Orlando Exposes Political Cynicism

The recent mass shooting in Orlando should be a huge embarrassment for America’s political establishment. The shooting, after all, represents a failure of government in its primary responsibility: safeguarding the American people from violence. To evade responsibility for this abject failure, the political class desperately wants to change the subject by providing a distraction. And so, in order to defect attention and to reframe the issue, they have shifted attention to the issue of gun control. In this endeavor, the political class has been assisted, as usual, by its lapdogs in the national media. The effort , unfortunately, has been successful. Nearly all discussion in Congress and in the media is now focused on gun control, rather than on the failed policies and practices—immigration, political correctness, and an inadequate FBI investigation—that enabled the terrorist attack.

The political class is actually quite fortunate that the terrorist used a gun. Otherwise, if the terrorist had used, say, pressure cooker bombs like the terrorists who blew up the Boston Marathon, the pols would have found it much harder to reframe the issue. In that case, they probably wouldn’t have been able to talk with straight faces about the need for more ‘pressure cooker control.’

Making guns the issue is an exceedingly cynical ploy. Even the intellectual mediocrities populating our political class are smart enough to know that guns will never be eradicated from American society, any more than prohibition eliminated alcohol or drugs. Any attempt to go door-to-door to confiscate 300 million firearms would lead to civil war. As a result, criminals and terrorists who want guns will always find a way to obtain them. Very strict gun control in France did not stop terrorists from shooting up Paris.

The above observations are so patently obvious as to be almost banal in their expression. The more interesting question is what recent events tell us about the nature and character of our current political class. Instead of responding to the attack with candor and sagacity, the political class resorted to cynicism and disingenuousness. Instead of accepting responsibility, the pols, including President Obama, engaged in deflection and ass covering. The political class, as usual, showed itself more interested in evading accountability, and in preserving and enhancing its own power and privileges, than in serving the legitimate interests of the American people.

The political class fails to keep terrorists from entering the country. Then government agencies are too incompetent to catch up with and unravel terrorist plots, even when tipped off. The political class puts the American people in danger, and then tells the people they shouldn’t have guns with which to protect themselves. The political class fails, but suffers no consequences; instead, it’s the people who must give up some of their rights. GTFO.

The current political class is, in a word, despicable. Of course, to a considerable degree, the public gets the political class it deserves. A better class of voter, such as perhaps existed in America’s historical past, would never allow the pols to get away with such transparent cynicism and malfeasance. Our despicable political class reflects, sad to say, the degraded state of the typical American voter.

Happy Father’s Day!

To celebrate, here’s our annual Father’s Day pic of a coal miner and his daughters. Those girls were living in poverty-stricken 1970s Appalachia, but unlike one-third of American kids today, they at least they had their biological dad, or what was left of him, living at home. #MalePrivilege

malep

Song Lyrics for an Atomized Society

Although we usually try our best to avoid pop culture, we get exposed to pop music every time we go to the gym. As a result, we’ve noticed something rather disturbing; today’s music lyrics display truly shocking levels of nihilism and narcissism.

Traditionally, most hit songs on the pop charts were about love. And needless to say, love meant something involving two people, not just one. Love songs are about desire and longing for another. They’re about human relationships. In contrast, many popular songs today are disturbingly solipsistic. They’re about self-love and completely inward-looking. Call them anti-love songs.

Here, for example, is Meghan Trainor’s “I Love Me.”

I love me, hey
I love me, hey
I don’t know about you, but baby I love me
Now everybody say, hey-hey-hey
Oh, hey-hey-hey, I love me
Hey-hey-hey, I love me

[Meghan Trainor:]
They gon’ say all kinds of things
They’ll make jokes about my name
They gon’ try to clip my wings, but I’m gon fly, I’m gon’ fly
They’ll try to play me like a game
I’ll bet they’re too scared of the fame
But I can see clear when looking at the mirror, saying God made me just right

[LunchMoney Lewis & Meghan Trainor:]
I love me, I love me
I don’t know about you, but baby I love me
Now everybody say, hey-hey-hey
Oh, hey-hey-hey, I love me
Hey-hey-hey, I love me

Because I’m sexy and it ain’t my fault
I ain’t waiting on nobody’s call
You don’t want me baby, that’s your lost (your lost)
I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine
And you can tell by the way I talk (You hear me?)
And you can tell by the way I walk (two stepping baby)
I can see clear when looking at the mirror, saying God made me just right

I love me, I love me
I don’t know about you, but baby I love me
Now everybody say, hey-hey-hey
Oh, hey-hey-hey, I love me
Hey-hey-hey, I love me

I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast
I love all y’all, but I love me the most
I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast
I love all y’all, but I love me the most
Go and raise your glass, give yourself a toast
I love all y’all, but I love me the most
I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast
I love all y’all, but I love me

I love me (I love me) I love me (I love me)
I don’t know about you (I don’t know about you)
But baby I love me (Baby I love me)
Now everybody sing, hey-hey-hey
I love me hey-hey-hey, I love me
Hey-hey-hey

Do you love you? I love me
Me too

Next up, Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself.”

When I get chills at night
I feel it deep inside without you, yeah
Know how to satisfy
Keeping that tempo right without you, yeah

Pictures in my mind on replay
I’m gonna touch the pain away
I know how to scream my own name
Scream my name

(I love me)
Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
(Hey)
Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
(I love me)
Can’t help myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
Anytime, day or night
(I love me)
Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
(Hey)
Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
(I love me)
Can’t help myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
Anytime that I like
(I love me)

I’ll take it nice and slow
Feeling good on my own without you, yeah
Got me speaking in tongues
The beautiful, it comes without you, yeah

I’m gonna put my body first
And love me so hard ’til it hurts
I know how to scream out the words
Scream the words
(I love me)

“I know how to scream my own name.”

img_3293

Finally, here’s G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself, and I”. The titles really say it all, don’t they? But in addition to the narcissism and cynicism, this piece adds a touch of meanness and materialism.

Oh, it’s just me, myself and I
Solo ride until I die
‘Cause I got me for life
(yeah)
Oh I don’t need a hand to hold
Even when the night is cold
I got that fire in my soul

[G-Eazy:]
And as far as I can see I just need privacy
Plus a whole lot of tree, fuck all this modesty
I just need space to do me get a world that they’re tryna see
A Stella Maxwell right beside of me
A Ferrari I’m buyin’ three
A closet of Saint Laurent, get what I want when I want
‘Cause this hunger is driving me, yeah
I just need to be alone, I just need to be at home
Understand what I’m speaking on if time is money I need a loan
But regardless I’ll always keep keepin’ on
Fuck fake friends, we don’t take L’s we just make M’s
While y’all follow, we just make trends
I’m right back to work when that break ends

[Bebe Rexha (G-Eazy):]
Oh, it’s just me, myself and I
Solo ride until I die
‘Cause I got me for life
(Got me for life, yeah)
Oh I don’t need a hand to hold
Even when the night is cold
I got that fire in my soul

[Bebe Rexha (G-Eazy):]
I don’t need anything to get me through the night
Except the beat that’s in my heart
Yeah, it’s keeping me alive
(Keeps me alive)
I don’t need anything to make me satisfied (you know)
‘Cause the music does me good and it gets me every time

[G-Eazy:]
Yeah, and I don’t like talking to strangers
So get the fuck off me I’m anxious
I’m tryna be cool but I may just go ape shit
Say “fuck y’all” to all of y’all faces
It changes though now that I’m famous
Everyone knows how this lifestyle is dangerous
But I love it the rush is amazing
Celebrate nightly and everyone rages
I found how to cope with my anger
I’m swimming in money
Swimming in liquor my liver is muddy
But it’s all good I’m still sippin’ this bubbly
This shit is lovely, this shit ain’t random, I didn’t get lucky
Made it right here ’cause I’m sick with it Cudi
They all take the money for granted
But don’t want to work for it tell me now, isn’t it funny? Nah

[Bebe Rexha (G-Eazy):]
Oh, it’s just me, myself and I
Solo ride until I die
‘Cause I got me for life
(Got me for life, yeah)
Oh I don’t need a hand to hold
Even when the night is cold
I got that fire in my soul

[Bebe Rexha (G-Eazy):]
I don’t need anything to get me through the night
Except the beat that’s in my heart
Yeah, it’s keeping me alive
(Keeps me alive)
I don’t need anything to make me satisfied (you know)
‘Cause the music does me good and it gets me every time

[Bebe Rexha (G-Eazy):]
Like ba-ba-ba-ba-da-ba
Ba-ba-ba-da-ba (Yee!)
Ba-ba-ba-ba-da-ba
Ba-ba-ba-da-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba-da-ba
Ba-ba-ba-da-ba
‘Cause the music does me good and it gets me every time
[G-Eazy:]
Yeah, lonely nights I laid awake
Pray to lord, my soul to take
My heart’s become too cold to break
Know I’m great but I’m broke as hell
Having dreams that I’m folding cake
All my life I’ve been told to wait
But I’mma get it now, yeah it’s no debate

Inspiring isn’t it? Makes us want to reach for the gas pipe.

How much immigration is too much?

We have a question for libertarians, a slightly different version of a question we like to pose to left-liberals. The question for left-liberals is: How much government is too much? Or, is it possible for government to grow too big, and if so, how will we know? The reason we like to ask this question is because leftists talk as if growing the government has no risks or downside. Asking the question is a way of injecting reality into the discussion.

The question for libertarians is: How much immigration is too much? We know that many libertarian economists like Bryan Caplan and Tyler Cowen favor open borders. And immigration at this time is the number one issue facing the country. So: How much is too much? Would America be able to successfully absorb, say, a billion immigrants? If the answer is no, then the reason must be that immigration entails costs: a greater strain on public services, lower levels of trust and social capital, and more terrorism.

Even the world’s most famous advocate of migration–German Chancellor Angela Merkel–by her actions admits that immigration must be limited. After accepting a million migrants from the East, and telling Germans that immigration was good for Germany, Merkel paid off Turkey to staunch the flow of migrants. The most pro-migration European countries like Germany and Sweden are now mad at the rest of Europe for not taking enough migrants off their hands. But if migrants are such an unalloyed blessing, shouldn’t Sweden and Germany be happy to keep as many as possible?

Even the Swedes and Germans by their actions admit that immigration must be limited. If libertarians agree, then our disagreement with them is no longer an argument over principle; we’re just debating where to draw the line.

But if libertarians refuse to acknowledge limits to immigration, then their position is more radical even than Angela Merkel’s. In fact, it is more radical than the position of any and every official in the developed world who bears any degree of responsibility or accountability for immigration policy. The open borders advocates frolic in a world of dogmatic abstraction, having little to do with reality. Sad!

Finally, note that libertarians’ support for mass immigration conflicts with the libertarian objective of reducing the size of government. Surveys show that immigrants to America are more likely to support bigger government than is the native-born population. Libertarians love immigration, but immigrants have no love for libertarianism. Good luck creating a libertarian society in an America of mass immigration.

U.S. Birth Rate Hits All-Time Low

Back in the early 1970s, America was in the grip of hysteria regarding ‘overpopulation.’ Fueled by Paul Erlich’s scaremongering book, The Population Bomb, people really believed that society faced a dismal future of famine, war, and pestilence due to population growth. This belief was not held primarily by uneducated people, but by all the ‘thought leaders’ of society: journalists, academics, politicians. Overpopulation was a primary motivation for the establishment of the environmentalist movement and the founding of Earth Day in 1970. The overpopulation scare is even thought to have influenced the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade to strike down all the state laws against abortion. At that time, the smart set all believed in the Population Bomb, just as they all believe today in Global Warming.

Now more than 40 years later, the U.S. birthrate has reached an all-time low, and the U.N. projects the world population to start falling after the middle of this century.

More than five years after economists announced the end of the recession, fertility levels have still not recovered. As a result, more than 3.4 million fewer babies were born in the United States between 2008 and 2015 than would have been expected if pre-recession fertility rates had been sustained (see Figure 1). In each of the last five years, this birth deficit has resulted in roughly 500,000 fewer births.

Nor do new data just released show any evidence of an upturn in births. National Center for Health Statistics data for 2015 show the lowest general fertility rate on record and only 3,978,000 births last year. There were 338,000 (8 percent) fewer births in 2015 than in 2007…

Why should we care if the birth rate is low? Is this really a problem?

Well, for one thing, the solvency of the government’s social insurance programs–Social Security and Medicare–depends on a growing population.

Also, it happens to be a historical fact that, when ancient Rome was in its ascendancy, the birth rate was high, and when Rome was in decline, the birth rate was low.

Just sayin’.

images

A Democrat Dilemma

Democrats historically have shown an amazing ability to keep antagonistic groups within the same political coalition. For instance, the coalition that elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt included northern liberals, Catholics, and Jews, along with southern conservatives and KKK members who were avowedly anti-Jew and anti-Catholic. Yet somehow, they all voted the same way.

The latest challenge for the Democrats appears to be keeping their Islamist constituency from murdering their gay homosexual constituency.

Good luck with that.

Ck1CDSdWsAAPAdm

Democracy Deficit: Europe’s Ruling Class Conducts ‘Radical Social Experiment’

The Brookings Institution is a prominent economics think tank that favors amnesty and mass immigration. A Brookings analyst, Constanze Stelzenmüller, wrote recently about “Germany’s grand refugee experiment.” The word ‘experiment’, of course, describes a situation in which the outcome is uncertain. And indeed, Stelzenmüller points out that the refugee experiment in Europe could either succeed or fail. Without being very specific, Stelzenmüller associates failure with the words “catastrophe” and “disaster”–a gamble with high stakes.

Germany is about to embark on a radical social experiment. It will determine whether the huge wave of refugees that washed over Europe last year will be a boon to the continent, or a catastrophe…

Refugees from war zones such as Syria and Afghanistan are often severely traumatized. Acquiring the skills and knowledge to fit into Germany’s economy and society will be hard for many…

German police recently arrested suspected members of an alleged Islamic State terrorist cell, possibly foiling a plot to commit a major terrorist attack. All three were Syrian and had come to Europe as refugees.

A senior civil servant in Berlin told me recently: “All this will completely change the face of Germany.” But for this experiment to succeed, it will have to reinforce the capacities of communities and regions to turn the new arrivals into productive and peaceful members of society. It will have to reinforce and link up the domestic intelligence and security services—while increasing oversight and accountability. Germany will also have to develop a much more comprehensive and forceful foreign policy for Northern Africa and the Middle East. Last but not least, it needs to do better at ensuring the solidarity of its fellow European Union member states.

That’s a tall order, even for a state as powerful and wealthy as Germany. But failure would be a disaster for Europe, and for transatlantic relations. A lot rides on Berlin getting it right…

Leaving aside the wisdom of this grand experiment, this article got us wondering about the political legitimacy of the policy. Germany in particular and Europe more generally are supposed to be representative democracies that govern with the consent of the people. We therefore have a simple question: At what point were the people asked if they wanted to participate in this “radical social experiment”?

Did Germany ever hold a plebiscite or election campaign in which the German people were asked to agree to a “complete change in the face of Germany”? Did Chancellor Merkel lay out her plan for mass migration in her last election campaign? Did Merkel level with the people about the risks of “catastrophe” and “disaster” before implementing the policy?

We’re pretty sure we know the answers to those questions.

Of course, some dissenting voices were presumably allowed to speak in parliament, and a vote held in that chamber. But for the most part, this looks like a policy decision taken unilaterally by the political elites and imposed on the people. When the political system can launch a ‘radical social experiment’ to ‘change the face’ of the nation without consulting the people, can we legitimately call it democracy? If modern democracy was ever anything more than a sham, it has ceased to be.

The Matriarchy in Action

Our society is now so feminized, anti-male, and matriarchal, that setting aside just one day per year to honor fathers is asking too much.

Ckrq0P4UkAAKX8N

We can’t emphasize enough how much this shirt contradicts the fundamental spirit of Father’s Day. The sentiment expressed in the shirt is of the man honoring and devoting himself to his wife and family. That in fact is the practice and orientation of the devoted father on every day of the year. But Father’s Day is supposed to be the one day out of the year when the family honors Dad for that very same support and devotion. Father’s Day is the one day when it’s really supposed to be about him.

Is the modern male now so put-upon, so undervalued, that displacing the female on the pedestal for just one day is asking too much?

The Minimum Wage Increases Crime

The minimum wage has a lot of real effects apart from its stated purpose of alleviating poverty. The list of real effects includes decreasing opportunities for young people, decreasing worker benefits, increasing automation and increasing unemployment. The minimum wage also facilitates racial discrimination in labor markets and increases the price of stuff low-income people purchase, like fast food. A new academic study now adds to that lengthy list one more real effect.

jhrtfhdfg The minimum wage is amazing–what can’t it do?

Oh yeah, alleviate poverty.