The failure of the deep state & our path to come together or grow further apart

I read this article (Autopsy of  Dead Coup) by Victor David Hanson a while back.  
 
After the Mueller report came out this weekend I went back and read it again.  A few things stood out when I originally read it and even more so today.  
 
The deep state is by nature cowardly.
 
What James Rutenberg of the New York Times said represented a deep sense of my frustration with many (almost all) of the people that can’t seem to understand why someone can support Trump and not represent all that is wrong in the world.  
 
For those that sincerely want to understand why people support Trump they should watch this.  
 
For an understanding about how James Rutenberg sees the world read this.
 
James Rutenberg in 2016:
 
“If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable. But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?”
 
It’s clear a huge portion of people hate Trump and see him as a threat – maybe even a majority.  But it should also be fair to assume that the other half honestly considers the alternative to Trump just as threatening?  
 
If this country has any hope, honest and reasonable people have to realize that each side is equally threatened at the prospect of their political opponents moving the country further away from their own ideas about where the country should go.  It has been that way since the beginning and it isn’t ever going to change.  
 
What seems different today is how we are dealing with that sense of threat.  
 
We can either 1) ascribe the worst intentions or motives to our opponents or  2) give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe their heart could possibly be in the right place – or a right enough place.    
 
Option 2, is the only real way forward.  And option 2 starts with each of us individually.  It is hard and necessary.  But, it can’t start at the top – it can only start at the individual level.  
 
The alternative is much worse.
 
When problems don’t get solved, things get worse.  They always get worse.  
 
Things either get better or they get worse. They don’t stay the same.  It’s the way things work. That isn’t changeable.  
 
What is changeable is how we choose to view things and what actions we choose to take next.   
 
Doing nothing and choosing not to change is a choice and an action itself.  It will not lead to a good place. 
 
The leaders we have today are a reflection of us.  And they are all taking harder and harder tacks to their sides as opposed to coming together.  The few that try to govern from a point of consensus don’t get any traction.  That isn’t on them.  That is on  the majority in the middle that keeps supporting the extremes – even though they say they don’t. They do.  Elections every where prove that.  
 
The extremes are getting emboldening, the middle is losing power and the majority is being left out of the conversation.  If we want our leaders to change we have to change. 
 
This is not a small thing.  It is the thing.  When the only people left to govern are those on the extremes, nothing will get get done and the only possible next step is Civil War.  The extremes will fight the extremes and the middle will have to pick sides. 
 
And for the people that don’t think they like their choices today, Civil War eliminates all of the moderate choices. 
 
Don’t think Civil War is in the cards?  Ask those people in Rwanda and Sarajevo  if they thought Civil War was in their cards six-months before it was.  Sarajevo was hosting the olympics less than a decade prior to the Bosnian Civil War.  
 
For more on how Civil War is in the cards and irresponsible to deny it, read this article in the New Yorker, where Keith Mines lays out five conditions for civil war.  
  1. entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution;
  2. increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows;
  3. weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary;
  4. a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership;
  5. and the legitimization of violence as the “in” way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes. 
Yep.  
 
Looking for some hope?
 
The fact that our President isn’t a traitor or a puppet of Russia is a good thing – right?
 
The Mueller Report gives keeps the country out of Civil War.  If anybody thinks that Trumps folks would have sat still and watched him get removed from office peacefully are delusional.  They already thought the system was rigged against them.  This would have proved their point and justified their actions (in their minds at least).  
 
There is now an opportunity (small as it is) for the country to re group and re decide whether it wants to come together or stay on the divisional course it is on now.  The 2020 Election will allow that to take place in a national debate.  We get to pick what that debate is going to look like.  
 
We should decide what we really want, who we want to be and have that discussion.  
 
Want something to be thankful for Trump about?
 
Trump already turned the table over.  A majority of the positions that have been traditionally left and right are all now up for debate (trade, war, prison reform, globalism, immigration….).  Reasonable people can take a step back and ask them themselves what they really think about the key issues.  They are less held by parties than ever before.  New parties and alliances could be formed that more reflect what people really believe and want.  
 
A post Trump presidency (either in 2020 or 2024) is going to be a fundamentally different political structure than a pre Trump presidency.  It will be different.  What isn’t clear is if it will be better.  We get to decide that.  We should act accordingly.  
 
Bonus: A Second thing to be thankful about Trump….
 
He ended the Bush and Clinton dynasties.  That is something we can all come together around.  
 
