Archive for the ‘common sense’ Tag

Don’t Fence Us In   Leave a comment

For Western state citizens, who typically value freedom and the ability to leave our homes and breath fresh air, it is very frustrating that we are constrained by the federal government onto tiny plots of land in cities because we are not allowed to own most of the land in the states we live in.

Trump Meltdown   2 comments

Wow! I saw it coming, but for all those folks who liked Trump – wow.

I will say this again — all the polls in the world mean nothing. Elections are what count. Trump’s “popularity” may well have had to do with how the pollsters were wording the survey questions … or name recognition … or entertainment value.

People get into the polling booth, however, and they take it more seriously than they did answering the question on the phone while dinner was getting cold. Trump doesn’t meet the serious candidate standard.

This also speaks to a larger issue. There is a move among some to make voting something you can do from the comfort of your home. How many people would have opted for Trump after their after-dinner cocktail? I’m just suggesting that we might want to realize that people make sloppy decisions when they’re allowed to be sloppy in what they’re doing. They say “yes” to Trump to the pollster on the phone, but “maybe” to Cruz and Rubio when they get to the polling booth. Something as important as voting should not be turned into a casual behavior.

Issues Voting   Leave a comment

I don’t think progressives are evil. I believe they mean well, but I also think they are foolish, possibly misinformed, and apt to vote emotionally rather than rationally. I don’t think they fully think through the inevitable results of their policies and when those results become visible, they refuse to admit that they were wrong.

This is a fault of progressives in both parties. A corporate crony Republican is no more likely to admit that corporations are raping the country and overwhelming the rest of the economy than a liberal Democrat likely to admit that you can’t give everyone everything for free without driving the “rich” to leave the country, leaving the middle class to foot the bill, which will eventually lead to economic ruin.

Neither stance is healthy for a nation. To the extent that I still believe that the United States can be saved — if it is even worth being saved — I will vote in the 2016 Presidential elections. I don’t expect my vote to make a difference and, for the most part, I don’t care.

In the posts linked below, I’ve analyzed many of the candidates in the race and considered why I would vote for them or not.

Hillary Clinton is disqualified in my analysis because she wants to be queen. She thinks her relationship with former-President Bill Clinton entitles her to the Oval office now. What she is attempting to do is what our founders got rid of in the 1770s. We should learn from them. But then there’s her actions while as Secretary of State. Benghazi appears to have been a black flag operation that got away from the State Department. Of greater concern was her disregard for the email security measures that were standard at the State Department. Her private server was hacked. We ordinarily hold lesser members of the government responsible for that sort of breech of security. It shows us exactly what sort of monarch she would be. Ultimately, though, she could have great policies that I fully agree with and I would reject her because of the nepotism. We do not need dynastic rule in the US.

Jeb Bush is also disqualified in my analysis because he wants to be king. He thinks his relationship with former-Presidents Bush 1 & 2 entitles him to the Oval office now. What he is attempting to do is what our founders got rid of in the 1770s. We should learn from them. Moreover, though I didn’t deal with it, he’s a progressive business-class elite who is way too cozy with corporations. Ultimately, though, he could have great policies that I fully agree with and I would reject him because of the nepotism. We do not need dynastic rule in the US.

Bernie Sanders is a socialist who believes we can give everyone everything for free, soak the rich to pay for it, and life will be wonderful. That theory has been disproven by history on multiple occasions. He’s anti-corporations, which is commendable, but there are other candidates in the race who meet that standard and could pass a classical economics exam, which Sanders cannot. Just because he would allow people to vote to take away the civil rights and economic freedoms of the totality of society does not mean he isn’t a tyrant.

I then looked at the current field of the GOP. Trump is a misogynist egotist who thinks the Presidency is a popularity contest. I suspect he’s working for the Democrats. I did not seriously consider his policies because I cannot seriously consider the man. His support of single-payer health insurance puts him with Sanders in the loony-socialists-who-cannot-pass-an-economics-exam camp. He’s more of a fascist socialist, but they basically end up in the same place — a loss of freedom for the people in order to fulfill a government agenda.

I went through some of the GOP candidates and showed where I agreed with them and where I didn’t and why I might vote for them or might not. Some got higher marks than others, but ultimately, I rejected most of them on foreign policy aggression. I’m not dove. I believe in a strong defense and in a strong counter-strike capability, but I believe we should be pulling back our military empire to focus on protecting our own country. Yeah, that’s sort of isolationism … if one were to define isolationism by today’s insane standards. Ten years ago, I thought bases around the world were necessary for our defense. I have since thought on the subject and studied it and I have adjusted my thinking. We should have diplomatic relationships with all countries, be a porcupine defensively and not much more. We can’t afford it anymore and it ultimately makes Americans less safe worldwide and at home. I looked at Carly Fiorino, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz — I found things to like about all of them and ultimately said I probably wouldn’t vote for any of them.

I’m voting for Rand Paul in the primary because I mostly agree with him on the issues. No, he’s not sexy or flashy, but he’s for liberty, entitlement reform, a reduction in taxes and a pulling back of some of our foreign empire. He probably won’t win the nomination, and I’m okay with that.

So, in November, that means I have a choice — vote for whomever the GOP nominee is, vote for whomever the Democratic nominee is, or vote for someone else. I’m not a Libertarian. I hold libertarian (small “l” deliberate) principles. But I will likely be voting for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in November. I have issues with his platform, but I have issues with almost every candidate.

The very fact that a super-voter (I have voted in every election since I was 18 years old) is going to vote for someone most of the nation’s voters have never heard of should be a red flag for folks.

The ballot box has failed. I will continue to exercise the soap box and the jury box (as I have opportunity), but I suspect those will fail as well until after the progressives have tried to exercise the bullet box and forced a confrontation. Then I hope people will turn to my efforts on the soap box to find some guidance as to how to fix the mess they’ve made.


Gary Johnson may well be my general election presidential vote for 2016 since I don’t really expect the GOP to nominate Rand Paul as their candidate even if he were to perform strongly in the primaries.

As with every candidate I’ve examined, I don’t wholly agree with him and that’s okay. His abortion stance is similar to the stance I held before I had children — that abortion is acceptable until viability and that nobody should be forced to pay for someone else’s abortion, even if it is through taxation. I now consider convenience abortions at all stages to be murder. But I’ve said, I don’t choose a candidate on a single issue and the fact that he wouldn’t force me to pay for someone else’s abortion is acceptable to me.

I agree with him that the government should keep its hands off the economy. I agree with him on cutting entitlements and defense. He supports gay marriage, which I strongly oppose, but he wants government out of marriage entirely, which I can accept.

I oppose corporations having crony relationships with government, but I believe we need to lower, eliminate the corporate income tax in order to create real jobs. Cut government spending so taxes can be lowered on everyone and the economy will recover and pay down the debt without government assistance. We were almost debt free as a nation in 2000 using a compromised version of this ideal.

We are in philosophical agreement on crime and the legalization of marijuana, though we disagree on some details.

We agree that education is best if it is at the state or local level and that the federal government ought to get out of it altogether.

We largely agree on energy issues. He would turn environmental issues over to the states. YES! That was what the authorizing act of the EPA says should be done, by the way.

We agree on foreign policy. The US can no longer afford to shell out billions that are not in US interests.

He would eliminate tariffs and trade restrictions, but also eliminate corporatism. He would let businesses make their own decisions. He is strong on government reform, term limits, and states’ rights. He is actually find with unlimited corporate campaign donations, but with full disclosure. I need to think about that, but it’s not a deal breaker. We agree that gun control is completely ineffective at saving lives and unconstitutional.

Government-managed healthcare is insanity and ACA is unconstitutional!

He would end spying on US citizens, questions our troop investment in Europe, and abolish the TSA. Yay!

He’s an open borders guy and I will struggle with that because I think people have a right not to be invaded.

He’s right that governments do not create jobs, businesses do. We largely agree on entitlement reform, though I would only means test if those who are considered above means have their actual investment returned to them.

I’m not sure how I feel about a 23% national sales tax to eliminate the IRS and income tax. More thought would be required on my party.

I mostly agree with him on military issues and his opposition to nation building resonates with me.

So I might vote for him in November … or it is possible I’ll just write in Rand Paul.


Principles in Voting   3 comments

I was raised in a politically divided home. Dad was a old-style Democrat union member who would be shocked at how far left the Democratic Party has drifted (and would probably vote Republican these days) and Mom was a nonpartisan conservative feminist who would wonder why modern conservatives keep voting with the Republican Party when it is clearly not a conservative political party. She’d be voting Libertarian now, but probably still not be a party member.

They thought it was healthy to discuss politics with us growing up and we were expected to study the issues from both perspectives and form opinions. They liked it when we argued with them. I have never been a member of a political party. Alaska allows me to register as a nonpartisan, so that has been my party affiliation since my 18th birthday. I took a test in a political science course my freshman year of college that said I was a moderate. I found that a while ago tucked inside an old textbook. I was for abortion, women’s rights, free speech, freedom of religion, private enterprise, and civil rights, but also for welfare and “progressive” taxation. I was skeptical of environmental regulations and strongly opposed to Carter’s D2 land grab in Alaska. The test tried to illicit a rejection of the 2nd amendment, but I checked that I supported the 2nd amendment and my comment was “stop messing with the constitution”. I also said I was voting for Carter, which I did in 1980, because – my comment again — “Reagan is an actor, not qualified”.
Something remarkable happened as I looked over that test. I decided to answer the questions as if seeing it for the first time in 2015. Remarkably, I found I didn’t answer most of the questions any differently … except for abortion and voting for Carter, I’ve only changed my position on welfare and “progressive” taxation. I understand better now what free speech and freedom of religion means, my view on women’s rights and civil rights have evolved with changes in our society. By the matrix of that particular test, by the way, I’m still considered a moderate.

If I’m honest with myself, I allowed my classmates and professors to influence my vote on the 1980 Presidential election. If I’d actually studied the issues (we didn’t have the Internet in those days, so it was harder), I would have probably not have dismissed Reagan out of hand. Twenty-year-olds are really not that bright, but they are (as I was then) completely convinced they got it going on.

Cartoon of the Liberal BrainI’m definitely not a moderate by today’s standards. I’m a conservative libertarian with anarchist leanings. But I haven’t changed that much. I’ve evolved as life as taught me lessons. Welfare reform worked and people didn’t die. I now know small business people and others who make a good living and I see that taxation is always regressive because it takes from the productive to give jobs to government employees and programs to people who are less productive (or non-productive) whose lives would be so much better if they went out and got a job. I’ve come to understand that government cannot protect our civil rights, it can only choose who gets to exercise them this decade. Rights are inherent in us, so we don’t need government to tell us what they are. I knew that instinctively as a 19-year-old. Now I’ve thought it out and can articulate my reasoning.

Cartoon of the Conservative BrainSo, if I didn’t change (much), why am I no longer a moderate? Could it be that the political parties have changed? The Democratic Party has moved WAY leftward. If a Democratic professor today were to administer that test, the matrix would be different and I wouldn’t/couldn’t be a moderate. If a Republican professor were to administer that test today … who am I kidding — there may be a Republic professor in the School of Engineering, but not in the Political Science Department. You can compare Carter’s platform to Hillary’s and Bernie’s for yourself and you’ll see the only Democrat in the race who could have run as Democrat in 1980 is Malcolm O’Malley — and he probably would have won. Reagan won in 1980 and I voted for his reelection in 1984, but since then, the GOP has pretty consistently given us pro-corporation progressives as presidential nominees. With the exception of the Freedom Caucus, the GOP hasn’t really changed that much from before Reagan and that is fine for them — they represent business interests who are not necessarily interested in lower taxes on citizens or personal liberty. Like a lot of conservatives, I’ve woken up to the fact that the GOP is not representative of my values. I’ve perhaps come early to the decision I’m done voting for people who do not reflect my values, but I don’t think I’m alone. If there are any presidential elections after 2016, I think you’ll see more conservatives bailing from the GOP. If that means a progressive like Clinton or, worse, a socialist like Sanders wins, I’m accepting that as the price of having principles.

Chart of liberal and conservative beliefsUltimately, the idea that you can give everyone everything for free by taxing the rich will destroy the economy. When I say destroy, I don’t mean the Recession of 2008 or even the Depression of the 1930s. I mean — destroy. We’re $19 trillion in debt, $10 trillion of that to other countries, some of whom with the power to demand repayment. Worse, the other $9 trillion is in government securities — i.e., people’s retirement accounts. We cannot afford to make a mistake going forward and “free for everyone and rape the rich” is a huge mistake. But unlike a lot of conservatives, I’m not so afraid of that anymore. The destruction of the American economy will result in regime change and that is an opportunity for us to go back to our founding principles … or devolve into a fascist dictatorship, which should soften people up to embrace liberty when they get the opportunity.

This series will have one final post which will be the hub of the whole thing. I’m doing it last as an experiment.

Love A Pugalist   Leave a comment

I liked Chris Christie the first time I saw him. I find bluff, bold people who speak their minds to be attractive. They remind me of my father-in-law who is an extremely fun guy to hang out with … but that doesn’t mean I would vote to elect him as president of the United States.

There is no denying that Christie took a mess in New Jersey and made it better by cutting spending and not raising taxes. He has proven leadership experience in this area and I think we might need that sort of experience in the coming years as our $19 trillion debt chickens come home to roost. Point in his favor.

I agree with Christie that the government should stop catering to the wealthy and the corporations … but I don’t want to see the middle-class become yet-another special interest group. This is a neutral point. He’s partially right.

I think Christie is unreliable on the subject of abortion. I wouldn’t necessarily vote against him on that single issue, but it’s a point against him.

I strongly disagree with him on the subject of forcing Americans to embrace sexual immorality in practice. He may have justified his own beliefs, but the fact is that I cannot say I disapprove of homosexuality if I participate in homosexual weddings as a caterer, photographer, musician, etc. Refusing to allow Americans in business to opt out of that approval of what they consider to be sin would have galvanized our Founders toward another revolution because they believed strongly in the right of a free conscience. That’s a major point against him.

His history as a prosecutor puts him strongly in the camp of the tyrants. Police shootings should not be justified away and as president I’m pretty sure he’d do just that. Everyone has a constitutionally protected right to bail, so his no-bail stance concerns me.  That’s a point against him

I largely agree with him on drugs. He favors treatment over incarceration. We are divergent on marijuana. I do not support medical marijuana, which Christie does, because I think its claims are based on personal impressions and not on science.  I draw this belief from having worked in social services and listening to the arguments between the psychiatrists (doctors, who almost all opposed use of marijuana) and the social workers (not doctors, who almost all supported use of marijuana). The scientists/doctors had good reasons for their opposition. The social workers based their support on impressions and what they hoped was true. That said, I don’t think prohibition has worked, so I would decriminalize marijuana and just deal with the consequences. I would make being high during the commission of a crime into a aggravating circumstance like alcohol is treated today. Being high or drunk should not be an excuse for committing a crime. So that’s a neutral point.

I largely agree with him on education. Any candidate who would break the state monopoly on education is worth a look, in my book. We can’t afford “free” college — someone has to pay for it and you end up with everybody that much closer to the poverty level because of taxes trying to pay for it. And I love to see any candidate stand up to the teachers union. Major point in his favor.

I mostly agree with him on energy and oil. He’s a realist and so am I. Yes, alternative energies have their place, but they are not able to support the American lifestyle in the 21st century and after more than 40 years of subsidies, they are not substantially closer to fulfilling that day dream than they were when the gravy train started.  Point in his favor.

It’s when we get to foreign policy that I start to shake my head. He’s pretty aggressive and would use the muscle of the United States military to bully people around the world. So he’s not all that different from Barack Obama in practice, though he’d be more honest about it. Major point against him.

I mostly agree with him on free trade. Obama’s TPP agreement violates the checks-and-balances system of our country and I think it’s just going to export more jobs overseas. Point in Christie’s favor.

I mostly agree with him on government reform. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Federal programs come with a price tag called taxes and I can’t afford for the government to steal anymore of my money than it currently does. I agree with him that judges who legislate from the bench should not be reappointed. His record in that department is impressive and is a major point in his favor.

I mostly agree with him on gun control, though there are a few issues I have with him. I believe in natural rights and view the Constitution as acknowledging a right to be armed that preceded the Constitution. So when Christie tries to split hairs on the issue, he worries me. Neutral point.

I mostly agree with him on health care. A socialist single-payer system would ruin health care in the United States and leave us all seeking medical care in Thailand. Remember, I’ve worked in a Medicaid recipient agency and I’ve seen what that system is and it’s not something that should ever be considered. There are common sense approaches to making health insurance affordable that should have been tried before ObamaCare and I hope someone has the strength of resolve to get rid of it and replace it with a much smaller system that works without obligating us all to pay for health insurance even if we’re very healthy and don’t need full coverage. Major point in Christie’s favor.

On Homeland Security issues, I consider Christie to be a mixed bag. I oppose metadata collection — period! I agree with him on the refugees — Obama created the crisis and Syrian refugees (well, all refugees really) need much more stringent vetting. We should not trust the UN to do this for us. On the other hand, I wouldn’t refuse entry altogether, as Christie would. His strong military stance worries me. I believe in having a strong defensive capability, but I want to see our military pulling out of the bases overseas, except where we have a strong commercial interest and then our presence should be to assure the safety of American citizens, not to impose our will on foreign nations. So this is a point against Christie.

