Friday, October 30, 2015

The Media’s Potemkin Village Starts to Topple

Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican debate turned out to be a tussle between the three left-leaning “moderators” and the candidates on the main stage, most of whom can safely be described as center-right. And finally — thanks largely to the huge ratings bonanza that is Donald Trump — the American people got a chance to see the true, ugly, partisan, smug, self-righteous face of what we used to call journalism, but now is simply political advocacy employing computers and television cameras under the shield of the First Amendment.
Ted Cruz punched the hardest when he went straight after the moderators: “This is not a cage match,” he snarled. But of course it was a cage match and never was intended to be anything else. The entire Leftist media operation cannot imagine it being anything but; for them, a group of Republicans needs to be confronted, challenged and if possible humiliated, while a group of Democrats needs to be cosseted and caressed. It’s not that it’s a deliberate plot, mind you, but rather is the result of a world view that states there is now only one side to a story, and that is the Left side. And all right-thinking people agree.
It may difficult for conservatives, who often smell a conspiracy where there is none, to accept this. Surely the lockstep, if not to say the actual socialist goosestep, of the Left can only be the result of a malevolent plot to crush conservatism. Now, crush conservatism they most certainly want to do, but for decades they’ve gotten away with it because — and this is important, so pay attention — there has been no effective opposition within the ranks of reporters and editors. Conservatives have simply taken themselves out of the game, and largely through attrition.
As a result, the journalists at the national level are rarely exposed to any kind of contrarian or oppositional thinking when it counts — in the story conferences.  Most civilians have no idea what these are or how, outside of the movies, they actually function, but during my 25-year stint in the mainstream media — including sixteen years at Time Magazine at the end of its glory days, they were places to present story ideas, get criticism on the spot from editors and colleagues, and hash out the days top news qua news.
But for lack of any pushback, the “progressive” mindset (cultivated at the university level and reinforced by the old-school ties that operate to a degree among top journalists that would amaze you), the Big Seven — the three nets, Time and Newsweek, plus the New York Times and the Washington Post — that set the agenda for the rest of the country was pretty much the epicenter of the famous “bubble” we hear so much about.  It’s also worth noting that, even today, most of the senior figures and marquee writers in the media establishment not only know each other, they socialize, live in many of the same neighborhoods, work within blocks of each other, have summer houses in the same place, sleep together, and occasionally even marry each other. It’s an incestuous as you feared.
But not a conspiracy. Rather think of the MSM as a small Scandinavian village, so far untouched by “diversity.” Since everybody knows each other, and follows the same rules, life is calm and good. It’s only the outsiders — those conservatives — who disrupt the natural harmony.Like foreign bodies, they must be mobilized against and expelled by the progressive immune system.  To quote a famous Leftist, Benito Mussolini, the founding father of Fascism, “everything within the State, nothing outside the State.”
Now here’s the thing…
“Mr. Trump: When did you stop beating your wife?”
There aren’t that many of them. The Leftist MSM may seem like a monolith, but mostly it’s a collection of rueful men and women who wish they were doing the things they’re assigned to cover, instead of actually covering them. Like groupies, they derive satisfaction and self-worth from orbiting the heavenly bodies they watch, and around whom they revolve. As I wrote on Twitter last night:
Dirty lil secret of MSM is that most would really rather be doing what the folks they cover do, Serious jealousy and fanboydom at work here.
What the candidates did the other night to the MSM should not be underestimated. At last, it was not just a lone Newt Gingrich bashing the ideological inanity of his interlocutors, but a number of them, including Cruz and Rubio. By presenting a relatively united front against the clear animosity emanating from the three CNBC hosts, the candidates were able to keep the focus off the stupid questions (“are you a comic book version of a campaign?) and onto the biases of the moderators themselves.
Which is why the morning-after headlines were not so much about who “won” but how CNBC — and by extension the entire MSM — disgraced itself. Bashing the media may not be a policy platform, but it’s nourishment and sustenance to a long-suffering conservative constituency which doesn’t much care whom or what is being bashed so long as somebody or something is being bashed. They’re tired of being punching bags, and especially tired of getting smacked around by folks like Reince Priebus (who approved the CNBC debacle), who are ostensibly on their side.
And which is also why the cracks around the foundations of MSM hegemony are a bigger story than most realize. The Soviet Union looked monolithic until a few brave Hungarians (who hated the Russians anyway) opened the floodgates to the West in 1989 and in so doing brought down both the Berlin Wall and the U.S.S.R. The MSM’s cultural hegemony will last precisely as long as it takes to even the odds — not solely, it should be noted, by creating alternative venues of news and analysis (Fox News, PJ Media, Breitbart, et al.) but by flooding the outlets of the MSM with journalists who do not wear their ideological biases on their sleeves but who can still provide skillful professional pushback to help shape the overall narrative.
In other words, you can’t win if you don’t play. Despite the fervent hopes of some on the Right, the New York Times (to which I’ve contributed) and the Washington Post are not going anywhere any time soon. Despite films like Truth, Hollywood will not suddenly collapse under the ideological baggage of some (not all) of its producers, writers, directors, studio execs and stars. These institutions haven’t lasted this long without having something going for them, and that is, at root, a demand for non-ideological excellence.
So it’s not easy to break in to places like these; it takes talent, hard work, luck and what used to be called sticktoitiveness. Whining about liberal bias means nothing if you don’t back it up with some action of your own. The MSM is shaky right now, no question. So put your shoulder to the wheel and knock it over. If you can.

