Essential

Everything the man in this video says is totally correct. His views are critically important.

Crooks, Flicks, And Liars

“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, reportedly resulting in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy,” said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office handled the warrants authorizing the seizures of seven of the domains.

Quote from this report. If you give these words a moment’s thought, Pilgrims, you should should realize that the claim is not true. No money — not a single penny — has been lost to the US economy.

What happened was this: money that would have been spent to pay for the privilege (not right) to view video entertainment did not go to the copyright holders who own those videos. Instead the money remained in the possession of consumers who did not pay to see the films. It was not lost to the economy.

According to the law, the copyright violators committed a theft: they gained free access they are required by law to pay for. And that was all that happened; no money was taken out and burned.

Isn’t that a quibble? Not at all. When the federal authorities impose sweeping censorship on media, they should be held to the highest standards. They must not be permitted to lie about what happened. In this case, they claim that the entire economy suffered because of the illegal activities of a few individuals; that means copyright infringement steals from everyone. That is not true.

The copyright infringements were crimes that harmed the interests of a few corporations and individuals, and are not in any sense somehow justifiable for that fact. In a rational legal system, the criminals would be held to account. That could involve imprisonment, fines, and civil liabilities (sue the bastards into penury).

Shutting down data networks is, however, prior restraint imposed by government edict, and when that action is justified as protective of the nation’s economy, it presents very troubling aspects. A government that upholds copyrights by shutting down free speech, and then deceitfully justifies that action as protection of everyone’s financial welfare, is likely to justify other restrictions on speech and press as being in the best interests of “society.” Its blatant dishonesty is a warning to perceptive citizens.

The real issue here is censorship, not criminal or civil liability.

The defendants in this case can be held to account by the jurisprudential system for their alleged lawbreaking. That process need not prevent the further distribution of news and opinion not under copyright.

The authorities lied about the importance and impact of what they are doing. Those falsehoods reveal the bureaucrats as eager censors who should be kept on very short leashes. The constitutional protections of freedom of speech and press are paramount. Lying, censorious officials who ignore the constitution are a danger to the body politic.

Whether this closure of a data network supporting over seventy thousand weblogs is justified needs to be debated. It does seem draconian and unnecessary.

Remember: the nation has a president who has told the public, “Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh.” The repressive impulse behind that demand should not be ignored.

Liberty matters. Power-intoxicated liars in public office don’t often agree with that sentiment…it’s too restrictive for them.

The Politics Of Race In The USA, AD 2010

It’s unfortunately a huge topic, and the best way to address it here is for this newsletter to suggest strongly that those interested in exploring it click on all the links in this item. Editorializing abounds in the linked articles and videos, so be prepared for opinions that attempt to correct your viewpoint.

It’s only appropriate to begin with a look at the hiss-and-spit tussle between the NAACP and the Tea Party Movement. This dispute won’t go away any time soon, and that’s probably because the Tea Partiers are a huge worry for the Bicoastal Elite. But the NAACP has a few skeletons in its closet, among them suggestions that it is tolerant of Jew-hatred. Of course that leads to charges of hypocrisy. The organization has been friendly with folks who do have a bizarre agenda.

Meanwhile some observers are concerned about “liberal racism” becoming a federal policy. Holder and all that, you know.

The propaganda of the Bicoastal Elite is unequivocal — as is most propaganda, most of the time. Here’s an example: a faked video that is circulating in “progressive” circles, validating a manufactured stereotype (more on how it was made here). A similar video that embarrasses SEIU appeared on the internet, but was so obviously an idiosyncratic and unrepresentative document that this newsletter declined to link to it. Some things are just too obvious and too unrepresentative to merit circulation.

For some folks, the question of why black citizens are overwhelmingly Democrats remains a puzzle; others consider it amazing that there are any black voters who are not Democrats. Here’s a rapid-fire look at the history of the GOP, the Democrats, and the politics of race in the USA. It will challenge some of your preconceptions.

Today’s racial and political polarizations have made life difficult for people whose simple humanity expresses itself without regard for skin color. The linked account makes clear what a shame and a disgrace it is that acts of kindness can provoke opprobrium.

