Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Death Throes of a Political Party

We are witnessing a historic turning point. Future eras will study the final months of 2018 as the metamorphosis of a nation. Metamorphosis into what? We’re in the middle of the transformation so that remains undetermined. Current events may take their place in history alongside the fall of Rome, the demise of British hegemony, and the collapse of the Russian empire. Or … we may experience a cultural and political rebirth on the scale of the Renaissance.

The current political conflict is a war of ideas and ideals. The next election is the pivot point. Whichever way it goes, it’s likely one of the two big American political parties will die. Another political entity will surely replace it, but it may take years for it to emerge from the rubble.

In one corner of this fight we have Democrats, a cobbled together army committed to win at all costs. Literally, all costs. Nothing is beneath them. The Democrat motto is attack, attack, attack. Substance-free arguments drive a relentless onslaught that ruin people’s lives and takes no prisoners. Emotion fuels the assault, so only the strongest emotions may apply. Anger, spite, envy, resentment and pure hatred are called to the surface at every turn. Rules are applicable to enemies only, consistency inconsequential, duplicity de rigueur, and principles malleable to the moment. Unity is paramount. Desertions are not allowed. They know they’re in a war and they need to utterly destroy their enemies. They will win. They must win.

In the other corner we have Republicans, a dysfunctional family trying to get along with their neighbors. The Republican motto is to survive for the next battle. Run away if need be. Tomorrow is another day. Republicans build their protective fortifications with logic and facts. Rules are paramount, laws sacrosanct, and the Constitution the supreme law of the land. Republicans attribute good intentions to Democrats. They believe we’re all one great country with varying opinions on how to achieve common goals. Republicans tolerate disunity and pardon deserters. Questioning their virtue always results in timid retreat. Republicans crave the accoutrements of power, but only in an orderly world. Chaos throws them off balance. To a great extent, they don’t even know a war is in progress. They want to win, but in truth, losing’s not all that bad.

Strategically, Republicans fight to win the next election, Democrats fight to control the process. If Republicans win office, they blithely issue orders, unaware that no one carries them out. Democrats take command of political, cultural, and social processes so when they lose, they remain in power.

Standing between these two combatants is The Great Disruptor, President Donald Trump. Trump is a Republican schooled in Democrat battle plans. Democrats and traditional Republicans despise him. Democrats hate Trump because he knows their shtick and goes them one better. Traditional Republicans can’t abide him because he brings disorder to their world and demands that they fight.

Trump can be gross and crude, but normally with a purpose. In their fight to destroy him, Democrats have sunk well below his level of indecency. Who would have guessed that Donald Trump would become the classiest politician in D.C. The president scratched the thin veneer of civility off democrats. Then he pushed them into a corner. A cornered beast is dangerous, and Democrats are striking out with the most vile weapons in their arsenal.

Who will win?

At this point, it’s up in the air. If Democrats succeed in stopping the Kavanaugh confirmation, the Republicans will die on November 6, 2018. If they can’t win against spurious, nonsensical attacks, why vote Republican. Abandonment of the Republican Party will make a stampede look tepid.

If Democrats fail to break Kavanaugh into tiny pieces, they will lose their only hope to drown out the declassification exposé. Only by winning the confirmation battle can Democrats justify tarnishing their reputation. It will become embarrassing and unfashionable to be branded a Democrat. They’ll be toast and #walkaway will become a real thing.

This is an epic battle … to the finish.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tucker Carlson asks what does “diversity is our strength" mean. Revealing answers.

Last Friday, Tucker Carlson asked a relatively simple question. He wanted to know what was meant by the phrase “diversity is our strength." The query shattered the already tenuous nerves of progressives. The Reformation didn’t cause as much angst. On Sunday, Carlson’s tweet condensed the television segment down to the requisite 280 characters.

Noah Smith of Bloomberg News claimed the question "was not asked in good faith, but for purposes of racist demagoguery.”

This confirms non-progressives' suspicion that to the left, “diversity” is racial, otherwise asking the question could never be construed as racist.

Yet, there were thoughtful answers. A few anyway. These reasoned responses claimed that diversity makes us stronger because creativity and fresh ideas are often ignited by people who hold divergent perspectives. Non-progressive can readily agree with that statement. However, and this is a big however, non-progressives don't believe race determines an individual's point of view. Skin color does not affect the way the brain functions. Culture does. Upbringing does. Education does. Experience does. But skin color does not. Each individual, regardless of race has the freedom to think any way they want and also possesses a right to express those thoughts out loud. 

