BERNING DESIRE FOR POWER

Remember the classic gallows humor of the Lincoln assassination: “But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” …..thus ignoring the elephant in the room. This is what leading Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did when he praised Cuba’s literacy and healthcare programs.

The elephant in the room is that Cuba is a repressive dictatorship which has murdered the political opposition, kept their people in crushing poverty and prevented their people from leaving the country, to mention just a few of Cuba’s abuses. Stack that against a literacy program and healthcare. We’ll give you healthcare, but if you oppose us, we’ll kill you.

Giving people stuff is another way to control them, and Bernie is just fine with that. Why do leftists never praise Hitler? Hitler’s party was the National Socialist Party. He gave the German people jobs, righted their reeling economy, gave them healthcare, radios and affordable cars. But no name says “mass murderer” like Hitler. Castro, Chavez, Stalin and Mao were murderers too, every bit as evil as Hitler. But because these names aren’t readily associated with mass murder, leftists praise them. For the Left, it’s simply a matter of branding.

You’d think that history might teach Bernie and his progressive buddies that concentrated government power is a bad thing. Our Founders studied history and knew that too much power in the hands of too few people is dangerous. But have Bernie and the progressives learned this? No, no.

So how does Bernie ignore the obvious? Every progressive policy is based on centralized power, two examples being the Green New Deal and Medicare For All. Every tyrant has what Bernie – and every progressive – secretly craves: power. Bernie sees himself as “good.” The idea that he or his ideological mates could harm other people when given so much power never enters their minds. And that is what is really scary.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

SHOCK WAVE FROM ACROSS THE POND

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Leftists got their clocks cleaned in what can only be described as a crushing defeat in the recent UK elections. Conservatives (the Tory party, analogous to our Republican party) swept to the largest majority since 1987. Conservatives won 365 seats in the House of Commons (like our House of Representatives) to just 203 seats for the Labour party (the UK’s leftists, similar to our Democrat party). Labour usually wins the blue-collar vote, but not this time; the Tories won the working-class vote in a walk. Districts that have voted Labour since WW II, 73 years, voted Tory. A huge issue was leaving the European Union. But there was so much more to this election.

Britons rebelled against rule by the elites of the European Union. Similarly, in this country, the Democrat party has abandoned working-class and rural voters in favor two new voting blocs. One is the so-called “creative class,” a term coined (by Richard Florida, a University of Toronto economist) to describe well-paid urbanites who work in professional, managerial and technical fields. The second group is a replacement electorate: illegal aliens. Democrats have courted illegals by letting them jump our border with no consequences, allowing them to live in so-called sanctuary cities and giving them lots of free stuff: college tuition, health care, welfare, drivers’ licenses. By design, Democrat policies invite more border-jumping. The Democrat party, like the Labour party, loathes decent, hard-working Americans. Remember what two Democrat Presidential candidates said? Barack Obama in 2008:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and…in the Midwest, the jobs have gone now for 25 years…And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment…”

And Hillary Clinton in 2016:

you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables…racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic….you name it.”

This is as contemptuous as it gets, and it exactly mirrors the attitude of Britain’s Labour party. Let’s think about this for a moment. On immigration, all we want is a rational policy based on merit. If you’re an asset to the country, can support yourself and love America, you’re in. For this, we’re labeled “racist.” We want border enforcement; you can’t have a functional immigration policy with open borders. And for this, we’re called “xenophobic.” When we question giving taxpayer money, our money, to illegals, we’re called heartless and cruel. When we ask, “Where have all the jobs gone?” we’re told to shut up, move elsewhere if you want a job, that’s just the way it is, nothing can be done.

Right here in New York State, our ruling elites now give us an end to cash bail, as well as needle exchange sites in “hard-to-reach rural areas,” which will release criminals onto our streets and worse, invite them into our neighborhoods. This will not hurt the politicians, who have armed guards, or people in living in gated communities or posh apartments with a 24/7 doorman. No, this hurts the working class.

Not one poll predicted the stunning repudiation of the UK’s Labour party. Polls didn’t predict the recent conservative sweep in Australia. In Paris, the yellow vests are out in force. The message is the same: We’re sick of the condescending attitude of the elites, and we’re taking our government back. Government of, by and for the people never goes out of style, but sometimes our rulers forget who’s in charge. They will need to be reminded AGAIN in 2020.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

Another Blow to Upstate

This comes under the heading, “When you think it can’t get any worse.”  I just read today’s NY Post and I thought all of my readers should see this.  All credit to the NYP Editorial board for keeping up with the nonsense coming out of Albany.  Gov. Andrew is at it again.  And if he’s at it-we’re going to get it.  The editorial follows.

Mike Morrongiello, Ph. D.

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo just can’t seem to resist slamming Upstate simply to pander to the greens. The latest pain: His drive to build vast “wind farms” off Long Island will zing upstaters’ electric bills to the tune of more than $1 billion — and that’s just for the first round of subsidies.

Credit the Empire Center’s Ken Girardin for uncovering this injustice in new filings by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which shows that subsidies for the windmill operators could hit $2.2 billion — — about double today’s wholesale electric prices for the city and Long Island.

The cost would be snuck into consumers’ electric bills all across New York — with utilities legally barred from telling the public what’s going on. And that’s just for about a fifth of the 9,000 megawatts of wind power mandated by the “Climate Leadership” law Cuomo got passed this year.

Mind you, the gov’s making even green power more expensive than it needs to be, by requiring union wages and work rules on these wind projects and by blocking better alternative sources, like Canadian hydropower, from qualifying for state subsidies.

Meanwhile, much of the state suffers needlessly because of Cuomo’s junk-science ban on fracking, which robs depressed rural areas of good jobs and the wealth that selling drilling rights would bring.

This gov’s “climate leadership” is pushing much of the state to ruin.

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RABBIT HOLES AND LOOKING GLASSES

The Speaker of the House made it official: we’re going to have an impeachment inquiry to remove President Trump from office. But Democrats are not following their own rules and procedures from the previous impeachments of Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. This is strictly partisan, because Democrats have shut Republicans out of the process.

The way it’s supposed to work is that the House first votes to begin an inquiry; then the Judiciary Committee or some other designated committee does an investigation and determines whether the facts support impeachment. If that committee agrees that the President should be impeached, they vote on it and send it to the entire House for a vote. A simple majority vote (218 members) impeaches the President; then it goes to the Senate for a trial.

The House should be following its own rules and past precedents. If they think the President has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” they should make the case and have the guts and integrity to vote on it. The House is the body that most closely reflects the will of the people – that’s why they’re elected every two years. To hold not a single vote in this most democratic of institutions is a real and present threat to our democracy.

But of course, they are progressives and thus unbound by tradition and precedent. Theirs is a political movement governed by the needs of the moment. And those needs, and their solutions, always increase their power.

The substance of the impeachment is absurdly thin. The Democrats say that President Trump pressured the President of the Ukraine to give him dirt on former VP and Presidential candidate Joe Biden, or else (no aid from the US) – the classic quid pro quo. So I did my due diligence as a citizen in our still- great republic by reading the whistleblower’s complaint and the transcript of the phone conversation between the Ukrainian President and President Trump. And I found (a drum roll, please): nothing. No sane jury would ever buy what the Democrats are selling. In the hyper-cliched world of political punditry, this is a nothing-burger and at the end of the day, there’s no there there. To make the case even weaker, the so-called whistleblower actually stated that his information is second-hand.

This is a phony impeachment lacking the moral authority of members’ votes. No wonder Trump is saying to the Democrats: bring it! Republicans should welcome this fight.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

PROGRESSIVES: NO LIMITS

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Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Recently, forty people died in mass shootings in El Paso and Midland, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We’ve had too many of these, and we need thoughtful and honest discussions about causes and solutions. But as usual, before the bodies are cold and the facts are in, progressives call to ban guns, confiscate guns and hyper-regulate lawful gun owners. Progressives attack the NRA as if the NRA and its members pulled the trigger. Many progressives oppose the 2nd Amendment. While some nominally support it, they could easily change their minds. What’s to stop them from legislating the 2nd A. out of existence?

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Uber-progressive New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pretending to support the 2nd A.  Gun owners: Does seeing Cuomo with a gun make you feel better?

The fundamentals of progressivism should frighten all who value individual liberty as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Progressives believe in a “living Constitution,” which means the Constitution changes with time and circumstances. But as if by magic, their reading of the Constitution always grows government and empowers progressives.

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Woodrow Wilson on the Constitution: “…It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life.  Woodrow Wilson on government: “…no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the state may not cross at will….”

Woodrow Wilson was a founding member of the progressive movement and our 28th President. For Wilson and present-day progressives the Constitution is an evolving document, which makes it possible to evolve the 2nd Amendment out of existence. I can hear the Democrats bleating now: “The 2nd Amendment was written for a different age. It doesn’t work in modern times. To protect our children we must outlaw all assault rifles.” They’ve already done it. Democrats passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. An assault weapon is a political construct. The ban did not reduce gun crime one bit but it did frighten voters, which was the point. And again, progressives attack so-called assault rifles—a stealth attack on semi-autos. That’s one trigger pull and one shot. What happens if the next madman uses a bolt action rifle? Then it will be: ban the bolt. Think it won’t happen here? It’s already happened in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are based on natural rights, the idea that we are born with rights that predate any government. Natural rights are rooted in our humanity. The will to survive and to protect our loved ones is as human as breathing. That is the basis of the 2nd Amendment. Progressives do not believe that we are born with rights. Instead, they believe that our rights come from government. But what the government gives – the government can take away.

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The Constitution codifies the principles of the Declaration of Independence.  Our freedoms are precious and worth fighting for. If we lose them, they’re gone forever.

Progressives are not bound by the principles embodied in the Declaration. Nor are they bound by the text of the Constitution, or by tradition. Theirs is a political philosophy motivated by the needs of the moment, a political movement with no limits, and they are the core of the Democrat party. To them, your right to defend hearth and home is obsolete, a relic of a bygone era and part of a deeply flawed Constitution that needs fixing. Deleting the Second Amendment is high on their to-do list. Don’t let them. They are absent internal limits so it falls to us, the freedom-loving people to impose limits via elections, law, political contributions, participation in political parties and joining organizations that will defend our rights. If they don’t know their limitations, let’s show them what limits are.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.

THE PROGRESSIVE EUPHEMISM MACHINE

Progressives are expert at misbranding and using euphemisms to shape the terms of a debate. Let’s start with abortion.

Abortion ends a life and buries a potential that will never be realized.

As the character Bill Munn, played by Clint Eastwood in the movie Unforgiven, said, “It’s a hell of a thing killing a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.”

Given this unarguable reality, the lefty spin machine has given us: “reproductive rights,” “choice,” “reproductive health care,” and “women’s health care.” Notice what’s missing? No mention of the death of a human being and what could have been. Why? Because women vote, and fetuses don’t.

Renewable energy” and “green energy” are outright falsehoods. There is no such thing as renewable energy. Energy always has a source, be it natural gas or solar cells. Both require a manufacturing process that relies on fossil fuels and consumes resources that are mined or drilled. Taken as a whole, there’s nothing green or renewable about either of them.

Whoever coined the phrase “environmental justice” should be charged with assault on the English language. Justice is a human concept. People who are wronged seek justice. The environment can’t seek justice because it isn’t human. Progressives claim to speak for the environment. If so, I want the progressive who claims he heard the environment ask for justice removed from office for mental health reasons.

This leads us quite neatly to healthcare. Progressives have branded their Venezuelan-style takeover of healthcare as the innocuous-sounding “Single-Payer,” “Universal Healthcare,” or the very utopian “Medicare for All”. It’s properly called nationalization, which is defined as “transfer from private to state ownership or control.”

