Open Thread

I don’t put much stock in polls, but it is interesting that this poll shows Millenials moving away from the Democrats. Makes sense – when all you offer is identity politics and outragey outrage, kinda gets dull. Now, I know a lot of my fellow Conservatives will attack me on this, but let’s nail these kids down for our side for a generation: annul the student loan debt. Or, at least allow kids to go bankrupt on it. The whole thing was merely a scam to get utra-liberal Colleges rolling in dough which they would then use against us. Get rid of it – and get the kids out of debt.

The Israeli Mossad apparently carried out the intelligence coup of all time – getting a massive amount of documents detailing Iran’s nuclear program. The most important thing about it is that it shows Obama was either a fool or an idiot to enter the Iran Deal (but, you already knew that).

Seems that FDR was also looking for a settlement of the “Jewish Question.” Now, to be sure, FDR didn’t even imagine anything along the lines of Hitler’s settlement, but it is interesting to note just how Progressives viewed (and continue to view) things…how eerily akin it all is to the worst aspects of fascist and Communist thinking. For those of us on the right, there never was a “Jewish Question”. Jews are people and are entitled to all the rights and privileges of everyone else…the only “settlement” is to ensure that Jews, and everyone else, enjoys their God-given rights. What they do with them, after that, is up to them. But Progressives don’t look at it like that – people are a “problem” that needs solution. Naturally, they are the only people equipped to solve the problem.

With the possibility of peace looming in Korea, it is important that you get to North Korea before Capitalism ruins it: Kim Jong-un wants a McDonald’s in Pyongyang. To me, this is a disastrously bad idea that only a Communist tyrant could think of. McDonald’s being just terrible! Joking aside, I don’t know how this Korea peace move will work out. I’ve just gotta figure that the North Korean’s are working an angle. But in and among that angle there just might be a desire to no longer be poor and miserable. Reports over the past couple years indicate that even the elites are not getting as much as they used to. Kim Jong-un may believe he can pull off what Deng Xiaoping did in China back in the 70s: keep his regime firmly in control while allowing sufficient economic openness to allow for real growth. South Korea, on the other hand, would be willing to give up a lot, I think, to permanently remove the North Korean threat to their own prosperity. As an America, I’m willing to also give up quite a lot if it really means no nuclear weapons in North Korea. Let’s hope for the best.

Donald Surber takes a look at the upcoming West Virginia Senate battle…and notes that Manchin may end up having trouble against a GOP candidate who was blamed for the deaths of 29 miners. If so, it would indicate the Democrat party is dead in West Virginia.

Ace looks at Jake Tapper’s new novel and it is rather brutal. I hope mine comes off better. Doing the second draft, now, with some extremely valuable input from some people I highly respect. To me, its a good story about to become a great story. But, we’ll see. Hope Ace likes it.

23 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. jdge1 April 30, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    Way too many “kids” got into college loan debt without given much, if any thought, as to how they will pay it back. There are far too many often bizarre curriculum choices that provided no job skills or employment opportunity, except perhaps getting a PHD and teaching the same worthless crap over again. Back 20, 30, 40 years ago, teenagers got entry level jobs to earn personal money. Along with the skills they may have acquired, most of them also gained an appreciation of the efforts it took to “earn” a paycheck. Few kids have any desire to work those entry level jobs any more, in part because, mom & dad work long hard hours so their kids won’t have to do without. The unfortunate part of this desire for parents to provide a better life for their kids is, the kids remain dependent, at first on their parents, then on society / government. Until that chain of dependency is broken, these same young adults will by their nature, continue to defer their own responsibility on others. Removing their college debt may sound good at first and might even convince some of these individuals to side with the political party freeing them from their responsibility (most likely for a short time until someone else puts another carrot in from of them), but they will loose the opportunity to learn how to become responsible and independent.

    I agree, many of these kids got suckered into loans by people & organizations (colleges / banks / politicians) who stood to gain from these kids poor choices. Best they learn now, how to evaluate opportunities in from of them, BEFORE they sign on the dotted line. Otherwise they’re doomed to make these mistakes repeatedly. Do we then continue to bail them out, knowing few will understand or appreciate the sacrifice made by others to free them of this burden? Or worse yet, allow these kids to vilify the individuals or groups who helped them out?

    And what about the damage going bankrupt will create. That does not come without a price. What will be the negative consequences that will follow those kids for some time? Perhaps the lessons they learn from having to pay back loans for years, for something that provided them with little value, will benefit others from making the same mistakes.

