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America has always been Great

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America has always been Great

We are a great nation because we have a system that corrects for the flaws of human society.

It’s that time of year when we celebrate the creation of an exceptional nation. When patriotic Americans look back at the birthright of freedom they have been entrusted with from past generations. A legacy that we are duty bound to preserve for future generations.

We won’t dwell on those who choose to denigrate this legacy, suffice it to say that perhaps they have forgotten the difference between perfection and greatness. We haven’t made a claim to perfection, which is a goal that is impossible to attain in an imperfect world.

Greatness means that we have the best system that is humanly possible. A system that corrects for the imperfections of human society as best it can. The story of our nation is one of flawed men and women who have overcome their imperfections to create an exceptionally self-correcting system.

The founding fathers created an ideal society despite their many flaws.

There, we said it, the men who created this great nation had many and varied flaws as does everyone, including those who use passive voice far too often or use the word ‘and’ as a transitional phrase. Nevertheless, these flaws didn’t stop them from looking around to find the best ideas for the formation of a society to amalgamate them into a system that has stood the test of time.

It is quite possible that they knew of Plato’s ancient conceptions of an ‘Ideal State’ given that Thomas Jefferson had a copy of his Socratic dialog ‘Republic’ from over 2,000 years ago. Sir Thomas More’s classic work ‘Utopia’ was also a sensation when it was published in 1516, so it is entirely possible they could have been exposed to these ideas and rejected them.

Similarly, Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’ was published in 1776, in addition to the works of John Locke and others. The point is that they created the best system possible, utilizing what worked while rejecting that which depended upon fanciful and untested theories that defy human nature.

A system of limited government able to correct itself.

Were there flaws in the system of government they created? Of course there were, with the vile institution of slavery being the prime example. Nevertheless, they were able to work around these flaws to form something that would correct this issue later on.

It was never perfect, but no system of imperfect beings can ever attain that goal. Taken by itself, our society could be assailed as being woefully inadequate, but in the context of other societal systems of now or then, it is vastly superior. Consider the words of some the people who created and fostered this great nation in taking account of what has been attained and what can be accomplished in the future.

Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence.

Everyone with even a passing familiarity with history should know of the man’s flaws and circumstance. Nevertheless, he was able to create an almost perfect statement of the relationship of government and a free society.

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.’ Thomas Jefferson

We concede that the man held slaves, the point is that he rose above that transient circumstance to create what is now colloquially referred to as a ‘mission statement’ for the proper relationship between government and society.

Thomas Jefferson’s declaration against slavery.

Please take note of the words that were struck from Thomas Jefferson’s “original rough draft” of the Declaration of Independence

With regard to the ‘repeated injuries and usurpations’ of the ‘present King of Great Britain’:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the christian king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

The colonies wouldn’t have been able to attain independence without presenting a unified front to the King, therefor a compromise was made to avoid the problem at the moment, while they took steps to at least incrementally resolve the issue. This would of course come back to haunt them with the agony of the American Civil war later on.

The proper form of the rational political spectrum.

His statement on the direct relationship between the size of government and the circumstances of Liberty is an almost perfect encapsulation of the rational political spectrum:

‘The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.’ Thomas Jefferson

He also set forth a statement of the essential types of government:

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison
Paris Jan. 30. 1787.
Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. without government, as among our Indians. 2. under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. to have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. it is a government of wolves over sheep.

[Emphasis added]

That rudimentary framework along with the common definitions of most political ideologies informs as the best framework for a proper understanding of the rational political spectrum. Correlating them logically places anarchy as the first form. With Limited, Pro-Liberty Conservative government as the second form while the authoritarian tendencies of the Socialist-Left would fall under the third form.

This isn’t the purpose of this essay, but suffice it to say that those who choose to use deception to advance their attainment of power. Will quite often deliberately confuse the issue at to where certain political ideologies situate themselves on what should be a straight linear progression. From ‘without government’ on the far-right to ‘governments of force’ on the far-left.

Correcting for the original sin of slavery.

As was the case with the world at the time [and still is in many cases] the country had a major structural flaw: Slavery. Despite this flaw we persevered and compromised as we have always done. The founding fathers knew slavery was a horrid injustice that would have to be addressed at some point in the future. It should be noted that the abolition slavery was the raison d’être for the existence of the Republican Party. This was the structural injustice that caused the most devastating war was ever fought on the North American continent. It raged for four long years with the ‘high water mark’ taking place on the anniversary of the nation’s birth around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Perhaps it was the timing of the first days of July with independence day looming that caused Robert E. Lee the commanding general of the army of Northern Virginia to take the gamble known as Pickett’s Charge on the third day of the battle. Never the less, the failure to win the field meant the ultimate end of the Confederacy and the abhorrent institution of slavery. It was also the timing of July 4 that caused Confederate General John C. Pemberton to surrender the city after a 47-day siege.

The dedication of Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania saw another flawed man arose to offer a few remarks. The short address by President Abraham Lincoln was only a few paragraphs, but it encapsulated and rededicated the purpose of the nation:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The American civil war would rage on for 2 more bloody years before effectively ending at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Throughout the years the system the founding fathers created still had problems and these were corrected with new laws or new constitutional amendments. Some of which merely affirmed what was previously set forth in the document. These corrections were done systematically, without the need for revolution or bloodshed, a bottom up approach instead of a top down Diktat.

A tradition of elevating flawed men and women to greatness.

We will close out this longer than expected dissertation with one other note. This great nation of ours has a ‘habit’ of utilising admittedly flawed people and having them do great things. This is more than exemplified by our current president. Like many, we were reluctant Trump supporters with many a time disagreeing with what he has done or tweeted. Nevertheless, he has also turned out to reach beyond expectation, while not perfect he has shown greatness in many ways. That is the essence of our nation, admittedly flawed people of all variations who have done extraordinary things because of a system based in Liberty. Let us keep it that way.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Dan Crenshaw on the Democrats’ goal

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Dan Crenshaw on the Democrats' goal

Some say today’s Democratic Party is very different from the one in the recent past. “Evolving” views has made it impossible for anyone in the party to be pro-life, against illegal immigration, or favorable to the free market, especially as it pertains to healthcare. Others say this is the true face of the Democratic Party and has been for years, even decades, as they were biding their time until a moment in history when they could reveal their actual intentions.

From Medicare-for-All to the Green New Deal to open borders to full-blown socialism, today’s Democratic Party has openly embraced some of the most horrendous policy proposals this nation has ever seen. They’re the type of policies we’d expect to see from totalitarian regimes and communist nations, not the United States of America. But perhaps that’s the point.

Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) has done a fine job taking to Twitter to express his concerns about Democrats and other major problems the nation faces. Last week, he posted a Tweet that deserves constant attention as it encapsulates the challenges conservatives face as we prepare for the 2020 election.

Though he only touched on a few points in his Tweet, the overarching message is clear. Democrats will not rest until they’ve brought an end to our republic. They have a different vision, one that is an existential threat to America.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Why forgiving student loan debt for disabled veterans makes sense

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Why forgiving student loan debt for disabled veterans makes sense

The cries are already coming in from the purist wing of the conservative movement as President Trump signs an executive order forgiving student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans. They’re saying this is a precursor to student loan forgiveness across the board. They say this opens the door for a future Democratic President to do the same thing, only so widespread it’ll damage not only the country but forever change the way education is handled in America.

But there’s one important caveat about forgiving student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans that reactionary conservatives missed. It was already done. This isn’t introducing a new stance on student loans. It’s expediting the process because as of now, about 1/5th of the eligible veterans are taking advantage of it.

Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans

The memo Trump signed directs the government to develop an “expedited” process so veterans can have their federal student loan debt discharged “with minimal burdens.” Currently, just half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit because of a burdensome application process.

Under the current process, disabled veterans can have their debt forgiven under a loan forgiveness program, called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, as long as they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100 percent. As of July, however, only about 20 percent of the eligible pool of veterans had taken advantage of the program due to the complicated nature of the application and other factors.

This is a political move that will affect thousands of Americans at a relatively low cost, especially when compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of loan forgiveness being proposed by many Democrats.

But the bigger reason nobody should be balking at this is because these are people who have served their country and are actually deserving of the “free stuff” offers being made to everyone by Democrats. And by “everyone,” I mean literally everyone. Democrats want free education for illegal immigrants, and some are balking because the President wants permanently disabled veterans to have their loans forgiven? Fiscal conservatives (of which I am one) need to find another battle to fight.

This is a smart move by the President and turns the chants of “free college for everyone” by Democrats on its head. Loan forgiveness for permanently disabled veterans is pittance compared to the sacrifices they’ve made for this country.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Big Facebook announcement falls flat in under 24 hours

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Facebook's big announcement falls flat in 24 hours

Yesterday, Facebook was very proud to announce the results of a year-long review by former Senator Jon Kyl. The purpose of the review was to better understand the accusations of political bias, mostly from Conservatives, against the platform. According to Kyl’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal, the concerns of those he interviewed fell into six broad categories.

  • Bias is baked into Facebook’s algorithms and they should not be in the business of separating fact from fiction
  • That the platform’s community standards were constantly evolving and objections to the category “hate speech”
  • Bias in the employees charged with enforcing the rules and the appeals process for smaller organizations
  • Requiring advertisers to register as political organizations to run ads with a policy focus
  • The drawn-out ad approval process due to the stringent ad policies
  • Lack of viewpoint diversity at the company

In the announcement, there were several things Facebook planned to address which included how they handled political ads and the creation of an oversight board for how they handled the appeals of some high profile content removal decisions.

The announcement was supposed to ease tensions between the social media company and users on the political right. However, rather than getting out of the business of fact-checking content, the company committed to explaining newsfeed rankings. These algorithms and “fact checks” have already negatively impacted several Conservative sites. Not sure an explanation fixes that problem. They will also now tell you when they limit the distribution of a post because their “fact-checkers” give it a false rating. Again, why not just stop?

Probably because they are serving two masters in this fight. Facebook consented to a series of civil rights audits from a very left-leaning assessor. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg released the commitments from that process on June 30, 2019. One action:

We’re taking steps to address this, including a US pilot program where some of the people who review content on Facebook only focus on hate speech instead of a range of content that can include bullying, nudity, and misrepresentation. We believe allowing reviewers to specialize only in hate speech could help them further build the expertise that may lead to increased accuracy over time.

Balancing the commitments made to both groups will be challenging to say the least. And within 24 hours of the announcement of what they would do to address Kyl’s assessment two high profile content decisions were made.

This morning, news hit that an ad from Women for Trump was removed. I confirmed this with one of the board members. Supposedly, because it assumed the gender of the women in the picture.

 

Can you say peak ridiculousness? Perhaps the assessment they received from Senator Kyl didn’t mention that many people on the right, as well as the vast majority Americans, assume the gender of almost everyone they see. I am also wondering how many posts Forbes Women and Women for Women International have had removed. Since they “assume the gender” of the person pictured on nearly every post.

The other content decision was not allowing the website started by popular Trump-supporting meme maker, Carpe Donktum to work.

Now we all know the left can’t meme, but the right has some pretty good meme artists. And anyone who has spent any time on social media is aware of what a meme is. Satirical short videos or images that everyone knows are a creation, not news or a depiction of factual events. The website was even called “Meme World”. Saying satirical content violates their “Community Standards” is about as stupid as Snopes fact-checking the Babylon Bee. Or just an admission that having a sense of humor is not allowed on Facebook.

Until Facebook decides to employ a good faith approach to known creators, organizations, and campaigns, rather than allowing fringe left-wing zealots to flag content with abandon, nothing will change. Just because Facebook recognizes dozens of genders doesn’t mean most Americans do. Yet activists can use a ridiculous rule based on fringe political ideology to get a perfectly valid political ad pulled.

One that was shared by the President’s official Facebook account. Not the best kick off for a grand announcement about addressing bias. Facepalm Facebook.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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