Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Isn't it ironic.

I'm getting back into blogging reading some local blogs today. I think I'll comment on one.

I do not know that I've ever seen anything more ironic than my local tin-pot Leftist. He's the fellow who sometimes stops by here dragging his poor ol' poor in when he lacks an argument. Sometimes he likes to claim that the hungry need something to eat given to them no matter how fat they are. It's an ironic red herring for a Leftist to throw out because socialists have a habit of starving more people than anyone else ever has pretty much every single time they get any political power.

So the capitalist McDonalds wants to sell you some food and to make themselves some money they'll keep selling you bad food until you're nice, big and fat? Yes, but so what? They may be greedy and their main goal is not to care for your health with some "free healthcare," instead it is to make money. Yet instead of trying to sit in judgment on people's hearts, motivations and feelings I shrug at such possiblities. But the pharisaical socialist cannot seem to uphold principles while letting some sins exist, they care more about the sins of McDonalds and Walmart that want to sell you things to make money than they do about people actually having more to eat just like they care about the sins or motivations of the oilman who wants to sell you some gas for your car more than they do about the jihadist who wants to cut your head off. It's that last that gets dangerous.

Who has fed more poor people, the capitalists of the American Empire like McDonalds generating wealth to make food so cheap that even the poor are fat or socialist States that supposedly "distribute" wealth? At some level, you have to like an Empire which has a health problem with its poor people being fat.

The irony of making mountains out of small sins or ills (greed, consumerism) while being blind to vast evils (the socialists' starvation of millions) seems to continue through all socialist thinking on good and evil. E.g., my local Leftist seems concerned that a doctor is performing an expensive operation in order to buy himself a second luxury car, yet neglects to mention that no Leftist government has ever provided the same level of actual healthcare (murmuring about growing numbers of uninsured as if insurance policies are actual healthcare doesn't change anything). Why is socialist failure so often the case? Perhaps it is because no one really cares about your health as much as you do. I'm crying a little tear about that and the "hatred" of it all. How I hate it and would just looove to change it. Yet in the meantime, as far as I'm concerned if a doctor cares more about getting a second luxury car than he cares about my health then the best system is the one that will channel some of his looove for a new car into some caring about my health. That's the capitalist system. It doesn't supplant religion, bring heaven on earth or create a New Man. But if you need something to eat, it usually works well enough. The only way that communism or socialism would truly work is if everyone was truly Christian and so followed Christ's self-sacrificial example of caring about other people's health more than his own, which is where socialists and communists are getting their ethics from anyway. Isn't it ironic that socialists typically work to undermine Christianity however they can. They are like intellectual parasites killing their ethical host.

There are many layers of irony when it comes to the Leftist mind but at any rate, it is curious how my local Leftist has nary a bad word to say about Hugo Chavez or that aging half-wit, Fidel. The claim is that the Leftist will feed the poor, probably out of the goodness of their good lil' heart for after all, what would Jesus do?

But the reality of poverty and hunger in the socialist systems typically looks like this:
TWICE a day, a queue forms outside the barracks of the presidential guard, across the street from the Miraflores palace in Caracas. In the pre-dawn chill, and in the midday heat, hundreds of mainly poor supplicants line up to deliver their petitions. Let down by the state bureaucracy or cheated by corrupt officials, most believe Hugo Chávez, the former army officer who has been Venezuela's president since 1999, is their only chance of salvation. Mr Chávez, who was elected on a promise to end poverty and "social exclusion", has sworn his socialist revolution will achieve this by 2021. The queue in the street hints both at the hope he has inspired and at the inadequacy of his methods.

Higher prices have quadrupled Venezuela's annual revenue from oil exports since 1998. Nevertheless, the country's Catholic bishops claimed last month that poverty was "accelerating rapidly."
In the five years to 2003, Mr Chávez's performance was disastrous... The proportion of households below the poverty line increased by more than 11 percentage points. By 2003, a quarter of Venezuelans were living in "extreme poverty", unable even to feed themselves adequately. It was the first time since data were collected that poverty rose even as the oil price did too. Government incompetence was not the sole cause. Acute political conflict, including a two-month strike and business lockout, which shut down the oil industry, played a big part.

Beleaguered, and facing a mid-term referendum to recall him from office, the president hit on an innovative solution. Advised by Cuba's communist government, he began to create the "missions"—emergency health, education and welfare programmes. The missions provide public services and subsidies to the poor. They are paid for out of a parallel budget, controlled directly by the president without going through the social ministries.

"Inside the Barrio" builds primary health posts, staffed by Cuban doctors. The "Robinson Mission" teaches people to read. "Mercal", a fast-expanding network of shops and supermarkets, sells staple foods at a 40% discount, boosting the purchasing power of the minimum wage. There are more than a dozen other missions: the latest, named after Simón Bolívar's nanny, is intended to look after street children, drug addicts and the homeless.

Thanks largely to the ever-expanding oil windfall and a huge increase in public spending, the economy recovered strongly from the strike, growing 18% in 2004 and almost 10% last year. Given such growth, it would be remarkable if poverty had not fallen. And indeed it seems to have done. According to an estimate by the national statistics office, in 2005 poverty at last fell below its level of 1998.

Some social scientists distrust the figures. But they may be accurate.
Whatever the merits of the missions as emergency programmes, they stress quantity over quality. Meanwhile, Venezuela's public infrastructure, such as roads and hospitals, is crumbling. A deficit of 1.5m housing units is widening. Only a quarter of the 110,000 new houses needed each year are being built, because of the public sector's incompetence and its unwillingness to involve the private sector.
(The Economist
February 18, 2006
U.S. Edition
Mission impossible;
The image many Venezuelans have of the Bolivarian revolution is not good or beautiful but quite the opposite.According to the latest poll conducted by Datos Information Resources, National Pulse 2003--II, 48 percent of those polled describe the current regime as a dictatorship; 70 percent associate it with a situation of violence and socialdivision; 66 percent believe it has led to increased corruption in the public administration; and 68 percent believe it has led to increased poverty in the country and worsened Venezuelans' standard of living.

If a recall referendum on President Hugo Chavez's term were held today, 62 percent of those polled would votefor revoking his term, whereas 30 percent would vote for letting him continue it.

These percentages are directly related with other poll indicators: Six out of 10 participants give poor marks to the chief of state's job; seven out of 10 believe this government has done little or nothing to solve problems such as corruption, personal insecurity and inflation; and seven out of 10 blame the Chavez administration for the increase inunemployment and the country's deepening economic crisis.

The expectations voiced by the poll's subjects about the country's future and Chavez's executive ability were negative and totally opposed to those reported by Datos in 1999, the first year of the Chavez administration.

In 1999, 66 percent said they had great confidence in "the president's ability to manage the countrywell" and only 16 percent expressed little or no confidence. Currently, this opinion has made a 180o turn: 68 percent do not have confidence in the leader and only 19 percent continue to believe he will play an efficient role in the Presidency.
(World News Connection
June 28, 2003
Latest Datos Poll: Most Venezuelans View 'Bolivarian Revolution' Negatively
by Marianela Palacios) (Emphasis added)

These patterns seem unchanging to socialism, the socialist is the disease that he purports to cure with his caring. They usually care about political power more than your healthcare. If you assume that no one actually cares that much about your health, then you'll usually be correct.

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