Out and About on a Friday

Much argument these days on what a Conservative actually is – my two cents: a Conservative is someone who understands and believes the fundamental dogma of Original Sin. You don’t actually have to be a believer to hold this (though it’s easier if you are), but if you don’t work on the assumption that people can, even from the best of motives, get it wrong then your own policy ideas will eventually fall apart.

Trump is going to get crushed in an epic landslide – or, maybe not.

You know me – I’m not really in favor of all these late night, no-knock raids by police…but Belgium’s policy of no raids between 9pm and 5am is, well, stupid.

Georgia is debating a bill which would provide just a tiny bit of protection for those who want a conscience exemption – you know, not having to do things like hire people to work at the Church school who openly disbelieve in Church teaching and that sort of thing. Now, pay attention, Conservatives: Big Corporation is stoutly opposed to this. Big Corporation is even threatening boycotts of Georgia if the people there have the nerve to demand freedom of conscience. Big Corporation – and the so-called Capitalist system it lives in – is against us, folks. They are allied with liberals – and please let that sink deep into your heart.

Australia banned guns – and this led to the end of guns in Australia and everyone is now happy and peaceful! Just kidding – it has actually generated a violent black market in guns.

Scott Walker thinks that brokered convention will lead to a non-candidate getting the nod. I can think of at least one person I’d rather have than either Trump or Cruz. Can you? After all, if we are doomed to President Grifter, then I’d rather have us lose under an honorable banner.

Colorado’s dope industry is doing well – smoke a blunt for prosperity!

34 thoughts on “Out and About on a Friday

  1. Retired Spook March 25, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Scott Walker was my odds-on early favorite because he had actually walked the walk, not only standing up to the establishment but defeating them. What irony if one of the first two guys to drop out of the race would end up being the nominee. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

    • M. Noonan March 25, 2016 / 12:00 pm

      I think Walker would lose as the Trumpsters would stay home…but, I’d rather be writing about Walker from July to November than Trump.

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 11:28 am

        I keep coming back to the same thing—my belief that if Trump, losing the nomination, could be a big enough man and good enough American to then back the nominee wholeheartedly, and encourage his followers to do the same, we can win the election with pretty much anyone, given the weakness of the Dems. I give Trump full credit for bringing over so many Dems and Indies, but I don’t think they alone can give him a win in the election, because his negatives are so overwhelming. He would need to convince every Republican who can’t stand him to hold his nose and vote for him, and Republicans are tired of candidates they don’t like and didn’t want that require such nose-holding.

  2. Cluster March 25, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    After all, if we are doomed to President Grifter, then I’d rather have us lose under an honorable banner.

    I strongly disagree. We CAN NOT lose this election to either Clinton or Sanders because that will be the end of our republic. That is why I struggle with Trump but he is a far better choice than either of those two. Trump could be a bad President, but Clinton or Sanders WILL be a horrible President.

    Speaking of a party in turmoil, no one is reporting on what Sanders plans to do. Yesterday he emphatically stated that he will ride this out all the way to the convention and will insist that the party adopt many of his communist reforms as a condition for his support of Hillary. That will be interesting.

    And this morning, the leftists on MSNBC were telling me that these successful murder rampages on behalf of ISIS is serving as a recruitment tool for young Muslims, which apparently is just another recruitment tool in a growing list of recruitment tools. Let’s recap the actions we take that inspire new recruits:

    1. Keeping Gitmo open
    2. Islamophobia
    3. Living
    4. Dying
    5. Waking up in the morning
    6. Brushing our teeth

    I wonder if the leftists have ever considered our celebration of gay marriage and our desire for transgendered bathrooms to be a recruitment tool.

    • M. Noonan March 25, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      Oh, remember – I’m of the opinion that Trump can win. Not saying he will. In fact, saying it is far more likely he’ll lose badly than he’ll win…but he could win. I did a back of the envelope calculation the other day and there’s about 50 million registered voters who rarely vote. Just get 1 in 10 of them to show up for Trump and given that Hillary will probably have a drop-off from the Democrats 2012 effort (she really isn’t well liked, at all), and Trump wins…and if 1 in 20 2012 Democrats switch to Trump, just so much more the case. Trump only wins if the electorate is massively changed – and he just might be able to change it. But it is unlikely…and, so, President Grifter…and if that is to be the case, I’d rather fall backing Walker than having to try to explain to everyone that I’ll still a Conservative but I’m not backing Trump…

    • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 2:20 pm

      “Yesterday (Sanders) emphatically stated that he will ride this out all the way to the convention and will insist that the party adopt many of his communist reforms as a condition for his support of Hillary. “

      You know, I am starting to really like Bernie. In a year with a Trump on our side and no equal on the Left, we might be in trouble. But as long as he keeps dragging the Dems farther and farther to the Left, and we have Trump running for the GOP and making it easier for Dems and squishies to move away from the increasingly strident Leftism of their party because I think everyone knows a vote for Trump isn’t really a vote for a Republican, it is just getting more and more chaotic.

