Tuesday, June 05, 2018

For What It's Worth: California Primary Voting Guide

Election time again, although I wonder if I should bother. In the past, I always thought that if I did not vote, then I had no right to complain about the aftermath. However, FOUR recently changed aspects of voting have changed my thoughts on this:

1. The “Top Two Open Primary”, or legally the Nonpartisan Blanket Primary, which means that the top two contenders face off against each other in the General Election of November.

This system is vulnerable to chicanery and “sabotage voting”, and a well-entrenched incumbent can effectively “pick” his or her opponent for the November election, by covertly lending “Support” to whom said incumbent will easily defeat in the General Election. The corrupt weasel Governor Evin Edwards of Louisiana (another state that has such a wretched primary process) did this in 1991, allowing an otherwise inconsequential creep named David Duke his 15 minutes of fame.

We need Real Primaries again, where Republicans pick a primary Republican, Democrats pick a primary Democrat, and other parties pick whoever they pick for their party primaries.

2. Voting by mail.

The potential for outright fraud, with “late discovery” manufactured and mailed in ballots and everything else, is significant here. As if “Motor Voter”, also known as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which made in-person registration less likely and also opened the door to more voter fraud, was not bad enough.

3. A moribund California Republican Party....

....which could not even bring itself to get a nominee on the ballot for my State Assembly district and my House of Representatives Congressional District. If I had known about this in advance and it was not too costly (in terms of either money or time) to do so, I would have thrown my own name on the ballot, even with no chance of winning, just for giggles. Maybe when I can retire—if I am still in this state and have not given up on California altogether and moved to Reno—I will see what I can do if I have time to throw at it.

On the other hand, in several races, more than one Republican is running for that office, dividing their minority party’s primary vote and insuring that it is Democrat vs. Democrat in the General Election of November, given the “Top Two” Open Primary mess described above. Moreover, in the Governor’s race, rather than champion an experienced Assemblyman or State Senator who has come up from the trenches, they chose another wealthy dilettante from another state (See Governor Endorsement below).

For many points of view, there will need to be a “Pre-Primary” in order to pick the champion of said point of view in the Official Primary. The California Republican Party could have decided which one of theirs to officially endorse in the “Political Party Endorsements” section of the Official Voter Information Guide, but could not get itself together to even do *that*.

4. For State ballot Propositions, the full and complete “TEXT OF PROPOSED LAW” is no longer there in the Official Voter Information Guide.

This former staple of ballot initiative Propositions, with the changes to (and strikeouts of) existing laws as was appropriate and necessary, is no longer presented with the summary of each ballot initiative Proposition in the Official Voter Information Guide we receive, and you have to send away for it.

While for many initiatives this is not necessary, as the initiative is simple and summed up well by the Legislative Analyst Summary and by the Official Arguments For And Against said initiative, in some cases it really does---and still no doubt will—pay to “read the fine print”, or the exact Text Of the Proposed Law, as the case may be. I sense the proverbial wool will be pulled over our eyes as a result, and perhaps we should just NOT have ballot initiatives or Propositions anymore and just go back to our representatives in the State Assembly and State Senate as was originally intended in the California Constitution, before the whole Populist idea of Initiative and Referendum plebiscites began in the late 19th and early 20th century, but that was a long time ago. We probably should repeal the 17th Amendment and no longer have direct election of Senators too, which would cause more things to be resolved at the state and local levels, but that is a done deal.

As a result, the temptation to not bother with this is strong. On the other hand, Nick has a tradition to uphold! So on I go…..

GOVERNOR: Travis Allen

Of the two major Republican candidates with an actual chance on the ballot, Mr. Allen’s stances against so much of what has ruined California are refreshing, and he is in the State Assembly 72nd District, so he understands how “The Bill Mill” in Sacramento actually works, or does not work.

Unfortunately, it appears that rather than pick Mr. Allen, the Establishment of the California Republican Party, such as it is, has decided to endorse John Cox, another wealthy dilettante from another state who has not seen how legislation works its way through “the Bill Mill” (or often does not).

And what is truly sad about this is that, had the California GOP united behind one candidate, a Republican Governor might actually finish second in the “Top Two” Primary and be a possibility, given the FOUR major contenders running in the Dem lineup dividing up their vote:

1. The utterly smarmy Gavin Newsom (Dem-Stalinist)

2. The Reconquista 5th columnist Antonio Villaraigosa (Dem-Trotskyite)

3. The slightly better Delaine Eastin, whose record as State Superintendent of Schools was lackluster at best

4. The somewhat better John Chiang, but as a former State Controller and now Treasurer, he really ought to know better about California’s rickety finances.

Leave it to the California GOP Establishment to insure defeat. But we might as well show our support for Travis Allen and make it clear to them that we do not need another wealthy dilettante parachuting into California, and what we really need is a candidate coming up from the State Assembly or State Senate, who knows how hard it can be to be a minority party, and how laws are created.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: David R. Hernandez. NOT to be confused with Democrat Ed Hernandez who is also on the ballot.

Sadly, the Dems are lined up behind Eleni Kounalakis, while the Republicans appear to have an “Amateur Hour” going on here, with 5 different and not well known contenders, so as with the Governor’s race above, this is probably a done deal. Still, I think Mr. David R. Hernandez, NOT Ed Hernandez, is the best of the lot. His webpage here, and his Facebook here

Anyone with a slogan “Make California Great Again” is awesome, anyone Mexican American who has not been demagogued on the immigration issue is awesome, and anyone who brought himself up by the proverbial bootstraps from humble origins is awesome.


An actual election law attorney will be very helpful here, and he is one.

CONTROLLER: Konstantinos Roditis

TREASURER: Greg Conlon

Greg Conlon has tried for this office before, and lost before, to John Chiang in 2014 and to Phil Angelides in 2002 before that. He has also tried for the US Senate, the State Senate, and the State Assembly. A “happy warrior”, who gets back up when he is knocked down. Let’s give him one last hurrah. Although I will say that another Republican contending on the ballot, Jack Guerrero, seems like a nice younger fellow, and I wish him luck after Greg Conlon retires.



Another veteran of the California Political Psychic Wars, like Greg Conlon for Treasurer above.

U.S. SENATOR: Erin Cruz

Again it looks like “Amateur Hour” of multiple candidates from the GOP here. I wonder why GOP veterans, like Mr. Greg Conlon and Mr. Steve Poizner above, didn’t throw their hats in the ring here! And what is truly sad about this is that, had the CA GOP united behind one candidate, a Republican Governor might actually finish second in the “Top Two” Primary and be a possibility, given the two major contenders running in the Dem lineup dividing up their vote:

1. The “Very Old Guard” Dianne Feinstein (Dem-Stalinist)

2. Another Reconquista 5th columnist Kevin DeLeon (Dem-Trotskyite)

Anyway, of the amateurs, I find Ms. Cruz most appealing, and NOT because of her relative youth and beauty. She was a Tea Party activist back in 2010, and I heard her speak there first. I like her stances. And, when the Dirty Dems falsely claim that anyone with sensible border policies is somehow anti-Latino, then it is good to have a telegenic Latina lady advocating them.


His leading opponent, Tony K. Thurmond, is endorsed by Kamala Harris and all the teacher unions. I will leave it at that.


PROPOSITION 68: Bonds for Parks - NO, in fact hell NO.

First, nothing is more annoying than a proposition that claims to have “water supply” provisions, that does not build a single dam to store it. Acquiring more watershed park area is not truly increasing supply.

Second, the State cannot maintain the vast parkland area it already has. It probably should be selling off the parks that hardly anyone enjoys, or which have no known endangered species, and making them productive ranches or something similar again.

Third, Bonds, meaning DEBT, are only appropriate when an actual capital intensive but long lasting project, like a Dam, HINT HINT, is to be built. Borrowing for current maintenance of existing parks is folly.

Fourth, too many initiatives like this were approved in the past, and we are still paying those off. Vote NO.

PROPOSITION 69: Promising to spend New Transportation Revenues for Transportation Projects – NO.

In the past, I would have voted YES. In fact, in the past, WE HAVE voted YES on initiatives like this. But it turned out those initiatives were toothless, and so is this one. Moreover, in the past, initiatives like this were “bait and switch”, where voters were promised freeway and other road improvements, but instead, were given light rail showpieces that didn’t go where most commuters needed to go. Worse, will the “high-speed” (sic) choo-choo, that won’t be high speed as it is going from SF to LA via Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Lancaster, and Palmdale, get bailed out from this?

PROPOSITION 70: Legislative Supermajority for Carbon Tax Fund spending – YES.

Sometimes, in his own special wacky way, Governor Brown takes on elements within his own Democrat Party. And this initiative is one of those times.

I like the idea of a “rainy day fund”, and a supermajority requirement for new spending, even if Governor “Moonbeam” Brown is behind this, and the carbon tax is based upon speculatively flawed “Climate Science” computer models that have been wrong for two decades now. (I remember the climate models that said water vapor from jet planes, and sulfur dioxides (besides causing “acid rain”), would block out sunlight and cause a New Ice Age).

Governor Brown has long wanted to create a “rainy day fund”, given that California’s “progressive” tax system, as burdensome as it is on most of us, still depends upon a handful of key industries and wealthy citizens for the majority of its revenue. If software apps and motion pics have a bad year, so does the state in terms of revenue. And the state economy is much less diversified than it used to be. Of course, this begs the question of how this “rainy day fund” would actually work: Money in the bank earning miniscule interest? Buying up and paying off the billions in bonds California has outstanding?

Anyway, Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes, although he no doubt thinks the carbon tax is flawed and horrid, decided that, if there IS to be such a tax, then let it finance Governor Brown’s “Rainy Day Fund”. And so he and Governor Brown both wrote the argument for the initiative in the Voter Guide. And I LIKE IT! Let’s sequester the money from this tax and use it to buy back California bonds.

And the opposition to this initiative? Various “environmental” leftist lobbies that want the money for their pet projects.

PROPOSITION 71: Delays Effective Date For Ballot Measures – flip a coin???

Given that so many initiatives are subject to court fights after they are approved, and given the increased delays (and fraud risks) of more voting by mail, I suppose this initiative may be OK. Or may not matter. If you have a good argument for voting YES or NO, let me know.

PROPOSITION 72: Less Property Tax Assessment of “Rain Capture” systems – YES.

While “rain capture” systems are a piss-poor substitute for real dam building, they still have their place, and we should not jack up property tax assessments on people who install them.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Neil Cavuto, Pantywaist

Lest you think that Fox News is pro-Trump all the time, or even most of the time, along comes Neil Cavuto with his pearl clutching and myopic virtue signaling.

Go clutch your pearls, Neil. That you even dignify trivial tacky matters from over a dozen years ago, back when "The Donald" was a private citizen and had yet to enter politics, says so much.

We know about his messy private life past, and we don't care. It has nothing to do with his actions in the White House over the last year and a half.

The Clintons set that bar over two decades ago, and frankly The Donald has undeniably raised it from where they set it.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Stephon Clark and the Black Liar Marxists

Read the whole thing. The usual suspects are trying to burn the city of Sacramento to the ground and trying to make another "Dindo Nuffin" (who, in fact, DID do something) into a martyr.

Unwarranted Certainty

The Stephon Clark case is far from unambiguous.
April 4, 2018
Public safety

Stephon Clark, holding a cell phone, was shot by police eight times and killed while in the backyard of his grandmother’s house in Sacramento. Black Lives Matter activists have seized on the story as the latest instance of a police war on young black men. But even at this early stage, facts should give us pause before rushing to judgment on the culpability of the officers involved.
Al Sharpton, not unexpectedly, disagrees. While speaking at Clark’s funeral last week, Sharpton said of police, “They have been killing black men all across the country. . . . it’s time to stop this madness.” But it’s far from clear that the officers who shot Clark acted unlawfully, or that the victim’s race played a role in the shooting.
The publicly available evidence is unclear as to whether the police who shot Clark knew of his race at the time, let alone that it influenced their decision to fire. Responding to reports that someone was smashing windows in the neighborhood, the street cops were directed by officers in a surveillance helicopter to Clark’s location. Body cam footage and helicopter video demonstrate that the incident took place in pitch darkness; it was the first night after a new moon, and the only illumination on the scene came from the officers’ flashlights. On the audio of the original 911 complaint, the operator asks the caller “is he black, white, Hispanic, Asian?” The caller responds, “He had a hoodie on. I couldn’t tell, ma’am.” The helicopter video shows that the officers weren’t face-to-face with Clark for more than a few seconds before firing, a period in which their attention was focused on what they apparently believed to be a gun that he was carrying. When the officers made their way up the driveway, Clark turned his back to run away. It wasn’t until he began walking toward officers in the backyard that they might have had an opportunity to see his face.
Most media coverage has pointed out that Clark was unarmed when he was shot. That does not preclude the possibility that officers sincerely (and reasonably) believed he was armed. What the police were thinking matters. Videos of the encounter show police entering the backyard of the house. Upon turning the corner around the back, the lead officer clearly stops short and then retreats behind the side of the house, yelling “Gun!” He pulls his partner backward into a covered position. The two cops then peer around the corner with their weapons drawn, and, from cover, fire ten rounds each, fatally striking Clark, who looked to be walking toward them. That the officers took cover after crossing the threshold into the backyard, and then fired from that position—as opposed to shooting from an exposed position—suggests that they thought Clark was armed. This chain of events weighs against the presumption that their actions were criminal. None of the media coverage has focused on either of these two points, both of which raise the possibility that the two officers (one is black) who shot Clark did so in response to what they reasonably perceived was a threat of deadly force posed by a suspect (race potentially unknown) who had been backed into a corner and was holding an object, mistaken for a gun.
Much has been made about the fact that the officers muted their body cameras after being directed to do so, seemingly by a superior officer, following the shooting. Yet once the shooting happened, the cops were under no legal obligation to make statements on the record without legal representation, given the possibility that they might face prosecution. These protections, codified in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, are available to everyone, including officers of the law. Moreover, statements made in the immediate wake of a stressful situation can often be unreliable, as a review of relevant literature has shown.
None of this is to say that the two Sacramento police officers who shot Stephon Clark are innocent. But to speak about the March 18 shooting as if it were a clear case of murder, motivated by racial animus, is both unhelpful and unwarranted, given the facts currently available.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

End State and Local Tax Deductions? Think again!

    I am waiting to see what the Senate does, but so far, for the first time with this Administration, I am not pleased.

    The proposed legislation to overhaul the messy tax system does have two very good points:

    (1) making corporate taxes less punitive so American industry does not go overseas. Even the high (individual and family) taxing Euros understand this concept, as their corporate taxes are low.

    (2) It is also wonderful to eliminate the messy and convoluted Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), something even people like me who prepare tax returns for a living often find surprising.

    The original motive for the AMT in 1969 was to insure that some wealthy individuals who had completely sheltered their income, often in government bonds, still had to pay up. However, inflation since then has now subjected millions of taxpayers to this byzantine mess.

    And frankly, if some wealthy Americans want to own nothing but Government debt, good for them. The rates of returns on such bonds are substantially lower than normal securities, and I would rather have wealthy Americans own the national debt than wealthy foreigners.

    However, there are some Republicans who are just giddy about removing or limiting itemized Federal deductions for state and local taxes, thinking they are punishing those higher tax (presumably Democrat) states. They really should think again:

    1. Don't we want more governmental programs handled at the state and local level. Frankly, I would be happy to watch all state taxes spike up, if, in return, certain Federal departments were abolished, and their functions returned to the states where they belong. (Education and Public Health as two examples). If we discourage state and local taxation, we discourage (New) Federalism, which is what I thought Republicans were all about.

    If government aid programs are to exist, they should be at the state and local levels as much as possible. Federalism matters.

    2. Lots of Republicans in "red" states pay higher state, local and property taxes too. A "tax cut" that causes the tax bills of millions of individuals to jump up, people who played by the rules as they best understood them, for decades, is political suicide. The people such a gambit hits are those like me who zealously itemize--and we vote Republican.

    Well, we vote for Patriots first, Republicans Second, and yes, lots of political bozos have an (R) after their names, but you get the idea.

    3. As my father has discovered, deducting medical expenses is something that typically does not happen for most taxpayers, but when it does, it does "Bigly", as The Donald would say.

    4. Moreover, isn't this double taxation?

    I know this idea seems like political dynamite to some pundits, but they really need to think it through, please.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Partial Obamacare Repeal? Think STEP ONE....

So many True Republicans are wailing and gnashing their teeth over an incomplete repeal of Obamunist Care that Trump is now behind.

Let me humbly suggest a better way to look at this:

Those or us disappointed with this partial repeal, although we are absolutely correct, should instead cheer it as "STEP ONE" and get to work on Steps 2 through....10?

The left didn't get to Obamunist Care outright. They had Medicare, Medicaid expansion, Medicare Part D, covering minor out of pocket stuff like birth control, covering this for this group and that for that group, etc.

Trump is a wheeler-dealer. We all knew that. He wants to partially repeal and declare some kind of victory.

How to handle that?

Get to work on a better bill that repeals more Obamunist crap, implements more market forces, brings health insurance costs down, avoids the "moral hazards" from "Pre-existing condition" caterwauling to demanding minor things like birth control be covered by insurance (gee-what would oil changes and car insurance cost if oil changes were paid by 3rd party car insurance?), and so on.

And pass it and let Trump bask in the glory of signing THAT.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Yes, dishonest Demunists and wimpy RINOs/Cuckservatives/Vichy Republicans will always be in the way. Duh. We knew that from the get go.

Just repeat after me: STEP ONE.....

NOTE: Don't think "half a loaf is better than nothing", which implies we are done with it.

Think STEP ONE, which means another bill to undo more Obamunist damage. And another, and another.

Or think, "Get the ball rolling...."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Celebrate Valentine's Day--Leftists and Islamunists hate it!

I used to be very cynical about Valentine's Day. Another day to sell stuff, I grumbled, and I was embittered and cynical about romantic love back then.

However, as Jamie Glazov eloquently points out, any event that both Leftist Dupes here and Islamic Savages over there bitterly oppose MUST have some good in it! They both bitterly oppose it for the same reasons as well, reasons that go beyond mutual hatred of Western Civilization (although that obviously is a motive as well).

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!

Today, February 14, is Valentine’s Day, the sacred day that intimate companions mark to celebrate their love and affection for one another. If you’re thinking about making a study of how couples celebrate this day, the Muslim world and the milieus of the radical Left are not the places you should be spending your time. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to outdo Islamists and “progressives” when it comes to the hatred of Valentine’s Day. And this hatred is precisely the territory on which the contemporary romance between the Left and Islamic Supremacism is formed.
The train is never late: every year that Valentine’s comes around, the Muslim world erupts with ferocious rage, with its leaders doing everything in their power to suffocate the festivity that comes with the celebration of private romance. Imams around the world thunder against Valentine’s every year — and the celebration of the day itself is literally outlawed in Islamist states.
This year, for example, the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan banned the celebration of Valentine's Day in public places, and at an official level, and prohibited all electronic and print media from covering any festivities or mentioning of the occasion. Several cities across Muslim-majority Indonesia, meanwhile, banned people from celebrating the day. In the city of Surabaya, a group of school students, which included many girls wearing the hijab, denounced Valentine's Day. In Muslim-dominant Malaysia, the group The National Muslim Youth Associationdirected females not to use emoticons and perfume in a pre-Valentine's Day message.
Last year, Pakistan also banned Valentine’s Day, calling it an “insult” to Islam and warning that "strict" action against anyone daring to celebrate the day in any part of Islamabad. In the past, Valentine’s Day activities were disrupted by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's main religious party, but in the last two years the state and court now get involved to ban celebration of the day. Back on Valentine's Day in Pakistan in 2013, supporters of Jamat-e-Islami took to the streets in Peshawar to vehemently denounce the Day of Love. Demonizing it as “un-Islamic,” the Muslim protestors shouted that the day had "spread immodesty in the world." Shahzad Ahmed, the local leader of the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami, declared that the organization will not “allow” any Valentine’s Day functions, warning that if Pakistani law enforcement did not prevent Pakistanis from holding such functions, that the Jamat-e-Islami would stop them “in our own way." Khalid Waqas Chamkani, a leader in Jamat-e-Islami, calls Valentine's a “shameful day.”
These Islamist forces in Pakistan cannot, of course, completely succeed in preventing couples from showing love to each other on this special day, and so many Pakistanis still cryptically celebrate Valentine's Day and exchange presents in secret.
In Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia last year, and as always, Valentine’s Day was outlawed. Under the Islamic regime in Iran, for instance, any sale or promotion of Valentine’s Day related items, including the exchange of gifts, flowers and cards, is illegal. The Iranian police consistently warn retailers against the promotion of Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Over the years, Islamic religious leaders and officials in Malaysia have warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine's Day. In Saudi Arabia, the morality police outlaw the sale of all Valentine's Day items, forcing shopkeepers to remove any red items, because the day is considered a Christian holiday.
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are carrying the torch for the Indonesian Ulema Council in Dumai, Riau, and for the Education, Youth and Sport Agency in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, both of which issue a dire warning each year to people against celebrating Valentine’s Day, stating that the Day of Love “is against Islam.” This is because, as the Indonesian Ulema Council 2011 judgment explained, Valentine’s Day takes young people into a "dark world.”
Malaysia's State mufti chief assistant Mat Jais Kamos always keeps his mind focused on that dark world and so, in 2014, a few days before Valentine's Day, he ordered young people to stay clear of celebrating the Day of Love: “The celebration emphasizes the relationship between two individuals rather than the love between family members or married couples," he affirmed, and department officials backed up his command by distributing leaflets to remind Muslims of the 2006 ban on Valentine’s Day issued by the state fatwa council. In Islamic Uzbekistan, meanwhile, several universities habitually make sure that students actually sign contracts promising not to celebrate Valentine's.
All these Islamic outcries against Valentine's Day reflect myriad other efforts to suffocate the day of love throughout the Muslim World. For instance, in Aceh province in Indonesia every year, Muslim clerics issue stern warnings to Muslims against observing Valentine’s Day. Tgk Feisal, general secretary of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), has stated that “It is haram for Muslims to observe Valentine’s Day because it does not accord with Islamic Sharia.” He has stressed that the government must watch out for youths participating in Valentine’s Day activities in Aceh. One can only imagine what happens to the guilty parties.
As mentioned, the Saudis consistently punish the slightest hint of celebrating Valentine’s Day. The Kingdom and its religious police always officially issue a stern warning that anyone caught even thinking about Valentine’s Day will suffer some of the most painful penalties of Sharia Law. Daniel Pipes has documented how the Saudi regime takes a firm stand against Valentine’s every year and how the Saudi religious police monitor stores selling roses and other gifts.
Christian overseas workers living in Saudi Arabia from the Philippines and other countries always take extra precautions, heeding the Saudis’ warning to them specifically to avoid greeting anyone with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” or exchanging any gift that reeks of romance. A spokesman for a Philippine workers group has commented: "We are urging fellow Filipinos in the Middle East, especially lovers, just to celebrate their Valentine’s Day secretly and with utmost care."
The Iranian despots, meanwhile, as mentioned above, consistently try to make sure that the Saudis don’t outdo them in annihilating Valentine’s Day. Iran’s “morality” police sternly order shops to remove heart-and-flower decorations and images of couples embracing on this day — and anytime around this day.
Typical of this whole pathology in the Islamic world was a development witnessed back on February 10, 2006, when activists of the radical Kashmiri Islamic group Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Community) went on a rampagein Srinagar, the main city of the Indian portion of Kashmir. Some two dozen black-veiled Muslim women stormed gift and stationery shops, burning Valentine’s Day cards and posters showing couples together.
In the West, meanwhile, leftist feminists are not to be outdone by their Islamist allies in reviling — and trying to exterminate — Valentine’s Day. Throughout many Women’s Studies Programs on American campuses, for instance, you will find the demonization of this day, since, as the disciples of Andrea Dworkin angrily explain, the day is a manifestation of how capitalist and homophobic patriarchs brainwash and oppress women -- and push them into spheres of powerlessness.
As an individual who spent more than a decade in academia, I was privileged to witness this war against Valentine’s Day up close and personal. Feminist icons like Jane Fonda, meanwhile, help lead the assault on Valentine’s Day in society at large. As David Horowitz has documented, Fonda has led the campaign to transform this special day into “V-Day” (“Violence against Women Day”) — which is, when it all comes down to it, a day of hate, featuring a mass indictment of men.
So what exactly is transpiring here? What explains this hatred of Valentine’s Day by leftist feminists and Islamists? And how and why does it serve as the sacred bond that brings the Left and Islam together into its feast of hate?
The core issue at the foundation of this phenomenon is that Islam and the radical Left both revile the notion of private love, a non-tangible and divine entity that draws individuals to each other and, therefore, distracts them from submitting themselves to a secular deity.
The highest objective of both Islam and the radical Left is clear: to shatter the sacred intimacy that a man and a woman can share with one another, for such a bond is inaccessible to the order. History, therefore, demonstrates how Islam, like Communism, wages a ferocious war on any kind of private and unregulated love. In the case of Islam, the reality is epitomized in its monstrous structures of gender apartheid and the terror that keeps it in place. Indeed, female sexuality and freedom are demonized and, therefore, forced veiling, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killings and other misogynist monstrosities become mandatory parts of the sadistic paradigm.
The puritanical nature of totalist systems (whether Fascist, Communist, or Islamist) is another manifestation of this phenomenon. In Stalinist Russia, private sexual pleasure was portrayed as unsocialist and counter-revolutionary. More recent Communist societies have also waged war on sexuality — a war that Islam, as we know, wages with similar ferocity. These totalist structures cannot survive in environments filled with self-interested, pleasure-seeking individuals who prioritize devotion to other individual human beings over the collective and the state. Because the leftist believer viscerally hates the notion and reality of personal love and “the couple,” he champions the enforcement of totalitarian puritanism by the despotic regimes he worships.
The famous twentieth-century novels of dystopia, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, George Orwell’s 1984, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, all powerfully depict totalitarian society’s assault on the realm of *personal* love in its violent attempt to dehumanize human beings and completely subject them to its rule. In Zamyatin’s We, the earliest of the three novels, the despotic regime keeps human beings in line by giving them license for regulated sexual promiscuity, while private love is illegal. The hero breaks the rules with a woman who seduces him — not only into forbidden love but also into a counterrevolutionary struggle. In the end, the totality forces the hero, like the rest of the world’s population, to undergo the Great Operation, which annihilates the part of the brain that gives life to passion and imagination, and therefore spawns the potential for love. In Orwell’s 1984, the main character ends up being tortured and broken at the Ministry of Truth for having engaged in the outlawed behavior of unregulated love. In Huxley’s Brave New World, promiscuity is encouraged — everyone has sex with everyone else under regime rules, but no one is allowed to make a deep and independent private connection.
Yet as these novels demonstrate, no tyranny’s attempt to turn human beings into obedient robots can fully succeed. There is always someone who has doubts, who is uncomfortable, and who questions the secular deity — even though it would be safer for him to conform like everyone else. The desire that therefore overcomes the instinct for self-preservation is erotic passion. And that is why love presents such a threat to the totalitarian order: it dares to serve itself. It is a force more powerful than the all-pervading fear that a totalitarian order needs to impose in order to survive. Leftist and Muslim social engineers, therefore, in their twisted and human-hating imaginations, believe that the road toward earthly redemption (under a classless society or Sharia) stands a chance only if private love and affection is purged from the human condition.
This is exactly why, forty years ago, as Peter Collier and David Horowitz demonstrate in Destructive Generation, the Weather Underground not only waged war against American society through violence and mayhem, but also waged war on private love within its own ranks. Bill Ayers, one of the leading terrorists in the group, argued in a speech defending the campaign: "Any notion that people can have responsibility for one person, that they can have that ‘out’ — we have to destroy that notion in order to build a collective; we have to destroy all ‘outs,’ to destroy the notion that people can lean on one person and not be responsible to the entire collective."
Thus, the Weather Underground destroyed any signs of monogamy within its ranks and forced couples, some of whom had been together for years, to admit their “political error” and split apart. Like their icon Margaret Mead, they fought the notions of romantic love, jealousy, and other “oppressive” manifestations of one-on-one intimacy and commitment. This was followed by forced group sex and “national orgies,” whose main objective was to crush the spirit of individualism. This constituted an eerie replay of the sexual promiscuity that was encouraged (while private love was forbidden) in We, 1984, and Brave New World.
It becomes completely understandable, therefore, why leftist believers were so inspired by the tyrannies in the Soviet Union, Communist China, Communist North Vietnam and many other countries. As sociologist Paul Hollander has documented in his classic Political Pilgrims, fellow travelers were especially enthralled with the desexualized dress that the Maoist regime imposed on its citizens. This at once satisfied the leftist’s desire for enforced sameness and the imperative of erasing attractions between private citizens. As I have demonstrated in United in Hate, the Maoists’ unisex clothing finds its parallel in fundamentalist Islam’s mandate for shapeless coverings to be worn by both males and females. The collective “uniform” symbolizes submission to a higher entity and frustrates individual expression, mutual physical attraction, and private connection and affection. And so, once again, the Western leftist remains not only uncritical, but completely supportive of — and enthralled in — this form of totalitarian puritanism.
This is precisely why leftist feminists today do not condemn the forced veiling of women in the Islamic world; because they support everything that forced veiling engenders. It should be no surprise, therefore, that Naomi Wolf finds thehijab "sexy". And it should be no surprise that Oslo Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Unni Wikan, found a solutionfor the high incidence of Muslims raping Norwegian women: the rapists must not be punished, but Norwegian women must veil themselves.
Valentine’s Day is a “shameful day” for the Muslim world and for the radical Left. It is shameful because private love is considered obscene, since it threatens the highest of values: the need for a totalitarian order to attract the complete and undivided attention, allegiance and veneration of every citizen. Love serves as the most lethal threat to the tyrants seeking to build Sharia and a classless utopia on earth, and so these tyrants yearn for the annihilation of every ingredient in man that smacks of anything that it means to be human.
And so perhaps it is precisely on reflecting yesterday's Valentine’s Day that we are reminded of the hope that we can realistically have in our battle with the ugly and pernicious Unholy Alliance that seeks to destroy our civilization.
This day reminds us that we have a weapon, the most powerful arsenal on the face of the earth, in front of which despots and terrorists quiver and shake, and sprint from in horror into the shadows of darkness, desperately avoiding its piercing light.
That arsenal is Private love.
And no Maoist Red Guard or Saudi Islamo-Fascist cop ever stamped it out — no matter how much they beat and tortured their victims. And no al-Qaeda jihadist in Pakistan or Feminazi on any American campus will ever succeed in suffocating it, no matter how ferociously they lust to disinfect man of who and what he is.
Love will prevail.
Long Live Valentine’s Day.

(To get the whole story on Islam’s and the Left’s war on private love, see Jamie Glazov's book United in Hate: The Left's Romance With Tyranny and Terror.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Obamacare taxes to repeal

From the AP / Modesto Bee, today. Let's look at them one by one:

A look at the $1.1 trillion in taxes over 10 years imposed by former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The revenue helped pay for the law's expansion of coverage to millions of Americans.
The revenue estimates are by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. They could differ significantly from whatever Republicans propose in their effort to erase the law and replace it:
—3.8 percent tax on investment income over $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples: $223 billion in revenue over 10 years.
This first one is not surprising for Democrats--Tax other people to pay for subsidizing health insurance. However, as the overwhelming majority of people already insured have discovered, their insurance costs have still skyrocketed. Why? Perhaps we should examine other taxes below for a reason why....
—tax penalty on larger employers not providing health insurance to workers: $178 billion.
This one appears to be the stick to eimployers, as well as a carrot to the health insurance industry.
—annual fee on health insurance companies: $130 billion.
And here we go. We want health insurance to be more affordable, yet we impose taxes upon providers, which they will pass on in higher premiums, which will only drive the price of insurance up? How utterly counterproductive this is.
—0.9 percent Medicare surtax on income over $220,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples: $123 billion.
In effect, Medicare is now being "means tested" with this action, not in terms of who receives it, but in terms of who pays extra for it.
—"Cadillac" tax on value of high-cost employer provided health insurance: $79 billion.
And here we go again. So if an employer has a generous health care and health insurance perk for their employees, the Obamunist government wanted to punish them. So benefits for these no longer lucky people will be cut. How utterly counterproductive this also is.
—deductibility of medical costs exceeding 10 percent of people's income, raised from prior 7.5 percent threshold: $40 billion.
So when people get hit with a catastrophic emergency, they will find it much harder to deduct it on their income taxes, if at all. "Affordable Care Act", my ass.
—tax penalty on individuals who don't obtain health insurance: $38 billion.
The Obamacare idea here was to compel more people to buy health insurance in order to spread the costs.

And yet, the age upon which dependent children can live on their parents insurance has been raised all the way up to 26! Now while it is true that people 18-25 make few demands upon the health insurance system (other than anti-depressants, a notable exception), the effect of Obamacare, with its sop to Millenial Generation college and postgraduate kids, was to reduce the number of people paying into the health insurance systems, despite this act of punishing affluent people who did not buy health insurance.
—annual fee on makers and importers of prescription drugs: $30 billion.
And here we go again! We want prescription drugs to be more affordable, yet we impose taxes upon said drugs, which will only be passed on in higher prices, which will only drive the price of them up? How utterly counterproductive this is.
—2.3 percent tax on makers and importers of some medical devices, exempts consumer products such as eye glasses: $20 billion.
And here we go again! We want medical devices to be more affordable, yet we impose taxes upon said devices, which will only drive the price of them up? How utterly counterproductive this is.
—$2,500 annual limit on employee contributions to flexible spending accounts for medical costs (cap grows with inflation): $32 billion.
Here's a thought: Why not treat Medical Savings Accounts like IRAs, with unused benefits that can be carried over--and invested--year after year? Naw
—10 percent tax on indoor tanning services: $800 million.
This is like a smoker's tax, only it is a sunbather's tax. Is there proof of sunbather's abuse and massive skin cancer outbreaks? And even if so, wouldn't measured doses in tanning beds be better than variable doses of laying around in the sun outside?

Although I must admit, while I have argued against excessive tobacco taxes before--past a certain point the taxes become punitive penalties rather than revenue raisers--here, they actually WOULD make a degree of sense, helping to finance health insurance and health care while discouraging an unhealthy behavior.

And frankly, since there is a push to legalize pot, THERE is a place to impose an array of new taxes, that could go to finance state and local health care programs for the poor stoners. After all, if tobacco smoke is bad for the lungs, how is weed smoke not?

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/news/article132369819.html#storylink=cpy

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Left's New Fake Narrative: "The Russkies Did It!!!!"

Kudos to David "Iowahawk" Burge for pointing all this out in a series of Twitter tweets:

To summarize and rephrase him as best I can:

Anatomy of the Left's Fake News scandal:

1. John Podesta, like 100% of everyone who has ever had a email account, received a password phishing email. He fell for it.

2. According to some accounts, the phishing email had Russian fingerprints/ characteristics in its metadata. This has yet to be proven, nor does using a global internet server somewhere else prove that its orgin was that area.

3. Whatever the case, the password purloiners downloaded his emails, which eventually got into the hands of Wikileaks, who made them public. These emails revealed a rather unsavory person with an interesting taste in art and interesting wealthy friends who had frequent sex with minors on their own small island, part of the US Virgin Islands, but more importantly,

4. The emails were revealing frequent out and out collusion and strategic planning between the Democrat Party and "objective" journalists. Mostly embarrassing to media.

5. At the time of their release (October, before the federal Presidential election) they were hardly covered by any media, and largely dismissed as a big fat nothing.

6. Not one of the people whose emails were revealed has ever disputed their authenticity.

7. Fast forward to December, and a lost Democrat federal Presidential election. The October nothing has now magically transformed into "vote hacking" and "election hacking."

8. New Leftist narrative: treasonous Trump operatives conspired with Putin to hypnotically mesmerize Clinton voters into pulling the wrong lever.

9. This is not from Alex Jones or angry conspiracy kook Facebook uncles, it's from the NYT, the WaPo, and our beloved State Radio, NPR.

10. How effective has this been? If polls are to be believed, 50%+ of Democrats believe the Russians literally modified vote tallies. (Then again 50%+ of Democrats actually believed Obama's "Hope and Change" rhetoric, and believed that a man who spent his whole life stoking and amplifying racial and class divisions could somehow heal them.)

11. And you know what? None of this is a really a defense of Trump, let alone Putin. It IS an indictment of our garbage narrative-driven media.

12. It shouldn't have to take a drunk internet nobody to point any of this out, but hey, here we are.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Primary elections: What we owe Donald Trump....

I want to address what we, as patriotic, Constitution-loving Americans, owe Donald Trump today.

Because we actually owe him a great debt.

Due in large part to Donald Trump, the grassroots effort that began with tea parties in the streets of America a few years ago has grown and morphed into a massive movement that has the potential of shifting our nation. Trump has personified and embodied an underground current of discontent with the Establishment -- a distrust of government that spans party lines.

So here's what we owe Donald Trump today....

We owe Donald Trump our thanks for giving a voice to a massive Outsider movement, slaying the dragon of political correctness, elevating the importance of several core issues, and taking down the "chosen" Establishment candidates.

So we owe Donald Trump our thanks. Mr. Trump, take a bow.

But here's what we do not owe Mr. Trump...

We *do not* owe Donald Trump our votes.

If you're like me and millions of patriotic conservatives in our land, you've been struggling with two sentiments. You know from the facts that Trump is not a conservative. After all, he has more consistently supported Democratic candidates over his lifetime than Republicans. Until very recently, Trump was far to the Left of distrusted GOP RINOs like Mitt Romney on core issues like immigration and healthcare, to name just two.

And let's be honest about Mr. Trump's deportment. He's a hard-driving, verbal killer -- a brash and at times vulgar candidate who has turned this campaign into a reality TV show.

Yet something inside of you has been telling you that Trump just feels right. Finally, someone with the internal fortitude to stand up to the bully of Big Government!

And you're right. We've been maligned by the Left and betrayed by the GOP Establishment. Trump just feels like the right guy to stick it to the system! But let's be honest and acknowledge that Trump is not, nor has he ever been, a limited government conservative.

So here's my advice: understand what you owe Donald Trump today. You owe him your thanks. But not your vote. Be thankful for Trump because his candidacy and his impact on this presidential race has done something truly amazing...

Trump has created real space and a real opportunity for a real conservative to win.

And who is that candidate?

Ted Cruz.

Rush Limbaugh called Cruz "the closest living thing to Ronald Reagan we're ever going to have in our lifetimes. I don't know what more I can say about Ted Cruz."

Cruz's record and his rhetoric back up Rush's statement. Perhaps most importantly, Ted Cruz is the best qualified among the three GOP leaders to actually nominate to the Supreme Court originalists who will interpret and not re-write the Constitution.

So, yes, we owe a great debt of thanks to Donald Trump. He is the first public figure to represent on a truly national platform the growing grassroots Anti-Establishment movement which may well be the last, best hope for our nation.

So, as you go to the polls, give a hearty "thanks" to Donald Trump.

But vote for the strongest conservative in the field: Ted Cruz.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar....and Absolutely Right!!!

Tucker Carlson, to his credit, nails it. And coming from the Politico, that's saying something.

No, he's not my first choice; at this point, Ted Cruz is.

But it is nice to hear someone say the Truth, loudly and proudly.

* * * * *
Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right

And, my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault.
By Tucker Carlson

About 15 years ago, I said something nasty on CNN about Donald Trump’s hair. I can’t now remember the context, assuming there was one. In any case, Trump saw it and left a message the next day.

“It’s true you have better hair than I do,” Trump said matter-of-factly. “But I get more pussy than you do.” Click.

At the time, I’d never met Trump and I remember feeling amused but also surprised he’d say something like that. Now the pattern seems entirely familiar. The message had all the hallmarks of a Trump attack: shocking, vulgar and indisputably true.

Not everyone finds it funny. On my street in Northwest Washington, D.C., there’s never been anyone as unpopular as Trump. The Democrats assume he’s a bigot, pandering to the morons out there in the great dark space between Georgetown and Brentwood. The Republicans (those relatively few who live here) fully agree with that assessment, and they hate him even more. They sense Trump is a threat to them personally, to their legitimacy and their livelihoods. Idi Amin would get a warmer reception in our dog park.

I understand it of course. And, except in those moments when the self-righteous silliness of rich people overwhelms me and I feel like moving to Maine, I can see their points, some of them anyway. Trump might not be my first choice for president. I’m not even convinced he really wants the job. He’s smart enough to know it would be tough for him to govern.

But just because Trump is an imperfect candidate doesn’t mean his candidacy can’t be instructive. Trump could teach Republicans in Washington a lot if only they stopped posturing long enough to watch carefully. Here’s some of what they might learn:

(1) He Exists Because You Failed

American presidential elections usually amount to a series of overcorrections: Clinton begat Bush, who produced Obama, whose lax border policies fueled the rise of Trump. In the case of Trump, though, the GOP shares the blame, and not just because his fellow Republicans misdirected their ad buys or waited so long to criticize him. Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party. That ought to be obvious to his critics, yet somehow it isn’t.

Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.

Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents “an existential threat to conservatism.”

Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal. 

It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed. For decades, party leaders and intellectuals imagined that most Republicans were broadly libertarian on economics and basically neoconservative on foreign policy. That may sound absurd now, after Trump has attacked nearly the entire Republican catechism (he savaged the Iraq War and hedge fund managers in the same debate) and been greatly rewarded for it, but that was the assumption the GOP brain trust operated under. They had no way of knowing otherwise. The only Republicans they talked to read the Wall Street Journal too.

On immigration policy, party elders were caught completely by surprise. Even canny operators like Ted Cruz didn’t appreciate the depth of voter anger on the subject. And why would they? If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.

Apart from his line about Mexican rapists early in the campaign, Trump hasn’t said anything especially shocking about immigration. Control the border, deport lawbreakers, try not to admit violent criminals — these are the ravings of a Nazi? This is the “ghost of George Wallace” that a Politico piece described last August? A lot of Republican leaders think so. No wonder their voters are rebelling.
And frankly, Tucker, even the point about cross-border crime--which includes rape--is the hard truth.
(2) Truth Is Not Only A Defense, It’s Thrilling

When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it? If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long. That’s not just a talking point about political correctness. It’s the central problem with our national conversation, the main reason our debates are so stilted and useless. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the words to describe it. You can’t even think about it clearly.

This depressing fact made Trump’s political career. In a country where almost everyone in public life lies reflexively, it’s thrilling to hear someone say what he really thinks, even if you believe he’s wrong. It’s especially exciting when you suspect he’s right.

A temporary ban on Muslim immigration? That sounds a little extreme (meaning nobody else has said it recently in public). But is it? Millions of Muslims have moved to Western Europe over the past 50 years, and a sizable number of them still haven’t assimilated. Instead, they remain hostile and sometimes dangerous to the cultures that welcomed them. By any measure, that experiment has failed. What’s our strategy for not repeating it here, especially after San Bernardino—attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere? Invoke American exceptionalism and hope for the best? Before Trump, that was the plan.

Republican primary voters should be forgiven for wondering who exactly is on the reckless side of this debate. At the very least, Trump seems like he wants to protect the country.

Evangelicals understand this better than most. You read surveys that indicate the majority of Christian conservatives support Trump, and then you see the video: Trump on stage with pastors, looking pained as they pray over him, misidentifying key books in the New Testament, and in general doing a ludicrous imitation of a faithful Christian, the least holy roller ever. You wonder as you watch this: How could they be that dumb? He’s so obviously faking it.
They know that already. I doubt there are many Christian voters who think Trump could recite the Nicene Creed, or even identify it. Evangelicals have given up trying to elect one of their own. What they’re looking for is a bodyguard, someone to shield them from mounting (and real) threats to their freedom of speech and worship. Trump fits that role nicely, better in fact than many church-going Republicans. For eight years, there was a born-again in the White House. How’d that work out for Christians, here and in Iraq?

(3) Washington Really Is Corrupt

Everyone beats up on Washington, but most of the people I know who live here love it. Of course they do. It’s beautiful, the people are friendly, we’ve got good restaurants, not to mention full employment and construction cranes on virtually every corner. If you work on Capitol Hill or downtown, it’s hard to walk back from lunch without seeing someone you know. It’s a warm bath. Nobody wants to leave.

But let’s pretend for a second this isn’t Washington. Let’s imagine it’s the capital of an African country, say Burkina Faso, and we are doing a study on corruption. Probably the first question we’d ask: How many government officials have close relatives who make a living by influencing government spending? A huge percentage of them? OK. Case closed. Ouagadougou is obviously a very corrupt city.

That’s how the rest of the country views D.C. Washington is probably the richest city in America because the people who live there have the closest proximity to power. That seems obvious to most voters. It’s less obvious to us, because everyone here is so cheerful and familiar, and we’re too close to it. Chairman so-and-so’s son-in-law lobbies the committee? That doesn’t seem corrupt. He’s such a good guy.

All of which explains why almost nobody in Washington caught the significance of Trump’s finest moment in the first debate. One of the moderators asked, in effect: if you’re so opposed to Hillary Clinton, why did she come to your last wedding? It seemed like a revealing, even devastating question.

Trump’s response, delivered without pause or embarrassment: Because I paid her to be there. As if she was the wedding singer, or in charge of the catering.

Even then, I’ll confess, I didn’t get it. (Why would you pay someone to come to your wedding?) But the audience did. Trump is the ideal candidate to fight Washington corruption not simply because he opposes it, but because he has personally participated in it. He’s not just a reformer; like most effective populists, he’s a whistleblower, a traitor to his class. Before he became the most ferocious enemy American business had ever known at the time, Teddy Roosevelt was a rich guy. His privilege wasn't incidental; it was key to his appeal. Anyone can peer through the window in envy. It takes a real man to throw furniture through it from the inside.

If Trump is leading a populist movement, many of his Republican critics have joined an elitist one. Deriding Trump is an act of class solidarity, visible evidence of refinement and proof that you live nowhere near a Wal-Mart. Early last summer, in a piece that greeted Trump when he entered the race, National Review described the candidate as “a ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula.” Virtually every other critique of Trump from the right has voiced similar aesthetic concerns.

Why is the Party of Ideas suddenly so fixated on fashion and hair? Maybe all dying institutions devolve this way, from an insistence on intellectual rigor to a flabby preoccupation with appearances. It happened in the Episcopal Church, once renowned for its liturgy, now a stop on architectural and garden tours. Only tourists go there anymore.

(4) He Could Win

Of all the dumb things that have been said about Trump by people who were too slow to get finance jobs and therefore wound up in journalism, perhaps the stupidest of all is the one you hear most: He’ll get killed in the general! This is a godsend for Democrats! Forty-state wipeout! And so it goes mindlessly on.

Actually — and this is no endorsement of Trump, just an interjection of reality — that’s a crock. Of the Republicans now running, Trump likely has the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton, for two reasons:

First, he’s the only Republican who can meaningfully expand the pie. Polls show a surprisingly large number of Democrats open to Trump. In one January survey by the polling form Mercury Analytics , almost 20 percent said they’d consider crossing over to him from Hillary. Even if that’s double the actual number, it’s still stunning. Could Ted Cruz expect to draw that many Democrats? Could Jeb?

It’s an article of faith in Washington that Trump would tank the party’s prospects with minority voters. Sounds logical, especially if you’re a sensitive white liberal who considers the suggestion of a border wall a form of hate speech, but consider the baseline. In the last election, Romney got 6 percent of the black vote, and 27 percent of Hispanics. Trump, who’s energetic, witty and successful, will do worse? I wouldn’t bet on it.
(In fact, when I remember that Governor Pete Wilson won a GOP record of about 30% of the African American vote in California for his stance on illegal aliens, and STILL won the usual 1/3 of Mexican American Republican voters, I have to wonder how many American-born "people of color" really like the illegal alien invasion either.)
But the main reason Trump could win is because he’s the only candidate hard enough to call Hillary’s bluff. Republicans will say almost anything about Hillary, but almost none challenge her basic competence. She may be evil, but she’s tough and accomplished. This we know, all of us.
But do we? Or is this understanding of Hillary just another piety we repeat out of unthinking habit, the political equivalent of, “you can be whatever you want to be,” or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Trump doesn’t think Hillary is impressive and strong. He sees her as brittle and afraid.

He may be right, based on his exchange with her just before Christmas. During a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said Hillary had been “schlonged” by Obama in the 2008 race. In response, the Clinton campaign called Trump a sexist. It’s a charge Hillary has leveled against virtually every opponent she’s faced, but Trump responded differently. Instead of scrambling to donate to breast cancer research, he pointed out that Hillary spent years attacking the alleged victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. That ended the conversation almost immediately.

It was the most effective possible response, though more obvious than brilliant. Why was Trump the only Republican to use it?

Republican primary voters may be wondering the same thing. Or maybe they already know. They seem to know a lot about Trump, more than the people who run their party. They know that he isn’t a conventional ideological conservative. They seem relieved. They can see that he’s emotionally incontinent. They find it exciting.

Washington Republicans look on at this in horror, their suspicions confirmed. Beneath the thin topsoil of rural conservatism, they see the seeds of proto-fascism beginning to sprout. But that’s not quite right. Republicans in the states aren’t dangerous. They’ve just evaluated the alternatives and decided those are worse.
* * * * *

You know, the popularity of "The Hunger Games" books and movies should have been a hint to the Washington Establishment. I recall the excess in the depictions of "the Capital" in The Hunger Games when reading this Tucker Carlson piece.

No, they aren't *quite* sacrificing us Middle Americans in such a fanciful and shocking way as they tried with Katniss and her friends.

But they are, in fact, doing so.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Supreme Court Majority: The Rule Of The Anus

Three decisions ruined liberty today. The Rule Of Law is being destroyed and the Rule Of The Anus is rising to replace it, and not just because of “teh ghey” issue forced upon us all by judicial 14th amendment fabrication fiat either.

No, gays were not freed African Americans!

If you REALLY believe in same sex marriage and aren't just using it as a tool to bully Christian bakers and Silicon Valley executives who don't, then go fight for it state-by-state, as women's suffrage was done, back when people still believed in a Constitutional Amendment process.

And then, in a second Court decision, statistical variations can be used to "prove" racial discrimination now in housing, regardless of who actually purchased a home in a neighborhood or had the ability to do so.

I know, I know, income to debt ratios and credit history are "white privilege" or inherently racist, so let's just get that out of the way.... :-P

The ultimate coup de grace for liberty came with the Obamacare ruling, where regardless of how the law was explicitly written about subsidies for state or federal exchanges, somehow there was magical "intent", to write it differently.

Scalia’s dissent: “We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice, just as the people lack the ability to throw us out of office if they dislike the solutions we concoct.”

That is a DISSENT. 

In a sane world that would be the 9 – zip decision.

But that’s the thing isn’t it?

The Rule of Law is dead.

Under this ruling, you could literally shit on a piece of paper, have it passed by Congress and signed by the President–then interpret it to mean whatever you want–because intentions!!! So never mind "Teh Gheys", this decision is the ultimate Rule Of The Anus.

The Blackmailed (I firmly believe this) John Roberts and Obama have broken the United States of America. The Humpty Dumpty Principle is now operative. Under the socialist Obama:
--The USA is bankrupt.
--We are no longer a world leader.
--Our middle class is dwindling.
--The destruction of the family is nearly complete.
--Nearly fifty million Americans are on food stamps.
--Almost 100 million Americans are out of the work force, hence "lower unemployment figures" (which count people actively seeking work).
--And there is no functional opposition to any of this.

But, Confederate battle flag! And statues !!

And the Leftist Smear Machine gets cranking up.

Some years ago, Julian Bond, living on the fumes of his Civil Rights cred, ranted that “Tea Party Members long for the Confederacy”.

Meanwhile, Julian Bond longs for the Soviet Union.

Once I believed that with enough Real Republicans to overwhelm the RINOs, we could actually make a difference.

But now I believe that the Left Media Smear Machine is too strong. And where that doesn’t silence opposition, the Left Blackmail Machine does. How else to explain Justice Roberts and former Speaker Hastert?

Meanwhile, too many people are tuned out on twerking or drugs or sports or The Bachelor(ette) or who knows what.

And perhaps they are correct to be, as we can no longer win.

I think it’s time to admit that the tide has turned against liberty and responsibility and the rule of law.

Obama and his ilk won for a reason.

Same sex marriage is being accepted for a reason.

“Politically Correct” mau-mauing is being accepted for a reason.

Our economy is in the shitter for a reason.

The GOP can’t effectively respond for a reason.

The media can lie and obfuscate for a reason.

And so forth.

The reason, sadly, is that the "low information voter" sheeple majority in the country believes those actions or situations are okay.

We’re on the minority side, and probably will be from now until “they run out of other people’s money”, and the cumulative effects of these uninformed and ill conceived ideas overwhelm the country. And perhaps even beyond that point, as some Commiecrat decides he can nationalize everything like Allende in Chile, or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The importing of millions of illegal aliens from the banana republics may be no accident.

Perhaps another Reagan or an American Thatcher can arise and try to turn the tide, but we would need a planned succession of at least 4 terms of their minions–and solid Tea Party Congresses in place concurrently.

Perhaps another Tailgunner Joe McCarthy can arise to counter-demonize and neutralize the “Politically Correct” mau-mauing, but he would probably be driven to drinking himself to death, just like the original Tailgunner Joe was.

Perhaps The Obamunist and his successors will try to overreach like Allende did down in Chile, but will the only response be to get a Pinochet of our own to have a dictatorship and rule over the nation of socialist dupes for 16 years until the mess is straightened out and the dupes grow up, die off, or wise up, depending upon their ages? That certainly wasn’t libertarian.

Well, just some happy thoughts for the day….. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Victor Davis Hanson: Goodnight, California

This bears repeating entirely. A once Golden State is slowly rotting. The Liberal coastal elites are still too pampered and don't see it, but those of us inland can see the warning signs all too well .....

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I offer another chronicle, a 14-hour tour of the skeleton I once knew as California.

8:00 AM

I finally got around to retrieving the car seat that someone threw out in front of the vineyard near my mailbox. (Don’t try waiting dumpers out — as if it is not your responsibility to clean up California roadsides.)

An acquaintance had also emailed and reminded me that not far away there was a mound of used drip hose on the roadside. That mess proved to be quite large, maybe 1,000 feet of corroded and ripped up plastic hose. I suppose no scavenger thinks it can be recycled. I promise to haul it away this week. One must be prompt: even a small pile attracts dumpers like honey to bees. They are an ingenious and industrious lot (sort of like the cunning and work ethic of those who planted IEDs during the Iraq War). My cousin’s pile across the road has grown to Mt. Rushmore proportions. Do freelance dumpers make good money promising to take away their neighborhood’s mattresses and trash without paying the $20 or so county dumping fee? And does their success depend on fools like me, who are expected to keep roadsides tidy by cleaning up past trash to make room for future refuse?

9:00 AM

My relative has sold her 20 acres to a successful almond grower; that was the last parcel other than my own left of my great great grandmother’s farm. All that remains is the original house I live in and 40 acres. Almost all the small farming neighbors I grew up with — of Armenian, Punjabi, German, or Japanese descent — are long gone. Goodbye, diversity. And their children either sold the parcels and moved away (the poorer seem to head to the foothills, the middle class go out of state, the better off flee to the coast) or rent them out. Most of the surrounding countryside, piece-by-piece, is being reconstituted into vast almond groves. I plan to rent out mine next year for such conversion.

Almonds can net far more per acre than raisins and do not require much more water and require almost no labor. Tree fruit, given its expenses and risks, can lose your farm. The last vestiges of small, agrarian farming in these parts died sometime in the 1990s. Oddly, or perhaps predictably, the land to the naked eye looks better in the sense that the power of corporate capital and savvy scientific expertise has resulted in picture-perfect orchards. The old agrarian idea that 40 acres also grows a unique family, not just food, is — how do we say it? No longer operative?

10:00 AM

I drive on the 99 freeway past Kingsburg on the way to Visalia. It is a road-warrior maze of construction and detours. The construction hazards are of the sort that would earn any private contractor a lawsuit. (How do you sue Caltrans — and why is it that four or five men always seem to be standing around one who is working?) Only recently has the state decided to upgrade the fossilized two-lane 99 into an interstate freeway of three lanes. But the construction is slow and seemingly endless. Could we not have a simple state rule: “no high-speed rail corridors until the 101, 99, and I-5 are three-lane freeways, and the neglected Amtrak line achieves profitable ridership?” It is almost as if California answers back: “I am too bewildered by your premodern challenges, so I will take psychological refuge in my postmodern fantasies.”

12:00 Noon

I try to drive by the Reedley DMV on the way home to switch a car registration. Appointments take a long waiting period, but the line of the show-ups is still far out the door and well into the parking lot. I pass. The state announced that it was surprised that “unexpectedly” (the catch adverb of the Obama era) nearly 500,000 illegal aliens have already been processed with new driver’s licenses. The lines at the office suggest that many DMVs simply have transmogrified into illegal alien license-processing centers.

The last time I had visited the office, I noticed the customers were also dealing with fines, tickets, or fix-it citations as part of the process. I thought, how will they pay for all that, given that “living in the shadows” and ignoring summonses and threats is far easier than paying what the state wants? And then, presto, the governor just announced a wish that the poor should be given “ticket amnesty.” So much for Sacramento’s idea of fining California drivers into becoming a reliable revenue source for a broke state, given that it has affected far more drivers than the shrinking and hated middle class that could supposedly afford the new sky-high tickets.

It reminds me of Obamacare: after my accident last May, I had lots of procedures and hours in waiting rooms. I discovered something listening to the desk people deal with Obamacare signups: a vast number apparently have not regularly paid the monthly or quarterly premiums. An even larger group has no idea what a deductible is, or that it actually applies to themselves. And some had no notion of a copayment. The reality of all three sends many into a near frenzy, reminiscent of the idea that a driver’s license means keeping up with registration, smog rules, and paying outstanding warrants — until the state provides the expected amnesties.

2:00 PM

I’m at the local supermarket two miles away. Three observations: many of the shoppers seem to be here for the air conditioning (the forecast is for 105 degrees by 5 PM). No one in the Bay Area, whose green agenda has led to the highest power rates in the country, seems to have thought that all of California does not enjoy 65-75 degree coastal corridor weather. My latest PG&E bill reminds me to apply for income-adjusted reduced rates — if I qualify. I don’t, so keep the air conditioner off all day.

Obesity among the shoppers seems epidemic and no one is talking about it. It is striking how young the overweight are! Almost all our small towns now have new state/federal dialysis clinics. Is this not a state emergency? Cannot the state at least offer public health warnings to the immigrant community that while diabetes is alarming among the population at large, it is becoming epidemic among new arrivals from Latin America and Mexico?

Stories that 25 percent of all state hospital admittances suffer from high blood sugar levels circulate. I argue in a friendly way with a customer in line about the new “green” Coke. He claims it is diet, but tastes like regular Coke. I remind him that it is so only because the artificial sweetener has been energized by some cane sugar and it is not so diet after all. (He is buying eight six-packs in fear of shortages.)

I don’t understand the EBT system. How is it that customers ahead of me pull out not one, but often go through three or four cards before they cobble together enough plastic credit for the full tab? Where does one acquire multiple cards?

4:00 PM

I am talking ag pumps at home with some farmers. The water table here has gone from 40 feet in 2011 to 82 feet now — the result of four years of constant pumping combined with below-average rain and snow runoff, and the complete cut-off of contracted surface water from the Kings River watershed (don’t ask why). I lowered one 15-hp submersible to 100 feet (the well is only 160, which used to be called “deep” when the water table was 40 feet). “Lowering” means less water pumped, more energy costs, a waiting list for the pump people, and sky-high service charges. The renter promises to lower the other one, whose pump is pumping air, now well above the sinking water table. My house well is only 140 feet deep. I just lowered the pump to a 110-foot draw, and decided to get on the “waiting list” for a new domestic well. (Prices for drilling by the foot have increased fivefold, and are said to go up monthly).

If the drought continues, one will see two unimaginable things by next spring: thousands of abandoned older homes out in the countryside from Merced to Bakersfield, and tens of thousands of acres on the West Side (water table ca. 1,000 feet and dropping) will go fallow if they are row-crops. And if orchards and vineyards, a mass die-off will follow of trees and vines. (Note that Silicon Valley’s Crystal Springs reservoir on freeway 280 is “full.” No Bay Area green activist is arguing either that the deliveries through massive conduits should be stopped at the San Joaquin River to be diverted for fish restoration, or that the entire project is unnatural and a scar on Yosemite Park, warranting shutting down the huge transfer system in favor of recycling waste water for showers and gardens.)

5:00 PM

I’m on a PG&E off-peak rate schedule, so I’m waiting until evening to turn on the air conditioner. It is 104 degrees outside and 96 degrees inside the house. As a youth, we used a tiny window, inefficient air conditioner far more in the 1960s and 1970s than I ever do now with central air. Given power rates, the idea of a cool home in the valley is so 1970s.

6:00 PM

I take another walk around the farm. Good — no one has yet shot the majestic pair of red tail hawks yet, who greet me on their accustomed pole. But I do notice someone has forced open the cyclone fence around the neighbor’s vacant house. It was put up to stop the serial vandalizing. (What do you do after stealing copper wire? Go for the sheet rock? Pipes? Windows? Shingles?)

7:00 PM

A friend calls and mentions that local JCs had a spate of car vandalizations. This time targets are catalytic converters (for precious metal salvage?). I get the impression that today’s Gothic looter and Vandal is more ingenious than the state’s work force. Note the new California: the citizen is responsible for picking up trash or keeping a car running clean with a converter. The idea that a bankrupt state would create a task force to go after such thievery is absurd. I appreciate California logic: don’t dare suggest that massive new commitments to ensure social parity for millions of new arrivals through increased state legal, medical, criminal justice, and educational programs ever come at the expense of investments in roads, bridges, reservoirs, airports, or public facilities — or even the accustomed state services that one took for granted in 1970. To do so is nativist, racist, and xenophobic. What an illiberal state we’ve become.

8:00 PM

I’m on the upstairs balcony looking out over miles of lush countryside. It’s quite scenic, something in between verdant Tuscany and the aridness of Sicily. I can hear the ag pumps of the surrounding farms everywhere churning 24/7. In a normal year they would never be turned on, as river water irrigated the fields and recharged the water table.

Then come two sirens. Will the power go off? Quite often, someone after too much to drink goes airborne and hits a power pole on these rural roads. I got back inside in case things go dark to review the mail. The local irrigation district has not delivered water in four years (what do ditch tenders do when canals and ditches are empty?) and now wants a tax hike to keep up with increased expenses. In fact, half the mail seems to be drought information from various agencies. What was so awful about building just two or three one million acre-foot reservoirs, or raising Shasta Dam? We could begin today. When the taps at Facebook or the Google toilets go dry, will the state again invest in water storage?

10:00 PM

I turn on the local news and channel surf for 10 minutes. How well we take refuge in the absurd. This litany blares out: Bruce Jenner’s new sexual identity, the latest racial controversy, this time over the crashing of a private pool party and the police reaction, the Obama’s new stretch Air Force One jumbo jet, Marco Rubio’s one ticket every four years, Miley Cyrus’s bisexuality. I suppose if one cannot grasp, much less deal with, $19 trillion in debt, a foreign policy in shambles, the largest state in the union on the cusp of a disastrous drought, a Potemkin health care system, zero interest on passbook savings, and the end of all federal immigration law, then the trivial must become existential.

Goodnight, once great state…