The denouncements

August 16, 2017

I was away from internet during the Charlotteville fiasco and aftermath, and I returned to find my Facebook feed filled with demands for denouncements. I don’t like to take orders, but in this case I’m game. So without further ado, the denouncements:

  1. To the white supremacists: Your ideology is repellent and you have no place in a civilized society. Moreover, you have no grasp of history. America is not the product of “white people.” It is the culmination of ideas that come down to us originally from the Jews and the Greeks, two peoples you hate. Among those who have tried to destroy America and the principles she is based on are the Confederates and the Nazis, two groups you love. We tolerate your presence in this country, not because we have any affinity for your racism, but because our own ideology demands that we tolerate even those we find repellent. Your aim of sparking a race war in America will never succeed.
  2. To Antifa and the other communist thugs: You represent the only ideology in the world with more blood on its hands than the white supremacists. I would say you’re not helping, but we both know you’re not trying to help. The only difference between you and the white supremacists is which collectivist tyranny you want to install after tearing down the republic.
  3. To Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe: I’m sure it seemed really clever to let the thugs fight it out in your streets and then exploit the carnage for political benefit. Now an innocent woman is dead. You should have done your job and directed the state police to maintain order. Don’t tell us the state police were outgunned. We know that’s a lie.
  4. To all the people who advocate political violence, against white supremacists or whomever: Your stance doesn’t mean you hate Nazis more. It means you are a bad American. In this country, we resolve our differences through legal and political processes, not through violence. Plus, you’re an idiot. If our republic breaks down because violence has replaced politics, do you think that will help your cause? Not bloody likely. I’m not just talking here to the Washington Post and to David Harbour. I’m talking to every person who has told me that it’s okay to punch neo-Nazis, imagining that saying so makes them a better person. I hope you see now where that road leads.
  5. To the media/Democrats: You share a common aim with the white supremacists. You both want the public to think that there are a lot of white supremacists, when in fact they are a tiny fringe movement. They think it will help them grow their disgusting movement; you think the backlash will push people to vote Democratic. I would have hoped that 2016 would have taught you the risks of trying to play angles. You wanted an easy win for Democrats, but instead you got Trump. Just tell the story straight. When Richard Spencer gives a speech, there are more press there than Nazis. It’s okay to ignore him.
  6. To Donald Trump: Please get better at your job. When evil people endorse you, you disclaim them immediately, even when there are other evil people out there. This isn’t hard.

The tragedy of Venezuela

August 2, 2017

Dedicated to all the socialists who have defended Chavism (some on this very site):

Venezuela had been a rising nation, buoyed by the world’s largest oil reserves, but by the time I arrived, even high global oil prices couldn’t keep shortages and rapid inflation at bay. . .

Over the course of three years, I said good-bye to most of those friends, as well as regular long-distance phone service and six international airline carriers. I got used to carrying bricks of rapidly devaluing cash in tote bags to pay for meals. We still drove to the beach, but began hurrying back early to get off the highway before bandits came out. Stoplights became purely ornamental because of the risk of carjackings.

There was no war or natural disaster. Just ruinous mismanagement that turned the collapse of prices for the country’s oil in 2015 into a national catastrophe.

POSTSCRIPT: I do have to point out that she contradicts herself between the first and last line. The fall in oil prices hastened Venezuela’s collapse, but it wasn’t the cause, as she recognizes in the first line. Today, the price of oil hardly matters, as Venezuela is mostly incapable of producing oil any more.