Thursday, August 10, 2017

Marxism and Mobility

I'm not usually one to root for the Communist, but that's what I found myself doing the other day. As a student of economic history, I consider communism, and in fact all degrees of Marxism (which is always "progressive") antithetical to sustainable human well being.  Economic history bears this out. But there are some circumstances which make it excusable.    

To wit, the other day I read a Wall Street Journal book review of "Ants Among Elephants", by Sujatha Gidla. an account of life as an "Untouchable" in India.  The reviewer cited two narratives running through the book, the hardships of Ms. Gidla's Untouchable family, and their political views as communists.

Well hell, if I was born an Untouchable in India, I'd be first in line at the communist buffet!  India's caste system, despite efforts to end it, is still the mother of all mobility killers.  If your grandparents swept the floor, so did your parents, and so will you in all likelihood.  And it goes back countless generations.  Marxism is the only option when the culture won't abide.

I've never bought into the notion that income gaps breed Marxists.  That's not enough.  To me it's always been about economic mobility.  Think of any Marxist movement in history and you'll find, A) downtrodden people with, B) no hope of upward mobility.   The lack of hope is key.  We've had downtrodden socialists and communists in the U.S. since the late 1800s, but they never got much traction because we've always been the land of mobility.

All of which got me wondering:   Why in the U.S,  the world heavyweight champion of economic mobility, is Marxism ascendant today?

One popular theory is that in the information age, only tech geniuses and the hyper-educated can advance.  This leaves the less-educated feeling trapped.  Others say it's low skilled immigrants and an inner city underclass who see no way out.  All that sounds good, except most of the Marxists I know have graduate degrees!

Here's another theory:  In 1900, total government spending (federal, state,  and local) was around 7% of national income.  Today it's around 60%. *  As government and redistribution have grown, mobility has shrunk.

We keep trying to wipe out poverty and hardship by expanding government. Yet we still have poverty and hardship in about the same proportions.  What we're losing in the bargain is mobility.

This is the tragedy of Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and the modern Democrat party;  they see inequality and think bigger government and more redistribution are the solutions.   It's a cheap emotional appeal that voters increasingly fall for,  but it always makes things worse in the long run.  

What they miss is that we are not India. We have a long history of mobility that we've only recently lost.  For example, blacks moved into the middle class at a faster rate in the 1950s than they do now!  Astonishing when you consider the headwinds pre civil rights.

Perhaps in the back of voters minds, when they heard "Make America Great Again", they were thinking of our lost mobility.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.  - Alexis de Tocqueville, 1850s


Monday, July 17, 2017

Why The New Russia Revelations Matter

Here’s what we know so far: 

The President used the IRS to suppress votes.
The President was caught on an open mic making secret concessions to Russia’s Putin.
The President was caught filling jumbo jets with U.S. cash and sending it to terrorists.
The President lied repeatedly about a major healthcare bill. 
The President deceived the American people about a deadly terror attack.

But that was a Democrat President, so none of it mattered. That’s because pop culture (media, academia, and entertainment) aligns perfectly with the totalitarian leftist agenda of today’s Democrat party.  No transgression, no matter how serious, can ever mortally wound a Democrat Presidency.

That rule does not apply to lifelong Democrat Donald Trump.  Unfortunately, he ran and won as a Republican.

Up until this latest Russiagate revelation, Trump had a plausible case that he was being witch-hunted by the pop culture with its single-minded fixation on Russia and the collusion meme.  Now that we know, what was obviously known by deep state Democrats all along, that the Trump camp did in fact seek and likely obtain Russian dirt on the Democrats, that plausibility reeks like last month’s covfefe.  What was theoretical is now settled science.

There will be serious questions asked by serious people in Trump’s own party - something Democrats never have to worry about. A serious Republican might say serious things to Trump in private. Then there’s the very serious matter of Robert Meuller who now has red meat on the bones. 

Trump’s lies will not be excused as were Clinton’s or Obama’s.  His words, actions, and motives will be rightfully questioned and his agenda discounted.  Trump’s fate doesn’t concern me.  But the fate of the agenda does. 

Look, I never put stock in what politicians say.  Some are outright liars, some are honorable, and some swing both ways, yet there seems to be zero correlation between their veracity and the results.  All I care about are the long-term results, and I’ve liked Trump’s so far:  Stocks are screaming optimism, the invasion of illegals has stopped, Israel is once again treated like an ally, red-lines have been enforced in Syria and Afghanistan, terror supporting nations are on notice, ISIS is truly on the run, stupid regulations are being reversed, Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, the war on cops is over, and Obamacare and the tax code are on the brink of being improved. 

That’s why I’m sad about all this.  If the agenda stalls, it’s bad for the country.  It was entertaining watching Trump, Godzilla like, stomping on the Democrats and the Republican establishment.  Now it just feels like he’s stomping on his own agenda.  Sad! 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Trump’s Tweets Explained

I’ve never been a fan of Donald Trump’s demeanor (accent on the “mean”).  All the derogatory nicknames, vindictive tweets, and constant dubious accusations turn me off along with many in his own party who should be his allies.  The latest episode regarding Morning Joe Scarborough and Mika Br … we’ll settle for Mika… has brought this issue once again to the fore. 

Though these tactics turn me off, I can at least explain them.  Am I a mind reader?  Do I have some special insight into Donald Trump’s inner psyche?  No, all I’ve done is read his books.  He explains exactly why he does this.  In addition, I’ve watched as several Republicans were chewed-up and spit-out by the Left’s tactics.  Apparently, so has Donald Trump.  I’ve also connected a few dots that others may have not. 

“The Art of the Deal”, published 30 years ago, explains many of the quirks that made Donald Trump the most unlikely President in U.S. history.  It also helps explain the Morning Joe tweets. 

"In most cases I'm very easy to get along with. I'm very good to people who are good to me. But when people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very  hard."
                                                       Donald Trump, “Art of the Deal”, 1987
Donald Trump had a long and congenial relationship with Joe and Mika up until his recent tweet.  Or so it seemed.  The turning point was not Trump’s tweet, but rather Joe and Mika’s recent attacks on him.  He’s crazy, a dictator, and ruining the country are just some of the things now routinely said on Joe and Mika’s MSNBC show.  Given the above quote, is it any surprise he’s fighting back?

Ok, let’s stipulate that it’s just Trump’s nature to fight back hard.  Why go all the way to being outrageous like he did?   Why call them “psycho”, “low IQ”, accuse Mika of having a face-lift, and imply they were kissing-up to him at Mar-a-Lago?  Doesn’t Trump realize that by going over the line he is doing more damage to himself than to the object of his attack? 

"One thing I've learned about the press is that they're always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better...The point is that if you are a little different, a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you." 
                                                          Donald Trump, “Art of the Deal”, 1987

Nothing has confounded his critics more than Donald Trump’s unconventional tactic of courting controversy.  He built his business brand, and now his political brand, on his belief that all media is good media when one is on offense.  He goes out of his way to be outrageous, different, bold, and controversial.  He relishes the media attention and he seems not to care that most of it is negative. 

The experts said that tactic may work in Manhattan real estate, but it would never work in national politics.  (While not an expert, I was among them.)  Now he’s President and the experts have been embarrassed.  What do they do? Read his books and try to understand him?  No. They are at it again claiming Trump is not acting “presidential.”

What is “presidential”?  Is it the passive aggressive behavior of a President who hides his intentions, speaks in glossy platitudes, and weaponizes the IRS to attack his opponents, or is it the active aggressive behavior of a President who tells you exactly who he is, what he is, speaks bluntly, and openly attacks his critics on twitter?  It’s at least a question worth putting to a vote, as it was in November. 

Ok, let’s stipulate that this is just Trump’s modus operandi.  Why be mean about it?  Why call Joe a psycho and Mika low IQ? There are other ways to be controversial and get media attention.  There are other ways to fight back and still be classy.  Being mean just seems unnecessary and turns off many voters. 

Nice guys finish last 
                                            Leo Durocher, 1946

Donald Trump was born in Queens, NY, during the summer of 1946.  Also born that same summer, a dinger from where Trump was born, was the saying “nice guys finish last”.  Leo Durocher, the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was conversing with a journalist when the kernel for that immortal phrase came out. 

Donald Trump had that aphorism marinating in his brain his whole life.  It has come to signify the essence of the Trumpian way - winning at any cost. 

While it alienates many, this trait undoubtedly has some value for a President.  Who would you rather go to war against, a nice guy or Donald Trump?  Who would you rather have to negotiate with, or try to take advantage of?

OK, now let’s stipulate that Trump is a person who fights back, believes controversy courts media, believes any media is good media, and can be rather mean.  Why continue this tactic now that he’s President?  He won.  He’s got nothing to prove, right?  Why not dial it back and act presidential? All he should be concerned with is winning support for his agenda!

"Our weak response in defense of the president and in setting the record straight, is, I believe, one of the biggest mistakes of the Bush years."
                                                                                              Karl Rove, 2010

I think Donald Trump does not want to repeat this mistake.  He knows he is going to be attacked relentlessly no matter what he does because the people in media, academia, and entertainment, in other words the people who have the biggest megaphones, are almost uniformly Leftists.  So the choice is to absorb the blows, like George W Bush, or fight back the only way he knows.

George W Bush is by all accounts a gentleman.  He is a patrician, attended Yale and Harvard, a former Governor, and the son of a President.  He wore a tie and jacket every moment he was in the Oval Office. When he was attacked non-stop as a war criminal, liar, Hitler, buffoon, illegitimate President, and the man who collapsed the global economy, did he offer a defense?  Did he fight back?  Did he go on offense?  No.  He thought fighting back was beneath the dignity of the office.  He turned the other cheek out of a misplaced sense of honor.  In other words, he put his honor above the honor of those who voted for him. 

George W Bush left office with a 30% approval rating, the GOP lost the entire congress, the Democrats were able to unilaterally socialize control of medicine, and the socialist age of Bernie Sanders was begun.  To this day Bush is unfairly blamed for 9/11,the 2008 financial collapse, the collapse of Iraq, the mess in Afghanistan, ISIS, and herpes.  But at least he has his dignity, right? 

George H W Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney all offered weak defenses against the Left’s attacks.  None went on offense.  All lost elections.  The last GOP presidential candidate to fight back hard was Ronald Reagan, who did it with class and humor.  He also lost elections before he won them.  Donald Trump has never lost an election. 

Ok, now let’s stipulate all the above.  Why do this on Twitter? 

My fellow Americans… 
                               Ronald Reagan, whenever he wanted to get his message across

Ronald Reagan understood, like no other President before him, that he would never get his message out if he relied on a hostile media.  He had to go directly to the people and he did so on TV, radio, and in print.  Reagan became known as “the great communicator”.  

Donald Trump won the Presidency because of his stream of conscience communication style.  In his own unpolished and unconventional way he is also a great communicator.  Trump’s Twitter account is just his favorite way of doing the day to day communicating.  It’s instantaneous and effective.  And it drives his opposition bonkers. 

The bottom line is; Donald Trump understands more about all this than he’s ever given credit for.  He codified his philosophy 30 years ago so none of this should surprise anyone paying attention.  He just is who he is.  It’s that simple.  It doesn’t make it right, but at least it can be understood.  

Oh, and he’s not crazy.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

7 Reasons Donald Trump (and all Republicans) Are In Imminent Danger

(This was originally posted 4/2/17) 

1.  Almost all presidents have at least one serious attempt on their lives.  It's just a part of the job. That said, Donald Trump is in demonstrably more danger than any other president in recent history.  
  • There was an assassination attempt on Donald Trump even before the election 
  • Several people have jumped the White House fence, some with backpacks
  • Members of the administration have been accosted in public
  • The Secretary of Education is, or was, under the protection of Federal Marshals 
  • There are weekly bomb threats against Trump Tower in NY
  • Leftists have violently attacked Trump supporters before, and since, the election
  • Prominent Democrats have actually called for violence* 
  • Dozens of states and cities have openly seceded from federal immigration laws
  • Democrats have been claiming Trump is illegitimate since election day
  • The level of hatred and obstruction is unprecedented in modern times 

2.   Consider the rhetoric:
  • He is: a tyrant, a despot, a racist, a bigot, a dictator, a liar, a demagogue, grossly unqualified, lacking in character, ugly, an idiot, a braggart, a buffoon, a monster, foul tongued, indecent, disrespectful to women, vulgar, intellectually lazy, a white supremacist, deranged from syphilis, disrespectful of freedom of the press.
  • If he is elected we will: leave the country, secede, refuse to follow federal laws.
  • He should: be assassinated, be impeached, be removed, go to hell.
  • His way of speaking and writing is: silly, slip-shod, loose-jointed, lacking in the simplest rules of syntax, coarse, devoid of grace, filled with glittering generalities.
  • He and his entire cabinet are not equal to the occasion and are full of incapacity and rottenness. 
Except those were not said about Donald Trump.  Those were all things said about Abraham Lincoln!** The rhetoric is identical.  What it all amounts to is, like Lincoln, Democrats don't just disagree with Donald Trump, they hate him.  

There is a big difference between hate and dissent.  Dissenters claim that the other side is wrong. Haters claim that the other side is evil,  and when it comes to evil, no tactic is off-the-table.   Murder, violence, lawlessness, civil disobedience... all justified in the face of evil.

3.   In many frightening ways Trump and Lincoln are walking the same path.

Lincoln was considered evil and hated by Democrats because he was a threat to slavery.  Slavery had become an entrenched entitlement for southern Democrats.  It was legal, it went back generations, and it was very lucrative.  Lincoln was trying to kill the Democrat's golden goose.

Trump is a similar threat to entrenched Democrat entitlements.  Among them: Socialized Medicine, open borders, control of the vast bureaucracies, union power, illegals able to vote, etc. These are today's Democrat golden geese.

Unless I'm missing something, no entitlement has ever been completely ended without a civil war.            

4.  Four Presidents have been killed in office, three Republicans and one Democrat.  The odds of being killed in office are 3 times greater for a Republican, and the odds of taking a bullet are 1.6 times greater.  Of the 8 shot, 5 were Republicans and 3 were Democrats.   All presidents who were killed in office were done so from the Left (and that's not a reference to the direction of the bullets). 
  • Lincoln, a Republican, was killed by a Democrat actor
  • Garfield, a Republican, was killed by a lawyer who spent time on a "free sex" commune (though he was nominally from the same party) 
  • McKinley, a Republican, was killed by an anarchist
  • Kennedy, a Democrat, was killed by a communist
Of course, all were probably deranged,  but it is noteworthy that no president has ever been killed by a conservative, or even by someone to the right of them.

5.  Ronald Reagan was the last Republican president to be shot.  In many ways Trump and Reagan, (along with others, most notably Lincoln) share at least one interesting trait: they were seen as ideologues.  By that I mean they had specific issues they were committed to and were willing to unapologetically fight for.  In Reagan's case it was broadly getting government off the back of the people, lowering taxes, deregulation, standing up to foes.  Trump, though a Democrat for most of his life, seems particularly ideological when it comes to similar things:  enforcing borders, reducing the "administrative state", restoring the rule of law, fighting jihad, etc.

Like Trump, Reagan was hated by Democrats, painted as evil, dumb, dangerous, crazy, etc.   Reagan was shot in March of his first term.    

6.  The Russian collusion meme is part of the whole attempt to label Trump evil.  It was Ronald Reagan who labeled Russia (USSR at the time) the "evil empire".  Democrats always scoffed at that characterization.  Remember the famous debate exchange between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, where Romney singled out Russia as our "top geopolitical foe"?  Obama snarked, "The 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back".  Now the tune has changed because Democrats figured out they could augment their characterization of Trump as evil by tying him to the "evil empire".   By doing so they have been able to peel off some of his weaker, hawkish, GOP support like McCain, Graham, et al.        

7.  The government, regardless of who's in power, t is largely a Democrat institution.  That includes the Secret Service, FBI, career DOJ, etc.  These unionized, mostly Democrat, government entities are responsible for the President's safety.  Though they are usually considered to be above politics, will they perform as they should if they become convinced the man they are protecting is evil?  Will they take a bullet for a man they are told daily is Hitler?

**  The anti-Lincoln Tradition

      "Lincoln is an Idiot"

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Real People Who Hacked Our Elections

According to a new report by The Public Interest Legal Foundation, thousands of illegal votes have been found in Virginia over a period of years based simply on non-citizens self-reporting.  In other words, these illegal votes were not found by any government agency, but rather by a private foundation looking into illegal voters who inconsistently answered citizenship questions.

This is significant because we've been told voter fraud doesn't exist.  

The reason voter fraud is so elusive is because Democrats have vigorously fought any attempt to find it, track it, measure it, prosecute it, or prevent it.  According to the new report, Virginia officials, all the way up to Governor Terry McAuliffe, vigorously tried to keep this information from seeing the light of day.   

The statistics are overwhelming:  States that encourage voter fraud vote Democrat, and states that aim for integrity vote Republican.    

Voter ID laws are strict in only 9 states, of which Hillary Clinton won only one.  All the rest voted for Trump.  

Of the states that allow illegals to obtain driver's licenses, Hillary Clinton won ever one of the 13 except one.  The only exception was Utah, which issues illegals a distinct license and requests ID to vote.

Supposedly, Virginia is not one of the states that issues driver's licenses to illegals, so those thousands of illegal votes were likely from legal non-citizens.  

2106 Election Results Map

          States that Issue Driver's Licenses to Unauthorized

 States and Voter ID 

2106 Election Map Showing Democrat Concentrations Near Border Crossings and Routes

(Hat Tip: @Military4Trump on Twitter)

The above maps are not coincidences. Democrats have been on a decades long mission to encourage unauthorized immigrants to come here, and once here, be given loopholes to vote. The reason is simple; they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. 

To further this along, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1993 known as the Motor Voter Bill, which basically automated voter registration for anyone applying for a driver's license or other government benefit.  That makes it extremely possible for illegals to wind-up as registered voters, despite assertions to the contrary, in the 13 states that issue licenses to illegals.  Motor Voter is how Virginia ended up with thousands of non-citizens on their roles.    

Here's a picture of Bill Clinton signing the Motor Voter bill.  Notice the two people standing directly behind him?  They are Francis Fox Piven and  Richard Cloward, in the green and grey respectively, two radical Columbia University professors who advocated collapsing the U.S. by overloading it with dependents and immigrants.

And here is Barack Obama, who studied at Columbia University while Cloward and Piven held court there, answering  a question with only one correct answer.  The question is essentially, "should illegals be afraid to vote?" His answer should have been, "they shouldn't vote because it's illegal". That's not what he says though.

So, how many illegals and non-citizens voted? There is absolutely no way to easily know because by Democrat design, voting is done almost entirely on the honor system.  No citizenship records are kept, and no electronic records are kept relating to who actually voted.  That leaves only maps and circumstantial evidence, like above, or non-citizens self-reporting, like in Virginia.

Donald Trump has a point when he says voter fraud should be investigated.  He must work to ensure integrity in our voting system.  This is a minimum requirement for a Democracy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Victor Davis Hanson - "Regime Change by Any Other Name?"

I rarely reprint someone else's piece in full, but this one's worth it.  (Follow the link to read it in it's original splendor.)    
Regime Change by Any Other Name?
Truth or consequences? Obama skated for far worse misdeeds.
By Victor Davis Hanson — May 22, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Who Killed Seth Rich? (Revisited)

The news today is that according to an unconfirmed report, DNC staffer and murder victim Seth Rich may have contacted WikiLeaks shortly before his murder.  Immediately after his murder, Julian Assange suggested Rich was his source and offered a reward for information leading to his killer.

Additionally, the source of the new unconfirmed report said the DC police had been instructed to "stand down" in their investigation of Rich's murder.   Remember,  Rich was murdered two weeks before the DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks.

Here's my post from 8/22/16 regarding those events:

An intruder was spotted today, August 22nd, trying to scale the walls of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Julian Assange has lived for the last four years.  The intruder successfully escaped capture.

This is significant because four people with access to information potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton have assumed room temperature in the last four months.  All under mysterious circumstances.

John Jones (upper left), lawyer for WikiLeak's Julian Assange, was mysteriously struck and killed by a train on April 21st in London.

John Ashe (upper right), an ex- UN official, was about to testify in a case that involved the DNC and certain Arkansas connections of the Clintons when he was found dead in his home gym on June 22nd.  His throat was reportedly crushed by a barbell.

Seth Rich (lower left),  a DNC staffer with Clinton ties, was mysteriously beaten and gunned down in Washington, DC. on July 10th.  Mr. Rich's death occurred about two weeks before WikiLeaks released their first batch of DNC email.   WikiLeak's Julian Assange recently suggested Mr. Rich was his source.  

Shawn Lucas (lower right) was found dead on August 2nd.  Mr. Lucas made a video that went viral showing him serving a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There are no reports yet of how he died.

Some have suggested I am engaging in "conspiracy theories" by listing these four mysterious deaths and noting their Clinton connections.  I am doing no such thing.  I am proposing no theories. Everything stated above is fact.  If you see a conspiracy here, that's on you.

If I was engaged in conspiracy theories, at a minimum I'd have mentioned the mysterious 1993 death of Clinton lawyer Vince Foster.  I purposely did not.  Nevertheless, there are conspiracy theorists out there who suggest the Clinton body-count numbers about fifty.  Here is a short list.

Here's the bottom line:  To this date there are no credible murder allegations against the Clintons, after almost four decades of public life.  There are, however, several credible rape allegations.   Oh, and also: abuse of power, perjury, witness tampering, felony mishandling of classified information, felony government records destruction, intimidation... (I'm sure I"m forgetting some).  Other than that, the Clintons are squeaky clean.