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THE VIRTUE OF HAPPINESS

virtue-of-happinessLife itself is a defiance of the principle of entropy – the tendency for matter to devolve into chaos and disorder.

Life takes nutrients and the energy of inspiration and creates its own order, its own structure, and its own direction. As human beings, our consciousness allows us to take this process a step further, expanding it into a different dimension: To decide consciously to move in a particular direction; to create, to engage, to love.

So a human life that is happy is not a trivial matter of being lucky, of getting what we want; of pleasant pastimes or the absence of responsibilities or pain.

A human life that is happy is an accomplishment; a triumphant, sometimes even a heroic creation.

To create a life that is truly happy over time takes discipline, passion, and courage. A happy moment can be a matter of luck; a happy life requires virtue.

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THIS LAND IS OUR LAND

usa-map[As a political satire of Woody Guthrie’s lyrics, is there a patriot folk singer who can put this to music for YouTube?]

This land is our land

This land’s not your land

So get out of our land and go back to your land

This land was made for those here legally.

From California to the New York island; From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for those here legally.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway, I saw above me that endless skyway: I saw below me that golden valley: This land was made for those here legally.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts; And all around me a voice was sounding: This land was made for those here legally.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling, And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting: This land was made for those here legally.

As I went walking I saw a sign there And on the sign it said "No Trespassing." But on the other side it didn't say nothing, That side was made for those here legally.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw these people, By the relief office I seen these people; As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking Is this land made for those here illegally?

Nobody living can ever stop me, As I go walking that freedom highway; Nobody living can ever make me turn back This land was made for those here legally.

This land is our land

This land’s not your land

So get out of our land and go back to your land

From California to the New York island; From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for those here legally.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 09/08/17

Jack is still in Eastern Europe, so you’re stuck with me again. He’ll be returning next week.

Coming off Hurricane Harvey, we are now staring down Hurricane Irma (especially those of us here in Florida). It genuinely appears to be a monster storm, so please pray for all those in its path. It has already done a great deal of harm in the Caribbean and the worst is likely yet to come.

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Largely overshadowed in a week dominated by DACA, North Korea and the debt ceiling deal was the President’s speech in North Dakota. But you need to take note. When even the Trump-skeptic Wall Street Journal says “Maybe The Obama Era Really Is Ending”, you know the winds really are changing.

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The left’s response? Just as last week when all of the criticism of Trump’s disaster relief effort focused on the First Lady’s footware, this week, they expressed horror and disgust that the President’s daughter calls him “daddy”.

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Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order is a variation on the Rahm “never let a crisis go to waste” Emanuel’s theme: never miss a chance to exploit a tragedy. And from Katrina (“Bush is a racist who deliberately undermined the dikes to commit genocide against black people”) to Charleston (“All law-abiding citizens must be disarmed because Dylan Roof murdered people needlessly disarmed in a gun-free zone”), Democrats shamelessly exploit tragedy like cows eat grass.

That’s DACA in a nutshell.

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Oh, and by the way: post-DACA announcement, Trump’s approval rating ticked up to 46% for the first time in two months. Take that RINOs.

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And if that’s not enough, then the President pulled the rug out from under RINOs by cutting a debt ceiling deal with the Democrats. And Paul Ryan was just gobsmacked.

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Last week I told you that the left sees Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as punishment for America’s sins against progressivism. This week Jennifer Lawrence doubled down on that, saying the hurricanes are nature’s wrath for electing Donald Trump.

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Sheriff David Clarke got a new job this week, at a pro-Trump Super PAC. Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore is beating Luther Strange by double digits – 52-36 – for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama: that will make lots of Dem and RINO heads pop.

Here we go with this week's Late Night HFR.. it's worth the wait! 🙂

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A GREAT PEOPLE

Cajun Navy in action

Cajun Navy in action

We are still a great people. The Cajun Navy and other rescuers during Harvey remind us of that.

But we lack the culture or the politics to reflect that greatness. The noble impulses that lead men to risk their lives in flooding are there. But our society no longer has the vessels to hold and sustain those impulses.

The media doesn't quite know what to make of the rescuers. You can see the itching to return to the stories that it knows and likes. Russia. Trump hit pieces. People punching each other in the street over politics. It swerves at the first sight of a Confederate flag on a rescue boat or Ted Cruz's Sandy vote. It doesn't want to dwell on the best of us. Behavior like that doesn't make sense anymore.

Generations have grown up with leftist protesters as their definition of heroes. Look in a history book and the last 70 years consisted of "heroes" who marched around waving signs until they got everything they wanted. And every day in the news there are more "heroes" marching for illegal aliens, transgender bathrooms, the supremacy of black lives and any other identity politics cause.

But waving a placard to the adulation of the media isn't heroism. Saving lives is.

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HOW AND WHY CHINA IS USING NORTH KOREA AGAINST AMERICA

The nuclear cchina-using-nk-vs-usonfrontation between the US and North Korea entered a critical phase Sunday (9/03) with North Korea’s conduct of an underground test of a thermonuclear bomb.

With North Korea now a direct threat to US cities, the confrontation isn’t about US superpower status in Asia, and the credibility of US deterrence or the capabilities of US military forces in the Pacific. The confrontation is now about the US’s ability to protect the lives of its citizens.

The distinction tells us a number of important things. All of them are alarming.  Which brings us to China.

China has been the main beneficiary of North Korea’s conventional and nuclear aggression and brinksmanship.  This state of affairs was laid bare in a critical way last month.

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TRUMP IS RIGHT, RUBIO SHOULD BE ASHAMED ON NASA

rep-jim-bridenstineThe next head of NASA is likely to be an ex-Navy fighter pilot turned Republican congressman who believes strongly in space exploration but is skeptical about man-made climate change.

What’s not to like about about Trump’s nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma) for the job of NASA’s administrator?

Everything, if you’re a liberal.

According to New York Daily News columnist Linda Stasi, Trump just blew the perfect chance to change his “presidency from the chaotic mess of threats, bitterness and bilious paranoia to one of rationality and reasonableness.”

It would be nice to dismiss Ms. Stasi as merely the deranged frothings of a rent-an-opinion, left-wing columnist who has bizarrely chosen to borrow her surname from that of the secret police in former Communist East Germany. Unfortunately, she’s by no means the exception.

Most liberals think as she does.  Indeed, so do quite a few establishment conservatives – like Senator Marco Rubio.

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IS A DOLLAR SURGE ON THE WAY?

trump-dollarsThe US Treasury and the Federal Reserve are both poised to start draining liquidity from the financial system, threatening a bout of dollar scarcity and a potential shake-up of currency markets over coming months.

The twin-shift in policy is likely to tighten the availability of credit and send a strong impulse through Wall Street and global bourses, though whether it will be powerful enough to dampen frothy asset prices in the current exuberant mood is an open question.

“As we approach the fourth quarter, dollar scarcity could return as a theme. The upcoming tightening of US liquidity is not fully reflected in market pricing,” says Christin Tuxen and Jens Naervig Pedersen from Danske Bank.

What makes the US Treasury actions doubly-potent this time is that the Fed is about to pull the trigger on ‘quantitative tightening’ (QT) at exactly the same time, taking the first steps to wind down its $4.4 trillion balance sheet after almost a decade of ultra-stimulus.

"This will not be a walk in the park," says Danske Bank.

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DO NOT BET AGAINST TRUMP OR THE DOLLAR

make-america-great-againDonald Trump's appetite is whetted. He knows that American companies have stashed trillions of dollars overseas in what amounts to the greatest cash reserve in the world.

Apple has $257bn parked abroad beyond the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. Alphabet (Google) has $126bn, Microsoft $84bn, Cisco $68bn, and Oracle $59bn. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that total retained earnings outside the country have mushroomed to $4 trillion.

offshore-cash-of-us-corps The President is determined to lay his hands on this money, or at least to divert it back into the US economy. The latest briefings from Washington suggests that the White House is preparing 'mandatory' action as part of his tax reform, unlike the previous voluntary attempts to lure back money through tax holidays.

If Mr. Trump succeeds, these repatriated capital flows will have a volcanic impact on the US dollar, Wall Street, and the global financial system, with big winners and big losers.

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TRUMP WANTS TO SAVE AMERICAN BUSINESS – DOES CONGRESS?

tax-rate-per-country-chartHow much should corporations pay in taxes? The table shows average corporate tax rates by country. You will notice that the United States has by far the highest tax rate.

The U.S. corporate income tax rate is comprised of a federal rate of 35 percent and an average of 5 percent for the states, giving an average 40 percent rate.

The corporate tax has long been recognized by economists as one of the worst taxes. Despite all of the talk about “greedy corporations,” corporations are merely a way of doing business.

The corporation does not “pay” the tax, only individuals pay taxes — so the corporate tax is passed along to consumers in terms of higher prices, to the stockholders in terms of lower dividends and capital gains, and to the workers in terms of lower wages.

President Trump has presented several very sound principles for tax reform. Yet, without the details being presented, the tax reform effort is already being attacked by the Democrat leadership. Reasonable people can differ about how much to reduce the corporate tax rate, but to claim that any corporate tax rate cut is a giveaway to the rich is merely an appeal to ignorance.

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