How sad. This guy from Milwaukee doesn’t seem familiar with the concept of earning money.

A guy who has lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin his entire life complains that rich people aren’t giving money to poor people.

I feel so sad for this guy. Apparently, it never occurred to him that a person could obtain money by obtaining education and job skills and earning the money.

Who taught him to think the way he does? Was it his parents? Was it his teachers? Whoever it was that taught him to think like this, they were wrong.

I hope for this young man’s sake that he will eventually come to realize that what these people taught him was wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1Ex5NZKvCg

August 15, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, Economics, Racism. 6 comments.

Venezuelans make 36 hour round trip to Brazil just to go grocery shopping

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-venezuela-brazil-idUKKCN10L1KE

Venezuelans flood Brazil border in 36-hour grocery run

August 10, 2016

Government employee Jose Lara this month used some vacation days to take a long scenic bus ride through the verdant plateaus and sweeping savannas of southern Venezuela, but the trip was anything but a holiday.

It was a 36-hour grocery run.

Lara took an overnight bus and then a pick-up truck to get across the border to neighboring Brazil to buy food staples that have gone scarce in Venezuela’s crisis-stricken economy.

“Workers can’t even enjoy vacation anymore. Look where I am! Buying food for my children,” said Lara, 40, who was preparing to load 30-kilo (66-pound) packages of rice and flour onto a bus to complete a journey that takes close to 36 hours.

Venezuelans seeking to escape their socialist economy’s dysfunction are flooding into the remote Brazilian town of Pacaraima in search of basic goods that are prohibitively expensive or only available after hours in line.

Shoppers have been coming for months, primarily from the industrial city of Puerto Ordaz – already a 12-hour bus ride – but lately they’re also arriving from even more far flung regions across the country.

Venezuelans spend hours in supermarket lines. Many increasingly complain that they cannot get enough food to eat three meals per day.

Low oil prices and massive debt-servicing costs have left the country without foreign exchange to import goods, while price and currency controls have crippled domestic companies’ capacity to produce locally.

President Nicolas Maduro says the government is the victim of an “economic war” led by the United States.

‘THE LINE’

Under pressure from local residents after Maduro shut the western border with Colombian border in 2015, Venezuelan authorities allowed several temporary openings for similar shopping excursions in July. Colombia last month halted those trips after more than 100,000 people crossed in a single weekend.

The more remote Brazilian border was never closed.

In the Pacaraima, known to Venezuelans as “La Linea” or “The Line” because it is immediately across the border, cramped shops are now piled high with sacks of rice, sugar, and flour.

Products piled to waist height stand at the entrance of convenience stores, auto parts shops and even a farm supply store.

“It’s good business, but the price of everything is going up in Boa Vista,” said Mauricio Macedo, 26, who works at a family business that sells artisanal decorations such as clay figurines but for three months has been primarily focused on food items.

Venezuelan regulations require that staple products be sold for a pittance – a kilo of rice is set at the equivalent of $0.12. But obtaining goods at those prices requires waiting in long lines that are increasingly the site of robberies or lootings. That leaves Venezuelans reliant on the black market, where the same bag of rice fetches the equivalent of $2.20.

In Pacaraima, sugar and rice sell for about 40 percent to 45 percent less than what they would cost on Venezuela’s black market. The discount is worth it despite the cost of the trip.

Shoppers usually take a 12-hour overnight bus ride from Puerto Ordaz to the town of Santa Elena de Uairen. They then travel roughly 15 minutes by van or pick-up truck to La Linea. They spend the morning and much of the afternoon shopping, then head back across the border to catch another overnight bus.

“We’re in an economic crisis and I have to come to another country to buy food,” said Juan Sansonetti, 31, standing under the sun with a large sack of flour on his shoulder. “There isn’t much more to say, is there?”

 

August 10, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. 1 comment.

Venezuelan police threaten to put BBC reporter in jail if he doesn’t delete video footage of customers waiting in line for 12 hours at a supermarket

The BBC reports:

Thrown out of a Venezuelan supermarket by police

July 28, 2016

Shortages and the failure of systems to distribute goods make shopping for the essentials of daily life a huge challenge for many Venezuelans.

In one supermarket, where shoppers have been queuing for up to 12 hours to buy food, BBC reporter Vladimir Hernandez is surrounded by police and told to leave.

The crowd of shoppers shouts, “Let them film!” but the police threaten to hold the crew overnight in a police cell unless they delete their footage.

Here is the video footage in question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-bef4NkNP8

August 4, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Venezuela. 1 comment.

Black Fathers Matter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FszQelEQ2KY

August 1, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, Economics, Politics, Racism. Leave a comment.

I just added 47 items to my list of Obama’s lies, lawbreaking, etc.

Items 1 through 500 can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/

Items 501 through 1,000 can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/obama-part-2/

Items 1,001 through 1,249 can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/obama-part-3/

Here are the new entries:

1,203) Although Obama said he opposed building the Keystone oil pipeline in the U.S. because it would contribute to climate change, he supported building an oil pipeline in Kenya

In November 2015, Obama said he opposed building the Keystone oil pipeline in the U.S. because it would contribute to climate change. However, in January 2016, he supported building an oil pipeline in Kenya.

1,204) Video shows a Common Core textbook sales executive saying “I hate kids. I’m in it to sell books.”

In January 2016, it was reported that a video showed a Common Core textbook sales executive saying:

“I hate kids. I’m in it to sell books.”

You can see her saying it at 1:13 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8tZGl1SVs0

1,205) After a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay threatend to kill Americans, Obama sent him back to his home country of Saudi Arabia

In October 2007, Muhammad al Rahman al-Shumrani, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, said:

“When I get out of here, I will go to Iraq and Afghanistan and kill as many Americans as I can. Then I will come here and kill more Americans.” 

However, in January 2016, Obama sent him back to his home country of Saudi Arabia.

1,206) In January 2016, Obama made yet another attempt to get banks to give mortgages to people who could not afford to pay them back

In January 2016, it was reported that Obama was making yet another attempt to convince banks to give mortgages to people who could not afford to pay them back.

1,207) Refused to prosecute Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for illegally storing top secret information on her private email server

In January 2016, it was reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had illegally stored top secret information on her private email server. However, Obama refused to prosecute her.

1,208) The EPA knew about the dangerous levels of lead in the water in Flint, Michigan for months without warning the people not to drink it

In 2016, CNN reported the following about the high levels of lead in the water in Flint, Michigan:

The EPA says anything over 15 ppb is unsafe, and Walters’ home tested at more than 13,000 ppb.

Emails show that it was 11 months from the time that an EPA official first expressed concern over high levels of lead in Walters’ home — and seven months from when Del Toral wrote his draft memo — until the EPA issued an emergency order in Flint.

1,209) A statement by Obama on the use of guns for self defense contradicted a previous study which had been funded by his own administration

In January 2016, Obama said:

“And so if you look at the statistics, there’s no doubt that there are times where somebody who has a weapon has been able to protect themselves and scare off an intruder or an assailant. But what is more often the case is that they may not have been able to protect themselves but they end up the victim of the weapon that they purchased themselves.”

However, a 2013 study which had been funded by the Obama administration stated:

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

1,210) Illegally ignored a judge’s order to release the rest of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails before the first primary elections of 2016

In January 2016, it was reported that the State Department had said it would ignore a judge’s order to release the rest of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails before the first primary elections of 2016.

1,211) Obama asked Christians, but not Muslims, to cover up their religious symbols when he visited them to give speeches

In 2012, when Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, a Catholic school, he asked the school to cover up its religious symbols. However, in 2016, when he gave a speech at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, he did not make the same request.

1,212) Pressured Ally Bank to pay a settlement for racial discrimination even though there was no evidence that the bank had actually engaged in racial discrimination

In February 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had pressured Ally Bank to pay a settlement for racial discrimination even though there was no evidence that the bank had actually engaged in racial discrimination.

1,213) Continued Bush’s policy of spending $5.7 billion of taxpayers’ money on a cyber defense system that did not work

In February 2016, it was reported that the administrations of Bush and Obama had spent a combined total of $5.7 billion of taxpayers’ money on a cyber defense system that did not work.

1,214) After Obama signed the Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill, the number of new banks that opened up each year in the U.S. fell by more than 99%

Before Obama signed the Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill in 2010, more than 100 new banks had opened up each year in the U.S. However, during the combined five years after Obama signed the bill, a total of only three new banks had opened up in the U.S.

1,215) Spent $412,930 of taxpayers’ money to study the “relationship between gender and glaciers”

In March 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had spent $412,930 of taxpayers’ money to study the “relationship between gender and glaciers.”

1,216) The “most transparent administration in history” illegally ignored a court order to turn over certain Fast and Furious documents

In April 2016, it was reported that the Department of Justice had illegally ignored a court order to turn over certain Fast and Furious documents.

1,217) After Obamacare caused Obama supporting graduate students at the University of Missouri to lose their insurance, they falsely blamed it on the school

In August 2015, the University of Missouri issued the following message to its graduate students:

“The Affordable Care Act prevents employers from giving employees money specifically so they can buy health insurance on the individual market. Graduate teaching and research assistants are classified as employees by the IRS, so they fall under this ruling.”

However, in November 2015, left wing graduate students who had voted for Obama, falsely blamed their loss of insurance on the school, instead of on Obamacare.

1,218) Falsely said it was “racist” for landlords to do criminal background checks on prospective tenants

In April 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development falsely said that it was “racist” for landlords to do criminal background checks on prospective tenants.

1,219) Continued Bush’s policy of refusing to fire the State Department official who had approved visas for 11 of the September 11, 2001 terrorists

In April 2016, it was reported that the State Department official who had approved visas for 11 of the September 11, 2001 terrorists was still employed by the federal government.

1,220) Ben Rhodes, the person whom Obama chose to be his lead foreign policy advisor, has a master’s degree in fiction, and has no experience or training in foreign policy

In May 2016, the New York Times reported:

The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru

How Ben Rhodes rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age

Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. He is, according to the consensus of the two dozen current and former White House insiders I talked to, the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Potus himself.

His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.

Having recently spent time working in Hollywood, I realize during our conversations that the role Rhodes plays in the White House bears less resemblance to any specific character on Beltway-insider TV shows like “The West Wing” or “House of Cards” than it does to the people who create those shows. And like most TV writers, Rhodes clearly prefers to imagine himself in the company of novelists.

Jon Favreau, then the campaign’s lead speechwriter, felt as if he could use a foreign-affairs expert who could write… “The idea of someone with a masters in fiction… seemed perfect for a candidate who put so much emphasis on storytelling.”

1,221) Ben Rhodes, Obama’s lead foreign policy advisor, said the Obama administration had lied in order to make its nuclear inspection deal with Iran

In May 2016, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s lead foreign policy advisor, said the Obama administration had lied in order to make its nuclear inspection deal with Iran.

1,222) Gun control hypocrite Obama allowed the Secret Service to shoot an armed man outside the White House

When Obama was an Illinois state Senator, he voted against allowing people in their own homes to use guns to protect themselves and their families from rapists and murderers.

However, in May 2016, as President, Obama allowed one of his Secret Service agents to shoot an armed man who was outside the White House.

1,223) “U.S.-funded Somali intelligence agency has been using kids as spies”

In May 2016, the Washington Post reported:

U.S.-funded Somali intelligence agency has been using kids as spies

MOGADISHU, Somalia — For years they were children at war, boys given rifles and training by al-Qaeda-backed militants and sent to the front lines of this country’s bloody conflict. Many had been kidnapped from schools and soccer fields and forced to fight.

The United Nations pleaded for them to be removed from the battlefield. The United States denounced the Islamist militants for using children to plant bombs and carry out assassinations.

But when the boys were finally disarmed — some defecting and others apprehended — what awaited them was yet another dangerous role in the war. This time, the children say, they were forced to work for the Somali government.

The boys were used for years as informants by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), according to interviews with the children and Somali and U.N. officials. They were marched through neighborhoods where al-Shabab insurgents were hiding and told to point out their former comrades. The faces of intelligence agents were covered, but the boys — some as young as 10 — were rarely concealed, according to the children. Several of them were killed. One tried to hang himself while in custody.

The Somali agency’s widespread use of child informants, which has not been previously documented, appears to be a flagrant violation of international law. It raises difficult questions for the U.S. government, which for years has provided substantial funding and training to the Somali agency through the CIA, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The child informants were used to collect intelligence or identify suspects in some of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods, according to their accounts.

“They took me sometimes in a car and sometimes on foot and said, ‘Tell us who is al-Shabab,’­ ” recalled one 15-year-old who said he was held by the intelligence agency. “It’s scary because you know everyone can see you working with them.”

The teenager was one of eight boys interviewed by The Washington Post who described being forced to work as informants after leaving al-Shabab. The boys each spoke alone, through an interpreter, but their accounts were nearly identical. They said they spent years in the custody of intelligence agents and were dragged along on missions, sometimes several times a week. Occasionally, they were told to wear NISA uniforms. They were threatened with violence if they didn’t cooperate, several boys said. Their parents didn’t know where they were.

1,224) Illegally used taxpayers’ money to bail out Puerto Rico

In May 2016, it was reported that Obama had used taxpayer’s money to bail out Puerto Rico. Because Obama did this without approval from Congress, his action was illegal.

1,225) Former Obama speechwriters laughed at Obama’s promise that people could keep their health insurance

In May 2016, on “Charlie Rose: The Week,” former Obama speechwriters laughed at Obama’s promise that people could keep their health insurance. Video of this can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkqn6wsrUfs

1,226) A federal judge ruled that some of the funding for Obamacare was unconstitutional

In May 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that some of the funding for Obamacare was unconstitutional, because it had not been approved by Congress.

1,227) “Hidden Microphones Exposed As Part of Government Surveillance Program In The Bay Area”

In May 2016, the San Francisco affiliate of CBS News reported:

Hidden Microphones Exposed As Part of Government Surveillance Program In The Bay Area

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Hidden microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.

Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing.  It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn’t even need a warrant to do it.

Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.

Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”

FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.

1,228) A federal judge ordered lawyers from the Department of Justice to take ethics classes because they had lied to him in order to get Obama’s immigration program approved

In May 2016, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered lawyers from the Department of Justice to take ethics classes because they had lied to him in order to get Obama’s immigration program approved.

1,229) Reports from the Department of Justice suggested that guns from Obama’s Fast And Furious program had been linked to at least 69 killings by Mexican drug cartels

In May 2016, it was reported that newly released documents from the Department of Justice suggested that guns from Obama’s Fast And Furious program had been linked to at least 69 killings by Mexican drug cartels.

1,230) Falsely declared more than 4,000 veterans dead, and wrongly cut off their benefits

In May 2016, it was reported that between between 2011 and 2015, the Veterans Administration had falsely declared more than 4,000 veterans dead, and had wrongly cut off their benefits.

1,231) Falsely said it was “racist” for colleges and universities to conduct criminal background checks on prospective students

In May 2016, the U.S Department of Education falsely said it was “racist” for colleges and universities to conduct criminal background checks on prospective students

1,232) The “most transparent administration in history” deleted online conflict of interest disclosures for top federal officials

In May 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had deleted online conflict of interest disclosures for top federal officials.

The Daily Caller reported that before these online reports were deleted by the Obama administration, they had been:

… the primary tool that watchdog journalists, political activists and interested voters can use to guard against presidential appointees using their positions to enrich themselves or others….

… website featured a sortable, searchable list of over 1,000 government appointees, including their names, agencies and titles, and flagging new ones. By clicking on a name, users could easily access multiple disclosures for the appointee, including yearly financial accounting, stock ownership and a letter detailing any agreements surrounding conflicts, such as issues when the individual promises to recuse himself….

1,233) Obama extorted banks into making “donations” to some of his favorite left wing community organizing groups

In May 2016, it was reported that after Obama sued Citigroup and Bank of America over their actions regarding the collapse of the housing bubble, Obama told these banks that they would only have to pay 50 cents on the dollar if, instead of paying the settlement money to the actual victims, they “donated” the settlement money to some of Obama’s favorite left wing community organizing groups, including NeighborWorks and La Raza.

1,234) Obama’s refugee program continued to discriminate against Christian refugees from Syria, even though Christians in that country were being specifically targeted for persecution

Christians made up 10% of Syria’s population, and they were being specifically targeted by ISIS.

However, in May 2016, the Obama administration admitted 1,035 Muslim refugees from Syria into the U.S., but only two Christian refugees from that same country.

1,235) The “most transparent administration in history” edited a video of a press briefing to remove a question from Fox News correspondent James Rosen 

In June 2016, it was reported that the State Department had edited a video of a press briefing to remove a question from Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

1,236) After the State Department edited a video of a press briefing to remove a question from Fox News correspondent James Rosen, the State Department falsely blamed in on a “glitch”

In June 2016, it was reported that after the State Department had edited a video of a press briefing to remove a question from Fox News correspondent James Rosen, the State Department falsely blamed in on a “glitch.”

1,237) The “most transparent administration in history” refused to answer questions about 86,000 illegal aliens that it had released, who had committed 231,000 crimes in two and a half years

In June 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had refused to answer questions about 86,000 illegal aliens that it had released, who had committed 231,000 crimes in two and a half years.

1,238) Falsely said it would take “75 years” to release all of the emails from top aides to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

In June 2016, the State Department falsely said that it would take “75 years” to release all of the emails from top aides to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

1,239) Obama allowed a major donor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foundation – who had no intelligence experience – to be on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board

In June 2016, it was reported that Obama had allowed a major donor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foundation – who had no intelligence experience – to be on a sensitive government intelligence advisory board

1,240) While endorsing Hillary Clinton for President, Obama falsely said, “… there has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton.”

In July 2016, while endorsing Hillary Clinton for President, Obama falsely said

“… there has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton.”

1,241) Tried to illegally access the electronic medical records of law abiding patients without a warrant

In June 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had tried to illegally access the electronic medical records of law abiding patients without a warrant.

1,242) The Obama administration knowingly allowed Omar Mateen to murder 49 people because it didn’t want to offend Muslims

In June 2016, an Islamic terrorist named Omar Mateen murdered 49 people in Orlando, Florida.

Multiple people had warned the federal government that they thought Omar Mateen was going to commit a terrorist attack, but the government dismissed these complaints because, in the hierarchy of political correctness, not wanting to offend Muslims takes precedence over saving the lives of innocent U.S. citizens.

In 2013, Mateen’s coworkers reported to the FBI that Mateen had made terroristic threats, had told them that he had family connections to Al Qaeda, had told them that he was a member of a Shi’a terrorism organization, and had told them that he hoped to be a martyr (which wikipedia defines as “a man or woman who dies while conducting jihad”).

In response to all of these things, the FBI conducted a 10 month investigation into Mateen.

The FBI closed this 10 month investigation by falsely concluding that Mateen’s coworkers were “racist.”

Also in 2013, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara’s office reported to the FBI that Mateen had said that he could have al-Qaida kill one of Mascara’s employees and the employee’s family, and had also said that the Fort Hood shooter (an Islamic terrorist who murdered 13 people in Texas in 2009) was justified in what he had done.

The FBI investigated this, and falsely concluded that Mateen was “not a threat.”

1,243) Planned to removed references to Islamic terrorism from the transcripts of 911 calls made by Omar Mateen

In June 2016, an Islamic terrorist named Omar Mateen murdered 49 people in Orlando, Florida.

During his attack, Mateen called 911 three times, and made references to ISIS and al-Baghadadi.

Afterward, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the FBI would remove references to ISIS and al-Baghadadi from the transcripts of these 911 calls before releasing them to the public.

However, after people complained about this, the FBI changed its mind and released transcripts with those references included.

1,244) Told federal employees who were investigating Islamic terrorism not to use words such as “jihad,” “sharia,” and “takfir”

In June 2016, the Department of Homeland Security told its employees who were investigating Islamic terrorism not to use words such as “jihad,” “sharia,” and “takfir.”

1,245) The Obama administration lied to Congress about the number of crimes committed by criminal illegal aliens after they had been released by the Obama administration

In July 2015, Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Congress that in 2014, criminal illegal aliens who had been released by the Obama administration had committed 1,423 additional crimes after they had been released.

However, in June 2016, a Freedom of Information request showed that the actual number was 13,288.

1,246) A federal judge ruled that the Obama administration’s fracking rules were illegal

In June 2016, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District Court of Wyoming ruled that the Obama administration’s fracking rules were illegal because they had not been approved by Congress.

1,247) The “most transparent administration in history” allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to omit meetings with political donors, foundation contributors, and corporate interests from her official calendar

In June 2016, Associated Press reported:

An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or omitted the names of those she met.

The fuller details of those meetings were included in files the State Department turned over to the AP after it sued the government in federal court.

1,248) A federal judge said the Obama administration had acted illegally when it used a “stingray” to find a suspect’s apartment without a warrant

According to the Huffington Post, a “stingray” is “a surveillance device that can trick suspects’ cell phones into revealing their locations.”

In July 2016, U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan said that the Obama administration had acted illegally when it used one of these devices to find a suspect’s apartment without a warrant.

1,249) The “most transparent administration in history” continued Bush’s policy of allowing Hillary Clinton to use third parties to hide the true identities of many of the parties who paid her husband to give speeches

Hillary Clinton was a U.S. Senator during the Bush administration, and Secretary of State during Obama’s administration. While holding both jobs, it was often the case that instead of naming the true source of funding for paid speeches that were given by her husband, Bill Clinton, she listed middleman companies, such as “World Management Limited.”

 

July 22, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. 2 comments.

Two minute video shows empty shelves at a Venezuelan supermarket

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtMODsO2NZ4

 

May 28, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

What Seven Hours of Waiting Will Get You in Venezuela

Hugo Chavez referred to his policies as “21st century socialism.” But I don’t see how this is any different from “20th century communism.”

In a capitalist society, a person would spend these same seven hours working at a job, creating real wealth, and getting paid real money, and then after work they would make a quick stop at the supermarket to buy far more food than the scrawny amount that these people are getting for their ridiculous seven hour wait.

Communism has a lot of bad things going for it, and one of the worst is that it causes people to waste so much of their valuable time waiting in very long lines for things that people in capitalist countries can get in just a tiny fraction of that amount of time. Time is one of people’s most valuable resources, and communists don’t seem to care about it at all.

 

https://panampost.com/valerie-marsman/2015/08/19/what-seven-hours-of-waiting-will-get-you-in-venezuela/

What Seven Hours of Waiting Will Get You in Venezuela

August 19, 2015

Take a Walk Down the Atrocity Covered in Wallpaper

“The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” ~ Occam’s razor

“Why can’t you get things? It is very difficult to explain. I understand you are upset, but you can’t give the oligarchy the upper hand. It’s a matter of being united … another economy is an option, the community economy, the one stemming from small producers … do not give these racketeers (the entrepreneurs) resources. You have to wait in line with us as well, but at least in the end you don’t pay as much.”

The above message is meant for Venezuelans, who — though bogged down by out-of-hand inflation, alarming scarcity, and despair over what might come next — choose to attend “community provision” days.

On Saturday morning, my sister-in-law decided to go to one of these events in a poor neighborhood in the heart of Caracas. She did it because organizers had announced that meat, fish, deli meats, and chicken would be available. She arrived at 6 in the morning, was given number 250, and waited in line for seven hours.

To appease my curiosity, I joined her for the final two-hour stretch.

The following is an attempt to describe what the common Venezuelan experiences at this type of event nowadays. I say it’s an “attempt,” because finding the precise words is no easy task. And I haven’t been able to find a better description, a better title, than one that pretty much works for nearly all — if not all — Chavista initiatives: an atrocity wallpapered in propaganda.

The intentions behind the community provision day are clear at the door. Placards with photos of presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro posted at the entrance say: “If it wasn’t for them, this sale would not have been possible.”

The same is going on inside. There is not a single square meter in the crumbling warehouse that doesn’t show either a picture of Chávez and Maduro, a quote from Chávez, or a picture of Chávez with Fidel Castro. The latter perhaps is an attempt to justify the photos of Maduro sitting with Castro in Havana on the 89th birthday of the caudillo, amid the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

Maduro didn’t go on his own; his wife and other officials went with him. Presumably, he charged the expenses to taxpayer funds from the country in which cancer patients — children — have to leave the hospital to protest in the street because they don’t have access to chemotherapy.

“You will be able to buy fish; the meat truck did not come, since it overturned on the way here … inside you will find corvina, white snapper, sardine, mackerel,” says one of the organizers. Here’s the first disappointment: there’s no meat, or sausage, or chicken, and no corvina or snapper, the only good white fish. Instead we must settle for mackerel and sardines, and at not much of a discount (half price relative to regular supermarkets).

The second disappointment: once you enter the warehouse there is no direct access to shopping. Instead there is a new group of chairs. Here, people are made to hear the monologue you have read at the top of the page.

Applause comes only from those who organized the operation, a community council from the area. Apathy reigns among the rest of the audience, and animosity clearly sets in among most, when they see what they can buy: ugly, green potatoes (one kilo per person, hand picked by the person handing them to you); carrots (about the same); some tomatoes that cause a reaction somewhere between repulsion and shame — while boxes of beautiful red tomatoes remain stacked against a wall.

“When will you sell those?” I ask. “Later,” they reply. I suspect they’ll sell those on the side, on the black market, and I’m not alone in my suspicion. The peppers are shamefully small. I get three micro-peppers, no more.

I can also get juices and oatmeal drinks (not milk, which is scarce), which Los Andes produces. The government has expropriated this previously ubiquitous brand, so now you can only find their products at this type of operation. Please click the link, so you can see what this dairy company’s website is for: propaganda again.

At that moment, a woman with a megaphone yells: “these are the achievements of the communal economy. We are growing.”

Raúl Castro used to say “each day, Venezuela and Cuba are becoming more and more the same.” That was in 2010, and even the most feverish mind could not have imagined an experience like the one I had on a Saturday morning. But he was telling the truth. If this is what socialism can offer, we are going to starve.

People begin to show their anger, but in a low grumble: “this is no good,” “I can’t have lost a morning for this.”

Nobody revolts, though. They know that such a person would be an “enemy of the nation,” and therefore subject to being thrown in jail, just like in any other good old fascist state. Complaining in the queue is rebellion, and the government, though inefficient in everything else, is plenty efficient at repression.

Notwithstanding, the country’s general disposition is prone to an impending uprising. Human-rights NGO Provea has been warning about it for a while; President Maduro knows. Even the community council know, though they said, as if to excuse themselves: “No one can despair. It is time to be united. We are facing an economic war. It is very difficult to explain.”

Of course it’s difficult to explain. It is very difficult to explain how the largest petrol boom in the nation’s history ended up in this shipwreck; this “Haiti” sans the earthquake. How does one explain the riches of the Chavista nomenklatura? How could anyone explain to the people waiting in line for six hours that the meat and chicken didn’t arrive, and that they will have to settle for a very few, rotten vegetables?

How long can this go on? It seems uncertain, but I don’t think the people will take it for much longer. It’s clear there is no food.

It is very difficult to explain socialism, simply because it has never worked anywhere. On the other hand, capitalism can explain itself. It’s as easy as what a certain lady said to me: “30 years ago, there was a supermarket here, and you could choose what you wanted and pay cheap for it.”

Mind you, the Venezuela back then wasn’t paradise. Yet this one, compared to that one, is definitely hell on earth. They are trying, in the most miserable, despicable way possible to tie hunger to votes, but using such bad food that the propaganda becomes anything but. It’s anti-propaganda.

Editor’s note: the author of this article expressly asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

May 27, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Politics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

In Venezuela, parents make their children skip school so they can spend all day waiting in line for food at the supermarket

In the real world, there is a tradeoff between time and money. But Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro never seemed to understand this.

Sure, price controls mean that families save money on their grocery bills. But if that means they have to pull their kids out of school so they can spend all day waiting in line at the supermarket, then this monetary savings from lower food prices is more than negated by the fact that the kids are skipping school.

And according to this article from the Atlantic, that is exactly what is happening in Venezuela.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/05/venezuela-is-falling-apart/481755/

Venezuela Is Falling Apart

Scenes from daily life in the failing state

May 12, 2016

In poorer communities, parents often respond to this by taking their kids out of school: They’re more useful standing in line outside a grocery store than sitting in a classroom.

May 23, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Education, Venezuela. 1 comment.

Venezuela arrests business owner because he somehow managed to acquire enough toilet paper to properly stock his employees’ bathrooms

According to this article from the Atlantic, in Venezuela, a labor union at a private business has a clause in its contract which says that the bathrooms must always have toilet paper. I agree with the union on this.

Since price controls caused a shortage of toilet paper, the only way the employer could get enough toilet paper was to illegally buy it on the black market for a price that was higher than the government controlled price.

Now the government is accusing the business owner of “hoarding,” and he could end up going to jail for it.

Interestingly, the article also says that the government might have seized his business if he had not properly stocked the employees’ bathrooms with toilet paper. Darned if you do, and darned if you don’t!

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/05/venezuela-is-falling-apart/481755/

Venezuela Is Falling Apart

Scenes from daily life in the failing state

May 12, 2016

When a Venezuelan entrepreneur we know launched a manufacturing company in western Venezuela two decades ago, he never imagined he’d one day find himself facing jail time over the toilet paper in the factory’s restrooms. But Venezuela has a way of turning yesterday’s unimaginable into today’s normal.

The entrepreneur’s ordeal started about a year ago, when the factory union began to insist on enforcing an obscure clause in its collective-bargaining agreement requiring the factory’s restrooms to be stocked with toilet paper at all times. The problem was that, amid deepening shortages of virtually all basic products (from rice and milk to deodorant and condoms) finding even one roll of toilet paper was nearly impossible in Venezuela—let alone finding enough for hundreds of workers. When the entrepreneur did manage to find some TP, his workers, understandably, took it home: It was just as hard for them to find it as it was for him.

Toilet-paper theft may sound like a farce, but it’s a serious matter for the entrepreneur: Failing to stock the restrooms puts him in violation of his agreement with the union, and that puts his factory at risk of a prolonged strike, which in turn could lead to its being seized by the socialist government under the increasingly unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. So the entrepreneur turned to the black market, where he found an apparent solution: a supplier able to deliver, all at once, enough TP to last a few months. (We’re not naming the entrepreneur lest the government retaliate against him.) The price was steep but he had no other option—his company was at risk.

But the problem wasn’t solved.

No sooner had the TP delivery reached the factory than the secret police swept in. Seizing the toilet paper, they claimed they had busted a major hoarding operation, part of a U.S.-backed “economic war” the Maduro government holds responsible for creating Venezuela’s shortages in the first place. The entrepreneur and three of his top managers faced criminal prosecution and possible jail time.

All of this over toilet paper.

 

May 22, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Police state, Venezuela. 3 comments.

Photographs from Venezuela show that price controls on food are being enforced by a military police state

Here are some photographs from a Wall St. Journal article from last year. Hugo Chavez and his hand picked successor Nicolas Maduro have certainly turned the country into a police state. Chavez called this “socialism.” This is what happens when the government owns the means of production and controls the distribution of resources. In the long run, it must result in a police state. By comparison, in the Scandanavian countries, the farms and supermarkets are owned and operated by the private sector.

I’d be curious to see if Bernie Sanders, Dolores Huerta, Barack Obama, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, or Oliver Stone have ever said anything specifically against what Chavez and Maduro have done in regard to the kinds of things that are in these photographs. All six of those people have either praised Chavez, given an award to someone who praised Chavez, or called themselves a “socialist.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/venezuelas-food-shortages-trigger-long-lines-hunger-and-looting-1440581400

Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting

Violent clashes flare in pockets of the country as citizens wait for hours for basics, such as milk and rice

August 26, 2015

WSJ August 26, 2015 1


Shoppers wait in a long line to enter the “Latino supermarket” in the Dr. Portillo area of Maracaibo, Venezuela, on August 12.

WSJ August 26, 2015 2


Shoppers have their fingerprints scanned while buying government-controlled corn flour at the “Latino Supermarket” in Maracaibo to prevent them from coming back for another ration.

WSJ August 26, 2015 3


National Guard soldiers stand guard in Maracaibo over bags of food confiscated from people who illegally sought to contraband state-controlled food goods for higher prices.

WSJ August 26, 2015 4


National Guard soldiers guard food confiscated from people who sought to sell it for more than the government-set prices.

WSJ August 26, 2015 5


A National Guard soldier leads detainees accused of illegally selling contraband state-controlled food goods in Maracaibo on Aug. 13.

May 19, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Police state, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Venezuela’s Chaos: Every day is like Insane Black Friday

This video is called “Venezuela’s Chaos: Every day is like Insane Black Friday.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isO52VeBUaQ

To see how it got to be that way, see this post that I wrote last year: Venezuelan military tells supermarket customers not to take pictures of empty shelves

 

May 13, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Politics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Attention CNN! It’s not McDonald’s fault that Safiyyah Cotton chose to have a baby out of wedlock. Plus, here’s a rare news article that actually mentions the concept of personal responsibility.

In this seven minute video, CNN talks about a single mother who is struggling to raise her child on the small salary that she earns at McDonald’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SCB1t28nDU

As is always the case with news articles from the mainstream media about struggling single mothers trying to raise their children, the article says absolutely nothing about the baby’s father.

The article doesn’t say that the father has a responsibility to provide for the baby that he chose to create.

The article doesn’t say that the mother has a responsibility to choose a responsible mate to make her baby with.

The article doesn’t say that if they got married, they would only have to pay rent for one apartment instead of two, and so things would be a lot easier.

The article doesn’t say anything about the mother ever having made any attempt to acquire better education and job skills as a way to get a bigger salary.

By comparison, this news article by Inside Edition fully understands the concept of personal responsibility. The article is called “Mom Cries On Dock As Cruise Ship Leaves With Her Kids Still On Board,” and includes the following brilliant quote, the kind of quote that is completely missing in the CNN article about the McDonald’s worker:

Travel expert Mark Murphy told IE: “It is the woman’s fault for not getting back on time. It is not the cruise ship’s fault. It is not the captain’s fault. It is not the cruise line’s fault. Everybody knows the posted time to get back and that ship is on a schedule, it is going to go.”

I absolutely love that quote. I praise Mr. Murphy for saying it. And I praise Inside Edition for including it in the article.

CNN, and all the other mainstream news organizations that write about struggling single mothers without ever mentioning the children’s fathers, should learn a lesson from Inside Edition about how to write a proper news story.

April 28, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Media bias, Politics. 1 comment.

Social justice warriors harass fast food employee who is just trying to do her job

This one fast food employee has more work ethic, integrity, and respect, than all of these social justice warriors combined:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9trsPlvLnQ

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/04/15/fight-for-15-protesters-invade-fast-food-restaurant-invite-worker-to-go-on-strike-listen-to-her-instant-response/

‘Fight for 15′ Protesters Invade Fast Food Restaurant, Invite Worker to Go on ‘Strike’ — Just Watch How She Responds

April 15, 2016

A group of “Fight for 15” protesters invaded a Taco Bell restaurant in Austin, Texas, on Thursday and invited a worker to go on “strike” to demand more money and better working conditions.

The protesters’ message wasn’t well received by the employee, who said she just wanted to do her job.

After one protester informed her it was a “day of action,” the employee responded sharply, “This is also a job that I am trying to do.”

“Y’all are hindering my work, you may leave the building,” she added.

The apparent leader of the protest still finished his speech and invited her to go on “strike” and join the protest — but she didn’t seem interested in the least.

April 15, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Unions. Leave a comment.

I just added 15 new items to my list of Obama’s lies, lawbreaking, etc.

 

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April 10, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. 2 comments.

Here are eight more reasons I’m sooo glad I didn’t vote for Obama

 

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March 27, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. Leave a comment.

Poll: If you had two daughters, and could only give money to one of them…

In this video, the speaker says the government should stop giving money to women for having babies out of wedlock. She says the government should force the biological father to pay for raising the child, instead of the taxpayers.

She also says that if she had two daughters, and one had a baby out of wedlock and needed money to take care of the baby, and the other one got good grades in high school and needed money to pay for college tuition, she would give money to the one who wanted to go to college, and not to the one who had the baby out of wedlock. Her rationale for this is that we should reward good behavior, not bad behavior.,

I agree with her. I believe that we should reward good behavior, not bad behavior. I would give the money to the daughter who wanted to go to college.

Which daughter would you give the money to?

(Video contains lots of profanity.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAre1g_eQhQ

 

 

March 23, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Education, Politics, Polls. 3 comments.

I agree with Obama for allowing a U.S. corporation to open a factory in Cuba

Obama just gave approval for Cleber LLC, an Alabama-based company that builds tractors, to open a factory in Cuba. This will be the first new U.S. factory to be built and operated in Cuba in over 50 years.

As a libertarian, I totally agree with Obama on this issue. Bringing global capitalism to Cuba is a wonderful idea.

The average Cuban citizen earns $20 per month.

Usually, when U.S. corporations open up factories in poor countries, in order to attract workers, they usually pay between two and five times what the average worker in that country makes. So if this trend is followed in Cuba, we can expect this factory to offer workers between $40 and $100 per month.

And then, if current trends continue, we can expect U.S. protesters on the radical left, who never complained about Cubans making $20 per month while employed by the Cuban government, to complain that the $40 to $100 per month the Cuban workers get paid by this U.S. corporation is “exploitative,” just as they always make that same complaint whenever U.S. factories in other poor countries pay their workers between two and fives times what the average worker in those countries makes.

My take on this? Unlike those leftist U.S. protesters, I actually trust Cuban citizens, and citizens in all other poor countries as well, to choose the job that they believe if best for them. I would never protest against someone switching to a new job that pays between two and five times as much as their old job.

Anyway, as someone who believes in free trade and global capitalism, I applaud Obama for letting a U.S. corporation open up a factory in Cuba.

 

February 15, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Economics, Politics. 4 comments.

“… our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker…”

Before U.S. employers can hire a foreign worker using an H1-B visa, they are required by law to prove that there are no U.S. workers who are qualified to do the job.

In this video, the speaker gives employers advice on how to place job ads in such a way so that no U.S. worker will get hired, so they can then hire foreign workers at lower wages.

At 1:43, the speaker says “… our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

 

January 25, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Immigration, Politics. Leave a comment.

Liberals are mad at Wal-Mart for NOT building new stores?????

Well this seems like it’s right out of the Twilight Zone: liberals in Washington D.C. are upset that Wal-Mart had decided not to build two news stores!

The Washington Post reports:

District leaders furious Walmart breaking promise to build stores in poor neighborhoods

January 15, 2015

Walmart abruptly announced Friday that it was abandoning a promise to build stores in Washington’s poorest neighborhoods

Under the initial deal, Walmart could build stores almost anywhere in the District, as long as it opened two stores in its poorest wards and areas of the city sometimes referred to as food deserts, with few – if any – options for fresh produce and groceries. One was planned for Skyland Town Center in Southeast Washington and the other at Capitol Gateway Marketplace in Northeast Washington…

I would expect liberals to be celebrating, not complaining, about the fact that Wal-Mart has decided not to build two new stores.

Hey liberals! Make up your mind! Either you like Wal-Mart, or you hate Wal-Mart. You can’t have it both ways!

January 16, 2016. Tags: , , , , , . Economics, Politics. Leave a comment.

I recently added items #1,173 through #1,180 to my list of Obama’s lies, lawbreaking, etc.

The tech support people at wordpress said my blog post had become too long for a single entry, and suggested that I break it up into multiple entries. So I did exactly that.

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January 7, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. 1 comment.

What happens when a math illiterate, irresponsible person wins a huge lottery jackpot?

At age 27, the unmarried woman in this news story already has 4 kids.

But good news! She just won the lottery! And after taxes, she took home a lump sum of $88 million!

But bad news! She seems to be on a path to wasting all of it on bailing out her serial criminal boyfriend!

Every time she bails him out, the bail is double the previous amount. The most recent time, bail was $12 million. And even though he always shows up for his court appearances, between 7% and 10% of the bail is non-refundable. So for the most recent time, she lost between $840,000 and $1.2 million.

Since she won the lottery less than a year ago, she has already bailed him out three times. If she continues to do this at the same rate, and if the bail amount keeps doubling every time, and if between 7% and 10% is non-refundable, then in less than three years, she will have spent all her money on the non-refundable part of bailing out her boyfriend.

The idea of the bail amount being doubled each time is a fantastic idea. It gives smart people a chance to quit their life of crime before it’s too late. And it shows that stupid people are, well, stupid.

January 7, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Math. Leave a comment.

Why not replace the corporate income tax with a tax on carbon dioxide emissions?

I support a revenue-neutral carbon tax on each ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Start the tax at a low amount (perhaps $5 per ton), and then increase it by some small amount every year (perhaps $2 per ton). And use that tax revenue to lower other taxes by an equal amount. I dare Democrats to push for such a policy.

And in order to get Republicans to go along with it, the tax that gets lowered could be the corporate income tax. We could eventually repeal the entire corporate income tax, and replace it with a carbon dioxide tax.

If Democrats are truly against global warming, and if Republicans are truly against the corporate income tax, then what possible objections could they have to this proposal?

 

December 21, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 8 comments.

I just added items #1,162 through #1,172 to my list of Obama’s lies, lawbreaking, etc.

Items 1 through 500 can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/

Items 501 through 1,000 can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/obama-part-2/

Items 1,001 through 1,172 can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/obama-part-3/

Here are the new entries:

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December 15, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. 8 comments.

I recently added items #1,151 through #1,161 to my list of Obama’s lies, lawbreaking, etc.

The tech support people at wordpress said my blog post had become too long for a single entry, and suggested that I break it up into multiple entries. So I did exactly that.

(more…)

December 14, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. 5 comments.

Bernie Sanders supports $15 minimum wage, but only pays his interns $12 an hour

Bernie Sanders wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But he only pays his interns $12 an hour.

I am curious to hear his explanation for this.

 

October 23, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics. 5 comments.

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