Posts Tagged ‘Welfare State’

This Week in Jihad: Post-Paris Attacks Edition

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

I stopped doing the regular This Week in Jihad update because: A.) It took a lot of damn time, and B.) Sites like JihadWatch were doing it better.

But since the Paris attacks, a metric ton of Jihad-related links have come streaming out of the firehose, so here’s a new This Week In Jihad just so a I have a place to put them all:

  • Mark Steyn, as always, is on point:

    When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?


    What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”. And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.

    And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.

  • A staggering 92% of all voters now regard radical Islamic terrorism as a serious threat to the United States. This includes 73% who say it is a Very Serious one, up 23 points from 50% in October of last year.” Your move, Democrats…
  • What it’s like to live in a neighborhood that’s being islamicized into a no-go zone. The author starts out as a standard fuzzy-headed liberal “thrilled” by his neighborhood’s “multiculturalism.” Then reality sets in:

    Over nine years, as I witnessed the neighborhood become increasingly intolerant. Alcohol became unavailable in most shops and supermarkets; I heard stories of fanatics at the Comte des Flandres metro station who pressured women to wear the veil; Islamic bookshops proliferated, and it became impossible to buy a decent newspaper. With an unemployment rate of 30 percent, the streets were eerily empty until late in the morning. Nowhere was there a bar or café where white, black and brown people would mingle. Instead, I witnessed petty crime, aggression, and frustrated youths who spat at our girlfriends and called them “filthy whores.” If you made a remark, you were inevitably scolded and called a racist. There used to be Jewish shops on Chaussée de Gand, but these were terrorized by gangs of young kids and most closed their doors around 2008. Openly gay people were routinely intimidated, and also packed up their bags.

  • Cracked writer reads every issue of the Islamic State’s full-color magazine Dabiq. On the one hand, there’s some useful information here. (“Attention Internet: People who celebrate pictures of civilians they’ve killed as well as pictures of their own friend’s murdered corpses don’t give a shit what you call them.”) On the other, the writer seemed to go into the assignment painfully ignorant of some of the most basic facts about the Islamic State (like their radical hatred of Shiites).
  • Dear everybody comparing Syrian “refugees” to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany: Your analogy is bad and you should feel bad:

    The first, and most obvious, difference: There was no international conspiracy of German Jews in the 1930s attempting to carry out daily attacks on civilians on several continents. No self-identifying Jews in the early 20th century were randomly massacring European citizens in magazine offices and concert halls, and there was no “Jewish State” establishing sovereignty over tens of thousands of square miles of territory, and publicly slaughtering anyone who opposed its advance. Among Syrian Muslims, there is.

  • “Ending a fight means our will must be stronger than our enemies’ – and I’m not convinced that right now, we as a nation are up to it. ISIS isn’t convinced either, and until we convince them by killing them, this will not end well for us.”
  • More mass graves of elderly women in the Islamic State.
  • Daniel Pipes says that don’t expect the Paris attacks to significantly change European opinions on Jihad. Europe is far too committed to continuing to hit the snooze button.
  • More than 90 percent of recent refugees from Middle Eastern nations are on food stamps and nearly 70 percent receive cash assistance, according to government data.” No wonder Democrats love them so much…
  • “I would be darned to listen to all three of those candidates to discern a clear Democratic line of how you’re actually going to fight terrorism. They were very vague, very non-specific, and I think they have a lot of work to do.” Hard to fight radical Islam if you’re unwilling to even speak its name…
  • Questions the Obama Administration won’t let immigration officials ask Syrian “refugees“: “Are you a member or supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood or Tablighi Jamaat?”
  • Gunmen attack hotel in Mali shouting “Allah Akbar.” Obviously those vicious Amish terrorists are at it again…
  • British General: “We need to approach this issue of Muslim extremism as we might approach World War Two.”
  • A total of 13 Syrians have been stopped at the Texas border in the last week.
  • Via Louder With Crowder comes this video of a woman who speaks Arabic hearing what these “refugees” say amongst themselves:

  • And after all that, I probably have another boatload of Jihad links to put up…

    Texas vs. California Update for November 12, 2015

    Thursday, November 12th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Is the Los Angeles Unified School District headed for bankruptcy?
  • If it does, pensions are one of the main culprits. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • A tale of two pension plans. Atlanta successfully reformed theirs. San Jose didn’t. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • All five of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S. are in California.
  • California ranks among the bottom five in standardized school tests.
  • Part four of a long, detailed piece on the fall of Pacific Grove, and why it matters. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Spending $15 billion for a tunnel for fish in the midst of a drought isn’t going over well with California voters.
  • Who is the water-wasting Wet Prince of Bel Aire?
  • The fight over California mining company Molycorp’s bankruptcy.
  • Roses are Red/Violets are Blue/The State of California has/Blood samples from you.
  • The WNBA’s Tulsa (formerly Detroit) Shock relocate to Dallas. In other news, the WNBA is evidently still in business.
  • TPPF’s Dr. Vance Ginn on why the Texas model works.
  • LinkSwarm for November 6, 2015

    Friday, November 6th, 2015

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm:

  • What’s Obama’s strategy in Iraq and Syria? He doesn’t have one. “Without a clear overarching strategy to resolve the conflict.” Say what you want about Bush, he wanted to win in Iraq. Obama wants to do just enough to not get blamed for losing.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is not wild about George Soros encouraging waves of Islamic refugees in Europe.
  • Speaking of Islamic refugees, shotguns (which don’t need a permit) are selling like hotcakes in Austria. Whatever could be the reason?
  • “The Democratic party is mainly a coalition of interest groups, and the current model of Democratic politics — poor and largely non-white people providing the muscle and rich white liberals calling the shots — is unsustainable…Democrats gleefully predict that demographic changes are going to give their party a permanent majority. The unspoken corollary to that is that white liberals think they’re going to remain in charge of it.”
  • Forget all those Republican obituaries: Democrats are the ones being booted out of office.
  • Victories in Houston and Kentucky were stinging rebukes to cultural war overreach by the left.
  • Ted Cruz, Jedi Debater.
  • Jeb Bush needs an intervention.
  • Pennsylvania’s Democratic Attorney General, facing criminal indictment and calls to resign on all sides, instead send out porny emails.
  • Announce that you’re abandoning your Vegan diet because it was making you sick? That’s a death threat.
  • Owner of bankrupt Atlantic City casino threatens to house thousands of Syrain refugees there.
  • Denmark to Bernie Sanders: Stop calling us socialists, you pinko!
  • Free market economics: It even makes formerly socialist food banks run better!
  • Students entering Yale are evidently ignorant as fark all. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Dashcam video proves black Texas professor lied about being racially profiled. Hat Tip: Instapundit.)
  • Matt McCall takes another run at Rep. Lamar Smith.
  • I’ll take Least Surprising Sports Headlines for $400, Alex: “Former Raiders first-round pick convicted on three counts of murder.”
  • Texas vs. California Update for November 2, 2014

    Monday, November 2nd, 2015

    California continues to suffer from drought while central Texas just suffered through torrential rains. Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • Texas Adds 26,600 Jobs in September.
  • Texas and Florida rank at the top of education index for biggest states, while California ranks last.
  • The University of Texas is ranked the number one public university in America.
  • Meanwhile, at the University of California system: “The number of those making at least $500,000 annually grew by 14 percent in the last year, to 445, and the system’s administrative ranks have swelled by 60 percent over the last decade – far outpacing tenure-track faculty.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Another example of California’s perpetual trial lawyer enrichment act: “cumulative trauma” awards for employees after termination, even if they’ve never reported symptoms before. Shouldn’t every former member of the Raiders, Chargers and 49ers file a lawsuit?
  • Why CalPERS contributions are soaring. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • So now the California high speed rail boondoggle is going to cost $68 billion and require 36 miles of tunnels, including some dug right through an active tectonic fault. That’s ten times the length of tunnel Boston needed to dig for the Big Dig. And the cost is equivalent to the Gross Domestic Product of Sri Lanka. For a train line. It would probably be cheaper to buy cab rides for everyone traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but that wouldn’t provide enough opportunities for graft…
  • “The parent company of the Orange County Register and Riverside Press-Enterprise filed for federal bankruptcy protection.”
  • Also filing for bankruptcy, yet another West coast grocery chain, Fresh & Easy.
  • Another bankruptcy filing: Fresno’s One Club Casino. California casinos are different from Nevada casinos, and I believe One Club is what is called a “card room”. Still, when you can’t make a profit off gambling…
  • California plastics company opens plant in Pflugerville. “Medway, founded in 1974, will also relocate its research and development laboratory to the new Pflugerville facility. Though Medway Plastics will continue operations in California, the company may consider relocating its headquarters to Pflugerville within the next five to eight years, the company said.”
  • Plans continue apace to build a Texas Gold Depository.
  • California Ballot initiatives weaponize emotion to centralize power.
  • And the Eternal Greek Farce Starts Up Again

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

    Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that just two (or is it three, this past summer is one big blur) months after Greece voted through its third bailout, one which will raise its debt/GDP to over 200% on a fleeting promise that someone, somewhere just may grant Greece a debt extension (which will do absolutely nothing about the nominal amount of debt), its creditors have already grown tired with the game and are refusing to pay the next Greek loan tranche of €2 billion.

    Specifically, the payment of the first €2b tranche of €3b is now sait[sic] to be delayed because Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to implement reforms on schedule, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports, citing unidentified senior EU official.

    And evidently one of the latest sticking points is that Tsipras wants to prop up deadbeat home loans for houses worth as much as $331,185.

    Greece edges close to default. Greece’s creditors demand reform. Greece agrees to reforms at last minute. Greece gets bailout. Greece fails to implement reforms.

    Rinse. Repeat.

    “Right Wing” Party Wins in Poland

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

    This seems to be a week for cracks in the EU’s facade of democratic unity to start appearing all over the place. First Portugal finds out that they’re not allowed to have democracy when it conflicts with EU mandates, and now Polish elections have thrown a spanner into the works.

    The Law and Justice Party has won 38% of the vote, and looks to have won enough seats (232 seats out of 460) to form a parliamentary majority without including any other party, marking the first time since Democracy was restored in 1989 that no left-wing party will have a role in the ruling government. Law and Justice is described as “Euroskeptic” and “Right Wing” because it opposes the EU’s current pro-Muslim immigration policies and seeks closer ties to the U.S. (among other reasons), but is also “promising to raise the minimum wage and increase welfare spending,” which is hardly a “right wing” (or smart) policy.

    But the area where Law and Justice could have the biggest influence is in wrecking the EU’s global warming policies. “Law & Justice generally opposes wind and solar energy and favors an energy policy that emphasizes tariffs targeted at Russian natural gas.” Poland also generates 90% of their electricity from coal, which bodes ill for meeting the EU target of 27% “green” energy by 2030.

    Law and Justice is also markedly more wary of Germany, and less willing to appease Russia, than their centrist Civic Platform predecessors, almost as if they had some sorts of historical reasons for their views.

    One wonders where the next EU crack will appear…

    Portugal Decides EU Mandates Trump Democracy

    Monday, October 26th, 2015

    Portugal has decided that EU economic mandates trump that pesky Democracy:

    Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

    He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

    I’m not entirely unsympathetic to Silva’s plight. As in Greece, the anti-austerity movement is an economically illiterate coalition of looters who insist that the welfare state gravy train can never come to an end, ever, even when the country is dead broke. (Though note that author Ambrose Evans-Pritchard never once mentions “welfare state” in his piece.) Remember that Portugal has never practiced real austerity (cutting budget outlays to match receipts), never once having balanced its budget in the last decade. And if the commies (who are, thankfully, only a minority coalition partner) had actually promised to set up a dictatorship of the proletariat, I’d be cheering Silva’s intransigence.

    But Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. If Portugal thinks they can take cues from Greece’s anti-austerity tantrum and somehow not get slapped down just as hard, let them try. And in fact the leftwing’s coalition’s promises “to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro” are entirely rational and in Portugal’s self-interest.

    The EU has always been an explicitly antidemocratic union, one designed to prevent mere voters from overruling their bureaucratic betters. The fact that this time they’re opposed by idiots who think they can keep voting themselves goodies from other people’s wallets doesn’t change the problem of the EU’s deficit of democracy.

    Two of modern Europe’s central foundations (a monetary union and a cradle-to-grave welfare state) are not only unsustainable, they are incompatible with each other, and corrosive to both stability and democracy. And the EU leaders have no idea what to do about it.

    Illinois Too Broke to Pay Lottery Winners

    Thursday, October 15th, 2015

    I may spend a lot of time covering California, but don’t forget that Illinois is broke as well, and will temporarily stop making pension payments. This has come about because Democrats in the state legislature refuse to implement new Republican Governor’s Bruce Rauner demanded (and long-overdue) reforms, preferring to continue their merry corrupt tax-and-spend ways.

    Keep in mind that Illinois already has a $105 billion unfunded pension liability.

    Illinois, of course, is still controlled by the combine, which is to say big-spending Democrats firmly committed to an expansive welfare state and Republicans determined to go along with it in the name of staying in office.

    Now comes word that they’re not even paying lottery winners more than $600.

    Without reform, Illinois will inch closer to the inevitable welfare state endgame we’ve seen in Greece: Too many people sucking at the government teat, not enough taxpayers to support them, and a free-spending political class unwilling to implement real reform because it clashes with their liberal political self-interest.

    Texas vs. California Update for October 14, 2015

    Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • Texas is the best state for small businesses.
  • Supreme Court to hold hearing on mandatory union dues in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
  • “Transparent California, a watchdog website provided by the Nevada Policy Research Institute, revealed 19,728 former government retirees across California received monthly stipends of $8,333.34 or more — adding up to at least a $100,000 a year for each person.”
  • [Orange County] government workers receive an “average full-career pension of $81,372 for miscellaneous [employees], which includes all nonsafety retirees, and $99,366 for safety [mostly police and fire] retirees of all Orange County cities enrolled in CalPERS.”
  • Republicans manage to defeat California tax hikes.
  • California politicians excel at corruption and self-dealing. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “If money and household wealth follow people, then Texas is doing better than any other state in nearly every way.”
  • San Francisco drives last existing gun store out of the city with burdensome regulations.
  • Judge strikes down law requiring landlords to pay up to $50,000 in relocation fees to evicted tenants.
  • Texas continues to earn the highest possible credit ratings.
  • New law mandates that CalPERS and CalSTARS must stop investing in coal. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Stockton update: “After only one full budget year, the city has already broken three fundamental promises and is destined to return to insolvency within four years.”
  • Bankrupt supermarket chain Haggen has found buyers for some of its California stores.
  • This story is so strange I suspect it could only happen in California. (Playboy link, so it may be blocked at your place of work.) Despite the large number of guns. ($5 million for 1,200 guns? I call BS. That would mean each gun was slightly more expensive than the list price for a bolt-action Barrett .50 BMG sniper rifle. The photos mostly show pretty common hunting rifles.)
  • LinkSwarm for October 9, 2015

    Friday, October 9th, 2015

    If you want to attend tomorrow’s blogshoot/meetup/tweetup, try to drop me a line (lawrenceperson at gmail dot com) so I’ll know how many will attend.

    Now the LinkSwarm:

  • ObamaCare co-ops are going bankrupt.
  • Thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism™ and an estimated 800% inflation rate, Venezuela is now the most expensive place to live in the world, at least going by the official exchange rate. “Depending on which exchange rate you use, Venezuela can either be one of the cheapest countries in the world, or the most expensive.”
  • Democrats last year: “All those gun-toting white racist redneck freaks from Jesusland will be lining up to vote for Hillary!” Pollsters this year: Not so much.
  • Hillary Clinton now totally opposes the very Tran-Pacific Partnership she helped negotiate.
  • “Let’s take Malcolm Turnbull at his word that it’s only “a very very small percentage of violent extremist individuals”. What is the actual percentage? In the aforementioned Malmo, where up to a thousand mostly young male “refugees” arrive each day, suppose the “very very small percentage” is two per cent. That’s 20 brand new “violent extremists” per day. During the Northern Irish “Troubles”, MI5 estimated that there were no more than a hundred active members of the IRA at any one time – that’s to say, people actively involved in shooting and killing. So Malmo is taking in the equivalent of the entire IRA every week.”
  • How spree killers get their weapons. Or, once again, the New York Times twists facts to fit the narrative.
  • Speaking of the Times, this is what happens when the professional editors and proof-readers edit and proofread professional writers.
  • Wendy Davis thinks the reason she lost is she didn’t talk about abortion enough. Sure, Wendy, that’s it. Go with that… (Hat tip: Perry vs. World).
  • The Nairobi mall attack revisited. If this report is to be believed, armed civilians actually contained the threat, then army and security forces showed up and promptly managed to start shooting each other.
  • “In zombie world, the man who relies on the government for his safety will be zombie chow in short order…In zombieland, there are three kinds of people: those who know how to use guns, those who learn how to use guns, and zombies.”
  • Remembering the Yom Kippur War.