Open Thread

Apple is bringing back $250 billion in foreign cash – thanks to Trump’s tax reform. This is just tip of the iceberg, folks.

Turns out, allowing collective bargaining for police and teachers isn’t such a good idea.

Senator Cory Booker went on a rant against DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The left is loudly applauding this…but had a Republican man used the exact same words to a Democrat woman, Cory Booker would have been first in front of a camera to denounce GOP sexism…

Ace nails down what Trump is doing on the culture warfare front:

Trump’s manner of engaging with The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status, thereby reducing its ability to set tastes, serve as “gatekeepers” of what the right-minded people agree are proper attitudes and beliefs, and demonize dissenters.

This is often ugly — but that’s how the sausage gets made. It does not matter if you produce a well-researched and well-cited bit of argument as to your position if the cultural princelings of the left can simply say “You’re a Nazi and you hate women” and thereby, with seven stupid words, raze not only your argument but your entire claim to basic human dignity.

The only way to rob them of that ability is to reduce their own social status to a low level. You cannot confer or reduce social status unless you yourself have a great deal of it.

Raise your hands if in past years you held back from saying things because you feared being socially ostracized by the Elite. Ok. Now raise your hands if you are now entirely uninterested in what the Elite thinks about you. I see all your hands raised. Good. Had a little Facebook discussion today where, for the zillionth time, I was called a racist. Why? Because I didn’t agree that racism is whatever someone says it is – I insisted upon a hard and fast definition, and if an action didn’t fit that definition, it wasn’t racist. The affect of being called racist was zero…but, more importantly, the other people in the discussion weren’t afraid to point out that I was merely making a rational demand that we at least agree on our terms if we are to debate. Trump is winning the culture war. This might be the most crucial thing he does as President.

V the K over at Gay Patriot has another take on the same subject, well worth reading.

A Tweet from Razor – well worth following, if you have a Twitter account:

You know a Republican is in the White House when Apple announces a commitment to the economy of $350B and 20,000 new jobs, North and South Korea are talking, the Dow closes above 26,000 for the first time… and the news media is focused like a laser on the President’s weight.

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46 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Amazona January 17, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    A video of Donald Trump carrying on the way Booker did, screaming at a woman, throwing her report in her face, accusing her basically of being stupid, and most of all having an out of control screeching temper tantrum—and then bragging that his rage had him in tears—would be used as proof that he is not mentally or emotionally fit for the presidency.

  2. Retired Spook January 18, 2018 / 12:17 am

    Hannity’s radio show, which airs live EST from 3 – 6, is on our local talk station on a tape delay from 6 – 9, so I almost never listen to it unless I’m in the car. We went out to dinner tonight and caught a few minutes of it on the way home. Sean was talking with Newt Gingrich, and Newt made the statement that the unhinged behavior by the Left centers around one thing — they simply don’t accept that Trump is President to which Sean replied, “then just who exactly is in need of a psychiatric exam?” I thought that spoke volumes.

    I never thought I’d live to see the day that Conservatives not only were no longer cowed and intimidated by the Left’s constant accusations of racism, bigotry, sexism, etc., but actually pushed back and pushed back hard. It’s like Trump has sort of lit the way. I don’t think there was another GOP candidate in 2016 who would or could have done this.

    A good, mutual friend of mine and Amazona’s thinks the American population is so brain dead that very few will change their voting habits because of a decrease in their taxes or an increase in their income — or both. I disagree with him. The last I checked there were around 125 million Americans employed full-time. Granted, a lot of them will probably think their sudden windfall came from Obama’s stash, but if even 10 or 20% of them realize that this is a 100% GOP initiative without a SINGLE Democrat vote, it would seem a given that that should be reflected at the polls on November 6th to the GOP’s benefit. It all hinges on messaging, something that, as Amazona noted, the GOP has never been good at. It’s time that changed.

  3. Cluster January 18, 2018 / 8:10 am

    I have a really hard time taking any Democrat seriously, so the Booker black lash was just that – another ignorant progressive lashing out at faux racial demons inside their own heads.

