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Everything posted by william.scherk

  1. 24 Reasons Objectivists (Might) Love Roy Moore [Updated]

    My prediction of a Roy Moore victory still stands, but there is some countervailing information suggesting the race is actually tighter than I surmise. Fox News's latest poll, for example (although the Real Clear Politics average suggests Moore is up by a couple of points). Democrat Doug Jones holds a 10-point lead over Republican Roy Moore among likely voters in deep red Alabama. -- in other Roy Moore news, wouldn't you know it, more interview oddities have turned up. Apparently, Roy Moore's deep convictions that America needs to get back under God means that things were better under slavery, or at least before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and definitely before the addition of those pesky constitutional amendments that came after the 10th. I don't know how much electoral stock to put in this pot. But.
  2. Elsewhere on Objectivist-Trumpism Living, the Republican run-off between Luther Strange and Roy Moore was highlighted. ... It made me wonder just what qualities and policies an Objectivish person might celebrate in the Republican candidate for the December 12 special Senate election. I have narrowed it down to 24 attributes exemplified in direct quotes from the man ... "Homosexual conduct should be illegal" “We have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.” "Now, I haven't seen one thing in the press about this, and yet the President of the United States will not produce his birth certificate [...] That's very strange indeed. Why we don't hear about it — because the press won't report it." "We have child abuse, we have sodomy, we have murder, we have rape, we have all kind of immoral things happening because we have forgotten God.” “False religions like Islam who teach that you must worship this way are completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for" “I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty and government” "I'm sorry but this country was not founded on Muhammad. It was not founded on Buddha. It was not founded on secular humanism. It was founded on God," “[Islam is] a faith that conflicts with the First Amendment of the Constitution” “False religions like Islam, who teach that 'you must worship this way,' are completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for" “Just because it [homosexual behaviour is] done behind closed doors, it can still be prohibited by state law. Do you know that bestiality, the relationship between man and beast is prohibited in every state?” “There is no such thing as evolution. That we came from a snake? No, I don’t believe that.” “Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.” "When we forget God, we lose the only true basis for morality and ethics, and we are cast upon the shifting sands of moral relativism in which anything goes, including lying, cheating and stealing." “God’s laws are always superior to man’s laws.” “Buddha didn’t create us. Mohammed didn’t create us. It’s the God of the Holy Scriptures. They didn’t bring a Quran over on the pilgrim ship, Mayflower. Let’s get real. Let’s go back and learn our history.” “You think that God’s not angry that this land is a moral slum? How much longer will it be before his judgment comes?” "God is the only source of our law, liberty and government," "The free exercise clause of the constitution does not apply to any religion but Christianity." "Anytime you deny the acknowledgement of God you are undermining the entire basis for which our country exists." “Muslim Ellison should not sit in Congress” “We’ve got to remember that most of what we do in court comes from some scripture or is backed by scripture.” “‘It was the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America that Christianity ought to be favored by the State’” “There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Oklahoma tried passing a law restricting Sharia law, and it failed. Do you know about that?” "But to deny God — to deny Christianity or Christian principles — is to deny what the First Amendment was established for. The rights of conscience are beyond the reach of any human power; they are given by God and cannot be encroached on by any human authority without a criminal disobedience of the precepts of natural or revealed religion."
  3. Trump calls the bluff

    Edited yesterday at 11:27 AM by william.scherk Answering Tony's "I can't guess what your re-quote is meant to show." It shows a clickable image, with embedded link. Not full-text copy-paste without URLs. Next time, please don't copy-paste full text copyrighted material without attribution.
  4. 24 Reasons Objectivists (Might) Love Roy Moore [Updated]

    Roy Moore is mostly not doing interviews outside of friendly precincts, such as American Family Radio: JUDGE ROY MOORE: IF ELECTED, I WON’T OWE ANYBODY ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR THE PEOPLE OF ALABAMA AND ALMIGHTY GOD I've edited down a fair-use excerpt of the AFR 30-minute interview, preserving all the Moore locutions. One apparent exception to the "friendly" interview rule is in the Guardian, but this was first recorded back in August, during the Republican special election primary. Did you know Roy Moore speaks Russian, and that he thinks Putin might be right that America is the source of evil in the world? Key word: gay marriage.
  5. Fake News

    Dave Weigel resigns from Washington Post ..."
  6. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    Sanctions, sanctions, sanctions. From Politico yesterday, Trump approves new Russia sanctions for violating Cold War arms pact, by Gregory Hellman. The Trump administration is levying new sanctions on Russia it hopes will force it to comply with a Cold War-era nuclear arms treaty it has violated by deploying a banned cruise missile, according to a senior administration official. The Commerce Department will punish Russian companies that have provided technology to help develop the new weapon, which was outlawed by the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the United States and then-Soviet Union in 1987. The pact banned missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, which when deployed on Europe's periphery were seen as highly destabilizing because they would provide little advance notice of attack — and could carry a nuclear warhead. The administration’s decision, outlined to reporters on Friday, was made after a lengthy review undertaken by the National Security Council, the administration official said. The goal, the official said, is to signal to Russia that the Trump administration will take treaty violations seriously and to “change the economic calculus” of Putin’s government.
  7. One of the items I fish out of the general Russia Russia Russia hoopla is geopolitical strategy. In other words, setting aside the unproven allegations of the Trump-Russia 'collusion' grab-bag, and putting to one side the actual details of the "Russia hack" of the 2016 US presidential election -- leaving the residual "what is this administration's larger strategy with regard to Russia, its hopes and fears, its ambitions." This is no easy task. The election campaign revealed just a few rules of thumb that a Trump administration would use in a new relationship. Each of us will have an impression of the just what President Trump hopes to achieve in relation to Russia between now and 2020. For me, having studied utterances of Michael Flynn and the many Russia/Putin statements from the president, it is to "get along," to cooperate where it serves American interests, and perhaps to let Russia back in from the cold by removing sanctions where appropriate. In an sense, it is a desire to move the 'deep state' off its suspicious foundations in order to make a better partnership with the Eurasion nuclear power. (the 'deep state' I envision as the intersection of established policy [of the executive branch, including national security agencies] and law [from the legislature]; it is the entrenched state of affairs, the 'ship of state' -- a vehicle of praxis built up over time. The 'deep state' of course takes its order not from a shadowy cartel, but from department policy as written, intelligence findings as transmitted, and law. Law as in the welter of official acts and regulations, eg, Magnitsky-related sanctions. The 'deep state' vehicle can be refitted and given new missions, but this takes time, time to install new commanders with clear mission statements, time to legislate and decree a change in direction, speed, goal and targets) Having established their own briefs on facts and values, strategy and intelligence, law and practice, OLers might like me might have asked themselves the same set of questions -- not of the American 'vehicle' commanded by President Trump, but of the Russian ship of state. What Russia wants. -- that boring introduction done, here is a well-written analysis of Russian imperatives: Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will It Work? NB: at 4200 words the article is not light reading. But I suspect readers will be better able to answer the question "What is a proper Russia policy for the USA?" One person whose opinions I wish we could consult right now is the founder of Objectivism. Having a cold eye on the Soviet Union, a cold eye for any unfree state, a cold eye for dictatorships, Ayn Rand would likely be able to add moral clarity to the 'debates' about Russia Russia Russia. A couple of folks here have contended that Rand would be enamored of Donald Trump, a notion I find preposterous. But I could be very wrong.
  8. Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

    Catching up with David Seaman. This is an edited version of his December 6th "live streaming" Youtube video called The Storm Is Here! Interagency Pizzagate DC Raids!? Seaman is referring to Operation Tin Panda, a series of raids and arrests in northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. In a kind of transmutation, he has grafted a gang-related sweep to the Soros-Clinton-Pizzagate world-wide child sex trafficking cult. Along the way he takes aim at his favourite punching bag this month, Susan Wojcicki of Google/Youtube. In the video (starting around 4:00) he smokes a "Caviar" joint, with somewhat interesting results. The original video was 30 minutes. This version is just over 11 minutes. Enjoy! (the full text of his remarks is to the right, for connoisseurs) -- the names of those arrested and their charges are available for investigators of connections between Operation Tin Panda and the Luciferian Pizzagate plot. [Added: a slightly different perspective on Operation Tin Panda from the well-organized Jordan Sather, cued up to his remarks.]
  9. I want to recommend a book I just started reading last night: "Suspicious Minds," by Rob Brotherton. As is usual, I read first the chapter that stuck out -- Chapter 5, The Paranoid Fringe. It takes a useful critical look at the seminal article by Richard Hofstadter -- "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" -- and also runs to ground a plausible origin of 'tinfoil hats.' The book is written in a wry conversational tone, and is not on the surface a ''scholarly" read thick with endless footnotes, but it also contains a very useful reference list by page number -- as well as a full index at the back. (My copy is from our local library, but I am going to order it from Amazon so I always have it on hand as a reference book.) Here is an excerpt from the first page that might whet OLer's appetite for more ... In a fit of recursion, I include this bit of commentary from earlier this month. It suggests that I am bound by ingrained prejudice/s, which may or may not be true ... yet leaves the door open to further friendly discussion. -- for those who like to check out reviews before purchasing or borrowing from a library, here's a selection -- which I thought remarkable. Remarkable in the sense of "how many reviews do not mention Donald Trump?" New York Times review by Adrian Chen Inside Higher Education review by Scott McLemee Brief Scientific American review by Maria Temming -- for the benefit of Dear Leader, I found the book is available at his local library too!
  10. Trump calls the bluff

  11. Fake News

    "US Military Develop ‘Gene Extinction’ Weapon To Wipe Out Entire Race"
  12. Trump calls the bluff

  13. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    The gist is that Russia had detailed suggestions/plans to normalize relations. The Lawfare podcasts are good, wide-ranging, thoughtful and intelligent. Here's a sample of the kind of work they get up to, an interview with a dude who knows Russia better than you or me. "Freedom of conscience, speech, assembly, association; representative/republican form of government, rule of law, the primacy of individual rights and freedoms ... " + charter or constitutional rights that are inalienable, an independent judiciary ...
  14. 24 Reasons Objectivists (Might) Love Roy Moore [Updated]

    The Senate majority leader said the people of Alabama will decide, and the RNC resumed funding the Moore campaign. The majority leader also said that Moore will face an ethics probe if elected. That's not nice. Who wants an ethics probe dogging his Christian mission? But the accused-of-sexual-improprieties seat in the Senate can be said to be empty if Al Franken resigns. The Democrats seem determined to defenestrate the Groping Kiss Bandit, if only to clear the air before Mall Visitor McYoungladies takes that empty seat. I see the old-as-a-giant-turtle Representative Conyers has also stepped down after a full century in the House, over gropy kissy grabby matters. He has recommended voters elect his great-great-great grandson to 'his' seat. When they go low, we go lower ... Ayn Rand fans will surely enjoy this cute Moore tweet: This claim is not true, but what would we really expect from Roy Moore but an appeal to disgust? #AbortionJones
  15. From the pack of survey mavens and rational inquirers at Pew Global, released December 1st under the headline "Worldwide, People Divided On Whether Life Today Is Better Than In The Past." Full results and toplines. See also this rendering of the economic co-efficient (excepting the USA).
  16. Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

    Duelling conspiracies ... -- from the story: International investigators concluded that Russia engaged in a massive conspiracy to help athletes take performance-enhancing drugs in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
  17. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    I don't know what "democratic values" are. When you have time and the return of interest, perhaps you will answer the bolded question. I don't want to presume over-much with the second question. If you don't have opinions on Russian strategy vis a vis the West ... no worries, but I'll still wonder what you think America should 'get' from Russia if it comes to suspend or reverse the actions noted above. Freedom of conscience, speech, assembly, association; representative/republican form of government, rule of law, the primacy of individual rights and freedoms ... Of glancing interest today is the reaction of the leadership to the announcement that the International Olympic Committee has barred Russia from competing in the Olympic Games next year in the Republic of Korea. Dope dope dope dope dope ... Putin blames US for 'politically-motivated' Olympics ban
  18. What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

    I don't have the time for the topic. That's too bad for discussion. You could alway just plonk in some boilerplate. Thanks for sharing your opinion. I take it you are not much interested in Russian goals, in or at least assessing them, and I also take it that you support lifting the Magnitsky/Crimea/meddling sanctions and expulsion orders. Do I have that more or less right? Moreover, do you support Putin's strategy to disrupt the Western alliance and undermine democratic values? To thoroughly confuse the matter, the equivocal nature of the term "Sanctions."
  19. 24 Reasons Objectivists (Might) Love Roy Moore [Updated]

