The Manchester Free Press

Tuesday • March 31 • 2020

Vol.XII • No.XIV

Manchester, N.H.

Bafflingly Silent?

Libertarian Leanings - 4 hours 15 min ago

In a column in Reason Magazine, Robby Soave asks the question, "Why Are the Mainstream Media Ignoring Tara Reade's Sexual Assault Accusation Against Joe Biden?"

On September 14, 2018, The New York Times reported the existence of an unverified sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The story cited three people who had read a letter sent by the accuser—Christine Blasey Ford—to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D–Calif.). Ford was not interviewed for the story; indeed, she wasn't named.

Unconfirmed reports of a teenaged Kavanaugh assaulting a teenaged Ford evidently merited coverage from The Times. This prompts an obvious question: Why is the paper of record now declining to publicize a very troubling allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden?

The Times is hardly alone in this regard. The mainstream media have remained bafflingly silent about Tara Reade, a former member of then-Senator Biden's staff who claims that he sexually assaulted her in 1993.

What is so baffling?  News outlets are going broke left and right.  Find out who is propping them up.  Billionaires can lose money on media ventures if those media ventures return value in some other form.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Israel's Coronavirus Vaccine Prototype

Libertarian Leanings - 4 hours 38 min ago

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel is testing a coronavirus vaccine prototype on rodents at a defense laboratory.

JERUSALEM - Israel has begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine prototype on rodents at its bio-chemical defense laboratory, a source said on Tuesday.   Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), in rural Ness Ziona, to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Feb. 1, prompting an easing of its secrecy as it cooperates with civilian scientists and private firms.     In a statement, Netanyahu's office said IIBR director Shmuel Shapira had informed him of "significant progress" in designing a vaccine prototype and that the institute "is now preparing a model for commencing an animal trial."   A source familiar with IIBR activities told Reuters that trials were already under way on rodents.
Israel has reported 4,473 cases.  There have been 19 deaths  
Categories: Blogs, United States

Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Azithromycin

Libertarian Leanings - 7 hours 42 min ago

In a study conducted by Dr. Vladmir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, 699 coronavirus patients were treated with a combination of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, zinc, and azithromycin.  No patients died, no patients were intubated, and only four were hospitalized.

Categories: Blogs, United States

FDA Approves Hydroxochoroquine and Chloroquine for COVID-19

Libertarian Leanings - 7 hours 42 min ago

From the WSJ, An FDA Breakthrough on Treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday green-lighted two malaria medicines that have shown some promise treating the novel coronavirus, and the emergency approvals couldn’t come soon enough. Expanding their use could bring quicker relief to patients and hospitals while allowing scientists to better assess their efficacy.

The malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine (HC) and chloroquine have been around for more than five decades, so their safety is well documented. New evidence suggests that they could also help fight the novel coronavirus, as op-eds by Dr. Jeff Colyer on these pages have reported. Both chloroquine and HC in vitro block the replication of RNA viruses like the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has had impressive success treating patients afflicted with the Wuhan Virus.  Of 699 patients treated with the combination of hydroxochloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin, no one died and no one had to be intubated.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2020-03-30 11:04 +0000

From this morning's WSJ, An Update on the Coronavirus Treatment: Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin continue to show results for patients.

For my entire career, I have taken a conservative approach to medicine. I don’t want to give false or premature hope. All of this is subject to further refinement as more information arrives. But likewise I can’t ignore the available evidence. This appears to be the best widely available option for treating Covid-19 and not merely easing the suffering from the disease. It would be irresponsible not to pursue this option aggressively.

The author, Dr. Jeff Colyer, is a practicing physician who served as governor of Kansas from 2018 to 2019.

Categories: Blogs, United States

My Coming to Christ

Daily Anarchist - Thu, 2020-03-26 23:00 +0000

Hello everyone,

It must be a surprise to hear from The Daily Anarchist after having been silent for so long. I’ve known for a while that the day would come when it was time to resurrect this old blog for one last message. And I believe that time is now.

I’ve got some things I’d like to tell you all. In fact, I’d like to tell this to all who would listen, but doubly so the people who love liberty.

When I created The Daily Anarchist I was not a Christian. I believed in God, for sure, but had no use for “religion” or “The Bible,” and often ridiculed privately Christianity. A few years ago, however, I became overcome with a severe feeling of dread. Every fiber of my body was telling me that America was soon to be conquered. The New World Order was ready to show its fangs and put to rest the remaining vestiges of freedom in the world. Things were going to get ugly, unlike ever before seen in the world, and I was floored with panic.

Shortly after seeing the writing on the wall, my wife of several years, and lifelong Christian, happened across a Bible prophecy series that she began watching herself. I asked her why she didn’t include me and she replied that she didn’t think I would be interested. A fair assumption, but I’ve always been intrigued by end-times prophecy, which is what the series was about. So, we started from the beginning. Long story short, it blew my mind. Not only had the series explained the Bible and sound Christian doctrine in a way I had never heard before, but it explained clearly, using the Bible, who the Antichrist is, the objectives of said Antichrist, and the end of days is general.

I was fascinated. The problem was I didn’t believe in the Bible. I had picked it up years before and attempted to read it from cover to cover. I made it through about the first three and a half books. Then I stopped. My attitude was that if I could not believe the creation story and the beginning of the universe and all life on planet Earth, then why should I believe the rest of the Bible?

You see, I was raised by secular parents and attended government schools growing up. I was fully steeped in The Big Bang Theory and Darwinian evolution. The clear reading of the Bible talked of an entirely different order to the creation of the Universe and humanity. The two simply could not be reconciled.

So, at the time of my fascination with biblical end-times prophecy, I decided to look into “Creationism.” That is, the science and evidence supporting a young-Earth and recent creation of humanity and all life. I devoured many resources, and continue to do so today. And the conclusion I came to is that the Bible can be trusted from beginning to end, and that science, archaeology, and reason all point strongly to the “Creationist” viewpoint. Shortly thereafter, I surrendered to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It wouldn’t be in my nature to simply give my testimony, though. If there’s one thing I really love to do in life, it is to share what I’ve learned with others. So, I’m going to make this one giant mega-post with as much information as possible to get each of you, Lord willing, into the Kingdom.

I’d like to start with making the case for “Creationism.” We can begin by looking to the heavens with an excellent trilogy titled “What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy.” The first two parts can be found on Youtube. The third part, unfortunately, has not been uploaded, but can be purchased.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzyQbOQ0dv0&t

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E66409i-yn4

Part 3: https://usstore.creation.com/product/411-astronomy-vol-3-our-crea ted-universe-dvd

Next, I’d like to show you why evolution, in the most popularly understood sense, is wrong.

Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels: https://usstore.creation.com/product/396-evolutions-achilles-heel s-dvd

Next is something on history.

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus: https://usstore.creation.com/product/405-patterns-of-evidence-exo dus-dvd

Those are what I highly recommend starting with. If you enjoy those, there are a plethora of DVD’s on many different subjects.

Explore: https://usstore.creation.com/category/19-dvds?resultsPerPage=1000 00&page=1

Next, I’d like to make the case for why I am a “King James Onlyist.” That is to say, why I believe the King James Bible, and only the King James Bible should be used for Christian doctrine.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNv-zzpIwBs&t

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqBEuxGY7DI&t

Next, a really interesting video which shows how what the vast majority of people believe, including most Christians, is likely wrong.

The Temple Mount: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tzom66XhZ8&t

Next, this is the series which really showed me the Bible in a way I’d never heard it before, and frankly, neither have most Christians. I’m not going to say I agree with every doctrine in this series, but I agree with most. And as the host says, if there is something you disagree with, keep watching. Eat the melon and spit out the seeds.

The Prophecy Code with Doug Batchelor: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYx1tOOUv4Syo7GFfkcEbfqeZP 7cMREvs

Yes, it’s 20 parts.

And last, but definitely not least, this video shows why I believe we are in the very last days.

Bewilderment Survival by Pastor Harold White: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6ElQBt4Uy0&t

That’s it, everyone. There are days and days worth of videos to watch there. I cannot recommend highly enough starting now and watching everything. Nobody knows the day or the hour of Christ’s second coming, but we can know the season. And it feels like the season to me. I don’t know how it will all go down, but if the New World Order keeps choking the economy and debasing the monetary system, this could lead to riots. And riots could lead to gun confiscation. And gun confiscation could lead to a revolution. And a revolution could lead to martial law and the mark of the beast.

I don’t think libertarians, be they minimalists or anarcho-capitalists, are ever going to realize their dreams in this life. Freedom just isn’t popular.

2 Corinthians 3:17 “… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

May those of you already followers of Christ keep the faith, and those of you not yet in the faith, come to find it. God bless you all.

Categories: Blogs, United States

More Coronavirus Hoarding

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2020-03-25 21:08 +0000

It's not just toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towels that have been flying off store shelves.

Updated March 24, 2020: As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across the United States, its impact can be seen in every community. Businesses and schools are closed, the stock market is exceptionally volatile, and store shelves are empty as the American public has scrambled to prepare for the worldwide pandemic and social distancing prescribed by the WHO and CDC.

While people have stockpiled toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and pantry essentials, they've also purchased ammunition at an unprecedented rate. Here at Ammo.com, our growth in sales directly correlates with the rise of COVID-19 and its spread across the country. Starting on February 23rd, sales began to increase as the search term “coronavirus” gained traction, according to Google Trends. This increase in sales has continued as follows:

  • 720% increase in revenue
  • 434% increase in transactions
  • 334% increase in site traffic
  • 27% increase in conversion rate
  • 45% increase in average order value

Read the rest here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

It's Not Hysteria

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2020-03-19 15:25 +0000

Are we over reacting with our self imposed quarantine?  Well, it sure looked like hysteria as toilet paper and paper towels disappeared from store shelves with lightning speed. 

I went into Sam's Club on a weekday morning with a plan to stock up on essentials like beer in the event we had to quarantine ourselves.  I forgot the popcorn, but I remembered to pick up enough canned tuna, canned chicken, coffee, evaporated milk, and mayonnaise to last for a couple of weeks.  I'll carefully venture out on an as-needed basis to pick up fresh milk and bread.

Meanwhile Wall Street is going wild.  Somebody's gonna make a fortune, but it ain't me.  My formerly robust IRA account has lost more than 20% since the end of February, and today is shaping up to be another brutal day.  Yes, the market will come back, so in the long run I'm not worried.  Besides, I can scrape by without it.  Still, it's disheartening to see the losses pile up, even though I expect they will never be anything but paper losses.

On a somewhat brighter side Willis Eschenbach posting on Watts Up With That? thinks that things may not be so dire. The source of his optimism is the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined for weeks with a Coronavirus breakout.

We had a perfect petri-dish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experiment with the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”. That’s the cruise ship that ended up in quarantine for a number of weeks after a number of people tested positive for the coronavirus. I got to wondering what the outcome of the experiment was.

So I dug around and found an analysis of the situation, with the catchy title

of Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (PDF), so I could see what the outcomes were.

As you might imagine, before they knew it was a problem, the epidemic raged on the ship, with infected crew members cooking and cleaning for the guests, people all eating together, close living quarters, lots of social interaction, and a generally older population. Seems like a perfect situation for an overwhelming majority of the passengers to become infected.

And despite that, some 83% (82.7% – 83.9%) of the passengers never got the disease at all … why?

Michael Levitt, said the same thing.  Levitt is an American-British-Israeli biophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate who accurately predicted that the spread of the virus in Wuhan would slow down in February.  Levitt says "the end of the pandemic is near," pointing to the Diamond Princess to reinforce his argument.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship represented the worst-case scenario in terms of disease spread, as the close confines of the ship offered optimal conditions for the virus to be passed among those aboard. The population density aboard the ship was the equivalent of trying to cram the whole Israeli population into an area 30 kilometers square. In addition, the ship had a central air conditioning and heating system, and communal dining rooms.

“Those are extremely comfortable conditions for the virus and still, only 20% were infected. It is a lot, but pretty similar to the infection rate of the common flu,” Levitt said. Based on those figures, his conclusion was that most people are simply naturally immune.

Statistics for the Diamond Princess outbreak can be found in this analysis: Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.  I decided to compare those numbers to an earlier epidemic, the 2009-2010 H1N1.  Nothing fancy, just calculated the percentages from the Diamond Princess Coronavirus numbers, applied the percentages to the U.S. population, and compared the results to the H1N1 numbers.  I compiled the following table from those statistics.

 

Diamond Princess Coronavirus Outbreak

Age Passengers Infected Deaths %Infected %Deaths 0 - 9 16 1 0 6.25% 0.00% 10 - 19 23 5 0 21.74% 0.00% 20 - 29 347 28 0 8.07% 0.00% 30 - 39 428 34 0 7.94% 0.00% 40 - 49 334 27 0 8.08% 0.00% 50 - 59 398 59 0 14.82% 0.00% 60 - 69 923 177 0 19.18% 0.00% 79 - 79 1015 234 6 23.05% 2.56% 80 - 89 216 54 1 25.00% 1.85% Totals 3711 619 7 16.68% 1.13%             H1N1 2010
308,745,538 60,800,000 12,469 19.69% 0.0205% USA 2020 330,000,000 55,044,462 622,474 16.68% 1.13%

 

Seven deaths out of 3,711 doesn't seem like a lot, but actually it is.  When you compare the infection rates of H1N1 to that of the Coronavirus, 19.69% vs. 16.68%, you can see that they are roughly comparable.  However, applying the infection rate, 16.68%, and the fatality rate, 1.13%, from the Diamond Princess to the entire 2020 U.S. population, it turns out there is no comparison to the H1N1.  The Coronvirus is far more deadly with over 622,000 projected Coronavirus deaths compared to 12,469 actual H1N1 deaths. 

OK, it's not apples to apples, comparing the entire U.S. to the Diamond Princess.  Social distancing was nearly impossible on the Diamond Princess, but we are doing it as a country, and it's sure to lower the fatality rate.

When Trump began reinstating border enforcement, when he started construction of the wall on the southern border, when he imposed tariffs, when he renegotiated trade contracts, when he devised a tax policy to repatriate U.S. companies' foreign earned income, it was all with the objective of rebuilding our manufacturing capacity, and helping American workers. All of those things have put us in a position to better withstand our current Coronavirus crisis. We can wait it out.

Open border policies never made any sense before, but now they make even less sense, if that's possible.  And suddenly we make another startling discovery: Rebuilding American manufacturing capacity — for producing our own life saving drugs which are now produced in China, as an example — isn't really such a bad idea.  Things Trump has done to protect American jobs, will help to protect American lives.

The fact is, though, our concern over the Coronavirus is not hysteria.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Don't Call It The Wuhan Virus

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2020-03-18 14:24 +0000

Andrew McCarthy:  "But there is a Republican in the White House, so what was mundane yesterday is racist today."

