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A Group of Chicago Teachers Union Members Travels to Venezuela & Reports The Shocking Findings: It’s Fantastic!

Westlake Legal Group venezuela-991906_1280-620x349 A Group of Chicago Teachers Union Members Travels to Venezuela & Reports The Shocking Findings: It’s Fantastic! wttw Venezuela unions Uncategorized socialism sarah chambers prostitution jesse sharkey Illinois Front Page Stories Featured Story Education democrats chicago tonight Chicago Teachers Union Chicago Allow Media Exception Academia

 

 

The world of politics is a constant reminder that not everyone draws the same conclusions.

So is — incidentally — green bean casserole.

That stuff is nasty.

Anyway, here’s another case in point:

Three Illinois educators and a union organizer recently crowdfunded a trip to that most desirable of vacation destinations, Venezuela.

In response to what they saw, the Chicago Teachers Union crew praised the beleaguered nation on social media.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune Monday, during their South American romp, they met government officials and teachers and visited a commune. They even got local media coverage.

Stuff they admired: the country’s literacy rates, those fabulous communes…and its socialist system.

Not everyone’s psyched about their portrayal.

From the Tribune:

[C]ritics say the group glossed over Venezuela’s ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolás Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of “grave” human rights violations and violence against dissenters.

Count teacher and union member Karen Moody among the nay-sayers. Here’s what she had to offer:

“I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour.”

However, union President Jesse Sharkey assured WTTW’s Chicago Tonight that the trip wasn’t sanctioned in any way:

“Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.”

That’s all well and good, but how does he explain the union’s Twitter account retweeting the group’s updates? One blog entry was titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela.”

Here’s a message passed along by the union’s page, courtesy of CTU traveler Sarah Chambers — who’s also a member of the board:

“While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless… This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention.”

They’re fighting!

How about a fight against children prostituting themselves, and straight men working as gay hookers? That’s also happened in Venezuela, thanks to the swell system — see here.

In response to an online critic, Sarah defended her favorable review of the big V by touting her analytical mind:

“Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

One GoFundMe donor saluted the CTU strike at “imperialism”:

“Proud of the CTU for their brave and visionary anti-imperialist resolution and enactment of ‘teacher-to-teacher’ solidarity between Chicago and Venezuelan teachers!”

Speaking to Fight Back! News, Sarah also bragged on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for his stellar job:

“Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”

As pointed out by The Daily Wire, the blog reporting all the glories of a nation that’s struggled to find the radical modernity of toilet paper was named the Radical Educator Collective.

It’s radical alright.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

FBI Arrests Alleged Would-Be Neo-Nazi Terrorist Before He Can Commit Mass Murder At A Las Vegas Synagogue

Hollywood’s Rosanna Arquette Apologizes For Being White. She Announces Her Shame & Disgust Over Her Birth

Brazilian Gang Leader & Drug Trafficker Attempts A Prison Break In One Of The Craziest & Most Hilarious Ways Possible

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post A Group of Chicago Teachers Union Members Travels to Venezuela & Reports The Shocking Findings: It’s Fantastic! appeared first on RedState.

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Bernie Voters Determined to Stop Russian Interference by Voting In Guy Who Vacationed In Soviet Russia

 

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Hilarity comes in many forms, and if you pay attention in politics, there’s nothing more hilarious than watching socialists unknowingly clown themselves.

During a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders, the 2020 Democrat openly running as a socialist, the crowd began to chant out “Moscow Mitch” in reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel for his efforts to strike down a theatrical election security bill.

The reaction from the left has been to, oddly enough, label him in line with the Russians, a move McConnel calls “modern-day McCarthyism.”

But as socialists do, they’re not really thinking about the course of action they’re taking, and struck up the “Moscow Mitch” chant behind a man who not only supports old Russian philosophies of economics and government but a guy who used to vacation in Soviet Russia, northeast of Moscow.

Back in January, the O’Rourke campaign dug up an old video of Sanders on his honeymoon, shirtless and partying with Russians. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here’s shirtless Sanders singing “This Land Is Your Land.”

Sorry.

According to the NRO, around that same time, Sanders was meeting with communists and writing them friendly love letters while denouncing then-President Ronald Reagan who he suggested was under the control of corporations:

Sanders made further globe-trotting expeditions to socialist countries. He visited Cuba, scoring a meeting with Havana’s mayor. In 1985 he attended the celebrations marking the sixth anniversary of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. “In a letter addressed to the people of Nicaragua, penned in conjunction with that trip, Sanders denounced the activities of the Reagan administration, which he said was under the influence of large corporations,” the Guardian notes. “In the long run, I am certain that you will win,” Sanders wrote, “and that your heroic revolution against the Somoza dictatorship will be maintained and strengthened.” (The Sandinistas were ousted by Nicaragua’s voters in 1990).

So here we have the left, especially Sanders voters, trying to smear McConnell for rolling his eyes at a bill Democrats knew was going to fail but would elicit major reactions from the media by accusing him of being a Russian asset. Meanwhile, they’re cheering on a guy who is, for all intents and purposes, a Russian asset.

The irony here is hysterical.

The post Bernie Voters Determined to Stop Russian Interference by Voting In Guy Who Vacationed In Soviet Russia appeared first on RedState.

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The Democratic Socialists of America Convention Was Hilarious, It Was Also Deeply Concerning

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Earlier in the week, the Democratic Socialists of America gathered for their yearly convention (how many years it has transpired prior, I’m not sure). The event was largely overshadowed by the tragic mass shootings that took place over the weekend, as it should have been.

Most of the coverage of the DSA convention that did make it through was in jest, rightly laughing at just how crazy these people are. RedState’s Alex Parker shared one of the more hilarious clips, which involved multiple people attacking each other over their various triggers.

Man, the future is bright isn’t it?

There’s a much darker side to all this though. Namely, the policies these people are pushing and the power they are beginning to amass.

As Robby Soave notes at Reason, it wasn’t all trigger warnings and pronouns.

No one should come away from the coverage of the DSA convention with the idea that attendees did nothing but call-out each other’s pronouns, though. Listening to the livestream I heard heated discussions about significant policy issues: criminal justice reform, supporting the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and combating “Lex Luthor-esque scumbag Jeff Bezos.” Of all the various factions of progressive activism, the DSA is by far the most organized, and the least likely to be derailed by culturally woke signaling.

Currently, the most visible member of the Democratic party is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. That would be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In the span of just a few months, she’s managed to get Democrats who used to be considered mainstream to support  near complete socialist takeovers of the economy such as the so called “Green New Deal.”

That can’t be ignored. The policies these people are pushing are gaining popularity, especially among younger voters. A poll at the end of 2018 showed that a full 31% of millennials identified as “socialists.” Other polls show a majority disapproving of capitalism and over 50% of millennials preferring to live in a socialist country.

These are people who either weren’t born yet or have no memory of the rabid evils perpetuated on the world by socialism. They don’t acknowledge the gulags, the poverty, the bread lines, and the murderous authoritarianism. It’s all unicorns and rainbows.

Groups like the Democratic Socialists of America are not going away. They are growing and their ideas are now being appropriated by one of the two mainstream political parties. This all happened over the course of less than five years. Imagine what the landscape may look like after another decade.

The Republican party better figure out a way to combat this stuff and do it quickly. The hope that the Democrats and their socialist members will just collapse from within is a fool’s hope.

————————————————-

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The post The Democratic Socialists of America Convention Was Hilarious, It Was Also Deeply Concerning appeared first on RedState.

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Venezuelan hyperinflation at 10 million percent, but socialists still back the government

Westlake Legal Group Venezuela-cash Venezuelan hyperinflation at 10 million percent, but socialists still back the government Venezuela The Blog socialism Nicolas Maduro communism

CNBC published a story Saturday noting that Venezuelan hyperinflation has hit a new milestone. The story argues that reversing the damage done to the economy will require “shock therapy” which could take as much as a decade to reverse the country’s current course:

Venezuela’s hyperinflation rate increased from 9,029 percent to 10 million percent since 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund, though it is expected to decline to back below 1 million percent due to recent moves by the country’s central bank, according to a recent IMF forecast.

But the economic situation remains dire: The IMF says the cumulative decline of the Venezuelan economy since 2013 will reach 65% this year — for 2019 the annual decline forecast has increased from 25% to 35%. The five-year contraction is one of the worst in the world over the past half century and one of the few that was not caused by armed conflicts or natural disasters, the IMF stated earlier this week…

Shock therapy supports the implementation of drastic economic policies to combat hyperinflation, shortages, reduce the budget deficit — Venezuela’s current budget deficit stands at –29.95% in relation to GDP — and transition from a state-controlled economy to a mixed one…

Shock therapy measures, based on recent economic history, can include ending price controls and government subsidies, instituting higher tax rates and lower government spending to reduce budget deficits, devaluing the currency to boost foreign investments and selling state-owned industries to the private sector.

In other words, the country needs to stop being a socialist economy and start acting more like a free market. That would include privatizing industry and welcoming foreign investment to attempt to create a broader economy that isn’t entirely dependent on the sale of oil. The problem is that in the past few years, millions of white-collar people have fled the country and aren’t likely to come back.

Venezuela has lost more than 10% of its population in recent years. The number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees has reached 4 million and is expected to surpass 5.3 million by the end of this year, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Many of those who have fled will most likely not return. They are making their living elsewhere; their children are attending college and are finally comfortable after starting from zero in a foreign land. The idea of leaving everything behind to return to Venezuela and help rebuild the country might not be appealing.

And why would you risk returning to a country that took everything from you in the name of socialism? That especially the case when the regional socialists and communists are still holding meetings to discuss the future of their cause as if the past two years hadn’t happened:

The Sao Paulo Forum (SPF) that took place in Caracas just ended on July 28 fittingly within the framework of remembering the 65th anniversary of the birth of Hugo Chavez with a display of affection and respect for the late Comandante with fireworks and all…

Since Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1999, Latin America and the Caribbean have made huge social advances to the point that the US administration “took notice” and proceeded to attack every advance perceived to be contrary to the interests of its imperial hegemony. By its own declaration the US government has targeted Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua for regime change.

With this backdrop, the SPF declaration, unequivocally titled “Unity of the peoples against imperialism”, recognizes that “the multifaceted reactionary offensive of US imperialism and the oligarchic rightwing allies has been deepened.” Therefore, “it is urgent to resume the [progressive] initiative more vigorously and effectively.” It further asserts, “Before the disintegrating plan of the right, let us counter with the integrating, sovereign and dignified plan of our peoples.

Even now, with people starving and without medicine, there are socialists braying on about the greatness of Hugo Chavez and the evil of US imperialism. There was a blackout as this forum was taking place and the author blames that on right-wing saboteurs as well. That’s actually in keeping with the Maduro regime which has blamed blackouts on an “electromagnetic attack” by unspecified enemies. That was the most recent blackout. The previous nationwide blackout which took place in March was blamed on a US sniper. In reality, the blackout was likely caused by a fire resulting from lack of proper maintenance:

Before the discovery of the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela established a national grid built on hydroelectric and thermoelectric power. Today, the Guri dam hydroelectric plant in eastern Venezuela supplies about 80% of the country’s electricity.

Experts believe that failure to properly manage the electricity grid may have caused a fire that destroyed one of the huge lines that transport power from the Guri dam to Caracas.

According to Rodrigo Linares, a mechanical engineer and writer for the Caracas Chronicles website, the fault occurred on one of the main power lines between the San Gerónimo B and Malena substations. When that 765-kilovolt line went down, two others suffered an overload and also failed.

“That basically interrupted the electricity highway and stopped energy reaching consumers,” says Linares.

But in Venezuela today, nothing that goes wrong is the fault of the one-party socialist state running the country. Everything is blamed on someone else, usually the United States. It’s amazing to witness this level of self-deception in action, but this is what end-stage socialism looks like.

The post Venezuelan hyperinflation at 10 million percent, but socialists still back the government appeared first on Hot Air.

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Holy Moley, We’re Toast: ATL’s Democratic Socialists Conference Brings the Most Bizarre 49 Seconds You’ll Hear All Month

Westlake Legal Group 27958605930_c1555d1578_o-620x416 Holy Moley, We’re Toast: ATL’s Democratic Socialists Conference Brings the Most Bizarre 49 Seconds You’ll Hear All Month Uncategorized socialism Russia pronouns millennials Liberty Ignorance Front Page Stories Featured Story Economics democrats Democratic Socialists of America Capitalism Business & Economy AOC Allow Media Exception

 

 

Ever wonder what happens at a Democratic Socialists of America convention? According to an August 3rd post by conservative journalist Andy Ngo, it’s this.

I should point out that I can’t corroborate the accuracy of the video’s bizarre audio. It could have been dubbed; you be the judge.

Here we go…

The clip gives us three vignettes of…I don’t even know what to call it. Let’s just take ’em one-by-one.

At the beginning, a girl is heard asserting the following:

“If we’re going to defeat capitalism, we’re going to need a party that will organize working people to fight for the demands that we want and to win socialism. Thank you so much.”

Do any of the people — does even one single person — in the room know the definition of socialism? And of capitalism?

Let’s review:

capitalism: An economic system based on a free market economy in which an individual may own his or her own business.

socialism: An economic system based on monopoly whereby no one can own a business as the government owns all products and means of production.



 

So here’s the girl’s announcement, translated:

“In order for us to keep ourselves from having the freedom to start our own businesses, we’re going to need a party that will organize working people to fight solely against their own interests and accomplish a society in which none of us have recourse against the quality of products and services offered compared to their price. If we work hard, we can assure that we’re never again given a choice as to what we purchase and for how much. The mechanisms of supply and demand will go away, and a select few occupying term-unlimited seats of power will decide what we get and how much will be taken from us in exchange.”

Someone stood in a room full of people and pushed for that.

How is that possible?

Now on to Part 2.

A man spoke up, asking for everyone to stop triggering him:

“Quick point of privilege. Quick point of privilege. Um, guys…I just wanna say, can we please keep the chatter to a minimum? I’m one of the people who’s very prone to sensory overload. There’s a lot of whispering and chatter going on. It’s making it very difficult for me to focus. Please can we just — I know we’re all fresh and ready to go — but can we please just keep the chatter to a minimum? It’s affecting my ability to focus. Thank you.”

A woman replied, “Thank you, Comrade.”

Comrade — that’d be, quizzically, the same title used in Donald Trump’s Evil Empire — Russia.

As for the young guy, can his shirt not hold in his spine? Regardless, everyone stop what they’re doing — “I’m,” “me,” “overload,” “very difficult,” “I,” “my.” “Thank you.”

Something tells me he’s no stranger to a participation trophy.

Ready for Part 3?

Presto:

The moderator asks, “Okay, is there a speaker against name and chapter pronouns?”

She’s interrupted by what sounds like a terribly desperate male voice:

“Point of personal privilege, point of personal privilege. PLEASE DO NOT USE GENDERED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS EVERYONE.”

She affirms, “Okay.”

What has happened to our world? Where has even low-level strength gone? To what end of the earth has education and understanding jetted off?

These are young people — our nation’s future — coming together to fight against their own self-interests via what I must believe is the lack of a dictionary, as they seem to shudder over sounds and one-syllable words.

Goose = Cooked.

Dear Lord.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Slack To The Future: Grown Millennial’s Parents Take Him To Court To Evict Him From Their Home

New Jersey School Bans Limos For Prom In The Name Of Equity; Socialist Substitute: A 45-Minute Bus Ride

NRA Releases Video Attacking Socialism & Dems Who Support It: ‘They Alone Are The Protected Class’

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. 

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The post Holy Moley, We’re Toast: ATL’s Democratic Socialists Conference Brings the Most Bizarre 49 Seconds You’ll Hear All Month appeared first on RedState.

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VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street

Westlake Legal Group mike-pence-ben-carson-620x413 VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street socialism Resurgent Conference Politics Mike Pence Front Page Stories Featured Story dsa ATLANTA

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson share a moment in the Oval Office of the White House Wednesday, June 19, 2019, prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for economist Arthur B. Laffer. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Vice President Mike Pence made an appearance Friday at the Resurgent Conference in Atlanta and strongly denounced socialism even as the Democratic Socialists of America held a convention in the same city; and in fact, right down the street.

While the vice president used rhetoric that strongly warned against the embrace of socialism and cautioned that the ideology is antithetical to the American founding principles, he also swiped at Democrats who have moved further left and chosen to embrace socialism as a winning strategy.

“Those people [at the Democratic debates] were standing so far on the left, I thought that stage was going to flip over,” Pence joked with the crowd attending conservative radio host Erick Erickson’s 2019 Resurgent Conference. “Seriously, today’s Democratic Party is dominated by left-wing liberals.”

He then stated, with a more serious tone: “The moment America becomes a socialist country is the moment America ceases to be America.”

The DSA, who reportedly gathered to discuss officially supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaign for president, met on the same weekend a few miles down the road. According to a socialist web site, they have another overarching agenda as well.

All the various factions within the DSA are working on the best way to channel opposition behind the Democratic Party in the upcoming election. One resolution, associated with the North Star caucus, declares that the “defeat of Trumpism is … the most important political task of our time,” that is, that the DSA must support whatever Democratic Party candidates are chosen.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution struck an oddly empathetic tone in covering Pence’s speech in relation to the DSA’s convention, giving the impression the poor socialists

By painting his political adversaries as socialists, the vice president is echoing the most popular Republican attack line ahead of next year’s election. They have assailed Democrats, including some 2020 candidates, who back Medicare for All and a more aggressive approach to climate change.

The AJC offered a similarly conciliatory tone in previewing the event about 2 weeks before it happened.

Republicans are increasingly painting their political adversaries as socialists even as more Democratic politicians and 2020 hopefuls are embracing left-leaning issues that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable.

The group, founded in 1982, is hoping to capitalize on the newfound interest. Membership soared after President Donald Trump’s victory and organizers say they now count 56,000 members nationally and expect as many as 1,000 delegates in Atlanta for the Aug. 1-4 event.

The organization scored major victories in the 2018 midterms by sending its first two members to Congress – U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib – and notching wins in lower-level races.

It’s becoming increasingly clear, as Democrats turn on former President Barack Obama and shift the Overton window in an attempt to normalize their command and control approach to governing, the discussion of how far left the country is comfortable moving will be on every candidate’s lips — on the right and left — until November 2020.

The post VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Socialism-dictionary-300x200 VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street socialism Resurgent Conference Politics Mike Pence Front Page Stories Featured Story dsa ATLANTA   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street

Westlake Legal Group mike-pence-ben-carson-620x413 VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street socialism Resurgent Conference Politics Mike Pence Front Page Stories Featured Story dsa ATLANTA

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson share a moment in the Oval Office of the White House Wednesday, June 19, 2019, prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for economist Arthur B. Laffer. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Vice President Mike Pence made an appearance Friday at the Resurgent Conference in Atlanta and strongly denounced socialism even as the Democratic Socialists of America held a convention in the same city; and in fact, right down the street.

While the vice president used rhetoric that strongly warned against the embrace of socialism and cautioned that the ideology is antithetical to the American founding principles, he also swiped at Democrats who have moved further left and chosen to embrace socialism as a winning strategy.

“Those people [at the Democratic debates] were standing so far on the left, I thought that stage was going to flip over,” Pence joked with the crowd attending conservative radio host Erick Erickson’s 2019 Resurgent Conference. “Seriously, today’s Democratic Party is dominated by left-wing liberals.”

He then stated, with a more serious tone: “The moment America becomes a socialist country is the moment America ceases to be America.”

The DSA, who reportedly gathered to discuss officially supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaign for president, met on the same weekend a few miles down the road. According to a socialist web site, they have another overarching agenda as well.

All the various factions within the DSA are working on the best way to channel opposition behind the Democratic Party in the upcoming election. One resolution, associated with the North Star caucus, declares that the “defeat of Trumpism is … the most important political task of our time,” that is, that the DSA must support whatever Democratic Party candidates are chosen.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution struck an oddly empathetic tone in covering Pence’s speech in relation to the DSA’s convention, giving the impression the poor socialists

By painting his political adversaries as socialists, the vice president is echoing the most popular Republican attack line ahead of next year’s election. They have assailed Democrats, including some 2020 candidates, who back Medicare for All and a more aggressive approach to climate change.

The AJC offered a similarly conciliatory tone in previewing the event about 2 weeks before it happened.

Republicans are increasingly painting their political adversaries as socialists even as more Democratic politicians and 2020 hopefuls are embracing left-leaning issues that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable.

The group, founded in 1982, is hoping to capitalize on the newfound interest. Membership soared after President Donald Trump’s victory and organizers say they now count 56,000 members nationally and expect as many as 1,000 delegates in Atlanta for the Aug. 1-4 event.

The organization scored major victories in the 2018 midterms by sending its first two members to Congress – U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib – and notching wins in lower-level races.

It’s becoming increasingly clear, as Democrats turn on former President Barack Obama and shift the Overton window in an attempt to normalize their command and control approach to governing, the discussion of how far left the country is comfortable moving will be on every candidate’s lips — on the right and left — until November 2020.

The post VP Pence Spoke In Atlanta Friday And Strongly Denounced Socialism While Democratic Socialists of America Held A Convention Down The Street appeared first on RedState.

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Why the Left prefers condemning the Prime Minister to understanding him

Trevor Phillips has written an excellent piece for The Times about the assumption, distressingly prevalent just now on the Left, that demolishing an opponent’s character is an adequate way of responding to that person’s arguments.

Moral condemnation pre-empts any attempt to understand what your adversary has to say. It becomes impossible to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a proposition advanced by, for example, Boris Johnson, because you have already declared him, on the basis of a few unacceptable phrases extracted from a huge body of journalism, guilty of crimes so severe he does not deserve a hearing.

As Phillips remarks,

“It’s forbidden for Labour Party members like me to describe Johnson as anything other than a racist and an Islamophobe, but while he is guilty of many distasteful acts I think I can say with certainty he is neither of those things. In fact, it’s this kind of brainless tribalism that has got us into our current mess.”

“Brainless” is right. There is a laziness about this approach. It becomes an excuse for neither thinking, nor seeing, nor hearing. The pleasures of self-righteousness are preferred to the effort of trying to understand another person’s point of view.

We all do this to some extent. Many of our judgments are made instinctively, or on the basis of experience, and have to be. We tick the box which says we have read the terms and conditions because only then can we buy the railway ticket.

At a more elevated level, Edmund Burke defended, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, the value of traditional beliefs and prejudices:

“You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess, that we [the English] are generally men of untaught feelings; that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame on ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted, and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages. Many of our men of speculation, instead of exploding general prejudices, employ their sagacity to discover the latent wisdom which prevails in them. If they find what they seek, and they seldom fail, they think it more wise to continue the prejudice, with the reason involved, than to cast away the coat of prejudice, and to leave nothing but the naked reason; because prejudice, with its reason, has a motive to give action to that reason, and an affection which will give it permanence. Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzzled, and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man’s virtue his habit; and not a series of unconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature.”

It seems to me that it is in this spirit that Jeremy Corbyn holds true to the socialism he imbibed in his youth. He knows he is not gifted enough to invent some new creed – which of us is? – and he believes there is wisdom in the tradition to which at a tender age he devoted himself heart and soul, and of which Ralph Miliband and Tony Benn were more eloquent exponents.

There is a sort of humility in Corbyn’s approach, and also an often justified suspicion that those who want to shake his faith are by no means his friends, and intend to lead him into false paths, where before he knows it, he will find himself tricked into defending capitalism, colonialism, the United States and its allies including Israel, the enslavement of suffering humanity by corporate interests and a world ruled by a hereditary caste of expensively educated plutocrats.

But such attitudes can end in the ludicrous situation where certain words or affiliations are considered, quite automatically, to disqualify someone like Johnson from receiving a fair hearing.

These terms include “free-market”, understood to mean exploiting the workers, “privatisation”, understood to mean defrauding passengers, patients, tenants etc, and  “Eton”, understood to mean the offensively unfair chance for blockheads to acquire such a head start in life that they end up running the show.

Someone should compile a glossary of these terms, modelled on Flaubert’s Dictionary of Received Ideas.

But perhaps we all have a yearning to suppose that we in some way belong to a superior group – a better family, school, football club, pub, regiment, town, county, political party or nation – and are entitled to look down on those outside it.

And when so many forms of discrimination have been outlawed, there may be an incentive to cling all the more fiercely to those which are still allowed.

Much the greatest damage is done, not to those who find themselves regarded as beneath contempt, but to those who are themselves so contemptuous they can no longer arrive at a true assessment of anyone who disagrees with them.

Johnson has been made to work his passage, but one cannot pretend that in the end he has been held back. He may have derived advantage from being underestimated by those who supposed that because he went to a famous school, he must be incapable of understanding the modern world.

Corbyn, trapped in a blinkered and reactionary form of socialism, is more truly to be pitied – unless, that is, he too has been underestimated, and is about to surprise us all.

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Is AOC Suggesting Rioting Is Mandatory?

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., makes an objection to a Republican argument as the House Oversight and Reform Committee considers whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Our long national nightmare with the precepts of socialism — in this case that whole thing about civil unrest to affect change — doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon as New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has apparently given the downtrodden no other choice but to riot.

I’m not sure mandating riots is rhetorically what she meant to say, but, given her love policy proclivities, it may just be a Freudian slip of the tongue.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said this week during an appearance on Ebro in the Morning that marginalized communities have “no choice but to riot.”

“Once you have a group that is marginalized … once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot,” Ocasio-Cortez said about a half-hour into the 55-minute interview.

Her remarks came during a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Ocasio-Cortez clarified that she was talking about marginalized groups more generally.

“I’m not even talking about Palestinians,” she said. “I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States; I’m talking about Latin America; I’m talking about all over the world.”

Of course what Ms. AOC fails to mention — and possibly realize — is that marginalized communities absolutely have choices available to them besides rioting. She might look to Venezuela for proof of that. Despite change being slow to come there, they’re ready when Maduro finally accepts his reign is over precisely because they didn’t riot. They put plans in place.

Or even Israel post World War II (that one’s likely to be hard for her). They worked with allied nations to build a country in their ancestral homeland without destroying the region through rioting.

Or even this country say around the late 1700s; because whatever you may think of the Revolutionary War, it was a methodical undertaking and governing documents were drafted before the fighting began.

Of course explaining to Ms. AOC how irresponsible it is for a person in a position of leadership to offer only the hopelessness of riot as an answer to marginalization would likely fall on deaf ears. She’s been so steeped in revolutionary rhetoric it just falls out of her as an antidote to political unrest.

But the cheek it takes for someone sitting in a cushy job to tell other people to risk life and limb through rioting rather than choosing some of the other options available to them (what happened to this love of migration she mostly professes?), is pretty stunning.

None of this is to suggest there aren’t people in the world facing circumstances where it looks like rioting might be their only option. And maybe sometimes it is. But Ms. AOC has more resources to help people — she’s a sitting U.S. Congresswoman for pete’s sake — than simply encouraging them to put themselves in harm’s way for the good of the revolution.

But then perhaps making those suggestions is her own way of rioting.

The post Is AOC Suggesting Rioting Is Mandatory? appeared first on RedState.

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The Democrat Debate Was All About Removing The Right To Choose

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I thought they were the party about defending choice? When did that change?

On night one of the Democratic Party Presidential candidate political forums (dubbed “The Donkey Debates”) we were presented with few surprises and many head-scratching moments of sheer aversion to the facts. Promises were made and bromides were delivered as if by firehose. Amid all the pledges of free everything while demonizing anything approaching a functional corporate foundation something unremarked but completely remarkable took place — The Democrats defied their biggest core belief.

Early on, of course, we heard of abortion rights, but it was a lightly touched-upon segment. After all, who does not know this is essentially Democrat gospel already?! Turn against the sacrosanct issue and you are effectively excommunicated from the party. So the candidates breezed over that subject and moved on to more heady waters.

Universal healthcare was roundly supported, with a number of hopefuls pledging outright that they will see to it that private health insurance is phased out for single-payer government-run healthcare. (Recall not long ago this was something a candidate would never admit to, for fear of crippling their campaign?) Liz Warren was especially comical in this round, pointing out how insurers sometimes have you filling out dozens of forms. Yea, one thing we all know about the government, it NEVER involves excessive amounts of paperwork!

Gun control was another issue brought up, with most in some form of agreement that Americans had no reason to own a weapon. Sob stories abounded, and all pledged to make those evil guns even more evil. Immigration came up, and the call to simply do away with border protection was a general agreed-upon result. The environment was of course a big issue, and the call went out to go after the vile energy-producing companies and shift our nation over to a green energy platform.

To an extent these grand, sweeping policy proposals are expected from this group. Consider their plight; in a group of 20 names you need to be distinguished, so being as far out as you can go, and promising as much as you possibly can leads to making these outlandish promises. Except in so doing the Democrats are violating their core belief system.

What happened to their pledge to give everyone the right to choose?!?! Every single candidate — hell, almost every Democrat — adheres to the concept that the right to choose is the most important standard they can think of in politics. Defend it to the death.

Except…

They want to remove our right to choose our own health care provider. They not only want to put limits on which guns we choose to buy but to eliminate that choice entirely. Choosing to defend our border from incursions is looked to be phased out entirely. They even want to take away our choice in energy consumption — only approved green energy options will be offered.

When it comes to the issue of abortion, which concerns a segment of the country, “choice” is the preeminent standard. But once you get into broader subjects concerning nearly all of America — healthcare, energy, constitutional rights — then suddenly our right to choose is completely invalid. The smarter minds who know what is best will be more than happy to make those choices for us.

Thank you, but I prefer to choose liberty and freedom over the nannies who cannot even follow the time constraints of a debate set up, let alone the founding documents of our nation.

The post The Democrat Debate Was All About Removing The Right To Choose appeared first on RedState.

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