The Churches That Refused to Kneel (Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks)

This week Dennis met with Rob McCoy, the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Godspeak. His church was one of a handful of churches who opened their doors without any COVID restrictions, despite the threat of fines from the local government. Tune into this very moving episode.

“It Was Me…” | The Fallen Soldier

Others have made the ultimate sacrifice so that you could be free. Remember them—today, and always. A moving tribute, written and narrated by former Navy SEAL and author Jocko Willink.


…It Was Them…


While the speeches and cartoons are perfect for this Memorial Day… they do not express the loss persons individually feel that express our Nation’s loss through their pain. Pray for the families of the fallen, always.


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A few of the below are from the same heroes funeral,

a link to the story is in the pictures




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The Myth of Voter Suppression

There must be A LOT of racist black and brown people out there:

Thirty-six states have enacted some form of voter ID law, but those laws would be nullified if the Senate approves H.R. 1, which passed the House on a party-line vote. Critics say H.R. 1 “would force states to allow anyone to vote who simply signs a form saying that they are who they claim they are.

[….]

Support for voter ID laws has actually increased since 2018, when 67% said voters should be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans support voter ID requirements, as do 60% of Democrats and 77% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

[….]

Democrats have claimed that voter ID laws discriminate against black voters and other minorities, but voters reject that claim by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Sixty percent (60%) say laws requiring photo identification at the polls don’t discriminate, while 31% say voter ID laws do discriminate. Ten percent said they are not sure.

A majority of Democrats (51%) say voter ID laws are discriminatory, while 79% of Republicans and 67% of unaffiliated voters say requiring identification at the polls is not discriminatory.

Majorities of whites (74%), blacks (69%) and other minorities (82%) say voters should be required to show photo identification before being allowed to vote. Voters under 40 support voter ID laws more than do older voters….

 

(RASMUSSEN)

An AMI HOROWITZ flashback:

POWERLINE has a great way of making important points concisely in their shorter articles. So I will grab their full article as I think it is important:

ASKING FOR ID VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION?

America’s institutions have gone mad, with organizations like Delta and Major League Baseball lining up to oppose sensible election integrity measures, in particular identification requirements that can help prevent voter fraud. Of course, if you pick up tickets at a major league will-call window, you will have to present identification. And no one can board a Delta flight without a driver’s license, passport or other ID. But no one has ever accused liberals of being consistent.

The Babylon Bee is, as InstaPundit puts it, America’s Paper of Record. The Bee takes seriously liberals’ claim that requiring identification is a civil rights violation: “Gun Shop Asks For ID In Clear Case Of 2nd Amendment Suppression.”

MACON, GA—In a clear case of targeted 2nd Amendment suppression, the clerk behind the counter at Yippee Kay Yay Firearms has asked a gun purchaser to show his identification.

“You don’t need to see my identification,” said store patron Willard VonCarlton, who was trying to purchase a shotgun and a revolver. “I’m an American! It’s my God-given right to own a firearm!”

The clerk was unmoved. “Yeah I get all that, I just need to verify you are the same guy written on this paperwork,” he said.

“RACISM!” said VonCarlton. “You assumed I have an ID just from looking at me? Stereotype much? How are you even sure I know how to get an ID?”

“I’ll tell you what this is– SUPPRESSION!” he continued. “You don’t want me to be able to defend myself! My 2nd Amendment will not be infringed! This is a HATE CRIME!”

That argument is at least as good as the ones Delta, MLB and others have made against the Georgia election integrity law. But gun buyers, unlike lefties, are generally sane. Thus:

According to witnesses, the clerk sighed and said: “Please, just show me your driver’s license, sir.”

“OK, fine.”

But leftists have never said “OK, fine” to anything.

JASON RILEY

Do Republicans win elections by preventing minorities from voting? The Left says yes, but the data says no. Jason Riley, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, settles the argument with hard evidence, separating fact from fiction.

LARRY ELDER (GEORGIA)

No evidence whatsoever that these are in fact voting suppression measures!

Wealth Inequality in America – Critiques On Inequality

(UPDATED w/ Armstrong and Getty [3-24-2021])

Armstrong and Getty read from and discuss a bit an article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL entitled: The myth of American inequality (https://tinyurl.com/ymy5rjz9). Unfortunately the article is behind a pay-wall… but PECKFORD 42 has it for reading.

(UPDATED April 2014 and Today: 12-27-2020)

The below video is a “pop-culture” challenge to an economic principle that if the free-markets are left to choose (free contractual trade for services between people in the supply-and-demand market) would allow the most people to succeed as the innate abilities of people and the market can bare:

Prager University notes that “INEQUALITY IS GOOD”

What if everything you’ve heard about income inequality is wrong? What if it’s actually a good thing for there to be people who are rich and people who aren’t? John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets, clarifies one of the big misunderstandings of our time.

If you want a quick dealing with this instead of the more thoughtful look below, here is one excellent quickie:

Politicians and reporters often rail about “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.” In fact, the incomes of poor and middle-income Americans are up 32% since the government began keeping track several decades ago (The Distribution of Household Income [CBO] – PDF). Yes, that increase is adjusted for inflation. Another misleading claim, says Stossel, is the idea that the U.S. “no longer has economic mobility.” But a paper in The Quarterly Journal of Economics found that most people born to the richest fifth of Americans fall out of that bracket within 20 years. (Table 2)) Likewise, most born to the poorest fifth climb to a higher quintile. Some climb all the way to the top.

AEI has a good critique of the video challenge at the top, I will follow this by a video response by Lee Doren:

A video titled Wealth Inequality in America has gone viral on the Internet, it’s up to almost four million views on YouTube. It’s not clear who produced it, and it’s not clear what solution is being proposed to the “problem” of wealth inequality identified in the video. What is clear is that it’s another fallacious, static analysis of wealth distribution that focuses only on abstract, statistical brackets at a given point in time, while completely disregarding the most important point: what is happening to actual flesh-and-blood human beings whose income and wealth change all the time and who are moving among the various abstract statistical brackets from year to year.

In the video above titled “What Wasn’t Said in ‘Wealth Inequality In America,’” Steve Horwitz responds to the Wealth Inequality video and reminds us that the most important issue is not what abstract statistical bracket people fall into in a given year, but rather the degree of income or wealth mobility from year to year. It’s an important point, and one that’s completely overlooked in the viral video.

Thomas Sowell has discussed extensively the issues of static versus dynamic analysis of wealth and income distributions, and income and wealth mobility, and here are some of his quotes as an antidote to the limited, static “analysis” of wealth inequality presented in the viral video:

1. Comparing the top income bracket with the bottom income bracket over a period of years tells you nothing about what is happening to the actual flesh-and-blood human beings who are moving between brackets during those years. Following trends among income brackets over the years creates the illusion of following people over time. But the only way to follow people is to follow people.  Source  

2. Sports statistics are kept in a much more rational way than statistics about political issues. Have you ever seen statistics on what percentage of the home runs over the years have been hit by batters hitting in the .320s versus batters hitting in the .280s or the .340s? Not very likely. Such statistics would make no sense, because different batters are in these brackets from one year to the next. You wouldn’t be comparing  people, you would be comparing abstractions and mistaking those abstractions for people.

But, in politics and in commentaries on political issues, people talk incessantly about how “the top one percent” of income earners are  getting more money or how the “bottom 20 percent” are falling behind. Yet the turnover in income brackets over a decade is at least as great  as the turnover in batting average brackets.  Source  

3. Only by focusing on the income brackets, instead of the actual people moving between those brackets, have the intelligentsia been able to verbally create a “problem” for  which a “solution” is necessary. They have created a powerful vision of  “classes” with “disparities” and “inequities” in income, caused by  “barriers” created by “society.” But the routine rise of millions of  people out of the lowest quintile over time makes a mockery of the  “barriers” assumed by many, if not most, of the intelligentsia.” Source 

4. Most people are not even surprised any more when they hear about someone who came here from Korea or Vietnam with very little money, and very little knowledge of English, who nevertheless persevered and rose in American society. Nor are we surprised when their children excel in school and go on to professional careers. Yet, in utter disregard of such plain facts, so-called “social scientists” do studies which conclude that America is no longer a land of opportunity, and that upward mobility is a “myth.” Source 

5. Most working Americans who were initially in the bottom 20 percent of income-earners, rise out of that bottom 20 percent. More of them end up in the top 20 percent than remain in the bottom 20 percent. People who were initially in the bottom 20 percent in income have had the highest rate of increase in their incomes, while those who were initially in the top 20 percent have had the lowest. This is the direct opposite of the pattern found when following income brackets over time, rather than following individual people. Source 

6. Most of the media publicize what is happening to the statistical brackets — especially that “top one percent” — rather than what is happening to individual people. Source 

Here is Lee’s response (Preserved by me!)

Lee Doren has a passion for public speaking, being the youngest speaker to lecture for the Ronald Reagan Political Lecture Series at Oberlin College. He has given speeches in Annapolis, Maryland on the Bill of Rights and at the U.S. Capitol for the 9/12 March on Washington. He has been invited to lecture at The Cato Institute, The Institute for Energy Research, the Young Britons’ Foundation in the United Kingdom, the State Policy Network and Lehigh University. He has also provided commentary for Fox News, CNN, Reuters, PBS and Air America.

I would recommend the following articles for further reading:


  1. YouTube Wealth Inequality Video Fails to Tell the Whole Story (Policy Mic);
  2. Why Inequality Doesn’T Matter: At Least Not Income Inequality (The Federalist);
  3. Inequality Fallacies: The Left Gets The Facts Wrong On Economic And Racial Disparities (National Review Online);
  4. Income Inequality Deception (Forbes);
  5. Dispelling Myths About Income Inequality (Forbes);
  6. The Five Biggest Myths About Income Inequality (Forbes);
  7. The Income-Inequality Myth: Reports Of Skyrocketing Incomes For The Wealthy And Stagnating Wages For The Rest Are Unfounded (National Review Online);
  8. The American Dream of Income Equality Still Lives (Scientific American);
  9. Debunking The Top Three Myths About Income Inequality (CNBC);
  10. Inequality Myths (CATO).
  11. Five Myths About Economic Inequality In America (CATO)

(This portion can also be found in the “Rich Get Richer/Poor Get Poorer” Mantra.) Larry Elder notes when this “widening” happened the most:

Here are some myth busting to help the layman researcher get more facts to respond to the pop-politics we run-across in our social media lifestyle. Investors Business Daily makes some key points that are hard to ignore:

Income Inequality Rose Most Under President Clinton

But it turns out that the rich actually got poorer under President Bush, and the income gap has been climbing under Obama.

What’s more, the biggest increase in income inequality over the past three decades took place when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.

The wealthiest 5% of U.S. households saw incomes fall 7% after inflation in Bush’s eight years in office, according to an IBD analysis of Census Bureau data. A widely used household income inequality measure, the Gini index, was essentially flat over that span. Another inequality gauge, the Theil index, showed a decline.

In contrast, the Gini index rose — slightly — in Obama’s first two years. Another Census measure of inequality shows it’s climbed 5.7% since he took office.

Meanwhile, during Clinton’s eight years, the wealthiest 5% of American households saw their incomes jump 45% vs. 26% under Reagan. The Gini index shot up 6.7% under Clinton, more than any other president since 1980

[….]

As University of Michigan economist Mark Perry notes, while the income gap has grown since 1979, almost the entire increase occurred before the mid-1990s: “There is absolutely no statistical support for the commonly held view that income inequality has been rising recently.”

A similar analysis found that income inequality has fallen among individuals since the early 1990s, but risen among households due to factors such as more marriages of people with similar education levels and earnings potential.

Others argue that income mobility matters more than equality.

One study found that more than half of the families who started in the lowest income bracket in 1996 had moved to a higher one by 2005. At the other end of the spectrum, more than 57% of families fell out of the top 1%.

…read more…

Another smaller post points out nearly the same:

Busting The 1% Vs. 99% Myth

The left says current levels of income inequality echo the late 1920s and the Gilded Age. They’ve zeroed in on the richest 1%, citing Census Bureau data showing these top earners “grabbing” more income than the bottom 90%.

But the census stats are misleading.

For one, they are a snapshot of income distribution at a single point in time. Yet income is not static. It changes over time. Low-paying jobs from early adulthood give way to better-paying jobs later in life.

And income groups in America are not fixed. There’s no caste system here, really no such thing even as a middle “class.” The poor aren’t stuck in poverty. And the rich don’t enjoy lifetime membership in an exclusive club.

A 2007 Treasury Department study bears this out. Nearly 58% of U.S. households in the lowest-income quintile in 1996 moved to a higher level by 2005. The reverse also held true. Of those households that were in the top 1% in income in 1996, more than 57% dropped to a lower-income group by 2005.

Every day in America, the poor join the ranks of the rich, and the rich fall out of comfort.

So even if income equality is increasing, it does not mean income mobility is decreasing. There is still a great deal of movement in and out of the richest and poorest groups in America.

…read more…

No Past, No Future (1619 Project and Destroying Statues)

Can we judge the past by the standards of the present? Many seem intent on proving not only that we can, but that we must. Social critic Douglas Murray doesn’t agree, and he explains why in this thought-provoking video.

Be Brave – Nikki Haley

[BTW, she is my choice for Prez] Free speech and intellectual freedom are the civil rights issues of our time. Are you ready to defend them? That’s the question that former US Ambassador Nikki Haley poses in this challenging video.

There Is No Apolitical Classroom (Political Indoctrination)

Do you know what’s going on in your kid’s school? The three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic – have taken a back seat to a fourth R. Max Eden, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explains what that fourth R is, and why it’s so destructive.

Note my growing stories on IBRAM X. KENDI.

COUNTER NARRATIVE!

Renowned political science professor Carol Swain started out life with every possible disadvantage. She ended up teaching at two of the most prestigious universities in the country. How did she do it? She shares her story and her wisdom in this inspiring video.


FLASHBACK


I get “Whitesplained” to about white privilege by snowflakes!

(Posted late 2015)

I posted this earlier this morning as part of a LARGER POST… but it deserved to stand alone:

The above is somewhat — already — true:

This (the above and below) comes from EAG.org, here is part of the post by them, which can be linked to below:

EAGnews has previously reported about the social justice math activists’ tricks in a book called “Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers,” edited by Peterson.

The book includes “lessons and essays about racial profiling, environmental racism, unfair mortgage lending practices of Big Banks, the ‘overabundance of liquor stores’ in minority communities, and slave-owning U.S. presidents,” EAGnews’ Ben Velderman wrote.

“The book’s other major theme is that capitalism’s unequal distribution of wealth is the root cause of the world’s suffering. Students learn to despise free market economics in lessons about third-world sweatshops, ‘living wage’ laws, the earnings of fast food workers and restaurant CEOs, and the ‘hidden’ costs of meat production,” Velderman reported.

In the book, Peterson explains his rationale for attacking the American narrative:

“I figure that if kids start questioning the ‘official story’ early on, they will be more open to alternative viewpoints later on. While discovering which presidents were slave owners is not an in-depth analysis, it pokes an important hole in the godlike mystique that surrounds the ‘founding fathers.’”

Unionists now can’t even leave math alone and have hijacked it to push their own political agenda.

Thank goodness a growing number of parents have access to charter schools, cyberschools, voucher schools and homeschools – all of which provide an alternative to government schools, many of which have been infiltrated by left-wing activists like Lewis and Peterson.

(EAG NEWS)

Another example can be found in this story (there are too many to note here): Physics Teacher Develops Unit About Racism, White Privilege, Social Justice

See also:

During this interview, the “individual” came up. Why is this important? Because in totalitarian movements the individual is extinguished (which is opposite of our countries [the USA] documents). Below are some quotes from the socialist movement in Germany as an example. Here are the four parts mentioned in the above interview:

Why is the individual “being lambasted” (as mentioned above) important?

Hitler noted that his task was to “convert the German Yolk to socialism  without simply killing off the old individualists.” Hitler informed Wagener that the task was to “find and travel the road from individualism to socialism without revolution.” Hitler also admitted that Marx and Lenin had the right goal, but the wrong route.

[….]

Even the school textbooks were heavily peppered with opinions which exhibited a strong bias against free enterprise and capitalism. For example, a 1943 geography textbook stated: “Until the National Socialist takeover, the German economy followed the principles of economic liberalism, which held that a nation’s economy could develop irrespective of its natural economic foundations. If the National Socialist economic plan was to be successful in reviving the German economy, all participants in economic life had to be convinced of National Socialist economic thinking. In the economy too, the guiding principle had to be: The common good comes before the individual good.”

Nevin Gussack, The NAZI War Against Capitalism (Self Published, can order on Amazon), 10, 26.

The reason I got the above book is because of some comments by Bernie Sanders, and the fact that Hillary’s voting record is as leftist as this self-avowed democrat-socialist (which the NAZI’s were). Democrats like Bernie, even having Ronda Rousey coming out in support of. I recalled this quote from a biography of Hitler I read:

  • “We are socialists, we are ene­mies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” — Hitler

One may wish to read my “SCANDINAVIAN SOCIALISM” post for more info on Nordic socialism’s failure.

(See also: 128 ‘Artists And Cultural Leaders’ Sign Open Letter Endorsing Bernie Sanders)

Biden’s Regulatory Administration

A motto for this strain:

A friend and I had a quick soiree that was based off of my OP (original post) that read thus:

BIG TECH PURGE: Facebook permanently bans Conservative #WalkAway group because it supported Trump

Just as we said they would, Facebook is using the Capitol riot as an excuse to begin purging conservatives from their platform, especially the ones who supported President Trump:

(MORE AT RIGHT SCOOP)

All conservatives are being treated as pariah… this is only the beginning. Already a majority of Democrats believe Trump and Republicans are “racist/bigoted/sexist,” which is why social platforms feel like they can shut down businesses and ban conservative ideas from their platforms. While this maligning is historical:

  • From Ronald Reagan to George H.W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, the Tea Party, the NRA and Republicans everywhere, Democrats have played the race card to tattered, unrecognizable bits. They have all but destroyed the ability to even have a constructive conversation about race. (REVOLUTIONARY ACT)

The difference is you have an entire generation raised on the government tit being taught “critical race theory” in some way that truly believe we are Hitlerian in some way. Thus, “deplatforming” conservatives is thought of as being on the side of angels. Even banks have “redlined” conservatives (WALL STREET JOURNAL). (See also my post where I note the tribalism is being created by deplatforming.)

Like telling Jews they cannot do business in society. The storefront is literal as well as digital in today’s world. Conservatives are the current bogeyman:

  • 49% of Democrats think Trump voters are racist — July 2019
  • 83% of Democrats think Trump is racist — June 2020

Here is the conversation with some visual editing for increased access. I post a Rick Wilson Tweet to remind Jim of the people he admires and how far from being a “Reaganite” [whom Jim invoked] he and his peeps are, as, he is a fan of the Lincoln Project. So, this is where we left off, and really the response after it is for everyone to get a feel for what is coming.

So, my response is simple, Biden and Harris (Harris is the MOST LEFTIST senator available — showing Joe Biden is not moderate. See below as well). And Trump lies, but crowd size and ego building lies is a sign of a politician… and? But Trump’s lies are not equal to the administration Biden was in previously:


LIES


IRAN DEAL & Ben Rhodes:

Remember that time the White House deceived those gullible Americans about the Iran deal? Haha, good times!

That was the undeniable tone of a recent New York Times profile of President Barack Obama‘s national security advisor Ben Rhodes. In the profile, Rhodes goes on at length about his failed attempt to become a novelist, and how he sees his work at the White House as essentially the same kind of storytelling and narrative-weaving. And when crafting his non-fictional storylines involved selling the American people fiction, well, Rhodes was more than up to the task.

Apologies for the long block quote, but it really does need to be read to be believed:

Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency…

In the narrative that Rhodes shaped, the “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, when a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani beat regime “hard-liners” in an election and then began to pursue a policy of “openness,” which included a newfound willingness to negotiate the dismantling of its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The president set out the timeline himself in his speech announcing the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.” While the president’s statement was technically accurate — there had in fact been two years of formal negotiations leading up to the signing of the J.C.P.O.A. — it was also actively misleading, because the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012, many months before Rouhani and the “moderate” camp were chosen in an election among candidates handpicked by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration.

By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making. By eliminating the fuss about Iran’s nuclear program, the administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between the two countries, which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. With one bold move, the administration would effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.

It’d be one thing if the New York Times dug through archives, spoke with anonymous government officials in hushed tones, and independently came to the conclusion that the White House was lying to Americans about the purpose and history behind the Iran deal. That factoid alone ought to be the front page headline in papers across the country rather than consigned to page 44 of the Sunday magazine.

To say nothing of that last paragraph, where we learn that the long-term policy goal of the administration is to “disengage” from Israel and our Arab allies and wash our hands of the Middle East. In line with that policy, the purpose of the Iran deal is not to protect our allies, but to abandon them…..

(MEDIA’ITE | and see TWITCHY)

This old story reminds me of talking to millennial’s who listed to comedy shows as their source of political moral guidance on what is the case in our body politic. Here is the WASHINGTON TIMES noting the gullibility of these younger persons who really haven’t read much or watched much outside of what they had to for their bachelors in literature of psychology or business administration:

Ben Rhodes, the man who majored in creative writing and then ended up the Deputy National Security Adviser for President Obama, told The New York Times about the “echo chamber” he was able to create and feed:

In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. ‘We created an echo chamber,’ [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’

“The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. … They literally know nothing,” Rhodes bragged.

And the know-nothing millennials loved him for it. And, apparently, they still do….

KEEP YOUR DR. & HEALTH CARE PLAN

I don’t know how crowd size compares to that, but let’s continue. Can you name a lie that Trump made that is as big as a lie made to take over a large portion of the economy (one-sixth, some say one-fifth) comparable to Obama/Biden? “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” “If you like your doctor, you can keep him/her.” That was a lie that captured MORE government control of the economy.

POWERLINE has a good link fest to various “Obamacare Lies.”

Calling Trump & Republican’s Hitler

RUSSIA & UKRAINE

MOVIE: The Plot Against the President

For the past two and a half years this nation has been roiled by the incessant drumbeat of accusations that its newly elected President, Donald Trump, was a clandestine agent of Russia and colluded with them to alter the outcome of the 2016 election.  On their face, these accusations were so preposterous that anyone with a modicum of common sense would have thought them totally unbelievable.  

Nonetheless, within 7 months after Trump’s inauguration 54% of all Americans believed he had acted illegally or unethically in his dealings with Russia (80% of Democrats).  Within 14 months after the inauguration 66% of Democrats believed Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Trump elected and 59% accepted the premise that there were improper relations between the Trump campaign and Russia before the 2016 election. 

In what was a staged and unnecessary inquiry, and despite turning over every marginally relevant leaf and conducting a dogged 22-month investigation using partisan prosecutors, Robert Mueller was unable to link Donald Trump or his campaign to even the minutest degree of collusion with the Russian Government.  Nonetheless the drumbeat of lies and insinuations was a major factor in the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in 2018.

The American citizenry now definitively knows that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians during the presidential campaign of 2016.  Further, based on the testimony of Rod Rosenstein and others involved in the Special Counsel probe, the Russians did not tamper with any vote tallies

How were the Democrats, and their allies in the mainstream media able to suspend rationality and manipulate the emotions of so many Americans for so long?  

[….]

From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (791 days), the major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of “collusion” coverage.  During this period no other issue received more than 10% of this level of attention.  Further, the spin of the overall network coverage of Donald Trump was 92% negative. 

Two cable networks, CNN and MSNBC, each devoted, on the average, nearly 2 to 3 hours per day on Trump and Russia collusion, or an estimated 1,978 hours (118,700 minutes) since the inauguration.  Virtually all the coverage was negative with innumerable false and misleading reports, accusations of treason, supposed imminent arrests and the unabashed reporting of any salacious or unproven rumor or allegation. 

The print media went down the same path as their counterparts in the electronic media.  The New York Times and The Washington Post between them published nearly 1,000 front page articles on the subject and had to issue numerous retractions days later after the damage was done.  That process was repeated by news services such as the Associated Press and Reuters, pumping out to its newspaper, radio and television station subscribers throughout the United States daily stories negative to Trump regarding collusion.

On a near daily basis, so-called celebrities in Hollywood and the entertainment establishment unabashedly regurgitated to their untold millions of followers on social media virtually all the false stories and innuendos promulgated by the media and the Democratic Party.

The illegal and unethical maneuvering of the upper echelon of the FBI and Department of Justice immediately after the inauguration to appoint a special counsel added gravitas to the accusations regarding Trump and the Russians, as well as a means of finding anything that would either implicate Donald Trump in any potential criminality, or misbehavior outside of the Russian matter that could lead to impeachment.  Further, their willing accomplices in the media breathlessly reported, without hesitation or confirmation, any leak or innuendo from these same denizens of the deep state.

The Democrats in Congress, undeterred by ethics or the laws of slander and defamation, were free to fabricate or leak stories regarding Russian collusion that were accepted at face value by their allies in the media….

(AMERICAN THINKER)

Hugh Hewitt and Generalissimo Duane read the phone call Trump had with the Ukrainian President. One debunked position people attribute to the call was that President Trump used military aid as a bargaining chip to get what he wanted from Ukraine. However, the far Left magazine, The Nation, notes this about the issue:

  • Democratic leaders and media pundits are convinced that Trump extorted Ukraine by delaying military aid to compel an investigation into Biden. Their theory may prove correct, but the available evidence does not, as of now, make for a strong case. Trump had held up military aid to Ukraine by the time of his call with Zelensky, but if the public transcript is accurate, it did not come up during their conversation. According to The New York Times, Zelensky’s government did not learn that the military aid was frozen until more than one month later. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who met with Zelensky in early September, said that the Ukrainian president “did not make any connection between the aid that had been cut off and the requests that he was getting from [Trump attorney Rudy] Giuliani.” It will be difficult to prove extortion if Trump’s purported target was unaware. (THE NATION)

GLENN BECK has a good reading too:

Another big lie from the Left/Democrats is that Gender is assigned, and not inherent to our nature.

Another charge made over and over by the left — the mainstream media, academia and the Democratic Party — that the Trump election had unleashed an unprecedented amount of anti-Semitism was proved to be yet another left-wing hysteria based on a left-wing lie.

NEWSBUSTERS Notes CNN’s Fareed Zakaria admitting to what I have argued for a long time, that is — if Trump were in cahoots with Putin, whay was he tougher on him than Obama?

“I think in general, there isn’t going to be as much difference as people imagine. The Biden folks are pretty tough on Russia, Iran, North Korea. You know, the dirty little secret about the Trump administration was that while Donald Trump had clearly had a kind of soft spot for Putin, the Trump Administration was pretty tough on the Russians. They armed Ukraine, they armed the Poles. They extended NATO operations and exercises in ways that even the Obama Administration had not done. They maintained the sanctions. So I don’t think it will be that different.”  

Wait a second! It was a “dirty little secret” that Trump was tough on Russia? WHY?? Who kept it a secret and for what purpose?? 

And the obvious answer is that the liberal media/Democrats were intent on pushing Russia Russia Russia. Admitting that President Trump was in fact tough on Russia would undermine that line of attack. And so they buried it: kept it a “dirty little secret.”

See my post: Trump, Tougher On Putin Than Obama


REGULATION


Besides Trump cutting Federal programs, getting rid of regulations that held back small business, factories, and agriculture — he also added t he fewest laws to the Federal Registry:

The Trump administration issued the fewest new regulations during 2019 than in any year since the government began keeping track more than four decades ago, as President Trump cuts away at Obama-era red tape.

The Federal Register for Dec. 31 has published 2,964 final rules in its pages, the lowest number since records began in 1975, said Clyde Wayne Crews, policy vice president of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank.

Mr. Trump’s previous low for new rule-making was 3,281 in 2017.

“It is a notable achievement that all three of the lowest-ever annual rule counts belong to Trump,” Mr. Crews wrote in his blog on Forbes’ website. “This an even more significant development given that some of Trump’s ‘rules’ are rules written to get rid of or replace other rules.”

(WASHINGTON TIMES)

Biden and Harris will outdo themselves to break spending and regulatory records.

FARMERS (WOTUS):

Biden will reimplement regulation that will retake (under fiat) 247 Million Acres of Farmland. Among other regulatory increases. What it is….

WOTUS gave the federal government effective authority over water use on 247 million acres of American farmland.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, together with Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Douglas Lamont, signed a proposed regulatory rescission of WOTUS. As soon as the proposed rule change can be published in the Federal Register, under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203, the public will have a 30-day comment period to “review and revise” the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The EPA took to Twitter at #WOTUS to call its action a significant step to return power to states and provide regulatory certainty to the nation’s farmers and businesses. The EPA added that its decision is consistent with the Executive Order signed by President Trump on February 28, aimed at “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.”

The Obama administration’s WOTUS regulatory expansion cleverly redefined the term “navigable waters” to include “intermittent streams.” Environmental activists hailed the WOTUS’s expansion of federal jurisdiction over land and water use as an essential common-sense-rule to protect water for wildlife and drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans….

(BREITBART)

The Biden Administration has all but promised a rescinding of this huge shrinking of government intrusion into the lives of the individual. Here is a small excerpt of a wonderful resource via RED STATE:

….Who is looming EPA Chief Michael Regan?  All you have to know is – Leftists LOVE him:

“Several environmental advocacy groups lauded the selection….Reganis known for prioritizing environmental justice, which’helped win him the post.’”

Here’s Regan Tweeting:

“Climate change is the most significant challenge humanity faces. We’ll make meaningful progress together by listening to every voice—from our youth & frontline communities to scientists & our workforce. I will be honored to be part of that work as EPA Administrator.”

I’m quite sure Regan won’t actually be listening to any farmers’ voices at all.

Can you feel the EPA mojo coming back?  Farmers certainly can – and they’ll hate it.

Who is looming Interior Chief Deb Haaland?  All you have to know is – Leftists LOVE her:

“Even before her selection, Haaland was drawing broad support from environmental groups, indigenous peoples’ advocates and members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who released a statement on Wednesday saying ‘Haaland knows the territory, and if she is the President-elect’s choice for Interior Secretary, then he will have made an excellent choice.’”

It looks like Interior too will get back its exceedingly awful mojo:

“Haaland’s selection positions Biden’s Interior Department to build on the budding alliances between tribes and environmental groups that have been formed in recent years to battle fossil fuel projects like the Dakota Access pipeline, expand land conservation and keep water in overdrawn rivers.”

Water, you say?  More mojo a-coming:

“(T)he Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule…could be a top priority should the former vice president win the White House in November — right after reinstating President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and reining in President Trump’s revisions to a rule for National Environmental Policy Act compliance.

“‘I think there’s going to be considerable pressure to deal with the Waters of the U.S. mess,’ said Vermont Law School professor Pat Parenteau, referring to the regulation that defines the scope of the Clean Water Act. ‘I think what he really has to do is what Trump did, in reverse, and flip the script.’”

Farmers yet again hardest hit…..

PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD

  • If power corrupts, as it is said, Americans are going to feel a jolt of degeneration when Joe Biden plugs back into the climate-change network. Rather than save the world from global warming, a President Biden would force Americans to spend more of their hard-earned dollars just to keep the wheels turning and the lights burning. One pledge the presumptive Democratic president-elect has chiseled in stone is that when he first sets foot in the Oval Office, he would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, from which President Trump’s 2019 withdrawal became final on Election Day 2020: “Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement,” Mr. Biden tweeted. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.” (WASHINGTON TIMES)

Executive Orders

On January 20, 2021, Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. As soon as his first day in office, Biden plans to sign at least five executive orders that could reverse several of President Donald Trump’s policies. He’ll also focus on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, improving the economy and providing financial stimulus. These executive orders may include:

1. Paris Climate Accord

  • Biden wants the U.S. to rejoin the Paris climate accord.
  • Biden said he would build upon President Barack Obama’s efforts to fight climate change.
  • As part of his plan, Biden proposed $2 trillion in clean energy and infrastructure spending. Biden also wants net zero emissions by 2050.

(FORBES)

FLASHBACK: The Paris climate agreement was a terrible deal for the US

Pulling us out of this bad deal is good news. As it was negotiated under the prior administration, this agreement imposed a goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by nearly 30 percent over a decade. The so-called “Obama pledge” accompanied a host of related federal regulations that would have damaged the economy, killed jobs, and driven up energy prices for families across the country.

Sticking with the deal could have cost 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to a National Economic Research Associates study. And the effects would be widespread, including a loss of 440,000 manufacturing jobs, according to NERA’s numbers. Meanwhile, according to proponents’ own data, the agreement would have no discernible effect on global temperatures.

And the longer the agreement ran, the worse it would get, according to NERA’s data. By 2040, production (and thus employment) would be decimated in a host of industries, including a 38 percent cut in iron and steel, 31 percent in natural gas, and 86 percent for coal. At that point, the total economic cost to the U.S. would approach $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product and 6.5 million industrial jobs.

Speaking last week, Trump correctly noted that the damage is not spread evenly across the globe, noting that China and India can proceed with adding coal-fired capacity well into the future. “The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States and ships them to foreign countries,” he noted.

Other good news from last week is stopping future U.S. payments to the Green Climate Fund, part of what Trump rightly described as “a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.” The federal government has already sent $1 billion of U.S. taxes to prop up energy projects in foreign countries.

Taxpayers and ratepayers have seen firsthand how green energy subsidies fail to deliver on promises of long-term job creation and energy affordability — it makes little sense to repeat these mistakes abroad. The Green Climate Fund is essentially an international version of Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that took $535 million in taxpayer money before going belly-up.

Exiting the agreement means the U.S. can lead with strength in promoting energy and environmental policies, protecting U.S. jobs and easing the costly regulatory burden across the country. Now the Trump administration can push ahead with a plan that conserves the environment while protecting economic competitiveness and promoting affordability and reliability. He should keep these priorities in mind as he engages in future negotiations with international stakeholders on energy and environment policies.

What is on the horizon for more tax-payer expenses

….It was the heavy burden on the American economy compared to the easy terms given to industrial powerhouses like China and India that convinced Mr. Trump to bail. U.S. participation in the pact would cost the average family of four $20,000 and the national GDP $2.5 trillion by 2035, according to The Heritage Foundation. The resulting reduction in global temperatures: a nearly unmeasurable 0.015 degrees Celsius in 2100.

It’s unsurprising, then, that environmental extremists argue a Biden return to Paris won’t cut it. “Paris is a good starting point, but we need to go well beyond Paris now to achieve the reductions that are necessary,” climate activist and climatologist Michael Mann tells NBC News. That means reaching even deeper into American pockets.

A Biden administration would queue up a modified version of the $93 trillion Green New Deal that environmental firebrands like Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez favor. The Biden plan would build the nationwide infrastructure for “clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.” With it would come a transition to electric vehicles….


TAXES


Debating Minimum Wage In SEATTLE and NEW YORK CITY

So, I debated on whether to add this to our (Chris L. and myself conversation, posted HERE) earlier conversation, but, I decided to post it separately. So, in the same conversation he finally took a jaunt over to my MINIMUM WAGE portion of my ECON 101 page. He still doesn’t know why the minimum wage was used during the Davis/Bacon Act days (a), why the apartheid unions in South Africa used it (b), and why unions here use it and which community it hurts the most (c) — but at least he a c t u a l l y went to my link… and got it all wrong – lol:

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”

Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryear’s. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects….

The white labor unions and other white supremacists lobbied for other regulations which, in effect, prohibited blacks from being hired. These groups demanded that the hiring of blacks and other nonwhites be subject to the same compulsory employer compensation and minimum wage requirements granted to white union members. The intent of such legislation, Williams contends, is obvious. Such labor laws took away the only bar-gaming chip available to the blacks and other non-whites—their willingness to work for a lower wage. Many whites recognized this. In 1925, for example, the report of the Mining Regulations Commission proposed a mandatory system of minimum wages per job “in order to rescue the European miner from the economic fetters which at present render him the easy victim of advancing native competition.”

Contrary to the view accepted by many on the political left, apartheid is not the result of white businessmen attempting to maximize profits by enslaving cheap black labor. It is instead a product of political privilege. Says Williams:

The mere existence of South Africa’s extensive racial regulatory laws is evidence enough that racial privilege is difficult through free market forces. Consider South Africa’s job reservation laws, which mandate that certain jobs be performed by whites only . . . . The presence of job reservation laws suggests that at least some employers would hire blacks in the “white jobs.” The fact that they would hire blacks to do white jobs neither requires nor suggests that these employers be necessarily any less white supremacist than anyone else. It does suggest that those employers who would hire blacks considered such a course of action to be an attractive alternative because blacks were willing to work for lower wages—“uncivilized wages”—than white workers. The business pursuit of profits—which caused employers to be less ardent supporters of the white supremacist doc-trine-has always been the enemy of white privilege. This is why South African white workers resorted to government.

“The whole ugly history of apartheid has been an attack on free markets and the rights of individuals, and a glorification of centralized government power,” Williams concludes. Only when South Africa’s people—black, white, or colored—“de-dare war against centralized government power” will there be genuine progress toward freedom. Walter Williams’ new book provides powerful intellectual ammunition for that war.

  • Matthew B. Kibbe, FEE

(Via AEI)

There is no inherent reason why low-skilled or high-risk employees are any less employable than high-skilled, low-risk employees. Someone who is five times as valuable to an employer is no more or less employable than someone who is one-fifth as valuable, when the pay differences reflect their differences in benefits to the employer.

This is more than a theoretical point. Historically, lower skill levels did not prevent black males from having labor force participation rates higher than that of white males for every US Census from 1890 through 1930. Since then, the general growth of wage-fixing arrangements: minimum wage laws, labor unions, civil service pay scales, etc. has reversed that and made more and more blacks unemployable despite their rising levels of education and skills: absolutely and relative to whites.

And here’s the “money quote”:

In short, no one is employable or unemployable absolutely, but only relative to a given pay scale.

And that highlights the essence of the economic logic that explains why the most vulnerable workers (low-skilled, uneducated, teenagers, etc.) are the group that is most harmed by minimum wage laws — those laws artificially raise the wages of low-skilled workers without increasing their productivity, and therefore significantly reduce their employability relative to higher-skilled workers.

For example, in the study from the team of researchers at the University of Washington on Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage, they reported (emphasis added):

Our preferred estimates suggest that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance caused hours worked by low-skilled workers (i.e., those earning under $19 per hour) to fall by 9.4% during the three quarters when the minimum wage was $13 per hour, resulting in a loss of 3.5 million hours worked per calendar quarterAlternative estimates show the number of low-wage jobs declined by 6.8%, which represents a loss of more than 5,000 jobs.

The work of least-paid workers might be performed more efficiently by more skilled and experienced workers commanding a substantially higher wage.

Bottom Line: Thomas Sowell’s comments illustrate an economic reality that is frequently overlooked: Workers compete against other workers (not employers) to find jobs and get the highest wages. Employers compete against other employers to find the best workers. In other words, low-skilled workers compete against high-skilled workers in the labor market. Low-skilled workers who would be employable at a low wage become unemployable at an artificially higher wage. And that explains the perverse cruelty of minimum wage laws: it inflicts the greatest harm on the very workers it is allegedly designed to help.

However, this is not the reason for this post. I merely wanted to show the hubris out there in stating propaganda (not intentionally, just in ignorance). Here is the portion that that I wanted to highlight and respond to. Here is the video so people can glean context:

So, here are the main points of the above:

  1. Minimum wage is still not $15.00 an hour
  2. It is $13.50 and in 2021 will be $13.69 (which he is right about, but we are talking about SEATTLE)
  3. [QUOTE] “Sean Giordano this is why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post. First minute & a half & anyone can prove she’s full of shit” [UNQUOTE]
  4. New York (remember, she said New York CITY) does not have $15.00 minimum wage, they are near $11.80
  5. California isn’t even over %15.00 an hour
  6. THEY ARE FULL OF SHIT!!

So my first response is to points #1 and #2

The Prager U video specifically mentions Seattle and New York City. This is key. I used two websites to find the current minimum wage in Seattle, Washington: MINIMUM-WAGE.ORG and SEATTLE GOVERNEMNT’S website. In the conversation I noted this many times, but granted, I wasn’t clear.

During the long discussion that followed a few paths, what I learned is that franchises are all included together as a large business. So if I were to franchise, say, The Brass Tap (bar/restaurant chain focuses mostly on its craft beer offerings), if the franchises nationwide have 501 employees, the tips earned do not lower the to $13.50. To make the point clearer I made a crude version:

A sad article of sorts was this one detailing the info:

Justices Reject Franchise Appeal Over Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage (May 2, 2016)

SEATTLE — The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage from franchise owners who say the law discriminates against them by treating them as large businesses.

Seattle was one of the first cities in the nation to adopt a law aiming for a $15 minimum wage, giving small businesses employing fewer than 500 people seven years to phase it in. Large employers must do so over three or four years, depending on whether they offer health insurance to their employees.

Five franchises and the International Franchise Association sued the city, saying the law treats Seattle’s 623 franchises like large businesses because they are part of multistate networks. But the franchises say they are small businesses and should have more time to phase in the higher wage.

[….]

“Seattle’s ordinance is blatantly discriminatory and affirmatively harms Seattle hard-working franchise small business owners every day since it has gone into effect,” Robert Cresanti said in a statement. “We are simply attempting to level the playing field for the 600 local franchise business owners employing 19,000 people in Seattle.”….

Remember, Seattle has a higher minimum wage than the rest of the state.

I likewise responded to points #4 thus

This comes from the NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENTS website:

The minimum wage in New York City is $15.00 per hour. The New York State Department of Labor oversees wage regulations in New York State. Businesses employing people in New York State should be aware of wage requirements and regulations.

After December 31, 2019, all employees in New York City must be paid at least $15.00 per hour. …

#5 deals with California as a state

However, just like New York state/New York City and Washington state/Seattle, so to goes California. There are many cities in California that have differing minimum wage laws than the state. Here is just one example (click to enlarge):

So, there are a couple numbers not dealt with yet…

they are numbers #3 and #6

  • #3 [QUOTE] “Sean Giordano this is why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post. First minute & a half & anyone can prove she’s full of shit” [UNQUOTE]

If the opposite of Chris L’s premise is in fact shown, and if his position is “true” of me — that is: “why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post.” Why should I, or we, not dismiss whatever he says. I mean, he is full of shit (#6!!).

Later in the conversation discussion about the effects of minimum wage hurting restaurants, to which Chris posted the following:

I merely responded with

  • The hospitality group, which lobbies on behalf of the restaurant and hotel industry, concluded that Seattle was the hardest-hit city in Washington state, with 624 bars and bistros that have permanently shut down. (BLOG.RESTUARANT)  

So, if 29 opened up DESPITE minimum wage and covid… would the 624 be closed BECAUSE of the minimum wage and covid?

So the verdict?

  1. Minimum wage is still not $15.00 an hour
  2. It is $13.50 and in 2021 will be $13.69 (which he is right about, but we are talking about SEATTLE)
  3. [QUOTE] “Sean Giordano this is why I & everyone else should dismiss what ever you post. First minute & a half & anyone can prove she’s full of shit” [UNQUOTE]
  4. New York (remember, she said New York CITY) does not have $15.00 minimum wage, they are near $11.80
  5. California isn’t even over %15.00 an hour
  6. THEY ARE FULL OF SHIT!!

People Never PAID 90% in Taxes (Economic Myths)

This is posted for adding to a conversation from FACEBOOK where I repeatedly noted no one ever paid 90% in taxes after it was brought up by my antagonist — hoping the operative word “PAID” would sink in — (conversation reproduced at the end of this post for clarity — JUMP.) Other Posts that discuss related issues:

90% MYTH

(From the video):

  • “economic historian Phil Magness, of the American Institute for Economic Research, says that progressives miss an important fact: The high tax rates that America had in the past actually didn’t bring in much revenue. When rates were at 70 percent, Magness tells John Stossel, ‘A millionaire on average would pay 41 percent’.”

Even “CheckYourFact” says this:

  • While the top marginal income tax rate was over 90 percent [92%] while Eisenhower was president, few people were subject to that rate due to deductions and other tax loopholes. Top income earners paid much lower average tax rates.

(MISES.ORG has an excellent article dealing with the 90% issue, as well as GREY ENLIGHTENMENT)

ALMOST CLASSICAL notes this in their “The 90% Tax Rate Myth” post:

So, let’s get more complicated. When there was a 94% top rate in 1944-45, there were so many deductions and exclusions that the taxable income was not comparable to someone’s entire income. First, the top rate started at $200,000, which today is equal to $2,413,059.90 — so the maximum EMTR would apply only to incomes of $2.5 million. But, that’s still taxable income, not earned income.

In 1944, you could deduct business meals, all business travel, all forms of interest payments, and much more. You could even deduct spousal travel expenses on a business trip! (Why travel alone?) Companies could also “loan” or “provide” almost anything to an employee, from an apartment to standard benefits. It was possible to shelter tens of thousands of dollars from taxable income. Three-martini lunches and expense accounts were important realities, skewing tax calculations.

As a result of deductions and exclusions, even the theoretical maximum Real Rate of taxation at 60% in 1944 overstates taxation dramatically. The reality? On earned income, the richest U.S. taxpayers paid close to 40 percent of their earned incomes in taxes in 1944. We simply didn’t count much of the compensation as taxable income.

Allow me to introduce you to Hauser’s Law. Published in 1993 by William Kurt Hauser, a San Francisco investment economist, Hauser’s Law suggests, “No matter what the tax rates have been, in postwar America tax revenues have remained at about 19.5% of GDP.” This theory was published in The Wall Street Journal, March 25, 1993. For a variety of reasons, we seem to balance tax collections within a narrow range.

Since 1945, U.S. federal tax receipts have been fairly constant in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with taxes ranging from 15 to 20 percent of GDP. The graph is as follows:

When people demand higher taxes on the rich, usually phrased as paying a “fair share,” they are ignoring how our tax system has functioned historically. We could create more brackets, to tax the top 1% at a higher rate once again, but the net increase in tax revenues wouldn’t be dramatic. Why not? Because government spending is near historical highs: we are spending at near-WWII levels. It would be nearly impossible to tax enough to pay the federal bills, and doing so would likely crush the economy….

CREATING MORE REVENUE

So, what did JFK’s “the rising tide lifts all the boats,” Reagan’s tax cuts and Bush’s tax cuts show? (See: John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan Proved Tax Cuts Work“) That lower taxes brings in more revenue.

  • Should tax rates be higher? It’s the million dollar question! Up? Down? No change? Where in the world should taxes go? In election years, the question of tax rates fills the airwaves. In non-election years, the question of tax rates, again, fills the airwaves. So what’s the answer? UCLA Professor of Economics Tim Groseclose explains his research on the topic. Basically, there’s a certain point at which higher tax rates actually reduce the amount of revenue the government collects. What’s that point? When are tax rates too high? Learn a valuable lesson in economics, and public policy.

Which is why either a national sales tax or a flat tax would help fuel our GDP engine more. Thomas Sowell further explains via an excerpt (my scan from my book) of the “conclusion” of Thomas Sowell’s “The World of Numbers.” You can listen to the entirety of chapter 4 read via MIKE READS: Chpt 4(a) | Chpt 4(b).

I will also emphasize AEI’s PARTIAL QUOTE from my expanded quote — it has changed a bit due to my having the revised edition (as usual I add the references for people to further follow the rabbit trail):

THOMAS SOWELL

  • Thomas Sowell, Discrimination and Disparities: Revised and Enlarged Edition (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2019), 110-114; (references), 255-257.

IMPLICATIONS

The emphasis on complex statistical analysis in economics and other fields— however valuable, or even vital, such statistical analysis may be in many cases— can lead to overlooking simple but fundamental questions as to whether the numbers on which these complex analyses are based are in fact measuring what they seem to be measuring, or claim to be measuring. “Income” statistics which lump together annual salaries and multi-year capital gains are just one of many sets of statistics which could stand much closer scrutiny at this fundamental level— especially if laws and policies affecting millions of human beings are to be based on statistical conclusions.

What can be disconcerting, if not painful, are the simple and obvious fallacies that can pass muster in intellectual circles when these fallacies seem to advance the prevailing vision of what is called “social justice.” Among prominent current examples is French economist Thomas Piketty’s large international statistical study of income inequality, which was instantly acclaimed in many countries, despite such obvious and fundamental misstatements as one pointed out by Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard:

Thomas Piketty, whose 2014 bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century became a talisman in the uproar over inequality, wrote, “The poorer half of the population are as poor today as they were in the past, with barely 5 percent of total wealth in 2010, just as in 1910.” But total wealth today is vastly greater than it was in 1910, so if the poorer half own the same proportion, they are far richer, not “as poor.”66

In addition to speaking of percentages as if they represented a given amount of income or wealth over the course of a century, Professor Piketty also made such assertions as that, in income, “the upper decile is truly a world unto itself,”67 when in fact just over half of all Americans are in that upper decile at some point in their lives.68 When Piketty said that the top one percent sit atop the “hierarchy” and “structure of inequality,”69 he again verbally transformed a changing mix of people in particular income brackets into a fixed structure rather than a fluid process, in which most Americans do not remain in the same quintile from one decade to the next.

Such misstatements are different expressions of the same fundamental misconception. As an empirical study of the 400 richest Americans pointed out, Piketty “naively assumes that it’s the same people getting richer.”70 But the majority of the 400 richest Americans have earned their fortunes in their own lifetimes, rather than being heirs of the 400 largest fortunes of the past!71

Such misconceptions are not peculiar to Professor Piketty. Nor are these the only problems with his statistics. But that such simple and obvious misstatements can pass muster in intellectual circles is a problem and a danger that goes far beyond Thomas Piketty.

Whether income differences are measured before taxes or after taxes can change the degree of inequality. If inequalities are measured both after taxes and after government transfers, whether in money or in goods and services, that can reduce the inequality considerably, when high-income people pay higher taxes and low-income people receive most of the government transfers.

Statistics on tax rates themselves can be grossly misleading when changes in tax rates are described in such terms as “a $300 billion increase in taxes” or “a $300 billion decrease in taxes.In reality, all that the government can do is change the tax rate. How much tax revenue that will produce depends on how people react. There have been times when higher tax rates have produced lower tax revenues, and other times when lower tax rates have produced higher tax revenues,72 as well as times when tax rates and tax revenues moved in the same direction.

During the 1920s, for example, the tax rate on the highest income Americans was reduced from 73 percent to 24 percent— and the income tax revenue rose substantially73— especially income tax revenues received from people in the highest income brackets. Under the older and much higher tax rate, vast sums of money from wealthy investors were sheltered in tax-exempt securities, such as municipal bonds. The total amount of money invested in tax-free securities was estimated to be three times the size of the annual budget of the federal government, and more than half as large as the national debt.74

Such vast and legally untaxable sums of money caught the attention and aroused the ire of Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, who declared it “repugnant” in a democracy that there should be “a class in the community which cannot be reached for tax purposes.”75 Failing to get Congress to take steps toward ending tax exemptions for incomes from particular securities,76 Secretary Mellon sought instead to lower the tax rates to the point where it would in fact lead to collection of more tax revenues.

Tax-exempt securities tend not to pay as high a rate of return on investments as other securities, whose earnings are taxed. It made sense for wealthy investors to accept these lower rates of return from tax-exempt securities when the tax rate was 73 percent, but not after the tax rate was lowered to 24 percent. In terms of words on paper, the official tax rate on the highest incomes was cut from 73 percent to 24 percent in the 1920s. But, in terms of events in the real world, the tax rate actually paid— on staggering sums of money previously untouchable in tax shelters— rose from zero percent to 24 percent. This produced huge increases in tax revenues received from high-income people, both absolutely and as a percentage of all income taxes collected.77

This increase in income taxes collected from high-income taxpayers was a result of the plain fact that 24 percent of something is larger than 73 percent of nothing. Tax rate cuts in some later administrations also led to increases in tax revenues!78 For example, a front-page news story in the New York Times of July 9, 2006 said: “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.79

However unexpected this increase in tax revenues may have been to the New York Times and others decrying “tax cuts for the rich,” this was precisely the kind of outcome predicted and expected by others in various administrations over the years, who had urged that tax rates be cut, in order to get money disgorged from tax shelters and invested in the market economy. This included people in the Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, where there were similar outcomes.80 But the very possibility that tax rates and tax revenues can move in opposite directions is seldom mentioned in the media— a crucial error of omission.

These are not simply arguments about history. Among the consequences in our own time is that proposals to reduce income tax rates are automatically met with objections to reducing income tax revenues. In the Wall Street Journal of January 31, 2018, for example, economist Alan Blinder objected to tax rate cuts on grounds that “the deficit is already too large!”81

This is in defiance of what the New York Times reported about the unexpected reduction of the deficit by increased tax revenues during the administration of President George W. Bush. It is also in defiance of a record-breaking budget surplus after tax rates were reduced in the 1920s— a surplus large enough to allow about one-fourth of the national debt to be paid off.82 Like many others, Professor Blinder proceeded as if it were axiomatic that tax rate reductions mean tax revenue reductions.

There is, of course, no guarantee of what any given tax rate reduction will lead to in a given set of circumstances. But Professor Blinder’s assertion was not based on any argument that a tax rate reduction under particular current circumstances would lead to a reduction in tax revenues. There was in fact no argument whatever on that point, nor apparently any sense of need to make such an argument. Similarly, a twenty-first century book on President Calvin Coolidge likewise asserted that, as a result of the tax rate cuts during his administration, “the bounty that the rich enjoyed sapped the U.S. Treasury of funds it might have used for other ends.”83 Thus a record-breaking budget surplus under President Coolidge was verbally transmuted into a deprivation of funds, with the turn of a phrase.

All the voluminous and detailed statistics on tax rates and tax revenues published by the Internal Revenue Service, going back more than a hundred years, might as well not exist, as far as many of those with the prevailing social vision are concerned. This is ultimately not a question about history, but about what such heedlessness implies for the present and still more so for the future.

REFERENCES

66 Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (New York: Viking, 2018), p. 99.

67 Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2014), p. 252.

68 Thomas A. Hirschl and Mark R. Rank, “The Life Course Dynamics of Affluence,” PLoS ONE, January 28, 2015, p. 5.

69 Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, p. 278.

70 Robert Arnott, William Bernstein, and Lillian Wu, “The Myth of Dynastic Wealth: The Rich Get Poorer,” Cato Journal, Fall 2015, p. 461.

71 “Spare a Dime,” a special report on the rich, The Economist, April 4, 2009, p. 4.

72 See, for example, Phil Gramm and John F. Early, “The Myth of American Inequality,” Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2018, p. A15. See also Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, fifth edition (New York: Basic Books, 2015), pp. 426-427, 428.

73 Gene Smiley and Richard Keehn, “Federal Personal Income Tax Policy in the 1920s,” Journal ofEconomic History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (June 1995), p. 286; Benjamin G. Rader, “Federal Taxation in the 1920s,” The Historian, Vol. 33, No. 3 (May 1971), p. 432; Burton W. Fulsom, Jr., The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America, sixth edition (Herndon, Virginia: Young America’s Foundation, 2010), pp. 108, 115, 116.

74 Burton W. Fulsom, Jr., The Myth of the Robber Barons, sixth edition, p. 109.

75 Andrew W. Mellon, Taxation: The People’s Business (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1924), p. 170.

76 Gene Smiley and Richard Keehn, “Federal Personal Income Tax Policy in the 1920s,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (June 1995), p. 289.

77 Burton W. Fulsom, Jr., The Myth of the Robber Barons, sixth edition, p. 116. The share of income tax revenues paid by people with incomes up to $50,000 a year fell, and the share of income tax revenues paid by people with incomes of $100,000 and up increased. At the extremes, taxpayers in the lowest income bracket paid 13 percent of all income tax revenues in 1921, but less than half of one percent of all income taxes in 1929, while taxpayers with incomes of a million dollars a year and up saw their share of income taxes paid rise from less than 5 percent to just over 19 percent. Gene Smiley and Richard Keehn, “Federal Personal Income Tax Policy in the 1920s,”Journal ofEconomic Histoy, Vol. 55, No. 2 (June 1995), p. 295; Benjamin G. Rader, “Federal Taxation in the 1920s,” The Historian, Vol. 33, No. 3 (May 1971), pp. 432-434.

78 Alan Reynolds, “Why 70% Tax Rates Won’t Work,” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011, p. A19; Stephen Moore, “Real Tax Cuts Have Curves,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2005, p. A13. Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz argued that the tax rate cuts during the Reagan administration failed: “In fact, Reagan had promised that the incentive effects of his tax cuts would be so powerful that tax revenues would increase. And yet, the only thing that increased was the deficit.” Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012), p. 89. However, the tax revenues collected by the federal government during every year of the Reagan administration exceeded the tax revenues collected in any previous administration in the history of the country. Economic Report of the President: 2018 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2018), p. 552; U. S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Part 2, pp. 1104-1105. The deficit reflected the fact that there is no amount of money that Congress cannot outspend.

79 Edmund L. Andrews, “Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Curbs U.S. Deficit,” New York Times, July 9, 2006, p. Al.

80 James Gwartney and Richard Stroup, “Tax Cuts: Who Shoulders the Burden?” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review, March 1982, pp. 19-27; Benjamin G. Rader, “Federal Taxation in the 1920s: A Re-examination,” Historian, Vol. 33, No. 3, p. 432; Burton W. Folsom, Jr., The Myth of the Robber Barons, sixth edition, p. 116; Robert L. Bartley, The Seven Fat Years: And How to Do It Again (New York: The Free Press, 1992), pp. 71-74; Alan Reynolds, ‘Why 70% Tax Rates Won’t Work,” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011, p. A19; Stephen Moore, “Real Tax Cuts Have Curves,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2005, p. A13; Economic Report of the President: 2017 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2017), p. 586. See also United States Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income 1920-1929 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1922-1932).

81 Alan S. Blinder, “Why Now Is the Wrong Time to Increase the Deficit,” Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2018, p. A15.

82 The national debt, which was a little over $24 billion in 1920— the last year of President Woodrow Wilson’s administration— was reduced to less than $18 billion in 1928, the last year of President Calvin Coolidge’s administration. U. S. Bureau of the Census, _Historical Statistics ofthe United States, Part 2, p.1104. See also David Greenberg, Calvin Coolidge (New York: Times Books, 2006), p. 67.

83 David Greenberg, Calvin Coolidge, p. 72.


CONVERSATION


 

Democrats Again Call For The End To The Electoral College

Hillary Clinton again calls for the Electoral College to be nixed:

Mark Levin does a few second response to this idiocy:

CIVICS 101

  • the possibility that the [Constitutional Republic] in which we live provides us with opportunities for [representation] thatexceed those provided by primitive orders to far fewer people should not be dismissed.”

I wanted to edit/adapt the above HAYEK quote to fit the broader idea that what our Founders created is the most fair to the most people. I will include the larger quote at the end, in context, as, it has nothing to do with what I adapted it to. As I was reading this section of “The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism,” I thought of the attempt by Democrats to do away with the Electoral College. Which immediately brought to mind that MORE voters will be disenfranchised if it is eliminated. Why? Because the popular vote could be won by almost 4-states alone: California, Texas, Florida, New York. So, let’s take the most recent election as an example:

  • The Democrat outpaced President-elect Donald Trump by almost 2.9 million votes, with 65,844,954 (48.2%) to his 62,979,879 (46.1%), according to revised and certified final election results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (CNN)

In the Electoral College world, the smaller states had a say and 2.9 million voters were “disenfranchised,” so-to-speak. In a direct democracy, which our Founders specifically wrote against, all a candidate would have to do is campaign in about 11-cities to win the election.

Do you understand what the Electoral College is? Or how it works? Or why America uses it to elect its presidents instead of just using a straight popular vote? Author, lawyer and Electoral College expert Tara Ross does, and she explains that to understand the Electoral College is to understand American democracy.

  • James Madison (fourth President, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the “father” of the Constitution) – “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general; been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
  • John Adams (American political philosopher, first vice President and second President) – “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
  • Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration) – “A simple democracy… is one of the greatest of evils.”
  • Fisher Ames (American political thinker and leader of the federalists [he entered Harvard at twelve and graduated by sixteen], author of the House language for the First Amendment) – “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will provide an eruption and carry desolation in their way.´ / “The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.”
  • Governor Morris (signer and penman of the Constitution) – “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate… as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism…. Democracy! Savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”
  • John Quincy Adams (sixth President, son of John Adams [see above]) – “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
  • Noah Webster (American educator and journalist as well as publishing the first dictionary) – “In democracy… there are commonly tumults and disorders….. therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”
  • John Witherspoon (signer of the Declaration of Independence) – “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”
  • Zephaniah Swift (author of America’s first legal text) – “It may generally be remarked that the more a government [or state] resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”

Take note that as well ArticleIV, Section4 of the Constitution reads:

“The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government

Right now, there’s a well-organized, below-the-radar effort to render the Electoral College effectively useless. It’s called the National Popular Vote, and it would turn our presidential elections into a majority-rule affair. Would this be good or bad? Author, lawyer, and Electoral College expert Tara Ross explains.

You vote, but then what? Discover how your individual vote contributes to the popular vote and your state’s electoral vote in different ways–and see how votes are counted on both state and national levels.

CATO Article:

Critics have long derided the Electoral College as a fusty relic of a bygone era, an unnecessary institution that one day might undermine democracy by electing a minority president. That day has arrived, assuming Gov. Bush wins the Florida recount as seems likely.

The fact that Bush is poised to become president without a plurality of the vote contravenes neither the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution. The wording of our basic law is clear: The winner in the Electoral College takes office as president. But what of the spirit of our institutions? Are we not a democracy that honors the will of the people? The very question indicates a misunderstanding of our Constitution.

James Madison’s famous Federalist No. 10 makes clear that the Founders fashioned a republic, not a pure democracy. To be sure, they knew that the consent of the governed was the ultimate basis of government, but the Founders denied that such consent could be reduced to simple majority or plurality rule. In fact, nothing could be more alien to the spirit of American constitutionalism than equating democracy will the direct, unrefined will of the people.

Recall the ways our constitution puts limits on any unchecked power, including the arbitrary will of the people. Power at the national level is divided among the three branches, each reflecting a different constituency. Power is divided yet again between the national government and the states. Madison noted that these two-fold divisions — the separation of powers and federalism — provided a “double security” for the rights of the people.

What about the democratic principle of one person, one vote? Isn’t that principle essential to our form of government? The Founders’ handiwork says otherwise. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with 883,000 residents, gets the same number of Senators as California, with 33 million people. Consistency would require that if we abolish the Electoral College, we rid ourselves of the Senate as well. Are we ready to do that?

The filtering of the popular will through the Electoral College is an affirmation, rather than a betrayal, of the American republic. Doing away with the Electoral College would breach our fidelity to the spirit of the Constitution, a document expressly written to thwart the excesses of majoritarianism. Nonetheless, such fidelity will strike some as blind adherence to the past. For those skeptics, I would point out two other advantages the Electoral College offers.

First, we must keep in mind the likely effects of direct popular election of the president. We would probably see elections dominated by the most populous regions of the country or by several large metropolitan areas. In the 2000 election, for example, Vice President Gore could have put together a plurality or majority in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and California.

The victims in such elections would be those regions too sparsely populated to merit the attention of presidential candidates. Pure democrats would hardly regret that diminished status, but I wonder if a large and diverse nation should write off whole parts of its territory. We should keep in mind the regional conflicts that have plagued large and diverse nations like India, China, and Russia. The Electoral College is a good antidote to the poison of regionalism because it forces presidential candidates to seek support throughout the nation. By making sure no state will be left behind, it provides a measure of coherence to our nation.

Second, the Electoral College makes sure that the states count in presidential elections. As such, it is an important part of our federalist system — a system worth preserving. Historically, federalism is central to our grand constitutional effort to restrain power, but even in our own time we have found that devolving power to the states leads to important policy innovations (welfare reform).

If the Founders had wished to create a pure democracy, they would have done so. Those who now wish to do away with the Electoral College are welcome to amend the Constitution, but if they succeed, they will be taking America further away from its roots as a constitutional republic.

How did the terms “Elector” and “Electoral College” come into usage?

The term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” In the Federalist Papers (No. 68), Alexander Hamilton refers to the process of selecting the Executive, and refers to “the people of each State (who) shall choose a number of persons as electors,” but he does not use the term “electoral college.”

The founders appropriated the concept of electors from the Holy Roman Empire (962 – 1806). An elector was one of a number of princes of the various German states within the Holy Roman Empire who had a right to participate in the election of the German king (who generally was crowned as emperor). The term “college” (from the Latin collegium), refers to a body of persons that act as a unit, as in the college of cardinals who advise the Pope and vote in papal elections. In the early 1800’s, the term “electoral college” came into general usage as the unofficial designation for the group of citizens selected to cast votes for President and Vice President. It was first written into Federal law in 1845, and today the term appears in 3 U.S.C. section 4, in the section heading and in the text as “college of electors.”

More Common Sense

Who exactly are the “Resistance,” as explored in Kim Strassel’s new book “Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters are Breaking America”?

How are “Trump haters” different from “Trump critics?” How is the Resistance different from past political movements? What are the long-term implications of its activities? And how are the media involved?

And, how can the Trump “impeachment inquiry” be seen as the latest chapter of the Resistance’s efforts?

This is American Thought Leaders??, and I’m Jan Jekielek.

Today we sit down with Kim Strassel, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board and a prominent political commentator. She was the recipient of the Bradley Prize in 2014, and she writes the Journal’s long-running “Potomac Watch” column.

The Amazing History of Christmas

How much do you know about Christmas – about its origins and its many beloved traditions? Do you know where the idea of stocking-stuffers comes from? Or how lights found their way onto the Christmas tree? Or why we all have the jolly, red-suited, white-haired image of Santa Claus in our heads? In this video, historian William Federer explores the holiday’s rich and unique history.

  • “This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.” — Clark W. Griswold Jr.