Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Evan Sayet: Why Trump is Forgiven for his Lack of Decorum



A great explanation of why Trump supporters ignore his flaws:  Evan Sayet - "He Fights"

Here's a taste:
My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.” Here’s my answer:
We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency. We tried statesmanship. Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain? We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney? And the results were always the same.
This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.
But, read the whole thing


As I've said before, George W. Bush's, John McCain's, and Mitt Romney's Queensbury Rules approach was a betrayal of their supporters.  It was selfishness.  Not that they saw it that way.  They thought answering the Alinsky street-fighting tactics in kind would soil them and hurt their dignity. What they forgot was that ideas, policies, and those who support them have dignity too.  Some of those ideas are even worth fighting for. The truth is,  gentleman Republicans unwilling to engage the  Alinsky Left on its own terms were putting their their own dignity above that of their supporters and the ideas on which the country was founded.  Trump has endeared himself to the keepers of those ideas because he, uniquely, is willing to fight for THEIR dignity.     



Thursday, July 19, 2018

Abraham Trump


Consider the words:
  • He's: 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.
  • His way of speaking is: silly, slip-shod, loose-jointed, lacking in the simplest rules of syntax, coarse, devoid of grace, filled with glittering generalities.
  • He should: be impeached, be removed, go to hell, be assassinated.
 
Except, these verbatim quotes are about Abraham Lincoln, not Donald Trump! The rhetoric is  identical. In the end, Lincoln was assassinated.  After all, that was the only rational way to deal with a president IMAGINED to be the person described above.

The thing is, there's a big difference between dissent and hate. Dissenters will assert that the other side is wrong. Haters will assert that the other side is evil. When Democrats employ the vitriolic rhetoric they used against Lincoln, they are labeling Trump and his supporters evil.  Once a person is identified as evil, all tactics to eliminate them, including violence, are not only allowed but required.  It's worked against Jesus, Jews, Lincoln, Infidels, and countless others throughout history.          

In both Lincoln's and Trump's case, Democrat civil disobedience and violence began immediately after the election. Southern Democrat states began seceding the moment Lincoln was elected.  Immediately following Trump's win, Democrats were in the streets violently protesting.  In the ensuing months, the rhetoric has only gotten more hysterical, and predictably the violence has metastasized too.   

Ominously, Democrats hate Trump for the same reason they hated Lincoln; they are afraid of losing entitlements. By entitlements, I'm referring to any policy that benefits one group at the expense of another which has become entrenched.   

Slavery was such an entitlement.  It benefited Democrats (no Republican in history ever owned a slave!), came at the expense of Africans, and had been going on unabated for hundreds of years.  Along came Abraham Lincoln, a Northerner, the first Republican President, a vocal opponent of slavery, and the Democrats lost their collective minds.  Sound familiar?       

Today’s Democrats and political establishment have several entitlements under threat by Donald Trump.  Among them are the the cheap labor illegal immigrant entitlement, the open borders & new Democrat voters entitlement, the teacher's union monopoly entitlement, the government workers union entitlement, the Muslim refugee entitlement, the congressional unlimited tax and spend entitlement, the subsidized mortgages entitlement, the pop media power entitlement, the lopsided trade agreement entitlement, the EPA unlimited power entitlement, the radical LGBTQ federal rights entitlement, the federally funded late term abortion entitlement, and many, many, more including the obvious ones like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Welfare, Obamacare, etc.  

After all, Democrats are the party of entitlement and unlimited government.  Republicans are the party of limited government.  Thus, pretty much every Republican since the Progressive Era has been labeled evil. Most recently, Reagan was Hitler, Bush was Hitler, McCain was Hitler. Even Mitt Romney, perhaps the most decent man in America, was Hitler. All were portrayed as evil.  

Now it is getting dangerous. You can’t go to a play, a concert, a restaurant, or any public space and wear a hat that says "Make America Great Again" (like that's a controversial goal!).  If you do you'll be assaulted verbally and/or physically.  At this point, Trump's entire cabinet needs Secret Service escorts just to go out in public.  The only other cabinet member in history needing that level of protection was a Drug Czar under threat from the cartels! 

