May 23, 2016
Robert Tracinski on socialist Venezuela and the imaginings of John Lennon:
Before you judge Venezuela’s looters, consider what you would do if your children were starving. So much for “no hunger.” What about the “brotherhood of man”? Not only is looting soaring in Venezuela, but so are all forms of crime. It has gotten so far out of control that mobs of vigilantes are burning people alive in the streets over petty thefts. It turns out then when people are starving, there’s not a lot of brotherhood. Instead, they fight like dogs over a bone.
Mick Hartley quotes Nick Cohen on Venezuela’s leftist cheerleaders:
Venezuela, cried Seumas Milne in the Guardian, has “redistributed wealth and power, rejected western neoliberal orthodoxy, and challenged imperial domination.” What more could a breathless Western punter ask for? Never underestimate the power worship of those who claim to speak for the powerless, or the credulity of the supposedly wised-up critical theorist. […] The show is over now. Their fantasies fulfilled, the western tourists have left a ruined country behind without a guilty glance over their shoulder. Venezuela looks as if it has been pillaged by a hostile army, though there has been no war.
Theodore Dalrymple on charity and welfare:
Charity given as of right, for that is what the welfare state does, favours the undeserving more than the deserving, in so far as the undeserving have a capacity and even talent for generating more neediness than the deserving. (They also tend to be more vocal in their demands.) The welfare state in fact dissolves the very notion of desert, because there is no requirement that a beneficiary prove he deserves what he is legally entitled to. And where what is given is given as of right, not only will a recipient feel no gratitude for it, but it must be given without compassion — that is, without regard to any individual’s actual situation. In the welfare state, the notion of a specially deserving case is prohibited, for it implies a distinction between the deserving and the undeserving.
And Katherine Timpf on sartorial innovation in the name of “social justice”:
The New Hanover County School System in North Carolina has proposed a ban on wearing tight pants in its schools because apparently “bigger girls” are getting bullied for the way that they look when they wear them.
Snug jeans and leggings would only be permissible if a looser secondary garment, say, a long shirt or dress, “covers the posterior in its entirety.” Freddie Mercury and Sir Mix-A-Lot could not be reached for comment.
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