Sunday, June 13, 2021

Why Obama Failed

Especially poignant in his third term... 

 Why Obama Failed

Cameron Hilditch, National Review   

In a revealing interview, Obama tried to burnish his image for progressive posterity — but he still doesn’t understand his fundamental errors.

Barack Obama rose to political stardom in the wake of his 2004 convention speech, during which he made an implicit promise that he could transcend party divisions in Washington, bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats, and make the federal government functional again. I’ll confess that I really thought he wanted to do this when he ascended to the presidency. It took the first volume of his memoirs and a recent interview he gave to Ezra Klein of the New York Times to fully and finally disabuse me of that notion.

During his 2008 campaign, Obama seemed to display a certain capaciousness of intellect and imagination that would allow him to get inside his opponents’ heads, understand their position in good faith, and address it in a perspicacious way, creating an illusion of rapport. He also knew how to do this with journalists. The conservative columnist David Brooks, for instance, was caught off guard during an interview with Obama when it became apparent that the then-senator had a favorite theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, of whom he could speak learnedly and with enthusiasm — a pleasant surprise for a conservative admirer of Niebuhr like Brooks. This circumspection is clearly a part of the Obama mythos that the man himself values, because he restates it at the beginning of his interview with Klein:

I forget whether it was Clarence Darrow, or Abraham Lincoln, or some apocryphal figure in the past who said, look, the best way to win an argument is to first be able to make the other person’s argument better than they can. And for me, what that meant was that I had to understand their worldview. And I couldn’t expect them to understand mine if I wasn’t extending myself to understand theirs.

After reading this quotation, many conservatives will likely wonder if they have gone through the looking glass. Close observers of American politics over the last decade will be aware that President Obama made very little effort to understand the worldview of his Republican colleagues in Washington. In fact, an interesting companion piece to Klein’s interview is this reported essay by Alex Thompson, written last summer for Politico, on the Obama-Biden relationship. Thompson’s sources indicate that Obama was exceedingly bad at persuading his Republican colleagues to back his proposals:

“Negotiating with President Obama was all about the fact that he felt that he knew the world better than you,” said Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader from 2011 to 2014. “And he felt that he thought about it so much, that he figured it all out, and no matter what conclusion you had come to with the same set of facts, his way was right.” Biden, he said, understood that “you’re gonna have to agree to disagree about some things.” A former Republican leadership aide described Obama’s style as “mansplaining, basically.”

Lest these recollections be dismissed as Republican potshots, Thompson also quotes from the memoirs of David Axelrod, one of Obama’s chief advisers, who makes the same point: “‘Few practiced politicians appreciate being lectured on where their political self-interest lies,’ he wrote of Obama’s style. ‘That hint of moral superiority and disdain for politicians who put elections first has hurt Obama as negotiator, and it’s why Biden, a politician’s politician, has often had better luck.’”

Despite his self-image as a latter-day Pericles, Obama turned out to be bad at building legislative coalitions inside the Beltway. Why was this? In short, it was because of his views on persuading the public as opposed to persuading his colleagues. As he told Klein:

The premise of persuading somebody who you can build some trust with, and have a history with and relationship, then there might be times where you say, you know what? You’re just full of it. And let me tell you why. And you can be very logical and incisive about how you want to dismantle their arguments. . . . But look, when you’re dealing at the macro level, when you’re dealing with 300 million people with enormous regional, and racial, and religious, and cultural differences, then now you are having to make some calculations. So let’s take the example you used. And I write extensively about the emergence of the Tea Party. And we could see that happening with Sarah Palin. She was sort of a prototype for the politics that led to the Tea Party, that in turn, ultimately led to Donald Trump, and that we’re still seeing today.

There were times where calling it out would have given me great satisfaction personally. But it wouldn’t have necessarily won the political day in terms of me getting a bill passed. And I think every president has to deal with this.

Obama seems to believe that when he was in discussions with congressional Republicans, face-to-face in the Oval Office, his best play was to try to win the argument on the theoretical plane, explaining forcefully and straightforwardly why their positions were flat-out incorrect. This is what appears to have rubbed Cantor the wrong way. Obama made a political bet that the context of one-on-one relationships would allow for this kind of argument from principle to be effective. His watertight syllogisms and unwavering honesty would, he imagined, cause the scales to fall from the eyes of McConnell & Co., ushering in a new era of “unity.”

By way of contrast, he also seems to believe that when dealing with the electorate, one has to handle arguments more carefully, to rhetorically triangulate in such a way as to offend the lowest number of potential voters. These two beliefs, about how a president persuades Congress and how he persuades the public, are sufficient to explain why Obama’s presidency was a failure, because the truth about political persuasion in America is precisely the opposite of what he thinks it is.

By temperament, Obama is a classical figure. His notion of changing the minds and policies of his fellow statesmen by having it out with them until they relented harks back to the senatorial style of the Roman Republic. He fatefully, and fatally, failed to take into account that national politics has not worked like this in the United States since the 1820s, before the presidency of Andrew Jackson.

The statesmen of pre-Jacksonian America — especially the senators — believed that government should be undertaken by a natural aristocracy of talent and intellect, which should be accountable to the public in only a limited and convoluted way. This was as true of Jeffersonians like John Quincy Adams as it was of Federalists like his father. In such a climate, political leaders at the national level could allow themselves to be persuaded by their peers into changing positions on a given issue without fearing fatal electoral reprisals. Politics at that time really did happen in Congress more than in the country at large.

But the huge wave of democratic discontent that swept General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee into office put an end to the aristocratic manners and mores that had governed national politics up to that point. As Arthur Schlesinger wrote in his great work The Age of Jackson:

The growing importance of the common man was accompanied by a declining importance of Congress. The function of the legislature was now rather to elicit, register, and influence public opinion than to assert its independent will. The great party leader was no longer the eloquent parliamentary orator, whose fine periods could sweep his colleagues into supporting his measures, but the popular hero, capable of bidding directly for the confidence of the masses.

Previously, the statesman had been relatively unbound by the will of his electorate. But in the new democratic age brought about by the Jacksonian revolution, he could be sure that any policy deviation from the expressed will of his constituents would cost him at the ballot box. Persuasion no longer happened in Congress. It happened in the country.

The man who fully grasped the profundity of this change was not Jackson himself but his successor and ally, Martin Van Buren. As Schlesinger writes, Van Buren

protested repeatedly against romantic views of the magic of oratory. When Macaulay declared grandly, in the well-known passage on Pitt, “Parliamentary Government is Government by speaking,” Van Buren begged to differ. True parliamentary leadership, he declared, involved “powers of the mind more humble in pretension and less dazzling in appearance but, as experience has often proved, far more effective in the end than the most brilliant oratory when not sustained by them.” Good judgment in timing measures, the capacity to strike directly at the opposition’s weakest point without wasting time in “mere oratorical” disquisition, skill in guiding the debate so as to capitalize on “latent diversities of feeling and opinion on points either not at all or only remotely bearing upon the principal subject,” and good sense to strive for objects not beyond practical reach — oratory was useless without these technical skills.

Schlesinger further notes that the two statesmen of the age most attached to the rhetorical, congressional model of persuasion, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, lost almost every political battle they fought during the 1830s. Their politics was out of place in the new democratic order, in which persuasion entailed appealing to the electoral interests of one’s colleagues in a way that was “intimate and conversational, with low-pitched voice and clear enunciation,” as Schlesinger describes it. “John Quincy Adams,” he goes on to write, “former professor of rhetoric at Harvard, . . . perfectly expressed the baffled exasperation of the old school in an outburst against James K. Polk: ‘He has no wit, no literature, no point of argument, no gracefulness of delivery, no elegance of language, no philosophy, no pathos, no felicitous impromptus; nothing that can constitute an orator, but confidence, fluency, and labor.’”

