The injustice of “social justice” 9

Now that the Democratic Party has “come out” as proudly Socialist, the American electorate has a clear choice: vote Trumpist Republican and be free and prosperous OR vote Big Brother Democrat and be collectivized and poor.

Nobody has ever explained why the free market is “just” AND creates wealth, better than the great economist Friedrich von Hayek. Here he is explaining why to William F. Buckley Jr. in 1977, supported in his argument by George Roche III, president of Hillsdale College.

Hayek explains that in order for a ruling power to make people economically equal, it would have to “treat people very unequally indeed”. (Some would have to work and be robbed of their wages,  while others would be able to sit back, do nothing, and receive the bounty of the stolen funds).

Buckley, who was actually strongly conservative, plays “devil’s advocate”, putting the (sentimental) case for Socialism to his two interlocutors.

We would have preferred Hayek to use the word “fair”, or “equitable”, rather than “just”, because justice can only apply to the individual. George Roche’s argument for freedom on moral grounds comes close to making this point, if not very clearly. We understand that Hayek had to say “just” because “Social Justice” is the subject and title of the discussion.

Posted under Economics, Ethics, liberty, Socialism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 10, 2018

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Becoming Mexico 3

The Democrats want no southern border.

Mark Steyn accurately describes the Democratic Party moving ever further to the Left, and how, without the border, the US would become Mexico.

 

Posted under immigration, Leftism, Mexico, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 9, 2018

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On the snobbery of egalitarians 1

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the publisher of that scurrilous daily, the New York Times, is a white male.

So why does he appoint someone who declares that she hates whites and males to his editorial board?

It’s not a question that can be easily answered (except of course by psychologists and sociologists who know everything about the human mind and heart but can only explain what they know unintelligibly).

A similar question is: Why do Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the ladies who rule Sweden want to hand over their countries to Islam?

And another in the same genre is: Why do intellectuals who claim that their political mission and life-goal is to raise the folks at the bottom of the social hierarchy and sink the rich by robbing them until they are no richer than anybody else in order to achieve and establish an egalitarian society, despise and insult the working class?

At American Greatness, Victor Davis Hanson writes (in part – the whole thing is well worth reading):

Recently Politico reporter Marc Caputo was angered at rude hecklers at a Trump rally who booed beleaguered CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.

(Yay!)

So Caputo tweeted of them, “If you put everyone’s mouths together in this video, you’d get a full set of teeth.”

Politico had not employed such a crass journalist since before it fired Julia Ioffe for tweeting, “Either Trump is f—ing his daughter or he’s shirking nepotism laws. Which is worse?” (Ioffe was then snatched up by the Atlantic …). 

I suppose Caputo meant that Trump voters intrinsically lacked either the money to fix their teeth or the knowledge of the hygiene required to take care of them or the aesthetic sensitivity of how awful their mouths looked. Or Caputo was simply rehashing the stereotypes that he had seen on reality TV shows like Duck Dynasty and The Deadliest Catch.

Or none of the above: the journalist grandee was just stupid.

That last alternative seems most likely since Caputo then escalated and called them collectively “garbage people”.  …

What did “garbage people” mean? That by birth or training such toothless, smelly people were subhuman, like refuse? And if Caputo had substituted any other racial minority for his slurs, would he still have his job according to the cannons of progressive censure and Internet lynching? Could he have said something similarly degrading about the attendees of after an open borders or Black Lives Matter rally and still have his job?

Last week, the New York Times named tech writer Sarah Jeong to its editorial board with apparent knowledge of her long history of racist tweets, as well as verbal attacks on police and males in general. Perhaps such gutter venom was proof of militant orthodoxy to be appreciated rather than medieval racism to be shunned. Her mostly empty résumé seems compensated by her identity and her politics—as the Times more or less confessed in its sad defense of her racist outbursts.

Jeong claimed that white people smelled like wet dogs. She had bragged that she hated them, and hoped that soon they would become childless and disappear. Her final solution of demographic extinction was, she said (in historically dense fashion), “my plan all along.”

One wonders whether she will canonize her collected tweets into something like My Struggle … 

(The translation  of the title of Adolf Hitler’s book, in German Mein Kampf …)

… replete with less abstract territorial theories how to reify her “plan” or add pseudo-scientific details explaining why and how whites, as she alleges, smell or have had no cultural or scientific achievements. …

Many whites smell. (Or “stink” as the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson told a lady he did when she complained to him that he “smelt”, while she, he said, was the one who “smelt” – transitive verb, meaning she smelt him). But (to state the obvious for the average American Lefty who may have some academic degrees but has learnt little and cannot even spell) whites are responsible for most of the scientific achievements that have made our lives longer and better and our civilization great. The old Greeks who launched science were white. Isaac Newton who relaunched science and so also the Enlightenment, was white. The Age of Science began then and is with us still.  As for other cultural achievements …

What’s that you say, Ms. Jeong? Shakespeare was black, and actually a woman? Einstein too? Good grief, we never knew!

In the text message trove of disgraced FBI operatives Lisa Page and Peter Strzok there was the same sort of barnyard contempt. Georgetown graduate Strzok claimed to Page that a local Virginia Walmart “smelled” of Trump voters—a progressive stereotype of white Neanderthals that is increasingly freely expressed.

In another government text, an unidentified FBI agent, assigned to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, had written of the Trump voters that they were “lazy POS that think we will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing.”

Again, demonizing the Trump voter as beyond cultural redemption is nothing new. During the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton infamously dismissed Trump supporters as “deplorables” who were“irredeemable” and were “not America”.

In some sense, the rebranded Clinton simply continued where Barack Obama had left off in his denunciations of the “bitter clingers” of Pennsylvania, who were prone to simplistic trust in their guns and religion and, out of insecurity, scapegoated others.

When Obama periodically wrote off Americans as “lazy” and ignorant of the world beyond them (this, from another Harvard law graduate who thought Hawaii was in Asia and Austrians spoke “Austrian”), he was, to use a progressive metaphor, dog whistling the themes of his clingers speech.

Elites are confident that there is nothing either ethically wrong or career-endangering in smearing middle-class Trump supporters with such crude stereotypes.

When pundits on television go after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), they inevitably resort to attacking his Tulare roots, and his dairy-farm upbringing (“A former dairy farmer”; “way over his head”; “nothing in his résumé that would have qualified him for the post”, etc.) to claim that he is mismatched by Harvard-trained Adam Schiff. Again, how strange that egalitarians always revert to base snobbery and class stereotypes in lieu of an argument or an idea. …

Jeong is a Harvard Law graduate. Strzok has a master’s degree from Georgetown. The ridicule of the white working class by NeverTrump conservative pundits is read on the pages of the nation’s premier newspapers or voiced in hallowed symposia.

Is such ignorance of an entire class because of, or in spite of such, elite training?

Does the university-bred cursus honorarium have room for real-world experience beyond the campus and laptop?

Has Jeong ever worked welding alongside the grandchildren of Dust Bowl diaspora to adjudicate their actual skin-colored advantage? Did her class and gender studies work at Harvard Law constitute a tougher curriculum than a 12-hour shift at Denny’s? Is the soybean jack-of-all-trades farmer really denser than the Yale English major?

Which reminds us of this best of all satires ever. We cannot resist re-posting it:

 

Political religions and the politics of religion 1

Robert Spencer is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, so we make allowance for his mistaken belief that our Western civilization is “Judeo-Christian” rather than the product of the Enlightenment.

We quote him because he is expert on the history, texts and teaching of Islam.

Here he talks about Pope Francis appointing himself a defender of that intensely anti-Christian religion:

So the old joke question “Is the Pope Catholic?” is no longer funny. The serious answer is “No.”

The Pope’s opinions derive from various political religions, among them: Marxism, New Leftism, Liberation Theology, and Islam.

Let’s review what the Pope is defending when he defends Islam:

The subjugation of women, including the religion-sanctioned beating of wives, sex slavery, honor killings, and the stoning to death of women and little girls who have been raped

A death sentence for anyone who leaves the faith 

A  death sentence for homosexuals

Intense anti-Semitism; anti-Jew, anti-Christian, anti-Yezidi, anti-polytheist, anti-rival-Muslim-sect terrorism, persecution and enslavement

Routine torture of prisoners and extreme torture to death even of civilians, notably: slow beheading with a knife; stoning; burying alive (of children as well as adults); burning alive; drowning in boiling oil; the amputation of limbs; crucifixion; the throwing to the ground of homosexuals from high places; starvation.

