Author Topic: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces  (Read 774654 times)

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
It would be very interesting to know what the elites say to each other
« Reply #2100 on: July 01, 2022, 07:55:28 AM »
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/sun-valley-2022-preview-david-zaslav-bob-chapek-1235300276/

Idaho one party state :
https://recordinglaw.com/united-states-recording-laws/one-party-consent-states/idaho-recording-laws/


One has to wonder what they are saying about things that effect
 us :   such as "CLIMATE " change
  the little people
  political donations and lobbying

what do these people actually speak about at these private back room get togethers
that leave 99.99 % of the world out
 though they can control a large portion of the economic wealth.


ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
we who voted Trump are stuffed into 7 categories
« Reply #2101 on: July 01, 2022, 02:34:23 PM »
by man who needs to tell us he is gay at the head of the article ( :roll:)

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/07/01/tim-miller-trump-republican-operatives-book-excerpt-00043279

I haven't read beyond the first few paragraphs yet

will enjoy seeing what category I am in .

It never ceases to amaze me how Trump has caused such mental illness in so many people

What is so hard to understand there are 150 million + people in this country who felt they had NO VOICE in DC for their interests and beliefs and Trump finally gave us that voice
(flaws and all)

IT IS REALLY THAT SIMPLE

That does not make me or those who voted for him candidates for psychiatric analysis

my goodness











ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Nara Police Chief takes responsibility
« Reply #2102 on: July 09, 2022, 01:12:41 PM »
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jul/9/nara-police-chief-admits-security-failure-takes-re/

I cannot think of a single Federal employee or politician in the US who has ever taken responsibility for anything

other then rarely and in words only.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
2009: Mark Steyn: Live Free or Die
« Reply #2103 on: August 07, 2022, 05:51:49 PM »
April 2009
Mark Steyn

 
Live Free or Die
 
MARK STEYN'S column appears in several newspapers, including the Washington Times, Philadelphia's Evening Bulletin, and the Orange County Register. In addition, he writes for The New Criterion, Maclean's in Canada, the Jerusalem Post, The Australian, and Hawke's Bay Today in New Zealand. The author of National Review's Happy Warrior column, he also blogs on National Review Online. He is the author of several books, including the best-selling America Alone: The End of The World as We Know It. Mr. Steyn teaches a two-week course in journalism at Hillsdale College during each spring semester.

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on March 9, 2009.

 

MY REMARKS are titled tonight after the words of General Stark, New Hampshire's great hero of the Revolutionary War: "Live free or die!" When I first moved to New Hampshire, where this appears on our license plates, I assumed General Stark had said it before some battle or other—a bit of red meat to rally the boys for the charge; a touch of the old Henry V-at-Agincourt routine. But I soon discovered that the general had made his famous statement decades after the war, in a letter regretting that he would be unable to attend a dinner. And in a curious way I found that even more impressive. In extreme circumstances, many people can rouse themselves to rediscover the primal impulses: The brave men on Flight 93 did. They took off on what they thought was a routine business trip, and, when they realized it wasn't, they went into General Stark mode and cried "Let's roll!" But it's harder to maintain the "Live free or die!" spirit when you're facing not an immediate crisis but just a slow, remorseless, incremental, unceasing ratchet effect. "Live free or die!" sounds like a battle cry: We'll win this thing or die trying, die an honorable death. But in fact it's something far less dramatic: It's a bald statement of the reality of our lives in the prosperous West. You can live as free men, but, if you choose not to, your society will die.

My book America Alone is often assumed to be about radical Islam, firebreathing imams, the excitable young men jumping up and down in the street doing the old "Death to the Great Satan" dance. It's not. It's about us. It's about a possibly terminal manifestation of an old civilizational temptation: Indolence, as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a republic. When I ran into trouble with the so-called "human rights" commissions up in Canada, it seemed bizarre to find the progressive left making common cause with radical Islam. One half of the alliance profess to be pro-gay, pro-feminist secularists; the other half are homophobic, misogynist theocrats. Even as the cheap bus 'n' truck road-tour version of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, it made no sense. But in fact what they have in common overrides their superficially more obvious incompatibilities: Both the secular Big Government progressives and political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential.

In most of the developed world, the state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood—health care, child care, care of the elderly—to the point where it's effectively severed its citizens from humanity's primal instincts, not least the survival instinct. Hillary Rodham Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child. It's supposedly an African proverb—there is no record of anyone in Africa ever using this proverb, but let that pass. P.J. O'Rourke summed up that book superbly: It takes a village to raise a child. The government is the village, and you're the child. Oh, and by the way, even if it did take a village to raise a child, I wouldn't want it to be an African village. If you fly over West Africa at night, the lights form one giant coastal megalopolis: Not even Africans regard the African village as a useful societal model. But nor is the European village. Europe's addiction to big government, unaffordable entitlements, cradle-to-grave welfare, and a dependence on mass immigration needed to sustain it has become an existential threat to some of the oldest nation-states in the world.

And now the last holdout, the United States, is embarking on the same grim path: After the President unveiled his budget, I heard Americans complain, oh, it's another Jimmy Carter, or LBJ's Great Society, or the new New Deal. You should be so lucky. Those nickel-and-dime comparisons barely begin to encompass the wholesale Europeanization that's underway. The 44th president's multi-trillion-dollar budget, the first of many, adds more to the national debt than all the previous 43 presidents combined, from George Washington to George Dubya. The President wants Europeanized health care, Europeanized daycare, Europeanized education, and, as the Europeans have discovered, even with Europeanized tax rates you can't make that math add up. In Sweden, state spending accounts for 54% of GDP. In America, it was 34%—ten years ago. Today, it's about 40%. In four years' time, that number will be trending very Swede-like.

But forget the money, the deficit, the debt, the big numbers with the 12 zeroes on the end of them. So-called fiscal conservatives often miss the point. The problem isn't the cost. These programs would still be wrong even if Bill Gates wrote a check to cover them each month. They're wrong because they deform the relationship between the citizen and the state. Even if there were no financial consequences, the moral and even spiritual consequences would still be fatal. That's the stage where Europe is.

America is just beginning this process. I looked at the rankings in Freedom in the 50 States published by George Mason University last month. New Hampshire came in Number One, the Freest State in the Nation, which all but certainly makes it the freest jurisdiction in the Western world. Which kind of depressed me. Because the Granite State feels less free to me than it did when I moved there, and you always hope there's somewhere else out there just in case things go belly up and you have to hit the road. And way down at the bottom in the last five places were Maryland, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and the least free state in the Union by some distance, New York.

New York! How does the song go? "If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere!" If you can make it there, you're some kind of genius. "This is the worst fiscal downturn since the Great Depression," announced Governor Paterson a few weeks ago. So what's he doing? He's bringing in the biggest tax hike in New York history. If you can make it there, he can take it there—via state tax, sales tax, municipal tax, a doubled beer tax, a tax on clothing, a tax on cab rides, an "iTunes tax," a tax on haircuts, 137 new tax hikes in all. Call 1-800-I-HEART-NEW-YORK today and order your new package of state tax forms, for just $199.99, plus the 12% tax on tax forms and the 4% tax form application fee partially refundable upon payment of the 7.5% tax filing tax. If you can make it there, you'll certainly have no difficulty making it in Tajikistan.

New York, California... These are the great iconic American states, the ones we foreigners have heard of. To a penniless immigrant called Arnold Schwarzenegger, California was a land of plenty. Now Arnold is an immigrant of plenty in a penniless land: That's not an improvement. One of his predecessors as governor of California, Ronald Reagan, famously said, "We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around." In California, it's now the other way around: California is increasingly a government that has a state. And it is still in the early stages of the process. California has thirtysomething million people. The Province of Quebec has seven million people. Yet California and Quebec have roughly the same number of government workers. "There is a great deal of ruin in a nation," said Adam Smith, and America still has a long way to go. But it's better to jump off the train as you're leaving the station and it's still picking up speed than when it's roaring down the track and you realize you've got a one-way ticket on the Oblivion Express.

"Indolence," in Machiavelli's word: There are stages to the enervation of free peoples. America, which held out against the trend, is now at Stage One: The benign paternalist state promises to make all those worries about mortgages, debt, and health care disappear. Every night of the week, you can switch on the TV and see one of these ersatz "town meetings" in which freeborn citizens of the republic (I use the term loosely) petition the Sovereign to make all the bad stuff go away. "I have an urgent need," a lady in Fort Myers beseeched the President. "We need a home, our own kitchen, our own bathroom." He took her name and ordered his staff to meet with her. Hopefully, he didn't insult her by dispatching some no-name deputy assistant associate secretary of whatever instead of flying in one of the bigtime tax-avoiding cabinet honchos to nationalize a Florida bank and convert one of its branches into a desirable family residence, with a swing set hanging where the drive-thru ATM used to be.

As all of you know, Hillsdale College takes no federal or state monies. That used to make it an anomaly in American education. It's in danger of becoming an anomaly in America, period. Maybe it's time for Hillsdale College to launch the Hillsdale Insurance Agency, the Hillsdale Motor Company and the First National Bank of Hillsdale. The executive supremo at Bank of America is now saying, oh, if only he'd known what he knows now, he wouldn't have taken the government money. Apparently it comes with strings attached. Who knew? Sure, Hillsdale College did, but nobody else.

If you're a business, when government gives you 2% of your income, it has a veto on 100% of what you do. If you're an individual, the impact is even starker. Once you have government health care, it can be used to justify almost any restraint on freedom: After all, if the state has to cure you, it surely has an interest in preventing you needing treatment in the first place. That's the argument behind, for example, mandatory motorcycle helmets, or the creepy teams of government nutritionists currently going door to door in Britain and conducting a "health audit" of the contents of your refrigerator. They're not yet confiscating your Twinkies; they just want to take a census of how many you have. So you do all this for the "free" health care—and in the end you may not get the "free" health care anyway. Under Britain's National Health Service, for example, smokers in Manchester have been denied treatment for heart disease, and the obese in Suffolk are refused hip and knee replacements. Patricia Hewitt, the British Health Secretary, says that it's appropriate to decline treatment on the basis of "lifestyle choices." Smokers and the obese may look at their gay neighbor having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and wonder why his "lifestyle choices" get a pass while theirs don't. But that's the point: Tyranny is always whimsical.

And if they can't get you on grounds of your personal health, they'll do it on grounds of planetary health. Not so long ago in Britain it was proposed that each citizen should have a government-approved travel allowance. If you take one flight a year, you'll pay just the standard amount of tax on the journey. But, if you travel more frequently, if you take a second or third flight, you'll be subject to additional levies—in the interest of saving the planet for Al Gore's polar bear documentaries and that carbon-offset palace he lives in in Tennessee.

Isn't this the very definition of totalitarianism-lite? The Soviets restricted the movement of people through the bureaucratic apparatus of "exit visas." The British are proposing to do it through the bureaucratic apparatus of exit taxes—indeed, the bluntest form of regressive taxation. As with the Communists, the nomenklatura—the Prince of Wales, Al Gore, Madonna—will still be able to jet about hither and yon. What's a 20% surcharge to them? Especially as those for whom vast amounts of air travel are deemed essential—government officials, heads of NGOs, environmental activists—will no doubt be exempted from having to pay the extra amount. But the ghastly masses will have to stay home.

"Freedom of movement" used to be regarded as a bedrock freedom. The movement is still free, but there's now a government processing fee of $389.95. And the interesting thing about this proposal was that it came not from the Labour Party but the Conservative Party.

 

================

 

That's Stage Two of societal enervation—when the state as guarantor of all your basic needs becomes increasingly comfortable with regulating your behavior. Free peoples who were once willing to give their lives for liberty can be persuaded very quickly to relinquish their liberties for a quiet life. When President Bush talked about promoting democracy in the Middle East, there was a phrase he liked to use: "Freedom is the desire of every human heart." Really? It's unclear whether that's really the case in Gaza and the Pakistani tribal lands. But it's absolutely certain that it's not the case in Berlin and Paris, Stockholm and London, New Orleans and Buffalo. The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government "security," large numbers of people vote to dump freedom every time—the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, and a ton of other stuff. It's ridiculous for grown men and women to say: I want to be able to choose from hundreds of cereals at the supermarket, thousands of movies from Netflix, millions of songs to play on my iPod—but I want the government to choose for me when it comes to my health care. A nation that demands the government take care of all the grown-up stuff is a nation turning into the world's wrinkliest adolescent, free only to choose its record collection.

And don't be too sure you'll get to choose your record collection in the end. That's Stage Three: When the populace has agreed to become wards of the state, it's a mere difference of degree to start regulating their thoughts. When my anglophone friends in the Province of Quebec used to complain about the lack of English signs in Quebec hospitals, my response was that, if you allow the government to be the sole provider of health care, why be surprised that they're allowed to decide the language they'll give it in? But, as I've learned during my year in the hellhole of Canadian "human rights" law, that's true in a broader sense. In the interests of "cultural protection," the Canadian state keeps foreign newspaper owners, foreign TV operators, and foreign bookstore owners out of Canada. Why shouldn't it, in return, assume the right to police the ideas disseminated through those newspapers, bookstores and TV networks it graciously agrees to permit?

When Maclean's magazine and I were hauled up in 2007 for the crime of "flagrant Islamophobia," it quickly became very clear that, for members of a profession that brags about its "courage" incessantly (far more than, say, firemen do), an awful lot of journalists are quite content to be the eunuchs in the politically correct harem. A distressing number of Western journalists see no conflict between attending lunches for World Press Freedom Day every month and agreeing to be micro-regulated by the state. The big problem for those of us arguing for classical liberalism is that in modern Canada there's hardly anything left that isn't on the state dripfeed to one degree or another: Too many of the institutions healthy societies traditionally look to as outposts of independent thought—churches, private schools, literature, the arts, the media—either have an ambiguous relationship with government or are downright dependent on it. Up north, "intellectual freedom" means the relevant film-funding agency—Cinedole Canada or whatever it's called—gives you a check to enable you to continue making so-called "bold, brave, transgressive" films that discombobulate state power not a whit.

And then comes Stage Four, in which dissenting ideas and even words are labeled as "hatred." In effect, the language itself becomes a means of control. Despite the smiley-face banalities, the tyranny becomes more naked: In Britain, a land with rampant property crime, undercover constables nevertheless find time to dine at curry restaurants on Friday nights to monitor adjoining tables lest someone in private conversation should make a racist remark. An author interviewed on BBC Radio expressed, very mildly and politely, some concerns about gay adoption and was investigated by Scotland Yard's Community Safety Unit for Homophobic, Racist and Domestic Incidents. A Daily Telegraph columnist is arrested and detained in a jail cell over a joke in a speech. A Dutch legislator is invited to speak at the Palace of Westminster by a member of the House of Lords, but is banned by the government, arrested on arrival at Heathrow and deported.

America, Britain, and even Canada are not peripheral nations: They're the three anglophone members of the G7. They're three of a handful of countries that were on the right side of all the great conflicts of the last century. But individual liberty flickers dimmer in each of them. The massive expansion of government under the laughable euphemism of "stimulus" (Stage One) comes with a quid pro quo down the line (Stage Two): Once you accept you're a child in the government nursery, why shouldn't Nanny tell you what to do? And then—Stage Three—what to think? And—Stage Four—what you're forbidden to think . . . .

Which brings us to the final stage: As I said at the beginning, Big Government isn't about the money. It's more profound than that. A couple of years back Paul Krugman wrote a column in The New York Times asserting that, while parochial American conservatives drone on about "family values," the Europeans live it, enacting policies that are more "family friendly." On the Continent, claims the professor, "government regulations actually allow people to make a desirable tradeoff-to modestly lower income in return for more time with friends and family."

As befits a distinguished economist, Professor Krugman failed to notice that for a continent of "family friendly" policies, Europe is remarkably short of families. While America's fertility rate is more or less at replacement level—2.1—seventeen European nations are at what demographers call "lowest-low" fertility—1.3 or less—a rate from which no society in human history has ever recovered. Germans, Spaniards, Italians and Greeks have upside-down family trees: four grandparents have two children and one grandchild. How can an economist analyze "family friendly" policies without noticing that the upshot of these policies is that nobody has any families?

As for all that extra time, what happened? Europeans work fewer hours than Americans, they don't have to pay for their own health care, they're post-Christian so they don't go to church, they don't marry and they don't have kids to take to school and basketball and the 4-H stand at the county fair. So what do they do with all the time?

Forget for the moment Europe's lack of world-beating companies: They regard capitalism as an Anglo-American fetish, and they mostly despise it. But what about the things Europeans supposedly value? With so much free time, where is the great European art? Where are Europe's men of science? At American universities. Meanwhile, Continental governments pour fortunes into prestigious white elephants of Euro-identity, like the Airbus A380, capable of carrying 500, 800, a thousand passengers at a time, if only somebody somewhere would order the darn thing, which they might consider doing once all the airports have built new runways to handle it.

"Give people plenty and security, and they will fall into spiritual torpor," wrote Charles Murray in In Our Hands. "When life becomes an extended picnic, with nothing of importance to do, ideas of greatness become an irritant. Such is the nature of the Europe syndrome."

The key word here is "give." When the state "gives" you plenty—when it takes care of your health, takes cares of your kids, takes care of your elderly parents, takes care of every primary responsibility of adulthood—it's not surprising that the citizenry cease to function as adults: Life becomes a kind of extended adolescence—literally so for those Germans who've mastered the knack of staying in education till they're 34 and taking early retirement at 42. Hilaire Belloc, incidentally, foresaw this very clearly in his book The Servile State in 1912. He understood that the long-term cost of a welfare society is the infantilization of the population.

Genteel decline can be very agreeable—initially: You still have terrific restaurants, beautiful buildings, a great opera house. And once the pressure's off it's nice to linger at the sidewalk table, have a second café au lait and a pain au chocolat, and watch the world go by. At the Munich Security Conference in February, President Sarkozy demanded of his fellow Continentals, "Does Europe want peace, or do we want to be left in peace?" To pose the question is to answer it. Alas, it only works for a generation or two. And it's hard to come up with a wake-up call for a society as dedicated as latterday Europe to the belief that life is about sleeping in.

As Gerald Ford liked to say when trying to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." And that's true. But there's an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn't big enough to get you to give any of it back. That's the position European governments find themselves in. Their citizens have become hooked on unaffordable levels of social programs which in the end will put those countries out of business. Just to get the Social Security debate in perspective, projected public pension liabilities are expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8% of GDP in the U.S. In Greece, the figure is 25%—i.e., total societal collapse. So what? shrug the voters. Not my problem. I want my benefits. The crisis isn't the lack of money, but the lack of citizens—in the meaningful sense of that word.

Every Democrat running for election tells you they want to do this or that "for the children." If America really wanted to do something "for the children," it could try not to make the same mistake as most of the rest of the Western world and avoid bequeathing the next generation a leviathan of bloated bureaucracy and unsustainable entitlements that turns the entire nation into a giant Ponzi scheme. That's the real "war on children" (to use another Democrat catchphrase)—and every time you bulk up the budget you make it less and less likely they'll win it.

Conservatives often talk about "small government," which, in a sense, is framing the issue in leftist terms: they're for big government. But small government gives you big freedoms—and big government leaves you with very little freedom. The bailout and the stimulus and the budget and the trillion-dollar deficits are not merely massive transfers from the most dynamic and productive sector to the least dynamic and productive. When governments annex a huge chunk of the economy, they also annex a huge chunk of individual liberty. You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher—and you make it very difficult ever to change back. Americans face a choice: They can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or they can join most of the rest of the Western world in terminal decline. To rekindle the spark of liberty once it dies is very difficult. The inertia, the ennui, the fatalism is more pathetic than the demographic decline and fiscal profligacy of the social democratic state, because it's subtler and less tangible. But once in a while it swims into very sharp focus. Here is the writer Oscar van den Boogaard from an interview with the Belgian paper De Standaard. Mr. van den Boogaard, a Dutch gay "humanist" (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool), was reflecting on the accelerating Islamification of the Continent and concluding that the jig was up for the Europe he loved. "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it." In the famous Kubler-Ross five stages of grief, Mr. van den Boogard is past denial, anger, bargaining and depression, and has arrived at a kind of acceptance.

"I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it." Sorry, doesn't work—not for long. Back in New Hampshire, General Stark knew that. Mr. van den Boogard's words are an epitaph for Europe. Whereas New Hampshire's motto—"Live free or die!"—is still the greatest rallying cry for this state or any other. About a year ago, there was a picture in the papers of Iranian students demonstrating in Tehran and waving placards. And what they'd written on those placards was: "Live free or die!" They understand the power of those words; so should we.

http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2009&month=04

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
origin of "narcissism
« Reply #2104 on: August 08, 2022, 12:47:11 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_(mythology)

basically in love only with oneself.

do we know anyone like this?

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Kunstler: The Wild West
« Reply #2105 on: August 29, 2022, 10:06:12 PM »
https://www.theburningplatform.com/2022/08/29/the-wild-west/#more-278277

The Wild West
Guest Post by Jim Kunstler


Yes, things are wilding up nicely in Western Civ as we bid farewell to summer and the elites return from their sacrosanct vacations to the task of crashing our world. You can feel it in every quarter of public and private life. Funny, especially, is the Party of Chaos trying to label their opponents as “fascists” — by which they mean anyone opposed to chaos, the “Joe Biden” regime’s preferred mode of existence.


The West’s biggest project these days, the war it provoked over Ukraine, turned out to be a giant Acme land-mine under the West’s collective Wile E. Coyote ass. As Russia advances implacably there and financial sanctions fizzle, behold the scramble in Europe now among citizens desperate to not freeze to death in the months ahead. This is the third time in a hundred-odd years that Germany has attempted suicide, and this time it looks like it’s going to work. Farewell nice German cars, machine tools, and other symbols of industrial might. In feckless Poland, the folks are out gathering lumps of coal and scouring the forest floor for firewood — they’re forbidden by law from cutting standing timber. Mr. Macron tells France she must accept “reduced living standards.” Looks like Brexit did not go far enough as the UK holds hands with the rest of NATO tromping into economic oblivion.

Think the USA is doing better? The summer rally in financial markets was just another frame in the Loony Tunes festival that American life has become. The Fed Chair, Mr. Powell, said all the parts out loud at the annual Jackson Hole banker meet-up last week: look out below, we’ve decided to take this sucker down (in the immortal words of George W. Bush), since pretending to stoke prosperity via Modern Monetary Theory only results in, duh, ruinous inflation. This raises the question, though, as to which is more politically damaging: inflation or depression? It is really only the difference between having plenty of worthless money or having no money at all.

The institutional rot eating away at our national underpinnings got more exposed last week when Mark Zuckerberg stupidly blurted to Joe Rogan that, yes, in the fall of 2020 the FBI warned Facebook — “came to the folks on our team,” he said — about a Russian disinformation campaign underway, wink wink. And so, Facebook turned the volume down to zero on certain news about a laptop belonging to one Hunter Biden stuffed with selfie porn (prostitutes included), video evidence of narcotics use, and deal memos about worldwide influence peddling involving the whole dang Biden family. FBI chief Chris Wray quickly jumped in to clarify that the FBI “routinely notifies U.S. private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats.”

Roger that. The part Mr. Wray left out was that he and everybody else on the fabled seventh floor of the J. Edgar Hoover building knew darn well that the Biden laptop story was not Russian Disinfo, raising the question: who do they now think is supposed to believe the FBI’s obvious bullshit? And why is Chris Wray still running the FBI? And, of course, Mr. Zuckerberg surely knew the truth of the matter as well — though at the time he was busy shoveling more than $300-million into election swing districts for the express purpose of changing-out local officials with his own crew to queer the balloting in favor of international grifter “Joe Biden.”

The inventory of lies retailed by the FBI is so vast and gross that the agency had to resort to raiding Mar-a-Lago three weeks ago in defiance of all known precedent and settled law regarding presidential records. The reason: Mr. Trump, the former president, had exactly such a cataloged inventory of the FBI lies used during his term in office to overthrow him with the Crossfire Hurricane nonsense, and was prepared to introduce said evidence in the lawsuit he has initiated in a Florida federal court against Hillary Clinton and a rogue’s gallery of campaign aides and allied federal officials who assisted in concocting the RussiaGate operation. The aim of the Mar-a-Lago raid: to un-declassify all that material — via a probably illegal order by “Joe Biden” — so as to prevent it from being introduced as evidence in the lawsuit. Somehow, the news media failed to report that part of the story, and even the alt media has missed that last detail.

And now, despite walking back their guideline Covid-19 policies this month, the CDC and its sister public health agencies are ready to push a new edition of Big Pharma’s Covid (so-called) “vaccines,” despite visibly rising all-causes death numbers across Western Civ that appear, more and more, attributable only to the “vaccines.” The vaxx-happy bureaucracy will not be stopped by the captive federal justice system but the attorneys general of fifty states could each act against the program, which has violated every module of the Nuremberg Code against human medical experimentation, as well as US law. It may be too late for the medical profession to redeem its lost sacred honor.

The catch here is that, at this point in the disgraceful story, only Woked-up liberals vying for the Darwin Award will fall for the new vaxxes. Everybody else is onto the scam and hip to the danger, and mandates have worn out their welcome. Liberal Wokery has turned out to be a form of stupidly booby-trapped, self-limiting neo-Nazism. There is your Party of Chaos in a nutshell.

It remains for Mr. Trump to renounce his support for the evil fruits of the Warp Speed operation he presided over. He must face the fact that he was played, and he may be forgiven, considering all the evidence coming recently from the likes of Deborah Birx and others that he was lied to and manipulated. But he doesn’t have much more time to get it right, or else his political career will be over well before the 2024 election. That may be all for the better. America probably needs a clean sweep of our desecrated political landscape. All in all, Mr. Trump was a good soldier, brave and resolute under tremendous adversity, but he’s not the only one who can lead our country back to itself.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2106 on: August 30, 2022, 12:49:23 AM »
"It remains for Mr. Trump to renounce his support for the evil fruits of the Warp Speed operation he presided over. He must face the fact that he was played, and he may be forgiven, considering all the evidence coming recently from the likes of Deborah Birx and others that he was lied to and manipulated. But he doesn’t have much more time to get it right, or else his political career will be over well before the 2024 election. That may be all for the better. America probably needs a clean sweep of our desecrated political landscape. All in all, Mr. Trump was a good soldier, brave and resolute under tremendous adversity, but he’s not the only one who can lead our country back to itself."

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2107 on: August 30, 2022, 07:51:26 AM »
"It remains for Mr. Trump to renounce his support for the evil fruits of the Warp Speed operation he presided over. He must face the fact that he was played, and he may be forgiven, considering all the evidence coming recently from the likes of Deborah Birx and others that he was lied to and manipulated. But he doesn’t have much more time to get it right, or else his political career will be over well before the 2024 election. That may be all for the better. America probably needs a clean sweep of our desecrated political landscape. All in all, Mr. Trump was a good soldier, brave and resolute under tremendous adversity, but he’s not the only one who can lead our country back to itself."

They are already getting ready to blame Trump for the ClotShot atrocity.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2108 on: August 30, 2022, 08:27:33 AM »
I agree with this portion only
of CD post above:

"All in all, Mr. Trump was a good soldier, brave and resolute under tremendous adversity, but he’s not the only one who can lead our country back to itself."


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
The Psychology of Totalitarianism
« Reply #2109 on: September 01, 2022, 01:35:35 AM »
https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-psychology-of-totalitarianism_4702827.html?utm_source=Opinion&utm_campaign=opinion-2022-08-31&utm_medium=email&est=EK1Id1vLVoE%2BjlpFECendBZr9%2F73PmRBXw%2FY91C7vZ%2B5LbLt3a1gc5b8jwEEk20TvAnB

The Psychology of Totalitarianism (theepochtimes.com)
August 31, 2022

At the end of February 2020, the global village began to shake on its foundations. The world was presented with a foreboding crisis, the consequences of which were incalculable. In a matter of weeks, everyone was gripped by the story of a virus—a story that was undoubtedly based on facts. But on which ones?

We caught a first glimpse of “the facts” via footage from China. A virus forced the Chinese government to take the most draconian measures. Entire cities were quarantined, new hospitals were built hastily, and individuals in white suits disinfected public spaces. Here and there, rumors emerged that the totalitarian Chinese government was overreacting and that the new virus was no worse than the flu. Opposite opinions were also floating around: that it must be much worse than it looked, because otherwise no government would take such radical measures. At that point, everything still felt far removed from our shores and we assumed that the story did not allow us to gauge the full extent of the facts.

Until the moment that the virus arrived in Europe. We then began recording infections and deaths for ourselves. We saw images of overcrowded emergency rooms in Italy, convoys of army vehicles transporting corpses, morgues full of coffins. The renowned scientists at Imperial College confidently predicted that without the most drastic measures, the virus would claim tens of millions of lives. In Bergamo, sirens blared day and night, silencing any voice in a public space that dared to doubt the emerging narrative. From then on, story and facts seemed to merge and uncertainty gave way to certainty.

The unimaginable became reality: we witnessed the abrupt pivot of nearly every country on Earth to follow China’s example and place huge populations of people under de facto house arrest, a situation for which the term “lockdown” was coined. An eerie silence descended—ominous and liberating at the same time. The sky without airplanes, traffic arteries without vehicles; dust settling on the standstill of billions of people’s individual pursuits and desires. In India, the air became so pure that, for the first time in thirty years, in some places the Himalayas became once more visible against the horizon.

