March 23, 2019

CPAC 2019 - Mike Johnson

Saturday Learning Series - Defending Capitalism (Part 2)

Individual rights depend on a free society.  As we saw last week, capitalism is a moral system. It is also an enabler of individual rights. The American governmental system is supposed to be an enabler of freedom and individual rights.

Ayn Rand explains:



Rand continues:



Ayn Rand was an atheist. But that does not mean her objectivist views on liberty and morality are incompatible with Christian belief. Certainly if Friedman's assertions are correct that capitalism provides the most benefits to the most people, then self-interest also serves altruistic purposes the most effectively.  The Christian tenets of self-sacrifice can be viewed through a different lens; the sacrifice of your own time to create value, and therefore wealth for yourself, also serves a greater good.  

Furthermore, if individual liberty is important for capitalism, it is also important for Christianity.  From a Christian perspective, God gave humanity free will.  Part of the reason for that free will no doubt was to allow humanity to come to God, not by force but by choice.

When you abdicate choices (i.e. your free will) to the government, you are abdicating your decision making process.  I've argued in the past that in that case you are abdicating your altruism (charity) to a forced system and worse, you are forcing others to do the same. You are stealing away their free will along with abdicating your own.  The only alternative to free-market capitalism, is government control.

Government control also is anti-God because, as is discussed in the conversation that follows, you are replacing God with government:



Christianity further argues that you should follow the rules because it is the moral thing to do. It teaches that you should work hard as well (at least the Protestant work ethic used to do so).  These are foundational to capitalism working properly.  If people subvert the rules, capitalism is corrupted, and corrupt capitalism (e.g. hegemonic crony capitalism) is not capitalism.


To be continued.

March 20, 2019

CPAC 2019 - Diamond and Silk

Conservative YouTube pundits Diamond and Silk speak at CPAC.

March 18, 2019

CPAC 2019 - Lindsey Graham

Recent conservative convert Senator Lindsey Graham. That's tongue in cheek but the senator has developed a presence and a stiff conservative backbone this year.  We should applaud that.

March 16, 2019

Saturday Learning Series - Defending Capitalism (Part 1)

So many people in America today seem to be clamoring for socialism.  So many have propagated the idea that capitalism is evil.  That notion stems from a complete lack of understanding of capitalism.  Plenty of people have stepped up to defend capitalism and done a terrific job, so I am not going to tread on new ground here.  Instead what I am doing is providing a repetition of what has already been said by many great thinkers, because this message is getting lost.  It needs to be ingested, understood and repeated to those who clearly do not understand the vast array of benefits that they have benefited from by living in such a system.

One of the greatest thinkers was Milton Friedman.  Here are some of his relevant discussions .  As a preamble, the interviewer Phil Donahue puts capitalism in the context of greed.  Friedman did not take exception to the term, but I do.  There is a difference between acting in your own self-interest (which might be termed selfishness) and outright greed.  Greed implies covetousness, hoarding and potentially a willingness to break laws to become wealthier and/or more powerful.

Greed
 noun
   intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.
   "mercenaries who had allowed greed to overtake their principles"



 synonyms: avarice, greediness, acquisitiveness, covetousness, rapacity, graspingness, cupidity, avidity, possessiveness, materialism



Selfishness  noun

   the quality or condition of being selfish.
   "an act of pure selfishness"
 synonyms: egocentrism, egotism, egomania, introversion, self-seeking, self-serving, self-obsession, self-absorption, self-regard, self-interest, self-love
 antonyms: unselfishness, altruism, generosity

Those two words are clearly not the same. 

Milton Friedman explains the benefits of self-interest, as (opposed to greed) for society.


Walter Williams explains why this is actually more moral than other systems:

CPAC 2019 - Van Jones & Matt Schlapp

I've had plenty of criticism of Van Jones in the past, but kudos to him for showing up at CPAC, and additionally, he's discussing an issue with Matt Schlapp that is a seemingly bi-partisan issue where common ground can be found.

March 14, 2019

Is Western civilization collapsing? Doomed?

It's hard not to wonder whether Western Civilization has run its course and is on the brink of collapse. As Paul Joseph Watson paraphrases, we've become morally, aesthetically and spiritually bankrupt.  Not to mention literally.

Civilizations rise on hard work, motivation, and ideals and fall on lethargy, self-indulgence and moral decay.  Perhaps rising to the top is easier than staying there.  Then again, China and Japan have endured for centuries going through both ascension and periods of decline.  Maybe final decline is not unavoidable as it was for civilizations and empires like Rome, the Mongols, the ancient Greeks or the British empire or even the Soviet Union. 

Maybe it's the case that empires decline while civilizations can and often do, endure.  Ideals held by the founders of the United States are bound to endure, perhaps at some point as mere embers rather than flames, but they will endure.  And as they say, embers can spark great fires.  We need only look to the fall of the Soviet Union to realize that bad ideas like communism and socialism do indeed continue when empires collapse.  The same will be true for the tenets embodied in the American Constitution.

All that sad, this is indeed scary:



There are indeed a lot of signs of being on the brink of the end.  But it is a good sign that Trump won in 2016, and that enough people realize that a bloated beaurocracy destroys a country to have made that happen.

CPAC 2019 - Sec Elaine L Chao & Sec Rick Perry

March 13, 2019

CPAC 2019 - Laura Ingraham

#WarOnFreedom - episode 2

The #WarOnFreedom - your freedom - continues, with the Democrat National Committee curbing free speech - they don't like Fox News so Fox News can't cover their primary debates, even though Fox News stood up for Jim Acosta when president Trump's team barred him from White House coverage.  Not surprisingly the mainstream media lined up behind the DNC.

Maybe Fox News will learn from this that they will never get a fair shake from the rest of the media, even though they have drifted slowly leftward over the years.

Tucker Carlson details the hypocrisy:



Why is this a #WarOnFreedom?  The answer is simple - anything the left can do to shut down opposing opinions they will do.  Hypocrisy, freedom of speech and freedom of thought do not matter at all in their calculus.

That is evil. 

March 12, 2019

#WarOnFreedom - episode 1.

Conservatives have, for decades borne the brunt of the media's complete ostracism and denial of their voices. Previously the media has relied on making their viewpoint more prominent and downplaying anything that is different as fringe. Prior to getting balance from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, they could just shout down anyone who disagreed very easily. Then came a brand new medium - the internet.  Great ideas like YouTube and Twitter were adapted by both sides of the political aisle (as well as by funny cats).

But since the Obama era at least, the silencing has taken on the new dimensions of technical censorship. Patreon, Google (especially through YouTube), FacebookTwitter and others have all tried to slowly, and not subtly remove any voice that dissents against progressive liberalism (details/examples in the links). They have done so using trumped up charges of racism, sexism, and homophobia (among other reasons). Often banning, shadow banning (yes, it's a real thing), de-funding and de-platforming were done for things that did not even happen on their specific platform or for faintly applied nontransparent standards that have been applied at least selectively but more often than not, politically subjectively.

The most recent history of this played out through Joe Rogan.  This is just the latest example of an ongoing effort to silence the conservative viewpoint.  The story played out in an interesting way as you can follow below.

Firstly Joe Rogan had Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on his show in early February.  He happened to touch on the issue of de-platforming censorship of Alex Jones, albeit all too briefly.



Joe Rogan realized two days later that he had give short shrift to the issue and had let Dorsey off far too easily.  He was moved to actually apologize for not being more on top of the issue:



Joe Rogan then did the honorable thing and had Dorsey, along with a flippant Trust & Safety leader within Twitter, and a left-leaning liberal YouTuber Tim Pool,  to debate the selectivity that conservatives know is rampant on Twitter. Tim Pool deserves our respect.  Despite being a liberal, he is a champion of free speech and came loaded for bear with examples of Twitter duplicity and malfeasance.  He did a very respectable job of challenging the Twitter execs who were in no mood to admit to having done anything wrong, ever.  They came across as not only condescending, morally blinkered and self-righteous, but also possessing the belief that they are truly untouchable and brilliant.

Not everyone on the Left thinks that what these big media companies are doing is wrong.  Some realize that silencing free speech is a path that leads to it being used against potentially everyone in the future.  Their desire to protect the free speech of their political foes is not a matter of sympathy, it's just common-sense self preservation.  Nevertheless taking an unpopular stand can be self-defeating if you are on the left. So they do deserve our appreciation.

Tim Pool followed up his Rogan appearance with an analysis and self-evaluation on David Rubin's YouTube Rubin Report.



Many on the right have called for either regulation or the breaking up of  these tech behemoths (a normally liberal position) for being selectively autocratic in their banning.  In addition to a number of other relevant examples of violence-inciting liberals not being banned as well as conservatives not being banned, this following video shares a guest on Tucker Carlson explaining why breaking up these behemoths is not just a simple matter, free of unintended consequences.



This #WarOnFreedom is raging right in front of you and it will end up in your home if you do not take up the side that is right and actually fight for it.  The right side is just this; that freedom is ingrained in the fabric of America, and liberty is impossible without it.  Every American must put free speech at the forefront of their core beliefs because without it, America is no longer America.

CPAC 2019 - Rick Harrison

March 8, 2019

Friday Musical Interlude - Elvis live

I think I've had Elvis' Burning Love before on the Friday Musical Interlude but not a live version.  This is from 1972.  Enjoy.

CPAC 2019 - Oliver North

March 7, 2019

Must Watch: A simple explanation of Capitalism vs. Socialism

Prager U explains the real difference between capitalism and socialism.  This should be mandatory education for students, though that is just a pipe dream.

CPAC 2019 - Deneen Borelli

March 1, 2019

Sad but true (or hopefully not)

My wife sent me this. It's funny, but also scary and sad.


Friday Musical Interlude - Song 2 on the Floppotron

This is a real thing.  Blur's song 2 on old computer equipment:

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