Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Tim Allen: 'The Left Wants to Tell Everybody' What to Do

Actor Tim Allen told PJM “the left” should “stop telling” people what to do, adding, “no one is stopping you from paying more taxes.”

Allen stars on the ABC show Last Man Standing, in which he plays a conservative father who owns a sporting goods store and often pokes fun at the Democratic Party. Allen was asked if he writes some of the material himself.

“I’m more of an anarchist because I’m a stand-up comic. I don’t like anybody telling me what to do and, lately, the left wants to tell everybody – it’s the ‘we all know this, you should, you should.’ Stop telling me what to do, you go do it. You want to support stuff that the government should stay out of? You go do it. No one is stopping you from paying more taxes. Then, that’s the attitude I get,” he told PJM after he left the Creative Coalition’s Inaugural Gala.

“You see my act on the road or in concert – I don’t do political stuff. I do anarchist stuff. I like making everybody laugh. Jokes should be – President Trump should laugh at it, so should Hillary – that’s the balance I like; the personal stuff is different,” he added.

Allen was likely referring to Pay.gov, which allows every American to make a donation to the Treasury Department at any time to reduce the nation’s debt.

Actors Robert De Niro and Alec Baldwin addressed an anti-Trump protest in New York City on the eve of the inauguration, encouraging the crowd to resist Trump’s policies.

“Donald Trump and Steve Bannon and Mike Pence, and all these people that are part of the Trump administration, they think that you are going to lay down. Are you going to lie down? The one thing they don’t realize is New Yorkers never lay down,” Baldwin said. “Are you going to fight? Are we going to have 100 days of resistance?”



Karl Marx Gets Celebrity Status at New York Times

As the philosopher's 200th birthday approaches, too many people are still celebrating.

Among the many things the 19th century will forever be remembered for is the early proliferation of communism. The chief developer of this repressive framework was Karl Marx — a stalwart anti-capitalist combatant. He entered this world on May 5, 1818, and spent his life cultivating the collectivist philosophy ultimately bearing the name Marxism, which forms the foundation of communism.

Last year, marking the centennial of Soviet communism, our own Mark Alexander noted this staggering statistic: “Between 1917 and 1991, there were almost 150 million civilian casualties of communist dictatorships, the three largest dictatorial offenders being China (73,237,000), the USSR (58,627,000) and Germany (11,000,000). Where those dictatorships exist today, the slaughter continues.”

That’s not exactly a sterling legacy, nor is it deserving of celebration. Yet some academics continue to treat as a hero the man who laid the foundation for one of the world’s most monstrous political systems. This week, Karl Marx turns 200 years old. Enter Jason Barker, an associate professor of philosophy, who declares in a New York Times op-ed, “Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!” Professor Barker ponders: “As we reach the bicentennial of Marx’s birth, what lessons might we draw from his dangerous and delirious philosophical legacy? What precisely is Marx’s lasting contribution?”

Barker’s takeaway isn’t just incredibly deleterious, it’s vehemently anti-capitalist — just like Marx was. Barker insists, “Countless books have appeared, from scholarly works to popular biographies, broadly endorsing Marx’s reading of capitalism and its enduring relevance to our neoliberal age.” He also endorses the view that “Marx’s basic thesis — that capitalism is driven by a deeply divisive class struggle in which the ruling-class minority appropriates the surplus labor of the working-class majority as profit — is correct.”

While admitting that “Marx arrives at no magic formula for exiting the enormous social and economic contradictions that global capitalism entails,” the professor asserts, “What Marx did achieve, however, through his self-styled materialist thought, were the critical weapons for undermining capitalism’s ideological claim to be the only game in town.” Amazingly, he goes on to posit: “Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, owe something of an unspoken debt to Marx through their unapologetic targeting of the ‘eternal truths’ of our age. Such movements recognize, as did Marx, that the ideas that rule every society are those of its ruling class and that overturning those ideas is fundamental to true revolutionary progress.”

He concludes by noting: “Marx, as I have said, does not offer a one-size-fits-all formula for enacting social change. But he does offer a powerful intellectual acid test for that change. On that basis, we are destined to keep citing him and testing his ideas until the kind of society that he struggled to bring about, and that increasing numbers of us now desire, is finally realized.”

The biggest irony of all? Parker is employed by Kyung Hee University, which is located in … South Korea. His anti-capitalist tirade completely ignores the nuclear threat posed by communist North Korea. Parker’s tribute to Marx is a tip of the cap to revolutionary social and economic change. Yet it’s worth repeating: Whatever qualms people have with capitalism, last we checked, it didn’t result in 150 million deaths. And as Mark Alexander also observed, “Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged.”

As we noted last December, a Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation study found that “58% of Millennials would prefer living in a socialist, communist or fascist nation instead of a capitalist one.” With professors like Parker, it’s no wonder. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Communism and its sister system, socialism, are no different.



A journalist laments

Matt Bai

Trump’s victory in 2016 brought forth an outpouring of self-flagellation and banal reflection from people in my industry. We’d lost touch with the country, is what dozens of Washington journalists said and wrote. We didn’t know how angry all those white voters were. We didn’t know how anxious they felt about the future, how desperate they were to overturn the order.

Never have so many keyboards been worn out in the service of such nonsense. Of course we knew. No one travels the country as widely or talks to as many voters as a campaign reporter. Some of us had been writing for years, even decades, about the growing alienation of less affluent white voters. Literally thousands of stories had been devoted to the subject.

But that facile explanation — this idea that we just didn’t know the depth of the rage out there — enabled us to sidestep the harder reality, which is that a lot of that rage was directed squarely at us.

For 20-plus years now, a lot of Americans have been taking in the smugness on cable TV and watching journalists chase their own brand of celebrity, and they’ve decided that the political press corps is a pretty good stand-in for everything that’s wrong in a country where a small, educated stratum of the society reaps all the economic benefit and shapes all the public opinion.

Then, as now, the polling on Trump tells a fascinating story. A lot of people who say they support the president don’t especially like him, or admire his behavior, or agree with him on issues. But as long as every dumb thing he says makes us (and urban Democrats) jump up and down and rend our clothes and scream about the death of fact and the end of civilized society, they’re willing to overlook all that for a while.

I hear from readers all the time who say some version of this: Trump may not be great at governing, but if he’s making you feel less relevant and less powerful, then at least something’s going right.  A sizable bloc of voters reviles the political establishment, and no embodiment of that establishment looms larger on their screens than we do.

So the main problem with the White House Correspondents’ Dinner isn’t the glut of almost recognizable movie stars, or the ugly brand of partisan humor, or the ill-fitting tuxedos and carbon-fiber filet mignon. The problem is the showy display of vanity, pretension and tribalism that reinforces the worst idea of what political journalism is all about.

For 364 days a year, a lot of my colleagues do work that defies Trump’s phony outrage and disproves his cliché of a lazy, elitist, attention-craved media. And then, for one stupid night, we go out of our way to prove him right.

How about this? Next year, if you want to honor the scholarship winners who are supposedly at the center of this event, then hold smaller events in each of their communities instead. Set out to change perceptions, instead of mindlessly reinforcing them.



North Korea Just Caved To ANOTHER One Of Trump’s Demands In Historic Concession

North Korea has freed three U.S. citizens that have been detained in the communist nation for several years, bowing to another demand of President Donald Trump ahead of the U.S.-North Korea meeting in the coming weeks.

According to the Washington Times, Trump has said that the U.S. detainees needed to be released from North Korea before the historic meeting with Kim Jong Un, and the regime has honored Trump’s request.

The three Americans — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim — were released and sent to a medical treatment facility in Pyongyang.

They will reportedly be sent back home on the day of the U.S.-North Korea summit, and will reportedly be staying in a hotel outside Pyongyang until summit.

“We believe that Mr. Trump can take them back on the day of the U.S.-North Korea summit, or he can send an envoy to take them back to the U.S. before the summit,” said Choi Sung-ryong, an activist pursuing release of North Korea’s political prisoners.



Australia tipped to soon produce more than half of the world's lithium

Giving security of supply to the Western world

Western Australia is tipped to produce more than half of the world’s lithium supply by the end of this year, as new mines come online and the world’s appetite for the materials used to make batteries for electric vehicles grows. [Batteries in small appliances such as phones also use lithium]

That forecast, made by Citi analyst Clarke Wilkins last week, came on the same day that the managing director of lithium miner Pilbara Minerals, Ken Brinsden, said Australia was in "pole position in lithium raw materials", and described one part of WA as "lithium valley".

But with Australia’s emerging lithium industry growing so fast, investors have also been reminded that there will be “bumps and curves” and twists along the way.

Most of the world’s lithium now comes from hard rock mining of spodumene deposits, or via the extraction of lithium from brine deposits in Argentina and Chile.

But given the handful of hard rock mines now operating in Western Australia or soon to start, Australia is well placed to capitalise on the rapid growth in the use of electric vehicles over coming years in major car markets such as Europe and China.

“If you look at all the hard rock (lithium) mines, WA is going to dominate. West Australia will be over half of the (world’s) lithium supply, effectively, by the end of this year. Because all of the world’s hard rock mines are basically in WA,” Mr Wilkins said.

“There are projects outside of Australia, but it’s unlikely that any of those will be really of material scale production until a number of years away. Because you’ve got infrastructure, you’ve got a mining culture, the biggest projects tend to be in Australia, so Australia does lead the world in terms of development of these hard rock mines."

Lithium is a key ingredient in the manufacture of lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles, large battery storage units, and electronic devices like mobile phones and laptop computers.

In an address to the Melbourne Mining Club on Friday, Mr Brinsden said Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora mine would be “one of the world’s largest lithium mines”, and that the company was only a week or two away from turning on its processing plant. The plant will crush and process rocks from the mine to produce spodumene concentrate containing lithium.

“We expect to make our first shipment of spodumene concentrate sometime in late June,” Mr Brinsden said.

Mr Brinsden said Australia was the world’s largest producer of spodumene concentrate with mines already in production, and with several more to come.

“Australia commands pole position in lithium raw materials, and will likely hold that mantel for many years to come as a result of the incredible mineral endowment we have in hard-rock lithia sources,” he said.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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