Cuban Literacy

© 2020 Jim Spence -  Watching Bernie Sanders offend virtually every Cuban refugee in America by insulting their intelligence should serve as a teaching moment. However, don’t expect Bernie to learn anything. Bernie is a committed Marxist. He's not really "in to" learning.
When you are a committed Marxist, the murderous legacies of people like Joe Stalin, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and the Kim family in North Korea are downplayed. Bernie would prefer to talk about the "great" healthcare and education systems in those countries.
All of this is horse dung. Bernie and his followers are so naïve. They seem to have no clue that healthcare in those countries is atrocious. Just Google "hospital conditions in Venezuela" and read the stories until you get nauseous.
Enough about socialism and healthcare. Let’s talk about the "literacy" programs in places like Cuba. On several occasions I have had long discussions with a woman who actually escaped Cuba in the dark of the night sixty years ago. She left the island nation with her husband after Castro’s brown shirts confiscated everything they had and threatened them with prison or even worse if they complained. Their crime in the eyes of the violent socialists with zero respect for their property? Her husband was a pediatrician and she was the mother of several young children.
The literacy improvements Bernie praises in Cuba are a total sham. Cuba had perhaps the highest literacy rate of any Spanish speaking nation in the Western Hemisphere when Castro seized power. The claim that the trend of literacy rates changed under Castro is total bunk. However, Bernie feels compelled to downplay the violent authoritarianism in Cuba. When confronted on authoritarianism, Bernie suggests he is opposed to it, but he still supports socialist/Marxist policies.
Here’s a news flash for Bernie and his devoted zombies. If Castro, Chavez, Mao, Stalin, Kim, and Ortega didn’t jail or kill opponents and effectively rule by martial law in those places, free and fair elections would have run them out of town long ago.
Authoritarian rule is the defining characteristic of Marxist regimes everywhere. To suggest violent violations of basic human rights are just a little "side effect" of the drug of socialism is self-delusion. Self-determination helps people get better government, not oppression. In the places Bernie defiantly defends, he pretends all the great benefits of Marxism outweigh the negatives of totalitarianism.
What is the literacy program in Cuba all about? Literacy programs in places like Cuba are indoctrination machines to convince people to accept martial law. Castro deliberately brainwashed millions of Cubans to hate free markets and worship him. Schools in Cuba don’t teach facts, they teach blind loyalty to the Castro regime. That is not literacy, that is coerced hypnosis.
In America one must give credit to the Democrats. They took control of education long ago. And Democrats have an army of millions of schoolteachers (not all teachers, but a significant percentage) who are committed to indoctrinating students to trust bureaucrats and be suspicious of anyone who runs a successful business.
Hapless Republicans have been too slow to recognize how they have been duped by the, “Support the children and their education” schtick. Millions of Americans think they are supporting education, when they are actually supporting overt socialist indoctrination.
In the meantime, while public education emphasizes everything except freedom of choice, many Americans who understand what has happened to public schools, have taken to home schooling to get their kids away from the brainwashing processes. Home schooling is an outright rejection of the socialist indoctrination machine.
When Bernie suggests we can improve education with a Castro-style literacy push.....don’t believe him. Instead, believe those who left in the middle of the night, with the clothes on their backs, to get away from the “paradise” Castro and Bernie think is so great.

We Need an Much More Accomplished Liar

© 2020 Jim Spence -  James Carville and Chris Matthews of MSNBC are saying things that most Democrats are secretly thinking. “Oh my God, Bernie Sanders is going to be the nominee.”
People who actually listen to candidates speak about our country including what they think in general, don’t understand all the consternation from Matthews and Carville. Others are having trouble concealing ear-to-ear grins.
There’s one gigantic political problem with Bernie Sanders. James Carville, Chris Matthews, and most other people who are not on hallucinogenic drugs know it. Whereas men like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama disguised their deep preference for more bureaucracy at the expense of the private sector, Bernie draws attention to his preferences for these things.
Partisans like Matthews and Carville don’t care much about the most effective public policies. And they certainly don’t care about Democrats lying to voters. The only thing they care about is Democrat’s winning. And they know that when socialist-leaning Democrats (they all are) begin to speak “too openly” about how much more they trust bureaucrats, and how little they trust citizens to make important decisions, they know it is more likely that Democrat candidates will NOT be elected.
The contrasts in the coming months will be stark. Think back to Barack Obama, when he would brazenly look right into the camera and tell Americans, “If you like your current health insurance you can keep it.” Of course, Obama knew it was a lie. Millions of people with health insurance they liked found out the truth after Obamacare became law. Tens of millions of health insurance policies got cancelled, and replaced with ones that carried higher-deductibles, higher co-pays, and higher premiums. Obama had duped them.
Carville and Matthews are glum these days because they see that Bernie is telling people right up front he is going to cancel their health insurance policies and give them a bureaucracy-dominated alternative. Carville and Matthews don't care if Bernie does this, they just don't want him to tell anyone.
Independents are thinking this Trump versus Bernie match-up will be very enlightening. The debates won’t be as much about their flawed personalities as they will be about their policy preferences. It will be a battle of ideas for a change.
Some of Bernie’s ideas are about to get the spotlight outside the Democratic primary season echo-chamber. Bernie will continue to tell the country that our society is racist from top to bottom. Trump will point to staggering improvements in job statistics and wages for minorities since 2016.
Bernie will continue to praise Cuba’s literacy program that was started by Fidel Castro sixty years ago. Bernie will insist that a literacy program is good even if it is like Iran’s and Cuba’s. In these countries and some others, to this very day, from kindergarten forward, the students are taught to chant anti-American slogans and phrases. Bernie likes this because he likes to chant the same things. And Bernie is content to look the other way on the fact that most of the socialists he praises have jailed opponents to socialism. The cost of being fair, in Bernie's world, is having to suppress free speech. Repeat that a few times.
While Trump will talk about the incredible damage oil price shocks have done to the U.S. economy over the years, and how great it is that America is energy independent, Bernie will talk about banning fracking, so we fall back into that deep deep energy hole we just climbed out of.
Trump will talk about murderous illegal alien gangs protected by Democratic Party sanctuaries. He will talk about open borders and human trafficking. He will talk about the insanity of using U.S. taxpayer’s limited resources to pay for entitlements to illegal aliens that citizens don't enjoy. Bernie will argue for open borders and freebies for all, and accuse anyone who disagrees of being a racist.
While Trump will argue that Roe vs. Wade already legalizes abortions up to six months. Bernie will argue that any woman at any stage of pregnancy beyond the sixth month, even in the ninth month, should be allowed the "right" to order an abortionist to kill the child or neglect it until it dies if the abortionist fails to kill it beforehand.
While Trump will question the wisdom of college students borrowing huge sums of money to obtain degrees that involve no marketable skills, Bernie will argue that bureaucrats should be in charge of all higher education with taxpayers footing the bill for every person to go to college for free. Sounds like Bernie's version of Cuba’s “literacy” program.
While Trump will argue that Medicare is a special program for the elderly, after they live beyond their working years, Bernie will argue that this program for the elderly should be for everyone, with taxpayers footing the bill and bureaucrats running the entire system. It will be like healthcare at the department of motor vehicles.
With obesity being the number one health hazard for America’s poor, Bernie will argue that poor people are starving in America, because rich people eat all of their food. Trump will probably just point at Bernie when he says stuff like this and smirk.
For independents it should be a fabulous debate season. Finally, we will see the contrasts between openly-socialist Bernie, and openly pro-prosperity Trump.
No wonder Chris Matthews and James Carville are losing what is left of their deceitful and politically acute minds. They see a train wreck. They know Democrats need a better liar.
Will Matthews get another "thrill up his leg," like he did in 2008?
Don't bet on it.

