Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

LinkSwarm for December 9, 2016

Friday, December 9th, 2016

The Dallas police and fireman pension fund has halted withdrawals of money to halt a pension run to keep the system (temporarily) solvent. Texas municipal pension debt is a big story with a lot of different ramifications and angles, and I need to do some research before I post, hopefully sometime next week.

In the meantime, enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Why they voted for Trump:

    Working-class Americans have been mocked, maligned, and forgotten long enough. They are fed up and they went to the voting booth last week and said so.

    This election’s “red state” vote had little to do with racism or any phobias. The message we heard last week was, rather, a clear and simple plea from the average blue-collar, small-town mother and father for Washington and other big-city elites to stop belittling, disparaging and vilifying them and their families. It was their way of telling the “know-it-alls”; the politicians and pundits, to stop flying over and driving past their gutted factories and dying towns and pretending they don’t exist and do not matter. They simply wanted the “smarter and more educated” city folks to know that they are tired of insults and that the condescension needs to stop. They voted for Trump because someone finally appeared to care and listen.

    They voted for Trump because he seemed to get it. Finally, someone seemed to understand that the average guy: the plumber, the carpenter, the truck driver, the farmer — the good and decent family man from Dewey, Oklahoma, and from Hillsdale, Michigan — is the one who is now suffering from more cultural disrespect than perhaps anyone else in all the country.

    They voted for Trump because they’re sick and tired of being laughed at. They voted for Trump because they have, frankly, “had it” with being labeled intolerable by those who claim to be tolerant. They voted for Trump because they think it’s deplorable that they are the ones being called “deplorables.”They voted for Trump because they can’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio or read the news without some highbrow elitist in the mainstream media calling them “low-information,” “uneducated white males” who are too dumb to know what’s best for them and too stupid to see that Washington knows best. They voted for Trump because all they want is to have a job, get some respect, pick up a paycheck, go to church, raise their kids and be left alone.

    This is why. This is the explanation.

    Hate had nothing to do with it.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Kurt Schlichter: “The liberals are truly going nuts, and it’s beautiful.”

    They recently resurrected Nancy Pelosi for another glorious term winnowing away the House Democrat caucus. Pretty soon it’s just going to be her and some guy representing Berkeley who they recruited while he was shouting “Workers of the world unite!” at bored coeds on Telegraph Avenue. You know, if you want to reach out to the kind of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, normal Americans who voted for the black guy then allegedly refused to vote for the woman because they are racist, you totally want an ancient, rich, snooty, San Francisco leftist and Botox after-picture like the Nanster.

    The only way you could further alienate these alienated voters is, I don’t know, making your DNC chairman some radical leftist, urban black Muslim who hates guns, loves Farrakhan and who parties with Middle Eastern scumbags who issue fatwas to kill those voters’ soldier sons and daughters. Now, that’s some real diversity, and the Dems should totally get right on it. But seriously, we could never dare to hope that the Democrats would be that stupid. Could we?

    And I had to laugh at this, even a little guiltily:

    Next up at bat is the hard-4 hedgehog that is anti-gun activist and alleged comedian Amy Schumer, another over-praised, over-hyped mediocrity who Tinseltown is trying to force down our throats like the fingers she clearly never forced down hers.

  • Speaking of liberals going nuts, this Washington Post piece about how Trump’s election stole one woman’s sexual desire is an exemplar of the “Middle Aged Feminist Talks About How She’s Very Upset With Politics While Narcissisticly Sharing The Tedious Minutia of Her Life” piece.
  • “Liberals have migrated beyond observable reality into fantasyland.” (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Liberals prove once again how sane and generous they are by suggesting to let Tennessee wildfire victims burn because they voted for Trump.
  • The collapse of the political left:

    The rejection was apparent in the 2010 and subsequent House elections; Republicans have now won House majorities in ten of the last 12 elections, leaving 2006 and 2008 as temporary aberrations. You didn’t hear Hillary Clinton campaign on the glories of Obamacare or the Iran nuclear deal, and her attack on “Trumped-up, trickle-down economics” didn’t strike any chords in the modest-income Midwest.

