Monday, June 26, 2023

Even if he's guilty, even if he's convicted, if Donald Trump is on the ballot, I'm voting for him

Donald Trump may indeed be guilty of the charges for which he was indicted a couple of weeks ago… or maybe not. He may even end up being convicted.  Regardless, assuming he’s on the ballot, I’ll be voting for him, even if he’s dressed in stripes sitting in a jail cell. 

Why? Not because I don’t take seriously the handling of classified records or trying to “obstruct” the Justice Department.  Indeed both are serious.  But even if Trump were guilty of both, even if he violated the letter and the spirit of the law, those violations are nothing when compared to the weaponization of the federal government we’ve observed over the last decade and a half.

The Democrat party has spent much of the last fifteen years turning the federal government into an American Stasi to be used against their political opponents in a manner unprecedented in American history. 

Barack Obama took aim at the Constitution early on when in 2010 his Justice Department targeted the press under the guise of “national security”.  They seized records from FOX News reporter James Rosen and accused him of “Espionage” for his reporting on American policy towards North Korea.  Three years later they used similar tactics against the Associated Press.   

Not content to eviscerate the freedom of the press, Obama next set his sights on freedom of speech, this time harnessing the IRS to undermine the Constitution. 

Other presidents have been accused of using the IRS against opponents, but they were pikers when compared to Obama’s war on speech in which the IRS sought to smother hundreds of grass roots Tea Party organizations in their bassinets, before they could even crawl.  The likely result of that “mistreatment” of grassroots opponents was that Barack Obama won reelection despite having 5 million fewer votes than he did in 2008. Contrast that with Donald Trump, who grew his vote total by 12 million in 2020 but somehow “lost” his reelection bid.

Then came the coronation of Hillary Clinton, which had to be guaranteed.  And the vehicle for that guarantee was the Russia collusion hoax which Hillary Clinton started and Obama knew about. The Durham Report lays out in black and white exactly how much the Department of Justice has been politicized.  The FBI not only should have never investigated Trump for Russia collusion in the first place, but over the course of years various FBI and other officials fabricated evidence, lied to judges, lied to Congress, ignored exculpatory evidence, and sought to entrap people in Trump’s coterie then coerce them into testifying against him. 

As a result of the Justice Department’s persecution of Donald Trump, not only was his term hobbled by investigations, but at the same time he had to survive attacks from virtually every corner, including legislators allegedly on his side.  Perhaps most perniciously, largely because of their weaponization of the Justice Department, more than half the country doesn’t trust the “premier” law enforcement agency in the nation.  In 2023 fully 70% of the American people feel like our elections may be compromised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  To put that in perspective, after decades of the media propaganda machine lying about police hunting black men, black Americans still have a higher opinion of local police than Americans in general do of the FBI.

By 2020 the apparatchiks in the Justice Department had decided that they were America’s white knights and were going to save the country from having to endure another term of Donald Trump as president.  As the election was wrapping up the New York Post ran a story about a laptop owned by Joe Biden’s son Hunter.  The laptop was full of information about drugs and prostitution and various other illegal activities that the younger Biden participated in.  More proe problematic however were the emails and other information that implicated Joe Biden in various schemes whereby his son and brother were handsomely paid by various foreign entities for his (Biden’s) influencing American policy while Vice President. The FBI worked back channels with America’s modern public squares, Twitter, Facebook and other media outlets to both censor the story and suggest that it was Russian disinformation at the same time. 

The FBI white nights succeeded in their quest to save the nation.  In an election that turned on less than 100,000 votes, fully 13 million Americans (16% of Biden’s “84 million” voters) said they would have changed their vote had they known about the laptop story.  That is what you call a coup d'├ętat.  But as it was the Democrats and the Justice Department leadership running the coup, there was no problem.

Once in office Biden lost no time in seeking to weaponize the DOJ against Trump supporters, including hundreds of Jan 6 protesters, some of whom never even entered the Capitol.  On the 29th of January, 2021, a mere 9 days after taking office, the administration set about plans to target conservatives by gaming out scenarios about vulnerable citizens facing “radicalization” by pro-life advocates and small government proponents. The following year the Justice Department would target as “domestic terrorists” parents concerned about what was being taught to their children in public schools.  Later FBI management would be accused of forcing agents to fabricate “extremist” and “white supremacist” cases because “The demand for white supremacy vastly outstrips the supply of white supremacy”.  And just to put a fine point on it, in April Biden blasted “Those MAGA Republicans” as the real problem America faces. 

