Truth trumps good taste and political myths 4

The New York Post reports:

Donald Trump took his act out west Saturday, drawing huge crowds who came to cheer his bizarre, over-the-top claims that Mexico is purposefully exporting criminals in bulk to the United States.

In Phoenix, where immigration has long been a hot-button issue, supporters snapped up all 5,000 tickets to a free rally.

“They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”

Trump even promised to charge the government of Mexico $100,000 for every illegal immigrant who crosses into the US.

“Now they make so much money, that’s peanuts,” he told the cheering, laughing crowd.

“I could’ve made it much higher — but I’m nice. I’m in a good mood today.”

Not a bad idea, if it could be done.

And as for illegal immigrants killing us – that’s a hot topic.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

Left-wingers in San Francisco should be hanging their heads in shame after their borderline seditious, destructive immigration policies allowed an illegal alien felon to murder a young woman randomly in broad daylight.

Nor did gun control laws prevent Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old illegal alien deported five times to Mexico, from allegedly firing one bullet into the upper body of medical device sales representative Kate Steinle on busy Pier 14 … Steinle was cut down in front of her father and mother and died later in hospital.

No motive has been established for the shooting but Lopez-Sanchez is a five-time felon. An hour after the shooting, he was picked up by police roughly a mile away.

Although this violent thug pulled the trigger, progressives, through the laws they have enacted, put this man on the streets which allowed him to murder.

Federal authorities had Lopez-Sanchez in custody in March after he was set free from a federal prison. They transferred him to San Francisco authorities because he was wanted by them on drug-related charges. The feds filed what’s called an “immigration detainer” requesting that the local authorities notify them before releasing the man.

But San Francisco, home of the most militant leftists in America, refused the request because local policy forbids it. The prisoner in effect got a “get out of jail free card” from the left-wing open-borders movement which argues that keeping illegals in jail violates their constitutional rights.

This is how it works. Being wanted for violating immigration laws isn’t enough, in the eyes of progressives, so after they have served their local time illegals go straight from their holding cells to the streets where they are free to murder, rape, and rob the citizens of this country.

Leftist pressure groups pushed California lawmakers hard to force the state’s jailers to set illegal aliens who lacked serious criminal records free more quickly so federal officials would not be able to detain them for deportation hearings.

Kate Steinle is dead because of the damage the Left has done in its crusade to dismantle what remains of U.S. immigration law.

Whatever discourages illegals from entering the country is bad, and whatever encourages them to hop the fence is good in the eyes of the progressives who are destroying America.

We don’t think the day will ever come when “Left-wingers in San Francisco” will be “hanging their heads in shame” for anything they do. If Leftists were capable of shame, if they had consciences, they would have abandoned their ideology and/or committed mass suicide decades ago when that ideology was fully demonstrated to be the most terrible of any that has ever afflicted poor suffering humankind. We are talking about Socialism of course – both the International Socialism of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, and the National Socialism of Hitler.

Now back to Donald Trump.

We don’t think Donald Trump should be president. But if his bold candor forces others to be bold and candid, then we’re glad he’s in the line-up.

As much as progressives and the Republican establishment hate him, the murder of Kate Steinle would not have made a ripple in the national consciousness were it not for Donald Trump. No, Trump didn’t bring the story to people’s attention, but he did bring the issue to it.

That comes from an article by Derek Hunter at Townhall. Here’s more of it:

When Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal alien with a felony rap sheet long enough to make him a viable hip-hop star, the world barely noticed. Conservative blogs did. Fox News did. But most of the rest of the world ignored it. When this became impossible, mainstream media covered it … as little as possible.

The murder of Kate Steinle touched a nerve with Americans who are more interested in protecting the lives of innocent people than advancing a political agenda.

Unfortunately, none of those people are elected Democrats. None work in the White House. And only a tiny few can be found in newsrooms across the country.

Kate Steinle’s murder didn’t garner the national media coverage or sympathy given to a drug dealer in Baltimore or a petty thief who tried to kill a cop in Missouri, but it did rekindle a smoldering fire in the American people. Kate was killed for no reason, but she need not die in vain. …

Before Trump’s announcement, the debate over illegal aliens and immigration reform was about amnesty, and far too many Republican presidential hopefuls agreed with the concept, to varying degrees. Trump changed that, much to their consternation.

The Chamber of Commerce, a big money player in politics, wants amnesty; it wants an already saturated employment market flooded with millions of new legal entrants to keep downward pressure on wages.

It’s a myth that big business and Wall Street are “Republican” or “conservative.” They love big government when it subsidizes them or props up their stock price. And they love regulations when they make it nearly impossible for new competitors to emerge. Big business is perfectly happy both to use government as a weapon against competitors and to cry “free markets” when that weapon is aimed at them.

Trump doesn’t need them or their money, so he doesn’t have to soft pedal his talk about illegal aliens to appease them. Every Democrat in the field – and most of the Republicans – willingly cede our national sovereignty to corporate interests, Trump calls a spade a spade. That makes him dangerous. It also makes him wildly popular.

What the GOP establishment doesn’t understand, and never has understood, is its lip service, half-measures and phony compassion are not popular. We see through it. They can cite all the convoluted polls in the world claiming to show support for amnesty should certain hurdles be met, but everyone knows those hurdles will be ignored should they become law. …

Trump isn’t my candidate – I don’t have one yet. But the reason for his current popularity is obvious to anyone who isn’t surrounded by lackeys or those with a vendetta against him: He’s unapologetically himself.

Think what you will of Trump, but if you’re going to hit him be prepared to get hit back, and hard. If you’re going to ask him a question, expect to get an answer unlike one you get from a politician. And people feel he’s telling them the truth, not regurgitating poll-tested, focus-group-approved pabulum.

The establishment is starting its usual “which candidate is electable” dance marathon, but in the last two presidential elections, that marathon has produced John McCain and Mitt Romney. How’d that work out again?

Part of that dance is telling us who can’t win. In 1980, the establishment was certain Ronald Reagan couldn’t win. He was too conservative, too radical, too old, too much of a wild card.

To be clear, Trump isn’t Reagan. But he is Reaganesque in the sense that people believe he’s telling them what he really thinks with a real passion, and he doesn’t bow to pressure to temper it or tell them something else. During an interview with CNN this week, he didn’t tolerate the usual liberal media garbage; he called it out and batted it away.

If one or more of the other candidates don’t find that voice, that honest way of speaking … Trump could be the nominee. Or Hillary Clinton could be president.

And finally, we select some remarks by Mark Steyn. But enjoy the whole thing here. To tempt you – he calls Hillary Clinton “a sleazy, corrupt, cronyist, money-laundering, Saud-kissing liar”, “a dud and a bore”, “a wooden charmless stiff”. He also brings Obama into his range and scores a hit by stating: “the Bernie Sanders surge is a strong sign that, while [the Democrats] are relaxed about voting for an unprincipled arrogant phony marinated in ever more malodorous and toxic corruption, they draw the line at such a tedious and charisma-free specimen thereof”. [Great stuff – but do they?]

Trump is supposed to be the narcissist blowhard celebrity candidate: He’s a guy famous for erecting aesthetically revolting buildings with his “brand” plastered all over them, for arm-candy brides, for beauty contests and reality shows. The other fellows are sober, serious senators and governors.

And yet Trump is the only one who’s introduced an issue into this otherwise torpid campaign – and the most important issue of all, I would argue, in that ultimately it’s one of national survival. And so the same media that dismiss Trump as an empty reality-show vanity candidate are now denouncing him for bringing up the only real policy question in the race so far.

What he said may or may not be offensive, but it happens to be true: America has more Mexicans than anybody needs, and then some. It certainly has more unskilled Mexicans than any country needs, including countries whose names begin with “Mex-” and end in “-ico”. And it has far more criminal Mexicans than anybody needs, which is why they make up 71 per cent of the foreign inmates in federal jails.

Just to underline that last point, a young American woman was murdered for kicks in a supposed “sanctuary city” on the eve of the holiday weekend by an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He had flouted US immigration law for years – or, to be more precise about it, local, state and federal officials had colluded with him in the flouting of US immigration law, to the point where San Francisco’s sheriff actively demanded the return of this criminal to his “sanctuary city”, thereby facilitating the homicide of an actual citizen, taxpayer and net contributor to American society.

This would be quite an interesting topic to air in a US election campaign, don’t you think? Certainly, a segment of voters seems to be interested in it. But bigshot media like NBC and Univision and craphole emporia like Macy’s are telling Trump and everybody else: you can’t even bring this up; this is beyond discussion. The “acceptable” Republican candidates are now obliged to denounce the guy who mentioned the unmentionable: “Will you distance yourself from Trump’s controversial remarks? Do you agree such views have no place in your party?” Needless to say, Reince Preibus and the other jelly-spined squishes of the GOP establishment are eagerly stampeding to do the Macy’s-Univision-industrial complex’s work for them.

Kate Steinle is dead because the entire Democratic Party, two-thirds of the Republican Party and 100 per cent of the diseased federal-state-municipal bureaucracy prioritizes myths over reality.

Yes, it’s distressing to persons of taste and discrimination that the only person willing to address that reality is Donald Trump. But that’s because he’s not the reality-show freak here. The fake-o lame-o reality freakshow is the political pseudo-campaign being waged within the restraints demanded by the media and Macy’s. So, if Donald Trump is the only guy willing to bust beyond those bounds, we owe him a debt of gratitude. If, as Karl Rove proposes, other candidates are able to talk about the subject in a more “inclusive” way, so be it. But, if “inclusive” is code for not addressing it at all, nuts to that. …

Be honest, which would you prefer and which is a bleaker comment on the political health of the republic – Bernie vs the Donald? Or Hillary vs Jeb?

Posted under Commentary, corruption, Crime, Economics, Ethics, government, immigration, media, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 12, 2015

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Socialist Greece near bankruptcy 4

From today’s Washington Post:

In a move sure to increase pressure on Greece’s flailing banks, the European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday decided not to expand an emergency assistance program, raising fears that Greece could soon go completely bankrupt.

The move put a swift crimp on Greek leaders’ jubilation after winning a landslide endorsement from their citizens to reject Europe’s austerity demands and seek a new bailout bargain. Now they must seek a bargain before the money runs out within days, which would likely force them off the euro.

Greek bank heads had said that banks could run out of cash as soon as Tuesday if the European Central Bank (ECB) held firm against them. If the banks fail, it would bring Greece’s economy to a halt, raising the risk of a humanitarian crisis if citizens lost access to food and medicine. …

A senior Greek banking official said after the announcement that Greek banks had been provided with enough money to last until Wednesday evening.

Posted under Economics, Greece, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 6, 2015

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Socialism must always fail 0

Yet another socialist state – Greece – finds itself insolvent. When will they ever learn?

Quotations from Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, by Ludwig von Mises –

Wherever Europeans or the descendants of European emigrants live, we see Socialism at work to-day; and in Asia it is the banner round which the antagonists of European civilization gather. If the intellectual dominance of Socialism remains unshaken, then in a short time the whole co-operative system of culture which Europe has built up during thousands of years will be shattered. For a socialist order of society is unrealizable. All efforts to realize Socialism lead only to the destruction of society. Factories, mines, and railways will come to a standstill, towns will be deserted. The population of the industrial territories will die out or migrate elsewhere. The farmer will return to the self-sufficiency of the closed, domestic economy. Without private ownership in the means of production there is, in the long run, no production other than a hand-to-mouth production for one’s own needs.

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All rational action is economic. All economic activity is rational action. All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.

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The average man is both better informed and less corruptible in the decisions he makes as a consumer than as a voter at political elections.

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When we call a capitalist society a consumers’ democracy we mean that the power to dispose of the means of production, which belongs to the entrepreneurs and capitalists, can only be acquired by means of the consumers’ ballot, held daily in the market-place. 

Posted under Capitalism, Commentary, Economics, liberty, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 6, 2015

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Socialists are wrong 1

Hear, Oh Greece! And Bernie Sanders fans! And Pope Francis!

Margaret the Great on the virtue of inequality and the vice of egalitarian thinking:

Posted under Economics, Greece, Leftism, liberty, Socialism, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 6, 2015

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A clean, cool, beautiful, fertile planet – praised be mankind 12

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian Communist and Pope, is telling whoppers.

Fortunately, Christopher S. Carson puts him right with a wonderfully cheerful story. It comes from Front Page. We slightly abbreviate it:

Last week, Pope Francis released his controversial environmental Encyclical, Praised Be, to the public.  It is not simply a matter of global warming endangering the planet, he writes.  The Pope has a comprehensively dark vision of the world.  He writes that

The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth … beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish … Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.

In other words, the Industrial Revolution is to blame for covering the planet in rubbish.  But if it’s covered in trash, it’s a strange kind of trash that has caused global crop yields to increase by 160 percent since 1961 and deaths from droughts to be reduced by 99.8 percent since the 1920s.

It’s an odd kind of “mistreatment” of the planet over the life of the Industrial Revolution that’s resulted in the global life expectancy rising from 26 years in 1750 to 69 years in 2009.  This is in spite of the fact that Earth’s population increased from 760 million to 6.8 billion and incomes (in real dollars) rose from $640 to $7,300 during the same period. …

If the globe were truly turning into a great heap of exploited waste, you would expect natural resources to become more expensive as the cost of extracting rises and scarcity becomes the norm.  But natural commodities are cheaper today than ever.  The real price of almost all natural resources – from iron to salt to coal – is cheaper today in than 50 or 500 years ago.  In Britain, artificial light is 20,000 times cheaper per man hour worked than it was in 1300.

On a global scale, with only a few exceptions like China, air and water is cleaner than ever. Since the late 1970s, pollutants in the air have plunged.  In advanced countries, lead pollution declined by almost 100 percent, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide by more than 50 percent; ozone and nitrogen dioxide declined as well.

A car today emits less pollution cruising at full speed than a parked car did in 1970.

In the America of 1900, about 25% of all deaths were from contaminated drinking water.  Today, hardly anyone here dies from this scourge.  The Pope seems oblivious to the fact that the richer the nation is, the cleaner its environment.

Despite the masses wading around in the Pope’s seas of “filth,” and despite a world population of 7.3 billion, the poorer countries’ incomes have surged since 1975; since 1981, the number of Earth’s people in extreme poverty fell by an amazing 1 billion, even as the population increased by more than 1.5 billion.

But if there is one environmental issue that most exercises the Supreme Pontiff, it is global warming.  “A very solid scientific consensus,” he writes, “indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events.”

Well, the warming over “recent decades” apparently does not include the last two decades, because over the past 18 years no net increase in global temperature has been recorded, despite the atmosphere’s CO2 content rising by 8 percent.  Both the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica have this year posted record high ice packs.

The Pope’s letter seems quite concerned about the poor of Africa experiencing crop failures as a result of global CO2 emissions.  But the opposite appears to be true: CO2 is plant food, and the rising CO2 levels are helping to water and green the continent.

According to a 2007 study in the science journal Geology, Africa is currently “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium. … The patterns and variability of 20th century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 years.”

If the trends of higher CO2 concentrations continue, and political strife abates, Africa, far from being a ruined land of desiccated drought, could well become the breadbasket of the world.  All it needs from the West is fertilizer and genetically hardened crop strains that resist insect damage.

“Praised be” … Mankind, which has so rapidly improved his lot and that of his Earthly home.

Another inevitable failure of socialism 5

The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls and rules of fiscal rectitude that no member is penalized for ignoring. 

George Will writes at the Washington Post:

Now come Greeks bearing the gift of confirmation that Margaret Thatcher was right about socialist governments: “They always run out of other people’s money.” Greece, from whose ancient playwrights Western drama descends, is in an absurdist melodrama about securing yet another cash infusion from international creditors. This would add another boulder to a mountain of debt almost twice the size of Greece’s gross domestic product. This protracted dispute will result in desirable carnage if Greece defaults, thereby becoming a constructively frightening example to all democracies doling out unsustainable, growth-suppressing entitlements.

In January, Greek voters gave power to the left-wing Syriza party, one third of which, the Economist reports, consists of “Maoists, Marxists and supporters of Che Guevara.” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, 40, a retired student radical, immediately denounced a European Union declaration criticizing Russia’s dismemberment of Ukraine. He chose only one cabinet member with prior government experience — a former leader of Greece’s Stalinist Communist Party. Tsipras’s minister for culture and education says Greek education“should not be governed by the principle of excellence . . . it is a warped ambition”. Practicing what he preaches, he proposes abolishing university entrance exams.

Voters chose Syriza because it promised to reverse reforms, particularly of pensions and labor laws, demanded by creditors, and to resist new demands for rationality. Tsipras immediately vowed to rehire 12,000 government employees. His shrillness increasing as his options contract, he says the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are trying to “humiliate” Greece.

How could one humiliate a nation that chooses governments committed to Rumpelstiltskin economics, the belief that the straw of government largesse can be spun into the gold of national wealth? Tsipras’s approach to mollifying those who hold his nation’s fate in their hands is to say they must respect his “mandate” to resist them. He thinks Greek voters, by making delusional promises to themselves, obligate other European taxpayers to fund them. Tsipras, who says the creditors are “pillaging” Greece, is trying to pillage his local governments, which are resisting his extralegal demands that they send him their cash reserves.

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, is an academic admirer of Nobel laureate John Nash, the Princeton genius depicted in the movie A Beautiful Mind, who recently died. Varoufakis is interested in Nash’s work on game theory, especially the theory of cooperative games in which two or more participants aim for a resolution better for all than would result absent cooperation. Varoufakis’s idea of cooperation is to accuse the creditors whose money Greece has been living on of “fiscal waterboarding.’ ” …  His passive-aggressive message? “Play nicely or we will kill ourselves.”

Since joining the euro zone in 2001, Greece has borrowed a sum 1.7 times its 2013 GDP. Its 25 percent unemployment (50 percent among young workers) results from a 25 percent shrinkage of GDP. It is a mendicant reduced to hoping to “extend and pretend” forever. But extending the bailout and pretending that creditors will someday be paid encourages other European socialists to contemplate shedding debts — other people’s money that is no longer fun.

Greece, with just 11 million people and 2 percent of the euro zone’s GDP, is unlikely to cause a contagion by leaving the zone. If it also leaves the misbegotten European Union, this evidence of the EU’s mutability might encourage Britain’s “euro-skeptics” when, later this year, that nation has a referendum on reclaiming national sovereignty by withdrawing from the EU. If Greece so cherishes its sovereignty that it bristles at conditions imposed by creditors, why is it in the EU, the perverse point of which is to “pool” nations’ sovereignties in order to dilute national consciousness? …

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off of other people’s money. The world, which owes much to ancient Athens’ legacy, including the idea of democracy, is indebted to today’s Athens for the reminder that reality does not respect a democracy’s delusions.

The EU was formed in the first place because post-war Germany needed to dissolve it’s guilt in a greater political entity, and France wanted to be part of something bigger in order to win its one-sided competition with the United States for clout in the world.

It is an undemocratic, militarily weak, Islam-soiled, bleeding-hearted, oligarchic, dictatorial bureaucracy. It was always a foolish venture, as doomed to certain failure as was Communist Russia.

If Greece’s insolvency makes it drop out and so start the fall of the whole house of cards, that’s one good thing that modern Greece will have done for civilization.

Roman red 1

The Catholic Church is now officially, doctrinally, the Universal Church of Jesus Marxist.

Or the Universal Church of Jesus and Karl.

Which name will it choose? It needs to choose one or the other, or something along the same lines, to describe itself accurately.

It has a Pope who embraces International Communism. Which requires world government. Perhaps Pope Francis sees the Vatican as the Communist capital of the world – rather than the UN, as other world-government campaigners do.

Although as yet he and his fellow performance artists, costumed in their gorgeous gowns and priceless bling, do not allow any of these labels, they are nevertheless accurate.

This is from PowerLine by John Hinderaker:

Pope Francis has become a deeply problematic figure, all the more so after his encyclical on global warming was leaked to an Italian publication. The letter, some 129 pages long, is directed to Catholic bishops, but Francis grandly says that it is intended for every person in the world. The letter has not yet been translated into English in its entirety, but portions of it have been run through Google Translator. Even from these bits, some conclusions are obvious.

First, the Pope has no idea what he is talking about. His letter is full of factual errors. For example:

Scientific consensus exists indicating firmly that we are in the presence of a worrisome warming of the climate system.

This is false. There has been no net global warming for something like 18 years, according to satellite data, the most reliable that we have.

In recent decades, that the heating was accompanied by the constant rise in the sea level….

Sea level has been rising for approximately 12,000 years, first dramatically as the Earth warmed rapidly at the end of the last Ice Age, and much more slowly in recent millennia. Currently, the rate of rise of sea level is not increasing.

…and is also hard not to relate it to the increase in extreme weather events, regardless of the fact that we can not attribute a cause scientifically determined to each particular phenomenon.

Wrong again. Extreme weather events are not increasing. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact: there is no plausible empirical claim to the contrary. In fact, for what it is worth, the climate models that are the sole basis for warming hysteria predict fewer extreme weather events, not more, because the temperature differential between the equator and the poles will diminish.

It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanism, and the variations of the orbit of the Earth, the solar cycle), but numerous scientific studies indicate that most of the global warming of recent decades is due to the large concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other) issued mainly because of human activity.

Putting aside the fact that there hasn’t been any net warming during the last two decades, this is precisely the issue that is the subject of intense scientific debate–a debate that, it becomes increasingly clear, the realists are winning. For the Pope to wade into this controversy would be nearly inexplicable, absent some overriding motive.

That motive is, apparently, hostility toward free enterprise and the prosperity that it creates. Francis has manifested such hostility in previous statements, and it comes through again in his anti-global warming letter. Francis sounds like just another leftist: the solution to global warming is more state control to dictate how people live, and new international organizations to direct vast transfers of wealth and power.

The fact is that through human history, freedom has rarely been popular. That goes for the history of the papacy, too: John Paul II is the most notable exception in modern times. People offer various definitions of American exceptionalism. In my opinion, American exceptionalism resides chiefly in the fact that, for one brief shining moment, at least, a large majority of Americans really believed in freedom. I don’t think Pope Francis has much sympathy with that sentiment.

The Pope’s letter is full of concern for the poor, of course. But the poor would suffer most from any prohibition against efficient energy (i.e., fossil fuels). Francis’s suggestion that “rich” countries – that means us, how rich do you feel? – should subsidize the majority of the planet, apparently forever, is fatuous. … There is no prospect that leftist energy policies will help poor nations. The poor need, as much as anything, cheap energy, which frees resources for everything else. To deprive poor nations of cheap energy is to condemn them to long-lasting if not permanent poverty.

The Papal flag should be be changed to deepest red.

The 100th Man 0

Here is a refutation of Socialism in under 10 minutes.

An African parable on how profits work to the benefit of all society. Produced by the Free Market Foundation as a gift to African Students For Liberty.

Posted under Africa, Capitalism, Economics, education, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 19, 2015

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Keynes must die 4

To follow yesterday’s post on the GOP proposals for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with free-market solutions to health care needs (Health in the market place, June 7, 2015), we reproduce a comment made by Tibor Gaspardyn, originally on our Facebook page.

It provides important information on little-known problems of Health Care in America – and prescribes a cure for them.

From its founding in 1846, the American Medical Association (AMA) has been a union … a union by exclusion. It has been less concerned with improving medical practice, which it does, but with advancing professional prestige and economic reward. (Why does it so vigorously hide doctors’ performance information?)

In the 1880s it became one of the first and perhaps the most influential lobbying organizations in the Republic; only the banking lobby had greater influence. With the imposition of the progressive movement, in the American Republic (1890’s into the late 1920s) significantly promoted by Teddy Roosevelt and continuing under and through Woodrow Wilson, the AMA was granted, and it retains, incredible power and control over medical practice. The AMA’s stranglehold on medical practitioners and services was increased under FDR and it continues to grow stronger. There has never been an administration or Congress, since the AMA’s founding, that has ever challenged it’s economically-destructive control.  As with all unions, political contribution and support gains “look-the-other-way” privilege. And the AMA union members have some really deep pockets.

The AMA/political cabal allows the AMA to govern, with power and authority emulating law, the number of hospitals; the number of teaching hospitals; the number of those training as doctor, nurse and other related vocations; what the definitions and responsibilities are of the various medical vocations; the requirements, certifications, accreditations and qualifications for participation in the medical field – and more. In other words, the AMA, not free market capitalism, controls the entire supply, and therefore the quality and COST, of medical delivery, doctor’s incomes, within the USA. 

Too few doctors relative to those seeking medical care means fees go up. Nurses not allowed to perform routine procedures means billings go up. So, any plan to “fix” healthcare must eliminate the control of the AMA. Otherwise, there is no “patient-orientation”, costs will not be market-based; it will still be a union managed for the benefit of the purposefully-limited providers system. Critically, the self-balancing of supply and demand afforded under a real free market system is missing. Who is being served in our current AMA-based system?Consumers don’t count. Are you being made to sit in a  waiting room for an hour and a half? Is ‘house call’ still in the dictionary?

That analysis and description was just about the medical side of healthcare. Insurance and pharmaceuticals are also fully managed for the benefit of the suppliers. Not, however, by a self-serving  wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing union but by the suppliers themselves through their favorite career-politicians.

Health insurance is a government granted monopoly (anti-consumer monopolies and cartels are an impossibility in a free market capitalistic system). By law, only a handful of cartelized-insurers are allowed to operate in a state. No sales are permitted across state lines. That choice is outlawed. Why aren’t there any insurance policies that go with you, cover existing illness, offer all those coverages the liberals demand? Because they don’t have to. The insurers need only contribute to a campaign … serving consumers isn’t required! It is the same for the pharmaceutical industry.

Indeed, healthcare and all industries have become self-serving plunderers through political connection, technically called mercantalism – today wrongfully termed “crony ‘capitalism'”, and managed in an authoritarian – ie. fascist –  manner (the application of legislation, taxes, fees, certifications, inspections, etc. in order to control firms/the economy whilst allowing the appearance of private ownership and control). And, everywhere you turn you hear the cry for even more regulation. Regulation is simply code for anti-competition government intervention for the benefit of a favored company or industry - typically, called for covertly by the industry to be regulated. How many cable companies exist in your area … one? Yet, they claim stiff competition. Like so many, just another government granted monopoly at your expense. Further, incredibly, all the regulators come right out of the industries they are charged to regulate … no conflict there! The bottom line,all this political/re-election-directed economic intervention, healthcare or otherwise, increases costs above market pricing with quality of goods and services well below competition-based offerings.

It needs to be known that the AMA represents only 17% of doctors in the USA. The AMA agenda is not supported by those actually in the profession.  The agenda is supported by the politicians benefiting from the AMA’s substantial financial contribution and their lending of prestige (stooging) to political shenanigans through the 3rd-Party Authority Agrees Deception & Deflection Tactic (to pass a program and then after the program fails -  “Leading doctors agree…I relied on leading doctors”).

Lastly, until the Republic’s leadership is de-careered & un-partied, and the rigged regulation system is disbanded, and the Federal Reserve engine financing corruption and socialism is got rid of, the Republican group can plan all they want … election after election … there will not be change.

Keynes must die … if the American Republic is to live!

Posted under Capitalism, Economics, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 8, 2015

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Whose misfortune? 3

What is unique about American foreign policy today is not just that it is rudderless, but how quickly and completely the 70-year postwar order seems to have disintegrated — and how little interest the American people take in the collapse, thanks to the administration’s apparent redeeming message, which translates, “It’s their misfortune and none of our own.”

We quote from an article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review.

He sets before us a picture of what passes for US foreign policy under Obama, and the disasters that have ensued from it – and continue to get worse.

ISIS took Ramadi last week. …

On a smaller scale, ISIS is doing to the surge cities of Iraq what Hitler did to his neighbors between 1939 and 1941, and what Putin is perhaps doing now on the periphery of Russia. In Ramadi, ISIS will soon do its accustomed thing of beheading and burning alive its captives, seeking some new macabre twist to sustain its Internet video audience.

We in the West trample the First Amendment and jail a video maker for posting a supposedly insensitive film about Islam; in contrast, jihadists post snuff movies of burnings and beheadings to global audiences.

We argue not about doing anything or saving anybody, but about whether it is inappropriate to call the macabre killers “jihadists”.  When these seventh-century psychopaths tire of warring on people, they turn to attacking stones, seeking to ensure that there is not a vestige left of the Middle East’s once-glorious antiquities. I assume the ancient Sassanid and Roman imperial site at Palmyra will soon be looted and smashed. …

As long as we are not involved at the center of foreign affairs and there is no perceptible short-term danger to our security, few seem to care much that western North Africa is a no-man’s-land. Hillary Clinton’s “lead from behind” created a replay of Somalia in Libya.

The problem with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not that he is no longer Obama’s “special friend,” but that he was ever considered a friend at all, as he pressed forward with his plan to destroy Turkish democracy in the long march to theocracy.

There was never much American good will for the often duplicitous Gulf monarchies, so the general public does not seem to be worried that they are now spurned allies. That estrangement became possible because of growing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil and gas (thanks to fracking, which Obama largely opposed). Still, let us hope the Gulf States remain neutral rather than becoming enemies — given their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has it in for Israel. Why, no one quite knows, given that the Jewish state is the only democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. Perhaps it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization.

Theocratic Iran has won more sympathy from the Obama administration. No neutral observer believes that the current policy of lifting sanctions and conducting negotiations will not lead to an Iranian bomb; it is hoped only that this will be unveiled on the watch of another president, who will be castigated as a warmonger if he is forced to preempt its rollout.

The current American foreign policy toward Iran is baffling. Does Obama see the theocracy as a valuable counterweight to the Sunni monarchies? Is it more authentic in the revolutionary sense than the geriatric hereditary kingdoms in the Gulf? Or is the inexplicable policy simply a matter of John Kerry’s gambit for a Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of Obama legacy in the eleventh hour, a retake of pulling all U.S. peacekeepers home from a once-quiet Iraq so that Obama could claim he had “ended the war in Iraq”?

Hillary Clinton has been talking up her successful tenure as secretary of state. But mysteriously she has never specified exactly where, when, or how her talents shone. What is she proud of? Reset with Russia? The Asian pivot to discourage Chinese bellicosity? The critical preliminary preparations for talks with Iran? The Libyan misadventure? Or perhaps we missed a new initiative to discourage North Korean aggression? Some new under-appreciated affinity with Israel and the Gulf monarchies? The routing of ISIS, thanks to Hillary’s plans? Shoring up free-market democracies in Latin America? Proving a model of transparency as secretary? Creating a brilliant new private-public synergy by combining the work of the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill’s lecturing –as evidenced by the Haitian renaissance and nation-building in Kazakhstan?

He also considers the administration’s domestic failures:

Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.

The liberal approach to the underclass continues as it has been for the last 50 years: The elites support huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city as penance for avoiding it. Minorities are left to run their own political affairs without much worry that their supposed benefactors live apartheid lives, protected by the proof of their caring. The public is left with the lie “Hands up, don’t shoot” as a construct that we will call true, because the made-up last-seconds gasps of Michael Brown perhaps should have happened that way. As an elite bookend, we have a Columbia coed toting around a mattress as proof of society’s insensitivity to sexual violence, which in her case both her university and the New York City police agree never occurred. In theory, perhaps it could have and thus all but did.

As far as scandals go, no one much cares any more about the implosion of the Veterans Administration. In the public’s defense, though, how does one keep straight the multitudinous scandals — Lois Lerner and the rogue IRS, the spying on and tapping of Associated Press journalists, the National Security Agency disclosures, Fast and Furious, the serial lying about needless deaths in Benghazi, the shenanigans at the General Services Administration, the collapse of sobriety at the Secret Service, the rebooting of air-traffic controllers’ eligibility to be adjudicated along racial and ethnic lines, and the deletions from Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, which doubled as her government server.

Always there is the administration’s populist anthem of “You didn’t build that”; instead, you must have won the lottery from President Obama. If his economic programs are not working, there is always the finger pointing at those who are too well off. Michelle Obama lectured a couple of weeks ago on museum elitism and prior neglect of the inner city, in between recounting some slights and micro-aggressions that she has endured, presumably on jumbo-jet jaunts to Costa del Sol and Aspen. I think her point is that it is still worse to be rich, powerful, and black than, say, poor, ignored, and non-black. …

He concludes on a note of despondency not far off from despair:

The center of this culture is not holding. …

More Americans privately confess that American foreign policy is dangerously adrift. They would agree that the U.S. no longer has a southern border, and will have to spend decades and billions of dollars coping with millions of new illegal aliens.

Some Americans are starting to fear that the reckless borrowing under Obama will wreck the country if not stopped.

Racial tensions, all concede, are reaching dangerous levels, and Americans do not know what is scarier: inner-city relations between blacks and the police, the increasing anger of the black underclass at establishment America — or the even greater backlash at out-of-control violent black crime and the constant scapegoating and dog whistles of racism.

Whatever liberalism is, it is not working.

It’s certainly not “liberal” in the real meaning of the word. It is the opposite – dictatorial.

We call it Leftism. It has the Western world in its crushing grip.

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