    And, by removing this responsibility, we encourage the cycle of colleges continuing to raise tuitions and new prospects following the same foolish footsteps as those before them. WE must break the cycle by making government backed student loans far more difficult to get, and then only for getting job skills in demand by those hiring. WE must work to encourage young adults to look at other ways to acquire job skills such as apprenticeships for trades – electricians, plumbers, masons, builders, tool & die makers, welders, manufacturing jobs, etc. WE must take steps to change the dynamics of colleges and universities from turning away a multitude of prospects, to having to have them compete for limited prospects, and as a result – ultimately driving down the cost to attend college (otherwise known as competition).

    I can appreciate college and university having endowments, but they’ve gotten to the point where they’ve accumulated and are sitting on billions of dollars. Why not force them to release some of this money to help reduce the exorbitant cost of attending a bloated 4 year program? These days, it seems many universities (and high schools) have more administrative personal than teachers. Why? Because they can afford to. We need to change those dynamics such that universities offer more and charge less. Some may say; “Let the market decide”. But that would only make sense if the costs were placed squarely on the market, not government subsidies thru unsecured loans, and bailouts.

    • Cluster May 1, 2018 / 4:02 pm

      I think student loans is the next financial bubble that will hopefully have less negative impact then the housing bubble did, but the fact is that a very high number of student loans are currently in default.

    • Amazona May 1, 2018 / 6:04 pm

      annul the student loan debt.?

      “Annul”—nice choice of words. In marriage, an annulment means the marriage simply did not legally occur. So how would this work with debt? Someone waves a magic wand and Shazaam! the debt simply disappears, without a trace, erased as if it never happened?

      Except the lender actually loaned the money. It was there and now it isn’t. and “annulment” won’t make the lender whole. The lender doesn’t have it. The student doesn’t have it. Where did it go?

      If anyone but the students should lose out on this deal, it should be the schools. They scammed kids into paying THEM to be turned into mindless Leftist brain-dead zombies good for nothing but flipping burgers and pooping on police cars. During this whole period there was evidently never an adult in the room. So here I am with jdge, let the schools pay back at least some of these loans. Let each student file a claim for some part of the money paid to the school, supporting that claim with evidence of lack of any true education received in return.

      Think about it. To get any debt relief, Little Britney would have to sit down and evaluate her “education” and analyze it and write a compelling report on its shortcomings and how she didn’t learn a thing about how to function in the real world, And then the school would have to read the report and analyze it, and probably pay off at least part of her debt because they didn’t deliver. She would have to explain that while she learned that Stalin was just misunderstood, all men are scum and all white people suck, she still can’t get a job that lets her move out of her parents’ basement.

      Britney would probably learn more from this exercise than she did in four years of Transgendered Albino Eskimo Studies, and the school would be facing report after report of its failings. This might also remove some of the funding now going to tenured political radicals whose only real commitment is to undermine our society and our government.

      Sounds like a win-win to me.

      • M. Noonan May 1, 2018 / 10:19 pm

        Annul it – as in “it goes away”. The banks who lent the money can just write it off and take the tax deduction. Serious amounts can be worked out with Uncle Sam. Or, at least let the kids go bankrupt on it. Key would be making the colleges fork over half of what they took in from the loans…get them some skin in the game.

      • Amazona May 2, 2018 / 12:47 pm

        Sorry, but it was not the banks that perpetrated the frauds—-it was the schools. Sure, just blinking like Jeannie in her bottle to make it all just “go away” seems, on the surface, to be a solution.

        Yet it reinforces the sense of entitlement of the young, the sense that they have to bear no consequences for their actions. And it punishes the lenders who acted on the word, the PROMISE, of repayment. The first of those is merely an escalation of the irresponsibility and immaturity of our young today and the second is damaging to our financial institutions.

        I think, if one wants the debt to “go away” it has to be repaid by those who profited by its establishment, and the process has to involve those who made the bad decisions in the first place. I love the idea of any person wanting to get this debt substantially reduced, having to sit down and analyze his or her education, to analyze its shortcomings regarding its success in preparing the student for life in the real world. That process alone would help nudge this person, who so far has been drifting along on a current of social justice nonsense and imaginary learning, realize the foolishness of his or her choices. And the schools, who created the problem in the first place by coming up with cockamamie pretend courses in pretend science and then charging outrageous sums to take them, backed up by promises of loans, need to be held responsible.

