Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sexual harassment in Hollywood

Perhaps because I am old and remember different ways of doing things in the past, I draw conclusions about the sexual harassment furore in Hollywood which are diametrically opposite to the current beliefs

No figures have been mentioned for how many women gave in to approaches by Weinstein and others but many clearly did.

In days of not so long ago, a man who got "fresh" with a woman would get a slap across the face from her and that would be the end of the matter. So how come that didn't happen to Harvey Weinstein as far as we know?  Weinstein himself tells us the answer to that and no-one has been able to gainsay him:  It was because the women consented to his approaches.  And the police have got nothing on him because there is no evidence that the women did not consent.

Aha!  Someone will say: But it was coerced consent.  But there is no evidence that the coercion was heavily physical.  The women would just have had to let out a big scream and Weinstein would have rapidly detumesced.

So it is undoubted that the women consented because they wanted something from Weinstein.  That was the coercion.  There is almost a physical hunger to be "in the movies" in Hollywood.  People come to that suburb of Los Angeles from all over the world in hopes of being "noticed".  And most women have had at some time the experience of having sex when they did not really want it. So what Weinstein offered was a price they were willing to pay.

In short, Weinstein BOUGHT them.  And they didn't complain at the time because they went willingly into the transaction and had good hopes of it.  They prostituted themselves to his ugliness -- to be paid not in money but in fame.

So they have nothing to complain about.  By complaining at this juncture they reveal themselves for what they are:  Prostitutes.


Melanie Phillips on Hollywood

Stars who dressed in black at the Golden Globes were simply advertising their hypocrisy

Never mind the movies: the theatricality and demand for applause at the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles at the weekend took place on the red carpet. Actors wore black outfits to signal their solidarity with victims of the sexual harassment scandals that have consumed Hollywood.

It’s hard to recall a more egregious display of vanity signalling than the black dress protest. It was “please snap me while I pose in my conscience”. MeToo! MeToo! -------

The hypocrisy is epic. Many actors expressing such outrage use sexual chemistry to attract the predatory male movie executives they then profess to despise. They habitually wear outfits that leave little to the imagination, split upwards or downwards or utterly transparent. What’s more, many of the movies and TV series in which they appear, some of them having forgotten to put on any clothes at all, have long crossed the line into soft porn.--------

Yet many of those blustering in black at the Globes knew about this behaviour but kept quiet about it in order not to jeopardise their careers.----------

Laura Dern used her acceptance speech for her best supporting actress award to urge: “May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.”

Yet the causes regularly promoted by such luvvies — climate change, Black Lives Matter, anti-colonialism, anti-Islamophobia, LGBT issues — are being advanced by condign retribution, such as character assassination or social and professional ostracism, against any who dares speak against them.

Moreover, Hollywood’s finest don’t don black outfits to protest against men in the developing world who not only abuse but slaughter women, men and children.

Millions of women around the world really do suffer in cultures where male violence towards women is a given; but on those victims, these Hollywood hypocrites are silent.

In cultures they choose to present as victims of western colonialism, they simply ignore the all-too real oppression of women. They profess “solidarity” with oppressed women; but of course, it’s really all about themselves



Love Texas


Liberal Prof: There's No Evidence of Collusion, 'I've Never Seen Media Malpractice Like This'

Stephen Cohen, a professor emeritus of Russian Studies at New York University and a contributing editor to the leftist magazine The Nation, said -- contrary to claims of The Washington Post -- "we do not" know if our democracy was "hacked" by Trump-Russia collusion, it is "not true" that a "consensus of intelligence agencies" said there was collusion and, when it comes to news coverage of the president, "I have never seen media malpractice like this before in my life."

Cohen, an author, writer, and leading expert on Russia since the Bolshevik coup d'etat in 1917, added that he travels to Moscow regularly and even knows Russian intelligence officers and he has not yet "found anybody in Moscow who believes the story" of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian officials.

On the Dec. 15 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson quoted from The Washington Post, which in a story about Trump and Russia ran a headline "hacking democracy," implying that this was true, an established fact. Carlson asked Prof. Cohen if it is true that "our democracy was, quote, 'hacked,' do we know that?"

Prof. Cohen, who is also professor emeritus of Russian Studies at Princeton University, said, "We do not. It's been alleged."  He then explained the "media malpractice" of The Post.

"Originally it was said that 17 intelligence agencies made that finding," said Cohen. "Turned out it was a few people and a couple of intelligence agencies. If you read on in The Washington Post story in the first paragraph, they go back to this claim that it's a consensus of intelligence agencies."

"So, it's simply not true," he said. "I have to say that, in addition to being a professor for a long time, I was also a paid consultant of a major American television network."

"I admire mainstream media, I learned a lot," said Prof. Cohen.  "But I have never seen media malpractice like this before in my life."

"What that constitutes is essentially making allegations for which there is no verified fact, information or evidence," he said.  "And then basically your commentary on it. So, briefly put, it said that somehow Trump has been compromised by Putin, the leader of Russia. Then when Trump does diplomacy with Putin, The New York Times literally calls it treason. I've never seen anything like this before."

Prof. Cohen then noted how, in the past, the media were often skeptical of leaks from U.S. intelligence agencies because all leaks have a political agenda atatched to them. He also said that presidents should be skeptical of intelligence claims and cited the Bay of Pigs disaster, based on CIA intel; the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution under President Lyndon Johnson; and the intelligence claims about WMD in Iraq.

"A president who is skeptical about intelligence, critical mind of it, is a good president," said Cohen.

Carlson then asked, "Do we have, that you have seen, any evidence at all that the Russian government materially affected the outcome of the 2016 election?"

Prof. Cohen said, "I've heard you say repeatedly there is no evidence. I've looked harder than you have. I've looked here in America but, also, I've looked in Moscow. When I'm there, I ask people I know and yes, I confess, I do know people who are or have been Russian intelligence agents. I haven't found anybody in Moscow who believes the story."

Stephen Cohen is the author of nine books on the Soviet Union and post-Communist Russia, as well as countless essays and articles. He is a former CBS News consultant, a friend of Mikhail Gorbachev, and he advised President George H.W. Bush in the 1980s.



How Income Taxes Increase Economic Inequality

New research suggests that some politicians may have been barking up the wrong tree when it comes to battling income inequality.

Take, for instance, Bernie Sanders, the former left-wing candidate for U.S. president who in 2015 said that a 90 percent top income tax rate on the wealthy would not be too high. His idea was to reduce income inequality and he cited the eye-watering tax rates as the right way to do it. Plenty in the media rushed to his defense.

The problem is that the evidence from the real world doesn’t support such assertions.

Income taxes don’t reduce income inequality. Instead they do quite the opposite, according to December-dated analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The paper looked at three major 20th century U.S. tax reforms and found that they did nothing to decrease income inequality and everything to increase it.

“I find that all the considered tax policy reforms raised economic inequality, instead of lowering it, as was intended by the policymakers,” states the paper titled “Do Taxes Increase Economic Inequality? A Comparative Study Based on the State Personal Income Tax” by Ugo Troiano, professor of economics at the University of Michigan.

The tax policy reforms he references are the introduction of state income tax, the introduction of tax withholding along with reporting by employers, and the agreement between the federal government and the states to coordinate audits.

Why did income inequality increase when that wasn’t the goal of the reforms?

“The fact that the only effect that these reforms had in common was raising the revenues from income tax and making the government bigger and the private sector smaller, suggest that a bigger government, at least in the recent history, had the effect of higher inequality,” the report states.

In other words, bigger government ends up retarding the private sector and reducing the size of the wealth pie. Naturally, the poorer come out worst in such a situation, while the well-heeled can get top tier advice to dodge the tax bullet. Hence, the rich get richer and the poor stay skint.

One caveat that Troiano does suggest is that it is possible in each case that the labor market changed dramatically after the reforms to cause the increase in income inequality. That said, this last idea seems unlikely.

There are others who take a far more cynical view than does Troiano.

“Nobody who believes in liberty, or public choice theory, will be surprised to learn that higher taxes lead to more inequality,” says Robert E. Wright, professor of political economy at Augustana University in South Dakota.

The problem is that the elites in any society, including the U.S., control the government and they quite naturally take care of themselves first, he says. He points out that the major difference between a tin-pot dictator in a dodgy country somewhere and the U.S. republic is that the latter “has to be more clandestine” in its efforts to rig the game.

That covert approach manifests in mind-bogglingly complex tax regulations, according to Wright, a view with which anyone trying to file their tax returns now may agree.

“Income taxes laden with complex deductions are particularly good ways of quietly redistributing wealth from the middle class to the rich, which I think explains America's outlying position in the inequality category,” he says.

The outlying position he refers to is what economists call the Gini coefficient, which measures income distribution. The higher the number (which is always between one and zero), the more unequal. The U.S. figure is high relative to other rich countries such as those in Europe.

What is notable is that states with no income tax, such as Alaska and New Hampshire, tend to have lower Gini coefficients than those with higher state income tax rates, such as New York and Massachusetts, according to data from the World Atlas website.

“That’s hardly coincidental if Troiano is correct,” says Wright.

What's perhaps more notable is that if Sanders and his ilk wish to lower inequality of income, maybe they should think about scrapping income taxes altogether.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"By complaining at this juncture they reveal themselves for what they are: Prostitutes."

No. Prostitutes get paid up front. Prostitutes know what they are, and what they are getting. They don't accept promises.