    Republican success has been even greater in governor and state legislature elections, to the point that Democrats hold governorships and legislative control only in California, Hawaii, Delaware and Rhode Island. After eight years of the Obama presidency, Democrats hold fewer elective offices than at any time since the 1920s.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Hey, maybe liberals should use persuasion rather than automatically label everyone who disagrees with them racist. (Hat tip: Will Shetterly.)
  • Clintonistas are still bitching about Bernie Sanders, saying his challenge to their beloved Queen fatally wounded her. You know, the way Trump having a dozen primary challengers kept him from becoming President.
  • Piers Morgan (I know) on how Donald Trump pwns the media. “Every time they throw their high-minded journalistic toys out of their strollers at one of his tweets, Trump wins.” (Hat Tip: Borepatch.)
  • Trump is blessed by having weak opponents: “How influential did the press expect to be? It ran against Trump in the election and lost. Why should anybody inclined to support the president-elect — roughly half the country, you may recall — pay attention now to a press that has said the usual rules don’t apply? Again, the more the opposition was cranked up, the less effective it became.”
  • Outgoing Vice President Joe Biden says he’s running for President in 2020. It’s not like he would have done worse than Hillary did this year…
  • ObamaCare in one graphic. One big, depressing graphic…
  • Reminder: That “97% of scientists agree than man is causing climate change” factoid is false.
  • Ties between Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist government and the Islamic State.
  • Are NGOs smuggling illegal aliens into Europe with the help of the EU?
  • With her poll ratings dropping, Angela Merkel suggests a burka ban. Such actions would be unnecessary if Merkel hadn’t brought the “refugee” crisis on in the first place.
  • Five Afghan “refugees” charged with raping a 15-year old boy in Sweden. Strangely enough, I don’t remember gay gang rapes of children in Sweden being in the news before the current wave of Islamic immigration…
  • Speaking of Afghan “refugees,” an EU official’s daughter was murdered by one.
  • What Trump’s Taiwan phone call means:

    When evaluating this unorthodox and, yes, risky move, one has to remember that it is China, not the United States, that has been rewriting the rules of engagement in the East and South China Sea. It is China that has been unilaterally asserting territorial claims against its neighbors, China asserting jurisdiction over international waters and air space, China failing to rein in the increasingly serious North Korean nuclear program. The power that is challenging the status quo in Asia is not the United States.

    (Hat tip: The Corner.)

  • Italy’s PM: Hey, give me near absolute power, because that’s never backfired on Italy before! Italy: Get stuffed!
  • In related news, actress Paola Saulino, who promised blow jobs for those who voted against the referendum, says she’s making good on her promise. What? You want pictures of Paola Saulino? Well, if you insist:

    And here are the dates for her “thank you” tour:

    I get the feeling the adoring crowds will make Black Friday look tame by comparison… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Now India is confiscating gold and jewelry from political enemies targets of corruption probes.
  • Canada wants to criminalize pronouns. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • If the New York Times wants to fight “fake news,” perhaps they should look in the mirror.
  • A guide to winning the media wars:

    We all know that independent websites taking Hillary to task on her very real and very deplorable track record of being a compulsive liar is what was truly decisive. The mainstream media knows this, which is why they haven’t actually been focusing on censoring provably fake news sites, but rather have been promoting an agenda to lump any non-establishment perspectives within the umbrella of “fake news” in order to destroy their competition and regain an upper hand in the national narrative. If those of us who value independent media want to thwart this nefarious plan, we need to fully understand what these cretins are up to.

  • 27-year male Clinton supporter hits 69 year old woman over the head with a chair. In his defense, he really does not look like the sharpest knife in the drawer:

    Or even the sharpest spoon…

  • More fake hate crimes.
  • The amnesty crowd is at it again.

    A DREAM Act 2.0 that addressed these problems — that prosecuted fraud, implemented enforcement, prevented downstream legal immigration, and focused much more narrowly on those who came very young — would possibly be something that even I, were I a congressman, might be able to vote for. But the lack of these elements is clear proof that the amnesty crowd isn’t interested in fixing the specific problem of a sympathetic but small group of people; rather, these young people are simply poster children who have been used for years to try to justify a general amnesty for all illegal aliens. And when the DREAM Act fails, as it will, Pedro Ramirez and his fellows will need to ask the pro-amnesty politicians and lobbying groups why they were sacrificed on the altar of “comprehensive immigration reform.”

  • Instapundit suggests downsizing imperial Washington:

    Donald Trump ran for president on the slogan “Make America Great Again!” And he’s also promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington. But maybe the way to do that is to make Washington a little less great. Because as Washington has prospered over the last several decades — to the point where people are making Hunger Games comparisons — the rest of the country hasn’t done as well.

    So perhaps it’s time for a role-reversal. I propose that over the next several years, we transfer a lot of federal employees out of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, to parts of the country that aren’t doing so well economically. This would provide a boost to places like Buffalo, New York, or Quincy, Illinois, or Fresno, California, while getting federal bureaucrats out of the D.C. bubble.

