Comments

KLEPTOCRACY — 27 Comments

  1. There’s more than a whiff of Circuses for the Proles wafting around some of those folks. When even the Washington Post chastises a couple by name for putting forth unworkable concepts, it should be a sign. Apparently at least a few at the Post have some grasp of economics and/or history. Keeping the underclasses entertained and supported didn’t work out in the long run there.

  2. Interesting take- I had not used the term “kleptocracy” to describe our current legislative branch. But the arguments above seem to make sense. I would also add Obamacare to the list of examples: the federal government conveniently carved out an exemption for itself- leaving us to pay for it. It’s also nice to follow the money trail of federal grants to specific locales (e.g., for infrastructure improvements): ever wonder how some of these people in Congress got rich while in office?

    With respect to banning specific firearms- let’s face it- we are one political cycle away from losing not just semi-automatic rifles, but all semi-automatic firearms. And, unless another constitutionalist is appointed to the SCOTUS, I am NOT confident that the Roberts court will necessarily rule in our favor should such a ban be appealed to the “court of last resort.” The court might not even hear arguments. Remember what Roberts famously said about the Obamacare ruling- he did not want the court to be perceived as being “political.” Yeah, right…that’s the best you could come up with?

    Until that day- the same tired pattern of slowly eroding our 2A rights continues- by BOTH sides. Although President Trump claims to support the 2A, observing his behavior in business for over 40 years and now as POTUS, I am fairly sure this is not a major issue for him. He must know that if he loses the support of too many gun owners- any bump in votes he might get from minority subgroups in 2020 (owing to their improved economic standing over the last three years) will be nullified. That said, I am hoping that his offer of discussing “red flag” laws and “bipartisan approaches” amounts to “floating the balloon.” But if the Senate passes more gun control (the House is a given) Trump will sign it. There must be pressure on the Senate majority leader to: (a) never bring any anti-2A bill to a vote, and (b) immediately pass national reciprocity and outlaw legislated gun-free zones.

    Gun rights groups should also tie the anti-2A movement to other anti-freedom initiatives. We cannot be too parochial. Most people will not vote on just the gun issue. Consider also: (a) increased taxes promised by the Socialists- to pay for healthcare, schooling, food, etc. for illegal immigrants; (b) taking for granted the African-American community as a reliable pro-Democrat monolithic voting block and forcing them, too- to pay for illegals; (c) ending private healthcare (which affects patients and docs alike, and for some of us- a “double whammy”); (d) support for felons over law-abiding citizens (giving them voting rights but taking away our 2A rights); (e) legalizing the murder of children born alive after surviving an abortion; (f) ignoring the weekly violence in places like Chicago (casualty counts each weekend seem to equal several mass murders); (g) encouraging but then either ignoring or blaming Trump and his supporters for the violence perpetrated on those the Left disagrees with; (h) Socialist branding of political opposition as White Supremicists and promoting civil discord (very Alinsky-like)…the list goes on and on.

    We must take every opportunity to inform others who might not observe these things. I am not sure how much of the general public is aware of these concerns given the incredible Leftist bias and political activism of most major “news” organizations and this includes the censorship perpetrated by Leftist controlled outlets such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Our fight for freedom will of course always include protecting the 2A- but with the continued erosion of this civil right will come the erosion of other rights. This includes the First Amendment, the Fourth, the Fifth…Our fight must acknowledge that a broad range of our freedoms are under attack by those in power, who will lose nothing themselves, and who will be accountable to no one.

    Shame on us if this ever happens.

  3. On #3, it depends on whether you and they consider “Antifa” and criminal violence to be a hindrance or a help to those in power.

    I would argue that because Leftists/socialists are in power in those areas, and Antifa is a Leftist/socialist organization, that allowing them free reign to push conservatives around is beneficial to the local authorities. In Portland, Oregon, particularly, the mayor and police chief have the power and legal authority to shut Antifa down. Instead, they allow Antifa to “protest” unhindered, including assaulting people and vehicles and redirecting traffic on public streets (a traffic safety issue that cannot be understated); the officers on the street are under strict orders to not engage.

    If you think of Antifa as a modern-day analog to the Brownshirts of pre-Nazi Germany — not officially a government organization, but still somewhat useful to government officials — then you can put a big “check” on #3.

    • Archer,

      As I was reading your second paragraph, I was reminded that Hitler used his Brownshirts to beat down his political opponents before he came to power. I think his main opponents were Communists. We are almost seeing history repeat itself. In Germany, the Communists main opponents would have been the Fascists, so they could think of themselves as “Anti-Fascists.” That’s what they are doing today. And then I read your third paragraph, and saw that you and I were thinking alike!

      Too bad the wonderful comments on this blog are mostly “preaching to the choir.” But now I think words and arguments no longer matter. Each side is dug in, we are not listening to each other, and words and arguments will only change a few minds from this point forward. Most of us are sure of what we believe, and counter-arguments have no effect on either side. My guess is when argument is no longer effective, only force is left to see which side will get to have its own way. Whose ideas will dominate the future of this country?

  4. On a parallel track… I re-read the Declaration of Independence from time to time.
    Very frightening to see the reasons we split from England starting to play out more and more from year to year.

    Enjoy your columns!

    RC Hagy
    Clearfield, PA

  5. It’s sad. I remember listening to radio talkshow host Bob Grant in the 1990s. He was bemoaning the fact that America was slowly destroying itself. No outside enemy was killing us or sending us into decline. America was slowly committing suicide.

    “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1 NIV.

  6. I agree with you completely Mas. The current liberal left, seems to be following all of these steps. This has been seen regularly in the rhetoric coming from the anti-gun activists. With the media feeding the constant stream of “fake” news instead of facts, they are putting all violence as the action of criminals. You really have to dig to get the true story. News feeds need to be held accountable by law for broadcasting only the facts. Keep up the great job you are doing by bringing the truth all of your friends.

  7. I bummed around much of the world -Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central and South East Asia- by local bus and hitchhiking during the mid-1970s and am satisfied that kleptocracy is the purpose of government around the world.

    That isn’t a hidden purpose, either. Everyone understands it, tries to prosper by it, and largely complaints are from those who see themselves as not getting enough benefits of the corruption.

    Of course, it frequently isn’t called corruption. It is ‘patronage’ or simply the system.

    As an example, I hitched a ride from a European semi-truck driver on the Europe to Middle East run. He showed me his expense book, which had a section for bribes.

    He told me that when he got to the Turkish border he had two options: wait about three days to get processed, or give the customs officer a $40 ‘gift’ and be waved through. So $40, of course.

    Now, that officer didn’t get to keep the whole $40. He had to pass some on to his sergeant, who in turn had to pass some on to his lieutenant. And so on up the line to the politicians.

    Apparently the border officials would each wave through around 1,000 trucks a year, so $40,000/year on a salary of $750/year.

    So that is the real purpose of government in most countries, including in parts of the US.

    That is also why allowing a huge percentage of our population to consist of people from corrupt countries is a very dangerous thing if we want relatively clean government: too many such people end up not assimilating to our standards but corrupting our system.

    • Completely agree.
      We should fully embrace kleptocracy so that people fleeing from the poverty and mess created by their cleptocratic governments feel here like home.

    • Penrod,

      Thanks for explaining the corruption around the world. I’ve asked a few foreign (international) college students why they want to stay in America, and not go home when they graduate. Their replies are pretty much what you wrote. They can’t get a good job in their home countries, they aren’t connected to the “right” families. They complain of the corruption you mention.

      I always chuckle when I see how the Left loves to bash America, but almost EVERYONE in the world wants to live here! How many people immigrate to countries other than the USA? I’m sure the countries they go to are similar to the USA.

      I feel like pointing out that the taking of bribes is a moral issue. It would appear that America has, or did have, a higher standard of morality than these other countries. I wonder if shoplifting is more common in other countries than it is here. Imagine capitalism trying to work in a land without a strong rule-of-law. It probably would not prosper, like a plant that doesn’t get enough sun. I wonder if maybe America got morality from the Pilgrims, Puritans, and Christians who moved here in the 1600s. I wonder if that moral teaching helped hold down corruption so that capitalism could prosper.

      Oh, Oh now I sound like a preacher. Let’s see, if I was a Leftist, I would point out the “morality” of the so-called “Christians” who came here included conquering the natives, and bringing kidnapped slaves from Africa.

      Nevertheless, I am sure that a moral society will function better than an immoral one. Any religion or philosophy which teaches a healthy morality will help that society to either prosper, or at least keep it from sinking into anarchy and starvation. One of the reasons the West never really subjugated China or Japan, the way it did other areas, may be due to the strong effect Confucius’ teaching had on those countries of the East. Confucius’ ethics are similar to those of other moral philosophies; family cohesion, respect for authority, and so on.

  8. 5 or 6 decades ago, permanence of the USA was not even a thought. Now?
    Good thing I’m old. I may not have to see what may be coming.

  9. The word “germs” in the title at first took me aback…. but then I remembered about how the Hudson’s Bay Company, an arm of the British Government, used germ warfare to decimate the Indians in the Pacific Northwest, going so far as to knowingly and calculatedly trade blankets known to be infected with smallpox and/or typhus for the furs the INdians would collect. With zero natural imminuty to these diseases amongst that population the outcome was certain. In some cases, when the Indians had learned of the benefits of soap, HBC would also offer that in exchange for the furs, at an outrageous price with was eagerly paid because of the difference soap made in the health of the tribes. In some instances, when the tribes “needed thinning” HBC would claim to have no more soap to trade…..in one such instance,after one of the more honourable men amongst them taught the Indians how to make soap, that individual was put out of the HBC and left on his own in the wild north coast of Canada. Banished, the Indians took him in as a brother, and he worked amongst them for the rest of his days, bringing dignificant propserity to the “unwashed” natives. Robert Duncan was a strange sort of rebel. The Indians named a town after him, which prospers even today.
    An early example of germ warfare, low tech.
    HBC and the other British crown Corporations were all kleptocracies. The one extant in the northeast Colonies got their well justified whuppin’ starting at Concord in April 1775.

  10. Regarding # 3, Portland, Oregon (my city), is gearing up for a serious civil disturbance set for August 17 between the local militant far right and antifa bozos. (See https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/08/portland-mayor-and-chief-warn-protest-instigators-expect-stern-police-response.html.) Could get nasty but don’t plan to be anywhere near this potential large-scale riot. Tourists should stay clear of downtown Portland that day–better yet, don’t visit the city.

  11. Yes. The way I see it (in part and breifly from my cell phone):

    #4 socialism as the way forward for all rational persons and such social ‘woke’ policies are the ideology/religion of the brainwashed masses. The Kleptocrats control the narrative in education, news & media and politics to an extensive degree. Kinda a politicized version of the 60s love & peace adventure: open borders, love people (including that ‘they’ down the street), free food, housing, medical, guaranteed. A big commune. (Even in the 60s they found it was not sustainable in part because they ultimately had to deal with free loaders and other aspects of human nature an reality.

    As to #2 and 3, cannot do 2 yet as 2nd Amendment, still too much entrenched culture of freedom & independence and what was commonly called anti-intellectuals (aka practical, intelligent and experienced) but now called racist, bigots, nazi, white privileged and what ever other label du journalists. So need violence (mostly gun …) to foster the next critical step of disarm. Then #3 can be effected easily with minimal fear of effective rebellion.

    Well, gotta get back to real life. It is tough but someone (some of us) has to do it at least occasionally.

    I am with you to the end such as it may be (no, not suicidal ideation, not prelude to violence, just a show of support and respect, admiration and a promise to do the best I can to influence the rational, guide the emotional and try to influence the political (mostly the tone, narrative, motivations and ultimately the laws that we all must follow or deal with.

    God bless the weary and good of this country and world. (That from an agnostic wanna be believer who supports those with faith and laughs at the extremist atheist)

  12. The secret liberal plan to take over America has been slowly being implemented over a period of many decades. It was to put radically left wing teachers into the U.S. education system to brainwash our children, glorify the use of illegal substances, and allow as many people from third world countries to invade our nation while promising them and lazy members of the population free stuff like welfare, food stamps, healthcare, etc. to continue putting and keeping Democrats in power. As shown by current events, this insidious plan has worked very well. Mass murderer Communist leader Mao Tse Tung once said “Power grows from the barrel of a gun”. People who own firearms have power over their lives. Disarm them and they become slaves, which is what Mao did to the Chinese, before he ordered the slaughter of many millions of those opposing him. Lenin and Hitler knew that too and used the same tactics in their diabolical regimes.

    Beware of those who smile and say they will take care of you, while clutching a big sharp knife concealed behind their backs – to take care of you.

  13. Diamond is as good a writer as SLA Marshal. And like Marshal, he makes things up to make his point when actual evidence is lacking and ignores evidence that opposes his conclusion.

    For example, Lord Walter Rothschild famously trained a team of zebras to pull a carriage in the early 20th century, something Diamond said is impossible.

  14. Justice Clarence Thomas, in his concurring opinion in McDonald vs Chicago, noted
    that Chicago and Oak Park, “…contend that the Second Amendment , as applied to the States through the Fourteenth, authorizes a State to impose an outright ban on handgun possession … so long as a State applies it to all citizens equally.”*

    Frankly, the attempts to ban semi-automatic firearms are following the same discredited arguments.

    *https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-1521.ZC1.html

  15. Number one is being accomplished by granting CCW permits only to the politically connected and turning a blind eye to guns carried by bodyguards for the very rich.

    The Democrats are trying for number two. If they succeed, it will collapse when productive people realize that working hard leaves them no better off than hardly working.

    Number three will be a failure. Crime rates in the major cities, all ruled by Democrats, are the proof. Violence will increase, not decrease, because criminals, who have already lost their fear of police and the judicial system, will no longer fear encountering armed victims.

    Number four is in its ascendancy now but that will reverse when the gravy train runs out of gravy.

  16. The disease afflicting the U.S.A has many names. Jack London called it the “Iron Heel” in his novel by the same name. Old Jack was an early Socialist and he assumed that Socialism was the “Cure” for the “Crony Capitalism” (another name) that he saw rampant in the U.S.A back in the early 1900’s. However, Jack was a fool because the Socialists are even worse. They have a “Steel Heel” rather than one made of Iron. It would be trading for a new master. One who has an even bigger whip and heavier chains!

    Orwell, in his famous novel, named it “Big Brother”. President Eisenhower, in his farewell address, called it the “Military-Industrial Complex”.

    Today, it is sometimes called the “Deep State” or the “Democrat-Media Complex” (in the style of Eisenhower). I suppose that we can add “The Kleptocracy” to the above pile of names. At least, it has a dictionary definition that fits.

    I rather agree with the comments of Penrod, above. The people who gain governmental power will abuse that power in order to maintain that power and increase their wealth and influence. That is a sad fact of human nature. No matter with what noble purpose an individual enters government office or service, that individual will (given enough time in power) be corrupted by it. There is a great deal of truth in the old saying that “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    The Founding Fathers had the best idea when they conceived of a limited Government with limited and defined powers. Unfortunately, the power-hungry politicians betrayed their oath, they have betrayed the people and they have abandoned this vision. The have, corruptly, greatly expanded the scope of the U.S. Government so as to greatly expand the scope of their own power and wealth. This has all been done (literally) at the expense of the People of the United States.

    The only solution is to break the power of the “kleptocracy” (at the ballot box, hopefully) and prune the U.S. Government back down to a suitable size along with installing term-limits for political office. If this is not done, then the result is entirely predictable. The kleptocracy will continue to grow and grow and the rights of the people will continue to shrink and shrink until a bloody revolution will be the last remaining option to throw off their chains. I greatly fear that it will come to that in the end. Perhaps I will be safely in my grave before it really “hits the fan”. I have pity for our future generations. They are the ones who will suffer through the bloodshed and destruction that is rolling toward us.

  17. This is off-topic but I can’t resist. Please see this story:

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2019/08/10/epstein-dead-n2551476

    I dare say that few readers of this blog will be surprised by this death. As I recall, one or two even predicted it.

    Once it was clear that Epstein was in deep trouble (this time) and that he was in a position to “rat out” many of the most powerful people in the D.C. swamp, his days were numbered. Suicide, don’t you know? He even managed it while being on “Suicide Watch”. Boy, he was slick! 🙂

    However, the Leftists did slip up a bit on this one. They should have done it with a planted, (excuse me) “smuggled” firearm. That way, they could have painted Epstein as yet another victim of “Gun Violence”. In other words, they could kill two birds with one stone!