Friday, December 8, 2017

How to Rebuild a First World Economy

We've indulged in this fiction that we can build a vibrant economy by deregulating the financial sector, and cutting taxes, and putting off investments in things like infrastructure and education and our kids. But we can't anymore. And now we have to ask the question about what really went wrong.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), from Rana Foroohar's “Makers and Takers” (2016)

To solve this pressing and systemic problem, the last place to look for insight is to any big government progressive like Elizabeth Warren. Likewise, to her fellow travelers of Congress's spendthrift establishment (of both parties). In truth, the insulated beltway bubble has no clue regarding what fundamentally remains wrong with America's economy.  Ms. Warren's so-called solution, “investments in things,” is code for increased federal deficit spending. Yet, the government is flat broke: thanks, in large measure, to the already-tried-and-failed policies of Barack Obama, and Ms. Warren's fellow Democrats. In fact, over President Obama's two terms the average annual GDP growth was a measly 1.48%. Another disgrace was his virtual doubling of the nation's debt by a whopping $9.3 trillion. Funding wasteful schemes like his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (more commonly known as the Economic Stimulus Act) injected $787 billion into the marketplace, but to no avail. The economic malaise persisted because ill-equipped people—making wrongheaded decisions—were in charge. Simply put, Obamanomics conclusively demonstrated that Washington cannot tax, borrow or spend the nation into prosperity.

Politically, what's the definition of insanity? Electing the same types of people doing the same things, but expecting a different outcome.  (Thus, perhaps the main reason Donald Trump was elected president, in 2016, is neatly explained.)  More to the point, on an economic level, what's the definition of insanity—other than doubling-down on what has been done previously? Thanks to President Trump, and the promise of Republican tax cuts, the tide—superficially—has started to turn. However, a record-setting Wall Street is not the same thing as a booming Main Street. After all, Wall Street is based upon the return on investment by stockholders. That's rather far removed from real-life factors like creating homegrown American businesses, generating highly skilled domestic jobs or providing Americans opportunities to advance up the socioeconomic ladder. So, the true test of a strong economy is an expanding, upwardly mobile middle class. Yet, this all-important demographic has been declining for more than 40 years:

“After more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number [read: statistically equivalent to] by those in the economic tiers above and below it. In early 2015, 120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined, a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.”

For context, in 1971, 61% were in the middle class compared to only 50% in 2015. This disturbing trend depicts the downward spiral rotting the fundamentals of our economy from the inside out. What is it that we did better in those prior years that we're not doing now? Back then, did we not produce competitive products—products that truly satisfied one or more customer's needs better than what was produced by international competitors? In other words, did American made products and services not dominate global markets—and did that not naturally result in sustained economic prosperity for the majority of our society?

As our middle class is clearly hollowed out, that's not happening today. Indeed, the anecdotal evidence is literally in everyone's face. Are the devices that populate your daily existence constructed by American hands, or others? (On a related note, how about the manufacturer of your vehicle?) After all, what customers chose with their wallets is meaningful. Thus, one can reasonably infer that a common sense reason exists as to why American businesses are not patronized as they were by past generations. Logically, at its root is the reality that the consumers' needs are no longer being met so they have looked elsewhere. What's also apparent is that, generally speaking, American companies are being outcompeted by their international counterparts for the world's largest market share.

How is that happening?  It's because U.S. businesses rely upon financial shell games designed to generate profits on their balance sheets. This has the superficially positive effect of artificially buoying the stock price (benefiting executives' salaries and stockholders' investments), while inversely gutting the real-world ability of a company to compete in the global marketplace. If that is not the case, why do American corporations widely participate in cost-slashing measures like corporate inversion, using inferior components in U.S. products (read: bailed out GM's Ignition Switch Scandal) and outsourcing jobs?

Contrast that mind-set with fundamentally producing products and services that excel at satisfying one or more customer needs for a true competitive advantage in the worldwide market. Instead, U.S. companies engage in modern-day finance-based parasitic behavior: absorbing weaker firms, often stripping them of their employees and selling off divisions for quick infusions of cash to elevate the “almighty” stock price. In popular culture, this dynamic was immortalized by the contentious exchange between corporate raider Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), and embattled “old-time” business owner Jim Morse (Ralph Bellamy) in “Pretty Woman” (1990):

Morse: “Mr. Lewis, if you were to get control—and I don't think you will—but if you did, what do you plan to do with the company?”
Lewis: “Break it up and sell off the pieces.”
Morse: “I'm sure you'll understand I'm not thrilled at the idea of your turning years of my work into your garage sale.”
Lewis: “At the price I'm paying for this stock, Mr. Morse, you are going to be a very rich man.”
Morse: “I'm rich enough. I just want to head my shipyard.”

Morse represents the only viable direction by which America can rightfully regain her former glory as an economic superpower—exploiting technology more effectively than the competition for products and services that have a true competitive advantage in the marketplace—technology-based planning. By contrast, Lewis is just manipulating the finances to produce a profit. He doesn't create anything of value to society; he exploits capitalism simply to further enrich his moneyed class.

As an analogy, following “Lewis's lead” is where so many U.S. corporations have gone wrong. In truth, such “monkey business” only produces an artificial competitive edge, and being artificial it is not sustainable.  Eventually the company—as the country—runs out finances to manipulate and everything comes crashing down.  A true competitive advantage in the worldwide market—as demonstrated by countries like China—is a result of exploiting the technology more effectively the competition. This is mandatory for businesses to thrive in the 21st century—and beyond!

How does one achieve this illusive key to lasting success? For that answer, one must look to Ronald Reagan's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, circa 1985. Remarkably, this forward-thinking president was troubled by the overt financialization of the U.S. economy, and specifically, its adverse impact on American competitiveness. In response, Reagan launched a then classified initiative known as the Socrates Project with the mission of transitioning the U.S. back to technology-based planning—and away from the type of financial shenanigans mentioned above.  It was so astonishingly effective that it far surpassed what countries like Russia, Japan and China were executing or could execute in the foreseeable future.

In turn, the Socrates Project developed the Automated Innovation System. Today, it can map global technology—high-tech, low-tech, “no”-tech –in real time. In function, it operates like a digital four-dimensional chessboard showing foreign organizations' and countries' plans for exploiting worldwide technology.  Specifically, it details the full range of present and future technology opportunities, and constraints, that can be exploited by U.S. public and private organizations for the essential competitive advantage to bring true and lasting economic prosperity back to America.  How wonderful would it be for President Reagan’s vision to be finally realized in 2017!  If spearheaded by the Trump administration, private industry and government can adroitly outmaneuver foreign competitors in the exploitation of worldwide technology at will.

Furthermore, the Automated Innovation System dictates how funds, manpower and natural resources etc. must be deployed to generate the all-important competitive advantage.  Specifically, the System shows how money, and the wide range of other resources, should be appropriately allotted, while simultaneously detailing up-to-the-moment strategies that block competitors with equivalent aims. Vitally, it operates in the time frame before a new product or service comes to market—from a few months to several years. That's important because this ability eliminates the sudden emergence of so-called disruptive technology that, at present, consistently catches flatfooted American corporations unaware.

How do we revitalize the American Dream as it was enjoyed by previous generations? For starters, that means running businesses as they were traditionally conceived: to serve society rather than exploit it. Beyond that, U.S corporations’ primary goal should be on dominating the 21st century technological landscape.  That guarantees the long-term profitability they single-mindedly strive for.  In real terms, that’s only achievable by continuously satisfying the evolving domestic and foreign consumers' needs and wants with highly competitive American products and services. (To be frank that means not cutting fiscal corners in order to save pennies.)  Hence, exponential profit becomes a given: a natural result technology-based planning as developed by President Reagan's Socrates Project. No other path will enable us to truly “Make America Great Again.” Unfortunately, the time to make these foundational shifts is perilously short. The country's very survival as a First World power hangs precariously in the balance.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bushes Polarize Like Progressives

Given the unanticipated election of Donald Trump, it's difficult to determine which establishment faction is more perturbed, liberals or old guard Republicans. Despite clear and unambiguous Clintonian corruption, neither “side” seems capable of respecting the democratic process when one of their own is not in the winner's circle. Thus, to them, the people's will—and, by extension, the fate of the nation be damned!

