C-Poll

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August 29, 2015

Donald Trump frightens me, and so do his followers

Donald Trump frightens me, and so do his followers. I'm going on my general observations of the Trump phenomenon, so in the unlikely event you're a Trump fan AND you're a constitutionalist, my apologies for lumping you in with the rest -- I'm curious to know how both sentiments can coexist. With that said...

Image source

Trump, like Obama before him, and like any good demagogue, has the ability to connect deeply with the emotions of his followers, rather than their minds. It seems that Trump's fans would allow him to be every bit the tyrant he's essentially pledged to be (and must be to "fix" our country outside of the constitutional boundaries of the president's powers)...as long as he delivers on his promise to secure the borders.

I've often argued that George W. Bush, whatever other qualities he may have had, was no friend of the Constitution. Chancellor Trump would be much, much worse in this regard.

If Trump wins the nomination, our country will lose in the end -- no matter who takes the general election.

August 28, 2015

Something to remember as you ponder the merits of the "living wage" movement

Looking at schemes like the "living wage" movement, it might be tempting to think that the Left was interested in reforming capitalism.  A closer look reveals that this isn't the case.

If reform was the goal, you'd see the left investing its considerable resources to create banks, large corporations, and small businesses (like restaurants), and to run them according to the best progressive principles. 

We don't see that at all.  Instead, the Left does nothing but make crippling demands of existing banks, large corporations, and small businesses.

The left doesn't want to reform capitalism; it wants to destroy capitalism, and make paupers of us all (except the governing elites, of course).

If I'm wrong, I'm open to hearing the evidence.

August 15, 2015

Scratch an anti-GMO activist, and you'll likely find a Marxist underneath

Slate's Will Saletan has a great article (published July 15) on his year-long investigation into the anti-GMO movement. He says this in his introduction (emphasis added):
The central premise of these laws—and the main source of consumer anxiety, which has sparked corporate interest in GMO-free food—is concern about health. Last year, in a survey by the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of Americans said it’s generally “unsafe to eat genetically modified foods.” Vermont says the primary purpose of its labeling law is to help people “avoid potential health risks of food produced from genetic engineering.” Chipotle notes that 300 scientists have “signed a statement rejecting the claim that there is a scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs for human consumption.” Until more studies are conducted, Chipotle says, “We believe it is prudent to take a cautious approach toward GMOs.”
The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all declared that there’s no good evidence GMOs are unsafe. Hundreds of studies back up that conclusion. But many of us don’t trust these assurances. We’re drawn to skeptics who say that there’s more to the story, that some studies have found risks associated with GMOs, and that Monsanto is covering it up.
I’ve spent much of the past year digging into the evidence. Here’s what I’ve learned. First, it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false. They’re counting on you to feel overwhelmed by the science and to accept, as a gut presumption, their message of distrust.
Image source
Saletan's presentation is copiously documented, unlike most of the anti-GMO alarmism we encounter on Facebook and in other social media.

The science behind the anti-GMO movement has always been, and continues to be, fatally weak, but no matter: it SOUNDS plausible enough to scare the average consumer.  What motivates the most ardent anti-GMO activists is not a commitment to scientific truth, but rather a commitment to anticapitalism.

Because GMO food can be patented, evil corporations profit from its consumption.  No matter that genetic improvements to plant genomes can and do literally save lives, especially in the third world (through vitamin infusion and through integration of natural resistance to drought, pests, and disease, among other things) -- Marxist ideology trumps the lives and health of these people.

July 31, 2015

What happened to C-Pol?

For over a decade, this blog was called "C-POL: Constitutionalist, Conservative Politics". Over time, my deep-thought ponderings have been moving away from the rough-and-tumble of everyday political wrangling and toward the larger philosophical, ideological, and cultural currents of our age.  

I've changed the title of the blog to highlight my conviction that the "fundamental transformation" (to adapt President Obama's phrase) of the United States that's currently underway is, in the long run, bad not only for this country but for the world in general.

Scoff if you must; I'm okay with that.  I aim to make my case as time goes on.  I'm okay with being on the "wrong side of history" if I'm actually right.

Are the denizens of the 'progressive' left champions of democracy?

Although the progressives fancy themselves to champion democracy, they are accomplishing some of the greatest strides in their cultural revolution through the least democratic means -- through presidential executive action and through the decisions of a few federal judges.  In other words, through oligarchy, not through democracy.

The people's representatives are in Congress.  The left pretty much has no use for the people's representatives.  Under progressive rule, the laws come from everywhere BUT the place mandated by our Constitution.

Just like pretty much every left-wing uprising that has ever occurred, the revolutionaries claim to be acting on behalf of the masses, but the masses don't always have the right opinions, do they?

(Note: I realize that under our Constitution, the U.S. is a republic, not a democracy.  Just going with the progressive lingo here.)

The anticapitalist left's ironic dependence on the fruits of capitalism (cont'd)

Illustrated marvelously in this Banksy canvas wall print available at... drum roll, please... Walmart:

May 19, 2015

Intellectual diversity is a threat to progressive hegemony, and it shall not be tolerated

Carl Trueman writes in First Things about the fact that modern universities seem designed to prevent vigorous-yet-civil debate about contentious issues.  As the progressive tribe solidifies its hold on western culture, the name of the game is conformity to the progressive ideal.  Not only will dissent not be tolerated; it will be punished in any way possible.
Universities [...] are not supposed to be confessional institutions inculcating a particular creed, nor should they be built on politicized extensions of child-rearing philosophies founded on self-esteem. They should be places where debate is part of the way of life, and where one has to live shoulder to shoulder with those with whom one differs. Yet they have become the very places where this inability to disagree is now apparently cultivated as a positive virtue. The truly educated person is now no longer the person who understands an opposing viewpoint even as he rejects it. For even to understand an alternative viewpoint is to collude in the oppression which such an opinion embodies.

I suspect that the future health of democracy depends upon university administrators worrying less about the dangers posed by whatever is the micro-aggression du jour and more about providing safe places for those who actually want to hold opinions and have debates. Safe places, that is, that are marked by the very risks and danger involved in intellectual engagement.
Trueman's hope (expressed in the second paragraph of the excerpt) is no more than a pipe dream, at least for now.

April 20, 2015

The Left is a fragile coalition of incompatible factions

If these factions didn't have a common enemy to unite them, they'd be at each others' throats.  Now that the cultural revolution is winding down, we're going to start seeing more infighting as each faction tries to get its agenda to the top of the priority list in the People's Republic of America.

Pearls Before Swine poked fun at a few of the Left's factions in yesterday's comic.  Stephan Pastis seems to be pretty thick-skinned, so I suspect that he'll be able to weather the hate that comes his way because of this.

Click the image to view full-sized version

April 14, 2015

Is this what people think of socialism these days?


A classic cold-war era joke used two cows to illustrate the various political systems that dominated the 20th century world.  There were different renditions of the joke, but they tended to follow this pattern:
  • SOCIALISM: You have two cows. State takes one and gives it to someone else.
  • COMMUNISM: You have two cows. State takes both of them and gives you milk.
  • FASCISM: You have two cows. State takes both of them and sells you milk.
  • NAZISM: You have two cows. State takes both of them and shoots you.
  • CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

...and so on.  The original point of the joke was to highlight the differences between ideologies in theory and ideologies in practice.

Socialism in theory means those who have been blessed with prosperity freely share their bounty with the less fortunate.  Socialism in practice involves the state using force to redistribute this bounty.

Communism in theory takes socialism to the next level -- where the masses freely choose to collectivize their labor as well as their possessions for the good of all.  Communism in practice involves the state collectivizing labor and possessions for the good of the state, allowing the masses just enough to subsist on.

Today, I was intrigued to notice that modern renditions of the joke leave communism the way it was in older renditions, but the socialism part of the joke has shifted to the in-theory definition, with the clear intent of promoting it as the superior system. 

The entire chart can be found at The Meta Picture


"You have two cows. You give one to your neighbor." 

Socialism is just people being nice to each other.  Who could be against that?

If socialism worked like that in practice, I would be more than happy to concede the point. 

But here's the reality: Socialists have never been happy with the inefficiencies of voluntary wealth redistribution, and have always ended up resorting to state force to advance their goals.

I believe that the utopian goals of socialism can never be realized except at the point of a gun.  Feel free to contend otherwise in the comments.



April 11, 2015

Megalomania, thy name is Obama

Dear Leader acknowledges the adoration of the heavens in a recent visit to Jamaica.

Source: White House Twitter Feed

There can be little doubt that Mr. Obama wants to maintain the personality cult that has grown up around him since his 2008 campaign. To what end? When do the statues of him start going up in the public squares?


April 8, 2015

DC-area abortion business aims to make snuffing your baby a "spa-like" experience

Abortion advocacy seems to be moving into a new phase.  As far as I've observed, the pro-abortion crowd has long since given up trying to answer the fundamental pro-life assertion that the procedure ends a human life.

By sidestepping the life issue, advocates are free to focus on conditioning our culture with the notion that abortion is a nothing more than a routine medical procedure, and that it is morally neutral -- even morally good.

Thus, while I was horrified, I was not surprised to see the approach one new Washington, DC-area abortion business is taking to the provision of pharmaceutical abortions.  WaPo, March 30:
With its natural wood floors and plush upholstery, Carafem aims to feel more like a spa than a medical clinic. But the slick ads set to go up in Metro stations across the Washington region leave nothing to doubt: “Abortion. Yeah, we do that.”

The Maryland clinic, opening this week in Montgomery County’s tony Friendship Heights area, specializes in the abortion pill. The advertising reflects its unabashed approach — and a new push to de-stigmatize the nation’s most controversial medical procedure by talking about it openly and unapologetically.


[...] “It was important for us to try to present an upgraded, almost spa-like feel,” said Melissa S. Grant, vice president of health services for the clinic.

If the project is successful, Purdy says, he hopes to expand his model to other states.

“It’s fresh, it’s modern, it’s clean, it’s caring,” he said. “That’s the brand we’re trying to create.”

Carafem is planning to offer its modern, clean, caring baby-snuffing services for the bargain price of $400.  It would be unfair for such a spa-like experience to be reserved only for the rich, though, so I'm sure Obamacare subsidies will be available in due time.

U.S. border security, illustrated