GOP Convention

Well, here we are – the GOP moment of truth, as it were.

For those still hoping for a non-Trump outcome, Tom Coburn has reportedly said he’d stand as an alternative to Trump. It’s a bit weak sauce – the word is he’ll accept the nomination if offered by the delegates, but won’t actively pursue it. Still, it is, finally, something. We’ll see if the Dump Trump forces can make anything of it.

That aside, the most likely outcome is a Trump love-fest leading up to Trump’s acceptance speech. Which might be interesting to watch – I tend not to watch political speeches because they are mostly just boilerplate (this has been especially true with our current President), but I might tune in for Trump’s effort (I plan on avoiding Hillary’s acceptance speech like the plague…can’t imagine putting up with even five minutes of listening to her).

Trump and the GOP go into this very much a divided house and about 5 points behind Hillary. I doubt that Trump can get the #NeverTrump people on board – those who were willing to grit their teeth and back Trump already have; those who are still #NeverTrump at this point are probably not reachable. On the other hand, I’ve thought for months that the only way Trump could possibly win is to bring into the GOP coalition several million (perhaps 5?) people who normally don’t vote at all, let alone vote GOP. He’ll also need at least some normally Democrat voters (and I think he’ll get them – there’s a large number of registered Democrats in the more rural parts of the country whose loyalty to the Democrats is purely nominal).

I don’t know if Trump can do this. For all the complaints about Priebus and the GOP, the RNC has built an allegedly great get out the vote effort – but whether Trump has the discipline to make good use of it is doubtful…but if he’ll at least give the pros their lead and let them do it, then it could work well for him. It likely still won’t be as good as the Democrats effort, but anything better than 2012 is a massive improvement. On the other hand, Trump had pretty much zero GOTV in the primaries and still secured more votes than any GOPer ever has (and, of course, had more GOPers vote against him than ever before, as well).

I don’t think the money-gap is all that important – Hillary does have (and will maintain) a massive lead in money because she’s bought and those who purchased her will do all they can to make certain their investment gains the White House…but Hillary’s team also seems bloated (as all Progressive efforts wind up) and it might not be efficient and flexible enough to take full advantage. At all events, what happened to Jeb demonstrates conclusively that money does not win elections in and of itself – better to have it than not have it, but better to have a message people like than have lots of money.

The battle between Trump and Hillary is fundamentally between two very much disliked people. I don’t trust the polling much – not that it isn’t useful to pick out trends (it is always useful for that – especially if you follow the RCP polling averages), but I think the electorate is all bollixed up this year. Think about it – if Trump does pull in some millions of people who normally don’t vote, they won’t show up in polls of likely voters. Like this: “Hello, this is Mr Pollster and I’m polling for the election. Tell me, did you vote in the last election?” “Why, no, I didn’t” says the guy with MAGA painted in ten foot high letters on his garage door. “Thank you for your time”, says the pollster. Click. It also works the other way – quite a lot of people who did vote in the previous elections will stay home; both GOPers disgusted with Trump and Dems disgusted with Hillary (not quite sure how that will break but I suspect – and it is just a guess – that more GOPers will stay home than Dems). There are still more Democrats than GOPers in the overall electorate so Hillary (like all Democrats running a national campaign) as a built-in advantage…and I think that is where her current polling advantage comes from. But if a bunch of new people do come in and a bunch of regulars stay out, then her advantage is likely illusory.

Do keep in mind the “ifs” I’ve put in there. And if it is a normal election with the normal electorate, then Hillary wins – and wins pretty handily.

I’ve no dog in this hunt – I don’t know how I’ll vote on November 8th in the Presidential election. I may leave it blank – I’m just not sure. I won’t condemn anyone for their vote in 2016. It is entirely a matter of conscience at this point – vote how you think you should. We’ll all see how it comes out.

UPDATE: Well, the first day is sure interesting. Personally, I think Trump erred in not letting the #DumpTrump people have their roll call…it would have taken a while, but it might have helped soothe anyone who is still capable of being soothed. Some aren’t, of course – but it might have looked better if Trump had allowed the vote to go forward. But, that just isn’t Trump’s style – which is another worrisome aspect of his candidacy. Of course, it also isn’t Hillary’s style, nor has it been Obama’s. The two major parties are firmly in the grip of people who are quite ruthless and always willing to kick someone when they’re down.

A Few Odds and Ends Around the World

Why are we allied with Turkey? Let me put it this way – if Russia went to war against Turkey, does anyone want our sons and daughters bleeding to defend Turkey?

Japan is getting ready to amend their Constitution in some interesting ways. Now, keep in mind that the current Japanese Constitution was essentially dictated by MacArthur during the post-WWII occupation. The things being modified are all that bit about free speech and Japan renouncing war. The article I linked to casts it all in very dark terms, but I’m not so sure. From time to time here on the blog I’ve brought up the book Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy – its a long book, but I even more than ever recommend it. The thesis of the book is that Hirohito was not a powerless puppet in the hands of out-of-control militarists. That Hirohito orchestrated Japan’s political and military forces in order to engage in a war of conquest which would make Japan militarily and economically independent of all foreign forces. One thing which I remembered when I read that article is that when Hirohito and Japan’s leadership realized the war was irretrievably lost, they started to set up a program to keep the Emperor (Hirohito was willing to be personally sacrificed, if it came to that) and so structure post-war Japan that once Japan was back on it’s feet again, the Emperor could resume authority and have another go at trying to make a powerful Japan. I do wonder if that is what is happening, now.

The Bataclan attack in Paris was horrific – so horrific, in fact, that the French government appears to have suppressed information about just what went on. You see, our glorious leaders don’t want us to know what happened because that might upset us and, hill ape morons that we are, we might start demanding vigorous action against the enemy.

Seems that German companies aren’t employing a lot of refugees. This will be set down to racism and/or Islamophobia by our Progressive friends, but there’s actually a much more mundane explanation for it. The nations the refugees are coming from are not even remotely on the same economic level as the nations they are going to. Before the Civil War started, Syria was actually not doing so bad on economic development, but the bottom line is that more than 20% of Syria’s labor force was agricultural, while agriculture in Germany is a comparatively trivial part of the economy. Syrian education is considered substandard even by developing nation standards. Moving a whole bunch of ill-educated farmers to one of the most advanced economies in the world means you’re going to get a lot of people who are simply unemployable. This is the sort of thing that no one is thinking about – forget for a moment the whole Islam thing and the risk of terrorist infiltration…consider the fact that the people who are fleeing are simply not prepared to work and compete in the modern economic systems they are entering. Such people will be an underclass in the West for several generations, even with the best of will on everyone’s part.

Open Thread

The latest attack in Nice does have me a bit down. I’ve been there – it is a beautiful city. But, still, the main thing about it is the thing everyone refuses to mention: we have terrorism because various State and quasi-State actors support the terrorist groups. Our problem lies in Tehran and various Arabian States. Until we confront that, we won’t get anywhere. Bombing a few ISIS goons here and there doesn’t do a thing. Even if we managed to destroy ISIS as much as we destroyed al-Qaeda in Iraq, it won’t do any good…as long as there are immune people out there who can fund, supply and inspire the terrorists, it just goes on and on.

#NeverTrump played it’s last trick in the GOP Rules Committee and lost. This was entirely expected – #NeverTrump and #DumpTrump never had a chance as long as no credible alternative candidate declared him or herself. As much as Trump is mistrusted, you can’t beat something with nothing. If even Romney had stood forth as an alternative, the anti-Trump forces would at least have someone to coalesce around. They didn’t – word is there was a big #DumpTrump conference call last week and while all sorts of strategies were proposed to derail Trump, the people couldn’t even settle on one alternative candidate. I hate to say this – oh, heck; I don’t hate to say it…it needs to be said; tired of all this making nice-nice – but we’re dealing with very unserious people. And this is why Trump may yet win – no one is taking him seriously. He’s not a clown (though he is clownish) and he’s not Hitler II…he’s a demagogue of the highest order and he’s determined to be President. We needed someone who was just as determined and who could out-demagogue him. Some one who would have rhetorically kicked him in the nuts. But doing that would have required a complete rejection of the status-quo; a declared war against this rotten system we’ve got. No one wanted to. It wasn’t “nice”. The MSMers would have tut-tutted! And so Trump got the nomination – because he at least spoke to the disgust people have with things as they are. And he’s going to keep speaking to that as Nice and other such happens again and again from now to November.

