Hillary – The Ultimate Capitalist

I can’t help but delight in all the drama surrounding Hillary Clinton these days. Those of us on the ‘right’ seem totally to the idea that she and her husband have committed serious offenses against the nation. And she probably has. At least by all the accounts that continually get press. At the very least there’s Uranium One, Benghazi, the email server, the nebulous Clinton Foundation, and of course ‘pay-for-play’ scandals from her time as Secretary of State. Plus who knows what else may surface in the weeks or months to come. Now, if you’re like me, you are jonesing for her to be formally accused of some high crime, and taken away in shackles. In fact the image is really quite appealing. But….as NFL referees like to say “upon further review” Hillary is very different than what she first appears.
It is my contention that Hillary is the quintessential CAPITALIST. That’s right. Let’s take a look.

broke Hillary

If you recall January 20, 2001 Hillary and Bill were being evicted from their home because they were bankrupt. Oh, wait, not exactly true, but close. Hillary and Bill were leaving the White House at the end of two Bill Clinton terms as President. But the bankrupt part is true according to Hillary. They were being sued (for stealing items from the White House??) and made a public appeal for donations to their defense fund because they were ‘dead broke’ (her words). So that’s the baseline – January 2001 – dead broke. Zero, nada, outta money. Send us your $10 bills to help us pay for attorneys. Fast forward to today January 2018, seventeen years later and now worth more than $250,000,000. Pretty astounding I’d say. That means either 25 Million people sent them $10 each or they found other ways to amass a fortune. She averaged $15 Million per year not counting any spending cash. Oh, and by the way, neither of them had actual ‘jobs’ during the intervening years. Now let’s go back and look at the list of some of Hillary’s more profitable accomplishments in a different light. A light that any right-wing capitalist would be proud to shine.
So, Uranium One – let’s put giant wadges of cash into the Clinton Foundation in exchange for the ‘yes’ vote on that deal. Perfect. Skirting the law a little, but very profitable. And the Foundation itself? Operated as profitably as any corporate mogul could aspire to. It seems that there were almost no real expenses to go against the millions of dollars in annual donations. How perfect is that? Unbelievably large revenues and equally unbelievably small expenses. National Security won’t be an issue for her – because she’s planning to have so much money that she and Bill will always manage to be safe. Then let’s use a Senate seat (what capitalist wouldn’t want one of those?) to catapult into the Secretary of State position. I can just hear her waking up one day saying “Heck, while I’m here, I can use my mini bully-pulpit to strong-arm foreign nationals into paying Bill millions for speaking engagements and to get even more donations to the Foundation.” No wonder that her response to Benghazi was “what difference does it make”? She was being honest for once. It really didn’t matter to her. There wasn’t any money to be made there. A little post-script here. Has anyone made even a single dollar of donations to the Clinton Foundation since she lost the election?
All told, Hillary has done an amazing job generating capital for herself and Bill. 250 Millions worth. She is a top tier capitalist. Unfortunately for the rest of us, her brand of capitalism is the robber-baron brand. The kind that gave capitalism a bad name. Everyone, including her country, be damned. She’s in it for herself. Textbook exemplar. Now that she’s out of government we’ll need to see how she continues to make money. There’s really only one last question that we all need to answer: “What Happened”?

What the Heck?

What’s Good for the Goose – or – The Door Swings Both Ways

You’ve undoubtedly heard both of those phrases.  And I know you’ve heard “Do unto others, yadda yadda, etc. etc.”  C’mon, admit it, your parents taught you all those when you were little.  Usually they accompanied them consoling you when the bigger kids did something to you that you didn’t like, right?  And you internalized the principle as you grew up.  So now like most good people you try not to do anything that you wouldn’t want done back to you.  But that’s only half of the story, there’s a tootsie roll center there too!  Like most good philosophical principles there is something deeper hidden inside it that doesn’t make itself too clear at first glance.

By now you’re used to me asking you, in these pages, to figure out what the heck that premise has to do with anything of import in your life.  So here I go asking – can you figure it out? What exactly makes them important?  Here’s my early clue – there’s something in there that lies at the heart of what could eventually bring our nation to its knees unless we find the tootsie roll first.  You read that correctly.  The “Do unto others” line is critical to our survival as a nation.

So let’s step back and look from a distance, just for a minute, at the political climate today.  Right now I’m pretty sure that you’re thinking that the answer is somewhere in the realm of “we shouldn’t bully other countries around”.  Or maybe “America doesn’t have a good reputation in the world, so let’s try to be nicer people”.  Or “What gives us, the big country, any right to try to dictate what some foreign country does”.  Nope!  Not even close. You fell into the trap of looking only at the outside of the tootsie pop. Too easy for these pages.  Let’s delve a little deeper.

diversity poster
But UNITY is Better!

We live now in a culture that suggests, no demands, that we TOLERATE other people’s cultures, other religions, and every other “other” that comes along.  We hear political leaders stumping about being tolerant.  We instruct educators to include inclusiveness in their lesson plans.  We have religious leaders pontificating about how our religions are more alike than unalike. We must reach out and make it known that we will tolerate each other’s differences.  Americans will not be outdone in this matter.  Now don’t assume that I think this is a bad policy.  On the contrary I endorse it in the extreme.  I think it is a noble goal of an educated society.  I happen to personally like the idea that we can have a country that is at once inclusive and unified.  There are few places on the planet where tolerance is given out so freely.

But here’s the rub (isn’t there always a rub?).  All of those politicians and educators and religious leaders have only looked at the outside of the pop.  The answer lies in what we’re NOT doing!  That’s right, we’re not doing enough.  In fact we’re only doing half.  The other and equally important half is that we need to demand, from all those that we willingly tolerate, that they in turn tolerate US!  That’s the tootsie roll.  And we don’t get it, literally or figuratively.

Yes, Christians will accept Muslims, so long as Muslims accept Christians.  Yes, Whites will accept Blacks so long as Blacks accept Whites.  Yes, I will recognize your individual right to do pretty much whatever you damn please, as long as you accept my right to do the same.  And in the end, if it proves out that the other guy won’t tolerate me – then I stand by my right not to tolerate him.  That’s the “as you would have them do unto you” part.  It’s the part that speakers are always too shy to mention.  Oh, and by shy I mean scared!

Can you imagine a President standing up and saying to the country “Let’s accept and tolerate the XXX’s – but only if they accept us too – and by the way, stop trying to kill us!”  Nope, never happen.  Not unless another Teddy Roosevelt comes along.  But why not?  It is just as good for the goose, isn’t it?  But until we start demanding a bi-lateral approach, we are very likely going to tolerate ourselves right out of existence!

Who is responsible for this?

Here are two interesting stories from the news recently.  See if you can tell how they are related!

First comes a story from Ohio. The story is about a 2nd grade boy, not an ordinary 2nd grader, but a 2nd grader that tips the scales at 210 pounds!  Sound incredible? But it is true.  You know how much concern there is today regarding obesity. Seems that the state authorities are very concerned about obesity too, and they didn’t like the idea that this kid’s parents allowed him to get so big.. He could have health issues in the future, they say.  Why should we be interested?  Here’s a hint, it has nothing to do with obesity. I’m interested because the state took the child out of the home.  He was put into foster care.  That’s unfortunate in many ways, but what I wonder is – who is responsible for this?

The second story comes from Michigan. Apparently activists in Detroit got the word out that traffic accidents can be caused by people eating while motoring in the motor city. I know that I certainly get distracted from my meal if I have to stay in my lane.  Of course there was a public outcry. So, being the leaders that they are, the town fathers outlawed eating behind the wheel. Driving under the influence of a Happy Meal makes them very unhappy now. But what I really wonder is – who is responsible for this?  

What’s your guess on how these first two stories are connected?  Food you say ??  I think not – that would be too obvious.

Here’s the connection – (and I gave a few hints earlier) – Its not food, it is a matter of responsibility. I know that you guessed that. So who’s responsible for the obese boy? It’s the boy’s parents you say. Oops, you guessed wrong that time. Who’s responsible for the spilled taco?  The Driver? - wrong again Batman!  It’s the government of course.  You see when the state gets into the act then, by default, the state becomes the responsible party. And in a very short while, we all begin to expect the state to handle the problems of childhood obesity and driving under the influence of french fries.  And we quickly lose our own ability to take charge.  We will look to the government to take all the chowing drivers off of the road and to take all the obese children out of their homes.  All in an effort to protect us.  I suspect that by now you are asking if this is going anywhere. Of course it is, let’s go;

There are two factions in our society. One wants you to be responsible for yourself. For your own safety and health and finances, etc. This is the way that your parents or grandparents (if you’re lucky enough to be under 30) tried to bring you up.  The second faction thinks that the government should be responsible for everyone. For everyone’s safety and health and finances, etc. Everything.  Unfortunately this second group is taking over. As a society, we are sliding into the arena where the government does it all.  When the government is responsible for everyone, then everyone except you has the ability determine your life.

So if you don’t take proper care of your kids – in their eyes- then they can take your kids away. Soon enough it will extend to other things.  Maybe if they decide that you must vaccinate your kids (oops too late we’re there already).  Or maybe they’ll determine that every kid gets a trophy at the end of the year, so that nobody’s feelings get hurt ( double oops – we’re there already too)  Maybe they’ll decide that you can’t give them expensive sneakers because some families can’t afford them.  But only they can decide – for you!  When the state gets involved with things like eating and driving – then it won’t be long before there is a law against other things while driving. Think of all the things that can distract you while you’re driving. No cell phones (triple oops – already an issue) No radio maybe. What about kids in your car?  Anyone that has ever driven with little kids in the backseat knows just how distracting that can be. I suggest that we limit the number of kids allowed to just one per car. And forget about dates in your car.  Much safer don’t you think. So, hopefully now you can see the result.  It really is what YOU think – YOU get to decide for the other people but not for yourself!  So stop and think before you jump on the ‘let’s make a law’ bandwagon – for anything.  C’mon, hop in the car, let’s go get some fries!

Diversity – good? or bad?

“Oft expectation fails…  and most oft where most it promises”          Helena – All’s Well that Ends Well               William Shakespeare

 

Do you have a pet cause?  An ideology that stirs you up?  Here’s a tip that will help you achieve your goal.  If you choose the terminology before your opponents do – you will be able to set the terms of the debate!  The naming rights here are just as important as they are for sports arenas.  If you’d like an example here’s one. Consider the abortion controversy. The first guys in were the “right to life” advocates. Of course that would leave their opponents with the “right to kill” moniker – not a name that would garner much popular support.  So the other guys counter with “pro-abortion” which is a much more gentle spin, but still not really the positive connotation that they could have gotten for their cause if they were first into the fray.  Round one always goes to the guys with the naming rights.

Here’s another example. A cause celeb in current events is the immigration debate.  The first guys in this battle were the people that want open borders.  Their banner is “Diversity”.  Now this group has done an outstanding job at setting the terms of the debate and they are hosting it on the Politically Correct playing field too.  It has become so PC in fact, that the people on the other side of the debate can’t even come up with a good name for their team!

“Diversity is strength”. I know you’ve heard that tagline. “Embrace everyone’s cultural background”.  How could you be against that?  You can see why the naming rights are so important.  You’d have to be a Neanderthal to argue against their terms, – a ‘right-to-kill’ sort. The diversity group has overwhelmed their nameless opposition with a deluge of these one-sided debates.  Now, in an effort to stay within the PC boundaries, I must state unequivocably that I am definitely not against immigration – from anywhere on the globe.  I embrace the cultural history of America as being the great “melting pot”.  This mixture of peoples and cultures was a part of our history from the very beginning.  Wanderers and adventurers from every other country have settled in America, and it is part of the reason why we have States and not just a singular “country” like every other government that came before us.  But the process of absorbing newer arrivals hasn’t always been easy.  In fact it has never been easy, either for the new arrivals or for the people that were already here.  But it always found a way to work itself out.  Even though everyone expected that the trials of becoming American were sometimes grueling, new people still came here, still saw America as the best hope for freedom in the world.  And after paying for the privilege they embraced the ideas of being American.  The end result was that we grew, we chugged along, we engaged the dreams of the entire world.

Then something changed.  We got soft-hearted.  Suddenly we wanted to make it easier for people.  Make their journey easier, make it “toll free”.  Since we are a free nation, everyone should be able to bring their cultures here as a free, but separate, group.  It’s called Diversity.  Today we are being told that keeping diversity makes us strong.  A forward thinking idea, except that if you have that expectation, it will fail where it promises most.

Once again we can learn from history (remember the whole premise of this blog site).  One example from history is still right in front of our eyes today.  It’s printed on the Seal of The United States.  There’s a little tagline written there – (albeit in Latin so you need to translate it) – E Pluribus Unum!  What, you don’t have latin, ok I’ll translate it for you – literally it is “Out of Many, One”.  Meaning UNITY.

e Pluribus Unum
the Great Seal of the United States

We took all of the states and UNITED them into The United States of America.  How long do you suppose that we would have existed as the Diverse States of America?

If you don’t let the other guy frame the debate, it is particularly easy to see that diversity is not strength, but a weakness.  More history coming – can you feel it? here it is –  Even the ancient Romans knew that diversity is weakness.  One of their favorite practices while they were conquering the western world was – DIVIDE and CONQUER.  They divided along the lines of diversity.  Caesar knew it and I’ll bet you knew it too.  I’ll also bet that the diversity side wouldn’t want you to make the association.  What all of this means is that we should still welcome all of the huddled masses from other places on the globe.  It really is quite enriching to embrace them.  But we should also require them to go through the same process as every other huddled mass before them.  In the end, in return for our embracing them, they need to embrace what being American is all about – It’s called being United!  ’When in Rome, do as the Romans do’.

Supercommittees.. Then and Now

“A Horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”   (King Richard)  William Shakespeare

AHH, the “Supercommittee”.  Rewind the clock six months, back to last summer, and you can watch most of our Congressmen and Senators climbing all over each other to get appointed to the Supercommittee that would be charged with finding ways to reduce our national deficit by $1.3 trillion.  That’s trillion with a “T”.  There are three truly astounding aspects of this process.  The first is that 1.3 TRILLION dollars is only a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend in this country.  The second is that everyone knows that if you want something to be left undone – appoint a committee to do it.  And third is that we could even dream of allowing the same people that are responsible for the mess in the first place to try to fix it.  It’s really mind-boggling (and I don’t mean the amount of money).  If they fail to reach any agreement then the consequences are disastrous for the ecnomy - but there are absolutely NO consequences of failure for the individual members of the committee.  No wonder every lawmaker wanted in, it’s a classic no-lose situation for them.  At the end of the scrum, twelve of the nations “finest” lawmakers were seated at this most prestigious table. As we can see, each had their own individual agenda and their own party agenda.

john kerry

Will anyone remember who this man is in 20 years?

But none of them had anything remotely resembling a national agenda – nothing, nada,  zippo.  How do I know this?  Because their game has ended.  The final buzzer has sounded on their game.  And the score is……Wait, not telling yet.  Humor me.

Rewind your clocks again – this time go back 224 years to the summer of 1787.  Take your time, I’ll wait, it’s a long rewind.  Follow me back to Philadelphia, in the sweltering heat.  The economies of the 13 individual free states (we weren’t really the United States of America yet) are on the brink of disaster.  The war had devastating effects and the states were all near bankruptcy.  So fifty guys get appointed to the second Continental Congress – 1787′s version of a Supercommittee.  They are charged with fixing things.  Things in the economy and things between the states.  Sound familiar?  Seems we’ve been here before (remember, one eye forward and one eye back).  That’s where the similarities end though.  These 50 committee members work throughout the summer, without air conditioning or running water.  They know the consequences if they are to fail.  It’s likely that the newborn country will die in its infancy.  They also know the consequences if they are to succeed.  It’s likely that each of them will have to give up some of their personal power and influence.  BUT – These 50 guys are STATESMEN!  So they wrangle and haggle, give and take, sweat and argue –  and they get it done.  They don’t just fix the problems with the economy, they create the Constitution and they create the United States of America in the process.  The results are even greater than the original task that we charged them with.  For many of them it signalled the end of their political power, because they created a republic that took away their power and invested it in the citizens.  They knew it was a possibility, but they also knew that the state they were saving was ultimately more important than their personal gain.  For others, they went home knowing that they didn’t achieve every goal for their individual state, but they also knew that their state would be the beneficiary of being part of a bigger country.

Does anyone need to be reminded who this man is? Can you tell the difference between a Statesman and a Politician?

This was their big game.  You might call it the very first national championship.  And when the final buzzer sounded in Philadelphia the score was Country 100 – Personal Ideology – 0.  A romp.  They crushed ‘em.

Now, to the future again, all the way back to November 2011, back where we started.  When we left it last, we were looking for the final score of our game.  We gave our 12 guys through the end of November to come up with some answers to avert an economic disaster.  The result:  Nothing.  No progress, no plan.  None of them – not even one – could put their country in front of their personal agenda.  Think of it this way, on a committee with those other weak players if even 1 guy had any strength or statemanship in him, he could have carried the team.  But we employ 535 unskilled lawmakers between the House and Senate.  They have walked away from what may be the greatest responsibility of their lifetimes, without so much as an apology to us.  They have failed us and they fully expect that they will suffer no ill effects from doing so.  These guys will come to you looking to extend their overpriced contracts next year.  Underachievers, all of them.  So when they do come to you for votes, remember this:  no runs, no hits, no score.  Nobody even got on base.  Final Score Country 0 – Personal Ideology – 100.  We got crushed this time!