The Left From A-Z

Another week, another slew of outrage from the left. But let’s be fair: Outrage is all they know. To help us rational people understand them, here is my simple guide called The Left From A-Z:

 

A stands for Abortion. One of the most sacred tenets of the Left is the woman’s “right to choose”. Of course, this is a selective exercise, as the choice to have sex (unprotected or otherwise) is always ignored. If the left were honest, which they never are, this would be called the right to make a second choice.

B stands for Bullying. This is a double meaning for leftists. On one hand, they have latched onto “bullying” as a Very Bad Thing that can be eliminated through social engineering. This despite the fact bullying is as old as Cain and Abel, and social engineering has never solved any problem. Like communism, maybe it just hasn’t been tried hard enough.

But bullying also, ironically, describes the Left’s tactics. Whether it’s political correctness, shaming of those with different opinions, or harassing voters at polling places, the Left excels at bullying.

C stands for Coexist. The mantra of many a Prius driver, it is the puerile belief that we can all get along if we just try. What its acolytes fail to understand is that the “C” – representing Islam – has no desire whatsoever to coexist with any of the other letters. Far from a “religion of peace”, Islam is a political philosophy of subjugation. Submit or die is its mantra; to “coexist” with it is to convert to it or to (at best) pay a non-believers’ tax. No bumper sticker or group hug will ever change this.

D stands for Double Standards. Whether it’s treatment of women, calls for civility, or any number of other issues, the adage holds true: If the left didn’t have double standards they would have no standards at all. Consider the vulgar insults routinely hurled at the powerful women in the Trump administration and try to imagine the same insults being hurled at Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Or look at the calls for violence by Maxine Waters and others and imagine the reporting of similar words had they been uttered by Ted Cruz or Rush Limbaugh. Speaking of Mr. Limbaugh, he was excoriated for hoping that President Obama (may peace be upon him) would fail in his desire to “fundamentally transform” America. Compare that to the fawning coverage of the “resist” movement today. Double standards indeed.

E stands for Environmentalism. Once a genuine concern and a true need, it has morphed into a club wielded to both attack capitalism and profit from it. This is especially true with “Climate Change” – by far the biggest scam perpetuated in the history of humanity. Observe the massive multinational corporations at the trough sucking billions in subsidies and you see just how warped the entire argument has become. Al Gore must laugh every day as he flies around in his carbon-spewing private jet and sleeps in his massive ocean-side mansion.

F stands for Fundamental Transformation of the United States of America. Barack Obama, like most politicians, promised all sort of things he never intended to deliver. But this promise, made 5 days before the 2008 election, was delivered in spades. Obama, may peace be upon him, used the media and the levers of power to turn Americans against each other, to corrupt the healthcare system likely beyond repair, to set the Middle East on fire, and the put race relations back about 50 years. As his predecessor once boasted to much mockery, “Mission Accomplished”.

G stands for Gun Control.  Along with national health care, this is the single biggest legislative* goal of the left. Despite mountains of data that suggest gun owners are law abiding, peaceful and safe, the left will use every maniac that comes along as the exception that must be addressed at the expense of the collective. Of course, what they will never admit is that a disarmed populace is a dependent populace. Like healthcare, they want to ensure people to depend on government – and hence on them – for everything. What better way than to allow guns to only be in the hands of government.

*Legislative if possible, but the left has no issue using the courts to get what they want. Abortion and gay rights are but two examples.

H stands for Hillary Clinton. The Smartest Woman Who Ever Lived, the Most Accomplished, Most Qualified Presidential Candidate Ever, she has been a fixture on the national scene for three decades now. Despite the fact Americans rejected her screeching harangues and chose Donald Trump as president, she continues to pop up like a bad boil  to scold us on how (choose one, more or all) misogynist, backwards, corrupt, stupid, transphobic, homophobic, or racist we all are for rejecting her magisterial awesomeness.

I stands for Immigrant. Those poor, huddled masses yearning to be free. They add to the country always and forever amen. They shall be admitted regardless of criminal background, terrorist ties, gang affiliation, or even if they can contribute to society instead of taking from it. They are sacred. To even question the wisdom of letting them all in, without question, makes you an irredeemable racist at best and a Nazi at worst.

J stands for Journalists, otherwise known as the Propagandists of the Left. Just 7% of them are registered as Republicans, and of those, no doubt many are the Joe Scarborough/David Brooks-type: Republicans with a huge dose of leftist thrown in. It’s actually fascinating to watch: The same media that pilloried George W. Bush in the name of “speaking truth to power” lost its voice in 2009, only to miraculously find it again in 2017. Forget “fake news” – most of what’s reported does not even rise to that standard. Call it propaganda and be done with it.

K stands for California Representative Kamala Harris. The Socialist from New York may be the Left’s heroine of the week but make no mistake: The media will lift up Mrs. Harris as the new Barack Obama, may peace be upon him. She’s far left, she has a vagina, and she’s black. That’s three diamonds right across the left wing political slot machine.

L stands for LGBT, and M stands for Mafia, as in Gay Mafia. The gay rights movement has morphed from a call for tolerance, to acceptance, to now unqualified praise of all of the alphabet letters and intense disdain for even the slightest hint of disapproval. It’s so bad the CEO of Twitter – as radical left as they come  – was forced to apologize for the heresy of dining at Chick-fil-A. And why is Chick-fil-A deemed off limits? Their CEO publicly stated declared he believes in traditional marriage. That’s it. The chain does not discriminate against gays, but their CEO believes in traditional marriage. Oh, the horror of it all! The Gay Mafia will not allow this and essentially tried to put a horse’s head in Chick-fil-A’s corporate bed. Fortunately for those of us who love both freedom and great food, they failed quite miserably.

M also stands for Mob. Not the Cosa Nostra mob, but mobs in the street. Frustrated that too many Americans are just too stupid to see how wonderful they are, the left increasingly turns to street mobs to make their point. Although no one’s mind has ever been changed by street riots, facts are never an issue for the left. With the recent Supreme Court vacancy, look for these to be growing in size, frequency and ugliness.

N stands for Nazi. As in, anyone not supporting the radical leftist agenda is a NAZI!!! Heaven forbid we actually had a real Nazi in our midst. Like the boy who cried wolf, there’s no way anyone would believe it since everyone is, well, a NAZI!!

O stands for Saint Barack Hussein Obama, the perfect human, the chosen one, may God have mercy upon him. Oh wait, he doesn’t need God’s mercy because he’s so perfect. Indeed, he’s sort of God, above the world, according to his fans in the media. Although the left would find fault in anything Donald Trump is doing regardless, they have extra contempt for anything that attempts to roll back the “fundamental transformation” Saint Barack delivered.

P stands for Patriarchy. The male-dominated world in which we live prevents women from ever being true equals. See Clinton, Hillary for an example of the Patriarchy at work.

Q stands for Question Authority. Well, it used to anyways, back in the 60s when the left was running on the streets protesting the man. Now, they are the man, and questioning their leadership, wisdom, or dogma of the left is not only discouraged, it can get you fired or worse.

R stands for RUSSIA!!! RUSSIA!! RUSSIA!!!!!

S stands for George Soros. The Sugar Daddy of the radical left, Soros has used his (in many cases) ill-gotten booty to dismantle borders, destabilize governments, and foster unrest worldwide. His is a vision of no borders, no nationalities, and one government with him and his pals in charge behind the scenes. He’s far closer to this vision than many of us would like to believe, helped immensely by the ascent of Barack Obama (may peace be upon him) and his “fundamental transformation”.

T stands for Tolerance. Tolerance is the ultimate double standard. We are expected – no, we are commanded – to tolerate opinions and behaviors we disagree with. The left of course never reciprocates. In fact, the left has so twisted tolerance that they insist they cannot tolerate the opinions of the right and to do so would be, um, intolerance. Being a leftist never exactly has to be logical.

stands for Universal Health Care. This is the absolute Holy Grail of the left, policy-wise. Think about it: If healthcare is a collective enterprise, then the individual must, without exception, submit to the collective. Your choices will impact the system; hence, what you eat, what you drink, how much you weigh and the lifestyle you lead are all fair game. If your decision to be a fatty-fat-fatso is causing me to pay more in tax, why wouldn’t I feel completely justified to go rip that burger out of your hands? Not that it would come to that, as the State would ban burgers in the first place. For all our own good, of course.

V stands for Virtue Signaling. As I wrote earlier this week, virtue signaling is not new, but it is part and parcel of the political left. It’s far easier to screech about gun control and put a sign in your yard than to think about the societal, health, and moral issues that undergird the violence in our society. Especially when those issues are the result of decades of failed leftist policy. “Just be kind”, anyone?

W stands for Woke. Another term, really, for Virtue Signaling, to be “woke” is to adopt the radical left viewpoint on everything from racism to equality to gay rights. Please note that “woke” does not apply to those of us who have awakened to the corrupt uniparty that runs things in Washington no matter which party is in command. We don’t count.

X and Y stand for XY Chromosomes. This is another two-fer. First, the XY Chromosome is the dreaded male chromosome, and we all know that to the left, the Patriarchy and maleness in general is the root of all evil. “Toxic Masculinity” is a dire threat to us all and must be eradicated. For that matter, all masculinity is bad and all men must aspire to be pajama clad mommy’s boys.

The second part of this is the odd fact that as the self-proclaimed arbiters of all things scientific, the left is curiously silent on the cultural fashion of declaring gender to be not biological – despite the obvious connection through DNA – but in fact a choice. Hence, stores now open women’s restrooms to any dude channeling his inner Shania Twain on any given day. And Gaia-forbid if you ever call Bruce Jenner, well, Bruce. See Tolerance, above.

And finally, Z stands for Social Media Zombie. To be fair, these creatures inhabit both the right and the left. They are quick to overreact to the latest news with Twitter tirades, Facebook firefights, and Instagram Insanity. Facts, nuance, logic, reason, common sense and decency are lost to them. Exactly like zombies, in fact.

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They’re tweeting…and coming for you…..

Non-Virtuous Signaling

There is a ghastly trend gaining strength today: The practice of “virtue signaling” or showing everyone else how totally awesome you are by performing a meaningless gesture that serves no other purpose. Indeed, it’s all the “rage” now.

To be fair, anyone who has even put a bumper sticker on their car, bought an article of clothing solely for the logo, or put a candidate’s sign in their yard has done this. After all, no one is going to decide to vote for someone because of your yard sign. And disarming our nuclear arsenal may be a good thing in certain circumstances, one of those is most certainly not because “You Can’t Hug Children with Nuclear Arms”. So, this is not new. But it seems we are taking it to new levels.

Social media causes some of this: Remember the “99% of people won’t post this” postings that ran rampant a few years ago on social media?  Yes, “99% of people” won’t post whatever it is because it’s (fill in the blank – religious, controversial, bold, whatever), and these people are (again, choose one or more – cowards, bigots, morons, whatever) but doggone it, I will post it and that makes me awesome! Sorry, you 99% losers, you suck compared to me.

Or take the recently minted “Just Be Kind” signs. Please. No one except the most naïve simpleton is going to think that a Bad Person – on their way to be a Very Bad Thing – is going to see this sign and change their minds. This sign – like the English, Spanish and Arabian language signs post-2016 election declaring strangers to be welcome – is all about the virtuousness of the person posting the sign. That person is kind; those without signs are hateful haters who hate.

If mere annoyance was the worst of it, the increase in virtue signaling would be bearable. Unfortunately, it takes on far more sinister – and frankly, deadly – forms. For example, let’s look at everyone’s favorite school policy, the “gun free zone”. This is virtue signaling at its most idiotic and dangerous. Like the Just Be Kind signs, only a fool thinks that making schools “gun free” will prevent a determined maniac from entering the school armed and to devastating effect. It’s a progressive fantasy of the highest order that an armed intruder, upon viewing a “gun free zone” sign, will turn around, drop their guns, and have a good hug and cry with the staff.

Let’s look at this another way. I design mechanical and electrical systems, some of which are outside. In these instances, we install fencing around the equipment. Why? For one, to keep vandals out. But also, to keep people and wildlife away from dangerous equipment. No one wants to have an accident where someone is killed by electrical shock.

But taking the logic of the gun free zones, why do we need a fence? Would not signs do? Why do we need fences around electrical substations? For that matter, why do we need x-ray machines at the airport? Or baggage screeners? Or security guards at banks? If mere signs are expected to do the trick at schools, why can’t signs be counted on everywhere?

And it’s now worse still. The left, in its latest fit of unhinged rage, is showing its “virtue” by berating those they disagree with in a bizarre form of “shaming”. This is truly ironic, since it’s the political left that for decades told us that “shame” has no place in society. Egged on by congresswoman Maxine Waters and others, people are encouraged to show how enlightened thy are by shouting, disrupting and otherwise making nuisances of themselves. In other words, their virtue is such that they are permitted – no, encouraged, even commanded – to engage in the most non-virtuous behaviors to make their point.

It will never work: Minds will never be changed by someone screaming at them. Nor are minds changed by violence or the threat thereof. Scream, threaten or throw your tantrums. No one will listen, and no one will change.

It’s like a Very Wise Man once said long ago of His day’s own virtue signalers, “they have their reward”. So be it with today’s.

 

virtue-signaling

Beware the wolves in sheep’s clothing…

Whose Funds?

Peruse the news for not a very long time and you will inevitably stumble upon one or more of the following lines:

“The project will be 80% paid for by a federal grant.”

“FEMA has pledged to help rebuild the community.”

“The governor plans to ask for federal funds to pay for the new program”.

Or this one, taken from the web site for the Indianapolis Bus Rapid Transit boondoggle:

“Construction of the Red Line is being funded primarily through a $75 million federal Small Starts grant. Additional federal resources are being provided through a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant already in place.” (emphases mine)

These claims, and all other like them, work from the same basic premise: Federal funds are being used to offset local funds. The federal funds are presented as free, so what would have cost $100 million now “only” costs $20 million. It’s as if the federal government is a distant rich uncle who just writes checks from a large mountain of cash, saving the locals from horrible bills.

The reality is different. Yes, the federal government does have a large mountain of cash, but that cash comes from you and me in the form of taxes. In fact, because of our insane levels of debt and ongoing deficit spending, the cash comes from you, me, our children, our grandchildren, and likely their children and grandchildren. What is presented as free is anything but.

Without delving into the argument of whether the good citizens of Alaska should be forced to pay for Indy’s bus system, what would happen if the example paragraph above was rewritten as follows:

“Construction of the Red Line is being funded primarily through a $75 million of taxpayer-funded ‘Small Starts’ grant. Additional taxpayer resources are being provided through the taxpayer-provided Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant already in place.”

It reads a bit differently, doesn’t it? Would it make a difference? Maybe, maybe not. Probably not at first. But over time, as people look at everything that is being paid for by the federal government taxpayers, some will question why? Why are we paying for a bus system few will use? Or a new convention center? Or an arts center? Or surplus cheese? Or a glow-in-the-dark marijuana joint on a billboard?

Because proponents of massive government work in the media, don’t expect to see this anytime soon. But you, dear reader, can train your mind. When you see “federal program”, replace with “taxpayer” and see how you feel about paying for the program in question. You will find yourself questioning a great deal of that is being done for “free”.

 

shell-game-dog

There’s no free treat under there

Our Moral Failure

mirror-man

 

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”

– Michael Jackson

 

At the end of the day, no law, restriction, bumper sticker, protest or any other human activity can fix what ails us. For that which ails us is inside: Our individual and collective hearts are sick.

We have taken what were a collective set of values – based mostly but not entirely on Judeo-Christian concepts such as the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule – and replaced them with a whole lot of nothing. And then we scramble and try to legislate what was once normal behavior, and that which we spent decades deriding as old-fashioned.

Take the “Me Too” movement – please. Since the 1960s, Americans – especially American youth – have embraced an ethos of “free love”. Forget marriage, you can and should have sex when, where and with whomever you like. Add to this abortion on demand and no-fault divorce so that “mistakes” can be eliminated rather than worked through and lived with, and you have generations of men (and women) who think it’s their birthright to not just procreate but to do so at will.

And yet here we are: A movement that is decrying men for being, well, men. Uncontrolled men; men unbound by any sense of chivalry, of decency, or of responsibility. We forget the institution of marriage, among its many benefits, served to channel the sexual desires of men to positive purpose while at the same time drawing lines that could not be crossed without great financial and societal risk. Men unbound by mores act like, well, pigs. And now we belatedly try to impose puritanical standards on them.

This will fail not because it’s wrong, but because there is no moral authority. The same people screaming “Me Too” are those that scream “My Body, My Choice”; these are the folks that pined for the removal of God and marriage and every other standard that once underpinned society. Anything they offer will be capricious, random and utterly confusing because it answers to no higher power than man. And that is not enough.

The same dynamic is seen in the rash of school shootings. Again, we strove to remove – and succeeded in removing – that which we once claimed created good citizens. We also razed the idea of excellence and elevated the status of “victim”, to the point that victimhood is the highest form of status today. And we destroyed the family so that many adolescents – at best – receive guidance from only one parent and in the case of boys, sadly, the wrong one.

