Government is mostly malevolent–conscientious parent edition.

A Libertarian friend of mine, David K. Williams, likes to say: “Government is largely malevolent.” He posts this frequently on social media, along with a link to a story about some bureaucrat or petty tyrant making life harder, worse, or both for ordinary folks trying to do ordinary things. I think I will take after my friend David in this practice.

Today’s illustration is this outrage from a school district in Virginia. A mom has been criminally charged for the way she tried to protect her daughter from ongoing bullying at school. I’m confident this mom will not be convicted of anything. In a sane universe, which we may or may not inhabit, the charges will be dropped, and whoever decided to cite and or charge her will be tarred and feathered and humiliated.

But there is a more important point here. This is government. This is the mentality of government. A mom trying to protect her baby against bullying that school administrators were powerless or apathetic to remedy, puts a recording device in her daughter’s pack. It gets discovered.

Mom gets charged not only with felony wiretapping, but with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Let me be clear. This is not only outrageous rubbish, it is a manifestation of the controlling mentality. The mentality that exists mostly in government. Did any of the busy-bodies who reviewed this situation think: “Wow. Poor kid. Poor mom. What can we do to help solve this situation?” No. The execrable jackals were afraid of being embarrassed. They were ticked that a parent might permeate their sanctum. Someone went to the rule book and combed through, looking for ways to punish the rabble and make an example.

This is not unique. This is not rare. This is what happens when citizens challenge authority.

It is a mentality that can thrive only in the public sector. In the realm of free exchange, when a company abuses you, you can look to a competitor. In the realm of regulated living, when the bureaucrat takes an interest in you, you can only pray that he’ll apply a little soap as he goes about his business. Please read the story linked below and get mad, then take action.

The phone number for Norfolk Public Schools is (757) 670-3945

The phone number for the Norfolk Police Department Chief’s Office is (7575) 664-3277

The phone number for the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office is (757) 664-4444

 

Mom charged after putting recording device in daughter’s backpack

Thomas Jefferson, Proto-communist And Other Things I Learned In College

When I was a freshman in college I was required to take American history. I signed up for a class, foolishly thinking, “American history, I got this.” The class covered something like the Revolution to the Civil War timeframe. What I failed to grasp was that the tenured professor was a Marxist, an out and out proud vocal self-proclaimed communist who took immense pride in the FBI once upon a time putting an undercover person in one of his classes. Our ‘American history’ education consisted primarily of learning all about Ho Chi Minh. We read Ho Chi Minh speeches and we read Ho Chi Minh writings, so on and so forth. We learned that Thomas Jefferson was a ‘proto-communist’. We had assignments such as to read a Thomas Jefferson speech then read a Ho Chi Minh speech and then compare and contrast the speeches for Marxist themes. Seriously, that was an actual American history assignment.

We really did not learn much American history but we were taught what a great guy Ho Chi Minh was and what a great thing communism was. The professor conveniently skipped over events such as the Viet Minh charging into 15,000 hamlets and killing the primary land-owner in each hamlet and killing the eldest person in each hamlet. Killing the landowners was self-evident for communist but the communist killed the eldest person in each village in order to make the statement that the Vietnamese tradition of revering elders would be coming to an end. Only the communist aristocracy would be revered going forward – upon penalty of death. Funny the communist professor never once mentioned those events.

We were not afforded the opportunity to compare and contrast communist mass murder with anything Thomas Jefferson did. Those pesky realities did not fit the narrative.

For my next semester of American history I surely did not want that professor again, so I made certain the class I signed up for had a different professor. The next semester of American history was basically the Civil War up until the present, which was 1981 at that point. To my dismay I showed up for the first day of class to discover that the Ho Chi Minh worshiping out and out proud vocal self-proclaimed communist professor has traded classes with the professor I thought I had been signing up for. Consequently I spent that semester re-learning what a great guy Ho Chi Minh was and learning that Abraham Lincoln was a ‘proto-communist’ and comparing and contrasting Ho Chi Minh speeches to Abraham Lincoln speeches.

No joke.

For my next semester of history I tried to split from the program entirely and signed up for Russian history – which fascinatingly enough was not taught by a Leninist! Who would have thought? I already could name all the Tsar’s in chronological order so that class was pretty easy and required no study of Ho Chi Minh speeches what so ever. I did not even have to compare and contrast Lenin or Trotsky to Jefferson or Lincoln. The phrase ‘proto-communist’ never even came up! We studied real communist and what they really did – and at that time were still doing in Russia.

For my final semester of history, I signed up for a brand new class with a brand new professor. This was American history from the point of view of the southwest rather than from the East-Moving-West. I thought, ”That could be interesting.” How naive I was! Taught by another Marxist it was simply a semester of America bashing while quite conveniently ignoring topics such as what the Spanish/Mexican approach to dealing with Indians included. At least there were not any Ho Chi Minh speeches to compare and contrast.

I have to thank these professors for having provided me an invaluable education – it certainly was not an education in American history and even learning all about Ho Chi Minh has not been especially useful in my life – but it was invaluable in teaching me that a government employee who essentially cannot be fired can get away with not doing their job for years and there is nothing that can be done about it. These people did the job they wanted to do and not the job they were hired to do – short story there.

Lesson learned.

The New York Times’ creepy crush on Communism: Global Warming edition.

The New York Times has struck again in its strange gushes of infatuation with communism. Its latest is a vacuous reflection titled The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid. Before digging into the sterile soil of this small plot of desert of logic, it is useful for context to recall the Times’ recent valentines to the bloodiest, most brutal ideology yet known on earth.
 
The Gray Lady apparently has slipped into nostalgic dementia for the days when its erstwhile Pulitzer scribe Walter Duranty wrote home about the glories of communism and scientific state planning even while, right under his nose, there were mass famines and slaughters that were exterminating tens of millions. What else would explain its recent paean 100 years of Communism, a series of columns airbrushing and romanticizing Marx’s spawn in the 20th century?
 
The various columns have to be seen and savored to be fully appreciated. There’s the heartwarming When Communism Inspired Americans. Too, there’s the heart wrenching What Killed the Promise of Muslim Communism? If you’re looking for something upbeat and racy, the Times is eager to explain Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism. Continuing the theme of doing right by the ladies, the Times also analyzes how Mao’s China lifted and empowered women.
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There’s much more. The series includes primers on Bolshevism’s lessons for parenting as well as how early communists were models for future environmental activists. Which brings us up to November 2017 and capitalism’s sins against the mother planet.
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In declaring that capitalism is the fire that will burn us all, one Benjamin Fong, a lecturer at Arizona State University offers no intelligent argument on global warming. He presents no substantive discussion of warming trends, warming causes, or warming consequences. He offers no explanation of how capitalism—free exchange really—is the driver of those trends. And he offers no description of the political-economic system he believes will cool the fire we face. He simply quotes a single scientist who reports global carbon emissions are on the rise. Fong doesn’t bother to invoke the proverbial 97%, Al Gore, or Michael Mann. He simply takes it for granted that invoking the C word makes his case. Readers will accept the reality of our coming doom and pine for solutions.
 
Fong’s omissions are not surprising in light of his light credentials to address his heated topic. Fong is not a climate scientist. Fong is not a political scientist. He’s not any kind of scientist. Fong is not an economist either. What is this lecturer from ASU, to whom the nation’s most arrogant newspaper leased a prized piece of opinion real estate?
 
Well, Fong’s bio on the university website informs us:”[Fong was at Princeton] Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. His interests lie at the intersections of philosophy, psychology, critical social theory, and the study of religion.”
 
It further informs that Fong’s first book is: “Death and Mastery: Psychoanalytic Drive Theory and the Subject of Late Capitalism, which seeks to strengthen the psychoanalytic dimension of first generation critical theory in the hopes of rejuvenating its conception of subjection in late capitalism.” I don’t know what any of that means. I fed it through Google translate, but it came back word for word, verbatim verbatim the same. So, there we have it. Benjamin Fong is a non-professor who is interested in the intersection of religion and psychology and who hates capitalism. Sounds perfect for the New York Times. It’s a wonder NPR or PBS didn’t gobble him up first.
 
In any event, Fong’s thesis comes at an inconvenient time for the religion of warming hysteria. Temperatures aren’t keeping up with the doctored models. Consumers of popular American media like the Times wouldn’t know it, but, in light of step backed IPCC observations and hedged projections, even the oracle of mainstream scientific thought Scientific American recently reported: “Climate Change Will Not Be Dangerous for a Long Time.
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That was no coldflash in the pan. The journal Nature GeoScience reported a recent study by several eminent climate scientists that concluded prominent models over-estimate the heat retaining effect of CO2 and underestimate the responsive dynamics of earth’s skies and oceans. Bottom line: Global warming is crawling to catch up with activists’ alarmism.
 
The Washington Post covered the Nature study with the headline: New climate change calculations could buy the Earth some time — if they’re right. The New York Times–America’s paper of record, that prints all the news that’s fit to print–evidently deems this study unfit to print. Instead, it cedes column inches to a religion/psychology-studying, capitalism-hating lecturer to inform us that the catastrophe of global warming is the fault of capitalism.
 
It’s a shame Fong’s enlightened thesis wasn’t available until after the Times ran its tribute to Red redistribution, tyranny, and massacre. It would have been a fitting addition.

Village Idiots Dancing On The Table

Umberto Eco some years ago wrote “Chronicles of a Liquid Society.”

“Once this all-seeing Witness has gone, has been taken away, what remains? All that’s left is the eye of society, the eye of the Other, before whom you must reveal yourself so as not to disappear into the black hole of anonymity, into the vortex of oblivion, even at the cost of choosing the role of village idiot who strips down to his underpants and dances on the pub table.”

In the view of Eco a ‘liquid society’ was one stripped of any anchors to anything outside of it self. There is no permanent, no eternal, no future and no past, no concepts of reality outside of the zeitgeist of society.

Village idiots dancing on the table is very likely to be what this era will be known for in future history books.

Ben Boychuk recently wrote in the Sacramento Bee that California has become the definition of a ‘liquid society’ – but it is not just California.

As a society this country is rarely anchored to reality. Some examples from just the debt venue:

The debt obligations of the United States total up to about $2.1 million per household over the next 30 years. People argue, “Yeah but that is over thirty years!” So let us work that out – it is $70,000 a year per household for thirty years. Do you have an extra $70K a year for your household to make these debts whole?

Just one program in Colorado, PERA (the government pension program) is short by $42,000 per household. Have an extra $42K hanging around? Check between the couch cushions. I didn’t think so – but what is more the gap must be made whole by taxing citizens who will have no chance of retiring at all in order to pay government retirement benefits for the privileged few. How well do you think that is going to go over?

In Chicago each taxpayer is on the hook for $41,700 just in city debt! Think the taxpayers of Chicago have that kind of cash on hand to make the city whole? Think they cannot just vote with their feet? Of course they can and will.

As a whole this country is caught in a debt trap – no one even attempts to make a rational argument that we are not caught in a debt trap – they simply ignore that we are in a debt trap while continuing to argue over should we or should we not make using a particular personal pronoun a criminal act. Yes we have become that silly and removed from reality.

By the way that debt trap extends to the corporate, business and personal world as well. The Federal Reserve has hinted that in the next recession it will go to negative interest rates. 5000 years of interest rate history on planet earth and there is no hint in all of that time of negative interest rates until the last handful of years. That illustrates how absurd and distorted and removed from reality our policies have become.

We are a society unanchored from anything in reality. We just make up what we wish to be true – inevitably justifying our own fantasies by doubling and tripling down on the absurd – and then advocate for the belief that we can go down that road endlessly with out any painful consequences. Many of the same people arguing in favor of Roy Moore would be calling for guillotines and calling him a pedophile if Moore were a Democrat. Just truth. People who are excusing Al Franken and saying ‘It was just a joke’ would be wearing pussy hats and holding a million women march if Franken were a Republican. You know it is true.

We have become an absurd people because we have become unanchored from anything real. History used to be used in order to provide context for the present and prevent a society from being swept away in the zeitgeist. Historical knowledge was a limiting factor in how much damage the zeitgeist could do. Currently history is used to justify the absurd by being highly selective in what we consume and regurgitate and often just flat out making it up.

Not only do people no longer have a useful means of applying math and history they no longer have even the most rudimentary understanding of how government works. Ask someone, anyone, what is the monetary policy of the United States? Do you think 1% can answer that? 2%? 5%? Certainly not ten percent of the population understand what the monetary policy of the United States is – but they are just chockfull of opinions on what the government should be doing and how, without the least understanding of any of the mechanics of how that would happen, let alone a useful understanding of who would benefit and who would be devastated by those policies. They are in love with campaign propaganda with no clue about reality. None. Ask them about the Taylor Rule – I dare you. Then ask them how it might effect their daily life.

We have spent decades telling people how smart and educated they are when in reality they are simply well indoctrinated with propaganda and have little to no knowledge of reality – and no desire to acquire that knowledge.

Fortunately we still have people who know history, can apply math and have moral and intellectual standards not tied to popular media. These people still have context around what is happening – and as such are refusing to be swept away by the zeitgeist.

