Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why a Global Tax on Wealth Won't End Inequality

A review of Thomas Piketty's, Capital in the Twenty-first Century.

From Tyler Cowen, at Foreign Affairs, "Capital Punishment."

PREVIOUSLY: "Bill Moyers and Paul Krugman Use Thomas Piketty's Capital to Attack America's 'Ugliness' and 'Racism'," and "Thomas Piketty and the Renaissance of Collectivist Hatred."

NATO Can't Stop Russia Ukraine Incursion

At the New York Times, "Eastern Europe Frets About NATO’s Ability to Curb Russia":

OVER CONSTANTA, Romania — High over the Romanian border, a sophisticated NATO surveillance plane kept a close watch on Russian movements below. Its radar screens came alive with a cat-and-mouse game between a Russian surveillance jet buzzing an American guided missile destroyer in the Black Sea and a squadron of NATO fighter jets that chased it away.

It was a scene reminiscent of the Cold War, and NATO’s mission was meant to reassure allies that are feeling newly vulnerable to Russian threats after Moscow’s muscular intervention in neighboring Ukraine.

But it provided little comfort to NATO’s Eastern European members, which are growing increasingly nervous about Russia’s moves and the alliance’s ability, or even willingness, to counter them.

Today’s NATO, hollowed out by years of European military cuts and deployed mostly to help fight far-off battles in places like Afghanistan and Libya, is no longer as prepared to counter a newly assertive Kremlin, its own leaders acknowledge...
Yeah, we sent a few hundred troops to Poland, which no doubt has the Kremlin quaking.

But keep reading.

PREVIOUSLY: "Ukraine's Loss of Crimea Has NATO Examining Its Core Mission."

Aborted Babies Burned for Energy Production at Oregon Waste Facility

It couldn't happen here, right?

Remember last month, at Telegraph UK, "Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals."

Well, now From Steve Ertelt, at Life News, "Energy Plant in Oregon Burning Aborted Babies From Canada to Generate Electricity."

More at NewsBusters, "So Much For 'It Can't Happen Here': Fetal Waste Turned Into Energy in Oregon."

This Ad From GOP Senate Candidate Monica Wehby Will Make You Cry

At the Washington Examiner.

Obama's Foreign Policy is 'Minimal' and 'Laughable'

Charles Krauthammer, via NRO:

Fresno is No. 1 on California's Toxic Hit List

I've blogged Fresno's pollution before, "Menacing Air Quality in California's Central Valley."

But there's a new state pollution study out ranking Fresno as ground zero for environmental danger in the state, and I don't doubt it.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Fresno ranks No. 1 on California pollution list":
FRESNO — The state's new effort to map the areas most at risk from pollution features hot spots up and down California.

But nowhere are there more of the worst-afflicted areas than in Fresno — in particular a 3,000-person tract of the city's west side where diesel exhaust, tainted water, pesticides and poverty conspire to make it No. 1 on California's toxic hit list.

"I'm looking at this map, and all I see is red. We're right here," Daisy Perez, a social worker at the Cecil C. Hinton Community Center, said as she located the center of the red areas that represented the top 10% most-polluted census tracts in California. "It's so sad. Good people live here."

Pollution has long plagued the Central Valley, where agriculture, topography and poverty have thwarted efforts to clean the air and water. The maps released this week by the California Environmental Protection Agency show that eight of the state's 10 census tracts most heavily burdened by pollution are in Fresno.

For residents of the state's worst-scoring area, statistics tell only part of the story of what it is like to live there.

It's a place where agriculture meets industry, crisscrossed by freeways. The city placed its dumps and meat-rendering plants there decades ago.

Historically, it was the heart of the city's African American community. The Central Valley's civil rights movement was centered in its churches. People referred to it as West Fresno, which meant a culture as well as a place.

These days, young community workers call it by its ZIP Code — the "93706 Zone."

It's home to a Latino community — the children and grandchildren of migrant workers; to Hmong and Cambodian farmers; and to a minority African American community that includes those desperate to leave, and an old guard of those who say they will never abandon home.

"The voice of the community is still black. Because we're the ones who now have the wherewithal and time to speak," said Jim Aldredge, who took over running the community center when the city cut its budget. "Look, when you're just trying to survive, you don't have time to go before City Council and all that. Pollution data is the farthest thing from your mind when you're looking for your next meal."

Vox 'Explainer' Zack Beauchamp Owned by Free Beacon

This is just wow!

At Free Beacon, "Four Pinocchios for Vox ‘Explainer’ on ‘Everything You Need to Know About Israel-Palestine’."

Via Twitchy, "‘You just got pantsed’: Fact check destroys Vox Israel-Palestine ‘explainer’; Author attacks byline."

Facts are hard. Well, facts are hard for leftists.

'Because Obama is black and because he's a leftist he's completely protected by the press. Nobody holds him to account. We live in a kind of surreal universe where people will not say the truth. And the truth is that Barrack Obama is a menace to American security...'

It's David Horowitz, via Truth Revolt, "Horowitz: 'Obama is a Menace to American Security'."

Listen at the link.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'Explosive New Controversy' Over al Qaeda Film at National September 11 Memorial Museum

Megyn Kelly has the story at the clip.

I'm simply flabbergasted at this idiot far-left clusterf-k Chloe Breyer, daughter of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. But she's a dyed-in-the-wool terror apologist and al Qaeda enabler. Islam is not a "religion of peace." That's probably the "Big Lie" of the current post-9/11 era. That's the same lie foisted by the Obama administration when it labels Nidal Malik Hasan's Fort Hood jihad murders --- where he screamed "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire --- as "workplace violence." Fanatical liars like Chloe Breyer are what's wrong with this country, and this mendacious evil doesn't stop with the War on Terror. It's an across the board assault of decency, an epic attack on moral standards of right and wrong, good versus evil. There's no excuse nor forgiveness for people who espouse such evil apologies for terror. Listen to that woman. Simply disgusting. Megyn Kelly, God bless her, remains very professional in handling the interview, but thank goodness for Brooke Goldstein, who calls out Breyer's lies as "incredibly intellectually dishonest." Seriously, this is enough to get your blood boiling. But then, we've been subjected to leftist evil as this for over 12 years since the attacks, and then some.

More at the New York Times, "Film at 9/11 Museum Sets Off Clash Over Reference to Islam":

Past the towering tridents that survived the World Trade Center collapse, adjacent to a gallery with photographs of the 19 hijackers, a brief film at the soon-to-open National September 11 Memorial Museum will seek to explain to visitors the historical roots of the attacks.

The film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations.

The documentary is not even seven minutes long, the exhibit just a small part of the museum. But it has over the last few weeks suddenly become a flash point in what has long been one of the most highly charged issues at the museum: how it should talk about Islam and Muslims.

With the museum opening on May 21, it has shown the film to several groups, including an interfaith advisory group of clergy members. Those on the panel overwhelmingly took strong exception to the film, believing some of the terminology in it casts aspersions on all Muslims, and requested changes. But the museum has declined. In March, the sole imam in the group resigned to make clear that he could not endorse its contents.

“The screening of this film in its present state would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, the imam of Masjid Manhattan, wrote in a letter to the museum’s director. “Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.”
And see Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, "The Myth at the Heart of the 9/11 Museum Film Backlash":
Can you tell the story of the 9/11 attacks without frequent mention of the words “Islamist” and “jihad?” To anyone even remotely familiar with the history of the war being waged on the United States and the West by al-Qaeda, such a suggestion is as absurd as it is unthinkable. The 9/11 terrorists were part of a movement that embarked on a campaign aimed at mass murder because of their religious beliefs. Those beliefs are not shared by all Muslims, but to edit them out of the story or to portray them as either incidental to the attacks or an inconvenient detail that must be minimized, if it is to be mentioned at all, does a disservice to the truth as well as to the public-policy aspects of 9/11 memorials. But, as the New York Times reports, that is exactly what the members of an interfaith advisory group to the soon-to-be-opened National September 11 Memorial Museum are demanding.

After a preview of a film that will be part of the museum’s permanent exhibit titled “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” the interfaith group is demanding the movie be changed to eliminate the use of terms like Islamist and jihad and to alter the depiction of the terrorists so as to avoid prejudicing its audience against them. They believe that the film, which is narrated by NBC’s Brian Williams, will exacerbate interfaith tensions and cause those who visit the museum to come away with the impression that will associate all Muslims with the crimes of 9/11. They even believe that having the statements of the 9/11 terrorists read in Arab-accented English is an act of prejudice that will promote hate.

Yet the impulse driving this protest has little to do with the truth about 9/11. In fact, it is just the opposite. Their agenda is one that regards the need to understand what drove the terrorists to their crimes as less important than a desire to absolve Islam of any connection with al-Qaeda. At the heart of this controversy is the myth about a post-9/11 backlash against American Muslims that is utterly disconnected from the facts. But by promoting the idea that the nation’s primary duty in the wake of the atrocity was to protect the good name of Islam rather than to root out Islamist extremism, interfaith advocates are not only telling lies about al-Qaeda; they are undermining any hope of genuine reconciliation in the wake of 9/11.

As I first wrote in COMMENTARY in 2010 at the height of the debate about the plans to build a mosque in the shadow of the remains of the World Trade Center, the media-driven narrative about a wave of discrimination against Muslims after 9/11 is largely made up out of whole cloth. No credible study of any kind has demonstrated that there was an increase in bias in this country. Each subsequent year since then, FBI statistics about religion-based hate crimes have demonstrated that anti-Muslim attacks are statistically insignificant and are but a fraction of those committed against Jews in the United States. But driven by the media as well as by a pop culture establishment that largely treated any mention of Muslim connections to terror as an expression of prejudice, the notion that 9/11 created such a backlash has become entrenched in the public consciousness.

While the Ground Zero mosque was never built in spite of the support that the idea drew from most of New York’s elites and political leadership, the narrative that emerged from the controversy in which the need to absolve Islam from any ties to the terrorists or al-Qaeda has prevailed. And it is on that basis that the interfaith group protesting the 9/11 museum film may hope to force the institution to surrender....

But rather than think seriously about the implications of a significant segment of the adherents of a major world faith regarding themselves as being at war with the West and the United States, many Americans prefer to simply pretend it isn’t true. They tell us that jihad is an internal struggle for self-improvement, not a duty to wage holy war against non-Muslims that is integral to the history of that faith’s interactions with the rest of the world. They wish to pretend that the radical Islam that motivated al-Qaeda on 9/11 and continues to drive its adherents to terror attacks on Westerners and Americans to this day is marginal when we know that in much of the Islamic world, it is those who preach peace with the West who are the outliers.
Keep reading.

And yes, this whole controversy is rooted in the leftist evil that to speak the truth about September 11 is racist and intolerant. Leftists will bring about the permissive circumstances for yet more attacks on the U.S. and more murders of Americans.

ADDED: From Pamela Geller, at Atlas Shrugs, "Imams and Dhimmi Clergy Condemn Mention of “Jihad” and “Islamist” at 9/11 Museum Exhibit."

#Yankees Pitcher Michael Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar

I was watching the game but had to go pick up my son at his after school program and missed this (hat tip: Becca Lower).

At CBS Sports, "VIDEO: Yankees' Pineda ejected for having pine tar on neck."

Edward Snowden: Patriot or Traitor?

I bought a copy of the new Vanity Fair in hard copy last weekend at Harrah's Resort. That Snowden piece is probably 10,000 words. I don't love those long articles, although I'd recommend this one for anyone looking for a decent recap of all that's gone down with this idiot. He's a traitor IMHO.

See, "The Snowden Saga: A Shadowland of Secrets and Light."

Snowden Vanity Fair photo i1s-snowden-saga-pr_zps9f54e9eb.jpg

They've posted the entire piece, so have at it. I thought it would've been gated, but what do you know?

Fabulous Photos

At Theo's, "Pic Dump..."

"Smith matter-of-factly described what happened in chilling detail, telling authorities he finished Kifer off with a shot under her chin because a .22-caliber 'doesn't go through bone very well'..."

From the trial of Byron Smith, in Little Falls, Minnesota, who's accused of lying in wait to murder two teenagers suspected of previously breaking into his home. Prosecutors say after firing the initial shots, the teenagers were no longer a threat. Smith finished them off execution style.

"Kifer" is Haile Kifer, 18, who apparently laughed at Smith as his gun jammed trying to pump off another round.

At London's Daily Mail, "'I don't see them as human': Homeowner who shot dead two teens during Thanksgiving break-in called them 'VERMIN' on audio recording and told himself killing them was his 'civic duty'."

Why were these kids breaking into the guy's house? I mean, yeah, Smith went beyond the level of appropriate force to neutralize the threat. But why were these kids in the house? Teenagers? As bad as this case is, I can't help but thinking the kids were asking for it.

Justin Bieber 'doesn't appear to know what the Yasukuni Shrine is...'

It's a longstanding Shinto shrine memorializing those who fought in Japan's wars since the Meiji Restoration, although it controversially commemorates 14 "Class A" war criminals from World War II. Japanese prime ministers visit regularly, at which countries like China and Korea throw hissy fits. But Justin Bieber? He's just a 20 year-old pop star. But oh boy, don't tell his millions of fans from across Asia, lol.

At the Washington Post, "How Justin Bieber inadvertently stepped into one of the world’s greatest geopolitical controversies":
Justin Bieber has a habit of getting into trouble, but nothing may have quite prepared the Canadian pop star for the scale of the geopolitical situation he just got himself into in Japan.

The problem arose when the 20-year-old posted two photos to his Instagram page that appeared to show his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Both pictures have now been deleted, but not before they spread around the world. For example, the image above was posted to the Beijing-based That's Magazine. The reaction has been largely negative. "Say sorry to Chinese," one user writes in the screen grab above, while others swore at the pop star.

Bieber doesn't appear to know what the Yasukuni Shrine is – he says simply "thank you for your blessings" with the first picture, and in a follow-up post he explained he had been "mislead to think the Shrines were only a place of prayer." But to many of his 16 million Instagram followers in Asia, Yasukuni is perhaps one of the most offensive locations on earth.

Yasukuni is a shrine to the 2.5 million men, women and children who died serving the Japanese Empire between 1868 and 1945. Controversially, those honored include thousands of soldiers from World War II – and, as of 1978, 14 Class A war criminals.

For many in China, Korea and other Asian nations, Yasukuni represents the worst of Japan's imperial militarism...
Also at London's Daily Mail, "Now Justin Bieber alienates 1.3 billion people: Teen popstar forced into grovelling apology after he visits controversial Japanese war shrine that is a bone of contention in China."

Leftists Squeal in Delight at Sotomayor's 'Passionate' Dissent in Schuette v. BAMN

Frankly, Sotomayor attacked the chief justice as "racist," but hey, leftists are down with that!

OMG passionate!

At Free Beacon, "The Media Loves Sonia Sotomayor’s Passion."

Fabulous Tessa Fowler in Green Bikini

Oh my!

What a wonderful little lady.

She's enough to take your mind off the vile collectivists for a few minutes, heh.

At Egotastic!, "Go Big Or Go Home: Tessa Fowler Green Bikini Tease for a Ta-Ta Tuesday."

Thomas Piketty and the Renaissance of Collectivist Hatred

From David Harsanyi, at the Federalist, "Pundits of the World Unite! What Thomas Piketty’s Popularity Tells Us About The Liberal Press."

Karl Marx
As I write this, Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” is #1 on Amazon. It’s been deemed an “important book” by a bunch of  smart people. Why not? It validates many of the preconceived notions progressives have about capitalism: Inequality is growing. Mobility is shrinking. Meritocracy is dead. We all live in a sprawling zero-sum fallacy.  And so on.

The book, as you probably know, has also sparked nonstop conversation in political and media circles. Though it’s best to let economists debunk Piketty’s methodology and data, it is worth pointing out that liberal pundits and writers have not only enthusiastically and unconditionally embraced a book on economics, or even a run-of-the-mill leftist polemic, but a hard-left manifesto.

Now, I realize we’re all supposed to accept the fact that conservatives are alone in embracing fringe economic ideas. But how does a book that evokes Marx and talks about tweaking the Soviet experiment find so much love from people who consider themselves rational, evidence-driven moderates?

Put it this way: It’s unlikely that Democrats would have praised a book like this 20 years ago – or even 10. Nowadays, Jack Lew – better known as the Treasury Secretary of the United States of America - takes time to chit chat with the author.

Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, argues that capitalism allocates resources efficiently but unfairly apportions income. And the excessive accumulation of wealth by the one percent – nay, the .01 percent — is not only corrupt, but an inequality that makes democracy unsustainable. And it’s going to get worse.  So only a massive transfer of wealth could make our nation whole again.

Here is his thesis, boiled down:
When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.

I’d ask if there are any historical examples that prove that skewed wealth in a generally prosperous nation is more damaging to its democratic institutions than the reallocation of wealth by a coercive state. But then I realize, as with any Marxist revival, the answer is: This time we’re gonna do it right!
Judging from the political rhetoric of the day, liberals already believe that higher taxes on the wealthy can create more opportunity for the poor and middle class. While some of us would argue that the nexus between high taxes and economic growth is tenuous, debating whether the top marginal tax rate should be 25 or 33 or 35 percent is well within the boundaries of a centrist debate. But that’s not Piketty’s position.

Here’s how Daniel Shuchman put it in a recent Wall Street Journal review:
Mr. Piketty urges an 80% tax rate on incomes starting at “$500,000 or $1 million.” This is not to raise money for education or to increase unemployment benefits. Quite the contrary, he does not expect such a tax to bring in much revenue, because its purpose is simply “to put an end to such incomes.”
Imagine there’s no rich people. You can say he’s a dreamer, but he’s not the only one.
Keep reading.

Bottom line: Leftists hate wealth. For them people having lots of money, and especially having money and being able to pass it on to their children through inheritance, is evil.

But what's truly evil is the literally pathological hatred leftists have toward the independent and prosperous. Remember, for leftists a free society is rife with "ugliness" and "racism," simply because the natural diversity of the free market conflicts with the grip-of-steel collectivism of the neo-Stalinist left.

The more your read on this Piketty debate the more you will see how terribly wrong politics has turned during this Obama interregnum. The current collectivism hasn't emerged from a vacuum. The real ugliness today is the vicious partisan class warfare the left has waged from the president on down. And now this Piketty dolt has jumped in with a partisan screed to give present-day Marxists a shot in the arm.

I'll have more, because you can't push back enough against these people.

RELATED: "The Misguided Resurgence of Marxist Collectivism," and "Bill Moyers and Paul Krugman Use Thomas Piketty's Capital to Attack America's 'Ugliness' and 'Racism'."

Leftists Spew Hate at Clarence Thomas Following Schuette Decision

It's like a collective pathology. Man, these people are disgusting.

At Twitchy, "‘Worst Negro in history’: Clarence Thomas catches hate after SCOTUS’ affirmative action ruling."

Florida Mom Charged With First Degree Murder in Baby-Slamming Death of Six-Week Old Daughter

The baby, Aubrie, had surgeries for a foot deformity, and was in pain. The mom couldn't take it, apparently, and lifted the child up by the feet, high over her head, and slammed the infant down on a dresser. Baby Aubrie died of skull fractures and bleeding on the brain.

I tweeted this to Steve Ertelt last night:

And he's now posted on it.

God help us.

Toss Out Abusive College Administrators

Oh, I wish, heh.

From Glenn Reynolds, at USA Today:
Like most professors, I hate doing administrative work. And since somebody has to do it, universities have increasingly built up a corps of full-time administrators. That's fine, but lately, the administrative class has grown too numerous and too heavy-handed. As colleges and universities increasingly face financial pressures, it's time to rethink.

Full-time administrators now outnumber full-time faculty. And when times get tough, schools have a disturbing tendency to shrink faculty numbers while keeping administrators on the payroll. Teaching gets done by low-paid, nontenured adjuncts, but nobody ever heard of an "adjunct administrator."

But it's not just the fat that is worrisome. It's administrators' obsession with -- and all too often, abuse of -- security that raises serious concerns. At the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Clyde W. Barrow, a leading professor, has just quit, complaining of an administration that isolates itself from students and faculty behind keypads and security doors.

Isolation is bad. But worse still is the growing tendency of administrators to stifle critics by shamelessly interpreting even obviously harmless statements as "threats." A recent example took place at Bergen Community College, where Professor Francis Schmidt was suspended, and ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination over a "threat" that consisted of posting a picture of his 9-year old daughter wearing a Game Of Thrones T-shirt. The shirt bore a quote from the show, reading: "I will take what is mine with fire & blood." Bergen administrator Jim Miller apparently thought the picture, which was posted to Schmidt's Google Plus account, was somehow intended as a threat to him. (Schmidt had filed a labor grievance a couple of months earlier.)

What kind of person claims that a picture of a 9-year-old girl wearing an HBO T-shirt is a threat? The kind of person who runs America's colleges, apparently. And Miller, alas, is not alone in his cluelessness and, apparently, paranoia.

Last year at the University of Wisconsin at Stout, theater professor James Miller had a poster from the television series Firefly on his door. It included a picture of Captain Mal Reynolds, a character played by Nathan Fillion, and a quote from the show: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed."

Campus police chief Lisa Walter removed the poster, regarding it as a "threat." After Stout complained to no avail, he replaced the poster with one reading: "Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets."

This poster, too, was interpreted as a threat, which led to a visit from the campus "threat assessment team." After nationwide mockery (Fillion, and fellow Firefly cast member Adam Baldwin, joined in, as did many of the show's fans), the university retreated, and promised to change its approach in the future. Presumably, Chief Lisa Walter carries a gun, and I wonder if that's a good idea in someone so skittish that she sees a movie poster as a "threat."

Meanwhile, at the University of Colorado, the American Association of University Professors has produced a report on the university's running "roughshod" over academic freedom as part of an anti-sexual-harassment campaign in its philosophy department and -- again -- using campus police to strongarm a faculty member over an obviously bogus threat...
Keep reading.

I wish it wasn't so, but my campus is no exception.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Attacks John Roberts as Racist!

Well, not exactly, but she might as well have.

Sotomayor attacked his his legal positions on civil rights, riffing on his famous quote from 2007's Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

At TPM, "Sotomayor Attacks John Roberts' Views On Race As 'Out of Touch With Reality'."

People For the American Way got a kick out of this:

But see Ron Christie, at the Daily Beast, "A Lack of Affirmative Action Isn't Why Minority Students Are Suffering."

'CBS This Morning' Gushes Over Elizabeth Warren, Presses Her to Run for President

At NewsBusters.

It's okay to be cordial with your guests, but you've also got to truly interview them. You've got to get down to the controversies, otherwise you're simply giving them free airtime.

Warren's literally a proven liar, and the CBS crew --- whom I admire --- didn't see fit to call her on it.

'Brutally Tortured' Body of Ukrainian Deputy Vladimir Rybak Found Near Rebel-Held Slovyansk

Oh boy, this is getting ugly.

At Toronto's Globe and Mail, "Kiev moves against militants after politician tortured, slain." And Independent UK, "Ukraine crisis: Two bodies found 'brutally tortured by pro-Russian militants' in Slaviansk, says interim President Oleksander Turchinov":
Ukraine’s interim President Oleksander Turchinov has called for an anti-terrorist operation to be re-launched on Tuesday, after he claimed that two bodies were found "brutally tortured by pro-Russian" militants near the eastern city of Slaviansk.

Mr Turchinov said in a statement that one of the bodies was that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the ruling Batkivshchyna party, who had recently been abducted by “terrorists.”

Local media said Mr Rybak was kidnapped in Horlivka, a nearby locality, on Wednesday last week.

Police from the regional headquarters in Donetsk said that the body of a man who died a violent death had been found in the Seversky-Donets river and that it resembled Mr Rybak, a local councillor in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk.

They added that formal identification would require further work...
Also at Telegraph UK, "Russia 'supported torture of Kiev politician’":
Ukraine’s acting president calls for 'anti-terrorist operation’ against pro-Moscow separatists after body of a murdered town councillor is found.

The acting Ukrainian president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said on Tuesday that Russia had supported the torture and murder of a local politician in the east of the country loyal to Kiev.

The president called for the re-launch of an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Moscow separatists that was suspended only last week.

The remains of Vladimir Rybak, a town councillor and member of Yulia Tymoshenko’s Our Ukraine Fatherland party, along with an unidentified body, were believed to have been found in separatist-held Slavyansk.

“These crimes are being carried out with the full support and indulgence of the Russian Federation,” said Mr Turchynov. “I call on the security agencies to re-launch and carry out effective anti-terrorist measures, with the aim of protecting Ukrainian citizens living in east [Ukraine] from terrorists.”

Ukraine’s security forces had largely suspended what was a fairly limited operation to respond to the takeover of the eastern town by pro-Russian separatists after an accord with Moscow last week to try to defuse the crisis...
Still more at NYT, "At Funeral, Expressions of Grief and Anger Toward Kiev Officials," and at the Times of Israel, "Ukraine relaunches operation after Biden leaves."

Bureau of Land Management Preps for Massive New Land Seizure?

At Big Government, "BLM Eyes 90,000 Acres of Texas Land."

Also, "BLM Attempting to Seize 90,000 Acres of Texas Ranchers' Land!"

More from Dana Loesch, "Is Harry Reid Trying to Incite Violence With More Volatile Bundy Ranch Rhetoric?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bill Moyers and Paul Krugman Use Thomas Piketty's Capital to Attack America's 'Ugliness' and 'Racism'

Well, I'm sure most readers have read my initial piece on the Piketty book by now, "The Misguided Resurgence of Marxist Collectivism."

It turns out I was on to more than I realized at the time.

Every now and then you have a book that catches the moment's zeitgeist, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century sure has the makings of another earth-shaker. (I'm finding myself reminded of the urgent reception of Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers back in 1987, a time when the country's was awash in massive Reagan-era deficits and frightened to death of the prospect of Japan as No. 1.) At the very least members of the Washington establishment will be gleefully brandishing this tome while demanding an increase in top tax rates reminiscent of the "glory" days of the Roosevelt administration.

And right on cue, the big bloviating, hypocritical luxury leftists are pumping this book like there's no tomorrow. I watched this full 20-minute Bill Moyers interview with far-left economist Paul Krugman earlier today. It's a classic "highbrow" PBS joint. Behold these two left-wing know-it-alls pontificating on how horrible is the U.S. economy in this new "Gilded Age" of allegedly extreme economic inequality. And not long into the discussion we get to the root of the left's disgusting and divisive racism and class warfare. At around 14:30 minutes Moyers bemoans society's alleged "ugliness," an obviously coded attack on those conservatives in particular who've worked to prevent a return to the confiscatory tax rates of last century. And not to disappoint, Krugman intercepts the dog whistle and launches into a typical attack on certain groups in society (ahem, tea party types, cough, hack) who are animated by those ever-present "underlying racist" motivations that are the standard fall-back trope of the congenitally stupid MSNBC crowd.

I find it particularly interesting that we're having a fairly vigorous to-do about income inequality at precisely the moment that leftist political fortunes are fading, and fading fast. Krugman even laments that we're not likely to see the political pendulum swing toward passing the left's obscene tax policies until 2024.

But never forget that these people, while bemoaning the corporate excesses of "untrammeled" wealth, are themselves some of the most privileged media and educational insiders in American life. "Pampered" would be putting it much too mildly for these epic hypocrites lounging in the lap of leftist luxury.

Bill Moyers, for example, as Discover the Networks points out, "Has received at least $20 million in taxpayer money from public broadcasting, but refuses to disclose his income." Naturally.

And don't miss this laugh riot report on Paul Krugman at Instapundit, "HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Krugman’s CUNY Sinecure":
Whether or not Krugman’s scholarship and teaching ability warrant such a superior salary is certainly worthy of debate, but the real issue for most commentators is not how much CUNY will pay Krugman, but how little they are asking him to do. CUNY is essentially offering him what used to be called a sinecure. Like ecclesiastical appointments “without the care of souls,” the terms of Krugman’s contract require him to do almost nothing his first year and then teach just one graduate seminar each year for as long as he would like to stay at CUNY. This required teaching in the second year is less than half of the usual course load for most distinguished professors at the Graduate Center, some of whom teach three classes per year and advise several dissertations at a time. Whether Krugman will advise or sit on any dissertation committees remains to be seen.

It is clear from his acceptance email however, that he is interested in doing as little work as possible.
So, kind of like his columns, then.

And Krugman's shaking down CUNY for a cool $225,000 annually. Man the barricades!

So, yeah, it's a Marxist renaissance we're in, for sure. The leftist establishment media is definitely in the tank, so be on the lookout for a passel of fawning reviews of Piketty's work in the weeks (perhaps even months) ahead. And then it will all subside and leftists will retreat into their collectivist fortress, working feverishly on their next attack on salt-of-the-earth Americans. It's depraved, I know. But a patriot's day is never done. Just keep exposing these hypocritical hacks for all they're worth, which not surprisingly is quite a bit.

Vulnerable #Democrat Kay Hagan Falsely Accuses GOP Opponent of Supporting #ObamaCare

It's come to this.

Hagan's political fortunes are so dire that she's mounting bald-faced lies in radio ads, attempting to smear her opponent of --- wait for it! --- actually supporting the ObamaCare cluster that passed both chambers on a straight party line vote.

Just when you think you've seen it all, at Free Beacon, "Obamacare Supporter Kay Hagan Attacks Opponent in Ridiculously Dishonest Radio Ad."

And where's Obama now? Well, anywhere Kay Hagan ain't. She's literally --- literally --- running from the President and his signature health care fiasco.

Thomas Piketty's Capital is #1 Best Selling Book on Amazon

According to Emily Cohn on Twitter.

As noted, the book's stirring quite a hubbub.

I stopped by Barnes and Noble yesterday, at the Tustin store, but didn't see the book available.

Don't know if I'll need it. At this point I've pretty much got most of the argument down. Leftists are literally creaming over it. And there's going to be lots more jizz going forward. But who knows? Maybe I'll order a copy.

In any case, if you're so inclined, check Amazon: Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Sally Kohn LOL! — RWNJs Trying to 'Emasculate' Obama

Yes, because we all know Baracky's a Real Manly Man!

From the whacked Ms. Kohn, at the Daily Beast, "The GOP’s Limp ‘Emasculate Obama’ Ploy":

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If Cold War-era fear mongering, our-stockpile-has-to-be-bigger-than-their-stockpile machismo and plain “might is right” male insistence as a path to unquestioned power is no longer the accepted in the living rooms and bedrooms and boardrooms and classrooms across America, let alone in the war room, what do Republicans have left? Put another way, through eras of women’s liberation and racial equality movements and calls for peace and justice over war and tyranny, the patriarchy has remained intact increasingly not because of its popularity nor long list of great achievements for society but out of sheer will—its tight grip not yet fully dislodged by the simple passage of time that plainly advantages these forces of change.

But when masculinity itself starts to transform, to acknowledge the problems and even shackles of such strict gender norms and embrace a more open and experimental version of itself, traditional masculinity is defeated from within. When masculinity transforms to become a tall, athletic, African-American liberal who achieves peace and prosperity through words rather than weapons, when the new generation of billionaires are not muscle-y factory men but geeky and somewhat effeminate tech entrepreneurs, and when there are strong and powerful women increasingly comfortably and populously mingled within and sometimes hard to distinguish from the back because both have buns on the tops of their heads … well, who the hell is going to vote for a political party not just predicated on but deeply invested in exactly the opposite, let alone embrace any of their machismo-fueled militaristic ideas?
Heh, that Sally Kohn's a regular laugh riot!

IMAGE CREDIT: The People's Cube.

Far-Left BAMN Coalition Attacks Supreme Court's Schuette Decision as 'Racist'

Via Jennifer Gratz:

How hum:
Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on affirmative action in Michigan is a racist decision. It is this Court’s Plessy v Ferguson. The decision of the Court today makes clear that this Court intends to do nothing to defend the right to equality in politics, opportunity, rights, hopes and aspirations of its Latina/o, black, Native American and other minority citizens. At the very moment that America is becoming a majority minority nation this Court is declaring its intention to uphold white privilege and to create a new Jim Crow legal system.
Remember, these people aren't too smart, lol.

Freakin' communists too, heh.

Single Mother Shanesha Taylor Arrested After Leaving Kids in Hot SUV During Job Interview

And in Scottsdale, Arizona!

The kids were prolly boiling! But hey, milking out those tears on cue for the mugshot? That's gold Jerry! Gold!

At LAT, "Plight of child abuse suspect Shanesha Taylor tugs at public's heart."

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PHOENIX — Depending on the point of view, Shanesha Taylor is either a negligent mom who deserves being charged with child abuse or an overwhelmed single mother who made a mistake while trying to provide for her children.

Taylor, 35, was charged last month with felony child abuse after leaving her two young boys in a hot car while she interviewed for a job.

Taylor's situation, and her tearful mug shot, moved 45,000 people to sign an online petition that calls for charges to be dropped. Her case even prompted a stranger to raise more than $100,000 on her behalf.

Her attorney, Benjamin Taylor, said Monday that he hoped a deal could be reached to reduce or drop the charges.

"You have a single mother with children who is trying to do her best to provide for her family," said the attorney, no relation to Taylor. "We all make mistakes and nobody is perfect and … she was doing her best. But now does she deserve two felonies on her record because she made a mistake? If she's convicted, it will ruin her life."
Actually, no.

Being charged and convicted of manslaughter would have ruined her life. She's lucky her children aren't dead. This is a wakeup call for her to get her act together.

But needless to say, this grossly irresponsible woman has become a cause célèbre on the left. See Melissa McEwan, for example, "This Is Not a Solution; This Is the Problem," and "Fundraiser and Support for Shanesha Taylor." And from the idiotic attack monsters at Think Progress, "Homeless Mother Gets Job Interview But Doesn’t Have Childcare, Ends Up In Jail."

Yes, an irresponsible black woman who nearly killed her children provides the justification for yet more nanny state leftist entitlement. Perfect. More crime equals more progressivism!

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Ban on Affirmative Action

The case is Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.


And from the news reports, at the New York Times, "Justices Uphold Michigan’s Ban on Use of Race in Admissions" (at Memeorandum), and the Washington Post, "Supreme Court upholds Michigan’s ban on racial preferences in university admissions."

Also at Legal Insurrection, "U.S. Supreme Court upholds Michigan ban on affirmative action in Higher Ed."

The progs are gonna be bawling about "racism" and "white privilege." And on Twitter, the resurrection of Lochner? I'm still processing this, man!

Responses at Althouse, "The way to get a concurring opinion out of Chief Justice Roberts is to rewrite his famous aphorism, 'The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race')," and Volokh, "What was the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action thinking?"

Mary Willingham, Fake-Classes Whistle-Blower at University of North Carolina, Resigns Under Pressure

Here's an update on my report from January, "University of North Carolina Apologizes for Fake Classes, Promises Real Change."

So, I guess that "real change" is pushing out the whistle-blower.

At Business Week, "UNC Fake-Classes Whistleblower Resigns After Meeting With Chancellor." (Via Instapundit.)

And following the links, a scathing report from UNC history professor Jay Smith, "On Mary Willingham’s Enemies." (On cue, the very first comment at the post attacks Smith as a racist who should be fired: "I hope the UNC administration takes appropriate action." Perfect leftist response!)

RELATED: ICYMI, the Business Week cover story from February, "In Fake Classes Scandal, UNC Fails Its Athletes—and Whistle-Blower." And the university's response, "UNC Responds to Our Cover Article on College Sports and Fake Classes."

Thomas Piketty Revives Marx for the 21st Century - UPDATED!

From Daniel Shuchman, at WSJ:

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Thomas Piketty likes capitalism because it efficiently allocates resources. But he does not like how it allocates income. There is, he thinks, a moral illegitimacy to virtually any accumulation of wealth, and it is a matter of justice that such inequality be eradicated in our economy. The way to do this is to eliminate high incomes and to reduce existing wealth through taxation.