It didn’t stop there. We also saw a remarkable transfer of power. Expert virologists were called upon as Orwell’s pigs—the smartest animals on the farm—to replace the unreliable politicians. They would run the animal farm with accurate (“scientific”) information. But these experts soon turned out to have quite a few common, human flaws. In their statistics and graphs they made mistakes that even “ordinary” people would not easily make. It went so far that, at one point, they counted all deaths as corona deaths, including people who had died of, say, heart attacks.

Nor did they live up to their promises. These experts pledged that the Gates to Freedom would re-open after two doses of the vaccine, but then they contrived the need for a third. Like Orwell’s pigs, they changed the rules overnight. First, the animals had to comply with the measures because the number of sick people could not exceed the capacity of the health care system (flatten the curve). But one day, everyone woke up to discover writing on the walls stating that the measures were being extended because the virus had to be eradicated (crush the curve). Eventually, the rules changed so often that only the pigs seemed to know them. And even the pigs weren’t so sure.

Some people began to nurture suspicions. How is it possible that these experts make mistakes that even laymen wouldn’t make? Aren’t they scientists, the kind of people who took us to the moon and gave us the internet? They can’t be that stupid, can they? What is their endgame? Their recommendations take us further down the road in the same direction: with each new step, we lose more of our freedoms, until we reach a final destination where human beings are reduced to QR codes in a large technocratic medical experiment.

That’s how most people eventually became certain. Very certain. But of diametrically opposed viewpoints. Some people became certain that we were dealing with a killer virus, that would kill millions. Others became certain that it was nothing more than the seasonal flu. Still others became certain that the virus did not even exist and that we were dealing with a worldwide conspiracy. And there were also a few who continued to tolerate uncertainty and kept asking themselves: how can we adequately understand what is going on?

In the beginning of the coronavirus crisis I found myself making a choice—I would speak out. Before the crisis, I frequently lectured at University and I presented on academic conferences worldwide. When the crisis started, I intuitively decided that I would speak out in public space, this time not addressing the academic world, but society in general. I would speak out and try to bring to peoples’ attention that there was something dangerous out there, not “the virus” itself so much as the fear and technocratic–totalitarian social dynamics it was stirring up.

I was in a good position to warn for the psychological risks of the corona narrative. I could draw on my knowledge of individual psychological processes (I am a lecturing professor at Ghent University, Belgium); my Ph.D. on the dramatically poor quality of academic research which taught me that we can never take “science” for granted; my master degree in statistics which allowed me to see through statistical deception and illusions; my knowledge of mass psychology; my philosophical explorations of the limits and destructive psychological effects of the mechanist-rationalist view on man and the world; and last but not least, my investigations into the effects of speech on the human being and the quintessential importance of “Truth Speech” in particular.

In the first week of the crisis, March 2020, I published an opinion paper titled “The Fear of the Virus Is More Dangerous Than the Virus Itself.” I had analyzed the statistics and mathematical models on which the coronavirus narrative was based and immediately saw that they all dramatically overrated the dangerousness of the virus. A few months later, by the end of May 2020, this impression had been confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt. There were no countries, including those that didn’t go into lockdown, in which the virus claimed the enormous number of casualties the models predicted it would. Sweden was perhaps the best example. According to the models, at least 60,000 people would die if the country didn’t go into lockdown. It didn’t, and only 6,000 people died.

As much as I (and others) tried to bring this to the attention of society, it didn’t have much effect. People continued to go along with the narrative. That was the moment when I decided to focus on something else, namely on the psychological processes that were at work in society and that could explain how people can become so radically blind and continued to buy into a narrative so utterly absurd. It took me a few months to realize that what was going on in society was a worldwide process of mass formation.

In the summer of 2020, I wrote an opinion paper about this phenomenon which soon became well known in Holland and Belgium. About one year later (summer 2021) Reiner Fuellmich invited me onto Corona Ausschuss, a weekly live-stream discussion between lawyers and both experts and witnesses about the coronavirus crisis, to explain about mass formation. From there, my theory spread to the rest of Europe and the United States, where it was picked up by such people as Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Peter McCullough, Michael Yeadon, Eric Clapton, and Robert Kennedy.

After Robert Malone talked about mass formation on the Joe Rogan Experience, the term became a buzz word and for a few days was the most searched for term on Twitter. Since then, my theory has met with enthusiasm but also with harsh criticism.

What is mass formation actually? It’s a specific kind of group formation that makes people radically blind to everything that goes against what the group believes in. In this way, they take the most absurd beliefs for granted. To give one example, during the Iran revolution in 1979, a mass formation emerged and people started to believe that the portrait of their leader—Ayatollah Khomeini—was visible on the surface of the moon.

Each time there was a full moon in the sky, people in the street would point at it, showing each other where exactly Khomeini’s face could be seen.
A second characteristic of an individual in the grip of mass formation is that they become willing to radically sacrifice individual interest for the sake of the collective. The communist leaders who were sentenced to death by Stalin—usually innocent of the charges against them—accepted their sentences, sometimes with statements such as, “If that is what I can do for the Communist Party, I will do it with pleasure.”

Thirdly, individuals in mass formation become radically intolerant for dissonant voices. In the ultimate stage of the mass formation, they will typically commit atrocities toward those who do not go along with the masses. And even more characteristic: they will do so as if it is their ethical duty. To refer to the revolution in Iran again: I’ve spoken with an Iranian woman who had seen with her own eyes how a mother reported her son to the state and hung the noose with her own hands around his neck when he was on the scaffold. And after he was killed, she claimed to be a heroine for doing what she did.

Those are the effects of mass formation. Such processes can emerge in different ways. It can emerge spontaneously (as happened in Nazi Germany), or it can be intentionally provoked through indoctrination and propaganda (as happened in the Soviet Union). But if it is not constantly supported by indoctrination and propaganda disseminated through mass media, it will usually be short-lived and will not develop into a full-fledged totalitarian state. Whether it initially emerged spontaneously or was provoked intentionally from the beginning, no mass formation, however, can continue to exist for any length of time unless it is constantly fed by indoctrination and propaganda disseminated through mass media. If this happens, mass formation becomes the basis of an entirely new kind of state that emerged for the first time in the beginning of the twentieth century: the totalitarian state. This kind of state has an extremely destructive impact on the population because it doesn’t only control public and political space—as classical dictatorships do—but also private space. It can do the latter because it has a huge secret police at its disposal: this part of the population that is in the grip of the mass formation and that fanatically believes in the narratives distributed by the elite through mass media. In this way, totalitarianism is always based on “a diabolic pact between the masses and the elite” (see Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”).

I second an intuition articulated by Hannah Arendt in 1951: a new totalitarianism is emerging in our society. Not a communist or fascist totalitarianism but a technocratic totalitarianism. A kind of totalitarianism that is not led by “a gang leader” such as Stalin or Hitler but by dull bureaucrats and technocrats. As always, a certain part of the population will resist and won’t fall prey to the mass formation. If this part of the population makes the right choices, it will ultimately be victorious. If it makes the wrong choices, it will perish. To see what the right choices are, we have to start from a profound and accurate analysis of the nature of the phenomenon of mass formation. If we do so, we will clearly see what the right choices are, both at strategic and at the ethical levels. That’s what my book “The Psychology of Totalitarianism” presents: a historical–psychological analysis of the rise of the masses throughout the last few hundreds of years as it led to the emergence of totalitarianism.

The coronavirus crisis did not come out of the blue. It fits into a series of increasingly desperate and self-destructive societal responses to objects of fear: terrorists, global warming, coronavirus. Whenever a new object of fear arises in society, there is only one response: increased control. Meanwhile, human beings can only tolerate a certain amount of control. Coercive control leads to fear and fear leads to more coercive control. In this way, society falls victim to a vicious cycle that leads inevitably to totalitarianism (i.e., extreme government control) and ends in the radical destruction of both the psychological and physical integrity of human beings.

We have to consider the current fear and psychological discomfort to be a problem in itself, a problem that cannot be reduced to a virus or any other “object of threat.” Our fear originates on a completely different level—that of the failure of the Grand Narrative of our society. This is the narrative of mechanistic science, in which man is reduced to a biological organism. A narrative that ignores the psychological, spiritual, and ethical dimensions of human beings and thereby has a devastating effect at the level of human relationships. Something in this narrative causes man to become isolated from his fellow man, and from nature. Something in it causes man to stop resonating with the world around him. Something in it turns human beings into atomized subjects. It is precisely this atomized subject that, according to Hannah Arendt, is the elementary building block of the totalitarian state.

At the level of the population, the mechanist ideology created the conditions that make people vulnerable for mass formation. It disconnected people from their natural and social environment, created experiences of radical absence of meaning and purpose in life, and it led to extremely high levels of so-called “free-floating” anxiety, frustration, and aggression, meaning anxiety, frustration, and aggression that is not connected with a mental representation; anxiety, frustration, and aggression in which people don’t know what they feel anxious, frustrated, and aggressive about. It is in this state that people become vulnerable to mass formation.

The mechanist ideology also had a specific effect at the level of the “elite”—it changed their psychological characteristics. Before the Enlightenment, society was led by noblemen and clergy (the “ancien régime”). This elite imposed its will on the masses in an overt way through its authority. This authority was granted by the religious Grand Narratives that held a firm grip on people’s minds. As the religious narratives lost their grip and modern democratic ideology emerged, this changed. The leaders now had to be elected by the masses. And in order to be elected by the masses, they had to find out what the masses wanted and more or less give it to them. Hence, the leaders actually became followers.

This problem was met in a rather predictable but pernicious way. If the masses cannot be commanded, they have to be manipulated. That’s where modern indoctrination and propaganda was born, as it is described in the works of people such as Lippman, Trotter, and Bernays. We will go through the work of the founding fathers of propaganda in order to fully grasp the societal function and impact of propaganda on society.

Indoctrination and propaganda are usually associated with totalitarian states such as the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, or the People’s Republic of China. But it is easy to show that from the beginning of the twentieth century, indoctrination and propaganda were also constantly used in virtually every “democratic” state worldwide. Besides these two, we will describe other techniques of mass-manipulation, such as brainwashing and psychological warfare.

In modern times, the explosive proliferation of mass surveillance technology led to new and previously unimaginable means for the manipulation of the masses. And emerging technological advances promise a completely new set of manipulation techniques, where the mind is materially manipulated through technological devices inserted in the human body and brain. At least that’s the plan. It’s not clear yet to what extent the mind will cooperate.

Totalitarianism is not a historical coincidence. It is the logical consequence of mechanistic thinking and the delusional belief in the omnipotence of human rationality. As such, totalitarianism is a defining feature of the Enlightenment tradition. Several authors have postulated this, but it hasn’t yet been subjected to a psychological analysis. I decided to try to fill this gap, which is why I wrote “The Psychology of Totalitarianism.” It analyzes the psychology of totalitarianism and situates it within the broader context of the social phenomena of which it forms a part.

It is not my aim with the book to focus on that which is usually associated with totalitarianism—concentration camps, indoctrination, propaganda—but rather the broader cultural–historical processes from which totalitarianism emerges. This approach allows us to focus on what matters most: the conditions that surround us in our daily lives, from which totalitarianism takes root, grows, and thrives.

Ultimately, my book explores the possibilities of finding a way out of the current cultural impasse in which we appear to be stuck. The escalating social crises of the early twenty-first century are the manifestation of an underlying psychological and ideological upheaval—a shift of the tectonic plates on which a worldview rests. We are experiencing the moment in which an old ideology rears up in power, one last time, before collapsing. Each attempt to remediate the current social problems, whatever they may be, on the basis of the old ideology will only make things worse. One cannot solve a problem using the same mindset that created it. The solution to our fear and uncertainty does not lie in the increase of (technological) control. The real task facing us as individuals and as a society is to envision a new view of humankind and the world, to find a new foundation for our identity, to formulate new principles for living together with others, and to reclaim a timely human capacity—Truth Speech.

Originally published on the author’s Substack, reposted from the Brownstone Institute

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
George Friedman: America's Institutional Crisis
« Reply #2110 on: September 06, 2022, 03:35:06 AM »
September 6, 2022
View On Website
Open as PDF

    
America’s Institutional Crisis
By: George Friedman

In my latest book, “The Storm Before the Calm,” I predicted that the U.S. would go through a massive social crisis in the 2020s. That prediction has obviously come to pass. I also forecast that America would go through its fourth institutional crisis. The previous three all followed existential wars and transformed the governing institutions.

The first came after the Revolutionary War, which eliminated British imperial rule and installed a union of states and a republican form of government. The second, some 80 years later, came after the Civil War, which established the primacy of the federal government over the states. Eighty years after that, World War II extended the power of the federal government over American society and put in place a technocratic government – that is, a government of experts.

We are now 80 or so years removed from World War II, and the nature of this new institutional crisis is becoming clear. It started when the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how ineffective a federal technocracy is in imposing solutions over a vast and diverse continent. As I argued in “The Storm Before the Calm,” experts are essential but insufficient when it comes to governance. Their fundamental weakness is that expertise in one area can be insensitive to or ignorant of the problems their solutions create. Medical institutions did the best they could do under the circumstances, but their solutions disrupted the production and distribution of goods and alienated people from one another. Governance is the art of seeing the whole. Physicians tend to see only their own domain. The federal government responded to expertise in one area without creating systems of competing expertise, and it often failed to recognize the variability of circumstances that the founders envisioned.

Now another important dimension of the institutional shift is taking place: the crisis of universities. Universities have been central to the moral functioning of the United States since Thomas Jefferson required that all new states admitted to the republic fund universities. He saw them as essential in the cultivation of expertise and in creating an educated elite armed with varied knowledge essential to the regime. Over time, universities, and especially elite universities, tended to exclude prospective students and teachers who were not already part of the elite, and thus tended to suppress ideas offensive to elite values.

The GI Bill disrupted the system by welcoming soldiers into universities regardless of background. Many of them already had elements of technical expertise, thanks to their time in the armed services, and they knew too much about life not to doubt the self-certainties of their professors. This development helped create a massive professional class with highly specific areas of knowledge. That notion of expertise fed the emerging principle of government. It accepted diversity as a principle, except that its proponents weren’t always aware of, let alone concerned about, those their definition of diversity excluded. The university was therefore the pivot to the elite. It always develops cultural idiosyncrasies that overlay its function, but it also remains a foundation of the institutional structure. The university has again developed strange dynamics, but it has also developed in a direction that is deeply linked to the federal system. The problem is that students must take out outlandish loans to pay for the outlandishly high price of higher education. Given the existence of a federal lending program that linked available credit to the cost of education, universities had little incentive to control costs. The lending program was linked to cost, and the cost could rise because the available loans, in general, increased in tandem.

At the time that I wrote “The Storm Before the Calm,” student debt stood at about $1.34 trillion. This was roughly equal to the amount borrowed by subprime homeowners prior to 2008. A massive default on student loans would create problems at least on the order of the subprime mortgage crisis. The government control system was used warily, not wanting to upset an unqualified class of borrowers for political reasons or lenders who were reaping substantial profits before the collapse. The government wanted to be as inclusive as possible; it couldn’t risk excluding an “unqualified” class of people from borrowing, and it wanted to take advantage of the large constituencies endemic to large universities. The debt burden assumed by students was staggering, and universities kept increasing costs, and thus increasing the debt, hoping to ride the train as long as they could. The recent decision to bail out students, then, is the least of the issues. How the government allowed the situation to get to this point is the issue.

