Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trump The Flamethrower? Lunch With Giddens and Lawton. Millennials, Socialism and Eating.

The greatest form of government is a democracy, until the majority rules.
I cannot say Trump has made a thoughtful and rational decision that, since he cannot drain the swamp because of the enormous resistance from all quarters, he can try and burn it down.  By attacking those within his supposed party, ie. McCain, Flake, McConnell etc. he is using his tongue as a blow torch.

I certainly understand his frustration over incompetent and two faced leadership within his party but I also believe his lack of political knowledge/deft is partly to blame as well.

No one knows where this all goes.  Perhaps he will get money for his wall.  After all, a wall costs about $10 billion and is permanent.  The cost of illegal immigrants is over $100 billion each year and that does not account for the impact of dope and the incalculable tragedy associated with random murders and rapes etc..  So if he wants to have his wall let him.  Big deal.

Meanwhile, I am not overly concerned if our government shuts down. Most essential services will remain open, those out of work will be paid so they get a free vacation and it is about time we tried less government.  I am sure we will survive.  In fact nothing would please me more than to see the actual disbanding of some government agencies, starting with the Department of Education etc.

Also, the mass press and media would have something new to scare us with and some statues, that might otherwise be destroyed, might remain standing.

Stay tuned because you never know how Trump will react to a provocations but we know he will not take it laying down. His style of governance may be reactive, even quirky but it is unique and something we have not experienced for quite some time.

Meanwhile, our navy continues to sink from lack of funding, training and most of our air fleet is incapable of flying.
We know progressives deplore income inequality and believe the idea of income equality will bring about a better world, one that is more "socially just." But do they know anything about what actually happens when their dream comes true? Like, what do "income equality" societies (like Venezuela) look like? Which society should the U.S. model itself after? Documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz asks progressives what they know about income equality. Turns out, not that much. Watch Ami's video here.
Today I had lunch with Minister Jim Giddens and Spencer Lawton. It was a lot of fun and no world problems were resolved but they were discussed.

During the course of the conversation we were discussing political hypocrisy and Lawton made a cogent comment as follows:"Hypocrisy is the glue that keep us apart."

He also e mailed me the following:

The George Will bit is wonderful. (I think it must have been done before the Supremes ruled in the “Slopes” case.) Ridicule is often the most effective rebuttal. As I suggested, perhaps Family Values churches should band together to demand removal of MLK street signs on account of his adultery – and of anything named Clinton for Bill’s despoiling the Oval Office with Monica. Is anything named after Margaret Sanger, the eugenicist and founder of the precursors to Planned Parenthood?

Spencer Lawton Jr.: From Black Lives Matter to Black Crime Matters
Posted: February 26, 2016 - 12:09am

Black Crime Matters. The Savannah NAACP thought so when, in the mid-eighties, under the leadership of Curtis Cooper and with the support of black clergy, they initiated a “Stop Black On Black Crime” campaign, complete with bumper stickers. Mr. Cooper told the Chicago Tribune that “75 percent of the city`s murders and two-thirds of its rapes last year were committed by blacks against blacks.”
Nothing changed.

In the past five years in our community, while blacks were 55 percent of the population, 80 percent of homicide victims were black (138) as were 89 percent of those arrested (83). If young black men committed homicide at the same rate as the general population, many of our fellow citizens would be alive today who are, instead…dead.

No one is forcing young black men to commit crime, or preventing them from choosing peace. Where now they actively choose to shoot someone, they could instead decide not to.

Freed from slavery, blacks in America went immediately under the boot of Jim Crow and, just as that oppression was lifted almost a century later, they were ushered into a government-sponsored state of economic dependency, lowered expectations and cultural isolation.

Today, the social pathologies that afflict the society at large plague black citizens in dramatic disproportion to their numbers. Whether it is employment, education or health, black citizens lag behind the general population by large multiples.

This is not a function of race, but of culture. It is not because of any immutable characteristic of race, but is a result of membership in a class that was never afforded a decent opportunity to find its footing and establish itself.

Maybe it’s not for me, a white child of privilege, to say how any individual black person should respond to this state of affairs, especially as I’m pretty sure I’d have responded destructively as a young man if my circumstances of birth had been different. That I might respond poorly, however, doesn’t demonstrate that for someone else it is inevitable, or that for either of us it would be wise. Regardless of who says so, surely it would be better, if possible, to reject low expectations, dependency and victim hood in favor of self-respect, self-reliance and personal dignity.

Perhaps the operative phrase here is “if possible.” Let’s assume that for whatever reason some of the obstacles facing black citizens simply cannot be overcome by individual resolve — a black man will be unemployed if Jim Crow won’t hire him; a black child can’t overcome a failing school system if he isn’t allowed an alternative; et cetera.

