Free Markets, Free People

Culture

Stray Voltage

Professor Melissa Click, recently the face of the ugly left during the recent University of Missouri protests, has been notified by the Board of Curators that they’re terminating her employment there.  Click, you may remember, was charged with assault when she confronted a student reporter and grabbed his camera while calling for “some muscle” to help her force him to leave.  Interestingly, the Board of Curators also cited her actions at the Homecoming Parade a month before as grounds for dismissal as well.  You can read the whole investigation here.  So much for her tenure hearing … ain’t gonna happen.  You can read the whole investigation and the letter for the Board here.  I did last night.  Very interesting.  I can’t say she didn’t deserve what she got, and, frankly, it’s good to see bad actions ending up having consequences.  Apparently she thought and admission and apology were sufficient.  The Board did not.

Speaking of the SJWs, those at Brown University simply can’t get over the fact that they’re being required by professors to turn in class assignments on time after their activism has totally exhausted and drained them emotionally:

Liliana Sampedro, one of the students who compiled the diversity ultimatum, argued that refusal to grant such accommodations “has systemic effects on students of color,” who she said may sometimes feel obligated to prioritize their activist work over their studies.

“I remember emailing the professor and begging her to put things off another week … I hadn’t eaten. I hadn’t slept. I was exhausted, physically and emotionally,” Sampedro recalled. The professor nonetheless insisted that she submit a previously-assigned research presentation on time, which she claims forced her to stay up late to finish the project after having already spent hours working on the list of demands.

Because that’s why they went to Brown – to “prioritize their activism work over their studies”.  I know a bunch of folks at my college who “prioritized their partying over their studies” and they got no break from professors.  All kidding aside – this is our special snowflakes getting just a inkling of what is in store for them when they finally leave the protection and “safe space” that is Brown.

Some leftists/SJWs are figuring it out:

Speaking of Fascism, there is also a disturbing trend on the left nowadays that involves rejecting free speech/freedom of expression as a core value, because that speech could possibly be hurtful to someone, somewhere. This is not only dangerous but it also works against us, because as leftists we are often labelled as threats by the state and at the very least, we are unpopular by society in general. Does this not mean that freedom of thought and expression are crucial to our struggles?

Of course, at this point, not enough of them are doing so and there’s no indication that this is really a trend, however, it’s hopeful.  Read the whole thing.

Camile Paglia is a Bernie supporter, for one reason, because he is offering “free” college.  But she is not a Hillary supporter in the least.  And before she heads off on a riff about “free” college, she blasts the “establishment” Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton specifically (also taking a shot at the establishment media):

Democrats face a stark choice this year.  A vote for the scandal-plagued Hillary is a resounding ratification of business as usual–the corrupt marriage of big money and machine politics, practiced by the Clintons with the zest of Boss Tweed, the gluttonous czar of New York’s ruthless Tammany Hall in the 1870s.  What you also get with Hillary is a confused hawkish interventionism that has already dangerously destabilized North Africa and the Mideast.  This is someone who declared her candidacy on April 12, 2015 via an email and slick video and then dragged her feet on making a formal statement of her presidential policies and goals until her pollsters had slapped together a crib list of what would push the right buttons.  This isn’t leadership; it’s pandering.

Thanks to several years of the Democratic party establishment strong-arming younger candidates off the field for Hillary, the only agent for fundamental change remains Bernie Sanders, an honest and vanity-free man who has been faithful to his core progressive principles for his entire career.  It is absolutely phenomenal that Sanders has made such progress nationally against his near total blackout over the past year by the major media, including the New York Times.  That he has inspired the hope and enthusiasm of an immense number of millennial women is very encouraging.  Feminists who support Hillary for provincial gender reasons are guilty of a reactionary, reflex sexism, betraying that larger vision required for the ballot so hard-won by the suffrage movement.

While I usually don’t agree on a lot of what she says, I love the way she says it.  In this case, I’m with her about Clinton.

Speaking of “free college”,  in case you missed it, Louisiana tried that.  And, guess what?  It worked about as well as “free health care”:

A person receiving “free” tuition may not see it (or even care), but subsides actually raise the total cost of an education. The core problem is that they remove the paying customer—in this case the student—from the equation.

Without the subsidy, the paying customer receives the direct benefit for the service and bears the direct cost. If that person doesn’t think the cost is worth it, they don’t pay.

Louisiana’s program replaces this paying customer with groups of government officials. These officials neither receive the direct benefit nor endure the direct cost of obtaining an education. These groups do, however, benefit a great deal from obtaining more of your tax dollars.

And they rarely bear any direct cost from either increasing your taxes or delivering a substandard education product. (The incumbency rate is fairly high for politicians.)

Works great for government (bigger, more government jobs, more taxes) but not so hot for the taxpayer – as usual.

Socialism?  Heck yeah.  Why look at how well Venezuela is doing:

And now, the announcement of the “nutritional emergency” makes it official. Venezuela is out of food, and it’s only a matter of time before Venezuelans are quite literally starving due to a long series of terrible decisions by their leaders.

That’s right, it’s no longer about not having diapers and toilet paper.  Nope, the socialist government has run the country out of food as well.  Feel the Bern!

Peggy Noonan approaches the popularity of Trump, and for that matter, Sanders in the presidential race with a little different take.  Instead of talking about the elite, I think she makes a differentiation that better explains why those two have any political viability at all:

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.

Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.

One issue obviously roiling the U.S. and western Europe is immigration. It is THE issue of the moment, a real and concrete one but also a symbolic one: It stands for all the distance between governments and their citizens.

I think it gets us closer to the discontent felt by much of the country.  It has become clear that the “protected” are feathering their nests at the expense of the unprotected and, as Noonan says, will never suffer the effects of their policies because they’ve protected themselves from such an occurrence – or at least tried to.  Yes, it’s a bit oversimplified.  There’s much more going on, but it helps explain what no one has satisfactorily explained to this point.

On the other hand, I can’t help feeling I’m living in Weimar Germany.

12745432_10205946806216894_8520896724544696133_n

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

~McQ

Watching Twitter’s self destruction

And enjoying it (frankly, I’ve never been a fan of Twitter).

First and foremost I want to make it clear that Twitter’s decision to shadow ban and outright ban certain users has absolutely nothing to do with the right to free speech.  It’s a private company and they can ban and shadow ban anyone they want too.  Of course, being a private company and depending on “customers” they can screw the pooch anytime they want to as well, and that’s what they are in the middle of doing.

I say, “more power too them”.  They have to compete in a market with alternatives, unlike government, and they have to suffer the consequences of their decisions … also, for the most part, unlike government.

So, yeah, they’re not allowing certain conservative users to post on Twitter anymore.

Cool.  It’s not like Twitter didn’t have enough problems before this decision to monitor and ban users for arbitrary and biased reasons.  They were already under pressure to find a way to stop the declining numbers of users.

And their reaction?  Well, let’s put a “Trust and Safety Council” together to monitor what users say.  Oh, and let’s put a harpy from the extreme left wing of the political spectrum in charge and let her decide who can and can’t say “controversial things”.

How Orwellian can one get?  Well, the degree is still up for debate, but the hypocrisy isn’t.  Here’s Biz Stone, a Twitter co-founder in 2011:

[F]reedom of expression is essential. Some Tweets may facilitate positive change in a repressed country, some make us laugh, some make us think, some downright anger a vast majority of users. We don’t always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content.

Except for now, when Twitter has decided that its “view” (or at least that of the “Truth and Safety Council”) is more important than the content.

Well done, Twitter.  You deserve everything you are now suffering.  It was all brought about by your policies and the decision that your customers weren’t the most important thing to your company.

That’s the beauty of markets.  They will speak.  And Twitter is presently being spoken too … harshly.

~McQ

Identity politics and the new segregation

I remember the Civil Rights era very well.  I was a teenager then and I remember the giants of the movement pushing the society they lived in to be treated as equal citizens.  They wanted “desegregation” and they wanted, as Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, to be judged by the content of the character, not the color of the skin.  They wanted to be a part of mainstream America, not “separate but ‘equal'”.

And that’s, deservedly, what they finally won.

Until recently:

Racial segregation is back. That scourge of the 20th century, with its racialised drinking fountains and buses with whites-only seats, is staggering back to life, zombie-like. Only now its loudest cheerleaders are not old-fashioned racists with a Bible in one hand and lit torch in the other. No, it’s the right-on, small-l liberals, those who, in a serious abuse of the English language, call themselves “progressive”. Welcome to the era of PC segregation.

The question you have to have is “why”?  Why would those who supposedly were in the vanguard of destroying racial segregation now be a proponent of reestablishing it?  How in the world do you justify using skin color to segregate certain elements of our citizenry?

What we’re witnessing, not only in Australia but in other Western nations too, is the reawakening of the segregationist mindset. Segregationism has been given a makeover, turned from something that once made us wince — try looking at photos of an American “Coloured Drinking Fountain” without feeling horrified — to something that is treated as acceptable, even good: a “special measure” that can benefit certain groups.

The fashion for PC segregation is especially strong on Western campuses. In the US, students who think of themselves as decent, right-minded, left-of-centre people are openly demanding segregated spaces.

At Oberlin College in Ohio, student protesters are agitating for “safe spaces” for “Africana-identifying students”. At New York University, a student campaign is underway to create “an entire floor of the mixed-use building… to be dedicated to students of colour.” Students at UCLA want a floor of the student union building to be made African-American-only, on the basis that there needs to be a “safe space for black students”.

Ah, yes … dependency.  The plantation beckons. These delicate snowflakes need “protection”.   And segregation is the answer (as is historical illiteracy).  Separate them and wall them off.  Bull Conner and the boys would heartily agree with this approach.

So what happened to flip the focus from the content of one’s character back to the color of one’s skin (or gender, or culture, or ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc)?

Why?  Identity politics as pushed by the new Red Guard of “progressives” on campus:

This is what the politics of identity has wrought. As the old left-right divide has become emptied of real meaning, and as we enter what some refer to as a post-ideological era, more and more of us are defining ourselves by our race, gender or sexuality rather than by our moral convictions. And this has nurtured a really divisive dynamic.

Where once progressive politics was about “the common man”, about the shared interests of people of various colours and of both sexes, now it’s about the apparently different experiences and outlooks of whites, blacks, gays, women, trans people, and so on. Universal ideals are being subsumed by the relentless rise of a deeply sectional politics of identity.

The end result? Segregation. Although now it’s dolled up as a “safe space”. How long before we create a blacks-only zone on buses in the name of having a “safe space for black people”? We must fight anew against racial thinking, and restate the case for character being the only criterion on which we should judge our fellow humans.

This deeply divisive concept has fragmented a society, or is at least in the process of doing so, that was learning to pull together.  Make no mistake, identity politics is a child of multiculturalism which is entirely from and embraced by the left.

So we now have a complete reversal of what was a laudable goal … desegregation and equal treatment/opportunity for all Americans.

What is to become of these delicate snowflakes on campus that must have segregated “safe spaces” to survive?

