Wednesday, February 26, 2020
But regarding the press conference, I appreciated that Trump 1) put experts in charge, 2) deferred to them, and 3) isn’t following the advice of the wicked Rahm Emmanuel to “never let a crisis go to waste.” Rather, Trump is working to avoid a crisis. Having Vice President Pence coordinate efforts makes great sense. Pence appears to be a competent manager, and there are no standard duties for the VP. He's well-situated to move from agency to agency, so this makes sense.
I was not a Trump supporter until he was the only alternative to Hilliary, but he has greatly exceeded my expectations. He’s doing a fine job. Some of his questioners in the media seemed to be trying to trip him up with techincal questions or "gotcha" questions, but they failed. President Trump deferred to experts or otherwise failed to bite.
That’s one thing that detractors (including the press) criticize. They want a central planner, a great leader, a man who is expert at everything…as Barack Obama pretended to be. Trump isn’t a central planner. And he doesn't try to be an expert on everything. His opponents can hardly conceive of that, one reason they can’t fathom him. They really want a wise dictator, that’s what progressivism really is about, rule by unconstrained experts. And that’s not Trump.
You "don't necessarily need" Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders lamented the possibility of consumer choice so long as any person suffers misfortune. Bernie Sanders also laments inequality, ummm, except for his own. Comrade Sanders earned his profits. After all, he's a literary genius...or perhaps people simply bought his book because he's a well-known ideologue and attracts buyers' attention.
Though he's not a literary genius, the latter is perfectly legitimate. But Comrade Sanders would deny this same right to others. Deodorant sellers attract buyers' attention, sufficiently so that there are 23 brands, if Comrade Sanders is correct. And there must be at least 18 brands of "sneakers." And that's no more lamentable than the fact that there's more than one book written while "children are hungry."
But let's get to the point. No one needs Bernie Sanders. I can live perfectly well without him, and so can you, dear reader. If "social need" is to be the basis for determining what exists and what doesn't, Sanders is in trouble. He creates nothing of value. He feeds no hungry children. He lives a lifestyle that is well beyond the reach of the vast majority of us Americans, never mind the rest of the world. If egalitarianism is the standard, Comrade Bernie is one of the rich who should not exist. By his own standards, he should be eliminated.
By my standards (or "our" standards, the entire staff of Unforeseen Contingencies marches in lockstep, after all) (except for those who don't), this conclusion is not legitimate, because Sanders' principles are wrong. Individual human beings are ends, not means. Individuals have inherent rights, beginning with each individual's right to his/her own life. That's the libertarian/classical liberal principle on which America was founded. But Comrade Sanders disagrees and wants to replace this principle, and by his standards, it's hard to fathom why he should be allowed to exist at all. He's just a carbon footprint.
He should hope he doesn't convert us.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Bernie Sanders supporters
Thursday, February 13, 2020
The Marxism of the Contemporary Left
Let's begin with a couple of high profile, popular leftist celebrities, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and Greta Thunberg. Ocasio Cortez has publicly stated (during a PBS interview) that capitalism is a passing phase, it "will not always exist in the world." Her Green New Deal shows she means that. Similarly, according to Greta Thunberg "the climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all." If you don't understand they are talking about dismantling capitalism and replacing it with socialism (we know, dear UC readers, you do understand, this is merely a rhetorical flourish), here's Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio Cortez' former chief of staff and handler, explaining that the Green New Deal is first of all a plan to completely change the entire economy. "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing". Cooperative public ownership, redistribution to eliminate inequality, and "social justice" are the objectives.
Consider, next, the Democratic Socialists of America. This organization was founded by Trotskyite Michael Harrington, a man who spent his entire life as a communist or fellow traveler. (Marxists argue among themselves who was really a Marxist; these doctrinal quibbles are not important for our purposes.) The DSA promotes the notion that "to achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy..." DSA also tells us "Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives." In other words, they really do intend to take the "commanding heights."
Or consider this from the DSA: "Socialism doesn't only mean nationalization of key industries. There will be many forms of socialist ownership: public ownership at many different levels from national to state to municipalities, private ownership of small businesses, joint ownership of cooperatives, and other mixed economy forms that best fit production and social needs. And of course every individual will privately own his or her personal possessions and property."
Oops, "typo." That last is from the Party Program of CPUSA (Communist Party of the United States of America). "Socialism would bring social ownership to the commanding heights of the economythe major industrial firms, the transnational corporations, banks and other financial institutions, the energy industry, much of the national distribution system, and the health care systemand run them as public utilities, with publicly elected boards, responsible to and for the public good, and for long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Public programs for free health care, free education through the college level, combating illiteracy, ending malnutrition, and guaranteeing jobs would be built." (Errors, including spacing, sic).
CPUSA's program is indistinguishable from that of DSA, and it's what the rockstars of the left have called for publicly (Comrade Bernie included). It's even what Azerrad describes, although he seems not to understand that it's socialism. It's also the platform of Justice Democrats.
This isn't about building a bigger "safety net" or increasing "entitlements." It's about dismantling private ownership of the means of production and the market system, and substituting "democratic" control. This is the stuff Marx and Engels promoted. Correspondingly, today's leftists have no commitment at all to protecting the rights of those of us who disagree, hence their seething hatred of opponents, whom they indiscriminately label Nazis and racists. Don't doubt they are capable of purging those who oppose them; their system requires it. They have a vision for how the entire society is to be constructed. It requires conformity.
It's vitally important that we recognize that today's left really is socialist, and stop them. They must never rule.
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
State of the Union 2020: The Best is Yet to Come
- President Trump rejected "the shattered mentality of American decline." More than anything else, he emphasized the positive of the past and the positive to come. We need more of this. And Trump was correct to link decline to our previous administrations, especially that of the hapless Barack Obama.
- Mr. Trump emphasized the "culture of American freedom," for "every American." No doubt the MSM and left will jabber about how racist and divisive he was, but he wasn't, and never is. They make things up.
- Economic growth, especially for those below the average income. The low rates of unemployment coupled by increasing labor force participation rate and increasing incomes -- it's true, that's genuinely impressive. He claimed that his administration created new jobs, which of course isn't true -- no president can create jobs... but he can sure have his administration cut regulations that hamper economic activity.
- In particular, Trump emphasized deregulation that has made America the #1 energy producer in the world. That is wonderful. One Democrat -- I think it was Kyrsten Sinema -- actually clapped for this! (She gave Trump standing ovations on a number of points...maybe the Republicans can trade Pierre Delecto for her.)
- Trump's denunciation of socialism is wonderful! He attacked socialism in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and especially America. Socialism is a vile and destructive system. It is not forgivable that so many Democrats have embraced it. It was wonderful when he called out 132 Democrats for endorsing the imposition of socialism in our medical system.
- I don't think much of his family leave proposals, certainly not as a mandated policy.
- School choice instead of being locked in to failing government schools -- beautiful!
- His very clear and well-spoken opposition to enemy terrorists around the world was even more beautiful. Trump brings to the public sphere something rarely seen in the West these days -- moral confidence.
- His endorsement of lawsuits against the criminals who run sanctuary cities and sanctuary states is wonderful. The role of these officials should be to protect our rights, not protect criminals.
IOWA Democrat Caucus -- living up to the name!
The Iowa caucuses are a travesty, utterly ridiculous and non-serious. I served as an election judge in Montana. We were carefully trained to keep things honest and fair, required to take an oath to uphold the Constitution and the law, and, when we supervised voting in the primary, we maintained security with multiple checks and we oversaw each other. It was a careful process. I've voted in primaries here in Michigan and it's the same. It's serious business.
In Iowa, they move around from chair to chair, someone scrawls a count on a legal pad, if they decide to call it a tie someone flips a coin... That all sounds ridiculous, but then the Democrat plan was to send results in by means of a proprietary cell phone app. And if that didn't work, there was a backup plan to call a hotline with results. You're kidding. Unbelievable. Read my story about Montana and then compare to this Iowa joke.
As it turned out, neither the app nor the hotline worked. My favorite moment in the debacle came when CNN's Wolf Blitzer was interviewing a frustrated caucus leader who had been on hotline hold for an hour. In the midst of the interview, Democrat HQ suddenly answered his call...and promptly hung up before he could respond. What a beautiful thing to broadcast nationwide. Too bad no one watches CNN. Heh!
At present (8:03 PM EST, 4 Feb.) it appears Pete Buttgig and Comrade Sanders are effectively tied. Pocahontas Warren is third, frontrunner Joe Biden is in fourth, and Rosa Klebb is in fifth. Rumors abound that Hilliary Clinton and Mayor Pete helped finance the app that failed. Sanders and Biden appear to be crying foul; they were already upset over the obvious sabotage of their campaigns by the DNC's decision to change the rules and allow Mini Mike Bloomberg to enter the next debate (after ejecting Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Deval Patrick, et al. for insufficient popular support!)
Bernie Sanders and his supporters were clearly screwed over in 2016. It's happening again. Here's Michael Moore at a rally for comrade Bernie, absolutely livid at what the DNC is doing. Of course, Comrade Sanders isn't even a member of the Democrat Party, so it's understandable that this is happening. But this promises to make the 2020 Democrat campaign quite a show!