The Three Stooges Are Republicans

Dov Fischer over at The American Spectator says various flavors of “Republicans Just Gotta Stop Clobbering Each Other Like the Three Stooges”. He’s right of course, but let him tell it.

For truly conservative Republicans, the Eisenhower and Nixon Administrations, though better than the Democrat alternatives, were not ideologically conservative presidencies. Nixon’s the One who enacted price and wage controls, appointed several ideologically mushy judges after the fiascoes of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell, greatly expanded federal spending on social programs, and engaged in rapprochement with China and détente with the Soviets that did not net America or him as much as it afforded them. His successor after Watergate was pragmatically a Ford, not a Lincoln. The two Bushes by-and-large were not better than a Byrd in the hand. America’s borders were porous throughout, and the price of GOP dereliction is reflected in a California, once the state that made Nixon and Reagan viable as Presidential candidates, altered irremediably for the next generation. These “kinder-gentler” Republicans put into the Supreme Court the likes of Earl Warren and William Brennan (named by Ike), Harry Blackmun (named by Nixon), John Paul Stevens (by Ford), David Souter (by Bush I), and almost Harriet Miers (Bush II). Even President Ronald Reagan, hampered by a House of Representatives that the Democrats overwhelmingly controlled throughout his eight years in office, and with the Senate controlled by Democrats for two of those years, compromised by naming Justice Sandra O’Connor, agreed to massive amnesties for illegal immigrants, allowed the welfare state to balloon in return for tax cuts, and endeavored gallantly to advance conservative values while bedeviled by a Left media before alternative conservative outlets existed to offset the endless stream of Fake News. And he made George Bush I possible.

Nevertheless, thanks to Obama’s cataclysmic policy failures, Republicans have unseated Democrats in so many hundreds upon hundreds of national, statewide, and local municipal races these past eight years that Democrats’ ranks have been depleted and their reservoir of potential candidates for higher offices decimated. Democrat insider Donna Brazile concedes that the Clintons ravaged the party, leaving it near bankruptcy. Wasserman Schultz is hated by Dems even more than she is loathed by Republicans. Meanwhile, Republicans now have the White House, control the House of Representatives, and still command the United States Senate majority sufficiently to pass historic tax bills, approve conservative judges, chair critical committees, and prevent the reality-challenged likes of Maxine Waters from removing the duly elected President of the United States. The Supreme Court majority remains moderate to conservative and is poised to leap soon into faithful Constitutional conservatism. The Senate, despite the “Resistance,” now has approved a record 12 new federal circuit judges in only one year, and they all are rock-solid conservatives. Reagan never had it this good — nor did we.

Yes, the reduced GOP Senate majority is precarious at 52-49. (Don’t forget: Vice President Mike Pence counts). Yes, Mitch McConnell aggravates, and Paul Ryan occasionally disappoints. Yes, John McCain has scores to settle. So will Bob Corker and Jeff Flake for a few more months. Rand Paul sometimes floats into Howard Roark/Dagny Taggart diversions, and Susan Collins legitimately is hamstrung because any electoral gain in Maine falls plainly on the middle lane. But it’s still better leading 52-49 than being down by three. At last year’s January 2017 Rose Bowl, USC had 52, and Penn State had 49. Guess which college team celebrated. Meanwhile, even though Chief Justice Roberts did that loopy Obamacare tax thing in June 2012, he now has provided precisely the jurisprudential hook on which to hang the new tax bill’s termination of Obama’s individual mandate.

All in All, Not Bad. The Mainstream Media Dreamers Wish They and Their Democrat Bedfellows Had It This Good.

He’s right, Trump is doing better conservatively I can remember, as I said yesterday likely since Coolidge. But I don’t think the intramural war is over yet, sadly. There are too many getting fat feeding at the trough on the Republican side of the barn. The Eisenhower, Bush, Bush heirs have the party structure, as they have since FDR’s time.

I don’t think at first glance that we’ll lose either house, but primary season is likely to be bloody, as the insurgent (and resurgent) conservatives try to take over. What will happen? I don’t know, but I think it a fight worth fighting. If the Constitutional conservatives lose this one, the Republicans most likely become like the British Tories, standing for nothing except going off the cliff slower, instead of standing for timeless principles. Remember “if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything,” said the very wise GK Chesterton

So while it’s better than at anytime since the 80s, Thank God, we need to make it better yet, and incidentally secure the victory into law.

That’s OK, it’s almost a year till the election, and almost three till the next Presidential election. The Dems are in worse shape, eating their own and running completely away from their base. We have all the benefits Dov said above, and even the GOPe is better, much better, in fact, than Obama, and the Democrats and media (BIRM) are worse now than they were a year ago.

Perhaps, no better time to have this out in the party than right now. I hope that is so, anyway.

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A Yuge Difference

“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…”

That’s right. Government does not exist to make us equal, but to treat us equally. It does not exist to make life fair, but to treat us fairly. Most importantly, it exists to secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Only in liberty can we treat each other ethically, because only in liberty can we make the choices that are the necessary condition for ethical life.


Here is a funny thing about the human mind: when we didn’t see something coming, we often can’t see it came. There’s a good reason for this. Wrong predictions are an indication that there is something off or unrealistic about your worldview. When your predictions are vastly incorrect, you have to choose: will I paper over my mistakes and pretend to myself I was actually right in some way, or will I admit the error and adjust the way I look at life?

People almost never adjust the way they look at life. It would mean risking their sense of their own wisdom and virtue.

This is why so many pundits both on the left and right are completely blind to what happened this year in politics.

Donald Trump — a political neophyte, a New York loudmouth who plays fast and loose with the truth, a massive egotist and a not altogether pleasant human being — has delivered conservatives one of the greatest years in living memory and has made our government more moral in the process. The left and many on the right didn’t see it coming because they hate the man. And because they didn’t see it coming, they won’t see that it’s come.

The first assertion is easily proven. After a year of Trump, the economy is in high gear, stocks are up, unemployment is down, energy production is up, business expansion is up and so on; ISIS — which took more than 23,000 square miles of territory after Obama left Iraq and refused to intervene in Syria — is now in control of a Port-o-San and a book of matches; 19 constitutionalist judges have been appointed and 40 more nominated; the biggest regulatory rollback in American history has been launched (boring but yugely important); the rule of law has been re-established at the border; we’re out of the absurd and costly Paris Accord; net neutrality, the most cleverly named government power grab ever, is gone; our foreign policy is righted and revitalized; and a mainstream news media that had become little more than the information arm of the Democratic Party is in self-destructive disarray. If the tax bill passes before Christmas, it will cap an unbelievable string of conservative successes.

Now you can tie yourself in knots explaining why none of this is Trump’s doing or how it’s all just a big accident or the result of cynical motives or whatever. Knock yourself out, cutes. For me, I’ll say this. I hated Trump. I thought he’d be a disaster or, at best, a mediocrity. I was wrong. He’s done an unbelievably great job so far.

{Update} Yikes! Forgot the link here it is: Trump Has Made Our Government More Moral by Andrew Klavan. Thanks, Unit.

Read the rest, but you know, there’s not a lot to add to that. It’s simply true. Trump is a decidedly imperfect instrument, but he’s getting very good results. Perhaps greater than Reagan of sainted memory did, perhaps as good as Coolidge. Think about that for a while. Like many of you, I find him an abrasive personality, not somebody that I’m overly willing to have a Diet Coke with, even though I detest Diet Coke, but he has gotten results that perhaps no one else could have.

I’m reminded that George Patton was not liked in the army between the wars, too much money, too outspoken, not a very good team player, all those things and more, but when war came again, he was indispensable. Trump is like that too. But it is hard to see in the belly of the beast, whether it was the old army or today’s Washington swamp.

I’ve come to believe that the worst features presented like the unstatesmanlike Twitter feed is his method of ‘holding them by the nose’ while his policies are ‘kicking them in the ass’.

Klavan speaks to the fact that immoral people can do moral acts, and that if every senator is grabbing women inappropriately, then the senators are immoral, but if the legislation conforms with that opening paragraph then the legislation is moral irregardless.