The childish cattiness that has resulted is expected of Democrats. They're myopically focused on reelection, but little else. What political party wouldn't be furious over losing over 1,000 officeholders during the Obama era—including, stingingly, the presidency? Yet, what's unseemly is for GOP stalwarts to publicly chastise their party's current standard bearer. For example, George W. Bush said, “This guy [Trump] doesn't know what it means to be president.” How's that not calling the kettle black? What happened to the generations-long tradition of remaining silent regarding one's presidential successors? Likewise, what of Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment never to speak ill of another Republican? So much for honoring “the rules” of political discourse.

In truth, if Mr. Bush was going to “go there” he's waited eight years too long—and picked the wrong target. Recall, as a go-to excuse for Barack Obama's own multitude of failures, he conveniently “blamed Bush”. Specifically, Mr. Obama called his predecessor's deficit spending “unpatriotic” and “irresponsible”. For that demonization, the younger Bush has reason to be incensed. Not at Trump, but at the Democrat's hypocrisy for running through almost twice as much as he: 4.9 versus 9.3 trillion. If that's not egregious enough, what of Mr. Obama's cash payment of 1.7 billion to the pro-terrorist Iranian regime? Why was “W” as silent as a church mouse when actual presidential mismanagement—and malfeasance—transpired? (Is his anti-Trump fervor sour grapes for thwarting his brother Jeb's presidential prospects?)

As was widely reported, shockingly 41 voted for Hillary Clinton, and 43 voted for “none of the above.” How out of sync can two former Republican presidents be? In a recent speech “W” obtusely said, “At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together.” With their polarizing rhetoric on full display, isn't the Bush clan doing precisely that? Furthermore, doesn't their brand of divisiveness have the same negative impact as that of any progressive?

Naturally, the Bushes are free to squawk, and uselessly wring their hands. So, too, is the rest of the unsettled GOP establishment. However, piling on is a fool's errand that only makes matters worse. After all, thanks to the hard left MSM, untruths and distortions about Trump already run rampant. And unlike either Bush, at least President Trump has the courage to fight back against these false narratives rather than “dignifyingly” taking them. (Defeated Mitt Romney epitomized that failed philosophy.)

That both former presidents surnamed Bush would now speak out against a sitting president shows disdain for established decorum, and the voice of the electorate. With the nation coming apart at the seams during the disastrous Obama years, they collectively made not a peep. Apparently, for these beltway blue bloods, unjustly trashing Trump is a favorite pastime. That the Bushes partake shows their loyalties truly lie with the insulated political class (regardless of party affiliation) rather than with the voters. Moreover, as their sentiments are indistinguishable from that of Democrats, party labels are rendered meaningless. Herein, to any clear-thinking person is proof of the necessity of electing Donald Trump. The political pendulum has indeed swung far away from dynastic families—and, in 2016, an entitled insider. That maddening reality—as much as the brash billionaire himself—is deliciously driving the D.C. ruling elite daffy.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Virtuous Hands with a Gun

What actually stops an evil psychopath is what we saw on Sunday—a good guy with a gun.” – Jordan Stein, spokesman, Gun Owners of America

Would the massacre have happened if the congregation of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas had clung as tightly to guns as their Bibles? On Sunday, in a bizarre echo of Sayfullo Saipov's Halloween rampage in New York, suspect Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, brought death into a house of worship. Like some villain straight out of the slasher flick “Scream,” he was outfitted in black body armor and a skull mask. Within this sacred space, this Grim Reaper killed 26 innocents and wounded 20. Thirty miles east of San Antonio, in the worst mass shooting in Texas history: about 4% of the town's population (reported as 683) were slain.

Since time immemorial, that's what civilized people call acts of evil. Ultimately, Mr. Kelley's true problem was his homicidal impulses—expressed as externalized rage. Therefore, holding responsible the inanimate object, that was his tool of choice, is a simplistic response. So too is blaming the law that criminals habitually disregard as somehow “insufficient”. In that vein is the imperfect background check that inadvertently allowed Mr. Kelley access to the firearm he utilized (read: The Air Force failed to provide the FBI with the shooter's criminal history). And despite this unfortunate bureaucratic blunder, where does individual accountability factor into this latest bloodbath?

