Bernie Sanders, The Bum Who Wants Your Money | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis – IBD
Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”
One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there.
Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”
Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.
The only thing he was good at was talking … non-stop … about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. “The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,” the bitter layabout said. “I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”
The choice in this election is shaping up to be a very clear one. It will likely boil down to a battle between those who create and produce wealth, and those who take it and redistribute it.
Progress in the global war on poverty – CSMonitor.com
Global poverty has fallen faster during the past 20 years than at any time in history. Around the world hunger, child death, and disease rates have all plummeted. More girls are getting into school. In fact, never before have so many people, in so many poor countries, made so much progress in reducing poverty, increasing incomes, improving health, reducing conflict and war, and spreading democracy.
Some of these gains – especially the declines in poverty and child mortality – rank among the greatest achievements in history. Yet few people are aware that they are even happening. Most people believe that, apart from a few special cases such as China and India, developing countries by and large remain hopelessly mired in poverty, stagnation, and dictatorship. Yet the reality is quite different: A major transformation is quietly under way, affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people in nearly every corner of the world.
What sparked these changes? […] First, the end of the cold war, the demise of communism, and the collapse of the Soviet Union dramatically improved the global environment for sustained and peaceful development. The United States and the Soviet Union stopped propping up some of the world’s nastiest dictators. Proxy wars and political violence associated with the cold war came to an end in Central America, Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and elsewhere. Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia gained their freedom. Perhaps most powerfully, economic and political ideologies shifted substantially. Communism and strong state control lost credibility. A new consensus began to form around more market-based economic systems and – at least in many countries – more accountable and democratic governance, along with greater respect for basic freedoms and rights. Developing countries around the world introduced major economic and political reforms and began to build institutions more conducive to growth and social progress.
Second, globalization and international access to new technologies brought more trade and finance and a far greater exchange of ideas and information. Exports from developing countries are five times as large today as they were just 20 years ago, and financial flows are 12 times as large, creating many more economic opportunities. With deeper global integration came technologies that spurred progress: vaccines, medicines, new seed varieties, mobile phones, the Internet, and faster and cheaper air travel. To be sure, globalization has brought challenges, risks, and volatility, not least the 2007 food and 2008 financial crises. [These in fact were caused by government policy.–Ed.] But it has also brought investment, jobs, ideas, and markets, all of which stimulated progress.
Third, while global changes mattered, the countries that began to move forward did so primarily because of strong leadership and courageous actions by the people in those countries themselves. Where new leaders at all levels of society stepped forward to forge change, progress ensued; where old dictators stayed in place, or new tyrants stepped in to replace the old, political and economic systems remained rigged. ….
“The best evidence of this [Progressive] power to date has been the policies of Obama, the first New Left president….
“Besides working energetically to expand the reach of political correctness and environmentalism—and besides his unprecedentedly militant replay of the standard attacks on business, banks and Wall Street—Obama has endorsed some new measures and defended them on new grounds. Obamacare, for example, was defended not as compassion for those in medical need, but because equality of healthcare is a value in itself, quite apart from any special needs of the poor. The attorney general, Eric Holder, wanted American civilians and captured terrorists to be tried in the same courts, not because he sympathised with terrorism, but because all men, Americans and jihadists alike, being equal, have equal rights. Mr. Holder in this instance was applying to a legal situation the president’s own approach to foreign policy in general, exemplified by his regular apologies to other countries for America’s long and harmful delusion of “exceptionalism”—a delusion because all countries equal, and should have been so treated by the United States.
“To my mind, the most eloquent indication of Obama’s mindset is his demand for confiscatory taxation of what he calls “millionaires and billionaires,” not because these individuals are misusing their wealth or obtained it immorally, but simply because they have it, an unacceptable condition, since inequality of income, no matter its source, is unfair. It was once the American dream to climb “from rags to riches,” to make it big, to be able to crow proudly about becoming a millionaire. Now the administration tells us that it is unfair to achieve the dream because some people haven’t, and that the successes must be shot down until everyone’s rags match….” [The DIM Hypothesis 295-296]
[Institute for Justice] Arlington, Va.—This week a federal court handed down a long-awaited decision vindicating Lyndon McLellan in his fight against the IRS.
Lyndon’s case came to the nation’s attention after the IRS seized his entire bank account in July 2014 using civil forfeiture for the innocent act of depositing his hard-earned money in the bank in amounts under $10,000. The Institute for Justice took Lyndon’s case to clear his name and get back his property, and in June 2015, the government finally returned Lyndon’s money.
In returning Lyndon’s money, however, the government sought to avoid its obligation under federal law to pay Lyndon’s attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. Lyndon racked up nearly $20,000 in fees owed to his accountant and lawyer before the Institute for Justice took his case on a pro bono basis.
The district court’s decision rejected the government’s maneuver, stating:
Certainly, the damage inflicted upon an innocent person or business is immense when, although it has done nothing wrong, its money and property are seized. Congress, acknowledging the harsh realities of civil forfeiture practice, sought to lessen the blow to innocent citizens who have had their property stripped from them by the Government. . . . This court will not discard lightly the right of a citizen to seek the relief Congress has afforded.
“Today’s decision recognizes that Lyndon should not have to pay for the government’s outrageous use of civil forfeiture laws against a totally innocent property owner,” said IJ Attorney Robert Everett Johnson. “The government took Lyndon’s property even though he did nothing wrong, forcing him into a prolonged and expensive legal nightmare. Now the government will have to comply with its obligation to make Lyndon at least partly whole.”
The decision comes just as the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit prepares to consider the government’s similar attempt to avoid paying fees, costs, and interest to Carole Hinders—an Iowa restaurant owner who also had her entire bank account seized and then returned. The Eighth Circuit will hold oral argument in that case on February 9 in St. Paul, MN.
“The government cannot turn a citizen’s life upside down and then walk away as if nothing happened,” said IJ Attorney Wesley Hottot, who will argue the case for Carole Hinders. “Now that Lyndon has been vindicated, we look forward to holding the government to account in Carole’s case as well.”
ARI is happy to announce the launch of a new version of Ayn Rand Institute Campus, ARI’s online education website includes several exciting new features, including almost sixty complete essays by Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff, and more than 140 hours of audio-visual content across sixteen courses, including updated videos and new quiz content.
In addition to the video lectures that form the backbone of our lessons and courses, ARI Campus offers a wealth of articles, written by Ayn Rand and other scholars, that you can read online. Another great resource is The Ayn Rand Lexicon, which features extensive quotations from Rand’s writings, organized by topic. And be sure to visit our philosophical blog, where the discussion continues.
Explore the new ARI Campus today!
‘Draw Mohammed’ Cartoonist Speaks Out: Why I Entered Garland Contest
“Mohammed cartoons don’t inspire Islamic violence. Islamic violence inspires Mohammed cartoons.” That is what Bosch Fawstin tells me. And he knows whereof he speaks.
Fawstin is the award-winning cartoonist thrust into international notoriety in May when he won a “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas — a contest that became the first terrorist target of the Islamic State on American soil.
The event was intended to be less a competition than a celebration of free-expression principles. Because those principles undergird Western civilization, they have become the prime target of Islamic supremacists. And when we talk about Islamic supremacists, we are not talking only about violent jihadists, such as the two ISIS-inspired terrorists who were killed in a firefight with police while attempting a mass murder of Fawstin and his fellow contestants.
….why the Garland event has been widely misunderstood. With Obama and Clinton working with anti-American Islamists to attack free speech, it is no surprise that the administration’s slavish media are portraying Islam’s critics as wild-eyed bigots, and their “Draw Muhammad” contest as an exercise in gratuitous insult — the kind of expression that even free-speech advocates often shy from defending.
The narrative betrays ignorance of Islam’s blasphemy proscriptions. Insulting speech barely scratches the surface of all that is forbidden. Classical sharia prohibits all artistic expression that depicts animate life — deeming it an offensive imitation of Allah’s creative act. Far beyond insult, moreover, sharia forbids speech that subjects Islam to any objective examination that could result in negative criticism. Also forbidden are words that imply unbelief; that could be taken to rebuke Allah or Mohammed (even if gently or in jest); or that appear to deny a principle established by authoritative sharia scholarship. Islamic supremacists would apply prohibitions to non-Muslims as well as Muslims, because they believe that Allah has commanded them to impose sharia on the unwilling. And as for Muslims, speech that announces or implies apostasy is punishable by death.
This is what drives Fawstin’s work. “I draw Mohammed,” he says, “because the enemy tells me I can’t.” In Garland, that meant not just a rendering, but a rendering of the act of rendering. Describing his winning cartoon, he explains: “I draw myself drawing Mohammed, and Mohammed with his sword in hand, yells at me, ‘You Can’t Draw Me!’ to which I reply (in a word balloon), ‘That’s why I draw you.’”
Supreme Court Justices’ Comments Don’t Bode Well for Affirmative Action – The New York Times
In a remark that drew muted gasps in the courtroom, Justice Antonin Scalia said that minority students with inferior academic credentials may be better off at “a less advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well.”
The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, No. 14-981, was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white student who says the University of Texas denied her admission in 2008 because of her race. She has since graduated from Louisiana State University.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. questioned the value of diversity in at least some academic settings. “What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?” he asked.
‘Affirmative action’ is racism — and those who advocate it are racists. There I said it. Such collectivist approaches make the problem worse for disadvantaged American black and Hispanic students as they do not change the systemic problems — ghetto culture, broken homes, lousy public schools, etc.– which hurt students of all colors. Funny how certain minorities — Asians, Koreans, Nigerian immigrants etc. — who are foreigners and can whose parents can barely speak English end up in one generation doing better then whites.
The real diversity you need in college is intellectual.
Ex-Muslim Suraiya Simi Rahman MD on Moderate Muslims Have Hit Their “Wall”:
….when it comes to being able to tell a moderate from a radical in Islam, you can’t.
You really can’t tell until the moment before they pull the trigger, who is moderate and who is jihadi. Tashfeen has broken our moderate backbone, by revealing that she lived among us, unnoticed, normal, experiencing motherhood, enveloped in our secure community and yet, had radicalized.
And that’s the problem, that there are many others like her with exactly the same beliefs, who may not have been ignited yet by a radical cleric, but if the opportunity presented itself, they would follow. They’re like a dormant stick of dynamite, waiting for the fuse to be lit. The TNT is already in there.
What’s it made of? Not the 5 pillars, belief, charity, prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. Not the sayings of the prophet as to how to lead a good and just life. Not the celebration of Eid ul Fitr.
I went deep into the Midwest, wore a hijab for a year and lived there for 8 years. In that time, I attended ISNA gatherings, met with educated, professional people like myself who were also asking the same questions. They were looking to their faith for answers. And sure, there were efforts made to modernize Islam, but they were only superficial. We couldn’t do it. We couldn’t do it because there is a logical dilemma at the core of Islam. And that is, that the Quran is the last word of God, that it is perfect and unchangeable. And to even suggest such a thing is blasphemy and apostasy.
And so, to understand the moderate mind, you have to envision it on a continuum from radical to middle, but the closer you get to liberal, there is a wall. It creeps up on you, in the condemnation of homosexuality, in the unequal treatment and subjugation of women, but it’s there. Beyond that wall that they are afraid to look over, for fear of eternal hell fire and damnation, is where the answer lies though. So being a Muslim moderate these days is like running a race with a ball and chain attached to your feet. A handicap. Unless you can imagine what the world beyond that wall looks like, you can’t really navigate it. If you’re so terrified of blasphemy that you refuse to look over, you’re forever stuck. Right here. And behind you is the jihadi horde, laying claim to real Islam, practicing it to perfection, as it is laid out in the Quran. A veritable rock and a hard place. I feel your pain. I’ve been there. And it was untenable.
From the egalitarian (“social justice”), partisan, left-wing Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law:
Today, the national crime rate is about half of what it was at its height in 1991. Violent crime has fallen by 51 percent since 1991, and property crime by 43 percent. In 2013 the violent crime rate was the lowest since 1970. And this holds true for unreported crimes as well. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, since 1993 the rate of violent crime has declined from 79.8 to 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 people. Americans who lived through the 1960s and 1970s remember the fear associated with a real surge in violent crime. In fact, the violent crime rate increased by 126 percent between 1960 and 1970, and by 64 percent between 1970 and 1980.
Government statistics show that, except for some small blips, serious crime has decreased almost every year from 1994 through 2013. For over a decade Gallup has found that the majority of Americans polled believe crime is up, contrary to the fact that crime rates have plummeted in almost every small and large city since the 1990s. This is not to say that all cities and areas are experiencing decreases in violent crime year after year, but the overall rate of violent crime is significantly lower than historic levels.
As with the Gallup polls data, the narrative of violent crime — at least in the popular press — doesn’t have much to do with the crime reality. Crime across the nation is at an all-time low. We need to recognize that and embrace effective policies to keep it even lower. Just as with the case of airplane crashes, the public may see the extraordinary event as representative of the norm when it is not. [America’s Faulty Perception of Crime Rates]
Hat Tip: Violent Crime Rates — US Statistics | National Review Online
A half century ago the famous philosopher Ayn Rand identified the principle that motivates the haters of success. In her essay “The Age of Envy” she called it the “Hatred of the good for being the good”:
Today, we live in the Age of Envy.
“Envy” is not the emotion I have in mind, but it is the clearest manifestation of an emotion that has remained nameless; it is the only element of a complex emotional sum that men have permitted themselves to identify.
Envy is regarded by most people as a petty, superficial emotion and, therefore, it serves as a semihuman cover for so inhuman an emotion that those who feel it seldom dare admit it even to themselves. …That emotion is: hatred of the good for being the good.
This hatred is not resentment against some prescribed view of the good with which one does not agree…. Hatred of the good for being the good means hatred of that which one regards as good by one’s own (conscious or subconscious) judgment. It means hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable.
As a concrete illustration of this principle, ponder the envy-filled “progressive” “social justice” warrior Devon Maloney’s response to Zuckerberg’s donation of 45 billion dollars to charity:
Studies have shown that billionaire altruists like Zuckerberg are increasingly directing the course of American science, for example, and can supercharge research that has otherwise been bogged down in public sector and governmental bureaucracy – thus saving thousands if not millions of lives. But it also means that the rich are still effectively buying the future they’d like to see, no matter how selfless their intentions may be.
Apparently they should build a future that Maloney wants to see.
International philanthropy and the western world’s desire to eradicate poverty and disease can’t ever truly rid themselves of their imperialist roots; as many critics have pointed out, the white savior industrial complex has never been more pervasive in global culture. When you have an extra $45bn lying around, nothing you do with that money will come without strings, whether you craft those strings or not. Simply by creating and overseeing the world’s largest social network and one of the most influential corporations on Earth …. Mark Zuckerberg himself continues to reproduce the inequality he and his wife are taking aim at with their pledge. […] if it took Max Chan Zuckerberg’s birth to give her parents the courage and determination to destroy their own ivory tower for the needs of the many, we should all be praying that she’ll get a few more siblings in the coming years.
One wonders what kind of Ivory Tower of envy and hatred Maloney lives in.
Zuckerberg and other entrepreneurial businessmen have the ability to create values (like Facebook) and make money at the same time — Maloney has little or none. Ergo the “white industrial complex/ivory tower” (capitalism) is wrong and must be destroyed.
Quoting from Galt’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged:
They do not want to own your fortune, they want you to lose it; they do not want to succeed, they want you to fail; they do not want to live, they want you to die; they desire nothing, they hate existence, and they keep running, each trying not to learn that the object of his hatred is himself . . . . They are the essence of evil, they, those anti-living objects who seek, by devouring the world, to fill the selfless zero of their soul. It is not your wealth that they’re after. Theirs is a conspiracy against the mind, which means: against life and man.