May 30, 2018

Window Wednesday - Americans freed by president Trump

In the last week or so alone, multiple Americans have been freed by the Trump administration, without sending pallets of cash to the unfriendly regimes.



May 29, 2018

The coming collapse of China. Still happening?

Author Gordon Chang predicted China's collapse back in 2001.  In 2012 he held firm in his beliefs, making a number of factual observations, although he was off on his timing.



Last year, he said that Trump's strategy on China is working:


Recently Chang sat down with Mark Levin to discuss China and North Korea. The insights are itneresting.

May 28, 2018

Capitalism Isn't Cool!

Don't worry, I haven't drank some leftist Kool-Aid.  This is simply a fascinating test of YouTube's impartiality by Dave Rubin:


Here's the original important, but demonitized video Dave Rubin put on YouTube:

On Again, Off Again North Korea Summit will happen


In Brief, the on again off again USA - North Korea summit between president Trump and Korean leader Kim Jung Un is going to happen.  It might not happen for months, but it will happen. And it will happen before November. Korea needs it, despite the posturing because they are not only getting pressure from China but Kim Jung Un can cement his place in North Korean history as a standout from his familial predecessors. Or at a minimum as a way to stall American until the next Chamberlainian Democrat president comes along and appeases his nuclear ambitions. China needs it as something to placate president Trump as a success he can share before the midterm elections in the hope that he will owe them something in respect to American-Chinese relations and other issues (think ZTE for example).  And of course president Trump needs it for the aforementioned domestic political reasons.

President Trump's abrupt cancellation was two things (1) a negotiation ploy to pressure Kim Jong Un to back off his rhetoric and (2) a chance to look tough at home. It was destined to be reversed shortly afterwards and it was.

No surprise.  The summit will happen.  Not only that, it will produce some positive result.  Mark my words.

There's something serious to this

Last week Gateway Pundit posted a somewhat humorous series of jabs about Hillary Clinton's desire to be CEO of Facebook.  The idea is silly.  Facebook would not be moving away from Fake News but literally embracing a specific agenda.  While Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg might share a political viewpoint with the heavily left-leaning former first lady and twice-failed presidential candidate, the move seems like it would invite far too much criticism to be a serious consideration for the company.



But the underlying issues are serious: (1) both Twitter and Facebook have exhibited anti-conservative activities, not just bias.  Gateway Pundit and Project Veritas have both exposed some of this in the past.  And the potentially more serious (2) Hillary Clinton is still seeking ways to warp the political direction of the country to both the far left and to ways that can somehow benefit her financially.

I can only speculate as to how (so I won't at this point), but there's no indication that those dual goals have been abandoned by the Clintons.  While the Democrats seem to finally be trying to distance themselves from the death grip of the Clintons, clearly Hillary is not ready to cede authority and will continue looking for new avenues to advance her agenda, even if it is not via the presidency.

What is Memorial Day

I've been busy over the last week and missed a lot of posting opportunities.  One particular example was the Saturday Learning Series.  I wanted to post an explainer of what purpose Memorial Day actually serves.  It's not a day to go see the latest Marvel comics movie. It's a day to remember the service and sacrifice of others.  It's a solemn day.

Here's what it really means.

Happy Memorial Day


May 19, 2018

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (India)

This is a particularly long geography episode but India has 1.3 billion people so it needs a bit more time.


May 17, 2018

Conservative Insurgent Thursday - Bye Week

Unfortunately I accidentally deleted my draft post that had all of the relevant names and details for the remaining Conservative Insurgent Thursday entries and will have to rebuild it before next week. What a pain.

In the meantime here's a list of previous installments. Interestingly there's a Brit and 3 Canadians on the list so far. That's not deliberate, just an interesting trend.

Milo:













Ben:










Lauren:











Steven:













Candace:








Jordan:




May 11, 2018

Proof once again, Laffer was right.

For real.
Art Laffer postulated back in the Reagan 1980's that reducing tax rates could - and would - lead to an INCREASE in government tax revenue. It was a simple truth that came to be known as the Laffer Curve (explained here).

