Sunday, April 19, 2020

Welcome back to the past, America

Americans are, for the first time since the Civil War, facing food supply disruptions. These aren’t war-rationing-style shortages, these are supply disruptions.

We didn’t expect the future to bring meat and toilet paper shortages.

Welcome to the past, America. Civilization has always hung by a thread. The Founders of this country knew that, and that’s why they crafted a constitutional order best suited to nurture domestic tranquility and the general welfare.

It is also why they included a Second Amendment.

Perhaps we are appreciating in concrete terms the value of stable homes, industrious values, and faith. A nation that was abandoning God might reconsider.

Get your kids and grand-kids The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They had it worse than your kids do, at least for now. If you think Zoom school is bad, if you are growing weary of beans and rice, try heating your freezing house with twisted wheat and eating grain porridge for every meal.

This was what befell huge tracts of America just 140 years ago where the Twins, Brewers, Cubs, and Tigers should be playing right now.

Welcome to history. We had it so good for a spell. It was a bounty of the superfluous. Sociology degrees and safe spaces. Preferred pronouns and Disney cruises. Hipster brunch and guaranteed futures. It was the land of milk and honey.

Now it’s the land of 33,325 deaths, and climbing.

Many public schools have thrown in the towel for the year. Instead of Alice Cooper’s "School's Out For Summer," it’s more like school's out before the last frost.

Fairfax County schools, purportedly one of the better school systems in Virginia, tried distance learning and it came crashing down with students putting images of bongs on Zoom video classes. Fairfax waited weeks to try distance learning, and when they finally did, people contributed with racial slurs, Hitler salutes and X-rated memes.

I shudder to imagine what the rest of Virginia schools are like if Fairfax County schools are the best in the state.

Speaking of Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam, best known for either wearing blackface or a Klan hood to a college party, has imposed an emergency edict that prevents people from going to church. Ten people cannot gather in church, but the entire Virginia General Assembly will gather next week in a tent to consider budget matters.

It seems northeastern Democrat governors are more comfortable issuing edicts and orders preventing people from earning a living, going to church or kicking a soccer ball around a park. It almost comes naturally. But then again, southern governors like Ralph Northam (D-Dixie Land) also seem perfectly comfortable in his authoritarian skin.

Let see how much patience Americans have with these stay-at home-orders. Already in Michigan, rallies have occurred, with protesters yearning to breathe free.

For now, Americans seem ready to wait a few more weeks. But at some point, and that point is coming soon, the cure is worse than the disease. Economic devastation ruins lives too. Poverty, despair and economic ruin will cost the country a lot more than the coronavirus can. When hungry people reach that point, don’t expect Americans to pay much attention to government edicts.



Don’t Let Liberals Federalize Elections

I’m sorry, but you have no constitutional “right” to vote by mail. You have no constitutional “right” to vote six days after an election is over. Nor do you have any “right” to censor information related to an election. Not even during a pandemic.

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that a federal court was not empowered to overwrite Wisconsin’s election laws and force the state to accept ballots without any postmark deadline nearly a week after the election. Likewise, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Tony Evers did not have the authority to arbitrarily suspend in-person voting.

If these dictates had been allowed to stand, they would have created insanely destructive precedents, taking elections out of the hands of local legislatures. If we discard legal norms every time there’s a crisis, we no longer have a nation of laws but a country at the mercy of arbitrary decrees, emotional appeals, and pliable courts.

Not that any of this concerned the usual suspects, who began lamenting the alleged anti-democratic nature of Chief Justice John Roberts’ court. When will the conservative wing abandon their partisanship and begin “compromising,” wondered a news piece in The Washington Post.

Liberal pundits, apparently unable to differentiate between partisan policy preferences and the rule of law, launched into their customary hysterics, denouncing the Supreme Court for disenfranchised minorities and putting people’s lives at risk. But the court doesn’t exist to fix your local government’s incompetence or make life safer. It exists to uphold the Constitution.

