Archive for January 2017

The Left’s Latest Meltdown: Trump Is Hitler

President Trump’s executive order on Friday caused yet another Liberal Meltdown on the Internet as well as on social media. But not everywhere. Reuters reports from my old stomping grounds of Manchester Missouri that Trump supporters there aren’t bothered by the 00 day moratorium on refugees from 7 middle eastern nations that the Left has characterized as a “Muslim Ban.” “In the St. Louis suburb of Manchester, Missouri, 72-year-old Jo Ann Tieken characterized the president as bringing reason into an overheated debate.“Somebody has to stand up, be the grown up and see what we can do better to check on people coming in,” she said. “I’m all for everybody to stop and take a breath … Just give it a chance.””

The article goes on to interview a retired school cafeteria worker in Michigan who referenced referenced the attacks in Brussels and Paris. “Look at what’s happening in Europe,” she said. “I don’t dare travel there, out of fear.”

The wife and I have been traveling twice a year to Europe for several years now, and over that time we’ve seen the damage caused by the EU’s “Open Door” policy to refugees from the Middle East. These refugees have thanked the peace, prosperity and freedom granted by their hosts by making neighborhoods in France, Germany and Sweden “no-go” zones for women and non-Muslims where they risk rape and assault. Even in my beloved Rome I’ve seen young men turning a park on the Domus Aurea near the Colosseum into a hangout that’s become increasingly unsafe even during the day. While we aren’t giving up travel to Europe just yet, we are finding our destination list increasingly circumscribed by events there.

Bookworm of Bookworm Room fame has been besieged by the Left on social media but strikes back with a post attacking the fallacies underlying the Left’s latest freakout.

Here’s the core point: Unlike the Jews of WWII, the Muslims whom the Left insists we accept in the US aren’t the victims of a vast, aberrant genocidal upheaval, completely out of keeping with historical norms and, indeed, 19th century trends in humanism. Other than Syria, the other nations on the list (nations, incidentally, that the Obama administration classified as terrorism risks) are cultural and economic backwaters that have values in keeping with Nazi values. They’re on the move, not because of a one-off genocidal war, but because majority Muslim nations in the Middle East are dangerous, corrupt, hate-filled, and poverty-stricken…

Islam’s rules marginalizing women, forbidding lending for reasonable interest (which is one of the engines of a growing economy), barring Jews and Christians, killing gays, and limiting knowledge to the Koran (which vast numbers of illiterates in the Middle East even cannot read) are perfect ingredients for a violent, degraded, economically stagnant community. Those countries that have some wealth (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc.) achieved their wealth, not through human potential, but for the West’s willingness to pay big bucks for black gold.


Read the entire thing.

 

 

 

The Failure of the Davos Globalist Elite

When did people start believing that “buy American” and thinking about America first were bad?

Countries already worry about their own first. They enter deals which benefit them or their people. The Japanese enter trade deals because it creates jobs and improves the lives of the Japanese. The Chinese do the same as do the Russians. Most countries already have laws that encourage governments and their citizens to buy their own products. It’s naive to think that countries don’t put the interests of their citizens first.

What globalization proponents have failed to do is to explain how trade with other nations benefit a specific country. Free trade is supposed to be a benefit to all participating countries, not a zero sum game where one country wins at the expense of another.

Globalization proponents have failed to fully appreciate the devastation to workers and their communities when factories and businesses move abroad. This is because within a trading country free trade is a zero sum game: there are winners such as the Silicon Valley billionaires and consumers who pay less for products, and losers, such as factory workers in the Midwest and South. Many globalists don’t have any contact with or understanding of the lives of these people. For them it’s an academic argument “there will be winners and losers in the economy blah blah blah” but for a person working at the factory it’s the center of his or her existence.

For twenty-somethings with college degrees it’s easy to switch careers. For people in their forties and fifties who have mortgages, children and elderly loved ones to support, and car payments it’s nearly impossible. We haven’t found a way to take a laid off middle aged factory worker in the Midwest and train her with new skills that will immediately pay the same or more than she is currently earning in her factory job. When factories close workers usually end up finding jobs earning half of what they previously earned. The trickle down effects of this can be seen throughout communities in the South and Midwest.

Those who have suffered from globalization have found little support from the major parties. Democrat Bernie Sanders recognized them as did Republican Trump but the ruling elite of both Democrats and Republican is controlled by globalization forces. Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Republicans like Jeb Bush have supported free trade and immigration policies that have crushed the working poor. Only Sanders and Trump appreciated their plight.

If we are to maintain a free trade globalist system we must come up with a means of redistributing wealth from the winners to the losers within a country. But so far this has been completely ignored by globalists meeting in Davos Switzerland. “People talk about inequality, how it’s a major problem, the greatest threat to globalization and the global economy,” (Nobel Prize wining economist Joseph) Stiglitz said. “You have to recognize that the way we have managed globalization has contributed significantly to inequality. But I have not yet heard a good conversation about what changes in globalization would address inequality.”

