Paul Krugman Hates The Poor

Beating up Paul Krugman – a Nobel Prize-winner who is a poster-child for “narrow expertise” – is a little like fact-checking Heather Martens; it’s easy, and there will never be a shortage of material.

Rich Karlgaard at Forbes spells out yet another reason Krugman is jumping from Princeton in disgrace:

Krugman says the rich sock their money in low-yield bonds. But he fails to consider the obvious. Stocks have almost tripled since March 2009. Urban real estate is in a boom. Art is in a boom. If you believe Krugman, it must be the poor folks who are feeding these asset bubbles. Because the rich, Krugman says, are stuck in low-yield bonds.

This is utter nonsense. The excess liquidity created by U.S. monetary policy does not wind up in the hands of the poor. It winds up in the hands of the rich. The rich then put it into stocks, real estate, hedge funds, and art.

It’s actually the poor and lower middle classes whose wealth — such as it is –lies fallow in no-interest bank accounts (or wealth-eroding cash if they have no bank account at all). It’s not the rich, but middle-class retirees that try to eke out a living on low-yield interest rates.

Krugman has it exactly, 180-degrees wrong. Cheap money is a transfer payment to the rich. It is a tax on the poor. The rich-poor divide grew vast under the cheap money policies of Ben Bernanke. This trend will surely accelerate under Janet Yellen.

Wonder what it’ll be like, someday – maybe decades from now, maybe in the afterlife – when “progressives” realize they’ve been squeeeeeing like a bunch of teenager grrrls at a One Direction concert over the permanent destruction of the middle class.

Ryan Winkler’s War On Women

In the past, I’ve “joked” that anyone with an Ivy League degree should be disqualified from “public service”. 

It’s a “joke” – I keep using the scare quotes, because it’s only barely a joke – because over-educated fools have First Amendment rights, too. 

But to paraphrase Dennis Prager, it takes years of the “finest” education this country offers to make someone as ill-informed as Representative Ryan Winkler, who represents west-metro Saint Louis Park.

Winkler – known to many on and off Capitol Hill as “The Eddie Haskell Of The Legislature” – rocketed to national fame last year by calling Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom”, after which the Harvard-educated legislator pled ignorance that it was considered a racist insult. 

This week?  Big strong Harvard lawyer Ryan Winkler needs to tell those dumb widdle wimmins who watch babies and change bedpans all day how to run their businesses.  This from Twitter on Monday, in re the SCOTUS decision on childcare provider unionization:

@RepRyanWinkler: Union organizing is our best hope for equal pay for women and creating living wage jobs. Five activists on the Supreme Court can’t stop it.

Bear in mind, Winkler is speaking about unionizing daycare and home care providers – people (largely but not entirely women) who have created their own living wage jobs,with pay that varies but is enough to keep a lot of people doing the work for years and years; nobody gets drafted into the daycare business, right? 

Our friend Nancy LaRoche – chair of the 5th CD GOP – took at whack at Winkler’s reasoning.  

In response, Winkler puts on his best Roger Stirling impression in showing those dumb broads their place (emphasis added):

@RepRyanWinkler: @nwlaroche Unions raise wages. Dues are a small fraction of the financial benefit unions provide. Childcare activists are foolish.

I’ll just let that quote rattle around on its own for a bit.  “Childcare activists are foolish”, says the Harvard-trained lawyer. 

Of course, I sat through those hearings, and talked with those providers; the unions provide no “benefit” to providers whatsoever

They don’t “negotiate for better salaries” for the workers, because the workers are contractors working directly for families and patients.  There will be no union rep sitting in on the meetings between parents and the daycare providers!

They don’t “provide” any “training” for the providers that they’re not required by state law to provide themselves already to keep their licenses.

They don’t deal with work conditions, because those are already part of their state licensing conditions. 

In short, Winkler is either utterly ignorant, or lying. 

He also replied to a shot from MNGOP chair Keith Downey:

@RepRyanWinkler: @KeithSDowney Nobody is forcing anybody to unionize. Why do you oppose letting child care providers vote on whether to collectively bargain?

Because it won’t just be “child care providers?”  Because the unions have been organizing ringers, people who aren’t licensed providers but who will vote to unionize.   All the DFL’s talk about “letting providers vote” is a sham.  Again – either Winkler is ignorant, or he’s lying.

And again to LaRoche

@RepRyanWinkler: @nwlaroche Nothing stops them from running their business, they get to decide on and run a union, and negotiate higher rates. Good deal.

 They already negotiate their rates (and they’re already high; Minnesota has some of the highest daycare costs in the country).  They don’t get to “run” any union; Javier Morillo (of AFSCME) and Elliot Seid (of the SEIU) do.  And while they will have nothing to do with “negotiating” the “rates” that the providers charge, they will be right there collecting those dues, and kicking $2 million a year of them back to the DFL, with Ryan Winkler being a recipient. 

Winkler and the DFL expect you, the voter, especially the female voter who is most likely to be working in home daycare or personal care, are too stupid to know any better. 

On the one hand?  It’s just Eddie Haskell Ryan Winkler.  Nobody who’s political brain isn’t on autopilot – like, apparently, the DFL voters in his district – takes him all that seriously. 

But of the autopilot set?  Winkler is clearly being groomed by the DFL for bigger and better things (or was, until the “Uncle Tom” flap – and the media has buried that story effectively enough for the DFL to start easing Winkler back into the spotlight).

But does the DFL want to identify with this sort of paternalistic sexism? 

I gave myself a chuckle, there.  All sins are forgiven the DFL True Believer. 

Unionization will create not one single daycare job; it will raise no personal care attendant’s pay; it will improve not a single working care provider’s working conditions. Not one.

Walter Hudson smacks Winkler down good.

Hell: Freezing?

The Star/Tribune Editorial Board, perhaps shockingly, called for a special prosecutor in the IRS Scandal:

That’s a necessary step, and the request should be expediently heeded by the Obama administration. Although there are two investigations underway in the Republican-controlled House, a nonpartisan review by an investigator with bipartisan respect and technological expertise is sorely needed. The public needs reassurance that the nation’s tax-collection agency is run with integrity and that anyone who may have abused its formidable authority has been held accountable.

So far, so good.

But then we swerve into the weeds:

The decision on whether to appoint a special prosecutor, officially called a special counsel, lies with the Department of Justice.

That’s long for Eric Holder.  The guy who’s been stonewalling several other investigations of Obama administration corruption, Fast and Furious chief among them.

IRS officials have insisted that the lost e-mails were just an unfortunate computer meltdown and that the extra scrutiny of groups with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their names was a regrettable mistake. If this is trumped-up, as Democrats often and sometimes accurately deride other House investigations, there’s nothing to fear by appointing a special prosecutor to put this long-simmering scandal to bed.

Or – as Holder will do – whitewash it. 

Still – while the Strib’s editorial board exhibits its inner pollyanna about the DOJ’s inner gestalt, at least it’s heart is in the right place, kind of:

It’s foolish to think this is going to blow over — or that it should. A May 2013 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration unequivocally concluded that the agency used “inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions.’’…a thorough reading of the report underscores that conservative groups were targeted.

The real question is:  can we, The People, trust an Obama Administration appointee to police his boss? 

There was a time we could count on the media to ensure someone like Holder’s behavior would be above board. 

Perhaps we need a special investigator into that

Derp Process

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The government puts people on no-fly lists without explanation or recourse. They must, or the terrorists will win. Now some namby-pamby bleeding heart Liberal federal judge has gone all 18th Century on Homeland Security, insisting on dredging up obsolete concepts of Due Process from some Amendment to some dusty old paper written by White Male Slave Holders. Of course, you’d know she was appointed to the federal bench by that noted right-wing kook, Bill Clinton.

The really sad part? It took a bunch of Muslim terrorists-pretending-to-be-plaintiffs to get this result. If you or I had sued for it, we’d have been shut down in a heartbeat.

Still, this is a start. The Light Bringer can assassinate citizens without recourse or oversight. And target groups for their politics. And import illegal immigrants at will. But now he has to tell us why we can’t fly.

Joe Doakes

To be fair? Our various enemies are the only people Democrats ever learn anything from.

Straw

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Naturally, I favor the dissent in the Abramski straw-buyer gun case.  This section caught my eye:

That Abramski’s reading does not render the Act’s requirements “meaningless” is further evidenced by the fact that, for decades, even ATF itself did not read the statute to criminalize conduct like Abramski’s. After Congress passed the Act in 1968, ATF’s initial position was that the Act did not prohibit the sale of a gun to an eligible buyer acting on behalf of a third party (even an ineligible one). See Hearings Before the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 1, 118 (1975).A few years later, ATF modified its position and asserted that the Act did not “prohibit a dealer from making a sale to a person who is actually purchasing the firearm for another person” unless the other person was “prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm,” in which case the dealer could be guilty of “unlawfully aiding the prohibited person’s own violation.” ATF, Industry Circular 79–10(1979), in (Your Guide To) Federal Firearms Regulation1988–89 (1988), p. 78. The agency appears not to have adopted its current position until the early 1990’s. See United States v. Polk, 118 F. 3d 286, 295, n. 7 (CA5 1997).

The majority deems this enforcement history “not relevant” because the Government’s reading of a criminal statute is not entitled to deference. Ante, at 22. But the fact that the agency charged with enforcing the Act read it, over a period of roughly 25 years, not to apply to the type of conduct at issue here is powerful evidence that interpreting the Act in that way is natural and reasonable and does not make its requirements “meaningless.”

“Even if the statute were wrongly thought to be ambigu­ous on this point, the rule of lenity would defeat the Gov­ernment’s construction. It is a “familiar principle” that “‘ambiguity concerning the ambit of criminal statutes should be resolved in favor of lenity.’” Skilling v. United States, 561 U. S. 358, 410 (2010). That principle prevents us from giving the words of a criminal statute “a meaning that is different from [their] ordinary, accepted meaning, and that disfavors the defendant.” Burrage v.United States, 571 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (slip op., at 12). And it means that when a criminal statute has two possible readings, we do not “‘choose the harsher alternative’” unless Congress has “‘spoken in language that is clear and definite.’” United States v. Bass, 404 U. S. 336, 347–349 (1971). For the reasons given above, it cannot be said that the statute unambiguously commands the Government’s current reading. It is especially contrary to sound practice to give this criminal statute a meaning that the Govern­ment itself rejected for years.”

I wasn’t aware the government had reversed its interpretation of the statute and I never heard of a rule of lenity.  But the dissent makes sense to me.

Joe Doakes

Further proof that:

  • We have too many laws
  • The fact that our laws are enforced, not enforced, or overeenforced at the discretion of government according to political priorities is a sign that your government is becoming more lawless, and merely turning into the gang with the coolest guns.

Time to fix both.

Outsourced

Georgia town privatizes just about everything that’s not elected; the experiment has been a raving success.

Sandy Springs, Georgia has, for the past nine years, privatized just about every facet of government:

To grasp how unusual this is, consider what Sandy Springs does not have. It does not have a fleet of vehicles for road repair, or a yard where the fleet is parked. It does not have long-term debt. It has no pension obligations. It does not have a city hall, for that matter, if your idea of a city hall is a building owned by the city. Sandy Springs rents.

The town does have a conventional police force and fire department, in part because the insurance premiums for a private company providing those services were deemed prohibitively high. But its 911 dispatch center is operated by a private company, iXP, with headquarters in Cranbury, N.J.

“When it comes to public safety, outsourcing has always been viewed with a kind of suspicion,” says Joseph Estey, who manages the Sandy Springs 911 service in a hushed gray room a few miles from city hall. “What I think really tipped the balance here is that they were outsourcing just about everything else.”

Critics’ response, summarized?  ”Yeah, but Sandy Springs is wealthy!  And white!  And privatizing government leads to gated communities!”

Responses?

  • Sure, it’s wealthy! (And 30% minority).  And they get to keep a lot more of that wealth than if they were in a city where government was the biggest for-profit enterprise.
  • Flint and Detroit were wealthy, too, before successive waves of government and big-union rent-seeking gutted them like deer.
  • If people decide to vote with their feet and hard-earned money for “gated communities”, that’s more a verdict on government than on them.  But it’s irrelevant; Sandy Springs is not a “gated community”; it’s a city that privatized every government function that could be put into a contract.

Mention this in the Twin Cities, of course, and people will recall the Saint Paul suburb that tried to contract out its snow-plowing.  According to accounts (written by government union members), it didn’t work well.  Of course, the contract – written by those same government workers – didn’t spell out performance standards, or at least spelled them out in a form that befitted a group of unionized city workers, if you catch my drift and I think you do.

You can predict the panic in response:

The prospect of more Sandy Springs-style incorporations concerns people like Evan McKenzie, author of “Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government.” He worries that rich enclaves may decide to become gated communities writ large, walling themselves off from areas that are economically distressed.

“You could get into a ‘two Americas’ scenario here,” he says. “If we allow the more affluent to institutionally isolate themselves, then the poor are supposed to do — what? They’re supposed to have all the poverty and all the social problems and deal with them?”

Evan.  Bubbie.  Listen up.

In Chicago, the places were Rahm Emanuel and the Obama family live are as safe as a pediatric ICU.  Mere blocks away, the streets are shooting galleries.  This, in one of the most over-governed, over-bureaucratized cities in the country.

We don’t have “two Americas” now?

Doakes Sunday: Stand And Deliver

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

California students sued, claiming teacher tenure laws were unconstitutional.

“The students argued that they had terrible teachers who were nearly impossible to fire and who kept them from getting good educations.”

Students won in California.  They’re talking about bringing an action in other states, including Minnesota.  Can’t wait.

Joe Doakes

One can hope.  But I have to think Education Minnesota has been more diligent about buying judges than California was…

“The Dog Ate Our Hard Drive”

Now the Administration is claiming that Lois Lerner’s hard drive was lost, destroyed or recycled, so her emails may be lost forever. 

I’m not a networking guy, but I still call BS.

Perhaps if…

  • Lois Lerner’s hard drive
  • Lerner’s work-group’s email server’s hard drive
  • The RAID (large redundant hard-disk) array(s) and/or backup tape(s) to which Lerner’s work group email server backed up its emails
  • Any of the number of tapes, and/or mirrors of RAID arrays, to which the emails had been backed up in the interest of “disaster recovery”…

…(in other words, the exact same level of backup to which any private entity would be required to adhere to by law, or face default judgment in the event of litigation, including (especially!) from the IRS, and the level of backup all levels of all serious business practice to make sure they can respond to legal action, to say nothing of things like, well, hard drives going bad)…

…had all been “lost, destroyed or recycled”, they’d have a point. 

Odds?

INCIDENTAL NOTE:  This post is #11,000 since November, 2006.  Apropos nothing.

Contempt Of Populace

They say that dissatisfaction with the status-quo – everything from trite “anti-incumbency” to a genuine disgust with the power-mad “House Of Cards”-like ways of Washington (which Obama certainly didn’t invent, but which he’s moved front and center as the defining feature of his reign) will be the driving force in this fall’s election, and possibly 2016 as well.

To ensure that it is, I submit to you a few exhibits that show with crystalline clarity the contempt Obama’s Washington establishement feels for the electorate, whom they seem to believe couldn’t wipe and wash without their help:

The Master Of The Universe:   bit here, about yet another vapid, vacuous Obama staffer “slipping up and telling the truth” about his, and the Administration’s, view of the unwashed masses; it’s Tommy Vietor, one of the Administration’s spokes-drones:

“Iraq is just a ploy to distract you from Bergdahl which distracted you from the VA scandal which distracted you from BENGHAZI. Idiots,”

Seething contempt for the bitter, gun-clinging Jeebus freaks who’d dare question their betters?  The little prick is soaking in it!

Look at his picture at the link above; you can tell the little fop went to Georgetown, hasn’t had a job outside politics in his life, and doesn’t even look out the window when he’s flying to the west coast.

He’s not the poster-child for tearing down the establishment – but only because there are so many other options.

The Brahmins:  Juan Williams indulged in another of the left’s parlour games, “Let’s Compare Degrees!”, on “America’s Newsroom” last week; I’ll add emphasis:

WILLIAMS: It comes in a week in which she said they were dead broke when they left the White House, and that set off conservative blogs, and now this one coming from Rush Limbaugh. I don’t know if he wants to test his Mensa score versus Hillary. I mean, you know, she’s a big-time college grad. But I think what he’s trying to do is he’s trying to deflate a balloon here in that what he said later in that monologue was that Hillary Clinton is supposed to be the brightest woman ever, the most competent woman, and therefore she can be president, and he wants to take down that whole structure right now.

Did you see what Hillary! accomplished during her term at State?

No?

Neither did anyone else.

Williams indulges the liberal conceit that believes the name on ones diploma confers, by itself, excellence.  But most Americans know that the best thing, indeed the only good thing, that an “elite” education says about a person is that between the ages of 14 and 18 they lived a life that was perfectly calculated to win the attention of an admissions committee, knowing that four years of playing the paper chase would give them the one thing of value that attending an “elite” institution really confers; access to the alumni directory.  And that’s the best thing it says about a person; in most cases – Hillary!’s among them – it means they were born into “Legacy” status (and if you read that and think “informal aristocracy”, you’re only wrong about the “informal” part).

For this good of this country, anyone with with an “elite” degree – or for that matter, anyone who’s been out of school more than three years who still talks about where they went to school – should be disqualified from public service.   As should anyone who refers to “Mensa” score unironically.

Pay no attention to the utter lack of accomplishment, peasants.

It’s The Minnesota Way!

So you want to effect some change in Minnesota politics?  Perhaps right a wrong that you see?

What’s the best way to do it?

Spend years mustering supporters and changing public opinion?  Like the Tea Party?

Or sit in tents out on the sidewalk, warmed only by relentless NPR coverage, like “Occupy?”

Nonsense.  Just have a plutocrat father who had his office bought for him by your stepmom!

During an interview with the Post-Bulletin’s Editorial Board last week, Dayton said his sons Andrew and Eric Dayton have been making the case that tipped employees should be treated differently. His sons own the Minneapolis restaurant “The Bachelor Farmer.”

“It may be that we have to fine tune it. I understand my sons’ frustration with the tip credit issue. They make a very articulate case,” he said.

During the legislative session, the Minnesota Restaurant Association had pushed hard for a tiered tipped employee system. Under that proposal, an employee whose wages and tips equaled at least $12 per hour would be paid at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Dayton said his sons have said that the minimum wage increase means their wait staff will be making significantly more per hour than the dishwashers and other staff.

Wait…

…I seem to remember a governor’s race four years ago.  Where a candidate suggested exactly that.  And was pelted with pennies, to the gleeful tittering of the local media and left (ptr).

So the next time you’re a liberal dilettante and you find your hobby restaurant is being financially stressed by the DFL legislature’s innumerate noodling in the labor markets, just make sure an assembly of oligarchic plutocrats gets Dadders elected!

Problem solved!

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTION:  By my count, this is the third or fourth law that Governor Messinger Dayton had to sign to know what it’d do.

Perfectly Clear

Jonathan Turley:  Obama has become the president that a Nixon wanted to be – but never had the raw power to actually pull off:

What’s troubling is that we have a system that has been stable precisely because these are limited and shared powers. This president has indicated that he’s just not willing to comply with some of those aspects. He told Congress he would go it alone and in our system you’re not allowed to go it alone.

Nixon was ruthless at exercising power – but Obama has one thing Nixon could never dream of; a media that has taken it as a mission to serve as his praetorian guard.

Doakes Sunday: Now We’re All Bananas

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Conservative makes film about Obama.  Conservative gets prosecuted for trivial campaign contribution error.   Democrats use the power of government to crush political opponents, same as any banana republic or communist state.

Reminds me of the guy in Washington DC who was convicted of possessing bullets for an antique muzzle-loader while big-shot Democrats go on television waving around assault rifles with impunity.

Good thing I’ve never said anything bad about any Democrat.  I probably broke a dozen laws this morning already, starting with using too many gallons to flush the toilet when I took my morning DFL.

Joe Doakes

All that remains is for Obama to appear on a dais wearing a khaki uniform with eleven stars on the epaulette.

