Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cruising the Web

The Atlantic tries to explain how the black community is so attracted to Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and how many in that community don't care about the anti-Semitic bigotry inherent in the organization and its leader. Many blacks see the Nation of Islam as protectors of inner-city blacks from the crime endemic in their community. The article focuses on Tamika Mallory, the national co-chair of the Women's March, is proud of her years of attending Nation of Islam's events and wasn't bothered by the anti-Semitic screeds preached by Farrakhan. Mallory is offended that anyone would say anthing critical about her for her attendance at the NOI events.
“There were people speaking to me as if I was anything other than my mother’s child—it was very vile, the language that was being used, the way I was called an anti-Semite,” Mallory told me. “I think that my value to the work I do is that I can go into many spaces as it relates to dealing with the complexity of the black experience in America. It takes a lot of different types of people to help us with our struggle.”
Isn't that just too awful that people would dare to criticize her for her support of such a virulent anti-Semite? And those of us who are appalled at Farrakhan and disgusted with all those politicians who are happy to go to his events and cheer him on just don't understand the contributions of the Nation of Islam. So someone like Mallory defends her position by citing how much the Nation of Islam had done to help blacks in violent neighborhoods or to help troubled people to turn from crime. All that is very commendable, but why is it necessary to accompany this admirable message and these efforts with attacks on Jews?
But with the Women’s March, Mallory is no longer just doing anti-violence work. She’s become a leader of a diverse, national political movement, of which Farrakhan’s most frequent targets—Jews, women, LGBT people—are irreplaceable members....

Trying to understand anti-Semitism has required something of a cultural adjustment for Mallory, who grew up in Harlem and didn’t know many Jewish people. She told me that once, in a conversation with colleagues she remarked that Jewish people were good with money. “I’ve personally been checked on things like saying, ‘Well you help us with the money because I know that you guys know how to handle money’ and one activist, she immediately followed up with me offline and said, ‘Listen, that’s anti-Semitic.’”

“I asked her, ‘Could it possibly be ignorant language? … I know that it’s ignorant to say that, because it’s a negative stereotype and you reinforce that but again when you say anti-Semitic it’s very dangerous for a person like me. It sounds really bad,’” Mallory said. “So she and I had a conversation. The two things that happened in that moment were one, she basically arrested my language and explained to me why that language was not good for the Jewish community, and at the same time I explained to her why using the terminology that she used was cause for me to feel attacked. And she understood that.”
Isn't it just terrible that someone dared to point out that saying that Jews know how to handle money seems anti-Semitic and comes from a long history of attacks on Jews for money lending, one of the few professions some European countries would allow Jews to work in? She seems to think that there is a parallel between saying something like that and someone objecting to the anti-Semitism of that remark.

It is not an excuse to say that she didn't know many Jews people growing up. I just don't buy that. We don't expect white people who grew up without knowing many blacks to get a free pass for saying something racist. And I just don't buy that she's the victim here.
“When you are labeled an anti-Semite, what follows can be very, very devastating for black leaders. To have someone say that about you, it almost immediately creates a feeling of defensiveness because you know the outcome,” Mallory said. “The same photos that people have pulled up on the internet that showed my relationship with the Nation of Islam have been there for years. And yet I was still able to build an intersectional movement that brought five million people together, and the work that I have done for over 20 years, and it’s very clear that I have worked across the lines with very different people.”
This is the language that Farrakhan used at the February event that Mallory attended.
Farrakhan views himself as the modern-day Jesus coming to warn “the good Jews,” telling the audience that “Satan is going down. Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through. You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed.”

Farrakhan also promoted the anti-Semitic conspiracy trope that Jews control the government and Hollywood. He told the crowd that the “white people running Mexico are Mexican-Jews,” and went on to say that Ukraine, France, Poland and Germany are controlled by Jews who “take on the culture, the money, the business” of those countries.

He told the audience, “the Jews have control over those agencies of government,” particularly the FBI, and in life “when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.” He claimed that Jewish people are the ones responsible for the “degenerate behavior in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men,” and that Jews are “the mother and father of apartheid.” He also promoted the “Pot Plot” conspiracy that the Jews and the US government are manipulating strains of marijuana to feminize black men. “God did not create man to lay with man. But you are being chemically programmed against your nature, you don’t know it.”

He even mentioned the Women’s March, saying that while he thought the event was a good thing, women need to learn how to cook so their husbands don’t become obese. Tamika Mallory, one of the March organizers, was in the audience, and got a special shout-out from Farrakhan. Mallory posted two Instagram photos from the event, which Carmen Perez, another Women’s March organizer, commented on with “raise the roof” emojis.

The live-stream program ended with Ishmael Muhammad promoting the multiple volumes of the Nation of Islam’s virulently anti-Semitic book series, The Secret History Between Blacks and Jews.
So she sat through all that and now she's irritated that people might find her presence there an endorsement of anti-Semitism. Poor thing.

Thomas Landstreet writes in the WSJ
about why it's time for the ethanol mandate to go. I've always thought it was terrible public policy and would strongly support phasing it out. It's bad economics and doesn't make sense for the environment.
The country has endured a startling amount of economic disruption for what is clearly an inferior source of energy. Ethanol produces 34% less energy per volume than conventional gasoline, reducing cars’ fuel economy. As for its effect on the environment, a 2010 Congressional Budget Office study found that corn-based ethanol subsidies are terribly inefficient, with the government spending an estimated $754 per metric ton of avoided emissions—an astronomically high price tag compared with other policies. (The economics of climate change literature estimates the “social cost of carbon” at far lower levels, meaning the program is inefficient even on its own terms.)

Moreover, ethanol is too corrosive to be transported through pipelines, so trucks must transport it. Growing corn also requires more water than other crops—and the policy gave farmers an incentive to plant only corn, which depleted the soil of nutrients. A 2008 study in Science found that converting natural environments for biofuel production can produce hundreds of times more carbon emissions than the biofuels themselves would save. No wonder ethanol mandates are losing support among environmentalists.

One of the professed goals of the ethanol mandate was to wean the U.S. from its reliance on foreign oil—but the U.S. is already approaching energy independence because of offshore drilling programs unleashed by the Trump administration’s deregulatory blitz. And if the ethanol mandate were really about encouraging biofuel consumption, why has Congress imposed tariffs that keep out cheap Brazilian sugarcane ethanol? The truth is that the program is motivated more by the demands of domestic corn-growers than by concern over oil dependence or climate change.
I don't see why our agricultural and energy policy should be so skewed just because of the power of politicians from states that grow corn. And Iowa's primacy as the first caucus state shouldn't be a reason for aspiring presidential nominees to support the mandate. Ted Cruz was able to win Iowa even though he opposed the mandate and he's supporting legislation to ease off on federal policies supporting ethanol. It's the right thing to do, but I don't expect Trump to get behind any such policy that might hurt him among Iowa voters. That is a shame.

Carmen Alexe, who grew up in communist Romania, has a powerful essay about how individual liberties are denied under communism. She tries to make Americans understand how capitalism encourages freedom.
Individual freedom can only exist in the context of free-market capitalism. Personal freedom thrives in capitalism, declines in government-regulated economies, and vanishes in communism. Aside from better economic and legislative policies, what America needs is a more intense appreciation for individual freedom and capitalism.

I was born and raised in communist Romania during the Cold War, a country in which the government owned all the resources and means of production. The state controlled almost every aspect of our lives: our education, our job placement, the time of day we could have hot water, and what we were allowed to say....

When milk, butter, eggs, and yogurt were temporarily available, my mom—like so many others of our neighbors—would wake up at 2:00 a.m. to go stand in line so she'd have the chance to get us these goodies. The store would open at 6:00 a.m., so if she wasn't early enough in line she'd miss the opportunity.

In 1982, the state sent their disciples to people's homes to do the census. Along with that, food rationing was implemented. For a family of four like us, our rationed quota was 1 kilogram of flour and 1 kilogram of sugar per month. That is, if they were available and if we were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when they were being distributed.

The one television channel our government provided for us often focused on programs related to crime and poverty in the western world. After all, people were poor and suffering because of capitalism, so we were told, so we needed socialism and communism to solve the inequalities of humanity.
Yeah, tell citizens who are trying to survive on a kilogram of flour and sugar a month for a family of four that it is people in the West who are suffering shortages. This reminds me of the story of what happened when the TV show "Dallas" was aired in the Soviet bloc.
Joseph Stalin is said to have screened the 1940 movie "The Grapes of Wrath" in the Soviet Union to showcase the depredations of life under capitalism. Russian audiences watched the final scenes of the Okies' westward trek aboard overladen, broken-down jalopies -- and marveled that in the United States, even poor people had cars. "Dallas" functioned similarly.

"I think we were directly or indirectly responsible for the fall of the [Soviet] empire," Hagman told the Associated Press a decade ago. "They would see the wealthy Ewings and say, 'Hey, we don't have all this stuff.' I think it was good old-fashioned greed that got them to question their authority."

In Romania, "Dallas" was the last Western show allowed during the nightmare 1980s because President Nicolae Ceausescu was persuaded that it was sufficiently anti-capitalistic. By the time he changed his mind, it was already too late -- he had paid for the full run in precious hard currency. Meanwhile, the show provided a luxuriant alternative to a communism that was forcing people to wait more than a decade to buy the most rattletrap Romanian car.

After the dictator and his wife were shot on Christmas Eve 1989, the pilot episode of "Dallas" -- with a previously censored sex scene edited back in -- was one of the first foreign shows broadcast on the liberated Romanian TV. Over the next few years, Hagman became a ubiquitous pitchman in the country for firms such as the Russian petroleum company Lukoil ("The Choice of a True Texan").

Sadly, as the Cato Institute reports, freedom is on the decline around the world as they compute the global Human Freedom INdex.
In total, twelve major categories determined the overall freedom score of a country. The Cato Institute found that particularly in the area of freedom of movement, expression, and information, as well as the rule of law, have seen the largest decreases since 2008. “In many parts of the world, freedom is under assault, with nationalism, populism, and hybrid forms of authoritarianism being sold as viable alternatives. As such, the largest deteriorations in freedom have occurred in Syria, Egypt, Venezuela, Belize, and Greece,” says Tanja Por─Źnik.

Hillary Clinton doubles down
on her attitude toward "deplorables" who didn't support her. Here is what she said in a speech in India:
There’s all that red in the middle, where Trump won. Now, I win the coasts, I win Illinois, Minnesota, places like that. But what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic productlost . So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign, Make America Great Again, was looking backwards. “You don’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women getting jobs, you don’t want to see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”
You know, if she's going to have such disdain for these people and say that they were looking backwards when they were concerned about the economies of their communities and assume that they're racist and sexists, she's just demonstrating once again why she lost.

But wait! There's more!
"Democrats, going back to my husband and even before, but just in recent times going back to Bill and our candidates and then President Obama, have been losing the vote, including white women. We do not do well with white men and we don't do well with married white women," Clinton said.

She went on to say that white women face an "ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should."

Clinton said that she was on the way to winning the white women vote until then-FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to leaders in Congress less than two weeks before the election stating that the FBI reopened its investigation into her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

"All of a sudden white women, who were going to vote for me and frankly standing up to the men in their lives and the men in their workplaces, were being told, ‘She's going to jail. You don't want to vote for her. It's terrible, you can't vote for that.' So, it just stopped my momentum and it decreased my vote enough because I was ahead. I was winning, and I thought I had fought my way back in the ten days from that letter until the election. I fell a little bit short," Clinton said.

"I think that it was part of a historical trend that I was bucking and then it collapsed on me," Clinton added.

This is not the first time that Clinton has blamed white women succumbing to male pressures for her 2016 election loss.

In September, Clinton told NPR's Rachel Martin that white women voted for Trump because they were under "tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl.'"
So any woman who didn't vote for her was just a weak, little woman being pressured by the men in their lives. She clearly has a lot of contempt for women and their ability to think for themselves. They should either vote their anatomy or be tarred as spineless creatures who can't make up their own minds. And she said all this while in a foreign country. Way to go to insult almost 63 million citizens while she's out of the country. What an awful person she is. And she still hasn't figured out why she lost.

Ben Shapiro comments,
Clearly, this is the way that Democrats will win back the middle of the country: by calling them racist rubes who despise immigrants and still have outhouses.

It never occurred to Clinton that perhaps she lost because she scorned those people; it never occurred to Clinton that perhaps those people scorned her not because her agenda was sophisticated, but because her hatred of them was so basic to her nature. Mitt Romney was hurt in 2012 because he suggested that 47 percent of the public didn’t pay taxes, and so couldn’t hear his call for tax decreases; Hillary lost because she thinks people who live outside big cities are idiots and deplorables.

It’s also worth thinking about Hillary’s take on wealth here. Is she advocating for an income-based voting system? If so, that gives the lie to the idea that Democrats are the party of the poor – and if Democrats actively alienate those who earn less, they’ll be alienating a core constituency, by the numbers. Those of low income already show up less often to the polls. They’re certainly not going to show up to vote for Hillary Clinton or anyone like her.

Hilariously, Democrats seem more interested in doubling down on intersectional politics than in appealing to the rural voters they’ve lost. That opens the door to Trump’s re-election. But with each passing day, Hillary shows why she never became president – and why she never should have.

Jay Cost resurrects some quotes from Hillary during the 2008 campaign when she was much more fond of those white, working-class voters when they were choosing her over Obama.

If you support her, you're wonderful; if you don't, you're racist and sexist.