Death of a despot 1

The death of Venezuela’s despot Hugo Chavez was announced yesterday, but rumor has it that he died a week ago on the morning of Wednesday February 27, 2013.

This is from Front Page, by Matthew Vadum. He makes a comparison between Chavez and Obama, to the advantage of neither:

Barack Obama’s less media-savvy comrade Hugo Chavez is finally dead.

Venezuela’s Vice President, Nicolas Maduro, announced that the communist tyrant died yesterday after seeking medical treatment from the quacks and bunglers laughingly referred to as the Cuban health care system. Hidden away from the public for months, Chavez, whose election in 1999 sparked a leftist revival throughout Latin America, may have actually died some time ago.

Chavez will be remembered not only for his fanaticism and brutality but also for his effective use of the same Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizing techniques now relied on by President Barack Obama.

Both men hate capitalism. Chavez called capitalism “savagery,” while the smoother Obama tries to be more upbeat, speaking of the need to spread wealth.

Both men are champions of gun control, social engineering, and unlimited governmental power.

Both hate America (to varying degrees) and both utilize mobs to harass and intimidate their enemies.

Obama has used union goons, ACORN members, and his personal tax-exempt Alinskyite army, Organizing for Action (formerly Organizing for America), against his adversaries.

Chavez, who habitually used the rhetoric of class warfare, funded a network of violent, government-armed “Bolivarian Circles,” similar to Cuba’s Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. In order to identify citizens worthy of governmental persecution, the neighborhood-based militias reported on Venezuelans deemed to lack the requisite enthusiasm for Marxism. Like Hitler’s Sturmabteilung (SA), these groups broke up opposition meetings by force.

Chavez intimidated the private media by openly threatening and harassing independent media outlets. He also introduced a requirement that journalists be licensed. Obama doesn’t need to keep the media in line because they already worship him.

While Obama has been busy installing senior government officials such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who lack the ability to understand the Islamofascist threat, Chavez allowed America’s terrorist enemies to set up shop in his country.

A big supporter of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez permitted Iran-funded Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas to open offices in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.

Vadum might have added the shared antisemitism of the two men. Obama works against the survival of the Jewish state. Chavez openly encouraged persecution of Venezuelan Jews.

This is from the National Review, by John Fund:

One of the “hero” myths being created around Chávez is that he was elected democratically four times. …

But Chávez was a democrat the way that Mafia enforcers were policemen in neighborhoods they controlled. If you didn’t cooperate and pay tribute to them, you would regret it. He ruled through fear, intimidation, and subversion of the country’s institutions.

Merely allowing people to line up at polling stations every six years did not make Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela democratic. Nor will the snap election that must be called within 30 days to choose Chávez’s successor necessarily be free or fair. If Nicholas Maduro, the man Chávez hand-picked to take over after his death, wants to demonstrate Venezuela is running a legitimate election, let him first invite back the international election observers of whom Hugo Chávez was so frightened.

And this is from the Miami Herald:

Hugo Chávez’s folksy charm and forceful personality made him an extraordinary politician. His enviable ability to win a mass following allowed him to build a powerful political machine that kept him in office from February of 1999 until his death on Tuesday. But as a national leader, he was an abject failure who plunged Venezuela into a political and economic abyss.

Dead at 58, Hugo Chávez leaves behind a country in far worse condition than it was when he became president, its future clouded by rivals for succession in a constitutional crisis of his Bolivarian party’s making and an economy in chaos. …

Mr. Chávez had a radical vision for “21st Century Socialism” … His skillful rhetoric, which filled supporters with utopian dreams, was used to justify the methodical destruction of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and the free market. …

[He] aggressively set out to rig elections and stifle adversaries in the legislative branch and the courts. Unable to brook criticism, he turned his fire on the independent news media, eventually silencing most voices of opposition by bully tactics and economic intimidation.

His Bolivarian regime rewarded supporters and punished opponents, giving rise to enormous corruption and the creation of a new class of greedy oligarchs with political connections. …

Whatever happens now in Venezuela, his demise will have some good effects in the wider world:

On the international front, Mr. Chávez eagerly accepted Fidel Castro as his mentor, providing Cuba with cut-rate oil and making common cause with Iran and other rogue regimes. His departure leaves the anti-American front leaderless on a hemispheric level and could eventually threaten the subsidy that Cuba relies on to keep its economy barely functioning.

Ed Driscoll at PJ Media has collected opinions on the dead dictator. He includes a Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Death of Hugo Chavez, from which we quote:

“Rosalynn and I … came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.”

He may have been “committed” to improving the lives of those who felt neglected and “marginalized” (a Leftist buzzword that, by the way), but he did not improve the lives of most Venezuelans. Quite the contrary. His economic policy so devalued the currency that the poor were made poorer. But that seems not to be recognized by his numerous and passionate fans, including the poor of Venezuela.

Driscoll goes on to quote other opinions on the Left –

Such as the Nation, which really beclowns itself:

“Chávez was a strongman. He packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances. But I’ll be perverse and argue that the biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.”

“I’m what they call a useful idiot when it comes to Hugo Chávez,” the writer actually adds. And how.

But hey, that’s the far left Nation. The neutral, objective, totally without bias Washington Post wouldn’t fall for such radical chic nonsense, would they?

Yes, of course they would: “Wash Post’s Eugene Robinson Appears on MSNBC to Praise ‘Quick,’ ‘Popular,’ Funny Hugo Chavez.”

And to think I was being ironic a couple of years ago when I titled a post “Studying the Washington Post Kremlinologist-Style.” …

Sean Penn has a sad:

“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,” says Penn in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter…

Meanwhile, “NBCNews.com Mourns Chavez: Who Will Become Region’s ‘Voice of Socialism and Anti-Americanism?’”

Which prompts Driscoll to ask –

Isn’t that NBC’s job, or don’t they get that network on the cable feed down there?

Send in the whitewasher 1

In order to delay having to say anything of substance about the Benghazi disaster (see our many posts about it over the last month), Obama insists that we must await the findings of an official investigation he has launched: a  sober enquiry that will discover all the facts, patiently sift them, astutely analyse them, and thus be able at last to reveal the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Which will totally exonerate Obama. Not because the truth is in his favor, which we already know it is not, but because he can rely on the investigator he and the Secretary of State have appointed to find a “truth” that Obama and Hillary Clinton want him to find: that  all their decisions in the matter were wise, all their actions right, and their motives pure as the driven snow.

Why do we presume this outcome with such arrogant confidence? Because of what is known of the man he has appointed chief investigator.

Behold Thomas R. Pickering, who heartily approves and endorses Obama’s policy towards the Arab and Islamic worlds and probably helped to formulate it.

Of him, his remit and his views, Diana West writes at Townhall:

As we arrive at Election Day, some of the most crucial questions left unanswered about Benghazi are, in fact, the simplest. They are not “fog of war” questions. They are not questions rendered unanswerable by “conflicting intelligence.” They are questions that probe clear actions taking place not on the roof of a safe house under mortar fire, but inside the fortress-like, orderly and well-lit White House.

Who turned down requests for military relief for Americans under rocket and mortar fire? Who decided to suppress the fact that no protest preceded this attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that claimed four American lives? Who ordered senior Obama administration officials to lie to the American people for two weeks by blaming a YouTube video for a “spontaneous” outbreak of violence that was, in fact, a coordinated terrorist assault?

President Obama declared he made his priorities about Benghazi clear “the minute I found out what was happening.” He said: “Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” If he issued an unexecuted order to this effect, there was a grievous breakdown in the chain of command that must be exposed. If, on the other hand, Barack Obama is lying, that must be exposed, too. It’s not a hard fact to find out.

But is Thomas Pickering, Obama’s choice to lead the Benghazi investigation, the proper person to search for it? On first glance, Pickering, a retired top diplomat and State Department official, sets off conflict-of-interest alarms for heading an investigation that must focus closely on the State Department. On closer inspection, however, so many red flags pop up around Pickering that his selection becomes another Benghazi.

The man is a foreign policy establishment leftist. It’s not just that Pickering serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group, a George Soros group that, for example, advocated engagement with the Shariah-supremacist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe … and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions. And speaking of Iran, Pickering sits on the boards of two pro-Tehran groups, the American Iranian Council and the National Iranian American Council. The Iranian connections are additionally disturbing since one Benghazi scenario to be explored is whether Iran was involved, possibly in retribution for U.S. support of anti-Assad forces (including jihadists) in Syria.

Pickering’s politics place him squarely inside the Obama foreign policy mainstream, but that’s not the proper point from which to investigate an Obama foreign policy fiasco. Indeed, Pickering has expressed support for Obama’s Libya policy, “where,” as he put it in March, “we play a major role behind the scenes and … incorporate many other people in the activities we did in Libya.”

Explaining the Libyan “experimentation” in “consultative leadership” that minimizes the U.S. military role, Pickering sounds as if he also endorsed the disastrous policy of relying on local jihadist militias for U.S. security.

And here is more about him from an article by Matthew Vadum at Front Page:

America is a seething hotbed of “Islamophobia,” filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the benign Muslim religion, according tothe Obama administration’s lead investigator into the Benghazi atrocities. 

So said former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering in more polished, diplomatic language during an Oct. 23 panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The talk was on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia,” a make-believe mental illness that Islamists would love to have listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Radical Islam’s stateside defenders frequently accuse anti-terrorism hawks of “McCarthyism,” hurling the epithet “Islamophobe” the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.

Pickering’s pontifications came two and a half weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named him to head a State Department “Accountability Review Board” tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Pickering urged what might amount to a zero-tolerance policy against so-called Islamophobes in American society. “There are strong efforts as well that we must make to deal with opinion leaders who harbor these prejudices, who espouse them and spread them,” he said.

Such as tearing the First Amendment out of the Constitution?

Critics say Pickering is unfit to head any probe of what happened in Benghazi because he harbors sympathy for Islamism and is suspiciously cozy with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

And so, since Obama and Hillary Clinton have picked to investigate the atrocity of Benghazi a man who firmly believes the policy that led to it is ideal, we can predict with certainty the outcome of his investigation.

It will be a whitewash.

Happy Candy Crowley – the meditative immoderate moderator 6

Last night, on Tuesday October 16, 2012, a woman named Candy Crowley “moderated” the debate between the two candidates for the presidency in the forthcoming elections, Mitt Romney (Republican) and Barack Obama (Democrat).

According to her Wiki entry, Candy Crowley practices Transcendental Meditation.

What is Transcendental Meditation? It’s inventor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, explains:

That’s not someone satirizing the guru, it really is the man himself. Yes, it sounds silly to us too. We prefer to think – but let those meditate who will. What we gather is that if it works as it is intended to, “TM”  makes its practitioners happy.

Like all Far Eastern religions, its object is to affect the state of feeling of the devotee, and is not intended to be a guide to moral behavior. Its teachers do not claim that it can make you perceptive or just. No false descriptions. “Makes you happy” is all that’s promised, all that’s written on the bottle so to speak.

But a capacity to be just is surely more necessary in a moderator of a debate than his or her personal happiness. We don’t say it was for her happiness that the Commission on Presidential Debates chose Candy Crowley to moderate the presidential debate, but if they thought she was capable of being just, of presiding over a debate without taking sides, without giving more time to one side than the other, without endorsing the points either side made, they were mistaken.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

In an outrage destined for the history books, the moderator of last night’s hotly contested presidential debate uttered an untruth …

A lie. So call it a lie.

… about President Obama’s deadly bungling in Libya after Obama overtly asked her on live television to support his dishonest version of it.

His lie.

It was truly unprecedented and could only have happened in the Age of Obama.

During the town hall-format debate with an audience of undecided voters, Crowley provided an assist to Obama to help him perpetuate his administration’s ongoing cover-up about the murder of four Americans –including the U.S. ambassador — at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, this past Sept. 11. Reports indicate that Ambassador Chris Stevens and other officials were provided inadequate security in a particularly hostile part of Libya. …

GOP candidate Mitt Romney stated –correctly— that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Romney’s supporters have been saying for weeks that Obama didn’t want to label the assault on the U.S. mission a terrorist attack because to do so would be an admission that the administration’s foreign policy was in flames.

After Romney’s statement, Obama interjected, “Get the transcript,” like an eager contestant asking for a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

At that cue, Crowley cut off Romney, claiming that Obama had in fact called the attack an “act of terror” around the time it took place. Buoyed by Crowley’s compliance, Obama boasted, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”

“He did call it an act of terror,” she said of the president. “It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea [of] there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You [Romney] are correct about that.” …

She had the transcript. She interpreted it in Obama’s favor. It was obviously arranged beforehand that she would do this. It is a scandal in itself.  

Crowley … happens to be wrong.

In the White House’s Rose Garden on Sept. 12, Obama … [made] a general statement that “no acts of terror would shake the resolve of this great nation.” Obama said what happened in Benghazi was “a terrible act” and promised that “justice will be done.” At no time [on that day] did he say the events in Benghazi were instigated by terrorists.

Over the following two weeks, the Obama administration continued to resist calling the events in Benghazi a terrorist attack. On five different Sunday morning TV talk shows, Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the attack in that Libyan city stemmed from violent protests related to a “heinous and offensive” video.

On Sept. 25, Obama again refused to label the attack an act of terrorism during a softball appearance on TV’s “The View,” saying that an investigation was still ongoing. He said the same thing later the same day during an address at the United Nations, blaming the violence in Libya on the video and making the much-ridiculed assertion that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

After the debate, an unapologetic Crowley jovially admitted on CNN that Romney was correct but blamed her victim, the former Massachusetts governor, for the sin of linguistic imprecision.

Well, you know, again, I’d heard the president’s speech at the time. I sort of re-read a lot of stuff about Libya because I knew we’d probably get a Libya question, so I kind of wanted to be up on it. So we knew that the president had, had said, you know, these acts of terrors [sic] won’t stand or whatever the whole quote was and I think actually, you know, because, right after that I did turn around and say but you are totally correct, that they spent two weeks telling us that this was about a tape and that there was a, you know, this riot right outside the Benghazi consulate, which there wasn’t. So he was right in the main but I just think he picked the wrong word.

No, Candy, Romney didn’t pick the wrong word. The Commission on Presidential Debates picked the wrong moderator.

But the damage, which may or may not be long-lasting, is now done and the debate is finished. Just another day in the mainstream media.

Former New Hampshire governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu excoriated Crowley on the Fox News Channel. “Candy Crowley had no business doing a real-time, if you will, fact check, because she was wrong,” he said. Crowley aided President Obama who “was absolutely deliberate in his dishonesty on this issue of whether it was terrorism.”

The Obama administration’s failure to provide security in Benghazi, an act that led to the death of four Americans, is “unconscionable,” Sununu said.

Commentator Charles Krauthammer skewered Obama for being “completely at sea,” and not even trying to answer the question about consulate security. Obama acted offended at suggestions he would mislead the American people, Krauthammer said, even though he put his U.N. ambassador on television to lie to the public about what transpired in Benghazi.

Romney missed “a huge opening” to pound Obama over consulate security, Krauthammer opined. Of course if there was a genuine opportunity Romney missed, it’s because he was too busy defending himself after Crowley effectively called him a liar.

There is to be one more presidential debate. We hope and anticipate that Romney will use the opportunity to expose the huge scandal of Obama’s pro-Islam policy and stress that what it led to – the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three of his staff – is an extreme affront to the United States and a national tragedy.

It is so a great a scandal that it alone should unseat Obama, even if all his other policies had not already proved him (as they have) to be the worst president in American history.

Let him go and be happy. He can use some of his China-invested pension to buy lessons in Transcendental Meditation.

The morally polluting politics of the left 1

Have you heard of the “Secretary of State Project“?  It was an evil conspiracy of the Left (we ask seriously – what plan of the Left is not an evil conspiracy?) to get lefties into the position of Secretary of State in as many states as possible, because where that official runs elections he or she could swing it leftwards – in other words, could cheat.

The good news is that it has to be abandoned.

This is from Front Page, by Matthew Vadum:

A George Soros-backed scheme that paved the way for Al Franken’s 2008 theft of a U.S. Senate seat has collapsed months ahead of the critical November elections.

Rumors of the death of the Secretary of State Project had been circulating for months. Michael Kieschnick, co-founder of the Secretary of State Project, confirmed that his group has shut down in an interview at the recent “Take Back the American Dream” conference in Washington, D.C. …

The idea behind the Secretary of State Project was that in most states the secretary of state runs elections and that a relative pittance can help swing these little-watched state contests, allowing even small donors to play a big role in installing a powerful state official who can tilt the playing field in favor of Democrats. …

The Secretary of State Project’s signature achievement was helping to elect the unethical Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizer Mark Ritchie. Ritchie is the radical, ACORN-loving Minnesota secretary of state who orchestrated Al Franken’s theft of incumbent Republican Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in the 2008 election cycle. …

The SoS Project endorsed secretary of state candidates who took the position that voter fraud is a myth; that voter suppression is widely and solely used by Republicans; that it’s a waste of time to remove obviously fraudulent names from voter rolls; and that legal requirements that voters show photo identification somehow discriminate against racial minorities.

So the Left accepts that there are fraudulent names on the voter rolls which, it argues, would be “a waste of time to remove”  – and yet it maintains that “voter fraud is a myth“.

Until two years ago the SoS Project was doing well. Before the 2010 cycle it took credit for electing 11 of the 18 left-wingers it endorsed since it began funding candidates in 2006.

But then the cheats found that their scam didn’t work well or often enough.

Then in 2010 disaster struck for Democrats at both the national and state levels. Five out of the SoS Project’s seven official candidates went down to defeat. Only Ritchie and another progressive incumbent, California’s Debra Bowen, stayed afloat in the Republican electoral tsunami. The Secretary of State Project lost its luster and its funding dried up.

Cash for the plot hadn’t been a problem. The great promoter and benefactor of hell on earth, George Soros, had organizations in place which were willing and eager to cough up the lolly.

SoS Project co-founder Kieschnick is a member of the Soros-led Democracy Alliance, a donors’ collaborative established to help Democrats and build left-wing political infrastructure such as pressure groups, media outlets, leadership academies, and think tanks. Democracy Alliance members frequently opened their wallets to help secretary of state candidates endorsed by the Secretary of State Project. …

Another SoS Project co-founder is James Rucker. The former MoveOn organizer also co-founded (with self-described communist Van Jones) Color of Change, a radical Afro-centrist group that organizes boycotts of conservative groups … and smears conservatives and anyone who opposes President Obama’s socialist juggernaut as racist.

Meanwhile, the SoS Project’s friends in leftist groups such as the ACORN-affiliated Project Vote are engaged in a massive assault on electoral integrity through the courts. Project Vote, which used to employ Barack Obama, and other radical organizations are pressuring state officials across America to drop voter fraud investigations.

The SoS Project can be abandoned without a tear dropping from a leftie’s eye, because the mighty and unscrupulous power of the Obama administration is now promoting electoral fraud in the interest of the Democratic Party. And we are all paying for it.

Attorney General Eric Holder is doing everything in his power to ignore wrongdoing on the Left. Holder’s failure to pursue truncheon-wielding New Black Panther Party members who tried to intimidate Philadelphia voters in 2008 is just one example. Holder’s underlings are also opening elections to massive voter fraud. Even after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law the Department of Justice has blocked voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina. 

Perhaps the Left no longer needs the Secretary of State Project. After all, you and I as taxpayers are already subsidizing the Left’s crusade against honest elections.

The trade union racket 2

We are opposed to all forms and uses of collectivism, including collective bargaining. We are against trade unions as such, and most emphatically against unions of public employees.

Matthew Vadum is of the same opinion, as he explains in this article at Front Page:

Bloated, rapacious, violent public employee unions indifferent to the suffering and social decay to which they contribute have been eating Wisconsin and other states alive for decades.

They’re not giving up their elite status without a massive fight and they don’t care if they take the whole nation down with them into the abyss. …

The backlash against … the unions’ legalized thuggery continues to build. Wisconsinites want their elected officials to balance the books, but the spendthrift unions won’t allow that to happen. Outraged that they may finally be held to account for their many abuses, participants in the labor movement are … using the seductive language of rights to defend the fat cat government worker unions.

Of course, rights have nothing to do with this …

[But] this rhetoric, which masks the fact that these rights are actually privileges, has served the grasping racketeers of organized labor well over the years, even though it is predicated on a fraud.

That fraud is known as group “rights.” It is the idea that when a group of people get together they somehow magically gain rights that supersede the rights they hold as individuals. It is a lethal, misanthropic fallacy that negates the very spirit of 1776.

Contrary to the fairy tales told by leftist professors, the idea of group rights was antithetical to the Enlightenment-era thinking of the Framers. They understood that a collective right is not a right at all … They would never have wanted to extinguish the right of individual workers to walk away from union-negotiated contracts. The Constitution mandated the most exquisite protection of individual rights and treated the right to enter into a contract, in particular, as sacrosanct.

But this all-American reverence for individual rights gave way to pressure over time. As organized labor became increasingly violent and troublesome, eventually, lawmakers grew weary of the unrest fomented by radical agitators. Worn-down, shell-shocked politicians purchased so-called labor peace by selling out the U.S. Constitution. How exactly did they betray it? They ignored the fact that America’s great national charter protects the right of individuals to freely associate with others. At the same time, it does not protect any purported group rights.

Legislatures across the country have also gone out of their way to exempt labor unions from antitrust laws, which is one of the reasons they run wild today. It was a mistake, and it was compounded exponentially when policymakers decided to let government employees form unions, since public employee unions can never serve the public interest. … Government workers … merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers.

Public employee unions, which are always willing to collude with politicians against the common good, inexorably lead the jurisdictions they infest to fiscal ruin and discontent. Look across America. Look at strike-crazed Europe where socialism has never secured labor peace. …

A community organizer and labor agitator is in the White House sending DNC-approved goon squads to Wisconsin to reinforce the dirty hippies and labor activists threatening Republican lawmakers with violence. …

The labor movement is in complete and utter denial, unable to see the freight train of fiscal reality barreling down the tracks toward it, and there’s something really beautiful about that. …

The great Thomas Sowell writes at Townhall on the same subject, and makes the same case:

The most fundamental fact about labor unions is that they do not create any wealth. They are one of a growing number of institutions which specialize in siphoning off wealth created by others, whether those others are businesses or the taxpayers.

There are limits to how long unions can siphon off money from businesses, without facing serious economic repercussions. …

Higher wage rates led coal companies to replace many miners with machines.

The net result was a huge decline in employment in the coal mining industry, leaving many mining towns virtually ghost towns by the 1960s. …

Similar things happened in the unionized steel industry and in the unionized automobile industry. At one time, U.S. Steel was the largest steel producer in the world and General Motors the largest automobile manufacturer. No more. Their unions were riding high in their heyday, but they too discovered that there is no free lunch, as their members lost jobs by the hundreds of thousands.

Workers have … over the years, increasingly voted against being represented by unions in secret ballot elections.

One set of workers, however, remained largely immune to such repercussions. These are government workers represented by public sector unions.

While oil could replace coal, while U.S. Steel dropped from number one in the world to number ten, and Toyota could replace General Motors as the world’s leading producer of cars, government is a monopoly. Nobody is likely to replace the federal or state bureaucracies, no matter how much money the unions drain from the taxpayers.

That is why government unions continue to thrive while private sector unions decline. Taxpayers provide their free lunch.

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