Monday, July 6, 2020
This week we saw video of the police kneeling on the neck of George Floyd shortly before he died while in police custody. The video has gone viral, and the police officers involved have been fired. The protests have turned into riots, with police cars being attacked and store being looted.
While the initial incident is tragic, and the loss of life terrible, the subsequent hysteria and rioting are boring and predictable. The Media and the Left are seeking to sharpen the racial divide in this country by whipping up a racially charged hysteria.
The same weekend that this man died at the hands of the Police, 60 people were shot and 9 killed in Chicago. Not a single news story was done nationally about the carnage in Chicago. The largely black-on-black wave of never-ending violence does not get any attention, but a single death in Minneapolis results in wall to wall coverage that stokes protests and riots.
If it seems like there is a pattern to the periodic appearance of Black Lives Matters and other leftist protest groups on the national stage, well, that is because there is. Every election year, like clockwork, the Left manufactures a protest cycle about some incident that fits the narrative.
This is an election year and the summer hasn’t even gotten started. Expect that this will get worse before it gets better.
Black Lives Matter is a political group that pops into the news every recent election cycle. The group’s name implies that they care about Black lives. The truth is quite the opposite. As we noted several years ago, BLM is merely a Leftist policy group using Black people as an emotional shield while promoting policies that have nothing to do with improving the lives of actual black people
They claim their mission is “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes”. Notably absent from the mission statement is the primary source of violence against Black communities: other black people.
Chicago has had nearly 1,000 murders a year for many years running. The vast majority of these crimes are Black on Black, and most of them go unsolved. More Black people were killed in a single weekend than unarmed Black people have been killed by police in an entire year.
George Floyd becomes a martyr and a cause celeb when he dies at the hands of a cop. David Dorn gets murdered by rioters and his death is swept under the rug. Who is David Dorn? He is a retired St. Louis police captain that was gunned down by looters during the riots that were supposed to honor the memory of George Floyd.
BLM makes a celebrity out of a multiple time felon but completely ignores the death of an honorable member of the community. That should tell you something about the priorities of BLM. A quick search of the BLM site finds zero reference to Dorn, but links to #Defund the Police and Rest in Power, Beautiful.
If Black Lives Mattered cared about actual black people, they would be holding protest marches on the southside of Chicago, not on Rodeo Drive. Instead they make policy demands about ICE and illegal aliens, and demand that we defund the police. The website is heavy on the rhetoric, and short on detailed proposals. They list a dozen things BLM will focus on without a single word of explanation of what they mean and how they would implement change.
BLM is a Leftist scam that doesn’t care about the lives of actual Black people.
Monday, May 4, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020
We have shut down large parts of the country. Sports, meetings, churches, restaurants, bars, athletic clubs, and retail shopping are closed indefinitely. All in the name of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and saving some number of lives.
Currently there is no end in sight for the shutdown. Will it be weeks? Months? Some sources are now saying it might be as long as 18 months.
The economic and political costs are potentially severe if we keep this up for very long.
What will happen to our society if we are shut down indefinitely due to the virus? Best case scenario, a deep economic depression that takes years from which to recover.
Worst case scenario, the end of Western Civilization.
You scoff. I am being ridiculous, you say.
Well, people were stabbing each other over a few rolls of toilet paper last week. What do you think is going to happen when the food and the toilet paper run out for real?
Modern economies in the information age are built on a lot of exchanging of goods and services. Only a very small fraction of the population actually grows food or makes stuff. The rest of us are pretty far removed from those basic industries.
The current set of policies has thrown millions of people out of service work, and the next set of impending bans (air travel, for one) will put millions more out of work. Basic civil liberties will be destroyed as we enforce our bans and quarantines. The government will need to step in and provide income and basic food supplies for these purposefully unemployed people.
The government at every level is already straining under the burden of trillions of dollars in debt. Many states, like Illinois, are already at the verge of bankruptcy. Tax receipts will fall and social services costs will skyrocket, and the government will run out of cash. When they try to raise taxes and borrow more money, they will soon find that there is no one to buy the debt and no more transactions to tax. Then what happens?
The implosion of tax receipts and the massive wave of new people on the public dole will collapse state and local governments. They will not be able to meet their obligations. They will lay off hundreds of thousands of workers, stop providing basic services, thus contributing to the vicious cycle of collapse.
The Federal Government will go through the same cycle. Within months, the government will default on debts and be forced to shut down. They will pump copious amounts of currency into the failing economy, but this will only kick off massive inflation. The currency will collapse, and with it, the Federal government’s ability to borrow or pay its bills.
Commerce will grind to a halt. The government will step in and nationalize entire industries to keep things going. If you doubt this, note that there are already calls for the Federal Government to take over the manufacture and distribution of medical ventilators, and we don’t even have a real shortage of them yet, just an imagined shortage!
Food will disappear off shelves like if does in every other government planned economy. Real panic buying will set in, and not just for toilet paper. Stores will be looted. The government will stop basic policing (This has already happened in Philadelphia, just in case you think I am exaggerating here), and mayhem and civil unrest will set in.
Basic civil liberties will vanish. Well, many of them are gone already. Want to worship in your faith? Nope, churches are closed. Want to peacefully protest? Nope, even small gatherings are banned. Want to own a gun to defend your stockpile of toilet paper? Nope, there are bans on gun sales and ownership being imposed. As of a few moments ago, the Governor of Illinois just confined the whole state to our homes for three weeks (!!!). Is any of this reasonable? Constitutional?
Within a very short time span, the entire system will collapse. Bands of pillagers will roam the streets, looting and burning buildings will drive people out into the night, and the complete collapse of civil society will ensue. Again, if you believe I am exaggerating, think of what happened when a there was a jury verdict people didn’t like in LA. The Rodney King riots will look like a lark compared to what will happen when the pay checks bounce, the food runs out, and the police are not enforcing the law.
It took 70 years for the Soviet Union to collapse. 20 years for Venezuela to descend into starvation and anarchy. And those countries were trying to make things work. We are actively and purposefully shutting down the economy, with nationalization of key industries to follow. The collapse of the highly leveraged, consumer-driven, US economy will be far more rapid, measured in months, not decades.
I hope the price of avoiding ‘death by flu’ is less than the complete collapse of the entire system. If this dark vision comes to pass, tens of millions will die, and it will take centuries to recover, if ever.
Oh, and if society collapses and we are living amid the ruins roasting rats on a stick over a burning rubber tire, we few survivors in the wastelands will probably all die of the flu anyway.
It is hard to reconcile the reaction to past epidemics like SARS and H1N1 with the current near total hysteria and shut down of our economy.
The virus appears to be slightly more transmissible than these two previous pandemic causing viruses, but is also less lethal.
In fact, it is unclear exactly how dangerous COVID-19 is. The statistics are either unreliable or vary widely. At the moment, the virus is 20x more dangerous in Italy than it is in Germany. This makes it very difficult to predict the actual mortality in the event of an outbreak.
The people that are dying of this appear to be limited to elderly patients with other underlying conditions. Healthy adults get sick but recover, and children seem largely unaffected. While every death is a tragedy, it does not appear that this virus is going to wipe out huge swaths of the population. The numbers may not be any worse than the typical flu season, if some of the statistics are accurate.
So why are we in modified stationary panic over this disease? Why have we shut down the entire services industry in the country? Why have we purposefully pushed the economy into recession or depression?
- It could be that the masses are under-educated and don’t understand statistics or probability.
- It could be that the news media is whipping up hysteria to bolster ratings.
- It could be that the news media is trying to create a sense of chaos to undermined the Trump administration.
- It could be that Trump’s lack of verbal finesse and awkward communication style don’t give people a sense of calm.
- It could be that the news media and the Democrats are trying to crash the economy as a way to get Trump out of office.
- It could be that Democrats are trying to whip up hysteria and panic to let them enact their policy preferences for Nationalized Health care, Medicare for All, Paid Sick Leave, Universal basic income, and gun control.
- It could be that the near absolute safety and comfort of a rich capitalist society has left people so infantilized that they cannot cope with the slightest threat.
But I think it is all of them happening at the same time.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
They have been saying the word impeachment since before he was even inaugurated, but now they seem to be seriously committed to impeachment proceedings.
Since the Republicans control the Senate, one has to wonder what the Democrats are thinking. There is very little chance that the Senate votes to convict based on the flimsy or non-existent evidence of a crime that has been discovered to date.
