Author Topic: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces  (Read 704402 times)


ccp

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #1801 on: June 25, 2018, 04:47:51 AM »
"So progressive thinkers and institutional administrators within the university got their way. And now we’re sort of at the end of that experiment, and the question we have to ask is what did they give us? Well, they gave us $1 trillion in student debt. They created a very bizarre system in which the federal government — subsidized through student loans, constantly increasing tuition beyond the rate of inflation — the result of which is that we’ve had about a 200 percent growth in administrative costs, and administrators and non-teaching staff within the university. We’ve politicized the education."

In the 70s when I went to a small PA college we had one history professor, so it was whispered was a communist.  I took his class on Civil War and Reconstruction and there was not hint of progressive themes during the class.  Being a communist was not a compliment in those days.

Now it is.

I just received yet another Rutgers alumni magazine where I graduated from med school in '86.
I would say maybe 60 % were liberal themes.  Women on the cover with "we too" headline.  Articles about them, a painter who only paints black men.
A page on Hillary Clinton's speech at Rutgers where she was still paid an outrageous  25 K .

The whole journal is politicized .  If they think this is going to inspire me to donate ..........  Here are examples of some of the lib themes in just this past ONE journal:

https://magazine.rutgers.edu/features/wetoo
https://magazine.rutgers.edu/features/visible-men
https://magazine.rutgers.edu/features/learning-to-live-togetherhttps://magazine.rutgers.edu/on-the-banks/speakers-in-the-house  - Anita Hill?  What was her claim to fame other then her claim Thomas spoke few crude lines to her?  "Queen" Latifah has a particular jab at me since some of her lines (but of course she is "singer"songwriter a title that had its rebirth in the early 2000s when hundreds of song lyrics were robbed and sold around the music circuit is now an icon . 

https://magazine.rutgers.edu/insights/a-call-to-action

ccp

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #1802 on: June 25, 2018, 05:17:18 AM »
VDH:  " I live in the same house that my great-great-grandmother lived."

wow.  that is great.

I would have to go somewhere to parts unknown to Russia Ukraine or Lithuania or where Prussia used to be to do that.  God only knows......

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: George Shultz
« Reply #1803 on: June 28, 2018, 07:46:47 AM »
I have great respect for George Shultz

America Can Ride the 21st Century’s Waves of Change
Fasten your seat belt. From work to warfare to welfare, technology is transforming the world.
By George P. Shultz
June 27, 2018 6:51 p.m. ET
27 COMMENTS

The world is experiencing change of unprecedented velocity and scope. Governments everywhere must develop strategies to deal with this emerging new world. They should start by studying the forces of technology and demography that are creating it.

Change is the raw material of history. What gnaws at me now is the speed of change. In the last century, machines performed as instructed. Today, they can be designed to learn from experience, by trial and error. This will improve productivity—but it will also accelerate workplace disruption.

Societies usually had time to adjust to economic revolutions. In the early 20th century, American farmworkers fell from half the population to less than 5% as agriculture was mechanized. We were able to establish a public school system to retrain those workers’ children for jobs in the cities. But today, the rapid destruction of old jobs and simultaneous creation of new ones means that the workers themselves must adapt.

There are now 6.7 million “unfilled jobs” in America. Filling them with both new and newly displaced workers will test both education (particularly K-12, where the U.S. continues to fall behind) and the flexibility of workers to pursue new occupations. Community colleges and similar institutions can help, on a time scale more attuned to new technology’s rapidity. They deserve strong support.

Another force of change that needs to be understood more fully is the information and communications revolution, which is making governance more difficult. Information is everywhere—some of it accurate, some of it deliberately inaccurate. We have ceaseless and instantaneous communication to everybody, anybody, at any time. People can easily find out what is going on, organize around it, and take collective action—and they do.

Autocrats respond by using the same technology for surveillance and repression as they try to govern this new form of diversity by suppressing it. Democracies have too often become trapped in short-term reactions to the vocal interests that most effectively capture governance infrastructures. Both responses have produced sharp declines in trust toward institutions. In the long run, neither will work.

Fundamental changes in the technological means of production will furthermore allow goods to be produced on demand, near where they will be used, in ways that can unsettle international order. Sophisticated use of robotics alongside human colleagues, plus 3-D printing and unexpected changes in the distribution of energy supplies, have implications for our security and economy.

Similar manufacturing advances also diffuse military power—through ubiquitous sensors, inexpensive and autonomous drones, high-powered nanoexplosives, and less costly access to space through microsatellites. These developments empower smaller states and even individuals, eroding incumbent powers like the U.S. of their current advantage. We will increasingly need to be vigilant that our words and deeds aren’t revealed to be backed by empty threats.

Against this, the world’s population is undergoing its own dramatic reordering just as emerging technologies hint at a potential new deglobalization.