But humans don’t change, and young humans will do as they have since the days of Cain and Abel. They act out, they get angry, they bully, they fight. Not that long ago, disagreements were solved by – at worst – a fistfight in the school yard. Now they are solved by gunfire. But what can we expect when we (1) tell kids there is no objective truth, (2) there is no higher power in life, (3) they are all special and (4) acting like a victim is the fastest way to earn praise in life?

It’s far too late to return to the ways that, while not perfect, resulted in a relatively peaceful and pleasant society. We have destroyed too much and erected the idol of government in its place. Rules, restrictions and social engineering will continue to be applied, and they will continue to fail.

What ails us is not inanimate objects. Nor is it scapegoated organization. It’s not even politicians, although some of them are accessories.

It’s us. And any solution can only start with us.

California: A Lesson in “Green” Economics

The headlines are breathless: “California becomes first state to mandate solar panels on new home construction!” That’s right – starting in 2020, every new single-family home (and many apartments and condos) will be required to have expensive solar panels on the roof. No ifs, ands or buts, and no exceptions for anyone in any income class. No choice – you will comply, comrade!

Among the usual non-sensible arguments about carbon emissions, global warming and transitioning the grid back to the 19th century to the 21st century, the California Energy Commission throws out an economic “justification”:

“Installing a solar system and complying with other energy-efficiency measures required will add about $9,500 to the cost of a new home, according to the California Energy Commission. That would be offset by about $19,000 in expected energy and maintenance savings over 30 years, the commission estimates.”

Sounds so inviting. Invest $9,500, reap $19,000. Heck, let’s buy 2, or 10. It’s basically a financial printing press, right?

Not so much. The key is “over 30 years” – meaning that on average, the solar panels will save $633 per year in energy. But money changes in value over time; $633 today is not worth the same as $633 next year, or in 10 years, or in 30 years.

I do this sort of analysis all the time. Using a conservative value of investment interest of 4% per year, if I invested $9500 today and received $633 per year for the next 30 years, the actual value of my investment (also called Net Present Value or NPV) would be $1,500. For reference, any investment where the NPV is lower than the initial outlay is bad.  Furthermore, if you consider electric rate inflation of 3% per year (and I am certain the CEC did so), the $19,000 total savings becomes even more backloaded and the NPV drops to a piddling $900.

So, to summarize: A $9,500 investment – forced by the state – is worth $900 in real, present-value dollars. No rational investor makes this deal; no taxpayer willingly signs up for it if they know the truth. California’s solar panel mandate is nothing more than a naked giveaway to the solar companies. And a usual, the average citizens are the ones doing the giving – and getting the shaft.

Burning Money

At least you’d get heat if you did this with your money!

 

Denver’s Boondoggle. Coming to Indy?

I’ll say this much for central planners: They never stop.

I spent most of my life in the Denver area, and I saw first hand how the planned transportation people work. After suffering a thorough repudiation to light rail in 1997, commuting planners showed up with a bucket full of “free” federal funds to build a “demonstration” project between downtown and the Five Points neighborhood. This was followed in 2000 by the “T-Rex” project that expanded I-25 south of downtown (very much needed) and included, again with “free” federal funds, a shiny new light rail system. The fact that no one rode the thing except to Broncos and Rockies games didn’t matter; the project was deemed an instant success. And having shown that light rail “works”, the planners returned to voters in 2004 and, viola!, got their massive boondoggle passed. So now light rail runs hither and yon throughout the Denver metro area, still mostly empty except for sporting events.

The same philosophy used to ram light rail down the throats of Denver commuters appears to be at play in my new home of Indianapolis. The do-gooders who want to save the planet by herding us all into mass transit are procuring – wait for it – “free” federal funds to build a bus rapid transit line from north Indy through downtown to South Indy. Yet here, as in Colorado, the vast majority of commuters drive suburb-to-suburb. Put another way, no one will ride this system save for those who already ride the bus. Indeed, among the opponents of this boondoggle are current bus riders, who would just as soon have more normal buses.

Time will tell, of course, if the camel-nose-under-the-tent strategy works as well here as it did in Denver. One obstacle is a state law that forbids light rail in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area, but that law is under siege as the area courts Amazon. Good luck with that, folks – Amazon is not coming here, rail or not. Having witnessed the billions wasted on rail in Colorado, I sincerely hope I don’t see a repeat here. It’s not needed, it’s not wanted, and it won’t be used. Save your money, Hoosiers.

Terminator

The transit planners: They absolutely will not stop…ever, until you are broke!