The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

7 Aug

The RNC, the Republican Party elite, is currently dealing with the consequences of its own stupidity (which I would have used as the title, if I hadn’t used it before.)

Their hatred for Donald Trump is not based on ideology, personality or even a genuine concern that Trump is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. It is the far more understandable sense that Trump’s success has rendered them irrelevant, that Trump has literally stolen the Republican Party from under their noses. And that is precisely what Trump has done. They are caught between a number of options, all bad for them personally even if they are not bad for the Republican Party.

Trump, like it or not, is now the Republican Nominee for President. I do not believe that the RNC can remove him, at least not legally; I rather doubt Trump can be pushed into resigning from the race, not when he has stood firm and beaten some of the most powerful republicans in the country. As a current meme has it, Hillary Clinton had to cheat to beat an unelectable socialist (and even then she barely succeeded); Trump crushed his opponents and made himself unchallengeable.

And so the RNC is caught in a dilemma of its own making.

If they support Donald Trump, they undermine their own reason for existence. Trump did not come out of the RNC’s ranks; he took his case to the party’s rank and file … and won. Who needs the elites if the rank and file can choose their own candidate? But if they don’t support Trump, Trump will cry foul – and he will be right. Will the RNC effectively betray its voters by siding with Hillary Clinton? What future do they have if they try to throw the election to the Democrats?

In a very real sense, it does not matter if we see President Trump taking power in the coming year. The RNC has been crippled, holed below the waterline, by Trump’s success. They now have to justify their existence to a party that is understandably sceptical of their value and sees no reason to keep them around. Indeed, if the RNC suffers a number of defections to Hillary Clinton, it will only accelerate the transformation of the Republican Party. The rank and file will assert that the truth – that the political elite has more in common with each other than they do with the average citizen – has finally been exposed.

The blunt truth is, once again, that Donald Trump is not the cause of the problems facing the Republican Party. It would be rather more accurate to say, perhaps, that the RNC saw fit to abandon the interests of large numbers of Republican voters – people who have been disparaged, unfairly, as ‘poor white trash.’ In playground terms, the elite forgot their roots as they sucked up to the ‘cool kids’ – the media and political elite – and sneered at everyone below them. Instead of accepting the Tea Party movement as a gentle rebuke from the party faithful, the RNC crushed it. Instead of using Republican majorities to push back against Obama, the elite chose to roll over for a truly unsuitable President. And, in doing so, they created a mass of party members desperate for a leader, for a fighter, for someone who will stand up for them.

And they see Donald Trump as that fighter.

The elites may argue that Trump is a hideous candidate for President. And, from their point of view, they’re right. Trump’s success calls their power base into question. But now he’s the one they’re stuck with.

There is an emotion I call ‘Nag Rage.’ It is a tidal rage of frustration with people who nag, people who talk down to other people, people who sneer … it is an incoherent wave of pure anger that leads to shouting and violence because, in the end, all it wants is for the nagger to shut up. The average American – the average western citizen – is fed up with being nagged, fed up with being told he’s wrong, fed up with being insulted and mocked by people who have no conception of his life … in short, he hates being made to feel powerless. Trump’s success is based, mainly, on appealing to a demographic that feels that it has been abandoned by the elites …

… And it is right.

The RNC had an excellent opportunity to mend fences during the Tea Party era. It might have been able to save itself, perhaps, if it had put forward a more sensible candidate during the early selection process. But instead, it backed Jeb Bush …

… And failed to realise that, for vast numbers of their voters, Jeb was not part of the solution, but just part of the problem.

Trump, in short, is precisely what they deserve.

Trump-Punch-600-LA

I was challenged, after writing the previous article, to put forward any reasons why anyone should vote for Donald Trump. I found three:

First, President Trump would not have the tame Congress or media President Obama has enjoyed. There would be a great deal more scrutiny of his decisions while in office, a great deal more involvement from other politicians. They might even succeed in rolling back a great of the executive power Obama has amassed over the last eight years. In short, with Republican majorities, Trump would have to produce results.

Second, whoever takes office next year will have the task of nominating a number of replacement Supreme Court judges. Would the average Republican really want to put that power in Hillary’s hands? Think about all the rulings that will have to be made over the next few years. Do you want, for example, limitations on free speech because of vague ‘hate speech’ concerns? Or post-birth abortions? Or transgender bathrooms? What about gun rights? Schooling? Religious freedom?

Third, he isn’t Hillary Clinton.

Obviously, that sounds snide, but there is a grain of truth in it. Obama did well in 2008 – and he did – because he wasn’t Hillary, because he represented an alternative to a repeat of the Clinton Years. Donald Trump may have very little political experience, but – as I noted before – Hillary’s experience in office shows us that she isn’t half as clever as she seems to think she is. Trump may actually be smart enough to nominate people who are genuine experts; Clinton, depending on which sources you read, doesn’t seem to be smart enough to do anything of the sort. Why didn’t she realise that things in Libya were going to hell?

Whatever else can be said about Trump, he has never played fast and loose with national security. Clinton has – the email server alone would be grounds for a trial and a long jail sentence, if anyone else had owned and operated the server. I don’t believe there are any real grounds to dispute that Donald Trump loves America, while there are certainly plenty of grounds to suspect that the Clintons owe no allegiance to anyone past themselves.

The American population, in short, has a choice between Trump’s mouth – and it is a very foul mouth – and Hillary’s crimes. (A line I gleefully stole from an earlier commenter. Sorry.)

And yet, would Trump make a good president?

It is easy to say that anyone would be better than Hillary Clinton. That obviously isn’t true. I can think of worse candidates for the post than either Clinton or Trump. But the fundamental problem facing Trump – and the Republicans – is that the qualities needed to get elected are different from the qualities needed to be a good president. Trump is an aggressive fighter whose instinctive approach to challenges is to hit back. That plays well with his base because they’ve wanted a fighter for the last two decades. But when it comes to building a working government, it isn’t such a great strength.

The blunt truth, as I have noted before, is that it is difficult to truly assess Donald Trump. If he does well, the media ignores it; if he makes a tiny little gaffe, the media turns it into a world-class disaster and then recoils in horror when Trump keeps marching on anyway. In theory, at least, he’s better-prepared for the job than Clinton; a career outside the political elite, extensive business experience, extensive high-level discussion experience, a genuine willingness to notice the real problems bedevilling the United States and try to come to grips with them. But in practice, any fool can make a fuss about anything when out of power – just watch countless opposition parties around the globe – and then fold when they are forced to actually tackle the problems.

Indeed, many of Trump’s more absurd statements play well with his base. Trump’s attacks on Khan (who was trotted out at the DNC purely to embarrass Trump) made perfect sense; Khan’s role was to delegitimize the concerns about Muslim immigration and terrorism and he had to be neutralised as quickly as possible. Trump’s attacks on the media delight his base because the media hasn’t given them a fair shake in years. ‘Poor white trash’ are the sole ethnic group the media is allowed to mock these days – and boy, do they get mocked. And support for Trump is seen as a blow against Political Correctness and the many absurdities running around America – and the West – these days.

People do have the right to protest peacefully, for example – the keyword there is peacefully. The average American, I suspect, recoils in horror from violent student protests and groups such as Black Lives Matter because they are very far from peaceful. Their message boils down to ‘give us what we want or we will get violent’ and often they get violent anyway. It makes people want more repression, not tolerance. Trump’s supporters believe that their backs are being pressed against the wall, that they have to fight or surrender. And the hell of it is that they have a point.

Trump, for better or worse, comes across as someone willing to stand up and actually fight for his base. And they will forgive him anything as long as he fights for them.

trump_cartoons trump-scandal

The blunt truth is that America, particularly over the last eight years, has become more and more polarised. Racial tensions are on the rise, fuelled by demands for ‘social justice’ and propelled by narratives that are often easy to disprove; the economy is in a mess, despite constant assertions that it is doing better; the media has been exposed as shrills for the political left; the political elite themselves have been proved to be uninterested in anything but power; freedom of speech is under savage attack; ‘justice’ itself is now a question of who you are, not what you did.

And it is fuelling both extremism and a desire to just lash out.

Is it fair, one may ask, to blame every homosexual in America for the court case that crushed a bakery? Of course not – there were plenty of homosexuals who thought the whole affair was nothing more than disgraceful bullying. But the incident fuelled anti-homosexual feelings because it gave weight to the ‘us against them’ complex that has dominated humanity ever since we crawled out of the ocean. Discovering that one group has ‘rights’ not given to others is a recipe for social unrest and disaster.

