BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Month: August 2015 (Page 1 of 5)

Wang Xialou

China Chills ‘Rumor Spreaders’ Because It Can’t Handle The Truth of Communist Wreckage

The recent collapse of the Chinese stock market, and the inability of the country’s central planners to “successfully” intervene and stop the slide of prices artificially elevated thanks to their previous intervention is a serious rebuke to the Communist regime.

That is why today the Chinese government is seeking out scapegoats, reportedly arresting around 200 people for “rumor-mongering” or related “violations” in connection with the market selloff and recent Tianjin chemical factory explosion.

This follows a series of other desperate moves:

Since an epic stock boom went bust this summer, China’s government has struggled to contain the crisis, ordering the press to downplay the story, and periodically singling out scapegoats, from hostile foreign forces, to“malicious” short-sellers, to the U.S. Federal Reserve and now, the press.

Notably, concerning this latest round of illiberal and ill-conceived “damage control,” the Chinese authorities forced a financial journalist named Wang Xiaolu to “confess” on Chinese state television to one such supposed violation resulting from a report he published in late July in which he indicated that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was contemplating ceasing share price “stabilization” efforts.

And all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot handle the truth that it has blown a bubble of epic proportions that like all bubbles must end in liquidation; all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot bear to take responsibility for its failed central planning reflected in plunging financial asset prices.

The free flow of information, like the free flow of ideas and capital, is anathema to totalitarian regimes, and indeed dangerous to them.

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Purchasing Power of the Dollar

Apparently ISIS Doesn’t Realize What The Fed Has Done to the Dollar

I grant that ISIS may be more knowledgeable about the “enslaving, imperialist dollar” than it appears, given that they feature a clip from former Rep. Ron Paul in their latest propaganda video about bringing down our currency and replacing it with ISIS’ gold money, but one gets the sense that the jihadists are unaware of The Fed’s historical record.

Namely, since its founding in 1913, The Fed has utterly debauched the dollar.

Had ISIS consulted the handy US Inflation Calculator, they would have learned that it takes roughly $2,400 today to purchase what would have cost $100 at the inception of the Fed. 

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Bob Corker Iran

A Response to Jim Geraghty on Republicans’ Willingness to Prevent the Iran Deal (or Lack Thereof)

National Review’s Jim Geraghty asks an essential question in a recent edition of his Morning Jolt that every member of Congress — not just Republicans — should have to answer: “[W]hat are you willing to do to prevent a mushroom cloud either in the Middle East or closer to home?”

As it pertains to members of the GOP, the proof is in the pudding: The party will prove pusillanimous — unwilling to exhaust every avenue to block an Iran deal disastrous for the entire West.

How do we know this?

Sen. Bob Corker’s Iran legislation in and of itself was a complete and utter abdication of Senatorial prerogative, and perhaps the crowning act of Failure Theater of this Republican Congress.

For a refresher, as Geraghty’s colleague Andrew C. McCarthy noted in April:

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Department of Justice

The Racialist Obama DOJ Uses Taxpayer Dollars to Fund Democratic Dominance

Behold the latest handiwork of J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky on the DOJ’s voting rights crusade charade, over at National Review.

Amazingly, therein we find the below nugget on the Justice Department’s subsidizing of Catalist in connection with its failed litigation efforts over North Carolina’s election rules:

The Justice Department also pumped untold thousands of dollars into a database run by a company called Catalist. This database has been populated with data provided by the Democratic National Committee, unions, and other liberal organizations and is used to help them win elections. Catalist’s infrastructure and database are expensive to maintain, but fear not, the Justice Department, in the North Carolina trial and elsewhere, has provided federal tax dollars to its expert witnesses so that they could purchase Catalist’s proprietary data. Yes, federal dollars were used to fund a database that will be used next year to try to win the 2016 election for Democratic candidates.

What’s more:

For all the resources expended, the Justice Department’s entire case was built on speculative claims. Not able to produce a single eligible voter who was or would be unable to vote, the plaintiffs relied on hypothetical statistical arguments to claim that the turnout of black voters would be “suppressed” because they might use early voting and same-day registration slightly more than white voters, and because black voters are “less sophisticated voters.” DOJ experts actually made the borderline-racist argument that “it’s less likely to imagine” that black voters could “figure out or would avail themselves of other forms of registering and voting.” That’s a shameful way to enforce a law that was used to protect real victims of real discrimination in the Deep South.

Luckily, reality trumped racialism:

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Milton Waddams

The Feds Are Doing Such a Good Job, They Deserve a Raise

The most dumbfounding part about civilian Federal employees getting a 1.3 percent pay raise isn’t that they are getting the raise, but that according to The Washington Post:

It prevents what would be a much higher raise from being paid under the complex laws governing federal pay raises should no raise number be enacted into law by the end of the year.

Good work if you can get it.

H/T: The Transom.

 

Featured Image Source: 20th Century Fox.

Baptism Scene

Obama Bends the Arc of History Towards Justice by Renaming Mt. McKinley to ‘Denali’

Because the West is simply the worst:

President Obama announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley was being renamed Denali, using his executive power to restore an Alaska Native name with deep cultural significance to the tallest mountain in North America.

The move came on the eve of Mr. Obama’s trip to Alaska, where he will spend three days promoting aggressive action to combat climate change, and is part of a series of steps he will make there meant to address the concerns of Alaska Native tribes.

It is the latest bid by the president to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to improve relations between the federal government and the nation’s Native American tribes, an important political constituency that has a long history of grievances against the government.

Denali’s name has long been seen as one such slight, regarded as an example of cultural imperialism in which a Native American name with historical roots was replaced by an American one having little to do with the place. [Emphasis mine]

Changing the name of a mountain from the surname of a U.S. president to ‘Denali’ is an apt symbol for the Obama presidency, which views the West as the world’s foremost oppressor.

Whether in rewarding our enemies, punishing our allies or elevating Native Americans over Americans, for our morally relativistic Dear Leader this is moral. This is how President Obama corrects for what he perceives as our sins of the past. This is how he makes the arc of history bend towards justice.

It’s a safe bet that

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Jim Grant

7 Minutes With Jim Grant Tells You All You Need to Know About World Markets Today

A must-watch interview with the publisher of the great Grant’s Interest Rate Observer conducted by Reason’s Matt Welch:

For a much deeper dive with Jim Grant from several months back, check out my interview with him on the insightful and ever-relevant The Forgotten Depression.

I spoke about it with TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka starting at 21:43 below:

 

Featured Image Source: YouTube screengrab/Reason.

Flickr/U.S. Department of Defense

ISIS Isn’t Winning So Much as America Is Mentally Defeated

In an age of victimology, moral relativism and a supreme lack of confidence in Western Civilization, you get comments like this from senior military officials:

“In testimony on Capitol Hill this year, Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the [Defense Intelligence] agency’s director, said sending ground troops back into Iraq risked transforming the conflict into one between the West and ISIS, which would be ‘the best propaganda victory that we could give.'”

Lt. Gen. Stewart’s statement fittingly comes from the Times’ exposé on the alleged politicization of intelligence estimates regarding our nation’s supposed military campaign against ISIS in Iraq.

The half-hearted effort against ISIS as dictated by President Obama — more political than substantive in nature — is a symptom of which Stewart’s demoralized mindset is part of the cause.

We are in a war in which Islamic supremacists are and have been fighting infidels worldwide for multiple decades, while the infidels cower.

We do not need to transform any conflict into one between the West and jihadists because the jihadists have already defined their war with us as such.

We are losing today to ISIS and to Islamic supremacism more broadly not so much because we lack the capability to destroy them

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Spain-IS-Aljafería-Palace-Zaragoza-IP_0

No Worries, the Would-Be French Train Terrorist’s Mosque Wasn’t Radical…Women Can Pray There

In the wake of the courageous takedown of a would-be (likely) jihadist on a Paris-bound train by three Americans, the New York Times published a piece on the Spanish mosque to which Ayoub El Khazzani belonged.

I think the following excerpt speaks for itself:

But while the authorities point to the mosque as a crucial part of Mr. Khazzani’s transformation from onetime petty hashish dealer to someone suspected of being a radical, Mr. Mohamed Ahmed said the preaching here was not to blame.

“Women are also allowed to pray here,” he said, “which certainly wouldn’t happen if this was a radical place.”

Methinks that Mr. Mohamed Ahmed is lacking in self-awareness.

Ahmed’s defense of Khazzani is perhaps even better:

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Jorge Ramos Donald Trump

Jorge Ramos: A “made-for-television La Raza protest”

Ian Tuttle, a fellow 2015 Publius Fellow at The Claremont Institute, has a scathing article on the not-so-objective but purportedly dispassionate Univision anchor, Jorge Ramos, over at NRO. Here is the money line:

… Ramos — who sums up his philosophy as “pro-Latino” — is just another identity-politics hack, his daily crusade a sort of made-for-television La Raza protest.

Which got me to thinking — Ramos said of Donald Trump’s immigration views that “His words are dangerous and his ideas are extreme.” What would Ramos say of the words and ideas emanating from the mouths and brains of La Raza activists, members of a group that has been forced to dedicate a portion of its website towards dispelling the notion that it is committed to goals like the reconquista of the southwestern United States?

Also worth noting: Apparently Mr. Ramos’ daughter works for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Who woulda thunk it?

 

Featured Image Source: YouTube screengrab.

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