We are exactly 11 months into a four-year term, and as the list above indicates, the US is on a roll, all systems are increasingly ‘Go’. Gonna be an exciting, occasionally bumpy, trip I think, and where we’ll end up, well I don’t know. But I know this, it will be better than the boring, gray, bureaucratization and tyranny of pettiness that Hillary promised. I’d say it likely that we once again will be the envy of the world, talked about from Trafalgar Square to Tiananmen Square, by people who do not have such effective leadership, or the freedom that it provides.

Well done, us. 🙂

Caracas on the Thames

Sunset near Trafalgar Square, London, UK

So there sits Britain, a bit more than half of the population bestirred themselves to extricate themselves from the EU to a fair amount of excitement on both sides of the pond. An excellent move, but now what? Theodore Dalrymple has a view, and it is a bleak one. It’s one I don’t completely agree with, but I see the same signs. I merely hope and pray that the Britain that has been preserved through the centuries will manage to bestir itself one more time. Whether that will happen is very problematical.

And the economic auguries for Britain are indeed poor, though not only, or even principally, because of the European Union’s hostility. The fact is that Britain is unlikely to be able to take any advantage of life outside the European straitjacket because its own political class is itself in favour of straitjackets that are no better, and quite possibly worse than, the European ones. The present Prime Minister, Theresa May, is very much a statist, indistinguishable from European social democrats, and the leader of the opposition, Mr Corbyn, who might well be the next Prime Minister, is an unapologetic admirer of Hugo Chavez. It is hardly to be expected that foreign investors will place much trust or confidence in an isolated country whose next government might very well weaken property rights, impose capital controls and increase corporate taxation in favour of supposed social justice. It would not take very long to turn Britain into a northern Venezuela: a Venezuela without the oil or the tropical climate.

Here lies the crux of the current problem, in my mind. Mrs. May was an abysmal choice, although she may have been the best on offer, rather like like choosing Hillary because she was the least worst candidate. But that is just how bad the Tories are, and Labour tends to make Stalin look right wing. She’s all that is said here and more, but the worst is that she seems to have no convictions of her own, simply an empty vessel to be filled by whoever last spoke to her. Well except the Vicar’s daughter has absolute faith in the State, God not so much. Sad.

And the power that the parties have is remarkable, our primaries are often more or less corrupt, but the British have no say whatsoever in who is running to ‘represent’ them. And their bureaucracy puts our deep state to shame, that is who really rules Britain. Long ago they stripped the one voice who could speak for the nation, the Queen, of all power. If they had the guts to fight, it would become Thomas Hobbe’s nightmare come to life – “A war of all on all.”

Just a word of warning, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a UKIP peer, asked the government recently in the House of Lords if talking about Christianity was a ‘hate crime’.

The government refused to answer.

And it is not only Britain, we have the same disease here, although not as markedly. The other day, J.J. Sefton in Ace’s Morning Report said this.

We’ll start of this Thursday with the continuing, and hopefully soon to end, autopsy of Tuesday’s debacle in Alabama. As we all know, Roy Moore was a flawed candidate for a number of reasons. That doesn’t mean I and most of you did not support him; we all wanted him to win. It’s just that our wish-casting and transposing our logic on to the voters vis a vis allowing the alternative to win (which they did) was illusory. Now all that said, much of the blame can be laid squarely on the drooping shoulders of Mitch McConnell. He wanted an Establishment lackey, like Thad Cochran only with a marginally higher brain stem function, and NOT a member of the House Freedom Caucus, represented by Mo Brooks. And so from the get-go he supported Luther Strange, but for whatever reason (I am uninformed about Alabama local politics) Moore threw his Stetson into the ring and the voters chose him in the runoff. And the rest as we all know is history. Now, yes, while Moore as stated was flawed, the combination of the smear campaign against him, his own idiosyncrasies, and the abandonment by the GOP-e until it was essentially too late gave away what should have been a lock to a Democrat.

Yep, that whole mess was flawed, mostly by Mitch McConnel, another Theresa May type, much more concerned about party than country, not to mention preserving their rice bowls, no matter what.

Back to Britain

This explains why Britain has persistently imported labour from Eastern Europe to perform tasks in its service industries that ordinarily one might have expected its large fund of indigenous non-employed people to perform. The fact is, however, that though these tasks require no special skills, they did require certain personal qualities such as reliability, politeness, and willingness to adapt: and these the eligible local population lack entirely. No hotel-keeper, for example, would consider using British labour if he could get foreign.

