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Discovery versus The Orville

Posted by V the K at 7:13 pm - May 17, 2017.
Filed under: Pop Culture

CBS has released a trailer for its repeatedly delayed Star Trek:Diversity Discovery. It looks… tedious… full of itself… somewhat pretentious. Yup, it’s Star Trek, all right. With added virtue signalling. (Female minority captains and a gay guy!)

And I have to buy a subscription to a PayTV service to watch it? SRSLY? Dude, I don’t even have cable.

Frankly, Fox’s new space series The Orville looks like a helluva lot more fun. I wonder how long before Fox gives it the Firefly treatment.

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Cernovich on the intel leaks

This refers to Monday’s drama where The Washington Post alleged that President Trump had inappropriately leaked intelligence to the Russians.

First, why should anyone care what Mike Cernovich thinks? Because lately, he’s been breaking stories. He seems to have sources. His claims are outlandish; and then they turn out to be on the right track (though not 100% on all details).

So, here he is on the WaPo story. It’s a long video. Listening at 1.5x speed helps. Or I can just tell you his key points. Disclaimer – take this as his opinion and speculation. I’m interested mainly to see if it’s going to come true again?

  • Whoever leaked the story to WaPo, leaked way more classified information than Trump did.
  • At most, Trump revealed a location where some intelligence had happened. But WaPo was given far more detailed classified information, by its source(s).
  • As such, the leaks to WaPo were highly illegal, and have done far more damage to American security.
    • Because WaPo computers/networks can be hacked (and probably are).
  • White House and NSC staff have been on lockdown while they figure out who is the leaker. Cernovich’s top candidates:
    1. David Laufman, chief of counter-intelligence at the FBI. Obama donor. Was in charge of investigating Hillary’s emails; i.e., helped whitewash her. Has been involved in previous leaks. Fits the profile of someone who was not present at the meeting with Russians, but who nonetheless saw the meeting notes and all kinds of other classified info.
    2. NSA McMaster. Has a troubled relationship with Trump; potential motive would be to create a disaster, then be the hero who gets Trump out of it.
    3. Kris Bauman, a pro-Hamas / anti-Israel hire of McMaster’s; potential motive would be to disrupt the U.S. relationship with Israel.
  • One way or another, people will be going to prison over this episode.

As to Seth Rich: Per Cernovich,

  • Rich was the DNC leaker. (again Mike’s opinion/speculation – although I agree)
  • He was one of that rare breed: a Democrat staffer who was an American patriot. He was outraged by the Democrats’ rigged primary.
  • The Rich family spokesperson who denies all this (Bauman) is a political consultant paid by the DNC (not the Rich family).
  • When the DNC reported the hacking, FBI agents asked to look at the hacked servers – and the DNC refused. DNC hired CrowdStrike to concoct the narrative that DNC wanted (Russia hacking).

I do recall that former FBI Director Comey has been a strong supporter of CrowdStrike and their report; for example in his testimony before Congress. It is remarkable how many different actions of Comey’s over the years have helped Democrats and/or Clintons.

The Swamp Strikes Back

Via HotAir: Yet another media football we are supposed to care about.

Former FBI Director Comey, who in 2016 usurped authority most improperly and to the advantage of one political party (their presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, not being indicted), and who was justly fired last week, is dishing dirt on the man who fired him.

First, some key details:

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to [Comey’s account]. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to [Comey’s account]. Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, replying only: “I agree he is a good guy.”

In a statement, the White House denied the version of events…

“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

…The Feb. 14 meeting took place just a day after Mr. Flynn was forced out of his job…

To review:

  • Even Comey agrees that former NSA Flynn is well-meaning and patriotic.
  • All the same, President Trump fired Flynn.
  • After he did that, and according to only one side of the story, Trump then wondered out loud why Flynn would still be a matter for investigation.

But this is what the New York Times put in the lede:

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into [Flynn]…

That’s taking sides, rather a lot.

I can see why Trump’s opponents think they’re onto something. POTUS should never discuss ongoing investigations with the FBI, lest their be any hint of improper influence. If Comey’s account is true, Trump made a mistake.

But that is no small “if”. Even apart from this incident, Comey has a recent track record of showboating, misunderstanding situations and improper behavior. And he was just fired. Narcissistic, Disgruntled And Disgraced Ex-Employee Dishing Whatever Dirt He Thinks He Has #1,499,503,777. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

The larger picture is this. President Trump wants to Drain The Swamp and Make America Great Again. That’s why half of America elected him. Also, the fact that Trump is an amateur politician, NOT a professional. People thought it would be refreshing.

