Out and About Today

Don’t be upset over politicians who break their promise when we live in a society where every year great, big bunches of people are allowed – by law – to break their promise to stay married. A people who can’t keep their word should have no complaint about politicians who can’t keep theirs.

To get to a Conservative America has hardly anything to do with tax rates, economic systems, border control, who precisely marries whom…it has all to do with absolute right and absolute wrong and a diligent effort – in spite of routine failure – to live up to one’s word. Chew on that for a bit and understand just how daunting our task is – winning political power is only a small part of it. The crucial thing is the re-conversion of society back to honor. We need a St. Francis of Assisi far more than we need a Ronald Reagan.

People suffering from depression are being allowed “assisted suicide”…because nothing says “compassion” like helping the suicidal along, I guess.

Related: Going to Church can help you live longer.

Koch Brothers withdrawing from electoral politics? Good. I never trusted them, anyways…bloody albatross ’round the neck of Conservatism.

By the way, Socialism is still a complete failure – ruining lives for more than a century. Astonishing anyone still adheres to it.

Related: North Korea has a batch of rich, spoiled kids who blow what a worker makes in a month on coffee. Another thing about Socialism – not only does it fail, but it always ensures a well-off elite sucking the life blood out of the nation. Now, think about this: we’ve arrived at Socialist America and most of us are living on potato rations…think our SJW Progressive types would lose any sleep over it as long as they were still able to buy an expensive coffee in a hip locale?

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40 thoughts on “Out and About Today

  1. helenoftroy72 May 17, 2016 / 2:55 am

    It’s wrong to break a promise. But really people shouldn’t be making promises in the first place. Just say yes or no.

    • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 10:57 am

      You are so right. People should just be good. Life is so simple. It is just a matter of yes or no.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 1:22 pm

        But isn’t a “yes” the same as a promise?

      • M. Noonan May 17, 2016 / 3:15 pm

        Ah, but there is a great romance in the vow – I can say “yes” to your request to take out the trash, but it’d be much more impressive if, to prove my devotion, I was to say I’ll bring you back a rose from Katmandu.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 3:56 pm

        But now we are just talking about degree……..

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 4:30 pm

        …and lavish over the top promises sound wonderful, but leaving you waiting for someone to take out the trash while he is off on some quixotic quest that will soon become tiresome, resulting in no rose and a kitchen full of trash.

        “But how can you complain about the kitchen smelling like garbage? Didn’t you hear me proclaim my devotion and promise you something really really special to prove it? Yeah, I never made it to Katmandu, and in fact never came home with a rose at all, but isn’t it the thought that counts? You have to admit, it sounded pretty great when I said it!”

        I have a feeling we might end up with a president elected by people who will spend the next four years putting up with mounting garbage while looking off to the horizon wondering when that rose is going to appear.

        Roses, mass deportations, bans of Muslims, lower taxes, higher tariffs, unicorns and cotton candy, potayto potahto.

    • M. Noonan May 17, 2016 / 12:06 pm

      A Defense of Rash Vows – by G K Chesterton

      If a prosperous modern man, with a high hat and a frock-coat, were to solemnly pledge himself before all his clerks and friends to count the leaves on every third tree in Holland Walk, to hop up to the City on one leg every Thursday, to repeat the whole of Mill’s ‘Liberty’ seventy-six times, to collect 300 dandelions in fields belonging to anyone of the name of Brown, to remain for thirty-one hours holding his left ear in his right hand, to sing the names of all his aunts in order of age on the top of an omnibus, or make any such unusual undertaking, we should immediately conclude that the man was mad, or, as it is sometimes expressed, was ‘an artist in life.’ Yet these vows are not more extraordinary than the vows which in the Middle Ages and in similar periods were made, not by fanatics merely, but by the greatest figures in civic and national civilization — by kings, judges, poets, and priests. One man swore to chain two mountains together, and the great chain hung there, it was said, for ages as a monument of that mystical folly. Another swore that he would find his way to Jerusalem with a patch over his eyes, and died looking for it. It is not easy to see that these two exploits, judged from a strictly rational standpoint, are any saner than the acts above suggested. A mountain is commonly a stationary and reliable object which it is not necessary to chain up at night like a dog. And it is not easy at first sight to see that a man pays a very high compliment to the Holy City by setting out for it under conditions which render it to the last degree improbable that he will ever get there.

      But about this there is one striking thing to be noticed. If men behaved in that way in our time, we should, as we have said, regard them as symbols of the ‘decadence.’ But the men who did these things were not decadent; they belonged generally to the most robust classes of what is generally regarded as a robust age. Again, it will be urged that if men essentially sane performed such insanities, it was under the capricious direction of a superstitious religious system. This, again, will not hold water; for in the purely terrestrial and even sensual departments of life, such as love and lust, the medieval princes show the same mad promises and performances, the same misshapen imagination and the same monstrous self-sacrifice. Here we have a contradiction, to explain which it is necessary to think of the whole nature of vows from the beginning. And if we consider seriously and correctly the nature of vows, we shall, unless I am much mistaken, come to the conclusion that it is perfectly sane, and even sensible, to swear to chain mountains together, and that, if insanity is involved at all, it is a little insane not to do so.

