Some Questions That I would Like To Ask Peter Strozk

I was watching the hearings with Special Agent Peter Strzok and some questions come to mind. That is if the all so convenient FBI council would let him. Frankly if I were Director Wray at this point my orders would be to give the joint committee everything. The longer that the FBI stalls, the worse it’s going to get for the FBI. If heads must roll at this point, the heads must roll and the faster it gets done the better it will be for the FBI and the country. If things go too much longer the FBI’s reputation, what is left of it, as a viable law enforcement institution will be essentially gone. All the talk operations and ongoing investigations at this point is nothing more than a very tattered cover for something that is truly ugly.

With that in mind, here are my questions.

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The Toxic Workplace

This is a chapter in a book project that I have started about the current state of how the job search and hiring processes are working:

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What Gets Forgotten

I hope I can keep this from being too personal and whiny. While many of the trends I’m going to talk about this post affect me personally, I am hardly the only one in my predicament.  In fact the evidence is that far too many men my age are in my situation, one way or another and we collectively can’t see a way out.

The true and harsh fact is that society and the establishment has essentially written men my age off and doesn’t seem to understand the consequences for the future of doing that.  Even when those consequences get rammed down the establishments throat like they did in the last election. What the establishment needs to understand is that people my age are hurting badly, can’t seem to get any reasonable control over our lives and feel cheated by a government and culture that’s looking to take everything it can from us and leave us as little as possible.

What is missing from the current debate about Obamacare is that the people who elected Trump want Obamacare repealed not because they want to deny healthcare to people but because they see Obamacare, and Dodd Frank, as the latest in a long series of enacted policies that come between them and an active working productive life.  The fact is that they are right about those policies and the consequences of those policies.

his piece “Bluexit: A Modern Proposal for Separating Blue States From Red,” self-described “Blue State Patriot” Kevin Baker lays out his case for states doing their own thing within the structure of a pared-down Union. “We’ll turn Blue America into a world-class incubator for progressive programs and policies, a laboratory for a guaranteed income and a high-speed public rail system and free public universities,” writes Baker. “We’ll focus on getting our own house in order, while [the red states’ house] falls into disrepair and ruin.”

Though his piece drips with coastal elitism, it does offer a glimmer of hope that liberals might someday be persuaded to return to the system that our Founders intended—federalism. They’ll do it for their own selfish reasons, of course, but I won’t look this gift horse in the mouth.

I suspect that Baker’s change of heart might have something to do with last November’s election or with the elections of 1994, 2010, and 2014 which he mentions explicitly as “staggering defeats.” Clearly, his embrace of federalism is self-serving. The leviathan federal government suited him just fine until he lost control of it. Now it’s a menace.

Yet my heart sings with joy to hear an elitist New Republic writer say,

“So: What are we in Blue America going to do about it?…For starters, we now endorse cutting the federal income tax to the bone—maybe even…abolishing it altogether. We will raise our state and local taxes accordingly to pay for anything we might need or want. We ask nothing more from you and your federal government. Nothing for infrastructure, or housing, or the care of the poor and sick—not that you gave us much, anyway. All we want is our money, and you can keep yours, dollar for dollar.”

That sounds fantastic! It’s how America was supposed to work and how it largely did work until the Progressive Era.

Kevin Baker argues that the federal compact has been a raw deal for most blue states because they’re wealthier and pay more into the system than they get out. He prattles on with invective, bashing Mississippians for example, and their “sucking at the federal teet.” The picture he paints of red state America is one of despair, a place that needs the coasts a lot more than the coasts need them.

The argument is not entirely unconvincing. The South has more than its fair share of social problems and a small class of big earners, focused mostly in New York and LA, shoulder an enormous portion of the tax burden. Still, there are both charming places and hellholes in red states and blue states alike.

I don’t want to put words in Baker’s mouth but he seems to be saying that liberals have been “voting against their own economic interests” for a very long time. That phrase has been en vogue among liberals since Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” was published in 2004, though liberals more often apply it to their opponents than to themselves. Baker uses that exact phrase in a remark directed at conservative America:

“Go ahead, keep on voting against your own economic interests to satisfy your need to control other people’s bodies, sex lives, and recreational habits. We’ll be creating cities and states that will defend gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, and sensible gun control against your intrusive federal judiciary.”

In a previous column I argued that voting for one’s quote-unquote “economic interests” has become Democrat code for voting for handouts. Voting for one’s real economic interests means voting for jobs, which the Democrats seem intent on destroying.

A telling example can be found in rural Owsley County, Kentucky, which happens to be very Republican and very white. Precisely because of its demographics liberals love to point out (correctly) that Owsley is America’s most welfare-addicted county. The jobs are gone and its dwindling population is hanging on by their fingernails. But what happened to those jobs? According to one article, “The decline in the profits from coal, tobacco and lumber industries led to a harsh toll being taken on the community.”

It’s hard to think of three industries that liberals have tried harder to strangle. Hillary Clinton even promised on the campaign trail that she would “put a lot of…coal miners out of business.” President Obama didn’t just talk about it, he did it. With Owsley County’s three most vital industries effectively banished, welfare became the people’s consolation prize. Now liberal politicians wonder why the victims of their policies don’t vote for their “economic interests.” Answer: they do. They’re still smarting over the purposeful annihilation of their livelihoods and I don’t blame them.

… What strikes me about Baker’s “Bluexit” proposal is its unguardedness. The author comes perilously close to admitting that the aim of liberal social policy since FDR has not been to lift people up but to buy their votes. Rarely do liberals speak with such candor. More often they try to disguise their agenda as altruism. Under no circumstances should we allow them to get away with this. Liberals don’t have big hearts; they have an insidious agenda and they never stop pushing it.

The reason the federal government has its fingers in everything from home mortgages to school lunches has nothing to do with compassion. The liberals who dreamed up these schemes couldn’t care less if you have a home or if your kids get to eat; what they want is to be able to control the states and the people by threatening to withhold funds.

And they want these people to show some gratitude as well, preferably in the form of ballots cast for the Democratic Party, each one a little thank you note. Kevin Baker basically admits this …

Baker is merely venting the hurt feelings of a coastal elitist who thought he had a deal with the red states until they failed to uphold up their end of it. The deal was simple: the South, the Midwest, and the Rocky Mountain states would accept money from the federal government and in turn its people would become reliable liberal Democrats. These people would be expected to prostitute their sacred votes, and to abandon their values, their way of life, and their integrity in exchange for infrastructure investment and direct handouts. This is essentially the approach the Democrats took with poor urban blacks and they’re upset that it hasn’t worked as well with poor rural whites.

The problem with the Democrats plan is that it’ slowly killing the country.

What is killing poor less educated whites? Deaths from despair are largely increasing due drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholic-related liver mortality. In addition, Case and Deaton note that declines in heart disease and cancer have also slowed considerably. They suggest that increases in obesity and diabetes can also account for some the increase in mortality among whites. Although Case and Deaton don’t mention it, the incidence of cancer is associated with obesity.

They report that this increase in mortality among less educated American whites began in the southwest, where it was centered in 2000, and then spread first to Appalachia, Florida and the west coast by the mid-2000s, and is now country-wide. It is now both an urban and a rural epidemic.

So why are less educated whites poisoning themselves to death with drugs, alcohol and sugar? They outline a process of cumulative deprivation beginning after the 1970s that is rooted in the steady deterioration in job opportunities for people with low education. Men with less economic prospects became less marriageable resulting in single-motherhood becomingthe norm. Declining economic opportunities also coincided with the erosion of traditional community structures that provided meaning and stabilty for many poor folks. Case and Deaton cite data suggesting that “half of the men who are out of the labor force are taking pain medication, and two thirds of those take prescription painkiller, such as opioids.”

Case and Deaton assert that reversing this increase in white working class mortality will not be easy, but suggest that one first step toward ameliorating this sad situation would be to rein in the proliferation of opioid prescriptions.

Of course honest Democrats don’t seem to care very much about the plight of people they would rather discard.

Sorry, not sorry. These people are not worthy of any sympathy. They have run around for decades bitching about poor minorities not “working hard enough,” or that their situation is “their own fault.” Well guess what? It’s not so great when it’s you now, is it? Bunch of deplorables, and if they die quicker than the rest of us that just means the country will be better off in the long run.”

“Is it bad news or good news? Middle aged undereducated white Americans are Donald Trump’s base. They brought us this clown and ensuing insanity.
It’s bad news they are dying off if you happen to love one of them or are one of them. But, it’s the welcome news of hope that without that demographic dwindling and eventually gone, our chances of another Trump are significantly less.
Now that’s good news.”