If diversity of opinion is what diversity means, then the problem is not with the theology, but with the implementation. Progressives tout diversity but shut out opposing viewpoints. They assume group-think by race and expel heretics from their own ethnicity. Some progressives will yell (they always debate at high decibel) that this is not true, yet the evidence is all around us.

Google expressed shock that 29% of Latinos voted for Trump. Candace Owens, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, and every other conservative black has been excommunicated from the supposed in-crowd cocktail circuit. Social media—the gatekeepers of progressive dogma—strive to purge divergent thought. A recent Stanford University study discovered that conservative and libertarian law professors are underrepresented in premier law schools. Yale's incoming freshmen as measured by race and sexual orientation have been hyped as "the most diverse in University history," but only eleven percent identify as conservative or very conservative. The press release itself shows that progressives believe skin color, not ideas, is the magic elixir.

Progressives believe that if they can mix a proper formula of races, then everything will be hunky-dory. They claim to want diversity ... but they engineer conformity.

Diversity of opinion is strength, but conformity will take us back to the Dark Ages.

Monday, September 10, 2018

This is what mob rule looks like

Mob rule destroys liberty. Liberty can be sustained only when everyone’s voice can be heard, which requires some level of civility. Mobs scream to drown out other voices. They don’t want them heard. Mob rule is not a messy form of democracy, mob rule is the antithesis of democracy. At the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings we witnessed a mob intent on overriding the voice of the people. It was ugly, it was rude, and it was unamerican.

Special interests present the greatest threat to our freedom. If special interests, or a coalition of special interests, gain control of the levers of government, then our republic will collapse on itself. To protect America from this threat, the Founders devised a limited republic instead of a democracy. Elected officials would make laws, not the people at large. This put a buffer between unbridled passions and lawmaking.

Mobs run on unbridled passion. That's what we saw at the Kavanaugh hearings. A coalition of special interests threw an ear-piercing tantrum to run roughshod over elected officials doing their duty as prescribed by the Constitution. This unamerican cabal attempted to negate the Supreme Law of the Land. It was a reprehensible act.

NPR reported that
At least 227 demonstrators were arrested between the start of the nomination hearings on Tuesday and the end of testimony on Friday, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. Most of those charged this week with disorderly conduct”
Linda Sarsour, was quoted as saying
"Disrupting the hearings was a way for us to go directly into the homes of the American people to say, 'We will not be silenced and you need to be as outraged as we are,'"
They decided you needed to be outraged and they decided what you needed to be outraged about. But in case you didn't climb on board, your voice was to be ‘silenced.’

Protest is as American as apple pie, but disrupting legitimate and necessary government agencies going about their duties is anarchy. A serial mob shouted at the top of their lungs that only they mattered. We don’t. Our elected officials don’t. The mob demanded that everyday Americans be disenfranchised. Communicating protestations is legitimate, whether in writing or in person, but attempting to throw a monkey wrench into the wheels of government is immensely selfish, and in this case childish.

Arguments are not won by decibel level.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Is Mexican drug trafficking really our fault?

Whenever the subject of drug trafficking comes up, Mexico throws its arms wide and pleads innocent. The spokespeople for Mexico tell us the problem is in our own backyard. We consume drugs at a prodigious rate, so it’s the demand that’s the issue, not the supply.

To listen to them explain it, we’re not only at fault for drug trafficking, but American druggies are responsible for all the drug related carnage in Mexico. The seven journalists killed this year in Mexico? Our fault. The one hundred thirty-two Mexican politicians killed in the last nine months? Our fault. The seventy-five American tourists murdered in Mexico in 2016? Our fault. The fourteen people killed in a thirty-six-hour period in Cancun? Our fault. The thousands of Mexican civilians killed each year by drug gangs? Our fault.

And what about the 63,600 overdose deaths in America in 2016 and the million annual Emergency Room visits involving illicit drugs. 

Definitely our fault.

This deflection always sounded hollow to me. These Mexican shills basically claim that we can’t complain about the drug cartels until we clean up the demand side. Except. Do they really believe that American teenagers wake up one morning and say hey, that drug thing, I gonna get into that? Do they really believe that the drug cartels are merely reacting to an organic demand for opioids? If we behave on our side of the border, then all will be copacetic, and the bad guys will retreat to a legitimate business? Do they really believe we’ll believe that line of bullshit?

They do … and we do. When pummeled with alleged culpability, Americans are too willing to blame themselves for others’ transgressions.