It’s easy to imagine President Obama saying something similar about Cantor or McConnell.

The really successful presidents also took an opposite tack to Obama’s when it came to persuading the public. Obama clearly felt that he had to handle the electorate with kid gloves. He tells Klein that “as the first African-American president, there was a presumption, not incorrect, that there were times where I was biting my tongue.” He uses the issue of race as an example: “Is it more important,” he asks, “for me to tell a basic historical truth, let’s say, about racism in America right now? Or is it more important for me to get a bill passed that provides a lot of people with health care that didn’t have it before?” He describes this as a choice between his “prophetic voice” and his “coalition-building political voice.”

Obama, clearly more comfortable using his “prophetic voice” in private political negotiations, told Klein that “there might be times where you say [to your colleagues], you know what? You’re just full of it. And let me tell you why. And you can be very logical and incisive about how you want to dismantle their arguments.” But it was in public, when using his “coalition-building political voice,” where he made his fatal mistake. Successful presidents have done precisely the opposite, using their “prophetic voice” to whip up popular energy and enthusiasm for their agenda and their “coalition-building political voice” to sell their colleagues on that agenda as something that is in the electoral interest of those same politicians. In short, instead of laying himself bare before the people and then managing their representatives carefully in private, Obama sought to manage the people carefully and then lay himself bare before their representatives, hoping to persuade the few where he knew he could not persuade the many.

The trouble for Obama was simply this: For any politician to use his or her “prophetic voice” effectively on the electorate, there has to be an authentic sense of solidarity and mutual affection between the former and the latter. Jackson, for instance, had a greater mutual affinity with the average American voter in the 1820s (at that time, only white men, sadly) than John Quincy Adams did. As Jackson’s biographer Robert Remini notes, “At one time in the history of the United States, General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee was honored above all living men. And most dead ones, too.” The same affection existed between the common man and Franklin Roosevelt a century later. For example, during the Roosevelt administration, the British ambassador sent this report back to London: “Every house I visited — mill worker or unemployed — had a picture of the President. . . . He is at once God and their intimate friend; he knows them all by name, knows their little town and mill, their little lives and problems. And though everything else fails, he is there, and will not let them down.”

President Reagan could boast of a similar, though less intense, connection with the electorate; President Trump made the same kind of connection with the white working class in 2016, but, unlike Roosevelt and Reagan, he failed to expand his coalition beyond this base to any great degree.

Jackson, Roosevelt, and Reagan could use their prophetic voices in public because there was a genuine and unaffected synergy between the values of the electorate, broadly speaking, and their own. The public sensed that these presidents liked Americans (though with shameful exceptions in the case of Jackson, who despised two groups, African Americans and Native Americans). There are, as it turns out, a great many Americans whom Barack Obama doesn’t like and doesn’t trust, and he clearly feels that these Americans were sufficiently powerful during his presidency to prevent him from speaking frankly to the public about his beliefs without incurring a backlash. Unable or unwilling to trust the voters, both Obama and his successor squandered political opportunities for compromise.

This is an unpleasant conclusion. But the partisan rancor of Obama’s interview with Klein makes it quite unavoidable. He talks about Republicans’ “complete unwillingness to do anything about the slaughter of children,” totally ignoring his own party’s fanatical defense of an abortion regime the extremity of which is equaled only in China, Vietnam, and North Korea. He describes his opponents as “folks who feel threatened by change,” and calls the Republican voters represented in the Senate “irreconcilably wrong.” Of the Democratic Party, he boasts that “we don’t have the luxury of just consigning a group of people to say, you’re not real Americans,” implying that Republicans are engaged in this kind of activity habitually. Obama accuses “the previous Republican administration” of “completely ignoring science” on vaccines, a claim that none other than Anthony Fauci, who was there and should know, has debunked on several very public occasions. He also repeats the ahistorical lie that all the counter-majoritarian mechanisms in the Constitution arose out of a “very intentional desire for Southern states, for example, to maintain power and reduce the power of the federal government” — a kind of intellectual 7/10 split that must spell doom either for the former president’s intellectual reputation or for his honesty.

Perhaps the most partisan remark that the former president made came as part of his familiar critique of what’s often called “both-sidesism” in the media. He notes that “there are certain bad habits that the media cultivated and it had to, then, reexamine during the Trump era, the classic being what constitutes objectivity, as I joke about.” As an example of such joking, he feigns a bit of media commentary: “President Obama, today, was savagely attacked by the Republicans for suggesting that the earth is round. Republicans suggested that there’s some hidden documents showing the earth is, in fact, flat.” This is the kind of sarcasm that one would expect from a Twitter troll, not from a former president of the United States (though the line between those two things is admittedly blurrier than it used to be).

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama told a story to the electorate, about himself and about America, that he believed he could win over the voters he needed. He was right. But it’s clearly not the story he believed himself. These days, he’s telling a different story with a different audience in mind. In the pages of his memoirs and in interviews with progressive tastemakers like Klein, Obama is speaking in his prophetic voice at last. He’s authoring a revisionist history of his own presidency in real time, offering a commentary on his internal monologue as it played out during his eight years in office. The purpose of this revisionism is apparent. As he told Klein:

Part of what I try to make clear in the book is, and sometimes my friends in the Democratic Party who criticize us on the left misapprehend this idea that we had some ideological aversion to pushing the envelope on policy. That’s not the case. We had just political constraints we had to deal with, and we had an emergency we had to deal with.

Obama’s new audience is progressive posterity. He’s attempting to burnish his credentials with the radical activists of the present and the radical historians of the future. He wants to make it clear to them that any ostensible respect he may have shown for Republicans during his career was nothing more than a concession to electoral necessity. He wants them to know that the moderation was all for show — a tragic obligation kenotically undertaken by a progressive savior in a reactionary nation that couldn’t keep up with the pace of his moral leadership.

Ultimately, Obama failed as a leader because, unlike presidents past, he didn’t trust the public. He lacked both the courage and the convictions required to thrive in the democratic polity the birth of which Van Buren chronicled during the 1830s. To borrow from his own terminology, Obama would not prophesy for the public and he could not build coalitions with his colleagues. He knew that history had not dealt him an electorate the makeup of which intersected perfectly with his own ambitions, as it had for Jackson, Roosevelt, and Reagan. This is why he resents his Republican opponents so much. Neither they nor their voters were sufficiently made according to his own political image, an image that he still believes to be the best and clearest evidence of the small measure of moral credibility that can justly be claimed by the United States of America.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

The Texas Voting Lie



The Texas Voting Lie

Rich Lowery, National Review 


None of the bill’s provisions would actually prevent anyone from voting, no matter what Democrats say.

The Democratic opposition to legislative minorities using whatever leverage they have to block legislation is highly situational.

In Washington, D.C., where Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress, the Senate filibuster is portrayed as a Jim Crow relic that is profoundly undemocratic.

In Austin, Texas, where Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature, House Democrats’ walking out to prevent the passage of a bill with majority support is portrayed as a heroic act preserving our democracy.

The bill in question is an election-reform measure that Democrats allege is the latest instance of state-level GOP voter suppression.

The only recourse, they say, is at the federal level. The Senate filibuster should be eliminated — so much for the rights of legislative minorities — and then the narrowest-possible Democratic Senate majority should pass H.R.1, overriding long-standing, duly-passed election laws all around the country and essentially federalizing our elections.

Democracy, they tell us, demands nothing less.

To the contrary, this would be a power grab carried out under blatantly false pretenses.

The Texas bill is no more a voter-suppression measure than the Georgia election law that passed a few months ago, which occasioned outraged accusations of the arrival of Jim Crow 2.0 that ultimately fell flat.

The least defensible part of the Texas law is its provision saying that early voting on the Sunday before the election can’t begin until 1 p.m., which could crimp the traditional “souls to the polls” turnout efforts of black churches. A Republican legislator says this was a drafting error. Regardless, the provision should — and almost certainly will be — changed.

