Monday, July 03, 2017
American Independence Day, 2017
Two hundred forty one years ago, the Declaration of Independence was announced, the first political statement recognizing that all men (human beings) have equal, inherent rights, by nature, and that governments are merely means to the end of protecting people and their rights. It's a most radical statement; it completely inverted the hierarchy that most humans accepted for millenia -- that everyone was obligated to serve powerful rulers (sometimes masquerading as a more powerful entity, "the state"). The Declaration discarded the doctrine of rule by elites, the illiberal system, and substituted for it the liberal system, the system of freedom for the individual. (This is the true meaning of "liberal.") Almost everything that has happened in political theory since then is a battle between defenders of the principles of the Declaration, and various elites trying to undo it. Marxism, Fascism, Progressivism, Distributivism, Nazism, Patrician Conservatism (a.k.a. Hayek's "European Conservatism") Fabian Socialism -- all are attempts to get the genie back in the bottle.
This enterprise will fail. It cannot be done. People know too much -- even the idiots of the radical left, who are the most hostile to individual liberty, still have the ideal of liberty in their heads -- they think they'll be free in their ideal system. They are badly confused, but the point is that they are not sufficiently subservient for the illiberal system. The illiberal system is dead, even if its theoreticians and advocates haven't yet figured it out.
I think the left has lost the war; they just don't know it. But this isn't yet a war where combatants are killed, so there are lots of leftists, angry and hysterical, and the United States are divided politically. Is there any hope at all for common ground and a re-uniting?
Yes, I think so. There are two fundamental reasons for the current divide. One is a difference in understanding how the world works. Some of us understand what Smith called the "system of natural liberty" and how freedom, laissez-faire, generates the happiest and most prosperous society. We differ from the left in this. But we also understand that, more importantly, freedom is in itself a fundamental value. To be subservient to another, to be enslaved or in submission or otherwise unfree is itself an evil. Anyone on the left who agrees has common ground with libertarians and American conservatives (or at least the non-country club non-patrician ones). If one accepts individual liberty as a desirable end itself, then we have plenty of common ground.
Consider these goals: better and cheaper health care, higher incomes for poor people, less violent crime, an end to terrorist attacks, less pollution, clean air and water, better living standards, happier people... obvious objectives of true liberal advocates of the free market, and in my experience many of the "rank-and-file" of the left share these. If they also share a desire for individual freedom, then we have common ground. The primary obstacle is that they've imbibed the kool-aid their leftist leaders mixed up for them. To the left, we're all "deplorables: racist,sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic...irredeemables." In other words, they have no idea what their opponents actually believe. I'm not overly sympathetic to them, but as the left's identity politics gets crazier and crazier (just follow the TERF wars to see what I mean), many will start to move right. And since freedom for the individual (the fundamental true liberal value) means freedom for everyone, they can find they do have common ground. Freedom is itself valuable, and if we can agree on that, then it's simply a matter of understanding how economic and political systems work... something we can discuss and resolve.
Of course, there's another group of people on the left: all, or almost all, of the left's intellectual and political leadership, and a number of their followers, does not hold individual liberty as a value. For them, the freedom of individuals to run their own lives is an obstacle to their schemes for building a utopia and their will to power. One must not say, do, or even think the politically incorrect, as they define it. This is the totalitarian left, the anti-Enlightenment anti-American Revolution anti-rights of the individual left. There's no common ground possible with these people. They are, I hope, the minority on the left.
For the lefties who are redeemable (hah!) here's hoping you soon come to appreciate "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..."
Happy American Independence Day to All. Defend your Liberty!
Why we love Trump...
Sunday, June 11, 2017
"Toxic masculinity' saves lives
My favorite part "I got stabbed and sliced eight times. They got me in my head, chest and both hands. There was blood everywhere. They were saying, 'Islam, Islam!'. I said again, 'F*** you, I’m Millwall!'" (I found this full quote elsewhere.)
So called "toxic masculinity" is a strength and an asset. It is the thing that keeps evil from winning.
Well done, Lion of London Bridge Larner!
More on CNN's Faking of Muslims protesting the London murders
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Socialized Medicine Kills
Frankly, it seems pretty clear this is murder, and that justice would include the High Court members and the hospital officials facing the death penalty.
Today's testimony: Trump exonerated, Comey worthless, Democrats insane
1. Trump told the truth. Comey told him three times that he was not the target of an investigation. Comey confirmed this and identified the dates. The mainstream media and their anonymous sources lied.
2. Trump did not tell Comey to close down the investigation into Russian meddling in the election, and even said if there's evidence then it must be pursued, even if it involved people connected to Trump. Again, the MSM lied.
3. Comey intentionally information in order to try to get a special prosecutor. He also kow-towed to Loretta Lynch and denied Hillary Clinton was under investigation, when she was. Comey is a coward, as we as a liar, and by virtue of not living up to his oath of office, a traitor, at least in spirit. Steele is vindicated, and the MSM again shown to be liars.
There was nothing at all in Comey's sworn testimony that supports the cranky "theories" of Trump-Russia collusion. In fact, Comey even made clear that the FBI never touched the DNC servers; they simply took the word of a third party that Russians hacked them. Good grief!
4. The anti-Trump MSM/left/Democrat complex is so besodden with TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) that they cannot let go. They began with a sentence (impeach and expel from office), moved to a verdict (Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election from Mrs. Clinton), and although they have no evidence and their "best" source just refuted their arguments, the conclusion they draw from this is given by Vox & Matthew Iglesias below. The Dems and the left are clearly entirely disconnected from reality at this point. That's the definition of insanity, a state of mind so disordered one cannot identify reality. This describes them perfectly.
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Islam, Terror, and Sharia
An excerpt from Dougherty: "The pattern is by now familiar. Even as an Islamic terrorist killer’s proclamations about Allah’s will are still ringing in victims’ ears, these individuals are already declaring that the true danger from the attack is an Islamophobic backlash, and that you’re more likely to die by drowning in your own swimming pool than from a terrorist attack. Do they know how callous that sounds? Do they not realize that sensible human beings react differently to a car accident than to a murder plot?"
I'd add several points. First, cars aren't plotting ways to increase the number and lethality of accidents. Terrorists are. Second, terrorism is not fundamentally about killing people, it is about effecting political change. Theoreticians of terrorism -- including Karl Marx, Marxist-Leninists, Qtubists among them -- explicitly develop this idea. Counting numbers of victims is thus a stupid way of measuring the effects of terrorism, if that's all one does. When people in the West start censoring themselves and otherwise trying to placate those who use terror, terrorists achieve their goals. And frankly, the ultimate problem is not terrorism, it's political Islam. It's sharia and sharia supremacy, and as the idiots who worry about "Islamophobia" keep pointing out, correctly, the vast majority of sharia supremacists are not terrorists.
And here's another even more powerful article, from Ghassan Charbel, editor of Asharq Al-Awsat. It's a piece on the problem of Islamic terrorism, written from a Muslim's perspective. I found it quite gripping. I reprint it in its entirety below, just in case they don't archive it for long. (Incidentally, Nakba is the Palestinians' term for the disaster that befell them in 1948, and Naksa for the disaster that befell them in 1967. I don't know whether they have a similar term for the disasters that have befallen them in having leaders who are effectively indistinguishable from the SS-Totenkopfverbände when it comes to Jews.)
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Stranger than Fiction: Communist press exposes "free press" creating Fake News
Update: I googled "Mark Antro" and found the tweet that shows CNN staging the protest -- certainly looks to be exactly what Antro and People's Daily claim. I'm unsure, but I think this link will show it.
June 6, 1944 and June 5, 1967
Here's an interesting Hoover Institution interview of historian Michael Oren on the Six Day War. And below is General Eisenhower's Order of the Day for June 6, 1944. (Click on it for a larger view.)
Thursday, June 01, 2017
Germany, Paris Accord, and NATO; Thank You Mr. Trump!
The United States should stay out of international arrangements that commit us to regulate our economy to satisfy international environmental agendas, the better part of which have nothing to do with environmental quality, and everything to do with rent-seeking and political power grabs.
There's the expected end-of-the-world hysteria over this. The Germans seem particularly upset, especially after being told by Trump to quit being NATO deadbeats. Merkel indignantly responded that Germany will now chart an independent course, and Foreign Minister Gabriel became hysterical, accusing Trump of weakening the West and destroying Western values. Hahaha! The Germans' reaction makes me visualize some 30-year-old college graduate living in his parents' basement playing video games. He's suddenly told he should go out and find a job, and responds with outraged shrieks about the unfairness of it, and runs off to join the anti-Trump "resistance." The Germans have already greatly increased their energy costs and weakened their economy by "going green" with respect to energy, with zero environmental gains to show for it. I guess that's what Gabby means by "Western values." And Frau Merkel's heroic "we shall go it alone"is silly. Yes, Germany spends a miniscule 1.2% of its GDP on defense; they are not they are not prepared to be independent and have no will to be. This is posturing.
I think Trump is right. Bad international deals (e.g. Paris)? Get out of them. Good ones (e.g. NATO)? Get them right and then insist our partners living up to the terms. That's the art of the deal.
Pay up, deadbeat Germans. (Kind of like you want the deadbeat Greeks to pay!)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
What do you mean, "orchestrated?" Trump vs. the left
Let's start at the beginning. The night Trump's victory was first announced (early AM, actually), New York Times immediately ran op-ed headlines on its mainpage calling America a "failed state" and "failed society," lamenting "not to recognize my country any longer." The "news" pieces had a similar tinge of end-of-the-world hysteria to them, despite the fact that half the country (the half that works!) was happy enough with the outcome. But Democrats -- who have denied the legitimacy of every presidential election they've lost since Reagan -- immediately went into resistance mode (resisting democracy!) Democrats attacked the ballot counts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and other states (an effort that went silent when a recount in Wisconsin showed Trump's margin had been understated, and in Michigan there were improprieties that made ballot totals non-recountable, committed by election officials in Detroit, where Hillary was an overwhelming winner). Democrats next attacked the Electoral College, denying its legitimacy, trying to convince electors to be faithless, and death threats against electors. Also, the day after the election Democrats began discussing impeachment, even though Trump could not possibly have committed an offense -- he wouldn't even be president until several more months had passed.
And we now know that Susan Rice, Hillary's advisor and former State Dept. official Evelyn Farkas, and may others, began an operation to spread political intelligence and rumor on Trump throughout the federal bureaucracy for later use against him. (Leaks, anyone?) The Obama administration also began shifting political appointees into civil service positions so that they'd remain in place once the transition to a new administration occurred.
Leftists groups also quickly announced plans to oppose Trump at every step, including lawsuits, demonstrations, marches, and riots. For example, the ACLU --which is always sending me requests for money (I was a member back in the '80's, back when they still believed in civil liberty and weren't simply part of the Democrats'left wing) announced plans to sue Trump -- for what, they weren't sure, since the Electoral College hadn't even met, Trump had done nothing and wasn't President, and there were no grounds for a suit. Also, George Soros and other major donors to the left began earmarking funds for "the resistance."
Soros is an interesting case. He's not someone who simply writes checks and then forgets about it. That's not to say he micro-manages things he finances, but he does watch them closely. For example, a friend of mine who taught in a former communist country with the Open Society program told me about meeting Soros, that he tried to meet with everyone in his operations, not to manage but to make sure things remained on the track he wanted. Soros has occasionally announced goals for the United States, including gun control, the elimination of free market theorists from academic economics, and the defeat of conservative political candidates. He's spent hundreds of millions in these endeavors and has largely failed. It's impossible to believe he's spending hundreds of millions more without ideas for how to be more effective in the future, i.e. without a plan, a "conspiracy" if you like.
These sources of opposition to Trump -- the MSM, the Democrat party, the federal bureaucracy, leftist NGOs and donors -- can be engaging in coordinated efforts to destroy Trump without there being "one big conspiracy." A big, centrally organized conspiracy is rarely, if ever, the way things work. Rather, like-minded individuals coordinate and complement each others' efforts without central direction -- spontaneous order. When birds of a feather flock together, the flock can look as if it has a single led\ader following a single plan, but that's an illusion. Individuals simply manage to coordinate their behavior -- kind of like an orchestra, which performs regardless of how the guy standing in front of them waves the baton around.
(Aside: some of the less-thoughtful among libertarians equate "spontaneous order" with "benign,"a remarkably foolish mistake. Only under a specific set of constraints -- respect for and protection of individual rights -- will spontaneous orders tend to be systematically benign.)
It's clear the Democrats in Congress have organized themselves to try to impede President Trump in every way and to impeach him if possible. They said so before he was in office. It's clear that leftist groups, NGO's, donors, etc. have done the same. A part of the federal bureaucracy is engaged in an attempt to overthrow Trump. The MSM (mainstream media) has abandoned pretense of being anything other than Trump's opposition. Even some of the Republican leadership is in on the effort, Senator McCain being a prime example. Every one of these announced plans to get him well in advance of the presidential inauguration. One would have to be rather stupid at this point to cry "conspiracy theory" at my observation that Trump faces orchestrated opposition.
An interesting question arises -- what should libertarians make of all this? Well, that depends on whether they are classical liberal libertarians, or post-modernist libertarians. That will be the subject of an upcoming post.