Given the degree to which the discourse has deteriorated, it seems unlikely that the stereotypes crafted by the Bicoastal Elite will be vulnerable to the best efforts of the Tea Party movement. That means that voters will, to a disconcerting degree, act irrationally. The Republic has survived worse, so there is no reason for despair; for disappointment, yes, and even for anger — but not for despair.

The Defenestration Of Washington?

…Iran’s success means the complete, utter and historic destruction of everything President Obama wants to build. Make no mistake about it.

If Iran gets nuclear weapons on his watch, the dream of non-proliferation comes to an end and Barack Obama will go down in history as the president who lost the fight to stop nukes.

These statements are from this post, in which it is argued that Obama is likely to go to war with Iran for reasons that make little to no sense to this newsletter.

The author of the post refers to the treaty that ended the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 and established a balance of national interests in Europe. If that parallel in any sense informs us as to Obama’s view of how the world should be organized and run, then Obama is an idiot.

That is to say, the author of the post has figured the man out, and the world is in lots and lots of trouble.

Read it all, and then, whatever your conclusions about this interpretation of a man who remains a mystery and puzzle, say a little prayer for humankind….

A Disturbing Claim Regarding Deep Horizon

A report just arrived — literally moments before this issue was to be mailed out. It comes from subscriber GB, to whom thanks are due. This newsletter cannot vouch for, confirm or debunk any of it, so you are on your own….

Links

As you know from your grasp of AGW issues, the whole “green” phenomenon is a mix of myth, modernity and madness. New sources of energy are a part of the core mindset. To help you evaluate the various schemes and dreams, Popular Mechanics has come up with its listof what will work and what is nonsense.

The two-state solution is not popular with Arabs. Israel needs to remember that, because Obama won’t even have heard of it.

Kelo continues to resonate. The Supremes really messed up, and the nation is paying the price for their lunacy (from the post: “Our Founding Fathers had a word for that kind of law. Tyranny“).

This is the sort of reporting from Afghanistan that “progressives” will not read — and hope you do not read, as well.

“Obama and his team speak the language of redistribution and entitlements — not the language of opportunity and prosperity.” For the full story according to Victor Davis Hanson, click.

Congress is saving the nation: Dodd-Frank! Sheesh….

Berwick. The man who loves Obamacare.

CNN ignores its heritage, reverses direction. Next on the agenda: all CNN employees are to eat only processed plankton for one year. Meanwhile, some folks still believe in continuity.

Look how far the nation has come on firearms law, and look at why. Does that mean there is hope? Yes, because the Tea Party Phenomenon is generating more energy than the second amendment ever did. Probity in government can be a galvanazing issue.

As Islam’s holy warriors form guerrilla groups, they try to expand their spheres of operations. Here’s a note on one that seems to be accomplishing that.

If you are interested in the USA’s culture war, you will definitely want to read this article. If you are in the Bicoastal Elite, you won’t need to read it. If you are in a Tea Party group, you should read it. A quote: “…(the) dismissal of the American people’s intellectual, spiritual, and moral substance is the very heart of what our ruling class is about.”

The Israeli blockade of Gaza inspired a columnist to explain things to the world. Now he’s been handed his head. (Quotes from one of his critics: “comically overwrought pseudo-jeremiads,” “intellectual corruption,” “bigoted hatred of Israel typical of today’s American progressivism.”) Umm, yummy! For a quick overview, see this; for the full story, which is going to cause anguish in some circles, go here.

The Muddle East in a nutshell.

“…it was a monument to hypocrisy and cynicism. All these Democrats had said, like Mr. Bush did, that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD. Of the 110 House and Senate Democrats who voted in October 2002 to authorize the use of force against his regime, 67 said in congressional debate that Saddam had these weapons.” Read it all.

The AGW fiasco: the persistence of ignorant faith vs. the rationality of science. Faith always has an advantage.

Jobs and the economy.

“…gratuitous and overstated demonization of business,” eh? Hopeandchange!

Holder must go. Yes, he must. Beyond all doubt, he simply must go. The evidence is being verified. Meanwhile, the WaPo tries to explainwhy it has ignored the story, and can only whine about “limited staffing” and bleat, “Better late than never”, which implies that it has recently covered the issue (it still has not). Baloney. If this newsletter can cover it, the WaPo can.