Moreover, the president’s letter elaborates, Congress has explicitly authorized the chief executive, in an emergency, “to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession.”

Not only did history and common sense justify the administration (among others) in noting the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus. Doing so was a legal necessity if the imperative of federal support for beleaguered state governments was to be fulfilled.

Categories: Blogs, United States

This Just In: Cops Say Cops Can Police Their Own Just Fine, Thankyouverymuch

Adventures in the Free State - Tue, 2020-03-03 20:48 +0000
Further update: Nobody else in attendance agrees. Nobody...

HB1217, "requiring police officers to report misconduct", before the NH House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee", 3/3/2020. Shouldn't we, the taxpayers -- who employ them -- be entitled to expect them to react at least as officiously as they do to our "transgressions", to those of their public-sector brethren? Should cops be entitled to get a pass -- from other cops, conveniently, remember -- for "wink, wink" transgressions? The Thin Blue Line is under direct attack. What ever will the law enforcement response be? Let's find out, shall we...?

Testimony from the state rep prime sponsor (one of mine, in fact) in favor; a cop/union rep opposed; another state rep (and also a cop) in favor; and the ACLU-NH in favor. Signing in on the blue sheet: 4 in favor, 2 opposed (both cops, one of whom gave the testimony, so double-dipping, just like their retirement plan...). (Oh, and here's where you can read all about the various historical abuses of Weare PD -- including the undisciplined [and undisciplined] murder of the set up and alleged drug dealer Alex Cora DeJesus, as referenced by Rep. Burt.)

One might be excused, therefore, for anticipating this will be a relatively noncontroversial bill, right? We'll see. The cops expect -- and far too often receive -- special consideration behind the scenes in these "hallowed halls". And even (particularly?) then, there's the Senate...

Why can the taxpayers not expect that their employees conduct the job for which they're hired equally when it comes to their friends? Why can't we expect them to be as accountable as, as we heard in testimony, judges and prosecutors and defense attorneys and nurses and...? Is that really so radical a concept in a free society committed to equal justice under the law...?

During the preceding bill, the Chair informed us that this committee is part of a House "pilot program" committing all hearings and executive sessions to audio recordings. No word on whether those recordings will be made available to the public, at least during the "pilot", so still good that we have video, eh...?



Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Clyburn Brings Home a Winner

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2020-03-01 16:53 +0000

In his third try for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden has finally won a presidential primary, his very first. In yesterday's South Carolina Democratic primary Joe Biden came in first with 48.4% of the vote total, more than double that of the second place finisher, Bernie Sanders.

The full results are as follows:

Candidate Votes Percent Delegates Biden        255,660
       48.4% 33 Sanders 105,068 19.9% 11 Steyer 59,817 11.3%   Buttigieg 43,483 8.2%   Warren 37,285 7.1%   Klobuchar 16,610 3.1%   Others 9,802 1.9%  

Biden has been in public office since 1973 when he became U.S. Senator from Delaware.  Over the course of his political career he has run for president three times, first in 1988 and again in 2008, failing each time to win a single state primary election.  But in 2008 Biden hit political pay dirt when he became Barack Obama's running mate and then his Vice President.  It's extremely doubtful that Biden would have taken this third shot at the presidency had he not been Obama's Vice President. 

But, here we are.  At 77 years of age Biden is now the unlikely savior of the Democrats' 2020 election chances up and down the ticket.  Party leaders are nearly distraught that the leading candidate for their nomination is Bernie Sanders, who is actually not a Democrat. His nomination could create a devastating fracture in the Democratic party.

In the face of this looming disaster, Democratic Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina threw his weight behind Biden's candidacy and, perhaps reluctantly, gave him an endorsement. 

A major factor in Biden’s victory was the recent endorsement he earned from South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip. Roughly a quarter of South Carolina voters polled by ABC said that Clyburn’s endorsement was a “major” factor in the choice on Saturday, but Clyburn still appeared to distance himself from the former vice president during a Saturday hit on CNN.

“We need to do some retooling in the campaign. No question about that. I did not feel free to speak out about or even deal with it inside, because I had not committed to his candidacy,” he stated. “I have now. I’m all in. And I’m not going to sit idly by and watch people mishandle his campaign.”

If the exit polling is accurate, that a quarter of South Carolina's primary voters cast ballots for Joe Biden based on Clyburn's endorsement, Biden and the Democrats may be in some real trouble going forward.

Sanders, the Independent socialist from Vermont, is still in the lead in the delegate tally for the Democratic presidential nomination.  He has been the top vote getter in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, and finishing second in South Carolina.

In all likelihood Biden would have won South Carolina without Clyburn's endorsement, but maybe not in so convincing a fashion.  There are hypothetical scenarios in which Biden loses, but if you simply took the number of voters estimated to have relied on Clyburn's endorsement and subtracted that number from Biden's total, he still wins.

Biden's strong showing gives leading Democrats hope.  If he gains momentum going into Super Tuesday, which is coming up in two days, Biden might continue on to lock up the nomination on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention this summer.  A fatal rupture might then be averted.

Or not.  Sanders has not noticeably lost momentum.  Democrats have been moving left, promoting policies in education, immigration, voting rights, and taxation that aim to build a socialist leaning base.  And now after decades of supporting stealth socialism as the path to everlasting power, Democrats are faced with a real socialist who is picking off their leftmost leaning voters — and he's not even a Democrat.

Unless Biden wins convincingly this Tuesday, Democrats are heading for a showdown between the Democrats who are avowed socialists and the Democrats who pretend they are not socialists.  Bernie Sanders and the avowed socialists will likely lose that battle, and when they do there's little hope that they will kiss and make up with party leaders.  In that case the Sanders voters who don't stay home may very well cross over and vote for Trump.  If Sanders wins out, a significant block of Democrat voters might stay home rather than cast a vote for socialism. 

Whatever the outcome, the November election will be a choice between socialism, either stated or implied, and liberty.  Liberty is going to win.  The only question will be, how big?

Categories: Blogs, United States

The Defiant, Yet Un-Self-Aware Hypocrisy of the Collectivist Mind

Adventures in the Free State - Sat, 2020-02-29 00:36 +0000
No video (of mine) this time out, which will be addressed anon. At a (quite intentionally, it seems) secretively publicized event, I spent last night with Granite State Progress, the fixated, irrationally (and hypocritically, and disingenuously, and aggressively, and incompetently) FSP-hostile NH arm of the national Soros-funded astroturf organization, ProgressNow.

Their local leader, carpetbagger Zandra Rice Hawkins, continues to have an addled bug up her ass about the Free State Project and its nettlesome objective to keep NH from going all socialist. She came to NH, AIUI, for a job -- opposing freedom, y'see -- because that's evidently what she really wants to do, rather than simply move to, say, CA or NY or MA, where the government she apparently wants already exists. But that kinda job just doesn't exist there, there's no need for it in those other places. And she's willing to knowingly misrepresent the Project, to collectivize, to "broad-brush", to profile, in order to win.

But she's shy, understandably, about going on the record with those demonstrable lies, so she doesn't allow recording at these (fundamentally non-objective) "information sessions" (notably, FSP past president Carla Gericke, conversely, invited transparency, so video of her rebuttal [I heard later that Zandra's decided she ain't gonna allow that sort of open debate at future sessions -- probably wise, considering the effect...] should surface soon, and I'll link to it). So here were some of my running thoughts during the presentation.

