California: communist kingdom of heaven? 1

The far left government of California is clearing the way for its employees to be openly communist.

On May 9, 2017, AP (always sympathetic to the Left) reported:

Lawmakers narrowly approved the bill to repeal part of a law enacted during the Red Scare of the 1940s and ’50s when fear that communists were trying to infiltrate and overthrow the U.S. government was rampant.

So silly, AP implies. The Red Scare. Such ridiculous hysteria. Rampant!

In fact, America was at war with communism. It was called the Cold War. What many feared was that it would become a nuclear war with communist Russia. That was not an irrational fear.  

The bill now goes to the Senate.

It has not yet been passed by the Californian Senate.

It would eliminate part of the law that allows public employees to be fired for being a member of the Communist Party.

Employees could still be fired for being members of organizations they know advocate for overthrowing the government by force or violence.

The bill updates an outdated provision in state law, said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, the San Francisco Bay Area Democrat who authored the measure.

Some Assembly Republicans said the Cold War-era law should not be changed.

A law made to deal with such a silly old bugbear of an imagined threat, AP would have us feel, is surely obsolete; yet – Oh dear! – not all the elected members of the Californian Assembly are for welcoming communists into government employment:

Assemblyman Randy Voepel, a Southern California Republican who fought in the Vietnam War, said communists in North Korea and China are “still a threat”.  [Our emphasis] 

The quotation marks might be intended to convey, “What a ninny he is!” But the communist states of North Korea and China are still a threat.

Finally, to give a boost to your mirth at what one Republican ninny had to say, AP quotes another (because no one should accuse AP of being one-sided in its reporting):

“This bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican who represents a coastal district in Southern California. “Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against.”

Yes. And whatever the United States stands against, “the Resistance” – aka the Democratic Party – is for.

On Tuesday February 21, 2017, the California State Senate memorialized one of its members who died last year: Tom Hayden.

Who was Tom Hayden? He was a leader of the resistance movement against America fighting Communism in Vietnam. 

In their 1989 book Destructive Generation, Peter Collier and David Horowitz write:

“We created the most massive resistance to a war in the nation’s history,” [Tom Hayden] boasts. Yet the corollary never occurs to him: that this resistance, which caused the defeat of America, resulted in a monster regime that, more than a decade after the end of the [Vietnam] war, still torments its own people, driving them deeper into poverty and diminishing their freedoms through Marxist repression and imperial conquest.

What happened at the memorial celebration?

Did no one protest?

Jennifer Van Laar reports at RedState:

California State Senator Janet Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam about a year after the city fell. Her family came to the United States as refugees when she was five, and was raised in Southern California. She is the first Vietnamese-American state legislator, representing a heavily Vietnamese area of Orange County.

She holds, as do many of the people she represents, strong opinions about those who gave aid and comfort to the Communists during the Vietnam War, including former State Sen. Tom Hayden, who died last year. So when the California State Senate memorialized Hayden Tuesday, she stepped out of the chambers rather than having to listen to her colleagues sing Hayden’s praises:

“He was one of the great visionaries. He was a guy with a lot of courage,” [John] Burton, the California Democratic Party Chairman, said.

“He was a maverick. He was an independent thinker. He was an intellectual. He was a true progressive,” said current Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “He dedicated his life to the betterment of our state and our great country through the pursuit of peace, justice and equity.”

Today [February 24, 2017], Nguyen attempted to make a speech giving a “different historical perspective” about Hayden, but was shut down by Senate leadership. First her microphone was cut, then she was repeatedly told to sit down, and then finally, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) had her led out of the chambers by the Sergeant at Arms. … Someone [told] Lara to have her removed, and he declined, saying, “that only makes it more dramatic.” Finally, State Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) interrupted and said she was “out of order” in her remarks. Nguyen kept talking until she was led out of the chamber.

The misogyny and blatant hypocrisy displayed by Senate Dems in this matter is stunning. When Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attempted to smear Jeff Sessions’ character in a floor speech and was shut down, “She persisted” became an instant rallying cry among feminists and leftists, who defended her right to speak even in contravention of the rules. They accused Sen. McConnell of misogyny. But it’s okay to shut this woman down, because she’s a Republican. She doesn’t have the same rights Sen. Warren has.

Leftists label anyone who wants to come to this country, especially illegally, as a “refugee” worthy of our handouts and of end-runs around the rule of law. But this refugee, Nguyen, cannot be allowed to speak – because her ideas differ from what they want to hear.

Nguyen’s staff tried to clear the speech with Senate leadership beforehand, but were given the run-around. First they told her to just post the speech online. Then they suggested she speak after adjournment, but when Nguyen checked with parliamentary rules procedures she was told that was against the rules.

She told the Los Angeles Times:

“I was told I cannot speak on the issue at all.”

But she persisted. And when she did, Senate President Kevin de Leon’s chief of staff accused her of “wanting to make a scene” and that she “got what she wanted.”

She got what she wanted? She wanted to make a scene? Next thing you know they’ll be calling her an hysterical broad.

Sen. Nguyen did post her entire statement on her Senate website, a portion of which reads:

Members, I recognize today in memory of the million of Vietnamese and the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died seeking freedom and democracy. I recognize that on Tuesday you had an opportunity to honor Senator Tom Hayden. With all due respect, I would like to offer another historical perspective.

On Tuesday, instead of participating, I chose to step out of the chamber out of respect to his family, his friends and to you. In contrast to your comments on Tuesday, I want to share what Senator Hayden meant to me and to the over 500,000 Vietnamese Americans who call California their home, as well as to the over 1 million Vietnamese Americans across the United States.

Mr. Hayden sided with a communist government that enslaved and/or killed millions of Vietnamese, including members of my own family. Mr. Hayden’s actions are viewed by many as harmful to democratic values and hateful towards those who sought the very freedoms on which this nation is founded.

Instead of representing her constituents and speaking up against Communist coddling, she’s supposed to listen to the man in charge and listen when he tells her to sit down and shut up? I don’t think so.

Shame on you, Senator Lara.

The scene of the silencing of California State Senator Janet Nguyen exemplifies communism in power. 

Why do so many Americans like communism after all the unmitigated suffering it has caused over the last hundred years?

Collier and Horowitz offer an explanatory answer:

How does the Left maintain its belief against the the crushing weight of its failures in the past? By recycling its innocence, which allows it to be born again in its utopian faith. The utopianism of the Left is a secular religion (as the vogue of “liberation theology” attests), its promise of an earthly kingdom of heaven. However sordid Leftist practice may be, defending Leftist ideals is, for the true believer, tantamount to defending the ideals of humanity itself. To protect the faith is the highest calling of the radical creed. The more the evidence weighs against the belief, the more noble the act of believing becomes.  

That version of nobility is becoming popular again.

It’s time for some rational fear in California.

The great can sometimes be goofy 5

Mark Davis at Townhall replies to the most frequent criticisms of Donald Trump that are made in objection to his being the Republican candidate for the presidency:

As we ride the white-knuckle Trump train to the Cleveland GOP convention and beyond, the air will fill with criticisms of him. Some will come from Democrats, some from rebellious Republicans. From both sides, some of those criticisms will have merit and others will be simply ridiculous.

So here’s a convenient guide for assessing the anti-Trump pronouncements which we will swim in all summer:

“He is not a consistent conservative.” Completely correct. His populism certainly borrows from some strains of conservative thought, but his trade policies are of a more populist bent, and his willingness to entertain a higher minimum wage is straight-up liberalism.

Many conservatives who have long supported him know he does not bat a thousand, or even .800, but they feel his energy on immigration, job creation and hammering political correctness may result in more genuine conservative victories than, say, a Jeb Bush presidency might have yielded.

“He doesn’t like Hispanics/ women/ fill in the blank.” The attempt to portray Trump as a racist or misogynist fails on its face. It is a slander leveled by people who know he is likely to fare better with Latinos in November than Mitt Romney did in 2012 (27 percent). I’d love to send this year’s entire seventeen-strong GOP field through the streets of South Brooklyn. Precisely one would get waves of appreciative welcome, and it’s not either of our candidates who were actual Hispanics.

As for women, any Republican faces a challenge in the current era of government as master nurturer. But strong, self-reliant women are pervasive among Trump supporters, and there is not a whiff of mistreatment of women in his business history. Quite the opposite, Trump World appears to be a complete meritocracy, where women and people of color are rewarded for performance without regard to race or gender. This is admittedly jarring in a country that has been led too long by Democrats obsessed with weaponizing both.

“He seeks evangelical support, but has hardly led a Biblical life.” Direct hit. And to many, it appears not to matter one shred. …

To us, of course, the comparative unreligiousness of Donald Trump is a big plus.

“He is not a real pro-lifer.” … Has he bought into the absurdity that Planned Parenthood does some good things? He has, meaning he cannot grasp that the organization would not exist but for abortion services. These are not good.

We agree.

But there is no reason to believe that he is somehow lying in his testimony of becoming more pro-life as the years have passed. We conservatives are a funny lot; we persuade and coax and convince and lure people to our side, and when they pivot to agreement with us, we kick them in the crotch for not being with us their whole lives.

“We can’t count on his Supreme Court nominees.” What do people want him to do? He gave us a fat list of wonderful constitutionalist judges who would honorably fill the shoes of Antonin Scalia. Do we need a joint news conference with one of those names so that skeptics can know he means it? That is wildly inappropriate before he even accepts the nomination, and best left to the first days of his presidency, when he can make that announcement surrounded by the compelling imagery of the White House.

Trump’s tormentors responded to his worthy list with the same taunt they roll out with every conservative promise he makes: You can’t believe him, he’s a total liar. This is the mantra of those who don’t just doubt him; they hate him.

“He does stunningly unpresidential things.” Yes, he does, and most of them have helped him win the nomination. To the chagrin of more mannerly tastes, his admittedly brash and aggressive style has been punctuated with moments of truly embarrassing excess.

Those moments have dwindled as he has sent his rivals home. His discipline should sharpen even further now that he has but one opponent to target, and those attacks on Hillary Clinton will delight rather than annoy millions of Republicans who have watched him flay their favored hopeful.

“He contributed to Democrats.” No kidding, as does every businessman who wants to curry favor across party lines. I daresay Trump would not open a checkbook for her these days, now that their relationship is political. This trope is trundled out by critics seeking to sow seeds of doubt as to Trump’s reliability on core values.

“He doesn’t have any core values.” Have you listened to the man? Here are ten off the bat: stronger borders, blasting political correctness, leveling the trade playing field, rebuilding the military, taking better care of veterans, protecting gun rights, creating jobs, speaking truth to global jihad, and the broadly stated but resonant “make America great again”. 

Anyone is free to agree or disagree with those, but they have been recurring themes every day of his campaign. Doubters may claim that he might not follow through on all ten, but I’ll bet his batting average with those stated goals is better than the sorry job the Republican establishment has done following through on all of those things they said they would do if only we won the House, if only we won the Senate, if only, if only.

“He changes his views on the fly.” In general, this is not good. On important conservative economic points, if he has adopted one, he needs to stick to it.

There we disagree. Trump is a pragmatist. He is open to advice.

We hope he will change his mind about protectionism. His favoring it, in relation particularly to China, is the one position he has declared that we firmly object to.

That he can change his opinions is not a bad thing – until he finally adopts a strong free market policy. Only then need he “stick to it”.

His reversal on a job-killing minimum wage increase was a total unforced error.

That said, he has stated often that he may adjust views as he becomes more familiar with various issues. While this annoys ideologues (like me), it may prove somewhat endearing to voters who sense he may listen as he learns the ropes of governance.

And on things like reticence to commit U.S. troops to the Middle East, I am hoping he adjusts that view right after his first security briefing the afternoon of January 20, 2017.

“He compliments Putin.” He sure does, in a certain oblique way, noting the Russian leader’s strength and devotion to his goals. For his part, Putin is eating it up, to the degree that he has thrown a compliment or two back Trump’s way.

This is not exactly “Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

But what it may be is a master deal-maker softening an adversary in preparation for a global chess match that might go better with an opening chapter of sweet-talk than it has of late with Obama’s empty rhetoric followed by inaction or worse.

It is true that Trump has zero experience dealing with foreign leaders. But he has a half-century of experience sizing up rivals and adversaries, using words and actions to lure them toward his agenda.

“He traffics in conspiracy theories.” This wholly accurate Trump criticism holds water, but dings him far less than those wielding it might wish.

His flirtations with such matters has ranged from the goofy (Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald) to the inexcusable (Bush lied about WMDs to get us into war). But these moments seem to flit by without consequence, and the most recent one, the flight of Vince Foster nostalgia, was actually defused by the hyperventilations of overreaction.

Vince Foster was a close associate of Hillary Clinton. How he died is disputed. Did he commit suicide, or was he murdered? The case for doubting suicide is plausible.

As the voices of punditry gasped at his doubts on the official Foster story, millions old enough to remember 1993 thought: “Hmmm. The Clintons. The scandals. The various pressures of covering for them. Foster’s repeated frustrations with the Washington whirlwind. The decades of envelope-pushing by Bill and Hillary ever since. Know what? Maybe I’m not so sure what happened either.” …

“He rooted for people to lose their homes in the recession’s housing collapse.” This is straight from the den of lies that is the Democrat party advertising brain trust.

They found audio of Trump in 2006, musing about how a drop in home prices could provide buying opportunities that could be of benefit to investors. The history of such logic dates to neanderthals hoping tiger pelts would dip in value to grease the wheels of commerce 30,000 years ago.

Yet Elizabeth Warren, who we learn has pocketed some cash from a house flip or two, lashed out against Trump’s cruelty for actively wishing for homeowners to lose everything. There are only two explanations for an attack this baseless: genuine stupidity and malicious intent. Let’s just say she is not stupid.

And finally, “He is only doing this for his own ego.” No doubt, the man has a stratospheric self-image, and doesn’t mind telling us so. But this has been a trait of his for the decades we have known him. Does he engage in business deals for his own image or because he wants them to succeed? Has he plunged into various ventures from the USFL to the Miss America pageant for his own image or because he wanted them to succeed?

He clearly wishes to succeed at everything he does, so why would this not extend to running the country? This does not mean I will necessarily agree with his every instinct, but if he genuinely pursues the things he talks about with determination and seriousness, there will be far more positive results than negative.

In the end, I’d rather have a president interested in actually doing things that will make him look good, than the last seven and a half years of a president who does whatever he wants because he thinks he is already omniscient and omnipotent.

And if, at the end of his presidency, the country will have been truly benefited, Trump will enjoy the enormous benefit of an even loftier list of achievements, and we might enjoy the benefit of an America made, at least in some ways, great again.

Desperate for a woman? 1

We like this column by Mark Steyn so much, and find it so funny, that we’re quoting it in full.

Our only comments are these:

We fervently hope not to have any Democrat succeed Obama to the presidency.

As America is at war, a president is needed who knows what’s going on in the outer world and can be a first-rate commander-in-chief. And such a person is more likely to be a man. (If the Republican Party had a Margaret Thatcher to offer for election it would be different, but it doesn’t. Such people are very rare.)

“Ignore the noise – Clinton will win in 2016,” we are assured by a columnist in Hillary’s journalistic namesake The Hill. “The email flap will be gone soon enough.”

That’s probably the way to bet. Rightie pundits are going on about government-issue Blackberries, insecure servers, federal record-keeping, the law, national security, peripheral stuff like that. Leftie pundits are saying: yawn, nobody cares, it’s never gonna catch fire, give it up. Everyone implicitly agrees that Hillary did something she shouldn’t and that her justification for doing so is ridiculous. The only disagreement is whether it makes any difference. The Hill‘s Fernando Espuelas says no:

Clinton has a built-in advantage — her gender… Some percentage of Americans, likely a large one, would like to cast a historic vote. When polling points to Americans wanting “change”, what bigger change than a woman as president?

A change to a competent citizen-executive whose administration spends within its means, ceases obstructing economic growth and middle-class prosperity, and restores American influence in the world?

Oh, well. One takes his point: Most other citizens of developed and not-so-developed societies cast those “historic votes” long ago – Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon, India, Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Israel, Turkey, Portugal, Germany, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Transnistria …

At the time of those “historic votes” on a good half of that list, “gender” was not “a built-in advantage” but a built-in disadvantage that skilled and nimble female candidates had to be exceptional to overcome.

If I follow Mr Espuelas correctly, he’s saying that America is getting round to its “historic vote” so late that “gender” is now such an advantage that any old female candidate can be dragged across the finish line, no matter how shopworn, wooden, charmless, tin-eared and corrupt.

Maybe. But, even so, Hillary Clinton is still a severe test of that thesis. Charles Krauthammer detects “Early-Onset Clinton Fatigue”. Whether that is yet afflicting the electorate, it certainly seems to have gripped the candidate. At that press conference, Hillary seemed to be going through the motions. Flush with Saudi cash and a well-oiled shakedown Rolodex, Clinton Worldwide Inc has no reason not to run for president, but apparently no compelling reason to run. When the candidate runs into trouble, grizzled drooling attack dogs from the Nineties – Lanny Davis, James Carville – are loosed from their chains and limp dutifully from the Old Pooch Home to bare their remaining fang for their mistress.

Is there anyone new, young, talented willing to defend Hillary? I mean, other than Huma [Abedin], the only woman in America whose marriage rivals the exhibitionist creepiness of the Clintons in their heyday.

Let’s take The Hill‘s chap at his word: “Gender” will trump whatever stiff the Republican primary season throws up. In that case, why not run a woman who isn’t quite so bloody awful at running? Someone younger, someone whose principal selling point isn’t her husband’s surname, someone with actual accomplishments and a political philosophy? She doesn’t have to be that much younger, or accomplished. Elizabeth Warren is two years younger than Hillary, and her principal accomplishments are TARP and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, neither of which is my cup of tea. But that’s two more accomplishments than Secretary Clinton can claim. And okay, she’s not the most riveting public speaker, but she’s Tom Jones at Vegas next to a speak-your-weight machine in a pantsuit. And yes, Senator Fauxcahontas Crockagewea Warren’s got her own scandal – in that she got hired as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color” on the basis of a dubious claim to be one thirty-second Cherokee and having contributed Cole Porter and the Duchess of Windsor’s favorite crab dish from an upscale Manhattan restaurant to a cookbook of authentic tribal recipes.

Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, isn’t that kind of a charmingly amateur, sweetly naive racket? It’s a small-town home-cooked mom’n’pop racket compared to the 24/7 industrial-scale multinational Saudi-kissing pedophile-jetting rackets of Clinton Global Mega-Racket Inc,

As I said, Senator Warren is a mere two years younger than Secretary Clinton, which means, if she’s ever going to run for president, it has to be now. Why not go for it? Wouldn’t Democrats like to elect a real first female head of government like Thatcher or Merkel or Golda Meir or all those Scandinavians? Why should all those Americans itching to cast that “historic vote” have to have it tainted and thrown away on dynastic succession? How “historic” can your vote really be when, insofar as Hillary’s “running” at all, she’s running as if she’s already won and she’s just running out the clock till the coronation? Are Democrat women so cowed and subservient they’re just going to have the House of Saud’s candidate shoved down their throats and meekly be driven to the polls in theirs burqas by Lanny Davis?

Well, yes. Probably. Okay, definitely.

But we can always dream. And my bet is that, after Tuesday, a lot of Democrats are dreaming. A Hillary presidency is an “historic first”: not the first female president, but the second Clinton president, and the second-rate Clinton president.

Warren-Sharpton-copy.jpg,qresize=444,P2C444.pagespeed.ce.fJYOZjMqa87hL3Vse9lS

Warren-Sharpton

 

(Picture from PowerLine)

Credo 3

(We took this information from Breitbart, where Ben Shapiro adds his own cogent comments.)

On July 25, 2014, Senator Elizabeth Warren propounded, to an applauding audience, her “11 Progressive Commandments”.

They constitute the CREDO of a contemporary Democrat: “I believe …” (Though as a passionate collectivist, she prefers of course to say “We believe …”.)

Here they are, with our interpretations and comments:

“We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.” 

Wall Street supports Warren’s Democratic Party more than the Republican Party. So she won’t actually fight it, though she postures as a Joan of Arc leading an army to glory or death. What she means is that, true to her collectivist ideology, she wants government to control the economy.

“We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.” 

Interpretation: We want you to believe that without government (preferably world government) controlling everything you do in your everyday lives, earth will turn into a raging furnace or the seas will rise to cover the land and then you’ll be sorry.

“We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.” 

We hate the fact that there is currently an area of freedom which government can’t control. We must get control over it somehow or other.

“We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.” 

We’ll force employers to pay more, whether the labor provided by their employees is worth more or not. If jobs are lost as a result, we’ll blame the employers.

“We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

What an inspiring declaration of human vision and courage! It will surely ring down through all the ages to come. (We make no apology for our sarcasm. It wells up irresistibly when we’re dealing with this shrill, blustering, trivial-minded demogogue.)

“We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.” 

And if you don’t, you’re a nasty person.

“We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

Ditto last comment.

“We believe —  I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014 — we believe in equal pay for equal work.” 

Ditto again, and you’re also a sexist.

“We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.” 

Well anyway it’s true according to Aristotle’s law of identity, A is A.

“We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

She wants amnesty for all the illegal immigrants now living in the US, and all those likely to cross the southern border from this day forth and even for evermore.

“And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

Joan of Arc again! Fighting for the world to recognize that “corporations are not people”. Huge odds against her there! Untold thousands have risen throughout the land to defend the notion that corporations are people.

And as for women having a right to their bodies – whoever heard of such nonsense? Whatever next!

And that’s enough fun for today, folks!

Another Obama appointee makes the case for communism 5

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

So quoth Elizabeth Warren, attorney, Harvard professor of law, US Senate candidate, communist, and erstwhile Methodist Sunday School teacher, recently appointed Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Ari Armstrong at PajamaMedia argues cogently against her assertions:

To hear Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren tell it, successful business owners get rich off the efforts of taxpayers and contribute nothing in return until they pay a hefty tax bill themselves. Warren gets the story exactly backwards.

Productive business leaders create the wealth that enables us to thrive, seek employment, and on the side pay for governmental services. Such producers typically work long hours, often for years with little pay, risking their own time and money to bring their vision to life. They turn metals, gases, plants, and other natural resources into valuable commodities, and they direct others’ labor to more prosperous ends, expanding our quality of life.

Some say business leaders should “give something back.” But those operating on a free market never took anything from anybody, except in voluntary and mutually beneficial trade. Instead, they produce the goods and services — the computers and cell phones, the health care, the books and movies, the automobiles, the plumbing pipes — than enrich and extend our lives.

Great producers deserve our gratitude and respect, not the ugly, envious sneers so often directed at them by today’s political left. Above all these business leaders deserve a government that protects their rights, including their right to produce wealth and use the resulting profits as they judge best.

Warren invokes the “social contract,” but if that means anything sensible it is to protect individuals from the violence, fraud, and plunder of others. In seeking to peacefully pursue our own lives and interact with others on a voluntary basis, we agree to respect the equal rights of others. We institute government to protect those rights for everyone.

Warren argues that business owners use the roads and education system, the “police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” Warren ignores the fact that the most productive already pay the lion’s share of the tax burden. … The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes … The wealthy also pay more in state and local income, sales, and property taxes (where applicable). In other words, the wealthy pay for most of the governmental services that others use.

Business leaders succeed by intelligently working hard to provide the things their customers want. They succeed despite the onerous taxes and controls of government, not because of them.

Notably, the core governmental services that protect people from harm — the military, police, and the courts — constitute a sliver of the budget of federal and state governments. Most political spending goes toward entitlements at the federal level and welfare or union-dominated education at the state level.

Moreover, businesses directly pay for many of the services that Warren mentions. Businesses pay for their road use through gasoline taxes. Any given business faces a miniscule risk of a large fire breaking out, because businesses provide their own sprinkler systems, alarms, and other fire-prevention infrastructure. Private firms hire more security guards than the total number of police officers in the country. Regarding education, not only do many business leaders finance schools and scholarships, but businesses spend large sums training and educating their employees. …

Warren presumes that politicians and bureaucrats in Washington can spend the wealth created by business leaders better than they can manage themselves. … Warren contends “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” In a sense she’s right: people get rich by providing enormously valuable goods and services to others who willingly pay for them. Warren and other politicians should not be able to dictate what “hunk” of the earnings of others they forcibly seize. Any social contract consistent with justice recognizes that legitimate government does not loot “the rich” (or anyone else) but instead protects people’s rights, including their rights to their earnings.

In Pictures of the Socialistic Future, a prophetic novel written by Eugene Richter in 1893* about a state turning socialist and so ruining the people, there is this passage (Chapter XXX):

Socialism … never contemplated giving to each labourer in his special field the full reward of his work in that particular sphere of labour. It promised the nation as a whole the full reward of the labours effected by the whole people. Whatever these mechanics might turn out of their shops and mills, it was quite clear that the things turned out were not the result purely and simply of hand labour. Expensive machines and tools were equally necessary to their production. In a no less degree were large buildings and considerable means indispensable. All these accessories had not been produced by the workmen actually engaged at the time being. Seeing then that the Community finds all these buildings, plans, and means, it was assuredly only just that the Community should appropriate whatever remained after paying a certain wage calculated at one uniform rate for all persons in the country.

In the story, the hungry, angry mechanics refuse to swallow this absurd argument, and they rise in rebellion against the socialist state that has brought the country to poverty and despair.

The novel was written more than twenty years before any country in Europe tried the experiment of socialism/communism. If  the Russian, German, and Hungarian revolutionary leaders, the communist ideologues who brought disaster on their nations with their long-lived or short-lived revolutions after the First World War, had read it, might they have hesitated to do what they did?

It is interesting to play the game of “what if?” with history, because in human affairs nothing – to contradict Karl Marx – is inevitable.

* To be found at the website of our reader and commenter Don L, to whom thanks for bringing the book to our attention.