A Bernieverse of Socialist Douche Crockery


I view rabid Bernie Sanders supporters much like I view rabid Paulians (fanatical supporters of former Congressman Ron Paul) – as somewhat unhinged conspiritards in dire need of something or someone to worship. (By the way, notice I said “rabid” and “fanatical.” If you count yourself as one of those, by all means, screech!) They gaze adoringly at their would-be savior. They invoke His name in every discussion (e.g. See? Bernie Sanders said this same thing years ago… or Ron Paul predicted the economic collapse…). They post absurd memes and worship their politician-prince at a level that’s beyond weird.

Ehhhh. Creepy!

Ehhhh. Creepy!

And the even creepier…



And of course both sets of nuts claim the establishment is somehow clubbing their savior over the head like a baby seal, artificially spiking their successes, and influencing the media to ignore and silence them.

The Berntards are currently the standard-bearers for the “media wants to silence my candidate” conspiracy theories. Their latest – debunked by PolitiFact – is that Bernie was a clear winner in the Democrat debate, and CNN spiked polls supporting this insane contention, because HILLARY!

Problem with conspiracy theories is that most of the time they’re imbecilic inanities uttered by frothing fruitcakes (See: Alex Jones and InfoWars) that are mostly wrong.

CNN didn’t delete its poll.

The poll showing Sanders way ahead is here on Facebook through CNN.com/vote. It’s not on CNN’s website, but it’s not clear that it ever was on CNN’s website. 


CNN’s digital team used a Facebook app to run live polls of users about what they thought of the debate as it was happening.

And of course, the Berntards, much like the Ronulans dogpiled the poll and then complained it was deleted, because BERNIE is the man! And no, he’s not a socialist.

Good lord!

Yeah, I know one of those retards. “Bernie is not a socialist! He believes in private property! I know. I read stuff!”

This is where I feel compelled once again to whip out my old blog about whether or not Obama is a socialist, because it does explain to the slow of mind what that term means.

…there are degrees of socialism, just like there are degrees of libertarianism. While this one is by far not the most odious, it’s still noxious by its very nature. It punishes achievement. It strives to force the so-called “haves” to work for the benefit of the “have nots.” It claims to strive to help the needy, but instead keeps them effectively chained to government handouts, while others work to support said handouts and pay more and more each year.

Sanders by his own admission is a democratic socialist. This doesn’t mean he’s not a socialist. There are varied degrees of socialism, but leftists don’t want you to understand that, because “socialism” has negative connotations in most people’s minds… something having to do with the Soviet Union… Cold War… you know, that stuff.

“It’s not socialism, it’s social democracy, which is a big difference,” said Mike Konczal, an economic policy expert at the left-wing Roosevelt Institute. Social democracy, Mr. Konczal noted, “implies a very active role for capitalism in the framework.”

Hell, Teh Bern™ himself acknowledged and admitted this!

While the social democrats of today have, for the most part, abandoned that whole “government must own all means of production” thing, they have no problem with public management of it, or government control of it. They want the welfare state. They want regulation. They want equality of outcome, which goes way beyond the equality of opportunity most of us would agree is desirable. Sure, capitalism exists, but it’s muzzled by the state.

The democratic socialists such as Sanders have not abandoned their hope for social ownership of major industries. While all of us oppose corporatism, Sanders takes it a step further. He wants worker-owned cooperatives. He wants to use government force to break up Wall Street firms. He wants to control salaries by capping CEO pay, as if he’s more qualified to decide how much their work is worth than the companies they run. If you don’t think that’s socialism, I’ve got this bridge… Hell, he barely understands supply and demand, but he wants to have control of corporations?? Gee… I wonder how many competent, capable CEOs would want to work to run successful businesses for the pittance Bernieverse would allot them as a salary, even as their companies pay more and more in taxes to operate in the United States?



In Bernieverse, the $18 trillion price tag of Bernie nutjobbery would be paid by lots and lots of new taxes!

I’m envisioning lots and lots of businesses ceasing operations in the United States or leaving the country altogether. Wonder who will be the producers in the United States once that stops happening… Wonder who will create jobs…

Naaaaaah. Not at all socialist!