In reality, almost anything physically imposing can be used as a weapon. For example, just last week in New York a zealot screaming “Allahu akbar” misappropriated a rental truck killing 8 and injuring 12. Likewise, at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, South Carolina on August 12, a third unhinged miscreant, James Alex Fields Jr., killed local protester Heather Heyer, 32, and injured 19 others with his Dodge Challenger. If guns are truly the systemic “problem” here—as gun control advocates repeatedly parrot—why does Chicago persist as an annual killing field despite the strictest gun laws in the nation? And why aren't these same critics ignoring the unfettered freedom to buy cars, and rent trucks? After all, don't all of the above potentially serve an evildoer's murderous design?

As the 18th century philosophical father of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke famously remarked, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” To that end, a good Samaritan interceded on Sunday in Sutherland Springs. That small town hero gaining national attention is Stephen Willeford, 55. Synchonistically, he's a former National Rifle Association instructor who confronted the attacker, wounding him twice (in his Velcro covered side despite protective plating). As light dispels darkness, Mr. Willeford repealed villainy despite his fear, and the inherent danger. As he told local affiliate 40/29 News in Fort Smith-Fayetteville:

“I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done, and I just wish I could have gotten there faster.”

In this regard, mere mortals beg to differ. This faithful defender got to the scene so quickly he arrived barefoot. Alerted by his daughter of the sounds of a firearm discharging, Mr. Willeford removed his own rifle from its safe, loaded a magazine, and ran across the street to the church. Standing behind a pickup truck for cover, he exchanged gunfire with the escaping interloper. He even shot through the open driver's side window of Mr. Kelley's fleeing Ford Expedition SUV. At a stop sign, Mr. Willeford then flagged down a 27-year-old motorist, Johnnie Langendorff, and a high-speed highway chase ensued. En route the younger man called 911. Eventually, their pickup caught up to the gunman's SUV. Apparently, the assailant started driving erratically. He pulled over to the side, seeming to slow down, then accelerated again until he hit a road sign, lost control and flipped his truck which landed in a ditch. Mr. Langendorff pulled over, and ducked down. Meanwhile, his heroic companion exited the vehicle, planting his rifle on top of the pickup's hood. Keeping a look out, Mr. Willeford yelled for his adversary to get out of his truck, but all remained still. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, they confirmed that Devin Kelley had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Separated by time, specific circumstances and geography is the fact that guns in legal and responsible hands actually preserve life. This is also true of another hero, New York police officer Ryan Nash, who subdued Islamic terrorist Sayfullo Saipov; and Charlottesville police who subsequently apprehended suspect James Fields. Indeed, the loss of life is a terrible tragedy—particularly in situations initiated by the radicalized. For resolution, what demands society's focus is the discounted evildoer himself, not the distraction of his method. Philosophically to blame a criminal's firearm is equivalent to condemning the car or the truck rather than its driver. It's a false premise that misses the crux of the issue. Such intentional naivety actually endangers the public. These days, in diverse gathering places like First Baptist Church or Sandy Hook Elementary School, what's become more unsafe than a gun-free zone?

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

America's “Terrorist” Lottery

On Halloween, Manhattanites were “treated” to actual horror. Only blocks beyond ground zero and the shadow of the World Trade Center, the worst terrorist attack since 9/11 occurred. Weaponizing a Home Depot rental truck, a Muslim immigrant, suspect Sayfullo Saipov, 29, killed eight innocents and badly injured a dozen more. Also at the nexus of the accompanying political firestorm is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He was instrumental in crafting the diversity visa program that enabled Mr. Saipov to arrive stateside legally in 2010. Furthermore, perhaps foreshadowing the future carnage, this native of Uzbekistan's first name has a close association with the meaning: “sword of Allah”.

In retrospect, is it any surprise that a bad U.S. immigration policy was grossly exploited by an adherent to radical Islam? Defining Sen. Schumer's involvement is Neil Munro of Breitbart:

“The diversity visa program was created in 1990 by then-Rep. Schumer in response to Irish lobbies in his New York district. Twenty-seven years later, it annually awards 50,000 visas by annual lottery to entrants from around the world, ensuring a cascade of subsequent chain-migrants.”

Like a philosophy straight out of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” this is a randomly awarded golden ticket to a foreigner regardless of that person's background. It gifts the holder a green card, and permanent residency in the United States. Plus, lucky's nuclear family—and distant relatives can emigrate too! After all, such good fortune should not divide families. (Incidentally, this is the same narrative echoed by illegal migrants with U.S. anchor babies.) Ah, the destructive domino effect of lax previous administrations on full display!

