Friday, August 18, 2017

The Daily Signal: Far-Left ‘Antifa’ Agitators on the Rise in the Age of Trump

 I found this interesting article by Ken McIntyre and Kevin Mooney on The Daily Signal regarding antifa that seemed particularly relevant in light of our current discussions on this blog.  It definitely lends credence to the "many sides" comment of President Trump.  Enjoy.

When self-described anti-fascists showed up in force Saturday to oppose a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, some of them turned violent, according to media reports and eyewitness accounts.
President Donald Trump did not specify radicals who operate under the banner of Antifa, an abbreviation for anti-fascist or anti-fascist action, when he said Tuesday that “both sides” bore responsibility for the violence and bloodshed that left three dead and dozens injured.
It is hard to know at this juncture how many of the hundreds of counterprotesters considered themselves affiliated with Antifa. Nor is it clear how many of them were among those who squared off against the white supremacists marching in downtown Charlottesville, trading punches and blows, some with lengths of wood.
The full facts await the findings of a Justice Department investigation of the Charlottesville violence announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Antifa is a coalition of hyperviolent activists who are far-left anarchists or communists,” said Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the Washington-based Capital Research Center. “They could be considered domestic terrorists. They are not legitimate actors in the democratic process.”

Read more here. 



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The 3-Step Argument the Left Makes to Justify Violence Against Conservative Speakers

I ran across this article today which further clarifies a point I have been making for awhile now.  Let me state at the outset that most folks on the Left are good and decent folks and do not support nor advocate these type of tactics; however, there is a significant and growing number of other folks on the Left that think the ends justifies the means.  These are the folks that we should all unite against together to publicly denounce and marginalize them, just as we should do for the KKK, Neo-Nazi's and other hate groups from the Right.

We, as Americans, enjoy the constitutionally-enshrined right to free speech, even when that speech is deemed offensive by others.  Indeed, non-offensive speech with which everyone agreed would not ever need to be protected by a constitutional amendment.  That is not to say that we should accept or not challenge repugnant free speech.  We absolutely should and indeed have a moral duty to do so. That said, when we have become so tender as to not even want to hear opposing view points, are we not thereby weakening ourselves and our own convictions?

Enjoy!


The 3-Step Argument the Left Makes to Justify Violence Against Conservative Speakers

By Ben Shapiro

Free speech is under assault because of a three-step argument made by the advocates and justifiers of violence.
The first step is they say that the validity or invalidity of an argument can be judged solely by the ethnic, sexual, racial, or cultural identity of the person making the argument.
The second step is that they claim those who say otherwise are engaging in what they call “verbal violence,” and the final step is they conclude that physical violence is sometimes justified in order to stop such verbal violence.
So let’s examine each of these three steps in turn. First, the philosophy of intersectionality. This philosophy now dominates college campuses as well as a large segment, unfortunately, of today’s Democratic Party and suggests that straight, white Americans are inherently the beneficiaries of white privilege and therefore cannot speak on certain policies, since they have not experienced what it’s like to be black or Hispanic or gay or transgender or a woman.
This philosophy ranks the value of a view, not based on the logic or merit of the view, but on the level of victimization in American society experienced by the person espousing the view. Therefore, if you’re an LGBT black woman, your view of American society is automatically more valuable than that of a straight, white male.
 Read more...


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fascist Roots of the American Left

By Dinesh D'Souza

In 1925 the Jewish philosopher Theodor Lessing spoke out against the repressive political climate of Weimar Germany.

Although Lessing’s explicit target was the cravenness of the Weimar regime of Paul von Hindenburg, his real target was the emerging power of Nazism, and he blamed the government for yielding to it.

The Nazis recognized immediately the threat posed by Lessing. Adolf Hitler youth at Lessing’s University of Hanover formed a “committee against Lessing.” They encouraged students to boycott his lectures.

Nazi youth then showed up and disrupted Lessing’s classes. Lessing was forced to give up his academic chair the following year.

In his account of what happened, Lessing later wrote that he could do nothing to prevent being “shouted down, threatened and denigrated” by student activists.

He was helpless, he said, “against the murderous bellowing of youngsters who accept no individual responsibilities but pose as spokesman for a group or an impersonal ideal, always talking in the royal ‘we’ while hurling personal insults … and claiming that everything is happening in the name of what’s true, good and beautiful.”

This was fascism, German style, in the 1920s.

Read more...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Drinking Beer and Tax Reform

President Trump and congress have stated that one of the next major issues on their agenda, which they will begin working on in 2017, will be tax reform. 

Now I don't necessarily believe they will be any more successful with this exceptionally difficult endeavor than they were with repealing and replacing Obamacare.  After all, the GOP senators had already voted to repeal the inaccurately named Affordable Care Act multiple times when it didn't matter and had no chance of actually being repealed when President Obama was in office.  Of course they refused to cast that same vote when President Trump would have signed the bill.  Why would we believe that these integrity-challenged charlatans would be willing to expend political capital to fix our broken tax code next?

Regardless, we can hope that these cowardly and incompetent people that populate our House of Representatives and Senate might overachieve just once in their careers and actually be able to enact meaningful tax reform.

Of course any tax reform that doesn't raise taxes on the "evil rich" will immediately be vehemently decried by some of our fellow Americans as being grossly unfair and exploitive of the poorest amongst us.  It is nonsense, as the poor do not pay federal income taxes currently and surely won't in the future, but mark my words that the cacophony of demonization will happen as surely as President Trump will continue his incessant "tweeting". 

With all of this being said, a friend of mine recently forwarded this simplified explanation of how our progressive tax system functions, and the likely results of that reform being excoriated by the ignorant and ideologically partisan pundits and politicians when and if actual tax reform does come to fruition.  Enjoy!

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.  If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
 So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.
“Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20".  Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected.  They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men?
How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?  They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted that from every body's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink their beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.
So the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (29% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (17% saving).
Each of the six was better off than before and the first four continued to drink for free.
But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man.  He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man.  "I only saved a dollar too.  It's unfair that he received ten times more benefit than me!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man.  "Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2?  The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important…they didn't have enough money among all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists, politicians, and pundits is how our tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction.  Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.
In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

U.S. History Quiz

This history quiz link was forwarded to me by a person who thought that this was rather difficult and a good indicator of one's knowledge of U.S. history.  The test contains 102 questions and was rather rudimentary, in my opinion.  There was only one question that I had to take an educated guess on.  A vast majority of these questions should be, and indeed used to be, common knowledge for anyone that had successfully passed 8th grade U.S. history class.  One wonders if that is even objectively taught any more today.  Indeed, even this test had some editorializing towards a PC - progressive bias with a few of the questions.  Anyway, see how well you can do on this basic U.S. history knowledge quiz.