Crime is different. Impossibility in the face of obstacles cannot apply where there is no obstacle.

Crime is a voluntary activity. If no one is forcing bad outcomes or preventing good ones, what then is the reason for the bad ones?

It is not the police. The evening news almost daily invites us to lament poor relations between police and the minority communities they are trying to serve, and to believe that the situation cannot be improved until the police change. Only a fool thinks there is no room for improvement on the part of police, especially in light of recent examples of egregious — even deadly — misconduct. But police aren’t the only ones with work to do.

Rarely do we see anything suggesting an obligation of improvement on the part of the community.

Perhaps if there were fewer criminals in black neighborhoods, it would be easier for cops to police them as they do other neighborhoods.

I am aware of no nation in the history of the world that has made the extraordinary effort that America has, to assimilate into the mainstream culture a large population of previously enslaved people. In the mere space of eight generations, this has involved a terrible war, the enactment basic civil rights laws as well as special racial preferences, and a sea-change in social structure and attitudes.

Those who see their problems as caused by the inadequacies of that effort should describe exactly what an acceptable effort would look like. They should also say what reciprocal responsibility they have in achieving it. Finally, they should say how they intend to conduct themselves until that day arrives. Those who insist on setting up the perfect as the enemy of the good must accept their responsibility for an inevitable and perpetual conflict.

It’s perhaps instructive that the Black Lives Matter movement percolated to the surface in a cauldron of media-abetted riot and fraud: as the world now knows, the “victim” was a thug who had just robbed a shopkeeper, he attacked the cop rather than vice-versa, there was no “hands up, don’t shoot!” and the cop fired in self-defense. If they cared as much for black lives as they appear to care for the political benefits of victim hood, the movement’s leaders would follow the example of the wiser members of their own community, focus on the primary threat to black lives — other black men — and change their name to Black Crime Matters.

Spencer Lawton Jr. served as Chatham County district attorney from 1981 to 2008.
This was sent to me by a friend who subscribes to The NYT's .

I too am somewhat taken aback by the idea of equating Hannity with Buckley.  Hannity is consistent, he is somewhat entertaining and , on occasion, he is right on but Buckley was in a class by himself. (See 1 below.)
I posted this once before but believe it worth re-posting. Semper-Fi! (See 2 below.)
What a great thing Socialism  is unless food is important. (See 3 below.)

1)  Sean Hannity Is No William F. Buckley
On the subject of cycles, Warren Buffett likes to talk about “the natural progression, the three I’s.” As he put it to Charlie Rose in 2008, those I’s are “the innovators, the imitators and the idiots.” One creates, one enhances — and one screws it all up. Then, presumably, the cycle starts afresh.
Buffett was describing the process that led to the 2008 housing and financial crises. But he might as well have been talking about the decline of the conservative movement in America.
I was reminded of this again last week, on news that the Fox News host Sean Hannity will receive the William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence later this year at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C. As honors go, neither the award nor the organization bestowing it — the Media Research Center — is particularly noteworthy.

But sometimes symbolism is more potent than fact. If we have reached the point where rank-and-file conservatives see nothing amiss with giving Hannity an award named for Buckley, then surely there’s a Milton Friedman Prize awaiting Steve Bannon for his insights on free trade. And maybe Sean Spicer can receive the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent for his role in exposing “fake news.” The floor’s the limit.
Or, in Hannity’s case, the crawl space beneath it.

In 1950, Lionel Trilling wrote that there were no conservative ideas “in general circulation,” only “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.” By the time Trilling died 25 years later the opposite was true: The only consequential ideas at the time were conservative, while it was liberalism that had been reduced to an irritable mental gesture.
This was largely Buckley’s doing. Through National Review, his magazine, he gave a hidden American intelligentsia a platform to develop conservative ideas. Through “Firing Line,” his TV show, he gave an unsuspecting American public a chance to sample conservative wit. Not all of the ideas were right, but they were usually smart. And as they evolved, they went in the right direction.

Buckley “learned to free himself of views that had come to him by the circumstances of his background that he concluded ran counter to values he cherished,” notes Alvin Felzenberg in his superb new biography, “A Man and His Presidents.” Buckley shed isolationism, segregationism and anti-Semitism, and insisted the conservative movement do likewise. Over 50 years as the gatekeeper of conservative ideas, he denounced the inverted Marxism of Ayn Rand, the conspiracy theories of Robert Welch (founder of the John Birch Society) and the white populism of George Wallace and Pat Buchanan.

In March 2000, he trained his sights on “the narcissist” and “demagogue” Donald Trump. “When he looks at a glass, he is mesmerized by its reflection,” he wrote in a prophetic short essay in Cigar Aficionado. “The resistance to a corrupting demagogy,” he warned, “should take first priority” for Americans.

