Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Leftist censors have grabbed another social media site: imgur.com

Imgur.com is the biggest image-hosting site that there is these days.  It is very easy to use so has left other image-hosting platforms -- such as Tinypic and Photobucket -- for dead.  It also offers permanence. It says that pictures you have uploaded there will stay up. 

But that has now fallen by the wayside.  Some pictures I have housed there have been replaced by an angry and unpleasant looking cartoon, presumably under the pretext that my pictures were "offensive"

One of the pictures I had up was of General Pinochet, who is/was a great Leftist boogeyman. He did solve Leftist terrorism in Chile by killing off a couple of thousand of the livelier Chilean Leftists. So I can understand his image being "disappeared".  But for most of the pictures no offensiveness is obvious.  A table of statistics that disappeared would seem inoffensive.  But it WAS a table of IQ statistics -- and IQ is as unpopular among the Left as General Pinochet. 

But the deletion that really amuses me is that they have taken down a picture I had up of myself!  I make no claim to being  good-looking but I didn't think I was that bad!    They have also taken down images of my discharge certificate from my time in the Australian army and photocopies of my university degrees. So they have been rather systematic.

Anyway, I keep very comprehensive backups so have simply rehoused all deleted images on another site so all images I had up are now back up.

So the question arises of what to do about this latest transmogrification.  In my case, I can't see any form of protest as being needed.  It is simplest just to replace the lost images from backups.  And I do have archive copies of all my blogs online which already include self-hosted picture backups.  My practice of putting up backup copies of my blog entries has probably seemed like overdoing conservative caution but it has clearly now come into its own.

Nonetheless, I will have to think in future about where I house pictures online.  I will probably host the more incendiary ones on one or another of my own sites and use imgur for the more mundane ones

It is something of an irony that I have a regular blog -- TONGUE-TIED -- devoted to coverage of censored content -- only to be censored myself


Fellow Millennials: Here’s Why We Must Reject Socialism

Reaghan Waites

Have you ever looked at your paycheck and thought, “Man, I really wish I earned less money!” I’m going to take a wild guess and say, “Probably not.”

Here’s a similar thought: Do you like big government? It seems like a loaded question, but it really isn’t.

For the vast majority of Americans, a mention of “government” or “politics” doesn’t usually elicit a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s usually controversial, often divisive. Bring it up at Thanksgiving dinner, and you’ll likely be met with at least one eye-roll.

So, for those of us who don’t want less money and aren’t huge fans of big government, why are so many of us casting ballots for people who want us to have just that?

That’s the stark reality of socialism: less money in our wallets and more lining the pockets of congressmen and senators who complain about income equality, all while earning annual salaries of about $175,000.

You’ve probably heard the criticism before: Capitalism is about greed. Socialism is about charity. But the exact opposite is true. It is socialism that inherently fosters greed.

As noted by Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., socialism forces individuals to compete for the limited supply offered by the government. It fosters a scarcity mentality, rather than a healthy community mindset.

Free-market capitalism, on the other hand, is focused on providing for the needs and wants of society, creating a symbiotic relationship between businesses and consumers.

Every credit card swipe is an individual vote determining which businesses succeed and which do not. If a company is not providing value for customers, it will go out of business. That compels entrepreneurs to think of the customer first.

Generally speaking, socialism is a system in which the government owns and controls the means of production. But “free stuff” is now the trendy catchphrase associated with socialism, with the result that it is rising in popularity despite being largely misunderstood.

In fact, a New York Times study found that only 16% of millennials could adequately define the term.

What many erroneously embrace as “socialism” is actually welfare-state capitalism as practiced in Nordic countries.

Advocates of socialism deceptively point to nations such as Denmark and Sweden, but those nations are both ranked as free-market friendly as the U.S.

Then-Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in 2015 noted that “some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism,” but he disputed the assertion.

“Denmark is far from a socialist, planned economy,” he said. “Denmark is a market economy.”

Citing Denmark and Sweden as successful examples of “socialism” only blinds us to the horrific effects of actual socialism.

“Health care for all”—the signature promise from socialists—sounds compassionate. Eliminating income inequality has an almost moral vibe to it. However, promises of “free stuff” are at once unrealistic and accompanied by a hefty price tag.

When added together, so-called “Medicare for All” ($32 trillion), Social Security expansion ($188 billion), “free” college ($807 billion), paid family leave ($270 billion), and student debt forgiveness ($1.6 trillion), all proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would collectively add nearly $35 trillion to the national debt over the next decade alone.

That’s in addition to the $12.4 billion baseline deficit increase projected over the next decade and $22.4 trillion in current national debt.

The hard fact is that nothing is free. What some may perceive as a “win,” such as single-payer health care or “free” college, has to be funded by taxes taken out of our own paychecks.

So, how much more in taxes would we be looking at?  Under a Sanders presidency, middle-class Americans making $75,000 to $100,000 a year would likely pay $13,000 in additional taxes each year.

Just ask residents of Europe in general and France in particular about the true cost of a large welfare state. Europeans have to work on average more than two months longer each year than Americans to pay their tax bills. Those in France have to work more than six months of the year for their government—twice as long as Americans labor for Uncle Sam.

Do we have so little confidence in ourselves and our fellow Americans that we think the government can spend our money better than we can ourselves? That’s where socialism begins—but unfortunately, not where it ends.

Socialism is a failed experiment—it has laid waste to economies around the world. Moreover, it has come hand-in-hand with human rights abuses at the hands of totalitarian governments.

“We lived in a world swarming with invisible eyes and ears,” said a defector from the Soviet Union when asked about the constant state surveillance he lived under there.

The testimonies of the victims of socialism are chilling and provide cautionary tales of the true cost of socialism.

Take Daniel Di Martino. He grew up in socialist Venezuela and penned an opinion piece for USA Today recounting the failure of socialism in his home country. Di Martino recalls how the socialist regime imposed price controls and nationalized private industries, causing production to plummet. In response, the government placed rations on food and basic supplies. It was common for Di Martino to have to wait hours in line to buy even staples such as flour and toothpaste.

The Venezuelan government began to print more money in an attempt to compensate for massive spending increases. That added fuel to the inflationary fire, and prices began to double every few weeks.

Failing to learn from Venezuela’s experience (or perhaps being unaware of it), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has endorsed requiring the Federal Reserve to print more money for her spending proposals. But according to Di Martino, “this is exactly what produced Venezuela’s nightmare.”

The failure of socialism is widespread, and the stark differences between socialist utopia and socialist reality is the worst-kept secret of its advocates.

A recent example of socialist reality—this one from closer to home—underscores the point: Sanders had to cut the working hours of his own campaign staffers in order to pay them the $15 an hour minimum wage he has advocated other employers should be required to pay.

Therein lies the problem: What sounds good theoretically doesn’t always work in the real world. Let’s not choose that grim reality for America.



The 'moderates' in the Democrat field

An 18-year-old college freshman and the graduate student teaching assistant in her Women's Studies class are talking politics as they enter the campus coffee shop, and they have this exchange:

FRESHMAN: What exactly is "socialism"?

GRAD STUDENT: Oh, you have had a sheltered life, haven't you?  Socialism is what people need; it keeps things working by telling people what to do.

FRESHMAN: But you said you did whatever you pleased.

GRAD STUDENT: (chuckle) Touché.  Well, some people know what's best for them, and some people don't.  Besides, socialists don't tell people what to do in a mean, petty way; they tell them what to do in a kindly way...to keep them out of danger.  Latte or cappuccino?*

One of the tactics that socialists use when they discuss their creed with normal people, like conservatives, is to define "socialism" very narrowly.  They stipulate that socialism requires state ownership of the means of production.  Such an explanation, which comes to us straight out of Marxist theory, would mean that Soviet communists were socialists, while Nazi fascists weren't.  But, just as the word "socialist" is part of "USSR," it's also part of "Nazi."  Also, both regimes were totalitarian police states, but let's not get sentimental.

Regardless of who "owns" the means of production, what all forms of socialism share is central control by the central government.  Central control of the means of production means that the central government must also be in charge of the distribution of its products, its goods and services.  It's this aspect of socialism that those running for the Democrat presidential nomination are pushing.

This year's Democrat candidates are all about thousand-dollar checks each month from the feds (Universal Basic Income), universal pre-K, free college, Medicare for All (including foreigners), you name it.  Whatever folks "need," the government will provide.  But most of the central government's spending is already distribution: the "welfare state."  Democrats will tell you you've paid for your benefits, but most Americans get far more in benefits than what they paid in taxes.

The difference between the two major parties is that while Republicans want to get some control over the growth of the social programs that we already have, the Democrats are out-and-out statists who want to expand the welfare state, take over the means of production, and control everything.

The most collectivist, most "Sovietic" candidate in the Democrat field is Bernie Sanders.  Bernie will not be outdone by any of the other Democrat candidates; whatever they propose, he'll go farther.  He now wants to cancel all medical debt.  And, like Attlee in Britain after WWII, he'll attempt to nationalize key industries.  Under Bernie, the feds will own the means of production, although his apologists might call it "social ownership" or some such.

On August 23, the Washington Examiner ran "Bernie Sanders wants to nationalize at least 30% of the American economy" by Tiana Lowe, who opined: "In the ideal America outlined by 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders, the majority of the economy would be centralized and socialized."  Under his cockamamie Green New Deal, Bernie would "nationalize most of the energy sector."  Lowe's article is very short, but she gets at the heart of what a Sanders presidency would mean for America.

One thing about Sanders that is better than the other top-tier candidates in the Democrat field is that he doesn't seem quite as much of a liar as the others.  But for Americans concerned about Russia, Sanders should be the most unattractive candidate in the Democratic field; he even took his honeymoon in Mother Russia.  For those concerned about Pres. Trump's alleged collusion with Russia, voting for Bernie would seem most inconsistent.

If a commie candidate like Sanders isn't your preferred type of socialist, then Liz Warren might be your cup of tea.  Ms. Warren is a proponent of "dirigism," a sort of soft fascism.  Warren claims to be a capitalist, but then she also claimed to be an Amerind.  (Forget the blue eyes; a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do; how else to break the glass ceiling?)  And Liz has a plan for everything.  Why, even now, she's designing your life for you; you should be grateful.

Over at National Review, Kevin Williamson writes that of the Democrat field, Warren is supposedly "the smart one."  Williamson is a NeverTrump, but his article is worth reading.  He shows us why Warren is such an unregenerate fraud and gives us a delicious little history of "dirigisme."  (Williamson's position on "economic nationalism" may be less to your liking.)

And then there's Mayor Pete Buttigeek (sic), who's onboard with all the Dems' radical plans for transforming America.  What's different about Mayor Pete is that he has a Marxist pedigree.  You see, Pete's papa was an admirer and a biographer of Antonio Gramsci, the Marxist who theorized that the way to undo capitalism is not by violent revolution, but from within. Gramsci, one of the architects of the West's current problems, was a much more prescient predictor than old Marx. So Mayor Pete is a "red diaper baby," but the Dems want you to ignore that.

In April, the Examiner ran "Pete Buttigieg's father was a Marxist professor who lauded the Communist Manifesto" by Emily Larsen and Joseph Simonson. It's an informative article, especially if one isn't up on Gramsci. What's astounding is how a socialist like the elder Buttigieg could find employment at Notre Dame, even ascending to chair the English Department. It appears Catholic colleges have the same rot as public universities.

On a side note, Democrats would be foolish to nominate Mayor Pete, because much of the Dem's base is socially-conservative minorities, and they won't be in the mood to vote for a "queer." With Queer Studies in colleges and LGBTQ, that term can't be pejorative anymore, can it? I mydamnself could vote for a queer were he a true conservative. What's repels me about Mayor Pete is his know-it-all attitude and his presumption. He can't even run a small city properly, yet he presumes to run a superpower. Amazing!

When has America ever had to endure such a field of sanctimonious, morally superior clowns as the current crop of candidates for the Democrat nomination? And here's the thing: All of them are socialists who want to take America even further into that fetid cesspool of misery. All of them want bigger and bigger government, even though time and again Big Government has shown itself to be the problem. There are no "moderates" in the Democrat field.

Why are we supposed to think that government is more moral, more competent, and more admirable than the private sector? After all, it was the government that put us $22T in debt. It was government that sent our kids off to die in stupid foreign wars that were a result of stupid foreign policy. It was government that didn't protect American citizens from being killed, raped, and brutalized by illegal aliens. Rather than nationalizing the private sector, maybe we should privatize the whole damn federal government.

With control of both the means of production and the means of distribution, socialists would pretty much control something else -- our lives. But then, some people just don't know "what's best for them."



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

The Progressive Left is in full panic mode; the Radicals are betting that they can take to country in one throw of the dice in 2020. Not because they think their chances are good, but because they see that their gradual socialization of the country is being pushed back.

What the High Panjandrums of the Democrat Party think is something I can't say. I have a suspicion that they are letting the youngsters run amok, and have written off 2020. But I also think that they are far more concerned with keeping their own positions IN the Democrats Party than they are with ideology. They screwed up in 2016, and I think they are hoping that everyone who could tax them with it will break themselves on Trump.

So, we have a full clown-car of avowed Socialists, running on promises and programs that cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny. Please God, they fail.

We need to hammer them on Socialism's record in the 20th Century. Misery, mass murder, economic stagnation, and ecological disaster are the hallmarks of Socialism.

A Progressive is a Socialist is a Communist is a Fascist is a Nazi. The packaging may change slightly from brand to brand, but the contents remain depressingly similar.