Most people want tolerance, nothing more. But the Political Left wants enthusiastic acceptance from everyone. The average person has no reason to care, one way or the other, if Bruce Jenner wants to be called Caitlin Jenner as he starts the transformation into a transgender woman. But the left wants everyone to celibate his transformation and recoils in shocked horror when people, asked for their opinion, question his claim to be a real woman.

“Silly ignorant rednecks – didn’t they know there was only one true answer?”

And the rules keep changing. No one knows where to stand. Legitimate concerns are ignored – those who raise them are mocked and belittled. And the net result is a great seething mass of anger that has now found a champion in Donald Trump. Trump is a rump, as Bill James noted, but he has a point.

The Republican Party had an excellent chance to take a stand against the madness enveloping America – and did nothing. Now … the RNC has managed to render itself irreverent …

… And it is faced with the choice of holding its collective nose and supporting Trump …

… Or betraying its roots and supporting Hillary Clinton.

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48 Responses to “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”

  1. GA Patriot August 7, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

    Sadly, the Republican elites care more about keeping their donor and lobbying gravy train going. As the “loyal opposition”, the Communist Party will allow them to stay, for a while. So they will gladly throw their weight and support behind Hillary.

  2. Big Ben August 7, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    All Hillary has to do to win is shut up and let Trump keep talking.
    I’m a military vet from way back. Did the Dems intentionally highlight that Muslim family’s loss? You bet they did. Politics 101. What Trump should have said was, “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sons service to our country and I’m sorry for your loss.” Full f***ing stop, Chump. You didn’t have the balls to put on the uniform and pick up a weapon, so you damn sure don’t have the right to disparage those who do. How many deferments did you weasel through? Four?
    Oh, wait, I and those like me over the years have fought and died to ensure your freedom of speech … so keep talkin’, boy. Hillary’s lovin’ every minute of it.
    Maybe segue into how you’re going to deal with Isis … Oh, that’s right, send more of us back over to the sandbox to die needlessly in a war that can’t be won, any more than the war on drugs or the war on poverty can be won. You can’t shoot a gun or launch a cruise missle at an ideology. Ideology just vanishes into the general population, then shoots you in the back when you look away. Then hits the ambulance that comes to get you with an IED. Ideology is a bitch.
    Or explain how you were pro choice for so long, until it was politically inconvenient, and how a twice-divorced fellow speaks for family values.
    Or how you were first a democrat, them an independent, then a republican, then in the reform party, then a republican again … wait, maybe it was reform, then republican. This guy has flip-flopped more often than pancakes at IHOP. Whatever was most convenient for him at the time.
    And yes, I know you never personally filed for bankruptcy … but businesses that you owned and controlled filed four times over the last couple of decades. According to CNN, “No major US company has filed for Chapter 11 more than Trump’s casino empire in the last 30 years.”
    Hundreds of millions of dollars gone, poof! Ah, but it wasn’t really your money, was it? Where did your personal fortune come from, and why are you the first republican nominee since Nixon to refuse to release your tax returns? Oh yeah, you’re being audited. Riiiight. That’s the excuse Nixon used, too. Turns out ol’ Tricky Dick owed almost half a mil in unpaid taxes and interest.
    Repeat after me, Donald, “I am not a crook!”
    Yeah, quite the businessman. Sounds just like a politician.

    • shrekgrinch August 8, 2016 at 6:22 am #

      This guy, people is a perfect example of one of those types who just doesn’t get it.

      Shrillary is a terrible candidate. Terrible. Trump’s Mouth does not change any of that. And trotting out Sharia Law loving Khan to hold up the Constitution that Shrillary pisses all over every chance she gets only tells the public that her motto is ‘Make America More Mislim’ vs Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’. Guess which is the more selling message?

      But keep thinking that Trump’s Mouth actually matters. That is such a WINNING strategy. Especially since the Left has demonized every GOP candidate since Reagan as the second coming off Adolf Hitler and now what you consider to be that very monster for real has shown up, you are perplexed that the public who has been listening to you cry wolf for over 30 years aren’t buying your BS? Hahahaha…

      Buddy, if you REALLY were in the military (which is doubtful), maybe you took too many IED hits to the head.

      • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 10:52 am #

        Arguments stand on their own, it doesn’t matter who makes them. Attacking the credibility of the person making an argument is called argumentum ad hominem and is a logical fallacy. The criticism leveled at Trump for his response to Khan’s attack is valid, because Trump himself did not address the message, only the messenger.

        Trump did not sacrifice anything in service of his country, that is factually true. Trumps businesses had to file for bankruptcy multiple times, which is true as well. Some of Trump’s promises are unconstitutional, like discriminating based on religion, also true. Inconsistency on certain political issues, again truthful. Shameless liar, according to politifact he has been the least honest candidate in the race. Refusing to release tax returns, is also true.

        Unless you address the arguments instead of the one making the argument, a reasoned discussion isn’t possible. He also didn’t endorse Clinton at all, he only made a case against Trump. He could be a republican for all you know. Granted that’s unlikely, but it’s not hard to see Clinton as the lesser of two evils. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.

        Greetings Drowe

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

        Some of Trump’s promises are unconstitutional, like discriminating based on religion, also true.

        As a Conservative Christian who some times get the message that Liberals don’t understand what Religious Freedom is all about, I find the argument that Trump’s comments about Muslims are “unconstitutional” to be flawed.

        If a Christian Group contains members willing to kill in the name of their religion, IMO it would not be unconstitutional for the US government to look very careful at members of that Christian Group before they were allowed to immigrate to the US.

        It would also not be unconstitutional for law enforcement to look very carefully at that Christian Group to see if members were planning violence against non-members of that Group.

        There is evidence that the FBI was called off of an investigation of the mosque that the Orlando killer attended.

        The FBI was concerned about the mosque having terrorist links but the State Department pressured the FBI to end the investigation.

        The Orlando killer was also “investigated” for his security job as well as a certain type of hand-gun license required for his security job.

        There’s evidence that he got a pass because he was Muslim.

        Sorry Drowe but the same groups that scream the loudest about the “evils” of Conservative Christians, are also groups that white-wash Muslims who may be dangerous to non-Muslims.

      • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but did he or did he not call for a ban of Muslim immigration, even if it is only temporary? If that is what he promises, it is definitely discrimination based on religion. It does not matter that I can understand or even agree on the reasoning it is based on. It is a matter of principle.

        In the same line of reasoning, the tendency of liberals to call anyone who voices a critical opinion of Islam a racist, is just as wrong. If a Muslim is checked less carefully than a Christian, that is also discrimination. For the same reason I am against affirmative action, it is discrimination. Some who call themselves liberals have ceased to actually BE liberal, calling for censorship and threatening free speech. However some conservatives aren’t any better. How often has the religious right tried to get video games and movies or even books banned?

        At the moment, the regressive left is the more immediate problem, but the extremes on either side of the political spectrum are authoritarian and it is important to keep those tendencies in check or democracy suffers.

        I don’t know where exactly I stand on the political spectrum, though I think somewhere between liberal and libertarian. I often disagree with conservative opinions, but I value their point of view, because they can see problems that are either not obvious to me or not important to me. But the same is true the other way around. Take gun laws for example. I’m not american, but the gun laws in the US seem insane to me. Liberals have a point when they ask why you need a license to drive but not to own a gun, at least in some states. Even if it’s just to be sure you know how to safely use it.

        The point is, both liberals and conservatives need to stop treating each other like enemies and start working together again. And that will only happen if both sides listen to each other, instead of dismissing a different opinion out of hand. The most important diversity is diversity of ideas. If you try to confirm an idea you are opposed to instead of looking for evidence to disprove it, you may find that it isn’t unreasonable. Not always, but some times. You won’t change your mind on it, few people really do, but it may start to break down the barriers.

        Greetings Drowe

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

        Not sure of his exact words but…

        There is nothing in the Constitution about a “Right” to immigrate to the US thus the US government can and has limited immigration by certain groups.

        Also, IMO if a given group (religious or otherwise) has members who have used violence against others, then there is nothing in the Constitution that says that they must be allowed to immigrate to the US.

        One of the problems with the Obama administration’s policy on the Syrian “refugees” is that there is no method being used to prevent terrorists from coming into the US as “refugees”.

        Plenty of people believe that we should do a better checking of these “refugees” to prevent terrorists from entering the US.

        This has nothing to do with their religion and everything to do with the possible acts of violence they might engage in once they are in the US.

        In addition, there have been cases (largely unreported by the News Media) of some refugees causing problems because they have not been willing to assimilate to US ideals, practises and US laws.

        As long as Liberals white-wash Muslims and their actions along with refusing to expect Muslims to follow the same Laws that other Americans must follow, there will be valid concerns about letting more Muslims immigrate to the US.

        So as far as Trump goes, I extremely unlikely to accept the News Media claims about unconstitutional actions on his part along with News Media claims of anti-Muslim bigotry on his part.

        Of course, the President isn’t a King so Trump would have to have congressional support for any actions and the News Media will be keeping a closer eye on his actions than they would on the “Holy Hillary” actions.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

        Just a minor comment Drowe, I’m politically and religiously conservative and have heard too much garbage in the News Media about “my” positions.

        I’ve also heard too much garbage from the News Media about Republican candidates for the Presidency.

        The News Media has alternated between “He’s a Nazi” and “He’s going to create a Theocracy”.

        Why should I believe the News Media when they scream about Trump?

        Of course, I know enough about Hillary that I don’t want a Hillary Presidency.

      • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

        I understand your position, you feel your views are disrespected by liberals and you are right about that. At the same time, correct me if I’m wrong, conservatives have little respect for liberals either. The only way out of this mess, is by being respectful of each other, but that won’t happen unless you or me as individuals start to treat each other respectfully. I don’t believe I have been disrespectful towards you and I don’t feel that you were disrespectful towards me. That’s the first step. We may have fundamental differences in opinion, and neither one of us will convince the other, but we can talk about our different views and find common ground, things we can agree on. Conservatives and liberals both have valid concerns, and often people are blind to a problem that is glaringly obvious to someone else. By listening to someone who holds different beliefs to your own and really trying to see their point of view, you can learn to see them not as an opponent or enemy but as someone you can have a dialogue with. However, it is best if that someone is not hostile to begin with.

        I should clarify some things though, I am German and I absolutely hate it when people draw Hitler or Nazi comparisons. Trump is definitely not the reincarnation of Hitler. There are only a few occasions where any such comparison is justified at all and Trump doesn’t qualify. I may criticise Trump, but I don’t think he would be the desaster liberal media makes him out to be. In the comment section of the last essay on Clinton I mentioned that I actually did spend time on finding out what motivates Trump voters. He does address the concerns of the working class, who have definitely been neglected by both parties. I don’t think his voters are stupid or racist. What I disagree with is, that he would be a good president, but I think he may be better than Clinton, at least he won’t be influenced by SJWs.

        “Also, IMO if a given group (religious or otherwise) has members who have used violence against others, then there is nothing in the Constitution that says that they must be allowed to immigrate to the US.”

        I have a problem with the principle of barring every member of a religion from entry into a free country. It would set a very bad precedent and would not be enforceable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it would be wrong to reject immigration from specific countries based on security concerns, I think it’s wrong to do so based on religion. To stop terrorists from entering the country legally, tourism, family visits and student visas would have to be restricted as well. And then terrorists could just try to come illegally. To effectively enforce such a ban would require massive effort with little benefits. Especially since you can’t look at a person and see what he believes. I think such a policy would only make matters worse and fuel radicalization. I can understand why the idea would appeal to conservatives, especially Christian conservatives. There is nothing wrong with being extra cautious with who you let into the country. But I believe a blanket ban would not have the desired effect, I think it would only cause resentment but do little good, it might make matters worse.

        In Germany Angela Merkel was heavily criticised for her decision to welcome the refugees, yet we had few terror attacks from islamists. There was Cologne on new year’s, a bomb and someone with an axe. The shooting in Munich turned out to be some kid who was inspired by Anders Breivik who committed a mass shooting in Norway. I believe Merkel’s decision was calculated to undermine the Islamic state, and the events in cologne were aimed at inciting hatred towards Muslims so that Germany would close its borders. The problem with Islam is, that it’s an ideology as well as a religion, and the only way to fight an ideology is to discredit it in the eyes of those who follow it.

        Greetings Drowe

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

        Blanket bans may not be a “Good Idea” but I don’t see them as unconstitutional.

        On the other hand, blanket bans may be necessary in order to develop good means to prevent the dangerous people from entering the US (or Germany).

        As for “fighting an ideology”, it can be necessary to make it clear that “such things aren’t allowed”.

        Otherwise, otherwise your efforts to combat will be hampered by silly concerns of “we can’t insult those poor people”.

        On the Gripping Hand, even valid concerns about proper treatment of Muslims will be set aside if the Liberals “allow” by their inaction, massive deaths carried out by Muslims.

        Oh, as for your Munich shooting, the “habit” of the News Media and various government to “deny” that massive killings were done for religious reasons even when the motives were religiously based, means that plenty of people will be skeptical of “Official Denials” or “Official Other Reasons”.

        It’s become a joke in conservative circles that whenever there’s a mass shooting to say “It must be the Radical Amish at work again”.

        IE We don’t expect the governments or the News Media to report that it was Islamic Terrorism especially when it was Islamic Terrorism.

      • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

        Since only one of the three attacks was judged as not an act of terrorism, the argument doesn’t hold water. Especially since the governor of Bavaria, where all three incidents happened, is christian conservative. He wouldn’t have hesitated to use that as ammunition against Merkel. The victims were known to the shooter, some of them were Muslims themselves, and instead of doing as much damage as possible he killed himself after killing nine people. That shares more common denominators with high school shootings than a terrorist attack.

        Believe what you will, but you had many school shootings that weren’t terror attacks, the only difference in this case was that it didn’t happen at a school.

        I think being polite is a virtue, I don’t think being needlessly insulting and offensive is how people should behave. That being said, there is no such thing as the right not to be offended. You do however have the right to express your opinion no matter how offensive that opinion may be. I think political correctness is a menace to freedom of speech, especially if laws are enacted on that basis. I find that tendency extremely worrying and a threat to democracy. That by itself is a good reason to vote for Trump.

        I think the word liberal does not describe those on the far left, calling them liberal is funny in an ironic way. I prefer the term regressive left. And there is a considerable opposition from all over the political spectrum against this cancer in our midst. I actually worry more about them than I worry about islamists. Because they have Orwellian ideas of how society should be, they are inspired by Marxist ideas, and they have a lot of influence especially in the media.

      • Stuart the Viking August 8, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

        Drowe, What Trump called for was to restrict immigration from certain middle eastern countries until a way was found to do a valid background check on those individuals. Because of the unrest/war in that area of the world there is currently no way to do this. He did not actually say “we should ban Muslims”. That is what the press and his opponents started shouting because they knew people wouldn’t like it. It seems like you agree: “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it would be wrong to reject immigration from specific countries based on security concerns, I think it’s wrong to do so based on religion”

        As far as guns go, I know a LOT about that subject. If a politician says something that is anti-gun, it is usually either wrong or misleading. Yes, you do have to have a license to drive a car, while you don’t have to have one (in some areas) to own a gun. That SOUNDS like an odd thing. Except really there isn’t as much of a difference as it sounds. I is legal to own a car and drive it on my own property without a license. Just as it is legal to own a gun on my own property without a license… except there ARE some states where I WOULD need a license just to own a gun on my own property. Hmm… sounds like it isn’t all that much different after all in that regard (with firearms ownership actually a little more restricted in places). I DO need a license to drive my car on public streets…. Guess what. In a vast majority of America, it is the same with guns. I would need a license to carry a gun in public. There are a few states where getting that license to carry a gun is nearly impossible (unless you are well connected). On the other hand, there are a few states that have done away with that requirement to have a license to carry a gun in public. So mostly the same, but a little different than driving a car. But here’s the rub. Those places where they have done away with the requirement to have a license to carry in public haven’t seen a huge jump in violent crime. In fact, some of them have seen a DROP in crime since they did away with the license to carry. On the other hand, many of the places were it is practically impossible to get a license to carry a gun in public (and in some of those places it is nearly just as impossible to get the license to even own one) have some of the highest violent crime rates in America.

        Then there is the simple fact that I don’t have to go through a background check to buy a car or get a driver’s license, while I do to buy a gun or get a license to carry one. And, my Florida Drivers License is valid everywhere in America (and even in Canada and Mexico for that matter) where my license to carry is only valid in Florida, and some states that have made a reciprocal agreement with Florida but not in other states and certainly NOT in Canada or Mexico). Really, I would LOVE to have gun ownership/carry be just like a drivers license. But that would mean that I would be able to get a license and carry everywhere in America, and we BOTH know the anti-gun people would hate that.

