Out and About on a Friday

Much argument these days on what a Conservative actually is – my two cents: a Conservative is someone who understands and believes the fundamental dogma of Original Sin. You don’t actually have to be a believer to hold this (though it’s easier if you are), but if you don’t work on the assumption that people can, even from the best of motives, get it wrong then your own policy ideas will eventually fall apart.

Trump is going to get crushed in an epic landslide – or, maybe not.

You know me – I’m not really in favor of all these late night, no-knock raids by police…but Belgium’s policy of no raids between 9pm and 5am is, well, stupid.

Georgia is debating a bill which would provide just a tiny bit of protection for those who want a conscience exemption – you know, not having to do things like hire people to work at the Church school who openly disbelieve in Church teaching and that sort of thing. Now, pay attention, Conservatives: Big Corporation is stoutly opposed to this. Big Corporation is even threatening boycotts of Georgia if the people there have the nerve to demand freedom of conscience. Big Corporation – and the so-called Capitalist system it lives in – is against us, folks. They are allied with liberals – and please let that sink deep into your heart.

Australia banned guns – and this led to the end of guns in Australia and everyone is now happy and peaceful! Just kidding – it has actually generated a violent black market in guns.

Scott Walker thinks that brokered convention will lead to a non-candidate getting the nod. I can think of at least one person I’d rather have than either Trump or Cruz. Can you? After all, if we are doomed to President Grifter, then I’d rather have us lose under an honorable banner.

Colorado’s dope industry is doing well – smoke a blunt for prosperity!


Scott Walker Does Half of What is Necessary

I always wondered if Walker’s fight with the public sector unions was, in a sense, accidental or part of a clearly conceived plan. Was he fighting them on principal because a public sector union is by nature a conspiracy against the common good, or was he just fighting them because he needed to reform Wisconsin’s budget? Well, now that he’s come out in favor of abolishing public sector unions at the federal level, I think I have my answer: Walker realized that public-sector unions are baleful.

If we are to restore a full republic in our nation, we simply must get rid of those elements which are twisting our institutions to serve particular interests. Among the many elements corrupting our government are public sector unions. And do keep in mind that it is public sector unions. Private sector unions are ok – in fact, private sector unions are good and beneficial for the most part (they, too, can become corrupt and corrupting – but when they do, they tend to destroy themselves by destroying the private sector companies they have unionized). I wouldn’t mind if 100% of private sector workers were unionized – though as a Distributist I’d prefer a more guild-like worker organization; but we’ll leave that aside from our discussion. The main thing: no problem with workers uniting to secure good pay and benefits in the private sector – massive problem with government employees getting together to work back-room deals with elected politicians. If you wonder why it is exceptionally difficult to fire an incompetent government employee; if you wonder why they are almost invariably placed on paid administrative leave when they mess up horribly; if you wonder why their pensions are so lavish that they are bankrupting cities and States – if you ever wonder about all that, then the answer to your wonder is public sector unions. By working corrupt deals with elected officials – primarily in terms of providing them with vast sums of financial and in-kind political donations – public sector unions have essentially insulated government employees from accountability.

But it goes even further than that. What is the interest of the public-sector unions? That there be as many government employees as possible and that they be as highly paid as possible regardless of the best interests of the people. Public-sector unions have a built-in preference for Big Government. There is no public issue which they will not insist requires an army of government employees, highly paid and almost impossible to get rid of. There can be no real reform of government unless public-sector unions are removed from the mix. They will fight tooth and nail – and buy as many politicians as necessary – in order to prevent even the most basic and common-sense reforms. They will fight to the last breath to preserve every government program, no matter how out-dated, worthless or entirely counter-productive it is. Public-sector unions don’t care if government programs work – they only care that they keep going, with increased budget, and more highly-paid, unionized government employees to staff them. They do not have the interests of the people in mind, at all. Concerning themselves with the needs and desires of the people is self-destructive for public sector unions – because if they did even for a moment pay heed to the needs and desires of the people, they’d have to work for reductions in the size of government, reductions in pay and benefits for government employees, reductions in the number of government employees. That would be suicidal for them.

In the absurdly unbalanced donations of the public sector unions we see this – far better than 90% of all public sector union donations go to Democrats: the party of Big Government. But the public sector unions are not the only group out there with a vested interest in Big Government. The other side of the coin is Big Corporation. Big Corporation likes Big Government for a variety of reasons. There are big government contracts to be had. There are tax breaks and subsidies to be obtained. And there is the fact that a massive regulatory State makes it very difficult for new entrants to the market to compete with the established Big Corporations. Big Corporation is a bit more even-handed in donations than the public sector unions, but their ultimate aim is roughly the same: ever more government (the only difference is that the public sector unions will work to elect Democrats ostensibly pledged to increasing taxes on Big Corporation – but in the reality, the Democrats in office will make sure that their own Big Corporation donors are taken care of via tax breaks). Between the two forces – public sector unions and Big Corporation – there is a massive force in the United States in favor of Big Government…and Big Government is the greatest threat to human life and liberty around. Big Government has to go – but it won’t go as long as powerful forces are around to protect it and expand it. Walker’s proposal to curb public sector unions is getting half the job done – now we need him (or other candidates) to tackle the other half: Big Corporation.

The 2016 election cycle has so far shaped up as an anti-establishment, populist election cycle. The people are angry and frustrated. Left and right, no one is pleased with the course of events. The rise of Trump and Sanders (and to a lesser extent Carson) is predicated upon these feelings. The Ruling Class in both parties simply does not see it – and doesn’t want to see it; likely because they know that they, the Ruling Class, are on the chopping block. The Ruling Class will work to get rid of Trump and Sanders. At this point, they are far less interested in whether or not a Democrat or a Republican wins the White House than whether or not the Ruling Class retains the White House. If the race is Trump vs Hillary then we’ll see a lot of GOP leaders running over to Hillary; if it is Bush vs Sanders, you’ll see a lot of Democrat leaders running over to Bush. Their place at the trough is at risk and they’ll fight to keep it.

As I’ve said before, Trump isn’t my guy. The only reason I’d vote for him is because all of the Democrats are functionally pro-Ruling Class. Sanders is campaigning as the outsider and Progressives are eating it up, but that is because they simply cannot intellectually understand that high income taxes and increased government just means more power for the people they don’t like. To a Progressive, high income taxes means high taxes on the Koch brothers…they don’t understand that it really means high taxes on their local plumbing contractor. They further don’t understand that a larger army of government bureaucrats means less actual money to help the poor (they don’t see that by hiring 100,000 more college educated bureaucrats at $80,000.00 per year there will be less money to help out that single mother with three kids). I’d much prefer if Bobby Jindal or Scott Walker were the GOP nominee – and I think that either one of them could do it, if they’ll take the next step: start attacking Big Corporation.

It would work to knock off Trump because for all of Trump’s populist, traitor-to-his-class rhetoric, he is of the Big Corporation element of our problem. Someone like Walker or Jindal could far more credibly attack both ends of the problem than Trump – and be far more credible in the general election against any Democrat. Hillary for obvious reasons, but even against Sanders it would work just as well: while Sanders would be out there slamming Big Corporation he wouldn’t have any real plan against them and, meanwhile, he’d be defending Big Government directly by defending public sector unions. Make the election of 2016 about the People vs the Powerful – that is what we really need.

Now, just how would an attack on Big Corporation look? An end to all subsidies. An end to all favorable tax treatment – no more special tax breaks. Either everyone in the market gets them, or no one does. An end to regulations which Big Corporation can handle, but small companies can’t. Rely on it, the people don’t like it when big, wealthy entities get special treatment – and they have been for ages in the United States. And by attacking these entities, the GOP can break forever the connection in the public mind between it and the super-rich.

The long term effect of such a fight is that if Big Corporation and public sector unions are removed from their ability to affect policy, then government reform can actually happen. We could finally start to dismantle Big Government. Not all of it, and not all at once, of course – and some parts of it are permanent (Social Security, in some form, will never go away). But those parts of it that harass the people and eat out their substance can be removed. And as Big Government crumbles, so does the modern, political left, which lives and dies by government. It is only because there is a Big Government dispensing vast sums of money to favored interests that there is a left, at all. All these people you see on the left filing lawsuits and pressuring the bureaucracy for the imposition of leftist ideology get their money, one way or another, because Big Government exists. It is not politically popular, for instance, when a leftist group sues a locality to have a cross removed from a hill outside of town…but that leftist group is a creature of Big Government; it is a tax-exempt organization, and it gets donations from Big Corporation which fund its activities. End the tax exempt status; end the special position of Big Corporation and their funding dries up…they simply aren’t there to force us to go along with their absurd views. And that is just one small example of 10,000 which can be given.

The future can be ours, if we are willing to fight the battle – and fight the whole battle, not just parts of it. A democratic republic is a wonderful thing and it simply cannot long endure if some of the people are getting special treatment, even if that special treatment is allegedly for a good cause (it never is, by the way – people doing genuine good never so much as ask for special treatment). It is a good day in America when a serious contender for the White House brings up the need to curb public sector unions – it will be a splended day in America when someone adds to that the need to curb Big Corporation.

Campaign 2016: the Extremely Silly Season

I hang around on Twitter quite a lot these days, and one thing I’ve noticed in the intense battle among the right about Trump. People are really getting nasty to each other over this subject – and it is people on both sides of the divide (though the Trump people are probably 52% of the nastiness). Here we are, well-poised to actually win the 2016 campaign, and we’re tearing each other apart.

Trump is running for Obama’s position – which isn’t actually President of the United States, but of “American Strong Man”…the guy with the pen and the phone. Sick of Obama just doing whatever he wants? Then vote for Trump – he’ll do whatever he wants, as well, but you might like some of his actions. You won’t like others, of course – but some on the left don’t like some of Obama’s…but he does get some crucial leftwing things done and without any fussing about law and the Constitution. For the Trump people, what Obama illegally did on immigration can be undone by the stroke of a pen by President Trump, and that is good enough. For a lot of extremely frustrated people on the right, this is the only way to go. Think of it like this: suppose we elect President Cruz and he submits a bill to a Republican-controlled Congress to build a 50 foot high wall on the border. Ok – and then the Democrats will filibuster and McConnell will sadly inform us there’s nothing we can do…and, at any rate, the border wall polls badly with moderates and we have a mid-term coming up in 2018, so we’d better just let the matter be…and tack on an amnesty provision to a must-pass highway spending bill. That is the sort of nonsense the Trump people see coming down the line after they work their tails off to elect a regular Republican as President. Better to go with Trump, in their thinking: he’ll just send the Army to the border and seal it off. Legal? Doesn’t matter if it’s legal – legality is whatever the President can get away with, which is just about anything because it is almost impossible to get 67 Senators to vote to convict in an impeachment trial.

For myself, I prefer our Republic – but it is rather moribund right now. It has been frozen by a century of the government simply doing what it wants. Laws are passed which have no warrant in the Constitution. Some people get prosecuted and others don’t for the same crimes depending upon political calculation. Congress abdicates it’s authority. The Courts rule based upon the judge’s desire. Both major parties are primarily devoted to the interests of their donor class. This all needs to be fixed.

For me, Trump is not the man to fix things – to be sure, this is a biased source, but Bobby Jindal laid out some of the reasons why those backing Trump may wish to reconsider:

He does not believe in limited government and he has told us that over and over. From his belief in socialized medicine to his desire for tax increases, he’s told us over and over that he’s got no problem with big top-down style government. He’s only got one real problem with Washington – that he’s not running it.

Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He believes in nothing other than himself. He’s not a liberal, he’s not a moderate, and he’s not a conservative. He’s not a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. He’s not for anything or against anything. Issues and policies and ideals are not important to him. He’s for Donald…

…if you are a conservative, it wouldn’t matter if he won. He believes in nothing, we have no idea what he would do.

Do read the whole thing. I am getting a little worried about this – both in the way the Trump supporters are so massively over-protective of their man Trump, and the way some on the right are having shrieking hissy-fits over the very concept of Trump running. Jindal goes to the heart of the matter – Trump is right about a lot of things, but he isn’t the man to bring us to a conservative America. Trump has done a great service to our nation and to our party by breaking the logjam of political correctness which has increasingly hemmed us in and forced to debate only on Progressive terms. But he won’t do what we want him to do, except perhaps by accident.

Bobby Jindal actually reduced the size of Louisiana’s government. Scott Walker gutted the basis of Progressive power by curbing the public sector unions and ending tenure in Wisconsin’s public universities. Ted Cruz has been fighting the battle for our Constitution. So has Rand Paul. Ben Carson has been articulating a fine vision for America – and he’s done very hard work to make life actually better for people in his career. In short, we have among our candidates people who will do what we want – or at least attempt to do what we want. Trump is an X Factor – we don’t know what whim will suddenly seize him once he’s in the White House…we don’t know which of his Progressive friends will convince him that some absurd, Progressive idea is great and get Trump behind it.

I’ll grant this much – if Trump wins the Republican nomination, he’ll get my vote. No matter how he does, he simply won’t do worse than Hillary – or Sanders, or Biden or whatever worn-out, has-been, Progressive political hack the Democrats dredge up for 2016. But Trump is not our best hope – we have a vast number of superbly qualified people running in our primary, and we should choose among them. Jindal has a bit more to say:

The Democrats have practically gift wrapped this election for us. It’s as if they know they’ve run the country into the ground, and they are running their worst possible candidate who is running the worst possible campaign…

That is true – and we should heed a few words of wisdom. Time to get serious about things.

Attacking the Establishment is What 2016 is All About

I see that Donald Trump got into another fracas with Megyn Kelly and now Ted Cruz has also taken exception to a Kelly line of questioning:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was seemingly unhappy with a question on immigration Tuesday night from Fox News host Megyn Kelly, telling her it was something he’d expect to be asked from a “liberal journalist.”

Kelly asked the Texas senator the same question Donald Trump faced on the cable-news network Monday.

“If you have a husband and a wife who are illegal immigrants, and they had two children here who are American citizens — would you deport all of them? Would you deport the American citizen children?” she asked.

Cruz replied that politicians should first tackle immigration by focusing on issues of bipartisan agreement, including stopping illegal immigration and “improve and streamline” legal immigration…

Kelly’s question is just the sort of MSM-Prog question we expect – from the MSM-Prog types. Fox News says it isn’t like that – but here we go. The question is a “why do you hate the children?” sort of question. It is a question which essentially boils down the entire issue to something which is (a) trivial and (b) impossible to answer in a mere “yes or no” manner. Kelly is pretty much holding here that unless Cruz (and, I guess, Trump who was asked the same sort of question by Kelly) states his opinion on whether or not the children should be deported, then he can’t talk about immigration reform. It is a typical liberal trap for conservatives – you either have to show the LIV that you hate the children or you have to anger the GOP base by getting mealy-mouthed on whether or not you’ll deport illegal immigrants. People who are concerned about illegal immigration are not primarily concerned about what we may do regarding those people who have lived here a while and have American-born children – the primary concern is whether or not we, as a nation, will control our borders, at all. Yes, the children of illegal immigrants are an issue and will have to be dealt with as we work out the ways and means of border security and immigration reform…but it isn’t the top issue. The top issue is the number of people flooding across the border today, not the number who flooded across five years ago and now have two American-born children. But, you see, if we start discussing the real issues regarding immigration, then we’ll have to do something about immigration…but if we can emote about the children then we can ignore the real problem…and Democrats and Chamber of Commerce types will get their heart’s desire: open borders.

But, this isn’t really about illegal immigration – it is about the desperate desire of the Ruling Class to get its way in spite of the will of the American people, and the desperate desire of the American people to defeat the Ruling Class. The reason why Donald Trump is surging in the GOP primary and Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primary is because people are fed up. Frank Luntz apparently needed the Establishment Fainting Couch today when he focus-grouped some GOPers and found out they despise the GOP Establishment. This came as shocking news to Luntz, but for you and me down here its old hat…because we all despise the GOP Establishment. We handed them massive victory in November of 2014 and they can’t even defund Planned Parenthood! PP is handed to them on a platter and they can do something which the base would be thrilled about…and at no political cost (the MSM would like to use such a thing to gin up “war on women” for 2016, but they wouldn’t dare because if they did, it would only bring up why PP was defunded; something the MSM has thus far prevented the LIV from learning). For those on the left, they can’t believe they had the whole government for 2 years and the White House+Senate for 6 years and all they got for it is ObamaCare: they were expecting the Progressive Paradise to arrive. We laugh at it, but they really believed Obama when he made his victory speech in 2008…they really thought that getting Obama and a Democrat Congress meant that the sea levels would start to fall. Been a bit of a disappointment, hasn’t it? And now they are told that their only choice for 2016 is a worn-out political hack who drew the lucky straw in the marriage sweepstakes? That isn’t going down any better with Democrats than Jeb Bush has with Republicans.

Trump still isn’t the man we need – but he’s going to keep leading in the polls until some GOPer out there figures out that fighting the Establishment (all of it, everywhere – even, and especially, those parts of it which claim to be on our side) is the only way to go. I think Ted Cruz has figured it out – I think that Scott Walker has partially figured it out (though his basic Establishment background is preventing him from doing it right – and he’s actually hurting himself right now by being all over the map rather than finding a point and sticking to it). Cruz doesn’t spend any time attacking Trump – there’s no point; all that does is make him more of a hero…but getting into a fight with Megyn Kelly? Good politics (I know a lot of conservatives think highly of Megyn Kelly – I’m unimpressed. I’ve never heard so much of a word out of her which indicates a deep level of thought about things…of course, I barely ever watch Fox News or, indeed, any televised news other than local stuff to catch the weather report, so maybe I’ve missed something…and if someone has a quote from Ms. Kelly which is impressive, I’m ready to hear it). Megyn Kelly is part of the Establishment – she’s the opponent. It isn’t for a GOPer to get along with her, but to challenge the basis of her lines of questioning…and so, too, with all other MSMers asking us questions, because not one of them is on our side. And the people – especially the GOP base – wants to hear that. We don’t want to know what Cruz – or anyone – will do about the children of illegal immigrants…we want to know what Cruz will do about the people flooding nearly unimpeded across our border on daily basis…and we want the reporters, if they are such, to ask the Democrats what precisely they propose to do about stopping the flow (we know they won’t – but until they do we’ll treat with monumental contempt any MSMer who presumes to ask a “gotcha” question of a GOPer on the issue).

I really haven’t the foggiest notion how this will all come out in the end – I don’t know who will win the respective party nominations, and no idea who might wind up getting elected. It could get very, very messy – even having both conventions becoming brokered as no one in either party wins a first-ballot majority (still highly unlikely – but in the 5% chance range unlikely, rather than existentially impossible, as it normally is). But from what I have read and heard, the people are just sick of this nonsense. They voted for hope and change in 2008 and all they got was business as usual, a stagnant economy and a world spinning out of control. There is no trust any longer – and as there is no trust, people will go for anyone who expresses their distrust of the Establishment. Yes, even an Establishment guy like Donald Trump – because even though he’s of it, he’s fighting it (he wouldn’t be the first Ruling Class politician in human history to eschew his own…Pericles and Caesar did it thousands of years ago in Athens and Rome). You want to keep Donald Trump out? Then don’t attack Trump – do a better job than Trump is at attacking the system.

Debate Open Thread

Carly Fiorina did very well in the early debate. She is a formidable candidate. Can you imagine a Trump/Fiorina ticket? Speaking of Trump, if he can dial down his ego, add more details to his ideas, and act presidential – he just might run away with this. This will be a fun night, well at least for us political junkies.

Out and About on a Tuesday

Biden to get in? He should. No Democrat should be on board a coronation of Hillary Clinton. It is un-American. One thing I have learned – I have some young relatives who are on the Progressive side and they despise Hillary…she’s going to have far more trouble than everyone expects.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is just soaring in the polls. I have to say that this is entirely unexpected by me. But when you look at it, you see why: the GOP base has been treated with utter contempt by the GOP Establishment. Trump is taking the base seriously and speaking to at least some of their real concerns. The GOP – if it doesn’t want Trump to hang around for quite a long time – had better figure out a way to out-Trump the Donald.

400 families are responsible for 50% of all campaign cash raised so far this year. This is what we’re ticked off about, GOP Establishment. I’m hoping that Walker or Jindal keys in on this sort of thing. Robert Reich notes the rising revolt against the Ruling Class from the Progressive point of view – pity there isn’t a Progressive out there who will actually fight the Ruling Class (no, Sanders isn’t fighting anything – all his programs call for more money and power to flow to the Ruling Class to be doled out to the good little Proles who do as they’re told…but he is talking the game of fighting, and that is why he’s drawing support away from Hillary…same way that Trump is drawing support away from Walker, Cruz and Jindal…especially Walker, who really has fought and beaten the Ruling Class). There is 65% of the vote just sitting there for any candidate who will really fight against those who are destroying this nation. We’ll see if anyone wants it.

Over at Ace, Maetenloch has a good article to read on the subject of hunting. Do keep in mind that lions, as such, are merely pests who eat cattle and, some times, humans. They have no economic value to the Africans who live near them and unless there is some economic value created for lions, the locals would probably exterminate them. Sure, tourism to go see the lions does help, but so does hunting to go kill the lions. Probably need both activities to keep the locals willing to tolerate the lions. To bring it closer to home, Nevada charges a bucket of money for the privilege of hunting a Big Horn sheep ($1,200.00 for non-residents, just for the tag!)…so few are the permits issued that if you manage to get one, it is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing. And if you fail to get a sheep in your hunt, you’re just out of luck. But the money raised by hunting has helped Nevada keep a large, healthy population of sheep in the wild.

Professor makes a post condemning the terrorist group Hamas – student fascists go after him, colleagues head for cover, professor is forced to flee campus. There are people on the left who will destroy all freedom of expression if they can…and for you Progressives out there thinking they won’t come after you, think again…when this sort of thing starts, it is those who hate the most and love oppressing the most who take the lead. You think because you’re a good, little Prog that you’re safe and only bad, old conservatives will feel the heat. Solzhenitsyn had some words for you – “you’ll never believe it until they hiss at you, ‘you’re under arrest!'”.

And, Now, Back to the Fun…

Yesterday was an experiment and it will become permanent. I spent a day away from the Internet. No Facebook, no Twitter, no reading the news. It was wonderful. I’m thinking that I’ll give up the internet for Lent. Really, boys and girls, if you don’t do it, already, then make it part of your life: unplug from time to time. The ‘net has become like the TV in 1984.


John Kerry says that Iran isn’t allowed to use the bucket of money we’re giving them for terrorist operations. I’m sure you’ll all sleep soundly tonight.

Trump really messed up on his comments about McCain. I’ve got lots of problems with McCain. I hope he draws a TEA Party challenger. I think he’s often a bit of a jerk in the demeaning way he deals with GOP base. But, no matter how you slice it, McCain is a war hero. The recent poll showing Trump leading the primary field nationwide had a little tid-bit in it for the detail-minded: the day after Trump’s insulting comment broke, his support dropped like a rock. He won’t win a single primary and he’ll never be President.

Monk Rock? Well, we Catholics are rather dangerous, transgressive outsiders these days…

Saudi’s threaten military action against Iran. So, Obama has fundamentally transformed us – it is not backwards, corrupt monarchies taking a stand for decency in the world instead of the United States.

The Democrat party has decided that writing off the elderly vote is best – Obama Administration proposes to deny self-defense rights to people on Social Security if third party’s handle their bills.

Walker up by 9 in Iowa. Walker wins Iowa, NH and SC, he’s the GOP nominee.