Open Thread

The ratings for the Oscars crashed to a new low – which makes us laugh, but it also gives me another clue that things aren’t as our MSM presents. You see, if people were really as anti-Trump and ready to punish GOPers as the MSM says, then people would have gladly tuned in to the Oscars to get their dose of Trump-trashing. That they didn’t and, indeed, stayed away by the millions, tells me that under the sound and fury, a quite implacable level of support is building for Trump and the GOP.

While the Democrats keep shouting about immigration and DACA, Trump continues to actually enforce the law. It is things like this which keep Trump’s supporters on board, in spite of an occasional verbal gaffe.

Don Surber talks up a proposed West Virginia law protecting the right to life, but it was something Surber brought up which really stood out:

West Virginia has a low abortion rate of 6 per 1,000 women (15-44) per year. The states that are lowest in the nation at 4 per 1,000 are Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Dakota.

The highest in the nation is New York at 24, but the list by Kaiser Family Foundation does not include California.

That is astonishing – on two levels: the amount of children being killed in New York, but also the amazing fact that in a world where birth control is cheap and readily available, that many yet get pregnant and then go on to have a much more expensive abortion. I leave aside the overall morality of it – of course they should just refrain from sex if they don’t want to have kids, but on a sheer level of practicality, if you are going to have the sex, why not exercise a very slight level of judgement?

Senator Flake takes time off from warning us about creeping tyranny to propose a law which would creep that tyranny right up in our grill.

Iran’s Mullah-in-Chief opines on gun control and comes to the exact same conclusion as our Progressive friends. This surprises absolutely no one.

Robert Stacy McCain points out the latest Progressive attack on free speech – in this case, intimidating the kids of a Conservative. This is wicked, but also clever…the left is telling everyone that if you cross them, they will go after those near and dear to you. This is why, by the way, we shan’t surrender the Second Amendment.

Korean girls try American barbecue

Secession: it is the answer.



They are bad! Evil! No good! Or, so we’re told – they are at tax on consumers to benefit corporations! They stifle competition! They caused the Great Depression! Yadda, yadda, yadda. I used to believe all that. Seriously. Bought it hook, line and sinker. But over the past 10-15 years, my views have modified.

Britain was the first nation to really go for free trade. They enacted it in the mid-19th century in service to the Liberal view that the freer the market, the better for everyone. There is, of course, much to be said for this: certainly the “Corn Laws” which the British Liberals got rid of were a horrible anachronism which kept food prices for the poor high just to provide a higher profit for rich landowners. But the dogmatic idea that free trade is always good is, in my view, flawed. And I think the experience of Britain proves it.

Right about the time that Britain went for free trade, it was the economic powerhouse of the world. No one could compete with British manufacturing. If you wanted something, you pretty much had to buy it from Britain. In comparison, the manufacturing capacity of the United States and Germany at the time was negligible…while nations like Russia, Japan and France didn’t even really count in the global marketplace. The introduction of free trade did seem to work. Food prices dropped like a rock as cheap, American grain flooded into the British market and Britain’s economic dominance continued for some time. Until, that is, right around the mid-1870s. At that point, the Germans and especially we Americans started to rapidly overtake Britain economically. This shifting of economic dominance was temporarily obscured by the fact that Britain remained until after World War One the financial center of the world – with vast investments, especially, in the United States, Britain’s financial dominance continued unchecked…but in things like coal and steel production, Britain was rapidly feeling the pinch of growing American and German competition. And it was competition from German and American manufacturers who were still protected by tariffs.

The United States kept high import tariffs in place from the Civil War until after World War Two. There were fluctuations, but they were vastly higher than anything we impose today. In some periods of time, ten times higher than they are today. During the time of high tariffs, the United States went from an economic backwater to the economic master of the world. Trouble is, tariffs went into bad repute in the United States because a high tariff enacted at the start of the Great Depression was blamed for deepening and lengthening that economic blight. And, truth be told, it might not have been helpful to impose that tariff at that time. But, really, I don’t think the tariff made the Depression any worse. What I honestly think people miss when discussing the Great Depression is that a combination of war and disease had knocked out of the global economy about 20-30 million young people who would have been both highly productive and who would have also greatly increased demand…no just in themselves, but in the children they would have had. That sort of hole in the economy was going to cause a major problem eventually. In 1929 it did – but years before then, Britain was already mired in Depression and Germany was only kept afloat by loans from the United States (loans made possible by the massive amount sold by the US to the Europeans during World War One).

In the end, I think it is a mixed bag, as is usual in human affairs. Dogma is for theology and not much else…and Free Trade is a dogma who’s time has come and gone, in my view. In general, you do want a free flow of goods, ideas and people. The nations who trade the most tend to do the best because of the cross-fertilization of ideas and methods which results from that trade. What our Progressive friends call “cultural appropriation” is, in reality, how people develope and expand. The more streams of ideas which flow into your nation, the better off you’re likely to be in the long run. That said, there is also the other side of it: the absolute requirement that a nation, as far as possible, remain master of it’s own destiny. It is simply asinine to think that the United States is better off if a majority of, say, our steel making capacity is outside the United States. At the end of the day, we can’t rely on anyone but ourselves…and so we must have the capacity to take care of ourselves in an emergency. And that means we have to retain sufficient productive capacity to do so – and if that means we have to ensure that some level of American production remains via Protection, then that is what we must do.

You see, the economy is not just a number…it isn’t just how much money is flowing through the land. This is especially true now that we use fake money rather than gold and silver backed currency. The economy is what we do to make a living – what we eat, wear, drive, live in. We are 317 million people and in the final analysis we must retain the ability to survive without importing a single thing if necessary. It won’t do us any good to have a bank account fat with fake money if, when a war comes, we can’t produce enough steel to build the ships and tanks we’ll need to fight and win.

We have to strike a balance between the good of having trade and the good of having the ability to take care of ourselves. There is no “right” answer here. What works may change from time to time and we have to remain flexible. To just Protect a dying business is stupid…but to Free Trade ourselves to the point where our business is dying is equally stupid. I think we need to adjust how we measure our economy – throw out the GDP measure. Let’s measure what we make, mine and grow at home. That will tell us how we’re doing. If in Year X we’re producing 10 million tons of Good A, but we find that in Year Y it has declined to 5 million tons, we should look into why. Is it happening because we’re using less of it? Or is it because we’re now importing 5 million tons of it? And then we have to ask ourselves: in any emergency, how much of this stuff do we need to produce? On the flip side, if we find we’re producing 10 million tons but consuming 20 million, we should look into whether or not our tax and regulatory policies are harming our production or whether its a matter of we’re doing all we can and just can’t meet demand via domestic production. That sort of thing will tell us what needs Protection and what needs Free Trade.

The main thing is to not lock ourselves into a Dogmatic view of these things. We need to look at this in the largest sense of what is overall best for us – not for the world; not for the bankers and the mega-corporations…but what is best for us; the people who have to make a living off the economy.

Thinking About South Africa

We noted this in the comments earlier:

White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament.

The country’s constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote on Tuesday, and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.

Mr Malema said the time for ‘reconciliation is over’. ‘Now is the time for justice,’ News24 reported.

The worst thing Europe did to Africa wasn’t colonialism – it was providing them Marx. It is amazing the applicability of Marxism – the work of a 19th century European Jew who never worked a day in his life is being used by 21 century black African to justify an act of idiocy. Basically, if you’ve got a dumb idea, just filter it through Marx and it will seem like you actually thought of something.

This will end badly – the land will be taken and mostly handed off to various cronies of those in power who won’t have the foggiest notion of how to make the land pay. The poor of South Africa won’t just remain poor, but will actually become poorer. And once you set down the path of injustice, you’re really not going to get out of it easy.

To be sure, this path of injustice was first pioneered by the white South Africans…remember, the Boers moved into the Transvaal, etc because they wanted to keep the slavery which the British Empire had abolished. Later, after gaining independence from Britain, the white South Africans erected Apartheid…which wasn’t really Apartheid because it wasn’t a set up where whites would live with whites and blacks with blacks but, rather, a mechanism where the whites could keep their cheap, black labor while denying said labor any political rights. It was pretty much a duplicate – carried to a further extreme – of the Jim Crow laws in the American South. Now there are those in South Africa who are looking for some payback…and they are suckering the poor by telling them that if the whites are expropriated, they’ll all be well off.

