Tag: power

Has the US Become an Oligarchy?

 

No one who watches politics has any doubt that Joe Biden is barely, if at all, running the country. That fact has been true from the beginning of his presidency, and probably long before. Many of us are assuming that Ron Klain with several cohorts in the administration are the ones in charge, making the shocking and ill-conceived decisions for Biden; Biden is just a figurehead. Let me explain why we have effectively, if not formally, become an oligarchy, and the implications of that structure.

Here’s a definition of an oligarchy:

What Were They Thinking?

 

No matter how fruitless the effort, I am plagued with a debilitating habit that I just can’t seem to shake: I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out, beyond the ideology, what people on the Left are actually thinking or what they believe, for them to continue to invest their time and efforts in foolish and dangerous ideas. Every now and then I have some openings in my thought process that allow me to venture into the dark recesses of the minds of the Left. I want to test out my thinking on all of you.

Since it’s difficult to make meaningful generalizations about the countless errors that the Left and particularly the Biden administration have made, I decided to focus primarily on the following areas: border administration (or lack thereof); policy toward China (or the lack thereof); policy on the economy (or the lack thereof) wait a minute, am I repeating myself? Regardless, our negotiating with Iran on the nuclear deal, and finally the mess of managing Covid give us plenty to focus on. I think it’s possible to infer similarities in thinking (or non-thinking, if you prefer) regarding these five areas that would explain how inept and feckless their efforts have been.

Elitism/Arrogance—More than ever, the Left relies on its belief in its own superiority. Whether these people point to their college degrees, affirmations of each other in their enclaves or just their own narcissism, they believe that they are best suited to run this country. Since their actions are driven by their elitist ideology, e.g., Marxism, socialism, wealth accumulation, and social circles, anyone who doesn’t embrace or live within those bubbles is clearly inferior and unqualified to contribute. It is possible to join this cadre, but you must begin by lauding the ideology first, then checking off all the other Leftist boxes.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement that he is a no vote on Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” spending plan full of far-left priorities. They also hammer outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his almost gleeful pronouncement that if you threaten to take away people’s paychecks and their ability to enjoy life, you can get them to do what you want them to. And they shake their heads as Vice President Kamala Harris claims the entire Biden administration was caught off-guard by the COVID variants this year.

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The Constitution contains a powerful set of ideals and a wise system of governance, based on a deep reading of classical and medieval history as well as Renaissance philosophy. However, none of this matters if no system of force is in place to keep and defend the Constitution. Ultimately, this what the 2nd Amendment is about: A distributed […]

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There are two ways of getting things done: persuasion or coercion. You either convince someone of the value of your ideas or you hold a (literal or metaphorical) gun to their head. The latter has been the norm throughout human history. Most of what we value about the contemporary West is a shift toward the former occurring over […]

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The Greatness of America: Part I

 

In my lifetime, I have never experienced such deceptive, malevolent, and destructive actions and behaviors from the Progressive Left. Maybe I was just naïve. Maybe their willingness to speak openly about their own devious behavior is how I’ve become enlightened. As a result, I am making demands of the Left that my government representatives, Senators and Congressmen, have been unwilling to make up until now.

But I take these stands, not with malevolence, but firm determination. I will not let you harden me or make me bitter. I will not descend to your level.

You must stop doing the following:

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There seems to be some misunderstanding that there will there be a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court after Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. John Roberts is not conservative in any meaningful judicial sense, neither interpreting laws based on their original public meaning (originalism) nor through some conservative view. And so, while there will […]

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  I have often wondered about people who change their party affiliation from one to the other.  What changed their minds?  What would cause a conservative with an asserted conservative world view (less government, less taxes, more accountability) to become a tax-and-spend Democrat?  What would cause someone who viewed the government as the source of […]

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The Destructiveness of Anger

 

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” — Mark Twain

People who are angry in these times feel justified in their fury. The world seems out of control, while scientists and doctors expound on the devastating impact of a perplexing virus. We, however, want someone, anyone, to be able to explain everything, right now, in a way that makes sense and can be digested by all of us.

When the “authorities” give us information with certainty, we are angry with them because we simply don’t believe them. When they share their views with qualifiers, we are angry because we want certainty. And we want to blame someone, anyone for the lack of complete understanding of what is happening, and a sensible strategy for moving forward.

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I’m sure many of you listen to the EconTalk podcast (if you don’t, you absolutely should.)  I thought this episode was great and this excerpt perfectly characterized the power situation in this country, especially the lack of meaningful reform, especially when public sector unions and the entrenched bureaucracy are involved. “Back in the old days […]

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QotD: Power and Marginalization

 

If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired. – Kevin Williamson

We saw some illustrations of that this week. Whistle-blowing is good if it hurts President Trump or any conservative, but it is bad if it is done against Progressive bastions (the mainstream media). If a Republican refuses to concede a close election this is an indication the Republicans cannot accept defeat. If a Democrat loses a close (or even not-so-close) election, refusal to concede is taking it to the man, or noble resistance. And heaven forbid a doula claim a man cannot give birth.

Chaos Incarnate

 

[Let’s listen in to this conversation in progress . . . ]

JB—So Nance, how’s it going? You folks have been pretty busy raising Cain in the last couple of weeks.

NP—Well, yes, that’s true, Joe. How are you doing? Where are you campaigning?

Quote of the Day: Sallust on Sloth, Covetousness, and Losing Power

 

“And, indeed, if the intellectual ability of kings and magistrates were exerted to the same degree in peace as in war, human affairs would be more orderly and settled, and you would not see governments shifted from hand to hand, and things universally changed and confused. For dominion is easily secured by those qualities by which it was at first obtained. But when sloth has introduced itself in the place of industry, and covetousness and pride in that of moderation and equity, the fortune of a state is altered together with its morals; and thus authority is always transferred from the less to the more deserving.” — Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust)

The first time I saw this quote, it was the abbreviated version starting at “But when sloth…” and going to the end. My thought reading that was, “That’s not my experience or reading of history there, old son.” But seeing the larger quote, it becomes obvious he is writing of changes in the power structures and of who is in place. Eventually, the people get tired of corruption and rise up. Eventually, a great man (or at least superior to his predecessors) arises to clean out the Augean stables of government. Or, the nation falls to another, which will have a higher vision. Sallust lived through a period when the Roman Republic was falling apart with factional fighting and finally fell into being the Roman Principate. I believe we are living through a similar period now.

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How often have you said, or heard someone else say, “Well, I had good intentions!” Unfortunately, that is the phrase that the Left repeatedly offers as if their good intentions override terrible outcomes. I propose that in these times, this mistaken belief borders on the evil. For over 100 years we’ve listened to the Left […]

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https://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/must_see/48060788/finland-s-new-generation-of-climate-heroes Play on words: Actually that is the name of a Finnish town which has achieved “zero waste” and has therefore proven that if a town of 10,ooo can do it, according to a person in the video (teacher?) we can do it globally and so we have “no more excuses.” Well, there isn’t enough […]

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Humanity is trapped in a vise. The two competing social models in the world–the small ethnic state and the large commercial empire–have proven equally prone to sudden outbursts of mass violence. Multi-ethnic empires are vulnerable to spirals of elite divide-and-conquer tactics that eventually trigger a civil war, while monoethnic states have a tendency to fight […]

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Apology Accepted

 

Making an apology comes naturally for some folks and can be very trying for others. We can store up an abundance of reasons not to apologize: it wasn’t my fault, he deserved it, I was right, she was wrong, it’s too late, it’s too soon. Even for those of us who will generally own up to our mistakes, apologizing can be difficult.

Recently I overreacted to a situation and was rude in response to something that was said. I had no way of knowing that I had misunderstood what was said, so was my rudeness really my fault? Yes. It was. But one of the challenges to offering an apology is getting past our own embarrassment and self-consciousness and just admitting we goofed.