Posted in Politics

Response to @Sargon_of_Akkad in @YouTube comments

1:44 A degree of socialism IS a necessary evil. [Only for socialists; freedom-lovers trust private entrepreneurs and know from experience that they are more responsive to customers than bureaucrats ever are. I wonder what you think of Ayn Rand or her “Atlas Shrugged?”] So are taxes. So is exercise. [Sorry, not “evil;” just a choice.] So is petrol for your car.[Not evil either. Do you prefer horses? Good luck getting to Europe or Australia – in a timely manner.] There are many things that are necessary evils for the individual that we tolerate for the betterment of society. This is not totalitarianism. I find it laughable that you’d suggest it was, but then, if you heavily agree with a lot of what Adam Baldwin was saying, I can already see that we do not agree on much.

2:23 I already live in a country that has a degree of socialism. We don’t have gulags, just if you’re wondering. It seems that your opposition to what I’ve said is based on a slippery slope fallacy. [Yup. Politicians are not to be trusted. This goes double for avowed Progressives since we know who their mentors are. i.e. Saul Alinsky for one. Witness “missing” emails of Clinton2016; missing emails of IRS chieftess; and on & on] If we have a small degree of socialism, for some reason we’ll become Stalinists who execute the political opposition. [You won’t, as you don’t like guns, but you can’t say the same for those you put in power or who come into power.]

2:57 Um, I don’t really see what you find outrageous about this. Communism DOES sound good, but, as I said in the quote you just gave, it doesn’t work. [What is “good” about faceless unaccountable bureaucrats managing every conceivable business/industry? Are you not sufficiently frustrated by dealing with the phone-trees of Big Businesses that you’d welcome settling every product-shortcoming, shipping error, or damage through government-interaction? Oh, God!]

3:10 Are you aware that the American government is responsible for murdering millions of civilians as well, right? 2 million Vietnamese, 1 million Iraqis, 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions, etc etc. Nobody is innocent. [That sucks. It’s evil. But as the song says, “War, huh, good God, what is it good for?” NOT absolutely nothing, rather, absolutely ONE thing: the Military (i.e. Government)-Industrial Complex. Talk to the politicians & crony-crapitalists.]

3:26 I’m not quiet about it, I’m VERY GLAD THE UK DOES NOT HAVE GUNS. Thankfully, we’re not a republic, and we don’t have the worry the US does about tyranny. [I’m confused as to why you believe your plot-of-dirt & the elites who rule over it & you are IMMUNE? Power corrupts.]

3:45 If we have a degree of socialism, and you have a degree of socialism, is it actually the mortal wound for a society that you’re making it out to be? [Time will tell. Exceptions like Obamacare aside, Government overreach is typically like a glacier: it’s always moving outwards, just not noticeably most of the time. Somewhere I have the interesting (!) figures on how many shelf-inches our IRS statutes took up 40 or 50 years ago compared to around 2000. That’s just one illustration of the staggering increase in government “control.”]

4:32 They’re never, ever going to overthrow the British government. [I don’t pray, but I’ll consider doing so just for this to be true!] 4:41 No, you’re an alarmist. [Agree; I see the Worst Case Scenario in everything.]

4:57 It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

5:24 No, the government can also help by incentives. [Alas, the USA War on Poverty did the opposite – like its War on Drugs. There’s more of both. The only “incentive” is for single women to stay single and increase their “family” size to increase the benefits. I like a fellow YT’er’s idea: dorms for these purposefully-fatherless families with communal (!) meals. Now that’s an incentive to stay out of the welfare system.] But anyway, the alternative is a client-patron model along the Roman lines – a model which still flourishes in modern Italy today. This model is notoriously corrupt and all of the Italians I’ve ever spoken to are dead-set against it for that reason.

5:30 I don’t agree that taxation is theft.

5:55 Honestly, I’d probably make it higher were I made dictator of Earth. You speak as if millionaires are plowing the fields and giving away half of their produce. They are, in reality, exploiting a system and while that in itself is no bad thing, the excesses of the system absolutely need to be curbed. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but we recently learned that 1% of the population of the earth has 50% of the wealth. This is insane, and only an insane person would support a system like that. [Barring inherited wealth (Like the Kennedys, say), you make it sound like all you need to do is rob people at gunpoint to become a millionaire. Any idea of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into building such businesses? Now if you are referring to the Wall Street types that futures-trade/speculate and generally mess with the actual market-value of commodities? Yeah, I despise those gamers, too. But again, I believe a lot of that is due to the corrupting effect of Wall Street+ DC politicians. I could be wrong.]

