Davos goes down 1

Have those arrogant globalist elites trying to rule the world been stopped at last?

Have the nationalists, slowly awaking from their passivity and apathy to vote for Brexit and Donald Trump, to put on yellow vests and shout angrily in the streets of their Western cities, stopped them?

We quote Michael Barone writing at Investor’s Business Daily on 2/1/2019:

Turnout at Davos was lousy this year. President Trump, preoccupied by the government shutdown, was a no-show at last week’s World Economic Forum there. So were British Prime Minister Theresa May (Brexit) and French President Emanuel Macron (“gilets jaunes”). Chinese President Xi Jinping, Davos’ 2018 star, and Russian President Vladimir Putin weren’t there either. Neither were some of the usual financial and media big names.

From all of this, you might get the impression that the world’s political, financial and media elites have lost much of their prestige these days, which, of course, they have.

It’s an enormous contrast with elites’ sunny confidence, over much of the quarter century after the fall of the Soviet Union, that they could remake the world … 

Consider Mexico. The NAFTA trade agreement was proposed by the Reagan administration, negotiated by the Bush administration and ratified by the Clinton administration, with plenty of support from both parties, especially Texans (Lloyd Bentsen, the Bushes) close to the border. They hoped to make Mexico more like the United States, and to regularize Mexican immigration.

There has been some convergence, with life in much of Mexico resembling Texas, but also with large parts of California resembling Mexico. Illegal immigration surged up until the 2007 economic crisis.

Even more ambitious was the bipartisan elites’ project of bringing China into the world trading system. The hope was that an increasingly prosperous Chinese populace would demand more freedom and democracy. That hasn’t happened; instead, Xi Jinping has regressed toward one-man rule.

Meanwhile, serious academic studies have substantiated non-elite charges that Chinese imports have cost America hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. In return, American consumers have been able to buy clothes, toys and gadgets at increasingly low prices. But for many, it is at the cost of the dignity and sense of self-worth achieved by earning a paycheck.

The chief project of European elites, the “ever-closer” European Union, has arguably worked out worse. The Euro currency that was supposed to tie Europe together has instead (as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher predicted) widened the rift between the Mediterranean countries and an increasingly dominant Germany. Britain voted for Brexit — leaving the EU — in 2016, and elites, despite astonishing contempt for voters, have so far failed to reverse that verdict. …

In each case, these elites have underestimated the force and persistence of national cultures

Perhaps the success of American military leaders in transforming post-World War II Germany and Japan turned out to be misleading. Those two countries drew on ethical and parliamentary traditions rooted in those societies and not wholly destroyed by short periods of dominance by Nazi thugs and murderous militarists. Mexico and China have different traditions, and there is no vital tradition of European unity.

Elites are impatient with people they regard as their inferiors. If you question Eurocrats’ undemocratic drive for an “ever-closer Union”, you are told that without the EU, France and Germany would once again go to war — obvious nonsense. If you advise more respect for nationalist traditions, you are told that all nationalists are Nazis — obvious nonsense again.

If you say that competition from low-wage workers in Mexico and China might cause substantial job loss in the United States, you are told what every college grad learns in Economics 101 (but what sounds counterintuitive to non-college grads), that free trade benefits both importers and exporters. You can argue that Mexican immigration and Chinese job competition peaked before 2007, but they still obviously rankle many voters.

So the political, financial and media elites have taken beatings at the ballot box … Their failures to make course corrections and their lack of respect for decent nationalism have been costly. Something to talk about if they slink back to Davos next year.

“Slink back” is good!

But to answer our opening questions: No, there is still many a battle ahead before Merkel, Macron and May – probably never accepting that they were wrong – are driven from power. The rickety EU is not yet about to be pushed over to explode in a cloud of dust. And in the US, because badly educated 18-24 year olds who have no stake in the economy are allowed to vote, there is a real danger of socialist environmentalist race-obsessed feminist globalists coming to power in the next decade.

The coming tyranny – nightmare or prophecy? 46

Is it likely, is it possible, that the people of the United States will vote to be ruled by Communists, feminists, and Muslim jihadis?

