Tuesday, April 29

Widow's home seized, sold to settle $6 tax claim

A widow in Pennsylvania owed the county some tax after her husband died.  She paid virtually all but failed to pay $6 or so in interest charges she claims she didn't know about.

The county seized and sold her $238,000 home to satisfy the debt.

IRS workers who fail to pay federal income tax can still manage to be paid a bonus, but when someone not employed by the government and not politically connected doesn't pay a six-buck interest claim, the county seizes their home and sells it?  Doesn't that seem...extreme?  (And yes, I do realize the bad actor here was *not* the feds, thanks.)

Does anyone imagine some government flunky doing that to, say, Hillary, or Al Sharpton?  Of course not.  But if you're not Connected, they'll sell your house for a six-buck claim.

Now, I realize government at any level can't have people refusing to pay tax or interest on same that they legitimately owe.  I mean, if government tolerated that you could eventually have weird stuff like...oh, IRS employees who haven't paid federal income tax but still get a bonus.  Stuff like that. 

But in a case like this, the county government has a perfectly easy way to collect the six bucks without selling the woman's home:  They put a "tax lien" on the house.  It a very routine measure that let's 'em collect when the house is eventually sold, with interest at a ridiculously high rate (at least in most areas).  So the county doesn't lose anything, since their continued operation shouldn't be endangered for lack of six bucks.

The part that should concern you here is that employees of the county's tax division--who were entirely familiar with tax liens (they probably file two or three a week)--instead chose to seize and sell the home.

This should scare you, because if they can do this to her....  But don't worry:  if you have political connections they won't do it to you.

Monday, April 28

Guy arrested for...quoting Winston Churchill??

It's weird--one day you have a country and the next day the government throws you in jail for quoting one of your country's iconic statesmen.

In this instance the country is the United Kingdom--formerly known as Great Britain--but it could just as easily be the U.S.

Seems a U.K. citizen was standing on a street corner quoting the great Winston Churchill when the cops arrested him.  As far as can be determined his "offense" consisted of...quoting Churchill's published comments on the perils of Islam.

In the U.K., Canada and some other western nations saying anything negative about Islam will get you jailed or sued.  Doesn't matter that what you say is true--somehow truth is not allowed to be spoken.

I don't know how Islam--alone among all religions--has reached the status of "no one is allowed to criticize us" but there ya go.

And if you think this sort of speech suppression isn't coming to the U.S. at warp speed, you haven't been paying attention.

Sunday, April 27

Mainstream Media claims Islam is peaceful; one Muslim cleric disagrees

The fuckhead below is one "Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi."

In 2011, the New York Times described him as “one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam”.

Wikipedia says he teaches in the Religious Studies Department of Rhodes College, in Memphis. He's also one of the founding members of a crapsite called MuslimMatters.org, a website for American Muslims.

The video below shows Qadhi apparently claiming that Muslims are permitted to take the life and property of Christians (and indeed, any non-Muslims), because--as he puts it--"They are filth."

But hey, the mainstream (i.e. Lying) media keeps telling you Islam is "the religion of peace," so...you know, who are you gonna believe:  The NYT or this guy's own words?  Cuz, you know, one of the two has to be lying, eh?

Obama vs. Putin: U.S. journolists [sic] think Obie is SO cool! But Reality begs to differ.

The Daily Beast says “Putin Halts All Talks With White House”--a move to which Obama responded by vowing to talk louder

The LA Times headline screams it out: “Obama counsels diplomacy in dealing with Russia, China, North Korea”. The article adds “His explicit message throughout has been about using diplomatic tools to respond to threats from Russia, China and North Korea.”

"Don’t you want to listen to me Vladimir? There was a time everyone wanted to listen to me.  Because I'm the first black (well, half black) president of the once-great nation known as the United States of America!"

Must be a real pisser when you pick up the hotline and no one picks up on the other end, eh Sparky?

Of course the Russkies could still do that one better:  Answer the phone, record your plaintive, useless, gutless bleatings--and then release the tapes.

But you keep on with the "smaht diplomacy," cupcake.  Cuz, you know, that impresses the real thugs SO much!

Keep it up, mainstream media reporters.  Keep telling us how smaht and clever Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are.

Enjoy the ride, assholes.  Hope you've got kids.

We warned you

Headline in the L.A. Times two days ago:
U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good

Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.

According to the Times, this past January a fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people was lost as utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep electrical generating plants running. The reduction in supply caused the wholesale price of electricity to skyrocket--to more than 40 times the normal rate. The higher prices resulted in residential customers getting bills two or three times normal.

The Times blames the polar vortex (which of course is really global warming except colding), but also
...a more fundamental problem. There is a growing fragility in the U.S. electricity system, experts warn--the result of the shutdown of coal-fired plants, reductions in nuclear power, a shift to more expensive renewable energy and natural-gas pipeline constraints. The result is likely to be future price shocks. And they may not be temporary.

One recent study predicts the cost of electricity in California alone could jump 47% over the next 16 years...

"If you take enough supply out of the system," said one expert, the "price is going to increase."
The Times writer seems fond of that word "fragility."  It's almost as if the author wants you to think our grid is just...getting old and "fragile."  Ya think the Times writer will ever connect this...um... "fragility" of our electrical generating system to Barack Hussein Obama's promise to make it impossible for a utility to build a new coal-fired generating plant?

Wait, that's not exactly what Obie said:  The exact quote was "Oh, they can build one but we'll make sure they'll go bankrupt."

Nope, no mention of Obama at all.  Though it could just possibly have some connection to some faceless bureaucrats at some agency that all Democrats love:
New emissions rules on mercury, acid gases and other toxics by the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to result in significant losses of the nation's coal-generated power, historically the largest and cheapest source of electricity.
Already, two dozen coal generating units across the country are scheduled for decommissioning. When the regulations go into effect next year, 60 gigawatts of capacity — equivalent to the output of 60 nuclear reactors — will be taken out of the system, according to Energy Department estimates.

The federal government appears to have underestimated the impact as well. An EPA analysis in 2011 had asserted that new regulations would cause few coal plant retirements. The forecast on coal plants turned out wrong almost immediately, as utilities decided it wasn't economical to upgrade their plants and scheduled them for decommissioning.
To summarize:  Before Obama's first election to the Residency he was videotaped promising supporters he was going to make it virtually impossible for utilities to burn the lowest-cost fuel.  Your lying mainstream media all knew about this but deliberately chose not to warn you.

Conservative bloggers posted copies of the video, and warned that the absolutely certain consequences of making it unfeasible for utilities to burn coal would be much higher prices for electricity.  Hell, Obama himself said in that same speech that "Electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket."  But the Democrat media overtly decided not to broadcast or print that--since it would presumably have made rational people at least a bit less eager to vote for him.

