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The magic of Elon Musk (powered by the American taxpayer)

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It has always been the allure of imagination and ambition, and maybe a little bit of science fiction, if we’re being honest, of the space scientists and astronauts to one day go to Mars.  Since President Obama had redirected NASA’s mission a little more towards Muslim outreach, and away from space exploration, the private sector began imagining and leaping into action.  And Elon Musk is apparently the entrepreneurial magician with the vision, which is apparently being revised, to get even ordinary people to Mars, while making money in the process.

Mr. Musk is the media darling of the private space industry and the Left.  He’s the technological entrepreneur who used his entrepreneurial magic to build PayPal, when it was a success story.  The left-wing media loves Mr. Musk because they see him as the capitalistic proof that people will buy their radical environmentalism.  And why not?  He’s built a successful battery-powered car company, a solar energy company, and his private space company is daring to reach for the stars (in this case, Mars).

There’s only one problem.  The magic of Musk’s entrepreneurial spirit comes with a rather large multi-billion dollar price tag, at the expense of the American taxpayer, while he takes advantage of crony capitalism and gets rich off the taxpayer dime.  Don’t believe me?  As of a 2015 article in the Los Angeles Times, the American taxpayer backs Mr. Musk’s private empire “from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support.”  In fairness to Mr. Musk, he has requested the federal government end the subsidies to Tesla Motors because it puts them at a disadvantage to other automakers.

The Fun and the Realities

It’s fun to geek out over space exploration.  And dream of going to places of the universe where no man has gone before.  Discovering life on other planets, which I’m a bona fide skeptic, but it’s still fun to apply science fiction to real life.  As long as we realize that it’s fiction, and that we promptly return to reality and make actual scientific discoveries.  For instance, potentially using the information we learn in space that could help us cure certain diseases of today that were thought of as incurable just five years ago.

And as someone who is a supporter of missile defense on land, sea, and space, the possibilities of being able to defend our nation and allies from space against our enemies are intriguing.  If President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (or Star Wars, used primarily as a political slur) were possible, we could potentially be one-step closer to achieving Reagan’s ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament.

Perspectives

Does Elon Musk need a California bailout, or is he worth $21 billion?

http://www.thenewamericana.com/2017/08/04/elon-musk-need-california-bailout-worth-21-billion/Without government assistance, it seems Tesla can’t make money, because they can’t sell cars at the price they actually have to collect to stay in business. So California is going to tax the working class to pay for Elon Musk to add to his fortune.

And add to his fortune he has.

Space News reported Friday that Musk is now worth $5 billion more after SpaceX (his other company) raised $351 million in a funding round, bringing that company’s value to over $21 billion (coincidentally, about the same as Musk’s personal net worth).

SpaceX gets its money from–you guessed it–taxpayers. A $4.2 billion contract with NASA in 2014 drives revenue. SpaceX essentially gets nothing from private companies, other than investment dollars. They are all betting on more money from Uncle Sugar.

Musk himself has gotten rich off the Government Dodo.

Why is NASA Covering Up Elon Musk’s Mistakes? | Mises Wire

https://mises.org/blog/why-nasa-covering-elon-musk%E2%80%99s-mistakesThis glaring hypocrisy between the handling of the Orbital and the SpaceX cases has not gone unnoticed. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology wrote a letter just after the SpaceX accident to NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, expressing his belief that this “discrepancy … raises questions about not only the equity and fairness of NASA’s process for initiating independent accident investigations, but also the fidelity of the investigations themselves.”

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Final Thoughts

The moral of the story is Elon Musk isn’t the grand wizard of technological entrepreneurship applied to radical environmental leftism.  What he does know how to do is take a big vision and risk it all by borrowing millions, and getting the federal government to front him billions of taxpayer money to build his business empire.

He doesn’t offer a new product or service to the free exchange of the market.  He’s a bona fide crony capitalist who knows how to use debt and taxpayer money to manipulate his way into multi-million dollar wealth.  Elon Musk is the very fat cat that gets in bed with the government and uses taxpayer money to fund his enterprises that democratic socialists love to condemn, but are created by their own policies of price controls and subsidies assisting their most favored industries.

You’re welcome, Elon!  Signed, the American taxpayer.