      Poor Hillary is now trying to distance herself from Obama, which might be dangerous unless she already has a promise he will protect her from her legal problems no matter what. Without that promise, which she has to know would not exactly be carved in stone knowing what a weasel Obama is, she is walking a thin line when she goes after his eight years in office, especially as she was the face of his administration to the world for four of those eight years. If she tries to blame her Secretary of State failures on him, he might cut her loose. Bernie is relentlessly hounding her to move more to the Left, and with his popularity she might have to go along. It’s not that this would go against her personal ideology, it’s just that she realizes she needs to tone down a lot of her radically Leftist beliefs to appeal to enough people to win the election. If she is faced with losing the Bernie faction or risking losing more of the middle of the road Dem voters, she is really in a bind.

      I wonder if Obama can pardon her for crimes for which she has not yet been convicted, or is not yet formally accused of committing. In other words, if Hillary is not formally charged (or convicted) before the middle of January 2017, Obama might not be able to do anything for her anyway. So on top of dealing with the logistics of how to appease Sandernistas without tanking her chances with moderates and independents, and how far she can go with her attacks on Obama, the criminal thing is still there.

      • Cluster March 26, 2016 / 7:09 pm

        Sandernistas !! That’s hilarious. I’m stealing that one

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 9:34 pm

        Thanks…it just came to me. Someone else has probably used it, but I don’t think I’ve heard it. Go ahead and use it—it does have kind of a ring to it, doesn’t it?

  3. Cluster March 25, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    From the YCMTSU file:

    President Obama has stoked controversy after he suggested to an audience of Argentinian youth that there was no great difference between communism and capitalism and that they should just “choose from what works”.

    • M. Noonan March 25, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      But there isn’t much difference between them – both propose that only a few people be in factual charge of the means of production…Communism merely supposes that goateed, coffee-house types are better at it than Harvard MBA’s.

      • Cluster March 25, 2016 / 2:19 pm

        Although our massively incompetent government overly regulates our free market economy and clouds the issue, there is a vast difference between capitalism and communism and I am dismayed that you think otherwise. I see this election as not so much a contest between Republican and Democrats as it is between socialism and capitalism, and the Clerisy versus the unwashed masses. You can stand on conservative principle all you want but what in the hell does it matter if it serves to elect Hillary? We simply don’t have the luxury to continue to sit around the table and argue the merits of constitutional governance and the dogma of original sin when our country is literally going down the f***king tubes. From Obamacare, to an expanding EPA, the IRS and other federal agencies running amok, to our disastrous foreign policy, this country had better pull their collective head out of their ass and start to turn this ship around, and preening around on the moral high ground is a sure loser. Personally, I am not thrilled with either Trump or Cruz but I am certainly not going to bitch and moan and not vote because one or the other is not suitable enough for me. I live in realville as Rush is fond of saying.

      • M. Noonan March 25, 2016 / 6:59 pm

        I was mostly joking – but not entirely. As noted in the post, Big Corporation is working furiously to stop freedom of conscience legislation in Georgia and that has put me in a worse than usual mood about corporations. Of course a corporate economy is vastly better than a communist – but I’m still absolutely convinced that the best economy is Distributist.

      • Cluster March 25, 2016 / 10:19 pm

        Understand. Big corporate is just as guilty. GE is an excellent example.

      • M. Noonan March 26, 2016 / 12:27 am

        Yep – but free markets are another thing, entirely…and if we ever fully get one, the prosperity would be astonishing.

      • Retired Spook March 25, 2016 / 6:05 pm

        But there isn’t much difference between them

        Well, there is that pesky FREEDOM thing.

      • M. Noonan March 25, 2016 / 6:59 pm

        Haven’t you heard? Freedom is clean out of fashion these days…all we want is some Duce or other to Take Charge and Get Things Done!

      • Retired Spook March 26, 2016 / 9:17 am

        Here ya go:

      • Cluster March 26, 2016 / 9:47 am

        What he said

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 10:12 am

        “But there isn’t much difference between them – both propose that only a few people be in factual charge of the means of production…Communism merely supposes that goateed, coffee-house types are better at it than Harvard MBA’s.

        Except, as Spook said, that freedom thing.

        Mark, your antipathy toward big corporations is well known here, But big corporations do not define capitalism. And most of the economic engine that is capitalism is not run by Harvard MBAs.

        “In 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, there were 5.73 million employer firms in the U.S. Firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses, and businesses with less (sic) than 20 workers made up 89.6 percent. Add in the number of nonemployer businesses – there were 23.0 million in 2013 – then the share of U.S. businesses with less than 20 workers increases to 97.9 percent.

        Among employer C Corporations in 2012, 99.2 percent had less (sic) than 500 workers, and 86.2 percent had fewer than 20 employees.

        According to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy: “Small firms accounted for 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013 (or 14.3 million of the 22.9 million net new jobs). Since the end of the recession (from mid-2009 to mid-2013), small firms accounted for 60 percent of the net new jobs. Small firms in the 20-499 employee category led job creation.”


        -“Small- and medium-sized companies (those employing fewer than 500 workers, including number of employees unknown) comprised 97.7 percent of all identified exporters and 97.1 percent of all identified importers.”

        -“Among companies that both exported and imported in 2013, small- and medium-sized companies accounted for 94.4 percent of such companies.”

        -SMEs accounted “for 33.6 percent and 31.1 percent of the known export and import value, respectively.”

        -Among all U.S. manufacturers: “96.5 percent of manufacturing exporters were small- and medium-sized companies and they contributed 19.1 percent of the sector’s $839 billion in exports. 93.5 percent of manufacturingimporters were small- and medium-sized; they accounted for 13.4 percent of the sector’s $914 billion in imports.”

        -Among wholesalers: “99.2 percent of exporting wholesalers were small- and medium-sized companies; they accounted for 64.8 percent of the sector’s $303 billion in exports. 99.1 percent of wholesaler importers were small- and medium-sized; they contributed 60.0 percent of the sector’s $593 billion in imports.”

        According to U.S. Census Bureau data, employer firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 48.4 percent of private sector payrolls in 2011, and employer firms with fewer than 100 workers employed 34.3 percent, and those with less (sic) than 20 workers employed 17.6 percent.”


        From the Washington Post:

        However, the definition of “small business” provides important context for those statistics. The SBA considers firms with fewer than 500 employees small, placing nearly every business in the country (99.7 percent of firms that have employees) under that umbrella term — thus, it is no surprise they employ the most workers.

        A more strict definition of small business, using a limit of 50 employees, would still include the vast majority of the country’s businesses, but it would trim their share of the workforce to less than a third.”

        I think the mega-corporations that you dislike so much are in the over-500-employee range.

        The single most important factor in the skyrocketing of quality of life around the world has been capitalism. Even advances in nations not fully participating in the economic model of capitalism benefit from the advancements generated in capitalist nations, by capitalists.

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 10:16 am

        While your Distributist model might seem like the best one, it seems like a model that would have to be imposed on a society.

      • M. Noonan March 26, 2016 / 1:12 pm

        Imposed? No. You step by step it – say, for instance, by exempting a person’s primary residence from property taxes…even if its 30 years after the person bought the property; the idea is that, eventually, a person should own their property free and clear. This builds up the concept that property ownership is the ideal that we’re striving for…that everyone, if they are willing to work at it, can eventually become independent as far as practical.

        Other baby steps to Distributism are slowing converting us over to a hard money economy which would translate into savings being more worthwhile than debt. Paying off the national debt and then continually making it harder for the government to borrow money is another aspect of this – because for free people, debt just isn’t the way to go as a general rule (though, obviously, borrowing can have a useful place – if it limited in scope and paid off rapidly). Offering tax exemptions for the first ten years of being in business is a good way of encouraging people to try and strike out on their own – because the ideal is that as many people as possible will own their own means of making a living. Refuse any sort of subsidy for larger corporations – but maybe provide some such incentives for small and mid-sized companies as this will encourage the break of large corporate entities into smaller (the break up of AT&T, you might recall, resulted in a host of smaller telecommunications companies and thus the massive reduction in telecommunications costs…you and I are of the age where we can recall waiting until after 7pm to make a long distance call, right?).

        It would not be a quick nor an easy process to get to Distributism and, as in all human effort, full realization would probably never arrive…but it gives us an ideal to measure ourselves against. Are there more people living free and independent lives? Are there more people owning their own means of production? Is government smaller and less intrusive? Are there fewer people in need of government assistance for necessities? If we can answer “yes” to these questions then we know we’re doing it right…and if the answer is “no” then we know we’ve got to get back to work at it.

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 10:22 am

        “We simply don’t have the luxury to continue to sit around the table and argue the merits of constitutional governance and the dogma of original sin when our country is literally going down the f***king tubes.

        Leaving aside Mark’s identification of original sin as the foundation of the political model of conservatism, I think that once we start to define a commitment to running the nation the way it was designed to be run as a “luxury” we are basically giving up.

        This kind of argument seems to be predicated on the paradigm that we either demand a return to constitutional governance OR we find a way to solve our problems. That seems like a ridiculous either/or to me, particularly when the problems we are facing nearly all stem from turning away from constitutional governance. It’s kind of like saying “We don’t have the luxury of fighting mosquitoes when our country is being ravaged by malaria.”

      • Cluster March 26, 2016 / 10:48 am

        My point is that the most important thing in this current election is to defeat democrats. Period. I consider the current democrat party to be the biggest threat this country faces and my analogy would be that we need to slam on the brakes before we diagnose the engine problems. If Hillary is elected, the catastrophic progressive policies of the last 8 years will become entrenched and it will take generations to dig out from them, if we ever do. Secondly, the democrats immigration positions will result in this country becoming another Belgium and soon we will have to have a police state not because of security but because of simple survival.

      • Cluster March 26, 2016 / 11:05 am

        Another point I would make is that a conversation on constitutional governance requires a fairly sophisticated and intelligent populace and sadly we just don’t have that right now. This country is full of morons who are speeding out of control towards the cliff, thus the brakes need to be applied quickly. We have reached the point where the kids in the back seat are out of control and Dad does need to turn the car around.

      • Retired Spook March 26, 2016 / 10:25 am

        It’s kind of like saying “We don’t have the luxury of fighting mosquitoes when our country is being ravaged by malaria.”

        Great analogy.

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 11:45 am

        “My point is that the most important thing in this current election is to defeat democrats. Period.”

        No, not “period”—because you go on to imply that the paradigm is we either nominate Trump or we let the Dems win.

        I think it is pretty clear that most Republicans will vote for Trump rather than let Hillary take the election. I don’t think we need to spend a lot of time worrying about that. I am far more worried that if Trump is not the nominee he is going to either run on his own or just encourage his followers to not vote. A typical Trump wall-kicking hissy fit Twitter barrage from him on losing the nomination would probably lose the election. And I think a lot of people are swinging toward Trump because they realize this and want to avoid that kind of situation.

        We have a chance to do both things—win the election and win with a principled conservative who will do everything Trump can do, but within the boundaries of the Constitution. I have a sinking feeling that instead of this we are going to knuckle under to an unprincipled bully who is quite willing to sink the election and therefore sink the country if he doesn’t get his own way

        You also assume that Trump CAN win, even with a lot of Republicans holding their noses to be able to vote for him. Cruz, however, has consistently shown a greater chance of beating Hillary, because of Trump’s overwhelming negatives. His latest descent into an even deeper level of stupidity and sleaze is turning off a lot of people—that is, his attacks on Heidi Cruz.

        This whole manufactured outrage on Trump’s part about the ad about Melania is so full of lies and general BS even the uninvolved are seeing through it. For one thing, the ad was not put out by Cruz—the law does not allow Cruz to interact with any PAC, and in fact this one has also said some negative things about Cruz. It was quite obvious from the get-go that Cruz was not behind it. Second, the moment it came out Cruz decried it. He made it clear that he had no part in it and did not approve of it. Third, Trump knew all along that this photo, and others like it, have been on the net for years. This was not a surprise to Trump. It’s not as if someone sneakily took a picture of a naked Melania and neither she nor Trump knew about it, only to have this sprung on them. Fourth, the juxtaposition of a carefully lighted professional portrait of a composed and well-made-up Melania with a frame from a video of Heidi showing her in an unflattering moment is so nasty, so vicious, and so inherently dishonest it is hitting a lot of people the wrong way.

        This kind of reckless, unethical, dishonest, gutter-level retaliation is one thing for someone wanting the nomination—-Trumpsters seem to just ignore the kind of damage it can do, and will do, once we are stuck with him as our nominee.

        So the argument that we have to go along with this unprincipled bully or lose the election is a false one.

      • Cluster March 26, 2016 / 12:29 pm

        Well remember I voted for Cruz and I prefer him as the nominee out of the two but I don’t control that, nor did I imply Trump is the only viable candidate, BUT I hope either one of those two defeat the Dems.

        John Hawkins had a good take on Trump this morning:

        Donald J. Trump is like a grown up version of King Joffrey from “Game of Thrones.” He is like a mean-spirited parody of a Republican on “Saturday Night Live” come to life. Donald J. Trump is a walking, talking Internet meme who seems to be spouting off shallow slogans half the time and lying the other half. He’s also a creepy, thin skinned authoritarian who has made it clear he cares nothing about free speech for anyone but himself and has publicly encouraged political violence at his rallies. Moreover, aside from some tough talk about immigration, trade and unworkable, over-the-top attacks on Muslims, his entire campaign has been centered on mean tweets, third grade insults and campaign promises that sometimes change from day-to-day or even from hour-to-hour. It’s difficult to know what Trump would really do if he were in power. His real views could range anywhere from liberal to conservative to South American dictator on just about any issue.

      • Amazona March 26, 2016 / 1:24 pm

        That is a good analysis of Trump.

        I don’t understand why more people don’t find him downright scary. He has always been a bully, using his wealth and the perception of his wealth to intimidate and crush people, with lawsuits for the most part. His thin skin and knee-jerk lurches into really bizarre retaliation mode ought to let people know what to expect when he has the government behind him. We talk about the hit lists of Nixon and Bill Clinton, we talk about the abuse of government power in siccing the IRS on people out of favor, we pay lip service to realizing the dangers these kinds of abuses present—and then millions are eager to put Trump in charge of all that power.

  4. Cluster March 25, 2016 / 4:45 pm
    • Retired Spook March 26, 2016 / 8:21 am

      Have you ever seen three more smug and clueless individuals than the 3 CBS newscasters in this video?

      • Cluster March 26, 2016 / 8:59 am

        Charlie Rose is an ignorant condescending prick and I thought Cruz handled the three of them very well. OK, so now it’s time for our weekly lecture from the one we have all been waiting for:

        “That’s why we have to reject any attempt to stigmatize Muslim-Americans, and their enormous contributions to our country and our way of life,” Obama said. “Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, and to our history as a nation built around the idea of religious freedom. It’s also counterproductive,” he said. “It plays right into the hands of terrorists who want to turn us against one another — who need a reason to recruit more people to their hateful cause.”

        I am just not seeing any nation wide efforts to “stigmatize” Muslim Americans, and interesting that he should bring up religious freedom when he is currently suing the Little Sisters of the Poor.

      • Retired Spook March 26, 2016 / 9:56 am

        It plays right into the hands of terrorists who want to turn us against one another

        It’s not Muslim terrorists who are turning us against each other, Mr. President.

        Charlie Rose is an ignorant condescending prick

        “Condescending prick”, that was the term I was looking for.

  5. Amazona March 26, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    This pre-election cycle has had some big surprises for me. The biggest, of course, is the growing popularity of Trump. One of the oddest is that it took Trump to make Kasich look at least marginally acceptable. I am not surprised at seeing the long knives come out against Cruz—he has always been the biggest threat to the Left and its Republican counterparts. The best hope for conservatism is always going to draw the most attacks.

    It was a sad surprise to see Walker fade so quickly, and like many others if we do get to a brokered convention I would be happy to see him resurrected. It was a good surprise to see Jeb falter so quickly, though in a Jeb-Donald match I would vote for Jeb. I was pleasantly surprised to see Fiorina do as well as she did, against seasoned political pros, and I’d like to see her as a VP candidate. She never made a misstep, as far as I could see, and her current effort to use her remaining donations to further conservative agendas really impresses me.

    The biggest disappointment to me on a personal level was Ben Carson. I have gone from admiring and respecting him to just being really glad he is gone. I no longer think of him as a man of principle or backbone. We dodged a bullet there.

    The biggest disappointments, plural, on a political level have been in the selfish and egotistical antics of Rubio, mostly, but also of Carson and Kasich, in not turning their support to Cruz early enough in the race to make more of a difference. I never really expected much more of Kasich, but I did think Rubio and Carson were the kinds of men who deeply care about the country and want the best for it, and I believe their grasping egos may have cinched a Trump nomination.

    • M. Noonan March 27, 2016 / 12:37 am

      Hillary does have a very difficult needle to thread…and it is only Trump who gives her a slight possibility of threading it. She has to keep Obama on board, please the far left and yet be acceptable to the majority…almost impossible for someone as corrupt as she is…but Trump will help her!

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