett’s patients was on a ventilator, dying and her Doctor held out no hope. Dr Bartlett applied his protocol and she was cured…from death bed to cure…in days and not weeks! Do we think he “faked” it?

Direct the CDC, to do an emergency study of the sickest who seemingly have no hope …if I had Covid19 and no hope, I would want my advocate to volunteer me to be treated and so would millions of Americans…we have hope!

gary small

 

J. Gary DiLaura

FBI RED

Retired, Extremely Dangerous

Senate Republicans' latest COVID-19 stimulus package proposes another round of direct payments to Americans and more enhanced federal unemployment benefits for workers who lose their jobs during coronavirus restrictions.

The $1 trillion package, called the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act was released Monday.

If passed by the U.S. Senate and House and signed by President Donald Trump, the direct payment to American workers would be similar to what was provided through the CARES Act passed in late March: $1,200 for workers making $75,000 or less, with diminished payments to those making more than $75,000 and up to $100,000.

"Just like in March with the CARES Act, Senate Republicans have authored another bold framework to help our nation," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. "So now we need our Democratic colleagues to reprise their part as well."

 

The enhanced federal unemployment benefits would be reduced from $600 a week as provided through the CARES Act, a $3 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress in late March, to $200 a week. The CARES Act unemployment benefits expire this week. The federal enhancement would be in addition to state unemployment benefits.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and many Republicans said the $600 in additional weekly benefits discouraged some workers from returning to their jobs because they made more off unemployment.

Senate Republicans' plan also includes $105 billion more for schools, $16 billion for increased coronavirus testing, additional funding for small business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program that would be forgivable if businesses retain workers, and protections for businesses whose workers contract COVID-19.

Another stimulus package is being negotiated after the Congressional Budget Office reported that June's federal budget deficit was $864 billion, an amount greater than the entire federal budget deficit for the year of 2018.

 
 

​Dan McCaleb

The Center Square

Speaking at Mount Rushmore, and from the White House lawn on Saturday, July 4, Donald Trump recast the presidential race.

He seized upon an issue that can turn his fortunes around, and the wounded howls of the media testify to the power of his message.

Standing beneath the mammoth carved images of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, Trump declared: "Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities."

These mobs are made up of Marxists, criminals and anarchists. Their cause is a cultural revolution. "Their goal is not a better America. Their goal is the end of America."

After reciting the achievements of his four predecessors, Trump added: "No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart."

Then he put it right into the basement hideaway of Joe Biden: "No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future."

Trump is calling out Biden's silence in the face of an onslaught against our heroes and history as manifest political cowardice that makes Biden a moral accomplice of the mobs.

One day, Basement Boy is going to have to speak out.

Where was Biden when Trump was standing up for America on Independence Day?

As his Party tweeted that Trump's trip to Mount Rushmore was aimed at "glorifying white supremacy," Biden was wailing about the need "to rip the roots of systemic racism" out of America.

Does that sound like Harry Truman or JFK?

So the lines are drawn for 2020.

On one side are those who believe America is a good country, the greatest the world has ever seen, and that the men who created this miracle should be respected, revered and remembered.

That is not the view of the left wing of the Democratic Party.

For even as the fireworks were exploding on the Mall, a Baltimore mob was tearing down, smashing up and dumping into the Inner Harbor a landmark statue of Christopher Columbus.

That statue stood next to the Baltimore neighborhood of Little Italy and had been dedicated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.

Do the haters of Columbus think that destroying Columbus' statues across America will not anger and alienate Americans of Italian descent who revere the explorer? Does Biden think Italian-Americans will reward a candidate and party that will not renounce the mob that did this?

As the left wing of the Democratic Party embraces the "defund the police" movement, how long will it hold onto voters who are today watching murder rates climb to new records?

During Independence Day weekend in Chicago, 80 people were shot, and 17 of them killed.

