Monthly Archives: July 2020

Statues are Stupid

“It’s my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of a son of a bitch or another. –Malcolm Reynolds, Firefly

Okay, so there is a lot of discussion about statues at the moment which is really stupid for three important reasons.


The first is that there are actual racist laws that need to be changed. There are organizations that have to be gone through with a fine-tooth comb to remove every corrupt racist/stupid/corrupt/violent SOB we can find. There are people in jail for crimes that shouldn’t be crimes that need to be released. And of course, there is a cadre of felon in the White House. You know, actually important things that need to be changed immediately because they actually affect people’s lives.
Secondly, I’m not convinced that the attacks on some of the less objectionable statues—like the statue to the idea of Progress that was ruined in Wisconsin or demands to take town statues of abolitionist Founding Father Caesar Rodney of people who fought against slavery and injustice—aren’t being done by Trumpkins and the police with the intent of making legitimate protesters look bad. We already have a video of cops doing the looting and cops destroying their own property and then saying it was protesters…so until you can prove that it wasn’t the MAGA crowd behind this, these acts of violence are suspiciously up their avenue.
But, thirdly, and what I actually want to deal with in this article is that, in the end, we have got to get away from all of this nonsense of revering people. This is not a nation based on people. Most nations are based on people and groups and ethnicities. They’re based on one conquering ass coming in, taking over, and putting themselves as a ruler and their subordinates as nobility, and they get statues made of their glory and conquests. That’s the history of most nations, they’re about people and the ethnicities that are associated with them.
We’re not. This nation is about ideas and ideals. We are about concepts. We are about the supremacy of law. This is why statues or days honoring any individual. And this applies in every case. There shouldn’t be a day or statue to honor Martin Luther King Jr., not just because as history goes on we find out more and more that the man was far from a saint or the pinnacle of ethics that his speeches would have you think, but because it limits the idea of civil rights to one person, and a person can always be attacked. Instead of a day for King, there should be a day for Civil Rights which can acknowledge, honor and teach about the struggles of not just one man but of Medger Evers and Rosa Parks and The Freedom Riders and Thurgood Marshall and of everyone who marched and worked to achieve and is still working to achieve equality under the law. If you have a statue to one person, if you find anything that is flawed (as most human beings tend to be) it taints the causes for which they fought and makes their quest seemed imperfect because it was taken up by a human being. Let’s not forget that most of those hated Columbus statues that are getting so much justified hate, were originally put up to honor what was at the time another ethnic minority, Italians. We shouldn’t have a president’s day, because less than a quarter of the people who have held that office have been competent or even decent human beings…rather have a day to the just execution of law and how all are equal under it, and how those who are entrusted to enforce should bear the highest scrutiny.
The Fourth of July is the model you should focus on. There are many individuals we talk about with that day, but the day is a day of celebration of an idea, possibly the most important idea—liberty. But it is not about one person. It is encapsulated in a document, not in a person. Yes, Thomas Jefferson was an asshole and bastard from every possible perspective you can find (personally wouldn’t mind seeing his statute go, but he monument with the words of the Declaration on the walls needs to stay).
If we want to move forward as a country, what we should probably do is admit that all human beings are flawed. Yes, we should never condemn someone for not being ahead of their time (god knows what future generations will think even the most inclusive of us were backwards for in a thousand years, not because we are bigoted but because we never even considered something). But we can, and should always condemn people for being behind their times.
And I realize my dream of taking down every statue and replacing them, if at all, with monuments to ideals like Liberty, Justice, Freedom, Rule of Law, Limited Government, Classical Liberalism, Capitalism, Reason, Logic, and Virtue…you know the things that actually make this country great…is a pipe dream. I know it’s not going to happen. But maybe what we should do is the following:
First, any statue of anyone associated with the Confederacy gets destroyed. They were traitors, Johnson’s pardon of them was beyond unforgivable, as was his not being removed, and not a single one of those slaveholding assholes should be honored unless you want to show them boiling in the fires of Hell as they deserve. There is no excuse, no justification, no reason for any soul of the confederacy to be honored in a statue. As for the rest, namely, the every complicated Founding Fathers, maybe in addition to the monument that marks what they did that was good, which it was, we can put up large signs of that list all of their less than spectacular actions (again, with Jefferson it might be easier to take the monument down because to list everything that asshole did might require the building of another monument), but most Founding Fathers and other historical figures it will be easier to list their mistakes. For instance, if we put up the sins of General Sherman it would be a simple little sign: he didn’t burn nearly enough (kidding aside, and even though they did have it coming, yes we probably should list some of his actions as being what we would now consider war crimes).
This would allow all the non-confederate statues to stand and still not be accused of whitewashing history or ignoring the ignorances and flaws of the past.
Of course, it’s probably too logical to ever get buy-in from all sides, as solutions aren’t the goal anymore, making sure the other side loses is all anyone seems to care about anymore.

