“Da Gub’ment”: Lying Liars, or Just Liars?

(I composed this piece before the church shooting yesterday, which I haven’t fully grappled with yet.  These events are not tragedies, by the way: they’re atrocities.)

My wife passed along a link to an article that explained “the truth” behind the Las Vegas slaughter. Seems that George Soros sold his stock in one posh resort and purchased another in deep trouble because he knew the Arab Air Force was taking a holiday in Vegas, and he boarded the whole crew in his new purchase on the condition that they train in helicopters to practice surgical extractions, and this they did for a while… and… and then when what’s-his-name (I’m not going to refresh my memory) opened up as per orders, the Arabs supplied further shooters, and then they offed the Yankee swine so that it looked like a suicide, and then the chopper picked them up, and they were soon back in Riyadh without leaving a fingerprint behind. And George Soros had thus brought the collapse of the United States one step closer by mowing down the attendees of a Country-Western concert, and had also fattened his real estate portfolio.

Or something like that.

I have a few things to say about the “conspiracy” phenomenon. I suppose I should begin by admitting that I didn’t read the article in question very closely. It probably has more merit than I’ve indicated: I just didn’t have the time to plow into all of its tortured intricacy.

As absurd as such wild-and-woolly yarns appear, I will also say that the attitude of the authorities in this and many other such cases primes one to suspect the presence of skeletons in closets. Why is it that the hotel security guard in Vegas with the dubious account of events is still at large? If he’s in Mexico, why has he not been extradited? And why is it that certain survivors of the massacre who contradicted the “one shooter” narrative appear to have turned up dead—or is that also an exaggeration? Since the media are no longer offering any information at all, how is one to process the hysteria-laden fragments that leak out over the Internet?

Do we just trust our avuncular authority figures? I recall that there were one or two cases of Sudden Witness Death Syndrome after 9/11, as well. Were these, too, apocryphal? But why did our beloved Uncle Sam double down on the story that a massive structure compromised mostly on just one side would quite naturally fold up like a telescope straight down into the ground (as opposed to hurling its eventually severed top quarter lengthwise over Manhattan)? How is it that PBS Nova immediately managed to find some academics (I think they were from MIT) who obligingly produced a lab experiment to validate this patent imbecility, imposing parameters on their mini-tower under stress that had little correlation to the actual event? And the event, remember, was repeated not once, but twice, on that fateful day. Three towers neatly telescoped in a fashion that demolition experts must labor weeks to arrange.

Whom should we trust about the Roswell “flying saucer”: the local ranchers and first-responders whose families were thuggishly threatened if they didn’t shut up, or our “heroes in uniform” who apparently couldn’t distinguish one of their own weather balloons from a speeding metallic craft and who cordoned off a huge amount of acreage to collect—on their testimony—balloon guts?

People believe garbage nowadays and gravitate to any kind of conspiracy theory because their government has accustomed them to suppose its agents capable of any kind of duplicity. Look at how the FBI, even as I write, is doing everything it possibly can to stink up the last syllable of yesteryear’s Hollywood PR (farewell, Ephraim Zimbalist, Jr.) as the shilling of James Comey and Robert Mueller for the Clintons leaks from a broken sewer line.

Indeed, I should not be surprised to learn that the harebrained George Soros fantasy about Las Vegas was hatched by a government entity with the express purpose of defaming all conspiracy theories aimed at our courageous authorities. Merely condition the public to roll its collective eyes whenever “da gub’ment” is accused of something dastardly… and you, as a proto-totalitarian government operative, have created a “get out of jail free” card that can be played a dozen times.

I genuinely, sincerely hate this. When officially sanctioned lying becomes ubiquitous, as it has in our failing democratic republic, then one is reduced to trying to live by the maxim, “Believe nothing”… which is impossible.

And I just now have new thoughts about Vegas, which I’ll hold for next time.

Sensible Tax Policy in Never-Never Land

It’s more than a bit sordid to listen to all the verbal jockeying that goes on as a new tax bill is debated. Overcrowded and overtaxed liberal states like New York and California want to keep their state-income-tax deduction. Otherwise, we’re told, their part of the federal burden would be unfair. But wait… there’s another way of looking at this. You blue states have freely chosen to engage in an experiment in socialism, and to do so you had to load whopping taxes onto your highest earners. Naturally, unskilled blue-collar workers also swarmed across your boundaries to have access to all the free goodies; and a comparatively large proportion of these, by the way, were not even legal citizens. So now you’re in a situation where you hand out more free stuff than anyone else and to more eager hands than are reaching anywhere else. Quite a pickle. To cut your gainfully employed some slack, you remind them that they can deduct their hefty state taxes… except that now, perhaps, they cannot. Ouch!

But that’s a predicament of your own making. If we’re all supposed to be taxed federally on the same scale, but your citizens get bumped down on the scale because you’re already working them over, then those of my state have to pay comparatively more. Indirectly, we’re financing your idiotic experiment in socialism. You supply the ruinous idealism… we supply the cash. Shall we keep talking about fairness?

Or what about the other side of the aisle, and the anguish that its members are enduring over capping the deduction for mortgage payments at $500,000? I’m supposed to feel sorry for someone who takes out a mortgage on a half-a-million-dollar house and wants it deducted from his taxes? Don’t buy the damn house if you can’t afford it! If you’re living in California and half a mil buys you a thousand square feet of roach motel… get out of California! Why should I take some of the burden that should have been yours—why should any of us have to underwrite your costly California residency?

As for 401K’s… wow. Guess what? I only recently discovered myself (much to my shame) that the 401K is just a shell game. You don’t pay taxes today so that you may pay those taxes later, just as you’re quitting your job. Essentially, the government is trying to incentivize you to do something that you should be doing, anyway, if you’re a functional adult (i.e., save). And the incentive is also written on water in disappearing ink. Why is this a bone of contention?

I have long said that ALL taxes—local, state, and federal—should be raised from a universal sales tax. This would have the following immense advantages:

  • There would be no tax fraud or evasion; every time you bought something, you would pay the requisite tax along with the item’s market price.
  • Taxation “moralists” would have to content themselves with the tough but fair lesson that those with wealth may buy much and those in poverty must buy little; there is no “right” to live like a rich man on a poor man’s income.
  • Those living beyond their means would be forced to grow up and become more frugal.
  • Those of substantial means who chose to be stingy and save would not be punished by Super Nanny and would enrich the investment sector, creating more jobs for laborers.
  • Everybody would contribute some little something to the national coffers and would hence partake of the sacrifice of being a full citizen.
  • Those who were not legal citizens would have further reason to go back home and stay.
  • Most importantly in my view, everybody would see just how outrageously expensive all our layers of bloated government are, and an angry electorate would demand change.

Naturally, none of this will ever happen.

The Dark Elite (Part Six)

As I wrap up these remarks (at least for now), I find that one observation leaps immediately to the fore. I wrote in beginning this series that we must deprogram ourselves from viewing multinational corporations and Nanny State politicians as adversaries, for in fact they are two sides of the same coin (and a counterfeit coin, at that). In the same way, we must no longer automatically view a utopian progressive building a staircase to heaven as the opposite of a dogmatic neo-bourbonist awaiting the return of a rightful king. For what were Stalin and Mao if not the most despotic kings imaginable? The progressive is always waiting for a master, whom he calls Beloved Leader. On the coin’s other hollow-ringing side, the ultra-conservative who wants God’s ways (as understood by him) to intrude into the management of the body politic produces, in his Richelieu or his Metternich, nothing but a Stalin or a Mao clad in holy garb.

I submit that this is a deeply relevant paradox in unmasking the Dark Elite. I strongly suspect, that is, that people with misguided religious convictions may possess all of the qualities essential for participation in such a covert enterprise. They would likely be discreet, fiercely faithful, tirelessly industrious, and steeled against second thoughts by utter conviction. They would be modern Crusaders; and what would make them distinctly modern would be an understanding of advanced technology of the practical variety such as the Space Program generates, or even of the somber variety such as the Department of Defense generates. They wouldn’t be designing video games. They might be invested in delivering the Internet’s instant knowledge via an earbud… but they would be aware, as frivolous people are not, of the potential to filter the Internet’s content and distill coy suggestions into everyone’s ear.

I find the profile of the person I have just imagined not unsympathetic, I admit. Democracy seems to be entering a self-destructive stage. People are expected to arbitrate issues at the ballot box about which highly trained experts disagree—and never has an electorate been more impatient with training itself in our nation’s history. More and more voters, as well, are claiming their right to a bigger and bigger portion of somebody else’s income, while it grows increasingly obvious that all the wallets of the next two or three generations cannot fund the claims made. Infatuation, irresponsibility, selfishness, and outright stupidity characterize the choices made in the broadest and most consequential plebiscites. Wouldn’t we be better off if some Beloved Leader—some Anointed One—would step in and do God’s work?

If you worship the God of Goodness, yet you forget that good ways are only so when freely chosen by thoughtful individuals, you may be tempted to do away with the “folly” of democratic elections—with their susceptibility to trend and their cult of personality. The good is the good; and since people will not reliably select it, it must be selected for them. They must be saved from themselves, the silly children—the bloody fools, some of whom may have to die until the remaining accept that they are silly children. You, as God’s agent, will see that the hard lesson is taught.

There’s not a paper’s thinness of difference, I repeat, between this line of reasoning and that of the utopian ideologue: hence the strange affinity that has evolved between the radical Left and radical Islam, the one boisterously atheist and the other fanatically pious. Even so are there sincere but self-deluded Christians in the United States who would cheerfully adopt a know-nothing attitude as a paternalistic government oversaw and overheard whatever passed in every kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom to “protect” us; and there are those of this same group, as well, who would dutifully undertake the “protecting”.

I don’t mean end my rambles in the assertion that the Dark Elite are a gang of religious fanatics… or perhaps I do. I will accept that characterization of my conclusion if you, in turn, will accept that devotion to the ever-recessive image of a manmade utopia is also a religion—or a cult, to be precise. Our covert Chosen Ones may feel that they are bringing about the eternal life of the soul by fostering a world where downloads may enter an indefinite number of corporeal residences… or they may feel that they are elevating humankind to new evolutionary heights by merging the biological with the robotic. The former idea is Catholic physicist Frank Tipler’s, the latter charismatic secularist Ray Kurzweil’s. Either one of these two would be quite comfortable in a room where the enlightened engineering of humanity’s future by a select, fully initiated few was under discussion.

In my restless thoughts, I keep returning to the Phoenix Lights, an inexplicable display of aeronautic prowess viewed by hundreds and filmed by dozens. Either extraterrestrial craft were aloft that spring day in 1997, or else our government has developed technology capable of what any civilian Physics professor would call impossible. Either way, we have been lied to on a scale that sets our dull world wholly adrift from the futuristic reality known to the Elite. Yet these same “protectors” have overlooked the little matter of securing our power grid against EMP’s… or have they, really? That, I would insist, is a moral impossibility. If we live thus exposed to almost complete annihilation, it can only be because the Dark Elite have already decided that they wish to hold such a trump card in their hand. Perhaps an America of ten percent its present population would be much easier to feed and defend, equipped as she would be with apocalyptic technology; perhaps the Elite have decided that her deadwood simply needs to be pruned.

This subject terrifies me, frankly. Our world is not perfectible, and attempts to force perfection upon it by its human occupants invariably bring Hell a little closer. Our free society was intended to give individuals a chance to work out their soul’s salvation or to squander their mortal time upon things that perish, as they prefer: it was to have been a place where people may learn from failure or simply fail and fail some more. Should the “illumined ones” among us decide to outlaw failure, our grand experiment in freedom will have failed catastrophically.