Monday, October 9, 2017

Las Vegas Shooting - A Curious Unanswered Detail [UPDATED]

If you have been consuming news reports - print, online, broadcast, whatever - concerning the Las Vegas shooting, you've probably heard the "fact" that the shooter has been accumulating an arsenal over decades.  Here's a screen shot of a Google search for "arsenal & decades":

This timeline came from the Sheriff himself on Oct 4th:  “What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life. Much of which will never be fully understood”

There were, however, other reports that referred to the bulk of the arsenal having been accumulated "in the last year".  It's not unusual in the fog-of-war to have discrepancies like this, but what is unusual is the apparent lack of curiosity in the precise gun purchase timeline.

The ATF has said, in fact, that 33 of the shooters 47 guns were purchased in the 11 months from Oct 2016 to Sept 2017.  If they know this, then they also know the exact timeline and makeup of those purchases.  Were these purchases evenly spaced or did the pattern change at some point?  Was the entire makeup of those purchases consistent with what was used in the massacre?  Was there an inflection point in the shooters gun purchasing behavior over the last year?  If there was one, the ATF isn't saying.  

At some point, without a clear motive, we are inevitably drawn to Occam's razor.

[Update 10/11] According to this report (and really, with a timeline that changes daily, what can we really trust at this point?),  every single gun used in the massacre was purchased AFTER Nov 2016. The exact timing and makeup of the guns purchased and used is still a well kept secret.  Of note, ISIS claims conversion to Islam about six months ago.  Of course, there was also a big event in Nov 2016. And the LVMPD still will not discuss what medications the shooter was on, though they've hinted it was more than Valium.     

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Bump-Stocks and The TSA

Immediately after 9/11, one of the very first things done was to nationalize airport security.  It was a slam dunk, right?  After all, those hijackers got through private airport security with box cutters and then used them to crash into buildings killing 3000.  We couldn't let that happen again. The bill creating the TSA passed nearly unanimously in the House and 100% unanimously in the Senate. 

There was only one problem: private airport security performed perfectly on 9/11.  You see, federal regulations PERMITTED box cutters on planes.  No one in airport security did anything wrong that day.  In other words, we unanimously nationalized airport security to solve a problem that didn't exist.   So why did we do it?  Ulterior motives aside, no politician could possibly stand athwart the emotional tide sweeping that bill into law.

In the wake of the worst mass shooting in our country's history, another emotional tide will likely sweep something into law.  An early favorite is a ban on bump-stocks, the devices used in Las Vegas that are apparently legal, but convert a semi-automatic rifle into essentially a fully automatic one.  This actually does seem like an obvious loophole if our intent was to ban automatic weapons all along.  

But there's only one problem:  bump-stocks may have ironically saved lives in Las Vegas.  You see, the shooter apparently had enough explosives in his car to create even more carnage than his shooting rampage.   Had he driven into a crowd and detonated his combination of Tannerite and ammonium nitrate, many more deaths could have resulted.  An ammonium nitrate bomb in Oklahoma City killed 168 people, and it wasn't even situated near a crowd, it just collapsed the entire building.  

Don't expect any politician to make this point and stand athwart the emotional tide.  The point is this: emotional legislation rarely does any good, and a determined and cunning psycho is gonna kill regardless of the law.     

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Drug Reactions and Mass Murders

Here's yet another theory about the Las Vegas massacre:  It could have been drug related, as in SSRIs and other psychotropic drugs.  Add this to the other two plausible motivations:  jihad and politics.  (Of course it's also possible he was just a psychopath, but then the questions remain, why this country music concert, and why now?)

Author John Ringo's personal experience with psychotropic drug reactions is amazing.  He posted this on FB today.  Read the whole thing, but here is a taste:
Miriam [my wife] is a 'limited case pharmacological phenotype.' What does that mean? You know where on the warning label it says: 'in rare cases may cause you to grow two heads and fly to the moon'? Miriam is 'rare cases.' Every single time she tries a new prescription drug (fill in reason here) she is 'rare cases.' 
This involves the 'in rare cases' effect of a drug called Cymbalta. Notably, as Cymbalta NOW states 'in rare cases may cause homicidal or suicidal psychotic break. Should not be prescribed to teenagers.' (Because it turns out in MOST cases WILL cause psychotic break in teenagers.) 
We don't know at this time if the shooter was on any of these drugs, but if he was it would explain an awful lot.  Unfortunately, our HIPAA privacy laws make it impossible to obtain medical records and do accurate research on this subject, even after a shooter is dead!  This must change.      

Remember, there was a time in this country when everyone had a gun, and yet mass shootings were never a thing.  Only since the introduction of mass-marketed psychotropic drugs has this mass shooting phenomenon metastasized.

Here's an article from 2013 correlating SSRIs and other psychotropics with just about every mass shooting up to that point.

Here's the list from that article:

  • Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold's medical records have never been made available to the public.
  • Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather's girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.
  • Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.
  • Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.
  • Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.
  • Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.
  • Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.
  • Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.
  • A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.
  • Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..
  • A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.
  • Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.
  • TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.
  • Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.
  • James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.
  • Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania
  • Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California
  • Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.
  • Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.
  • Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.
  • Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.
  • Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.
  • Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.
  • Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.
  • Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family's Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.
  • Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara's parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn't take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)
  • Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
  • (Gareth's father could not accept his son's death and killed himself.)
  • Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family's detached garage.
  • Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.
  • Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.
  • Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.
  • A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.
  • Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”
  • Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.
  • Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.
  • Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
  • Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.
  • Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his New York high school.

Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

  • What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az
  • What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado
  • What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or
  • What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct

Bird-Dogging the 2nd Amendment? [UPDATED]

Again, like the last post, this is nothing more than plausible conjecture:

What if the 2nd Amendment was the ultimate target in Las Vegas?  What if the Las Vegas shooter really hated the 2A?  I mean, really hated it. Would he have been willing to kill?  Would he have been willing to die?  What better way to demonstrate that the 2A is prone to abuse than by amassing an arsenal?  Why have an arsenal when one modified gun was enough? [Update: Apparently, heat build-up prevents a single gun from firing reliably for more than a clip before cooling.]    What better way to illuminate a  "bump-stock" loophole than to use one in a massacre?  (Had you ever heard of a "bump-stock" before this?)   

Next, how would a 2A opponent pick a target?  Would he perhaps apply the Saul Alinsky rule for radicals:  "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."  Aren't country music fans among the biggest supporters of The Bill of Rights? [Update: Shooter considered several other music events other than this country festival.]

Finally, if the 2A was the target, would the shooter openly admit it, or would it better suit his purposes to cover his tracks?  Would he perhaps turn to radical Islam for cover?

I'm raising these questions only because we are dealing with a conspicuous lack of information.  Unlike every other event of this kind, we have no good answers four days in.  Social media is non-existent or on lockdown.  YouTube videos have been flushed down the memory hole.  Digital footprints are either nonexistent or have been erased.  The public information trail, for whatever reason, has been rendered cold.

Could the reason for this be that the truth goes against the Left's preferred narrative? Could the shooter, a middle-aged white guy, have been a Leftist 2A opponent? [Update: Still no inkling of ANY political or religious leanings four days in.]

What we do know about the Left is they are adept at using various diabolical techniques to achieve their goals.  Among them is a technique they have dubbed "bird-dogging".  The name comes from a hunting technique that employs the use of a dog sent into a thicket to stir up birds for the kill. 

Watch as Democrat operatives discuss bird-dogging:

Bird Dogging   

As if right on cue, the 2A hunters on the Left have dutifully been firing away at the 2A, NRA, and guns nonstop since Sunday.  I'm not suggesting any kind of coordination with the DNC, Democracy Partners, Americans United For Change, People For The American Way, Center for American Progress, or any other Leftist action group. Only that this guy may have decided on his own that the ends justify the means, to use another Alinsky-ism. 

Yesterday, the Sheriff made reference to possible "radicalization".  He did not elaborate, so we don't know if he was referring to Islamic radicalization, Alinsky radicalization, or some other form.  Of course, ISIS has claimed responsibility now twice, an unusual practice when they are bluffing.  [Update: ISIS has claimed credit three times now.]

Either way, it's possible both are true.  It's also possible there was no motive other than psychosis.  Of note:  ISIS includes the hashtag #GunControlNow on their posts taking credit for Las Vegas.  Which begs the question: who's bird-dogging who?  (see below)


With the digital trail non-existent, or wiped clean, we are left speculating to try and find a motive from the bloody breadcrumbs left in the wake of this horrific act.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Who was the shooter? [UPDATED]

Have you noticed the dearth of information about the Las Vegas killer?  It's uncanny.  No social media, no politics, no religion, no manifesto, no affiliations, nothing but dry and sketchy details about his past and present.  It's almost like the media is not looking, or has looked, and doesn't want to share what it knows.

Do you know any 64 year olds with no opinions on politics or religion?   

Meanwhile, the girlfriend is mysteriously out of the country, $100,000 wired to her, but she's emphatically NOT a person of interest,  her FaceBook account has been frozen, but there are some photos of her in Dubai.

We are going to need some time to sort all this out, but in the meantime 4Chan is hard at work:

[Update: This person is in all likelihood NOT the shooter.]

There is footage (since flushed down the memory hole by Google/YouTube) of a guy at an anti-Trump rally in Reno this summer who is apparently named "Steve" (some women can be heard greeting him) wearing a pussy hat and a Nasa tee shirt (apparently the shooter worked for a time at Lockheed Martin, a Nasa contractor).  Some 4chaner has looked at the available photos and finds a curiously similar scar on both the pussy hat guy and the shooter.

Of course, this is all conjecture and highly speculative, but if true explains why the media is not ever going to look into this guys politics or religion and why he just happened to murder a slew of flag-waving, patriotic, country music fans.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lindsey Graham's Finest Moment

I have always considered Lindsey Graham to be a decent human being and a hard working Senator, though I don't often find myself agreeing with him.  That said, I am proud to say his 11th hour attempt to thwart disaster in healthcare is worthy of greatness.  I have almost no confidence in the Senate's ability to pass something of quality, but at least Mr. Graham and Dr. Cassidy are trying. 

Watch here as Mr. Graham and Dr. Cassidy address being attacked by comedian Jimmy Kimmel: 

For a full discussion of why the states, not the federal government, ought to be the ones providing the safety net in healthcare, please read "The Thelma and Louise Healthcare Bill".  Then send it to your Senator. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Time for Special Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani!

Now that we know for certain that Donald Trump was right about being wiretapped in Trump Tower before the election, it's high time for a special prosecutor to look into possible abuses by Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes and anyone else who may have had a hand in what is increasingly looking like Watergate on stilts.

This writer said the following at the start: 
After Donald Trump tweeted that Barack Obama had his ""wires tapped"", Barack Obama's response DID NOT DENY that Trump's wires had been tapped, only that he hadn't ordered it! 
A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.                                                       Barack Obama's response to Trump's accusation of "wire tapping" 
Translation:  It wasn't me who wiretapped you; it was Loretta Lynch!  You know, the grandmother who met on the tarmac with Bill Clinton to discuss their grandchildren in the midst of a DOJ/FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton? 
Of course, there is no need to ever perform a wiretap in the modern world, because all communications are recorded by the NSA.  Unmasking and leaking the names of U.S. citizens, then, becomes the issue and the crime.

Now we know it's all true.  Trump was right.  The entire Obama regime has been attempting a cover-up of what looks like extremely high crimes.  Many of them issued false denials under oath.  You don't do that unless you are covering-up something even worse.

The question is: what was the justification? Was there a legitimate reason? Was all this set in motion by a rigged dossier? Was that the purpose of the dossier? Who funded the dossier? Someone needs to get to the bottom of this. 

Just as Jeff Sessions recused himself over the Russia investigation he should probably do so now over "Wiregate". That would kick it to a special prosecutor.  I nominate Rudy Giuliani!       

Prediction: As the drumbeat for a special prosecutor builds, Donald Trump will make a deal with the party of Chuck and Nancy: wind-up Mueller's investigation, leave me and my pals untouched, let me have a few votes for this or that, and I'll refrain from putting Barack Obama and his entire cabinet and IC behind bars.  

Art of the deal, bitches.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Trump's Stock Market?

This is truly an historic stock market.  Since November 8th, 10 months ago, the broad market has risen about 20%.  But why?

Analysts will say we are in an unusual time of low interest rates, cheap oil, relative peace, and technological advancement.  True enough.  But those were all true before November 8th.

To be clear, we had already been in a multi-year bull market leading up to the election.  But instead of continuing on the same slope, or changing direction, stocks have been rising at an even higher rate under Donald Trump.  No serious person can say this change in slope has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

But there is a paradox in all this:  If stocks jumped immediately after the election of Donald Trump, why are they continuing to rise on their new trajectory now that his congressional agenda has hopelessly stalled?  You'd think the market would be savvy enough to see that Donald Trump has almost no congressional allies on either side of the aisle and will not be able to accomplish anything of significance through normal congressional order.

Apparently, the market doesn't care.

To the naked eye, and to the founders, ours is a government of co-equal branches that make, enforce, and interpret laws.  The economy is impacted to the extent those laws interfere with or facilitate commerce.  

But under a microscope it really doesn't work that way anymore.  Today it is regulations, executive orders, and Fed policy more than laws that run the economy.  Congress, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are mostly just noisy bystanders.  Even the judicial branch is powerless because they have allowed this overreach for decades.

As government has assumed vast powers over every aspect of life in the U.S., more and more of that power has ended-up with one branch... the executive.

Donald Trump and his appointees have been quietly and effectively rolling back harmful regulations and executive orders.  During the campaign Trump promised to cut two regulations for every new one, and he is keeping that promise.  The markets understand the Trump agenda doesn't need Congress.

Even taxes, which are specifically enumerated to Congress under the Constitution,  are largely under the power of the executive.  

To the naked eye, and to most economists, it is marginal tax rates that have the most economic impact.  Economists endlessly discuss how best to structure a "progressive" and "fair" tax system. How much should we tax the rich, and how much should we tax the middle class, etc?  These are actually not economic questions at all in the long run.  They are political.

Under a microscope, or in this case more accurately panning out, it is total government spending that represents the true tax on a country.  If we borrow or create new money to help pay for that spending it still represents a tax, albeit a delayed one.  Total government spending and what value is obtained for those dollars has true economic impact, not what tax rate is collected from any one individual or class of individuals.

Modern Presidents have vast power over quite a bit of government spending and what value is obtained for each dollar.  The markets understand that Donald Trump is and has always been a rather frugal operator.  They expect him to do the same as President.

Markets move in both directions on countless variables, but as long as everything stays the same (wink, wink), expect the Trump market to continue to outperform.  

We're not supposed to be a one branch economy, but that's what we've become.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bird Dogging the Cultural Revolution

Charlottesville was amazing and frightening on many levels.  To the naked eye it looked like one thing, but put it under a microscope and it looks like an entirely different and possibly more sinister thing.

To the naked eye some Nazi, KKK, and white nationalist loonies protested with torches and sticks, shouted racist slogans and ended-up murdering a woman who was there counter-protesting.  Of course, this was all Donald Trump's fault.

That is the narrative the media ran with and the one most Americans believe.  

But under a microscope a different picture emerges.  It turns out that both the protest and the counter-protest were primarily organized by Democrats.  This is significant because Democrats have a long history of using tactics like "conflict engagement"  and "bird dogging" to damage their opponents by diabolically provoking violence and creating negative headlines. (The term "bird dogging" comes from hunting by using a dog to flush-out birds for the kill.)