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What Biden should do…but probably won’t

I wish he would govern from the center…but the fact is we’ll have to start screaming at them now if we want that kind of sanity.

So it’s pretty clear that an act of God that removes Trump, Pence, McConnell, Barr, Pompeo, Cruz, and Paul from this mortal coil–2020, you can still redeem yourself here; no one would mind if you brought the fabled meteor of death down on DC while both houses of Congress are in session and the idiot is in residence. The only question is are Republicans going to lose control of all branches of government by a little bit or by a huge amount. Trump, along with his loyal supporters, is a garbage fire on steroids and doesn’t have the intelligence, ethics, or even basic humanity necessary to pull out of this disaster. So since it is fairly obvious that the people working hardest for the Democrats to come to total power is the Republican party, we should accept that at least until 2022 Democrats will be setting the agenda.
Now they could do one of two things. The more likely is that they’re just as stupid, petty, and short-sighted as the Republicans and once again try to push through really dumb legislation that only appeals their far-left base along with cronies. They’ll pass essentially no useful legislation but hand out huge payoff and handouts to the people they like, piss off the moderates in the nation and lose the House in 2022. You what all of these idiots do.
Of course, there exists a small sliver of a chance that they might not be that stupid. Not that I think dimwitted Biden will be that smart, but I don’t think any of us think that he’ll be little more than a puppet for his Chief of Staff and Vice President to move until the moment he dies, likely in the first year of his presidency. What might, just might (and I realize that this is stupid crazy speculation, but goddamn it, I have to hope) happen is that they spend the first two years putting through all the easy bills. All the things that not only the left agrees with, but that most of the moderates and even the majority of the Never Trump Republicans can get behind. You know, caring more about the good of the country than simply pandering to the idiocy of the Bernie/AOC fringe that has never bothered to read an economics text or a history book. (And I understand that the idiot has already put out a very Bernie influenced plan, but when has a president ever done what they promised to do…maybe Pelosi will put her foot down as she didn’t do with Obama and actually do things that will not guarantee the Dems get voted out in 2022.)
So what would that be?
Here are some of the major points:
`1. Starting with low hanging fruit: ending qualified immunity all police and government officials. If you violate the rights of an American citizen you should suffer more as a government official, not be protected from having to face the music for your crimes. We pay police especially, but really all government officials, to be the adults in the room. They need to act like it. And if they don’t they need to have an Acme Anvil level of pain dropped right into their lives.

  1. End the sale of all military equipment to the police. They don’t need it. Maybe even a buyback program.
  2. Strengthening of Civil Rights laws to prevent abuse of government authorities.
  3. Make all federal funding dependent on all state police operations having body cameras, having complete reporting on every single time that police pull their guns and the outcomes of every one of those incidents, not using facial recognition technology, DNA searches, or any kind of access to private files or data without a court order.
  4. Federal laws requiring that all special treatment given to police in shooting by their utterly corrupt police unions (pro-murdering scum) is absolutely and totally illegal. In fact, if we could outlaw public unions that would be great, but I doubt the Democrats have the spine for that even though it would be popular and in their long term best interests.
  5. Outlaw every form of civil forfeiture unless it comes after a conviction and the government has proven beyond the shadow of all doubt that the property in question is a result of criminal acts (which has to be a separate court battle that occurs only after said criminal conviction).
    Regrettably, there is not much more that can be done on the federal level in regards to this issue because these are state issues.
  6. Let’s just grow up and realize that the war on drugs is a complete total failure and completely decriminalize it at the federal level. And I don’t just mean marijuana. Everything. Every level of government has proven that as much harm and despair that drug use can cause, the corruption, violence, government overreach and abuse in fighting drug use is vastly more damaging to society at every level. If states still want to have laws about use, trafficking, and sales, that’s a state’s rights issue, but the federal government just needs to end the drug war, remove all punishments for use and trafficking and give a pink slip to every employee of the DEA.
  7. In other issues, it has become clear that many of the rules of the medical profession, which were suspended for COVID, were never really needed. Their suspension needs to be made permanent.
  8. Trump’s tax cuts will probably be up for the chopping block very early in any Democrat administration. However, they should take a cue from actual conservatives who said part of the problem with Trump’s tax cuts was that it was not accompanied by cuts deductions. Rather than raising the tax rate they should go through the list of deductions and get rid a lot of them—I’d be happy with all of them for individuals and just letting everyone use the standard deduction (it would then take most people 10 minutes to fill out their taxes, and the rich will never be finding ways to avoid paying taxes…which reduces the need for an IRS and thus brings in more revenue, encourages money to be spent in a free market way, and reduces government power, not to mention bringing in more revenue) and any of the special carve-outs for industries (payroll, capital investments, and R&D, should still be valid deductions).
    Now if they were really smart they would realize that if they removed all deductions for it will give them the revenue they want without raising tax rates and it will actually make the economy more efficient as people will no longer be spending money just in government pet projects for the sake of tax benefits but rather choosing where they think it will best be served. So less cronyism, more revenue, more equity across the board.
  9. Starting with TTP Biden needs to sign and the Senate needs to ratify every free trade agreement we can find. Tariffs should be lowered to levels below when Trump took office, and Congress needs to put serious reigns on the president’s ability to arbitrarily raise tariffs. I understand that these powers were given to the executive to prevent cronyism, but it only works if Congress keeps a veto power to not allow haphazard behavior. We should also negotiate as many new trade agreements and lower every barrier we possibly can. We have learned from the current COVID crisis that dependency on one source is not effective in an emergency, and the idiocy of isolationism would only make things worse so we must work to help the whole world embrace globalization so that for every part, product or service we have multiple choices available to us.
  10. Money and due deference to such important organizations as the WTO and ICC needs to be given. Globalization is a great thing, and it is hated only by bigots and people who don’t understand how economics works…and actually, nothing will put China and Russia in their place like a strong international order.
  11. Look back in early 2001 Bush wanted to modernize the US military so it could be much smaller, cheaper, and fluid with a better ability to handle the challenges of the 21st century which don’t call for the massive armies strategy of the last century…and then some things happened that got him sidetracked, you know the story. Why don’t we pick up where he left off? A much smaller, more technological military that is faster, more efficient, and cheaper…and able to hand all the bullshit coming from China, Russia, and Iran. Cuts military spending and makes the country safer. Just a thought.
  12. Finally, (not because I couldn’t keep going but lucky 13 seems a good place to stop for the moment), we could pass laws that actually understand that the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the writing of all the early founders are quite clear: THE GOVERNMENT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO LEGISLATE IMMIGRATION. Open borders is the only constitutional option. For safety issues we have the right to detain people at the border for a reasonable period to run a background check and make sure they’re not carrying anything contagious but if we can’t prove they’re a violent criminal and aren’t a health risk EVERYONE, and I mean everyone from every country has the right to come to the US and work. Now Congress can put limits on who gets to be a citizen (but to simply try and transfer the nothing but racists immigration system to our naturalization process would be dumb even for Democrats).
    Yeah, I would also like the UBI and further deregulation, but I realize that even if Biden was interested in building coalitions, these would be hard to push for at times like this (not that his stated plans are really looking to build coalitions).

(And yes I realize if I actually thought I was getting any of this it would mean I was in a fever dream more severe then that “Of Monsters and Men” music video…but I am allowed to dream)

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