This is the real world, folks – things actually happen (as some people in Nice could tell you). Unless you’re willing to deal with the concrete realities of how things are, you’re just spinning your wheels and wasting everyone’s time.

A bit of happy news for you – Rubio looks solid for re-election in Florida. So do other GOPers running for re-election in swing States. If we do get President Hillary – a likely event – then at least we’ve got a very good chance of saddling her with a GOP Congress (FWIW and YMMV).

If you’ve forgotten what a patriotic American is like, Senator Scott (R-SC) provides a reminder.

From Glenn Reynolds:

SOMETHING THAT’S BEEN LARGELY OVERLOOKED IN ALL THE RACIAL POSTURING: The cop who shot Philando Castile was a Latino named Jeronimo Yanez. But for our “racial justice” crowd, it’s always 1963 — but a 1963 in which Bull Connor is a Republican instead of the Democratic National Committeeman he actually was.

And keep this in mind as you wonder why people seem to unable to see the truth:

It has been discovered that with a dull urban population, all formed under a mechanical system of State education, a suggestion or command, however senseless and unreasoned, will be obeyed if it be sufficiently repeated. – Hilaire Belloc.

And what we’re up against:

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles. – Hilaire Belloc

Relentlessly Refusing to Understand Dallas, Or Anything Else

…the whole modern world, or at any rate the whole modern Press, has a perpetual and consuming terror of plain morals. Men always attempt to avoid condemning a thing upon merely moral grounds. If I beat my grandmother to death tomorrow in the middle of Battersea Park, you may be perfectly certain that people will say anything about it except the single and fairly obvious fact: it is wrong. Some will call it insane; that is, will accuse it of deficiency of intelligence. This is not necessarily true at all. You could not tell whether the act was unintelligent or not unless you knew my grandmother. Some will call it vulgar, disgusting, and the rest of it; that is, they will accuse it of a lack of manners. Perhaps it does show a lack of manners; but this is scarcely its most serious disadvantage. Others will talk about the loathsome spectacle and the revolting scene; that is, they will accuse it of deficiency of art, or aesthetic beauty. This again depends on the circumstances: in order to be quite certain that the appearance of the old lady has definitely deteriorated under the process of being beaten to death, it is necessary for the philosophical critic to be quite certain how ugly she was before. Another school of thinkers say that the action is lacking in efficiency: that it is an uneconomic waste of a good grandmother. But that could only depend on the value, which is again an individual matter. The only real point that is worth mentioning is that the action is wicked, because your grandmother has a right not to be beaten to death. But of this simple moral explanation modern journalism has, as I say, a standing fear. It will call the action anything else – mad, bestial, vulgar, idiotic, rather than call it sinful. – G. K. Chesterton, “All Things Considered”, 1908

Now, ask yourself – has anyone in the MSM called the actions of the Dallas shooter immoral? The main thing that the man did was murder – which is a sin. It doesn’t, in the largest sense, matter why he did it – what he did was wrong. Immoral. Sinful. The only time we really care why a man murders is when we’re putting him on trial and even then it is only so that we can establish, as a matter of fact, that he did sin. Far more important than understanding the often twisted motives of those who sin is to call an immoral action wrong. Start making the motivation your primary concern and before too long what you’re doing is finding ways to excuse the sin. Our primary focus here should be to proclaim very loudly and firmly that what the man did was wrong; that no one should ever do such a thing; that there is never the slightest justification for sinning. Period. Full stop.

But, we don’t do that – and, as you can see from the date of the quote, we haven’t done it for quite a while. We’re very far down the road of trying to understand why a sinner sins, and thus we’re very far down the road to pretty much finding an excuse for every sin that comes along. If we were a moral people then what would be flustering us is not that Hillary wasn’t indicted, but that she lied (a sin, you see?) and isn’t sorry for it. True, she should be indicted but that is hardly the point – she should feel ashamed. Everyone who has been boosting her chances for the Presidency should also feel ashamed (and betrayed). We shouldn’t be talking about whether or not the prosecutor blew the case, but why the issue had to go beyond the moment we discovered (and this was quite a long while back) that Hillary had deliberately lied.

