Information overload

It’s good that there’s so much discussion of “fake news,” but the problem is that the discussion isn’t focusing on the problem: a lack of discernment and desire to find truth.  Partisans of every stripe grasp onto every little rumor, leaping to conclusions as recklessly as one would leap over the Grand Canyon.  Meanwhile, there isn’t a single major news outlet that hasn’t sold its political soul to one faction or another.  We’ve developed two hermetically sealed echo chambers in this country and neither has the pursuit of truth as its top priority.  We’re told (incorrectly) the First Amendment has exceptions to defend people from being “uncomfortable” or “triggered.”  This is merely suppression of opposing ideas.  I’m concerned this is the first step in our cultural cold war becoming a hot one.  People are no longer “of a different opinion;” rather, they’re evil opponents.  Hostility is projected, received and internalized.  With all the careless talk about impeachment, or obstruction of Trump’s initiatives (which still have a sizable backing in the nation’s heartland), the ability of our political processes to address the issues is coming apart.

What happens after that step is likely going to be very ugly.  What are you doing to prepare?

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Rules? How quaint

This is how “representative” our governments now are: apparently you no longer have to actually, you know, LIVE in the district you’re running to represent:

Democrat Jon Ossoff dismissed concerns Tuesday over the fact that he doesn’t live in the Georgia congressional district in which he’s running for a House seat.

“I grew up in this district; I grew up in this community — it’s my home. My family is still there,” Ossoff said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

If having family in a district is enough to be a candidate, most people would have plenty of options to run.  That’s not how it works, though.  And no, I don’t care that he’s “10 minutes up the road,” and just living there to “support his girlfriend in medical school.”

At least Hillary Clinton had the decency to move to New York and pretend to become a New Yorker before running for the Senate.  (I’m pretty sure she’d have never achieved that in Arkansas.)

Either a rule is enforced, or it’s not a rule.   This is yet another example of how we are no longer a nation of laws.  And that’s not going to end well for anybody, no matter what short-term advantages someone thinks they see.

On a related note, it’s nice to see people reminding Congress they have to live with the laws they pass.  And on this particular issue, it’s about time the rules were applied. Vigorously.

The Trump has sounded

I relearned a lesson last night: I’m entirely too old to stay up past midnight watching election returns.  That said, at least I’m teaching a Government class today so I’ll just call that “lesson preparation.”  Sounds more responsible that way.

There’s every reason to believe the next stages of whatever movement this is will be:

  • Democrats will continue to support Executive Orders for their agenda while Obama still has his “pen and phone” the next couple months.  Then they will be outraged when Trump uses the same process to begin undoing the ‘fundamental transformation” of the U.S.
  • The mainstream media, whose stunning lack of curiosity the last eight years means we still don’t know anything about Obama’s college record, and very little about his mentors (Bill Ayers, “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright, etc) unless one has actively sought out such information through alternative means.  (See why you’re dying, corporate media?  Your hypocrisy and double standards for the two parties is a large part of why Trump is ascending to the White House.  Chew on that for a while.)
  • Dissent will once again be considered by Democrats the “highest form of patriotism,” instead of the last eight years where  any dissent from Obama’s agenda automatically meant you were a ‘deplorable, racist, xenophobic bigot.’
  • Any attempt to restart (or continue) the several investigations into Clinton, her Foundation, and other aspects of what is clearly a crime family syndicate will be labeled ‘demonizing your opponent,’ or an abuse of executive power.  But it was OK to say George W. Bush should have been brought up on ‘war crimes‘ charges.

In short, the Democrats will now have to refer to the Newspeak dictionary definitions they use when out of power.  As our current President liked to say, “elections have consequences.

Yes.  Yes, they do.

We now need to hold them to the standards they set the last eight-plus years.  And yes, while I still have issues with The Donald’s tendency toward verbal diarrhea, he’s shown recently that he CAN control his tongue, at least for a while.  So I wish him good luck in using all the expanded authority the Democrats created for the Presidency to smack the Left as hard as he can, all the while remembering that he’s only following precedent they set.

Perhaps a few years in the wilderness under such circumstances will bring the Democrats around to believing in limited Federal authority again.  I have no idea what the next four years hold, but it will be amusing watching the Democrats walk back their positions on activist government now that they no longer control said government.  It will also be interesting to watch a true outsider deal both with the opposition party, and the elements of the GOP who went #neverTrump and now look politically foolish.

As for Hillary: ding dong, the witch is (politically) dead, the wicked witch is dead!

A belated awakening

Millions of Americans are waking up to the fact the system is rigged to give the appearance of the Republic we once had, while functioning in reality as an oligarchy.  There are two sets of laws — one for the little people (even the not-so-little) and one for the self-appointed mandarin class.

Meanwhile, the trove of leaked emails reveal the web of relationships by which the media essentially takes orders from the Democrats, and the Democrats weaponize government agencies to harass their opponents.

If the ruling class can’t be bothered to even maintain an illusion of representing the average person, then why should those average Americans respect–or obey–the rotten system?  At least one former Army colonel is now convinced the system is too far gone to retain our loyalty:

We owe the system nothing. Nada. Zip. Instead, the system owes us fairness and honesty, and without them it has no right to our default acceptance of its results. That acceptance must be earned. This means that the system must aggressively police its own integrity, and this year it has utterly failed to do so…

Is this dangerous talk? Hell yes – but the danger doesn’t come from us pointing out the corruption. The danger is the corruption. I walked through wrecked villages in the aftermath of a civil war, so I sure as hell don’t need your lessons about what lies at the bottom of the slippery slope your ruling class is tobogganing down.

I could say the same: I deployed half a dozen times during my time in uniform.  I know a little of what war looks like, too, and that’s why I often tell people who seem a little too eager for war to become how we settle our differences here that they don’t know what they’re saying.

That doesn’t mean I’m not also wondering how much longer the charade will last.  The Declaration of Independence seems relevant here:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Pray that we don’t have to travel that road again.  But prepare for the journey, just in case.

No longer playing the game

U.S. News and World Report notes that Americans are abandoning the bi-factional ruling party:

The latest Gallup Poll finds that loyalty to the Democrats and Republicans is at or near historic lows. In 2015, for the fifth straight year, “at least four in 10 U.S. adults identified as political independents,” a Gallup spokesman said. Forty-two percent said they were independent last year; 43 percent listed themselves that way in 2014, reflecting little change.

Considering the Republicrats long ago abandoned Americans, it seems only right we should return the favor.  The linked report posits this exodus is due to ‘frustration with government gridlock.’  I think that’s highly disingenuous.  The Federal Government, for all the talk of a ‘lack of bipartisanship,’ has still managed in recent years to:

  • Bail out the so-called “too big to fail” financial institutions at taxpayer expense
  • Ram through Obamacare
  • Continue to increase the number of “guest workers” brought in to take American jobs
  • Kabuki dance instead of securing the border

ALL of which runs contrary to how America polls on these issues.  Far from being a “gridlocked, do-nothing” Federal government, the District of Corruption is actively working against the interests and expressed wishes of the average American.

You can only shaft the people for so long while pretending to listen to them, before they figure out the game and refuse to play it anymore.  This is exactly what’s happening in Europe right now, where authorities respond to mass sexual assaults by recent asylum seekers Islamic invaders with misdirection and cover-ups, but quickly advocate prosecution of leaders who point out these failures.  Europe’s elites have made it clear they care more about appeasing the floodtide of aliens whose arrival they’ve encouraged than they do the welfare of their own citizens — and they are only beginning to reap the backlash.

Somehow, I don’t think America will be the usual 20 years behind Europe on this particular trendline.

I stopped identifying as Republican a decade ago, because that brand means nothing anymore.  I am a Christian, a Constitutionalist and an American traditionalist.  The powers that be (on both sides of the aisle) not only no longer respect those identities and ideas, they are actively hostile to them.

I am not, however, alone.  So I’ll close with the recent words of the Instapundit — words our self-appointed ‘elites’ best pay heed to, and soon:

Looking for the exits? Hardly. I’m not trapped in here with you, enemies of western civilization. You’re trapped in here with me. And a lot of people like me, whose patience has come close to an end.

Getting Trump’d

I will reiterate: I am not a fan of Trump.  While he has successfully latched onto already existing justifiable anger over the nation’s insecure borders and porous immigration process, in the long run I think his personal association with the issue may prove to do more harm than good.  That said, this commentary is perhaps the best explanation out there for why so many Americans are seeing something they like in The Donald.  Excerpt:

What Republicans are trying to figure out is not so much how to handle Trump as how to handle his supporters. Ignore or confront? Mock or treat seriously? Insult or persuade? The men and women in the uppermost ranks of the party, who have stood by Trump in the past as he gave them his endorsements and cash, are inclined to condescend to a large portion of the Republican base, to treat base voters’ concerns as unserious, nativist, racist, sexist, anachronistic, or nuts, to apologize for the “crazies” who fail to understand why America can build small cities in Iraq and Afghanistan but not a wall along the southern border, who do not have the education or skills or means to cope when factories move south or abroad, who stare incomprehensibly at the television screen when the media fail to see a “motive” for the Chattanooga shooting, who voted for Perot in ’92 and Buchanan in ’96 and Sarah Palin in ’08 and joined the Tea Party to fight death panels in ’09…

What the radical middle has seen in recent years has not given them reason to be confident in our government, our political system, our legion of politicians clambering up the professional ladder office to office. Two inconclusive wars, a financial crisis, recession, and weak recovery, government failure from Katrina to the TSA to the launch of Obamacare to the federal background check system, an unelected and unaccountable managerial bureaucracy that targets grassroots organizations and makes law through diktat, race riots and Ebola and judicial overreach. And through it all, as constant as the northern star, a myopic drive on the part of leaders in both parties to enact a “comprehensive immigration reform” that would incentivize illegal immigration and increase legal immigration despite public opposition.

The writer notes the GOP is a hybrid of two distinctly different groups: upper-crust elites whose status and wealth isolate them from the socially destructive policies they often support (like so-called “free trade”), and the blue-collar working class — the people George Bailey reminded Mr. Potter “do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.”  (As someone who identifies with this ‘rabble,’ I can attest they’re also often sentimental about classic movies…)

What all this really comes down to is that this ‘radical middle’ is experiencing a rare moment of clarity, where they realize their interests diverge sharply from the agendas of the self-appointed mandarin class sitting atop the GOP.  So they are looking for alternatives.  That is a good thing.

What isn’t good is that we’ve been here before, and the GOP has a playbook for such crises.  It’s even hinted at near the end of the otherwise fine commentary excerpted above: the boogeyman of a Democratic victory.  Every time a Perot or a Buchanan arises to speak to the unrepresented grievances of what used to be known simply as “the middle class,” the GOP darkly warns that a split in the party will result in “the other side” (i.e. Hillary) winning.  As though there are actually two sides between the established political parties.  What this discontented electorate needs to ask in response to such entreaties is “so what?  What, exactly, would be different about an administration of GOP elites than one of Democrats?”  That card has been played in many elections, and yet Roe v. Wade has yet to be restricted, let alone overturned, immigration “reform” in the 1980s resulted in a second, even larger wave of illegal entries, Federal spending (and power) remains out of control with the national debt 18 times what it was 35 years ago, and now a Supreme Court with a GOP-appointed Chief Justice suddenly discovers the Founders would have been OK with gay marriage or with the Federal Government managing your health insurance.

It’s a classic abusive relationship, where the mandarins tell the plebes “just come back to me and it will all get better.”  Only it never does.  The GOP of the last 20-30 years is just as complicit in the damage done to our nation as the Democrats; maybe more so, because at least the Democrats tell you up front most of the time they’re out to “fundamentally transform America.”

The only “fundamental transformation” we in the ‘radical middle’ want is a return of accountability with some treasonous heads on platters, a return to the rule of law and strict adherence to the written Constitution, and restoration of the ethic of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency.  I don’t see either party offering that, except in vague partisan terms aimed at the other team in the quest for voters they fully intend to ignore after election day.

That’s probably because our political class, regardless of party, doesn’t really believe in any of what I just mentioned above.

So why do we vote for ANY of these parasites?

Five down, 95 to go…

Several Senators have apparently decided it’s time to find something else to do:

Even if Democrats hold control of the Senate for 2015, the chamber will be a different place, with five chairmen set to retire at the end of the 113th Congress. These senators are among the last connections to the “Old Bulls” who steered their committees in the past, having about 150 years of combined service…

Five top Democratic chairmen are now in their final year as senators. In addition to Levin, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia are set to depart when their terms expire. Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., is expected to resign early to become the U.S. ambassador to China.

Yes, an average career of 30 years for these “Old Bulls” is certainly more than long enough.  The atmosphere of Mordor the District of Corruption is such that after a couple terms they mostly become full of “bull” anyway.  One wonders if internal polling is showing 2014 is likely to be a disastrous election season for the Donkey Club.  Regardless, both sides of the aisle need cleanup.  Perhaps others, including in the House, will announce their retirement soon.  As for the rest*, you know what to do, America:

NO INCUMBENTS, PLEASE!!

* yes, I’m aware only 1/3 of the Senate stands for re-election each cycle.  That just means this particular clean-up job requires a sustained effort.  Hercules would be impressed.