Washington Post

Washington Post’s new slogan, “Democracy dies in darkness,” is well timed indeed with the various mentions going around the Internet of the shadow government. In the case of Trump, the members of congress, etc, they’re elected officials. When they do things we don’t like, we can fire them. The shadow government? They’re the thousands who were picked by the prior administration or hired in by the like minded. The will of the people has little to do with their continued employment. Even our representatives rarely look too closely.

If their slogan is supposed to be a taking of arms against Trump massively censoring news ah-la … well, any number of dictators that they don’t traditionally hate… Trump isn’t trying to suppress the news. People can recognize what suppressing the news actually looks like. It does after all happen all over the world. At worst, as they’ve been attacking him since before the election even happened, he’s been hitting them back in kind. In kind, but we’re not seeing the FCC revoking licences. As someone who has followed the news in Venezuela since before Chavez came to power, what has been happening in the spat between the press and the White House is nothing like it. They’re complaining he’s going after their reputation as they go after his. The media is no more above criticism than elected officials. If anything, they should be criticized more. When they’re wrong, we make bad choices about hiring and firing the politicians, after all.

But the darkness that democracy dies in is not the one where people can’t get information about what their elected officials are doing; it is when the elected officials themselves don’t actually matter. In Saddam’s Iraq, even when the people were informed how they voted was irrelevant, but they were still being told lies. In Iran, most of the bringers of light are in fact holding a hypno-beam. In the Soviet Union the government was secretive, but needlessly so, as any criticism usually ended in gunshots. Propaganda for or against the government has taken place all over the world, and has generally been at the hands of the press. Sometimes they’re loyal, sometimes they’re oppressed. But just being the press isn’t an assertion of moral greatness either.

From fiction, in Hitchiker’s guide one of the main characters was the president of the galaxy. At some point it was decided that no one who wanted that role was fit to have it, so he actually had little to no power at all. We aren’t at that point, obviously, and I’m not saying that we’ll come to be at that point either, but it is true that far more people have far more control who are far more removed from the people than was ever intended. In particular because someone decided that practically any activity that you do which could have potentially generated a sale to or from another state could be considered interstate commerce. Growing wheat on your own farm to feed your own animals? Interstate commerce.

When policy and law are created by those who are unelected is the true darkness which will kill democracy. For the presidency to be part of “the darkness” he’d have to be unaccountable. You want a President like that, look more to FDR or Woodrow Wilson. Hell, Obama’s pen and phone were far less legitimate than anything that the Trump White House has done. But even so, the White House’s power is limited, because no matter how talented the individual, it’s difficult to pay attention to that many things at once.

On the contrary, people like the EPA being able to set rules that affect millions in investments without congress or the President actually doing anything. They are an army of thousands who are focused on the subject of their interest. And their interests need not have anything to do with ours. Or in the case of Europe, the central government actually isn’t picked by the people at all.

But, back to the Post and journalism in general, these various leaks from government offices filled with unelected bureaucrats, edicts from three letter agencies that affect everything from resources to housing to education to school lunches- these actions are generally supported by the press, which claims to be a source of light. Perhaps they should rethink. If Journalism is the light, they’re a film noir sort at best. Their light shines at those they dislike, but like a fun-house mirror it doesn’t cast a true image, and at the same time, it casts long shadows for those they like to do their evil.

So, Democracy dies in the darkness, eh? When you support those working in shadows, act as though you are part of the opposition party with bi-lines while offering propaganda for their side freely, and indeed, cast long shadows to cover the failings of the prior administration while pointing out the non-failings of the current as though they were evil, I wonder.

Is your slogan supposed to be you banging your chest claiming your support of Democracy? Or your threat to end it?

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FBI Is Investigating About 300 Refugees For Terrorism | The Daily Caller


Thanks Obama.

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Nuanced is a word I’ve been hearing a lot lately. They mean to portray to others that their words are “characterized by subtle shades of meaning or expression.” but in many of the cases that I’ve seen it used, the internal meaning seems to lean a litttttle more toward “an alternative explanation that seeks to deceive.