In New York City, the number of shooting victims has risen this year by 50%. In June, there were 250 shootings, an increase of 150 over June 2019. Mayor Bill de Blasio's response: cutting $1 billion from the NYPD budget.

Over July 4, an armed Black militia arrived at the reopening of the Stone Mountain monument in Georgia, which features huge carved images of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. They want its destruction.

Trump is charged with "dividing the nation."

But it is not Trump trashing cops or providing cover for "protests" marked by looting and arson. Nor is it Trump tearing down memorials and monuments to the great Americans of the past.

Where the Democratic Party has been a portrait in indecisiveness, Trump has been clear. He stands with the cops who have gone through a hellish six weeks. He stands against defacing statues and destroying monuments. He has denounced the rioting, looting and arson that have accompanied protests the media never cease to describe as "peaceful."

It is not Trump who is dividing America. He has pledged to resist the rampages with all the weapons in his presidential arsenal.

There are four months until November's election, 18 weeks until America decides: Do we want to continue an era of protests that revert to rioting, looting and arson? Do we want to see police departments further constricted and trashed as neo-fascist?

Do we wish to see statues of presidents from Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant to Teddy Roosevelt trashed by mobs that hate America, hate her heroes and hate her history?

Trump's stand for tradition and against mob rule is the only stand the president can take. And it is a necessary stand. For this culture war is going to last long after this presidency. And it is going to determine what kind of country we shall become.

Will it be the great and glorious republic of the past or the social and cultural Marxist hellhole that is the promise of the mobs? Patrick J. Buchanan

Dear Doctor: My boyfriend laughs when I turn down the car stereo when I'm trying to find a new address, but I've seen his dad do the same thing when he's changing lanes on the freeway. Why does the quiet make you feel like you can see better?

Dear Reader: Your boyfriend may have fun teasing you, but we'd be surprised if there haven't been similar instances in his own life.
The scenarios you describe, which require you to evaluate incoming data and make split-second decisions, suck up a lot of mental energy. Researchers refer to this as "cognitive load." Eliminating a distraction such as sound can help with concentration by reducing the cognitive load. That's because, much like a computer, our brain's capacity to engage in multiple tasks is finite.
To understand why, it helps to appreciate the complexities of the human brain. It's made up of three major parts -- the cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem. The largest and topmost part is the cerebrum, which is divided into left and right hemispheres. It deals with learning, emotions, reasoning and fine motor skills, and it interprets the flood of data from the five senses. Tucked beneath is the much smaller cerebellum, which oversees muscle movement, balance and posture. Acting as a relay center between the two and the spinal cord is the brainstem, which also oversees the staying-alive stuff we don't think about but can't live without. This includes breath, heartbeat, swallowing, sleep cycles and temperature control.

The three areas of the brain, plus the spinal cord, make up the central nervous system. It regulates movement, thought and emotion. It's why you're able to find that new address. But while it seems as though we can concentrate on multiple things at once, the brain handles tasks sequentially. It's just making the switch so swiftly, in mere nanoseconds, that it feels like we're multi-tasking. Once you're hunting for a street sign, though, or gauging car lengths in fast-moving traffic, all of the collecting and interpreting of data by the central nervous system reaches critical mass. That cognitive load we talked about earlier gets to be too great. Turning down the radio removes enough incoming data to make it easier to concentrate.

A small study in Sweden looked into this phenomenon several years ago. Researchers had each of 32 participants perform an easy visual task and a challenging visual task. They were also instructed to ignore the audio -- a random sequence of sounds -- that was playing. The subsequent MRI tests revealed that when participants concentrated on a visual task, there was a decrease in the responsiveness of the auditory nerves. Basically, the brain itself was turning down the volume.

The takeaway here is that when our inner mute button can't adequately remove the auditory distraction, our brain kicks in and we decide to turn down the car stereo. We're adjusting our environment so the most important task -- finding the address or safely merging onto the freeway -- has a better chance of getting accomplished.

Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, and Elizabeth Ko, M.D.