Bernie's dubious biography

© 2020 Jim Spence -  The film clips of the Democrats going after Michael Bloomberg were fascinating. They were also nauseating. There are many reasons for politicians to go after one another, it is part of the process. However, each Democrat on the "debate" stage in Nevada last week began their attack on Bloomberg by intoning dramatically with scorn, that because he is a “billionaire” this fact alone disqualified him from being the nominee. All the other Democrats at the podium were millionaires including the openly socialist and wealth-despising Bernie Sanders, who actually owns three homes. It was a bunch of millionaires against one billionaire in Las Vegas.
Just the opposite should be the default mindset for an America seeking to solve problems. Billionaires should be studied. America needs more billionaires, not fewer. Billionaires tend to have skills regarding the proper management of resources, as well as the ability to work successfully with other people. Show me a billionaire, and I’ll show you a person who probably understands teamwork.
Fixing the disaster in Washington D.C. will require a nation interested in people who understand teamwork.
As Bernie Sanders begins to romp all over the pathetic field of choices in the Democratic Party primaries, it is time to do some basic research and discover what he and his "team" have accomplished in 78 years of life, including many terms in the U.S. Senate.
Bernie Sanders' father never finished high school. But much like Bernie, Ben Sanders had strong views on why he experienced financial problems his whole life. Family members suggest the elder Sanders routinely tormented his entire family with screaming rants about his financial problems. And apparently Bernie’s father constantly blamed American society and economic inequality, for his perceived lack of income and wealth. Despite Sander’s father being uneducated and not exactly ambitious, Bernie was raised in a middle-class neighborhood with most of the niceties Americans enjoy.
Sanders has openly admitted that he was a lazy student. He scraped by academically at Brooklyn College and later when he transferred to the University of Chicago, he was hardly motivated to study and develop his mind. Those who know him say Bernie remained enrolled in college primarily to keep him protected from the draft.
While Sanders was in college, he joined socialist organizations and supported communist causes. Perhaps Sanders first taste of fame came when he gained national notoriety by petitioning Northwestern to allow students have sex in the dormitories.
Bernie Sanders spent half of his adult life as an able-bodied college graduate with two primary income sources: unemployment checks, and women who supported him financially. Bernie worked a few odd jobs when he first married his college sweetheart, Deborah Shilling. Eventually Sanders inherited enough money when his parents died to buy a shack in Vermont sitting on 85 acres of land. The dwelling had a dirt floor and no electricity. Still, Bernie had no intention of improving the place as he steadfastly refused to work a steady job. Not long after they married, Deborah Shilling had had enough of Bernie's lethargy and sloth and she divorced him. After only being married to him for 18 months she moved on.
Bernie was pretty much a self-described draft dodger in the late 1960’s. What he is less likely to disclose is that he was also a deadbeat dad. Sanders sired a son (Levi) out of wedlock in 1969 with his girlfriend, Susan Mott. As a father, Bernie had no intention of working enough hours to support himself, let alone his son Levi. He left that responsibility to others. For years Bernie was content to subsist on an occasional carpentry job while studiously navigating to get or stay eligible for unemployment checks.
Bernie decided to write “articles” for publication. He collected small fees, typically $15 to share his wisdom. The most noteworthy article Sanders ever wrote was one that suggested that most women fantasize about being gang raped. Who knew?
The mother of his child, Susan Mott , soon began to realize her relationship with Bernie was never going to be about their son Levi. It was going to be all about Bernie. Like Deborah Shilling, Mott left Sanders.
Bernie repeatedly attempted to secure a steady paycheck by being elected to public office. However, for years, the Vermont voters knew a lazy, deadbeat, grifter when they saw one and Bernie lost time and time again. Finally Bernie became the Mayor of Burlington in 1981.
A long time passed before Bernie found true love again. He met fellow radical Jane Driscoll in 1981 and they were married in 1988. The happy couple honeymooned in the Soviet Union on the City of Burlington's dime. It turns out their visit to the USSR came right before the country and the other socialist economies in Eastern Europe the USSR dominated, collapsed.
Bernie and Jane Sanders never saw a "soon to implode socialist economy" they did not want to visit and praise. They spent time in Nicaragua praising the pro-Soviet Sandinista government and the food lines there. They also loved Hugo Chavez as he destroyed Venezuela. Food lines are a good thing according to Bernie. Bernie seems more comfortable with communist butchers that committed countless human rights violations, supported anti-American terrorists, and imprisoned or exiled non-socialist opponents, than he is with Americans who work and pay taxes.
The Sanders also traveled to Cuba in hopes of meeting their hero Fidel Castro. Castro was too busy to meet either one of the Sanders.
The Bernie Sanders biography is all about lethargy and sloth. He never held a full-time job or voted in any election, until the voters in Burlington, Vermont finally caved in and elected him mayor at the age of 40. Eventually, Bernie parlayed his name recognition in Vermont into a Senate seat.
In all of Bernie’s years representing Vermont in the U.S. Senate, Bernie has passed a total of three bills though he introduced more than three hundred. Two of those bills assigned names to post offices in Vermont.
Bernie and Jane Sanders have formed a team. Her main claim to fame is she bankrupted Burlington College in Vermont. It only took Jane less than a year to destroy the college’s finances before she was removed as president of the institution by the board.
These days Bernie accuses Michael Bloomberg of trying to buy the nomination with his billions. Based on Bernie’s long history of shirking his responsibilities, he intends to buy the nomination with promises to spend taxpayers money on others. This fits Bernie's M.O. He is a man who refused to provide child support and paid little if any taxes for the first 40 years of his life.
Bernie may have sold his hollow biography to the strange voters in Vermont, but it seems unlikely that people who work and pay taxes in the rest of America are going to trust him to understand what being responsible entails.

Income Inequality: How many people do you know who own three homes?

© 2020 Jim Spence -  A close friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter came home from public school recently and told her mother that we should just do away with money. “Nobody should have more than anyone else,” she reasoned. “it’s not really fair.”
It was clear to mom that there must have been a particularly emphatic socialism indoctrination session at school that day. No doubt it was conducted by an economic justice warrior masquerading as a teacher.
Mom, smiled and said, “Well what about work? Who would work if there was no money or paychecks?”
“Nobody would have to work,” her daughter replied. “Everyone would share everything equally.”
Mom explored, “Well what would everyone do all day if there was no work?”
Daughter’s answer made about as much sense as a Bernie Sanders stump speech. “We could just hang out, relax, have fun, and maybe travel a lot more.”
Mom asked several questions, “How would we go anywhere? Who would work at the airports? Who would fly the planes? Who would do safety checks on the planes? Who would load our luggage? If we drove instead of flying, who would sell us gasoline or fix our tires if they went flat?”
The daughter got a puzzled look on her face. “I never thought about those things,” she said now unsure.
“How about if everyone in your class was given a C, even the lazy kids who don’t do their homework or pay attention in class like you do? You wouldn’t get any A’s and they wouldn’t get any D’s or F’s. Everyone would get an equal grade of C,” mom suggested.
“That isn’t fair,” daughter said.
Mom said, “That is what would happen if we did away with money. Nobody would try because it would be unfair to anybody who tried.”
Daughter actually got what mom was saying.
The question is will Bernie Sanders continue his surge in the polls? It is a surge defined by the nature of the voters in Democratic primaries who don’t get what daughter got in the discussion above. The Sanders supporters never think about those things either, when Sanders is delivering his phony schtick on the idea of equal outcomes for all. 
Let’s consider some of the things Bernie has said and done. Sanders was captured on film in the 1980’s bashing the United States economic system, despite the fact the U.S. has the richest poor people in the world. Bernie actually said this to justify the onset of severe poverty in Nicaragua not long after the socialists took power there, “It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”
The poor people are starving to death in wealthy capitalist countries like America according to Bernie and his pretend game. Yet one of the biggest health problems in the lower income segments of U.S. society is obesity. So, it is more than a stretch to say the poor in the U.S. are starving as Bernie pretends.
Bernie pretends about many things besides starvation in the U.S. He bashes millionaires and billionaires on every debate stage, as if their hard work and success is a nasty stain instead of a sign of ability, drive, discipline, and accomplishment.
Bernie never had a regular job until he figured out that pretending that successful people are the problem could be leveraged into a career in politics by conning the gullible. Financially, Bernie hit his stride when he started bashing millionaires. Now he is one.
There are great paradoxes associated with everything Bernie claims. Bernie owns three homes, as he refines his sermons on equality of outcomes to those who mostly rent an apartment or live with mom and dad. How many people do you know who own three homes?
Bernie flies first class, not coach. A guy we know who has become successful in the investment business after decades of hard work, has never flown first class. How many people do you know who fly first class regularly?
Bernie honeymooned in the Soviet Union before its economy imploded and the Berlin Wall fell. He praised economies run by other socialists too. His favorites were the dictator butchers: Fidel Castro in Cuba, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Forget all the people these socialists killed for speaking their minds, all three of these socialists presided over living standards plunges and economic implosions. Anytime Bernie is reminded of all the praise he heaped on these socialists before their economic disasters, he gets huffy and tries to convince everyone that even though he was talking about socialism in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua at that time ......what he was really talking about was how much he would like America to be like "Denmark."
The good news is most Americans don't want to live in a place that is more like Denmark. And Denmark voters have also realized that socialism fails. The Danes have been introducing market-based reforms for years.
Here’s a crazy concept. Most people WANT their doctor to go to school for many years, study hard and develop discipline, go on to med school and choose a branch of medicine to practice, and then serve as a resident. People want their doctors to have the opportunity to make a lot of money as a reward for all their hard work, skill development, and sacrifices. In particular, patients want their doctor to make more than their server at the restaurant, or the sanitation worker who hauls away the garbage, because of the training required and the skill differences between those occupations are stark.
Bernie says America is racist society from top to bottom. Really? Is virtually everyone you know a remorseless bigot? Bernie seems to think they are. Maybe you just never noticed like he does before he tries to stoke the fires of racial paranoia?
Bernie says billionaires should not exist. Why not? Most people think men like Steve Jobs at Apple, who spearheaded the process that led to the creation of the I-phone, deserved to get rich because billions loved and still love the products.
Bernie is certainly parlaying his political schtick. If Bernie’s supporters want to donate money to Bernie that is just fine. If Bernie does well enough with managing his political franchise to buy and maintain three houses, that is fine. Bernie has now become a millionaire because he has been bashing the hell out of millionaires. Oddly, that is fine too.
However, perhaps Bernie should stop trying to take control of decisions others make with their money, that might make someone else rich too.
Only a greedy control freak would deny everyone else opportunities that Bernie takes advantage of. Bernie wants to run your life, because he thinks he and more bureaucrats can do better than you can. It is hard to imagine an America that is going to let him do that.


Despite the hatred, Trump gets it done

© 2020 Jim Spence -  Sometimes when you witness a week like we did last week, you have to pause and reflect.
How does the win in the Democrat's Iowa caucuses go to……Trump? The answer is simple. The Democrats demonstrated gross incompetence on something pretty easy to do…..that would be count votes. Democrats made themselves look even more ridiculous by pining for more complex things to “manage,” when they proved they could not count, when it counted. Iowa was a train wreck and the Hindenburg. All the millionaire front runners in the Democrat race, spent millions in the state. At the end of the process on Monday night and still today, the Democrats were so inept at management, leadership, and execution of the basics, nobody can figure out who won. And nobody trusts the numbers, including DNC chair Tom Perez, who called for a do-over.
Governing Democrat elitists in Washington had a horrible week. Their favorite candidate is Joe Biden. Old Joe clearly used plenty of political capital getting the House impeachment hacks to run cover for the Hunter/Joe Biden corruption video that is making the rounds. Now, it looks like the impeachment diversion was unable to keep the wool over the eyes of Democrats in the heartland. Of course, serial race baiter Joy Reid of MSNBC declared the term, “heartland” to be racist. But we digress. Biden got hosed in Iowa, and he is going to get hosed in New Hampshire. Not enough dog face support?
Trump delivered a State of the Union address on Tuesday. During his speech he honored those who deserved to be honored, including a Tuskegee Airman war hero from WWII. The Democrat’s response was not exactly appreciative of the man’s amazing service. They mostly scowled, looked bored, or even disgusted.
The State of the Union included daunting statistics on the advances made by Latino and Black Americans since 2016. And polling is suggesting that Trump might grab a chunk of the votes in those communities that could blow away any opponent with a D next to his or her name in November. Democrats hated all those amazing stats about jobs for Latinos and Blacks. If they can't take credit it is not important! Jobs schmobs.
Democrats were also outraged Tuesday night that Trump would dare to invite young human being and her mother. The little girl had survived premature birth. She was delivered after spending just 21 weeks in her mother’s womb. That is about five months folks. Democrat’s did not want to cheer for the little girl simply because they did not consider her a human being when she was born. Democrats want mothers to be able to wait until the ninth month of a pregnancy, and still be allowed to order an abortionist to kill their babies. It is all about what the mother decides……because crushing a baby's skull or severing the spinal cord isn’t infanticide, it is simply the right to “choose.”
Speaking of choice, while the Democrats love choice when it comes to having the leeway to kill babies who are late term, they cannot stand the idea of giving children and their parents “choices” to get out of dangerous war zones also known as failing schools. Again, Trump introduced a student on Tuesday night who desperately needed a choice of schools and Democrats were miffed. Teachers unions and education bureaucrats hate school "choice." They want to retain the power, control, and the funds.
Later in the evening, Nancy Pelosi topped it all off when she was caught on television tearing up her copy of the Trump speech. She did so with a psycho-like expression on her face. She acted like she was some sort of pre-menstrual middle school student council member being forced to listen to the boy she hates.....because he was elected class president over her best friend.
At a prayer breakfast later in the week, Nancy Pelosi topped her Tuesday performance when she said the reason to be in politics was, “for the children.” Obviously she means the choice to kill “children” or deny “children” choices for decent schools. It is all about “the children” you know.
On Wednesday, the Senate acquitted Trump of the absurd impeachment charges. The only GOP member who voted in favor of one of the two charges, was the guy the Democrats called a greedy pig and a racist bastard back in 2012. They praised him last week. It was some guy named Romney. Apparently Mitt did not realize if the people he voted with in 2020 ever get the chance to call him those vile names again……they will.
On to New Hampshire where Bernie Sanders pretty much dismissed the entire population of citizens in the nation (presumably whites only) when he said, “We have a racist society from top to bottom." He didn’t stop there. He also implied that America’s healthcare system, criminal justice system, and the economy, was infected by this plague. Self-loathing anyone?
In the end, it is not tough to see what is happening in America right now. Politics is show business and when one show accuses millions of its would-be viewers of being slime bags, and the other show projects optimism and humor, guess which pilot is going to get rejected and which show is going to get renewed.
The new week began with Hollywood’s millionaires taking the stage on Oscar night. With the weakest viewer ratings in memory, the entertainment elites were seen joining hands with all the millionaires at the podiums in the Democrat’s debates. They felt compelled to tell the heartland how evil millionaires are.
In the meantime, wages are rising and anyone who wants to work can find a job.
It is a long way to November. But it sort of looks like America thinks that despite all his flaws, Trump is very entertaining, and he can do this job, despite all the hatred directed his way.

Publish Research on the Iowa Caucus Debacle?

© 2020 Jim Spence -  Universities and colleges were presented with a tremendous research opportunity this week. The Iowa caucuses debacle is a near perfect case study for the higher education departments teaching and doing research on business, management, history, civics, sociology, culture, and government. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez tried to quietly throw in the towel yesterday when he called for "A complete recanvassing of the Iowa caucuses after continued reports of errors and inconsistencies in the results."
Charles Munger says anytime there is a persistent unsolved problem, it is best to check the structure of the incentives. There is so much more that could be learned from the 2020 Iowa caucuses than what is being “reported.” The reason the reporting does not illustrate all the significant factors that led to the Iowa debacle, is because learning from the debacle runs counter to much higher priorities.
Consider the context. Candidates and their teams spent millions and millions of dollars from their campaign war chests all over Iowa during the last eight months. In the end, the words of DNC Chair Tom Perez will suffice, "Enough is enough. In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass." This won’t happen because it is totally impractical.
It is important to realize what motivates people who are activist members of the Church of Progressivism (Democrats), in the Hawkeye state. Activists in the Iowa Democratic Party are not much different than their Progressive congregation members in every other state. When the presidential candidate caravans roll into their state, the activist’s main objective is to engage in personal networking. They meet, they greet, and they weigh their options inside the political fishbowl. What can they do that gives them the best chance to improve their influence in the church? Most activists in the church are bureaucrats. These are the same bureaucrats who figure to benefit from massive financial support from the policies of the winner of the Democratic caucuses. Of course the funds always come from taxpayer dollars.
Independent American voters should recognize that the experience caucus attendees had in Iowa this week, as reflected by what DNC Chair Perez said, is not dissimilar to the experience we all have during any trip to a V.A. hospital, a college admissions office, or a motor vehicle department. The common thread in all of this is bureaucracy. The Iowa debacle is not an isolated incident. It is simply a high-profile incident because members of the national press are paying attention. Sort of.
The root cause of the Iowa debacle is the fundamental nature of bureaucracy and its relationship with politics and politicians. Bureaucracy repeatedly produces disappointing results like it did in Iowa this week because it is used to being unaccountable for bad execution of basic tasks. Think about the culture governing those who failed in Iowa this week. The priority is to network for personal political benefit. Quickly and accurately counting caucus votes, which one would think would be the priority for those in charge of running the caucuses, was NOT a priority. Clearly the activists, bureaucrats, and office seekers, did not establish the priority to work as a team, plan the process, test the system repeatedly, envision snags, and have back up plans in case of glitches. That's not my job!
America is told by those working as anchors and on panels at the Church of Progressivism Television Networks that this is most certainly an unfortunate but……..isolated incident. Again, those of us who try to obtain customer service from government agencies run by bureaucrats know better.
Don’t expect members of the Church of Progressivism who teach and do research in higher education to do a deep dive into this situation and publish research results in the academic journals highlighting the fact that the incentives for bureaucrats are in the wrong place. There will be no peer-reviewed papers suggesting that bureaucracy will almost always gravitate towards a culture that produces a steady stream of disappointing results.
Thomas Sowell described the flawed approach to empowering bureaucracy long ago when he said, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
In Iowa, because the light is shining on them, the bureaucrats are behaving predictably. Every member of the caucus management group is pointing the finger at someone else. In everyday life, when citizens get the same sort of half-hearted efforts and poor service from bureaucrats, the bureaucrats don’t even bother to point fingers. There is no light shining on them and they long ago realized there will be no accountability. Firing failing bureaucrats is one of the hardest things to do.
Ironically, the field of Progressive candidates flew away from Iowa in their high carbon-footprint gas guzzling jets to New Hampshire. They were all grumbling about the experience. However, when they landed, they started the same process all over again. The stump speeches are familiar. “Trump is the devil and what we really need to do is give more power and resources to bureaucracy, because it can be counted on to do a great job of solving your problems.” Bureaucrats in academia, and those working at government agencies applaud. News anchors at the Church of Progressivism Television Networks call in a panel of experts to analyze the stump speeches and everyone nods in approval. Before signing off the panel reaches a consensus, Trump voters are deplorable.

Substance Trumps Style

© 2020 Jim Spence - There is so much to talk about. The Iowa Caucuses come around as often as the Olympic Games. Once every four years it is an important operation that requires leadership and management. The 2020 Iowas Caucuses is the subject of for at least one column.
Mitt Romney commits political suicide. Who knew? Of course there was that time when he was seen climbing up on the ledge.
It does not work well to try to think like an everyday person, when trying to get inside the head of an ambitious politician. You have to think more deeply about their “perception” of perceptions, instead of reality.
In Mitt Romney's announced justification for voting to toss Trump out of office by force, he presumed to divine Donald Trump’s motives. He did so despite the availability of the film of Joe Biden (watch it here) bragging about halting an investigation into his son Hunter in the Ukraine. Biden didn't admit to using $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer loan guarantees as leverage. HE BRAGGED ABOUT IT. One can only assume that Biden has become so used to getting away with different forms of corruption, he doesn’t even realize what corruption is. Or put another way, the video of Biden’s bragging, should be played in every household in America until it sinks in. This guy is really corrupt and dumb. And the voters in the Democratic primaries have figured it out too. It is really sinking in.
Since Romney dared to divine the motives of Trump, we will do the same with the analysis of his motives. The Romney situation is actually not very complex. Trump and his team saw the video of Biden literally confessing to a crime in the Ukraine. They chose to investigate. We must surmise that Mitt Romney thinks the film of the Biden confession is irrelevant. This makes no sense. Romney knows that Trump, as America’s executive officer (which includes law enforcement), has every right to determine if the Ukraine had information about an illegal shakedown. Were there elements of politics involved in Trump's actions? Of course there were. Politics is involved in everything that goes on in Washington.
The bottom line is simple. Political calculations were also at the heart of the Romney impeachment vote. Mitt wants to draw a line in the sand distinguishing himself from Trump. He wants to be set apart. He will get his wish.
Mitt did not really think this through very well. He seems to think public policies that are working will simply be a passing fad. He must also be thinking that eventually the Church of Progressivism will become resurgent. However, it is a real head scratching experience to figure out how Mitt could think Progressives will turn to good ole Mitt in any election. More amazing is the fact that Utah sent this guy to Washington. Don't make any long range plans on your senate seat buddy.
We learned all we needed to learn about Romney when he was captured on film TELLING THE TRUTH in 2012. The subject was the federal income tax rolls in the United States. When Mitt was filmed on a phone explaining to donors that only half of Americans were paying ANY share of the tax burden, he was right. Virtually 50% of U.S. citizens pay no federal income tax.
Sadly, when Romney was challenged on this point by the anchors working at the Church of Progressivism television networks, he pretended he was misunderstood, and he retracted what he said about tax fairness.
There is a label for this sort of duplicitous behavior by politicians. Many observers call people like Mitt Romney "weasels." A good number of the 50% of Americans that actually pay for all the services the federal government provides, felt completely betrayed by Romney when he did this.
Contrast Mitt' smooth duplicitous "style" with the abrasive approach of Trump. What would Trump have done under the same circumstances? He most surely would not have backtracked and Kow Towed to members of the Church of Progressivism media. He would have doubled down and told them to take a long hard look at the IRS’s own reports on federal income tax receipts. Trump has a bias in support of all people who pay income taxes. It is quite a flaw.
The great irony of all this is how Romney is reveling in the praise heaped on him by members of the Church of Progressivism media, and church members in the House and Senate. He seems to forget that it was just eight short years ago these very same people who just tried unsuccessfully to alter the 2016 election, were branding Romney as a shameless racist and greedy capitalist pig.
C’mon Mitt, you are an ambitious politician. This role requires you to remember who your friends are. If you don’t do so, it won’t be too long before you don’t have any real friends.
Also remember this Mitt, Substance Trumps Style. (pun intended)

Scorched earth religous war continues

© 2020 Jim Spence -  Over the past couple of months or so, this column has begun to discuss the ways that Trump might be making sensational inroads with minority voters. A few polls (always be skeptical of polls) suggest that he is going to grab unprecedented shares of votes in both the Black and Hispanic communities. There might be something to this.
On CNN Tuesday night, Church of Progressivism elder, Van Jones suggested that Democrats, “Wake up,” to this fact. He asserted that President Donald Trump was effective enough in going after black votes to, “Cause us problems.”
The entire topic was viewed from the identity group prism on the Church of Progressivism TV Channel panel. It appears that some church members suspect that Trump is beginning to create much more satisfaction with overall race relations in the nation. However, it is clear that the elders do not know why Trump is polling so well.
Note the language used by Van Jones, and others at CNN, and how incredibly possessive their words are about the groups they think they own title to:
“We’ve got to pay a lot more attention both to what’s going on with the Latino vote. Are we going to get a benefit in terms of having them respond? And with the black vote? Is it going to be a split-off? Especially for black male voters? We’ve got to be clinical about this stuff” Jones urged. “We get so emotional about it. That was a warning shot to us that he’s going after enough black votes to cause us problems.”
At some point those leading the shrinking Church of Progressivism, especially it’s deacons, its choir members, and its preachers, need to start going after ALL AMERICAN VOTES. Formerly loyal congregation members are walking out on the sermons.
Perhaps it is time to stop pretending in all church sermons, that minority voters are somehow fundamentally different. People are people. We are all just human beings. The vast majority of adults all want pretty much the same BASIC things: 1) A decent job with chances to advance, 2) safe neighborhoods for families, 3) decent schools for their kids, and 4) freedom to think and do as they want, so long as they are not harming others. Sadly, the Church of Progressivism has not learned that these four desires are NOT merely minority desires, and they are not merely white desires, they are universal desires.
While the Church of Progressivism continues to believe separating people out by groups, instead of treating everyone as unique individuals who share these four basic desires, is a solid religious tenet, Trump is going after all voters by promoting policies that help everyone except power-hungry bureaucrats.
The defining moment in exposing the fatal flaw of the Church of Progressivism came on Tuesday night. It truly infuriated the members of the Church of Progressivism, when Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, who is over 100 years old now, saluted President Donald Trump during State of the Union address. It infuriated them so much, they could not bring themselves to celebrate McGee. In their world view, they OWN all the political copyrights to the Tuskegee Airman, and also full credit for their amazing stories. So......almost the entire congregation of the Church of Progressivism sat glumly on Tuesday night, while Trump saluted a true American hero. Everyone who was not a church member stood and applauded McGee. Church members simply do not understand that Charles McGee is not merely a black hero who by default BELONGS in their church. McGee is a unique individual who happens to be an American hero.
The scorched earth, religious war approach to political competition continues. It will not work with non-church members.
You can expect defections from this religion to increase, dramatically.


Progressivism - From Religion to Intellectual Bankruptcy

© 2020 Jim Spence -  Part IV of this column series contains a simple summary in the first sentence of the final paragraph. "The Church of Progressivism is not winning because it is bankrupt of ideas that could IMPROVE America and solve sticky problems."
That is a pretty strong statement. It must be defended by facts that support it.
The best evidence of the fact that The Church of Progressivism is not winning because it is bankrupt of proven ideas, goes far beyond a recent election, or a point of view on any particular subject.
Sometimes we should all set the church aside (if we have one) and simply form our own points of view on any particular subject. And because no two human beings should ever agree on everything, unless one of them is not thinking, we must also have a framework and stick to it that settles our disagreements in a civilized way. (U.S. Constitution will do just fine)
Religious wars tend to come about in human history when religious fanatics try to take over. And when religious warriors lose, they will often resort to engaging in “Scorched Earth” policies as they retreat.
Look at the conduct of the bullhorns, the high-profile personalities in the Church of Progressivism as they retreat intellectually.
Let’s begin with most media anchors and most opinion writers at major metropolitan area newspapers. They are constantly going on the record suggesting that half their potential market is stupid (the half that disagrees with them).
Media anchors have national forums on cable networks and broadcast networks. Their level of sarcasm and scorn for political opponents is on the record. And it is more visceral than anything history has seen in 90 years.
In the end, litigating the impeachment proceedings is a colossal waste of time. Fanatics will waste your time. Discussing other efforts to change the outcomes of the 2016 and 2020 elections, that were also heavy on rhetoric and political opinion, but very light on facts, is a waste of time. We are learning that media fanatics will waste your time, if you let them. They believe they are in the business to do 24 hours a day of sermons.
Fanaticism has spread. In addition to the media anchors, fanaticism has infected Church of Progressivism members who have been elected to the House and Senate. Even icons in pop culture are infected. Members in all these professions are passing the collection plates within their own congregations regularly.
Observers can see that Progressives are in full scorched earth mode because of their constant efforts to ATTEMPT to use the full FORCE of their faith, to nullify a presidential election, with another presidential election right around the corner. This suggests an intellectual  mindset not unlike that of Japanese warrior mentality in the Phillipines, once it was obvious Japan was losing the war. Sadly, they engaged in a bitter scorched earth policy while retreating.
There is an important principle involved here. Politics is a rough business. People like Donald Trump all know full well that the game of national politics is very rough long before they jump in the game. However, we are seeing the church mouthpieces descend deep into bizarre behavioral depths. At their depth, they constantly direct shrill sarcasm, scathing ridicule, and toxic cynicism not only towards elected officials, but towards sixty-two million citizens. This is UNPRECEDENTED.....period.
When independent observers see this, they get the distinct impression that not only is the Church of Progressivism losing, but its deacons, choirs, and preachers are all consumed religious fanatics.
Most people understand the dangers they pose, and nobody wants the U.S. to turn into Northern Ireland fifty years ago, or South Carolina in 1860.
Unfortunately for the Church of Progressivism, shrill sarcasm, scathing ridicule, and toxic cynicism is not swaying enough people in enough states. SCORCHED EARTH rants don't play well in many places. Having run out of ideas, the church finds itself in a serious predicament. Outside of demanding more laws, more regulations, and more bureaucrats, the church has nothing. When these three things are all that a church offers........the religion is intellectually bankrupt.


Part IV - Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion

© 2020 Jim Spence -  The morphing of progressivism as an abstract philosophy to a religion, was completed when Barack Obama (like FDR) capitalized on what should have been a short economic downturn. It was Obama’s great fortune to run against 1) a recession under GW Bush, and 2) John McCain, who was a perfect foil for the Progressive church, attempting to disguise himself as a “maverick.”
Let’s put this charitably. Barack Obama told so many bald-faced lies to the American electorate before and after he was elected, he managed to set his party back a hundred years in Congress and state legislatures and governors races, without suffering fatal political damage to himself.
Because of Obama's personal popularity, and widespread voter fraud, Obama generated huge voter turnout in the black community that pushed him over the top. Obama benefited from turnout figures that fraud or no fraud, will never be matched by the 2020 Church of Progressivism candidates.
What has gone wrong for the church since 2016? How can the emergence of one Donald Trump do so much damage to their appeal? The answer is, they never had that much appeal. What they had was a great, though mostly discredited, preacher in Obama for eight years.
Since the rise of Obama, Church of Progressivism candidates have repeatedly cast stupid votes to punish Americans that do NOT buy health insurance. They have also voted at the same time, to give this very same health insurance American citizens are compelled to buy under threat of FINES………to people living here illegally. Go figure their loyalties. Why not fine illegals too, if they don't buy health insurance? A curious question.
A Gallup poll out this week shows that Trump has gained a significant level of support since impeachment proceedings started, particularly with minorities. This has Democrats shaking in what is left of their boots.
How can this possibly be, with the mainstream media running virtually 100% negative segments on Trump?
There are so many reasons why the church is floundering. Let's list a few:
1) Democrat debates are as big a sham as the impeachment process. Church of Progressivism candidates, who are all millionaires themselves, are seen arguing with other Church of Progressivism candidates, who are also millionaires, about how evil millionaires are. No wonder Bloomberg is skipping these sham proceedings. He's a billionaire.
2) Church of Progressivism candidates are demanding that we protect the Syrian border, while leaving our own borders unprotected.
3) The church candidates feign concern about climate change, while they fly around in private gas guzzling jets. Many leading church member's sons collect millions of dollars from the boards of Ukrainian oil and gas companies. Voters understand these are influence fees with no concern for "the planet."
4) Church of Progressivism candidates favor higher utility bills for millions of Americans and oppose clean coal power plants because they "say," they sincerely worry about climate change.
The global numbers on coal-fired power plants tell a different story. The European Union already has 468 coal fired power plants and countries in the E.U. are currently building 27 new coal plants. Turkey alone has 56 coal plants and is building 93 more. South Africa has 79 coal plants and is building 24 more. India has 589 coal plants and is building 446 more. The Philippines has 19 coal plants and is building 60 more. South Korea has 58 coal plants and is building 26 more. Japan has 90 coal plants and is building 45 more. Last but most certainly not least, China has.....2363 coal plants and is building…..get this…….1171 more.
The number of projected coal powered plants in just 8 regions is off the charts. Again voters are listening to U.S. candidates who are members of the Church of Progressivism who are trying to convince them that America is evil because Republicans do not care about Co2, climate change, or global warming.
Currently the USA has all of 15 coal fired power plants. The U.S. is building ZERO new coal plants. With these realities, Church of Progressivism members/crusaders running for president are demanding that the U.S. policy makers shut down all of the minuscule 15 coal plants we are down to. This church demand will cause voters to pay sky high utility rates to subsidize wind and solar projects......all done so we can "save" the planet, while ignoring the huge number of coal plant projects underway all over the world.
How does the ultra-obnoxious Trump beat the church? It is not that really that tough, even with a  corrupt media.
Trump simply appeals to the people working and paying the bills. He wonders aloud why in America our flag and our free market culture offends so many people, but our benefits don't?
He wonders why the federal government asks ALL U.S. citizens to pay back student loans, but the Church of Progressivism demands that illegal aliens receive a free education here courtesy of taxpayers.
Trump wonders why it is only in America that legal citizens are labeled "racists" and "Nazis," but people who are here via illegal means are called "Dreamers."
Trump also wonders why illegal aliens from Mexico spit on the American soccer team players in the Rose Bowl, while obsessively waving the flag of Mexico, but also suggest it is an unfair punishment when they are sent back to the place where their flags fly.
Voters who work and pay the bills are paying attention to Trump, not the church. They realize the Church of Progressivism tenets suggest that the term, “Need” now means wanting someone else's money. And the term “Greed” now means wanting to keep your own money. Alternatively, the Church of Progressivism teaches that “Compassion” is when a politician arranges the transfer of funds from those who are not in the church to those who are.
Church of Progressivism presidential candidates are constantly calling for policies to "fix" the so-called injustices of capitalism. But non-church members are coming to realize we live in the most privileged time in history, and we also live in the most prosperous nation in history. We own amazing vehicles, eat great food, enjoy fantastic technology, and have the freedom to associate with whom we choose. Others can and do die for the freedoms that Church of Progressivism members don't give a second thought to.
In the United States, our poverty line begins at about 31 times above the global average. The Church of Progressivism attempts to obfuscate the fact that virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. One of the pillars of the Church of Progressivism, is a bartender turned Congresswoman. Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She puts her desperate ignorance on full display regularly. Recently she said, "An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity."
As the candidates in the Church of Progressivism fly through space they are facing an incredible crash with the truth. America is wealthy because of free market capitalism not poor. Progressives instinctively know they are losing the debate, and their solution is to dehumanize Donald Trump. Most surely Trump is a deeply flawed individual.
Aren’t we all?
The Church of Progressivism is not winning because it is bankrupt of ideas that could IMPROVE America and solve sticky problems. Wanting more bureaucracy just isn't going to cut it and the church is addicted to rules, regulations, more laws, and more hapless bureaucracy. It is not a winning hand.

Part III - Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion

© 2020 Jim Spence -  Churches need infrastructure to perpetuate themselves. New congregation members must be enticed to embrace tenets of the religion. Christian churches created Sunday Schools as a basic infrastructure centuries ago. In Sunday schools the congregation's children are taught the fundamental tenets of the faith.
The parents of most children in America avail themselves of public education. Public education has become the "infrastructure" that is used by the Church of Progressivism to entice students to embrace the tenets of their faith. This is an amazingly efficient way to spread the word. Public education is funded, not by the church, but by taxpayers. Public education's resources are controlled by GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS, at the local, state, and federal levels. The results have been predictable. Taxpayers spend more and more to get less and less. Every school day is a Sunday School day in America's public education system. This is so because on a daily basis, millions of  Progressive Church member school teachers, teach Progressivism to highly impressionable students.
The Home Schooling phenomenon in America is a direct effort by knowing parents, who resent and resist the idea of their children being indoctrinated on a daily basis in the tenets of the Church of Progressivism.
The great flaw of public education is that the customers (parents and students) do not control the purchasing power for the services they are suppose to receive. Instead, Progressive bureaucrats have cleverly inserted themselves into every nook and cranny of the procurement process. Claiming they are acting as loyal "agents" for the students and parents, bureaucrats have instead formed powerful political alliances with the elected officials who are also members of the Church of Progressivism. This leads to a steady increase in pay and benefits for bureaucrats in exchange for a steady drumbeat of indoctrination. At the core of the indoctrination is the primary assertion of the Church of Progressivism: No matter what the problem is, more rules, regulations, laws, and more bureaucrats is the default solution. This is their golden rule. All who benefit from this cycle that perpetuates this insidious power structure, ally themselves with the church.
Notice the difference in outcomes. In areas where market forces determine how families spend money on items such as: appliances, clothing, computers, phones, etc. Quality improvements are steady. The customer is always getting more for the same price or even at lower prices. Just the opposite is the case with public education, where bureaucrats control the purchasing power that buys education services. In this critical area of national interest, billions in resources are siphoned out of public education every year to support the church.
Over several generations, we have seen countless ways in which unaccountable bureaucracies will always serve themselves first. The Church of Progressivism has been securing for its members, unsustainable pension promises, astounding numbers of days off, and fool proof insulation from being fired for incompetence from its allies in elected offices. This has been going on for decades. It pays to be a Progressive! The wealthiest counties in the nation contain millions of bureaucrats. As long as the church holds these sorts of amazing controls, funding will continue to rise for public education, with zero hope for better outcomes.
There are a number of horrific scandals ongoing with public education that continue to go unaddressed. For starters, the fundamental values of a truly liberal education system were abandoned long ago. The idea that "all points of view" should be presented in schools of higher learning has been replaced by one-sided indoctrination process favoring the Church of Progressivism viewpoints. The results of this off balance arrangement have been predictable. Students and faculties at hundreds of universities and colleges around the nation are routinely captured on film preventing those not preaching the gospel according to the Church of Progressivism, from having their views heard. Most non-Progressive speakers are vehemently protested at most colleges and universities. Many speakers fearing for their safety, simply decline invitations to speak. Many universities are so one-dimensional in their views, they don't even pretend to welcome diversity of opinions on campuses.
The Church of Progressivism plays the "race card" on college campuses whenever it is politically convenient. However, the church encourages and supports overt racial discrimination on campuses as a matter of routine. The church regularly argues that it is perfectly acceptable for highly-rated colleges and universities like Ivy League schools, to “limit” the percentage of Asian-Americans gaining admission. Why? Because Asian-American people are treated as a monolithic “group” not a collection of unique individuals. Because their "group" scores higher on college entrance exams than other "groups" that are more favored by the church, the church opts for racial discrimination to correct the perceived flaw. In doing so, the church sneers at fundamental constitutional protections contained in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that demands equal protections for all citizens including Asian-American students with high test scores. Astonishingly, the church argues this sort of overt racial discrimination is acceptable.
Several generations of college graduates have now emerged from this environment. They hold degrees in journalism and enter employment with media outlets that are nothing more than echo chambers for the Church of Progressivism. This explains why news outlets have morphed into tent revivals for membership growth in the The Church of Progressivism instead of being the purveyors of relevant facts.
Is it any wonder Progressives call on millions of young citizens who will not benefit from going to college, to go anyway? The pleas for free college for everyone are sung like Bible hymns. These calls are accompanied by calls for more access to financially debilitating student loans. Now that it is clear that millions of students borrowed billions of dollars in student loans to obtain virtually worthless college degrees, Progressive candidates are demanding that students be allowed to walk away from the debts, that funded their entitled lifestyles while they were in college. The strategy is clear. Go to Sunday school, learn the religion for sixteen years, and the church will hand the bill to the taxpayers.
Instead of celebrating the amazing historical results produced by the profit motive, and free markets, successful business people are scorned by the church. In fact, the Church of Progressivism is not afraid to eat its own. Witness the political crucifixion of Howard Schultz by progressives when he announced his run for the presidency. The founder of Starbucks, who never saw a Progressive cause he would not support, was shunned and made into a villain by the church, simply because he built an amazing business and also made billions of dollars in the process. Howard Schultz did not consider before announcing his short-lived run for president that the Church of Progressivism's Sunday Schools have been, for several generations, teaching children to question the motives of all successful business people. How else could the goal of  enacting more laws, more regulations, and hiring more bureaucrats be achieved? Let's hand it to the church, it knows how to conduct a successful crusade.

Part II - Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion

© 2020 Jim Spence - There are many definitions of religion. Here is a general definition that is useful, "Religion is the belief in a god or in a group of gods. It is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. An informal religion is an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group."
Progressivism has a god. It's god is government/bureaucracy simply because the faithful look to government and bureaucracy for everything. There is an almost congenital response from progressives that the solution to every problem is to enact a new law or new regulation supported and enforced by bureaucrats working at government agencies. Progressives literally pray that more laws and regulations will be enacted.
The remainder of this column is not an argument in favor of any other religion. It is an argument that Progressivism has IN FACT, become a religion.
Progressivism is an organized system of beliefs that is an alternative to those that tend to rely on basic values such as those contained in the Ten Commandments. It is interesting that the First Commandment, “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me,” actually seems to warn against the idolatry of putting all faith in efficacy of laws, regulations, and bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are most certainly STRANGE gods indeed.
With Progressivism, the followers find convenient ways to abandon or at least “get around” some of the most basic values embodied in the Ten Commandments. The most favored basic value enshrined in the Ten Commandments that Progressivism attempts to nullify, is the Tenth Commandment, which says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Progressives despise the idea that Judaeo-Christian scripture forbids the wanting to or taking of someone else’s property. Along with the Seventh Commandment, the Tenth Commandment condemns theft, as well as the feelings of envy, greed, and jealousy in reaction to what other people have. Envy and jealousy is welcomed with open arms in the Church of Progressivism.
Progressives often suggest that our law enforcement officials look the other way on late-term abortions that literally kill viable human beings. These arguments not only violate the Fifth Commandment, they violate our laws already on the books against murder. Opposing murder is hardly an extremist view.
Progressivism is also just fine with the perversion of scientific principles. Originally, in the early 1970's, the environmentalist wing of the progressive faith decided it was time to worry about global cooling. There was in fact some real scientific basis for this idea based on previous Ice Ages, which destroyed civilizations. However, when the temperature data fluctuations suggested warming trends were in place during the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s, the activists did an about face and began to argue that global warming was the problem. A plethora of wild predictions were floated in the Church of Progressivism by the end of the 1980’s regarding the death of the planet. They were based on unproven "theories." As the temperature readings failed to match the theory predictions, and global temperature Armageddon never quite occurred, the theory of global warming was re-branded as the theory of "climate change" so that any routine weather event could be blamed on fossil fuel consumption. To help the increasingly discredited theory, temperature data was actually manipulated. However, the bogus predictions continued. As time passed, more predictions of catastrophe failed miserably.
What was the Church of Progressivism's reaction to anyone who pointed to the fact that real outcomes did not support the Church's dire predictions? Those who reminded those promoting church dogma of their bogus predictions, were branded as climate heretics. Sound familiar? Galileo began to roll over in his grave as the earth continued to circle the sun. He was excommunicated too. Dare to challenge church dogma and you became an object of scorn and labelled a heretic.
Sorry friends, science is innately skeptical and failed predictions precede further debate about the theory, not bitter accusations of heresy.
Despite the fact that the Church of Progressivism was behaving like other religious cults that were also predicting the end of the world for different reasons, it became useful to the Democratic Party as a recruiting and fund-raising mechanism. As the church challenged the legitimacy of traditional faiths, particularly those with a reverence for the Ten Commandments, it drew cultural battle lines.
In Part III - Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion, we will examine the powerful infrastructure that has enabled the Church of Progressivism to thrive. We will also look at the fundamental weaknesses that threaten to expose it for what it is, another crackpot religion with dubious choirs, deacons, and preachers.

Part I - Progressivism From a Philosophy to a Religion

© 2020 Jim Spence - Progressivism is said to be a political philosophy in support of social reform. It is based on the idea of progress, in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition. In the next few columns we will explore the beginnings and the morphing of the philosophy of Progressivism, into a radical cult-like religion.
In the 21st century, progressivism exhibits all the signs of not just being a religion, but a religion with the infrastructure to grow its global footprint. Progressivism is now the fastest growing religion on the planet. And as is the case with many religions throughout human history, the leaders of the modern progressive movement, in their efforts to keep, attract, and control the congregation, often give in to their worst instincts.
Teddy Roosevelt was perhaps the first U.S. president who promoted what might loosely be called “progressive causes.” He created national parks setting aside millions of acres of land that were excluded from development. And Roosevelt, unlike any of his predecessors, vigorously enforced protections in the Sherman Anti-Trust Act on monopolies. These policies are hardly crazy or perverse ideas. However, these good ideas gave momentum to the horrific idea of allowing unaccountable bureaucrats to continuously increase their control over all things American in fundamental ways.
Woodrow Wilson followed Teddy Roosevelt with increasingly more powers conveyed to bureaucrats. Under Wilson the implementation of a federal income tax was enacted with the promise that it would remain a tiny percentage of income. More government agencies like the FTC were created with broad authority given to unaccountable bureaucrats to govern with a heavy hand.
Much like Barack Obama did, Franklin Roosevelt took the opportunity presented by an economic downturn to increase American citizen’s potential to become permanently dependent on the federal government. He got support from popular authors like John Steinbeck who wrote novels in the FDR era like, The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck portrayed business people's basic nature as very evil, and he portrayed government bureaucrats as very angelic. Business became the Church of Progressivism's proverbial satan and bureaucrats their saints and angels.
Ironically, rangers in Teddy Roosevelt’s national parks posted signs that prohibited park visitors from feeding the park’s non-human inhabitants. The park rules attempted to ensure the wildlife did not become hopelessly dependent on ill-advised handouts, instead of remaining self-reliant. Most presidents since Calvin Coolidge have governed in ways that have only increased the entitlement mentality in U.S. citizens. All the warning signs in the national parks were ignored.
Progressives who win elections have come to embrace absurd notions about the capabilities and motivations of bureaucrats simply because it was in their financial interests to do so. This process requires perverse interpretations on the U.S. Constitution that lead all progressives to suggest as a matter of reflex, that the solution to every problem is more laws, more rules, and more bureaucrats. To fund this march towards insanity, the tiny income tax rates of Woodrow Wilson became the economy choking income tax rates under Dwight Eisenhower.
John Kennedy's brief presidency became a high point in history, when the perverse morphing of progressivism faced utter rejection. In his inaugural address, JFK made his signature statement against the entitlement mentality created by progressivism, when he demanded, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Can you imagine what 21st Century progressives would say if any candidate ever adopted this JFK slogan? Those vying for control of the Church of Progressivism are tripping over each other every day on the campaign trail, with long lists of goodies our country can give to us........for......FREE!
JFK also slashed the top tax rates to free up capital flows and get the nation’s sluggish economy moving again. JFK demanded respect for our borders and immigration laws. He also created the Peace Corps to provide volunteers to help people from other countries in their countries. Instinctively JFK knew that progressivism was smothering America's productivity. JFK committed himself to illustrating the futility of enabling an entitlement mentality.
Lyndon Johnson was easily the WORST president in American history. He was the ultimate enabler. Unable to lead his own party, it was Republican leadership in the Senate that passed landmark civil rights legislation. LBJ committed hundreds of thousands of boys to the Viet Nam debacle. LBJ refused to let the military experts win the conflict by handcuffing all military processes in favor of political processes. Worst of all, LBJ accelerated the conversion of progressivism from a philosophy to a religion. When he actually created financial incentives for poor unmarried women to have children if they created dysfunctional single parent homes he began America's self-destruction. LBJ's so-called “War on Poverty,” actually created conditions that increased behaviors that lead to poverty. Inner cities in America have been imploding ever since thanks to LBJ's devotion to the Church of Progressivism.
In Part II of Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion, we will explore many of the bizarre ways that the progressive movement has grown like a cancer on America. We will trace the processes that led to basic values being abandoned, scientific principles being perverted, and constitutional protections scoffed at. We will examine how progressives oppose freedom of speech, freedom of religion, respect for private property, and equal protections for every citizen.