Look, dissent is a necessary part of democracy. Hatred, on the other hand, is a necessary part of dissolution and civil war. Once Democrats convince themselves that half the country is made-up of deplorable, fascist, evil, Hitlers bent on treason, don’t they then have an obligation to eliminate them? If you are convinced that any Trump supporter you know is evil, where does that logically lead? Hateful rhetoric disguised as dissent can paint impressionable minds into a dangerous corner with no peaceful way out. We know what that led to in the 1860s.

Tragically, we’ve seen the play before, and seem to be rooting for a sequel.


Sources:

The Anti Lincoln Tradition


How Lincoln Was Dissed In His Day

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Wins Again! [UPDATED]


It may not feel like it, and headlines notwithstanding, but Trump was handed a huge victory in Helsinki.

The hyperbole from Democrats, Never Trumpers, and many past supporters reads like a thesaurus of condemnation. He's committed treason, high crimes, anti-American acts.  He's clearly Putin's puppet, is colluding with Russia, is afraid of what they have on him.  He is unqualified as Commander in Chief, is in over his head, is a joke on the world stage.  He should be impeached, imprisoned, overthrown in a military coup.

What did he do to earn these indictments?

First he was asked by a journalist to call Vladimir Putin a liar to his face.  Trump refused. He knew it was a trap.  Think of it:  Trump is there to establish detente with a temperamental nuclear adversary. An adversary, by the way, which the Democrats have declared war against because they think Russia jacked their emails.  Trump is there acting as a diplomat to cool these tensions.  What purpose would it serve to call Putin a liar to his face?

Second, Trump refused to emphatically endorse the assessment of the intelligence community regarding Russian meddling in the election.  This is another trap that Trump was unwilling to walk into.  Why would he delegitimize his own presidency?  And didn't the FBI's counter intelligence chief, Peter Strzok, just spend ten hours lying in front of a congressional committee?  Who could endorse such dishonesty?  Anyone paying attention knows that the intelligence community has been plotting a coup d'etat against Trump since he came down the escalator! 

So he avoided two traps by equivocating in a typically clumsy Trumpian word salad fashion.  Just like he does every day!  Is this an impeachable high crime?  Hardly.  The American people can see that Trump's critics are falling into a virtue-signaling vortex.   It's a mob mentality.

Take his actions regarding Russia. Trump has been tougher on Russia than any president in my lifetime.  He has hurt Russia by working towards making the U.S. the worlds largest energy producer, re-building our military, re-building NATO, defeating ISIS, standing up to Putin in Syria, standing up to Iran, supporting Israel, strengthening our economy, asserting our power at the UN, strengthening the dollar, and much more.  What's more important, the atmospherics or the results?

Conversely, Obama was caught on a hot mic signaling secret concessions to Vladimir Putin.  Did the pop media condemn this behavior?  No, they covered it up!

Americans can sense hysterical over-reaction and mob virtue-signaling.  Once again, Trump's critics have crossed a line and handed him a yuuuge victory.  They constantly do this and never learn.  I expect his poll numbers to unexpectedly go up once the dust settles on this episode.

[UPDATE 7/23]

As predicted, Trump's approval rating ticked up in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, half of which was taken after the Hilsinki summit.  Trump is extremely lucky to have such inept opposition.     
 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Socialism is The Darwin Award for Economic Ignorance [UPDATED]



Socialism got a fresh transfusion the other day with the surprise victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (above) in a NY congressional primary.  The 28 year old Democrat is a full-on  socialist whose platform reads almost point for point like the constitution of the defunct Soviet Union.  Within hours,  supposedly mainstream Democrats throughout the country began calling her the future of the party and adopted much of her socialist agenda.  Overnight, the Democrat Party has become the Socialist Democrat Party!

Most people paying attention to economic history know full well that all forms of socialism lead to economic stagnation and untold human suffering.  It's not surprising that some would wish that fate on their fellow countrymen, after all some people are inherently cruel, nihilistic, and even suicidal.  But that doesn't account for everyone sucked into this self-destructive vortex.  Some are true believers.  Why is that?             

Pop quiz:   
  1. Who is the father of modern socialism/communism?  
  2. Who is the father of modern capitalism? 
Odds are you will be able to answer the first question correctly and can name Karl Marx as the father of modern socialism/communism.  You probably can do a decent job of explaining Marxism without even looking it up on Wikipedia.  You may even be familiar with the Marxist slogan, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".

Conversely, if you are asked who the father of modern capitalism is, odds are you'd either draw a blank, or be mostly wrong.  This is by design.

If you attended a public school in the U.S., chances are most of your teachers were union members. Prior to the 1960's there were prohibitions on government workers joining organized labor largely because organized labor in the U.S. began as a socialist movement.  Public sector unions in a free republic were seen as a huge conflict of interest. But that changed in the 1960's under Democrat John F. Kennedy, and since then government workers, including school teachers, have flooded into organized labor. That's not to say all teachers and organized laborers are socialists.  Most probably don't consider themselves socialists, but the politics of organized labor leans undeniably in that direction. You may not have been taught Marxism in school, but you certainly weren't taught anything positive about capitalism!  

If you attended a college in the U.S., you were very likely to have been taught about Marxism.  Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto"  is the third most assigned book at U.S. colleges today.  That's out of all the books ever published!  The next most assigned book in economics, capitalist or otherwise, is not even close.      

So how did you answer the second question above?  In one sense the answer to that one is again... Karl Marx.  Yes, Karl Marx is both the father of modern socialism AND the father of modern capitalism. Karl Marx was the person who defined capitalism for the masses in his scathing critique of 1860s capitalism, "Das Kapital".  

Many scholars credit a Scotsman named Adam Smith as the person whose ideas most influenced our economic system.  Adam Smith’s book, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” was actually published in 1776.  (That date rings a bell, no?)  But the word capitalism didn't exist in Adam Smith’s day.  He never used it.  We mistakenly call our economic system capitalism because that's what Marx and the critics called it.  The name unfortunately stuck. 

If everyone knows what Marxism is, why doesn't everyone know what Smithism is?  Because it’s not taught, except to select economics majors.  "Smithism" never became a word.  That's partly due to the fact that Adam Smith didn't write a concise manifesto, and his books are difficult to read.  But it's curious that you can go through K-12 and well beyond in schools in the U.S. and never hear the name Adam Smith, never learn about his ideas, and never understand the influence those ideas had on the founding of our country.  If you go to Wikipedia and look up Marxism, you’ll find plenty.  If you go to Wikipedia and look up Smithism, you’ll get crickets. 

Pop quiz:  
  1. What is Supply Side Economics?  
  2. What is Demand Side Economics?
You are probably familiar with the first term, but can you accurately define it?  Have you ever heard of its opposite, Demand Side Economics?  

·         Supply side economics is the theory that people will SUPPLY (create) more value if they are allowed to function in a free market.
   
·         Demand side economics is the theory that people will DEMAND (consume) more value if wealth is redistributed to them.    

These are opposite approaches for achieving different economic goals.  Supply Side seeks to optimize overall economic vitality (Smithism).  Demand Side seeks to stimulate consumption (Keynesianism), or at times to redistribute wealth (Marxism).

If you look up supply side economics on Wikipedia, you’ll find a thorough entry along with plenty of criticisms.  If you look up demand side economics, you’ll get zip.  The language in this case does not favor the Marxist/socialist demand side ideology.   Hence, it is not even defined.

Pop quiz:

The financial crisis of 2008 was caused by:
  1.  Greedy bankers, deregulation, George W Bush, and capitalism.
  2.  Socialism 
Most likely you are 100% certain the correct answer is #1.  

No event had a more profound impact on this country's recent tilt towards socialism than the financial crisis of 2008.  It is said that history is written by the victors.  That has never been more true than in the wake of the financial crisis.  Democrats controlled the government commission that wrote the post-mortem.  Barack Obama won the presidency.  Democrats had both houses of congress.  And liberals made the movies and wrote the books explaining the crisis to the masses. Unfortunately, everything they told you was a deliberate deception designed to exonerate socialism, and scapegoat capitalism.   

The fact is the financial crisis of 2008 was a perfect demonstration of the failures of socialism. Redistribution of wealth, in this case redistribution of mortgage credit, was at the heart of the financial crisis.  At times, the support for this redistribution was bi-partisan, but the ideology behind it was socialist/demand side regardless of who was advocating.

It all began with the affordable housing goals promoted by Democrats in the early 1990s, which lowered mortgage requirements.  It accelerated in the mid 1990s under Democrat Bill Clinton with further loosening of mortgage standards, pressure on banks to write loose loans, and mandates for government backed companies FNMA (Fannie Mae) and FHLMC (Freddie Mac) to buy all the new mortgages.  It finally reached it’s apex in 2007 under Republican George W. Bush, while Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, ran both houses of congress.

All the risk from this socialist redistribution was supposed to be assumed by the federal government in the form of the afore mentioned government backed companies.  Fannie and Freddie were ground zero for the financial crisis.  No government official took more money from these two companies, and at a faster rate, than the junior Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.  His closest competitors in that money grab included Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Hillary Clinton.  If this is news to you,  it's because they wrote the history.

What they told you was that it was a perfect storm involving greedy bankers, deregulation, and the natural flaws of capitalism.  It was a plausible argument designed to deceive.  Bankers today are no greedier than their banking forebears.  So why did they suddenly engage in subprime lending for the first time in history in such large numbers? Because they were coerced to do so by their government.

Deregulation also had nothing to do with it.  Canadian banks are lightly regulated compared to their U.S. counterparts and none of them failed.  Why the difference?  Only in the U.S. was mortgage credit redistributed to those unable to pay in a weak housing market.  Unfortunately, when the scheme went bad the damage spread to the private banking and investment sector bringing the entire global financial system to its knees.

The deceptions about this animated the Occupy Wall Street movement, got Barack Obama elected twice, and are responsible for the acceptance of openly socialist candidates like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez today.   They are also part of the continuing campaign that has mischaracterized the mortgage market as an example of free market failure.

The frightening thing about this is, if history is written by the victors and they engage in deception, aren't we doomed to repeat it?  Fannie and Freddie own just about every new mortgage written since 2008, and the socialist policies promoting home ownership and borrowing accelerated under Barack Obama.  We are currently in the process of building a second real estate bubble.  Adding to that are new socialist bubbles in national debt, student loans, auto loans, and equity prices.

Pop quiz:

People love Scandinavian socialism because:
  1. Scandinavian countries are happy, healthy, productive, prosperous, AND socialist.
  2. They misunderstand Scandinavian economics and history.   
Scandinavian success came long before their experiment with socialism.  They were happy, healthy, productive, and prosperous prior to the 1960s when they first began their turn towards socialism. Socialism had nothing to do with their success.  But sixty years of high taxes and socialism has slowed their growth and momentum.  Sweden and Denmark currently spend more than 100% of their national income on government services - an obviously unsustainable level.  In response, socialist Europe has been freeing their economies and sharply turning away from socialism.  Switzerland, Ireland, and the U.K. are economically freer than the U.S., and Sweden, yes "socialist" Sweden, is essentially tied with the U.S. in economic freedom today.  (According to the Heritage Foundation rankings.)

Here's the thing:  National socialism has never produced anything long term other than misery, poverty, totalitarianism, and death.  Think Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea.  The NAZIS, who brought about the holocaust, WWII, and directly or indirectly caused the death of 70 million people, were known by the German acronym for "National Socialists".

So, that's at the national level.  And long term.  At the local level, socialism can survive a bit longer. Local socialism does not eliminate the incentive killing aspects of socialism, but it does avoid the inevitable monetary collapse.  That's because local governments cannot create money and therefore tend to be more fiscally responsible. National governments can hide their insolvency, plunder future generations, devalue currencies, manipulate interest rates, and cause much bigger problems down the road.

This is an important point that deserves repeating;  socialism cannot work long term at the national level.  The national level is where money is created and controlled.  Our system was never designed to be a socialist system.  The constitution implied that the states were the proper place for redistributive experimentation.  The conflict of interest at the national level is just too great.  National politicians will eventually destroy the currency, borrow too heavily, undermine the work ethic, and undermine national defense in an attempt to gain and maintain power. The founders knew that.  It is happening today.  We have doubled our national debt in just the last nine years.  Interest rates were artificially held near zero for most of that time.  If and when rates normalize to historical levels, the debt service alone will cause the kind of pain socialist nations have felt throughout history. We are not immune.
  
In summary: You were indoctrinated to be a socialist. You were indoctrinated to call our system capitalism.  You've been deceived about the benefits of socialism.  You've been deceived about the evils of free markets.  And you've been deceived about the perils of national socialism.  If you still think socialism is great after all that, congratulations, you've earned a Darwin Award in Economics.