    Twenty-sixth reason for an Objectivish person to support the candidacy of Roy Moore! -- on the other hand, did you know that another purported note from Roy Moore to a "young lady" of high-school age has been found in an attic? From Fox News: Roy Moore accuser shares graduation card she claims he signed. Her name is Debbie Wesson Gibson, and if you believe the Moore-ish defense against these allegations, she is a dirty liar and a forger -- because Moore denies ever knowing her ...
  20. Top Twitter feeds

    “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE” This is a very promising line of attack/defense for those who seek to undermine the Mueller investigation. Peter Strzok was apparently an FBI investigator in charge of the (Comey-led) inquiry into Hillary Clinton's email scandal. He is likely the person who played a large part in the process of softening the language Comey used in his public comments -- changing the wording from 'grossly negligent' to 'extremely careless.' He is also said to have been the/an investigator interviewing Michael Flynn ... Follow Chuck Ross on Twitter (@ChuckRossDC) and catch up with his reporting at Daily Caller. Here's his latest on questions needing to be put to Mueller: 6 Questions That Mueller Should Answer About The Anti-Trump Russia Investigator -- as the President said:
  21. Top Twitter feeds

    A Twitter List by wsscherk is my compilation of accounts our dear Leader follows. This post originally was a summer test of embedding such a thing on a page, which I did later do with both the Salon and anti-Salon lists elsewhere. Sorry if Michael felt his privacy invaded -- this post was put on a "Publish later" schedule and forgotten about until it popped up. In any case, Twitter Lists are a means to narrowly focus and sample tweets from interest groups, subject areas, kooks and crazies, and so on. Here is a link to how I organize my lists. Some are essential, some are works in progress. I like to dip in during my Twitter encounters ...
  22. The Arab Tyrants Manual (podcast)

    Regarding Yemen, one of its long-time (former) rulers was assassinated today ... the wily Ali Abdullah Saleh. He tried to break his alliance with one of the factions in the gruesome war, and was shot to death in his car. It is believed he was killed by the Houthis, the Iranian-allied Shia-based militia. Only Tunisia emerged intact and democratic from the so-called Arab Spring ... Saudi Arabia still shelters its former dictator, Ben Ali.
  23. Readers will have seen this week one tyrant near the end of his reign -- Mugabe in Zimbabwe, who will likely be impeached next month -- and may have speculated on what the ruckus in Saudia Arabia portends for the family autocracy there (setting aside humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen). I've been following the activist Iyad el-Baghdadi for quite a while on Twitter. He was jailed and expelled from Saudi Arabia and found refuge in Norway, after having become a stinging thorn in the side of autocrats throughout the Arab world. As he added entries to his "Arab Tyrants Manual" his relative fame/notoriety/danger grew. Readers here may be interested to know of his self-identification as an "Islamic Libertarian." Long story short, he has launched a new project that I like the looks of ... he is wicked smart, incisive, funny and informed. Here we get a close look at Saudi Arabia's failures as a regime. Not as much zany fun as an hour with Loren Lockman, but hey. Here's the Soundcloud embed: Here I add a striking video that depicts the relentless economic development of the alternative Saudi Arabia, the jewel of the Emirates, Dubai.
  24. The Trump-Russia File [updated]

    Trump flashback: "I've got a crook running my campaign." Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie have a new book coming out tomorrow. For some reason they made an advance copy available to the Washington Post. The book is called "Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency" (Amazon link). The Post saw fit to excerpt portions chronicling the President's titanic rages ... and his diet of fast-food. Ho hum. Of more interest to OLers following the scandal/hoax/NWO-Deaps-Tait hoopla around the campaign -- and the fate of such as Manafort, Flynn, Gates and Papadopoulos -- there is some material that covers the hiring and firing of Paul Manafort (who is now under house arrest). According to Talking Points Memo's Matt Shuham -- piggy-backing on a report from Politico -- the book says this kind of thing ... [Edit note: I should have just led with the excerpts at Politico ...]