Charlie's Blog: Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 53

11.04.2017

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 53


My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
RODNEY DANGERFIELD

1. THE RETURN OF RTOVS

It has been awhile since I've written one of these things. The goal is to do this as a sort of weekly review of all things that happened during the week and whatever else has been on my mind lately. But it is the hardest thing for me to write because of the variety of topics that I cover. Many things happen in a week. I have a day job, so that complicates things further. But I am back on the job this week here at the C-blog. Sorry for the absence.

2. TAXES AND TERM LIMITS

The most important political story this week is the tax reform efforts in Congress which are being stymied by the Establishment Republicans who are now indistinguishable from the Democrats. Trump needs tax cuts to help turn this economy around, and I support his efforts in this regard. Dan Bongino makes a great point. When has a tax cut ever resulted in less revenue to the federal government? The answer is never. When people and businesses keep more of their income, they produce more wealth which means more income to the government to pay for itself. Unfortunately, both Democrats and Establishment Republicans can't be bothered with this reality. Somehow, the tax cuts on one group has to be paid for by an increase on another group. Basically, they intend to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, but they can't decide how to carve that goose. It is sheer stupidity.

The simple and correct answer is to cut all taxes across the board. Leave all the current deductions in place. I would go further and make the corporate income tax absolute zero. No country in the world can compete with zero. Then, to be sure these tax cuts are "paid for," there should be cuts to the federal budget. This can be accomplished by a similar across the board cut in spending. These three things alone would produce an awesome economic recovery and help reverse the cancer that is bloated big government and the national debt.

Will it happen? Of course not. Such common sense would be a benefit to the American people, but the DC swamp has never cared about nor ever will care about the lives of Americans. The legislative branch of the federal government is filled with parasitic organisms that only care to keep sucking the blood out of this country for their narrow and personal benefit. They do not care if America is turned into a dung heap so long as they sit on top of the mountain of manure.

How can this be fixed? The simple answer would be term limits on senators and representatives. The absence of term limits is how you get slime like John McCain. Our elected representatives are out of touch with the people that elected them. Granted, they can be voted out by the people except the people are fed lies where the politician promises things and fails to deliver. The blame for this failure is dispersed. Eventually, decades pass, and people wake up to the sliminess of their senator or congressman. But the damage is already done.

In the absence of term limits, the next best thing is Steve Bannon who is committed to turning out Establishment Republicans. I applaud his efforts in this regard. Bannon leaving the White House was an awesome move because the man has been unleashed on the public where he does the most good. Unfortunately, Bannon is just one mortal guy. His revolution needs to be made permanent with congressional term limits.

3. THE OPIOID CRISIS

Jonah Goldberg has written a National Review piece on the opioid crisis that I think is absolutely splendid. Goldberg demolishes the libertarian argument for legalization by pointing out that opioids are drug legalization and that the result of this legalization has been an absolute disaster with the death toll from opioids exceeding the American death toll in Vietnam.

I used to be a libertarian. I used to make the arguments that Goldberg demolishes. The bottom line is that legalization leads to more drug use. The example in Portugal may make the argument for decriminalization, but decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Decriminalization retains the stigma and treats the issue as a health problem. Legalization removes the stigma and pretends there is no problem.

In my opinion, the drug issue is the number one difference between libertarians and conservatives. Aside from this issue, there is little difference between them. Both support free markets, limited government, lower taxation, gun ownership, etc. It is when it comes to vices like drugs, prostitution, and pornography that the differences become apparent.

I have always been on the right wing side of things since at least the time I was in elementary school. I have never been a left wing progressive, and I cannot recall ever voting for or supporting a Democrat for public office. My only political shift has been from conservative to libertarian back to conservative again. This libertarian fling was a consequence of losing my faith in God and becoming atheist. I started reading Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises, and you know the rest.

I left atheism behind when I became Catholic, and I have returned to being a conservative again. Why does religion make the difference? It all comes down to original sin. Conservatives believe in original sin and concupiscence. Libertarians don't. As such, libertarians really are libertines. Granted, many of them eschew drugs and alcohol and resemble conservatives in their private lives. Not all libertarians are potheads. The clean libertarians are bookish nerd types who prefer theory to reality. The dirty libertarians like the ones at Reason are hitting the bong in the parking lot at GOP cocktail parties with their college age girlfriends while decent Republicans are quaffing scotch inside.

I liked being a libertarian. I never smoked dope, but it made me hip. Here's what I mean. Here is our conservative Jonah Goldberg:


And here is our libertarian Nick Gillespie:


You can see the clear difference. Nick has that cool leather jacket that has become his signature look. Goldberg is a square in the suit and tie. The bottom line is that libertarians are cool the way that the Fonz was cool on Happy Days. Conservatives are Richie's dad, Howard Cunningham.


Being cool can only take you so far. One day, you wake up, and you realize you are a loser with greasy hair living in the apartment over Howard Cunningham's garage. You would be homeless except for the stability and tolerance that old man provides. As such libertarians exist in a state of suspended adolescence relative to the maturity of conservatives.

I think personal identity and beliefs influence a person's politics. I would like to think that facts and arguments make some difference, but they don't. Here is why Goldberg makes the argument that he does:
If you’ve ever had a loved one struggle with drugs — in my case, my late brother, Josh — the national exercise in guilt-driven blame-shifting and finger-pointing, combined with flights of sanctimony and ideological righteousness, has a familiar echo. 
The difference between the public arguing and the personal agonizing is that, at the national level, we can afford our abstractions. When you have skin in the game, none of the easy answers seem all that easy.
Libertarians might be hip, but they are out of touch with reality. The reality is that people who are addicted to drugs hurt other people and themselves. Smoking grass is kinda cool. Overdosing on pills and heroin is not so cool which is why even leftists put daylight between them and those who use drugs and favor their legalization. Consequently, the cause of drug legalization is owned almost completely by libertarians. As such, libertarians must now defend the death of 64,000 Americans from opioid abuse as being necessary for freedom. Deal with that reality.

4. Q & A

Q: How can you be a conservative and a Republican and also a vegan?

A: I must admit that 99% of vegans are left wing Marxist Democrats. When people hear that I'm vegan, they assume that I must eschew leather, favor the cause of LGBTQ rights, and voted for Bernie Sanders. The reality is that I wear leather and prefer it. I also voted for Trump, and I think sodomy is a sin. In short, my politics ends and science begins when I sit down at the table for a meal. I eat a plant based diet, and I do it for my health.

I hear that Rachel Maddow eats meat at a high level and loves to shoot guns. I think the point of this is that people are individuals, and they differ in personal preferences and lifestyle choices. I just don't think being a Republican means that you have to eat steak.

People get too wrapped up in pre-fabricated identities. For instance, I dress in blue collar clothes and work for a living. But I am also college educated, read books without pictures in them, and listen to classical music. You can do things like this.

5. QUOTABLE QUOTES

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
C.S. LEWIS

In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.
SIRACH 7:36

‘Great’ holiness consists in carrying out the ‘little’ duties of each moment.
SAINT JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA

We shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavoring to know God; for, beholding His greatness, we realize our own littleness; His purity shows us our foulness; and by meditating upon His humility we find how very far we are from being humble.
SAINT TERESA OF AVILA

Rhetoric is no substitute for reality.
THOMAS SOWELL

ODDS AND ENDS

--What happened to the story about the Las Vegas shooter? I smell a cover-up.

--Bowe Bergdahl should have been put in front of a firing squad or left to rot in prison for what he did. Instead, he gets a slap on the wrist for being a traitor. Unbelievable.

--We are at the point now where being a faithful Catholic will bring you persecution from the Roman Catholic Church.

--Some young people in Belgium did a protest rosary against a service held in a Catholic cathedral once vandalized by Protestants. The service was in celebration of the Protestant Revolution. It was an absolute display of indifferentism. Some criticize this rosary protest as "rude" and "offensive" and "disrespectful." My only regret is that I could not be there to pray the rosary with those brave believers who stood up for the Roman Catholic Church. It would be nice to see prelates and priests doing this.

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