Calvin Coolidge aka “Silent Cal” had it totally correct about a century ago..
I think that, in this day and age, the Conservative needs to re-assert it’s pre-eminent reason for being.
That all individuals have rights.
They do not have “rights” that some government allows them to have. They have rights because they are a person. Pure and simple. Their first right is to own themselves, from that right comes to right to the results of their own industry and imagination. They have the right to defend themselves from anyone who seeks to deny those rights.
The USA was the first country to be founded on the idea that it is the people who form government. We have a country because the US People say that we do. Not the politicians. The rights of the individuals in this country were set down, by the people and were a part of the basis of setting this country up.
We as Conservatives need to defend every citizens rights as laid out in the Constitution. Without exception. For example if someone gets shot down by the authorities – the investigation of that incident needs to be both public and transparent. And we should be in the forefront of that demand.
Likewise if someone is threatening to stifle free speech in the public arena – and if the Government is a part of that movement it MUST be actively opposed. It must not be tolerated. We have allowed our public Universities to become hot beds of intolerance – the exact opposite of what they are supposed to embrace. If a University receives Government funds, from grants, from guarantees on Student Loans or any other tax-payer fund or entity then it MUST support the Bill of Rights without reservation. If it does not, all state funding must be withdrawn – immediately. The University must become entirely a Private Venture and must support itself from that.
Any politician or Public Employee who has taken an oath to “support and defend the Constitution..” Who then uses that position to advocate against the Rights contained in the Constitution or who votes to do so – is guilty of perjury and we must press for their impeachment and removal from whatever office it is that they hold.
We need to to be active in our support of Rights. Not, reactive. We must be positive and forceful in our advocating for our rights.
In all the “sturm und drang” about stolen elections, the threats of lawsuits, the mathematical “proofs” that there must have been fraud. Rumors of election machines that change votes fake boxes arriving etc etc. One thing seems very clear to me.
The problem is not what we think it is.
The idea of a free election is that no-one knows how each individual voted. The process we have separates the physical voting from the counting. Or, at least it is supposed to.
We are about to embark on two run off elections in Georgia for the two Senate seats there. The elections will happen on January 5th. Inauguration is January 20th 2021. This is IMPORTANT.
It is safe to say that there is going to be enormous pressure and vast amounts of campaign cash flying around.
How do we work to ensure that this election is a secure as it can be? How do we help prevent any suggestion of hi-jack?
There will be lots of organization and money involved in turning out the vote. The GOP probably has observers named for the vote counting.
But there is a gaping hole in this process. Especially for mail in ballots.
The verification of the vote is based on the envelope. Before the envelope is opened the signature on the envelope needs to be scanned and approved. There is also another step that needs to be done.
The envelope needs to have a code that is tied to the voter who is submitting it. Both the envelope and the signature should be scanned and, if they do not match they must NOT be opened. Period. Bear with me for a few moments. The key point is to PREVENT false votes entering the system.
There need to be observers at every in-person voting station and they need to verify, by inspection, that the voter is correctly checked in by the judges. A count must be kept of a) verified voters who have cast ballots b) the number of ballots in the boxes . The observers (Dem and GOP) need to be able to verify the information and to sign the affidavit that reports how many votes were received at that polling station.
There are anecdotal reports from various voting locations that Party observers were either prevented from accessing the polling station or were prevented form being able to observe the verifications or the counting. There needs to be a mechanism for enforcing the needed access. If an observer is prevented from entering a polling station there needs to be IMMEDIATE action. The polling place should be flagged, the overseeing authority needs to be immediately informed. Everything at that polling place should be sequestered from the vote.
There is more to this than these steps. Voting machines must be tested beforehand and must be checked and signed off on by technical experts from each main party involved. Each machine. No exceptions – including any slated as substitutes. The location of each machine needs to be specified and logged. Each machine needs to be tested after use as well to make sure it is functioning correctly.
I do not know all the wrinkles and in and outs. But what I do know is that once the votes are separated from the voters it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to then prove fraud. You can assert it with confidence based on mathematics but it is the gateway that needs to be protected and verified – for in-person voting by ballot of by machine and for write in ballots with the envelope and direct correlation of envelope, signature and code for the voter.
No mailed in ballot that has been opened before election day should be allowed in the system unless there is a proven way to do it with all observing parties present and to sign off on the totals of verified ballots received.
If the GOP does not organize to take care of business in this regard then we kiss goodbye to sorting out anything afterwards as we are finding out now.
You cannot un-stir the cream out of the coffee once it has been added. Once you have opened the door to adding illegal votes to the process you lose the ability to control the integrity of the election.
Why do Billionaires pay for the Democrat Party? Why does so much of the “old Money” in San Francisco, LA, New York, Boston help fund the party that is, supposedly, the party of Marx, Engels, Trotsky and Lenin?
Well… could it be they are concerned about not paying their fair share of the national need? Is it because they think the gap between have and have not in society needs to be reduced and that Dems are the troops for the job? Could it be that the likes of Hoyer, Bloomberg, Hoffman, Powell Jobs, Geffen Benioff and the long list of Dem billionaire donors are so filled with their gut wrenching guilt over their “whiteness” that they feel they need to fund a political party just to abuse them?
Or do they have their own reasons which actually make sense?
First of all – people who have money generally like to keep it and the goodies that go with wealth.
People who inherit wealth seem to go in two different ways – they spend their inheritance profligately and become fodder for various magazines around the world. Or they tend to be careful with their trust fund, keep it safe and seek to grow it to pass on their heirs. But most people who make their pile, wish, within reason to keep most of it.
So why would they be out there sending money to the Democrats?
This hinges on the difference between “Wealth” and “Income”.
The recent NYT article that attempted to cast President Trump in a bad light (has there been an article in the NYT in the last 4 years that has NOT sought to cast DJT in a bad light? Answers on a postcard please ) made much of him only paying $750 dollars in Federal income tax in one year (they of course, forgot to add in the tax credit he used for a couple of million but fairness was not the look they were going for).
Whoa Nelly! How could a gazillionaire pay so little? This is Criminal!!!! Well, not so fast cowboy or cowgirl. No-one is taxed on how much money they HAVE. They get taxed on their earnings, just like us little folks. And they can use their money to make sure that professionals do their tax returns to minimize their payments. Now if they are seen to support higher rates of taxation rest assured, they are quite happy for those below them in the income pyramid to pay more.
But the impact of such increased taxation is much higher on those lower down the pyramid. Most people are paying as they earn for their future, their family, and their security and well-being. Most of us are paying off our house or paying rent. Fair enough. We have a certain ‘nut’ that we have to make each month to keep our noses above the water line. But there comes a point in the scale where most of the necessities are taken care of, the house is paid for, the earnings provide more than enough. Regular expenses are not a monthly concern. Keep saving and you will have reserves to last quite a while, earn even more and you will be able to buy things that you don’t need.
So if the super earners decide that taxes should be increased what they are saying is that YOU – Joe Schlub – need to pay more of your paycheck in taxes and fees. But that will impact you in other ways – less money for savings for emergencies, less money for kid’s school or college, longer payback on the mortgage. Less expensive holidays. Now add to that support from the well off for things like higher taxes on energy – that increase is paid by everyone. From the poor to the rich. And the impact is heaviest on the poor, not the rich.
People seem to have forgotten that many politicians have become rich from their government positions Many of the top Dems are millionaires – and they are not the only ones.
So why are the Extremely wealthy underwriting all this? Why do rich wealthy celebs send money to bail out street thugs who get arrested for criminal acts under the guise of “protest”? Why do they push for increased taxation and increased regulation (that results in extra taxation paid by the poor)?
They wish to avoid taxes on wealth. Socialism is all about seizing the wealth of the rich for redistribution to everyone. Not the “income” – the “wealth”. Imagine what the tax bill would be for Michael Bloomberg if he had to pay a certain percentage of the worth of all his owned properties, businesses, bank accounts every year? Or any billionaire.
What makes the Dems hold off? Well the leadership are millionaires and certainly do not wish to have their own smaller applecart upset, also, threaten to do it and billionaires will asset strip the USA so fast and transfer the wealth to Abu Dhabi, Switzerland and other, saner places. And the tax base of the USA would crumble. Remember this other fact – the top 10% of EARNERS pay 70 % of the income tax paid in the USA.
The Billionaires seem to have realized that paying a little more in taxes. Putting a little largess about to the upper tiers of the leftist organizations and they can feed the alligator of socialism with the work and bread of the middle class in the hope that they will be eaten last. They get away with it because if you scratch a socialist you find a greedy little person underneath.
Just remember one major thing here – there is nothing, in law, preventing any billionaire (or millionaire for that matter) from liquidating all his or her assets, turning them into cash, using some of the cash as a trust fund to live on for the rest of his or her days in total security taking just one property as a family home, and then giving the remainder to the government. It is totally legal. How many have done it?
Instead Billionaire Gates gave his fortune to a private “charity” that he runs, and which does what he says. Did not have much faith in the ability of the Government to use his money wisely. Though Bill does have absolute faith in them to use my and your money wisely.
Covid 19. The Wuhan Virus, Kung Flu, the CCP Virus – it is certainly “big news” and it has certainly shut down the normal operations of a good part of the planet.
I am not a virologist or a medical anything. Closest I have ever come to being a medical person is working in IT at a Hospital. However, I do have a fair amount of recent unwanted knowledge and experience with health care which does give me a view on the way this virus is being handled.
Back when this started to get on my radar – same as for other people I guess – back at the end of January and beginning of February I was fairly in-synch with the view going around that we needed to head off the sudden tsunami of sickness that would sweep away the Health Care industry if the virus was anywhere near as bad as it looked like it might be. We needed to slow the rise, we needed to give ourselves time to ramp up services so that when the sequestration was over – two weeks – and the infection started barreling through the populace – our front line people would have what they need to deal with the demand.
But some areas were slow to respond, some didn’t respond some got to it later than others. So now we have opinions all over the place. The one thing we have not had, just making an observation here, is an overwhelmed medical system. Though NY came close, I think.
But now we have a rotating random series of lockdowns, mask mandates, partial closures and so on with no real rhyme or reason.
But what we still have are many vast reservoirs of uninfected people. There are approximately 365 million people in the USA, 8.2 million reported “cases” (don’t know if a “case” is a positive test or positive symptoms). That means that there are over 300 million uninfected people.
The first question that comes to my mind is – have the resources to deal with a flood of virus cases been put into place? Has the vast amount of money that has been spent put us in a safer position? Because unless we UN – lock we are going to run out of money. If there is no functioning economy, things are going to get progressively worse and a LOT of people are going to be deep in the fiscal doo-doo.
The trouble we face right now is that politicians and pundits alike have not stated what they consider to be a manageable level of infection rate? No-one that I have seen – and thanks to lock-down I have a lot of time to read and to check online and on video – has stated what they consider to be the acceptable level of infection that can be managed.
This means that they are free to act upon their own “whim” or how they perceive it will benefit them the best.
The simplicity is that there is a virus, it is going to infect people until an effective vaccination is developed and there is no guarantee that this holy grail will be found in a swift and timely manner.
Government leaders have to make decisions – unfortunately those decisions mean that some people are going to die. Let’s be straight here – people die every day. They die from infections, injuries, illness, malfeasance and accidents. The Government and the Civil Servants cannot change any of that. But still the Government Leaders and the Civil Servants keep scurrying around trying anything to avoid making a decision which they may be called to account for. So they keep picking out courses of action where they try to fend off “infection”. All the time knowing that the infection is going to show up every time people start intermingling after been sequestered.
The Government needs to be transparent in its actions. It needs to state how many seriously ill pandemic patients the system can deal with. Then it needs to track back from that to how many “positive tests” will result in that number of serious cases and that needs to be set as the public threshold. Simple, and tough. Please note that the large majority of patients requiring serious care actually recover – even those who are most at risk.
The Government needs to be the thing it fears the most.
The current raft of “Gun Red Flag” laws that have been flooding the states in the past year or more have Second Amendment supporters up in arms – as the mass demonstration in Virginia on January 20th 2020 showed. The supporters can be rallied to oppose the passing of such a law but once passed it becomes a war of legal attrition.
But are these laws a threat to gun owners and to the constitution? Most people I have seen posting or who have written to me express their disquiet at the laws seem to have their opposition somewhat muted by their firm conviction that any of these laws that are passed are, prima facie, unconstitutional in two distinct ways. The pro-active abridgment of the right to bear arms is, they claim, a glaringly obvious violation of the second Amendment. The idea of taking private property on an accusation and without the right to due process equally seems to violate the basic law on due process. Most of those seemed to signal to me that they are not really that bothered because they figure it is going to get slapped down by SCOTUS.
If you are one of those people who thinks that this current drive will be nipped in the bud by a quick trip to the Supreme Court I have some bad news. REALLY bad news.
But to illustrate exactly WHY this is of prime importance I need to conduct a bit of a history lesson.
Before I begin the lesson I must put in place a shout out to Joyce Lee Malcolm and the book To Keep and Bear Arms. If you have any feeling for the importance of the second amendment you MUST buy and read, this book. It is not an easy read – it is a historical text written by a historian. But there is a reason why Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas relied heavily on Malcolm’s work when crafting the monumental DC v Heller decision. Please invest some time in reading this work.
And we are back from commercials…
I was actually re-reading a part of the book again – the afterword section – and I noticed it made reference to a famous episode in British Hisotry – The Peterloo Massacre. The massacre occurred outside of Manchester at St. Peter’s Fields in August 1819. It was a very large protest and demonstration called by several agitator organizations at a time when unemployment was high, the economy was bad. The Napoleonic Ware had concluded in 1815 ( the appellation of “Peterloo” is reference to the battle of Waterloo in 1815 that had ended the final spasm of Napoleonic war dreams.) and the government had downsized the vast military that had been built up over 2 decades. Soldiers returned home, sailors left their ships and it was an unhappy period indeed.
The crowd was loud and boisterous. A local magistrate had the Riot Act read out and when the crowd failed to disperse Dragoons for the local Yeomanry were told to break up the crowd. They did so by charging on horseback, firing on them and attacking them with swords. 12 people died and the country erupted.
The government of England feared revolution – having seen what happened to France the aristocracy and ruling classes had a well justified feeling that things could easily get out of hand.
And here is where it starts to look eerily familiar.
The reaction of the Government was to start drafting anti gun/weapon legislation. Not for the Yeomanry or the government but for the people who were the target of the massacre! Yep. Seriously. An out of control magistrate unleashes armed troops on an unarmed crowd and the response of the ruling class? Make damned sure the unarmed classes didn’t find it easy to arm themselves.
Here is a useful link to a summary of these acts:
And below is a summary of Wikipedia’s view.
And you will note that the universal judgment being rendered is on that the Act were not really serious, only hard core lefties raise a ruckus about them, they were “sensible” measures taken by a caring government.
But! When I mention Freedom to own weapons – what is your current view of the United Kingdom? The idea of that question probably made you laugh out loud. This is a country where they have moved on to regulating cutlery. But 200 years ago in 1819 before Peterloo the law was very clear the English subject had a right to have firearms both for personal protection and for protection of personal property.
Of the Six acts mentioned above the one I am zeroing in on today is the Seizure of Arms Act. In part this stated that a Magistrate could issue an order to seize firearms belonging to an individual, inside their home, on the deposition of one person, Sound familiar?
And there was a great outcry against it in Parliament and in the activist press. Malcolm does a very good job of describing this in her book.
And according to the two cites I put above- it was mild, it was only occasionally employed and had minimal effect. Ahem.
By 1920 those rights had gone.
By 2020 the British government is attempting to control public use of cutlery.
Let me repeat this – desperate opportunistic legislation was introduced and passed to deny specific rights guaranteed to Subjects. It was opposed, it was a condemned and there was not really some universal attempt to rigidly apply it all – and yet now the United Kingdom is so supine one wonders how the hell they manage to conquer a cheese roll. In the UK, should you use a gun to defend yourself against an attacker you will be arrested and you will , in all likelihood, go to jail. Even if you are a citizen of spotless record and the person you have shot is a lowlife convicted violent criminal.
WE must – MUST take every one of these oppressive efforts seriously, each legislation needs to be challenged in the jurisdiction, it needs to be pursued to the point where it is declared unconstitutional by State and Federal Courts. The people the passed these laws need to be voted out of office and they need to be continually identified as people who are eager to abrogate the constitutional rights of Citizens.
Please – do your bit – and then do a bit more. If you do not these rights will disappear and our children and grandchildren will reduced to fighting off attackers by trying to pee on them.
I have seen, in a few on-line forums variations on a theme – “how do you, as a gun owner, justify owning an AR-15?” The question is posed in slightly different forms but all basically written from the view that owning a gun is something that is not a natural thing, or is somehow a dangerous thing or a threatening one.
It is the question which is wrong. It is based upon a false premise.
A person owns himself or herself. The right to your own life is the building block of a free society. The right to the rewards of your own thoughts and work is a logical extension of the right of personal ownership and follows from it. This is what turns a country from slavery to a recognition of the personal rights of every citizen.
This is a right that the US Constitution embodies. It is NOT a right that a government gives – it is a right that belongs to the basic building block of the society that creates the laws that we live by.
My right to own my life gives me the responsibility to take care of it and to protect it. I am the one who gets to decide which means I employ to do that. However my right does not extend to forcing another person to do what I wish, merely to make me feel secure. Once we move into the realm of ME deciding what YOU must do in order to give me something, moves us back to the realm of slavery. We can agree between us on a code to enable us to live in harmony but the code must enshrine the principle that the rights of one cannot infringe the rights of the other.
In a society that recognizes individual rights the right to bear arms is a logical right. It does not require any other person to “give” me that right. I can choose to bear arms or I can decide not to. What I cannot do is decide YOUR choice in the matter. And you cannot decide mine.
The decision to be responsible for my survival is the moral stance to take. Trying to force me to comply with your wishes and feelings against my own rights is the immoral stance to take.
Some great work by the Mexican Navy and law enforcement has incredibly worrying implications for all of us in the USA.
On the 23rd of August 2019 they issued a press release saying that the Mexican Navy had intercepted a fentanyl shipment from China reportedly to be delivered to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel of 24 Metric TONS of fentanyl.
Sounds like a lot – does it not? It certainly should because it IS a lot. I have included a link to one of the articles (in Spanish) below here along with a screen shot of the article. The amount given in the first paragraph of the article is 23,368 kilograms of fentanyl. It is rated as around 100 times stronger than morphine as a painkiller. IN 2015 the total amount of fentanyl used in healthcare worldwide was 1,600 Kg.
First – and very importantly – fentanyl has an absolute place in medically supervised pain control. I urge you to read, at least, the Wikipedia entry for the drug to get some realistic background on this medication.
It has also become one of the prime additives to the illicit trade in heroin and morphine.
It is an extremely dangerous drug. It can cause an overdose in very small quantities – the estimate for a lethal dose in humans is 2mg (according to the FDA and European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction). This would mean that 1 kg of fentanyl is enough drug to cause death by overdose to 500,000 humans. You might want to re-read that last sentence.
The shipment that was intercepted was 23,368 Kgs. Multiply that by 500,000 and you will get a surprisingly HUGE figure. A frighteningly huge figure.
The figure is high enough to ask the question – is delivery of 24 tons of this lethal chemical a threat of some kind? This amount is 14 times the entire medical consumption of the world 4 years ago. Yet some organization in China cares enough to manufacture it and ship it to a drug cartel in Mexico. A drug cartel, moreover, whose main targets for drug distribution are the USA and Europe.
But if THAT was not frightening enough – what may be more frightening is the complete lack of reaction from the world’s press. I just (13:05 Eastern Time August 26th 2019) checked CNN.COM – not a mention on their page. Lots of articles about dogs, snark about Trump, but absolutely nothing about the interception of an existential threat to the population of the Americas. Curious to say the least. The BBC – nothing. NYT – nothing. Twitter had a burst of activity but it has faded a little bit.
Ask yourself this simple question – had the Mexican Navy intercepted a nuclear weapon – a small one with a kiloton yield that could have potentially killed 200,000 people – how would this same press have reacted? Would they have ignored it in favor of speculating about Trump?
The questions none of these “guardians of the truth” are asking.
Who on earth made 24 tons of one of the most lethal opioid drugs in the world?
Why did they make it?
How did they manage to ship it from Shanghai to Mexico?
Why is the Sinaloa Drug Cartel shopping for this drug?
I did send an email to the DEA Press Office asking them to confirm the story from Mexico – should they reply with a statement I will edit this post to update it.
Received from the DEA
We cannot confirm the contents of the seizure at this time, as the contents are still being tested.
Sorry we cannot be more helpful.
DEA Public Affairs “
I think it fair to opine that Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election was a truly stunning achievement.
Since that time the people that dislike the 45th President have seized on every manner of reason as to why it happened. ranging from tinfoil conspiracy theories about Russian interference to the unfairness of the Electoral College and almost anything in between.
But what I find more concerning is the apparent lack of interest from the GOP as to why Donald Trump is President.
The only truly insightful work I have seen has been from Salena Zito whose brilliant book “The Great Revolt Inside the Populist Coalition reshaping American Politics” . This is a book everyone should read and it should have been the blueprint for an engagement across the USA by the GOP. But it has not. Why not?
I reside in a Conservative congressional district, I have not received one communication from the GOP, State or National, even vaguely interested in finding out why I and my wife voted for Trump. I have received plenty of interest in “send money”.
The GOP needs to do something radical – actually talk to the grass roots . Not the “consultants” not the “pollsters” not the “analysts”. Stop trying to get predigested “analysis” but take the time to LISTEN. You might be surprised.