The world is a cruel place; it’s impossible to make it through life without hearing something that offends every fibre of your being. It’s impossible to make it through without your feelings being hurt, without something piquing your anxiety, and without strongly disagreeing with other people’s ideas. Outside the comfort of your campus safe space, there are people who will inevitably trample all over your delicate sensibilities, and most of them won’t care. There will be no counselor to baby you through the sexist joke you overheard your coworker telling, and no place for you in the company should you require time off to address your mental state every time your boss doesn’t use the correct gender pronouns. You will find yourself unemployed and unable to afford anything when you decide activism is more important than being an adult and making smart decisions.

They are going to fail miserably.  And it will be your fault, because society, outside of academia is systemically (pick your favorite “ist” description concerning race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity and insert here) and no one cares about their delicate feelings.

Well, yeah, that’s right about the lack of caring.  When you’re a 21 year old adult, you’re going to be treated like one and expected to be tough enough to endure the uncompromising reality presented by “the real world”.  This isn’t the dorm, you’re no longer in the echo chamber and not everyone agrees with your take on life, or your sentiments concerning segregation, safe spaces or race and gender.  “The real world” doesn’t much care what you think about these things, it expects you to produce and earn your way.  If you can’t or won’t then they don’t want you.  And no, it most likely won’t be because you’re whatever race, gender or sexual preference you are.  It’ll be because you have no skills, are immature and have no concept of what is required by “the real world” to survive.

Of course, there’s always academia to fall back upon.  Go back and infest the hallowed halls with your nonsense, only this time as part of the establishment.  And wait for the next generation of special snowflakes to show up and do to you exactly what you’re doing to this generation of “establishment” progressives in those ivy covered halls.

There is an alternative, however.

You could just grow up.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

A little reading for you about how awful the Obama Syrian policy (or lack thereof) has been using Samantha Powers own words against her and the administration.

Even die-hard supporters of President Barack Obama’s “realist” approach to foreign affairs are nauseated by the White House’s Syria policy. New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, a vocal supporter of the nuclear weapons agreement with Iran, is fed up with nearly five years of the “fecklessness and purposelessness” of a Syria policy that “has become hard to distinguish” from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s. “Syria is now the Obama administration’s shame,” Cohen wrote last week, “a debacle of such dimensions that it may overshadow the president’s domestic achievements.” Ambassador Dennis Ross and New York Times military correspondent David Sanger also published articles excoriating Obama’s policies in Syria. There is a military solution, it’s “just not our military solution,” a senior U.S. security official admitted to Sanger. It’s Putin’s.

Think  of the charge of “war crimes”, something the Dems used to love to try and hang on George W. Bush.  It’s a pretty negative review.

Speaking of negative reviews, here’s one for the laughs it brings.  All you ever wanted to know about Kanye West and then some.  Kanye will not be happy, but I chuckled all the way through it. Some good points, in general, are made, not just about West:

West’s prepubescent views on everything Kanye haven’t stopped over the past decade, but everyone is too scared to mock him because he’s black and they don’t want to be called racist. He’s aware of this, so when his clothing line fails he says it’s because people were too “racist” to buy his stuff (this from a guy who gets to wear the Confederate flag on his bomber jacket). His clothing line was made up of people wearing brown nylons and strange “skin-colored” sweatshirts that looked like they were made out of Nazi lampshades. We recently learned that this foolish mistake put him $53 million in the hole and he took to social media to beg Mark Zuckerberg to bail him out to the tune of $1 billion. No word yet on why you get to be $947 million in the black when you screw up that badly. Forbes’ two cents is Yeezus might be able to get the money tax-free.

Read the whole thing … it’s worth it.  Another example of the Emperor having no clothes – in this case, literally.

Another example of the absurdity of the claim that ID laws “disenfranchise” minority voters:

On Tuesday, however, it was the state of Wisconsin that had the last laugh. Just one business day after Oliver predicted mass disenfranchisement due to voter-ID laws, Wisconsin held its first election with the voter-ID requirement. And according to a study by the University of My Eyeballs, turnout increased 55 percent statewide over the last similar spring-primary election.

In 2013 — the last contested statewide supreme-court election — around 364,000 voters turned out in Wisconsin. On Tuesday night, that number skyrocketed to about 564,000 voters. Even the 2011 Supreme Court primary, which took place during the electric Wisconsin public-union battle, drew only around 420,000 voters — well short of Tuesday’s total.

And the turnout bump wasn’t due to rural Caucasians flocking to the polls en masse. In the city of Milwaukee, which is 53 percent ethnic minority, the vote nearly doubled, from 34,000 to 65,000. Earlier, local election watchers had predicted a turnout of about 30,000.

Georgia, my home state, has had a voter ID law for a few years and have had exactly the same experience.  This is the “global warming” of voting.  Or said another way, if they keep repeating the big lie often enough, it has to be “true” doesn’t it – regardless of whether or not the facts destroy the myth.

So how are we doing economically and how is that reflected in the job market?  Well, Dems are going to tell you we’re at “full employment” because the fudged unemployment rate is around 5%.  This chart gives lie to the claim:

-1x-1

Women fare slightly better, but as you can see, the US is bottom of the barrel when it come to “employment to population ratio” for men. Heck of a job there, Dems. Oh, and Bernie says he’ll fix this.  Just sayin’.

Pertaining to the GOP and SCOTUS, file under “predictable” and cross-file under “stupid” as in “Stupid Party:

The playbook is the same every time. Even in the face of less consequential political fights, Republicans start out talking tough. Then, leadership allows the weakest liberal members to begin dissenting from the party line and even trash talking the party to the media. Next, leadership says they have to embark on the legislative process to be fair but still oppose the initiative and will personally fight against it. Then, depending on how many votes it needs to pass, they decide whether to throw in with the liberal Republicans.

And sure enough:

Yesterday, the dominos began to fall. While Sens. McConnell, Hatch, and other senior leadership members were still talking tough, liberal Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) announced his support for Obama to put forth a “consensus” nominee. And although Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Majority Whip, reiterated his desire that the next president fill the vacancy, he said that holding hearings is entirely up to the Judiciary Committee Chairman and scheduling a floor vote is entirely up to McConnell.

And then:

Obama knows how to push the RINO buttons. He will nominate someone who comes highly recommended in the legal field and it will be a big “first.” Perhaps the first transgendered Muslim immigrant to be picked. He knows Republicans are very sensitive to looking like “obstructionists,” especially in the face of such “historic” progress.    At that point, it will become a slow bleed. You will see Sens. Murkowski, Collins, Kirk, and other liberals join with Heller and call for “fair hearings.”  (How eerie that just two weeks ago, I called for Sen. Grassley to be replaced because his spot on the Judiciary Committee Chairman is too vital for someone so fickle.) Grassley will undoubtedly cave to pressure and that will get the ball rolling.

And once the nominee goes through the meat grinder of confirmation hearings, how can he not get a floor vote?  To that end, the weakest members of the committee, beginning with Lindsey Graham, will likely vote the nominee out of committee and onto the floor.

How many times have you seen this happen?

Freedom of speech is a wonderful and protected right.  But one thing some people seem never to understand is that it doesn’t shield you from the consequences of your “speech”:

In the wake of Beyonce’s controversial Super Bowl halftime performance of her new song “Formation” — which critics say contains an anti-cop message — police and politicians around the country have been speaking out against it.

But the criticism could be manifesting itself in practical ways, given what’s happened since police in Tampa, Florida, got a request to work her April 29 concert in town.

Usually off-duty officers sign up to work concerts and sporting events for extra cash, but to date no officers have signed up for the show, WTVT-TV reported. And given it’s expected to sell out, that could be a security issue.

That’s a great way for cops to get their message across.

Speaking of no one signing up, I got a huge laugh from this story.  You remember Ed Schultz don’t you?  Once with MSNBC and now with Russian (propaganda) TV?  Well, like Kanye West, Ed has become a little full of himself.  Ed decided to start a “Super PAC” feeling pretty sure he could save the middle class:

Last year Ed Schultz started the Americans for a Strong Middle Class Super PAC.

“I feel like I am perfectly positioned with my national platform, with my name and visibility and credibility with the middle class, to be the person to head up this super PAC,” he told  told the Fargo Forum. “We are a 527; we are a nonprofit; we are incorporated in Washington, D.C., and we are going to get involved in issues around the country that are vital to a strong middle class, with our focus on jobs and wages, health care, education, trade agreements and justice.”

“Middle class issues are here to stay,” Schultz continued.

Unfortunately for Ed, his PAC isn’t.  A couple of weeks ago, Big Ed quietly folded Americans for a Strong Middle Class Super PAC.

Only none of that actually happened. According to Mediate, Schultz ran up $10,345.44 in legal fees, $3,000 in web design fees, and a $100 loan and only collected $25 in donations to the organization which was apparently headquartered at a UPS store in downtown Washington D.C.

I’m sorry I coughed up a lung laughing at the donation total.  That’s about what Big Ed’s ideas are worth, and, in the market place of ideas, that’s what he was able to bring in.  Capitalism – don’t you love it?  No wonder the left hates it.

Finally, I love it when a loony law is field tested:

Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a first-of-a-kind challenge to gender bathroom rules. A man undressed in a women’s locker room, citing a new state rule that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender identity.

It was a busy time at Evans Pool around 5:30pm Monday February 8. The pool was open for lap swim. According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”

“Really bizarre,” MaryAnne Sato said. “I can’t imagine why they would want to do that anyway!”

Oh, my … hoist on their own petard, eh?  The other lung was coughed up on this one.  This isn’t bizarre at all.  This is precisely what critics of this sort of stupidity said would happen.

According to the SJW’s who pushed this “gender inclusiveness” law, all one has to do is “feel” like another gender and they’re in like Flynn.  Apparently, at least that day, this guy was feeling particularly female.  And yet, those exposed to the “woman” felt the situation was “bizarre”.  Imagine.

Loved this quote – by the way, he’s talking about the new law and the SJWs:

“Sort of works against the point they’re trying to make. They’re causing people to feel exposed and vulnerable with the intention of reducing people feeling exposed and vulnerable,” said pool regular Aldan Shank.

Exactly right, sir.  This is how laws that sound wonderful in drunken dorm room bull sessions end up when put into practice.   As usual, never factored in is something called “human nature”.

Funny that.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

A couple of things for you to read today

Headed out on the road today, so a short post with a couple of things for you to read.  First, Camille Puglia commenting on Clinton, Steinem and Albright’s attempt to shame women into voting for Clinton:

Despite emergency efforts by Gloria Steinem, the crafty dowager empress of feminism, to push a faltering Hillary over the finish line, Sanders overwhelmingly won women’s votes in every category except senior citizens. Last week, when she told TV host Bill Maher that young women supporting the Sanders campaign are just in it to meet boys, Steinem managed not only to insult the intelligence and idealism of the young but to vaporize every lesbian Sanders fan into a spectral non-person.

Steinem’s polished humanitarian mask had slipped, revealing the mummified fascist within. I’m sure that my delight was shared by other dissident feminists everywhere. Never before has the general public, here or abroad, more clearly seen the arrogance and amoral manipulativeness of the power elite who hijacked and stunted second-wave feminism.

The next day, Hillary was accompanied on the campaign trail by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (a Bill Clinton appointee), who proclaimed, to Hillary’s laughter and applause, “There’s a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women.” Waspishly policing the earth was evidently insufficient for the feminist politburo, who are now barging into the salvation and damnation game.

Never mind that the woman elevated to Christ Redeemer status by Steinem and Albright has a stained and tattered rap sheet five miles long. What genuine principles does Hillary have left, after a public career so light on concrete achievement and so heavy with lies and greed? Yes, she’s been handed job after job, but primarily due to her very unfeminist association with a man. As a senator, she initiated nothing of substance, and as Secretary of State, she stumbled into one disastrous fiasco after another, escalating the destabilization of North Africa and the Mideast.

Read the whole thing.  Interestingly, she’s a Bernie Sanders supporter, much to her disgrace.  But what she says about this trio is dead on.

Then a Kevin Williamson article about the knee-jerk reaction by some on the right to oppose whatever side the left lines up on in an issue.

Why conservatives and Republicans should be defensive about the fact that Baltimore, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Honolulu are misgoverned to various degrees of criminality is a mystery. Conservatives with real political power in those cities are as scarce as hen’s teeth. Could it really be something so simple as the fact that we do not feel comfortable standing on the same side of a bright red line as the malefactors in Ferguson and such opportunists as DeRay Mckesson, now a Baltimore mayoral candidate, and Al Sharpton?

As he points out, sometimes, like a stopped clock, they’re right a couple of times a day.  And he also points out that where most of the problems with law enforcement are to be found are in cities and locations with deep Democratic roots and years of their governance.  Take them case by case. Support those who deserve it, condemn those who don’t,  but remember  – sometimes, a corrupt policeman is just a corrupt policeman.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

Socialist Venezuela is dying:

The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press.

In the free market, the bolivar has lost 92 per cent of its value in the past 24 months, with the dollar costing 150 times the official rate: the largest exchange rate differential ever registered. Shortages and long queues in the shops have made daily life very difficult.

[…]

As bad as these numbers are, 2016 looks dramatically worse. Imports, which had already been compressed by 20 per cent in 2015 to $37bn, would have to fall by over 40 per cent, even if the country stopped servicing its debt.

Add to that the murder rate in Venezuela being the highest in the world (even with strict gun control) and you have a real “worker’s paradise” don’t you? I wonder if the Bernie bots are capable of learning anything from this? Yeah, no chance.

Speaking of Bernie and socialism, how about that red hot debate last night?  Laughed my keister off with this Hillary quote:

Hillary Clinton compensated for her complete lack of likability by falling back on playing the victim. She accused Bernie Sanders of ignoring feminism, black people and gay rights. She sputtered that, “Senator Sanders is the only one who would describe me, a woman running to be president, as exemplifying the establishment.” Somehow a fabulously wealthy woman who is backed by the entire Democratic political establishment isn’t the “establishment” because of her gender.

She had a tough time explaining her ties to Wall Street too, which I found hilarious.  If ever anyone defined “establishment” it would be Clinton.  And the irony of this supposedly “tough woman” playing the victim card shouldn’t be lost on anyone either.

Loved David Corn’s tweet.  He said his 14 year old daughter was watching the Democratic debate and remarked “it’s like watching my grandparents fight”.

Interesting:

Gallup’s analysis of political party affiliation at the state level in 2015 finds that 20 states are solidly Republican or leaning Republican, compared with 14 solidly Democratic or leaning Democratic states. The remaining 16 are competitive. This is the first time in Gallup’s eight years of tracking partisanship by state that there have been more Republican than Democratic states. It also marks a dramatic shift from 2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades.

It’s interesting because  I think it identifies a trend and a level of dissatisfaction with the current occupant of the White House.  And if true, I think it spells big trouble for the Democrats in a presidential election year.  And if the unlikable Hillary Clinton gets the nod for the Dems (a woman who has never polled over 45%), unless Trump GOP pick, the GOP wins.  If it ends up being Trump, then the GOP will again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Speaking of polls, is this indicative of reality or an outlier?

The Democratic race has dramatically tightened, according to a new Quinnipiac University national poll out Friday that shows Hillary Clinton with a razor-thin lead over Bernie Sanders.

Clinton leads Sanders 44 percent to 42 percent, well within the margin of error of the poll, which was conducted after the Iowa caucuses.

[…]

The picture of a neck-and-neck race is a huge change from Quinnipiac’s last national poll conducted Dec. 16-20 that showed Clinton with a massive lead over Sanders, 61 percent to 30 percent. It’s not clear yet whether other post-Iowa polls will also show Sanders surging ahead and catching up to Clinton.

Couple this with the fact that Bernie raised more campaign dough than Clinton in January and it should be setting off alarm bells in Clinton campaign headquarters.  And, in fact, it may explain a more combative Clinton last night.

On the special snowflake/SJW front, you know, those who unilaterally believe they get to decide what is or isn’t okay in today’s culture, it is now racist to wear a toe ring or bangle bracelet:

According to a piece in the totally logical social-justice blog “Everyday Feminism”, it is racist and offensive to wear toe rings or bangle bracelets in almost any situation.

Yep. According to the article’s author, Aarti Olivia, wearing these kinds of jewelry amounts to an appropriation of South Asian culture.  Olivia explains that in her culture, “it has been traditionally expected that married women wear bangles,” and that although that tradition is no longer “imposed upon women,” they do “wear them for religious or festive occasions.”

“In pop culture, you have probably seen the likes of Iggy Azalea and Selena Gomez wear them for music videos and performances,” Olivia writes. And that, she continues, is not okay.

I wonder if she knows that today’s music is mostly played on instruments invented by dead white guys from Western Europe.  So, using her logic, if she plays an instrument (violin, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, piano, etc.) is it “cultural appropriation”?  And if so, shouldn’t she stop right now and apologize?

Or does this nonsense only cut one way?

QOTD:

“If NASCAR embraced electric cars it could change the world…We could convert all of our racecars to electricity — right now — and show the public exactly what electrons can do,”

Yup, and the NASCAR track would be … a strangely quiet place during a race.  Kind of like Bill Nye’s brain.

Have a great weekend.

~McQ

 

 

 

 

Stray Voltage

Explaining the Trump phenomenon – I think this is pretty close:

“American presidential elections usually amount to a series of overcorrections: Clinton begat Bush, who produced Obama, whose lax border policies fueled the rise of Trump. In the case of Trump, though, the GOP shares the blame, and not just because his fellow Republicans misdirected their ad buys or waited so long to criticize him. Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party. That ought to be obvious to his critics, yet somehow it isn’t.”

The GOP more than shares the blame, they are the direct reason a person like Trump has traction.  Gutless, spineless and afraid to do what they were elected to do election after election has finally turned on them.  They’ve been warned for a while.  The rise of the Teaparty should have given them a clue, but it was business as usual for establishment GOP types.   This last Congressional election and their ineffectiveness while in the majority appears to have been the last straw.  Trump is their creation, and they still don’t understand why.

Speaking of Bernie and why his socialism is attractive to so many, I think this is pretty close as well:

“In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.”

We’ve actually seen “the long run” in the late and unlamented Soviet Union.  We have examples with us today via North Korea where famine and poverty stalk the population constantly, Cuba, where they live in the ’50s and work for $20 a month and Venezuela, where it failed utterly and the population is now trying to dig out from under the ruin.   But Bernie supporters, apparently, think his version will work.

In the “thank the good Lord” department, this:

President Obama is not interested in sitting on the Supreme Court once he leaves office, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.

If you think he’s been a disaster as a president, imagine the damage he could do on the Supreme Court.

Interesting.  When given a choice:

The number of dues-paying workers within the state’s labor groups has fallen steadily since GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed his signature legislation, 2011’s Act 10, which repealed most collective bargaining for most public workers. But new federal statistics show that trend intensified in 2015 after Walker and GOP lawmakers followed up on Act 10 by approving so-called right-to-work legislation last spring….

In 2015, 8.3% of Wisconsin workers, or 223,000 in all, were members of unions. That was down sharply from the 306,000 people, or 11.7% of the state’s workforce, who belonged to unions in 2014….

Labor unions are another thing the left isn’t “pro-choice” about.

ICYMI, Al Gore’s apocalyptic predictions expired recently.  Yup, Manhattan isn’t submerged in water (unless you want to count the latest footage in frozen precipitation) as he had predicted 10 years ago.  David French does a riff on the doomsayers:

Gore’s prediction fits right in with the rest of his comrades in the wild-eyed environmentalist movement. There’s a veritable online cottage industry cataloguing hysterical, failed predictions of environmentalist catastrophe. Over at the American Enterprise Institute, Mark Perry keeps his list of “18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions” made around the original Earth Day in 1970. Robert Tracinski at The Federalist has a nice list of “Seven big failed environmentalist predictions.” The Daily Caller’s “25 years of predicting the global warming ‘tipping point’” makes for amusing reading, including one declaration that we had mere “hours to act” to “avert a slow-motion tsunami.”

Indeed.  But the fact of the epic failure of their predictions, they will simply reinvent themselves as they always have.  Here’s French’s chaser:

Can we ignore them yet? Apparently not. Being a climate hysteric means never having to say you’re sorry. Simply change the cataclysm — Overpopulation! No, global cooling! No, global warming! No, climate change! — push the apocalypse back just a few more years, and you’re in business, big business.

Dead on.  Anyone remember who was one of the first investors in the carbon trading scam?

It appears that deploying other Clintons just isn’t quite working out as Hillary hoped.  Bill has been playing to small rooms and Chelsea, well, let’s just say she hasn’t much drawing power, or so it appears:

Chelsea Clinton hosted her highly-hyped Soul Cycle fundraiser for her mother in New York City on Wednesday afternoon.

The $2,700-a-head event, which offered just 60 seats at the popular cycling studio’s Tribeca location and promised guests a photo with Chelsea, was expected to sell out quick while raising some easy money for the Hillary Clinton campaign but was ultimately a flop.

Apparently they fire sold some of the seats at $50 each at the end to fill more and ended up with less than half the bikes filled.  This should have been a slam dunk in NYC if Hillary has the pull most think she does in the city.  Or else it’s Chelsea.  Or both …

The Trumpless debate?  Apparently about the same viewership as the previous debate with Trump included.   Make what you will of that, but regardless, Trump gave his opponents an open field last night and, at least as I view it, came off as a petty, spoiled brat throwing a tantrum.  Like I said, my view.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

 

Immaturity, historical ignorance and lack of critical thinking define today’s SJW

We’ve covered the SJWs and their protests on various of the universities and colleges in this country to some extent.  But while wandering through some links I came upon an Atlantic article that was very sympathetic to the SJW cause, especially that of racism – institutional racism – as it were.  And I found this quote below to be a fascinating look into the mind of an SJW without a clue:

During a protest at Princeton last semester, students confronted university President Christopher Eisgruber, explaining the emotional reasons behind their demand that the school remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from university buildings. A female protester was shown in a video saying:

I don’t think [racism] is just one or two evils. I don’t think it’s just a flaw, and I don’t think that you as a white person understand what it’s like to walk past a building or to be studying in a school or to have it on your diploma from a school that was built on the backs of and by your people. I don’t want to see that. I do not want to sit in Wilcox hall and enjoy my meal and look at Woodrow Wilson, who would not have wanted me here.

Here you see a very immature individual who has chosen to have an emotional response predicated on a negative feeling to a silly premise.   The premise?  Woodrow Wilson was a racist and wouldn’t want her there, therefore she’s uncomfortable and it is the worlds duty to assuage that uncomfortable feeling.

Really?  See, if I were her, I’d approach that in a completely different way.  I’d be grinning at the image of Wilson saying to myself, “see, you racist old goat, I’m here!  I was invited to be here! You wouldn’t have wanted me here but I am here!  Your kind no longer holds sway!  See how far we’ve come since your backward and retarded beliefs were predominant!  I’m going to sit here everyday and enjoy eating lunch in front of your image!”

But if she had approached it that way, she couldn’t have thrown the little pity party for herself, gotten herself labeled a “victim (with special status)” or found some lefty journalist with a platform to sympathetically, if not unthinkingly, perpetuate this nonsense.

And, as we’ve pointed out endlessly, giving credence and support to this sort of pre-teen emotionalism, especially in college, does nothing to prepare these tender young flowers for the harsh realities outside of University.

There’s also a problem of historical memory at work here.  None of those attending college today lived with or suffered the real institutional racism their grandparents suffered and overcame.  None of them realize that to that generation, both black and white, who fought for civil rights, the end of Jim Crow and equality for all people, their whining about a dead man’s beliefs – beliefs which don’t affect them in the least – seem exactly as I’ve characterized them … childish and immature.

Just as interestingly is their “solution”.  Voluntary segregation.  What their grandparents fought to dismantle, they want to reassemble.  They also want to restrict speech to that of which they approve, which is again something that their grandparents fought against.

One more bit of irony here is the fact that Woodrow Wilson was the progressive’s progressive.  He was a part of the party of Hillary Clinton … and Bull Conner.  But our friendly Journo nor the spoiled special snowflake seem to be aware of that (or are studiously ignoring it).

Funny, sad stuff, this …

~McQ

And the Oscar goes too …

Another day, another citadel of lefties under attack by … other lefties.   In this case it is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and their “all white” Oscar nominations for this year.

And so, in true Kanye West we-deserve-stuff-cuz-we’re-black style the charge racism is being leveled at the Academy because, well, there are no blacks who have been nominated this year, just like last year.  Yes, they even have a hashtag for it: #OscarsSoWhite.

But, surprise of surprises, members of the academy are “offended” by such accusations:

Penelope Ann Miller, best known for Carlito’s Way and The Artist, is a member of the actors branch that could have nominated Creed‘s Michael B. JordanConcussion‘s Will SmithThe Hateful Eight‘s Samuel L. Jackson or Beasts of No Nation‘s Idris Elba. “I voted for a number of black performers, and I was sorry they weren’t nominated,” she tells THR. “But to imply that this is because all of us are racists is extremely offensive. I don’t want to be lumped into a category of being a racist because I’m certainly not and because I support and benefit from the talent of black people in this business. It was just an incredibly competitive year.”

And:

Jeremy Larner, a member of the writers branch — which did nominate Compton‘s (white) writers for best original screenplay — was a civil rights activist in the 1960s and won an Oscar for 1972’s The Candidate. “I cannot prove the Academy or anyone else is not racist,” he grants. But, he says in his own defense, “I have voted for many people of color for awards.”

Wait, aren’t those sort of excuses like saying, in this context, “and I have many black friends”?  I thought so.

Of note, however, is the fact that this is the second year in a row that no blacks have been nominated.   That, however, in and of itself, doesn’t mean the Academy is racist, except to those who choose to believe it.  Why?  Perhaps because the movies featuring black actors didn’t quite measure up?  Again, Jeremy Larner:

 “I happen to think Straight Outta Compton is not a great film for reasons of structure and substance. I can imagine it is a powerful affirmation for those who share the assumptions of its music and see it as fans. But to me, a good film has to show a lot more than this one does.”

Translation: as a film … meh.

Miller is a bit incensed that the Academy is the target:

“There were an incredible number of films in 2015 that were primarily about white people. Talk to the studios about changing that, not the Academy. There’s only so much we can do.” She adds, “I think when you make race the issue, it can divide people even further, and that’s what I worry about.”

Ya think!  But then, that’s been the identity politics the left has engaged in for decades.  When you let the PC out of Pandora’s box, and give it credence when used against your ideological enemies, don’t act surprised when it comes around to bite you on your Academy, or campus , or …

~McQ

Stray Voltage

So yesterday was one of those days with a million things to do and not enough time to do them … such as blogging.  Anyway, today, we see a college pushing back against the tyranny of the ignorant:

Oxford University installed its first female vice-chancellor this week, Louise Richardson, who boldly stressed the importance of free speech and critical thinking at university amid roiling student protests.

Addressing students for the first time in her new role, Richardson urged them to be open-minded and tolerant; and to engage in debate rather than censorship, alluding to countless calls from students at Oxford and other universities across the U.K. to ban potentially offensive speakers and rename or remove historical monuments.

“How do we ensure that we educate our students both to embrace complexity and retain conviction?” she asked. “How do we ensure that they appreciate the value of engaging with ideas they find objectionable, trying through reason to change another’s mind, while always being open to changing their own? How do we ensure that our students understand the true nature of freedom of inquiry and expression?”

Richardson’s installment comes as students at Oxford’s Oriel College campaign to dismantle a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the British colonialist who endowed the Rhodes Scholarship.

They claim the monument glorifies a man who was “the Hitler of South Africa” and speaks to “the size and strength of Britain’s imperial blind spot.”

Uh, that’s history, and that’s precisely the message that was conveyed by Ms Richardson to those who would take down Rhode’s statue:

Richardson stood by the university’s chancellor, Lord Patten of Barnes, as he referenced the statue debate, reminding students that history cannot be rewritten “according to our contemporary views and prejudices.” He, too, was forthright in his criticism of speech codes and calls for “no-platforming” controversial speakers.

The point Richardson makes seems to be a difficult one for the SJWs to grasp.  Obviously none of them are Rhodes Scholars.  Good for Louise Richardson.

The “melting pot” makes a comeback:

A generation ago the Europeans, who had bled themselves white in war after war, usually in the service of chauvinistic nationalism, decided they could save the day with a new concept called multiculturalism. The concept was vague but expansive, which celebrated ethnic and other cultural differences and sprinkling them with holy water. “Multi-culti” became fashionable.

Soon Europe’s native minorities were joined by vast new numbers of arrivals from places far from Europe, many from former colonial appendages. By cultivating their differences, rather inviting them to join a melting pot that had worked so well for so long in North America, tolerance and “cultural enrichment” became the norm.

But there’s a growing realization that maybe “multi-culti” hasn’t worked so well, after all. Prominent Europeans are turning their backs on the idea. Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have called the scheme, however well meant, into serious question.

Segregating by culture, claiming all cultures are as viable as the next and “tolerating” what is intolerable in the native culture do not lead to a harmonious or united nation.  You’d think smart people could have figured that out before going all in on this sort of experiment that had “bad idea” written all over it when it began.  And that’s been proven now, with the wrecked lives of a number of British girls (Rotherham):

The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, told Parliament that “institutionalized political correctness” was responsible for the lack of attention given to the mass rape.

In other words, between protecting over a thousand girls from repeated gang rape and protecting Muslims from being identified as the rapists, British authorities chose to protect multiculturalism and “diversity.” In the competition between multiculturalism and one of the most elementary instincts and obligations of higher civilization — the protection of girls and women from sexual violence — higher civilization lost.

And look what their choice got them.  The authorities need to be in jail for their refusal to do what was right and, by the way, their job.  Oh, and feminists?  Where are you?

How bad a candidate is Hillary Clinton?  This is just an indicator:

Bernie Sanders has a 19-point lead over Hillary Clinton among Democratic and independent women ages 18 to 34, according to a USA Today/Rock the Vote poll.

The Vermont senator, who has been surging in the polls in the last two weeks, won 50 percent compared to Clinton’s 31 percent among millennial women.

However, I have to say, if your choice on that side of the political spectrum is narrowed down to these two, you’re stuck with two bad candidates anyway.

Yeow.  Really?

A poll out Thursday from the Pew Research Center shows more Americans distrust sharing their personal information with social media companies, smart cars and homes than office surveillance cameras, retail loyalty programs and health services websites.

According to the study, 54 percent of American adults polled found the prospect of security cameras in their workplace capable of tracking employee performance and attendance with facial recognition technology and stockpiled footage “acceptable,” compared to 51 percent who said it was “not acceptable” to give up personal information in exchange for free use of a social media platform, which would use the data to target users with ads.

“More acceptable”?  How about finding neither “acceptable.”

By the way, if you’re wondering why Clinton is losing millennial women to Sanders, this may be the cause:

As for Mrs. Clinton, she has clearly been rattled by Mr. Trump’s merciless resurrection of her alleged complicity in the sometimes brutal handling of women involved in her husband’s dramas. This reminds everyone of—and introduces young voters, who were children during the Gennifer Flowers through Monica Lewinsky stories to—the whole sordid underside of Clintonism. Mrs. Clinton clearly wasn’t expecting it, and she bobbled. She has never gone up against a competitor like Mr. Trump.

History is a bear, and this is a history that I would bet (especially in the light of the Cosby problem) that many of those women weren’t familiar.  It really puts “hollow” in the claim of feminism Clinton has been trying to sell them.  Instead, it shouts “enabler”.  Add in all the other negatives and the candidate looks even less attractive to them.  Most of us would consider it to be well earned shadenfruede.

Is the next recession already teed up?  And will it be worse than 2008?

A major contributor for this imminent recession is the fallout from a faltering Chinese economy. The megalomaniac communist government has increased debt 28 times since the year 2000. Taking that total north of 300 percent of GDP in a very short period of time for the primary purpose of building a massive unproductive fixed asset bubble that adds little to GDP.

Now that this debt bubble is unwinding, growth in China is going offline. The renminbi’s falling value, cascading Shanghai equity prices (down 40 percent since June 2014) and plummeting rail freight volumes (down 10.5 percent year over year), all clearly illustrate that China is not growing at the promulgated 7 percent, but rather isn’t growing at all. The problem is that China accounted for 34 percent of global growth, and the nation’s multiplier effect on emerging markets takes that number to over 50 percent.

China has been in trouble for a while.  In my best Rev. Wright voice, I wonder if the “chickens are coming home to roost?”  I also wonder if so, what that means in terms of stability for China’s ancient totalitarian ruling class.

And in the world of participation trophies and no consequences, this was inevitable:

With nothing but hope and her faulty judgement, Cinnamon Nicole allegedly spent her entire life savings buying up all the Powerball tickets she could afford. But the Cordova resident ended up a broke loser when none of her lucky numbers matched Wednesday’s $1.6 billion Powerball numbers.

So what’s a penniless woman to do when she’s still all filled with hope but not a hint of common sense? Create a GoFundMe page, get donations and “spend another fortune trying to hit it big again.” That’s what Nicole did before GoFundMe decided they weren’t going to stand idly by while she makes a mockery of the crowdfunding site and shut her Powerball Reimbursement page down.

And yes, before GoFundMe shut her down, she had actually raised $800.

*sigh*

Have a great weekend.

~McQ