Friday, September 22, 2017

New York's big-D Democrat is shamelessly yearning for the same poison pill that made Venezuela the economic basket case it is today

Just in case any more evidence was needed that today’s Democratic Party is basically socialist in all but name
notes Benny Huang,
Mayor Bill de Blasio happily provided it in a recent interview with New York Magazine. Sounding eerily like the Sandinistas he once supported, the mayor of America’s largest city declared his love for heavy-handed central planning in surprisingly unguarded terms.

When asked about the enormous gap between New York’s rich and poor, the mayor responded:
What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development.
This is truly terrifying stuff. Mayor de Blasio is shamelessly yearning for the same poison pill that made Venezuela the economic basket case it is today. His remarks would be a bit more tolerable if he were an easily dismissed crank, an adherent of the CPUSA or some Trotskyite or Maoist sect. But he’s a big-D Democrat.

As bad as de Blasio’s lurid wish list is, I suspect that it’s actually a few items too long. Zoning laws already determine which buildings go where and building codes already stipulate how tall buildings may be so those non-issues can’t be what keeps the mayor up at night.

Even de Blasio’s desire to dictate rents is already a partial reality. In 1947 the city enacted a bold rent control initiative to ensure that GIs returning from World War II could find affordable housing. According to the city’s Rent Guidelines Board website, rent control still exists in several municipalities across the Empire State “that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency.” Talk about fostering a permanent crisis!

Unfortunately, rent control generally makes housing crises even worse because otherwise willing landlords often choose not to rent out rooms for what the government deems to be fair prices. … Forty years later and rent control is still alive and kicking in the Big Apple. …

So the city government still maintains some vestigial authority to dictate to its citizens how much they may charge to rent out their own stuff. Land usage and building height are even more controlled so I suspect that all three of these desires were intended to camouflage the most atrocious item on the mayor’s wish list: the authority to tell people where they must live.

The Left has an undeniable urge to herd people around like cattle. In years past they used forced busing to even out the racial composition of public schools, an experiment that left our urban centers in ruins. Now the Left has become even more audacious. I suspect that the ultimate goal is to prevent whites from forming a majority anywhere in New York, as they are in Staten Island today, or simply to drive them out of the city entirely. Progressive politicians want to render white people’s voice negligible so that they no longer have to respond to their concerns. That goal would be greatly advanced if the city government had the power to tell people where to live.

It upsets leftists that free people exercising free choice tend to unite with people of similar backgrounds to form communities. Always chafing against human nature, they think that every city block would look like the UN if only the forces of reaction could be defeated once and for all. It never occurs to them that people of similar backgrounds might choose to live together because of common values and shared assumptions.

These freely associating clusters almost always consist of people with approximately equal incomes because the rich and middle class don’t want to deal with poor people’s antisocial behavior and the poor are priced out of higher-rung neighborhoods.

Built on top of this economically compartmented landscape there are also ethnic, racial, and religious groupings. In New York, for example, the Chinese and Taiwanese live in Flushing, Dominicans in Washington Heights, and Jews in Borough Park. Leftists call these settlements “patterns of segregation” and they’ve appointed themselves the meddlesome correctors of the “problem.”

It’s not good enough for the city itself to be extremely diverse if said diversity exists mostly in enclaves. There must be diversity within the same borough, the same neighborhood, the same ward, even the same apartment building. This will require the government to intervene, to determine who must live next to whom.

De Blasio is right that shuffling people around is made substantially more difficult when they have property rights. But that’s a good thing. It’s what sets us apart from — dare I use the word? — the communists.

As suspicious as we Americans have traditionally been of communism — more suspicious than Europeans or Latin Americans, certainly — we tend to be wary of people who see private property as a barrier to their aspirations. Such people sound downright totalitarian to our ears — and they should. It was Karl Marx, after all, who confessed:
In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
But Bill de Blasio doesn’t want to abolish private property, does he? Actually, he does. Private property, when subjected to unlimited government control, ceases to be private. Under such a regime, we own nothing. We are mere stewards of government property, often saddled with the responsibility of maintenance without the benefits of determining how that property is disposed of.

When we don’t have private property, we don’t have any turf to call our own, no refuge from the long arm of the state or simply from people we’d rather not associate with. Property rights are the foundation of our freedom, a shield that we use to fend off intrusive government. Leftists don’t want us to have that shield because then people would be able to resist their collectivization schemes.

Conservatives, I believe, have done a poor job of articulating the virtue of property rights, perhaps believing that these rights are basically secure. They’re not. While progressives have been slowly chipping away at property rights since about the late nineteenth century, they have usually been smart enough not to admit it as brazenly as de Blasio did in his New York Magazine interview. More often they have tried to reframe the issue in other terms: as a temporary means of solving a housing crisis for veterans, as a blow against discrimination, as health and safety issues, etc.

But now it’s all out in the open. No more subterfuge: Bill de Blasio is admitting that private property is the problem.

One thing is clear: the distinction between public and private, between what we own collectively and what we claim for ourselves, is becoming increasingly hazy. I, for one, would like to maintain that distinction. We have a right and duty to fight back against these tiresome tinkerers. A man’s home is his castle and he ought to be free to live where he wants rather than where Bill de Blasio wants him to live.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The media, and Democrats, wage a remorseless war to paint anyone who isn't an extremist left-liberal — as they are — as being "political"; Not at all like themselves, who are just truth-telling crusaders for Goodness and Honesty

Ace of Spades (thanks to Instapundit) has
repeatedly noted that half of the country is clinically insane, driven mad by the election of Donald Trump and the blow to their own egos, their sense that they are the Masters of the Universe and control their fellow countrymen, producing daily neurotic spasms on Twitter, and are virally infecting normal people with their toxic mental derangement.

 … Okay, let me talk about how to exploit that, or how it will do its own exploiting for us.

In the old days, the media liked to pretend that it was conservatives who were super-crazy-ideological, and that liberals were not even liberals at all, they were non-ideological and non-partisan creatures, who only reluctantly engage in politics, only compelled to engage with it at all by their deep inner goodness to do what's best for everyone.

But not political. Oh dear, not that.

You may remember when conservatives objected to being identified as a "conservative advocate" by the media, whereas the out-and-proud liberal they were squared off against was identified only as "an expert" in whatever policy field they were debating.

Obama pretended to be non-ideological and non-partisan, despite being rabidly ideological and ruthlessly partisan. He was forever painting those disagreeing with him on policy for being "political" in their thinking, whereas he, you see, was just thinking rationally and lucidly.

You know the pose: Some say we should kill every single Iranian man, woman, and child by launching 10,000 nuclear missiles at them without warning. Some others say we should sign over to Iran the entirety of the US gross national product. I dismiss the extremists on either side -- I say we merely give Iran $150 billion, as well as a go-ahead to build their own nuclear missiles.

There's a reason the media and left-liberals-who-don't-wish-to-acknowledge-they're-left-liberals do this. It's because people -- most normal people, anyway -- have a deep suspicion of politics and politically minded people.
If you can paint your opponent as political, while fighting him nail and tooth while pretending that you are yourself not political, you've taken a massive first step towards persuading an audience, because the first thing you need to do to persuade someone is seem "relatable," and basically Just Like Them, and as they themselves like to believe they're non-political, you establish something more important than logic and reason can when you pretend to match their personality and emotional state.

You don't like politics? Why that's so funny-- I don't like politics either! Now that we've established that we both are kindred spirits who don't like politics, let me tell you about my plan to convert the US into a single-payer health care system!

The media, and Democrats, wage a remorseless war to paint anyone who isn't an extremist left-liberal -- as they are -- as being "political." Not at all like Jake Tapper and Jim Acosta, who are just truth-telling crusaders for Goodness and Honesty.

In other words: They relentlessly Otherize their political opponents.

This is why every protester at a left-liberal march is depicted as Just Like You. You know the drill -- "Grandmothers. Teachers. Firemen. Welders. Whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians. Most of them had never even thought of attending a political rally before, but [X left-liberal political claim] had finally drawn them out to the streets to make their voices heard..."

They deliberately depict the left-liberal protesters as demographically broad as possible, so that as many readers as possible can look at the description and think: Oh, that's me. These people are Just Like Me. I should agree with them!

Meanwhile, ever protester at a conservative rally is depicted as weird, intensely political, heads all filled with bugaboos, hang-ups, and #FakeNews. The media also deliberately claims that these people are as demographically narrow as possible, to make sure the smallest possible segment of the audience sees any of themselves in the crowd. They always claim conservatives are entirely white, and will actively forge video to erase black people out of gun rights marches.

With the Tea Party, there were two storylines about economic status: Half of the news stories depicted Tea Partiers as "just the rich" (and hence, Not Like You) and half of them depicted the Tea Partiers as "largely unecucated and poor" (again, Not Like You, and in fact, your Social Inferiors).

The people writing the first Narrative never bothered reconciling their stories with those writing the second Narrative. No media editor ever got the two competing Narratives to share the same story so that the report was, "People from all economic strata came to the Tea Party protest against Obamacare..."

No, it was just the very rich and uncaring, or just the very poor and easily conned, and in all events, it was only old, white people of traditional sexual roles who probably didn't even like rock-n-roll or boobs.

This is a very potent method of propgandization. Most people think they're swayed by reason and logic, but most people are wrong, and do not know themselves very well at all. Most people -- including those who are the most insistent that they are Independent Rational Thinkers -- are swayed more by emotion and the feeling of belongingness in a group.

Propagandists -- political consultants and the media -- know this.

And so they ruthlessly paint their enemies as Not Like You, while presenting themselves as Just Like You.

And one very important factor in the Not Like You/Just Like You propaganda rush is to claim that The Other Side are Too Political, and therefore Not Like You, while Our Side isn't really political at all, we're all just rational folks who want what's best. You know -- Just Like You.

So here's the problem the left (and the NeverTrumper fringe, who are now in a strong alliance with the left) has: While for years they followed standard propaganda protocol and pretended they were almost entirely non-political, they have now decided that The Moment Is Too Vital to pretend any longer, and have decided to out themselves as ferociously, obsessively political.

And that's contrary to their own career interests, as well as to their own propganda-efficacy interests.

In the old days, if the media pretended to be impartial but then leaned a story to favor their left-liberal buddies, most normal Americans wouldn't really notice the bias. They'd view the media as trustworthy, and not really all that political (Just Like Me!), and they would buy the bias.

These small pushes are more effective than aggressive shoves, because small pushes can be subtle enough to pass undetected, whereas aggressive shoves are obvious and clumsy -- and people get their hackles up when they realize the nightly newscast is nothing but a 30 minute political ad. (And people hate political ads.)

ESPN used to cover, you know, sports, and by doing so, their viewers would form a para-social relationship with the hosts. (A para-social relationship is the feeling of having some kind of rapport with someone you don't really have any relationship with -- it's an unavoidable sort of thing, because human beings are used to thinking they know someone if they see them, because, for 100,000 years of human history, you really could not see someone's face without actually coming into close contact with them -- familiarity with someone's face and voice tricks the brain (wired for pre-technological life) into thinking there's some kind of actual human connection. Trust me, for a while, I kinda thought I "knew" Bradley Cooper.)

And then, if that host made a snarky aside about Republicans, the viewers would think, "Hey, I like this guy, and he made a funny snarky comment about Republicans. Boy, Republicans really are dicks, aren't they?"

But again, it's the subtle aside, the pickpocket's light-fingered touch, that works. Not the pedal-to-the-metal obvious-on-its-face full-spectrum propagandizing.

That pushes people away.

It's weird. It's obsessive.

It's Not Like Me.

People don't like to feel like they're being had -- and the minute you get clumsy and impatient in your con and let your mark know you're conning him, he's not a mark anymore. Now he's an enemy.
I could go on and on, obviously. But you get it. They have decided themselves to no longer wear the mask of Just Like You, but instead to show their true face of Not Like You.

They live in a bubble and the only people they know or listen to are also showing their Not Like You face, so they don't think this is abnormal. After all, if all of my #SmartSet friends are signalling how intensely, weirdly, obsessively partisan and ideological they are, it must be a good idea, right?

Pro-Tip: No, not if the people you think are the #SmartSet are actually profoundly stupid and currently mentally unstable.

 … the left is angry -- insanely so -- and needs you to know it.

And it's weird. Not Like Me at all!

They're alienating their audience -- and shedding their audience by the thousands -- not just because the audience disagrees with their politics. That's part of it, sure.

But they're losing readers because a lot of their audience just doesn't really think of themselves as one of those Not Like Me intense partisans always nattering on about fringe political issues.

They're turning themselves from "relatable" -- and therefore worth giving a fair hearing to -- to very unrelatable and weird in their single-minded obsessive political propagandizing.

The media used to know this -- a woman's magazine would mostly just serve up beauty tips and celebrity interviews, and just slip in the occasional "Republicans are weird" message.

Now they're pushing, in almost every issue, the Not Like Me idea that teenagers should have anal sex and that women who don't consider "trans women" to be women are not women themselves.

But they've forgotten. Or, more likely, they've just gone so insane they don't care what actually works as far as propaganda any longer.

They're now just engaging in primal-screaming public displays of hyperemotional venting -- and they don't care that this is Not Like Me as far as their audience is concerned. A lunatic who thinks he's Napoleon knows the hospital staff disagrees with him about his Transitioning to a French Emperor, and thinks he's weird and senseless because of it.

But he can't stop himself from identifying his pronouns as Bonaparte, Bonaparteir, Bonapartem, because his psychological deformity crowds out any reason.

The daily Twitter freak-outs are toxic and psychologically damaging for those non-insane people who have to deal with lunatics on a daily basis, but they are very good indeed for us, the normal people, the Just Like You crowd (or, at least, we're Just Like You in comparison to these maniacs).

They're destroying themselves, and sabotaging their own propaganda operations, because they're just too crazy to think or care about such things any longer.

And I gotta tell you: I love it.

Destroying the media is a thing to be dearly wished for -- but watching them destroy themselves is tons better.

They're now Othering themselves, and I think that's just fine.

People don't want to associate with weirdoes -- and now that they've decided to fly their freak flags proudly and put their Full Metal Weird on display for the world, I can only sit back and cheer.

 … The media has gone Full Trigglypuff -- and you never go Full Trigglypuff.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Republican Expatriate Anntoinette Lorrain on French Radio Show: "Trump Did Not Run in Order to Govern as a Moralistic Leader"

Anntoinette Lorrain, vice-president of Republicans in France (RIF), was a guest on 's RFI radio show, debating about American politics and policies in the Donald Trump era (click the link to hear the audio).
Antoinette [sic] Lorrain, vice-présidente de Republicans in France, la représentation en France du parti républicain américain, est l’invitée du matin de RFI. Elle s’exprime sur l’actualité politique américaine au micro d’.