Category Archives: I Pandora

Leftists In Charge, Socialist Theft, And Cruz Trumps Trump

Democrat mayor:

Since the blizzard began last Friday, the District has issued $1,078,000 worth of parking tickets and $65,600 in fines so far. It has towed 656 cars.

Vehicles are being towed at the owners’ expense. Violators face $250 tickets, $100 tow charges and a $25-per-day fee until they pick up their vehicles.

“Don’t park your car illegally, and that includes parking it kind of in the middle of the street next to the snow bank,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday. Cars should be parked no more than 12 inches from a curb, not a snow bank, or drivers risk a ticket, she said.

They don’t care about the little person except to get their vote come election time.

I experienced this myself living in the Chicago suburb of Cicero. After the blizzard we received tickets for not moving our snowed in cars to make way for street sweeping.

They didn’t sweep the street.

They didn’t even plow the curbs.

But they sure as heck ticketed us for not moving our cars for what wasn’t going to happen.

WASHINGTON – During July 16, 2014 testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to healthcare and key actions the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken to get Veterans off wait lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of the Veterans we serve and the trust of the American people and their elected representatives –has eroded,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “We have to earn that trust back through deliberate and decisive action, and by creating an open and transparent approach for dealing with our stakeholders to better serve Veterans.” (VA/Robert Turtil)
WASHINGTON – During July 16, 2014 testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to healthcare and key actions the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken to get Veterans off wait lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of the Veterans we serve and the trust of the American people and their elected representatives –has eroded,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “We have to earn that trust back through deliberate and decisive action, and by creating an open and transparent approach for dealing with our stakeholders to better serve Veterans.” (VA/Robert Turtil)

Socialist Sanders hasn’t succeeded at anything in life except for truly believing most sincerely in a fairy tale.

Parents, don’t raise your children to be socialists. Save yourself the heartache.

Despite claiming a poor upbringing (this is a key point for those seeking power in socialist systems, “the poor” are considered morally praiseworthy merely for that fact)…

It wasn’t as bad as he says. His family managed to send him to the University of Chicago. Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.

“I never had any money my entire life,” Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.

Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”

He does have the rare, and commendable, distinction that he has avoided the siren songs of DC better than anyone else who has spent as much time there as he has. That doesn’t make him right, just distinctive.

After all, he believes theft is morally acceptable.

And I’ll leave with Cruz, because I like him, especially when he calls out bloviating cowards:

Democrat Debate In Primetime?

What are we to make of the just-announced Democrat debate in primetime on Monday?

We have to start with the assumption that the leadership of the Democrat party are in all but name paid staff of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Sure, Sanders and some other people might be running, but the evidence clearly indicates that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her apparatchiks have orchestrated their entire involvement in the campaign to do the utmost to support their preferred candidate, the illustriously corrupt Mrs Hillary Clinton.

They know she is deeply unpopular, unpleasant, unpersonable, and corrupt (they especially like that part), and so they have worked to minimize her exposure. Debates have thus far been conducted in as much secrecy as a public debate can be, off primetime, off the beaten path, and nearly off the record. The sycophants in the media, devoted shills for the leftists in power, are only too happy to be roped along on the campaign trail, nary a question about the reality of the promises, the truths of the deals, the facts behind the unicorn dust.

So, Ms Wasserman-Schultz is doing all she can to make Hillary the next President, but she forgets that people are fickle, and in their lucid moments, unwilling to be shepherded along. (Isn’t THAT the biggest lesson from this election?) The problem is, they didn’t bet on someone else promising more free things, someone with an apparently larger store of unicorn dust, someone handing out bigger candy bars than their own candidate could promise.

Hillary is the oddity: she is the thinking-person’s silly candidate. She promises enough that, without critical thought, she sounds OK-ish, enough that leftists can sate their sanity along with their need for hard-line party pablum, feeding their cognitive dissonance.

But, there are few enough of those, and more on the left who cannot control their impulses, and thus will vote for the person giving more away.

Another consideration is that because so much effort and political favor and trust has been expended in the slavish pursuit of what very well may end up in failure, rather than seeking to minimize the loss, instead they are doubling down and investing more blood, more credibility, and adding to the already hefty damage of the Obama years to the Democrat party. Hillary truly is the second coming of Obama, and certainly that fact must grate on her as she also realizes it is the only chance she has of succeeding, and also her surest chance of utter failure.

So, the Democrat party, having bet the house on Hillary via a strategy they realize late is wrong, are trying to stop the bleeding by putting her in prime time in hopes that Bernie will be Crazy Uncle Bernie, and people will see their choices in sharp relief and choose corruption over stupidity.


And people think the Republican party is in trouble.

(Granted, I think it kinda is. That so many people completely fail to see not only the stupidity of Trump, but also the fundamental dishonesty and sometimes downright evil of his campaign, is, frankly, frightening. But, at least the bad isn’t all on one side.)

It Ain’t All Politics… Oh Heck, Yes It Is

Hillbuzz is back in action after a bit of a hiatus, and they’ve been looking into dirty dealings of the Chicago suburb the Village of Orland Park after hearing about the Village’s local library’s attempts to hide child porn use on their public computers.

Orland Park is an interesting case study for government watchdogs because of how aggressively the Village and public employees lash out and push back against efforts at transparency. In many ways, dealing with Orland Park is like going up against the mob. They fight by “Chicago Rules” to defend their racket in this Village You’ve Never Heard Of.

Public employees should be held to a high standard, and Hillbuzz is doing good work shining the light on the fetid cesspools collecting below Lake Michigan.

Next up, studies in Italy reporting on the outcome of feeding genetically modified organism crops to animals turned out to be probably falsified.

“The case is very important also because these papers have been used politically in the debate on GM crops,” says Italian senator Elena Cattaneo, a neuroscientist at the University of Milan whose concerns about the work triggered the investigation.

Following the Senate hearing, Cattaneo took a closer look at three papers 1–3, which all emerged from a research lab at the University of Naples, headed by veterinary scientist Federico Infascelli. They describe experiments on goat kids born to mothers fed on GM soya-bean meal and conclude that fragments of the foreign gene in the soya bean can be transported across the gut and secreted in the milk, influencing the biology of the suckling kids.

The down low is that these are some of the only tests indicating any negative outcomes related to GMO vegetables, and of course, because they confirm what a lot of people believe, they are popular to report.

I’m inclined to believe GMO is less of an issue than some say, and not entirely without concern as others claim. Middle of the road, me. But no one is served by messing with numbers.

Finally, and I’ll preface this bit by noting it is not illegal or even immoral to order ones finances in a way that, within the law, minimizes ones tax liability.

But, if you go about arguing that doing so is unethical and immoral, then turn about is fair play, with the added charge of blatant hypocrisy, and you’ll get what you’ve got coming, just because we’re nice like that.

With Bernie Sanders surging, (Hillary Clinton) took new aim at the rich — including their use of tax dodges.

She told MSNBC: “We can go after some of these schemes … the kind of misclassifying of income, trying to make it look like it’s a capital gain, when it’s really ordinary income, going ahead and routing income through the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands or wherever.”

Huh. Bloomberg News reported in 2014 on the Clintons’ use of a prime tax dodge: They put their Chappaqua home into a “residence trust” in 2010. Such trusts can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes.

Meanwhile, the Clintons’ family wealth has grown big-time thanks to firms with significant holdings in places like . . . the Caymans.

As The Daily Caller notes, Bill Clinton spent years as a partner in his (now-ex-) buddy Ron Burkle’s investment fund Yucaipa Global — registered in the Cayman Islands. In five years, Bill pocketed at least $10 million.

Oh, and the closer?

And don’t get us started on the whole clan’s use of the Clinton Foundation.

Yea, glass houses and all that.

And let’s end with some good advice: You’re better off ignoring Uncle Sam’s ever-changing diet advice.

I’d make some quip about diet advice being valued in inverse proportion to the weight of the person giving it, but that would be unkind. Suffice to say, Uncle Sam is the heaviest person on the block, and he’s also the one with the strongest opinion  on diets, the most force of law to “advise” and the most money to “encourage”.

And he’s wrong, dead wrong.

Well, he’s not dead, yet, but it is arguable that his advice has caused damage, real damage, and lives have been shortened and health worsened by it.

The troubling part isn’t the banality of the guidance, it’s the mistakes the committee has made in its decades of existence, which for years have misled people into eating precisely the wrong things or missing out on things they love — like eggs, meat, certain fats and coffee (all of which were on Saint Nutritionist’s bad list for many years).

It gets worse:

…these guidelines aren’t ignored by other federal agencies.

In fact, the Dietary Guidelines determine how billions of dollars of food stamps are allocated to millions of American citizens who live at or under the poverty line. (Of note: These are the very people who have the highest rates of obesity and might actually benefit from good and reliable health information.)

The guidelines also regulate how school feeding programs (don’t forget, that’s breakfast, lunch and dinner now!) are managed and how our military men and women eat at home and abroad.

Let’s ask that body we elect (Congress, that is) to defund any and all nutritional advice by the federal government, and stick to taking said suggestions from our trusted medical professionals, doctors, and others who can’t sway industry with the stroke of a pen, or destroy lives with the press of a button.

And I’ll leave you with an example of Ted Cruz dealing with a tense situation, a distraught mother, and still having the balls to get to the heart of the matter:

Some Trust In Chariots: A Reminder

Regardless of whether your election night ended in celebration or shellacking, as a Christian, you must keep this in mind:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7

Just like any other human, Christians face the temptation to look to humans as saviors of one sort or another, but for a Christian, this is idolatry.

Anytime we look to a human or a human system or human invention to solve a problem inherent to humanity, we are elevating that human, that system, or that invention to the Throne rightfully occupied only by God the Father, Christ the King, and the ever-present Holy Spirit.

Politics is full of promises to solve problems inherent to humanity. We as Christians are privileged to know the problem truly: our own sin. We have also been shown the answer: Christ’s forgiveness through God’s grace.

That is not to say that we ought not seek to raise up those who seek diligently and honestly to improve the human condition and secure the rights of mankind, but we must be frank with ourselves and others about what can and cannot be solved here and now.

We can seek to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and care for the feeble and the fatherless, but we must recognize the poor will always be with us because of human sin.

We can seek to secure the rights of men and women because in that liberty there is accountability before God, not man, for all choices, but we must recognize that God works as well in political bondage as He does in freedom and liberty.

We can seek to steer government through our democratic republic towards what we determine is the best target, but we must remember that the heart of the President, just as surely as the heart of the King, is in the hand of the Lord, and He will steer it howsoever He wills with His glory as his ultimate goal.

Some trust in governments, and some trust in laws,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

The Failure Of The Progressive Dream

Intelligent people going back thousands of years have returned again and again to desiring a particular type of leader: The Philosopher King.

Some leaders have actually tried to embody Plato’s Kallipolisian ideal, including Marcus Aurelius of Rome and Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and Croatia, not just by being super-intelligent, but by studying and applying the craft of leadership, the ideas and ideals of kingship and stewardship.

The problem with the idea of a Philosopher King though is each of us, from the brightest to the dullest, are as human as every other, and a Philosopher King would be as prone to human failings as you and I.

This humanity-chained Hercules of the mind came to full and ugly fruition in the Progressive dreams of the 20th century, and bloodbaths resulted.

Like most of us, Progressives and Leftists want to fix things. The problem with their root ideology though is that they believe mankind can be perfected. They believe that when social problems are done away with, a new and perfect humanity will take over. They believe the heart of the problem is in the System, and that fixing the System will free our basic goodness.

This was the dream of Marxists, Communists, and Socialists.

The problem with this dream is how to apply it, how to bring it about.

Seeing the squabbling ineffectiveness of the democratic republic in the US and various constitutional monarchies such as the United Kingdom, governments going nowhere fast, Progressives knew they needed efficiency and efficacy in their perfect transition government, and that means one person at the top, and knowing the impenetrable corruption of the true monarchies of Europe, they needed a true believer who would use the perfect power of being the one person in charge to bring about the transition to progressive perfection.

They needed a Philosopher King, with the intelligence and will to rule mankind into utopia. They needed someone who was already on the other side to pull the rest of us over.

This combination of the Philosopher King and the progressive view of a perfected mankind is toxic 100% of the time.

The belief that mankind can be perfected makes the idea of a single person holding ultimate acceptable, given that person appears already perfected. The wrongness of the idea that mankind can be perfected means this will fail every time.

This is what happened in Russia, in China, and even in Germany. Progressives around the world, including in the US were enamored of all these regimes when they began, because they agreed with the root goal of each of them, the perfection of mankind.

Whether the progressives were useful idiots, manipulated by  lofty words and high goals, or whether the leaders began as true believers is immaterial: The siren call of a perfected mankind is hard to resist for someone who holds this false view.

Conservatives have generally held a view quite contrary to progressives, that man is not perfect and cannot be made perfect under their effort or the effort of any other person. This is the root disagreement between progressives and conservatives.

When you recognize that humans are incapable of perfection, you create and support systems that decentralize power, that create tension internally so that competing groups each with different sorts of power will keep each other in check.

Systems like a republican government or a government governed by a Constitution all hold the people comprising them to an external standard which is to be applied equally to all, regardless of power or money.

While we’re in no such dream state today, the squabbling ineptitude of Washington DC does serve its purpose, and the Constitution still holds us to an achievable dream, not of human-kind’s perfection, but of the ability to live free of those who would seek to perfect us but would destroy us in the process.

Featured Image Credit: WildCulture: Francis Fukuyama: Political Order & Political Decay