6:21 Now that sounded like politics of envy. If you don’t want to pay so much tax, why not get a different job so you drop below the 50% tax rate? Ah, because you want to enjoy the benefit of being one of society’s highest earners without contributing anything back to the system that enabled you to do this in the first place. [High earners (other than Wall Street sleazers) HAVE contributed: they make PRODUCTS we buy; provide services we use…remember the AA woman you critiqued bragging how even millions of poor Africans have smart-phones? THAT is “giving back.” Neither those Africans nor myself could have made OUR OWN smart phones. The inventor, designer, manufacturer, etc, makes my life better for all their big-$$$ incomes. I’m happy for that. Can’t you see what The Market has given you? I can. “No one can make a pencil.”] We can’t all be winners, some people have to be at the bottom. [Sarcasm?]

6:37 It’s not an infinite system. [Imagination is unlimited. “Better mousetraps,” as the saying goes, are invented all the time.] Everything has limits, [Not human-ingenuity] even the amount of public debt America can handle. [“Government debt”, but agree.]

6:58 That does not change the amount of dollars in the system. [Dollars are symbolic of “value.” So agree that printing “paper dollars” is the problem. That does NOT create anything of true value; it appeases “the people” who get handed the pieces of worth-less paper in the form of welfare, student-loans, small-business-loans, etc.] The issue America is having is wealth hoarding. [Hoarding pieces of paper printed by idiots IS idiotic.] The issue is distribution, not quantity.

7:33 The definition is based on the value of the dollar. In Zimbabwe there are many multi-trillionaires, but very few rich people.

8:23 So what? So because I have now become rich, we should change the definition to suit me? What a childish notion. 8:28 I will grumble into my caviar in the huge dining room of my mansion about it. [LOL]

8:56 Listen, when Bill Gates drops $1000 on the floor, it is not worth his time to bend and pick it up. He makes THAT much money per hour. [Do you seriously believe he has forgotten the “value” of $1000? You don’t think he remembers what it was like to be an entry-level hamburger flipper?] These people are NOT labouring, they are the recipients of investments, hedge funds and stocks. [Based upon their ORIGINAL designs and labor.] They are profiting from OTHER PEOPLES’ LABOUR. [A business man pays his workers, or he is a slave owner. Even slave owners (like parents, actually!) “paid” food, housing, clothing, as bad as it was. And I’m NOT saying slavery is a good thing!]

9:20 Okay, I’m done. My religion is “statism, totalitarianism or socialism” is quite divorced from reality. I hope I’ve addressed your criticisms in a way you think is fair, [Absolutely. I hope you’ll at least skim my responses!] I simply don’t agree with your world view. [Agree-to-disagree. I’m fine with that.]

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Posted in Muslim Correctness

Do you feel the love, @PamelaGeller

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Pamel Geller is getting a special heapin’ helpin’ of “love” this week. Opening line:

People are trying to figure out whether the Islamic State ordered and coordinated the attack, or whether the gunmen were simply inspired by the Islamic State. This is a distinction without a difference.
Here’s a must-read essay on the very same subject I just found linked at a favorite Freedom Blog. Substitute Islam & Feminism & Progressivism for Nazis and Communists and doesn’t it sound like it was written today, rather than 74 years ago? “To all Innocent Fifth Columnists…”
Posted in Economics, Liberty, Movies

Atlas Shrugged…as in, he doesn’t care

Kristoffer Polhala
hunky actor Kristoffer Polaha, a.k.a. John Galt

With a face like Polaha’s that’s so-o-o right, here’s Everything (else) that’s Wrong with Atlas Shrugged Part III (that I can remember)

Well, the long wait is over and nothing I could say in this obituary could “spoil” a film more than AS-III’s producers and screenplay writers have already. Part III is merely their crowning quote achievement. (After hoping against hope that this Part would clear the rock-bottom bar set by Part II, I’m feeling so cynical I could actually believe this film was Designed to Fail.)

1) The enemies of Liberty and of Ayn Rand (and therefore of her ability to dramatize Mankind’s most important of struggles) sleep peacefully tonight with the release of this flickering disgrace called a film.

2) Made for the Choir ONLY and barely so. At points even the Libertarian/Anarcho-capitalist choir may want to plug their ears. Please, please, please do NOT take anyone unfamiliar with Ayn Rand’s literary fight for Ideals (especially the necessity for Human Freedom) nor those to whom the concept of taxation equaling State-aggression will draw blank stares. If they are unfamiliar with “universally preferable behaviors” in general and that foundational and omnipresent State breaching of the Non-Aggression principle, specifically, they will leave the theater more confused than when they entered.

