Seems like a good place to cut spending => where the Feds are just giving away money.
The pdf download to describe these programs is 3,277 pages long.
"Just the facts M'am, Just the facts." -- Sgt. Joe Friday
The most far reaching issue to surface in the recent election was raised by the Wikileaks disclosures. Not one of the documents they released to the public has been disputed or shown to be a forgery.
This mechanism pulled the covers off the communications of public officials to reveal unethical, criminal, fraudulent, self-dealing, graft, and corruption, by the scolds who, even today after all the disclosures, continue to lecture the rest of the country on a host of issues in order to lasso some future votes.
Imagine what’s in the communications of the rest of the political class. I’m sure some of it’s ethical, public spirited, selfless, and lives up to the highest expectations of the electorate. Just as I’m sure the character of the Clinton camp disclosures is not unique.
Wikileaks showed us what the Founders knew very well—the corrupting influence of power. They designed our system to frustrate this ubiquitous feature of human nature by creating a Constitution of limitations on government power, complete with a rigorous amendment mechanism to change that Constitution. They didn’t want it tampered with lightly, and they certainly didn’t want unelected judges to be able to effectively modify it with case decisions.
So, our government invests billions to keep the communications of public officials secret, and at the same time, to de-cloak the secret communications of citizens. If the secret communications of public officials could be relied upon to be ethical, public spirited, selfless, genuine, and in good faith, such expenditures might be justified.
But that is not human nature, not when the Founders wrote the system, and not now, thank you Ms. Clinton for reminding us. We must not lose sight of this important lesson.
Moreover, since it’s been shown that government communications can be used to hide the self-dealing of public officials from the purifying sunlight of disclosure, the goal of government cyber security must encompass this reality.
Public security without public accountability is a license to steal from the public treasuries of governments all over the world. This is a much bigger issue than who won the election and what their rhetoric promises.
The fabric of our constitutionally limited system has been breached. Securing the breach is a bandaid that may scab over the lesion, but not cure the underlying disease—because it’s human nature and incurable!
The answer that the Founders came up with was to not trust the government to cure itself. Their system created a tension of balancing interests to keep the various power centers in check.
Public cyber security introduced the ability for public officials to create new power centers not anticipated, or subject to balancing, by traditional constitutional devices.
So, how do we allow our government officials to keep bona fide secrets, while at the same time, not provide communications shelter for public official malfeasance? In other words, how do we fix what is happening right now?
That’s the most important issue we should be discussing after this election. We have a constitutional crisis already. This noise about the electoral college and the legitimacy of candidates is a sideshow.
“A perennial misapprehension distorts virtually all discussions about the competing merits of socialism and [classical] liberalism: Socialists like to imagine that liberalism is an ideology. Reared on ideology themselves, they cannot imagine that any other form of intellectual activity exists, so they constantly detect in others the same propensity toward abstract and moralistic systematizing by which they themselves are possessed. Socialists are convinced that opposing doctrines are an inverted imitation of their own, and these opposing doctrines must likewise be promising absolute perfection, albeit by a different route. And liberals, reflexively compliant as always, have too frequently accepted this grossly mistaken view of their own position.
If a liberal asserts, “In practice, the market seems to be a less inefficient means of allocating resources than top-down, planned distribution,” a socialist will immediately shoot back, “The market is not a solution to every problem.” Of course not. Who has ever maintained such an absurdity? But since socialism was conceived in the delusion of being able to resolve every problem, its partisans project the same ambition onto their opponents. Fortunately, not everyone shares their megalomania. Liberals have never aimed to build a perfect society. They are content to compare the various types of society that exist or have existed, and to draw appropriate conclusions from studying those that have functioned the least badly. But many liberals, hypnotized by the socialists’ moral imperialism, fall into the trap of debating on the socialists’ terms.
Liberalism has never been an ideology, by which I mean a theory based on a priori concepts; nor is it an unchanging dogma divorced from the course of events and outcomes. It is merely a set of observations on facts.
Contemporary socialists—“light” totalitarians in mindset and vocabulary—go wrong when they imagine that liberals are busily planning the perfect society, the best that is possible in the world, but of opposite sign to their own. Therein lies the essential futility of post-Communist debate.”
Jean-Francois Revel, Last Exit To Utopia
Jill Duvall echoes national Democrat behavior => morphs electoral defeat into media spokesperson for the majority vote she didn’t get…
The election made it okay to disengage from the Left. What a relief to just walk away from screaming social justice warriors, in-your-face diversity police, marching millennial militants, and all those attempting to divide, dissolve, and destroy American exceptionalism and Constitution-abiding Americans.
To be sure, the last 8 years of Leftist forceful projections of their menu of self interests down America’s collective throat have been a bit of a slog. And since the Left keep attempting to delegitimize everything about the election they just lost, it appears they won’t be embracing reason and reality any time soon.
Still, the election gave us the real measure of things – free markets, limited government, low taxes, freedom, growth, and constructive behavior.
Now I can turn off the Left’s propaganda and stop enabling that ridiculous fringe by granting them the credibility of serious argument. Turns out they were never really serious about America or any of the phony multicultural ideals they claim to uphold. Even today they keep showing that when they don’t get their way they go animalistic.
Well, our free country allows the Left to express their petulant diversity and me-first social justice within civil limits. But the recent vote reminded us that no one has to chase that hot mess around to try to make sense of it. Sense can never be made from nonsense.
The Left spent their moral capital – showed everyone what selfish children hide inside those hideous masks.
Maybe some day they’ll grow up. It could happen. Until then I am free from having to take them seriously.
It seems like the world has quietly slipped into a technological status that is post privacy. The 4th Am. protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures, but as that constitutional protection has been re-litigated over time, it turns out the definition of what is reasonable is contextual to current technology. As technology expands, the domain of a reasonable expectation of privacy shrinks. This shifting context is, intrinsically, neither good nor bad. It’s just a fact of technological advancement.
The Clintons recently discovered, much to their chagrin, that their reliance upon the privacy of their unsecured email server was a mistake. Despite their attempts to scrub their email record from the servers they owned, at some point their email traffic went through an internet tunnel that allowed their communications to be copied and saved by persons unknown.
As it turned out, those persons evidently became offended over the unethical Clinton’s documented behavior, and released those emails to the public in time for the American electorate to vote in a more fully informed manner. Subsequently the majority of Americans did the right thing and voted against the pair.
An argument certainly exists about whether this diminished expectation of privacy should hinge on the discretion of unknown parties who come to possess ostensibly private communications.
But extensive systems of encryption and decryption exist precisely because the internet is a known system of public communications channels. The information highway is open to all traffic. Someone listening at any number of junctures will be able to see and copy unencrypted traffic that flies by with very little effort.
Moreover, from the Snowdon disclosures the public now knows of numerous devices and software programs that monitor the internet and continuously capture all communications therein. And many formerly secure encryption methods still in use have been defeated.
All of this leads to a prudent conclusion that the great majority of internet users probably have no reasonable expectation of online privacy. The 4th Am. became somewhat obsolete.
Shifting gears slightly, it appears that the same prudential concern extends for smartphone users. And as smartphone sensors advance – some now do 3D digitizing of nearby physical surroundings – many of us will soon carry around data collection tools that can be remotely controlled to capture audio, video, GPS position, owner biometric and legal information, local 3D matrix data, friend and associate contacts and email addresses, histories of our communications through various social media and browsing tools, even records of our travels.
We line up to buy the latest and greatest of these devices because they do so much. And much if not all of what they do can be exploited on the internet without our awareness. The digital map of our entire existence is constantly built, refreshed, saved, and viewed. We are data origin points and we produce tons of data.
Taking things a step further, predictive artificial intelligence engines exist to use this data and issue alarms when the signals indicate the potential for alarming events to occur. Who reads these alarms, in what public agencies, what anticipatory machineries get switched on when the signs come in, these questions and others like them are probably worth exploring.
We had an election November 8th which repudiated Democrat policies on immigration, economics, political Islam, encroaching federalism, regulatory repression, health insurance, domestic energy, military execution and preparedness, international trade, taxation, media propaganda, political environmentalism, entitlement growth, and the list goes on…
Our President and his party seem in deep denial about the depth of this repudiation. In fact to hear them tell it, all of their policies, and they themselves, were somehow affirmed on November 8th! So, now they’re busy redefining reality to fit this purported affirmation.
Part of their strategy involves promoting domestic civil unrest because bad news sells more easily than good – to suck up the intellectual energy of the country and redirect it back on to their agenda. Despite the country having repudiated their world view, they’ve doubled down on their world view.
In classic cult behavior, they’re reinforcing their boundary positions to occupy outsiders with skirmishes and prevent the inner sanctum of liberal mythologies from exposure to the purifying sunlight of objective scrutiny about the outcomes that never materialize under Leftism.
Non Leftists must continue to offer cleansing prescriptions of free markets, reduced federalism, elimination of autocratic regulation, individual responsibility, and removing government from our free lives, to name a few.
A Leftist future in no way contributes to the pursuit of happiness in America. The Left depend on strife, division, intervention, autocracy, and suppression. Leftist leadership comfortably promotes these destructive vectors for the greater good.
We’ve just had 8 years of discovery about who’s greater good concerns them most, and we’ve had enough of the self interest of Leftist leaders. It’s time our government re-established conditions for citizens to re-assume responsibility for their own self interests. We know best what we need and must do.
It’s apparent the Left, the progenitors of government against the people, will fight us every step of the way, for the greater good of course.
Psychosis refers to an abnormal condition of the mind described as involving a “
The following by Author unknown –
“Friends, I’m taking a break after this. I’ve had all I can stomach for now of the accusations, the condescension, the lies, the never-ending lectures about the despair and pain and hurt feelings we caused by electing Donald Trump instead of the most corrupt and dishonest candidate in American political history.
Let me explain to you what really just happened here. For eight painful, miserable years progressives ran wild. You said we were getting fundamentally transformed, and boy did you mean it. Your messianic President literally told us, I won, get in the back and don’t talk. For eight years you really got to jam it down America’s throat. Those of you who are young have never really known another world, where your every demand wasn’t enacted by a cool President, and your enemies weren’t punished at your whim.
The public strongly opposed Obamacare. No matter. Democrats cheated on the rules and passed it on a straight party vote anyway.
You got judges to redefine marriage, and told us we had no say in the matter. But that wasn’t enough. Then you targeted small business wedding service providers, and gleefully punished them, and drove them out of business for sticking to the same position that Barack Obama held until 2012, and Hillary held until 2013. Once he flipped, everyone else became a bigot. A “homophobe.” You really got to hit people with that one. There was no point to your targeting of these Christian business owners beyond targeting them for destruction. And you destroyed them.
You didn’t care about their pain. You didn’t care about their ability to feed their families. You didn’t care about their rights or their freedom of conscience. Bigots, they’re bigots! I actually had close friends who told me they would favor punishing me in the same way.
Then we moved on to the “transgender” agenda. Obama signed a couple of executive orders, and suddenly the federal government said our daughters would have to share restrooms and locker rooms with boys who suffer from the psychological disorder of feeling like they are or want to be girls. Again, we mere fellow citizens had no say in the matter. He gave the orders, signed them, and we are to obey. You didn’t care about our pain or distress or that of our daughters. You called us bigots. You called our children bigots.
You decided we won’t have borders or an actual country anymore, and that we won’t enforce even the weak immigration laws we have. Why? Because Democrats decided it would provide them a permanent majority of new citizens prone to vote for socialism. We fellow citizens again had no say in the matter. Not ten years ago, Democrats had the same position Donald Trump has now, but you again called us bigots. And racists, xenophobes, etc. Deplorables and irredeemables.
You didn’t care about our pain or distress. You didn’t even seem to care about the pain of Kate Steinle as she was murdered by an illegal alien sheltered by a “sanctuary city,” or her family’s pain. Anyone who objected was a bigot! When Donald Trump said it was wrong, you went into a rage.
We’ve also suffered through the crusade of political correctness and left-wing orthodoxy in our workplaces. You got people fired and disciplined. You intimidated and threatened people who supported protection of marriage. You dismissed their pain. They were bigots, after all.
We’ve endured the same ordeals in schools, colleges, and universities. We’ve been continuously insulted, mocked, and slandered in entertainment and news media. Inflicting pain is the purpose, not an unintended consequence.
All year long, we’ve had to listen to you call us fascists and Nazis, while your side is beating people, rioting, blocking highways, and disrupting meetings — literally Brownshirt tactics. Hell, your candidate and party literally paid thugs to disrupt our rallies and speeches, and you still support her!
I could go on. I haven’t even talked about economics, the sacrifice of prosperity or even solvency to socialist and “egalitarian” dreams.
But you get the picture. We’ve now had an election. The rest of us finally had a chance to be heard. And most of the country said a resounding “No” to all that. To the pain and distress YOU have been inflicting on us, and the rest of the country. That’s all that’s happened here. You had a run. You bullied and abused power to get your way. And you thought it was going to last forever, that it was the arc of history, that you were enlightened, and that the rest of us were just stupid deplorables.
I’m sorry Barack Obama used his masterful demagogical skills to lead you into believing that your reign of terror was everlasting and your enemies were history’s losers. But now we’ve voted your party out. We said no, you’re not ruling us this way any longer.
You thought nothing of the pain you caused for the last eight years. In fact, you thought we had it coming. We were on the “wrong side of history” and expected to “die out” and disappear. Yes, I’ve actually been told that, many times. You should have thought about pain back when your party was dishing it out, for real, to your delight. Right now, we are three days after the election, Donald Trump hasn’t done a thing to you, and your riots and hysterical reactions will accomplish nothing.”
Breitbart, by John Hayward, November 8, 2016:
Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to offer his thoughts on the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
“First of all, thank God,” said Gaffney. “I think the comment you guys have made so far is right, up to a point: the Republic has a chance to be saved. And I think the team that Donald Trump is going to be bringing around him – including, I’m quite confident, the superb people that you mentioned a moment ago, Steve Bannon, Kellyanne, General Flynn, and others – are actually going to lead us to saving the Republic.”
“It is a great blessing literally from God, but also I think obviously from the candidate himself, Donald Trump, and not least, Breitbart,” he declared. “And I just want to salute you guys for the incredibly important role you’ve played, I believe, in bringing this moment to pass.”
Gaffney said Trump’s election was “clearly a popular revolt against the elite, the bipartisan elite.”
“What fueled this, as you know so well because you both were speaking to those who felt this way, and you were giving voice to them by the millions, people felt that they had been betrayed not only by Barack Obama – that was clear – but by their own leadership in the Republican Party, in the Senate, and in the House, who they’d given mandates to, to stop the abuses of the Democrats and Obama most especially,” Gaffney said.
“So this was a revolt very much in the spirit of Brexit,” he continued. “You guys covered that so well, as well, and know that sentiment was alive on both sides of the pond. What we’re tapping into now, I hope, is an opportunity – again in the spirit of saving the Republic – for a course correction. And there will be tremendous pressure, I need not tell you, on Donald Trump to forget about that, in the spirit of comity and in the spirit of trying to move past all of this unpleasantness, and pull the nation together.”
“The Democrats will, of course, once they stop licking their wounds, figure out how to sabotage him at every turn,” Gaffney anticipated. “The question is, will he have Republicans in charge who want to help him succeed, or will he have guys who, you know, we’ve been wrestling with for whatever it’s been now, the past four or six years, who have been more concerned about getting along with the Democrats than in trying to respond to this popular sentiment and protect our Republic against the global statists, as you’ve described them.”
Looking ahead to Trump’s first hundred days, Gaffney said there were “many things said in the course of the campaign that could be the basis for a hundred-day program in the national security space.”
“Clearly rebuilding the military is front and center,” he said. “That won’t get done in a hundred days, but it’s got to get started in it. Cleaning house, in terms of lots of folks who have burrowed in, who will be sabotaging him at every turn, in all of the national security agencies – including, I think, the military and, frankly, the intelligence community, Homeland Security, and so on.”
“But overarching it all, it seems to me, there will be a need: he will likely be tested to deal with Russia, to deal with China, to deal with North Korea, in a form that Reagan, my old boss, used to call ‘peace through strength,’” Gaffney expected.
“But most especially, everyone in the world will be watching whether he executes on his strategy of victory over jihad. He couldn’t have been more clear that that’s the problem here. We’re dealing with an Islamic terrorist movement that is global, imbued by sharia, that has to be met by preventing more of those jihadists from coming to the United States, by ensuring that people who are coming from places where sharia is the order of the day are, in fact, people who share our values,” he urged.
Gaffney said one of the most critically important challenges for the new president would be “stopping, designating, rolling up the Muslim Brotherhood in America as the terrorist organization it is.”
“It’s going to be vital to everything else he’s trying to do. We’ve got to stop taking counsel from them, direction from them, and allowing them to operate in our midst subversively, and that’s what’s been going on for some fifty years now,” he said.
“I just want to praise God for making this possible, and to urge all Americans to pull together, to try to ensure that we do, in fact, save the only Republic we have. God bless you all,” Gaffney concluded.
Today I teach you how to unhypnotize a Clinton supporter.
Keep in mind that the strongest form of persuasion is fear. Clinton’s team of persuaders has convinced her followers that Trump is dangerous. If you remove that part of her spell, Trump wins. Here’s how.