Christie’s stance on immigration (Syrian refugees aside) is not objectionable, though I would deport people who entered the country illegally and I completely oppose giving college tuition (or even college entrance) to illegal immigrants. I completely support LEGAL immigration, but when you sneak into the country by a backdoor or decide to let your visa paperwork expire, you are not showing yourself to be a good potential citizen.
I mostly agree with him on entitlements. Social Security is broken and will not be available for my kids’ generation, but my daughter is already expected to pay into it. That’s unfair and not at all what should be occurring. Entitlement programs are the single greatest driver of government debt. That needs to be fixed. Again, a major point in Christie’s favor

I appreciate Christie’s clear tax reform platform. Combined with his proven record in New Jersey, it’s a major point in his favor.

So I went through the list and decided … Christie’s aggression on military matters and his support of the government spying on its own people make it impossible for me to vote for him for president, though if I lived in New Jersey, I might vote for him as governor. And, if he were the vice presidential candidate with someone more conservative at the top of the ticket, he wouldn’t cause me to vote against the team.


Why I Oppose Dynastic Rule   1 comment

So, I wasn’t going to talk about Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush at all because I oppose dynastic rule as a matter of principle, so would not vote for either one of them.

But Clinton has given me a perfect example of why I oppose dynastic rule in American politics and I want to show how my mind works.

Apparently, Clinton’s private email server has been discovered to have top secret information placed there from a Pentagon-classified network that goes up to the Secret level as well as a separate system used for Top Secret communications.

The two systems — the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) — are not connected to the unclassified system, known as the Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet). You cannot email from one system to the other, though you can use NIPRNet to send ­emails outside the government.

Somehow, highly classified information from SIPRNet, as well as even the super-secure JWICS, jumped from those closed systems to the open system and turned up in at least 1,340 of Clinton’s home emails — including several the CIA earlier this month flagged as containing ultra-secret Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Programs, a subset of SCI.

SAP includes “dark projects,” such as drone operations, while SCI protects intelligence sources and methods.

“It takes a very conscious effort to move a classified email or cable from the classified systems over to the unsecured open system and then send it to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account. That’s no less than a two-conscious-step process.” Raymond Fournier, a veteran Diplomatic Security Service special agent

Fox News reported Friday that at least one of Clinton’s emails included sensitive information on spies. Fournie says it’s clear from some of the classified emails made public that someone on Clinton’s staff essentially “cut and pasted” content from classified cables into the messages sent to her. The classified markings are gone, but the content is classified at the highest levels — and so sensitive in nature that “it would have been obvious to Clinton.” Most likely the information was, in turn, emailed to her via NIPRNet.

To work around the closed, classified systems, which are accessible only by secure desktop workstations whose hard drives must be removed and stored overnight in a safe, Clinton’s staff would have simply retyped classified information from the systems into the non-classified system or taken a screen shot of the classified document, Fournier said. “Either way, it’s totally illegal.”

FBI agents are zeroing in on three of Clinton’s top department aides. Most of the Clinton emails deemed classified by intelligence agency reviewers were sent to her by her chief of staff Cheryl Mills or deputy chiefs Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.

In one email, Clinton pressured Sullivan to declassify cabled remarks by a foreign leader.

“Just email it,” Clinton snapped, to which Sullivan replied: “Trust me, I share your exasperation. But until ops converts it to the unclassified email system, there is no physical way for me to email it.”

In another recently released email, Clinton instructed Sullivan to convert a classified document into an unclassified email attachment by scanning it into an unsecured computer and sending it to her without any classified markings. “Turn into nonpaper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” she ordered.

Top Secret/SCI emails received by Clinton include a 2012 staff ­email sent to the then-secretary containing investigative data about Benghazi terrorist suspects wanted by the FBI and sourcing a regional security officer. They also include a 2011 message from Clinton’s top aides that contains military intelligence from United States Africa Command gleaned from satellite images of troop movements in Libya, along with the travel and protection plans for Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was later killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi.

“Receiving Top Secret SAP intelligence outside secure channels is a mortal sin,” said Chris Farrell, director of investigations for Judicial Watch, the Washington-based public law firm that has successfully sued State for Clinton’s emails. “A regular government employee would be crucified, and they are, routinely,” added Farrell, who as a former Army counterintelligence agent investigated such violations.


The FBI is ready to indict Hillary Clinton and if its recommendation isn’t followed by the U.S. attorney general, the agency’s investigators plan to blow the whistle and go public with their findings, former U.S. House Majority leader Tom DeLay told Newsmax TV.

Last week, Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon accused intelligence Inspector General Charles McCullough of colluding with Republicans to damage Clinton’s campaign for president.

The charge came after a report that McCullough sent a letter to two GOP lawmakers that some of Clinton’s emails sent from her private server when she was secretary of state should have been marked with classifications even higher than “top secret.”

Meanwhile …

Lawyers for a journalist seeking release of Hillary Clinton’s email trove are objecting to the State Department’s request for a month-long delay to complete disclosure of the final set of the former secretary of state’s messages, warning that allowing the process to drag out until the end of February could deprive voters in early caucus and primary states of information on the Democratic presidential candidate.

The State Department asked for an extension last week, telling U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras that State officials overlooked more than 7,000 pages of emails that were in need of inter-agency consultation and that the weekend’s winter storm was complicating efforts to process the records.

“Unless and until State explains how over 7,000 pages that were already reviewed and identified as needing review by at least one other agency were lost for up to six months, and then suddenly found again just weeks before the deadline to produce them, the Court should view skeptically State’s assertion that this constitutes a legitimate ‘unexpected’ event,” lawyers Ryan James and Jeffrey Light wrote in court filing Monday morning on behalf of Vice News reporter Jason Leopold.

“Allowing State to delay the release of thousands of pages of a presidential candidate’s work emails, especially when they have already garnered so much media and public attention, until after four states have voted and until just hours before another 11 states and American Samoa will vote, would deny Mr. Leopold of the opportunity to realize the fruits of his year-long pursuit of these records which he and the public have a legal right under [the Freedom of Information Act] to obtain,” James and Light wrote.


It’s unclear when Contreras will act on State’s extension motion, which was filed Friday afternoon as the federal government shut down for the approaching storm. The court remains closed Monday as Washington digs out.


Dynasty believes its members have a right to rule and to do whatever they wish while at the rule. We see this in the way that Hillary set up this email system, the way she ordered people to break the law, and the way the Obama administration’s State Department has tried to block efforts from the public to find out the truth.

I want to remind everyone that this is very much the same sort of thing Nixon did — broke the law because he believed he had the right to rule. Democrats rightfully moved to impeach him for that behavior because we don’t view our presidents as kings with a divine right to rule, but as servants who serve at the pleasure of their employers — we the people.

So, Hillary was apparently unable and unwilling to do that while in the State Department. I ,for one, don’t think she’ll change her spots in the Oval Office. Is that the representation you want in the highest level of government? It certainly isn’t what I want.

Jeb Bush didn’t do these things, but note that I include him with Hillary as a dynastic ruler. Power corrupts — dynastic power corrupts in a particularly putrid way. The stamp of birthright rule encourages politicians to believe they have a right to do whatever they want. So, maybe Jeb has been a choir boy as politicians go right up to this point, but now he has become “king” by virtue of following in his father and brother’s footsteps. There is, a very real sense, that these dynastic politicians are not elected so much by the people as given their due from being in the right family. It is a powerful incentive to do whatever you want now that you’ve been elected ruler of the free world.

Against Trump   8 comments

National Review argues against Republicans embracing Trump

THOMAS SOWELL In a country with more than 300 million people, it is remarkable how obsessed the media have become with just one—Donald Trump. What is even more remarkable is that, after seven years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor.

Read more at:


And the leftist Salon claims its evidence of a conservative implosion.

The big release of the latest National Review edition, with a cover declaring “Against Trump,” on Thursday night was above all other things a wonderful gift not just to liberals, but anyone who lives outside of the conservative tribe. Because it gives us a glimpse, however temporary, of what it feels like to be a Trump supporter. I defy readers to take one look at the cover and not feel an overwhelming surge of contempt for these establishment conservatives who love to pander to the camo-crowd when it suits them, but get fussy when the rubes rise up and start demanding real skin in the game. You want to rub their smug little faces right in Donald Trump’s ridiculous hair and ask how they like those apples.



What I found truly hilarious was that liberal progressives think National Review represents the Republican establishment. They don’t. If anything, the Republican establishment has more than shown its contempt for the conservative movement represented by thinkers like Thomas Sowell.


The National Review message – loud and clear – is that conservatives (not Republicans) should not vote for Donald Trump because Donald Trump is not a conservative. That is a completely correct observation. Trump is not a conservative, though he may be leading the Republican polls.

So why are Salon and the other liberal media cheering the “Republican base” (whoever these people might be) into the Trump camp?

I tend to want to avoid conspiracy theories. They’re useful premises for apocalyptic novels, but espousing them in real life tends to make you sound like you’re crazy. But, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion for some time that someone on the left encouraged Trump, probably with large amounts of cash or some iron-clad promise for the future, to run on the Republican ticket. Right now, he’s got folks who claim to be Republican excited, but what happens when he wins the nomination? Will he suddenly do something that makes him thoroughly unelectable and thereby assure the victory of the Democratic candidate?

No! That couldn’t possibly happen.

Right …????

I can write that as someone who is conservative-libertarian and feels no obligation to the Republican party to vote for their nominee. I’m going to vote my principles and if those don’t align with the Republican Party (and they rarely do), I’ll vote Libertarian or some other party that more closely aligns with me. Yes, I may be “wasting” my vote on a non-winning candidate, but I will not be voting for Trump as meglomaniac in chief because frankly, we’ve had 8 years of meglomania and I think we should be done with that by now. I’d rather “waste” my vote sending a message than play go-along-to-get-along with the Republicans.

I Like Bernie Sanders   6 comments

No, seriously. I believe he’s sincere. I think he wants to make the United States a better place to live. Moreover, I admire the man’s willingness to stand up to Hillary Clinton. There’s evidence that some who have done that in the past have paid some pretty heavy costs for their bravado, so to get up there time and time again and call the shovel a spade is admirable.

He’s right. She cannot stand up to Wall Street because she is bought and paid for by Wall Street hedge fund managers. She also gets a lot of money from George Soros, several media outlets, labor unions and several health insurance and health care corporations.

I also admire his principle in sticking to small donations. It’s hard to be owned by any one (or a couple of dozen) donor when you take very small donations from a wide group of people.

I also agree with many of his criticisms of Republicans — the wars, the corporate welfare. I suspect, were I to sit down with him, we would find a lot of areas of agreement between us.

If Alaska’s Democratic primary were not a closed caucus, I might even vote for Bernie in the March caucus, not because I think he’d be a good president but because I’d like to see Queen Hillary’s head explode if she doesn’t get the nomination. Alas, you have to be a Democratic Party member to “vote” in the Democratic caucus in March and it is against my principles to join a political party, so I’ll have to leave it up to actual Democrats to coalesce around denying Queen Hillary her crown.

So, back to Bernie. I admire the man. I won’t be voting for him. It’s not personal. I’m a principles voter and admiring the man does not mean I agree with his principles. What he believes is good for the United States would be an economic disaster. No one who has taken an actual economics course believes you can give everyone everything for free and not raise taxes except on corporations and rich people. Tuition-free college, single-payer health insurance, expanded Social Security benefits, and all these other giveaways that he proposes all cost money, which must be paid for by taxing people.

Remember — I think taxation is thievery. It may be necessary thievery under the current system we live under, but it is still thievery. I want to reduce the thievery as much as possible by reducing the size and scope of government, which is the exact opposite of what Bernie is proposing.

I also recognize a reality that apparently has never occurred to Bernie. No poor person who ever given me or anyone I know a job. The more you tax “the rich” the more you reduce employment in this country, thereby creating more poor people. The fastest way out of poverty is to get a rich person to give you a real job doing something real, as opposed to having government create jobs that exist for the sole purpose of providing jobs, that must be funded by stealing tax dollars from productive members of society. That is an endless cycle of using other people’s money to prop up a system that is unsustainable. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money and you have to start taxing the very people you were trying to help in the first place. This has happened in every country that has tried socialism. We’ve seen the outcome in the Soviet Union and China. We see the increasing wobble in Europe. Do we really want to go there as a nation?

Then there’s his health coverage plan. Bernie proposes we all go under Medicaid. Have you ever had anything to do with Medicaid? No? Well, I have. I worked in social services for 15 years, so I am intimately familiar. It is an awful system that, by and large, does not allow for preventative care and delays treatment of conditions until they are fatal. It is characterized by many bureaucratic hoops between the doctor and the patient and by very long waiting lists. Only medications that are cheap and old are covered, so better medications are not available. In most states, Medicaid is the single largest expenditure in the state budget and it is a huge cost to the federal government. It also pays doctors at about 60% of the prevailing current rates, disincentivizing the creation of new doctors to replace the ones trapped in this new Sanders Medicaid system.

But, hey, it would make everyone equal … and, by and large, sick and untreated as well as unable to afford to purchase better health care even if it were available. It would also make us a nation enslaved to the tax man. England, Norway, many other single-payer health insurance countries tax pretty much everyone who is not on the government dole at better than 50% of their income to pay for their version of Medicaid. There are no entrepreneurs in Europe. Europeans of that mind set mostly immigrate to the United States because they can’t afford to be entrepreneurs in their home countries. Again, do we really want to go there as a nation?

Remember what I said about my principles remaining the same no matter who is espousing them? Well, admiring Bernie Sanders for being true to his convictions does not translate into thinking his convictions are a good idea. Enslaving your fellow Americans to pay for your health care … retirement … job … college … is a bad idea in every time and in every place. Doing it when you have no way to pay for it just doubles down on bad ideas. I believe he means well, but his goals are not going to work out to his pleasure.

So I won’t be voting for Bernie Sanders if he makes it to the general election. He seems like a nice guy, but I don’t think he understands how the real world works …

Which is mostly true of all socialists, by the way. Glorious pie-in-the-sky intentions backed by magical thinking that has never worked out anywhere in the past.

Chasing the Shiny Object   2 comments

No to Donald.pngPoliticians will always disappoint you. While it’s tempting to suggest they’re pawns of Satan, the fact is that they are just politicians and their focus is on votes. Votes are what drive their cranks and put them into office. Principles are secondary. That’s true of all politicians, even the ones who talk about principles a lot. Yes, some of them may have principles, but if they stick to them when the electorate wants something else, they become former politicians. A politician’s principles are only as good as the principles of the voters. As long as Americans voters have no idea what our principles are, the average politician – interested in election results – will embrace whatever we are rushing to and shouting for at the moment.

I wish I could say that the “low information voters” are the ones to blame, but I’m really wondering about the increasingly partisan slices of the electorate who reflexively vote along strict party lines for irrational and emotion reasons. They think they’re voting on principle while ignoring the fact that their candidates are not acting on principles or even keeping the promises that convinced these supposedly issue-savvy voters to vote for them in the first place.

Will you vote for Trump in the primary if he’s the front runner? Yes? Why?

That’s bandwagon voting. Everybody likes a front-runner — that’s how the GOP ended up with Gerald Ford in 1976, GHW Bush in 1988, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. But they all lost.

How about if Trump wins the nomination? Will you vote for him then? Yes? Why?

The GOP has a long history of picking duds for the nomination. It’s not just McCain and Romney. Go back and take a look. With the exceptions of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, all of the nominees were party-approved establishment choices. Goldwater was running against the Barack Obama of his era, so he didn’t really have a chance, but Ronald Reagan, product of a negotiated nomination because of a rebellion in the GOP convention, won and was a highly successful president.

Yeah, I’m angry at government too. I detest politicians and I think the party leadership of BOTH major parties is corrupt to the core. Yes, I think the whole partisan electoral system needs to be turned on its head and reorganized. And these are all reasons NOT to vote for Donald Trump.

Let’s just look at Trump for a moment, conservatives.

I hear he has declared himself pro-life. When asked who he might put on the Supreme Court, he named his extremely pro-choice sister, Maryanne Trump Barry. Politician-like?

Trump claims he’s a fiscal conservative, but he has contemplated a flat tax, the fair tax, maintaining the current progressive tax system, a carried-interest tax, a wealth tax and … yeah, he has no idea what his presidency would do if elected. Politician-like?

During the Obama administration, no issue united conservatives more than opposition to Obamacare. And, yet Donald Trump favors a single-payer health car system. So, not a conservative on three issues, but very much a politician.

Interestingly, when news of Trump’s position came out, support for single-payer health care jumped from 16% to 44%. But, wait, Republicans absolutely hated Obamacare, so why would they support single-payer when Trump is advocating for it?

For me, the arguments against single-payer health care remain the same regardless of who I am talking to and regardless of how much charisma that person wields. Health care is an exceedingly intimate decision and should not involve government bureaucrats. Europeans are permanently enslaved by the high-cost of their health care entitlement. For 15 years, I worked for a Medicaid-recipient social service agency and I have seen how really, truly awful Medicaid really truly is. Those reasons don’t change for me because some political figure espouses a differing opinion.

And yet, a lot of Republican “conservatives” are talking about voting for this PT Barnum-esque figure. Why?

Is it just that we are like ravens, attracted to the flash and too foolish to realize it isn’t food?



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