3) If you hated Part I or Part II…save your hard-earned fiat currency. Wait a few weeks 😉 and see it on Netflix. Then you’ll be able to fast-forward through all the awkward moments and more we were forced to sit through.

4) Dear “Casting Directors:” a) Atlas Shrugged is not a comedy, which according to your resumes is what it appears you two ladies “do” best (Lisa and Sarah always seem to work together; could it be that this time the tag-team took a dive on purpose?); b) “Dagny” and “Francisco” were lovers once-upon-a-time, yet considering the obvious age differences of the current actors, this Dagny would have had to have been super-jailbait back then (did you ever actually stand them next to one another? Serious squeamish-factor); c) at least you picked a Dagny and a Galt who were easy on the eyes MOST OF THE TIME…but why oh why did you cast OUR HERO John Galt with that actor, knowing how he’d be built up in our eyes the first hour only then to be visually exposed as a physically-flabby-fraud as he’s dashed on the rocks in that torture scene at the end?

I could have forgiven much about AS-III but for that cinema-sin. ALL y’all (from producer, writer, casting director, etc.) purposefully made Galt hunk-ish in the beginning in that leather jacket of his; carrying Dagny from the plane wreck like she weighed “0”; gallant in his RayBan’s as he slid into the pilot’s seat of that old school twin-prop Airstream-with-wings; hotter than a pistol with Dagny in the dim underground of the railroad’s tunnels…Couldn’t you, you casting-duo, have picked someone with at least A PAIR of abs? Or told the director you only chose what’s his name because he had the potential to GROW some? Didn’t you try desperately, shouting out and causing a scene on-set, for the actor to put-on-a-torn-up-T-shirt, for god’s sake, and cover that dough-boy midsection of his? Gahhh!

No. Of course not. I believe you two wanted John Galt, the best, the most beautiful masculine image in “Atlas Shrugged” to blow-up with a nuclear intensity (and I’d contend this man, Kristoffer Polaha, is the only male actor in all three parts whose FACE onscreen approached an Ideal).

Whew! Now to the less important stuff.

5) Overuse of heroic music: at the start nothing had happened yet which might have warranted such music, other than Dagny crashing her plane, yet as Galt takes her to his truck; drives to his house among the towering trees, then carries her into it we are swept by overly loud strains meant to make it all so much more dramatic. Oh…and the Artists in Shangri-la? The composer, the award-winning actress? Hell, we didn’t even get to hear Haley’s music much less meet the woman after being told at a dinner party in essence, Yes that’s her over there.

6) Overuse of forest-bordered roadways: we understood early on the “virgin forest” type of Shangri-la the gulch was set in, so did we really need to see Galt’s truck winding along the road multiple times? No. And why not make the “centerline” something other than Old-World yellow? Why not Galt’s Gulch Green?

7) Colorado license plates: why hadn’t Galt spray-painted or removed the Old World’s oppressive and anti-Liberty permission-plates from his vehicle? There was no driving back to Colorado (according to the novel I believe the pass in/out had been purposefully blocked by setting off a sufficient rockfall).

8) Guns. Training, tactics, effects: Dagny seemed ill-equipped to lead the four [Dagny, Francisco, Ragnar, and Rearden (only maybe 1 minute screen time)] who came to Galt’s rescue at the (virtually unguarded) State Science Institute; all of them seemed uncomfortable in the “footwork” and in handling the weaponry save for Ragnar. Realistically, only Ragnar the pirate would have had such experience, the other two I would have expected to be total amateurs as we had been given no reason to believe guns/team-tactics were in their experience. Dagny’s threatening to shoot the (lone!) guard was portrayed especially foolishly, as she: stood barely an arm’s length away; a warning count to three and he failed to so as she demanded; she clearly changes her aim down and to her left then she shoots him (in the book it’s straight in the heart). He crumpled as if instantaneously unconscious from the arm (or leg) wound!

9) The End. No…Just the beginning: no, really…I’m about done and it really said that bold phrase onscreen at the End, just like that. Trust me, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. The closing scene of the film had been in the rescue helicopter with Dagny & Galt all lovey-dovey. She tells him she’s his “forever” or something equally as syrupy. (Gag! And cue Ayn Rand to roll-over in her grave even faster.)

So now off our heroes all go to Shangri-la, I mean Galt’s Gulch, a.k.a. Atlantis. They are shown flying behind the still-lit Statue of Liberty when suddenly we see the lights of NYC going dark in big multi-blocks. How many times they’ll need to land and re-fuel a helicopter on the way to Colorado is above my pay grade.

10) If you are a fan of Ayn Rand and HER “Atlas Shrugged,” please make Part III way above your pay grade. (Boy oh boy, here’s hoping my long wait for Denzel Washington’s “Equalizer” makes up for today’s film fiasco.)

Posted in Big Brother, Economics, Liberty, Movies, Politics, Writing

Train wreck or not, I’m going (pun intended)

train-wreck

Sure the movie adaptations of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus have fallen short. What great novel-turned-screenplay and its subsequent film hasn’t? I’m going to the opening of Part III today anyway, for no other reason than to hear her words spoken aloud and from outside my own head. Oh, to have sat around the dinner table or thrown back a cocktail or two with that woman..

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Official Teaser-trailer for Part III. (No goosebumps? No pulse I guess…) Full Trailer for Part III.

Official trailer for Part I.

Official trailer for Part IIOfficial Teaser-trailer for Part II.

If only…

Posted in Big Brother, Diversity, Economics, Liberty, Political Correctness, Politics

“Statist” is as meaningful a word as ever

WomanAtTypewriter_rev

As usual, I reject a liberal/leftist’s Reality and substitute my own. And I try to explain why!

Don’t even ask how I ended up here. I can’t remember. Wait. I think it was here, then I linked to his Twitter, then found the following. Whatever.

Towards the end of R. Tod Kelly’s post on the phenomenon of “real” words morphing into a sort of tribal-slang, he says this:

I’m sure, for example, that there was a time before I read blogs when people arguing using the word “statist” had something important to tell me.  Those days appear to be long gone, however.  In fact, in the two years I’ve been writing here, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make a coherent argument using the word “statist.”  I don’t even think I’ve seen anyone make one that’s incoherent.  Rather, it is trotted out and plopped down, as if there is nothing more is needed than the utterance of the word.  “Because: statist” is invariably the answer I get when I ask for clarification or point out a flaw I see on a position using that word.

Does this mean that the word “statist” itself is a flawed word, or that there isn’t a great argument to be made about why a policy or program being statist is its fatal flaw?  Of course not, and I’m sure that there is.  But at this point, statist has become for movement conservatives of this generation what hegemony was for liberals of mine.  It’s a marker meant to designate tribe, and little else.  They’re quite a ways behind, but l believe libertarians are about to run into the same problem with “coercion.”  The argument “because it’s coercion” is really the same as “because it’s statist” or “because its hegemony.”

Sounds like he’s been called a “statist” and wants to prove that particular Stick doesn’t hurt his particular Bones because, in fact, it’s meaningless-due-to-overexposure (by the nastiest TRIBE of all, the Other-than-His Tribe).

But why shouldn’t we “trot out” a term that we are pretty certain our readers understand? Isn’t that what language acquisition’s for (and language expansion)? Used to be you were expected to pick up a dictionary as you read, to figure out what you didn’t know, and thus, expand you mind a little every day. No more, apparently. [I couldn’t help but be reminded of an essay by Ayn Rand (“The Comprachicos,” from late 1970, and in this book) wherein she discusses how “Progressives” have used public education to stunt the reasoning abilities of American children like the essay’s namesakes deformed kidnapped children’s faces and bodies back in 17th century Europe.]

Anyway, here’s my off the cuff comment (including the as-posted typos)

People prove they’re Statists all the time. Just as there are telltale common attributes all Vegetarians share, making the definition of their “vegetarianism” unnecessary, so to with Statists. Therefore the term can legitimately be thrown out there as an “explanation.” But if you need a definition:

Statist: wants some level or other of “the Government” to manage/dictate health insurance (as the feds are now trying to do), continue to set and enforce the minimum wage (and even perhaps in future return to FDR’s price controls, which Nixon may have done as well), declare which crimes are “hateful” (therefore which ones are, I guess, Love Crimes), etc. etc. etc.

BTW Statist and Coercion are inexorably intertwined, actually. A statist believes the solution to most, if not all, problems (the few mentioned above, ad infinitum) lies in more laws, more “programs,” more agencies with more “oversight” (a surveillance-state, ultimately), etc. If you “get” that the State has what’s termed “the monopoly of force,” (in fact it’s merely the monopoly of quote-unquote legitimate force, otherwise there’d be no crimes-of-force by amateurs/private citizens on the streets), THEN, you understand every State institution/program/law/statute/etc. is, in fact, is an act of Coercion:

“Do (or don’t do) as the State says, or suffer the consequences, the Coercion,” from a warning, to a simple fine, to a lien against your private property, or the ultimate Statist-coercion: arrest/trial/imprisonment/perhaps death (-penalty).