Here is a change of subject from politics. For those who thought I might have been joking about it being time to get my tomato plants in the ground the other day, here is a picture I took yesterday. The fresh strawberry stand beside this field has a sign saying it won’t open until March, but look closely at the already ripening berries in the foreground.
I thought about adding the Beatles song playing in the background; but after Chris’ complement about my clean low-bandwidth site, I didn’t want to disappoint him. ◄Dave►
Today, I venture to opine on a subject this has been over opined about by people far more qualified to offer opinions than yours truly.
Still, I will offer my own opinions with the hope that my use of simplification and common language might be more palatable than that typically used by the over educated.
In theory, a Free Market, operated in an environment of laissez-faire, is the best, most reliable and most equitable economic model available. So, how could such a system possibly fail? IMHO, partly due to its own accumulated success.
What could I possibly mean by such a silly statement? How can accumulated success lead to systematic failure? Simple, it does so when the economic model (the Free Market) attempts to operate in a vacuum. Said differently, when the economic model operates as if it alone is responsible for long term societal prosperity.
Secondly, this socioeconomic model fails when it is overburdened from without.
Thirdly, a state of “general prosperity” is anathema to those among us who, seemingly unable to control themselves, seek to control everyone else instead.
Still sounds a bit silly, does it not? Not to me.
In the case of the United States of America, a mostly free market economy (what I see as a “free enough” market economy) took a fledgling nation from a condition of national non-entity to super-power status so quickly that it gave us all a mild form of collective whiplash. It also gave us a level of general prosperity never before seen in the world and, by many, thought to be impossible to attain.
Then, almost suddenly, it all seems to be unraveling at the seams.
I have suggested 3 basic reasons for this:
→ Accumulated success
→ Overburdening from without
→ The desire to control acerbated by unbounded greed
Let us now discuss these individually, in simple terms and using common sense language:
This is an open thread for comments on the results of the NH Primary, with particular emphasis on the Trump vs. Cruz show. Chris is providing the popcorn, and I intend to supply the champagne. 😀 ◄Dave►
After Saturday’s debate, a “Quick poll shows decline for Rubio.” Perhaps it is biased for Kaich:
The poll, conducted by the pro-John Kasich New Day for America Super PAC, shows Rubio plummeting to fourth place in the primary here, with 10 percent of the vote. Most of the polling conducted in the immediate days before the debate showed Rubio in second place.
…but isn’t that what one would expect after Christie’s whooping? The interesting thing to me, is that it shows Cruz has fallen even further:
Donald Trump holds a wide lead in the survey, receiving 35 percent. He more than doubles runner-up Kasich, who has 15 percent. In third is Jeb Bush, with 13 percent. Behind Rubio in fifth and sixth place, respectively, are Christie and Ted Cruz. Both receive 8 percent.
Sixth place and if anything, Trump has gained a couple of points! He now more than quadruples Cruz. If Tuesday’s election results are anything like these percentages, South Carolina is going to be a whole new ball game. ◄Dave►
In the lengthy comment section of the recent “Iowa Values” post, Chris has made some valid observations about some of my inconsistencies, which deserve a more fulsome response than there is room for there:
I completely understand your viewpoint is strictly based on your interpretation of the constitution as well as your own no doubt studious review of other relevant materials such as federalist papers et al. I’ll not begrudge you your opinion as I for a large part agree. Your even right that in the view as a constitutionalist if your view is correct SCOTUS can’t change that. One thing I am content with is letting the people decide if there is an issue. It appears Iowa doesn’t take your view. It’s possible that farther along the process the citizens of other states will see it more seriously. It’s out there. (I don’t see that happening.) In that case any of the candidates in question will be denied the nomination and the argument will be vindicated. If one of them does win the nomination the argument is defeated and therefore moot.
Well, I certainly am not content with letting the people decide if there is an issue with the Constitution. This is not a democracy. The will of the majority cannot change the meaning of the Constitution either. If folks consider a feature of the Constitution outdated and in need of revision, it has built in mechanisms for its Amendment. As designed, it simply cannot be changed by legislative statute, judicial fiat, executive action, or popular opinion. It means what it says, or it is entirely meaningless, and worth less than the parchment on which it was written.
The simple fact is that the majority of the sheeple in America are too ignorant of the very purpose of the Constitution in our Republic, to be trusted with interpreting the original intent of its 18th century verbiage. Their minds are too malleable by lawyerly disinformation, and susceptible to grandiose concepts like ‘Living Constitution.’ It would seem to me irreverent and rather foolhardy, to decide that since voters are inclined to ignore blatant violations of it, such transgressions don’t really matter.
I knew it would be a mistake for me to look too deeply into the Oregon Rancher vs. BLM story. I was pretty sure that I would just get pissed off, over another unconstitutional activity of the Feds, which 95% of the sheeple could care less about. Even knowing better, I foolishly followed this link an old friend sent me. Here is Lavoy Finicum, the supposed hot-headed, out-of-town agitator / militia member / ‘domestic terrorist’ from Arizona, whom the government murdered in Oregon last week:
It is pretty easy to see why they wanted to eliminate him; and I would bet good money it wasn’t because he was a physical threat to the well-armed jack-booted thugs with badges who ambushed him. I also saw the aerial FBI video, which showed him exiting the car at the roadblock and trudging through deep snow, with his empty hands high in the air, surrounded by cops pointing their weapons at him, before they gunned him down. It just makes me sick to my stomach, because he reminds me so much of some of my good neighbors, when I was a cattle rancher myself in the Sierra foothills. I better shut up now, before I say what I really think… ◄Dave►
Leave it to my mentor, Robert Ringer, to get the essence of the event right, “Trump and America Win Iowa Caucuses!“:
Forget what you’ve heard from the media. Donald Trump and America were the clear winners of the Iowa caucuses. And while we’re at it, let’s applaud Ted Cruz and Ben Carson (and maybe even Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul for playing small supporting roles).
Trump, along with the other above-mentioned candidates, gave the middle finger to the D.C. Crime Syndicate that has long had its jackboot on the throats of more than 300 million Americans. Psychologically, it was the same as if they had gone into the RNC headquarters and started breaking chairs and windows and smashing statist politicians in the mouth. It’s been like watching a Dirty Harry movie.
Because of Trump’s refreshing brashness, name-calling, and delicious disrespect for the establishment gatekeepers who are supposed to control everything, America and Americans now have hope. Americans owe a huge debt of gratitude to Trump, because it was he who came out swinging on day one and, even after an attempt to isolate him in the first GOP debate, broke all the rules of establishment etiquette.
I’m talking about rules that have made sure that Demopublicans like Mitch McConnell, Mush McCain, Lindsey Graham, Paul Ryan, et al can always be counted on to support the statist quo. The deal has been straightforward: “Cooperate with us and we’ll continue giving you a significant chunk of the spoils (i.e., money and power).”
“Statist quo” – I love it! (Don’t miss the long ‘A’ and ending ‘T’) His premise is absolutely spot on. I don’t see how anyone could argue that the dismal showing for the GOPe candidates would have occurred without Trump in the race.
The last paragraph of Matt Kibbe’s, “The Establishment Took a Beating Last Night” struck a chord with me:
The old rules of politics are quickly crumbling, chief among them the opinions of elder Republican statesmen like Bob Dole. Senator John McCain, no Yoda he is, seems to help Ted Cruz every time he opens his mouth. Not only don’t voters care, any whiff of support from establishment interests now hangs around the necks of candidates like a dead albatross. All of this is shifting power away from D.C. insiders back to the end users — the citizens. Mid-paradigm shift, it’s a messy process. Expect the ruling class to continue to find refuge in their old two-party duopoly. But there’s no going back.
Us anti-establishmentarians need to take care that our disdain for the Washington Machine is firmly anchored in the principles of individual liberty, community-based problem solving, and the disruptive entrepreneurial innovation that is the only path to actually making America great again.
I don’t know how it could be said any better. ◄Dave►
Earlier today Ted Cruz sent out a blitz of fundraising emails on the heels of his Iowa victory. Here’s an example (screen grabbed), and pay attention to the two bullet points Cruz puts at the bottom of email:
<Snipped> Damning graphic evidence of baldfaced lies, with supporting links. Go see for yourself…
I’m glad that is behind us. I can’t say I am not disappointed that about 25% of Iowan voters favored an avowed socialist. Another 25% voted for a renowned liar, grifter, and matriarch of a well-known criminal syndicate. Another 25% chose one or the other of two ineligible scions of Cuban nationals, who are thus not natural-born citizens. So much for so-called Iowa values… no wonder Trump graciously accepted his approx. 13% for GOP 2nd place, and quietly moved on. That leaves only 12%, many of whom likely held their nose, while voting for one of the multitude of also-ran’s.
John McCormack of the Weekly Standard, had the best analysis I have read so far, “Why Trump Lost Iowa“:
Evangelicals come through for Cruz.
Trump himself struck a gracious tone in his concession speech, calling it an honor to come in second. He reiterated his love for Iowa and joked that he still wanted to buy a farm there. The loss must have stung, but Trump denied his opponents the sight of a “Dean scream” meltdown.
Thankfully. I thought it was an uncharacteristically classy retreat.
We are getting down to the short strokes on Hillary’s unconscionable security breaches. Friday’s release of more of her e-mails didn’t include: “22 Clinton Emails Deemed Too Classified to Be Made Public.” If the ‘rule of law’ actually reigned in this oligarchy, which we laughingly call the ‘Land of the Free,’ this evidence would land her in Federal Prison. Yet, we all know that it won’t.
To me, the even greater offense revealed in that NY Times article, is that another 18 of them will not be released, because they were between her and Obama, and it is too early to release his records. Really? How does that square with this “Face The Nation” interview 11 months ago?:
This unforgivable lie seriously pisses me off. If we ever get around to that Article V Constitutional Convention, I hope the delegates have the good sense to make it a felony and high crime, for any politician to ever tell a baldfaced lie to the American people, for any reason. They are not required to answer embarrassing or security related questions; but they should never be permitted to outright lie to us – ever. For the POTUS to do so, merely to cover his political butt, should be an egregious impeachable offense at the minimum… if not a hanging offense. Who the hell does this arrogant, lying, horse’s ass think he is? ◄Dave►
Mike Huckabee has said that he has planted his flag in Iowa, and suggested that if he does not do well there it would probably be time to end his campaign:
Less prominent candidates hoping for an Iowa surprise include Mike Huckabee, who won the caucuses in 2008. He has argued that a poor finish in Iowa would end his campaign, and in a Fox News interview Saturday morning, he clarified his thought process. “We’ve put most of our resources in Iowa. We’ve planted our flag here. I still think we’re going to do very well,” he said.
The thing is, like most of the field, it has been a very long time since he could have harbored any hope of getting more than the VP slot out of his current candidacy. Wouldn’t it make sense to hang in there another month, to keep his name on the VP short list, by endorsing the presumptive winner as he exits?
Unlike some, he does not personally benefit much from the national exposure, especially being consigned to the under-card debates. His political resume couldn’t get much better than it already is. Besides, if he can’t be POTUS or VP, he has a lucrative career awaiting him as a talented TV host. Any other office could not be as attractive, from either a financial or influence perspective.
Enter a really interesting post by Allahpundit over at Hot Air, “Hmmm: Trump announces post-Iowa rally in … Little Rock, Arkansas“:
Trump’s schedule next week looks almost exactly how you’d expect a candidate’s schedule to look: Tuesday in New Hampshire, Thursday in New Hampshire, Friday in South Carolina, back in New Hampshire on Monday. He hasn’t said yet if he’ll show for the debate next Saturday, but if he’s in then he’ll be in New Hampshire that day as well. The one odd outlier is Wednesday — Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas is an early-ish state too this year, part of the “SEC primary” on March 1st, but there’s still NH, SC, and Nevada to come before we get to the deep south. Why would Trump detour down there when he could spend the day in Charleston or Vegas?
Why, Mike Huckabee’s from Arkansas, come to think of it. And the Trump event in Little Rock seems to have been added only within the past 24 hours or so, right around the time Huckabee was reaching out to Trump about attending his rally for vets last night. Probably no one in the field has attacked Trump’s main rival, Ted Cruz, more doggedly over the last few weeks than Huckabee. Rubio’s hit him hard too, but Rubio and Cruz are battling to be the anti-Trump and there are lines even Rubio won’t cross in hitting Cruz, like his “natural-born” eligibility. Huckabee’s attacking Cruz for the sheer spiteful joy of wrecking the guy whom the evangelical establishment chose over him, and he has backed Trump up on Cruz’s eligibility by saying it’s a legitimate issue. Why, ol’ Huck even plugged Trump’s line of ties at the debate in October. Hmmm.
I have always respected the opinions of Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker.org, “So Post Debate, What Happened?“:
Who won last night’s debate?
Trump. And he wasn’t there.
Who lost? Fox News, which led the “debate” with a cheap shot at Trump. Megyn did herself no favors in that regard, and she had better hope that nothing ever disrupts the media oligopoly (a losing bet, IMHO) as if it does she’s going to find her best and highest calling in Nevada somewhat outside of Clark County.
The program Trump put together, with essentially zero notice, was very nice. It was the best political speechifying and rallying that I’ve seen since I have been sentient enough to pay attention to it. It was so because it was uplifting and yet not promotional for oneself; it was in fact selfless.
Trump instead took to praise other people, to uplift others, and instead of raising funds for himself and his political ambitions he managed to pop up somewhere north of $6 million for veterans with one of those millions being his, personally.
Personally, I didn’t exactly register ‘selfless’; but in comparison to what was occurring three miles up the road, certainly not overtly self-serving. BTW, for those who have not lived in Nevada, Clark Co. is the one containing Las Vegas, and is the only Nevada county where prostitution is outlawed. 😉
I didn’t bother to watch the debate last night, and watched the Trump event on C-Span instead. It wasn’t as entertaining as I had hoped, although the talk by the wounded warrior, John Wayne Walding was certainly inspirational.
If this Politico article is accurate, better entertainment would have been found on Fox News, “Megyn Kelly Just Did Trump’s Dirty Work for Him“:
Donald Trump skipped last night’s Fox News debate in a fit of pique over the “very biased” Megyn Kelly. But since the shocking things he does and says always seem to work out for him, someone else used his pet issue of immigration to tie his top Republican rivals into knots. And that someone else was Megyn Kelly.
Kelly flummoxed Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, currently polling second and third in Iowa, with brutal video montages that vividly demonstrated their flip-flops on immigration reform. To make things even more delicious for Trump, his other favorite bullying target, “low-energy” Jeb Bush, helped twist the knife into Rubio. And another one of his punching bags, Rand Paul, helped deliver the beatdown to Cruz.
It’s hard to see how the debate could have gone any better for Trump than if he had actually participated. Meanwhile, Democrats who hope to expand their majorities among Latino voters had to enjoy watching two Cuban-American Republicans scrambling to walk back their previous flirtations with reform.
The star of the show was Kelly, the allegedly anti-Trump “lightweight” who devoted an entire segment to shredding Rubio and Cruz over immigration.
I see Megyn is still succeeding in making the show all about her, while demonstrating that her inner bitch is not just focused on personal animosity toward Trump. The author goes on to describe some pretty effective bashing of Cruz and Rubio, set up by video clips and pointed questions, followed up by her softball pitches to Bush and Paul asking them to critique their answers.
Cruz too… It is time for these checkers players to give up trying to best a three dimensional chess master. There was a lot of fascinating reading today, as some of the more astute commentators are starting to read Trump’s books and figure out what he is and has been doing.
Rush Limbaugh, for one, gets it, “Trump Refuses to Play by the Rules“:
RUSH: Okay, where are we on the situation here with Trump and the debate? So far Trump says he’s not showing up. He claims he’s not showing up because Megyn Kelly is going to continue to be a moderator. And if you believe that, I can give you substantive reasons. And it’s all in The Art of the Deal. Trump is not that hard to understand if you pay attention to him and read his books. In The Art of the Deal, one of the things that he makes a huge deal about is being able to know when to walk away and have the guts and the courage to do it.
Trump is so far outside the formula that has been established for American politics that people who are inside the formula can’t comprehend it. They don’t understand why somebody would want to venture so far outside it, because it is what it is, and there’s a ladder of success that you have to climb. And somebody challenging it like this in more ways than one, as Trump is doing, has just got everybody experiencing every kind of emotion you can: They’re angry, they are flabbergasted, they’re shocked, they’re stunned — and all of it because he’s leading.
Everything he’s doing goes against the book. Everything that any analyst or consultant or professional would tell you not to do, Donald Trump is doing it, and he’s leading the pack. This creates its own set of emotions and feelings and thoughts that run from person to person. Now, the political business, if you want to look at it that way, is like any other business. It has its people who are considered the elites in it — and like any business, they hate outsiders. They don’t want outsiders just storming in trying to take over, and much less succeeding at it.
He goes on to make his case rather well. You might appreciate reading the whole thing.
I find this astounding… I have often wondered where Cruz’ father disappeared to. As a Christian preacher, he was quite active in promoting his son before he declared his candidacy; but has since dropped out sight completely. Then, why do we hear almost nothing about his wife? I had heard that they met while working on Bush 43’s campaign in 2000; but somehow had the impression she was a meek stay-at-home mom for his two daughters.
Not until the scandal of the so-called ‘loans’ she arranged for him not being declared, did I learn that she was actually a very highly placed banking executive. Now I learn that she is even higher in the oligarchy than that. How many of you conservative Cruz supporters were aware that she is a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)?
Most conservatives consider this somewhat shadowy outfit to be rather nefarious. Conspiratorial musings aside, one thing is for sure. This membership-by-invitation-only organization is the epitome of a private club for the establishment oligarchy, which oversees the Incumbrepublocrat duopoly. Usually, the final Republican and Democrat candidates for POTUS are both members. They don’t care which one wins, as long as they maintain their influence over either. Needless to say, Hillary is a member.
Have you ever noticed that the same names keep cropping up, in highly placed advisory and ministerial positions, in the administrations of either Party? These influential, supposedly bipartisan, policy wonks are supplied by the CFR. Does the frequency with which so-called journalists jump in and out of government positions confuse you? Most of the influential members of the press are members too. By no means exhaustive or authoritative, Wikipedia maintains a list of “Notable Current Council Members.” Scroll through it and see how many names you recognize.
Anyway, back to Heidi Cruz. Do you remember all the controversy about ten years ago, over the plans to create a “North American Union,” consisting of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico? Texas was building an 8 lane superhighway north from the Mexican border that was intended to eventually reach Canada. Mexico was to extend it south to a west coast port. A new currency called the “Amero,” was to replace dollars and pesos. The borders between the three countries would essentially be eliminated and wide open, similar to the E.U., etc. When made public, conservatives went ballistic.
I have noticed over the years that the Fox News polls are often out of step with their own editorial positions, and my desires. Unfortunately sometimes, they are also often indicative of trends, which have not yet been caught or admitted by other pollsters. Thus, their latest release, “Fox News Poll: Trump gains in Iowa, still dominates in New Hampshire,” struck me as encouraging. Not only does it seem to confirm Cruz’ pronouncement that Sara Palin can pick a winner, the timing would indicate that she is likely helping Trump to be one. This probably puts to bed the wishful speculation from Cruz supporters, suggesting that her endorsement would not help, and might even hurt Trump’s campaign:
With just over a week until the first 2016 election contest, Donald Trump takes the lead in Iowa — and maintains his big advantage in New Hampshire.
That’s according to the latest round of Fox News state polls on the Republican presidential nomination contest.
Trump bests Ted Cruz in Iowa and now receives 34 percent support among Republican caucus-goers. Trump was at 23 percent in the Fox News Poll two weeks ago (January 4-7).
Cruz is second with 23 percent — down a touch from 27 percent. Marco Rubio comes in third with 12 percent, down from 15 percent. No others garner double-digit support.
Among caucus-goers who identify as “very” conservative, Cruz was up by 18 points over Trump earlier this month. Now they each receive about a third among this group (Cruz 34 percent vs. Trump 33 percent).
There’s been a similar shift among white evangelical Christians. Cruz’s 14-point advantage is now down to a 2-point edge.
A lot has happened in the intervening two weeks. Fox Business Network hosted a Republican debate where Trump questioned Cruz’s eligibility to be president, and Cruz attacked Trump’s liberal “New York values.” On Tuesday, Gov. Terry Branstad urged his fellow Iowans to vote against Cruz because of his opposition to ethanol — and former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Trump.
Republican pollster Daron Shaw says, “We tend to over-interpret every little thing in a presidential race, but here we actually have solid evidence Trump didn’t just win last week in Iowa — he won it by enough to put some distance between himself and Cruz.” Shaw conducts the Fox News Poll with Democratic pollster Chris Anderson.
Then, there is New Hampshire:
This is #YUGE. Howie Kurtz seemed incredulous when Trump recently boasted that ultimately blacks would love him better than Obama. Not so fast:
…those still somewhat capable of thinking for themselves just might. I now know of at least one black man who had better do so, if he knows what’s good for him. He has already switched from Hillary to Sanders. With blacks like his wife starting to publicly say the things she is saying about borders and black unemployment, how difficult would it be to switch again from Sanders to Trump? 😉
Transcript here. ◄Dave►
St. J9 and I will be attending Freedom Fest 2016, July 13-16 at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV. We will also be attending part of the Atlas Summit (July 11-13 at Planet Hollywood) and the John Stossel program (audience).
Might we see any of you there?
If you plan to go, the early-bird special rate ends on January 31, 2016.
Register at: FreedomFest.com
We can’t seem to entice much interest in discussing more weighty matters beyond the Incumbrepublocrat kabuki dance; but I’ll try one more time. When I wrote my “Dark Ages II” essay nine years ago – around the time that some of us first met online – much of it was partially inspired by my recently having read Mark Steyn’s, “America Alone.”
He has just posted a thoughtful 10-year followup article on the subject, “It’s Still the Demography, Stupid,” which is well worth reading and pondering:
Ten years ago this month – January 2006 – The Wall Street Journal and The New Criterion published my first draft of what would become the thesis of my bestselling book, America Alone. The Journal headline sums it up: “It’s the Demography, Stupid.” Opening paragraph:
“Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands–probably–just as in Istanbul there’s still a building called St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.”
Hmm… it seems that I can’t nest quotes, so I will put the passages he is quoting in his recent article in italics. It is well worth going and reading the whole thing anyway.