In developed countries, fertility is decreasing as life expectancy is increasing. This reduces the working-age population and increases the cost of pensions and care for the elderly—requiring government budgets that increasingly crowd out other productive investments. The populations of many of today’s major powers—Japan, Germany, Russia, even China—are set to shrink. Notably this isn’t the case for the U.S., Canada, and Australia, all countries with a long history of immigration. Will these trends continue?

In developing South Asia and in Africa, however—where most of the growth in world population comes from—persistently high fertility rates aren’t sufficiently matched by economic growth. These same regions also feel a disproportionate impact from natural disasters, human and agricultural diseases, and resource scarcities. That disparity underlies the global movement of peoples, setting off a populist turn in world politics.

So what should we do about all of this? We should think local and global.

Technology and demography can’t be halted; they will always go forward. The U.S. will need to find ways to adapt domestically, but if these trends are handled well the prospects for America to benefit are remarkably bright. I think in particular of how the Founders addressed the problem of governance through their own time of change by leaning more on the diversity of individual states and localities—governments whose ears were closer to the ground, so that they were more nimble.

Meanwhile, America’s allies and adversaries are likely to struggle with many of these changes, more than the U.S. will. America’s own global leadership will face growing demands. The more we can understand other countries’ situations, the stronger our foundation for constructive national and international engagement will be.

The 21st century’s waves of change are being driven by technology, not by the humanities. But, to move beyond these disruptions, we have to think through this change in human terms.

Mr. Shultz, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, and secretary of the Treasury, of labor and of state, is a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is a co-editor of “Beyond Disruption: Technology’s Challenge to Governance” (June 2018, Hoover Institution Press).



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WSJ: Taranto: What went wrong with human rights
« Reply #1807 on: August 18, 2018, 10:06:03 AM »
U.S. Edition
August 18, 2018

What Went Wrong With Human Rights
The conflation of ‘natural law’ with ‘positive law’ handed communism a philosophical victory after the end of the Cold War.
What Went Wrong With Human Rights
Illustration: Ken Fallin
92 Comments
By James Taranto
Aug. 17, 2018 6:29 p.m. ET

Washington

When the U.S. withdrew in June from the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ambassador Nikki Haley described the council as “a protector of human-rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.” Aaron Rhodes agrees but thinks Ms. Haley was too gentle.

“The Human Rights Council has become a cover for dictatorships,” he says. “They assume the high moral ground of standing for ‘dialogue’ and ‘cooperation,’ a tactic for smothering the truth about denying freedom. Raising human-rights concerns is dismissed as divisive and confrontational, and a threat to ‘stability.’ Most of the debate there is technocratic blah-blah about global social policy—not about human rights at all.”

To U.N. watchers it’s a familiar critique, but Mr. Rhodes, 69, applies it far more broadly. In his recent book, “The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom,” he argues that virtually the entire human-rights enterprise has been corrupted by a philosophical error enshrined in the U.N.’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights—and that this explains the travesty of the Human Rights Council.

That error is the conflation of “natural law” with “positive law.” Mr. Rhodes explains the difference: “Natural law is a kind of constraint on positive law.” Think of America’s Bill of Rights, whose opening clause is “Congress shall make no law.” The idea is “that laws have to answer to a higher law,” he says. “This is a vision of law that is very deeply embedded in Western civilization,” finding premodern expression in the ideas of the Greek Stoics and the Roman statesman Cicero, as well as in biblical canon law. Natural law is universal—or at least claims to be.

“Positive law,” Mr. Rhodes continues, “is the law of states and governments.” A statute like the Social Security Act of 1935 creates “positive rights”—government-conferred benefits to which citizens have a legal entitlement. Positive law is particular to a nation or other polity: “I live in Germany,” says Mr. Rhodes, a native of upstate New York whom I met during his U.S. book tour. “I enjoy a lot of economic and social rights there, but they reflect the political values of that community.” The Germans are “keen on being a moral society, where the state helps people. They’re statist. This is their mentality, but I don’t think it’s the same mentality here.”

Not everyone, however, accepts the idea of natural law. Adherents to the doctrine of legal positivism assert, in Mr. Rhodes’s words, “that all law is positive law, and the rest of it is just an illusion.” In this view, there is no difference in kind between, say, the right to free speech and the right to collect a Social Security check. Neither right is intrinsic to human nature, and both are bestowed by government.

Even in the U.S., the boundary between natural and positive law began to blur decades before the U.N.’s founding. Early-20th-century progressives, including Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, “were arguing vociferously against natural rights,” Mr. Rhodes says. “Their thing was that the constitutional rights were something archaic and an obstacle.” Franklin D. Roosevelt enumerated his “Four Freedoms” in January 1941, including two natural rights (freedom of speech and of “worship”) and one positive one (“freedom from want”). The fourth, “freedom from fear,” Mr. Rhodes calls “meaningless,” observing that fear is a “basic instinct.”

In 1944 FDR exhorted Congress to enact a “Second Bill of Rights,” all positive—including the rights to “a useful and remunerative job,” “a decent home,” “adequate medical care” and “a good education.” Four years later his widow, Eleanor, chaired the committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which reads like a mashup of America’s real Bill of Rights and FDR’s aspirational second one. “They tried to have it both ways,” Mr. Rhodes says, by acknowledging that positive rights are “not the same as civil and political rights” while also insisting “they’re human rights.”

Mr. Rhodes is careful to add that he doesn’t intend his argument “as an attack on welfare states, or even on socialism.” Those arrangements are fine by him as long as they are chosen freely and democratically. What, then, is wrong with an expansive concept of human rights? For one thing, it leads to a kind of inflation that devalues natural rights. “The European Union, and its Charter of Fundamental Rights, says that the right to have free employment counseling is a human right,” he notes. That “equates something as banal as employment counseling with something like the right to be free from torture, or the right to be free from slavery.”

The corollary is that abolishing torture and slavery—or protecting the freedoms enumerated in America’s Bill of Rights—is no more important than employment counseling. Which brings us back to the U.N. Human Rights Council. Mr. Rhodes describes it as “controlled” by “Islamic theocracies” and “heavily under the influence of China.” Those unfree countries “are forming a human-rights vision of their own,” he says. “It’s human rights without freedom. It’s human rights based on economic and social rights, where freedoms are restricted in the interest of ‘peace’ and ‘stability’ and power—their power.”

That in turn has “instilled a kind of passivity among people” living in unfree countries, Mr. Rhodes says: “They expect that they can fix their society through human rights. But the human-rights system is impotent; it doesn’t have any teeth. There’s an illusion of ‘the U.N. is going to force my government to protect me.’ No, it doesn’t do this. So civil society puts all of its energies into this structure, which can’t do anything.”

The problem has worsened since the end of the Cold War, which provided the clarity of “an ideological battle about human rights,” as Mr. Rhodes puts it. The communists, like today’s repressive regimes, embraced “this fraud of economic and social rights, which provided this derisory standard of living” but was actually “a cover for their power.” Some Western diplomats argued in favor of natural law. And the Soviet Union and its satellites abstained from the U.N. General Assembly’s vote on the 1948 Universal Declaration—because, Mrs. Roosevelt believed, they couldn’t abide Article 13’s provision that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.”

Natural rights enjoyed something of a renaissance beginning with the 1975 Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviet bloc joined the West in pledging to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.” Helsinki included positive rights too, “but nobody paid attention to them especially,” Mr. Rhodes says.

“The importance of the Helsinki Accords was to stimulate civil society behind the Iron Curtain,” he says. That took the form of national “Helsinki committees,” whose members would go to international conferences for the purpose of “talking about human rights and embarrassing these dictatorial states.” In 1982, at the suggestion of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, the committees formed an umbrella nongovernmental organization, the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and Mr. Rhodes became the IHF’s executive director in 1993. He held that position until 2007, when the federation dissolved.

His work in postcommunist states could be dispiriting. “Some of the new governments—they didn’t want NGOs around. They’d say, we are human rights; we don’t need civil society to tell us what to do,” Mr. Rhodes recalls. “But of course they needed criticism, especially with regard to minorities, and civil liberties as well. They needed to be observed and constrained in their policies.” Among citizens of the newly liberated lands, Mr. Rhodes observed what he calls “the notorious mentality problems”: “As a result of living under these communist systems, people are very subdued. There’s a lack of—their panache has been removed from them.”

The end of the Cold War felt like a victory for the free world, but in Mr. Rhodes’s view it proved a “disaster” for the concept of human rights. The U.N. held its World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, the same year he began his work at the Helsinki Federation. It was “a period of chaos,” he says: “You have all of these ridiculous theories, like the ‘end of history’ and ‘new world order’—and meanwhile, wars in Tajikistan and Yugoslavia and Georgia.”

To which the U.N. answered, in Mr. Rhodes’s paraphrase: “Let’s call everything a human-rights problem.” The Vienna Declaration concerned itself not only with natural rights and the familiar positive ones, but also with policing private conduct and attitudes, including crimes like domestic assault, civil offenses like sexual harassment, and “socially determined barriers,” even “psychological” ones, that exclude the disabled from “full participation in society.”

“The irony of it is, with the end of these communist regimes, their theory of human rights was victorious,” Mr. Rhodes says. “The Soviet idea of human rights found legitimacy in the international system.”

Can anything be done? “I wish that the Trump administration would talk about human rights once in a while,” Mr. Rhodes says. “They should talk about freedom.” He adds: “I think the only administration that really promoted natural rights was Reagan.”

Mr. Taranto is the Journal’s editorial features editor.

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The Madness Returns
« Reply #1813 on: October 28, 2018, 10:42:13 AM »


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WSJ: Where are America's corporate patriots?
« Reply #1816 on: November 29, 2018, 12:18:14 PM »
Where Are the Corporate Patriots?
Regarding China, U.S. companies should step up and do their part to protect national security.
85 Comments
By Samantha F. Ravich
Nov. 28, 2018 6:23 p.m. ET
U.S. soldiers during the invasion of Normandy, France, June 6, 1944.
U.S. soldiers during the invasion of Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. military needed a small vessel that could transport troops and equipment from large oceangoing ships onto the beach. It was the late 1930s and Andrew Jackson Higgins, a small-boat builder in New Orleans, thought an adapted design of one of his oil-prospecting boats would do the trick. He won the contract, patented his design, and expanded his Higgins Industries workforce from 75 in 1938 to more than 20,000 in 1943. The “Higgins boat” allowed Allied forces to reach the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called Higgins the “man who won the war for us.”

Higgins’s story was one of American ingenuity. But it was also a story about the importance of the American patent system and the security of U.S. intellectual property. What would have happened if the Japanese had stolen Higgins’s boat designs before he could get his product into the hands of the U.S. military? What would have happened if, when he applied for his patent, Japanese government-affiliated entities beat him to the punch by filing for a patent using stolen designs?

Or, what if, during an earlier period of relative peace in Europe, Higgins had decided to sell into the European market but was forced to form a joint venture with German firms, thereby transferring critical technology to a government the U.S. would soon face as a foe?

Eight decades later, intellectual-property theft is happening at a pace that threatens American security and prosperity. State actors, and the companies they own, control or influence, have launched a campaign to siphon critical and emerging American technology. The People’s Republic of China annually steals between $225 billion and $600 billion of U.S. intellectual property.

In 2017 Chinese citizen Kevin Dong Liuwas arrested for attempting to steal trade secrets and computer information from Massachusetts-based Medrobotics. The company’s robotics technology, which hadn’t been patented at the time of the theft, may one day become critical for battlefield medicine.

In 2012 an investigation by the House Intelligence Committee found that the Chinese company Huawei “exhibits a pattern of disregard for the intellectual property rights” of other companies. Among other illegal actions, Huawei was stealing the patented computer code created by California-based Cisco, electronically copying it, and inserting it into its own products. Cisco is a major contractor to the Defense Department.

In October the Commerce Department accused Chinese state-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. of stealing trade secrets from Micron, a semiconductor manufacturer based in Boise, Idaho. Micron produces as much as a quarter of the world’s dynamic random-access memory integrated circuits, which are used in personal computers, workstations and servers and have important military applications. Last month Commerce barred the sale of any U.S.-origin technology to Jinhua.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China and others have warned that Chinese government authorities often demand disclosure of confidential technological information as a requirement of selling into the Chinese market. More than 20% of American companies operating in China have been asked to transfer technology to Chinese partners in the past three years.

The Trump administration should be commended for making cyber-enabled economic warfare a priority in the U.S. National Security Strategy. The president also deserves plaudits for exposing Beijing’s hidden hand in stealing U.S. technology and intellectual property. But protecting America’s critical technology isn’t a job for government alone. America’s private sector needs to work more closely with government to keep sensitive technology out of the hands of a potentially hostile foreign government.

Too many American companies have been too quick to sell out in exchange for access to the Chinese market. Many have been slow to disclose when they’ve been targeted by Chinese hackers in hope of preventing their stock prices from taking a hit. But these are more than business decisions; they are matters of national security.

Andrew Jackson Higgins’s reward for his hard work and ingenuity was more than financial—he earned the entire nation’s gratitude. Eisenhower paid him tribute in his 1944 Thanksgiving Day address: “Let us thank God for Higgins Industries, management, and labor which has given us the landing boats with which to conduct our campaign.” If America wants to retain its prosperity and freedom, it will need more patriotic businessmen like Higgins.

Ms. Ravich is chairman of the Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and vice chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.


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Walter Williams: Disparities Galore
« Reply #1819 on: December 31, 2018, 03:22:57 PM »
second post


Disparities Galore


ByWALTER E. WILLIAMS
December 29, 2018
 
Much is made about observed differences between sexes and among races. The nation's academic and legal elite try to sell us on the notion that men and women and people of all races should be proportionally represented in socio-economic characteristics. They make statements such as "Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32 percent of the US population, they (constituted) 56 percent of all incarcerated people in 2015" and "20 percent of Congress is women. Only 5 percent of CEOs are."

These differences are frequently referred to as disparities. Legal professionals, judges, politicians, academics and others often operate under the assumption that we are all equal. Therefore, inequalities and disparities are seen as probative of injustice. Thus, government must intervene, find the cause and engineer a policy or law to eliminate the injustice. Such a vision borders on lunacy. There's no evidence anywhere or at any time in human history that shows that but for some kind of social injustice, people would be proportionally represented across a range of socio-economic attributes by race and sex.

Indeed, if there is a dominant feature of mankind, it's that we differ significantly over a host of socio-economic characteristics by race, sex, ethnicity and nationality. The differences have little or nothing to do with any sort of social injustice or unfair treatment. Let's examine some racial, ethnic and sex disparities with an eye toward identifying the injustice involved. We might also ponder what kind of policy recommendation is necessary to correct the disparity.

Jews constitute no more than 3 percent of the U.S. population but are 35 percent of American Nobel Prize winners. As of 2017, Nobel Prizes had been awarded to 902 individuals worldwide. Though Jews are less than 2 percent of the world's population, 203, or 22.5 percent, of the Nobel Prizes were awarded to Jews. Proportionality would have created 18 Jewish Nobel laureates instead of an "unfair" 203. What should Congress and the United Nations do to "correct" such a disparity? Should the Nobel committees be charged with racism?

Jews are not the only people taking more than their "fair share" of things. Blacks are 13 percent of the U.S. population but, in some seasons, have been as high as 84 percent of NBA players. Compounding that "injustice," blacks are the highest-paid basketball players and win nearly all of the MVP prizes. Blacks are also guilty of taking 67 percent, an "unfair" share, of professional football jobs. Blacks are in the top salary category in every offensive and defensive position except quarterback. But let's not lull ourselves into complacency. How often do you see a black NFL kicker or punter?

Laotian, Samoan and Vietnamese women have the highest cervical cancer rates in the United States. The Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest reported prevalence of diabetes of any population in the world. Tay-Sachs disease favors Ashkenazi Jews. Cystic fibrosis haunts white people. Blacks of West African ethnic origin have the highest incidence of sickle cell anemia. The prevalence of prostate cancer is lower in men of South Asian ethnicity than in the general population. Black American men have the highest prostate cancer rates of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. Black males are also 30 percent likelier to die from heart disease than white men.

There are loads of other disparities based upon physical characteristics, but it would take a fool to believe that we are all equal and any difference between us is a result of some kind of social injustice that begs for a societal remedy. The only kind of equality consistent with liberty is equality before the law — which doesn't require that people be in fact equal.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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Too much psilocybin?
« Reply #1820 on: January 02, 2019, 11:00:22 PM »

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Re: Too much psilocybin?
« Reply #1821 on: January 02, 2019, 11:37:27 PM »

ccp

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Digital like thought ?
« Reply #1822 on: January 03, 2019, 05:03:22 AM »
It is amazing how  computers, digital devices, video fantasy games , have changed how these millennials and gen Y think.

The Tolkien like "Blue Church" and the "Insurgency"

Collective thinking like two opposing collections of Borg vying to control the whole ..

Something Orwellian maybe ?  I don't remember Orwell's books well since i read them while trying to stay awake decades ago.





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George Friedman: What has happened to us?
« Reply #1823 on: January 05, 2019, 11:31:59 PM »
By George Friedman

What Has Happened to Us

The global system that many fear is dying is already dead. The new one has yet to emerge.

Last week, we published our annual forecast, which goes on for 40 pages. The length is necessary, but it risks obscuring the fundamental question: What has happened to us? From Shanghai to Moscow to Brussels to Washington, there is a sense that something has gone wrong with the world, with our nations, with our friends and even with ourselves.

The feeling has permeated our societies. We have gone from a belief in the end of history, in a final reconciliation of all our major contradictions, to a sense of failure, foreboding and betrayal. The sense is everywhere, and it came upon us with startling speed. A decade is a second in the history of humanity. The new year is the future, and the global sense of increasing failure will grow. But our future is embedded in the past, and the past must be grasped.

A Decade of Fear

Humans cycle between complacency and fear. When the time for fear comes, we magnify the threat. It’s a natural response; after all, when things go wrong, we humans need all the energy we can muster to face it, and terror is the most powerful of feelings. In the late summer and early fall of 2008, we faced the sum of our fears. On Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed. All its debts went unpaid. Those who were unpaid could not pay others, and that failure forced the economic system to face the abyss. It’s a familiar story by now, but its telling always omits something that happened just a month before, on Aug. 8. That day, war broke out between Russia and Georgia, and Russian tanks – a nightmare to the West a scant generation earlier – were on the move once more.

At the end of a war, the winning coalition dreams of a world in which its will continues to govern, where the differences among its members are settled with quiet goodwill, and where only good things will happen. Yet the end of the Cold War had not created a stable platform for eternal prosperity, nor had it made war obsolete. It hadn’t even settled the Russian question. The idea that any conflict could be the war to end all wars is the first product of victory and the most heartbreaking illusion. We made the same realization in 2008 in the space of seven weeks. The interests of the world were the same as ever, and the heartbreaking illusion returned. And since we are human, we knew that someone betrayed us. The idea that this is the human condition and that hostility and disorder are our natural state is too painful to contemplate. If the eternal peace that Immanuel Kant promised and that the fall of the Berlin Wall delivered dissolved, then it must have been the work of dark and vile forces.

In the wake of World War II came Maoist mass murder, the imprisonment of Soviet war heroes in the Gulag, Joseph McCarthy’s crusade against latent communism in the U.S., and all that these phenomena spawned. War is fought out of fear. The hubris of victory hides but does not abolish that fear. We should not be surprised at where we are now. The greater the victory, the greater the disappointment. Much went well after World War II, but the expectations exceeded the possibility.

The Revolution of Rising Expectation

During decolonialization in the 1950s and 1960s, a phrase became commonplace: the revolution of rising expectation. It meant that with the end of colonialism, the expectations of the developing world grew beyond what was reasonable. The disparity between expectation and reality then engendered disappointment and anger, which gave rise to instability. The same concept applies to the world after 1992: We expected a world without conflict, of common interests and values, and of increasing prosperity. It was a hope as inevitable as it was far-fetched. What came out of 2008 was a world plunged into fear and a rising sense of betrayal. That has matured now into a world in which fear, distrust and mutual contempt define political life in all spheres.

The events of 2008 brought to maturity the processes that had been underway in the past. Today the household income of someone in the fourth quintile – where the lower middle class is located – is about $35,000 a year. Accounting for taxes, and ignoring the cost of health insurance, we can generously estimate that lower middle-class families bring home $2,500 a month. When I was a child, my family was firmly in the lower middle class. We had a small house, a car and enough money to take modest vacations. These are luxuries the lower middle class cannot afford today on $2,500 a month.

Inequality was never the issue in the United States. The issue was attaining the American dream: homeownership and the promise of upward mobility for the next generation. That’s gone now. Though it had been dying for decades at the hands of a variety of forces, 2008 convinced the lower middle class that it wasn’t coming back. Even at the median income level of above $50,000 a year, the pain has subsided but not evaporated.

The current anger and drug addiction in the United States is a uniquely American problem. But the same sense that the world has turned against its poorer citizens and that the elites couldn’t care less has also spread to Europe and could be found in China and Russia as well. It became a global reality, and the immigration issue jelled it. Unable to understand the bitterness their countrymen felt at suffering national indifference while foreigners received care and attention, the elite sought to paint the lower middle class as xenophobic.

Leaders around the world have seized on this feeling. Xi Jinping became dictator of Chinabecause he arrested members of the elite. Vladimir Putin has stayed in power for nearly 20 years with promises to make Russia great again. The European right grasped the degree to which the Continent’s elite had once again become indifferent to the plight of their compatriots. And in the United States, the Democratic Party framed itself as the party of the working poor but focused on everything else, while an outsider took control of the Republican Party – historically the party of corporations – by mobilizing the underclasses. In each of these countries – including Russia, now that oil prices are in the $40 range – the disappointment of what used to be the working classes is in full bloom, confronting an elite that is relieved just to have a functioning banking system and believes, by extension, that all is well.

The distrust is not new. But the inevitable failure of the fantasies of the post-Cold War world has given it tremendous power.

Tensions Beget Tensions

Along with the tensions within nations are the tensions between them. In 2008, Russia announced it would not go gentle into that good night. Its brief war with Georgia was a subdued overture to what has since arisen. The tensions between countries have mounted, in part because nations are afraid of other nations and seek to protect themselves by being more fearsome. In our time, however, the problem is more complex. Between 1992 and 2008 the global economy surged as emerging countries built their economies on exports. The recession after 2008 hurt these countries badly, whether they exported manufactured goods or energy. Perhaps more important, what importers had tolerated and even benefited from they could no longer abide.

Cheaper exports were not a universal boon. On the whole, they benefited important countries, but people do not live “on the whole.” When vast segments of the population are victims of imports, or see themselves as such, the political system will destabilize regardless of whether the state is benefiting in a general sense. Indeed, the fact that the benefits accrue to certain classes while others lose their jobs increases the anger. Those who gain from the arrangement don’t understand what the fuss is about, and their incomprehension inevitably inhibits their response. The debate turns to the question of who is responsible. Whatever the reality, those who benefit will wind up with the blame, and the task of stabilizing the system falls to politicians.

The growing distrust within nations drives the growing distrust among nations. In many countries, the political order is in the midst of a transformation. Individuals and parties that one could not have imagined holding office a decade ago are now in power or close to it. International conflicts that appeared well-contained within the framework of the Cold War coalition are bursting at the seams. The Cold War coalition is increasingly at odds with itself, as new and unfathomable coalitions emerge, and dangers we thought we had buried in 1992 are coming back to life. Among those who saw themselves as managing the coalition, a sense of horror is inevitable. But that coalition, like the Congress of Vienna, the League of Nations or the United Nations, could survive for perhaps a generation at most. What had bound these groups’ members together was the enemy. A defeated enemy is simply not a strong enough glue to do the job.

New World, New Rules

The world has abandoned the rules of the Cold War coalition. This was inevitable. The 2008 crisis was going to happen in one form or another, and it would speak with authority. A new world would grow out of it. You can see our vision of how this plays out in our 40-year forecast or from my books, but that is unimportant right now. What matters is understanding that the world forged in 1945, the world that defeated the Soviet Union, is gone now. It left behind profound social tensions that the elite will ignore, until they no longer can, and a new international system. The new system, though born of the old one, is very different.

We are not going back. The vast social and political animosity tearing at the fabric of the world will resolve itself, perhaps with blood but likely without it. It will leave behind a changed world. That’s our point about 2019. It is a year in which an old world has already died, but many still think it can be resurrected. It is a year where the new world has not yet emerged. There are those who will welcome it. There are those who will loathe it. It will be what it must be – a new world with new rules. History is profoundly indifferent to our preferences. We live. We die. We love. We hate. We do so all under the pressure of reality. And the world is on the edge.

ccp

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From Freidman's piece above :

"The current anger and drug addiction in the United States is a uniquely American problem. But the same sense that the world has turned against its poorer citizens and that the elites couldn’t care less has also spread to Europe and could be found in China and Russia as well. It became a global reality, and the immigration issue jelled it. Unable to understand the bitterness their countrymen felt at suffering national indifference while foreigners received care and attention, the elite sought to paint the lower middle class as xenophobic."

This IS going to be a key them of the Dems :

I heard yesterday  Warren's theme in her election bid will be to focus on rejuvenating the middle class (in an effort to win back the middle class group that voted for Trump not the girl who should be locked up).

It will be health care and other themes  (of course from stealing from the "rich" to give to others).  Maybe "free" college, retraining and God only knows what else.

The Cans better be ready for this.   

They need a good common message.  Not a dick like Mitt talking about character.
Trump is the best (and also sometimes the worst mouthpiece when he lets his lack of control cause him to say counterproductive things)
Lindsey Graham has a great mouthpiece when he doesn't go off the beaten path.........

Newt usually does.

But the same problem always arises - the LEFT controls 93% of the medica ........


DougMacG

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ccp:  Warren's theme in her election bid will be to focus on rejuvenating the middle class (in an effort to win back the middle class group that voted for Trump not the girl who should be locked up).

It will be health care and other themes  (of course from stealing from the "rich" to give to others).  Maybe "free" college, retraining and God only knows what else.

The Cans better be ready for this.

[with the media message 93% Leftist]


We need to defeat the free shit [someone else will pay for it] argument with the poor and we really need to defeat that argument with the middle class.  The Socialist Democrats 83% tax rates aren't going to pay for it, nor would 100% tax rates get you there.  The outgoing House Republicans made no attempt to counter this.  Now it is only Trump.  He has the bully pulpit and the policies and results to counter this - if he could only stay focused. 
-------------------
George Friedman:
"Inequality was never the issue in the United States. The issue was attaining the American dream: homeownership and the promise of upward mobility for the next generation. That’s gone now. Though it had been dying for decades at the hands of a variety of forces, 2008 convinced the lower middle class that it wasn’t coming back."

    - Sorry I don't buy this.  Incomes are going up.  Plenty of kids out of college make phenomenal money.  Younger people are choosing to not marry, not start families, not buy houses.  House prices are driven up by badly designed government policies, not the cost of lumber and building supplies.  Everything that government declared essential has skyrocketed and everything left in mostly in the free market has became more affordable.  If people can't live off of 2500 /mo or 50k/yr it is because their government of choice drove up the cost.  Stagnation is a public policy choice and the return of the Nancy Pelosi House indicates that is what we prefer to prosperity.

Too bad people here don't know that "free" health care in socialist places like Venezuela after the capitalists are driven out doesn't include food and water.


Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Are we on the road to civilization collapse?
« Reply #1828 on: February 21, 2019, 11:12:17 AM »

G M

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Re: Are we on the road to civilization collapse?
« Reply #1829 on: February 21, 2019, 11:21:52 AM »

ccp

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Not really complicated
« Reply #1830 on: February 24, 2019, 07:08:04 AM »
Tough lawyers and those who make a living talking their heads off make it so.

https://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/timeline-of-the-isis-bride/

We could let her back in and like the movie "Inglorious Bastards"  cut 'ISIS' into her forehead in memory of all those who were murdered
lost loved ones or everything they owned.

That throw her in prison for life.

ccp

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Gary Cohen now cashing in on experience with Trump
« Reply #1831 on: February 27, 2019, 06:07:09 AM »
amazing how may people are making money off having known Trump.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/27/gary-cohn-writing-memoir-of-career-including-trump-white-house-tenure.html

How about an insider book on what Obama knew , when he knew it , and cover/clear  ups .
I guess no money in it.


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Re: VDH: What progressives should know about Trump voters
« Reply #1833 on: March 21, 2019, 11:56:19 AM »

ccp

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VDH on cnn site
« Reply #1834 on: March 21, 2019, 03:46:16 PM »
cnn's tip to the candidates more likely then any recommendation to its validity

should also be what liberal media people should know ! especially CNN that insults me daily



ccp

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kevin Williamson on Dems getting voting for criminals
« Reply #1836 on: May 01, 2019, 05:11:47 AM »
This is good to see.  Kevin going after the fraud and corruption of the Left's quest for power instead of reminding us on how much he hates Trump.

Agree with focusing your ire where it belongs => on the Let:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/05/felon-voting-rights-cynical-democratic-party-politics/



ccp

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #1839 on: August 08, 2019, 03:07:46 PM »
Glad to see VDH showing up on Fox frequently
He is always admirable and insightful.

Too bad CNN does not have the balls or integrity to have him on so the libs can hear someone insightful and logical.




Crafty_Dog

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POTH: Ross Douhat: The Corruption Before Trump
« Reply #1843 on: October 02, 2019, 01:02:08 AM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/opinion/corruption-democracy-trump.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

The American republic, more idealistic and less brutal than its Roman antecedent, doesn’t send former cabinet officials and senators off to practice extractive taxation everywhere that we have military bases. Instead, we’ve developed a more complicated interplay between public service and private enrichment, a labyrinthine system of consultancies and adviserships and directorates and boards in which the dedicated public servant can make enough money to keep up with the cost of tuition at Sidwell or Exeter without ever taking anything so embarrassing as a bribe.

The ideological grease in this system is the belief that the American businessman, the American soldier and the American diplomat are all fundamentally doing the same work, expanding the Pax Americana one newly opened market, one toppled strongman and one baby democracy at a time. So why shouldn’t our public servants move back and forth between these realms — selling arms to our allies one day, serving on a do-gooding foundation funded by allies and defense contractors the next, helping those allies lobby our government the day after that? After all, all these projects serve the same goal: A world of capitalist democracies at peace with one another, free to get rich under the umbrella of the American military.
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This kind of thinking has animated and justified elite self-enrichment throughout my lifetime. Think of Dick Cheney’s smooth move from supervising the Defense Department to running a defense contractor to supervising the Defense Department once again, or the extraordinary post-presidential buckraking of the Clinton family and their foundation’s global funding stream.

But the pattern isn’t just personal, it’s also structural, with specific opportunities for moneymaking embedded in big-picture, bipartisan projects: the Clinton-era attempt to transform post-Soviet Russia into a functioning capitalist democracy; the Bush-era attempt to remake the Middle East; the multi-administration push to unite American and Chinese markets, creating a free and prosperous “Chimerica” on which the sun would never set.

We are where we are in American politics, in part, because all these big-picture projects succeeded in enriching private interests … but failed to achieve their stated public goals. The “shock therapy” delivered to Russia midwifed Putinism instead of a prosperous American ally. The war in Iraq ushered in a regional conflict that’s still burning to this day. Chimerica worked out better for the Chinese than for many working-class Americans, and far better for the Chinese Politburo than for the cause of liberty. And the self-justifying doctrine of the present elite — that you can serve the common good while in office and do well for yourself afterward — became far more implausible when the elite’s projects kept failing even as the officeholders kept on cashing in.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 07:18:03 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #1844 on: October 25, 2019, 11:26:24 AM »


https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/10/closing-conservative-mind-politics-and-art-war




Money quote: 

"For centrists rattled by the rise of populism it is a flattering tale. No responsibility for the condition of politics is ascribed to them. Reason has been tossed aside because the masses – encouraged by amoral rabble-rousers – have been allowed to vent their ignorant passions. It is not hard to detect the reek of class hatred in this ruling liberal narrative. But there is something more powerful here than mere snobbery: the belief that politics can be governed by formulas derived from some large theory. In the past, such theories were derived from Marxism and positivism, utilitarianism and Fabianism, among other ideologies. Today they emanate from the prevailing variety of rights-based liberalism promoted by philosophers such as John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin. The key feature of this liberalism is that it transfers decision-making from political to judicial institutions. Liberals are turning to law to entrench values and policies for which they cannot secure democratic assent."

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Pat Buchanan
« Reply #1846 on: October 29, 2019, 10:07:20 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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In Public service to the people
« Reply #1848 on: November 11, 2019, 06:57:18 AM »
books and more books
Bolton too with headlines of 2 mill. advance
Soro would gladly pay that if there is anything at all that will make orange man look bad:

https://pjmedia.com/trending/nikki-haley-says-tillerson-and-kelly-tried-to-get-her-to-undermine-trump/

Perhaps this is why Trump fired Tillerson persona non grata ..........