Saturday, September 17, 2016

Condemned to the Ultimate Penalty in Paris: Not a Socialist, But a…

While the caretakers in the Church of the Sacre-Coeur were going on their rounds late on Monday night
reported the The New York Herald (European Edition) in early September 1891 (13 years after construction on la basilique du Sacré-Cœur was started and 23 years before it was completed),
they were startled by a strange noise which seemed to come from behind the high altar. Suddenly something leaped on the altar, overturned the candles, and disappeared. By the light of the lanterns appeared the shadow, not of a Socialist, but of a fantastic-looking animal with a tail. Yesterday morning the curé of Montmartre found fifteen of his chickens strangled, and in a corner of the fowl house a fox was crouching. The animal was of course taken before the Commissary of Police, who condemned it to death.
The New York Herald, European Edition, Sept. 9, 1891

Friday, September 16, 2016

The New Yorker: Compare Things to Hitler

The New Yorker

Cartoons from the September 5, 2016, Issue

Racism: The Vicious Circle of Crises, Or, How the Drama Queens Operate

Thanks to Ed Driscoll for Instalinking my post entitled the Era of the Drama Queen.

As I wrote in the subtitle, Every Crisis Is a Triumph, and examples of this were mentioned briefly:
The numerous pitfalls of Obamacare? The Iranian deal leading to a greater chance of terrorism and war? The drama queens are fine with that, they don't even mind being blamed for having made "mistakes," it all leads to more crises down the road and a greater need for intervention, ever more intervention from politicians and bureaucrats and members of the Intervention Party the Democrat Party, aka knights in shining armor.
To expand on a more recent example, turn to Heather Mac Donald's New York Post story on The Lies Told by the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Gang shootings occur almost exclusively in minority areas. Police use of force is most likely in confrontations with violent and resisting criminals, and those confrontations happen disproportionately in minority communities.

 … Officers are routinely surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds when they try to conduct a street investigation or make an arrest. Resistance to arrest is up, officers report. Cops have been repeatedly told by President Obama and the media that pedestrian stops and public order enforcement are racist. In consequence, they are doing less of those discretionary activities in high-crime minority communities.
The result? Violent crime is rising in cities with large black populations.
So, to summarize, according to the Era of the Drama Queen (Every Crisis Is a Triumph):

• Barack Obama and his kindred spirits (white or black) in organizations such as the Black Lives Matter movement (a phoenix-like resurrection of Obama's ACORN, according to some) decry racism (real or exaggerated) in American society. (Check Powerline's Paul Mirengoff for an example of bogus allegations of racism.)

• Protests against racism and racists mount throughout the media and throughout society, particularly after violent encounters between members of opposing races (no matter what the context may have been).

• Hostility against police leads to officers becoming either the targets of "understandable" retaliation and revenge (including shootings and killings) by the alleged "victims" of racism or becoming the targets of the valiant anti-racism crusaders at the helm of society (demonization by intrepid members of the MSM and/or lawsuits by gallant attorneys general, etc…)

• Police officers, as concerned (if not more) at being labeled (and pursued as) bigots and racists as being shot at by members of minorities, consequently develop a far-from-unwell-founded timidity about engaging and patrolling minority communities — where most blacks are killed (in black-on-black crimes, by the way).

• With police absent (or less prominent) in inner-city neighborhoods, criminals feel more secure and violence explodes.

• Guess where more violence in inner-city neighborhoods (and its corollary, more black deaths) take us? That's right — we are back to step 1! You remember: that step where Obama and his kindred spirits decry racism and violence in American society; they now have even more nightmarish statistics that they can use to decry even more racism and violence in American society.

By the way, Heather Mac Donald's New York Post story on The Lies Told by the Black Lives Matter Movement ends with this paragraph:
For the past two decades, the country has been talking about phantom police racism in order to avoid talking about a more uncomfortable truth: black crime. But in the era of data-driven law enforcement, policing is simply a function of crime. The best way to lower police-civilian contacts in inner-city neighborhoods would be for children to be raised by their mother and their father in order to radically lower the crime rate there.
• Related: In the Era of the Drama Queen, Even Conservatives Turn to the Candidate of Melodramatics and Excitement

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Washington Post Cartoon Shows All You Need to Know About the MSM's Double Standards

If you wish to understand the double standards of the mainstream media, look no further than this Washington post cartoon.

Offhand, it would seem to be a hard-hitting broadside against the Hillary Clinton campaign.

But look again, and notice what wouldn't happen to a Republican candidate, in any way possible, were we speaking of a like-minded scandal involving the GOP campaign:

First of all, a scandal involving a Democrat amounts to making a mountain out of a molehill (whether the making is the product of the opposition Republicans, the candidate's own staff, or journalists in the media).

More to the point, Ann Telnaes attacks everyone involved in the campaign, with one notable exception: Hillary herself, whom she lets entirely off the hook.

Indeed, the cartoon even seems to be somewhere a criticism against the detractors of Bill Clinton's wife (Republican, Democrat, independent), who cannot see how she has little to nothing to do with the (non-)scandal and, indeed, what a non-scandal it turns out to be.

As it happens, the cartoon suggests nothing but empathy for Hillary, who seems to have the role of the the wise old (wo)man who must deal with the failings — or the hysterics — of the members of her entourage.

There might of course be truth in this, but imagine a similar scandal involving a Republican — whether a Bush, a Reagan, a Cruz, or a Trump — and it is hard to imagine the same outlook from a supposedly neutral newspaper columnist or caricaturist…

Update: here is another example from the Post, signed Toles

Amazingly, the New York Times has sorted through the Obamacare chaos and come up with the conclusion that the mess is serious, costly, damaging—and very, very hard to fix

Six years after a Democratic majority rammed the most complex piece of domestic legislation in decades through a party line vote, using a legislative technique that ensured the final bill would be a mess that nobody actually advocated, the law, shockingly, isn’t working very well.
Thus reports WRM at The American Interest (thanks to Instapundit).
Enrollment is only half of what proponents expected, premiums are going up by double-digits, healthy people are shunning what they see as an over-priced and underperforming program, the ‘cooperatives’ that Democratic wonks gushed over are going belly-up, and insurance companies are fleeing the market in droves.And even more amazingly, the New York Times has sorted through the chaos and come up with the conclusion that the Obamacare mess is serious, costly, damaging—and very, very hard to fix.
It has been a hard couple of weeks for Obamacare. The law’s online marketplaces — where people were supposed to be able to easily shop for health insurance — have been suffering from high-profile defections and double-digit premium increases.
Critics of Obamacare have pointed to the recent problems as proof the market is not working, while even the law’s staunchest defenders are arguing that the marketplaces need some fixes.
The signature domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration is, the Gray Lady appears to be conceding, a dysfunctional mess. It’s likely that the next president will have to spend time and political capital trying to undo the harm that Obamacare is wreaking on an American health system that was already in need of constructive reforms. Hillary Clinton’s first venture into national politics was her failed effort to introduce health care reform in her husband’s first term; will her own first term see her having to go back to health care one more time? If so, one can be fairly sure that she won’t be grateful to the predecessor who left her with this sticky mess.
Tongue (firmly) in cheek, Glenn Reynolds wags:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

McAuliffe’s typical felon would vote Democrat if only because the Democrats have become the party of, by, and for criminals

Come hell or high water Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is going to deliver his state’s electoral votes to his close friend of more than twenty years, Hillary Clinton.
Benny Huang demands unequivocally that the governor of Virginia be arrested — NOW.
McAuliffe has spent the entire summer attempting to restore voting rights to 206,000 convicted felons, most of whom will probably vote in future elections for him, his party, and his friends.

According to Article II Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia, a convicted felon loses his right to vote “unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.” From the time the current state constitution was written in 1902 until just this year that clause was understood to mean that the governor has the authority to restore voting rights under extraordinary circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. But that’s not how McAuliffe understands it. Under his interpretation, the state constitution empowers the governor to enfranchise all felonious Virginians en masse. In April of this year, he signed an executive order doing exactly that.

In order to justify his action, Governor McAuliffe has resorted to the last refuge of scoundrels—accusations of racism. Suspending felons’ voting rights affects blacks disproportionately, you see, which McAuliffe implies can be the only reason anyone would oppose him.

That fact alone doesn’t make “blacks” and “felons” interchangeable terms by any stretch of the imagination. Most felons are not black and most blacks are not felons. Even so, the fact that felon disenfranchisement affects blacks disproportionately is a direct result of blacks violating the law disproportionately. Felons are a self-selecting group of people who choose to rape, murder, and rob, among other crimes. The day blacks decide to get their act together and stop joining this ignoble group will be the day they stop being disproportionately affected by laws like these. It’s not the law’s fault that black people break it in proportions far beyond their numbers.

But McAuliffe undercuts his own argument when he parries with opponents over his transparently selfish motives. Knowing that his unilateral and illegal executive order is perceived as a giveaway to a close friend, the governor has hinted that in fact felons are unlikely to vote for Hillary Clinton because of their demographic traits—ergo, his executive order was principled and pure. As he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell last month, the average felon having his rights restored is a 48-year old white male. “Now I’m not sure that’s Hillary’s demographic, but maybe it is,” joked McAuliffe. I have been unable to find any independent confirmation of McAuliffe’s assertion but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s true. What then is racist about the continued disenfranchisement of felons? If the idea is to keep blacks out of the voting booths they’re doing it wrong. If, as McAuliffe suggests, the average felon in Virginia is a middle-aged white guy—and likely working class—restoring his franchise would be a boon for Donald Trump. That’s his base.
Perhaps McAuliffe would counter that blacks are still disproportionately disenfranchised, even if they are not the majority of those disenfranchised. As true as that may be, it’s also irrelevant. In elections it’s real numbers that matter, not proportions. If Republicans block ten voters likely to vote for the GOP just to block five voters likely to vote for the Democrats, they will lose.

Judging by states that permit felons to vote, it appears that felons really do prefer the Democrats by a margin of about 6-to-1. It’s not a stretch at all to believe that McAuliffe’s typical felon (white, male, 48 years old) would vote Democrat if only because the Democrats have become the party of, by, and for criminals. Criminality comes so naturally to the Democrats that Governor McAuliffe will blithely break the law just to get them their voting rights back. He’s even under FBI investigation for possibly accepting foreign campaign donations, including a rather large one from a Chinese businessman. The Democrats are so corrupt that they’re running an unindicted felon (perjurer, obstructer of justice) for president this year. They’re the party of illegal aliens, cop-killers, rioters and looters. Criminals of all races feel right at home with the Democrats because the jackass party happens to be the nation’s leading crime syndicate.

Reasonable people, I believe, can disagree on the issue of felon voting. My personal opinion is that voting rights should be restored after a felon has completed his sentence—but that’s not the point. What matters is that Governor McAuliffe does not have the authority to restore voting rights unilaterally and en masse. It may be the morally correct thing to do but there’s still a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The right way is to amend Virginia’s constitution. Fortunately, there’s a process for that spelled out in Article XII. The governor’s shortcut amounts to cheating, plain and simple.

The last Democratic governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, considered doing what McAuliffe actually did. In 2010 Kaine sought the recommendation of his senior counsel, attorney and law professor Mark Rubin, who advised him that the governor has no such authority. … Oddly enough, Kaine now supports McAuliffe’s lawless unilateral action. Could it be because he’s Hillary Clinton’s running mate?

 … Virginia’s Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, both Republicans, have asked the Virginia Supreme Court to hold Governor McAuliffe in contempt, which he clearly is. Much the same way that Kim Davis had her butt tossed in jail for defying a court order, Terry McAuliffe must also face some consequences. Or do we only jail the little people? He must not be allowed to get away with his arrogant and selfish power grab lest a precedent be set. The ends don’t justify the means and Terry McAuliffe is not a law unto himself.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If you are wondering why you haven’t seen Venezuela's starving mobs on the news, it’s because the country is a Socialist disaster area that was once being used as a model by the left

A mob of starving people advanced on the presidential palace chanting, “We want food”
reports Sultan Kish's Daniel Greenfield (gracias por Instapundit's Ed Driscoll).
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.

Obama laughed and joked with deceased monster Hugo Chavez, who handed him a copy of the anti-American tract, “Open Veins of Latin America” that had even been disavowed by its own author. Obama called the book a “nice gesture”, but Eduardo Galeano, its author, had told an audience that the left “commits grave errors” when in power.

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.

Obama has not appeared too concerned at the meltdown in Venezuela. Unlike Syria, there are no threats of intervention to remove Maduro, Chavez’s successor, and the rest of the leftist regime illegally clinging to power while slaughtering Venezuelans, smuggling drugs and aiding terrorists.

When Hugo Chavez was killed by the wonders of Cuban medicine, a remedy that American leftists recommend to others while they obtain the best private health care for their own ailments, Obama offered a vague statement of support calling Chavez’s passing, “challenging”.

It was certainly that.

Chavez had been none too tightly wound; claiming that capitalism had destroyed life on Mars, that Jews run the world and that his cancer had been caused by America, but his successor, Nicolas Maduro is insane. Maduro claimed that his deceased predecessor appeared to him in the form of a “little bird” and on a subway wall. He showed off the photo of the wall on state television while crying.

“Chavez is everywhere, we are Chavez, you are Chavez," he insisted.

Hugo Chavez is indeed everywhere. His portraits cover Venezuela. They’re a lot easier to find than food. And these days Venezuelans are far more interested in finding something to put in their mouths.

The left-wing sociologist running the Venezuelan economy doesn’t believe in inflation. Last year he wrote a pamphlet in which he insisted that “Inflation does not exist in real life.”

Inflation certainly exists in Venezuela which has seen 500% inflation. The Socialist regime responded with price controls. When stores and farmers wouldn’t sell at set prices, soldiers were sent in to take them over. Crowds initially cheered all the subsidized products. But they wouldn’t be cheering for long.

After the fun of electronics stores forced to discount televisions at gunpoint, there were no more televisions. And no more cars. Then no more toilet paper, milk and other basic necessities.

The Socialist government tried to solve its money problem by printing more money. But it wasn’t able to pay for the money it wanted to print because of the inflation which officially did not exist.

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. 

 … The military elite receive special food privileges. In a country where bread and butter have become distant memories for many, the guns used to oppress the Venezuelan people are paid for with butter. And the people are fighting back. The government calls its crackdown on starving people “Operation People’s Liberation”. The people however want to be liberated from their socialist liberators.

When the Socialist regime responded to electoral defeats by rigging the Supreme Court and arresting the free market opposition, the street battles intensified. The “Liberators”, who have the luxury of eating butter with their bread, are fighting hungry men and women in the streets of cities. And sometimes it’s the socialist “liberators” who are forced to retreat from the true people’s liberators.

While the socialists route food through the United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s CLAP committees to their own supporters, ordinary Venezuelans are hunting pigeons, and even dogs and cats in the capital.

Before the last election, Chavez said, “If I was from the United States, I'd vote for Obama.” And the two leaders do have some political and economic views in common. The fundamental difference is that it took Venezuela a lot less time to run out of “other people’s money” than America.

A few years ago, the left-wing site Salon was praising “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle” and suggesting that we should follow his example of nationalizing companies. “Are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?” its author wondered.

Someone ought to ask the starving mobs redistributing government food while dodging bullets.

Venezuelan socialists used the familiar language of claiming that subsidies and free services were human rights. “Health care can’t be privatized because it is a fundamental human right,” Chavez once claimed. That should sound familiar. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have said the same thing.

But Venezuela’s universal health care has no actual medicine. Hospitals have no running water or soap. Victims arrive with gunshots and aren’t treated until they settle their bill. Babies die routinely.

And it goes without saying that there is no food.

“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Maduro insists.

Considering how bad actual Cuban medicine is, he’s probably right.

Socialism killed Venezuela. The country has no food, no money, no power, no health care and no hope. Venezuelans were promised a better life through government. This is what they received.
There are lessons for us here and they are obvious ones. And that is why the media has minimized its coverage of a horrific crisis. The people chanting that they want food are not rebelling against unfeeling corporations, but a government whose economic policies many on the left had viewed as a model.

The popularity of Bernie Sanders is based on many of the same empty promises of freebies for all that made Hugo Chavez such a hit. Venezuela is a model of how well that works out in real life.
Socialism is increasingly popular in America. Meanwhile in Latin America, socialism kills babies and drives starving mobs to demand food outside the presidential palace under the guns of the regime’s soldiers.

It’s an old story, but it’s also a new story because when we forget history, then we are forced to repeat it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Election: Which Candidate's Budget Plan Is the Most Promising?

We are provided with a cartoon in Dilbert's office which shows what Scott Adams thinks, exactly, of the candidates in the 2016 election…