Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all my friends and family who understand the importance of talking to each other, and discussing all matters about family and friends, and religion and politics and nutrition, and know how to disagree reasonably without becoming disagreeable - I give thanks that you are in our lives.

For those of you who just can't quite manage that... bless your hearts. :-)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Digging in: The Devil is in the details of dollars & sense - Economic Politics vs Political Economy pt2

Yes, I know. With all the news about the impeachment follies, and the gaphtastic Democrat POTUS race and stories of the life & mysterious(not so much) death of that 'pedophile to the politi-stars' Jeffery Epstein, I'm over here diving into the differences between 'Free Trade!' & a Free Market, because... why? Well, because they're related. You've heard the line about the Devil's greatest trick being getting people to think that he doesn't exist, right? Similarly, the Pro-Regressive's greatest trick has been getting us to treat national prosperity as a matter of Economics. How... exactly? Well it's a slight-of-mind trick that works like this: In the act of accepting that prosperity is a matter of Economics, your thoughts are diverted away from what actually does cause prosperity (those central ideas of our nation's moral, ethical, political philosophy & practices), and fixated onto those downstream distractions of percentage rate adjustments and trade issues, and before you know it, what truly does matter most has vanished from popular thinking as thoroughly as if the Devil himself had waved his magic wand and said 'Abracadabra... be gone!'. Conceptual vanishing tricks like this have led America's once signature regard for living a good & proper life, to slip quietly out of sight & out of mind, and sorry folks, but when calculating gain is allowed to push moral and ethical reasoning from the center of your thinking, you're going to find yourself confronted with just such bizarre follies as we face today. What happens when you allow yourself to be distracted from what matters: your ideology takes the wheel and speeds you on down the road of good intentions as your GPS locks onto that hot & sulphury destination where all such roads eventually lead. Like most good tricks, it's not all that complicated... neither is what happens when you mistake trickery for reality.

The absence of those central ideas are noticeable all around us today, such as in the recent survey where "Seventy percent of millennials are very open to voting for a socialist candidate..." People ask "What's driving this?", and then typically answer their own question as that post did, in economic terms, where a 'Democratic Socialist' is simply '...a political affiliation keen to spread wealth around through collectivist practices...', and expressing an oddly deterministic fear that such notions are due to "a faith of the cities" - all of which lacks that quality which might actually cause people to answer such surveys differently than they currently do. Do you see the mark that's being missed in this? Tucker Carlson sure doesn't, as he misses that mark even further, and more frustratingly. While he at least concedes that colleges have some connection to our 'current malaise', he says that it's not so much due to what is taught there - according to Tucker, what students are instructed to think (never mind those thoughts they're unlikely to ever encounter, as a result of that instruction) is only 'part of' the problem - but that for Tucker the real problem is an economic one in the form of the financial debt incurred under the influence of 'capitalism'. Both are fine examples of why so many are so open to a socialist candidate today: By treating Socialism/Communism/'Free Trade!'/Populism/[Insert other label here] as merely economic matters, they command about as much attention from people - and the very same type of attention - as they'd give to their credit card 'Rewards!' programs or to picking up a few extra bucks driving for Uber - such attentions invite exactly the distracted shallowness that they've typically received.

Do you see what's missing in them? Little things... like life or death, good and evil, true and false, justice or injustice, perhaps? Once upon a time before the Pro-Regressive era had taken root, the causers of prosperity were studied under the wider ranging heading of 'Political Economy' and was led by the likes of Jean Baptiste Say & Fredric Bastiat, whose desire to know had not yet been divorced from reality and their moral vision (though truthfully you can see signals of the coming turn

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Don't miss the Impeachment Follies' relevance to your life!

I'm worried that people are missing the most important point in the impeachment hearings. One point, which is not that point, has been made often recently, that impeachment is a political process, not a legal process. Yes indeedy that is true, and if you want to get all of the legal details supporting its extra-legal status, I recommend Andy McCarthy's post "Right to Confrontation: The Latest Bogus Legal Argument over the ‘Whistleblower’".

But that isn't the point you should be paying attention to right now.

Let's sneak up on that point kinda slowly. Our legal system, with of its adversarial structure, its methods of what is and is not permitted to be said in court and why, its rules of evidence, its procedures for examination and cross-examination of testimony - these and more, are features that have been developed over the course of 2,500+ years, and developed and refined for a particular purpose. That purpose, is to devise as objective, as verifiable and as fair of a means of getting to the truth of a matter, by those (the judge, jury, public) who do not have first hand knowledge of what actually happened, and who cannot have indisputable knowledge of who is innocent and who is guilty in a given event. In addition to that, our legal system has developed with the understanding that even with all of those rules and systems and checks & balances, the jury's verdict could still be in error, and so we've built in a system for appealing the decision of the court.

IOW: the goal of our legal system is to come as close as possible to achieving Justice, as is possible to mortal men, without forgetting the foreboding fact that our conclusions could be wrong.

And here's the point: the Democrats want no part of that system in the operations of their impeachment hearing.
Whatever their excuses, whatever their assertions and pretensions, the bottom line is that they do not want their political passions to be hampered by a system designed to be as fair as possible and to produce the best conclusions possible. Instead, they simply want to impeach President Donald J. Trump, as they have since before his inauguration. And some, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), ran for congress for the express purpose of :
' we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf-----.”'.
Pardon me, but for myself, in regards to those who want to put on the appearances of having a 'trial', with all of the trappings of our legal system, with few to none of its functional features, in order to achieve their prejudiced and predetermined purpose - which is manifestly not Justice - I'm sorry, but their impeachment follies are of next to no interest or value to me.

But what is of the deepest interest to me, is that what they are demonstrating most clearly in these follies, is that they - the Pro-Regressive Left & Right - believe that their interests are best served, through unjust means, and that is why they are doing what they are doing.

Remember that!

And along those lines, here are two very important points that you should keep foremost in mind, much more than whatever silliness is said in the impeachment follies, as Dana Loesch noted, these people who are right now demonstrating their preference for getting their way, preferring favorable hearsay over serving Justice, these same people want very much to use that same power over you and your right to defend yourself against them.

Keep that in mind in each and every election, and in every discussion of one:
"This video is INSANE: "Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley (IL) on evidence: "Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct ... and it's certainly valid in this instance"

These lawmakers who say “hearsay can be much better evidence than direct” are the same ones who want to subject you to a due process-less red flag system. I’m sure that will just stop with guns, right?

Are those who support that bonkers red flag policy still cool with it?"
Oh Hell no!

Monday, November 11, 2019

For Veterans Day - Thank You For Persisting 'The Harder Right', Across Time

Commemorating Veterans Day once again with two earlier memories; one from four years ago now, which was itself remembering this day from 5 years before that, and doing so recalls what persists across time on this day, our fellows who choose 'the harder right' by volunteering to serve in our military. No matter where they may end up being stationed, when they volunteer to serve they are volunteering to put their lives on the line, period. There is no assurance that they won't at some point be sent to physically put their lives at risk, be injured, or be killed. None. Whether their service ends up being given entirely stateside in administrative duties, or repeatedly at hazard in war zones, the worst case is risked by all at that moment when they sign their lives on the dotted line. In pledging their lives to support and defend our Constitution, they serve to secure to us the ability to live lives worth living (should we choose to).

To all of our Veterans - Thank You.

[And now, back to 2015:]

[For Veterans Day this year, I'm going with a re-post from four years ago, which isn't - for me or others - the typical Veterans Day post, but for me it really goes to the heart of the occasion. This post came back into mind a couple days ago when a 'Memories' app popped up some pictures from the 2011 Veterans Day parade in St. Louis that I took part in with Chris & Dana Loesch, "Patch" Po/ed Patriot and our kids [Patch just confirmed my sketchy pictureless memory, Stacy Washington was with us too). The memories were a nice tug - I mostly only see Patch online now, and the Loesch's have since moved to Dallas (catch "Dana" on the BlazeTV), but more than the sentimental value, was the point of this post, well illustrated in the movie clip, of the importance of choosing the Harder Right - not only in the sense of putting your life on the line for it, but the importance of choosing the harder right to a life worth living, and that is what I associate most with our Veterans.

Our Veterans volunteer their lives onto the line, and in pledging their lives to support and defend our Constitution, they serve to secure to us the ability to live a life worth living, should we also take the harder right, and choose to.

To our Veterans - Thank You.

[And now, back to 2011:]

For Veterans Day, a clip that doesn't at first appear to have anything to do with Veterans or Veterans Day. It's the climactic scene of a movie that's really grown on me over the years, The Emperor's Club. In this, the point of not only an Education, but of a life well lived - or squandered - is conveyed in just a few moments.

The now aging Mr. Hundert, a Classics Professor, is found in the restroom after a debate competition, by his former student, Sedgewick Bell, who is now grown and launching a campaign for the Senate. Bell was a student he'd tried far more than he should have to help, and Hundert has realized that Sedgewick has yet again cheated in the "Mr. Julius Caesar" debate, which Mr. Hundert was moderating.

He lets his former student know that he knows he tried to cheat, again...
Mr. Hundert:"I'm a teacher Sedgwick, and I failed you. But I'll give you one last lecture, if I may. All of us, at some point, are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror, and see who we really are, and when that day comes for Sedgewick, you'll be confronted with a life lived without virtue, without principle - for that I pity you. End of lesson."

Sedgewick Bell:"What can I say Mr. Hundert? Who gives a shit. Honestly, who out there gives a shit about your principles and your virtues. I mean, look at you, what do you have to show for yourself? I live in the real world, where people do what they need to do to get what they want, and if that means lying, and cheating... then so be it.
So I am going to go out there, and I am going to win that election Mr. Hundert, and you will see me EVERYwhere! And I'll worry about my 'contribution' later.
(Sound of a toilet flushing, stall opens, Sedgewick's little boy comes out, stares at his dad in disgust)
Sedgewick Bell:"Robert? Robert...."
(Robert turns and leaves)
Sedgewick stares after him, stares down, glances at Mr. Hundert, and leaves.
What Mr. Hundert has, he has without need of power, position or wealth... what Cedric threw away, he can't replace through any amount of power, position or wealth.

The best things in life are free... but you've got to earn them, and sometimes fight for them; and some worthy few even choose to risk their lives for your chance to enjoy them.

Thank you to all those who chose the harder right, and especially the Veterans who agreed to risk their lives for it, if need be.

UPDATE - Pictures from the St. Louis Veterans Day Parade
Special thanks to Dana Loesh for inviting us to march with her crew in the parade, my daughter & I were honored to show our support.

Dana Loesh (in a strep throat burqa), Me, Patch Adams and Chris Loesch , ready to roll

... coming around the corner... (pic swiped from Patch Adams)
Parading past Soldiers Memorial
The best message of all!

Patch posted a video that should be an alarming shame in contrasts to all. For those who did turn out for the parade yesterday, thank you, your quality isn't questioned, but for the quantities of others who couldn't be bothered, shame on you.