Don't take my word for it.  Here are Democrat operatives explaining these very tactics to James O'Keefe's hidden camera.  If you have the time to watch the whole sixteen minute video, I've embedded it below.  If not, here are some links that begin at the appropriate segments:  

Conflict Engagement and Creating Anarchy
Trained Agitators in Massive Numbers
Disguised to Look Like Ordinary People
Our Union Guys will do Whatever We Want
Importance of Media
Using "Trump Is A Nazi"
Bird Dogging
Bob Creamer is Diabolical

Does this mean that everyone there was a trained agitator?  Not at all.  There were real Nazi, KKK, and white nationalists in Charlottesville.  These morons are always marching somewhere.  In fact they marched throughout the Obama Presidency and even caused violence.  But the media never made a big deal out of it because they are a tiny fringe group and always will be. The only thing that has changed is now they are being employed as willing dupes and useful idiots in choreographed Democrat "conflict engagements" to hurt Trump.

The same thing can be said for the real anarchists and Communists who showed-up in Charlottesville.
Some other things come into focus when further looking at Charlottesville under a microscope:
  • In an amazing coincidence, it just so happens that Donald Trump owns a home and a business in... Charlottesville.
  • The Mayor of Charlottesville declared in January that Charlottesville would be a "capital of resistance" to Trump's Presidency
  • The Mayor also just happens to be a Democrat activist who worked with John Podesta at The Center for American Progress (CAP). CAP is a far left think tank and one of the bridge organizations between the official DNC and the "dark arts" operatives caught on camera above and below. 
  • John Podesta founded CAP, ran the the Hillary Clinton campaign, ran the Clinton Foundation, and it was his embarrassing emails that got leaked during the election.  
  • The activist Mayor deliberately had his police herd the protesters and counter-protesters onto a collision course for maximum "conflict engagement". He then ordered his police to stand-down.  
  • The Governor of VA is also an activist Democrat, Clinton loyalist, and Presidential hopeful who plans on running against Trump in 2020.

A few days after Charlottesville, a pro-Trump free speech rally in Boston was labeled a "Nazi rally" by the Democrat Mayor of that city.  Democrats showed up en masse, some violently, to kill... free speech.  They were lauded by the media and the left and succeeded in shutting down free-speech. Featured speakers at the free speech rally included Jews, Indians, Blacks, and Whites.  That's a strange group of Nazis.  Here's what really happened in Boston: [VIDEO]

So how could these choreographed operations happen right under the media's nose without them even bothering to look under the microscope?  As revealed in the third clip above, these operations are disguised to never be traceable back to Democrat operatives.  Add to that the fact that the media has no interest in exonerating Donald Trump.  In fact they are complicit.  That's why they disingenuously reported that Donald Trump praised the racist protesters in Charlottesville as "good people".  What he actually said, and he repeated it several times, was that some of the protesters were just protesting tearing down a statue, and among that contingent, some were good people.  

Remember, the whole protest in Charlottesville was about protecting a statue of a guy who was a U.S. war hero, a top U.S. General, a graduate of West Point, and a powerful voice for reconciliation after the Civil War. .  In addition to that he was also a traitor and fought for the Confederacy, which is why the statue was slated for removal.

Fair enough.  If this was about just one statue, or two, or all Confederate statues, it wouldn't mean too much. But this movement has metastasized overnight into a full blown Cultural Revolution. Every statue, structure, institution, city, state, county, etc. named for a anyone who offends anyone must now be expunged.  The left wants to erase our history.

Mao Zedong, the Nazis, the Taliban, and ISIS did the exact same thing.  Mao wanted to erase all remnants of pre-communist China because history was a threat to communism.  Nazis burned books and worse for similar reasons.  The Taliban, ISIS, and all of kinetic Islam routinely destroy all remnants of non-Muslim things like statues, art, churches, ...and infidels.

The Cultural Revolution resulted in millions of deaths, set China back decades, and was a colossal failure on every level.  The Nazis and kinetic Islam had the exact same results.  What are the odds this will work for us now?

Watch the full video here.  YouTube/Blogger/Google makes embedding this video impossible.  

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