Monday, October 16, 2017

More on Hurricane Harvey



A few more bits and pieces on Harvey Weinstein, the Clinton clan, and democrats in general.

I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here!

Clinton, in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria as part of her ongoing book tour, said she was "sick" and "shocked" when she found out about the sexual assault allegations…

She’s shocked – shocked.  Apparently so shocked that she was in a coma or something for five days after hearing the news:

Clinton's initial silence -- it took her days to release a statement -- was perplexing to some Democrats, with even some longtime advisers privately questioning the decision not to quickly weigh in.

She is ready to do her part now; she will donate an amount equal to what Weinstein has given to her past campaigns – supposedly all of $13,000:

"What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they're going to donate it to charity, and of course I will do that," she said. "I give 10% of my income to charity every year, this will be part of that. There's no -- there's no doubt about it."

Wait a minute…she gives 10% every year anyway, and this $13,000 will be part of the 10% this year?  I guess it really is true – government accounting is different than normal accounting (do yourself a favor – take thirty seconds to watch the video).

But the best bit of news is hidden in this little gem:

The two were also personally close: In 2015, the Clintons rented a home next to Weinstein in the Hamptons.

Yes, that’s right.  Bill and Harvey as neighbors; that must have been quite a party.

No Background Check?

Malia Obama, 19, landed an internship at the Weinstein Company right after her dad left office earlier this year…

Now I know that this internship was after Barack left office, but gee…you would think that a former president could still pull a few strings at the FBI, especially since they were still working for him in any case.  But, really, the stories were already pretty well known.

I mean, really – it was just their teenage daughter going to the other side of the country – why worry about it?  After all, Harvey was a good friend – just ask Michelle, who said in 2013: “He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse…”

Oh…I forgot to mention…it also took Barack and Michelle five days to make a statement on the Weinstein affair.

Hillary, We’ve Tried to Get You to Shut-up for Almost a Year

One might wonder why all of this is coming out now.

I have heard some speculation about the reason that this Weinstein episode has become an issue at this time – and keep in mind, stories about him and others in Hollywood acting the same way have been around for decades.

Many democrats have been trying to get Hillary to go away ever since she lost to Trump; maybe the Clintons will not be able to run away from this connection. 

Keep in mind, the initial story on Weinstein was put forward by the New York Times.  The same New York Times that sat on the same story in 2004.  And outlets like CNN are making sure to tell us that Hillary took five days to make a statement.

There Goes the Neighborhood

Harvey Weinstein -- who more than anyone defined and shaped the sharp-elbowed art of Oscar campaigning -- has been expelled from the group that presents the Academy Awards.

I suspect about half of the members of this group deserve similar treatment.

The Hypocrisy of the Left

Chapter 1,256,723

You don’t get much more left than Hollywood, Clinton, or Obama.  You don’t get much more left than denouncing those who treat women as nothing but playthings.  You don’t get much more left than denouncing Trump for using locker room talk while ignoring people like Bill and Harvey.

Put it all together and you get your typical modern-day liberal.

A Bit on the Non-Aggression Principle

“If you want this job, you have to have sex with me.”

No violation.

“But bionic, all we need is for people to respect the NAP; nothing more is necessary.”

Sure.  You send your daughter out to live in that world.  Are you sure that that’s the world you want?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Harvey Weinstein: The Back Story



You know the story:

The New York Times last week broke the story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s long record of sexual harassment.

This had been going on for thirty years or more.  How could no one know the story?

But of course people knew about Harvey Weinstein. Like the New York Times, for instance. Sharon Waxman, a former reporter at the Times, writes in The Wrap how she had the story on Weinstein in 2004—and then he bullied the Times into dropping it. Matt Damon and Russell Crowe even called her directly to get her to back off the story.

See, Weinstein was protected.  Two things brought him down.  First, Weinstein owned significant resources in the journalist community, resources that were looking to stay on good terms with a major producer; through this, he was greatly able to control the story:

It’s because the media industry that once protected him has collapsed. The magazines that used to publish the stories Miramax optioned can’t afford to pay for the kind of reporting and storytelling that translates into screenplays.

It is because the best reporting is coming from bloggers, from the internet.  No one is paying for the privilege of reading so-called “news” put out by the gatekeepers.  So-called “fake news” is winning the day.

But this is nothing.  Second:

Rebecca Traister says the stories are coming out now because “our consciousness has been raised.” Between Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump, argues Traister, people are now accustomed to speaking and hearing the truth about famous, sexually abusive men.

This is wrong. It has nothing to do with “raised consciousness”—or else she wouldn’t have left off that list the one name obviously missing.

Yes, this is wrong, and it is wrong because the name left off of the list points to the primary reason that a) Weinstein has remained protected, and b) why he no longer is:

Which brings us, finally, to the other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Conclusion

Perhaps this is one of the main reasons that Hollywood is so up in arms about Clinton losing, Trump winning, and Putin.  Sleazeballs, every single one of them; sleazeballs that would see us in a nuclear war before giving up their corrupt and empty lifestyles.

Hillary did not need to look across Middle America to find the deplorables; she needed only to look at the tool next to her…and to look in the mirror.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Libertarianism and the “Alt-Right”



Annually Hans Hoppe and his wife Gulcin host a conference of the Property and Freedom Society, in Bodrum, Turkey.  From the “About” page:

The Property and Freedom Society stands for an uncompromising intellectual radicalism: for justly acquired private property, freedom of contract, freedom of association—which logically implies the right to not associate with, or to discriminate against—anyone in one’s personal and business relations—and unconditional free trade. It condemns imperialism and militarism and their fomenters, and champions peace. It rejects positivism, relativism, and egalitarianism in any form, whether of “outcome” or “opportunity,” and it has an outspoken distaste for politics and politicians.

Ever since this year’s conference, I have awaited publication of Hoppe’s speech from the conference; the title of this post is also the title of his speech.

Hoppe is at his best in this speech (but I cannot point to a speech he has given when he wasn’t).  He weaves a narrative through the co-opting of the terms liberal and liberalism, the current co-opting of the term libertarian, a strong critique of left-libertarians (including less-than-flattering words for Jeffrey Tucker).

He identifies the alt-right movement as beginning with Pat Buchanan in the early 1990s.  He draws the connections between the alt-right movement and libertarianism. 

He focusses on two questions: How to maintain a libertarian order once you have achieved it?  How to attain a libertarian order from a non-libertarian starting point?  To answer these questions, in addition to libertarian theory you need to understand human psychology and sociology.  While holding a coherent theory, many libertarians are blind to this reality of humans being human.

Alternatively, the alt-right better understands human psychology and sociology, yet has no coherent underlying theory; Hoppe describes the several positions of the alt-right that are contrary to libertarian theory.  Yet, the alt-right has brought to the surface the questions that libertarians (other than those like Hoppe) have been unable, or even impotent, to answer.

As must be obvious to anyone reading this blog for any period of time, I walk along a similar path…albeit about seven light-years behind Hoppe.

The video of his speech can be found here.  I understand a transcript will soon be available.  When it is, I will write a more extensive post.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Anthem




It is a sin to write this.
-        Anthem, Ayn Rand

Blasphemy.  The debate about the national anthem, standing, kneeling, sitting, troops, the NFL, Trump, Goodell.  Kneel to protest police brutality of minorities and in support of social justice; stand to honor the country and the troops.  These are the two sides, and this reality – that these are the only sides – is pounded into us all. 

Even those who kneel say that they support the troops.

Trump Embraces the Culture War, by Patrick J. Buchanan; commenting on the divide in the country represented by this anthem protest issue, Pence walking out of the stadium, etc.:

In the culture wars, Trump has rejected compromise or capitulation and decided to defend the ground on which his most loyal folks stand.

On the essentials of nationhood — ancestry, morality, faith, culture, history, heroes — we really are no longer one nation and one people.

He offers that Americans are now two people:

All weekend, viewers of cable TV were treated to self-righteous wailing from the acolytes of Colin Kaepernick, patron saint of the 49ers, that “taking the knee” to protest racism and racist cops is a most admirable exercise of the First Amendment right to protest. 

As an aside, it was a green beret or ranger or some such that told Kaepernick last year that kneeling would be respectful.

What Trump’s folks are saying in response is this:

“You may have a First Amendment right to disrespect our flag, or even to burn it, but you have no right to make us listen to you, or respect you, or buy tickets to your games, or watch you on Sunday.”

Two sides: social justice or embrace the government.

I fall on neither side.  When I am at an event where the anthem is performed, I don’t stand for the troops and the country, and I don’t kneel for social justice.  I either wander in the hallways outside of the main arena or remain seated in my chair.  I do this because I don’t honor the troops; I don’t equate country with government – and I very much protest the government.

What I protest is that this anthem has become synonymous with military worship; I protest the killing of millions of innocents overseas by troops who volunteer to do this killing.

I remember once wandering the halls, standing in line for food when the anthem began.  I am placing my order and the women behind the counter just stopped listening to me.  At first I couldn’t figure out why.  When I did, I thought – what a waste of my time; I can’t even order food while she stands in worship!

Another time I was wandering the halls and successfully escaped the anthem and the worship.  I went back to my seat…just in time for (unbeknownst to me beforehand) the introduction of a war vet – Afghanistan or Iraq, I don’t recall.  Everyone stood and cheered – louder than if the home team won the first championship in its and the city’s history.

I remained seated.

There aren’t two sides to this national anthem debate.  There are three…at least.

As an aside, I cannot express how much I am enjoying the NFL choking on the patriotism that they so eagerly stuff down our throats every day – all for a few shekels from the DOD.

A Curiosity

It is a sin to think words no others think.
-        Anthem, Ayn Rand

Last season the Oakland Raiders were one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl until their quarterback, Derek Carr, was injured and missed the playoffs.

This season, they were favored to at least get to the AFC Championship game; their first two games followed suit, as they pretty much destroyed their competition.  Derek Carr was playing great – as he did all of last year until his injury.

But in this third game?  The Raiders were pretty much destroyed:

Under pressure all night, Carr was 19 of 31 for 118 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Carr had thrown 112 consecutive passes before being picked off by Montae Nicholson on the second play of the game.

The Raiders went 0 of 11 on third down as part of their anemic offensive effort. Their 47 first-half yards were their fewest since Week 14 against Denver in 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Carr was sacked four times in this game, this after being sacked only twice in total in the previous two games combined.

Oh, did I forget to mention?  This third game was on the first big Sunday of anthem protests – after Trump first called out the NFL and its players.  But what does this have to do with Carr?

A vast majority of Raiders players sat on the bench arm in arm. Carr was among those standing, along with [Raiders coach] Del Rio.

They have lost two more games since.  One wonders if the team gave up on the coach and the quarterback. 

Conclusion

Anthem of the heart and mind
A funeral dirge for eyes gone blind

-        Anthem, Rush