I think its all about RGB.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not in good health. In addition to her advanced age, she is battling pancreatic cancer. Her last treatment that we know of was a stent to help keep the bile ducts open. This is not a curative treatment, this is palliative. It is designed to slow the effects of the cancer, not stop the cancer. It is merely a matter of time before she is no longer able to perform her duties on the Supreme Court.
The Left is in a panic over the Supreme Court. They currently face a 5-4 conservative majority, with Justice Roberts being quite wobbly. If RGB is replaced with a hard line originalist, even the completely vapid reasoning of Roberts won't help the Left. The Court will be solidly conservative, with a 6-3 advantage (5-4 even if Roberts continues to drift Left).
Losing the Supreme Court majority is a huge problem for the Left.
Virtually all of their policy gains over the past 50 years have come through, or been backed up by, a liberal and activist Court.
- Abortion was an extremely unpopular with most Americans before Roe V Wade. That decision ushered in policy that would have never passed in Congress.
- Gay Marriage failed to pass in any public referendum. It was widely unpopular every time it was voted on by the people. The Supreme Court made it the law of the land in a fantastical 5-4 decision, citing emanations and prenumbras as the basis in the law.
- Overturning and delaying Trumps 'Travel Ban' was based not on the Law, but on the feelings of the liberal judges and overturned the plain and clear meaning of the statute on immigration.
- Obamacare is the law only because the SCOTUS took a position that was at odds with the plain language of the law. The ACA stated that the fees for not having insurance were a legal penalty, not a tax. The Court ruled that despite the wording of the law, the penalty was actually a tax, and therefore legal.
Thursday, August 1, 2019
If you want to destroy the US, and the global economy in a single stroke, you could not come up with a better solution than to criminalize the energy industry.
What will they do? Arrest the CEOs'? The Board members? Where does it stop? Do they arrest rig workers as they come off a 3 month rotation in the Gulf?
The entire industry would collapse. Production would crash. Prices would sky rocket. Supply would dry up. Gasoline rationing and price controls would soon follow.
The entire economy would collapse. As production fell, they would begin to arrest workers as 'saboteurs' and 'enemy of the people'. Oil workers would flee the fields, and production would grind to a halt.
Think this sounds far fetched? Well, it is almost exactly what has happened in Venezuela over the past 15 years.
Bernie Sanders is a power mad socialist tyrant bent on nothing less than the utter destruction of the US.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
This is a very bad thing.
Dropping the charges in such a high profile case severely undermines the Rule of Law.
There are a few foundational ideas that critical to the survival of our civilization. The Rule of Law is one of them, and you tamper with it at great peril.
John Adams described us as a "Nation of Laws, not a Nation of Men", and as The Patriot Post notes,
A nation of laws” means that laws, not people, rule. Everyone is to be governed by the same laws, regardless of their station; whether it is the most common American or Members of Congress, high-ranking bureaucrats or the President of the United States; all must be held to the just laws of America. No one is, or can be allowed to be, above the law.
This is obviously no longer true.
Who you are now matters more than the letter of the law.
Hillary Clinton fails to turn over official documents and does not get charged. Jame Clapper blatantly lies before Congress and does not get charged. Eric Holder conducts an illegal gun running operation, gets held in contempt of Congress, and does not get charged.
We rely on the legal system to support our civilization. We don't engage in tribal feuds, or vigilante justice. We all abide by the rulings and sentences of judges because we have one set of law to which we all agree and are all subject.
If that fundamental social contract breaks down, we are headed for very dark times. We already see what happens when there is no legal recourse for disputes in the drug gang infested areas of Chicago. Gang warfare that results in endless violence and death.
If the rest of country loses faith in the Rule of Law it will bring about civil war and the end of our civilization.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Don't believe me? Then listen to NPR.
NPR has some ideas in a recent report titled Why are Venezuelan's starving? Given the reputation for the Leftist orientation of NPR, you might be surprised who they blame.
Spoiler alert: They blame Hugo Chavez and his misguided economic policies.
Don't get too excited. The NPR report never uses the word Socialism, or draws a direct link between Chavez's openly socialist policies and the collapse of Venezuela. But it does talk about the government and government policy being the reason for the collapse.
Here is a key part of the transcript:
Monday, March 18, 2019
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
As of February, a crowded field is brimming with enthusiasm, and things look like they will be amazing as the race for President heats up.
There will be a few over-riding themes:
Socialist Ascendancy: The activist Democrat base has gone full Socialist. (Never go full Socialist!) The candidates will continue to lurch leftward as they try to capture the Bernie 2016 vote.
Intersectionality for the Win!: The victim Olympics require you to maximize your intersectionality points. This explains why Kamala 'Horizontal' Harris has an early lead, and why Elizabeth Warren is desperate to get points for being an American Indian. The candidates will battle it out for Victim of the Year status.
Trump Derangement Syndrome: the Democrat candidates will compete for who hates Trump the most. This will be evident at the personal and the policy level.
Monday, February 11, 2019
This law will have massive costs, create tens of millions of felons through civil disobedience, and have zero effect on gun violence.
This proposed law, like virtually all gun control proposals, would not have stopped a single mass shooting in the past 20 years, as an example of how little effect it would have.
The Democrats are currently proposing that all firearms transfers would need to be conducted through a Federal Background check. Let's review the possible categories that this law would effect:
Sell a gun to a lawful possessor -- the law would have no effect here other than to inconvenience both parties. It would also incur a hefty transaction cost. For example, my friend, a legal gun owner, sold me, a legal gun owner, a 20 GA youth pump shotgun for $100. Forcing us to do a background check imposes a 25-50% tax on the transaction for no benefit. The law does nothing here but impose costs and aggravation.
Sell a gun to a prohibited possessor -- This is already illegal. Prohibited possessors are...wait for it... prohibited from possessing a gun. This would making selling a gun to a felon double-illegal.
Loan a gun to a lawful possessor -- This would impose massive inconvenience on gun owners for no benefit of any kind. A friend of mine has asked me to store his firearms while he is in the midst of a bad divorce. Under this law, doing my friend a favor would result in a background check and some multiple of transfer fees. And when it was time for me to give him his guns back, we would have to repeat the process in reverse. This is massive imposition on lawful gun owners for no reason.
Loan a gun to a prohibited possessor -- This is already illegal. Prohibited possessors are...wait for it... prohibited from possessing a gun. This would making giving a gun to a felon double-illegal.
The FBI crime statistics reveal that crime guns are stolen or purchased on the black market. Very few, if any, crime guns are obtained at gun shows or through private transfers. This law would prevent exactly ZERO crimes.
It would, however, create a massive bureaucracy, cost billions of dollars, impose severe restriction on lawful gun owners, create a national registry of guns that would to nothing to reduce crime, and everything to increase the risk to gun owners that this information would be misused.
Any law that bans private sales of firearms will necessarily require gun registration. Let's assume that I own over 20 firearms. How will the police be able to tell which of them I bought with a background check and which I did not? If there is no list of 'pre-background check' firearms, I can simply claim I bought the guns prior to the ban.
Possession would also have to be deemed the equivalent of ownership, as it is currently for the prohibitions against felons carrying a gun. If I have gun in my possession and the police demand to see evidence I passed a background check, I could simply claim it is not my gun, I am simply 'holding it for a friend'.
In order for such a law to work, every firearm in the country would need to be registered with the government. The government can then check the list of legal guns against what I have in my possession, and charge me with a crime for any discrepancies.
This is an insanely dangerous and likely un-constitutional law.
It would instantly turn tens of millions of law abiding gun owners into felons, as registration rates would fall well short of actual ownership.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Unless, of course, fate has other plans for her.
At the moment, she is convalescing at home after lung surgery and has cancelled all public events for the rest of the month. Her declining health has fueled speculation that Donald Trump is, in fact, going to get to make a third Supreme Court selection in the near future.
A third conservative Trump SCOTUS appointment would alter the balance of the Court for years to come. It would nominally create a 6-3 conservative majority, all but guaranteeing significant changes in public policy on several hotly debated topics.
This terrifies Democrats and the Left. They have made huge advances in their agenda over the past 20 years primarily through the courts. Gay marriage and abortion rights failed on every ballot they were ever on, and only became law through the SCOTUS. All of that progress is at risk with a more conservative Court.
The Democrats cannot afford for this to happen.
If Ginsburg's seat opens up, they will execute a three part plan beyond the usual confirmation hearings circus:
2. Call the SCOTUS picks illegitimate. The Democrats and the press will scream from the rafters that Trump should not be allowed to pick a third Justice because he has been impeached. The Peoples house voted to impeach him, and that means he has lost his mandate as President, they will claim. Therefore, they will argue, the Ginsburg seat should remain vacant until after the 2020 election. If Trump manages to seat a new Justice, they will then use the 'illegitimate court' argument to impugn and demean every decision of that court. Note that the Democrats have already laid the groundwork for these claims, stating that the Kavanaugh selection is invalid because Trump is under investigation.
3. Pack the Court. There is no Constitutionally defined number of Justices on the SCOTUS. The number of justices has been as low as 6 and as high as 10. Since the 9-Justice SCOTUS will be 'illegitimate', and there will be no prospect for righting that wrong for many decades, the Democrats will pack the court.. Similar to the FDR's scheme in the late 30's, they will simply add members to the Court until they have a solid majority. A 15 Justice court would be about right to achieve a liberal majority for the foreseeable future. In fact, there are already calls for a Court packing plan being floated in the press.
The Democrats want power, and they will stop and nothing to get it.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
The new is full of endless stories about the economic hardships imposed on furloughed government workers by a hardhearted Trump and the dangers of Government services not being provided. Such critical services as updating Magnitski Act sanctions, publishing reports of economic data, and other random things are reported as a dire crisis.
It has been noted in dire tones that the FDA is not conducting food inspections during the shutdown and that this places our food supply at risk.
The FDA has zero impact on food safety.
"But what if there is an outbreak of contaminated Romaine lettuce!??" they ask breathlessly.
Well, since we recently had that exact event happen last fall while the FDA was fully functional, I'm guessing the FDA has no impact.
The FDA oversight is an excellent example of why most Government services are a complete waste. Do you believe that, absent Government FDA inspectors, your local grocery store would be selling you rotting, infested meat and salmonella laden groceries? That farmers would knowingly sell contaminated milk and beef, or diseased eggs?
No. They would not. Businesses don't make a profit killing their customers. The food supply is safe because there are millions of businesses working 24 hours a day to ensure cleanliness and safety, not because there are a few hundred inspectors wandering around. Businesses try not to kill customers because killing customers is bad for business, not because of regulations.
The biggest risk to the Government and it's employees is that people get wise to how little value it is really adding.
Friday, January 4, 2019
The current situation is untenable: Shooters are able to roam the halls of the school shooting people who are utterly unable to to defend themselves. This continues until they run out of victims, ammo, or someone else with a gun finally shows up. In the case of Parkland, the response was so slow and inept, the shooter simply got bored and walked out of the school mixed in with other students.
Our students and teachers deserve better. One proposal that gets wildly mis-interpreted by both sides is the relatively simple idea of allowing school personnel to carry concealed firearms.
The Left reacts with horror and derision to this idea. They claim that armed teachers would be as much of threat to students as the actual shooter, and that you cannot expect teachers to do that which the police will not, namely charge into the hallways to hunt down the killer.
The Left also creates straw-man arguments that are not the actual proposal. "What, teachers are going to wear body armor and carry assault rifles all day?' or "Oh, sure, the librarian and the school nurse will sweep the building like a SWAT team".
The Right over complicates the whole thing. They advocate for rigorous training and mental health exams for teachers before they are allowed to carry concealed weapons into the school. This will have the effect of radically reducing the pool of teachers who are willing to carry a gun. The armed teacher population will thus be extremely small, making the whole idea ineffective.
The idea is much simpler and more effective: Allow willing teachers to carry a concealed firearm. This makes things much harder on a would be school shooter and will limit the time they have to roam the halls massacring students.
The teachers would not have training in SWAT tactics. They would not be responsible to form fire teams and hunt down the shooter. They would simply be able to defend themselves and the students by shooting back if the opportunity arose/
At Parkland, the gym teacher responded to the shooting by charging at the shooter. Had he been armed, he may not have died like he did. Another teacher heard the initial shots and went to the door to investigate. The shooter was a few yards away, back turned, reloading his gun. The teacher closed and locked the door, and the shooter went on to murder a dozen more people. Had that teacher been armed she may have been able to end the rampage right there.
Armed teachers are an excellent deterrent to school shootings, and we do not need to over complicate the idea: simply allow those teachers who are willing and basically qualified to carry a gun. This will greatly increase safety in our schools..