Video Monday

So, are tired of listening to me? I’m tired of flapping my jaw, so today we are going to let some other people talk. Let’s start with why America is so rich.

This, in fact, pretty much sums it up

 

So, what makes us different?

Here’s why

But this election has the possibility of ending all this, and putting out that beacon. I’ve said many times this year, “You can vote for America, or you can vote for the Democrats.” I mean it.

Here is Victor Davis Hanson on “Plague, Panic, and Protests …” Our weird election year

Trump and the Glorious Revolution

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 

Almost all Americans know these words, many of us review them at least annually. But they did not spring forth fully formed from Thomas Jefferson’s mind, great and agile as it was. They are part of our English inheritance, just as most of our government and constitution were. In fine, the entire concept comes from John Locke and his Second Treatise on Government. In it, he begins by defining political power as the:

right of making Laws with Penalties of Death, and consequently all less Penalties, for the Regulating and Preserving of Property, and of employing the force of the Community, in the Execution of such Laws and in defence of the Common-wealth from Foreign Injury, and all this only for the Publick Good.

The chief property he is referring to here is one’s body. One owns his own body and no one can tell him to use it otherwise than in his own interest. He also owns the things that he has made, and that includes his income and all the things he may purchase that derive from his labor. He also posits that the Legislature can only legitimately legislate from the basis of the natural law and that it must apply equitably to all citizens and not favor certain sections of the citizenry.

Here is the ultimate defense of the right of self-defense, so eloquently stated in both the  English and American Bills of Rights. And the delegation of that right (while still preserving it to us as individuals) was one of the things we did as we instituted governments amongst men.

And that is also why the President was entirely correct in stating that he would never denounce the right of American citizens to defend themselves or their property from lawless rioters.

The Democrat city and state hierarchies have been almost uniformly derelict or worse in protecting their citizens against the mobs that Democrats themselves have set loose amongst them, and mind, this is primarily a city and state responsibility, one of the major reasons they exist, that no person or shopkeeper in these cities can reasonably expect protection from the authorities, and thus the right to defend themselves and their property comes right back to them, unless and until they can again get reasonable assurance that the government will protect them.

The legislative body and it’s executive, whether from within the body or separately elected is central to all this, and I’ve merely skimmed it. But when the government in any or all of its parts (executive, legislative, and judicial in Locke’s view as in the Constitution) shirk or evade that duty, as we are seeing this year in many Democrat run cities, then the people have the inherent right to remove the offending officials, or to supersede them, or even to revolt, changing the entire form of government.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock,…

When President Trump left for Ohio on Thursday something interesting happened. The White House staff was photographed outside seeing him off. That’s rare almost to the vanishing point. Maybe you saw it, I didn’t. But I pay little attention to raw news, It’s nearly always wrong, so why clutter your mind. Then today I read in Clarice Feldman’s article in American Thinker that the President said this in Cleveland.

I have a lot of enemies. This may be the last time you see me for a while. I have a lot of very rich enemies. They’re not happy with what I’m doing. But I figure we have one chance to do it. No other president is gonna do what I do.

Then on Friday afternoon, the DOJ filed civil forfeiture paperwork on two properties, one in Kentucky and one in Cleveland that were financed by PrivatBank, a Ukrainian private bank widely believed to be involved in money laundering. It’s more complex than that oversimplification, of course.

Then the president flew to the resort he owns in the Hamptons, where many fewer people will have access to him than at the White House.

Interesting isn’t it? I find it so. Clarice says that:

It was through the Latvian branch of PrivatBank that the money from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden for a substantial amount of money, seemingly as a bribe to his father, was paid.

[From Brian Cates] The FBI has raided the offices of Optima Management Group in Cleveland and Miami. The company has ties to Privatize Bank that was founded by Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky also owned Burisma Holdings that hired Devon Archer and Hunter Biden onto the board of directors.

Privat Bank received billions of dollars from the IMF. It is believed that much of the money was laundered and later was embezzled by Kolomoisky. The money was allegedly laundered through shell companies in Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. Then much of the money was run through Optima Management Group.

The FBI is very interested in how much money the fund received and where did it go. It has been rumored that Hunter Biden was paid a little over $83,000 a month with laundered funds.

If you are a Democrat, a Deep Stater, or a Conservative, Inc. Republican for that matter this may be the sound of a very big boot coming down with great force. Like the first step in unraveling what many of us have for months been calling a coup. Most of you know the Russian old joke about what you do when you get hold of a loose strand of a pretty woman’s sweater, this is analogous. You’ll have noticed the name of Biden is already deeply involved, there will likely be many more.

Clarice thinks, and I tend to agree, that this is the first step in all the DOJ investigations that have been going on under Barr. It would appear they are ready to move, and have gotten Trump to move to a safer place to safeguard him. These people are (and have been) a serious threat to the United States and are unlikely to look at Supermax with any sort of detachment.

Well, we’ll see but this could be quite the week. The one where we quit saying #two weeks.

Commerce and Manners in Edmund Burke’s Political Economy

This is a little strange, a post based on a book review. by Samuel Gregg, research director at the Acton Institute and published in Law and Liberty. And yes, I ordered the book yesterday.

It is however a long review so if you don’t read the link you won’t get even all the highlights, so read it! Here’s some with my comments appended.

If there is any moment which marks modern conservatism’s beginning, it is the publication of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). Central to Burke’s critique of the events occurring across the Channel was his insistence that France’s revolutionaries were seeking to construct a new world based on abstractions deeply at variance with the hard-won wisdom of experience. That has become the standard interpretation of Burke offered by admirers and critics alike. It is, however, at variance with Burke’s most extensive economic treatise. His Thoughts and Details on Scarcity (1795), written as a private memorandum to Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, invokes many of the same highly-theoretical ideas articulated by eighteenth-century thinkers on both sides of the Channel in favor of economic liberalization and against the mercantilist systems which dominated the European world.

I do think it important to compare Burke’s comments on the French Revolution with his on the American Revolution, only`13 years prior, in which he supported the proto-Americans. Be that as it may, Reflections on the Revolution in France, foresaw all too clearly what was to befall France and affects its history to this day. And for that matter increasingly, ours.

Much of Collins’ analysis is framed by his exploration of this “Das Edmund Burke Problem.” It somewhat parallels what mid-nineteenth century German thinkers called the “Das Adam Smith Problem.” This alleged a contradiction between the moral philosophy underlying Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and the economic thought expressed in his Wealth of Nations. Collins’ ultimate conclusion is that there is no essential conflict in Burke’s thought “between traditional virtue and modern economies that could not be integrated and reconciled.”

I’ve never really understood the problem per se. To me, it is the difference between long and short range perception. If you’re trying to get rich irregardless of those around you, you do one thing, if you intend to remain in the community as a respected member you do otherwise. But maybe that’s the German’s problem, I don’t know.

In the first place, Burke did not regard himself as a type of professional economist. Such a designation, Collins points out, hardly existed in the eighteenth century. More significantly, like most of the period’s leading minds, Burke was free of the excessive specialization that distorts much academic inquiry today. Second, Burke studied these questions with a view to understanding and critiquing prevailing practices and promoting reforms (Burke was, after all, a Whig) which facilitated what Enlightenment thinkers called “improvement.”

Third, and perhaps most importantly, Collins highlights how Burke recognized that the general principles underpinning the case for broadening commercial liberties were never applied in a political vacuum, a morality-free zone, or culturally-empty settings. Those who thought such considerations could be ignored when it came to policy design were the people that Burke had in mind when he used the word “oeconomists” negatively in his 1790 Reflections. Context was not everything to Burke, but it did matter. […]

On the one hand, Collins notes, Burke unambiguously affirmed the economic advantages and prosperity associated with a growing liberalization of commerce between nations. He made this point repeatedly: so much so that it brought him into direct conflict with those merchants who resented competition. Burke was deeply skeptical of mercantilist vehicles of empire like the East India Company which epitomized an unhealthy blending of the commercial and the political. They were, Burke believed, of little benefit to Britain and contributed significantly to the corruption of British politics. Burke was also remarkably free of the obsession with bullion that underpinned mercantilist conceptions of wealth and which had fueled the expansion of Spain’s empire in the Americas. […]

The following is what decided me to spend the $50 for the book:

There was, however, another dimension to Burke’s economic thought which Collins’ book brings into full focus. Burke insisted that commercial liberties needed to be embedded in what Collins calls “pre-commercial pillars of religious instruction, social affection, and aristocratic moderation.” Here we find what Collins calls the “manners” part of Burke’s political economy.

On one level, this implied the wealthy embracing the Jewish and Christian teaching that they had concrete responsibilities to the poor. In many places, Burke emphasized the political and economic dysfunctionalities associated with delegating these obligations to the state. But he also maintained that declining to privately assist those in genuine need was morally wrong and corroded those more-than-contractual bonds which bound communities together.

