Selective Anger At “Freeloaders”

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In my dialogues with defenders of statism, online and off, I routinely encounter people – usually though not always on the political right – who express feelings of anger, disgust, contempt, etc., toward those whom they characterize with terms like “lazy”, “bums”, “freeloaders”, “parasites”, “anti-social”, “welfare queens”, “druggies”, “illegals”, “junkies”, “leeches”, “the homeless”, “non-productive members of society”, etc. Most of the criticisms seem to boil down to resentment that the people who are the objects of their ire are in some way being assisted or provided for by government at the expense of others.

Are such feelings a step on the path toward libertarian enlightenment, or just narrow-minded self-justification? I’d like to think the former, and in some cases that may be the case, but I often have my doubts. Because from where I sit as a long-time observer of San Francisco politics and local political attitudes, the sad truth is that not just the folks who are often criticized in such terms, but the vast majority of the local population, appear, both from their voting habits and from their own comments, to want to be taken care of by the nanny-state in one way or another.

It is bitterly ironic, and hypocritical as hell, for anyone who wants government to provide them with “free” elementary schools, “free” libraries, “free” fire protection services, a “free” regulatory bureaucracy of immense scale and complexity that intrudes into everything from air travel to household pets, “free” enforcement of border controls and persecution of people who reside in or attempt to enter the U.S. without government permission, a “free” military whose budget is inching toward $1 trillion with hundreds of bases in other countries, “free” enforcement against people lying on sidewalks or sleeping in tents in the commons, etc., to look down their noses at somebody who wants “free” food stamps, “free” SSI, or “free” housing vouchers as being necessarily a much worse leech or parasite than themselves or their friends…

Before we judge anyone else too harshly, here’s an illuminating pair of questions for each of us to ask ourselves:

1) How much theft, and how much coercion, would be required for government to do the things that I want it to do?
2) How can I reduce the amounts of theft and coercion that I am effectively demanding?… (more)

These are some pretty profound statements from an anti-war “anarcho-capitalist” Libertarian.

 

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Congress Passes Measure to Protect Board that Monitors Nuclear Safety

by Rebecca Moss of Santa Fe New Mexican : propublica – excerpt

The Energy Department had taken steps to curtail the reach and authority of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. New Mexico’s senators are fighting back.

This article was produced in partnership with The Santa Fe New Mexican, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Congress has moved to block an effort to weaken a federal board that oversees worker and public safety at nuclear facilities, adding language to an appropriations bill to prevent the agency from altering the board’s structure.

The bill also requires the Energy Department to answer questions from Congress about its recent attempts to limit the board’s access to information and change how the panel conducts its work…(more)

What a crazy world we live in. Today we get news of this move by the Energy Department to curtail the reach and authority of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board by cutting back on their budget, and news of a North South Korean agreement to move away from nuclear development.

United Methodist Church, Financially Troubled, Attempts Hostile Takeover of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco

By: Zennie Abraham : oaklandnewsnow – excerpt

Glide Memorial Church (best known by the work of now former pastor Cecil Williams and recently used as a “demonstration safe injection site for drugusers”) prides itself in continually striving to meet the challenge set by Lizzie Glide in 1930 to welcome all. Glide was established by Lizzie Glide to honor her late husband as well as a means to share her spirituality and commitment to those in need.

In a San Francisco that has changed dramatically over the past decades and veered into a Manhattan-like gluttony for monetary gain and social status, Glide has remained the heart and soul of the city, serving as the last refuge of the downtrodden, the poor, the disenfranchised, and a place where anyone can say “I am somebody” and find some hope.

Now Glide Memorial Church Faces The Greatest Threat To Its Existence In Its History

Ironically, the threat comes from Glide’s partner, the United Methodist Church itself, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., which is financially crumbling and looking for every penny, nickel and dime to save itself–no matter the impact on the Glide and the thousands of needy it serves every day with food and social services and prayer.

