Free Trade. What went wrong.

With the need to recycle dollars, the US got off the gold standard and now exports debt

in the form of treasury’s and other financial assets in place of goods and services. Once again bankers and politicians have sold out the American people.

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Obstruction of Injustice

Now that the Mueller Report has been released it can clearly be seen that what President Trump is guilty of is Obstruction of Injustice. A crime almost as serious as balancing the budget. Ask Scott Walker. While the official investigation took two years to complete, it’s been known for a while there was no evidence of “collusion“, whatever that means.

We now know that the President dispatched several people to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. (Not to be confused with the hacked DNC emails which were the predicate of the collusion accusation). One of which was his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who sent an email to the Kremlin press office seeking an introduction.  Similarly, it’s been reported that Vladimir Putin expressed frustration after the election that he didn’t have any contacts with the new administration. He also had a message sent to Hope Hicks, the President’s Communications adviser, asking for an introduction. So much for secret back channels.

But as the report lays out in detail, considerable attention was given to determining if the President’s behavior amounts to Obstruction of Justice. It seems odd that if you’re not guilty of a crime (no specific crime was ever alleged in the appointment of the special counsel) you can be accused of Obstruction. But if Jonathan Turley says you can then I accept his word. Even though the investigation was completed, no executive privilege claimed and over one million documents provided by the White House to investigators. No hard drives wiped or smashed with hammers. 

 James Comey, the FBI Director, whom the President fired, worked for the President and provided ample grounds for his termination. This at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who then appointed the Special Counsel. Confused yet?  

Proving guilt isn’t what matters as the political class plays a game of perception rather than reality. In fact much of our culture does the same, although for lesser stakes. It doesn’t matter that a crime hasn’t been identified, let alone guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  The accusation is sufficient.  What is problematic now for the President’s detractors is that the Special Counsel couldn’t make the case for Obstruction either.

As stated in the report, Mueller found that the behavior President Trump engaged in, while questionable in many respects, lacked intent. Trumps actions were largely an effort to battle the political fallout from an investigation rather than an attempt to cover-up illicit behavior. Indeed the much reported “I’m fuc*ed” statement refers to the political implications rather than exasperation at something being found out. But how many readers know that. Perception as reality indeed.

Similarly, the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Paul Manafort, Don Trump Jr., and Steve Bannon, wasn’t as it seems, as they weren’t aware that the meeting was against the law. Also not illegal as they didn’t pay for or receive anything of value which is the legal threshold for accepting assistance from foreign governments and campaign finance violations. And as Real Clear Investigation has published, this is looking more and more like a set-up.

So is this the end of the collusion chapter? Not a chance. Because our betters will never stop fighting for power. As Yoni Appelbaum of Atlantic Magazine demonstrates, impeachment should now proceed because President Trump’s efforts at defending himself and preserving his presidency, don’t strike them as Presidential. Or something.

Be careful what you wish for. The author references Vice President John C. Calhoun who in 1826 requested the House of Representatives begin impeachment proceedings so that he could clear his name from allegations of corruption against him. While I neither wish to re-litigate the collusion chapter or make political prognostications, it would appear there is far more evidence of interfering with an election, Russian collusion, and persecuting of political enemies by Team Clinton than the Trump Organization.  This week evidence is coming to light that a domestic political spying operation may have been in place since 2012. Stay tuned.

The observation I wish to make is that the outrage over The Donald’s deplorable behavior as the source of the breakdown in our civility and discourse is complete nonsense. President Trump certainly lacks class, integrity and honor. But it was Team Clinton that brought us the era of spin and the politics of personal destruction. Anyone remember James Carville? David Brock? Sidney Blumenthal? The characterization of opponents as wing nuts and conspiracy theorists? Paula Jones, a public servant, was called trailer trash. Ironically, it was the DNC who worked to secure the Republican nomination for Donald Trump with hundreds of millions in free media time. Talk about dirty tricks.

We’re at a point now where the left doesn’t even recognize the legitimacy of an opposition. In campaign finance law, main stream media, and across college campuses, opposition is silenced.  Which conveniently eliminates any need for a debate of ideas. And this toxic environment was taken to new heights in 1992 as the husband and wife duo from Arkansas arrived in Washington, DC and set about destroying then President Bush who enjoyed some of the highest approval ratings of any President in history.

Indeed, the ruling class had rigged the game to insure Hillary Clinton won her party’s nomination and become the 1st woman President of the United States.  The FBI’s “insurance policy” was a fabrication to insure that, in the unlikely event that she lost, the domestic spying and political corruption of the scandal free Obama administration would never see the light of day.  But lose she did.

Donald Trump won because he’s a counter-puncher. The consensus for the 2016 election was that the country was looking for authenticity and an outsider. He’s both in spades. No one believes for a minute that Donald Trump has the policy solutions to our problems. But they know, and now it’s been confirmed, that in order to get to the solutions, we need to expose the corruption of the ruling class.

And the biggest crime you can commit is to get in the way.  Especially by fighting back or making an effort to challenge the perception they work so hard to create. That’s what President Trump is guilty of.  Obstruction of Injustice. Washington DC continues to demonstrate that while our founders didn’t get everything right, they were exceptionally on target when it comes to the dangers to individual liberty from concentrated government power. And of the imperative of a moral and educated citizenry.  

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What’s the Mission?

Mission statement of the US.

Lower the cost of living. Period.

https://amgreatness.com/2019/04/04/too-few-homes-too-many-homeless-how-to-fix-it/

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Resistance to Self Government?

Madison, Wisconsin

Succession

Resist!

Good luck with that.

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College Screening. Past or Future

Visited a few colleges with my youngest son recently. The contrast was stark.

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George Herbert Walker Bush 1924-2018 The End of AN Era.

Placeholder for future comments and edits on the passing of GHW Bush.

I came of age politically in the 1980’s.  This is often the called the Reagan Era. Reagan was a towering figure to both his admirers and detractors largely because he presided over a renewal of America from a period of stagnation at home and abroad, waging a war on inflation  at home and rebuilding the american military and confronting the Soviet Union abroad.

  • Remembered for personality more than politics
  • Lifetime experiences prepared him for the Presidency
  • Reminds me of my own father.
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Twenty Things I Want My Kids to Know

Now that it’s official, it’s time I finish this up and pass it along.  The official part being Will’s acceptance to MSSM. For each of you this has meant a unique opportunity to step out into the world. A beginning. For me it means the time I have had to influence and shape each of your lives is closing faster than expected.  As children your biggest responsibility is to explore and find your place as productive and happy citizens of the world. As a father, my biggest responsibility is to prepare you for that.

Life is full of surprises.  Not many follow a plan. And for those that do, plans have a way of changing. As a family we have gone down unexpected roads which have at times varied from exciting, to challenging, to worrisome, and enlightening. The point here being that we were short changed on the time and focus this task deserves on the front end as well.  But it doesn’t show much. You are all outstanding young men who have rolled with the punches, accepted responsibility for yourselves, and made me very proud.  Perhaps adversity is the best teacher.  A mother as wonderful as yours doesn’t hurt either.

Attached is something I’ve been working on for some time. I’m not planning on going anywhere soon. But time does have a way of slipping by and often it’s hard to find the right time and place to share what you have to say. I’m not going to let that happen.

I may not be the most successful person around. Or the most charming or best looking. I’m not even funny. But what I am is principled. And disciplined and hard working. And have the courage of my convictions.  That may be your only inheritance. I wish I had a special knowledge or a career or a company to help you on your way. I wish I had more resources to help you explore and learn with or to get a jump on the competition.  I wish I had a wealth of friends and family that could open up doors for you.

I’ve got a little of each which I will gladly share with you. But what I have an abundance of is wisdom. Mostly learned from trial and error. Mostly error.  Some conventional. Some unique and mine alone. I’ve written it down and attached it here.  Keep it for future reference. It’s written in the hope that it helps you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made, confirms your instincts and intuition, or guides you in times of uncertainty. Or all three. And helps you understand who I am and what I value most.  I hope it helps.

SVW

1)      Put First Things First.

It’s not always clear what the top priority is. But it’s usually not the quick fix, shortcut, or path of least resistance. Lasting achievement is built on a foundation built for the future. 

2)      Attitude is the ONLY Thing You Can Control.

There are many things in life we work on and try to influence. And an equal number of things that work on and influence us. Control is often an illusion. However, the person you show the world every day is your choice alone.

3)      You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression.

People make judgments. It’s a part of being human and keeps us alive. They are often wrong and not easily changed. Yours included. Remember that.

4)      Treat Others as You Wish to Be Treated.

People won’t always remember what you said. But they will remember how you made them feel. And actions speak louder than words.  Hypocrisy is an epidemic.

5)      Check all Assumptions.

When you’ve thought everything through and examined all angles, don’t forget the possibility that your wrong.

6)      Always Do your Best.   

That’s all anyone can ask or you can offer. You’re not as good or as bad as you think you are. And nobody is perfect. In fact, you may find that your best effort gets you a lot further than you thought.

7)      Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

No one else does. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

8)      Everybody is a Critic. Offer Solutions.

Observation and constructive criticism are good. Creative problem solving is better. 

9)      Finish What you Start.

Getting started is often hard. Keeping at it harder. But don’t leave things undone.

10)  Trust Few. Believe in Yourself.

Confidence is key. To everything.

11)  Value is a Function of Scarcity.

Courage is one of the rarest. Intellectual honesty another. And good advice.

12)  It’s not what you make. It’s what you save.

Without a surplus you’ve got nothing. Be it time, money, or goodwill.

13)  Talk is Cheap.

When all is said and done, more is said than is done. And if you want to be heard, whisper.

14)  Sex is Over-Rated.

Sure it’s fun. And natural. But it will lead you to do foolish things. Ignore the hype.

15)  Intimacy Takes Time and Lasts Longer.  

Think of it as quality over quantity. That’s how women see it. Don’t let them down.

16)  Women Like a Project.

Behind every successful man is a good woman. But don’t give up your own will. Ever.

17)  Voluntary Cooperation and Teamwork are the Highest Calling.    

Dependence. Independence. Interdependence. In that order. 

18)  America is the Best Idea Ever Developed.

More than a place. It’s the vanguard of individual rights and community. Defend it. 

19)  Balance is the Meaning of Life.

Remember the universal dynamic interplay of polar opposites.  Seek balance in all things.

20)  Random Nature is Intelligent Design. 

Science or art? Rational or emotional? Personal or impersonal?  Yes.

21)  A Few More.

Music is what separates us from the animals. And books are good. Read them. 

Unconditional Love Forever.

 

Dad

 

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The Social Contract

The most fundamental idea at the founding was the idea of self government in conjunction with personal responsibility.

Take jobs. Every politician talks about creating jobs. Since when is this the role of government? In most societies as long as records have been kept, family business and small private enterprise is where jobs are. If politicians wanted to create jobs, why on earth are they running for office. My guess is they are interested in one job. Theirs.

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The Essentials

In the search for life in space, scientists often refer to the essentials required for life. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. In a similar vain life as we know it in America is predicated on three essentials. Without individual liberty in the areas of government, private enterprise, and religion it’s doubtful our way of life would be sustainable for long.

By civil rights I mean our form of self government where each of us is guaranteed rights by law rather than at the discretion of our rulers. Similarly, without private property and the right to save and invest, the commercial sector that has provided so much innovation, profit and quality of life enhancement, would never have developed. And while religion is universal, America’s judeo-christian foundation is based on the moral code of the individual rather than the church as a whole.

This three legged stool of individual liberty offers a compelling reason why America has developed to a high degree of peace and prosperity in such a short time. There are other states that possess one or two of these. And some that possess none. The degree of advancement and quality of life is strongly correlated.

While the story of America is one to champion, I’d like to explore the ideas at play rather than the country itself.

 

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America, The Idea

It’s been said that America is as much an idea as a place. If this is true than America could be anywhere and much bigger than previously understood. If we are to understand what America is we should try to understand the ideas that the country is built on.

Freedom.

Federalism

Equal Rights.

Pursuit of Happiness

The Rule of Law

Peace Through Strength

I think it’s true that America is an idea as much as a place. The underlying premise is individual liberty. And while it is possible, it doesn’t exist anywhere to the degree that it does on the North American Continent.  I’d like to explore why that is.

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