Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Stories from Venezuela


Houston Chronicle: The nation with the most oil is falling apart
The largest pool of underground oil in the world is just 1,400 miles south of the U.S. border, and the nation sitting on it is devolving into chaos.
Venezuela was always the most vulnerable country to a collapse in oil prices, and two years after prices started dropping, the country is in political and economic crisis.
The latest indicator is the decision by two major airlines to stop flying to the country. The largest airline in South America, LatAm, and Germany's Lufthansa said the government is refusing to release ticket revenues as part of a larger plan to keep foreign currency in the country.
For decades, Venezuela's economy relied on foreign currency flowing into the country in return for oil. The socialist government's budget relied on oil averaging $110 a barrel, but the price dropped below $30 earlier this year.
Inflation is so high that the government cannot afford to print more currency. Schools only operate four days a week, store shelves are barren and food riots are growing. Hospital patients are dying from simple illnesses because there are not enough medical supplies.
When people go hungry, they get angry. The socialist government can no longer deliver on its promises, and voters have elected a right-wing parliament. The two sides are increasingly relying on violent protests to further their causes.

From Telesur: Pro-Govt Supporters Being Killed in Record Numbers

Venezuelan authorities are conducting an internal investigation into the assassination of retired Army Major General Felix Velasquez, which is the latest case in a surge of killings targeting pro-government public officials and activists.
In recent months, Western mainstream media outlets have remained silent regarding the violence waged against government supporters, left-wing activists and public servants, which many believe is an attempt to undermine the future of the Chavista movement in the country. 

High Profile Assassinations
March 2016: Socialist legislator Cesar Vera was shot in Tachira state. Vera was a member of the Great Patriotic Pole,a political coalition of parties aligned with the PSUV. A member of a Colombian paramilitary group was arrested in connection to the murder.
March 2016: Two Venezuelan police personnel were killed after a protest in a Tachira university turned deadly.
March 2016: Haitian-Venezuelan political leader and solidarity activist Fritz Saint Louis, 54, was shot dead in his home by masked gunman on Saturday evening.
January 2016: The well-respected journalist and prominent Chavista Ricardo Duran was murdered outside his home in Caracas. One suspect was arrested in connection to his murder.
March 2015: Local council member Dimas Gomez Chirinos, 47, was shot dead alongside his 20-year-old son, Eli David Gomez in the western state of Falcon, Venezuela. Gomez was also a member of the ruling PSUV. Three suspects were arrested in connection to the brutal killing.
May 2014: Rafael Celestino Albino Arteaga, 44, Vargas state chief of the Venezuelan Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), was shot dead by an unidentified male assailant in a shopping mall in the western city of Maracay.
April 2014: Major Otaiza, a friend and ally of the late president Hugo Chavez, was shot dead outside the capital, Caracas. Otaiza was named direction of national intelligence early in Hugo Chavez's presidency. Following his death, Venezuelan Police arrested seven people in connection with the murder of the former public official.
February 2014: The high-profile killing of Robert Serra (27), a legislator of the PSUV, and the National Assembly's (AN) youngest parliamentarian, was found dead in his Caracas home. In December 2013, Serra was elected as a local counselor for the PSUV in the Libertadores area. An investigation revealed that Serra’s assassination was planned by paramilitary leader in Colombia, Padilla Mendoza.

DW: Armed squad kills 11 people in Venezuela
The Attorney General's office said the victims were in their homes in Andrés Bello in the northwestern state of Trujillo, when several armed men forced them to move into courtyards where they were shot dead.
The victims included adult males aged 18 to 76 and three teenagers aged 15, 16 and 17. The Colombian national was identified as 76-year-old Alberto Diaz Patino. The Spanish-language news agency EFE reported that all of the victims were male.
According to a statement, the suspects fled the scene in cars and motorcycles. Two prosecutors have been assigned to the case.
Unending violence
Venezuela is one of the most violent countries in the world that is not at war, with 58 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2015 according to prosecutors. In 2015 alone, there were 17,778 cases of homicide reported in the South-American country. The nongovernmental Venezuelan Violence Observatory says the murder rate is about 50 percent higher than the officially reported numbers.

NYT: Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals
BARCELONA, Venezuela — By morning, three newborns were already dead.
The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.
Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.
“The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals.
The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, claiming the lives of untold numbers of Venezuelans. It is just part of a larger unraveling here that has become so severe it has prompted President Nicolás Maduro to impose a state of emergency and has raised fears of a government collapse.

Veneuzela was supposed to be unicorns and rainbows, according to Sean Penn, Micheal Moore and Jimmy Carter. Where are they? They have millions of dollars that they could use to help the starving people. The fact that they will not shows them to be not only hypocrites but also cowards. Bernie Sanders is the first openly socialist person to run for president in the USA, but when asked about Venezuela, he redirects the conversation.
LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: I am sure that you know about this topic: various leftist governments, especially the populists, are in serious trouble in Latin America. The socialist model in Venezuela has the country near collapse. Argentina, also Brazil, how do you explain that failure?

BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: You are asking me questions…

LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: I am sure you’re interested in that.

BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: I am very interested, but right now I’m running for President of the United States.

LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: So you don’t have an opinion about the crisis in Venezuela?

BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: Of course I have an opinion, but as I said, I’m focused on my campaign. 

The destruction of Venezuela has resulted from almost exactly the same chain of events occurring in the USA right now.

EPIX Stops Airing Fraudulant Documentary 'Under the Gun'

From Bearing Arms

Just two weeks after first airing and one week after director Stephanie Soechtig and executive producer/narrator Katie Couric were caught in a scandal where Soechtig replaced the answer to a question with footage shot at a different time, the streaming media channel EPIX has pulled their original film.

Update: EPIX claims that this was part of their original plan, but to have it removed so suddenly is still very shady.
Couric must be as bad of a negotiator as she is an ethical journalist to only have a two-week premium run for a high profile 2016 documentary on a topic that defines the single most striking policy difference between Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who is rabidly anti-gun, and presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, who is staking out the position of being a strong supporter of the right to keep and bear arms.
Do you buy EPIX’s claim that they only had this movie about such a timely and important subject scheduled for a two-week run?
Me either.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Diamond Rain

From Techinsider

It sounds like a wacky fantasy, but scientists believe that it rains diamonds in the clouds of Saturn and Jupiter.
Diamonds are made from highly compressed and heated carbon. Theoretically, if you took a charcoal bricket out of your grill and heated it and pressed it hard enough for long enough, you could make a diamond. (Good luck with that.)
On Earth, diamonds form about 100 miles underground. Volcanic magma highways then bring them closer to the surface, providing us with shiny gemstones that we stick in rings and ear studs.
But in the dense atmospheres of planets like Jupiter and Saturn, whose massive size generates enormous amounts of gravity, crazy amounts of pressure and heat can squeeze carbon in mid-air — and make it rain diamonds.
Scientists have speculated for years that diamonds are abundant in the cores of the smaller, cooler gas giants, Neptune and Uranus. They believed that the larger gaseous planets, Jupiter and Saturn, didn't have suitable atmospheres to forge diamonds.
But when researchers recently analyzed the pressures and temperatures for Jupiter's and Saturn's atmospheres, then modeled how carbon would behave, they determined that diamond rain is very likely.
Diamonds seem especially likely to form in huge, storm-ravaged regions of Saturn, and in enormous quantities — Kevin Baines, a researcher at University of Madison-Wisconsin and NASA JPL, told BBC News it may rain as much as 2.2 million pounds of diamonds there every year.
he diamonds start out as methane gas. Powerful lightning storms on the two huge gas giants then zap it into carbon soot.
"As the soot falls, the pressure on it increases," Baines told the BBC. "And after about 1,000 miles it turns to graphite - the sheet-like form of carbon you find in pencils."
And the graphite keeps falling. When it reaches the deep atmosphere of Saturn, for example — around 3,700 miles down — the immense pressure squeezes the carbon into diamonds, which float in seas of liquid methane and hydrogen.
Eventually the gems sink toward the interior of the planet (a depth of 18,600 miles), where nightmarish pressure and heat melts the diamonds into molten carbon.
"Once you get down to those extreme depths," Baines told the BBC, "the pressure and temperature is so hellish, there's no way the diamonds could remain solid."
But before you start building a Jupiter- or Saturn-bound diamond-speculating ship with De Beers, keep in mind: All that crushing pressure and searing heat would destroy any Earthly vehicle long before it got close to those clouds full of sparkling riches.
Quite fascinating and fun to think about. Stories like this make me wish the USA more of a space program -- and one focused on space missions instead of climate change studies and muslim outreach -- without having to hitch a ride on Russian rockets.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Alluring Art of Edward Robert Hughs

Yesterday, I posted about a prank that left several museumgoers in awe about a pair of eyeglasses. Along with it was an example of real art, a painting of a Valkyrie by Edward Robert Hughs. Here are some more.

Heart of Snow

The Valkyrie's Vigil
Juliet Gordon Low
Diana's Maidens
Wings of the Morning
Midsummer Eve

Obama's Hiroshima Speech

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

From UPI
Hiroshima was the first of two U.S. nuclear targets intended to bring an end to World War II in August 1945. Just after 8 a.m. on Aug. 6, a 393d Bombardment Squadron B-29, called the Enola Gay, dropped the bomb known as "Little Boy" on the southwestern Japanese industrial town.
The bomb contained about 140 pounds of uranium-235 and took about 45 seconds to reach its explosion altitude of 1,900 feet.
"Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil," the president said. "We come to ponder the terrible force unleashed in the not so distant past. We come to mourn the dead."
A thinly veiled blaming of the USA, while things like the Rape of Nanjing, Unit 731 and countless other atrocities by Japan are completely omitted.

Of course Obama is in it for his own legacy, so the best thing to do is to forget about him. Remember the atrocities committed by Imperial Japan and the fact they really had it coming. Also, the bombings actually brought the war to a more favorable end for both the USA and Japan, as an invasion of the main islands would have been resulted in millions of fatalities for both sides.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Katie Couric Gun Documentary Deceptively Edited

Gun Control
Oleg Volk

HT: Ferealirsihman

This just shows that the disarmament agenda are not merely misguided morons. If they were misguided morons, they would believe their own bullshit and would not have felt the need to edit it.

From: Freebeacon

The makers of a new Katie Couric documentary on gun violence deceptively edited an interview between Couric and a group of gun rights activists in an apparent attempt to embarrass the activists, an audio recording of the full interview shows.
At the 21:48 mark of Under the Gun a scene of Katie Couric interviewing members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights organization, is shown.
Couric can be heard in the interview asking activists from the group, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?”
The documentary then shows the activists sitting silently for nine awkward seconds, unable to provide an answer. It then cuts to the next scene. The moment can be watched here:
However, raw audio of the interview between Katie Couric and the activists provided to the Washington Free Beacon shows the scene was deceptively edited. Instead of silence, Couric’s question is met immediately with answers from the activists. A back and forth between a number of the league’s members and Couric over the issue of background checks proceeds for more than four minutes after the original question is asked.

Eyeglasses Mistaken For Art


From Independent

Several visitors to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this week were fooled into thinking a pair of glasses set on the floor by a 17-year-old prankster was a postmodern masterpiece.
“Upon first arrival we were quite impressed with the artwork and paintings presented in the huge facility,” TJ Khayatan told BuzzFeed. “However, some of the ‘art’ wasn’t very surprising to some of us.”
“We stumbled upon a stuffed animal on a gray blanket and questioned if this was really impressive to some of the nearby people.”
To test out the theory that people will stare at, and try and artistically interpret, anything if it’s in a gallery setting, Khayatan set a pair of glasses down and walked away.

Idiocracy was a documentary.

Real Art: The Vakyrie's Vigil by Edward Robert Hughs

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Woman Wearing "Stop Domestic Violence" Shirt Arrested For Domestic Violence

From The Smoking Gun

MAY 25--A woman wearing a “Stop Domestic Violence” t-shirt was arrested on domestic violence charges after firing a gun during an argument with her husband inside the couple’s Maine home, police report.
Emily Wilson, 38, was collared last week following a confrontation with her spouse Kyle over whether he was having an affair. During the argument, investigators allege, Wilson waved a handgun and fired a shot into the couple’s bed.
If this story had any more attention by the media, the feminists would still find a way to rationalize it and blame it on the man.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hawaii Could Be First To Put Gun Owners In FBI Database

From AP

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.
Most people entered in the "Rap Back" database elsewhere in the U.S. are those in "positions of trust," such as school teachers and bus drivers, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Hawaii could be the first state to add gun owners.
"I don't like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them" said Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state. "We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us."
Supporters say the law would make Hawaii a leader in safe gun laws. Allison Anderman, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill was "groundbreaking," and that she hadn't heard of other states introducing similar measures.

Beyond the obvious infringements on the right to keep and bear arms and the right to privacy, it will be another waste of money that does absolutely nothing to reduce crime. Canada spent over two billion dollars for their gun registry, with nothing to show for it, leading to its repeal in 2012.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Holocaust survivor achieves lifelong dream of singing national anthem at a MLB game

Dailymail Via Weasel Zippers

An 89-year-old Holocaust survivor fulfilled her longtime wish to sing the US national anthem at a Major League Baseball game.

Hermina Hirsch, dressed in all white, made her dream come true as she sang Saturday at Comerica Park in Detroit before the Detroit Tigers played the Tampa Bay Rays.
Hermina toldWWJ-TV: 

'At my age, I figure that this would do it. I don't want to die before I sing at a baseball game.'

Hermina told WWJ in April that she had no reservations about singing in front of thousands of fans at Comerica Park.

'If I lived through the concentration camp, it couldn't be that bad,' Hermina said.
Originally from Czechoslovakia, she lives in Southfield, Michigan, with her husband. She was 17 when her family was split up and sent to concentration camps in 1944. 

I am happy she got to live her dream. It is clear she is more proud of being American, and of America, than most politicians and blind partisan followers.

Heavy Metal Monday

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Obama Signs Bill Removing Derogatory, Outdated And Hurtful Language From US Law

From Weasel Zippers

President Obama climbed aboard Air Force One Saturday for his first trip to Vietnam and his fourth to Japan, knowing that he’d left America a better place. Not only did he squeeze in more than four hours of golf — he also signed Rep. Grace Meng’s bill removing the “derogatory and outdated” word Oriental from U.S. law.
The bill to modernize legal language was a true bipartisan effort, passing both the House and Senate unanimously.
In a press release, Meng acknowledged that “many Americans may not be aware that the word ‘Oriental’ is derogatory” but assured the public that it is both insulting and offensive.
In addition, American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut, as well as “Spanish speaking individual of Spanish descent” in U.S. law will be replaced by Native American, Alaska Native, and Hispanic. The terms Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will be added, and Puerto Ricans will remain Puerto Ricans […]
The federal modernization of the language is happening quickly. Earlier this month, the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs did away with terms like offender and felon in favor of “person who committed a crime” and “individual who was incarcerated” in order to “decouple” the person who committed a crime from his or her past actions.
To take this to its logical extreme, they would have to erase the names of every culture in question and replace it with a term that make people not think about them -- and by extension, their traditions and history. Change the language, change people's perceptions.

The irony about "diversity" is that the forces pushing it want everyone to be exactly the same.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Premature Martyrdom

I guess the bombers flunked.

From DNA
A suicide bomber in Peshawar, Pakistan has accidentally detonated his vest while riding a motorcycle on an empty road, killing himself and two other militants also on a bike.
The incident took place in the Sufaid Sang suburb just northwest of Peshawar, where the trio were planning an attack,reports Dawn.
“Their plan was foiled when the suicide vest of one suicide bomber detonated prematurely,” Kashif Zulfiqar said. “Their target was not known but they were moving towards a crowded area where there are several police and military check posts,” he added.
Police defused a jacket fitted on the dead body of a second would-be bomber and recovered a Kalashnikov rifle, eight hand grenades and hundreds of live bullets. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other militant groups regularly target military and civilian installations as part of an insurgency.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Venezuela: Mob Burns Man Alive Over 5 Dollars

From NY Post

CARACAS, Venezuela — The mob didn’t know at first what Roberto Bernal had done, but he was running and that was enough.
Dozens of men loitering on the sidewalk next to a supermarket kicked and punched the 42-year-old until he was bloodied and semi-conscious. After all, they had been robbed of cellphones, wallets and motorcycles over the years, and thought Bernal had a criminal’s face.
Then a stooped, white-haired man trailing behind told them he’d been mugged.
The mob went through Bernal’s pockets and handed a wad of bills to the old man: the equivalent of $5. They doused Bernal’s head and chest in gasoline and flicked a lighter. And they stood back as he burned alive.
“We wanted to teach this man a lesson,” said Eduardo Mijares, 29. “We’re tired of being robbed every time we go into the street, and the police do nothing.”
Vigilante violence against people accused of stealing has become commonplace in this crime-ridden country of 30 million, once one of the richest and safest in Latin America.

But, but, socialism is all unicorns and rainbows! We just need to take everything from everyone and redistribute it in rations and humanity will be one big happy family. No one trusted with the people's property would ever think of hoarding it for themselves and let everyone else fight over the scraps or starve. Forget about the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, China, North Korea, and Cuba, socialism was just never done right, so let's try it again...

...and Albert Einstein was a racist for what he said about insanity.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Surveillance Program Exposed in San Francisco: Hidden Microphones in Public Places


From CBS Local

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.
Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing.  It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn’t even need a warrant to do it.
Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.
Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”
FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.
Federal authorities are trying to prove real estate investors in San Mateo and Alameda counties are guilty of bid rigging and fraud and used these recordings as evidence.
 Nineteen Eighty Four was supposed to be a warning. Governments have used it as an instruction manual.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Confessions Of A House Dem: Doesn’t Read Bills, Told How To Vote, Reelection Top Priority

From Truth Revolt
A new tell-all book about the inner workings of Congress is set for release later this month that has Washington D.C. buzzing. It’s called The Confessions of Congressman X and it promises “a devastating inside look at the dark side of Congress as revealed by one of its own.”
All that is known about the anonymous congressman is that he is a Democrat and sat down with Robert Atkinson, a former staffer for two congressional Dems, who took notes during several meetings and received the blessing to publish the conversations.
The deep-seated corruption that this insider’s look reveals isn’t all that surprising to most readers weary of a bloated federal government, but it’s unsettling nonetheless.
On voting:
Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. I don’t even know how they’ll be implemented or what they’ll cost.
My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?
I sometimes vote “yes” on a motion and “no” on an amendment so I can claim I’m on either side of an issue.
It’s the old shell game: if you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.
On voters:
Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe, and the next f***ing Twitter message.
I worry about our country’s future when critical issues take a backseat to the inane utterings of illiterate athletes and celebrity twits.
Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver. But what the hell? If it makes them happy hearing it, and they’re stupid enough to believe it, shame on them.

But ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX and pundits will still tell you that there is a difference between party X or Y, or that X is less evil than Y (while missing the point that the lesser evil is still evil).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Tale of Two Hillarys

Hillary Clinton

From Dailymail

'I never trusted a polygraph again': Hillary Clinton LAUGHS in 30-year-old interview as she recalls how she helped a suspected child rapist walk free after the prosecution lost crucial evidence

  • Hillary Clinton defended Thomas Alfred Taylor, 41, in 1975 in Fayettville, Arkansas 
  • Then aged 27, Clinton found a loophole in the prosecution case and Taylor walked free 
  • Newly unearthed audio interview from the early 1980s has Clinton discussing the case with Arkansas journalist 
  • Recordings throw into question Clinton's claim to be a champion of women and children's causes 
  • Taylor died in 1992 and his alleged victim is now a drug addict still in Fayettville, Arkansas
In a newly unearthed audio interview Hillary Clinton reveals how she managed to get a plea bargain for a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl - and shockingly laughs as she indicated she knew he may have been guilty.

During the course of the conversation which dates from the early 1980s, Clinton, then 27, outlines how she used a mistake by the prosecution to get 41-year-old Thomas Alfred Taylor to walk free. 
Indeed, so cavalier is her attitude to securing the freedom of a man suspected of raping a child that the shocking and candid interview may tarnish her role as an advocate for women and children in the United States.
The recordings which date from 1983-1987 were discovered by the Washington Free Beacon and are of Clinton recalling her role in the most important criminal case of her career.
This is not the first time that the trial has been written about.
In 2008 at the height of her primary battle with Barack Obama, a Newsday story focused on Clinton's deeply controversial strategy of attacking the credibility of the girl.
'Rodham, records show, questioned the sixth grader’s honesty and claimed she had made false accusations in the past. She implied that the girl often fantasized and sought out ‘older men’ like Taylor, according to a July 1975 affidavit signed ‘Hillary D. Rodham' ‘in compact cursive,' wrote Newsday.

Hillary is pandering to women. It is amazing that despite getting a rapist to walk free, as well as assassinating the character of women who claim to have been molested by Bill Clinton, that she still has a lead among women.


MTV Spews Anti-Gun Propaganda

MTV has stopped being a music channel (or even a watchable channel) for over a decade now, it has also changed from a libertarian channel to an authoritarian one. In the 1990s, MTV ran a series of PSA called Think, which encouraged its viewers to consider the possibility of tyrannical government.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Venezuela: A Harbinger for America's Future

Venezuela Socialism

From PanAM Post

Ramón Muchacho, Mayor of Chacao in Caracas, said the streets of the capital of Venezuela are filled with people killing animals for food.
Through Twitter, Muchacho reported that in Venezuela, it is a “painful reality” that people “hunt cats, dogs and pigeons” to ease their hunger.
People are also reportedly gathering vegetables from the ground and trash to eat as well.

Though Venezeula has a turbulent history, it was from 1958 until 1986 the most prosperous country in South America. It sits on enough oil to become a world class economy with a first world standard of living. Venezuela's transformation has a disturbing similarity to the current transformation of the United States.

A little bit of history.

The 1970s oil crisis caused a spike in demand, and caused prices to soar. Venezuela nationalized its oil companies in 1976 in an attempt to control prices. When the boom went bust in 1986, the Venezuelan government printed money to meet its financial obligations. The resulting inflation caused poverty and rampant corruption exploded among the two ruling parties in the Venezuelan Parliament, culminating in two coup attempts by a third party called the Radical Cause, led Hugo Chávez.

Though he failed to take the country by force, Hugo Chávez was elected in 1998, as a result of division between the makers and takers. He rose to prominence and power on a platform aimed at upending a corrupt two-party system, while promising heavy wealth redistribution and regulation of business.

The economy was not fully nationalized at first - the official ideology of Bolvarism was modeled on the "halfwayness" of Democratic Socialism - but the regulations and taxes further impoverished Venezuela. In 2002 there was a coup attempt against Chávez that resulted from disastrous policy, but he accused the USA of plotting the coup and the failing oil industry of financing it, and he ordered the military to take over the oil industry and fire thousands of workers for political reasons. In 2004, there was a recall election, but by this time, the takers outnumbered the makers and he remained in power.

Though Chávez died in 2013, his successor, Nicolás Maduro, has carried on the socialist policy with dictatorial powers, destroying what little remains of Venezuela's economy to wage what he believes is an "economic war" against the USA. This, along with rampant inflation - currently the world's highest - has caused severe shortages of basic necessities and an explosion in crime. Socialism has all but destroyed a country that could be very prosperous.

How it parallels the USA.

The housing bubble burst in 2007, creating the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression. The bubble itself had its roots in government intervention, when the government sought to increase home ownership among the poor and minorities, but that is largely forgotten. Both the Republicans and Democrats have sunk money into the big banks, and have printed money in an attempt to offset the bubble burst. This has only created stagflation, with prices outpacing sluggish and near-zero growth. This has been amplified by additional taxes and regulations, such as those created by the Affordable Care Act.

Though the political situation is not quite as physically perilous as in Venezuela (yet), Venezuelan history is repeating itself in a fashion in the USA: there is a similar division between the makers and the takers.

The USA is right now at a similar stage in the evolution of socialism that Venezuela was in 1998. Bernie Sanders has risen to prominence on promises of a socialist utopia, while Hillary moves even further to the left (than she already is) to compete with Sanders. The Republicans have very little to offer, having never opposed the socialist agenda of Obama. Regardless of who controls congress and the whitehouse by 2017, eventually the takers will eventually outnumber the makers, unless there is a massive social change.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Heavy Metal Monday

The Gun Grabbers Hate The Disabled

Gun Control

From Weasel Zippers

The Social Security Administration has announced the details of a new rule that would bar many receiving federal disability payments from owning firearms.
The proposed rule is part of President Obama’s push to tighten gun laws while bypassing Congress. News of the plan to add some Social Security recipients to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, was first uncovered by the Los Angeles Times last summer and has faced fierce opposition from gun rights groups ever since.
President Obama announced in January that he was officially ordering the Social Security Administration to start the process for implementing the rule.
How can the progressive voting bloc not see that their people are targeting the less fortunate? The ones that they claim to represent? First the poor, and now those who are not able bodied. Tthe progressive elites of today are darwinists who do not believe the less fortunate should be given a chance, and the progressive elites of decades ago took this belief a step further.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Amid Venezuelan Food Shortage, Soldiers Stealing Goats

Socialism always runs out of other people's money, no matter how often it is tried and when. In Venezuela, there have been shortages of electricity, gasoline (despite sitting on the world's largest proven oil reserves), toilet paper and now food. The food shortages have driven some soldiers to steal goats. Soldiers have been employed to guard grocery stores, and if they are resorting to banditry, then it is possible that the country could end up like North Korea, as a communist military junta with a figurehead to "legitimize" it all.

Bernie Sanders has risen to prominence on promises to openly enact socialism. At least one Cuban filmmaker is warning that the USA is already changing into a communist country.

From Fox News

Six Venezuelan army officers were arrested Sunday after allegedly stealing goats from a nearby farm because they were hungry, the PanAm Post reports.
The soldiers were arrested in the central region of Lara after investigators spotted an unmarked van carrying dead animals. The army officers told local law enforcement they had no choice but to steal, kill and eat the animals because their army base, Fort Manaure, had almost run out of food.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bar Refaeli Swimsuit Ad: Too Hot for Israeli TV

From Breitbart.

A swimsuit commercial featuring Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli has been censored by Israel’s commercial television authority.
The censored ad for Hoodies swimwear, in which Refaeli is frolicking on the beach, can only be shown after 10 p.m. Close-ups of Refaeli’s backside and a section in which she appears to be completely nude must be deleted, the Second Broadcasting Authority for Television and Radio said over the weekend.
The commercial has been shown in its entirety on social media. Refaeli was three months pregnant when the commercial was filmed. It is the second Hoodies commercial starring Refaeli that has been censored by Israeli authorities. 
After reviewing the evidence, there is only one verdict: not guilty.

HuffPo: Self Defense Violates Criminals' Rights

Yes, that is exactly what an editorial in Huffington Post is saying.

The Second Amendment is highly contested. There is no doubt that people do have the right to carry and have a stockpile of guns (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and a state has the right to organize a well-regulated Militia. But, the main issue is on the right to self-defend with a firearm.
The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights. In addition, one’s mental capacity is a major factor in deciding whether a man or woman has the right to have a firearm. There are two reasons for ensuring mental capacity. First, one of the Five Aims is to ensure domestic tranquility and there can be no tranquility if one does not have the capacity. Second, if one’s brain is distorting his or her reality, they do not have the proper reasoning and deduction skills to use a firearm.
 If a criminal steals the property of a victim, then it violates their property rights. If a criminal rapes, tortures or murders their victim, then they have violated their right to life, liberty and happiness. The right to self defense is a pre-existing natural right, and the 2nd Amendment is its written form.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Chinese Students in Oakland March For Socialism

From Weasel Zippers

Yeah, I know, it's Oakland, but in 1989, Chinese people in China protested for the end of communism.

May Day

May Day was originally used to celebrate Spring. Communist groups around the world have used it to push their agenda. It should, as The Volokh Conspiracy suggests, be called Victims of Communism Day.

The Real Che Guevara
"The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. And the two ancient races have now begun a hard life together, fraught with bickering and squabbles. Discrimination and poverty unite them in the daily fight for survival but their different ways of approaching life separate them completely: The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations."

Pol Pot and the Marxist Ideal
Mass death is certainly no stranger to Communism; even today a terrible famine stalks North Korea to remind us of the lethal nature of Marxism. However, Pol Pot has earned a special place in the history of Marxian Communism as his Khmer Rouge earned the special distinction of being the one Communist movement in history to actually attempt the full and consistent implementation of the ideals of Karl Marx.

Stalin's Collectivization
Stalin gave orders that the kulaks were to be "liquidated as a class". This was to take the form of exile either to Central Asia or to the timber regions of Siberia, where they were used as forced labour. According to the historian, Sally J. Taylor: "Many of those exiled died, either along the way or in the makeshift camps where they were dumped, with inadequate food, clothing, and housing." Thousands were executed and an estimated five million were deported. Of these, approximately twenty-five per cent perished by the time they reached their destination.

The Great Leap Forward
In the end, through a combination of disastrous economic policy and adverse weather conditions, an estimated 20 to 48 million people died in China. Most of the victims starved to death in the countryside.  The official death toll from the Great Leap Forward is "only" 14 million, but the majority of scholars agree that this is a substantial underestimate.