Wake Up America—Your Military is Marginal

       "An army is of little value in the field unless wise counsel prevails at home."

                                                          Marcus Tullius Cicero
                                                          Roman Statesman
                                                          106-43 B.C.

None of this matters anymore. Our political leaders lack the will to win a war. Any war. Therefore, the capabilities and efforts of our military will be rendered irrelevant to the outcome of any future conflict. Just as they have with most conflicts America has been involved in since and including the Vietnam War.

A new report finds that America's military is in serious trouble.

ObamaCare Is Falling Apart - Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert! -

In this video commentary, I discuss how ObamaCare is falling apart. Tune in! Click Here to give me your thoughts and continue the discussion. Please forward this email to any friends or family who may be interested in viewing my video commentary! Thanks for watching, Dick TO INVITE DICK MORRIS TO ADDRESS YOUR GROUP…CLICK HEREContinue reading…

Millennials Exemplify The Age Of All Equal, All Useless

The Eloi…eventually the Morlocks will come for them.

Jon Bergeron
Jon is an individual. An anti-egalitarian. A man. An aspiring writer/critic. A part-time curmudgeon; full-time American. Jon appreciates any comments, criticism, or encouragement.
Jon can be reached at
December 10, 2014302 Comments Culture

It is great that most millennials are such pussies. It offers many opportunities to the rest of us, including the well-paying jobs and getting with the most attractive women with little to no effort. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, except the fish are already dead.
Some competition from time to time keeps us on our toes. However, competition is just non-existence in our post-modern ironic western society because it has been eliminated in favor of apathetic equality. It is a race to the bottom. Deconstruction, irony, and post-modernism is to thank for this. The evolution of winners over losers is pure nonsense to millennials. The “enlightened” mass has figured everything out by marginalizing all that was once great, as if thousands and thousands of years of evolution are reversed with their college degrees in sociology and their mind-blowing master’s thesis on why Star Trek is overtly homophobic.
Do these dumb kids realize the debt of this country is $18 trillion dollars and growing? Does anyone care?
This post-modern deconstruction mentality leads us to our current age of “all equal and all useless,” with no one rising above the herd and reaching the status of “Ubermensch.” Struggle and competition is viewed as arrogant and downright wrong. The truth is that competition and struggle builds character, individuality, and personality. The millennials’ final solution is to deconstruct everything to the point of pointless ridicule in an orgy of failure and lazy self-pity.
Competition hurts feelings, so it must be destroyed. It is frivolous mass thinking. Kant observed this mass thinking years ago in “What is enlightenment?” and made excellent remarks on individualism. Most still don’t get the idea. Emotions are shared by all as one homogenized docile culture without individuality, edge, aggression, or risk; all things that made the U.S great. We live in a castrated culture, and nothing good can come of this.
As David Foster Wallace observed years ago:
Irony’s useful for debunking illusions, but most of the illusion-debunking in the U.S. has now been done and redone…Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage.
The problem is that, however misprised it’s been, what’s been passed down from the postmodern heyday is sarcasm, cynicism, a manic ennui, suspicion of all authority, suspicion of all constraints on conduct, and a terrible penchant for ironic diagnosis of unpleasantness instead of an ambition not just to diagnose and ridicule but to redeem. You’ve got to understand that this stuff has permeated the culture. It’s become our language; we’re so in it we don’t even see that it’s one perspective, one among many possible ways of seeing. Postmodern irony’s become our environment.
All U.S. irony is based on an implicit “I don’t really mean what I say.” So what does irony as a cultural norm mean to say? That it’s impossible to mean what you say? That maybe it’s too bad it’s impossible, but wake up and smell the coffee already? Most likely, I think, today’s irony ends up saying: “How very banal to ask what I mean.” Anyone with the heretical gall to ask an ironist what he actually stands for ends up looking like a hysteric or a prig. And herein lies the oppressiveness of institutionalized irony, the too-successful rebel: the ability to interdict the question without attending to its content is tyranny. It is the new junta, using the very tool that exposed its enemy to insulate itself.
Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism.  Today’s risks are different.
What we have left with this ironic deconstruction is emasculated juvenile 30-something millennials busy fingerpainting and drawing pictures as if they were five years old and pursuing their careers in “music” and video games. As Wallace observed several years ago, this all has been “done and redone” ad nauseam. These are childish behaviors that should have been abandoned years ago.
Millennials inherit this from the painfully tolerant hippie generation (their arrested development parents) while dodging any real adult responsibility.    Millennials and the conformist hippies of yesteryear both believe in impulsive hedonistic nihilism and “living for the moment” with little understanding of struggle, morals, and self-responsibility.
The millennials have little ability to compete and strive to do their best. They don’t want to experience the downs, they only want to experience the ups; the highs. Working towards goals can take years and years of self-discipline and sacrifice, going through a vicious cycle of sadness, happiness, failure, and finally victory. To put it simply, it can be tough work, and they don’t want it.
Millennials want immediate gratification, and they seek impulsive behavior. They even feel entitled to such things. If they do not get what they seek, they see no point in trying. Most represent a lost tribe of self-righteous, ill-mannered pricks. They respect nothing but their own delusional belief of “progress.” Anything seen as constructive, polite, traditional, or sincere in their eyes is immediately ridiculed and attacked.

The Rude Awakening

With the failure of their messiah, Obama, and his faux utopia along with the rude awakening from crushing student debt, perhaps this generation will reverse their thinking. Perhaps the recent election of conservatives sweeping the political realm is symbolic start of this? I remain skeptical, but who knows. I guess it’s possible that this generation could start to view their outdated post-modern beliefs and change the course of this generation.
Ironically, this generation is in the perfect position to do so. They have been through the necessary (yet outdated) deconstruction, ironic post-modernism, and have seen everything both positive and negative. With a knowledge of history’s mistakes, they could make the “greatest generation” look like child’s play.
However, I am highly skeptical much will change with this docile generation. One just has to look at the bright side of this—for the rest of us mature male adults, everything is for the taking. Opportunity is endless to those willing to step up to the plate and take what is rightfully theirs. The competition has never been so dead-minded.

Articles: America's Soft Tyranny is Hardening

We are semi-officially a lawless, soft (but hardening) tyranny.  How else does one explain Lois Lerner not being charged with the numerous crimes she has most certainly committed?  As many others have noted, the fix was in as surely as the fix is in on the countless crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and her grubby Clinton Foundation that sells influence at very high prices.   Like Lerner, Clinton likely will be deemed above the law by the DOJ and the FBI.  General Petraeus and several others were charged, jailed and/or fined for crimes so minimal compared to Hillary's because they did not toe the Obama line:  no deviation from the agenda is allowed, no criticism of the regime will be tolerated. 
American citizens outside of the protective bubble of the government are not only expendable, they are fodder for bureaucratic abuse.  The IRS, the EPA, the DOJ, the VA, and the FEC under Obama are free to target and abuse those of us without the financial or government resources to protect ourselves.   The countless good people who were targeted by the IRS were prevented from exercising the freedoms guaranteed to them by the Constitution.  The actions of Lerner and the IRS very likely changed the outcome of the 2012 election.  That was the plan and it worked.  Prevent, with malice aforethought, hundreds of conservative groups across the country from organizing and raising money for their cause and you have silenced millions of people. 
What is Obamacare if not bureaucratic abuse?  The many lies told in the run-up to its passing are well known now as millions have lost the medical insurance they had. Those who have signed on are paying as much as 200% more for less coverage.  All the hype about lower costs was lies.  There is no doubt that the administration knew exactly what Obamacare would do to the vast majority of Americans.  It was all part of Jonathan Gruber's plan.  It would submarine them.  It is a massive wealth redistribution scheme but it is failing.   Millions caught in the middle class are simply going without medical insurance.  They have no choice.  Only the people receiving it for free can "afford" it because the rest of us, who cannot afford it, are paying for them.
The media, 90% of which does the administration's bidding,  does not report this.  Hillary is promising to extend Obamacare to illegal immigrants.  This will be the final nail in the coffin of the middle class in one easy move.  No matter how much Hillary, Sanders, and the rest of the Left rant and rave about the "rich need to pay their fair share," they pay more than their fair share already.  It is the middle class that pays the most for the government programs that subsidize those who pay nothing and receive so much without earning it.  Our safety net for the truly indigent has become a cushion for millions who do not, will not, or cannot find work.   The Obama economy is a wholesale disaster:  92 million out of the labor force; 51% earning only $30k a year or less!  This is a sabotaged economy, not a recovering economy.  Only government employees are doing well. 
American citizens should know that federal government employees get away with all manner of crimes regularly, crimes for which a non-government citizen would be jailed.  Like Lerner and Clinton, they are nearly all above the law.  Lerner and Clinton are the tip of a very big iceberg.    Because there are so many federal union regulations to protect them, they literally cannot be fired.  They get away with doing no work, abusing their spouses, being pedophiles, watching porn on the taxpayer dime, bilking the taxpayer for extravagant vacations (the Obamas are the worst offenders on this score).  When such abuses are discovered, government employees may be chastised or demoted but will not be fired, no matter how egregious their misbehavior.   No matter what their crimes, they keep their jobs, their pensions, and their phony dignity.  Ask any divorce lawyer how many of his or her clients divorcing government employees who have abused them in countless ways get away with their abuse.   They can stalk, cheat, beat and bilk their spouses and will not be punished.   Government employees are a protected class, as surely as Obama and sanctuary cities have made criminal illegal immigrants a protected class, to the dangerous detriment of law-abiding citizens.   
Lois Lerner and Hillary Clinton should both be in prison.  Both have broken many, many laws, laws that are meant to protect American citizens.  Neither of them cares a whit about American citizens.  Both knew and know they will never be punished.  Hillary expects to be elected to the presidency.  We can thank the DC establishment, Left and Right, for this sad state of affairs.  Character no long counts for anything.  And we can thank the Obama administration for being the most purposefully divisive, lawless, and anti-constitutional in modern history. 
"There is no crueler tyranny that that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice."  Montesquieu

