Political commentary about Trump and his agenda got old very quickly; to his credit his rhetoric has been largely consistent except for a few – alterations. The WALL eventually became a Steel Slat Fence In Certain High Risk Areas. Or something like that.
Thus political commentary eventually becomes pointless. The outrage machine repeats itself. CNN’s record low viewership is evidence of this.

Enter the democrats!  Tonight we will be treated to their first parade.

In addition to loud voices pushing the party further left, a mob’s worth of presidential candidates are putting together all sorts of proposals in the quest to gain a point or two in the polls. Debate spots are limited, ya know. All of them have a common theme: far left, expensive, and ill advised. Thus far:

  • Student loan debt forgiven (read: billions) but only if you’re lucky enough to have neglected your debt payments. If you worked hard and paid them off, or didn’t take out loans, you get nothing. Anyway, the rich will pay for it.
  • Healthcare for all. (Trillions?) No one has any idea how this will work realistically. But the rich will pay for it.
  • Some vague environmental plan. The US government can save the world via regulations. I won’t get into it much here, but whatever does end up happening, the rich will pay for it.
  • Reparations to descendants of slaves. It’s fun to see politicians and candidates ride the fence on this one. Realistically, this would be very unpopular among most everyone except descendants of former slaves. So you hear phrases like “I support a conversation” or “we need to look into this” instead of actual committed support. I don’t know if this will happen or not; if it does, the rich will pay for it.
  • War.

Now this one is tricky. O’Rourke has brought a plan (for once)  a “war tax” – if you make over $200,000 annually and don’t have a service member in your family, you may have to pay a $1,000 tax for every war the US gets into.

Here’s the problem: nobody is wanting these wars.

Note that Beto didn’t say, “To keep veteran’s health expenses lower, we’ll stay out of unnecessary wars.” Simply: these democrat candidates are just as hawkish and interventionist as their GOP counterparts. If not more so, these days.

Let’s take Iran.

This isn’t the naive days of 2003 anymore. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that really thinks that it’s something worth doing.

Now if Beto wanted to charge John Bolton for the Veteran’s expenses, I could get on board with that.


Death of the Human Spirit

Perhaps the title is overdramatic – it caught your attention.

The human spirit, despite it’s flaws, is naturally strong, resilient; cunning, and intelligent; entrepreneurial; generally empathetic and benevolent; but assuredly self interested.  This is not a contradiction: benevolence and self interest co-exist quite naturally.  An example: when you do a favor for a friend, buy someone a gift, or perform a charitable act, that is benevolence.  But do you not also receive the satisfaction and the good feelings of performing such an act?  It’s not a matter of indifference, and if we felt bad about it, we wouldn’t do it at all.

Let us extend this to economics, which is directly connected to human well being.  The entrepreneur wants to make profit, and his reasons for doing so are mostly self interested.  If he creates a new business, a new product – a smartphone, for example – he does so primarily because he wants to make profit.  Very likely he would like to become rich.  In doing so, he has created a product or service that has benefited mankind as a whole.  The lives of billions have been made easier through the development of technology such as the smartphone; and numerous people are employed in the creation, manufacture, and continual development of that technology.  If that product was never developed, those opportunities might never have existed.

The man with the original idea very likely does care for other people, but in most cases it’s the promises of a payoff that motivates people to work.

This is all very obvious.

However, it is clear that these concepts have fallen into question.

I’m partially referring to the Green New Deal.  Let’s be clear, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to materialize in it’s current form.  The Democrat party isn’t quite sure what to do with it, and they’re clearly divided on the issue.  The Republican party, on the other hand, knows exactly what to do with it, and will hype up the fringe notions included within for political gain.

It will materialize, however.  You can’t bring out such a grandiose and sweeping plan and have it just be forgotten.  There will be a program.  It will be watered down, it will be a shadow of itself as it now exists, but it will happen.  Particularly the central tenants which have been a central tenant of the left for decades: taxation and redistribution.  Let’s look at this a little closer.

First: the wealthy.

By declaring high marginal tax rates we are essentially declaring a war on excess.  Profit, by definition, is excess.  It is this excess which far from being an injustice, is a mainspring for human development.  It was excess that allowed human beings to form more sophisticated societies at the dawn of our history.  In the same way, the entrepreneur uses the excess to develop his business and in doing, the prosperity of the economy.

The rich entrepreneur does not just sit on the profit he makes.  There is this prevailing notion that the rich in the United States hoard wealth and place a burden upon the working class in doing, but this is erroneous for two reasons:

  1. It assumes that wealth is limited.  As long as there are resources and matter to be converted into useful goods and services, to be given, in a word, value – wealth can be created infinitely.
  2. The businessman uses his excess to expand his own business, invest in others, or if he is particularly irresponsible, will spend carelessly.  In any event, it will lead to the encouragement of the economy.  If he expands his own business, more people will be employed.  If he invests in another, more people will be employed and new products will be created.  If he spends carelessly on luxury, that in a more indirect way encourages and keep folks in those industries employed.

I’ll admit that there are other ways of encouraging the economy; you can get a loan to start a business, or crowdfund new projects.  But both of those still rely on the same principle, just to a lesser extent: someone has excess money they put in the bank, or submit to your crowdfunding project.

It is clear then, that the rich serve a useful economic function.  We haven’t examined why there is the war against excess.  In order to do so, we should step away from economics and return to the original subject of the article.

The human spirit is naturally strong.  I don’t mean physical ability or intelligence, although it often goes hand in hand.  Strength means that you are prepared to take responsibility for your own life and work to improve it.

You’ll note that there is very little said about the excessive wealth held by the movie stars, the rappers, or the politicians.  The names that come up instead are the people like Bezos, who took the risk to invest in a company but also put the work in maneuvering it strategically to maximum profitability – no small feat.   A rap album?  A very minor feat.  There are two competing cultures: strong individualism and weak collectivism.

This weakness which is starting to spread like a bad rash is the individual resigning his responsibility to the collective.  He calls upon the power of the state to deliver him wealth and well being; he doesn’t attempt to effect it for himself.

When we consider the constant points about “equality,” “fairness,” “level playing field,” we are really saying that we want to diminish the initiative of the human spirit.  And once the culture is altered in this way, it is nearly impossible to recover.


Who needs evidence?

Evidence and witnesses are old hat.  Old fashioned.  Who needs them?  Streamline the process with one tearful testimony and convict the man!

Rape is a shameful crime.  However, its also difficult to prove, especially when the supposed incident took place decades ago.

The current “believe all survivors” movement is the child of two things: political ulterior motives and female “empowerment” (rabid hatred of men.)

At the present time its another left wing political strategy.  But to the public that goes in for this sort of thing, its just another example of how men are so awful.  The left is not only stalling the proceedings but creating the stage on which a nonsensical witch hunt of men can occur.

To be sure, there are rapists that go unpunished, and this is unfortunate.  However it would be equally as unfortunate if an innocent man is convicted (either actually or via public opinion) for a crime he didn’t do.

I don’t know if Kavanaugh is innocent.  Right now, none of us do.  But with the absence of proper evidence, we must assume that he is.  This is a basic legal tenant, folks.

If Trump pulled Kavanaugh’s nomination now and nominated someone else, it would be admitting defeat in a way.  However, could the left cook up yet another smear campaign against someone else and still be taken seriously?  The public would be a little suspicious of all these rape accusations – the left can only play this card so much.  Might help us in the midterms and, more importantly, we’d definitely have our spot on the supreme court.


Wow! Sweatshop Company Takes Stand for Social Justice!


Obviously, a private company should be able to do whatever it wishes; the leadership of the organization can have it’s political stances and causes.  Furthermore, the public can respond accordingly.  Nobody is wrong in this scenario.

I’m curious: what did Colin Kaepernick sacrifice?  The man’s a millionaire, he’ll be fine.

I’m not going to swoop in here and say oh, well someone else sacrificed more because no matter what, you can always one-up someone by saying that you sacrificed more than they did.  However, I’m under the opinion that Kaepernick didn’t sacrifice anything.  I’ll admit my only passive interest in football, but prior to the political controversy I don’t know if the mainstream knew anything about Colin Kaepernick.  He takes a knee, and then becomes nationally notorious.  He went from being a mediocre athlete to being a mediocre athlete at the forefront of national attention.

I think this was the intent.

I would also be surprised if Nike actually had any sort of actual principles.  If they did, the whole sweatshop and underpaid labor thing would already be addressed, given that this falls into a bad moral area for most people.

In sum, this was a brilliant advertising campaign.  It has people talking about Nike, and people destroying perfectly good shoes.

Welcome back to school – and debt


Lately there’s been a picture of an old college tuition receipt circulating which shows how cheap a semester’s worth of tuition was in 1975 – for $152 (adjusted for inflation, something like $700) you could get a whole semester’s worth of school, including fees.

Obviously this shows the exorbitant price of education in the country, but that’s obvious. Less obvious: why is this so?  The knee jerk answer is easy: blame the boomers!

Ah, yes: all of the boomers (every single one of them, amazing!) get together bi-weekly in a mahogany country club room and try to figure out how to screw the kids.  This might actually occur, I’m not a boomer and haven’t got an invitation.  Can a boomer please advise?

Ask any boomer about this though, and they’ll agree that tuition is out of control.  After all, they’re the ones that are paying for their children’s college, so why would they want it to be expensive?

We can of course say that the boomers allowed it to happen.  They didn’t do anything to stop it but really, exorbitant tuition is an unintended consequence of political policies and cultural norms:  the same political policies and cultural norms which are now being perpetuated by my generation, to a further degree.  

Simply put: socialism, and a culture that doesn’t mind debt and also places too high of an importance on college education.

Colleges are businesses.  Similarly to things like designer clothing, a lot of people want it and will pay any price to have it; so colleges can inch up the price because ultimately, the student will take a loan or the State will cover it.  In this case, you can pretty much charge anything.  Who’s gonna question you?

Until we get together and say okay, guys, we aren’t going to go to college until you lower tuition nothing is going to change.  There’s no competition mechanism with education like there are in other free markets and ultimately, we’re the ones that are allowing this by giving in.

What are we gonna do, not go to college?  They’re in control and they can do whatever because we all have this thing about going to college.

I don’t mean to defend the boomers too much.  Ever work retail?





A doomed press conference

Or, nervous desperation: how the American Left has not only left it’s senses, but left them at a dirty truck stop bathroom 500 miles away.

Today, a joint press conference took place in Helsinki between Trump and Putin and the American media, commentators, and anyone with a twitter is absolutely outraged.

Of course they would have been disgusted no matter what went down at this press conference, but they were particularly fit to be tied over the treasonous implication that Trump took Russia’s word on election interference over our own intelligence agencies.  I have read the transcript of this thing and maybe I’ve just grown really cool headed (thanks to all of the 788 edibles?) but it seems fair and reasonable to me.  There was no glowing neon treason.  In fact, there wasn’t anything objectionable at all.

Besides, of course, the left looks for anything from ice cream servings to ketchup on steak to foment their outrage.  So for a few moments, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of someone who was bursting with anger at what was said at the press conference today.

First, you have to accept the Russian Election interference narrative.  To do this, you would also accept the following evidence:

  1. The Russians hacked the DNC and persons therein and leaked the information gained from these hacks.  On one hand, the accounts were hacked and the information was indeed leaked.  But it is merely “attributed” to the Russians.  Also, to prove that it influenced enough to alter the results, you have to believe that: A) Hillary would have otherwise won the presidency (which cannot be proven) or B) that the information did anything other than convince people who were voting for Trump anyway.  We’ve examined the reasons Trump won here before, and I don’t personally believe that the “emails” had anything to do with it.  Dissemination of compromising facts about Trump wasn’t considered unfair, but rather good journalism.  Besides, no matter the source, the emails were there and they contained questionable information – are we supposed to ignore that?
  2.  Hacking into voter systems and databases.  Again, we are “confident” in the “attribution” but where’s the concrete evidence?  In the small print on the wikipedia page about election interference, it counters it’s own assertions: “Although the hackers did not appear to alter or manipulate data, Illinois officials reported that information on up to 200,000 registered voters was stolen.  Further on: “California Secretary of State Alex Padilla stated that ‘California voters can further rest assured that the California Secretary of State’s election infrastructure and websites were not hacked or breached by Russian cyber actors… Our notification from DHS last Friday was not only a year late, it also turned out to be bad information.'” And finally: “Infiltrators ‘could have altered or deleted voter registration data’ although they lacked the ability to manipulate individual votes or vote tallies.”  So there it is: we are simultaneously claiming that the Russians hacked our voter system, but that they didn’t alter results.  So did they hack the election?  No, at least when it comes to the final results.
  3. Internet Trolls.  My favorite.  Yes, a bunch of facebook accounts changed the course of the election.  Now there certainly is substance to the fact that some facebook propaganda did originate from Russian sources, but we cannot connect it to actors of the Russian State, nor considering that much of it was aimed at conservatives, that it significantly altered or changed people’s opinions.  Furthermore, it’s not like we’re above propagandizing or interfering in the elections of other countries, so all of this comes with a definite double standard.
  4. Putin.  It is now in vogue to read the minds of people and surmise their motivations without corroborating evidence and documentation.  It’s obvious that Putin preferred the electoral victory of Donald Trump.  Was it because, A) he wanted to retaliate because of a personal grudge against Hillary, or B) because Clinton’s tenure of secretary of state was an absolute disaster, and he didn’t want to see the world plunged into further chaos?

