The UN must be destroyed 1

Is there any benefit whatsoever to be derived by the human race, or any portion of it large or small, from the iniquitous United Nations?

Our answer: none.

Lloyd Billingsley writes at Front Page:

[This month, October 2020] Cuba and the People’s Republic of China, both longstanding Communist dictatorships, gained election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The move should come as no surprise because the UN tilted to Communist states from the start.

In the waning days of World War II, Stalin’s foreign minister Andrei Gromyko suggested …  Alger Hiss as the first UN Secretary General …

He was appointed. So the first [“acting”] Secretary General of the UN was a Soviet spy working in the US State Department. …

The newfound UN did nothing to liberate eastern Europe from Soviet control. When Hungarians rebelled in 1956, the UN under Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld stood by as the Soviet Communists crushed the rebellion … 

The UN had nothing to say against the brutal repression of the Hungarians by the USSR. But at the same time (October/November, 1956) roundly condemned Britain, France and Israel for attempting to stop President Nasser of Egypt from nationalizing the (British and French owned) Suez Canal. The UN sent an armed (but totally impotent) group to “supervise” the withdrawal of the three nations’ forces when they gave up their intervention under pressure from President Eisenhower.

The Soviet Union retained control of eastern Europe, and from 1972 to 1981 made gains in southeast Asia, Africa and Central America. The UN Secretary General at the time was Kurt Waldheim, … a former Nazi in a Sturmtruppen unit that executed thousands of Yugoslav partisans and civilians and deported thousands of Greek Jews to death camps from 1942 to 1944. None of that appears in Waldheim’s official UN biography.

… [In Cambodia the Communist] Khmer Rouge murdered nearly two million people, approximately one-fourth of the population, … executed thousands of babies by smashing their heads against a tree, and forced prisoners to dig their own graves before killing them with clubs to save bullets.

The UN looked on, unmoved. It saw nothing it didn’t like.

From 1974 to 1987 the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was Amabou-Mahtar M’Bow of Senegal, a Muslim … On M’Bow’s watch, UNESCO funded the PLO and violent Marxist movements around the world. UNESCO served as cover for a dozen of the 47 KGB spies expelled by France in 1983.

UNESCO promoted the “New World Information and Communication Order”, a Soviet-style effort to quash free speech and repress journalists. When the French L’Express described M’Bow as a “megalomaniac despot”, the UNESCO boss sued the publication. M’Bow’s excesses prompted U.S. President Ronald Reagan to pull the United States out of UNESCO in 1984.

Communist China has occupied Tibet since the 1950s and the UN looks the other way. Likewise, the United Nations did nothing about China’s Communist dictatorship under Mao Zedong, with an estimated 65 million victims by the worst mass murder of the 20th century, easily surpassing Stalin and Hitler. During the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, Mao bragged, “We have buried alive 46,000 scholars.”

This genocidal dictatorship now lands on the UN Human Rights Council, along with fellow Communist state Cuba and such reputable upholders of human rights as Bolivia, Venezuela, and Pakistan which sheltered Osama bin Laden.

The United States withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 and President Trump stopped funding the World Health Organization, part of the UN and a PRC asset.

The United States is the biggest funder of the United Nations but remains its primary target, along with Israel. President Trump should continue his momentum by withdrawing the United States from the UN, now headed by former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres, from 1992 to 1999 vice president of the Socialist International. 

The UN has done no good and much harm. Paid for by the United States but always dominated by Communist and Islamic tyrannies, it is a profoundly evil institution which the Western world should never have tolerated.

THE UN MUST BE DESTROYED!

Betrayal 16

In general we are pessimists. (Our pessimism is made bearable, however, by laughter.) We have a view of human nature fitting what Thomas Sowell calls the “tragic vision”, which, he observes, underlies the conservative cast of mind. But we do have times when we allow ourselves optimism. As now, when we forecast a big win for President Trump in the forthcoming election.

So we do not believe that the gloomy predictions of the writer we quote below – though we agree that he makes an accurate depiction of what our enemies aim to do – will actually happen. But we share his sense of frustration that the Durham Report – expected by Trump supporters with as much eagerness as Christians expect a “Second Coming” or “The Rapture” – is being deliberately withheld from the electorate now, when it is most urgently needed. Its information concerning the attempt the Democrats made to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump belongs to the electorate and is vital to the choice that voters must make. 

Chris Farrell writes at Gatestone:

Attorney General William Barr is on a Capitol Hill whispering campaign to select Republicans, telling them that US Attorney John Durham will not move against the anti-Trump coup plotters before election day. One wonders if he has bothered to tell President Donald J. Trump. The consequences for the republic are dire. We slide ever closer to being a failed state. When the justice system is compromised – and it is – we are no better than any other banana republic.

No exaggeration. In mid-July, Obamagate indictments were overdue. It is mid-October.

The disparities in federal prosecutorial discretion and speed are astounding. Durham has been at work since May 14, 2019, and one third-stringer flunky DoJ attorney (Clinesmith) has entered a half-hearted semi-plea deal for criminally lying about Carter Page’s relationship with the CIA supposedly as a cooperating legal traveler who was debriefed on his trips to Russia.

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

If you are a targeted member (or even a spectator) of the Trump circle, your house is raided by the FBI with (carefully coordinated) CNN coverage; your family is humiliated in public; you are bankrupted; then indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for overdue parking tickets. That whole process takes about a month. There is some exaggeration here, but not by much. Remember: Trump was impeached over Adam Schiff’s phony Ukraine hoax in two months. …

The greatest criminal conspiracy to attack the constitution and overturn the results of a presidential election is being greeted with a yawn. The Republican Party can barely generate the energy to lift its head off the desk. “Journalists” within the news media do not report factual developments, and those who do find their Internet presence suppressed by the social media giants. …

President Trump has issued order after order for the past three years – demanding full declassification and release of all records dealing with the Hillary Clinton’s outlaw email server and the Russia Hoax. For three years, his White House staff has cheerfully answered, “Yes, sir!” – and then gone out in the hallway to rationalize and conspire towards failing to energetically and faithfully carry out the Commander-in-Chief’s orders. It is loathsome and despicable how the President has been betrayed.

Here are the consequences for the picture painted before you: we are in serious danger of the “fundamental transformation” of America that some politicians dreamed of coming to fruition:

One party is effectively saying it will pack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with politically friendly judges, so that the judiciary will be an extension of one political party rather than part of a system of checks and balances, the separation of powers or a co-equal branch of government. One party is openly saying it will remove the electoral college, so that sparsely populated, rural states would be totally outvoted by cities. One party is openly saying that it would add more states, such as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, to provide it with more Senators to create a permanent one-party rule. One party is openly saying it would reverse core parts of our Bill of Rights so we could be jailed for exercising our freedom of speech, or for owning a gun to defend ourselves, as the minutemen did, against “enemies foreign and domestic”. 

This was the situation that brought about the downfall of Venezuela: the government confiscated guns, then people had no way of protecting themselves when the storm troopers showed up. We would have had a good run as a democratic republic – but the country will be fundamentally and permanently disfigured in a way that will make it unrecognizable. The crime and the cover-up will have been successfully completed. No scrutiny, no justice, no consequences, no memory, no country. The real shame, as in Venezuela, is that many will not even notice until it is too late.

He is right about what the consequences would be – but their coming upon us depends on a Democrat victory. Such a victory would indeed be a “serious danger”. He seems to think it might well happen. We don’t.

The release of the Durham report could ensure that it doesn’t happen.

We don’t even know why it is not being released. We need – at least – to be told why.

This is socialism 1

Vote Democrat and you can have this too.

 

Posted under Socialism, Venezuela, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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The hypocrite of Turtle Bay 1

The United Nations MUST be abolished. 

It is evil and it does evil. Nothing but evil.

This organization is the most blatant hypocrite of all the hypocritical institutions in the world. More so even than the churches. And though hypocrisy is, as La Rochefoucauld said, the “tribute vice pays to virtue”, this hypocrite’s continued existence is an insult to the entire human race.

Hypocrisy House in Turtle Bay, N.Y.

Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone:

As accusations of “institutional racism” in organizations, professions, universities and cultural institutions continue to make the headlines, no one is calling out the institutional racism of the United Nations (UN).

What is institutional racism? The first entry on Google tells you, “Institutional racism is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization”.

If you google “racism”, a Google dictionary defines it as:

Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

The UN counts all the states in the world as its members, and all are ostensibly equal under international law, to which the UN claims to adhere. According to its own rationale, therefore, all the member states in the UN should be treated equally by the organization’s various bodies and be judged according to the same standards. If the UN would systematically single out a minority of only one member state to be condemned for alleged human rights abuses for example, while completely ignoring the documented human rights abuses of an entire host of member states, this double-standard would amount to systematic discrimination, or “racism”, against that state according to the definition of “institutional racism” mentioned above.

This form of systematic discrimination, or “racism”, is in fact what the UN has been engaging in for decades against one country, Israel, a tiny state of roughly 8.7 million citizens – with a landmass roughly the size of New Jersey — out of a total world population of 7.8 billion people:

The UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the UN Commission on Human Rights have passed a large number of resolutions and decisions against Israel. According to the human rights non-governmental organization (NGO), UN Watch:

Every year, the General Assembly adopts some 20 resolutions against Israel and only 5 or 6 against the rest of the world combined, with one each on Iran, Syria and North Korea. The General Assembly adopts zero resolutions on systematic abusers like Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia.

The discrimination is too obvious to ignore. There are 193 member states in the UN. For 20 resolutions a year to be lobbed at the only democratic country in the Middle East, which actually observes human rights and equality under the law — but only 5 or 6 at the remaining 192 states, which include major violators of international law such as China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Nigeria and Iran — speaks of an extremely ingrained form of state-sponsored discrimination or “racism”.

China, a state of 1.4 billion people, continues to be the number one executioner in the world …  The Chinese Communist regime ruthlessly persecutes ethnic and religious minorities, and withholds from its own citizens the most basic human rights, such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly, as previously reported by Gatestone Institute. Every one of those rights is enshrined in the UN’s own conventions and declarations. …  Even though China is a leading violator of international law and one of the most outrageous abusers of human rights, neither the General Assembly nor the UNHRC has condemned its actions.

There are countless other examples of UN member states who do not live up to even a fraction of the UN’s treaties and declarations of human rights, yet those countries are never called out. The UNHRC has not passed a single resolution against Saudi Arabia, for instance, a country of more than 33 million people that largely continues to operate according to medieval human rights standards, despite the efforts of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to effect some reforms. Last year, the kingdom surpassed its own record for executions …  when it beheaded 184 people. Saudi Arabia only decided to end flogging a few months ago. The desert country, which takes up most of the Arabian Peninsula, also still operates a male guardianship system, which treats women as legal minors, so that they usually can only travel and perform the most mundane tasks, such as applying for a passport, under the supervision of a male guardian. …

There are countless other examples of countries with atrocious human rights records that are not only not called out by the UN and its human rights bodies, but actually serve on those bodies; countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia, which all currently serve on the UN Human Rights Council. …

Even the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), at its annual assembly, assigns Israel its own separate agenda item, number 14. In it, every year, Israel is condemned as a violator of “Palestinian health rights” in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”.

In fact, Israel provides free medical care to thousands of Arabs hurt in the ongoing war in Syria, and medical treatment and aid of all sorts to Palestinians.

The UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) “dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women”, also routinely singles out Israel for condemnation for “violating women’s rights” [which it does not, of course – ed], while countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and Iran, some of the world’s most dangerous countries for women, are not even mentioned. Not only is there no condemnation of Saudi Arabia — where women are still treated as legal minors, and where campaigners for basic women’s rights face long prison sentences — but Saudi Arabia was even elected to the CSW a few years ago to assist in the task of “promoting women’s rights”.

Regrettably, almost all UN member states, apart from the United States, appear to find this discriminatory treatment of just one country in the world to be completely normal and as matters should be. There is simply a whopping international double-standard here on what passes as institutional racism and what does not — and it needs to be acknowledged.

Ironically, the institutional racism against Israel at the UN takes the focus away from countries that are in acute need of scrutiny — which is possibly the reason for its success. Countries where women have few to no rights, where political opponents are tortured and stashed away in prisons or killed, and where people cannot speak their minds freely, get a pass. At the very least, people might question whether an organization that has made discrimination against one country in the world one of its operating principles — as institutionalized in permanent agenda items and almost ritual condemnations — is worth the exorbitant cost. The United States, for instance, as the organization’s single largest donor, in 2018 funded the UN to the tune of $10 billion.

At a minimum, instead of paying a mandatory “slightly less than one-fifth of the body’s collective budget” every year, the US — and the UN — would fare far better if the US paid for what it wanted and got what it paid for. At present, the UN has long ceased being a force for good [it never was – ed] and is being used, first, to prop up its majority of un-transparent, unaccountable anti-democratic despots, and second, to perpetuate conflicts — largely at the US taxpayers’ expense.

UNITED NATIONS DELENDA EST!

The pursuit of happiness 57

Gentlefolk in the 18th. century thought that to try to live happily was a reasonable aim, to judge by the statement of the great authors of the US Declaration of Independence. To them it appeared “self-evident” that every person had a “right” (“endowed by their Creator”, or, in other words, a natural right) to his life and his choice how to live it, which surely meant that he would live it as nearly to his heart’s desire as he could.

Horny handed sons of toil, even if as free under the law, were not expected, either by themselves or their betters, to achieve the same forms of happiness. Enough for them if they could earn their daily bread. For that they lived and strove. Their life was the striving. It occupied their hours, their days, their years, their bodies and their thoughts. Success was survival. Survival was for most of them the only reasonable attainable happiness. If some strove for more – excess, property, leisure – and attained it, then happiness abounded. (Happiness, that is to say, as contentment. Other forms of gratification – thrills, excitement, delights of the senses, scoring triumphs – are not our subject. They are experienced episodically and enjoyed to the degree the individual is capable of.)

The welfare state relieved the workers of the need to strive for survival. Now all could be philosophers. The joy of exploring the limitless sphere of the mind was open to all. Universal happiness would reign.

But doesn’t.

The reasons why people commit suicide are many and various, but what they all have in common is that they find life unbearable. So suicide rates might be taken as a gauge of happiness and the lack of it in a population.

The figures for those rates from the last few years (according to Wikipedia – and perhaps not entirely trustworthy) provide some surprises. (Worth noticing in passing – far more males kill themselves than do females everywhere.)

Highest suicide rate in the world: Greenland. Average 82.8 per 100,000 per annum. It is a welfare state.

Google reveals:

As part of Denmark, Greenlanders have access to one of the most extensive social welfare systems in Europe, including universal, nationalized medical care and free state education, including college.

(President Trump has asked Denmark if it would sell Greenland to the USA. Rhetorical question: Would life in Greenland be better, more bearable, happier if it became the 51st. state of the USA, which provides much less welfare? USA suicide average per 100,000 per annum, 14.5.)

Big drop to the next highest. Guyana 30.2, Lithuania 28.27, South Korea 26.6

The average for most European countries is between 12.57 (Germany) and 17 (Belgium).

Britain? Only 7.23!

China? 9.8

Iran 4.8   The state does most of the killing there.

Venezuela 3.2  Nature does it there, because the people are starving and have no medicines. Venezuela is – way beyond a welfare state – a socialist state.

Syria 0.1  Constant civil war rages there.

Pakistan 1.1   People are happy in Pakistan?

Haiti  – a truly miserable place of hunger and disease. Average suicide?  0.0

But back to the pursuit of happiness in the civilized West.

What went wrong? Is it possible that the strivers enjoyed the striving and its meager rewards?

Or did philosophizing bring the newly leisured to ask, “What is it all for anyway?“. And find no answer?

There are thousands of counselors – even millions, we would guess – telling unhappy people how to be happy. There are hundreds of thousands of books giving readers rules for living –  from obedience to which, happiness might be expected.

And there is religion. Religion is supposed to “give meaning to life”.

Does it answer the question “what is it all for anyway?”

Let’s look at an individual case of unhappiness. In America.

At the American Conservative, we found this letter, reproduced by Rod Dreher, to whom it was sent as if to an agony aunt:

Mr. Dreher,

The things you have been writing lately about alienated young men and mass shootings prompt me to reach out to you. I am not a young man anymore, but I am dealing with things that I did not imagine I would be when I was young and newly married. Back then, everything made sense. I feel like I need to tell my story.

My background is that I am a successful businessman (a kind of consultant) living in a well-to-do suburb of a Southern city. My wife and I married relatively early, and had two kids. The boys are in good colleges in other states. They are getting ready to head back to school next week. It has been a real pleasure having them here this summer. Our house becomes a tomb when they are not around.

Four years ago, my wife told me that she didn’t want to be married to me anymore. After almost 30 years, she had had enough. I did not see that coming. We almost never fought. We used to go to dinner together, take family vacations, do things together, etc etc. She just said that she thought she had hitched herself to a man too young, and now that the boys were older and out of the house, she was reconsidering her life. I asked her if there was another man. She said no, and eventually I believed her. I asked her if she wanted a divorce. She said probably so, but she wanted to wait until the boys got out of school. She is a reasonable person with a finance background, and knows that a divorce would cost us a lot at a time when we are supporting two kids in college.

She has a job she loves. I work from a home office. I was so glad when my company gave me the chance to do this. I miss the friendships in the office, but when you talk on your blog about wokeness in the workplace, I always find myself nodding along. A few years back, my company started getting engaged with “diversity and inclusivity” in the workplace. I noticed that every time they would run us all through one of those seminars, we would all come out of it more suspicious of each other. It was crazy. It was as if our bosses were trying to poison the office environment. I got to the point where as a white male, I saw my co-workers as potentially the people who would try to get me fired if I said one wrong thing by mistake. They might have seen me that way too. It was crazy. The more management pushed “diversity and inclusivity”, the more anxious things felt in the office. When the company was restructuring and offered people in my division the chance to work at home, I jumped at it, just to get out of that tense environment.

It was a blessing at first, but nowadays I wonder if that was the right thing to do. The idea of working from home seems great, until you realize that you don’t see people at all. I have a nice home office where I put in my 9 to 5, which is really more like 8 to 7, but everybody does that. If I’m being truthful, I stay in my office longer than I have to on most days, because there is nothing for me outside of it. My wife used to be my best friend. Now we just share a house and a bed. She has friends from her office, and goes out with them a lot. When all this started, I honestly thought she was seeing some guy. I’m not going into the details, but I’m truly convinced that she’s not. She’s just hanging out with other middle-aged women who are sick of their husbands too.

I used to think only men behaved like that. Mother and Daddy have both passed away, but they had a good marriage. Some of their friends got divorced when I was a kid, and it was always the man leaving his wife for a younger woman. They were very judgmental of them, but in a way I still think was right. They were Southern people (I think you know what I mean, Mr. Dreher), and that meant that they thought it was dishonorable for a man to do his wife like that. I internalized that honor code, and have always lived by it, and my Catholic faith. If my wife demands a divorce, I will give it to her, but I won’t marry again. How could I go through an annulment? I can’t say truthfully that this was not really a marriage. I meant it when I said my vows, and I believe my wife did too. I am not going to make bastards of my sons because my wife abandoned me and I want to be married again. Besides, there would be no marrying again for me anyway. I look at myself in the mirror — mid to late 50s, half-bald, pot belly, etc etc. What woman would want me even if I was free to marry her?

I was an only child, so I have no close family to speak of. We are Catholics. My faith is just about the only thing that keeps me going through all this, but it’s thin. My wife refuses to see a marriage counselor. I made the first steps to getting an appointment to talk to our priest, but I gave up because that was hopeless. I feel bad for our priest. He’s managing a big suburban parish all on his own. It would have taken forever to get an appointment, and there was no way he was going to be able to give us the time it would take to save our marriage, especially given that my wife doesn’t want to save it. Besides, there is nothing I’ve ever heard our priest say that tells me he is a man who could help us. He talks like one of those life coaches our company used to bring in for team building exercises, a guy who gets all his ideas from Hallmark cards.

She still goes to mass with me, but just out of habit. When I stand there listening to Fr give his cheerful but empty homilies, I think about what’s keeping me from going home and blowing my brains out. I’m not going to do this because I’m scared of pain and I’m scared of going to Hell. Also, I don’t want to hurt the boys, and make them feel like they did something to cause it or give them something to be ashamed of. However, I think a lot about how little I have to live for anymore. I am not even sure that the boys think of me much, except as “Good Old Dad”…

Nobody can see it. I stand there in church, wearing my coat and tie, and people probably think I have it all together. We drive nice cars, we live in a nice house in a good neighborhood, etc, etc. I am grateful to have a good job that has allowed me to provide for my family. By all the world’s standards, I’m doing well. I have “white privilege”. 

What a joke. When I first started working in my home office, I would dress up in a coat, no tie, and dress pants to go to “work.” It felt right to hang on to that habit. Since my marriage fell apart, I notice that some days I don’t even get out of my pajamas. I sit there at my nice desk doing all my work on my laptop, and go right back to bed at the end of the day without even taking a shower. I know this is pathetic, and if the boys were still at home, I would know to keep up appearances. This is my life.

When the boys graduate and don’t have to depend on us, I guess that will mean Decision Time. I will probably move out, though to all rights we ought to sell the house. I remember the day we bought it, and talking with my wife about that big dining room, and how we looked forward to the kids coming home with their wives and children for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh, we sure had big plans for that dining room. We bought a house with a fireplace because we dreamed about sitting around it with the grandchildren. All that is over now, and not because I wanted it to be. I feel so powerless. Maybe I would stay here if either one of the boys moved back, but given the fields they have chosen, I don’t look for that to happen, and even if it did, we would just be keeping up appearances for their sake. Southern people are real good at that, as you know.

What prompted me to write to you is your writings about the loneliness crisis. I am not some white trash 22 y.o. living in a trailer somewhere, playing video games, and living off his Mama, but I am completely isolated in my life. My “video game” is Excel spreadsheets. The friends I had back in the happier days were all “couples friends” through my wife. When she said she didn’t want to be married to me, we stopped having people over, and stopped accepting invitations to other people’s houses. After a few years, those invitations stopped coming. I tried to keep up these friendships with the husbands, but it was awkward. I told a couple of the guys I was closest to about the mess in my marriage, and they seemed sympathetic, but there wasn’t a lot they could do. They all had kids, and their couples friends. Two or three times I went to their dinner parties by myself, but you talk about awkward! I was embarrassed by it all, and just quit going. I miss those guys, and I even miss their wives. We used to be happy all together.

If this is “white privilege”, screw it. I stopped by the shoe repair shop a couple of weeks ago, and there were some black guys my age sitting around talking and laughing with each other. I envied them. I probably make 10 or 15 times more than them, but they are probably rich in ways that I used to be before I went “bankrupt”. I would trade all this so-called “white privilege” for a happy marriage, a strong family, and good friends. Mother and Daddy didn’t have a lot of money, but at least they had that. They also had a small-town church where they felt at home. How can anybody feel at home in a big parish like mine? I was taught to be charitable, especially to the clergy, and I do feel bad for our priest, who is carrying a heavy load. But this ain’t church. I’ve gotten to the point where I sit there during mass and I wonder how many of those men in the pews are just like me: barely holding it together, wondering what the hell we’re living for, ignored by our wives, and starving for friendship. God feels so far away. I have never doubted His existence, but these days, He feels like the Pope — a nice man who lives far away and who doesn’t see us.

I know I sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself. I guess I am. But damn it, I didn’t think things were going to work out like this. I did everything I was supposed to do, and it all fell to pieces anyway. I’m racking my brains trying to figure out how I can fix this, but my wife doesn’t want it to be fixed. She just wants out. I recognize that I am privileged economically and socially, but I’m here to tell you that if you were a working man who drove by my house, and saw me out front mowing our big lawn, you would think I had it made. In fact, you would be looking at a dead man, at a man who secretly hopes he falls over from a heart attack so he doesn’t have to keep carrying this weight of loneliness. At this point, my only purpose in life is to do what I have to do so my sons can have a good life or think they have a good life, until they get to my age and it falls to shit, and they end up doing just what their Good Old Dad is doing.

The thought just occurred to me as I’m writing this that the only real reason we will have to keep our household together after our sons graduate is if one of them can’t find a job, and has to live with us. That’s a sorry state to be in, knowing that the only thing that would keep you and your wife together is an unemployed grown-up child.

I appreciate the opportunity to get this off of my chest. I like reading your blog because even though it’s depressing sometimes, I feel like you talk about the real world, which is more than I get from my priest. I would just ask your readers to keep in mind that when they see people at church, in the store, and at other places, that those people might be suffering in ways that are not obvious. You think folks have it made, but they don’t. You see me getting out of my [luxury car brand] at church, with my wife, and we’re all dressed up and smiling, but from my very jaded perspective, we’re dead people who have no future. At least my wife has the girls from the office.

I’ve thought about asking my manager if I can come back to the office, but I know that’s not a solution. I’m the Great White Male, the source of all evil in the world. Given my run of luck, it would be about right for somebody to falsely accuse me of something, and end up taking away the last I have left from what started out as an American dream. I’d end up jobless and poor, and then the gun to the head might not seem so scary after all.

Sorry. Thanks for listening.

One thing we find particularly interesting about this “confession” is how little the man’s faith does for him. Fear of hell keeps him from suicide. That’s about all.

If he were not a believing Catholic, he might have developed some curiosity about the world he lives in. It has not occurred to him to go exploring in the infinite realm of the mind.

He was happier when his children lived with him. If he had grandchildren living near by he might be happy again. For a while, anyway. Until they grew up. But young men are not quick to marry now and raise a family.

Readers, your comments are needed.

The road to Venezuela 2

The Democratic Party has been led leftwards and has become, in all but official name, the Democratic Socialist Party.

It wants to change America into a socialist state.

Why? Do those who plan to vote for it want this country to go the way of Venezuela? Or do they not believe that that’s the way it will go?

Why would it not?

Can what has happened in once-rich Venezuela be explained by anything but Socialism and its inevitably accompanying corruption?

In October 2018 Rafael Acevedo wrote at the website of the Mises Institute:

Almost 4 million people have left this country in recent years — a country that is ranked on the 2018 Misery Index as the most miserable country of the world. Hyperinflation is destroying the hope of millions of Venezuelans that for many reasons continue living there and suffering the misery that socialism has achieved. …

At the end of July 2018, the National Assembly estimated that each week six Venezuelan children die of starvation. Some of the most important universities in Venezuela made a survey in 2017 and in that time 87% of Venezuelan households were poor; 9 of 10 Venezuelans could not pay for food; 8.2 million Venezuelans could barely afford 2 meals each day — meals with low nutrition and little protein; 6 out of 10 Venezuelans have lost at least 11Kg (24 pounds) of their body weight because of the lack of food. This is set to worsen as the crisis continues.

Recently, [Dictator Nicolás Maduro] has incrementally raised the minimum wage 3,000%, removed 5 zeros from the currency value, and eliminated some exchange control rules. Nevertheless those policies are ineffective because these measures do nothing about the root causes of the nation’s misery. The real causes, of course, [are] the socialism and a narco-terrorist regime.

Nearly 90 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty.

In 2016 the cost of a dozen eggs in Venezuela was the equivalent of $150. That would now be considered cheap.

By October 2018 inflation was an estimated 80,000% and projected to hit 10,000,000% in 2019.

Figures from 2018, collected in 2019, show that a roll of toilet paper was priced at 2,600,000 bolivares, or 40 cents; a kilogram of carrots was 3,000,000 bolivares, or 46 cents; a wheelbarrow of cash was need to buy a loaf of bread; a kilogram of tomatoes cost 5,000,000 bolivares ($0.76).

A 2.4 kilogram chicken cost 14,600,000 bolivares ($2.22):

This pile of money was needed to buy a chicken for the pot in 2018. It costs even more now.

Socialism does not create wealth, it only consumes it. Socialism steals wealth from its owners and uses it up. For a while the gullible who voted for it enjoy getting a living, “free” education, “free” health care and whatnot from the government. A little later they starve, the hospitals cannot treat them, the schools close, and they are howling in the wilderness while those who led them there feast in palaces protected by armed guards.

In 2020 the choice for the American electorate is a simple one. Vote for continued prosperity and freedom, or a change to starvation and serfdom.

Posted under Socialism, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Venezuela: the cost of socialism 7

Those (generally unreliable) opinion polls are saying that most Democrats – around 57% – now favor socialism over capitalism. It’s not implausible. Considering that children are indoctrinated by the public schools, most universities, TV, films, and the media to believe that socialism is the supreme and only political good, a mere 57% of Democrats seems an underestimation.

Daniel Mitchell, Libertarian, writes at Townhall Finance:

How do we measure the cost of Venezuelan socialism?

Is it people eating household pets?

Is it people dying of malnourishment?

Is it women selling their bodies?

Actually, it’s all of the above.

And there’s plenty of additional evidence. All of which shows that more socialism results in more misery.

Let’s review some examples.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. But with government running the industry, producing petroleum products has been a challenge. To put it mildly.

Venezuela — home to the world’s largest oil reserves — has started introducing in some areas to tackle extreme fuel shortages. For ordinary Venezuelans, it is a cruel joke without a punchline. A  driver recently died of a heart attack after waiting in line for days to fill his tank. …

Here’s another sign of Venezuela’s descent into third-world status.

The Center for Malaria Studies in Caracas is not immune to Venezuela’s economic crisis and is struggling to treat patients. … Scientists who would later work for this clinic contributed in 1961 to helping Venezuela become the first country to eradicate malaria. … Today the clinic is in a sorry state: yellowed microscopes, a dishwasher stained by purple chemicals, refrigerators corroded by rust. …According to the World Health Organization, Venezuela registered more than 400,000 malaria cases in 2017, making it one of the hardest-hit countries in the Americas. .. The true extent of the epidemic [could be] close to two million people affected. …

Reuters reports on how parts of Venezuela are descending into autarky and barter.

At the once-busy beach resort of Patanemo, tourism has evaporated … These days, its Caribbean shoreline flanked by forested hills receives a different type of visitor: people who walk 10 minutes from a nearby town carrying rice, plantains or bananas in hopes of exchanging them for the fishermen’s latest catch. With bank notes made useless by hyperinflation, and no easy access to the debit card terminals widely used to conduct transactions in urban areas, residents of Patanemo rely mainly on barter. It is just one of a growing number of rural towns slipping into isolation as Venezuela’s economy implodes amid a long-running political crisis. …In the mountains of the central state of Lara, residents of the town of Guarico this year found a different way of paying bills – coffee beans. Residents of the coffee-growing region now exchange roasted beans for anything from haircuts to spare parts for agricultural machinery. …

What can you say about a country that’s so poor that even criminals are suffering?

Venezuela’s crippling economic spiral is having a negative impact on an unlikely group in society: criminals, who are struggling to afford bullets, and unable to find things to steal as the country’s wealth declines rapidly. …While bullets are widely available on the black market, many muggers cannot afford the $1 price tag anymore, a criminal known as “Dog” told the news organization. …Another gangster, “El Negrito,” who leads a gang called Crazy Boys, has found it increasingly hard to support his wife and daughter with assaults. Firing a bullet is a luxury now, he said. … [The] homicide rate  … went down by nearly 10% last year— though Venezuela remains one of the most violent countries in the world. The non-profit which aggregates the data from morgues and media reports, partly attributes this decrease to the reduction in muggings — because there is nothing to steal. …

What a perfect symbol of socialism! People are so poor that there’s nothing left to steal.

In a postscript, the writer adds:

Venezuela in 1970 was ranked in the top 10 for economic liberty.

Will it take less or more than 50 years for the US to become as poor as Venezuela if the Democratic Socialists come to power in both houses of Congress and in the presidency?

Posted under communism, Leftism, Progressivism, Socialism, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 10, 2019

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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 North American Venezuela 28

The choice is becoming increasingly clear. Stark would be an even better word for it.

Voters can choose between –

Keeping the Republic set up in 1787 and prospering now as never before under the leadership of President Trump, by voting for his Republican followers.

Or changing into the North American Venezuela by voting for the other major political party forming rapidly to replace the Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, under the leadership of an old communist, Bernie Sanders, and a young communist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The North American Venezuela. It is a vision hovering in the spacious skies over the purple mountains and the fruited plain.

AP reports:

A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn’t quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization’s values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He’s now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.

Ringelstein’s leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement’s farthest left flank. As Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.

“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told AP. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”

There are 42 people running for offices at the federal, state and local levels this year with the formal endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, the organization says. They span 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan.

The most ambitious Democrats in Washington have been reluctant to embrace the label, even as they embrace the policies defining modern-day democratic socialism: Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition and the abolition of the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congress’s only self-identified democratic socialist, campaigned Friday with the movement’s newest star, New York City congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former bartender who defeated one of the most powerful House Democrats last month.

Two-head Communism

Her victory fed a flame that was already beginning to burn brighter. The DSA’s paid membership has hovered around 6,000 in the years before Trump’s election, said Allie Cohn, a member of the group’s national political team. Last week, its paid membership hit 45,000 nationwide.

There is little distinction made between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships”. 

Note that, voters. Even private relationships will be monitored by the planners of the social order. It completes the totalitarian vision. 

Members during public meetings often refer to each other as “comrades”,wear clothing featuring socialist symbols like the rose and promote authors such as Karl Marx.

Four-head Communism

The common association with the failed Soviet Union has made it difficult for sympathetic liberals to explain their connection.

“I don’t like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history,” said Kansas congressional candidate James Thompson, who is endorsed by the DSA and campaigned alongside Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, but is not a dues-paying democratic socialist. “There’s definitely a lot of their policies that closely align with mine.”

Thompson, an Army veteran turned civil rights attorney, is running again after narrowly losing a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Even in deep-red Kansas, he embraces policies like “Medicare for all” and is openly critical of capitalism.

In Hawaii, 29-year-old state Rep. Kaniela Ing isn’t shy about promoting his status as a democratic socialist in his bid for Congress. He said he was encouraged to run for higher office by the same activist who recruited Ocasio-Cortez.

“We figured just lean in hard,” Ing told the AP of the democratic socialist label. He acknowledged some baby boomers may be scared away, but said the policies democratic socialists promote — like free health care and economic equality — aren’t extreme.

Republicans, meanwhile, are encouraged by the rise of democratic socialism — for a far different reason. They have seized on what they view as a leftward lurch by Democrats they predict will alienate voters this fall and in the 2020 presidential race.

The Republican National Committee eagerly notes that Sanders’ plan to provide free government-sponsored health care for all Americans had no co-sponsors in 2013. Today, more than one-third of Senate Democrats and two-thirds of House Democrats have signed onto the proposal, which by one estimate could cost taxpayers as much as $32 trillion.

The co-sponsors include some 2020 presidential prospects, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Those senators aren’t calling themselves democratic socialists but also not disassociating themselves from the movement’s priorities.

Most support the push to abolish ICE [the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency] which enforces immigration laws …

… and want to abolish national borders.

So not even a North American Venezuela?

No nations, no nation-states. No national governments, no voting, no political parties, no law to enforce.

The hovering vision fades.

If the comrades have their way, the reality will be even worse than Venezuela.

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