Perhaps nothing captures the levels of personal incompetence and lack of self-respect in Britain than the fact that young men of the lowest social class are about half as likely to die in prison as they are if left at liberty. In prison, though adult, they are looked after, at least in a basic way, and told what to do. They are no longer free to pursue their dangerous and crudely self-indulgent lifestyle, in which distraction is the main occupation. In prison they receive the health care that, though it is free to them under the National Health Service, they are not responsible enough to seek when at liberty. In short, they do not know, because they have never been taught, how to live in a minimally constructive fashion, though they were certainly not born ineducable.

No doubt other comparable countries have similar problems, but none (at least, none known to me) has them to anything like the same extent. These problems do not originate from Britain’s membership of the European Union, nor will they be solved by exit from the Union. They can be solved only by something more resembling a religious revival than by any likely government action. But expecting a population to bethink itself while simultaneously being offered political solutions that require no effortful cultural change is unreasonably optimistic. And politicians are unlikely to be frank about the problem for two reasons: first because alluding to the deficiencies of their electorate is probably not the best way to get elected, and second because it downgrades the providential role of politics, which politicians are understandable reluctant to do.

As if this were not quite enough, the hold on the country’s intelligentsia of statist solutions to practically all problems is still immensely strong. Nowhere is this more evident than in its attitude to the National Health Service, the establishment of which it almost universally regards as having been a great achievement, perhaps Britain’s only great achievement of the twentieth century.

Yep, if you talk to Brits, even educated ones, nearly every one of them sees the NHS as the ‘one true god’, even though they get crappy service at best, and are probably more likely to die if treated than not. It can only be religious because the facts are easily available.

But that speaks to what I see in my interactions with what is admittedly a sliver of them, and one that is well right of (their) center. Here we quote our founders often and well, almost all American conservatives do because while they were writing over 200 years ago, the principles they bequeathed us are truly timeless, if we are stalwart enough to apply them even close to properly. It is why we have prospered so mightily.

Most of those principles derived from British sources, Locke, Smith, Burke, Blackstone, and others, not all British, of course, but a majority probably were. Our founders took a clear look at the weaknesses of British government and liberty and wrote a constitution to minimize them. It works pretty well still, even with so many trying to subvert it. But we have that firm foundation, written in ink on parchment, the Declaration, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and so much more.

The Brits have none of that, the core principles were developed there. But there is nothing comparable to our supreme constitution, they have some scrap of paper they refer to as a constitution, but in our sense, it isn’t. All is always in flux. One Parliament cannot bind another. Magna Charta, that we Americans revere so much, was repealed long ago, so was the English Bill of Rights, as was the right to self-defense.

From my seat, what they never developed, either personally or in the Conservative Party is the principled outlook we have. When something comes up, we know almost instinctively whether it accords with the principles the founders gave us. None of that amongst the Tories, it is all pragmatic, tactics to win the next vote in Parliament or election, never a thought as to principle. It is their great weakness, I think, and why spoke a bit of Judge Moore here. While he has priciples, many of them conflict with our history. he is right on many issues, but often for the wrong reasons. That why he was a very imperfect candidate. It’s also why the British government is broken, perhaps beyond repair.

Impositions that in America would have led to a war in the streets, pass with a shrug “What can you do?” The government says jump, most Britons don’t ask “Why should I?” They merely ask, “How high, ma’am?”

Where is Britain going? Unless they figure out something, I think Dalrymple may well be correct. Caracas without the nice weather.

The Week: This Year in Jerusalem Edition

Welp, that time again, lots going on so let’s dive into the swamp.

Al Franken thinks we need to have a ‘National Conversation’ about sexual harrassment, I don’t see why, as far as I can see it only needs a short statement from such vermin’s employers. For instance, “You’re fired.” Perhaps followed with the suggestion that they don’t use us as a reference, ever. Sorry, but I’ve found that only the incompetent make excuses.

Will the second edition be titled, “Giant Jerk of the Senate”?

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The Colossus of Freedom

Real Socialism

I need one of these!

Then there is this guy

My kind of lawn mower

And, of course

As usual, most (but not all) from PowerLine and Bookworm.

Handcarts to Hell

today horiz.2

Kurt Schlichter was on a roll this week, even for him. On the fourth, he had a few comments on the news media and its lack of anything approaching morals in anything. That’s here.

Behold another banner week for the heroes of our intrepid mainstream media, that motley collection of pompous and obnoxious incompetents, perverts and – at the risk of repeating myself – liberals. In just the last few days we’ve seen how a major media personality got his network to build him a creepy sex lair in his office and watched as a flat-out lie tanked the stock market – well, not really “tanked,” since the Trump Boom is still booming, though the media is loath to report that fact since prosperity wrecks the official Trumpocalypse narrative. And next week, if (when) the guy the liberal media tried to paint as Judge Jailbait beats the guy the liberal media tried to cover for by not reporting how he thinks abortions are cool up until a kid gets his learner’s permit, the liberal media will take yet another well-deserved failure lap.

The mainstream liberal media is primarily composed of stumblebum leftist jerks who want all the glory and respect due a caste of objective, moral truth-seekers, yet who don’t want to do the hard work of actually being objective or moral or seeking the truth. “I can’t pass, and I can’t tackle, and practice is really a hassle, but I’m wearing a sportsball jersey so I want your adulation and a Super Bowl ring!

My only real complaint with anything in that column is that the Colonel has this tendency to understate how bad the media really is. Well, who would believe the truth? Bookworm would, that’s who. You’ve heard about that roast of Matt Lauer, well Book went where most of us won’t -The Village Voice and got the filth, and told us about it. Good on her, but I’m not going to copy any of it, I don’t really do anything that obscene here, but I’ll link her post, and thank her for it. Note: Obscene material and very not suitable for work, unless you work for NBC in which case it is the workplace environment you have allowed to be your normal. The article is here: The infamous Matt Lauer roast reveals who Proggies are (NSFW).

Yuck!

But the Colonel latest is even better to my mind. Here he takes on the current (and former) leadership of the FBI and marks the desecration of an institution thereby.

Add this infamy to all the other crimes of the liberal establishment – its poisonous influence has converted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the eyes of the American people, from a proud institution dedicated to upholding the law into just another suppurating bureaucratic pustule. Where once we saw FBI agents as heroes – many of us ancients grew up watching Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., every Sunday night – now we see careerist hacks looking to suck-up to the Democrat elite while bending the law and subverting justice to do it. Truly, everything liberals touch dies.

[…] didn’t even fire Strozk though intermural adultery is allegedly against the rules at the FBI. Nope, nothing builds confidence in a law enforcement agency’s organizational integrity like bending the rules to protect your bigwig buddies.

Oh, wait – outright payoffs do too! Don’t even start on Andrew McCabe and his wife’s Democrat contributions – to her. Yeah, the wife of the FBI second-in-command got money from the Democrat Party and he’s still not recused from this fake investigation. Are you kidding?

By the way, have we got even a single iota of information on what the unholy hell happened since Special Agent Johnson and Special Agent Johnson took over the investigation of the Las Vegas shooting?

It’s long past time to lance this boil. It’s sad when you have to accept that you can’t talk to the FBI, that they can’t be trusted to do justice, that you must protect yourself from being railroaded like LTG Flynn was and always – always always always – demand to speak to your attorney and demand that the FBI not question you if they come sniffing around. LTG Flynn trusted them not to have an agenda. Look what happened, and learn.

It’s heartbreaking, because the FBI’s real legacy – a legacy field agents largely live today – is a legacy of heroes.

Flashback to Miami, April 11, 1986. Eight agents make a felony stop on a car with two suspected bank robbers, igniting a firefight that demonstrated the bravery and devotion that shouldbe what first comes to mind when any American thinks of the FBI.

William Russell Matix and Michael Lee Platt were ex-military and had killed before – and they packed an arsenal that ensured they were not going quietly. The FBI agents, lightly armed with under-powered handguns and a couple 12 gauges – came under intense rifle fire that the light vests some wore could not stop. In the end, seven of the eight agents were hit – and Special Agent Benjamin Grogan and Special Agent Jerry Dove died fighting.

Yes, while we ‘Normals’ don’t necessarily expect that level of heroism from every agent, although we’ve seen enough of it over our lifetimes to know it is not uncommon, we do expect common decency, honesty, and dare I say it, a sense of honor, from our law enforcement people, Federal, state, and local. Well, it used to be that way, anyway. In our Brave New World, not so much.

The System IS the Scam

I grew up watching Chicago television, and the obvious and ongoing corruption was not so much normal as a cost of doing business, like the flames shooting out of the blast furnaces at US Steel. It just was, always had been, and likely always would. As somebody at Second City Cop said recently, the last time Chicago Aldercreatures were honest was sometime before early 1837. But it was honest corruption, in a sense. You could get things done, it just cost a ridiculous amount, and often wasn’t done all that well. But not too many people died, and the pols got rich, so…

But, this, even by that standard is ridiculous. From The American Spectator.

The best rackets are legitimate.

A century ago, the people accepted flagrant public corruption. Dim cynicism the popular spirit, it’s likely they’d still be so disposed today. But the politicians and their swarms of supplicants have acquired subtlety and subterfuge. Why press their luck?

We still have the graft and boodle that Lincoln Steffens chronicled in The Shame of the Cities, but now it’s all above-board. The best schemes are almost indistinguishable from the regular function of government. Almost. In the back rooms, somebody puts in a word for somebody, somebody threatens somebody, but that’s the part we don’t hear about.

It’s the bad luck of Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton barnacle-turned-Democratic governor of Virginia and a rumored presidential candidate in 2020, that his wheedling and arm-twisting inside the federal bureaucracy is now a matter of public record. He got sued last week, along with Hillary Clinton’s brother Anthony Rodham, accused of running “a $120 million scam” to defraud Chinese immigrants.

Did McAuliffe break the law? That’s almost beside the point. The essence of modern graft is crony capitalism — you don’t break the law, you make the law work for you.

The game: set up an obstacle, then offer a way past it for a price. We usually think of crony capitalism as tilting the field in favor of one company or one industry through preferential regulation, but McAuliffe’s arrangement was an even purer form. After all, what is the nature of government? It is to forbid, to restrict, to alter affairs from their natural course. Government creates problems and then pretends to offer a solution.

The EB-5 investor visa program is one long chain of government-created problems and solutions.

Foreign direct investment is of course an unalloyed good for the U.S. economy, but immigration law stands in the way of many potential investors. The laissez-faire thing to do would be to make visas freely available and get out of the way, but that would be too simple.

Much better to complicate it with all sorts of rules and red tape, that can’t all be complied with so the only solution is to buy yourself some interest (otherwise known as pull).

McAuliffe was one of the guys who ran GreenTech, a company whose business model was designed to fit even more government regulations and incentives: GreenTech made electric cars, little Neighborhood Electric Vehicles that go 25 mph, and cost $16,000. You’ll notice I said “made,” and not “sold,” as there has been zero consumer interest in a pricey golf cart that can’t even hold golf clubs. […]

That had a lot to do with why the state of Virginia had refused to get involved with the project, despite McAuliffe’s pull there. In 2009, the state’s veteran economic development director told colleagues, “(I) still can’t get my head around this being anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications.”

When an economic development official, whose business is crony capitalism, finds your model suspect, I think you’re due some congratulations. That’s like making Louis C.K. blush.

Eventually, McAuliffe set up shop in Mississippi, thanks to $8 million in land, grants, and other incentives. The state is now in litigation to claw back $6.4 million from the company.

It’s true when the influence peddlers think your scheme is too blatant a fraud, well maybe your scheme is, uh fraudulent.

The real problem, the more general problem, is that the government is in any position to be assessing the viability of a commercial venture, one that’s bent out of shape from the start thanks to political dictates.

If we’re going to do investor visas, they ought to be straightforward, and useful for any type of legitimate investment in American business. Allowing unapproved start-ups, of course, could open the door to different sorts of scams — a fake business goes belly-up and slips the cash back to its “investors.”

But that is a different problem, one with reasonably straightforward solutions, if one wants to solve problems, rather than create new ones to solve, for a price. Usually a very high price.

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