Socialism leads to misery and destitution
Earlier this week, I dashed off a little treatise about the attempt by too many Democrats (many of them young, naïve, miseducated liberal arts grads) to “normalize” socialism. I pointed out the fatal flaws in it and noted that in small doses, it merely cripples nations; while in large doses, it’s toxic on a mass scale. This shouldn’t be controversial. We have over a hundred years of proof, running right up to this week, when the socialist leader of Venezuela told his starving citizens his solution for the hyperinflation that’s made the nation’s money worthless: just lop five zeroes off its valuation. He should’ve told them instead to use the currency as toilet paper. At least then, it would finally have real value again.
Well, I’m fortunate to have my own platforms for my opinions, because when Meghan McCain made some of the same obvious points about socialism on “The View,” she got attacked by her co-hosts and the leftwing media, who don’t like being told that there is no government Santa who will come drop free stuff down their chimneys – or at least none that will give you free stuff that doesn’t come at a very hefty price.
That prompted David Harsanyi at The Federalist to come to her defense. If you enjoyed my takedown of socialism – or if you didn’t think I went into enough detail about the unadulterated awfulness of it – then I highly recommend you click the link to his article as a chaser. He makes many of the same points but in different ways, plus he has some additional information and points to add.
My favorite tidbit: for all the silly yammering about how America should be more like the “socialism lite” Scandinavian countries, the average Scandinavian in the US enjoys a standard of living 50% higher than Scandinavians in Europe. Maybe they need to be more like us. In fact, maybe someone should tell young Americans enamored with socialism that several of those Scandinavian countries, or at least large numbers of their citizens, are fed up with their bloated governments, high taxes and deteriorating public services and really are trying to be more like us.
The 2018 Elections
I always warn people not to pay too much attention to polls, particularly not polls taken months in advance of an election, when most Americans are too busy with real life (summer activities, getting the kids back to school, etc.) to pay attention to the political horse race obsessions of the media class. And when you’re talking about “generic preference polls,” where it’s only about parties and not even actual candidates, you’ve descended to a whole new level of worthlessness.
Still, the fact that Real Clear Politics shows Democrats well ahead in all such polls in the races for Congress, with an average lead of 7.3 points, is both worrisome and baffling. Intelligent people can’t help but look at the desire to return power to Democrats, shake their heads and ask, “Why?!” Are they really tired of winning already?
Despite the never-ending anti-Trump propaganda blitz by the media, it can’t have escaped most Americans that they are far better off now than they were two years ago. Economic growth has leaped by several points; unemployment hasn’t been this low in half a century, and that includes black and Hispanic unemployment. Most Americans got a tax cut, with many companies opting to share theirs with workers in the form of raises, bonuses and new benefits. Even with Democrats poo-pooing the results as “crumbs” and the cut as a “giveaway to the rich,” the rich are still paying the same hefty share of taxes as ever. The resulting growth brought higher revenues to the government even with lower tax rates.
In terms of foreign policy, the North Korean nuclear threat is being dismantled, bad trade deals are being renegotiated, and ISIS has been nearly obliterated. And with each new blow to Russia by Trump, the ridiculous “Russian collusion/Putin’s puppet” narrative looks more and more like the threadbare fairy tale that it is.
Meanwhile, what are the Democrats offering if they are returned to power? They not only don’t have a positive platform, they can’t even come up with a slogan that means anything. We know they’re in favor of hating Trump so much they’ll try to impeach him without grounds. And they’re in favor of screaming, threatening and committing vandalism to silence and intimidate people who disagree with them. They want to bring back Obamacare, higher tax rates and job-killing regulations. They don’t want government insiders who abuse their power to be investigated or held to account. And about two-thirds of them are assuring us that Democrats don’t want socialism, open borders or to abolish ICE, so ignore the other third who are loudly demanding that we embrace socialism, open our borders and abolish ICE.
Given all that, I’m hard pressed to understand why anyone would want to put these loons in charge of a snowcone stand, much less the United States Congress. But maybe a deeper look at a new Rasmussen survey will provide some clues. At the link, John Hinderaker of the Powerline Blog delves into the numbers and finds that the clues may lie in young Democrats’ cluelessness.
