Progressive violence

Interesting footage of the Berkeley riot.  Worth watching to see what so called “student protesters” are really all about.

I’d like to point out one thing about this video.  A brief clip of Cenk Uygur at the 4:55 mark. Kudos to Uygur for condemning the riots.  However, I have to call bullshit on this specific remark: “a true progressive doesn’t do violence by definition.”

I guess the following people were not true progressives despite being identified as such: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Bill Ayers, Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama. These men were certainly willing to “do violence” in an attempt to achieve their supposedly progressive ends.

The entire progressive philosophy has, since its inception, been predicated on violence. Even when not rioting (which by the way they do a lot), progressives want to force people to behave in a way that conforms to their worldview.  That’s the whole point.  And they want to use government violence to achieve this if they are unable get their way through mere intimidation.

An example of progressivism in action is drug prohibition.  Progressives in the early twentieth century insisted on the regulation and eventual outlawing of the possession or sale of substances they didn’t like.  This even included alcohol for a period of time.  Failure to follow these rules meant being locked up in a government dungeon as punishment. Interestingly, decades later when the political Left changed their minds and decided drugs were great they turned around and blamed conservatives for what their forbears had instituted.  Conservatives had begun to agree with them on this issue so of course their attitudes shifted.  (It should be noted that conservatives have no problem using government violence either.  They are, however, less inventive in coming up with new rules to enforce.)

Income tax is another progressive era invention.  Does anyone really believe that millions of Americans would voluntarily hand over a third of their income to the State if the IRS wasn’t prepared to use violence to enforce payment?

Today we see equally disturbing policies that seek to upend cultural norms under threat of force.  Don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding?  Don’t want to let men identifying as women use the ladies’ restroom?  Don’t want to hire a certain percentage of minorities or women to work at your company?  In some rare cases progressives may show up and smash your windows or beat you up.  But of much greater concern is that In certain arbitrary circumstances, making any of these decisions can result in your business being taken away from you.  You may also be forced to pay thousands of dollars to someone who was offended by your actions even though no actual physical harm was inflicted on that person. Government guns are the enforcement mechanism for all of this even if most progressives choose to ignore that aspect of their ideology.

Sorry Cenk, progressivism equals violence.  It always has.  It always will.  It cannot exist without violence.

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Trump acknowledges US government killers

From an interview that will air prior to the Super Bowl:

“But, [Putin] is a killer,” O’Reilly said.

“There are a lot of killers,” Trump responded, “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”

It’s about time we had a president that accepts reality when it comes to US foreign policy. The idea that the Washington Regime sends its military around the globe blowing shit up solely to help poor innocent foreigners because America is so good and kind hearted is one of the most absurd and dangerous notions that too many people have been buying into for the past seventy years.  Enough is enough.  I seriously doubt Russia has killed more people than the combined bloody efforts of Clinton/Bush/Obama since Putin came to power in 1999.

Of course the War wing of the Republican Party was quick to denounce their own president in their never ending effort to stoke war with Russia.  In his response to Trumps statements, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Putin a “thug” and claimed his election as Russian president wasn’t “credible.”  This despite having domestic approval ratings that dwarf any recent US president.

For those people out there who hate Trump, think he’s Hitler, and are worried he’s going to destroy Democracy or whatever, calm down.  Just about everyone in the ruling elite is against this man.  Most Republicans who actually hold any power in this country hate him as much as any Democrat, judge, media personality, or corporate CEO does.  They’ll do whatever they can (and they can do a lot) to make sure the wars continue, the subsidized mass migration from the third world continues, and the banksters, merchants of death, drug companies, etc. get paid.

Trump will have a hell of a time making any real changes to the corrupt cesspool known as Washington, D.C.  Chances are when it’s all said and done, despite the chaotic first two weeks and all the America First rhetoric, he’ll have been a much more conventional (and to those who voted for him disappointing) president than anyone expects.

Is Trump administration starting trouble with China?

Trump spokesman says US won’t allow China to take over some rocks in the South China Sea because they’re in “international territories.”  Gotta love this quote:

The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there.

Hate to break it to you Donald, but I like just about every other American, don’t have any “interests” in the South China Sea. Stay the hell out of there just like you would expect China to stay out of the Caribbean Sea.  It’s none of “our” business.

America First.  Remember your campaign slogan?  Or your Inaugural Address from 4 days ago?

All Hail Emperor Trump!

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So Trump has survived long enough to be inaugurated as the forty-fifth president of these United States.  What do the next four years hold in store for us assuming the CIA doesn’t assassinate him, get him impeached, or force him to resign?

Foreign Policy:

Best Case Scenario: The United States more or less minds its own business regarding the internal affairs of other nations.

Russia and the United States reach a detente and a new Cold War is avoided.  Tensions in Europe subside.  Rather than expanding, some countries actually quit NATO because Trump tries to force them to pay their share of the military budget.

The US slowly but surely pulls its remaining troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Trump resists the calls to re-invade when the situations on the ground inevitably deteriorate. Russia and the Syrian government smash what is left of ISIS so that issue dies down, and the Donald doesn’t feel obligated to start a fresh bombing campaign.  Trump stops backing Saudi Arabia in its terror war against Yemen.  Despite warmongering rhetoric during and after the campaign on the Republican side, the US leaves the Iran agreement in place.  Israel doesn’t do anything too crazy.

The situation between China and its neighbors de facto stabilizes as Asian countries don’t trust the US to back them up militarily.  Trump lets this happen.

Some overseas bases actually close.  Korea, Eastern Europe, Turkey, maybe?  Some troops come home.

Worst Case Scenario:  Trump can’t resist the War Party propaganda and plunges the military into some foreign quagmire or escalates an existing one.

Tensions with Russia rise because Trump can’t handle being called Putin’s puppet and sabotages the relationship between the two leaders.  More troops and missiles are sent to Eastern Europe and the NATO budget, mainly on the backs of US taxpayers, grows out of control.  I still don’t see a straight up US-Russia war breaking out, but things could get very ugly in this scenario.

The US continues to back destabilizing Israeli and Saudi Arabian policies as the Middle East devolves into all out Sunni-Shia warfare in multiple countries.  Turkey intervenes with US backing.  Trump can’t help but bomb somebody that John McCain doesn’t like.  Ground troops are sent in, but we don’t see anything close to what we had during the Iraq War. 10,000 or so troops remain in Afghanistan killing people and wasting money.

Trump threatens China, visits Taiwan, and says Vietnam or some other country owns the rocks in the South China Sea that China loves so much.  Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Naval hardware is sent to the region and more bases open.  The US debt skyrockets as a result.

Prediction: Probably wind up somewhere in between, but I’m fairly optimistic in this arena.  I think we’ll end up much closer to the best case scenario than the worst case.  I do think no matter what, the standard military budget will grow unfortunately.  But overall spending on the overseas Empire may actually decline as the US bombs and intervenes less.

Domestic Policy

Best Case Scenario: Massive deregulation and tax cuts.  The Fed raises rates.  The bubble we’re currently in pops early and the recession comes sooner rather than later.  By 2020, the economy is booming.  Trump is re-elected and the economy continues to improve.  The popular entitlement programs are “shored up” at least for the near term, but some of the more wasteful programs are ended.  Obamacare is repealed and replaced with something that’s a little more efficient and a little less costly (but still bad).  The budgets of various useless cabinet departments stay more or less flat.

Worst Case Scenario: Only superficial deregulation that has no major effect on industry. Tax cuts are blocked.  Fed procrastinates on raising rates.  The bubble pops late in Trump’s term, and Elizabeth Warren or some clueless Obama clone gets elected in 2020 and further decimates the economy leading to Great Depression 2.0.  Several cabinet departments pointlessly grow their budgets.  Obamacare stays in place, bankrupts insurance companies, costs grow out of control, and the next administration introduces the dreaded single payer system.

Prediction:  I’m pretty worried on this one.  I don’t think it will be as dire as the Worst Case Scenario.  But unfortunately I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump ends up a one term president and the Democrat replacement makes Obama look like Friedrich Hayek.

Trade: 

Best Case Scenario: Trump cancels all pending trade deals.  Renegotiates NAFTA so it’s actually a little more liberal (despite rhetoric to the contrary) and is more favorable to small businesses.  There are going to be some protectionist measures taken, but hopefully they are minor, encourage a couple specific companies to open up a few new factories so Trump has a photo op, and nothing too drastic occurs in terms of tariffs.

Worst Case Scenario: Huge tariffs.  A trade war with China.  NAFTA gets renegotiated in a way that helps a few giant American corporations and helps a few thousand people get jobs, but hurts everyone else.  Real consumer prices go through the roof and we’re all worse off.

Prediction: Somewhere in between, but my guess is we’ll see plenty of protectionist measures taken which will cause hardships for average Americans.  Jettisoning these trade deals that have been all the rage for the past twenty-five years may be good in the long term however.  I could also see the dollar continue to strengthen if the Feds raise rates which may offset rising prices due to tariffs.

Immigration:

Best Case Scenario: Welfare programs that rely on federal money are cut off to immigrants who come here illegally.  Localities are no longer required to offer services to illegal immigrants.  The number of legal immigrants is reduced.  Jobs programs that incentivize companies to hire immigrants rather than native born Americans are eliminated.  Less people come here permanently. Those that do are more likely to be productive members of society.  Those that are here to leech off Americans either self deport or head to localities like San Fransisco that seem to get some sort of smug self righteous satisfaction from supporting them.  Everyone is more or less happy and Americans are less suspicious of those foreigners in their midst.

Worst Case Scenario: One of two things can happen.  Congress doesn’t go along with any of Trump’s proposals and he just gives up on enforcement because he’s tired of wasting political capital on it while dealing with a hostile press and protesters.  In this case massive subsidized immigration continues unabated.

The other bad scenario is he goes totally overboard fining and raiding businesses.  He makes border crossing and tourism in the US almost impossible for average people.  The whole endeavor helps grow the police state and life becomes worse for everyone.

Prediction: I think we’ll have some sort of weak version of the best case scenario.  It will be a slight improvement and immigration will slow somewhat.  It’s hard to predict because Trump is the first winning candidate for President in living memory that actually advocated having lower immigration.  But the press will call Trump a horrible Nazi and exaggerate any enforcement measures no matter what happens.  We’ll be subjected to countless news stories about how poor Maria came here form Guatemala so her disabled son Hector could get the medicine he needs, but Trump had them all deported back to their impoverished dirt farm, etc.

Overall Prediction:  Really hard to say.  Trump is obviously a very unorthodox anti-establishment figure.  Unprecedented in modern American politics.  But my best guess is more or less positive.  A lot less war.  Immigration will at least slow somewhat. The culture will stabilize after the leftists get over their current hysteria.  The economy will do okay, and we’ll avoid any major depression.