Saturday, January 09, 2016

Is Tarantino's Hateful 8 Really a Boon to Climate Change?!

In the very first sentence that Thomas Sotinel writes about the Hateful Eight in his (otherwise unconvinced) Le Monde film review, we learn that one virtue that we can find in the western is "the help that Quentin Tarantino brings to climate change."
The only thing left to perpetuate the memory of snow is cinema
Thomas Sotinel:
L’avis du « Monde » – on peut éviter
Si l’on peut trouver une vertu aux 8 Salopards, c’est le secours que ce huitième long-métrage de Quentin Tarantino apporte en période de changement climatique. Il ne reste que le cinéma pour perpétuer le souvenir de la neige, de l’enveloppement du monde dans un linceul. Et quand un monde enneigé est filmé sur une pellicule argentique de 70 mm, le port des verres filtrants est recommandé, tant de splendeur peut provoquer des lésions irrémédiables aux rétines des spectateurs.
Incidentally, we also learn that Tarantino's eighth movie is inspired partially by André de Toth's La Chevauchée des bannis (Day of the Outlaw, 1958).

In other news, we learn that the maker of Django Unchained has called the Confederate flag an American swastika. Which we must all thank the director for (very profusely), as — once again — it reminds everybody that Godwin's Law is an absolute double standard that applies to conservatives alone and that only serves to shame the right and in the process make them shut up.

Friday, January 08, 2016

In Michael Moore's New Film, He Shows Cinema-Goers, American and Foreign, How Every Other Place in the World Is Far More Humane than the U.S. Is

Cara Buckley has a New York Times interview with Michael Moore, the point of whose “Where to Invade Next” is, basically, that everywhere in the world is a lot more humane than America is. Moore
travels to three continents to “steal” good ideas from foreign lands and bring them back to the United States, including France’s gourmet school lunches and Finland’s successful, and homework-free, public education system. 
Moore spoke about the film’s origins, which began with a 1970s backpacking trip.
Q. Was the idea for this film cooking for a long time?

A. Since I was 19. Since I got a Youth Hostel card and Eurail Pass. Each country I went to with my backpack and my little tent, I’d keep saying, “That’s such a good idea, how come we don’t do that?” Then I was hiking in Sweden and busted my foot and had to go to the emergency room and they fixed it. And I’m so nervous because my Blue Cross from the U.S. wasn’t going to cover me. I don’t have any money on me. “They go, ‘O.K., goodbye.” “What? That’s it? Don’t I owe you anything?” “‘No. It’s all free here.” “But I’m not a Swede.” “It doesn’t matter.” I couldn’t believe it. I was gobsmacked.
Well, maybe Moore would do well to consider the arguments in the following posts:
Color me skeptical when Moore explains the extent to which he has allegedly been the target of assassination attempts.
After my [2003] Oscar speech and I got booed off the stage, somebody at the [Transportation Security Administration] keyed the Oscar. I got home, I live in a rural area in northern Michigan, some guys had a dump truck full of horse manure and built an almost four-foot wall across our driveway with the manure and then taped signs on all the trees along the road saying “Move to Cuba,” “Get the hell out of here,” just nutty stuff like that. Then I went through five years of a number of physical assaults on me, a couple of those were actually attempts to kill me, and then the attempt to blow up my house by this guy who had a fertilizer bomb, à la Oklahoma City.
Q. Do you avoid some topics that you would otherwise tackle were it not for the death threats?
A. No, no, no, no. Oh, no. “Bowling for Columbine” was a lot about how our fear is what motivates us to get these guns, and it puts us in a discombobulated state. … I can’t live in this constant state of fear that the hate machine that exists on talk radio and on Fox News whips up.
Reminder: Among No Pasarán's Michael Moore posts over a dozen years, we find the following:
As the French Doctors Prepared Their Sharpened Instruments to Remove the Donor's Organs, Something… Twitched
• Masters of Deception: Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and the 9-11 Conspiracy Industry
"Michael Moore could not withstand Michael Moore's scrutiny for more than 15 seconds"
• And last, but (certainly) not least:
the interview with the French newspaper in which the director of Sicko and Capitalism (A Love Story) admits in so many words — "Dude, I am on Marx's Tomb!" — to being nothing less than a Marxist

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Michel Galabru: Good-Bye, Friend

 Michel Galabru, 1922-2016

Have You Noticed What the Oregon Ranchers Have NOT Done?