    Spook is right that Trump has stiffened the conservative spine because he was the one willing to take the heat in the beginning, and then when all of us saw that he would not fold, and that he was effective, we all followed suit. NO OTHER GOP candidate would have taken the heat and the barrage that Trump has. They would have caved.

    Today on THE Mimbo and THE Bimbo show, they are still questioning the doctors findings and insisting that Trump is of poor health and mentally not up to the job. Evidently they are going to stay with that narrative which has dominated much of their first hour. No mention of Apple’s announcement, no mention of the DOW, no mention of consumer confidence, no mention of S. Korean President thanking Trump, and certainly no mention of Trump’s efforts to resolve DACA, a problem that is wholly attributable to the Democrat Party. I agree with Trump 100%, Democrats DO NOT want a deal on DACA, preferring instead to use the issue as a political football. Democrats DO NOT care one bit about actual people, they only care how those people can be used for political gain. That is undeniable.

    Just a reminder, the Clinton Foundation rushed into Haiti following the hurricane to make a difference and demonstrate to the world how magnanimous they are, by bringing in invrstments from throughout the world to save Haiti. TODAY, Haiti is still a disaster and the Feds recently discovered critical electrical infrastructure equipment hidden away in warehouses.

    On a personal note, I am not publicly political – politics enflames passions and regardless what position you take, you are bound to tick off half the people so from a business stand point it makes zero sense. HOWEVER, recently we lost some friends and good riddance. We have some acquaintances who are stereotypical mindless progressives. They recently ridiculed my wife for posting some favorable Trump news on social media and that is where I drew the line, so in pure Trumpian fashion I told both of them that if they ever treated my wife that way again, they would certainly not like the consequences and that they are to never contact us again. It’s also worth mentioning that these people are typical progressives, low end jobs and low end mentality who take much more from the system than they ever give back, and have leaned on us from time to time for help of which we have always extended. NO MORE.

    • Retired Spook January 18, 2018 / 11:15 am

      We’ve eliminated several couples like you describe from our life in the last couple years. It’s very cathartic.

  4. Cluster January 18, 2018 / 9:03 am

    So proving once again that Democrats create and live in their own reality, the new book “How Democracies Die” was just discussed on MSNBC and the narrative was that Trump’s attacks on the “integrity” of the “free press” was extremely dangerous and would lead to tyranny. The contention was that a free press exposes the truth – really?

    The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.

    CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

    TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.

    The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.

    There was no mention of the Obama administrations violation of Fox journalist James Rosen’s privacy. I know you are all shocked. Instead of a free press, can we at least have an objective and informed press?

  5. Retired Spook January 18, 2018 / 11:32 am

    Kurt Schlichter applies his usual cutting wit to the DACA situation.

    Here’s the thing – most of Trump supporters aren’t takers – they’re makers. They’re the people the government flunkies come to with their palms up whenever some bureaucrat wants to spend a zillion bucks studying LGBT issues among Antarctic penguins or funding the NPR’s X-rated reenactments of the Nativity. How sad are Trump’s supporters going to be if the deal is, “We don’t hand over citizenship to a bunch of people who shouldn’t be here and everyone they’re related to down to their 29th cousin three times removed, and in return, we make the government stop spending money.”

    • Amazona January 18, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      Well, we know how Trump supporters would react. I think a lot of squishies would react the same way, which is the point.

      The hard-core won’t shift no matter what. We see that all the time when people are interviewed and told that a policy is Trump’s, and they hate it, but when they are told it is Obama’s or Bernie’s or Hillary’s they praise it.

  6. Retired Spook January 18, 2018 / 11:49 am

    Derek Hunter echoes Schlichter’s sentiment.

    Let these liberals explain to the American people why they favor non-citizens over citizens to the point they’re willing to close the government. Let them explain why it’s more important to “protect” illegal aliens than it is to protect Americans living in Baltimore, where the murder rate rivals third world hellholes. Let them explain to the American people why it’s more important to keep illegal alien families together than it is Americans have jobs so they can take care of theirs. Let them explain.

