Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Sunday, January 28, 2018
This post originally was supposed to be about Katy Perry, who hates Donald Trump so much that she wrote a song against him last year. That's about as cutting edge as a butter knife. But to understand her situation, one has to understand President Trump's plan to rid the nation of two bills that were never introduced as legislation, but which the media treats as law.
DACA and DREAMers would reward 1.8 million illegal aliens with citizenship -- despite their being here illegally.
Trump wants to end these Fake Laws, and gave Congress until March to enact legislation, or his administration would enforce the real law.
He offered a compromise. He would allow citizenship if the DACA and DREAMers kept their noses clean for 12 years. In exchange, Democrats agree to funding the wall, ending diversity visas, and curtailing the friends-and-family chain migration that allows legals to bring in illegals.
The caterwauling on the right was almost as inane as the howling on the left.
However, Monica Showalter and other sane people saw through the fog of war and understood what Trump just did.
Making DACA and DREAMers wait 12 years would greatly reduce their number.
“It makes sense because studies show that most Dreamers are underachievers, many of whom are just high school graduates, heavy welfare users, have petty crime backgrounds, and do not speak English. It’s almost a given that most won’t make it to the twelve-year finish line without getting into a bar fight, getting caught graffiti-spraying, or be picked up for drunk driving. The only ones who make it will be those with a work ethic and family values. Those actually are the ones who could become Republicans in the long run. Trump knows this. Democrats don’t. They believe their own propaganda about all DREAMers being valedictorians,” Showalter wrote.
Confession: I knew it was a good deal when National Review called it "The Art of the Choke." I also knew it was a good deal when @PolAgnostic explained it on Twitter. "Everyone who has no experience negotiating deals summed up by 100+ pages of legalese should pay attention. You can learn the most important rule of negotiating next: If you aren't willing to walk away with NO DEAL, you've already lost," he wrote.
"Where've you heard that before? Negotiating an immigration deal falls under that rule.
"One side has multiple choices they can offer (Trump) and the other side (Dems) already have deal breaker "minimums" their radical base is demanding. (From outside of Schumer's house @ 3 AM)
"Only Trump can walk away. Trump's team goes in KNOWING what the Dems MUST HAVE for a WIN."
Now let me pause now to remind people that "The Art of the Deal" and "The Art of the Comeback" are merely Trump's riffs of "The Art of War," which goes back 2,500 years. This is basic stuff that requires stealth, patience, and discipline -- all of which are in short supply among liberals both in and out of the media.
The Tweetstorm by @PolAgnostic ended: "In September, the conventional wisdom of DC put a tax cut, much less reform, at a 0% chance of happening ... EVER ... during a Trump administration.
"EVER."And by Christmas --- POOF! The largest tax reform and cuts EVER.
"Stay Calm and Let President Trump worry about Making a Deal"
But the professional punditry are up in arms over this calling him a sellout, a loser, and even an artichoke.
Somehow these super-slick genius Democrats spent twice as much money as Trump did and lost the election.
But never mind all that. The pros tell us that the Democrats have Trump over the barrel.
Never mind that they said he would never be nominated and even on Election Night gave him less than a one-in-four shot at winning.
Now they write him off on DACA and DREAMers.
Which is why I turn to amateurs and bloggers for my insights. They seem to know what they are talking about.
America needs to control its borders again. I don't care if you are conservative or liberal. Open borders endangers your life.
Which brings me to Katy Perry, the singer who hates Donald Trump.
After all, he and his supporters are deplorable and xenophobic, don't you know.
But when it comes to her safety, Miss Perry is all build-the-wall.
"Pawel Jurski, who hails from Poland, was arrested in Miami last month after trying to bum-rush the stage at Katy's concert there, the Daily Mail reported.
He is infatuated by Perry and attended six of her concerts in 20 days.
"Katy's director of security told police that Jurski was the same man who climbed to the 14th floor of the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach trying to meet the superstar," the Mail reported.
The federal government started deportation proceedings.
I am glad.
My point is not that she is a hypocrite for having the man arrested and hopefully sent back to Poland.
My point is all Americans deserve the same protection from danger, not just singers who are stalked by fans.
The fear is real. The calls of xenophobia are fake. The Donald will prevail.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Extreme body modification is not a brand new trend. In fact, it has been practiced for thousands of years in different cultures around the world. Individuals who modify their bodies do so for various reasons. In some parts of the world people view it as a rite of passage into certain stages of life. For others, it is seen as a form of beauty or self-expression in order to shock mainstream society.
Putting bagel-shaped saline solution injections into the forehead is a newer form of body art that has become popular with some Japanese hipsters, simply because it is unique. An injection practitioner shoots saline into a person’s forehead, causing it to swell.
Once the saline has become nice and puffy, the practitioner pushes their thumb into the middle of the forehead like a thumbprint cookie, forming the desired bagel-head look. It takes anywhere between 16-24 hours for the body to absorb the saline and the swelling to completely cease.
According to everydayhealth.com, the modification trend could come with risks. If the needle is not properly sterilized it can cause infection. Also, it could cause internal bleeding if the needle punctures a blood vessel.
Taking body modification to even more of an extreme, some people have morphed their bodies through loads of plastic surgery in order to emulate certain animals.
Eric Sprague, known as the “Lizardman,” is one of the first people to have a split tongue. He is recognized solely for starting this craze among some people. To perfectly resemble a reptile, Sprague has undergone 700 hours of tattooing, had five Teflon horns placed underneath the skin where his eyebrows are, had his teeth filed down to make sharp fangs and had his tongue bifurcated (split into two, allowing each half to move individually). Consequently, the tongue may not heal after it is split. Infection, bleeding and loss of sensation are also possible negative results of having a tongue bifurcated.
In similar fashion, Dennis Avner, known as “The Cat Man,” has transformed his whole appearance akin to a feline. He had surgery done to get a cleft lip, has piercings above his lip and cat contact lenses. His teeth were also filed down and capped with fangs.
Freshman nursing major Katherine Marting believes that although the practice of extreme body modification can be intense, it is a personal preference.
Dermal piercings, a much more minor form of body modification, have become popular with the college crowd. The procedure involves making a hole on the surface of the skin, which reaches down to the muscle layer. After the procedure, it looks like a normal piercing, but the other half is inside the skin as opposed to coming out the other side like with earlobe piercings. The piercing should only be removed with the help of a medical professional. The ears, nose, navel and hips are common locations for dermals.
“I would not get one [a dermal piercing] because if I ever want to get a job in the criminal justice field, that would be looked down upon,” said senior criminology major Kyle Beausoleil.
In addition to being seen as a form of self-expression, extreme body modification is practiced in various cultures to signify the start of a new stage in life. Males and females often have different puberty and marriage rituals. In Burma, girls start to wear neck rings at the tender age of five years old. The brass spirals press down on the female’s collarbone, altering the angle of the shoulders and elongating the neck to unnatural lengths.
The Mursi tribe in Ethiopia requires women to get a small incision in the middle of their bottom lips. A disk is put into the incision six months before they are expected to be married. Over time, longer disks are inserted until the lip is stretched out about the size of a frisbee. Also, their two bottom teeth are knocked out to make room for the huge plate.
Senior writing and communications major Philippa Hatendi, a native of Zimbabwe, Africa, is familiar with extreme body modification. However, it isn’t heavily practiced in her home country.
“Usually, within an African culture it is practiced because we want to differentiate between tribes or because it is a standard for beauty,” said Hatendi. “Personally, I would do it only if it was related with identifying that I was a member of a certain tribe, not for purely fashion purposes.”
Body modification has grown into an entire industry and is now considered by many to be an art form. What was once seen as something that was only conducted by native African tribes as a cultural rite of passage has now entered Westernized countries, becoming yet another way to stand out from the crowd.
Sunday, January 21, 2018
President Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.
On the face of it, the annual jolly for worldwide business and political elites at a ski resort in Switzerland looks an unwelcoming environment for the President. "Davos Man" is seen by many as the manifestation of the globalist agenda Trump denounces. The biggest acclaim at last year's jaunt, after all, went to President Xi of China, as he outlined a robust defense of free trade days after Trump's inauguration extolled protectionism.
But there's an argument to be made that on other issues, Trump's likely opinions will provide the shake-up the Forum needs.
Rich people blowing company cash in an expensive resort to bloviate their political views and contemplate the musings of "very important people" is in itself not particularly interesting. But when politicians, businessmen, lobbyists, commentators and regulators get together committing to "improving the state of the world," there are reasons to be concerned.
The first is that by design elites and vested interests dominate the conversation.
As an example, last year the forum contained business voices denouncing Brexit, with major banks and other established international companies lamenting potential impacts on supply chains and their commercial activities. Totally unrepresented were British consumers, who pay higher prices for external goods because of EU-level tariffs, and small businesses and yet-to-exist enterprises, which disproportionately bear the costs, or don't exist, due to EU regulations.
Indeed, it should not surprise us given the aligned interests of participants that Davos Man is so prone to groupthink on the issues of the day. A look back at the conference of 2006 shows little to no discussion of global systemic financial risks, but concern about bird flu being the next Black Death.
And who can blame them? Financiers, industrialists and regulators at Davos on any given year are generally success stories under current policies, and see near-term concerns as threats to their position, and arguably ignore larger systemic problems on the horizon.
Elites, by definition, have done well out of the status quo. They have wealth and power that they seek to preserve. It should not surprise us then to see the World Economic Forum now pushes articles about how to "deal" with supposed populism. Conventional elite wisdom worldwide is social democratic — that political fissures have arisen because of economic anxieties and inequalities.
So the lazy "solution" is for more government investment or more redistribution to keep the populists at bay. It just so happens bigger government will inevitably mean politicians dealing with and buying goods and services from existing major businesses — the very sort that appear at the World Economic Forum every January.
Perhaps the biggest problem with Davos Man though is the general hubris that the global elite can sit around and develop technocratic solutions to solve problems. The essential insight of Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek was that information was inherently decentralized. Localities, regions and countries are shaped by their own institutions, histories and cultures.
Dispersed decisions made by billions of individuals provide companies with information about how to allocate resources. The idea that progress comes from elites devising global plans for "responsive leadership," "a collective purpose," and by shaping "the future by … unparalleled global effort in co-design, co-creation and collaboration" is at best delusional and at worst leads to bad ideas gaining traction.
Davos Man is on the whole cosmopolitan and sees himself as a "citizen of the world." And in areas such as free trade and open migration, international businesspeople have been worthy supporters of economic liberty, which enables individuals to realize their wants and needs through voluntary cooperation.
But that same worldview that sees elite global action as key to prosperity also tends to be attracted to questionable grand projects, from burgeoning foreign aid spending, to constructionist international political projects such as the EU and eurozone and extensive global interventionism to "deal with" climate change and conflict. The knee-jerk Davos Man view is that all global cooperation and action is a good thing.
This makes Trump's visit all the more interesting. His ideas on trade and migration fly in the face of evidence. But his views and approach to other issues from aid to the UN may just be the grit in the oyster necessary for some introspection on behalf of the global elites.
As the economist Bill Easterly once said, Davos Man may not be ready to acknowledge that he does not hold the fate of humanity in his gilded hands. But that need not stop the rest of us."
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Even as Democrats continue to obstruct and play politics, I have never stopped fighting for the people, and I have no intention of changing course. I promised Jan. 20, 2017, would be remembered as a new day for all Americans – the day the people became the rulers of this nation once again.- Donald J. Trump
For the past 365 days, that promise has been my guide.
We are putting America first, making real change in Washington, and creating opportunities for all of our people. From coast to coast, there is a renewed spirit. Our country is roaring back more quickly than anyone could have predicted. The American Dream is real again.
Estimates predict the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of more than 3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year – just like it did in the two quarters before that. The economy has created more than 2 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate in 17 years: 4.1 percent. We have achieved the lowest African-American unemployment rate on record, and the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans has also hit historic lows. Chrysler has announced plans to bring jobs and production back to the U.S. from Mexico. And the stock market continues to set record high after record high.
Just before Christmas, we enacted massive tax cuts and tax reform for the American people. For the first time in 30 years, we reformed the tax code to make it simpler and fairer. We have lowered rates for both individuals and businesses, expanded 529 education savings accounts to be used for K-12 education, and doubled the child tax credit. These changes will not only allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money, but they will help make American workers and businesses competitive again. This sweeping reform also repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate – an unpopular, cruel, and burdensome tax that hit low- and middle-income Americans the hardest.
Over the year, as Americans have seen increases in their paychecks and retirement accounts, American companies in every sector have grown their business and created more jobs. I have created a more business-friendly environment by mandating, early on in my administration, that for every one regulation an agency proposed, two regulations must be eliminated. Many said that could not be done. Not only did we meet that goal, we far exceeded it, eliminating 22 regulatory actions for every new regulation.
As your president, I have unleashed our abundant American energy by ending the war on coal and approving major projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. After 40 years of fights with those who want to keep America’s potential locked in the ground, we have opened a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to safe and responsible exploration and development.
Americans are living in communities that are safer, stronger, healthier, and more secure. We are rooting out violence and restoring the rule of law. The federal government will not turn a blind eye to the widespread opioid epidemic that has caused too many funerals for too many families. I directed my Cabinet to make responding to the public health emergency one of their most urgent priorities, and I provided more than $1 billion in funding in 2017 to address opioid addiction and other drug-related problems.
Real change is happening on the world stage as well.
Immediately upon taking office, I directed the rebuilding of our military, a new national security strategy, a comprehensive nuclear posture review, and the fielding of state-of-the-art ballistic missile defenses. I personally engaged with 150 world leaders at home and abroad, and our great military is executing new strategies that have liberated Mosul and Raqqa, retaken almost 100 percent of the land that ISIS had seized in Syria and Iraq, and lifted restrictions on U.S. forces in Afghanistan to defeat the terrorists and create conditions for a negotiated political settlement.
In recognition of the amazing job our military does protecting the homeland, a debt we can never truly repay, I am making sure this government fulfills its obligation to our veterans. We have already enacted major reforms to strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability to provide high quality healthcare and benefits to millions of veterans and their beneficiaries. We have increased accountability, as the VA has fired 1,440 failing employees, suspended 430, and demoted 79, all as part of my efforts to make sure veterans get the help they need, in the time frame they deserve.
Finally, I have filled numerous vacancies in our federal courts with judges who will interpret the law as written – including our exceptional new Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch.
After one year, I am proud to report to the American people that we truly are making America great again – for all Americans!
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Maryland Democrats sketched out a three-part tax relief plan Tuesday that they say will lower state tax bills for 92 percent of taxpayers and save them as much as $1 billion in unintended tax increases.
Within hours, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said he’d push a competing tax proposal — which he has not detailed — to accomplish the same goal.
The dueling proposals will attempt to insulate state taxpayers from an inadvertent tax increase prompted by changes to the federal tax law enacted late last year.
State leaders across the country — especially in high-tax states like Maryland, California, New York and New Jersey — are grappling with how to adjust state tax laws to make sure individual residents don’t see their state bills increase by hundreds or thousands of dollars next year.
Hogan first broached the need to avert a tax hike in December. On Tuesday, more than 60 Maryland state lawmakers, all Democrats, announced part of their plan to mitigate that tax increase, saying that their proposal is just a starting point.
“We’re going to flesh this out,” House Speaker Michael E. Busch, a Democrat, said during an Annapolis news conference. “We’re out here in front. … We want to have a solution on how we can help Marylanders retain their tax dollars.”
Hogan said he is waiting until the Maryland comptroller completes a review of the impacts of the federal tax changes before he introduces his plan. But he said he was “thrilled” the Democrats were talking about the idea now.
“I’m ready to throw a party,” Hogan said.
A Hogan spokesman later added that the governor would submit his own plan to rewrite Maryland’s tax code to avert a tax increase.
Hogan also previewed his $44 billion budget on Tuesday, saying it has no new tax increases and will hold state college tuition increases to 2 percent. The full budget will be released Wednesday, and debated alongside the competing ideas about to revamp Maryland’s tax code and how much money — if any — the state should keep to fund programs.
The biggest piece of the Democrats’ tax plan would allow taxpayers to continue to take personal exemptions on their state taxes even though such exemptions are eliminated under the federal tax code. Unless state law on exemptions is uncoupled from federal policy, lawmakers said, Maryland taxpayers will pay out an additional $680 million in state and local taxes next year.
For example, a single mother of two children who earns less than $100,000 a year would see her Maryland taxes increase by $762 next year if she cannot continue to claim those exemptions, according to a state analysis. A family of five who earns less than $150,000 a year would see their state income taxes go up by $1,270 next year unless state law is changed.
Preventing that would represent “the biggest tax cut in the history of Maryland, as far as I’m concerned,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat who has served in the General Assembly since 1975.
Hogan offered no details on his plan but said his mission is to avoid higher tax bills for residents.
“Our goal will be to leave all of that money in the pockets of hard-working Marylanders,” Hogan said.
The second piece of the Democrats’ plan uncouples Maryland’s estate tax from federal policy so that inheritances of $5 million or more are subject to Maryland taxes. Unless state law is changed, Maryland would be able only to tax estates worth $11.2 million or more, the same threshold set in federal law. Maryland stands to lose about $60 million a year in estate taxes if it adopts the federal threshold.
“We cannot afford to lose this revenue,” said Del. James “Jimmy” Tarlau, a Democrat from Prince George’s County who is sponsoring the estate tax change. “We’re going to need this revenue.”
The third part of the Democrats’ plan creates a way for taxpayers to make a charitable deduction to a state-run fund dedicated to education spending and, in turn, take that donation as a tax credit on their state taxes.
The federal bill caps the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted from federal income taxes at $10,000, but donations to a charitable fund for education would not be subject to that cap, lawmakers said.
The complicated proposal for the education fund would not necessarily lower state tax bills for residents who donate to it. But the charitable deduction could lower residents’ federal tax liability in a way that other state tax payments would not.
Busch emphasized that the legislature did not yet have a comprehensive understanding of all the ways federal tax changes will affect state tax bills. But he said General Assembly leaders need to start acting now to develop a resolution in the remaining 85 days of the annual legislative session.
Busch and Miller said they were relying on outside tax experts as well as staff in the Department of Legislative Services to analyze the effect of the federal tax legislation. An aide to Sen. Ben Cardin was also helping state leaders figure out how to hold down Maryland residents’ tax bills, Busch said.
The proposal announced Tuesday is the first specific plan to address how to mitigate the impact of the federal tax changes.
Legislative leaders said they did not work with the Hogan administration to develop their plans but said they’d welcome his input.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
While Your State Politicians Are Masters of Virtue Signalling, Your State Becomes the Most Impoverished in the Nation
Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.
Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).
It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.
California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price.
The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.
The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.
Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.
Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.
“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.
Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.
Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on “remaking the world.” The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to “resist” Trump’s agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to “California values.” All this only reinforces the rest of America’s perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state’s poor residents.
With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.
Dick Durbin must be the Senator from Central America, as he's more interested in protecting Honduran and Guatemalean children more in their home countries than Americans and their children. Why should illegal gang activity in a foreign country justify their population's immigration to America? We already give their countries governments aid so that they can solve their countries problems IN their own country. We are not the world's emigration 'safety valve'. And if a country has refugee's fleeing for their lives to America for asylum, why can't those countries be referred to by EVERYONE as veritable "sh*tholes"?
*Note- aka: The Dick Durbin Sh*tshow
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Maryland lawmakers, worried about skyrocketing insurance premiums, have proposed creating a state-level individual mandate — and using fines levied on the uninsured to help put more people on the insurance rolls.
Last month, congressional Republicans repealed the federal individual mandate at the heart of the Affordable Care Act. Now that it’s going away, a coalition of Democratic state lawmakers say the best solution is to have the uninsured pay Maryland a fine that would be used as a “down payment” on health insurance coverage on the state’s exchange.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” said Sen. Brian J. Feldman, a Democrat from Montgomery County who is co-sponsoring the bill. “We’ve got to do something about stabilizing the insurance market.”
Lawmakers are hopeful that creating a state-level mandate not only will encourage young and healthy people to buy insurance — driving down premiums for everyone in the individual insurance market — but that the money can be used in a novel proposal to get more people on the insurance rolls.
In what health care advocates called a first-in-the-nation plan, the lawmakers proposed automatically enrolling uninsured people who qualify for coverage for less than the cost of the $700 fine.
Advocates estimate that about 60,000 of Maryland’s 200,000 uninsured people could receive health care at or less than that. The uninsured whose premiums are higher than that would be contacted by the state during open enrollment with a notification that $700 was available for them to defray the cost of insurance, how much federal subsidies would reduce their out-of-pocket costs, and a menu of health care options available to them.
“It’s very, very innovative,” said Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton, the Charles County Democrat who chairs the Finance Committee that will consider the legislation. He promised to start hearings on the proposal next week.
The idea came out of a commission the Democrat-dominated legislature created last year to study the effects of changes to the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats from both chambers were joined by clergy, heath care advocates and Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s health commissioner.
Democrat Del. Joseline Pena Melnyk, a Montgomery County lawmaker co-sponsering the bill, said the proposal was “one of many” ideas being debated to help reduce the cost of insurance.
“We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” she said, adding that they’re calling on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to help.
Hogan told reporters later in the day that he had not seen the details of the proposal, but in general that he considered the individual mandate “basically a tax.” He said he was “much more in favor of incentives” that could help reduce the cost of health care. And if Democrats had ideas about how to do that, “We’re all ears.”
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland, more than four years after the General Assembly passed a law legalizing it.
Standing up the industry — with growers, processors, dispensaries and doctors — took longer than expected. The law needed to be tweaked, rules needed to be written and legal battles needed to be fought over who won licenses.
Here’s what prospective users need to know about medical marijuana.
State law says the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission “is encouraged to approve” medical marijuana recommendations for:Patients with chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions who have been admitted to hospice or are receiving palliative care;What’s the process to get a written certification for medical marijuana?
Patients with a chronic or debilitating disease whose symptoms include (or for which the treatment produces side effects that include) cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe or persistent muscle spasms; and
Patients who are diagnosed with any condition that is severe, for which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and for which the symptoms “reasonably can be expected to be relieved” by the medical use of marijuana.
The commission specifically lists glaucoma and post-traumatic stress disorder as qualifying conditions.
Consumers first must register online as a patient with the commission. In addition to Maryland residents, non-Maryland residents who are in the state receiving medical treatment are eligible to register.
Patients must submit an electronic copy of a government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, passport or military ID), proof of address, a clear recent photo and the last four numbers of their Social Security number. More information about the process is available on the commission’s website.
For patients under age 18, a parent or legal guardian age 21 or older must register with the commission as a caregiver before registering the patient.
After registering, patients must obtain a written certification (recommendation) from a provider registered with the commission. The provider will need the patient’s commission-issued Patient ID number to issue the certification through the commission’s secure online application. If a certification is not used to purchase medical cannabis within 120 days, it becomes null and void.
Patients also can purchase ID cards for $50 from the commission after receiving a written certification. ID cards are not required to buy medical marijuana.
More than 17,000 consumers in Maryland have registered for medical marijuana.
Do I need to go to a special doctor to get one?
Like patients seeking medical marijuana, doctors and other medical providers recommending medical cannabis to patients must be registered with the commission.
More than 500 providers — including doctors, nurses and dentists — have signed on to the program, according to recent data from the commission.
MedChi compiled a list of member doctors by region who are licensed by the Board of Physicians, licensed by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and who asked to be listed. MarijuanaDoctors.com also provides a list of verified medical marijuana doctors in the state.
Can doctors prescribe medical marijuana?
No, prescribing medical cannabis is illegal under federal law. Doctors and other healthcare providers can only recommend or issue written certifications for medical marijuana.
Where can I get it?
Five of the state’s 10 licensed dispensaries are currently open in the state, and many have limited supplies. Here’s a map.
Others are expected to open in the coming weeks, and 12 more were recently approved.
And more are in planning and development, but by law there can be no more than two dispensaries in each of the state’s 47 legislative districts (not including licensed growers, who may also hold dispensary licenses).
Are different strains or products available at different dispensaries?
Yes. Many dispensaries offer different strains of dried marijuana with different properties designed to help treat various ailments. In addition to the dried plant, some dispensaries offer liquids that can be vaporized, oils, concentrates, topical ointments, wax, pills and accessories. Some extracts can be added to foods at home, but edible marijuana products are not available from Maryland dispensaries.
How much does it cost?
The price varies. At Kannavis, a dispensary in Ijamsville, dried product sells for about $50 to $60 per eighth-ounce, or $100 to $112 per quarter-ounce. A half-gram vape cartridge of extract from the shop costs $90. Some locations have chosen to go cashless.
Will insurance pay for it?
Health insurance companies are not required to cover medical cannabis costs, but private health insurers can develop policies that will cover medical cannabis.
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States does not cover medical marijuana, according to a spokesman. Coverage information for UnitedHealthcare and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield was not immediately available.
The federal government still classifies pot as an illegal drug. What impact does that have here?
Customers cannot travel to other states with medical marijuana from Maryland. The Transportation Security Administration does not screen for marijuana, but it likely will be confiscated if found during a search.
Has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved medical marijuana?
No, the FDA has not approved any product containing or derived from marijuana.
Can patients or doctors grow their own medical marijuana?
How much medical marijuana can I possess at one time?
Patients can carry up to 120 grams (about four ounces) unless a physician determines a patient needs more. In extract forms, customers are allowed to obtain up to 36 grams of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) per month.
I have a certification for medical marijuana. Can I give my medical marijuana to someone else?
What happens if I am stopped by law enforcement and carrying medical marijuana?
Patients do not have to consent to a search, nor do they have to disclose that they possess medical marijuana. If medical cannabis is found during a search, the patient should present their patient ID card or direct law enforcement officials to the marijuana commission’s database.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is still a crime.
What about workplace drug tests?
Maryland law does not prevent employers from testing for marijuana use, and it does not protect employees who test positive for any reason.
Is there a chance recreational marijuana use could be legalized in Maryland?
Several Democratic state lawmakers introduced a bill during the 2017 General Assembly session to hold a statewide referendum on whether to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state, while regulating and taxing it. The bill didn’t get much traction, but the issue isn't going away. Several states that legalized its recreational use are seeing significant revenue from marijuana sales.
What’s next for medical marijuana?
Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry Williams said a trial should determine whether state regulators acted outside the law when they chose which companies won lucrative licenses to grow the drug. A trial date has not yet been set.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are expected to address concerns about the lack of minority ownership among the companies that won licenses, which could mean an increase in the number of authorized growers and/or processors. From a consumer’s prospective, that eventually could lead to greater supply of the drug and potentially lower costs.
Regardless, the current medical marijuana law calls for the cannabis commission to evaluate whether there are enough growers in the state to meet demand and to issue however many licenses are necessary after June 1, 2018.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
The things wrong with America can be traced to that roiling year of reinvention half a century ago. By Stephen B. Young
When the complete history of the decline and fall of the American nation comes to be written, the turning point toward failure will not be recorded as the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It will be found among the events of 1968.
The young new year is a suitable occasion to recall the ways Americans began to come apart exactly 50 years ago.
Forces unleashed back then by angry protesters and resentful defenders of traditional ideals culminated decades later in the division of our people into “red” and “blue” warring tribes, with no cultural intermediaries left to speak of.
The year 1968 started badly in late January with the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam. It got worse with President Lyndon Johnson’s abandonment of presidential responsibility in March. It sank to unprecedented lows with the assassinations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in April and Robert Kennedy in June.
The overt expression of cultural decay came in presidential politics. The Democratic Party split bitterly and meanly. The 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent shambles unlike anything experienced since the founding of the country. Republican Richard Nixon as a result just barely won the presidency by shrewdly appealing to the fears and hopes of those called “deplorables” by Democrats all these years later.
Nixon, it’s worth recalling, called them the “Silent Majority.”
But, as always, politics reflected culture. In 1968, the baby boom generation came of age and started making its mark. The “Me Generation” had arrived. The men, sons of the “Greatest Generation,” did not want to fight communism in Vietnam as their fathers had fought fascism in Germany, Italy and Japan. The women wanted new social equality and freedom concerning sex, marriage and work that their mothers had never dreamed of.
The “Protestant ethic” of self-discipline and personal responsibility was rejected by many boomers. In its place was thrust forward a culture of entitlement and “self-actualization” as the New Jerusalem for America. Duty to family and country was old-fashioned, not “hip,” while “if it feels good, do it” became a norm for progressive minds to embrace.
Reflecting on his times in 1968, Irving Kristol presciently wrote: “Who can deny that, in the United States today, as never before in its history, there is a vast unease about the prospects of the republic? … None of [our] problems, taken by itself, seems insoluble. But taken together, they constitute a condition and are creating habits of mind that threaten the civic-bourgeois culture bequeathed to us by Western civilization.”
On the night of Jan. 31, 1968, all across South Vietnam, communist soldiers swarmed out of jungles into towns and cities, hoping to provoke the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. As the recent Ken Burns documentary affirmed, this Tet Offensive was a massive military defeat for the communists.
But the American press, as surprised as everyone else but more unnerved, declared it a failure for American arms, casting doubt on the viability of the entire war. However honest the misunderstanding, it was an early instance of what today some call “fake news.”
When Walter Cronkite on national television expressed his opinion that the war was unwinnable and so should be abandoned, Johnson said: “I’ve just lost Middle America.”
Johnson was certainly losing his nerve, as the boomers chanted “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” The president won the write-in Democratic primary in New Hampshire some weeks later, but Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy, running as an antiwar alternative, came in a respectable second, which became the story of the day.
Not to be outflanked, Bobby Kennedy jumped into the race as an Old Testament prophet calling for judgment on a failed people, undone by their support for the war in Vietnam and their tolerance of poverty and racism.
The once invincibly ambitious and imperious Johnson quickly abandoned ship, announcing that he would not seek another term as president.
This dereliction of duty sent shivers of uncertainty through every American cultural nerve. Everything was up for grabs intellectually and morally. There was no trustworthy foundation. No longer was there unquestioned affirmation of those ideals that (1) had supported our national identity, our self-respect and our patriotism, and (2) had given us, as a community of citizens in common cause, a purpose to make the country better and better in the days and years to come.
The sense that America was losing its way was painfully confirmed by the assassination of King in Memphis on April 4.
Riots among African-Americans, which had been seen by then for several summers, broke out anew.
Fifty years later, anger over unjust killings of black men fuels the Black Lives Matter movement.
In 1968, two African-American Olympic sprinters stood on the victor’s platform in Mexico City, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played, with a gloved hand raised in the “Black Power” salute of defiance against white privilege. Today, NFL players defy convention by taking a knee when the national anthem is played.
The deep cultural indictment expressed by these tragedies and conflicts was and is an accusation that victimization — not equality of opportunity — is the ultimate American truth. We are not a godly people who should be patriotic and thankful for the blessings of liberty but only the heirs to plunder justified by the racism, misogyny and homophobia of cisgendered patriarchs.
Kennedy’s campaign, more expressly than McCarthy’s, put on the table a compelling sense that America was in need of redemption. Kennedy appealed to the Old Testament leanings of our Protestant heritage; our vocation as a people was to “make a highway for the Lord in the wilderness.” If we went astray, we would be punished.
When he was killed, it was yet another blow to the idea of “American exceptionalism” as a force for good.
Perceived failure in Vietnam sure made it look as if we had lost God’s blessing. Never before had the U.S. lost a war. And the murder of two idealists would not have happened if we were really that godly “city upon a hill” John Winthrop had envisioned in 1630 as his Puritans sailed into Boston harbor.
Here was a cultural opening for the left. The alternative vision of what America was to be had already been set forth by Students for a Democratic Society in the 1962 “Port Huron Statement,” which grandly proclaimed: “We would replace power rooted in possession, privilege, or circumstance by power and uniqueness rooted in love, reflectiveness, reason, and creativity … . We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.”
The SDS founders deconstructed the concept of America by associating the nation with wrongdoing: “The declaration ‘all men are created equal …’ rang hollow before the facts of Negro life in the South and the big cities of the North. The proclaimed peaceful intentions of the United States contradicted its economic and military investments in the Cold War status quo. … Not only did tarnish appear on our image of American virtue, not only did disillusion occur when the hypocrisy of American ideals was discovered, but we began to sense that what we had originally seen as the American Golden Age was actually the decline of an era.”
Elements of this ideology were eagerly picked up in 1968 by McCarthy and Kennedy supporters. Students and intellectuals had rallied to their campaigns. With the Yippies in the lead, college-educated baby boomer protesters took on the power structure of the Democratic Party during the party’s August convention in Chicago.
The party’s old-line liberals, who had brought the country out of the Depression, defeated the fascists and stood up to the Stalinists were worriedly on the defensive. Events were spinning out of control. Chicago’s boss, Mayor Richard Daley, called out his police to beat up the demonstrators and show them who was in charge.
Inside the hall, the old-timers carried the day and nominated Hubert Humphrey for president. The young cultural rebels and their mentors waited for another day. In 1972, they would take over the Democratic Party behind George McGovern and turn it toward what we have today — a party of the left espousing an entitlement society of “safe spaces” for its client constituencies and marginalization for the rest — the Democratic Party of Barack Obama, and still more of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Keith Ellison.
Back in 1968, as the Democratic establishment was being challenged by the “New Left,” Alabama’s George Wallace brought forth a Southern-based movement from the right offering solidarity with working-class whites. In time, this constituency, expanded to the mountain West and the industrial North, would become Donald Trump’s devoted base.
For their part, the Republicans in 1968, skippered by Nixon, moved to exploit the fissures among the Democrats and the anxieties of the white middle class. Under his so-called Southern strategy, Nixon successfully brought Southern whites into the Republican Party. He also began to lure northern blue-collar whites away from the Democrats and so laid the cultural foundation for today’s Republican Party in Southern and Western states, small towns, and rural areas.
Take away the votes of residents in Los Angeles and New York City, and Donald Trump would have won the nationwide popular vote in 2016.
On the cultural front, 1968 specialized in dystopian movies: “2001: A Space Odyssey” foretold artificial intelligence taking over the cosmos from humans; “Planet of the Apes” predicted that humans would destroy their civilization, letting beasts take over; and “Rosemary’s Baby” offered the unnerving vision of satanic forces right next door.
That momentous year also saw the beginning of a transformation in colleges and universities, away from providing American society with moderate and centrist leadership, when Mark Rudd led the takeover of Low Library at Columbia University. Rudd was an SDS leader. In line with the Port Huron Statement, he believed that “the university could serve as a significant source of social criticism and an initiator of new modes and molders of attitudes and that … universities are an overlooked seat of influence.”
Today, 50 years later, tenured professors serve as the central committee of our would-be New Left ruling class. Higher education has become a cultural space protected against disobedient threats arising from free speech and free thought.
America was once great because Americans were once “liberal” in an old-fashioned sense. They affirmed the rule of law and fair process; they valued equal opportunity; they trusted each other, just enough; they were idealistic and optimistic. The center held. Both right and left were kept at the margins of politics. Compromise and collaboration carried the nation forward, even if only one small step at a time.
Today we are a disheartened and bitterly divided people. And our travails started back in 1968.
Saturday, January 6, 2018
The Trump administration unveiled its plan on Thursday to significantly expand offshore oil and gas drilling, including along the Atlantic Coast, a proposal that drew sharp criticism from Democrats and some Republicans.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the administration’s five-year plan would open up 90 percent of U.S. offshore reserves to drilling — representing the largest expansion in the nation’s history. The proposal would increase drilling off the coast of California, in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard, from Maine to Florida.
“We’re embarking on a new path for energy dominance in America, particularly on offshore,” Zinke said.
But the plan, which Zinke described as an opening proposal in what is likely to be a long negotiation, prompted swift disapproval — including from several Republicans representing coastal states. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, reiterated his opposition and directed Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat, to investigate a lawsuit.
“Such drilling would create too great a risk to the health, safety, and welfare of Maryland citizens, communities, and businesses,” Hogan wrote to Frosh. “It must be opposed to the fullest extent that is legally possible.”
Frosh already had threatened to sue in April, when President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order requiring the Department of the Interior to review Obama-era prohibitions on expanded drilling. Frosh said in an interview that his office is continuing to review the Trump administration’s moves and that Thursday’s announcement “certainly makes [litigation] more likely.”
Frosh described the action as a “stunningly bad decision,” but also noted the plan is broad, and in its early stages.
“They have to jump through a lot of different hoops,” he said. “We’ll see whether they manage to get through those hoops.”
The announcement was the latest from the Trump administration to split the state’s two leading Republicans, Hogan and Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County — both of whom face reelection this year.
Harris, who represents the Eastern Shore, said he supports expanded drilling if it can be done in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.
"You can't underestimate the geopolitical significance of America being the world's largest energy producer,” Harris said in a statement.
The proposal contemplates 47 lease sales between 2019 to 2024 — including 19 off the coast of Alaska, a dozen in the Gulf of Mexico and nine in the Atlantic. Of those, three would be sold in the Mid-Atlantic region, the department said.
It comes just days after the administration announced separate plans to roll back regulations that were put in place following the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010 that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican and longtime Trump ally, said Thursday he opposes the leasing plan.
The leasing proposal would replace one the Obama administration adopted in its final days, guiding offshore drilling activity through 2022. That plan left open 11 leasing opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the coast of Alaska, but rejected plans to open the Atlantic and Arctic to drilling.
Late in his second term, President Barack Obama used a 64-year-old law to withdraw vast portions of the Atlantic Coast from drilling. His administration said the restrictions would be permanent, but the law has never been challenged and likely would be central to litigation opposing Trump’s move.
Even if the Trump administration’s plan were approved, drilling in the Atlantic would be years if not decades off, analysts said.
The administration could begin selling leases to drill in the Atlantic and other closed-off areas as early as 2019 if the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management speeds through the planning process this year. But there are many steps and hurdles that could block or scale back the plans, including requirements for multiple stages of public comment before the sale of leases can commence — let alone before drilling could begin.
It’s also not clear that there’s sufficient demand to expand drilling in the Atlantic. Offshore drilling opponents say they expect a surplus of oil and relatively low fuel prices to reduce that demand, but nonetheless vowed to fight to prevent new drilling areas from being opened.
“No president has ever proposed a lease sale this expansive,” said Diane Hoskins, a campaign director for Oceana, an ocean conservation advocacy group. “We don’t think this is something to be proud of.”
The energy industry welcomed the proposal, framing it as an opportunity to secure long-term U.S. energy independence.
“The administration’s new offshore leasing plan will give our nation the ability to access our vital energy resources to help meet growing domestic and global demand while helping to supply affordable energy for consumers, manufacturers and businesses,” said Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute, in a statement.
Drilling off the U.S. Atlantic coast was abandoned decades ago, but the Obama administration had proposed opening millions of acres from Virginia to Georgia. Obama later reversed course following an outcry from environmentalists, including in Maryland, concerned about the effect a spill would have on beaches and the fishing industry.
Although the Trump plan doesn’t deal with the Chesapeake Bay directly, advocates say half of the estuary’s water comes from the Atlantic — not to mention much of its life. Blue crabs, for instance, begin their life floating in and out of the mouth of the bay.
“The waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake are as much a part of the bay system as all the fresh-water rivers that feed it,” Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker said in a statement.
“We are beginning to see progress in Bay restoration,” he said. “Now is not the time to put that progress at risk.”
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
The great Sexual Harassment Panic of 2017 is at last dying down. We can safely look at a screen without being overwhelmed by stories in which yet another loser – or more than one – has been outed for mistreating or exploiting women. Resignations have been myriad, careers have been destroyed, and one suicide has occurred. We're assured that the entire episode has been a watershed, that Things Have Changed permanently. It's an earthquake, says Meryl Streep. Others hail "a new socio-sexual revolution."
But what exactly has changed? Earthquakes are noted for massive and universal destruction, revolutions for the guillotine and the firing squad.
In fact, a cursory examination of the scene reveals...absolutely nothing. We stand at the same point we were at before it all happened.
A large number of creeps have been outed and ejected, and that's generally a good thing. These were all trash – Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Garrison Keillor, John Conyers. They will not be missed. They should have been nailed a long time ago, and they would have been nailed for something eventually.
But apart from that, nothing. A new day? Where? A new system? In what sense?
By system, I'm not talking about a reporting system, an intervention system, a surveillance system, or any other bureaucratic or ideological structure designed to exert social control. No, I'm speaking here about the kind of social system that, though largely invisible and widely unacknowledged (and nonexistent to feminist scholarship), does in fact exert sanctions and set limits on behavior. This kind of systems, a shadow function of communities and societies, is the only effective method of controlling antisocial activity. They are also the first to be eliminated by ideological liberalism.
The system controlling sexual abuses was clear and well understood. Women had a certain status that was acknowledged and respected by everyone. Their safety was secured by a vast distributed network of males who looked out for the interests of females they did not know personally, in the secure knowledge that other men unknown to them were looking out for the interests of their own sisters, daughters, and wives. If a Weinstein or a Conyers bothered a woman, she could appeal for protection to her brothers, her male friends or coworkers, or even a man walking down the street – and she would get it. The interloper would be sent on his way, the coworker or boss warned. If it didn't end, then sanctions up to and including physical violence would occur. In more atrocious situations, such as rape or molestation, the solution might even be more drastic. Everyone in my generation heard the story in which the detective took aside a male relative of an assaulted woman and said, "We know who did this, but we can't prove it. We'll give you his name, and you take it from there."
Women set the standards, and men enforced them. That's how it worked. Again, most men of my generation have stories – in most cases many stories – where a woman appealed for help on such grounds. Once, on a cold winter night in the early '80s, I was walking down MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village when I noticed a large crowd gathered in front of a brownstone. A girl was leaning out her window, screaming, "Help me! Someone's beating on the door. They're trying to get in..."
The crowd, fifty or more, largely male and most likely from the local branch of the Universal Betas Association (more generally known as NYU), were gaping up at her as if she were a TV screen. Pushing through them, I called out, "Throw me your keys."
I caught them and let myself in, racing upstairs with no idea of what I would be facing. But instead of a gang of Terminators or a Sandinista death squad, it turned out to be a drunk sprawled on the hallway floor, howling and banging on the door. I told him to shut up and dragged him across the hall. Knocking on the girl's door, I explained the situation to her and handed her the keys. She thanked me and, still nervous, returned to her apartment. I turned to leave, and that's when the boys in blue, taking only a quarter to half an hour to get there from a precinct house five blocks away, finally appeared.
They looked at me; looked at the drunk; and then, virtually as one, cried out, "Bobby!"
Racing to the drunk, they bent over him, anxiously asking him, "Did that man knock you down, Bobby?" "Did he hit you?"
Great, I thought. The beloved precinct drunk.
The older cop turned to me and shouted. "You just stand right there, fella."
At that moment, two other cops appeared. "Is that Bobby?" "My God, what happened to Bobby?"
Taking advantage of the confusion, I slipped around the corner and snuck downstairs and out the door. The mob was dispersing, and several other cops were piling out of their cruiser to Bobby's rescue. I ran down to Bleecker and then slowed to a self-consciously casual stroll.
That's the way it works. The betas will not help you. The cops will be late and, likely as not, useless when they appear. What is required is somebody who, despite his sporting a biker jacket, earring, and a spiked punk haircut, still lives under the old dispensation, according to the old rules.
That's the way it was. Informal yet effective. Were there errors? Certainly. But there wasn't much in the way of Weinsteins, Frankens, and certainly Kevin Spaceys. Because the trash understood the rules as well.
It doesn't work that way anymore. That system has been dismantled. Weinstein and the rest took advantage of the fact that there were no longer any rules and simply imposed their own. The eradication of the gentleman – which most people don't know evolved from the role of the knight (that is, someone who lived by a code of honor), the sanctification of the beta male (Anybody with questions as to what I mean by that term need merely look at this video – the betas are the ones sitting in the background, silently gazing off into space with blank looks on their faces while the ladies slug it out.), and the feminist discouraging of women turning to males for anything at all marked the end of general protection of females as a way of life. As that way of life has receded, we have, naturally enough, seen an upsurge of violence and exploitation of women. If unchecked, it will eventually reach the point that it did in Montreal on December 6, 1989, when a slug named Mark Lépine entered a classroom at the École Polytechique with a rifle and a blade. He ordered the men to leave, and all those staunch betas got up, left, and then stolidly waited outside while Lépine murdered fourteen helpless girls (and yes, ladies, they were college students, so they were girls). That's how it is in Quebec. That wouldn't happen even today in many areas of the U.S. But a generation ago, it wouldn't have happened at all – and the areas where it could happen are spreading.
They're spreading because, with the old system largely destroyed apart from Cro-Magnons like myself, no other system has been created to replace it. This is typical of postmodern liberal ideology, which is unparalleled at destroying things but has no skill at construction. Obama completed the demolition of the U.S. health care system and "replaced" it with Obamacare, which is being put out of its misery at the hands of Donald Trump. Obama's sideshow foreign policy team destroyed the modus vivendi prevailing in the Middle East, resulting the deaths of hundreds of thousands in a cataclysm that has still not been completely extinguished. It has become a cliché – pulling down is one thing, but when it's time for the real work, they're nowhere to be found.
And that is the story with sex. The old method of doing things is verboten, nothing has replaced it, and our ladies are suffering as a result. Meryl and her girlfriends are whistling in the dark.
Just look at whom they hired the run the inquiry: Anita Hill, a gibbering neurotic whose sole claim to fame is accusing a great man of telling of risqué jokes. Sheer empty symbolism, with nary an iota of substance behind it.
Hill's "commission" will emerge with some kind of Code of Behavior that they will insist that men obey, a code that will effectively eliminate banter, flirting, jokes, compliments, even eye contact, while leaving the actual problem untouched. The world at large will shrug it off as an asinine extension of P.C. The Weinsteins and Lauers will simply maneuver around it, choosing their targets more carefully and honing their tactics.
Men who brutalize women are psychically twisted. Unless physically restrained, they are not going to stop. Certainly not at the behest of a tag team run by Anita Hill.
Regardless, this new Code of Conduct will become the Thing. It will be posted in offices and public places. H.R. personnel will be required to memorize it, workers forced to sign copies, which will be kept on file. It will be enforced among the more ethereal levels of society – the media, large corporations, academia. Much will be made of it.
And it will fail. It will not halt a single case of sexual exploitation, for the simple reason that it will be not be backed up by social consensus in any tangible way whatsoever.
It will have no effect on sexual harassment in the real world, any more than the tens of thousands of reports, articles, learned papers, and studies have in the past.
This won't continue. It's one of that class of things that can't go on and won't go on. Men want to be heroes to their women, and women want their men to be heroes. If a woman had complained to any normal male outside of the Quebecois system of higher education, somebody would have clocked Lauer or Weinstein or Franken, and that would have ended it. But they didn't, out of fear, or ambition, but also because we don't live in that world anymore. We live in a world that has deliberately been made more complex and at the same time more stupid. We will remain on cruise control until the next blowup.
A lot of people will suffer before it ends. As is always and ever the case, liberalism, the ideology of neurotic females and beta males, degrades everything it touches.