How Sophomoric . . . or Is It?

Nobody wants to ban Shakespeare.  So don’t go wacko on me.

But if this were an isolated incident, something outside of all political contexts that one can imagine over the last year, ahem, sure, this theater-in-the-park would form an interesting mixture of art and politics.  And public figures, if such a thing exists, are expected to be the target of envious tax-payers.  In poor taste perhaps, but art nonetheless.  But it isn’t isolated, which makes this more than art. It is politics.  And politics is nasty.  I see Facebook pages of former colleagues, intelligent men and women, who in any lecture would condemn ad hominem attacks.  But because it is Donald Trump whose rhetoric flies to what resembles extreme for modern liberals, why these former colleagues feel liberated from circumspection not by hate but by outrage to stop the man in his oratorical tracks . . . or at least to counter them.  The Left really wants to get rid of Donald Trump.

The woman at the 1:10-minute mark who says that “I don’t think it’s disrespectful for the president to be assassinated on stage.  It’s not the president, it’s theater.  Everybody knows it’s theater” is clueless as to signaling.  Somebody is signaling.  I don’t think Trump is that big of a threat to the bureaucratic establishment.  I do think that the unwieldy debt crisis in this country is.  No one is addressing that.  And still Trump boosts the Pentagon’s budget.  But that woman in the video should cultivate a better historical context.  When JFK was murdered in Dallas back in 1963, leaflets were distributed by General Edwin A. Walker condemning JFK as a communist.  True it was found that Walker had zero to do with the assassination, which to some might make that a moot point.  But do we spike an inflammatory situation?  Do we escalate?  Is that just theater? Is that just independent journalism?  Is it Charlie Hebdo?   At a minimum it is signaling. What, words, scenes, acts have no meaning or intention or make no statement beyond the confines of the stage or curtain? How big of an idiot or prop is she?

Imagine if Hillary or Obama were the target of someone’s politic theater.

And the reaction is mixed.  Delta and Bank of America, the only two so far, have withdrawn their financial support . . . sort of .  Like I said the withdrawal is mixed. Time Warner still funding the festival.

New York’s Public Theater lost financial support from two high-profile corporate donors, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America, on Sunday amid intense criticism of its production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” which depicts the assassination of a Trump-like Roman ruler.

The companies’ decisions came after days of criticism online and in right-leaning media outlets that was amplified by Donald Trump Jr., a son of the president, who appeared to call into question the theater’s funding sources on Twitter on Sunday morning.

“No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of ‘Julius Caesar’ at this summer’s free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values,” Delta said in a statement on Sunday night. . . .

Bank of America followed hours later, saying it would withdraw financial support from the production of “Julius Caesar” but would not end its financial relationship with the theater, which a bank spokeswoman, Susan Atran, said had lasted for 11 years.

I have no problem criticizing any administration, condemning their policies when they require it or praising policies and law abiding when that presents itself.  But to use the play as justification for contemporary relevance and a veiled threat like that is sophomoric.  You see this kind of play within a play at high schools where one group of teachers and students will collude to publicly humiliate, even threaten one of the teachers on staff.  Not nice.

Robert Wenzel says the Left is desperate.  Boy, are they!

The Left desperately wants a lefty in power. They have nothing else on their minds.

The Left is relentless. David Stockman, former Reagan OMB Director, thinks that the thousand knives are out for Trump and that he will be driven out by midterm elections, 2018. He draws an interesting comparison to Nixon, who actually won the popular vote, whereas Trump won only the electoral vote.  I hope that Trump sees a full term or even two.  Not because I am such a fan of Trump but that I do enjoy that he is a source of such displeasure to the establishment.

But it’s not like Americans win if Trump remains in office or if he is ultimately impeached.  I don’t think he’ll be removed from office.  What do the Democrats want, Pence?

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, assesses the bureaucratic establishment better than any politician I’ve ever heard.

 

“The state does not defend us; rather, the state aggresses against us and it uses our confiscated property to defend itself. “

Democracy really is an evil system that uses majority and mob rule to enjoy empire. Mob rule means gangs–but it’s not the 18th Street Gangs that rule: the state is one large gang constantly vying for legitimacy.  It means the use and legitimization of violence to exact theft and confiscation of property.  Democratic governments will kill to get what it wants. Yet democracy is sold as the most liberating political system the world has ever known. It isn’t.  It is simply took the property of kings, dukes, and princes and transferred that property to democratic governments, sold as “for the people” to gain ongoing support from the people.  Oh, your highness!

The alternative to democracy is liberty.  Hans-Hermann Hoppe provides a definition:

A society is free if every person is recognized as the exclusive owner of his own (scarce) physical body, if everyone is free to appropriate or “homestead” previously unowned things as private property, if everyone is free to use his body and his homesteaded goods to produce whatever he wants to produce (without thereby damaging the physical integrity of other peoples’ property), and if everyone is free to contract with others regarding their respective properties in any way deemed mutually beneficial. Any interference with this constitutes an act of aggression, and a society is unfree to the extent of such aggressions.

DAILY BELL: Please answer these questions as our readers were not already aware of your fine work and considered opinions. Let’s jump right in. Why is democracy “The God That Failed?”

DR. HANS-HERMANN HOPPE: The traditional, premodern state form is that of a (absolute) monarchy. The democratic movement was directed against kings and the classes of hereditary nobles. Monarchy was criticized as being incompatible with the basic principle of “equality before the law.” It rested on privilege and was unfair and exploitative. Democracy was supposed to be the way out. In opening participation and entry into state-government to everyone on equal terms, so the advocates of democracy claimed, equality before the law would become reality and true freedom would reign. But this is all a big error.

True, under democracy everyone can become king, so to speak, not only a privileged circle of people. Thus, in a democracy no personal privileges exist. However, functional privileges and privileged functions exist. Public officials, if they act in an official capacity, are governed and protected by “public law” and thereby occupy a privileged position vis-à-vis persons acting under the mere authority of “private law.” In particular, public officials are permitted to finance or subsidize their own activities through taxes. That is, they are permitted to engage in, and live off, what in private dealings between private law subjects is prohibited and considered “theft” and “stolen loot.” Thus, privilege and legal discrimination — and the distinction between rulers and subjects — will not disappear under democracy.

Even worse: Under monarchy, the distinction between rulers and ruled is clear. I know, for instance, that I will never become king, and because of that I will tend to resist the king’s attempts to raise taxes. Under democracy, the distinction between rulers and ruled becomes blurred. The illusion can arise “that we all rule ourselves,” and the resistance against increased taxation is accordingly diminished. I might end up on the receiving end: as a tax recipient rather than a tax payer, and thus view taxation more favorably.

And moreover, as a hereditary monopolist, a king regards the territory and the people under his rule as his personal property and engages in the monopolistic exploitation of this “property.” Under democracy, monopoly and monopolistic exploitation do not disappear. Rather, what happens is this: instead of a king and a nobility who regard the country as their private property, a temporary and interchangeable caretaker is put in monopolistic charge of the country. The caretaker does not own the country, but as long as he is in office he is permitted to use it to his and his protégés’ advantage. He owns its current use — usufruct — but not its capital stock. This does not eliminate exploitation. To the contrary, it makes exploitation less calculating and carried out with little or no regard to the capital stock. Exploitation becomes shortsighted and capital consumption will be systematically promoted.

DAILY BELL: If democracy has failed what would you put in its place? What is the ideal society? Anarchocapitalism?

HOPPE: I prefer the term “private-law society.” In a private-law society, every individual and institution is subject to one and the same set of laws. No public law granting privileges to specific persons or functions exists in this society. There is only private law (and private property), equally applicable to each and everyone. No one is permitted to acquire property by means other than through original appropriation of previously unowned things, through production, or through voluntary exchange; and no one possesses a privilege to tax and expropriate. Moreover, no one is permitted to prohibit anyone else from using his property in order to enter any line of production he wishes and compete against whomever he pleases.

DAILY BELL: How would law and order be provided in this society? How would your ideal justice system work?

HOPPE: In a private-law society the production of law and order — of security — would be undertaken by freely financed individuals and agencies competing for a voluntarily paying (or not-paying) clientele — just like the production of all other goods and services. How this system would work can be best understood in contrast to the workings of the present, all-too-familiar statist system. If one wanted to summarize in one word the decisive difference — and advantage — of a competitive security industry as compared to the current statist practice, it would be: contract.

The state operates in a legal vacuum. There exists no contract between the state and its citizens. It is not contractually fixed what is actually owned by whom, and what, accordingly, is to be protected. It is not fixed what service the state is to provide, what is to happen if the state fails in its duty, nor what the price is that the “customer” of such “service” must pay. Rather, the state unilaterally fixes the rules of the game and can change them, per legislation, during the game.

Obviously, such behavior is inconceivable for freely financed security providers. Just imagine a security provider, whether police, insurer, or arbitrator, whose offer consisted in something like this: I will not contractually guarantee you anything. I will not tell you what I oblige myself to do if, according to your opinion, I do not fulfill my service to you — but in any case, I reserve the right to unilaterally determine the price that you must pay me for such undefined service. Any such security provider would immediately disappear from the market due to a complete lack of customers.