      The man who makes a vow makes an appointment with himself at some distant time or place. The danger of it is that himself should not keep the appointment. And in modern times this terror of one’s self, of the weakness and mutability of one’s self, has perilously increased, and is the real basis of the objection to vows of any kind. A modern man refrains from swearing to count the leaves on every third tree in Holland Walk, not because it is silly to do so (he does many sillier things), but because he has a profound conviction that before he had got to the three hundred and seventy-ninth leaf on the first tree he would be excessively tired of the subject and want to go home to tea. In other words, we fear that by that time he will be, in the common but hideously significant phrase, another man. Now, it is this horrible fairy tale of a man constantly changing into other men that is the soul of the decadence. That John Paterson should, with apparent calm, look forward to being a certain General Barker on Monday, Dr. Macgregor on Tuesday, Sir Walter Carstairs on Wednesday, and Sam Slugg on Thursday, may seem a nightmare; but to that nightmare we give the name of modern culture. One great decadent, who is now dead, published a poem some time ago, in which he powerfully summed up the whole spirit of the movement by declaring that he could stand in the prison yard and entirely comprehend the feelings of a man about to be hanged.

      ‘For he that lives more lives than one
      More deaths than one must die.’

      And the end of all this is that maddening horror of unreality which descends upon the decadents, and compared with which physical pain itself would have the freshness of a youthful thing. The one hell which imagination must conceive as most hellish is to be eternally acting a play without even the narrowest and dirtiest greenroom in which to be human. And this is the condition of the decadent, of the aesthete, of the free-lover. To be everlastingly passing through dangers which we know cannot scare us, to be taking oaths which we know cannot bind us, to defying enemies who we know cannot conquer us — this is the grinning tyranny of decadence which is called freedom.

      Let us turn, on the other hand, to the maker of vows. The man who made a vow, however wild, gave a healthy and natural expression to the greatness of a great moment. He vowed, for example, to chain two mountains together, perhaps a symbol of some great relief of love, or aspiration. Short as the moment of his resolve might be, it was, like all great moments, a moment of immortality, and the desire to say of it exegi monumentum aere perennius was the only sentiment that would satisfy his mind. The modern aesthetic man would, of course, easily see the emotional opportunity; he would vow to chain two mountains together. But, then, he would quite as cheerfully vow to chain the earth to the moon. And the withering consciousness that he did not mean what he said, that he was, in truth, saying nothing of any great import, would take from him exactly that sense of daring actuality which is the excitement of a vow.

      The revolt against vows has been carried in our day even to the extent of a revolt against the typical vow of marriage. It is most amusing to listen to the opponents of marriage on this subject. They appear to imagine that the ideal of constancy was a yoke mysteriously imposed on mankind by the devil, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all lovers on themselves. They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words — ‘free-love’ — as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind itself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word. Modern sages offer to the lover, with an ill-favoured grin, the largest liberties and the fullest irresponsibility; but they do not respect him as the old Church respected him; they do not write his oath upon the heavens, as the record of his highest moment. They give him every liberty except the liberty to sell his liberty, which is the only one that he wants.

      It is exactly this backdoor, this sense of having a retreat behind us, that is, to our minds, the sterlizing spirit in modern pleasure. Everywhere there is the persistent and insane attempt to obtain pleasure without paying for it. Thus, in politics the modern Jingoes practically say, ‘Let us have the pleasure of conquerors without the pains of soldiers: let us sit on sofas and be a hardy race.’ Thus, in religion and morals, the decadent mystics say: ‘Let us have the fragrance of sacred purity without the sorrows of self-restraint; let us sing hymns alternately to the Virgin and Priapus.’ Thus in love the free-lovers say: ‘Let us have the splendour of offering ourselves without the peril of committing ourselves; let us see whether one cannot commit suicide an unlimited number of times.’

      Emphatically it will not work. There are thrilling moments, doubtless, for the spectator, the amateur, and the aesthete; but there is one thrill that is known only to the soldier who fights for his own flag, to the aesthetic who starves himself for his own illumination, to the lover who makes finally his own choice. And it is this transfiguring self-discipline that makes the vow a truly sane thing. It must have satisfied even the giant hunger of the soul of a lover or a poet to know that in consequence of some one instant of decision that strange chain would hang for centuries in the Alps among the silences of stars and snows. All around us is the city of small sins, abounding in backways and retreats, but surely, sooner or later, the towering flame will rise from the harbour announcing that the reign of the cowards is over and a man is burning his ships.

  2. Retired Spook May 17, 2016 / 8:29 am

    The crucial thing is the re-conversion of society back to honor.

    That would be a good start because honor also covers the other two basic principles, integrity and personal responsibility that are necessary components of a polite and orderly society. One cannot be an honorable person and not be honest or take responsibility for one’s actions. Together they make up one’s character, and right now we have a severe lack of character throughout our society but particularly in our leaders at all levels, and it’s reflected in the economic decline and cultural rot that is so evident.

    • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 9:19 am

      Yet we as a nation are lined up in support of two of the most morally corrupt people to ever strive for the presidency, even though the corrupt media have not been able to hide their histories.

      On both sides are people who are backing away from this lemming-like surge to the bottom, but they have nowhere to go.

  3. Retired Spook May 17, 2016 / 8:37 am

    I got a chuckle out of this headline at MarketWatch this morning:

    Soros in gold? Recession may lurk below a pretty exterior.

    The pretty exterior has been nothing but an illusion ever since the Fed’s zero interest policy allowed corporations to drive up the price of their stock by buying it back with free money.

  4. Amazona May 17, 2016 / 9:21 am

    “Koch Brothers withdrawing from electoral politics? Good. I never trusted them, anyways…bloody albatross ’round the neck of Conservatism.”

    I never found a reason to distrust their motives. Interesting to be pleased about the withdrawal of massive funding of conservative causes. I have a feeling a lot of your hostility toward them is based on your general hostility toward Corporate America and less on their actual politics or actions.