See how many times you see Democratic operatives and CNN (but I repeat myself) used nuanced in the next twenty four hours. You’ll be surprised.

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Anarchy is the art of thinking you can beat organization with disorganization.

Two More Anarchists Arrested in #DisruptJ20 Plot

“The message has to be, we do not recognize the city government either,” Kuhn says. “If you try to close us down we will look for your house, we will burn it. We will physically fight the police if they try to steal one of our places. We will go to war and you will lose.”

Silly anarchist, the message can be whatever you want, but the facts won’t change. What is it with the left and thinking that messaging can dictate reality? And aren’t anarchists supposedly opposed to property ownership? “…Steal one of our places.” First, not yours. Second. You smell that? That is the smell of ideological inconsistency.

“…To war…” You and what army? The battle between civilization and its opposite has a long history and a long future,  but in general, for the last few thousand years, civilization has won when it bothered to fight. It is the nature of human organization to protect its existence, until the humans in it either feel it is too ill to endure, or the spirit of the humans in it looses its vigor.

As long as the government is willing to protect order the scale of force available is magnitudes apart, as most people are conservative in the sense they want society to exist tomorrow.  Rather than worrying that these people have any power, the real worry is that they seek power, and would employ violence to get it.

But then, that also isn’t really a worry. Such forces are easy to overcome. The only real worry is that those we’ve entrusted with protecting civilization might refuse to do so. In various cities with leftist governments, such groups have been allowed to fester, commiting violence and property damage without much response. Civilization when it defends itself is nearly all powerful. But the trick is, it must defend itself, or it will die.

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If you want to help…

Trump signs bill undoing Obama coal mining rule

While there are many issues which I might choose to comment on, the only one I will is a quote from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

If you want to help miners, then come address their health and safety and their pension program. You can protect the coal industry here with special interests and the amount of lobbying they do, or you can step up in a process and have a regulation that works for the United States of America so the outdoor industry and sportsman and fishermen can continue to thrive.

Well. Health, safety and pensions are compensations. The government should not control compensations in a free society. If you don’t think that they are, would you take a job with the same pay at a place with a worse record on any of the three? Rather, would you take a job with double the pay and 75% of the safety? Are you doing trade offs in your head to answer the second question? Sen. Cantwell would rather you didn’t have that opportunity. While I generally agree that health, safety, and pensions are useful and indeed valuable, that doesn’t mean that the government should be deciding any of them. Even agencies such as OSHA should be more concerned with “is it as safe as they represented to their employees” and sharing best practices. The government shouldn’t set standards, but rather measures. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, consumers determine the price of goods when they make choices among the infinite available in exchange for their limited money, skills, and labor. Even the “price” of money is no different.

In any case, if someone is willing to pay a person to lay bricks in a volcano for a million dollars a year, it isn’t the government’s job to stop either the worker or the employer. If someone wants to work for a higher wage with lower compensations of other sorts, it isn’t something the government should by any right stop. Likewise if someone’s willing to work for half minimum wage doing a particular job, that just means they accept the level of compensation they get for the labor they’re asked to do. As long as it isn’t a matter of slavery or a knife to their throats, it isn’t the government’s job to ask why that is, or to dictate that it can not be. Every bit of legislation that labor unions have ever pressed for in their entire existence was only to benefit that labor union, and not workers in general. Every single one.

I’m pretty sure that the democrats and their supporters have been spending quite a lot of time arguing that the republicans are fascists. Of course, while anonymous mobs that supported the cause went out and broke and burned stuff. Like certain other to remain nameless anonymous mobs known for types of boots and color of shirts… But the bundle of sticks argument and the general consensus among democrats that we should all think like them (we’re happy for them to think however they like, we’d just appreciate it if they didn’t demand we join them in thought and act) is a part of the whole phenomenon, and her argument plays into that. They’re wrong for these reasons as everyone can plainly see, and these innocent sorts are harmed by them, even if they don’t complain, and even if they’re the same miners or executives I’m complaining for.

But that’s not all. It isn’t just the jack-booted.. err. Yes, not mentioning it. Nor the bundle of sticks mentality. But the notion, as covered in my first paragraph, that the government should though infinite regulatory domains, control the means of production. Those Fascists that the left is so fond of claiming everyone else is put no small effort into controlling the means of production. Which is an obvious thing, given that they were all self admitted socialists. Rather, before Hitler decided to take over all of Europe, Mussolini was pointed out by anyone and everyone in power (even some of the right’s heroes at the time) as someone who got Socialism right. He didn’t do so by taking factories from their owners so much as taking control of the owners. There are a lot of ways to control the means of production, ownership is only one means. There are others.

Finally, the coal industry does indeed have lobbyists and are part of something that could be classified as special interests, but so do the environmentalists. Indeed, we all have at least a few issues we’d rather not be flexible on. To the extent you might call their interests bribery (which I don’t) it isn’t any more or less than is done by any number of other groups. Rather, the number of groups against them had more influence under Obama than the Coal industry did. Obviously. Obama was practically their national spokesman against the coal industry. So level of influence is a fallacious argument at best. There is no reason to judge one is morally superior to the other, yet she doesn’t even mention the interests levied against, except the bald assertion that at present levels of regulation, “the outdoor industry,” “sportsmen” and “fishermen” wouldn’t continue to thrive. If that was true, how did they “continue to thrive” up until Obama?

While some might see my take as naive, the world isn’t overrun with Captain Planet villains who do harm while ignoring their own self interests. Even “Loot and Plunder” who were to represent greedy capitalists would ignore their own economic self interests in order to do just a little more harm. Relatively few people, even among sociopaths, actively seek to destroy the world. The world is where we keep all our stuff, after all. There is of course “the tragedy of the commons.” But my experience is that giving the government too much control over “the commons” is also a tragedy, and a much harder one to correct. After all, once someone takes control of an aspect of the commons, keeping that control becomes their special interest.

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Socialism: the gift that keeps giving.. suffering

Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism – Venezuela Sees The Old Child Killing Diseases Back

You can use air pressure to create a vacuum, but that is nothing compared to Venezuela transforming one of the most valuable materials on earth into poverty.

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Public education

DeVos nomination in trouble after two GOP senators defy Trump

Collins said she was worried that DeVos wouldn’t do enough to help public schools, and issue Democrats have also raised during the public debate about Trump’s nominee.


“The mission of the Department of Education is fraught, but supporting public education is at its core,” she added. “I’m concerned that Mrs. DeVos’ lack of experience with public schools will make it difficult for her to fully understand, identify and assist with those challenges, particularly for our rural schools.”

That isn’t really correct. “Public education” is in her mind a specific process. But we don’t need “Public education” as such or in particular. The goal of the department of education shouldn’t be public education, but the education of the public. That describes a goal rather than a particular process. If you had two different courses where one left someone 20% more meaningfully knowledgeable than the other, why should you concern yourself over the specific process? As long as neither process is particularly harmful, you shouldn’t mindlessly commit yourself to one over the other, especially when data shows the other has better outcomes.

Both Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski are people we should be looking to replace. When you hear about GOP senators voting in a non-conservative matter, the odds one or the other of their names being in the list is nearly 100%. This is just another datapoint in a long list.

Well, at the end of the day I don’t really support the existence of the Department of Education which isn’t a Federal problem in the first place, but if we are to continue it’s existence the person at the head MUST understand that throwing more money at the problem in order to do exactly what we’ve always been doing will only get us the same results we’ve always gotten. If your plan to get a better product is to spend more money on the same product, you’re obviously a fool. If you think you’ll get a better product simply because you spend more, you’re still a fool.

And for that matter, people in the “I send my children to private school and attended it myself” set are not particularly suitable to proclaim that “public education” is anything good. Let’s be honest. It can be done better. But it won’t be done better if we do it the same way, with the same staff, and same facilities.

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