It is a rather sad end to it all – when Mandela was freed and Apartheid came down, I had my doubts…but then Mandela rather rose to the occasion and I hoped that a genuine, pluralist Republic would emerge in South Africa. But even early there were warning signs…those who didn’t want to forgive and forget and who were willing to stir the pot of resentment for political gain. Over time, especially since Mandela’s death, these forces have grown stronger and now appear to be firmly in the saddle in South Africa…where a corrupt ANC government is desperately looking for an expedient to justify it’s continued rule. Well, here it is: bash whitey! Whitey might, indeed, deserve some bashing and it is absurd that the white minority still owns quite so much land…but this way of race-hatred and uncompensated expropriation is the evil way to go about things. And the curious thing about evil acts is that they don’t actually work.

The thing is, it would take at least 100 years for the black population of South Africa to reach the economic level of the white population of South Africa. The cultural capital of the two groups was vastly different when Apartheid came down – for a variety of reasons, not least of which was direct, white suppression of the formation of cultural capital among South Africa’s black population. But however it got to be that way, that is the way it was…and only a great deal of time and hard work was ever going to erase the difference.

The ultimate mistake of it all – the gigantic error – was Apartheid; a system of racial oppression and exploitation. That most white South Africans today had nothing to do with erecting or maintaining that system is irrelevant. It was still the error – and errors always have to be paid for, one way or another. It would have been better paid for at the end of Apartheid by the surrender of a great deal of wealth…now it will be paid for by the seizure of that wealth. And, worse, the seizure won’t make anyone happy. It will impoverish the white population, but won’t enrich the black population. It will impel ever more extreme demands, of course…once it doesn’t work, we’ll start to see more and more racist conspiracy theories floated to explain why expropriation didn’t work…and thus more and more violence directed at the now-despised minority.

There isn’t much we, as Americans, can do about this. I can only advise white South Africans to consider moving – at least to Cape Province, but even that will probably only be a temporary expedient. Probably leaving South Africa will be the only way to be safe. It is a shame that the sins of the grandfathers will be visited upon the grandsons, but that is how the world can work, at times, when wicked people get rolling.

The State of San Francisco (and of course open thread)

I noticed this article over at American Thinker this morning and I cannot stop thinking about it. There is no better example of progressives and the ideology they embrace and it has nothing to do with bettering anyone’s life. What they have done to California is disgraceful. California is home to some of the world’s richest people, some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines and National Parks, and yet also home to 25% of the nations homeless. In fact the cost of housing in California is so high that nurses, electricians, plumbers, etc., are choosing to live out of their cars, if not exiting the State altogether as Mark recently wrote about. California is becoming the perfect example of leftism – the haves, and the have nots. As is Chicago, Baltimore, New York and nearly every other municipality governed by progressive Democrats.

They certainly believe in equality, it’s just that they consider themselves more equal than others. Look at the salaries and benefits these “big government” progressives award themselves, all the while their constituents are living out of cars and worse. The taxpayers of San Francisco County paid $675,000,000 in salaries and benefits to just 2,600 government workers (an average of over $250,000/yr), while those same administrators claim that the government does not have enough money to provide shelter to the over 12,000 homeless living on their streets. That’s who they are. And when people show you who they are – believe them. Never give up the fight.

Open Thread

Turns out, we now have a Secretary of Defense who is concerned about our war fighting capability:

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the new Pentagon policy that will remove service members who have not been deployable for a year or more is about fairly sharing the burden within the forces.

The deploy-or-leave policy includes exceptions for pregnancy and wounded warriors. Robert Wilkie, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee last week that “on any given day, about 13 to 14 percent of the force is medically unable to deploy.”

The United States has a population of around 317 million. Our active duty armed forces are just under 1.3 million. This works out to 0.54% of our population being in the military. If we nearly doubled our active forces (which we probably should, given the challenges we face), then we’d be getting to 1% in the military…this ratio of military to population means we should very easily be able to select only the very best physical and mental recruits for our armed forces. There should be no one in there other than those injured in the line of duty who isn’t in peak condition. We have the population to allow us a force of superb soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines…and that is precisely what we should have.

Democrats may be Resisting themselves into a permanent minority:

Finally there’s Mr. Trump. Even with his recent bump in the polls, he remains divisive. But he’s not the only divisive politician who will figure in this election. The most recent Politico/Morning Consult poll suggests that Nancy Pelosi has pulled off a largely unheralded achievement: In the Age of Trump, she is arguably the most unpopular politician in America.

What does that mean for impeachment? Well, in 69 House districts surveyed by the Congressional Leadership Fund (a super PAC devoted to maintaining the GOP majority), Mrs. Pelosi is underwater in every one. She is also toxic among independents.

Take California’s 10th District, held by Republican Jeff Denham. Hillary Clinton carried this district in 2016, and Mr. Trump’s approval rating is at minus four. But again, Democrats are split among eight primary contenders. And the CLF survey showed that voters in Mr. Denham’s district prefer Paul Ryan as speaker to Mrs. Pelosi by 13 points.

I’ve been saying all along that I have grave doubts that dislike of Trump would translate into a desire to have Pelosi return to the Speaker’s chair. It could happen – but only if Pelosi and the Democrats came up with an agenda that speaks to the American people. Hating Trump and wanting impeachment wasn’t going to do it…choosing illegals over Americans and demanding gun control will be millstones around the Democrats’ necks come November. I don’t know how November will come out – but in my view, it is more likely that Republicans will make gains than Democrats will take back the House.

John Kasich is, in my view, laying the groundwork for a run for President as a Democrat:

If all the sudden you couldn’t buy an AR-15, what would you lose? Would you feel your second amendment rights would be eroded? These are the things that have to be looked at and action has to happen.

Next up will be a more “nuanced” position on abortion. Thing is, he’d actually be the strongest candidate Democrats could find to run against Trump…blue collar background; successful governor; from Ohio which could make that State back into a real battleground. He’d pull all the remaining NeverTrump over to the Democrats while at the same time having huge appeal in the suburbs of the Blue cities. But, the Democrat base will reject him – the whole old, white guy thing just won’t work. If he did get the Democrat nomination, the far left would run a Third Party candidate against him.

The Israeli solution to school shootings:

When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

It is an approach that the Americans should take to end the constant slaughter of innocents.

San Francisco, the Progressive paradise:

As the Investigative Unit photographed nearly a dozen hypodermic needles scattered across one block, a group of preschool students happened to walk by on their way to an afternoon field trip to citiy hall.

“We see poop, we see pee, we see needles, and we see trash,” said teacher Adelita Orellana. “Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversation that’s a little difficult to have with a 2-year old, but we just let them know that those things are full of germs, that they are dangerous, and they should never be touched.”

In light of the dangerous conditions, part of Orellana’s responsibilities now include teaching young children how to avoid the contamination.

This is what the left wants to bring to the whole country. They simply don’t care about the lives of the people…all they care about is their social agenda of tearing down Western Civilization. If we have to live in a world where filth-borne disease becomes once again a regular occurrence, that is a price they are willing you should pay.

Sunday Open Thread – EXONERATION!

Friday’s indictment of 13 Russians by the FBI was also an indictment on this entire fabricated collusion issue as well as a complete exoneration of President Trump and his administration. That certainly had to be an embarrassing announcement by a once venerated institution, which came on the same day it was revealed that the FBI had completely dropped the ball in the Florida school shooting. Maybe it is time to question the integrity of the “rank and file” of the FBI who the complicit agenda media has held up to such a high standard. It’s a little more than ironic that the progressive media is more than willing to question the integrity of policeman as they patrol inner city neighborhoods, but somehow the men and women of the FBI are beyond reproach? I don’t think so, and that kind of logic just exposes an agenda driven narrative. Of course that’s the only narrative the Democrats have anymore.

So what does the progressive media and the Democrats do now that their year long talking points have imploded? Why they double down on it, like Rep Jerry Nadler did yesterday:

“My reaction to the news is this is absolute proof of what we knew all along and what the president has denied, namely that we were attacked. This is a very serious attack against the United States by a hostile foreign power, an attack against our election process, our entire governing process. We know that the attack is continuing. And that our intelligence agencies tell us that it’s going to certainly continue through the next election. And the president and the Republicans in the House for that matter refuse, refuse to do anything about protecting us from an attack. Imagine if FDR had denied that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and didn’t react. That’s the equivalent.”

So 13 Russians creating fake Facebook accounts and trying to sow discord in our society is tantamount to Pearl Harbor? Is that where they are going with this? And isn’t this exactly what all progressive groups do daily? Try and sow national discord? Yes, it is, or do some people actually think that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are unifying groups. The entire Russia collusion narrative was a fabricated issue designed to cover the tracks of the unethical, and illegal activities of the Hillary Clinton campaign, which was also aided and abetted by the Obama DOJ and FBI. We also know now that the Christopher Steele did leak information to the media, who were more than willing to run with the story, and whose stories were used for corroboration of the dossier with the FISA courts, so the question now is, who in the media knew what, and when did they know it?

The next few years are going to be really interesting to see how the Democrats recover from trying to undermine our election process. Do they follow the lead of one of their more sane colleagues Joe Manchin? Or do they continue to pander to the far left extremists and follow the lead of Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Adam Schiff? I think we all know the answer to that.

On another note, has everyone been watching the Waco series? Very well done. The acting is superb and the storyline, if accurate, is disturbing. I understand the alleged crimes of polygamy, age of consent, and illegal weapons but did that really require the use of force by the ATF? David Koresh could have easily been apprehended on the many occasions that he went into town, or was on his morning jog, but the Clinton Admin. DOJ, led by Janet Reno thought otherwise and the result was horrific. Waco is a reminder of just how authoritarian leftists are, and why the second amendment is more important today than ever before. When any government tries to tell you that you don’t need guns – you definitely need guns.

An Observation About Men in Society

V the K notes what might actually help to prevent school massacres:

The best approach to ending mass murder incidents at public school seems pretty straightforward; make schools more secure. At the high school my son went to, there was only one to get into the school during school hours. You had to enter into a secure vestibule, then be buzzed into the main office by a staffer. This simple expedient, coupled with an alert staff, would have prevented what happened in Florida. It also would have worked at Sandy Hook.

This is true – but, also, a little sad. The thing about breaking the big rules is that you don’t end up with no rules, but with a lot of little rules, instead. We broke the big rules about what it means to be a man ’round about 50 years ago…and now we’re forced to enact a whole series of little rules to ensure that when the males who don’t know how to be men go nuts, fewer people will be killed and injured.

Men need to feel valued as providers and protectors. If men are not valued as such, then they will tend towards a nihilistic destructiveness. As no one was writing things down way back when, we don’t know if it was a man who cut the deal with the woman or the woman who cut the deal with the man, but the deal was struck: woman sticks loyally to the man and the man, in turn, sticks loyally with the woman…providing sustenance for their children and protection against other men. And when that deal was struck, however it was struck, for the first time a male became a man.

Yes, this does presuppose that the man, in return for doing his part, will gain a bit of authority – in Roman times, they called it pater familias. The concept was, ultimately, that if a man was to tie himself to one woman and make certain that she and all children were cared for, he was to exercise a level of authority over the family. Fair? Fair has nothing to do with it: it was what it was. It turned brutish males into civilized men who would throw their lives away in defense of wife, children and home. If you wonder at the return of the brutish male, look no further than our destruction of the idea of the man as protector and provider.

Build your security gates. Continue to drug males who won’t fit in. Jail them in ever greater numbers. Propagandize against “toxic masculinity” all you want. But unless men feel themselves to be part of a larger whole and have distinct duties and privileges attached to that, then we’ll continue to get madmen wading into our schools to kill.