Each private, freely financed security producer must instead offer its prospective clients a contract. And these contracts must, in order to appear acceptable to voluntarily paying consumers, contain clear property descriptions as well as clearly defined mutual services and obligations. Each party to a contract, for the duration or until the fulfillment of the contract, would be bound by its terms and conditions; and every change of terms or conditions would require the unanimous consent of all parties concerned.

Specifically, in order to appear acceptable to security buyers, these contracts must contain provisions about what will be done in the case of a conflict or dispute between the protector or insurer and his own protected or insured clients as well as in the case of a conflict between different protectors or insurers and their respective clients.

Read the rest of the interview.  It is excellent.  Then get the book and read it.

Originally appeared at Lew Rockwell.com.

Jim Lobe on Trump’s Appointments

Excellent assessment on the worrying aspects of Trump’s Cabinet appointments.  Horton writes,

Jim Lobe, a veteran journalist and founder of Lobelog.com, discusses the wacky, conspiratorial worldview of Trump’s national security adviser Michael T. Flynn; the relatively level-headed secretary of defense nominee James “Mad Dog” Mattis; and how a Trump administration will deal with the Middle East, Israel, Russia and China.

The interview is quite good at assessing the different characters surrounding Trump and the White House, in particular, Michael Ledeen.  Ledeen has become increasingly Islamaphobic over the years. Came to the world’s attention when he was working with the Italian military intelligence.  He played a role in exposing the BillyGate Affair.

Jim Lobe has been covering the news in Washington D.C. for a long time.  As Libertarians might say, he’s deep in the heart of the beast.  Perhaps.  But I still liked this interview.

Alexander Hamilton “was the inventor of the subversive idea of ‘implied powers’ of the Constitution and [used] the General Welfare Clause to create a government of unlimited powers”

Yeah, there’s an American we should venerate in theaters around the country and using theatrical opportunities of SJW shaming.

By Thomas DiLorenzo

The following is an excerpt from LewRockwell.com

Governor Pence “got what he deserved,” says Gary North, for paying $1700 for his wife and himself to attend the silly performance of “rappers” spouting nonsense and lies about Alexander Hamilton in front of a bunch of angry and ill-mannered New York leftists.  One hopes that the Trump administration will not waste tax dollars in such a foolish manner.

But Governor Pence’s bigger mistake was to somehow believe that Alexander Hamilton is someone that he should admire.  This is hugely ironic, since Hamilton was the founding father of corrupt crony capitalism funded by a crooked central bank, exclusively for the benefit of the one-percenters of his day.  He stood for everything that the Trump campaign stood against. Hamilton was the consummate statist and imperialist and political water boy for the big business interests of New York, Philadelphia, and Boston (the Federalists) who wanted to essentially establish the rotten, corrupt, imperialist, British mercantilist system in America. The very system the American Revolution had just deposed, in other words.  Hamilton was a traitor to the principles of the Revolution who spent the last fifteen years of his life attempting to transform the American government into a government for crony capitalists, by crony capitalists, of crony capitalists, all centrally planned by clever Machiavellian political manipulators like himself.

Alexander Hamilton was the founding father of constitutional subversion who denounced the Constitution as “a frail and worthless fabric” because it imposed so many limits on governmental powers.

He was the inventor of the subversive idea of “implied powers” of the Constitution and of using the General Welfare Clause to create a government of unlimited powers.  He was perhaps the first to spout The Big Lie that the states were never sovereign, the lie that was at the heart of Lincoln’s case for invading his own country in order to destroy the system of federalism and states’ rights that had been primarily the work of the Jeffersonian tradition of the founding generation. Hamilton and his political heirs (like Lincoln) worked mightily for some seventy-five years to destroy the Jeffersonian, states’ rights tradition of federalism and decentralized government once and for all.  Instead of self rule, they believed, Americans needed to be ruled by their wise “Yankee” betters.  Or else.

The Hamiltonians eventually succeeded at this when the War to Prevent Southern Independence destroyed federalism and consolidated all political power in Washington, D.C., after which corporate welfare, protectionism (another form of corporate welfare), a nationalized money supply, and military imperialism —  Hamilton’s Orwellian-named “American System” — was cemented into place.  It was really an American version of the British mercantilist/imperialist system.

For a complete takedown of the Founding Father of American cronyism, check out Tom DiLorenzo’s Hamilton’s Curse.

via RonPaulLibertyReport

Identity Politics, O, Absurdity!

via Lew Rockwell

From their YouTube page notes:

Sometimes the best way to prove the insanity of your opponents, is to give them exactly what they want.

Here’s something you don’t see every day…a German politician fighting back against political correctness which has risen to the point of insanity.

In the parliament of Brandenburg recently, the Green Party introduced a bill to adopt a “Campaign for Acceptance of Gender and Sexual diversity, Self-Determination and against Homo and Trans-phobia in Brandenburg” as well as “Giving equal rights and societal equality for LGBTTQQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Two-spirit, Queer, Questioning) people in Brandenburg”

The Green Party, which still holds a substantial share of the vote in Germany, is notorious for their advocacy of homosexual marriage and adoption as well as pedophilia and promotion of “trans-gender” agendas. (One Green Party leader, Daniel Cohn-Bendit even openly bragged about raping kindergartners.)

Germany already has strict “hate speech” laws that effectively criminalize any criticism of racial or religious minorities – those laws may soon include criticism of someone’s self-proclaimed “gender.”

Enter Steffen Königer of Germany’s new Alternative for Germany party (German acronym: AfD). AfD is known for being a Euroskeptic party which opposes mass immigration to Germany and political correctness. Königer rose to voice his party’s opposition to the measure, which was also supported by the Left Party and the Social Democratic Party.

Not wanting to leave anyone out, Königer opened his speech “Dear Ladies and Gentleman…” and then took the complete list of 60 possible genders which has been adopted by Facebook, and proceeded to name each one in a salutation which lasted over 3 minutes. Even the establishment politicians sitting behind him could not fail to recognize the brilliance of his response.

There may be hope for Germany yet.

CRAZY: Hold an Opposing View, and the PC Crowd Wants to Put You on Medical Leave

An NYU professor crusading against political correctness and student coddling was booted from the classroom last week after his colleagues complained about his “incivility,” The Post has learned.

Liberal [Studies Professor] Michael Rectenwald, 57, said he was forced Wednesday to go on paid leave for the rest of the semester.

“They are actually pushing me out the door for having a different perspective,” the academic told The Post.

Rectenwald launched an undercover Twitter account called Deplorable NYU Prof on Sept. 12 to argue against campus trends like “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings” and other aspects of academia’s growing PC culture.

He chose to be anonymous, he explained in one of his first tweets, because he was afraid “the PC Gestapo would ruin me” if he put his name ­behind his conservative ideas on the famously liberal campus.

“I remember once on my Facebook I posted a story about a kid who changed his pronoun to ‘His Majesty’ because I thought it was funny,” he told The Post. “Then I got viciously attacked by 400 people. This whole milieu is nauseating. I grew tired of it, so I made the account.”

On Oct. 11, Rectenwald used his ­internet alter ego to criticize “safe spaces” — the recent campus trend of “protecting” students from uncomfortable speech — as “at once a hall of mirrors and a rubber room.”

Two weeks ago he posted on his “anti-PC” feed a photo of a flyer put out by NYU resident advisers telling students how to avoid wearing potentially offensive Halloween costumes.

“The scariest thing about Halloween today is . . . the liberal totalitarian costume surveillance,” he wrote.

“It’s an alarming curtailment of free expression to the point where you can’t even pretend to be something without authorities coming down on you in the universities,” Rectenwald told The Post.

But the Twitter feed soon sparked a “witch hunt” by the growing army of “social justice warriors,” he said. And so, when he was approached on Twitter by a reporter with the Washington Square News, NYU’s student newspaper, the untenured assistant professor agreed to an interview.

“I thought there was nothing objectionable about what I had said,” he told The Post.

“My contention is that the trigger warning, safe spaces and bias hot-line reporting is not politically correct. It is insane,” he told the student paper in an interview published Monday.

But Rectenwald says he began getting “dirty looks” in his department and on Wednesday figured out why: A 12-person committee calling itself the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, including two deans, published a letter to the editor in the same paper.

“As long as he airs his views with so little appeal to evidence and civility, we must find him guilty of illogic and incivility in a community that predicates its work in great part on rational thought and the civil exchange of ideas,” they wrote.

“We seek to create a dynamic community that values full participation. Such efforts are not the ‘destruction of academic integrity’ Professor Rectenwald suggests, but rather what make possible our program’s approach to global studies,” they argued.

Rectenwald likened the attack to “a Salem witch trial. They took my views personally. I never even mentioned them and I never even said NYU liberal studies program. I was talking about academia at large.”

The same day that letter was published, Rectenwald was summoned to a meeting with his department dean and an HR representative, he says.

“They claimed they were worried about me and a couple people had expressed concern about my mental health,” Rectenwald told The Post.

The leave has “absolutely zero to do with his Twitter account or his opinions on issues of the day,” said NYU spokesman Matt Nagel, refusing to elaborate on the reason.

But Rectenwald is disheartened.

“I’m afraid my academic career is over,” he said. “Academic freedom: It’s great, as long as you don’t use it.”