Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DNC implodes over Wikileaks

I must say that I was dreading this week. I just came back from the Republican convention, but attending the Democrat convention would be like spending four days at the DMV, so I came home instead. I had planned not to even watch the goings-on in Philly, but then manna dropped from heaven.

Wikileaks hacked into the DNC and provided enough talk show material for a month. Here’s just a sample. Hillary supporters infiltrating the Bernie Sanders campaign. DNC members going to Morning Joe’s boss on BSNBC about programming content. A Politico writer getting his story vetted by the DNC before sending it to his editor. Conspiring to plant a mole inside a Sanders event in Kentucky or West Virginia to ask him about his religion. Oh, and my favorite, a DNC member killing horses for insurance money.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, says there are other hacked e-mails to come that have to do with the Clinton Foundation. He tells ITV the next release will “provide enough evidence” to lock Hillary up.

This I have to see.

It’s like a train wreck in Philly. Debbie What’s-her-name Schultz is forced to resign as the presiding chairman of the convention, and who do they get to replace her? Some woman named Fudge! After all the lying that’s gone on at the DNC, they now have Chairman Fudge! This is too good.

The BernMe folks should be livid. I can’t imagine supporting a machine that purposely set out to destroy my candidate. But Democrats have a history of rallying around each other when the weather gets tough. We’ll have to see if Hillary can hold the party together.

The Republicans put on a nearly flawless convention. Sure, there was the dust-up early in the week with the roll call vote that no one could really figure out what it was all about. Yeah, there was that Ted Cruz speech, but Ted Cruz did far more damage to himself than Trump. In fact, I think that speech helped unify the party. Many Cruz people finally abandoned him for Trump.

And the Trump kids? Even if you don’t care for Trump you have to give it to him as a father. Yes, I know Ivana and Marla had something to do with their upbringing but still. Compare and contrast these kids to other rich kids like, say, Paris Hilton or the Kardashians. Man! It’s like Camelot all over again. Admittedly, Trump’s no JFK, but these kids blow the Kennedy kids out of the water. That’s what will appeal to women voters. Not just the glamor, but the underlying sense that if Trump can produce that many exemplary kids he can’t be all bad.

Meanwhile, back at the DNC.

The theme of the week seems to be Black Lives Matter. The theme of the RNC was Blue Lives Matter. The RNC featured cops and military members. The DNC features the parents of thugs who try to steal a cop’s gun and get shot in the process. What a contrast.

The DNC is all about victims and thuggery. The RNC was all about safety and security.

It’s Trump’s to lose. The stars are aligning in a way that all he has to do is not get in his own way, which he’s prone to do.

And, if Julian Assange is right, the Democrats may be HQing their presidential campaign from jail. I don’t think the American people are stupid enough to elect a criminal. If so, we deserve what we get.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The media have blood on their hands in Dallas

Ordinarily, I’m not the type who screams at his television. To be honest, I don’t watch a lot of television “news” shows because they mostly degenerate into people shouting over one another. One thing I rarely do is watch any news on the weekends. After wallowing in the issues Monday through Friday, I find it best for my sanity if I take a break for a couple of days.

It was the Saturday after the Dallas police shootings and my wife wanted to catch up on the news so I reluctantly switched from a documentary about the greedy rich to CBS. It was a special edition of 48 Hours. I watched as they trotted out the ‘white guilt’ professors and the Black Lives Matter activists until I found myself literally screaming at the television. Yep. I had become ‘that guy.’

What so infuriated me was knowing that they know. What I mean by that is I know the statistics on police shootings. I know white folks are far more likely to be shot by the police than black folks. I know that study after study has revealed there’s no evidence of racial bias in police shootings and that there is no war on black people. And I know that the people at CBS know this. The question is why do they continue to lie?

I’ve often said media bias isn’t what they tell you, it’s what they don’t. If all they show you are the cases where white police officers shoot unarmed black people then eventually you’ll believe that’s all there is. Names like Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner have become household names. You can’t name a white victim.

The truth started to raise its head so the Washington Post had to do their best to tamp it back down. They said it was true that more whites are killed by police than blacks, but you have to look at that in relation to their percentage of the population. Sounds fair but it’s not the whole story.

You not only have to look at the percentage of shootings in relation to the makeup of that particular group in the general population, you have to look at the propensity of that group to commit crimes. In other words, how likely are police to come into contact with a certain group?

For example, I don’t know the percentage of American nuns, but let’s just say it’s 1 percent. I can almost assure you that the percentage of nuns that have contact with the police as criminals is near zero.

So, understanding that contact with the police surely has to factor into who gets shot, black folks make up 13 percent of the population and make up 24 percent of the police shootings. However, they commit 52 percent of the murders. They commit almost 40 percent of all violent crimes. If you just compare their percentage in the population to their percentage of shootings you might come to the conclusion that the system is somehow racist. 

It’s not.

The government makes it almost impossible to get a true picture of crime by race because they categorize all Hispanics as white, which, of course, skews the white stats. To give you an example, out of the current FBI Top Ten Most Wanted list, five are Hispanic. But here’s a startling statistic: 40 percent of cop killers are black. 

No matter how you slice it, black criminals grossly overrepresent their numbers in the general population and white criminals underrepresent theirs. If you really look for a war on blacks, you won’t find one.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The sprezzatura of socialism

I just got back from Europe. I love the history and the scenery and the change of culture and all that, but I’m always reminded of just how bad socialism can be. 

We flew into Paris and took a train to Avignon. That’s in the south of France in Provence. We followed the signs in the train station to the taxis, but when we got there we found no cabs. About 30 of us stood in the hot sun for about 20 minutes before I walked back into the train station and up to the information counter. The nice lady behind the counter called two taxi companies in town. Closed.

We arrived in Avignon on Sunday about 6:15pm. Most taxi drivers in Avignon don’t work on Sunday, and those who do don’t work after 6pm. One taxi showed up to deposit someone at the train station and quickly sped off without picking up a new fare.

In a microcosm, this is what’s wrong with socialism. As it turns out, French taxi drivers are not only paid strictly on salary, they’re union. In America, there would be taxi drivers jockeying for position to pick up these people at the train station. Why? Because their pay is determined by how many people they service in a day. Some days are better than others in America. The more you hustle, the more you make. In France, every day is the same. You’re paid whether you’re driving or sitting. There’s no incentive to hustle. There’s no incentive to help the customer.

Same goes for restaurant servers. Although Americans typically tip, tipping in France is not the norm, and French servers act accordingly. What’s the motivation to take your order in a timely manner or get your food out quickly? You have to be aggressive to get good service. You have to constantly flag your server down and stay on them.

I had to laugh when I was researching this piece. Survey after survey ranked France near the top in productivity and I was left scratching my head until I realized the stipulation. These surveys were based on “productivity per hours worked.” In other words, the French work far fewer hours than we do, which means their overall productivity is much lower.

One opinion writer, James Sproule at the London Times, figured this out. He acknowledged that most surveys compared the UK to France based on hours worked. However, he pointed out that the employment rate in the UK is 72 percent compared to 64 percent in France. “If improving productivity is your sole aim,” he wrote, “British businesses simply need to reduce the number of people they employ, letting go the least productive workers. The results would be bad for society and terrible for the workers concerned, but such a move could boost productivity figures by 8 per cent.”

In other words, the motto of France could be ‘We don’t get a lot done, but at least we don’t work a lot.’

I think a much better way of looking at productivity is by taking the gross domestic product of a nation and dividing it by its population. When you look at it that way, the United States is almost 50 percent more productive than France. And what’s the difference? One country is driven primarily by capitalism while the other is driven by socialism. 

Socialism makes people lazy. It destroys their incentive to produce. It also makes life miserable, especially for people who expect decent service. We in America should take heed. We’re inching ever closer to European socialism. And it doesn't end well.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.