VIDEO: Muslim Migrants warn Germans their days are numbered

VIDEO: Muslim Migrants warn Germans their days are numbered

This video was posted back on September 1 — before a million Muslim invaders made their way into Europe. Note the warning:
Eritrean Migrants warn Germans their days are numbered
(thanks to InHocSignoVinces):
Europe has been warned. Ignore at your peril.
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. -Ayn Rand
Courtesy of Pamela Geller.

Why Didn't Trump Go For Rubio's Cucky Throat?

Why Didn’t Trump Go For Rubio’s Cucky Throat?
by CH
During the most recent GOP debate (which I didn’t watch but read about afterward), Trump was asked about his beef with Mark Cuckersperg, which turned to the subject of the immigration scam known as H1Bs, a program which is essentially a green light for tech corps to import slave labor to do the jobs, at a fraction of the wage price, that Americans already do.
Trump evaded. Or, worse, according to some he gave a response that was at complete odds with his campaign’s own immigration policy paper (written by Jeff Sessions). It was his one big slip in the debate, but it was near-lethal to a campaign that won over people primarily on the strength of its promise to close the borders.
The original question referred to a tweet that Trump, or a Trump staff Twatter, made about Rubio, calling him “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator”, an insult aimed at Rubio’s support of the H1B scam. It was a great zing, because it was true. Yet Trump backed away from his own zinger, when he could have used that point in the debate to go for Rubio’s throat and possibly deliver a mortal wound that could knock Rubio out of the race. I mean, ferkrissakes, nobody likes Mark Cuckersperg, except maybe his waifu.
Trump missed a golden opportunity to stick the shiv in a true cuck, and likely hurt himself with his weak backpedaling.
My question to the CH readers: Why do you think Trump avoided the easy shot?
I have a few guesses:
– Trump doesn’t read his own policy papers, and is only against “open borders” inasmuch as the topic can be used as a stand-in for runaway rapes and violent crimes.
– Trump has a personal affinity for Rubio, and the tweet in question was made without his knowledge.
– Trump isn’t in this race to win it, and this was the start of him taking a dive for the candidate that he prefers, or that friends of his prefer. (This speculation requires believing that Trump only entered the race to knock ¡Jabe! out.)
– Trump wants to tone down his rebel image now that he’s made it through a couple of rounds, to improve his electability later on. (This is a risky strategy so soon in the nomination process.)
– Or, Trump was off his game. (We all have our beta moments.)
Spinning this less cynically, Trump might think he’s got this nomination wrapped up, and he’s already casting an eye to the general election, when he’ll have to deal with a 24/7 hostile leftoid media haranguing him about his “racism” against mexican peasants.
Trump has already clarified his brief immigration backpedal. Very nice. He’s a quick learner. This supports my guess that he was just off his game at the debate. Trump 2016!

EXCLUSIVE - Donald Trump Rights Ship on Immigration: Demands Disney Rehire Workers Replaced by Cheap Foreign Labor, Calls Rubio 'Silicon Valley's Puppet'

Donald Trump, who leads many national 2016 polls, granted Breitbart News an interview on immigration.

Last night during the CNBC primary debate, Donald Trump, who to this point in the campaign had been the Republican candidate most closely aligned with the conservative grassroots on immigration policy, seemed to have altered his message in several significant ways.

Breitbart News documented some of these changes here.
Trump, who leads many national 2016 polls, granted Breitbart News an interview on the subject. Full questions and responses below:
BNN: The media has been filled with stories about companies flying in low-wage H-1B workers to replace American workers in tech jobs. Adding insult to injury, these American workers have been forced to train their replacements. If you were President, would you put a stop to this practice?
DT: Day one. This is why I got into this race. Because the everyday working person in this country is getting screwed. Lobbyists write the rules to benefit the rich and powerful. They buy off Senators like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)to help them get rich at the expense of working Americans by using H-1B visas–so called “high tech” visas–to replace American workers in all sorts of solid middle class jobs. If I am President, I will not issue any H-1B visas to companies that replace American workers and my Department of Justice will pursue action against them.
BNN: Hundreds of workers at Disney were forced to train their foreign replacements. But while Florida Senator Nelson rallied to their cause, Senator Rubio did not. While Nelson has called for an investigation, Rubio has not. While Nelson has called to reduce H-1Bs, Rubio has demanded more. Senator Rubio has been the top promoter in Congress for expanding the H-1B program even though millions American tech workers are out of jobs. Rubio’s new bill triples H-1Bs and has zero protections for American workers. Advocates for tech workers said Rubio’s bill would “destroy” the U.S. tech workforce. Rubio’s bill is even endorsed by the CEO of Disney. What do you think of Rubio’s bill?
DT: It’s a disaster. It would allow any company in America to replace any worker with cheaper foreign labor. It legalizes job theft. It gives companies the legal right to pass over Americans, displace Americans, or directly replace Americans for good-paying middle class jobs. More than 80 percent of these H-1Bs are paid less than the average wage. Senator Rubio works for the lobbyists, not for Americans. That is why he is receiving more money from Silicon Valley than any other candidate in this race. He is their puppet.
BNN: During the debate, Senator Rubio listed several protections he thought American workers should receive. But the New York Times said Rubio’s bill would does the opposite of what he said, and does not contain a single one of the protections he mentioned. Instead, his bill simply triples the number of H-1B visas given as low-wage substitutes to corporations. Does Rubio have a problem with the truth?
DT: Yes, Senator Rubio is incapable of telling the truth. He should be disqualified for dishonesty alone.
BNN: Do you think agree with Senator Rubio that there is a shortage of talented Americans?
DT: Rubio is dead wrong. America produces the best and brightest in the world. It’s time to stand up for own students–many of whom are racked with terrible, terrible debt and facing a disastrous job market. We are graduating two times more students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) than find jobs in those fields every year. We have a surplus of talented Americans and we need them to get jobs first.
BNN: What should happen with the Florida workers who have been replaced?
DT: I am calling TODAY on Disney to hire back every one of the workers they replaced, and I am calling on Rubio to immediately rescind his sponsorship of the I-Squared bill and apologize to every Floridian for endorsing it. I am further calling on Rubio to return the money he has received from Silicon Valley CEOs and to donate the money to a charity helping unemployed Americans whose jobs Rubio has helped to destroy.

Vox Popoli: The anti-nationalist enemy

The anti-nationalist enemy

Even the mainstream Right is beginning to recognize that things have irretrievably changed and there is no going back to a sane and reasonably unified America:
A globalized faux cosmopolitanism — simultaneously tribalist and anti-national — seems to have taken much greater hold in the current administration (and perhaps even among some of its supposed political opponents). Yet the Left’s allegiance to the comfortable pieties of the Sixties seems part of the reason for its many failures.

This worldview sees a rural good ol’ boy clinging to his guns and his religion as the greatest foe of “progress.” Thus, it is woefully unprepared to confront the reality of black-robed fanatics beheading religious minorities, enslaving villages, and setting fire to the Middle East. Because of its limited moral imagination, it also struggles to persuade a heterogeneous body politic. Early proponents of Great Society welfare policies might not have foreseen how, too often, well-intentioned government dictates could destroy communities, tear apart families, and destroy the foundation of economic opportunity. Experience has — or should have — disabused us of this naïveté. And say what you will about the dangers of central planning, the technocrats of the past were at least able to do things like put a man on the Moon. The mandarins of today struggle to get a health-care website up and running. Outside the narrowly political realm, as the Far Left claims a resurgent voice in cultural affairs, we have increasingly seen how radical progressive politics are a cultural dead end: Rather than a spirit of creativity, exploration, and accomplishment, radical leftism gives us only the petty tyranny of a Maoist struggle session.
The fact that the globalist Left fails to understand its enemy is a feature, not a bug. We know them. They don't know us. That means we will win, but only if we show up everywhere they are and refuse to continue to concede any ground, intellectual or otherwise.

That means NOT adopting their social justice ideals or their rhetoric. And that may be the hardest thing for many of us, conditioned as we are to avoid speaking our true thoughts and expressing our true feelings out of a misguided sense of imposed decency.

For the love of all that is good, and holy, and true, if we lose, we lose, but let us at least not lose due to a foolish sense of etiquette.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year

We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying. According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security


Ann Coulter is pretty hard on Paul Ryan. But then Congressman Ryan, and all other Republicans , for that matter, need to stop trying to make friends with the Democrats and trying to make them like you.. The Democrats will never like you, they don’t want to be your friend. Rather they want to make you look like a fool every chance they get. To completely destroy your ability to advance your own agenda and at the same time convince as many people as they can not to vote for you. As they did to Jack Kemp. So quit “virtue signaling to the Democrats and start pushing back and undoing the damages President Obama and his Leftist minions have done to the country over the past eight years .


October 21, 2015
After Paul Ryan helped Mitt Romney lose the 2012 election by doing the impossible -- losing a debate to Joe Biden -- he went on an intimate tour of poverty. It was a journey so personal, Ryan brought reporters, writers and documentary producers with him.

So far, he's gotten one book and one documentary out of The Paul Ryan Intimate Poverty Tour -- we're still waiting for the tote bags -- and is currently promoting a major poverty-fighting initiative that he brainstormed during private moments of reflection, somehow captured by the press: "The Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity."

Appropriately for an event named after Ryan's mentor, Jack Kemp, the forum will allow Ryan to showcase his deep concern for the poor without doing a thing to help them. This is the hallmark of the "empowerment" crowd. What matters is their own self-regard and favorable press notices, not accomplishing anything useful.

In the 1996 vice presidential debate, Al Gore repeatedly praised Kemp for not being a racist -- unlike the rest of his party. After Gore called Kemp a "lonely voice" in the GOP, "who says we ought to be one nation," Kemp did not say:


No, Kemp's response was: "Well, I thank you, Al. I mean that very, very sincerely."

For all Kemp's claims to being black America's truest friend, he didn't actually help any minorities. His famed "enterprise zones" were a renowned flop.

By now there have been approximately 1 million studies on the effect of "enterprise zones," "empowerment zones" and -- Obama's version -- "promise zones." The conclusion: Every single penny has been wasted. Businesses game the system, relocate shops from just outside the zone to just within it, or take tax credits for doing nothing that they weren't already planning to do.

The principal result of Kemp's enterprise zones was to double HUD's budget.

But Kemp, like his protege Ryan, was everything big corporations and Wall Street love in a Republican: He'd give them tax cuts, cheap labor and moral self-righteousness. Washington is full of these Kemparatchiks, churning out documents and admiring quotes about one another to willing reporters.

The Kemp boys think they're a big hit with poor minorities -- especially Hispanics. Ryan, for example, is a huge supporter of driving down Hispanic wages by endlessly dumping low-wage workers on the country. Empowerment!

Two years ago, Ryan bragged to a Catholic radio station: "I actually campaigned with Jack Kemp against a thing called Prop 187."

That "thing" was an overwhelmingly popular initiative to prevent illegal aliens from collecting government benefits. It gave Republicans their biggest victory in California in the last 30 years, was supported by a majority of blacks, a majority of whites, a majority of Asians and 31 percent of Hispanics

Two years later, the Dole-Kemp ticket got only 21 percent of the Hispanic vote. That's worse than Romney! (These empowerment types really have their finger on the pulse of ethnic America!)

Like Kemp, Ryan acts as if he's the tribune of blacks and Hispanics, chastising Republicans for "preaching to the choir." He prefers to preach to the mariachi band -- one of which serenaded him on his visit to an immigrant rights group in Chicago, a few months after his failed vice presidential bid.

How about Ryan run for mayor of Los Angeles? After he wins, he can lecture us about how his Jack Kemp message resonates with Hispanics.

Ryan's big idea on poverty is indistinguishable from Kemp's: "Get money and capital and credit into the inner cities of America and the barrios and ghettos of America." This will "empower people"!

The best thing I ever heard about Dick Cheney is that, after listening to Ryan drone on about how Republicans needed to create "a real ownership society" at a meeting with members of Congress, Cheney said, "Yeah, we're not going to do that," and then turned to a different representative.

Imagining a photo of himself on the mantle of every black household in America, Ryan touts his forum on poverty, saying, "There are few challenges tougher than the fight against poverty, and we need all hands on deck."

Wow. What a caring person. No one's ever talked about poverty before! (Have they?)

About a decade ago, I met an actor, the hot new thing, at an agent's party. He excitedly told me his big idea: A war on poverty! I told him to look up "LBJ," but he earnestly persisted, saying, yeah, sure, maybe LBJ talked about poverty, but no one had ever called for "a war on poverty." See, that was the key -- the war part.

That was a mentally impaired actor. Now a decade later, I'm hearing the same thing from the man House Republicans want to make their speaker.

All of human experience has already taught us how to fight poverty, and it doesn't involve the words "opportunity," "empowerment" or "zone."

Effective: Don't pay people not to work. The 1996 welfare reform act, with its time limits and work requirements, reduced welfare caseloads by an astronomical 65 percent, as former recipients entered the workforce.

Ineffective: Self-flattering politicians jabbering about how much they care about poverty, then creating behemoth government programs that give corporations tax breaks for pretending to help the poor.

Effective: Stop dumping millions of low-wage workers on the country to drive down wages. America's booming, prosperous middle class arose in the 40-year period after immigration was virtually shut down in 1924 -- until Teddy Kennedy opened the floodgates to the Third World in 1965.

Ineffective: Demanding an endless supply of cheap immigrant labor favored by your corporate donors, subsidized by the long-suffering middle class, while strutting around like you're Martin Luther King.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Uruguay: Syrian Refugees Complain the Hospitality Is Not Adequate

How many Syrian refugees are too many? For tiny Uruguay (population 3.3 million), that number would be 42.
The five Syrian families welcomed into the Uruguay community last year have managed to turn off the entire country with their rude, demanding behavior. (Syrians have similarly made the impression in Europe that they are hard-to-satisfy grifters looking for a handout.)
Particularly troublesome has been Merhi Alshebli, a man with one wife and 15 children. He complained that he couldn’t afford to feed his assorted progeny and doused himself with gasoline during a meeting with a government official. Apparently Alshebli thought the gasoline stunt would express his desire to leave Uruguay for a country with more free stuff. Maybe gasoline dousing is a Syrian thing.
Is Chancellor Angela Merkel paying attention to what’s happening with refugees in Uruguay? Germany is forecast to get 1.5 million refugees and illegal aliens this year alone as a result of Merkel’s open borders policy.
JUAN LACAZE, Uruguay (AP) — When Uruguay announced last year that it would be taking in five families fleeing Syria’s devastating civil war, residents of this small town pulled together and lobbied to host one.
Then in November, locals welcomed a newly arrived Merhi Alshebli, his wife and their 15 children with food and seeds to plant vegetables. People in Juan Lacaze, a coastal city of fishermen and paper factory workers in southwestern Uruguay, wanted to do their part to help a country where more than 200,000 have been killed in the fighting.
But after months of the Syrians’ complaints about their living conditions and demands to be sent to another country, many Uruguayans in this town and elsewhere have come to see the refugees more as rude, ungrateful guests. This month the 51-year-old Alshebli shocked locals by dousing himself in gasoline in protest, furthering Uruguayans’ indignation and sense that this South American nation’s humanitarian gesture has gone off the rails.
“I’m outraged,” said Monica Benitez, who works at a shoe store in Juan Lacaze’s tiny downtown. “What they are doing is offensive.”
The Syrians’ discontent is playing out as hundreds of thousands of their compatriots are risking their lives to migrate to Europe and world leaders from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Pope Francis have urged nations to open their doors to the flood. The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to take in 10,000 Syrians over the next year.
Uruguay’s attempt to help by sheltering 42 refugees – a largely symbolic gesture given that over 4 million Syrians have fled since civil war broke out in 2011 – appears to be backfiring, just as earlier this year the ups and downs of six former Guantanamo Bay detainees taken in by the country hogged headlines.

Like the ex-detainees, the refugee families complain that life in Uruguay is expensive and authorities aren’t doing enough to support them. But unlike the former prisoners, who refused jobs offered to them, the adult Syrians have worked.
The Syrians’ biggest beef is that they can’t make ends meet even though the government provides housing and gives each family a monthly stipend. Both government officials and the families have declined to say how much that is.
“I like Uruguay. I like Uruguayan families. My young children all go to school here,” Alshebli said in halting Spanish, standing in the living room of his sparsely furnished, multi-room home on the outskirts of Juan Lacaze. “But food is very expensive. How can I feed 15 children?”
He showed The Associated Press a two-month winter electricity bill totaling $475 and said everyone in the family who is able works. For example his 19-year-old daughter Nada sells Arab food downtown and recently worked in an assisted living facility, but earned just $68 in a little under a month there.
Alshebli also complained that the government won’t let him farm beyond the modest vegetable garden the family has planted.
“No sheep. No cows. No land,” said Alshebli, recounting what he said officials told him.
Political analyst Daniel Chasquetti said the government underestimated cultural differences between Uruguay and the refugees’ homeland and failed to take into account their limited job skills.
“And it’s not like Uruguay is a country bursting with opportunities,” Chasquetti said.
The economy of this nation of 3.3 million people is largely based on agricultural and textile exports, and about 40 percent of workers earn around $500 a month, according to a leading union.
In August one of the Syrian families tried to travel to Serbia, only to be detained 23 days at the airport in Istanbul because they didn’t have the right documents. Ultimately they returned to Uruguay.
The refugees do not have Syrian passports and cannot get Uruguayan ones because they are not citizens. The government has given them national ID cards, but they’re insufficient to cross many of the world’s frontiers and Uruguay says it can’t force other countries to accept the documents.
Their frustration at a boiling point, the Syrians protested for several days last month in front of the Uruguayan presidency to demand help getting to another country.
Then came the incident at Alshebli’s home on Oct. 6, when he poured gasoline over himself in protest in the presence of officials from Uruguay’s Human Rights Secretariat. According to a statement from the agency, he did so after being told that Uruguay doesn’t have the authority to issue him a visa for another country.y
It’s unclear whether Alshebli intended to light himself on fire or simply scare the officials, who later filed a police complaint. Alshebli declined to discuss the incident, and the head of the rights body did not respond to requests for comment.
One of Alshebli’s sons, 21-year-old Ibrahim, said his father simply lost his temper and didn’t mean any harm. The elder Alshebli was briefly detained and taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Self-immolation has special symbolism today in the Middle East. A major catalyst for the Arab Spring, which began in 2011 in Tunisia, was a poor and frustrated fruit vendor who set himself on fire.
But many Uruguayans were appalled.
Lourdes Schneck, who serves the Uruguayan specialty of fried pies in downtown, said she wasn’t sure whether to be angry with her government or the Syrians.
“I get the feeling they thought they were coming to a different class of country, with more wealth,” said Schneck, who periodically hires one of Alshebli’s teenage sons, 15-year-old Mohammed.
Jennyfer Lopez, a student in Juan Lacaze, thinks they never should have been taken in.
“Uruguay isn’t in a financial position to be receiving refugees,” she said, echoing a common criticism. “It was obvious they wouldn’t be comfortable here.”
Former President Jose Mujica, who left office in March, was the driving force behind inviting the Syrians and the ex-Guantanamo prisoners. Mujica, who was jailed for 13 years during the country’s dictatorship, took pride in opening Uruguay’s doors to people in need.
His successor, Tabare Vazquez, has shown much less enthusiasm. In his inaugural speech, Vazquez said a “profound analysis” was necessary before Uruguay accommodated more Syrian refugees.
A second group of 72 refugees was supposed to come in February but never did. Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa has insisted they’ll arrive later this year.

