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Lotta covid19 pain? Better be lotta gain

For all the pain we are all experiencing from the Chinese covid19 flu “lockdowns,” shutdowns, economic activity coming to a screeching halt, businesses laying off people, orders drying up etc., there had damned well better be a lot of gain when all is said and done.

Meaning, all our sacrifice and loss and crushed civil rights should damned well have happened for a good reason. A lot of people should have lived who were going to die or get very sick. etc.

When the most mild mannered attorney friend texts me out of the blue yesterday “Are you worried about our civil rights?” I knew that the felt pain was cutting deep.

Our text conversation last night was brief, but it covered all the territory a person might expect, given its premise. My friend reports that many of his other friends are starting to get pretty fussy about this government-imposed suspension of civil liberties. He wrote “It is one thing to cooperate and volunteer to move less in public, but to be told we must stay in our homes…?”

This guy who wrote these texts to to me is a solid religious person, a respected family man, a well regarded attorney, pretty staid and non-excitable, perhaps even at times a boring personality (hope he is not reading this). It would take a lot to get him to write something like this civil rights text. And yet by now it is doubtful we can find any American who has not also felt a lot of pain from this covid19 China Flu business, so his texts to me are probably indicative of a lot of other Americans’ restlessness. A chafing at the bit. A natural inborn resistance to being told what to do, as opposed to being asked to volunteer as free people.

Really at the center of all this lockdown/shutdown/ Big Coercive Government vs Smaller and Smaller Citizen are two factors: 1) The philosophy of governance held by the various mayors, governors, and federal disease experts, and 2) a sense of duty to nation and to one another held by Americans.

A natural tension always exists in our republic, between effective government decision making on the one hand, and citizens’ rights on the other hand. Our founding documents (Constitution, Bill of Rights) are all about this tension, and how to strike a balance between the trade-offs of having an effective government and also having a free citizenry. No doubt that Communist China has a really effective government, but on the other hand its citizens have zero freedom. Americans want maximum freedom, so we naturally reject the kind of government it takes to be really effective.

However, many if not almost all of the Washington, DC, careerists are inured to the notion of a strong federal government. An overpoweringly strong and coercive government, need be. And why would they not have this mindset? It makes them maximally relevant and powerful. So enter Washington bureaucrats Fauci and Birx, and their approach to the Wuhan China covid19 flu has been to at first pooh pooh it, and then when it becomes a big issue, to take the opposite tack – everyone lock yourself in your home and do not come out until we experts tell you to.

Back in January and February, Fauci was quoted many times pooh poohing and disavowing the China covid19 flu. Can’t happen, won’t happen, not a big deal. Oops, now it is happening – everyone run and hide, to hell with the economy.

Add to this message coming out of Washington bureaucrats the naturally authoritarian nature of many elected officials around America, and we get some pretty authoritarian abuses of power. In Malibu California the other day, a guy simply paddle boarding out in the surf was actually cut off by two police boats and then arrested for not self-social-distancing. While he was literally all alone out on the water, near no one, hurting no one, putting at risk no one. And of course the ACLU is nowhere to be found for him, because the ACLU is not about civil rights, it is about destroying America.

Here in Pennsylvania, our governor, the mild mannered and generally friendly Tom Wolf, has issued a pretty wild declaration, a dictatorial ultimatum, that has suspended our civil rights and shut down most businesses and the families who depend on them. While many of us have a strong sense of duty to our fellow humans, and we are happy to make personal sacrifices in order to protect our neighbors and our communities, at a certain point we begin to chafe under the dictatorial approach to applying law.

A lot of pain is being felt across America, and certainly here in Pennsylvania. Many of the businesses I regularly interact with are in increasingly bad shape. Much of this has to do with their diminished cash flow and uncertain banking situation. So if the banks are eventually made whole, then the rest of these businesses will be made whole, and the whole economy will come roaring back to where it was or stronger. In the mean time we all have families to feed and bills to pay, and the pain of Wolf’s lockdown is becoming intense.

Is this pain worth it, is it justified, people are asking.

