Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Margin of Error Explained by a Carny Barker at the State Fair

'Hey! You There! You Are Gonna Vote
Republican! Am I Right? Am I Right?'

Have you ever had a guy at the State Fair verbally accost you, saying he can name your age and if he is wrong, you would win a prize of your choice?

Ever notice what the margins of error are that makes him a winner and you a loser?

“If I guess within 3 years of your age, you lose!”

Depending on your age, that sounds reasonable.  At age 64, your inner egotistical mind might think: “Hey! He might think I am just 50! What do I have to lose other than $1?”

At age 7, the chances of losing are much higher. Most kids’ ages are easily guessed since plus/minus 3 years would put a 7-year old in the range of 4 to 10 years old that most anyone, including the carny barker, could readily guess.

If you were 64, the carny barker would have to guess either 60 and below or 68 and above for you to win. He intuitively has a 95% degree of confidence you are between the age of 61 (3 below 64) and 67 (3 above age 64).

The carny barker has 7 years to choose from, not just the three above or below your real age. He could guess 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66 or 67 and still win since he could guess you were 64.

Many public pollsters are the age-guessing carny barkers of the political world. They just don’t tell you they are.

When you see public polls saying, “Joe Biden Is Up 10% over President Trump!”, what you don’t hear are all of the caveats about their sample size and makeup. Many times, poll results are published that have no relationship or bearing on what the final demographic makeup of the voting electorate will be when the counting is done.

Many public pollsters are the age-guessing carny barkers of the political world. They just don’t tell you they are.

A public poll saying Biden is up 10 is trying to make you believe the final result of the election will be 55-45. Any poll is just a snapshot of the mood of the electorate on that date with that selected sample of people. Any political person can write questions and select a favorable sample to produce the results they want to produce to help their side win and depress the other side so they don’t vote.

Since the margin of error is plus or minus 3 for either side, 55% could be on the high side by 3 points and 45% could be on the low side by 3 points, meaning the gap could be just 4 at 52-48, much closer than a 10-point blowout.

Pollsters will say they have a 95% degree of confidence, meaning that they believe that 95 out of 100 times taking the poll with the same sample set of respondents, the result will be in the 55-45 range, including 52-48.

Nothing is ever really certain in politics, which is why we actually have elections and don’t rely on polls to elect our leaders.

Any statewide poll in North Carolina that is not based on interviewing a sample that will approximate a final voting electorate population that is roughly 74% white, 20% black, 5% Hispanic and 1% Asian or other races with appropriate educational level, income status, political affiliation and age distribution is suspect.

Six of the last 10 presidential elections in N.C. have been decided by less than 5 points. Only Bush 43 (twice), Bush 41 and Reagan ran away with double-digit victories in North Carolina.

Chances are there will be a close election on Nov. 3 in many statewide and district races. Emotions are running high amongst partisans on both sides, which guarantees increased enthusiasm to vote.

Just don’t let a carny barker pollster drive you crazy until then.

(first published in North State Journal 10/21/20)

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Go Back to the Future with “President” Joe Biden… If You Dare

The average annual rate of real GDP growth under the policies of President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden from 2010-2017 was 2.1%.  

There are no “ifs, ands or buts” about that fact. Anyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own set of fictional facts, to paraphrase former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). 

Economic growth was not “great,” as Joe Biden and the Democrats want you to believe. In fact, it was dismal, desultory, sub-standard and poor. 

Most business owners, small and large, were on virtual strike during the entire Obama/Biden Administration. They were unwilling to invest, expand and hire aggressively until the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, when they realized the heavy-handed, business-unfriendly policies of Obama/Biden and Hillary Clinton were on their way out of the White House at noon Jan. 20, 2017. 

It was one of the worst periods of stagnant economic activity ever. Almost as bad as under President Jimmy Carter.  

Which is saying something. 

After the crushing economic recession of 1973-74 caused by the “oil crisis,” which looks almost quaint now that America is energy self-sufficient, the economy rebounded to grow an average of 5% in real GDP under the policies of President Gerald Ford in 1976 and into 1977. President Carter somehow figured out how to mismanage both fiscal and monetary policy such that the hellhounds of inflation (12%) and sky-high interest rates (21%) were unleashed on every American consumer, worker, retiree and citizen.  

Real GDP growth under Carter’s leadership collapsed to average only 1.86% per year from 1979-1981. 

President Reagan’s free market policies sparked real economic growth rates that averaged 4.5% annually from 1983 to 1988. The real 7.4% growth rate in 1984 is more related to the momentum coming out of bad recessions since so much of any recovery is attributed to regaining lost ground and jobs quickly.  

Every new administration elected after a recession has enjoyed the “miracle” of high economic growth rates far in excess of 2% in the first several years of new leadership. Except under VP Biden, who says he was appointed by President Obama to lead us out of the greatest recession since the Great Depression. 

George H.W. Bush 41 was defeated by the recession of 1990-91 that was still lingering far into 1992 when former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton won in a three-way race that included Ross Perot. For seven out of the eight years of Clinton’s presidency, Americans enjoyed annual 4% real GDP growth rates fueled by the first internet boom. 

In 2010 at least, and certainly 2011, America should have experienced similar economic booms of 4%, 5%, 6% or 7%+ annual real economic growth rates that generated millions of new high-paying jobs.  

It did not happen. There was not one single year under VP Biden/President Obama’s leadership when America achieved real inflation-adjusted growth rates over 2.6%. 

How could it? First the financial banking system had to heal from massive wounds, most of it self-inflicted by reckless, overleveraged loan and investing policies. Then President Obama insisted on saddling the U.S. economy with much higher taxes, more federal deficit-spending, exorbitant regulation and a virtual government takeover of health care which constituted 16% of the entire economy. He and VP Biden crammed the ACA through Congress without a single Republican vote. 

Vice-President Biden whole-heartedly supported every single Obama policy. He never said anything negative about their joint strangulation of the American economy, not even when President Obama said 2% growth was the “new normal” for America. 

Mr. Biden wants you, the American voter, to go back with him in time to “the halcyon days of the Obama Administration,” a time that was so unsuccessful that the American economy, employment and stock market took off the day after Americans realized their terrible policies would end, because Hillary Clinton was not elected to continue them. 

Progressive liberals and #NeverTrumpers want to bring back those dark days to you, the America citizen. Go ahead if you want to vote for Joe Biden and other progressives, but just know you will be hurting yourself, along with 160 million other working Americans of all races, religions and ages who have prospered since Nov. 9, 2016. 

(first published in North State Journal 10/14/20)

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

What Unites — And Divides — Us As Americans

You know what really identifies us as Americans?

Our independence. Americans don’t want other people telling them what to do. They, we, didn’t want the King of England telling us what to do; we don’t want the United Nations telling us what to do and we don’t want our bosses, neighbors or spouses telling us what to do all the time.

We sure as heck don’t want people in the other political party telling us what to do. We are not an acquiescent society of individuals by any stretch of the imagination.

“Asking” though is an entirely different matter. My father used to say he loved North Carolinians because if you asked them for help, they would give you the shirt and coat off their backs. However, if you demanded their shirt and coat, they would tell you to go to hell and fight you tooth and nail.

You know what really divides us as Americans?

That same hard-headedness and independence. We get entrenched in our beliefs and ways of looking at the world and its problems and find it hard to see things “another way”.

Such is our collective life together today in America. We see it in all aspects of life but most explicitly expressed in our sordid national politics. Hardly anyone today seeks to persuade with facts and logic with a touch of humor anymore.  The left has abandoned all pretense of “positive persuasion” and now “demands” everyone thinks like they do; say what they say and spend tens of trillions of your tax dollars and borrowed money forever like they do.

Republicans tend to not care as much about what people say or do as long as they don’t try to force them to do the same. But they still have entrenched positions they are unwilling to give up without a fight to be sure.

Ask anyone if they want to be dictated to on a daily basis. Chances are close to 100% they will answer in the negative, often with emphasis added.

The left and the media have done a good job, in their minds, of dividing us as a nation into various tribes: rich vs. poor; white vs black; atheist vs religious; straight vs gay. Identity politics has ruled American politics for the last 30 years, perhaps even longer.

It is almost like we are not The United States of America but “The Divided States of America” which is unlikely to stand much longer.

One possible outcome on November 3 is that either side wins a resounding electoral victory and wipes out the other side for a decade or two. If there is such a sweep, we are either going to be a much more free democratic republic based on the principles of capitalism and free enterprise or we are going to become a socialist country in the mold of many countries in Europe.

Make no mistake about it: 2020 truly is a hinge election much like 1940, 1860 and 1780 that defined who we are as nation.  If he wins, Joe Biden is not going to be able to corral the extreme leftist socialists who provide any energy to today’s modern Democratic Party.

Biden says he “is the Democratic Party!”.  Biden may be the last white male to be nominated by the Democratic Party for President forever. He will join the Mohicans and the passenger pigeon on the list of extinct species.

If we have a status quo election with split control of the White House and Congress, the only way to get anything done will be the same things that have ever achieved anything of substance in Washington — clever leadership and compromise.

Ronald Reagan used to tell his legislative team “to go up to Capitol Hill and get 75%, 60% of what we want this year. We can come back next year for the rest.”

We compromise in every other daily aspect of life: business, marriage and friendships. Only in politics is compromise a four-letter word.

It is time to get over it. For our nation’s sake.

(first published in North State Journal 10/7/20)

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Swing states that could go to President Trump in 2020

To be fair and honest journalists, shouldn’t all journalists of good will talk about every state that could flip from 2016? What if every story or commentary had a list of the states Hillary Clinton won by a whisker in 2016 and examined the possibility of them flipping to Trump in November? 

Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16) and Wisconsin (10) represent a total of 46 electoral votes. President Trump won 306 electoral votes in 2016, so if he loses those three states and every other state he lost to Hillary Clinton, he will only garner 260 electoral votes in 2020. 

Joe Biden will become “President-Elect Joe Biden.” Kamala Harris will become “Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris.” Put that on your screensaver in case you forget. 

Major media outlets always include the critical states of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina in the “swing state” category. Many campaign experts on the ground think Florida and Ohio are going for Trump and North Carolina is slipping away from Biden despite millions being spent on ads across the state. 

What major news media outlets don’t ever talk about are the states that Hillary Clinton barely won that could flip to Trump this time around: Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), Maine (4) and Nevada (6), which represent 24 electoral votes. It is as if the press has suppressed any mention of such possibilities. 

President Trump could lose Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and still win re-election with 284 electoral votes if he wins these four smaller states and keeps all the other states he won in 2016.  

There are any number of scenarios that could occur this year where President Trump could win or lose re-election. Nothing is for sure except for the fact that Joe Biden, or any Democrat, starts with at least 180 electoral votes in their back pocket from blue states such as California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington and Oregon. 

The “worst” Joe Biden can be beaten is approximately 358-180 in the Electoral College. No more 49-state landslides such as Ronald Reagan defeating Walter Mondale in 1984 until those big blue states become competitive politically again. 

Maine is perhaps the least likely state to flip to Trump due to its unusual allocation of electors by congressional district, the only state other than Nebraska to do so. The overall winner with the most votes gets 2 electoral votes in Maine. The winner in each congressional district gets one of the 2 remaining electoral votes. Hillary Clinton won the state by less than 20,000 but she won the electoral vote in ME-1 by 58,000 votes. Trump won in ME-2 by 37,000 votes. If Trump loses in ME-1 by less than the margin he wins in ME-2 this time around, he will pick up 3 of the 4 ME votes, as Hillary did in 2016. 

Insiders say that Trump is much stronger in Minnesota this election than he was in 2016 when he lost the state by 43,785 votes. He lost by only 2,732 votes in New Hampshire and 26,434 in Nevada. Trump only needs to flip 50%+1 of those votes, or 21,893 in Minnesota, 1,367 in New Hampshire, and 13,218 in Nevada to win all three states this time. 

Politics is like basketball. If your team misses a layup and the opposing team rebounds and scores at the other end, that is a four-point swing — the two lost plus the two gained.  

Same with the electoral college; if Trump wins Minnesota, he gets 10 electoral votes, but it means Biden also loses 10 electoral votes from 2016, for a net change of 20 electoral votes. 

When you start to see major media outlets talk about all of the potential swing states going either way, then you will know honest journalism is at least trying to make a comeback when it comes to national politics. 

But it won’t be this year. 

(first published in North State Journal 9/30/20)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

They Gathered To A Place Called Political Armageddon

We all knew this day was coming.  

From the moment Roe vs Wade was decided by the Burger Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, even though it was soon overwhelmed by the Watergate firestorm, everyone in politics knew that the issue of abortion had the potential to tear America asunder. 

It has. The issue of abortion has pitted family members against family members, churches against churches and Democrats against Republicans. It has been the No. 1 litmus test for each side since at least 1980. Socialist Democrats now openly declare that no pro-life Democrat is welcome in their party. No pro-choice Republicans are in any kind of leadership position at the national level. 

In a year of pandemic, economic crash and resuscitation, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, riots, and a DEFCON status of 2 on the political danger scale, why not add a Supreme Court nomination and move it to DEFCON 1 six weeks ahead of the most contentious presidential election in memory? 

People on the left applauded the Roe decision as a freedom and right-to-choose issue for women. People on the right chastised it for being the consummate example of judicial overreach — finding the right to an abortion under the “penumbra” of privacy provisions in the Constitution — and usurping states’ rights with a sweeping federal jurisprudence decision absent any appropriate federal or state legislative action. 

Since then, every Supreme Court vacancy and subsequent nomination process has borne the patina of abortion politics, unspoken most of the time but clearly understood through coded questions and answers. 

With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, all non-partisan pretense has been thrown out the window. Everyone knows the next Supreme Court Justice could tip the balance of the Court into a somewhat permanent 6-3 conservative majority for the foreseeable future. Such a majority could pave the way for Roe vs Wade to not be fully overturned per se, due to the Court’s allegiance to “precedent,” so they say, but to be reversed in some way that allows the issue to return to the states to be decided state-by-state. 

Forty-two Supreme Court Justices have died while in office. Twenty-nine vacancies have occurred in presidential election years. Seventeen of the presidential year vacancies have been confirmed by the Senate in addition to a couple of recess appointments that were eventually confirmed, including William Brennan in 1956.   

Since 1900, there is no historical record of any incumbent president of either party refraining from nominating someone to fill the vacancy before the election. 

President Trump is going to nominate either Amy Coney Barrett or Barbara Lagoa at the end of this week. Both are esteemed jurists. Both are Catholic. Both are female. Ruthlessly attacking either judge carries enormous political risks for Democrats. 

If Republicans garner 51 votes on the motion to proceed to floor debate on the nomination, it will take place before the election. They have 53 senators today; they can lose Sens. Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah and still pass the nomination with the tie-breaking vote of VP Mike Pence, although Senator Romney has indicated his support for the nomination “if it reaches the floor of the Senate”. 

Just because a president nominates someone to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court doesn’t mean they have to be considered by the Senate. The Framers of the Constitution thought long and hard about the confirmation process and ultimately decided to give the US Senate advise-and-consent authority to approve Supreme Court appointments. 

If the White House and Senate are controlled by members of the same political party, the nominee gets confirmed. If not, then the nominee would not.  

Politics is just math by other means. It is not that hard to understand. 

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has set up a political Armageddon scenario everyone thought would happen one day, even before the ink was dry on Roe vs Wade. On top of everything else that has happened in 2020, it seems to almost be a fitting coda to add the most contentious issue possible — abortion — to an already overheated divisive presidential election. 

(first published in North State Journal 9/23/20)

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Trump Vs "Anyone Not Named Trump!"

There is no energy or enthusiasm for a Joe Biden presidency in North Carolina, or anywhere else for that matter. No one can say off the top of their head what Joe Biden would do as president. He certainly does not convey a lot of confidence in having him as the next commander-in-chief when he has to read responses to pre-screened questions from his notes or a teleprompter.

This election is solely about President Donald J. Trump. You either love him or hate him. The small percentage of truly independent swing voters is going to be swayed by his message on law and order and economic prosperity or not; and they will determine if he wins North Carolina or not.

Democratic strategists said long ago that the only chance they had to win North Carolina was to nominate a moderate like Joe Biden who would not scare off independent swing voters. However, his “moderation” is being brought into question because of his adoption of the socialist Bernie Sanders’ agenda almost lock, stock and barrel, which tends to scare off such voters.

History is not on Joe Biden’s side. In 1976, Jimmy Carter won N.C. handily over a Watergate-frazzled President Gerald Ford. The only Democrat to win North Carolina since then was Barack Obama in 2008 who won by only 14,000 votes over John McCain and his forgettable “Country First” campaign. President Obama, the most attractive and charismatic Democrat to run for the White House since JFK in 1960, lost N.C. by close to 100,000 votes during his re-election campaign of 2012 to the almost-equally forgettable campaign of Mitt Romney. Bill Clinton lost to President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996. His wife, Hillary Clinton, lost to Trump in 2016 by 177,000 votes.

In order to win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes, Joe Biden has to: A) be more charismatic than Barack Obama ever was (which is impossible); B) be more personable than Bill Clinton (which is impossible); C) have more money to spend than Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton combined (which is possible) and D) have a more robust voter turnout machine than Obama, the consummate “community organizer” (again which is impossible).

Joe Biden is going to have to throw the long ball and thread the eye of a needle to a receiver in the corner of the endzone (to mix a few metaphors) to win North Carolina. He is going to need a massive turnout of African-American voters that far exceeds the 19.7% of the final electorate of black voters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. But if black turnout explodes and President Trump gets more than the 8% of the black vote than he got in 2016, say 10-12%, any advantage Biden may have gotten from high black turnout may be negated or even diminished.

Second, Biden is going to have to do a lot better among white voters than Hillary did in 2016. Biden has a 31% approval rating from white voters which is behind the very low 32% approval of white voters of Hillary Clinton.

There are no prominent third-party candidates expected to drain off 4% of the votes in North Carolina as Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein did in 2016. That could be as many as 200,000 votes that will either stay at home or force themselves to vote for either Trump or Biden. 100% of the Johnson/Stein 2016 vote will not go to either candidate.

And then there is the “enthusiasm gap.” The best get-out-the-vote machine is enthusiasm for a candidate, which is very hard to measure by pollsters. When registered voters who voted in the last four elections were asked, on a scale of 1-to-10, their commitment to vote, the number of 10s recorded for Trump out-numbered those 10s recorded for Biden by a 10-to-1 margin.

Joe Biden might slip through and defy the odds and history to win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes on Nov. 3. But it all depends on turnout, not any poll. It always has.

(first published in North State Journal 9/16/20)

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fascism From The Left

"I Can't Wait to Lead Antifa!

When Donald Trump was elected in 2016, progressive liberals and the media — but I repeat myself — started to freak out about “fascism” coming to America.

They were right to be worried. It did happen…but it came from the left, not the right.

They said Donald Trump would be the reincarnation of “Il Duce,” or “The Leader,” Benito Mussolini, fascist strongman of Italy before and during World War II. He joined forces with another madman, Adolf Hitler, to wreak death and destruction across Europe before American soldiers landed at Normandy to free millions from their insane megalomania.

Mussolini was machine-gunned to death on April 28, 1945, by the same Italian people he promised to help but led into disaster. His body was spit upon and mutilated before being hung downward by his feet in the Piazza Loreto in Milan.

So far, so good for us in America since 2016. President Trump is no Benito Mussolini. Or Adolf Hitler. He is pulling troops out of hotspots around the globe, not sending goose-stepping American soldiers into harm’s way.

“Fascism” comes from the Latin word fasces which was a symbol of a Roman magistrate’s authority depicted by wooden rods around an ax. Fascist governments believe in the power of concentrated authority in the hands of elites (namely themselves) who use armed force to enact their will on innocent citizens.