I came to NH in the '80s because of what it was, what it offered -- and as excited as I was about the FSP's announcement, I didn't sign on because I figured if they weren't smart enough to pick NH, then they were on their own. (Parenthetically, I also, for the record but without realistic expectations for the foreseeable future, unapologetically support NH Independence, just as the Founders did in 1776, and because Mordor-on-the-Potomac flatly rejects the validity of the 10th Amendment and NH Constitution Part First Article 7 and its enforcement mechanism Article 10. The law is the law, right...?) Fortunately, overall, these are some very bright people (it's been my experience, coming at it from both sides of the equation, that there's a high positive correlation between intelligence and liberty, so no surprise there), and they made the right choice.

NH's government was vastly less intrusive than the states I'd lived in, MA and CA. And to that point, if those are government models you prefer, well, they already exist. Go and be happy. Why are you so committed to denying others the same choice -- to create their preference, because it doesn't exist anywhere else -- in one tiny corner of the globe? You need to control it all? Where do you suggest libertarians go to live as they choose, to create the society they prefer? Or are we simply not permitted that "luxury"? Why?

But "ultra-extreme" (whatever it's supposed to mean -- but again, objectivity isn't the, um, objective here -- this is her hysterical, unshakable, inseparable, never-missing, essentially hyphenated adjective for the FSP) progressive opponents of individualism like yourself, Zandra, have been hypocritically (goose and gander not being equivalently entitled, apparently) trying to take over and transform NH government, to relentlessly extend its reach and power over the individual, ever since my arrival (and doubtlessly before). This legislative session alone is an outright nightmare of expanded regulations and new taxes -- some blatantly contravening Constitutionally imposed limits -- making the lives of people who have harmed no one demonstrably harder. Because that's how you and your comrades see the role of government.

But I do not consent. So I welcome anybody who works to preserve freedom, who opposes your preferred ever-growing government interference. And the goal of the Free State Project is to respect and protect the rights of the smallest, most vulnerable minority: the individual. And I am so good with that.

To the unrepentant "lies" part, that "take over" language you incessantly ascribe to the Project, and regarding which you complain regardless of correction, predates the Project, and only ephemerally. It was, I believe, from the musings of a grad student initially presenting an idea, in the paper announcing that idea, not announcing the formal Project that eventually resulted. Have you ever had an original thought, Zandra, let alone of a complex nature, fully formed the instant you committed it to paper? Are you Mozart?

The idea caught on, thankfully, and many people had a hand in fleshing it out -- substantially, in fact, within a matter of weeks -- to the point where the Statement of Intent was presented for people's approval. "Take over" simply isn't in it. Never was. You really should finally let that go. Or, hey, keep using it. It's a free country, right? Continue to be brazenly disingenuous, if you insist.

Polling consistently suggests that libertarian leanings are actually pretty strong in people, particularly those not intimidated into resigning themselves to choosing between the lesser of centrally prescribed evils, into not "wasting" their vote because -- as ever thus, somehow -- "this is the most important election of our lifetime...!" All it takes, really, is not submitting to irrational, unsupportable fearmongering. Like yours, Zandra.

(The only truly wasted vote is the one cast not for what you want, but for what someone else wants, the one not cast for your principles -- which is precisely how we end up with, e.g., an unavoidable choice between the two most reviled political candidates in human history, head to head. So tell me: how can secession be worse...?)

As to any potential agreement, any "common cause", Zandra will have none of it. She'll wait for the GOP to come around before she'd work with libertarians on, say, the "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™, or the police/surveillance state, or criminal justice reform, or the death penalty, or any of the other myriad issues on which Project participants have worked with, say, the ACLU-NH (HOW CAN THAT BE...?!?), or...

But honestly, after this "information session", I'm hard-pressed to recognize for what, particularly, she actually does advocate, short of reflexive opposition to the concept of secession (as we who, in fact, seceded from Great Britain have since cheered -- even recently -- in places like the USSR and Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and...). And reflexive opposition to the FSP, of course -- which, again, isn't the same thing...

No, again again, that's not her objective. Her job is her objective. And any alliance here wouldn't bode well for that job's security, if ya know what I mean. Much like force-monopoly government actually solving problems, it would go directly against longterm self-interest. The alternative, though, would have to be that she simply hasn't the capacity to think it all through. Hmm...

Despite Jason's idea catching on among these disaffected, "politically homeless", the Duopoly in NH has self-servingly, monopolistically, collusively, continued to make it prohibitively arduous, thus suppressing vexatious competition, to run as anything other than an 'R' or 'D', and still demands a "first-past-the-post" voting system. If you support those conditions, Zandra, then you can't complain when people who wish to influence the government actually use, however reluctantly, the restrictive and manipulative system on which you insist. Fair?

So. Do you advocate for expanded ballot access? Do you support approval voting over plurality? Or do you just want these troublesome malcontents to go away and let you rule them in peace?

I'm offering you solutions here, Zandra. Think about it...

Further Analysis
  • Can Progressives and Libertarians Find More Common Ground in NH? – Carla Gericke
  • Hate and Intolerance in New Boston - Granite Grok



Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

February 28, 1993

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2020-02-28 22:21 +0000

The Waco Siege began on that date and lasted for 51 days.

The newly minted U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno was unhappy with the progress being made at Waco, and invoked (what else) the abuse of children in her pitch for a resolution to the conflict. For his part, President Clinton, who had dealt with a similar situation as Governor of Arkansas in 1985 – with The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord – initially urged waiting out the group. Reno, however, cited antsy agents and budgetary concerns. Ultimately, Clinton told her to do whatever she thought was best.

The FBI Hostage Rescue Team – derisively nicknamed the “Hostage Roasting Team” and which denied any evidence of child abuse – came armed with 50 caliber rifles and punched holes in the walls of the building with explosives so they could pump CS poision gas into a building with small children and infants inside. The plan was to announce to the group that there was no plan to take the house by force while slowly pumping greater amounts of CS gas inside to increase pressure on them to leave.

The fires began around noon on the final day of the standoff. The FBI maintains that they were started deliberately by the Davidians, with some survivors claiming that the FBI started the fires either intentionally or accidentally. Footage of the Davidians talking about gasoline seem to refer to them making Molotov cocktails to fight the FBI with.

Nine people left the building during the fire. The remaining people inside all died either from the fire, smoke inhalation, were buried alive by rubble or were shot. Some showed signs of death by cyanide poisoning, which would likely have been a result of the burning CS gas. All told, there were 76 deaths.

Read the rest of it here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Rent Seekers Redux

Adventures in the Free State - Tue, 2020-02-25 20:29 +0000
HB1114, "relative to state motor vehicle inspections", before the NH House Transportation Committee, 2/25/2020, attempts to end the requirement that private vehicles must submit to annual equipment inspections -- no, civilization won't collapse. This committee seems to be getting an unusual amount of air time this year, having just starred a mere 3 weeks ago in my videos for HB1621, the "helmet bill", and HB1622, the "seatbelt bill".

The last time I visited this topic was back in 2011, with HB540 (although it was offered in testimony that evidently there was a bill in 2015 that I missed, yet it doesn't show up in a quick search), which merely attempted to double the inspection period to 2 years, rather than eliminate altogether (but the prime sponsor advised that he's already developing an amendment to walk this bill back to that same "biennial" requirement). So, progress in that respect, anyway -- at least until they pass the amendment. Here's Rep. Vaillancourt on that previous "compromise" bill, at a time when 30 other states had no inspection requirements at all. I do so miss him in the House. RIP, Steve...



As I had written back then,
This is not about safety. The opposition is to free-market capitalism -- providing what the market wants, rather than what government and its friends want. It's about rent-seeking. It's about protectionism and crony capitalism. This is private business asking government to order you to pay them, for no demonstrable benefit (indeed, quite the opposite), and your government obliging them. "Government force is great. And your constituents love it. Really, they do. Trust us. But they'd never take responsibility for their own safety and preserving the value of their own investments if you don't continue to bring the force of government to bear. They're just too stoopid to take care of themselves if you don't order them to. Well, yes: until they get elected, of course, Senator. Then they're suddenly very wise..." How has the species ever survived...
The bill sponsor back then, Rep. Keith Murphy, provided talking points that are still largely relevant, despite the intervening years and the even more liberalizing nature of the current bill:
• Annual inspections are proven to be ineffective and an unnecessary cost of time and money for our citizens.
• NH is one of only three states that require statewide testing for both safety and emissions annually.
• This bill would save our citizens $11 million per year in inspection fees while being revenue neutral to the state. This is a free market, pro-jobs bill.
• Emissions testing would not still be required annually, as some have said.
• 30 [today 34] states do not require safety inspections at all, up from 19 in 1976. These include snow states such as CT, MI, CO, NJ, WI, MN, etc.
• Five additional states almost never require inspections (MD, NV, DE, etc).
• Of the remaining 15 states, three require biennial inspections (RI, MO), 12 including NH require annual inspections.
• Of five studies done on this topic in the last 20 years, four show that inspections do not reduce accidents. Cars are better-made and safer than ever, which is why the federal government repealed its mandate.
• Of the 11 states that repealed their inspection mandate, not one has ever re-enacted it.
I will add that:
  • Nothing in this bill prevents "courtesy inspections". Go right ahead. Offer them. Nor does anything prohibit a shop from informing a customer in for emissions that there's a recall on his vehicle, no visual inspection necessary. And to the representative whose husband wouldn't have gotten his car looked at without a government gun to his head, well, that's between the 2 of you. Red herrings. Therefore...
  • Competitive advantage. Any dealership willing to sell an objectively unsafe vehicle will 1) become known as such fairly rapidly, losing market share, and will thus not be competitive in the market, and 2) be facing consumer product liability lawsuits in short order.
  • Conversely, any dealer can offer a "25 point, certified pre-owned safety inspection". They do it now. Hell, they do it here, if we're to believe their testimony. And not because they're ordered to, not because their government wants it, but because they believe their potential customers want it, thereby providing them with -- here's that concept again -- a competitive advantage over their competitors.
  • All the arguments for mandatory inspections advocate for increased frequency, not merely the status quo. There is no objective "goldilocks" interval.
  • No causative statistical relationship has been offered between more inspections and fewer accidents -- although it must be noted that 94% of accidents were due to 'driver behavior, not 'equipment failure', while the 44,000 'equipment failure' accidents mentioned -- 2% of the total -- happened despite mandated inspections. Which demonstrates...
  • It was explained to us why some states repealed their inspections -- and that those aspects don't apply to NH...! -- but we were offered no data on the results of those repeals. I wonder why that might be. Shouldn't it be directly relevant to the argument to repeal is demonstrably bad?
It's stunning -- although entirely predictable, I guess -- how little faith authoritarians have in their childr-- er, I mean their fellow citizens, of course... to match their own conscientiousness and sense of self-preservation. And despite the evidence. Best to exert force. Always.
Goin' down in flames, I expect. Again. Because businesses, run by people, like free shit. And somehow people are always better humans than their neighbors could ever be.

Best to exert force. Always...


Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Primary Results

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2020-02-12 16:41 +0000

Some interesting but predictable results from the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election are in the Union Leader this morning.  Democrat and Republican primary results are on this morning's front page.  The numbers I have here were last updated at 7:21 this morning.

On the Democrat side the results are as follows:

Candidate Votes Percent Delegates Sanders        73,470         25.9% 9 Buttigieg 69,216 24.4% 9 Klobuchar 55,982 19.8% 6 Warren 26,266 9.3%   Biden 23,813 8.4%   Steyer 10,138 3.6%   Gabbard 9,255 3.3%   Yang 8,023 2.8%   Others 7,277 2.6%  

On the Repubican side the results are as follows:

Candidate Votes Percent Delegates Trump       120,147         85.7% 20 Weld 12,747 9.1%   Write-ins 3,511 2.5%   Maxwell 864 <1%   Walsh 844 <1%   Merrill 485 <1%   Murphy 393 <1%   Matern 258 <1%   Others 886 <1%  

 

Voter registration and primary voting breakdown were as follows:

Party     Registered     Voted Participation
Democrat     276,385*     283,440 102.55% Republican     288,464*     140,135 48.58% Undeclared     415,871*        

* Party affiliation numbers are as of February 4, 2020.

Notice that more voters voted in the Democrat primary than there are registered Democrats in the state.  That is because undeclared voters may vote in the New Hampshire party primaries by asking for either the Democrat or Republican ballot to take with them into the voting booth.  However, undeclared primary voters must fill out a card or sign a list before leaving the polling place requesting return to undeclared status.  Otherwise they are automatically registered with the party of the ballot they've chosen to submit. 

So what do the numbers mean?  At the moment there is no way to tell how many undeclared voters participated in the election, only that thousands did.  Nor can we tell how many asked for Democrat ballots and how many asked for Republican ballots.  It's a safe bet to say that the majority of undeclared voters voted for a candidate on the Democrat ballot.  It's also a safe bet to say that participation rates among registered Democrats was high.  The turnout rate for the Democrat primary election was 102.55%  That means there was a substantial number of undeclared voters participating.

Trump winning the Republican primary was a foregone conclusion.  In fact, Republican that I am, I didn't decide to vote at all until the morning of the election.  Hell, I wasn't sure there was even going to be a Republican primary, but when I found out there would be, I went out to vote.  Turnout rate for the Republican primary was 48.21%.  If any undeclared voters turned out, I can't imagine there were a lot.

That might lead you to think that voter enthusiasm is much higher among Democrats than Republicans, but remember that votes in the Democrat primary have an impact on who gets New Hampshire's delegates.  On the Republican side Trump is a lock for the presidential nomination, so there was less urgency to voting in the Republican primary.  That means different rates of voter turnout do not necessarily reflect different levels of voter enthusiasm.

Consider these numbers tweeted by Brad Parscale, digital media director for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. They show the political makeup of the ticket holders for Trump's rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on the night before the primary vote.

     Big Data from New Hampshire:

Several things strike me about Parscale's numbers.  The capacity of the SNHU Arena is just under 12,000, so the number of tickets given out is much higher than the number who got into the arena.  Trump estimated the crowd both inside and out at 40,000 to 50,000 people.  I haven't found any other estimates that would indicate the size of the crowd outside, but people began lining up the day before to get inside. Camping out in the cold overnight signals a high level of Trump voter enthusiasm.

Of the voters who identified themselves as registered voters, only 41% said they were from New Hampshire.  Others are reported to have traveled from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to attend, and some maybe even farther.  Approximately 4,200 of the registered voters said they did not vote in the 2016 election.  Parscale does not say how many were new voters and how many were registered in 2016 but did not vote. 

It's astonishing that a quarter of the tickets went to people who said they were Democrats,  But it does not strike me as farfetched.  After all, Trump flipped Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania from solidly blue when he won the presidency in 2016.  Such a large of a percentage of ticket holders is evidence of a high level of Trump enthusiasm among a particular group of Democrats, but it's hard to say how large that group is compared to the universe of Democrats.