    • M. Noonan May 17, 2016 / 11:56 am

      Just never found then engaged in the real fights – for free exercise and property rights. And as they were (a) successfully demonized by the left and (b) tied to GOP as “party of the rich”, I’m “good riddance” to them.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 1:25 pm

        What I get from that is that if the Left is really good at what they do, which is to demonize and then destroy the support structure of the Right—in this case by demonizing major contributors and then using their success to demonize the GOP as the “party of the rich” we should say the Left was correct, and say “good riddance”.

        Yes SIR, Mr. Leftist, we not only back off and give you the field we thank you for clearing it.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 1:32 pm

        As far as your perception that the Kochs never “engaged in” what in your opinion were “the real fights”, it seems to me that when they were deciding on how they wanted to spend their money, that was their choice and their business. I think we should, instead of being irate that they had their own priorities and also assuming that we knew everything they did support and finding their priorities inferior to ours, say thank you for what you did do, because every dollar you provided was a dollar we needed.

        And by the way, now we need to find another place to get large numbers of dollars. This is a good thing, how…?

      • M. Noonan May 17, 2016 / 3:06 pm

        Money doesn’t buy elections – Trump proved that, if nothing else…and Jeb proved it, as well. What wins elections is capturing the public imagination…giving them something sublime to believe in. Of course, con-artists can do this as well as honorable people…but that is how politics are lost and won; by the imagination. As long as the GOP/Conservatism is tied in the public mind to money-bags, we simply will not be able to capture the public imagination. It is, of course, completely false that Democrats are opposed to the money-bags…they are, indeed, entirely in the hip pocket of the so-called “1 percent” that the Progs are always whining about. But, perception – in the public imagination, we are just tools of the rich.

        And, indeed, in some cases we do confirm this false narrative…by refusing to attack Big Corporation when it truly needs to be attacked; by refusing to go into the poor and ruined areas of the country to offer a different vision; by keeping up a drumbeat of “do it yourself” which sounds to many like “screw you, I’ve got mine and so I don’t care”. I know this isn’t true – but it is what people perceive and we need to change that perception. We can’t while we got a lot of billionaires hanging ’round…and billionaires who, in the event, routinely betray genuine conservatism in return for a lower tax rate, a few more corporate subsidies and some “free trade” deals which are nothing but a means of moderately increasing quarterly profits for the well-connected.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 1:48 pm

        Fortunately, the Koch brothers are planning to continue being a burden to conservatives, merely shifting their focus to state and local elections. emphasis mine

        “Even if they maintain a lighter footprint in federal politics, it’s unlikely the Kochs’ interest in campaigns will ever fade. Their bottom-up investments in education and advocacy will probably always be paired with heavy spending on local races and initiatives; they long ago concluded that their impact is greater the farther they wander from Washington, D.C.

        Charles Koch provided a window into his own thinking in an interview last month with ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “When you look back over the years, over the last several cycles, hundreds of millions of dollars in electoral politics, what have you gotten for that?” Karl asked. “What’s been the return on that investment?” “Well, I’ve gotten a lot of abuse out of it,” Koch said. “What have we gotten for it? Well, I think there have been some good things, particularly at the state and local level.”

        “At the federal level,” he added, shaking his head, “we haven’t in any way changed the trajectory of the country.”

        Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435418/koch-brothers-campaign-activity-slows

        I think they are also seeing the writing on the wall, vis-a-vis Trump, and realizing that the most important thing now is to build a stronger foundation in Congress, to be able to rein in either of the potential winners if the GOP nominates Trump.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 4:12 pm

        How do you “..go into the poor and ruined areas of the country to offer a different vision..” when the gatekeepers who built the prison and run won’t let you in? I think first you have to have some control, so you can get there, and be able to follow through on what you promise. it does no good to say “I’d do this for you, but….”

        And what if the “different vision” is no longer even in the same language? You have to have context for people to understand what you are saying, which is why now, after generations of deteriorating self motivation and education and exposure to anything outside the bubble if you talk to people about making it possible for them to take care of themselves they DO see it as a “screw you”.

        I think the only way is to keep digging till you have some control, such as what we have seen in Maine, where people don’t have to be convinced to try to be self sufficient because the government crutch is being taken away.

        As for fretting that the dependent class is going to be turned off by the perception of the conservative movement as being run by billionaires, that is a narrative that works and it will be the narrative even if no donations are more than $50.00. A demographic that is completely economically ignorant, multi-generational dependent, resentful and surly and wallowing in institutional victimhood can’t be approached rationally anyway. The last thing we need to do is fret about whether or not they are going to be put off by the fact that there are some rich people involved. And the fact is, it takes rich people to fund the kinds of things we want done.

        We need to get over demanding absolute purity. It is one thing to demand something close to it in our candidates, as they are the ones who we want to make the laws and run the country. But demanding it of people who volunteer to donate vast sums of money, who may not have the precise vision we do of how to accomplish a common goal, is self-destructive.

        I, for one, want lower taxes, including lower corporate taxes. I keep hearing about all these “subsidies” for corporations but don’t know of any, and the complaint is usually from the Left. There are some bad trade deals but high tariffs are a much worse approach. We can’t be like the Branch Trumpidians and just tear it all down because there are some things we don’t like. And to be fair, Mark, you do have a big bee in your bonnet about big corporations, and I see its shadow here.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 4:21 pm

        “As long as the GOP/Conservatism is tied in the public mind to money-bags, we simply will not be able to capture the public imagination.”