Please put down the crack pipe!

Hey, Snowflake! Wide Airline Seats to Accommodate Your Extra-Large Arse are NOT a Human Right!


I hate air travel. I really do. I realize it’s sometimes necessary to cram myself into a gigantic metal tube with hundreds of my closest friends and feast on stale pretzels and flat soda, while it flies at a high rate of speed somewhere other than where I started, but I hate it. I hate the crowds, and the sometimes less than clean other passengers. I hate the TSA gropage (although, I do have TSA Pre, so that part of it is mostly painless nowadays). I hate the stale, recycled air and the fact that nearly every time I fly, I wind up with someone’s respiratory crud, and if not that, I usually get some kind of skin rash from the seat, which is always an unmitigated joy.

Flying is not fun.

That said, it appears someone with Special Snowflake Syndrome (SSS) has decided to invent another human right – the basic right to room on a plane. Christopher Elliott is a travel journalist and co-founder of something called Travelers United, whose mission is to “advocate in Washington, DC for all travelers. We educate travelers on their travel rights and we educate lawmakers and regulators on consumer issues.”

I will say this: anytime someone invents a group to “advocate in Washington, DC” about a right they just invented, I begin to worry, because that generally means that they want legisleeches to do something about said invented right that has allegedly been violated by a private company – a company no one compels you to use at the point of a gun – and with whom you deal willingly by paying money for their service. As soon as someone claims an invented right has been violated, politicians eager to be seen as doing something for their constituents spring into action to remedy said alleged violation. It’s the “doing something” that worries me, because generally, in their frothing zeal to look responsive, they fail to rationally think through the legislation they cram through the legislature, and wind up violating ACTUAL rights – not the right invented by the Special Snowflake, who desperately needs an education on the nature of a right. In this case, the Special Snowflake and crew want the government to regulate the minimum legroom the airline can give passengers in economy class.

Elliott notes that the average economy-class seat amount of passenger legroom, has declined over the years, from about 35 inches in the 1970s to about 31 inches today. Seat width has declined too, from around a high of 20 inches back in the 1980s to about 17-18 inches, according to USA Today.

OK, I get it. It’s uncomfortable. It sucks. Half the time, I spend my flight trying to jam myself into the corner of my seat to avoid the oversized bulk of adipose tissue that overflows into my seat from my uber large neighbor. But you know what I do if I really feel that a service doesn’t live up to my expectations? I certainly don’t try to get Congress involved! I either choose not to fly, and choose another mode of transportation, purchase an upgrade to a more comfortable seat, or I SUCK IT UP! I certainly don’t invent a right and then try to force Congress to impose an obligation on another private entity to help me exercise it!

Look up the difference between positive and negative rights, Snowflake, and then shut your yap.

You pay for a seat on a mode of transportation. It does not have to be comfortable. It just has to be a seat. If you don’t like it, don’t fly.

You know what happens when someone invents a right and then gets Congress involved? Well, let me smartsplain it to your dumb ass.

  1. You invent the right to more legroom on a plane.
  2. You take said invention to Congress, and Congress passes a law that obligates airline companies to give you said room.
  3. Airplane manufacturers start making wider seats with more legroom, thereby allowing fewer passengers aboard.
  4. Airline loses profits due to fewer passengers, charges your entitled ass more money to sit in a crappy economy seat.
  5. You start complaining about higher airline prices, invent right to lower prices.
  6. You take said invented right to Congress, and Congress passes a law to cap prices.
  7. Lower profits force airlines to cut jobs.
  8. And so on…

Get it yet? You have the right to travel. You have no right to force someone else to make that travel pleasant or comfortable.

You have the right to purchase a ticket on a specific airline. If said airline doesn’t meet your expectations, you have the right to take your business elsewhere. You don’t have the right to force another entity to conform to your subjective expectations at the point of a government gun.

You have the right to bitch and moan about your experience. Hell, I do so quite a bit when I experience crappy customer service. And miraculously, you know what happens? The provider of said crappy service normally does everything in its power to fix it, because the last thing it needs is to lose business to bad publicity.

