Thursday, February 27

Night photo tells everything you need to know about communism

Consider, please, the pic below:

Surely everyone over age 20 or so knows what this pic is showing:  The Korean peninsula.  In the lower right corner is South Korea.  The communist North is the black area right in the center, with a few tiny spots of light in it.

This single photo tells you virtually everything you need to know about communism and socialism.  But if you're a leftist like Bill Ayers you'll cheerfully ignore the obvious message.

Why isn't the North awash with light, like the South?

Hint:  It ain't because the North just had a catastrophic power failure. 

It's not because no one lives there.

It's not because they just want to do their part to fight "climate change" (formerly "globull worming") by turning off lights.

It's because they can't generate enough electricity to light anything outside of the capital and a handful of towns.  Because they can't afford to.

And why do you suppose that is?

Hint:  It's NOT because the people in the South are genetically different from their kinsmen in the North.

It's NOT because the Korean war devastated the North but not the South.  (Both were equally devastated.)

So to anyone who thinks socialism, communism or an unelected government is just f'n wonderful:  Kindly explain the photo above, and tell us one more time why the ghastly system you're pushing on us is so great.

Sunday, February 23

Leftist mag claims Venezuelan demonstrations are a plot to seize power for...the right wing??

"The Nation" is a far-left rag staffed by socialists and revolutionaries.  Normally they enthusiastically support every revolution.

But interestingly, they don't like the protests in Venezuela.  And if you've got a high tolerance for idiocy you can check out their "logic" here.

Short answer:  They believe the demonstrations in Caracas and other cities in Vz aren't "genuine."

Seriously, that's what this pencil-neck ex-Berkeley poli-sci professional propagandist wrote.
Behind the scenes, the protests are a reflection of the weakness of the Venezuelan opposition, not its strength.
Seriously?  You're claiming the packed crowds filling block after block, street after street don't amount to genuine protest?

And you'll love the guy's "reason:"  He claims the protesters aren't authentic because he says they're all (gasp!) middle-class.

That's right, comrade:  Middle. Class.  Not the poor working folks that communist theory says are the only people who can make "real" revolutions.

Not only that, the socialist author claims the *real* purpose of the demonstrations is to take power back from the Glorious Socialist Peoples' Party and give it to the eeebil Rich Overlords.

The author roasts the leading political figures of the opposition--one for the crime of having had a "friendly 2005 sit-down with George W. Bush," another for having been "trained in the United States from prep school to Harvard’s Kennedy School, an elite scion if ever there was one."

Well there ya go, campers!  If anyone has any ties to the U.S., they're politically disqualified from taking any leadership role in another country--according to this guy, at least.

Oh, and he excuses the violence of the colectivos--groups of armed thugs, usually on motorcycles, who beat and shoot unarmed protestors.  According to the author the thugs "are in reality among the most independent sectors of the revolution, those most critical of government missteps and hesitations."
These forever victims of the state have nevertheless bet on its potential usefulness in the present, or at the very least have insisted that the alternative—handing the state machinery back over to traditional elites and voluntarily returning to a life on the defensive—is really no alternative at all. This is not a decision undertaken desperately or nostalgically, however, but instead with the most powerful optimism of the will...because to bet on the Bolivarian [i.e. socialist] government is to bet on the people, to wager on the creative capacities of the poor that always exceeds that state.
He's seriously claiming that the organized groups of armed thugs shooting and beating unarmed protesters are "victims of the state" instead of working for the government.  Interesting.

Mind-boggling bullshit.  Commenters on the piece claim businesses are deliberately holding products off the market to destabilize the government.

I wish Venezuelans the best, but have to say I'm not optimistic about their chances.  With guys like this author casting this as an attempt by "the rich" to overthrow a supposedly beneficent, legally elected government, and with China and Cuba both having huge investments in the socialist government, I suspect the Maduro regime will kill thousands more rather than yield.

Venezuela's economic disaster--the lack of most staple commodities, caused by dumb government policies and currency controls--should be a lesson for other countries on the pitfalls of socialism.  Of course it won't be.

And so it goes.

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Letter from a former citizen of the USSR

A blogger in San Francisco has a friend who immigrated to the U.S from the former USSR many years ago.  The former Russian has been watching the sad arc of our increasingly authoritarian and socialist government and wrote the following letter:

In the USSR, we had state-controlled media which shaped every narrative completely.

In America if you want some special food or clever item you can buy it at the corner store. But in the Soviet Union the word "deficit" was commonly used in everyday language.

"This and this product are in deficit." This meant that you couldn't buy them. Maybe for the next three months or maybe forever, unless someone was bribed or the product was obtained via the black market, friends, or contraband.

People were herded into collective farms--the Soviet antithesis of family-owned farms. Under cheerful banners of "accomplishing a five-year plan in four," they usually underperformed and the bureaucrats responsible faked the numbers--which allowed them to move up the chain of command.

"Deficit." I heard this term a lot as I stood in long lines for bread and milk in stores with cheerfully generic names like "Progress" or "Sunrise." The lines resembled those formed by hipsters in America lining up for the sale of the next iPhone model -- except we stood in them every day.

In the local clinic needles were resterilized and reused. Ambulances took three hours to arrive, if they came at all. That was our "free" healthcare.

We also lived in a "free" apartment, which was suffocatingly small by American standards, and it took years, if not decades, for an average couple to obtain such a place. Usually, several generations of a family lived under one roof until the government bestowed upon its citizens another gray five- to sixteen-story building that looked just like its gray neighbor and had the same exact green-painted swings in the yard.

The walls in Soviet apartments were poorly insulated from noise and cold. Therefore, wall carpets were dominant in Soviet culture. They all looked similar, usually colored red with abstract, curving patterns.

Soviet factories were state-controlled. Variety was not a concept. The color red was all over the place -- it garnished the banners hanging off the sides of gray five-story buildings, with profiles of Lenin, Marx, and Engels fluttering lightly in the wind, proclaiming that "Marxism-Leninism is the symbol of our times." Others stated, "Forward toward Communism!"

Red was splattered on our classroom walls and our school uniforms.

Most of us had no concept of "brands." Bread in stores was "the bread." Milk was "the milk." Improvements in design and the manufacturing process did not exist.

When I came to America and laid down on an American bed it was more comfortable than any I'd ever experienced. It was the result of evolving design oriented toward customer satisfaction -- a concept alien to my former homeland. There was no such thing as customer demand because people were poor, the state-controlled prices were very high and product evolution crawled at snail's pace.

The very concept of "customer convenience" did not exist. Cashiers were rude because they were under no obligation to please anyone -- they worked for the state, which never fired anyone.

Our television received three channels--all State-owned. On our evening news program the announcement of the Chernobyl disaster lasted 15 seconds. Our state papers, such as Pravda and Izvestia, weren't read but were as invaluable sources of free toilet paper. This is not a joke.

Soviet propaganda constantly praised the noble working class, and emphasized the nobility of simple working man. Certainly there is something to that. But when the janitor receives roughly the same salary as a teacher, who is paid roughly the same as a surgeon, who is paid roughly the same as a programmer, all of them surrounded by peers who get paid the same no matter how well or poorly they perform, some people end up doing most of the work, and then they just give up. In the end everyone performs poorly.

It was painfully obvious to everyone just how low the desire of the average person is to work hard to produce goods for other people. Without competition or opportunity to get ahead, with the state controlling production and paying equal salaries to workers regardless of their contributions, there was never enough of what people needed.

The first time I entered an American supermarket at the age of seventeen, I froze.

Former Soviet citizens who only visited American stores for the first time after they were much older got hit harder: All the lies they'd been taught all the decades of their lives--until that last moment they expected them to be at least partially true.

Sure, they'd heard tales of unbelievable abundance, but come on, those were just the Potemkin villages, mirages created to make the Soviets jealous. It was unimaginable that they could be true.

"They told us in Odessa that in San Francisco it's hard to find milk."

This is what they were constantly told, and they bought into it. And then they entered that American supermarket and saw the row after row of milk of different brands and kinds and fat percentages.

It's said that some former Soviet citizens actually cried, as they realized that their lives had been stolen from them by the regime. A realization of what could've been, if they had been lucky enough to be born in this place--which, from everything they knew, could not possibly exist.

And yet the poison of Soviet propaganda seeps through college dorms here in California just as it did in Soviet classrooms.

Stop a random youth on the street and you'll find out what he thinks about capitalism (bad!) and communism/socialism (good!). Their favorite news programs are the "Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report," where comedians reinforce their brainwashing via short, catchy clips.

Walk through Berkeley and you will see wall graffiti of the same hammer and sickle that adorned the big red flags of the Soviet era.

This doesn't extend to just youths. People of all ages, even acquaintances that I otherwise respect and admire, are like this. They support the "progressive" leader Barack Obama, worship the nanny state, and believe in equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity.

They badmouth capitalism and complain that only one percent of the American population has the "American dream." They buy into the class warfare rhetoric hook, line, and sinker. They want artificially raised minimum wage, government handouts, and believe that Obamacare is the greatest thing since the invention of pockets.

There are "academic" speakers now who advocate that having too many choices is "bad for you." Too stressful to choose, you see.

Living in the Soviet Union, being bombarded with similar nonsense, we had nothing to contradict it. When we walked outside the school, the everyday reality had no traces of the wealth afforded by capitalism. We lived in the grayness and that grayness was all there was.

Americans leave school to go home and they drop by a mall to buy something from an incredible selection of wealth and choice afforded by capitalism. They drop by a small corner store, which could probably feed a savvy Soviet village for a month (dog food is food, too, you know), and they pick up some "entertainment food" that did not exist in the USSR, in quantities that weren't affordable for an average Soviet family.

Then they go home and write essays on their expensive iPads about how they don't have the American Dream.

Today most American news sources are no different than Pravda and Izvestia. Today the government uses the IRS to stifle political opposition. ObamaCare is a wealth redistribution platform disguised as a common good. Obama is being portrayed in academia and the media alike as a charismatic, messianic, "progressive" figure, fighting for the "underdog." He would feel right at home as the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Now, Obama Youths are me, from decades ago. Leninist academia has had its way with them. Now, just like Soviet leaders, American leaders give lip-service to "social justice" while stocking up on personal wealth for their families.

There's nothing new under the sun. I'm hardly the only ex-Soviet to point out the parallels. But some things matter enough to bear repeating.

Thanks for writing that, Alexsei. I fear your advice is too late, but thanks.

Caracas street scene

According to a regular columnist at the Huffington Post, the unrest in Venezuela has been instigated by...the U.S. government???

Yep, that's what he said.  Funny, I hadn't noticed a single word from the U.S. government supporting the protesters, but maybe they've just been reeeally quiet about it.

In related news, here's a photo of Caracas yesterday:

You may think there are a lot of people there--sorta like the Tea Party gatherings in DC a couple of years ago.  But I hear the Elites at MSNBC estimated the crowd as "a few hundred demonstrators"--just as they did for the Tea Party.

Gosh, sure looks like more than a few hundred, but...our media wouldn't lie about something so easy to disprove, would they?

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Harvard student paper: "Why put up with research that counters our goals?"

A student at Harvard University recently wrote a column for the campus newspaper titled “Let’s Give Up On Academic Freedom in Favor of Justice,”  in which the author asks,
If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?...When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue...
Oh, indeed.  Why put up with research that might show that some of your cherished goals might have an unexpected negative effect?

Why should we even allow research to be done that might show that a liberal program will have a bad effect on the nation?  Why not just accept all liberal goals and programs as wonderful and have done with it?

The author--a "studies of women, gender and sexuality major"--called for replacing academic freedom with a concept she calls "academic justice.”  Deliberately left unsaid is just who would determine what constitutes "academic justice" but I think it's safe to assume that the author believes her side will make that decision.

Harvard University has been a bowl of liberal crazy since the end of WW2.  Unfortunately the academic community takes its cues from Hahvahd in the same way virtually all newspapers take their cues from the NY Times and the WaPo, so I suspect we're seeing the birth of a Movement here.

Crazy folks produce crazy outcomes.

Saturday, February 22

Calfornia state senator accused of taking $100,000 in bribes--to keep $500 Million fraud going

A state senator in California--member of a powerful political family--has been charged with taking over $100,000 in bribes.

"What, a lousy $100,000?  Why would anyone get exercised about such a small bribe?"

Well, one of the bribes was paid by a hospital that was defrauding the state's workers' compensation program--in the amount of $500 Million over five years.  I'd say $100 million a year is pretty serious.  The bribe was to get the senator to back a bill that would keep the scheme going.  The guy who offered the bribe has already pleaded guilty.

Okay, I don't live in California and you don't either, so why bother doing a post on this little non-story?

It's because the senator in question is a Democrat, in a state in which *every* state-wide office is held by a Democrat, and in which Democrats have controlled both chambers of the legislature for longer than I can remember.  It's a one-party government.

Why is that significant?  Because it means the Party will do everything possible to ensure that the perp will get a sweet plea deal.  The Party has a huge interest in sweeping this under the rug as soon as possible.  So it's in their interest to persuade the U.S. Attorney to offer the perp a really attractive plea bargain.  Because the Party's leaders know that if the guy doesn't get an offer he finds attractive, he may reveal *other* instances of corruption in the California legislature.

"Wait," I hear you saying, "that's absurd.  How can the *state* Democratic party have any influence over the *federal* U.S. Attorney's office?"


