Monday, July 10, 2017

R.I.P. L.P. Or Why Libertarianism Isn't A Viable Political Party

Something very minor but very interesting happened last week in the world of politics, or at least I thought it was interesting. It involved Austin Petersen, a relatively young 36 year old guy who is mostly famous in Libertarian circles for coming in second to eventual Libertarian party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson at the 2016 LP convention. Gary Johnson went on to run a Quixotic campaign memorable mainly for asking "What Is Aleppo?". Even so Johnson somehow managed to pull in a rather substantial percentage of the votes in 2016, positioning himself as less obnoxious than Trump and less criminal than Hillary, although to be fair virtually everyone not currently incarcerated in America is less of a criminal than Hillary. Johnson won 4.4 million votes in 2016. That is a huge number of votes that came from a variety of people, including people like me on the "far Right" who recognized that Trump was not a "conservative" of any sort and temperamentally unsuited for the Presidency. It was so many votes that when you look at the total votes cast, the meaningless "popular vote", I dug into the data and came to the conclusion that candidates on the right won more votes than candidates on the left (for my reasoning, see here). Ironically it also was a sign that the end has come for Libertarianism.

Back to Petersen. On Facebook he said he had been pondering a run for the Senate in his home state of Missouri. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, is up for re-election in 2018. On Independence Day Petersen announced that he was indeed running for the Senate but as a Republican. Petersen said of his announcement:
Dear friends in the Libertarian Party,
For the last eight weeks, I've spent six hours a day calling my supporters to ask them their thoughts on how I might best advance liberty. I took the time to listen to every single persons' opinion about a potential opportunity to seek a seat in the U.S. Senate here in my home state of Missouri.
 Of the thousands of people I spoke to, all encouraged a run, hundreds donated, and the vast majority offered their opinion regarding which party I should align with. Over 98% of them, including registered Libertarians, independents, Republicans, and even Democrats, said to run GOP.
You can read more here from Reason Magazine, Read Austin Petersen's Goodbye Note to the Libertarian Party. It is worth pointing out that Trump won big in Missouri, defeating Crooked Hillary by around half a million votes and nearly 20% so McCaskill looks hugely vulnerable.

You might not know who Petersen is but I think this is pretty significant. As someone who supports most of the points of the Libertarian Party platform (a platform I think a lot of "Libertarians" are completely unfamiliar with) and has voted Libertarian for the Presidency in the last two elections, I liked Petersen a lot and had high hopes for him. He is not a religious fellow but he is pro-life and makes a great secular case for being so. He is solidly pro-Second Amendment. He is young and charismatic and well spoken and dynamic, pretty much the exact opposite of the ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld who combined being dull as drywall with not being terribly Libertarian. I think he recognizes the reality that a lot of Libertarians have come to, that the LP is completely incapable of competing on the national scale except as a spoiler to help Democrats. For example, in our home state of Indiana every statewide office is held solidly by Republicans except for one Senate seat held by Joe Donnelly. Donnelly won in 2012 with almost exactly 50% of the vote, thanks to some serious missteps by his opponent Richard Mourdock that the media repeated ad nauseum but also thanks to a solid third place from Libertarian Andrew Horning who drew 5.7% of the statewide vote. While Mourdock would have still lost by a few thousand votes even with Horning's votes, it would have put a win in striking distance and in a different electoral environment could have caused the difference.

More broadly speaking, I see Libertarianism as equal parts an academic exercise and an online treehouse. It is fun to post "Taxation Is Theft" memes on Facebook and talk about Austrian economics on Twitter. It is especially gratifying to have the smug sense of intellectual superiority compared to those sheep who vote Democrat or Republican. It is kind of like being a Calvinist. Half of the fun of being a Calvinist is commiserating with other Calvinists and chuckling over a craft beer at how simplistic and inferior Arminians are.

Libertarianism is great as a political philosophy but ultimately impractical for governing because it fails to understand something critical about human nature, that is that humans are fallen and selfish beings. It  is ironically one of the same failings of its polar opposite political philosophy, socialism/communism. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need sounds lovely when arguing over drinks but in practice human selfishness takes over and no one works any harder than is absolutely necessary which is why in the end the only way to keep socialism functioning is via state sanctioned violence.

That brings me to the NAP. The NAP or non-aggression principle is the cornerstone of libertarianism. You leave me alone, I leave you alone. Unless you are hurting me or someone else, what you do is your business.

James Madison addressed this question, although not necessarily in libertarian terms, in the Federalist No. 51, a text I learned way back in political science classes in college:
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
That is a pretty solid summary. It was true in 1788 and it is just as true in 2017. Men are not angels and because men are not angels, they must have some sort of government.

Back to the NAP. The problem with it is that it only works if everyone agrees to abide by it. The reality is that almost no one does. This works from a Romans 12, non-resistance theological framework because we fully expect people to abuse it. As a governing political philosophy it doesn't. It doesn't take into account human nature and it doesn't really take into account a lot of other factors that contribute to our liberty. Don't bother me and I won't bother you doesn't address questions like abortion. It also fails to deal with the problem that as long as a bunch of people can vote to take what they want from other people and a bunch of other people get rich from making that happen, there is very little chance that we will ever disentangle the political process from a redistributionist scheme.

The other big problem and what I think is contributing to the rapid disenchantment of many towards libertarianism is that the movement seems to be obsessed with and hijacked by the twin pillars of gay marriage and legalized pot. Instead of "muh freedom" we have "muh pot" and "muh sodomy". A lot of people on the Left who favor "gay marriage" and pot legalization have latched on to libertarianism and either don't know or don't care that those are, or ought to be, pretty peripheral issues when it comes to liberty. I guess as long as two fellas can play house and smoke a joint after sodomizing each other, it doesn't really matter what our tax structure looks like or if our Second Amendment rights are intact.

More broadly, we have moved into a new phase of political expression that defies the old Left to Right political spectrum where more Left means higher taxes and bigger government and more to the Right means less government and lower taxes. We are seeing a lot of groups on the "Right" that don't care all that much about tax policy. We see a lot of new groups on the "Left" that have very little interest in the once cherished working class insofar as the working class includes white people. Libertarianism used to occupy the position on the far right end of the spectrum by calling for the elimination of most taxes and even government itself just as the socialists on the far left end called for complete government control of all economic activity. As we saw with the Bernie Sanders insurgency, identity politics transcended socialist politics. An old heterosexual Jew from Vermont was inadequate to represent the new Leftists. No, you have to be homosexual or "transgender", black or Latino or "Native American". Being a Jew is a no-go, being a Muslim is the way to go. What you really need to be for the new Left is a homosexual transgendered half-black, half-American Indian vegan Muslim in a wheelchair. It is all about identity. Trump is the mirror image of this on the Right. Other than his suspect miraculous conversion to the pro-life cause, Trump is nowhere to be found on the old Left-Right continuum. He is always rambling about protectionism and stimulus spending and tax increases/decreases. In fact he doesn't seem to know what he believes but he believes in the West apparently.

The divide now is one of cultures and civilizations. The political struggle is now Western culture vs. everyone else. The Libertarian response would be that our conflict with Islam and the non-West is a result of "blowback" from military interventionism in the region. That is true, but it is not the whole story or even the majority of the story. The West and Islam have been in conflict for over 1000 years, a conflict that predates the Crusades and a conflict driven by Islamic aggression that largely precipitated the Crusades. Blowback provides a convenient contemporary issue to rail against but it is just a tiny irritant in the grand picture.

A low tax, low regulation Libertarian utopia is irrelevant in a non-Western culture, even if it could hypothetically happen. Those on the far "Left" don't care if there is a socialist paradise if the paradise is run by heterosexual whites. The Left has moved past "get other people's stuff for free" and it now mostly concerned with "taking white people's stuff". If you think I am wrong I would challenge you to simply open your eyes and see what is being said by prominent "activists".