        I would also never, EVER, remove all the debt. Whether or not the “education” led to meaningful employment or even leading a meaningful life, the student did get to play college student for several years, and did enter into a binding legal contract. I would always insist on repayment of some part of that debt.

        I don’t see any reasoning supporting the concept of punishing one player, of the three involved—-the school, the student and the lender—-for the actions of the other two.

        And the end lesson to be learned by the “student” is to just walk away from a commitment. Underwater because you bought a car that turned out to be a lemon? Let the bank take the hit. Marriage getting kind of hard? Walk away. Yeah, like we really need more that attitude in our society.

  2. Amazona May 1, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    Ace looks at Jake Tapper’s new novel and it is rather brutal

    One of the most entertaining book reviews I have ever read. Who knew a book featuring a “ponyologist” could be so bad?

    Actually, the review makes me almost want to read the book. Almost. But not quite.

    Speaking of ponies—-one of the worst books I ever read was a prequel to Gone With The Wind—-the backstory of Rhett Butler. In one part, after nearly swooning over Rhett’s tall manly figure, how he loomed over other men, about his spotless black suit and impeccably polished black boots, the author had him riding into town on a “majestic 13-hand black stallion”.

    FYI, 13 hands is barely above Shetland pony size. The image of this tall, powerful, uber-manly, impeccably dressed in spotless black, hero rotting into town with his gleaming boots dragging in the dust, atop his little horsie, had me cracking up.

    Not much is as entertaining, in a strange way, as truly bad writing. It was a dark and stormy night……..

    • M. Noonan May 1, 2018 / 9:57 pm

      One has to be careful! I’m not a gun person, but in the book guns are used and I had to make certain they were appropriate to the sort of person who has them. Small detail, I know…but attentive readers will pick up on it and I don’t want them getting irritated because I make small errors.

      • Amazona May 2, 2018 / 12:53 pm

        Well, don’t call a magazine a “clip” and don’t conflate semi-automatic with full auto even when it is sometimes referred to as “automatic” and you’ll be better than the anti-gun crowd. A gun is a tool, and if used by someone who knows how to use it, for its intended purpose, there is nothing to worry about.

        The thing is, most things you don’t know from experience can be researched very easily. Ask Spook if you have any questions.

      • Retired Spook May 6, 2018 / 10:10 am

        Did someone mention Spook? I’m back from a week of battery charging in Cluster’s back yard. Sorry we couldn’t connect my friend — maybe next time. Now that my brother-in-law and his wife are retired near you, we’ll be making that trip every year or two. Next time we’ll have to coordinate in advance. We experienced what I believe has to be a first in air travel for me. We arrived an hour early last Saturday. Fortunately my brother-in-law and his wife were visiting friends in Mesa and they walked into the terminal just as I was retrieving our luggage from the carousel. We managed to hit a week of near perfect weather with the only sample of Phoenix’s 100+ temps yesterday as we were leaving.

        Yeah, Mark, if you have any gun questions, just ask. I won’t go so far as to say I’m an expert, but I’m familiar with and have shot most popular handguns, and I have a good sense of what kind of person carries what kind of gun, I’m looking forward to reading your book.

  3. Amazona May 2, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    There is a very good article this morning about morality. I know, that doesn’t sound very interesting. But it makes some good points. From the article: emphasis mine

    Equally damning is a study of German professors of history during the Holocaust. “These scholars wanted to be part of the social hierarchy,” writes Blumenthal. They wanted to be somebody. In the introduction to a new historical journal, one professor wrote that
    German historians are aware of their duty to provide the historical tools for the central problem of the present war and the forthcoming rearrangement of Europe and to envision and interpret the development of the past from the point of view of the present. By this publication they wish to profess the political character of their science.

    In role identification, writes Blumenthal, “bonding, not truth or morality, becomes the cement of identity.” This too sounds a warning for us: When political partisanship and ideology undermine the search for truth, societies have put themselves on a dangerous path, blinding themselves when they most need to see clearly.

    Rule observance and role identification are so effective, Blumenthal says, because “the role models and rule expectations usually neatly fit the personal needs and cultural expectations of the individual. Thus National Socialism was based on traditional values, traditional heroes, and a traditional scapegoat; the individual needed only to properly place himself or herself in this system.” By affiliating with the cause, one could shed his or her old identity and acquire a more meaningful new one.