Okay, you probably wouldn't really ask that because it would show you're terminally naive.

I've got this guy in my alert file so I'll try to fill you in on what deal he eventually gets.

Hey, if you were a Republican senator and took $100G in bribes, how sweet a deal do you think *you'd* get?

Monday, February 17

3 killed in Venezuelan protests

Well, looks like Venezuelans have just about had enough of their socialist government's bullshit, repression and incompetence.  The following is from...ah, I'll tell you at the bottom.

Is This the End of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela?

In the midst of runaway violence, inflation, and shortages of basic goods, Venezuela’s youth have taken to the streets—to take on its Orwellian government.

The text from my friend Luis surprised me. He got a masters degree from an elite Manhattan university and had returned to Venezuela full of hope. He was hired by a local NGO working on poverty abatement issues. But now, he’s fed up.

“Nothing works. There are lines to buy everything. Prices have gone through the roof. You can’t go out at night for fear of getting shot. If you want to get married, finding a place to live is impossible. The country has become unlivable.”

Luis’s story is a depressingly common one on the streets of Venezuela’s major urban centers. People are tired of enduring one of the world’s highest inflation rates, scarcities of basic staples like toilet paper, and the near certainty that things are going to get worse before they get better. A few days ago the Associated Press reported on Venezuelans camping on the sidewalk to get information about emigrating to Ireland.

This week the streets of Caracas and other large Venezuelan cities saw large protests that ended with three people shot dead and dozens wounded.  Eyewitnesses blame the violence on government-sponsored armed motorcycle gangs, similar to the ones used to suppress pro-democracy protests in Iran in 2009.

The protestors are mostly middle-class high-school and college students who reject the path Venezuela is taking.
What path might that be, cupcake?
Their objectives are hazy, ranging from an end to rampant crime to the resignation of the nation’s president, Nicolás Maduro.

Mostly, they are desperate. They see a dark future ahead, one in which Venezuela’s slow slide into a Cuban-style autocracy accelerates and is finally realized in its entirety.  In a remarkable act of defiance they have continued to protest throughout the country even after Maduro supposedly "banned” all protests.

This “ban,” apparently decided on a whim and not really enforced, highlights the absurd contradictions of a government that appears to have lost both its propaganda skill and its compass.

On Friday Maduro launched a government program of "peace and tolerance” during which he denounced the protestors as “fascists.” While the launch was being broadcast by all TV and radio stations in the country, the National Guard was attacking peaceful demonstrators with tear gas.

The government claims protestors "want a coup," and that the government is merely defending democracy, while simultaneously forcing a Colombian news channel, NTN24, off the cable grid for broadcasting coverage of the protests.

Venezuelans are accustomed to their government using Orwellian language. Indeed, this is a government that claims the scarcity and inflation caused by its own disastrous economic policies is somehow the consequence of an economic war engineered by the opposition. Its president claims his predecessor died of cancer because his enemies "inoculated” him with the disease.

Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, once claimed capitalism had killed life on Mars, but insane statements clearly did not die with him. It’s clear that the governing elites in Caracas have a shaky grip on reality—and the problem is institutional. Venezuela’s political life has become a bad reality TV show, and the country’s youth simply wants it to end.
The article above is from The Daily Beast--a hard-Left blog.  At first I was amazed that a left-supporting blog would post a single word acknowledging trouble in a fellow-socialist country.  Could a few American leftists, I wondered, finally be willing to criticize socialism?

I know--just not possible.  The word "socialism" never appears in the article, nor does the author describe Maduro's government as "socialist."  Even after tiptoeing up to the line by noting that young Venezuelans "reject the path Venezuela is taking," the author can't bear to violate one of the cardinal rules of the left by actually mentioning what path that is.

When a socialist regime explodes, Leftists and media talking heads dare not name the system lest they be removed from the A-list for cocktail parties in D.C., NY and Hollywood.

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When can a president change or ignore a law at will?

Let's review:  The Constitution says Congress is supposed to pass laws, and the president is supposed to enforce what congress passes.

But Barack Obama--according to the Lying Media a "professor of constitutional law"--has decided the Constitution is obsolete, at least insofar as it purports to tell him what he's allowed to do.  So in his vast wisdom, HE has decided he will decide what part of a written law he will enforce, and which he will simply change.

That is so cool!  Why should we have to wait while that plodding, worthless congress grinds out the details of amending a law when a president can simply settle things by decree?

With the stage thus set, I invite your attention to the graphic below:  Having rammed Obamacare into law, without allowing a single Republican amendment, Barack Hussein Obama has now seen fit to amend that law--by decree--so many times you've lost count.  (Not that the media was keeping track anyway.)

This is unconstitutional.  He should be facing impeachment and removal from office.  "Period."

Sunday, February 16

Don't confuse 5th-graders with the facts--or so the public schools seem to think

Did you know one of the jobs of the president was to "make sure the laws of the country are fair"?

I didn't know that.  In fact, I thought the judicial branch--which the Founders amusingly assumed would be governed by something called "The Constitution"--determined whether a law was "fair."

If you heard this being taught in public schools you might thing something was amiss.  But don't worry, citizen:  It's okay because they're just teaching this to 5th-graders.  Trying to be, you know, accurate would only confuse 'em.  Plus the schools have, like, seven more years to clear this up...or to fill 'em with even more bullshit.

How about this one:  "The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all."   I like that!  Has a nice ring to it.  Sorta like the defense used by Nazis at the Nuremberg trials:  "You can't try me for gassing those civilians because I was just following orders!"

Oh, wait...the nations conducting those trials ruled that both soldiers and civilians were required to know what kinds of orders were legal, and to not obey illegal orders--and that if they did they could face the death penalty for doing so.  But no matter--the schools are just teaching this to 5th-graders, and they're not nearly sophisticated enough to realize that's "You must obey all commands from government officials" isn't actually what we tell adults to do.

We need to keep things simple for 11-year-olds: "The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all" is nice and simple--much like "If the president does it, it's legal"--which is how former president Richard Nixon described the chief executive's powers.

The two lines above are from the latest darling of the Education Establishment called "Common Core."  Image of the source (click to enlarge):

As some famous person said, "Get 'em when they're young and you can get 'em to believe anything you tell 'em."

An old quote

I ran across this bit as a highschool kid and instantly loved it:
Throughout history, abject poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded--here and there, now and then--are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.

Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into poverty. This is known as "bad luck."

-- Robert A. Heinlein

"Dawning awareness"

Liberal columnist David Brooks recently observed that while fifty percent of Americans over 65 believe America is the greatest nation on earth, only 27 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 believe that.

I doubt if anyone is surprised by the huge difference.

Congratulations, David.  Your people, your side's theories and policies, are doing exactly what most of us here in flyover country knew they would.

You hated the notion of a strong, assertive America; hated the idea that middle-class plumbers in Tennessee could save enough from an average salary to buy 200-horsepower bass boats to pull with their 350-horse pickup trucks.  You hated the idea of capitalism and free markets, in which innovative, imaginative people just started companies to build whatever they wanted, without asking official permission from the government--whose agents presumably always knew whether some new idea was good or bad.

You and your fellow elites were constantly, openly contemptuous of Christians, the military, gun owners and conservatives.  Your followers down the information food chain--film makers, TV writers and producers, academics, local editors, down to highschool teachers--all parroted your "liberal" ideas.

You constantly complained that we should be more like those fabulous, enlightened Europeans.

And it worked.  You got what you wanted.

But would you believe, the chain of events you and your liberal/"progressive" friends willfully set in motion hasn't quite stopped yet.  Not by a long shot.  The trend you've all worked for has a lot more effects to show you.  And I suspect a lot of you will be...less than thrilled by most of those effects.

Of course a few key players knew what they were unleashing.  They'll be delighted by the effects.  For them it will be mission accomplished.

Back when I flew for a living I was an avid student of aircraft accident reports, studying every word of the radio transmissions, cockpit voice recorder transcripts and so on, to find tiny clues to doing (or not doing) things that would hopefully enable me to avoid whatever caused that crash.

The most interesting crashes were caused not by catastrophic mechanical failure but by pilots flying a perfectly good plane into the ground because they misinterpreted where they were, or the real significance of some instrument's readings.  For example, they would begin a descent at night cleared to a certain altitude but for some reason would descend through the assigned safe altitude and crash.

In reading literally thousands of transcripts, one can often identify a moment that can be described as one of  dawning awareness on the part of the flight crew, in which they begin to realize that because of their misunderstanding of the aircraft's position or situation, they now found themselves--unexpectedly--in a situation in which death was likely minutes or seconds away.

Having descended over ocean or mountains on moonless nights hundreds of times I can imagine--in vivid detail--the disoriented feeling the pilots must experience as that awareness dawns on them.

I suspect that before their lives are over Mr. Brooks and about half of his peers will experience such a dawning awareness of what they've set in motion. 

The other half will still be yelling "It's all Bush's fault!" as the plane hits the water.

Saturday, February 15

Venezuela collapsing under socialism

In the 1980s Venezuela had the highest standard of living in all of South America.  It had the world's 5th-largest reserves of oil and was awash in oil, money, jobs and good things.

Today--just 30 years after that time of wealth and abundance--Venezuelans have a hard time finding toilet paper, soap, milk, get the idea.  Non-government citizens had to get on a two-year waiting list to buy a car--and now new cars are no longer available.

Toyota Motor Company--which has an assembly plant in Venezuela--said it would shut down its plant because the government’s foreign exchange controls have made it impossible to import the parts needed to build cars.  Other car manufacturers in the country, including Ford and GM, haven’t even started operations this year because needed parts haven't arrived.

What caused this collapse?  Did the oil run out?  Did a neighboring country invade?  Did some plague devastate the population?

Well it actually was a plague of sorts: Venezuela was devastated by the policies of its socialist government, first under Hugo Chavez and now under Nicolas Maduro.

I mention Venezuela's troubles to show how astonishingly fast a nation can go from a flourishing, world-class economy--again, the highest standard of living in all of South America--to poverty.  In Venezuela's case the actual collapse took closer to 15 years than 30.

In this respect Venezuela isn't exceptional:  In almost every case, when the economy of a once-great nation finally collapses that collapse is frighteningly fast.  There are several reasons:  First, the government has a huge incentive to keep up the appearance of normalcy, so as it pulls out all the stops to keep funding the huge deficits that inevitably accompany socialism, it clamps down on the release of all information that might alarm the populace.

Second:  Long before the collapse, a large number of the nation's skilled, educated citizens try to emigrate to freer countries where they can use their skills and ambition to make a better life.  At some point the drain of significant talent and ingenuity makes it too hard for those remaining to keep the productive machinery going.  Bit by bit the nation's production falls off.

In the case of Venezuela, about ten years ago many of the smartest employees of the state-owned oil company (PDVSA) saw what Chavez was doing and started speaking out against him.  Chavez promptly fired them all, replacing them with party loyalists.  Unfortunately (if predictably) the party hacks were less skilled than their predecessors, and the machinery of oil exploration and production began to deteriorate--fast. 

Two years after the mass firing PDVSA drilled a total of just four wells--in a nation with the world's 5th largest reserves of oil!  To put that in perspective, in 2014 private oil companies in Kansas drilled over 3,900 oil or gas wells.

The mass firing was insane.  But of course no one in the country would dare say so for fear of government retaliation.  Chavez routinely seized--yep, just flat stole--newspapers, radio or television stations that printed or broadcast anything critical of his policies.  (Which is why the plan floated by the U.S. FCC to put "content monitors" in the offices of newspapers and broadcasters caused a lot of concern here in the U.S.)

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of a catastrophic economic collapse is that it erases memory of how to do the productive things a modern society needs.  No citizen left in Venezuela will know how to reopen a car assembly plant, or a soap-making factory.  No one left in the country will know how to repair a dead electrical generating plant, or an oil refinery. The engineers have all emigrated to the booming oil business in Alberta, Canada.

A whole generation of Venezuelan children is now growing up whose sole knowledge of obtaining food will be how to find the government store that hands it out--the U.S. equivalent of using an EBT card.

Now, I really, reeeally sympathize with Americans who read this and think, What happened to Venezuela Simply Cannot Happen Here.  You sincerely, deeply want to believe it couldn't.  You literally cannot allow yourself to believe it.  Because to acknowledge the path, the logic, the...cause and effect relationship--is to acknowledge that the policies of "progressives"/socialists--supported by the votes and dollars of well-intentioned Democrats just like you--are disastrous.  Coming to terms with that is to recognize that unless we're granted some astonishing, unprecedented miracle, your kids will likely live that future.

Let me be clearer: The policies you supported--by your vote both for the nation's president and for creatures like Harry "I Destroyed the Filibuster" Reid and Nancy "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it" Pelosi--have set us on the path to this outcome.

For those who still think it can't happen that quickly:  In the 1960s Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the U.S.

What's Detroit like today?

One of the familiar landmarks of the path to collapse is when a president either demands or simply takes the power to make laws by decree.  They always do that, for three reasons:  First because they believe no one except themselves really knows how to run things; but also because as events start occurring faster and faster they don't want to bother taking the months needed to guide bills into law through the legislative process.  And third is because they love the power of being emperor.

Sound familiar?  Obama has used Executive Orders--or simple decrees--to delay the start dates for the painful phases of ObamaCare or make similar changes to that "law" in other areas 15 times.  By amazing coincidence those decrees delayed the start of painful effects until after the 2014 elections.

It's a total coincidence that this will greatly improve the chances of Democrats losing fewer congressional seats than they otherwise would have.

And establishment Republican congresswhores are scarcely better, refusing to oppose Obama's unconstitutional actions.

Gentlemen, by your refusal to do your job--the one assigned to congress by the Founders as one of the three supposedly-equal branches of government--you have surrendered our nation to tyranny as surely as if you had surrendered to a foreign foe.  May your children eventually be so shamed by your cowardice that they change their names.

"Quien es Juan Galt?"

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Wednesday, February 12

Stock market paralleling 1929?

The graph below shows the Dow Jones Industrials for the past 19 months, compared with the same period before the infamous stock market crash of 1929.


If this graph is accurate (I haven't verified it), the match on the small scale suggests that the market may reflect investor psychology far more closely than we ever imagined.

Monday, February 10

January job report: Fewer Americans cursed with "job lock"

Wow, did you hear the latest job report (for January)??  It was amazing!  The official unemployment rate fell to *minus* 1.3 percent!!

The transmission may have stuck a spurious negative sign in there but the idea is accurate:  It's getting better and better!  And no one has any reason to suspect the number is bullshit, because...well, it was calculated by a real office of the Obama administration!  Which, as we keep hearing from the MSM, is "the most transparent in history!"

I think "transparent" is supposed to mean honest or something.

Economic analysts had predicted that nearly 200,000 people would be enslaved by full-time employment during the month of January. In fact, only 133,000 were cursed with what the Obama administration, the Democrats and every member of the Mainstream Media are now calling "job lock"--the condition in which people are virtually forced to keep a job they presumably don't want, solely to get less-expensive group health insurance.

But thanks to the heroic efforts of the pResident and his strategists, 67,000 Americans were spared the agony of being "locked into" a job.

Thanks, Democrats!

Sorry, I shouldn't be sarcastic about that.  After all, it wasn't Obama's fault. 

It was George Bush's fault.

Saturday, February 8

7 months before the 2008 election Obama said Bush "not going through congress" was our biggest problem. But now...

How...interesting:  Here's a quote from some guy in March of 2008:

Oh, wait...that wasn't just "some guy," that was Barack Hussein Obama hisself!! 

Wait, that can't be true, because Obozo has arrogated more power to himself than any previous president with the possible exception of FDR.  He's openly, repeatedly said he intends to go around congress to do what he wants to do.

Wow.  And in 2008--not quite six years ago--the lying piece of shit was complaining about Bush doing what Obama has doubled-down on doing?

And just for the record, is there anyone out there who can cite an actual example of Bush defying congress?  My alcohol-addled recollection is that Bush actually sought and got congressional approval to invade Iraq--unlike Hussein who ordered the U.S. Air Force to bomb Libya with no congressional approval.

Wow, the hypocrisy is strong with this one.  And of course his supporters don't recall the 2008 quote-- and wouldn't believe it if you showed 'em the video.

Odd story surfaces about an attack on a transformer station in CA

I've done dozens of pieces on why you can't trust the Lying Mainstream Media--not just because they routinely lie but also because of they keep you in the dark by choosing what NOT to publish.

To put it another way:  If a terrorist killed a dozen people in, say, Washington D.C. but no media outlet reported the event, most Americans would deny it ever happened.  Because it wasn't reported.

Consider the latest example:  Last Wednesday the Wall Street Journal ran a story about an attack on an electric transformer installation near San Jose, Calif.  In 19 minutes the attacker or attackers fired 100 rounds from a rifle at the thin-walled oil-cooling tubes on the outside of the huge transformers, disabling 17.  Without cooling oil the transformers quickly overheated and shut down--which shut down power to a big chunk of Silicon Valley.

One small thing:  the attack occurred last April.

But I'll bet you never heard about it, because the national media decided it wasn't important.

The WSJ story posed the question of whether the attack was the work of vandals or something more dangerous — a trial run by an individual or organization bent on damaging the nation's electric grid.

This last possibility was quickly re-labeled "domestic terrorism" by NPR and other liberal media outlets--both to reinforce the ludicrous belief that the only type of terror threat in the U.S. is from conservatives and military veterans, and to prevent the sheep from thinking there might be a threat from Muslim fanatics already in the U.S.  Heaven forbid we should profile or something.
Now, I would bet the attack was done by a PG&E employee who'd been fired for drinking or drugs or similar.  But the point is that the story hasn't suddenly gotten more important since last April.  In fact not one thing has been discovered since the attack that would make it more or less likely to be a trial run.  So if it's newsworthy now--and I think it is--it had exactly the same news value last April.

Yet the networks sat on the story.  You might ask yourself why. 

And then ask whether they'd tell you there was a known, proven threat by a foreign terrorist group in your city or county.  Can't go stirring up panic among the sheep, eh?

NAACP claims making people show photo ID to vote is wrong. But it's okay to make 'em have photo ID to take part in....

"Hey man, you know you Rethuglicans are raaaacis' to support state laws requiring a photo-ID to vote!  Cuz, a lot of Our People don't have one, so it'd be Waaaay too hard for them to get one to vote.

So by insisting on photo ID you're really jus' tryin' to keep people of color from voting.  Stupid racists."

I think we've all heard arguments like that from the NAACP and Eric Holder and Sheila Jackson-Lee and the rest of the gang.  So let me be sure I understan' ya:
    Photo ID bad, right?
    Raaacist, right?
    Never proper to require one, right?

Hmm.  The argument has always struck most rational Americans as bullshit, seeing as how you have to have photo ID to board an airplane or get welfare in most states.  But let's run with it for a second.

Would you be surprised if a black organization required a photo ID to attend a rally?  Well check this out:

So the NAACP is requiring folks who want to take part in a civil-rights demonstration to have photo ID.  Amazing.

But wait, it gets better!

The purpose of the demonstration--slated for today--is to support a handful of normal proggie causes, one of which protest voter ID laws.

I swear, liberals/Democrats/"progressives" must be born with a genetic inability to understand both "irony" and hypocrisy.

Is work valuable for a lot *more* than just the income?

Working--doing a job, whether on your own or employed by another--creates in the mind a vivid, unforgettable link between actions and consequences.

Few human behaviors have a tighter, more effective feedback loop between actions and consequences than work.  Working hard all day and having the boss hand you cash at the end of the day or week is amazingly effective at shaping behavior.

Working--coming home dog-tired after busting your ass for 8 or 10 or 12 hours straight--not only gives a sense of accomplishment and pride, but--equally important--also creates respect for the work of others.

People who don't work, and have only worked rarely during their lives, have a far harder time making the crucial connection between actions and consequences.  Moreover, they often lack the respect for the work one must normally do to buy things.  Thus one would expect such people to have little moral objection to stealing, since they don't really internalize the amount of work their victim had to do to get the thing they stole.

Same argument for fraud--which is a kind of theft.

Thus a good case can be made that work is essential to creating moral and ethical behavior in humans.

If so, you'd think it would be obvious that laws creating government programs that reduced the number of jobs, or gave people an extra incentive to quit working, would never be passed.

So why do so many such laws exist in the U.S.?  Well, until 2008 laws were made exclusively by congress, and for the last 80 years or so Democrats had majority control of congress about 94% of the time.  (And in fairness, during those brief intervals when Repubs had a majority they kept the gusher of government programs flowing.)

Now all Democrat pols--and half the Repubs--have come to believe that the only reliable way to create more jobs is to pass laws that let the *government* do the hiring.  But of course this is financially disastrous, since the government has to borrow money to fund its expenditures even now.  But it's impossible to convince a Democrat that this constitutes a valid argument against creating government jobs!

I'd love to tell you that I see hopeful signs in arcane figures published by little-known agencies or analysts, and that we're on a slow road to recovery.  Unfortunately I don't--and believe me I've tried everything I can think of to devise a solution for America's current problems.

But don't worry:  As long as the politicians don't increase taxes on the working class, those who work will continue to make ends meet, even if they aren't able to afford vacations or luxuries like going to the movies.  For the most part what you'll see is 1) streets getting worse, as cities delay maintenance so they can spend the money elsewhere; 2) burned-out streetlights and those knocked down by cars on urban freeways will stay out/down longer, same reason; 3) cities will shut down more pools, parks and similar "commons" areas; 4) police will get much more aggressive in issuing traffic tickets and tickets for other city-code violations, as a revenue-raising measure; 5) commodities being temporarily out of stock; 6) rolling blackouts as electric utilities prevented from adding capacity bump into their max limits; 7) flattening of college enrollments; 8) gradual aging of the automobile stock, as people on the margin keep their cars another few months or years; 9) an increase in crime, especially in jail-capacity-limited states like California, which has started letting criminals do GPS-ankle-bracelet house arrest even for felony theft.

Democrats: 2.5 Million fewer jobs due to ObamaCare is actually increasing FREEDOM! So how can GOP object?

A few days ago the Congressional Budget Office--the office that's supposed to analyze the cost of laws and government programs--issued a report stating that ObamaCare was going to result in 2.5 *million* fewer U.S. jobs over the next decade.

Republicans responded by saying "We told you so."  The law is horribly ill-conceived and written, and will have horrible consequences as long as it's in force.  And in the current economy, 2.5 million fewer jobs over a decade absolutely, unequivocally qualifies as a complete disaster.

To make matters worse, the CBO is historically pro-Democrat and very friendly to their programs, so it always errs on the "not so bad / not so costly" side.  So if the CBO forecasts X fewer jobs, the real impact is likely to be higher.

So...faced with a damning report from a normally-friendly source, what do you think Democrat strategists did?  Of course:  circle the wagons and deny, deny, lie, lie.

One well-known liberal tactic is for Democratic organs to quickly reverse their historic position and claim that what was bad when Bush did it is actually good now.  As I posted a few days ago, the NY Slimes editorial board--not just some crazy-ass guest columnist, but the consensus of the whole board--took this route, claiming 2.5 million fewer jobs was a good thing.  Because it freed Americans from having to stay with jobs they only kept for the health insurance.

To refresh your memory--and unless you follow the liberal-conservative wars you don't remember it at all--back when George W. Bush was president the Times claimed a monthly *gain* of 100,000 jobs was just *terrible*, awful, anemic--a "jobless recovery."  But suddenly, with Duh King in the oval office, a policy that will shit-can 2.5 MILLION jobs is a GOOD thing???

Everyone on the Times is willing to tie themselves in logical knots to try to support crappy Obama/Dem/liberal/"progressive" policies.  And it's so ludicrously obvious when they praise a result that they lambasted when it happened under Bush--like this one.

So what's happening now that the Times has set the message is that other liberal/Dem/"progressive" standard-bearers are picking it up.  For example, a guy who has the title of "senior congressional reporter" for the Huffington Post--again, not a guest wacko--has slyly implied that because the lost jobs actually amount to giving Americans more *freedom*, then for conservatives to criticize ObamaCare is really criticizing...freedom!
There’s an irony in the GOP complaining that ACA lets people quit jobs. I mean, what’s wrong with freedom?
Hey, give this guy the Joe Goebbels medal for creative writing!  What's next from the Democrats, eh?  How about "New Democrat proposal to ban gun sales to anyone who's ever had a traffic ticket is actually giving Americans MORE FREEDOM, since they won't have to fill out any paperwork!  Thanks, Democrats!"

"Shortage of heating oil and natural gas to heat homes is actually giving Americans MORE FREEDOM since they'll get the chance to walk through the countryside and pick up brush to burn for heat!!"

"Scarcity of meat due to EPA emission regulations will actually give Americans MORE FREEDOM to experiment with new recipes!  Thanks, Obama!"

"Six-month wait-list for MRI scan will actually give sick Americans MORE FREEDOM to research alternative diagnostic and treatment methods!  Thanks, Obama!"

In his famous novel "1984" George Orwell had the Party pushing three famous lines :  "Freedom is slavery," and "War is peace."  And "If you like your health insurance you can keep it.  Period."

I may not be remembering that last one right but it was something like that.

Coming soon to liberal publications nationwide.

Thursday, February 6

NYT editorial board: "Obamacare cutting 2.5 million jobs is a GOOD thing."

The NY Times--like virtually all the Lying Mainstream Media--has always supported Obama (and all Democrats).  So as their king's mis-steps become increasingly obvious, they've had to do some amazing leaps of illogic in their editorials trying to rationalize his incompetence (if that's what it is).

The pretzel-logic makes for some amazing reading.  Case in point is this Times editorial published yesterday, titled "Freeing Workers From the Insurance Trap," in which the paper's editorial board actually claims that cutting the number of full-time Americans with jobs by 2.5 million is a good thing.

That's not a typo.  They really did claim that.  Take a look:

A new report found that by reducing the number of full-time workers over the coming decade, the health care law will have a liberating impact for millions.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated on Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2.5 million over the next decade. That is mostly a good thing, a liberating result of the law.
Of course, Republicans immediately tried to brand the findings as “devastating” and stark evidence of President Obama’s health care reform as a failure and a job killer. It is no such thing.

The report estimated that thanks to an increase in insurance coverage under the act, and to the availability of subsidies to help pay the premiums, many workers who felt obliged to stay in a job that provided health benefits would now be able to leave those jobs or choose to work fewer hours than they otherwise would have. In other words, the report is about the choices workers can make when they are no longer tethered to an employer because of health benefits. The cumulative effect on the labor supply will be the equivalent of 2.5 million fewer full-time workers by 2024.

Employees with a pre-existing condition will now be able to quit their job because insurers now have to insure all Americans regardless of their health status, at the same premium as everyone else. Some may have felt they needed to keep working to pay for health insurance, but now new government subsidies will help pay premiums, making it easier for them to quit their jobs.

The report clearly stated that health reform would not produce an increase in unemployment (workers unable to find jobs) or underemployment (part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week). It also found “no compelling evidence” that, as of now, part-time employment has increased as a result of the reform law, a frequent claim of critics. Whether that will hold up after a mandate that requires employers to provide coverage, which was delayed until 2015, kicks in is uncertain.
Holy shit.  Hard to see that much crap in such a short space and still function.

Can someone tell me how 2.5 MILLION fewer full-time workers can translate to NO increase in unemployment?  Of course I'm just an unenlightened resident of Flyover Country, so I prolly don't understand that sophisticated NY logic.

Yeh, dat's it.

Next thing ya know the Times will be claiming that massive layoffs of their employees is also "liberating."  Cuz, you know, all them enlightened types would rather collect unemployment than have a job.

It is *such* a drag having to get up and go to work every day.  Won't it be great when NO ONE has to work anymore?  After the Democrats have gotten the government to pay for all our food, clothing, housing and entertainment, and brought in millions of immigrants to keep our houses clean?  I am *so* looking forward to that! 

Wait, are you saying there's already a pressure group formed to let the *newly legalized, formerly-illegal immigrants get the same no-work deal as us?  But then who'll do the *work*?  If this no-one-has-to-work scheme was being pushed by anyone but Democrats I might even think it has a cleverly-hidden flaw that no one has yet discovered!

Do I need to add the /sarc tag?

Dictator vows to seize businesses that don't comply with his decrees

Venezuela is having tough economic times--a direct result of stupid dictatorial decisions by their ridiculously dumb socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, who has basically decreed that businesses must sell their products at a loss.

Needless to say, almost no business owner supports this policy.

No matter:  Maduro is known for his skill for negotiating, and said “We will expropriate whatever needs to be expropriated.”

"You have until Monday to comply; otherwise, I will take the most radical measures,” Maduro said.  “I am determined to make an economic revolution. Nobody, nothing will stop me!” he said.

"I have a pen and a phone, and I do not intend to wait for congress!  Comrade Obama has shown me the way one needs to rule to make progress!"

That last 'graf may have been poorly translated, but you get the drift.

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Monday, February 3

Socialism's path summarized

In general, free markets manage themselves pretty well:  Supply and demand find a way to equilibrate, both via prices and new suppliers entering tight markets to make money by satisfying a demand for goods or services.  That ol' "invisible hand" is amazingly skilled.

Of course totalitarians of every stripe--socialists, statists, fascists, whatever--absolutely can't *stand* to let people run their own affairs.  They insist on controlling--first just a few things but ultimately every aspect of the economy.

Problem is, they don't know how to manage *anything*--particularly something as complex as an entire economy.  So when things start going south (inevitably), they issue orders or decrees that end up worsening the problems they themselves created.

Socialists/communists/statists/"progressives" ALWAYS go this route:

1.  "Most of our supporters are poor.  We'll fix that by giving them money, which we'll get by taking it from The Rich.  Yeah, dat's da ticket!  Problem solved!"

2.  "Wow, who knew there were so MANY poor?  Or that they'd need SO MUCH?  So when the total needs of the poor for government money exceed revenue, do we reverse course?  Not at all--we'll simply print more money...LOTS of money.  Cuz we wanna "help da people."  

3. After printing LOTS of money, surprise!  Lots of cash chasing too few goods means prices go up!  Wow, who could possibly have seen *that* coming?  We socialists issued a decree that should have made things all better, and somehow this happened.  It's unfair!  And illogical!  It must be because businessmen are cunningly holding back their goods to make more money!  Yeah, dat's it!! 

4. When prices skyrocket, do you admit you made a mistake by printing so much money and cut the money supply?  Not even close! You impose PRICE CONTROLS--which creates a black market by those evil people on the street (who have common sense but no PhD in socialism) so people can get things they want or need, even though they have to pay hugely inflated prices.  No one is forcing either buyer or seller to do this, yet they freely agree to such deals--a lot.  And you can't *stand it,* because it threatens your control.  So you pass a law jailing anyone who buy or sell at more than the government-decreed price.

5. After you impose price controls--ordering businesses to sell controlled items at artificially low prices--the controlled items sell out immediately, and the shelves/stores are empty.  Now what?  Do you realize how stupid you are and stop doing what you're doing?  No way!  You blame the Yankees and businessmen for refusing to supply goods at the decreed, artificially low price.  How dare they refuse to give away their products for less than the cost to produce them?! 

6. After stores go out of business, and businesses that made consumer goods close because they can't make ends meet at the State-decreed price, most of the business class starts leaving the country.  Now what??  Do you realize the productive folks are bailing out, and that your moronic supporters can't run a complex factory, and end price controls?  Hahahahaha!  Of course not!  You declare victory for socialism and move everyone out of the cities to the farms to grow food for the party members.

7.  Eventually your supporters kill a lot of people.  But of course it's not socialism's fault!  And most certainly not YOUR fault.  After all, you did all the right things.  It was just greedy businessmen, or the American CIA, or "counter-revolutionary forces," or the bourgeoisie who sabotaged you.

This exact scenario is playing out right now in Venezuela.  Oh, wait--you probably think I just made that up because I oppose statists and socialists.  Actually the link is to the WaPo.

The absolutely hysterical thing is, the Post's editors and reporters totally support Barack Hussein Obama doing exactly the same thing here.  They report--if reluctantly--on the woes of socialism in Venezuela but embrace the same policies here.

What the hell do they think ObamaCare is if not socialism?

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Sunday, February 2

Interesting developments overseas

Interesting signs of the times.  See if you can detect a pattern. 

First, North Korea appears to be re-starting its nuclear weapons development program.  In written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said North Korea has expanded the size of the uranium enrichment facility at the Nyongbyon nuclear complex and restarted a plutonium-producing reactor that was shut down in 2007.

Second:  Sources say Syria has turned over less than five percent of its chemical weapons arsenal and will miss next week’s deadline to turn over all such weapons, which were to be removed and destroyed by an international team.

The deliveries, in two shipments this month to a Syrian port, totaled 4.1 percent of the roughly 1433 metric tons of toxic agents reported by the Syrian government to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“It’s not enough and there is no sign of more,” said one source.

The pattern is that no one overseas believes the U.S. any longer has the will to enforce international agreements.

Huh, I wonder where they could have gotten such an impression.

Arguing with a liberal?

Couldn't resist re-posting this from a commenter over at Belmont Club:
I used to compare arguing with a liberal to arguing with a rock.  Then I realized that was unfair to the rock, which is certainly as well informed as the liberal--and considerably less arrogant.

A few questions--nailed to the door of the U.S. Capitol building

What if the government is pressuring the cellular service providers to let them get a record of the numbers we call and where we go?  (Hint: Two providers have already said that's true.) What could you do about it?

You say you'd invoke the Constitution's protection against warrantless search?  Good luck--because the Supreme Court has long since implicitly ruled that the Constitution is no longer the supreme law of this nation.
Employees of the federal government routinely do things in clear violation of what the laws say they can do (example: IRS applying vastly different standards to liberal versus conservative political-action groups).  How do you propose to stop that from happening?

When Obama's hand-picked "Director of National Intelligence" appeared before congress--under oath--and was asked if the government was collecting certain types of telephone use data on Americans, he flat-out, brazenly lied.  Yet he wasn't fired, which suggests that Obama approves of this behavior.  What message does this send to other government managers about lying to congress?  How do we stop that?

The president sold congress and the country a Trojan horse called the "Affordable Care Act"--partly by brazenly and falsely telling Americans--on 40 occasions--that under the proposed law, if you liked your doctor and insurance plan you could keep them.

It turned out to be a brazen lie, yet he's still president and all the Democrats who voted for it (not a single Republican in the House and only two RINOs in the senate did) are still in office.  What can you do about it?

ObamaCare made insurance coverage so expensive that some people lost their jobs because their employers could not afford to pay the huge extra cost required under the new law.  Over six million Americans lost their insurance coverage overnight and most haven’t gotten replacement coverage yet.  And with very few exceptions what they're getting is a lot more expensive and comes with huge deductibles.  But if you're one of those people, what are your options?

Some of the president's supporters claim this was the president’s plan all along, so that he could orchestrate an even more grasping government takeover of the health insurance industry called "single-payer."  Wow, sounds even better, eh?  And your options would be...?

There's evidence that the CIA told the president right away that the Benghazi attack was not just a spontaneous protest by fanatics who were upset about a video posted on the internet.  Yet for three weeks  his appointees claimed it was all sparked by a video.

The record is clear that the president dispatched his then-U.N. ambassador to all the Sunday TV talk-shows to advance this falsehood, and later tried to reward her by nominating her to be the next secretary of state.  This was later withdrawn when it became clear she'd be grilled during the required confirmation hearings.

The president's lackeys claim the unemployment rate is 6.7 percent but so many people have stopped looking for jobs that it is really 10.2 percent.

The number of American residents on food stamps has jumped from 28 million to almost 48 million during Obama's term in office.  Yet he refuses to take even the tiniest pro-job action, such as approving the northern leg of the Keystone pipeline.  And continues to encourage the EPA to issue job-killing regulations.

The president unilaterally raised the minimum wage to be paid to workers on federal projects.  Nice if you're a federal employee, but what is the constitutional provision authorizing him to do that without a law?  None.  But what can you do?

The Constitution explicitly orders that the president enforce the laws of the land, and the courts have ruled that the president can't unilaterally amend or postpone the effective dates of federal laws.  But he's done that repeatedly.  Yet despite violating the Constitution, he hasn't been impeached and removed from office.
Now consider this:  Obamacare, "Fast and Furious," the illegal bankruptcy reorganizations of GM and Chrysler, and "Cash for Clunkers" all came in Obozo's first term. Since second-term presidents don't have to worry about re-election, those bent on doing harm are greatly unburdened.

This president already believes he answers to no one, and has violated the Constitution repeatedly.  What will he try during his second term?  If you're a hard-working, tax-paying, family-oriented American, chances are 99 percent that you won't like it.  But what can you do about it ?

Saturday, February 1

Interviewer asks Obama supporters "How did you like the SOTU speech?"...before it happened

Do ya ever worry just a little that "low-information voters" may have become a majority in this country?  (Cuz that would mean that even if you could prove to 'em that candidate X was an America-hating communist, they'd still vote for him/her as long as the guy/gal promised 'em lotsa shit.)

Well in that case, welcome to the "NO-information voter"--people who invent stuff that hasn't happened yet, as long as it reflects favorably on their worldview.

Obozo's "State of the Coup" speech was last Tuesday.  Before the speech an interviewer (with video rolling) asked a bunch of people how they liked it.


Cuz, see, the speech hadn't happened yet, right?  But that little detail didn't slow down our eager respondents one bit.

How did they like the speech?  Why, they *loved* it!  The interviewer asked them what they liked best, or what they thought about Boehner falling asleep, or about the president's controversial tie, and all of 'em filled in every bit of detail you could imagine--about an event that hadn't happened.

Stay classy, Democrats.

Congress is a joke

Congress has long been a joke: 
  • They routinely pass 1500-page bills that none of them have read;
  • They give bills misleading titles, so that voters are mis-led into thinking a bill is intended to do one thing when in fact it would do exactly the opposite; 
  • The Democrats pass bills that are financial disasters--because they spend trillions we don't have--in order to buy votes from uneducated voters who have zero understanding of finances;
  • Republicans routinely cave to Democrat/socialist pressure and end up voting for disasters like immigration "reform" and expansion of entitlement programs;
Washington is said to be a world apart from the rest of the country. Politicians are generally a lot wealthier than the average American, and they don't seem to really know what they're doing--other than buying votes.

Which brings us to the 2014 "farm bill" just passed by the House.

This bill--which the senate is expected to pass easily--was a year overdue.  A farm bill is supposed to be thrashed out every five years, but congress couldn't agree a year ago, so they passed a one-year patch that kept the figures from the previous year.

The new bill commits to spending almost a trillion dollars--$957 Billion--over ten years.  I've seen several articles in mainstream media that don't say a word about the cost, and one or two that give a cost of about half the actual cost.

You may wonder how a major newspaper could get such a large figure so wrong.

It's a mystery.

Now unless you follow politics closely you probably think this huge sum will be spent or farming.  And sure enough, a whopping $90 billion will go to "crop insurance," a good thing.  The government will use another $44 billion to price supports for favored commodities--a dumb idea because it distorts the market by rewarding people for producing more of certain foods than the market wants.

But by far the biggest line-item is for food stamps:  $756 Billion.

Why, you may ask, is the cost of food stamps included in the farm bill?

Because the farm bill is usually a "must-pass" bill, so liberals and RINOs know that no matter how much they increase the amount spent on the food stamp program, their colleagues will still pass the bill.


But this year a few Republicans--concerned about the astronomical level of fraud in the food stamp program--announced they'd try to cut it by a few billion or so.

And amazingly the final bill does reduce spending on that program--by a whopping one percent.  So the GOP hands the Dems a campaign slogan ("Heartless Republicans cut your food stamps!!!!") in order to achieve a saving that amounts to a rounding error.

Smaht move, boys.