What progressivism – Social Justice, in a nut shell – always ends up being.

Venezuela is the latest example of what progressivism works out to be in a nutshell. Chavez, another idiot that gained power passing himself off as a man of the people, and buying votes by promising to rob his country’s producers in the name of some fabricated and idiotic social construct, has ruined what once was a growing and thriving economy. Sure Venezuela had problems and poverty before Chavez, but things are far, far worse, today. Case in point, the death of the goose that laid Venezuela’s golden eggs:

As weird as it seems, President Nicolás Maduro’s government plans to start importing crude oil for the first time in order to blend it with Venezuela’s own crude and keep the country’s overall production from falling further, the Reuters news agency reported last week, citing an internal document from Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA oil company.

It turns out that Venezuela’s own production of light crudes has plummeted since the late President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999, and the country desperately needs light crudes to blend with its Orinoco Basin extra heavy crude oils. Without such a blend, the Orinoco Basin’s extra heavy crude is too dense to be transported through pipelines to Venezuelan ports and exported abroad.

Venezuela’s oil production, which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s export earnings, should be used in world classrooms as a textbook case of what happens when a populist government starts distributing a country’s wealth in cash subsidies, without investing in maintenance and innovation. Much like happened with Cuba’s once flourishing sugar industry, Venezuela’s Chávez-inspired populism has destroyed the goose that laid the golden eggs.

In 1999, when Chávez took office, PDVSA had 51,000 employees and produced 63 barrels of crude a day per employee. Fifteen years later, PDVSA had 140,000 employees, and produced 20 barrels of crude a day per employee, according to an Aug. 14 report by the France Press news agency.

Venezuela’s net oil exports have plummeted from 3.1 million barrels a day in 1997 to 1.7 million barrels a day in 2013, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates.

Curious to find out how a country with the world’s largest oil reserves can end up importing oil, I called Evanán Romero, a former Venezuelan vice minister of energy and former PDVSA director, who now works as an oil industry consultant.

Romero told me that the Venezuelan government desperately needs to speed up oil exports to get cash, because the government is bankrupt. Inflation has surpassed an annual rate of 60 percent, and Venezuela will be Latin America’s country with the lowest economic growth this year, according to World Bank estimates.

But to speed up oil exports, Venezuela needs to blend its heavy crudes from the Orinoco Basin with lighter imported crudes, because Venezuela is no longer producing enough light crudes of its own. Production of light crudes has fallen because of lack of investments, abandonment of exploration of light crude areas, and the nationalization of companies that used to help produce light crudes.

Venezuela has asked foreign companies that operate in the Orinoco Basin to invest in “upgrading” facilities that help make heavy-crude exportable, but the companies did not want to take that risk because they fear expropriations, or because they don’t think it’s a good investment as long as they are only allowed a minority ownership under government rules.

Collectivists always expect everyone else to sacrifice, and yet, they claim and believe they have the right to take the fruit of other people’s labor, no matter what the consequences of that theft, because they mean well. When others decide not to bend over and grab their ankles every time the progressives come a knocking, they get pissed and accuse them of being greedy. But the truth is nobody causes more harm, destruction, misery, and human indignity than your pretend do-gooder progressive as they steal from those that produce under the pretense of redressing some evil or injustice.

Humanity is heading for another dark age as the labors of the collectivists destroy centuries of progress by their betters. Everywhere that progressives have taken hold, things have gone, are going, or will go bad. The more open the thievery, the quicker the downfall. The Soviet Union and its satellite states imploded in a short 7 decades because they went to one extreme to push their corrupted version of paradise on earth. The last bastions of this idiotic belief are Cuba and North Korea, the Chinese long ago abandoning anything other than the tyranny of progressivist rulership – something that amounts to nothing more than another aristocracy lording it over the serfs, sometimes under the heel of a single madman that bathes in the blood of those he plunges into his contrived misery – in order to maintain power. They are all doomed, including the Chinese, because that system simply destroys man and man’s dignity.

New upstarts like Venezuela show us that those that do it without the usual bloody revolution and the millions of deaths, still lead the unfortunate idiots they have fooled down the same road. Progressivism’s promise of social justice always, without fail, produces misery and indignity. It matters little that they can, in the beginning and for some time, pretend or show that their actions have made things look better: in the end though, their actions produce the same outcome, be it in a short span of time, or over long decades. They destroy everything they touch, and the vital system that produces wealth collapses, leaving everyone living in misery and under the heels of a tyrannical master or oligarchy that thinks more of the same is what is needed to fix the very problem of their making.

Have no doubt that the shit done by the Western democracies is heading the same way. Obama’s reign in the US and his expedited efforts at the destruction of a once great nation, as well as and what’s going on in Europe, should leave no one any doubt that there is any way to salvage the situation if the progressives and their ways are allowed to continue. You can not steal from others – especially when you accuse them of having because they steal – to make things right. Greed and envy are not good emotions to base a philosophy that claims to want to right wrongs on, but that’s progressivism in a nut shell. In the end it only serves to replace whatever group one claims is engaged in some injustice with one person or another group that is doing fare worse evil.

It is time to tell these people to take a long hike off a short pier.


Toward a European War

Over the last week, Russia has been slowly dropping the pretense and invading the Ukraine with active troops, tanks and artillery pieces. Many of these soldiers, as with the earlier incursion into the crimea, are pretending to be rebels, which is technically a war crime.

As has been pointed out, the Ukraine is not the limit of Putin’s ambitions. He has claimed that he will rescue all ethnic Russians who are “threatened” which means the baltic states and Poland could be on their target list.

The West is finally responding. The plan is to deploy troops to the new NATO bases in Eastern Europe as well as to provide military aide to the Ukraine. I would suggest that reviving missile defense would be another good step.

This sets up the potential for a wider war. But it’s something we are obligated to do under the NATO treaty. We’ll just have to hope that the prospect of tangling with an actual military force is enough to give Putin some pause.

Still Crazy After All These Years

My post is about that crazy Uncle Ron Paul, but this morning I watched Obama’s tap dance in the Rose Garden, where he talked about accountability wrt the downed airline and mentioned the troubling news that the black boxes were absconded and hustled back to Russia. He wondered out loud what they had to hide. Naturally one has to snicker at any mention of accountablility, and as for hiding something, let’s see, 2 black boxes vs. “less than 20″ hard drives wiped clean, hiding something, indeed.

I know there were several Paul bots that frequented this site, I was never one of them. And although it is still early, Rahn Paul will no doubt make a run for the top job in 2016. One has to wonder (and pray) that this apple falls real far from the tree.

But the old guy escaped his rest home just long enough to chastise the media over their coverage on the downed airline;

Former Congressman Ron Paul defended the Russian government on Sunday and slammed Western leaders for spreading “propaganda” after a Malaysian Airlines plane was allegedly shot down by Kremlin-backed separatists in Ukraine.

“Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said,” the former presidential candidate wrote. “While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.”

You knew somewhere in there he was going to fall back on the old tried and true and blame America;

One of those unreported things, Paul claimed in his weekly “Texas Straight Talk” column, was the United States’ own responsibility for destabilizing the region.

Full disclaimer, no, I did not read his dopey column, but the Ukrainian people clearly wanted Yanukovych out has subsequently issued arrest warrants against him for mass murder. I would tell Obama to pay attention and heed what happens to a leader that zigs when the folks want him to zag, but there are too many out there that like the status quo, like their free stuff, so he remains nonplussed.

Samantha Powers did a great job (I know, where did that come from?) the other day at the UN, encapsulating what we know so far and where the real blame should be placed. You can see it here.

I get a kick out of all the talk about this signalling the end of Putin, and how he will be made to pay. There will be nothing left at the crash site that will tie Russia or the separatists in on this. Europe (or the US for that matter) does not have the will to push this beyond the “moral outrage” stage. Putin is popular with the folks and has the natural resources to back up any bluster. I see nothing coming of this.

Progressives and their money…

I have always held the belief that today’s modern left is simply a modern day version of the old and corrupt aristocratic members of the feudal or guild systems of the middle ages – entities that closely guarded access to the benefits that membership provided, while lording it over everyone – and amounts to nothing but a protection racket for the connected. The progressive oligarchy smartened up however, knowing that simply doing business as usual, basically maintaining and growing its power and wealth, as was done on the olden days was not going to work. So instead of risking the mob turning on them, they shifted gears, pretending to help the less fortunate, while keeping business as usual. Don’t take my word for it.

Under Black Jesus, the super-rich have accumulated wealth at a pace that would have the progressives, both in politics and in the media (yeah, I know they are practically all progressive retards there), howling mad if the WH was occupied by a guy with an (R) next to their name. This has coincided with policy shifts that have drastically grown the handout class. More people than ever are now on some form of public assistance, primarily because the economy has been castrated and employment, especially full time high paying jobs in the private sector have all but dried up, and that number only looks to grow larger. Between the insane money borrowing & printing policies that are driving up our debt at an insane pace that makes anything that came before look tame, causing drastic inflation that we keep getting told is not happening by our political masters while the dollar’s power dwindles, and the anti-business vote buying schemes and scams like Obamacare, I remain surprised at the strength of our private sector’s ability to weather this storm.

But while these progressive policies are helping the ultra-rich get richer and keep power, by expanding the “Vote for a living” class membership, the real power behind America’s exceptionalism and economic success, the middle class, is getting destroyed. Of course, the truth is that all leftists systems end like this. Look at communism for the proof. From the old USSR, Cuba, and North Korea, as examples of abject failures, to more successful entities like China, the fact is that these progressive systems are based on a 2 class system. The first is the obvious oligarchy that runs the place and has all the power and wealth. They don’t have to won it directly, but people know better. Then you have the serfs: the rest of the schnooks that are fed a constant line of populist and anti-capitalism line bullshit, do all the work – when you can get them to work for the peanuts they get paid while struggling to get basic necessities – and reap none of the rewards, unless you think a reeducation camp, a gulag, or a bullet to the head is a reward.

Socialism is not much better. Look at Venezuela or any of those Arab oil states. Sure, our resident libs love to tell us about Israel, New Zealand, or Europe, but the truth is they are doing nothing more than the progressives in the 70s and 80s did in the US writ places like New York State, Michigan, Illinois, and California. Back then the progs told us all how their policies were directly responsible for the economic growth and success these places experienced, and even if there was a nugget of truth to it, today every one of these states or fiefdoms is facing hard times and bankruptcy. Most European socialist states are unraveling as well. That’s because this shit doesn’t work. You can’t keep borrowing and pushing the responsibility to pay the debt on others, all so you can prop up a system that pretends to do what it does to help people, but rarely does anything of the sort. Collectivism doesn’t work. And there is no room for a middle class in any of these progressive systems.

So why this long rant? Well, the whole thing is a setup for another obvious instance of the left’s double standards. What else do you call the revelation that people that advocate wealth redistribution policies but then work hard to avoid them for themselves ?

Bill and Hillary Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the U.S. from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn’t mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.

“The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that’s really what this is,” Sloan said. “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

The Clintons’ finances are receiving attention as Hillary Clinton tours the country promoting her book, “Hard Choices.” She said in an interview on ABC television that the couple was “dead broke” and in debt when they left the White House in early 2001. After being criticized for her comments, she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she understood the financial struggles of Americans

Look, I am not denying anyone the right to try and keep as much of their income as possible. But if you ever had perfect examples of the progressive movement’s bad guys, your stereotypical robber barons, it’s the Clintons. They have made a ton of money out of being politically powerful and connected, and have done so while decrying that very practice. It’s the same hypocritical shit that allows someone like Michael Moore to get stinking rich making idiotic and pedantic bullshit they pass off a serious documentary reporting, but amount to nothing more than ranting against the very system that allows him to rake in the cash. It’s despicable.

One set of rules for thee, and another for the progressive oligarchy. Now I can understand their motivations. What I don’t understand is how the people that lap up the class warfare cock these oligarchs use to maintain their grip on power and their exclusive clubs don’t see through it. At least the other such two tiered systems didn’t make any bones about the motivation of the people in power like any of the collectivist systems the progressive movement so love does.

And You Thought You Had Problems

This is why I stopped at just being a millionaire, being a billionaire has it’s own set of headaches;

A Swiss court has ordered a Russian billionaire to pay more than $4.5 billion to his ex-wife in what could become the biggest divorce settlement in history.

In papers delivered Monday to both parties, the Geneva Tribunal of First Instance said Dmitry Rybolovlev, an owner of the French soccer club AS Monaco, must pay 4,020,555,987.80 Swiss francs ($4,509,375,184.80) to ex-wife Elena Rybolovleva of Geneva. Both are aged 47.

What I don’t get is that this guy is Russian, why didn’t he just have her whacked?

It’s hard to feel sorry for any billionaire, but when you are accomplished (ill gotten gains or otherwise) it hurts to give your ex wife half, of anything.

What do you think the attorney’s fees for this case will be?

Till death (how ever that comes about) do us part, bad planning, Dmitry.