Here’s why I don’t buy it. The drug cartels have an expansive salesforce trained on how to seduce our kids. For the most part this sales force is American, but make no mistake, they are employees of the cartels. And there’s an army of them. A big army. They do the cartel’s bidding and they do it to a honed script. A party with drinking? Allow the partygoers to get a little drunk and then offer free samples. Hey, try this, it’s fun. Guys, you want girls? Use this. Scared of local thugs? Join our gang and survive with the benefit of getting high for cheap. Clubbing? We’ll always be handy for you. Burning Man is cool. So are concerts? Go high. You’ll enjoy it more.

Once hooked, the cartel salesforce reels them in. You need more? No money? No problem. Get me a referral and I’ll give you a freebee. Still need more? You can pay by selling for me at your school … or maybe, hey, sell your body.

Now imagine a United States without this encouraged demand. Drug free? No, but a smaller problem, with fewer gang related deaths. Gang violence is nothing more than the Mexican cartel wars exported along with their drugs to the United States.

What if we made all drugs legal? That’s how we got fentanyl, the deadliest of all the illicit drugs. With marijuana becoming increasingly legalized, the cartels had to find a new product to fill their established supply lines. Fentanyl is 35 times stronger than heroin. (And they told us legalizing Marijuana would reduce the drug problem.) Legalize fentanyl and the cartels will move something even stronger because the apparatus is in place and it requires duffle bags full of cash to keep it running.

What’s the answer? We must shut down the supply line. In toto. Build The Wall and get ready for the cartels to sneak in by sea or air. Get very tough with Mexico. Force them to help us. We must stop this poison from entering the United States. You can play with the demand side until your kid’s heart stops, but it will do no good. It’s time to go after the supply.

Let’s shut it down. Completely.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Obama should have fired all the Intel chiefs

The Three Amigos

Brennan, Clapper, and Comey should have been fired by President Obama. Humiliatingly dismissed. Caught on video carrying out their personal belongings in a cardboard box. Heads bowed in shame. So utterly disgraced that no cable or broadcast network would let them within fifty feet of a camera.

They took an oath to do a job ... and they only had one job! They were supposed to build and run world-class intelligence agencies. We gave them piles of money. We let them hire the best and the brightest from the most prestigious universities in the world. Technology? The latest and greatest at their fingertips. We made them famous. The CIA, NSA, and FBI were the stuff of legends. The heroes of television, film, and books.

Most of all, we forgave them their foibles. They cheated to amplify the tools we gave them. We turned a blind eye. They lied under oath. We turned a blind eye. They collected illegal data on ordinary Americans.  We turned a blind eye. They spied on politicians. We turned a blind eye. They submitted false applications to the courts. We turned a blind eye. They failed to prevent terrorist attacks. We turned a blind eye.

We should never have turned a blind eye. It cost us bigly. These nitwits failed colossally. A single civilian with no intelligence experience made our entire intelligence community the laughing stock of the world. Our spy triumvirate collectively turned every resource within reach on this buffon and failed to nab him. How could that be? They had warrants to spy on him, mountains of electronic surveillance on his co-conspirators, sophisticated computer algorithms to sort wheat from chaff, and spies inside his insidious organization. These chieftains of the dark arts had willing and unwitting accomplices and hardened enemies of the target ready to pile on at any opportunity

Yet, he beat them. He beat them all! Even with all their spy gear and super, super brain power, they couldn’t nail his globular rear end.

Worse, this civilian was cavorting with the greatest threat to liberty on the planet. Russia! Russia for God’s sake. The very people these agencies were tasked to spy on.  Surely, they had these foes under tight surveillance well before this civilian started playing footsie with them. They must have had loads of evidence of his wrongdoing. But no, not a wisp.

Brennan’s, Clapper’s, and Comey’s failure must go down in the annals of history as the worst intelligence debacle of all time. These guys couldn't spy their way out of a wet paper bag. A rookie politician takes on the most formidable powers in the universe and makes them look like a passel of fools.

These clowns exposed us. Now the world knows our intelligence community is a paper tiger. And it’s too late for President Obama to fire them. How embarrassing for him. At least President Trump got one of them, but the other two got away clean.

Donald Trump made Brennan, Clapper, and Comey look like incompetent bureaucrats, and the worst that can be done to them now is to take away their double-secret spy merit badges.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Do We Need to Regulate Social Media?

social media

People who fear corporate America tend to pick and choose which corporations are good or bad based on their affiliation with the company or its products. Few view their own employer or the purveyor of the latest tech-gizmo as part of the problem. Surely, an ice cream company can’t be bad … although a chicken sandwich place might be evil. Bathroom policy? That might be a reason to fear a corporation.

This is wrongheaded. Transitory political flare-ups are unrelated to the level of threat a corporation may pose to you and your family. Corporations can threaten our liberty, but the level of threat is determined by their industry and monopolistic power. For example, there are far too many food options, clothing alternatives, or retailers of consumer goods for us to worry about them upsetting our lives. Don’t like their policies or politics, go someplace else.

Can you go somewhere else? That's the proper test of whether a corporation can really harm you. 

Concentrated power should be feared, whether that organization makes cool stuff or professes to do no evil. Near-absolute power should be especially worrisome if the organization is a gatekeeper to a sacred American right. Social media and freedom of speech are intertwined. Granted, these are private companies, but they have grown excessively dominant within their industry. Also, it should be noted that they deliver their products over an internet they didn't pay to build or maintain.

But Big Tech does more than threaten our speech. Silicon Valley spies on us, purposely develops addictive products, provides a technology boost to big government brother, and lures us away from human interaction. For many families, digital technology pervades every aspect of their lives, and the cost of digital technology is high, with only shelter, food, and transportation taking a bigger bite out of the family budget.

Many say Big Tech controls speech on a privately-owned platform and people remain free to create a blog to say whatever they want. This is a bogus argument. What they’re really saying is that the left gets a bullhorn, and the rest of us can whisper in the privacy of our home. They know we can’t build traffic to a website or blog without their tools. They own a monopoly on eyeballs.

Big tech presents a huge threat to liberty. Not because of cost, targeted advertising, or addiction, but because of speech control. This is a vital threat to our freedom. If speech remains free and open, then everything else can be throttled with our collective voice. But if appropriate speech is the purview of a few technology giants, they will eventually control every aspect of our lives.

We are a representative republic. We govern ourselves by making our representatives hear our voices. If we can’t tell them what we think, then they no longer work for us. Instead, we become their serfs.

Private tech companies have the right to control how their platform is used. Until they constitute a monopoly. That’s why the Sherman Antitrust Act exists. Ma Bell was also a private company. As evidenced by its nickname, it too, tried to project an evil-free image. But the company’s stranglehold on discourse resulted in government regulation. A similar situation exists today with social media. Especially since they have shown a propensity to collude to stifle some voices.

Fear of concentrated power is as American as apple pie. Sooner or later, absolute power oppresses. Fear of the overly powerful is healthy. We need to remind every American and every generation of this vital American trait.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Was America Never Great?

new york
Governor Andrew Cuomo

In a speech last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great."

Why would he say such a thing?

This used to be a nation of great promise, and that great promise was that no matter from where you started in life or who you were, you could go for the brass ring, and if you nabbed it, it was yours. To a great extent, this promise was uniquely American.

Where did this promise come from?

It started in the very beginning. Even before they created their own republic, Americans were a different breed than Europeans. Pioneers who ventured far from home across a dangerous ocean were, by nature, adventurous and ambitious. Unhampered by close government scrutiny and blessed with abundant resources and relatively free markets, vigor and ambition drove astonishing growth. Best of all, nobility didn’t have the sole claim to created wealth. Everyone, independent of station, could participate in any enterprise they chose and own the fruits of their labor or wits.

Thus, was born the American Dream.

Was the American Dream open to all? Sadly, no. It’s not possible to ignore slavery. Slavery is part of our history, and it deserves a candid assessment. However, judging the late eighteenth century from today’s perspectives does not permit us to dismiss all of their work. Focusing on the faults of early Americans misses the entire point of the founding. The United States was founded on solid, idealistic principles, but at the time these principles were largely aspirational. The Founders bequeathed to us a republican form of government dedicated to individual liberty. Through Constitutional amendments and acts of Congress, we have strived to expand liberty to one and all. While the effort was sometimes tumultuous, liberty was expanded through the rule of law.

So why are progressives so reluctant to concede American greatness? Because they measure greatness against an unachievable utopia, not the real world. They want perfection. Everyone conforming to their professed ideals.  If you don’t believe me, read the entire section of Cuomo's speech. He said, “We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.” He means engaged in progressive aims.

That’s never going to happen. At least not without a tyrannical state. A state powerful enough to enforce compliance throughout the entire populous. That would be an unamerican state.

I’ll pass. I prefer to go with the limited government of our founders. It’s not perfect, but the price of perfection kills the soul.

Our inherited culture encourages idealism and liberty for all Americans. We may on occasion misstep, but we invariably return to the path set out by our Founders. This makes Americans very different from the rest of the world.