        And you know what? That narrative works so well in the class warfare tactic of the Left it is going to remain in their arsenal no matter what we do. If we are doing a miserable job of defining conservatism, which by the way we are, it is not because it is associated in peoples’ minds with big bucks nearly as much as it is tied in with all those issues that are so divisive.

        We need to smarten up and change our message. Instead of saying you have to agree with us on our issues to be a conservative, we need to say you don’t have to agree with us on a single issue, as long as you agree on the system and processes for addressing them.

        And maybe we need to focus less on the “public’s imagination” and more on its thought process. We had four years to start talking about the system of government that provides more freedom, more control by the citizen and less by the government, and we sat around with out thumbs up our butts till a showman came along with a big brass band that drowned out the thinking guy. Appealing to the “public imagination” is always going to get us an American Idol election based on who can stir up the most emotion. It gets us where we are now.

      • M. Noonan May 17, 2016 / 4:52 pm

        Let’s illustrate it with the extremes – what people will actually fight a war for.

        The men who endured Guadalcanal weren’t Constitutional theorists. They were mostly less-educated men who simply accepted things as they were; I doubt that one in ten of them could name off the then-Supreme Court Justices, and I bet a large majority of them could not give a concise description of the separation of powers. Yet, there they were fighting away – because of what they feared would be taken away from them and their family/friends if they didn’t stay there and fight.

        The bottom line is that we’re dealing with people who don’t know a lot – ie, people who could elect Obama twice and may yet elect Trump. This is not a denigration of them – most people just don’t take the time to really learn this stuff. Liberals, of course, take advantage of that ignorance by feeding a line of garbage about who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. Well, to beat them, we have to convince them that the opposite is true…that the people who are “good guys” in the Liberal world view are actually the bad guys…our advantage here is that we won’t have to lie to do this. But we do have to get in there and keep it simple.

        In service of this, we would have to get into the areas of the country the Republican party has surrendered…and we’ll have to tell a tale of heroes and villains. A tale of Big Bad Guy screwing over Good Little Guy; and what Big Bad Guy has planned for even more nefarious acts in the future…and how Good Little Guy will get what he wants if he just switches over to us. Remember, Public Sector Unions, the Bureaucracy, Government Contractors, Corporations Taking Government Subsidies – these are the Bad Guys. These are the people who (a) do actually screw over the people and (b) provide the funds for the larger Progressive left to agitate for the undoing of the nation (does anyone really think that forcing people to bake a cake is popular? Of course it isn’t – but when you’ve got funding for lawyers, you can still get your way). We have to show people who only pay cursory attention to politics and economics that the pain and fear they are feeling is the direct result of the actions of these people…and that we will, indeed, “get” them if we’re given power (it is important in any political battle that the enemy, however defined, gets his just deserts).

        So, yes, this would be stirring up emotions – but how else would we obtain the political power we would need to actually change things? Politics is all about emotions – it is time we harnessed them to our side.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 5:41 pm

        And what are these corporate subsidies you keep talking about?

        I would have a different approach, less populist. Of course no one fought at Guadalcanal because he was a Constitutional theorist. But he did, being educated in the 30s, have an understanding of the difference between our political system and that of the countries he was fighting, and he had a preference for ours. He knew what would lie ahead for his country if we lost the war. I doubt that many people have that basic understanding now.

        Let’s face it, a lot of the population will just have to be ignored, bypassed, because their votes are bought, and there is no way anyone can out-demagogue their demagogues. But there are a lot of people who are sincere, who can understand basic concepts, and I don’t think we have to set up a lot of Big Bad Bogey Men to try to scare them.

        It basically comes down to eliminating the middle man when dealing with essential programs. That is, instead of a massive, bloated federal system with so many hands in the pot before the money gets to the state level, where of course some of it will stick to fingers before it gets to the people and the programs themselves, we have the money go directly to the state administration. We eliminate one whole level of bureaucracy, interference, corruption, and siphoning off of the money, and we add a new level of oversight, which we can’t do at the federal level. It’s not rocket science, it doesn’t need a lot of big words or villains or drama.

        The people who can be reached by talking down to them, using scare tactics and emotional manipulation, are already in the bag, and they got put there by the best. It sounds like you are looking for a Donald Trump huckster who just happens to be conning for the “right” reasons. And you may be right. But a lot of people just want someone to be honest with them, If you think about it, it is really the impression created by Trump that he IS being honest with them that is overriding all the crap that is coming out about him—-the perception that he “tells it like it is”. We may be so far down the rabbit hole that our populace really can’t digest anything more complex than a simplistic sound bite. But what I get from your laundry list of Bad Guys is a personal list of grievances, a list of your own personal Bogey Men, not an objective analysis of what we want people to talk about.

        Again, maybe that IS the game we will have to play—pick a target, bring it down to a couple of syllables, repeat it constantly, demonize it, and get people riled up and ticked off about it. Black Lives Matters, the Occupy movement, One Per Cent, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, just slogans.

        I prefer the Dr. Phil approach—“How’s that working for you?”