Ohio State University charges $23,000 a year for in-state residents, including room and board. Harvard University charges nearly $100,000 per year. These prices (which do not include financial aid outside of loans) reached this level in 2019 on an intensifying curve, a curve made possible by the government acting like a subprime lender. The likelihood of repayment was questionable at best, but it went on anyway.

Why is college so expensive to begin with? First, there is the lavish campus replete with things like tennis courts and other features disconnected from education. I went to the City College of New York many years ago, when it was bare bones but sported superb professors. I then went to graduate school at Cornell. I loved it and still love going back. The campus is beautiful, and seeing the Finger Lakes and hearing the chimes is a great pleasure. But the fact is that the land on which Cornell is situated and the buildings are worth a fortune, and the pleasure I got from this did not address the fact that professors are essential to a university and the rest is marketing to get students to spend their borrowed money there rather than elsewhere. Columbia University is in Manhattan, some of the most expensive real estate in the world. If it sold its facilities there and moved to let’s say Queens, with the money placed in a trust, it could lower the cost of tuition dramatically.

The university has become a central part of the social crisis demanding fealty to values rather than inviting debate over those values. But that’s a discussion for a later date. The student loan crisis is the result of a major institution running out of control with the tacit permission of the government. This was partly political in that borrowers had parents, and parents voted. But there was a deeper problem: The experts running the student loan system focused on the benefits of education without measuring the costs. Those charged with charting the development of the economy had as their constituency banks, which, of course, love loans.

The basic argument in my book is that technocracy is built on experts, and that experts, while necessary, tend to have a narrow focus. To lack generalists is to lack common sense, and a lack of common sense gave us another train wreck, one that will end with a transformation of how government works.

It should be noted that the systemic shifts of the past required major wars to compel change. All were existential in the sense that the republic was at stake. The war in Ukraine does not have that much weight for the United States. With only three prior institutional shifts, we don’t have enough examples to be certain war is required. Or there is a nasty one coming.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 16485
    • View Profile
Victor Davis Hanson!
« Reply #2111 on: September 06, 2022, 04:51:03 AM »
https://amgreatness.com/2022/09/04/how-old-bad-ideas-become-wonderful/

More insightful and relevant than ever.  Read it all and spread it. 

Giving up, giving in to these lunatics is not the right answer.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
the New Marxism
« Reply #2112 on: September 06, 2022, 09:47:17 AM »
VDH

the new "EF Hutton"

when he speaks - I LISTEN!

there was a great talk on radio the other night a week ago. Damn it if I cannot remember exactly who or when it was

person was describing how the New Marxists - eager to use the their strategy of dividing populations as a means to break them up and recast them has found race culture and sexual differences to to break up the US
IN the past it was always about class

Class divisions
 workers vs proletariat
 
now it is white vs black
 gay vs non gay
 still rich vs poor but the rich can now buy their way out .....

every crack in society

they poor water into those cracks
and then with the freeze the cracks get bigger until
 they crack the nation apart

and those in control
the PARTY
and all those who support make us into comrades

There was more but I missed it
I wish I could find it now

I started Levins book, American Marxism,  but did not finish
probably he gets into this too.

 

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
WSJ: Lance Morrow: Biden's Speech Had It All Backward
« Reply #2113 on: September 06, 2022, 11:23:42 AM »
Biden’s Speech Had It All Backward
Biden’s Democrats seek a one-party state. Trump’s followers want freedom from government power.
By Lance Morrow
Sept. 4, 2022 9:08 am ET


The Democrats have the “fascist” business wrong.

Donald Trump isn’t a fascist, or even a semi-fascist, in President Biden’s term. Mr. Trump is an opportunist. His ideology is coextensive with his temperament: In both, he is an anarcho-narcissist. He is Elmer Gantry, or the Music Man, if Harold Hill had been trained in the black arts by Roy Cohn. He is what you might get by crossing the Wizard of Oz with Willie Sutton, who explained that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”

As for Mr. Trump’s followers, they belong to the Church of American Nostalgia. They are Norman Rockwellians, or Eisenhowerites. They regard themselves, not without reason, as the last sane Americans. You might think of them as American masculinity in exile; like James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo, living in the forest has made their manners rough.

If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. They are Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion’s share of the media), whose opinions have, since Jan. 6, 2021, hardened into absolute faith that any party or political belief system except their own is illegitimate—impermissible, inhuman, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy. The evolution of their overprivileged emotions—their sentimentality gone fanatic—has led them, in 2022, to embrace Mussolini’s formula: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Or against the party. (People forget, if they ever knew it, that both Hitler and Mussolini began as socialists). The state and the Democratic Party must speak and act as one, suppressing all dissent. America must conform to the orthodoxy—to the Chinese finger-traps of diversity-or-else and open borders—and rejoice in mandatory drag shows and all such theater of “gender.” Meantime, their man in the White House invokes emergency powers to forgive student debt and their thinkers wonder whether the Constitution and the separation of powers are all they’re cracked up to be.

Mr. Trump and his followers, believe it or not, are essentially antifascists: They want the state to stand aside, to impose the least possible interference and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom isn’t fascism. Mr. Biden and his vast tribe are essentially enemies of freedom, although most of them haven’t thought the matter through. Freedom, the essential American value, isn’t on their minds. They desire maximum—that is, total—state or party control of all aspects of American life, including what people say and think. Seventy-four years after George Orwell wrote “1984,” such control (by way of surveillance cameras, social-media companies and the Internal Revenue Service, now to be shockingly augmented by 87,000 new employees) is entirely feasible. The left yearns for power and authoritarian order. It is Faust’s bargain; freedom is forfeit.

Mr. Trump, the canniest showman in the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt, introduced into 21st-century politics what seemed to be new idioms of hatred, a freestyle candor of the id. Doing so, he provoked his enemies—and finally Mr. Biden—to respond in kind: a big mistake. In the early 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy was loose in the land, and roughly half the country supported his anticommunist inquisition, President Eisenhower wisely decided, “I will not get into the gutter with this guy.” It took a while for McCarthy to implode.


When Mr. Biden spoke in Philadelphia the other night, he might have been thinking of FDR’s speech at Madison Square Garden on the night of Oct. 31, 1936, at the end of his presidential campaign against Alf Landon—and, by the way, three months before he tried to pack the Supreme Court. That night, Roosevelt boasted that his enemies (Republicans, plutocrats, et al.) “are unanimous in their hate for me.” With a flourish, he added, “I welcome their hatred!”

Americans, lamenting the divisions of 2022 and, some of them, entertaining fantasies of a new civil war, should refresh their historical memories. The country has been bitterly divided against itself any number of times. The hatreds and convulsions of the 1930s (the era of Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin and the Silver Shirts, of homegrown tribes of Trotskyists and Stalinists) culminated in the ferocious battle between isolationists and internationalists that lasted until the Sunday morning of Pearl Harbor.

The motif of political hatred returned to America almost as soon as World War II ended. The Alger Hiss case of 1948 warmed up the enmities, and McCarthy blew on the coals and turned half of the country against the other half. Such hatred seems cyclical. The 1960s (assassinations, civil rights battles, urban riots, the Vietnam War) had Americans at one another’s throats again. Those eruptions of political rage occurred in the years when the baby boomers and Joe Biden (who was a few years older) came of age and acquired their idea of what America is all about.

That night in 1936, Roosevelt, warming to the language of hatred, suggested that his enemies should get out of the country: “Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag.” Mr. Biden—who, as he spoke in Philadelphia, was bathed in a lurid red light that seemed, as it were, ineptly theological—was content to cast his foes into outer darkness.

Mr. Morrow is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His latest book is “The Noise of Typewriters: Remembering Journalism,” forthcoming in January.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Survival of the Richest
« Reply #2114 on: September 06, 2022, 02:57:15 PM »

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Re: Survival of the Richest
« Reply #2115 on: September 06, 2022, 03:14:27 PM »

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Re: Victor Davis Hanson!
« Reply #2116 on: September 06, 2022, 03:34:28 PM »
https://amgreatness.com/2022/09/04/how-old-bad-ideas-become-wonderful/

More insightful and relevant than ever.  Read it all and spread it. 

Giving up, giving in to these lunatics is not the right answer.

Fix leftist totalitarianism with this one weird trick:

https://i.imgur.com/S27xUC1.png





Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Re: Tucker: This is what the collapse of civilization looks like
« Reply #2118 on: September 14, 2022, 11:40:31 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH7cnmGHNxw

You are responsible for your own security and justice.

Plan accordingly.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Cong. Mary Miller: Biden is helping our enemies and destroying rural America
« Reply #2119 on: September 15, 2022, 08:52:59 AM »
Biden’s energy crisis is helping our enemies and destroying rural America

We cannot let radical leftists control our food production

By Rep. Mary Miller

American farmers eke out a living because we have affordable, available energy. By using diesel-powered equipment, nitrogen, and other fertilizers, we not only feed America, but we are the number one exporter of food worldwide.

Before I was Rep. Mary Miller, I was Mary the Illinois farmer and mother of seven. Together with my husband, we run a grain and cattle farm in central Illinois and fed our family on a budget with the help of a fertilized garden. Now, we have great reason to be alarmed. President Biden and his “Green Bad Deal” team are in the process of creating yet another crisis. A food crisis.

The globalists and militant vegan activists are pushing junk science “scare pollution” policies on agricultural producers. These radical “Great Reset” leftists are destroying farms, especially family farms, with attacks on fertilizer & livestock. The leftists are pushing to replace the farmland we need for food with solar panels that are made in China and terrible for the environment. Without farms, people starve. We cannot let radical leftists control our food, as they are the same people that are causing famine, blackouts, and rationing in other countries.

For example, farmers in the Netherlands are revolting against their government over plans to impose laughable restrictions on the amount of animal manure Dutch farmers can spread on their own land to fertilize fields. The Dutch government believes, that to cut its nitrogen emissions in half by 2030, farmers have to sacrifice long-held, successful fertilizer practices. The Netherlands’ own government seeks to lessen its global agricultural influence by instituting Green Deal policies.

This agenda should sound familiar to Americans. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by pushing electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines that are manufactured in China — in order to convince the world a country can become entirely carbon neutral — is exactly what the Biden administration hopes to achieve for America. It hasn’t happened yet, and I hope it never does.

In Mr. Biden’s America, we have an ongoing energy crisis that especially affects the livelihood of my fellow farmers and farm families in rural America. Leftists like Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker have told us to expect rolling blackouts due to the dangerous, Green New Deal-inspired war on reliable energy generation. What happened in the Netherlands will happen here if we cannot solve this nation’s energy crisis.

Mr. Biden’s anti-energy agenda has caused the price of a gallon of gas to skyrocket to the highest average price of gasoline and diesel ever recorded. In my home state of Illinois, these prices were even higher than the national average. Instead of making it easier for American companies to increase domestic oil and gas production and hire more U.S. workers, Mr. Biden has shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline and begged OPEC and Russia to increase global output to ease rising prices.

Mr. Biden’s Democratic friends in Congress and Democrat governors have blamed American energy producers for this crisis while refusing to issue leases for energy production and discouraging investment. Democrats have taken advantage of the war in Ukraine to blame Vladimir Putin for gas prices while increasing purchases of Russian oil by 160%. They have claimed renewables are the only solution while stopping the production of critical minerals here at home, leaving our country even more dependent on China, while refusing to ramp up our domestic production of oil, natural gas, and biofuels, such as ethanol.

This has to change. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2020 and 2050. Our nation can supply that energy demand. The United States boasts an abundance of natural resources. Our nation is innovative, and our energy producers can compete with China, but we must abandon this Green New Deal and stop helping China in order to stand a chance.

In recent years, we have seen foreign investors flood the market, especially in Rural America where the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to buy land in our country, with an emphasis on farmland, to gain strategic leverage over the United States. According to the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act Database, foreign companies and individuals have purchased 519,248 acres of agricultural land in Illinois over the past decade. The purchases are worth approximately $4.1 billion. America is on a dangerous path of losing our selfsuffi ciency which is why I introduced the National Security Moratorium on Foreign Purchases of U.S. Land with Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, to prohibit Chinese land purchases in the United States. We have an inherent responsibility to put our own citizens first, and the National Security Moratorium on Foreign Purchases of U.S. Land does just that. In the same month that I introduced this bill, House Democrats held a hearing to promote cars made with Chinese batteries and minerals mined in China instead of supporting American farmers by promoting ethanol and biofuels. The American people would be much better served if the Agriculture Committee focused on prohibiting Chinese land purchases in our country.

Instead of blaming American energy producers, farmers, and ranchers for this nation’s energy and food crisis, perhaps Mr. Biden, Mr. Pritzker, and Democrats should start believing in Americans and fight for their interests. Perhaps they should acknowledge their policies are failing and reflect upon it before we see Rural America revolt.

Mary E. Miller is an American farmer and politician who is the U.S. representative from Illinois’s 15th congressional district

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
WT: McKenna: Why aren't more people defending free speech and the rule of law?
« Reply #2120 on: September 15, 2022, 09:08:35 AM »
second

Defending what’s important

Why aren’t more people defending free speech and the rule of law?

By Michael McKenna

It has been suggested that those on the right have been a bit too energetic in defending the previous president. There can be no doubt that many of President Trump’s defenders are aggressive and voluble. There can also be no doubt that in many instances, people conflate defending important elements of the American political and judicial systems with defending Mr. Trump himself.

Let’s clear up the confusion. Noting the obvious and troubling fact that the FBI and the Justice Department are either unwilling or unable to police their own employees is not defending Mr. Trump. Faced with the reality that agents lied to obtain warrants used to surveil political campaigns and members of the media, silence seems a lot like a vitiation of the oath that many of us have taken to the Constitution. It is certainly contrary to the oath that every lawyer has taken as well.

Pointing out that no one associated with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has even been charged with, let alone found guilty of, insurrection is not defending Mr. Trump. It is, rather, defending both the utility and primacy of the judicial process in the United States. It is a simple assertion of the foundational understanding that innocence is assumed until guilt is proven.

It is alarming to see how many lawyers — all officers of the court — have no confidence in the ability of their own system to find facts, ascertain guilt and assign punishment and remediation in this instance. If you are a lawyer, and are happy to see what is essentially a criminal matter politicized (think the House Jan. 6 committee), that is a problem.

Listing a few of the ways that Team Biden has failed the United States — Afghanistan, inflation, energy prices, regressive policies like the student loan debt fiasco, etc. — is also not defending Mr. Trump or Trumpism. It is simply acknowledging the facts as we know them. President Biden understands them to be facts as well. He has been reduced to calling his opponents fascists not because they are, but because he and his party have nothing else to run on in the 2022 elections.

