The Moral Bankruptcy Of The Left

A few days ago John C. Goodman published an article entitled “Why Are We So Divided?”

From the article:

“The left in America is intellectually bankrupt. And this is a worldwide phenomenon. For most of the 20th Century the ideological left controlled the policy agenda. But in the last quarter of that century, they experienced a complete intellectual collapse. Ronald Reagan was elected. So was Margaret Thatcher. The world saw a surge in privatization and deregulation. Eastern European countries turned to the flat tax. More than 30 countries either fully or partially privatized their social security systems. Sweden adopted a national system of school vouchers.

On reflection, the left was wrong about everything. They were wrong about communism. They were wrong about socialism. They were wrong about the welfare state. Given that history, why would they want to talk about ideas?”

I have long asserted that in regard to economics the Democrats/Progressives/Liberals are not arguing against Republicans/Conservatives/Libertarians but that they are arguing against math. The present mathematical economic argument of the Left boils down to:

If we can keep interest rates at zero or lower and continue to create endless amounts of credit then we might get ten more years without an economic collapse.

To describe Leftist economics as being a zero-sum game is far too kind a description. The Left would prefer collapsing the global economy instead of saying “I am sorry, I was wrong.” To the point Goodman makes, the more evident the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left becomes the less inclined they are to reassess and the farther they retreat into moral and intellectual fantasy.

I often quote James Kunstler, “Sometimes societies just collectively go insane.” Our societal insanity originates in the moral logic of the Progressive movement – moral logic which essentially is reduced to nothing more than “Someone somewhere at sometime did something wrong hence that entitles me to do anything wrong that I wish – and if I do it then it is not morally wrong simply by the virtue that I am doing it.” That is insane – but that is genuinely and sincerely what they believe. If the Progressives cannot find something someone actually did in order to justify their lack of morals – they just make it up! I cannot recount how many times over the last week I have been told that because Rand Paul and Ted Cruz proclaimed that the Second Amendment exist in order that American citizens may have the tools to resist tyrannical government that it justifies murdering congressman.

That line of thinking is pretty much the mother of all false equivalencies – but to the Progressive mind the truth or anything approaching morals and human decency – is an irrelevancy. All that matters is “someone somewhere at sometime did something wrong hence that entitles me to do anything wrong that I wish to do” – even if that someone somewhere at sometime is manufactured out of whole cloth.

This is an ideology that rationalizes its’ very own continued existence with false moral equivalencies. Without false moral equivalencies Progressivism melts away like snow on a summer day – because Progressivism is a slap in the face to every moral code the world has accepted. Theft, using force to require others to violate their conscience, rationalizing murder – there is no moral bottom to this ideology.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Progressives believe themselves to be gods – that they and they alone are empowered to determine truth from fiction, that they can create truth from fiction, that they are empowered to proclaim reality as fantasy and have exempted themselves from the reality the rest of us mere mortals must occupy. It is no doubt quite intoxicating to exempt oneself from moral and intellectual bankruptcy – that what ever preposterous absurdity one wishes to believe one can also assert is truth – and have other occupiers of the ideological bubble also proclaim your absurdity to be truth. Math, history, reality, truth, facts, data – they all bend a knee and bow to what ever absurdity a Progressive proclaims to be truth.

Or so they believe.

Anyone with half a brain understands that this will not end well. How it does not end well is still unknown – but it will not end well.

Stumbling Toward The Abyss

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

There is a very funny episode of “The Big Bang Theory” where Leonard takes Penny to the gun range. Penny questions if Leonard knows what he is doing with a gun and Leonard replies that he has played enough video games he should know how to handle a gun. Leonard then promptly shoots himself in the foot.

I think the online world is probably having an effect on our culture, as represented by the “Big Bang” episode.  One of the characteristics of the online world is for one to experience a virtual simulation of something while disregarding all of the inconvenient facts that would discourage or control that activity in real life.  For example no matter how many video games Leonard had played he had no idea how to safely handle a firearm. That is an irrelevancy in the online world.

Playing a soldier in an online game does not make you a soldier no matter how many thousands of hours you played that game. You never put eighty pounds on your back, humped it ten miles and then fought a physical battle with actual life or death consequences. There is a difference in these two things.

The online world allows one to create or be something that is a fantasy. I do not think that is inherently bad or unhealthy. What does seem to be bad and unhealthy is that we collectively seem to be losing a certain ability to understand the relevancy of information when it conflicts with what we wish to be true.

As a society we seem to be blurring the lines between what we wish was true and what is actually true.

We seem to be reaching a critical mass in our ability to ignore facts which conflict with and preclude what we wish to be true. This is having a detrimental effect on our collective quality of life. One can see this online; arguments that are easily and unimpeachably refuted are presented all day long as ‘facts’.

One of the most common of these ‘facts’ is that socialism represents equality and that government is required to make things ‘fair’. There is zero data, history, or examples of that being so. When challenged to produce an example of this the purveyor of this ‘fact’ inevitably resorts to something along the lines of “In my personal view…” which is identical to saying “In my personal fantasy…”

I am not a Randian but I do think Ayn Rand was a brilliant novelist who said things worth hearing. One of the most profound things I think she said was “He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see.”

We are collectively stumbling blindly into an abyss. Refusing to see it does not mean it is not there and does not mean that when we fall into it that you will not be injured.  I am highly confident that if we stumble into the abyss quite a few people will not possess the skills to get out.

Morning Reading

A few articles and posts from this week that are worth your time to read:

Charles Hugh Smith ask “Can We See a Bubble If We’re Inside the Bubble?”– “We want this time to be different so badly, we can almost taste it.”

James Kunstler posted “Things To Come” – “Quite a bit of that wealth was extracted from asset-stripping the rest of America where financialization was absent, kind of a national distress sale of the fly-over places and the people in them. That dynamic, of course, produced the phenomenon of President Donald Trump, the distilled essence of all the economic distress “out there” and the rage it entailed. The people of Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin were left holding a big bag of nothing and they certainly noticed what had been done to them, though they had no idea what to do about it, except maybe try to escape the moment-by-moment pain of their ruined lives with powerful drugs.”
Ray Keating wrote “All Uncertainty from Washington Is Not Created Equal” – “As Knight wrote, “The fact is that while a single situation involving a known risk may be regarded as ‘uncertain,’ this uncertainty is easily converted into effective certainty; for in a considerable number of such cases the results become predictable in accordance with the laws of chance, and the error in such prediction approaches zero as the number of cases is increased.” Meanwhile, a “true uncertainty” is a “form of uncertainty not susceptible to measurement.””
Lance Roberts posted “US Jobs Market: Much Worse Than Official Data Suggests” – “President Trump ran on a campaign that repeatedly touted “jobs, jobs, jobs.” His emphasis on jobs creation and bringing employment back to America struck a chord with voters. Trump’s election in itself contradicts the popular narrative that the US jobs market is tight and robust.”
Pedro Nicolaci da Costa “The Fed’s plan to shrink its giant balance sheet dodges the market’s most pressing question” – “The Federal Reserve’s detailed plan for reducing its balance sheet likely starting later this year, presented alongside this week’s interest rate hike, was a bit of obfuscation via transparency.

There was a ton of information, but none of it answered the central question on the minds of investors and bond traders: What will be the balance sheet’s ultimate size?”

Jonathan Garber observed “A predictor with a perfect track record on the American economy is moving closer to signaling a recession” – “An inversion would most likely be a signal that a recession is imminent. An inverted yield curve has a perfect track record of predicting recessions.”
Danielle DiMartino Booth eloquently produced “Housing in America: Movin’ on Up” – “This should be welcome news for renters. (Do you sense a however coming your way?) However, the vast majority of new construction in recent years has been in luxury units. That helps explain why half of would-be renters cannot afford to set out on their own – that $1,300-plus monthly pill is too big to swallow based on the affordability standard of 30 percent of income.

That’s assuming, mind you, you draw a decent salary. According to a recent report detailed in the Washington Post, no city in America has low enough rents on two-bedroom apartments for someone earning minimum wage to call home. All of 12 counties nationwide boast rents low enough for minimum-wage earners to let, that is if they can confine their belongings into a one-bedroom unit.”


The Price Of Believing The Absurd

It would appear the great skill of the human race is to normalize the absurd and the evil.


I have known people who survived Hitler, Stalin, Brezhnev, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Assad, Taylor…


I knew a Russian family who applied to leave the Soviet Union. The Soviet officials proclaimed that the husband must be insane – that only the insane would wish to leave the paradise of the USSR was the rationale – and they sentenced him to an insane asylum. The wife persisted in the official, legal attempt to leave and after several years they were successful – several years which the husband had spent incarcerated and labeled insane and his family depended on the kindness of others to eat and have a place to sleep. I knew a Lutheran pastor whom the Nazi’s sentenced to the work camps, which he survived, only to have the communist victors sentence him to fourteen years in prison due to his unwillingness to recant his faith in Christ. Eventually a Christian organization in Europe was able to secure his release to the west by essentially bribing the communist officials to release him. I know a fellow who the Soviet government proclaimed a non-person, after having thrown his father in the Gulag, and he then quite illegally snuck out of the USSR to freedom. I know a lady (in every sense of the word) who was the daughter of a Catholic officer in the Army of South Viet Nam. After Saigon fell her parents were seized by the communist and taken away – never to be seen or heard from again. She survived as a homeless child on the streets of Saigon until she was able to quite illegally sneak out of the country as a teenager and miraculously make her way to the United States. I knew someone who escaped the re-education camps of Pol Pot and walked out of Cambodia. I knew the son of a former Iranian Army Colonel who, on the eve of the Ayatollah taking over in Iran, put his pre-teenage son on an airplane to the United States, not knowing if he would ever see his son again and hoping that when he stepped off of that airplane in the U.S. that some stranger would recognize the situation and care for his son. I knew a Liberian man whom his parents were political prisoners held by Charles Taylor. This fellow rented an airplane (he was a pilot), got some of his friends together, and flew the airplane to the camp where his parents were being held. He landed the airplane next to the camp, he and his armed friends burst forth from the airplane and raided the camp, releasing all the prisoners. He, his parents and his friends all made it back on the airplane alive where they flew off to freedom and eventual asylum in the United States. I knew a lady from Aleppo, Syria whom the elder Assad executed her father for political dissent. Her mother was able to get she and her sister out of Syria and away from Assad and into – Beirut. Their arrival in Beirut was at nearly the same time as the arrival of the PLO in Beirut – she went to school and college during the Lebanese civil war where she studied nursing at American University. Much of her education as a nurse was working the emergency room at the university medical center treating the casualties of the war. She would work, as a student nurse, for days at a time without respite treating the victims of bullets, grenades and artillery. She did not wash her clothes – she burned her clothes for there was no way to wash the blood out. She and her mother and sister were able to escape to the United States. These are just the stories of the people I have known – there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands people in this country with stories akin to these.


People will go to extraordinary lengths to be free and for their family to be free and not be compelled to live in violation of their own conscience.


The stories of not just the evil but the absurdities which had to be engaged in by society in order for these evils to be justified, rationalized and normalized are heartbreaking. Evil does not reign as a result of rational thought, evil will reign as the result of a long line of preposterous absurdities that must be bought into in an unquestioning manner – if this acceptance of absurdity does not occur then evil will have a very brief life span. For all those stories I related above – there were thousands or millions in the same position who accepted the absurdities and normalized the evil.


A society does not reach the point where imprisoning a pastor for refusing to renounce Christ or declaring a man insane because he wants to move to Brighton Beach become plausible reasonable actions unless that society has already accepted a long line of absurdities as being truth.


The following was posted on Facebook yesterday:




Absurd? Definitely. Is it bought into and unquestioned by millions of Progressives? Absolutely. This post is demonstrative of the type of absurdities people must come to embrace in order for evil to reign.


People are drawing quite a few dividing lines in our society. Conservative/Liberal. Progressive/Libertarian. White/Black. Rich/Poor. On and on – the lines that people are draw are endless.


Let me propose a novel thought – that the day is rapidly approaching where the only dividing line that is going to matter in this society is the line between those who unquestioningly buy into the absurdities and those who recognize the absurdities for what they are and reject and renounce them.


We are quickly getting to the point where the division of society will be wholly drawn at lies and truth and nothing else will be of much consequence.


Choose wisely…

A Tribe Exclusive: Who’s Winning, The Trump Rebels or the Deep State Empire?

The Insurgent-Tribe-Cherokee-Mormon Network is pleased to offer this report:
Some people admire and support Donald Trump as a successful, strong leader. Some fear and oppose him as an avaricious adolescent. This correspondent has made clear that the president is not my cup of orange tea. But, based on anonymous sources inside my head, I can report this:
The President could be sitting in the Mar-a-Lago Juice Bar imitating a fresh squeezed cup of pulp-free morning sunshine. But, so far the fruits of his labors include the following:
Rex Tillerson presides over a State Department that is willing to put American interests first, lead from the front, or watch from the side if it is not an America priority. He is a tough negotiator who aims to lift American stature and security, not to sit on a barstool in the recently bombed capitol of France swaying with a maudlin celebrity crooning about friendship to the bereaved, or to be a modern day Ethenberg of the Middle East doing nuclear favors for Iran.
James Mattis heads the Department of Defense like a smart, mad dog. He wants to stand guard, keep our enemies at bay, and kill terrorists. He’s abandoned the prior team’s project of converting America’s military into a kind of Progressive Transformation Corps with guns.

The finest nominee to the high court in a generation now sits at work in black robes bearing the title Justice Gorsuch.

Jeff Sessions, with merits and flaws, unquestionably is turning the Department of Justice back to the mission of enforcing federal law evenly, rather than acting as the high budget consigliere and hit man for the president.
At the Department of Energy, Rick Perry wants to support and get out of the way of energy production, growing jobs and fueling the economy. He’s not trying to choke it off in hopes that rainbows and unicorns can make up the gap.
Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education is tasked with identifying regulations that are putting the federal boot heavily on the K-12 school house. She’s working to give charter and non-traditional schools a fair shake. She’s seeking out and disbanding the sleeper cells of leftists embedded in the department who try to pull puppet strings from Washington without following statutes or even bothering to publicly pass regulations.
Ben Carson heads Housing and Urban Development with a world class mind, a story of rise from humble circumstances to world class success, a soft voice, and a savvy about the dirty kind of political infighting he’s certain to face.
Scott Pruit aims to restore the EPA to an agency that enforces the law justly and with due process, rather than making it up, expanding its empire, and choking people and companies out of the rightful use of their land based on bureaucratic whim.
These are just a few of my favorite things. This is also a huge challenge to the way Washington has done business for decades. Tremendous challenge. It’s a great, great challenge. It’s one of the greatest challenges ever.
It explains why the permanent bureaucratic elite is fighting back like a cornered dog. Manufacturing stories. Making noise. Getting some headlines. And when there’s nothing there, moving on to the next fabrication.This vast left wing conspiracy includes the permanent bureaucracy and the national media. They are relentless in preserving their power and privilege.
The night of the election there was fraud and tampering in three key states. Recount! Recount! Except there wasn’t, unless you count the excessive votes in Detroit precincts.
Before the electoral college confirmation, there was a huge groundswell of national electors who would abandon Trump and vote for someone else. Except there wasn’t.
Then it was Russians! Russians! Except there was no claim they actually accessed the voting machines, just that releasing the DNC’s dirty laundry was not nice. No claim the emails were forged or inaccurate. Just embarrassed that the truth about dirty Democratic politics came out.
Just when the Russian story was losing steam, anonymous intelligence officials breathed new life into it. The spooks are investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia! Suddenly “collusion” became the new it word. Except they weren’t. FBI told Trump three times, and told congressional leaders as well, that Trump was not being investigated for collusion. The investigation targeted two Trump campaign aids for unreported lobbying efforts for Russian.
Except, Comey would not tell the public that story. He slyly danced and weaved and left tantalizing hints that the president of the United States might have consorted with a foreign enemy in to win the presidency. The Intelligence arm of the deep state kept dripping out stories about “contacts” and “communications” as if this were scandalous stuff. But no one, after all the high tech surveillance, ever alleged a single illegal, sinister, or questionable plan, word, or action.
They—anonymous sources and panting national reporters–knowingly kept a false story alive in the public mind, for one purpose: All to create controversy, to distract, hinder, and block the new administration.
No wonder Trump got sick of Comey’s game and fired him. And so now we’re on to obstruction, obstruction, obstruction! After that it will probably be something about the well done steak or maybe an event of flatulence. Even if they can’t impeach him, maybe they can paralyze him.

A Primer On Indians

There are a lot of misperceptions around Indians. Often even Indians have misperceptions around other Indians.

Think of this as a primer.

Start with the term Indian – that is a Constitutional term. Indians are explicitly called out in the Constitution. Many people are unaware of that. The Constitution says that we will not be taxed, that the Federal government can regulate affairs between the Federal government and the various nations but not the internal affairs of the tribes, we are exempt from the 14th Amendment, and the Founding Fathers were quite explicit in that Indians would be dealt with via treaty, i.e. negotiated with not dictated to.

Fair to say, the Federal government has completely abandoned the Constitution in regard to Indians. That abandonment started with Worcester v. Georgia in 1832 and Andrew Jackson having allegedly said “John Marshall has made his decision now let him enforce it.” Regardless if he actually said that or not, both the Federal government and the state of Georgia failed to follow the ruling of the United States Supreme Court and no government since then has seen a reason to return to the Constitution in regard to Indians.

My point to this is that the term ‘Indian’ is a top down term. The Federal government has an Indian Policy, they have a Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc. However most people that the Federal government recognizes with the legal status of ‘Indian’ choose their identification as a citizen or enrolled member of a specific nation (and there is a legal difference in citizen and enrolled member, they are not synonyms). For example, while there is certainly a Pan-Indian movement (to which I do not subscribe), I am a Cherokee. I am a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

While I have a legal status of ‘Indian’, I am a Cherokee. In my mind Cherokee is not a sub-category of the Indian category – Indian is the legal status that the Federal government has assigned to me, Cherokee is what I am. See the difference?

There is no generic Indian culture, just as there is no generic ‘Asian’ culture. A Korean in Seoul and an Aimak in Afghanistan are both ‘Asians’ but they have darn little in common. A Cherokee and an Inuit have darn little in common other than a generic legal status assigned by the Federal government. We all have different cultures, we made different decisions and we have had different outcomes. Our legal status is different beyond the common legal status of ‘Indian.’

Most people get tripped up because they do not understand that we are all very different peoples. They get even more tripped up by not grasping that we all have different legal status’s. Then they just get dizzy when they try to grasp that there are 567 Federally recognized nations and that each of these 567 nations has a separate, distinct, unique to them relationship (legally speaking) with the Federal government. This is the part that makes peoples head spin. A Lakota has a different legal status than a Cherokee. For example the Cherokee government in Tahlequah can do things that the Lakota government on Pine Ridge could not dream of doing. Why is that?

Different cultures led to different decisions that were made at different times that created different outcomes. Some of those different outcomes are legal outcomes. Culturally the Cherokee were unique in that we were a very open society. If a man would show up, embrace the language, fight our wars, embrace the culture, do the right thing by his neighbor – then he could become Cherokee. Men joined us to be Cherokee by the thousands and thousands. Some historians believe that as many as 25% of the Cherokee warriors in the French and Indian Wars were actually European men who had been adopted into the Cherokee Nation. Who are the most famous Cherokee of all time? Probably Sequoyah, Will Rogers and Sam Houston. Sam Houston had not a drop of Cherokee blood in him but was one of these men adopted into the Nation – the adopted son of Chief John Jolly and the husband of Talahina. I use that as an example – you could become Cherokee in a not dissimilar way than immigrants come to America to become Americans. This is something fairly unique to the Cherokee. What this cultural uniqueness created is that the Cherokee are probably the most ethnically and racially mixed people on the planet. Cherokee range from looking as European as I do to looking completely African – but we are all Cherokee. People tend to have a hard time wrapping their heads around this; that Cherokee is not a matter of blood. However being an American is not a matter of blood either, is it? When you get that analogy it gets easier to understand. However because we have this uniqueness we also tend to have lots of ‘fake’ Cherokee. This is a major problem for a lot of reasons, the reason it afflicts Cherokee much more than any other nation is due to the uniqueness of our culture which takes me back to my point: we all have unique cultures. You cannot glob ‘Indians’ together as a single culture.

As to further legal status, each nations (and sometimes individual) legal status is a result of treaty, legislation and case law. Everyone from a Federally recognized nation has certain parts of this in common; The End of Treaties, The Dawes Act, the Burke Act and the Curtis Act for example. These pieces of legislation applied to all Indians – the only way I can describe them is as crimes against the Constitution that unleashed bureaucratic evil. However there was legislation that was voluntary, such as the Indian Reorganization Act and the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. Well, voluntary for most – the Osage were prohibited from reorganizing under either of these acts for reasons I do not know. Nations that chose to reorganize under either of these acts ended up surrendering their sovereignty. The Cherokee Nation did not reorganize under either of these acts. It is very easy to be a Cherokee, you have pretty much complete freedom to do and believe what you wish – but the one thing you cannot do as a Cherokee is sign away our sovereignty. That is the big no-no. Because we did not sign on the dotted line, we were able to win a court case in the 1970’s called Harjo v Kleppe by which we charged the Federal government with ‘bureaucratic imperialism’ (I love that term, we should use it more often). The Federal Courts ruled that the Cherokee Nation was inherently sovereign, had never ceded its sovereignty and that our sovereignty preceded that of the United States. That gives me a different legal status than citizens of other Indian nations to whom that case law did not apply, and yet a different legal status again than someone whose nation had reorganized under the Indian Reorganization Act or the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act.

It will make your head spin trying to figure out who can do what with who’s permission within what geographical boundaries. Indians cannot even keep track of all this, non-Indians have no reason to even try but it is probably useful to understand that there is no such thing as a generic Indian- not culturally and not in terms of legal status.

The other misconception that people tend to have is over treaties, and treaties not being honored. People tend to think the treaties were exclusively over land and beads. That is not the gripe. For example, in 1835 the Treaty of New Echota the Federal government promised the Cherokee Nation a seat in the House of Representatives and a path to statehood. Quite often people think we ‘traded’ land in the east for our land in the west. We had already acquired that land in the west via treaty in 1827, we were not going to trade something in exchange for something that we already possessed. What we surrendered that land for was a promise that the Cherokee Nation, which was a constitutional republic, would be incorporated into the United States of America on an equal basis with everyone else. What we exchanged that land for was the promise that we could become Americans and become self-determining of our own affairs in the same measure as the other states. This became very important in light of the knowledge that if the United States Supreme Court ruled something unconstitutional that the Federal and state governments were going to ignore the ruling and do as they wished.

Joke was on us.

That leads to other generic myths about Indians; by 1827 the Cherokee were a constitutional republic with a 92% literacy rate. Better than the United States then, better than the United States now.

That takes us back to culture – the Cherokee culture has been one of adopting new ideas regardless of where they originated. We have had the cultural paradigm that if someone else can do it – whether they were Shawnee, British or American – we can do it at least as well if not better. We developed our own education system by the 1820’s and our own newspaper by 1828. We adopted a constitution in 1827. We held our first constitutional for Chief and council in 1828. The first Indian to reach the rank of General in an American army was a Cherokee. We sent people to Ivy League school by the 1820’s. Scientist, doctors, engineers, military men, business people – we were successfully producing these men and women while Europe still had serfs. The first phone system in the United States west of St Louis was on the Cherokee Nation, in the 19th century we had water delivery as well as sewer systems in our cities, on and on it goes. We built our own colleges in 1851, the second oldest college west of the Mississippi and the very first women’s college west of the Mississippi.

If you are getting your perceptions from movies and TV and Facebook then you probably missed all of this.

Last thing here; I see a lot of memes claiming Indians hate this, or are mad about that, so on and so forth. I spend a considerable amount of my life in the company of other Indians – I have yet to hear someone actually bring up in a conversation or a meeting any of those things that we are allegedly so angry about. By and large we are a really happy people who laugh a lot. About the only thing people do genuinely get upset about is out and out racism, being treated as a novelty and cultural misappropriation. That is just rude.

I hope all this helps with context around Indians.

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