Redistribution of wealth is instinctively hated by libertarians and conservatives, but the Left has remained silent, refusing to confront their globalist allies in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and New York. Free Trade has been oversold to citizens. It’s not perfect and it does damage lives. Unfortunately the ruling elite hasn’t figured out how to fix that damage and support those who lose their jobs by confiscating wealth from the few winners and handing it to the millions of losers in an economy. Until they do it will be populists like Trump, Farage and Le Pen who will write History.

President Trump Takes Office

After more than 8 years of Obama (remember how active he was as president-elect, even using a special seal on his podium after the election?) I am too weary to write another word more about the Disaster-in-Chief Obama other than: Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. I suspect his life as an ex-pres will force me to write about him again. While Jimmy Carter knocks on Death’s door I’m sure Obama is ready to replace him as the Liberal Nag-in-Chief.

As for Trump, I know we are living in a tumultuous time, but it will be interesting to see someone fight for the forgotten American workers – those who have struggled to survive after seeing their livelihoods shipped abroad, then told to get an education by someone half their age who has no clue what it’s like.

For the sake of the less fortunate I hope he delivers on his promises.

Timeless Moment

Satori is what Buddhist’s call “sudden enlightenment”. It’s what others call “flashes of insight”, “a moment of stillness,” or even when the world says “meow.”

My last moment of satori was 5 years ago on a local highway with the kid in the backseat and the wife beside me.

Last night it was just the kid and I except he was driving. The moment came without warning during this Alice in Chains song.

For a moment time stretched and there was just me and my adult son, driving through the night and listening to loud music together.

For all the worry, fear and self-doubt that comes with being a parent such moments are a blessing, needed assurance as your child explores independence in an increasingly insane world.

 

Corporate Media Has Learned Nothing From 2016 Election

Zerohedge takes aim at a preinauguration poll floating around claiming Trump is the most unpopular president-elect in 40 years.

Here’s a screenshot of a poll taken the day before the election.

Here’s a screenshot taken of the poll today.

Note that Scott Clement is a writer on both pieces. Even though the election the next day proved his polling was flawed due to oversampling of Democrats, Scott makes the exact same mistake again as pointed out in the Zerohedge piece.

The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the Amazon slave driver as shown in this 2014 essay by Republican mouthpiece Salon, so it’s no surprise Clement would slant his poll to suit his boss’s antipathy towards Trump. Got to make his master happy at all cost.

Still it’s disappointing to see corporate media resort to the same reality-distorting tricks that caused Liberals to run to their safe spaces after the election.

Rich Lowery: Democrats Losing Their Collective Minds

Writing in the New York Post, Rich Lowery believes Buzzfeed has done the President-elect a huge favor. “Its decision to post the document has to be considered another chapter in the ongoing saga of the media and Democrats losing their collective minds. If the election had gone the other way, it is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible. This was an anti-Trump decision, pure and simple.”

He also realizes the “Democrats have done themselves no favors by implicitly refusing to accept the election results after browbeating Trump for months to accept the results in advance. And if the press is going to lower its standards in response to Trump, it will diminish and discredit itself more than the president-elect.”

Exactly. The more the press acts like the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party, the stronger Trump’s support becomes. If the Democrats and their media allies really wanted to bring Trump down they’d do what Lowery suggests: treat him like a “normal” politician. Question his ideas and how he plans to implement them.

For example I’m all for repealing Obamacare yet I have no idea how Trump and the GOP plan to do this. No clue – and I’m a Trump supporter and a GOP member. But since I’m a Trump supporter my ideas are ignored, just as Lowery’s will be because he’s a Fox News contributor and sympathetic to the GOP.

Instead the press and the Democrats are getting in bed with the CIAfomenting a war with Russia, famous actors and actresses are making speeches about being oppressed in front of audiences wearing $20,000 designer dresses and tuxedos on TV and taking to Twitter to call for martial law.

All this hysteria will do is make Trump and the GOP stronger, so I guess we should thank the media and the Democrats.

Supreme Court Disses Ventura in Favor of Chris Kyle’s Widow

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The Moment

“Hail Mattis, full of hate. Our troops stand with thee. Blessed art though among enlisted. And blessed is the fruit of thy knife hand. Holy Mattis, father of War. Pray for us heathen, Now and at the hour of combat. Amen.”

Sympathy for the Devil

Liberals Make Friends With Their Greatest Enemy: The CIA

In his article, “The Deep State Goes to War With President-Elect, as Democrats Cheer,” Glenn Greenwald warns the Democrats may come to regret their alliance with the CIA.

But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.

 

Greenwald points out that the Democrats are joining the very same organization that suggested a meeting between Iraqi intelligence officials and the 9-11 hijackers occurred prior to 9-11, the very same organization that claimed irrefutable proof that the Iraqi regime held weapons of mass destruction. No proof has ever been found for either of these claims.

