The Illusion of Left And Right

InAmerica

What goes where?

You probably think that politics can be neatly divided into two sides. There is the Left and there is the Right. Everything has to fit in somewhere on that line. You probably think there is some clear and logical principle that will tell you where to put every political persuasion on that line.

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A lot of people do see it that way.

The reality though is that things are not that simple. The reality of human thought and political belief can’t be captured on a single one-dimensional line. There are many dimensions by which we can measure political persuasions.

Before we look at those other dimensions we need to understand where this one came from. It is a surprisingly simple story.

Left & Right came from where people sat.

The terms “Left” and “Right” in politics came from where people sat in the French National Assembly leading up to the French Revolution in 1789. Those who supported the rights and privileges of the King, the aristocracy, and the clergy were on the right of the president  (the “Right Wing”). Those who were on the left (the “Left Wing”), angered by those same privileges for the elite sought to establish a more egalitarian society.

That happened over two centuries ago. So how did that work out?

It didn’t end well.

Not very well actually. The First Republic dates to 1792. In 1793 they executed King Louis XVI. The dictatorship of the Committee of Public Safety and the Reign of Terror soon followed with some 17,000 public executions. As many as 10,000 died in prison without a trial. Historians don’t agree on the count in the Vendee Genocide, numbers ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. After interminable turmoil, Napoleon Bonaparte took control in 1799, and was declared Emperor in 1804. This led to the Napoleonic Wars that finally ended in 1815 with the final defeat of Napoleon.

The French Revolution started out with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It ended with a bloodbath, dictatorship, and wars that decimated France and Europe.

In America

But again how does all of that apply to America today? This country has never had a legally established aristocracy. Churches in America have never had the privileges and power once held by the Catholic Church in France. Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution specifically prohibits the granting of titles of nobility by the United States government. The United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, a year before the French Revolution. It has been a model for limited government and respect for individual rights since the ink first dried on it.

No one is arguing that it was perfect, or was perfectly followed in principle. It was a model of an enlightened government regardless of any criticisms of its implementation. It was the ideals in that document that eventually led to the Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Nevertheless, there is a clear principle to be drawn from the French Revolution. The principle is about conservation vs. change. The Right seeks to conserve and the Left seeks change. If we are to use this principle consistently then any political movement seeking to change the status quo is on the Left. Those seeking to preserve the existing regime are on the Right. Simple, right?

Neither protecting what is established or changing it into something else has in itself any inherent good or evil. We can only impute moral good or evil when considering what is to be preserved or the changes some wish to make. We also need to examine how likely it is that those goals will actually be achieved in reality.

The road to hell

We need to consider the old proverb that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Nowhere is that fact more evident than in the French Revolution and in the Russian Revolution that followed in the 20th century. We have already mentioned the blood bath of the French Revolution.

The Russian Revolution led to the Soviet Union. Estimates of how many died in the Soviet Communist Gulags vary from several million up to 12 million. Another 7 million victims are credited with state planned famines to collectivize agriculture in the Soviet Union between 1932 and 1933.

We will never know the exact numbers. The Soviet Union was certainly in the same league as Nazi Germany in murdering its own people. The Communists just had different reasons and techniques for murdering them.

In their own minds many of the Russian revolutionaries, like the French revolutionaries, saw themselves as champions of humanity. The results, however, did not live up to their ideals and that is an important fact to consider. History teaches that good intention more often than not leads to disaster without plans grounded in the reality of human nature.

Up next

In this article, we have seen where the political terms of Left and Right originally came from. In the next article, we will examine the meaning of Left and Right as it evolved in the 20th century.

Next: The Illusion of Left and Right – Part 2

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NAZI ANTIFA THUGS

Nazi Antifa thugs, emulating their Nazi forbears in Germany, recently vandalized the the New York Republican headquarters in New York City. They left a note saying this “attack is merely a beginning.” Maybe not in scale, but certainly in motivation, this should remind us (who know history) of the famous Kristallnacht in 1938 where Nazi paramilitary and German civilians vandalized Jewish stores and synagogues. “Kristallnacht” means “Crystal Night,” or more loosely translated,  “the night of broken glass.”