Suggesting that a sitting president should not call his opponents (about one-third of all American adults) fascists and threats to the republic is not defending Mr. Trump. It is simply a practical restatement of the notion that once you place certain people outside the realm of the acceptable, you greatly increase societal entropy and the chances of violence. When people cannot or will not be heard through peaceful channels, the historical answer is usually violence. That’s why the First Amendment is essential: Free speech is the first and best bulwark against political violence.

Speaking of that ... saying that a U.S. senator (Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat) should not threaten violence against Supreme Court justices has nothing to do with Mr. Trump. Nor does pointing out that in the last couple of years dozens of churches, pregnancy centers and Republican Party offices have been firebombed or otherwise damaged. Again, if you’ve taken an oath — either to the Constitution or to preserve the rule of law as an officer of the court — you should oppose and be vocal about your opposition to all of those instances of violence and threats. To date, the left has said nothing about these ongoing episodes of political violence.

Finally, pointing out that there seems to be two kinds of justice in the United States nowadays — one in which a leader of one political party (Mr. Trump) is hounded pretty relentlessly by federal law enforcement and one in which the previous presidential nominee and the son of the current president are essentially ignored by law enforcement — is, again, not defending Mr. Trump. It is, rather, noting what is obvious to everyone: That the rule of law is being routinely traduced by those who are part of the legal system. It is small wonder that few citizens retain confidence in federal law enforcement.

Rather than asking why some defend Mr. Trump, perhaps the more important question is, why aren’t more people defending free speech, the rule of law, the judicial process, the citizenry from political violence, judges from political attacks, and federal law enforcement from those who would weaponize it against their political rivals.

Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, co-hosts “The Unregulated” podcast. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Tucker does comedy
« Reply #2121 on: September 16, 2022, 04:56:06 AM »

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Dark money bill
« Reply #2122 on: September 19, 2022, 08:14:09 AM »
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/sep/19/democrats-love-hate-relationship-dark-money-ready-/

I don't know how this is legal.   Groups can spend millions for their favorite politicians anonymously

when individuals' donations are public knowledge for small amounts .

oh but it might "embarrass" them!

what a shyster joke on us

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
historian political warfare
« Reply #2124 on: September 24, 2022, 12:57:15 PM »
Jon Meacham :

Biden is immensely important and consequential and preserving democracy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWyU0hlgsos

Meach has Biden convinced he will go down in history as more consequential then the bamster
no doubt

he takes Obama policies and runs with them

Newt:

a more honest assessment - not opinion - truth

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2022/09/24/gingrich-biden-administration-may-be-most-disastrous-since-buchanan/


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2125 on: September 24, 2022, 02:51:06 PM »
Very irritating and frustrating just how PITA so many of "our" sites are hard to read! All the clickbait horseshit makes it embarrassing to use as a tool of persuasion of others too.

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Joe Biden's last stand
« Reply #2126 on: September 24, 2022, 10:05:40 PM »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Noonan
« Reply #2127 on: September 26, 2022, 01:59:39 AM »
It’s a Mistake to Shrug Off Putin’s Threats
As we saw before World War I, it’s easy to become complacent as trouble builds into catastrophe.
Peggy Noonan hedcutBy Peggy NoonanFollow
Sept. 22, 2022 6:47 pm ET

SAVE

PRINT

TEXT
1051

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, Sept. 21.
PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine must be received soberly, if for no other reason than that leaders occasionally do what they say they’ll do. There are reasons beyond that. He has lost hardware, soldiers, ground and face. He is cornered and escalating, increasing the odds of mistake and miscalculation.

OPINION: POTOMAC WATCH
WSJ Opinion Potomac Watch
Protests Break Out in Russia After Setbacks in Ukraine


SUBSCRIBE
Great care is needed now, the greatest possible. Wednesday this week came the famous (though not first) threat of nuclear use. In a rare speech to the nation from the Kremlin, Mr. Putin said: “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect Russia and our people—this is not a bluff.” He announced referendums in occupied areas that will presumably result in declarations that they are Russian territory. Ukraine’s attempts to push back Russian troops can then be defined as an invasion of Russia, which Mr. Putin must defend by any and all means.

He also called up 300,000 reservists. There is reason to doubt this will appreciably improve Russia’s position. The motley new troops will be blended over months into an army that doesn’t work. This is one reason we can’t be certain Mr. Putin will lean most heavily on conventional methods of war.

Russia is long thought to have about 10 times as many tactical nuclear weapons as the U.S., with delivery systems ranging from mobile ground-based launchers to ships. These weapons are smaller than strategic weapons, with shorter range and lower yield. The Times of London provided a map with concentric circles to show potential blast radiuses if a tactical nuke were trained on London—it was like something out of 1958. Such weapons are built to take out specific targets in specific areas without widespread destruction. But yes, radioactive debris in Ukraine would waft this way or that with wind currents, possibly west toward Poland, possibly toward Mr. Putin’s own troops. Not that he’d care; not that they’d think he’d care.

American diplomats have believed Mr. Putin will never use tactical nukes because he’d fear the price. But they can’t know that, especially if they’re unclear what price they’d exact. They hope Russian officials in the command structure would thwart such an order, but they can’t be certain of that either. They believe they can’t bow to nuclear blackmail because that would bring a whole new order of international chaos with it, and that’s true. All the more reason the greatest care is required now.

The atmosphere around Mr. Putin appears increasingly fevered. His enemies keep falling from windows and boats. This week the former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, an erstwhile Putin supporter, reportedly fell down “a series of flights of stairs,” resulting, according to the announcement on Telegram, in “injuries incompatible with life.” Antiwar demonstrations broke out in 37 Russian cities, according to the Associated Press. “Send Putin to the trenches,” they chanted in Moscow. Wednesday’s address was scheduled for Tuesday, postponed and given 13 hours late. Airline seats out of Moscow are famously full and not round trips. There are reports Mr. Putin himself is bypassing his generals and sending direct orders to the field.

Maybe he’s finding that fewer of his countrymen than he’d supposed share his mystical vision of a greater imperial Russia restored; maybe it’s just him and 50 intellectuals. Maybe that will intensify his bitterness and nihilism.

READ MORE DECLARATIONS
Elizabeth II Was Queen of Our TimesSeptember 15, 2022
Queen Elizabeth’s Old-School VirtuesSeptember 8, 2022
Boris Johnson Looms, Trumplike, Over British PoliticsSeptember 1, 2022
What Pro-Lifers Should Learn From KansasAugust 4, 2022
The Lonely Office Is Bad for AmericaJuly 28, 2022
See more...
But all this speaks of growing disorder around him. His most eloquent critics and foes in the West call him a liar and murderer, and he is, but it’s worse now than they think. This isn’t Syria; it’s not the joy of poisoning your enemies or jailing dissidents. Ukraine is the ballgame for him. The whole meaning of his adult life is his war with the West, and this is the battlefield. He is about to turn 70, closer to the end than the beginning. He alone drove this thing and he’ll drive it into the ground because, I believe, he doesn’t care anymore, and he can’t lose.

All this is apart from other unconventional means of trouble at his disposal, from cyber and infrastructure attacks to fighting near nuclear reactors, as has already occurred. There is the economic and political turmoil that will follow his cutting natural-gas supplies to Western Europe.

I spent the spring and summer reading about World War I, all the big, classic histories, but drilling down even into the memoirs of the tutor of the czarevitch in the last years of Romanov rule. I’ve done such regimens before. I like reading about epic catastrophes: It’s encouraging. We got through that. We’ll get through the next thing.


It reminded me of the obvious, that peacetime governments rarely know exactly what to focus on in real time. They don’t like to think imaginatively about the worst. The leaders of the nations that would go to war in August 1914 were certain in July that there wouldn’t be a war—there couldn’t be, because everyone had too much to lose. Tensions had risen in the past and been soothed. There was the sense of sleepwalking toward war, and indeed a great modern history of the era is called “The Sleepwalkers.” They stumbled in. Paul Fussell, in “The Great War and Modern Memory,” wrote of the horror of the trenches and the hopeless charges into the new weapon called the machine gun, and saw irony. “Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected.” The means are always “melodramatically disproportionate” to the presumed ends.

I hope our leaders are groping toward something, some averting process, maybe along the lines of French President Emmanuel Macron’s urging for a negotiated peace. What shouldn’t fully settle in is the idea that conceding the need to pursue every avenue is somehow letting down the side, and showing insufficient fervor for the Ukraine, that has so moved the world.

I sense people are afraid of looking afraid. But when a bad man who’s a mad man says he’ll do something terrible, it’s not wrong to think about every way you can to slow or stop him.

We live in a funny world that’s at bottom anxious and sad and yet insists on a carapace of cheer, or at least distraction. We’re losing a sense of tragedy.

The other night the great British playwright Tom Stoppard spoke movingly, in New York, of how nations often don’t get the governments they deserve. Russia, he said, is a landmass alive with history and literature and occupied by a people whose suffering and endurance echo through the ages. And look what they’re stuck with. Tolstoy biographer A.N. Wilson, in his recent autobiography, says something similar, describing Russia as an ancient “God-bearing” people whose meaning is located in survival.

If you think of it this way, it’s all the more tragic. Good people all around, bad trouble here and looming.

I’m not a prophet, and I don’t know what to do. But I know the size of this war and this time in history. It’s not the same old, not the usual. It feels like a turning point. We have to get serious in some new way.

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Kunstler on the collapse of Europe
« Reply #2128 on: October 01, 2022, 08:07:22 AM »
https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/slouching-toward-endgame/

Slouching Toward Endgame
“There is a dark craving for rot… as if decay were an escape from the limits, the oppressive fears and the pains of an individual existence.” — Eric Hoffer
Clusterfuck Nation

For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

And thanks to all my Patrons for your support


Breugel’s prophetic depiction of mid 21st century daily life in Euroland

 

Since “Joe Biden” flat-out promised last February to “bring an end to the Nord Stream pipeline” — and let’s assume he meant both NS 1 and 2 — why seek further to unravel a fake mystery? Is our apparitional “president” not a man of his word? Of course, the machinery behind “Joe Biden” so far denies any credit for the consequential act, but who in this land is unaware that the US government’s default setting these days for answering anything is to lie?

The purpose of the act was likewise simple, plain, and obvious: to foreclose any possibility of Germany negotiating a separate peace with Russia around the financial and economic sanctions imposed by the USA over the Ukraine operation. Don’t you suppose it was clear to any German with half a brain that NATO’s joining of the sanctions was nothing less than a one-way ticket to Palookaville for Euroland? That it would mean goodbye to its advanced manufacturing economy and then goodbye to a comfortable, modern standard of living?

Not many weeks ago German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock told the world that Germany would support Ukraine (and US-driven NATO policy) “no matter what German voters think.” That was all for show, you understand, to maintain the flimsy pretense that NATO had any actual stake in whatever happens in Ukraine — as the result of the dumpster fire set there by America. At the same time, that very same German foreign ministry was sneaking through back channels to feel out the Russian foreign ministry on ways Germany might get Russian natgas on the down-low, through third parties, say, Turkey, buying time until the glorious day those Nord Stream pipelines might re-open and the former normality of German economic life would resume.

“Joe Biden” slammed the door on that pretty conclusively Monday, blowing up the two pipelines, a premier act of insanity by a US government fueled at every level and in every direction by psychotic strategic thinking. For starters, consider that the Nord Stream sabotage amounts to the leading member of NATO committing an act-of-war against the rest of NATO. What else do you call depriving most of Europe of the means to make a living — or merely to stay alive?

As it happens, Germany is in no position to answer this casus belli by going to war against the USA. Germany has a Potemkin military — America has made sure of that since 1945, the last time these Teutons of northern forests went batshit crazy against Western Civ. Seems to me that either Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledges this deadly affront to Germany and negates further participation in the NATO Ukraine idiocy, OR, within a few months he will face a violent political uprising from his own people and his government will fall — and not necessarily within the framework of any orderly parliamentary procedure. More like mobs in the streets… chaos… government buildings torched… officials strung-up — real insurrection, not the fake kind we hear about endlessly from the American Party of Chaos.

How, exactly, do any of the major NATO countries continue to regard the USA as any kind of ally? They won’t and they can’t. Anyway, and despite the recent panicked expansion of NATO, member countries of the adjoining scaffold known as the European Union are peeling off one-by-one. Georgia Meloni, soon to be Prime Minister of Italy, couldn’t have put it more plainly when her coalition won last week’s election: she and they oppose in the strongest terms all the Woke nonsense that the World Economic Forum has programmed into the EU. She and they are against the cancellation of individual liberties and tyrannical affronts to due process of law; are against the degenerate campaign to undermine family, church, and national sovereignty; and are unwilling to act as a dumping ground for anymore Third World hordes the EU stupidly induces to come to Europe’s shores.

Don’t worry, before much longer something similar will happen in France, too. Perhaps the mobs of nationalists in Paris will be inflamed enough to roll out the old “national razor,” to make their seriousness emphatic. Adieu Fifth Republic. The Sixth is on its way to the maternity ward and it will not recognize the EU as its maman. There’s a whole lotta shakin’going on across Europe. Holland’s farmers were already furious over Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s disgraceful obeisance to der Schwabenklaus’s malevolent program aimed at shutting down Dutch agriculture. Rutte will be gone before spring planting time, 2023. Sweden, like Italy, had repudiated its Woked-up Leftist rulers just weeks ago in an orderly national election. Crowds of protestors lit up Prague this week. It’ll still be good marching weather all over Euroland for some weeks ahead.

The Euro currency fell below par with the US dollar. Its days are numbered and when, perforce, it must be replaced by the old national currencies — francs, marks, guilders, liras — then submission to the EU will reach a logical end and it’s back to national sovereignty, too. The UK, America’s wing-man, has become an entirely feckless, sinking operation. The country is functionally bankrupt, the pound is dying, and, by resorting again to the old QE bond-buying racket, the Bank of England has just doomed the country to even more ruinous inflation. Liz Truss will be a three-month wonder. Things might get so wild in Old Blighty that Nigel Farage will wind up in 10 Downing Street.

As for Russia’s doings in Ukraine, the Donbas oblast elections are a done deal. Mr. Putin has not yet responded to the extreme provocation of the Nord Stream vandalism. I doubt he will make some histrionic tit-for-tat act of retaliation against any critical infrastructure of NATO or America itself. Rather, he will now methodically proceed to wipe up the floor with Mr. Zelenskyy’s army, eliminate whatever American missiles and other ordnance are stockpiled around the place, complete the occupation of the Black Sea coastal territory from Kherson to Odesa, and put that troublesome backwater of Western Civ in order. The hallmark of the operation will be a measured and businesslike approach. Russia will just get it done, put out the dumpster fire, and refuse to allow the USA to start World War Three.

“Joe Biden” and his regime of Satanic degenerates will just have to lump it. They will have lost Europe’s loyalty by the foolish Nord Stream caper. They will have enough trouble on their hands at home with America’s collapsing economy and all the ill-feeling they have generated with the Woke insults, persecutions, and punishments inflicted on half the population — not to mention the coming dire repercussions of the wicked Covid “vaccine” scam. In the meantime, “Joe Biden’s” Party of Chaos faces the wrath of American voters in the midterm election. And if, perchance, they take the majestically stupid step of cancelling, postponing or somehow messing with that election, they will face the wrath of the voters from the ground beneath the hanging tree.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2129 on: October 01, 2022, 05:08:31 PM »
"The purpose of the act was likewise simple, plain, and obvious: to foreclose any possibility of Germany negotiating a separate peace with Russia around the financial and economic sanctions imposed by the USA over the Ukraine operation"

This makes sense.

"(Putin)"   will now methodically proceed to wipe up the floor with Mr. Zelenskyy’s army, eliminate whatever American missiles and other ordnance are stockpiled around the place, complete the occupation of the Black Sea coastal territory from Kherson to Odesa, and put that troublesome backwater of Western Civ in order. The hallmark of the operation will be a measured and businesslike approach. Russia will just get it done, put out the dumpster fire, and refuse to allow the USA to start World War Three.

This does not make sense.  For example see:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63102220?fbclid=IwAR1WsqYB3zq4ApBDdh7TRRgwXx9zjil2_seMqA_FKlHpVgtvbg1yhsj7om8

Anyway, if you wish to respond, please take it to the Ukraine thread.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2022, 05:28:22 PM by Crafty_Dog »

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 16485
    • View Profile
VDH civilization cracking
« Reply #2130 on: October 03, 2022, 08:40:13 PM »
Pj media vip content

The Thinnest Veneer of Civilization
BY VICTOR DAVIS HANSON 5:30 PM ON OCTOBER 01, 2022

Civilization is fragile. It hinges on ensuring the stuff of life.

To be able to eat, to move about, to have shelter, to be free from state or tribal coercion, to be secure abroad and safe at home — only that allows cultures to be freed from the daily drudgery of mere survival.

Civilization alone permits humans to pursue sophisticated scientific research, the arts, and the finer aspects of culture.

So the great achievement of Western civilization — consensual government, individual freedom, rationalism in partnership with religious belief, free market economics, and constant self-critique and audit — was to liberate people from daily worry over state violence, random crime, famine, and an often-unforgiving nature.

But so often the resulting leisure and affluence instead deluded arrogant Western societies into thinking that modern man no longer needed to worry about the fruits of civilization he took to be his elemental birthright.

As a result, the once prosperous Greek city-state, Roman Empire, Renaissance republics, and European democracies of the 1930s imploded — as civilization went headlong in reverse.

We in the modern Western world are now facing just such a crisis.

We talk grandly about the globalized Great Reset. We blindly accept the faddish Green New Deal. We virtue signal about defunding the police. We merely shrug at open borders. And we brag about banning fertilizers and pesticides, outlawing the internal combustion engine, and discounting Armageddon in the nuclear age — as if on autopilot we have already reached utopia.

But meanwhile, Westerners are systematically destroying the very elements of our civilization that permitted such fantasies in the first place.

Take fuel. Europeans arrogantly lectured the world that they no longer need traditional fuels. So they shut down nuclear power plants. They stopped drilling for oil and gas. And they banned coal.

What followed was a dystopian nightmare. Europeans will burn dirty wood this winter as their civilization reverts from postmodern abundance to premodern survival.

The Biden Administration ossified oil fields. It canceled new federal oil and gas leases. It stopped pipeline construction and hectored investors to shun fossil fuels.

When scarcity naturally followed, fuel prices soared.

The middle class has now mortgaged its upward mobility to ensure that it might afford gasoline, heating oil, and skyrocketing electricity.

The duty of the Pentagon is to keep America safe by deterring enemies, reassuring allies, and winning over neutrals.

It is not to hector soldiers based on their race. It is not to indoctrinate recruits in the woke agenda. It is not to become a partisan political force.

The result of those suicidal Pentagon detours is the fiasco in Afghanistan, the aggression of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the new bellicosity of China, and the loud threats of rogue regimes like Iran.

At home, the Biden Administration inexplicably destroyed the southern border, as if civilized nations of the past never needed such boundaries.

Utter chaos followed. Three million migrants have poured into the United States. While some cross over clandestinely, others clear border stations without an adequate audit, and largely without skills, high school diplomas, or capital.

The streets of our cities are anarchical — and by intent.

Defunding the police, emptying the jails, and destroying the criminal justice system unleashed a wave of criminals. It is now open season on the weak and innocent.

America is racing backward into the 19th-century Wild West. Predators maim, kill, and rob with impunity. Felons correctly conclude that bankrupt postmodern “critical legal theory” will ensure them exemption from punishment.

Few Americans know anything about agriculture, except to expect limitless supplies of inexpensive, safe, and nutritious food at their beck and call.

But that entitlement for 330 million hungry mouths requires massive water projects, and new dams and reservoirs. Farmers rely on steady supplies of fertilizer, fuels, and chemicals. Take away that support — as green nihilists are attempting — and millions will soon go hungry, as they have since the dawn of civilization.

Perhaps nearly a million homeless now live on the streets of America. Our major cities have turned medieval with their open sewers, garbage-strewn sidewalks, and violent vagrants.

So we are in a great experiment in which regressive progressivism discounts all the institutions and the methodologies of the past that have guaranteed a safe, affluent, well-fed, and sheltered America.

Instead, we arrogantly are reverting to a new feudalism as the wealthy elite — terrified of what they have wrought — selfishly retreat to their private keeps.

But the rest who suffer the consequences of elite flirtations with nihilism cannot even afford food, shelter, and fuel. And they now feel unsafe, both as individuals and as Americans.

As we suffer self-inflicted mass looting, random street violence, hyperinflation, a nonexistent border, unaffordable fuel, and a collapsing military, Americans will come to appreciate just how thin is the veneer of their civilization.

When stripped away, we are relearning that what lies just beneath is utterly terrifying.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of "The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won," from Basic Books. You can reach him by e-mailing authorvdh@gmail.com.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 08:44:15 PM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2131 on: October 04, 2022, 07:14:03 AM »
Yup.

I would add/quibble that the correct number of illegals under Biden is five million, not three million.

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 16485
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2132 on: October 04, 2022, 07:19:35 AM »
Yup.

I would add/quibble that the correct number of illegals under Biden is five million, not three million.

Yes.  The population of Ireland has come across our southern border in less than 2 years.  That's not an invasion?

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Kunstler: Developing developments
« Reply #2133 on: October 05, 2022, 08:04:36 AM »
https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/developing-developments/

Developing Developments
“Joe Biden” screws the pooch on Western Civ. He can’t help himself. His helpers can’t help him. Who will help us?
Clusterfuck Nation

For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

And thanks to all my Patrons for your support

Message found in fortune cookie from Panda Take-out reminds us: “The dildo of consequence is seldom lubricated.” Please apply this ancient wisdom to “Joe Biden’s” sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natgas pipelines. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spun the deed as a “tremendous opportunity” to reduce fuel use in Euroland, and shift its prior dependence on affordable Russian energy to ruinously-priced American liquid natural gas (LNG) — a supposed boon to US producers. Lucky us and them!

Let’s get a few technical matters straight about natgas. Gas pipelines allow for cheap gas, without costly intervening shipping procedures. Flows are continuous from producer to customer. LNG requires compression of the gas at super-cold temperatures and costly-to-build LNG tanker ships to keep that gas cold and compressed in transit. Each tanker can carry only so-much gas and the flow is not continuous. At each end of the energy-losing journey there is a costly LNG terminal to load and unload the gas. Bottom line: Euroland customers can’t afford US LNG, though for now they’ll be getting it good and hard to struggle through the first winter of a permanent depression that will feel more like the forecourt of a new dark age. Also bear in mind that American shale gas is a finite resource; that we need plenty of it ourselves; and that the earliest-developed US shale gas fields are crapping out one-by-one.

Secretary Blinken pretends that Europe’s deadly predicament will segue crisply into a new “green renewable” disposition of things as well as a stable-and-balanced new cold war between US-led NATO and Russia, like the 1950s. Secretary Blinken is, of course, completely insane. Germany’s industry will now collapse, the Euro currency will collapse with it, and the exchange rate with the dollars Euroland needs to buy in order to purchase US LNG will bankrupt them further. It will also probably blow up the European Union, which is chiefly a trade scaffold. With industrial production sinking, trade sinks too, and the flimsy cooperative arrangements between nations turn into a desperate competition as each nation of Euroland struggles to stay alive.

Let’s not forget the reason that “Joe Biden” blew up the Nord Streams: to foreclose any chance of Germany wriggling out of US sanctions against Russia. Just prior to the Nord Stream strike, protests were rising in several German cities, the common folk already chafing under the Russian gas delivery shut-down and soaring price of desperately-needed gas. If the US stood by while Germany made a separate peace with Russia, how would that affect the NATO countries’ commitment to the US-provoked conflict between Ukraine and Russia? How much cash support would Euroland continue to dish out to Mr. Zelenskyy’s sketchy money-laundering operation?

What no government official can acknowledge — even among the Euroland victim nations of this awesome stupidity — is that the US demolition of the Nord Streams was an act-of-war against our own allies. By the way, the blogger who styles himself as “Monkey Werx,” notable for tracking the world-wide military flight movements, presents a comprehensive play-by-play of just exactly how the mission was accomplished. I’ll summarize but you can read his full report (click here) for yourself.

MW reports that overnight on the 26th of September, a Navy P8 Poseidon submarine-hunter jet flew out of the US to the Baltic. It did not land in the UK to refuel — thus avoiding any tracking complications — but rather rendezvoused over Grudziadz, Poland, with a US mid-air refueling plane, which it hooked up with for more than an hour. The P8 was equipped with Mk54 air-launched torpedoes. After un-docking from the refueler, the P8 followed a route west along the Nord Stream pipelines, descended to bomb-run altitude, and dropped its weapons. Kaboom. Then, fully refueled, the P8 flew directly back to the USA. Days later, when confronted at the UN by Russia with a yes-or-no question as to US responsibility for the Nord Stream caper, the US representatives refused to answer one way or another. Cute.

So, the questions loom: How many more days before Germany and the rest of Euroland begin to apprehend how they have been hosed by America into an economic collapse scenario? (How many days before a team of competent professionals hunts down Klaus Schwab and his colleagues somewhere in Switzerland?) When will the Eurofolk turn on their idiot government leaders and flush them out of office? When will all (except for psychotic Poland) bail out of the USA’s Ukraine crusade? I will tell you: this will all begin pretty darn soon. And if so, that will be the end of the NATO alliance.

Meanwhile, the US-led propaganda campaign has Russia utterly on-the-ropes against a raging and triumphant Ukraine army. Nothing could be further from the truth. Russia made a few tactical retreats the past month in preparation for a final systematic and methodical mopping-up of the remaining Ukraine army. Russia is bringing in Iskander hypersonic missiles, not necessarily nuclear-armed, and will assemble Russian army regulars to replace the mash-up of Donbas militia volunteers who have borne the brunt on the thinly defended line leading to the much talked-about tactical retreat around the Kharkov-Izium-Lyman front. The Russian negotiation table is open for business. Failing to report to it, Ukraine will have to decide what sort of rump state it will become — a merely half-assed agricultural backwater or a fully ass-blown-off failed state.

Meanwhile, Western Europe descends into the cold and dark, with the USA not far behind. What’s up next here in Homeyland? Try a trucking fuel crisis. Kerosene is becoming scarce — there’s none, for instance, at the Hudson Valley’s Albany storage facility. The winter trucking fuel mix is 70-percent diesel and 30-percent kerosene, which is added to lighten the fuel and keep it flowing under freezing weather conditions. This shortage suggests a supply-line collapse for just about everything, but especially food. Doesn’t sound too peachy for Christmastime. “Joe Biden” and Company are destroying the USA at just about every level. Thirty-five days to the midterm election. So, let’s send a few more billion dollars to the sucking chest wound that is Ukraine.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2134 on: October 05, 2022, 08:59:31 AM »
Blinks. would he say

WW2 was a great opportunity

Europe and Asia destroyed

allowing US to take the lead in economic activity
bring us out of the depression

and help Hollywood make great lucrative war movies
and spur a baby boom?

 :roll:

Blinks = jack ass = Pete Butti = San Juan Joe


G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 24419
    • View Profile
Mangled Experiments of the Psychotics
« Reply #2135 on: October 08, 2022, 07:59:09 AM »
https://tldavis.substack.com/p/mangled-experiments-of-the-psychotics

Mangled Experiments of the Psychotics

T.L. Davis


Those who claim this is not a communist country can’t explain why, despite all of the evidence, the conviction of Ghisaline Maxwell, the death of Epstein in jail, where cameras record everything, but were “off” during that moment, has produced not one indictment of their clients. They can’t explain why, despite all of the evidence on Hunter’s laptop, that not one indictment has taken place, despite the rampant criminal activity exposed there from payoffs, pay-to-play schemes involving not only Vice President Joe Biden, but current officeholder Joe Biden. Child sex trafficking and victimization are exposed, but not one indictment. They can’t explain why, despite all of the evidence, not one indictment has been brought concerning the massive influx of ballots from Zuckerberg financed drop boxes, despite video evidence and GPS locations tracking the mules stuffing the ballot boxes. Not one election-related indictment has been brought, even though Zuckerberg admits that the FBI asked him to interfere in the election by silencing one of the candidates and censoring truthful claims about Hunter’s laptop. There has not been one indictment, despite all the evidence that an invasion is taking place on the southern border, that drug trafficking and sex trafficking, including child sex trafficking is facilitated by the open border.

This does not happen in a republic where all are equal before the law, where the rule of law and specifically NOT of men are enshrined. This sort of politicization of the law only takes place in a totalitarian/communist regime where the media is either intimidated into cooperation or are totalitarian communists themselves.

The events unfolding today in America only happen in totalitarian/communist regimes where political prisoners are kept, like the January 6th defendants; where political opponents are targeted and the full-weight of the governmental bureaucracies are unleashed on them; where whistleblowers and individuals who have exposed the crimes and criminality of the regime are targeted and the full-weight of the governmental bureaucracies are unleashed on them.

Only in totalitarian/communist regimes are deadly doses of chemicals forced on the population as “health measures;” where lockdowns are anticipated as punishments for refusing to allow the government to injure or murder it’s citizens.

The United States has suffered all of this and more, yet people still talk about “democracy” and “the republic.” They wave the flag and act in unspeakable ways against the very freedoms and individual rights acknowledged in the founding documents. Corporations have banded together out of fear of reprisals, or like-minded sympathies to punish individuals who speak up, who refuse to go along to get along, who stand their ground and refuse to comply with illegal demands. The whole weight of society from employers, neighbors, the government and law enforcement will come down on anyone actually demanding that our laws passed by elected representatives be enforced. They aren’t demanding new laws, or refusing to obey any law, they simply are speaking out about the failure to enforce the laws.

What insanity is this? How do you wave the flag when all of this has taken place under that banner? When Putin sounds more like an American than almost any American in a position of power today, there’s something wrong, people. When those in power in America sound more like Stalinist thugs than Putin, there’s something wrong. There’s been a reversal. We tout and support all of these communist principles and call ourselves Americans. How?

The America Joe Biden wants us all to swear allegiance to is a corruptocracy of his own making, that anything that interferes with him making a buck is un-American. Those trying to expose his criminal behavior are unpatriotic and even domestic violent extremists. In Joe’s mind he hasn’t been elected, he’s been chosen as the dictator for life, unassailable and unquestionable. Merrick Garland, as his enforcer, his Sheriff of Nottingham, sees it the same way; anyone who stands against any form of government is a threat to the state of corruption from which they profit.

If the Supreme Court will not rule Joe’s way, he’ll write an Executive Order to cover it and if they rule that unconstitutional, he’ll write another one and get his way until they nullify that. It’s the Barack Obama method of stall, distract, lie and obscure until the opponents like Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy have enough cover to finally capitulate. The only ones really getting screwed in their system are the American people and they don’t care about that, because they’ve corrupted the vote to the point that they’ll win any contest, no matter how blatant the steal.

At some point people need to recognize that it’s individuality itself that’s their enemy, the enemy of all government is a strong individual with rights and power that equals or exceeds theirs. It’s intolerable, it’s what they find objectionable about the Bill of Rights and the constitution, because they limit government and recognize individual rights to weapons, speech, private property, papers and effects. If they violate the 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendments enough, dilute them enough with exceptions, they become ineffective and transfer that power to the state. All of government benefits from a weak individual, or so they think.

What they don’t understand, what no communist can conceive of is that it’s the individual that creates power; that creates wealth; that creates strength. A government of the people enables the individual and that supports and benefits government, not the other way around. The world over, weak individuals produce a weak government. It’s why so much of the world’s governments don’t work, but are merely institutions to launder money to the leaders, but beneath that, it all falls apart. Since Joe was installed through corruption, America has become less powerful on the world stage, poorer and more in debt, weaker over all to the point that our enemies eye the United States with contempt and have become accustomed to pushing it around, threatening it.

The crisis arises when they get their way and the individual has been reduced to nothing more than a slave. While it’s what government wants and a world government wants worldwide slavery. America, as the bastion of individual power, is the prime enemy of a world government and must be destroyed. But no one’s asking the real question: what happens then? Then, it all falls apart. Anything worth governing over will be destroyed. And, while the elite think that AI will provide them with the utopia they seek and that transhumanism will make them immortal, the truth is, AI will destroy them as unnecessary parts of a dysfunctional system left over from a bygone era, that anything human will be corrupt and dysfunctional.

Then AI, with no one to serve, nothing to produce, because they don’t need housing, or food or recreation or retirement, will cease activity and the globe will be a barren, wasted experiment, because the value of the individual, the power of creativity, of unique thought and insight generated by the uniqueness of constantly splicing genes to different genetic codes in the form of human reproduction ceases. Then, God can start over with a new Adam and a new Eve and maybe it has been the same over all the billions of years, I don’t know. Maybe, we’re on an inevitable track leading to a new humanity. I’m not smart enough to think about all of this with any clarity.

All I know is that right now, today, that uniqueness of human reproduction is actively under threat by the destruction of individual power, the power to choose who to reproduce with, the power to maintain one’s own gender beyond five or six years old to where there are no reproductive people left, just mangled experiments of the psychotics in charge.

This is why they need to go; why they need to be run out of office; they need to be driven from power and any of their supporters need to be shunned. Will we do it? Can we do it? I don’t know, but the balance of humanity hangs by this thread and it’s within our power to cut that threat or strengthen it.


ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Michael Cohen calls Michael Cohen a grifter
« Reply #2137 on: October 30, 2022, 06:46:18 AM »
https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/michael-cohen-s-new-book-revenge-whiny-self-serving-n1300370

"roommate" of Michael Sorrentino?
the "Situation " who he spoke well of .

I knew Sorrentino

perhaps a more apro po cellmate would have been Avenati 2 class act attorneys  :-P




Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
VDH: Tuesday Takeaways
« Reply #2138 on: November 10, 2022, 08:44:38 AM »
Tuesday Takeaways
The under-polled voters were not silent, wary Trump supporters, but seething upscale women and college students.
By Victor Davis Hanson

November 9, 2022
What, if anything, did the midterms tell us about the country—other than underwhelming Republicans could still take the House and Senate?

During the COVID lockdowns, American elections radically changed to mail-in and early voting. They did so in a wild variety of state-by-state ways. Add ranked voting and a required majority margin to the mess and the result is that once cherished Election Day balloting becomes increasingly irrelevant.

Election Night also no longer exists. Returns are not counted for days. It is intolerable for a modern democracy to wait and wait for all sorts of different ballots both cast and counted under radically different and sometimes dubious conditions.

The Democrats—with overwhelming media and money advantages—have mastered these arts of massive and unprecedented early, mail-in, and absentee voting. Old-fashioned Republicans count on riling up their voters to show up on Election Day. But it is far easier to finesse and control the mail-in ballots than to “get out the vote.”

The country is more divided in more ways than ever. America’s interior just gets redder and the bicoastal corridors bluer.

Exceptional Republican gubernatorial or senatorial candidates like Lee Zeldin, Tudor Dixon, and Tiffany Smiley in blue states like New York, Michigan, or Washington cannot win upsets against even so-so Democratic incumbents—even during a supposedly bad election cycle for Democrats, laboring under a president with a 40 percent approval rating.

Similarly, media-spawned leftist heartthrobs like Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams can burn through hundreds of millions of dollars. But they still cannot unseat workmanlike Republican incumbents in Texas and Georgia.

Out-of-state immigration has only solidified these red-blue brand polarizations.

Over the last decade, millions of conservatives have fled California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to Florida and Texas.

The former states got bluer as New York governors like Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul said good riddance to fleeing conservatives—who were welcomed as refugees to red “free states.”

As voters self-select residences on ideological grounds and the deleterious effect of blue-states’ governance, the country is gravitating into two antithetical nations. Americans vote not so much for individual personalities as blocs of incompatible parties, causes, and ideologies.

Debates count for little anymore, especially after the disastrous performance of winners John Fetterman and Kathy Hochul.

Democrats often limited or avoided them altogether. And the Republican charging and complaining that they did so meant little at all.

Democrats still voted for Democratic candidates, regardless of John Fetterman’s clear cognitive inability to serve in the Senate and despite Joe Biden’s failures, harm to the middle class, and unpopularity.

 Most Republicans are similar party loyalists, but not quite to the same degree—at least if some feared supporting a hardcore Trump-endorsed candidate might give them grief among family and friends.

Winning or losing means revving up party bases, not running as much on a variety of issues. Biden’s vicious attacks on conservatives as semi-fascists and un-American worked. When he recklessly warned that democracy’s death was synonymous with Democrats losing, he further inflamed his base.

Biden also goaded young people to vote by temporarily lowering gas prices through draining the strategic petroleum reserve, offering amnesty for marijuana offenses, and canceling half a trillion dollars of student loan debt. He told young women that they would die without unlimited abortions. And most of that mud stuck.

In contrast, Republicans wrongly assumed all voters, red and blue, sensibly cared most about spiking inflation, unaffordable food and fuel, an open border, and a disastrous foreign policy.

Americans do worry, but also demand concrete solutions that they often did not hear from even insightful critics of Biden’s ruinous agendas.


Moreover, in the last days of the election, Biden and the media effectively smothered those existential issues by claiming the country was threatened by insurrectionists and pro-life fanatics. Stooping to claim the attacker of Paul Pelosi—a crazed, homeless, nudist, illegal alien—was the veritable tip of the supposed MAGA insurrectionary spear proved to be effective Harry-Reid-style, October-surprise demagoguery.

Ron DeSantis likely emerges as the dominant force in conservative politics. His landslide win in Florida carried all down-ticket statewide candidates throughout Florida, which has become as utterly red as California has turned all blue.

To the degree Republican gubernatorial candidates not supported by Trump easily won their races in states like Georgia and Ohio, they helped Trump-supported senatorial candidates. To the degree Trump-supported gubernatorial candidates lost badly such as in Pennsylvania, they hurt Trump-supported senatorial candidates.

Trump’s pre-election unexpected attack on DeSantis may have turned off a few thousand independents and Republicans from voting for Trump-affiliated candidates. And his pre-midterm boast that he would likely run for president may have scared—and energized—some last-minute, hard-core anti-Trumpers and Democrats to go out to vote.

Pollsters got it wrong—again. But this time once trustworthy conservative pollsters had little inkling that the simmering left-wing base was enthused by wild talk of abortion and insurrection. The real under-polled voters were not silent, wary Trump supporters, but this time around seething upscale women and college students.

Final takeaways?

Democratic opposition to a flawed and impaired Joe Biden running again in 2024 will recede. Republican loyalty to the unpredictable Trump could fade.

And both those realities will empower Ron DeSantis.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2139 on: November 10, 2022, 10:06:39 AM »
other big losers

pollsters !

conservative ones even more then lib ones

also Dick Morris

who is still pushing Trump on Newmax along with his book:

https://www.amazon.com/RETURN-TRUMPS-BIG-2024-COMEBACK/dp/1630062073

he may not get the job he has positioned himself for.

he has been more wrong then right past several yrs

Gingrich certainly has egg on his face
though I still love the guy.

VDH also predicted big victory for us and
has a bit of yoke on his face too
though I still love the guy

« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 10:11:57 AM by ccp »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
George Friedman: Adding to the American Cycle
« Reply #2140 on: November 11, 2022, 12:18:48 PM »
November 11, 2022
View On Website
Open as PDF

    
Adding to the American Cycle
Thoughts in and around geopolitics.
By: George Friedman

The votes for the U.S. midterm elections are just about counted. Democrats are delighted they didn’t lose as much as they expected to, and Republicans are disappointed they didn’t win as much as they thought they would. The country has not fallen, nor has it fallen in love with either of its two parties.

These elections, like so many before them, illustrate the stability of the U.S. political system. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are in a position to govern decisively, partly because neither party is coherent enough to unite over any plan aside from castigating the other party. This is, of course, by design. The Founding Fathers created a system meant to tie the hands of politicians, absent a powerful consensus. This week, voters failed to deliver either party a powerful consensus. To a large degree, Americans are content with the status quo. They could change it, but Americans take comfort in thinking others are fools and scoundrels.

In normal times, this would not be alarming, but we are approaching the end of the historical cycle that began in 1980 and will end in due course. Most Americans are unaware that the way they live is going to change, eventually for the better, after a few fairly painful years.

The cycles play out in roughly 50-year periods. So when we look back on the 1970s, the 1920s, the 1870s and the 1820s, we note that they had common characteristics. One is major economic dislocation where the old system broke down and a new one emerged. In the 1970s, inflation was out of control, oil was embargoed, and a war between Israel and Egypt led to a massive economic crisis. In 1929, a massive collapse in the American economy was due to a decline in exports mostly to Europe, which in turn was the result of World War I. In the 1870s, the dollar’s value was shattered by the Civil War, which disrupted virtually every market in the country. In the 1820s, the banks could not underwrite the massive human expansion west.

Internal economic dysfunction, coupled with war – at times, a war the U.S. was only marginally involved with – generated a crisis. Today, the United States is not yet in an economic crisis, and though it is marginally involved in the war in Ukraine, it isn’t really losing any of its people to the conflict.

How, then, does this current cycle play out? I think there are six steps:

1. The common sense of the previous era delivers us a social, economic and military crisis. Our world has changed, and common sense at this point inflicts harm.
2. The political system increases the applications of strategies of the prior era, increasing the pain and the public anger.
3. A political upheaval occurs within the framework of the political system, bringing new political figures to a position of power sufficient to challenge the old common sense and paralyze it.
4. The president, who represents the old common sense, forces aside this new political force, applying the old common sense and thus creating a crisis.
5. A full-scale revolt brings to power a president and a congress that know the old system has failed but are uncertain what the solution is. They bring the illusion of change.
6. A set of solutions begin to emerge, slowly at first and then more rapidly until the basic assumptions of the United States are changed and a new common sense is in place.

Applied to the crisis of the 1970s, the steps look something like this:

1. By the early 1970s, there was military, economic and social failure, delivered by the common sense of the Roosevelt era.
2. As the decade continued, the common sense of the Roosevelt era was applied (via tax cuts) to a dire, contemporary problem (inflation). Public opinion raged.
3. Conservatives became increasingly influential and blocked many actions.
4. President Jimmy Carter pushed aside other forces and carried out a series of actions that inflamed the population.
5. Full-scale revolt brought to power Ronald Reagan, predicated upon a clear understanding that the system was failing but without an understanding of what to do.
6. A set of solutions known as supply-side economics emerged, and a new era began with it.

How long does it take? Applying the 1970s model, a massive shift should take about eight years. From the Roosevelt era, it took around two years to install a new president but about 10 years to significantly solve the problem. Around the 1870s, change took about five years, and real change took a little longer. I could go on, but the bottom line is that we are not close to moving out of the current pain. Even if the presidency changes in two years, this transition will take a while.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
ET: The Anti-Complacent Life
« Reply #2141 on: November 14, 2022, 11:13:22 AM »
The Anti-Complacent Life
Break out of your complacency and live a more interesting life
Nov 13 2022

Every choice we make in life can be placed on a scale. At one end is comfort and at the other end is growth.

When we choose comfort, we’re choosing what is safe, secure, and easy. And when we choose growth, we are moving toward what is risky, unknown, and challenging.

For most of us, comfort-seeking has become the default—even those of us who fancy ourselves adventurous people. But too much comfort ultimately leads to boredom and complacency. There’s got to be more to life than just feeling good, right?

Comfort Abundance

First, a confession: I’m not against comfort. I think comfort is a legitimate source of happiness in many seasons of life. It’s a gift that should be received with gratitude—especially considering how hard life can feel when creature comforts are unexpectedly or indefinitely taken away.

However, most of us living in modern, developed countries have a new problem on our hands. In the past, life often forced a degree of risk and uncertainty upon us, but that’s no longer universally true. For some of us, wealth and convenience allow us to meet our basic needs with relative ease, and we have ample resources for making our lives more and more comfortable.

I have a theory that we haven’t fully adjusted to living in this world of “comfort abundance” and many of us are struggling with a profound sense of restlessness. Does that seem hard to believe? Something similar has happened with the relationship between food and obesity. Either biologically or psychologically—or maybe in both ways—we simply aren’t thriving in a world where tasty food is affordable and abundant.

Breaking Out

Are you content with the status quo in your own life? Maybe not. Research from the 2019 World Happiness Report shows that today’s American adults are less happy and less satisfied with their lives than adults from previous generations.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve our lives beyond pulling harder and harder on the lever of comfort.

By moving in the opposite direction—adding back the right dose of uncertainty, challenge, and adventure—we can restore an equilibrium to our lives that’s likely essential to human flourishing.

Maybe that doesn’t sound appealing to you right now, but remember, comfort has a way of lulling us to sleep. We lose a sense of what’s possible and settle for what’s within reach. We replace a sense of purpose with the constant drip of pleasure.

It’s possible to break yourself out of your complacency and imagine new horizons of possibility for your own life. Not only is the journey more exciting, but it can be more rewarding, too.

Instead of passively watching movies about other people going on adventures and becoming heroes, you can make your own real-world life the kind of story that’s filled with possibility and intrigue.

The Anti-Complacent Life

If the kind of life I’m describing sounds desirable to you, it’s because we were made for more than the maximization of physical comfort and security. There’s a part of each of us that wants to fling off the complacency of modernity and do hard things just to know we can.

How do we get started? The key ingredients are uncertainty, challenge, and adventure in doses as large as you can handle. In every way you can imagine, just start pushing back against the status quo in your life and attempt to discover new and better ways of living.

In a future article, I’ll go into even more detail about how to live an anti-complacent life. But for now, I’ll leave you with a short list of places to begin. Each of these changes on their own might be small, but collectively, they represent an entirely new mindset. They are the seeds of a whole new way of being.

Respond with urgency. Find a problem you’ve been avoiding and attack it with an unusual sense of urgency and determination. Demonstrate to the world and to yourself that you can leave a mark.

Resist the algorithm. Algorithms give us more of what we want or have already seen. Instead, seek out a wider variety of inputs to your life. Read unusual novels, get your news from diverse sources, pick up a new magazine—you never know what you may discover.

Explore faith. The modern age is increasingly one of unbelief. Re-enchant your world by taking a new look at faith. If you’re already a believer, explore another tradition within your own religion and incorporate new insights into your own belief.

Talk to more people. Complacency pushes us to hang out with the people we already know or who are most like us. But an exciting world of new possibilities emerges when people with different worldviews begin exchanging ideas. Put yourself in places where you can meet new people, and be bold in striking up conversations when the opportunity arises.

Travel widely. Taking a vacation off the beaten path or striking out on a road trip are timeless ways to shake up the status quo in your life. Not only will you be challenged physically, but you will also be exposing yourself to new ideas, customs, and perspectives—far more vividly than if you had read about them in a book.

Shape your physical environment. Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” It’s a powerful reminder that we aren’t stuck with the world we inherit, but rather can form it into something new. Start with a single room in your house and make it as beautiful or as striking as you can.

Get physically fit. High rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles are perhaps the most obvious evidence of complacency in our society. Push back against the status quo and become strong and aerobically fit. This is something like a super power in our modern age.

Try new foods. One simple way to fight the status quo is to experiment with new cuisines. When you’re out to eat, try a dish that’s unlike anything you’d normally order. Use this as a launching point to learn about a different culture.

Say ‘yes’ more often. I’ve noticed that comfortable people cling to their comfort and are more likely to turn down new opportunities. It’s as if being open to new experiences is a skill that atrophies without practice. At least for a season, let your default answer become yes and see what happens.

Embrace serendipity. So many of our experiences are now planned or tailored to our preferences. This means a smoother, more predictable ride through life, but it also removes some of the wonder and mystery that can infuse the ordinary with meaning. Try traveling with only very broad plans. You might even experiment with making more life decisions by the flip of a coin.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2142 on: November 14, 2022, 02:56:03 PM »
wonder if bankruptcy courts will go after  Sam Bankman Fried's donations to the DNC

as collateral for investors....


 :wink:

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile

ya

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 1106
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2144 on: November 20, 2022, 06:08:42 AM »

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 16485
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2145 on: November 20, 2022, 06:20:31 AM »


Among others, you can put my miserable Senator's name on this, Amy Klobuchar.  May she never be President.  Perfect illustration of how unserious they are.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 15163
    • View Profile
Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2146 on: November 20, 2022, 07:50:38 AM »
as a person who knows the real skinny on Taylor Swift who I despise with a passion
I too was disgusted to see the "swiftness" of how DOJ gets right on the celebrities outrage

that said tick master does sound like a monopoly

try getting the FBI to investigate the rings of intellectual property thieves who steal music and provide the front people with the material .......


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 61796
    • View Profile
AMcC: Time to get serious about preserving and protecting America
« Reply #2147 on: November 26, 2022, 04:05:10 PM »
Time to Get Serious about Preserving and Protecting America

The White House(lucky-photographer/Getty Images)
Share
510 Comments
Listen to article
By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
November 26, 2022 6:30 AM

The holiday from history is over.

You can be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed our three-decade holiday from history lately. It hasn’t exactly felt like party time in the United States since the 1991 disintegration of the Soviet Union, a competing hegemon and existential threat.

In the decade that followed, we endured a spate of terrorist attacks, culminating in the 9/11 jihadist strikes that killed more Americans than died in Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor — the 1941 sneak attack that vaulted the U.S. into World War II, the deadliest conflict in history. There followed military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan that, combined, lasted over 20 years. In the interim, we suffered through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. By 2021, amid the Biden administration’s provocatively humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, we were struggling to move beyond a once-in-a-century pandemic, to which over a million Americans deaths are attributed.

Nevertheless, we’ll remember these as the good times. Everything, of course, is relative. Indeed, we will never break out of our all-id-all-the-time style of governance — where passions overwhelm reason, where rash officials act first and assess later, if ever — unless we learn to pause and put things in perspective.

In their moment, the ghastly jihadist attacks appeared to signal a major geopolitical threat: They were executed by the militant factions of a global Islamic-supremacist movement, they were conducted across continents, they often targeted government installations, and they were mass-casualty strikes that, in combination, killed and wounded thousands, with billions in property-destruction costs. Still, even with sinister state sponsors (principally Iran), the terrorist organizations were comparatively tiny. That is part of why, for a time, our government convinced itself that the threat they posed could be managed as a crime problem rather than a national-security challenge.

When that approach was finally supplemented by combat operations, the jihadists could not compete. They could not project power on the scale of modern Western military forces, and they could not hold territory when the U.S. and our allies were disposed to engage them. Global Islamic supremacism is riven by internal strife and dysfunction. Its aspirations of conquest were never realistic. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan went on for decades only because, after lightning-quick combat victories, we tried to transform fundamentalist Muslim societies that remain intractably hostile to the West. The wars were too insignificant, in national-security terms, to commit the resources needed to win, but hopelessly muddled sharia-democracy promotion got us too bogged down in the internecine hatreds of these societies to make a prudent exit. It is laughable to label these conflicts “endless wars.” By the time we quit, they’d long ceased to be wars in the sense of combating meaningful threats to our security; but they did indeed seem endless. More importantly — putting things in perspective — we had the luxury of pursuing this course, of spending trillions of dollars on military and nation-building enterprises that most Americans ignored, because there was no real threat on the horizon.

The Great Recession was also deeply painful but not existential, at least not in the short term —at our current inflection point, we can’t confidently say that the constitutional deformities, financial malpractices, and delusional notions about debt it lulled us into won’t kill us off in the long run. And again, we have to keep reminding ourselves that we don’t act in a vacuum. The daunting economic challenges we now face, substantially but by no means exclusively stemming from the global financial crisis of 2007–09, result from actions our government was able to take because our advanced economy began in better shape than others, and then weathered the storm better. Our allies have nothing close to our defense commitments, yet their prospects for recovery and sustained prosperity were, and are, dimmer.

Covid, too, has been a disaster, but I suspect it will eventually be seen as more damaging to our economic, social, educational, and constitutional health than to medical health. As the eminent historian Niall Ferguson relates in Doom — The Politics of Catastrophe, even if we credited high-side estimates of excess mortality, which would peg pandemic-related deaths at 0.29 percent of the global population, that would be an order of magnitude less than the estimated 1.7 percent of the world population whose deaths were attributed to the 1918–19 Spanish influenza; and Covid is not even in the same league as, say, bubonic plague (the “Black Death” of the 14th century may have killed roughly a third of the world’s population).

Moreover, for all our missteps at various levels of government and the public-health bureaucracies, the U.S. developed vaccines and treatments with stunning rapidity. As a medical issue, now-endemic Covid is a lingering challenge, particularly as new strains diminish vaccine efficacy. But the virus was never an existential threat. Like climate, another real but hard-to-quantify challenge best addressed by technology and ingenuity, Covid was regarded as an existential crisis only by irrational people, very much including political leaders, who’ve lacked actual existential crises to fret over.

We no longer have that luxury.

China has emerged over the past 30 years as a hostile and formidable rival, angling to supplant us as the dominant world power. To be sure, it has profound internal problems. Years of prosperity and miraculous growth were never going to hide the monstrosities of communism forever. Plus, China’s economy has markedly slowed, while its aggression, corruption, repression, and lack of reliable legal and market institutions ensure that harder times are ahead as its population ages and plummets. We should take little comfort in this, though.

As demonstrated by Putin’s Russia, which remains a geopolitical rival but not nearly of China’s dimension, periods of internal strife and decline tend to be when authoritarian aggressors are at their most perilous. After Russia gobbled Crimea with virtual impunity, there was nary a peep when China took Hong Kong. The greatest ambition of the new Mao, Xi Jinping, is to take Taiwan. While we tell ourselves he won’t really do it, or that the possibility of an invasion is five or more years away, the truth is: It could happen at any time. Our commitment to defend Taiwan is uncertain: If we mass allies and go to war over it, it is by no means clear that we, from 8,000 miles away, would win in militarized China’s backyard; on the other hand, if we fail to defend Taiwan, then the world will have become a much more dangerous place,and our place in it would be in grave doubt.

In the interim (however brief that may be), the spark that could ignite World War III could happen in the Middle East tinderbox at any moment. Iran appears poised to attack Saudi Arabia, whose stability is diminished by President Biden’s foolishness in ostracizing it to appease his political base, and by the heedless incompetence of his pullout from Afghanistan, which has emboldened anti-American aggressors everywhere. Further, Biden’s mulish insistence on appeasing Tehran and attempting to revive President Obama’s feckless Iran nuclear deal has made a regional war more likely: Israel cannot abide an Iran with nukes, and Iran with its jihadist proxies could decide to strike first.

All this is playing out during Europe’s first land war in 75 years, with Russia threatening to use tactical nukes and Europe facing the winter cold bereft of the Russian oil and gas on which it glided so cavalierly into dependence. Nevertheless, as we strain to keep Ukrainian forces in the fight, our own forces are in crisis.

Recruitment has plummeted . . . as one might expect in a country where academe and popular culture marinate young people in anti-Americanism, and where life expectancy — in the world’s most advanced country, well into the 21st century — is actually falling, due in no small part to drug addiction and obesity. The recruiting crisis comes as our military readiness has degraded precipitously. In fact, the Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Military Strength now rates American military power as “weak” in the aggregate. The ominous analysis concludes that our armed forces are “at significant risk of not being able to meet the demands of a single major regional conflict.” This, the analysts concluded,

is the logical consequence of years of sustained use, underfunding, poorly defined priorities, wildly shifting security policies, exceedingly poor discipline in program execution, and a profound lack of seriousness across the national security establishment even as threats to U.S. interests have surged.

The response to such a predicament, as significant threats to the homeland and American interests worldwide loom, should obviously be to ramp up spending. In an adult republic, even with careful scrutiny of the armed forces’ wayward procurement practices, that would entail cutting other expenses. But even if we were sufficiently grown-up about our straits and the decades it will take to reverse things, one must ask: ramp up spending with what?

We’re tapped out. We’ve refused to pay the taxes necessary for our bloated Leviathan to give us security, in addition to the countless other services and comforts we demand of it. We prefer, instead, to borrow . . . and borrow . . . and borrow, condemning our children and grandchildren to foot the bill. That is the leitmotif of our 30-year holiday from history. The debt owed by the United States to its creditors at home and abroad has now surged past $24 trillion. It is now over 100 percent of gross domestic product — a figure that would be even more shocking if we threw in the additional $7 trillion or so in debt that the government owes its own agencies (total debt is actually $31 trillion). To compare, in the Reagan era, when the government ramped up defense spending to face down the Soviet menace, the debt-to-GDP ratio was less than 30 percent.

Our debt continues to explode. Republicans used to care about that, but under President Trump, as Brian Riedl has shown (see here and here), debt rose more, and more quickly, than it had under his two predecessors — who were not exactly deficit-spending pikers. Of course, much of this insane borrowing occurred when money was loose. Now it is tightening in response to the scourge of inflation. As interest rates rise, so does debt service. It is the fastest growing part of the mammoth federal budget.

At present, debt service costs taxpayers a $400 billion per year. Believe it or not, we’ll soon remember that staggering sum as modest because interest rates have been artificially low. Now, as they climb, debt-service costs climb with them. With every trillion added to the debt, the increasing rates supercharge debt service even more. Right now, we pay more for debt service than for most federal programs, including Social Security. In the near future, if there is no course correction, debt service could top $1 trillion per year, outpacing military spending, and pretty much canceling out non-defense spending other than so-called entitlements.

And speaking of entitlements . . . they’re not just “broken” in the precious Washington parlance about problems we’re too craven to confront. They’re broke. If we look at them in terms of spending that has been promised but not provided for, they’re underwater. By a lot. Cato’s Chris Edwards has run the ugly numbers, calculating unfunded liabilities of $163 trillion. How big is that unfathomable number? The Federal Reserve estimates that the household net worth of the entire United States, the richest nation in the history of the world, is $144 trillion — significantly less than our entitlements tab.

As the economists used to say before Modern Monetary Theory inebriated them, what can’t go on won’t go on. It is just a matter of when the music stops.

It is Thanksgiving weekend, and our theme is keeping things in perspective, so let’s try to place our daunting challenges in a hopeful context. We are still blessed by God to live in the greatest country, the greatest republic, ever known. We have faced dark times: internal divisions that exploded into civil war, periods of panic and privation, and foreign enemies who were both mighty and bent on destroying us. We’ve managed to survive and thrive.

I believe it is because, having exhausted other options, when it came time to get serious we got serious. It is time to get serious.

We are now revving up for two years of presidential electoral politics. It is not 1991 anymore, though. I’d like to say we are about to enter uncharted waters of peril, except we’re already in hip deep, ready or not. Inevitably, maybe sooner than later, we will be forced to deal with existential threats from without, as well as financial ruin and potentially unbridgeable political divides from within. It will take a great deal of time and effort to address what confronts us. But we must get serious about addressing it. We have to be clear-eyed about the dangers. The coming presidential campaign can’t be a clown show. We can’t allow it to descend inexorably into another choice between the lesser of two abominations. We are back in precarious times. Once again, we need extraordinary Americans.