Once again - proof that the Laffer Curve is real, and that the Congressional Budget Office is clearly populated by Keynsian idiots.  Via The Washington Times:
The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks — and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.

All told the government collected $515 billion and spent $297 billion, for a total monthly surplus of $218 billion. That swamped the previous monthly record of $190 billion, set in 2001.

CBO analysts were surprised by the surplus, which was some $40 billion more than they’d guessed at less than a month ago.
This is not the first time this truth has been demonstrated.  It happened under president Kennedy and president Reagan and president Bush.  It's happening again under president Trump.  It makes one thing perfectly clear - when taxes are too high the economy suffers and when the economy suffers, tax revenue suffers.




Friday Musical Interlude - Sara

Fleetwood Mac's Sara from the 1979 album Tusk. The song was released in December of 1979.

May 9, 2018

Trump's Iran dice roll

One thing is certain about president Trump's ending of the Iran Nuclear Deal - if Iran does develop nuclear weapons it will now be blamed on president Trump.  The media was gushing with praise when president Obama signed the flawed deal.  There will be no accountability applied to Obama or his administration, despite the fact that there were virtually no concessions from Iran and that they clearly continued to work on the development of nuclear weapons capabilities in the face of the deal.

President Trump is tearing up a bad deal but he has not as of yet offered a specific alternative other than very tough sanctions.  That is not to say they do not have specific plans.  This will at a minimum slow the pace of Iranian nuclear development, despite European insistence that the deal was good and they want to continue to support it's components.  The problem for the president is political and that's where he is rolling the dice.  If Iran does develop a nuclear weapon, now or even in 2035,  this can now be positioned as a failure for the president. Given the unfair coverage he's received in the media it doesn't matter that president Obama gave Iran carte blanche to continue development, it will be president Trump's fault should Iran announce they have developed nuclear weapons capabilities.  

There are 3 reasons for that

(1) it will have happened on his watch, therefore
(2) his removal of the deal will look like it precipitated Iranian resumption of nuclear development and,
 (3) the mainstream media hate the president and will gleefully pin anything on him that they can, even when facts do not support their claims.

But this has likely already part of the president's calculus.  It's not as simple as him 'appeasing his base'.  The president has already entered a few negotiations with a tough initial stance. NAFTA is being re-aligned to work for the U.S. not just Mexico and Canada.  North Korea, has offered to cease nuclear development and even agreed to sign a peace treaty with South Korea.  A trade war with China seemed to loom due to tariffs but suddenly seems to have stalled, as no doubt real negotiations have started.  The president has already proven to astute observers, that he is a shrewd bargainer/negotiator.

The president has also already dramatically strengthened relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia, both regional powers who hope to see Iran geo-politically restrained. The president unlike his predecessor does not seek consensus with his enemies but rather with allies and partners.  The approach, much to the chagrin of the left, is working quite well so far.

As a side benefit, with Iranian oil being removed from global markets, or at least American markets, oil prices speculatively slumped yesterday.  That's just in time for the summer driving season and that deflationary pressure even if only temporary has a positive pocketbook impact for American consumers.  As America evolves as an energy superpower under president Trump's watch, it can only help him politically, even if the media refuses to attribute that to him.  Granted it may be a modest benefit to the president, but it will not hurt him.  It may offset a little bit the deluge of the mainstream media's aghast horror that yet another Obama 'accomplishment' is being undone by common sense.

Is Fox being parceled out?

News Corp HQ
If the downside of conservatism is being averse to change, even good change just because it's change, then as conservatives we need to be aware of that creeping into our thinking.  Innovation is change.  President Trump represents change, so it's not universal.

But apparently Disney is in talks to buy 21st Century Fox, which is of course related to Fox (News Corp) and therefore Fox News and as a conservative who appreciates Fox's take on news events it has me worried. Rupert Murdoch founder of Fox is getting on in years and his son's do not (at least wholly) support the political leanings of their father. Is News Corp going to be the next to be sold to say NBC for example?

Paranoid? Maybe, but when there is no other game in town on the conservative side then a little paranoia is probably healthy. That's not to say there are not dozens of quality conservative alternatives to Fox News; in fact Fox is not my first "go to" for news. Nevertheless it's undeniable that Fox is the only conservative-leaning media source that has the reach of it's mainstream media rival giants CBS, NBC, and ABC specifically.

And it's not to say that News Corp will be next. But if it is, conservative media will suffer a significant blow and I'd argue that the Right should start preparing for an alternative bid or developing an alternative outlet to Fox News. Regardless of possible paranoia that's just good planning. Even the Titanic had a few lifeboats.

Window Wednesday - A real view on things

Today's Window Wednesday visual, via Media Research Center, provides the reason you won't be seeing any positive coverage of the president's ending of the Iran Nuclear Deal:


May 4, 2018

Economic highlights are indeed highlights

The latest economic data should hearten Americans that president Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is working quite well thank you. Firstly the job situation is in fantastic shape.
The US unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in April 2018 from 4.1 percent in the previous month, and below market expectations of 4 percent. It was the lowest rate since December 2000, as 236 thousand people exited the labor force. The number of unemployed decreased by 239 thousand to 6.35 million and employment was almost unchanged at 155.18 million. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.78 percent from 1948 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953.
Visually;



And it's even better news in minority communities;
The unemployment rate for black workers dropped to 6.6 percent, beating the previous record low of 6.8 percent set in December.

The jobless rate for Hispanics fell to 4.8 percent, tying the record reached last year and in 2006.
Further, the United States is on the right path to become an energy super-power as well;
As global oil markets shift their attention from U.S. shale oil production back to a resurgent Saudi Arabia and Russia and geopolitical concerns bearing down on oil prices, Citigroup said last Wednesday that the U.S. is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia next year as the world’s largest exporter of crude and oil products.

The U.S. exported a record 8.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last week of crude oil and petroleum products, the government also said Wednesday. Top crude oil exporter Saudi Arabia’s, for its part, exported 9.3 million bpd in January, while Russia exported 7.4 million bpd, the bank added.
Even GDP

GDP is the ultimate indicator of economic success or failure.  While U.S. GDP results have lagged a bit behind expectations of late (achieving only a 2.3% growth in Q1 of 2017 versus 2.9% in Q4 of 2018), they are on track to blow past the 3% target set by president Trump, far exceeding the results of his predecessor.  That's not a partisan claim.  Hillary Clinton backer Warren Buffet says things are a lot rosier than the current GDP picture is indicating.
Warren Buffett, billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, believes the economy is growing faster than 2 percent.

"The last seven or eight years have averaged 2 percent roughly," he pointed out in an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick that aired on Friday. "It's stronger than that right now."

But he said, "There's no way to calibrate it. They [the government] have their own problems with seasonal adjustments in the first quarter."
There's more.  The trade deficit narrowed by 15% in March. With wage growth stalling however, inflation becomes less of a concern and therefore a Fed rate hike is less urgent and therefore less likely to be something that puts a brake on the economy.  

President Trump faces an entirely different situation that president Obama faced.  Despite being blessed with near zero interest rates president Obama presided over an anemic GDP growth of below 3%, making him the first president ever to achieve that ignominious result.  Not only were Obama's results abysmal, they were 'achieved' during the most lenient monetary conditions ever enjoyed by an American president.  In other words he was an anchor on the economy.

President Trump was elected because at some visceral level, Americans understood this failure under president Obama.  President Trump will not fall into that same malaise category as did president Obama and therefore his presidency will be seen as a success beyond what he has so far achieved.

Friday Musical Interlude - Pi (no kidding)

I stumbled across this video of Pi, converted to musical notes using some logic that is explained at the beginning of the video.  The result is a surprisingly beautiful melody.

May 3, 2018

Conservative Insurgent Thursday - Episode #6

Insurgentnoun a rebel or revolutionary.
      "an attack by armed insurgents"
synonymsrebel, revolutionary, revolutionist, mutineer, insurrectionist, agitator, subversive, renegade, incendiary

This week we're looking at an atypical but profound conservative insurgent.  Professor Jordan Peterson:  he's atypical from the perspective that he's not a younger conservative, nor is he a typical conservative.  You could even argue he is much closer to a classical liberal who understands the need for a balance between left and right. He happens to see a current dramatic imbalance that favors radical socialist/communist left (a Left far too far for him). So he is an ally of the right and a remarkably powerful one who will not waver in the face of a liberal onslaught. He is most assuredly an insurgent who favors what conservatives favor.

Who is Jordan Peterson?

Jordan Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.  He studies a variety of types of psychology but his primary areas of interest seem to be religion and ideological beliefs.

In Canada he rose to prominence in 2016 for opposing the political correctness of the Canadian government's plan to enact Bill C-16. He was probably Canada's most forceful advocate of free speech in 2016.

He actually appeared before the Canadian Senate to discuss the flaws of the bill.  Here is the hearing unfiltered. It's dry but Peterson is typically brilliant.



Background:

Peterson was born in Alberta, Canada in 1962. He attended the University of Alberta as well as McGill University where he remained as a post-doctoral fellow from 1991 through 1993 when he moved to Harvard as an assistant and the associate professor.  In 1998 he returned to Canada as a professor at the University of Toronto.

As a teenager he worked for the socialist New Democratic Party throughout his teenage years before growing disillusioned by them at the age of 18.  By age 18 he had already been exposed to the writings of Ayn Rand, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  As he pursued an education in psychology he was clearly particularly influenced by Carl Jung.

Peterson has typically identified as a Christian when asked, although not always.  He sometimes approaches discussions concerning the benefits of Christianity from a clinical perspective. He identifies as a classical liberal, which is to say, a modern conservative.

Peterson married in 1989 and has a son and daughter.  He also became a grandfather in 2017.

Notable Achievements:

He has published two books, 1999's Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief and this year, 2018 he released 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.  In addition, he has been published in countless journals on psychology as well as non-psychology publications. In 2004, a multi-episode TV series aired based on Peterson's first book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief.  He has also made numerous television appearances in Canada, the U.K. and increasingly the U.S. 


Peterson and several professorial colleagues created a writing therapy program with a series of online writing exercises, titled the Self Authoring Suite. Over 10,000 students had used the program as of January 2017, exhibiting drop-out rates decreased by 25% and GPAs having risen by 20% overall. 

His overall body of work including university lectures and speaking engagements wherein he speaks on a wide variety of topics.  Recently for example he met with David Rubin and Ben Shapiro and had a great dialogue on conservatism, religion and society.

Why We Need Him:

I've used the term brilliant debater in the past for conservative insurgents.  For Peterson it is especially true.  His command of the facts as well as his ability to recognize traps or tricks used to trip him up during debates is unparalleled.  In addition his conversations are engaging and able to hold the attention of viewers while making his points in ways that are sure to connect with the audience.

Here are some examples.



Highlight Reel:

Jordan Peterson has been known in his native Canada for other reasons for years. He has a boatload of highlights to share, but this is the obvious one to mention here. His internet/media persona blew up as a result of this Channel 4 interview in Great Britain. An interview that became a debate was completely owned by Peterson with not only common sense backed by facts, but also a razor-sharp ability to understand the dynamic of the conversation and navigate accordingly.  This is truly brilliant. Watch it, and enjoy the obvious gotcha moment in addition to all of the other victories Jordan Peterson racks up along the way.



To add onto obviousness of the brilliance Jordan displays, YouTube personality Charisma on Command offers a brilliant analysis of how Jordan Peterson adroitly managed the conversation.


The Kanye Effect?

This is good news but let's see if it lasts (Kanye's support of president Trump, and more broadly, African-American males' increased support of president Trump).


May 2, 2018

Window Wednesday - Skip this one

If you don't know who this person is, don't bother finding out. Ignore.


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