No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Socialists

Grateful and Ungrateful

I don’t know about you but I’ve never walked into a hardware store like Mitre10 or Bunnings and thought to myself how beautiful it is, or that some parts are like a carnival.

But then I’m not from Cuba, whereas the guy in this video is and it documents his first ever visit to a Home Depot store in the USA.

Watching it I’m reminded of a scene from the 1980’s movie Moscow on the Hudson, where Robin Williams, playing a Soviet circus musician who defects during a US tour, is so overwhelmed by his first experience of supermarket shopping that he faints.

Little ordinary things that we all just take for granted in Western democratic capitalist nations.

On the other hand there’s this video from San Francisco that has gone viral in the last few days. It shows a shoplifter just blatantly filling up a garbage bag with stuff from a Walgreens store in daylight and right in front of a security guard, who simply videos the whole event. When the thief cycles out of the place, the guard does make a half-hearted grab for the bag but fails.

The woman beside the guard is also videoing the theft and asks about calling the cops on 911. However, arresting the man would be a waste of time since San Francisco has implemented a policy of not charging shoplifters if they steal less than $950, which has produced daily scenes in the city like this one, as shown in the rest of the video.

The inevitable happened when Walgreens recently closed seventeen of its stores in the city, but blatant shoplifting like this has become a common feature of other large, Democrat-controlled cities as well.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 20, 2021 at 3:04 pm

And The Fish All Left The Sea

I guarantee you, if they tried a little harder, the lunatics of the left could persuade fish to leave the sea and live somewhere else.

The Legislature of New York State has proposed a tax on the sale and purchaes of securities and, guess what happened – so unexpectedly?

The New York Stock Exchange had something to say.

Adolf hasn’t had such a good laugh for a long time .

Written by adolffinkensen

February 10, 2021 at 6:52 pm

Posted in USA

Tagged with

Kansas Can Go Fuck Itself

Sixteen years ago a man named Frank Thomas wrote a book that rapidly became required reading among Democrat politicians and activists in the USA.

The book is called What’s The Matter With Kansas, and it dealt with the seeming inability of the Democrats to take electoral advantage of things like the Iraq War and economic issues in the heartlands of America. The author, Thomas Frank, is a good writer and thinker and was tackling contemporary issues, but for me the book boiled down to the same old “false consciousness” argument that Marxists have been banging on about for over a century in trying to explain the failure of Marxism to take root among the toiling masses.

Frank’s analysis fell into the same world of hand-wringing “Why do they vote against their own interests?” explanations and his wasn’t much better than the Marxists’ one:

Strip today’s Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they’re protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there’s a good chance they’ll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower.

The Culture War in other words, with one side a coalition of social conservatives (abortion, gay marriage, etc) and economic liberals (tax cuts and deregulation, spending cuts, free trade). Frank, as a Mid-Westerner himself, had harsh words for the Democrats:

The Democratic Leadership Council, the organization that produced such figures as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Terry McAuliffe, has long been pushing the party to forget blue-collar voters and concentrate instead on recruiting affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues. 

The DLC was the direct result of two damaging elections for the Democrats. The first in 1984 when Walter Mondale – with his traditional Democrat ideas of increased taxes, union support and restrictions on free trade – lost in a landslide against Reagan. The second in 1988 when “Good jobs at good wages” Dukakis went down to a humiliating defeat against the colourless George H W Bush. The DLC was a direct response to those losses as it crafted the Clinton world, a post-Mondale age that stopped hating on CEO’s and learned to love NAFTA and its ilk:

The move seemed smart. This was the go-go eighties, we were all Material Girls (for whom the boy with the cold hard cash was always Mr. Right)

But one of the secrets to Trump’s 2016 victory was that he actually reversed some of these Right-Wing 80’s wins. Even though the DLC had died (and is actually spat upon by sections of the Democrats now for all its 1990’s compromising and triangulation with the GOP), it left the affluent, white-collar professionals in total control of the Party – and they despise the blue-collar crowd more than ever.

Trump swooped in and got enough of these “deplorables” to win key swing states. No other GOP politician could have done it because none of them had Trump’s history on the subjects. Go back thirty years and you’ll see him saying exactly the same things about free trade deals and wars and America getting screwed. And ordinary people who watch Oprah and reality TV shows knew this. Trump was not trimming his jib to the polls: this is what he really thought, but it was only in 2016 that such ideas finally broke through.

However, to do this, he first also fought and defeated a similar crowd inside the GOP, who had begun to despise their working class social conservatives, their Reagan Conservatives. Were not income tax cuts and slight restraints on spending enough? Especially combined with all that good culture war stuff on the hustings – that somehow never turned into anything but defeats in the Supreme Court and elsewhere. Plus wars fought for the ideal of International Liberalism.

When you also look at the insane spending of the US government and Trump’s pledge to never touch Social Security and Medicare you’re actually seeing a new coalition: call it Social Conservatives and Fiscal Liberals. It’s actually very much the mid-20th century Democrat Party and despite the MSM amplified squeaks from Democrat newbies like AOC about unions, healthcare and welfare it’s very much not today’s Democrat Party.

No, today’s Democrat Party is one that has learned nothing from Frank’s book, and is described well in a recent article by Lefty Matt Taibbi. It’s longish but if you are at all interested in what’s happening in the USA right now I suggest you read the whole thing. Taibbi starts with Frank’s old book.

That Democrats needed Thomas Frank to tell them what conservatives fifteen miles outside the cities were thinking was damning in itself. Even worse was the basically unbroken string of insults emanating from pop culture (including from magazines like Rolling Stone: I was very guilty of this) describing life between the cities as a prole horror peopled by obese, Bible-thumping dolts who couldn’t navigate a Thai menu and polished gun lockers instead of reading.

I wish more journalists were as self-aware as that. Readers will note that our regular diet of Lefty trolls here at No Minister (including ones at our old site) continue to throw around the exact same accusations, but they at least have the excuse that they don’t value election victories and “ideas” beyond opportunuties for taunting. As Taibbi points out, he was hardly alone:

The news media and Hollywood shifted accordingly. Working-class voices disappeared from the press and earnest movies like Norma Rae and The China Syndrome gave way to a new brand of upper-class messaging that reveled in imperious sneering and weird culture-war provocations.

He quotes Frank’s 2004 book on this matter:

“The state [Kansas] watches impotently as its culture, beamed in from the coasts, becomes coarser and more offensive by the year... Why shouldn’t our culture just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?”

As Taibbi caps it: We have the answer to that now, don’t we?. We do indeed: cue Netflix and their pedophilic movie, Cuties.

The rest of the article deals with a new book by Frank, The People, No. It’s a history of the American Populist movement of the 1890’s and Taibbi speculates that it’s a response to reactions to Trump:

Also: the word, “populism,” became a synonym for plague or menace. Post-Trump and post-Brexit, pundits tended to use the term in tandem with other epithets, e.g. the “populist threat.” For Frank, a liberal intellectual whose breathless admiration for the actual Populist movement of the 1890s had been a running theme across two decades, this must have stung.

Although Frank may not have intended comparisons, Taibbi draws them, especially when Frank gets to the 1930’s where Populist policies that had been defeated 30-40 years earlier began to win with FDR and the Great Depression:

F.D.R. himself was a genteel aristocrat, but battered as a Russian agent… His followers were “people of low mentality” who backed policies that were the “laughingstock of the leading monetary authorities of the world.” This campaign, which should sound familiar, failed over and over…

But those victories of policy were not ones of culture, especially in government, and the following also sounds familiar as Taibbi gives a synopsis of Frank’s take on the post-WWII era:

The model of enlightened government for this new “technocratic” class of “consensus thinkers” was John Kennedy’s “Camelot” cabinet of Experts in Shirtsleeves, with Robert McNamara’s corporatized Pentagon their Shining Bureaucracy on a Hill. This vision of ideal democracy has dominated mainstream press discourse for almost seventy years.

The myth of “The Best and The Brightest“, which was seen again with Bill Clinton’s presidency and may have peaked with President Obama. On that note there is reference to a 2016 Frank book I’d not heard of: Listen, Liberal, which seems to have been a warning to the Democrats that things had actually not gone all that well for ordinary people during Obama’s time and that this spelled trouble for Hillary Clinton. It’s probably not a surprise that I hadn’t heard of it, for it was buried by the likes of the NYT (“pessimistic note”). Taibbi was in the same space when he started covering Trump:

When I was first sent out to cover the Donald Trump campaign years later, I assumed the editorial concept would be simple: mockery. New York’s infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” had taken over national headlines in the summer of 2015 with a foul-mouthed stream-of-consciousness rap, organized around an impossible Pharaonic wall project and scare tales about rape-happy Mexicans – the Diceman doing Pat Buchanan. If this was taking over the Republican Party, there wasn’t much to report. The enterprise was doomed, and journalism’s only mission was to make sure the silliest bits were captured before being buried under the sands of history.

The Diceman doing Pat Buchanan: that’s very clever and sounds like so many Lefties to this day. But he soon got scared:

Twenty minutes into my first Trump campaign event, I knew this was wrong, and was seized by a sinking feeling that really hasn’t left since. Trump in person sounded like he’d been convinced to run for president after reading What’s the Matter with Kansas? His stump act seemed tailored to take advantage of the gigantic market opportunity Democrats had created, and which Frank described.

Frank and Taibbi were not quite, but almost, alone in this. Before Frank’s book was this article from early 2016, Donald Trump, Class Warrior, by a writer called Clive Crook. I’d been reading Crook for years without knowing that he was an English ex-pat, and that background added to the power of this observation:

I’m a British immigrant, and grew up in a northern English working-class town. Taking my regional accent to Oxford University and then the British civil service, I learned a certain amount about my own class consciousness and other people’s snobbery. But in London or Oxford from the 1970s onwards I never witnessed the naked disdain for the working class that much of America’s metropolitan elite finds permissible in 2016. 

Incredible is it not, knowing the English class system, and in 1970? He and his wife decide to buy a house in West Virginia in preparation for retiring from Washington D.C. Naturally this leads to lots of jokes, “about guns, banjo music, in-breeding, people without teeth and so forth“. He strains to emphasise that his Washington friends are “good people”:

They’d be offended by crass, cruel jokes about any other group. They deplore prejudice and keep an eye out for unconscious bias. More than a few object to the term, “illegal immigrant.” Yet somehow they feel the white working class has it coming.

And then he describes his new neighbours.

My neighbors in West Virginia are good people too. Hard to believe, since some work outside and not all have degrees, but trust me on this. They’re aware of how they’re seen by the upper orders. They understand the prevailing view that they’re bigots, too stupid to know what’s good for them, and they see that this contempt is reserved especially for them. The ones I know don’t seem all that angry or bitter — they find it funny more than infuriating — but they sure don’t like being looked down on.

And he goes on to point out that they were not being stupid in voting for Trump. They knew he was “coarse”, crude, impolite, outrageous and unfairly vicious in a fight, and also how he bullshits constantly – just like most people in real estate. And that was exactly what they wanted:

Trump wages war on political correctness. Political correctness requires more than ordinary courtesy: It’s a ritual, like knowing which fork to use, by which superior people recognize each other.

But the Democrats and Never-Trumpers on the Right, and their friends around the world, have learned nothing, judging from four years of ever-escalating attacks not just on Trump but on anybody who works with him or supports him. They’re simply not interested in learning from their mistakes and have gone even further in making sure that nothing is to be learned from The Deplorables, who are to be simply shunned. I’ll leave the last word to Taibbi, including the line that forms the title of his article and mine:

By 2020, the official answer to What’s the Matter with Kansas? was Kansas is a White Supremacist Project and Can Go Fuck Itself.

Voter contrasts on Trump

I’m just going to post these two pieces of Twitter video without further comment.

The first is from a person who is definitely not a supporter of Trump as she is asked about a Trump supporter being murdered in Portland a couple of weeks ago.

And now from some Trump supporters.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 19, 2020 at 8:00 am

Children of the Privileged Revolution

The funny thing about almost all revolutions is how they don’t conform to the standard Leftist mythology about the poor and oppressed rising up against their rulers.

Whether it’s the Peasants’ Revolt or the French Revolution the fact is that a great many revolutionaries have been folk who were quite well off and reasonably educated. And this is before we get to the leaders, often self-proclaimed, of such revolutions: pampered little Middle-Class creeps like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro and the rest.

And as the USA finds itself in the middle of the Antifa/Burn-Loot-Murder problems we see this history being repeated.

The children in this photo are (L->R):

  • Hope Walz, daughter of Minnesota Democrat Governor Tim Walz.
  • Chiara de Blasio, daughter of NYC Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Jeremiah Ellison, son of Minnesota Democrat Attorney General, Keith Ellison.
  • Isra Hirsi, daughter of Lefty firebrand grifter and Democrat member of Congress, Ilhan Omar.

Let’s start with Hope. On the night the riots broke out that would ultimately burn down Minneapolis businesses owned by Blacks and other ‘small people’, little Ms ShitStirrer was on the line from her Daddy’s place to her Antifa/Burn Loot Murder mates, with precious inside information:

Some years ago there was a horror movie that included the scary line: “The calls are coming from inside the house“. In this case, the Governor’s mansion. How very public-spirited of her.

Over in New York City Chiara was pulling much the same stunt, although she did at least get out into the streets where she and a hundred others blocked the road and then disobeyed police orders to move. Lots of shouting for justice but at least rocks or frozen water bottles were not thrown at the cops this time. She was arrested merely for unlawful assembly and her dear old Communist Dad said it was great how much she cared. As one commentator noted:

Chiara cares enough to raise the temperature and incite others. But not enough to dirty her hands.

Perhaps we should be grateful for such timidity. Otherwise she might be following in the footsteps of another privileged piece of human garbage, Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground mates, who were quite happy building nail bombs and such in the late 1960’s. Ayers Daddy was Thomas G. Ayers, chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison (1973 to 1980) who had more than enough wealth to spring his precious spawn from jail.

Back in Minnesota, Jeremiah, slogging through the aches and pains of long, rugged days as a Minneapolis city councillor – where he’s advocating for defunding the local cops – made clear where he stands:  ‘I hereby pledge my support for ANTIFA“. His Dad must also be proud as to how far the acorn has not fallen from the tree.

Which brings us at last to Isra “yes, i’m 17 and i hate capitalism.”.

As The Spectator archly noted:

The capitalist hell of America carried her mother from a Kenyan refugee camp to the House of Representatives. The white supremacists of the Beltway now hold Mrs Omar in working-class penury on $174,000 basic, plus more perks than you can shake a Molotov cocktail at. Let it burn.

Perhaps it’s less having a wealthy, grifting politician as a parent than just having a wealthy parent:

John Malkovich’s son was arrested at a violent Black Lives Matter rally in Portland, Oregon, where marchers attacked cops trying to protect their union building amid chants of “burn it down,” according to authorities….

His low-level charges fall into the category that Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said his office will not even prosecute

However, some of the Oregon State Police making arrests have been federally deputized, which means protesters like Malkovich could face federal charges

So I guess his wealthy Daddy might need to hire an expensive lawyer or six after all.

Finally there’s this little piece of work from New York City, Clara Kraebber, a wealthy 20 year old Rice University student. Daddy is a professor with the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry while Mumsy owns an architect firm in Manhattan.

Did I say wealthy? A few years ago they purchased a $1.8 million apartment in the Upper East Side. They also own a second home in Connecticut.

She was one of eight BLM rioters arrested after they were seen running around a tony part of New York smashing windows, to the tune of $100,000 worth of damage. Apparently this was just part of some general “low-level” mayhem unleashed by a couple of sub-species of Burn Loot Murder, The “New Afrikan Black Panther Party” (the “k” is a nice touch) and the “Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement.” One of the arrested faces two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, but I’m guessing little Ms Kraebber thought that it’s cool to hang with that sort of person – in between protesting for more gun control.

One cop summed it up pretty well:

“I wonder how her rich parents feel about their daughter. How would they feel if they graffitied their townhouse? This girl should be the poster child for white privilege, growing up on the Upper East Side and another home in Connecticut. This is the height of hypocrisy.”

Oh come on. Her parents are probably just as proud of her mad SJW skillz as the other parents quoted above. And these little Far Left shits don’t give a damn about being accused of their “double standards” and “hypocrisy”. They’re not going to change their ideas or practices just because they’re “confronted” with such things. They’re well aware of it and don’t care about such “standards” or “principles”. They’re just going to laugh in your face. They care about having power over others and their entire lives are built on those lines. And they’re probably right; they’re going to get away with all this, as they usually do:

They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

It’s a mark of the success of American society that such privilege is now multi-racial. I can only hope that when the Revolution does come and I’m up against the wall, that these creatures will be beside me.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 13, 2020 at 4:58 pm

Why do Millionaires hate Billionaires?

I was pondering this question the other day while observing a hilarious interchange between two such people, Robert Reich and Elon Musk.

Reich is in many ways a creature of the distant past. An old-style American Boomer “liberal” economist who strongly pushes old-fashioned ideas like boosting the minimum wage, empowering unions, and so forth. I only know of him because he was Secretary of Labour in Bill Clinton’s first Presidential term (1993-1997). He was disappointed to find that Clinton’s famous “triangulation” strategy for winning re-election in 1996 meant that Reich’s economic ideas around labour were never implemented to the extent he wanted.

Since then he has maintained a steady patter of pushing these ideas through books and articles. He’s also on Twitter and as an example of how the world has changed, he may have been surprised to find that modern Robber Barons of our age are not the hidden figures of the 19th century but are also on Twitter, which is how the following exchange came about after Reich unloaded one of his usual scathing takes on the modern US economy.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Further humiliation followed as people began to point out one of Mr Reich’s long-standing and well-known sources of income.

According to data from 2014 Reich makes $40,000 for a 1-hour speaking engagement plus hotel, flight and food. Sweet! And it’s probably increased since then.

Down with capitalism. Up with my speaking fees.

See also, Every Billionaire is a Policy Failure.

.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 12, 2020 at 7:26 am

Blacks on Black Lives Matter

We’ve seen an awful lot of news out of the USA about “systemic racism” and the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement to supposedly try and do something about that – in coordination with the US Democrat Party apparently.

Black Lives Matter (VOTE DEMOCRAT) cleverly has its name the same as the slogan, “black lives matter“. If you attack the former, you’re automatically dismissing and attacking the latter – you racist you!

So it’s worthwhile taking a look at what some Blacks have to say about Black Lives Matter (VOTE DEMOCRAT), starting with the Hodge Twins:

Then there’s this African woman – as in an African immigrant to the USA – sticking it to some White Woman who’s all in on Black Lives Matter (VOTE DEMOCRAT)

“The Blacks kill Blacks in Black neighbourhoods every single day. I’ve never seen a Black Lives Matter in those neighbourhoods. Never.

When a Black person kill a Black in a Black neighbourhood… when the Police come, you know what they tell the Police? ‘Snitches get stitches. Snitches get stitches‘.

Stop the hypocrisy”

And yet another example of the same phenomena:

“You racist white liberals do this shit every fucking four years. We’re tired of it

…Fuck you, you dumb bitch. You’re not here for me. You’re here because you’re dumb as fuck”

Meanwhile, this elderly Black lady uses the softer language of an older generation to ask why her life didn’t matter after Black Lives Matter (VOTE DEMOCRAT) “protests” resulted in her little store being looted and trashed.

“You said black lives matter” Why don’t you choke me? I’m Black. Look what you did to my store.”

Tell me black lives matter. You lied”

And this young Black mother laments what the Black Lives Matter (VOTE DEMOCRAT) protests did to her community:

“Look at this. Can’t even get no fuckin’ food for my kids. In my hood.

… I feel like an animal and Black people made me feel like an animal. Y’all did this to us. I am so devastated right now.

…This is what we’re fighting for? This is honouring George Floyd?

…We’re so black and proud that we ain’t never going to be honest and be real about what’s really going on. Y’all are so wrong for this. You came into your neighbourhood and fucked up your shit..

…Y’all all let these White folks set you off – once again.”

This has happened to Black communities across the USA, effectively creating “food deserts“:

Neighborhoods near where I grew up outside of Chicago are devastated. One of my friends who lives on the south side of Chicago told me she and her husband have to drive to Indiana to get groceries now. There isn’t a grocery store anywhere near them that hasn’t been destroyed. She’s one of the lucky ones because she has a car. Many in her neighborhood don’t have transportation and they have no options to get to food stores now.

You can read more of the details and history of the BLM movement here. Suffice to say that it’s not just Left, but very Far Left, which is why it hooks up so nicely with the largely White Antifa movement. They don’t give a damn about Black lives but view them the way the Far Left view every issue – as just another club that can be used to smash the existing system and give power to their discredited socioeconomic theories.

And it’s much the same with the Democrat Party, although in their case they already have the power and are happy to maintain the status quo of almost total Democrat control in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, LA, Boston, Minneapolis and many others – and who need to hold on to 95% of the Black vote to do so. Nothing like a little “racism” for an election year to enable that.

I’d like to think that these woman, and the likes of the Hodge twins, represent a growing movement of younger Blacks who will join the likes of older Right-wing Blacks in rejecting the Democrat Party bullshit that controls the places – for decades in many cases – where these things have happened.

But that’s going to take a while. Sad to say that later this year I’ve no doubt Democrats will be re-elected in these cities, as if they have were not fully responsible for the factors of lousy education, crime, police systems, unemployment and welfare dependency that have led to this point.

Remember this guy too.

Retired St Louis Police Captain David Dorn

He was 77 years old but was guarding a friends shop during the riots and looting in St Louis when he was shot in the back by rioters on June 2.

His is just one of the many Black Lives that didn’t matter to BLM or the Democrat Party. As Anthony Logan put it, After David Dorn, I Am Done Trying To Empathize With Anyone in the Protests:

Remember all of this the next time some Leftist demands that you support Black Lives Matter (VOTE DEMOCRAT)

Written by Tom Hunter

June 22, 2020 at 1:36 am

“That wasn’t Anarcho-Communism” – in just two days

Commune Barricade

I don’t know if the news has penetrated all the way down to New Zealand but it seems that the Antifa and BLM groups in Seattle have finally decided to go beyond starting riots and instead try to build something.

Specifically – and very much in the spirit of the 1871 Paris Commune – they’ve decided to create an Anarcho-Communist “state” in the middle of Seattle.

They even took over a Police Station in the area, violently attacking the cops there for several days before the Mayor ordered the Police to abandon the station and effectively yield a six block area to Antifa.

This capitulation didn’t go down too well with the Seattle Police Chief, Carmen Best, who made the following address to her people to make it clear that it was not her decision. She also talks about the incredible physical assault Antifa and other groups made on her officers for days in full “Punch a Nazi” mode:

 

By contrast Antifa and BLM were ecstatic with their victory, naming the area the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ for short and making it clear that it’s not part of the systemically racist USA:

In some respects they got off to a good start for a new nation, even building a makeshift wall around the place and putting armed people to guard them and interrogate anybody wishing to enter – just like the USA! Maybe Trump should get these guys to build the wall along the Mexican border!

Oh right, they believe in open borders – for everybody else.

Same with firearms too, which apparently are only a scary threat to peace and order when they’re held by NRA members.

Naturally the MSM has been largely spinning for them, as this New York Times report had it:

“What has emerged is an experiment in life without the police – part street festival, part commune. Hundreds have gathered to hear speeches, poetry and music.

On Wednesday, children made chalk drawings in the middle of the street.

The entire area was now a homeland for racial justice — and, depending on the protester one talked to, perhaps something more..”

Ah yes, the echoes of history. Just a week ago I was watching, with my youngest, an episode of Simon Schama’s wonderful TV series A History of Britain, which contained these choice quotes:

 

“And human nature seeming born again.

Unhoused beneath the evening star, we saw
Dances of liberty, and, in late hours
Of darkness, dances in the open air.

We rose at signal given and formed a ring
And, hand in hand, danced round and round the board.
All hearts were open. Every tongue was loud with amity and glee.”


That of course was the poet William Wordsworth, tasting the delights of the early aftermath of the French Revolution in 1789 before … well, you know.

And in keeping with such histories – but taking nowhere near as long as the French did – the utopian world of CHAZ began the dreary, predictable descent.

First up: – food shortages:

 
😆😆😆😆😆
 
But don’t worry kids. They know the ultimate answer to this is to grow your own food:

God that is just so sad! Have these people ever actually planted anything in their lives aside from pipe bombs?   Next up – Meet The New Boss!

Raz Simone was merely a little known rap artist a few days ago but he has guns and is willing to use the sort of violence that the Seattle Police would not, as this Tweet from hernandez1987 @WeAreAntifa2020 showed:

Raz Simone and crew assault a man for tagging. Man said repeatedly he was kicked in the head, punched and had his glasses broken. 

For tagging! Seems harsh but nobody ever said Revolutionary Justice was soft. As this other Tweet showed, some people were a little … shocked:

Policing in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone by @RazSimone. There appear to be no body cameras, reports, or oversight and accountability.

Dude! Why would they need cameras and all that shit when they’re not the Police?.

Speaking of which, somebody who observed this assault called… the Seattle Police, who now seem to have the measure of CHAZ as this 911 operator shows with this awesome response:

“Ah,… that appears to be in the New Republic of Capital Hill, they can handle that”

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣  

Raz also knows how to spin such events as well as any government department: The Seattle Police also finally admitted they had received reports of little businesses in the area being “taxed” by CHAZ.

Frankly that word smacks too much of the State, I prefer the old-fashioned term, “Protection Money“.

I think Raz is going to do well although I can’t see such a flamboyant figure calling himself General Secretary, let alone Executive Officer of the Week – with his decisions ratified at a special biweekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs but a two-thirds majority in the case of external affairs.

I suspect that he thinks you can wield supreme executive power just because he’s carrying an AK-47.

It also looks like he’s more interested in another role.

Although perhaps he could start building an actual Fire Department…

As with everything else the Far Left touches, they’re finding that it’s much harder to stop a fire than to start one.

Yes, it’s all very funny in a sadly moronic, historical way, and will continue to be so – except for the 500 poor bloody homeowners and businesses in the area.

Tucker Carlson certainly had a lot of fun on the story with, The World Welcomes Its Newest Nation:

I guess none of the CHAZ Antifans and BLM’rs have ever seen the following diagram, but it’s truly appropriate here.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 12, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Make New Zealand Great Again

My Photo

Old Trottsky has been hammering away again on his dream of New Zealand retreating back to the Golden Weather of his childhood – sans all the social conservatism that was actually a key part of making that socialism possible, starting with social shaming.

Like Marx himself Trott’s has very few specific ideas of what exactly is needed to make New Zealand Great Again but like his compatriot Bradbury and others it seems to involve the rebirth of huge government-owned businesses like the Ministry of Works, in concert with government approved private corporations like the old Fletcher Challenge, all bound together with massive unionisation and lots of regulations to keep an eye on the greedy seekers of profit. Not so strangely – if you understand anything about Old Lefties like Trott’s – is the accompanying fantasy of a strong military than can kick some butt when needed by “The People’s Dictatorship“.

As far as the rest of the private sector is concerned – yes Virginia, we’re not talking Communism here, let’s give him credit for that – his suggestions are based on this key assumption:

That strange combination of creativity, thrill-seeking and greed, which propels the entrepreneur towards new ventures will soon respond to new incentives and new opportunities.

Gosh! Greed is good, as they say. Who knew?

As always with Leftists, other key factors for entrepreneurs are ignored in Trotter’s world of a government that only does good, huge, positive things as it dominates the landscape.

What he misses in his ode to Big Government is the most basic thing desired by entrepreneurs from government:

a high degree of certainty in government plans, at least in the near future, and a willingness to leave them the fuck alone.

It’s tough enough coping with and balancing all the things that go into a business – all the carefully laid plans that have to be modified quickly, sometimes drastically, or even scrapped in the face of market changes. All the things both little and big that change almost daily.

But it becomes so much tougher when, in the back of your mind, you have no idea what’s coming down the road from government in terms of rules and regulations, taxes, interest rates and general bureaucracy, that last often based more on some local official’s whims than the black-letter law that government thought it had passed.

And like any eco-system, these effects often take years or decades to become apparent. I would suggest that NZ’s hopeless lack of productivity over the decades – which shows up in us working more hours per year just to keep up with the Aussies – is down to the fact that, for all our politicians bloviating about entrepreneurs and the like, we simply have not provided an environment of government laws and regulations that’s stable enough to compensate for all those other market factors.

As a result our entrepreneurial class has steadily dwindled as such people have given up and fled overseas over the decades.

And that’s before we get to the current disaster. What trust has any entrepreneur got that this won’t happen again soon, with COVID-25 or whatever? And there is no hope that a National government would be different. They may be picking away now at various scabs of technical failure, but they supported it all from the start, craven cowards that they are.

So perhaps we will see a return to the world Trotter so loves: the NZ of 1935-1984 where one slogged along to a dull, boring job in some great government approved corporation like Fletchers or some godforsaken government department like the MOW or NZ Rail, all of it enabled by government micro-management whose final exemplar was RD Muldoon.

I vividly recall those end days in the early 1980s, before Rogernomics. I and every one of my varsity peers hated it all; we hated it even more when we got summer jobs in those places and saw our futures laid out before us in promotions from Level PL6 (Programmer Learner) to Level PL7. And time and again, when asked why we would not turn those summer jobs into permanent positions, they could never understand our responses. In fact they looked at us with incomprehension. It’s one of the reasons so many of us fled on the big OE and never returned, or did so only when we were married with kids and had piled up enough money that we could be somewhat shielded from the Kiwi disease.

And we can see all this in just one of Trotter’s ideas, this for tourism-replacement:

Let’s invest in movies, television series, plays, music, novels, computer games. Encourage the world to partake of New Zealand’s unique creativity

What? 21st century re-boots of 1970’s Public TV cringe-fests like Buck House and other equally unfunny comedies that totally lack in “unique creativity”. I saw nothing funny about it and others like it as a child and assumed it was because I was too young to get it. But over a decade later I would sit in a NZ History class viewing such period gems and finding that not only was I not laughing but neither was anyone else in the room. And this at a time when we were laughing our heads off at the distinctly NZ humour of Bad Taste.

And who was behind that? An unknown, no-account movie maker named Peter Jackson. Bad Taste was held to be “appalling” for it’s combination of black humour and splatter-horror. And nothing changed in the next few years.

I can still vividly recall some ponce at the Wellington Movie Festival sniffily telling a TV interviewer that they were not going to list Jackson’s next movie Meet The Feebles because “nobody wants to see puppets farting and covered with gore“.

And that guy was no 60 year old Christian Conservative but a trendy, arty type in his 40’s or so who perfectly represented the NZ “ART” scene. It was no surprise that Jackson basically got kicked in the teeth by that community and hence by related government “support” for years before making it big thanks to US investors.

And that’s the New Zealand attitude towards entrepreneurs in a nutshell. That’s why they have to make it overseas first, and we have to hope to god that they bring the talent and the money back to NZ, as Jackson has done with this huge Weta Workshops company sprawled amidst the old abandoned commercial and industrial warehouses of Mirimar.

I don’t see anything concrete in the suggestions of Trotter or any other Lefty, let alone their idols, Robertson and St Jacinda of Corona (h/t PM of NZ), that would have helped Jackson then or a similar person now. In fact Jackson has become something of a hate figure on the NZ Left over the issue of unions, a facet of our current government that its supporters are drooling to strengthen.

Not doing so many government things is the key: things not to be done, before any possible positive things, like incentives around venture capitalists and investment, can be discussed. Things not to be done by direct government investment or “R&D incentives” and the sort of subsidy schemes and government-sponsored awards and stuff that was around when Jackson started but which he barely saw because they always get captured by special interest groups whose Group Think is anathema to the likes of Jackson.

Trotter himself tripped over the reality of this several years ago when he bemoaned the fall of John Campbell on TV3:

It is one of the great ironies of New Zealand’s (relatively) recent cultural history that the impetus towards free and open airways has, to a startling degree, come from freewheeling cultural entrepreneurs like Colin Scrimgeour, Gordon Dryden, George Andrews, Marcia Russell and Rod Pedersen. Not forgetting that madcap piratical quartet who, in 1966, launched Radio Hauraki.

Oh it’s an IRONY is it Chris? That TV3, the private-sector network driven by greed would actually end up being the one that pushed progressive news and themes the hardest. And this:

One of the strangest aspects of New Zealand’s deeply conformist society is the way it drives so many of its non-conforming citizens into the private sector. Not, it must be said, in the spirit of avarice that makes true capitalists rich, but because it seemed to them about the only place where it was possible to set up an institution capable of saying “Yes”.

That’s the final joke arising from Trotter’s suggestions about the Great Things Government Can Do for entrepreneurs in the wake of the Sino Sinus Disease, and what is really the only lesson and thing they actually need to do for all the talk of “new incentives and new opportunities.

Stop saying “No” and get out of the fucking way.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 10, 2020 at 1:47 am

The Russell Kerfuffle

As readers know I try to ignore much of NZ politics, but obviously the current situation forces attention to be paid. So I see that my No Minister colleague, Gravedodger – he of extreme Chinese Lung Rot risk – has already penned an OpEd on the question from Labour MP Deborah Russell.

However, our comment section structure is primitive, so I will put my thoughts on the matter here.

Her question – more like a comment actually – came during one of the online Q&A sessions with senior government Ministers:

“Yeah, so Minister, moving on from that, I’ve got a series of concerns around small and medium business, and it sort of strikes me, there’s a couple of issues. The first is that we are seeing a number of small businesses really struggling, after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation, which must speak to the strength of those small businesses going into this lockdown. It worries me that perhaps people went into small business, without really understanding how you might build up a business or capitalise it in the first place so you have the ongoing strength to survive a setback.

Aside from the prissy use of the word “offensive” – and god how I hate that term and wish the Right would not adopt its cringing whininess – what was really annoying about Russell’s comments was the sheer cluelessness of them.

To be fair I don’t think she was being mean or dismissive or nasty. The tone of her question was one of genuine concern for SME’s in the current environment of lockdown.

No, her problem is exactly what Bob Jones spotted:

What Deborah lacked was awareness of the facts underlying small businesses

To whit, this is not …”a pretty bad situation”… or “a setback”. Such things might be a 10%, 20% or even 50% drop in revenue or some other similar proportionate reversal in the fortunes of a business.

No, this is a 100% drop in revenue for a month or more.

And while it’s accurate observation, Russell is hardly the first person to notice how undercapitalised SME’s are while they struggle to grow. It’s why banks and other lenders demand collateral in the form of business owners private houses. And it’s true that there are some SME owners who plunge in with wonderful expectations of the service or goods they’ll provide to an eager consumer base, but with not much of a business or marketing plan or solid financial analysis.

But this is an event that pushes far beyond the boundaries of even those risks.

Too Big to Fail (2011)Even large firms with capital would struggle in that situation and they would fall back not upon capital but upon the old-fashioned strategies of severe cost-cutting and firing staff, plus a begging visit to their banks.

There is almost no amount of capitalisation or building up of the business that could survive such a thing.

The difference is that the bigger you are the more sway you have with banks, debtors …. and government. The phrase “Too Big Too Fail” that became so well known during the GFC does not just apply to banks.

Over on Kiwiblog erstwhile National Party man – and SME owner himself, Tony Stuart, lays out the realities in detail in this comment:

Small business was already struggling with a declining economy, as demonstrated by the December quarter GDP growth figure, where, in what should be the busiest quarter of the year, the economy grew just 0.5%. That’s half the level of the corresponding quarter in 2018. 

Many businesses will not survive this “setback”, especially those in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those who service them. The owners of those businesses will have the trauma of letting valuable staff members, many of whom have become friends, go and of losing everything they’ve invested into their businesses. In many cases, that will be a life’s savings, or even equity in the family home.

And then there’s this comment from Russell:

And I link that in some ways we’ve had quite a low wage economy, so it looks like it might be better being off in business, rather than working for a low wage….”

Sure. We are a low wage economy but as numerous economists have pointed out the key to that is our abysmally poor rate of productivity growth over many decades, something not addressed by either National or Labour-led governments. Few things irritated me more about the Key government than its constant boasting of annual GDP growth of 3%; with a population growth of 2-3% per annum only a Soviet economy could have produced less than 2-3%.

But I can see where Russell is going with this: from the happy days of 1940’s-1970’s New Zealand we had Big Private Business and Big Government Business and Big Unions and Big Government defending solid wages and wage growth we have been cast by Rogernomics into the spiralling hell of dwindling wages and salaries that have forced people to try and eck out a living as a small business, only to find that that doesn’t work either. They were deceived into thinking they could do better.

Stuart puts some perspective on that strawman:

As for the notion that people go into business to earn better wages, it might sound good in principle, but for many business owners it’s far from the reality. I know from our own businesses that there are times when we haven’t paid ourselves, because we had to pay the staff first. And Dr Russell’s comments don’t take into account the hours business owners work; on an hourly basis, my wife and I often earn less per hour than most of our staff. A recently-bereaved friend owns an essential business; she is regularly working to well past midnight, because she cannot afford to pay the staff to work extra hours, that’s if she can get the qualified staff her profession requires.

Every SME owner I have ever known knew that going in. But they hoped that with time, effort, energy and perhaps some luck they could turn their small business into something bigger and more robust and finally start making some decent money from it – perhaps almost as much as that job they quit. The mistake I’ve seen commonly made is thinking it’ll happen faster than it does.

But for many, if not most, it is not money that led them into such a world. It was the simple desire to be free of having a boss. As Jones puts it:

Whether a farmer, cafe-owner or self-employed plumber, the driving force behind most small businesses is the dignity of self-employment. For some people (me for starters) that’s a huge factor overwhelming any other consideration.

But the final thing that bugged me about Russell’s comments derives from the fact that SME’s provide the bulk of employment in NZ. A world that imagines them being a much smaller part of the economy than they are – perhaps as a result of tougher regulations around financing business start-ups – is also a world that has not answered the question of what other businesses will soak up all those workers?

I’m sure Russell must know this, I’m sure her answer would be that throwback to Old Zealand, and I’m sure many Labour and Green voters support that idea.

But I think there’s something else going on in that sophisticated brain. I’ve lost track of the number of left-wingers I’ve met who have always been dismissive of SME’s, even when they’re started by some member of the working class – plumbers and other trades being classic examples. Apparently this is the key point marking them off as no longer members of the Working Class or The Toiling Masses and instead members of:

The ruling class is the one that owns the means of production.

Yes, the average SME owner trembles with delight at knowing that they’re a member of the ruling class when the means of production they own is largely themselves!

It’s a determination to focus on that pure definition: that pure world of Capital Employing Labour, even though anybody with eyes can surely see the difference between such little businesses and Ford Motor Company and their ilk. I don’t know how big an SME has to get before I’d be willing to start calling them a member of the ruling class that owns the means of production, but even them having a Merc and boat in the driveway wouldn’t do it for me.

Whether it’s ideological purity or that they just don’t think SME’s are useful in NZ and therefore would like to see fewer of them, the result is their faith in the model I described above of Big Business + Big Government + Big Unions.

Deborah Russell would much rather deal with a few Ford Motor Companies in NZ than thousands of these little SME pains in the neck. Personally I don’t think that’s a practical solution.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 23, 2020 at 6:09 am