Libertarianism in it's purest form is the best possible form of government in a perfect world but we don't live in one of those. Quite the opposite. A better way of describing it would be that Libertarianism is the best possible form of government for the 1990's, after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before September 11th. For the world we live in today it is at best a whimsical academic exercise, something fun to debate online but otherwise about as meaningful as fantasy football. In the best environment for a serious third party challenge in decades with two absolutely repulsive main party candidates, Libertarians nominated two utter chumps without a shred of charisma between them and who were actually barely qualified to even call themselves Libertarians. Even in that environment they managed to garner a tiny fraction of votes.

The political world has jumped the single political spectrum tracks and now a lot of us are arguing about policies that aren't even in play anymore. People who care about liberty and freedom and who also care about sustaining Western civilization need to find a different path because Libertarianism isn't going to be any more viable in the critical next 5-10 years than it was in 2016. That path doesn't exist in a clear form yet but the makings of it are there. The real question now is who will lead that movement and what will it look like? That question is the one that occupies an awful lot of my attention these days.

Rest in peace Libertarianism. You had a nice run but ultimately failed to live up to even a fraction of your potential. It is time to make room for something new.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Prophet Tom Clancy

I started rereading Tom Clancy's The Hunt For Red October, one of his best back before he started churning out just awful, predictable books before his death. It was written in 1984, some years before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the death of the Soviet Union. It later became a popular movie but not a terribly good one, thanks in part to Sean Connery trying to talk with a Russian accent in his Scottish accent (a close second in cringe to him trying to sound Irish with a Scottish accent) and the presence of uber-liberal Alex Baldwin, a casting choice that apparently irritated Clancy.


It doesn't get much play in the book but it does warrant several glancing mentions that this fictional story was happening in the middle of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, an occupation that lasted a decade (1979-1989). The occupation resulted in some 14,000 Soviet fatal casualties and tens of thousands more wounded. It also led to a perception of weakness and was a source of smugness among Americans who knew we were aiding the mujahideen. The Soviets were bled for a decade and in the end retreated from Afghanistan. The Soviet Union collapsed shortly thereafter. I was struck by a statement Clancy penned early in the book from his main protagonist, at that time CIA analyst Jack Ryan regarding Afghanistan.
“Sir, the truth is that Moscow moved in there by mistake. We know that from both military and political intelligence reports. The tenor of the data is pretty clear. From where I sit, I don’t see that they know what they want to do. In a case like this the bureaucratic mind finds it most easy to do nothing. So, their field commanders are told to continue the mission, while the senior party bosses fumble around looking for a solution and covering their asses for getting into the mess in the first place.” 
Wow, that sounds familiar. A misguided occupation of Afghanistan with no clear objectives but sustained by bureaucratic inertia and a fear of looking weak. The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan lasted a little less than 10 years. The U.S. occupation is entering the 16th year with no sign of a "victory", no actual objectives that anyone can name and the looming reality that when we eventually leave, the Taliban will take right back over and things will go back to how they were. The same Taliban as an aside that grew out of the mujahideen that were our buddies when they fought the Soviets but now are our enemies. Ironic, no?

Staying in Afghanistan because we don't know what else to do and can't figure out a way to leave without losing face is criminally incompetent. We are on our third administration overseeing this fiasco with no sign of a change in policy. On the bright side there have "only" been around 2,000 fatal casualties for U.S. troops which is a lot better than the Soviets losing 14,000.

Afghanistan has often been referred to as the graveyard of empires or where empires go to die. The British learned this. The Soviets learned this. We apparently are refusing to learn the same lesson. Every day we stay there bleeds our nation a little more and accomplishes nothing. It is high time for someone to have the courage to realize and say out loud that we have no mission in Afghanistan, no discernible objectives and no way to "win" when we don't even know what winning means. President Trump needs to be the maverick he ran as being and get us out of Afghanistan. We should not sacrifice even one more American life in the pursuit of an unknown goal. Osama bin Laden is dead, the Taliban are ascendent yet again and we need to wash our hands of that country.

The only real question left is how many more American kids will die in that desolate wasteland before we finally leave.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Love Of Power Is Not The Same As Love Of Country

Following the shooting of House Majority Whip Scalise and three others by a leftist loon (somewhat redundant, I know), President Trump released the obligatory and predictable statement condemning the attack, calling us to come together, etc. It was completely forgettable and I would rather he had skipped this predictable exercise that we go through after every tragedy. His visit to the hospital was far more noteworthy. But one line in the statement stood out to me, not because it was profound but because it was an obvious lie.
We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and a son of globalist
demagogue and puppet-master George Soros. How very cozy.
Does anyone seriously think that Nancy Pelosi is in Congress because she loves this country? Or that Chuck Schumer is in the Senate and pals around with the Soros family because he loves this country? In the spirit of bi-partisanship, do you really think Mitch McConnell, as worthless a Majority leader as the Senate has ever seen and the most pitiful excuse for a "conservative" this side of George Will, is in the Senate because he loves this country?

What about lobbyists? Federal bureaucrats? Various trade associations and law firms and sundry other groups? Do they all love this country? I don't doubt some of them do but no doubt a lot of them like their job or at least the benefits or happen to live there.

Or, as is I suspect very common, they love the power. They may not have much but they like being in the vicinity of the power. Smelling it, rubbing shoulders with it on the Metro, seeing it walking around, surrounding them in every grotesque Federal office building that controls and dictates the lives of hundreds of millions of people. I have spent some time in D.C. and you can feel it. You can feel the difference. There is some of this when you are in the financial districts of big cities. The tall, imposing buildings full of people that think they are super important convey that sense of power. I imagine that is what it is like on Wall Street but I have actually never been to New York City, one of the few major cities I have not been to on business., but I suspect it is similar. But D.C. seems to throb with power. Everyone seems to look at everyone else as either someone to envy or someone to look down on depending on their place on the Washington social strata. Plus there is the weird love-hate relationship people who live there have with the city. They all complain incessantly about traffic, crime, cost of living, tourists, etc. but they would never leave. If I disliked somewhere as much as so many people in D.C. do, I would leave but they don't because you can't get a taste of that power anywhere else.

There is a difference between loving this country and loving what this country can do for you.

A huge difference.

I know this. Anyone with any sense knows this. I know for a certainty that President Trump, a man who spent his life running in the power circles and buying and selling politicians, knows this far better than I do. So why say something like that?

It is just what you do when you are President. The whole game in D.C. is a giant farce put on to distract us. The truth, or at least the first whiff of truth, is that no matter who wins or who loses an election, the same people stay in power. Sure, if Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer switched places as Majority/Minority leader it would mean a little more power for one and a little less for the other but they would still be enormously powerful, wealthy, influential and sucked up to. For a man who campaigned that he would "drain the swamp", President Trump seems to find that the swamp ain't all that bad and kind of suits him these days.

Sometimes you drain the swamp, sometimes the swamp drains you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This Is The World We Live In

Unless you have been completely out of the loop, you know that a fruitcake supporter of Bernie Sanders, a fanboy of Rachel Madcow Maddow, 66 year old James Hodgkinson opened fire today on a large group of Republican Congressmen practicing for a charity baseball game against their Democrat counterparts. Reports are still coming in but it looks like this guy was a fan of every leftist group around, from Bernie Sanders to the Southern "Poverty" Law Center, which ironically claims to identify people who hold hateful ideology, and Media Matters, one of the most intractable and obsessive leftist engines on the internet.

The FBI is seeking information on this guy, it certainly seems like he acted alone but who knows?


One of the wounded is the Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who is listed in critical condition, as is a lobbyist who was there. A Congressional staffer and two cops were also wounded. You can watch the video taken by a cell phone here if you want.

What are we to make of this?

The first and most obvious thing is that this is what we should expect in an era of overheated rhetoric laced with violent suggestions. The American Left has been engaged in an orgy of assassination porn from the New York play mimicking Trump being assassinated to "comedian" Kathy Griffin holding a mock severed head that was made to appear like it belonged to the President of the United States. Who can forget Madonna and her juvenile bluster about blowing up the White House or this ironic picture:

Spoiler: There are actually two clowns in that photo. Keeping it in the family, the nephew of Mr. Dogg, some nobody who calls himself Bow Wow, blustered about "pimping out" the First Lady of the United States, thereby unintentionally reinforcing any number of stereotypes about black men.

Weird, who could have predicted that the endless attacks by the media and "entertainment" figures would lead to violence from unhinged people? It is worth repeating yet again that while the rhetoric is super-heated on both sides, the violence leading up to and following the election has been overwhelmingly one-sided and the side it emanates from is the Left.

Second, these are perilous times we live in. It has been my opinion since the election that we were headed for partisan bloodshed sooner rather than later and I was correct, unfortunately. Absent the police being there because of the Majority Whip this could have been a situation where dozens of sitting Congressmen were assassinated in broad daylight. I am not sure what that would have meant for this country but it would have been unprecedented in my lifetime. I have a hard time seeing how this country doesn't come apart at the seams, literally, in the next five years. The only question is how bloody it gets. I hope that doesn't happen but I can't really see a way forward when you look at the state of this country, our debt load, our diminished economy, etc. It is something of a comfort that this gunman was an idiot and an awful shot which helped mitigate the potential carnage.

Third, it is even more obvious now than ever that the media in this country is not a news source but a partisan mouthpiece mostly for the Left. As more and more people realize and embrace this, we see more and more people gravitating to echo chambers whether on the right or the left. At least conservatives for the most part realize they are doing this while the left seems to think that their hyper-partisan favorites are somehow the unbiased news sources. While the "mainstream" media obsesses over Russia and the NBA champs (who knew the NBA was still a thing?) boycotting the White House visit to whimsical musings about impeachment without a shred of evidence to outright calls for open revolt, there are many people who soak that up and that leads to losers opening fire on Congressmen playing baseball.

Fourth and finally, and more on this later, we are seeing that the old dichotomy of liberal-conservative, left-right, no longer are accurate descriptions of our political situation. It has evolved way beyond that but most of the energy is still spent on useless battles while the real struggle is happening elsewhere.

This is a sad day for America and for our grand experiment of liberty and freedom in a Constitutional republic. Benjamin Franklin once was said to have responded to a question about the sort of government the Constitutional Convention had given the American people. His reply is said to have been "A republic, if you can keep it". The reason for his warning seems clear today and the response is sadly looking very much like we are no longer able to keep the republic they gave us.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Speaking Of The Mad Queen

Hillary tries to be funny on Twitter

Hillary is not funny

Donald Trump, Jr. Replies

Hillary Gets #REKT


The Madness Of Queen Hillary

So check this out...



"I take responsibility for every decision I made, but that's not why I lost,” she said at the annual Code Conference in California. “Anti-American forces are going after our economy and they are going after our unity as a nation."

It sort of reminds me of another person who was never at fault:



Hillary Solo!

First the delicious irony. Here is someone who described millions of Americans as "deplorables", essentially irredeemable people who deserved that insult by virtue of not obediently voting for Mrs. Clinton. Yet she is deeply concerned about "our unity as a nation". The only unity she is interested in is unity based on her being in charge. In other words the same sort of "unity" we see in places like North Korea where the people are unified under a single glorious leader. In America, a place Mrs. Clinton seems unfamiliar with, we have a history of patriotic dissent but that apparently shouldn't be permitted according to people like Mrs. Clinton and Mayor Ted "Joseph Stalin Wannabe" Wheeler in Portland.

She colluded with the DNC to derail the Bernie Sanders campaign, she colluded with the media who gave her advance notice of debate questions. She is a terrible, arrogant person that conducted a predictably terrible and arrogant campaign. She apparently listened to mental midgets like Rachel Maddow who assured us that even if Donald Trump had the best day ever he would still lose (I can't get enough of this video of Maddow slowly melting down on camera while that nasty smirk slowly goes away to be replaced by a petulant tantrum) and didn't spend any time in places like Michigan and Wisconsin and that cost her the White House. She is perhaps the least likable public figure since Nixon and has left a trail of scandals (Whitewater, the email server, Benghazi, her influence selling family "foundation") as well as a trail of bodies in her wake. Still we hear there are lots of reasons she lost but none of them have anything to do with her. It was Russia, it was the FBI, it was the alt-right, it was Pepe memes, it was Russia, it was the DNC, it was Russia, it was misogyny, it was Russia. Did I mention Russia?

I have watched a lot of elections come and go but I can't ever remember anyone refusing to move on after losing. Not even Al Gore. Although Al is still badgering us about phony "mad-made climate change" while living in a huge, energy burning mansion and flying around the world in a greenhouse gas emitting jet to scold America, at least he isn't whining about the election he lost. McCain, Romney, Gore, Kerry, Dole, Bush, Dukakis, Mondale, Carter. They lost and they went on with their lives. Not Hillary. Like her former boss Obama who can't get enough media attention now that he is out of office, Hillary just can't let it go. After creeping around the woods for a short time, with the occasional "impromptu" photo op with distressed supporters, she is endlessly on the news whining about why she lost.

She is really becoming kind of unhinged. I am convinced her whole existence, her whole reason for being, was to become the first female President. Do you think she married Bill out of love or because he was ambitious? Do you think she stayed with him after all of the scandals because she is just a "stand by your man" kinda gal? Oh, she specifically said she wasn't. Everything she has done for decades led up to the 2016 election. She didn't get the nomination in 2008 but that was because she was up against the eventual first black President so I think she was sort of OK with that but assumed that when Obama left office she would step right in. The media lapdogs assured her that she would win, her sycophantic advisers assured her she would win, her tiny "crowds" of supporters at campaign stops reinforced this. She created an entire worldview based on a coronation, a cosmic inevitability that she would be elected in a landslide.


Then in one glorious night it all came crashing down and I think something snapped in Mrs. Clinton. I think she is off her rocker and I also think she somehow thinks that something is going to magically happen, Trump will get impeached and in spite of the Constitution we the people will come to our senses and on bended knee beg her to be our President, President Hillary Clinton, first of her name. I really think she thinks that. I guess the alternative, that she will never be President, that her party has moved on and is no longer interested in her brand of sanitized corporate liberalism, is too horrifying for her to contemplate so her mind has created an alternate reality but unlike most people who get professional mental health care when they have a psychotic break, she is being egged on by her only true supporters left, the sold out mainstream media and the silly children on college campuses. Her slide into madness is only accelerating.

In all seriousness, I dislike Hillary Clinton. Actually I despise her and am sick to death of her whining. Nevertheless it is pretty unseemly and more than a little disturbing to watch her slowly unravel mentally in real time. She turns 70 this year and is spending her remaining years in a fever swamp. Someone close to her, assuming there is anyone, needs to give her a heavy dose of reality. Otherwise she is going to end up on her death bed mumbling about the Russians, going to her grave cursing Putin and standing at her Judgment still thinking that she really won the election. That isn't a fate I wish on anyone.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pop Quiz!

OK without Googling can you tell which person pictured below is a threat to America?

First up...


...Steve Bannon, adviser to President Trump, former chair of Breitbart news and a top five bogeyman of the Left.

Second we have.....


Richard Spencer. He is the founder of altright.com and famous for being the most visible spokesperson of that movement as well as for his "fashy" haircut and getting sucker punched.