Which brings us back to Donald Trump and last week’s indictment.  The reality is, there’s likely not a single voter in America who is going to be swayed one way or another based on the outcome of that case. If elections were about the candidate, last year Pennsylvania Democrats wouldn’t have elected to represent them as Senator a guy who would have trouble completing a kindergarten art project over an erudite, if slightly odd, cardiothoracic surgeon.  Americans of every stripe understand what the choice is in 2024.  Most certainly there are voters who are turned off by some of Trump’s antics and statements, but the reality is anyone who says they would be willing to vote for Ron DeSantis but not Donald Trump is lying… either to themselves or to you. They’re simply looking for a fig leaf to cover their consciences so they can vote for a Democrat.

While at the end of the day the choice may ostensibly come down to a doddering Alzheimer’s patient vs. a convicted ex president, or even a “vapid pander bear” vs. the “Grand Wizard” of the KKK, the reality is the choice on the ballot next November is stark: The continued weaponization of government against the citizens or a resurgence of the freedom and limited government that are at the foundation of America’s greatness.  The Democrat Party and the rest of its swamp cabal have clearly demonstrated they are more than willing to ignore the Constitution and use the police power of government to coerce, control, and if necessary crucify anyone not willing to go along with their cancerous progressive agenda.  Donald Trump doesn’t want to let them do that.

Trump may be a highly flawed man, but as the nation watches its government being transformed into a repressive, progressive Borg, who better to lead the charge to destroy it than the man who has weathered its slings and arrows for the last 8 years?  More than perhaps anyone in America, Trump understands the threat because he’s experienced firsthand the danger it poses. And unlike most, he recognizes who the real target is, something he pointed out to supporters in 2019:  In reality they’re not after me, they’re after you.  I’m just in the way.”

Sitting in a jail cell or out on the campaign trail, Donald Trump is the touchstone of the Republic.  We either go forward as a nation of laws limited by the Constitution or we transform into a nation of men governed only by coercion and brute force.  There is no middle ground. Given that I’ll take the guy in stripes every time. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

It's Not Reparations, It's Revenge...

Democrats frequently talk about reparations for black Americans, compensation for slavery and Jim Crow.  Indeed, House member Cori Bush recently proposed $14 trillion as a good place to start.

Any reparations plan would be extraordinarily complex. First, if reparations are to be paid, to whom would they be paid?  To every one of America’s 45 million blacks? (2020 Census)  Including the 4.5 million blacks who immigrated after Jim Crow was gone?  Should the 33 million black Americans aged 50 or below who have only lived after passage of the Voting and Civil Rights Acts?  How about black families whose ancestors lived in northern states where slavery was largely outlawed before America was a nation and Jim Crow never existed?  How about blacks from states like California and Idaho who had neither slavery nor Jim Crow?  Or those of mixed origins with one black parent?  Is one black grandparent sufficient or would it have to be at least 2 of 4?  Do black families who earn $200,000 a year still qualify for reparations?  How about America’s 1.5 million black millionaires?   

The next question is, if indeed reparations were to be paid, who would pay them? America has approximately 250 million white people. Would all of them have to pay? Even those whose ancestors arrived after passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts or whose ancestors arrived after the Civil War, as many Italians and Irish did? Do the 155 million or so who are 50 or younger and were born after Jim Crow was history? How about those descended from one of the 360,000 white Northern soldiers who lost their lives fighting to end slavery? Or those who live in states that never had slavery or Jim Crow? Do the whites of Wyoming, where the black population is 0.9% pay the same as Louisiana where it’s 31%? 

Once we’ve nailed down who’s going to get reparations and who’s going to pay them, then we have to figure out how much.  For the sake of argument, let’s take Bush’s $14 trillion.  That works out to $311,000 to every black American. Again, for argument’s sake, let’s say that all 250 million of the whites would be responsible for making the reparation.  If required to make that payment, that would involve every single white person (including babies and retirees) to write a check for about $56,000.  That’s unlikely to be feasible given that the average median white household income in the US is $78,000.

So, if writing a check is out of the question, maybe setting up a payment plan, sort of like a mortgage.  Spreading the $56,0600 out over 15 years at today’s 6.7% interest rate would make for a monthly payment of $494 per white person. That doesn’t seem too unreasonable, but what about unemployed whites or those on government assistance?  Do they pay?  What about white kids too young to work?  Do they pay or do their obligations accrue until they turn 18 or get their first job?  Then of course, who do they make those checks out to?  Do the white people get to choose which black people they pay?  Or do they make the payment to a pool to be distributed by some upstanding organization that represents black people like the NAACP or BLM or the National Action Network? Are the payments tax deductable? Maybe let the IRS collect the money and have the government distribute it. Would the government need to set up a Department of Reparations to keep the money separate from the rest of the government’s funds? Or maybe the government can pay the whole sum up front and bill the white people. Would individual black people have claim on individual white people’s property if they didn’t or couldn’t pay?  Would jails become debtor’s prisons full of people who can’t pay?

Assuming all of that gets figured out, are new black babies entitled to reparations?  If yes, for how long? Will black babies born in 2075 still be eligible for payments and white ones still obligated to pay? Is it in perpetuity or will it only last 100 years?  If new black babies are not eligible, how would mom explain to junior that he doesn’t get the $311,000 his brother did just because he was born 12 months later?  If a black woman is pregnant when the agreement is made, does she collect for only herself or for her baby too? 

At the end of the day reparations are made for some wrong done… but what if the result of that wrong left the progeny of the person wronged better off than had the wrong not been done in the first place.  Is it possible that reparations aren’t really due?

Approximately 400,000 blacks were brought to the United States as slaves. We assume that had they not been sold into slavery they would likely have stayed where they lived. So, one might ask, would the progeny of those slaves have been better off in those home countries than they are here as a result of their ancestors being sold into slavery?  First, let’s look at incomes. We’ll look at the per person median income (PPMI) in the top 10 modern nations encompassing the places from which those blacks were taken. (see nearby chart)

The average among those 10 nations is $950 per year.  This compares to a median income for black Americans of $13,108 per person. ($19,306 average American X .67)

But of course money isn’t everything, right? How about life expectancy?  In those same 10 nations the life expectancies average 61.6, compared to the United States where the average life expectancy of black Americans is 75.1 years. 

 

PPMI

Life Expt.

Angola:

$665

62.3

Congo (DR):

$392

62.4

Cameroon:

$1,245

60.9

Nigeria:

$825

52.9

Guinea:

$876

60.7

Sierra Leone:

$765

60.1

Gambia:

$1,383

63.8

Liberia:

$753

61.1

Mauritania:

1,760

64.5

Senegal:

$844

67.6

Average:

$950.80

61.6

Black Americans

$13,108

75.1

So black Americans have incomes that are 13 times higher than individuals living in the nations from which slaves were brought to America. They also have life expectancies that are 14 years, or 22% longer. What’s more, Americans have freedoms found in none of those countries; they also have levels of entertainment, transportation, food, shelter, leisure, medicines, job opportunities and democracy that citizens of those nations can only dream of. 

As such, it appears that black American descendants of slaves are actually far better off because their ancestors left Africa in bondage and landed in the United States.  Indeed, had their ancestors been taken to Brazil, where the largest number of blacks landed, they might not have survived to procreate because death rates were staggeringly high, or to the middle east where the men were castrated and babies born to black slaves were killed at birth, which explains a dearth of blacks in the middle east despite importing more slaves than the Americas. 

But the relevant progeny for this discussion were brought to the United States, and it appears that they are much better off than the descendents of those who were left behind.  If that were not the case, one would expect that blacks unhappy with America would willingly emigrate to the nations from which their ancestors came. But that never quite happens does it? Which begs the question, given that no one alive today was either a slave or owned slaves and most of the progeny of slaves are exponentially better off than they would have been had their ancestors not been taken to America in the first place, exactly why are reparations warranted?

In fact, they’re not, and that’s the point.  It’s not reparations that are being demanded, it’s revenge, which is a completely different thing altogether…

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

If You're Black, I Don't Care: I Care About Character, Not DNA

 If you’re reading this and you’re black, I don’t care. Yellow or brown, I still don’t care.  If you’re gay, ditto.  If you’re family is from Mexico or China, still don’t care. 

Basically, if you’re reading this, while I certainly appreciate your doing so, I don’t care about all of those things about you over which you have no control… and that includes whether you’re a man or a woman, incidentally, a duality that is not changeable. 

Why? Do I hate minorities or people different than me? No. I don’t care because none of those things make you special.  No more than me being a white, heterosexual male make me special.  DNA doesn’t define us.

There’s never been a society in human history that has thrived based on any of those things.  Never.  Not once. Europe hasn’t dominated the world for the last 500 years because of them. South America hasn’t been an economic basket case for a century because of any of them. China isn’t transforming into the world’s premier economic and military power because of any of them.  No, none of those things matter.

That doesn’t mean they are in and of themselves inconsequential.  They aren’t.  They exist, and people respond to them. In Ralph Ellison’s seminal work, 1952’s Invisible Man a black man goes through life feeling essentially invisible as society doesn’t see him as the man he is, but rather sees in him their perceptions based on their own prejudices, preconceived ideas or experiences. 