Our evidence is full of holes.  It cannot really stand up to even casual scruitiny.  It’s based solely on assumptions and attributions by people who are biased against Trump to begin with.  If this doesn’t discredit these findings, we should absolutely take them with a grain of salt – and not to let them affect diplomacy on the international stage, which has far more reaching implications than a few little American elections.

What are they trying to accomplish?

Political points for 2018 and 2020; the complete discreditation of Trump’s presidency.

What are they actually accomplishing?

Headaches and friction in diplomacy between the two most powerful countries in the world which would have otherwise friendly and productive relations.  I’m not going to assert that this will lead to war or conflict (the Russians see through this nonsense, as well as, thankfully, our top decision makers) but it doesn’t make accomplishing things easier.

What do these leftists really want?

Would they be willing to go so far as to demand a war with another powerful nation so that they could win political points?

Do you see the leftists protesting in the streets?  The leftists firing off tweets?  Can they fight a war?  No, they’d run home crying before they could finish a week of boot camp.


Political Melodrama, Yesterday and Today

I admit, i’ve taken a long break from political activism.  For various reasons, but one among them is that I have been annoyed by all the drama.  And if I do criticize anything something that Trump does (there are some things) I hesitate, because I don’t want to be lumped in with the hysterics.

I recall with a cringe the hysterics of the right wing during the Obama administration, particularly 2011-2013 or so.  Ask any far right winger, and he would assure you that he was going to strip us of our guns and freedoms in one go.  Maybe you’ll get thrown into a FEMA Camp; buy freeze dried food, you’ll need it.  He has embedded the government with radical Islam, and so on.

All of this is a distant memory.  It is only a few years ago, but it seems so much longer.  What was this all about?  Political points.

Drama for political points is nothing new, obviously.  The thing that separates the right from the left is how badly it is done.  The right did it badly.

The left is doing it hideously.

They have exaggerated the drama to an insane degree.  Ever see one of those over-the-top Spanish soap operas on TV?  Yeah, that’s what it’s like.

And while the right fished out some scandals to score some points in elections (“Fast and Furious,” “Benghazi,” anyone remember the others?) the left has to invent them, leading to some bizarre tales.

We’ll have to wait for the midterms to see if they’ve had any real effect; my feeling is that besides the left’s echo chamber, America is laughing at them.

You can only compare something to Nazi’s so many times before people lose interest.  You have to save that card for when you need it, i.e., when there is a legitimate threat of Nazism or genocide.  This is missing.

Mixed Feelings in Singapore

First of all:  do I have an excuse for two months of silence?  No.  There’s been little worth remarking on.  A dead-end governor’s race (I’d like to congratulate Lt. Governor Todd Lamb on his inevitable victory) a marijuana question that will probably be successful but is also bogged down in regulation, and so on.  Joe Exotic can’t even run a zoo (seriously, have you been to that place?) but thinks he can run the state.  Worth writing about?  I’m not convinced.

However, Singapore has caught everyone’s attention and perhaps their imagination.  What does the future of that region look like?

I think that a lot of people are impressed, myself included, by the historical magnitude of the moment.  I think we were underwhelmed by the vagueness of the agreement signed, and the mystery of what was discussed behind closed doors.  We were hoping for something a little more substantive than the “goodwill,” “potential for future talks” and the “momentum.”  Seems like diplomatic hot air, but you have to start somewhere.

It is certain that they have blisters from shaking hands so much.

It is also certain that this would not have happened if it weren’t for Donald Trump.  However, I think it will be the relaxing of cultural regulation that brings North Korea back to the rest of the world, as happened with the Soviet Union.

Already there is a hunger for capitalist/foreign goods and culture among the upper class of North Korea.  These goods are sold on an open black market.  Build a McDonalds in Pyongyang and start showing western movies and the swing of the pendulum will be unstoppable, no matter what politics will have to say about it.

So while I think we’re underwhelmed by this particular meeting, it was never destined to be very substantive to begin with.

Don’t even begin to whine about how Trump can be all friendly with the murderer Kim Jong Un.  Changing things requires diplomacy.  The prior administration met with all sorts of communists and dictators;  and that’s fine.  What, you want them to get into a boxing match?  You think that’s going to de-escalate things?

A short history of Extortion…

Today, there is universal arm chair social media outrage over Rep. McDugle’s video post.  I watched it – what was so unreasonable?  Please advise.

It is concerning to me that nobody is questioning the teachers, in the land of supposed conservatism.  They are a special interest, like any other group lobbying at the capitol.  I’m not writing this to be edgy; i’m genuinely puzzled that there seems to be no questioning the teachers demands.

If at the outset, the teachers had come together and said, okay, this is how much we need to educate your kids, that would be a start and we could negotiate from there.  But they didn’t, to my knowledge.  Therefore, the discontent could be perpetual.  As I pointed out in my last article, what dollar figure would magically make everything better?

No matter what the legislature budgets, the teachers can always demand more (as they have already) because they are in an ideal position to do so.  Also, we’re under republican leadership and it’s always fun to kick sand in the eyes of republicans, right?  If the democrat party was the majority party, there is no way that the strike would be permitted to happen.

A few photos of some tattered textbooks on social media is enough to convince everyone that the school system is physically deteriorating before our eyes.   Is it realistic?

Posts and interviews to this effect are calculated to receive an emotional response.  Give us what we want.  We want more.  

A $5-10,000 pay raise, and increased classroom funding.  Not enough

For nine days, schools in West Virginia were shut down due to similar demands, and because the state government allowed it to happen.  This emboldened the teacher movement in our own state.  Honestly, why is the state permitting this?  Sure, it was fun to let the teachers have their day where they made cute signs and had their picket line, but anything more than two days is absurd.

I hope it does not happen, but what will we do five years down the road when this is forgotten and teachers decide again that it’s not enough?  We’ll give in, we’ll raise taxes, anything for the teachers.   Teaching, a nine month job with Christmas and Spring breaks, will become the most lucrative job in the state…




It isn’t good enough – or ever will be

Teachers today descend en masse on the Capitol.  Why?  Even after getting what they wanted, a considerable pay raise – the temper tantrum continues.  They have their soapbox, people are listening, and it’s clear they are going to milk it for all it’s worth.

Not that a pay adjustment wasn’t deserved, especially given the length of time and the increase in inflation since the last teacher pay raise.

What dollar figure would magically make everything okay?

Attempting to satisfy a hunger that can never be satisfied will only lead to waste of taxpayer dollars.  And these taxes are not sustainable; and it’s something we’ll forget about later, so they can nickel and dime us again.  But the real problem here:

It is clear that teachers exert a lot of influence over our children, and perhaps this is regrettable.  What are the teachers of Oklahoma teaching our children today?  Simply: if you don’t get what you want, skip out on your responsibilities and skip work until you do.  And even if you do get what you want: skip your responsibilities and throw a tantrum anyway.  For attention!


A few points:

  •  No one is under any illusions that teaching can make one rich.  Surely when all these teachers signed up for education degrees, they had to have looked into numbers and statistics regarding pay rates.  If they did, they knew about low pay rates, and have limited room to complain.  If they didn’t, well, that’s almost worse…
  • If people in my peer group knew about this article, i’d be roasted on a spit.  My only consolation is that people in my peer group don’t read these articles.  People worship at the feet of teachers – and yes, of course, there are great teachers.  But by and large, teachers are there to regurgitate a predetermined curriculum in largely a cookie cutter way and are easily replaceable.
  • They say that if we have better teachers, we’ll have more students going off to ivy leagues but really, this isn’t the case.  A student’s attitude towards education is largely determined by cultural and social circumstances in the home.  If a student is destined for an ivy league, he’s destined for it regardless of the teachers he has.  There are exceptions always, of course, but don’t act like spending more money is going to improve outcomes in this way.
  • Nobody is talking about how teachers get long vacations.  Summers, spring breaks, Christmas breaks – employees in the corporate world would kill for such lengths of time off.