1. Trump’s Tough Talk Inspires violence: Ask Clinton supporters if they have seen the Project Veritas video of Clinton operatives talking about paying people to incite violence at Trump rallies. The people on the video have been fired, and we haven’t seen violence at Trump rallies since.
2. Temperament: Ask Clinton supporters if they have seen the video of Clinton ranting “Why aren’t I already fifty points ahead?” She looks either inebriated or deranged. Mention that the people who know Trump personally have reported that he is both smart and sane in person. Even his enemies who know him personally don’t claim he has a temperament problem. If he did, is there any chance we wouldn’t have heard about it by now?
3. Trump might insult foreign leaders into a war: Trump and Putin seem to get along fine. Netanyahu said he could work with Trump. Mexico isn’t likely to start a war over trade, or the wall. Trump says North Korea is China’s problem, which is literally the safest thing you could say. And China’s leaders are adults who know Trump says offensive things now and then. China will pursue its own interests, and none of those interests involve going to war over some words. Likewise, other leaders are adults too. They won’t change their foreign policy over some insults.
5. Trump might start a war: Trump owns buildings and property around the world. As a general rule, people who own a lot of real estate don’t start wars because their own assets are at risk. But Clinton is “sponsored” – via the Clinton Foundation and speaking fees – by defense companies that profit from war. Likewise, Clinton is sponsored by foreign countries whose interests don’t align with American interests. Clinton supported war in Iraq and Libya, and she threatens Russia, just as the money trail suggests she would. Trump talks mostly about having a strong military to avoid war. He gains nothing by war.
6. Alcohol: Normally alcohol would not be a risk factor in picking a president because usually both candidates are social drinkers. But Trump has never had an alcoholic beverage while Clinton tells us she enjoys social drinking. Having a few social drinks is not a problem unless you plan to drive a car…or make a nuclear launch decision. If we don’t trust a social drinker to operate a motor vehicle, can we trust a social drinker to manage a nuclear arsenal?
If you have ever drunk-texted, or received a text from someone who has, you already know how much “social drinking” can influence decisions.
7. Group Violence versus Crazy Individuals: Have you noticed that when you see election-related violence from a group, it is always Clinton supporters? That happened at Trump’s San Jose rally, and it happened with the homeless woman protecting Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame. When Trump supporters do something violent they are usually acting alone, and crazy. When Clinton supporters get violent it comes in the form of mobs who are NOT crazy. That’s the dangerous kind of violence because they are literally Stronger Together.
8. Pacing and Leading: When normal politicians change their minds we label it flip-flopping or – more kindly – “evolving” in their thinking. When a Master Persuader does it, you are seeing pacing and leading, which is a major tool of persuasion. Pacing involves matching people – in this case emotionally – and later using that bond to lead them. We see Trump doing this often.
a. Trump paced his base by saying he would deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. Once he had his base on his side emotionally, he led to them to his current policy of deporting only the people who committed crimes while here. Have you heard any Trump supporters complain about it lately?
b. Trump paced his base by saying he would ban all Muslim immigration to stop terrorist infiltration. Once he had them on his side emotionally, he led them first to a ban on specific problem countries, and then again to “extreme vetting,” which is a lot like Clinton’s plan. Trump supporters followed, and you don’t hear them complaining.
c. Early in the primaries Trump paced the racists in the Republican party by not disavowing them as clearly and as loudly as even the racists thought he would. Since then he has led Republicans to think that some form of a “New Deal” for African-Americans might be worth a look.
d. At the Republican National Convention, Trump used his emotional connection to his supporters to declare he was the strongest voice to protect the LGBTQ community. Republicans stood and cheered.
Readers of this blog might recall that months ago I predicted that Trump would soften his immigration proposals. That’s because I saw him from the start as a Master Persuader, not a crazy person, and not a common flip-flopper.
In my opinion, Trump might be the safest president we have ever had. He can lead the dark parts of his base toward the light (as Nixon went to China) and he has no incentive for war. Claims about his “temperament” are mostly about his penchant for insults, and that isn’t a mortal danger to anyone.
And there you have your formula for unhypnotizing a Clinton supporter who is mostly worried about Trump being dangerous.
You might enjoy my book because I paced you in this blog post.
Government of the people, for the people, and by the people, became government of the super sensitive, for the perpetually aggrieved, and by the passive aggressive.
Sympathy is the measure of success. Politics for the Left consists of a stream of emotional projections that don’t require actual causation. All sorts of other foundations are perfectly legitimate though – love, hate, fear, loathing, toleration, and diversity – feelings that can be subjectively molded to fit any circumstances.
This witches brew of green goo from a bottomless cauldron of umbrage gets ladled out in Elbert County on publication schedules. Each edition brings a new batch of the same old stuff. Gripe gripe bad bad shame shame wag wag. They’ve given sympathy and shaming a bad name – not by crying “wolf” but by crying “sheep”!
You used to be able to practice genuine empathy for legitimate purposes to express real charity and make a concrete difference in the life of the occasional unfortunate person. But the Left produce unfortunate people like China grows rice. They’re everywhere, they must be helped, and, “Oh Look!” There’s a Leftist ready to step up and get paid to help them.
With uncanny timing, they show up to insert themselves, in some revenue model because do-gooders have to eat too, wherever a potential victim can be imaginatively construed.
Constructive victims vastly outnumber actual victims, and they can be as phony as the Left’s remedies – schemes that only have to look plausible long enough for some public revenue to flow into the right pockets. Lock in the grant, get the pet project funded by the commissioners, sew up the budget allocation, get the appointment to control some public spending your way.
Did the remedy work? Was there a positive outcome? Was the problem solved? The questions are never asked because the answers are obvious.
I’d like to see real economics – profit and loss, return on investment – control government decision making. But in an environment of endless assured revenue where the economic law of scarcity does not really exist, I don’t see it ever happening.
