Sounds Like Something Out of an Ayn Rand Novel

Here’s a letter to someone in California who apparently believes that economic reality is optional:

Mr. Víctor Sánchez, Director
Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community

Mr. Sánchez:

You call “shameful” the decision by Kroger to close stores in Long Beach after the City Council there ordered certain supermarkets to raise the hourly pay of some workers by $4 (“Kroger to close 2 California stores instead of giving $4 hourly ‘hero pay’”). This decision by Kroger, you allege, will “deny their workers the compensation they deserve.”

Put your money and action where your mouth is. If these workers really are worth employing at the wage mandated by the City Council, you should have no trouble convincing investors to back you in efforts to buy Kroger’s Long Beach facilities in order for you to keep these operating as supermarkets that pay wages as high as those ordered by the City Council.

If, however, you’re unwilling to make this effort, then your talk is cheap. No one has any reason to trust that you actually believe that the workers who you pose as championing really deserve a $4 per hour raise.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics

Source: Sounds Like Something Out of an Ayn Rand Novel

Portland police leaving the poorly run city

Daily Wire:

Portland, Ore., police officers are fleeing the city’s force, and often taking a hit to pay and benefits to do so. The flight of law enforcement from the city is “unprecedented,” Assistant Chief Michael Frome told the Portland Tribune.  “We really have not seen this many people leaving at this stage in their career.”

….

The activists’ calls to cut police budgets were picked up by some of Portland’s elected officials. In June, the City Council approved a $15 million cut to the police department’s budget to funnel more money into spending on social programs.

The cut sent the bureau reeling as it laid off some officers and cut its recruiter position since the department did not have money to make new hires anyway. The department cut vacant positions that it had historically held open to keep a steady stream of recruits, which require 18 months of training to begin independent police work, coming into the force.

“When the cuts came in and we basically lost our vacancies, that put us in a bigger fiscal hole than we were anticipating being in,” Frome said. “We didn’t have the money to hire, so we laid off basically half of our background investigators. We laid off our recruiter, because we just did not see a position in the near future where we were going to be able to use them to capacity.”

 

Source: Portland police leaving the poorly run city

Biden Should Beware of Nemesis

Joe Biden will be our next president. But he will face Nemesis in a way that few other presidents have ever encountered the cruel Greek god. Biden’s hubris and that of the media/Democratic Party fusion almost guarantee such divine retribution.

Once the last of the other Democratic primary candidates dropped out and Biden was nominated, all prior negative media stories about his apparent cognitive decline and his family’s financial entanglements disappeared. From April 2020 on, a virtual news blackout surrounded Biden. His rare interviews were scripted. Biden communiques were teleprompted. Press conferences were either nonexistent or revolved around his favorite milkshake or his socks.

Mentions of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were taboo. It was sinful to reference reports of a Hunter Biden email allegedly detailing a 10 percent distribution of such revenue to the “Big Guy” — presumably Joe Biden.

Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden never really campaigned. After the primaries, he outsourced his fall 2020 campaign to subordinates and pet journalists to attack Trump.

….

A President Biden cannot avoid the press forever. He will soon face unscripted meetings with foreign leaders. He will have to meet dozens of movers and shakers each week. Is he or the nation prepared for the consequences of his return to normality after nearly a year of media fawning and forced isolation?

….

Given the Democrats’ Faustian bargain with their leftmost faction, destructive rumors about Biden’s faculties or his family’s financial escapades will more likely come from his own party’s left wing, eager for a Harris presidency, rather than from the Republican opposition.

Biden will enter office with an ethical cloud hanging over his head — one that could have been vetted and adjudicated rather than blacked out for most of 2020. His son, brother and perhaps family associates may talk if faced with FBI and IRS probes, if not a special counsel investigation.

It will not help Biden that to defeat Trump, many of our institutions were deformed. Special counsels usually never receive a blank check — 22 months and $32 million — to assemble a team of partisans to investigate a new president on mostly hearsay evidence and an opposition-concocted dossier.

But that precedent ended with the ill-conceived Robert Muller investigation. By spring, Biden could have done to him what was done to Trump — and what Biden himself so frequently cheered on.

Nor do we impeach presidents often, especially knowing that the Senate will acquit them when there is no alleged crime as outlined in the Constitution. That bar is also gone. Should the Republicans hold the Senate and take the House in 2022, they could do what the Democrats did in 2020. But if they were to impeach Biden as a possible beneficiary of his family’s foreign influence-peddling, a Republican-controlled Senate might not so easily acquit him.

Biden variously called Trump supporters “ugly folk” and “chumps.” He compared the president to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi propagandist. Biden smeared Trump by referring to him as the nation’s first racist president.

Half the nation will take some time to forget all that. The repair of warped protocols will take longer, given that the left forgot the ancient Thucydidean warning to us not to destroy the very institutions whose protections one day we may need.

Biden should hope that a rogue FBI does not conduct freelance investigations of him the way it did to Trump. Let Biden pray there is not a partisan medical community to diagnose him as impaired and suited for 25th Amendment removal, as was the case with Trump.

Biden should hope that if Republicans hold the Senate in January, they do not mimic the Democratic habit of voting against nearly every Trump nominee. If they were to do that as a majority party in both chambers of Congress, Biden would have trouble confirming even a single judge.

So let us celebrate Biden’s call to unity.

But Biden should hope that the opposition will not do to him and his party what the Democrats did so bitterly to Trump.

Source: Biden Should Beware of Nemesis

LEFTWING THUGS HAVE NEVER BEEN FRIENDS OF THE FREE PRESS: Portland MSM Shocked When Antifa Attacks T…

LEFTWING THUGS HAVE NEVER BEEN FRIENDS OF THE FREE PRESS: Portland MSM Shocked When Antifa Attacks Them for Covering Armed Takeover. Mike Strickland and Andy Ngo Say Told Ya So.

Source: LEFTWING THUGS HAVE NEVER BEEN FRIENDS OF THE FREE PRESS: Portland MSM Shocked When Antifa Attacks T…

Sorcerer’s Apprentice Syndrome: Never call up what you can’t dispel.

[Josh Blackman] The Minimum Rationality of COVID-19 Lockdown Measures

Again, the government has zero evidence that outdoor dining has contributed to the spread of COVID-19. All the Director can come up with is this behavior is “a little more risky” now that the community infection rate is higher.

Of course, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If people cannot eat safely at outdoor restaurants, there is a greater chance people will eat unsafely in indoor homes. No matter how hard government tries, the state cannot eliminate the demand for communal gathering. They will simply force people to satisfy those demands in underground, illegal fashions. For example, when governments raised the drinking age from 18 to 21, the states did not eliminate the demand for drinking by college students. Instead, college students would stop drinking at bars–where there is at least some supervision–and start drinking illegally in frat houses and other unsupervised places. The Governor’s edict here will have the likely consequence of forcing people to eat together, inside.

Source: [Josh Blackman] The Minimum Rationality of COVID-19 Lockdown Measures

Race: Asking the Right Questions, Avoiding the “Wrong” Answers

(Steven Hayward) Robert Putnam, the Harvard political scientist who became famous 20 years ago for his “bowling alone” hypothesis about the erosion of social capital in the U.S., is out with a new co-authored book (with Shaylyn Romney Garrett) on racial disparities, The Upswing. Although a liberal, Putnam has not shrunk in the past from reporting data findings uncongenial to liberals, such as his careful work concluding that “diversity” and high rates of immigration actually lead to the erosion of social trust.

….

Social scientists such as the recently deceased Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Charles Murray, and others have pointed out these facts for decades now, and have been asking whether the Great Society social programs backfired. This hypothesis remains forbidden to liberals still—it is an answer so “wrong” that you aren’t even allowed to ask it in polite liberal company, and sure enough, Putnam and his co-author propose that the cause of the halting of black progress after the mid-1960s is attributable to two possible causes far removed from any effects of the welfare state.

The first is “white backlash,” which is hardly new, though strangely neither Putnam nor the legions of other thinkers who make this charge ever demonstrate any significant contraction in social welfare programs, civil rights enforcement, or “affirmative action” efforts to assist blacks and other minorities. Nor do the proponents of “white backlash” ever entertain reasons why whites might have thought the Great Society made a cascade of mistakes.

The second explanation runs toward the bizarre. Putnam and Garrett say the reversal of black progress owes to what they call “a single meta-trend that we have come to call the “I-we-I” curve: An inverted U charting America’s gradual climb from self-centeredness to a sense of shared values, followed by a steep descent back into egoism over the next half century.”

Source: Race: Asking the Right Questions, Avoiding the “Wrong” Answers

Preventing future forest infernos Paul Driessen The 2020 fire season is nearing its end. But monstrous wildfires contin…

Preventing future forest infernos Paul Driessen The 2020 fire season is nearing its end. But monstrous wildfires continue to rage across America’s western states, devastating towns and habitats, and killing hundreds of people and millions of animals.

Source: Preventing future forest infernos Paul Driessen The 2020 fire season is nearing its end. But monstrous wildfires contin…

Quote from R.A. Lafferty

This is from PAST MASTER by R.A. Lafferty. Like many a work of his, the satire is so sharp it burns like acid. In this scene, Thomas More, philosopher, author, statesman, and the author of UTOPIA, has been brought forward by time travelers, perhaps by mistake, to be elevated by fake election to be world-leader of the perfect planet, Golden Astrobe which, inexplicably, is dying of its imperfections.

….

My comment: I note that this was written in AD 1968, before satire was taken as sober advocacy, and the things here offered as outrageous excesses of a far planet in the far future were not matters currently in the newspapers, or soon to be.

Source: Quote from R.A. Lafferty

The Social Media Fact-Check Farce

A study says Twitter’s anti-Trump ‘corrections’ make some people more likely to believe Trump.

In recent years liberals have successfully lobbied social-media companies to police conservative content more and more aggressively. But there’s little evidence that this political interference has reduced the prevalence of misinformation online—and a new study shows how it could make the problem worse.

In the study—by Dino Christenson of Boston University and Sarah Kreps and Douglas Kriner of Cornell—volunteers were shown a May 26 tweet by President Trump attacking mail-in voting and claiming that “Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”

Groups of participants were also shown “corrections” to Mr. Trump’s tweet, including Twitter’s “explanatory text labeling the claims ‘unsubstantiated’ according to major media outlets, including CNN and the Washington Post.”

Conservatives did not find mainstream-media assurances convincing. For Republicans who were shown Twitter’s effort to debunk the President, “belief that mail voter fraud occurs was more than 13% higher than in the control.” Or as the authors put it, “corrections increased misperceptions among those predisposed to believe President Trump.”

Source: The Social Media Fact-Check Farce

The anti-prison movement will be a disaster . . . for criminals

Leftists, having placed pro-criminal prosecutors across America, are now doing the same with judges. Criminals will not like what’s coming. At Power Line , Paul Mirengoff took note of the fact that George Soros, having managed to place leftist prosecutors throughout America, none of whom have the slightest interest in prosecuting crime, has now moved on to placing leftist judges in courtrooms, just in case a prosecutor was unable to keep a criminal out of court: In Maryland, it appears from the Washington Post’s account that most, if not all, of the victorious outsiders are pro-criminal defendant and sympathetic to the BLM critique of the judicial system.

….

What leftists don’t realize is that what they’re doing is also a disaster for criminals. As many have said, our modern criminal justice system was set up not just to protect ordinary people from criminals but to protect criminals from ordinary people. Before we had a criminal justice system, complete with police, courtrooms, and prisons, we had vigilantism at the front end, because there were no police, and extreme tortures at the back end of the system, because there were no prisons.

When police arrest bad guys, one of the things they are doing is protecting them from angry people in the community. These people are not just the direct victims but the community at large. People who are trying to live normal lives cannot tolerate rampant crime. If there is no government enforcement, they will become the enforcers. Vigilantes invariably administer rough justice, and it’s usually fatal. The person they grab (and they’re not above grabbing the wrong person), will be beaten to death, hanged, shot, set on fire, or whatever else the mob finds most expedient. We read stories about these things about Latin America and Africa. If leftists keep destroying the front end of our criminal justice system — the police — we’re going to read about it here too.

Source: The anti-prison movement will be a disaster . . . for criminals