Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Why America is on the Brink of Civil War...

If you’d have asked me even six months ago what the chances of the United States being on the verge of a civil war I would have said probably under 1%. Today I think that number is much closer to 25% and maybe even higher.

Why is that? Simple. Democrats, media and academia…

I grew up on the Navy base on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It was a small base but there were a million things to do. Horseback riding, year round sports, a bowling alley, four pools that I can remember, game rooms, gyms, motocross, hiking, scuba diving, surfing, half a dozen outdoor movie theaters – it almost never rained! - karate tournaments and spectacular parades and midways for 4th of July. Cable TV hadn’t reached us and of course the Internet hadn’t been invented so we spent our time actually doing things… I loved virtually every minute of it, but despite being in something close to nirvana, there were people who hated it and were miserable.  We find what we're looking for.   

We often get out of life what we are expecting... are you a glass half full or a glass half empty person?  This question explains why America is at the brink of civil war.

We look around and see people burning down our cities, destroying public and private property, disrupting life for millions of Americans who are simply trying to go to work, eat their lunch or shop at a mall. We see people chanting “F the Police”, “No justice, No Peace” holding up “Black Lives Mater” signs and calling everyone and anyone who doesn’t agree with them racists. We see in New York, LA and countless other cities thugs shooting cops, beating civilians and feeling entitled to do so the whole time.

How did we get here? Very simple. We’ve had decades of the Democrat / Media / Academia Industrial Complex telling Americans that the country is racist. That Republicans don’t care about the poor. That Christians are homophobic. That whites have privilege. That America is rife with systematic racism. That cops hunt down and kill unarmed innocent black males with impunity. And of course that if you are a person of color you have no control over your life and the system will not allow you to succeed, regardless of the hard work you put in, the education you achieve or the virtuous life you lead.  In essence they have been proffering the notion that not only is the glass half empty... but that the other guy took your glass and poured half your water into his glass and then poisoned what's left in yours.  

It is upon this decade’s long backdrop of despicable lies that the same group, along with the Obama holdovers in DOJ, has spent the last four years telling us that Donald Trump is a racist bigot. That Donald Trump was bought and paid for by Russia. That Donald Trump is guilty of abuse of power with respect to Ukraine. That Donald Trump is a power hungry fascist who seeks to make himself king by stealing the election and disenfranchising minority voters.

Of course, none of those things are true. None of them. But that has not stopped the media, academia and the Democrats from shilling each of them, repeatedly. And the result is, you have young people – mostly young, but not all by any stretch – who today see exactly what they have been told to see, exactly what they expect to see. If you are told that you can’t succeed regardless of the life you lead, regardless of the hard work you do, then it’s not unexpected that you would want to tear down the system that has boxed you in.

The fact that all of the bile that the Democrats have been spewing for decades is not true is of no consequence. The fact that the media blatantly paints a picture that is demonstrably false 24 hours a day, seven days a week is of no consequence. The fact that leftist hack academics have rewritten American history through the perspective of their 21st century woke lenses, is of no consequence. The only thing that is of consequence is power… Democrat power. Nothing else matters. As such, if burning down cities is the cost of power, so be it. If putting targets on the backs of police is the cost of power, so be it. If undermining the basic elements of common courtesy, politeness and civic order are the cost of power, so be it. If destroying the life's work of shopkeepers and the jobs of workers trying to provide for their families are the cost of power, so be it.

What you are seeing in the streets is not protest, peaceful or otherwise. What America is experiencing is the beginning of a civil war, only one side has not yet awoken to the fact that it is involved in one. Civil wars don’t have to last long nor be bloody, but they can be, and this one might be. But it doesn’t have to be. Stopping it will take no only a firm response by police and the government, but more importantly in the long run, it means expunging from academia the anti-American fascists who have been rewriting American history as a march through hate and oppression and racism. It means discrediting and marginalizing the manipulative media cabal that proffers the “blame America first” or “America is racist” fictions as they seek to drive up temperatures. Finally it will take a party, whether it’s the GOP or some new entity, that finally stands up for the United States and embraces its history, both good and bad. They must be willing to recognize that America is indeed an imperfect place, as it has been since its founding, but that it gets better decade after decade and has done more to advance the condition of mankind than any nation in human history. They must know and be willing to say that the United States is the greatest nation in the history of human civilization and that there is more freedom here, more opportunities here and more prosperity here than anywhere on the planet. That with hard work one can make a better life for himself, for his family and his community.

Imagine what a country could do if those were the ideas that young people were being exposed to every day. Imagine if they expected to succeed… if they expected to be treated fairly… if they had gratitude for our freedoms and what others sacrificed to give it to them. Imagine they understood they are living in a time and place most people in history would have traded their souls for and millions of people risk their lives for every year.

Tell young people their lives aren't theirs, they can't succeed and racism is everywhere and they will believe it find it around every corner.  Tell them racism and other evils exist, but they live in the land of opportunity and their success is in their hands and they will succeed despite the roadblocks.   Couple that glass half full on steroids mindset with America’s bounty and the opportunities are infinite.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

What Would Jesus Have Done in Kenosha Last Week... What Would You Have Done?

Imagine that Jesus was in Kenosha last week when Jacob Blake, a man with a warrant out on him for criminal trespassing, domestic abuse and sexual assault, began threatening the very person he had previously abused. In order to keep things from getting out of hand he might have given Mr. Blake a heart attack. He might have turned Mr. Blake into The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Or he might have had Mr. Blake pull a hamstring so that he ended up wreathing on the ground not being able to move. But none of those things happened and the truth is, I’ve no idea what the Lord would have done had he been responding to the 911 call.  But I know what the police did… They shot Mr. Blake.

There is of course a bit more to the story. They didn’t just show up and start shooting. No, apparently they tried talking to him, but that didn’t work. They tazed him, twice. That didn’t work. They tried to physically restrain him. That didn’t work… at one point apparently he even had one of the three police in a headlock! They eventually pulled their guns on him and told him to stop moving. Even that didn’t work. So when he reached inside his car after being told again to stop and didn’t, they shot him.

Just as I don’t know what Jesus would have done with the 911 call, I don’t have any idea what he would have done in reaction to the shooting… but I do know what the leftist BLM and Antifa mobs did… they rioted, of course.

While we can’t know what Jesus would have done had he responded to that 911 call, we can ask what exactly would most Americans, black or white do if they were in the shoes of the policeman? You have a known violent criminal who has been fighting with you, who was not fazed by a Taser, who was noncompliant in the face of police pointing guns at him commanding him to stop, who continues to defy them and reaches into his car… The police, observing this behavior, not knowing what Blake was reaching for, possibly a gun, had to decide in an instant. Had it been a gun Blake was going for, not only could he have shot one or more of the police, he might have accidentally shot one of his 3 small children sitting in the back seat or some innocent bystanders.  What would you have done?

Should the police have waited until Blake emerged from the car with a gun pointed at them or until he had already started firing? Is that the standard we expect for police now? Wait until a criminal points a gun at you and shoots before you fire? Maybe they should they have used less lethal force instead? Like what? They tried physically restraining him and by using a Taser on him, twice! Neither worked. Should they have tried a net like gladiators used to use? Blake was undaunted and violent… so expecting him to reach into his car and pull out a candy bar or some flowers wasn’t exactly rational. The police expected something violent and fired before someone other than the criminal got hurt. What is the right alternative in this circumstance that would have guaranteed no one else – or even Jacob Blake – was hurt?

“But they didn’t have to shoot him 7 times!” or “They didn’t know what he was reaching for at the time… it could have been his keys!” Because… yeah... It’s one thing to play the Monday morning quarterback and say what should have been done or not done after the fact, but in the heat of battle… and make no mistake, for those involved that’s exactly what this was, what was the right answer in that split second, at that moment when the lives of at least three police officers, three children, numerous civilians and the suspect were on the line? Sure, someone might say, hey that’s not fair to ask us, we’re not trained to know what to do in situations like that, but the police are. That’s true… but it was clear they tried all those things they were trained to do and nothing seemed to stop Blake… but that doesn’t seem to have mattered to the rioters.

So where does appear to leave America in 2020? Do facts not matter any longer? Do circumstances not matter? Is everything literally black and white as in black vs. white? How does this comport with Martin Luther King’s hope that people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin? All anyone knew in the hours after the shooting was that a black man was shot by white cops… Full stop.  Period. Yet, chaos and violence ensued.

In today’s world of identity politics and the cult of victimization the facts no longer matter. Rational thought no longer matters. Objective reality no longer matters. The only thing that matters is the message of victimhood, the color of one’s skin or gender or whatever today's characteristic of choice, but only as it relates to traditional America and traditional American values. If a black criminal gets shot because he’s defied every non lethal attempt to subdue him, he’s a hero, regardless of the facts. If a white kid shoots three protesters in self defense he’s a white racist… regardless of the facts.

People like Nancy Pelosi, LaBron James, Mark Cuban and the entirety of the media, education and Democrat cabal have brought America to the brink of anarchy with their disregard for the truth, for objective reality and for the true and good nature of most Americans. They have embraced, manipulated and leveraged anecdotal evidence of human failings to tarnish the name of half the population and undermine the founding principles of the nation that has done more good for more people than any in human history. All in the name of Hope and Change… In reality, it is power they seek. It is obedience they seek. Fundamentally, it is fealty to their worldview they seek. Racism is no longer defined by actual racist behavior… it’s defined by whatever they say it is. Free speech no longer means actual freedom to speak your mind… no, it means you’re free to say only those things they agree with. Fair is no longer a term that can be debated based on the merits of an argument… no, alas, fair means outcomes that are aligned with the various identities of the people involved, regardless of effort or risk or ingenuity associated with the endeavor being undertaken.

Which brings us back to Kenosha. And Portland. And Seattle. And Baltimore. And Chicago. And New York. And Ferguson. America was never perfect and it never will be. But it has been the greatest nation on the planet for at least a century and has grown better decade after decade. But that’s not good enough for Pelosi, James, et al. They have a worldview of perfection as they define it and they demand it now. They are in the process of killing the goose that has laid golden eggs for 233 years. If they are allowed to win the argument today and the election in November the nation will come to resemble Kenosha far more than it does the rich enclaves that they inhabit… and the goals that they pretend they care about will end up in tatters on the floor.  More importantly, the people they profess to care about will end up as part of a system which will likely provide far fewer opportunities, far fewer freedoms, far less security and far less prosperity than the one they inhabit today. As I mentioned, I can’t speak for Jesus, but I can’t imagine that he or anyone with a functioning brain would be in favor of replacing imperfect freedom with leftist fascism… but that’s exactly where this cabal wants to take us.

Monday, August 10, 2020

30 Million Dead Americans? The Coronavirus Is Not A Hoax, But The Hysteria Surrounding It Very Much Is...

On June 6th 1944 over 250,000 American and allied personnel left from England and headed to the Normandy to face the Nazis who were entrenched along in giant fortified bunkers all along the French coast. The Nazis had control of virtually all of Europe and Operation Overlord was the Allied attempt to gain a beachhead in northern France from which they could open another front against Germany.

Once the smoke cleared on D-Day, the Allies had suffered approximately 10,000 casualties, 4,400 of which were fatalities. Those numbers are of course staggering for one day, but the truth is, relative to the anticipated casualties, those number are quite low. Prior to the invasion General Eisenhower and his staff estimated 13% of the invasion troops might die and 25% of those who landed on the beaches would end up casualties. Together those calculations suggested that during the first 24 hour period nearly 30,000 Allied soldiers and sailors would end up dead and another 24,000 would be wounded.

That’s not what happened… but it could have. And that’s the point. Despite the potential for over 50,000 dead and wounded in one day and for a failure which could have allowed Germany to make its hold on the continent permanent, Ike decided to launch Operation Overlord nonetheless… because it needed to be done. Life with a Europe ruled by Nazis was simply not feasible for the United States and her allies. And so D-Day was launched. And the rest is history.

Today while there it’s not a Nazi storm taking over Europe or America – although BLM and Antifa certainly demonstrate very similar tactics – it’s the neutron bomb of Covid 19 is. Neutron bombs of course are generally intended to leave structures standing while killing people via radiation poisoning. That is exactly what Covid 19 is doing to the American economy. Not the virus itself or course, but rather the shutdowns, quarantines, lockdowns and other government interventions.

Not that the virus is not killing people. It is. Thus far about 165,000 people in the United States. That is not a small number by any stretch, but in a country of 330 million people in which 2.5 million people die annually, it is far from a catastrophe, although for the victims and their families, it is no doubt catastrophic. On Friday the government announced that 1.8 new jobs had been created in July and that unemployment dropped to a 10.2% down from almost 14.7% in April – and up from a record low of 3.5% in December. This good news comes despite the fact that the media pillories Republican governors for opening their states while venerating Democrats who seek to keep the country locked up tighter than a drum. Despite what seems to be an economy on the mend however, the reality is, the only reason the nation is still standing is that the federal government and the FED have pumped close to $10 billion into the economy since March… much of it ending up in the stock and debt markets.

Everywhere you look, hotels, restaurants, gyms, karate classes, airlines, sports teams, convention centers, the number things that are closed or working at threadbare capacity are extraordinary. But these are only the faces we see. Behind all of these public facing businesses are millions of small businesses that provide services like, pool maintenance, janitorial services, furniture repair, painting as well as goods like bread, eggs, chairs, exercise equipment, foam fingers, bobbleheads and thousands of other things businesses use and need to survive. Those businesses employ millions of people who are today not working.

Sure, companies like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Campbell’s Soup, Netflix, Amazon and Clorox are doing fine, but they are a small fraction of the American economy. And there’s the rub. America can’t survive just buying Great Value tomato sauce and Behr paints or cleaning the kitchen with Windex when not arguing on Facebook or watching Netflix and eating Orville Redenbacher Popcorn. Small and medium sized businesses drive the American economy, representing a majority of the job creation and sustaining tens of millions of employees. The true cost of this disaster – the government shutdowns rather than the virus itself – have yet to be felt, and are likely to be felt for years to come.

The Democrat’s and media’s willingness to use this virus to keep the country closed for the purpose of harming Donald Trump is simply despicable. Unlike the Nazis in 1944, Covid 19 is not an existential threat to the country, or the world. Below is a chart from the CDC. It tracks the one week average death total in the United States going back to July 2018. The funny thing about this chart is that it shows that the number of excess deaths relative to the number of expected deaths is quite small, averaging 14.4% more deaths each week than was expected. Since February 15th the number of excess weekly deaths has averaged 8,000 above the 63,000 average expected.

For a nation with a population of 330 million people, the 165,000 people who have died represent .00005% of the population. To give you an idea of how good a job of misleading the public on the dangers of Covid 19 the media and the Democrats have done, according to a July 15 poll by Publicis Groupe (page 24), Americans on average think 9% of the population has died from Covid 19… that’s 30 million people! That’s 180 times more than the actual number who have died!

So we’ve shut the country down for a virus that Americans think has killed 30 million people when in reality it’s killed 165,000. We’ve added $10 trillion to our national debt, we’ve seen tens of thousands of businesses declare bankruptcy, we’ve watched as tens of millions of people have gone on unemployment, we’ve seen depression and suicide leap, we’ve stopped people from going to church, school and in many cases, work. And all in an attempt to keep Donald Trump from being reelected in November.

To come full circle, the United States lost 400,000 troops during WW II when the population was 140 million. That’s .002% of the population lost – mostly young men of working age – in the pursuit of fighting a real, existential threat to the country and the world. Today, America has essentially eviscerated her economy and much of her community in reaction to a virus that has killed .00005% of her population, 80% of whom were 65 and older, most with underlying health problems. The Coronavirus may be many things, but it’s far from an existential threat to the United States. Heart disease kills 4 times as many people each year and we don’t shut the country down for it. Cancer kills 3 times as many people each year and we don’t shut the country down for it. Sure, they’re not contagious, but the Flu is and it kills 1/3 to ½ as many people each year and we don’t shut the country down for it either.

The bottom line is, while the Coronavirus is not a hoax, the shutdowns, the lockdowns and the hysteria surrounding it very much are and it was perpetrated on the American people by the Democrats and their media sycophants in their willingness to sacrifice the nation for their “Orange Man Bad” psychosis.

In November voters will have the opportunity to demonstrate to these anti-American misanthropes that most Americans are not snowflakes… That most Americans understand that life involves risks, but that is the cost of building a better life for their families and their communities and yes, building a better country. Ben Franklin said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That quote, like many of Franklin’s seems to have a particular resonance in America 265 years after he uttered it. In the face of real threats Americans have demonstrated a real willingness to sacrifice for the common good. Covid 19 is not that, despite what the media and the Democrats want us to believe. Americans have had enough of this hoax of a national threat and the pernicious statists who have foisted it on the country. Hopefully they will demonstrate their displeasure in November…

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The NFL has become the No Freedom League - How Wokeness Helped Bring America to the Brink of Revolution

I grew up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before they had satellite TV. As such, on the Monday after the Super Bowl everyone on the entire base would try and get through the day without knowing who won the game. That night, after a tape of the game had been flown down from the US, we'd watch the game and be riveted to our TVs. The military TV stations weren’t allowed to show private commercials so we would all greet a Pepsi or McDonalds commercial that might slip by the censors with wondrous applause. The NFL was my passion, along with my sainted Dolphins, with Gods Bob Griese and Dan Marino at the helm. Today however, I doubt I’ll watch another NFL game and most certainly won’t spend a penny on NFL merchandise.

Why? It’s simple. The NFL, helmed by men who are ostensibly some of the smartest businessmen in America, literally helped bring America to the brink of revolution, maybe even led the way. Of course we’re talking about Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter.

The NFL, and to a lesser degree, MLB and the NBA used to be oases from which all Americans could seek refuge from the slings and arrows of daily life. Monday at the office used to be “Did you see that catch?” or “The zebras blew another one!” Since Kaepernick started his grandstanding however the conversations became more about who was kneeling, what star was lecturing America about this grievance or that and ceased to be about the excitement or pain or joy of the actual games.

In a sad irony, Charlie Daniels once wrote an anthem called “In America” where he used an NFL team to demonstrate American's unity. 

And we may have done a little bit of fighting among ourselves, 

but you outside people best leave us alone...

Cause we'll all stick together, and you can take that to the bank,

that's the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels and the yanks...

You just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I think you're gonna finally understand”

It’s almost apropos that Daniels died in the very year when it’s not outsiders who have started a revolution, but other Americans, and they were set on that course by the NFL.

Had the “geniuses” who run the NFL understood anything about America and put a stop to Kaepernick’s on field preening four years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Freedom of speech had nothing to do with anything. Kaepernick had and has every right to say what’s on his mind. The NFL however did not have to allow him to hijack their platform to trumpet it. Had they not helped him become a media darling, he probably wouldn’t have walked away from is multimillion dollar contract and become the least worthy “martyr” in the history of martyrs.

And just to be clear, it's not because they couldn't have done anything.  The NFL controls virtually every single thing about its games and programs. It choreographs everything!!! Uniform colors… check. Shirts tucked in… check. Fines for faux cellphone celebrations after a touchdown? Check. Yet somehow they weren’t able to tell players that they could not disrespect the American flag and National Anthem. They could have required standing, or required those not wanting to participate to stay in the locker room, or they could have kept all the players in the locker rooms and let the fans sing the song… But they didn’t. Instead, they allowed what would have been a flash in the pan to become a raging inferno that has the potential to turn the United States and its Constitution into ashes.  The fires and riots and attacks on police and federal buildings and America are simply the progeny of the boiling tempers fueled in part by the victim mentality emboldened by the NFL's wokeness.

Today in the United States the idea of free speech is vanishing and the NFL, by showcasing a struggling, marginal, spoiled quarterback with a chip on his shoulder helped make it so. Today in America, everything is political… science, education, healthcare and now, sadly, even sports. Sure politics in sports has been around for a while, go back to the 1968 Black Power Olympic protests or Muhammad Ali, but those were news, not everyday life.

Now politics has infested every corner of American life and you can’t help but see it everywhere from shopping to going to the movies to wedding cakes to science. Not to mention workplaces.  Up until about 2016 Americans had at least one refuge from the cancer of political rage… that was sports. Americans of different colors, of different religions of different national origins could get together and cheer for (or against) the Cowboys, the Raiders, the Patriots or the Steelers and feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves, members of the same team.  "How'd we do this weekend?" or "Where are we at this Sunday?" wasn't reserved for players or coaches... Fans were part of the team, the 12th man, they weren't just observers, they were family.  Sports made fans' differences inconsequential, even if only for as long as they were cheering together or drinking beer together or wearing the their matching Giants jerseys.

In putting politics front and center of their offerings, in letting their platforms become a cultural litmus test, in actively turning their sport into a vehicle for wokeness, the NFL has destroyed their brand as an American icon. Never again will many Americans look to it for a welcome respite from the chaos of everyday life. Never again will it have the capacity to change American life the way the Heidi Bowl did.

The NFL may continue to be a viable business for some time, but its place in history will be sealed by its engagement in wokeness. The thing about wokeness is that there are always new victims to be supported, new causes to be championed and new targets for expropriation and destruction. The geniuses who run the league shouldn’t be surprised that eventually they will be on the wrong side of some victims rights group and their businesses will be targeted, their directors will be hounded and eventually their assets will be taken, one way or another. When that happens they shouldn't be surprised that more than a few people might be whispering feelings of Schadenfreude.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

If The "Peaceful Protesters" of Antifa and BLM Really Had The Courage of Their Convictions...

For the last two months we’ve been watching as BLM and Antifa have knocked over statues, defaced monuments and churches and set fire to basically anything they can get their hands on. St. Louis had to go because he led the Crusades. Christopher Columbus has to go because he opened the door to colonizing a new world. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have to go because they owned slaves. Fredrick Douglas and Ulysses S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt and Jesus Christ had to go because… never mind.

And it’s not just statues that are under fire. There’s Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Eskimo Pies, Mrs. Butterworth and the girl from Land O' Lakes butter. There’s the NFL’s Redskins, the TV show Cops, the National Anthem, Goya foods, and basically all the police.

What started out as protests against the killing of George Floyd has metastasized into a battle against everything American, everything capitalist and anything that is not sufficiently woke.

Once can certainly appreciate those sentiments because the United States has obviously been a plague on humanity. America was built on land stolen from the Native Americans. The country had slavery from the beginning and Jim Crow laws until the 1960s. As a result, blacks are disproportionately represented in the justice system and those of European descent enjoy white privilege. Anything below a living wage is basically slave labor. College and healthcare are human rights and should not be the kinds of things that Americans should have to pay for, or the kinds of things people can make a profit off of. Some people have more money than they need while others don’t have enough to feed their families. And perhaps most of all, we elected Donald Trump as our president...

If the “peaceful protesters” who are telling us that capitalism needs to go and the United States is the problem had real principles, they would take their demands to the next level. It’s not enough to boycott Goya foods or MyPillow.com or Hobby Lobby. No, if these activists really wanted to show the world that it can do without capitalism and the United States, they should refrain from using anything that American capitalism has produced.

Twitter - Gone. Apple. Gone. Air Conditioning - Gone. Facebook- Gone. Netflix - Gone. McDonalds - Gone. Google - Gone. Cell phones - Gone. Uber - Gone. Call of Duty - Gone. Flight - Gone. Amazon - Gone. Quicksilver - Gone. Nike - Gone. Starbucks - Gone. Fortnite - Gone. Supreme - Gone. X Box - Gone. Batman - Gone. North Face - Gone. Elevators - Gone. CNN - Gone. Not to mention staples like Coke and Pepsi and McDonald's and Frito Lay and Disney and countless others.

If the goal is to tell us that capitalism is bad and should be destroyed, then doesn’t logic demand that the fruits of the imperialist, racist, sexist American capitalist system be obliterated? Isn’t using an iPhone or wearing a Supreme sweat shirt or Nike shoes the watered down equivalent of using the data from Nazi experiments on prisoners to develop new medicines?

Do these “activists” have the courage of their own convictions? Are they really ready to destroy American capitalism and everything that it’s created? If they want to burn the system down and replace it, then they should say so and start living a life without its fruits as an example to others. If their goal however is to continue to enjoy the fruits of the capitalist system but just steal the profits or take the ownership, they are not the freedom fighters they style themselves to be, they are not heroes of the downtrodden seeking to destroy the racist oppressive system of America, but rather, they are in fact simply spoiled, envious, sociopathic thieves who want to take what others have built and use it for their own purposes. They are nothing more than common criminals who covet their neighbor’s wares and seek to exercise power over them… and everyone in the country while they’re at it. George Orwell recognized this in 1984: “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Don't Look Now But The Democrats of 2020 are Eerily Similar to the Nazis of 1933...

