Friday, October 09, 2009

Elites and Tyrants

by Walter E. Williams

Rep. Diane Watson said, in praising Cuba's health care system, "You can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met." W.E.B. Dubois, writing in the National Guardian (1953) said, "Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ... But also -- and this was the highest proof of his greatness -- he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate." Walter Duranty called Stalin "the greatest living statesman . . . a quiet, unobtrusive man." George Bernard Shaw expressed admiration for Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin.

John Kenneth Galbraith visited Mao's China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Gunther Stein of the Christian Science Monitor admired Mao Tsetung and declared ecstatically that "the men and women pioneers of Yenan are truly new humans in spirit, thought and action," and that Yenan itself constituted "a brand new well integrated society, that has never been seen before anywhere." Michel Oksenberg, President Carter's China expert, complained that "America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values," and urged us to "borrow ideas and solutions" from China.

Even Harvard's late Professor John K. Fairbank, by no means the worst tyrant worshipper, believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, "Americans may find in China's collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one's neighbor that has a lesson for us all." Keep in mind that estimates of the number of Chinese deaths during China's Cultural Revolution range from 2 to 7 million people. Mao Tsetung was admired by many academics and leftists across our country. Just think back to the campus demonstrations of the '60s and '70s when campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao's little red book, "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung." Forty years later some of these campus radicals are tenured professors and administrators at today's universities and colleges, as well as schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.

The most authoritative tally of history's most murderous regimes is in a book by University of Hawaii's Professor Rudolph J. Rummel, "Death by Government." Statistics are provided at his website. The Nazis murdered 20 million of their own people and those in nations they captured. Between 1917 and 1987, Stalin and his successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Tsetung and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese.

Today's leftists, socialists and progressives would bristle at the suggestion that their agenda differs little from Nazism. However, there's little or no distinction between Nazism and socialism. Even the word Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party. The origins of the unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism did not begin in the '20s, '30s and '40s. Those horrors were simply the end result of long evolution of ideas leading to consolidation of power in central government in the quest for "social justice." It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans, like many of today's Americans, who would have cringed at the thought of genocide, who built the Trojan horse for Hitler to take over.

Few Americans have the stomach or ruthlessness to do what is necessary to make their governmental wishes come true. They are willing to abandon constitutional principles and rule of law so that the nation's elite, who believe they are morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us, can have the tools to implement "social justice." Those tools are massive centralized government power. It just turns out last century's notables in acquiring powerful central government, in the name of social justice, were Hitler, Stalin, Mao, but the struggle for social justice isn't over yet, and other suitors of this dubious distinction are waiting in the wings.



The Consolidators: A Western by Mark Lloyd

There can be little doubt about who wears the black hats in the new, myopically focused, socialistically inspired drama of the Old West by, and starring, FCC Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd.

The villains in Lloyd’s saga are the commercial owners of radio stations, like Clear Channel Communications, who typically have “stations in multiple markets or more than three stations in a single market.” Portrayed by him as being analogous to the cattle barons of the Old West, who greedily come into town and gobble up scarce resources and leave the local population in the lurch, these corporate station owners are represented as doing the same with the limited broadcast resources throughout the land.

And it just so happens, Lloyd’s research tells him, that the stations in the possession of these group owners “were statistically more likely to air conservative talk.” Furthermore, he claims that, in markets where there is “a clear demand and proven success of progressive talk” these dastardly bullies “still elect to stack the airwaves with one-sided broadcasting.” In short, the game plan of these feckless capitalists is to go broke. These are just some of the inane conclusions reached in Mr. Lloyd’s much discussed article, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”

Elsewhere, Lloyd claims to take the side of his much maligned townsfolk in a piece called “Local Media Diversity Matters.” Ostensibly defending their “Constitutional rights of free speech” he claims, “Americans’ ability to learn about and debate local, state and national issues and to monitor our representatives depends upon our exposure to news and discussion that is not controlled by a small group of mostly like-minded corporations.”

Leaving aside that he somehow forgot to add the obligatory word “evil” before “corporations,” it seemingly never occurs to him that this “small group” may, in fact, express the free-market friendly views of the many ordinary Americans who choose to listen to their radio programming. He seems to ascribe to the Marxist illusion that views supportive of free-markets can’t be the real beliefs of ordinary people.

Meanwhile, back in town, some of the citizens, meeting at the local courthouse, are calling on Marshall Lloyd to save the day by making the FCC reinstitute the “Fairness Doctrine.” Lloyd declines, explaining that he does not believe that repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987 caused conservative radio to dominate the airwaves. So, simply reinstating it will not fix the “problem.”

What he thinks really caused the consolidation of ownership in radio stations, and the explosion in numbers of conservative talk radio stations nationwide, was an action by the FCC in 2003 “that substantially relaxed a wide range of media ownership regulations,” in part by the creation of a new Diversity Index.

Now Lloyd intends to rectify the situation by applying a newly developed, anti-free-enterprise formula for measuring media diversity in local communities. He holds that it will, “measure media diversity according to democratic values, not market values” (Exactly which democratic values are diametrically opposed to market values he doesn’t make clear.)

And exactly what anti-democratic values will his diversity formula overcome? Well, in an article entitled “Forget the Fairness Doctrine” he observes that, even in its heyday in the 1960s, it did not address the fact that the mainstream media was “middle-class, anti-communist, Protestant, male and white.”

His earlier research tells him, that “stations owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows.” So, he wishes to use the power of government, as embodied in his new diversity formula as a tool for wresting the licenses, and station ownership, of groups now supporting conservative talk radio so that he may redistribute them to those he considers worthy of his largesse. What a fine example of the Marxist principle of the redistribution of wealth from someone who praised Chavez’ Communist takeover of Venezuela as an “incredible revolution” and who has voiced the view that Chavez had it right when he shrewdly took over 200 stations owned by land-owners who represented his political opposition. Mark Lloyd has, it seems, learned well from his de facto mentor.

And does anyone with one iota of common sense really think that Lloyd’s planned move to squelch the Left’s conservative talk radio opposition, no matter what its ostensible justification, is anything other than the same sort of stark political power grab that Chavez master-minded in Venezuela---under the guise, of course, of helping the people?

Conservative talk radio virtually saved the entire medium of AM radio from oblivion in the 1980s. If anything, its proponents are heroes for doing so. And I don’t therefore have a very good review to write of Lloyd’s western portraying them as the villains. I also don’t view him as wearing a white hat either. It is extremely alarming that someone whose core views are so obviously antagonistic to free-market capitalism has been given such a place of prominence in the increasingly bizarre Obama Administration.



Black "News Analyst" Labels Police as Racist Terrorists

Marc Lamont Hill, the far-left hip-hop professor and paid Fox News Channel analyst, has a record in support of cop-killers. And now we have learned that he went on "The O'Reilly Factor" to defend black militants who held a March vigil in honor of Lovelle Mixon, a suspected rapist with a lengthy criminal record, who murdered four Oakland police officers. Hill said on Fox News that the activists, many of them from a communist organization, were protesting "police terrorism."

Recall that Hill claims that cop-killer Assata Shakur, who fled to Communist Cuba after escaping from prison, is innocent. Hill has also declared his support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, another convicted cop-killer, who is on death row. Hill called him a "freedom fighter" and "political prisoner" devoted to "black liberation" and announced that the convicted killer would be contributing to Hill's website as a weekly contributor. "Welcome Brother Mumia!!!!" Hill said.

The defense of the protesters in the Mixon case adds to the growing concern about this Fox News contributor, who is paid handsomely by the channel to appear on various Fox News Channel shows and is supposed to provide the appearance of fairness and balance. But is cop-killing a matter that requires two sides of the issue?



Clunkers in Practice

One of Washington's all-time dumb ideas

Remember "cash for clunkers," the program that subsidized Americans to the tune of nearly $3 billion to buy a new car and destroy an old one? Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared in August that, "This is the one stimulus program that seems to be working better than just about any other program."

If that's true, heaven help the other programs. Last week U.S. automakers reported that new car sales for September, the first month since the clunker program expired, sank by 25% from a year earlier. Sales at GM and Chrysler fell by 45% and 42%, respectively. Ford was down about 5%. Some 700,000 cars were sold in the summer under the program as buyers received up to $4,500 to buy a new car they would probably have purchased anyway, so all the program seems to have done is steal those sales from the future. Exactly as critics predicted.

Cash for clunkers had two objectives: help the environment by increasing fuel efficiency, and boost car sales to help Detroit and the economy. It achieved neither. According to Hudson Institute economist Irwin Stelzer, at best "the reduction in gasoline consumption will cut our oil consumption by 0.2 percent per year, or less than a single day's gasoline use." Burton Abrams and George Parsons of the University of Delaware added up the total benefits from reduced gas consumption, environmental improvements and the benefit to car buyers and companies, minus the overall cost of cash for clunkers, and found a net cost of roughly $2,000 per vehicle. Rather than stimulating the economy, the program made the nation as a whole $1.4 billion poorer.

The basic fallacy of cash for clunkers is that you can somehow create wealth by destroying existing assets that are still productive, in this case cars that still work. Under the program, auto dealers were required to destroy the car engines of trade-ins with a sodium silicate solution, then smash them and send them to the junk yard. As the journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote in his classic, "Economics in One Lesson," you can't raise living standards by breaking windows so some people can get jobs repairing them.

In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices. The people who really belong in the junk yard are the wizards in Washington who peddled this economic malarkey.




MI: Detroiters turn out for “free government money”: "Thousands hoping to get applications for federal help on rent and utility bills turned Cobo Center into a chaotic scene today. They came by foot, wheelchair, bicycle and car. About six left by ambulance after tensions rose and people were trampled, according to a paramedic on the scene. One unfortunate soul got his car booted. Detroiters were trying to pick up 5,000 federal assistance applications from the city at Cobo because Detroit received nearly $15.2 million in federal dollars under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which is for temporary financial assistance and housing services to individuals and families who are homeless, or who would be homeless without this help. … Outside Cobo on Wednesday, some people reportedly were going through the crowd, snatching the necessary applications from those who’d already obtained them. There also was a constant din of screams from people insisting they be let inside.”

Support Is Building for a Tax Credit to Help Hiring: "The idea of a tax credit for companies that create new jobs, something the federal government has not tried since the 1970s, is gaining support among economists and Washington officials grappling with the highest unemployment in a generation. The proposal has some bipartisan appeal among politicians eager both to help their unemployed constituents and to encourage small-business development. Legislators on Capitol Hill and President Obama’s economic team have been quietly researching the policy for several weeks. “There is a lot of traction for this kind of idea,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican whip. “If the White House will take the lead on this, I’m fairly positive it would be welcomed in a bipartisan fashion.” [This is what should have been done with the "stimulus" money]

Mobs, violent criminals turn to Medicare fraud: "Lured by easier money and shorter prison sentences, Mafia figures and other violent criminals increasingly are moving into Medicare fraud and spilling blood over what was once a white-collar crime. Around the nation, federal investigators have been threatened, an informant’s body was found riddled with bullets, and a woman was discovered dead in a pharmacy under investigation, her throat slit with a piece of broken toilet seat. For criminals, Medicare schemes offer a greater payoff and carry much shorter prison sentences than offenses such as drug trafficking or robbery.”

Arguing with the left: Some recent examples: "One man argued with me that the State must take care of everyone. I was pretty much unable to say anything in response since he tended to shout me down the moment I started to speak. I would say: ‘If you aren’t going to let me say anything then the conversation is over.’ He would insist that he’d let me speak and then halfway through my first sentence start shouting again. He finally stormed off. Now and then he’d pass by me and couldn’t resist flinging an insult each time. The oddest one was he walked past and shouted to an oncoming individual, who had no part of the previous ‘discussion,’ that: ‘Libertarians are just people who refuse to grow up.’ Considering how strenuously he was arguing that the State must care for us, due to our own inabilities to take care of ourselves, I found the argument a bit odd.”

Obama kowtows to labor unions: "Last year as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama told the Building Trades National Legislative Conference that ‘we need to make sure the government uses project labor agreements to encourage completion of projects on time and on budget.’ He complained that project labor agreements had been banned by the Bush administration. PLAs require construction firms to follow union work rules and to hire their workers through a union hiring hall. Workers hired under PLAs have to pay union dues whether they belong to the union or not. Candidate Obama’s audience knew perfectly well that his speech had more to do with their wallets than with any high-minded concern for the public interest. The real purpose of PLAs is to discourage nonunion contractors from bidding on public projects. It’s a matter of the 16 percent of construction workers who belong to unions protecting their jobs and perks from the other 84 percent.”


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


1 comment:

Robert said...

With regard to "Mobs, violent criminals turn to Medicare fraud", that story is a great illustration of how "immoral government actions and programs prompt immoral reactions and responses."