Nazi Antifa Thugs

Nazi Antifa Thugs

Nazi Antfia thugs have the same motivation as those Nazis in Germany, to dehumanize and silence those whom they dislike. To Antifa the new “Jews” are conservatives whom they – falsely – characterize as “Fascists,” probably because they didn’t pay much attention in school and really have no idea what a real Fascist looked like back in the 1930s.

— READ MORE —

Americans Are Dreamers Too

Americans on the political Left in America are very concerned for the dreams of people who have come to America illegally. They are especially concerned for the dreams of those who were smuggled into America illegally as children. They have a special name for them, they call them “Dreamers.”

It is truly sad for these people who were brought to America very young and who grew up in America. Most probably have considerably less ties to their parent’s native country than their parents. They were too  young for me to consider them criminals, but someone who brought them was a criminal, a person who deliberately broke U.S. law to be here.

I use the word “illegal” because I want to stress that at the root of this problem there is always a crime.

Those on the Left would like to abolish the laws that make it a crime to enter the U.S. at will without any control. They would like to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). They would like for it to be legal for anyone who can get to the U.S. border to cross over into the U.S. without any checks on their health, criminal background, or likely ability to be employed and not become an immediate burden on U.S. taxpayers.

What would be the likely consequences of enacting “open borders,” allowing anyone who wanted to come to America and could somehow manage to get here? What would be the  consequences to  the dreams of all the Americans and their children, who are already here legally?

Mexico City, high rise buildings, freeways, and slums. Is this the future of America?

Mexico City, high rise buildings, freeways, and slums. Is this the future of America?

READ MORE at InAmerica.us

 

Don’t Be A Dick – Don’t Shop At Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick's Scorecard

Modified “SCORECARD” for Dick’s

Dick’s Sporting Goods, also doing business as “Field & Stream,”  seems very determined to alienate a sizable portion of their clientele. The NRA-ILA (National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action) summed it up pretty well:

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic rifles at its stores, carry only limited capacity magazines for semi-automatic guns, and ban firearm sales to certain legally eligible adults. It then took the further step of declaring it would destroy its inventory of the newly-restricted firearms at company expense. And if that weren’t enough, the news also recently broke that the company had hired expensive D.C. lobbyists to push for gun control measures on Capitol Hill.

Dick’s, in other words, was positioning itself as a rising star in the field of corporate gun control activism, in obvious contradiction of its own financial interests.

Hard Times for Dick’s as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent, May 11, 2018

Dick’s opened a new outlet recently in Cedar Park, Texas which is not too far from where I live. I have bought a few things in that store and was contemplating the purchase of a Ruger LC9s (highly concealable 9mm handgun to go with my Texas Concealed Carry Permit). They gave me a “SCORECARD” to keep track of my purchases and win points towards future discounts. Their prices on handguns looked to me to be pretty good and they carried all the latest models.

READ MORE at InAmerica.us

Cancel Citibank Card

Why I Cancelled My Citi Visa Card (and Why You Should Too!)

On March 22nd Citibank which issues Citi Visas and Mastercards released a “Commercial Firearms Policy” to announce to and unprecedented requirements to force firearms dealers who do business with Citibank to quit selling “high capacity”magazines. Citibank’s new policy:

“Under this…policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label. It doesn’t impact the ability of consumers to use their Citi cards at merchants of their choice.”

First off it would be illegal for a licensed firearms dealer to sell a firearm to someone who hasn’t passed the FBI online background check. The only exception I know, at least in Texas, is a person who holds a state issued concealed carry permit (meaning they have passed a far more extensive background check than what the FBI conducts).

READ MORE at InAmerica.us 

Transgender In The Military

Originally posted on inAmerica.US

United States Military

Back in August President Trump ordered Defense Secretary James Mattis to not accept the enlistment into the military of openly transgender individuals. Since then lower courts have ruled to block that order and as of January 2nd the U.S. military may have to, at least temporarily,  accept transgender enlistments. Two U.S. courts of appeals ((Fourth Circuit and D.C. Circuit) upheld the lower court’s preliminary injunctions.

It is not clear why the administration has not sought a stay from the Supreme Court. The primary issue is not really whether these transgender individuals are fit for military service, but rather the powers delegated to the President under the United States Constitution.

From a statement by Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readinessyesterday:

“Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the federal courts have no authority to make policy regarding the military. The Department of Justice (DoJ) should have protected the constitutional rights of President Donald J. Trump by filing an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court immediately after the District of Columbia and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals denied requests for stays of lower court preliminary injunctions. The issue is not the military transgender policy alone, but who gets to decide what the policy will be. By failing to petition the Supreme Court to stay the lower court orders, the DoJ has tacitly conceded that federal judges can make military policy and establish medical standards for enlistments.”

Even if one doesn’t take Constitutional issues into account (and one should take the Constitution into account) transgenders often suffer from severe mental illness and have suicide rates approaching 40% which is even higher than that for schizophrenics who currently cannot serve in the U.S. military.

The expense and difficulty of dealing with the needs of this small minority of individuals should not be allowed to sabotage the U.S. military the function of which is to defend the United States, however sympathetic one might be for some of these unfortunate individuals. Sympathy and compassion is not the issue. An efficient and effective military and the Constitutional right of the President to direct that military as the Commander-In-Chief is the issue.

One theory of why the administration has not sought a stay from the Supreme Court is that the Defense Department is currently conducting a “study” and will continue to litigate later this year using results from that study. In the meantime transgender recruits may have clauses in their enlistment contract specifying that they can be discharged if the administration prevails in court and specifically stating that the government will not pay for any transgender treatments (e.g., sex-reassignment surgery) during their enlistment.

Let us hope that is the case and the Trump Administration fully plans to protect the rights and authority of the Presidency from Left wing courts and hopefully they will prevail in the Supreme Court. That also may be more likely if the President has the opportunity to appoint more Conservative judges to the high court who will protect the Constitution.

You can read more on the issue on Breitbart and the Center for Military Readiness.


InAmerica.US

 

Net Neutrality

Some interesting and insightful articles on Net Neutrality brought to you from InAmerica.

Good riddance to net neutrality

Net Neutrality

Now that Net Neutrality has been repealed, the companies that build and maintain the infrastructure will be able to charge more to companies that demand more. What a horrible concept, basing prices on supply and demand!

It was inspiring that the net neutrality supporters were trying so hard to protect streaming companies like Netflix and Google from paying more for their increasing use and increasing demand that generates the need for more infrastructure and maintenance. Netflix only has a market value of $81 Billion and Google $730 Billion, so thank goodness consumer advocates are working so hard to protect them from paying more for their increasing share of the bandwidth.

Jack Hellner, READ MORE at  The American Thinker

The crony monopolists behind net neutrality show their true colors

December 14, 2017 is increasingly looking like a day that could go down in history for all the right reasons — namely, as the day when the tech industry’s stranglehold on Washington, D.C. policymakers was broken. That day, Ajit Pai’s FCC repealed the thoroughly unnecessary program known as net neutrality, a move that in itself counts as daring considering its utter defiance of tech industry pieties. To make matters even better, Chairman Pai himself repeatedly pointed to the hypocrisy of tech’s justifications for net neutrality, since most of their fearmongering described tactics that the tech industry itself used to censor and control the internet.

READ MORE at The American Spectator

Net Neutrality – The Internet Was A Success Without It!

A lot of techies and millennial types are going apoplectic over the FCC’s current move to roll back provisions for Net Neutrality adopted under Obama. A lot of people I know who are technically literate consider it blasphemy to be against Net Neutrality.

I guess then I am a blasphemer.

In principle I rarely support increasing the scope and power of government unless someone can show a large, unambiguous, and clear benefit of government regulation. There are good arguments for regulation and government oversight, sometimes. One example of where government regulation clearly fits is in assuring that large enterprises be 100% responsible for cleaning up the messes they make instead of passing the buck to taxpayers which is clearly a subsidy for those enterprises.

READ MORE at InAmerica