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Feb 05 2016

Hate Hoax at SUNY Albany

If it is too good to be true from the point of view of advancing the liberal narrative, that is because it is not true — as was demonstrated most recently at the Albany campus of the State University of New York.

Earlier, WREN reported:

Early Saturday morning, three UAlbany students were allegedly harassed and assaulted while riding on a CDTA bus on Western Ave in Albany.

The three students, who are three black females, said racial slurs were used by the perpetrators, whom they described as a group of 10 to 12 white males and females.

The educrats who have done everything in their power to encourage fascistic and disruptive Black Lives Matter type shenanigans could be counted on to take this to town:


By now you can guess the rest of the story. Predictably,

The incident sparked Black Lives Matter protests at the school, as demonstrated by this image from a Times Union article:


Protesters, including members of the National Congress of Black Women and the Albany chapter of Black Lives Matter, showed signs of support for the women, demanding change in the form of hiring minority faculty and providing sensitivity training for University police.

As it turns out, the biggest crime at SUNY Albany may have been the crimes against grammar committed on the signs protesters were carrying.

Parents shelling out money for an education at the school may want to reevaluate after seeing students carrying signs with the phrases “Stay Woke,” or “Keep Black Womyn Safe.”

Affirmative Action has taken a heavy toll on admission standards.

The hoax disintegrated when video of the incident came to light:

Officials, including the Albany County DA, are looking at security video from inside the bus. The bus had at least 12 cameras on it, which include audio. Sources tell NEWS10 ABC the video is damaging the young women’s accusations.

The events described by the supposed victims apparently cannot be found on the video footage. The invariably alleged racial slurs cannot be heard. Evidently three rude black women got into some minor altercation and thought it would be fun to stick it to white people with yet another hate hoax.

The hoax was less fun for the real victims. One of the hoaxers is Asha Burwell, the sister of Tyreek Burwell of the San Diego Chargers, who tweeted this before deleting it:


The innocent student Burwell threatened has left the school out of fear for his safety.

Please welcome Asha Burwell and friends to the Hate Hoax List.

On tips from rpp and Varla.

Feb 04 2016

Open Thread


Compliments of Stormfax.

Feb 04 2016

Bernie Sanders Supporters Struggle to Define Socialism

We all know that Bernie Sanders is a socialist because that’s what he has been calling himself for many years. But given the general decay in political awareness, do we know what that means? Sanders’s own supporters don’t seem to:

Here’s a definition of socialism: A system under which you work not for your own benefit or your family’s benefit, but as a cog in a government-dominated machine, so that the wealth you create can be handed over to others by tyrants helped to power by the sort of cretins on display in this video.

On a tip from Eddie_Valiant.

Feb 04 2016

Public Service Video Defends Finnish Women From Rapist Refugees

It is an established convention in savage cultures that they rape the women of conquered populations. This practice has been conspicuously in evidence as Muslims use their sheer numbers and the complicity of treasonous politicians to conquer Europe after many centuries of effort. But at least Finnish women don’t have to worry. They have been protected against sexual assault by this public service video, which has been running on Finnish TV:

A whack with a purse is certain to send a mob of fighting age “refugees” running for cover.

No wonder the Islamic colonists rape so many women, if this is all the resistance they have come to expect.

No word on whether the Finnish government is behind funding billboards like these throughout the Middle East and Africa:


On tips from Dan F and Cristina dO.

Feb 04 2016

Why the Cruz Campaign Thought Carson Was Dropping Out

Rather than accept the current anti-Cruz media spin, why don’t we go back to the original source and see for ourselves why the Cruz campaign thought Carson was dropping out of the race? They saw this on CNN:

In light of this information, I still think Carson is dropping out. He just hasn’t made it official yet. No way is Carson serious about winning the nomination.

To hear Mark Levin fit this into the full nontroversy of the Cruz campaign’s supposed election fraud, visit The Right Scoop.

On a tip from Elk Tracks.

Feb 04 2016

A Ward of the Welfare State Shares Her Tale of Woe

To understand the appeal of the socialist Bernie Sanders, look to the horrific plight of professional baby-maker Tiera Williams, who lives with her four offspring at a Days Inn in DC, as described in a tearjerker piece at WaPo:

They occupy a hidden world of desperation and poverty mixed with every-other-day maid service, free WiFi, continental breakfast in the lobby, and lunch and dinner in the 170-room motel’s banquet room.

A woman who works for a living can pay $100 per night to stay with four kids at a Days Inn in the Washington area. Yet Tiera is unsatisfied with her free accommodations:

“After being here for too long, you are going to end up going crazy. Because it is so small. So many people packed into one room.” …

They’ve been living here since August when Williams — then six months pregnant and unemployed with no place to go — called the city’s homeless hotline.

“Hello, homeless hotline? I want free room and board for myself and my brood. When I get it, I will gripe.”

Williams dumps bags of groceries on the motel room desk. In the mini refrigerator, she stacks yogurt, apples, oranges and a roasted chicken they will have for dinner that night. She uses her food stamps to buy meals because she doesn’t like eating the pasta, casseroles, chicken, hot dogs and other dishes the city provides at the motel.

“The meat,” she says, “is questionable.”

Here’s how fate placed her in these dire straits:

She was 19 when she met the man who would become her daughter’s father. She moved to the District to be with him. But the relationship, she says, was controlling and abusive. She left him when her daughter was 4 months old and spent several months at two shelters before moving into an apartment in Southeast Washington.

Much the same thing happened again in August when she left the father of her three other children because they were arguing all the time.

That is, she put herself in her situation, as is usually the case.

Paying customers who would like to stay at this Day’s Inn are out of luck. It was booked solid at the time of the report. Due to the housing project ambiance, it is doubtful that paying customers would enjoy the place anyway.

[M]others … sit in doorways, half inside their rooms, half outside, as they watch restless children ride bicycles in circles in the parking lot. A woman in a pink headscarf has pulled a nightstand out of her motel room and is yelling something incomprehensible at someone inside the room.

Here’s why DC hotels are choked with wards of the welfare state like Tiera:

The District has been placing homeless families in motels ever since city voters passed Initiative 17, a 1984 law that guarantees overnight shelter to the homeless during hypothermia season. In the years that followed, the number of families seeking shelter exploded.

Bureaucrats couldn’t find a suitable place to house them. Since taxpayers have plenty of money, they settled on hotels.

There were 730 homeless families living in the Days Inn and at least 11 other motels, including 1,300 children, according to a recent night census.

Assuming each of those children have children, and they reproduce at the same rate as Tiera (who at 25 years old probably isn’t done yet), the Days Inn should stay booked for some time. This is good news for Democrats, but bad news for taxpayers.

American Thinker provides a few questions for discussion:

1) Tiera has only four children. How many more children does she need to produce before being given an additional hotel room?

2) Why should Tiera and her kids have to eat in the banquet hall every day if they are in a hotel with room service?

3) Is there a constitutional right for people on welfare to have their food prepared and served to them?

4) If the maid providing maid service works hard cleaning Tiera’s room, do you think she makes enough money to take care of her kids?

5) If Tiera is getting only basic cable on her TV, would a Bernie Sanders presidency fund a program to get her HBO and a decent pay-per-view package?

Consider the demographic consequences of rewarding the indolent for producing children out of wedlock, while paying for it by taxing those who work to such an extreme that two incomes are mandatory, and women are too busy earning a paycheck to raise children.

You don’t need open borders or to roll out a red carpet for “refugees” to reduce your own country to a dysfunctional Third World hellhole. All you need is the welfare state.

Tiera and her brood.

On a tip from Artfldgr.

Feb 04 2016

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä Won’t Be Putting Up Refugees in His Own Home After All

Some have asked why the left-liberal politicians who are washing away their countries in a tsunami of “refugees” don’t put up the invaders in their own homes, if they are so concerned with the well-being of those in other lands. Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä proved the sincerity of his morbid altruism by agreeing to do just that. But not being totally insane, he soon changed his mind:

Sipila, a former telecoms executive, prompted controversy in September by saying he would open his second home in northern Finland to refugees.

But on Sunday he told public YLE radio that he had had to put the plan on hold because of security concerns…

Sipila has one house near the capital, Helsinki, as well as a government residence. The house that he proposed to offer to refugees is one that he rarely uses in his home town of Kempele.

No matter; Sipilä’s asinine offer has already had its effect:

Some politicians and members of the public had accused Sipila of encouraging refugees to come to Finland with his offer.

Finland received close to 32,000 asylum seekers in 2015, up from 3,600 in 2014.

In a country with a population under 5.5 million, that is a lot of mostly unassimilable potentially terrorist welfare recipients to absorb.

The influx, at a time of economic recession, has boosted anti-immigrant sentiment and prompted vigilante groups to patrol the streets saying they need to protect native Finns from migrants.

Too bad making his own country unsafe for the native population doesn’t give Sipilä “security concerns.”

Sipilä won’t be boarding “refugees” after all.

On a tip from ABC of the ANC.

Feb 04 2016

Jimmy Carter Prefers Trump to Cruz

Trump sure has a knack for gathering endorsements. For reasons similar to those of far-left garden gnome Robert Reich, Jimmy Carter also prefers The Donald to Ted Cruz:

Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that if he had to choose, he’d pick Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over rival Ted Cruz, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. …

“The reason is, Trump has proven already he’s completely malleable,” Carter said. “I don’t think he has any fixed (positions) he’d go the White House and fight for. On the other hand, Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far right-wing policies he’d pursue if he became president.”

An unstated reason for Carter to prefer Trump is that given the latter’s conspicuous character flaws and lack of political principles or expertise, he might knock Carter down to third place on the All Time Worst Presidents list. Prior to Obama, Carter topped this list.

Also, he must like Trump’s attitude toward Israel.

On tips from Varla and Henry.

Feb 04 2016

$1.7 Billion in Apparent Ransom Payment to Iran

Americans are advised to take extra caution when traveling abroad. It appears Hanoi John Kerry has just placed a price on our heads by paying a massive ransom to the terrorist regime in Iran for four kidnapped Americans:

A powerful U.S. lawmaker on Wednesday demanded Secretary of State John Kerry provide an explanation of a $1.7 billion claim settlement paid to Iran just as Tehran released American prisoners last month.

Republican Ed Royce, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote that the timing of the settlement and the administration’s failure to brief Congress “has led some to express concern that the payment represents a de facto ‘ransom’ for the release of American hostages.”

No no no, it wasn’t ransom; it was mostly “interest.”

On Jan. 17, the State Department said the United States and Iran had settled a longstanding claim at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, releasing to Tehran $400 million in funds frozen since 1981 plus $1.3 billion in interest.

Rather than paying a ransom, Obama/Kerry could have included release of the imprisoned Americans as part of the deal granting Iran a pathway to nuclear weapons. But negotiating skills are not their strong suit.

With this kind of money involved, kidnapping Americans is likely to come into vogue.


Hat tip: The Hemingway Report.

Feb 04 2016

Trump Drops Like a Rock in First National Poll Since Iowa

Compare this poll from mid December…


…with this one that just came out:


Just because they report it on MSNBC doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The Donald has dropped 9 points since the last time they took the poll.

Wait until the effect of Trump jumping the shark completely by demanding a mulligan on the Caucuses hits. Already we can stick a fork in his supposed inevitability.

Via The Right Pundit, on a tip from JusttheTipHQ.

Feb 04 2016

Weirdness and Wackiness at Hillary’s Post-Caucuses Speech

Just how peculiar would you have to be to want someone as corrupt, incompetent, and personally unappealing as the shrieking moonbat harridan Shrillary Rotten Clinton to be president? One of her supporters demonstrates the answer by covering his face in Hillary stickers and then apparently trying to eat them off his own cheeks during her shrill speech after the Iowa Caucuses:

At the same event, Slick Willie was wearing his Shrillary button upside down so that it appropriately pointed backward instead of forward:


The Caucuses effectively ended in a tie with a crazy old commie who has zero support among grownups; Shrillary’s nominal victory was achieved by supposedly winning six straight coin tosses. Her march on the White House is not off to a propitious start.

Via Weekly Standard, on a tip from Steve A.

Feb 04 2016

Gays Indulge in Heterophobia as San Francisco Diversifies

With militant members of minorities, tolerance and diversity are only good until they get the upper hand. Then they want to be sure not to lose it:

When Cleve Jones, a longtime gay activist who led the creation of the Aids Memorial Quilt, went to his local gay bar in the Castro district, he saw something that shocked him.

“The tech bros had taken over The Mix. They commanded the pool table and the patio. These big, loud, butch guys. It was scary,” he said. “I’m not heterophobic, but I don’t want to go to a gay bar and buy some guy a drink and have him smirk and tell me he’s straight.”

Imagine someone saying, “I’m not homophobic, but I don’t want to go to a regular bar and have sexual deviants give me creepy looks.” Concerned citizens would notify the Thought Police.

Residents of San Francisco’s historically gay Castro district are worried that it’s changing, as speculators come in to flip the few remaining ramshackle old Victorians and the old-timer gay bars shutter. In a recent small survey, 77% of people who have lived in the neighborhood for 10 or more years identified as gay, while only 55% of those who moved in the past year did. …

“When you lose the geographic concentration, you lose a lot,” Jones said. “We lose the cultural vitality, the political power – you also lose the specialized social services.”

Then there is the feel of the place, which is becoming lost as an alien culture intrudes.

Amy Sueyoshi, 45, associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, says she [?] now feels less safe as a genderqueer person walking around San Francisco…

“The Dyke March has become this huge frat party … All these straight dudes and their girlfriends are descending on the park and setting up hammocks,” Sueyoshi said. “It’s a little bit sad.”

She followed up with an email: “I do like to go to places in and around the Castro for Happy Hour or a snack and I’ve noticed more straight people making out at these places where I go deliberately to NOT feel like I am oppressed by heterosexuality. Really, straight people do you HAVE to make out in the Castro as well? Good Lord.”

There goes the neighborhood!

Local drag queen Charlie Ballard doesn’t want straight people in his audience.

On a tip from Bodhisattva.

Feb 03 2016

Open Thread


Via Strange Politics, on a tip from TED.

Feb 03 2016

Former Amarillo Resident Karen Sherman Sounds the Alarm on Islamic Resettlement

Karen Sherman saw what the federal government’s practice of establishing Islamic colonies throughout the country did to Amarillo. Having moved north, she is sounding the alarm in Montana. With luck, her warning will spread far beyond.

More than 120 people braved the snow and ice Monday to rally in front of the Missoula County Courthouse, protesting an effort by the Obama administration and its army of community organizers to plant foreign “refugees” into small cities in western Montana.

One of the speakers was a woman who moved recently to Montana from Amarillo, Texas, which has been inundated with thousands of refugees over the past 15 years.

“Amarillo is overrun with refugees,” said Karen Sherman…

What she had to say is worth hearing:

If only the MSM were responsible enough to share this sort of information.

On a tip from Stormfax.

Feb 03 2016

Mizzou Law Prof Thomas Lambert on the Price of Caving to Militant Moonbats

Ground zero for the latest incarnation of progressive totalitarianism has been the University of Missouri, where Black Lives Matter types forced out the president and have largely reduced the school to a laughing stock (see here, here, here, here, here, and here). Thomas Lambert teaches law at Mizzou. He observes that the eruptions of moonbattery at the Columbia campus and educrats’ capitulation to them have had three major effects:

First, a great university needs well-qualified students and the financial resources to hire and retain top faculty. Capitulating to the protesters has impaired Mizzou’s ability to secure both.

Not surprisingly, applications are down significantly. According to a leaked internal memorandum, undergraduate applications for the 2016-17 term dropped by five percent from the previous year. Graduate applications fell a whopping 19 percent.

In particular, applications from students with high ACT scores (30 or above) were down 7.7 percent, and the number of African-American applicants plummeted by 19 percent.

Smart kids would rather learn than waste their time striking juvenile political poses. Apparently this goes double for the blacks whom BLM kooks allegedly represent.

Second, free speech and open inquiry will suffer. …

Much of this is just the silly, relatively harmless, political correctness we’ve come to expect on college campuses. Some efforts, though, threaten to undermine the open inquiry that should lie at the heart of a university.

Who wants to go to school in a multiculti version of East Germany?

Finally, and most ironically, the protesters’ success is likely to worsen race relations at Mizzou.

As noted, an apparent result of the protests has been a disproportionate reduction in applications from black candidates. Following last fall’s turmoil, however, there is tremendous pressure on admissions officials to increase the percentage of black students.

To achieve that with a “whiter” pool of applicants, the university will have to admit a higher percentage of black candidates than in the past, but that will require lower admissions standards for black students. The result will be to increase the discrepancy between the credentials of Mizzou’s white and black students.

That is likely to impair race relations by fueling “implicit bias” against black students.

One of the major complaints of the protesters was that white members of the Mizzou community, even if not overtly racist, implicitly believed their black colleagues were less qualified, and often acted in ways that betrayed that belief.

The higher they turn up the dial on Affirmative Action to meet their quotas, the more that belief will be justified, further poisoning race relations.

Mizzou should serve as the canary in the coalmine of campus moonbattery. With luck, other schools will see what the school did to itself by caving to adolescent thugs and turn back from the edge rather than plunge into the bottomless abyss of progressive totalitarianism.

Letting these fascistic clowns call the shots hasn’t turned out so well.

Hat tip: Maggie’s Farm.

Feb 03 2016

Trump Shrieks That Cruz Stole Iowa

Barely holding on to second place must have delivered a traumatic blow to The Donald’s hypertrophied ego. Either that or he can feel the wheels coming off his campaign. This is desperate:

The justification for his outlandish accusation:

Pushing the envelope right off the edge of the table, Trump is demanding a do-over for the Caucus he lost.

Despite disappointingly unfair rhetoric from Carson, there is no evidence that any malice or dishonesty was involved. Reporters were told that Carson was going home rather than to New Hampshire or South Carolina after the Iowa Caucuses. CNN reported it. The worse thing the Cruz people could be accused of is jumping the gun by making the natural assumption that Carson was dropping out, then not rushing to correct the mistake. Cruz apologized and Carson accepted his apology, although he continues to exploit the incident in order to demonize Cruz and portray himself as a victim.

Unsavory attempts to kneecap opponents are unsurprising with Trump, but don’t seem to come as naturally to Carson, who looked particularly lame and evasive when given a chance to back up his attack:

On tips from Torcer. Hat tip: Twitchy.

Feb 03 2016

University of Connecticut Reintroduces Segregated Housing

Under the Reign of Moonbattery, all that was old is new again, except that now it is upside down and backward. For example, segregation is making a comeback:

Faced with alarmingly low graduation rates for black males, the University of Connecticut is trying something it calls bold — and critics call segregation.

The school’s main campus in Storrs has launched a program slated for fall in which 40 black male undergraduates live together in on-campus housing. Proponents believe the students can draw on their common experiences and help each other make it to commencement.

Indulging in moonbattery is like telling lies. Once you start, you just keep digging yourself deeper. The reason so many black students fail to graduate is that they are accepted on the basis of their race rather than their academic potential. The solution of course is to double down on the race-based lunacy by providing them with special segregated housing, which will aggravate their sense of grievance and separation, encouraging them to wallow unproductively in their racial identity rather than struggling to achieve as individuals.

ScHOLA²RS House – which stands for “Scholastic House of Leaders who are African American Researchers and Scholars” – was designed so UConn could more effectively marshal resources for black males…

Hey, what about black females?

“My immediate thought was ‘What?’” Haddiyyah Ali, an Africana studies and political science major, told Daily Campus. “I know there had to be a lot of research that went into it…but just for me coming from a student perspective, my initial thought was, ‘What about black women and girls – what about us?’”

Next transsexuals will step forward to demand their own housing, then Muslims, then dwarves…

Nonetheless, critics of ScHOLA²RS House have to shut up, because they are racist:

Puppetry major Isaac Bloodworth told Daily Campus that opposition could be rooted in racism.

“The white portion of the University of Connecticut is probably not ready for it,” he said. “You have people who are going to go against it because they are just racist and they see this as a form of segregation or that we’re getting better things than they are.”

You read that correctly; Isaac is a puppetry major. UConn offers not just a course but an entire degree program in puppetry. Put that in the context of Bernie Sanders promising free college for everyone and it becomes clear that we have bigger problems than whether ScHOLA²RS House or opposition to ScHOLA²RS House is more racist. But it is still fun to watch and laugh as political correctness implodes under the pressure of its own absurdity.

Putting a degree in puppetry to work.

On tips from Steve T, Varla, and Bill T.

Feb 03 2016

DC to Pay Stipend to Criminals Who Don’t Get Caught

If all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail. The hammer for Democrats is passing out other people’s money. This solution is applied to every problem — even crime:

The D.C. Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. It’s based on a program in Richmond, California…

Under the bill, city officials would identify up to 200 people a year who are considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. Those people would be directed to participate in behavioral therapy and other programs. If they fulfill those obligations and stay out of trouble, they would be paid.

The bill doesn’t specify the value of the stipends, but participants in the California program receive up to $9,000 per year.

Presumably that comes on top of generous welfare payments in most cases.

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, a Democrat who wrote the legislation, said it was part of a comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime in the city, which experienced a 54 percent increase in homicides last year.

Like a true liberal, Councilmember Kenyan proclaims that he is “addressing the root causes” of crime. True enough, criminals often commit crimes because they want other people’s money. If the government steals the money for them, they don’t have to do it themselves. Although this would not reduce crime, it would theoretically advance the progressive goal of Big Government achieving a monopoly on crime.

One advantage of the program is that it is extensible. When it invariably fails, bureaucrats will reflexively respond by expanding it. This can be done by increasing the stipends, and possibly by paying people for each individual law that they do not get caught breaking.

We should be paid not to throw rotten tomatoes at McDuffie.

On tips from Bodhisattva and Torcer.

Feb 03 2016

Shrillary Promises to Subsidize 500,000,000 Solar Panels

Among the most intolerable not to mention prison-worthy aspects of Obama’s rule has been his habit of transferring $billions of public money to his supporters after superficially laundering the funds through fiscally absurd green energy boondoggles like Solyndra. If you have liked Obama’s corruption, you will love President Shrillary’s:

Speaking at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said fighting climate change will “create millions of jobs” and pledged that if she is elected she will put in place “half a billion more solar panels.”

For now, let’s leave aside the facts that the climate has always changed and always will, that there is nothing the government can do about it, and that “fighting climate change” is no less insane than fighting the passage of time.

Presumably Shrillary will put these panels in place by subsidizing them, if not by mandating them. The drain on the economy of forcing people to use less economically efficient means of generating energy on a massive scale is certain to destroy more jobs than it would create. Again we see that economic illiteracy is a Democrat’s best friend.

The 500,000,000 solar panels agenda item is only for her first term. Should America survive to a second Shrillary term, she promises to impose “clean energy to power every home.” Clean energy means energy too economically inefficient for widespread use in the absence of government subsidies.

Gasoline has dropped to $1.79/gallon due to its abundance. But forcing us to use featherweight deathtrap vehicles that run on “clean energy” is also a feature of the liberal agenda. Anything that makes no sense economically is liable to be coercively advanced by Democrats.

Green energy visualized.

On a tip from JusttheTipHQ.

Feb 03 2016

Puerto Rico Provides a Lesson Regarding Free Stuff

Bernie Sanders says he will give us all sorts of stuff for free. But that will not make anyone happy, as Puerto Ricans are beginning to understand. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has been giving out power for free. The results have been catastrophic:

[The city of] Aguadilla has 19 city-owned restaurants and a city-owned hotel, a water park billed as biggest in the Caribbean, a minor-league baseball stadium bathed in floodlights and a waterfront studded with dancing fountains and glimmering streetlights.

Most striking is the ice-skating rink. Unusual in a region where the temperature rarely drops below 70 degrees, the rink is complete with a disco ball and laser lights.

Signs warn skaters not to wear shorts.

“Imagine how much it costs to have an ice-skating rink in the tropics,” said Sergio Marxuach, policy director at the Center for a New Economy, a nonpartisan research group in San Juan.

And that is the catch. What most likely would be the biggest recurring expense for these attractions — electricity — costs Aguadilla nothing. It has been provided free for years by the power authority, known as Prepa.

In fact, the power authority has been giving free power to all 78 of Puerto Rico’s municipalities, to many of its government-owned enterprises, even to some for-profit businesses — although not to its citizens. It has done so for decades, even as it has sunk deeper and deeper in debt, borrowing billions just to stay afloat.

Now, however, the island’s government is running out of cash, facing a total debt of $72 billion and already defaulting on some bonds — and an effort is underway to limit the free electricity, which is estimated to cost the power authority hundreds of millions of dollars.

But like many financial arrangements on the island, the free electricity is so tightly woven into the fabric of society that unwinding it would have vast ramifications and, some say, only worsen the plight of the people who live here.

If only they had not become reliant on the free electricity. Being $9 billion in debt, Prepa won’t be able to provide it indefinitely.

Like Social Security, this unsustainable mess dates from FDR’s administration:

The free power dates from 1941, when the utility was established by Rexford Tugwell, a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s brain trust and the last American governor of Puerto Rico to be appointed by the president of the United States. He contended that for electricity to benefit the people, it had to be owned by the people, and he created Prepa by nationalizing the handful of private electric companies then on the island.

The private companies had paid local property taxes, but publicly owned Prepa did not. Free electricity was intended to make up for the lost tax revenue.

City governments were supposed to pay Prepa for energy use that exceeded lost tax revenue, but that has proved to be unworkable.

If the power authority were to demand immediate payment from them, it could set off a domino effect of defaults and insolvencies.

So the power remains free, and continues to be wasted on frivolous projects like tropical skating rinks — until Prepa goes bankrupt and there is no more power. The Puerto Rican government is too deep in hock to be much help.

Already Prepa once threatened to cut off power to the main airport in San Juan. Despite or rather because of the power being free, “Nobody’s happy,” according to Eduardo Bhatia, president of the Puerto Rico Senate.

No worries; American taxpayers will surely bail out Puerto Ricans, who no doubt will do the same for us if Sanders gets elected. Just kidding.

On a tip from R F.

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