      • Drowe August 9, 2016 at 12:03 am #

        Stuart, in that case it was distorted by the media and despite my honest efforts of filtering those distortions out some got through. He is a loudmouth though and it doesn’t seem out of character for him. I am against discrimination, but that does not only include discrimination against minorities, but preferential treatment of minorities as well.

        I have no issue with enacting sensible policies designed to prevent terrorism, but there are limits on how much is acceptable to prevent terrorism. I don’t think it is a good idea to allow the government to infringe on the citizens liberties in the name of security. And it worries me that some laws were put in place that infringe on free speech.

        Be that as it may, Germany has very strict gun laws compared to the US and crimes involving guns are a lot more rare. However I can’t really explain why that is. Banning or making it harder to legally purchase a gun will not change anything in regard of crimes involving guns. But requiring getting a license might help. It should be just as drivers licenses, proper instructions on safety and security, some shooting lessons and instructions on how to take care of it. Put some legislation in place that makes sure gun owners protect them from theft, if it doesn’t already exist, but then you should be allowed to carry a gun everywhere in the US, not just the state you live in.

        I agree, those who are anti gun wouldn’t like the idea, nevertheless in my opinion it is a sensible approach. I’m really curious about why the number of crimes per privately owned gun is so much higher in the US than in Europe. if you look at the US as a whole it’s tempting assume correlation implies causation, but as you said that’s not the case. And that leaves the question if gun ownership is not the reason, what other reason there is.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 9, 2016 at 1:34 am #

        To make things “interesting”, the High Crime areas of the US are also in areas where it is extremely difficult to legally get a gun.

        Of course, the criminals still get guns and their crimes are “excused” as being because of White Racism.

        IE It’s the fault of the Evil Whites that these poor folks turn to crime.

      • Stuart the Viking August 9, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

        I really don’t think that the number of privately owned guns per person is a valid indicator for what you are looking for. Sure, the numbers LOOK like it if you compare all of Germany with all of the US. However, if you break those numbers down by individual state, you will find that the murder rate by firearm in places like Wyoming, which has one of the largest number of privately owned firearms per person in the US (and NO licensing requirements to own a firearm or carry one*), is actually LOWER than in Germany. While places like Washington DC, where a license to own IS required, and from what I understand, those licenses are nearly impossible to come by, has some of the highest rates of murder by firearm in the US.

        Admittedly the statistics get a little fuzzy when it is unclear if the “number of firearms owned per person” statistic includes illegally owned firearms (I suspect not) and the number of murders by firearms definitely DOES include both legally owned and illegally owned firearms (with illegally owned firearms being the majority). Obviously, since in my example Washington DC does require licensing, while Wyoming does not. The numbers seem to suggest that a licensing requirement doesn’t do as much as you might think.

        The OTHER thing that a licensing requirement does is it gives the government a list of all the firearms owners (the ones who legally own anyway). We have already seen these lists used in some of the states where a license is required to go after gun owners when laws are passed banning specific firearms types (don’t get me started on how these laws target types of firearms are only used in a very small percentage of firearms related crimes).

        * Wyoming does not require a license to openly carry a firearm for anyone, and there is no requirement for a license to carry concealed for Wyoming residents. Non-Residents with concealed carry permits may also carry concealed if the permit is from an accepted state. A list of those states (most states qualify, but not all) is easy to find. (The usual disclaimer applies. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. Don’t take any wooden nickles).

      • Drowe August 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

        Anyone who isn’t blinded by ideology can see, that racism is not the reason. The majority of homicides committed by black people have a black victim, and that’s the case for all ethnic groups, a white person is more likely the perpetrator if the victim is white. That is based on FBI crime statistics.

        But it can’t be denied, that homicide rates in the US are significantly higher than in other western nations. And I wonder why that is the case. In the US, there are 3.9 homicides per 100,000 people, in Canada it’s only 1.4, in Germany and the UK it’s 0.9. It can’t be explained by the gun laws, it can also not be explained by lax sentencing, because of those four examples only the US has the death penalty. And comparisons between US states with and without death penalty shows that the death penalty does not impact the homicide rate.

        If the right to carry a gun did actually deter crime, homicide rates should be higher in nations that restrict gun ownership and the rights to carry them in public. That is not the case however. Even within the US states there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between the right to carry a gun open or concealed and homicide rates. Louisiana has the highest homiced rate and does allow open carry. New Hampshire has the lowest homicide rate and does allow open carry. It seems that guns neither increase nor decrease homicide rates, and neither does the death penalty. So I’m really interested what the reason for the high homicide rates in the US is.

        As a side note, this is not meant as criticism of guns or the death penalty, only my thoughts on the issue and the reasoning behind the analysis. I have not been doing extensive research on this beyond wikipedia and Google, so if there are errors in the statistics, feel free to correct me on that. My aim is in trying to understand, not to make an argument.

        Greetings Drowe

    • Urusigh August 19, 2016 at 3:53 am #

      “You didn’t have the balls to put on the uniform and pick up a weapon, so you damn sure don’t have the right to disparage those who do.”

      And when did he? Khan’s son served. I respect that. If Khan himself ever served this country in uniform every article I’ve read on the matter managed to leave that out. What what the hell had Khan done besides use his own son’s corpse as a sandbag while taking potshots at Trump?

      Khan’s office specializes in selling visas to rich Muslims. His legal writings affirm that Sharia is above all human law (and specifically Constitutional Law), that judges have no recourse but to abide by it, and such archaic standards as “a husband may beat his wife, so long as it is not overly severe” and “blasphemy shall be punished by death” are correct interpretations of modern Islamic law. His writings on Islamic law have been cited hundreds of times, on Constitutional Law… None. This is not a man who honors the Constitution, our freedoms, or this country.

      So he deserves to be “disparaged”. Trump’s words regarding Khan were far more restrained than those of Khan regarding Trump. Maybe the military was different in your time, but at every duty station and in every deployment I’ve been on you ALWAYS have the right to shoot back.

      Let’s see who is pro-military:
      Trump wants the greatest military ever “so strong we won’t have to use it”. I’m both in favor of a strong military and restraint in when it’s used, aren’t you?
      Hilary wants… well, to send troops everywhere (it’s hard to find a single foreign policy topic in her time as Secretary of State where she didn’t recommend sending troops), but if she has any plan to actually rebuild the personnel, training, and equipment budgets to support that she’s been awfully quiet about it.

      Trump pushes our allies to actually meet their agreed upon minimum financial contributions to the common defense. Expecting our allies to keep their agreements and actually be worth something in a war or lose the right to drag us into their conflicts… this is controversial?
      Hillary… accepts multi-million dollar “donations” through the Clinton Foundation and then hands out favorable policies to those countries through the State Department. No thank you, I don’t mind playing global cop for our nation’s legitimate interests when needed, but I reject dying in a 3rd world country as a rent-a-cop for her foreign patrons.

      Trump had managed to keep something as mundane as his tax returns secret.
      Hillary, despite holding an office that is itself a classification authority, did not recognize TS//SCI material in her emails, did not recognize standard portion markings, did not abide by federal law regarding records retention, did not follow even the absurdly lax State Department standards for electronic devices, and did willfully take her unsecured blackberry into SCIFs and highly sensitive meetings even after being warned that adversaries had already demonstrated the ability to exploit that device in that area (and there was that whole private email server thing…). If I did even one of the things she’s done I’d lose my clearance, my job, and probably my freedom to a cell at Leavenworth.

      Incidentally, Trump has had more than 70 businesses in a career that spans what, half a century? Only 4 bankruptcies is an absurdly GOOD ratio. It’s like criticizing a pro baseball player for getting struck out 4 times in a season where he sets a home run record. That’s the entire point of a diversified portfolio, it lets you take some high risk high reward chances knowing that a few will fail. Seriously, CEOs get offered MORE money after having been through a company bankruptcy because that’s considered valuable job experience. You really haven’t made an argument for how a history of understanding risk and overcoming the rare financial setback can be a bad thing in a president.

  3. bexwhitt August 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    The problem with Trump is nobody knows (including the orange one) what he will do. Until the black man took the big seat, he was on the bigoted part of the democrat party. Since then WTF (who not what) knows what he believes. His recent actions, show that loose cannon is a polite way of saying, out of control.

    • shrekgrinch August 8, 2016 at 6:28 am #

      That is true. I hate Shrillary but I don’t know what Trump will do. However I do know it will be highly entertaining and possibly lead to the overdue purging of the GOP of its RINO elites.