In the 21st century, think of the Immigration Act of 1990—signed into law by George H.W. Bush—as America's version of Russian roulette. For, in practice, that's what this law has metastasized into. To his credit, even Mr. Schumer recognized this truth back in 2013. Then, he among a bipartisan Gang of Eight passed an immigration overhaul that would have ended the Diversity Immigrant Visa. Unfortunately, the move failed to advance in the House. Yet, even if the measure had reached President Obama's desk it seems a reasonable certainty that it would not have been signed. Given all of these facts, one is mystified why President Trump has antagonized Mr. Schumer in this instance. After all, wouldn't this latest attack on NYC further incline the minority leader to align himself with Trump's desire for a merit-based replacement?

At present, that's not a question that can be sufficiently answered. However, what can be addressed is how ill-conceived this random green card lottery system is. Per Pew Center, 19 million applicants from around the world have taken a spin on America's wheel of fortune for fiscal year 2017. (Moreover, in the last decade, an astonishing 156 million have similarly rolled the dice.) What's available yearly is 100,000 chances for the U.S. to extend the welcome mat to perfect strangers with no loyalty to, or cultural appreciation of, American values. Of the 50,000 selected, the vetting process is apparently as vigorous as getting hired to work at McDonald's. To qualify, the individual must have a high school diploma, and two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two additional years of training or experience. Fill out form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; a brief interview; an official rubber stamp—and you're in like Flynn! For all the sense this makes, the government should have nicknamed this highly valuable commodity the slacker's visa. In that regard, the loved ones of the NYC victims undoubtedly have more colorful descriptors for this now detestable policy.

In any case, as the October 31st tragedy has clearly demonstrated, radicalized Islamic proponents are hidden among those admitted into the U.S. Since they are invisible, we must consider past experience as a guide. Therefore, a trend articulated by Alex Nowrasteh, of the Cato Institute, comes to bear. In “Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis,” he wrote:

“Foreign-born terrorists who entered the country, either as immigrants or tourists, were responsible for 88 percent (or 3,024) of the 3,432 murders caused by terrorists on U.S. soil from 1975 through the end of 2015.”

Likewise, one must consider the larger, visible group that contains them. Recall that Muslims comprise 1% of the total U.S. population (per the Pew Center's 2015 figures). Based upon a total population then of 322 million people, that's still 3.2 million people. Also consider that 1 million people have gained residency in the U.S. annually since 1990 via chain migration of extended relatives (see: NumbersUSA.com). So, what's likely to happen to the homeland's Muslim population in the future? This is Pew's prediction:

“Indeed, even before 2040, Muslims are projected to become the second-largest religious group in the U.S., after Christians. By 2050, the American Muslim population is projected to reach 8.1 million people, or 2.1% of the total population.”

Naturally, one does not intend to impugn an entire community for a few bad apples. Yet, a legitimate concern remains: a small number of the radicalized have caused mass-casualty truck attacks in London; Berlin; Barcelona, Spain, and Nice, France. Clearly, a first step is to finally abolish, and replace, the deeply flawed 1990 immigration law forthwith. The unacknowledged monkey wrench in this debacle is the wrongheaded application of “high-admission regions” and “low-admission regions”. If the invited do not provide, for example, a needed skill set what's the point of further diversification of legal migrants? Just for the heck of it? By definition, a large immigration population inherently diversifies an established culture. In fact, by a wide margin, America already accepts more immigrants than any nation on earth. Thus, diversity has already been automatically achieved without all of the unnecessary—and risky—human geo-political gerrymandering!