Frivolous

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Since the right to an abortion and the right to bear arms are both fundamental Constitutional rights, this ruling should pave the way to institute some long overdue sensible restrictions on abortions: background checks with photographs and fingerprints, registration with the government, limit to one abortion per year, classroom training before the procedure . . . these are all required to possess a firearm so they should be required to obtain an abortion.

 

Next, I’d like to see the Star Tribune’s registration and the background checks on their reporters.

 

The worst part is the “reasoning” the judge uses.  Citing a few mass shootings, but carefully avoiding the other 99% of the murders he uses as justification, those being the killings committed with guns that were not registered and will never be registered, carried and used by felons who can never legally own or carry. Nothing in these regulations will address the real problem; therefore, the regulations are not substantially related to a legitimate government purpose and should have been stricken down.

 

Joe Doakes

The epidemic of judges ignoring the Constitution is one we as a society are going to need to deal with if the Constitution is ever to really matter.

American Democracy: 1776-2012

The IRS scandal has been going on for a solid year now.  And while people who care about such things – “such things” as honest, transparent, non-banana-republic government – are up in arms, the media has successfully gundecked the issue. 

Let’s run it down:

  1. Before the 2012 elections, senior IRS poobahs – Lois Lerner being the one everyone knows today – singled out conservative organizations for attention and harassment. 
  2. The investigations had nothing to do with violations of the rules; they, all and sundry, were about nothing but the groups’ political identity.  “Tea Party” , “Patriot”, “Liberty” or “9/12″, “Taxes”, “Debt”, “Spending ” in the title was all it took to warrant the kind of harassment (“what do you pray about?”) that the American media would not tolerate if directed at a college Satanist alliance. 
  3. When an IRS internal review threatened to highlight the fact that the IRS was acting in a corrupt manner, Lerner picked some scapegoats in Cincinnati (although the direction did in fact come from the IRS’ “director of rulings and settlements”, Rob Choi). 
  4. At this very time, IRS staff were actively campaigning for Barack Obama – on IRS time, using IRS resources.  Nobody knows how much of this activity went on, but any is too much. 

There is only one word for this – corruption. The kind of thing that would make a Boliviancommandantegag up his skull with embarassment. 

h Kevin Williamson at NRO on not only the scandal, but what it says about the future of American democracy:

The IRS is not just a revenue agency — it is a law-enforcement agency, a police agency with far greater powers of investigation and coercion that any normal police force. Its actions in this matter are not only inappropriate — they are illegal. Using government resources for political ends is a serious crime, as is conspiring to mislead investigators about those crimes. But so far, other than holding Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to comply with the demands of congressional investigators, almost nothing has happened. The characteristic feature of a police state is that those who are entrusted with the power to enforce the law are not themselves bound by it.

Read the whole thing.

And confront what it really means.  Conservatives have been warning for decades that goverment is becoming too big, too powerful, too much an end unto itself, with the whole goal of perpetuating itself. 

It’s anti-American, and it needs to be treated as such.

Success Breeds Success

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy writes, regarding citizen journalist Andrew Henderson’s acquittal:

So one year and thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees later, he is acquitted of all charges. But where is the apology, the admission of wrong doing by the cops? Or the assessment of defense costs and fees?

Here is a little excerpt that perfectly, although I’m sure accidentally, portrays the abuse of process and authority of this whole thing:

Deputy Jacqueline Muellner, now retired, told the court that she confiscated the camera, stored it in her squad overnight and then in her work mailbox in an unsecure location for a day or two instead of the secure property locker.

Norgaard and Muellner said they were concerned about the patient’s privacy because it was a medical call.

They were so concerned about the patient’s privacy that she stole the camera and arrested the citizen, but then left the camera in sundry unsecured locations over the coming days while she worried about the invasion of privacy that the footage on the camera contained, and later discovered that the footage was somehow magically wiped. I’m not surprised it took the jury less than an hour to vindicate Henderson, her story has no credibility at all.

The larger issue is what to do about a law enforcement culture that sees itself as above the law. The officer violated Henderson’s First Amendment rights, using her authority as a government agent, then destroyed the evidence against her. What is it about Minnesota’s union-DFL-Big-Brother government that made her think she could get away with that?