Anyone who knows history, can apply math and understands how the government currently functions also understands there is a social, political and economic reckoning in the foreseeable future. For those indulging in the zeitgeist it will be a shock.

It need not be – but sometimes societies just collectively go insane.

More good news: Trump’s triumphs the media tries to hide and some conservatives try to ignore.

 
 
It is fashionable for some conservatives and libertarians to point out dumb things Congress or President Trump does, and to huff it makes no real difference which party controls the federal government. I feel that way myself sometimes. The impression is reinforced by a media that, in its most recent hostile self-embarrassment frenzied wrongly over how Trump tossed too much fish food into a koi pond, while largely ignoring his substantive and successful visits with a number of heads of state. Herewith, some recent reasons I’m pleased that Donald Trump won last November.
 

On the domestic front, At Trump’s direction, cabinet heads are overseeing a historic slowdown and rollback of intrusive regulations. Business confidence and consumer confidence are surging as a result. A Democrat administration would never take this direction. It’s doubtful whether any of the other Republican candidates from 2016 would have, either.

 

Singling out one of the stars, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is bring law and order to an agency with a history of overreaching lawless disorder. On a matter of substance, Pruitt is unraveling the EPA’s power grab over electricity generation via its sweeping rewrite of pollution laws. The war on coal is over, Pruitt declares.
 
On a huge matter of process, Pruitt declared an end to collusion between radical environmentalists and sympathetic bureaucrats, the so called sue and settle strategy. For decades, it’s been a dirty little open secret that activists achieve regulation through litigation. They would bring a lawsuit against the EPA arguing for more aggressive enforcement of various policies. They agency would settle, and gleefully put the screws to business and property owners, because it “had to.” No more, Pruitt says:
The days of regulation through litigation are over. We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the Agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.
 
 
On foreign policy, I’m pleased to have a president who puts American interests first and does not seem embarrassed by American strength and prosperity. Consumers of American media wouldn’t know it, but Trump’s Asia tour was a resounding success. He was received with respect, he schmoozed ably with world leaders, and reached a number of favorable understandings and agreements. This includes a little reported pact with China, in which China agrred to invest an eye-popping $84 billion in petrochemical projects in West Virginia.
None other than Piers Morgan formerly of CNN wrote that Trump’s trip was a triumph the media tried to hide.
 
Undoubtedly, they’ll keep trying.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Senators keep gunning for nominees’ religious beliefs.

We have posted before about Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee exhibiting hostile attitudes toward nominees’ religious faith. One of the most aggressive, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse apparently wants to become the committee’s chief spear carrier in that regard.
 
In his questioning of Leonard Steven Graszn, nominated to the US Court of Appeals, Whitehouse spent the end of his time exploring the appropriate role of religion in judicial rulings and in the committee’s consideration of judicial nominations. Grasz and Whitehouse appeared to agree that religion per se should play no role in either. Rulings should be based on the law, and approval of a nominee should be based on his or her qualifications.
 
Whitehouse concluded with a seemingly reasonable sum up question: Is it appropriate for the committee to try to assure itself the nominee will adhere to that standard, and keep personal religious beliefs out of his rulings? Yes, Grasz agreed.Watch the exchange starting at 5:25 in the YouTube link below.
 
The problem with this seemingly arm’s length accord is that it opens the door for all manner of personal probing about what those beliefs are and how they might influence a nominee. This would be an unusual and insidious direction for examinations to go. There have always been nominees of various faiths. Many have come from churches with traditional views on the sanctity of life, family and marriage structure, freedom of religious practice against government regulation. The fact of the diversity of religious views has not previously been an invitation to senators to cross examine nominees about the details of their doctrines. Doing that smacks of an agenda to intrude, to expose, to isolate, and to ridicule. This is particularly troubling where Sen. Whitehouse appears to have precisely that agenda.

Indeed, in the hearing, he argued that “there’s simply no way to prevent a judge’s . . . personal beliefs from influencing” the judge’s rulings It appears Whitehouse is setting up a one-two. Ask questions eliciting any belief in a doctrine that does not comply with current legal trends, then argue the nominee will be unable to follow the law. Rather he’ll be improperly influenced by his church’s teachings.
 
Reinforcing this concern, the ABA investigator who gathered information for the ABA’s report to the Senate questioned Grasz about why he sent his children to a private religious school. That is not relevant fact gathering. An ill wind blows.
 
 
 
  

 
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