For Burke, commercial societies needed to embody decidedly non-commercial imperatives, many of which stemmed from what we would call pre-modern ideas and institutions. If they didn’t, Burke feared, people’s horizons would become degraded and enfeebled by the single-minded pursuit of lucre. Such moral and intellectual corruption could not be magically confined to the private sphere. There was no way to cordon it off from public life.

Part of Burke’s complaint against mercantilism was how it had facilitated widespread venality in British political life. Members of Parliament and the King’s ministers became very susceptible to undue influence from merchants seeking the monopolies and privileges which were integral to mercantilist policies. He also understood, Collins illustrates, that what was denoted as “economy in government” reduced incentives for such behavior.

Unless people also behaved in accordance with what the eighteenth-century Anglo-American world associated with what Burke called “the gentleman,” commercial societies would come undone. By “gentleman,” Burke had more than mind than noblesse oblige; it also involved civility, cultivation of the virtues, generosity, a commitment to improvement, and “a fidelity to helping others.” This idea of the gentleman and the mixture of pre-modern and Enlightenment expectations which Burke invested in it will seem quaint to some people today. For others, it smacks of paternalism. Nonetheless it was indispensable, to Burke’s mind, for the long-term sustainability of commercial societies.

I, for one, agree.

As do I, wholeheartedly, and the two centuries of experience that we have since Burke wrote these thoughts, only emphasizes them, for we have seen what happens when they are disregarded.

This is long enough to give the flavor of the review and a taste (I hope) of the book. I hope many of you will read one or both because unless we know where we think we should be going, we’ll never get there, and Edmund Burke is one of our best guides.

 

Sunday Funnies, Wild Pitch

People should refrain from publically demonstrating they are wimpy nerds.

Then there is the team with no name™.

 

This

I don’t know either!!

A reminder

And, of course

Yup! That’s Me!

I’ve been watching some YouTube videos of folks waiting to go into the Tulsa rally for President Trump’s campaign start.

Just a quick recap of one; a young black man stopped his car, in traffic, to yell nasty stuff to the folks lined up to get into the venue. Foul-mouthed and aggressive, he was confronted by a young white woman who needed to be muzzled regardless of her MAGA hat. The young man gets in his car because drivers behind him are asking him to move (respectfully asking, I might add) and someone catches his eye. He sees a black man with a MAGA hat on and asks him, through the car window, what he’s doing there. The black MAGA hat guy says he’s waiting to see Trump “’cause I ain’t never been on the plantation.”

There was a young woman who had been reporting about the growing number of folks lining up to wait for admittance, talking to the folks, walking the line of Trump lovers, and engaging with them with respectful questions and laughing with them when fringe stuff happened around them. She was nearby when the street confrontation went on and when it was over, she interviewed the black gentleman in the MAGA hat. He promptly explained to her why he supports President Trump and was quite knowledgeable and well-spoken and you could tell he had given all this a good deal of thought.

All of which prompted me to go to my browser and see what I would find. As I typed in ‘what is a republican’, I started laughing in anticipation of what I thought I would find. Despite what you hear – everywhere – the third response (not the 10th, or the 100th, or the fifth thousandth) was excellent. I went to that site to see what it would say and I give you the link https://www.republicanviews.org/what-is-a-republican-republican-definition/

[I added what could be called the executive summary from the article here. Ed.]

What is a Republican?

As you can see, the dictionary definition of a Republican is very brief. And since a Republican is simply defined as “a member of the Republican party of the U.S.” it is important to understand what the Republican Party stands for. To understand what a Republican is you have to understand the Republican Party. And that is what the rest of this article examines.

Core Beliefs

The core beliefs of the Republican Party are centered on the idea that each person is responsible for their own place within society. The party believes that the government’s role is to enable the people to secure the benefits of society for themselves, their families, and for those who are unable to do so for themselves. Republicans believe in limiting the Government’s intervention in the work of the individual towards prosperity. The government should only intervene when society cannot function at the level of the individual. This also means that the party believes in keeping the government as close to the individual as possible, and should be focused mainly on the state and community level, not centered at a federal level.

 

Now, I’ve been Republican for fifty years. But, you know, things change, the world changes, and I thought I might find something there to object to. But I read all the information and found it factual, articulate, and rational. Fifty years on, I wouldn’t change anything. If I were registering today, I’d register Republican. Because it’s still a solid Party and still stands for the things I stand for. So – yup; that’s me.

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