Fascists disregard and ignore democratic principles when it suits them. They use intimidation tactics to censor political and cultural opponents. They subordinate individual rights and personal freedoms, ostensibly “for the good of the society,” which of course is determined only by the strongman themselves.

In other words, they are bullies who rule by brute physical force, not by reason, logic or the law — just like the antifa terrorists American voters see every night on the news in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York City. 

The American people — black, white, latino, old, young, liberal, moderate and conservative — all know these riots were not caused by President Trump or the US military but by an anarchist militant army from the left, dead-set upon the destruction of America as we know it today.

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Antifa is democracy.” George Orwell would be so proud.

Late on Election Night, 2016, Hillary Clinton refused to accept the results of an election or gracefully concede to President-elect Trump, as has been historical tradition even in close elections such as Nixon’s loss to JFK in 1960. In the early morning following her defeat, the seeds of blaming her loss on “Russian Collusion” and encouraging “The Resistance” to oppose the Trump Administration at every turn were planted and the past four years have been as tumultuous as any term in White House history.

Willful disregard for democratic principles is a hallmark of fascist movements. When fascists don’t get their way according to the rules, in this case, the US Constitution, they say, “Destroy the rules!”, not “How can we win the next time playing by the rules?”

Fascists love to restrict free speech and public discourse because it threatens their misguided dangerous agendas. Conservative speakers have been banned from speaking on college campuses for a decade now. If liberals think conservative ideas are so stupid, why not let them speak and prove their ignorance in public?

The “cancel culture” movement has gotten to the point where if anyone dares to say anything that disagrees with BLM or antifa, including standing for the American flag and singing the national anthem, Joe Biden and left-wing Progressives go into full attack mode, demanding their resignation or firing and being sent into permanent exile.

Joe Biden can’t even say antifa and BLM are responsible for this violence due to the risk of losing progressive left-wing support in his campaign for the White House. How twisted is that?

Fascists such as Mussolini espoused extreme nationalistic jargon designed to rally the populace around the preservation of the Motherland. In an oddly perverse way, antifa from the left uses extreme anti-nationalistic jargon to destroy the Motherland. They want the complete annihilation of America as we know it, and no Democratic leader takes them to task for it in public.

When big city mayors and governors are given the sole power to make decisions, they can make any decision they want and declare that it is “for the good of the society” without a lot of explanation. Many voters are still scratching their heads over lockdown orders that prevented them from attending worship services and going to the gym at the same time they could go to the local Walmart and ABC store.

Americans will have the chance to renounce fascism on Nov. 3. The only way to crush it is to turn out heavily at the polls and vote against every left-wing politician who has supported such violence, either in word and deed or by their silence since 2016.

(first published in North State Journal 9/9/20)

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Democrats Always Blame America First

When was the last time a prominent elected Democrat gave a full-throated, unequivocal statement of support for the United States of America? 

President Obama took pains to say that America is not “exceptional” during his apology tours around the globe. Every speech at the Democratic National Convention, besides attacking President Trump, denigrated the history of America and essentially argued for replacing it with some form of socialism. 

Or worse. 

Joe Biden has yet to talk about a positive vision for America other than he will be a nice guy who will “bring people together.” What about saying, “Thank God we have individual freedoms in America unlike any other nation on earth, and we should be forever thankful for them”? That would be a nice start. 

People seem to think the recent “Blame America First!” crowd leading the modern Socialist Democratic Party is new to the American political scene. 

They are wrong. There have always been elements of the Democratic Party that have defamed the United States of America for a myriad of sins and imperfections — domestic and foreign. 

What they always fail to do is to put their criticism of American democratic republicanism in proper context, that is, vis-à-vis all the other forms of government that have been tried and failed over the years, as Winston Churchill observed. 

President Ronald Reagan’s US Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, addressed the 1984 GOP Convention in San Diego and excoriated the 1984 Democrats, including then-Sen. Joe Biden, for being on the wrong side of foreign policy issues around the globe, with these excerpts: 

“When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the ‘blame America first crowd’ didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines; they blamed the United States. 

“When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies; they blame United States policies of 100 years ago. 

“But then, they always blame America first. The American people know that it's dangerous to blame ourselves for terrible problems that we did not cause. 

“They understand just as the distinguished French writer, Jean Francois Revel, understands the dangers of endless self- criticism and self-denigration. 

“He wrote: ‘Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.’” 

It used to be that America could depend on moderate-to-conservative Democrats, mostly Southern Democrats, to speak mature wisdom to their more liberal Democratic colleagues. Hardly any Blue Dog Democrats exist anymore to serve as a ballast to the extremist far left leaders such as Bernie Sanders, AOC, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, who are the real leaders of the Socialist Democratic Party, not Joe Biden. 

Historical revisionists try to lay blame on the Founders of America for virtually everything that is wrong about America today: racism, income inequality, private health insurance and probably global climate change while they are at it. What leaders of the Democratic Party have never done in recent memory is paint a positive portrait of what it means to be living in the freest, the most prosperous and the most generous country in world history, whose ideals have released millions of people around the globe from servitude and oppression. 

Perhaps the most troubling aspect is that traditional mainstream Democrats have been proud of America over the years and supported our form of government and freedom through thick and thin.  

Today, those same moderate Democrats are afraid to speak up in defense of American foreign policy, freedom, capitalism and family values for fear of being marginalized by the socialists who run their party today. 

Earth to moderate Democrats: You are already marginalized. You might as well speak up for the ideals of America you support or leave your beloved Democratic Party. Because it has already left you. 

(first published in North State Journal 9/2/20)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Archaic Superfluousness of the United States Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service used to be essential to the normal functioning of the American Democratic Republic. 

It no longer is. It is an anachronism wrapped in obsolescence that should be in a museum due to being left behind by 21st-century technology and sensibilities. 

The post office was one of the few specifically designated responsibilities of the federal government in the new U.S. Constitution passed in 1787. Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general in 1775 under the Continental Congress.  

But the world of 1775 America, or even 1995 America, is nowhere close to the business- and technology-driven world of America in 2020. The USPS has outlived its usefulness and needs to be phased out and ultimately eliminated. 

The U.S. Postal Service of 2020 is essentially a massive taxpayer-subsidized jobs protection program that delivers mostly junk mail to your house. That is promptly thrown into the recycling bin so it can be recycled into more junk mail to be mailed at subsidized rates to your home next month and the next month and the next month. 

The cost of a Forever stamp to mail a regular payment or old-fashioned letter is 55 cents. Bulk mail can be sent at a discount of up to 70% for 19 cents per piece. More than 150 billion pieces of junk mail, including 10 billion glossy print catalogs, were mailed via USPS to American households in 2016. 

Without such massive taxpayer-supported bulk mail, U.S. postal workers would only be delivering a minuscule amount of “regular” mail today since so much of it has gone online with electronic payments and email. Some estimates say that 18 pieces of  “junk” mail are delivered for every piece of legitimate mail today. 

The USPS should not exist primarily to serve as a mass marketing delivering mechanism for our nation’s retailers, not at a time when 50% of all commerce is now taking place online through Amazon and the online function of every retailer from Walmart to a local vendor. 

The U.S. taxpayer has had to cough up close to $100 billion over the past decade to keep the U.S. Postal Service solvent. It is usually couched in terms of a “loan” from the federal government, but even government loans are supposed to be paid back one day. The Democrat House coronavirus relief package had a $25 billion loan in it for the USPS and full forgiveness of past indebtedness before it was taken out in the Senate before final passage. 

Total salaries for the nation’s 620,000 postal workers has remained stable for the past decade, between $17 billion and $20 billion annually. However, health care liabilities have escalated dramatically from $11 billion in 2012 to close to $50 billion today for current employees and the roughly 500,000 postal annuitants and survivors. 

Rapidly rising health care costs are making it impossible to fully cover the costs of delivering legitimate and junk mail by postage only. 

Anything that is delivered by USPS today, including prescriptions, can be delivered by private carriers such as UPS or FedEx more efficiently and on time. Bulk mail can be delivered at market rates by FedEx or UPS if marketers are willing to pay the freight. If not, those marketing efforts can go online as everything else has done. 

Getting rid of junk mail from the USPS would have the added benefit of saving 100 million trees and remove 5.6 million tons from our nation’s landfills annually. What could be more green than that? 

The U.S. Postal Service has long served America’s best interests since our founding. But times change, technology changes and we are not going to be sending physical letter mail to the moon via USPS astronauts in Elon Musk’s Dragon spaceships in the 21st century. 

It is time to begin the phase-down of the U.S. Postal Service and face the reality of the significantly diminished need for such taxpayer-supported services. We are not 1776 America anymore. 

(first published in North State Journal 8/26/20)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Why Don't The Democrats Just Go Ahead and Nominate Eugene Debs for President?

Here’s an honest question for leaders of the modern Socialist Democratic Party: 

Why not just nominate Eugene Debs for president and Emil Seidel for vice president and get it over with? 

Debs and Seidel headed the Socialist Party ticket for the White House in 1912 as a minor third-party threat to the two major parties back then. Their 1912 Socialist platform reads, looks and sounds a lot like what the modern Democratic Party headed by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has been saying for the past four years. 

The Socialists of 1912 wanted to end capitalism, free enterprise, democratic republicanism and America as constituted then and now. Debs called for “collective ownership” and “democratic management of all transportation, communication, express service (goodbye FedEx and UPS!) and “all largescale industries. 

At least they were honest about their intentions to destroy America and replace it with historically proven failed utopian dreams. Today’s Socialist Democrats couch it in terms of “improving” an inherently broken system and replacing it, of course, with their utopian dreams of equality, peace and love. 

Debs wanted to nationalize all major industries when the entire U.S. GDP was only $220 billion. That was peanuts compared to the $93 trillion “Green New Deal” proposed by today’s Socialist Democrats 

From the 1912 Socialist platformCapitalist concentration is mercilessly crushing the class of small business men and driving its members into the ranks of property-less wage-workers. The overwhelming majority of the people of America are being forced under a yoke of bondage by this soulless industrial despotism. 

Sounds like the dystopian view of America today put out by the Socialist Democrats from AOC to Elizabeth Warren to Harris to yes, even now, former moderate” (sic) Joe Biden. 

Sen. Harris is on record as saying she wants to kick 180 million people off their private health plans, mostly paid for by their employers, and force everyone into a $32 trillion Medicare for All planDo we really want the same bureaucrats who run the U.S. Postal Service and state DMVs to convert our economy to non-carbon energy and deliver our health care? 

If you vote for Biden and Harris in November, remember that is exactly what you are voting for. 

Debs wanted “the federal government  to take such other measures within its power as will lessen the widespread misery of the workers caused by the misrule of the capitalist class 

Is that a quote worthy of Biden lifting without attribution for his virtual acceptance speech? 

If anyone wants to deny there will be “dystopian” future under Biden-Harris, please read the recent news. They want to: defund police; eliminate ICE; open borders to the entire world; and allow riots in all major cities in the country under the guise of “free speech.” There is no semblance of law and order or respect for enforcement of the law in any of their public pronouncements. 

Debs wanted (t)he abolition of the monopoly ownership of patents and the substitution of collective ownership, with direct rewards to inventors by premiums or royalties”. Why not? Who needs new drugs or vaccines right now anyway? 

Debs wanted to get rid of proportional representation, the U.S. Senate, the veto power of the president, the Electoral College, the Supreme Court, the supermajorities regarding constitutional amendments, federal courts and circuit courts of appeal all the while calling for a constitutional convention to do God only knows what. 

Sound familiar? Why don’t advocates of such nihilistic measures move to Cuba and try to help poor oppressed Cubans perfect their idea of utopian socialism instead of destroying America to rebuild in their image? 

No matter how much you may despise President Trump, if you do somehow force yourself to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket, you are voting for the essence of the 1912 Socialist Party ticket of Debs and Seidel. Those results will be on your head and the consequences of your vote will be hurting your children and grandchildren for decades to come.

(first published in North State Journal 8/19/20)

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