      • bexwhitt August 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

        By RiNO I assume you mean sane Republicans and not total RWNJ’s like Cruz

    • Urusigh August 19, 2016 at 4:08 am #

      In broad strokes, we do know. Trump wants to be seen as the person who stands up for the little guy, to be seen as someone who never backs down to a bully, someone who has the greatest of everything.

      Since enjoying that reputation will require actually delivering for the little guy, standing strong on foreign policy, and rebuilding our industry… well, he’s going to do his best to accomplish those things (which, given his background, mostly means hiring advisors and listening to them). Actual success would depend on political cooperation, the “experts” being right, and world conditions not throwing a wrench in the gears regardless… But at least he’s guaranteed to try, which is more than I can say for his opposition.

  4. Drowe August 7, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

    Your analysis is good, I can agree with most of your assessments. But there are some inaccuracies and oversimplifications that are indicating a bias in favour of conservatives (ideologically speaking, not politicians), or maybe libertarians.

    “Instead of accepting the Tea Party movement as a gentle rebuke from the party faithful, the RNC crushed it.”
    I don’t see that they had any other choice, the tea party threatened to have the US default on their debt in the middle of the financial crisis. Their behaviour was extremely dangerous. At the current level of debt, an increase in interest rates could bankrupt the government, the knock on effect would have almost certainly caused a domino effect bankrupting many other nations as well. I can’t imagine any scenario in which this wouldn’t have ended in desaster.

    “They might even succeed in rolling back a great of the executive power Obama has amassed over the last eight years.”
    In the last 100 years only 3 presidents issued fewer executive orders than Obama, Bush Sr., Ford and JFK (barely). Saying he abused that power seems like a distortion of the facts. Any other powers were granted to the executive by congress.

    From an objective standpoint, judging Obama’s precidency as a catastrophy is simply wrong, he may not have been great, but I genuinely believe he did what he believed was right within the limits of his power. You may disagree with him on right and wrong, but it’s important to remember, that you can only act on information you are aware of at the time and there is never a solution that everyone agrees with.

    The polarisation in the US is not a result of Obama, it has nothing to do with him. It’s a highly complex issue. Simplified you could say it is the result of the retirement of the generation that fought in WWII as well as changes in how congress convenes. But the problem really is rooted in social psychology and moral psychology, and in the lack of political diversity within both parties. In the past, there were conservative democrats and liberal republicans. That’s no longer the case. Politicians of different parties could be friends with each other, they socialized. Now they hate each other. They rather see the other party fail than work on a compromise. A lot of it is rooted in morality, liberals and conservatives have different moral foundations. Liberals care about liberty, fairness and care, but reject authority, in-group loyalty and sanctity. Conservatives care less about the liberal values, and more about the values liberals reject, though they don’t reject liberal values, just place less emphasis on them than liberals do. They also have a different interpretation of what those values mean. To a liberal fairness means, that those who succeed should help those who don’t, while a conservative believes that fairness means everyone should be treated equally. Both sides are correct to some degree, but few are willing to accept that. The conservatives believe everyone succeeds and fails on their own merits, and if someone fails they should bear the consequences. Liberals believe, that equality of opportunity requires a level playing field, those who are born in poverty don’t have the same opportunities as someone who is born into wealth, and it’s the governments job to help those who are disadvantaged to have a fair chance to succeed. I think everyone can agree, that both are valid interpretations of fairness, but one of them will feel more correct than the other. And I’m only scratching the surface.

    There are more issues, that contribute to the polarization. Conservatives have been unsuccessful in preventing massive cultural changes ever since WWII, racial equality, women’s rights, gay rights and so forth. Especially in urban areas, people have become less religious and more open to different cultures. Liberals believe that is a good thing, conservatives see it as a threat to the existing culture. Globalization is another point of friction, liberals like it, because on average it raises the standard of living, but those whose jobs get outsourced see it differently, they don’t see how it benefits them. Another contributing factor is the lack of conservative professors in certain fields of study, especially the humanities and social sciences except for economics. Students in these disciplines often don’t get confronted with conservative ideas and are often even taught by radical professors, some of them Marxists. That’s where SJWs come from.

    The war on drugs causes a significant portion of black men to be incarcerated for minor infractions, simply because growing up poor often leads to criminal behaviour. It also makes it harder to get a job. It also leads to single parent households, one of the main factors for poverty. Income inequality is a problem as well, because it decreases the standard of living for everyone, including the rich. That doesn’t mean, all income should be equal, but it isn’t good if only the top 20% benefit from the rising GDP while the other 80% barely keep up with inflation. Those are liberal positions, that conservatives don’t care about. On the other hand, increasing numbers of single parents and fewer marriages are a problem, and so is the national debt, the debt to GDP ratio hasn’t been this bad since WWII. Those issues worry conservatives, while liberals don’t think it’s a problem.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 12:09 am #

      From an objective standpoint, judging Obama’s precidency as a catastrophy is simply wrong, he may not have been great, but I genuinely believe he did what he believed was right within the limits of his power.

      Sorry, from a real objective standpoint, it doesn’t matter if Obama “did what he believed was right” regarding his Presidency being a catastrophe or not.

      I did something that I honestly believed to be right and my actions caused a disaster, the disaster is still real and my “good intentions are not relevant” to that fact.

      IMO to say that Obama’s Presidency isn’t a catastrophe, you need to show evidence that it hasn’t been.

      Obama’s “sincerity” is not applicable to the question of his Presidency being a catastrophe or not.

      • Gzolin August 8, 2016 at 6:10 am #

        World war three didn’t start
        No nukes have been launched
        No extinction level event occurred

        I’m ‘fairly’ certain that those would be considered catastrophes.

        People need to stop throwing the word catastrophe so easily.

      • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 8:29 am #

        “IMO to say that Obama’s Presidency isn’t a catastrophe, you need to show evidence that it hasn’t been.”

        The economy is growing again, unemployment is down, violent crime is going down, health insurance coverage is improved. Those are not indicators of a catastrophy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming his presidency was particularly good, I think he did plenty of things wrong, but I am getting annoyed by conservatives cherry picking the bad or liberals cherry picking the good. That’s confirmation bias, not critical thinking. By my standards, his presidency was not a catastrophy, the situation in Greece could be called a catastrophy, but nothing nearly as bad has happened in the US. I don’t want to have to defend Obama, but painting his presidency blacker than it has been, pardon the pun, helps no one and only furthers the political polarization.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

        That’s better.

        I’m not sure I agree with you about Obama’s Presidency but the “sincerity” argument fails IMO.

    • shrekgrinch August 8, 2016 at 6:26 am #

      By American standards, Obama’s presidency has been a failed one, much like Carter’so was.

      • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 8:37 am #

        A failed presidency is a far cry from a catastrophy. I don’t know if I would agree with you on that, but I’m not well enough informed on Carter’s presidency to make that judgement.

    • BobStewartatHome August 10, 2016 at 3:50 am #

      Drowe, this is an ad hominem attack. But for cause. You spew an enormous volume of garbage, and it is in no one’s interest to debate you point by point. It would be a waste of time. You presume things about America that just aren’t so. A “lack of conservative professors in certain fields” is a dodge around the reality that universities are run as closed shops, and only the most outrageously progressive apprentices have any hope of achieving journeyman status. The fancy titles hide the reality, i.e. journeymen are called “Associate Professors”, but the FEC contribution records tell the tale about this corrupt modern day guild. And yes, urban ghettos are drug infested, and blacks are often arrested for drug infractions. But these poor fellows are the meat that is fed into the heartless and soulless grinder that is public education under the control of unionized teachers. Hardly 40% of this cannon fodder can be considered literate and numerate after ten to twelve years of pointless indoctrination. The black market is the only work they can qualify for, given only that they’re willing to beat the hell out of someone else. And this is after fifty years (50) control of public education by progressives with ever increasing expenditures for public education. Your arguments about guns are equally off target. Think again about Wyoming and Washington D. C.

      • Drowe August 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

        It is presumptuous to speak for other people. Some people actually enjoy debating, and how someone spends their time is their business. And if you consider it a waste of time, why do you reply at all?

        What things do I presume about America, that just aren’t so?

        “A “lack of conservative professors in certain fields” is a dodge around the reality that universities are run as closed shops, and only the most outrageously progressive apprentices have any hope of achieving journeyman status.”

        How is that a dodge? A lack of conservative professors does not contradict what you are saying, it is in fact supporting evidence for your claim about universities.

        I haven’t said anything about public education, and I don’t even disagree with you that there are massive problems there. So why do you bring it up? Poverty is one of the main contributing factors for violent crimes and drug related crimes. The war on drugs doesn’t help with that, and neither does the high rate of unmarried mothers and absentee fathers.

        Which arguments about guns are off target? I’m not arguing against private guns, I think requiring a license would be prudent, but once you have one it should be valid everywhere in the US. I didn’t even call for a high hurdle to acquire such a license, just prove you can handle it and know the laws, that’s all I proposed. And it’s not like my opinion on the subject carries any weight at all, it’s just my opinion.

        And comparing Washington DC to Wyoming is a flawed comparison, the population density of DC is 2,000 times as high as that of Wyoming. If you want to compare DC to another state, then Rhode Island comes closest in population density, private gun ownership and restrictive laws yet the homicide rates are not similarly high as in DC. Rhode Island on the other hand has lower homicide rates than Delaware. Both states have low rates of gun ownership, even though Delaware has less restrictive laws, it has a homicide rate twice as high despite a lower population density. Or maybe compare Wyoming to Alaska, both have a low population density, both have high rates of gun ownership, and their gun laws are are similar too. It would be reasonable to assume similar homicide rates, but they are three times higher in Alaska than in Wyoming. It looks almost as if neither anti gun advocates nor pro gun advocates got it right.

      • BobStewartatHome August 10, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

        The comparison of Wyoming to Washington D. C. is just as reasonable as comparing Copenhagen to any U. S. city. Yet we are barraged with comparison’s of selected European micro-cultures to our own, particularly by socialists, and we’re supposed to submit gracefully to such things. And most of these wonderful places in Europe rolled over like a beaten dog to Hitler, and very few did anything to resist the master race’s plans for utopia. I find nothing of value in what passes for European culture. It is a massive serfdom. The control of the press with its manipulation of the news by the authorities is right out of the Third Reich. Those who object to uncontrolled immigration are routinely considered right wing Nazis, which, of course, neglects that fact the Nazis were lefties, but that’s just another manifestation of the insanity that is Europe. The U. K. has been the only bright spot for two hundred years, and its glow is fading.

        Your assumption that “poverty” is the underlying cause of violent crime is baloney. It is the failure of our schools to provide these boys and girls with a decent education that is the real cause. I’ve coached and tutored in inner city schools, and I’m pretty sure most of the kids who are struggling to complete their high school education have never experienced a knowledgeable adult talking to them about addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Our community colleges have massive enrollments of twenty year olds who have, on their own, figured out that they really do need to learn algebra, even if it takes three evenings a week for a year. They are the ones who will escape the ghetto. But they aren’t the majority. And this is intentional, as far as I can figure out. Everyone knows there is a problem, but everyone is given a reason to pretend it doesn’t exist. If poverty, as in a lack of wealth, was the problem, the War on Poverty would have succeeded. It is a lack of skills and training that dooms these inner city kids, giving the gangs and the black market their customers and employees.

        And your remark that healthcare insurance has been improved in the last four or five years is laughable. Those who are in unions or who work for large corporations have been granted waivers, by means of executive orders that modified the original law, so nothing changed for them. Those working for small companies, and the self employed, have been hammered by Obamacare rules. Part time work is now commonplace because this avoids some of the rules. Middle income people who work and pay taxes have been straddled with massive monthly increases in the cost of health care insurance. And the insurance exchanges are collapsing as enrollment drops, leaving the insurance companies with the requirement to insure pre-existing conditions but without the large number of healthy people needed to subsidize the added costs. And of the 37 million who were said to be without health insurance, about 27 million are still winging it. But this doesn’t mean they don’t get health care. It just means that it creates major financial headaches for healthcare providers.

        That said, I do appreciate your comments on debating and expressing opinions.

      • Drowe August 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

        I compared the rate of homicides and asked why it was higher in the US than in other western nations, I did not presume a reason for why that is, instead I explicitly ruled out US gun laws as the cause, because by your own example they are not the cause. I expanded that example comparing other US states with similar characteristics to each other and showed that guns don’t prevent crime either. To me this is of interest, because it makes no sense to me. I always assumed it must be because of the gun laws, but since that was debunked I am at a loss for how to explain it.

        I did not claim that poverty is the cause, I claimed it is one, as in “one of multiple”, main contributing factors. You are right that education or lack thereof is another main contributing factor for violence. Some other factors include culture, absentee fathers and drug abuse, as well as mental health and genetic predisposition and more. Additionally, lack of education is a compounding factor, because it contributes both to poverty and to violent behaviour.

        I would like some evidence for your health insurance assertion. I was under the impression that it had improved, if that is wrong, I want to look at the numbers myself.

        As for your views on European culture, I have no idea where you are getting your information from, but how do you think we live here? How do you figure this is a massive serfdom? The media isn’t any more or less controlled by the government here than in the US. Many mainstream politicians are against uncontrolled immigration, especially from the right wing of the conservative party, there is a rising nationalist party, that is concerning many because of the radical changes they propose and some very unfortunate statements made by some of their top politicians. Their political positions aren’t unreasonable, but conflict with my personal position in some regards.

        Nazi ideology is on the left by american standards, but in Europe nationalists are considered to be on the right, don’t ask me why, but I assume for historic reasons.

        To compare today’s governments in western nations with Hitler or Nazis is inappropriate and uncalled for. There is reason to be on guard especially about the far left. But what is going on now is a far cry from the third Reich.

        And claiming Europe rolled over for the Nazis is very misleading. Militarily Poland and Norway just weren’t strong enough and France was surprised by German battle tactics. If you mean the population, then I’d recommend reading about the experiment called “the wave”, it’s not hard to manipulate people to do the most despicable acts, by dehumanizing a group of people. That’s exactly what the regressive left does with their identity politics and racism against whites.

      • BobStewartatHome August 11, 2016 at 12:11 am #

        Drowe,

        1. “some evidence for your health insurance assertion” . Just google “aca exchange enrollment problem 2015”. You’ll find pro and con articles, but the bottom line is that enrollment is only around 11 million, 80% to 90% of those enrolling receive Federal subsidies for their monthly payments, and I believe the Medicaid program takes a lot of these new enrollees. Poke around some more and you’ll find that emergency room treatment has grown remarkably in recent years, and yet one of the arguments for the aca was that people would utilize the healthcare system more responsibly, seeing a family doctor for minor things, and so on. You will also see drastic increases in the projected enrollment as Obama’s waivers run out in 2016 and 2017. But this clashes with union healthcare programs which are considered “Platinum” policies and have huge premiums. It’s hard to imagine that the Democrats will stab their boss in the back. Oh, and be sure to check the date on any analysis. The studies published three years ago were hopelessly optimistic. They are finding that people who actually earn money and pay taxes find other means of providing for their family’s healthcare, despite the “penalty” which the Supreme Court determined to be a tax for not joining the aca.

        2. “As for your views on European culture …”. The recent mass sexual attacks on New Years Eve in Germany were covered here pretty much from the start. Mark Steyn wrote about it the next day iirc. And yet the police, the politicians and your press denied that it happened for almost a week, and even then they continued to downplay the seriousness of the situation. Goebbels would have approved of this. If your government is going to lie to you about hundreds of rapes and molestations of young women exiting train stations, what else would they find politically expedient. Hitler was very concerned about maintaining a façade of normalcy in the Third Reich right up to the end. Women were not encouraged join the labor force, for example, instead slave labor was shipped in from the conquered countries. I see continental European “culture” as a rather hind bound affair that lives quite comfortably with aristocracies and tyrannies. With the exception of England, and her role has been to fight these despots by any means possible.

        I think you will find the “right” orientation of the Nazi’s occurred shortly after Stalin discovered Panzer divisions rolling up his armies. Stalin’s memo went out, and all the communist-inspired journalists, historians, labor unions, and fellow travelers picked up the new terminology over night. I believe the “right” in France prior to the revolution referred to the seating in the Parlement. The Church nobles, Bishops and such, were on the right.

        And it is fascinating to see the Europeans blame “nationalism” for their many military disasters. This ignores completely the reality of the ease with which tyrants have been able to seize power due to the archaic political institutions that characterize Europe. The Magna Charta and its heritage saved England, but there has never been a similar document or theory of government for continental Europe. They seem to love strongmen, and now strong women.

