Incidental Intelligence

Paul Greenberg
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Posted: Feb 20, 2016 12:01 AM
Incidental Intelligence

Some of the items in the news aren't news at all, they are so predictable. For example: the empty shelves, long lines and general collapse of the Venezuelan economy, thanks to the ministrations of still another left-wing caudillo who seems under the impression he's a revolutionary a la Fidel Castro. The whole fiasco is summed up by a single sentence in an item out of Caracas in the Wall Street Journal: "Six infants died because there wasn't enough medicine or functioning respirators."

For a detailed account of the gruesome details, if you can bear to read them, see "Venezuela's Savage Suffering," Page 1, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 13. After the total collapse of the late unlamented Soviet Union's "command-and-control" economy, which had neither, you would think there is no longer a need to demonstrate the superiority of the free market, free choice and free men. But ideologues never learn. Witness Bernie Sanders.

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Here's the safest comment on the news made by one of the country's Deep Thinkers, WSJ's Peggy Noonan, former presidential speechwriter: "Anyway, we are in some kind of moment." Aren't we always? That sage observer of human affairs, Inspector Clouseau, couldn't have put it any better. Or worse.

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Bernie Sanders, the socialist-Democratic-independent presidential candidate, is right about the country's needing a single-payer system of health care. Only the single payer ought to be the individual American taxpayer and patient instead of the unholy mix of Medicaid, Medicare, a Private Option that isn't so private and so confusingly on. Individuals should be able to buy their own insurance from any company across state lines, and those who can't afford insurance should get help with premiums through the government. End of today's lecture on Economics 101.

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Our president forgot to reauthorize the line item in next year's humongous federal budget authorizing scholarships to private schools for kids trapped in failing public ones. Or maybe he didn't forget at all but wanted to demonstrate his obeisance to the teachers' unions and all the other vested interests in keeping sorry public schools as sorry as they are. The same goes for Hillary Clinton, whose attempt to curry favor with black voters would be more impressive if she did something to actually help black kids.

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Just in time for North Korea to continue testing its nukes and expand the range of its ballistic missiles to this country's West Coast, the administration is letting Ronald Reagan's Star Wars defense fall into disrepair. Once upon a time the very mention of such a system was enough to end the Soviets' evil empire and the nuclear arms race that went with it. What, our marshmallow-in-chief worry? He's too busy appeasing the mullahs in Tehran -- and every other aggressor around the globe from Moscow to Damascus.

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Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, has joined Arkansas' own Mike Huckabee in leaving the presidential race. What? You mean he was still in it?