  • Delusional liberal in Time suggests that people not pay their taxes while Trump is president. So he wants to: A.) Starve the federal government of money, and B.) Put liberals in prison where they can’t vote. OK, but what’s the downside?
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issues a stay of execution for an Alabama inmate. “Lawyers for Smith argue that although the jury rendered a verdict of life without parole, the trial court overrode the jury’s verdict and sentenced Smith to death.” Hmmm…
  • There’s a new cybersecurity commission report out. Guess what? It’s crap!
  • Black Workers’ Suit Accuses Job Agency of Favoring Hispanic Applicants.” Also: “He added that the staff of the MVP office in Cicero ‘was mainly Mexicans’ and that the employees were not welcoming toward African-American job seekers.” Also: “The vast majority of Hispanic job applicants served by MVP were in the United States illegally.” Note: The agency in question is not the Democratic Party, or the federal government… (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Speaking of racial discrimination lawsuits in hiring, CNN is being sued for just that. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Armor car robbery ringleader killed in Houston, accomplices arrested. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Recovering from a devastating spinal injury via power lifting. (Ht tip: Instapundit.)
  • Marxist vegan diner closes. “Ultimately, the restaurant’s popularity among social justice warriors proved unable to sustain its rickety business model.”
  • Naval Base Bombed, Shinto Worshipers Fear Backlash – New York Times – December 8 1941.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Noted without comment: The @EvilMopacATX twitter feed.
  • LinkSwarm for December 2, 2016

    Friday, December 2nd, 2016

    Welcome to the last month of the year! (Insert standard “where has the time gone” lament here.)

    Enjoy the traditional Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Kevin D. Williamson brings the wood:

    The Democratic party is an odd apparatus in which most of the power is held by sanctimonious little old liberal white ladies with graduate degrees and very high incomes — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Randi Weingarten — while the manpower, the vote-power, and the money-power (often in the form of union dues) comes from a disproportionately young and non-white base made up of people who, if they are doing well, might earn one-tenth of the half-million dollars a year Weingarten was paid as the boss of the teachers’ union. They are more likely to be cutting the grass in front of Elizabeth Warren’s multi-million-dollar mansion than moving into one of their own. They roll their eyes at Hillary Rodham Clinton’s risible “abuela” act, having actual abuelas of their own.

    As in the Republican party, the Democrats have a restive base that is more radical than its leadership, more aggressive, and in search of signs of tribal affiliation. The Democratic base is not made up of little old liberal white ladies with seven-, eight-, and nine-figure bank balances, but the party’s leadership is.

  • Alan Derschowitz is not a fan of Rep. Keith Ellison’s DNC Chairman bid:

    What should a political party that has just lost its white working-class, blue-collar base to a “make America great again” nationalist do to try to regain these voters? Why not appoint as the new head of the party a radical left-wing ideologue who has a long history of supporting an anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam racist? Such an appointment will surely bring back rust-belt voters who have lost their jobs to globalization and free trade! Is this really the thinking of those Democratic leaders who are pushing for Keith Ellison to head the Democratic National Committee?

    Keith Ellison is, by all accounts, a decent guy, who is well liked by his congressional colleagues. But it is hard to imagine a worse candidate to take over the DNC at this time. Ellison represents the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, just when the party — if it is to win again — must move to the center in order to bring back the voters it lost to Trump. The Democrats didn’t lose because their candidates weren’t left enough. They won the votes of liberals. The radical voters they lost to Jill Stein were small in number and are not likely to be influenced by the appointment of Ellison. The centrist voters they lost to Trump will only be further alienated by the appointment of a left-wing ideologue, who seems to care more about global issues than jobs in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Ellison’s selection certainly wouldn’t help among Jewish voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania or pro-Israel Christian voters around the country.

    Also, Derschowitz is not buying the “friend of Israel” blather put forth by Ellison defenders:

    Ellison’s voting record also does not support his claim that he has become a “friend” of Israel. He was one of only 8 Congressmen who voted against funding the Iron Dome program, developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel, which helps protect Israeli civilians from Hamas rockets. In 2009, Ellison was one of only two dozen Congressmen to vote “present” rather than vote for a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” And in 2010, Ellison co‐authored a letter to President Obama, calling on him to pressure Israel into opening the border with Gaza. The letter describes the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip as “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents.”

  • Five Thirty Eight asserts that education levels one of the primary determinants of which counties voted for Trump.
  • More electorate analysis: “This is a case where the simplest explanation is the correct one: Donald Trump won because he did exceptionally (indeed, historically) well with the white working class, a bloc that until 2016 was resistant north of the Mason-Dixon line to voting Republican en masse.”
  • Fidel Castro’s murders by the numbers. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Could Marine Le Pen be the leftmost candidate in France’s presidential election?
  • Your government in action: health inspectors deny the homeless a free BBQ meal.
  • Rotherham, post-truth and the “alt-right”:

    Some on the left in the West see certain ideas and even some easily verifiable truths, as plain dangerous, much like the totalitarian communists of yesteryear. Dangerous to public order. Dangerous to the ‘common good’.

    Whilst this section of the left has always existed, it now seems to have become more ‘mainstream’. It seethes and obsesses within carefully-policed ideological echo-chambers. It dominates in universities, trade unions and the public sector. And whereas it was once mainly prevalent in fringe far-left outfits, it has now effectively co-opted the Labour party through its membership and leadership.

    Anyone who has ever tried to engage with this section of the left will know that it doesn’t ‘do debate’ with conservatives on issues like immigration, multiculturalism and identity politics. For it, “the debate is settled”. Opposing views are intrinsically wicked. Such ideas are to be ignored. Muted. Blocked. Banned. Disrupted. Drowned out with fog-horns.

    It does not feel it needs to win the argument nor does it see any reason to engage in one. Where it can apply ‘No Platform’ or ‘Safe Space’ schemes to stymie debate, it will do so assiduously. Where it can’t, it’s adept at innovating campaigns such as #StopFundingHate to help promote the censorship it craves.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Still more on How Trump got elected:

    The privileged worked hard for Trump. Every time they described his people as uneducated white males, implicit dregs, they drove votes to Donald. And they so described the working class unceasingly.

    It made him President. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is how he got in.

    The privileged denigrated all whites unlike themselves. Then Hillary made her “deplorables” speech, confirming her contempt for half of America–those uneducated, shapeless, dull-witted proles in Flyover Land, obese, farting and belching, swilling Bud, watching NASCAR for god’s sake in awful trailers. And why not not sneer at them? Why did Hillary need their votes? Did not Rachel Maddow love her?

    For Trump it was gold, pure gold. If he had written her speech, he could not have come up with a better line to destroy her. It was the purest product of the establishment’s hubris. She did it to herself. Sweet.

    It made him President.

    Black Lives Matter also did yeoman work for the Donald. As they and snowflake Brown Shirts and excited millennials blocked highways and beat Trump’s supporters and shut down rallies, and vandalized cars, and of course looted, they presumably thought they were working against the Trump Monster. Not a chance. Out there in the uncharted barbarian lands between Manhattan and Hollywood, in dark primeval forests where Cro-Magnons are still a rarity, people were sick of lawlessness, and of an establishment that tolerated it. It produced more votes, perhaps not for Trump or even against Hillary but against the class that she represented.

    Immigration. Here Hillary and Obama did great work for Donald. As Obama frantically brought in as many “refugees” as possible from everywhere, anywhere that might not be compatible with the people upon whom he would force them, Hillary promised to import huge numbers of Muslims. It was luminously stupid politics, but politically she was luminously stupid, so it fit.

    It is why she is not President.

    She knew that the backward peoples of Flyover Land ought to want hundreds of thousands of Somalis and Pakistanis and who-knew-what to live with, and if they didn’t, she would force them and it didn’t matter because she had big donors and everybody in the media loved her.

    However incoherent and ignorant Trump was, the Establishment was determined to elect him. Elect him it did.

    (Hat tip: Borepatch.)

  • The end of identity politics? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • You know those sacred medicare funds? Obama has raided them to help take care of illegal aliens.
  • Germany’s security agency infiltrated by a jihadist. (Hat tip: Ace.)
  • The pension fund for Dallas policeman and firefighters is teetering on insolvency thanks to risky investments.
  • Don’t agree with everything in this John Gray essay on the closing of the liberal mind, published right before Trump’s election, but there’s a lot to chew over concerning the post-liberal world order, and especially the Labour Party’s relation to it. “Labour has become unelectable in any foreseeable future.”
  • Banks in India run out of money thanks to the idiot currency ban:

    Many in north India who slept outside banks in freezing conditions woke up in the morning to be told only that no cash had arrived.

    “I have been doing the rounds of banks for the past 20 days and have been unable to withdraw my own money,” said Balbir Singh, a junior executive in a private firm in New Delhi. “Even on payday the story was the same: the bank said it simply had no money to disburse, even though I have ample credit in my account.”

  • Turkish Lira collapses.
  • Global warming: “Since 1940 the sea level off of northern Washington has dropped about 15 cm. (6 inches).”
  • How Gary Taubes overcame the severe backlash over his famous expose of how low fat diets fail compared to low carb diets like Atkins.
  • Chicago’s real estate market expect to rank dead last. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Will Wallace Hall have the last laugh on his UT records request? (Hat tip: Cahman’s Musings.)
  • Smoking marijuana inhibits blood flow to the brain.
  • The science of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Nothing says “class” like wearing an ascot, sipping a glass of wine, and spray-painting “Fuck Trump” on a supermarket wall.
  • The wit and wisdom of Robert Stacy McCain.
  • A startling factoid:

  • Less startling, still interesting:

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • A concise definition of the issue:

  • Fidel Castro Crimes Roundup

    Monday, November 28th, 2016

    Now that the world has time to digest Fidel Castro’s death, here’s a roundup of more proof that, yes, he was a tyrannical torturing commie scumbag.

  • First up, here’s the Miami Herald‘s detailed account of Castro’s life and his brutal regime. It’s the one to read if you’re only reading one.
  • No really, he was a brutal scumbag:
    • He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.

    • He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.
    • He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.
    • He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.
    • He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.
    • He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.
    • He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.
    • He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.
    • He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.
    • He censored all means of expression and communication.
    • He established a fraudulent school system that provided indoctrination rather than education, and created a two-tier health-care system, with inferior medical care for the majority of Cubans and superior care for himself and his oligarchy, and then claimed that all his repressive measures were absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of these two ostensibly “free” social welfare projects.
    • He turned Cuba into a labyrinth of ruins and established an apartheid society in which millions of foreign visitors enjoyed rights and privileges forbidden to his people.
    • He never apologized for any of his crimes and never stood trial for them.
  • Here is a series documenting Castro’s greatest crimes and atrocities. Only about half of these have been completed so far.
  • The myth of Cuba’s wonderful health care:

    What all of these pols and pundits lazily presume is that if the state of Cuban health care and education have markedly improved on Castro’s watch, surely the situation was dire during the final years of the Batista dictatorship.

    Well, not exactly. In 1959 Cuba had 128.6 doctors and dentists per 100,000 inhabitants, placing it 22nd globally—that is, ahead of France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Finland. In infant mortality tables, Cuba ranked one of the best in the world, with 5.8 deaths per 100,000 babies, compared to 9.5 per 100,000 in the United States. In 1958 Cuba’s adult literacy rate was 80 percent, higher than that of its colonial grandfather in Spain, and the country possessed one of the most highly-regarded university systems in the Western hemisphere.

    Cuba improved, as have most countries, on some of these indices in the years since the revolution. As Reason Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin points out, “countries like Costa Rica, Panama, and Brazil have posted equal gains in literacy during the same time period without resorting to totalitarian governments.”

  • Indeed, Cuba’s hospitals are filfthy hellholes.
  • Old review of Armando Valladares’s Against All Hope.
  • How a New York Times reporter helped create the Castro myth.
  • Death toll estimate of the Castro regime was 87,073 people in 2005.
  • Brutal Dictator Fidel Castro Dead

    Saturday, November 26th, 2016

    Cuba’s communist dictator Fidel Castro has died.

    Says Texas Senator Ted Cruz: “Fidel Castro’s death cannot bring back his thousands of victims, nor can it bring comfort to their families. Today we remember them and honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the brutal Communist dictatorship he imposed on Cuba.”

    Castro was known both for opressing and torturing his people (and more recently putting gay people in concentration camps) and for getting left-wing useful idiots to sing his praises. The sort of clueless leftists who sing the praises of Cuba’s “modern” healthcare without ever having experienced the filthy hellholes that are its hospitals firsthand. There are political prisoners who have rotted in jail for more than two decades merely for speaking out against Castro’s brutal regime.

    Those interested in the real Cuba beyond the tourist Potemkin villages for the useful idiot fellow travelers should read Michael Totten’s many dispatches from the island.

    The world is a better place for Fidel Castro’s too-long-delayed passing.

    Starvation Stalks Venezuela

    Monday, August 8th, 2016

    This is what happens when a “socialist paradise” enters its terminal phase.

    Venezuela children are dying from malnutrition:

    Malnourished children who faint in class. Children who, in the worst cases, die from hunger, their bodies nothing but skin and bones, the outlines of their ribs visible.

    Images like those have become common in Venezuela, where critical food shortages are pushing hundreds of thousands of children under a blanket of misery and hunger more often seen in the poorest countries in Africa.

    “We are seeing cases not seen for 40 years,” said William Barrientos, a physician and part of the opposition bloc in the legislative National Assembly who produced and posted a video on YouTube to highlight the issue of malnutrition among Venezuelan children.

    It’s like something out of the French Revolution:

    A mob of starving people advanced on the presidential palace chanting, “We want food”. They were met by soldiers and police dispatched by the tyrant from his lavish palace decorated opulently with a golden sun, giant rock crystal mirrors, sparkling chandeliers and towering oil portraits.

    The scene wasn’t 19th century France, but 21st century Venezuela.

    And if you are wondering why you haven’t seen it on the news, it’s because Venezuela is a Socialist disaster area that was once being used as a model by the left. Now it’s a place where the vast majority of people can’t afford basic food staples and a third are down to two or fewer meals a day.

    Snip.

    Venezuela, once a wealthy oil state, where the doctors offering “universal health care” have no medicine and starving people loot government stores looking for food, is yet another example. 50 people are dead in the latest food riots. Their graves are yet another “grave error” of the left.

    Snip.

    Venezuela needs 10 billion bank notes in its new inflationary economy, more than America, and it can’t pay for them. Or pay for anything else. It can’t afford to import food and it refuses to pay fair prices at home. Meanwhile eggs, at the official exchange rate, run to $150, McDonald’s fries for $126 and a pound of coffee for $85. Socialists may not believe in inflation, but inflation believes in them.

    No wonder the people are starving.

    Teachers sell passing grades to students in exchange for milk and flour. Lines at government stores are endless and an entire economy has been built on buying and trades spots on food lines. Fingerprint scanners are used to enforce milk rations. And a heavy military police and military presence is required to stop mobs of starving people from grabbing the food as soon as it arrives.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Venezuelans who are able cross into Columbia to buy food, at least what little their worthless hyperinflated Bolivars will buy.

    How many children will have to starve to death until the Venezuela’s socialist ruling class reverses course?

    Venezuela Re-institutes Slavery

    Monday, August 1st, 2016

    On June 2, 1816, Simon Bolivar landed in Venezuela and declared all slaves in Spanish America free. In 2016, the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Venezuela reinstitued slave labor on farms:

    Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.

    (Hat tip: Instaundit.)

    I’m sure if you went into Houston’s Fifth Ward or Atlanta’s south side and announced “Hey, due to a food emergency, we’re going to need to put you back on the plantations. But it’s only for 60 days!” I’m sure they’d be totally understanding…

    This follows months of food riots. Animals are starving to death in Venezuela’s zoos because they can’t afford to feed them. “Danta from the Caricuao zoo died from hunger.” There you go, liberals: An animal with a name! Now we just wait for all that spontaneous outrage…

    Danta Tapir

    So what is country whose people are literally starving due to the Magic Power of Socialism™ to do? Why, institute censorship, of course! And why reform your failing socialist econmy when you can threaten to arrest international executives because their local factories can’t produce goods due to a lack of raw materials?

    Leftist leaders around the world love proclaiming “Socialism or Death!” But as Venezuela proves yet again, socialism is death…

    LinkSwarm for July 22, 2016

    Friday, July 22nd, 2016

    Haven’t been covering the RNC because I have too much going on. So enjoy this LinkSwarm instead:

  • Full text of Donald Trump’s RNC speech. No I didn’t watch it.
  • “It’s telling that so many city leaders hate their state or national governments, but love supra-national governments like the EU. This shows that their real desire isn’t to go it alone in the marketplace, but to create replacement governance structures that are more amenable to their way of thinking, that constitutionally enshrine their preferences, and are insulated from democratic accountability.”
  • Jerry Pournelle on the real problems in the black community:

    An obvious observation, which hardly anyone seems to make, is that blacks suffer less from racism than from poor education. Harvard does not reject black applicants because it dislikes blacks but because they are badly prepared. Blacks do not fail the federal entrance examination because it is rigged to exclude them but because they don’t know the answers. Equality of opportunity without equality of education is a cruel joke: giving an illiterate the right to apply to Yale isn’t giving him much.

    The intelligent policy is to educate black children, something that the public schools of Washington manage, at great expense, not to do. In fact the prevailing (if unspoken) view seems to be that black children cannot be educated, an idea whose only defect is that it is wrong: the Catholic schools of Washington have been educating black children for years. The Catholic system has 12,170 students in the District, of whom 7,884, or 65 percent, are black.

  • Trump takes lead over Clinton according to that notorious right-wing propaganda organ, the Los Angeles Times. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ, who notes “it certainly looks bad for the Beefy Elderly Drunken Crazylady.”)
  • Wargaming the election in November. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Ten reasons Trump could win.
  • Borepatch plays Nostradamus: “Trump 366, Clinton 172”.
  • Michael Moore thinks Trump is going to win. I pay very little heed to Mr. Moore’s opinions, but I admit the possibility that he may have more insight into the day-to-day outlook of blue collar, rust belt Americans than I do.
  • Crony capitalism: “Lobbyists Are Behind the Rise in Corporate Profits.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Sexual violence in Germany has skyrocketed since Angela Merkel allowed more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East into the country. The crimes are being downplayed by the authorities, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.”
  • The Nice jihad truck attack wasn’t spontaneous, it had been planned for months. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The EU will likely break its own rules to save Italian banks.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General decides she has the power to unilaterally rewrite the state’s gun laws.
  • How millennials are screwed. That will teach them to dress like idiots and listen to music that sucks…
  • Memphis newspaper forced to apologize over accurate headline on the Dallas police shootings, i.e. “Gunman targeted whites.”
  • Why does Elon Musk get to keep sucking up taxpayer subsidies? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “A talent for teaching simply does not factor into tenure decisions.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How the Finns kicked the Soviet Union’s ass in the Winter War.
  • Expose a fake Medal of Honor winner? Get fired.
  • The NBA’s Adam Silver goes full social justice warrior over North Carolina refusing to knuckle under over tranny bathroom demands.
  • Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant accuses Democratic State Senator Royce West of stealing endorsement money from him.
  • Welcome to Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s half-built ghost town of a “sustainable city.”
  • Anti-Trump protester sets self on fire while trying to burn flag. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Remembering the glory of The Poor Man’s James Bond. What red-blooded American teenage boy wouldn’t want to make his own anti-tank missile? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Important legal tip: If you’re going to get naked and drunk and hang out with pigs, make sure they’re your own pigs. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • It’s a bad idea to eat 75 pounds of cocaine. Even if you are a bear. Or Pam.

    With a bonus Waylon Jennings-in-Las Vegas connection.

  • Venezuela: Socialism Is Death

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

    When socialists run out of other people’s money, everything falls apart. In Venezuela, socialism is killing babies:

    By morning, three newborns were already dead.

    The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.

    Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.

    “The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals.

    Also this: “At the University of the Andes Hospital in the mountain city of Mérida, there was not enough water to wash blood from the operating table.” With a picture to match.

    (Hat tip: Althouse.)

    Is this the point where the bankrupt socialist regime changes course and implements economic reform? Of course not. “Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a sweeping crackdown Saturday under a new emergency decree, ordering the seizure of paralyzed factories, the arrest of their owners and military exercises to counter alleged foreign threats.”

    Naturally the democratically elected opposition refuses to knuckle under to Maduro’s unconstitutional decrees.

    “Opposition leader Henrique Capriles also said the army must decide whether it is ‘with the constitution or with Maduro,’ a day before nationwide protests demanding the president’s ouster through a referendum.”

    The Atlantic offers up a photo essay on how little food Venezuelans have to eat. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    And all this has come to pass thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism™:

    The government doesn’t just control the oil industry, imposing windfall taxes as high as 50 percent on the few private sector projects that remain. The government has nationalized rice mills, large producers of agricultural products, and expropriated millions of acres of farmland; it has acquired some banks and shut down others; nationalized the cement sector; tried to nationalize gold miners; nationalized the country’s largest steel mill and the country’s largest telecommunications company; expropriated the nation’s largest power producer (remember those rolling blackouts?), and more.

    People close to the regime have benefited from many of those deals. Corruption has skyrocketed since the beginning of Venezuela’s “Bolivarian revolution.” According to the Cato Institute, $22.5 billion in public funds have been transferred from Venezuela to foreign accounts with no plausible explanation. Relatives of President Nicolas Maduro have been implicated in drug trafficking, with suspicions of drug money used to finance his campaign.

    Oh, and Venezuela’s capital has earned the distinction of being the murder capital of the world.

    All of these tragedies were avoidable. They are all the result of a mentality that sees only nails for the hammer of government control. Chavez and Maduro kept saying that everything that was wrong with Venezuela was the fault of markets and that if the government either eliminated or regulated those markets, things would get better. They implemented their agenda and it has been a disaster. This socialist brand of economic authoritarianism had the predictable consequence of political authoritarianism, corruption, and a breakdown of the rule of law.

    How many more babies have to die before Venezuela abandons its failed socialist experiment?

    Life in Venezuela is Murder

    Thursday, May 12th, 2016

    In the course of this piece on Venezuela’s bankrupt socialist government using tanks against “paramilitary” opposition, I came across this tidbit of crime information:

    The homicide rate in Venezuela is surging again in 2016, the Prosecutor General’s office warned in its first quarterly report of the year last week. Venezuela suffered 18,000 homicides in 2015 according to the Prosecutor General, but NGO’s put that figure closer to 28,000 murders for last year.

    Even given that Latin American murder rates are generally higher than North America and Europe, that’s shockingly high for a nation of 30 million. In fact, both figures are more murders than for all of the United States for 2013 (the last year full FBI figures are available). And U.S. figures include such idyllic peaceful environs as Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit.

    And life for Venezuelans who aren’t outright murdered continues to get worse. “The experiment with “21st-century socialism” as introduced by the late President Hugo Chavez, a self-described champion of the poor who vowed to distribute the country’s wealth among the masses, and instead steered the nation toward the catastrophe the world is witnessing under his handpicked successor Maduro, has been a cruel failure.”

    What our country is going through is monstrously unique: It’s nothing less than the collapse of a large, wealthy, seemingly modern, seemingly democratic nation just a few hours’ flight from the United States.

    In the last two years Venezuela has experienced the kind of implosion that hardly ever occurs in a middle-income country like it outside of war. Mortality rates are skyrocketing; one public service after another is collapsing; triple-digit inflation has left more than 70 percent of the population in poverty; an unmanageable crime wave keeps people locked indoors at night; shoppers have to stand in line for hours to buy food; babies die in large numbers for lack of simple, inexpensive medicines and equipment in hospitals, as do the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

    But why? It’s not that the country lacked money. Sitting atop the world’s largest reserves of oil at the tail end of a frenzied oil boom, the government led first by Chavez and, since 2013, by Maduro, received over a trillion dollars in oil revenues over the last 17 years. It faced virtually no institutional constraints on how to spend that unprecedented bonanza. It’s true that oil prices have since fallen—a risk many people foresaw, and one that the government made no provision for—but that can hardly explain what’s happened: Venezuela’s garish implosion began well before the price of oil plummeted. Back in 2014, when oil was still trading north of $100 per barrel, Venezuelans were already facing acute shortages of basic things like bread or toiletries.

    The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country’s democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

    A case in point is the price controls, which have expanded to apply to more and more goods: food and vital medicines, yes, but also car batteries, essential medical services, deodorant, diapers, and, of course, toilet paper. The ostensible goal was to check inflation and keep goods affordable for the poor, but anyone with a basic grasp of economics could have foreseen the consequences: When prices are set below production costs, sellers can’t afford to keep the shelves stocked. Official prices are low, but it’s a mirage: The products have disappeared.

    When a state is in the process of collapse, dimensions of decay feed back on each other in an intractable cycle. Populist giveaways, for example, have fed the country’s ruinous flirtation with hyperinflation; the International Monetary Fund now projects that prices will rise by 720 percent this year and 2,200 percent in 2017. The government virtually gives away gasoline for free, even after having raised the price earlier this year. As a result of this and similar policies, the state is chronically short of funds, forced to print ever more money to finance its spending.

    Though much of it will be familiar to anyone who follows this blog, read the entire story, if only for the factory owner who got in trouble for not stocking his bathrooms with toilet paper as per union rules (because it was unavailable at government stores), only to get in even more trouble for “hoarding” when he bought it on the black market…

    Venezuela’s So Poor Soldiers Steal Goats To Survive

    Thursday, May 5th, 2016

    For all the depression over an ascendant Donald Trump, let’s remember remember that a lot of other countries, much further down the road to serfdom than we are, have it much worse.

    Take, for example, Venezuela, where The Magic Power of Socialism™ has so wrecked the economy that soldiers are stealing goats to survive:

    Over the weekend, six members of the Venezuelan military were detained by local authorities for stealing goats, the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional reported Sunday. It said the soldiers confessed to stealing the goats and said they did it to feed themselves, since they had no food left in their barracks.

    “It’s not a good sign when your military doesn’t have enough food, and when the military has been relegated to guarding and protecting food lines,” said Jason Marczak, director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative at the Atlantic Council. “This is endemic of the problems going on across the country.”

    A military without enough food to eat. Boy, that’s a swell recipe for happiness in Latin America. (Hat tip: Instapundit.) As the Washington Post‘s Wonkblog put it: “It’s a grim race between anarchy and civil war.”

    Venezuela’s opposition evidently has enough votes to recall idiot socialist President Nicolas Maduro:

    Venezuela’s right-wing opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), turned over 1.8 million signatures in support of a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro to the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Monday.

    As part of the initial requirement to solicit a recall, the MUD was given 30 days to collect signatures from 1 percent of the electorate in each of the 23 states– 197,721 total signatures nationwide– a target which the coalition managed to surpass in a matter of days, accruing as many as 2.5 million overall.

    There are still considerable barriers to a recall election even if the government doesn’t cheat (and what are the odds of that?).

    Also, beer production has stopped. Just an all-around recipe for for happiness.

    So cheer up, America! We have to face the horror of a Clinton-Trump presidential race, but at least we’ll do so with food, water, electricity and beer…