Monday, June 29, 2020
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.
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
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.
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|
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
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.
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
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.