Moose killed while charging couple near Victor

One of the problems that the people out West and in Alaska and Canada face is that wild life like moose and elk often hang out in residential neighborhoods, particularly in the winter because they are safe from predators there and because people feed them. But then they can get ornery and attack humans. Moose often look slow and docile but then can, suddenly and without warning, kick out with all four feet from seemingly impossible angles and smack you right in the head. Hard enough to break bones and strike you dead. Bull moose especially can get irrationally belligerent during their rut period in the Fall.

A state warden said there’s a lesson to be learned in a recent moose-and-man encounter that left the animal dead and the human shaken.

A state warden said there’s a lesson to be learned in a recent moose-and-man encounter that left the animal dead and the human shaken.
A couple of weeks ago, a young man and his girlfriend decided to take their dog for a walk on a popular neighborhood trail on the north end of Victor.
“Apparently this little trail is one everyone in the neighborhood likes to walk on,” said Aaron Berg, a warden sergeant with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The lush area near the river had also attracted a young moose that Berg believes was getting tired of being barked at and chased by neighborhood dogs.
“It seemed like every yard had dogs, and those dogs were barking,” Berg said. “I think the moose was starting to feel a little agitated.”
The couple’s dog was fixated on another dog running up and down a fence line as they neared the spot where the moose was standing.
“The kid looked up and saw the moose kind of moving toward them,” Berg said. “He went up and grabbed his dog and yanked it back. When he looked up, the moose continued to advance.”
The young man’s dog was still barking at the dog on the other side of the fence when the man grabbed it one more time and yelled.
About that time, the dog looked up and saw the moose coming its way. The dog immediately ran back down the trail to the man’s girlfriend.
“By this time, the moose had just had it,” Berg said. “It started picking up speed.”
The man was backing down the trail when his feet caught on some cottonwood branches or roots. As he was falling backwards, he drew his 9mm pistol.
“He told me he didn’t remember discharging the pistol,” Berg said. “He shot a whole bunch of times. One shot hit it in the front of the neck, piercing its jugular and esophagus. The moose started to turn and he was still squeezing off shots. He hit it in the side.”
The moose walked off and died about 100 feet away.
The couple called and reported the encounter.
After he looked at the moose tracks and found the empty brass shell casings, Berg said he determined the man had acted in self-defense.
“He felt horrible,” Berg said. “He didn’t want to have to do that.”
Berg said the moose was about seven feet away when the man opened fire. Just from its tracks, Berg said he could see it was in a full-on charge.
If the man had not been carrying a pistol, he would have likely been hurt badly, if not killed, Berg said.
“He was protecting himself,” Berg said. “If that moose would have got on him, he would have been hurt pretty badly. He was lucky that one round hit it.”
Everyone should remember that moose can be extremely dangerous animals, especially during the fall rutting season.
“People there were all upset after the moose was killed,” Berg said. “This time of the year, moose are rutting. Obviously, it was agitated with all the dogs being off leash.
“I think it was just tired of being pushed around,” he said. “The big message from this incident is that during the rut in the fall time of the year, it would be nice if people didn’t let their dogs run around loose. Sometimes they disturb wildlife, and sometimes that wildlife just snaps.”
Berg said the meat was processed and given to some families in need in the Victor area.