"Capital in the Twenty-First Century" is Mr. Piketty's dense exploration of the history of wages and wealth over the past three centuries. He presents a blizzard of data about income distribution in many countries, claiming to show that inequality has widened dramatically in recent decades and will soon get dangerously worse. Whether or not one is convinced by Mr. Piketty's data—and there are reasons for skepticism, given the author's own caveats and the fact that many early statistics are based on extremely limited samples of estate tax records and dubious extrapolation—is ultimately of little consequence. For this book is less a work of economic analysis than a bizarre ideological screed.

Well, it's only "bizarre" if you're a regular American who understands how markets work (and who doesn't covet what they haven't themselves earned).

But keep reading.

See also Clive Crook's takedown, "The Most Important Book Ever Is All Wrong."

UPDATE: Don't miss this, "Bill Moyers and Paul Krugman Use Thomas Piketty's Capital to Attack America's 'Ugliness' and 'Racism'."

Marxist Failure Proves Nothing

Via Moira Fitzgerald, "YESTERDAY'S HEADLINES TODAY - VOL. 285."

(Linking, "The Misguided Resurgence of Marxist Collectivism.")

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Cliven Bundy and the Rural Way — #BundyRanch

From VDH, at Pajamas Media:
I’m sure that Cliven Bundy probably could have cut a deal with the Bureau of Land Management and should have. Of course, it’s never wise to let a federal court order hang over your head. And certainly we cannot have a world of Cliven Bundys if a legal system is to function.

In a practical sense, I also know that if I were to burn brush on a no-burn day, or toss an empty pesticide container in the garbage bin, or shoot a coyote too near the road, I would incur the wrath of the government in a way someone does not who dumps a stripped stolen auto (two weeks ago) in my vineyard, or solvents, oil, and glass (a few months ago), or rips out copper wire from the pump for the third time (last year). Living in a Winnebago with a porta-potty and exposed Romex in violation of zoning statutes for many is not quite breaking the law where I live; having a mailbox five inches too high for some others certainly is.

So Mr. Bundy must realize that in about 1990 we decided to focus on the misdemeanor of the law-abiding citizen and to ignore the felony of the lawbreaker. The former gave law enforcement respect; the latter ignored their authority. The first made or at least did not cost enforcers money; arresting the second began a money-losing odyssey of incarceration, trials, lawyers, appeals, and all the rest.

Mr. Bundy knows that the bullies of the BLM would much rather send a SWAT team after him than after 50 illegal aliens being smuggled by a gun-toting cartel across the southwestern desert. How strange, then, at this late postmodern date, for someone like Bundy on his horse still to be playing the law-breaking maverick Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) in (the David Miller, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Abbey effort) Lonely Are the Brave.

But the interest in Mr. Bundy’s case is not about legal strategies in revolving fiscal disagreements with the federal government.

Instead, we all have followed Mr. Bundy for three reasons.

One, he called attention to the frightening fact that the federal government owns 83% of the land in Nevada. Note that “federal” and “government” are the key words and yet are abstractions. Rather, a few thousands unelected employees — in the BLM, EPA, Defense Department, and other alphabet soup agencies — can pretty much do what they want on the land they control. And note, this is not quite the case in Silicon Valley or Manhattan or Laguna Beach. The danger can be summed up by a scene I see about once a month on a Fresno freeway: a decrepit truck stopped by the California Highway Patrol for having inadequate tarps on a trailer of green clippings, just as a new city garbage truck speeds by, with wet garbage flying over the median. Who will police the police?

Two, this administration has a long record of not following the law — picking and choosing when and how to enforce immigration statutes, depending on the particular dynamics of the next election; picking and choosing which elements of Obamacare  to enforce, again depending on perceived political advantage; and picking and choosing when to go after coal companies, or when not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, or when to reverse the order of the Chrysler creditors, or when to allow Lois Lerner to destroy the credibility of the IRS for partisan advantage.

In other words, the Obama administration regularly breaks the law as it sees fit. So we wonder why a federal agency sends out swarms of armed security agents to the empty desert on behalf of a tortoise, when it could just as easily storm Jay Carney’s press conference and demand that the president promise to enforce the Affordable Care Act. Or start apprehending those who are not just violating immigration law, but also serially signing false federal affidavits or providing employers with fraudulent identities.

Finally, Bundy, for all his contradictions, is a throwback to a different age...
Keep reading.

'Our Youngest Hostage'

This is so evil I can't believe it.

At Gateway Pundit, "Jihadists Post SHOCKING PHOTO of Their “Youngest Hostage” in Syria."

But the source Raymond Ibrahim has the links to Arabic-languages websites. So, there's that. Horrifying.

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And in related news, "Advanced U.S. Weapons Flow to Syrian Rebels: Supplies of Anti-tank Missiles Will Test Whether Fighters Can Keep Arms Out of Extremist Hands."

Yeah, better be careful not to arm the "extremists." (Eyeroll.)

#Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal Nearly Hit by Train During Presser on Commuter Safety

Democrat f-king morons.

Via SDA, "Riding Mass Transit Is Like Inviting 20 Random Politicians Into Your Car."

'Inside Edition' Host Megan Alexander Speaks Out on Marriage

At Young Conservatives, "“Marriage Still Matters”: Reporter talks about why she waited until marriage to have sex."

Boy, that's pretty romantic. She'd be quite the catch.

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