None of this is to say that the situation in Wisconsin is fair to voters, who had to risk standing in lines during a dangerous pandemic. Many states have contingencies in place for emergencies. Wisconsin—while it had plenty of time to pass new guidelines—does not. That’s a Wisconsin problem, not a Supreme Court problem, not a “democracy” problem, and definitely not a federal problem.

If Wisconsinites don’t like their laws, if they’re disappointed in legislators, if they’re furious at the state’s high court and bothered by the governor’s ineptitude, then there will be plenty of future elections to right those wrongs. In no version of a healthy “democracy,” however, do we override existing laws, passed by previous elected officials, through fiat.

But make no mistake, the Wisconsin case will be used in the broader effort to federalize and centralize elections to create a more direct democracy—even though such efforts are antithetical to American governance.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has already proposed mandating automatic and same-day voter registration, ending ID requirements, compelling states to have 15 days of early voting, and forcing states to adopt voting by mail, among other liberal pet projects.

She wants the federal government to bribe states with billions to adopt these standards. And she wants those changes implemented by November.

She’s not alone. In “Phase 4” of the coronavirus rescue package, Democratic leaders are reportedly including provisions that would compel all states to offer voting by mail. Former Vice President Joe Biden also supports such a mandate, because, he claims, “all the experts” say we should do it.

Now, I don’t know what experts Biden is referencing, but Publius, something of an authority on these matters, once wrote that it was a no-brainer to condemn the suggestion that federal government should regulate state elections as both “an unwarrantable transposition of power, and as a premeditated engine for the destruction of the State Governments.”

As a practical matter, requiring states, all of which have varied systems, technologies, and infrastructures, to figure out how to handle mail-in ballot systems in the midst of a pandemic is absurd. And not merely because of the obvious feasibility problems, but because there is no proper time to debate the issue.

Democrats have spent years weakening the integrity of elections, but voting by mail opens up the process to real-world voter intimidation, disenfranchisement, fraud—and a host of other problems.

Then again, people of goodwill can disagree over the particulars of election policy. It’s far more critical to note that neither the Senate, nor the House, nor the White House, nor federal courts have any business compelling states to adopt uniform standards regarding mail-in ballots or IDs or voting machines, or much of anything else.

A national mail vote is meant to federalize the election, leaving smaller states to vagaries of a national majority. It’s exactly the kind of situation the Constitution wanted us to avoid.



Economic Illiterates Are Running Amok

One particularly terrifying consequence of the Chinese Bat Soup Virus that is not yet getting the attention it deserves is how this situation is making already stupid liberals even dumber, especially when they sound off about economics. In the wake of this pandemic, we’ve been subjected to a series of mind-numbing insights from the pinko blue check brain trust that reaffirms the clichéd but true observation that our elite is anything but elite. Leave it to our liberal betters to take a bad situation and seek to make it exponentially worse.

For example, Sally Kohn – oh, you know where this is going – offered an astonishing observation just as the Democrats were obstructing the vital relief our small businesses desperately need:

“I'm really tired of reading how business owners are "forced" to layoff workers. No one made them do that. They *chose* to do that. Not saying it isn't a hard choice, during a hard time, but to say they were *forced* obscures their agency AND casts owners/CEOs as the victims.”

If that hasn’t plunged your IQ to new depths, consider ever-dumb Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who tweeted out this brainstorm:

“We need to cancel rent until this crisis is over.”

Wow. Her economics advice is even worse than her relationship advice.

Okay, it seems like you would not have to explain this to allegedly educated people, but apparently there are still some people who need a lesson in Economics 101. Since I actually own a business, perhaps I have a perspective that C Tier social media personalities and commie grifters could find illuminating.

Here goes.

Are you people stupid? What the unholy hell are you thinking? When there is no income, what do you expect a business owner to pay his employees with? IOUs? Monopoly money? Feelings?

Oh, maybe the boss of that local pizza restaurant that the cough police closed down should just go downstairs to the basement vault in his mansion, pop open the door and take out one of those dozens of big sacks with dollar signs on them that are stuffed with $100 bills and use them to meet payroll. And rent. And insurance. And supplies. And maintenance. And so on. And so on. And so on.

Because that whole thing about cash flow? No, it’s not a thing. It’s a myth! It’s just an illusion for those tuxedo n’ top hat-sporting fatcats who run the local pet stores and such use to fool the proles into believing that there’s not some bottomless well o’ cash these tycoons can draw upon forever.

Yeah, these bigwigs are claiming they are running out of money, but Sally sees through their web of deceit! But in a way she is right – it is kind of a choice. Of course, the choice is bankruptcy or layoffs. And either way, those employees are out of a job.

But the real tragedy would be if people might see “owners/CEOs as the victims” even though they are victims too.

You wonder if people can be this dumb and then you go on Twitter and yeah, people can absolutely be that dumb.

Or even dumber, if that’s even possible.

Really, Mrs. Brother? “Cancel rent?” I guess the president would just use that little-known “cancel rent” power buried behind all those penumbras and emanations in the Constitution. But let’s not get all wrapped up in talk of enumerated powers and stuff. Let’s look at this remarkable suggestion on its own feeble terms. “Cancel rent.” Okay, rent is canceled. Gone! No paying rent! Yah!

Wait, where did the lights go? Power’s out. Wait, you mean that miserable miser is not fronting cash for utilities anymore since you’re, you know, not paying rent? Hey, there’s a plumbing leak! You can just call…oh…awkward! Well, then you can just refuse to pay…oh, right. Well, then maybe you’ll sue your landlord for not doing the things landlords should do, though you are not doing things tenants should do. Oops. He’s bankrupt. Hear that? It’s a sad trombone.

But that’s only at the personal level. Our economy is interconnected. You don’t pay rent, so your landlord doesn’t pay his loan and all those people who used to manage the property. All those guys he used to pay, his bank, the gardener, the power company. Now, they can’t pay anyone anymore. And pretty soon no one can pay anyone anymore.

Now, we have focused on how these people are saying stupid things, and the underlying assumption is that they are stupid. But is that why they seem to be rooting for disaster? You’ve already seen progs looking on the bright side – at least this economic carnage will end up owning Drumpf!

Maybe they are simply bad people who want to impoverish you to increase their own power. Have you seen them do anything, anything at all inconsistent with that hypothesis? After all, if they can destroy capitalism by means of knocking out select pillars of the system – like by undermining selected contracts that obligate people to pay their debts – they can get to their desired endstate, and they can blame it on capitalism itself even though a system where you can’t collect rent isn’t capitalism.

Stupid? Evil? A bit of both? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that no matter how much these half-wits pipe up on Twitter, they can never, ever be allowed anything like real power lest we go full Venezuela.

And you should never go full Venezuela.




According to The Washington Post, two years ago, "State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses." The Washington Examiner's Eddie Scarry quips, "Now that the Washington Post reported on it, is it finally OK to say out loud that the China-borne coronavirus may have come out of a science lab in Wuhan?"

Meanwhile, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says "weight of evidence" suggests virus arose naturally, but still inconclusive (Hot Air)

WaPo-acquired draft shows the CDC and FEMA have created a plan to reopen America (The Washington Post)

For the record: Dr. Fauci says U.S. "not there yet" on reopening economy, May 1 target a "bit" too optimistic (Fox News)

Hunter Biden still listed as board member of Chinese company he pledged to resign from in October, an apparently unfulfilled decision his father once said "represents the kind of man of integrity he is" (The Daily Caller)

Unprincipled Bloomberg News quashed a 2013 China exposé over concerns the Chinese Communist Party "will probably kick us out of the country" (National Review)

Now that all the other candidates have dropped out, Obama endorses Biden for president, says he's the right person to "guide us through one of our darkest times" (NBC News)


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement


No comments: