Deja Vu all over again in New York City

Roger Kimball at Quadrant Online:

The ’70s Again, with a Transgender Bonus

Muggers are prowling Central Park once more while public nuisances shake down New York’s motorists and crime soars. Welcome to the increasingly bruised Big Apple of Mayor Bill de Blasio, his progressive agenda — and the inevitable results

Welcome to the 1970s! In New York, anyway, one of the decades Tom Wolfe denominated “purple” has made a stunning comeback. Consider crime. After a precipitous decline that began under the mayoralty of Rudy Giuliani and continued under Michael Bloomberg, violent crime has soared in the city. From May 2014 to the end of May this year, shootings increased almost 10 per cent while murders jumped a stunning 19.5 per cent during the same period. Meanwhile, Central Park has once again become a haven for thieves and muggers. “Police are investigating another mugging in Central Park,” begins a May 20 story in the New York Post, “the latest in a string of robberies that has residents on edge.”

The squeegee men are back also, having returned in hideous mutation:

Kevin Williamson:

Squeegee Man is making a comeback, both in his traditional form … and in a new, mutant form: Sunday Hijacker. Sunday Hijacker is cleverer and more cynical than his predecessor, and his modus operandi is to make a scene inside a church during worship until somebody pays him to go away. Screaming, knocking over furnishings, and threatening violence are his shtick.

Not to be outdone by rising crime, bums sleeping on steam grates, Sunday Hijackers, and all manner of sordid behavior, New York is becoming the principal center of transgender hysteria.

The New York Times, always a reliable barometer of radical chic attitudes, blustered into the debate in May with a long and extraordinary editorial called “The Quest for Transgender Equality”. “Being transgender today,” the Times intoned, “remains unreasonably and unnecessarily hard. But it is far from hopeless.” For one thing, “President Obama has advanced transgender rights more than any American president.” But there is so much work to do! The military, can you believe it, “continues to ban openly transgender people from joining the military”

New York has not yet descended into barbarism, as some exotic places have done. Dr. Paul McHugh of John Hopkins University notes this about the Mother country:

Some surgeons and medical centers can be persuaded to carry out almost any kind of surgery when pressed by patients with sexual deviations, especially if those patients find a psychiatrist to vouch for them. The most astonishing example is the surgeon in England who is prepared to amputate the legs of patients who claim to find sexual excitement in gazing at and exhibiting stumps of amputated legs.

There is almost no form of madness that is not celebrated and practiced wherever elite opinion reigns.

Greece proves socialism does not work — except for the ruling class

From Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt:

Take a good look, Millennials. This is where quasi-socialism, with unaffordably generous pension programs and early retirement, runaway borrowing and spending, and a kleptocratic unenforced system of tax collection leaves you: helpless, penniless, and crying in the streets.

Greek

Retiree Giorgos Chatzifotiadis had queued up at three banks in Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki on Friday in the hope of withdrawing a pension on behalf of his wife, but all in vain.

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Socialism is the same everywhere — it enriches the ruling class at the expense of everyone not lucky enough to hold a position of privilege within the government, or to be a favored crony of the those who do.  In other words, socialism does exactly what liberals claim about free market capitalism.  The truth is that free markets allow failure and success. They go together. The beauty is that free markets allow recovery from failure. Socialism entrenches it.

Now I know exactly what a liberal is going to say: But what about Swedish socialism?  It works beautifully! Sweden enjoys a strong economy and a high standard of living! Scandinavian socialism achieves wondrous results. It works for them and it would work for us too if only those stupid conservatives would get out of the way and allow the Left to make life fair and equal for everyone!

Trouble is, all that is a load of crap.  Or, to say it more politely, it’s a myth.  It’s the Great Liberal Myth of Scandinavian Socialism.

Celebrate Freedom Today, Not Political Correctness

Political correctness is tyranny disguised as justice. It would have us burn the artifacts of our history for no more reason than to appease a small group of perpetually malcontented individuals consumed by anger, hatred and resentment for their miserably empty lives.

Fight back, on this day of independence from tyranny, celebrate the freedom to be different because we are all born equal. Celebrate the exceptional and wonderful history of the greatest country on earth.

The Left’s Confederate-eradication frenzy is not meant to promote healing or encourage dialogue but to enforce conformity.

We should know and remember that the Left is never satisfied. The minute one target it toppled they immediately move on to the next one. They are on a nonstop campaign to destroy every bit of our magnificent heritage and liberty.

Deflecting blame to the stars for our faults

admirable evasionsIn this new book Theodore Dalrymple [pen name of Anthony Daniels] argues that “most psychological explanations of human behavior are not only ludicrously inadequate oversimplifications, …they are socially harmful in that they allow those who believe in them to evade personal responsibility for their actions and to put the blame on a multitude of scapegoats: on their childhood, their genes, their neurochemistry, even on evolutionary pressures.”

A brief quote in the front of the book alludes to Shakespeare as Dalrymple’s inspiration for the book, as well as his decades of experience as a prison psychiatrist. Dalrymple’s one-line quote is part of this scene in, King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2, voice of Edmund:

This is the excellent foppery of the world that when we are sick in fortune—often the surfeit of our own behavior—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence, and all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting-on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!

Shakespeare, were he alive today, would surely be a conservative. Conservatism involves the understanding that taking personal responsibility for one’s behavior is central to living a good life. This theme occurs often in Shakespeare’s plays. The voice of Cassius in Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2, is well known:

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Dalrymple suggests that great literature is a far more illuminating window into the human condition than the assumptions of psychology.

Anti-gunners Undermine Their Cause With Big Lies

From the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action:

Fact Checkers at a prominent newspaper [the Washington Post of all places] have denounced a lie being told by a supporter of expanded background checks on gun sales.

Today (Monday, June 29th), the Washington Post gave Four Pinnochios to U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) for repeating a claim originated by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group, that there has been an average of one school shooting per week since the December 2012 crime at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Applying a reasonable person standard” to what should be considered a “school shooting” in the context of the Sandy Hook crime, the Post concluded that of 126 incidents on Everytown’s list, most were suicides or attempted suicides, accidents, or shootings resulting from arguments between individuals, and perhaps only 10 were crimes in which someone intended to shoot multiple people.

The Post, saying “lawmakers need to present information—especially for such a controversial topic as gun control—in a clear, responsible and accurate way,” considered Sen. Murphy’s lie particularly egregious in view of the fact that Everytown’s claims about school shootings have been so widely discredited previously. As examples, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first rated Everytown’s claims about the number of school shootings since Sandy Hook mostly falseback in June 2014. Three months later, John Lott released the result of research that found that some of the persons involved in the incidents cited by Everytown weren’t even associated with the schools and/or the incidents didn’t occur during regular school hours.

Maybe Murphy can take comfort from the fact that he’s not the only anti-gunner that has been taken to task for telling lies. In 2013, the Post rejected former Pres. Bill Clinton’s claim that half of all mass killings in the United States had occurred since the September 2004 expiration of his “ban” on “assault weapons” and “large” magazines. The newspapersaid, “the available data show that Clinton was way off base in his assertion, making an exaggerated claim—which his office would not even defend.”

The same year, the Post gave Pres. Barack Obama Three Pinnochios for repeating Everytown’s claim that 40 percent of firearms are sold without a background check. (And even if Obama had been telling the truth, it would only have been an endorsement for checkless firearm sales, given that the nation’s murder rate is at or near an all-time low.)

In December, the Journal-Constitution gave a mostly false rating to Everytown’s claim exaggerating school shootings in Georgia. In March, the Post gave Pres. Barack Obama Three Pinnochios for his “odd series of exaggerated gun claims,” including the claim that the U.S. has the world’s highest murder rate, the claim that it’s easier to buy a handgun than a vegetable, and the claim that gun control opponents want laws to allow “firearms in kindergartens and machine guns in bars.”

In April, the Richmond Times-Dispatch gave a mostly false rating to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) for repeating the “40 percent” claim that Pres. Obama was faulted for previously, but which Everytown continues to use every chance it gets. Also in April, Everytown was caught trying to exaggerate the size of their miniscule anti-gun demonstration during the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville.

In May, the Journal-Constitution rated as “mostly false” Everytown’s claim that weak gun laws were responsible for a gun being stolen in Georgia and later used in a crime in New York City.

And last week, the Tampa Bay Tribune rated as mostly false Obama’s recent claim comparing multiple victim shootings in the U.S. to those in other countries.

But when have the facts had any bearing on what gun control supporters say?

Any political cause that cannot be supported without making things up cannot be a good cause. Michael Bloomberg, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, Barack Obama, et al. and their ilk, are not even good propagandists if they keep getting caught in their lies and deceptions.  Especially when it’s a house organ of the Left that exposes them.

German Nazi Joseph Goebbels was a successful propagandist by a combination of shrewd political instinct for mobilizing the fears of ordinary people and his deep contempt for the human race in general, especially Jews.  Bloomberg, Murphy, Obama and their fellow travelers play to the fears of parents for their children’s safety and they’re contemptuous of everyone who doesn’t fall in line with their lies. But they keep stumbling over their long noses because they lack Goebbels’ political skills for using Big Lies to change public policy.

Goebbels had the assistance of a tyrannical government going for him. Bloomberg and Obama don’t have that quite yet. They’re working on it.

From Poor Richard’s Almanac

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.” —Benjamin Franklin

We know that those on the Left cherish their own freedom even if they don’t care much about the freedom of others. Free speech is under attack from the Left.

So why don’t they understand that they can’t deny the liberty of others without losing their own? Because liberalism, and especially deep-Leftist liberalism, are profoundly narcissistic people so steeped in self aggrandizement they simply cannot see themselves suffering the same consequences they intend for us.

Kirsten Powers, author of the new book “The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech,” says that free speech is under assault in this country in many different areas, and it’s coming primarily from the far-left. [I think it’s coming for the not-so-far Left as well and not just “primarily” but 100%]

The focal point of Powers’ book is the attack on free speech from the Leftist media (95% of the media, that is) and on college campuses.

“It’s a systematic silencing that is going on,” Powers said. “And they use the same tactics. I also am not talking about disagreement. I’m not talking about people being civil. I’m talking about these are people who will not have a debate. They will attack you: ‘You are racist. You are [a] misogynist.’ It’s never about what the actual issue is.

“And it’s really impinging people’s ability to debate issues, because there is no debate. They tell you there is no debate because you’re a racist.

“This is not what liberals are supposed to believe.”

Powers describes herself as schizophrenic a liberal who votes Democrat. She has never voted for a Republican and doesn’t think she ever will. Powers reminds me of people I have known who can see the dysfunction in their own family but cannot figure out why it’s keeps happening while outsiders see plainly that it’s happening and will continue because the people causing it are self-absorbed provocateurs and troublemakers.

It’s right there in the Constitution…don’t you see it?

Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote and wrote the opinion in which the United States Supreme Court on Friday found a right to same sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution. Kennedy said this was a right that always existed it’s just that nobody had noticed it before. Since the Constitution says nothing about marriage at all, I wonder if that might explain why nobody noticed this just-discovered fundamental Constitutional right of gays to marry.

What if Justice Kennedy had ruled that the Constitution prohibits gay marriage? That would have been outrageous, as probably all would agree. So isn’t it just as outrageous to find that the Constitution creates a right to gay marriage?

John Hinderaker:

The truth is that the Constitution is silent with regard to marriage, which has always been a matter of state law. To assert that the Constitution mandates gay marriage is as outrageous as to assert that it prohibits gay marriage. It does neither.

The U.S. Supreme Court once ruled, in the Dred Scott case, that there is a fundamental Constitutional right to own slaves. It’s right there in the Constitution, don’t you see it?

The “Supreme” Court is not so supreme a lot of the time. A lot of the time it’s little more than some old geezers in black robes acting silly, with real cultural consequences for millions of other people who were just minding their own business, bothering no one.

When will Democrats apologize for slavery, Jim Crow, Lynching, segregation, and more

An open letter to DNC Chairman Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz details the historical facts  of the Democrat party’s involvement with oppression of black people throughout most of American history.

Because Republicans are so tongue tied and feckless they have allowed the Democrats to create a massive false meme in politics blaming them for all the vile public policies that Democrats have advanced to oppress blacks.  More Republicans than Democrats supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Democrats not Republicans created the Confederate flag and it was a Democrat governor, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, that first displayed it at the Capitol building in South Carolina.

Democrats are still oppressing America’s black population, this time by feeding them lies intended to make them feel hopeless and to get them to fall for the false hope of dependence on a government run by Democrats for all their needs and wants.

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Essential Hayek by Donald Boudreaux

Essential Hayek by Donald Boudreaux

This free Kindle download is a treasure not to be missed by anyone interested in the subject, which ought to be everyone.

Millennials have been accused of wanting everything for free. If that’s true, and there’s evidence it is, they should jump at this free Kindle book. Of course, then they’d have to read it and that won’t be free of effort although well rewarded, unlike most of the free stuff they think they’re getting (net neutrality, e.g.).

Millennials claim to value their freedom and privacy. If they’re serious about that, Friedrich Hayek (1899-1993) of the Austrian School of Economics, student of Ludwig von Mises, should be their biggest hero.  They may not know that, but the introduction by Vaclav Klaus could help them out of the darkness and into the light of reality and truth.

A lot of free stuff is worth no more than you paid for it. This free Kindle download is an exception to that.  If it’s no longer free, I think it will be $0.99, essentially free.

The real cause of the 2008 financial crisis — Government

Far from being a failure of free market capitalism, the Depression was a failure of government. Unfortunately, that failure did not end with the Great Depression. . . . In practice, just as during the Depression, far from promoting stability, the government has itself been the major single source of instability. — Milton Friedman

The book to read on the 2008 financial crisis is, Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again by Peter Wallison. You can read the introduction before you buy the book here.

This excellent 6-minute video by Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute nails it. As usual, the popular myths are not even good mythology.