      • M. Noonan May 17, 2016 / 11:05 pm

        I guess I can’t put it other than that I want to get people good and mad at the right targets. Someone does have to catch it in the shorts, after all is said and done, and our job is to make sure it is the other side; they’ll sure make certain we catch it hot if we lose completely. People don’t understand that the bureaucracy is the enemy of the people (to put it in Progressive terms). Think about it – you and I work and pay our taxes, a good amount of which is supposed to provide food, housing, clothing, education and medical care for the poor…the bureaucrats are raking off huge amounts of this money…and it’s not like the bureaucrats are living in Section 8 housing, having to wait in line forever for health care, heading to the food bank to pick up the groceries, having their kids stuck in failing schools, going to the thrift store to buy clothes…nope; the bureaucrats are living quite well off the money intended for the poor. We have to explain that to the poor – show them that they’ll get more help with us than they’ll get with the liberals who have been promising them the Moon for 80 years. This will take vilification of the bureaucracy…but, also, if we are to do it we can’t be tied, on our side, to other people who are currently perceived as having a rake-off.

        You and I know full well that most of the rich are first generation – people who have made it by hard work and determination. But we also find that once these people arrive, they tend to vote for policies which will keep the next in line out of the game. And for those with inherited wealth, it gets even worse…think about all those bazillionaires who fly private jets to global warming conferences. They are quite ok with the creation of a system which wouldn’t allow another person to get rich…they’ve got theirs and screw the rest. We want a system where it isn’t like that – but such a system means that those who are currently rich could wind up non-rich, and those who are currently rich don’t want that system. A truly free market is just that – free; everyone can jump in and those who are already in or who just got there will succeed or fail based upon their own merits. But that is the last thing a rich person wants – he might have got right by dint of hard work, but he sure as heck doesn’t want to lose it if the economic cards turn against him.

        And, so, they often start to work the system – caging government subsidies for themselves and throwing up regulatory road blocks to the next guy in line. What is a subsidy? Anything the government does which advantages a player in the market…be it direct cash transfers or regulations which make starting up a competitor difficult and anything in between. Free market – yep; want it. Love it. Need it. But we don’t have anything resembling a free market right now…a guy can’t even cut hair until he’s paid the piper for training and licensing…I figure if a guy wants to cut my hair, he can just get on an cut it…if I don’t like the result, I won’t go back. But we can’t have that, now can we? After all, the guys who are cutting hair today are making a decent living…if more people enter the supply side of the market, then those in will have to work harder to just stay even…and if they aren’t as good as the newcomers, they might be driven out of business…so, set up licensing which costs like the dickens and prices out of the market some guy who just has a comb and a pair a scissors and a desire to work.

      • Amazona May 17, 2016 / 11:46 pm

        I understand what you are saying, but I cringe at the strategy of getting people mad. Anger as the motivator gets us a Trump. Anger fuels mobs. Anger fuels revolutions. Anger leads to all sorts of bad decisions. While it can be a good motivator it is also playing with fire.

      • M. Noonan May 18, 2016 / 11:38 am

        It is that – but we’re already on fire, and I can’t think of anything else to do other than to create a true, Conservative fairy tale to contrast with the false, Progressive fairy tale.

  5. Amazona May 17, 2016 / 10:55 am

    Global Capitalism versus Christianity? A Response to David Bentley Hart
    by Samuel Gregg

    May 17, 2016 07:00 am http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/05/16979/

    “Christianity has never seen the pursuit of virtue as incompatible with private possession of wealth.”

    A very good read, especially for those who find capitalism to be immoral

  6. Retired Spook May 18, 2016 / 8:03 am

    This latest article by Brandon Smith kind of dovetails with what we’re talking about here, albeit on a global scale.

    • M. Noonan May 18, 2016 / 11:57 am

      Trouble with talking about a “globalist cabal” is that it all too often disintegrates into anti-Semitism…it is odd; a few Jews were Bolsheviks and all of a sudden the cabal was a “Jewish-Bolshevist” conspiracy…a few Jews are high up in finance and it is a “Jewish-Capitalist” conspiracy. One does wonder why it always goes back to the Jews in the minds of conspiracy theorists.

      I don’t believe in any sort of conspiracy – never try to explain things which are fully covered by the Seven Deadly Sins.

  7. Amazona May 18, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Wanna know who votes for Trump? Here is an example, from a response to an article about him:

    “Really I could care less what type of miserable puke is President. If they seal our border. And stop the Obama and so called “Conservative” flood of Islamic terrorists I really don’t care if every other word is the F word…B word …Or N word…If a ounce of common sense is shoved into idiots down at the Washington Money mafia. Genius Harvard affirmative action lawyers from idiots that think Guam can tip over or that flooding our towns and cities with terrorists is human…And I hope we get someone with a nut sack to put a shoe up the idiots that have racked up the 21 trillion in debt ..And since I don’t want the quasi Commie Bernie or a 1917 Russian revelation..Or a Hillderbeast of destruction…Trump will do..”

    There you go. Trump may be a “miserable puke” but he “will do”.

    Does it matter that other, adult, responsible, dignified potential candidates said nearly the same things Trump said? Of course not.

    Remember when conservatives said character was important? Ah, good times……….. Now it doesn’t matter to conservatives any more than it does to Liberals. The mind meld is complete.

    The thing that blows this whole “all I care about is what he is going to do” mantra out of the water is that, (1) he doesn’t have the power to DO any of it, without pulling an Obama and ruling from his throne in the Oval Office, and (2) these are almost identical to policies promoted by other people, who by the way are NOT “miserable pukes”.

    Meaning, of course, the attraction is not the policies. It is the hype.

    • Amazona May 18, 2016 / 8:31 am

      This, by the way, is what you get when decisions are based on anger

    • Retired Spook May 18, 2016 / 9:05 am

      Does it matter that other, adult, responsible, dignified potential candidates said nearly the same things Trump said? Of course not.

      Because the other guy who said the same things is a LAWYER and said them in a civil and articulate way.

      Remember when conservatives said character was important? Ah, good times……….. Now it doesn’t matter to conservatives any more than it does to Liberals. The mind meld is complete.

      There were 16 other people in the field who had a higher level of moral and ethical character than Trump. So the fundamental transformation wasn’t just on the Democrat side.

      • Amazona May 18, 2016 / 3:58 pm

        A couple of us were talking the other day about the new level of society that is taking over the country, now that we are looking at the possibility of electing a male version of pop culture-defined talent. I said you can say one thing for Donald Trump—it took him to make Jeb Bush look like a great candidate for president.

        We went down the list and there is not one of the original 17 we would not prefer to vote for if the choice was Trump or that person. That is, 16 people on that stage who would be better than Trump, not to mention the dozens who did not sign on to run.

        You are right—the transformation is nearly complete, and it is on both sides. Really, all it would take to clinch the deal for the Trumpsters would be to name a Kardashian or a “wrestler” to round out his ticket. There are some political whores licking his boots, hoping he will pick one of them—-Huckabee, are your ears burning?—-but I think most serious politicians are trying to keep their distance.

    • M. Noonan May 18, 2016 / 11:40 am

      His prescription for what to do (vote Trump) is wrong, but his analysis of what is wrong is correct…and he is also correct about who is responsible for it. What we’ve got to do is get that guy – and the millions like him – to follow true Conservatism…

      • Amazona May 18, 2016 / 3:46 pm

        And just what about this spittle-flying rant makes you think this is a person who would be open to an actual THOUGHT? It is possible that we could come up with an issue or two that would rev his motor, and I suppose a vote is a vote, but it is clear that he has no standards of character and a very superficial understanding of the problems.

        He is, to sum it up, a guy who would insist on watering his plants with Brawndo, because it has electrolytes.

        Thanks, but I think I will refrain from trying to play ‘How Low Will You Go” to compete for the low class ranting of cretins like this.

        And how, exactly, can we convince ANYONE to follow “true conservatism” when we can’t even define it, much less explain it? Who out there is standing up to say “being pro-life does not mean you are conservative—-believing that the Constitution lays out how the nation has to decide on abortion IS”? The only voice I have heard with this message has been successfully demonized and silenced by a cabal of pseudo-conservatives and the Complicit Agenda Media, who have combined to redefine “conservative” as wanting to scrap the Constitution as long as the person ruling from the Oval Office is following, at least now and then, a script based on a few issues they have substituted for political philosophy.

        “His analysis of what is wrong is correct..”? Huh? Guess I missed that “analysis” part. He lines up the Usual Suspects and bleats about them, but I don’t see a single word in there that indicates even the slightest understanding of anything. He is a lump of incoherent rage who feels totally impotent, blames a laundry list of villains responsible,and wants a tyrant to come in and fix the things that bother him—but not a tyrant who might be a contrast to his own crudity, vulgarity and ignorance. So of course he is going to go with someone who will never make anyone feel more crude, more vulgar, more ignorant, or more dishonest.

        As I have said before, talking about the class warfare of the Left, we have gone from being a nation which looked up to its heroes and aspired to lift ourselves up to their level to being a country where we just want everyone to be at our level, or below it, so we don’t feel inferior. It is the social version of Trump’s own policy, outlined in a couple of his books, which is to always surround yourself with people less intelligent and accomplished than you are, so you look better by comparison.

        It is a statement that “I know I’m an a**hole and I am more comfortable around a**holes so I plan to vote for someone who is an even bigger a**hole than I am”. What a recipe for greatness.

        No one is ever going to look at President Comacho and say to himself “Gee, compared to Donald I feel so (stupid, crude, vulgar, out of control, obnoxious, creepy).”

      • M. Noonan May 19, 2016 / 12:50 am

        Obnoxious and creepy people do vote, however…and, God help us all, they are also our fellow Americans. I still working on the assumption that this nation can be salvaged…how to do it is still unknown. But salvaging it will mean taking at least a portion of those who currently do not understand Conservatism into the movement.

      • Amazona May 19, 2016 / 8:33 am

        I’m not saying we should only seek votes from nice people. I’m not saying there should be a litmus test before we accept votes, to make sure the voters are pure enough in their conservative views. I am a pragmatist.

        Hey, I’m the one who keep saying that we need to stop using issues as the only qualifiers for conservatism and start focusing solely on POLITICAL philosophy, and I have been attacked here by some “conservatives” (who have stomped off in outrage since then) who have insisted that they wanted the Conservative Movement reserved for people who share their “values”. I’m the one who says that when it comes to building a majority party, which I think we all agree is necessary to steer the nation in the right direction (pun intended) it will have to include a lot of people with whom we might not share much common ground—as long as what we DO share is the belief that the nation must be governed according to its constitution. I’m the one who says if you want a private club consisting only of people you like and want to hang out with, start one, but that is certain death for a political party.

        What I am saying is, we will be making a mistake if we lower the quality of our appeals to those voters to the same level of emotional pandering and callous stirring up of negative passions that has led to the rise of Trump and the kind of rhetoric we see in the quote. And I am saying we are not required to act as if the sentiments expressed by this particular apologist for moral corruption, which is after all not much more than a 21st Century version of “at least he makes the trains run on time”, is acceptable or even makes sense. I am saying we need to stand for something. We need to point out that this is not a case of the ONLY person qualified to lead the country also being a crude, corrupt, dishonest vulgarian, so there is no reason to accept someone like that.

        I am saying that the ONE good thing brought out by the Trumpery Phenomenon is the fact that most of us are really unclear regarding what we believe.

        If we believe that morality is an essential component of good government, then we can’t nod in implied agreement when someone carries on like the quoted man did, insisting that he doesn’t give a flip about morality or decency as long as his particular goals are met. In much the same way we can’t claim to be “conservatives” if we approve of and support a presidential candidate whose campaign depends so heavily on promising us that he will not be constrained by the Constitution.

  8. Amazona May 19, 2016 / 8:15 am

    The Problem of Character: Why Conservatives Must Reject Donald Trump

    by Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo

    May 19, 2016 07:00 am http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/05/16994/

    The face that is emerging for the GOP is the ugly face we have always been accused of having—misogynistic, racist, and gratuitously authoritarian. If we assent to his nomination, how can we still consider ourselves the flag bearers of the attempt to harmonize virtue and the political life?

    I am finding a lot of very thoughtful and well-written commentary on this website, and now I read it every day. This author makes some very good points

    • M. Noonan May 19, 2016 / 11:45 pm

      It will be difficult – and, so, a Conservative third party. Right now, there are rumors that Bernie will take his followers and bolt the Democrats for the Greens. The Greens are not quite national as they are not on the ballot in all 50 States, but they are on enough State ballots to (a) in theory get 270 EVs and (b) enough to entirely cripple any Democrat attempt to win the White House if they get a candidate who can pull in 10% or more of the vote. Bernie is just such a man.

      Bernie represents the far left of the American political spectrum. While we see the far left as being in firm control of the Democrat Party, the far left, itself, sees itself as outsiders…after all, there are no serious calls among leading Democrats for “income security” and single-payer healthcare. These and a host of other issues alienate Bernie supporters from the mainstream of the Democrat Party. They went wild for Obama because they thought he would carry out a leftist revolution…while we on the right think he has done just that, the far left barely considers Obama to be a Progressive in good standing. Bernie is in good standing – and the far left just loves him.

      Bernie has fought the good fight, won quite a lot of primaries and has done what no one thought possible – make Hillary actually fight in 2016 for the Democrat nomination. And, bottom line, Hillary likely would not have a first-ballot majority save for the Super Delegates being almost united in backing her. This is infuriating Bernie supporters – meanwhile, the fact that Bernie and his supporters don’t pack it in is getting mainstream Democrats very angry. There is a split in the ranks of the Democrat coalition as deep as that in the GOP…but it is only barely being talked about because the MSM doesn’t know how to talk about it.

      Now, if Bernie and his supporters do walk out – or are kicked out by Hillary supporters – then the Green party represents the power to destroy the Democrats in 2016. This is what the GOP lacks – a credible, Conservative alternative if the GOP goes off the ranch either in nominating a squish, or nominating a Trump. A Conservative party can easily make the GOP nominee it’s nominee, as well…but if the GOP nominee is truly unacceptable, then the Conservative party can nominate it’s own, thus ensuring GOP defeat in the Fall. This would be massive leverage over the GOP to make certain that great care is taken in how the GOP nominee is selected.

      I hope Bernie and Co do walk out – and show the right how you actually punish a major party which has ignored and scorned you.

      • Amazona May 20, 2016 / 10:16 am

        I have been trying to look at a long range plan. From my own perspective, the GOP is dead to me unless it finds a backbone, kicks Trump to the curb, and nominates a conservative. That doesn’t mean I won’t vote for Trump if I have to, because I will. I would have no choice.

        But you can vote for the Republican candidate without being a Republican,and I would hope to see a mass migration from the GOP to either the Libertarians or the Constitutionalists, building up that party. Both of these parties are making overtures to disillusioned conservatives.

        In a perfect world, or as perfect as this election cycle could possibly be, Bernie would defect to the Greens, taking his followers with him,and the GOP would nominate a conservative. With that a done deal, with or without a Trump run in his own party, it would finally be a contest between ideology and personality. Imagine—-Sanders and Cruz representing ideology, and Hillary and Trump going for the Identity Politics votes.

        What if there is a four party race? That would not guarantee a GOP defeat. The top three vote-getters would go to the House. And the fact is, if the election were to go to the House, it is probable that the GOP candidate would win, given party loyalty when push comes to shove. 33 states have more Republican representatives than Democrats, which means that theoretically there would be 33 votes for the not-Dem. Would they turn against their party to vote for a third party candidate? Unlikely.

        What’s interesting is that the VP would be chosen in the Senate, where the GOP has a slight majority. It is theoretically possible to have a president and a vice president from different parties.

      • M. Noonan May 20, 2016 / 11:28 pm

        If Bernie did lead a walk out, then a Conservative third party candidate could win – except getting such on the ballot would be next to impossible if we have to wait until August to do it. It’s too late in 2016, I think – though I fully understand the desire for any sort of Conservative candidate to vote for even if there was no hope at all.

      • Amazona May 20, 2016 / 10:53 am

        I don’t think a lot of people realize the depth and scope of feeling in the country right now. It is one thing to talk about politics and what is going on with people you know—that is expected.

        But just in the last two days I have had two complete strangers initiate conversations with me about politics, and both of them are terrified of a Trump presidency. I took my car into the shop and on the way back to my house the shuttle driver asked me what I thought of this campaign. I just said I am concerned about the way things are going, very vague and non-specific, and that was all it took for him to off on how upset he is, how worried he is about the possibility of a Hillary presidency, and how he can’t understand how Trump has gotten this far. He had obviously been giving this a lot of thought and it is very important to him. He doesn’t understand why we don’t run a third party to give people a choice.

