Odds and Ends Vol 25

Odds and Ends

I thought since I don’t have much time these days to sit down and write a long article, I’d try to put one of these things out each week and add to it over time. We’ll see how it goes.

The Dum-Dum Left

It turns out that the left has consolidated behind Joe Biden. According to a poll by The New York Times, people who supported Sanders during the primary now support Biden over Trump 87-4. And people who supported Warren during the primary support him by 96-0. Amusingly, people who supported Biden in the primary support him slightly less than Warren supporters: 96-1.

But on Twitter and YouTube, the Dum-Dum Left continues to make a lot of noise. In 2016, this group was represented by Jimmy Dore. But this year, it is represented by Krystal Ball. I’ve been pleased to see that a lot of the people who kind of lost it during the primary have come back. Here’s Nathan J. Robinson:

Kyle Kulinski is another member of this group. What I find interesting about them is that they all used to be pretty generic liberals. But the rise of Bernie Sanders was greeted by them like welcoming Jesus into your heart. And as the the saying goes, they are now holier than the Pope — more socialist than their hero (not that this is saying much).

The Lincoln Project

In one way, I’m not fond of The Lincoln Project. If it took Trump for you to realize something is wrong with the Republican Party, one of two things is true. You are an idiot. Or you don’t actually care about what he does but only about his crude performance.

But this is an all-hands-on-deck moment and The Lincoln Project are allies for the moment. Also, they create political commercials like this one: Names.

What I like about this ad is that it goes after Republican senators: a combination of the worst and the most vulnerable. We see: Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Jim Inhofe, Mike Rounds, and Steve Daines. (Links are to the opponents’ websites.)

“Never, ever trust them again!”

Not to be outdone, the Biden campaign has released a great ad of its own.

Why Do Conservatives Hate George Soros?

I’ve long wondered why conservatives hate George Soros so much. On one level, it’s simple. Conservatives are mostly authoritarians. Elite conservatives have told them to hate Soros and so they do.

How do I know? Because whenever I hear someone blasting Soros, they always bring up the same untrue story about his being a Nazi collaborator. Ben Shapiro even does it in a concern-trolling way of, “The poor kid!” If Shapiro were an honest broker, he wouldn’t bring it up. Even his telling of it is wrong.

But I found an excellent article about Soros in The Guardian from a couple of years ago, The George Soros Philosophy — and Its Fatal Flaw. It goes through Soros’ intellectual development and the current state of things where his dream for the world really isn’t possible with the kind of inequality that we have. In other words: in order to have the Open Society that Soros wants we need to prevent people from becoming as rich as he is.

One thing that the article highlights is that he was a student of Karl Popper. That makes sense. I’ve read a couple of Soros’ books and they are very much in that tradition. But that highlights what’s so bizarre about the hatred of Soros. Popper was a conservative. And ultimately, so is Soros.

I think the right hates Soros because they hate Jews. And it’s telling that Shapiro gets in on the action because he’s shown himself again and again to be more accepting of antisemitic conservatives than liberal Jews.

Speaking of Karl Popper

I found this video of Karl Popper discussing the Open Society. This is what I consider a thoughtful conservative. It doesn’t sound at all like what we think of as a conservative.

And let’s be clear: conservatives never did sound like this. For as long as the masses have been able to vote, conservatives only got power by appealing to bigotry. Look at the people who adore Trump. They aren’t interested in an open society. They are interested in a closed society — but one where they (or people who look like them) are in charge.

In Defense of the Ayn Rand Institute

There was a bit of crowing online last week when it was reported that the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) had taken upwards of a million dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program. Oh, the hypocrisy! Well, maybe.

If there is a sin here, it isn’t ARI; it’s Ayn Rand herself. Despite her claim that the government was terrible and that it shouldn’t do much of anything, she claimed that as long as it existed with its evil taxes, you should get all you can. She argued that Objectists should take scholarships and government jobs in her newsletter.

She famously collected her Social Security check and used her Medicare benefits. Her argument was that as long as the government was “stealing” from you, you had this right. In the utopian Objectivist World it wouldn’t be necessary. (Because Fairy and Elf doctors work for cheap, I assume.)

The problem is that taxation is not theft. It is part of the social compact. It is the price we agree to pay to live in society. If you don’t want to pay it, you can disappear into the wilderness. But, of course, Rand and her followers have always assumed that the social goods would exist magically if the John Galts of the world were just free from government interference.

Regardless, it makes no sense to accuse the ARI of hypocrisy. They’ve already justified the matter to themselves. And there are far worse things they do than collecting a government handout.

The Andie MacDowell Murders

And finally, America’s Finest News Source (Which is true!) called my attention to an under-reported story, 10 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Abducted And Murdered By Andie MacDowell. I’ve always had my problems with her. She’s beautiful but her acting is kind of awkward. That’s a shame but this is a crime.

Corbin Bernsen is perhaps best known for his role in the hit ’80s TV drama LA Law, but we bet you didn’t realize he was yet another victim of Green Card star Andie MacDowell! In 2010, the Hollywood actress dragged a screaming Bernsen into the trunk of her car before driving him out into the Mojave Desert and shooting him in the head.

Who knew?

Now Playing at Psychotronic Review

You know you can always find a film that is worth watching at Psychotronic Review. This is in contrast to what you probably will watch. This week, we are highlighting the Lucio Fulci classic, The House by the Cemetery.

It is the last of his Gates of Hell trilogy. And frankly, it’s the least of them. But it is also the one people will like the most because it is relatively conventional. My favorite is The Beyond, which seems to be the one that most film nerds prefer.

Here’s the trailer:

We’ll Meet Again

As you may have heard, Vera Lynn died last month. She was 103 so it wasn’t a shock. Anyway, we too shall meet again. Next week, I assume.

8 thoughts on “Odds and Ends Vol 25

  1. Wait, why the unholy “huh?” is Andie Macdowell dragged into the dumbest kind of Internet rumor? That’s like claiming Winona Ryder murdered Bill Shatner, it’s just nuts.

    It’s somewhat conceivable that anti-immigration loons were behind it. The movie “Green Card” starred Ms. Macdowell and anti-immigration racism is currently a huge thing (although I haven’t noticed anyone getting full angry about Gerard Depardieu.)

    • Wait. Winona Ryder did murder William Shatner!

      Are you serious? That was from The Onion. It was the funniest thing I’ve read there in a while. The idea of her getting medieval on people’s asses, well, that’s comic gold!

      • I didn’t realize it was The Onion — these days, you never know what crazy s**t people are believing for real.

        Winona Ryder was in one of the newer “Trek” movies, though, so she might have killed Shatner — he’s a deep fake robot now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *