Looking Back. Looking Forward.

As 2015 draws to an end, it’s time to take stock as a People and as a Nation. The first essay on Liberty is For the Win was about looking at the affects of fifty years of leftist policies upon the twenty largest cities of the 1960’s, at that time centers of commerce, prosperity, and wealth. To close out this year, it’s fitting to look at the economic impacts that have occurred this year since that first article.

June was at the end of the 2nd Quarter, a strong quarter with a GDP growth rate of a fairly robust 3.9%. This would qualify as a strong indicator regarding the health of the economy, however it followed an unusually weak preceding quarter, with a meager 0.5% growth rate. So rather than a strong economic statement, the strong Q2 performance demonstrated only the economy had yet to find a footing, and much of the Q2 economic activity was delayed from the first Quarter of 2015.

Job creation was relatively robust in Q2 as well, with just shy of 700,000 net jobs created. Another relatively strong sign, except March saw a steep decline in job creation (only 119,000). Of the 11 months with job numbers reported (December numbers will be released in January), 8 failed to reach 250,000 jobs per month, where serious gains toward reducing the numbers of long term unemployed and underemployed are made. Of those 8 months below the 250K mark, 4 failed to reach 200,000 jobs, the number of jobs necessary just to keep unemployment level.

The 3rd Quarter was initially reported as having a GDP growth rate of an anemic 1.5%, revised up to 2.1%, but then down to 2.0% per the third estimate. Far lower than a robust 4.0% growth associated with an expanding economy. And, as of yet, there hasn’t been even a single quarter with GDP growth of even near 5% under Obama.

After every recessionary cycle on record, GDP Growth has spiked, marking the beginning of the recovery cycle. The deeper the recession, the larger and longer the spike lasts. For example, after the 2001-2002 Recession, the GDP growth spiked to 3.8% in Q2 of 2003, peaked at near 6.9% in Q3 2003, and finished the year at 4.8% in Q4. There has been no such spike under Obama’s tenure. The closest being Q2 and Q3 of 2014, with 4.6% and 4.3%, however there is strong evidence to suggest that this growth is attributable to George W. Bush’s 2003 Tax Cuts being made permanent in June 2013. After those cuts were made permanent, there were 5 out of 6 quarters of growth rates above 2%, and 4 of those periods with rates above 3%, peaking in Q2 of 2014. It’s ironic that the best sustained economic growth of Obama’s presidency can arguably be credited to a Bush era policy.

This month, the Federal Reserve announced that it was increasing the core loans rate for the first time since 2006, from effectively 0.11% to 0.36%, as the board gently tries to reset the breaks on the economy, but not because there has been a clear signal that the economy has recovered, because there clearly hasn’t been. The Federal Reserve is applying the breaks under the presumption that the economy is in a recovery cycle, and has been for some time, just an unusually shallow one, but 2014 had better GDP growth and job numbers than 2015, so why didn’t the Federal Reserve raise rates in 2014? Why now in the 4th Quarter of a weaker 2015?

Because the economy is on borrowed time.

Prior to the Reagan Revolution, the average growth cycle lasted between 4 to 5 years between recessions. After Reagan, the growth cycle has lasted between 9 to 10 years. Reagan did this through large cuts to the income and corporate tax structures in the 1980’s, as well as robust deregulation, which removed burdensome costs upon businesses. This gave birth to the years of prosperity from Reagan, to Bush 41 and Clinton, through Bush 43, until the Great Recession in 2008 unwound the gains of 30 years.

While most of the George W. Bush era tax cuts were made permanent in 2013, which reduced many tax rates back to near Reagan era levels, Obama’s regulatory policy has been anything but about reducing government. The size and scope of government has increased in raw spending ($2.902 trillion under Bush in 2008 versus $3.688 trillion under Obama in 2015), as well as deficit spending ($160.7 billion under Bush in 2007, to eliminate Recession effect, versus $438.9 billion under Obama in 2015). By every standard of measure, Obama has increased the size and scope of government.

So the question that must be on the Federal Reserve Board member’s minds is how much gas is left in the tank of what passes for this recovery? Are we still on the 9 to 10 year rate after Reagan? Or have we lost ground because of the “fundamental change” that Obama promised to bring to the United States? Before the next recession hits, the Federal Reserve needs to have the core loans rate up around at least 3.0%, if they are going to be able to have room to reduce it to stimulate the economy through monetary policy. The economy will also have to be weened off of Quantitative Easing. Only then will the Federal Reserve be in position to deal with anything much more than a shallow correction.

The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, putting Liberty is For the Win exactly 6 years after the start of the recovery. There have been too many interventions and too many increases in regulation to maintain the 9 to 10 year growth cycle. Consumer costs on everything from food to used automobiles have been increased under Obama, and these prices increases have largely been unchecked by the Federal Reserve. Between cutting taxes and raising regulatory pressure on the economy, Obama has split the difference, but the damage is done.

The economy is due for an economic correction, and so many markets are price inflated far above their values, especially in commodities. In many of these markets, the regulatory pressure is too great to reduce prices, so the fall out will be likely be pushed upwards in the economy. In all likelihood, the economic cycle appears to be shortened to 7 to 8 years, which would put a corrective recession on track between Q3 of 2016 and Q2 of 2017, perhaps earlier if Q4 2015 numbers are weak.

With ten million American workers still unemployed or underemployed, another recession after such a tepid recovery and nonexistent growth period will hit workers and consumers harder and longer than in previous cycles, prior to the Great Recession.

Pray for a soft landing.

Happy New Year.

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW

Christmas: The Season is the Reason

“Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
– Proverbs 31:9 –

Christmas is once again upon us, and with it comes all of the blessings and controversies that surround all things religious in the public square. Amidst the political rancor, it’s difficult to remember that, in the grand scheme, the disagreement and discord has always been around, even before a newborn baby boy was placed in a manger. In many ways, his birth would sharpen that debate for centuries to come.

From his birth, that baby’s life was defined by oppressive government, political strife, poverty, religious discord, and culminated in a brutal death. When we put the world into the perspective of this baby’s life, we come to understand humanity’s place in the universe. Our’s is a brief struggle, with hopes and aspirations that too often come into conflict with others. Our world is proof that, for mankind, there can be no other way of life, at least not yet.

This stark and grinding reality brings us back to the “why” of liberty and the pursuit of political freedom as a moral good, not just as a political theory. Before there were government agencies ostensibly to serve the needs of the poor and underclasses of American society, there was the Word, and among them, was this line of scripture:

“Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
– Proverbs 31:9 –

This line of scripture, more so than any other, informs Liberty is For The Win. The minimization of suffering has been and remains the core of the Christian faith and a society of just people. This core of truth is what informed the Founding Fathers, being the culmination of belief and philosophy of more than two thousand years. At the heart of this belief is that the People, being each and every one the created image of the Creator, are entitled to themselves and the fruits of their labor. The State exists secondary to the People. And finally, the People have a moral duty to one another to respect and protect each other’s freedoms and to promote each other’s general welfare.

We, as conservatives, have lost our way in this.

A political ideology arose that sought to usurp the moral justice of the People, invoking the values of moral equality as a political absolute,  thus co-opting the moral duty of free and moral citizens. We know this political ideology as “the left“, and they sanitized faith from the culture and argued moral duty for the needy and the poor was best served by the State, letting even the irreligious to feel pious and morally secure in knowing that the poor and needy were in the good hands of faceless bureaucracies.

That is a lie. Look at the condition of cities like Detroit, Baltimore, East Saint Louis, and so many other parts of the United States where the State has become the caretaker of the poor and underprivileged. In every case, you will see rampant, relentless, and rapacious injustice and poverty that has made a mockery of the American ideals of liberty and moral equality.

This is why, fellow liberty loving conservatives, we must retake the cause of the needy and the poor as a core conservative ideological issue. Not only because the left has succeeded only at exacerbating poverty into the generational monster that it has become, but the issues of poverty and inequality fuel their political ambitions. By retaking these issues under the conservative manner, not only do we fulfill our moral obligation to our fellow humanity, but we starve the leftist political beast.

Remember this holy holiday is why Liberty is For The Win.


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW

The Culture War: Bumper Sticker Politics

We conservatives are now the underdog insurgency, fighting to restore the values of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It’s everywhere. From mobs of Millennials chanting accusations against “the rich” to the snarky thumb-in-the-eye slogan on the back of a Prius, there’s no respite from this uncivil discourse in the United States. Their 17th Century ideas were repudiated in the 18th Century, raised from the dead in the 19th, radicalized in the 20th, and have finally been reimposed in the 21st. Each passing generation of leftists rationalizing away the flaws revealed by their predecessors. Now those same 17th Century ideas dominate with the implicit promise that, this time, they will work.

Targeting the young and the foolish, the left instills their cultish political ideology, demanding total philosophical and intellectual devotion. Every political and social issue is painted into cartoon black and white, with no room for any dissent or disagreement. Slogans replace debate, and “We are the 99%!”, “The Science is Settled!”, and “Black Lives Matter!” become the only accepted speech, let alone ideology.

This trite 140 character limit bumper sticker political discourse threatens to undermine thousands of years of cultural heritage of western societies. Hashtags and slogans are replacing debate and civility. In this new land of political correctness and cultural progressivism, the reasonable man is insane, and the dissenting man is criminal. And as social media, text messages, and comedians masquerading as newsmen crush every thought and political message into an never ending incoherent feedback loop, the American public becomes not only less interested in discourse, they become less able to even comprehend it.

Microsoft recently published a study that indicates the average adult in western societies now has an attention span shorter than a goldfish, which means many adults lack the attention span to even reach the end of this paragraph. Yes, it is really that bad. And if this disquiets you, realize that these people can vote.

“With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’
I could be another Lincoln
If I only had a brain.”
– The Scarecrow, The Wizard of Oz –

How can we, as conservatives, counter the ceaseless drumbeat of fanatical inanity, especially when many of our political opponents literally have the attention span of a gnat? We start by following the oldest rule of warfare: Know your enemy. We must realize as a political movement that we are, whether we recognize it or not, the designated opposition of the left. We must also realize that the noxious and unrelenting rhetoric employed by the left since the mid-1970’s is not by accident.

In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote “Rules for Radicals”, effectively Americanizing leftist socialist propaganda. In many ways, The “Rules” militarized leftist political discourse and ignited the ongoing Culture War in the American public by instituting guerrilla tactics employed by communist terrorists around the globe. Whether they have read the book or not, it is the underlying philosophy of the American left and informs the political discourse in America.

The centerpiece of Saul Alinsky’s book are the “13 Rules” themselves:

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
Don’t become old news.

8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.

11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

These rules have allowed the left to dominate the political discourse for over thirty years. It’s how their political insurgency become the cultural narrative. The left owns the mouths of the media elite. They run the halls of government. They infest the White House. They surround us on all sides.

“Those poor bastards.
They’ve got us right where we want them.
– Marine Col. Lewis B. Puller, 1st Marines –

Fortunately, this works in favor of the conservative movement. The left can no longer hide behind the mask of young idealists fighting against a cruel and unsympathetic government. They are the government and have been for decades. We conservatives are now the underdog insurgency, fighting to restore the values of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The left even provided us a playbook, requiring only a few modifications, on how to fight them.

PRACTICAL RULES FOR CONSERVATIVES

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
Political power is an illusion! The only true political power is the will of the People. We are all equals, so no group, no matter how large, has any right to abridge the free speech of an individual. If a tyrant wannabe wants to silence you, make them work for it.

2. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
Don’t give respect, especially where it is clearly not due! A civil society depends on an expectation of politeness, but it is not absolute. Do not suffer pretense or political correctness. If someone steps out of line, let them have it. Never ever let the left outrun their shame!

3. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
Credentials matter! Never assume your political opponent’s credibility. Make them prove it. If they are credible, then engage them only in so much as you are qualified to do so. If they have no credibility, see Rule #2.

4. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
Don’t let your opponent ever change the subject! You must know what you are talking about, and be certain that you understand the context of your argument. The first thing a leftist will try is change the context of an argument. Call them on it, then argue them until they concede. If they continue to try to change the subject, then refer to Rule #2.

5. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
Make them own their record! The left’s rules have been that there are no rules, so instead of focusing on procedure, we have hold their feet to the fire of the results of their policies and empty promises. Remember Rule #2.

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
Get your popcorn and taunt your enemy! Everyone is an individual, so get out there and raise Cain. Find like minded individuals, then build together and keep innovating. Stay fresh.

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
Like every good war strategy, the goal is to stay fluid! Don’t get surrounded. Keep growing, keep changing, bring in new blood.

8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
Never, ever, ever let the left run away from their shame! Keep looking for that perfect shame that breaks our opponent’s back. For John Kerry, it was waffling. For Howard Dean, it was screaming. Never let them live it down. Remember Rule #2.

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
The perfect day will be when every leftist dreads opening up their social media! Chase them into their Safe Spaces, then taunt them for going there. Never let them outrun their shame. See Rule #2.

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
Test their resolve! Make them philosophically suffer for their beliefs. More importantly, make them realize that they will always suffer while they hold to their beliefs. See Rule #2.

11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
Deny them the high ground! Deny them moral superiority! Deny them credibility! Expose them for the whining, foolish children that they are, and eventually society will tire of being manipulated by children masquerading as adults.

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
Be prepared to point to solutions that you believe in! Many are on this very site, but also include as part of your solution the neutering of the left’s propaganda.

13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Never allow another conservative to stand alone! Like the Minutemen, we must be ready to come to the aid of fellow patriots. Even if they are winning stand with them. Remember Rule #2.

14. “Always seek peace in the things that you love and believe.”
This struggle is not our lives! Remember to keep things in perspective and that our Creator has a plan, no matter what happens. Be at peace as much as you need.

Embrace freedom!

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW

The Pledge: A House Divided

As the Primary season begins to heat up, conservatives need to remember what the wisest and best of all men said, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Further, let’s also remember a great Republican president who was, in turn, quoting the wisest and best of all men, when he said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.

And that is, right now, our greatest threat. It comes in two flavors, those that feel as though they have been driven into a corner for so long, that they believe the only reasonable response is to lash out in defense of their candidate. Understandable. Noble. But wrong. And then there are those who believe that others are supporting the wrong candidate, and that will cost us the election, so they lash out at those candidates and their supporters. Understandable. Noble. Also very wrong.

The temptation to retaliate against people on your own side will be strong, because we conservatives have been losing ground for decades now, falling back, time and time again, as the march of progressive leftism has pushed ever forward by radical authoritarian collectivists, aided and abetted by an establishment political class that has become entrenched and more interested in continuing their political authority rather than preserving the liberties of the People that put them in office.

In the face of this adversity, we must remember that we are a civil society that subscribes to the primacy of the individual and the rule of law. We have an election process that is based on these civilized assumptions, and this process was put in place by the Founding Fathers in order that we have an opportunity to chose a leader based on his or her qualifications and personal honor. If we believe in this system, then we must adhere to the values of civil society and observe civil restraint when we conduct our discourse. If we do not believe in the system, then we need to do as Jefferson suggested and take up arms and alter or abolish it once and for all.

To those who are not storming out of their front door and joining the nearest militia, let’s come to an agreement. Let’s try to respect the best intended choices of candidates of our fellow conservatives, whether they are soft and hard conservatives. As we respect the Primacy of the Individual, we must defer to the right of other individuals to choose those candidates that best fits their conscience and temperament. When we discuss the positions of the candidates, don’t take such discussion as personal attacks. The position of the candidate is their right, and it is the right of the voter to want to discuss it. Approach one another with respect and an open hand, because there will be plenty of time for fists come the general election.

Make no assumptions or inferences of insult, because every conservative, soft and hard, has their own priorities of issues, and their tolerance on one issue, while intolerable to another, may be because they consider another issue (for example: personal liberty or Constitutional principle) much more important than another issue (for example: immigration reform or foreign relations). We don’t have to cut each other’s throats over political matters. Once again, if we don’t trust the process, then it’s time to start a revolution.

In the end, come November 2016, what we cannot have is a third of conservatives so utterly alienated by the political bickering that they refuse to show up to cast their ballot. We also cannot have the ballot split between the Republican candidate and a third party candidate who refused to accept defeat in the Primaries, enabled by supporters so fanatically attached to that individual that they put their devotion to a politician before the interests of the People and necessities of the nation. We have been down that road before, and we know how and where it ends.

Everything will be in vain, if we cannot behave civilly and be mindful of the mistakes of the past. Because, ultimately, if it’s a choice between a candidate that will listen to some conservatives and none, obviously it is better to at least have some influence. We are already living with the consequences of a president with no conservative values.

Authors’s Note – After three months of trying to have meaningful dialogue with the individuals I’d hoped to bridge the gap with, only to find myself blocked, shut down, insulted, and openly defamed by them, I no longer believe this position is tenable. True to my position in this article, I believe that the Second Amendment (peaceful armed resistance) has become the only legitimate political path forward, at least until a Convention of States can be convened.

Liberty is For The Win!


We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW