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Pay Attention!

I am supposed to be doing homework for a special project. But I if I didn’t get this out, my head will explode.

Everybody is getting their noses out of joint about the NFL and Donald Trump being his regular, inarticulate, nonsensical self.  I sure as hell said my piece about it.  But as a problem, who stands, sits or scratches their asses during the National Anthem should be about 138 on our list of national priorities right now.

There is far more to worry about.

First I will stipulate that as sure as there will never be a real wall on our southern border, I am equally sure that the NOKOs will get their nukes, just like the Iranians did. There is no one in DC with the brains, much less the sack to do anything about it. (Perhaps the only saving grace in this case is that the American President isn’t going to actively facilitate Kim’s acquisition of the weapons as Obama did for the Iranians.)

BUT!!!!!

If anyone is seriously thinking about going after the crazy fat kid and his crazy generals they better start making preparations SIX MONTHS AGO! If the post Vietnam yes men in the Pentagon plan this one the way they have done the last several, we will find ourselves in real trouble on the Korean Peninsula.

I have been watching the Ken Burns’ Vietnam series. Not much new there, but the detail is amazing. And as many times as I have read or seen these stories, it still leaves me gob smacked at how criminally incompetent LBJ, Robert McNamara and the Joint Chiefs were in the execution of that war. All the years in Nam and all the conflicts since have demonstrated that we have yet to learn anything since 1945.

In McNamara’s time, the powers that be believed the guy with the best spreadsheet would win the war. Now the yes men believe the guys with the coolest PowerPoint slides are on top of things.

If we don’t get REAL generals and planners in DC, plan a REAL campaign designed to defeat the enemy and INITIATE THE DRAFT right now, any adventure in Korea will result in a tremendous loss of life, squandered initiative and NOKO getting their nukes anyway.

In Chapter 16 of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! I laid out my objections to the concept of limited war. The bottom line was that if you don’t intend to take all the real estate and keep it; if you don’t intend to completely break the enemy’s will to resist your own, you don’t go to war. Period.

Korea I, Vietnam, Iraq (under Obama) and Afghanistan were all a colossal waste of American lives. As this NOKO debacle unfolds before our eyes, I don’t see anyone with the requisite knowledge and courage to understand this.

Trump still lacks the intellectual curiosity needed to digest real input from his advisors on a subject as important as this. And I see no indication the military is being led by a new breed of young turks capable of planning a real war.

Again, I don’t think we will lift a finger against NOKO nukes. But if we decide to do so, and try to do the “limited war” circus, popular since 1950, we are going to be in deep shit!

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The NFL. Children. Ignorant, Petulant and Overpaid

I’ll put the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF as my old boss used to call it). The playing of the National Anthem at sporting events has always been for one and only one purpose. It was a way of saying, in a feel-good way that we are all in this together. The Baptist in section C row 5 seat 16, the lesbian in A 15 4, the disabled vet in F 22 12 and the Muslim in P 11 2 are all Americans. Tomorrow the Lesbian might blog about gay rights. The vet will be fighting red tape at the VA. The Baptist will decry the lack of god in schools. And the Muslim may decide to march against the travel ban.

But right now, in this place, at this happy time, we are all a part of a larger picture. Let us just for this brief moment enjoy knowing that and enjoy being together. THAT is why we play the national Anthem at ballgames. There is no other reason. There never was.

It wasn’t about wars. It wasn’t about race riots. It wasn’t about the imaginary grievances of college snowflakes. The flag itself was just a focal point; a rather pretty visual the good feelings were built around.

Well…until entirely un-oppressed, professional athletes decided to get camera time and headlines by ruining the moment for the rest of us.

It’s Not FSC’s Fault

As I read the social network comments regarding the NFL’s National Anthem controversy, I am struck dumb with the level of ignorance from which people argue. Clearly, many of the arguments are made up from whole cloth. I read one post that the National Anthem was written by an attorney who worked to free slaves.

[insert loud game show buzzer here]

Sorry! Francis Scott Key was a slaveholder who, it is said, wrote of the inferiority of the Negro race. Yes, he did represent slaves seeking legal manumission as well as slaveholders seeking return of their “property”. If he thought his client had a case, he argued it. But he was no paragon of abolitionist virtue.

I hate revisionist history worse than cooked carrots.

I read repeatedly that the song “celebrates slavery” or “celebrates the murder of African-Americans”. Leaving aside the impossibility and self-indulgence of the label in the latter example, the song does neither.

Sadly, the ignorance is not limited to silly tweets or Facebook trolls. Mark Clague, a musicologist (here defined as someone who can say anything he wants and declare it valid) is a shining example of what has become of American learning and intellect.

Clague works at the University of Michigan and is founder of the Star Spangled Music Foundation (no agenda there, right?). In a particularly non-intellectual and self-contradictory interview with the NY Times[i], Clague says the lyrics are not a celebration of slavery.

So far, true enough. They are specifically not that.

But then Clague goes on to damage a simple and true statement by slathering on his own disjointed views and projecting his own wishes and feelings on things, 200 years hence, into the minds of people who simply did not think as he does; people who did not think the way educated people think today.

In his reference to “freemen”, Clague asserts, Key was including white people AND black slaves who remained loyal to the U.S. during the war.

In other words, according to Clague, an attorney, and the author of a rather well-penned verse, had no concept of the meaning of words. At the beginning of the 19th Century, a freeman was specifically NOT a slave. Period. If I were a merchant in Philadelphia and was introduced to a Black man with whom I might do business, he would be introduced to me as a freeman to specifically delineate him from those who were slaves. This was by no means an uncommon occurrence, even in major southern cities.

Key would have not confused the two. Clague does so intentionally to burnish the image of the Anthem, which is clearly his goal.

At the same time, Clague and any other literate person who reads the lyrics and knows of the history of the time, knows the terms “hireling” and “slave”, in the context of defeating the Brits, was a reference to the mercenaries and slaves who fought for England during the war.

If you are a 100% pacifist and believe that all war is murder, then you could read into the words of FSK a justification for the murder of slaves and mercenaries in the Anthem. But that would be projecting YOUR beliefs onto the words written by another person.

Key clearly believed in the cause being contested and did not quibble about the morality of war in his verse. So in his mind, and therefore his words, there is no celebration of murder. There is only the statement that the enemy is not free from what American forces might visit upon them. This included people who lived here and fought for the Brits. The “controversial” phrase is neither celebration nor condemnation of death in war.

All I will say further about the birth of the Anthem is that it was a verse that reflected it’s time. The modern approach to that reality is to deny it by saying things like, “Don’t tell me about the morality of the time! Don’t confuse me with facts! XYZ is wrong and everybody knows it!”

Well, isn’t that just too convenient for you? The fact is, that for several millennia, it was accepted as correct that one people should enslave another. If your state went to war with another, one of the most valuable and common spoils of war was the acquisition of slaves. If you marched your god into a foreign land and they rejected that god, you could do to those people anything you wanted to.  While the Greeks and Romans would happily nuance the concept to win the loyalty of this tribe over that, the common thinking was that the conquered could be used as the conqueror sees fit. There was no moral argument against it.

We are a mere 200 years into a world where slavery is seen as a blight. Many places in the Muslim world have a lot of catching up to do to eliminate slavery all together. That’s to be understood since they actively rejected the Age of Enlightenment, where old cultural and religious nonsense started to be peeled away in favor of critical thinking.

But is it a process. One we worked through, quite painfully, 150 years ago.

There is more to Clague’s unhelpful interview, mostly about newer versions of the song written over the years by people with various axes to grind, including abolition. But they are not germane to the argument at hand as they are not Key’s words. But Clague is a “musicologist”. So perhaps I should show a bit more respect.

Meh…nah.

So What of Today’s NFL Anthem Squabble?

It might have been smart if Woodrow Wilson and Congress, when they made the Star Spangled Banner our official Anthem, had reviewed all of it. If they found controversy in the various stanzas, it would have certainly been within their power to say, “We adopt this stanza and reject the rest in the use of the verse as our anthem.” That would have been quite prescient. However, there would be no way Wilson could have possibly read anything sticky about the third verse. He was a racist. He was completely and utterly tone deaf to issues of any minority.  So talk of defeating slaves and mercenaries fighting for the enemy would have meant nothing to Wilson.

But at this moment, the Anthem is still our official song.

There is no law that requires the playing of the Anthem at sporting events. Nor should there be. This is a tradition, and a nice one.

People are free to sit, stand or chew gum while it plays. People are free to protest during it’s playing. After many decades of this without these circus stunt “protests” do I question the motivation of players who are protesting a benign song? Of course I do. These are spoiled, overpaid, prima donnas who haven’t heard the word “no” since the first scout visited their schools. Not a single one of them could articulate a true statement in favor of their “protest”.   Talk of “oppression” coming from their mouths should be an anathema to any mature adult in this country.

Even if their erroneous view of the Anthem’s lyrics were correct, there isn’t a single person alive who has actually suffered through the time in question. Not a single living American has had to deal with the issue of slavery. Only the oldest among us had to fight for civil rights. And they won! The only emotion we should feel about any of that is gratitude!

But They Disrespect Our Veterans!

If you’ve read my stuff, you’ve read that I don’t use my time in uniform as a reason to criticize protestors. I wore the uniform for 23 years to uphold the right of anyone to peacefully protest anything they want. That includes the actions of stupid, spoiled men getting paid to play a kids’ game.

But as they are free to make phony protests, you are free to counter them.

I hear talk of boycott. That might do it. But be sure to make your actions clear and accurate. They lose their meaning if you don’t.

This is my take. Player A sits on the bench, collecting camera time during the anthem. Let’s not pretend it is really anything else. That is his right. BUT he is in a uniform. While wearing that uniform, and in the performance of his duties representing the ball club, it is the club’s reaction that is the key.

The owners and stockholders of the franchise have freedom of speech as well. If a player sits out the anthem and the club doesn’t penalize him, or at least scold him publicly, the club is making one of two possible statements.

  1. We agree with the actions of Player A and believe the National Anthem and the United States are bad things.

OR

  1. We don’t agree but will coddle the spoiled brat because we care more about how much we pay him than we do about patriotism or national pride or whatever label the observer thinks is appropriate here.

But take care where you point your finger and be prepared to make your own mea culpa. Who was it, after all that made these “protestors” into more than overpaid meat hired to play a game?

Who was it that paid good money to make sports entertainment into a multi-billon dollar activity? What a waste of resources! Who is it that allows our institutions of higher learning to be football clubs and snowflake villages rather than institutions of higher learning? Who stood by and watched as our government created a publicly subsidized “bread and circus” industry we now know as professional sports?

That’s right. It is you. I would wager some the people most angry with the protestors these days are season ticket holders or viewers that never miss a game each week. But in attempting to admonish the “Frankenstein” we’re angry with, don’t minimize your role in creating it.

Still feeling passionate about your argument? I hope so. Now go out and make a valid one.

Note: The fact that NFL players in exhibition in England stood for God Save the Queen and took a knee for our National Anthem shows their complete ignorance of the history of the anthem and the history of this nation. And it demonstrates the total lack of seriousness in their “protest”.

Children!

[i] The National Anthem Racist? Beyond the Debate over Colin Kaepernick by Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, 2 Sep 16. The Times actually refers to Clague’s emotionalist, self-serving meanderings as “scholarly”.

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Modern Fallacies of "Race" and "Heritage"

This is addressed to a small, but growing subset of our population.

In the following paragraphs, I will state several facts.  They won’t be arguable. Every literate person who reads these facts will know they are true.  But these facts will tug at the silly emotionalism too many have chosen to cloak their lives in.  These facts will stand athwart the nonsense cultural con men have been hawking for decades.

With a little luck, I will convince a few people to revive their sense of dignity and REAL self-respect and turn away from the childish thinking that keeps them from reaching their full potential and divides our people.

Fact 1: I am NOT Irish.

Throughout my childhood there was a myth about “pride” and “heritage” that was foisted on every kid I knew. It was the myth that we were “Irish” or “Italian” or whatever other label people decided to hold over from the old country.

Yes it is true, that by accident of birth, and by no other machination, I have DNA similar to that of people who immigrated to the U.S. four generations before.  In my case, the big celebration of this accident was Saint Patrick’s Day.  We would be regaled with the myth surrounding this character and we were supposed to be filled with “pride” in our “heritage”.

Pride?  Heritage?  Really?

Dismissing the banishment of snakes for the nonsense that it is, what was it about Patrick and my Irish-ness I was supposed to be proud of?  What actions were taken five generations before and earlier that I was supposed to feel somehow “proud” of.  I wasn’t there.

However my ancestors chose to survive the famine, I didn’t participate.  In parts of our extended family were people who were part of the IRA.  We were supposed to be somehow proud of that.  Leave aside the twisted animals the IRA would eventually become, how was I supposed to be “proud” of a struggle with which I had taken no part?

And from whence comes my heritage?  It damn sure isn’t from Ireland!  The ONLY tangible heritage that contributed what I would become is what my parents and grandparents provided.  And except for the silly green hats and “Kiss me!  I’m Irish!” badges I’d see once a year, that heritage was pure American.

But oh, I was told, think of the brave souls that fled the famine and came here to start a new life!

 Brave?  Well, I’ll grant you, the first man to pull a black spud from the ground to say, “Uh-oh. There’s something wrong here,” who packed his kit and got out of dodge, could be called brave or visionary.

But when the staple crop of Ireland failed catastrophically, millions of Irishmen did what every other culture had done before them.  They left.  They moved en masse searching for a place to survive.  It would have been far braver, some thought fool-hearty, to have stayed on and figured out a fix than to have left a lifetime of work and run.

I’m not saying those who did leave did the wrong thing.  But when you follow the herd, for whatever reason, you are not standing out as brave.  In this case, people were doing what simply had to be done as they saw it.  That they didn’t do it in small numbers kind of tarnishes the “brave” label.

Having settled in Philadelphia, the first generation of my family born here went of to war.   Two that I know of, Matthew Jordan and George Platt both fought for the Union at Fredericksburg, among other places.  They didn’t do that because they were Irish.  They did it because they were American.  No matter your feelings about the Civil War (or any war), you can’t get around the fact that those who fought and died, mostly thought they were doing the right thing.  But these two men were not fighting for Ireland.

Like all those who descended from other cultures, these men went on to build a life here. At the time, and in many ways today, that life is unique when set against the sweep of history. The life they built here was not an Irish life.  It was an American life.  The children they raised were American.

Some understood this and went on to do great things.  They made prosperous lives for themselves.  Others bought into the sorry groupthink that pervaded places like Boston and thought (stupidly) that their lives were somehow made better by the political vultures that fed on cultural parochialism.  All those people did was slow their own progress in this culture while enriching politicians who didn’t really give a damn about being Irish and didn’t care a lick for those that enriched them.

Still others fell in with the worst of elements.  People with Irish surnames cannot claim the moral high ground here.  The Irish mob is as much a blight on society as the Mafia, MS-13 and the Russian mob.

We may entertain ourselves and pat ourselves on the back for things with which we have no connection.  But my family, like all American families, succeeded or failed by how they approached life in the United States – not Ireland or Russia or Africa or China – but here, in this reality.

I have been troubled by these thoughts because of a resurgence of racism in this country. Class envy is resurgent too.  But I’ll deal with that in another post.

I went from pre-adolescence to adulthood in a world where everyone with the least sense of dignity looked at racial identity as a punch line at best and a cancer at worst.  Comedians rightfully portrayed the mouth-breathing White racist AND the stereotype, outdated Black Panther wannabes with equal amusement.

But in the last two decades, as the Sixties crowd moved into power, I’ve seen this trend reversed.  We are now seeing those who feed off of class and ethnic identity gain an undeserved voice.  We’ve replaced real progress with emotionalist stupidity.

In St. Louis last night (9/15/17) we saw people who are told (or decided) they must stand shoulder to shoulder with a heroine dealer who tried to run over two cops because they have a similar skin color.  Sadly, many people either believe it or pretend to believe it.

Whatever the specifics of the final encounter this criminal had with police were, we only have the legal record to figure out.  But the man himself isn’t worthy of the least consideration.  He certainly isn’t worthy of being raised on a pedestal.  He isn’t worth societal division.

But there are those who will tell you that he is.  They thrive on it.  They’ve grown rich, like those Irish politicians, convincing you that your first consideration must be the color of your skin, or a brogue, not what you need to do to thrive in society.

To my Black brothers and sisters who were born in this country, I submit facts number 2 and 3:

You are not African and you are not slaves.

I am not going to lecture you about what the word African means.  Just take my story as an overlay and compare it to your family tree.  Fact number 3 is self-evident.  Neither you, your parents nor your grandparents were slaves.  If you are not of a certain age, even your great grand parents were not slaves.  You share no connection to that world unless you chose to study the history of it.

You can no more claim legitimate pain from slavery than I can from the Potato Famine and the Irish caste system.

To let people keep you from reaching your full potential because slavery existed 160 years ago, to base your world view on that, is an insult to every person who survived slavery and went on to make a life for themselves.

Too many Black Americans have gone on to greatness and dispelled these myths.  That includes those who walk around in mansions, selling their music and talking about being oppressed.  You can enjoy their music, but don’t buy the insult to your own intelligence that says they can make it but you can’t.

I liked Tom Cruise in Valkyrie, but I wouldn’t give a warm fart for his pathetic Scientology lunacy.  And yes, that is the very same thing as believing Kanye has a point about being oppressed.  He is living proof that in the US, oppression in a function of one’s own design.  It is not an American reality.

The fact that people like those in the following paragraphs exist cannot oppress you unless you say it does.

To my white brother and sisters, I submit facts number four and five: We are not the super race.  And there is no god of white people.

Waaaaay too many of you are drifting back to that moronic, 1950’s, jerkwater way of thinking.

Many of you are also being manipulated in the same way as all cultures have been from time to time.  Many of you are unemployed or underemployed.  You’ve allowed yourselves to be sucked into a pathetic narrative that says it is someone else’s fault.  It’s not.  If you are not happy with your lot in life, it’s your fault.

As for race?  Hell, in the wider scheme of things, there is no individual race.  Dr. David Duke (the title gets funnier every time I hear it) would tell you that a white guy is a white guy and everyone else is entirely different.

[Insert loud game show buzzer here.] Sorry.  That just ain’t so.  We now know what we call our “heritage” (there’s that word again) is thoroughly intermingled going back tens of thousands of years.  Every single human being you look at every single day is a cousin, at some random distance removed. Give them a hug.

And as I said above, referring to culture vultures, many of you have enriched people like David Duke while virtually hiding from a full and happy life.

Do yourselves a favor.  Relax.  Let go of your self-imposed stupidity and join the rest of society.  If you spent as much time and money becoming better human beings and gaining real knowledge as you did on your tattoos, and listening to people like Duke, you’d all be far better off than you are.

I would submit this one assumption: The only well-off, successful, mouth-breathing racist in this country is the one who has capitalized on your gullibility.  He likely doesn’t really care about skin color.  But it’s a good gig if you want money, easy fame and a credulous following.

Finally there is this irony.

Across the color spectrum, race baiters work in tandem.  Each LOVES the fact that the other exists.  Duke needs Sharpton and vice versa.  La Raza needs the people who think everyone with a Spanish accent is an illegal. Each secretly prays that the other is kept safe and successful.

It’s the same as the zoo we have inside the Beltway.  Phony conservatives need phony liberals need each other to be loud and strong.  Neither has any intention of actually accomplishing anything.  If they did, their power would wane.  But this is an issue for a wider audience, isn’t it?

To the 80% of society (hopefully more) that doesn’t fall into the narrative of this essay, I say thank you for being you.  Don’t be afraid to invite the others to participate in a normal life.

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"Founded By Slaveholders", A Non-thinker's Argument

Founded by Slaveholders!

There is a popular admonition floating around about our nation’s founding. It is intended to cause deep soul searching or inflict discomfort and shame in the American listener.

A reasonable listener could be excused, with reasonable provenance, for reaching a different conclusion about the admonition and the purveyors of it.

I would take this shallow scold less seriously if it were restricted to Facebook trolls wanting to make noise and FEEL intelligent. Sadly, it has been popular on college campuses and in otherwise respected books and publications.

The Admonition

In order to “shout down” a person who may seem to some as too nationalistic or patriotic, it is popular among liberals and those who think we should be more like Europe, for example, to remind us that “all but one” of the founding fathers were slave owners. A quick poison pill qualification often follows in the form of, “…and I don’t want to hear about the morals of the time. That has nothing to do with it!”

Firstly, the pronouncement is inaccurate and shows how we have come to venerate the centralization of power that the Revolution fought against. The qualification ignores the progress already being made at that time against slavery. The qualification also rings of “…don’t try to confuse me with facts. I’ve already made up my mind!”

Well, with all due respect to those who reject any thinking on the part of the listener, I will point out the following:

The Founding Fathers, we are more and more often told, consisted of seven people. Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Jay (I am surprised he survives this modern myth), Hamilton and Madison.

As a young adult, and an avid reader of history, I discovered this elementary school list was far from complete. We remember their names because, unlike many of the others who risked death and ruin, they stayed around after the founding to take the reins of the very power they had created by expelling the Crown. We remember their names because it is a short list and it is easy to teach children about them.

One of the sillier results of this simple-minded notion of our founding is the beatification of the U.S. Government. Most people at that time knew this was not what people fought and died for from 1775-1781. Local governance remained as the proper locus of power. But the Civil War and popular myths surrounding these seven “fathers” fostered the concept of “The United States” vs “These United States.” It cemented, sadly, the idea that real government exists only in DC. State and local governments are just the junior league. There really is an amazing number of people who think our system of government was set up so that the federal government could do as much as possible, and the state governments should bat cleanup and fight for federal dollars.

Who will deny that the average American sees an election as a populist federal exercise? I would contend that less than 10% of all Americans know who is on a state or local ballot until they enter the voting booth.

Enough on the peripheral effect. Let’s deal with who “founded our nation” and the revisionist moralizing aimed at these founders.

There were more than seven!

I was reading a friend’s FB post the other day. It made the same point that I am arguing against here. He said of the founding fathers, all but one owned slaves. When I called him on it he, for some reason, changed the term to the “founding framers”.  An odd change, and further from the truth than the original claim.

Here’s that fact that muddies the waters. There were 56 founding fathers. 56 people pledged their property, lives and honor to US independence. 56 men traveled from all over the east to Philadelphia. 56 debated seriously, often passionately, about our allegiance to the Crown. Not all believed we should break with Britain. But they would, by 2 July 1776, agree to do so. They all took the same risks. 56 families and yes, even the slaves of those who held them, were put at risk as well.

We only know the big seven as near godlike because they would hold positions of power that long exceeded the Revolution and the creation of the US Constitution. It can be argued, and history supports this, that these seven spent those decades vying for that very power.

Of the 56 who actually did the work of creating this nation, 41 (73%) were slaveholders. Not all but one.

As for the “framers” (There is no accepted term “founding framer”. That’s a new one.), 27 (49%) of the representatives from the various states were slaveholders. So from 1776 until 1787 the trend among those who shaped the nation was drifting toward abolition already.

“…I Don’t Want To Hear About The Morals Of The Time!”

Well suck it up, buttercup. You can apply modern thinking to people of other times, but it doesn’t change what has already occurred. You can wish your own motivations into the hearts of those long dead. But criticizing the constitution because some of the framers were slaveholders is like saying Mickey Mantle knew nothing about baseball because he drank too much whiskey.  To remove the morals of the time from consideration is to discount your own credibility. And it is a form of pouting.

But take heart. As it turns out, modern ideas about slavery were already taking root in some quarters during these early years. The delegates to the Continental Congress AND the Constitutional Convention who argued against slavery were not expelled from the events. In fact, the anti-slave faction was able to at least get the Three-Fifths Compromise through to blunt the voting power the slave states were claiming. Slave states were insisting slaves counted against their census. It was a small victory, but a victory.

The economics of it all

Another canard criticized along with the “morals” dodge is the economics. I have heard it said that the economics argument for not charging ahead with abolition PROVES the founders were immoral. And again, the claim is at a minimum, naïve. At any rate, it is false.

This was at the heart of the matter for people like Gouvernuer Morris and George Mason. They both expressed, quite eloquently, a fear of eternal damnation (if you go in for that sort of thing) at their holding of slaves. But they like everyone in both bodies, Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, knew that you don’t simply declare the undoing of a massive institution, even one as onerous as slavery, at one go.

Let me give you a modern example.

There are many, I am among them, who see the Social Security system as a corrupt Ponzi scheme. It is also horribly administered and of precious little value overall. It, like Obamacare was a system destined to fail from the very start. Many of you, at or near retirement count on this program to be your lifeline in your old age. It isn’t. You will find yourself in poverty. You have no one but yourselves to blame.

It isn’t all of your own doing. The federal government has repeatedly told you it is intact and that to keep it going in the future will require only minimum adjustments. They have not stated emphatically enough that it will not provide you with the retirement income you will need to live well. They have not admitted that with each month they wait to actually fix it, there is a greater chance that those already dependent on the system will suffer. Your fault lies in having believed any of it.

All the said, you can’t take something as vast as Social Security and simply declare today that it won’t exist tomorrow. You can’t even repair it in that fashion. It takes time. The economic and social impact must be attenuated to absorb the impact. After a long hard slog of un-brainwashing people as to its value, the system must be gradually replaced by a more effective and sustainable free-market program.

Slavery was seen in the same light. Slaveholders like Jefferson and Mason knew two things. Slavery was immoral, and contract or employee work was far less expensive. They also knew that in order for the American economy to survive the end of slavery other slaveholders, at least a strong plurality, would have to see the logic of this. For an individual to simply give up his slaves in a market dominated by slaveholders would leave him at an insurmountable disadvantage. By the time everyone else might have caught on, that business may lay in ruin.

The result would be to reaffirm the need for slaves in the minds of those who were holding out.

If the government simply mandated an abrupt end to slavery across the board the economic and legal chaos would have ended the American experiment before it got started. Yes, in order for there to be an America in which we would one day end slavery, there had to be an early time in which slave state and free state would exist side-by-side.

Now, even though I am writing this paragraph, there will be people shrieking at my comparing slavery to Social Security. There is no comparison, they’ll cry. Morally, the comparison is one of degree. Certainly holding generations of Americans in forced labor, and beating them in some cases, is a far greater offense than taking their money under false pretense. But both concepts are wrong.

And I stand by the economic comparison without apology.

But Why The Silly Admonition To Begin With?

The complaint about the “Founding Fathers” holding slaves is a red herring tossed into many conversations when respect for the Constitution comes up. The fact is, if your original argument for an issue is strong enough, you can change the Constitution to reflect that.

But as I heard on Glenn Beck’s radio show a few weeks back, no one WANTS to wait that long for anything. On that particular day, Beck’s issue was tax reform. And the truth is, to have permanent and effective tax REFORM, you must REFORM tax law. Reducing taxes does very little. The government can jack taxes right back up on a whim.

The reform must take place in the way we collect taxes and how much the government is limited to collect. Beck mentioned changing the Constitution and he and the entire cast all agreed that we shouldn’t have to wait that long to get something done.

Beck is not alone. We have several generations in this country that think every notion and difficulty they have should be acted on and solved by the government NOW! And if you tell them to form an argument and see if it will pass muster and then change the constitution…

…Oh boy…

…That’s when it comes out. Having no argument or lacking the skill to make one, they simply say they shouldn’t have to follow the Constitution because it was written a long time ago by white men, or rich men, or old men, or slaveholders, or NOT WOMEN,…

The invalid arguments are endless. And they have been in play in our government since FDR. That is why we have lost so many rights and so much of our personal wealth over the last 70 years.

Through our ignorance about our Constitution the government has not only been able to whittle away what you need to succeed and protect yourself, but YOU have fallen prey to moronic arguments about the foibles and sins of the “founding fathers”, as if they invalidate our governing documents.

This, and the “poison pill” I referred to earlier, are called a fallacious argument. Look it up and learn something.

When I started to post regularly in 2012 I lamented the lack of political and social maturity in the United States. I now despair that thanks to the echo chambers of social media, things have gotten much worse.

I’d love to be proven wrong about that.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

 

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Quick Hits, 1 August 17

My mood:

 

Just a few thoughts on recent developments:

1) Kelly in as Chief of Staff: If anyone can bring order to the playpen that is the present White House, it’s General John Kelly. He is among some of the notables I’ve met in my past life.

But I am proposing a big “if” here. It is being reported that Trump has pledged his full support to his new Chief. But Trump and promises are a fungible relationship at best! Witness number 2 next.

2) During the G20 pretend summit, media reports of Donald Trump Jr.’s contact with Russians hit the streets. Big Donald immediately huddled with his people and it was decided that the administration would lay it all on the line and face this thing head on. The plan was to get ahead of the story by being blatantly honest and transparent.

Three hours later, Trump cut his own people off at the knees, as usual. He dictated a different position. Specifically, he said that the meeting between Junior and the Russian agent was about Russian adoption. Of course the story had to be walked back before the day was out.

But the difficulty of working for a man who can be swayed by the slightest flattery or distraction, or even his own fleeting whims cannot be overstated here. And that is what Kelly has to deal with.

 

 

3) I had predicted that Kelly’ first order of business would be to fire Anthony Scaramucci. The Mooch is a conniving and vindictive creature suffering from a severe Napoleon Complex. I wish I had put this prediction online. Stupid me! I do so enjoy watching as my predictions come true. Almost all of them do.

So I’ll make up for the oversight here. Prediction: Rex Tillerson will give Kelly 60-90 days to bring order to the White House. If Kelly succeeds, Tillerson will stay on at State until the end of the term or until someone denounces him while blowing sunshine up Trump’s ass. At that point he’ll be asked to resign because someone who flattered Trump said he should. Of course that would negate the first qualifier in this prediction.

Just the same, we will witness a new maturity inside the administration or watch Tillerson leave within three months. He finds the present environment undignified, and he is correct. It is.

 

4) Again in reference to para 2, I hear constantly that Donald Trump is great because he is not like all the others. As has been demonstrated countless times since the first moments of his campaign, this is a fallacy. Start with his pronouncements about abortion over three days in 2016 and end with his impetuous burning of his staff with the Donald Jr. lie, and we see time and time again that Trump is EXACTLY like the rest of DC. Worse, he sucks at it. At least the other slime balls are skillful and articulate in the way they lie. It takes a long time and a lot of explaining to call them out on their BS. But Trump embarrasses himself within days, sometimes hours of blurting out a promise or an insult.

The apologists like Charles Hurt, Laura Ingram and even Rush now, are finding it difficult to explain away a Trump gaffe. At one time they would completely make up a whole new quote or narrative having nothing to do with what Trump did or said. Even that isn’t working anymore.

 

5) The situation in North Korea has only gotten worse since I published this article.

I heard a comment the other day that planners believe we are within 3 months of conflict. If this is so, and we have not initiated a military draft, many people will die with nothing gained on the Korean Peninsula.

If we enter into hostilities in Korea with the same perverse, “John McNamara” attitude that has become commonplace in the Pentagon and the White House, we will not prevail. This time around we must go with the resolve to utterly annihilate the North’s war fighting capability. If not we face financial ruin and will lose tens of thousands of troops killed or maimed FOR NOTHING!

So, what is there to celebrate?

Politically? Not much.

The items listed above can all come out right, depending on whether the President and Congress can get their act together in a big, fat hurry. The economy is crawling back. Employment is improving.

There is a chance that Trump will pull the exemptions from Obamacare and eliminate the insurance industry bailouts. While I applaud this, he’s doing it for the wrong reasons. He has been suckered by flattery into supporting the GOP’s efforts to make Obamacare permanent, never having made the argument for complete repeal (not that has the ability to do so). He is only threatening exemptions and bailouts to try to force holdouts in Congress to give in to the stupidity.

Geez! This is quite the sad sack of issues here. I will write something more chipper tomorrow.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Poor Venezuela? WE ARE Venezuela (without the riots)

What happened to Venezuela?

I watched a Fox News report about the corruption of Sean Penn’s favorite government and how violently they are putting down riots by people who can’t buy toilet paper.  A senator joined the broadcast and talked about what we need to do for Venezuela.

At face-value, she has a point, of course.  Why should we do business with a rogue regime and support such low-lifes and Sean Penn’s buddy, Nicolas Maduro?  I would take great pleasure in seeing these people dragged into the street and shot.  It is what they richly deserve.

But…

When you get right down to it, who are we to scold other governments for running their countries into the ground?  We Are Venezuela!  The only difference between what our government (both parties) are doing to us and what was done to the real Venezuelans is they didn’t have so far to fall and Maduro and the fat-headed Hugo Chavez tried to do it all at once.  Also, Americans are far more docile and naive than most other people.  Thank you, educators!

But the basic results are the same as the results we see here every time the government pretends to be helping us. Whatever they pretend to be helping with becomes more expensive and more scarce.  And quality plummets.

Look at Obamacare.  We used to bitch when we saw places where healthcare would “skyrocket” by 11% (usually after a stupid mandate was tacked onto insurance policies by the government).  Now we have states paying 120% more this year than last.  The entire country is paying well into the double digits more every year. 

Of course, I speak only of the productive class.  The taking class is saving a bundle while we foot their bills as well.

According to U.S. News, not a wide-eyed, conservative publication,

The report, published online Friday in the journal Health Affairs, also showed another distinction for 2015: The federal government now pays for the largest share of health care. [emphasis mine].

That means after you pay all you medical expanses, made inhumanly higher by Obamacare, you then pay more, as a productive tax-paying citizen than those who pay no taxes.

Our path is unsustainable.

And it isn’t ONLY medical insurance scams we have to worry about.  How much of the economy does Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security (Ponzi scheme), college loans (a con of epic proportion), the FHA continued buying of shit mortgages, and Food stamps represent?  Add on the 47 job training programs we have from DC, not a one of which reports a single result.  And NONE OF THESE, in their present form are sustainable.  If we don’t back away form them quickly and create a growing economy again we will one day SOON be rioting in the streets because we can’t find basic goods.

The pace at which both parties are now bringing us to ruin increases just a little every year.  

Smirk all you like, then demonstrate historically how “Venezuela” is not the result of Socialism?  Here’s a fact, it is ALWAYS the result!  Just because it is happening slower here, and we have more wealth to destroy, doesn’t mean we are safe from it.  

I say frequently that the laws of economics are as hard and fast as the laws of gravity.  If we keep whistling past the graveyard while tsk-tsking places like Venezuela, we will one day find ourselves without a paddle, on the headwaters of the mighty Feces River.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

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North Korea: What Does Twitter Say About It?

Do we attack or shake our finger at them REALLY HARD?

There is a disturbing meme concerning North Korea crawling into the American consciousness. Depending on what occurs over the ensuing months this meme could be either disappointing to those who believe it or shattering for the entire country.

One of the more influential people I’ve heard saying it is Herman Cain. On Fox News, 5 July, Cain said [paraphrasing] if Korea did anything stupid, it would be a very short war.

 I see nonsense like this on Social Media a lot these days. We’ll kick their little asses!

 We have a choice as to what to do about North Korea. One, we let them have everything they want, while making blustery noise about it (the most likely outcome) or things continue apace until we have no choice but to attack NoKo.

There is little point in dwelling on the first option. It would look a lot like the Iranian nuke deal. We come away looking stupid and weak and feckless.

So, we’ll look at the second option. Attack.

What would such an attack look like? Who would we be fighting? What would be the short and long-term consequences?

Well, if the DC swamp hasn’t learned the lessons of history, and I see no evidence it has, we would attack the North with a force of about 300,000 troops. 85% of those doing the actual shooting will be American. 15% will be a smattering of Brits and Australians. There might be a tiny contingent of warfighters from Central Europe. A large chunk of “our allies” would be bench warmers and truck drivers from dozens of nations, claiming to be critical to the fight but doing none of the shooting and bleeding.

Globe image of KoreaThis adventure will end horribly for everyone, especially the Koreans. Millions will die very quickly. The “war” would then settle into the sickening, familiar pattern of not fighting too hard, hoping to keep the enemy at bay, while loosing a several hundred (thousand?) soldiers per week for years – for absolutely no reason. When we finally would leave the exact same people would be running a divided Korea as when we started.

But wait! There’s more.

We would have to keep China out of the conflict – or at least try. And how would we do that? We’d have to cripple their economy. There is no other way and no guarantee that such a move would work anyway.

To do so would require us to renege on our debt to them. That’s our only ace in the hole with the ChiComs.

We Lose Our Goodies!

But what would that do to us? The answer is simple. NO ONE would lend the United States an empty cereal box for the foreseeable future. Washington DC would run out of operating funds within days. The big, oafish give-away machine that is our present federal system would have to be slashed by more than half overnight.

I ask you, boys and girls, is there anyone in the “swamp” with the sack to even suggest that? Of course there isn’t.

So, you can count out defaulting on debt as a weapon or even as a means of getting the Chinese to go to Pyong Yang and assassinating the fat kid and his generals. If China doesn’t see a free-market North Korea as a good thing FOR CHINA there is no hope of gaining their cooperation. But if we go to war, we have to try to sideline China anyway.

This is why we will likely watch fecklessly, as the fat kid and his asylum become a nuclear power.

Past as Prologue

But what could push us to the brink if no one has the guts to go all out to defeat our enemy?

The answer to that is a scary one. To provide the answer, I must go back two weeks – ancient history for the average voter.

On a Friday in late June, Trump started talking about putting solar cells on the Mexican border wall as a means of making it palatable and practical. He prefaced his first mention of it saying that he just came up with the idea and probably no one else had ever thought of it.

Here’s the rub. A lot of people had heard of it. I heard people talking about it years ago. The morning radio show on the Gulf Coast was talking about it the previous Monday. It wasn’t a serious discussion, of course, but there are people out there thinking that if we added solar cells to the Wall,…why, it would pay for itself!

The reason the President of the United States was talking about such a stupid idea was because HE READ IT ON TWITTER! It was trending! I will save just how stupid this idea is for another article.

But because uneducated adults and precocious teenagers were tweeting about a photovoltaic border wall, Donald Trump latched right onto it and blabbed, probably off-prompter, and insinuated a major policy idea.

For the record, there will never be a border wall to hang solar cells on. But that’s not the point.

So Who Will Give “The Donald” Good Counsel?

What is frightening is that the same fat guys sitting at their computers in their underwear, and the same silly kids tweeting about a solar cell wall, could prompt a major announcement from a president who doesn’t even understand the technology. These are the same types of people tweeting how we could kick Korea’s ass in a day. They love the idea of us killin’ them damn commies.

How can we trust a man who is so easily baited when every adult around him for two years has failed to convince him that mature men don’t use twitter as a policy platform. This is the Trump who only last week got into the same junior high school cat fight with Scarborough and Brzezinski that he’d had with Rosie O’Donnell almost a decade before. And the remarks transmitted were every bit as childish as both O’Donnell and Trump have always been.

THIS is the same president sitting with his phone right now, reading how we need to kick some North Korean ass. If every adult in his circle can’t convince him that what he reads on Twitter is NOT grist for making major decisions, who will counsel him about war and the ruin of our economy?

The one thing that could keep us out of war, and ensures a nuclear North Korea, is that Trump wouldn’t know how to shut down half of the US Government, and his Twitter friends would tell him not to. They don’t want to lose the food stamps or mortgage write-off, or school lunches, etc.

This caution:

If anyone in authority has the slightest inkling in a dark corner of their mind that we might have to go to war with North Korea, and they want us to survive the likely outcome, they must do two things.

They must prepare the nation for an economic battering that would be almost as bad as China would experience. All business with the ChiComs could be shut down. All the money they loan us would dry up.

Any responsible leader who sees war as a possibility needs to initiate the draft – six months ago! To try and fight a “limited war” in this theater would be a greater insult to those who get killed than every war we’ve fought since 1945. And not a one of them turned out to be honorable or even effective.

To attack NoKo we would require MILLIONS of men. Many millions more than we have now. And that would only provide a vague hope of obliterating North Korea’s military. There’s no way to be sure of it and China would still be the wild card as they were in the ‘50s.

Finally, know this:

If we chose military conflict, it will be bloody and painful for EVERYONE. This will not be like Iraq and Afghanistan. The media will not report how another soldier was killed this week. If we hear at all, we will hear casualty reports that routinely reach into the thousands. At the beginning it might be tens of thousands.

If we chose not to fight we need to prepare ourselves for the Century of China. Our reign as the dominant superpower would truly be at an end. This is the ultimate line in the sand. If we cross it unprepared or chose not to cross it, we will lose – and lose BIG.

An interesting side note:  If we did decide to go all out on this, we’d have to take back the Panama Canal as well.  If you remember back in prehistoric times Jimmy Carter let go of the canal.  Do you know who runs it now?

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy NOW!

Also available here on Kindle or you can just start reading Street Politics on Kindle Unlimited.

Photo Credit: global.quiz Flickr via Compfight cc

 

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The GOP Guarantees Single-Payer Health Care!

Bend Over Sweet Cheeks!  Here It Comes Again!

I warned you.  I told you at least three times that the GOP was setting us up for permanent Obamcare or Single-Payer Health Care.  But you didn’t listen.  Why?  Because I am an unknown.  Or because I don’t drool when President Trump makes a speech.  Or because I don’t care if I or you lose a government give-away.  They are all just excuses to whistle past the graveyard. But no matter.

And so the reaming continues. There have been so many opportunities to truly kill the Beast and we have squandered them all. There are so many people who will see what this article is about and groan, “Oh. Politics.” They’ll smirk and click over to videos kitties playing with toilet paper or some jackass licking a toilet. And they will be entertained.

And that, friends and neighbors, is why the GOP is getting away with the preservation of Obamacare. I am not the only one sounding the claxon, trying to rally resistance to Obamacare and Obamacare lite. You have been warned so many times.

A Look at the Single-Payer Healthcare Scam

Let’s review. As the present Administration came to power, item number one on the agenda was to eliminate the government control of the health insurance industry.   Few remember, because of the endless mantra obediently touted by governing class, the idea was to repeal Obamacare. NOT “repeal and replace”. As soon as you say replace, as a Republican, you are full of shit.

But as soon as people like Paul Ryan (R- WI) added the word “replace”, everyone with two brain cells to rub together knew we were about to get played for chumps. No one listened. You therefor deserve what is about to happen to you.

A few members of Congress, like Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), stood their ground against this and would have been successful in their fight if YOU had been more engaged. If YOU had shared as many of these warnings as you did videos of teenagers lighting farts or riding tricycles off of garage roofs. LOL.

But you didn’t. You are going to watch as the GOP accelerates the disasters Obamacare was certain to cause, paving the way for a single-payer government healthcare system. You are going to watch as everyone but the extremely wealthy and the governing class ends up on low-quality, inefficient healthcare.

Let’s recall that Obamacare was never about improving healthcare in this country. It was about the government taking over the insurance industry as another means of control and extortion over citizens; YOU! It was an intentionally failed model that could not ever be funded enough to survive. The idea was for it to fail and for Dems to declare, “Well, we tried our best. But the system can’t be saved. Now we have to completely eliminate the greedy insurance industry and pay for everyone’s third world healthcare.”

Half the country would have been STUPIDLY grateful. The other would have been looking around, dazed, saying, “What the hell just happened?”

Well, that’s not the way it is working out. As I write this, you are being burned in so many ways it is difficult to list all the con games being played out. But I’ll try.

The Starting Line

Right out of the gate, alarm bells should have been going off the day Ryan and Trump gleefully rolled out the plan that Trump now calls “mean, mean, mean” (he read that on Twitter). From the outset, the starting proposal the GOP was hawking represented 75% of everything Obamacare is! There are no reforms! Let me repeat that. THERE ARE NO REFORMS!

The entire structure is left in place to be entirely reinstated with the next election, or if the GOP decides it needs more of money (baksheesh) from the insurance industry. And while they eliminate mandates, calling that progress, they are accelerating the crash of the whole system. It is Obamacare without the funding. So the inevitable crash is much closer now than before.

When that crash occurs, will politicians suddenly find a sense of honesty and responsibility and say, “Okay we tried government-run insurance and it didn’t work. It’s time to go back to letting the private sector do what it does best”?

Noooooo. The immediate cry from all Dems and the GOP “leaders” will be, “Well, we tried to let a few insurance companies and the government to dominate a sixth of the economy and it didn’t work. The only answer now is for the government to take over the whole healthcare system.”

The Medicaid Misdirection

First there is no reason to talk about Medicaid and health insurance in the same breath. Medicaid isn’t insurance. It is one of a long list of government goodies given to the needy and far more of the not-so-needy.

And while using Medicaid as a shill issue in this argument, the GOP is going to increase Medicaid spending at just a slightly lower rate than the Dems intended to. Right now, a family of four making $98,400 qualifies for free government healthcare under Medicaid. And the GOP will grow this number. So while we see the battle over Medicaid “cuts” unfold around the wider Obamacare argument, remember that there are no cuts. There are increases every year for as far as the eye can see.

The Medicaid argument is a shiny object sideshow.

Yet Another Bailout

Part of the GOP package is, incredibly, A BAILOUT! A GODDAMN BAILOUT! They are going to GIVE billions to the companies that colluded in the creation of this monstrosity and even though the fix was in for them (in most cases these companies are protected by the government from completion) they STILL lost money.

Do we tell them, “Sorry. We rigged the game entirely in your favor. But no matter how many illegal presidential fiats Obama came out with to help you further, you still lost money. You made a terrible deal. Your losses are your fault and the fault of the corrupt politicians in the previous congress and administration”?

No! The GOP is going to make them whole AND THEN continue to support them in this failed program. There is no provision in this bill to allow all insurance companies sell quality health insurance without artificial restrictions.   If you can remember back to the old days of 2016, this was one of the flagship benefits the GOP was saying would come out of their “reforms”. Even when people like Jordan and Paul and I point this out, the GOP simply refuses to even address it.

But of course you don’t remember that. If you know anything of politics it is that the Russians did something, somewhere and that it must have been bad. We don’t know what that is, but it must have been something. That’s about the extent of what the present “politically aware” citizen remembers.

In the last go-round, when Trump was working every day to chisel votes out of the Freedom Caucus to support the plann that is now “mean, mean, mean”, some said their would be a part 2 and 3 of the reforms. The executive branch would just declare more reforms. They didn’t say that open competition would be part of part 2 and 3. So you know as well as I do, it is not going to happen. AGAIN, you are getting it right up the ass while you pose for funny pictures on Snapchat.

Is anyone bothered by the fact that the original flim-flam was kept alive by such illegal activity?!

Tort Reform

Does a single person reading this remember tort reform? Another major plank of the Obamacare repeal was to include tort reform; an end to jackpot justice. That is among the things that make the end-user costs in the real healthcare industry so expensive. Tort reform never survived the Trump’s entry into the race. It was never mentioned after mid-year 2015. Why? BECA– USE IT WASN’T IN THE DONALD’S TWITTER FEED!!!!

 Another Red Herring: Pre-existing Conditions

This line of BS is two-fold. First, we have the people who earn at more than four times the level of poverty (remember: family of four $98,400/yr). That family could have comfortably afforded the pre-Obamacare premiums for health insurance. But many didn’t bother. When such folks suddenly find the mom or dad, or more tragically, one of the kids is seriously ill or injured, they start scrounging around for insurance or demanding “somebody” pay for the coverage. After all, how can they get coverage now? They have a pre-existing condition!

Obamacare validates such irresponsibility. It demands, without any effort on the part of recipients, that every nick, cut, sniffle and cancer by covered by the government. (Let’s not pretend that Aetna covering them is Aetna’s decision. They will cover because they are a corrupt arm of the government now.)

Then there is the same family who had coverage through their employer, also a happenstance of government involvement in health insurance in the 60s and 70’s. Employers were given tax incentives to insure employees with companies chosen as winners by the government. The insurance companies were required to cover more and more minor things. And so the Beast was born.

But now, the head of household loses his job. And he does have a sick spouse or kid. But since he is insured through his job, and the next employer has nothing but disincentive to insure him, there must be a mandate! And the Beast grows.

 The ONLY correct fix to our healthcare problem right now it to return the entire system, on a date certain, to the insurance industry. They know how to write real policies based on real risk. The cost of insurance would plummet. People could afford to pay for stitches and common colds and lice, etc. out of pocket. They would pay a reasonable premium to cover catastrophic illness and injury.

The ONLY correct fix deals with the recent expansion of Medicaid separately. But that must be dealt with. If you say that the expansion isn’t rife with corruption and waste, I’ll call you out as a liar.

It would be infinitely cheaper to cover pre-existing and high-risk patients by simple block grants to states or hospitals. The cost involved would be miniscule compared to running the Beast we have now. And it would not require 2700 pages of legislation and 30,000 pages of regulation to oversee. And people making 400% over the poverty line could easily afford REAL insurance.

And there you have it. 1658 words wasted. And that was just this post. Then you have my past posts. There are writers you never heard of saying the same things who also wasted their time. But never mind. You just go back to binge-watching zombie shows on Netflix. Or convince yourself that you can’t do anything to change things because you have to plan for your daughter’s prom or get the kids to little league.

Or you can use the cool, I’m-so-disassociated bullshit lines. You know the ones. “Oh, there all the same.” “Nothing will change.” “You can’t do anything about it.” Dude, you are so deep.

The only reason that is true is because the politicians have no fear of you. They have you so cowed and they are so certain that you won’t stand up; they just give the illusion of working for you. But this Obamacare debacle, along with every other bill passed in the last 30 years, proves that they NEVER work for you. And they know they can get away with it.

You can be dead certain of two things: The Beltway LOVES Trump. Anything they say about him, good or bad is window dressing. He is so easily played and used. And, the only thing the Dems love more than the present Obamacare-lite bill about to be passed is the single payer, government medical care that it will SOON lead to.

And it will happen because you thought electing a semi-articulate, showboat window licker was going to solve all your problems. Ryan was the problem and still is.

Chumps!

Educate yourself on American Healthcare, from an author who understands efficiencies and idiocy.
A direct critique:

 

And let’s not forget my book.  It doesn’t center on Obamacare, but says a lot about how we created the bloated monstrosity that burped it out on us.

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Damn! Now Bill O'Reilly is "Stealing" My Stuff!

I have to keep a running tally of these things.  I have repeatedly made points about politics or spotted a trend that no one else is talking about.  Then, within weeks or months, the pundits are practically quoting me word for word.  Sometimes it doesn’t take that long.

I wrote a piece yesterday that contradicts the popular line on both sides in reaction to the Alexandria shooting.  While people were insisting the Republicans keep their mouths shut and not draw comparisons the Dems usually draw after a shooting,* I was saying the opposite.

As of last night, I was alone in this view.  Then O’Reilly goes on Beck’s show this morning and I could swear he had just read my stuff.  Maybe he’s a follower, I don’t know.  But he launched into a bit about how irresponsible the term “Summer of Resistance” is and even made the same inference as I did about occupied countries in WWII.

Continued below ad

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This is wild!  I haven’t even gotten my book yet and I already have my second funnel set up.  I sent out an email to a small list and got 60 hits.  Will they convert?  I don’t know.  But they went in one end and came out the other.  It works!  Now it’s just lather, rinse and repeat.  The rest will happen!

This is the profit engine at the center of the internet universe!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I do like being vindicated by the well-known, if not the well-heeled.  But it is frustrating to see them sitting back and looking satisfied with their analysis AFTER I had already pointed it out.  At least in this case, one of the big names was not far behind.  In others, like Krauthammer, saying in March of this year that Trump might not be the deal-maker he claims to be and that he lacks the ability to learn and adjust, was only a year and a half late.  Greg Gurfeld has made my I-said-that-first list a few times.

Here’s on example of my slightly self-satisfied complaint.

If I keep a record of these things, then maybe people will start to realize that I am much more in tune than many who have become famous for being so.  It isn’t about bragging….  No wait, yes it is.  It is all about bragging.  I love being right.  I love saying, “See?  See?  You didn’t believe ME. But now the little guy and the old loud mouth are saying it.  Uh huh!  I was right.  Hah!”

*In this case the conclusions to be drawn by the Right are accurate.  Those drawn by Dems in such situations are wrong almost every time.  I site Gabby Giffords, Dallas, the Orlando shooting, etc.  In this case we did have a world-class nut bag, likely emboldened by irresponsible rhetoric from the Left.

If you want to see how right a pundit can be, and learn a l’il sum-sum about real politics and how it REALLY works, get this book!  If you want politics to be fun again, get this book! 

If you want to impress your girlfriend, get this book and say, “It’s like I’ve been saying since 2014…!”, then quote the book like it was your idea.  You won’t be the first.  But you’ll sound smart. (Of course, if you quote me in writing, citation would be a nice change.)

Hey!  I’m kidding!  Just kidding!…a little.

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The Shooting in Alexandria. Dare We Point Fingers?

There’s been a lot of hand wringing over the last 24 hours about how we must come together and not point fingers of blame about the shooting in Alexandria. Basically, I agree with that statement.

But fingers are being pointed anyway. So if we must assign blame, or at least accuse others of inspiring this loony tune to do the shooting, let’s try to keep the comments within the realm of reason.

In that spirit I will say this. Bernie Sanders, who seems to be the favorite target of the FB crowd and some commentators, is not AT ALL to blame for the toxic atmosphere we are breathing right now. Sanders is a socialist. He speaks as a socialist. He disagrees with the President and the Right Wing in general. But, when he disagrees he does so with what he sees as a reasoned argument.

Reasonable people may disagree with Sanders. I do. I don’t espouse a single point he makes on crime, the economy or anything else he represents. He is a little closer to me on 2nd Amendments Rights. But a reasonable person cannot say that Sanders inspires violence.

The weak-minded on my side of the aisle, like the safe-space snowflakes on the left, think that if you disagree with their particular cult leader, or our favorite political chant, you are a hater and the root of all things evil. This kind of mindless ranting muddies the waters.

I would recommend we pay attention to who is actually saying what and practice a bit more digression on our diagnoses.

Try this one on for size.

There is one particular group who – if there was recent external inspiration for the shooting – provided or hoped to provide the siren’s call.

Two weeks ago Nancy Pelosi, among others, put out the call for a “Summer or Resistance”. Can’t you just imagine the breathy discussion surrounding that? “Oh, we are going to sound so cool! ‘Summer of Resistance!’ That is just as cool as Hillary saying ‘Nothing Burger’! OMG! We are soooo cool!”

I am going to give Pelosi credit and say she is simply too stupid and shallow to appreciate what I am about to say. She may have just seen the phrase as good political marketing.

But there are many who do not see such a phrase as a call for good civic discourse and advocacy. For many it conjures images of violence and provides a phony blanket of legitimacy. Among those who did coin and promote the phrase, some surely were hoping to provoke exactly what we saw on that ball field yesterday. They see themselves as little Lenins. They are the same people who expect anything they think to be celebrated and will smash your skull with a bicycle lock for disagreeing*.

For MOST people “resistance” implies what it has implied since the first time organized authority existed. It means the same thing it meant in France in WWII. It means the destruction of that with which we disagree through violence or at least the threat of violence.

This type of person cannot use reason and argument to make their point. They have no argument. They only have memorized, rehearsed, emotionalist phrases. They have no maturity. They cannot simply get behind a candidate or a cause and do the hard work to win the argument.  No.  They enjoy lashing out, then blame others for their irresponsibility.

The “Summer of Resistance” will be, for many, just a childish tantrum. But for a few it may be something much more sinister.

No matter your political stripe, you would be a responsible citizen to speak out against mindless provocation and get involved on a mature level to see your interests met by your elected officials.

But by no means should you water down your beliefs. Stand up and speak your mind. Be as passionate as Bernie. Be as critical as Trump. Stake out your position and engage in the discourse. But don’t bring childish self-righteousness and distemper to the game. You won’t accomplish anything and may provoke something you didn’t bargain for. Either way, no matter your politics, no one with any self-respect will REALLY give a shit about you or your point.

How about this? Let’s make this the “Summer of Grow Up and Make Your Point Like an Adult”**.

*There were actually people saying that this violence was understandable. Well, yeah. These assholes will have to wait until next election to seek validation again. So, sure, hit a guy in the head with a padlock on a chain.

 I called it all a long time ago.  But this book is timeless.  Know this book and know politics.