“maybe they should takt the advice they used to give minorities, take responsibilty and pull up your boot straps,only when it’s your boot straps you find it’s not so easy as a sound byte.”

“Hey as long as those white people keep voting republican they will continue to die off…..
How stupid could you be….”

“I don’t see much profit in planning on them ever voting democrat. However, there can be progress in forcing them to eat the shit they’ve been feeding other people for so long.”

“I for one have little sympathy for these despairing whites. If they can’t compete against people of color when everything has been rigged in their favor, then there’s really no help for them. Trump and his G(r)OPers will do little to elevate their lot. If anything, these poor whites will be hired to dig grave pits and assemble their own coffins.”

“They have every know advantage in America; culturally, environmentally, educationally, etc. There is absolutely no reason that they should be in such despair. They should pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”

“As long as it only affected minorities, whether it was jobs, drugs, or a decent life it was an non issue. We were told by these very people that we were being to sensitive and not really trying to get a job, or the worst bs of all that we just wanted to have a free handout rather than ever work a real job. Well you know what, karma is a bitch and if these people choose to continue to vote Republican and try to deny other from attaining the American dream, they deserve no better than what they are getting!”

“Wow! You’re really going to sit on your unearned perch of white privilege and tell us, US?, people of color that WE? are standing above them and “sneering down” at them. These people are the white racist who voted in a white racist as president. And you want us to look upon our oppressors as victims? And seriously you show your own arrogant racism with your whitesplaining ‘splaining?” comment. You’ve got some serious nerve trying to use our own terms against us in a blind bid to have us feel sorry for the vile racist oppressors of this so called society.”

“I agree it’s sad. And likely it is due to the collapse of the structure they built based on entitlement. Males of other races have had the same challenges the whole time, and have been told to suck it up buttercup. Time for these guys to take a dose of the same medicine they’ve been doling out for years.”

“Those numbers ain’t even real. They are made up by the white supremacist power structure to make the over privileged oppressors look like some kind of victim. It’s sick, and disgusting. It’s the same kind of crap they do with crime statistics. They try to make us, POC, the victims of white hate and oppression for centuries. Look like the criminal minded victimizers and the racist white power structure {ie the white population from top to bottom, upper, middle and lower class alike} look like victims.”

“One feels maybe a modicum of sympathy for those “white, poorly educated, middle-age Americans”. One does not wish for one’s fellow citizens to suffer. But, those same “white, poorly educated middle age Americans” need to own up to their responsibility, if not complicity, in their own predicament. This is what happens when you vote for Republicans to public office. Republicans are a disease, a pestilence, a cancer on the American body politic. Republicans do not give one goddam whit about “white, poorly educated, middle age Americans”. Republicans only care about their wealthy, corporate benefactors. Republicans only care about inflicting harm and suffering on everyone who is not elite or wealthy. Stop voting Republicans into office. Start voting in people who have your best interests in heart and at hand. Otherwise, continue to feel this despair white America. Republicans will NEVER help you overcome your economic plight.”

“In the 60 ‘s &, 70 ‘s these people didn’t have to compete for jobs .they got jobs because they were white even when blacks were more ,qualified. .
Now it’s a knowledge economy and more minorities are getting higher education. .For years these same people voted against their own interests by voting Republican.. No they’re reaping what they sow.”

“Difficult to have any sympathy when My coverage is threatened because ignorant white trash are too stupid to know that the ACA and Evil Obamacare are the same thing. The factories closed down forty years ago. If you didn’t leave Detroit or Erie or Kentucky as I did to stay current you need blame no one but yourself.”

“This is where standing around basking in white privilege and chanting USA! USA! USA! when presented with differing and challenging opinions for decades has taken them. You have to go out and make things happen for yourself, change jobs and even move if necessary to make a better life sometimes. Nobody who wasn’t born straight and white fails to understand this. These people would rather project their own failures and shortcomings onto minority groups, buying into myths about non-existent welfare queens and trickle-down economics and all of the other snake oil sold by the right and wallow in nostalgia over how “great” (for them) everything was in the 1950s when they could pull themselves into the 21st century.”