And that works a whole lot better than running crying to the nanny state, because someone didn’t give you the warm fuzzy you think you deserve.

No, I’m not rich – An Open Letter to My Tenants


I’m beginning to think that there’s a common misconception about people who choose to rent out the property they own is that they are rich slum lords getting rich off the backs of the common folk who pay them rent. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s certainly not the case with me. I tried to sell my house in 2011, but couldn’t even get enough money for it to break even, let alone pay the realtor and the closing costs.

I was forced to rent out my house – first to a psycho who ran out on his lease and caused a ton of damage to my property, then to a very nice couple who were terrific, always paid on time, but unfortunately only stayed one year, and now my current tenants. Their rent payments don’t even cover my entire mortgage, and when you throw in the insurance I pay to ensure everything runs and the appliances work, I’m nearly $400 in the red each month. Each. Month.

Some slum lord, eh?

When I tried to refinance, the mortgage company tried to charge me something close to $10,000 in closing costs, because they said my house is an “investment property,” which certainly sounds like they think I’m rich enough to have “investment property,” so they can shake me down for higher closing costs. It’s not an investment property, shitbags. It’s an albatross I can’t shake, because home prices have bottomed out, and I’m forced to rent it to deadbeats who think paying just a little rent is OK, because I’m apparently rich.

Well, it’s not. So…

Dear Tenants – 

I realize it’s right after the holiday season, and times may be hard, but given the fact that you’ve been late or short on paying rent on the house I own and in which you’re living for a few months now, and given the fact that you’ve been completely nonchalant about it, thinking it’s no big deal, because it’s only a “few hundred dollars,” and I’m apparently rich enough to suck it up, let me disabuse you of a few erroneous notions.

I pay a monthly mortgage on the house in which I allow you to live. Said mortgage is actually several hundred more dollars than your rent. That’s right. I’m in the red every month due to circumstances beyond my control. When you add in the monthly insurance I’m paying to ensure that your appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc. are functioning correctly, I’m very much in the red. And yet, I’ve raised your rent only nominally and only once.

When you don’t pay your rent, I cannot pay my mortgage. Know why? Because my rent, combined with the mortgage I have to pay comes to nearly 80 percent of my takehome pay each month. That’s right – 80 percent. So when you don’t pay, or when you short me, I have to decide whether to pay the mortgage, pay my own rent, pay my utilities, make my car payments, or feed my kid! So that “few hundred dollars” you think is no big deal actually means quite a bit to me.

If I don’t pay my mortgage, my credit score is affected, and unlike some people, who would be very kind and would rent to you despite the bankruptcy you declared, most landlords aren’t so nice. Security sections at certain jobs aren’t so nice either. I don’t blame them. Their job is to ensure that people with security clearances aren’t having so much financial trouble, that they’re susceptible to bribery and would perhaps give away classified information. So if I don’t pay my mortgage, and my credit score goes down, my career could be jeopardized…

…all thanks to that “few hundred dollars” you don’t seem to think is a big deal. And by the way – those utility bills you’re also failing to pay are billed to me as well. So when you don’t pay them, guess who is held accountable!

You seem to think that everyone who owns a home and is renting it out is “rich,” so if you short them on rent or just not pay on time, they can wait or suck it up. Hate to tell you this (I’m trying really hard not to call you parasitic deadbeats), but some of us don’t have investment properties by choice. Some of us had to rent out our house to make ends meet. Some of us tried, but couldn’t sell our house, because it was underwater thanks to this awesome economy, and because the house lost over a third of its value since it was purchased. Some of us are facing increasing property taxes. Some of us are simply getting by.

I am not your slumlord. I am someone who relies on that rent check every month to keep afloat. That house is beautiful and spacious. It was home to us for seven years before you moved your asses into it. If you were living where I live, you would be paying $4,000+ per month for a five-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house with a finished basement on a corner lot, on a third of an acre of land and a fenced-in yard, and not the measly $1650 you are paying and defaulting on now. You’re getting a damn good deal, so have the common courtesy to pay in full and on time. And if you can no longer afford to live there, then get a smaller, cheaper place in a less desirable area. But don’t, for a moment, think that because I happen to own the property on which you live, that I’m independently wealthy, and that “few hundred dollars” doesn’t mean a whole lot or that you’re entitled to screw me. 

It means a lot. It’s not OK. Not even remotely.

And further, you have a rental agreement – a contract according to which you’re obligated to pay a certain amount by a certain date. I could charge you penalties, but I haven’t so far. At least be grateful for that, and don’t act like you’re doing me a favor by not being even more behind on rent than you already are!

I write this on behalf of every homeowner who’s been in my situation, and who has struggled to make ends meet, because they were forced to allow strangers to live in their house for a price and become dependent on that income to pay the mortgage.

It’s not OK to abuse them. Trust me.

Here’s your “living wage,” douchenuggets!

Comments Off on Here’s your “living wage,” douchenuggets!

It had all the makings of a heartwarming victory for the little guy.

A horde of minimum wage workers campaigning for what they claimed they were entitled to: a wage high enough to live in pricey London, because they deserve… because a concession stand cashier selling overpriced sodas and popcorn is entitled to the Pound Sterling equivalent of $14/hour… because RICH CORPORATION IS MAKING LOTS OF MONEY AND SHOULD GIVE, GIVE, GIVE ME WHAT I WANT – EARNED OR NOT.

A famous film maker supported the workers in demanding the cinema owners fork over the outlandishly high salaries, and sniveling mediots called for support of the oppressed workers.

When the company finally gave in, the ecstatic staff celebrated until the job cuts were announced.

Picturehouse Cinemas said that the cost of increasing basic wages at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton to £8.80 an hour would be absorbed by reducing the number of staff by at least 20, with a redundancy programme starting next month.

Two management posts will be axed along with eight supervisors, three technical staff and other front-of-house workers from its workforce of 93.

And now the workers union is crying that it’s retribution, that the company makes enough money and should not only pay workers more than their labor is worth, but also keep all of them in their jobs, whether they’re needed or not.

Apparently, these unskilled, barely educated, pierced, tattooed freaks feel themselves entitled to dictate to the executives of a company, who are ostensibly better educated and more experienced at running their business, how much profit is sufficient. So they’re demanding that their worthless asses keep their jobs at a higher wage, because their employer has enough profits.

Campaigners claim the Ritzy is the most successful art-house cinema in the UK and is owned by Picturehouse Cinemas, part of Cineworld, which is the largest cinema chain in Europe and has revenues of more than £400m.

Workers posted on Facebook: “This is nothing short of pure vindictive retaliation because we the workers showed that with determination and collectively, we could effect change to make our lives that tiny bit more comfortable.”

You know what makes lives more comfortable? Getting an education. Starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Forcing your employer to pay you more than what your labor is worth will get you only one thing: downsized.

I’m back, and here’s an update


Those of you who were hoping I’ve died off or got sick of blogging, too bad! I’ve just been working hard at three jobs – you know… Millions of liberals rely on my taxes!

No, I’ve just been tired and busy, and having thyroid issues with no response from my doctor. So I’m off to find a new doctor who will actually call me back with blood test results.

I’ve written several essays for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and there’s a lot of cool stuff going on there.

I wrote a reply to the sniveling, drooling, perpetually outraged and ignorant Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, who claimed an NRA lobbyist should be fired for linking the disarmament of Jews in Nazi Germany to their subsequent mass slaughter and berating Jews who demand disarmament in the US for forgetting that inconvenient fact.

Jews should be the last people to advocate for government control of their means of self-defense and resistance. They should remember the disarmed Jews who were deprived not just of the right to defend themselves, but also their very lives in Nazi Germany. They should remember the abuses they suffered at the hands of the Soviets.

And they should oppose efforts to give the government control of their means of self-defense in the United States, instead of disparaging and belittling those who remind them of what they’ve chosen to ignore and trying to get them fired for stating an inconvenient truth that doesn’t jive with their political agenda.

Brian Judy should not apologize. He should stand strong on his convictions and remind Dvorchik and those like him that those who cannot or will not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

We, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership will never forget.

I wrote a profile of young shooting champ Shyanne Roberts after having a fun conversation with her and her dad Dan for nearly an hour. I consider this sweet, unassuming, determined child the future of gun rights in America, and I’m proud to know her and her family.

I’m still running a fundraiser for the Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) in Northern Virginia. I’ve given them $250 so far to help them work to save homeless, abused, sick and neglected pets. I did it in Mac’s name, and the fundraiser is still up. If any of you can, please do donate and spread the word about the link, because LOVE. For those of you who have already donated, I cannot thank you enough or properly convey my gratitude without literally bursting into tears! Thank you!

Been actively engaging with gun grabbing lunatics on Twitter. And I do mean LUNATICS! If you don’t already, follow @JPFO_Liberty on Twitter. You will see unhinged crazy like you’ve never seen before. It’s hilarious. Trust me.

I can't count or read or put a coherent sentence together, but GUNZ BAD!!!

I can’t count or read or put a coherent sentence together, but GUNZ BAD!!!



I dislike the Second Amendment almost as much as I dislike the First



This is how I debate. No logic. No reasoning. Just spew.



Because telling people who are politely asking you a question about an opinion requires telling them to fuck off. Stayin’ classy!



I’m unhinged, and there’s nothing you can do about it. GUN NUT!

Yeah… I love my job.

Oh, almost forgot. JPFO is running a lot of incredibly cool auctions. Until Tuesday, August 12, you have a shot at winning a unique, gorgeous piece of JPFO history: a Mossberg “Battle of Athens” shotgun once owned by the legendary Aaron Zelman, engraved and ready for you to bid on. As a bonus, the winner of the auction will receive Aaron’s own personal copy of the now out-of-print hardbound book on the Battle of Athens, autographed by author C. Stephen Byrum and dated 9/26/1994. Pretty cool, right?

There’s also a chance to win some autographed novels by passionate gun rights supporters and friends Michael Z. Williamson and Larry Correia, who generously donated their signed books for you to bid on.  I’ve often told Mike that I would kill him off in a few years and make a fortune selling his signed novels on Ebay. He doesn’t take me seriously… I don’t know why!

In other news, the EU finally got off its ass and sanctioned some major Russian banks and individuals who provide weapons and money to the Ukrainian separatist scumbags. In the aftermath of the Malaysian Airlines destruction and the impassioned speech by the Dutch Foreign Minister to the UN Security Council, it’s impossible to imagine that they would do nothing.

The president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, and the head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, issued a joint statement describing the EU measures as a strong warning that “Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country could not be accepted in 21st-century Europe.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” they said. “The European Union will fulfil its obligations to protect and ensure the security of its citizens. And the European Union will stand by its neighbours and partners.”

Following a meeting of the emergency Cobra council of ministers on Tuesday, Downing Street said the UK will push for even harsher sanctions against Russia than the ones agreed by the EU if the country does not change course.

Balls. They found them. Good.

As a result, the IMF has cut Russia’s economic growth forecast in 2014 from 1.3 percent to 0.2 percent. Putin doesn’t seem to have been swayed yet. What I’m wondering is how long will the Russians citizens tolerate Putin’s ego getting in the way of economic development before they start revolting full on. They’re certainly used to misery, but when their government promises them to focus on economic development and growth and winds up annexing part of a neighboring country and spending money to destabilize the eastern portion of said neighbor, you have to wonder just how long the nationalism will carry them.

Still love work, although I sometimes feel like a mom rather than a boss. From a conversation with one of my guys, whom I’ll call Pigpen:

Me: dude, I’m not a neat freak but seriously… wrappers, empty Starbucks cups, snot rags, socks…. can we clean up the pigpen?

Pigpen: Uh… OK… I didn’t think it was that bad, but I’ll clean it up.


Pigpen: Look! I cleaned my desk up! (Opens overhead bin) Everything put away!

Bin stuffed full of napkins, random medications, cans of food…

Pigpen: The napkins are clean


My Putin Paranoia (FYI – some sources cited are in Russian)


This is my blog, and I’m allowed to don the tinfoil hat every once in a while. Now… if you’re looking for inane conspiritardery about U.S. involvement in Ukraine, us funding protests, chemtrails, using supersonic, nuclear generated EMP weapons to foment unrest in Ukraine in order to capture the considerable assets of Oleksandr Yanukovych, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m paranoid, not insane.

Besides, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Right? RIGHT???

In all seriousness, I’ve been quite a bit perplexed by the actions of Vladimir Putin these past few weeks.

I explained the background on the Ukraine situation already, so I’m not going to get into it here. You can certainly read what I’ve written on the topic here and here. But what I haven’t done is write down my theories on the Russian reaction to the unrest in Ukraine and the ultimate fall of Ukraine’s ever-so-corrupt government.

I will admit I was a bit surprised.

President Vladimir Putin spent a lot of time and resources integrating Russia into the global economy, positioning Russia as a legitimate member of the international community, entering the World Trade Organization, developing economic ties with the European Union, freeing political opponents, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had been imprisoned for more than a decade, and brokering a deal with Syria. Putin has endorsed some free market principles, such as privatization and improving Russia’s business climate.

But on the other hand, I also understood that Putin wanted to return Russia to its former world power status, and that was the ultimate goal all along.

But on the third hand, I figured economic development and GDP growth were critical to Putin’s ultimate goal. After all, returning  the country to its superpower status also involves not only the modernization of the Russian economy, but also the Russian military – a goal toward which Russia claimed it would commit between $650-$700 billion in procurement dollars.  That’s a lofty goal for a nation whose armaments programs had a tendency to fail due to inefficiencies, corruption and inflation. Russia needed the money after its little incursion into Georgia in 2008 showed just how ill-equipped its military was. Russia expert Dmitry Gorenburg says the military received no funding for new equipment between 1993-2008, and post-2008 programs were a big fail in executing the Russians’ lofty rearmament goals.

As a result, the vast majority of its armaments are both physically old and based on outdated designs. To deal with this problem, the Russian government has begun to implement a 10-year and $650 billion State Armament Program. The program’s goal is to ensure that 70 percent of the Russian military’s equipment is modern by 2020. The program’s top priorities are to re-equip the Strategic Rocket Forces, the air force, the air defense and space forces, and to provide more advanced command and control equipment for the military.

The problem is there’s just not enough money. Russia’s crumbling economic infrastructure needs urgent updates, and Russia’s economic growth is unable to support the planned levels of military spending. Hell, former Minister of Finance Alexey Kudrin resigned over the issue! And Putin himself admitted that GDP needs to grow before Russia can afford to fund all its ambitious military plans.

“We are setting the goal of accelerating economic growth to 6 percent, better to 6-7 percent, and join the list of the world’s top five economies in five years but not only because advanced economies will be falling but also because we’ll be growing,” Putin said at a congress of Business Russia public association, which unites the country’s medium-sized businesses.

Russia has set the ambitious task of expanding its per capita gross domestic product by 50 percent in the next decade “to achieve the level of more than $35,000 per person from the current $20,700,” Putin said.

In 2011, Russia’s GDP will grow by 4.2-4.5 percent, the premier said.

It did. According to the Economist, Russia’s GDP grew by 4.4 percent in 2011. You know how much it grew in 2012? 3.5 percent. You know how much it grew in 2013? 1.4 percent. Hardly close to Putin’s economic goals. And between the rising inflation and the possibility of sanctions that could impact the Russian economy, and the continuing capital flight, Russia’s economic modernization and its military rearmament goals aren’t likely to happen.

But on the fourth hand, if Putin did, indeed, want to return Russia to some semblance of a “держава” or world power status, he wanted a customs union to counteract the EU, and he needed Ukraine to join, since the latter is a significant Eurasian economy. This is why Russia put so much political and economic pressure on Ukraine to not sign the Association Agreement with the EU, which ultimately caused Yanukovych to turn away from the West and pursue closer ties to Russia, and precipitated the demonstrations which later turned violent.

And that’s why I was a bit perplexed. Turning around into an aggressive invader shortly after hosting a Winter Olympics and after joining the WTO, and claiming to embrace economic development is incongruous. But it happened, didn’t it?

But what if…?

What if Putin’s plan all along has been to contribute to the destabilization of Ukraine and ultimately annex the Crimea?

What if Putin very carefully worked on crafting Russia’s image for the past decade, integrating his country into the international community and global economy, and lulling the west into a false sense of security?

What if Putin was playing the long game, working to ensure that the economy of Russia was so connected to the economies of the West and the United States that any significant economic decline in Russia would mean severe economic consequences for the United States and the European Union?

Because the result seems to be the following:

Any sanctions imposed on Russia or its assets will affect the EU and the United States. Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Federation Council committee for constitutional legislation has introduced a bill in the Duma that would seize the assets and accounts of American and European companies should sanctions be imposed on Russia.  Europe’s sanctions on Russia could cut the oligarchs and members of the Russian government off from the European cities where many have properties and European banks, where many have cash. Meanwhile, Russia is threatening retaliation if sanctions are imposed. A Kremlin aide publicly warned a few days ago of the repercussions. Sergey Glazyev said if America were to impose sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Moscow might drop the dollar as a reserve currency and refuse to pay off any loans to U.S. banks.

Frankly, Russians are used to economic hardship. Us spoiled first-worlders in the West are not so much.

Could Putin’s calculus include the fact that the West would be just as impacted by Russia’s economic downturn as Russia itself?

Could he understand that despite the current economic slowdown and Russia’s obvious intent to annex the Crimea after the latter holds a vote on independence this weekend, his approval ratings are still fairly high?

Could Putin’s intent all along have been to play long-term chess? To integrate Russia into the global economy and make it a vital source of energy for the West, and then to foment instability in Ukraine and move in with practical impunity, because he knows that the West would be loath to tank Russia’s economy for fear of taking themselves down as well?

It’s a pretty convoluted case, but it’s not unlikely.

Consider the fact that the European Union gets 37 percent of its oil and 39 percent of its natural gas from Russia.

Consider also that Russia is one of the largest economies in the world.

Consider also that economic growth in the EU and in Russia generally mirror one another, although Russia’s swings are a bit more extreme.


What if Putin has decided that the West won’t do much if he decides to annex Crimea after Sunday’s vote, and has ensured this by working to ensure that any sanctions would bite all parties involved?

After all, Russia has already been conducting “exercises” on the Ukrainian border.

After all, the Duma has already passed legislation outlining how Russia will annex new members of the Federation.

And according to at least one report, pre-marked ballots have already been delivered to Crimea in time for Sunday’s referendum. Yes, I said “pre-marked.”

So what if this was Putin’s plan all along?

Here’s how NOT to do business


Remember when Maryland decided to implement gun control laws that were even tougher than the draconian regs already on the books in that pit of petty tyranny? Remember when I said that Beretta USA should leave and go elsewhere?

Well, Beretta has decided to open a manufacturing plant in Tennessee. They apparently had enough of Maryland.

Beretta USA officials along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty  announced today the company will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant in the Gallatin Industrial Park. Beretta, a global manufacturer of high-quality sporting and military firearms, will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility. Beretta will create 300 new Tennessee jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year.

And yes, respect for Second Amendment rights was definitely part of the decision about the location of the new plant, according to Beretta.

You know where Beretta did not choose to locate?

Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. And why not Virginia, you ask? Terry McAuliffe. Emily Miller reports:

“The anti-gun ads that McAuliffe ran in northern Virginia were particularly offensive,” Jeff Reh, general counsel of Beretta USA, told me in an interview. “And the fact that he could gain a voting advantage by doing so caused us additional concern.”

What happened to that “jobs first” for Virginia think Terry was touting during the campaign? Guess Terry forgot that you actually have to have a business-friendly environment to attract… you know… business.

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