[This is the transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 1 October 2015, not 30 September as previously noted.]
For over two centuries America has had the reputation as being exceptional in the freedoms granted its citizens and guaranteed by its constitution. However things have changed over the last 50 years or so, and few Americans are aware of it. Our personal and economic freedoms have taken a dive which has gone unreported by the left-leaning lamestream media, and therefore unknown to those who limit their news to such outlets. You are fortunate that KVMR is not among them.
Recently some thought provoking studies have been published which put the United States into perspective with other developed countries, and the resulting picture is not pretty. But the findings do go a long way to explain the economic and social degradation we experience in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The short term market is certifiably insane. Yellen will not be able to avoid a rate raise forever, we all know that. And yes, the centrally planned Chinese economy has predictably blown a tire (progressives call your office), but some people still believe that they are smart/lucky enough to bail just before Yellen ups the discount rate by ¼% and the market does its predictable swoon before going back to basics. So in this anticipatory period the so-called range trading investors are playing the jittery game, and the algorithmic high frequency traders are making out like bandits milking the oscillating price patterns that they have discovered. Come on Dr Yellen, do it!
The Donald has passed his peak, and is now on what we engineers call ‘the back side of the power curve’ – the higher he tries to kick his ‘RPM’ the lower sinks his ‘power’ in the polls. Some of our commenters have giddily anticipated this, and I believe one worthy even nailed the top. I predict that the trail down from Mt Trump will be even more entertaining than the climb up, save for the heartburn it will cause the Republican leadership wondering whether he will renege and go for a third party run.
Putin continues to toy with Obama. This administration is so butt stupid on foreign policy that they continue to think that Putin is in Syria to help Assad or fight ISIS or … . Putin’s geo-strategic move is to project Russian power into the Mediterranean and the Levant. He needs to do this to become a permanent power player in the future of the region no matter who is in Damascus. And the requirement for that is to get his stuff past the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Establishing bases in Latakia and Tartus satisfies that requirement. He now owns the Syrian seaboard. And Team Obama remains clueless, still attempting to tell Putin that he has made a “mistake” in putting together a coalition with Syria, Iran, and now Iraq while already entertaining the Saudis and the gulf states.
[update] Election Polling: When ‘Who Will Win?’ Beats ‘Who Do You Like?’ Microsoft's 'PredictWise' project has incorporated that question into its crowd-source prediction markets. This is something of which I have been a long time proponent. The main argument to support the thesis is that "asking people who they expect will win, instead of who they prefer, 'grabs a much larger slice of people’s experience and knowledge, including a whole range of idiosyncratic facts' that are otherwise impossible to quantify". (more here)
[1oct15 update] Elected NJUHSD trustee Ms Linda Campbell was censured by her colleagues on the Board of Trustees. RR has been no fan of Ms Campbell’s, not only because of her uncouth public behavior, but more importantly because of her ignorance of public education that continues to punish Nevada County’s youth. (more here and here)
[2oct15 update] Let me see if I got it right about the idiot in the WH. Russia is bombing crap out of anti-Assad rebels that we support, and Iran is now using Iraq as a staging area for its ground troops to support Russia's Syrian initiatives. And in response Feckless Lidder on Pennsylvania Ave goes on the air to "chastise" Russia for making a "big mistake" and being on the wrong side of history. While no one mentions ISIS. Whatever happened to the country formerly known as the United States of America?
Cheri West, senior aide of Assemblyman Brian Dahle, has declared her candidacy for the District #1 supervisorial slot that will be vacated by Nate Beason next year. Jo Ann and I only know of her, but don’t know her personally. She sounds like a worthy candidate to oppose Heidi Hall, her very progressive opponent who is already well known in Nevada County. Looks like it’s time to start thanking Nate for his service, and manning the ramparts for Ms West. In socialist California, folks like us in the backwoods are among the last who don’t believe that ‘More government is better.’