For instance, 51% of Democrats have a favorable view of socialism, but only 19% think the Party should “come out” openly as socialist (maybe they’re holding that big reveal as a post-election “surprise!”) Digging deeper, we find that the numbers are skewed by Democrats under 40, who have a much more favorable opinion of socialism than older Democrats, and are much more in favor of the party becoming openly socialist. However, they are also the group most likely not to understand what socialism or capitalism even mean; and most likely to believe that in a socialist government, individuals have more power than the government – which they really, really, really do not.
Again, I don’t put a lot of faith in early generic election polls, but these deeper surveys do indicate something I’ve long suspected: one of the worst mistakes conservatives ever made was letting leftists become entrenched in the education establishment and mislead generations of young Americans into swallowing toxic ideas such as socialism or thinking that protecting people’s feelings is more important than protecting free speech. Let’s hope that come November, the silent majority of Americans who aren’t suffering the ignorance of history, economics and the Constitution that only comes from certain types of higher education will exercise their uniquely American individual power over the government by getting out and voting.
"We just opened up Europe for you"
After getting the European Union to agree to talks to lower tariffs and to buy more US soybeans, President Trump visited Northeast Iowa Community College and told farmers, “We just opened up Europe for you.” I feel sorry for liberals looking for a way to attack Trump over this because they’ll not only have to come out against farmers, but also against the soybeans that all their vegan meat substitutes are made out of.
Roseanne Barr speaks
Roseanne Barr gave Sean Hannity her first national TV interview since losing her show over a tweet about Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Video is at the link. Whether you’re sympathetic or not, I think one comment is pretty insightful. She says she’s always tried to defend marginalized people, but we’re now living in a time when the far left and the far right are trying to marginalize people in the middle.
Pastor Brunson update
It was good news to hear that Turkey released American Pastor Andrew Brunson from the horrible prison in which he was being held on bogus charges. But he’s still under house arrest and facing 15 years in prison if convicted. It’s most likely that he’s just being persecuted so he can be used as a bargaining chip to try to get the US to exchange a Turkish cleric whom they blame for a failed coup attempt for Brunson. I’m glad to see that President Trump and Vice President Pence are refusing to give in and pressuring Turkey for Brunson’s release. Turkey is blustering and resisting, but maybe Trump’s threat of “large sanctions” will make Turkey’s thuggish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan see reason.
Turns out the leader of the anti-Trump, anti-ICE protest group “Portland’s Resistance” is having trouble resisting underage girls and boys.
Another victim of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center has finally been identified, 17 years after that horrific day. His name was Scott Michael Johnson, and he was only 26 years old when a plane struck the tower where he worked. Please say a prayer for his family that this will finally bring them closure. And kudos to the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office for continuing to work to keep its promise to the families of victims to “do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to identify their loved ones.”
Walter's story: Humility and work ethic pays off for young Marine
At a time when we have plenty of reason to be down on social media, it’s wonderful to find a story like this being shared all around on Facebook: Young Marine named Walter makes tremendous impression with his humility and work ethic, walking literally from midnight till dawn to make 20-mile trip to get to first job as trainee with moving company. Walter’s 2003 clunker car had conked out and he couldn’t find a ride, but he wasn’t going to let that keep him from his first day on the job as a “Bellhop.” A police officer found him walking when he was almost to the worksite, took him to breakfast and drove him the rest of the way. He worked a full day after that, just as energetically as everybody else. Jenny Lamey, the woman whose family was moving that day, was so touched by this that she wrote the “moving day” story and posted it on Facebook. I’ll wait while you go and read it.
Since being posted on July 15, this story has now been shared 2.6 million times and has even been translated into Chinese.
But the story continues. In just 24 hours, hundreds of responses had been posted by people who were deeply moved by Walter’s story and who wanted to help him get some reliable transportation. She set up a GoFundMe page for him to raise $2,000, and donations poured in to a stunning degree. To gain an understanding of the impact Walter has made in the lives of his new friends and co-workers (and vice versa), go to that page and watch the video of him being handed the keys to the car that was gifted to him. Have Kleenex nearby.
Since so much more money has been raised than Jenny set as the goal, a financial advisor has volunteered to work with Walter pro bono to help him manage the funds. Walter was overwhelmed by this generosity and decided when the amount reached $66,292 that anything over that would be donated to a charity that has benefited him and is close to his heart, the Birmingham Ed Foundation, dedicated to increasing the number of students in Birmingham City Schools who are on the path to “college, career and life readiness.”
Rosenstein impeachment update; also, Mueller sinks to investigating Trump's TWEETS
Reader Philip Crane, after seeing my Thursday commentary about the move in Congress to impeach deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, had this to say:
“Governor...landing a man on Mars this week would be more probable than this action --- it’s not going to work. He needs to be FIRED by the President, along with all the other conspirators. They must be tried for treason or sedition...whatever.”
Although the word “treason” should be used judiciously, I agree wholeheartedly on the “Mars” part. Sure enough, the resolution was tabled and, since Congress recesses this Friday, it won’t be taken up for at least five weeks (if then --- a lot can happen in five weeks). For now, Rosenstein isn’t budging from his official perch, as inappropriate and fraught with conflict it might be.
People who wince at the very thought of impeaching Rosenstein seem to me to be FROM Mars. Yes, there’s good reason the bar is set very high; impeachment is supposed to be reserved for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” I should mention I’m not a lawyer (many of whom will disagree with me here), but what about OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE? “Obstruction” must be a very serious crime, because I hear the President’s enemies talking about impeaching him for it all the time, even with no evidence at all. Disregarding subpoenas and withholding evidence, as the Department of Justice has absolutely done, is surely obstruction.
Come to think of it, though, Hillary disregarded subpoenas and withheld evidence and she didn’t face any charges at all. Perhaps former FBI Director James Comey, if he hadn’t been canned, would do the same for Rosenstein as he did for Hillary and argue he didn’t INTEND to ignore those subpoenas. Case dismissed!
Congressional investigators have been denied evidence that may very well be exculpatory for President Trump and others caught in the “Crossfire Hurricane,” and perhaps damning for his accusers. Falsifying a document that requests permission to spy on an American citizen and signing off on the application (which we know Rosenstein and others did) --- wouldn’t that be criminal? Again, I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that it would be.
As I’ve said, impeaching seems to be the only card left to play. A contempt of Congress charge means nothing --- just ask Eric Holder, who suffered no consequence and probably still considers it a badge of honor. Jeff Sessions won’t fire him because he recused himself from anything concerning Russia. Trump would love to fire him but has no doubt been advised by his lawyers to stay out of it rather than risk charges of obstruction. (See, the bar has been set much lower for impeachment of a President!) Somebody tell me: if no one will impeach or fire Rosenstein, and Sessions can’t do the job, how do we go back to having a real attorney general again?
Meanwhile, the special counsel has announced it’s expanding its investigation to include (I am not kidding) President Trump’s TWEETS. He’s going through the President’s Twitter feed to determine if Trump tried to “intimidate key figures in the Russia probe, like Jeff Sessions and James Comey, something that could amount to obstruction of justice charges.” Legal experts speculate that Mueller’s looking for “a larger pattern of behavior.”
Good lord, has it come to this? At least it proves my point that Trump’s lawyers have good reason to advise him to stay uninvolved and certainly not to fire anyone. You can bet they’d like to take his phone away from him, too, and maybe whack it with a hammer for good measure, just to keep him from using it. Hammer time!
Hey, why not? Hillary’s aides took a hammer to HER phone --- destroying evidence --- and nothing happened to them, or to her.
Finally, here’s another comment from reader Tom Willis, this one more positive: “Yes, Trump could issue demands and start firing people. Is he ‘playing them’? The more they redact and it’s found subsequently that redactions have nothing to do with national security, then the DOJ and FBI look more untrustworthy and incompetent. I also suggest that it moves people away from the DOJ and FBI camp into the Trump camp.”
I tend to agree. And the news that Mueller is stooping so low as to investigate Trump’s tweets (which lawyer Jonathan Turley called “the evidentiary dregs”) won’t be going over well with any thinking person. It strikes us as weak, unconvincing and desperate, because it is.