One of the brilliant things about the United States’ founding fathers was their understanding of human nature. They understood that it is the nature of man to seek to accumulate power. It’s been that way throughout human history. The seemingly unquenchable thirst for the accumulation of power has created empires across the globe. In Africa you had the Egyptians, the Songhai and the Carthaginians. Asia had the Ming, the Han, the Mongols, and of course the Ottomans. Europe had the Greeks, Romans, and the Spanish. The Americas had the Mayans, the Aztecs and the Incas. The British eventually assembled an empire that literally circled the world.

The parts of the world that were not subsumed into giant empires were part of smaller civilizations of varying sizes that operated, in most cases, through the accumulation of power via conquest and slavery. It was usually the conflict or potential conflict with competing powers that dictated how large a nation or an empire would grow. Because, after all, it is largely a trait of men to seek to accumulate more power until prudence dictates not doing so – and even then in some cases prudence is not much of a deterrent. And that applies even more to competing powers within a state than to those between states.

Our founding fathers knew this and decided to craft a Constitution to yoke the darker nature of men. Thus we have the federal system, where states have some powers and the federal government has others. The federal government would handle most large national issues while states would handle those closer to the people.  We have a separation of federal power between three theoretically equal branches of government. Within the legislative branch – which at the time of writing was expected to be the first among equals – there is a separation between the houses, and within the houses different powerbases. The states appointed Senators and the citizens elected the Representatives. Add to all of this the staggering of terms of office and you have a vehicle that was designed to limit the powers of mobs and keep any single group from being able to play on the emotions of men and take power.

And finally of course, for the single most powerful limit on the accumulation of government power, you had the Bill of Rights which clearly articulated the rights of the people, both individual and collective, that could not be tread on by the government. Free speech, a free press, free practice of religion, the freedom of assembly, a right to be secure in their persons and homes, and most important of all, because it protects all the others, the right to bear arms.

Our Constitution, like its authors, was and is not perfect, but over the years it’s evolved to ban slavery, grant equal application of laws and to expand suffrage. What is perhaps most interesting about the American Constitution is the fact that it’s guided the country for 233 years without a standing army of enforcers. Yes, there is an army of course, but it’s not used to keep citizens in line, because there is no line to be kept in. America was, for most of its history, a nation defined by freedom. Citizens could largely go about and do and say what they wanted. They could buy land where they wanted. They could start just about any kind of business they wanted. They could worship as they wanted. They could say anything that came to their minds… although whether or not that was prudent is another matter. Americans could move from place to place without permission of the government. They could, at the end of the day exercise their freedom, and that came from the Constitution. Barack Obama accurately stated “Generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you. But it doesn't say what the state or federal government must do on your behalf.” Obama meant that as a criticism of the document, but the fact is, that is exactly why our nation has endured and our freedom has endured so long and allowed us to change the face of the world along the way.

Which brings us to America circa 2020… Virtually all of those key elements that have kept our nation and her citizens free are today under direct assault… largely by the Democrat party and their partners in the media, academia, BLM and Antifa.

The left is today using the blueprint of the Nazi party to bring America as we know it to an end. Although the Nazi party came to power legally, constitutionally in Germany in 1933, prior to that the Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung - SA) had spent a decade using violence and intimidation to cow some Germans into submission while simultaneously emboldening others to take up their cause. Once the Nazis were in power it was game over for a free Germany. The model of using the freedoms / rights afforded citizens of a nation to take control of that nation and then eviscerating those very laws and rights that allowed them to come to power in the first place can have staggering results. The Nazis took a dysfunctional post WWI Germany and turned it into an extraordinarily efficient killing machine, both of its own citizens and millions of others as it set the world on a course of war. That model of gaining power followed by death and destruction has proved highly effective in modern times from Robert Mugabe to Hugo Chavez to Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping.

And today the left is seeking to use that very model to destroy America. Not sure? Just listen to them. They want to pack the Supreme Court. They want to eliminate the Electoral College. They want to eliminate free speech. They want to take away your guns. They have no compunction about using the IRS to stifle opposition. They have no problem using the FBI to overturn a fair election. They want to defund the police. They want to expropriate your property. They seek to rewrite American history. They want to implement laws based on race. They want to decide what communities look like. They want to keep schools and churches closed. They want to obliterate science. They want to decide what art you see. And of course they want to control the means of production to save the planet from the fiction of global warming.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Make no mistake, Democrats do not decry the violence in the streets, they seek to harness it. Make no mistake, Democrats hold no love for the Constitution other than how it can be used to bring them more power. Make no mistake, the Democrats don’t care one iota about your freedom or your liberty and they will take them in a heartbeat, if you let them. And this is not a bug in their system, it’s a feature. The Democrat party in 2020 no longer has a vested interest in freedom. Their only goal is power and subjugation. “Think what we believe or you’ll be cancelled.” “Say anything we don’t like and you’ll be cancelled.” “Support our opposition and you’ll be cancelled.” Today mostly what they do is get you fired, kicked out of school and shamed on social media, but with amorphous “hate crime” legislation advancing on every front, soon there will be literally no place to hide, because words no longer mean anything so the woke can literally characterize anything as “hate”. Taken individually some may argue these are nothing like Hitler’s fascist state. Perhaps, but collectively they are as clear a portent to the future as was Mein Kampf.

The most telling thing about this situation is that it’s not actually the Democrats per se leading it. It’s the Twitter and Facebook mobs. It’s the fascists at BLM and Antifa. It’s academia and the media. The Democrats (who nonetheless agree with all of it) are too spineless to actually believe in anything other than power. They are not leading, but rather playing catch-up, trying to run to get out in front of a parade that’s already in progress and pretend they're leading it to keep the money flowing in. Once in power – i.e. having the White House and both houses of congress – they will enact every over the top progressive policy BLM and George Soros can come up with because they understand that if they are not on the bleeding edge of wokeness, the mobs will simply replace them with people who are even more hardcore.

One wonders what the reaction to all of this will be from Americans who still value liberty and freedom… will they go quietly into that not so good night or will they “cling to guns or religion” and decide to push back against the new fascism?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How the Greatest Generation Begat the Stupidest Generation and Lost America

The first half of the 20th Century was one of the most devastating in human history. The people who lived through that calamitous period are called the Greatest Generation for good reason. They came of age during the Great Depression and went on to save the world from the Nazi and Japanese tyrannies. They fought hard to save the world and later built the United States into the dominant economic and military superpower on the planet.

The thing about the Greatest Generation was that their lives were tough… with a great depression sandwiched between two world wars, life was simply brutal. So when peacetime came around, they were enthusiastic about finally being able to focus on raising their families.

They of course wanted their kids to have better lives than they did. They didn’t want their kids have to deal with the food shortages, the unemployment and the wars that they had lived through. And so they pampered their children and tried to give them good lives. The problem is, their children became spoiled brats and grew into unrepentant socialists and Communists.

America saw that play out in front of their eyes during the 1960’s and 70’s. The postwar years saw an unprecedented economic boom in the United States with jobs and incomes growing to spectacular levels. Families moved to the suburbs, cars became ubiquitous and the golden age of television was upon us. So it’s not a great surprise that when things are going fairly well, spoiled children become spoiled young adults. Which is exactly what happened. From student protests demanding universities bend to their wills to anti-war marches demanding an end to the Vietnam War (really what they wanted was to not be drafted…) to supporting terrorist groups like the Weather Underground & the Black Panthers, young people spent much of the 1960’s & 70’s protesting and demanding pretty much everything. And when they didn’t get their way, they would cause mayhem, taking over universities, rioting and occasionally setting off bombs…

If that sounds a lot like what’s going on today in the streets, it’s no coincidence. The thugs out in the streets today causing mayhem are the children of those 1960’s hippies. One might think that parents who grew up in the midst of the chaotic, anything goes 60’s and 70’s might swing somewhat in the opposite direction and raise their children with a bit more discipline than they had growing up. But that’s not what happened. Just the opposite.

The children of the 80’s and 90’s and 00’s were even more spoiled than their parents. There was virtually no war – and of course, no draft – and although there were economic hiccups along the way, the economy grew steadily from the early 80’s. Things were often comfortable… Video games, participation trophies, MTV and grade inflation… what wasn’t to like? But something was going on… the hints of today’s chaos were being sowed without anyone noticing…

It was during this time that the radical students of the 1960’s and 70’s became the professors and administrators in the colleges they had previously attacked. They became politicians and media personalities and corporate flunkies and whatever passed for journalists. They became board members of foundations and literally wrote the text books used by their fellow travelers who’d become teachers in classrooms across the country.

And so here we are today… Not surprisingly, after these hippy fans of Marx and Lenin and Castro spent decades teaching America’s youth that the United States is evil and racist to its core, the youth have little respect for anything, much less their country. But more importantly, they have no awareness of context and history and reality. That Thomas Jefferson might have been a great if flawed man… Nope. That Gone with the Wind or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn might be masterpieces of literature despite their decidedly “unwoke” themes… Nope. That St. Louis might have been in the middle of a known world war when he led the Crusades… Doesn’t matter. That men can’t actually have babies… Scoff. Ronald Reagan once said: “It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

And that is what makes the current generation of people wreaking havoc in the streets so stupid. Not because they can’t score well on the SAT, because they can – which like so much else in America these days has been watered down to almost irrelevancy – but because they refuse to see what’s right in front of them. Venezuela and Cuba are “worker’s paradises” but both are economic trainwrecks caused by socialism. Yet somehow these young people seek to take the United States down that same path. They are out in the streets protesting the death of a tiny handful of black men at the hands of police while black men kill 8,000 fellow black men every year. Activists and anarchists claim they want to remove monuments of a racist past yet they destroy statues of giants in the battle against slavery like Lincoln, Grant and Douglass. They decry capitalism but are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they live in a world of mobile phones, the Internet, Uber and Amazon that capitalism built.

That the imbecilic BLM and Antifa thugs currently seeking to erase history and destroy the country are the progeny begotten by the Greatest Generation brings to mind a quote from author G. Michael Hopf in Those Who Remain: “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” In their desire to give their children and grandchildren better lives than they had to endure, the Greatest Generation created two generations of idiots not smart enough to recognize that in the lottery of life they have been gifted the Golden Ticket.

It’s only because they’ve had life so good that they have the luxury of excoriating the country in the first place… Rather than being caught up in the many wars that crisscross Africa or living daily with the threat of starvation or the lopping off of limbs, they can craft the fiction of “institutional racism”. Rather than being shot or have tanks roll over them for speaking “Truth to power”, they can put on their Che Guevera tee shirts grab their skateboards and scream “Fuck the Police” while firebombing police stations secure in the notion that they’re unlikely to face any consequences. And on the off chance they did face the possibility of consequences for their actions, they’re confident in the notion that they’ll have an army of empty headed Hollywood and Twitter personalities ready to raise money for their defense and turn them into martyrs for the cause. They can burn the flag, blockade highways, tear down statues and vandalize churches and monuments, comfortable knowing the protections afforded by the very system they want to destroy will likely protect them from harm.

That so many Democrat politicians across the country have thrown in with and knelt down with these modern day Jacobins and sans-culottes, and allowed so much of our history to be destroyed will one day be written about as a turning point in American history. It will be the beginning of a revolution… either one in which real Americans decide to take back their history from the Stalinists running academia, the media, Silicon Valley and increasingly, “woke” corporations; or one in which the “woke” Democrats prevail in November and set about destroying the Constitution and the killing the goose that laid the golden eggs they have been eating their entire lives. One will see a free United States leading a the world as the 21st century unfolds while the other will see the world collapse into a fire of war as the world’s beacon of freedom, prosperity and strength is replaced with a fascist state wrapped around a Zimbabwe like economic disaster.  Forrest Gump said "Stupid is as stupid does" and that's exactly what the country is looking at as the progeny of the Greatest Generation destroy the very legacy that was built for them. Hell is after all, paved with good intentions. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

2020: The Year Democrats Put America on a Path to Collapse

It’s possible that 100 years from now people on this planet will look back at 2020 as the year the world began its descent into hell. Hell is what life was for most of the people who lived on earth before the United States was founded. In what might come as a surprise to many progressives, the United States did not create slavery. Slavery has existed since the beginning of mankind and was a common element of societies on every continent, including Africa. For most of human history the common experience of most people was one of poverty, subjugation, war and early death, whether they were slaves, slave owners or anyone else. This held true whether someone lived in Pharaonic Egypt, the Roman Empire, China’s Han Dynasty or even Elizabethan England, or virtually anywhere else on the planet. The average life expectancy around the world for most of human history was somewhere between 25 and 35 years old and infant mortality could be as high as 30%. Families would usually have many children because so many children never survived to adulthood.

It was into this world that the United States was born in 1776. The world did not measurably change on July 4th of 1776. On the contrary, the world stayed very much the same for many years to come. But what the establishment of the United States did, along with the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, was bring to the world the first nation in history to have at its core the principle of God given individual rights, individual freedoms and a government explicitly limited in its power. What this American experiment did was give unprecedented life to the yearning of humans to worship as they liked, to say what they felt, the freedom to life the lives they wanted to live and protect them from tyranny. (Obviously none of that applied to slaves in the new country, but at the time slavery was a common practice around the world including both Africa and Europe.) The result of this unprecedented freedom was the creation of the fertilizer that would in time become the garden from which many of the greatest advances in the history of mankind would emerge.

The year America was born 85% of the world’s population - 50% in the developed Europe - worked either directly or indirectly in farming , one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and an industry that had not significantly changed in 1,000 years. Today that number is lower virtually everywhere in the world and in the US and much of the west that number is below 5%, freeing up 80% of the population to do everything from becoming doctors, scientists, astronauts, teachers, actors, journalists, entrepreneurs and even bloggers! It was a Virginian, Cyrus McCormick, who made that possible with his invention of the mechanical reaper in 1831.

Later, far from the farm, in what is possibly the most extraordinary sequence of scientific advances in all of history, in a mere 66 years Americans went from inventing the airplane to sending men to the moon and returning them safely to earth. A mere sixty six years!

And the list of advances directly or indirectly due to the incredible opportunities in the United States is simply extraordinary. From the assembly line for cars to plastic to elevators to air conditioning to personal computers, the Internet and the smartphone, the United States has been the fertilizer from which unprecedented inventions and advances have together brought more prosperity to more people around the world than at any point in human history.  Not only are more people living more prosperous lives, but they are living longer, with the average life expectancy in the world going from 29 in 1800 to 46 in 1950 to 71 today. And just to be clear, all of the advances of the last two centuries did not originate in the United States. They did not, but American success and spirit of entrepreneurship helped inspire others around the world to make further contributions as well.

Americans have been able to make those stunning advances and many many more because of the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and our capitalist system. Today we find those two pillars that helped power the world's march to prosperity under siege. From the Communist Black Lives Movement to the Antifa fascists to their media enablers, the nation finds itself at an unprecedented precipice. In one direction sits a future empowered by opportunity and prosperity, albeit an imperfect one, where things will not be perfect, things won’t always be fair and there will be winners and losers. But progress will continue as American capitalism and entrepreneurship push forward economic advances while free discourse allows for the exchange of ideas to push forward cultural advances.

In the other direction sits an abyss of mob rule and fascism where Americans will be forced to speak with one voice or be silenced and where, in the name of fairness and equality businesses will eventually come under the control of the mob and the government, which will have morphed into one. The Constitution will be discarded like yesterday’s newspaper, and the rights and freedoms that spurred the creation of the nation in the first place will become distant memories. Religious freedom will be gone. Freedom of speech and the press will apply only to those who toe the leftist party line. The 2nd Amendment will be history and confiscation will be the order of the day. Private property will cease to exist. And while the fascist regime will not succeed in producing prosperity, it will produce an equality of sorts, but one of poverty for everyone, except of course for those who wield the reins of power. Crime, corruption and extortion will become rampant and the United States will come to resemble a third world banana republic where the common man is subject to the whims of government apparatchiks, those with money & access, and anyone with a gun.

If this sounds a little like Dante’s Inferno, it should, but one doesn’t need to go back 500 years to understand what our future looks like. We just have to look at the recent history of places like Venezuela, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, China, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, etc. Communism and its fascist twin always produce the same thing… dictatorships, failed economics and widespread death and poverty. That is the history that will be written about the United States if we allow the BLM / Antifa / mainstream media triumvirate (via their Democrat puppets) to take power in November. Barack Obama used the IRS to silence opponents prior to the 2012 election and the FBI to try and overturn Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. For Democrats like Obama and Biden, the Constitution is more a collection of suggestions than the articulation of a set of functioning rules by which they have to operate. Imagine what a Democrat empowered by the radicals burning down America’s cities and rewriting her history would be willing to do…

America as we know it won’t end on January 20th 2021 if Joe Biden wins, but it will be a far darker place and the future of failure will be imminent.  One need only look at the disastrous outcomes in places like New York, Chicago, Baltimore, LA, Detroit, Minneapolis and the dozens of other cities run into the ground by Democrats to understand what would lay ahead for the country, and frankly, much of a world without America's leadership. The only question is, will it take Democrats more or less time to destroy the United States than it took Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant to save it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Driving While Black Meme And Other Fictions Fueling The Burning of Cities

Ever since the protests of the killing of George Floyd began, the phrases “America is a racist nation”, “Institutional Racism” and “White Privilege” seem to have become ubiquitous. The sad thing – among so many others about all of this – is that these seem to be considered the end all and be all for some who are engaged in the debate. The reality that cops are 18 times more likely to be killed by a black man than they are to kill an unarmed black manDoesn’t matter. Institutional racism! The fact that the poorest 20% of Americans are more prosperous than the average EuropeanSo what! America is a racist nation. That blacks make 8% of America's millionairesObviously white privilege.

We’ve been hearing for at least the last 30 years that America needs to have a conversation about race. But how are we supposed to have such a conversation when one side is not interested in facts? How are we supposed to address real problems if rather than focus on facts and data one side only wants to focus on anecdotal evidence? For example, cops and race. one can certainly appreciate that different people have different experiences with cops. Race is no doubt one of many factors that impact how those experiences play out. But everything else does too. Everything from height to girth to behavior to dress to politeness to language and countless other variables, verbal and non verbal all play a role. Race may even be one of the major factors, but it is far from the only one or even likely the primary one. Most – though not all – of the videos we see where someone is hurt or even killed by cops, whether the person is black or white, involves some level of conflict such as resisting arrest, ignoring warnings or things of that nature. Cops can and do make mistakes, but most interactions not only don’t end up with someone dead on the sidewalk, they don’t even end up with an arrest.

Not sure about that? Here’s the data. According to the FBI, in 2015 of 250 million Americans, 53 million of them had contact with police, one half of those initiated by police the other half by citizens. Of police initiated contacts 11.2% of whites had some interaction with police, while 11.3% of blacks did. The numbers remain consistent whether the person earned $24,000 or less a year or $75,000 or more a year.

We’ve often heard about the phenomena of the extraordinary perils of “Driving while Black”. The data don’t support that charge either. The percentage of white drivers who experienced a traffic stop: 8.6%. The percentage of black drivers: 9.8%. The percentage of stopped white drivers to receive a ticket: 46.4%; black drivers: 49.9%. The percentage of white drivers who were arrested as the result of a traffic stop: .3%. The percentage of black drivers who were arrested as the result of traffic stops: .5%. What these numbers mean is that out of 1,000 white drivers, 86 could be expected to be stopped by police and 3 could expect to be arrested. Of a similar number of black drivers, 98 could expect to be stopped by police and 5 could expect to be arrested. Further, of those traffic stops, 96.1% of whites believed that police had a legitimate reason for stopping them while 94.5% of blacks did. Finally, FBI data from 2008 show that of those who had contact with police, the average number of times a white person interacted with police was 1.7 times while for blacks it was 1.6 times.

These numbers tell a vastly different story than the one being told on the streets and in the media. These numbers indicate that most Americans, regardless of color have no contact with police during any given year, and even if they did, they face a tiny chance of being arrested. The differences in being stopped by police while driving, getting a ticket or getting arrested as a result of said stops varies only slightly between races. The number of multiple contacts between police and citizens is almost identical between races and is slightly lower for blacks.

Of course any conversation on race police would include other data like the fact that black males make up 6% of the population but represent 53% of known homicide offenders and commit about 60% of robberies.  And a wider conversation would include factors such as income and wealth gaps would be part of any such discussion as well as the impact education and unwed motherhood have on poverty rates. But it's the relationship between race and police that are animating the events of today.

As such, the overarching question is, do these numbers tell a story of a nation policed by an army of inherently racist storm troopers where blacks are oppressed by virtue of the color of their skin? No they don’t. Differences in the data do exist, but they are staggeringly small… but differences exist everywhere between people of different sexes, heights, weights, skin tone, amount of acne, hair and simple beauty. Not to mention religion, education, income as well as less distinct things like assertiveness, shyness, personality and level of politeness… The cornucopia of characteristics that impact our daily lives is almost infinite and race is but one of them, and a small one at that.

At the end of the day the data indicate that there is no significant bias on the part of police contacts with citizens based on race. Certainly nothing sufficient to warrant the burning of cities and neighborhoods across the country. Given that, one has to ask, what else might be going on here?  That something else is the media’s hatred for Donald Trump and BLM and the rest of the victim industrial complex’s desire for power. For them, burning the country to the ground is just another means to their ends of extinguishing individual liberty, crushing capitalism and most of all, getting rid of Donald Trump.  That's the real story that the data tell.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Misunderstood 3/5 Compromise... the Compromise That Helped Create a Nation and 1.5 Million Black American Millionaires

America is an imperfect nation… and it has been from the beginning, as all things crafted by men.  Oft cited is the 3/5 compromise, which was indeed there at the beginning.  One hears many people say that the 3/5 compromise clearly demonstrated that America from the start felt that blacks were not thought of as fully human. Perhaps that was true of some of the Founding Fathers, but certainly not all, as many were abolitionists who pushed for such to be include in the Constitution. 

Of course outlawing slavery was a non starter with the southern states. The 3/5 compromise was, just as the name implies, a compromise.  Given that taxes and representation were based on population, the South wanted blacks to be fully counted for representation purposes but not at all for taxation purposes.  The northern states would not allow that and the 3/5 compromise was crafted where slaves were counted 3/5 for both tax and representation purposes.  The irony is, if slaves were counted as whole persons as people today wish, it would have given the slave states MORE power in Congress but given the slaves nothing more.

The choice was not a United States with slavery vs. a “pure” one without it.  The choice was a United States without slavery in the north, and anywhere from one to five with slaves in the south.  Which begs the question, would the slaves in the five southern states have been better off in a country or countries where there were no abolitionists to try and temper the growth of the institution? Would the slaves have been better off if they were in a country that did not ban the import of slaves after 20 years, which would have resulted in their becoming expendable due of the ease of replacement? Would the slaves have been better off with a free country to their north that utilized its nascent industrialization to expand to the west more quickly than the South and possibly surround it, leading the British to come in on their side (South) if war broke out? The British were loathe to support the South during the Civil War because of slavery, but might they have considered doing so if the North were a significantly stronger rival?  Indeed, would there even have been a war?  The Civil War occurred because of the potential for the expansion of slavery within the country… Had they been separate nations that war may never have happened, the Emancipation Proclamation would not have been issued and slavery could have survived for decades longer.

Lonnie Johnson - Inventor
And as for today's descendants of said slaves who claim America is a racist nation, are they not far better off than they would be had their families not been sold into slavery by their African or Arab brothers?  No doubt they are.  Blacks make up 12% of the American population but they make up 8% of the millionaires and the poorest 20% of Americans are richer than the average European.  Compare that to almost any nation on the planet and virtually everyone in America is economically better off than most people in the world, regardless of the color of their skin or their heritage.  

The bottom line is, as imperfect a document as the Constitution is and was, had not the 3/5 compromise existed, there would have never been a United States as we know it.  The chaos of warring states that scarred Europe for centuries very may have found itself expanded into North America, with all the blood and carnage that entailed… and slavery might have survived well into the 20th century as it did for much of Africa and Asia. 

Back here in the 21st century with media and academia obsessed with pointing out the nation’s imperfections, it’s no surprise so many Americans people don’t understand history and see themselves as victims.  As horrendous as slavery was in America, it was far from unique in the annals of mankind.  Indeed, upon casting off the yoke of slavery the United States became a warrior for eliminating the practice around the world.  And that is a paradigm that is at the core of the United States… Everyone, even the founders recognized that neither the nation nor its Constitution were perfect, but they put in place a foundation for the United States to evolve as circumstances warranted.  We’ve seen that in everything from the abolition of slavery to civil rights to giving women the vote to annually welcoming millions of people of different faiths, colors and nationalities into the country and granting them citizenship.

America was founded on extraordinary principles, despite the fact that foundation was not perfect.  The fact that the nation and its people  – blacks included – have thrived is a testament to those principles.  It’s one thing to stand in 2020 and recognize that there is still work to be done, but it’s another altogether to disparage the nation, what it stands for & what it’s done, and most of all the people who built it and help protect it – again, blacks included.  Perhaps some of those protesters should strike up an exchange program with some of the billions of people around the world who would jump at the chance to move to the United States if given the opportunity.  With a little perspective they might have a different take on the country whose flag, history and heroes they are disrespecting…

NOTE:  Someone I know suggested the point of this piece is "Asserting that those slaves owe us gratitude because we gave them a much better life in slavery than they would have had in their African birth countries or countries."  The actual point is one of gratitude to their ancestors for the sacrifice they made and the price they paid, and to appreciate what that sacrifice has brought them today.  It is like a Christian who is grateful for the sacrifice that Christ made, although in his case he did it willingly.  No Christian would want someone to go through what he did, but  they are grateful that because he did that 2,000 years ago, we have salvation today.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Media's Vietnam Sedition Redux: 2020

Last week I touched on this subject but I wanted to expand on it now.

There are a number of similarities between 2020 and 1968. There are riots in the streets with the National Guard being called in to try and restore order. There’s a viral pandemic and there’s a highly contested election in November.

Americans entered the long hot summer of 1968 unsure of exactly what the future held. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy left the country badly shaken. King was in many ways the spiritual Sherpa of much of the nation, seeking to lead the country to a better place vis-à-vis race, equality and freedom through peace and prayer. Kennedy was the heir to Camelot and was expected to pick up where his brother left off.

Today, Americans are similarly unsure of the future in the wake of unprecedented economic and social upheaval. Tens of millions of Americans went from employed to unemployed in a matter of weeks. Businesses across the country, big and small were shuttered almost overnight. Now, on the tail end of that economic strangulation there are millions of Americans in the streets in response to the murder of George Floyd. What started out as peaceful protests quickly became riots and looting and absolute chaos.

There is a similarity to 1968 that not many people have noticed however… it’s the Tet Offensive. Not just Tet itself, but how it and the war played themselves out in the American media. If you ask most Americans – if they know anything about the Tet Offensive at all – they probably think the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese won that campaign. They didn’t. Indeed, after initially catching the American and South Vietnamese troops off guard on the 30th of January 1968, the Americans regrouped and proceeded to win virtually every battle thereafter. Despite the fact that staggering losses suffered by the NVA and the Viet Cong they never quit. Why? Because they didn’t have to. In observing the American landscape it became clear to the Communists that they didn’t have to actually win on the ground, they only had to wait it out and the American media would do the rest. Which is exactly what happened, from Tet until the end of the war. Despite American victories across the Vietnam, the American media, with their body counts, selective reporting and sometimes outright fabrications told the American people that we were losing an unwinnable war. The media did what the enemy could not do, convince Americans that they were wrong, couldn’t win the war and in doing so ushered in worst military defeat in the nation’s history. General Giáp, the commander of the North Vietnamese forces stated that the Tet Offensive was a victory because it brought the war to the American living room and precipitated the de-escalation of the bombing, which in turn allowed them to survive a war they were losing.

In media in 2020 is a redux of 1968. By characterizing the riots, looting and violence as “mostly peaceful protests” and propagating the fiction of systematic police brutality of black Americans – see Heather MacDonald’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week about the myth of systemic police racism – they are mimicking the role they played for Giap and the Communists fifty years ago. Most Americans recognize that the country is not perfect and that police brutality does exist, as does racism, but they understand that neither is systematic or widespread. Nonetheless the mainstream media seeks to convince the American people that the chaos and brutality they see on their screens are aberrations and that those Molotov Cocktails are understandable responses to police brutality from concerned citizens simply trying to protest in peace.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are people in America who seek to loot, whether it’s after a city’s sports championship or a Facebook coordinated flashmob. There are people in America who seek violent revolution and will seize upon any premise to foment such, be it a meeting of the WTO, the Occupy Wall Street movement or the sorrowful death of George Floyd. Whether it’s looting high end shops, throwing rocks and bottles or setting police cars on fire, these thugs and anarchists have no vested interest in the nation and see the government and many of their fellow citizens as the enemy. They’d rather burn the country to the ground than actually do the work necessary to make their circumstances better in the world’s best, albeit imperfect system.

Who knew that fifty years of media and academic messages telling a generation of snowflakes that they’re victims, that they don’t control their own destinies and that America is a racist and unfair place could instill such hate for the country that has given so much opportunity to so many people of all backgrounds? The media is guilty not only of obstructing the truth about America, particularly as it relates to volatile topics of racism, oppression and opportunity, they have indoctrinated millions of Americans in the progressive fiction that their country is so fundamentally flawed that blacks and women and anyone other than white males faces a lifetime of discrimination, injustice and persecution. The reality on the ground tells a different story and is proven so each day, but that of course doesn’t really matter… General Giap would be proud.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Vietnam War Playbook Repeats Itself In American Cities...

Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize that history is being written while you are in the middle of it actually taking place. Such is I think the situation we are in the middle of today with the riots associated with the murder of George Floyd.

Probably no sentient person in the country would have condoned what we saw on that video as the breath was literally pressed out of Mr. Floyd. On the contrary, almost every single person who responded, black, white, police, civilian, politician or guy on the street expressed revulsion for the officer’s conduct. Thankfully, from the moment that video was shared, the wheels of justice were indeed turning, with all four officers being fired immediately and culminating in the primary officer being arrested within days.

Despite this, protests began, followed by looting and then riots. None of those things are surprising given the media’s glee at any opportunity to use anecdotal evidence to try and convince blacks that they are victims and that the police are out to get them.  It's all in furtherance of media / Democrat’s default narrative that America is a racist nation. Mix Black Lives Matter with the Bernie Bros of Antifa and you have a rather predictable combustible setting. Anytime you have large groups of young people who feel the government is their enemy, it's difficult to keep the Molotov Cocktails in their bottles.

None of that is new… but what is new is police chiefs and officers and mayors kneeling with and embracing protesters, as if the idea of “If we just understand their pain” will turn everything down to simmer and will bring about peaceful coexistence. I doubt it. This is a moment in time not unlike the watershed event of the capitulation of the administration of Columbia Univ. in 1968 which ushered in students taking over universities and turning American colleges into progressive propaganda factories.

If the chiefs et al think that embracing the protesters is going to bring about harmony, they will soon be disabused of such notions. While the media continues to proffer the fiction that the protests have been mostly peaceful, the reality is obviously different. For an entire week Americans have been watching blue cities across the country go up in flames, seen bottles and bricks thrown, police cars set ablaze and businesses big and small get looted and destroyed. Just last night, exactly one week since Mr. Floyd’s death, a police officer is shot in the head in Las Vegas, four officers were shot in St Louis, a car rammed into officers in Buffalo in the Bronx a cop was beaten while onlookers videotaped and egged the assailants on.

The people causing this mayhem have no interest in being heard or understood. Their goal is not a better neighborhood, city or America. They want to loot, they want to destroy, they want to cause chaos, and fundamentally, they want to start a revolution because they have no vested interest in things like private property, rule of law, capitalism and freedom.

Given the decades long endless undermining of such ideas from the media, from Democrats, and the education machinery at all levels, it’s no surprise that millions of young Americans, both black and white are happy to not only stand by and watch as their cities and the country burn, but more, they want to participate in it. This all reminds me of something I read 25 years ago in a biography by Peter G. MacDonald of North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap. In reference to the Vietnam War in general and the Tet Offensive in particular Giap said something to the effect that “We didn’t have to win the war on the ground, we only had to win over the American media and they would do the rest.” Probably not an exact quote - it's been a quarter century after all! - but the truth of his sentiments can be seen in the widespread notion at the time that the United States was defeated in the Tet Offensive. Completely wrong. After the initial surprise the North Vietnamese were not only repelled, but their army was so badly destroyed that Giap considered surrendering. But he didn’t because he didn’t have to... The American media did their job and the tide eventually turned against the war.

Today on a much different playing field the leftist media and their Democrat partners are playing the same role and but it’s not on some far off field where Americans are dying, it’s here in the United States and the enemy of freedom the media and Democrats are supporting is not some foreign army, but rather the looters and anarchists who seek to burn the place to the ground and start a real revolution. By lying about the peaceful nature of the protests, by lying about the prevalence of police brutality, by lying about America being a racist and fundamentally unjust society, they are tearing at the frayed threads that already keep young people connected to the nation and its values.  In doing so they are encouraging the destruction you see across the country today.

As Rudy Giuliani demonstrated when he saved literally thousands of black lives by simply enforcing the law, the only way to stop this chaos is to actually enforce the law and arrest or shoot if necessary the rioters who are destroying American cities and threatening the lives of police and civilians alike. Unless governors and mayors step up and decide to win this war for America's soul rather than hold hands with and tolerate the terrorists, 2020 looks like it might just be another long hot summer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Government Largess Can't Keep Economic Blood From Spilling - Particularly With Petty Fascist Autocrats in Charge

The stock market, after dropping 35% from its all time high on February 19th sits today up about 30% from its March 23 low.  Overall the S&P 500 is down a mere 14% from its apex.  Everything being equal, things must be pretty good…

Not so much.  Although the world is slowly thawing from its government imposed freeze, the truth is far less sanguine than the stock market might suggest, i.e. that this Coronavirus scare was just a minor speedbump on our economic march to prosperity and beyond…

The reality is far darker, and the only reason that’s not readily apparent is that the federal government and the fed have poured $10 trillion or so into our economy via direct payments, loans, bonds and guarantees and governments around the world have taken similar steps. 

The fact that 30 million Americans today find themselves out of work will not be quickly fixed.  Jobs are not the kinds of things you can simply switch on and off… at least not in a capitalist economy. Businesses create jobs by trying to meet market demands in hope of earning a profit.  The Coronavirus shutdown has obliterated that entire dynamic.   

Restaurants are possibly the best resource to look to in order to get a picture of what the future holds.  Why?  Because restaurants are among the most entrepreneurial aspects of the American economy and they employ fully 10% of American workers.  There are about 1,000,000 restaurants in the United States and 13,000 more open each year, while a similar number close annually.  Of those million restaurants, 70% are single unit operations, 90% employ fewer than 50 employees and 6 in 10 adults have worked in a restaurant.

So what do restaurants tell us about the future?  It doesn’t look good…

Imagine you own a restaurant.  Not a fast food chain restaurant where 70% or more of the business was drive thru even before Coronavirus hit, but a restaurant where patrons come in, look at a menu, give their orders to a waiter and then eat on the premises. 

You’ve been largely idled for much of the last two months.  You might have been able to retool a bit in order to serve some take out or delivery orders, but odds are you simply closed.

Over the years you’ve adjusted your floorplan, you’ve tweaked your menu and you’ve trained your employees to upsell everything from wine and add ons to desert and cappuccino.  All for a business that probably gives you a 3-5% net profit or twice that if you’re lucky. 

Now you’ve been closed for two months and you’re wondering where you go from here.  Even if you laid off your staff so they could collect unemployment, you were probably still paying (or trying to…) your rent, pest control, outstanding invoices and making payments on the debts you incurred to open the restaurant in the first place. If you didn’t make the payments, they didn’t just disappear; they accumulated and will be waiting to be paid once you open back up. 

Now you find yourself in a quandary.  The governor has said that you can reopen, but in doing so you must take into account social distancing, i.e. your restaurant can only operate with 25% or 50% of the customer capacity.  That means that other than less labor and food, your restaurant has to operate with outlays almost exactly where they were before the virus, but do so with only half or less of the customers and revenue, plus now there are added costs of masks, extensive cleaning operations and perhaps even disposable silverware!  For most restaurants, that’s a money losing proposition.  Even if to-go business were to pick up, there’s little chance that the additional revenue would make up for that lost business.

More important than the revenue, is the margin.  Dine in restaurants make big profits on alcohol, sodas, coffee and desserts, all things that take out customers are less likely to buy than dine in customers.

Adding to all of that, your employees, who are collecting state unemployment plus $600 a week from the federal government, are now earning twice what they earn while working for you, and may well do so for months to come.  Given the economics, many will decline the opportunity to return and lose half the income they’re currently making, which generates pressure on you to offer higher wages.  So now your formerly relatively robust 5% profit margin restaurant business has transformed into a money losing albatross. 

How can one stay in business with numbers like that?  You can’t of course… And that’s the math quandary facing businesses across the country, and of course it’s not just restaurants.  It’s hair stylists and barber shops.  It’s nail salons and massage parlors.  It’s karate classes and dance instructors.  It’s accountants and business consultants.  Its gyms and movie theaters and many other businesses.   And don’t be surprised if schools, churches, hospitals, and government agencies don’t pile on.  Sure, those aren’t businesses, but they are all buy substantial goods and services from businesses…

All of this is particularly important for small businesses because unlike big businesses who often can tap into debt or equity markets, small businesses often face high hurdles when it comes to financing.  And, small businesses (as defined by the SBA as those with under 500 employees) are the lifeblood of the American economy.  They make up 99% of all businesses, employ half the workforce, and generate 70% of all new jobs.  And they are the ones most likely to have been sidelined by this lockdown and will have the most difficult time emerging. 

While government loans and guarantees are helpful, they can’t replace customers who are not there.  They can’t replace demand that has evaporated.  They can’t keep a business in business… and they can’t do any of that for any sustained period of time.  If printing money was the solution to this problem the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe would be poster children for growth and prosperity.

Hence the divergence of the markets and main street.  Government largesse may work in the short run to keep the markets calm and the breadlines from forming, but it’s no recipe for prosperity or even economic growth.  Indeed, big businesses aren’t doing that badly under the current plan because they have legions of lobbyists who can ensure that they successfully navigate the restrictions and find the nuggets in the fine print of outlays, and Wall Street can see that.  But on Main Street, Adam Smith is coming, and he’s bringing Hell with him…

At the end of the day, all businesses depend on customers.  Customers spend money they’ve saved, earned or borrowed.  The first will eventually run out, the second can’t happen without a job and the third will soon be limited to those with pristine credit scores.  The Coronavirus lockdowns and government restrictions haven’t just killed the world's most prosperous economy since World War II, they have kneecapped the basic premise of free markets, that customers are free to buy what they want and sellers are free to sell their goods and services however they see fit.  True, we were hardly a free market before all of this, but now with government edicts about when you can open, what you can sell and how many customers you can have, we’re far closer to Karl Marx than Mr. Smith. 

There will be economic blood in the streets as America realizes that prosperity and economic growth can’t be dictated by government and that in most cases government action is a hindrance to both.  Prosperity requires entrepreneurs who are willing to risk their sweat and treasure to build something in pursuit of profit.  Economic growth requires markets that match consumer demands with businesses who can meet them.  Lockdowns and government edicts hinder both and the longer they go on and the more restrictive they are the more carnage there will be.  Business failures.  Bankruptcies.  Loan, mortgage and credit card defaults.  Tens of millions of Americans who can't find work.  And those are just the things you’ll see.  Imagine the new companies that won’t ever get out of the starting blocks.  The jobs that won’t be created.  The demand that’s simply not there…

Wall Street might imagine this Coronavirus disaster (the lockdowns, not the virus) is just a bump in the road, but it’s not.  It’s a cliff that we’ve been pushed off of, or more accurately, jumped off without much of a fight.  And it looks like the bottom below is littered with jagged rocks and glass.  Sadly we're not Road Runner in a cartoon where we can simply turn around in midair and run back onto solid ground.  It appears that we've become Wiley E. Coyote.  History will not look back favorably on the petty fascist autocrats and their delicate snowflake supporters who used a marginally dangerous virus in their march to undermine capitalism and decimate freedom and prosperity.