Theocratic conservative blogger and columnist, independent speechwriter, and political provocateur Trey Mays is a Christian Reformist — because culture needs fundamental reform, not revolutionary change. He is a fighter for a multi-party, decentralized Constitutional Confederacy of small Christian republics based on the standards of God's Law of Liberty. You can read his columns here at the NOQ Report, but if you want to read his more informal "news" letter, stop by TruthDispatch.com.

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Opinions

CPAC 2018: A campaign rally for Trump and his Trumplican agenda

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In the days leading up to last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), I wrote about how the event hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU) had replaced conservatism with compromise. Trading their principles for profit, CPAC repackaged the conservative movement into a compromised product sold to the highest bidder.

CPAC 2017 was filled with a host of speakers who had little in common with conservatism, including Donald Trump, and unfortunately, the 2018 edition has continued the tradition. Selling its conservative soul to the National Populist devil, the ACU has become for all intents and purposes a political action committee promoting the Trumplican Party platform.

In addition to featuring Trump and most of his administration, the CPAC 2018 itinerary includes appearances by members of Trump Pravda (FOX News and Breitbart). There will be panels focusing on a host of issues to conservatives Trump, such as: how the “Trump Effect” has impacted national politics hijacked conservatism, and how the Russia investigation is fake news—featuring an appearance by Trump’s favorite member of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes.

One of the most obvious indicators of how CPAC has lost its way was confirmed yesterday in the appearance of French Nationalist Socialist Marion Maréchal-Le Pen. Le Pen’s party affiliation is with the National Front Party in France, a party that questions the holocaust, but ACU Chairman and CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp extended the invitation anyway because Le Pen is a Trump supporter.

Le Pen’s appearance was so controversial that it prompted a Twitter war between Schlapp and National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg who questioned the wisdom of her appearance at CPAC.

Did you catch Schlapp’s defense of Le Pen when he said that she “has moved away from the politics of her forbearers”? Rather ironic when you think about it since that’s exactly what Schlapp and the ACU has done with conservatives; they too have moved away from their forbearers.

In 2017, CPAC replaced conservatism with compromise, but in 2018 it’s they have found other “C” words to replace conservatism with. Counterfeit. Capitulation. Cowardice. Craven. Corrupt. Crooked. Contrived. Clandestine. Con-artists. Well, you get the idea.

In the age of the Trumplican Party, conservatism is dead, and the ACU’s decision to turn CPAC into a Trump campaign rally confirms this sad reality.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

Let’s Just Say It: The Socialist-Left Doesn’t Really Care About Protecting Children.

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The Socialist Left cares more about gun confiscation than any common sense ideas that will really protect kids.

Once again, we are witness to the nation’s Socialist-Left blithely assuming the unearned mantle of moral superiority because they supposedly care for ‘the children’. Allegedly ‘objective’ journalists are falling all over themselves to promote a nascent campaign to destroy our common sense civil rights to the exclusion of steps that will really ‘Do Something’.

It is not without a hint of irony that the nation’s Socialist-Left does not care about children before they are born.  But soon after they become a precious commodity that must be protected at all costs – including everyone’s fundamental human rights. Those who are merely a cluster of cells or some other humanity denying pejorative in the womb, suddenly become children to be exploited for political gain upon their full emergence into the world.

Gun Control Doesn’t Work – If it did, Chicago would be the safest city in the nation.

Before the nation’s Socialist-Left is celebrated by the world with the laurels protector of children par excellence, shouldn’t we check their alleged solutions as to whether they work? For if gun control doesn’t work, then they are merely setting up next the mass murder tragedy, and for another round of attacks on our civil rights.

Examine their much ballyhooed utterances over the past few days: The national socialist left is promising a little temporary safety exchange for a mere pittance of our essential liberty. Of course, if they are pressed on the point, they will respond with some sort of meaningless boilerplate about cutting down the carnage. Even so, such vague promises are hardly worth the loss of liberty it would entail.

So what are we getting for the low-low cost of our freedom? How do their ‘solutions’ fair in the real world? Do they actually protect people? Or do they make the situation worse – far worse?