    Our current practices of relegating moral education to college survey courses or to seminars for “clarifying values” are not sufficient. They simply cannot provide the intellectual or moral substance needed to counteract the powerful, often unrecognized social and psychological forces that influence us to cooperate with evil.

    I think the piece speaks not only to morality in general but to the mechanism of Identity Politics. I think it explains, to a degree, how otherwise decent, respectable, women who don’t use vulgar language or profanity can suddenly be dressing as female genitals and marching in howling mobs led by profanity-spouting harridans. By affiliating with the cause, one could shed his or her old identity and acquire a more meaningful new one.

    Undermining the cause would certainly erode a lot of the following, which is one reason abortion mills in Indiana are freaking out over the success of alternative-to-abortion groups.

  4. Amazona May 2, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Canada now wants the United States to implement a policy of discrimination, targeting people from Nigeria and making it harder for them to get tourist visas.

    Maybe Canada should have its own policy changes and stop letting foreigners into Canada from the United States on American tourist visas. Let them do their own discrimination, so they and their Lefty fellow travelers can’t come back on US for “discrimination” and, no doubt, “RACISM”.

    BTW, this whine is not about our immigration laws but our rules regarding issuance of tourist visas.

  5. Cluster May 3, 2018 / 8:25 am

    Knowing that 90%+ support from black voters is the only chance Democrats have to win federal elections, this can’t be good news for them:

    Kanye West appears to have punched a hole in the dam holding African-American support in a reservoir, allowing American blacks to make up their own minds about President Trump instead of conforming to the expectation that “the community” must be “united” in monolithic support for the Democrats.

    • Amazona May 3, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      I loved it that in one of his comments he used the term “plantation”—-as in black people don’t need to stay on the plantation. That had to hurt. And explaining that he is only saying things like this because he is stupid is not going to play well, either with his fans or with other black people who happen to agree with him. I’d love to have him fight back with a comment that talking down to and about black people is exactly how they have been kept on the plantation, because nothing upsets true racists of any color more than an uppity black person.

  6. Cluster May 3, 2018 / 8:36 am

    Oh Please, Oh Please Oh Please:

    Elizabeth Warren Leads New Hampshire Democrat 2020 Poll

    • Amazona May 3, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      I know. It’s as if Spook saw what was happening and handed them a shovel.

  7. Cluster May 4, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    (CNN) A federal judge expressed deep skepticism Friday in the bank fraud case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at one point saying he believes that Mueller’s motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office.

    WOW !!!!

  8. Cluster May 4, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    This report on NBC will make you smile:

    And as someone who watches Morning Joe regularly I can tell you that that show has spiraled downward so far that it is has been reduced to a bunch mean spirited, high school kids sitting around the lunch table making of the other kids. That’s all it is anymore.

    • Amazona May 5, 2018 / 4:29 pm

      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

  9. Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) May 4, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    I think we have to be pragmatic about North Korea. That means both being flexible, where we need to be, and firm where we need to be.

    If giving them a McDonald’s will lead them to abandon their nuclear weapons, I think it’s a risk we should take.

    But by no means to we allow them a Jack in the Box!

  10. Cluster May 6, 2018 / 9:22 am

    Sad news today:

    Michelle Obama says she’s not running for office

    I can not think of a more well qualified woman to run for office, but sadly “the other one that we have all been waiting for” will not grace us with her beauty and excellence


    • Amazona May 6, 2018 / 2:49 pm

      I know I for one am deeply disappointed that we won’t get to see a Trump/Obama matchup. Guess we’ll have to settle for Fauxcahontas. Or, as some call her, Liawatha.

  11. Amazona May 6, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Latest Grab The Popcorn Moment: Kanye West being scolded for being uppity. Or stupid, depending on whether you are listening to Mad Max Waters or Vanity Fair.

  12. Amazona May 6, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I’m still waiting for the outrage, the absolute wild-eyed OUTRAGE !! at the cultural appropriation of the Inca culture by black ghetto rapper Lesane Parish, or at least by his mother as she took on the name Amaru and renamed Lesane Tupac Amaru Shakur, an Inca prince killed by the Spanish during their conquest of Peru.

    In the meantime I am wondering what merchants thought of the efforts to undermine their anticipated profits from Cinco de Mayo celebrations. They had to be thrilled to see some mouthy activists telling anyone who is not Mexican to just walk away from the idea of celebrating the 5th of May.

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