Apropos to the Pope’s visit, I find it hard to understand how the Left can say that capitalism harms the poor and underprivileged, when it and it alone has been the system over the centuries that has reduced hunger, destitution, and ignorance in the world. Early adopters of capitalism are the countries that have prospered. An easy test is to examine the countries that have most ruthlessly suppressed capitalism – how are the poor and underprivileged doing in those lands?
On the VW scandal. Today we learn that VW’s monkeying with its cars’ pollution control software is a well-trod path in the auto industry pioneered years ago by GM. This doesn’t excuse the bastards for doing it, but it does shed light again on the ongoing collateral damage from progressive governance. Car makers regularly game the system in various ways to satisfy the likes of the EPA and CARB in their butt stupid assertions that pollution controls don’t impede performance. Anybody with a half-assed engineering education learns in his freshman year that that is horse pucky. It’s part and parcel of the progressive mantra that tax rates don’t affect business decisions/performance.
Large multi-national car makers have now become corporatists. They can make cars that uphold the environmentalists’ BS while being tested and still deliver performance on the highways. This is a wink-wink relationship that works as long as no one looks too carefully behind the curtain. And then some wonks at the University of West Virginia didn’t get the message and looked behind the curtain; the rest now is history, both settled and still being made.
The same goes on with business tax rates and certain companies that dutifully tell their progressive legislators that all is well with higher taxes. Why? Because they own the market segments where they can pass the added tax costs on to the consumers who dutifully pay higher prices while being told by the same politicians and unionists that the corporations are making obscene profits (when the profits remain unchanged as promised). What really happens is that the poor middle class and welfare schlubs take it in the shorts without a clue as to how they are being milked.
[update]Gun-free Australia’s crime rates are soaring after law abiding citizens were forced to surrender their arms. As usual the butt stupid politicians are at pains to explain why homicides, assaults, and armed robberies are up – armed robberies up 44%, in Victoria state alone homicides are up 300%. Over the previous 25 years all national crime rates were dropping until their liberals decided to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for mandated repurchases of legal firearms from its citizens. It probably would have done no good to remind the idiots down under that now only criminals have guns, and the bad guys all know it when they walk into a house or a store. Up here we are still unclear on the concept, as the Left does its best to abrogate the Second Amendment through an increasing pile of ever more byzantine regulations on gun ownership, accessories, ammunition, and usage. And check out the crime rates in our Democrat controlled cities where draconian gun laws are in effect. (H/T to RR reader and correspondent.)
Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous. Quran 9:123
Republican candidate Dr Ben Carson set off the most recent political dust-devil predictable with his response to whether he would support a Muslim becoming President of the United States. However, the question of devout Muslims serving in governments is an important issue today when radical Islam and Islam colonizing the west have become the world’s most destabilizing socio-political forces against which secular humanism and collectivist ideologies are not only helpless but actually abetting.
To examine this issue we must first look at man’s belief systems regarding his cosmology and ideology. By cosmology we mean the entirety of his picture of existence ranging from the structure of the universe(s) to the humongous Planck scale ocean of quantum events in which we all swim and derive our being. Cosmology also subsumes or is subsumed by a person’s religion.
By ideology we mean a person’s set of structured tenets that describe his vision or preference of a particular socio-political order that guides, controls, and informs human activity on earth. Here we divide such ideologies into loose categories of collectivism – e.g. communism and socialism of the international or national kind – and classical liberalism as bequeathed by our Founders and clarified by, say, Frederic Bastiat’s The Law.
Over the years RR has been fortunate to be a forum for the arguments from heartfelt adherents of a wide range of ideologies and cosmologies/religions embraced by its readers and commenters. And as such, these debates again underline that a devout person’s religion trumps his ideology – God’s plan and druthers supersede that of Man. In all nations with a religious citizenry allegiance is paid to ‘God and country’ in that order.
Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other. Oscar Ameringer
‘Black Lives Matter – but Reality, Not So Much’. National columnist and keen observer of the social scene Jason Riley agrees with RR’s long-held position on the unmitigated crap that the liberals have been handing out to the black community about how valuable such lives are. A look at the progressive programs over the last 40 years paints another picture. Only the local loonies are unclear on the concept.
Our Designated Reader reports that the FUE continues to burnish his journalistic credentialsclaiming that The Union is biased 3-1 against AGW reporting. The fact is that, starting with the 29aug15 Newsom column, the newspaper published two additional pro-AGW columns in quick succession – 5sep15 by Barbara Rivenes, 7sep15 by Edlin Patterson. This left the score 3-1 against the skeptics of which Bob Hren’s 5sep15 piece was the only rebuttal until Russ Steele’s letter and my 8sep15 Other Voices joined Bob’s article. Now with Todd Juvinall’s letter, the score is 3 pro-AGW columns vs 2 skeptic columns and 2 skeptic letters. That seems pretty even-handed to me. But don’t expect any change from the Lamestream Liar.
A sandbox commenter posts some words attributed to reader Mr Steven Frisch that so clearly illustrate the Left’s use of the Saul Alinsky paradigm– accuse the other of exactly what you are doing. In the skeptics’ blogs (including RR) the ‘science’ behind the AGW hysteria is dissected and countered in detail. And on the True Believer blogs all you find are ad hominems against those who present evidence of fraud and error in the disseminated and swallowed consensus science. So what’s a Leftie to do in such a case? Why, just accuse them of what you do.
The Cato Institute just published a massive comparative study of the EU’s welfare systems. No country advertises that its welfare and entitlement programs range between the dysfunctional and the unsustainable (America’s leftwing lemmings lap up these lies by omission while continuing to worship at the altar of European socialism.) The bottom line is still that, led by Denmark, all the EU welfare programs make weaning recipients next to impossible by the implicit marginal tax rates they impose on people exiting the program for a job. And today all EU member states are scrambling to find ways to cut back their entitlement and welfare disbursements without bloodletting in the streets by Europeans who have grown quite comfortable with the status quo. Cato compares their folly to ours, and it ain’t pretty. You should at least read the Exec Summary of ‘The Work Versus Welfare Trade-off: Europe’.
The EUs Muslim migrant onslaught continues unexamined. We’ve recently discussed its other details under my recent KVMR commentary, ‘The Great Cultural Divides of 2016’, but here is an additional thought that occurred to me. It is remarkable how rapidly the globalists can embed the 'right to ubiquitous movement and residence' into a population that has for its entire existence lived under strict authoritarian rule where no such rights previously existed. We see videos of Syrians, who have passed through lands where their life and limb are not threatened, demand to continue their progress toward more safe and salubrious destinations, there to start new lives. They give no thought to the rights of the people through whose countries they tramp, or in whose lands they will plant their divergent and dysfunctional cultures. And the west’s governments (including ours) are so riddled with globalists that there is no chance that the question of such assumed rights will be raised. If someone from a failed state declares himself a refugee, then today he has an automatic worldwide right to your work and wallet. And our addled leaderships continue to be surprised by reports that such insane welcoming policies and de facto recognition of migrants' right to transnational migration are motivating additional hundreds of thousands to begin their journeys northward. When did territorial sanity and sovereignty die?
[11sep15 update] I just put down the phone with Supervisor Nate Beason. Now that Ms Heidi Hall has announced her candidacy for District #1 supervisor, I wanted to reinforce my previously stated intention to support Nate were he to run again. On this call I urged him to go for his fourth term, and told him that Jo Ann and I are in his corner should he decide to run. In talking to many people of my persuasion, I have not run into anyone who would not support Nate Beason in a race against our new socialist-in-waiting Ms Hall. The last thing we need in these foothills is another leftwing lackey to launch their political career promoting Sacramento's internationally recognized insanity in Nevada County. Nate said that the Beasons will announce their decision in the next week or so, and the phone call left me hopeful.
[13sep15 update] Ferguson was a total lie from beginning to end - "Hands up, don't shoot!" was bullshit, and the 'protesters' were thugs hired and imported. They were hired by MORE, the successor outfit to Missouri's ACORN, now bankrupt. But then MORE stiffed the 'protesters' who are picketing to get their checks. Another hard left organization MAU is urging MORE to pay up since the thugs did what they were contracted to do. The full story is reported by NEWSMAXhere. At every turn the Left lets us know that they are not only stupid, but also just plain evil. (H/T to reader)
[There is load of bad news coming down the pike on Obamacare in 2016. Most widely read people know the travesty that new entitlement has been, and the worst is yet to come. Our progressive readers have excused their happy dancing in the streets about Obamacare while citing how bad our healthcare system is in the eyes of the WHO. The siren song for all socialists is the vaunted 'nationalized single payer healthcare system' of which all the fine exemplars are said to be doing just fine in the EU. However, that is not the case, and already in 2008 Cato published their compendium of these single payer systems in Policy Analysis #613. And since then things have gotten considerably worse in the lands of 'free health care'. Worth a look before we order the confetti for the next Obamacare celebration. gjr]
'What happens in the Middle East doesn’t stay in the Middle East.' WSJ
[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary aired on 2 September 2015.]
Here’s a 50,000 foot view of the great cultural divides that will focus our attention in America and also in the European Union. The EU’s promise of a unified Europe free of wars is under great strain both economically and culturally. It turns out that Angela Merkel’s conclusion that “Multi-kulti does not work” is true, not only in Germany, but all over the continent. And nothing has caused the Europeans to raise their ire more than the increasing flood of Muslims into their cities and countries.
The diaspora from the failed Islamic states that ring Europe on its south is turning into a life altering invasion of people who share few values with the Europeans beyond the desire to escape death and destruction. These illegal aliens who are daily scampering onto the shores of southern Europe are called ‘migrants’ which is their word for our politically correct ‘undocumented immigrants’. The European countries of entry don’t want the Muslims to stay, so the ‘immigrant’ word is out. But they do want them to migrate north to the richer regions of the continent, so ‘migrant’ is an accepted politically neutral label for the desperate aliens who are quickly ushered northward by countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain.
Muslims have been emigrating to Europe for decades, and have made themselves conspicuous to the indigenous Europeans by their refusal to assimilate and their understandable desire to live in their own culturally cohesive communities. In many countries these enclaves are now functionally sovereign in that they follow their own laws, maintain their own traditions, and forcefully reject any encroachment by the institutions of their targeted host nations.
We in America were once taught to abide all cultures which in our public forums subsumed themselves into the overarching ‘American culture’ – practice your own cultures when you are among yourselves, but become an obvious American when you gather in the town square with fellow Americans. This is no longer taught to our young. Today our schools celebrate America’s constituent cultures to the point where a common American culture has been banished and replaced by reference to a yet nebulous global culture.
That we have a politically dysfunctional government is now beyond debate. That it is approaching operational dysfunction is open for reasonable debate. After the latest Islamic terror attack within our borders – ninth during the last six years involving a military facility – our national debate has crossed the border between imbecilic to idiotic. Some observations.
1) Islam is a trans-national religion the major aspects – e.g. Sharia, Taqiyya, martyrdom, … - of which are inimical to American and western cultures in the same manner as is international communism.
2) Starting with FBI chief Comey, the feds and all other constabularies admit that there is nothing they can do to stop the lone wolf Islamic martyr from carrying out such terror killings at will. And all agree that our feckless response to the advances by ISIS, Al-Quada, Taliban, etc will motivate more and more of America’s Muslims to make the ultimate sacrifice to Allah.
3) The administration cannot come to allow military personnel trained in the use of firearms to be armed as they go about their business. The concern, we are told, is “citizen safety”. Giving our GIs the ability to defend themselves against the next raghead attack is considered a risk – having armed people in a shopping mall (gasp!). However, there are no laws in almost the entire country – most certainly in places like Chattanooga – that prevent CCW bearing civilians from walking around armed. Knowing that military facilities will be future targets, we are at least one bridge beyond idiocy.
4) We continue to totally misunderstand our enemy. The media are full of soundbites by politicians, police, federal officials, … calling people like Abdulazeez “crazies”. That is a deadly mistake. Abdulazeez was not a ‘crazy’ before he decided to martyr himself. No one, starting with his family and friends, suspected that this recently graduated electrical engineer would choose to end his life in Dar al-Harb through a glorious and globally publicized murder of infidels. These people are dedicated soldiers of Allah whose zeal in the service of their god is beyond our comprehension.
5) Rebane Doctrine – Sharia observing/yearning ‘moderate Muslims’ who justify violence against infidels in the spread of Islam constitute an existential fifth column in America. By their silence they shall declare their allegiance.
[20jul15 update] In addition to denying the terror threat from our indigenous Muslim population, America’s Left is also in terminal denial about the massive amount of crimes committed by illegal aliens within our borders. In the past this denial was implemented by the lamestream not reporting illegal alien crimes. Given the narrow-casting of liberals’ input sources, our friends on the left have been totally ignorant of such happenings and have reflected their ignorance in comment streams like those in these pages. But since Donald Trump weighed in on the subject, the denials by the Left have gone into hyper-drive.
To counter such denials a reader did some research and posted a link to a summary report on illegal alien criminality. It covers the actions of one of our most liberal flagship outlets, NBC, which went out of its way to cover up what is known to more informed Americans who have access to such data from the Government Accountability Office itself. In part we read that –
The (GAO) report tallies approximately 3 million arrest offenses attached to the incarcerated criminal alien population. Of these offenses, half a million were drug related, 70,000 were sexual offenses, 213,000 were for assault, 125,000 were for larceny/theft, and 25,000 were for homicides. Based on the GAO’s sample of criminal aliens, they estimated that their study population of 249,000 criminal aliens was arrested about 1.7 million times, averaging about 7 arrests per criminal alien. By definition, not one of these crimes would have occurred absent the immigrant who committed it – in other words, without admitting these individuals, there would have been at least 70,000 fewer sexual assaults, 25,000 fewer slayings, 125,000 fewer robberies, and so forth.
When NBC was asked by Breitbart why it declared that “We couldn’t find a single study that links violent crime and immigration.” , it responded ‘No comment’. This is the kind of crap that flows daily out of the lamestream to inform the worldview of America’s gruberized. The interested reader may confirm this from the extensive progressive apologetics that are included in RR’s comment streams. In addition to reading Ann Coulter's heavily documented Adios America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole, you can download GAO’s ‘Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs’ from here. Hat tip to Walt Branson.
[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary aired on 15 July 2015.]
You’ve all heard of generational groupings like the so-called Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers. Well, the latest are the Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1997. This cohort is now in their young adult years, and they have arrived on the scene with a markedly different worldview and priorities than their predecessors. For openers, none of them lived through or understood the Cold War.
Their view of the United States is not so much tempered by our exceptionalism, patriotism, capitalism, or even our beneficent role serving as the world’s sheriff. They do not see Russia, China, and even Iran as geo-strategic competitors or possible foes of America, but as peer nations on the global scene doing pretty much normal stuff to serve their national interests without seeking hegemony over their neighbors. And for the first time the new demographic cohort contains more self-declared liberals than conservatives – 30% to 28%. Given the recorded sentiments of the so-called Moderates at 40%, I would conclude that during the last decade the country has swung markedly toward the Left.
The Cato Institute has published an informative compendium of recent polls and studies of the Millennials which concludes they are “more liberal, more ethnically and racially diverse, more technology centered, more supportive of government action to solve problems, and the best-educated generation in US history.” - the latter at least when counting the number of issued high school diplomas and college degrees.
Millenials see the US and the world heading toward a global order. While not quite trusting human nature and individualism, Millennials hold that bigger and more comprehensive governments will be able to calm and control man’s animal spirits. In such an environment Millennials see the world as a less threatening place than do their predecessors. And without perceiving sharp outlines of global threats, Millennials don’t see the need for America to project power. Today only 2% of Millenials have served in the military, and to them talk of the Cold War and how the world was then is a turn-off. Their schooling has given them a distinctly counter-image of what it was like when the US and the USSR maintained peace through the threat of mutual assured destruction. But that was then, and this is now.