But this endless passion play of emotive government is so boring and disconnected from a country founded on high idealism to answer the long-standing fundamental human challenge of man vs. state, to the safe spaces of todays government chambers full of cry bullies in need of a diaper change.
Aye yi yi.
Hillary Clinton’s children’s book (Jimmy Kimmel parody) “Privileged Criminals Get Away” pic.twitter.com/ufx43Q9zsU
— All Things Trump (@Political_B_S)
I was asked for my “thoughts on other tactics and techniques that can help us get to more rational and open public discussion and decision making for our county.”
Forty-five minutes drive in 3 compass directions from Elbert County bring one to growing communities hosting a variety of job opportunities, renewable water sources, vibrant real estate markets, hospitals and health care facilities, medical specialists, fast transportation arterials, light industry and commerce, etc. Evidence suggests these adjacent communities have benefitted from rational decision making for their communities. The standards of living there look good.
In contrast, Elbert County remains heavily influenced, if not controlled, by a small group of xenophobic luddites determined to destroy the potential for growth, substantive commerce, light industry, renewable water, and any semblance of a modern economy.
A majority of commissioner candidates in this years election promise more of the same.
So, the answer to the question posed seems clear. Send the luddites back whence they came, and keep them from continuing to influence the governance of Elbert County. They had their shot, and Elbert County has paid a steep price for following their advice.
The sort of people who set off class wars as a hobby have very particular classless societies in mind. The average left-wing revolutionary is not poor. He is a homicidal dilettante from the upper classes with a burning conviction of his own importance that he is unwilling to realize through disciplined labor. His revolution climaxes with a classless society in which he is at the very top.
Not near the top, not adjacent to the top, as he usually was before, but at the very top.
Utopia has a class system. At the top are the thinkers, the philosopher kings who develop plans based on how things ought to be and then turn them over to lesser men to actually implement. They are the priestly class of an ideological movement whose deity is politics and whose priests are politicians.
In a planned economy, they are the titans of industry and finance, they are the heads of banks and the men who move millions and billions around the board, and they are utterly unfit for the job. But they also make decisions in matters of war and science. And in all things. They measure political heresy in all things and all the activities of man are measured against their dogma and rewarded or punished.
This is the way it was in the Soviet Union or Communist China. But take a closer glance at the White House – and Elbert County* – and see if you don’t spot the occasional similarity.
In the middle of Utopia’s class system is the middle class. This is not the middle class you are familiar with. There are no small business owners here. No one striving to make it up the ladder. Utopia’s middle class is the bureaucracy, the interlinked hive mind of government and non-profits.
At the top of Utopia’s class system are the philosopher-planners who issue the regulations. Or rather they offer objectives. The bureaucracy filters them through successive layers, transforming grandiose ideas into stultifying regulations and each successive layers expands them into further microcosms of unnecessary detail. This expansion of regulations also expands the bureaucracy. One feeds off the other.
Utopia has no lower class. That would be dystopian. Instead it has a client class. The client class is what used to be known as the working class. Utopia however transforms it into the welfare class.
Clienture transforms the working class into the welfare class. The destruction of the conditions under which the working class can exist forces its members either upward into the bureaucracy, a feat that is only possible for the younger generation willing to undergo the educational process, or downward into the welfare class.
The client class justifies the existence of Utopia’s upper and middle class which are, in theory, dedicated to public service, to remedying the ills of an unfair society, which has been made fair by eliminating all free will and individual choice. But the client class exists to be subsidized. And its subsidies justify the subsidizing of the upper and middle classes of the planners and the bureaucrats.
This is Utopia’s crisis.
Its upper class of philosopher kings expect to live like kings. They want to vacation in Aspen and New England. They want Bernie’s summer home and Hillary’s flat broke houses. And that does not come cheap. Utopia’s middle class expects to live the way that our middle class does. And yet none of them actually produce anything. They will, in Obama and Elizabeth Warren’s “You didn’t build that” formula, claim that their public service makes the condition of productivity possible.
There is one problem with that. Their public service actually inhibits production. Whatever the rhetoric, they spend all their days killing the geese that lay the golden eggs. And then they are insulted when the goose doesn’t recognize their contribution to her golden egg-laying.
Utopia has a series of interdependent classes that are subsidized by a productive class that is being starved out of existence. The inevitable outcome of such a system is one in which the lower classes are worked to death to subsidize its betters and the middle class is robbed by the upper class.
The left thus creates the predatory economic system it preaches against as a way of life. Its own abuses are inevitably worse than the system it replaces because it is not only exploitative, but its exploitation actively inhibits production.
Taxing imports – customs import duties – don’t do us any favors [Mr. Trump.] Notwithstanding where ownership of the foreign production resides, import duties raise prices to consumers, and send more money to be burned in the fire of federal spending. If the product is a necessity, the burden of the cost of the import duty will fall on those in need of the product. If the product is not a necessity, it will become less price competitive and possibly disappear from the market altogether.
Mr. Trump, however, is on the right track toward repatriation of American capital by lowering business taxes. But while the negative threat to levy import duties on a firm contemplating moving operations to a more economically favorable location politically appeals to class warriors, it’s really a threat to cutting off one’s nose to spite the face.
American consumers should benefit from least cost manufacturing environments.
And poorer countries know they must bootstrap themselves into the modern world, that there is no charity to bail them out from decades of socialist economic degradation. In the modern era they watched while America manufactured its way to the good life. They want to do it too, and they should.
Lower prices do not harm anyone, including Americans, and higher prices will not bring jobs back to America.
Job makers won’t leave America if the return on investment and regulatory environment remain more favorable to manufacturing in America than somewhere else. And job-making capital will return to America for the same two reasons.
These conditions should not be temporary inducements. They should be fundamental and long term features of the American business landscape. Job-making capital will come back, and will not leave in the first place, if taxes on business and income are removed, and if regulatory red tapes – at all levels of government – are eliminated.
Let’s call a spade a spade. America became socialist in the 20th century. Capital doesn’t like socialism. We can have jobs or we can have socialism. Not both.
Overt socialists like Clinton and Sanders will lament the loss of federal spending that feeds their voting blocks, and feeds their political machines. But their voting blocks would be much better fed by good paying jobs than by government handouts, price controls, subsidies, and legal shelters.
America needs to give up the socialist nightmare. Even China knows that socialism causes poverty and economic decline, though they’re not yet willing to release the communist reins of power.
Power is heroin for socialists. Cold turkey is the way to end an addiction. You don’t gradually ween from a disease. You cure it or you die from it.
We have the medicine. We know what works. We just need to quit listening to the socialists selling snake oil.
The following essay by the Syrian-German Islamic reformer Bassam Tibi was originally published by Die Welt. Many thanks to Brunhilde for the translation:
Young men who bring a culture of violence with them
by Bassam Tibi
The events in Cologne were just a prelude: Many Arab migrants bring very misogynistic social values to Germany. That makes it almost impossible for them to be integrated. A guest commentary.
Is there any connection between the attacks on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and the situation in Syria? The answer is: Yes, there is a connection and the common denominator is violence against women.
Many of my German discussion partners do not seem to understand the violence that is directed against women in a oriental patriarchal culture. In the orient, a woman is not considered an entity, but an object of a man’s honour. The violation of a woman is not viewed only as a sexual act and crime against the woman herself, but more as an act of humiliation of the man to whom she belongs.
In this barbaric war in Syria, that completely erroneously is called a “civil war” (no citizens, but rather ethno-religious collectives, are fighting each other in it), the Shiite-Alawite soldiers of the Syrian army rape women of the Sunni opposition as a method of warfare.
With rape, these Alawites are seeking to dishonour the men of the Sunni opposition. The Sunni “rebels” for their part do the same with Alawite women. It is a war of all against all with women as pawns.
Cologne was not an isolated case
As a Syrian from Damascus, I am astonished at the ignorance and naïveté of the Chancellor and her defence minister, who believe that they can end the war with conferences in Geneva and Munich. But this war should be categorized as a “protracted conflict” that will be with us for many years. It is a type of war that I call “an irregular not state-run war.”
Among the war refugees, there are not only victims of violence but also many perpetrators, and even numerous Islamists. Added to that is the fact that these predominantly young men aged 14 to 20 bring with them the culture of violence, including against women, from the Near East to Germany. New Year’s Eve in Cologne is just a demonstration of that, and no isolated case as our politicians like to pretend in order to downplay the significance of the matter.
Independent of the war, the image of women in the Arabic-oriental culture is patriarchal, even comprehensively inhuman. This image of women must not be tolerated in Europe under the mantle of respect for other cultures.
And for the Arab man, the sexual violence is not just about the “sexual attraction” of the European woman but also about the European man, whose honour he wants to besmirch. And that is what happened in Cologne.
Cologne was just the beginning. If Germany brings in over a million people from the world of Islam and does not fulfil their expectations, we had better be prepared for a few things. From advertisements, all these young men think that they know that every European has a luxury apartment, a car and a “pretty blonde”; they think that they will get all that too and join in the prosperity.
But when these young men instead end up receiving emergency accommodation in school gyms or sports arenas, they feel like they have been deceived and discriminated against. So they develop a desire for revenge against the European man. The disappointed and enraged Arab men therefore took their revenge in Cologne and Hamburg against German men, represented by their women.
As a Syrian who represents an enlightened Islam and who advocates respect for women, I say: That was a culturally anchored act of revenge. What should be criticized here is not only the much lamented false tolerance, but also the ignorance about other cultures.
The conflict in Syria between Sunnis and Alawites, which has developed into a bloody war, will accompany us for many years to come. The number of the dead meanwhile amounts to about half a million Syrians, among them one hundred thousand Alawites; the rest are Sunnis. This kind of conflict is difficult to resolve. An example of this from the past is the Lebanon conflict between Christians and Muslims that lasted from 1975 to 1990, that is 15 years.
Religion belongs to Allah
In Syria the conflict has a long history. The Syrian capital Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world; from 661 to 750 it was the capital of the Omayyad kingdom, that is to say the first imperial Caliphate of Islam that stretched from Spain to western China.
In the late 19th century, Christians and Muslims adopted the European idea of the Nation, in which both had equal rights (therefore different from the Caliphate, where Christians were considered second class believers). Secular pan-Arabism arose from this. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Syria became a mandate of France from 1920 to 1945, and after that an independent secular republic.
In this secular Syria I was born in 1944 in Damascus, an offspring of the Ashraf aristocratic family Banu al-Tibi. The orientation of our values was: Religion belongs to Allah, but the fatherland belongs to all. That’s what the Sunni majority thought, about 70%, and lived in mutual respect with a large number of religious and ethnic minorities.
Bloody feelings of vengeance
Damascus was a peaceful city with a Christian and a Kurdish quarter. That changed after 1970, when the Alawite-Shiite General Hafiz al-Assad seized power. In the years that followed, he succeeded in filling all key positions in the army and security services with Alawites.
Inspired by the Arab spring of 2011, there was an uprising of the Sunni majority against the Alawite rule from which the current war arose. A bloody line of enmity, laden with a strong desire for revenge, between Sunnis and Alawites characterizes this conflict. Alawites and Sunnis do not have a common future.
Neither regional nor international powers are able to gain control of this conflict. In the Syrian conflict, it is important to understand that Putin is not employing his Russian military power out of sympathy for Assad, but solely in an effort to force the West to recognize Russia as an equal actor. At the Munich security conference in February of 2016, it became clear that Putin had achieved this goal.
The conflict in Syria is illustrative of a continuing process of disintegration of states in the Near East. This is currently also happening in Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. The consequence of this will be that in the coming years, massive demographic avalanches are in store for Europe.
Thanks to the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, Germany is the primary destination of the refugees. But the other Europeans are not playing along. The children’s squabble among all German parties about upper limits and limiting the number shows that German politicians do not understand the dimension of the problems.
Early in 2015 following the murders in Paris, Chancellor Merkel participated in a public demonstration in Berlin shoulder to shoulder with Islam functionaries who vehemently oppose a European Islam, and still she doesn’t even know what she is doing. Her Syrian and refugee policies lie along this line.
While German politicians and German Gutmenschen speak about tolerance and the misery of the refugees “in a German pathos of the absolute” (Adorno), the Islamists laugh contemptuously and call these debates “Byzantine blather.”
Far and wide no Euro-Islam
The origin of the term is revealing: In the year 1453, the Byzantine capital Constantinople was besieged by an Islamic Ottoman army. During this siege, Byzantine and Christian monks exhausted themselves in debates about magical and religious formulas, despite the seriousness of the situation.
In the same year, 1453, the Islamic Sultan Mehmed II successfully conquered Constantinople with his troops and transformed the city into an Islamic Istanbul. Since that time Islamic historians have therefore called such debates “Byzantine blather.”
As a Syrian from Damascus, I have been living in Germany since 1962, and I know: Patriarchally minded men from a misogynistic culture cannot be integrated. A European, civil Islam that the Islamic functionaries in these parts have rejected as Euro-Islam, would be the alternative. At the present time, it doesn’t have a chance. My teacher Max Horkheimer called Europe “an island of freedom in an ocean of dictatorships.” Today I see this freedom endangered.
We publish this text with the kind permission of the publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch. It is a preview of the book by Alice Schwartzer, “The Shock — New Year’s Eve in Cologne,” to be released in May.
Bassam Tibi, 72, is a Political Scientist Emeritus at the University of Göttingen. He arrived in Germany at the age of 18 from Syria.
The tautological foolishness currently embodied in Leftism seems present in one form or another in every age. As human capacity has increased, so too I suppose has the capacity for human delusion. The inexorable perniciousness of the Left’s determination to utterly destroy any opposition to their march into utopia takes my breath away. As I get older, my respect increases for those who take on the challenge to correct the malformed mindheads. It is difficult work with slim prospects for success.
September 1, 2016
“Education,” wrote Malcolm Muggeridge fifty years ago, “the great fraud and mumbo-jumbo of the age,” had not brought to the mass of men the best that has been done and thought and said, but rather spread ignorance and folly across the land. Muggeridge understood, though he did not feel he needed to say so explicitly, that the modern ignorance is a new kind of thing, not like the ignorance of old. We Catholics who wish to bring the good news of Christ to the world must now reckon with the malady, because it will require of us something other than what was required of the old missionaries when they went among a heathen people, to show them that the best of what they already believed was but an adumbration of the truth, whole and living.
The old ignorance is easy to describe. All it meant was that people did not know how to read, or had not had a chance to study arts and letters and the sciences, or were never introduced to the gospel. Among peoples already Christian it had more to do with what class you were born to than how intelligent you were. So an Italian mason would know how to dress a block of marble for a rounded pillar, so that it would sit securely in place, tapering it towards the top, too, lest it look as if it were beetling above you and getting ready to fall upon your head. The miller knew how to rig the carpentry so that he could engage and disengage the water wheel with ease. The painter knew how to build scaffolding, and where to get the earths, greens, shellfish, bones, berries, and whatnot to create his pigments. You could not get through an ordinary day without putting into act a wide variety of skills, and practical knowledge of the world around you, and this was true of both sexes, and even of children. But they might not know who Cicero was, or how to read The Divine Comedy, or, unless they were sailors, what route you would take on the sea to get to Ireland, or what a logarithm is, and so forth.
I could now say that the new ignorance is just the old ignorance, without those skills and that practical knowledge. The new ignorant are vague about what a mill is, nor do they know who Cicero was, even though they have attended school, that efficient emptier of brains, for twelve to sixteen years. That would be bad enough, but it would still not be exactly correct.
Lately I followed a lead to an article written by our good friend Joseph Pearce, on the fact that students coming to college and students leaving college do not really know much at all about the history, theology, philosophy, art, and poetry of the Christian heritage. He is quite right about that, and I’ve long known about it. I’m sure he is aware of an even deeper ignorance, though—the ignorance you have to be educated into; the ignorance on gaudy display in the comments below his article.
Constantine decreed that the Church had to believe in the Trinity.
Christians adopted a pagan festival to celebrate Easter and Christmas.
Christians were pacifists who sapped the strength of the Roman Empire (hat tip to you, Edward Gibbon, sour skeptic and despiser of the Church).
Christians massacred people who did not convert to their religion.
Christians burned down the library at Alexandria.
Catholics persecuted the “heretic” Copernicus.
Jesus preached socialism and the redistribution of income.
Christians despised pagan philosophy.
Christians are responsible for the rejection of centuries of scientific achievement.
Christians caused the fall of the Roman Empire.
Catholics burned a million people at the stake for being “witches.”
If it weren’t for Christians, we might have been driving around in automobiles fifteen centuries ago.
Those are just from the one article. I can supply more. The Founding Fathers were mostly deists. Enlightenment skeptics were primarily responsible for abolishing slavery. Nothing important culturally happened between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance. The American Indians were largely peace-loving until Europeans arrived. Women in the Middle Ages were no better than chattel. Michelangelo and Shakespeare were homosexuals. Scholars in the Middle Ages fought over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. People believed the world was flat until Renaissance scientists (or Columbus) proved otherwise. The American economy flourished because of the slave trade. People used to practice abortion every bit as commonly as now.
“Wise women” used to give herbal remedies to people, and that is why they were accused of witchcraft. The drafters of the American constitution determined that a black man was worth only three-fifths of a white man. Women were not allowed to own property before (pick your year). The Catholic Church in particular, and Christians in general, have always been afraid of sex and the human body. Islam was peaceful enough until the Crusades. Pope Pius XII was Hitler’s man.
Catholics believe, and have always believed, that all Protestants are surely going to hell, and vice-versa, and both Catholics and Protestants believe, and have always believed, that every person not baptized with water by a priest or minister is going to join them there. Religion is just a means of “controlling” people. Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Saint Paul invented the Church. Jesus was just an ordinary teacher, like the Buddha. The gospels were written down a hundred years after the facts. The first Christians suppressed the “real” gospels.
The human race was matriarchal until (pick your event: the ancient agricultural revolution will do). There was no division of labor between men and women until (pick your event: the industrial revolution will do). Very few people in the United States knew how to read anything much until the advent of compulsory schooling. The account of creation in Genesis is just like every other account of creation from the ancient world.
And on it goes. I will soon be meeting my college freshmen for the first time, in our program in the development of western civilization, and I know that I will have to un-teach them a great deal of nonsense that they have been taught. Much of it is sheer blinkered stupidity, such as that you must never use the personal pronoun “I” in an essay, or that you may not begin a sentence with “because,” or that you should never use the passive voice—defined as using any form of the verb “to be.” But much of it is this new kind of ignorance, the shallow bigotry of people who have been malformed in their schooling and in their reading of bad books or sloppy journalism, over the course of many years, so that they “know” all kinds of things that are not true, and “know” them as ingrained prejudices. I have seen it many times before: we will spend a whole semester teaching them about the glorious art and literature of the Middle Ages, introducing them to Dante and Giotto and Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, and still some of them will repeat that canard about darkness covering the world in gloom for ten centuries, until Petrarch or somebody was born.
The situation would be bad enough if we encountered it only in the graduates of high school and of the “lesser” colleges and universities, but not from places like Princeton and Harvard and Yale. Alas, that is not the case at all. The graduates of still-Catholic and still-Christian colleges are more likely than are their counterparts from the Poison Ivies to know some things about the western heritage. You cannot graduate from my school, Providence College, without at least brushing up against Homer, Virgil, Marcus Aurelius, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, inter alia. But it is highly unlikely that a graduate of Brown University, that overpriced bohemian stew pot across the city from us in Providence, will have read a single play by Shakespeare for his or her classes, let alone anything of Virgil or the Scriptures.
We will also encounter it among the self-styled prophets of our time: the journalists, and journalistic writers of memoirs and cultural analyses. Mr. Ta-Nehisi Coates, new darling of the left and a recipient of one of the MacArthur “genius” awards, admitted recently without embarrassment or apology that he had never heard of Saint Augustine; which is rather like a prize-winning author from England having never heard of Charlemagne. Since Coates writes about racial issues, his ignorance of the great intellect from North Africa was all the more stunning. And yet he can speak endlessly about racism and the Christian faith. Such a thing is common among journalists and the writers of popular journalistic books, and it comes from all races, all political persuasions, and both sexes.
That is what we have to deal with now. In The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis said that the task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. That is still true, except that the desert-dwellers we meet suffer one jungle-mirage after another, a veritable fantasyland rain forest of monstrous untruths and massive foolishness. We will have to help them clear their heads of the hallucinogens before we can fill those heads with truth and beauty.
Editor’s note: The image above depicts Bugs Bunny’s nephew Clyde in the final scene from the Looney Toons cartoon Yankee Doodle Bugs (1954).
Professor Esolen teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at Providence College. He is a regular contributor to Crisis Magazine and the author of many books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Regnery Press, 2008); Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (ISI Books, 2010) and Reflections on the Christian Life (Sophia Institute Press, 2013). His most recent books are Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching (Sophia Institute Press, 2014); Defending Marriage (Tan Books, 2014); and Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books, 2015).
Given that Elbert County voters prefer the comfort of Republican figureheads to lead government, and given that statutes control commissioner duties and powers, and given that commissioners rarely exercise their quasi-judicial authority to decide a discretionary matter, and given that local Democrats construe every Republican commissioner word and deed in the worst imaginable light against them – whether or not factual support exists for such constructions, and given that few sane people even consider taking a public service job that exposes them to unrelenting hyperbolic and vicious attacks, of what practical uses are the primary and general election processes in Elbert County? Haven’t they become obsolete?
Under present circumstances, it seems that the method used to fill the recent commissioner vacancy – appointment by central committee – more than adequately protects the interests of Elbert County.
The electoral candidate vetting process is predicated on something that no longer exists – representative government. Local Democrats simply don’t trust representative government to proceed.
So Democrats encumber the BOCC domain with hyper paranoid citizen second-guessing of every fact and opinion that surfaces in the daily affairs of government. All of the local print media, and most of their on-line counterparts, assist.
Leftist overseers, using skills honed in decades of service in a variety of public entities, carved out procedural intervention points to control many local government functions.
No one elected them – they chose themselves. They bring their own deviant and un-vetted ideologies to the table to inject into government policies at the intervention points they’ve carved out. And they’re self-funded retirees. No one needs to pay them. They volunteer – and frequently pat themselves on the back for doing so.
In other words, they expropriate power, and congratulate themselves on how appropriate they are to do so.
This is the quasi-socialist utopia that Elbert County government has become. If we can admit its existence perhaps we can rescue ourselves from the expensive and apparently obsolete limited-government illusion that causes so much division and contributes to no-one’s self-esteem.
Surely we must conclude that Leftists do want everyone to feel good about our government since they intend it to control so much of our lives. So let’s dump the unnecessary charade of representative government altogether, allow the self-appointed central committees to select leaders, just as we allow the self-appointed overseers to monitor and control those leaders.
Now that voting is obsolete, we can safely eliminate the whole process, save ourselves a lot of time and money, and avoid the inevitable disappointment that comes from investing hope in leadership that Leftist controllers will inevitably discredit.
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." Thomas Jefferson