A vital second step is to linguistically distinguish diversity from multiculturalism. Liberals intentionally use the words interchangeably to muddy their meanings. In truth, they actually represent opposing concepts. Specifically, diversity means the general acceptance of differences—whether they be physical, psychological or behavioral. That's the warm embrace of America's vulcanizing “melting pot”. Hence, the U.S. motto of unity: e pluribus unum, Latin for “out of many, one.” Contrarily, multiculturalism is the rejection of Americanism. Like identity politics, it promotes the idea that assimilation to our constitutional ideals—freedoms enjoyed by all—is somehow repressive. Furthermore, it's the nonsensical idea that society at large should shift itself to pacify even one objector. Witness its (justified) effect on the shadowy and corrupt industry that is Hollywood. A volcanic grievance culture is currently shaking the dream factory's power structures apart. Hasn't America's dysfunctional immigration system, and radical Islamic terrorism done even greater damage? The confluence of both instantly invokes Shirley Jackson's short story “The Lottery.” In it, lots are drawn and the unfortunate winner is stoned to death. Those encountering the “sword of Allah” in NYC on Halloween met an equivalent malevolence.  

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Church to Purge George Washington

Why has the Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia embraced political correctness rather than Christian forgiveness and acceptance? Historically, haven't churches traditionally been sanctuaries from political persecution? Hence, how shameful to attack the memory of an original member—and most famous attendee: the George Washington! Undoubtedly, his family's pew, No. 5, still stands in mute protest of the leadership's plan to remove two memorial plaques framing the altar of his church. Regarding their wrongheaded decision, Scripture says, “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who [metaphorically] kills you will think they are offering a service to God” (John 16:2). Ironically, this organization publicly proclaims: “All are welcome—no exceptions”. Thus, in the name of “inclusiveness,” a Founding Father—and America's first president—will shortly be excluded.

A statement released to the congregation last week from church officials explains this highly controversial decision:

“The plaques [of Washington, and Lee] in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome. Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques.”

As the cherry tree myth tells us that George Washington could not tell a lie, one wonders if this narrative would meet that standard. Apparently, the witch hunt of symbols of the Confederacy has mutated to now generally include long-dead slaveholders. Speaking of truth-telling presidents, Donald Trump predicted this outcome back on August 15, 2017:

“But, many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

That is the essential question. Another is how can a George Washington plaque reasonably give offense? It can't. Unfortunately, zealotry has migrated from tearing down statues in parks to the interior spaces of church walls. For example, liberal “do-gooders” have doggedly pursued Robert E. Lee wherever he's referenced. As a fellow parishioner of Christ Church, Gen. Lee's plaque will also be rooted out in a similar manner as the National Cathedral's stain glass window that featured him. Ah, these poor beleaguered generals! They survived brutal American wars, but are proving no match for the revisionist fervor fouling today's air.

It's unfair to punitively apply 21st century sensibilities to great men from long gone eras. Like the rest of the human race, they're not perfect. They also don't have the benefit of hindsight. Flaws and all, their lives shaped our collective cultural heritage. Thus, their “mistakes” remain valuable because they're instructive. Indeed, the wise study, learn from, and remember history. That's precisely why it should be preserved: warts and all.

How is it not a barbaric act to destroy history, whatever the excuse? As food for thought, across the world there is another, more strident group doing a lot more than simply defacing ancient places of worship for jaded political purposes. With similar self-righteousness, they rationalize dynamiting churches, and wielding sledgehammers against priceless religious iconography. Undoubtedly, the decision-makers at Christ Church, like the rest of us, would see this as wrong. But the difference between the actions of both parties is ultimately only a matter of degree, isn't it?

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kaepernick's Culture Warrior “Curse”

A week shy of the midway point of the football season, the two winless NFL teams are no surprise. They are the Cleveland Browns and Colin Kaepernick's former team, the once storied San Francisco 49ers. As the Browns have never even made it to the big game, this is frankly to be expected. But what of the Bay City's franchise, winners of five Super Bowl championships: the second most in the league? Making matters worse is a now disgruntled NFL fan base—and the domino effect causing professional athletes not to perform at their best.

In the sports movie “A League of Their Own,” Jimmy Dugan (played by two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks) famously exclaimed, “There's no crying in baseball!” As an inverse parallel, neither should there be mute obstructionists in football. Let's be clear on a couple of important details. First, the field is the football player's workspace. In no industry does any employee have the right to engage in political demonstrations—whether they're physically disruptive or not. Thus, the setting for such “social justice” stunts is inappropriate. Moreover, such blatant disrespect of country should not have been condoned by the NFL. Second, while Colin Kaepernick's antics have clearly not endeared him to the NFL, his lack of gridiron success tells the tale according to Doug Farrar of bleacherreport.com:

“He started 11 games last season, completing 196 of his 331 passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, and he added 69 runs for 468 yards and two touchdowns. He did so on a 49ers team that finished the season 2-14 ….”

Given the pitiful result of only two victories, what coach would hire him as a starting quarterback for a different team? Kaepernick's MSM supporters spuriously suggest racial discrimination as an alternative explanation, but that's preposterous: 70 percent of the players in the National Football League are black! In truth, his lack of success and his overvaluation of self are the main reasons he finds himself unemployed. In retrospect, was it wise for Mr. Kaepernick to choose to walk away from his lucrative contract with the 49ers?

Successful football teams—same as flourishing nation-states—are based upon harmony and cohesion. Who wants to take a multi-million dollar chance on a rabble-rouser who has repeatedly demonstrated he can't win football games? Adding to his troubles is his own rampaging political Frankenstein monster. Mr. Kaepernick's very presence now detracts from any team's purpose: to gain fans and win Super Bowls. Such is the self-imposed fate of this lightning rod for un-Americanism.

Another absurdity is that an entitled millionaire 20-something claims to represent the oppressed! Only an egotist—wanting to distract from the reality of his poor track record—would “elevate” himself by initiating a counterculture insurgency. What better way to draw media attention to himself than to flout the enduring tradition of standing during the National Anthem?

Kneeling-as-protest remains a silent criticism of this foundational symbol of American unity. Speaking of social inequality, why should less well-heeled spectators spend their hard earned money watching spoiled athletes grandstand? As the cratering TV ratings indicate, Sundays are days off for former football aficionados to seek out less polarizing forms of entertainment.

For those who remain, booing fans and partially filled stadiums aren't helping team morale across the league. Synchronistically, this dynamic is epitomized by San Francisco's record as tied-for-worst. On a psychological level, is it possible that Kaepernick's former team shares in the stain of his dishonorable behavior? Simply put, have they so internalized his self-defeating victimization narrative—and been distracted by its fallout—that they believe they are losers, and act accordingly?

For context, recall that football games are mock battles. Thus, NFL players experience similar stressors to mind and body as any soldier in a war zone. Ultimately, it matters not that they are world-class athletes if their heads are not collectively in the game. Negative mindsets and debilitating mood swings lead inexorably to risk of injury, lost play opportunities, and subpar game day performance. This remains true whether or not individual players have chosen to protest; clearly whole teams have been adversely affected. So, too, has the ringleader. Ironically, perhaps he most of all. By decisions he clearly regrets today, Colin Kaepernick finds himself outside the NFL. Thus, for all concerned, important life lessons can be gleaned. At their root is that politics in sport is poisonous.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog
http://patriotpost.us/commentators/446
http://www.americanthinker.com/author/david_l_hunter/
http://canadafreepress.com/members/74987/DavidLHunter/976
http://newstex.aci.info/authors/15977720f5100100002

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Alexander-Murray Bill Dooms GOP

Besides the certainty of death and taxes, it seems, Democratic-passed entitlements never really end. For context, the President has rightfully proclaimed Obamacare “a disgrace to our nation.” Furthermore, after cutting off the Obama administration's illegal subsidies to the insurance companies (known as Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments), Trump added, “It's virtually dead,” but is it?

Well, it would be if the Republican establishment would finally honor 7 years of broken promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. Yet, just days after these latest developments what's Congress's response? Enter the touted bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill. A “deal” to legally fund Obamacare—the governmental behemoth that appropriated 1/6 of the U.S. economy—for another two years! A grand trick on the American people: Obamacare is undead for Halloween!

That's rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, folks. For progressives, that's vitally past the midterm elections, giving the GOP nothing of substance to run on. That, in turn, will likely give Democrats control of the Senate. In other words, the same anti-Trump obstructionists—whose party created this health-care mess in the first place—will be back in charge. The horror gets worse. This Republican “stop-gap” measure wastes time; adds another 14 billion to the nation's escalating 20 trillion dollar debt; and can be hung around Donald Trump's neck in 2020.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog
http://patriotpost.us/commentators/446
http://www.americanthinker.com/author/david_l_hunter/
http://canadafreepress.com/members/74987/DavidLHunter/976
http://newstex.aci.info/authors/15977720f5100100002