Describing criminal border-jumpers as “Undocumented Immigrants” belongs in the euphemism hall of fame. Immigrants are people who are here legally. If they’re undocumented, they are illegal. If they’re illegal, they are most accurately called aliens. Alien means “not of this place.” An individual who violates immigration law to get here or stay here is an illegal alien.

The terms “weapon of war” and “assault weapon” is an attempt to brand every firearm as “military” and therefore too dangerous for public use. This argument is easily skewered. A single-shot revolutionary war musket was an assault weapon and obviously a weapon of war. Progressives will always mount an argument, no matter how silly.

Progressives hijacked the term “liberal.” Up until the 1930’s, liberals were people who believed in individual rights, limited government and economic freedom, which sounds like – you guessed it – conservatives. Now, “liberals” believe in group rights, centrally planned economies and big government.

Democratic Socialism” is an oxymoron, using two contradictory terms. There is nothing democratic about socialism, which always requires extensive government control. It is elected tyranny.

Progressives control almost every part of culture, entertainment and news media. That’s how they get away with mangling the language. We can push back by, for example, calling “undocumented immigrants” by the correct term, illegal aliens. Doing this in our own lives makes it harder for progressives to frame the issues, and makes it easier to hold them accountable for the real damage that their policies do.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.

STONE ROGER

To those on Facebook giddy with Roger Stone’s arrest:

Roger Stone was arrested in the predawn hours by 25-plus heavily armed FBI agents. There is nothing statists love more than a show of force by big government against their political enemies.

What a shocking lack of compassion and proportion. Stone’s life and that of his family are probably ruined. The message, don’t work for the Trump 2020 campaign or this can happen to you.

I know you’ll justify Stone’s arrest. Anything is permissible to get Trump. Laverenty Beria said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”

Meanwhile, we still have no border barrier. Recently, the US Border Patrol seized 705 pounds of cocaine at the US-Mexico border. How many lives would that coke have ruined? And how much more cocaine and other drugs are even now poring across our border? In a US DOJ study in 2014, 17% of drug trafficking offenses and a staggering 33% of federal sentences were meted out to illegals. But never mind that, and the thousands murdered by illegal aliens in our country. Do the Snoopy dance over the arrest of that grave threat to our republic, 66-year -old gadfly Roger Stone. Last question: Who will play Robespierre and Madam Defarge in your grotesque little drama?

I wrote this (above) and posted it on Facebook in response to several posts about Roger Stone’s arrest. They were vicious and gleeful, happy the FBI stuck a gun in his face and led him off in handcuffs. Indifferent that his deaf wife was upstairs while heavily armed federal agents were raiding her home in the predawn hours. She couldn’t hear the agents’ shouted orders. The potential for a tragic accident was off the charts. The bilious comments could be summed up thusly: Stone was associated with Trump-GET EM! Now we’re one step closer to Trump-GET EM! In the rarefied air of Washington DC politics, Stone is a nobody. I’ve seen him on TV. The man is a goofy and shameless self-promoter. If I see him on the tube, I immediately switch channels. Watching Stone is time that I can’t ever get back in my life. Who could take this guy seriously?

The brutal posts reflect a growing mob mentality, whether they’re disrupting town halls or interrupting conservative speakers. It is angry, devoid of reason, and more importantly, absent empathy – a dangerous turn, and all over political differences. By their silence, their political leadership encourages it. I made the French Revolution reference because that mob-driven event descended into murderous depravity. The philosophical underpinnings of the French Revolution are the same as those underlying Naziism, Communism and yes, Progressivism. If you’re a conservative, remember what you are conserving: no less than the ideals of the American Revolution and that document that is the theology of our nation, the Declaration of Independence.

Don’t let the statists (Progressives) arrogance, meanness and bully tactics get you down. Remember what Churchill said after the battle of Dunkirk, “We shall never surrender.”

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.