Patton’s Shame

Some memorable lines in George C. Scott’s famous Patton speech is this, “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. The very thought of losing is hateful”. Thank God Patton is not alive to witness the latest Strong Europe Tank Challenge;

American tank crews have failed to place in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, a competition co-hosted and sponsored by US Army Europe. The three-day event gathered the best NATO crews to compete against each other in a set of armored warfare tests.

The Strong Europe Tank Challenge was jointly hosted from May 10 to 12 by the US Army and the German Bundeswehr at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The three-day event involved crews from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovenia – which each sent platoons of four tanks – and the United States, which sent two platoons of four tanks.

The tank competition appears to be the first of its type to be held by NATO in Europe since 1991, the year the USSR dissolved. Designed to develop armored warfare skills, the tank challenge is also in line with the NATO trend of planning to counter what it calls an “assertive Russia.”

Sounds like a good idea, keeping NATO forces well tuned to counter those shiftless sneaky Russians, and it provides yet another stage whereby the US can demonstrate why we kick ass without taking names………….oops.

The German team took top honors, followed by the Danish tank crew in second. Third place went to Poland. The teams representing the US Army – which sponsored and advertised the event on social media – failed to make the top three.

How in keeping with the pussification of America. Like giving trophies out to all participants, the challenge only listed the top 3 teams. The bottom 3 (diplomacy demanded not naming the worst of the worst) all got a picture of them and their tank placed on the ladies bathroom wall right next to the tampon dispenser.

I hear Trump wants us out of NATO, the bigger question remains, would NATO even care?

Venezuela Down the Drain

The situation in Venezuela is becoming grim. Hospitals are leaving infants to die. A country sitting on a lake of oil is experiencing huge power outages thanks to a drought. Their inflation is so bad they literally can’t buy paper to print the money on and India is proposing a return to the barter system where they would get drugs in exchange for oil.

It’s really bad:

In the last two years Venezuela has experienced the kind of implosion that hardly ever occurs in a middle-income country like it outside of war. Mortality rates are skyrocketing; one public service after another is collapsing; triple-digit inflation has left more than 70 percent of the population in poverty; an unmanageable crime wave keeps people locked indoors at night; shoppers have to stand in line for hours to buy food; babies die in large numbers for lack of simple, inexpensive medicines and equipment in hospitals, as do the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

This is not a visitation of fate. The collapse of oil prices is part of it (as I previously noted) and many former Chavez defenders are trying to weasel out of their previous words by citing oil prices and drought. But it’s not just that. Oil prices have fallen all over the planet. Drought and natural disaster happen all the time. Only Venezuela is imploding like this. It’s because of fundamental flaws in their system:

The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country’s democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

A case in point is the price controls, which have expanded to apply to more and more goods: food and vital medicines, yes, but also car batteries, essential medical services, deodorant, diapers, and, of course, toilet paper. The ostensible goal was to check inflation and keep goods affordable for the poor, but anyone with a basic grasp of economics could have foreseen the consequences: When prices are set below production costs, sellers can’t afford to keep the shelves stocked. Official prices are low, but it’s a mirage: The products have disappeared.

You can check out more from Reason and Hot Air. In the aftermath of this epic economic implosion, many people are digging up old articles that praised the Venezuela model. It’s important to remember just how many “wise” people though Chavez had successfully upended the free market consensus.

The situation in Venezuela isn’t funny. It’s tragic. It is the direct result of a flawed broken system that was enabled by apologists in wealthy countries who should have known better. And things are just going to get worse. They’re going to get a lot worse.

Who would thunk it?!

The people pushing for a $15 minimum wage have assured us that the wage hike will not destroy jobs. After all, there was this one study back in the 90’s that showed that a small increase in minimum wage didn’t immediately destroy jobs. Granted, almost every other study has shown differently but, you know, A STUDY SHOWED SOMETHING. ONCE. So we’ll assume that gigantic increases in the minimum wage will have no effect, none whatso-

Oh:

Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.

Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”

It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated. Likewise, about 75% of 200-plus restaurants in New York are run by franchisees. New York’s fast-food industry wage rose to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state at the start of 2016, also on the way to $15.

Wendy’s plans to cut company-owned stores to just 5% of the total.

I hate to say I told you so, but … no, wait, I don’t hate that. I hate it when people’s lives and the nation’s economy are upended by the utterly predictable results of feel-good liberalism.

These people think George Orwell’s 1984 is an instruction manual

If you have not read 1984, you should, but here is a synopsis about what at that time was seen as a work of fiction that reflected a world gone mad. Basically Orwell created a dystopian world run by “Big Brother”, an entity that pretends to run this upside down world for the betterment of all people, but really is only out for the elite few (basically every collectivist system in history), where amongst other things the “Ministry of Truth” twists language to suit whatever the agenda du jour of the masters is. Stories change, often and blatantly, without regard for the obvious contradictions and abuse, so the masters can get what they want from the sheep.

Queue in the latest instance of our own Obama Administration’s “Ministry of Truth”, and man have we had a few doozies from these people, where they now are relabeling criminals and criminal activity. I admit that when I saw this piece for the first time I double checked to make sure it was not a belated April first joke or some publication from whatever site finally replaced the now DNC controlled Onion as the latest site for sarcastic, ironic, and moronic news. It tuns out that it is for real. Sure, the claim is that this relabeling is to give people a second chance, but me, I see it as another chess move in the much greater game where the left wants to specifically use the power of government restore voting right to criminals, whom would predominantly vote for them.

Whatever your feelings about criminality in this country, you have to admit that we have a problem with our leadership at this time. On the one hand they are criminalizing all sorts of albeit stupid but not criminal behaviors the left dislikes, and yet here we have the administration going out of its way to destigmatize real criminals and crime. Personally I, if I for a second believed that we could get a system where if drugs were decriminalized the government wouldn’t make people like me pay for the cost of the nanny state safety net that they would create, would decriminalize drug use. But rape and robbery, armed or otherwise, are serious crimes I feel far stronger about. I don’t mind people making personal choices about associating or interacting with people convicted of these sorts of crimes, but I have serious reservations about government pushing people into that, and doing so at such an Orwellian level, just so they can eventually tell us they will give these people the ability to vote (for them) again.

NYT caught shilling for Shillary

In case you didn’t get to see it, the NYT ran a hit-piece on Trump titled “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private“, where they used quotes from women to basically paint the picture that Trump was a cad. Unfortunately for the scumbags at the NYT that feel obligated to shill for democrats, and for Hillary Clinton in particular, one of the people they “misquoted” (that is me being sarcastic, because I have no doubt they lied on purpose) decided to fight back.

I guess the idiots at the NYT felt that they could lie with impunity and that since nobody in the DNC controlled media would give these people they were lying about a forum to call them out. By the time the truth comes out, it is too late because people made the wrong choices already. Let me point out that this is a tactic used to not just elect, but reelect Obama by the DNC controlled media, and thus considered very effective by these propagandists. I guess they got unlucky that one of the people they chose to lie about not only had the avenue to get the truth out, but chose to do so. Maybe people in the LSM that want to make a name for themselves should find some of these other women quoted, and see if their story checks out. My guess is that the lot of it was fabricated by the scumbags at the NYT.

Let me be clear that I wouldn’t mind real investigation into people running for high office’s personal behavior, if I for a second believed that the media actually meant to just inform the public. But the problem is that whenever you get one of the SJW hit pieces it tends to be replete with falsehoods and always targets non-democrats to push an ideology that basically is evil. If the shitheads in the LSM had vetted Obama with the same expediency and faked rigor they felt was necessary to undermine candidates like Palin, Romney, and now Trump (see a pattern there yet?), and applied the same rigor to any democrat, I think we would never see another democrat winning any election. You might think Trump is a blowhard and likely to make a mediocre president like I do, but then again, I am willing to bet money that he can’t sink to the level of Obama, and for that matter the stupidity of Sanders or the criminal behavior of any of the Clintons.

BTW, I have some advice for the NYT and rest of the DNC controlled media about finding men that treat women like sex objects and shit: if you want to do a serious hit piece, one based on truth and that targets a real scumbag that abuses women, write about Bill Clinton. No need to make up any facts there to show how much of a lowlife that dude is. But nobody at the NYT, or in the LSM for that matter, seems interested in actually writing objective pieces about members of the DNC, where we have real despicable and law breaking activity going on constantly, precisely because they feel they are protected by the media.

Facebook’s Bias

Just a quick thought while I’m in between hops on grant proposals:

It was revealed this week that Facebook has been quietly curating their news feeds to have a more liberal slant. John Thune is now demanding answers from Facebook on the subject.

Let me be brief.

  • This does not appear to be any official corporate policy. Facebook relies on employees to curate the news and those employees tend to be young and liberal.
  • Facebook is a private company. They can do whatever the hell they want. I’m disappointed that they’re doing this but unsurprised.
  • If you’re relying on Facebook to tell you what’s going on the world, you deserve what you get. It’s a social media platform, not the New York Times.
  • Thune needs to shut the hell up. This is none of the government’s God damned business.
  • This is yet another piece of evidence that conservatives aren’t the only ones living in an “echo chamber”. In fact, I would argue that the liberal echo chamber is much tighter than the conservative one. The Daily Show is liberal. Vox is liberal. HuffPo is liberal. Our college campuses are not just liberal, but radically liberal. Twitter and Facebook tend to be liberal. If your consumption of news is confined to that and Daily Kos, you’re not exactly exposing yourself to intellectual challenges.

Ultimately, I don’t really care. I go to Facebook to see baby pictures and make jokes about my inadequacies. I don’t go there to find out how the Obama Administration screwed up today.

Another example of why people are bucking the establishment

For the last 7 plus years, a substantial swat of republicans both in the House and Senate ran and won their respective elections on a platform of blocking the Obama agenda, and especially the big spending and big government growing machine, only to disappoint. Case in point, this shit:

The U.S. Senate’s first spending bill of 2016 allocates $261 million more than President Barack Obama requested and lacks significant conservative amendments, but it still sailed to passage Thursday in the Republican-led chamber.

An overwhelming number of senators on both sides of the aisle approved the energy and water development appropriations bill, by a vote of 90-8. Conservatives had objected to the higher spending levels and lack of policy riders in the weeks leading up to the vote.

In the end, it didn’t seem to matter.

It’s a victory for Republican leadership and an initial step toward achieving their goal of funding the federal government by passing 12 appropriations bills.

Why the fuck pretend you are going to buck the left’s big government, ever growing nanny-state, when at every fucking opportunity the entrenched and entitled party leadership seems to do exactly the opposite? It would be one thing to find yourself in the minority and being outvoted by the collectivists, but when you up the ante and choose to fund government by some $261 million more dollars than was even requested by the hopenchange candidate, something is fucking wrong. Really fucking wrong. Why in creation’s name would the leadership do something as idiotic as this when so many of their supporters label the over spending by government and the need to get both that spending and the deficit/debt under control as a top priority? well, here you go:

Moving legislation and avoiding fights has been a top election year priority for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican wants the Senate to prove that Republicans can govern by avoiding a one-and-done omnibus spending package at the end of the year.

The fucking bootlickers want to impress the DNC controlled media, because I am certain that their constituency, including everyone else that understands one of our biggest problem has been the ridiculous amount of growth in government and the over spending, are not going to be impressed by their oneupmanship of the nanny state party leadership. At least some people were against this crap:

Sen. Mike Lee described the legislation as “simply unacceptable in a time of rising debt and slower economic growth.”

The Utah Republican told The Daily Signal that “we’re never going to get our nation’s rising deficits under control until we can stick to our previous agreements on spending levels,” referring to the limits set in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Voting no along with Lee were seven other Republicans: Ted Cruz of Texas, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Arthur Heller of Nevada, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., did not vote.

And they wonder why more and more people are bucking the establishment and looking for outsiders instead of members the consummate political aristocracy which all seem to be corrupt to one degree or another, regardless of party affiliation. Selling yourself as the less corrupt party isn’t going to work much anymore..

Pro-collectivist media can’t avoid making exuses

It came as no surprise to me that after a decade plus of favorable pro-collectivist media coverage of shit-holes that took hard left turns we found out Venezuela was following in the footsteps of illustrious collectivist success stories like Cuba, North Korea, or Zimbabwe. What is less known is that the other South American country that had also taken a hard left turn and was touted as a great success story, Brazil, is also heading in the same direction now that blatant corruption and mismanagement practices have come to the world’s attention.

As is always the case with progressive governments, the pretense that the shit they do is to help the less fortunate is just that: pretense. What they are really doing is creating a system that will allow the political aristocracy and those few lucky enough to be connected to them, to rob the people blind. The new masters tend to be worse than the old ones, and while they can temporarily hide the rot, eventually economic and human nature reality asserts itself. Big and powerful government, especially one that has successfully disarmed the masses and then pretends their wealth transfer schemes are to help the less fortunate, sooner than later results in abused people. Yeah, I know that this piece specifically was written about the Arab world, but the article does speak of other corruption failures in general. The problem with people that advocate for collectivism is the fact that they seem to miss that corruption is the norm, and having little or none of it, is actually an outlier. And the bigger an autocratic government that abrogates the duty of creating economic justice becomes, both in terms of actual size and the amount of money it now forces through its hands, the more corruption you will get.

For example, take China, which is still run by an authoritarian government that decided not to stick to the letter of marxist dogma. While the Wiki article tries its best to show how fucked up China is because of this corruption, it, because of the bias of the Wiki organization in general, does a lot to apologize and conceal that the problem there is the authoritarian and collectivist system that creates the framework that allows this corruption. When your government is all powerful and has its hands in everything, you can bet it will result in abuse and corruption by the very elite put in charge. Pick your country, check out how authoritative and big their government is, then look at how much wealth redistribution power said government has, and you will find corruption.

But back to what I wanted to point out: AP writing an article that tries hard to not tie the corruption now evident to the ideology or failures in Brazil. From the article:

Brazil’s Senate voted on Thursday to put leftist President Dilma Rousseff on trial in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal that will now confront her successor, Vice President Michel Temer.

With Rousseff to be suspended during the Senate trial for allegedly breaking budget rules, the centrist Temer will take the helm of a country that again finds itself mired in political and economic volatility after a recent decade of prosperity.

The 55-22 vote ends more than 13 years of rule by the left-wing Workers Party, which rose from Brazil’s labor movement and helped pull millions of people out of poverty before seeing many of its leaders tainted by corruption investigations.

My interpretation of this nonsense is that it almost sounds like AP is trying hard to tell readers we should give the corrupt officials a pass because they meant well. After all, they helped the poor people! I constantly see MSM stories saying how well off people in Brazil have it because of the wealth redistribution schemes of the leftists, but when I look the stuff that sticks with me is the rampant crime, the fact that economic promises are not materializing, and how despite the claims that the poor are better off, I see very few things that really show that to be the case. Especially when you look at the future. That’s not just me however, as this verya rticle points out:

In addition to the gaping deficit, equal to more than 10 percent of its annual economic output, Brazil is suffering from rising unemployment, plummeting investment and a projected economic contraction of more than 3 percent this year.

Basically the Brazilian success story was to borrow and print money, over spend, and put polities in practice that drastically hamper economic growth and result in rampant unemployment. Shit they are even looking at an economic contraction. Does this not sound kind of like the Obama economic plan to spend us out of a recession and even into prosperity? Don’t worry though, because the PA tells us people are on top of the crisis;

“Only major reforms can keep Brazil from moving from crisis to crisis,” says Eduardo Giannetti da Fonseca, an economist and author in São Paulo who has written extensively about the country’s socioeconomic problems.

While I am not very familiar with this individual, the fact that he is the one AP chose to quote tells me this guy is very likely to be the Brazilian Paul Krugman, whose usual retort when confronted with the failures of Keynesian wealth transfer schemes, advises that the the problem was not the fact that borrowing/printing more money/spending money you don’t have can’t buy your prosperity, but that government didn’t borrow/print/spend enough money. This shit doesn’t work. It never has, and never will, but the collectivist driven media still wants you to have faith in this crap. This AP article sure goes a long way to try and avoid making the point that these leftist SJW wealth redistribution policies failed Brazil despite the temporary bump they produced obvious.

Another tidbit from the article that I found interesting was the following:

Brazilian markets have for weeks rallied as investors welcomed the likely dismissal of a president they believe crippled the economy, but were largely unchanged on Wednesday.

Note that the AP avoids saying why investors felt Rousseff crippled the economy. One could come away thinking the only problem was the endemic corruption, but the fact is that this was just one of the symptoms of the real problem: the Keynesian economic practices leftists resort to in times of trouble to hide the problems caused by their wealth transfer schemes. Brazil is on the same path as Venezuela right now, only it might be slower to reach the end state because they didn’t choose to have a dictator hold all the power like the Venezuelan’s did. This shit don’t work people.

Orwell Goes To College

Good God:

What happens when members of a university community allege that they were victims of a “bias” incident? A team of administrators intervene—no matter how petty the complaint.

An annual report on the activities of University of Oregon’s Bias Response Team provides a frightening yet fascinating glimpse into the practices of these organizations, which are common on college campuses. Students, faculty, and staff who feel threatened, harassed, intimidated, triggered, microaggressed, offended, ignored, under-valued, or objectified because of their race, gender, gender identity, sexuality, disability status, mental health, religion, political affiliation, or size are encouraged to contact the BRT.

The team is composed of seven administrators, which include Oregon’s “multicultural inclusion support specialist,” LGBT director, and “Native American Retention Specialist.” The BRT’s goal is to eradicate bias on campus, making Oregon a safer place. Bias is defined as “any physical, spoken, or written act” that targets another person, even unintentionally. The team’s posters propose examples of bias incidents: statements like “Thanks, sweetie,” and “I don’t see color,” apparently qualify. (The former is patronizing, the latter is simply wrongthink, I guess.)

The Reason piece includes several examples of reports filed by Oregeon’s secret police.

A student reported a culturally appropriative themed party.

Bias Type: Ethnicity, Race

Location: Student Programs

Response: A BRT Advocate reached out to the reporter. A BRT Case Manager met with the president of the student program to discuss the incident.

An anonymous student reported that a newspaper gave less press coverage to trans students and students of color.

Bias Type: Ethnicity, Race, Political Affi liation

Location: Online

Response: A BRT Case Manager held an educational conversation with the newspaper reporter and editor.

There’s a lot more at the link. I defy anyone to read it and not be reminded of the East German Stasi. Change but a bit of verbiage and this could be reports on “counter-revolutionary thinking” or “bourgeois sympathies”. No incident is considered too minor. Anonymous reporting is encouraged. Third party reporting — that is where the “victim” doesn’t think anything bad happened but somebody else does — is encouraged. And students or faculty who are guilty of wrongthink don’t get a hearing or anything. An administrator has a “conversation” with them where they are told how wrong they are. Anyone who has been on a college campus can tell you just how intimidating such interventions can be.

How bad is this getting? We’re getting students kicked off campus for raping students who say they weren’t raped. It’s gotten so bad that President Obama, speaking at Howard, gave what I must admit was a very good defense of free speech.

So don’t try to shut folks out, don’t try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them. There’s been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view, or disrupt a politician’s rally. Don’t do that — no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths. Because as my grandmother used to tell me, every time a fool speaks, they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk. Let them talk. If you don’t, you just make them a victim, and then they can avoid accountability.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge them. Have the confidence to challenge them, the confidence in the rightness of your position. There will be times when you shouldn’t compromise your core values, your integrity, and you will have the responsibility to speak up in the face of injustice. But listen. Engage. If the other side has a point, learn from them. If they’re wrong, rebut them. Teach them. Beat them on the battlefield of ideas. And you might as well start practicing now, because one thing I can guarantee you — you will have to deal with ignorance, hatred, racism, foolishness, trifling folks. (Laughter.) I promise you, you will have to deal with all that at every stage of your life. That may not seem fair, but life has never been completely fair. Nobody promised you a crystal stair. And if you want to make life fair, then you’ve got to start with the world as it is.

Yeah, that’s how bad things have gotten. The President who at least partially responsible for this mess (having coerced colleges into things like “preponderance of evidence” standards for sexual assault investigations) is now saying we’ve gone too far.

Look, I’m not saying we should let people run around college campuses spewing racist … no, wait, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I would rather have Nazis marching outside my office every day than have our campuses become fascist police states complete with secret reports, re-education and suppression of incorrect views. We’re inuring a generation of students to the idea that they are always being watched, always subject to discipline for ideas and speech, never to step outside the lines or challenge orthodoxy. What kind of adults are these students going to grow up into?