The Swamp, naturally, doesn’t want to be drained. And it owns the Controlled Media: for example, it owns the New York Times via Carlos Slim, an immigration activist and Trump opponent (and alleged corrupt businessperson and/or drug lord). And so we’re treated to these accounts, which are then picked up by The Swamp’s many representatives in Congress.

There are going to be a lot of these kerfuffles to come. Trump is a sloppy, amateur politician. And The Swamp is determined to derail his reform agenda, by making a mountain of every mistake that they would gladly cover up for one of their own (Obama or Hillary).

In the end, either The Swamp will win, or Trump will. It’s out of my hands.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn (via commenter KCRob):

if this partially read memo is as the Times characterized it (“Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation”), that would be a very serious matter. Comey had several options:

1) He could have reported Trump’s attempted interference to the Department of Justice (as he was obliged to do);

2) He could have disclosed it to the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr;

3) He could have resigned on principle.

Instead, he did nothing…

In other words: More Comey impropriety! Either the man or his story (at least) is belied by the fact that he did nothing at the time, except write a Note to Self.

UPDATE: Rush has a point: Whatever Trump is alleged to have done in the Flynn investigation is far less than what Obama did in the Hillary investigation.

In my view: that wouldn’t make it OK, but double standards aren’t OK either.

UPDATE: Yes, Comey has a track record as a Democrat agent who lies to promote himself and help Clintons escape justice. I wondered. Sigh.

Why socialism always puts bad people in charge

In Monday night’s Venezuela post, our wise commenters said:

socialism doesn’t work because it is an unjust economic system. the people in power take things from people that work…

The wrong people will ALWAYS be in charge, because for socialism to work you have to have completely altruistic people in charge…

Yes. Except, it’s even worse than that 😉 The biggest problems with socialism are:

  1. It wrecks the Price Mechanism. Even if you had truly altruistic people in charge, such an economy still can’t function.
  2. Only bad-or-stupid people want a wrecked price mechanism. Thus, only bad-or-stupid people advocate socialism. And the bad people know how to shepherd the stupid people; thus, the bad people always end up in charge.

By Price Mechanism, I mean free markets discovering and signalling the prices of things. To review how that works:

  • All goods and services must be rationed, by one means or another.
    • because human needs are infinite
    • whereas human time (used to produce goods and services) is not
  • Markets ration things by having people pay a market price for the available supply.
    • If something is in short supply, those who have the highest “score” in terms of being both able and willing to pay, will get it.
    • “Willing” as in, free will / the person’s choice.
  • The market price moves up and down, accomplishing two big things as it does so.
    1. It coordinates people’s consumption activities. (Those who are unwilling or unable to pay for a thing at its current price, look for substitutes.)
    2. It coordinates people’s production activities. (As a thing’s price moves higher, it induces people to produce more of it.)
  • The coordination is spontaneous and responsive to changing conditions, because it is voluntary.
  • If you interfere with the price mechanism, you interfere with (or even block) that coordination.

OK, so the price mechanism is objectively great. It induces voluntary coordination among vast numbers of people – thus enabling the Division of Labor. Who would want to mess with that?

The answer is: People who gain by interactions that are not voluntary. People such as moochers, thieves, thugs, politicians and bureaucrats. People who lack the ability or willingness to produce. People who hope to live by altering or preventing market outcomes. People who think they can plan and control others better than those others can. People who are willing to gain by keeping others down.

In short: People who gain by dictatorship. Arrogant people who enjoy using force on others to prevent the peaceful activities and outcomes that people would otherwise create on their own.

That’s the nature of socialism. It’s not a noble ideal. It’s a curse, an evil. Like the Mafia, it’s always led by bad people because it *is* bad, in its nature. It can never be desired by people who are both good-hearted and knowledgeable. Therefore, it can never be led by them. And, even if it were somehow, it still wouldn’t function – because of the wrecked price mechanism.

This feeds into how the term “socialism” is defined.

  • An old, strict definition is: public ownership of the means of production.
  • But people today use the word with a much broader meaning: Any system where a governing authority intervenes in markets, preventing the market price mechanism from operating.

The socialist planners always proclaim their good intentions. And they always make things worse. And it’s not an accident or a failure to apply socialism; it’s inherent in socialism.

Wrecking the price mechanism kills spontaneous, voluntary coordination; and that’s the point of the thing. It’s why stupid-or-bad people love socialism. They WANT to control others and prevent market outcomes. It’s not a proverbial “unforeseen consequence”; it’s the point.

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