Upbringing matters

Fair warning, this post may get… rambly, since I’m running a bit of a sleep deficit. I blame new daughter C. Making new humans is hard, and she hasn’t even gotten big enough to start really kicking yet!

However, I want to talk a bit about family, and upbringing, and relate that to a blog squabble that’s happened recently between two authors I admire – and who, I think, are both right, because I think both have ID’d a different piece of an elephant. I’ll be writing my own perspective on things, which may or may not be correct, but because I’ve been a reader of both blogs for… um, a few years now at least (cannot for the life of me remember how many) I’m not going to link to any particular posts. There’s not really a good “summary” one; both authors have a huge “back catalog” of blog posts that people who aren’t regular readers haven’t encountered, and so I’ve seen some big mistakes in interpretation from people who are readers of one or the other who’ve read only a couple posts and then misinterpreted the other author out of ignorance of that author’s wider philosophical views. So if you want to join the popcorn crowd, please be aware of that issue.

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Up until this election cycle, I always wondered why blacks so monolithically vote Democrat, even though (to paraphrase Glenn Reynolds) any institution run by the left is a hotbed of corruption, exploitation, and discrimination.

I think I’ve made the connection, however. It’s tied into tribal identity. “I’m a Democrat.” “I’m a Republican.” “I’m a _____.” These are not reasoned positions for the vast majority of ALL population groups, and mere logic is not going to break identity.

The evidence which illuminated this for me is the hysterics among conservatives over Donald Trump’s success in running for the Republican Presidential nomination. The conservatives are pointing out that he’s not a conservative (true), claiming that he’s a hardcore Democrat (I think this is playing semantic games), and – here’s the kicker – claiming that electing this non-conservative fake Republican will forever tarnish the conservative brand.

Why would that be the outcome, if Trump isn’t conservative? I suspect he could still win the general election even if every dyed-in-the-wool conservative voter stayed home and sat on their hands – just due to his appeal to other voters who don’t vote for conservative candidates.

Because conservatives monolithically vote Republican, and identify themselves so strongly with the Republican party, this reaction showed me that they are trapped on the Republican plantation. Just like black voters reliably vote for politicians that pander to their issues and then turn around and rule for their own benefit while shafting their loyal base, Republican politicians do the EXACT. SAME. THING. to their conservative base. But the repeated betrayals don’t stop people from continuing to identify with their political identities. The conservatives concerned about Trump tarnishing their brand are so welded to the Republican party that the obvious solution – to loudly and publicly secede from the Republican establishment – never occurs to them. They’d rather be cuckolded over and over than face the truth of their cheating political partner’s behavior.

Every election, conservatives try to get the most conservative candidate the Republican Party nomination, fail miserably, and then go around shilling for the moderate “electable” Republican establishment candidate. Conservatives, come on. Please find the courage within yourselves to end your pathetic co-dependent relationship with your abusive political party, ‘kay?

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Conservatives on welfare

I was wandering by a blog I enjoy reading, and in a comment thread about the deplorable cultural condition of America’s underclass, someone mentioned their preferred solution: “End welfare.” And of course others chimed in about the supposed benefits of global competition and said that blue-collar workers should just retrain for a different industry when their jobs are outsourced to the Third World.

Yeah, I used to think that was reasonable, before I had enough experience to recognize that conservative economic “plan” as utopian moonshine divorced from reality.

It is damned hard for intelligent, well-educated white-collar middle-aged workers to retrain for a new career. Add to the situation an older male breadwinner who has a wife and kids to support, and tell him he’s going to have to retrain for a new career – taking a very hefty pay cut because his decades of experience are in the wrong field and he has to start over from the bottom? While, by the way, removing the welfare benefits that are quite possibly the only way the family is making their rent/mortgage payments and putting food on the table?

No wonder conservatives lose. They think they just need to educate people about how good their policies are. No, those people have heard the message, and they’re saying “Take your crazy UMC theory and stuff it, you don’t understand anything.”

I have a different suggestion. Yes, government welfare is corrosive to the human spirit and we need to get rid of it. But there are several very important things that need to be done first.

  1. Halt all immigration for a generation. Legal, illegal, no more. Sparingly grant residence permits for foreign spouses. No path to citizenship through marriage or temporary visa anchor babies.
  2. Tax the heck out of all imports, except maybe food (we can’t grow everything after all). Put the rising import taxes on a gradual increase so people have time to adjust and make plans.
  3. Use the resulting revenue to get rid of all federal taxes on labor on a similar gradual decrease. Income tax, payroll tax, SS tax, everything that makes it less profitable to work or to hire must GO. Get the funding for whatever program from some other source.
  4. Start getting rid of non-tax impediments to labor. Make licensing voluntary rather than required, for example.

That’s just the start. End immigration. Stop allowing the third world to siphon jobs from your own citizens. And if it’s legal for someone to do a job, then there should be no government taxes and as few regs as possible getting in the way of that job. Government mandated licensing and certifications are essentially a racket whereby established, politically powerful entities prevent competition from arising, and in an Information Age of social media and ubiquitous cell phones all we need are stringent whistleblower and investigative reporting protections and the public will be quite capable of looking after their own safety, thanks so much.

Then after twenty years of getting rid of economic shackles (and hopefully much progress on the cultural side of things as the mass media/entertainment/schooling paradigm is swept away by technological advancements), then we can start looking at getting rid of government welfare.

Trying to get rid of welfare, in a situation where government agencies have harassed children’s lemonade stands into shutting down? You’re crazy. Get rid of the actual impediments to honest work first, before you start tackling the disincentives that people are relying on for their continued existence. Especially since that gives you time to work on the cultural front where socialism has been carrying the day for decades.

For too long, conservatives have been meeting people who would be naked and starving without the welfare state and telling them, “Go, be warm and well fed while we take away everything that you’re currently using to put clothes on your back and food on your table. Don’t worry, something good will happen afterwards, we promise!”

Which is about as convincing as when some limousine liberal with an armed security squad starts talking about how guns are bad and if only regular citizens weren’t allowed to have them, violent crime wouldn’t be such a problem.

Get rid of the things that are standing in the way of people working for a living. Then we can talk about whittling welfare down to the bare minimum, since everyone who can do anything valuable can just go do it without worrying that the government is gonna come harass them with reams of incomprehensible paperwork and take their income, or cut some deal with a foreign country that will render their efforts worthless, or import tons of other people to compete and drive the price of labor down to rock bottom.

For heaven’s sake, don’t cry “Cut welfare!” in the middle of a freaking recession when the labor force participation rate is lower than it’s been in decades!

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The Left believes in closets

Those who don’t pay attention might think that the amorphous group of people on “the left” are not in favor of closets – thanks to their pro-homosexual and/or pro-transsexual stances. (If you can pass as a member of the other sex, there is zero reason to have a special law allowing you to use the wrong bathroom, because nobody will notice you’re out of place. So the point of trans activism, like the point of gay activism, is the opposite of closeting – it’s to shove your personal peccadilloes into everyone else’s face.)

However, like with pretty much every single thing the left “believes,” there’s no “there” there – no underlying cosmic principle that applies equally to everyone. There’s only power, and the raw expression thereof.

Thus Twitter’s recent behavior: unverifying, shadowbanning, and outright suspending non-leftist accounts for thought crime.

Pedants and assorted idiots like to screech about Twitter being a private company that can do what it wants. Well, sure. And Islamic countries in the Middle East are sovereign nations that can execute homosexuals and rape victims if they want to, as well. Just because something’s legal doesn’t make it right.

This is why a leftist will celebrate homosexuals parading down main street in porn outfits, while simultaneously attempting to punish – by whatever means necessary, public or private – any expression of non-leftist values.

It’s not about the principle. It’s about power. Closeting is fine – just as long as it’s a bunch of leftists who get to choose who gets locked in.

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What a shame

Stupid Party presidential candidate Carly Fiorina drops out of race, leaves message proving qualification beyond shadow of a doubt: “Feminism doesn’t shut down conversations or threaten women. It is not about ideology. It is not a weapon to wield against your political opponent.” Cuckservative on Instapundit repeats stupidest part of message, instead of the earlier factually accurate part.

I’m sorry, but just because you fell for the “equal rights” whopper doesn’t mean real feminism conforms to its propaganda – or that you should go around insisting that “feminism” is the complete opposite of what it observably actually is: a totalitarian political ideology that does its best to shut down dissenting voices by any means necessary, including harassment and threats.

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Christian Contempt

I found the latest post by Dalrock (read the whole thing!) to be inspiring enough to break my pregnancy-induced silence to give some advice to Christian wives.

Be incredibly wary of so-called “Christian leaders” who criticize married men. No matter how “traditional” or “fundamentalist” they seem otherwise.

A man who is truly righteous will not speak against husbands in public, but rather he will encourage wives to submit to their own husbands as the Bible teaches. NOT to himself.

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Snowflake Muslims

Often someone gets upset by anti-Muslim sentiment, they will trot out the “I know good Muslims who serve in the armed forces!” – which is nothing more than special snowflaking, Muslim edition. Yeah, well, despite the appeal to American patriotism, Muslims who serve in the armed forces don’t impress me much. Remember Fort Hood? One of the San Bernardino terrorists’ relatives served in the armed forces, but the family was just as willing to serve global jihad. I don’t care how many Muslims are decent people, their virtue doesn’t un-murder terror victims or un-rape the thousands of women and children abused by Muslims in the West. Let them go and be decent folks in their Muslim homelands where it will actually do some good.

Meanwhile a devout Muslim with a rap sheet and prior criminal use of a gun uses a stolen 9mil to shoot a police officer, declaring loyalty to the Islamic State… and the Philly mayor claims that it has nothing to do with Islam, and btw, there are too many guns on the streets.

The stolen handgun? Was stolen from the police.

This is why we need to stop letting Muslims colonize the West, and start shipping the devout ones off to Syria (where a bunch of them want to be anyway). Better off intolerant than raped, shot, and/or dead. You can’t have a Muslim terror problem in your neighborhood if there’s no Muslims living next door to cause it. Maybe if people were willing to actually punish Islamic criminality and sedition instead of looking the other way because raciss, we could have some of that much-idealized diversity – but most people and most especially the government are more terrified of hurting Muslims’ feelings than of failing to protect their neighbors from Islamic predators. Probably because Muslims with hurt feelings have a well-known tendency to kill people, and their victims don’t.

h/t Brietbart, which unlike philly.com doesn’t make excuses for the attempted murderer.

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