Well, we already know that very much like it’s tyrannical half-sister socialism, Gun control doesn’t work. Just ask the good people of Chicago or Caracas whether or not depriving the innocent of their means of self-defence will protect them. Parenthetically speaking, if gun control actually worked in some mythical Utopia, we would be hearing it about 24/7. This fantasy world doesn’t exist, but there are other steps that can be taken to save at least one life – and isn’t that the standard by which such things are measured?

Commonsense steps that will really protect children and their Civil Rights.

There have been plenty of suggested initiatives that will help reduce these terrorist attacks, from containing the contagion by reducing the killer’s media profile to providing better security. Not to mention restoring basic discipline and a moral underpinning to our children, or simply letting people defend themselves getting rid of the insanity of so-called “Gun Free” zones.

But instead of discussing steps that will actually work, the Socialist-Left ridicules them.  Or they insanely advocate we go further in removing God from the public square or decree them to be a redirection from their real obsession.

The Takeaway

To be perfectly blunt about it: The most disgusting aspect of this whole cycle is that it won’t do a thing to protect children and we will be back here doing the very same thing in a few weeks or months. That is what is sickening about this whole affair, and just crediting the Socialist-Left with just a modicum of basic intelligence will show that they know this as well.

To the nation’s Socialist-Left, getting to their ultimate goal gun confiscation is far more important than the lives of children they supposedly want to protect. They care more about depriving people of the means to resist [how’s that for a word?] to their Marxist tyranny than everyone’s safety, and they are willing to climb over the bodies of children to get there. If the nation’s Socialist-Left really cared about protecting children they would advocate what works instead of what brings them power.

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Guns and Crime

Gun reform that will actually work

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In the wake of the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Thursday, Leftists took to their usual diatribes — they called the NRA a terrorist group, Jimmy Kimmel cried on live television (again), and mainstream news organizations touted misleading if not outright false statistics. All of the above pleaded for yet-unspecified “comprehensive” or “common sense” gun reform.

Through it all, I repeatedly asked vocally adamant gun control supporters, “What is your plan? What law would have prevented this from happening?” Many conservative leaders did the same. Still, no one on the Left seemed capable of providing a coherent answer, short of a full-on gun confiscation and/or ignorance of laws that are already in place, such as a ban on machine guns (which weren’t even used in this shooting).

Pointing this out won’t stop Lefties, obviously, but my intent with this article is not to continue debating what hasn’t, can’t, or won’t work when it comes to gun control, nor to debunk recurring arguments and statistics. That’s an important task, but for right now, I’ll leave it to the likes of Steven CrowderBen Shapiro, and Matt Christiansen.

My goal here is to defy perhaps the most frequent accusation pointed at conservatives during any gun debate, which is that we aren’t willing to discuss how to stop this kind of thing from happening again. And I’m not talking about preaching the gospel or inspiring a deeper respect for life — I mean genuine legislation.

Here are four measures that will actually make an impact in preventing mass shootings:

1) Repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 98% of mass shootings in America from 1950 to 2016 occurred in gun-free zones. It should be common sense to understand that criminals target the weak, vulnerable, and unprotected — such as groups that are guaranteed to be unarmed.

This 1990 legislation was introduced by none other than former-Vice President Joe Biden and signed into law by Bush Sr., prohibiting the presence of firearms within 1000 feet of public, private, and parochial elementary and high schools.

Some locations might be gun free de facto rather than de jure, such as churches, where it is not prohibited by law but not necessarily common practice to carry a gun, but the unknown always goes in favor of the potential victims. In a room where a shooter has one firearm and the crowd has zero, you do the math.

The way to prevent shootings is to put more guns in the hands of good guys than in the hands of bad guys. In order to discourage mass shootings, killers need to fear the possibility of getting caught on the other end of a barrel.

This is not to say that teachers should necessarily be required to carry weapons, but those who are trained and feel inclined to take that precaution should be welcome to do so in order to protect their students and colleagues — a proposal which 81% of police officers favor, as provided by USA Today.

2) Place armed security at all public schools

Most federal buildings feature an armed guard of some kind, and many have additional security measures such as metal detectors. So why are our children left unprotected on public (meaning federally operated) school grounds? As Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh contends, there is no sensible argument for abandoning our children to such a clear threat.

Some have argued that the presence of police officers or guns might traumatize young children, but do you know what’s even more traumatizing? Watching your friends get slaughtered by a homicidal maniac with a psychotic vendetta.

The Parkland shooter was previously expelled from the school and prohibited from carrying a backpack on campus, yet somehow that ban didn’t work, as the shooter mosied onto an unsecured campus with a backpack toting a rifle and ammunition — after all, who was going to stop him?

3) Reform the mental health system

Not all people who suffer from mental illness are violent — not by a long shot. Nor are all murders committed by the mentally ill. But the fact is that mass shootings account for a miniscule percentage of total gun homicides in the U.S., and many if not most mass shootings are executed by mentally unstable individuals.

Our country needs to reform its mental health system and consider increasing the amount of people who are institutionalized in mental health facilities.

Ironically, the same groups calling for common sense gun reform immediately backstep when mental illness is brought into the conversation, obfuscating relevant data on two fronts: firstly by falsely claiming that this will lead to a witch hunt of anyone with depression or anxiety, which is simply not true — we’re talking about those who present a danger to themselves or others — and secondly by conflating all gun killings with just mass murder, which is defined by wholly different parameters.

The Atlantic ran the latter kind of piece in October 2017 following the Las Vegas shooting, which cited a statistic that fewer than 5% of gun homicides are committed by a person with a previously diagnosed mental illness. That could very well be true, but it’s beside the point, first marginally because this doesn’t account for undiagnosed illness, but primarily due to the fact that mass shootings only account for 2 or 3% of gun murders anyway, so we’re talking about a completely different set of facts. In the same article, The Atlantic tries to play off a statistic from 2001 and another from 2016 that peg the rate of mass shooters with mental illness closer to one in four, or 25%. By their own admission, if we reform involuntary commitment laws to allow for easier institutionalization of the severely ill, then we can immediately cut down on mass shootings by a quarter.

One might call that statistically significant.

On The Rubin Report, Ben Shapiro links the rise in mass shootings to the large-scale emptying of mental facilities in the 1960s and 70s, leading to an upsurgence in homelessness, violent crime, and, yes, mass shootings, because even if only 25% of mass shooters are previously known to have been mentally ill (this coming from the same folks who claim we’ve had eighteen school shootings this year when the answer is closer to four), every single one of the viral shootings in recent memory, if it wasn’t committed by a terrorist, was brought about by someone who is mentally ill, from Parkland, to Sutherland Springs, to Las Vegas, and so on.

And for those squawking about Trump weakening prohibitions on the mentally ill buying guns, this is a lie. He repealed an unconstitutional gun ban on senior citizens who needed help documenting their Social Security finances, which is a far cry from violent schizophrenia. The ACLU, not known for its conservatism, supported Trump on this action.

4) Audit the Fed(eral Bureau of Investigation)

This issue is far more pressing than anything related to the Federal Reserve.

As reported by CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review into the FBI’s process for handling tips following its admitted failure to properly address notification given in early January of a potential threat from the Parkland shooter.

According to the FBI’s statement, the tipster informed them about “[the shooter’s] gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” yet “no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

This kind of negligence certainly ought to raise eyebrows, and Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for Christopher Wray, the FBI director, to step down.

Now, in fairness, how many credible tips does the FBI receive on a regular basis? Probably a lot. How many of those threats does it successfully neutralize? Probably a lot.

But as Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon tweeted on Friday, this is the fourth mass shooting in recent years where “the FBI was informed of significant warning signs beforehand.” Gutowski doesn’t mention, by the way, the federal oversight on the Sutherland Springs shooter, whose dishonorable history of military service should have disqualified him from gun ownership during his background check.

In addition to the tip itself, the shooter also gave off red flags by way of social media comments that he wanted to become a professional school shooter and take vengeance against police, as well as 39 home responses from police in only seven years.

Tack on growing suspicion of the FBI’s integrity in the handling of recent investigations, and at the very least, we ought to support Sessions’s decision to figure out what’s going on in the Justice Department.

No legislative action will ever fully solve this problem, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find reasonable improvements while still respecting natural and constitutional rights. But we’ll never move forward if all we can resort to is virtue signalling and name-calling on Twitter.

If you want gun reform and you don’t like my ideas, then tell me your plan — just know I’m giving up hope that anyone on the Left really wants to have that conversation.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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