Yes. Some have already done so. New Democratic members of Congress include (left to right in the picture) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Hispanic) who has published a Stalinist agenda, and Rashida Tlaib (Palestinian) and Ilhan Omar (Somali) who are  annihilationist enemies of Jews and the state of Israel and support the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Democratic Party is now a party of the extreme Left, with a Socialist and pro-Islam platform. It will do anything to take power including voter fraud. And the rising generation of voters has been indoctrinated at school and college to favor Socialism, Islam, and tribalism; to despise the US itself; and to treat patriots, white people, Jews, Christians, conservatives, constitutionalists, nationalists, and heterosexual men as deviants, miscreants, and provocateurs.      

The Democrats in power will: make racist laws against Jews and white people; break the US alliance with Israel; ally with Russia, China, Cuba and Iran; heavily tax or totally confiscate your assets and savings; severely restrict your consumption of energy; limit the number of children you may have by enforcing abortion; criminalize nonconformist speech; monitor  your communications for punishable violations of their speech code; rewrite history nearer to their hearts’ desire.  

It will be one-party tyrannical rule. The United States will rapidly become poorer and weaker.

We have never hoped for any political outcome as much as we hope now that we are wrong.  

A Communist cure for poverty 4

The Dear Leaders who run a centrally planned economy have no way of knowing what consumers want, how much of anything they will buy, at what price. In the absence of a free market, which provides that information to producers continuously, a socialist government decides arbitrarily how much of anything it will order to be produced, whom it will order to buy the thing, how much the consumer must pay for it. It is a guessing game giving birth to stories such as those that came out of Communist Russia: the nail factory that produced only one nail five miles long; the shoe factory that produced only left-foot shoes.

Below we quote a true story from China recently reported by the Financial Times (a newspaper that is pink not only physically but ideologically, so not sternly against communist regimes), that reminds the aged among us of a joke that was popular when the transformation of nations into communist hellholes had only just begun:

A Communist addressing a crowd promises, “Come the revolution you’ll all be eating strawberries and cream.” Someone in the crowd shouts out, “But I don’t like strawberries and cream!” To which the speaker replies, “Come the revolution you’ll damn well have to like strawberries and cream!”

In today’s Communist China, it is not strawberries but potatoes and oranges that the people damn well have to like. (Although Communist China relented under the pressure of necessity to a mixed economy in 1978, such private enterprise as it allows is always subject to government approval.)

China is discovering that poverty alleviation can mean too much of a good thing.

Universities that bought crops from designated poor areas as part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s drive to eliminate poverty by 2020 are struggling to deal with a flood of produce, in a sign of how even the best-intentioned state planning can lead to a cascade of distortions.

Beijing tasked state-owned enterprises, city governments and even universities with helping to jump-start GDP growth in the nation’s poorest areas. …

For universities, buying crops from designated poor areas seemed like an easy way to support Mr Xi’s mandate. Now they are wondering what to do with them all.  Beijing has promoted potatoes as an alternative crop for areas such as Meigu county in Sichuan province where land has been degraded, even though there is little market demand for the crop in a country where rice is the staple

Pity the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, which joined other institutions in Chengdu in a deal to buy five tonnes of potatoes every few days from mountainous Meigu county, 400km south-west of the city. The contract runs until the end of 2020. 

That has left the cooks at Southwestern University with too many tubers on their hands. Their solution was to hold a week-long potato-eating campaign in November. The cafeteria churned out spicy fries, stir-fried beef and potato, and even potato vermicelli. Cooks managed to get through 6.5 tonnes of potatoes in five days.

“It felt like the whole place had been taken over by potatoes,” one student told the Financial Times. “I ate potatoes almost every day that week.” 

The Chengdu universities also agreed to buy the potatoes at a higher-than-market [so to speak] price, according to Zhang Xue at Longtou Company, an agricultural products dealer in Meigu.

“Our company buys potatoes from the farmers at Rmb1.6 (23 cents) per kilogramme. Meigu used to have several potato-processing factories and those factories bought potatoes at Rmb0.8 per kilogramme,” he said. “Now those factories have gone bankrupt because they can’t get cheap potatoes from the farmers any more.”  

Meigu and nearby counties — all of which are badly deforested because of excessive logging in the 1990s — have applied for World Bank assistance for industrial-scale agriculture, including more potato production, with nary a mention of how they plan to sell the increased output.

A Meigu official credited the potato policy with increasing agricultural yields. “In the past, the villagers usually sold agricultural products themselves at the local market,” he said, and used the rest to fatten their pigs. But the poverty-alleviation drive has led to the setting up of large-scale pig plants in the region, crowding out small breeders.

Meigu is not the only potato-producing region that has managed to find a buyer in a nation that rarely eats them. One state-owned enterprise in Beijing required every employee to purchase at least 20kg of potatoes from a village on the border with Mongolia.

A similar problem has cropped up for teachers in a district of Jinan, the capital of the eastern province of Shandong. They are each required to buy at least two boxes of oranges produced in Hunan, about 1,000km away. 

“How can we protest? The salary I get is just enough to make ends meet,” one teacher complained. “And now the government wants me to buy oranges for poverty alleviation.”

The poverty-alleviation drive involves more than selling crops. State-owned and private enterprises have ploughed billions of renminbi into local projects — and made sure they received tax breaks when they did so. Some are more inventive than others: for instance, property conglomerate Wanda built a tourism village in Guizhou where foreigners can apply to be mayor for a week

A week of play-play power in a town in China anyone?

Posted under China, communism, Economics by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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Chinese rot 3

If you can endure the racket in the beginning of this video, it is worth sticking with it – right through to the end.

It is about China rotting, falling into rubble.

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(Hat-tip to our FaceBook commenter, Bob Goyette)

Posted under China, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 7, 2019

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BLEXIT 2

So America “needs” to have a woman leader?

And she “should” preferably be black?

Your sex and race are not in themselves qualifications or disqualifications for leadership.

But intelligence is a qualification for it. So is political acumen. So are strength of character, determination to defend the Constitution, steadfast commitment to freedom and patriotism, competence, and the power to communicate. Especially if they are all present in one person.

They are all present in Candace Owens.

Candace Owens

And Candace Owens is calling for an exit of black voters from “the Democrat party”: 

When I uploaded my first video onto YouTube one year ago, I entitled it “Mom, Dad, I’m a Conservative.”

It was a two-minute satirical stab at the social exiling that many Americans face when they announce their conservatism to friends and family.

Soon thereafter I would discover that for black Americans, the punishment that awaits is far worse than any social exile: it is a full-court social lynching.

Search the name of any prominent black conservative and peruse the words written by liberal journalists:

Dr. Ben Carson is a “porch monkey”

Larry Elder is but an “Uncle Tom”

Kanye West is “in the sunken place”

Clarence Thomas is “a womanizer”

I have been branded a self-hating black, Nazi-sympathizer and rather astonishingly — a white supremacist.

The underlying sentiments are clear; black people are meant to think and act within the confines of what white liberals deem acceptable.

But while in the past the threat of slander has worked to lag the spreading of black conservatism, over this last year, I have observed something of the opposite effect.

In fact, what many have misdiagnosed as political tension between two ideologically disparate groups is actually something far greater, far more deep-rooted, and much more likely to alter the trajectory of this country as we know it.

Across America, black people are beginning to question political orthodoxy. We have been quietly building an ecosystem of free thinkers and at long last, the intellectual dam is breaking.

This unique moment will come to be known as BLEXIT: the black exit from the Democrat party.

BLEXIT is a national movement of minorities that have awakened to the truth. It is for those who have taken an objective look at our decades-long allegiance to the left and asked ourselves “what do we have to show for it?”

Beyond anything else, BLEXIT is a chant of freedom. It is a chorus of voices from across the country whose hearts are exploding with the realization that we are more than the color of our skin.

We are also more than a voting bloc.

We are Americans first and foremost and we will work to piece back together our broken communities — absent overreaching government structures, absent hand-outs, and alongside our American brothers and sisters.

The tides are shifting. New leaders are emerging to help steer open minds into the uncharted possibilities of our futures.

We need all of America to join us in this fight. No matter your skin color, we need you to take up metaphorical arms against the Democrat party. First, visit our website, BLEXIT.com, where you will find the hard truths about the bigoted racism within the Democrat party. Second, spread the word. Your voice matters to those who are looking to make an “exit” from the bondage of the Democrat party. Finally, stand for truth. This battle will be one of the most consequential culture wars in American history. Your support is needed to allow us to arm the next generation with the facts they need to be free.

The “Democrat party”, moving ever more to the Left and becoming ever more aligned with the worldwide socialist movement, presents itself as – even perhaps believes itself to be – characterized by concern for the underdog. The Party of Compassion. 

Socialism always advertised itself as a movement for the raising and empowerment, the “liberation”, of the oppressed: of the “workers of the world”, said Karl Marx; of the “outcasts and outsiders, the exploited and persecuted of other races and colors, the unemployed and unemployable”, said Herbert Marcuse, theorist of the New Left; of “the wretched of the earth”, said Frantz Fanon; of “women”, said the feminists; of “homosexuals” said some Leftists and later many; of “blacks”, they said in some places at some times and all of them eventually.

Blacks were not always classed by the prophets of the Left as worthy of liberation. Karl Marx was a fierce racist, despising blacks and Jews (though or because he was Jewish), and agreeing with Friedrich Engels that the Slavs should be wiped off the face of the earth. (See for instance here and here.)

In South Africa, in the early 20th century, the motto of the Communist Party was: “Workers of the world unite and fight for a white South Africa”. Then, in 1928, the Comintern decreed that the South African case must no longer be subjected to “class analysis”, but instead to “race analysis”, so the blacks replaced the white workers in the tender concern of Stalin’s Kremlin.

In the real world, the extreme oppression of all classes, both sexes, and all races by the self-proclaimed Parties of Compassion wherever they came to power – in Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba – has repeatedly and invariably demonstrated that the Left is actually characterized by hypocrisy.

And intense, dumb, unexamined, class snobbery.

Connoisseurs of irony can particularly savor the treatment meted out by the Left, and all the politically compassionate, to a genuine working-class rebel leader now that one such has finally arisen in Britain to defend young girls exploited and oppressed by Muslim immigrants. Yes, young girls and boys persecuted by rapists of other races and colors coming from the countries where the wretched of the earth proliferate. He is called Tommy Robinson. They look down on him. They not only call him a “neo-Nazi”, “bigot”, and “racist” – though he is none of those things – but also an “oik”, which means a person of low class, an uncouth person. It is an expression of sheer snobbery.

And what do the Leftists and their sympathizers who rage against President Trump hold against him? They say he is “vulgar”, that he has bad taste, that he is not of their class. Right – the  Latin word “vulgus” means the common people. Although he is rich and the rich are the upper class of America, they say he lacks the necessary refinement of the socially superior.

It wasn’t the compassionate snobs but the workers of America who voted for Donald Trump to be president. And very many who were poor before he came to power are now in well-paying jobs.

And it is a black woman who is leading the movement she calls BLEXIT, whereby the blacks of America, in numbers yet to be counted, will take their votes away from the Democrat party and give them instead to the Party of Trump.

The world’s first digital totalitarian state 1

A Communist regime has to be totalitarian. It cannot allow any degree of freedom. It cannot permit dissent.

China has experimented with capitalism. Now it is reverting to full tyranny:

Xi Jinping is not merely an authoritarian leader …  He is taking China back to totalitarianism as he seeks Mao-like control over all aspects of society.

So writes Gordon Chang at Gatestone, explaining how the Chinese state is enabled by technology to become like Orwell’s Big Brother with total surveillance of the population all the time.

By 2020, Chinese officials plan to have about 626 million surveillance cameras operating throughout the country. Those cameras will, among other things, feed information into a national “social credit system”.

That system, when it is in place in perhaps two years, will assign to every person in China a constantly updated score based on observed behaviors. For example, an instance of jaywalking, caught by one of those cameras, will result in a reduction in score.

Although officials might hope to reduce jaywalking, they seem to have far more sinister ambitions, such as ensuring conformity to Communist Party political demands. In short, the government looks as if it is determined to create what the Economist called “the world’s first digital totalitarian state“. …

Chinese officials … tell us the purpose of the initiative is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”.

That description is not an exaggeration. Officials prevented Liu Hu, a journalist, from taking a flight because he had a low score. …

“I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to a private school,” Liu said. “You feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time.”

The system is designed to control conduct by giving the ruling Communist Party the ability to administer punishments and hand out rewards.

Hou Yunchun, a former deputy director of the State Council’s development research center, said at a forum in Beijing in May that the social credit system should be administered so that “discredited people become bankrupt”. …

Not every official has such a vindictive attitude, but it appears that all share the assumption, as the dovish Zhi Zhenfeng of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said, that “discredited people deserve legal consequences”.

President Xi Jinping, the final and perhaps only arbiter in China, has made it clear how he feels about the availability of second chances. “Once untrustworthy, always restricted,” the Chinese ruler says.

What happens, then, to a country where only the compliant are allowed to board a plane or be rewarded with discounts for government services? No one quite knows because never before has a government had the ability to constantly assess everyone and then enforce its will. The People’s Republic has been more meticulous in keeping files and ranking residents than previous Chinese governments, and computing power and artificial intelligence are now giving China’s officials extraordinary capabilities. …

Chinese leaders have long been obsessed with what then-President Jiang Zemin in 1995 called “informatization, automation, and intelligentization”, and they are only getting started. Given the capabilities they are amassing, they could, the argument goes, make defiance virtually impossible.

Xi Jinping … evidently believes the Party must have absolute control over society and he must have absolute control over the Party. … Already Chinese officials are trying to use artificial intelligence to predict anti-Party behavior.

Are all rulers tempted to control the population totally? Without constitutional restraints, how many democracies would find their leader turning into a monarch? Especially if technology makes it possible.

We can all too easily imagine a Barack Obama, a Jerry Brown, a Bernie Sanders, a Cory Booker succumbing to the totalitarian temptation.

Technology might even make liberal democracy and free-markets “obsolete” writes Yuval Noah Harari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Atlantic. “The main handicap of authoritarian regimes in the 20th century — the desire to concentrate all information and power in one place — may become their decisive advantage in the 21st century.

Gordon Chang continues:

The dominant narrative in the world’s liberal democracies is that tech favors totalitarianism.

And he warns:

Beijing is almost certain to extend the social credit system, which has roots in attempts to control domestic enterprises, to foreign companies. Let us remember that Chinese leaders this year have taken on the world’s travel industry by forcing hotel chains and airlines to show Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China, so they have demonstrated determination to intimidate and punish. Once the social credit system is up and running, it would be a small step to include non-Chinese into that system, extending Xi’s tech-fueled totalitarianism to the entire world.

World-domination has always been the ultimate aim of Communism, from Karl Marx to the United Nations’ Man-Made Global Warmists.

So the wonderful inventions of free men in a free country, who had the spare time and acquired the capital to develop their ideas, are proving the best instruments for the destruction of freedom!  And oddly enough, most of the Inventors have no objection to abusive exploitation of their technologies. The inventors and tycoons of Twitter, Google, Facebook are adamantly socialist-minded.

Invention is individual. It happens only in freedom. Ironically, once total control is achieved by means of the great technological inventions of our age, there will be no more invention.

Communist totalitarian societies are stagnant. And stagnation is a long slow death.

Posted under China, Totalitarianism by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 24, 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.

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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Socialism rising for demons and dummies 4

 

Commenting on what is said in this video, John Hinderaker writes ironically, shockingly, and accurately at PowerLine:

[The] entertaining video of Tucker Carlson and Cornel West … offers a good explanation of why socialism always fails, from the perspective of the vast majority. … Tucker asked West: If democratic socialism works, why doesn’t Venezuela have toilet paper?

Of course West’s answers are lame –“real” socialism has never been tried, blah, blah, blah. You could infer from this that West is an idiot and, if he were arguing in good faith, that would be a fair assessment.

But I think the truth is worse. I think the leaders of the socialist movement are perfectly well aware that the inevitable result of socialism is tyranny and mass poverty. But for them, this isn’t a bug, it is a feature. In fact, it is the whole point. Socialism is now, and always has been, a pretext under which power-mad psychopaths seize power and terrorize their fellow humans.

Viewed with cold realism, socialism works very well for those who bring it about. It worked for Lenin and Stalin. It almost worked for Trotsky, but socialism is like Game of Thrones – it is a risky business. It didn’t work for the Old Bolsheviks for the same reason: they lost out to the more vicious and more power-crazed socialist, Stalin. It worked for Yezhov, Yagoda and Beria, although they, too, lost out after years of demented revels. It worked for Khruschev, Brezhnev and Andropov.

Socialism worked for Mao. It worked for Fidel Castro. It worked for Erich Honecker and Nicolae Ceaușescu, until the very end. It worked for Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, again with sad ends that didn’t inflict anywhere near enough pain to negate the years of glory and power that went before. It worked for Hugo Chavez, who like Castro, parlayed socialism into a multi-billion dollar fortune, and it has worked so far for Nicolas Maduro. All of these psychopaths, and many others, got exactly what they wanted out of socialism. From their point of view, it is a successful ideology.

While the vast majority suffer under socialism, such suffering is by no means universal. Any number of commissars, Stasi informants, Cuban snitches, petty apparatchiks with dachas, etc., have parlayed their sadistic tendencies into good livings and what they want most, power over others. If you follow Twitter, or generally pay attention to the American Left, you see an army of would-be commissars who yearn for the day when they can accuse a neighbor of wrongthink and have him sent to an American Gulag. In the meantime, they settle for mob action, “doxxing,” and so on.

Socialism isn’t misguided, it is evil. Socialism isn’t a failure, any more than the Black Death was a failure. Sadly, it has worked all too well for more than a century. 

Those cunning human demons who get power, riches, and sadistic satisfaction out of imposing Socialism, need dumb believers to let them impose it.

Kurt Schlichter, a master of sardonic derision, writes at Townhall:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is less hideously unattractive than the usual Democrat potentate or potentatette and has therefore been anointed the new face of her pathetic party. This dumb woman, who looks like Huma Abedin without the pedohubby and the weird relationship with Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, took advantage of her even dumber New York district in order to get elected to Congress by calling herself a “socialist”.  Yeah, the subject of a thousand Trader Joe’s house brand chardonnay toasts is a proud adherent of the ideology that butchered 100 million people in the last century. …

Ocasio-Cortez is an idiot, like all adolescent socialists, so she qualified to be the Great Pinko Hope for a party in decline. Here’s how bad she is – she apparently went to college, got a degree in economics, and still ended up a socialist. If she went to med school, she would have probably left a chain smoker.

As for life experience, she was a bartender. Now, being a bartender is an important occupation that provides demonstrable social benefits, and everyone should have at least one crappy job on their resume because it builds character, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you’ve ever done if you want to be in Congress. …

It was only a fun job for her anyway. Not a necessary one. Contrary to what she pretended – in typical socialist style – she did not grow up in the Bronx (though she was born there). She is the daughter of a successful architect and grew up in one of the richest counties in America.

The left is always trying to make [Socialism] happen. It’s not going to happen, not least of which because us militant Normals have about 400 million or so guns and we aren’t super excited about giving up our stuff or our freedom to a bunch of Marxist weirdos who think we should work harder so their voter base doesn’t have to. But they keep trying to sell us this polished fecal matter of an ideology. In 2009, they put Obama’s smug mug on the cover of Newsweek and announced “We’re all socialists now, but it soon became obvious that we aren’t anything like socialists now. And, in fact, Newsweek is barely anything at all now, though under socialism, instead of teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it would be nationalized and we’d all be working to subsidize it so its hack staff could keep their loser sinecures.

A few years later, they tried again by releasing Bernie Sanders from the Old Commies Home to nearly beat Stumbles McMyTurn. That failed and now it’s this nitwit’s turn to spray perfume inside the outhouse.

Naturally, the Pink Dummy was summoned to make the rounds of MSNBCNN in the wake of her win over some other liberal tool. This avatar of a failed nineteenth century death cult was hailed as the future of the Democrats because as the leftist precincts in New York City go, so goes America. She did the same tap dance about socialism that all these twits do – see, socialism isn’t scary. Why, “socialism” is just another word for things we all do together, except when the socialists are in charge they kill you if you defy them. …

Pampered spawn of history’s most prosperous and freest society, these goofs are really excited about something they can barely articulate, so they sputter and spit out words like “justice” and “equality” and then get on their iPhones to call their disappointed dads because they are short on cash …

It’s amusing that so many of us Normals understand socialism better than the socialists do not only in terms of what Marx said, and what history says, but in terms of firsthand knowledge. A lot of us Normals have seen socialism up close and personal. Guys like me actually went and lived in its ruins. If you spent significant time, as I have, in the former Yugoslavia, or Ukraine, or even helping to guard the West German border from those friendly fraternal socialist dudes to the east, you’ll be stripped of any illusions about that garbage ideology.

Socialism is about taking your stuff and your freedom and killing you if you complain. They try to pass it off as just Liberalism 2.0, but then you usually don’t call something by a name unless you mean it. If they don’t mean “socialism” why do they call themselves “socialists”?

They use the term, counting on the stupidity of people educated in public schools (Yah government!), but they are coy about what they really mean. They always point to Sweden and Denmark and Norway when they talk about “socialism”, as if those were their role models … Yet, how come we always see the most excited champagne socialists trekking off to visit the dictators in Havana and Caracas and not the elected leaders in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo?

Venezuela is the socialist paradise that dare not be spoken of. I guess when people are so equal they all have to break into the zoo to eat the zebras, equality stops sounding so awesome.

But see, Venezuela isn’t true socialism. Nothing is ever true socialism, which is super convenient since any country that has ever dabbled in socialism tends to run short of food, medicine, and toilet paper. But I bet smart people like Gulag Barbie can totally make socialism work this time, and you’ll be prosperous and free and have your own pet unicorn.

They are always sure to stick the “democratic” in front of the “socialism” when they try to sell it to the suckers, but that’s a grift. Do they contend that if we vote in socialism and find that it sucks – as every single country that has tried it has found – we can vote it out again? Yeah, uh huh. Seems legit.

[But] Socialism is a train that, once you board, never stops except if you derail it – which we would have every moral right to do if this hateful creed were imposed upon us.

You see, socialism is the doctrine [by which] people like you and I get to slave away for the benefit of the people those in charge decide are worthy – especially those in charge. …

Socialism means what’s theirs is theirs and so is what’s yours. Our private property – what we have worked for and accumulated over decades – is no longer ours. It’s theirs, to be done with – to be redistributed – as those in power wish. And if you object, they will send people with guns to make you comply.

In contrast, in freedom and capitalism, the people with guns protect you from having what’s yours taken.

They don’t say it, but we Normals are the engine that they intend to power their socialism. We’re supposed to continue working and building and creating just as hard as we did when we kept the rewards. Note how the recipients of socialism – the elite, the bums, the hipster doofuses with their stupid Che T-shirts – never seem to expect that they might be asked to sacrifice too? We’re supposed to give up our property and labor to benefit them, but what do they contribute? New grievances? …

Marxgirl wants to start off with free college, which means you pay for other people’s college too. Notice how there’s no expectation that her fans contribute toward the benefit they are receiving? And then she’s for free health care, which means you pay for other people’s doctors too. Again, the recipients are not expected to work for their own benefit. Want to guess what she wants to do with the means of production? And with private property? And the rights of people who oppose her schemes?

Oh, and she’s also for banning guns. Gee, I wonder why.

A huge achievement 20

Splendid pageantry

What did President Trump say to Xi Jinping of China that persuaded Xi to say what to Kim Jong-un of North Korea who said what to Moon Jae-in of South Korea to bring about the reunification of Korea, the denuclearization of North Korea, talks between the US and North Korea … ?

It is a massive change, a huge development – an astonishing achievement. But whose?

We venture to say it is primarily President Donald Trump’s achievement.

From Breitbart:

The leaders of North and South Korea agreed Friday to pursue a permanent peace and the complete denuclearization of the divided peninsula, as they embraced after a historic summit laden with symbolism.

In a day of bonhomie including a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two countries, the pair issued a declaration on “the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula”.

Upon signing the document, the two leaders shared a warm embrace, the culmination of a summit filled with smiles and displays of friendship in front of the world’s media.

They also agreed that they would this year seek a permanent end to the Korean War, 65 years after the hostilities ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

Moon would visit Pyongyang in “the fall”, the two leaders said, also agreeing to hold “regular meetings and direct telephone conversations”.

The so-called Panmunjom Declaration capped an extraordinary day unthinkable only months ago, as the nuclear-armed North carried out a series of missile launches and its sixth atomic blast.

Kim said he was “filled with emotion” after stepping over the concrete blocks into the South, making him the first North Korean leader to set foot there since the shooting stopped in the Korean War.

At Kim’s impromptu invitation the two men briefly crossed hand-in-hand into the North before walking to the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom for the summit — only the third of its kind since hostilities ceased in 1953.

“I came here determined to send a starting signal at the threshold of a new history,” said Kim.

After the summit, he pledged that the two Koreas will ensure they did not “repeat the unfortunate history in which past inter-Korea agreements … fizzled out after beginning”.

The two previous Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, both of them in Pyongyang, also ended with displays of affection and similar pledges, but the agreements ultimately came to naught.

With the North’s atomic arsenal high on the agenda, South Korean President Moon Jae-in responded that the North’s announced moratorium on nuclear testing and long-range missile launches was “very significant”.

It was the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy, and intended to pave the way for a much-anticipated encounter between Kim and US President Donald Trump. …

The White House said it hoped the summit would “achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula”.

Trump has demanded the North give up its weapons, and Washington is pressing for it to do so in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way.

When Kim visited the North’s key backer Beijing last month in only his first foreign trip as leader, China’s state media cited him as saying that the issue could be resolved, as long as Seoul and Washington take “progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace”.

Our guess is that Xi summoned Kim to give him stern orders, but allowed the visit to seem simply a ceremonial state occasion, with smiling faces and displays of mutual respect. But Kim was given no choice.

Okay, it wasn’t just something President Trump said to Xi Jinping that prompted him to persuade Kim Jong-un to seek glory in promoting peace and reconciliation rather than threatening nuclear war.

President Trump was ably assisted by the laws of physics:

Also from Breitbart:

When North Korea performed its most recent nuclear weapon test on September 3 of last year at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, seismologists outside North Korea detected an “earthquake” that followed the test itself. Concerns were expressed that the earthquake was actually a partial collapse of Mount Mantap, where the Punggye-ri site is located, and that nuclear radiation had been released. Unconfirmed reports later said that tunnel collapses had killed hundreds of North Korean workers. …

Chinese geologists [warned] North Korean nuclear scientists that further nuclear tests at Mount Mantap risked a nuclear catastrophe, if the mountain collapsed in an explosion, releasing large amounts of radiation that could contaminate large regions of North Korea and northeast China for decades to come.

Now, two groups of Chinese researchers – one from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, and the second from the Jilin Earthquake Agency with the China Earthquake Administration in Changchun – have both reached similar conclusions: That Mount Mantap did in fact collapse after North Korea’s last nuclear weapons test on September 3 of last year.

Here’s the summary from China’s Earthquake Administration:

Seismology illuminates physical processes occurring during underground explosions, not all yet fully understood. The thus far strongest North Korean test of 3 September 2017 was followed by a moderate seismic event (mL 4.1) after 8.5 min. … North Korea detonated its strongest underground nuclear test in September 2017. It attracted the public interest worldwide not only due to its significant magnitude (6.3 mb) but also because it was followed 8.5 min later by a weaker event. Was the delayed shock a secondary explosion, an earthquake provoked by the shot, or something else? We answer these questions. … According to our model, the explosion created a cavity and a damaged “chimney” of rocks above it. The aftershock was neither a secondary explosion nor a triggered tectonic earthquake. It occurred due to a process comparable to a “mirror image” of the explosion, that is, a rock collapse, or compaction, for the first time documented in North Korea’s test site.

The USTC study is awaiting publication, but a summary says, “The occurrence of the collapse should deem the underground infrastructure beneath mountain Mantap not be used for any future nuclear tests.”

A Beijing-based analyst points out that another nuclear test at the site would destabilize not only Mount Mantap but also Changbai Mountain, the site of an active volcano at the China-Korea border. …

[So] North Korea promised [China in the first instance, presumably – ed] to end all nuclear and missile tests and shut down Punggye-ri, North Korea’s nuclear test site.

Shutting down the nuclear test site was particularly hailed by the international media that North Korea’s child dictator Kim Jong-un was turning into a nice guy, willing to compromise and all that. Now the laughable news emerges that the nuclear test site is being shut down because another test would risk a nuclear catastrophe, according to Chinese scientists. …

The collapse of Mantap Mountain represents a collapse of a major part of North Korea’s negotiating position.

With the approach of the forthcoming meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, Trump has said repeatedly that he was demanding denuclearization – that the North destroy all its nuclear weapons. Kim had the threat of reopening the nuclear test site and performing more tests. But now that threat is gone, and even though the North can do further nuclear development, they can never be sure that their developments will work unless they test them.

And again from Breitbart:

President Donald Trump indicated he believed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was sincere about pushing for peace and announcing his interest in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

“No. I don’t think he’s playing,” Trump said, praising the progress made in the North and South Korea peace process so far. …

Trump said he understood skepticism about Jong-un’s intentions, pointing to the history of American presidents failing to deliver lasting peace in the region.

“Yeah I agree, the United States has been played beautifully like a fiddle, because you’ve had a different kind of a leader,” he said. “We’re not going to be played O.K.? We’re going to hopefully make a deal, if we don’t that’s fine.”

Trump also praised China’s President Xi Jinping, calling him “extremely helpful to me” on the ongoing negations.

“This isn’t like past administrations – we don’t play games,” Trump said.

And that is why, if the reunification of Korea and the denuclearization of North Korea does come about, it is President Trump who will deserve the world’s gratitude.

 

Update:

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha credits President Trump for the progress being made. “Clearly credit goes to President Trump. He’s been determined to come to grips with this from day one,” Kyung-wha said.

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