United Nations vs Capitalism

From UN deletes tweet calling free market an “urgent threat” – UN Watch:

GENEVA, Sept. 5, 2016 — The UN human rights office deleted a bizarre statement on Twitter, published on its account with 1.5 million followers, in which it slammed “free market fundamentalism” as an “urgent threat,” after the head of a watchdog group questioned the tweet.

Though the UN tweet from Friday had garnered more than 160 retweets and likes, the world body removed it under criticism from Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch.

“This was a loony tweet, and it calls into question the judgment of the UN’s top human rights office,” said Neuer. “While millions of people are suffering from genocide, sexual slavery and starvation, it is far from clear why the UN would instead focus its attention on unidentifiable ‘urgent threats,’ let alone on economic subjects about which it has neither competence nor expertise,” said Neuer.

“Tellingly, the same UN human rights office has failed to issue a single tweet about this past month’s dire human rights crisis in Venezuela, where millions face mass hunger in part due to attacks on the free market in the failed economic policies of the late president Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, which included arbitrary seizure of businesses and private property.”

“If the UN did not have a strict policy of ignoring its own guaranteed human right to private property, established in Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then perhaps Venezuelan mothers would not be struggling to find food for their children.”

“Virulent anti-capitalism was a policy of the defunct Soviet Union, but it should not be embraced by the UN body which is supposed to be focused on human rights emergencies.”

 

Perhaps the Tweet should have asked is anti-free market fundamentalism — the belief in the infallibility of socialist, anti free market economic policies — an urgent threat to economic and political freedom?

The Obama Legacy: An Assault on the Bill of Rights

Absolutely chilling.

From Obama’s opposition to freedom of speech (Citizen’s United, campus speech codes, ); freedom to contract (forcing private businesses to pay for contraception, sterilization and (“morning-after”) abortion against their will and become an unwilling agent of the welfare state); freedom of expression (speech codes); denying the freedom of association and peaceful “free exercise of religion” (from “live and let live” to “bake me a cake, or else.”); assault on due process; restrictions on guns for self-defense;  the expansion of executive power by executive order at the expense of individual rights is absolutely chilling.

Recommended Read: The Obama legacy: An assault on the Bill of Rights | Washington Examiner

Video: The War on Cops – Heather Mac Donald

Since summer 2014, America has been convulsed with a protest movement known as Black Lives Matter, which claims that police officers are among the greatest threats—if not the greatest threat—to young black males. Heather Mac Donald challenges that narrative, explaining why proactive policing tactics, from stop-and-frisk to “broken windows,” constitute the greatest public policy success story of the last quarter century and have resulted in a record-breaking decline in crime that no criminologist or police chief foresaw.

“Black Lives Matter” Lies Inspire Police Hatred: Gangs in Minority Areas Are The Real Problem

Writes Heather MacDonald on The lies told by the Black Lives Matter movement | New York Post:

The facts are these: Last year, the police shot 990 people, the vast majority armed or violently resisting arrest, according to the Washington Post’s database of fatal police shootings. Whites made up 49.9 percent of those victims, blacks 26 percent. That proportion of black victims is lower than what the black violent crime rate would predict. Blacks constituted 62 percent of all robbery defendants in America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, 57 percent of all murder defendants and 45 percent of all assault defendants, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, even though blacks comprise only 15 percent of the population in those counties.

In New York City, where blacks make up 23 percent of the city’s population, blacks commit three-quarters of all shootings and 70 percent of all robberies, according to victims and witnesses in their reports to the NYPD. Whites, by contrast, commit less than 2 percent of all shootings and 4 percent of all robberies, though they are nearly 34 percent of the city’s population. In Chicago, 80 percent of all known murder suspects in 2015 were black, as were 80 percent of all known nonfatal shooting suspects, though they’re a little less than a third of the population. Whites made up 0.9 percent of known murder suspects in Chicago in 2015 and 1.4 percent of known nonfatal shooting suspects, though they are about a third of the city’s residents.

Gang shootings occur almost exclusively in minority areas. Police use of force is most likely in confrontations with violent and resisting criminals, and those confrontations happen disproportionately in minority communities.

So if “Black Lives Matter” really cared about innocent black lives they would call for more policing in high crime minority communities. Instead BLMers do the opposite attacking the police as such, making the police a target.

Gun-related murders of officers are up 52 percent this year through Aug. 30 compared to last year. The cop assassinations are only a more extreme version of the Black Lives Matter-inspired hatred that officers working in urban areas encounter on a daily basis. Officers are routinely surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds when they try to conduct a street investigation or make an arrest. Resistance to arrest is up, officers report.

The result of “Black Lives Matter” making policing more difficult is that they are doing “less of those discretionary activities in high-crime minority communities.” Leading to…

Violent crime is rising in cities with large black populations. Homicides in 2015 rose anywhere from 54 percent in Washington, DC, to 90 percent in Cleveland. In the nation’s 56 largest cities, homicides rose 17 percent in 2015, a nearly unprecedented one-year spike. In the first half of 2016, homicides in 51 large cities were up another 15 percent compared to the same period last year.

The carnage has continued this year. In Chicago alone, at least 15 children under the age of 12 have been shot in the first seven months of 2016, including a 3-year-old boy who is now paralyzed for life following a Father’s Day drive-by shooting. While the world knows Michael Brown, whose fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., spurred Black Lives Matter, few people outside these children’s immediate communities know their names. Black Lives Matter activists have organized no protests to stigmatize their assailants.

This is because the so-called “Black Lives Matter” movement is not concerned about ALL Black lives, but only the less than 1% of Blacks (perhaps) illegitimately killed by the police. Some Black lives apparently are of more importance than others.

Yes, there are bad cops out there — and policing is in need of reform — but on the whole the police are a force for good. To lump all cops together as bad, as the BLM narrative implies, does a great disservice to the heroic individuals who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.

For the past two decades, the country has been talking about phantom police racism in order to avoid talking about a more uncomfortable truth: black crime. But in the era of data-driven law enforcement, policing is simply a function of crime. The best way to lower police-civilian contacts in inner-city neighborhoods would be for children to be raised by their mother and their father in order to radically lower the crime rate there.

If BLMers don’t trust the agents of the state as policeman, why do they trust the agents state as a surrogate parent given the dismal results of the anti-capitalist “progressive” welfare state (and the breaking up of the family unit it promotes)?

Comments philosopher Andrew Bernstein on the matter:

It’s not the cops that pose a danger to innocent black men, women, and children–it’s the thugs.

Why does the Left perpetuate the vicious canard of trigger-happy, racist cops to the detriment of policing and, therefore, of innocent black lives?

Because if we looked closely at the terrifyingly high rate of violent crime in many black urban neighborhoods–vastly higher than it was just 60 years ago–we would be led to recognition of its cause: The welfare state targeting of blacks, leading to astronomic illegitimacy rates, many children raised by a mother on welfare and no father in the home, scads of unsupervised children, despair, drug addiction, drug trafficking, and the off-the-charts rate of violent crime that accompanies drug trafficking.

Blacks are still victimized by racist white Americans–by semi-socialist intellectuals and by Democratic Party leaders, who care not a whit about the carnage in many black communities because it is a step toward fulfilling their “dream” of a paternalistic, semi-socialist America.

Full socialism–National Socialism and Communism–murders tens of millions of innocent victims. Semi-socialism murders only tens of thousands–and to racist U.S. leftists, “only” blacks, whose lives do not matter. In truth, black lives matter because all human lives matter.

But if black lives truly mattered to the Left, it would advocate three political principles:

  1. A full phase-out of the U.S. welfare state
  2. End the politcal-legal war on drugs and transform this “war” into a moral-philosophic-educational one
  3. Definitively abolish all minimum wage laws and permit wage rates to fall to market levels, where all low-skilled teenagers could be hired and productively employed.

In brief, if black lives mattered–if all human lives matter–they would support individual rights and capitalism.

 

FDA Makes American Drugs Expensive

A Cure for Swelling Drug Prices: Competition” (WSJ) explains how the FDA limits competition by delaying approval for sale of drugs approved as safe in other countries:

If the U.S. allowed the sale of drugs that regulators in other advanced countries have already approved, it would expose would-be monopolists to many more potential competitors.

….High prices should be a magnet for new suppliers. But first, generic manufacturers must prove to the Food and Drug Administration that their drug has the same quality, strength, purity and stability as the branded drug. That can be costly and time-consuming. The FDA has faced a growing volume of applications. More than 3,000 filed before October 2014 still await approval; the typical lag between application and approval is four years, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a trade group.

….[I]n Europe, EpiPen competes with several devices at a fraction of its U.S. list price of $608.61 per pair. Denmark’s ALK-Abello, which specializes in allergy therapies, sells the Jext pen for $34 to $67 throughout Europe, and is interested in selling it in the U.S. “Our decision will be determined by what it takes to obtain FDA approval,” says a spokesman.

….The FDA has long insisted, for safety reasons, that it approve all drugs regardless of whether they have been approved overseas. […] Ken Kaitin, a professor of medicine at Tufts University who has studied drug regulation around the world, says there is “absolutely no evidence” the U.S. drug supply is safer than in Britain, Canada or Europe.

Related:

Piketty’s Socialist Inspired Theories Dismissed By Evidence

‘No Empirical Evidence’ for Thomas Piketty’s Inequality Theory, IMF Economist Argues – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Mr. Piketty hypothesized that income inequality has risen because returns on capital—such as profits, interest and rent that are more gleanings of the rich than the poor—outpaced economic growth. The evidence modern capitalism foments inequality, the former adviser to French Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal argued, was in capital’s rising share of income at the expense of labor’s contribution over the last four decades.

But Mr. Piketty’s thesis, posed by the French economist in his controversial 2013 tome “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” isn’t proved by historical data, says International Monetary Fund economist Carlos Góes.“There is little more than some apparent correlations the reader can eyeball in charts,” Mr. Góes says in a new paper published by the IMF. “While rich in data, the book provides no formal empirical testing for its theoretical causal chain.” Mr. Góes tested the thesis against three decades of data from 19 advanced economies. “I find no empirical evidence that dynamics move in the way Piketty suggests.”

In fact, for three-quarters of the countries he studied, inequality actually fell when capital returns accelerated faster than output.

Those findings support previous work by Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and political scientist James Robinson, now of the University of Chicago, suggesting Mr. Piketty’s thesis was far too simplistic for the complexities of real-world economies that are affected by politics and technology.

Regressive Leftists Oppose Redskins Name, While Native Americans Embrace It

From New poll finds 9 in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name – The Washington Post:

Nine in 10 Native Americans say they are not offended by the Washington Redskins name, according to a new Washington Post poll that shows how few ordinary Indians have been persuaded by a national movement to change the football team’s moniker.

[…]

Among the Native Americans reached over a five-month period ending in April, more than 7 in 10 said they did not feel the word “Redskin” was disrespectful to Indians. An even higher number — 8 in 10 — said they would not be offended if a non-native called them that name.

[…]

But for more than a decade, no one has measured what the country’s 5.4 million Native Americans think about the controversy. Their responses to The Post poll were unambiguous: Few objected to the name, and some voiced admiration. “I’m proud of being Native American and of the Redskins,” said Barbara Bruce, a Chippewa teacher who has lived on a North Dakota reservation most of her life. “I’m not ashamed of that at all. I like that name.” Bruce, 70, has for four decades taught her community’s schoolchildren, dozens of whom have gone on to play for the Turtle Mountain Community High School Braves. She and many others surveyed embrace native imagery in sports because it offers them some measure of attention in a society where they are seldom represented. Just 8 percent of those canvassed say such depictions bother them.

Comments Naomi Schaefer Riley in the Atlantic:

As a recent Washington Post survey concluded, most American Indians are not offended by the term “Redskins”—the name of D.C.’s football team. In interviews, I couldn’t find a single native who mentioned sports-team names as an important issue facing American Indians today. While I did read one editorial in a reservation newsletter arguing against the celebration of Columbus Day, I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to discuss the issue further.

While researchers have argued that team names such as this impair Native youths’ self-esteem, many of those young people have grown up in poverty, living with one or no parents, often exposed to adults who have problems with drugs and alcohol. When these young people have few educational options and little hope of employment ahead of them, it seems ignorant, if not offensive, to focus solely on the names of sports teams, if that distracts from addressing more serious problems. [Native Americans in the U.S. and Property Rights: A Comparative Look at Canada’s First Nations Property Ownership Act – The Atlantic]

Or perhaps it is smart of so-called tribal leaders to create distractions so they don’t get blamed for not addressing the real problem.

Why blame the policies that benefit them as tribal leaders, but hurt Indians in general, when the Washington Redskins can serve as a scapegoat. After all look what it has done to empower and enrich “Black Leaders.”

Time To Bring Native Americans The Foundation of the American Dream: Property Rights

Native Americans in the U.S. and Property Rights: A Comparative Look at Canada’s First Nations Property Ownership Act – The Atlantic:

The 2 million Natives in the U.S. have the highest rate of poverty of any racial group—almost twice the national average. This deprivation seems to contribute not only to higher rates of crime but also to higher rates of suicide, alcoholism, gang membership, and sexual abuse. As of 2011, the suicide rate for Native American men aged 15 to 34 was 1.5 times higher than for the general population. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Natives aged 10 to 34.

Alcohol-use disorders are more likely among American Indian youths than among any other ethnic group. Involvement in gang activity is more prevalent among Native Americans than it is among Latinos and African Americans. Native American women report being raped two-and-a-half times as often as the national average. 
The rate of child abuse among Native Americans is twice as high as the national average. And each of these problems is worse among the half of Natives who live on reservations.

[…]

The economic devastation in American Indian communities is not simply a result of their history as victims of forced assimilation, war, and mass murder; it’s a result of the federal government’s current policies, and particularly its restrictions on Natives’ property rights.

Reservation land is held “in trust” for Indians by the federal government. The goal of this policy was originally to keep Indians contained to certain lands. Now, it has shifted to preserving these lands for indigenous peoples. But the effect is the same. Indians can’t own land, so they can’t build equity. This prevents American Indians from reaping numerous benefits.

[…]

Indian reservations, Terry Anderson and Shawn Regan wrote in Louisiana State University’s Journal of Energy Law and Resources, “contain almost 30 percent of the nation’s coal reserves west of the Mississippi, 50 percent of potential uranium reserves, and 20 percent of known oil and gas reserves”—resources worth nearly $1.5 trillion, or $290,000 per tribal member. Tragically, “86 percent of Indian lands with energy or mineral potential remain undeveloped because of federal control of reservations that keeps Indians from fully capitalizing on their natural resources if they desire.”

[…]

The people I met on reservations were not suffering because others don’t understand their heritage or know their tribal language. What American Indians need are real property rights.

Washington Post Mounts The Case Against Trump

Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy – The Washington Post

DONALD J. TRUMP […] is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

[…]

    …there is nothing on Mr. Trump’s résumé to suggest he could function successfully in Washington. He was staked in the family business by a well-to-do father and has pursued a career marked by some real estate successes, some failures and repeated episodes of saving his own hide while harming people who trusted him.

[…]
   
    Given his ignorance, it is perhaps not surprising that Mr. Trump offers no coherence when it comes to policy. In years past, he supported immigration reform, gun control and legal abortion; as candidate, he became a hard-line opponent of all three. Even in the course of the campaign, he has flip-flopped on issues such as whether Muslims should be banned from entering the United States and whether women who have abortions should be punished. Worse than the flip-flops is the absence of any substance in his agenda. Existing trade deals are “stupid,” but Mr. Trump does not say how they could be improved. The Islamic State must be destroyed, but the candidate offers no strategy for doing so. Eleven million undocumented immigrants must be deported, but Mr. Trump does not tell us how he would accomplish this legally or practically.

    What the candidate does offer is a series of prejudices and gut feelings, most of them erroneous. Allies are taking advantage of the United States. Immigrants are committing crimes and stealing jobs. Muslims hate America. In fact, Japan and South Korea are major contributors to an alliance that has preserved a peace of enormous benefit to Americans. Immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans and take jobs that no one else will. Muslims are the primary victims of Islamist terrorism, and Muslim Americans, including thousands who have served in the military, are as patriotic as anyone else.

[…]

    Worse, he doesn’t seem to care about its limitations on executive power. He has threatened that those who criticize him will suffer when he is president. He has vowed to torture suspected terrorists and bomb their innocent relatives, no matter the illegality of either act. He has vowed to constrict the independent press. He went after a judge whose rulings angered him, exacerbating his contempt for the independence of the judiciary by insisting that the judge should be disqualified because of his Mexican heritage. Mr. Trump has encouraged and celebrated violence at his rallies.
   
[…]

    The party’s failure of judgment leaves the nation’s future where it belongs, in the hands of voters. Many Americans do not like either candidate this year . We have criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the past and will do so again when warranted. But we do not believe that she (or the Libertarian and Green party candidates, for that matter) represents a threat to the Constitution. Mr. Trump is a unique and present danger.

A Message To Ted Cruz on His Speech Before Donald Trump

A message worth reading….

To the honorable Senator Cruz,

I write these words in great haste, since in a few short hours you will address the RNC. At that moment you will be handed a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: you will have the chance to denounce Donald J. Trump, your party’s 2016 Presidential Nominee, as the disgrace to our Republic and to your party that you know him to be. I urge you to take it. I plead with you to take it. I beg you to take it. And, with what little eloquence I possess, I will try to persuade you to take it.

Senator, you have three choices: You may endorse Trump, you may try to neither endorse nor reject him, or you may reject him.

If you endorse him, then you will forever bear the stain and responsibility for that endorsement. If there is any sense left in America, any decency left in America, or even a decent sense of smell left in America, then Trump will be defeated in a spectacular land-slide. That is the best that you can hope for your party and for your subsequently tarnished reputation. Worse will be if he loses by a modest margin, for it will embolden many would-be demagogues to attempt what he nearly achieved. And why wouldn’t it? Then President H.R. Clinton would be no less compromised by her past in 2020 than Senator H.R. Clinton is today, in 2016. Some other charlatan will realize that if Trump had only been just slightly less stupid, slightly less narcissistic, and slightly more Presidential, then he would have been swept into office on a massive wave of support. Worst will be if he is elected, and may God forbid such a day to see light. You will then be responsible for having endorsed the ascension of America’s Nero. He will fiddle away with tweets while our country burns. He will loot it, and line his filthy pockets, while he drives it further into bankruptcy-just as he has done half a dozen times before. And when it is over he will brag that he came out richer.

Did President Bill Clinton’s Lewinski scandal embarrass you as an American and offend you as a Christian? Imagine President Trump. Did the Watergate scandal and the lying and cheating of President Richard Nixon leave an entire generation disillusioned and distrustful of our national institutions? Imagine President Trump. Are you ashamed of the racism of President Johnson? Observe Donald Trump. Did the Smoot-Hawley tariffs devastate international trade and help bring on the Great Depression? Imagine President Trump. Roosevelt’s Japanese internment camps? Imagine Trump. Bush’s lies about WMDs? Trump. The Alien and Sedition Acts? Trump. Kennedy’s Philandery? Trump. Teapot Dome? Trump. The worst of all our national disgraces and debacles will be trumped by Trump, excluding-one hopes- only slavery and the slaughter of Native Americans.

In the name of preventing more violence and the pain that its victims will endure, I will use violent words, though I know some find them painful to hear:

Donald Trump will rape America.
And then he will call her a slut.
Will you endorse him?

What if you try to avoid the stubby orange elephant in the stadium, and try to neither endorse nor reject? To your party’s die-hards and insiders you will still appear disloyal and uncooperative. To the rest of your country you will appear feckless. Everyone will know that you do not support him, they will suspect that secretly you loathe him, and they will still say that you put the good of your party before the good of your country, and the good of your political career before the good of your soul.

Let me ask you, is the good of the Republican party so great a thing, when it nominates Donald Trump to the highest office in the land? It must be rebuilt or it must be replaced, but there is precious little by which it can be redeemed. He would not disavow the leader of the Ku Klux Klan – so can you or your party afford not to disavow him?

As for your own political future, you have staked your reputation on being unwavering loyal to conservative principles. You present yourself as being truly a man of conviction, and not merely one more Washington actor playing the part of ‘Representative with scruples’. If that is true, then let it be true now, for there has never been a firmer moral ground for you to stand upon. If it is false, then begin, today, to make it true if you would seek to be better, or give the performance of a lifetime. You will have a starring role in the most dramatic political moment in decades.

Won’t it ruin your relationship with the Republican party? You are notoriously unpopular with your fellow Republicans; or so it is said. Why not be unpopular with them for good reason, and popular with the American people for better reason still? You can run as an independent for the rest of your days and never be in doubt about your senate seat. You might even still be nominated for President. It looks like they’ll nominate just about anybody these days.

But, Honorable Senator Cruz, I truly hope that you are the man you claim to be. That you do have principles and convictions.

Sir, I am not a Republican. But if you are a loyal Republican, then I bid you to save the reputation and future chances of your party. You will further divide it today, but you will preserve some part of it for tomorrow. Trump and ‘Trumpism’ are gangrenous, by blade or by blaze you must eliminate them. I have read that tonight you will be speaking about how conservativism can still have a bright future in America. Still is right- your party and, by extension, conservatism, have never been under a darker cloud of ignominy. If you want either to have a future, you must show the nation and show us dramatically that there are some Republicans and some so-called Conservatives who know the difference between right and wrong or between a statesman and a would-be tin-pot dictator. At a time when race relations are at their worst, you may, at least, reject one of their worst instigators.

Sir, I am not a Christian. But if you embrace the message of Christ, and if you believe there is a Maker who will one day hold you to account, then surely you must know that He will hold you to account for what you do tonight. Remember that no man can serve two masters. Is your Lord a God of Justice? Of Mercy? Of Wisdom? Of Truth? Of Righteousness? Or is your master vanity, avarice, illicit power and the gold-plated calf that has been erected as its idol and that stands – or slouches – as its most shocking symbol?

Sir, my Honorable Sir, I am no Senator, no Statesman. I have never so much as dabbled in politics. But I do consider myself a patriotic American, and as such I charge you – as an elected representative in our highest legislative body to defend the Constitution from a man who has not read it, cannot understand it, and will never respect it.

If you clearly, articulately, and unwaveringly explain why you oppose the most wretched man to ever stand for this great office it will be remembered for the rest of your life and political career. Even your opponents, who would concede you nothing good, will begrudgingly admit that you did no wrong when you undid Trump. Everyone else will admire it as an act of independence, of courage, and of principle.

God bless you, Senator Cruz. May you always choose what is right even if it is hard rather than what is easy even if it is wrong.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jason Rheins

To anyone else who may read this- I urge you to share it, retweet it, or whatever you can so that some leader who could yet make some difference might yet do some good.