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They should be. Because the country really cannot afford to lose any income right now if the precious entitlements need to be sustained. Instead the Democrats seem all too willing to laugh at the misery, addiction and death, if the people doing the dying are not democrats.

Democrats in a public, political meeting cheer and laugh at the mention of the increased number of white men committing suicide.

The speaker says, maybe I should not say this in public, but when I heard more White men are committing suicide, I almost said “yeah, great!”.

But he does say it, and the crowd likes it, as he knew they would.

The speaker knows that he is talking about a group that has no organized capacity to oppose his despicable, dehumanizing, eliminationist hate speech. Attacking those who are not (yet) organized to resist is easy and fun.

About which other ethno-cultural community is it permitted to laugh and clap when they die by their own hands in larger numbers?

The despair that leads to this horrible increase in suicides is a gauge of the success of the policies the people in this video espouse. They are jeering over a defeated enemy. So for this crowd laughter and clapping is appropriate.

Every other group in American life is now self-consciously tribal, and mobilized to respond to any grievance, real or imaginary.

As noted elsewhere, liberal whites who believe themselves to be post-tribal cosmopolitans are merely a very wealthy and very powerful tribe, with their own rituals of recruitment and exclusion, who smugly believes themselves entitled to rule others.

The last group to self-consciously form a tribe will be non-liberal, lesser-educated, lower status white males. This will happen, and is happening, out of self-defense. This is a very large group. They do not think it is funny when they and their friends, neighbors, classmates, military buddies, coworkers, sons, brothers, fathers, people like them, are reduced to hopelessness and commit suicide in increasing numbers.

The younger members of this group, young white men, the generation aged 30 or so and under, are not easily shamed by accusations of political correctness. They see where this is going. This younger cohort is taking, and will take, the initiative.

The balkanization of America is moving along at an accelerating rate. There is only one domino left. The groups which have been directing their animosity against an inert and un-reacting mass will probably be shocked when they have finally awakened something that can and will push back.

Democrats who disagree with this kind of thinking and this kind of speech should insist that it stop. It is destructive, and it is even bad for their electoral prospects. But they won’t stop it. It is apparently intensely satisfying to enjoy the warmth of in-group solidarity, including expressing contempt for the disdained “other”, including laughing when they die in increasing numbers.

“A lot of white men are committing suicide. Yeah, great” And they all laughed. Presumably they thought that they were immune from the effect and consequences of all those white men committing suicide. Or for that matter all the white, and every other race for that matter, because what’s happening does not play race favorites, out of work and dealing with an unfeeling world.  All those men are not making money. which means that, it my numbers are right, there are possibly as many 20 million incomes that are not paying taxes into the treasury.  All you Democrats, laughing, how do you think you are going to pay for those programs you like with money that never exists.  They don’t seem to understand that where Garbutt goes the rest of the country will soon follow.

What isn’t seen by Democrats is what the consequences of the lost income as a result of money not being made and economic growth that doesn’t happen. This is Bastiat’s broken window theorem on a national scale. The unseen hand of investment never happened that decade after decade has been slowly draining the economy has collapsed America’s prosperity and we are seeing the consequences.

We have a state and society that has harnessed the forgotten man, the man who pays to the wheel of social need and then starved him nearly to death.  But the harness works both ways and those who imagine that they hold the upper hand are as bound to the wheel as the forgotten man is. Because the rents that depend on are bits and traces of the harness that bind the rentier to the wheel as well. Stolen wealth effects both the robbed and the robber. With less wealth  the robbed suffer, but the robber never feels the adequacy of being able to function  on his own merits.  Rents and taxes are a cancer that infects a society and inevitably slowly kills it.

I posted about Garbutt last year and to the people in the shiny city in the swamp by the Potomac it may seem like Garbutt is far away in thought, if not in distance.  The cracks in society are everywhere, though and there is no escaping the  decay.  The inevitable truth is that you can’t tax what doesn’t exist and eventually there is no more money to borrow.

The crisis of debt and spending killing the economy and society literally is here now.  Tax cuts, and deep ones, very deep budget cuts and massive deregulation of the financial and productive parts of the economy need to happen sooner rather than later.  Otherwise the numbers say that the death spiral of the economy as government tries to collect ever diminishing rents and taxes to pay ever larger beneficiaries means that ever larger chunks of the economy start to look like Detroit.  And that is not a joke.