Saturday, May 14, 2016

Another Documentary on Jodorowsky's Dune (A Short)

As a Documentary on the Great Cinematic Epic That Never Came to Be, Jodorowsky's Dune, finally hits the screens, there exists a much older documentary on the Chilean's pre-production activity for the film based on the Frank Herbert science-fiction novel, a making-of signed by Julian Myers.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A (Legal) Turkish Immigrant to the U.S. Who Isn't Shocked by How Ghastly the Country's Inhabitants Are Alleged to Be

Isn't it terrible — shameful ?!

A poor Turkish immigrant to the United States does not seem to understand what a horrible nightmare American society is, how racist its inhabitants are, and how much people suffer under capitalism (a.k.a. under the free market system)

Chances are Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya does not read The Guardian and will never vote for Bernie…

Can you believe it?!
The founder of the Chobani yogurt empire, who started with nothing as an immigrant to the US, surprised his employees today by giving back to them in a very big way: 
"This community and this country has been so great to us, and I'd like to return that favor..."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Do Airline Safety Rules Make Sense? Yes, But Not in the Way You Were Taught to Think

You know that head-down fetal position that you're supposed to take in the event of a crash landing; has it ever occurred to you that it doesn't make much sense?

Think about it: your face will — seemingly — be protected (which is far from a bad thing), but the top of your head, and thus your brain, which is (arguably?) far more important: aren't they more likely to strike the seat in front of you, and aren't you thus more likely to suffer?

And those yellow life-jackets… You may not know this, but it seems that you are supposed to put them on in the event of any crash, even if you are not flying above the ocean.

Why on Earth (so to speak) might that be?

Helpfully, a reader of the Economist provides a logical explanation
(how reassuring you will find it I leave entirely up to you).
SIR – The bright-yellow lifejackets are not intended to act as flotation devices. They are there to make it easier for the recovery services to spot the bodies strewn across rough terrain. (I was once asked to put on a life-jacket over central Germany, some 300 miles from the sea.)
And the advice to adopt a head-down fetal position in the event of a crash landing does nothing to preserve life, given that the stall speed of a modern airliner means it will connect with the ground at terminal velocity. However, the position does tend to preserve dental data, useful for identifying dilapidated corpses.
Peel, Isle of Man
Paul Gillions of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, adds that
The most honest briefing I have ever had was on a helicopter flying me to an oil rig in the North Sea:
“Take off your watch because it stops your survival suit making a good seal around your wrist. If we go down and the water gets inside the suit, it's so cold you'll last about five minutes.”
Do airline companies assume that
terrorists can only afford a seat in economy class?

• Airplane Etiquette:
Undue Deference Is Not Applicable When Exiting an Aircraft

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

7 Years After Apologies in Dresden and at Omaha Beach, Obama Sounds Excited to Be Heading for Hiroshima

The BBC reports that, as I predicted seven years ago, the apologizer-in-chief intends to pay a visit to Hiroshima. After issuing a (faint) apology (!) for World War II at Omaha Beach (!) in June 2009 on the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings during his first summer in the White House (following an airplane ride from… Dresden, of all places), I predicted that eventually Barack Obama would head for the first city ever to be targeted and destroyed by an atomic bomb.

But wait! Doesn't the White House say there would be no apology for the bombings?

That's right. The president's communications adviser
said that Mr Obama would "not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future".
And just who is the president's communications adviser?

That's right: he's the fellow we have heard about recently, thanks to the New York Times. His name is Rhodes… Ben Rhodes…

• Required reading (if you will
forgive me for being so bold):
Hiroshima, 70 Years Later

Artists Unite: In this era of integrated information, we are witnessing the most concerted attack on freedom in world history

What is provocative art in a hyper-politicized age?
asks The Remodern Review's Richard Bledsoe (thanks to Ed Driscoll).
It’s art that dares to express dissent from the orthodoxy of the ruling establishment. And despite their best efforts to camouflage the nature of their oppressive and destructive grip on the culture, the establishment these days is a hive mind of Progressive dogma.

In this era of integrated information, we are witnessing the most concerted attack on freedom in world history. The powerful are colluding to manipulate the powerless to act as the shock troops to enforce the agenda of the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected. From positions of power in government, administration, academia, media, and the arts, they promote lynch mob tactics against anyone who does not conform to their Orwellian programs of doublethink, thoughtcrimes, and Two Minutes Hates.

The festering ambition in the corrupt hearts of the elitists is unaccountable power for themselves; now they fancy they have the technology to make their tyranny truly global in scale. They like to proselytize about the direction of history, and appeal to idealism in order to sucker the useful idiots they need to act as their muscle. Yet in practice their proposed model will end up looking like every other attempt since Marx: a small group of privileged thugs standing on top of mass graves, while the enslaved populace toils away in fear and hopelessness.
There’s nothing progressive about what the Left proposes: it’s a regression to the same old feudalism that is as old as mankind itself, tarted up with some buzzwords and hypocrisy. The Gramsci long march through the institutions has been effective in degrading the culture to make a society ripe for totalitarianism.

We are on the edge now. All too soon, we will either see their plot succeeded, or we will find out what happens when their overreach crumbles, and their grand designs collapse under the weight of hubris and backlash.

 … The elitists have weaponized art into an assault on the achievements of Western civilization, but they have nothing coherent, useful or enduring to replace those achievements with; all they offer is their lust for domination and self-aggrandizement. This makes their program a very niche market.

So the answer is to bypass the filters of the establishment, and take the change directly to the people. In April, at Lotus Contemporary Art of Phoenix, Arizona, a group show of citizen artists took a stand. This will hopefully be the first show of many.

Coordinated by Provocative Art 2016, this exhibit brought together renowned artists from across the country, including Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez, National Review cover artist Roman Genn, and controversial guerilla public artist Sabo.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Guardians Against Slippery Slopes: The members of America's Libertarian Party don’t seem to understand this, uh… liberty thing

Of all parties, you'd expect the Libertarians to stand against the big government insanity of private sector nondiscrimination laws
observes Benny Huang as InstaPundit notes that Libertarian Party membership applications double after Trump becomes GOP nominee.
They don't.

If you’re like me you’re probably searching for a third party candidate in the wake of Donald Trump’s clinching of the GOP nomination. For those of you considering the Libertarian Party (LP), I hope you’ll reconsider.

The party’s current frontrunner, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, doesn’t seem to understand this liberty thing. He thinks it means drugs and abortion but should you decide that you don’t want to engage in a business transaction he wants the government to coerce you. The party’s other candidates aren’t quite as extreme in their statism though none of them will make an unqualified stand for your Thirteenth Amendment right not to be held in involuntary servitude—which is exactly what private sector nondiscrimination laws are.

Johnson is so enamored with the concept of private sector nondiscrimination laws that he wants to force Jewish bakers to make a Nazi wedding cakes. Yes, really. Contrary to the battle cry of his party, “Minimum government, maximum freedom,” Johnson thinks the government should mandate that party A do business with party B. I don’t. My philosophy is that both ends of any economic transaction should be voluntary. That is not, by the way, a return to Jim Crow. Jim Crow was also a statist monstrosity which prohibited businesses from serving whom they wished. Big difference.

Johnson makes the familiar slippery slope argument that permitting businesses to refuse service to one group for one reason will quickly get out of control and then all sorts of businesses will be discriminating for all sorts of reasons. For the life of me, I can’t explain why a libertarian would be upset about this. It certainly puts the lie to the rest of his supposed libertarian beliefs.

 … The moderator, John Stossel, then asked whether Jews should have to bake a Nazi wedding cake and Johnson replied, “That’s my contention, yes.” He then went on to cite the silliest slippery slope argument I have ever heard—and I’ve heard some silly ones. He actually said that a private utility company might decide to shut off someone’s electricity for religious reasons.

Is this really a problem? No really; has this ever happened in the history of the universe? Where do they get these ridiculous scenarios?

I don’t mean to imply that slippery slope arguments are inherently suspect. To the contrary, we’re racing down a slippery slope at breathtaking speed but in the other direction. The idea that business owners can’t discriminate is being taken to absurd lengths and it will only get more bizarre in coming years. It isn’t just nondiscrimination laws either. Once we’ve accepted that private businesses aren’t really private there’s essentially nothing the government can’t mandate or prohibit. If you’re okay with that then please don’t call yourself a libertarian, a conservative, or even an American. Call yourself something else. Please.

 … Strange things start happening when that right disappears. What seems like an absurd application of the law today may seem quite normal in twenty years. The sky’s really the limit. Just imagine if you could go back in time and tell Ralph Abernathy, one of Martin Luther King’s closest advisers and an ordained minister, that the precedent he was setting would one day be invoked to make Christians such as himself bake wedding cakes for homosexual weddings. He would have thought you were mad.

Nondiscrimination laws are now being used to force private businesses to allow men to use the ladies’ room. That’s what Houston’s HERO was about, as well as Charlotte’s recent law which was preempted by the state of North Carolina, which may in turn be preempted by Obama’s dictatorial powers. The Obama Administration’s wacky position isn’t even that we should integrate bathrooms, only that each of us should have the freedom to self-select which group we belong to.

 …  The hottest new fad in nondiscrimination law is protection for convicted felons. Most of us don’t think that being a murderer or rapist is a status deserving of protection but then against most of us don’t work for the Obama Administration. Last month, the US Department of Housing issued a decree saying that refusing to rent to a prospective tenant on account of a criminal record may violate the Fair Housing Act. Actuality, it doesn’t. The act prohibits discrimination based on race but not on felony conviction. The Department maintains that discrimination against felons is de facto discrimination against racial minorities. So there you have it folks—Democrats think minorities are a bunch of criminals. And we’re the racist ones?

Sunday, May 08, 2016

‘‘A dynamite bomb” in France's Capital! But what in the world can anyone want to throw a bomb in Paris for?

‘‘A dynamite bomb, and exploded by the Anarchists! ” Such was the cry which flew round Paris at an early hour yesterday morning [May 1, 1891] over telegraph and telephone wire.

This was a rude awakening, a sensational opening to the day of the year which the Anarchists, Nihilists, and Revolutionists claim specially as their own. At first the report received little credence. The Parisian can understand dynamite bombs being thrown in any other city but Paris. 

But what in the world can anyone want to throw a bomb in Paris for? Nevertheless, the story is perfectly true. And the facts are as follows: Yesterday morning, at four o’clock, a dynamite bomb was placed, by some person unknown, in the recess of one of the windows of the hotel of the Marquis de Trévise, 2 rue de Berri. 

The house is a magnificent block forming the corner of the Champs-Elysées, on your right hand as you enter the rue de Berri. The explosion struck terror into the hearts of the inmates of the surrounding dwellings. The people flew out of the doors, some in their nightshirts, and the girls in the laundry opposite were nearly terrified out of their wits.
— In Our Pages, 125 Years Ago
The New York Herald, European Edition, May 2, 1891