What Ellison was assailing was stereotyping, which, although it has a negative connotation today, was a critical element of the human experience throughout most of our existence. Stereotypes originated as a way for humans to quickly make sense of the world around them. They’re a kind of mental shortcut, reducing complex realities into simplified categorizations as it relates to others.  This was particularly important when violence was a normal part of everyday life and seconds or minutes mattered.  Recognizing someone as your enemy or your friend (stereotyping) in a fraction of a second and acting accordingly (discrimination) could mean the difference between life and death, and eyes are the fastest receptors of information humans have. It was at those times when someone’s skin color, hair color or the shape of their face were proxies for the friend / enemy dichotomy. 

At the end of the day, stereotyping is the inverse of being informed. Human evolution and the advancement of civilization have given us far more information than we’ve ever had.  And with more information we often discover that what we thought was true, isn’t or might not be. As such, stereotypes become far less important in decision making. 

The result is that we now know that there are many factors more useful in the friend / enemy dichotomy than race. Things like how someone comports themselves, how they speak, what they say and even facial expressions.  Of course, unlike much of human history, most of us have the good fortune to not live in situations where we have to make that friend / enemy distinction in a fraction of a second or we lose our lives.

Nonetheless, stereotypes endure, and not always without reason.  For years after college I worked as a waiter in restaurants.  It was common knowledge everywhere that on average black patrons tended to tip less than white patrons. That was and is demonstrably true. Some waiters acted accordingly.  I didn’t.  I approached every table the same way. Usually the tips comported with the stereotype, but sometimes they didn’t.  Indeed, the best % tip I ever received, $20 on a $40 bill, was from a black man dining alone. 

The point is, although constantly diminishing, some stereotypes persist, and until human brains have as much data as ChatGPT to draw upon, they’re likely to continue. But that doesn’t mean they have to be the criteria we use to impel our actions.  Thankfully Americans have been moving away from discrimination based on stereotyping for most of our history.  From the Civil War to Women’s Suffrage to MLK’s “Content of their character” to the election of a black President, Americans have been seeking to diminish the influence of innate characteristics.  And we’ve largely succeeded. 

While some differences persist between races or between sexes, the reality is, Americans of all stripes have more opportunity than virtually any place on the planet.  Indeed, black median household income in the United States ($38,800) is higher than that of every country in the world but four, while at the same time, the poorest 20% of Americans are richer on average than most Europeans. And the “gender wage gap” is gone, too.  What’s more, advancement is alive and well, demonstrated by the fact that 20% of America’s richest citizens are self made, starting their lives in poor households. The fact that 60% of are self made from the middle class or below shows exactly how much opportunity there is in America.

But a funny thing happened on the way to a society leaving stereotypes and its discrimination behind and focusing on content of character; the nation was hijacked by the party of the KKK and Jim Crow.  Suddenly, at the very moment when America had achieved something very close to a true meritocracy, the Democrat put is only vehicle to power, the Victim Industrial Complex, into overdrive. 

Every single aspect of America was now divisive, and anything that didn’t genuflect at the cancerous altar of diversity was racist, sexist or homophobic.  Founding Fathers.  Boy Scouts. Football. Pancake Syrup. Healthy diets. Math. Punctuality. The justice system. Halloween costumes. Beer. Capitalism.  Free speech. Private Property. The military.  The 2nd Amendment… Basically anything associated with the creation of the greatest engine of prosperity and freedom in world history was suddenly verboten, particularly if it had to do with Christian, heterosexual white males.  In the words of one of the gurus of this cult of division, Ibram Kendi, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.  So much for content of character…

Kindi, in speaking for Democrats, thinks that the way forward for the most successful, most diverse nation to ever exist, the one with more opportunity for more people than any in history, is to eviscerate the meritocracy that largely created it and replace achievement as the defining characteristic with skin color. Others in the party want it replaced with sexual orientation, gender, or the mental affliction of gender confusion.  They want to change the criteria for who can become a brain surgeon, nuclear scientist or architect from merit to skin color or gender…

The only reason these buffoons proffer such inane ideas is that they’ve had the luxury of developing them while living in an ecosystem of security, prosperity, and indulgence created by the very culture they seek to undermine. The absurdity of their position is the fact that 99% of the humans who have ever lived cannot even imagine the prosperity, luxury, security and freedom these snowflakes denigrate. 

Which brings us back full circle.  No society was ever successful based on race or sex or gender “fluidity”.  Such things are tangential at best and virtually inconsequential in modern America.  As the clowns on the left seek to aggrandize them and turn back the clock on freedom, meritocracy, and equality, they should be careful what they wish for.  When the rule of law is replaced by the rule of man, it’s brute power that makes the rules, and history shows that rarely do minorities thrive in such circumstances.