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Income and Wealth Inequality, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Part Two: The bad

Income and Wealth Inequality, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Part Two: The Bad by Peter Burrows 5/4/16 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com (Note: I somehow failed to enter this blog back in May of 2016. It has been retyped and entered 3/20/2020. Still apt.) 

Bernie Sanders is on to something when he says the top one percent of American workers are screwing the rest of us royally, and it’s all because they enjoy special privileges and protections from the government.  The system is rigged, all right.   

Where Bernie is wrong is saying it’s only one percent. It’s closer to seven percent. Here’s how I figure it:  The number of state, local and federal civilian workers is about 17 million. (1) Add almost seven million retired government workers and the number is about 24 million, or seven percent of the total population of 324 million. (2) This is the REAL “one percent.”

This privileged group of fat cats is under-worked, overpaid, impossible to fire, retired too early and retired too generously. Most are unionized, and most are Democrats. Some enjoy job security that is absolutely scandalous.(3)  They form the backbone of the Democrat Party, supplying money, volunteers and party officials. Attend a meeting of your local Democrat Party and there they are: Government workers, active and retired, federal, state and local.  Don’t forget: School teachers and college professors are BIG in this group.

These people enjoy the REAL income inequality we should do something about, not the meritorious inequality that Bernie et al hyperventilate about. I suspect part of the “one percent” meme is a smoke screen to divert attention from the inequality government workers enjoy, at taxpayers’ expense. This pay inequality is for the most part undeserved and simply a function of politicians buying the votes of government employees.

The clueless Republicans should make this inequality an issue, and they should also raise the moral issue that part of the public payrolls are essentially involuntary donations to the Democrat Party from taxpayers who aren’t Democrats. Union dues, after all, come out of the workers’ pay that first comes out of the taxpayers’ pockets.

We’re not talking trivial stuff here.  At the federal level, a Cato Institute study last year put the average difference in pay AND benefits at an astounding $52,000 per year, which amounts to federal employees receiving 78% more than workers in comparable private jobs.  The author of the study summed it up pretty well: “The federal government has become an island of secure and high-paid employment, separated from the ocean of average Americans competing in the economy.” (4)

At the state and local level, things are not much better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the total cost of a state or local worker at 45% more than for an equivalent private sector worker. (5) In fact, the state and local government jobs are by far the bigger problem. While the number of civilian employees at the federal level has been surprisingly flat for the last twenty years or so at about 2.7 million, state and local government employment has gone from six million in the 1950’s to over 19 million today. (6)

Let me be clear about a number of things. First, I don’t blame the workers. They are taking advantage of a good deal that they individually had little to do with. At a recent visit to my dermatologist, while he was carving and freezing spots on my haggard old visage, he was opining that he should have gone to work for the VA years ago and I was saying I should have gone to work for the IRS. Why, instead of sitting in his office, we’d probably both be sitting on deck chairs enjoying a Caribbean cruise and blah, blah, blah. Hindsight.

Second, not all government workers are Democrats. I know two Republicans in good health who retired, in their 50’s, from good government jobs and both are very active in Republican politics.  Both should still be on the job, but that’s just my opinion, one they would both take issue with, to put it mildly.

Third, some government workers are worth every penny they are paid. Cops come to mind, some teachers, plenty of health workers, and the occasional conscientious vin ordinaire bureaucrat. But the 634 school custodians, a.k.a. janitors, who made over $100,000 per year in New York City for the school year 2013-2014? (7) Not them.  Also, not Chicago school teachers, whose median salary is $71,017, of which only two percent goes toward their fat pensions. This is outrageous considering that almost 92 percent of the Chicago schools have over half their students NOT proficient in reading or math for their grade level. (8)

The Republicans share the blame for this inequity in government pay. When in control in Washington, D.C., they’ve done nothing to rein in Federal worker compensation, and today there are 32 states with Republican governors and Rauner of Illinois is the only one I know of who’s tried to get a handle on state pensions – unsuccessfully, I might add.

A good start would be to tie state and local retirement outlays to the age requirements in the Social Security system.  For example, a state worker spends thirty years on the job, is 52, fully vested and wants to retire. Well, congratulations and Bon Voyage! Oh, by the way, your retirement checks won’t start showing up in your mailbox until you are 62, or 67 or whatever the Social Security ages are for partial and full payment. It’s a thought.

The huge problem of unfunded pension/benefit obligations is beginning to get noticed. At least a couple of states, New Jersey and Illinois, have obligations that are simply unsolvable short of bankruptcy, an escape hatch states are not legally able to pursue.  Cities have the bankruptcy option but will first raise taxes, as is happening in Chicago, and then turn to their state governments for bailouts, and then from there will join their state governments in the queue to get the Federal government to foot bail-outs. Bet on it.

I can hear the arguments now: If they did it for General Motors, they can do it for Poughkeepsie (or wherever.) If this is allowed to happen, the unions representing state and local workers will have pulled off a major tax swindle: Negotiate state and local labor contracts that pay the moon and send the bill to Washington.

To prevent this, the stated need the potion of bankruptcy law protection. Bankruptcy allows contracts to be rewritten or even annulled, including pension agreements.  The Federal law disallowing state bankruptcies should be changed, but I’m not sure it will ever happen.  Too many retirees will flock to D.C. to tell their tales of impending doom, many of them absolutely true.

FI don’t know how this problem can be solved without a lot of pain. Perhaps some sort of grandfathering scheme for pensioners with reasonable benefits, some sort of claw-back for pensioners with unreasonable benefits, but SOMETHING has to be done.

Allowing states to declare bankruptcy still wouldn’t do anything about the Federal workers and their fat pay and fatter retirement benefits. Maybe Bernie will start bitching about this inequality, the inequality that government can, and should, do something about. I’m not holding my breath.

(1) http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/11/07/the-federal-government-now-employs-the-fewest-people-since-1966/                                                                                                                    (2) I tried, hard, to get a number for all retired government workers, state, local and Federal. The best I could do is to use a number, seven million, implied in an article in the Wall Street Journal, 12/29/15, “States’ Pension Woes Split Democrats and Union Allies” by Timothy W. Martin and Kris Maher.                                                                                              (3) http://nypost.com/2016/01/17/city-pays-exiled-teachers-to-snooze-as-rubber-rooms-return/                                                                                                                                                  (4) http://freebeacon.com/issues/study-government-workers-make-78-percent-more-than-private-sector/                                                                                                                                     (5) http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/03/13/government-workers-cost-45-more-than-private-sector/                                                                                                                    (6) ibid (1)                                                                                                                                                (7) “Most New York City Custodians Do Really, Really Well” by Matt Vespa, Townhall 9/21/15                                                                                                                                                    (8) http://townhall.com/columnists/timbenson/2016/01/13/thanks-to-teachers-union-chicago-public-schools-are-a-perpetualmotion-machine-of-mediocrity-n2103697                  (9) http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/02/01/pension-bill-on-hold-despite-rauner-cullerton-agreement/    

Islam does NOT require men to beat their wives

Islam does NOT require men to beat their wives by Peter Burrows 3/13/20 elburropete@gmail.com and silvercityburro.com 

You may be unaware that the Koran, the eternal word of Allah, permits men to beat their wives under certain circumstances. The question is, when those circumstances arise, are Muslim men required to beat their wives or risk apostasy if they don’t beat them?   

This is important because apostasy gets the wayward Muslim the death penalty, so we’re not talking some trivial nonsense here, and willful failure to obey the Koran constitutes an apostasy. (There are a great many other apostasies.) 

Let’s read the relevant verse in the Koran, Verse 4:34. This is from the Sayyid Mawdudi translation, pages 113-114:  

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them excel over the other, and because they spend out of their possessions (to support them). Thus righteous women are obedient and guard the rights of men in their absence under Allah’s protection. As for women of whom you fear rebellion, admonish them, and remain apart from them in beds, and beat them.” 

Mawdudi’s footnote helpfully notes, “This does not mean that a man should resort to these three measures all at once.”  These three steps should be done in sequence: first scold her; then don’t sleep with her, which is no problem because Verse 4:3 allows Muslims up to four wives; and only when all that fails can she be beaten. 

In my opinion, that verse doesn’t leave the Muslim husband much choice. If one of his wives gives him a nasty look when he orders her to do something, then he can reasonably “fear rebellion” and must start the three-step command.  

However, Islam doesn’t allow “opinions” about verses in the Koran, my opinions or anybody else’s.  Sharia law is unequivocal: “Never explain a verse of the Holy Koran by your own opinion, but check on as to how it has been understood by the scholars of Sacred Law who came before you. If what you have understood contradicts the Sacred Law, forsake your wretched opinion and fling it against the wall.”  

With that in mind, I consulted “Tafsir Ibn Kathir,” written in the Fourteenth Century by Ibn Kathir, one of Islam’s most noted scholars. According to Wikipedia, “Tafsir is the Arabic word for exegesis, usually of the Quran. A Quranic tafsir attempts to provide elucidation, explanation, interpretation, context or commentary for clear understanding and conviction of God’s will.”  

Good news! Tafsir Ibn Kathir says men are “ALLOWED” to beat their wives, not REQUIRED to.  Hopefully, most Muslims don’t beat their wives anyway because they are decent human beings who knowingly disobey Verse 4:34.  As long as they keep that willful disobedience to themselves, they are safe from the deadly accusation of apostasy.  

Thus, if an imam or other Islamic authority asks why a Muslim didn’t beat his wife after she was seen disobeying him or was guilty of some other sign of disrespect, the Muslim can accurately say he is not required to beat his wife, only allowed to. Furthermore, if the Muslim wishes to avoid the stigma of being unmanly, he can say that he DID beat her even though he didn’t. 

This little white lie is made possible by Islamic law that says the wife-beating husband “may hit her, but not in a way that injures her,” which means no bruises, no broken bones, no bleeding and no hitting in the face. Only compassionate wife beating is allowed in Islam!  

So, a decent Muslim could tell an inquisitive imam, “I did give her a good whuppin’, you just can’t see it. I beat my wives by the book, imam, by the book!” 

As an aside, a Westerner could read the first line in Verse 4:34, which refers to men and women, “Allah has made one of them excel over the other,” and reach the opinion that it’s the women who were made to excel.  After all, men are commanded by Allah to protect and support women, not the other way around, so which is the superior?  

Alas, Tafsir Ibn Kathir’s discourse on Verse 4:34 leaves no doubt: If you have that opinion, you must fling it against the wall IF YOU ARE A MUSLIM.  

Well, I’m not a Muslim, and in my opinion it’s the Koran and all the tafsirs that should be flung against the wall.  If that makes me an “Islamophobe,” so be it. My question is: Why aren’t we all Islamophobes?         

How ‘race’ determines the news we get, and don’t get, Part 3

How ‘race’ determines the news we get — and don’t get, Part 3 by Peter Burrows, 2/24/20.  elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com   

Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise all over the country, not just in New York City, which was the subject of Parts 1 and 2.  As far as the media is concerned, this is page two news unless committed by “white supremacists,” then it’s front page in the New York Times and the lead story on CNN.  

I’m afraid it’s going to get worse for America’s Jews, and to see why, let’s first look at a survey done by the Anti-Defamation League, ADL.  The most recent one that I can find that has a racial breakdown of anti-Semitism in America is from 2016, which found about 15 percent of American adults hold deeply anti-Semitic views, a figure essentially unchanged from polls conducted since 2005.   

Also unchanged were consistently higher levels of anti-Semitism among African-Americans, 23 percent. Most African-Americans are Democrats. Most Hispanics are also Democrats, and they, too, show higher levels of anti-Semitism; 19 percent among Hispanics born in America, but an alarming 31 percent in Hispanics born outside of America. Democrats want open borders, which would mean more foreign-born Hispanics and more anti-Semitism.    

The 2016 ADL survey concludes, slightly edited: “Hispanics, 15 percent of the adult population, combined with African Americans, 12 percent, comprise 27 percent of the American population, a number sure to grow in the coming years. This population increase of the most anti-Semitic cohorts means that it will be an ongoing challenge to reduce overall anti-Semitic propensities.”   

https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/ADL_MS_Survey_Pres_1_25_17.pdf  

Since there are 90 million blacks and Hispanics in America and only 8 million Jews, it’s not surprising that no leading Democrat has specifically condemned blacks or Hispanics for their “anti-Semitic propensities.” If those were Republican constituencies, you can bet your bippy the media would be screaming for Trump to do so.    

A very important “anti-Semitic cohort” not mentioned in the ADL survey were Muslim Americans, most of whom are also Democrats, e.g. Ilan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Andre Carson, the only Muslims in the House of Representatives, are all Democrats.  Since Muslims are only about 1% of the U.S. population, perhaps the ADL didn’t think they could get a meaningful result.   

For that, let’s look at a 2019 ADL survey on anti-Semitism in Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, Italy and The United Kingdom. Muslim populations were below 5% of the total population in only two, Spain (2.6%) and Italy (4.8%), and above 6% in the rest, the highest being France at 8% and Belgium at 7.6%.     

ADL found that levels of “extreme anti-Semitism” among Muslims were at least twice the level of non-Muslims in every country but Spain, where it was still pronounced at 46% Muslims, 28% non-Muslims.  The largest difference was in the UK, where Muslim anti-Semitism was 54% vs. 11% non-Muslims, the latter number is in-line with ADL results for “white” Americans. The lowest level of Muslim anti-Semitism was ‘only’ 43% in Italy (vs. 18% non-Muslims in Italy.)   

All are significantly above U.S. levels of anti-Semitism, where the highest is among foreign-born Hispanics at a relatively benign 31%.  What this means is that as the Muslim population grows in America, we can expect anti-Semitic hate crimes to increase, as they have in Europe.   

Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris who has written extensively on France and Europe, recently wrote: “In Europe, virtually all recent anti-Semitic attacks, threats and murders of Jews have, sadly, been carried out by Muslims.”   

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15601/anti-jewish-hatred   

Why? Although Islam is doctrinally both anti-Christian and ant-Judaic, Allah has a special dislike for Jews, who have incurred Allah’s “anger,” while Christians have merely gone “astray.”  That is from the first chapter of the Koran.  The next chapter, chapter two, starts by telling us, “This is the Book of Allah, there is no doubt in it.”    

The Koran, which is divinely DICTATED, not divinely inspired, leaves “no doubt” that Muslims must war against both Jews and Christians, “the worst of creatures,” until they are “utterly subdued,” but Jews are the worst of the worst.  As Verse 5:82 says, Jews are the most “hostile” people toward Muslims, Christians the least.   

There are many, many verses in the Koran disparaging Jews, no doubt because they emphatically rejected Muhammad and his self-proclaimed prophecy. Some verses hint that Jews even ridiculed Muhammad in his early days at Medina, an offense he later repaid by massacring the three Jewish tribes in the area. (See the Sayyid Mawdudi translation, footnotes to Verses 2:104, 2:106, and 2:108.)   

Thus, anti-Semitism is baked into the Islamic cake. While there are currently about 3.5 million Muslims in America, Pew estimates Muslims will grow to over 8 million by 2050, which will slightly surpass the Jewish population at that time.   

My question is: Why should we allow that to happen? America’s Jews must not be exposed to Islamic hatred, and neither should the rest of us.  If the media were to report on the daily atrocities being committed by Muslims in the name of Islam, public opinion would quickly demand a halt to Muslim immigration.    

If you wish to see the news that the media doesn’t report on Islam and Muslims, the number one site I would recommend is The Religion of Peace website:  https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/     

This ironically named site reports from around the world and it updates on a daily basis the number of deadly jihad arracks since America’s 9/11 tragedy (36,448+ as of 2/23/20.)  Other sites that regularly report on Islamic atrocities not covered by the media are by The Gatestone Institute, The Geller Report, The IPT Report, and Jihad Watch.  There are others, but the Religion of Peace site is really all you need.   

The failure of the mainstream media to cover Muslim atrocities is probably due to the asinine belief that Islam is a race, and that to criticize Muslims is therefore racist.  This is the sort of political correctness that has deadly consequences. It’s time we put a stop to it, and as I have recommended before, the best way to expose Islam is to quote the Koran. What is difficult about that?    

 

How race determines the news we get — and don’t get, Part Two

How ‘race’ determines the news we get — and don’t get, Part 2 by Peter Burrows, 2/4/20.  elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

In Part 1, I wrote that the media has been widely criticized BY LIBERALS for not reporting that the big spike in attacks on Jews in New Yok City has been caused by black assailants. As Abe Greenwald, senior editor of Commentary, wrote, “Throughout 2019, African-Americans attacked Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn on a more-or-less weekly basis, and it barely ever made the mainstream news.” 

Actually, Abe, it was on a more-or-less DAILY basis, and it’s no surprise that such attacks didn’t make the mainstream news. As columnist Ben Shapiro explained, “White supremacists attacking left-leaning Jews fits a desired narrative. Black teenagers beating up Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg doesn’t. And so the left ignores the WRONG TYPE of anti-Semitism.”   

What is surprising is that so many Jews are surprised by this “wrong type of anti-Semitism.”  A 12/29/19 headline in The Jewish Week, a New York City publication, reads: “Anti-Semitic Crime Wave Mystifies Chasidim.” (Chasidim are orthodox Jews also known as Hasidim or Hasidic.)   Mystifies? Really? 

Orthodox Jews test about one standard deviation above the rest of us on IQ tests, but I guess political correctness trumps brains. Maybe this dumb, old gentile can explain the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks to the mystified Chasidim: 

(1) Anti-Semitism has a long history among black Americans. Larry Elder, in his book, “The Ten Things You Can’t Say In America,” published in 2000, wrote: “According to an Anti-Defamation League study, anti-Semitism is at an all-time low, except in the black community, where anti-Semitism is three times the national average.”   More recent ADL surveys are not as alarming, but levels of anti-Semitism in blacks still poll at least 50 percent higher than the national average. This fact is rarely mentioned in the media, but surely Jews must be aware of it.  

(2)  New York State recently passed a law, effective January 1 of 2020, that allows people arrested for a variety of crimes to be released without bail.  The “no jail-no bail” law reflects the liberal belief that blacks are disproportionately policed and are ‘victims’ of the criminal justice system. Anyone who notes that blacks disproportionally commit criminal acts is a racist. 

The law requires judges to free people arrested for, amongst other crimes, non-sexual assaults where no physical injury occurred.  In the week BEFORE the law went into effect, seven of eight people arrested for anti-Semitic attacks were released because, according to a “law enforcement source” quoted by the New York Post, “The de Blasio administration has made it clear that we all need to get into compliance with bail reform now.”   

The eighth case involved a 65-year-old Jewish man who was punched and kicked while his assailant screamed, “Fuck you, Jew bastard.” Since the attack involved an injury, the assailant, race unidentified, was denied bail PENDING A PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION.  I imagine if he is found to have suffered from temporary derangement, he will be set free and will apologize to his victim. (Sarcasm libs, sarcasm.)  

The politically correct New York Post article also failed to mention the race of any of the other assailants, but it did have photos of two, both women. One admitted to yelling, “Fuck Jews” while assaulting three Jewish women, and the other allegedly said, “You fucking Jew. The end is coming for you,” while she assaulted a Jewish woman.  Both were white women wearing MAGA hats. (More sarcasm, libs.)    

Dov Hikind, founder of Americans Against Anti-Semitism, was quoted as saying, “You have to beat the hell out of somebody — or murder them — for there to be any consequences.  Otherwise, you are set free.  It’s open season in New York — (and) it’s the Jewish people in particular who have been targeted.” 

Targeted by whom, Mr. Hikind, and why are they being set free? Political correctness got your tongue? 

Let me summarize for the mystified Chasidim:  A lot of blacks hate your guts; liberal Democrats have virtually decriminalized most hate crimes as part of a program to appease black voters; anti-Semitic blacks can now get in your face with little or no penalty, maybe even get rewarded for it with their picture in the paper.   

Since blacks are much more important to the Democratic Party than are Jews, don’t expect Democrat leaders to ever demand that blacks take responsibility.  Oh, no, that would be ‘racist.’ What is really appalling, is that many liberal Jews agree! 

A 12/31/19 headline in The Guardian read, “Liberal groups say the new policing measures put forward by Mayor de Blasio will divide communities.” And these communities aren’t divided now? 

This was after de Blasio ordered increased police patrols, mostly in Jewish neighborhoods. He also announced plans to add security cameras in Jewish neighborhoods and beefed-up security around synagogues and at Jewish events.  

The article had this mind-boggling quote from David Klion of the progressive Jewish Currents magazine (POC means ‘people of color’): “Flooding ‘POC’ neighborhoods with cops is going to carry real costs, potentially even fatal ones, for tens of thousands of people who have no complicity in these attacks. I’m also deeply uncomfortable with the optics of cops functioning as security for Jews against POC.”  

He’s “uncomfortable with the optics.”  Typical liberal. He’s more concerned with virtue signaling than doing anything practical that would protect Jews from blacks.  Don’t want to offend POC. That would be ‘racist,’ don’t ‘cha know.   

Racist. That’s what those horrid Republicans are, and that’s why Jews will continue to vote for Democrats, even though the party overlooks anti-Semitism within its own ranks. More on that in Part Three. 

How ‘race’ determines the news we get — and don’t get

How ‘race’ determines the news we get — and don’t get, by Peter Burrows, 2/3/20.  elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Over the past two years, there has been an appalling increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City.  By one estimate, such crimes increased by more than twenty percent last year to over 1850 incidents, and that’s just the reported ones.  This means that on average, at least five times a day a Jew in New York was verbally or physically abused.   

You haven’t heard much about these hate-crimes because almost all of the attacks against Jews have been committed by black people, and the liberal media follows an unwritten rule to avoid mention of the criminal’s race if the criminal is black.  That unwritten rule is finally being challenged.  

The Daily Caller had a story headlined, “The Media Can’t Keep Ignoring The Racial Element of the New York Pogrom,” by David Benkof, 12/31/19, in which the author wrote, “Right now, the problem is overwhelmingly black New Yorkers attacking Jews.”  (A pogrom is an organized attack against Jews.)  

He added, “For months now, African-Americans have been assaulting visibly Jewish residents (and) the only way to tell that the perpetrators are overwhelmingly black has been to look at mug shots and video footage of the attacks.” 

Michael Benjamin, a black Jew, wrote in the New York Post, “New York’s epidemic of anti-Semitic attacks is horrifying. It’s also maddening that city leaders won’t address the elephant in the room — that the suspects in these heinous acts are black.” 

If New York’s Jews had been attacked by whites, you can be sure the coverage would have been 24-7 with the blame put squarely on Donald Trump. No matter, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to do that anyway, claiming at a press conference last June that antisemitism is a “right-wing movement.” He backed off on that a little, saying, “The violent threat, the threat that is ideological, is very much from the right.”  

For once, some of New York’s liberals didn’t buy into such a moronic cliche. Councilman Chaim Deutsch, a Democrat from Brooklyn with constituents who have recently been attacked, said, “I don’t agree with the mayor — I have not seen any white supremacists coming in here committing these hate crimes.”  

No problem, because it’s still Trump’s fault. On a Sunday Fox News show last December 29, de Blasio said “an atmosphere of hate” has been “emanating from Washington” the past few years.  By implication, Trump has somehow encouraged black people to attack Jews.   

This was too much for Dov Hikind, a Democrat and founder of Americans Against Antisemitism: “When you have the Farrakhans of the world (and) members of the United States Congress – Tlaib, Omar, AOC – indulging in hate speech and getting away with it — within the Democratic Party there’s a double standard.  (T)he mayor of New York City has continued to call the hate ‘coming from the right.’ All the hate in New York is coming from the left.”  

Repeat: “All the hate in New York is coming from the left.” We know that’s true because that’s what NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC have been saying for months, right? (Sarcasm libs, sarcasm.)   

What we are seeing is the politics of hate coming home to roost for the Democrats. For decades, the Democrats and the media have demonized anybody who doesn’t agree with them as hate-filled bigots.  As Hillary Clinton said, half of Trump supporters are a “basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”   

Unfortunately, many Democrats actually believe that. There is no evidence supporting that contention, but when have liberals ever needed evidence to support what they “know?” Democrats are like Alfonso Bedoya in ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,’ slightly altered:   

“Evidence? We ain’t got no evidence! We don’t need no evidence! We don’t have to show you any stinking evidence!”   

If Trump voters were half as bad as the Democrats and the media would like them to be, the evidence would be on display every day.  The news would be filled with stories of hate crimes committed by all those evil-white deplorables who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them,” to quote a former president.  

Instead, the news is about Jews being attacked and the media are reluctant to tell us who is doing the attacking. Why, some might even say that the media is guilty of (GASP!) racism.  As columnist Ben Shapiro explained, “White supremacists attacking left-leaning Jews fits a desired narrative. Black teenagers beating up Hasidic Jews in Williamsburg doesn’t. And so the left ignores the WRONG TYPE of anti-Semitism.”  That is, blacks get a pass because they are blacks. 

Gosh, Hillary, you said Trump supporters were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it,” but you didn’t specify that they are anti-Semites.  Well, of course they are, but maybe you didn’t want to mention anti-Semitism because so many black Democrats are anti-Semites and you didn’t want to risk offending that very important Democrat constituency?   

More sarcasm libs, but there is some truth there. Keep reading.     

The Democrat Party is all about identity politics, with key constituencies identified by race, gender, lack of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, religion, “you name it.” All are “victims” of something that electing Democrats will put an end to.  This is primitive, tribal politics.  It’s inherently divisive because to be a victim, there must be a victimizer.   

Some Democrat tribes are large, such as black Americans, some are small, such as Jews or gays. Blacks have greater victim status because, after all, most Jews are white people.  And here is where it gets tricky for the Democrats. Black anti-Semitism has been around for a LONG time.  This is what black activist James Baldwin wrote in Commentary magazine back in 1948, over 70 years ago:  

“The Negro’s outlets are desperately constricted. In his dilemma he turns first upon himself and then upon whatever most represents to him his own emasculation. Here the Jew is caught in the American crossfire. The Negro, facing a Jew, hates, at bottom, not his Jewishness but the color of his skin. It is not the Jewish tradition by which he has been betrayed but the tradition of his native land. But just as a society must have a scapegoat, so hatred must have a symbol. Georgia has the Negro and Harlem has the Jew.” 

This is despicable, then and now, from “the Negro” or from anybody.  No political party should tolerate such an attitude, but the Democrat Party does. Proof: Google ‘Obama Farrakhan photo.’      

This raises the question: Why do most Jews continue to support the Democrat Party? More on that in Part Two.  

“This diagram puts to rest the idea that CO2 is a threat to mankind.”

“This diagram puts to rest the idea that CO2 is a threat to mankind.” by Peter Burrows, 1/13/20 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

 

The Heartland Institute is a well-known free-market think tank based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, covering everything from school reform to public spending. Since 2008, Heartland has hosted 12 International conferences on climate change, the latest in Madrid, Spain, as counterpoint to the UN’s annual COP conference which was held in Madrid this year.  

 

The Heartland shadow conference didn’t get much, if any, press.  Not surprising given that they are there to take the punch bowl away from the 27,000 attendees who travel the world to attend COP conferences every year, where they pass unenforceable laws curbing carbon dioxide, CO2, emissions.  (See my blog of 12/20/19: Cop25: Another reason to get out of the UN.)

 

I know some of you are thinking, “Serves ‘em right, Burro. Anybody who says CO2 is not a problem SHOULD be ignored by the press, right up to the point where they swing from the gallows. Besides, even if the world doesn’t need saving from CO2, it sure as Hell needs saving from evil-dirty-bastard capitalists and if curbing CO2 can destroy capitalism, then by all means demonize CO2. The end justifies the means, Comrade!!”

 

Right. And Greta Thunberg is a warrior princess, not a sad little child.  

 

One of the presenters at the at the Heartland conference was William Happer, professor  emeritus of physics at Princeton University. Best known for his pioneering work on laser-guide star adaptive optics, Happer recently resigned as technology adviser to President Trumps’ National Security Council when it became apparent the Trump administration was not going to challenge the climate change hysteria with the scientific rigor Dr. Happer wanted. 

 

Here’s a 19-minute video of Happer’s presentation.  At about minute 9:25 he states that the science can’t be disputed; at 13:50 he states that the CO2 effect is “saturated” and that adding more CO2 is analogous to putting a second coat of red paint on a house: doesn’t change the color much. 

 

For those of you who would like a hard copy of Dr. Happer’s graphs, blogger Donn Dears, a retired GE engineer, covers Happer’s presentation in two articles, “Good news for Humanity, Part 1” and “Part 2. https://ddears.com/donns-articles/ 

 

This is from Dears’ “Part 1” article: 

“Every newspaper and TV News Broadcast should have heralded the most important news story from Madrid in December. This diagram puts to rest the idea that CO2 is a threat to mankind.

image.jpegGraph from Dr. W. Happer’s press briefing, Madrid, Spain, December 2019 (Note)

‘The top curve is the theoretical heat loss from the Earth into the vacuum of space for the range of frequencies, assuming no atmosphere. This is Planck’s curve for heat loss from the Earth’s blackbody. (Notations above the curves are of various chemical compounds at their spectral frequencies.)

“The sawtooth curve shows the actual heat loss through the Earth’s atmosphere for each frequency, where the percentages of CO2 are 0 ppm, (in green), 400 ppm (in black) and 800 ppm (in red). The sawtooth curve is known as the Schwarzschild curve. (The heat loss for all other compounds are for conditions as they exist today.) 

“Of particular importance are the circled, red and black, CO2 curves. These two curves, highlighted by the circle, are virtually the same, indicating that heat loss is nearly unchanged after doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 ppm.

“In other words, adding CO2 to the atmosphere so that atmospheric levels of CO2 doubles (from 400 ppm to 800 ppm) has virtually no effect on temperatures. CO2 is saturated, and adding more CO2 to the atmosphere has a minimal effect.”

Attachments area
Preview YouTube video William Happer Talks Climate Alarmism During COP25 in Madrid

Would Martin Luther King be a Republican today?

Would Martin Luther King be a Republican today? By Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 1/8/20

Over 56 years ago, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

If his children have grown up to be Democrats, I’m afraid they’re still dreaming.  If anything, racism is stronger today than when MLK made that speech, but it’s not anti-black racism anymore, it’s anti-white racism.

Just look at the consternation building in the Democratic presidential primary race.  Kamala Harris and Jullian Castro have dropped out, leaving Cory Booker and Deval Patrick as the only other ‘candidates of color’ and neither of them are polling well enough to qualify for the debates, leaving all the frontrunners white.

Former presidential candidate and ex-DNC chairman Howard Dean said, “If we have two old white guys at the top of this ticket, we will lose.”  He was referring to Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.  Nothing about Bernie’s brain-dead socialism or Biden’s many senior moments.  Oh, no. Their biggest negative is that they are a couple of WHITE guys.  Old, too, although I doubt if ‘old’ would have been mentioned if Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel were leading in the polls.

Howard Dean is hardly alone with his concerns. LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, recently took a look at the Democrat primary and said, “I’m over with white men running the country.”  She seems to have forgotten Barrack Obama.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said of the nominating process, “Systemic racism permeates everything in this country. —I don’t know if white Democrats are really stepping up and looking at how the system is biased and prevents others from coming through.”  David Axelrod, former Obama adviser, said that the frontrunners being all white was “a bad look.”

White skin is a “bad look.” Oh, my.   And “the content of their character?” Predetermined by the color of their skin, dummy!

This war on white people used to be directed only at Republicans.  Obama’s remarks about whites “clinging to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” was about Republicans, as was Hillary’s comment about ‘deplorable’ Trump supporters who were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”

Republicans should not take too much comfort from the spread of this new racism to include white Democrats, because white Democrats, while they are imbued with racism just like all white people, recognize their racism, feel guilty about it, and will do anything to atone for it.  Reparations? Yes! Yes!

White Democrats can be forgiven, but not white Republicans, who are simply bad people.  You don’t believe me? Maybe you’ll believe Michael Moore, who said, “Two-thirds of all white guys voted for Trump. That means anytime you see three white guys walking down the street toward you, two of them voted for Trump. You need to move over to the other sidewalk because these are not good people —. You should be afraid of them.”

Hmmmmm. It wasn’t too long ago that three BLACK guys walking down the street were people to be afraid of, something even Jesse Jackson admitted to. Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine you’re walking down the street at night and three white guys are walking toward you, two wearing MAGA hats.  Are you really going to be afraid of them?

How about three black guys wearing hoodies? Since you reject racial profiling -– unless the guys are white— you won’t be crossing the street, will you? Ha! Now, what if the three black guys were all wearing Black Lives Matter hats?  Still on the other side of the street, aren’t you? Finally, what if the three black guys were all wearing MAGA hats?

Blacks who voted for Trump must be REALLY bad people, but would you be afraid of them? Of course not.  People who wear MAGA hats almost never initiate conflict. In fact, both a Black Lives Matter hat and a MAGA hat give us a strong indication of the content of the character of those wearing the hats.  One is probably a racist and one is probably not.

I bet Martin Luther King would vote for the MAGA hat guy.

Christmas, music and Muhammad

Christmas, music and Muhammad by Peter Burrows 12/24/19 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

One of the things I enjoy most about this time of year is the music.  The religion of Christianity has inspired some of the most beautiful music ever written.  Of course, that’s a subjective opinion but one shared by many people of all religions, with one exception: Islam.  Muhammad disapproved of music.

Muhammad disapproved of a lot of things: infidels, hypocrites, apostates, alcohol, pictures of living things and even dogs, to name a few.  Since the Holy Koran tells us in verse 4:80 that to obey Muhammad is to obey Allah, what Muhammad said about music is therefore Allah’s eternal law.

Let’s look at a few things Muhammad said about music, musicians and those who enjoy music.  My favorite is, “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

When I first read that, I thought to myself, “You’re going to need a BIG bucket of lead for me, Allah.”  In my life I have spent countless hours listening to one songstress after another, from Roberta Peters to Lady Gaga.

It was Muhammad’s opinion that, “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”  In Islam, hypocrisy is defined as claiming to be a Muslim but failing to pay attention to the required rituals, such as daily prayers.  Music was considered something that would distract from those religious requirements, as would alcohol.

If you play any instrument, including the drum, on the Day of Judgement there will be “seventy thousand angels” with maces of fire pummeling you on the head. Singers and adulterers get the pummeling, too. We know that’s true because Muhammad said so.

However, sharia law says, “It is permissible to play the tambourine at weddings, circumcisions, and other times, even if it has bells on its sides.” Bells!?! Oh, thank you, Allah!!

The bottom line for Muslims, from al-islam.org: “Let us seek refuge from the temptations of Shaitaan so that he may never lead us into the disgraceful vice of listening to music.”

Unfortunately, Muslims also think Shaitaan shouldn’t tempt us non-Muslims, either, and in Muslim ruled nations strict adherence to sharia law means no Christian can recite aloud, let alone sing, the Evangel.  While I can find no specific rule, if music is haram, forbidden, Christian music must be double haram.

I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before Christian concerts are targeted by devout Muslims, much like the 2017 attack in Manchester, England, that killed 22 at an Ariana Grande concert.  I pray this will never happen, but as you listen to Renee Fleming sing Schubert’s Ave Maria, be thankful you live in a nation where Islam does not rule.

Enjoy!!

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

Renee Fleming, Ave Maria, 5:15

 

COP25: Another reason to get out of the UN

COP25: Another reason to get out of the UN by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmai.com – silvercityburro.com 12/20/19 

What would you think if Congress sent everybody in Grant County to Madrid for two weeks to solve the world’s climate “crisis,” and the most significant thing we agreed upon was that we’d do it all over again next year in Glasco, Scotland?  A waste of money, ya think? 

I’m alluding to a United Nations climate conference that just concluded, called COP25, officially known as “the 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),” which took place in Madrid, Spain, December 2-15.  

OK, I cheated a little, because the conference had “only” 27,000 attendees and Grant County has about 29,000 people. If I had said, “able-bodied adult Grant Countians,” it would have been closer. Regardless, you get the idea.  

Some of you really smart folks are thinking, “OMG, Burro, does COP ‘25’ mean they have been doing this for TWENTY-FIVE years!?!?”   

Actually, a little longer. The first UN climate conference was in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, 27 years ago. The Conference of the Parties (COP) nomenclature began in 1995, and refers to the 165 nations -– the parties — that signed on to the UNFCCC. That leaves 28 UN member nations that didn’t sign, probably because they couldn’t afford to send delegations off to party-down someplace new every year. 

That’s being a little unfair to those attendees who sincerely believe the UN can do something to curb global greenhouse gas emissions, but, after 27 years of failing to do that, a cynic could be forgiven for thinking the word “exhausted” in the following BBC summary of COP25 is just a euphemism for “hung over.” The following is slightly edited, my caps:  

“COP25: Longest climate talks end with compromise deal By Matt McGrath, BBC Environment correspondent, Madrid, 15 December 2019: Difficult issues proved impossible to resolve in Madrid. The longest UN climate talks on record ended in Madrid with a compromise dealExhausted delegates reached agreement on the key question of increasing the global response to curbing carbon. All countries will need to put new climate PLEDGES on the table by the time of the NEXT major conference in Glasgow NEXT YEAR. Divisions over other questions – including carbon markets – were delayed until the NEXT gathering. —After two extra days and nights of negotiations, delegates finally agreed a deal that will see new, improved carbon cutting plans on the table by the time of the Glasgow conference NEXT YEAR.”  

I can confidently predict next year’s COP will have similar results.  This is because, even if the climate alarmists are correct, it will still be in the developing nations’ best interest to expand electricity production as fast as possible by the cheapest means possible, which means burning more and more coal.  If you are an Indian without electricity, you really don’t give a damn about Greta Thunberg’s feelings, do you? Or, for that matter, do you care if Manhattan is under water?  

To put the matter into perspective, India is the world’s fourth largest CO2 emitter, at about 7% of global emissions.  (China is about 30%, the U.S. 15%, and the EU 9%.)  India emits about half of what the U.S. emits, but India has four times the population.  To get to only one-half the per capita level of the U.S. would be an increase equal to 150% of today’s total U.S emissions.  We couldn’t offset India’s growth even if we wanted to.  Add China, Africa, and Southeast Asia and you get the picture. 

Some of you may be thinking, “But Burro, we can institute a world-wide ‘cap-and-trade’ policy that would give developed nations incentives to reduce their per capita CO2 emissions.” In fact, cap-and-trade has been part of the UN effort since COP3 in Kyoto, way back in 1997.  Developed nations were given Assigned Amount Units, AAUs, representing allowed CO2 emissions, and Certified Emission Reductions, CERs, were created as marketable certificates representing CO2 reductions achieved. Real simple, right?                                                                                                                                                                        Here’s a blurb I got from CFACT on COP25: “The big COP breakdown was over something called “Article 6” which deals with international carbon markets.  Australia refused to give up past carbon credits and was joined by Brazil which shut the whole thing down.” The “past carbon credits” referred to Kyoto-era CERs and AAUs. The bottom line is that the UN has been trying to figure out how to make cap-and-trade work since 1997, to no avail.                                                                                                                                                     

Here’s a headline that sums it up: “The Cap and Trade Market Is Going Global—If Politics Are Put Aside By Renae Reints Fortune Magazine December 14, 2019.”  IF politics can be put aside??  That’s kind of like saying you can fly off the top of the Empire State Building if you can get your arms to move up-and-down fast enough. For those of you who want to get into the weeds on the problems with the UN cap-and-trade, here’s another interesting article:  

https://www.carbonbrief.org/cop25-key-outcomes-agreed-at-the-un-climate-talks-in-madrid 

All this COP nonsense proves that government bureaucracies are, as Ronald Reagan said, “the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” What’s especially outrageous is that almost everybody knows that COP’s mission is impossible to achieve.  The idea was that nations would agree to cut carbon emissions enough to prevent global temperatures from rising by 1.5 -2 degrees centigrade by 2100.    

That may have seemed feasible in 1992, not so today. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions are actually increasing at an accelerating rate, according to the climate alarmist in the video below, Dr. Peter Carter. (A medical type of doctor.)  He is confident this will lead to a “biosphere collapse,” which will mean the “destruction of the earth” and “the end of humanity.”  

I strongly recommend you watch the 23-minute video. I enjoyed it very much and agree with Dr. Carter that “nothing good is ever going to come out of these COPs,” and that we will never reduce emissions enough to make a difference. Trump had the good sense to pull the U.S. out of the agreements reached at COP21, held in Paris, the “Paris agreement” we hear so much about.  

I think it’s all nonsense, but what if Dr. Carter is right? Then there is nothing we can do. If he is wrong, there is nothing we should do.  What if he is right, but off by 50-100 years? Then there are two things we can do: research CO2 sequestration and develop cheap, safe nuclear power.  That makes a lot more sense than subsidizing wind mills, solar panels and Tesla cars.  

12/18/19 You Tube, 23-min, Dr. Peter Carter at COP25 = we are doomed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa13KrOvE2s 

This article supports the above and also gives a good summary of new coal projects = we are doomed:  https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/19/biosphere-collapse/ 

A You Tube minimum wage tutorial

A You Tube minimum wage tutorial 12/3/19 by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have been my favorite economists for many decades. If you watch them on You Tube, you’ll see why.  

Here are three brief You Tubes on the minimum wage by my gurus. If they don’t come through, just go to You Tube and search by name and “minimum wage” and look for those with about the times of those below.  

The first, by Walter Williams, is the longest at almost teminutes.  Well worth the time. The next, featuring Thomas Sowell, is from a 1981 Firing Line show and is less than three minutes. (His latest You Tube appearances show how well he has aged. Still writing, still incisive at 89.) The final is Milton Friedman and is less than three minutes. There are many more by these three on the minimum wage, and on many other topics as well.   

I don’t care if you are a Republican or a Democrat, if after watching these you still believe that minimum wage laws are a good idea, you are either stupid, a union toady or a racist. Strong letter to follow.  

 

WEW 9:58 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8uz3uafMe0&t=65s Dr. Williams gives a little economics lesson getting to his point.  

TS 2:50 –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4SIEl1j8e4 To say the lib woman is invincibly stupid is perhaps redundant, but it feels good to say it.   

Milt 2:31 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTLwANVtnkA Dr. Friedman addresses both lousy schools and minimum wage laws as causes of poverty. He was a treasure.