“A Disease of the Public Mind”


That is the title of a book about the first US Civil War that resulted in the assassination of President Lincoln. The soldiers in the South hated those in the North and vice versa. Northern soldiers have since been credited with undeserved virtue while Southern rebels were labeled racist enemies of the state, a moniker that still survives in the present day. But neither side was fighting over the abolition of slavery.


Trump’s opponents claim he will re-institute Jim Crow oppression, put black people back in chains, end democracy and put people in Hitler’s concentration camps. The continuous character assassinations, legal persecutions, numerous impeachments, unfounded accusations and insinuation caused what has been called Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), a disease of the public mind resulting in a recent assassination attempt.


Follow the Money
The Constitution the North and South agreed upon in 1788 enshrined the economic principles of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, fostering equality under the law, individual sovereignty and limited government. Slavery was still too contentious an issue to settle. Starting in the next century the British led a moral crusade to eliminate slavery globally. While politically virtuous, Britain could afford to pay off slave owners and generally didn’t face the the vexing question for US plantation owners of whether freed slaves could support themselves and, if not, whether this would lead to murderous riots as had happened elsewhere. Abolition was a contentious issue everywhere slavery was practiced, typically with long drawn out steps to complete. But the long simmering political dispute that came to a head in 1860 wasn’t about abolition, but money. The federal government relied almost exclusively on tariffs raised in Southern ports – most of which went to northern states – on imports financed with the fruits of slavery, cotton exports.


Since the Civil War, limited government has given way to big government. The Democratic Party has created many dependent constituencies whose continued prosperity depends upon continuing Democratic power and largess: the bureaucracy, the government at all levels, teachers, labor leaders, academic educators and administrators, trial lawyers, government contractors, social security recipients and what are still euphemistically called journalists, among many others. The current Civil War is also about money. Trump has been in both political parties, fits in neither. But ”you are fired” represents an existential threat to Party members.


For contemporary Democratic politicians, almost all trained as lawyers, money beyond what is available by taxing the rich exists in banks, especially the Federal Reserve Banks, to be distributed according to the spoils system. For Republican politicians (but not RINOs), mostly former businessmen, prosperity comes from productive work and from savings productively invested. For those businesses and workers who are not on the receiving end of the spoils system, whose taxes pay for political largess, limited government is the only solution. There is very little middle ground.

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Dollars and Eyeballs

While everyone else on the conservative side of the blogosphere today is marveling over the concurrent train wreck of the Biden-Trump “debate” last night, and the “deer in the headlights” reaction from the Establishment Media over their horrible realization that they can’t possibly pull any kind of media veil over the wreckage – I just thought that I might wander off on another tangent. I’ll meditate and marvel a little on there on how a national retail corporation pulled decisively back from the brink of a Bud Light-like, company-wrecking disaster. I speak of the Tractor Supply turn-around. I should like to have been eavesdropping in the C-level suite of Tractor Supply’s headquarters, when everyone concerned there realized that going all out for progressive causes like DEI/DIE, the Pride Mafia and open borders was about as popular with their rural and suburban fly-over country market demographic as a case of genital warts. I would assume that the meeting where they realized “Oh-krep-on-a-biscuit-we-gotta put a stop to it now before we lose our phony-baloney jobs!” was pretty epic.

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Takin’ Care of Business

Months ago in a Facebook comment thread populated by those sorts who glorify trade unionism, I conjured the following scenario: in an office setting, employees show up to work one day and find that some sort of Rapture has whisked away the world’s managers. Focusing on one single company, what are the repercussions? The responses were unanimous: nothing would change, the workers would continue to do their jobs. This illustrates a prejudice common to the left and foundational to Marxism, the notion that managers don’t really do anything.

One of my chief criticisms of public education is that it neglects to teach the workings of the business world in general. This was evident even before the ’60s counterculture took over the education establishment. I’ve long felt that comprehensive instruction on how various industries function should start at least as early as the beginning of junior high school (which my Protestant self unintentionally coincided with bar mitzvah age).

My initial concern was that too many adolescents grow up with insufficient knowledge of the business world to make rational career choices. Career development should not start with a trip to the guidance counselor’s office in 12th grade, or (like me) with a vague notion that computers are the future so a degree in computer programming should be pursued. (Demonstrating that “career” and “careen” have the same root word, I never worked in programming, and wound up in monitoring an ATM network.) There’s another vital ingredient to finding vocational direction that the classroom setting cannot facilitate: learning and discovering one’s individual talents. That rests on personal relationships.

Aside from benefits to career development, better education about the world of commerce also breaks down misconceptions about managers, other professions, and various types of businesses.

The Rainbow Limit – A Personal Rant

Here we are, only a bare week and a half into “Pride Month” and I’m already tired of it all – triggered by an email for a fabric and interior decorating store that I did subscribe to and don’t anymore. Yes, they sent me an email advertising their assortment of Pride-themed fabrics and that’s when my last nerve was stomped on, metaphorically, with hobnailed boots. A small thing … but it hit my limit of toleration. Mainstream commercial retail has been doing this – Target stores being the example which comes most often to mind. I can only assume that their leadership gets a nice warm fuzzy feeling over catering to a miniscule minority while annoying the heck out of a larger segment of the purchasing public.

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Walking through my own neighborhood this week, I was reflecting on norms – not this Norm, but the established, accepted and socially-enforced norms make a neighborhood like mine a rather pleasant, secure and safe place to live, as well as being mildly attractive. We really don’t have to worry, even now, about plants and ornaments routinely being stolen, vandalism or random violence. Such incidents do happen, as noted on Next Door – but are not routine and are cause for much comment when they occur.

The accepted norms and standards for housekeeping and public behavior make for a pleasant and livable community, especially in a high-trust society. When violation of the established norms becomes routine – that becomes grounds for unhappiness and worse, especially in the minds of those who remember and valued the old, high-trust norms. There aren’t many ways to fight back effectively against a collapse of high-trust norms and the rule of law, other than moving away, or socially shunning the offenders. The English Daily Mail offered up an example of a community fighting back, this week.

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