The dispute has been portrayed primarily by the United Methodist Church as a fight over theology. The United Methodist Church has accused Glide of not following the denomination’s rules and regulations. Glide says it’s being asked to conform to a new bishop’s “personal idea of Methodism and Christianity,” according to news reports… (more)

What are we coming to when religious institutions are turning into cut throat capitalist land grabbing carpetbaggers, intent on  staying alive instead of helping people live in dignity? Is this the 2018 remake of Sodom and Gomorrah story? Is it time for the church to fall upon the sword and give up all its earthly goods to benefit mankind?

A Guide To The Far-Right Power Players Tearing Europe Apart

By Nick Robins-Early and Willa Frej : huffington – excpert

Here’s what happens when the radical right starts vying for power.

Elections across Europe this year have confirmed the surging popularity of far-right leaders.

While their liberal and conservative counterparts are in free fall, radical right parties are successfully exploiting public anxiety over migration, national identity and the failures of the establishment. After decades on the fringes, they’re forming governments, by themselves or in coalition.

“You’re seeing this very political, symbolic stand saying enough is enough,” said Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, head of the international program at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. “Those who believe that the system is not working are finding allies throughout Europe.”

These are some of the key leaders and parties seeking to reshape Europe in their own radical right image…

Hungary’s Victor Orban, Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache, Finland’s Jussi Halla-aho, Sweden’s Jimmie Akesson and Germany’s Alexander…(more)

 

For young people, socialism is now more popular than capitalism

By Eillie Anzilotti : fastcompany – excerpt

Not even all the way through the primary season for the 2018 elections, it’s clear that socialism has caught a tailwind. In May, four candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America won elections in Pennsylvania. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated a Democratic congressional leader in a race for the seat in New York’s 14th district on a platform of universal healthcare and free public college, and she will likely be joined in Congress by Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic Socialist candidate who won a crowded primary in Michigan’s 13th district, and will likely become the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress.

A new Gallup poll demonstrates that these candidates are part of a larger shifting of thought. Since 2010, the polling company has done a survey every two years of Americans’ attitudes toward socialism and capitalism, respectively, and split the results by party. On the right, views of both ideologies have held fairly since 2010. Around 72% of conservatives retain a positive view of capitalism, and just around 17% think well of socialism… (more)

Here’s the difference between a ‘socialist’ and a ‘Democratic socialist’

By John Haltiwanger : businessinsider – excerpt

  • After 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning upset against Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic congressional primary on Tuesday, the word “socialist” was repeatedly used to describe her.
  • “Socialist” remains a dirty, and often misunderstood, term in the realm of US politics.
  • In general, socialists believe the government should provide a range of basic services to the public, such as health care and education, for free or at a significant discount...

As the DSA’s website states: “At the root of our socialism is a profound commitment to democracy, as means and end. As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people.” … (more)

Al Gore says Trump undoing environmental regs has done less ‘damage’ than he once feared

by Diana Stancy Correll : washingtonexaminer – excerpt

President Trump’s efforts to unravel environmental policies has not caused as much “damage” as former Vice President Al Gore once feared.

But Gore, a vocal environmental activist, remains wary for a number of reasons, including increased leeway on regulations for coal ash dumps, where toxic metals can be held, after Andrew Wheeler, the acting secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, provided more flexibility to more than 400 U.S. coal-fired power plants.

“There are hundreds of other environmental procedures and regulations that Trump’s group has begun to undo,” he told the Associated Press. “So he’s doing some damage, but overall I would say less than I had feared.”… (more)

As this Al Gore points out the courts are protecting many of the EPA regulations and procedures that are under attack. These courts and the justices need to be protected and that should be a primary focus and consideration as voter return to the polls in November. Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the horrendously long red tide season in Florida, the major floods and New England and the devastating wildfires in the West. Too bad we can’t pipe fresh excess water from the East Coast to the West and find some algae eaters to clean up the Gulf. Meanwhile, some possible solution to preventing wildfires is coming from the historical knowledge of Native Americans.