Tuesday, July 29, 2014
If the mass mutilation of unborn infants results in a religious American going nuts, it demonstrates (to the Left) the backwardness of Christianity. No number of lunatics killing non-Muslims in the name of Islam because they make a sacrilegious cartoon or refuse to convert to Islam ever seems to reflect negatively on Islam or any Arab country's culture. 20% of Muslims in Europe may support violent jihad, but it doesn't matter as it is the proverbial elephant in the room.
If a Christian would've gone on a rampage over the government-sponsored "art" exhibit that included Serrano's "Piss Christ" (literally a crucifix immersed in urine), that would've reflected poorly on Christianity. (Actually any "white" person would do, the media would just assume he was Christian.) If a Muslim would've gone on a rampage over a pastor burning the Koran, that also would've reflected poorly on Christianity somehow, since whenever a Muslim goes crazy, he was obviously driven to it by some Westerner's actions and is not really responsible for his own actions.
What I suggest is this: Earmark the tax money from Muslim Americans to finance a special religious tolerance art exhibit which will include an image of the Prophet fashioned from excrement called "Crap Prophet" which will be as good and mind-expanding for the Muslim community as "Piss Christ" was good for the Christian community. (Maybe a few items from Mapplethorpe as well: perhaps some LGBT interpretations of Mohammed.) It will be the perfect opportunity for Muslims 'round the world to demonstrate peace and tolerance for freedom of expression.
Insult Islam? Absolutely not. I'm talking about exposing their religion to the lofty heights of art. I'm talking about art, people. Art.
which shouldn't be difficult) in order to "bring the guilty parties to justice." Until then, keep chanting that Islam is a religion of peace.
It is problematic on the face of it to try to make Timothy McVeigh the face of heartland Christianity.
Digging deeper, I'm skeptical that McVeigh was not set up to take the fall for a staged terrorism event to make America think that it's biggest threats were not overseas. The Waco incident in which the government incinerated women and children in order to confiscate guns caused an upsurge of militia movements in the heartland and general skepticism in the public mind that the administration knew what it was doing.
There are indications that McVeigh believed himself to be, up to the time of the Oklahoma City bombing, in the employ of the U.S. government to infiltrate militia groups. A week or two after the incident that huge manhunt for McVeigh's witnessed accomplices abruptly ended and was instantly forgotten by the press. The following year, first responder policeman Terrance Yeakey claimed to be harrassed over his investigation into things that didn't fit with his memory of events the day of the bombing and "committed suicide" in a very curious manner.
On a similar note, McVeigh told Kenneth Trentadue's brother the real reason he "hanged himself" in his jail cell (presumably after torturing and unmercifully beating himself). Trentadue's unexpected phone call from McVeigh was just one piece of many independent pieces leading him back to the FBI, the ATF, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Upon being leaked a redacted copy of the Freeh teletype, Trentadue filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the full document and any other information held by the Oklahoma City FBI field office pertaining to the SPLC, specifically, “all documents about any connection between the Southern Poverty Law Center and eight named individuals from the OKBOMB and BOMBROB investigations or a white supremacist compound in Elohim City, Okla.” (3)
When the FBI declared no such Freeh teletype existed, Trentadue produce his copy and an enraged US district court Judge Dale Kimball ordered the FBI to produce all responsive documentation. Though the FBI later admitted in response to Kimball’s order that some 340 documents had been discovered, the Bureau has been fighting the judge’s ruling they be turned over ever since the 2005 filing. [here]In the documentary film A Noble Lie, Trentadue emphasizes that his trail kept pulling him back to the SPLC, which trail seems to keep popping up, even linking to the CIA. What's especially curious about this is that the SPLC was in the middle of a much more recent case of domestic terrorism: their "hate map" showing progressive activists where to find people upon which unleash their hate instigated the attack by Floyd Corkins, who planned to humiliate, torment, and murder the workers at Family Research Council in an attempt to terrorize for his political views on same-sex marriage.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Robert Downey Jr has "heroically" campaigned against the meager 6-figure payments that his fellow movie stars received for Avengers compared to his 8-figure deal.
Why does this strike me as ridiculous? Because there is a simpler, more honest way that Downey can make for equality. He can simply divide up whatever ridiculous amount the studio pays him for Avengers 2 and share it with his worthy colleagues.
In fact, he can split the $50 million that he was already paid for the first Avengers among his co-stars who were paid a paltry $200,000 to run around in costumes and be the toast of the town. (I'm tellin' you, the Man has really got them down.) Which co-stars are worth including in this charity pool, Downey can decide for himself, of course.
Why was Downey paid so much more? Because with him the studio execs feel strangely generous, or because replacing him (who has practically built the Iron Man franchise and therefore the Avengers franchise) is costlier to the money-making potential of the film than replacing anyone else? How much costlier? Look at the payment to find out. The studio has a budget for production that competes with a budget for paying actors, both of which compete with the expected intake of money. In terms of a limited budget, the more they pay Downey for his continued participation in the franchise, the less they have in their budget to entice the future participation of the other actors. It is "zero sum," and instead of volunteering his own ludicrous share, Downey opted to pressure the studios into taking on more risk.
Sure it's his fortune to gamble. But don't you just feel sorry for those actors struggling by on six figures? Why, that wouldn't even begin to pay for one of poor Hillary's many homes.
But Downey was worried about fairness.
When I read things like Downey's generosity with other people's money instead of his own, especially with these ridiculous overpaid actors speaking against those who get rich off of corporations and capitalism, I think that these people should put their money where their mouth is:
The Frivolous Pay Law: For anyone in the movies, in music recording, in the arts, in sports, or in politics making over $300,000 (that is, mainly people who don't have to deal so directly with the consequences of of the economically illiterate policies they advocate) in a single year (this is 20% greater than the $250,000 mark our President favors), everything over that $300,000 goes to the IRS.Because at some point you've made enough money, as someone once said. Because you didn't earn that, as someone once said. You got there through luck and through money illicitly gained from the rest of us through manipulative corporate advertising. Your movie crews travel on vehicles and roads the rest of us built. Because you've got to eat your peas. Because we got all this here debt to pay. Uh-huh. Lead the way, ye selfless beings. Show us how it's done. Physician, heal thyself. You first.
Is there really such a shortage of good actors that we have to recycle the same actors over and over to make them into their own brand names? Are they really so special and indispensable that they have to make more on one movie than most of us will see in several decades? If anyone is overpaid ...
Just have that law in place for eight years (as long as the rest of us have had to deal with some notable politicians these people financed for us), and see what good it does. See if these luminaries of egalitarian righteousness can stand only making a measly $300,000 like the rest of us yokels. Just for eight short years to help make up for several years of trillion-dollar deficits.
Saturday, July 5, 2014
It's instructive what happens when someone starts to connect the dots and question the narrative, in this case the "Fascism is on the Right" narrative. I had heard this one so much I thought maybe there was some truth to it. I had never heard, in college or anywhere else, anything as nuanced and complicated as historian Robert Paxton decides to elucidate here in his review of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism:
Goldberg likes to put things into rigid boxes: right and left, conservative and liberal, fascist and non-fascist. He doesn’t leave room for such complexities as convergences, middle grounds, or evolution over time. . . . The very mention of a “Third Way” puts one instantly into the fascist box. [Is "reaching across the aisle" a third way, or are there only two ways?] . . . Fascism – a political latecomer that adapted anti-socialism to a mass electorate, using means that often owed nothing to conservatism – drew on both right and left, and tried to transcend that bitter division in a purified, invigorated, expansionist national community. A sensitive analysis of what fascism drew from all quarters of the political spectrum would be a valuable project.Paxton mourns the loss of an opportunity for Goldberg to complicate this subject. Well, there have been ample opportunities for liberals in the political discourse to describe national socialism and fascism as things that don't fit on either the right or left. Suddenly, it's Goldberg's responsibility to create a third box.
For example, “Liberals . . . claim” that free-market economics is fascist (p. 22). Could we please have a few examples of “liberals” who say this?Ummmm. Did the last ten years not just happen? Somehow Paxton thinks that liberal pundits and bloggers are typically as erudite as he is. Here is what I've gleaned from the leftosphere over the last ten years, very similar though intensified from the ten years before that:
Hitler was on the Right. Hitler loved corporations. Fascism is corporation friendly. Capitalism equals cronyism. These freedoms that allow corporations to use invested money to hire people to make products -- it's not about economic liberty. Anything that supports the right for individuals to wield their economic liberty corporately is really just a smokescreen for those who want to distribute the wealth from poor people to rich people. We can't make the marketplace fair without giving government carte blanche control over corporations. Free-market capitalism is radical conservatism. Fascism is radical conservatism. Connect the dots.As more and more Gen Xers found themselves "informed" by Michael Moore, they echoed notions like these. But it isn't limited to the young soundbitten Obama-ites. These notions are reflected in the responses to the Citizens United case, and reflected by Ginsberg in her objections to the Hobby Lobby ruling, and in think pieces and NY Times op eds based on the non sequitur slogan "corporations aren't people."