Sunday, December 17, 2017

New Weapons/Old Tactics in America's Political Civil War.

The current back and forth artillery barrage of accusations of sexual abuse against virtually everybody was inevitable in the war on men by liberal feminists. Progressives chose sides and used the feminists as troops in their war on American free market capitalism and constitutional conservatives. In every war the enemy can potentially catch up with every weapon you deploy. 

Republicans finally figured out that the sex, drugs, rock n' roll lifestyle enjoyed by Democrats made them vulnerable to the same tactics the Dems were using against them. The death toll in this Political Civil War is going to be horrific. Every politician, particularly male ones, is a target. Soon, someone is going to remember all those scandals with female teachers hitting on boys and go looking after sexual skeletons in lady politicians' closets.

Because the parties are still married to old-style political strategies, they're going to be like the Civil War and WWI generals in the face of new weaponry. The slaughter is going to be horrific. Whoever has any serious sexual naughtiness in their past is terribly vulnerable if they take up a life in politics. Their past will catch up with them, whoever they are. Everyone is taking potshots at one another. It makes it almost impossible for a person of principle to do the right thing.

The only guys that will survive are the rare few people with spotless pasts who will fight to protect their reputations and guys with hides like a rhino like Donald Trump who know how to use the media like a weapon. This calls for citizens who are willing to run for office, serve a term or two and leave behind a legacy of good law and lean government. We need politicians who aren't primarily politicians, but are people who know how to do things and how things work and don't care about getting re-elected or accumulating power permanently.

Such a crop of people, Democrats and Republicans would change this nation. I have little hope of anything like that happening before the end of time, but it's a nice idea. We can pray for a remnant of warriors to stand for the right in the midst of the storm.  That's probably all we're going to get. We may lose this battle by the world's standards, but by all that's holy, we will make a magnificent fight of it.

© 2017 by Tom King

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Net Neutrality Is Dead and Munchkins Are Dancing In the Street

We are the FCC, sir. WE are omneepeetent!
Hooray! Net Neutrality is repealed. The Democrats are wailing that the Internet is doomed because businesses that provide goods and services on the Web will not be heavily regulated by the federal government for "the good of the people."

Oh, frabjous day!  The truth is Net Neutrality had nothing to do with neutrality. It had everything to do with power. It's a battle over who controls the Internet - the users and innovators who made it a powerful economic engine or the government which has been trying to figure out how to control and tax the Internet since it got out of hand thirty years ago. People argue that without NN and FCC control, the Internet will be controlled by big corporations like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Centurylink, Comcast, Xfinity and such. Trouble is, every one of those "evil" big corporations SUPPORTED Net Neutrality and spent lots of money trying to get it passed. 
Why do you suppose that is? Okay, I'll tell you, young Padawan. It's because the Democrat sponsored bill made the Net into a public utility and gave the FCC regulatory increased powers over who does what on the World Wide Web. Now there would be fewer folk that Big Digital needs to bribe in order to get their way. Without NN, customers decide whether or not they use these digital behemoths' products. If the product sucks, they can go elsewhere to obtain service. With NN, you just grease the right government officials with lobbying dollars and voila! You get whatever "regulation" you want.

Why not make the Internet a public utility? Won't that upset Big Digital? Not so much! AT&T was much happier when the phone system was a "public utility" regulated by the FCC. You see government regulators LOVE big corporations. The more big corporations, the less work the FCC has to do. All those independent little entrepreneurs clog the system with essential paperwork. Big corporations love government regulation because it protects their monopoly. This way the FCC can control the amount of paperwork so as to exert the maximum power with the minimum effort.

And without efficient government paperwork, government bureaucrats either don't have any work to do or they have too much. The trouble with the Internet is that the government has historically little power to censor, control and tax those who do business there. It wound up being the digital Wild West. So, of course Democrats on the FCC board wanted Net Neutrality so badly. 
Three reasons:
  1. It gave them power to tax Internet users and to control what people say about the government.
  2. It gave them an excuse to hire more people and there's nothing bureaucrats love more than more minions. It gives them the illusion of greatness to have lots of hired servants.
  3. It furthers the goal of centralization of power in the hands of government.
Don't forget what condition the phone company was in before deregulation. Remember "Ernestine the telephone operator" - the old Lily Tomlin comedy routine? Lily got laughs from Ernestine's bullying of customers. I remember one line where the customer said "You can't do that!" She snorted derisively and said, "We are the phone company. We are omneepeetent!"

It was funny, but not far from truth. Within a year of deregulation, we went from $1 plus per minute long distance to Sprint's ground-breaking ten cents a minute long distance. Mobile phones went from a car trunk full of equipment, $200 a month service charges and a year's waiting list to buying cell phones in Walmart for a hundred bucks and paying $20 a month for service within the space of a couple of years.

The phone system still hasn't shed all the taxes leftover from when it was a "public utility". Do we really want to make the Internet into "Ma Bell"? Apparently at least some of us do not. Thank goodness for them.

Ding dong, Net Neutrality's dead, and this Munchkin is hap, hap, happy about it!

© 2017
by Tom King

Friday, December 8, 2017

Did the U.S. Provoke Pearl Harbor and What Does That Have to Do With Jerusalem?

Why did we cut off war-making supplies to Japan in the 30s?
This photo of Japanese atrocities from Nanking were all the
"excuse" we needed to stop supporting them.

I saw the article listed below posted on Facebook today. By the time I'd written down my litany of outrage, the post had been taken down. This monumentally offensive argument that somehow the USA "asked" to be attacked by Japan because we refused to sell them steel and oil and aluminum for their war machine is an argument for the same sort of appeasement foreign policy that Neville Chamberlain conducted with Hitler and we all saw how appeasing that maniac worked. Today it's the same argument for how we ought to appease the Islamic aggression against Israel and the West. Obama did it by bowing to various Kings and potentates. Americans are marching in the street to protest President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The protesters claim that we will "offend" the Arab world. Then suddenly here we get a PhD history professor claiming that doing such things causes people to attack us.

The idea that we provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor without cause is a flying load of horse crap! I've heard this stupid revisionist history argument before. It's just one more argument for appeasement of bully nations. Japan was mad at us because we quit selling them steel. They were using the steel to wage war on China, Korea, Southeast Asia and to support their efforts to conquer the Pacific Islands. Can you imagine the war machine we would have face had we kept on selling them oil and steel and aluminum and other war materials? We didn't provoke war with them. If anything we kept if from being worse than it was. They attacked Pearl Harbor in part because they were in danger of running out of American steel before they finished conquering what they laughably called the Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere. Laughable because Japan would have been the only "partner" in that sphere who wasn't conquered and the only one making any money off the deal.

Claiming that Pearl Harbor was our fault because we didn't try to mollify the Japanese is like telling the 10 year old me that I should make lower grades and stop "provoking" the bullies in my school because my making good grades and makes them look bad.

I utterly reject this incredibly stupid argument. We did the morally right thing by cutting off Japan's supplies of war materials while they were raping Nanking and running roughshod over their neighbors in Korea, Manchuria and Southeast Asia. Japan is a strong-man culture. Note how well we get along with them after we kicked their butts in WWII. Note also that the Arab culture is a strong man culture which is reflected in their religion. It suggests one should adopt a strong approach if you wish to be respected by the Muslim world. Anything less looks weak and vulnerable and strong man cultures believe weakness must by its very nature be exploited.

Trump did right by firmly recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It says clearly - "Hands off Jerusalem. You're not going to ever get it back!" It was the right thing to do. Strength is the only thing they understand in their political system.

Here's the offensive article in case you're interested: