A Field of Rakes

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pulled the trigger and announced the start of an “impeachment inquiry” targeted at President Donald Trump. I’m not really sure what exactly an “impeachment inquiry” actually is. In fact, as of my writing this, apparently no one else is, either. As far as I can guess, it seems to be just sticking a name to something the Dem/socialists have already been doing, from pretty much the day Trump was sworn in.

This may be Pelosi’s method of trying to quell the discord within her own ranks, particularly from the ultra-radical element as personified by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “posse”.

As an aside, I have to note that just a very few years ago Pelosi was the face of radical extremism in the Dem/socialist party; now she’s the “voice of reason”? Yet another illustration of how that party has lurched so far to the left that they’re falling off the edge of the map, and has become unrecognizable.

Of course, all this furor of the last two and a half years is rooted in the leftists’ refusal to accept the fact that Trump legitimately won the 2016 election. They’re convinced he somehow “stole” that win from their sainted Hilary, and they’ve been flailing ever since trying to, basically, reverse that outcome. For over two years they were convinced that the Mueller investigation was the sound of the cavalry bugles just over the hill riding to their rescue only to learn it was really the mournful notes of the sad trombone.

I have to scratch my head and wonder how they think this ends well for them, because I can’t think of any way it does.

If the House votes to impeach Trump it will be meaningless because there’s just no way he’ll be convicted in the Senate and removed from office. That requires a 2/3 vote for conviction in that chamber. The votes simply aren’t there.

Even if that were somehow to miraculously happen, Saint Hilary still won’t be President; Mike Pence will be. He’s the Vice-President. Hilary’s nobody, the political equivalent of three-day-old sushi, and she’s never again coming even within sniffing distance of the Oval Office.

If Pence assumes the office, the leftists will look back on the Trump era with nostalgia, as Pence’s conservative credentials are pretty much impeccable, and his life is so squeaky-clean that he’ll be unassailable on that front.

So what’s the goal of this “impeachment inquiry” if actual impeachment isn’t going to succeed? Is it to provide a fig leaf of legitimacy for the Dem/socialists to continue their endless thrashing around in trying to besmirch and delegitimize Trump, at least until the next election?

I suspect that’s the case, and if so I believe that they’re not just stepping on a rake, but doing a jig in a field of rakes.

I believe the leftists have overplayed their hand, and pushed this mess to the point of becoming farce. Obviously, there’s no way they can portray themselves as the “loyal opposition”, the traditional position of the party out of power, since there’s nothing at all “loyal” about refusing to accept the legitimate outcome of an election.

Though this kabuki no doubt plays well to their radicalized political base, I think most normal people have become bored and inured to it, particularly in light of the economic boon that’s taken place over the last couple of years.

In fact, according to a Quinnipiac poll released on 25 September (https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=3641) “… only 37 percent of voters say that President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 57 percent say no, he should not be impeached.”

Think about that. After over two years of their endless shenanigans the Dem/socialists have convinced a little over a third of the electorate that Trump should be impeached, with the remainder either against impeachment or not caring enough about the issue to even have an opinion. Further, my guess is that the third who do want to impeach him have wanted that from election night. I doubt the leftists have moved the needle a single iota in all this time.

If they’ve been hoping to gin up a groundswell of outrage leading to Trump’s repudiation by the populace, I’d say that effort has been a pretty epic failure.

I think that if they continue down this impeachment highway they’re in for a very big and unpleasant surprise. The American people have only a limited appetite for base political opportunism, especially when it’s unfounded and perceived as “unfair”. The leftists have now painted themselves as being extremists, not only with their endless persecution of Trump, but also in light of their obsession with Justice Kavanaugh – more impeachment talk – as well as the clown car of radical leftist candidates they’re fielding for the presidency itself.

I doubt this ends well for them come November 2020. The American people have a tendency to rally behind those they see as being unfairly and baselessly persecuted, which is exactly the perception the Dem/socialists are fostering.

As I said, they’re dancing the jig in a field of rakes.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2019

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

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The Ten Dollar Bill

 

Take a ten dollar bill out of your wallet or purse. Take a look at it. What’s it worth?

“Obviously, ten dollars, Brian”, you’re thinking.

Maybe.

The actual intrinsic value of any object is the cost of its production and/or its rarity. Gold, for example, derives its value from its rarity. But that ten dollar bill isn’t rare at all and is nothing more than a small piece of rag paper and a smidgen of ink, less than a penny’s worth of material. So its intrinsic value is also less than a penny.

But it does have “worth”, a value we as a society agree on as to what it represents. That could be a specific quantity of something that has intrinsic value, such as a rare metal. We saw this when this country was on the gold standard, at which time that ten dollars represented about 1/3 ounce of refined gold metal. You could take the bill to a bank and exchange it for the appropriate amount of the metal.

Once the dollar was delinked from gold, its worth became a much more fluid property subject to the fluctuations of governmental policies. The only physical limit to the production of more ten dollar bills is the availability of ink and rag paper, and since there’s no shortage of either the government can crank those bills out in unlimited quantities should it so deem.

But creating physical ten dollar bills doesn’t create more actual “worth”. In fact, the opposite can take place.

Our current ten dollar bill’s actual worth is based on its buying power. How much of a person’s labor or the physical goods they produce – through agriculture, manufacture, or intellectual creation – does societal consensus allow that ten dollar bill to purchase?

If I raise cattle, John makes cloth and you sell gasoline, how do John and I pay you for the gasoline you sell us? Do you have to accept some amount of cows and bolts of cloth, as well as all the other disparate products and services people produce, to sell your product? The ten dollar bill is the method used to assign a universally accepted value to facilitate the exchange for transactions, replacing the need for actual barter.

As our country’s economic base – our ability to produce goods and services – has increased our supply of ten dollar bills has also increased to make those transactions possible. In a perfectly balanced system there will always be just enough ten dollar bills available to accurately reflect the relative value of each product or service.

If our economic base shrinks, it’s also important to remove some of those ten dollar bills from circulation to maintain balance and currency value. But the real problem arises when the government – which doesn’t actually create anything of value itself (government is a “consumer”, not a “producer”) – turns on the printing press and cranks out a lot of ten dollar bills that don’t reflect any increase in societal productivity. Those “excess” ten dollar bills flood the market, and since they don’t reflect an increase in societal productivity, they dilute the actual value of the ten dollar bills that are already in circulation.

This is what is meant by “inflation”, which is a decrease in the buying power of money. The ten dollar bill buys less.

In fact, graphic examples abound of what happens when governments turn on the printing presses with abandon. In a few short years Venezuela went from being the most prosperous nation in South America to an economic wasteland, its 2018 rate of inflation being an incredible 929,789%. Its money is essentially worthless. In 2008 the inflation rate in Zimbabwe was 250,000,000%. Following World War I the inflation rate in Germany hit 344% per month!

Which brings us to the current Democrat party presidential primary. The current gaggle of candidates seems to be in a race to see how much “free” stuff they can offer to the electorate (pretty much legal bribery, in my opinion). The list includes “Medicare for All”, including illegal aliens; eliminating private health insurance; open borders; “free” college; writing off current student loan debts; “guaranteed monthly income” of $500 – $1000 per month depending on the candidate; “free” universal daycare and pre-K, the “Green New Deal”; and a plethora of smaller programs too numerous to get into.

How do they propose to pay for this largesse? It pretty much boils down to “tax the rich”. Sadly for them, the reality is that even a complete confiscation of everything “the rich” own won’t come close to paying for this cornucopia of “free” goodies. Their only alternative will be turning on the printing presses, and cranking out more and more of those ten dollar bills.

Ultimately, you’ll need a barrel full of ten dollar bills just to buy a gallon of milk… IF there’s even any milk on the shelves.

If they win we’ll get to find out personally what it’s like to live in Venezuela. Is that what you want?

 

©Brian Baker 2019

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

A Conservative Guide to Voting in Santa Clarita (and Commiefornia)

I’ve said it before, right in these pages: we’re in the midst of a civil war in this country every bit as profound and fundamental as the one that took place in the 1860s. So far it’s been pretty bloodless, but make no mistake. We’re in a battle for the very soul of this nation.

In the two years since Donald Trump put an end to Hillary Clinton’s “unstoppable” ascendancy to the Oval Office the Dem/socialists have cranked their outrage meter all the way up to eleven, culminating in the outrageous and despicable attempt at character assassination targeted against Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process as a Supreme Court justice.

Fortunately, that attack failed and Kavanaugh has been seated. But that battle may well not be over. Many of the Dem/socialists’ leading voices – luminaries such as Nancy “The Red” Pelosi, Cory “Spartacus” Booker, and Maxine “Muddy” Waters, among others – have intimated, if not outright promised, that they will explore the possibility of impeachment, not only of Kavanaugh, but Trump himself, too, if they manage to take over control of the House of Representatives.

It doesn’t matter to the unhinged left that there aren’t any “high crimes and misdemeanors” upon which to hang an impeachment charge, nor that removal from office requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate, a level impossible to attain. This is all political kabuki, theatrical melodrama designed to impede the political process while chomping from a bowl of sour grapes.

We need to put an end to this right now.

The first step is to make sure that Katie Hill doesn’t win election to the House of Representatives. She’s already made her position clear on Kavanaugh, calling him a “serial predator” in a tweet (https://twitter.com/KatieHill4CA/status/1045009222918799361). As I discussed in my September 19th column (“A Lynching in the Senate”) there was no actual evidence to support the outrageous accusations, but that evidently didn’t mean anything to Hill. Is that the mindset we want to see in the person representing us in the US House of Representatives? Guilt and personal destruction by unsupported accusation? Do we want to send her to Washington so she can hop on the impeachment bandwagon?

Throw in the nature of the policies she supports – gun control, government-run healthcare (which will destroy both healthcare and the economy), amnesty – and you have a hard-left activist who I believe doesn’t represent the values of our community.

Let’s re-elect Steve Knight.

We have our work cut out for us at the state level, too. If and when the Sacramento socialists get a super-majority, bad things will happen. You think the gas and car registration tax hike was bad? Well, buckle up if they get even more power!

To that end, it’s a big “NO” on Christy Smith and a “Yes!” for Dante Acosta. For those of us in the north part of the SCV, Tom Lackey gets the nod over Steve Fox.

The race for Governor is pretty much a no-brainer. It’s interesting how, in his media ads, Gavin Newsome tries to come across as reasonable and moderate. All you have to do is look at his tenure as Mayor of San Francisco to see the real face behind the mask. John Cox is the guy to vote for.

Leftist extraordinaire Xavier Becerra is being challenged by Steven Bailey for the post of state Attorney-General. This is an often-overlooked position in people’s election thinking, but it really is quite important. Let’s support Bailey.

At the local level, I’ve previously mentioned that we have a group of radical leftist activists who have “endorsed” certain candidates for some of the offices on the ballot. To me, that’s a list of candidates to avoid. Here they are:

City Council: Haddock, Trautman, and Logan Smith. There are 12 other candidates from which you can choose, including my friend Jason Gibbs.

Saugus Union School District: Barlavi, Arrowsmith, and Chris Trunkey.

Hart Union School District: Donna Robert and Kelly Trunkey.

You may have noticed I didn’t mention the race for US Senate. Feinstein versus De Leon. Well, it reminds me of a movie: “Dumb and Dumber”. I’m sitting that one out.

I’m not a member of any political party, so, as a conservative “independent”, those are my recommendations for the upcoming elections.

Vote as if your kids’ futures depend on it. Because they do.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)