Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Democrats Are Waging War Against Tradition and the Constitution

 

Several of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates favored the abolishment of the Electoral College. Or, as once-confident candidate Elizabeth Warren put it, "I plan to be the last American president to be elected by the Electoral College."

Furor over the Electoral College among the left arose from the 2000 and 2016 elections. Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, respectively, won the popular votes. But, like three earlier presidents, they lost the Electoral College voting -- and with it the presidency.

The Founding Fathers saw a purpose in the Electoral College. It ensured that small, rural states would retain importance in national elections.

The Electoral College lessened the chance of voting fraud affecting the outcome of a national vote by compartmentalizing the outcome among the various states. It usually turns the presidential election into a contest between two major parties that alone have the resources to campaign nationwide.

The college is antithetical to the parliamentary systems of Europe. There, a multiplicity of small extremist parties form and break coalitions to select heads of state, often without transparency.

Yet to change the U.S. Constitution is hard -- and by intent.

Historically, an amendment has required a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and an additional ratification by three-fourths of the states through votes of their legislatures.

There is a chance that some states could render void the Electoral College without formally amending the Constitution.

To circumvent the Constitution, Democrats have pushed "The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact," an agreement among a group of states that would force state electors to vote in accordance with the national popular vote and ignore their own state tallies. Already, 15 states totaling 73 percent of the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency have joined.

Liberal academics have an array of proposed constitutional changes. Why do two Wyoming senators each represent about 290,000 voters while each California senator represents 20 million?

Forget that the founders established a constitutional republic, not a radical democracy, in order to check and balance popular and often volatile public opinion. One way was by creating an upper-house Senate that would slow down the pulse of the more populist House of Representatives.

Nevertheless, there is an ongoing effort to dream up ways to create more, and apparently liberal, senators -- to change the rules rather than the hearts and minds of the voters.

In his recent eulogy at John Lewis's funeral, Barack Obama proposed giving statehood to liberal Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. That would instantly give Democrats four additional senators.

Others want senators allotted by population. That was the argument in a recent Atlantic article titled "The Path to Give California 12 Senators, and Vermont Just One,"

There is nothing in the Constitution that specifies the exact size and makeup of the Supreme Court. It only offers guidance on how justices are appointed and confirmed, and that there will be a chief justice. But since 1869, the Supreme Court has been fixed at eight associate justices and one chief justice.

Democratic primary candidates Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke and Elizabeth Warren said they would consider ending that 151-year tradition and "pack" the court with additional justices in the fashion of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's failed 1937 effort.

The left is apparently afraid of a second Donald Trump presidential term that might allow him four or five Supreme Court picks over eight years in office.

The effect of such appointments could be mitigated by expanding the court to 12 or more justices, along with altering the rules for selecting them.

In his eulogy for Lewis, Obama also called for an end to the Senate filibuster. He claimed it was a racist relic from the Jim Crow era used to stymie needed social change.

Given recent polling, Obama now apparently believes Trump will lose the election, and Congress with it. But he also seems to fear that fundamental progressive transformation could be checked by a filibuster-happy Republican Senate minority.

Democrats were perfectly happy with the filibuster -- or the mere threat of the filibuster -- from 2017 to 2019, when the Democratic Senate minority blocked much of the Trump agenda.

Efforts to change time-honored rules for short-term gain are becoming more common.

Sanctuary cities nullify federal immigration law to empower illegal immigration. The nonenforcement of laws against rioting and looting has become common in big cities. The First Amendment is inert on college campuses.

The left should beware. Politics are volatile and often change. When Democrats destroy longstanding rules for short-term advantage, they may regret it when they too are in need of sober traditions and the U.S. Constitution.

If Biden and Harris Have Their Way, 19 Million Jobs Would Be Eliminated

 

California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) and former Vice President Joe Biden are now the official Democratic Party ticket for the 2020 presidential election. One thing that's important to remember as we head into November: both Harris and Biden have promised to ban fracking, which would be a blow to millions of Americans across the country.

"No more, no new fracking. And, by the way, on the Recovery Act, I was able to make sure we invested $90 billion dollars in making sure we brought down the price of solar and wind that is lower than the price of coal," Biden said back in March during a debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders. "That's why not another new coal plant will be built."

"There's no question I'm in favor of banning fracking," Harris said during a town hall last September. "And starting with what we can do on day one with public lands, right? And then there's gotta be legislation. This is something I've taken on in California. I have a history of working on this issue."

"We just have to acknowledge that the residual impact of fracking is enormous in terms of health and safety of communities," the senator said.

According to the Global Energy Institute, if fracking were banned between 2021 and 2025, 19 million Americans would be out of jobs and the United States' GDP would drop by $7.1 trillion. Not only that but energy prices would go through the roof, "with natural gas prices rising by 324 percent, causing household energy bills to quadruple and the cost of living to increase by $5,661 for the average American. By 2025, the price of gasoline would double and government revenues would plummet by almost $1.9 trillion."

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Why America Is in Real Danger

 

Americans have long been proud of the fact that, unlike European countries, America never went the route of totalitarianism as embodied in communism, fascism and Nazism.

This achievement may be coming to an end.

In order to understand why, it is first necessary to understand why European countries embraced -- or fell victim to -- totalitarian doctrines.

Until World War I, the primary beliefs that gave life meaning, both on a national and personal level, were Judeo-Christian religions and patriotism (love of one's nation). What gave people moral guidance were Judeo-Christian values.

For most Europeans of the younger generation, World War I, with its seemingly senseless slaughter of millions, ended belief in Christianity and, in many cases, ended the people's faith in their nations. God was deemed absent; religion was deemed unnecessary; and national identity was widely seen as a cause of the war.

That left a void that was almost immediately filled by communism, fascism and Nazism.

In Russia, World War I led directly to the Russian Revolution. Even before the war ended, in 1917, the czar was overthrown, and later that year, the Bolsheviks (the Russian communists) took over. As awful as the czar was, there was far more freedom under him than there was in the Soviet Union until the fall of communism 72 years later, not to mention the murder of more people -- 20 to 40 million -- under the Soviet regime.

In Italy, the rise of fascism followed World War I. And in Germany, the Nazis came to power just 15 years after the end of the Great War. Nazism conquered most of the European continent during WWII, and after Germany's defeat in 1945, the Soviets imposed communism over all of Eastern Europe.

Though there were communists, communist fellow travelers, Nazi sympathizers, racists and anti-Semites in the United States, neither communism nor fascism nor Nazism took root here. The primary reason was that, unlike most Europeans, Americans did not lose their faith in Judeo-Christian religions and values or in America after World War I. America remained so religious that, in 1954, the words "under God" were inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily in American schools.

However, by the 1950s, faith in America, Christianity and what we call bourgeois middle-class values was largely limited to older Americans. The post-World War II baby-boomer generation was already being indoctrinated in secularism and anti-Americanism. As early as 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school prayer was unconstitutional.

By the late 1960s, vast numbers of baby boomers were attending demonstrations that were as much against America -- routinely characterized as an imperialist and colonialist aggressor country with an evil military -- as they were against the war in Vietnam. It was not uncommon to see America spelled "Amerikkka" or "Amerika" at protests and in graffiti.

When I was in graduate school at Columbia University in the early 1970s, I was taught that men and women are not inherently different from one another and that the Cold War was between two superpowers (equally at fault), not between freedom and tyranny.

Another generation has passed, and the post-Christian, left-wing baby boomers have come close to achieving complete success. The mainstream print and electronic media, universities, high schools and elementary schools, the arts and now sports have all been conquered by the left. Except for sports, from the beginning of the 20th century, they were almost all liberal, but now they are left.

We now have the answer to the question: What will happen to America if Americans lose faith in God and country as the Europeans did after World War I? What will happen to America when Christianity dies as it did in Europe after World War I?

The way things now look, America may have its bout with some totalitarian doctrine -- almost surely some form of leftism. Liberty has never been a left-wing value. From Lenin on, wherever the left has come to power, it has suppressed liberty, beginning with free speech. Already, despite a Republican president and a Republican Senate, America has less free speech than at any time in its history. Exactly one year ago, I testified before a Senate subcommittee and wrote an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal about YouTube (owned by Google) placing more than 100 Prager University, or PragerU, videos on its restricted list.

And things have gotten much worse. Last week, PragerU was locked out of its Twitter account for retweeting a press conference of eight physicians in Washington, D.C., which had already received 17 million views, and Facebook has just informed us that if we even cite studies that show possible benefits of hydroxychloroquine (with zinc) in the early stages of a patient with COVID-19, we will lose our Facebook account.

And then there is the "cancel culture" -- which is merely a euphemism for leftist suppression of dissent. People are booted from internet platforms, fired from their jobs or have their reputations smeared and their businesses ruined for differing with the left -- on anything.

We are also undergoing a nonviolent (as of now) version of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, with individuals forced to issue humiliating public recantations of their beliefs and attend reeducation sessions (we don't yet have reeducation camps, but they should not be ruled out as a possibility if the left is in control).

Another communist norm taking root in America is the rewriting of the American past. We are living a famous Soviet dissident joke: "In the Soviet Union, the future is known; it is the past that is always changing."

On almost all social issues and many economic ones, the American left is more radical than the left in Europe. Europeans across the political spectrum are more wary of ideological fanaticism because of the vast scale of death and suffering that resulted from communism, fascism and Nazism.

One might say that Europe was inoculated against fanaticism. Europeans are more preoccupied with working less, traveling more and being taken care of than with ideological movements. But America, which has not suffered under fanatical, irrational, liberty-depriving ideologies, has not been inoculated.

Without such a vaccination, what replaced Christianity in Europe may well do the same in America.

The Economy Is Struggling, but Gun Sales Are Soaring

OAKMONT, Pennsylvania -- Long before you find yourself standing in front of the Smoke N' Guns shop, the delicate aroma of coffee beans and hand-rolled cigars beckons your senses as you walk along Allegheny River Boulevard.

Outside the shop, four black leather chairs spread a respectable 6 feet apart are waiting for either the overflow of customers or locals such as Marcello Frollo to hold court. He enjoys a rolled cigar along with his double espresso as he listens to the cars rumble along the brick-lined street.

Inside, the store is a visual delight, with a coffee bar and a handful of tables and chairs at the entrance. Boxes filled with the best cigars money can buy are stacked high, and an impressive walk-in humidor is designed to keep them preserved at the perfect temperature.

In the back, a balcony overlooks the rest of the store and spans its entire width. A glass display case with an array of long guns hangs along the wall. In the center, begging to be held, is a Tommy gun. Gregory "Gooch" Ionadi, the owner, waits to help you find the gun you need or want to protect yourself.

That is, if there are any left to buy.

"Prior to the COVID outbreak, President Obama was the best gun salesman we ever had," says Ionadi. "Anytime he was going to ban this, ban that, there was a rush on gun sales. When President Trump was elected, the fear of a gun ban subsided, and sales were so flat that several gun manufacturers went out of business."

Things changed dramatically in gun shops across the country in February, when the first concentrated COVID-19 cases in one town were reported out of New Rochelle, New York. "We made more here in ... March and April than we did in the last three years," he says. "It was crazy."

It wasn't just his regular customers walking in the door or calling the store. Many of them never imagined themselves owning a gun, an experience reflected in the latest FBI statistics on background checks associated with the sale, transfer or permitting of firearms. An all-time sales high was recorded in March, when the virus outbreak hit and much of the country closed down: The FBI saw 3.7 million background checks.

When protests and riots started sweeping the country after the May 25 death of George Floyd, the FBI clocked another record in June by conducting more than 3.9 million background checks.

Last month, as activists set fires, looted and called for defunding or abolishing the police, the FBI showed that more than 3.6 million firearm background checks were conducted, making July the third-highest month on record.

Those numbers reflect Ionadi's experience: a surge in sales in March and April, and big numbers in June and July following the riots.

"You wouldn't believe the first-time gun buyers I've seen," says Ionadi. "I started seeing little old ladies -- 70, 80 years old -- wanting to defend themselves because of what was going on. So, I had to change my thinking. I had to start buying .22 Magnum revolvers. I have some revolvers here, but I had to start buying revolvers that women and older folks could use because they are easy to handle. Semi-auto and a revolver are two different things."

Smoke N' Guns is the kind of place where everyone has a nickname, beginning with Gooch and extending to the customers. It is a place of family, roots and connection. There are guys sitting outside smoking a cigar and inside getting their coffee. People from around the region call nonstop to see if there are particular guns and ammo in stock.

When Gooch's mom had her dress shop here, it used to be the kind of place where young women bought their wedding gowns, bridesmaids' dresses and elegant eveningwear.

"It was called Ionadi Bridal and Boutique," says Gregory Ionadi, Gooch's father, sitting outside and taking in the breezy summer day. "My wife had that for 25 years. The bottom floor was all prom dresses. Where the balcony is, we used to do an upscale women's casual, mother of the bride and bridal."

When the dress store closed, Ionadi the elder found himself bored, and Gooch had long envisioned the store they have today in his head. Between the elder's boredom and the younger's idea, both men are living the dream.

Pre-pandemic, Gooch worked full time as a Local 5 electrician during the day and then at Smoke N' Guns from 4 p.m. until closing. He was laid off from his day job in February. The elder Ionadi worked full time as the Verona postmaster during the day and then, after 4 p.m., worked the dress shop with his wife.

"Work ethic is a big deal in our family," 75-year-old Gregory Ionadi says. "You eat every day. You work every day. That's the way it is. I'll work until I can't work."

Within five minutes, Gooch takes a half-dozen calls from people looking to buy something specific, saying everything from "Not sure about that Glock" to "I am out of that ammo" to "Sure. Come in this evening and I'll show you what we have."

His father serves up a frosty coffee confection with an impressive amount of whipped cream on top to a customer outside. A "Make America Great Again" hat is propped on top of a beautifully carved wooden statue. Behind it is a framed photo of President Donald Trump.

Inside and out, everyone is in a mask (that is the rule); everyone is at a distance; respect for each other is key. "I am not arguing with people who don't want to wear a mask before coming in here," Gooch says. "Wear a mask. I don't want this thing. I don't know what it is. To this day, you're getting arguments that it's fake. Well, maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. But I want to be safe. I want my dad to be safe. I want my mom to be safe. I want my wife to be safe, my kids."

His wife, Kim, smiles and brings him a cut from a hoagie about as long as the counter she set it on and urges him to take a break for lunch, as noon passed hours ago. "I've got a feeling it's going to be a busy, long night."

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Worst Case Scenario - Hyperinflation in United States in 2021

President Trump signed an executive order yesterday for expanding employment benefits, rent payments, student loan deferment, and $400 bonuses. This tells you what kind of condition this% of student loans are in forbearance. Everything is in some forbearance. 5.9% of the 1.34 trillion in auto loans. 80 billions dollars. Lenders are exposing themselves to greater losses. When they have to deal with delinquencies when the cars lose value. Loans grow as collateral declines. When banks repossess millions of cars in the future, they’re not worth what people owe. Wells Fargo reported 44 billion of customer loans were in deferral. 35 billion of those loans are mortgages. 12% of those first mortgages are in forbearance. 10% of their second mortgages are in forbearance. 7.8% of homes are in forbearance. Prepare for very dark times in the United States. If you have a $1200 stimulus check, don’t put it towards the Disney Channel or Netflix or Lattes or the videogames, the cartoons, put that money away in savings. The price of food is going up. This thing is going to be so hard hitting and drag out for so long that nobody is going to be 100% prepared for what is coming. Goldman sacks says there is going to be a dollar collapse. Gold hit $2000. Goldman sacks says clients should hang onto their gold. As the collapse worsens, the federal reserve prints more money, as more money is printed, inflation builds. At the same time, the government is racking up loads of debt. It will drive inflation in a uncontrollable upward spiral. As the dollar loses more value, inflation will climb even higher. The inflation rate is barely above 0 at 0.6%. People who go to healthcare provider or grocery store know the number isn’t even that Cherie. That money doesn’t get to American's pockets, instead it is held up in banks and institutions to support their struggling balance sheets. MZM which serves as a indicator of liquid money has reached 4.3 trillion in 2000 but in March 2020 it reached 21 trillion dollars and in August 2020 it reached 25 trillion dollars. The velocity of MZM has slowed to a crawl of 0.9. If the trillions of money printed isn’t spent, then the recovery won’t happen. The economy activity can’t return to per-pedemic levels by the end of 2020 or beyond. Inflation will see a spike with higher interest rates as well. The currency plummeting in value will increase the velocity of money. The federal reserve is able to push down interest rates artificially thus breaking all the rules of supply and demand. In a free market, elevated desire for credit should be met with increase interest rates that will force demand back down. The tactics of the federal reserve only works in the short term. Eventually artificial markets and prices will inflict serious damage on the financial systems that institutions are trying to preserve. Worst case scenario, the US will use rapidly increasing deficits and debts. The US dollar will sink lower and lower in value as other global fiat currencies will follow. Then the federal reserve will print more money unconcerned for the consequences despite failing businesses and households facing financial insecurity followed by increase payouts to Americans who loss their jobs or were furloughed. Eventually the government will introduce a universal basic income to support the public. With Universal basic income Americans won’t have to work to receive income so many won’t attempt to rejoin the labor force. When too much money has been printed, the lower worth of the US dollar, the federal serve cant control the inflation and pull strings of interest rates. The long end of the bond market will sell off. Then high long rates will drive short rates skyward. They have to pay for debt interest as percentage of GDP. Rates will be as high as 20%. The world will have to resort to more printing money. This leads to defaults. Universal Basic Income will push more money printing until banks start failing right when the money printing turns into the quadrillions and hyper inflation takes off. Then the financial system will go into total collapse.