So to defend Islam is to defend oppression, savage cruelty and murder. Judged by contemporary Western criteria, Islam is a deeply immoral religion.

Oppression, cruelty and murder are not, however, against traditional Catholic practice. Catholics can defend the use of torture and murder on the grounds that in the past the Roman Catholic Church needed to have people burnt alive in order to discourage heresy. For hundreds of years the Catholic Church tortured and murdered untold numbers of men, women and children who were guilty of nothing worse than a personal opinion that was not in conformity with Church dogma.

But not now. Now the Pope is virtue-signaling without reference to – and, he must suppose, without taint from – the past.

Now he has decided that capital punishment is “inadmissable”.   

This is a political decision against the teaching of the Roman Catholic religion:

Prior to the changes announced through the Vatican press office Thursday, the Catholic Catechism taught that recourse to the death penalty was not to be “excluded” as a legitimate punishment “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”

The Pope probably intended his ruling to have an effect chiefly on the laws of the United States, where capital punishment is still available to judges as a punishment for murder.  

And his decision may be taken notice of in the US.

But it will not make any difference in Islam. On that he relies. If he thought it at all likely to offend those stoners, burners, crucifiers, boilers, buriers, throwers from heights, beheaders and amputators, he would be very unlikely to announce it.

Possessing a fine talent for cognitive dissonance, Francis must be confident that his condemnation of capital punishment will not make his defense of Islam into a bad joke.

Posted under Christianity, Islam, jihad, Judaism, Muslims, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 5, 2018

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Rooting out Allah 6

What is the root, hub, core, foundation, or essence – any one of those words will do, no mixing of metaphors – of Islam?

Allah, of course.

Take away Allah and the whole growth, movement, body, edifice, or idea will wither away, stop, die, collapse, or fail.

Allah the War God is no more and no less a cause of Man-made Global Distress (MGD) than is Jehovah the Vengeful or that ludicrous empyrean bureau, the Trinity.

Christians and believing Jews have no valid argument against Islam.

So it is now the most important task of atheists to destroy Islam by destroying Allah, with Reason and laughter.

Trouble is, atheists on the Left have forged an alliance with Islam. They not only refuse to argue with it, they fiercely attack atheists on the Right who dare to say a word against that deeply immoral religion.

Attacks must not deter us.

Criticizing God is our business. Making him a laughing-stock is our pleasure.

 

 

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the symbolic device)

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 3, 2018

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Tommy set free 5

Tommy Robinson has been released from prison.

He is the leader of the grass-roots resistance movement of the British people against a tyrannical and treacherous government intent on Islamifying the United Kingdom.

They jailed him over and over again. They deliberately put him in prison among Muslims who beat him to a pulp. Though once they offered to stop persecuting him if he would become their tool, their secret agent!  He refused, so the persecution was stepped up.

They imprisoned him yet again in May this year. He was sentenced to thirteen months penal servitude by a kangaroo court. Now, on appeal, he has been freed – at least for a few weeks – by the Lord Chief Justice. Not, we suspect, because Britain is still a country under the rule of law, but because the ill treatment of Tommy has become an international scandal.

From Breitbart:

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett quashed the contempt of court conviction … which saw [Tommy Robinson]  going from arrest to trial, and to prison in just five hours and under a blanket of enforced media silence.

The court’s written judgement stated the speed with which the original conviction was made “gave rise to unfairness”, and that there was a “lack of clarity” over evidence for the charge of contempt given to Robinson.

Further, the document states the original judge should have resisted “the temptation” to rule on Robinson’s behaviour there and then, as after he had offered to delete the video he created from Facebook the “urgency went out of the matter”. Instead, the judge should have referred the matter to the Attorney General rather than acting immediately.

In all, the judgement found, the original case had the opportunity to “have avoided the risk of sacrificing fairness on the altar of haste”, but failed to take it.

Robinson’s defence team have maintained that the unusual speed with which he was jailed had led to “deficiencies” in the legal process.

The QC defending Mr Robinson in the appeal told the court the original trial had been “unnecessarily and unjustifiably rushed”, had featured “procedural difficulties”, and the sentence was “manifestly excessive”.

Robinson had been live-streaming the arrival of defendants of another trial outside Leeds Crown Court at the time of his arrest, and part of his bail conditions prevents him from returning to that court. Another trial has now been ordered to take place by the Court of Appeal, but the Lord Chief Justice ruled that Robinson had already served sufficient time pending the outcome of the retrial, and was, therefore, to be released.

The order to release came after a short hearing which followed longer proceedings on July 18th, where the judges hearing the case delayed their finding to give themselves time to confer.

Now free, Tommy has described the torment he endured inside the prison.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

The jailers of newly freed human rights activist Tommy Robinson deliberately subjected him to inhumane treatment behind bars in England, according to independent journalist Ezra Levant of the Canadian news website, TheRebel.media.

The goal of the authorities seems to have been to silence Robinson, perhaps permanently.

“Tommy has endured two months as a genuine political prisoner, and I say that thoughtfully,” Levant said. “I don’t want to throw around the word political prisoner. Britain is still a great liberal democracy, but not in the case of Tommy Robinson, they weren’t.”

We don’t agree that Britain can still be described as “a great liberal democracy”.

Robinson’s lawyers, Carson Kaye of London, released a statement celebrating his release: “The rule of law and the right to a fair hearing are fundamental to every individual and this ruling [is] an example of the procedural safeguards of our system, and its potential for protecting every citizen equally.”

Well, they have to say that. If they said “Tommy Robinson is being released because of an international outcry against the injustice he’s been subjected to”, they would feel the heavy had of tyranny falling on their own shoulders, or its boot in their own faces.

… [On May 25, 2018] Robinson had been trying to bring transparency to an opaque legal system distrusted by the public. The 35-year-old married father of three used his smartphone to live-stream on Facebook the arrival of accused rapists on trial for acts allegedly committed while being part of a so-called Muslim grooming gang.

The filming of the alleged pedophile rapists infuriated trial judge Geoffrey Marson Q.C. because he had imposed a ban on publishing news from their criminal proceeding. Within five hours Robinson had been railroaded and sentenced to 13 months in prison.

But on Wednesday a judicial panel headed by Baron Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, quashed Robinson’s contempt of court conviction and ordered him released on bail. The Court of Appeal ordered that Robinson be released pending a fresh trial on the contempt charges before a different judge. …

Marson failed to provide sufficient particulars of the contempt allegation, which meant Robinson did not know what case he had to meet. Because of the extreme rush, Robinson didn’t have sufficient time to work with counsel to prepare a defense. In fact, the proceeding was so expedited he had to rely on a public defender –as opposed to his own regular lawyer— who had no time to prepare. The appeals court questioned the appropriateness of the 13-month sentence and found it was wrong of Marson to hand it down so quickly without sober reflection, Levant said.

According to a three-page summary of the decision provided by the appeals court: “The order at Leeds Crown Court was also erroneously drawn up to suggest the appellant had been convicted of a criminal offence rather than having been committed for contempt of court.”

Marson’s mistakes were grave. “Errors like this have serious consequences upon the classification of prisoners, resulting in the deprivation of privileges and release on license.”

Ezra Levant is further quoted:

Robinson’s “brutal incarceration, solitary confinement, and the constant threats of violence he faced in prison, all flow from the errors of the judge in Leeds.”

Initially, Robinson was sent to Her Majesty’s Prison Hull, which is “one of the safer prisons in the U.K. for Tommy.” … “By safer I mean it is not dominated by Muslim prison gangs.”

But then a faceless bureaucrat in the prison system ordered Robinson transferred to the much tougher, Her Majesty’s Prison Onley, which is “a much more Islamized prison.” 

On whose orders, or according to whose policy, did the “faceless bureaucrat” incarcerate Tommy where he was likely to suffer the most?

Whose but the government’s?

And why?

Because the Islam-coddling rulers of the land wanted –

… either to get Tommy killed at the hands of a Muslim prison gang, or to force him to do what they knew he would do because he’s done it before – to request to be put into solitary confinement to save his own life. But the thing is you cannot live for 13 months in solitary confinement. You’ll go mad. It would be regarded as torture. But that’s where Tommy was placed. …

Prisoners would regularly be given access to the front of Tommy’s cell and they would open up the flap to his cell and shout threats at him. And this was permitted by the prison. It’s obviously a form of psychological torture. Let me give you more examples. There is also a window in Tommy’s cell for a breeze in the hot summer. The prisoners were permitted to go up to the window and spit into Tommy’s cell which is a form of assault and battery and it’s gross and it’s psychologically abusive so Tommy had to shut his window in this particularly hot British summer. …

On at least three occasions his cell door was accidentally not locked. Accidentally, eh?

Reviled by the Left and milquetoast Conservative Party leaders like Prime Minister Theresa May, Robinson has been trying for years to raise awareness about the Islamization of the U.K.

Milquetoast they may be in submitting to the corrupt rulers of the EU, but at home they’re sadistic bullies.

The deck is stacked against those skeptical of Islam. In the United Kingdom the police now monitor statements on social media and jail those who express frowned-upon sentiments. In the U.K., Big Brother is no longer just something from George Orwell’s prophetic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Political correctness and fears of being smeared as racist or Islamophobic have led authorities in the United Kingdom to downplay or ignore sex crimes committed by unassimilated, misogynistic Muslims who rape Britons. From the 1980s to the 2010s, as many as 1,400 Britons, mostly white girls, were raped largely by Muslim men in Rotherham, England. In recent years Muslim rape gangs have been uncovered in Rochdale, Telford, Aylesbury, Banbury, and in many other British communities.

The fear of “being smeared as racist” makes British officials tolerate appalling crimes committed by foreign gangs! Britons who used to sing that they “never never never shall be slaves”! Britons whose forefathers of the last thousand years fought fearlessly on battlefields at home and abroad for freedom and justice, afraid of being smeared as racist?

Yes. Afraid of being called a name. Let all the young daughters of the kingdom be debauched and sold, what is that compared to being called a name?

To no one’s surprise, Britons do not trust their government to deal with such grooming cases fairly or protect the public from such sexual predators. British politicians worship at the altar of multiculturalism and would rather protect criminals from victims.

And this seems to be why the British authorities felt they needed to silence Robinson.

Seems? That IS why they are trying to silence Tommy Robinson.

And the press is on the side of the tyrants. The BBC, the posh papers and the tabloids, all choose to denigrate Tommy. He is frequently called a “far right activist”, even a “neo-Nazi”. And of course a “racist”, “xenophobe”, “Islamophobe”, “bigot”.  None of which he is.  

Only the social media give him his due as hero and political martyr.

Here is what a Murdoch-owned rag called The Sun says about this genuine hero:

Tommy Robinson is a nasty thug and a grandstanding idiot.

He is not a freedom fighter. Nor is he the hero he is made out to be in the sewer which social media has become.

Nor is he a “reporter” fearlessly exposing an establishment cover-up of rapes by gangs of Asian men. That scandal has been exposed by actual journalists.

In fact Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, almost wrecked the trial of some accused of serious crime …

The crime of debauching and selling underage girls …

… thus potentially denying both them and their alleged victims justice.

Yesterday he was freed on appeal over his contempt of court. Supporters say he was locked up too hastily and for too long. But he was already serving a suspended sentence for the same offence.

His many convictions stretch from violence to fraud. We have no sympathy.

He tells his own story, not omitting the why and how of the violence and the fraud, in his book Enemy of the State. 

We think it more than likely that John of Gaunt, Henry V, Nelson, Wellington, Churchill would be proud of Tommy Robinson.

“Crossing the Swamp” 2

Nice to know that this painting by Jon McNaughton is irritating the Left.

List of figures from left to right: Nikki Haley, James Mattis, Ben Carson, President Trump, Jeff Sessions, Mike Pence, Melania Trump, Mike Pompeo, Sarah Sanders, Ivanka Trump, John Bolton, Kellyanne Conway, John Kelly.

The model:

“Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Albert Bierstadt.

 

Posted under Art, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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The ruinous cost of free health care 1

“Free” government benefits are the most expensive goods in the world.

The Democratic Socialist Party – formerly the Democratic Party – is trying to win votes by promising free health care for all.

Supposing a national health service were to be introduced into the USA, what would it cost?

Investor’s Business Daily reports and comments:

Democrats have been falling over themselves to endorse Bernie Sanders’s government takeover of health care. Maybe they should have taken a closer look at his “Medicare for all” plan before signing up. The gargantuan price tag is just one of its many terrible flaws.

Last year, 16 Senators, including three presidential hopefuls, co-sponsored Sanders’s “Medicare for all” bill. And earlier this month, more than 70 Democrats signed on to form a “Medicare for all” caucus. Support for the bill is now something of a litmus test for Democratic hopefuls.

Do they have any idea what they’re endorsing?

A new study out Monday from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center finds that the Sanders plan would add $32.6 trillion to federal spending in its first 10 years, with costs steadily rising from there. That closely matches other studies — including one by the liberal Urban Institute — that looked at the Sanders plan.

To put this in perspective, “Medicare for all” would nearly double the size of the already bloated federal government.

Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

Even this [estimate of $32.6 trillion over 10 years] is wildly optimistic. To get to this number, author Charles Blahous had to make several completely unrealistic assumptions about savings under Sanders’ hugely disruptive plan.

The first is a massive cut in payments to providers. Sanders wants to apply Medicare’s below-market rates across the board, which would amount to a roughly 40% cut in payments to doctors and hospitals. Blahous figures this will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Democrats are also apparently unaware that “Medicare for all” would be a more expensive than anything that exists anywhere else in the world … 

Sanders’ plan would eliminate all out-of-pocket expenses for medical, dental and vision care. The only exception would be a small copay for brand-name drugs. …

There is no industrialized country in the world that does this.

Even in the Scandinavian countries that Bernie Sanders directs us to admire (rather than Stalinist Russia which is actually his ideal), “people pay as much as 30% of their nations’ health costs out-of-pocket”. 

And – perhaps surprisingly to American communists –

In Communist China, almost a third of health spending is out-of-pocket.

In Bernie’s USA, the illusion of all medical treatment being “free” would need to be maintained. But how? After all, doctors cannot work for nothing. Hospitals have running costs.

Because Sanders would eliminate prices entirely from health care, the only way to control health spending would be to slap stiff price controls on doctors, hospitals and drugs, or ration care.

Rationing is inevitable in any government-run health service. Administrators have to decide how to allocate resources. When you are in control of your own medical decisions, you decide what treatment, what drugs you are able or prepared to pay for. When the state decides for you, it will not consult your preferences. It will make kill-or-cure, life-or-death decisions for you. The “death panels” that Sarah Palin warned against will determine how long you live; and, for as long as you live, in what state of health.   

Here’s what health care in the U.S. would look like as a result:

There would be chronic shortages of doctors nationwide. Hospital overcrowding would be epidemic. Waits for everything from hip replacements to cataract surgery to cancer treatments would be extensive. Drug innovation would come to a virtual standstill. And there would be endless fights over the size of the government’s health budget, along with massive amounts of waste, fraud and abuse.

How do we know this? Because this is precisely what’s happened in countries that have already gone down the “Medicare for all” road.

In Canada, the average wait time for a hip replacement is nearly two years in some provinces. Patients with cataracts can end up waiting a year for surgery. The UK has fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita than any other industrialized nation, and is in a state of almost constant crisis.

Almost constant crisis”? There is no break, no pause, no relief for the briefest of moments from the crisis that is the National Health Service of Great Britain.

Here at home, the Veterans Health Administration — once touted by the left as a model of socialized medicine — has seen deadly delays and massive corruption, even as its budget ballooned in size.

Almost 10% of Medicare spending today is for what the government euphemistically calls “improper payments”, but anyone else would label it waste. Extend this across the entire health care system and Sanders’s “Medicare for all” would result in some $400 billion a year in “improper payments”.

But the biggest problem with “Medicare for all” — and any plan to socialize medicine — is its underlying assumption. Namely, that a handful of government central planners can manage trillions of dollars’ worth of resources better than hundreds of millions of people making trillions of decisions every day in the free market. They can’t.

We already know central planning never works, since it has miserably failed where it’s been tried. It didn’t work in the Soviet Union. It doesn’t work in North Korea or Cuba, and it’s causing untold misery in Venezuela.

A socialist government – which is what the government would be that saves or executes its subjects by controlling their health care – is always, necessarily, inescapably, one big Death Panel.

Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists 1

The people who were to lead the Russian revolution in 1917 called themselves Social-Democrats.

Here’s an extract from an essay by the Leader of the leaders, V. I. Lenin, written in 1897 when he was in exile. It is titled The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats: 

The object of the practical activities of the Social-Democrats is, as is well known, to lead the class struggle of the proletariat and to organize that struggle in both its manifestations: socialist (the fight against the capitalist class aimed at destroying the class system and organizing socialist society), and democratic (the fight against absolutism aimed at winning political liberty in Russia and democratizing the political and social system of Russia). We said as is well known. And indeed, from the very moment they appeared as a separate social-revolutionary trend, the Russian Social-Democrats have always quite definitely indicated this object of their activities, have always emphasized the dual manifestation and content of the class struggle of the proletariat and have always insisted on the inseparable connection between their socialist and democratic tasks — a connection clearly expressed in the name they have adopted.

As is well known, when the Revolution had been accomplished in 1917, and Lenin was supreme dictator, there was no political liberty for the Russian people. No liberty at all.

Stella Morabito wrote (March 2016) at The Federalist (in an essay chiefly recalling the execution by Joseph Stalin of his faithful friend and follower, Nikolai Bukharin):

[Socialism is] a system in which suspicion and the smell of treason tend to hang in the air. … This is the case whether you call it by any other name, whether communism, utopianism, or collectivism. Oh, go ahead and slap some lipstick on that pig and call it “democratic” socialism or “progressivism” or “communitarianism”. 

Lenin and his gang all started out calling themselves socialists. Social democrats, to be exact. So the fact remains: the path of socialism is ultimately paved with coercion, censorship, and, yes, terror.* Does stating this make me an alarmist? No. It makes me a realist.

Socialism demands that we place blind trust in whomever takes the reins of power to distribute society’s goods and services. …

Socialism also has a way of producing bloated bureaucracies that in turn produce ever greater scarcity. Along the way, this produces ever more corruption and cronyism. Censorship puts down deep roots because dissent cannot be tolerated or the system would collapse. Those are all prime ingredients for a closed society and surveillance state. …

And for gulags, torture, mock trials and executions.

We are … witnessing a new trendiness for all things socialist and communist among college youth. They sport T-shirts featuring the image of nauseatingly murderous tyrants like Che Guevara.

Thanks to the popularity of the avuncular Bernie Sanders, coupled with an astonishing ignorance of history, millennials have fast become trusty mouthpieces for socialism. This is ironic, because socialism has a way of redistributing power away from the “99 percent” and puts it into the hands of the few central planners—a teensy fraction of 1 percent — at the top.

And Bernie Sanders is forever sniping at “the 1%” – “millionaires and billionaires”, “the rich”, ie. Lenin’s “capitalist class” – when he himself is a millionaire.

Then what? …  There’s an indisputable correlation between big government and terror that keeps turning up throughout history. …

We need to remember that, when soft socialism with its siren song of “equality” is left to its own devices, it takes ever more rigid forms. The political hubris of “progressives” who know better than you and me — and with such utter certainty — always leads to central control, corruption, cronyism, censorship, and abject conformity.

The more than 100 million victims of communism shows just how slippery a slope socialism is. Any person of goodwill who is familiar with the history and realities of socialism would do everything possible to avoid going down that minefield of a road.

How is it possible that young Americans can emerge from long established universities with degrees in history, political science, economics, international relations, and not know what happened to the millions of victims of socialism?

Or if they do know, and maintain that their socialist revolution would be different, bringing equal happiness for all, what possible reason can they produce for saying so? They don’t, of course. They cannot.

Because socialist economics do not, cannot work.

Because no one will study for years to become a doctor when he/she/ze is going to be paid the same as a janitor who doesn’t have to study at all.

Because when everyone’s been given equal pay with nice freshly printed banknotes, their money goes chasing too few goods, or none at all.

Because no one is going to make and sell goods if he cannot make a good living out of doing so.

Because state ownership of the means of production means Venezuela under Maduro. Because the state cannot know what goods to produce, how many, at what price. Because only the market sends the messages, the signals, that provide that information. As Hayek teaches the student of economics. If he/she/ze is  allowed to read his works in the universities. But they are not.

They are allowed to read Marx.

We doubt that many of the democratic socialists emerging from the academies actually ever bothered to read Marx for themselves. Their professors told them what he said was right and good. Told them that democratic socialism was the happy future of mankind.

That is the faith, and they keep it.

 

 

*Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky all explicitly advocated the use of terrorism. See The Soviet Union and Terrorism by Roberta Goren, ed. Jillian Becker, Introduction by Robert Conquest, George Allen & Unwin, London 1984.

The trashy romance of recycling 10

Recycling is uneconomic.

It is nothing more than a ritual, a rite. Those who want it performed – the sentimental Self-Appointed Protectors of the environment (SAPs) – feel that it is a virtuous thing to do.

Actually, it’s a colossal waste of time, energy, and money.

It doesn’t even happen anywhere near as much as the SAPs imagine it does.

And, in any case, most trash is beyond redemption.

Here are some extracts from an enlightening article by Sultan Knish:

Every branch of government from Washington D.C. to your local town council had spent a fortune convincing people that recycling is a magical process that turns your old pizza boxes into new pizza boxes while creating those imaginary “green jobs” in the community. The reality was a lot dirtier.

All of America’s industries, including trash sorting, had been outsourced to China. … All that recycling, which children in progressive communities are taught to sort as the closest thing to a religious ritual, was really being dumped by the ton on dirty ships and sent over to China. We weren’t recycling it. The Chinese were.

But now China is banning foreign recycling …

Even the Communists got tired of sorting through the trash of American socialists. The recycling scam shipped garbage on dirty ships for dirty industries while pretending that they’re clean and green.

There was never anything clean about it. …

Now the recycling party’s over. Plastic recycling imports were banned early this year. Even fiber has trouble getting in to the People’s Republic. China’s mixed paper standards mean that most of the recycled cardboard and paper no longer passes muster. Instead it’s piling up in the United States.

The recycling scam used to be an easy trade. China shipped its cheap products made from recycled American junk and scrap here. The empty vessels used to dump Chinese junk products on America were then filled up with tons of recycling for the return trip back to China at minimal cost.

We sent them junk, they sent us junk. …

But China is out of the recycling dump business. And the recycling business depended on it. No other market pays what it did. And no other country has the industrial scale to handle this much recycled trash. The American market is flooded with recycling that no one wants and trash prices have imploded.

And that’s having an immediate impact on the progressive recycling programs in the United States.

California’s trash is going right back to landfills. 62% of exported materials used to go to China. But no more. California’s Department of Resources Recycling sent a letter cautioning that the “economics of recycling” had become “unfavorable” thus “challenging what recycling means to Californians”. …

In Massachusetts, mountains of trash recycling are piling up and there’s talk that trucks may stop picking it up. In Pennsylvania, a “recycling crisis created by China” was blamed for a refusal to accept paper. In Seattle and Phoenix, recycling is going into landfills. Fees are going up in Portland. In Pasco, recycling was abandoned before its start. In a Kansas City plant, one out of four items is going into a landfill. In Sacramento, where all of California’s recycling rules are made, most recyclables no longer are. …

Recycling has become economically unsustainable, but that doesn’t mean it’s going away.

If you live in a blue state or city, expect to spend a lot more time sorting your trash, cleaning your cans and removing plastic from your envelopes … China will no longer be sorting American trash. So progressives have decided that you will. …

Most homeowners have no idea how much of their recyclables go into landfills anyway. The dirty business of municipal waste contracts will continue on uninterrupted. The extra fees and costs will be another one of the left’s thousand cuts that are bleeding the middle class to death.

Homeowners will be taxed harder so that crony cash can flow to even bigger recycling operations. …

Recycling is not a reality, but an idea. Like Communism, it can never be achieved, but must be aspired to. …

The ships carrying most of the blue state and city “green” trash will no longer be allowed into China. But there are other countries and continents desperate enough to take their socialist trash.

The dirty secret of recycling is that it depended on the willingness of Third World countries to greenwash our trash so that progressives could pretend that their moral garbage was saving the planet. …

The People’s Republic [of China] has progressively been colonizing Africa. Some African countries were already being used to recycle and dump e-waste. The shipping won’t be as cheap, but recycling’s next stop is likely to be Africa where environmentalists will turn it into a trash heap … to protect the environment.

Recycling is a trashy romance. Let it end.

Posted under Africa, China, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 27, 2018

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