Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Growth. A lot has changed over the last 70 years, much of it wonderful, though there is a lot of awfulness thrown in. One of those things has been the embrace of economic growth as something that will lift the quality of life for everyone in the society. For generations, economic growth was among the founding goals / agreements among everyone in the political wars. Unfortunately, that time is long past. We have a growing movement, particularly on the left that rejects the very notion that societies should improve material wealth, boost incomes or populations, all in pursuit of newly important environmental goals or social equity concerns. This sharp break from the past is worldwide, evident in Europe, Japan and in Blue America. A combination of reduced real income, green-driven increases in energy and housing costs, and with it a return to a feudal model, particularly in California, where the rich have theirs and are making darned sure nobody else gets the opportunity. Turning our back as a nation on economic growth runs a real economic risk, as the Western democracies all have public pension obligations that they are unable to meet unless there is economic growth. As an aside, the Singularity guys suggest there is another approach. And they might just be right. In the past, socialism was growth-oriented and adopted the notion that greater material progress was critical to expanding working-class wealth. No longer, as leading economists and leftist politicians are embracing the notion that growing the economic pie should be replaced by new goals like better health care, reducing inequality, and fighting climate change. Many greens go even further, advocating ‘de-growth’, urging societies to consciously reduce their economic wealth. This agenda requires that energy, housing, food and other consumption costs steadily increase so that ordinary people will be unable to eat meat regularly, use more energy, live in larger spaces, and travel freely. In short, they advocate an eventual return to a feudal society. Here in the US, adoption of this by the left reject economic goals of Clinton or even O’Bama. Slow to nonexistent economic growth will doom the poor and middle class to a static existence, once again, feudal in nature. We’ve seen this in the O’Bama years, with little to no economic growth for the middle class and the poor while the wealthy and well connected actually did quite well. It means that by definition, children will not be better off than their parents, a horribly dispiriting lifestyle (just ask the young in the Alaska Bush). But this is the future that the greens, the global elite and the democrats have in mind for us, one that Orwell would recognize quite well.
- Guns. Something quite dangerous is going on in Virginia, where Ralph Northam and his newly installed democrat legislative majority are busily antagonizing every single gun owner in the state. Latest provocation was a ban on firearms carry on capital grounds, just in time for a yearly demonstration on MLK Day. Imagine that, a civil rights restriction on a day celebrating civil rights and the life of a fallen civil rights leader. Northam’s rationale was that there were threats of violence made. He was of course supported completely by rushed opinions in state court and by the state supreme court, both of whom just created the precedent that civil rights for a large swath of the general public can be removed if a threat is made and the governor declares an emergency. Reaction has been intelligent, as the pro-firearms community recognizes this all as an intentional provocation, intended to trigger anything Northam and his media cheerleaders in the Beltway can hold up as a second Charleston. Antifa also promised to show up. Watch this one closely, as it appears that democrats are using Virginia as a test case for things to do once flipping a state house in the future. There is no pressing reason for this slate of anti-firearms legislation other than to slam it all through, just as ugly as possible, and see what sort of reaction they get. They’re going to be really surprised if someone trots out an old Virginia political punishment, tar & feathers, riding the guy (or gal) out on a rail afterwards. Perhaps that time has come.
- Kris. Is the FISA Court intentionally trying to get itself shut down? Reason I asked was its remarkably flaccid response to FIB fraud in the four FISA Court surveillance requests for the Trump campaign and Trump-connected individuals. The FIB knowingly lied. The judges on the court know they lied. Instead of hauling the perps in front of them and jailing them for contempt (Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Yates), they instead appoint former Assistant Attorney General under O’Bama and Holder David Kris as amicus curiae to the FISA court to help oversee its analysis of the FIB’s response to Judge Colyer’s Dec 17 order demanding the FIB tell the court how it was never going to commit fraud on it again. Kris has long been a FIB apologist, who helped trash the reputation of Devin Nunes while vehemently claiming that the FIB never misled the FISA court. It turns out that Nunes was absolutely correct and that Kris was little more than a pro-government apologist and cheerleader. Now Kris supposedly helps the court clean up its act. I can think of no better demonstration how broken the FISA court is. Chief Justice John Roberts must be so proud.
- Taiwan. Very interesting election in Taiwan, a week or two ago. The incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen won a stunning 57% of the vote in her reelection. This was a resounding slap at heavy-handed ChiCom influence on the election. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer regime. Taiwanese noted a marked decrease in tourism from the mainland last summer as the ChiComs restricted people from traveling to Taiwan so that they wouldn’t learn too much about what was going on in Hong Kong. ChiCom actions in Hong Kong had no small impact on the vote. Things may be changing in Taiwan, as Trump’s call to Tsai in 2016 congratulating her on her win effectively tossed the Nixon-era One China Policy. There are rumors of a trade agreement between Taiwan and the US that would include full intellectual property protection. Military aid is also in play and should increase, with 66 F-16s already in the pipeline at LochMart for delivery to Taiwan in 2023. The world is indeed changing. This time for the better.
- Timing. What good is an impeachment trial if you can’t use it for partisan political purposes, interestingly enough which is precisely what the impeachment itself is. There is no small amount of speculation that Pelosi’s House majority has orchestrated the timing of the senate trial so as to do maximum damage to the remaining US Senators still running for the democrat presidential nomination, Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar. We are currently in the runup to the Iowa caucuses. And if these three are sitting in the Senate on a trial jury, they won’t be in Iowa. But Joe Biden will. Funny how that works out. This may also be the reason that she refused to send the Articles of Impeachment over for a month. The second example comes courtesy of putative democrat VP nominee in waiting, Kamala Harris (D, CA), who has already been running her mouth, calling for a freeze on all Trump judicial nominations during impeachment. While this is a distinction without a difference, as all work in the senate stops during the trial, including that of the Senate Judiciary Committee which has done yeoman’s work moving Trump judicial nominations, there may be something else at work. And that would be the specter of an impending retirement of the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg, something they desperately want to head off.
- Flynn. LtGen Michael Flynn filed a request with federal court to withdraw his guilty plea, citing bad faith by the government. His legal team cited “… bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement.” Flynn agreed to plead guilty after the Mueller team ran him out of money and threatened to prosecute his son for lobbying for a foreign government (likely Turkey). In return, Flynn also agreed to testify at the request of federal prosecutors. Many outside observers believed that his previous legal team was either in cahoots with Mueller or simply incompetent. Either way, he fired them in June and replaced them with Sidney Powell, who has for years gone after federal prosecutors for prosecutorial misconduct, something that appears to have taken place in the Flynn case by both federal prosecutors and the FIB. She said as much in court and bombarded federal prosecutors with requests for documents. None of this sat all that well with federal prosecutors, who in turn magically decided that Flynn had violated his plea agreement, had not been sufficiently forthcoming in his follow-on testimony. So, last month they demanded Flynn serve up to 6 months in jail for lying to investigators, something investigators claimed he hadn’t done at all. The request to withdraw the plea is simply the next step in the process. It remains to be seen if presiding Judge Sullivan accepts this request. He should.
- Flags. One of the cute little things the Iranian regime has done is paint large flags on streets. The intention is to disrespect the flag of that particular nation by walking on it. Latest up to bat are Israeli and US flags on the entrance to an Iranian university in Tehran. Appears the students are not real keen on disrespecting either nation, with most of them refusing to “walk this way.” Trump may be much closer to winning in Iran than anyone thinks.
- Organs. In one of the saddest items last week, comes a story in the Ottawa Citizen that correlates doctors committing “assisted suicide” and the sudden availability of spare human body parts for those needing organ transplants. The story is lovingly written and has a photo of a woman and a disabled young man in a power chair. The story starts with a description of how virtuous Canadians are for killing themselves. The article claims:
“Ontarians who opt for medically assisted deaths (MAiD) are increasingly saving or improving other people’s lives by also including organ and tissue donation as part of their final wishes.”
There has been a 109% increase in MAiD donors since 2017. Soros money and a very liberal judiciary are busily overturning assisted suicide laws in Canada, and now the government has gotten on board. Canada decriminalized doctors killing terminal patients in 2016 (money saving measure necessary in a nationalized health care system). The Canadian government has even figured out how to bypass family objections to organ donation and apparently assisted suicide. We do know that the ChiComs have been doing this to Uighurs for many years. They have also been doing it to Falun Gong. Here in the US, we know that Planned Parenthood has been running a chop shop for baby parts for years. And the Canadians are starting to do the same things to the disabled community in Canada. Nice little future you lefties are building for us, isn’t it?
More later –