During the 2016 election the CIA backed Clinton over Trump. In August 2016 former CIA Director Michael Morell announced his support of Hillary Clinton in a New York Times Op-Ed piece. Gen Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA Director under George W. Bush, posted an Op-Ed in the Washington Post just days before the election in which he criticized Trump for being critical of US intelligence, writing “Rejecting a fact-based intelligence assessment — not because of compelling contrarian data, but because it is inconsistent with a preexisting worldview — that’s the stuff of ideological authoritarianism, not pragmatic democracy. And it is frightening.” This comes from the same guy who in a February 2016 interview with NPR blamed the Intelligence Community for the existence of WMD in Iraq. “It was our intelligence estimates” that were incorrect, “We were wrong. It was a clean swing and a miss. It was our fault.”

Wow talk about tactless. Is it too late to nominate Hayden for Worst Quote of 2016? “It was a clean swing and a miss,” as if invading and occupying Iraq was a baseball game that the CIA blew. Tell that to the 4,497 killed and 32,000 wounded US servicemen and women in Iraq and their families, not to mention the countless civilians killed in the war.

Dems Welcome Their Deep State Overlords

Greenwald believes the CIA supported Hillary Clinton’s nomination because she had plans to intensify the CIA-backed war in Syria that the Obama administration had opposed. “It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war, while Trump denounced it. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow, while Trump wanted improved relations and greater cooperation. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump — through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction — posed a threat to it.”

Greenwald makes the case that whatever his faults, Trump won a free election. “Whatever one’s views are on those debates, it is the democratic framework — the presidential election, the confirmation process, congressional leaders, judicial proceedings, citizen activism and protest, civil disobedience — that should determine how they are resolved. All of those policy disputes were debated out in the open; the public heard them; and Trump won. Nobody should crave the rule of Deep State overlords.”

But that’s exactly what liberals are doing now by avidly courting the CIA. In a Jan 3 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Senator Charles Schumer warned Trump there would be consequences for his daring to take on the intelligence establishment. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Greenwald  adds, “And last night, many Democrats openly embraced and celebrated what was, so plainly, an attempt by the Deep State to sabotage an elected official who had defied it: ironically, its own form of blackmail.”

Greenwald counsels, “The threat of being ruled by unaccountable and unelected entities is self-evident and grave. That’s especially true when the entity behind which so many are rallying is one with a long and deliberate history of lying, propaganda, war crimes, torture, and the worst atrocities imaginable.”

We’ve come a long way from the sit-ins and protests against CIA recruitment on college campuses, and it’s rather amazing watching liberals celebrate today the very same institution they vilified for war crimes and atrocities just yesterday. But the Right must heed Greenwald’s warnings too. 13 years ago we were ready to believe anything and everything our spooks cooked up about Iraq, all of which turned out to be false. The organization then leaked like a sieve to undermine the Bush administration to deflect blame for its failure in order to protect itself.

The CIA is attempting to overthrow a free election all because it didn’t get what it wanted: support for a proxy war in Syria. Evidently the Agency has a very short memory. 30 years ago it had funding and complete support for a proxy war in another Islamic country: Afghanistan. There it showered money and weapons on “our guys” the Mujahadin, one of whom would in less than a decade become infamous: Osama Bin Laden.

Trump should withdraw his nominee to head it and instead set about dismantling the agency.

Oh the Taxes You’ll Pay

Here in the US tax season has begun and my inbox is getting cluttered with offers from tax software companies. This got me thinking a depressing thought: What are all the taxes we pay, and how much do they take?

Federal income tax is the big one. Depending on your earnings you will pay between 10% and 39.6%.

FICA is a federally mandated wage tax comprised of Social Security tax (6.2% on first $127,200) + Medicaid tax (1.45% on the first $200,000). If you are employed as a W-2 employee your employer will deduct these taxes out of every check you earn. In addition the employer pays the same amount (6.2% + 1.45%) as their share of FICA to the IRS.

Then there are state income taxes which range from none in several states including Texas, Nevada and Washington to 13.3% in California. Full list here.

Localities such as cities and some counties have income taxes. For example, if you live inside the city limits of New York City you pay between 2.9–3.4% income tax. Source.

If you own a home you will pay property taxes based on the value of your home. Hawaii charges the lowest rate, 0.28% and homeowners in New Jersey pay the highest, 2.29%,

Then there is personal property tax which is levied by states and counties on property such as vehicles. These taxes are usually collected when vehicles are registered.

We also have sales taxes. Delaware and New Hampshire don’t have them but most states tax sales of goods and services and sometimes food. In my state the tax rate on food is 2%, on everything else 7.7%.

“Sin taxes” are extra taxes placed on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products to make them less appealing to buyers and to help recoup some of the costs these items place on society. In many places the taxes are the biggest component of the cost of cigarettes and hard liquor.

And if you drive you’ll pay gasoline tax which has both a federal and state component. These range from $.30 to $.70 a gallon depending on where you live. Think you can get around these taxes if you drive an electric car? Think again. Several states have implemented taxes on electric cars.

Here’s a summary:

Zerohedge has a list of 97 taxes Americans pay. For conservatives it makes for depressing reading but I bet it makes liberals positively giddy.

The Real Deplorables

Straight from the liberal paradise of Chicago comes this heartwarming tale of 4 friends who prove that nothing says “black lives matter” like torturing a white disabled kid.