    And let the American people see how there aren’t gates put up to keep World War II veterans from seeing their open-air memorial. Let them see how Democrats’ obstinance is portrayed by a media that will scramble to blame Republicans for it.

    Shut it down, shut it all down. Let’s have this discussion and decide, once and for all, if this is a nation of laws, or even a nation at all. If Donald Trump and congressional conservatives can’t make that case, can’t win that debate, maybe it isn’t.

    • Amazona January 18, 2018 / 12:05 pm

      But it’s not enough to just keep access to memorials. We have to have every single conservative media pundit—TV, radio, internet—hammering the fact that when the Dems were in charge they gloated over punishing the American people to teach them a lesson, that when the Dems didn’t get their own way and were in charge they responded by hurting citizens.

      We need to make the point, forcefully and repeatedly, that the difference shows a fundamental difference between the Right and the Left—the Right believes that the nation belongs to its citizens, and the Left believes the nation belongs to them and if they don’t get their own way they have the right to make the people suffer in retaliation.

      I think this is a powerful message we can send, over and over again. The Right believes the country belongs to the people, the Left believes the country belongs to them.

      I would even put up billboards along major arteries into and out of major cities—surely a few local news stations would show them if only in a brief snarl against them. I’d love to see a big billboard with that message across the top over photos—one of aged veterans standing outside guarded gates and one of “closed” signs at national park, and another of people being able to participate in the American way with access to national properties.

      Again, if the GOP were to develop a functional and effective PR program I would donate to it.

  7. Amazona January 18, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    …The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status,…

    I realize not everyone watched Star Trek, or if they did saw political content in some of its themes. I did, and I did. So I recognize the reference to the “Borg”.

    From Wikipedia: emphasis mine

    The Borg are a fictional alien group that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a vast collection of “drones”, or cybernetic organisms, linked in a hive mind called “the Collective” or “the Hive”

    “Hive mind” is a perfect way to describe the Left. When the Borg captured people they were assimilated into the Borg and lost their personal identities, becoming only parts of the Collective.

    In a “7 degrees of separation” thing, an ongoing Star Trek character was a woman who had been taken by, and assimilated by, the Borg, losing her human identity and therefore being identified only as part of the Collective, named “7 of 9” She had been rescued by the Star Trek crew and was torn between her gradually resurfacing human identity and the hive identity forced upon her by the Borg.

    The actress was Jeri Ryan. Her former husband, Jack Ryan, was running for reelection to the United States Senate when the corrupt Chicago machine was able to illegally access supposedly sealed court records from her child custody battle with her ex husband, in which she had challenged his character by telling the court he had once taken her to a sex club and asked her to participate with him in some group sex activity. She declined, and they went home. The Barack Obama team revealed these records in an October Surprise, right before the election, and Ryan withdrew, leaving the field to Obama, who then became the junior Senator from Illinois.

  8. Amazona January 18, 2018 / 12:58 pm

    Here’s the real reason for Booker’s meltdown:

    The Wall Street Journal recently surveyed 68 academic, business and financial economists and found who they believe is most likely responsible for the booming economy. According to the Journal, “most” said Trump and his election are at least partially responsible for the growth.

    Compared to what they said about Obama in 2017, here’s what the experts said:

    • The majority of economists surveyed said Trump is “somewhat or strongly positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the stock market.” They gave Obama “mixed” marks on job creation and low marks on GDP growth.

    • Regarding long-term growth potential, the economists gave Trump “neutral or positive” marks while they gave Obama overwhelmingly “negative” marks. They said Obama’s regulations “came at a cost to economic growth.” Obama’s lack of innovation also earned him very negative marks.

    • The economists cited Trump’s tax reform bill and his actions to cut regulations as very positive influences on the economy.

    • The economists also cited Trump’s actions on taxes and regulations as being very helpful for businesses, which in turn benefits the economy as a whole.

    Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, told the Journal: “There is definitely a sense in the business community that the president’s actions on taxes and regulations have led to a more pro-growth environment for them to operate.”

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/01/16/experts-reveal-which-president-is-more-responsible-for-booming-economy-long-term-growth-potential

    He’s in a Liberal hole looking up at an avalanche coming down on him, and all he can do is try to divert it with histrionics. But when it comes to running against Trump, he seems to have an interesting strategy. “You think Trump is crazy? Well, look at THIS !”

  9. Retired Spook January 18, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    To those on the Left, (which is almost all of them) who don’t believe tax cuts increase federal revenue, I’d point out that Apple alone will be paying $38 billion on the money they’re bringing back from overseas.

  10. Retired Spook January 18, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    Not sure how I missed this from nearly two weeks ago.

    SEAN HANNITY: Sara, let’s start with your report. Let’s stay on the facts here.

    I spoke to three people, two congressional members, one person in the DOJ. They all confirmed at different levels that 100 percent the dossier was used at least in part, one person said was significantly a part of getting the FISA warrant. What are you reporting tonight?

    SARA CARTER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I’m reporting the same. I have spoken to a number of sources, one senior law enforcement official, and another in the DOJ, and the dossier was absolutely used as part of the FBI’s ability to gain a warrant to basically spy on members of the Trump campaign.

    So this was definitely used as evidence. It was part and parcel to other evidence, I believe, that they were trying to collect. But the dossier was definitely used.

    And what’s concerning here, Sean, is the fact that we know coming from the mouths of members, senior members of the FBI who testified both Comey and McCabe, that the only part of the dossier they were able to confirm that was actually factual was that Carter Page had actually traveled to Moscow. Everything else in the dossier apparently they did not talk about that, they did not confirm. It’s unsubstantiated or they found out to be false. (emphasis – mine)

    — snip —

    (Carter) And this is why these concerns have been raised. I mean, the Russians could have very easily, according to my sources in the intelligence community, known right away it was being paid for by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. They could have used it for their own propaganda purposes. It appears they have.

    Time to order more popcorn.

    • Cluster January 18, 2018 / 4:34 pm

      I don’t get to listen to Rush too often because of work but I caught just a little today where he played a segment from a CNN story where they went to Ohio to find 5 democrats who voted for Trump, and every single one of them said that Trump was doing an excellent job, is doing everything they hoped he would do, and will definitely vote for him again in 2020.

      The reporter was dismayed.

      When the folks were asked if immigration was big issue for them, the answer was a resounding yes and they all stated that the border needs to be secured to protect American jobs and our sovereignty.

      The Media and the Democrats are losing ….. I apologize for the redundancy but pass the popcorn indeed

  11. Cluster January 18, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    Obviously Chuck U. Schumer is not a man of his word, of course no Democrat is, and I am presuming that Chuck is a man. He may identify as something else which wouldn’t surprise me either, however the following is his appearance on ABC in 2013 (when Democrats were in charge) where he vowed he would NEVER shut down the government over an issue like immigration.

    Well …….

    Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (now the Democratic Senate leader) actually went on ABC’s This Week on October 6, 2013 to assure host George Stephanopoulos that Democrats would never shut the government down over an issue such as immigration.

    Schumer:

    We want to negotiate without a gun to our head. Speaker Boehner comes in and he says, basically — it’s sort of like this: Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage, and then says ‘Let’s negotiate over the price of your house.’

    You know, we could do the same thing on immigration We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say, ‘we’re shutting down the government, we’re not gonna raise the debt ceiling, until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos.

    Keep this in mind next time you see this POS at the podium lecturing Americans. And someone needs to slap the pretentious reading glasses off his face. I miss the Civil War days when fist fights were fairly common in DC. Let’s bring those days back.

  12. Cluster January 19, 2018 / 8:03 am

    Why Trump will win in 2020:

  13. Cluster January 19, 2018 / 8:10 am

    Random delusional musings from The Mimbo and The Bimbo show:

    – this is the beginning of the end of Trump
    – Trump doesn’t know what he is doing
    – Trump is stupid
    – Trump is racist
    – It will be Trump’s fault if the government shuts down
    – The GOP is racist for not including DACA in the budget bill

    It’s odd watching inferior people criticize someone who is superior to them in every way.