Has anybody noticed something special about the Oregon ranchers' revolt against the Absurdly Harsh Penalties That Sparked Their Protest?

They occupied a building. An empty building. A public building. A building that was directly linked tot he issue of their concern.

Now notice something else.

Notice what the Oregon ranchers did not do.

• The Oregon ranchers did not turn themselves into a mob
• and they did not march, armed or otherwise, to the private homes of the officials involved in the subject of their despondency
• and threaten the officials' physical residence
• and/or terrorize the officials' family members.

If various posts that I have read on Instapundit are to be believed, the Oregon ranchers have made no threats of violence, i.e., they have not threatened once to use those weapons they (happen to be—legally—) carry(ing). What they have said is that, yes, they might use said weapons, but only in the (hypothetical) course of being attacked, or, in other words, if threats of violence against them are carried out. The Second Amendment is supposed to guarantee the natural right that a person is allowed to protect himself if he is, and/or his loved ones are, attacked.

Does this rule/right disappear if state agents, such as the feds, are doing the attacking?

Does this rule/right disappear if there seems to exist a law giving the authorities the right to attack (and one banning people from defending themselves)?

Furthermore, regarding the difference or lack of difference between (allegedly) peaceful civil disobedience and armed occupation:

The issue lies elsewhere. For the left, civil disobedience works only for their constituents, white or otherwise — the victims or alleged victims of society, white or otherwise. Witness Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and the Wisconsin State Capitol takeover — which, additionally, might have been weapons-less, but were filled with scorn, hatred, and — yes — very definitely an atmosphere of threats and violence or the likelihood thereof!

A conservative (white or other) — not least because of the fact that he or she is accused of being the (accursed) cause of the above-mentioned victims in the first place — has a lot less chance of being listened to and respected and of escaping unscathed.

Let's end this with an article from the National Review's David French:
So far, no one has been hurt, the “occupation” is occurring in a vacant federal building in the middle of nowhere, and there is no reported threat to innocent bystanders. It would be absurd for the federal government to treat the protesters like it treated the men and women at Waco or Ruby Ridge, and it would be absurd for the protesters to shoot police officers who are ordered to reasonably and properly enforce the law. The occupation is far less intrusive and disruptive than the Occupy Movement’s dirty and violent seizure of urban public parks, and authorities permitted that to go on for weeks. Now is the time for calm, not escalation.
(Somewhat) Related: Good-Bye to 2015, the year of lies, hoaxes, and outright fakeries

Monday, January 04, 2016

"This idea of thinking Left or Right is a sin against the spirit and an illusion"

André Glucksmann, one of the most prominent of the French “New Philosophers,” a group of former radicals who broke with Marxism in the 1970s and became an intellectual counterweight to France’s political left, [has died] in Paris
writes William Grimes in his New York Times obituary.

André Glucksmann on No Pasarán:
The anti-capitalist vituperation, says Glucksman, is what led to the communist and fascist political strategies which “dragged humanity into hell”
Bin Laden Is Gone, Not The Strategy of Radical Hatred Without Quarter
Sleeping soundly is the slogan of every cowardice
• The "Absolute Crime": For "the Battle of His Life" —the Fight Against the Kremlin's Rule— André Glucksmann Is Hated By His Fellow French Intellectuals
Mr. Glucksmann came to prominence in May 1968, when, as a teacher and militant Marxist at the Sorbonne, he publicly cheered on the student revolt both there and, a year later, at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes, where he and the philosopher Michel Foucault led the intellectual charge.

He joined the Proletarian Left, a Maoist group, in the early 1970s, but soon became disenchanted with revolutionary politics. He was dismayed when the group kidnapped a Renault executive and, as a Jew, was shocked when radical Palestinians murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

The turning point came with the publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago,” a work that transformed him into an implacable enemy of the Soviet Union and all ideologies.
In 1975, in “The Cook and the Cannibal,” Mr. Glucksmann subjected Marxism to a scalding critique. Two years later, he broadened his attack in his most influential work, “The Master Thinkers,” which drew a direct line from the philosophies of Marx, Hegel, Fichte and Nietzsche to the enormities of Nazism and Soviet Communism. It was they, he wrote in his conclusion, who “erected the mental apparatus which is indispensable for launching the grand final solutions of the 20th century.”

An instant best seller, the book put him in the company of several like-minded former radicals, notably Bernard-Henri Lévy and Pascal Bruckner. Known as the nouveaux philosophes, a term coined by Mr. Lévy, they became some of France’s most prominent public intellectuals, somewhat analogous to the neoconservatives in the United States, but with a lingering leftist orientation.

Their apostasy sent shock waves through French intellectual life, and onward to Moscow, which depended on the cachet afforded by Jean-Paul Sartre and other leftist philosophers.

“It was André Glucksmann who dealt the decisive blow to Communism in France,” Mr. Bruckner told French radio on Tuesday.

 … “In the West, he presented the anti-totalitarian case more starkly and more passionately than anyone else in modern times,” said Paul Berman, who wrote extensively about Mr. Glucksmann in his books “A Tale of Two Utopias” and “Power and the Idealists.”

“He was a passionate defender of the superoppressed, whether it was the prisoners of the Gulag, the Bosnians and Kosovars, gays during the height of the AIDS crisis, the Chechens under Putin or the Iraqis under Saddam,” he said. “When he turned against Communism, it was because he realized that Communists were not on the same side.”

 … At 13, while a high school student, he joined the Communist Party, but he was expelled after criticizing the Soviet Union’s suppression of the revolt in Hungary. In a 2006 memoir, “A Child’s Rage,” he chronicled his parents’ lives and his early upbringing.

After earning the teaching degree known as an agrégation from the École Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud in 1961, Mr. Glucksmann enrolled in the National Center for Scientific Research to pursue a doctorate under Raymond Aron — an odd matchup because Aron was France’s leading anti-Marxist intellectual.

 … His subsequent turn away from Marxism made him a reviled figure on the left, and former comrades looked on aghast as he became one of France’s most outspoken defenders of the United States. He argued for President Ronald Reagan’s policy of nuclear deterrence toward the Soviet Union, intervention in the Balkans and both American invasions of Iraq. In 2007, he supported the candidacy of Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency.

“There is the Glucksmann who was right and the Glucksmann who could — with the same fervor, the same feeling of being in the right — be wrong,” Mr. Lévy wrote in a posthumous appreciation for Le Monde. “What set him apart from others under such circumstances is that he would admit his error, and when he came around he was fanatical about studying his mistake, mulling it over, understanding it.”

 … “I think thought is an individual action, not one of a party,” Mr. Glucksmann told The Chicago Tribune in 1991. “First you think. And if that corresponds with the Left, then you are of the Left; if Right, then you are of the Right. But this idea of thinking Left or Right is a sin against the spirit and an illusion.”

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Good-Bye to 2015, the year of lies, hoaxes, and outright fakeries

Are we becoming a nations of liars, or a nation of people who like being lied to?
Benny Huang says goodbye to "the year of lies, hoaxes, and outright fakeries."
In what looked like a staged moment on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton fielded a question from a nine year-old boy at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire concerning pay inequity between the sexes. The boy, Relic Reilly, asked why his engineer father earned more than his mother, a pre-K teacher.
I think my mother is working much harder, is working more harder than my father and she deserves to have more money, like, get more money, than my father. Because she’s taking care of children and I just don’t think it’s fair.
 … if Hillary Clinton is going to make her campaign into another historic “first” for women, she needs to pretend that women such as herself are oppressed—hence the fake question about a fake issue. Coming, as this question did, on New Year’s Eve, I saw it as a fitting end to 2015, the fakest year on record. Never before has the news been dominated by so many lies, hoaxes, and counterfeits.

When 2015 began, we were already in the midst of a rape hoax at the University of Virginia, where a college student claimed to have been raped on broken glass at a frat party that never actually happened. … When the story became absolutely indefensible, Rolling Stone retracted it and conducted an investigation to determine what had gone wrong, though the investigation itself was pretty fake …

That rape hoax was followed by another at Columbia University, where a female student carried a mattress around campus to protest the university’s supposed refusal to address her rape at the hands of a former lover. Actually, the university did investigate and found that her story lacked credibility. The details did not stack up and her story was almost certainly a lie, a desperate act of revenge against a man she had been infatuated with—and probably still was [still is?].
Also in January, Muslim terrorists conducted a very real attack against the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. What followed, however, was a completely insincere outpouring of support for the principle of free speech. Leaders from across Europe and the world converged in Paris to declare that they would not be bullied into censoring speech. That was a huge lie, of course, because nearly all European governments punish speech, especially speech that offends Muslims. Before, during, and after the attacks citizens were being arrested for mere words. In July, Charlie Hebdo announced that it would no longer draw Mohammed. In the future, they would self-censor.

[2015] was also the year of fake women—by which I mean dudes who wear skirts and demand to be treated as women. Two high profile cases in American high schools involving transgender “girls” who were demanding to use the girls’ locker room were settled when the Department of Education required all schools that receive federal funds—which is nearly every public school in the country—to allow students to use the locker room of their choice. Another fake woman, Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner, won Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year Award. The husband of a former winner, NYPD policewoman Moira Smith who died in the 9/11 attacks, returned the award he had accepted on behalf of his deceased wife. “I was shocked and saddened to learn that Glamour has just named Bruce Jenner ‘Woman of the Year’…” said James Smith. “Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?” Indeed. [And let's not forget the deception by the defenders of Planned Parenthood.]

The catchy phrase “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was found to be an utter fabrication after a lengthy investigation into the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer. Brown’s hands had not been up, he was not shot in the back, he had not been kneeling on the ground, and he was not “minding [his] own business” as Brown’s thug friend Dorian Johnson told reporters after the incident. Brown was fleeing a robbery when he attempted to murder Officer Darren Wilson with his own gun. The investigation revealed that witnesses lied in order to frame Wilson. The only element of reality in the entire Michael Brown case was all the mayhem and looting that followed. [More on gun control and on racial issues at the links.]

In June a supposedly scientific study published in the peer-reviewed Science magazine was found to have been a graduate student’s concoction. The study, titled “When Contact Changes Minds” was designed to measure the degree to which entrenched opponents of same-sex marriage could be swayed by sob stories, or what they called “heartfelt, reciprocal and vulnerable conversations.” The study’s designer, PhD candidate Michael LaCour of UCLA, intended to show that mean old bigots (like me) just haven’t met many “gay” people. After a little contact with homosexuals and hearing them pour their hearts out about all the made-up grief they have to suffer through, we bigots usually relent. Or at least that’s what the study showed.

But the study was fake. … How this study passed peer review is a mystery—unless peer review is basically a worthless ritual, as I suspect.
The news cycle was dominated for the better part of two weeks in mid-September with the tale of Ahmed Mohamed, a fourteen year old in Irving, Texas who was arrested for bringing to school what looked very much like a bomb. As it turned out, it was just a briefcase with the innards of an old Radio Shack alarm clock mounted inside. Young Mr. Mohamed claimed to have “invented” a clock, which wasn’t even true. It didn’t take long for the narrative factory to manufacture the story that Ahmed wanted—“Muslim Kid Genius Arrested by Bigoted Texans!” The story was absolute rubbish from beginning to end. Ahmed Mohamed was hoping and praying that his teachers would take the bait he was dangling before them—a briefcase with protruding wires. Prior to his arrest he was told by at least two teachers that the clock he “invented” looked like a bomb. Having succeeded in raising an alarm, he proceeded to play the victim, and is still playing the victim. Victimhood is a pretty good gig, if you can get it. Crowdfunding sites raised money for his college education. The White House, NASA, Facebook and Google all extended invitations to the supposed child prodigy. And of course—of course!—his family is suing for fifteen million dollars. Getting arrested is the best thing that ever happened to this kid.

The year ended with another disintegrating tale of anti-Muslim bigotry, also in Texas. On Christmas Day, a mosque in Houston burned down in an apparent act of arson. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) leaped on the incident as a possible bias crime. Unfortunately for CAIR, the feds arrested a devout Muslim named Gary Nathaniel Moore. He is the lead suspect. This one has self-victimization hoax written all over it.

[2015] should be remembered as the Year of the Big Lie—the year the US Army’s once prestigious Ranger School debased the coveted Ranger tab by handing it out to women who failed to meet standards, the year in which black students posing online as angry white racists made terroristic threats to kill black people, and the year that the Supreme Court discovered a fake right to a fake marriages in the text of our Constitution.

This trend toward mendacity is truly disturbing. Are we becoming a nation of liars, or a nation of people who like being lied to? I say no. We’re merely victims of a journalistic establishment that barely even pretends to report the news anymore.