Overdue: Ditch China (PRC) And Buy US And Decent Countries (Updated)

For years…decades, actually, I’ve done my best to avoid “Made in China”. I’ve never liked how the filthy Chinese Communist Party/People’s Republic of China treats its people. The CCP/PRC is despicable.

The PRC’s cover-up and subsequent actions on SARS CoV 2 (aka Wuhan Virus, Chinese Virus, COVID-19…etc. etc.) along with ‘disappearing’ the doctors who alerted the world and effectively creating the pandemic speak volumes. The type of behavior from them covering up to “save face” while reeking havoc on neighbors and the world (including SARS Part I) is a well established pattern of communism and socialism killing people.

So why buy products helping prop up and enrich elites in a regime that spits on its own people and the world, in general (along with pointing nukes at us)? Don’t.

In my years of strictly avoiding Made in China products, I’ve rarely not found a product made in an alternate country has a far better human rights record than the PRC. Better yet, there is still a fair amount of stuff Made in the USA. Yeah, it did cost a bit more sometimes but I found that products were better quality and lasted longer. I paid a bit more up front but ended up saving money in the long run (stuff lasts and doesn’t need to be replaced). I also saved by forgoing spending of ‘cheap’ Chinese virtual-slave labor junk I didn’t need in the first place.

Now is particularly a perfect time to change how you buy. Prioritize buying (and demanding) products from countries who actually try to respect human rights and basic sanitary and environmental* conditions. Ideally, look for “Made in USA” and small business (e.g. buy local, from small business sites or from US sellers on EBay) as it will have the greatest impact on the economy during this very difficult time.

If you’re fortunate enough to have steady/secure work, please make an effort to be choosy on where your money goes and try to keep it here in the US. Ultimately, you’re helping your neighbors.

One last thought: Don’t think I’m letting the globalists of the hook. They’re focus and rationalizations on exploiting cheap labor has certainly played a role in where we’re at. They’ll howl if people demand more domestic (or reputable country) goods that will cut in the profit margins represented by their underpaid labor and environmental/labor law avoidance. Make them howl.

PS: Yes, Taiwan is it’s own country, is miles ahead of the rotten PRC and should be recognized as such. Xi Jinping and the CCP central committee can stuff it.

*Besides a crappy pollution record, the PRC is a big consumer of illegal wildlife trade. Plenty of threatened/endangered species find themselves in soups, plates, and snake-oil “medicines”.

UPDATE:   Here’s an Australian reporter’s take after getting a warning letter from the PRC Consulate General demanding he tow the PRC propaganda line (which many US media outlets have done): Via Local Commie Underlings, Beijing Officially Disapproves (h/t Instapundit). Remind me why the PRC still has permanent normal trade relations/most favored nation trading status?…

Sure Glad Citizens Killed The Food Tax Increase

Just a few months ago, the Utah swamp tried to foist a tax increase on citizens geared to benefit corporate cronies through cost socialization and profit privatization. Part of the tax ruse involved increasing the food tax and shifted more of the tax burden away from big business (the donor class) to small business and families.

Fortunately, citizens gathered an overwhelming number of signatures to stop the increase and place it on the ballot. The legislature then quickly repealed the tax gambit in the recently ended session. It should also be noted that Harmon’s Grocery opening their stores for signature gatherers. They were a game changer* in the effort (please stop by their store and pick something up).

We’re in the midst of the SARS CoV 2 (aka COVID19, China Virus, Wuhan Virus…etc. etc.) and people are stocking up on food and good (albeit misdirected by some hysteria fueled by the national media, in particular), having to stay home and seeing individuals and businesses (especially small business) taking financial hits. If it were not for citizens and Harmon’s, not only would families and small business be facing the economic stress from the current situation but it would’ve been amplified by the high tax burden heaped on them with poor tax policy.

Harmon’s Grocery really should be thanked for their help. They really stuck their necks out for the referendum and were even targeted by an upset Governor Herbert. Thanks to them, Associated Food Stores also opened their stores to signature gatherers. Harmon’s was a pivot point and deserves our appreciation (and business).

For a partial list of those involved in the battle on this issue see here: Utah 2019 Tax Referendum: The Winners and Losers

A Bill Utah’s Political Grifters Will Certainly Get Behind

Remember some years ago folks like Kirk Jowers, Scott Anderson, Natalie Gochnour, Lavarr Webb, former Governor Mike Leavitt and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce plotted to kill off the caucus system. While they were unable to entirely destroy the system, they came up with a means to effectively neutralize it:

Both Jowers and LaVarr Webb spoke in an effort to convince attendees at a meeting of influential Utahns to get rid of the caucus system or neutralize it with a guaranteed primary.

As I warned in that same post:

The best thing that could happen for high powered political players and big donors would be to push influence from citizens and their neighborhoods firmly into territory where their money and influence have a greater impact: primaries and general elections…

They publicly portrayed their motive for this as a way to ‘increase public participation in the process’. Really, it was to consolidate power into the hands of the political class and their corporate cronies (“the swamp”) and line their pockets in the process.

I had a first hand witness of it in action this weekend. I volunteered to help a conservative incumbent candidate gather signatures to ensure that she would be on the primary ballot since her challenger is collecting signatures. She opted to keep her campaign on a grass-roots level, asking for citizen help to gather signatures. By contrast, her opponent hired a firm appropriately named “Gather” to get her required 1,000 signatures using paid signature gathers (essentially a bounty).

Going house-to-house is a lengthy, fairly unproductive process as many folks aren’t home, have moved, won’t open their door to strangers, etc. etc. It takes a lot of time to gather a handful of signatures. It’s why signature gathering firms charge a bunch for each  signature they get. Using volunteers sacrificing their limited time (we all have day jobs and families) is the right thing to do (despite this being a swamp-designed process), but it’s tough. Meanwhile, paid gatherers use employees who don’t sacrifice their free time and have a far more time to gather signatures. Thus, most candidates pay for signature gathering.

This results in incumbents using cash showered upon them by lobbyists to pay for political consultants/signature firms, higher campaign overhead and putting less effort on the citizen-driven caucus. Those challenging incumbents either use their own funds or sell their souls in order to obtain the money required to pay the signature gatherers. The swamp becomes the driver and their ‘key constituents’. Common citizens and non-swamp anointed candidates are all but shut out of the process. All this must have Jowers, Webb and their consultant-class swamp cronies beaming…and enjoying fatter wallets.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re just a bunch of political grifters*. They run their virtue signaling sophistry about increasing public participation in elections but they’re quite clear on what they think of the public outside of their clique. In my book, they’re equivalent to the Bill Kristol/Rick Wilson ‘Bullwark liberals’ who’ve been exposed of what amounts to pretending to be conservative so they can sell cruise tickets to the rubes.

As I thought about this after returning home, it struck me that there would be a fun way to expose their true intents. I need to convince a legislator to run a bill that makes a tiny change to the current primary signature rules. Best of all it would meet their so-called goal of increasing public participation. That bill would require that all primary ballot petition signatures be gathered by volunteers and no compensation in-kind or otherwise could be exchanged for signatures.

It’s already illegal to pay for votes. Why not for signatures? Plus, requiring the use of volunteer signature gatherers  ensures actual public participation in the political process.

Care to wager what the Jowers-Webb-Chamber of Commerce swamp class will do if someone introduces this bill? The head explosions alone will blow the dome off the capitol!

Ahoy!🚢

*The urban dictionary definition of “grifter” is great: “A Grifter, is somebody who can influence anybody, anywhere, at anytime, into doing whatever they choose to have them do, that will result in the grifter’s personal gain. Usually monetary, but really anything that benefits him or her somehow.

The Utah Swamp Sneers, Calls Citizens “Fringes” For Daring To Oppose Them

LaVarr Webb is one of Utah’s biggest political insiders or, more colloquially, swamp critters. His swamp besties like Gov. Gary Herbert quickly ramrodded a sweeping tax overhaul catering to corporate cronies and jacked up food and gas taxes without bothering to get buy in from citizens. Citizens revolted and have began collecting a signatures for a citizen referendum to veto the legislation and telling them to start over with maybe a modicum of vetting and, you know, respect for common citizens buying into the process and proposals.

This, of course, does not sit well with LaVarr Webb (two Rs, two Bs) because, dangit, he and his buddies know better than the unwashed masses. So the best thing to do is to pen a condescending fit which takes a page out of Hillary’s “deplorables” playbook and calls nonpartisan citizens groups “fringe”. Ironically enough, Lavarr’s own group found that 68% of Utahns oppose their tax reform. That’s some fringe.

See, the gubernatorial candidates and the “fringe” just don’t seem to get that our entrenched elites simply know what is best for us and shouldn’t feel forced to consult with those affected by decisions that are “best for the state”. After all, government and big business are numero uno since citizens are really just a “reservoir of funds” for political elites, they simply ought to know their place and be grateful for their benevolent overlords.

Who knows, LaVarr may just have indigestion that citizen volunteers are running the referendum. If they would just bring in some high priced professional consultants (especially those with repetitive letters in their name) then it could be the ‘spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down’ and remove the “fringe” stench from the initiative.

People are tired of the condescension from on high. We’re tired of unread ‘critical’ bills passed without being read and the only way to ‘know what is in the bill is to pass it’.

We aren’t just “a reservoir” created to provide a stable funding source for government during economic downturns while we suffer. Is government suffering somehow superior to individual suffering during economic hard times? Citizens should cut and sacrifice but, by golly, tax their food so they can’t weasel out of paying for grandiose government programs increasingly geared to socialize costs while privatizing profits for corporate cronies (*cough* Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce *cough*)?

Those issues are why the reform should be vetoed and sent back to the drawing board for transparent debate and measured consideration. Who knows, we may all end up agreeing with much of what was in the current legislation but we have every right to be consulted and respected rather than being lorded over by pseudo-oracles.

If you feel fringey and would like to sign the referendum, you can look at: Utah2019tax.com or the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum Facebook Group.

Utah’s Toxic Mix: Individual Rights Take Back Seat To Politically Connected Organizations

I was recently sent an article from the Church of Jesus Christ regarding some legislation they are supporting. The byline states “The bill preserves religious freedom…” but that is a half truth. The whole article is actually riddled with this distortion in statements like ” All religious persons should be free to live, work or serve their community in ways that are consistent with their faith.” This implies the legislation protects “persons”. It doesn’t. Just like the church-supported 2015 Utah law*, the bill protects organizations not individuals. Churches are protected, members are not. You are left in the cold.

Odder still, the church is pushing more of its functions to individuals and is on a path for further home-centered church activities. This church-supported legislation appears to undermine what they’re doing as families take more religious/church responsibilities yet don’t appear to be granted the same protections granted to religious organizations. As mom-and-pop bakeries, florists, and reception centers can attest, you are a target.

Meanwhile, look at the Utah tax reform fiasco. Here are a couple of articles to get you up to speed:
Questions that legislators were asked to address before voting on tax reform (Note: this links to a homepage and not a specific post, it may move)
Tax Reform Special Legislative Session: Review & Observations

Traditional US order and foundations are being turned on their on their head. Rather than government being the protector of individual rights, individuals are treated as government’s servants (even called a “reservoir of funds” during the tax reform hearings) and government now serves big business/organizations. People are increasingly at the bottom of consideration. Individual freedom is virtually scorned by those in power.

A further manifestation of this are the actions of Utah’s insular elite as they fight to maintain control. That’s not to say the elites are bad people. They do a lot of good but then enact policies that create the problems and undermine others. They are blindsided by angry opposition yet continue to press various schemes on people to socialize costs and selectively privatize the benefits while turning a blind eye to the effects on individuals who pay those costs – they are convinced ‘they know what’s best for the rest’. This ignorance and arrogance becomes “a toxic mix” bad for them and for society.

While I’m not trusting of polls, it is telling that a poll conducted by one of the “Utah oligarch’s” own front organizations found that people ranked aiding business and expanding government intervention schemes dead last in their priorities.

The lack of respect of individual rights, selective protections and focus on favored groups needs to end. It’s bad for all of us.

*Background note: This isn’t the first time the church has exempted itself from laws everyone else is subject to. They also did so with immigration law back in 2005.

A New Utah Compact For Protesters (Inland Port Protest)

I’ve been following the Utah inland port protest that occurred at the Salt Lake Chamber and the continuing emotional debate in it’s wake. I’ve grown very concerned about the civility as both sides make various accusations against one another. I’m particularly worried about the charges of racism that have arisen along with “begetting violence“. Something has to be done. Thus, from compassion and piety, I propose a Utah Protest Compact:

The Utah Protest Compact was developed over several days by me because I was concerned about the tone of Utah’s inland port protest discussion. The Compact is based on Utah values and I urge our leaders to use these guiding principles as they address the complex challenges associated with a broken protest system. The Compact has broad support from me, blog readers, and anyone tired of pretentious elites. It is a simple document that expresses our values as community as they relate to specific policy issues that have become central to the protest discussion.

A Declaration of Five Principles to Guide Utah’s Protest Discussion

As signers of the Utah Protest Compact, we are committed to promoting common-sense protest reforms that will strengthen our civility, as well as attract talent and protest business to our state.

We urge state leaders and the Salt Lake Chamber to adopt these five principles of the Utah Protest Compact:

  1. VENUE SOLUTIONS Entering a private venue to protest is a policy issue between protesters and the media-not the Salt Lake Chamber and the Salt Lake City Police Department. We urge the Salt Lake Chamber to lead efforts to abide by the principles they promote on their own properties and strengthen the CEO’s office security while making other areas accessible to uninvited guest protesters. We urge them to make protesters as comfortable as possible with free WiFi, medical resources, staff assistance, comfy chairs, and drinks with those fun mini umbrellas.
  2. LAW ENFORCEMENT We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement’s professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of local codes.
  3. FAMILIES Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families, such as involuntary removal of protesters from Chamber properties. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children.
  4. ECONOMY Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role protesters play as workers and taxpayers. Utah’s protest policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.
  5. A FREE SOCIETY Protesters are integrated into communities across Utah. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat protesters will say more about us as a free society and less about our protesting neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill and virtue signaling…except Johnson’s Army.

If the above sounds familiar, it should. It was remarkably quick and easy to tweak the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Compact on Immigration and its preamble. I know that back in 2011, despite originating the Utah Compact on Immigration, the Chamber ensured that no one is “going to find the Chamber’s fingerprints on it” but the compact was just “reaffirmed on March 21, 2019” and now has their stamp of approval so I’m sure they’ll abide by the same ‘principles’ they demand us to swallow. Right?

The Utah GOP Establishment’s One-Sided Unity

This subject is turning into a series. About a week ago, I wrote about the Swamp Wing of the GOP consolidating power and telling conservatives to get out and get a new party. A few days ago, I discussed the Utah Republican Party and their benefactor’s myopic focus on economy while our social fabric is torn asunder.

Well, here’s another example of elite ignorance. A few days ago, Aimee Winder Newton wrote:

If you’re tired of the bickering and are ready to move on from the political conflicts of recent years (like me), this ought to be a shot in the arm for Utah Republicans. Our new party leadership has pledged to get back to the most basic and fundamental purpose of the state’s GOP … winning elections.

Um…Ms. Newton seems to have selective amnesia. When insiders’ power was threatened, she and other Utah elites were quite happy to engage in “political conflict” and “bickering”. She happily supported the spoiler campaign of Evan McMullin. When it comes to the “fundamental purpose of the state’s GOP … winning elections”, it’s a tad ironic that McMullin avowed he was in the race to help Hillary Clinton win (preferable to political outsider, Trump).

For years, these insiders told conservatives to suck it up and vote for the milquetoast GOP candidate fare and endure their failure theater because Democrats would be worse. But as soon as the shoe was on the other foot, they threw a massive fit and backed a poster-child-for-the-deep-state to throw the election to Hillary Clinton and to give us a progressive Supreme Court for decades.

Now, these insiders tighten the grip on power in the party and their swamp buddy tells the grassroots to take a hike. Like I wrote back in December, these so-called elites are really an ignorant, ivory tower bubble class.