Next we have....


David Duke. Duke is a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and is a favorite bogeyman of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a "hate group watch-dog" / highly successful "fundraising" organization. Duke was also a one term state legislator in Louisiana as well as running unsuccessfully for the Congress, Senate, the Governor and twice for President.

Finally we have....



Ted Wheeler, the happy go lucky mayor of Portland, Oregon. Ted is a predictably leftist, pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-homsexuality, etc.

So which is the threat to America?

If you guessed Ted Wheeler....

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!

Why would such an innocuous looking smiley fella be more dangerous than the other three? Well in the wake of the stabbing death of two men in Portland who tried to intervene when a deranged guy apparently started yelling and ranting at two women on a train, the good Mayor is trying to quash a peaceable assembly that he happens to find offensive. As a side note, another man was also stabbed and is in serious condition. All three of these men did what men are supposed to do, namely protect women. I guess the patriarchy does have some uses after all. Anyway, this guy has been immediately labelled a "white supremacist" by the "mainstream" media even though there ample evidence from social media that this guy was actually a rabid Bernie Sanders supporter (is there another kind?) who pretty much hated anyone and everyone depending on the day and his mood. Bernie Sanders supporters are well-known for their white supremacist tendencies. Another ironic side note, we are told that no matter how many times Muslim terrorists blow up innocent civilians, we can never blame Muslims as a whole. Guilt by association and all that. When a guy who is not recognized as part of the white supremacist / white nationalist / alt-right / whatever kills people in a fit of rage, it is not only OK but required to lump everyone who questions mass immigration in with him.

Proof of that and why I say Ted Wheeler is a danger to America is that there is apparently an "alt-right" rally scheduled in Portland and Mayor Wheeler is calling on the rally to be cancelled out of "respect" but what he said as part of that statement is what is extremely troubling, emphasis mine:

The mayor of Portland, Ore., is calling on the federal government to help him stop what he describes as two upcoming “alt-right” demonstrations as his city continues to reel from last week’s deadly train stabbings. 

“Our city is in mourning, our community’s anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Monday while urging the organizers to cancel the events scheduled for June 4 and June 10. 

“My main concern is that they are coming to peddle a message of hatred and of bigotry,” Wheeler said. “They have a First Amendment right to speak, but my pushback on that is that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

I wonder if Mayor Wheeler has actually ever read the First Amendment because that is not what it says. At all. The ACLU agrees:

The American Civil Liberties Union immediately rejected that stance, saying, “The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period.”

#rekt

That is kind of the whole point of the First Amendment. If the government can allow or deny speech it dislikes then that completely negates the First Amendment. Fortunately the Feds agreed. From Fox 12 Oregon:

The federal government will not revoke the permit for a rally planned in downtown Portland on Sunday despite an impassioned plea from Mayor Ted Wheeler.
---
"Since the permit was lawfully obtained to assemble at this federal location, GSA has no basis to revoke the permit," according to the U.S. General Services Administration.

Welp.

Liberty, freedom, the American way of life, the Constitution: 1

Leftist thought control 1984-esque wannabe tyrant Mayor: 0

More broadly speaking, this sort of assault on the First Amendment is not restricted to this event. We are already seeing the violent attacks from Leftists on college campuses. In Europe and Canada where there is no Constitution we see the government already cracking down, not on suspected Islamic militants but on people who are "Islamaphobic", also known as "Gettingblownupatconcertphobic". It is a reminder to me and should be to everyone just how precious our Bill of Rights is and how unique. It is also a reminder that there a lot of people in this country that want to control what you do, what you say, where you go, who you associate with and even what you teach your children. Cheesy grinning, Ironman Triathlon, Mt Everest climbing Mayor Teddy Wheeler is a genteel forerunner to more insidious tyranny. We must never give a single inch on the Bill of Rights because there are just too many people like Teddy who would love to dismantle the whole thing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Russkies Are Coming! For Real This Time!

The Russians are coming for our precious bodily fluids! Or something like that.



I read something interesting this afternoon, Russia's Plans for New Nuclear Carriers And Destroyers Delayed Indefinitely. Why is this interesting? Because the Russians are once again the cartoonish villains in our cultural narrative but this time they are reviled by the Right and the Left! For the Right it is kind of the same old story, the Russians are threatening our military hegemony, we need to build more and more and more weapons to keep them in check or they will overrun Poland. For the Left the Russians are secretly the power behind Manchurian candidate and now President Trump. Anything and everything is part of the Russian conspiracy and the less substantive the accusations the better! "Sources say" is like crack to journalists.

The military threat of the Russians is completely overblown. As I have mentioned and the article reiterates, the one Russian aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is so unreliable and prone to breaking down that it is accompanied at all times by a tugboat. From 2011 to 2020 the Russians invested an extra $336.3 billion in military spending or an extra $16 billion a year. That sounds like a lot until you consider that on top of the approximately $600,000,000,000 we already spend on the military, President Trump is proposing an increase in 2018 alone of $54 billion in U.S. military spending and what additional spending the Russians are using sounds like it is not been spent in a terribly effective way. I wouldn't worry about the Russians replacing America on the top of the superpower heap.

I was a senior in high school in 1989 when the Berlin wall came down and it rocked our world. My whole life up to that point was spent in fear of the Russians. Nuclear war, movies like Red Dawn, the Russians were the scary people. I wonder what 17 year old me would think of an America 28 years later that still fears the Russian bogeyman?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

An Interesting Look At The Constitution



The United States Constitution, which is more quaint and innocent times was the law of the land, starts off with three articles that establish and create the powers and limitations of the three branches of the Federal government. I found the order and the size of each article interesting. The first article deals with the Congress, the Legislative branch. Including the headers it is 2,318 words and is very detailed.

The second article deals with Presidency, the Executive branch. Section two is 1,033 words, less than half the length of Section one. A ton of the section deals with how to elect the President and the rest of it is pretty limited in terms of what he can do.

The third section, as anyone who has watched Schoolhouse Rock should know, deals with the Judicial branch, i.e. the Supreme Court and lower Federal courts. This section is a mere 379 words and is very, very limited in terms of the scope of the power of the Supreme Court.

This makes it all the more bitterly ironic that the branch given the least attention in the Constitution now wields almost absolute power. Executive orders regarding immigration policy? Nope says the judiciary. A YouTube video exposing the casual brutality of Planned Parenthood? Nope, gotta remove that video says the judiciary. A "right" to abortion and a "right" to homosexual "marriage" that are not mentioned in any sense in the Constitution? Yep, those are right there in the Constitution and now we created a law that covers the entire United States without a single vote by the Congress.

The Founders would be aghast at what a mess we made of the nation they created and nowhere more so than the absolute power wielded by the judicial branch that makes law on a whim. In many ways we are a banana republic where people who have never gotten a single vote in an election make laws out of thin air that we all are bound by under threat of force and imprisonment.

Not too long ago I described America to an Amish guy as a person who went five days walking into the desert with three days of water. I might have to amend that as we probably only have one day worth of water left and our children and grandchildren are the ones who are going to suffer for our misdeeds.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Maybe Democracy Isn't Such A Great Idea

There are a lot of reasons why democracy might not be such a great idea, first and foremost the voters themselves. When you spend much time among the general populace and realize that they can vote for whatever they want and that I have to pay for it and/or have it impact my life significantly, it is kind of scary. To vote in America requires that you are born and manage to make it to age 18 without dying. That is it. You can be dumb as a stump, crazy, whatever, and still get to make decisions for other people. It doesn't matter if you can name who your senators are or the capital of your state or find Washington, D.C. on a map. It doesn't matter if you don't know how many states there are. You get to vote to decide how much someone should pay in property taxes even if you don't and never will own property. You don't have to know anything, have any sort of stake in the process or even really care at all, all you have to do is be 18 and manage to find your way to the polling place on the correct day. It certainly works better when power is decentralized so that the most important issues are local issues but that is not how it works today. Today most of the people who make the most critical decisions that affect how I live my life are made by people who have probably never been within 50 miles of my house. They don't know me and they don't care about me. Why should they?

Case in point, the honorable Maxine Waters who would be a shoo-in for the "Dumbest Politicians Ever" Hall of Fame if there was such a thing. I wouldn't trust her to make change from a dollar bill and yet the good people of her district in California have seen fit to inflict this simpleton on the rest of us and as 1/435th of the House she gets a direct say in how I live my life. You really can't exaggerate how stunningly dumb she is. She makes former Vice-President Dan Quayle seem like a genius in comparison (I met the VP in person in New Hampshire when he was running for President, he really is pretty dumb). A random sampling of clips of her from YouTube should send a chill down your spine. For example:


Does it seem reasonable to you that someone like this is a Federal lawmaker? She has been in Congress since the January following my graduation from high school, 26 years. Prior to that she was in the California State Assembly for 14 years, preceded by a few other jobs in politics and a degree in sociology. These are the qualifications of someone who occupies a seat in the Congress of the United States for more than a quarter century. When you look at the rogues gallery of lunatics (James Traficant), scumbags (Dennis Hastert) and various criminals who have served in Congress, it is really a miracle we are not worse off than we are.

The people of her district can vote for whoever they want. That is their right. That is also the problem. I wouldn't hire Maxine Waters to work the drive-thru at McDonalds but the people of California keep electing her reflexively over and over and over. I don't know what would be a better system than we have right now but our experiment with a democratically elected republican government is kind of a disaster. Maybe the system they used in Starship Troopers....

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Peaceful Protest?

In another racially charged case, a Tulsa police officer, Betty Shelby, killed a motorist with PCP in his system, Terence Crutcher. She was charged with manslaughter and the trial ended with a verdict of not-guilty. As is universally the case the result of a jury of her peers (9 White and 3 black jurors) has been declared a miscarriage of justice, etc.

The merits of the case, which include a great deal of conflicting video evidence, the presence of PCP in Crutcher's system and his extensive criminal past, are not my primary concern. Having a very extensive criminal past doesn't mean it is OK to shoot someone. Being on drugs, even something as serious as PCP, doesn't mean it is OK to shoot someone. But when you start to combine enough issues, you find an unfortunate but completely preventable situation. The father of Terrence Crutcher stated that the police officer "got away with murder" and lamented that his four grandchildren "have lost their daddy", with no mention of their father being a criminal and drug abuser which no doubt didn't provide a great home life for his kids. A local Tulsa clergyman, Rodney Gross of Morning Star Baptist Church, stated 3 times in 3 sentences that Terrence Crutcher was murdered even though the officer in question was not even charged with murder and the crime she was charged with, felony manslaughter, she was also found not guilty of by a jury of her peers. As someone who claims to be a Christian minister, Mr. Gross should be more temperate in his pronouncements as his comments seemed more designed to elicit a favorable response from his listeners than speak the truth.

The response is what I am concerned with.

CNN reported that there were demonstrators outside of the courtroom, which is not surprising. This is how CNN described them:

Shortly after the ruling, demonstrators gathered outside the courtroom in a peaceful protest.

Fair enough. The next two sentences are of more concern:

"Bring her out," the crowd yelled, referring to Shelby. "No justice, no peace, no racist police!" 

Gov. Mary Fallin said that while residents have a right to express their opinions, they should do so in a peaceful manner.

Bring her out? Why would they yell that? That certainly sounds like a essentially unveiled threat. I don't think it is outside of the realm of reality to read between the lines and see "We disagree with the verdict so bring her outside where we will dispense justice". Whenever the cry of "No justice, no peace" is heard it is a clear threat of unrest and violence, i.e. a lack of peace, when a jury decision goes against the wishes of the crowd.

Imagine if a similarly charged situation were reversed and a black man was on trial for raping and murdering a White woman. When he was found not guilty, a crowd of Whites gathered at the courthouse and shouted "Bring him out!". Would any reasonable person not see that statement as ominous and laden with threats of violence? What historically literate person would not hear echoes of lynch mobs of the early 20th century? Does anyone think that CNN would have described the crowd as "peaceful protesters"?

We are in a racially charged environment and it is getting worse, no thanks for 8 years of Obama. It is incumbent on people of all races to try to ease tensions, not to cry "Murder" when no murder was committed like Rodney Gross, who as a minister should know better. The death of Terrence Crutcher is tragic because it was so preventable, in part preventable by a different response from Betty Shelby but mostly from a man with a lengthy criminal record not getting stoned and driving a car leading to a tense standoff.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Steyn On Population Growth

Mark Steyn who often fills in for Rush Limbaugh and is far more entertaining, not to mention the person who looks least like his voice in human history, has been doing a series of YouTube videos that are fun and he recently posted one based on a chart from Steve Sailer at vdare, African Population Explosion: The Graph That Explains the 2015 Migrant Crisis. The chart has to do with the projected population growth of Europe and Africa over the remainder of the century and looks like this:

Why is this important? The resources of Africa are so strained right now that it is a serious crisis, the same basic crisis that has been going on in Africa since I was a kid. Too many people, too little food, too little infrastructure to get aid where it needs to go and too many revolutions, violence and corrupt leaders. That is only going to get worse, not better over the next 75 years.

I recognize that a lot of people think of Vdare as a White supremacist/xenophobic site or some other such nonsense but it turns out that I don't care. Where are those billions of Africans going to live if not Africa and it can't be Africa because what will they eat? According to Steve Sailer, they are going a) figure out a way to find population equilibrium or b) flood in ever greater numbers in Europe or c) find balance via war or mass starvation on a scale we have never seen. Call me crazy but seeing pictures of millions starving to death is worse than someone calling me a racist. Give Steyn's video a watch, it is sobering stuff.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I Would Have Thought That A Helmsman For An Intergalactic Space Exploration Vehicle Would Be Better At Math

George Takei, once a beloved character on a nostalgic TV show, Star Trek, who has since become a social media giant famous for tweeting/Facebooking funny cat videos and not so funny ignorant political rants, seems incapable of adding 2 plus 2 and coming up with 4. For example on Mr. Sulu Takei's Twitter feed there was this post on May 6th:


I would agree that it is horrific. I strongly oppose the militant gay rights movement as destructive to our society and the gay lifestyle is destructive to those involved in it but it is a criminal act to murder people for having a homosexual lifestyle. But then a few days later George posts this:


What George seems unable to connect here are some pretty obvious dots. Muslims probably do face some discrimination in America, although I strongly doubt it is anywhere near as severe or prevalent as they would like you to believe. I used to work in the town just south of Dearborn, Michigan and many of my customers at the bank were Middle Eastern and they seemed to get along just fine. In fact every new group to a nation experiences some discrimination, as my Irish and Polish ancestors did but they overcome it. On the other hand, in nations where Muslims are a majority, like Chechnya (95% in the Chechen capital of Grozny), people like this gay teen and people like George Takei for that matter, get thrown off of buildings for being homosexual. George is so very concerned about this gay teen and presumably about the reported "gay concentration camps" in Chechnya but doesn't seem to make the connection that the reason these camps exist is that Chechnya is a majority Muslim nation. 

For people like George Takei, Muslims in America are an oppressed minority that they should stand in solidarity with, encourage the importation of and expect to have their friendship reciprocated. I would like to ask George what he thinks life for people like him will be like as the number of Muslims increases. Are there any Muslim majority countries that he and his "partner" would feel comfortable living in? It seems to me that homosexuals make the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" error when it comes to Islam. Homosexuals see normal people, specifically White men, as their enemy because they perceive that they discriminate against them carrying out their homosexual behavior. They likewise see those same White, straight, presumably Christian, men are the enemies of Islam so solidarity with Muslims creates a coalition, a united front against straight White men. The reality is that I don't think that Muslims see homosexuals as true allies, just as allies of convenience. As the Soviets found out in World War II, if you aren't careful about who you make alliances with, you might find them turning on you once you stop being useful. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Science!

Climate change is in full effect here in northeast Indiana based on our five day forecast....


Yes, yes, I know. Weather is not climate (except when it is) but it is really cold.

I know that in spite of this that climate change is true because scientists say so and get super angry when anyone questions them. The response you get to legitimate questions is somewhere south of KJV-Only types on the scale of irrational, frothing at the mouth outrage. "You can't ask questions, because SCIENCE!". After all, everyone knows that scientists are never wrong, like seriously and completely wrong, and they are never, ever influenced by their own political beliefs and the desire to keep their funding flowing in so they don't have to get real jobs. What makes self-proclaimed elites and intellectuals angrier than anything else is when regular people don't take them seriously. It drives them bonkers. Even worse is when people they consider their inferiors make fun of them. All of which simply encourages me to do so. Make no mistake, behind Bill Nye the "Science" Guy, the rest of the climate change inquisitors, the Black Lives Matter folks, the "Fight for $15" people, etc. are the same group of neo-Marxists who don't give a rip about black lives or the environment or how much janitors make. They are only concerned with a wholesale dismantling of our economic system and Western civilization. That isn't "science", it is just old fashioned Leftist politics.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Yeah But She Was Asking For It

In our cultural lore women were once asked accusatory questions during rape trials. What were you wearing was one of them. If a woman was wearing a blouse with a plunging neckline or a short skirt or jeans that were too tight, she could be accused of provoking the rapist. In general this doesn't happen anymore, and I am not sure it really did but I don't doubt that it could have. Of course in Europe and other places with a large Muslim population, the "provocative dress is asking for assault" narrative is becoming legitimate again.

Anyway, that sort of stuff is decried by the Left as "victim blaming", to the point that you can't even suggest, gently as a lamb, that getting blind drunk in the company of strange men might be a bad idea, just like leaving your new car unlocked with the keys in the ignition and the engine running in Detroit at night is a bad idea. So telling women that if they dress provocatively they are asking to get raped is bad, which it is but apparently showing up somewhere to speak on a controversial topic is being "provocative" and inviting violence. So says the New York Times this morning in their "Thursday Briefing" regarding Ann Coulter and others who want to speak in a public venue but have been prevented from doing so because of the threats of violence from the ironically labeled Leftist thugs "antifa".

See, if Coulter spoke at Berkeley and violence broke out and she got hurt, well tough cookies. She was asking for it. Heck, she was "eagerly" asking for it. What a slut!

The story should be, as it is from semi-responsible people across the political spectrum, that it is wrong to shut down free expression with violence and threats of violence. That isn't how it works today with our contemporary openly partisan media.  Now they can't help but try to turn an obvious attempt at violent speech suppression into a "She was asking for it" because she and other conservatives are "eagerly putting themselves into volatile situations". Instead of Ann Coulter the Berkeley antifa are going to get the more inflammatory Gavin McInnes, Lauren Southern and others and their supporters who are fired up and spoiling for trouble speaking today at 2 PM. I am going on a limb and saying that they are going to find the trouble they are looking for. Eagerly looking for it even. If you won't let people like Milo and Coulter and of all people Charles Murray speak without violence and threats of violence, you are going to empower the more fringe parts of the Right.

Of course this is the same New York Times that suddenly has discovered the Federal deficit and is super concerned that the proposed tax cuts by Trump will increase the deficit.

Just to be clear, when Obama blows trillions in deficit spending on wasted "stimulus" spending, not a peep from the Left about the deficit and debt. That is because any spending that makes government bigger is holy and righteous. However any deficits incurred by reducing the amount of money taken from tax-payers, in other words letting the people who earn the money decide how best to spend their own money, is strictly forbidden because the average citizen cannot be trusted to act in their own best interest.

The New York Times. All the hostile propaganda that's fit to print.

UPDATE: Charles Murray has weighed in on being accused of "asking for it" in a pithy and brief retort:



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We Gotta Cut Government....But We Can't Cut THAT!

Our local news featured a story yesterday that warned that the proposed "America First" budget of Trump would lead to the end of three Amtrak runs through Indiana, including two lines that go through the nearby station of Waterloo, Indiana.

My first thought was that if those lines close up it would suck for the Amish both here and in Northern Indiana (LaGrange/Shipshewana) as they use Amtrak from that station to provide cheap long-distance transport to places like Missouri and Pennsylvania.

My second thought that was thinking like that is exactly what got us $20,000,000,000,000 in debt in the first place. Pretty much every spending line in the Federal budget has a constituency. If you cut spending anywhere, it will impact somebody.

The "any cut to spending = the apocalypse" mindset is sort of like what we used to call NIMBY, which stood for Not In My Back Yard. In other words, we like power plants and factories, we just don't want them built near us because they are dirty and unsightly and often not very healthy. Now the equivalent is "We need to cut spending but only spending that doesn't impact me" and that doesn't work any better than NIMBY did.

If we don't get out of this mindset, we are doomed to insolvency. In fact even if we do get out of this mindset, it might already be too late. With 2/3 of the Federal "budget" taken up by non-discretionary spending, the path to righting this ship is going to mean a lot of shared sacrifice. There was once a time when that idea didn't frighten/anger Americans but those days are mostly over. We have moved from "The Greatest Generation" to "Ask not what your country can do for you.." to "Me first" to "I should have everything I desire and someone else should pay for it".

The American experiment has failed and the collapse is inevitable and coming soon.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Me On The Internet

Pardon the one obscenity but the rest is awfully funny but also very true.


Vandalism Is Now A Daring Act. What Media Bias?

A group of loony left vandals caused a bunch of damage at a Trump golf course, all in the name of justice or something. The Washington Post describes them as "environmental activists" in the story, Video shows environmental activists defacing popular Trump golf course.
A group of environmental activists pulled off an elaborate act of vandalism at one of President Trump’s premier golf courses early Sunday morning.
The group — which labels itself an “anonymous environmental activist collective” — snuck into Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and carved a message into the green with six-foot-tall letters that said: “NO MORE TIGERS. NO MORE WOODS.”
Weird, I would think criminals or vandals would be a more appropriate description of these people. I wonder what the WaPo would have said if Hillary had won and "activists" defaced her property? I am guessing that the word "activist" wouldn't be used. Setting aside for a moment the inane message, which I guess was supposed to be clever but I am pretty sure that there were never any tigers there to begin with, and the irony of tearing up the environment to protest damage to the environment. I wanted to make another point. Here is a screen shot of the WaPo (Democracy Dies In Darkness!) story. Notice the bottom line underlined in red (click the pic to enlarge):


Huh. What exactly was changed to "more accurately reflect the nature of the actions"? Well according to the comments from last night and this tweet, the WaPo story originally described criminal trespass and vandalism in a less nuanced way.


A daring act of defiance? How noble to sneak onto a golf course and deface private property! How noble of the WaPo to change it to "more accurately reflect the nature of the actions" but the real sentiment is expressed in the original description. I am trying to track down a screenshot of the pre-"more accurate" headline. To the WaPo and other mass media organs, the pretense of journalism has been thrown out the window a long time ago and now they are simply mouthpieces for the American far left. At least now they are open and honest about it.

According to these environmental activists cowardly criminals and vandals, what they did was "justified" because golf courses are a crime or something:
The group consisted of four people, who accessed the course by scaling a fence and “walking down a steep hill laced with cacti,” the group member told The Post. “Tearing up the golf course felt justified in many ways,” the member said. “Repurposing what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged is an environmental crime in its own right.”
Ah yes. Remember "environmental activists" wrecking golf courses when their beloved Comrade Obama played 333 rounds of golf on golf courses that had "repurposed" "what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged"? You don't? Come to think of it, I don't either. I guess when the "privileged" person on the playground is Barack Obama, it is OK. 

This incident is the latest act of criminal behavior that leftists feel is justified because they don't like the outcome of an election. It is only a matter of time before someone gets killed by these lunatics and we are already on the edge of serious violence in this country, all being perpetrated for now on one side but you can be sure that at some point the violent behavior will be reciprocated and then who knows what will happen. When it does happen, and I think it will sooner rather than later, "media" outlets like the Washington Post and others will bear some measure of responsibility for their inflammatory rhetoric that excuses, if not outright justifies, criminal behavior in the place of civilized discourse.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

That Terrible Corporation Did Something Because It Is PROFITABLE?! Off With Their Heads!

I should know better but still it keeps happening. I posted a comment on a story about Wendy's introducing automated kiosks for customers to place their orders, an obvious replacement for the entry level order takers we are used to at fast food joints. It seems like an overdue move, I am quite confident that I can punch in my order more efficiently using a touch screen than I can explain to a clerk what I am looking for. Obviously there will still need to be entry level unskilled workers to prepare the food, clean up and hand out the meals but it should shift the labor around a bit and reduce the number of people needed to efficiently handle the task of fast food restaurants. Needless to say I got some replies including one which warranted further response. Here it is, the name is blacked out to protect the innocence of the author of this incoherent, disjointed grammatical trainwreck.


My reply back to this gentleman and scholar was, essentially, duh, almost all of what corporations do they do for profit. That is kind of the point but we live in an era where corporations, created to maximize shareholder value via profit, are considered to be doing something wrong if they do something to increase profits and the very concept of profit itself is seen as something dirty. So here is a little economics pro-tip for ya.

If you get groceries at the store, live in a house or apartment, wear clothes, drive a car, own a TV, access the internet, use a cell phone, or really anything else you can thank profit. People don't build houses for the fun of it, other than some kooks who like that sort of thing and Habitat for Humanity. Grocery stores are not non-profit organizations, they buy food in bulk and sell it to you at a profit. That is how they exist and pay for the building itself and grocery clerks and check out lanes and refrigeration. Apple doesn't make iPhones as a public service, they profit from making iPhones and they profit handsomely.

The profits companies make pay the salaries of almost everyone. Oh yeah, well I work the government or a non-profit, my salary is untainted by the filthy lucre of profit! Where do you think non-profits get their money? What about the government? Profit is one of the engines that drives our entire economy. If you have a 401k, the gains you get are most likely attributable to profits. If you have a job, that is because of profit as well. Offering a product or service for more than what it costs to create that product or service is how virtually our entire private sector functions.

But some companies have too much profit! How exactly does one define that? A company you have no connection to might be "too profitable" but one you work for that provides you profit sharing or that you invest in really can't be too profitable, right?

Profit is not evil. Being "not-for-profit" is not morally superior to being "for-profit". Profit is simply getting more for economic output than you put into it. It is adding value. It is what drives our economy and what makes our economic system and created our enviable standard of living. It is the difference between a subsistence existence and one with luxury and comfort.

Just remember before you complain about profits. If you are reading this post, you are only doing so thanks to profits.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

NPR's Pet "Conservative" Doesn't Understand Supply And Demand

David Brooks is what NPR and establishment media types on the coasts think a conservative should be, namely someone who doesn't actually hold to any conservative values and exists mostly to be a polite but mild skeptic of what his liberal betters are saying. When you look at people like David Brooks and George Will, coastal cocktail party "conservatives" and then compare them to people like Steve Bannon, it is pretty clear that if anyone to the right of George H.W. Bush was listening to them, they aren't anymore. The rank and file of conservatives are sick to death of being hectored and scolded by white wine sipping elites telling them what to think and how to vote. That was on full display with the interview at CPAC with Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. Priebus represented the old guard, genteel Republican establishment and Bannon the populist, nationalist viewpoint that elected Trump, a viewpoint that I think is way stronger than anyone imagines and is probably quietly getting stronger all the time. The media might be fixated on little protests of professional perpetually aggrieved deviants and social justice warriors but the rest of America is probably a lot more OK with what Trump is doing than the media thinks. After all, if you based the election strictly on what the experts were saying on election day, Hillary Clinton would be President and First Dude Bill would be in charge of White House intern vetting. But just as the insufferable smirk slowly disappeared into shock and then anger on the face of Rachel Maddow, I am pretty certain that the real political climate is much different than what media thinks or tries to convince us of.

Anyway, Brooks posted an essay at the New York Times (All the leftist slanted news that's fit to print!) in which he repeated the pro-unlimited immigration and turn-a-blind-eye-to-illegals nonsense that we hear all the time, that we just gotta have lots of immigrants, legal or otherwise, because no one else will do the hard work. His essay is titled The National Death Wish and it is about the dumbest thing you will ever read.

A few weeks ago, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, Republican senators from Arkansas and Georgia, introduced an immigration bill that would cut the number of legal immigrants to this country each year in half, from about a million to about 500,000. 

In a press conference, Cotton offered a rationale for his bill. “There’s no denying this generation-long surge in low-skilled immigration has hurt blue-collar wages,” he said. If we can reduce the number of low-skill immigrants coming into the country, that will reduce the pool of labor, put upward pressure on wages and bring more Americans back into the labor force. 

It seems like a plausible argument. That is, until you actually get out in the real world.

Irony alert! Has David Brooks ever been "out in the real world"? Or perhaps he thinks that his vantage point living in the cosmopolitan cities of America gives him a crucial insight into the "real world". You see, in the real world it is insane to bring in 1,000,000 immigrants every year to fill jobs when we already have millions of Americans who choose not to work, tens of millions on government assistance and millions more doing service economy jobs that are disappearing as places like J.C. Penney slowly collapse and close stores. He argues that America is like a river, not a lake, and that we just need to "go with the flow". The problem is, continuing his metaphor, that our waterways are already full of fish. He continues:

Nationwide, there are now about 200,000 unfilled construction jobs, according to the National Association of Home Builders. If America were as simple as a lake, builders would just raise wages, incomes would rise and the problem would be over.

But that hasn’t happened. Builders have gone recruiting in high schools and elsewhere, looking for people willing to learn building skills, but they’re not having much luck.

Construction is hard, many families demean physical labor and construction is highly cyclical. Hundreds of thousands of people lost construction jobs during the financial crisis and don’t want to come back. They want steadier work even at a lower salary.

Employers have apparently decided raising wages won’t work. Adjusting for inflation, wages are roughly where they were, at about $27 an hour on average in a place like Colorado. Instead, employers have had to cut back on output. One builder told Reuters that he could take on 10 percent more projects per year if he could find the crews.

What exactly are the "steadier" jobs he is talking about? Meaningless retail jobs or jobs pushing paper around a desk? For someone without technical skills of some sort and without the obligatory 4 year degree, the job market is absolutely brutal for most workers so a lot of them are just not working at all. But, but construction is hard! Heaven forbid we do work that is hard! Construction absolutely is cyclical but if you think it is impossible to make a living doing construction, let me drive you around the area where we live and you can see the brand new brick homes and $20,000 horses that the Amish own, paid for by cyclical, seasonal construction jobs. 

But people don't wanna do hard jobs, they are demeaning! Who is to blame for that mindset? Maybe people like David Brooks and his buddies at the Times who have been denigrating blue collar work and insisting that anyone who doesn't go to college is pond scum. Instead of calling Betsy DeVos a Nazi, maybe we should really start to reevaluate the "education" system and ask whether the output is what we really need, especially given the obscene amounts of money we spend on public schools and universities. I am willing to bet that if people were given the choice between working at a "hard" job and having no money, they would choose the "hard" job 99 times out of 100. But if you give a lot of people the choice between a "hard" job and "free" money via welfare, guess which one they will choose?

Brooks then takes a quick excursion to the land where everyone gets a unicorn and rivers flow with chocolate.

A comprehensive study of non-European Union immigrants into Denmark between 1991 and 2008 found that immigrants did not push down wages, but rather freed natives to do more pleasant work. 
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The way to help working families is not to cut immigration. It’s to help everybody flow to the job he or she wants to take.

Again, what is this "more pleasant work"? Being a clerk at Wal-Mart? What sort of fantasy world does he live in where all of these awesome, pleasant jobs are just sitting around waiting for someone to choose them? Praytell David, where does one go to apply for these pleasant, business cycle proof jobs? I also am a little confused about "flowing to the job" I want to take. I seem to recall that I had to take jobs that were available, to work hard and gain experience, and then to actively seek out positions to get jobs I want. Brooks makes it sound like you can just float along and the flow will take you right to the job you "want to take". How about the jobs you take because you need to or even have to? We can't all write flowery prose from New York about the realities of the "real world", the vast majority of us who actually live in the real world have to work for a living, and no David, passively allowing E.J. Dionne to rant his leftist propaganda for five minutes on a Friday isn't really work.

Finally we come to his closing argument and this is even more infuriating than the rest of the essay because it exposes something rather ugly in his mindset and the mindset of a lot of our "elites". Brooks pondered:

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many Republicans prefer a dying white America to a place like, say, Houston.

Paging Bill "Let's Replace Whites With Mexicans" Kristol. I am sure David Brooks really doesn't understand but then again he lives in New York. I am also sure he has no idea and probably doesn't care in the slightest that to people like me that sounds an awful like a complete dismissal of my family and my culture. Brooks is a Jew, although apparently not an observant one. I wonder what he would say to a statement that suggested that replacing the Jews in Israel with a multicultural cornucopia was preferable to clinging to a "dying Jewish Israel"? When you use language that appears to commoditize and summarily dismiss as irredeemable an entire race of people, especially when the people in question are in the majority of this nation and are, if we can be completely honest and painfully politically incorrect, the same race of people who built this nation and made it a country that people from around the world want to come to, it suggests a complete lack of empathy and the sort of thinking that led to David Brooks being so grumpy on PBS the evening of the election.

We are not just widgets. an interchangeable set of economic units that can be swapped out for some other units to keep the coffers of global corporations full. Not White people and not anyone for that matter. If Brooks thinks we can engage in a wholesale replacement of the historically dominant race and culture of America and end up with something that is equivalent, he is sorely mistaken.

David Brooks only sees two possible futures. Either a dying White America or a multicultural utopia. There are no other paths. Demographic destiny is fixed and our economic future demands the sacrifice of "white America". The death of White America is inevitable and if you read between the lines it is not all that lamentable. I reject that. We have spent decades and trillions of dollars trying to right past racial injustices, many real but many not and as the years pass the balance of real versus perceived injustices is shifting quickly. Now the people who founded this nation, created a Republic that is the envy of the world, tamed the vast North American wilderness, defeated both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, invented so much of what we take for granted in modern life, who feed the world, those people are in some distress and David Brooks and Bill Kristol and others (like Jennifer Rubin who thinks we should essentially force Whites to move from the Midwest and into the idyllic urban centers, like Chicago and Baltimore and New Orleans, to be re-educated on how "diversity" is our real strength), seem to think that they should be cast aside in favor of "new" Americans who get to inherit what the prior Americans built.

I am sure the garbage being sold by Brooks, Kristol and Rubin get approving nods from people in Boston and New York and L.A.. For the Americans who dwell in the distasteful Midwest and West, for Americans who live outside of the big cities in the South and the West, it feels a lot like ingratitude and suspiciously like being spit on. Maybe instead of dismissing us to the dustbin of history, we can find ways to remove barriers for White people to learn skills, start businesses and farms and raise families? I fear that Hillbilly Elegy, which was a great book and a sober warning, is misinterpreted by a lot of elites who read it like they read the 50 Shades books. Hillbilly Elegy seems like a book that could be the equivalent of poverty porn for cosmopolitan elites, a book that reinforces the stereotypes that they hold about the "deplorables" in fly-over country who "cling to the guns and religion" in-between smacking around their girlfriends and cooking meth.

That brings me to the alt-right, a shadowy group lots of people love to reference and very few people know anything about. If I hear one more liberal ignoramus telling me how much they know about the alt-right and explaining that Breitbart is the main media source for them or that Milo is the epitome of the alt-right, I am going to puke. A lot of more mainstream conservatives are terrified of the alt-right. Rod Dreher at the American Conservative recently suggested (based on an anonymous email allegedly from a high school student) that the alt-right is infiltrating Christian schools. The Executive Director of the American Conservative Union which puts on the recent CPAC conference took the time to denounce the alt-right at CPAC and alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer was stripped of his CPAC credentials, which ironically enough gave him yet another opportunity to be interviewed by the media and gain exposure. Hillary Clinton invoked the alt-right bogeyman and my buddy David Brooks suggested that they were controlling Trump behind the scenes back in August.

Do you want to know why the alt-right is gaining so much traction and why people like Richard Spencer get so much press? It is not because deep down so many Whites are racists, which is what the media and the political Left and apparently a lot of "conservatives" would like you believe. It is not even that most or many Whites agree in substance with the alt-right on very much. The reason is that virtually no one on the political right except the alt-right is willing to talk about issues of race without constant apologizing, stammering and virtue signaling. You might not like what they are saying and in fact you may hate it with a passion but when "conservatism" is mostly stammering and staring at your polished wingtip shoes, the reality is that most conservatives have ceded the entire discussion of race from the Right to the alt-right. Many regular White Americans on the right, and even many who are fairly apolitical, and who don't get invited to cocktail parties in Manhattan are sick of being told "Well Whites have had a good run but your time is over. Just go back to your meth lab in the trailer park and wait to die, the sooner the better so we can replace you with a foreigner who is willing to work hard.". They are sick of being blamed for every ill and they are especially sick of being told they enjoy "White privilege" when they are working two jobs and still struggling to make the mortgage payment. When they look for some sort of perspective from the mainline GOP, they find that the average establishment Republican is far more concerned about being thought insufficiently dedicated to diversity than they are about Islamic terrorism, abortion or a $20 trillion national debt.

The Democratic National Committee just elected their new chairman, Tom Perez, the Hispanic former Secretary of Labor who defeated Muslim congressman Keith Ellison but then appointed Ellison as his deputy. Ellison was formerly associated with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam and wrote in law school in favor of a separate black state, to be formed from southern states. As an aside, a racially based separate state is one of the key goals of the alt-right and that is something with some real support in the black community. Ironic, no? With the selection of a Latino chairman and a black Muslim deputy chair, the Democrats made clear that they are still sold on running based on identity politics. Cosmopolitan Republicans like Bill Kristol and "conservatives" like David Brooks advocate the wholesale jettisoning of Whites or their semi-forced relocation. To paraphrase the saying, any port in a storm, when no one else seems to care about your interests, you go with the one that does no matter how much you dislike them.

That wasn't really where I meant to go with this post and the whole thing is pretty angry but then again so am I. I have a lot more to say on this subject but I probably stepped on enough toes, violated enough shibboleths and earned enough disapproving harrumphs for one day.