Going only by those numbers — from the Trump rally and the New Hampshire primary — 2020 seems to be stacking up in Trump's favor.  And now the Trump campaign can begin. 

Scandals contrived by Democrats to sink Trump failed.  There is evidence that Democrat skullduggery and possible criminality went on in the construction of those scandals.  We already know from the DOJ Inspector General's report that evidence was falsified in order to get the FISA warrants that the Obama administration used for spying on the Trump campaign.  That falsification could mean that the entire basis for the Mueller investigation was illegally obtained, and if that's true, all of the charges coming out of that investigation could get tossed.  And that could be just the tip of the iceberg.

We will find out — probably in bit by bit fashion — between now and November.  He is the showman, that Trump.  So don't be surprised if it all culminates in a Republican landslide in November.

Categories: Blogs, United States

A Civil Society Doesn't Punish the Innocent

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2020-02-05 23:37 +0000
Simple enough, right? And we're all presumed innocent until the State can prove its case in a court of law. Right?

And NH shouldn't be assisting the feds to violate that basic principle, either. Right?

The NH House Judiciary Committee hears HB1192, "relative to forfeiture of seized personal property", 2/5/2020. As so often is the case these days, we've been even here before.

A Nashua cop, for one, disagrees, and warns of the "charity" work that he and his gang will be precluded from doing if their legalized theft is curtailed. He needs that money, y'see, to prosecute the unauthorized, failed and horrifically expensive (in blood, treasure and liberty) "War on People Who Use (Some) Drugs"™. It's his. Found it fair and square. Why are we bothering him with this "due process" bullshit, for suggesting that maybe he shouldn't be law enforcement, prosecution, judge, jury and executioner all in one -- and all for a healthy haul? Besides, they do so much good with some of it, donating to charity and whatnot, maybe getting his picture in the paper. It's a long-standing tradition, with a storied history, after all: steal from everybody, then make a relatively small show of your false "generosity" with other people's money. Capone, for example...

Fortunately, the final 2 speakers, from Americans For Prosperity and the NH ACLU (guess what the cop's reaction was -- g'head, guess -- that's right! exasperated eye-rolls! you know him so well...), relieved me of the growing desperate need to fill out a pink card to testify...




Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

"Compliance Is An Issue"

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2020-02-05 22:52 +0000
I would most certainly agree, Rep Cleaver: coerced compliance of peaceful individuals in an ostensibly free society is, indeed, an issue. And as the HHS and State Police bureaucrats state clearly, this is an incremental step. Told ya so. The unbelted aren't "offenders" now, Captain, but that's what you're advocating: more criminals. Fiat criminals. For having harmed no one. Why am I not surprised in the least...

HB1622, "relative to the use of passenger restraints in motor vehicles", before the NH House Transportation Committee, 2/5/2020.

Yesterday, up against HB1621, the 'helmet' bill (so I couldn't even get over there to sign in against it), Senate Transportation heard their 'mandatory seatbelts' version, SB609 (and there was also a third that was mercifully withdrawn; there is clearly absolutely no shortage, sadly, of unbidden arrogant nannies in NH's legislature this year.).

We've been here before, too, of course, but much more recently. And before that, there was the Year of the Bribes in 2009 -- that's the "grant" repeatedly discussed, which wasn't sufficient to sell out our autonomy back then.

I had provided both Transportation Committees with a transcript of the testimony that I delivered most recently on 2018's HB1259. Honestly, I didn't even need to testify, because all the arguments are addressed in the transcript -- as I assured the Committee Chair before the hearing that they would be. I include that here, below the hearing video.

Press
  • Democrats Still Want Mandatory Seat Belt Laws for Adults in New Hampshire - Granite Grok



2/6/2018
My name is Bill Alleman, and I’m here today because my autonomy is yet again under siege. Certainly this applies to so many relentless attempts to impose overreaching legislation on ostensibly free individuals, but I'm just applying it to this one today. I encourage the further extrapolation to others as an exercise for the Committee. I’m here to speak for vanishing first principles.

Who should have authority to control our lives, the individual or the State? I contend this is hardly a trivial matter in a country founded on fragile individual liberty. Yet history and ever-expanding law books clearly show us that every successive generation is habituated to incrementally less freedom. Surely even this bill's supporters would concede that this won't be the end of their social engineering. There will always be "just one more" incursion on the fundamental concepts of individual liberty and personal responsibility -- for our own good, of course. What these supporters can't or won't grasp, however, is that "our own good" is also "our own business." It concerns me greatly that far too many -- including legislators, as we’ve already heard -- don’t fully appreciate or respect these concepts today. Nevertheless, the Founders still assure me that I need not worry about having to surrender them for myself. That is a fact. In a Constitutional Republic, rights do trump “the majority.”

As an aside, you’ve heard that seatbelts can actually cause harm. I would submit that if you pass a force-backed mandatory law that you know may cause harm – whatever the percentage – you are responsible for that harm. And to borrow a well-worn concept, one death because of legislation is one too many. “Edge cases” make bad law.

I'm not here to argue against the efficacy of seatbelts, however. That’s an issue for education, not legislation. Not government force. All the personal stories and statistics you’ll hear today are surely heart-rending, and certainly delivering bad news is incredibly hard. But these aspects are completely irrelevant to the fundamental fact that we each have a right to make our own choices -- and yes, even our own mistakes. Even if the statistics "aren't quite what we'd like to see." That's how a free society works.

You’ll hear the argument, basically, "But Dad, all the other states are doing it!" To me, the obvious response is, where in these united States, in this "land of the free," does one go, can one rely on anymore, to escape government meddling? Proudly, it has been NH. But this bill seeks to eliminate the very last refuge on this issue, the last of 50. The final extinction of seatbelt self-government. There will be nowhere left to retreat for those who would dare claim the temerity to make their own decision, whatever that might be.

Is that really necessary? Must the spirit of self determination be eliminated everywhere? Must NH, also, embrace paternalism? Is there absolutely no room for limited government in even the smallest corner of this country anymore? "We are Borg?" And ominously, what similar personal decisions shall we surrender to the State next, for the good of the collective? There are, indeed, virtually infinite ripe candidates, many affecting this Committee’s own private lives I have precious little doubt, and only "live free or die" hypocrisy needed to regulate them all.

I did not elect representatives to sell out my liberty for the return of a few pieces of my own silver. I also did not elect domineering mommies and daddies. The growing micromanagement of my life must stop. Despite what proponents of this bill seem to believe, I am a sapient, legal adult, not a child to be molded by the state -- please tell me right now, here for the record, if you contend otherwise. I do not consent. I reject government's authority to presume to protect me from myself. I require that my government respect my decisions, and instead protect me from those who would, through the force of intrusive government, impose upon me their will, their view of how I should live my life, what risks I should be "allowed" to take. No! It is my choice, not my neighbors'. And significantly, it is my neighbor’s choice, not mine.

In closing, government can’t make life “safe,” and laws do not stop crime. They merely define it. And this bill would thus "merely" define a whole new class of nonviolent "criminals," worthy of state aggression, who never asked for the state’s "help" in the first place. Please stop government's unauthorized and unwelcomed behavior modification experiments. Please defend vanishing first principles. Kindly retain our NH culture of individual liberty and personal responsibility, and reject the insidious, insatiable, and un-American nanny state, and only its latest onslaught in the form of HB1259. Thank you.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

NH Bikers Prove Still Formidable

Adventures in the Free State - Wed, 2020-02-05 02:53 +0000
Well, at least we now have an idea of what it takes to turn profligate spendthrifts into self-professed -- yet highly selective -- fiscal frugalistas. And this from a constituent of Rep Mangipudi: "I support this law because ... riding is the ultimate freedom." Hey, who says nanny-staters have no sense of irony?

HB1621, "relative to the use of protective head gear while operating motorcycles and motorized bicycles", 2/4/2020, before the NH House Transportation Committee.

We've been here before, of course, but not for a while -- ten years ago, in fact. The odds haven't changed much, it seems: still the State against the majority. Who will win? Call your reps and place your bets.

Final "Blue Sheet" (i.e., attendees not speaking, but with an opinion nevertheless) tally: 4 in favor, 259 opposed. I'll leave it to you to count the speakers...

And don't fall for the sponsor's cynically-offered "divide and conquer" amendment, appeasing bicyclists.

Press
  • Bill Would Require Helmets For Motorcycles & 'Electric Bikes'
  • Tuesday At The State House


Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

The Impulsive Trump

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2020-02-01 13:41 +0000

The Mainstream Media (MSM) reaction to the killing of Qasem Soleimani has been, if nothing else, predictable.  Trump ordered the hit on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General when it was known he would be traveling with his entourage along the Baghdad airport access road in Iraq.  It was a decisive and devastating strike, eliminating Soleimani, four of his fellow Quds Force commanders and the head of an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia.  It occurred in Iraq, a designated war zone, after Iran-backed militias rocketed several coalition bases killing an American contractor, and after an attack on the U.S. Embassy. 

According to the MSM version of events, Trump acted impulsively, oblivious to the unpredictable and disastrous consequences that were sure to follow.  Here are a few samples:

New York Times, January 8, 2020: The Trump We Did Not Want to See

The reality of Donald Trump — an amoral narcissist with no capacity for reflection or personal growth — is evident from his decades in public life. But rather than face this, too many people have rejected the facts in front of them, choosing an illusion instead of the disturbing truth.

The past week has been a prime example of this phenomenon. On Thursday night, the United States killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran leader of the Islamic Republic’s Quds Force and one of the most powerful military leaders in the region.

Washington Post, January 9, 2020: Trump does not have a foreign policy. He has a series of impulses.

The problem with Trump’s foreign policy is not any specific action. The killing of Soleimani could be justified as a way to respond to Iranian provocations, but this move, like so much of Trump’s foreign policy, was impulsive, reckless, unplanned and inconsistent — and as usual, the chief impact is chaos and confusion.

Salon, January 9, 2020: Press Watch: Here's the crucial context every article on Trump and Iran should include

The decision to kill Soleimani was impulsive, inflammatory and highly unusual. Journalists must say that clearly....

There’s no evidence of a normal deliberative process.

  • Trump does not pay attention to details.
  • He does not display any appreciation for strategic planning
  • The support system of knowledgeable, experienced people to which a president would normally turn for advice in such a circumstance does not exist.
  • There is no evidence that any normal procedures were followed in this process.

Once again the media move in lockstep, ignoring that which contradicts the preconceived narrative.  But there are several things immediately evident from this strike.

First, there was good intelligence on the plans and whereabouts of Soleimani.  We knew where he was going to be and when he would be there.  Because Soleimani was taken out in the early hours of the morning, there was no collateral damage.  Recent Twitter reports say that a number of IRGC commanders have been arrested, suggesting that Iran has taken steps to find and plug an intelligence leak.

Second, the hit on Soleimani puts an exclamation point on the departure from a well worn approach to American foreign policy in the Middle East.  Over the past four decades American Middle East policy has been based on two delusions that Trump has rejected.  Caroline Glick describes them in her recent article, Donald Trump and the mythmakers.  First is the myth that allowed American presidents to evade any obligation to hold Iran accountable for the crimes of its proxies.

[W]hen Iranian "students" seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they placed the Carter administration in a dilemma: If President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the "students" weren’t students, but soldiers of Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, the US would be compelled to fight back. And Carter and his advisers didn't want to do that.

So rather than admit the truth, Carter accepted the absurd fiction spun by the regime that Khomeini was an innocent bystander who, try as he might, couldn't get a bunch of "students" in central Tehran to free the hostages.

For forty years Iran has been attacking America through proxies, and for forty years every president since Carter has gone along with the fiction that it's beyond Iran's control, and so the Iranian regime has never been held responsible.  Which brings us to the second myth, which is the one that enables the first:

The second false narrative that has formed the basis of US Middle East policy since Carter is that Israel and the so-called "occupation" are responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East.

As long as American presidents could plausibly blame West Bank "occupation" by Israel for any of the Middle East unrest, they could ignore Iran's hand in the havoc wrought by their terrorist proxies and thus avoid uncomfortable confrontations.  Forty years of bombings and rocket attacks were only what Israel brought upon itself — or so we were all supposed to pretend.

Trump first signaled his rejection of this traditional blame-Israel posture by recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and then moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.  More recently Trump has discontinued a policy that originated in the Carter administration, the one that considered Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal under international law.

When Trump dropped the hammer on Soleimani, he left no doubt about where he believes Middle East unrest originates.  Trump's new policy makes crystal clear that it's the Islamic leaders in Iran who should be seriously concerned about what America might do, instead of the other way around.  Iran will be held accountable.

This represents a paradigm shift that MSM have yet to internalize.  Instead the media have chosen to indulge themselves in yet another round of projection.  It's the media, not Trump, who are unable to pay attention to details.  It's the media, not Trump, who are unable to appreciate strategic planning, particularly the strategic planning that has brought us to this moment.  America is in a much stronger position, economically and militarily, than it was when Trump took office.  Gone unnoticed is that President Trump has put himself into position where he can do what six presidents before him were unable or unwilling to do — confront Iran and its proxies.

Strange as this may sound, tax policy was the instrumental first step.  Cutting marginal income tax rates, a move that unquestionably encourages investment, provided a boost to the U.S. economy.  A more powerful boost, though only a one-timer, was in the tax treatment of corporate overseas income and the subsequent repatriation of huge sums of money back into the American economy.  However, the tax cuts that put us into uncharted territory were the dramatic reductions corporate tax rates, which instantly made U.S. corporations more competitive in the global economy.  The aim and the result of all of those cuts was a hiring binge.

Trump made it easier still for companies to hire workers by requiring that the federal agencies cut regulations.  Trump demanded that for each new federal regulation proposed, two existing regulations had to be rescinded.  In the deregulation frenzy that followed eight federal regulations have been cut for each new regulation proposed.

To the astonishment of establishment economy pundits, unemployment dropped to historic lows across all demographics.  The American economy picked up steam just as it was expected to go into recession.  Consumers were driving it as more Americans had jobs and money in their pockets.  The strong consumer driven economy made the next step possible, that of renegotiating trade deals.

Trump's tariffs became the argument that convinced America's trading partners that Trump was serious about renegotiating new deals.  Oh, the hand wringing.  According to media consensus, Trump's trade war — the result of Trump's tariffs — would be the cause of a worldwide depression.  Again, to the great surprise of mainstream pundits, the consumer driven economy easily withstood the effects of the tariffs. Trump's boast, that America could win any trade war, was borne out.  The USMCA, NAFTA's replacement, awaits Senate approval.  Phase One of a China trade deal is about to be signed.  Investor confidence as measured by the major stock market indices is at an all-time high.

The tariffs came with an unforeseen versatility.  With the border wall still uncompleted and liberal judges blocking almost every Trump effort to stem the tide of illegal immigration, the Mexican Army has stepped up to intercept the waves of bogus asylum seekers before they reach the U.S. southern border.  The threat of tariffs on Mexican goods helped to provide Mexico with the necessary incentives.  The flow of cheap illegal labor has been stemmed to a degree.  American workers get those jobs, giving further boost to our booming economy.

In the meantime, Trump has been beefing up our military, increasing defense spending. 

Finally, rescinding Obama administration energy regulations has helped to boost the already in progress fracking boom.  America is energy independent. In fact, America is the world's largest exporter of natural gas.  We don't need Middle Eastern oil.  

When General Qasem Soleimani turned up in paradise looking for his 72 virgins, back here on earth there was no spike in oil prices.  The stock market didn't hiccup.  Nothing.  Iran fired a few missiles into Iraq and issued an announcement that said to the effect, please don't respond.  Since no one was killed or injured, Trump had no need to.

MSM has ignored all of what went on for the last three years, pretending that none of it ever happened.  Impulsive Trump has no clue.  When there is no escaping from the facts — that all those things did happen — the media explain that it all came about by chance.  A series of fortunate accidents which have no bearing on foreign policy anyway.  The media's job, as they see it, is not to report the facts, but to persuade.  Facts are of secondary importance to the "truths" that have already been decided upon for the edification of the news consuming public.  For the past three years the media have seen it as their duty to select (or create) the facts that will persuade us all to believe that Trump must go.  Trump is inattentive, impulsive, unwilling to listen to the experts, and ignorant of basic foreign policy principles.  The list could go on, but in short, Trump is a threat to democracy, a threat to America, and a threat to world peace.

We are in an information war.  The media wage it by hiding, shading, and misrepresenting news that doesn't fit their preferred narrative.  It's obvious.  People can see it.  As a result, only 13% of Americans say they have "a great deal" of trust in the media.  Trump understands this and plays to media prejudices.  They want impulsive?  Trump gives them impulsive. He is our star player in the information war. He has been masterful in his use of Twitter, with an uncanny ability to goad the Mainstream Media to oppose Trump at every turn, and in the process to contradict themselves, to reveal their true colors, to defend the indefensible. That impulsive Trump.  And so the media report.  And as Americans' trust in the media slips a little further, America grows a little stronger.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Stated Simply: NPV Makes GOTV Efforts Pointless

Adventures in the Free State - Tue, 2020-01-28 18:03 +0000
Paying attention yet, collectivists? Your "Get Out the Vote" campaigns in NH will be so much utterly wasted effort. Because their vote will be ignored. They could have just stayed home and saved the trouble.

"One man, one vote" (or not so much)? Not so fast. "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" would "allow" you your vote, by fiat, only as long as you agreed with the majority. Have a different opinion, though, and, well, you still vote with the majority. NH's electoral votes will not be her own to delegate. And thus NH voters' votes will not belong to them, either. Your vote will be recorded as whatever CA and NY want. If you like their choice, fine for you. But choose another path, and the record of your preference disappears. Poof! Disenfranchised. Like you never voted at all. All your vote are belong to us. Yours has been assimilated. NH, your vote is simply not recognized anymore. Absolutely no reason to bother spending the time casting one. How's that for "spirit of the Constitution"?

If any of the voters in the states falling for NPV want to know what "yeah, your vote doesn't count" really means, just wait until the NPV -- and thus their own ostensible electors (who haven't gone anywhere, jbtw) -- goes against what they thought they and their state voted for. Yes, that will happen, citizen. "Wait, what?!? That's not fair...!!!" Oh, the outrage and gnashing of teeth that will follow that entirely predictable revelation. But, hey, you told your state to ignore your vote, in favor of what other states wanted...

HB1531, "relative to the release of voting information in a presidential election", before the NH House Election Law Committee, 1/28/2020, seeks to make an effective objection to this "hive mind" movement, by jamming a monkey wrench into the gears that grind so fine.

And another consideration. Dispense with the Electoral College (by ratifying a Constitutional amendment, obviously, right? -- because we don't modify the Constitution by popular vote in this country), and what do you think presidential campaigning would look like then?

First, every stop will look like a "yuge" Trump rally, for one thing, because there's no need (nor ability, functionally, given the following) to go out on the street to face actual voters. Or a highly controlled appearance in a tv studio, because even if you're a decent candidate, that's just what you need to do out in the vast west, and in the high-delegate-count states, in order to reach the whole state.

By contrast, tiny (and politically hyper-active) NH (arguably too-) easily does "retail politics", even for national campaigns. Reporter: "What do you think of the candidate, ma'am?" Voter: "I'm not sure yet: I've only met him 3 or 4 times." Yes. Pols stop at diners and such, hold livingroom "town halls", and go door-to-door. They talk one-on-one with actual (and notably, 'uncommitted', even hostile) voters -- who can often respond with "who the hell are you, and why should I vote for you?" People pose to them real policy questions that they can't avoid. And it's all captured on video, so you, Ms WA voter and Mr. NM citizen, get to learn from it, too. And NH being especially small, everyone in the state can get themselves to any appearance, to inject a frustratingly unscripted moment (like, say, this). We revel in it, actually.

Can, e.g., Californians say the same? Can Californians do the same, just given the geographic expanse of the state? Hell, you could come to NH and join right in -- which is probably at least close to as practical as getting yourself to L.A. or S.F. -- and watching on the big-screen...

But do you think they'd bother to stop at diners in Fresno anyway? No. Major staged rallies before network cameras, in big cities in the half-dozen most delegate-rich states is the only opportunity you'll then have to vet them. Which is, needless to say, no opportunity to vet them at all.

Whether you consider these proportions valid now or not, what do you think this map will look like when -- because there's no longer any reason to talk with you -- CA(55), TX(38), FL(29), NY(29), IL(20), PA(20), OH(18), GA(16) and MI(16) (that's a total only 29 shy of EC victory) are the only states any candidate feels any need to visit -- and then simply broadcast to, in advance of their respective primaries?

Thus, there are really 2 aspects at risk with the National Popular Vote. The first is that your vote is made irrelevant. But the second is more selfless. So you're welcome. For the effect of the Framers' prescient gift, the Electoral College. And for the gratis "due diligence" earnestly exerted by FITN NH -- which, until repeal of the EC leaves them no reason to stop here at all, benefits you at least as much as it benefits us.

Quit your whining, and take advantage of your resources. Or...

We could reclaim all the arrogated power that government has stolen (contrary to not only the "spirit" but to the letter of the Constitution), return it to where it belongs, the individual -- the smallest and most vulnerable minority, right there -- and no one will need to care about any of it anymore. Get on with running your own life. Go in peace...

Press
  • National Popular Vote Is Not Electoral Reform - Foundation for Economic Education
  • National Popular Vote | Citizen Voices® Report | Citizens Count
  • The Sneaky Plan to Subvert the Electoral College for the Next Election - YouTube
  • Did The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Just Save the Electoral College From Meddling Democrats? - Granite Grok
  • National Popular Vote Gets Polite Death in NH - Granite Grok
  • The Electoral College Defense Act - Rep. Andrew Prout - Granite Grok
  • New Hampshire Is Fighting Back to Defend the Electoral College
  • New Hampshire Bill to Withhold Presidential Election Results Until After the Electoral College Meets | Ballot Access News



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