Author Archives: Uke

“We Do Not Have a Trade Deficit”

We have a “capital surplus.”

Of course, investing in the United States already is a very attractive proposition, which is — almost everybody gets this wrong – the main reason why we have trade deficits.

Trade deficits are partly a question of consumer preference — American consumers really do like Hondas more than Japanese consumers like Buicks — but they are not mainly a question of consumer preference. They are mainly a question of investor preference — and investors prefer the United States, which is why there is almost twice as much foreign direct investment in the United States as in China, even though China’s economy has grown at a much faster rate over the past 20 years.

When we trade a shiny one million USD for a Chinese product, that Million USD must come back at some point. Sure, it might float out there or be held for a time (the USD is the world’s reserve currency after all, and is of great value to all), but they all eventually find their way home. If they were all used to simply buy our stuff, we wouldn’t have a trade deficit, or a very negligible one.

What actually happens is investment. Foreign investors see the US as a wonderful place to invest their money for a return. We’re stable, have pretty good infrastructure, have a relatively educated labor force, nobody has to set aside a 50% cut to bribe the cops to keep the doors open, etc. With those dollars reinvested into the American economy, we create more jobs here at home, obviously.

What happens, though, if we wish to place tariffs on those imports in order to protect American jobs? Surely, that will compel companies to stay and produce here, will cause people to buy domestic, which saves or creates more jobs here at home. Brilliant, right?

Well, Cato explains:

“Slapping higher tariffs on imports will only deprive foreigners of the dollars they would have earned by selling in the U.S. market. This, in turn, will reduce the supply of dollars on the international currency market, raise the value of the dollar relative to other currencies and make dollar-priced U.S. exports more expensive for foreign buyers, thus reducing demand for our exports. Eventually the volume of exports will fall along with imports, and the trade deficit will remain largely unchanged.”

It truly is the greatest irony that the tariffs meant to save American jobs would actually end up costing jobs. I curse the situation that we find ourselves in now, where we must for some reason beat back this long discredited know-nothingism.

Oh well. Maybe our kids and grandkids will feel our pain when they surely one day have to beat back the scourge of geocentrism.

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The Alt-Right at Work

“Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”

. . .

“America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” Spencer said. “It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

The audience offered cheers, applause, and enthusiastic Nazi salutes.

I am not offering the above as a negative comment against Trump or Trump supporters generally, but rather of the alt-right more specifically. It is, to my ear, extremely disturbing and distasteful. I encourage you to watch the short video in its entirety.

There’s no point in Godwin’ing this sort of rhetoric; it delivers Godwin in spades all by itself.

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Post-Election Advice: Relax

Unless you are part of the Hillary Clinton campaign, you didn’t lose.
Unless you are part of Trump’s campaign, you didn’t win.

If you are currently rioting or even weeping over this, stop. If you are fist pumping around the room and gloating over “your” win, stop.

Every day is a new day. Go to work. Live your life. Keep things in perspective.

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A Lesson on Journalism and Self-Awareness

cillizzalol

Credit to Jimmy.

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Body/Dash Cam Footage of Keith Scott Shooting Released

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have, under heavy pressure, have released the body cam and dash cam videos from the recent shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte. The police have maintained the whole time that the suspect had a gun and was a threat. A gun was photographed at the scene that forensics have now said had Scott’s fingerprints and DNA on it.

As we know, BLM and similar groups have decried this as another unlawful shooting, alternately saying that the suspect did not have a gun, or that he wasn’t a threat if he did.

Dash cam footage (suspect exits vehicle @ 0:44, is shot @ 0:54):

The body cam footage (suspect visible @ 0:17, shot @ approx 0:18-19):

The body cam has only a split second of useful footage IMO. At the critical moment of the shoot, the cop’s head gets in the way and you can’t see anything else until the suspect is down. And for the moment that you can actually see the suspect, the video is still quite inconclusive, but you can rather clearly see the suspect’s holster around his right ankle. Also, it seems that the suspect is holding a dark object in his right hand that visually elongates his right arm, but the video is too blurry to definitively assess exactly what it is.

The dash cam shows much more, if from a much further distance so as pixelation and clarity start to be an issue.

My thoughts on the dash cam as follows:
More below the fold…

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Go Ahead… Tell Me This Isn’t a Cult

Ann Coulter states that she “would die for” Trump.

“I worship him like the North Koreans worship the ‘Dear Leaders’ — yes, I would die for him,” the conservative commentator joked to Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.

Still looking to invest in mind control machine of Trump’s, if anyone has buy-in info on it.

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Jonathan Hoenig: “Why Hillary Has My Vote”

Jonathan Hoenig at Capitalist Pig writes an argument how a free market capitalist can support Hillary over Trump:

I start with the premise that the only thing that can save the country is capitalism.

Yet sixty-three percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republicans view Wall Street as detrimental to the economy, as reported by Daily Wire. Barely half view global free trade positively, according to Pew. The majority of young people now reject capitalism outright.

Reversing the trend will require decades of education. For Americans, capitalism remains the unknown ideal.
In this context, Donald Trump’s business credentials are exactly what makes him so dangerous. In the minds of voters, Trump represents capitalism. But as was pointed out in this space five years ago, Donald Trump is explicitly anti-capitalist on issues ranging from taxes to anti-trust to trade.

Consider that the most catastrophic financial collapse in U.S. history came under President Herbert Hoover, the Republican businessman who enacted trade restrictions to “bring back jobs.”

What followed wasn’t just economic misery, but the subsequent election of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the institutionalized welfare that hasn’t stopped metastasizing since.

In effect, what worries me most isn’t Trump, but what comes after Trump. “We tried free markets under Donald Trump,” they’ll say. “Look how it failed!”

I respect Jonathan Hoenig and his steadfast free market positions. He’s on FoxBusiness frequently and he always takes positions that align almost perfectly with Revo editorial positions on economics. And while I personally think that my arm would self-amputate before it would allow me to pull the handle for Hillary, his broad point about how Clinton really could be better for this country’s future than Trump, is not crazy talk.

Hillary is not friendly to capitalism. This must be made clear. But that’s precisely the point. She is not a capitalist figurehead. Whatever bullshit she might do in her 4-8 years, she won’t be seen as a capitalist representative, and capitalism won’t be seen to have failed as much as it is Hillary and her policies failing.

On the surface, Trump is “A Capitalist Tycoon.” He is the Monopoly Guy. He owns a show where he hires people on the basis of business acumen and talent, and brutally fires people that don’t make the cut, to the delight of the crowd. He makes no apologies for being rich from his business dealings, and in fact revels in it. He should be, by all rights, the poster boy for Capitalism. And he will be.

But make no mistake that this is all a thin veneer over Trump’s actual instincts. He is wearing Capitalism like a skin-suit.

Trump carries with him a host of positions–both current and past–that praise economic protectionism, high tariffs, economic isolationism, utilizing lawfare rather than voluntary financial persuasion, etc. And the fear is that despite his outward appearance of a capitalist, he would actually implement many non-capitalist policies that would be harmful. And when those policies bring the pain, people will look for a scapegoat.

That scapegoat will almost certainly be Capitalism (and those out there that the public views as Capitalists). This is despite the fact that the things that brought ruin weren’t capitalist policies or capitalists in the first place. But in the heat of the moment, the public won’t care about such details. They’re not going to wonk out to analyze the details. They’re going to use their reptilian brain and not much more.

Ultimately, I cannot vote for Hillary because she’s an abominable human, and I cannot place my stamp of approval upon a person I believe to be so. If only for my own conscience. But I believe it is important to see the non-crazy argument for a capitalist to support Hillary over Trump.

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Hillary Promises to Build the Wall

When it comes to building walls, nobody’s gonna do it better than Hillary. Trump says he’s going to build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it? Trump’s a piker; that’s nothing. Hillary’s going to build a 360 degree wall around our entire country and make everyone pay for it.

WASHINGTON—Hillary Clinton’s plan to deter companies from leaving the U.S. will include an “exit tax,” her campaign said Monday, making it even more restrictive than President Barack Obama’s proposals.

The Obama proposal has gone nowhere in Congress, stopped by Republicans who say it amounts to erecting walls around the U.S. tax system rather than making it more favorable. Mrs. Clinton would go further, requiring companies to pay U.S. taxes on deferred foreign earnings if they attempt to “game” her new threshold, a campaign aide said Monday.

Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, will speak about corporate taxes on Wednesday in Iowa. The aide said she would unveil “another major component” of her plan then.

Don’t you love it when we can give new life to old ideas?

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Donald Trump Suggests “Second Amendment People” Should… Do Something… About Hillary

Facepalm

Trump was discussing the possibility that Clinton, the Democratic nominee, would be able to appoint liberal justices to the Supreme Court if she wins the race for the White House.

He then said that there was nothing that could be done in that scenario, before mentioning “Second Amendment folks.”

“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said to boos from the crowd.

“By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” he then added.

“Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

(Source)

I just…

/sigh

Look, this guy is not one of us. I’m not talking about whether you reluctantly feel he’d be better than Hillary, or even if you generally agree with him or not. I mean that he is simply not of us. He is a stranger in a strange land trying to speak a foreign language, and he’s not doing it very well. His language indicates as much.

I liken this story to the one a couple months back where Trump suggested jailing women that get abortions. That is a freaking parody of pro-lifers created by the left to indicate how heartless and inhuman we are. Because Trump is not of us, but is of the other side, he only knows how to speak the language of the other side.

Similarly, here, Trump seemed to paint lawful gun owners as insurrectionists, prone to shooting candidates whose politics they disagree with.

Almost precisely the way the left parodies us in order to disarm us.

That is all bad by itself, but he is actually doing serious damage to our brand and our ideology through his words. He is reinforcing the left’s parodies of us. The left sees folks on our side chuckling and nodding along to these “jokes” from Trump and understandably see evidence of their parodies.

Gun owners have been saying for this entire administration that we don’t own guns in order to shoot Obama, or other politicians in the face simply because we disagree with them. So what does Trump do? In one fell swoop, he implies we’re all insurrectionists. I can’t even fully expressed how pissed I am at him for effectively slandering us on this matter.

Goddamned 2016…

DumpsterFire

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DNC, Night 3: A Lesson In Sophistry

sophistry

I watched the whole night. I tend to think that it was a sort of high-minded curiosity that caused me to do it, like Jane Goodall studying her subjects in their natural habitat, but it really could be as simple as psychological masochism. I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Whatever the case, I have some thoughts on the night that I’d like to share:

Firstly, the Democrats said what they needed to about Trump. They hit him precisely on his weaknesses and hit him hard and repeatedly on those soft spots. They did so far better than Republican primary opponents did. However, I can chalk that up primarily to two reasons:
1. A DNC convention is supremely friendly territory to trashing the other side, and
2. A GOP primary opponent would be more inclined to view Trump as an adversary and potential ally, but Dems see us–quite literally–as the enemy.

Second, they have some excellent speechifiers. They have some objectively fantastic orators that are capable of stirring a crowd on demand as if by sorcery. I really mean it. The way they can build momentum into a speech, pause for effect at the right moments, wind everything up into a rhetorical sledgehammer, and then crush it home is quite impressive. Further, seeing its effect on a crowd is, while somewhat unnerving, still also awesome in its own way. As I said earlier, it’s almost like sorcery. The old-timey definition of the word “mesmerize” is quite fitting here, I think.

If you are able to turn off the critical thinking side of your brain, anyway.
More below the fold…

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Concord Monitor: “The Real Purpose of the 2nd Amendment”

2AMagWell

An op-ed in NH’s Concord Monitor from this last weekend contained something that is not often seen in today’s gun debate: the acknowledgement that it’s about resisting tyranny, not hunting.

Gun supporters stress the right of citizens to protect home and family, and maintain hunting rights. Gun control advocates respond with: Why do we then need assault-style weapons with 30-round magazines in order to protect our home or be able to go hunting? Without knowing why we really have the Second Amendment, it may be difficult to answer such a question.

The reason that our Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights was to give the citizens of this nation the ability to resist any tyrannical power that may want to deprive the people of their freedom, and thus “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The rest of the Bill of Rights would become meaningless if we were to be governed by a tyrannical power.

The right to keep and bear arms to protect oneself and one’s family, and be able to hunt, were a given during the writing of our founding documents. The right was never in question and would never have required a separate amendment to the Bill of Rights. But the right of the people in our newly formed republic to keep and bear arms to defend our nation against potential foreign or domestic powers had to be guaranteed.

We have to remember that the battle of Lexington and Concord, which started our Revolutionary War, was precipitated by the British efforts to confiscate weapons and powder from colonials. With that as a background, the Founding Fathers later drafted the Second Amendment in order to prevent any future power from attempting to confiscate weapons and ammunition from the people.

Seemingly, only your most outspoken III% types regularly mention that the 2A is about shooting tyrants in the face, be they foreign or domestic. Even the NRA, while having gotten a little better about it recently, still primarily focuses on self-defense, stopping home invasions, and repelling rapists. These are all very important things, to be sure. I also know that these are politically smart subjects to focus on.

That said, it is still wise and necessary to explain the 2A’s core reason for being. Picture for a moment a world in which this fundamental reason for the 2A is understood and accepted by all, even those on the left (even if only accepted begrudgingly). What point for debates about “assault weapons bans” would there be then? And while I’d still not necessarily be betting on its repeal, can you imagine the far more tenuous ground the 1986 automatic weapon ban sits on then?

Something to think about.

In any case, it is refreshing to see more and more folks speaking openly about the real purpose for our second amendment.

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Abortions Are Hilarious!

Seriously. I can’t think of a better fodder for comedy gold.

Okay no, I didn’t even come close to breaking a grin. At any point.

Kinda weird that killing human beings isn’t a more natural laugh-inducing subject, huh?

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Comey: Evidence of Carelessness, Mishandling, Wrongdoing, Hostile State Hacking

big-fix

But recommends that DoJ not indict anyway.

He held a no-questions press conference in which he laid out that:
-Evidence of mishandling classified info that was classified at time of sending,
-Evidence that Clinton and her staff should have known that the documents contained classified info,
-Evidence that many around Clinton knew about her private server (possibly even were multiple private servers, as I gather),
-Evidence that hostile actors DID access classified on Clinton’s server(s), BUT…
-No evidence of intentional wrongdoing on Clinton’s part.

So what does the FBI recommend?

No indictment. But of course, you all knew that. Says that the prosecutors make the decision to indict or not, and FBI does not usually make a recommendation. But they made an exception this time.

It is very interesting that Comey laid out the textbook case to establish criminal negligence–which requires no intent of wrongdoing or malice at all–and still recommended no charges or prosecution. Virtually everything we’ve been accusing her of has been fully affirmed by the FBI director. And yet… nothing. It’s a very curious world we now live in.

Happy Treason Day, indeed.

BTFSTTG

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A Little Independence Day Hope

1) The UK shows us that the hunger for sovereignty and independence is not dead.

2) In 1912, the United States elected to office the man that would usher in the most progressive, authoritarian, and arguably fascistic era in American history: Woodrow Wilson. He was our nation’s most openly racist, power hungry president, and he was the first president to openly criticize and despise the US Constitution.

woodrow-wilson-profile

The competent leader of men cares little for the interior niceties of other people’s characters: he cares much-everything for the external uses to which they may be put. His will seeks the lines of least resistance; but the whole question with him is a question of the application of force. There are men to be moved: how shall he move them? He supplies the power; others supply only the materials upon which that power operates. It is the power which dictates, dominates: the materials yield. Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader. –Woodrow Wilson, Leaders of Men

More below the fold…

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Slate: The Left Needs to Get Educated About Guns

Journalist Guide to Guns

Yes, you read that right. That Slate.

Media stories in the wake of mass shootings typically feature a laundry list of mistakes that reflect their writers’ inexperience with guns and gun culture. Some of them are small but telling: conflating automatic and semi-automatic weapons, assault rifle and assault weapon, caliber and gauge—all demonstrating a general lack of familiarity with firearms. Some of them are bigger. Like calling for “common-sense gun control” and “universal background checks” after instances in which a shooter purchased a gun legally and passed background checks. Or focusing on mass shootings involving assault weapons—and thereby ignoring statistics that show that far more people die from handguns.

. . .

There are several ways the media can remedy this situation. For starters, treat guns like any other beat (as the Guardian has done with Lois Beckett). Media outlets tend not to send sports writers to cover the Supreme Court or style writers to cover a murder. Ignorance undermines authority. If you want to report on guns, you need to understand the differences between various weapons and how they are used. Spend time at a shooting range and learn how to fire a gun. Be able to interview an NRA member without scorn or derision.

I know. I’m still in a sort of stunned disbelief. Slate!

Now, the article doesn’t quite acknowledge the fact that so much of the media not only has no desire to inform themselves, they are quite proud of not only their ignorance (as it might delight a Harvard professor to admit he has no knowledge of what pig shit smells like), but quite happy to misinform and mislead the public. They have an agenda they are attempting to drive, and “being honest” is not one of their goals in the gun control debate. If their goal were to be honest and merely inform the public, they would have informed themselves decades ago. But their designs are well-suited for mere fear-mongering, wildly exaggerated propaganda.

But I will give credit where credit is due. Rachael Laramore was putting rounds right on target.

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Another Episode of “WTF AM I LOOKING AT??”

I swear to God, this is why we can’t have nice things…

RidicTrumpAngel

I strongly believe there is a non-trivial percentage of Trump supporters that desperately want to fellate this guy. 10%? 20%? Hard to say.

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The Hamilton Rule

bradthor

Alexander Hamilton once famously stated he would rather lose an election than win with a despicable example from his own party: “If we must have an enemy at the head of government,” Hamilton said in exasperation, “let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.”

This has since become known as the Hamilton Rule.

Author and outspoken conservative, Brad Thor, came out in support of this idea in regards to Clinton vs. Trump:

The true north of my compass has been, and always will be, liberty. I owe it to those who have come before me and those who will come after. I will act to safeguard liberty no matter what personal price I may be forced to bear.
Liberty is my litmus test. I weigh all actions of my government and those who seek office, against it. The ledger of freedom is incorruptible; its pages open for anyone to examine, and most importantly – to learn from.
. . .
When I apply my litmus test of liberty to Donald Trump, he fails – completely.
In fact, he has not only failed to ever stand for liberty, he has repeatedly worked to undermine it. From supporting an assault weapons ban, the seizure of private property via eminent domain, the restructuring of libel laws, and socialized medicine (just to name a few) – throughout his entire adult life, Donald Trump has repeatedly championed the power of the state.
Regardless of what he says now, Donald Trump has a history. That history is the clearest indication of how he would govern as president. No matter how badly Americans want to “blow up” Washington, they absolutely must consider who, and what, arises from the embers of that destruction.
. . .
With the lessons of history as my guide, I see in Donald Trump the character flaws that are the hallmarks of despotism. In Hillary Clinton, I also see multiple character flaws, but I see them as belonging not to a potential despot, but rather to a conniving, self-serving, progressive politician who believes in lining her own pockets and enlarging/increasing the state and its power.
The two are reprehensible – but completely different. One threatens to further enlarge the state, the other, potentially (a la Napoleon), to become it.
. . .
Let me be clear that I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My preference is to write-in or vote third party. I think they are both terrible for our future.
But between a big government progressive and a potential despot – every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.

Read the whole thing.

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Debate: Milton Friedman vs. Donald Trump

Two quotes from the video I’d urge you to ponder:

1) Trump:

“When have we ever beaten Japan at anything?”

2) Henry George (via Milton Friedman):

“In time of war, we blockade our enemies in order to prevent them from getting goods from us. In time of peace, we do to ourselves by tariffs what our enemy does to us in time of war.”

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Bruce Jenner Enters Politics?

I must not laugh, I must not laugh, I must not laugh…

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Trump Named in “Sex Slave” Lawsuit

Another here.

In fairness, it should be noted that no evidence or proof has been presented.

Buuuuuut since alleged pederast Donald Trump and his supporters never seem to care about proof when accusing others of shit, I seem to have misplaced my motivation to seek additional proof at this time.

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Welp, Trump Comes Out Against NC Transgender Law

I mean… of course he does.

I’m eagerly awaiting Trump supporters once again drunkenly staggering back to realign themselves with Trump’s position after days of arguing against said position.

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Cruz Talks Economy on CNBC

Rich in the OT section brought to our attention a link from RedState wherein Cruz is on CNBC talking about nitty gritty economic policy, our national financial situation and even the global financial crisis.

Set aside 48 minutes of your life and watch it. It’s a very excellent display of how Cruz is the most adult person in this entire campaign season. The Dems are trying to one-up one another in promising free shit. The GOP front runner is–when he is talking about something of substance at all–promising yuge and amazing things without any idea of how to do them.

Cruz is, on the contrary, quite specific with his policy and how he plans to deliver it. He adeptly handles every question on very specific issues, and every answer is grounded in reality, and in the Constitution. He combines his knowledge of the issues with a practical plan of how to actually execute in difficult circumstances.

In a way, it’s almost depressing because it causes you to realize that this man somehow isn’t head and shoulders ahead of his competition in every single poll. The fact that he isn’t speaks very poorly of the American electorate.

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Trumpkins, We Need To Talk…

Bobs

I’ll be honest that I am extremely tired of this Trump phenomenon. No one man–and indeed, probably not even one army–can keep up with every lie, smear, act of boorish behavior, vulgarity, display of incompetence and ignorance, etc., that is coming from this campaign. The effort expended in cataloging and fighting it all is exhausting, and is actually reminding me of some of the worst times of the Obama administration. In truth, it’s probably worse by a fair margin.

When you have articles like this able to be created, “Lyin’ Donald: 101 Of Trump’s Greatest Lies,” a non-exhaustive list of Donald Trump lies almost entirely from just the last 9 months, it becomes a full time job keeping up with all of it.

And the fact that his followers are eating up everything he is saying, rationalizing, justifying or explaining away everything… is freaking depressing. For these are not all leftists. These followers are, in many cases, ours. People we easily aligned with in fighting Clinton, Kerry, Gore and Obama. Virtually our entire lives, side by side. And now? …

The following was written by Jeff G. at ProteinWisdom.com. However, make no mistake that it sounds like something that could have been written just as easily by any one of our cob loggers:

If you are a Trump supporter you learned nothing from this site, nothing from me, nothing from conservatism, nothing from the establishment dominance over our vote and our lives, nothing about federalism, nothing about a party system, and nothing about morality, ethics, or consistency. You missed every point about the necessity of retaking language and tethering meaning to its source.

Instead, you’ve embraced the most vulgar form of progressive populism and paranoid isolationism. You’ve embraced anti-foundationalism and Alinsky tactics in the service of a fraud. You have thrown in — whether you like it or not — with people who have repeatedly accused me of being a puppet of the establishment, a “kike,” a “cuck,” and a race traitor…

Read the rest here.

I hesitated to post this because I hate the idea of alienating friends, some of which are longtime Revoistas, from this home of ours. And, more broadly, from the conservative “tent.” The leftist enemy numbers are great, and they are relentless, after all. Very often we might feel that we can use every man, woman and child to combat those hordes.

More below the fold…

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The Stress Test of the Founders’ Experiment

FrenchRev

The Founders’ primary goal in the creation of this nation is an experiment in the preservation of individual liberty. And I submit that it is currently being put to a very important test.

With the goal in mind of ensuring individual liberty, they created a system that would resist internal decay and perversions that would infringe upon individual liberty for as long as possible.

It can quite reasonably be inferred that one of their greatest feared threats to said individual liberty was democracy. The quotes RD cited in a thread recently are not even exhaustive. To a man, the founders knew democracies, and loathed them.

And rightly so.

Human nature is vulnerable to two things:
1) Being riled up and whipped up into a passion far departed from their normal state by a charismatic figure,
2) Being ignorant of things simply because there are only so many hours in the day, or because they don’t care.

I’ll briefly address the second point by stating that yes, I understand that the critics (suspend your belief and assume I do actually have critics) will point out how horribly elitist I must be, or that I must be “establishment” or some such. The fact of the matter is that while none of that is true, more importantly none of that matters. The prime goal of the Founders was to preserve individual liberty. Period. Full stop. End of story.

I will say it again: The primary goal of the Founders was ensure the preservation of individual liberty, even if that meant sacrificing some degree of enfranchisement of the populace.

Sorry folks, but individual liberty is more important than “one man, one vote.” And it’s not even close. Rights and values come into conflict all the time, and at those intersections all reasonable men must determine what is more important to them. And as much as citizen participation and voter enfranchisement were clearly important to them, when that value comes into conflict with the whole point of their experiment in the first place, the choice of the Founders is crystal clear.

Back to my earlier point, a charismatic populist takes advantage of the #1 human weakness listed above, and can essentially lead a large percentage of the public wherever he wishes. We see this as plain as day this cycle as Trump takes one side of a position, then the opposite 5 minutes later, then some other position on the very same issue, and the whole time his supporters are trying to keep up and defend each position in turn.

In case it’s not clear, this illustrates Trump telling them what their positions should be, regardless of what they might have been pre-Trump. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely the fear that the Founders had of democracies. The chaos that results from a whipped up mob is dangerous and unpredictable.

Constitutional republicanism was always meant to be the bulwark against this. And now, faced with the sort populist grotesque that this country hasn’t seen in modern memory, we will see if their experiment is still capable of withstanding it.

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Good Brain

GoodBrain

Posted without comment.

source

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