    Conservatives are those people who embrace the challenge of the American capitalist model and thrive. Democrats are simply those people who can’t compete in America and as a consequence want to “level the playing field”. Losers always want to “level the playing field”.

    • Amazona January 19, 2018 / 11:39 am

      “Leveling the playing field” usually translates into “dragging everyone else down to my level”. This country was great when, instead, people strived to elevate themselves to the levels above them.

      And has anyone been keeping count of the many things that have been “the beginning of the end of Trump”? It seems like there is a “beginning of the end” every week or so, yet the Energizer Bunny Trump just keeps marching along, kicking Dem donkey butt as he goes.

      • Retired Spook January 19, 2018 / 12:24 pm

        Part of my workout at the Y is using a recumbent bike to compress the knee joint that I had replaced last summer. I go ten minutes, and every minute I move the seat forward a notch. This morning I was on a bike that is right in front of the TV monitor that is set to CNN. The banner across the bottom of the screen read, “Trump’s First Year — Reign of Chaos.” My first thought was, yeah, but who created the chaos? Primarily Democrats.

  14. Cluster January 19, 2018 / 8:19 am

    Shutting down the government simply means not paying the progressive leeches who populate are bloated bureaucracy –

    I am ok with that

    • Retired Spook January 19, 2018 / 10:07 am

      I do have a problem with the term, “non-essential personnel,” – the fact that such a category of government employee even exists. It’s the main reason the bureaucracy is “bloated.”

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) January 19, 2018 / 6:13 pm

        Financial Analysts are non-essential in Gov-Speak. It doesn’t mean not necessary, it just means under emergency situations our functions can be deferred or delayed.

      • Retired Spook January 19, 2018 / 11:46 pm

        Point taken, but I lived in D.C. for two years and knew a number of government employees who were truly non-essential, as in wouldn’t be missed if they died or didn’t show up for work. A couple probably would have been taken for dead while they WERE at work.

  15. Cluster January 19, 2018 / 10:03 am

    How is this ok?

    The state’s top cop issued a warning to California employers Thursday that businesses face legal repercussions, including fines up to $10,000, if they assist federal immigration authorities with a potential widespread immigration crackdown.

    CUT OFF FEDERAL MONEY NOW

    • Amazona January 19, 2018 / 11:36 am

      I wonder what the DOJ thinks of intimidation of citizens to try to keep them from following federal laws. If businesses merely report illegal aliens and are threatened for doing so, I think that would qualify as witness intimidation, and that’s pretty much frowned upon. As in illegal.

      (Preaching alert:) This is where a binding oath of office would come in handy. California can say they won’t enforce the law, but they can’t change it, so swearing to uphold the law would mean refusing to do so would result in loss of job and benefits.

  16. Cluster January 19, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    So ………… this could be YUGE

    While the report is classified as Top Secret, I believe the select committee should, pursuant to House rules, vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible. This is a matter of national significance and the American people deserve the truth. – Rep. Ron DeSantis

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/18/republicans-house-intelligence-report-surveillance-abuse/?utm_content=buffer6617a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    • Retired Spook January 19, 2018 / 1:29 pm

      I hope they do release it completely unredacted to the public. We can’t have a constitutional republic where one side thinks they’re above the law. I hope they have to add a new wing to Leavenworth just to accommodate the lawbreakers.

    • Retired Spook January 19, 2018 / 2:29 pm

      An article at Personal Liberty Digest expands on the statements by GOP Congressmen.

      “The document shows a troubling course of conduct and we need to make the document available, so the public can see it,” said a senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the document. “Once the public sees it, we can hold the people involved accountable in a number of ways.”

      The government official said that after reading the document “some of these people should no longer be in the government.”

      The “people involved” are alleged to be DOJ officials Rod Rosenstein and Bruce Ohr, among others.

      Representative Matt Gatetz (R-Florida) said on Fox Business that not only will the release of this memo result in firings, but “people will go to jail.” (emphasis – mine)

      • Cluster January 19, 2018 / 5:32 pm

        Hang the SOB’s

  17. Cluster January 19, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Democrats are putting illegal immigrants dreams over American’s dreams and shutting down military funding in the process. Where’s this ad campaign?

  18. Cluster January 20, 2018 / 8:35 am

    The current make up of the Democratic Party is as anti American as I have ever seen. They unanimously oppose reducing anyones taxes; they unanimously oppose any reduction in the size of government or their power; they unanimously oppose enforcing immigration laws; they unanimously oppose securing the border; they unanimously oppose funding the military in favor of illegal immigrants; they unanimously oppose strengthening our military; they unanimously support emboldening our enemies; and THEY EAGERLY PUT IMMIGRANTS DREAMS AHEAD OF AMERICAN’S DREAMS. The Democrat party has become a single issue party – illegal immigration, and as much as possible. That’s all they care about.

    It is time to methodically remove every Democrat from government and from society.

  19. Cluster January 20, 2018 / 9:06 am

    This is the BEST article I have read in a long long time, and a must read

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/01/playing_mcclellan_to_trumps_grant_the_nevertrump_traitors.html#ixzz54jHZkztk

    You see, it isn’t about Trump for those who support him; it’s about America and the dire need to first preserve what liberties remain, then to fire back at the enemy until we have reversed the momentum; retaken lost territory; and restored the primacy of the people over their government – a primacy that is the hallmark of our nation, and our most valuable gift to posterity.

    We all owe Trump a debt of gratitude for being undeterred against the onslaught of media and political class abuse to further the conservative agenda. No one else would have been so effective. Now it’s time for all of us to be as bold as he is and get in the face of liberals and progressives and fight back. 2018 will be FUN

    • Cluster January 20, 2018 / 9:13 am

      Some excerpts from the article:

      – Trump wisely shouldered the long ignored mantle of champion for those of us who have grown intensely sick of the miasma of molestation surrounding our present citizen-government relationship.

      – Our Republican leaders talk of conservative principles yet govern from an agenda essentially homogenous to that of the Democrats – only slower, at lower cost.

      – Conservatives and other constitutionally respectful constituencies have spent the better part of a century following the advice of such Republicans and have achieved nothing beyond bare survival.

      – Unarguably, our nation has become like one envisioned more by Marx than by Jefferson.

      – As Lincoln noted after relieving George McClellan of command, “George knew where the enemy was. He was just unwilling to meet him.”

      Until Trump, most Republicans knew exactly who the enemy was, they were just unwilling to meet them. Are you hearing this John McCain? George Bush? Jonah Goldberg?

      • Retired Spook January 20, 2018 / 11:39 am

        Excellent article, indeed.

  20. Cluster January 20, 2018 / 11:16 am

    So Joy Reid with PMSNBC is asking former Mexican President Vincente Fox what he thinks about the shut down – hahahahahaha. She may interview Castro next.

    Honestly Vincente, no ones gives a f**k what you think and while my wife and I love to visit your country and love the Mexican people, food, and culture – your country IS A SHITHOLE. The cartels have more power than you do, because you are a weak POS.

  21. Retired Spook January 20, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    This article appeared in a weekly county newspaper that we get free in our mail box. It makes me especially proud to live in Indiana. It wouldn’t hurt for anyone reading it here to copy it and email it to friends, particularly to left-of-center friends.

    This part especially stood out to me:

    Last October, Purdue President Mitch Daniels gave the Ian Rolland Lecture in Fort Wayne, honoring the legendary businessman, community leader and philanthropist. As he did at his February 2011 CPAC “Red Menace” speech, the former Indiana governor sounded prudent alarms and offered aspiration.

    “Democracy, as we’ve known it, government by the people — of, by, and for the people someone said — is not the natural state of affairs in world history,” Daniels said. “The founders were painfully aware of this. Even as they took these risks they were dubious that this experiment could last for long. John Adams said maybe two generations.”

    Connecticut’s Oliver Ellsworth warned that if Americans become “ignorant, idle and vicious,” then we would be “easy business to reduce us to obey tyrants.” New York Magazine’s Andrew Sullivan observes that the emerging “tribalism” is in reality the “default human experience.”

    “How did we get here?” Daniels asked. “I think there were some natural causes, some society changes that have simply led to Americans being more divided, more suspicious, even hostile to each other.” We marry alike, gather economically and racially.

    He points that in 2012 only 5 percent of America’s 3,000 counties had outcomes in the presidential vote within 5 percent plus or minus. Only 10 percent were within 10 percent or more. “In the vast majority of American geographies, it was not close.”

    Slathered on top in 280 tweeted characters is social media, or what Daniels calls “anti-social media” that “encourages the worst tendencies. People will say things that they would never say face to face with someone. Lincoln might have been worried about the worst angels of our nature if he had seen today’s social media.”

    “I told a number of friends, who were deeply disappointed by the outcome of the last election, ‘You know, if you look down your nose at people long enough, one day they will punch you in it.’

    “We awaken to find ourselves in this place where mere disagreements have been elevated to fatal character flaws,” Daniels continued. (emphasis – mine)

    I’ve found that most of my attempts over the last decade or so to be civil to my Leftist friends and acquaintances have, at best, fallen on deaf ears and, at worst, have resulted in being spat upon (figuratively). I detest people who approach simple disagreements with irrational incivility, but while I’ve never told any friends who engage in such behavior to go fu*k themselves, I have largely purged such people from my life. Actually, as I’ve said before, when I quit engaging them, they lost interest in me as someone they could no longer verbally assault and ridicule, and almost all left of their own accord. I’m not sure what the answer is, or if there even IS an answer because we’ve gone so far down the proverbial rabbit hole, but this article has at least given me a glimmer of hope.

  22. Retired Spook January 20, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    Victor Davis Hanson is one of my favorite Conservative authors, but in his latest article he literally hits it out of the park. It’s a long read, but worth it.

    • Amazona January 20, 2018 / 5:28 pm

      It’s particularly interesting because it appears in National Review, which started off as being stridently anti-Trump and which is gradually, and sometimes reluctantly, coming around to admitting his successes and not gloating over his verbal missteps.

    • Cluster January 21, 2018 / 9:34 am

      That was a good article Spook, and I this caught my attention:

      Even his critics sometimes concede that his economic and foreign-policy agendas are bringing dividends. In some sense, it is not so much because of innovative policy, but rather that he is simply bullying his way back to basics we’ve forgotten over the past decades.

      The “basics” we have forgotten is knowing “who we are”, which became muddy and ambiguous during the last 9 years of progressivism. Obama would repeatedly marginalize this country, and say “that’s not who we are”, when in reality he had no idea who we were. Trump is through and through an AMERICAN – rough around the edges and politically incorrect but with a tremendous understanding of how great this country is and our role in the world. Trump could prove to be the greatest conservative President this country has ever had – and that fact must be hard to swallow for Never Trumpers.

      • Amazona January 21, 2018 / 10:08 am

        I caught that too, Cluster, and what struck me was that it TOOK “bullying” to break though the collected impediments to governing the way we are supposed to be governed. I have commented here on something I read about Trump, an author comparing him to an icebreaker. The ship kind of icebreaker, that just crashes into ice and breaks it up and pushes the pieces aside, so other ships can navigate. I liked that imagery, and think it is pretty accurate. Trump isn’t doing the navigation as much as he is just pushing obstacles out of the way so Congress can do its job.

      • Cluster January 21, 2018 / 11:21 am

        Excellent analogy – Trump is the ice breaker and Democrats and Never Trumpers are doing their best to keep the ice intact.

      • Retired Spook January 21, 2018 / 11:46 am

        Democrats and Never Trumpers are doing their best to keep the ice intact.

        Must be why they are so concerned about the glaciers.

  23. Retired Spook January 20, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    This is an excerpt from any article by Bob Livingston, no permalink, but long and I don’t feel like copying the whole thing. A very good description of why people from many sh*thole countries don’t assimilate well in America.

    Western cultures emphasize the future; view work as a blessing rather than as a burden; promote individuals based on their merit; value education and frugality, are philanthropic, identify with universal causes, and have higher ethics.

    In static cultures, individuals tend to be fatalistic rather than future-oriented; live for the present or past; work only because they need to; diminish or dismiss the value of education, frugality, and philanthropy; are often mired in nepotism and corruption; and promote individuals based on clan and connections, rather than capabilities.

    “I am because we are” is how one wag encapsulated the cog-like role of the individual in African culture. In advanced cultures, on the other hand, the individual, and not the collective, is paramount…

    Magic wins out over reason; community over individual; communal ownership over private property; force and coercion over rights and responsibilities; wealth distribution over its accumulation.

    Like Trump, Americans know in their hearts that people from those countries — as well as other Third World and/or Muslim nations — are not ideal candidates for assimilation into American culture. Not because their skin is brown, but because their collectivist mindset and superstitious and/or religious belief set is anathema to individual liberty.

    Those individuals have no grasp of democratic values or individual liberty because they’ve never experienced it… never even conceived it. (emphasis – mine)

    I used to be repulsed by the concept offered by many on the Left that there were just some people who neither desired nor deserved freedom. I still think that, deep down, the desire for freedom in an inherent component of the human spirit, but, based on recent immigration history, it appears to be a lot deeper down in some individuals than others to the detriment of our society.

    • Amazona January 20, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      I’ve come to the same conclusion after seeing people offered freedom and refusing it. I remember when Maggie Thatcher tried to come up with a way to transfer ownership of council housing in England, which is basically government owned welfare housing, to tenants. Many of these tenants were third or fourth or fifth generation council housing residents. She, as a conservative, believed in the concept of ownership, and believed that being able to own their homes would generate a sense of responsibility and participation, instead of just being takers of government largesse. The response was astounding—these people didn’t WANT to own their homes! They viewed this as a sneaky scheme to allow the government to shift responsibility for things like broken heaters or burned out light bulbs to the poor victims of their malice. No sirree, these folks were too smart to be taken by such as Maggie and the Conservatives! They fought, and won, the “right” to continue their generational dependence on the government.

      There is a substantial element of the British populace not far removed from the days of serfdom, in which a master owned the properties and doled out the subsistence, and these people don’t want to move away from that way of life. The same thing, to some extent, happened in Russia. The vague concept of “freedom” sounded pretty good at the end of the Soviet Union, but it could not overcome centuries of life under tyranny, and it didn’t take long for the country to drift back into its comfort zone, which is a meek population under the control of a few powerful elites and depending on corruption at various levels to get by.

      These attitudes are deep to the bone in some cultures.

      I have seen more of what I think of as American-style pursuit of freedom through ambition and hard work in some people from African countries than in most European nations and way too much of the United States. We have seen the success of many Asians who have taken advantage of our system to flourish. I remember a few years ago when a lot of Vietnamese immigrants came to the US and were housed in government housing, and clashes developed between the immigrants and third or fourth or fifth generation Mexican-heritage residents. There was a memorable TV interview with an outraged young Hispanic man who said “These people got them TVs and nice cars. My mom been here thirty years and no one ever give her no TV or car.” That was the mentality. “Give”. But the Asians lived two or three families to an apartment, everyone working at least two jobs, and within a couple of years they had a house. Then three or four families would live in the house, everyone working at least two jobs, till they could get another house. And so on. While the Dependent Class, whether white or brown or black, seethed in the projects because no one ever gave them a TV or a house.

      We have had a political movement here in our country which has worked very hard to erode the liberty aspect of our founding and identity to replace it with the plantation mentality in which people just wait to be fed and housed while they reproduce and resent those who have more than they do. And this same movement is working to import people with this mindset.

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