Whatever this thing is up to, it should be grateful to Bill Gates!

The feds did not cause it, can’t blame it on BP, and are unhappy about it. They have also made it far worse than it had to be. That’s not crony capitalism at work — it’s stupidity and incompetence doing what they do best. The root cause: the lack of a chief executive.

The making of a senator.

Iatrogenic problems; Pelosi the comedienne.

It’s impossible to know the full truth behind stories like this (the headline: “Obama appoints Marxist to lead death panel”), but one may be forgiven for believing they present the preponderance of the facts.

The egregious mindset of Muslims is insuperable. That’s because it is scriptural. It overwhelms and negates, therefore, the love of a mother for her child. That means the scripture is evil — pure, undiluted evil. Because this evil proceeds from the creator deity, love and kindness are empty self-deceits; the devil is in charge of the universe. That is the genuine message of Islam.

How bad is the violence in those parts of Arizona that are used by Mexicans for illegal purposes? It’s a bit hard to find out, and the answers are often ambiguous, but if you are interested, here’s a report.

Unimportant, but fun if you are over fifty: before and after photos — the ravages of time, and cosmetic surgery.

More on Associate Justice Thomas and his opinion in the latest second amendment case before the high court.

How the physicians sold the public out.

Going after the villains is “scapegoating”? No, it’s going after the villains. And who are the villains? People like this. To counter them and defeat their evil plans, we need more people like this brave fellow.

To read this is to get the impression that Indians are not exactly fond of Pakistanis.

Just a wild guess, but “inside job” comes to mind. Watch your wallet, Uncle.

Funny, isn’t it…that the average Joe knew full well that releasing the Lockerbie bomber because of his “prostate cancer” was wrong on a number of counts, and the Scottish and UK governments did not? What is it about high positions in the civil service that makes their occupants stupid? Eh, what’s that you say…? Oh, yeah, corruption. Oil money. Comforting thought.

While politicians use antiquated hoaxes like collectivism to promote their “We can create a Heaven here on Earth” schemes, scientists are seriously working on the concept. Don’t put your money on anything big coming from the physics lab in your lifetime, but you can bet your life that, if they are not strictly controlled, collectivist politicians will never do anything but strengthen their positions and increase human misery.

Amazing. Hypnotic. Heretical. Don’t skip it!

This video is cute, and the last line in the audio track is hilarious.

A leftist publication tries to make sense of the mess in Afghanistan. Is the result too simple? By half. But it’s still food for thought, and Petraeus is a man who can think. He can probably also read this commentary in half the time you can.

How the world has changed…and how lousy the reasons for the change are! A TLB staffer can remember Ciudad Juarez as a place to go for a naughty good time. Today you would have to be suicidal to try it. And the reason things have gone to hell in a handbasket: the counterproductive anti-drug crusade of the morons running the USA.

It’s obvious that the Iranian government is insane, and literally so. All sorts of crazies can see it. Meanwhile, the striped trousers set is already starting to think about how the world can “live” with a nuclear-armed Iran (thanks to loyal reader GB for the link). Better idea: a high burst of just the right nuke over Persia to cause an artificial Carrington event that would render the locals deaf, dumb and blind. No need to bomb everything from the air. Send in sappers instead.

Here’s an interesting concept: Islam, riven by a crisis of conscience. Read it and ponder the prospects — but don’t count on five hundred years of cultural and ethical evolution taking effect in this century. Islam in all its varieties is the most change-resistant of all the major faiths.

The governmental bureaucracy is probably the worst resource available to cope with human frailty.

Jared Diamond is a bit nutty, but some of his ideas are interesting. Like many authors, he tries to be original and shocking. Here’s one of his notions for you to evaluate.

Here, however, is a nutty idea with some real promise: rats as mine detectors. They are fast, effective, light and cheap. Unlike dogs, they aren’t appealing, which means you don’t form emotional bonds with them. So, since lawyers can’t be trained to do the work….

Sometimes TLB wonders what the NY Times is up to — and here’s another example. You figure it out.