 
 

Article: 100% Renewable Cities—Is Your Mayor Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

After reading the linked article from Hart Energy, I was left with this question.
 
What’s worse.  
 
A) One who doesn’t believe climate change is real or thinks it is a problem that needs to be solved? 
B) One who believes climate change is real and needs to be solved – but has no idea how to actually solve it?  
C) or, B + pretends like they do know how to solve it.
 
You pick.  
 
If you pick (A), at least (A) isn’t going to waste what some say could be over $100 trillion* (with a t) by the end of the century and improve nothing.  Waste is a crime because that $100 trillion could be put to real use helping real people.  
 
There is a lot in the article everybody should think about (especially if you care about climate change).  
 
The author of the article doesn’t come across as anti renewables but more anti dumb.  He has written what appear to be many thoughtful books on what good approaches to solving climate change could look like.  
 
 
A few gems from the  leaders where I live (gems – who I’m guessing are sincere):  
 
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter pledged their cities to 100 percent renewables by 2030. Major wind system build-outs during the last five years boosted Minnesota to the eighth-leading wind energy state in the US. Renewables now provide about 27% of the state’s electricity. But Minnesota residents are paying for it. Over the last nine years, Minnesota power prices increased 34%, compared to the US average price rise of 7%.
 
I’m thinking they don’t get that when energy costs go up 34% for working people – it is real money.  
 
*I would cite those or better numbers if they weren’t all over the place – which kind of proves my point.  If anybody had a real solution with a real price – all of the supporters would agree and promote that number.  There is no agreement even out there as to what the costs or benefits would be.  If there is agreement out there someone should point it out more clearly.  
 
As a side…  Wanna know what poor people around the world want the UN to spent $100 trillion on?  
 
Watch Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg and see what kids in third world countries think us rich countries should be spending our money on to help them (think – water, schools, medicine). 
 
Better yet.  Watch Lomborg’s TED Talk on global priorities that should be bigger than climate change.
 

Why Warren Buffett Should Keep His Money

Because he would have never given a company like Solyndra $1/2 Billion.  Why wouldn’t he?  Because it is HIS money.

The government has an inherent problem with managing other people’s money, and that is it is other people’s money – or more importantly NOT THEIR MONEY.

The is nothing wrong with what many in Washington want to accomplish.  Nothing at all.  The only issue most have, is that their methods aren’t very effective – or effective at all in some cases.

Warren Buffett may have an interest in “green jobs” too.  The difference is that Warren Buffett is going to insist that the company that wants to create good green jobs and wants his money to do it – has a pretty good chance of success.  Because it isn’t going to matter what good intention or story the company may have had to begin with.  The only thing that will matter in creating real jobs and real green energy will be success.

For sure, Buffett would have passed on Solyndra.  But, would we he have kept that money for himself?  NO!  That isn’t what he does.  Buffett would have found another Solyndra.  One that had a better business model and one that in the end – would have created real jobs around a real business.

That is the tragedy in all of this – Buffett wanting to send his money to Washington and have it go to more Solyndra’s.  Most people with common sense would see money in Buffett’s hands is just way more productive.

Who knows if Buffett is smarter than the guys in Washington – probably.  But that isn’t the point.  The point is that it doesn’t matter.  Some in Washington were actually very smart with regards to Solyndra.  They pin pointed the exact month that Solyndra would fail.  They did their due diligence just like any private sector Venture Capitalist would have done.  The problem was that the guy or guys at the top had other (political) reasons for throwing $1/2 Billion at a company like Solyndra.  Politics has never been able to pick winners and losers in the private sector and has never been able to create real jobs.  Never has – Never will.

The guys at the top in the private sector, for the most part, only win when they are right.  That is how they make money – long lasting money.  The truth is that it is hard to create long lasting money without creating long lasting jobs.  We’re not talking about the crooks and those that are making money by beating the system.  We are talking about 95% of the private sector that just shows up each day, puts in a hard days work and wins slowly over a long period of time.  Those are the ones (the businesses) that get Buffett’s money.

While the private sector only wins when it is right – politicians have the luxury of wining when they can convince people they are right.  They don’t have to actually BE RIGHT, they just have to SOUND RIGHT.

In nobody’s world is that a good system.

So we should hope that when the next Facebook or Amazon is out there looking for money to start their new idea, the money they need is in Buffettt’s hands and not Washington’s.

If creating real meaningful jobs and a growing economy is really the goal – let’s keep the money with the guys that know what to do with it.  On this one – the smart money has to be on Buffett.

Sorry Warren – you’re right, even when you are wrong.

 

 

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