Why Do The Super-Rich Keep Comparing Obama To Hitler?

Tom Perkins

The Article: Why Do the Super-Rich Keep Comparing Obama to Hitler? by Matthew O’Brien in The Atlantic.

The Text: First, they came for the bailed-out bankers’ bonuses, and I did not speak out, because I wasn’t a banker.

Then they came for the hedge fund managers’ tax loophole, and I did not speak out, because I wasn’t a hedge fund manager.

Then they came for novelist Danielle Steel’s hedges, and finally I did speak out, because I know her, and I’m a knight—a literal knight of the Kingdom of Norway—so I thought I’d get on my high horse and charge forth in her defense.

This is the Ballad of Tom Joad Perkins, Silicon Valley’s legendary venture capitalist. He had to speak out after he saw the appalling way the San Francisco Chronicle disparaged his ex-wife Ms. Steel’s plots, prose, and shrubbery.

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The Case For Socialized Law

Lady Justice

The Article: The Case For Socialized Law by Noam Scheiber in The New Republic.

The Text: Maintain and refine, maintain and refine. That’s how progressives talk about the welfare state these days. After nearly a century of expanding government with programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and food stamps, suddenly the best the left can come up with are relative stutter-steps like universal pre-K. Liberal Democrats all but concede that Obamacare marked the end of their activist ambitions. Hereafter, we will all take vigorous walks and watch prestige dramas on HBO.

But there’s still at least one major social-welfare project the left must see through before anyone considers its mission accomplished. The issue is the vast injustice that arises from the way the law is applied to different classes of citizens.

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Stop Embarrassing Yourselves, One Percenters

One Percent

The Article: One percenters, stop embarrassing yourselves! by John Macintosh in CNN.

The Text: Tom Perkins, a well-known venture capitalist, got himself in hot water when he compared the “progressive war on the 1%” with Nazis’ treatment of Jews in World War II. Although Perkins apologized for his comments, he stood by his main point that anger at the rich is a wrong and dangerous attitude.

It’s easy to dismiss Perkins’ sentiment as nothing more than the ill-advised ravings of a cantankerous, thin-skinned old man. But it also illustrates just how bizarre things have gotten for some wealthy people, who find themselves in a new socially constructed category and on the wrong side of a resurgent but elusive political ideal, facing off against mesmerizing populist adversaries.

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West Virginia And Stockholm Syndrome

Coal West Virginia

The Article: West Virginians say they don’t fault coal industry for water crisis by Wilson Dizard in Al Jazeera.

The Text: Many West Virginians don’t blame the coal industry for the spill of a coal-processing chemical that has tainted the water of 300,000 people around Charleston, the state capital.

Indeed, some of those who live in parts of coal country — much of which is suffering from decades-long legacies of mining pollution — say coal is the state’s only hope for employment and progress.

To the outside observer, mining can look like a blight on the Mountain State, not a blessing, with dozens of white and gray scars of blown-off green mountaintops across southern West Virginia visible in satellite images from miles above.

But the feeling on the ground can be very different.

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Being Gay In Putin’s Russia

Putin Russia

The Article: The Brutal, Bloody Horror of Gay Life in Putin’s Russia by Mark Joseph Stern in Slate.

The Text: Ever since virulently homophobic Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed through a law effectively outlawing openly gay people, the country’s LGBTQ community has, predictably, been plagued by violence. Now a study published in Harvard University’s Health and Human Rights journal confirms what myriad horrific anecdotes suggest: Gay people in Russia are being beaten, raped, and murdered at record rates—and the government is doing little to stop it.

The issue of violence against gays in Russia is, of course, nothing new. Before the passage of the new federal measure, several regional governments passed identical laws, stripping gay citizens of legal rights and human dignity. More than one-half of Russian gays reported psychological abuse, while 16 percent experienced physical assault, and 7 percent were raped. Yet 77 percent also reported complete distrust of the police, leaving most anti-gay crimes unreported.

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