Friday, November 18, 2016

Black Lives Matter vs. "alt-right"

I may be wading off into the weeds a bit, but the subject of this post is closely aligned to the one written most recently in which I spent a considerable amount of time on the utter collapse of the media's credibility and its exposure via Wikileaks as an active proponent of progressive policies and candidates.

But for me something far more insidious and scary is underway. First, because this effort began well before the election was determined, was the press' obvious sympathy for and refusal to condemn some of the more odious elements of a broad movement that for the ease of description I will call "Black Lives Matter". Born out of the false charge that police departments were systemically racist and were actually hunting down men of color, protests swept the streets, looting occurred in some cities and in the most extreme cases police officers, regardless of color, were literally gunned down in cold blood.

It would be naive of me to suggest that there aren't neighborhoods in the United States, particularly those with higher rates of crime, where black men are not subjected to harassment by the police without sufficient cause. It is justifiable for communities to insure that their police forces receive sensitivity training, follow the law to the letter, and prosecute those inside the force who violate those laws with the same vigor they would prosecute those outside.

The movement was an outgrowth of Trayvon Martin's being "post-humously [sic] placed on trial for his own murder...." and after "...Michael Brown was killed at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Brown." This from We know that in both of these tragic cases, evidence was presented to grand juries, very serious charges were placed against the men who killed those boys, trials were held in appropriate venues and integrated juries found those men not guilty. George Zimmerman has gone on to live a very troubled life and Darren Brown has moved on to live a life of anonymity.

But I am not here to offer up a criticism of the BLM movement or question the motivations of those who participate in it because they genuinely wish to tamp down the racial inequities that exist in the legal system. My issue here is that there is no reasonable questioning by the press of those issues which BLM chooses to embrace. There is just a tacit acceptance, much like that which was expressed by the Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake that the protestors ought to be given the "space to destroy" by the police in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death, that whatever cause drives BLM into the streets is inherently connected to The Civil Rights Movement in the space time continuum and is therefore current social justice.

Contrast that if you will to the complete invention of the "alt-right", a movement that seems to have no tangible existence, no financial support from some crazed Right Wing billionaire, no leadership: just one prominent bogeyman, Steve Bannon, former Chair of Breitbart and one of the President-elect's chief advisors.

The "alt-right" apparently represents a revitalized white supremacy, anti-semitism, xenophobic bigotry which aspires to relabel water fountains, disenfranchise voters of color, overturn Roe v Wade and reimpose sodomy laws. The "alt-right" is getting plenty of play in the press (although, as far as I know, I am unaware of any "alt-right" marches or looting having taken place) and the mysterious Steve Bannon is being subtly accused of having a Rasputin-like influence over Donald Trump as he introduces his racist, homophobic, anti-semitic philosophies into the new Administration.

I'm trying to think of some political parallel to this - in the United States - and I honestly cannot think of one. I have been reading Breitbart since Andrew Breitbart's death, listening to their daily radio broadcasts which Bannon hosted until he accepted the campaign position with Trump and I read Israeli media on an almost daily basis. There is no credence whatever given to this manufactured "alt-right" conspiracy and in Israel at least Bannon is defended for his Zionist views, for establishing a Breitbart Jerusalem bureau and for his ardent support of Milo Yiannopoulos, a flamboyantly gay, conservative, politically incorrect Senior Editor who has been banned from speaking at liberal college campuses.

The press treats BLM and the "alt-right" as if they were organizations similarly structured, staffed and funded, just on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. BLM is for social justice, inheritors of The Civil Right Movement, home of the "mothers of the movement", i.e., Trayvon's mom, Michael's mom - therefore, good. The "alt-right" implies an acceptance of Donald Trump as our President, a repudiation of Obamaism, a registry for Muslims, deportation of all Mexicans, white men in robes and hoods returning to the streets, 21st Century kristallnacht - therefore, evil.

The invention of the "alt-right", of course, makes it far easier and much less scary to explain why the Democrat party would ever consider let alone approve a Congressman to lead the DNC who sympathizes with Hamas and CAIR, who compared 9/11 to the 1933 Reichstag fire and was a Nation of Islam member who sponsored a speech in law school called, "Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?" He is also co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus - therefore, good. In comparison with the "alt-right", Keith Ellison looks downright moderate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obama Defeated. Democrat Demise Complete. Media In Shock.

Greetings, long lost readers. I have heard several lamentations that I have not posted any commentary during the most controversial portions of the recent election season, and given the benefit of a few short days of reflection, I believe I made a wise decision. I had other matters more pressing, wanted to steer clear of controversy, have studiously avoided the wasteland that has become Facebook, and kept my opinions rather close to the vest.

I made no bones about my lack of enthusiasm for Donald Trump (though no "Never Trump" movement existed when I wrote my last post) and my utter disgust with Hillary Clinton (exacerbated by the Wikileaks emails released by the thousands confirming that John Podesta not only resembled a rodent, but behaved like one, too). I voted for Donald Trump with a tinge of nausea, but was able to justify my position by the belief that he might actually reform the tax code, that he might actually appoint constitutional traditionalists to the Supreme Court and that he genuinely intended to deliver better care and benefits to veterans. I did not expect Mitch McConnell to be tarred and feathered for his consistent failure to resist Obamaism, and I do not expect him to pursue a prosecution of Hillary Clinton and her advisors, though I believe the latter have committed various and sundry felonies for which they should be tried.

For me, there are two significant paradigm shifts resulting from this election which will have important residual effects. First, the majority of American voters have utterly rejected Obamaism and all that it represents: a lurch to the cultural left, an unconstitutional assumption of executive power, the empowerment of government agencies to use rule making to circumvent Congress, the weakening of America's influence in foreign affairs by yielding to multilateralism, the creeping influence of socialism embodied in the Affordable Care Act and employing taxpayer receipts to fund venture capital investments in alternative energy companies, the "packing" of the National Labor Relations Board, passing the JCPOA ("The Iran Deal") by conveniently not defining it as a "treaty" which it clearly was. I could go on and on.

The second has been the exposure of the media as a propaganda tool of the Democrat Party. The cynical among us have know this for years (could there be anything more ironic than labeling David Brooks of The New York Times its "conservative columnist" as if he had somehow assumed the mantle of William Safire?), and it was confirmed in fact and in deed by the uniformly biased coverage and the sleazy exchanges of emails between Podesta et. al. and the coterie of media elites. The most egregious offenders were CNN and The New York Times, followed closely by NBC. CNN, of course, is owned by Time Warner over which Jeff Bewkes presides - their liberal credentials are impeccable and historically significant, even without the involvement of Ted Turner, refined redneck turned custodian of huge swaths of American territory, bison herds and Ted's Montana Grill. The New York Times, publishing a double page spread of Mr. Trump's offensive tweets as a "news" feature, publishes a mea culpa from a member of the Sulzberger family post-election promising greater objectivity in its future reportage. Why would such a letter be necessary? And NBC - purveyor of MSNBC - part of the Comcast Universe controlled by Brian Roberts who has hosted countless fundraisers for the Clintons and Obama and other Democrat causes at his Martha's Vineyard estate.

I have been amused by the "Angry Woman" T shirts, the oh-so-subtle references to kitty cats, the desire to eliminate the Electoral College (expressed so eloquently by that paradigm of judicial objectivity, Eric Holder, the only Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress), the racism epithets cast about so cavalierly. Why, it brings to mind the utter consternation I felt eight years ago when a first term senator from Illinois with virtually no experience working in concert with those who opposed his dogma, who had never worked in the private sector, who knew nothing of the subtleties of foreign entanglements became President. I didn't wear a "Bitter Clinger" T shirt, I didn't march in front of Jeremiah Wright's church though he preached an intolerant message the Obama's seemed ignorant of for twenty years, and I could have cared less about the color of his skin or where he was born.

But there is no method to the Left's madness without a relentless concentration on that which keeps us apart: race, income redistribution, sexual preference, growth of government, etc. Just examine the ludicrous, hateful statements issued by the retiring Harry Reid in whom the Democrats trusted their party leadership in the Senate when his behavior and serial lying suggested he ought to be entrusted to the supervision of Nurse Ratched.

Or examine the candidate whose name surfaces as most likely to take the reins at the DNC: Rep. Keith Ellison, one of the most Left Wing members of Congress, an early supporter of Bernie Sanders (who endorses his candidacy), who advocated the impeachment of Dick Cheney, compared President Bush to Hitler and blamed him for 9/11, defended Louis Farrakhan against charges of anti-semitism, and is a vocal advocate of the BDS movement against Israel. And Senator Chuck Schumer has the chutzpah and is scummy enough to support this guy.

If the likes of Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren gain effective control over the Democrat Party, they will remain in the political wilderness, they will continue their alienation of working class whites who are fed up with their looking-glass dogmatic structure. I would argue that the majority of "flyover" voters, for whom I occasionally presume to speak, do not want the government involved in relabeling bathrooms and locker rooms; do not want free speech restricted, so that those who do not share a progressive world view are denied a platform for their views; do not want "open borders" ; do not want sanctuary cities; do not want Planned Parenthood to receive taxpayer funding. If Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders continue to hector Wall Street, then where will that enormous amount of cash so willingly sucked up by the Clintons to fund Democrat causes go? What is Goldman Sachs to do?

Let's remember: according to every single bicoastal leftist pundit, Donald Trump is a misogynistic, racist, clueless, tax cheating loser. But the Anointed One, Hillary Clinton, the goddess designated to break the proverbial glass ceiling for Womankind, was unable to beat him, despite the near uniform, biased reporting she received from the most powerful media and union voices in the country. Oh, yeah, and she got a little push from Barack and Michelle because legacy preservation trumped all. That's not going to work out too well either.

Regardless of how one feels about Donald Trump personally, the bottom line is that this time the flyover forces triumphed and may have dealt a blow that cripples the forces of domestic social engineering and globalism for some years to come.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Rejecting Trumpism and Socialism

I have not written a post since December. I'm involved with a project where I was strongly cautioned to keep my comments on Facebook, Twitter, etc., as "noncontroversial" as possible. Consequently, I chose to put this blog on hiatus. The outcry was cacophonous (yeah, right). The only cacophonous sound came from inside my own skull. These reflections have become way too important to me and I could give a rat's ass if they're seen by anyone else.

Having given this an appropriate introduction, let's move to the subject at hand. The bizarre, dysfunctional personalities who aspire to succeed the bizarre, dysfunctional narcissist who currently occupies the office.

Let's address the incumbent party first, shall we? Bernie Sanders, who's never held a private sector job, who became Mayor of Burlington by 10 votes, who left the Lower East Side because he couldn't cut it in New York City, who never refers to his Jewishness, who doesn't disavow that a 90% tax rate could be appropriate under certain circumstances, has become the Pied Piper of the "free college, forgive our student debt" crowd, not unlike Gene McCarthy was for my generation. "Clean Gene" promised us he would end the War in Vietnam and save us from being drafted into military service. "Bolshevik Bernie" promises an expense- and responsibility-free future, funded by a confiscatory Robin Hood tax structure. Socialism is predicated upon the proposition that capitalism is an inherently corrupt economic system. It holds that the "working people of the world" are better equipped to run things in a better way (read: "fairer"). But only two structures exist to enable this transformation: bigger, centralized government and labor unions. The former is at odds with the basic tenets of the Constitution while the latter opposes the exercise of free will and uses its confiscatory "dues" structure for self propagation.

Socialism, I'm afraid to say, is a structure inherently at odds with constitutional limits on governmental power, it argues against the foundation upon which the Constitution was constructed -that all men are endowed by their Creator by the right to pursue happiness - and that if a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it - if the American people choose to place a Socialist in the White House, this country has ceased to exist as it was formulated in 1776. And it is likely a serious effort will be made to alter or abolish it.

It has become difficult to see much light between Bernie and Hillary. The biggest difference, of course, is that the DNC is squarely in Clinton's corner because their "super delegate" construct is so antidemocratic, so in opposition to the wish of the voters, it is impossible to conclude otherwise in light of the New Hampshire primary. Bernie takes Hillary to the cleaners and fails to sweep a majority of delegates. Granted, the numbers are insignificant, but the indicators are clear. Unless Hillary is indicted (which, should it not occur, would be roughly equivalent to Richard Nixon not being forced from office because he didn't want to subject the nation to an impeachment proceeding), she will become the nominee regardless of Bernie's popularity and momentum. The party will see little to be gained by having as its nominee someone who never embraced the label of "Democrat", who traveled to Nicaragua to support the 6th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution. "In the long run, I am convinced that you will win...."

These days I don't think anybody - particularly millennials - give a shit about this. They don't know anything about communism, they don't know what Hillary did to besmirch the women who charged her husband with sexual impropriety and I don't think they care that she freely moved highly sensitive classified information over her insecure server. They don't care that she has lied, that she has lied about a variety of topics for thirty years, that her husband lies and that their Foundation cloaked in a Harry Potter-like cloak of "do good" invisibility is as transparent as the clothing worn by Cersei on her Walk of Shame.

No one's got a care about our $19 trillion debt. No one's got a care about about how Bernie and Hillary intend to pay for this panoply of giveaways. The only thing that matters is that they pledge to preserve and expand social welfare programs. There is no mention - whatever - that half the people in this country pay no income tax, and it's clearly perfectly acceptable for that status quo to expand. Legalizing 12 million illegal immigrants will not open the tax sluices at the IRS at least in terms of increased receipts. It will open the sluices because social programs already under dire financial duress will be moving into ever more perilous territory.

Which brings me to the most loathsome figure on the political scene now: Donald J. Trump. An egotist for whom we must invent a new adjective, Donald has somehow managed to transmogrify a lifetime of liberal New York politics into the Republican standard bearer. A lifelong pro choice advocate, he now proclaims himself pro life. He is the ultimate establishment insider (particularly on the Democratic side), donating to the Clinton Foundation, praising Planned Parenthood, running his businesses in a cozy relationship with Wall Street investment banks (it could not have happened otherwise), he even donated $50,000 to help Rahm Emmanuel become mayor of Chicago.

There is nothing about him which suggests he's a constitutionalist (or even more offensive, this neoevangelical posture he has adopted), that he favors a contraction of the federal government, that he is committed to proposing "originalist" justices to the Supreme Court, that he is prepared to stand on deeply rooted principle ( did I just use the phrase "deeply rooted principle" and Trump in the same chain of thought?) to fight with the minority party in Congress?

Worst still have been his petulant, slimy, personal attacks on the integrity of his adversaries. "Liar" seems to be his favorite charge of the day, as he endeavors to attach it like a scarlet letter to Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and, new today, President Bush. He spares Marco Rubio with the label, temporarily, because Trump has cleared the way for Marco to throw the charge around, too. How does Marco Rubio have the cojones (that's Spanish, my gringo compadres) to even addresss, let alone criticize, others regarding their stand on amnesty when he was a charter member of the Gang of Eight? It
would have been called the Gang of Seven without him.

It appears that Trump's histrionics are predicated on two assumptions: one, that South Carolina is an open primary, so Democrats and Independents can vote in the Republican primary; and, two, Jeb's PAC, headed by Mike Murphy, an "establishment" pollster, supposedly has an internal poll with Trump at 26% and Cruz at 24% with Marco and Jeb tied for third in the lower teens. Regardless of the sample size or margin of error, if that is even close to being accurate, it is terrifying news for Donald. He cannot allow Cruz to win South Carolina. Period. That will give Cruz an uncomfortable amount of momentum going into Super Tuesday and will shake the foundation of Trump's own sense of inevitability.

So, he calls Cruz "unstable", threatens to sue him, trashes the Iraq War, mumbles accusations resembling 9/11 "truther" positions, advocates with his buddy Sean Hannity that we should have seized the natural resources of Iraq and possibly Kuwait (yeah, that's sure to "destabilize" the Middle East that would make the consequences of the Iraq War mild in comparison), threatens worldwide trade wars by advocating the imposition of ponderous tariffs in a misguided effort to "bring American jobs back to America". The list is endless.

I do not believe Trump can win South Carolina without Democrats and Independents, so he eschews any pretense of "conservatism" or 'Republicanism" or whatever you want to call it to pander to those voters. I've never heard a word of criticism from him about the role that trade unions have played in driving jobs - particularly manufacturing jobs - into countries with lower labor costs.

He delights in singling out a company like Ford - the only auto manufacturer who did not accept federal bailout funds Mr. Trump supported - for moving a substantial manufacturing presence to Mexico. But, unlike GM, which emerged from certain bankruptcy with substantial ownership by the UAW (and which has not repaid the American taxpayer) or Chrysler which was effectively "given" to
Fiat, Ford has made the election - which for the moment it remains free to do - to do what's best for its shareholders and to maximize its profits. Is there some underlying criminality in that? But it somehow offends Donald's sense of what is fair or right that he proposes punishing the company by unilaterally imposing trade sanctions on it?  It is patently illegal, cronyism as its worst and
completely indicative of how Mr. Trump will approach management of the economy. Why not force the UAW into renegotiating its labor contracts and seizing portions of its equity stake until the taxpayers are made whole? Why not force Fiat to move its manufacturing facilities from the EU to the US since we gave them such a sweet deal on Chrysler? Maybe because the non-Donald controlled segment of American business doesn't function like a private fiefdom.

Donald is no more a constitutionalist than Barack Obama. His whole life he has worked in the interests of broader, centralized federal power. He expresses no obvious interest in expanding the authority of states rights unless it's suggested to him by Sean Hannity. "Don't you want to balance the budget?" "Of course, I do." " Don't you want to see Obamacare replaced with portability, health savings accounts and cross state competition?" "Oh, yes - do you know how much money my company would save if we could buy insurance like that?" "Are you prepared to lower taxes?" "We're going to lower taxes like you wouldn't believe."

We are simply trading the vacuous "hope and change" with "making America great again". No reasonable person would disagree with either, but the malaise and division wrought by the former doesn't hold much promise that the absence of specificity attached to the latter will yield much improvement in the lives of middle class Americans.