Everyone I know has a real commitment to doing the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. They do not need to be told what to do, just asked. But now the pressure and resentment to being told what to do, at great personal cost, without a lot of evident gain, is beginning to build up. This would naturally be expected. The sacrifices we are all making seem to be much greater than would normally, reasonably be expected. We cannot really see the fruits of our sacrifices.

Americans die every day from all sorts of maladies and accidents. A regular flu season sees about 32,000 Americans die nationally, from just the regular old flu. We take that number of deaths as a matter of fact, a cost of being alive. And yet we are not seeing that same result from this covid19 coronavirus thing. Not even close. In fact, so far, just the opposite.

If it turns out that Wuhan China covid19 Chinese Flu actually results in very few deaths, and yet the entire nation’s economy was thrown out the window for little or no gain in health, then there is going to be hell to pay.

Flumageddon shines spotlight on failed US bureaucracy

The Wuhan Flu aka coronavirus has resulted in a Flumageddon hysteria that has damaged America’s economy and forced millions of students to stay at home, supposedly “study online,” and pester their working parents.

Flumageddon has shut down public meetings, schools, and work environments coast to coast. Almost everything that Americans take for granted has been stopped cold by it. Entire cities on both coasts are entering constitutionally questionable lockdown status, where the citizenry may have to “shelter in place” just like the ancient Hebrews did in Egypt, as God’s death plague worked its way through the first born of humans and animals alike.

Why are we here? What on earth happened to bring the freest, most technologically advanced nation to this point?

Was America really, truly unprepared for this moment?

Two things happened that got us here.

First, China has been doing everything it can, in literally every way possible, to undermine, hamper, damage, and take over America. China is a socialist tyranny, and so they have been able to direct hundreds of millions of Chinese to sit at keyboards all day every day with the goal of filing fake Trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in DC, and to hack into credit card companies, and to hack into everyday websites, and to post antagonistic messages on websites, and to play around with ordering and then canceling American products and services, and so on. Not to mention the 500,000 Chinese fake “researchers” posted at American research institutions. They are spies, really, stealing our knowledge out from under us in the phony name of open-ness and tolerance and diversity and other meaningless nonsense.

The tentacles of China are long and many, its parasitic sapping of America’s strength a long-held accepted fact.

And nothing allowed China to wreak its havoc on Americans more than people in BOTH Democrat and Republican parties allowing it to do so openly and in plain view. Because a handful of ultra wealthy wanted to be even more ultra wealthy. And they share a bit of that wealth by giving it to re-election campaign funds of careerist politicians, who hold on to power and do China’s bidding in American policy and law. Thus were American jobs and factories outsourced to China, and basically everything good America has or had was literally handed to China. All for thirty pieces of silver, on top of the thirty pieces of silver that had already been handed out a million times before to just a handful of highly placed recipients. Traitors to America, really.

So China’s Wuhan Flu is a direct product of the artificial and unhealthy economic relationship between our two nations, maintained by a billion people in China and just a few thousand people in America. Wuhan Flu spread through the world, and into America, because of an unnaturally open one-way relationship, and a criminally porous American border.

Second, Flumageddon happened because American bureaucrats are an incompetent and lazy bunch, artificially protected by artificially way-way-way over-generous personnel rules.

Career bureaucrats at Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health and the Federal Drug Administration have been unprepared for this moment for decades, despite plenty of warning shots from SARS and Swine Flu before. Instead of developing flu testing kits and extensive steps for combating Wuhan Flu, career bureaucrats at CDC, NIH, FDA and a host of satellite agencies and state offices, all took long lunches on the forgotten taxpayer’s dime. They posed and preened and presented themselves as dispassionate arbiters of public health interests. And in fact, when the moment of truth arrives, we see that they are simply lazy and incompetent. In China, which so many of our federal bureaucrats love because of its ruthless efficiency and all-powerful government, they would all have been shot in the back of the head by now for their failure.

Instead, we are treated to a host of foolish talking heads from CDC and NIH who are, in fact, partisan political activists using their public positions to advance a political campaign to discredit the one person who has absolutely no blame for Flumageddon: President Donald Trump, who, unlike 95% of Congress and 100% of the federal bureaucracy, has NOT been in government his entire career.

Flumageddon is not even Obama’s fault, though he did experience at least one, arguably two, fatal flu public health events, and, therefore, Obama could have directed CDC and NIH and FDA to begin making testing kits and vaccines. In anticipation of future outbreaks. Nope, the fault really lies with our open borders mentality, which carries nation-ending risks, and with our lazy, incompetent, over-protected, entitled, unaccountable bureaucrats, who then cement the open borders risks into stone.

In order to pound down Americans even more, and make us more pliable, more amenable to their supposed solutions. Which are always more and bigger and more powerful government intervention into our lives.

Interesting how this works. The symmetry was so clean and easy. Until Trump came along and challenged it. Cue the hysteria…

 

Britannia, Rule Britannia

Any institution that disregards a substantial native resource that is accessible and usable is shooting itself in the foot. Plenty of companies and governments make the mistake of missing out on key resources – human, material, or other – and are the poorer for it. They also know they must constantly be on the watch for it, and correct it.

When it happens to a private company, the company is less competitive than it could be, less profitable than it should be. The profit motive keeps companies sharp and on the lookout.

When this disregard occurs happens to a nation with its leadership, it is criminal, and unfortunately, there is no built-in measure or quantifiable yard stick. While many people will keep going and going as a nation ails until they and it go over a cliff, there are others who have long, old, and wise vision, and who would sail the ship of state into calmer, better waters. To ignore their leadership qualities is to waste the best resource a nation has. Democracy is the constant battle between these forces of cold comfort and patriotic ambition.

Take England as a bright and shining example of a great nation that is self-destructing by deliberately excluding its best leadership.

By any measure, material or intellectual, England is one of the world’s greatest civilizations ever achieved.

Begun and long run as a monarchy (like every other part of the world), a might-makes-right social structure with barons, dukes, counts, and attendant aristocrats to whom power and wealth naturally flowed (like every other part of the world), and a large underclass of poorly educated laborers barely able to survive (like every other part of the world), England today is in some ways a good example of meritocracy. More opportunity exists for more people. Democracy has largely worked.

The monarchy’s political wings have been clipped, the aristocracy was purposefully driven from the public square, and the most Marxist punitive measures possible were instituted to steal generational wealth so that any semblance of monarchical or aristocratic England would be eliminated.

As a result of these artificial policies, the National Trust now owns more castles and great halls than do private families, and some of England’s best natural landscapes (the natural environment) have been permanently damaged. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

One can argue that England is more of a meritocracy now than it was, but that is really difficult to prove, because the government is the new monarch. Isn’t it?

England’s bureaucracy is nothing short of an unassailable, unaccountable, unchangeable, singular power.

Few entrepreneurs really get ahead in England, because the regulations and taxes are so damning; holding on to generational wealth is nigh impossible, due to the death taxes designed to strip successful people of their rewards. A universally low-income population is the new goal of the English bureaucracy.

Even worse, some of England’s greatest personalities, strongest patriots, most well educated and biggest thinkers have been purposefully marginalized. These people are the residual aristocrats, the heirs to the dregs of the monarchical system that actually produced England’s greatest generations in WWI and WWII.

Can anyone imagine an Admiral Jacky Fisher or Admiral Roger Keyes rising to lead England, today?

My grandmother is rolling over in her grave as I write this, but MomMom, times change.  Nations change. Needs change. My  grandmother (MomMom) Jane was a true-blue Daughter of the American Revolution, a fierce advocate for meritocracy and a fierce opponent of monarchy or aristocracy.  She raised us all on stories of the American revolution, its just response to the unfairness of aristocratic England, and the cruelty of King George.

But today, things have really changed. Those old symmetries and forces no longer exist, and in their place have arisen other forms of monarchy and repression. England today is wracked by a lack of social structure or universal national standards, by anarchy masquerading as government. A huge vacuum space has opened up, and the entire nation could implode.

Today in the place of King George is a cruel and tyrannical English bureaucracy and judiciary, that rules the English citizens as though they were serfs. Very little due process, no free speech, and ambiguous political correctness as the new unattainable measure. Say the wrong the thing, write the wrong thing online? Off with your head!

It is time for England to return to its greatness. To do so, she must draw upon one of her greatest and most ignored human resources, to resurrect many of her finest patriots, her most committed citizens, and employ them in leading the nation away from the brink on which it stands, and back to greatness. This would involve tapping into the aging aristocrats who remember a truly Great Britain, and who would Make Britain Great Again.

We have all learned over the past 250 years that monarchy is not such a good thing, and we have also learned that politically correct Marxism is just as arbitrary and anti-freedom as any monarch. The solution to what ails England today lies in the collective wisdom and patriotism of England’s best elders, the last connection to a truly Great Britain (not necessarily a Greater Britain); its aristocrats who care the most about the most English.

It is time Britannia, it is time for Britannia to rule Britannia once again.

Or put it this way.

Obama formally seeks to control the Internet, alter the biggest Free Speech forum on the planet

Acting through the Federal Communications Commission, the Obama administration has issued a proposed rule that will dramatically change the Internet and everyone’s experience on it.

Seeking absolute control of the one information source not controlled by the Left, Obama’s FCC now seeks to tax internet use and establish 322 pages of rules and regulations.

The Federal Elections Commission is also pursuing regulation of political speech on the Internet, like this blog.  Can you imagine? It is totalitarian behavior.

If there is one defining characteristic of the Internet now, it’s that it is a free place, a frontier, a free market, open to as many people as could possibly participate. Surely the utopians among us will be dissatisfied but it’s an incredible feature of modern life.

The Internet needs no regulations. No one will benefit from these regulations, except the Left, because the Net has allowed millions of political activists to circumvent the establishment media, which is 100% in the pocket of and an arm of one liberal political party.

By regulating the Internet, the FCC will determine what is political speech, and whether or not that violates some rule.

Can you imagine putting government bureaucrats in charge of your free speech rights?

No, neither can I, but it’s the Left’s dream to control all communications so their message of forced peace and equality at any cost will find fewer opponents.

We have a state senator here in central PA who campaigned with his name below the Obama name on yard signs. It will be very interesting to hear what this senator has to say about this, because as a member of the Left he stands to benefit from it, but as a representative of the people, he must advocate for their interests, especially their Constitutional rights.

 

What is in a political “party”?

The Communist Party.

The Democrat Party.

The Republican Party.

What is the difference between these three and many other active political parties?

Their party agenda is what defines them.

Their cause, their unifying principles, their policies and political platforms, these are the things that separate political parties from one another.

All political parties have their own structure, their functionaries, their own bureaucracies, lawyers, and bosses.  All have become self-interested organisms, influenced by a constellation of special interest groups.  At a certain point, the party exists simply for its own benefit.

But what happens when these parties begin to bleed into one another, when they begin to blend across their boundaries and blur their boundaries?  When they lose their distinctive appeal?

When political parties lose their way, do they lose their reason for being?

Although my own Republican Party has pledged overall to serve the taxpayers, plenty of fellow Republicans hold personal and official positions contrary to the interests of taxpayers, voters, and citizens.  Their positions are subtle, often only visible in the important background decisions they make.

Many times in recent history, the Republican Party has been used as a weapon to silence voices of political activists who sought to return the brand to its more basic principles and its more elementary purpose, which would naturally be defined as the cause of liberty.

It is my own hope and the hope of many other dedicated citizens that the Republican Party, also known as the establishment, will stay out of any upcoming elections around Central Pennsylvania.

It is one thing for a candidate to ask, say, State Rep. Ron Marsico for his individual support, or to ask individual party committee members for their support.  It is entirely another thing for the Dauphin County Republican Committee to endorse a candidate so that the Pennsylvania Republican Party can spend money to challenge a Republican candidate’s nomination ballots, because he (or she) is too independent-minded.  Or too “conservative.”  Or not enough in the pocket of some party boss.

My experience tells me that this controlling, anti-freedom behavior has happened so often that many political activists are inclined to become political Independents, which means that the Republican base, the most passionate Republican voters, become driven away from the party and become less interested in its success.  We saw this with the past election, where former governor Tom Corbett had little street game.  The people with the most passion were not going to do door-to-door for Corbett.

Even more worrisome is if the one-time Republican becomes an Independent candidate, or mounts a write-in campaign.  Sure, these efforts may hurt the Republican Party’s nominee, but if the party didn’t want that independent-minded candidate in the first place, what right does anyone have to expect him to stay loyal to them?

Put another way, if some political boss doesn’t want a certain candidate to get elected, then what expectation does that political boss have of earning the support of the candidate he opposed?

Put another way, if you don’t want John to get elected, then why would John want you or your ally to get elected?

Do the Democrats have this problem?  Sure.  But that political party has become overrun with foreign policy extremism and anti-capitalism.  Wealth redistribution is completely contrary to American founding principles, but it is nevertheless now a core of the Democrat Party.

That is sad, because at one time, the Democrats just wanted more opportunity for everyone.  Now they want to take from one person and give to another person, which is theft.

But I am not a Democrat, so this is not my political problem.

My problem is with so-called Republicans who actually share a lot in common with liberal Democrats, but who stay in the Republican Party.

There are different ways a Republican can share values with a liberal.  For example, a Republican staffer who believes in the supremacy of  bureaucracy….despite bureaucracy being the enemy of freedom and individual liberty.  Working from within the party, these functionaries stamp their own flavor on policy and principle alike, often softening edges and blurring lines, giving the voters fewer choices, more government intervention, and ultimately less liberty.

The same could be said for certain “Republican” lobbyists, whose connections to money, political funding, cause them to promote bad policies such as Common Core, which strikes deep at the heart of liberty.  They would rather ally with liberals than support a conservative Republican candidate.  People like this have great influence in the Republican Party.  They influence its agenda, and the kind of decisions the apparatus supports.

If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.  I myself will stand for liberty, freedom, and opportunity for everyone.  If that puts me and others like me at odds with some political party, then that says everything a voter needs to know about that party: It does not have your interests at heart.

I am a Republican because I hold old-fashioned, traditional American values, the kind of values that created America and kept her great for so long.  I will vote for and support only those candidates who hold similar values.  Regardless of what a party spokeswoman may say, a Republican Party that has no conservativism in it isn’t really a Republican Party any longer, is it?

Despite digital technology advances, actual humans are necessary

Digital technology is amazing, no doubt about it.

Yes, it enables all kinds of speed in research and communications.

But the internet has also inspired a “digital wall” response to basic inquiries that used to be handled by people answering phones.  You cannot just pick up a phone and ask someone a question, any longer.  Instead, you must navigate a maze of circular questions and answers and phone tree options, long before you get to hit the star key or number one and talk to a person.

eBay is the prime example of the digital wall.  You cannot get real customer service at eBay.  eBay’s digital artificial intelligence is supposed to satisfactorily respond to all customer issues, but it doesn’t.  It is a failure.

One online commenter says “It is easier to talk with the Pope than to actually speak with a person at eBay,” a sad but true fact that I myself have learned the hard way.

Here in Pennsylvania, the Tom Ridge Revolution for responsive government is looong over.

Remember how back in the 1990s, Governor Tom Ridge opened up Pennsylvania state government with a crowbar and a box of dynamite, and got the scurrying inhabitants of the many faceless concrete government buildings in downtown Harrisburg to actually view taxpayers as “customers”?

Maybe you don’t recall that time, but it was refreshing.  Suddenly, state workers at most agencies were required to actually answer the calls of the taxpayers they serve, and to act professionally, and to help resolve problems.

PennDOT was at that time a notoriously labyrinthine experience, kind of like the Vatican, one might guess, in that if a taxpayer was fortunate enough to find an IN door, they might spend a day shambling down shuttered halls with closed doors with jargon printed on them, searching yet more for the answer to their government-inspired problem.

The workers there at that time could not have cared less for serving the public, and no one took any initiative to make them serve the public, until the Ridge Administration arrived.

Then, PennDOT was required to post phone numbers, email addresses, have customer service representatives on call, so that no citizen had to waste their time trying to make sense of the bureaucratic maze while to trying to meet some official mandate.

After all, if the government is going to require something, then the government absolutely must provide the means to achieve that.

Well, now PennDOT is back to its bad old ways.  The foolish young punks running the disastrous Corbett Administration into the ground at Mach 4 wouldn’t know a damned thing about customer service or taxpayers, for that matter.  PennDOT has been allowed to crawl back under a heavy cloak of secrecy and impenetrable darkness.  Go ahead, call PennDOT.  Try to reach a human being through their main portal:

“Call 1-800-932-4600 (from within PA) or 717-412-5300 (from out of state). You can also send an email through our Driver and Vehicle Services Customer Call Center, or write to the following address:

Riverfront Office Center (Driver and Vehicle Services)
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2516
1-800-932-4600

Oh, you will hear a human voice,  which right off the bat asks you that if you want to continue in English, “Press One.”  Imagine my surprise when I just held the line, did not press one, and was shuttled off into yet another maze of foreign languages, as if just wanting to encounter my own government in our native language was something we should have to ask for.

Anyhow, the phone options in English are another maze of options and circular loops.  One answer gives the locations of  service centers, but saves providing you with the hours for each one until the very end, as if you might actually recall which service center was “one,” “two,” or “three.”

This is the very essence of Bad Government.

Government absolutely must be responsive, open, transparent, or it is illegitimate.  If it cannot serve its citizens and taxpayers, then government has failed.  Once government has failed, it cannot hold citizens to a higher standard.

Governor-elect Tom Wolf faces a Republican legislature, which is not likely to go along with his tax-and-spend approach to government.

Well, here is an opportunity that is guaranteed to make Wolf a hero among all citizens: Force government to open up again; get our taxpayer-funded bureaucrats to be responsive, or get out.  No more digital walls for the people who pay the bills.

And maybe Wolf can talk to the owners of eBay, and persuade them to provide real customer service, too.

What the heck is in EPA’s water?

Something bad is in the water the EPA staff are drinking in DC.  It is making them nuts.

EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency, a place I once worked, a job once fraught with much philosophical disagreement) has proposed new regulations on air and water that basically put the agency in charge of every breath you take and every glass of water you drink.  It is an unconstitutional power grab by regulation that flies in the face of existing law.

EPA now asserts control of every body of water in the country, and that includes farm ponds, man-made drainage ditches along your hunting camp road, little intermittent rivulets that run for a few days in the spring and winter and then sink into the ground all other times, etc.  It is a remarkable effort to control, control, and control Americans.  The stories now emanating from citizens clashing over this rule change with heavy-handed EPA staff are extraordinary.  What amazes everyone with a bit of knowledge of these issues is how little the new rules do to actually protect water quality.  In fact, they create incentives for private landowners to take matters into their own hands, before some bureaucrat shows up for a show down over an issue totally, completely outside the purview of federal government.

Of course, promoting centralized decision making and big government is what this is all about, not environmental quality.

Second issue: EPA’s new air regulations, basically putting a heavy damper on wood burning stoves.  Yes, it is true that EPA is trying to shut down America’s best source of sustainable, renewable, biodegradable, natural, native, cheap heat – firewood.  And firewood-burning stoves.

If you look at the new standards for wood burning stoves, the particulate emissions restrictions on new stoves are technically impossible to meet, and old stoves that are in stock are not grandfathered in; stove manufacturers might go out of business because they cannot sell off their existing wood stoves.

But like the water regulations, this is not about public health or air quality.  Rather, these new rules are about undermining those citizens who are most self-reliant, least dependent upon others, most off-the-grid.  You know, rural conservatives.

Even more than when I worked there, EPA has become a tool for inflicting harm on Americans, for advancing anti-American policies.  It is time to put this rabid animal out of its misery, and start over with a new agency that is devoid of the cultural residue that allows this sort of behavior to happen in the first place.  The role of government is to serve its citizens, not dominate them.