The rest of the legislation is unobjectionable. It pushes back against what were supposed to be temporary expedients during the pandemic, such as drive-through voting and 24-hour early-voting marathons. Texas democracy was healthy and robust prior to these emergency innovations, and it will be when they are gone.

It explicitly forbids election officials from implementing practices not contemplated under the state’s election statutes, as sometimes happened during the pandemic.

In many counties, it will extend the daily minimum time for early voting by one hour.

In certain circumstances, by the way, employers are required to give employees time off to go vote.

Its provisions for increased security and transparency are hardly draconian. Among other things, it would require voters to write a driver’s license number or other identifier on absentee ballots, matching the existing voter-ID requirement for registering to vote and voting in person.

It would ban public officials from sending out unsolicited mail-in ballots, a commonsense provision to keep excess ballots from floating around. Certainly, it’s not too much to ask that people affirmatively request their mail-in ballots.

It would mandate that all voting systems have a paper trail on or before 2026, with a funding incentive for counties to comply early.

For sizable jurisdictions that can easily pull it off, it would require livestreaming of vote-counting proceedings.

All of this is reported as “restrictive” in the press, but none of it would actually prevent anyone from voting, and there is zero chance that the bill would discernibly affect turnout.

To make this proposal the triggering event for a radical change in U.S. Senate rules to pass the most far-reaching, high-handed federal election bill in the country’s history, one that would wipe out countless state laws as well as bipartisan federal election legislation passed over the past 30 years, would be absurdly pretextual and disproportionate.

The Democrats, just like the Republicans, tend to be hypocritical on legislative-process questions, depending on what advances their interests. But on one thing they are admirably consistent, whether at the state or federal level, whether in the minority or majority — stirring up self-serving hysteria over GOP election laws.


© 2021 by King Features Syndicate

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Ignore rising crime, pay a severe ballot-box price

Dems who ignore rising crime will pay a severe ballot-box price

Rich Lowery, New York Post

On the anniversary of the death of George Floyd, dozens of gunshots rang out in the middle of the day at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, forcing reporters and bystanders to duck and cover.

The symbolism was unmistakable — the yearlong bout of protest after Floyd’s killing has coincided with a surge of urban crime that has made gunplay dismayingly common.

Indeed, the intersection where Floyd was killed, now a memorial blocked to vehicular traffic, has become a watchword for mayhem.

The issue of public safety may be about to play its most significant role in our politics since the mid-1990s, the beginning of a decades-long decline in crime that steadily eroded its political salience.

Former President Donald Trump tried to make law and order a defining issue in 2020, but the rioting he so forcefully denounced was, in most places, too transitory to become an overwhelming issue. 

Now, more than a year into a serious crime wave, Democrats are fooling themselves if they think they won’t be blamed for rising violence in Democratic-run cities and states.

Overall, murder increased by more than 25 percent in the United States last year, the biggest jump in 60 years. Surely the dislocations of the pandemic have been a factor, but it’s also obvious that anti-police agitation has put the cops on their back feet. Exhibit A is Minneapolis.

In the fevered aftermath of the Floyd killing, the City Council pledged to do away with the police department, among the most outlandishly unachievable and self-destructive promises ever made by an elected body. Of course, it couldn’t follow through on it, any more than it could have followed through on a promise to eliminate traffic lights or municipal snow removal.

Still, cops have fled the force, while crime has soared. The impeccably progressive mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, who desperately wanted to ingratiate himself at a tribunal-like rally last summer but, to his credit, wouldn’t commit to defunding the police, now occasionally sounds like he’s channeling Rudy Giuliani circa 1993.

Another dyed-in-the-wool progressive, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, faced with ongoing unrest that once was blamed on Trump, has called for the city’s residents to “take the city back” and for unmasking, arresting and prosecuting rioters.

Los Angeles cut its police budget by 8 percent in the wake of the Floyd protests and now is adding it right back. In South Los Angeles, the LAPD is increasing patrols and vehicle stops to search for guns and gang members.

Irving Kristol famously said that a neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. If progressive politicians who are now sounding friendlier to the police haven’t been mugged, they at least have been alarmed by the sound of approaching gunfire.

The turnabout isn’t universal. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked the other day whether there is a crime problem. Sounding as evasive as when she discusses the border, Psaki would only say there is a “guns problem.” This was a reference to the completely unconvincing argument that increased gun sales have led to the spike in crime, when surges in gun sales since the mid-1990s never before led to higher crime.

The problem that Democrats have is that they have accepted — and celebrated the people making — a comprehensive case against the police as systematically racist.

This argument doesn’t naturally allow for nuance. In fact, it logically entails calling for fewer cops and less police funding, an agenda that will be hard to sell to most people in the best of circumstances but is toxic in an environment of rising crime.

Black Lives Matter has already been losing support in the polls, while trust in the police has been rising. Things would have to get much worse for crime to become as central an issue as it was in the 1970s. But Democrats who aren’t alarmed that reporters are dodging bullets at the George Floyd memorial are tempting political fate.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Marxist socialism and fascism-nationalist socialism are incompatible with military service



 Marxist socialism and fascism-nationalist socialism are incompatible with military service

All,


Marxist socialism and fascism-nationalist socialism are evil incarnate.
 
The 20th-century adherents of Marxist socialism and fascism-nationalist socialism killed more innocents than all previous wars of humanity combined. 

When the rest of the civilized world had abolished enslavement, 20th-century adherents of Marxist socialism and fascist-nationalist socialism revived it on an unprecedented scale.

20th-century Marxist socialism and fascist-nationalist socialism without a doubt have visited upon this planet more suffering and murdering and threw more people into abject poverty than any other religion or ideology in all recorded history.

To support or even tolerate Marxist socialist or fascist-nationalist socialist beliefs is to tacitly if not overtly support the holocaust, genocide, and organized war crimes carried out on a vast scale.

For those in a position of leadership, not to speak out against Marxist socialism and fascist-nationalist socialism is a dereliction of duty and dishonors hundreds of thousands of Americans in uniform who gave their lives defeating these oppressive, sadistic, and cruel belief systems. 

For anyone wearing the uniform, to not stand against Marxist and fascist-nationalist socialism is not just morally and ethically bankrupt, it is a violation of their oath of office.

They are a disgrace, unfit, and should be dismissed from the service.

Michael M. Walker
Col. USMC (Ret.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Systemic Racism, Chicago-Style



Systemic Racism, Chicago-Style

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, American Greatness

The country, even the larger world, has heard a lot about “systemic racism” in America lately. It seems to be the flavor of the year and goes on and on, unabated. The White House preaches it and Biden’s U.N. ambassador tells us, “Racism was and continues to be a daily challenge wherever we are. And for millions, it’s more than a challenge. It’s deadly.”

Deadly, indeed!

According to its own tourist literature, Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the United States. Famed for its bold architecture and deep-dish pizza, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, 1,451-foot Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. 

The “Windy City” has a black population of just over 30 percent and is deadly dangerous. Chicago and Illinois both have some of the strongest gun control laws in the country, with more on the way—do you think it’s possible that the criminals might not be obeying those laws?

Well, let’s take an indicative deep dive and look closely into one of America’s largest cities, the city made famous by poet Carl Sandberg, who called it, “a city of broad shoulders . . . and hog butcher of the world.” Apparently, that’s not all that gets butchered in Chicago, these days. 

The facts are most illuminating, if not staggering.