Buckley died in 2008. The conservatism he nourished was fundamentally literary: To play a significant part in it you had to know how to write, and in order to write well you had to read widely, and in order to do that you had to, well, enjoy reading. In hindsight, 2008, the year of Sarah Palin, was also the year when literary conservatism went into eclipse.
Suddenly, you didn’t need to devote a month to researching and writing a 7,000-word critique of Obama administration’s policy on, say, Syria to be taken seriously as a conservative foreign-policy expert. You just needed to mouth off about it for five minutes on “The O’Reilly Factor.” For books there were always ghostwriters; publicity on Fox ensured they would always top The Times’s best-seller lists.

Influence ceased to be measured by respectability — op-eds published in The Wall Street Journal; keynotes delivered to the American Enterprise Institute — and came to be measured by ratings. The quality of an idea could be tested not by its ability to withstand scrutiny from experts, but by the willingness of people to swallow it.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a post-literate conservative world should have been so quick to embrace a semi-literate presidential candidate. Nor, in hindsight, is it strange that, with the role Buckley once played in maintaining conservative ideological hygiene retired, the ideas he expunged should have made such a quick and pestilential comeback.

Thus, when Hannity peddles conspiracy theories about Seth Rich, the young Democratic National Committee staffer murdered in Washington last year, that’s an echo of John Birch. When fellow Fox host Tucker Carlson — who once aspired to be the next Buckley and now aims to be the next Ann Coulter — tries to reinvent himself as the tribune of the working class, he’s speaking for the modern-day George Wallace voter. Isolationism is already back, thanks to Trump. Anti-Semitism can’t be far behind, either, and not just on the alt-right.
And so we reach the Idiot stage of the conservative cycle, in which a Buckley Award for Sean Hannity suggests nothing ironic, much less Orwellian, to those bestowing it, applauding it, or even shrugging it off. The award itself is trivial, but it’s a fresh reminder of who now holds the commanding heights of conservative life, and what it is that they think.
In the financial world, we know how this stage ended for investors, not to mention the rest of the country. The political right might consider that a similar destiny awaits.


By Ret. Marine Col. Jeffery Powers

I've been a season pass holder at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl and the Giants Stadium.

I missed the '90-'91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my wonderful Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt. Garrett Mongrella, was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.

Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.

Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they're something special! They're not! My Marines and Soldiers were!

You are complicit in this! You'll fine players for large and small infractions but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this. Yes, I know, it's their 1st Amendment right to behave in such a despicable manner.     

What would happen if they came out and disrespected you or the refs publicly? 

I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that's much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn't it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone? 

Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game!


You condone it all by your refusal to act. You're just as bad and disgusting as they are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.

Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads. They wear body armor and carry rifles.

They make minimum wage and spend months and years away from their families. They don't do it for an hour on Sunday. They do it 24/7 often with lead, not footballs, coming in their direction. They watch their brothers carted off in pieces not on a gurney to get their knee iced They don't even have ice! Many don't have legs or arms.

Some wear blue and risk their lives daily on the streets of America. They wear fire helmets and go upstairs into the fire rather than down to safety. On 9-11, hundreds vanished. They are the heroes.

I hope that your high paid protesting pretty boys and you look in that mirror when you shave tomorrow and see what you really are, legends in your own minds. You need to hit the road and take those worms with you!
Time to change the channel. 

Powers originally sent his letter to former Florida congressman Allen West. West then posted the letter to his news website.


As of last week, at least 18 NFL player had protested the anthem by either kneeling during the anthem or raising their fists, according to USA Today Sports.

Video Shows Millennials Supporting Socialism Even if It Causes Starvation

It's absurd that anyone can be a socialist after seeing its perfect record of horror, the latest example being Venezuela. Perhaps people simply aren't well-informed about poverty being the inevitable result of socialist policies.
Well ... maybe they actually are:

Someone asked Ami Horowitz, who made the video, if he simply didn't show the people who clearly understood. His answer, in the comments:
[V]ery rarely. These represent the vast majority.
Let that sink in for a second
These people -- all millennials -- are told by Ami that there is starvation and horror in Venezuela. Yet all of these people still think it's better for everyone to be struggling for survival than for any single person to amass more than anyone else.

I used to think that socialists were just jealous. They looked at a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffett or even a Donald Trump, and thought: "It's not right that they have that and I don't."
But these people indicate that they understand how horrible things are in Venezuela. That starvation was normal. And yet they still see that outcome as preferable to liberty, which has produced the highest baseline standard of living humanity has ever seen.

Typical socialists are not misguided fools or "useful idiots." They are not simply besotted with the ideology, picturing everyone living in middle-class homes if only we would adopt their plans. Nope. This is pure and simple evil. We knew the ideology was evil, but understanding that people will suffer and die and still supporting it points to the person being filled with evil as well.

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