Until we start being a people who call a sin a sin, and who start to feel shame when we sin, or see others sin, then we’ll never get back to being a people who can make rational choices. We’ll just keep on going down this route – our leaders will become ever more corrupt; horrible murders and other crimes will pile up; our people will become more hate-filled, depressed and bewildered…and all because we won’t just starting saying about wrong things, “hey, that’s wrong”.

Weekend Open Thread

So, Obama can’t quite figure out what might have motivated the Dallas shooter. Well, on the plus side, at least he didn’t say the police acted stupidly.

Greens specifically invite Bernie to be their nominee. I’ve actually kind of liked Bernie on the campaign trail. Disagree with everything he says, but at least he’s been honestly saying what he wants for America. But, here’s the kicker – the Democrat party is corrupt to the bone. Oh, sure, they’ll impose the Prog stuff on America, but the bottom line is that they are merely in it for the power and wealth. An honest, dedicated Socialist would have nothing to do with them any longer…if he refuses the Green’s offer, then he’ll show himself a political hack.

Hillary says her record proves she takes national security seriously. If there was one person left in the United States who thought there was an ounce of honor in the Clintons, this should disabuse him of that notion.

Rasmussen shows Trump up 2, Reuters shows Hillary up 11. My view: I don’t think polling is going to work so well in 2016. The electorate is just as much a mess as our two major parties are.

Why, yes, Progressives will take their demands for political orthodoxy to the Church and demand compliance. What made you think otherwise? Oh, all those times they assured us that they didn’t care what we believed, they just didn’t want us to impose our views on society? Yeah – that was a lie.

A Time of Tragedy; a Time to Rise

As of this writing, we still don’t know all the facts – not about the Dallas massacre, nor the Sterling and Castile shootings. As things now stand, with what I’ve been able to learn, I’m highly doubtful of the justification for the Sterling and Castile shootings (especially in the case of Castile – if he did have a CCW, then that strongly indicates a solid citizen who tries to stay out of trouble). I’ve little doubt that the person or persons responsible for the Dallas massacre were (a) likely mentally deranged and (b) at least partially incited in their insanity by the over-heated rhetoric on police and race we’ve seen this past couple years. But everything I believe about these cases is subject to change as new facts emerge. Never pre-judge these situations…and never arrive at a hard and fast conclusion you’re vigorously defending for at least some days after the incident. You may end looking foolish and, worse, you make get so invested in your Narrative that you actually take to spreading lies to defend your position.

I don’t know what went through your hearts and minds as the events unfolded, but I got a rather sick feeling – that our nation is poised on the edge of complete disaster.

We’ve discussed this a lot lately, and I haven’t modified my views on how we got here, nor on what needs to be done to fix it. We’ve got here because dishonest people have stirred up hatred in order to advance themselves in power and wealth. To get out of this our primary focus has to be on reducing the power of government because a powerful government is a government which will be prey to whomever shouts the loudest – whomever stirs up the most hatred. No one is out there rioting in favor of being left alone to live their lives as they see fit. Riots are started by people who want someone punished; someone to pay; by people who want to garner themselves some unearned wealth and power. Riots and all manner of gutter politics are the tools of those who want Big Government to do something – either to someone or some group or for someone or some group. Reduce the power of government and you immediately reduce the scope of action for gutter politics.

The only people who can reduce the power of government are Conservatives. And so to reduce the power of government, Conservatives must gain power. To do this, Conservatives are going to have to radically rethink how they approach issues and come up with solutions which appeal to the electorate as it is. We’ve talked about that a bit, as well – and there has been dispute over what precise actions we should take. And I’m ok with that – unlike Progressives, no Conservative will ever figure he or she has the exact right answer. But we do need to change how we do business, that is a certainty. We need to find a way to lead the charge for reform – for revolutionary reform which will restore limited government, the rule of law, public decency and a sense of moral responsibility.

Right now, a lot of usual suspects on the left and right are trying to make these terrible events into mere talking points – we can’t allow that to happen. People are dying; our nation’s future is at risk. We do have to speak firmly, but not in hatred or anger. We have to listen. We have to think. We have to be merciful. It is time for Conservatives to live up to their ideals, is what I’m trying to say. Whether or not we do so determines the fate of the nation.