Today’s example of passive-voice propaganda

Don’t they teach you in Journalism 101 to use passive voice sparingly?  Even Fleet Street tabloids are supposed to know this.  From an article in the U.K. Mirror, “Fury over rare white lion being auctioned off ‘to be shot by trophy hunters'”:

The majestic animal, named Mufasa, was confiscated three years ago when he was a cub, along with another baby lion called Soraya.

Named by whom?  Confiscated by whom, from whom?

This is a case not just of bad writing, but rather of the typical journalistic practice of obscuring facts to shape the reader’s opinion, i.e., propaganda.

The article goes on to say that the government department with custody of the animal, the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, will auction it to raise money for, presumably, environmental affairs.  (Of course, this is South Africa, so who knows where  the money will go.)  Various celebrities and busybodies are crying foul and using their usual tactics—courts, petitions, and the media—t0 force the lion into a wildlife sanctuary.

We are shocked that the obvious market solution has apparently not occurred to the campaigners:  if they are so passionate about the animal’s welfare, why not raise money themselves to win the auction and then donate their prize to the sanctuary?

 

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Will Hurricane Maria provide the excuse for Congress to bail out Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico’s electric utility was already effectively bankrupt.  Now, most inconveniently, Hurricane Maria has knocked out power to the entire island.
We predict that that hurricane will provide the cover for Congress to provide a massive bailout—effectively leveraging the tragedy of Maria to cover for its previous woes too.
Perhaps it’s unseemly to discuss now at this time that calls for compassion.  But the hurricane could well provide, shall we say, a glaring silver lining for this island that will allow it to escape accountability for its decades of corruption and mismanagement.

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Win-win: How about creating that libertarian paradise in Barbuda?

Hurricane Irma destroyed Barbuda, forcing evacuation of the island’s 3,000 inhabitants.  Media reports suggest that it will cost around $250M to rebuild the tropical paradise.  The territory is, of course, part of the country of Antigua and Barbuda, which has a relatively high standard of living.

In lieu of focusing on seasteading, how about a bunch of rich libertarians get together and, though a market solution, try to purchase the island, rehabilitate it, and create a new sovereign state?

Maybe offer $500M to the government of Antigua and Barbuda to cover the costs of permanently accommodating former Barbuda residents on Antigua and to compensate them for the lost territory.  Given the country’s fiscal challenges, this could be a nice nest egg, covering about half of the annual government budget [PDF].  Add in the $250M to rebuild Barbuda.  (We have little doubt that enterprising, profit-motivated Americans could manage it cheaper.)

Offer, say, $100,000 to compensate each resident of Barbuda who chooses not to return.  If half of them take you up on it, that’s $150M.  (Better yet, determine the fair value of their private losses and compensate them; we doubt that it would be anything close to an order of magnitude higher than $100K on average.)  Invite those who decline the opportunity to return under the new system.  Budget $50M to build the hardware and software of a new (minimalist) national government.

So, for less than a billion dollars, we could possibly have a new state.  Peter Thiel alone could cover this.  The new owners could begin selling parcels of land, privatizing government-type services, and creating a true libertarian paradise.  It’s easy to envision them recouping their investment while creating a society that would soon become the richest per capita in the world.  Think of the prospects for tourism, retirement homes, and financial services alone.  The geography and weather (minus the occasional hurricane) are a good start.

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George Clooney could be a formidable presidential candidate

George Clooney just sold his tequila business for a headline-grabbing $1B.  It seems plausible that he is building his image for a presidential campaign, and, if so, Republicans should take it seriously.

Although he has spewed the standard Hollywood liberal talking points, he hasn’t come across in the deranged Ashley Judd/Madonna mold.  He seems like a serious guy, not an arrogant idiot, who has taken a lower political profile than many of his contemporaries.  He’s not even on Twitter, has done interviews with Fox News and Business Insider, and thereby has created space for an image of gravitas that most celebrities have squandered.

His UN “humanitarian” work seems more legitimate, low-key, and serious, than that of most Hollywood grandstanders.

He took another step toward political respectability by marrying not some starlet, but a quintessential liberal pin-up girl:  exotic, brown, man-jawed, not too young, with a prestigious-sounding job as a “human rights lawyer” and now having children.

Plenty of people have speculated about a potential run for California or federal office, and he has denied interest.  And of course we don’t know how his views would stand up to scrutiny or how he’d do in a debate, but he could be strong candidate. Now that President Trump has broken the glass ceiling of celebrity-type candidates, this could be a trend.

The biggest barrier to his candidacy might be a refusal by the Democratic party to accept a white male nominee.

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Why would Theresa May call an early election — and why would Labor agree?

Could the fix be in to nullify Brexit?  We thought it was peculiar that the Conservative Party chose an anti-Brexit candidate, Theresa May, to replace David Cameron as Prime Minister.  Now May has called an early election, even though she has a solid majority.  Her stated reason is to obtain a larger “mandate” for the U.K. to negotiate the terms of Brexit with the EU.  This doesn’t seem convincing given that the party publicly got behind Brexit after it passed and Cameron resigned.

A Prime Minister only calls an early election if the polls suggest that the governing party is likely to increase its majority, of course, and indeed polls so indicated when May called the election a couple of weeks ago.  However, under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act passed in 2011, two-thirds of the House of Commons must agree to election prior to expiration of the five-year fixed term.

One obvious question is why a minority party would ever agree if the majority party feels that an early election would be to its advantage.  Perhaps in some cases the minority party has its own polling numbers, or an underdog strategy that it is convinced that it can execute.  But in this case Parliament approved the early election nearly unanimously:  522-13.

What do all of these MPs know that the Tories, or the rest of us, don’t?  Labor could have agreed to an early election to create a pretext to dump Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has never been popular among the caucus, if they lose ground.  The Liberal Democrats also mostly supported the early election; perhaps they figured they had nothing left to lose.

Our conspiracy theory is that Theresa May is hoping to lose her majority, or at least have it reduced, in order to sabotage Brexit.  Maybe Labor is in on it.  We speculated at the time that the establishment would do everything it could to slow-walk and eventually ignore the Brexit vote.  This could be part of that strategy; with the media’s help, perhaps May could attribute any result other than a significant gain in Conservative seats as resounding proof that the electorate has changed its mind on Brexit.

Theresa May might envision getting on the cover of Vanity Fair (or whatever the British equivalent is), and then lucrative sinecures on the globalist lecture and think-tank circuits, as the heroic woman who sacrificed her own position and her party’s interest for the good of her country, and indeed the whole world.

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Top 10 side effects of Trump’s victory

The great news just keeps on rolling in after Tuesday.  Here are some great (and some not so great) side effects that we can look forward to:

10.  The Clinton Foundation will close up shop, since with no influence to peddle no one will donate to it.

9.  The media will try to build momentum to elect Hillary Clinton Speaker of the House for the sake of national unity (and since she won the popular vote, dontcha know).  President Trump and Vice President Pence will then have to avoid being in the same place for four years.

8.  We will never hear the name Alicia Machado again.  Or Sidney Blumenthal, Robbie Mook, or Jennifer Palmieri.  Or Huma Abedin (unless she ends up in the dock or in the pages of the Federal Register as having been granted a pardon).

7.  Ivanka Trump will be America’s first woman president, maybe around 2028 (while the left decries the Trumps for trying to create a dynasty).

6.  Democrats will move to abolish the electoral college.  Democrats will rediscover the majesty of the filibuster, the perniciousness of the presidential executive order, and the importance of checks and balances.

5.  Merrick Garland will resign his judgeship, join the Harvard Law School faculty, and become a bitter old man writing op-eds and appearing on MSNBC panels relentlessly attacking President Trump.  He may run for Senate and prove to be just as leftist as Elizabeth Warren.

4.  The bubble for firearm and ammunition company stocks will end (though the Soros-funded rioters may keep up demand under they peter out).

3.  Chelsea Clinton will run for office (the only way to prevent #10).  Kirsten Gillibrand will lose her status as liberal icon and be pressured to make way for Chelsea to take her seat.  Ditto for Richard Durbin once Michelle Obama decides that she’s entitled to a senate seat too.

2.  James Taranto will grudgingly have to retire his “we blame George W. Bush meme.”  Glenn Reynolds will happily have to retire his “TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day XXX” meme.  CBS will finally be able to cancel Madam Secretary, which was presumably created as an in-kind donation/hagiography to the Clinton campaign (every time you saw a promo for the show, you were supposed to think of Hillary Clinton).

1.  The Trump Organization will have to change its name back to the original German Trumpf to avoid any conflict of interest.

 

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Might Hillary Clinton pivot her rhetoric on terrorism to win the election?

The Muslim terrorist attacks over the weekend in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota provide another dose of vindication to Donald Trump’s worries about the threats posed by Muslim immigrants.  It must be clear to Hillary Clinton that this issue—contrasted by her and her minions’ default nothing-to-see-here responses—could carry Trump to victory.

Could we see Clinton try, perhaps in the presidential debates, to co-opt Trump’s ownership of this issue by finally acknowledging the pattern of Islamic terrorism and recognizing that a specific ideology and specific group of identifiable people are at war with our civilization?  It would only take a few words, and Clinton could probably craft an artful paragraph or two to produce the most headline-grabbing news out of a debate.

We know from their words and actions what Hillary Clinton, President Obama, the mainstream media, and the rest of the left think of terrorism:

  • The U.S. is an evil hegemon that has oppressed the brown peoples of the world and must repent.  Arabs and other Muslims are noble people with admirably exotic [collectivist] views and lifestyles.
  • Only a selected few enlightened global visionaries, due to their life experiences and proper educations, have internalized the image of global utopia that is within our grasp, if only they may be allowed to bring to bear their benevolent understanding for the benefit of the rest of us.  President Obama, of course, is the quintessential contemporary “Muslimist” (as Steve Sailer has coined) who, while perhaps not Muslim per se, can bridge cultures and allow us to vicariously bask in his understanding of the beauty of Islamic society.
  • To fulfill the left’s prime directive of building a multicultural society in the U.S.—to achieve three interrelated goals of uplifting the other peoples of the world, making American society more progressive, and demonstrating our virtue as a people—is the most important movement on which we could embark.  Hence a few or a few thousand dead prole Americans is a trivial price to pay to achieve this vision, which of course depends on Clinton’s election.
However, Clinton is also a smart politician, and she must be able to see that the American people—selfish bigots that we are—are not grasping this reality.  Since she will say anything to get elected, it is possible that she will take the risk of modifying her language.
If she declares that the U.S. is under threat from concerted Muslim terrorism, there will certainly be a hushed outcry from the left.  We can envision her briefing her followers in advance, telling them not to worry about her public rhetoric that has become  necessary to win the election, just as she certainly did in her secretive speeches to Wall Street banks.  Her private audiences will understand that her public pivot is just for show.
Such a tactic would be a significant test for the left, to see whether they are so blinded by their world view that they can’t adapt to win an election.  Forget about challenging their core beliefs—that won’t happen—but it is conceivable that she could at least change her language for two months.  Huma Abedin might pout, but she will join everyone in nodding and winking just to get over the finish line in November and then allowing Clinton to resume her regularly scheduled programming.

 

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