        Yesterday I was buying clippers so I can trim my dogs—it is muddy these days and they are on constant Bunny Quest, meaning that they get very very dirty, and I want to be able to trim their feet and faces to cut down on the mud they track into the house without having to pay a groomer. Anyway, I was working with a girl on picking the right clippers. It was late, we were both tired, and we got kind of tangled up, briefly, in the numbers relating to how long the hair is left by different clipper blades. (Yes, I DO have an exciting life!) I don’t remember exactly how it happened but for a moment one of us was talking about eights of an inch and one was talking about fourths of an inch and I started to laugh and said we reminded me of the IQ test in Idiocracy. She thought the test sounded pretty funny and then I said the director of the movie said recently he never believed that in ten years it would be a documentary, and that was all it took to get her started talking about her ideas, he worries, her frustration.

        She spent many minutes telling me how concerned she is, nearly word for word what the shuttle driver had been saying, but in more detail. This girl can’t be older than 20. At one time she said something about being 16 but it went by quickly and I don’t remember if she said she is 16 now or said something about when she was 16, but she is very young. And smart, and thoughtful, and worried. I said something about needing a constitutional government and she said she wasn’t sure what that meant. I gave the Cliff Notes version—-federal government can only do what it is told to do, which is limited to 17 delegated duties, and everything else has to be done at the state level. Boom. One sentence. And she lit up and said “Wow. That’s it?” And I said yeah, pretty much. I told her to Google the 10th Amendment for a summary of the Constitution, regarding federal authority. (So much for the claim that it is foolish to talk to people about the Constitution, it is too complicated, people won’t understand, blah blah blah. But you know what they DO understand? That it makes more sense to have decisions made in Denver, for Coloradans, than in D.C. for everyone. That concentrating all the power in one place makes it easier to grab that power.)

        There is such a groundswell of fear, anger and frustration out here, and it is being ignored. People who paid a little attention to politics felt angry and frustrated at what they loosely consider the “GOP Establishment” but now that they have had their little temper tantrum and foisted the Gilded Toad on us, people who don’t pay attention to politics are starting to get worried. I’m not talking about political wonks. I am not talking about people who blog about politics. I am talking about real Man In The Street concerns. And I did nothing to initiate political discourse, or to guide it. Well, maybe saying that the movie Idiocracy, after giving a very brief description of the movie, sounds like a documentary could be taken as opening up a political dialogue, but it wasn’t specific to a candidate or a party.

        Sadly, I doubt that the GOP is sampling opinions outside the bubble. That is probably the biggest difference right now between the Sanders campaign and the GOP’s—Sanders is connecting with people at their level, while the GOP is twirling around sniffing its own behind.

  9. Amazona May 19, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    THE ART OF THE DEAL, part whatever—

    Donald “Comacho” Trump, after being taken to the woodshed by GOP brass and remaining relatively silent for a few days while it all started to sink in, has decided he has to do something to convince the GOP base that he is not really quite as awful as they/we think he is, and would not be as terrible a president as they/we think he would be..

    What to do, what to do, muses the Great DealMaker. Sweeten the pot, that’s what! The one thing that has the Right most upset about the specter of a Hillary presidency is the nomination of a list of radical Leftists to the Supreme Court. And one of the biggest fears of the Right is that Trump might nominate his own slate which could, based on his erratic political shifts, range from radical Leftist to squishy “moderate”.

    So obviously the Supreme Court card is the one to play, the one that might sway some from “Never Trump” to “If I Have To Trump”. It’s bait. Yes, at one point he said his choices would 100% come from the list he gave us. But then he was 100% going to deport all illegals, was 100% behind his original tax plan, and has been 100% on lots of things that eventually (quickly) became “maybe, kinda, we’ll see, just tossed that out to start negotiations, I don’t think I really said that, when I said that I didn’t really mean that”. So who knows where this “100%” might end up?

    It might be just a gimme, something he doesn’t really spend much time thinking about because after all it IS pretty complicated, so it doesn’t really matter that much to him. There’s not a lot of glam and glitter surrounding the Supreme Court so it probably isn’t too high on his Fun To Do list.

    I don’t think his SCOTUS list reflects any significant political philosophy, but is just a move on the chess board he thinks will get him closer to his goal. But that’s OK, because the SCOTUS is the big deal to most of us, who feel fairly confident that we can rein in the Trump excesses if we have a decent Congress and a more muscled GOP to beat him up when he wants to rewrite laws and rule from his throne but who have been scared spitless about who he might put up for the Court.

    Just remember this, because this is how he thinks he can run the presidency—-making deals. It’s what the Trumpbots want, because they are so blinded by the Glory That Is Trump they think that his bragging is really just “telling it like it is”. They are the ones who say, fairly swooning in their adoration, that because Trump is such a BRILLIANT businessman he will take that skill to the presidency. You gotta overlook or ignore all the deals that didn’t work out so well, costing trusting people their life savings because they, too, bought into the hype, but it’s that kind of starry-eyed gullibility that lets con men get away with so much.

    No one should be surprised to see a Trump presidency that is part bully-boy attacks and intimidation and part business school “deals” but overall very far below a decent standard of governance we should be able to expect from the highest office in the land.

    Now we need a good VP candidate, because I truly don’t think Trump has what it takes to go the whole 4 years. When the cheering stops and the jeering begins, it isn’t going to be much fun, and it will be very restrictive. Donald J. Trump is definitely not a “buck stops here” kind of guy.

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