In Chicago, there were 2,240 shootings and 440 homicides from January through July 2020. The numbers are way up again in 2021. Back in 2015, Chicago’s homicide rate had already risen to 18.6 per 100,000. By 2016, Chicago had recorded more homicides and shooting victims than New York City and Los Angeles combined. Chicago’s biggest criminal justice challenges have changed little over the last 50 years, and statistically reside with homicide, armed robbery, gang violence, and aggravated battery. Chicago is considered one of the most gang-infested cities in the United States, with an estimated population of over 100,000 active members from nearly 60 different factions. Gang warfare and retaliation are quite common in Chicago. It is estimated that gangs are responsible for 60 percent of the homicides in Chicago.

One thing stands out—almost every shooter and homicide victim (97.7 percent) are black. But Black Lives Matter and Chicago’s Democratic politicians continue to blame “police and systemic racism.”

Yet:

The mayor is black.

The superintendent of police is black.

The Cook County state’s attorney is black.

The chief judge of Cook County circuit courts is black.

The Illinois attorney general is black.

The fire department commissioner is black.

The Cook County board president is black.

The state senate majority leader is black.

The lieutenant governor is black.

The secretary of state is black.

The clerk of the circuit court of Cook County is black.

The Cook County clerk is black.

The city treasurer is black.

The Chicago Police Board president is black.

The Chicago Transit Authority president is black.

The CEO of Chicago public schools is black.

The commissioner of the Department of Water Management is black.

Forty percent of the City Council belongs to the black caucus. Nine aldermen are socialists.

Their average pay is $122,304 annually each, plus $122,000 per year in expenses. Their pension for life is 80 percent of final pay. 

There are zero Republicans on the Chicago City Council.

William Hale Thompson was the last Republican mayor of Chicago long ago, in 1931.

For 89 years, Democrats have completely controlled the mayor’s office.

The fiscal deficit in Chicago is more than $838.2 million and counting. 

Can someone please explain how it’s possible for Republicans—Donald Trump in particular, or white people in general—to be responsible for Chicago’s horrendously dismal and unsafe conditions?

Truthfully, there can’t be a rational explanation because Chicago’s plague of urban warfare itself isn’t logical; it’s nothing less than horrifically cruel and self-destructive. 

A recent University of Chicago Crime Lab study was able to quantify how much of the city’s gunfire victimizes residents of struggling neighborhoods: Five South and Westside communities with nine percent of Chicago’s population (Austin, Englewood, New City, West Englewood, and Greater Grand Crossing) accounted for half the city’s increase in homicides. African American men ages 15-34 make up over 70 percent of the city’s total homicide victims, while accounting for just 4 percent of the city’s population. Almost 40 percent of victims had prior violent crime arrests.

Needless to say, Chicago is not working, and the statistics show it. It only gets worse year by year. It is certainly not because of any systemic racism, unless you wanted to argue that Chicago’s Democratic Party black elite officialdom doesn’t give a damn about Chicago’s black population. 

The long-term solution lies in substantial and deep cultural change: shoring up the mediating structures in society, from the family (two parents, with the father at home) to the church, to charter schools and school choice to robust civic associations. This effort takes decades to yield results but is nonetheless imperative.

The short-term answer may be to help and encourage the movement of the endangered black male population in the affected age group—from Chicago to other locations. By moving to smaller towns, to farms, and to states, like Vermont or the Dakotas, with much lower homicide rates—their lives would be spared.

Perhaps, it is time to try something else besides Chicago’s status quo—because yes, black lives do matter, even in Chicago.


Thursday, May 06, 2021

Are Americans becoming Sovietized?



Are Americans becoming Sovietized?

Victor Davis Hanson, Jewish World Review

What ultimately ended the nihilist Soviet system?

Was it not that Russians finally tired of the Kremlin's lies and hypocrisies that permeated every facet of their falsified lives?

Here are 10 symptoms of Sovietism. Ask yourself whether we are headed down this same road to perdition.

1. There was no escape from ideological indoctrination — anywhere. A job in the bureaucracy or a military assignment hinged not so much on merit, expertise or past achievement. What mattered was loud enthusiasm for the Soviet system.

Wokeness is becoming our new Soviet-like state religion. Careerists assert that America was always and still is a systemically racist country, without ever producing proof or a sustained argument.

2. The Soviets fused their press with the government. Pravda, or "Truth," was the official megaphone of state-sanctioned lies. Journalists simply regurgitated the talking points of their Communist Party partners.

In 2017, a Harvard study found that over 90% of the major TV news networks' coverage of the Trump administration's first 100 days was negative.

3. The Soviet surveillance state enlisted apparatchiks and lackeys to ferret out ideological dissidents.

Recently, we learned that the Department of Defense is reviewing its rosters to spot extremist sentiments. The U.S. Postal Service recently admitted it uses tracking programs to monitor the social media postings of Americans.

CNN recently alleged that the Biden administration's Department of Homeland Security is considering partnering with private surveillance firms to get around government prohibitions on scrutinizing Americans' online activity.

4. The Soviet educational system sought not to enlighten but to indoctrinate young minds in proper government-approved thought.

Currently, cash-strapped universities nationwide are hiring thousands of diversity, equity and inclusion staffers and administrators. Their chief task is to scan the admissions, hiring, curriculum and administration at universities. Like good commissars, our diversity czars oversee compliance with the official narrative that a flawed America must confess, apologize for and renounce its evil foundations.

5. The Soviet Union was run by a pampered elite, exempt from the ramifications of their own radical ideologies.

Now, woke Silicon Valley billionaires talk socialistically but live royally. Coke and Delta Airlines CEOs who hector Americans about their illiberality make millions of dollars a year.

What unites current woke activists such as Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James Mark Zuckerberg and the Obamas are their huge estates and their multimillion-dollar wealth. Just as the select few of the old Soviet nomenklatura had their Black Sea dachas, America's loudest top-down revolutionaries prefer living in Martha's Vineyard, Beverly Hills, Montecito and Malibu.

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6. The Soviets mastered Trotskyization, or the rewriting and airbrushing away of history to fabricate present reality.

Are Americans any different when they indulge in a frenzy of name-changing, statue-toppling, monument-defacing, book-banning and cancel-culturing?

7. The Soviets created a climate of fear and rewarded stool pigeons for rooting out all potential enemies of the people.

Since when did Americans encourage co-workers to turn in others for an ill-considered word in a private conversation? Why do thousands now scour the internet to find any past incorrect expression of a rival? Why are there now new thought criminals supposedly guilty of climate racism, immigration racism or vaccination racism?

8. Soviet prosecutors and courts were weaponized according to ideology.

In America, where and for what reason you riot determines whether you face any legal consequences. Politically correct sanctuary cities defy the law with impunity. Jury members are terrified of being doxxed and hunted down for an incorrect verdict. The CIA and FBI are becoming as ideological as the old KGB.

9. The Soviets doled out prizes on the basis of correct Soviet thought.

In modern America, the Pulitzer Prizes and the Emmys, Grammys, Tonys and Oscars don't necessarily reflect the year's best work, but often the most politically correct work from the most woke.

10. The Soviets offered no apologies for extinguishing freedom. Instead, they boasted that they were advocates for equity, champions of the underclass, enemies of privilege — and therefore could terminate anyone or anything they pleased.

Our wokists are similarly defending their thought-control efforts, forced re-education sessions, scripted confessionals, mandatory apologies and cancel culture on the pretense that we need long-overdue "fundamental transformation."

So if they destroy people in the name of equity, their nihilism is justified.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Climate Change -- Extinction Rebellion Idiots

 

Climate Change -- Extinction Rebellion Idiots

Mike Walker, Col USMC (ret)


All,

Extinction Rebellion CO2 pollution radicals dumped manure at the entrance to the White House today.

How stupid can these morons be? 

If Extinction Rebellion really cared about CO2 pollution they would have dumped the manure at the entrance to the Chinese embassy on Wisconsin Avenue some three miles to the northwest.

Why are environmental radicals afraid to the tell the truth?

If China does not act then everything we do in the United States is utterly futile and doomed to failure. To understand why all you have to do is to look at this one image: