The Observer has learned that Ydanis Rodriguez, the chair of New York City Council Transportation Committee, will join a meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 23rd in a Midtown location at which he will propose a bailout to rescue medallion owners, who have witnessed the value of their investment plummet as Uber and other ride apps disrupt the traditional taxi business. 521 MORE WORDS
Uber-Predictable: New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez Advocates Taxi Cartel Protection Scheme, Proposes BailoutPosted: April 21, 2015
Out: Far Left 9/11 Truthers. In: Far Left ISIS Truthers
October 4th, 2014, Ed Driscoll writes:
Al Gore was driven (further) insane when he lost to GWB in 2000, going from a man who attacked Bush #41 in 1992 for not removing Saddam Hussein from power, to demonizing Bush #43 for removing Saddam Hussein from power, and smearing his supporters as “digital brownshirts.” Gore, whose political career was reborn in 1989, when he made an about-face from a relatively conservative Democrat in the 1980s to comparing global warming to “An Ecological Kristallnacht” in a New York Times op-ed, sold his Current TV channel to Al Jazeera, owned by the ISIS-funding petro-state Qatar, for $500 million at the start of 2013.
With her above Facebook post today, Naomi Wolf, legendary (if perhaps somewhat apocryphally) for advising Gore in 2000 to switch to earth tones to bring out his hot-blooded alpha male (no, really), has joined him in la-la land.
It shouldn’t be all that surprising. In August of 2009, the former self-described “third wave feminist” thought that Islamic women forcing women to cover their faces was totally groovy, and underneath, the Islamic world was as laid back about sex as say, your average, Greenwich Village coffee house. (No, really.) Or as Phyllis Chesler paraphrased Wolf’s essay in the Sydney Morning Herald, “The Burqa: Ultimate Feminist Choice?”
In the fall of 2008, she predicted that if John McCain won, we’d see the coming of the Palin-Rove Police State. (No, really!) Here’s Wolf’s fever-swamp rant at the Huffington Post in September of 2008:
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don’t have freedom.
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints.
(Read the whole thing; it’s quite a hoot.) In October 2011, Wolf got her wish, sort of, being busted by Mayor Bloomberg’s finest and held overnight after an Occupy Wall Street rally went awry. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — Activists who organized the dormant Occupy Wall Street movement are suing another activist for control of the main Twitter account, and one of the plaintiffs says there was no other option but to turn to litigation to solve the dispute.
“We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court.”
— Marisa Holmes, video editor, part of the core organizing team of Occupy
The conflict centers around @OccupyWallStNYC, one of the main Twitter feeds that distributed information during the movement’s heyday in 2011. The OWS Media Group filed a lawsuit against organizer Justin Wedes on Wednesday, which is also the third anniversary of the beginning of Occupy Wall Street. The group, led by activist Marisa Holmes, is seeking control of the Twitter account as well as $500,000 in damages.
The Twitter account, which used to be shared among several activists, is now under the control of Wedes, who explained his decision to take over the Twitter feed in a blog post in August:
A thread about “self-promotion” became just another shaming session. If we start from a place of assuming bad intentions – i.e. discouraging “self-promotion” over encouraging solid, relevant content – we will end up with rules that shame rather than empower. Group members took on the task of limiting others to “1 to 2 tweets per day” (or week) on a topic, a form of censorship that would never have been allowed in the earlier days of the boat. I had to say enough!
“We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court,” Holmes, a video editor who was part of the core organizing team of Occupy, told BuzzFeed News. “And quite frankly if we go and beat him up then we could end up with countersuits against us, and that puts us in a more damaging position and we don’t really want to do that anyway.” Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Bill O’Reilly to Bundy Supporter: Whats the Difference Between Bundy and Occupy Wall Street?Posted: April 23, 2014
Bill O’Reilly took on a militia leader Tuesday night supporting Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and asked him a very blunt question: what’s the difference between Bundy supporters and Occupy Wall Street? Scott Shaw acknowledged that Bundy broke the law, but said Bundy should stick to his convictions.
O’Reilly suggested the government put a lean on the land for when he dies, which Shaw thought was a reasonable solution. He said he’s not comfortable with the government’s overreaction to the situation in Nevada, telling O’Reilly, “We’re only a nation of laws when it suits our federal overlords.” Read the rest of this entry »
A prominent liberal economist contends capitalism will inevitably increase inequality.
‘Karl Marx wasn’t wrong, just early. Pretty much. Sorry, capitalism. #inequalityforevah”
James Pethokoukis writes: When trying to condense a sweeping, 700-page analysis of the past, present, and possible future of capitalism into an 85-character tweet, you’re bound to miss a few things. But the above Twitter-fication of economist Thomas Piketty’s much-awaited Capital in the Twenty-First Century captures the gist of the author’s argument.
“Piketty, a left-wing Frenchman who teaches at the Paris School of Economics, is hardly the only economist arguing inequality is headed inexorably higher…”
Piketty thinks the German progenitor of Communism basically got it right. It’s only that his essential insight — private capital accumulation inevitably leads to the concentration of wealth into ever-fewer hands — took a hiatus during the middle part of the last century thanks to depression and war hurting the fortunes of the well-to-do. But now Marxism’s fundamental truth is reasserting itself with a vengeance, a reality borne out in both Piketty’s own meticulously gathered data and in business pages replete with stories of skyrocketing wealth for the 0.001 percent and decades of flat wages for everyone else.
“John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek famously squared off in the 1930s, Left versus Right. But when Keynes published his revolutionary General Theory in 1936, Hayek went silent….Who will make the intellectual case for economic freedom today?”
And it’s only going to get worse, Piketty concludes. Sure, the productive and innovative capacity of market capitalism will generate enough income growth for the masses to prevent revolution. He concedes Marx got that bit of apocalypticism wrong. But an “endless inegalitarian spiral” will create such wealth bifurcation that “the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based” will be undermined. The political process will be hopelessly captured by a tiny elite of rent seekers and trust-fund kids. America (and then the other advanced economies) will become what Occupy Wall Street types and Elizabeth Warren think it already is.
Greg Gutfeld writes: Maybe, when you were younger and dumber, you had some questionable friends. They dabbled in illegality. They weren’t dependable. They often needed you to bail them out of trouble. They stole stuff…sometimes your stuff. They never paid for gas, and when they did, it’s because they borrowed your car without telling you and ran it into a tree.
Some had incendiary beliefs, and you only tolerated them because you were young, impressionable, and apathetic. They were fun to drink with or do drugs with, but you wouldn’t trust them with your sister.
Now we jump ahead–and you find yourself in a position of power. You’re successful. You have gained a lot (in both material and non-material things), so now you have a lot to lose.
What do you do with the old friends–the ones who could make you look really, really bad? Do you continue to embrace the friendship, or briskly walk away, like a man leaving a bar he’s decided is either too rough or too smelly?
Looking for the perfect finger puppet of a communist mass murderer for your favorite comrade this holiday season? The Nation magazine has got you covered.
The liberal magazine’s online store — “The Nationmart” — features a magnetic finger puppet of Che Guevara. The late Argentine revolutionary helped Fidel Castro install a police state in Cuba, where Guevara personally oversaw hundreds if not thousands of executions and the creation of labor camps where dissidents, homosexuals and others who “committed crimes against revolutionary morals” were ultimately sent. But Nationmart didn’t let those pesky details get in the way of its sunny description of the Che finger puppet.
“We may not know where Castro is these days, but we know where Che Guevara is: on your finger as a magnetic finger puppet!” the item’s playful description reads. “On your finger, he’s a puppet; on your fridge, he’s a magnet; in your puppet collection he incites the others to rise against their capitalistic oppressors!”
“Approx. 4 [inches] tall. But not too short to stand up for the poor and oppressed,” the description continues.
The puppet is a steal at just $5.99.
But if you prefer something a little more special, you might want to consider the Che Guevara doll for your budding Occupy Wall Street activist, or even the Che Guevara watch for the significant revolutionary in your life.
“Che Guevara was many things,” the description of the doll reads. “He was a rebel, an adventurer, a statesman, a civil rights leader and a revolutionary. And now he’s a cute doll thanks to our Che Guevara Little Thinker Doll. The Che Doll stands about 12-inches tall and comes dressed in green khakis, black boots and belt, plus his trademark beret. It’s as adorable, appealing and cuddly as the real Che was intense, violent, and cuddly. Che was known for fighting for just causes, and you should buy one just, well, cause.”
The heralded “civil rights leader” once famously meditated on hatred, noting:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Whoops, that was Martin Luther King, Jr. Here’s Che’s thoughts on hatred: “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become.”
People in hundreds of cities across the world are taking part in mass rallies planned by the global protest group – Anonymous.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, as I listened to the competing slogans from Republicans and Democrats, phrases repeated endlessly on the campaign trail, I had a bad feeling that the traditional GOP message was failing to recognize a hidden truth about modern America. A truth that the Democrat campaign understood, and successfully tapped into. Many Americans actually don’t want a job.
It was a subversive, nagging thought. I wanted to dismiss it. Because I wasn’t just thinking about the welfare-dependent, or Occupy Wall Street anti-capitalists, or the the aimless couch-surfers in their parents’ basement, or members of the undocumented criminal economy, or the federal and state workers, the privileged, well-connected political classes who enjoy job security and fat pensions—the other, perfectly legal criminal economy–I was thinking about a lot of normal, regular people. People for whom the tried-and-true GOP-playbook phrases about the ‘Great American Work Ethic’ fails to impress.
Work does suck. Even for those that don’t want a get-out-of-work-free card, the modern workplace is a numbing, soul-sucking, hamster-wheel cage that’s increasingly unrewarding, humiliating, and for tangible less reward.
Between the nanny middle-managers, human resources rule-makers, petty tyrant bosses, the modern workplace a less dynamic environment than it used to be.
Add to that the diminishing opportunities for advancement, portable technology invisibly leashing employees to workplace concerns even when they’re not on the clock, and flat wages, the American workplace has become a treacherous, all-bullshit, all-the-time environment that doesn’t exactly inspire industrious, risk-taking, enterprising folks the way it did a few elections ago.
For those too young to remember the Cold War but old enough to be trapped by the Great Recession, Marxism holds new appeal
Note: The same financial crash prompted young intellectuals to revisit Ayn Rand, too, judging from the surge in sales of Atlas Shrugged. Goldberg’s article—exploring Marxism’s renewed popularity among the disenchanted youth—is but one example of the resurgence in philosophical questioning and renewed examination of historic texts that inevitably follows economic disasters. I think this is natural. I wouldn’t be surprised if this dual popularity of these two competing philosophies effectively cancel each other out.
The darlings of the Left will always reengineer and promote various brands of Marxism–easily the most successfully murderous ideology in human history, 94 million deaths worldwide and counting–for impressionable neophytes, in spite of its undeniable record of doom, death, and suffering. And romantic young intellectuals will always have an appetite for its radical appeal.
But the optimist in me hopes that the current Libertarian movement on campuses (which I’ll write about soon) prevails, with more lasting influence. In the meantime, here’s a famous quote, see if you can guess (without googling it) who originated it. Answer at the end of Goldberg’s essay, after the jump. (Don’t cheat!)
“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
Okay, on to our featured essay:
Michelle Goldberg writes: Eight years ago Jay McInerney, poster boy for a certain kind of glossy 1980s literary chic, anointed Benjamin Kunkel as the voice of a new generation. Writing on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, he hailed Kunkel’s first novel,Indecision, for making “the whole flailing, postadolescent, prelife crisis feel fresh and funny again.” He wasn’t alone; many critics were impressed by Kunkel’s evocation of a privileged young man’s passivity and ennui. They were less sure of what to make of his narrator’s culminating conversion to radical politics in South America. “Explaining socialism to the postironic, ambivalent, hopeful, generous twentysomethings of 2005, I suppose, is what sequels are for,” Michael Agger wrote in Slate.
Next March, Kunkel will release his second book, Utopia or Bust. Though not a sequel to Indecision, it will in fact seek to explain, or at least explore, what socialism means now through a series of essays on contemporary leftist thinkers like Fredric Jameson and David Harvey. After the success of Indecision—a spot on the best-seller list, translations into a dozen languages, a Hollywood option—Kunkel didn’t milk his newfound literary stardom in the manner of, say, Jay McInerney. Instead, after falling into a deep depression, he followed the example of his own narrator, moving to Buenos Aires and immersing himself in anticapitalist political theory. In a draft of the introduction to his new book, he writes, “To the disappointment of friends who would prefer to read my fiction—as well as of my literary agent, who would prefer to sell it—I seem to have become a Marxist public intellectual.”
In a world where smart machines do most of the work, expect high unemployment, unrest and tumult
ORLANDO — Patrick Thibodeau writes: Science fiction writers have long told of great upheaval as machines replace people. Now, so is research firm Gartner. The difference is that Gartner, which provides technology advice to many of the world’s largest companies, is putting in dates and recommending immediate courses of action.
The job impacts from innovation are arriving rapidly, according to Gartner. Unemployment, now at about 8%, will get worse. Occupy Wall Street-type protests will arrive as early as next year as machines increasingly replace middle-class workers in high cost, specialized jobs. In businesses, CIOs in particular, will face quandaries as they confront the social impact of their actions.
Machines have been replacing people since the agricultural revolution, so what’s new here?
In previous technological leaps, workers could train for a better job and achieve an improvement in their standard of living. But the “Digital Industrial Revolution,” as the analyst firm terms it, is attacking jobs at all levels, not just the lower rung. Smart machines, for example, can automate tasks to the point where they become self-learning systems.
Donlyn Turnbull writes: Immediately after Texas Senator Ted Cruz finished his 21-hour mother of all speeches, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid killed the euphoria by responding with some blunt words for the freshman Senator as well as the Tea Party. “I do believe that what we have here with the so-called Tea Party is a new effort to strike government however they can, to hurt government,” Reid said. “Any day that government is hurt is a good day for them. It’s, as I said before, the new anarchy.”
After I dug my nails out of my desk, I thought at length about what Sen. Reid said and his words “the new anarchy” in particular. Firstly, the Greek word anarchy translated literally means “no ruler”. And typically when I think of anarchists I think of Occupy Wall Street or anyone at Starbucks at 8 in the morning. Both crowds can be equally unruly.
For several years now the Tea Party has been ridiculously compared to Occupy Wall Street and of course the differences are legion. But the one thing those labeled as anarchists generally want is to be in control of their lives, in varying degrees. Read the rest of this entry »
…So what is perceived as cool, when it’s really the opposite?
– Bureaucrats spawned in teacher’s lounges chiseling at your income, to the cheers of a pliant media
– Creating dependency as a romantic lifestyle, independent of achievement
– Ridiculing women, minorities, and gays who reject the culture of dependency
– Fake work that doesn’t require building, moving or doing things. In 2008, a community organizer beat a war hero who spent years in a prison camp. Apparently that’s cool.
– Movements that reject American values in favor of American guilt (Occupy)
– Anti-Americanism as a needy appeasement to our international adversaries
– Hero worship of celebrities based on artificial edginess (Johnny Depp is not really a pirate)
– Destroying things. Did Pete Townsend ever think of the maid as he trashed his 25th hotel room?
– Victimhood. The elevation of the David and Goliath myth as a universal storyboard dictating that evil can be good, as long as it’s smaller than the good. If America was a house, the left would root for the termites.
– Code words. Language that aptly describes things is uncool. However, euphemisms created to avoid hurting the feelings of our adversaries is not. Hence, Ft. Hood terror is workplace violence. Which, I guess that makes Hurricane Sandy a pool party.
– Talking about your identity. If you’re gay, bisexual, transgendered, Raelian, or Eskimo, chances are I’ll hear about it. If you are less proud of what you do than who you do then you’re considered cool.
Where does the tyranny of the cool begin?
A conservative’s challenge to the so-called mainstream media: Where is the feeding frenzy on the Libya story?Posted: October 31, 2012
Timely LA Times Op-Ed by Jonah Goldberg
October 30, 2012
Benghazi–No Mere October Surprise
If you want to understand why conservatives have lost faith in the so-called mainstream media, you need to ponder the question: Where is the Benghazi feeding frenzy?
Unlike some of my colleagues on the right, I don’t think there’s a conspiracy at work. Rather, I think journalists tend to act on their instincts (some even brag about this; you could look it up). And, collectively, the mainstream media’s instincts run liberal, making groupthink inevitable.
In 2000, a Democratic operative orchestrated an “October surprise” attack on George W. Bush, revealing that 24 years earlier, he’d been arrested for drunk driving. The media went into a feeding frenzy. “Is all the 24-hour coverage of Bush’s 24-year-old DUI arrest the product of a liberal media almost drunk on the idea of sinking him, or is it a legitimate, indeed unavoidable news story?” asked Howard Kurtz in a segment for his CNN show “Reliable Sources.” The consensus among the guests: It wasn’t a legitimate news story. But the media kept going with it.
One could go on and on. In September 2004, former CBS titan Dan Rather gambled his entire career on a story about Bush’s service in the National Guard. His instincts were so powerful, he didn’t thoroughly check the documents he relied on, which were forgeries. In 2008, the media feeding frenzy over John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, was so ludicrous it belonged in a Tom Wolfe novel. Over the last couple of years, the mainstream media has generally treated Occupy Wall Street as idealistic, the “tea parties” as racist and terrifying.
To be sure, there’ve been conservative feeding frenzies: about Barack Obama’s pastor, John Kerry’s embellishments of his war record, etc. But the mainstream media usually has tasked itself with the duty of debunking and dispelling such “hysteria.”
Last week, Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported that sources on the ground in Libya say they pleaded for support during the attack on the Benghazi consulate that led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. They were allegedly told twice to “stand down.” Worse, there are suggestions that there were significant military resources available to counterattack, but requests for help were denied.
Today, Politico interviewed the two of the chief creators, along with Andrew Breitbart, of Occupy Unmasked, the new documentary examining the origins, motives, and effects of Occupy Wall Street. Citizens United President David Bossie and writer and director Stephen K. Bannon sat down with Politico’s Patrick Gavin, who rightly called Occupy Unmasked Andrew Breitbart’s “last major piece of work.”
The film, says Gavin, “portrays the occupy movements in such cities as New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as dirty and dangerous encampments that exploited the grievances of average Americans.” Bossie described the movement as “this very well-organized machine, very much the hard-core left, the anarchists movement,” which “utilized the people who kind of felt put upon, or that their American dream or their hope of an American dream had been taken away: College kids that weren’t finding work, middle age folks who were out of work for a long period of time.”
Bannon added that the attitude prevalent in Occupy Unmasked – what he called “the fighting spirit of Andrew Breitbart” – is missing from the political debate today. “You just need that,” he added. “He was a unique guy at a unique sense of time. The conservative movement has really never had a guy who was that physical and that magnetic …. We’re really missing that.”