Joe Doakes

The fact that they always do get away with it?

#FixEverythingBad!

Mark Steyn on hashtag diplomacy:

Plenty has been written about all the things that this photo…

…says about the United States today.  None of them good.

Steyn notes – as many have quoted – that it’s certainly not going to matter of inveighing Boko Haram (Nigerian for “So Long, Suckers!”) to “give the girls back”.  Someone’s going to have to either engage in some incredibly tough negotiation (the Bokos know they hold the cards), or take them back, if they can be found (and it’s likely they can’t).

But he brought up two other points – both of them tying the Boko Haram kidnappings to a story I wrote about last week, in which a California school issued an assignment asking students to present evidence that the Holocaust never happened.

Being unaware of the background details, I thought it might juuuuuust be possible it was a debate point, asking kids to step outside their comfort zone (waaaaay outside) to debate a point.

It wasn’t, of course (I’ll be adding the odd bit of emphasis) not, and my vestigial faith in the integrity of public school teachers is, as all-too-frequently, wasted:

That’s never a smart idea. The California schools superintendent who wanted his Eighth Graders to turn in essays arguing that the Holocaust didn’t happen is called Mohammad Z Islam. That’s why they got the assignment, not because they wanted to turn themselves into the Oxford Union. As Laura Rosen Cohen pointed out, there are all kinds of lively topics Mr Cooke might propose for our schools: Did Mohammed exist? What’s the deal with his nine-year-old bride? But in the real world even mild questioning of whether Islam is a “religion of peace” is beyond the pale, and across the Continent the Holocaust is disappearing from school curricula.

That’s the problem. There’s no point winning an Oxford debate if the other side win everything else.

And he notes that modern eighth-graders rarely know what the Holocaust is, much less how to have an Oxford Union-style debate on the subject.

And of course…:

In 1984, George Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

And it’s be hard to argue that the good guys are winning the present.

The Gnawing

Conservative bloggers and talk radio have been warning about this for a solid decade now.

Obama telegraphed his intentions re the First Amendment long before he was elected – at least in re dissent.

And it’s still out there:

“I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.

“The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added…Goodman said that protecting conservative media, especially those on the internet, “matters to me because I see the future going to the democratization of media largely through the internet. They can compete with the big boys now, and I have seen storm clouds that the second you start to regulate them, there is at least the possibility or indeed proclivity for selective enforcement, so we need to keep the media free and the internet free.”

As the conservative alt-media warned you in 2007, Obama and the libs currently in charge in DC want to sic the Federal Elections Commission on political media - which in a practical sense means “conservative media”, since the liberal media is the mainstream one.

All media has long benefited from an exemption from FEC rules, thereby allowing outlets to pick favorites in elections and promote them without any limits or disclosure requirements like political action committees.

But Goodman cited several examples where the FEC has considered regulating conservative media, including Sean Hannity’s radio show and Citizens United’s movie division. Those efforts to lift the media exemption died in split votes at the politically evenly divided board, often with Democrats seeking regulation.

And as Obama’s presidency grinds down, expect a lot more of this.

(Via Ace)

The Hypocrisy Record Books

1988:  Carl Rowan, the WaPo columnist with a long record of vicious attacks on the idea of civilian gun ownership, shoots at a teenager who was in his swimming pool.

2012:  Barack Obama, while claiming the GOP is fighting a “War on Women”, pays his female employees much less than his male staff.

2013:  DFL rep Ryan “Eddie Haskell” Winkler, who routinely attacks the integrity of his opponents on issues of race, calls accomplished jurist Clarence Thomas “Uncle Tom”.

2014:  Media Matters, a George Soros-funded attack-PR firm which has spent years railing against “Right to Work” laws nationwide, brings in the big guns as SEIU tries to unionize MM4A’s underpaid drudge-workers:

Media Matters has retained a law firm whose focus is representing management in labor disputes. It’s forcing its employees into a secret-ballot election, which is the kind of vote card-check proponents like the good folks at Media Matters decry whenever Republicans insist it’s important to maintain.

But the year is still young!