Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Decline of Art in Western Culture Parallels the Decline of Everything Else

For most of western history art was used as a way for patrons to showcase achievements or propagandize citizens or lionize individuals.  Maybe the single greatest artist in human history, Michelangelo, created his greatest works for patrons of various sorts.  David he created for the Florentine Guild of Wool, the Pieta for the French ambassador to the Holy See and the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica for popes. Art was, in one way or another an homage to something greater than its creator. 

Fast-forward about three centuries and the art world begun to change.  Art as an indulgence of artists, where they would paint whatever they wanted, with or without a desire that someone would pay for it is largely a child of the late 19th century.  That’s when Impressionism, that distinctly unconventional, non traditional form or painting emerged.  In a very short period of time the world of art went from uber traditional world of Bouguereau to the anything but world of Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh.  Suddenly art was no longer a vehicle for vanity or the celebration of greatness or storytelling.  It was something else. 

In 1917 Marcel Duchamp, a French artist unveiled a urinal on a wooden box and called it “Fountain”.  A hundred years later art had “evolved” so much that a banana taped to a wall with duct tape (an actual banana… not plastic or paper mâché) would sell for $120,000 in 2019…

It is into this universe of art that we find what is supposed to be cutting edge and courageous, in the form of the Pietà by German designer Harald Glööckler.  The revisualization of the classic piece features a tattooed Christ and a trans Mary.  And what’s courageous about this piece?  It stands up to those vicious, hateful… Christians. 

In the cacophony of 2023, while there are other issues that are of far more import than this, this one might be a bit illustrative. 

Having the “courage” to stand up to Christians and defile Christian traditions and symbols doesn’t actually require any courage… because there’s no danger of anything bad actually happening besides some chastising words from a few of the offended.  No one is going to issue death threats against you, no one is going to put a bounty on your head, mobs of people aren’t going to start riots and kill others because of you, as was shown in 1986 with The Holy Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili and 1987 with Piss Christ, by Andres Serrano. Of course there is another religion where that’s exactly what happens if one were to criticize it or its symbols… but of course those “courageous” artists aren’t assailing that religion.

This is a symbol of the bizarro world we find ourselves living in.  Other things that are counted as courageous today include a man announcing that he’s a woman, flaunting one’s morbid obesity in public or wrapping oneself in the flag of victimization for being black or gay or some other category. 

None of those things takes courage in 2023 America where being anything but a patriotic heterosexual Christian white male accords hero worship. It doesn’t take courage to assail someone or something where there is no threat of consequences. 

Heterosexual Christian white males built most (but not all) of the world we live in today.  It’s far from perfect, but no time or place in history has been perfect.  But it’s not their DNA that somehow makes them better citizens or better people. No, it’s the culture they built.

We’re told that somehow western culture is bad because it was not crafted by a multicultural collective.  That makes no sense.  Virtually every culture in human history has been built by members of a single race.  There were not a lot of whites helping to craft the Mali Empire in Africa, there were not a lot of blacks at the center of the Chinese Middle Kingdom, not a lot of yellow people helping to build the Inca Empire and there weren’t a lot of brown people helping to build Russia or the Russian Empire. No, most of human history has been dominated by monochromatic empires, nations and cultures.

It just happens to be the case that on Earth’s competitive landscape the culture built and developed by straight, Christian white males is the one that has generated the greatest increases in freedom, technology and prosperity in human history.  And it’s not even close.  But because not everyone has shared equally in the material gains from that culture, it must be destroyed…

Because that culture largely focuses on meritocracy, accountability, individual liberty and limited government rather than coercion from above, people who have yet to achieve their desired goals have the opportunity to criticize it with impunity, something they cannot do in most other parts of the world and couldn’t have done throughout most of human history virtually everywhere. Yet without the threat of consequence they often call themselves courageous. 

Western civilization, the driver of said unprecedented levels of freedom and prosperity and opportunity in all of human history, today finds itself under attack by those who have migrated to it, have invaded it or whose ancestors were brought to it, because they’ve not achieved their desired goals. This, despite the fact that conditions back wherever they or their ancestors left from are likely far worse than they are anywhere in the west.  But no matter.  These “protesters” use the freedoms accorded by western culture to attack it.  That’s a problem. No culture can survive if there are no shared values.  No culture can survive if citizens don’t have at least a common appreciation for the nations’ fundamental culture and assume it to be a good thing.   

Here at home, if those criticizing America were just a few outliers there would be no problem.  A strong nation can withstand critique, even from within, and that’s why we have a 1st Amendment.  The problem in 2023 however is that fully half of the country has been brainwashed into believing that the bedrock principles upon which America is based are somehow evil, corrupt or illegitimate.  They got that way because one of the two main political parties has proffered that lie for decades and enlisted its fellow fabulists in the media, academia and the government to reinforce it.

That is simply not sustainable. Like the movement of art from the classical style of Botticelli, Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Rubins to the self important renderings of Basquiat, Mark Rothco, Robert Mapplethorpe and Glööckler, the transition from the a nation built on universal God given fundamental rights to one based on balkanization and subjective grievances based on “equity” and victimization promises to replace something great with something absurd.  What’s more, that absurd subjective culture cannot long stand.  Just as we’ve seen with the Democrat party since the beginning of the war in Gaza, at some point groups joined by victim status can and will splinter as their various victim classes turn against one another based on the current hierarchy of victim status. 

As we march towards what will be the most consequential presidential election in American history, we might want to start suggesting to those who seek to destroy what “white heterosexual Christian males” have built that they take a look around. They’ll not find a better combination of opportunity, freedom and real equality anywhere on earth or in history, particularly as it relates to protecting minorities.  They should, unlike the Gays for Gaza buffoons we see in the streets, consider what happens to them if they actually get what they wish for. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Virginity, Failed Marriages and an Almost Perfect Government

How many people marry the first person they ever kiss or date or even have sex with? Not that many. The average age an American loses their virginity is 17 while the average age they get married is 27. Nonetheless, despite a decade in the dating pool, experiencing everything from one night stands to years of living with someone, when people finally take the plunge, half of all US marriages end up in divorce.

