Wednesday, February 21, 2018

On "Black Panther" The Movie

The movie "Black Panther" is a smash hit. It was just released on Friday. It earned $201.8 million during the Fri-Sun weekend and $241.9m over the Fri-Mon holiday.

I am not a big fan of comic book movies so I have no plans to see it.

That said, here is the trailer:

And here is the full take on the movie via Ben Shapiro, who is definitely into comic book movies, and is generally pretty could when he is not calling for war.


Jordan Peterson on Homeschooling


Democrat Takes Kentucky State House Seat in County That Trump Won By 50%; 86 % Swing

A Democratic candidate in Kentucky won a state special election Kentucky house seat Tuesday by a 38% margin in a deep red county, Bullitt County, that Trump won by 50%. This massive 86% swing is the biggest one so far and pushes average Democratic swing since 2016 up to 13%.

If this trend continues, November is going to be a disaster for Republicans. And thanks to Trump, the dumb socialist, most of the country believes the only alternative to Trump is lefty Democrats.

What a mess.


(ht G. Elliott Morris)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

U.S. Sanctions Have Turned Iranian Airplanes Into 'Flying Coffins'

By Elham Khatami

The deaths of 65 passengers and crew aboard an Iranian commercial flight that crashed on Sunday are the latest in Iran’s longstanding ordeal over the safety of its airplanes — referred to by some Iranians as “flying coffins.”

The Aseman Airlines plane was headed to the southwestern city of Yasuj from Tehran, when it disappeared about an hour into the flight, and crashed in a mountainous area in Semirom. Authorities located the remains of the wreckage on Tuesday.

While the cause of the crash has not yet been determined — Aseman Airlines has blamed bad weather, and local Iranian media has speculated that the 24-year-old twin-engine turboprop ATR plane experienced technical failure — the accident highlights a disturbing trend in Iran. The country has experienced about 200 accidents involving planes and suffered almost 2,000 lives lost in more than two decades, according to the BBC.

Iranians say the frequent crashes are partly due to restrictions stemming from Western sanctions, which have prohibited American businesses and some European entities from conducting trade with Iran, including the sale of new airplanes or parts — forcing the country to rely on an aging airline fleet, on spare parts purchased on the black market, and on second-rate Russian planes.

Read the rest here.

Government Wars Are Very Crony

Via The New York Times.

In Ukraine:
Nearly four years into a grinding war against rebels armed by Russia, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry proudly announced last month that it had improved its previously meager medical services for its wounded troops with the purchase and delivery of 100 new military ambulances.

Not mentioned, however, was that many of the ambulances had already broken down. Or that they had been sold to the military under a no-bid contract by an auto company owned by a senior official in charge of procurement for Ukraine’s armed forces. Or that the official, Oleg Gladkovskyi, is an old friend and business partner of Ukraine’s president, Petro O. Poroshenko.

Ukraine’s spending on defense and security has soared since the conflict in the east started in 2014, rising from around 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product in 2013 to more than 5 percent this year, when it will total around $6 billion.

This bonanza, which will push procurement spending in 2018 to more than $700 million, has enabled Ukraine to rebuild its dilapidated military and fight to a standstill pro-Russian rebels and their heavily armed Russian backers.

But by pumping so much money through the hands of Ukrainian officials and businessmen — often the same people — the surge in military spending has also held back efforts to defeat the corruption and self-dealing that many see as Ukraine’s most dangerous enemy.
And the war on drugs in the United States:
.The narcotics officers from the 83rd Precinct didn’t get much when they set up outside the J & C Mini Market on Irving Avenue in Brooklyn on an autumn afternoon four years ago.

Moving in on what seemed to be a crack deal, they seized two packets, which turned out to contain little more than a residue of the drug. Two men — said to be the buyer and the seller — were arrested, but the charges against one of the men were eventually dismissed.

What the officers did get that day was more than 20 hours in overtime for hauling in and processing the men. Collectively, court papers say, they earned as much as $1,400 in extra pay.

On Tuesday, four of the officers involved in the arrests will appear in Federal District Court in Brooklyn for the start of an unusual civil-rights trial, facing accusations that they detained one of the men, Hector Cordero, simply to increase their income.
Government power centers need to be shut down.


Some Pretty Aware Tweets From Sean Ono Lennon

Make some music, big guy.


Presidential Historian Rips 'Bully' Trump: He Represents a 'Dark Underbelly of America'

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley on Monday tore into President Trump, referring to him as a "bully" and criticizing his views on immigration.

"Donald Trump represents kind of a dark underbelly of America," Brinkley said on C-SPAN.

He said Trump had put together a coalition of people that "don't like otherness."

Brinkley also addressed Trump's proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and his views on immigration.

"He will say it's all about national homeland security, but there's been a cruelty about the way he's dealt with the immigration issue that I find unforgivable," he said.

He called the proposed border wall an "idiotic idea."

"The whole thing just became just a giant metaphor, the wall, for anti-immigration and an anti-Mexican sentiment," he said.

He also accused the president of lying too much and conflating things.

"He's a bully. He misuses cyber in a way to divide us. What is there to want your children to learn from?" he said.

"That there are no rules, break them all ... dangle a foot over the line of what's moral and immoral?"

But listen to Brinkley, he does not fear the power of the presidency. He just wants his people in control, like Obama, who he thinks, delusionally,  was a great interventionist.

This shouldn't be about right-wing interventionists in power versus left-wing, regardless of how polished a manner they deliver their interventionist messages. The message should be that government power centers should be shrunk so that neither right-wing nor left-wing interventionists rule over us.\


(source: The Hill)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Trump Endorses Romney

What say you, libertarian Trump fanboys?


Progressive Totalitarians and Nativist Nationalists in Our Midst

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

My latest article on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation is on, “Progressive Totalitarians and Nativist Nationalists in Our Midst.”

The apparent polarization of American politics pits two groups in opposition to each other: the progressives on the political left and conservatives, especially those who support Donald Trump, on the political right. Both share one fundamental thing in common: they want control of government to impose their visions on the country.

The progressives want a bigger and more intrusive interventionist-welfare state. But pulling all progressives in a far more radical direction are the “identity politics” totalitarians determined to fundamentally undermine the traditional system of individualism, personal liberty and free association. Armed with the language weaponry of “diversity” and “inclusion,” they are determined to centrally plan thought, action, and human relationships, as well as assigning rewards and meting out punishments for all based on whether anyone is pigeon-holed as an “oppressed” gender or racial group versus a member of the “privileged” oppressor class. Their goal is a political-cultural dictatorship over everyone in society based upon race/gender collectivism.

On the other side is their archenemy, Donald Trump, who they are convinced is about to impose his own dictatorship with the next tweet he posts. Trump’s mind and policy worldview reflects some of the most illogical and atavistic ideas about trade, immigration and using government to make America “great.” His ignorance about the balance of trade and trade deficits would make even a seventeenth century Mercantilist blush with embarrassment. And his views on immigration demonstrate not only a lack of appreciation for human freedom, but indicate an equal ignorance about the benefits from a system of division of labor for enhanced human betterment. Plus, his words carry the tinge of racial bias, whether that is what he really believes or not.

The progressive totalitarians and the native nationalist Trumpitarians both each consider other as mortal enemies, and their fight is over the levers of government power to impose their respective collectivist visions on everyone in society. Lost in the debate is the only real basis for human harmony, economic betterment, and social peace: classical liberalism and a truly free market.



The First South Korean Attempt at a North Korean Assassination Squad

Military leaders are sick.



Jordan Peterson: The Insane Power of Repetition and What His Fame Means to Him