Whenever the Democrats feel a disconnect with voters, or when one of their initiatives fails to gain traction (i.e., the election of Queen Hillary or the destruction of Brett Kavanagh) they always come back with some gargantuan new social justice proposal, designed to steal any sunlight the Republicans may have garnered.
With Donald Trump in the White House, Democrats have had to dream up a series of New Deals because every time they turn around, he is standing in their limelight. There hasn't been anyone as good at hogging the limelight since PT Barnum.
So now some of the most zealous Progressives have rolled out the Green New Deal. Obviously the term New Deal is supposed to capture some of the charm and positive connotations of President Roosevelt's 1933 economic recovery act that was designed to reignite the nearly destitute state of affairs following the Great Depression.
Part of the strategy of the sponsoring House Democrats (lead by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) is to imply that the current US economy is in a great depression under Donald Trump, and of course we already know, that without immediate "Chicken Little the Sky Is Falling" drastic action, the world as we know it will end in 12 years. That only white rich people are enjoying the booming stock market, the tremendous resurgence in employment for all Americans, and an increasing sense that the country is moving in the right direction again.
To obscure the fact that many manufacturers are moving production back onshore after years of flight to low wage third-world countries, Progressives are saying a Green New Deal will overcome the unfairness and miscarriage of justice that Trump's economic programs have established at the expense of blacks, women and illegal immigrants.
As I have said over and over, Progressivism is just a mitigating term for neo-communism. And the Green New Deal is just an Orwellian term for wrapping environmentalism and collectivist economic extremism into a Mao-style cultural revolution bent on destroying Trump's Americanism movement.
Since taking office, Trump has made it his priority to undo all of Obama's regulations and incentives for institutionalizing climate change and disengaging from unfair and impractical trade agreements. He has asserted these American-centric policies would immediately free up investment and momentum, and return billions of offshore profits to the American economy. And that alone has outraged environmentalists and Progressive leaders who are bent on purging America of what they consider a dependence on fossil fuels, on economic principles of capitalism and on white male privilege.
But just like Mao's collectivist policies that were responsible for the greatest famine in human history, starving nearly forty million Chinese citizens to death, the latest Progressive proposal would destroy America's position of world leadership. It would essentially send us back to the dark ages: The Green New Deal would outlaw air travel, guarantee wages and jobs and provide basic income even for those who refuse to work. It would force displaced 'workers' into re-education/training programs, and then embark on a massive reconstruction and remodeling job on all levels of industry and private life that had previously relied on fossil fuels. It would by necessity, replace free enterprise with government central planning.
Just as Mao called his consolidation of power The Great Leap Forward, Progressives say the Green New Deal will be our own Great Leap Forward.
The problem with all this 'theory' is that reality and theory have no intersection. Putting all of these goals into a 12 year target ignores the fact that the human race could not supply its food or energy needs without fossil fuels no matter how quickly we develop wind, solar, water, or other energy sources. Leftists conveniently forget that none of those forms of energy can be captured and stored efficiently, so the production has to be at the time and location it is needed. If wind power could be stored and shipped around the world, we could load up the North and South poles with windmills and be done with it.
Studies show that our world will be somewhat dependent on fossil fuels for at least another 50 years, unless science invents something unforeseen. This is because the sheer volume of source materials required to drive the engines of production needed to farm, to heat, to move and to feed people across the planet cannot be met with renewables alone.
Besides, science and industry are quickly moving us all in that direction anyway.
Sadly, Progressives are never satisfied with the status quo. Why? Because that would deny them the vehicle they need to acquire political power (not electrical power). Only when large numbers of people are scared and agitated can they lasso them into a political force that gives them the legislative power needed to keep their globalist, one-world government dreamteam aristocracy in place and to redistribute wealth to keep their constituents satiated. And that is not a slam on poor people. Democrats are increasingly made up of well-paid government employees, and they need to grow their share of the public pie.
Just like Mao did when he used a misnomer to rename China The People's 'Republic' of China, Progressives masquerade themselves with social justice issues. But ultimately many of their most loyal supporters eventually get thrown under the bus of 'Progress.' Many of those identified as the beneficiaries of cheaper energy, new jobs and a more egalitarian culture, will find themselves once again victimized by confiscatory government policies, loss of freedoms and incentives, and a race to the lowest common denominator.
That's why the Democrats new social elixir is not a Green New Deal, it is in reality a Mean New Deal.
As a cultural observer I think it my duty to comment on the restaurant industry and how much of it has gone off the rails. After all, going out to dinner has always been a pleasurable and available source of entertainment. Though it has evolved into a different experience in the last fifty years, it still offers a couple of hours of relaxation, dining and social lubrication.
I guess we need to agree on the definition of relaxation first. Because my most recent 'dining' experiences have been atrocious. Maybe I have a different perspective than the 24 - 44 year-olds I assume most restaurant chains are pursuing. Maybe I am living in the past. But I still find it hard to understand how the marketing geniuses at some of America's largest restaurant organizations can mess up such a simple pleasure.
For decades I have enjoyed the 'go out to dinner and a movie' evening immensely. That, however is different than a dining experience. Even better, in my mind, is the late dinner dining experience with my wife and maybe another couple. By that I mean, arriving at the restaurant at 7PM and staying until 10. This involves some cocktails, some hors d'oeuvres and then a slow-dining main dish, followed by desert and a snifter of brandy.
That experience is what I call dining. In 2019 it will probably cost me at least $100 per person. Because you aren't going to get that kind of meal, that kind of tempo at a chain restaurant. It will only come from a branded, local chef-driven establishment. Sure there are high-end chains like Morton's that offer great food, great wine and attentive service too. But they are also guilty of what I call Menu Pandering. They want to offer something for everybody, so the menu is too complicated and bifurcated. When the waiter approaches to take our orders, I feel like I am in line at the auto repair shop. The service order technician is holding a clipboard checklist, asking me what is wrong with my car. He then goes down the list, repeating the assembly of my diner, just to make sure he has everything correct. Whew, I feel like I just went through a driver license renewal test at the DMV! A minute later, I probably won't remember what I ordered!
For me, I would prefer a one page list of Today's Chef's Choice Dinner Plates. One beef, one chicken, one pasta, one seafood, and one casserole specialty. Each entry is something special the Chef made up just for tonight. Each comes with the Chef's selection of complimentary side dishes, and a choice of soup or salad. That's it! I point at the one I want and return to the conversation the waiter interrupted.
I like surprises when it comes to great food. I want something I can't make at home, otherwise I don't need to get dressed up and drive across town to get fed. Over the years I have discovered which Chef's culinary tastes suit my palate. I become loyal to them, and them to me. I have had more than one occasion when I was particularly unhappy with a dish. Maybe it was cold or undercooked. I tell my waiter and without hesitation my meal is immediately replaced. The establishment has skin in my game, just as I do in theirs.
Recently I went to a well-known Australian steakhouse chain that had just opened a new location near me. I was kind of excited to see what they were up to, because the brand has grown exponentially in the past decade.
What a disappointment! The motif was nearly identical to a dozen other Millennial-oriented, Asian-Feng Shui Mid-American Modern interiors. A big room divided only by short railings. Soft indirect lighting reflected by dark woods and black moldings and window frames. High ceilings with industrial looking hanging lamps make reading the complicated, four-page menus nearly impossible without cell phone flashlights. The menu is a six-ring circus of main entries which must be completed by adding side dishes. The copy is printed in a 8 point font in grey ink. Unbelievably stupid!
The truth is I know what is going on. Many chains are pandering to the Millenial compunction to demand hundreds of choices about everything! Even when you order water, the waiter has a list of types he has to explain. It is all part of the Digital Revolution, the ability to access millions of gigabits of whatever at any given second. So now we have to be buried in data everytime we ask for help.
I don't want to think that hard when I am going out to diner.
Beyond that major complaint, I was also uncomfortable the whole time. My wooden chair was no better than a bus stop bench. The sound system was blaring unintelligible, and overwhelming music. I wondered, are they making it so loud to force us all to yell at each other across the table just to give us, and those next to us, some privacy? Because without the blanket of noise enveloping the room, it would be impossible to have any privacy because there are no dividers among the table and chairs. I assume that design principle is simply to allow for more tables and chairs, so the opportunity to turn them more often is increased exponentially.
I'll take overstuffed, leather booths anyday!
Then after we finished our mostly mediocre food (served on some hybrid plastic tableware) the waiter placed a computer monitor on our table and said we could check ourselves out...WTF? I don't care about their convenience, I want to be waited on! Let them do the math, ring up the sale and give me a receipt. I am not going to do their job!
This steakhouse is virtually identical to the cowboy themed steakhouse experience I had just last month. The only difference was the theme. But I have visited enough of these now to recognize the homogenization of the chain restaurant marketing direction. One I have no affinity for.
I guess this attitude of "serve yourself by technology' has seeped into all aspects of our lives, at fast food and hotel lobbies, at the bank, even at the post office. But I refuse to accept such a disrespectful approach to my dining experience. I will just have to look for one of a vanishing breed of restaurateurs, because far too many have subscribed to a new format, The Death of Dining.
From an essay titled Bad Press by Charlie Cooke at National Review, here is a great description of the decay of journalism in America....
" Despite presenting an opportunity for sobriety and excellence, the election of President Donald Trump has been an unmitigated disaster for the political media, which have never reckoned with their role in Trump’s elevation and eventual selection, and which have subsequently treated his presidency as a rolling opportunity for high-octane drama, smug self-aggrandizement, and habitual sloth. I did not go to journalism school, but I find it hard to believe that even the least prestigious among those institutions teaches that the correct way to respond to explosive, unsourced reports that just happen to match your political priors is to shout “BOOM” or “BOMBSHELL” or “BIGIFTRUE” and then to set about spreading those reports around the world without so much as a cursory investigation into the details. And yet, in the Trump era, this has become the modus operandi of all but the hardest-nosed scribblers."
The problem is insidious and metastasizing.
As the battle over the border drags on, here is tale worth repeating...
The doorbell didn't ring, but I knew something was there because I could hear a lot of commotion .It was late at night and I wasn't expecting anyone, so naturally I became a little concerned. I went to my garage and found a flashlight.
I braced myself, pulled open the front door and...what a surprise!
The little family of about a dozen raccoons! They were so cute and innocent! Their faces looked so adorable as their eyes glowed in the flashlight beam.
I invited them in.
Obviously they were starving! Some were emaciated, tired and probably covered with fleas, so I immediately called my vet. She said unless some were dying, any house call would be out of the question. That since there was no emergency, I could bring them into her clinic in the morning.
Or better yet, she suggested I take them to the county animal protection shelter…
As the anxious and agitated group started pilfering through my house, my wife came out of the bedroom to be frightened out of her wits.
"It's OK honey" I said, "Just some hungry and homeless youngsters who are looking for some food and a place to stay. Can you rustle up some food?"
She ran back into the bedroom. I think she might have called the Police…
I was too busy to ask why she thought we needed help. These little guys were fully capable of finding stuff to eat. Within minutes they had everything in my pantry spread out on the floor and were tearing into boxes and bags, tossing cans around and licking up syrup and sugar they had spilled. A little inconvenience maybe, but how can you blame them, they probably hadn't had much to eat since there were so many of them.
I felt good about things for awhile, but I soon realized they were overwhelming my home. They were everywhere, so I started pleading with them to leave. As I wandered through the house, shooing them out of bedrooms and bathrooms, I found my wife cowering in a closet. Then I suddenly noticed a family of possums was making their way into my living room!
This is a real problem!
I was starting to get a little frightened, so I decided to go next door to plea for help. As I reached the end of my driveway, I stopped cold in my tracks...I was suddenly surrounded by a pack of Coyotes...
"But it was the Trump campaign’s coziness with so many Russians that made it all possible." - AXIOS Online
During a recent live radio interview, the host challenged my assertion that recent scholastic and media industry studies concluded that Trump received 92% negative press prior to his election and just slightly less biased coverage since. I said a lot of the 'negative' coverage is reporters allowing their bias to seep into their stories. Often it happens by simply using pejorative terms. She wanted me to sight an example.
I am relatively new to live radio, so I wasn't able to sight chapter and verse, but I did say that most mainstream media reports on the subject of "illegal' immigration never distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. Reports on Trump often say he, and Republicans in general, are 'anti-immigration'.
That is absolutely untrue and the reporters know it is untrue and still they continue to frame the story as proof that Trump is xenophobic. It all starts with, and is perpetuated by a lie of omission, which is nothing less than slander and Fake News.
For example, here is a story on the millennial website Axios, which talks about how the Russians manipulate social media to divide Americans. Not content to just spread the important non-partisan news that foreign countries are weaponizing social media platforms, Axios has to blame it all on Trump!
The last line in the story is:
"But it was the Trump campaign’s coziness with so many Russians that made it all possible."
"Coziness" is a pejorative term, and it is just nebulous enough to avoid any claims of journalistic excess. 'Cozy' is one thing in reference to a nice evening in front of a fireplace with someone you love and a glass of wine. Or, it can be very negative when placed in context of one of our own sharing too much information with a bitter enemy. Since the idea of "Russian collusion" explaining why Hillary lost the election, the latter condition is what most people think (thanks to Fake News) when the subject of Russian influence comes up.
But Axios claims it would not have been possible if not for Trump having relationships with "so many" Russians (who are unnamed). If Jeb Bush had won the nomination, does anyone think the Russians would have thrown up their hands in defeat and abandoned their media manipulation campaign? Give me a break!
Even if we were to accept, for the sake of argument, that Trump had meetings with Russian officials before the election (which I am sure he did at some point in history), how does that extrapolate to his "making it all possible" to exert immense political and cultural influence on social media users all over the United States of America?
I would suggest that it is the nature of the social networking beast that makes it all possible.
What the Russians have been doing takes an immense amount of coordination and money. If Trump had any part in it, it would be something the Special Council would have had no problem documenting.
In their article, Axios says, "These (Russian) campaigns are easier because of the U.S. government's lack of unity in confronting the practice and the platforms. That's a big win for Russia."
True, but this stuff was happening under the Obama administration. Hello? Can you put two and two together or is that asking too much of journalism today?
A common description of conservatives is that they can't embrace the 'Browning of America'. That as the population of Latinos grows, as blacks gain political clout, and as women of color expand their influence in political circles, many mostly white voters, and especially older white men, are struggling with the idea that America is now equally divided by ethnicity and gender. So older white guys like me are angry, and supporting racist, nationalist leaders like Donald Trump.
Media talking heads call us "Haters".
The demographics may well show that America's color may be darkening, but assigning the dispepsia of conservative voters to xenophobia is totally bogus, and in many ways, bigoted. Sure there are always going to be vestiges of white power racism in our culture, just as there are significant numbers of people who like creamed spinach (not me!).
But to place the blame for our cultural divisions solely on the back of one group, one political point of view (conservatism) is myopic. Suggesting that older white men resent people of color is, in and of itself, an ignorant and intolerant generalization. If people like me don't stand up and reject these charges, we become complicit in the lie.
The problem is some people cannot separate attitude from policy. Modern cultural attitudes conflate racism with sovereignty. Too often the issue of breaking immigration laws is brushed aside, and intermingled with emotional issues like the separation of mothers from their children.
Was anyone worried about the future of Ruth, Mark and Andrew Madoff when Poppa Madoff was escorted out of the courthouse and committed to jail for 150 years?
I am a 68 year old white conservative. I voted for DJT, not because he is a racist and ergo so am I. No, it was because he was willing to address a serious problem of protecting our borders and keeping our communities safe. Not safe from people of color, but safe from intruders who disrespect our laws. All the other candidates capitulated to the bogus charges of racism.
It is as simple as that. I view Trump as an advocate of law and order, not white power! Most conservatives don't care what the color of your skin is, we just want migrants to assimilate, become an American who understands what that is and what responsibilities come with it.
The idea that our country is suffering from unregulated illegal immigration should not be arguable: there is simply too much evidence that citizens are suffering from crimes and job competition by people who are by law not supposed to be here. The color of their skin is irrelevant. When a migrant starts out by immediately disrespecting our laws, it is easy to assume they will continue to do so as they encounter challenges while struggling to survive in our competitive society. Admittedly, they will be handicapped by a lack of family resources, education or job history, so it is just too easy to turn to crime.
How else do we explain that 30% of the population in American jails are illegal immigrants?
Beyond the obvious issue of illegal immigration, what many Americans are worried about is the 'diluting of Americanism' wherein our heritage of self-sufficiency, respect for law, a sense of entrepreneurship and pride of ownership, and a commitment to engaged understanding and participation in civic decisions and community building will be replaced by a return to tribalism and social isolation. That if we do not require our immigrants and our citizens to follow the law, we will devolve into something unlike the America we inherited from our folks.
Watching groups attempting to breach our border security while carrying flags of their country of origin is a red flag for anyone who naively thinks these people just want to become Americans.
So please spare me the bigoted assertion that Trump is a racist and those who support him are haters. If you really believe that, you are delusional and misinformed. Just like Colin Kaepernick won't stand for the National Anthem because he considers it 'unjust', I won't stand for people calling me a hater.