There are lots of things that one might take from that observation, but the thing that is most compelling is that despite their best efforts, people are not perfect. They make mistakes. After spending the first 10 years of their adult lives trying to get it right for what is arguably the most important decision of their lives, half the population still gets it wrong and asks for a “do over”. Despite all efforts to make a good decision, half the time we get it wrong. And that’s with everyone involved seeking a common goal!

So the question is: If American adults, with everyone involved seeking to do what’s best, get it wrong half the time, how does our government, with its myriad players promoting conflicting and even mutually exclusive positions, get things right almost all the time?

They don’t, but with the lack of “Do overs” we get with laws and regulations, you’d think they did.  In reality government fails at almost everything they try, but somehow they almost never step back and reevaluate.  Which makes what we’re watching with the debate around the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expires at the end of the year, so compelling.  Enacted in 2008, Section 702 allows the government to collect — without a warrant — emails, text messages and phone calls of foreigners overseas, even when they're talking to Americans.

Many in the GOP suggest it should not be reauthorized or should be neutered as they argue the Justice Department has used it as a fig leaf from behind which they could spy on Americans.  The GOP’s right, but that’s not the point.

Whatever the outcome, this is one of the few times in history that Congress – or anyone else for that matter – gets an opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of a piece of legislation and adjust accordingly.  That’s because most laws go on the books and never come off… regardless of how successful they actually are, or more likely, not.   

Take ethanol mandates… the poster child for zombie government programs that never die - regardless of the damage they do. Since the Carter administration the government has been diverting tax dollars to put ethanol into your gas tank. Initially it was intended to be a tool to help America become energy independent in the face of OPEC embargos, it then morphed into a tool to help increase gas mileage and later it became a critical element in fighting “climate change”. Now it doesn’t even do any of those dubious but theoretically positive, things. It’s simply become another failed government wealth transfer program.

Ethanol is an industry that enjoys no natural market. The only reason the ethanol market exists is because of government mandates. And who are the beneficiaries of this corporate welfare that is funded out of your pocket? You?  Of course not.  No, it’s mainly members of the farm / finance / producers cabal in the form of the Renewable Fuels Association. This ethanol boondoggle translated into a $41 billion industry in 2021 and is expected to grow to $124 billion by 2030, money that comes out of your pocket and could be spent elsewhere if it were not being, literally, set on fire.

The worst part of the entire ethanol fiasco is the fact that not only does it not achieve any of its stated – and oft changing – objectives; it actually causes a wide array of unintended consequences – none of which are good. Number one is the fact that it drives up the cost of one of the most important foodstuffs in the world, corn, the price for which has more than doubled over the last 20 years. That in turn drives up the price of virtually every other thing in the economy, from food to transportation to plastics. Then there’s the fact that ethanol damages engines and that the patchwork of ethanol standards across the country causes unnecessary price spikes and shortages. And if all of that weren’t enough, ethanol drives deforestation around the world and it starves third world populations and harms the environment too! 

But of course there are many other programs that simply fail, yet never go away.  At the top of the list are the many programs of the War on Poverty.  These various programs did nothing to solve the actual problem of poverty, but did generate more than $30 trillion of government spending over a half century and empowered an army of government bureaucrats while redistributing wealth to countless dysfunctional or fraudulent NGOs

Then there’s the plethora of other “green energy” programs besides ethanol that fail year in and year out but somehow the Department of Energy continues to fund them.  There’s Jimmy Carter’s Department of Education which has been an abysmal failure. Despite spending tens of billions of dollars annually, American student test scores have barely budged since the department was created in 1980, have been stagnant on the world stage for decades all while the  DOE focuses on resource guides for LGBTQI+ students. And we can’t forget the Border Patrol, which ostensibly exists to protect the nation’s borders but today functions more as a collection of crossing guards for the millions of illegals who walk into the country every year.

If there seems to be a theme here, there is.  The more government tries to do, the more it fails.  And not only fails, but usually makes matters worse. And here’s what makes the 702 debate so potentially intriguing, the potential for Congress to actually do its job, to evaluate how effectively the Executive Branch is spending the money it allocates, uses the power it gives them and at the end of the day, achieves the goals it lays out. 

A MAGA led Congress in 2025 should apply 702’s lessons and across the federal government.  They should propose a Constitutional Amendment that states that all federal laws have an implicit sunset provision of 10 years unless it passes each house of Congress by at least 60%. It would also stipulate that all federal regulations would sunset after 10 years, regardless of the margin of passage of the underlying law. The effect of this Amendment would be a greatly diminished the number of zombie like federal regulations that never die, regardless of their cost, efficacy or unintended consequences. Each sub 60% law would have to be re-authorized each decade.

The most obvious impact of this change would be that politicians and bureaucrats would no longer be able to spin yarns about milk and honey without any accountability. (Which is why this idea will likely never see the light of day…) At the time of reconsideration, each sub 60% bill (or every regulation) would have a decade’s worth of hard data to analyze, making it far more difficult to hoodwink the public with rosy scenarios that have no basis in reality. The beauty of this proposal is that it would force legislators and regulators to defend a law’s actual results rather than opine on its promised virtues. Given that most government programs cost more than projected, rarely work as promised, and often have significant unintended consequences, a decade should be a long enough time to inflict any law or regulation on the country and her citizens.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Western Civilization Hangs in the Balance, and it's Not Looking Good

When he embarked on his journey to discover a path to India Christopher Columbus’ lead ship was the Santa Maria. Built in 1460 it measured 62 ft with a crew of just 40, the Santa Maria would take Columbus to the New World and would change the course of human history.

Half a century earlier there was another man who sailed ships who didn’t change the course of human history. His name was Zheng He and he commanded the Chinese navy during the early 15th century. His Treasure Ships were not only larger than the Santa Maria, they were more than six times the size, measuring 440 feet long with a crew of 600. And Zheng had an armada of them at his disposal during his seven Treasure Journeys between 1405 and 1433 that took him as far away as the Red Sea and the east coast of Africa.

Zheng’s navy was by far the most powerful the world had ever seen and he used it to explore and initiate trade and tribute routes. And what did the Chinese do with this extraordinary power? Nothing. After Zheng’s death the Treasure Journeys stopped. The Chinese had traditionally been an inward looking society and after Zheng’s 30 year exploration aberration, the old tradition returned.

Why are we not speaking Chinese today? Why didn’t the Chinese conquer the world (or at least try) when they had a navy exponentially superior to anything else in the world? Why did the kingdom that gave us paper and gunpowder not go on to dominate the world of commerce or ideas? Because the Chinese had very little competition in the area of said ideas. Ruled by an emperor who was all powerful, competition in the realm of ideas was rarely tolerated in China for most of its history, nevermind flourish. What the emperor said was gospel. And the emperor said we stay home.

Similar kingdoms held dominion over wide swaths of land yet had a very limited impact on the world beyond. The Mongol empire comes to mind, which was the largest contiguous empire in human history or the countless Muslim empires, up to and including the Ottoman empire. Robust competition of ideas did not exist in those empires any more than it did in China, and indeed most of us are not speaking Mongol nor Arabic nor Turkish.

Now compare that to the west. At one point the British Empire covered a quarter of the world’s landmass and a quarter of her people. Today more people speak English than any other language on the planet. There may be a billion people speaking Chinese, but 95% of them live in China while 95% of the English speakers don’t live in England. Similarly half a billion people speak Spanish and less than 10% of them live in Spain.

Beyond that, almost every aspect of life for most people today is the result of western ideas. Cars, phones, planes, elevators, televisions, cameras, computers, MRI machines, DNA testing, heart transplants, nuclear power, space travel, fracking, movies, advanced agriculture and much much more. For all intents and purposes, the west developed the modern world. And for all of its current deprivation, it is extraordinary.

So what accounts for the difference of the impact between what the Chinese accomplished over the last thousand years and what Europe did? Simple. Competition. And, in particular, the competition of ideas.

Competition, more than any single thing, is responsible for the advances of the west. Between countries there’s been competition. Within countries there’s been competition. Within religions there’s been competition which sometimes split sides across countries and between them. And the competition was relentless, frequently resulting in bloodshed and oftentimes in war, sometimes lots of both. In addition, alliances shifted regularly between countries and within them. There was rivalry, there was espionage and of course there was betrayal and treachery.

The real competition that helped to create the world we live in evolved in the centuries following the collapse of the Roman empire. What we know of today as France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain didn’t exist then. They formed over hundreds of years of competing tribes, towns and estates that evolved into domains and then into kingdoms.

Initially chieftains would compete with one another for the loyalty of local peasants in an effort to increase their power and holdings using such incentives as more food in exchange for their labor or fealty. Those chieftains would eventually evolve into local nobility and continue to expand their lands. Later, particularly in times of more instability dukes or kings would compete for the allegiance of local nobility by offering lower taxes or more freedom than their opponents.

The reality of this can be seen in the evolution of European nations, particularly France, Italy and Germany. The ebb and flow of borders over the 1500 years since the fall of Rome has been nothing less than stunning. And each of those nations, plus Britain and Spain were the core drivers of the evolution of civilization over the last 500 years.

All of that evolution came about because of competition, whether driven by ideas, religion, or simple power. At different times over that span the French were fighting against the British, the Spanish, the Papal States, Austria, the Prussians, the Russians and more. At other times they were fighting alongside those same nations. Britain and Italy and Germany and the rest of Europe have similarly chaotic histories.

And it wasn’t just external fighting. France, like most western countries, saw vast amounts of internal strive as the landed gentry and various regions fought one another for dominance or liberation. The same holds true for religion. While Christianity dominated Europe, the reality is that it battled with Islam for dominance for centuries and at one point in the 8th century only being stopped at Poitiers in France and 900 years later at the gates of Vienna, Austria. Simultaneously Christianity battled itself bloody for the 500 years following the Reformation.

As if all of that chaos wasn’t enough, sometimes power and religion made for strange bedfellows such as when Francis I of France partnered with the Muslim Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Great in the 16th century to fight their fellow Christians the Hapsburgs who controlled much of Europe beyond France at the time.

The most obvious outcome of all of this fighting and the shifting of alliances was a competition of ideas for everything from developing improved weapons of war to advances in art and architecture to science and math. Whether it resulted in competition to build the largest cathedral or the most luxurious palace, the most accurate painting style or the most efficient gun barrel, such advances were the fertilizer that fed modern civilization. It’s no wonder that this is where the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and advances such as flight, DNA, computers, cellphones and the Internet originated. So too freedom of the press, speech, religion and free markets, resulting in widespread prosperity and freedoms never before seen in human history.

All of that hangs in the balance as western nations face the catastrophic amalgamation of the woefully uninformed left, the rapidly increasing anti-freedom Muslim populations and increasingly despotic governments willing to abandon fundamental western principles in their pursuit of power. The $64,000 question is, how do we maintain those principles while increasingly those among us detest them and technology makes it easier than ever to target and marginalize those willing to stand up for them…

Friday, November 17, 2023

A Sad Legacy of the Culture of Victimhood and Grift

For over a month we’ve seen videos exposing Hamas’s depravity. Its soldiers’ blatant disregard for human life and the seeming joy with which they carried out their depravity was disheartening.

Sadly, this kind of depravity can be found closer to home, too, where videos abound of black crime across America, with people shot, pushed in front of trains, sucker punched, beaten to a pulp, and even killed by individuals, gangs, or groups of “teens.”

In both cases, the perpetrators have an ostensible enemy at whom their anger is directed. For Hamas, it’s Jews, and for blacks, it’s whites. Apologists for both groups claim it’s the actions of the “oppressor” that caused the “victims” to react. For Hamas, it’s Jews “stealing” Palestinian lands. For blacks, it’s slavery and Jim Crow. In both cases, though, the outsized violence against bystanders demonstrates that those are just convenient justifications for evil people to gain power.

Hamas’s soldiers, while blaming Jews for everything, often target Muslims as well. They also carelessly target their weapons, striking their own people, while hiding soldiers and materials behind women and children in mosques, schools, and hospitals. When Israel retaliates and civilians die, the resulting images make great PR.

In America, even as the grifters at BLM and Antifa claim that white racism is the cause of virtually every evil, which inevitably creates black criminals who abuse whites or rob, plunder, and destroy businesses, the reality is that most of the victims of black criminals are themselves black. But that doesn’t matter to the race hustlers who use lies and deception to keep blacks and naive white liberals angry. Democrat race pimps don’t care that far more black blood is in the street because all they need is one video of a white person acting or reacting against a black person, and they’ve won the lottery, as they did with videos of Rodney King and George Floyd did.

In reality, being an oppressed minority is not necessarily a recipe for failure, as Thomas Sowell explains in Discrimination and Disparities. He discusses the relative success of various minorities around the world, including the Chinese in Southeast Asia, Jews in Eastern Europe, Indians in East Africa, Koreans in America, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, and many other groups reviled in the countries in which they live.

The reality is that American blacks and the Palestinians have both had many opportunities to achieve success and usually squandered them away.

First, the Palestinians. Up until the mid-20th century, there was no such thing as Arab Palestinians. In the 2,000 years before the pre-Christian era, the one constant in the land was a Jewish presence, whether as a nation or as a vassal of Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. After the Romans ended the Jewish nation and created a Palestinian colony, there were the Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks and, eventually, the Ottomans, and then the English.

The one constant was the Jews. Aside from Bedouins and the Druze, who have been there for several hundred years, the Arabs who identify today as Palestinians mostly drifted into the land beginning in the 1830s.

For the century preceding Israel’s establishment, much of the area was sparsely populated with towns and tribes in constant battle. In addition, the land was inhospitable, and agriculture struggled (something that changed only when Zionist Jews brought in modern farming techniques and hard work).

Jews were a majority of the population of Jerusalem as early as at least 1875—and in the late 19th century began purchasing land from the Arabs. By 1948, Jews owned 8% of the land that would become Israel, while 3.3% was in Arab hands, and 17% had been abandoned by Arabs planning on returning after Israel was eliminated. Britain owned the remaining 70%, which it took from the Ottoman Turks after WWI. The local Arabs never owned it. Thus, it’s a lie that Israel stole its land from the Arabs.

In 1924, Britain split the land in two, with British-mandate Palestine going to the Jews and Trans-Jordan (modern-day Jordan) going to the local Arabs. That didn’t stick. In 1948, after the Arabs had already gotten Trans-Jordan, the UN split British-mandate Palestine again, creating the State of Israel, which was liberally interspersed with an Arab state. The Arabs responded by attacking the newly created nation to take it all.

In 1999, Bill Clinton negotiated a treaty between the PLO and Israel that would have given the Palestinians 92% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and various concessions within Israel proper. The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, rejected it and instead launched a war against Israel. In 2005, Israel exited Gaza, removing 5,000 of its own citizens, and allowed the area to be self-governing. The citizens elected Hamas.

Since Israel exited Gaza, the world has donated over $10 billion there. Sadly, instead of spending money on building up the infrastructure and industry, Hamas put much of that money into building a “Metro” of tunnels into Israel and buying weapons to attack Israel. Imagine how different Gaza would be had its leaders spent that money building schools and viaducts, training entrepreneurs, or enhancing the agriculture industry.

But alas, they didn’t—their leaders would rather maintain the cult of victimhood as it’s far more profitable. (Just before his death in 2004, Yassir Arafat was said to have had a personal fortune of between $1 and $3 billion – stolen from the gullible Palestinians.) Hamas simply said that Israel was the enemy and was responsible for the Palestinians’ plight and then focused on war. Of course, it didn’t have to be that way. Israel built a thriving nation out of the desert. With global support and money, the Palestinians could have done the same. They chose not to.

Similarly, in the United States, slavery ended in 1865, and Jim Crow was gone by 1965, but that didn’t stop the victim industrial complex from poisoning the minds of many black Americans. For four decades, the Democrat party, the media, and America’s schools have told blacks they can’t succeed because of white racism. (This despite the fact that American blacks have incomes that exceed the average of almost every country on the planet.)

They’ve told blacks that racist whites are waiting to lynch blacks. Since at least 2008, they’ve told blacks that, because of systemic racism, they cannot succeed and aren’t responsible for their conditions or actions. Along the way, grifters like Patrisse Cullors, Ibram X. Kendi, and Barack Obama got rich. When Barack Obama was elected race relations were about the best they’d been in history. Not so much now… Imagine what America would be like today had he been a unifier and tried to empower black entrepreneurship rather than being the race pimp he was.

At home and in Israel, we’re seeing the same thing: People greedy for power and wealth tell specific groups they’re victims incapable of helping themselves, thereby turning them into drones committed to violent struggle. Then, say their alleged oppressors are subhuman beings who deserve what they get. Do all of this, and it’s no surprise that these “victims” embrace a savage mindset without empathy, making them not only willing but enthusiastic about unimaginable and routine cruelty.

While the “oppressors” are the ostensible targets, it doesn’t really matter if innocents get killed, which is exactly what we see. Hamas is sacrificing Palestinians, and blacks are killing blacks along with whites and Asians, all because they believe the lie that they’re victims and their oppressors deserve what they get. Victimhood is a bloody game but, sadly, a profitable one.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

What We are Seeing in the Streets and on Campuses is not Fringe...

Like most Americans, I was of course shocked by the vicious inhumanity that the coward terrorist group Hamas carried out in Israel three weeks ago. Unfortunately, organized evil is neither unique nor surprising. The Nazis were equally evil across Europe, as were the Japanese at Nanking and Stalin with Ukraine and Mao with his own people. Sadly, evil happens, devils exist and thankfully they are rarely celebrated.

But rarely doesn’t mean never, and the most shocking thing was not the evil perpetrated, but rather the extraordinary support it has received. Not only is Hamas’s evil finding exuberant support in places like Iran and Qatar where you might expect it, but there were tens of thousands of Muslims – and their liberal comrades – in places like New York, Detroit, and Washington out en masse vocally demonstrating their support for these monsters.  And it wasn’t just on the streets, in places like Harvard and Yale and NYU you had students and professors and organizations blaming Israel for Hamas’s inhumanity.  Even as the full extent of the carnage emerged, days after the world was able to see the barbarity of what the savages carried out, the rallies in support not only didn’t diminish, they seemed to grow.  I couldn’t help wonder what that portends for our future. 

As an American I shook my head, stunned as I watched the scenes play out. I wondered how so many people, with smiles on their non hidden faces, could cheer such evil.  How supposedly intelligent people could put their names in support of such barbarism.  My reaction to a few posts on Twitter was “Send them to Gaza”. Not that it was going to happen, but it’s one thing to cheer the beheading of babies and raping of women from five thousand miles away, it’s another thing to do so when there’s a realistic possibility of the IDF ending you.

Of course that’s not going to happen, but then I wondered to myself, what is wrong with these people and why are they allowed to do this? Before the words even formed in my head I answered my own question:  Free speech… that extraordinary thing we have which most Muslim countries don’t.

All of that led my brain to a quote that is often falsely attributed to Winston Churchill:  When Muslims are in the minority they are very concerned with minority rights, when they are in the majority there are no minority rights.” The British Bulldog may not have said that, but a look at a map of nations with Sharia law suggests the reality of it.

“But we don’t live in one of those countries” you might say, “these people are just fringe wackos.” Not so much. A 2015 poll of Muslims in America showed the following: “More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts.” It also found “nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, ‘It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.’” and “Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country.” Anyone watching the thousands of protesters in Atlanta, Chicago, and Tampa could easily see that it’s likely the numbers listed above have only grown worse – from a free republic’s perspective.

Now, support for Sharia doesn’t necessarily equate to support for the actions Hamas took last week, but a Venn Diagram would likely demonstrate a great deal of overlap. 

But then you say, “Muslims are barely 1% of the population, this can’t be a threat.” Maybe, but think about this: trans people are far fewer yet today we find ourselves in the midst of national fights about bathrooms, sports and the “medical” butchering of children. Interestingly, most of the people who support the LBGTQXYZ123 agenda also support “Palestine”, where many would likely be thrown off the top of buildings were they to actually go there.

So the question becomes, how does a pluralistic, secular state that puts value on individual liberty deal with vile ideas that are repugnant to the basic elements of the culture and those who espouse them? Is the Constitution a suicide pact that allows those who object to its foundational principles to use the document’s freedoms to take power in order to eliminate it?

In his autobiography Malcom X talks about being invited to speak at Harvard and other prestigious universities, this at the time he was spewing much of his pre enlightened anti-white racist venom. He marvels that while he was invited to speak and said things that most of the audience disagreed with, they were always courteous and usually engaged in a healthy, respectful dialogue. Contrast that with today’s conservative speakers such as Heather MacDonald, Ann Coulter or Ben Shapiro who have had events cancelled or found themselves drowned out and threatened by leftists who equate speech they don’t like with violence. Not surprisingly, a recent poll showed that 66% of college students find this acceptable while another showed that 65% of Democrats supported censoring “misinformation”.

Now, maybe this vile and public championing of hate will be a tipping point where the Democrat coalition fractures as the various victim classes it has nurtured twist themselves into pretzels trying to be good team players. I doubt it, because Democrats in toto hate America, hate freedom and most of all hate Donald Trump & MAGA and put power above everything else.

Nonetheless, what we saw over the last week causes one to stand up and take notice about those who would use our freedoms to end them for everyone else. The adage of “One man, one vote, one time.” refers to the idea of someone or some group using the democratic norms of a nation to win an election then use that victory to eviscerate freedom. Think Hitler in Germany, Chavez in Venezuela, or Erdogan in Turkey. If we’ve learned anything since the reign of Barack Obama it’s that America is not immune to the danger of political parties weaponizing government for their own purposes. Given that the people cheering on the butchers of Hamas are a core part of the Democrat coalition, we should not be too quick to dismiss them as fringe… we could all live to regret it.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The Democrats Broke the Constitution - If We Don't Use that Opening to Fix Things, The Republic is Lost

I spent much of the two months following the 2020 election arguing with Democrats who pretended that Joe Biden actually won.  Their line was: “Prove it was fraudulent”.  I couldn’t.  “There was no fraud” we were told by the media, every branch of government, academics, Democrats and the TDS afflicted GOP establishment types.  That fiction continues to this day, and the truth is, they have a point.  As of today, there is not a single court case that has established any significant coordinated effort to steal the election.  Every single case brought by Donald Trump and his compatriots either failed in court or failed to be considered by courts because of “standing” or some other technicality.

Now, however, three years later, with everything from Molly Ball’s TIME magazine boast to Mollie Hemingway’s brilliant Rigged to the poorly made but tantalizing 2000 Mules to the Twitter files, it’s as clear as day to anyone with a functioning brain that the Democrats conspired with the rest of America’s elite leftist cabal to steal the election, and succeeded. 

One might think that the clear theft of an election of the most powerful office in the world would be enough to cause a revolution in the streets, but that didn’t happen.  Indeed, when a few thousand unarmed patriots sought to force the government to at least examine the questions about said election on January 6th 2021, many ended up in gulags with their lives destroyed.

Even years later when it was clear to anyone with a pulse that elites manipulated every element of our voting system and stole the election, nothing happened.  Not only did no one go to jail for that treachery, but they were allowed to do the exact same thing two years later in Arizona, an ostensibly red state.

Arizona essentially watched in real time as its election was manipulated and the office of Governor was stolen from Kari Lake.  But here we are 11 months later and Katie Hobbs is still sitting in the Governor’s office and Kari Lake is still fighting in the courts. 

Just to the East, Tucker Carlson just interviewed Texas AG Ken Paxton, who was just acquitted of corruption charges.  Paxton discussed the problems afflicting what’s supposed to be blood red Texas.  He talked about the Speaker of a GOP dominated House being elected by Democrats, and even more treacherously, about the state’s highest criminal court – populated by Republicans – taking away his ability to investigate voter fraud, thereby leaving it to George Soros backed local AGs to do, which is scheduled to happen the day after Hell freezes over. 

All of which brings us to 2024.  It’s true that there have been no court cases that have determined that the 2020 election was stolen, but just as every American knows that OJ was guilty, every American knows that the 2020 election was stolen, even if they refuse to admit it. The problem is, corruption is designed to be hard to see and much of the government, both the investigative and judicial arms are part of the swamp that wants to keep the fraud hidden.  Proving it takes far longer than the period of time between the election and the inauguration. 

Just like the Russian collusion hoax and the Hunter Biden laptop story however, eventually the media will come around to admitting that which we all know already, that the 2020 presidential election was indeed stolen.  But just like the two aforementioned stories, the truth will not emerge until long after its release would be helpful to the American people. 

The question is, what are freedom loving, Constitution loving Americans supposed to do in a situation where the theft is happening right in front of them in real time and they’re told that what they’re seeing isn’t what’s actually going on?  Between early voting, absentee voting, vote harvesting and computer voting, America’s voting system is simply broken. Not only is it broken, but the courts, filled with activist, partisan judges offer little or no outlet to address the problem.  Indeed, even the Supreme Court offers no opportunity for fixing the problem as can be seen by its allowing Pennsylvania’s courts to change the state’s voting laws in clear violation of the US Constitution then by refusing Texas’s case based on the ludicrous grounds of “Standing”. 

Today, we are faced with the fact that regardless of what a Constitutional majority of Americans vote for, the outcome of the presidential and other elections is not up to them. America is not only no longer a Republic, we’re not even a democracy in the loose sense of the word.  America is no longer a democratic nation at all, it’s a nation managed and manipulated by a cabal of elites.  If things like what happened nationally in 2020 and in 2022 in Arizona continue, there will eventually be a civil war.  It’s only a question of time.

In 247 years ago 55 men, propelled by a tyrannical government in which they had no say but which demanded their fealty and taxed them at will, signed a document that would change the course of human history.  Today Americans find themselves with even less control than the Founding Fathers did, beholden to a tyrannical leviathan like government run by an elitist cabal that manufactures the outcomes it desires. 

Power almost never gives up power willingly, but the possibility still exists.  If Americans, win or lose can once again feel confident that their votes count and that success is based on the number of votes cast and not the number of ballots manufactured, we might be able to avert another conflagration.

How might that happen?.  Here are five simple changes that would fix this problem, but they’ll never see the light of day as Democrats have no incentive to fix the current system.

1) Make election day a national holiday.
2) Eliminate early voting.
3) Eliminate absentee ballots for anyone other than persons provably outside of their registered state on election day.
4) Eliminate electronic voting.
5) Implement universal Voter ID.

Every state should be forced to comply, regardless of what the Constitution says.  “Why that’s tyranny!!!” you say.  Maybe, but the reality is, the Constitution was already shredded by Democrats via the manufactured hysteria over Covid.  We were told that the “emergency” was sufficient to disregard the Constitution. I’d suggest that if what was basically a bad case of the flu can be considered an emergency sufficient to go ignore the Constitution, then averting a bloody civil war is at least as much of an emergency.  Unlike what we were told about the Covid threat, a civil war would actually result in the loss of millions of lives and would leave devastation in its wake like Americans have never seen.   

Of course, using the same rationale, environmentalist fascists might eventually argue that “Climate Change” is an emergency too.  They could and would make the argument and try and use it to eviscerate what’s left of the Constitution. Admittedly it’s a slippery slope, but that’s where Democrats have put us.  As they learned when Harry Reid tried a “limited” overturning of the filibuster, once something is broken, there is no such thing as “limited”.  Democrats broke our Constitution to steal an election. If we don’t do something, we will eventually become a nation of serfs in the service of lords in Washington, New York and Silicon Valley.  If ignoring that broken Constitution is what’s necessary to give citizens’ back control over their government and avert a civil war, it might be worth considering. Our Republic is already gone, the question is, can we put it back together?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

You Should Listen To The Elites Because They're Smarter Than You... Obviously

I’m a pretty average guy. My SAT was 1010, I earned a 2.7 GPA as an undergraduate and 3.0 for my MBA. Since college I’ve launched half a dozen startups, none of which, made it very far… An objective assessment might suggest my intelligence is slightly above average and my entrepreneurial capabilities somewhat below. When all is said and done, I probably balance out as basically average.

That’s troubled me for years…but probably not in the way you think. I’m not troubled that I’m basically average, I’m troubled by what I must be getting wrong vis-à-vis the world around me.

I say wrong because there’s an entire universe out there of people who are by every objective measure exponentially smarter than I am, but who think exactly the opposite of the way I do on practically every single issue. Guys like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Reid Hoffman, Pierre Omidyar, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Craig Newmark and so many more.

These guys have more money than God. They all probably scored perfect or close to it on the SATs. They’ve created companies that employ hundreds of thousands of people and generate hundreds of billions of dollars a year in revenue. They’re showcased in magazines like Forbes and Fortune, lionized on TV and are the subjects of books and movies and of course, success memes.

But somehow these guys and most like them are generally hardcore leftists. They’re animated by and put their money behind things like “Climate Change,” “DEI,” and open borders. Most supported the BLM scam and many of their companies regularly censor speech of conservatives. They support things like the Paris Climate Accords, the WHO, and were largely all in on the COVID scam. Most of all, they support Democrats who push for higher taxes, defunding the police and more government regulations, particularly on businesses.

This is where the trouble comes in. These guys are really smart. They’ve succeeded in ways few human beings ever have. They’ve become rich and powerful beyond belief. And they all did it in the United States…yet they support policies that are not only antithetical to traditional American values, but they also actively subvert the framework that allowed them to succeed in the first place.

America may be a flawed place, but it is the place where Microsoft, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, eBay, Craigslist and countless others were founded and found success. Interestingly, most of them employ large numbers of immigrants, despite their success being rooted in America, not in India, China, or Europe.

Their success was not because of government programs, regulations, or largesse. They succeeded in America because government regulation was relatively low for startups. They succeeded in America because that’s where capital came to find attractive returns. They succeeded in America because of well-trained STEM graduates who brought them a unique set of skills and experiences they couldn’t find elsewhere, because our market is the most dynamic on the planet and the most open to new ideas. And perhaps most of all, they succeeded in America because of our fundamental constitutional rights protecting private property—including intellectual property—and free speech, which foster the exchange of ideas, and because of our fundamental notion of entrepreneurship where anyone can start a business and succeed by creating something sufficiently compelling to entice consumers to freely to pay for it.

These factors don’t exist anywhere else in the world and, as a result, for 100 years, America has created more prosperity and increased the worldwide standard of living more than any nation in all of human history…and it’s not even close. And these mavens all pretend to support increasing prosperity and decreasing poverty.

However, now that they’ve found success beyond imagination thanks to the American system, they’ve decided that the fundamental rules that allowed them to prosper should no longer apply. So-called emergencies like “Climate Change,” “Institutional Racism,” “Gender Equity,” and “Global Inequality” supersede the 18th century anachronisms of the American Constitution and individual rights.

No longer can Americans be allowed to decide how to heat their homes, fuel their cars, or protect their property. No longer can they be allowed to enjoy an American-centric foreign policy or manage America’s economy in a way that empowers Americans. No longer will common miscreants be held responsible for their actions, even as those who challenge mandates are crushed. No longer will students learn objective facts or study the Western canon, but they’ll be taught to change their gender on a whim. Whether it’s algorithms controlling what Americans can say or see, regulations about what they can or must do, or what products or services they are allowed to purchase, these enlightened elites graciously inform us they are applying their intellectual brilliance to make our lives better, and so too the rest of the world. And they should know what’s best because look at how smart and successful they are.

However, these “One World” billionaires’ alleged compassion for the world’s less fortunate is pure fiction. How can you tell? Because their solutions for worldwide inequalities isn’t to encourage struggling nations to adopt the freedoms, protections, and systems that led to their success in America. Instead, they push to erase American borders while championing the policies of Communist China and the increasingly despotic EU while encouraging us to adopt edicts from tyrannical organizations like the UN and the WHO and proffered by Bond villains like Klaus Schwab at the WEF.

And thus my conundrum. If I, with my relatively limited intellectual capacity, can see as clear as day that it was America and her Constitution that drove prosperity’s march for a century and allowed these intellectual giants to succeed in spectacular fashion, how is it that most of them are hardcore leftists whose policies will kill the goose that laid the golden egg? What am I missing? Am I really that dense?

Maybe, but a better explanation might be that these guys believe themselves to be the self-anointed leaders of a new cult. This cult, which replaces traditional religion, has as its God the fiction of Nirvana on earth, which can only be accomplished through the policies of the enlightened elites from Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Washington. They know more than you do, have done more than you have, and achieved more than you have and, therefore, are much better equipped to make important decisions for the “less fortunate.”

Naturally, they may not live by or be constrained by the commandments their new religion dictates, but that’s because, while they were smart enough to navigate and survive a world fraught with free-thinking individuals and potential catastrophic failures, you’re not. You’re too busy with your “God, guns and family” to be equipped to see the big picture. Individual freedom makes for bad collective decisions they’d say, but from the elevated perspectives their intelligence and success allows, they can help you people make better decisions and avoid mistakes…

Nevermind that it’s the lessons learned from failures that often lead men to success, or that it’s often after hitting rock bottom that individuals reach their highest peaks. No, none of that matters because they know best, just ask them.

At the end of the day my SAT scores and bank account may suggest that I’m not quite as smart as those guys, but at least now I understand why…I’m a mere mortal, they’re demigods.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Donald Trump’s Mugshot and the Berlin Wall of Democrat Propaganda

The Democrats are making a final push against Donald Trump, the culmination of their unrelenting efforts since 2016. But is their propaganda becoming so obvious that, rather than persuading voters, it finally opens their eyes to reality? The Soviet Union stands as an example of how “propaganda collapse” plays out and how that might happen here, too.

I went to college back in the 1980s, when Communism was still perceived by most Americans as a bad thing—although not one of my political philosophy professors. He proudly characterized himself as “Somewhere to the left of Lenin.” When professing his love and respect for the Soviets—but not enough to leave Florida and move to Moscow— he often tried to square the circle of their military prowess and the reports in American media about their economic failings.

Thus, he pointed out that the Soviets built rockets sending men into space, built weapon systems the Pentagon told us could obliterate the West, dominated Eastern Europe, and were the power behind the Vietnamese who defeated both the French and the Americans. Given all the Soviet’s demonstrated military and technological prowess, he asked, how was it even remotely possible that they could not build washing machines or cars on par with anything produced in the West? Given that they controlled one of the greatest breadbaskets in the world, Ukraine, how could it be true that there was rampant starvation?

The professor had a ready answer: The stories about the Soviet’s economic failures were lies—propaganda produced by the CIA and segments of the capitalist American media.

And it wasn’t just economics. It was politics as well. The Soviet Union had one of the most robust constitutions in the world, he insisted, with an array of guarantees that any citizen in the West would feel comfortable with: Freedom of speech, the press, right of assembly, worship etc. The gulags of Siberia were simply more Western propaganda.

Eventually the professor’s fiction about the communist nirvana could be sustained no longer, but by that time I had graduated and was stationed in West Germany. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reality of the desolation of the East started to become clear. Indeed, the juxtaposition of the abject economic failure of the East with the prosperity of the west put the lie to everything my communist championing professor and his favorite newspaper, the NY Times, had tried to drill into our heads for years.

The fall of the Berlin Wall wasn’t the end of communism, nor even the Soviet Union, which would stand for an additional two years. But when it comes to discussing the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism in Eastern Europe, that fall is the thing that most people remember.

I’d posit that we witnessed a similarly epoch-defining event recently: Donald Trump’s mugshot. There’s nothing extraordinary about the mugshot itself, but sometimes an image is much more than just the pixels it’s made up of. What this particular image really depicts is the culmination of eight years of lies and propaganda from Democrats and the Swamp. In one picture, Americans understand exactly what has been going on for the last eight years.

With that mugshot, even people who hate Donald Trump will recognize that America is evolving into a tyranny, like Venezuela with Chavez or Turkey with Erdogan, a place where laws don’t matter other than as tools to crush opponents. They see that the apparatus of the state is simply a vehicle for distributing power among your friends and punishing your enemies.

And in an echo of the 1930s, when Stalin was starving millions of Ukrainians to death and the New York Times was telling us fairy tales, today’s media are telling us that Trump is indeed a criminal, the charges are damning, and that Americans are finally coming to recognize him as one.

The difference is that it took half a century for the truth about the evil of the Soviets to finally find the light of day, while the truth about the evil of the Democrats and their Swamp comrades has taken just a few years… Indeed, you could make the argument that it’s taken less than six months.

Trump’s first indictment, this past March, accuses him of using his own money, rather than donors’ money to pay hush money, suggesting that election law required him to use campaign contributions to keep hidden a sordid story about sex. His second indictment, in June, accuses him of mishandling documents, something every president has done, but no others were indicted for. (And, of course, Trump did not mishandle the documents.) His third indictment, on August 1st, was for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results, this after he’s on video telling his followers to “peacefully and patriotically” make their way to the Capitol. His last (so far) indictment was issued on August 14th, and accused him of seeking to interfere with the 2020 election by falsely claiming he wanted the Secretary of State to manufacture votes.

In less than six months, the Democrats have indicted Donald Trump four times, with the cases scheduled to run through at least the spring of 2024, right into the heart of primary season. Aside from the absurdity of the indictments themselves, this is easily the most blatant example of election interference the United States has ever seen. Indeed it’s so blatant that even a majority of Democrats who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 think it’s interference.

To make matters worse for Democrats, in his interview with Tucker Carlson, Trump looked and sounded as presidential as he ever has. While his outlandish personality serves him well at rallies filled with supporters, his presidential decorum, command of the facts, and his clear confidence while speaking with Tucker are exactly what appeals to those voters put off by doddering Joe Biden’s inability to put an intelligent thought into words or walk up a flight of stairs. While a good interview alone won’t get the job done, for those who are looking around wondering what the hell the Democrats are doing, it likely opens a door for him.

As with most things in life, timing is everything, and the Democrats may have hit the sweet spot…for Donald Trump. While Biden has been less than lucid for most of his presidency, today he more often looks like an escaped Alzheimer’s patient than he does a president. The longer Democrats allow Joe to run with the fiction that he is going to be on the ticket in November, the stronger the contrast becomes with the robust, energized, and cogent Trump. At the same time, every day seems to bring more proof to light that Biden is not only a liar, but he’s been on the take from America’s enemies for years.

Many Democrats would no doubt vote for a fence post so long as it was running against Donald Trump, but there are likely a significant number with functioning brains who recognize that regardless of how much they dislike Trump, he’s a far better choice than Joe Biden.

Of course, Democrats could ditch Biden for Harris, Newsom or, God forbid, Michelle Obama, but that doesn’t solve the problem they’ve created with the trials. Trump will be sitting in courtrooms during critical periods of the campaign, but that doesn’t mean he’ll lose support as a result. Indeed, just the opposite is likely to happen as he has countless surrogates who will use the fact that he couldn’t be there because of the Democrats’ treachery to excite a crowd and grow support.

In addition, the trials will offer daily opportunities to remind voters of the Democrats’ hypocrisy and mendacity as they manipulate the justice system to crucify Trump while the Bidens, Hillary, and virtually every swamp dweller gets off scot-free.

It would be the ultimate irony if the indictments that Democrats hoped to use to finally defeat Donald Trump were the vehicles through which America finally came to see their mendacity and propelled their worst nightmare back into office.