Posts Tagged ‘conservatives’

I’M FORMING MY OWN COUNTRY

January 6, 2021

Well, it’s come to pass. The day started badly with the Republicans’ apparent extraordinary loss of the Senate with the addition of two far-left entries to the ruling class. Then, to make matters worse, idiotic right-wing rioters (not due to make an appearance for weeks to months by my flawed prediction) gave the Left the ammunition it needed to label all Republicans/Trump supporters/conservatives as alt-right supporters of violence and a threat to democracy. Not that they haven’t been doing it already, just that they now have a real-world event to support their straw man stereotype. And they’re now in power. The last, unstable thread holding the nation together ironically may be Democrat Joe Manchin, who has committed himself to defending the filibuster and preventing court-packing. Otherwise we can expect two new blue states and 15 Supreme Court justices.

I’ve reached the conclusion there’s only one way out of this mess: I’m hereby ratifying the establishment of the United States of Puro. Since it doesn’t make sense to re-invent the wheel, I’m going to adopt the Constitution of the former United States of America, but institute a few changes.

  • In my country, installing anti-white racism as a cure for perceived or real anti-black racism is illegal.
  • Employing citizens in the government or private sector based on skin color, ethnicity, or sexual preference rather than competence is illegal.
  • Using the term equity in place of equality of opportunity or employing policies that promote equity at the expense of equal opportunity is illegal. Furthermore, all equity positions will be investigated to assure that public or private corruption is not at play.
  • Government subsidies are illegal.
  • Government bribery is illegal.
  • Terms of office exceeding three are illegal.
  • Legislation longer than 10 pages and that cannot be understood by someone with a 10th grade education or that contains items unrelated to the bill’s purpose is illegal.
  • Insider trading by public or private officials is illegal.
  • Programs that purport to combat prejudice by providing unearned advantages while implying that the recipients are incapable or inferior are illegal.
  • Laws that abrogate the right to own weapons of self defense are illegal.
  • Suspension of the right of free speech in the public or private domain, regardless of content, is illegal, if no call to violence is expressed.
  • The terms “microaggression” and “hate speech is violence” are illegal.
  • The term “diversity” can only be used in the context of ideas; it is otherwise illegal.

The boundaries of the United States of Puro at present only extend to the borders of my property. In the event of invasion, expect bodily injury. However, competent workers of any color, ethnicity or sexual preference are welcome here. If you wish to apply for citizenship, sorry, but our borders are currently closed. However, if you wish to open a country of your own, I’m open to free trade.

I’m signing off now to compose my national anthem. God bless.

EVERYTHING’S CHANGED, NOTHING HAS CHANGED

April 10, 2020

As the COVID-19 curve flattens in the hardest-hit state, NY, the battle now rages as to “What’s next?”. The strict “medical isolationists” grapple with the “free the economy” proponents, but another important skirmish has been spawned from the inferno: Trump’s role as the informer.

Pundits on the left and many advisors on the right are deriding/advising the president to reduce his exposure and shift the brunt of communications on the national healthcare stage to vice president Pence and the medical experts. They have, rightly in my opinion, noted the president’s penchant for routinely swerving from pertinent issues to ham-handed political swipes at the press, governors that are or are deemed adversarial, and anyone who attacks the current federal response to the crisis. This comes as no surprise, as “Trump will be Trump,” and vacillating between the “good Trump” and the “bad Trump,” as commentator Ben Shapiro frequently opines, is and will remain his modus operandi. That being said, it’s important to look at the facts that we know, and both sides of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, to make heads and tails of this mess.

First, the media have given little coverage to how bad the viral prediction models have been to date. This you will primarily glean for right-leaning sources. Estimates of hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths have been grossly overestimated. The medical isolationists attribute this to mitigation due to successful deployment of social isolation strategies, but ignore the fact that these models have already accounted for that intervention, and were still wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying the extreme response, based on the knowledge we had at the outset, was improper, only that this response in hindsight may be judged as extraordinary, and that the models were not great. In any case, with the level of hindsight we currently have, we need to adjust our models and our thinking to promote a resurgence of the economy as expeditiously as possible in order to minimize a pandemic of poverty and misery for our generation and those to come.

Second, it’s helpful to examine how the political engine is being polluted by Trump Derangement Syndrome. It’s no secret that Trump has a naked id that causes him to lash out against those that oppose him, often in immature and inappropriate ways. Most conservatives, if intellectually honest, will admit this. (About 30% will defend him at all costs, like the 30% of the left that will support Bernie Sanders until the end of time.) The man is an interesting mix of thin-skinned childishness and hardened perseverance, as I’m not sure anyone else could have weathered the constant, unprecedented, and severe political headwinds he’s faced and still accomplish what he has. Those of us on the right are protected from TDS by our alignment with his enacted policies and many of his political views. After hearing the arguments on both sides, I’ve come to the conclusion we’re also shielded by what I’ve found to be, in general, a more complete exposition of the facts on the more conservative sites, even taking into account the (less vitriolic) bias. There are certain pro-Trump commentators that will never lambaste the man, even when he deserves it, but once you get away from them you can get a better approximation of where the truth lies. The other side of TDS is the derangement under which the president himself labors. Ironically, to a large extent it’s exacerbated by the very people who hate him. The absurd, extreme and constant barrage of attacks ranging from the Russian hoax, the failed impeachment over exaggerated charges related to the Ukrainian phone call, and the leaks from an entrenched and often hostile bureaucracy have led him to see political motivation behind any criticism. This is wrong, but understandable. And some of the critical questions raised during the now daily pressers are clearly loaded enough to be transparent political swipes. Half the time, I myself cannot tell to what extent the president should proffer a mea culpa or go on the attack for an unfair distortion of the facts. It’s bad for the country and confounds the leadership in a time of crisis, when it’s most desperately needed.

The Left, blinded by a white-hot hatred born of their dislike of the man’s often boorish behavior and of his policies, often demonstrate their inability to think clearly. (A couple of examples of this are Pelosi’s behavior at the State of Union Address and a congresswoman’s letter to the Hague recommending Trump be cited for “crimes against humanity” for suggesting the use of Plaquenil; there are many, many more.) The president’s assumption that all criticism is primarily politically motivated, triggered both by his nature and by myriad actual unwarranted attackstwo things can be true at once exacerbates the situation in a positive feedback loop. His reaction usually makes the state of affairs worse, contributing further to the positive feedback loop, creating an exponential escalation not unlike the viral conflagration we have been experiencing.

We are at a crossroads, a nexus in human history. I don’t know what’s coming next. I do know that if we don’t change our behavior at this critical juncture, it will likely be the difference between a year or two of hardship and decades of deep despair. The one thing all of us can do is try to be a better version of ourselves … and hope, and pray.

COMPROMISE—THE ANTIDOTE TO SOLVENCY

February 11, 2018

OK, the title of this rant is an exaggeration; we haven’t been solvent in decades. Still, I’m sick and tired of hearing about the need for our ruling class to “compromise.” What it gets us is a two-year, $400 billion spending bill that increased the federal debt by more than $1 trillion. The bill passed in the Senate 71-28, with 16 Republicans and 11 Democrats voting nay. In the House it passed 167-73 (56%-43%), with 57 Republicans and 119 Democrats voting nay. Rand Paul stood up to protest, and irritated his colleagues. Per Jeff Crouere, writing in an op-ed for Townhall, “Senators of both parties were left fuming, with most of their ire directed toward Paul.”

Well, Paul, I’ll stand with you. Compromise is like telling someone who makes $80,000 and carries $100,000 of debt while spending another $100,000 per annum that he’s really got to cut his spending to $90,000—someday. But for the next couple of years, at least keep it to $110,000, okay?

Everyone agrees we should cut spending. Few believe we must actually do it. It’s too hard.

It’s easier to focus on the reputed imminent demise of the planet than imminent demise of the economy. I’ve heard the arguments that the burgeoning debt is “no big deal” and arguments that it will sort itself out (unfortunately, the living are not the ones that will be doing the sorting). Some believe this can go on forever. While I believe sane people can argue all day where the spending cuts need to occur, the idea that we can drift on into eternity borrowing, overspending and overprinting is delusional, and history bears this out (in case you haven’t noticed, we’re not speaking Latin).

It’s now clearer than ever that there exists not a progressive and a conservative party, but a more progressive and less progressive one.

The definition of insanity is doing the same think over and over again and expecting a different outcome” may be cliché, but America seems to have become yet another poster child for it.

A TAXING SUBJECT

January 27, 2014

Some say taxes are our civic responsibility. Some say it’s institutionalized theft. Both are right.

Our obligation to the governments extends to the limits of the services they provide to us. This includes public defense (military, police, intelligence), infrastructure development and maintenance (roads, bridges), security (borders, passports and the like) and safety (regulating air, water, food production, etc.). You may be able to find a few other niches  such as education (which I believe should be at the lower levels of government), but the idea is to pay for what public services are needed for the public welfare and a reasonably ordered existence.

More recently in our history, the governments have increasingly taken on the responsibility of providing for those least able to help themselves, on the surface a laudable goal. In the past, this was termed charity, and the institutions that provided it were, from the bottom up, family and friends, secular and religious community organizations, and local, county/state and federal governments. With the greater institutionalization of charity, it began to move further and further away from the recipient and, I posit, becomes less and less “charity” at all. Charity, by definition, comes from the heart, not at the end of a shotgun barrel.

The liberal view, which hinges on the tenets of larger government and more structured “giving” (necessarily requiring “taking”) implies a belief that, of their own volition, people would not provide enough for the needy. One might conclude that, therefore, the progressive ideology is linked to a more pessimistic assessment to human nature, but that is beyond the scope of the present discussion. More pertinent is one of the fundamental differences between conservatives and progressives: where the line is drawn. In other words, determining the definitions of “enough” and “needy.”

So where should the safety net be placed? Those on the left like to characterize the right’s reluctance to redistribute wealth with callousness, minimizing the well-documented unintended consequences of overdoing welfare that has historically caused empires to implode. They cite the maldistribution of wealth inherent in a capitalist economy, emphasizing the widely publicized malfeasance and distortion of the free market by private entities that will always be present, to bolter their arguments. Corruption of the system by the government through crony capitalism often gets less play on both sides of the divide.

The bottom line, for me, is that the further you stray from the social structure closest to those in need, the greater the risk of corruption and incompetence and funds being disbursed inappropriately. And the larger the group we define as needy, the more we rob the population of the incentive to produce and the incentive to give.

The next time congress convenes to legislate the newest tax hike it behooves them to remember one fundamental imperative:  Taxing hardens the heart; charity enriches it.