From Daniel Greenfield in his blog Sultan Knish, The Left is too Smart to Fail.
It’s easy to tell apart fake intelligence from the real thing. Manufactured intelligence fakes “smart” by playing word games. It constantly invents new terms to provide the enlightened elites with a secret language of Newspeak buzzwords that mean less than the words they are replacing. The buzzwords, Thought Leader and Change Agent, quickly take on cultist overtones and become ways of describing how the group’s leaders would like to use power, than anything about the world that they describe.
Manufactured intelligence is a consensus, not a debate. It’s not arrived at through a process, but flopped into like a warm soothing bath of nothingness. It’s correct because everyone says so. And anyone who disagrees is clearly stupid and lacks awareness of the interconnected ways that the world synergistically works. And probably doesn’t know science, Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson either.
Real intelligence is the product of constant debate. It is forever striving to overthrow the consensus and willing to challenge anything and everything. It uses a specialized vocabulary only to describe specialized phenomena, rather than replacing existing words with new words to describing existing phenomena in order to seem as if it understands the future better by going all 1984 on it.
Finally, manufactured intelligence is self-involved. It mistakes feeling for thinking. It deals not with how things are or even how we would like them to be, but how we feel about the way things are and what our feelings about the way things are say about what kind of people we are.
Liberal intelligence is largely concerned with the latter. It is a self-esteem project for mediocre elites, the sons and daughters of the formerly accomplished who are constantly diving into the shallow pools of their own minds to explore how their privilege and entitlement makes them view the world and how they can be good people by challenging everyone’s paradigms and how they can think outside the box by climbing into it and pulling the flaps shut behind them.
John Goodman from Townhall writes A Personal Note on Inequality:
First, I made a rough calculation that between 5% and 10% of our class was earning about half the class income. Obviously, my calculation was far from precise, but I believe that the inequality of income within my high school class was similar to the inequality we observe in society as a whole.
Second, I have no idea why this happened. The highest earners in my class were not necessarily the ones with the highest grades or test scores. They were not the ones I would have predicted if I were making such predictions when I was young. A few of my classmates had the opportunity to enter their fathers’ businesses and I suppose this gave them a leg up. But this was less than 10% of the high-earner group. Also, just about everybody who is doing well got there through hard work and perseverance. None of my classmates won the lottery.
Fourth, I don’t know anyone in my class who thinks the distribution of class income is unfair. If you read Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz and similar commentators, you get the feeling that they think some great injustice has been done to create inequality in society as a whole (but without ever saying what that injustice is). My class includes Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and a few libertarians like myself. But I’m pretty sure that regardless of political beliefs, no one in my class thinks that what their classmates are earning is the result of some general unfairness.
Finally, I don’t know anyone in my class who regards this as a problem that needs correcting. If we were to have an expensive reunion that couldn’t be paid for with normal fees, I’m sure that those who have more would chip in and underwrite the expense. But that would be voluntary and everyone would expect it to be voluntary. It’s noblesse oblige.
Here is my theory. Our basic notions of what is fair and unfair and which problems need correcting and which ones don’t are actually very similar when we are talking about people we all know. It is only when we are talking about abstractions and amorphous groups of people – people that we don’t know – that political ideologies pull us apart.
Kevin Williamson writes The Destroyer Cometh in National Reveiw Online:
Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name. His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds.
… for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found behind one’s crosshairs. For the Left, the maker of comedy and the maker of graphs perform the same function. It does not matter who does the “destroying,” so long as it gets done.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Donald Boudreaux writes Questions for redistribution’s proponents
• Do you teach your children to envy what other children have? Do you encourage your children to form gangs with their playmates to “redistribute” toys away from richer kids on the schoolyard toward kids not so rich? If not, what reason have you to suppose that envy and “redistribution” become acceptable when carried out on a large scale by government?
• Do you not worry that creating government power today to take from Smith and give to Jones — simply because Smith has more material wealth than Jones — might eventually be abused so that tomorrow, government takes from Jones and gives to Smith simply because Smith is more politically influential than Jones?
Read more: http://triblive.com/opinion/donaldboudreaux/5283716-74/jones-smith-income#ixzz2qBcAq5qd
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when we consider redistribution we usually refer only to monetary wealth. But what about leisure time? Wealth is often measured by how much free time one has, yet many of the wealthy sacrifice valuable free time and time with their family in order to acquire their material wealth. If their wealth is over taxed they will simply switch to more leisure time and produce less. Another form of wealth is power and the distribution of power has far greater consequences to our our social fabric than the redistribution of mere dollars.
From Time Magazine, 4 Reasons Putin Is Already Losing in Ukraine
The economic impact on Russia is already staggering. When markets opened on Monday morning, investors got their first chance to react to the Russian intervention in Ukraine over the weekend, and as a result, the key Russian stock indexes tanked by more than 10%. That amounts to almost $60 billion in stock value wiped out in the course of a day, more than Russia spent preparing for last month’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The state-controlled natural-gas monopoly Gazprom, which accounts for roughly a quarter of Russian tax revenue, lost $15 billion in market value in one day — incidentally the same amount of money Russia promised to the teetering regime in Ukraine in December and then revoked in January as the revolution took hold.
The value of the Russian currency meanwhile dropped against the dollar to its lowest point on record, and the Russian central bank spent $10 billion on the foreign-exchange markets trying to prop it up. “This has to fundamentally change the way investors and ratings agencies view Russia,” said Timothy Ash, head of emerging-market research at Standard Bank. At a time when Russia’s economic growth was already stagnating, “this latest military adventure will increase capital flight, weaken Russian asset prices, slow investment and economic activity and growth. Western financial sanctions on Russia will hurt further,” Ash told the Wall Street Journal.
No less worrying for Putin would be the economic sanctions the West is preparing in answer to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Depending on their intensity, those could cut off the ability of Russian companies and businessmen in getting Western loans and trading with most of the world’s largest economies. Putin’s allies could also find it a lot more difficult to send their children to study in the West or to keep their assets in Western banks, as they now almost universally do. All of that raises the risk for Putin of a split in his inner circle and, potentially, even of a palace coup. There is hardly anything more important to Russia’s political elite than the security of their foreign assets, certainly not their loyalty to a leader who seems willing to put all of that at risk.
Read more: How Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Is a Disaster for Russia | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/03/03/putin-ukraine-crimea-russia/#ixzz2v7U1Vc00
While the political right in the US is anxious to criticize the president, the markets have spoke far quicker and more forcefully (and more peacefully) than the typical saber rattling response. This may not work for third world tyrannies but Russia has developed far more economically and thus has much to lose in the court of world opinion and in the quick and harsh judgment of the market place.