We warned you that utility operators were saying that proposed tighter EPA regulations on coal-fired powerplants would make many of them uneconomical, and that the operators would have to shut these plants down.  We'd lose electricity and jobs, and the price of electricity would rise as operators scrambled to buy it from other sources to keep their customers' lights on. 

Of course Hussein's lackeys said that forecast was simply a scare tactic by da eeevil Republicans.

So now--six years into Obama's rule--California has all but phased out coal-generated electricity. The two nuclear reactors at San Onofre have been decommissioned.  And new state rules on using ocean water for cooling--rules passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature--will force an additional 19 gas-fired generating plants along the coast to shut down by 2020.  (Yes, I know this is the fault of state Dems, not Obama.)

But hey, no problem!  Does anyone believe for a second that Obama and the Democrat congressional delegation will let their crucial California base suffer brownouts for their own stupidity?  Hell no.   The feds will pass a law that other states must sell electricity generated in their state to California, so the editors at the Times can continue to support politicians who promise to eliminate more electrical generating plants.

And before you laugh and say that's ridiculous you should know there's already a federal law that in the event of an oil or gas shortage, states that produce oil and gas will be forced to export their products to other states even if their own residents are forced to do without.

I can't decide if the writers and editors of the Times are too stupid to grasp the causal connection here or if they do understand it and are being deliberately deceptive.  Regardless, it would be nice if the editors of the Times had to live with the consequences of their actions. 

But of course Buraq and congressional Democrats will see to it that they continue to be as comfortable as always.

Saturday, April 26

High school principal breaks state law; media applauds

Barack Obama has broken the law so many times--with the full approval of U.S. liberals--that fashionable libs at all levels of gummint have decided to try their hand.  In this case it's a liberal principal of a Wisconsin high school named Mary Kelley.

Wisconsin law requires all public schools will "offer" the pledge of allegiance every day.  But Kelley--like all good libs--didn't want to do that, so...the school she ran simply did as she wanted.

One family thought this lawbreaking set a bad example, and politely called it to Kelley's attention.  Kelley hemmed and hawed and said she'd look into the matter, but nothing changed.

After several months the family went to the school board, acquainting them with the state's law on the matter, and shortly thereafter the school started complying...for awhile.  But liberals and "progressives" know that if you find a law you don't like, just do whatever you want to do--cuz, you know, what matters is intentions.  After all, the president can choose the laws he wants to disregard, so why can't all of us follow his example?

So the school began to omit "under God" from the pledge, before settling on replacing the word "God" with "peace."

Now, I understand the arguments about not forcing anyone to either recite the pledge or stand when it's being recited--and no one has claimed the schools were doing either one.  I can also understand that one can make a case for doing away with the pledge entirely.  Finally, I fully agree that legislatures pass lots of utterly dumb laws.  Obamacare, for example.

But to simply decide not to follow the law--what a fabulous example to set for teenagers!  It shows 'em that laws are really arbitrary and meaningless.  Sets them on a good course in life--they could grow up to be president or something.

And in case you thought the school board would take a dim view of Kelley's lawbreaking, she still has her job, and isn't likely to lose it.  Cuz, you know, Wisconsin has a really powerful teachers' union.

All told, a very inspirational story.  Barack's leadership is paying dividends.  He really has "fundamentally changed the country," just as he promised.

Issues leading up to 2016

If you're a Democrat strategist, what issues do you push--and instruct your media allies to push--to win the presidency again in 2016? 

Equally important, what do you instruct the media to ignore?

You push the totally fabricated notion that "the Republicans are waging war on women!"  That voter ID laws are really attempts to keep minorities from voting.  That Republicans will push granny off the cliff, take food out of the mouths of kiddies and take "free" health care away from needy Americans.

Oh, and that Republicans are anti-immigrant.  And racist.

And you can count on your media allies to not print or broadcast a word about the vast number of illegalities or screwups by Democrats, whether old or current:
  • the lousy economy 
  • wide-open borders
  • the administration's refusal to obey existing immigration laws 
  • major cuts in defense funding
  • Eric Holder's bogus invocation of "executive privilege" to refuse to testify before congress on who knew what about the government's program to smuggle military-grade guns to Mexican drug cartels;
  • letting General Motors avoid a costly recall to fix ignition-switch problems that had caused a dozen deaths;
  • releasing $6 Billion in Iranian government funds that had been frozen as part of the international sanctions on Iran, in return for a totally illusory promise by the mullahs not to continue to develop nuclear weapons;
  • record numbers on food stamps (if the media mention this it will be to praise Obama and the Dems for being so compassionate--with your money)
  • huge and unchallenged fraud in Medicaid and Medicare
  • higher health insurance premiums--and higher deductibles--for most Americans thanks to Obamacare.
  • government intentionally letting illegal aliens sign up for Obamacare without asking about their citizenship, and 
  • refusal to obey their own signature health care law.
If you get your information from the Lying Media you won't hear much about any of those issues.

Putin has troops ready to invade; Obama counters with devastating hashtag

How far, you may wonder, has the United States fallen under the anti-leadership of our socialist occupier of the Oval Office?

Here's how far:  Russia has thousands of crack troops massed on the borders of that part of Ukraine that it hasn't already taken over.  They're threatening to invade if the Ukrainians don't surrender and allow Russia to appoint the head of the new province.

So how does the Obama administration respond?

With a cutesie hashtag:

Russia denies routine U.S. overflight in violation of 1992 treaty; Obama administration *shocked*!

Russia has canceled a planned U.S. surveillance flight over Russian territory.  The flight is explicitly authorized by a 1992 agreement signed by 34 countries--the Open Skies Treaty--but Russian officials told the U.S. that they would not permit the flight.

U.S. officials speculate that the block is designed to keep the U.S. from learning how many Russian troops are deployed against Ukraine.

Can you hear Obama's advisors now?  "But...but...but...the treaty specifically says the only allowable reason for denying an inspection flight is flight safety, such as bad weather!  They're violating the agreement!"

Well who would ever have guessed that?

The government of a major nation just disregarding a solemn agreement?  You mean, like the Obozo administration violating ("unilaterally ignoring") laws it doesn't want to obey?

Russia has also recently been accused of violating and circumventing other arms treaties, including the 2010 New START arms treaty and the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.  But of course they know that just before the 2012 election Obama--the appeaser, the Chamberlain of our times--explicitly told Russian president Medvedev to tell his boss, Putin, that Obama would be "more flexible" after he was re-elected.

I guess the Russians interpreted "more flexible" as meaning "The U.S. won't oppose anything you want to do."

Click for more from The Washington Free Beacon.

County supervisors vote to increase minimum wage for county employees to $11.32 an hour

Some future trends can be predicted pretty easily. 

For example, if a city council or county board of supervisors can decree that city or county employees shall get a significant raise--paid by the taxpayers, of course--it virtually assures their re-election, because all city workers who got the raise will vote for them in expectation of future gifts.

That's the trivial prediction.

The significant one is that every other city council sees the news item, realizes they can do the same--and does.  So within a short period, a big percentage of gummint employees get a big raise.

And what does *that* do?  Well for starters, that money has to come from somewhere.  And if you haven't noticed, cities aren't rolling in extra money.  In fact most have been slowly cutting back on services so they can afford--higher salaries for city employees.

Take Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, for example:  The county's Board of Supervisors voted to increase the minimum wage for employees to $11.32--which will cost taxpayers an extra $11 million over the next 5 years.

The county supervisor who wrote the resolution is pictured below.

Note the flag in the lower-right corner of the pic--same size and height as the American flag on the left.  One might think this represented supervisor Bowen's second allegiance, presumably to the people of Milwaukee County.  I didn't realize the county had a flag.  Maybe there's something else going on here.

Monday, April 21

Another Obama lie: "the ACA will not insure illegal immigrants."

Among the long list of lies Team Obama told the public to get enough votes to pass the UnAffordable Care Act, add the many assurances that taxpayer-funded subsidies for health insurance wouldn't go to illegal aliens.

The “no illegals” pledge was a calculated lie that the president and his supporters discarded as soon as it was no longer needed. President Obama and the Dems were counting on the people’s short memories not to recall the promises he made in order to ram through his signature bill, and on the liberal mainstream media’s loyalty to not remind the public of what he said.

Here's Obama at the 2009 State of the Union Address:
There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants.  This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.
All liberals had to do was lie to get the monstrous bill passed. Having achieved that, they are now trying to shame anyone who was actually dumb enough to believe them by accusing them of depriving poor people of badly needed medical care, no doubt because of racist motives. “Of course Obamacare won’t cover illegals” is being replaced with “What’s wrong with Obamacare helping the undocumented?”

To think that the new healthcare "entitlement" will be any different from previous entitlements is the pinnacle of foolishness. We’ve been down this road a thousand times before. The program is supposedly only for citizens or legal resident aliens, but in reality no one’s checking. It will all run on the honor system, at the insistence of the dishonorable. The taxpayer will be robbed blind and anyone who doesn’t like it is a bad Christian, anti-American, and of course racist.

Hat tip here.

Dems pushing "compact" to end the electoral-college for presidential elections

Well, well, well.  I wondered what attack on our Constitution the Democrats would mount next, and here it is:  It's called the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact"--and it's a real bomb.

As every American knows, we elect presidents based on a majority of "electoral votes" rather than a majority of the popular vote.  This system was written into the Constitution because the representatives of smaller states were reluctant to sign the Constitution if it specified that the presidency would be decided by the winner of the popular vote, as they feared that only candidates from large states could win.

Needing all the states to sign on, the Founders devised the "electoral college," in which each state has a number of electoral votes equal to the total of its senators and representatives.  Since every state has two senators this system leveled the playing field for smaller states to some extent, since it blended population size with the uniform two senators per state.

Frankly it strikes me as a brilliant compromise.  But Democrats--and even a few RINOs--want to junk it.

The impetus for this move arose from the results of the 2000 election, in which the Democrat won the popular vote but the Republican won a majority of electoral votes. This was the infamous Bush-Gore election, and to say the Democrats were furious is a huge understatement.

Maddened by losing the White House despite winning the popular vote, they determined they'd never again allow this to happen.  Unfortunately they knew the chances of amending the Constitution to so brazenly favor the big, urban, solidly-Democrat-voting states were microscopic.

Then brothers Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar proposed a way to sidestep the clear and explicit Constitutional language and the hurdle of getting a super-majority of states to ratify a Constitutional amendment that disadvantaged half of them:  If Dems could get Democrat-controlled states to agree to award all their electoral votes to the candidate who won a majority of the nationwide popular vote, the electoral college system would be transformed into the "popular vote wins" rule sought by Democrats.

Let's go through that again, more slowly, because most people miss what the Dems want to do on the first pass:  Under the Democrats' proposal, all participating states will direct their "electors" to cast their electoral votes for the (presumably Democrat) winner of the national popular vote even if a majority of voters in that state voted Republican.

Did it make sense this time?  Cool deal, eh?  If your state signs on to this, and a majority votes for the Republican candidate for president, but the national popular vote favors the Democrat, your state will cast its electoral votes for the Democrat.  What a brilliant, fabulous scheme!

Each state's law specifies that this mandate shall go into effect as soon as states controlling a majority of electoral votes pass similar bills.

It's brilliant in its deviousness.  There's no question it would change the way presidential elections were decided--and unquestionably hugely to the benefit of the big, urban, Democrat-voting states.  It does that by taking advantage of a Constitutional provision that lets each state decide how to award its electoral votes.  But as to the ethics, consider how law professor Jamie Raskin replied to a critic who charged that the device was "an end-run around the constitutional amendment process:"  Raskin responded that "the term 'end run' has no known constitutional or legal meaning. ...the 'end run' is a perfectly lawful play."

In other words, they all know it subverts the explicit provisions of the Constitution but "does so via a legal process.  So screw you if you don't like it.  Besides, the Constitution is dead anyway."

Kinda reminds you of that fine lawyer "Slick Willie" Clinton, who parried a damaging question by saying "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."

There's a principle of contract law that says that when a contract clearly says that a party agrees to do "X," but later that party seeks to construe several other provisions of the contract as allowing it NOT to do X--where this outcome was clearly not contemplated by the parties at the time--the court won't permit the party to avoid its agreement by such subterfuge.  The theory is that it's irrational for a contract to allow one of the parties to do something *indirectly* that both parties explicitly agreed-- in clear language--was not allowed.

But of course that's exactly what's happening with the compact.

If you click on the Wiki explanation you can see this is a Democrat play all the way:  The compact is supported by the NYT, LA Times, Chicago and Boston papers.  Also Minnesota and Hawaii, which are strongly liberal/Dem.  Enough other states have joined that it has a shot at reaching the 270 electoral vote threshhold for liftoff.

You may notice something else about the Wiki piece:  The party affiliation of the governors who have signed legislation is never mentioned.

Normally one would immediately assume the Supreme Court would declare this abomination unconstitutional.  But after John Roberts voted to rule Obamacare constitutional by virtue of the government's power to levy a tax--even though team Obama had explicitly claimed it was NOT a tax, and the measure didn't originate in the House, which the Constitution says must source all taxing measures, clearly the fix is in.  (Some have suggested he's being blackmailed over an irregularity in the adoption of his children.)

I suspect this compact will reach its sign-up goal of 270 electoral votes--since it's to the advantage of the big states that already have a majority of the EVs.  And yet another mainstay of the Constitution will have been destroyed. 

When Democrats repeatedly trash what was once considered "the supreme law of the land," how can anyone expect residents to obey any law?

Saturday, April 19

Common Core authors lie again

Warning: Language.

If anyone still believes the anti-Constitution propaganda program called "Common Core" is an excellent new teaching tool for defenseless K-12 students, take a look at the pic below:

Here's the text:
The Bill of Rights:
Amendment 2 (1791):  Right to Bear Arms
   This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and have not been in prison.
Say WHAT??!!

For those of you under 30 who attended public school--meaning almost certainly that you were never taught anything meaningful about the Constitution--here's what the Second Amendment actually says:
A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The socialist bastards who wrote the Common Core propaganda quoted above hate guns and the fact that the Constitution of this country confirms the common-sense proposition that free men can own and "bear" them.  But gee, how do we get those stupid American rednecks to forget that awful Second Amendment thingy?  Simple:  We'll just re-write it to add the totally fictional "requirement" that people can only "bear arms" if they register them--obviously with the government.


We are mortal enemies. In deliberately lying about what the Constitution says, you have forfeited any aid or quarter from Americans who believe that document is indeed the supreme law of this land.

When your children learn what you did I hope they're so embarrassed that they change their name.

Friday, April 18

Crazy administration, part 384,038

You ain't gonna believe this.

Hell, I didn't believe it, and I've read about a gazillion wacko things the Obama administration has done.

So...the Department of Injustice has ruled/decreed that males on college campuses have the right to use female restrooms.

No, I'm not making that up.

The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith was essentially ordered by the DOI to change its restroom policies after a male student who "feels female" filed a complaint with the Department of InJustice.

The guy who filed the complaint is 38 years old and anatomically male.  But he likes to dress as a woman, and brags that the breasts he's gotten from hormone treatment make him--as he puts it--"bigger than some normal girls."

Well that settles it, eh?  

Dude filed a lawsuit with the Civil Rights division of the Department of InJustice.  While the letter from the DOI to the U hasn't been released (gee, wonder why?), InsideHigherEd cited a statement from DOI spokesperson--one "Xochitl Hinojosa"--confirming that “a letter had been sent informing the university of the complaint," but saying the letter did not direct the university to take any specific action.

Nevertheless, after receiving the letter the Obama administration the university reversed its policy to allow transgender students access to the restroom of the gender "with which they choose to identify."

A university spokesputz acknowledged in a public statement that although the DOJ letter was described as merely an “encouragement,” the university felt specific pressure to change the policy.

“[The DOJ] basically made its expectations through the attorney and the decision was made to respond to that direction. The complaint caused revisiting of our thinking … [the DOI claims] this individual is entitled to use the bathroom that she identifies with,”


According to "College Fix" the Department of InJustice’s insistence that access to gender-specific bathrooms is simply a matter of choice rather than anatomy removes any objective criteria for separating men and women in public restrooms.

If I had a college-age or college-bound daughter I might have a few things to say about this crazy decision by Obama's lackeys in the DOI.  But since I don't...I leave it to those of you who do to do what you think is necessary.

I mean, really.  Come on, people:  How many knots will you tie yourselves into to comply with the demands of a wacko complaint filed by a 38-year-old male "college student" who wants to be able to use the girls' restroom?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the absolute lack of morality by the Left and feminists

Does the name Ayaan Hirsi Ali ring a bell?

She's a human rights activist, born in a Muslim country to Muslim parents.  At the age of five (that's not a typo: five)--in line with the widespread Muslim custom for girls--she was held down by a bunch of adult women who proceeded to cut off her clitoris with a razor.

Without anesthesia.

If this doesn't make you ill you probably have a few synapses missing.

Note that this revolting, ghastly mutilation was *not* an aberration, committed by wacko fringe members of the Muslim sect, but something done to virtually all girls in certain Muslim countries.

Did we mention no anesthesia is used?  Think about that for a minute or so.  If you're female that should utterly and completely seal your verdict on what's been so charmingly referred to as "the religion of peace."

It's also worth noting that in western societies this nauseating, barbaric custom has been euphemized to the much less graphic "FGM"--a far-less-revolting trio of letters meaning "female genital mutilation."

Sounds SO much less disturbing, eh?

Whether the universal--I say again, universal--use of this less-distressing acronym by western media is because our refined sensibilities can't stomach the reality or because CAIR and their friends have pressured editors to censor the truth of the matter I leave for you to decide.

In any event, on reaching adulthood Hirsi Ali concluded--based on her personal experiences--that Islam was a primitive, barbaric religion, of which female genital mutilation was simply one facet.  And with the full knowledge of the personal risks she began speaking out against Islam, which she has described as a "backward religion" and as being incompatible with democracy.  She often spoke out against the oppression of women in Islamic countries. 

She also managed to emigrate to the Netherlands and get elected to their parliament--a major accomplishment for a black foreign woman. 

As might be expected, this gave her a great deal more exposure.

It also prompted Muslims to repeatedly threaten her with death.  According to journalist Jason Burke, Hirsi Ali was forced by a judge in the Netherlands to move out of her house in The Hague in early 2006 after the judge decided she was "endangering her neighbors." 

The rationale--if so grand a term can be applied here--was because of the constant death threats she was receiving--from Muslims.  At that point she came to the U.S. where she was offered a position with the American Enterprise Institute--a conservative think-tank.

Between her criticism of Islam--the only religion on Earth approved by the Left--and her popularity as a speaker for the AEI, leftists hate her with a passion.  Which brings us to the present.

Given her tireless push for human rights in the face of death threats (to the point of being forced to move out of her home by *court order*), early this year Brandeis University offered to honor Hirsi Ali with an honorary degree.

Seems innocuous enough, eh?

Hahahahaha!  Obviously you don't know many leftists.  CAIR and the womyn's studies faculty at Brandeis went ballistic, and a petition was circulated demanding that the university withdraw its offer to Hirsi Ali.

In fact, one reporter looked at the Brandeis faculty petition against Ali and found that 21% of the signatures came from faculty associated with the university’s Women and Gender Studies (WGS) program. As a matter of fact, it appears that the controversial petition actually originated with WGS faculty members.

Roll that one around for a minute:  One brave woman--raised in a Muslim family--stands up to Islam.  Gets elected to parliament.  Is threatened  with death by Muslims.  Forced out of her home and out of her seat in parliament.  Still gutsy enough to keep speaking out against barbaric Islamic customs.

Of course since university presidents and all high university officials universally lack balls and fear the left, the university caved, and rescinded the offer.

That's the end of the story.  How any U.S. female can hear this and not be outraged is beyond me, but most of  'em will enthusiastically parrot the Party Line and join the condemnation.

Okay, leftists and feminists:  Please explain why you're not gonna honor this woman.  Explain why your position is logical and reasonable.

If you'd like some time to prepare, go ahead--I'll wait.

Feeling overworked and overtaxed?

There are 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers in the United States.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, 151,014,000 Americans received benefits from one or more federal programs, including Social Security.  (2011 was the most recent year for which the data was available when this study was done.  The numbers are almost certainly far worse today.)

This means every private-sector worker is supporting 1.7 recipients.  In addition to themselves and their own families.

If you're feeling overworked and/or overtaxed, this might have something to do with that.

Now:  Does anyone think this should be remedied?  If so, how?

Here's a hint:  The next political fat-cat who proposed a new gummint "free" benefit should be tarred and feathered.  That would be a start.

Thursday, April 17

Dems claim one of the founding principles of this country was "respect for authority and rules"??

For a couple of years now the federal government has been pushing the states to adopt a national program for teaching in grades K-12 called "Common Core."  Democrats and "progressives" have been touting it as the next great, cool improvement and absolutely necessary if we're to advance into...blah blah blah, but in fact it's socialist propaganda.

For example, here's a quote from the "New York State Common Core Social Studies Framework:"

Page 33, under "Civic Ideals and Practices:"
2.3a The United States is founded on the democratic principles of equality, fairness, and respect for authority and rules.
Students will explore democratic principles such as dignity for all, equality, fairness, and respect for authority and rules, and how those principles are applied to their community. 
Uh, what?  Have any of you ever heard before just now that one of the top three principles behind the founding of the United States was "respect for authority and rules"?

"We the people, in order to...secure the blessings of Liberty on ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States."

The proggies omit Liberty, freedom and personal rights altogether, substituting their totally fabricated notion that one of the main principles behind the founding of the U.S. was "respect for authority and rules."

See, the "Boston Tea Party" was just about respecting authority.

Declaration of Independence?  Respecting authority.

What total bullshit.  And yet they're succeeding in brainwashing naive, intellectually defenseless K-12 students with this crap.

Time for a second American Revolution. 

Sunday, April 13

What are the chances of the U.S. surviving in anything like its historic form?

In a number of posts I've made an analogy between the U.S. and a large jet headed down at a steep angle.  No matter how much you may want to pull out of the dive, the laws of aerodynamics will only let you change the direction a certain number of degrees per second.

Accordingly, for any given dive angle there's some minimum height above the ground below which you can't avoid a crash.  No matter what you do, it's impossible to recover.

For those who are too young to have enough experience to know, or too uneducated or politically naive to understand, the U.S. is in dire straits.  Dire as in, potentially fatal to life as we've known it up to now.  The decline of our public school systems, corrupt or merely stupid politicians, and the unwillingness of the honest ones to use every tool available to remove and jail the corrupt ones, has probably sealed our fate.

A big part of this is the implementation of government programs that enable people to live without having a job or paying taxes.  This created a class of people who have no interest whatsoever in fiscal responsibility or a balanced budget--indeed, a class who have only the vaguest idea what those terms even mean.  Their only interest is electing whoever promises them the most money, regardless of whether the government has it.

In any case, some folks believe there's still time to pull out of our deadly dive.  I'd like to present their ideas, and see if there are any takers.  Here they are:

1) We need to teach the rich history of liberty to the young.  This is critical because unless a majority of the populace supports the ideas of liberty, we're dead.  Town hall meetings, candidate debates, local talk radio programs, letters to the Editor, every bit helps spread the message. 

2) We need to loudly point out the failures of socialism as they become more and more evident, and suggest better alternatives rooted in the idea that people can solve their own problems better than government can.

3) Stop bickering with other conservatives about the best course of action. When someone else has a different plan, let 'em have at it and see what happens.  For one thing, every small success by any supporter of freedom divides the attention and fire of the "progressives" and socialists, making it easier for other efforts to succeed.

There are also calls for a constitutional convention, but I really don't think that alone will have much effect, because the government is *already* violating that the clear principles of that document.  The problem isn't a lack of documents, but a lack of the power to enforce the principles they contain.

Basically, if the people in the top offices are set on doing unconstitutional things, how do we the people get them to desist?

Profile in courage--from a young American woman

The young lady in the clip below has more courage than 99 percent of Americans not in the armed forces.

In the clip she notes that increasingly over the last ten years U.S. law enforcement officers at all levels have been directed to use force--sometimes deadly force--to get peaceful, non-threatening Americans to obey some POS regulation written by some bureaucrat.

Not even enforcing a duly-passed LAW (as if the rulers give a shit about the rule of law anymore) but merely some *regulation* passed with virtually no input from "the governed."

Anyway, the gal asks LEOs "If your bosses order you to use deadly force on peaceful Americans, will you obey?"  She then goes on to note that if the answer is yes, how are you any different from the Chinese government thugs who slaughtered protesters in Tien an Min square, or Gestapo (the Nazi security police)?

To fall back on the excuse "I don't make the law, I just enforce it" is exactly what got lots of "good Nazis" death sentences after the war.  That is, enforcing unjust laws isn't an acceptable excuse.

Take a look.  The gal has courage.

Here's her website.

Observations of bystanders at Kiev protests

Attentive observers will notice that all totalitarian regimes adopt the same repressive techniques.  In this case consider the experiences of protesters in Kiev before the corrupt pro-Russian prez fled:  Cell-phone users in the vicinity of protests say they got messages saying, “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

The three cell phone providers in the city all deny having sent the messages (which you'd expect regardless).  Some analysts say the likely explanation is portable cell "towers" (actually just antenna/receiver sets) set up by security forces on the site of prior demonstrations.  Apparently these can be set up in 30 minutes or so, and would enable security forces to both intercept text and voice from protesters *and* allow the government to send "We know who you are" messages to everyone in the area.

Presumably the idea is that those who weren't particularly committed to the protests but merely bystanders would be intimidated enough to leave the area--reducing both target clutter and the number of potential witnesses to any lethal activity.

If such capability exists it's virtually certain the Ogabe regime has the same ability.

Conclusion:  If you're trying to gin up a demonstration, don't use your cell phone.  Second, be aware that this ability exists, and that your mere presence at the site isn't enough to enable the government to prosecute you. So you can safely ignore "We know who and where you are" texts if you wish.

Remember this.

Saturday, April 12

Feds declare no-fly zone for civilian aircraft around Nevada ranch where they're seizing cattle

Earlier I wrote about the sinister implications of heavily-armed government agents surrounding a cattle ranch in Nevada, apparently intent on seize cattle belonging to the ranch's owner.

My curiosity was aroused by the fact that the state director of the federal agency sending in most of the troops refused to answer a simple question from a reporter:  "We've seen lots of heavy equipment, like bulldozers, on government trucks.  Are you killing the guy's cattle?"

The director's refusal to answer made me think that was exactly what the feds were doing.  Other signs also pointed to a real thug operation.

Now a new piece of information emerges:  The FAA has declared that no civil aircraft will be allowed within three miles of the ranch below 3000 feet above ground level.  Here's the notice:

This level of planning and interagency coordination is found in preparations for war or some other major government operation.  I'm not aware of the government ever declaring a no-fly zone simply to serve a warrant or make an arrest.  This seems pretty outrageous.

But under the government it seems less surprising:  After all, they've blockaded all the roads to the ranch and are seizing legal firearms from people who reach the roadblocks.  They've killed power to cell phone towers.  Now they want to be sure no one will be able to watch from the air as the thugs do whatever.

There is no reason to declare a no-fly zone unless the government was planning to do something they wanted to conceal from the public.

Draw your own conclusions.

Friday, April 11

Feds refuse to say whether they've "euthanized" (killed) rancher's cattle in Nevada

For those of you too busy with life to keep track of such things, the federal government has sent a few hundred armed jackboots to a ranch in Nevada, to seize the cattle of a rancher who's had a two-decade dispute with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights on what the gummint calls "public land."

You see, "public land" sounds SO much nicer than saying "government land," which is how the feds really regard it.  They own it, and may God help you if you fail to comply with one of the zillions of edicts dictating how you must behave when you set foot on it.

As you may have guessed, I'm very skeptical about all levels of government, but after reading the published details of the case--again, it stretches back 20 years--it appeared the feds did have a cause of action, and I was prepared to cut 'em some slack.  Until I read this:

BLM Won’t Say If They’ve Euthanized Cows In Ranch Standoff

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) won't say if they've euthanized any cows in the roundup of Cliven Bundy’s cattle on public land in Nevada.

Amy Lueders, the Nevada state director for the BLM, said in a conference call Thursday evening that the agency does have a “protocol,” but would not release any numbers for animals they have found dead or that they have euthanized.

A reporter asked about heavy construction equipment that was seen coming in and out of the blockade, and whether cattle have been found dead, injured, or euthanized during the operation.

“In terms of the number that we’ve found, animals who are, I think, deceased on the range, or if we’ve had to euthanize an animal, we don’t have an answer to that question at this time,” Lueders said. “We will euthanize an animal during the impoundment if they exhibit dangerous characteristics, threaten the health and safety of the employees, display a hopeless prognosis for life.”

“So, we do have a protocol in terms of when we would euthanize animals,” she said. “But we don’t have any answers at this time in terms of the numbers.”
Now, you need to read the article closely:  Amy Lueders isn't some GS-3 clerk who's been shoved toward a microphone to guess at policy, but is the damn *state director* for the federal BLM.  As such, you'd think she would know what the hell is going on. 

To put it a different way:  Either she knows every detail of what's going on there, or no one does.

Why wouldn't Amy say "We haven't killed any of this man's cattle" if that was the case? 

Before we analyze that, note that line about "heavy construction equipment was seen."  Many observers on-site have reported "bulldozers." 

Bulldozers are utterly useless for rounding up cattle.  On the other hand, they're almost mandatory if one wants to *bury* 500 or 700 head--which is a figure published by the BLM from helicopter surveys for cattle in the immediate area as recently as three months ago.

Why would the thugs...sorry, the feds...choose to kill the man's cattle instead of selling 'em?

I suspect it's because if they rounded 'em up and moved to sell 'em, the guy would get an injunction and file suit.  The resulting trial would attract a huge firestorm as the case revealed how corrupt the BLM is, and how unlawfully they've acted.

For example, the head of the BLM's policy division was employed by Nevada senator Harry Reid, and there's evidence suggesting Reid may be involved in some hugely profitable land deals involving the rancher's acreage.  While that remains to be seen, I suspect this would all come out in a trial.

But if the feds kill all the guy's cattle, along with a few members of the guy's family, the Democrat-loving media will paint the man as part of a vast Tea Party conspiracy or some such, which will make it virtually impossible for him to find a federal judge who will even let a lawsuit against the government proceed.

In an earlier life I had quite a few encounters with the BLM and I'm pretty sure I know how they think:  That all civilians are Gaia-raping, mouth-breathing Neanderthals who want to vandalize all public lands.  And they'll do anything their bosses suggest to "protect the public lands"--even if it means killing and burying 500 head of cattle.

Again I don't *know* if that's the plan but I can't imagine why the state director would say the equivalent of "Argle bargle gobble-babble" instead of just "No, we haven't killed any and have no intention to do so" when asked point-blank about it.  Her non-answer was totally consistent with someone who wanted to deflect heat but was reluctant to openly lie.

Also the phrase in her evasion "We will euthanize an animal during the impoundment if they exhibit dangerous characteristics, threaten the health and safety of the employees..." sounds very much like someone preparing the ground for a cover story.  After all, everyone knows you can't go letting cattle "threaten the health and safety of the employees."  In fact I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a report has already been written showing that several head exhibited behavior characteristic of "mad cow disease" that led to the government-ordered killing and burial of something like 150,000 head in the U.K. a decade ago.

Other--less likely--choices are anthrax and hoof-and-mouth disease.

We'll see.

Local crime story

I usually don't do posts about the cruel and inhumane things people do on a daily basis, because the problems I'm trying to analyze, describe to you and hopefully solve are vastly larger than the ghastly, cruel crimes committed by monsters masquerading as human.

But I'm gonna make an exception for this one.

The smiling little girl below--and that's one of the most dazzling smiles I've ever seen--was two-and-a-half years old.  She's no longer with us, and I'm pretty confident she's in a better place.

The nattily-dressed goblin below is her father--one "Arthur Morgan III" of New Jersey.

Morgan killed his daughter because he was angry that the girl's mother had broken up with him.

He killed his daughter by strapping her in a car seat and throwing her off a bridge into a creek, leaving her to drown. 

He tied a car jack to the seat for extra weight.

Words fail...

One can only hope the guy's clinically insane.  It's hard to imagine a sane person doing such a thing.

Monday, April 7

Congressman doesn't pay rent on office for a whole year, not evicted or sued. Guess the party.

If you own a business or live in an apartment and don't pay your rent, you get evicted.

Oh, well, that is unless you're Democrat congresswhore Charlie Rangel.

In 2013 Rangel didn't pay a nickel of the supposedly $7,000 per month rent to New York State for one of the offices he leases from the state.

And why didn't the state sue him, or evict, or try to collect?  It's a total mystery, eh?  The NY Post found an email from a "real-estate specialist" for the state, written the end of July, 2013, saying "It seems we haven’t gotten the signed lease back because they lost it!”

Okay, Sparky, what did you do next?  Did you notify your boss, or alert a single soul?  Did you alert the newspapers?  Complain to the feds?  C'mon, tell us what you did to justify your taxpayer-paid salary!

The answer is...no one has the balls to investigate.  As a Democrat Rangel is immune not only to eviction but also to prosecution.  As a *black* Democrat he's also immune from serious investigation.

And this is the way America works, children.  If you're a Democrat you can get away with stuff that you couldn't if you were a conservative.  Sweet, eh?

Actually it gets even more outrageous:  Instead of demanding payment of the back rent and late fees from Rangel, state bureaucrats cut him a huge rent break, allowing him to enter into a new, less expensive lease in which he could postpone paying six months of rent. That “abatement” money has still not been paid, nor has the other six months of missed rent from 2013, a OGS official said.  The deal resulted in reducing the rent to $4,809 a month.

When The NY Post asked about the year of missing rent, Rangel’s office and OGS blamed...the federal sequester, not the lost lease referenced in agency correspondence.

Amazing.  But totally normal for Democrats.

Sunday, April 6

Something for nothing?

The "Affordable Care Act" implicitly promised to give all Americans low-cost health insurance.  But the reality was (and is) that if people who couldn't afford health insurance before the law was rammed through were either to be given such insurance at no cost to themselves--including those allowed to enroll in "expanded medicare"--or else to be given a government [i.e. taxpayer-paid] subsidy so their out-of-pocket cost was low enough to tempt them to sign up, the money would have to come from somewhere.

Of course few ordinary citizens know enough about how governments get their funds to be able to recognize this.  And virtually no "panhandler voters" would care in any case:  To them the only relevant question was, "Is it free?"

But you'd think at least a few dozen of the Ivy-league-educated elites would have the education to be able to realize that Obamacare was implicitly promising "something for nothing."  Yet not one member of the liberal elite wrote a single word pointing this out.  All the warnings came from the conservative side, which did no good against Democrat control of the media and both houses of congress.

Of course we all heard the glittering buzz-phrases about "bending the cost curve over."  But those who bothered to ask exactly what this meant got no audience beyond conservative circles, while no national reporter bothered to ask.  Whether this was their own sense of self-preservation or literal orders will likely never be known.

So as of now the ACA has racked up six million cancelled policies and seven million have signed up, for a net gain of one million.  But several problems with this record.  First, it's likely that most of the signups had serious pre-existing conditions and will be a net loss to insurers.  Also, the government isn't saying how many "signups" have actually paid their first premium.  If experience with automobile insurance is any guide, a substantial fraction of those will either not pay a dime or will stop paying after a few months.  More losses.

How do the Democrats plan to cover those unexpectedly higher losses?  If history is any guide they'll simply have the government borrow more money.  Which of course increases U.S. interest payments to foreign lenders.

If you think that's trivial you should know that just the *interest* we pay to the Chinese government on U.S. borrowing is almost equal to their annual defense budget--at least the part they admit to.

There was never any way the "Affordable Care Act" could have come within $100 billion dollars a year of being "revenue neutral."  But rather than be honest about the cost of giving health insurance to 30 million uninsured (or whatever the number was claimed to be), Democrats chose to lie--brazenly--claiming the thing would cost just a pittance.  But of course if Americans had known the true cost it's far less likely that the bill would have passed.

The key to passing Obamacare was the claim by Democrat propagandists that it would give people a huge benefit for almost no net cost.  In other words, the implication was that it would give something for next to nothing.

Most adults know that if something looks too good to be true...

Cali Dems find a way to give money to consumers that they've taken, and get credit for it

Just when you think you've seen every possible political scam to win votes from what are charmingly called "low-information voters," Democrats come up with a new one.  This one's called "California Climate Credit."

If you're a Democrat you'll probably think I'm just making this up, so click on the link first. I'll wait.

Okay, here's the gist:  the state legislature--totally controlled by Democrats for decades--passed a law directing this.  The lofty stated purpose is "to help communities meet state and local energy and climate action goals."   And no, you're not supposed to ask how that will happen.  But the result is that twice a year residential consumers in areas served by "investor-owned" utilities will get a credit on their electric bill.  The first credit is estimated at $40.

Sweet, eh?  Those wunnerful Dems is makin' da eeebil electric corporations give da peeps money!  Yay Democrats!!

But wait a second:  According to the website that explains this (you did click the link, right?), "Funding comes from investor-owned utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission."

So doesn't that mean the money in the credit will be a refund of money the utilities collect in revenue...from consumers' electric bills?

Why yes, yes it does.

But doesn't the state Utilities Commission set the rates the power companies can charge for electricity so the companies will make an essentially fixed rate of return on their billions of dollars in investment in generating facilities and transmission lines? 

Why yes, yes it does.

In other words California's Democrat-run legislature has simply ordered companies to take money from what you pay in your electric bill and give it back to you in a visible way.  But since rates are set to make a fixed return, this money is offset by...higher electricity rates, in exactly the same amount.

In other words, the net benefit to consumers is exactly...zero.

But of course it's utterly impossible to convince the low-info person of this.

Kinda reminds you of modest-income LIVs who work for a company, get income taxes withheld from every paycheck, and then if they get a refund on their taxes the next year, truly believe they "paid no taxes last year!"

I predict we'll see Democrat legislators in California touting this faaabulous, lookin'-out-for-you bill--AB-32--in a matter of weeks.

Venezuela's socialist, totalitarian government offers us some useful lessons

Leftists are always claiming that socialism is SOoo much better than free markets and capitalism.  So much more fair.

All right, Sparky, have at it:  Let's see how well socialism works when socialists have total power.  Because one would think the best test of a system is, how well does it work?

Take Venezuela:  Not long ago it had the highest per-capita income in South America, thanks to its huge oil production and resulting export income.  But today basic commodities such as toilet paper, rice, milk, meat-- and amazingly, even coffee (!)--are so scarce that people line up literally for hours to buy them.

What caused this catastrophic fall?  The main reason is that Venezuela is ruled by a 100% socialist government.  The previous president--Hugo Chavez--believed that the law of supply and demand was simply a fiction, used by companies to rob the poor and reap unfair profits.

Accordingly, three years ago he rammed a "progressive" law through the country's rubber-stamp legislature.  Rousingly named the "Law on Fair Costs and Prices," its stated purpose was to "ensure greater social justice."  It created a "National Superintendency of Fair Costs and Prices" with the authority to set supposedly "fair" prices at both wholesale and retail levels.

Companies charged with violating these price rules would be fined, or could even to have their goods confiscated by the government.

In a truly astonishing demonstration of bureaucratic frenzy, in just three years this agency issued more than 500,000 rules establishing the maximum legal price of virtually everything.

Chavez--a chest-thumping speaker who often gave three-hour speeches without pausing--knew price controls would be wildly popular with his core supporters from his experience setting the price of gasoline:  In Venezuela the production and refining of oil and the sale of gasoline are all controlled by the national oil company.  Since the government owned the company, Chavez issued an order that the company sell gasoline for just 6 cents per gallon, the lowest price in the world.

Executive orders--what a concept!

Unfortunately it cost the (government-run) company almost $2 a gallon to extract oil, refine it into gasoline and distribute it to stations.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the problem:  With domestic consumption of 600,000 barrels of gasoline a day, the sale price ordered by Chavez was forcing the company to lose $20 billion a year.

Forced by the president's decree to lose roughly $20 billion a year on gasoline sales, the state oil company had little money for exploration, production and maintenance, and had to depend on government funding for these things.  Of course Chavez wasn't willing to be seen as giving billions to explore for oil while other commodities were disappearing, so the state oil company was essentially looted.

The effects were totally predictable:  as exploration and maintenance were cut back, oil production dropped dramatically.

You'd think this clear and distressing demonstration would have convinced the socialists that there was probably some small flaw in their theory, but of course it didn't:  Emperors--which by this time Chavez essentially was--are immune to feedback from bad results, since they can simply issue decrees (sometimes called "executive orders") and everyone will rush to obey.  Not having to answer to anyone, Chavez and his supporters began fighting an ever-escalating war on that "fictitious" law of supply and demand.

The insane destructiveness of those measures can be seen in the country's production of...well, everything.  But the shocker is coffee.

Venezuela was once the largest coffee producer in the world.  But for some mysterious reason--reasons are always mysterious to Leftists--with the selling price of coffee strictly controlled by the socialist government, fewer coffee growers were willing to bust their butts to maximize production, and by 2004 the country was forced to import coffee for the first time.  By 2012 imports of coffee had reached 43,000 metric tons a year.

Today the movement of coffee beans is attended with the care usually reserved for shipments of gold bullion.  Every move is carefully monitored by government bureaucrats.  Any significant transport of food items anywhere in Venezuela must be declared to them.  The truck, merchandise, driver, dates of delivery--everything must be declared ahead of time to make a delivery.

But mysteriously--there's that word again--even with bureaucrats micro-managing shipments and deliveries, production of everything has continued to fall.  So now the socialist government has declared that the reason the shelves are bare must be that people are "hoarding" scarce goods. 

Solution?  Control the amount of purchases directly.

(Is any of this starting to sound familiar?)

Thus the socialist government is rolling out a new system of ration cards.

Of course they don't call it that.  Instead it's being touted in all the Venezuelan papers (owned and run by the government, of course) as a grocery loyalty card.  For example, Britain's socialist newspaper The Guardian describes it like this:
Working-class shoppers – who sometimes [??] endure hours-long queues at the stores to buy cut-price groceries – are welcoming the plan.
“The rich people have things all hoarded away, and they pull the strings,” said Juan Rodriguez, who waited two hours to enter the government-run supermarket near downtown Caracas on Monday, then waited three hours more to check out….
Patrons will register with their fingerprints, and the new ID card will be linked to a computer system that monitors purchases.  It will sound an alarm when it detects suspicious purchasing patterns, barring people from buying the same goods every day. But [the Food Minister] said the cards would be voluntary, with incentives such as discounts and entry into raffles for homes and cars.
Oh yes, we totally promise that using these cards will be voluntary.

The notion of winning a car in the raffle may get a lot of support, because it's almost impossible for ordinary Venezuelans to buy one.  Toyota ended its operations in the country after the government denied it permission to remit payment to its parent (the manufacturer) for the handful of cars purchased last year.  Most Venezuelans wanting a car must buy second-hand.  Which made the value of used cars approach the official price of new ones. 

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the country's current president Nicolas Maduro signed an executive order regulating the price of used cars--ostensibly to combat inflation.
The legislation would allow the government to set car prices, ensure that used car prices don’t exceed new car costs and provide licenses to individuals to import a vehicle using an account in euros or dollars with a state bank, Maduro said in a national address.
When the market value of used cars is virtually the same as the official price of new ones, you'd think that would be a tiny clue that something is seriously wrong.  But not to determined socialists and Leftists.

Venezuelans are trying to compensate for shortages and rationing by buying food from street vendors.  But as might be expected, government bureaucrats moved quickly to close that loophole:
The government ordered Tuesday that sidewalk vendors may only sell basic foods if they respect price controls….Foods subject to the government resolution [order] are “rice, corn flour, wheat flour, pasta, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, goat and pork.”
Also canned sardines, tuna and mackerel; powdered whole milk, cheese, eggs, soy milk, edible oils, margarine, legumes, sugar, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, ground coffee, coffee beans, and salt.
The [order] allows 30 days for sidewalk vendors to conform, and says that whoever infringes it will be penalized with the “confiscation of their goods.”
The real mystery here isn't the scarcity but the absence of common sense by the socialists.  Specifically: why haven’t they reached the obvious conclusion that forcing producers to sell essentially at their costs absolutely guarantees that supplies of everything so controlled will decrease?  It's almost like they're terminally stupid or something.

When something you do produces disastrous results, rational humans analyze the failure and change what they do. It's called a "feedback loop."  You would think the disastrous experience with price controls would lead rational people to stop doing it, but in fact the opposite is happening:  the socialists are doubling down on greater controls, greater distortions of economics.

What's preventing the feedback loop from working for Venezuela's socialist government? 

Stupidity is certainly a candidate, but I suggest the main factor is that they believe they'll be in power for the rest of their lives.  The socialists are like the Castro regime:  They rule absolutely, with no significant prospect of ever losing power.  If they never have to worry about being held accountable or being out of power, why change?  And since they totally control all broadcasting and newspapers, no word of the true scope of the disaster reaches most of the public--except for the personal experiences of the populace.

Obviously it's impossible for ordinary Venezuelans to avoid seeing the long lines and the bare shelves, or to be unaware of having to stand in line for hours to buy cooking oil or rice or toilet paper.  But the socialist government uses their control of newspapers and TV to keep repeating the government line that shortages are all the fault of greedy businessmen, or the CIA or their Colombian neighbors or some other form of foreign interference.

A devotion to government control of the economy isn't unique to Venezuela's leaders, of course:  U.S. Democrats and Obama rammed through a total takeover of health insurance, convinced that they knew better than ordinary people what those people needed.  Then by a series of presidential decrees Obama delayed the starting date of the law's most burdensome provisions until after the 2014 elections, hoping this would avoid costing Democrats control of the senate.

It's the same kind of magical thinking as Nicolas Maduro believing that fingerprinting Venezuelan supermarket buyers will put food on the shelves.

Of course Obama and the Democrats are far more educated and sophisticated than Venezuela's socialists, and with the help of the Democrat-covering media and an impeachment-proof senate they may yet retain power.  But what made the socialists in both nations think shutting off freedom of choice and ignoring the laws of supply and demand was a good idea in the first place?

One possible answer is that once someone buys into a paradigm, they can only choose from solutions that are within the paradigm space.  Venezuela's socialists keep pushing price controls because the notion of ending them isn't within the boundaries of their mental system. The only options any humans actually have are the ones they allow themselves to consider.

In the case of socialists--both in Venezuela and here at home--they're firmly wedded to price controls and won't consider any other option. To accept that price controls don't work--that in fact they make millions of ordinary people miserable--is to accept they and all their useless functionaries are either stupid or willfully stubborn.  In any case, that they're failures.

Similarly, U.S. Democratic leaders are psychologically unable to reject the government takeover they voted for--Obamacare--for exactly the same reason.

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