        And finally, France was the victim of it’s political class, and their inability to discipline the French Army. Socialists were constantly stirring the waters, and by threatening to seize private industry, they discouraged investment in new technology, particularly the mass production of aircraft and tanks. French equipment was competitive, but between the labor unions and the lack of investment, the latest models were never delivered in a timely fashion in the numbers needed. And the Army managed to tie itself in knots over turf battles about who controlled the tanks and aircraft. In fact, the French had no way of coordinating their air strikes with the ground troops. The air strikes were planned a day ahead of time, and often the front line had moved so far that the bombs were dropped far behind the German advance. And to top it off, the French Air Force abandoned the Army in late May, flying all their latest aircraft to North Africa to preserve them from destruction. And the Army paid a heavy price for this act of cowardice.

        This is only a partial sampling of why I think European “culture” is not my cup of tea.

      • Drowe August 11, 2016 at 6:52 am #

        Regarding health insurance: Thanks, I’ll look into that.

        “The recent mass sexual attacks on New Years Eve in Germany were covered here pretty much from the start. (…)”

        Let me ask you this, when the media claims, one out of five women in college is sexually assaulted, do you believe those claims? Because I would call that feminist propaganda, those numbers are ridiculous. Of course that doesn’t mean women in college aren’t sexually assaulted, of course that happens, just not at the rate that is reported. There is no doubt, that the attacks on new years eve happened, but sensationalism in the media lead to misleading reports on what was going on. There have been 5 instances of rape and 16 instances of attempted rape reported to the police, way too many, but not hundreds of rapes as portrayed by the media. There have been 497 reported cases of sexual harassment, 284 of which also reported thefts.

        German media also did cover the case from day one, but did not give it the attention it deserved until several days later. It is not true that politicians issued a gag order on the press. What is true however, is that police, media and politicians handled the affair very badly. No one wanted to risk running the story before having all the facts because of the sensitivity of the topic. And really, I am sick and tired of hearing propaganda from either side, one side accuses the police and media of being full of neo-nazis who try to keep crimes committed against foreigners under wraps, the other side accuses the police and media to of not reporting crimes committed by foreigners. Yes migrants commit crimes, yes they are committing more crimes than Germans do, however the numbers are inflated by the fact, that crimes such as illegal immigration and various other infractions against laws concerning refugees cannot be committed by Germans. Slightly less than half of all crimes committed by non Germans fall into that category. If you remove that from the equation, migrants are still overrepresented, 5.7% of all suspects are migrants and most of the crimes are thefts or fraud, especially the use of public transportation without paying. There are various contributing factors, to why they commit more crimes, like the disproportionate amount of young men among migrants, a culture that is not very compatible to western values, a lack of education and so on.

        “I see continental European “culture” as a rather hind bound affair that lives quite comfortably with aristocracies and tyrannies. With the exception of England, and her role has been to fight these despots by any means possible.”

        You accused me of presuming things about America that just aren’t so earlier, now you are actually doing that. England is one of the few nations in the west, where aristocracy still has political power. The house of lords consists of appointed members from the aristocracy and the clergy and even has 92 hereditary seats. All European nations are democracies of various flavours, but usually parliamentary republics (Germany, Austria, Italy…) or parliamentary monarchies (UK, Spain, Sweden…), France is an exception, it is a semi-presidential republic. And unlike in the US, there are no powerful political dynasties like the Kennedys, Clintons or Bush’s in Europe.

        Your views of Europe are incredibly distorted, if you want to make historical wrongs part of the discussion, then Americas past wrongs are subject to that too, that includes slavery and genocide of native Americans. I really don’t think it is in any way relevant to this discussion, neither me nor anyone I know had a hand in what happened in WWII and I don’t accept any responsibility for it. In turn I don’t expect you to feel responsible for the history of slavery in the US. Those archaic political institutions you blame for WWII don’t exist anymore and haven’t existed since the end of WWII. If the Nazis are to blame for WWII, then yes nationalism was the cause of it, because that’s what Nazi is the abbreviation for, national socialist. It was all about territorial gains for the nation of Germany and its people. That is precisely the reason why Europeans are wary about nationalism, just as we are wary about communism. The american tendency of equating communism and socialism is absurd, communism is based on Marxist ideas about classes, socialism is about the state providing a minimum standard of living, communism is against private property, socialism works with capitalism, communism is about equality of outcome, socialism about equality of opportunity. And really, in light of more recent history, the US are in no position to lecture Europeans about military desasters. It is pointless to play the blame game, every nation has events in their history that were less than glorious. There is nothing to be gained by attacking someone’s culture based on what it was in the past. What matters is how the culture is now. As for Europeans loving strong men or women, what would you call Trump? Individual politicians don’t have a lot of power in Europe, especially not in Germany, because no one wants another dictator. The chancellor in Germany can only rule with the backing of the parliament and can not interfere in how ministers run their ministries. There is no such thing as executive orders in Germany.

      • BobStewartatHome August 12, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

        “And really, in light of more recent history, the US are in no position to lecture Europeans about military desasters.”

        What on earth would modern day European serfs living in the comfort of Pax Americana know about military affairs? I’d be surprised if you knew someone who had served in your country’s military, simply because they are such a tiny fraction of your population. And Germany, despite it’s wealth, has never paid its share of the expense of keeping the wolves at bay.

        America is stumbling, and it has been since the Vietnam fiasco. I greatly fear that American withdrawal and European passivity in this realm is going to usher in a period of great turbulence, with massive conquests by aggressive powers. The similarities of modern day domestic politics in France and the U. K. with those of the 1930s are disturbing to say the least. Brexit is the only hopeful sign in a decade. And the U. S. is pulling back into a shell under the anguish of the cost of providing security for the western world for the last 70 years. Our dead and severely injured probably amount to about 30,000 since 911. This will prove to be a pittance compared to the slaughter that Europeans invite by their fecklessness. But that bill will most likely be paid by our children, and this appears to be of no concern to our political elite. When Iran flexes its nuclear muscles, they may take a different view of the situation, but that is at least six months from now.

        As for the House of Lords indicating that an Englishman has no sense of his rights under the law, and is beholden to an aristocracy, you must be dreaming. Sure your press delights in exposing the foolishness of this leisure class, but Lords and Ladies haven’t been a significant force in British politics for two centuries. On the other side of the Channel, the serfs of Europe are enthralled by modern day aristocrats … the bureaucrats of Brussels. And for no good reason except for what will prove to be a false promise .. a peaceful life with no responsibilities and free stuff for everyone.

      • chrishanger August 14, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

        I know about five or six people who have served or are currently serving. I don’t know how typical that is – i made those contacts through my writing.

        Chris

      • Drowe August 15, 2016 at 3:29 am #

        “As for the House of Lords indicating that an Englishman has no sense of his rights under the law, and is beholden to an aristocracy, you must be dreaming. Sure your press delights in exposing the foolishness of this leisure class, but Lords and Ladies haven’t been a significant force in British politics for two centuries. On the other side of the Channel, the serfs of Europe are enthralled by modern day aristocrats … the bureaucrats of Brussels. And for no good reason except for what will prove to be a false promise .. a peaceful life with no responsibilities and free stuff for everyone.”

        Stop interpreting meanings into my words that aren’t there. I said that the members of the House of Lords are not elected, which is fact. Thus its members have political power based on them belonging to the aristocracy or clergy. I have not made any further claims than that, I certainly didn’t indicate that Englishmen have no sense of rights under the law.

        As for Brussels, I think you really don’t understand how the EU works. Sure the EU Commission isn’t elected, but that is because there is one representative for each EU member. The national governments appoint said representative who is supposed to be independent from the national governments. It is their explicit job to think of the EU as a whole, and thus act in the interest of the EU as a whole. They are not without oversight by democratically elected organs however. The president of the EU Commission is proposed by the EU Council, who is comprised of the heads of state or government of the Member states plus the President of the EU Council, who is elected by the Council, and the President of the Commission, both have no votes in the council. And the proposed President of the EU council can be either approved or rejected by the EU Parliament, which is elected by the population. The Parliament also has the power to disband the commission as a whole or reject a commissioner. The Commission is the only body that can propose laws, which many see as a democratic deficit, but any laws have to pass the Parliament. Given that in national governments 85% of legislation that is introduced without the backing of the executive fails to make it into law, and that the parliament has the right to ask the Commission to draft legislature on their behalf mitigates the impact of that. I don’t deny, that they have their flaws, but much of their problems are image problems. You may agree or disagree with their goal, which is eventually turning the EU into a federal state, which I believe is in the long term a necessity to compete politically with China and the US. But we are not there yet, and a lot of attitudes have to change before it can be done.

        “What on earth would modern day European serfs living in the comfort of Pax Americana know about military affairs? I’d be surprised if you knew someone who had served in your country’s military, simply because they are such a tiny fraction of your population. And Germany, despite it’s wealth, has never paid its share of the expense of keeping the wolves at bay.”

        You shouldn’t presume things, you know nothing about. I have served in the military, in fact up until 2011 there was mandatory military service in Germany, though there were ways to get around it by either doing civil service or getting rejected on medical grounds. But I chose to serve and can be recalled on active service if the need arises. Mandatory military service was a way of getting around restrictions on Germany’s military size after WWII. Those treaties are still in force, limiting the German military size, though since conscription was suspended, the size has dropped significantly and is currently being restructured. Personally I think conscription should be reinstated and the budget increased by at least 40%, but for now there is not enough political support for that. In any case those wolves you kept at bay, you were keeping at bay out of self interest, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there hasn’t been a real military threat to any of the NATO members. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not based on a military threat. And the problems there were at least in part caused by US intervention in the first place. It was the US who funded the Taliban to fight the Soviet invasion, it was the US who toppled the democratic government in Iran which resulted in the theocratic state that exists now, it was the US who funded and supplied Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, because they feared he might lose. There were good reasons for each of those actions and the consequences are easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight, and there is no way to know if a different choice would have had better results. But in holding the wolves of yesterday at bay, the wolves of today were created and those threats are nearly impossible to fight by conventional means. And by trying to do so, matters have become even worse. To stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq a long-term commitment of proportions last seen after WWII would have been necessary, but that’s a tough sell in today’s society, where most people have the attention span of a three year old. Smartphones, Facebook and the like are not doing us any favours.

        The US don’t really have the option of retreating back to isolationism, at least not on short notice. You could reduce military involvement, but that would destabilize the middle east even more and threaten the oil supply, which would in turn damage the US economy as well as the global economy.

  5. Heywood Jahblomi August 8, 2016 at 4:24 am #

    Christopher, not only are you a hack writer who rips off his betters you are an idiot. See how safe your precious free market is when Putin rolls through Ukraine and into eastern Europe. Not too far to Edinburgh from there.

    • shrekgrinch August 8, 2016 at 6:08 am #

      Putin has Shrillary’s emails and thus can blackmail her. So…stop justifying the campaign to have the word ‘Libtard’ become an actual term in the dictionary.

    • Drowe August 8, 2016 at 8:41 am #

      Trolls have nothing to contribute.

    • chrishanger August 8, 2016 at 11:12 am #

      Ignoring the insults, go read ‘The Fall of Night.’

      Spoiler – the good guys don’t win.

  6. shrekgrinch August 8, 2016 at 6:05 am #

    Yes. And that Trump’s polling numbers have started to recover over the Khan thing proves that to most voters his Mouth is not nearly as serious as Shrillary’s Crimes.

    The flurry of leftards in their FB posts that essentially all say, “We got him now! He’s toast !” exposes their Bubble under attack. They are panicking, in reality.

    It is 2004 again with Shrillary playing the role of John Kerry.

  7. Technomad August 8, 2016 at 6:35 am #

    I think you mean “celebrate,” not “celibate,” and “Irrelevant,” not “irreverent.” Other than that, a great article.

  8. Big Ben August 8, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

    Wow, way to get a conversation going, Chris.
    Going back to the beginning:
    Trump speaks. He’s not shy about expressing his views and policies with absolute certainty and confidence. I’m a man of my word. If I say I’m going to do something, it gets done. If I’m not sure I can do something, I say so or add qualifiers. Either Trump is a man of his word, which would be truly frightening, or he’s a typical lying politician, (and yes, I most certainly include Hillary in that), making promises he knows he can’t keep. Not even The Donald can have it both ways.
    I’m libertarian. Pro gun, anti-nutball, localized government, an eye for an eye, the golden rule, personally pro-life but since I don’t have a womb I vote pro-choice, and I think every politician at every level is crooked to some extent.
    And yes, I am a combat vet. Only unpatriotic scuzzballs denigrate vets … you were probably one of those who stood in the airports and spit on returning ‘Nam vets. And yes, if you’re younger than that, it did indeed happen.
    Now, let’s get to brass tacks:
    Timothy McVeigh. Murdered 168 and injured over 600 in Oklahoma City. (White guy.)
    BAN ALL IRISH AMERICANS!
    Harris and Klebold. Murdered 12 students, 1 teacher and injured 21 in Columbine. (White guys.)
    BAN ALL BULLIED HIGHSCHOOL STUDENTS!
    J.E. Holmes. Murdered 12 and injured 70, 58 of those by gunfire in Aurora. (White guy.)
    Adam Lanza. Murdered 20 children under the age of seven and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook. Oh yeah, and he murdered his mother before beginning his rampage. (White guy.)
    BAN ALL CRAZY PEOPLE!
    And that’s just a sadly small sample of all the domestic terrorist shootings/bombings in the last couple of decades, mostly perpetrated by male American citizens. When a white guy blows dozens of people away it’s called murder, played down as an isolated event, he was off his meds. Excuses, excuses. A Muslim does the same thing and it’s automatically TERRORISM, even if he was an American citizen.
    You are vastly more likely to be murdered by a gun-toting American citizen than a foreigner. Some of those gun toting citizens even wear a uniform and badge.
    When you set out to ban one group of people, citizens or not, you’d best be prepared to start down that steep, slippery slope. ‘Cause the sad fact is, most everyone hates someone else and would love to kick out, vilify and denigrate those that they hate.
    The Mexican Americans are one of the fastest growing demographics. Remember now, the Bush-Cheney-Rove democratic ideal is 50%+1. Maybe in a couple of centuries us cranky white guys will get to experience what our ancestors did to the Native Americans.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard August 8, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

      What a really confused post.

      You really don’t know Chris.

      • Big Ben August 9, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

        Well, it’s not so much about what Chris has been posting as what Trump has been saying. I often agree with Trump supporters when they point out all the problems with Hillary, but it drives me nuts when they then turn around and say how great Trump is. And when you point out his innumerable flaws, they get … testy, to put it mildly.

        Trump is on record repeatedly stating in absolute terms that he wants to at least temporarily ban Muslim immigration because he’s afraid of terrorism. I was pointing out the absurdity of his statement. You are much more likely on any given day to be killed in a mass shooting/bombing/anthrax attack (remember those), carried out by a domestic terrorist who is an American citizen than a foreign terrorist who comes to America to kill.
        Just today I heard on the news about the open letter signed by fifty republicans, including a former Homeland Security Secretary and a former CIA chief, who said in no uncertain terms that Trump would be the most dangerous president in US history. Their words, not mine.
        Trump just gave an economic speech in Detroit laying out his tax policy proposals. Even staunchly conservative think tanks are saying today that his proposals will add 3 to 4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Some estimates go as high as 10 trillion.
        We’ve got almost four decades of irrefutable proof that what he’s proposing doesn’t work. It didn’t work when Reagan tried it – he cut taxes initially, then ended up raising taxes not once but twice, as I recall. Bush Sr. said, “Read my lips, no new taxes!” … then he raised taxes. Bush Jr. cut taxes and stuck to his guns, and drove the economy off a cliff.

        What I’m really trying to say is that it’s a free country and you can support and promote whoever you like, and speak out against those you don’t like. But if you are going to start a public discussion about anything political, you’d better be ready to take critisism as well as dish it out. I don’t like Hillary or Trump and will most likely vote libertarian this November, for all the good it’ll do me.
        Ain’t America great … again?

  9. georgephillies August 9, 2016 at 4:33 am #

    There was an amusing article in iirc the New York times, a Republican political strategist saying that after the election the Republicans will drive the Trumpkins out of the party. I am old enough to remember 1965 and the Liberal Republicans like Rockefeller and Case and Scranton and their sycophants preparing to drive the conservatives out from the Republican Party. Their plans ended poorly. The Trumpkins are a large part of the Republican party and with better leadership they will smite mightily Trump’s opponents.

    • BobStewartatHome August 10, 2016 at 3:18 am #

      Those who supported Trump in the primaries were largely unknown to the Republican Party prior to this election. I am an active grassroots Republican, and of the 40 or so people who year in and year out have helped with Republican elections in my neighborhood, only two are Trump supporters. My conclusion is that this election’s Trump supporters are in large measure those who hadn’t bothered to vote for years or decades. I doubt that many of these voters will show up for off-year elections. Those are the elections for local and state office. These voters haven’t taken the trouble before, and I doubt their experience this year will lead them to want to participate in the future.

      These newly energized voters are, however, canaries in the mine shaft. Valuable, but as indicators of existing problems, not as agents for constructive change.

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