Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Parallels in Evil: Part II

Hillary Clinton's Unacknowledged idol: Negan
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, as Negan, the “super” villain of Season 7 of The Walking Dead, has nothing over Hillary Clinton in terms of foul language. In fact, Clinton has a nonstop sewer of a mouth that puts Negan’s to shame. All the censors could permit Morgan to say on screen and repeat ad nauseam is the four letter term for feces.

Clinton has had no censor to control her mouth rage. In public appearances, she poses as a calm, clean-cut, well-bred, grandmotherly hostess about to serve you tea and nothing but the truth. But backstage, and in venues where cameras are not rolling, she is a harpy dedicated to befouling the minds of everyone she comes into contact with, which includes her campaign staff, her Foundation clients and donors, the Secret Service, and doubtless her husband, Bill, and daughter Chelsea. She makes “biker chicks” look like polished graduates of finishing school. She is about as “feminine” as a pig in a pantsuit.

A person, regardless of his gender, who uses that kind of language as an automatic, default means of expression has a festering ball of noxious grunge for a soul. Clinton has exhibited that soul many, many times, in public and off-camera.

The Mouth that Roared
But Hillary’s and Negan’s mouths are not the main subject here. I discussed the simpatico political relationship between The Walking Dead’s boisterous, glib, repellant villain (the worst ever depicted in the series) in “Hillary and Negan: Parallels in Evil.”

What is the difference between the Negans of fiction and the Negans of the real world? The fictional ones cannot kill you. The real ones can and will. As happened in Paris and Brussels and New York City and dozens of other places over decades. There are dozens of Koranic verses for violence that the fictional Negans could just as well adopt…..

… I do not look forward to the debut of Negan in Season 7. It appears he's a thorough-going nihilist and evil to the core. When he shows up, I'm quits with TWD. It seems that the scripters are pandering to viewers who want Negan.
The title of the debut episode is “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be.” Meaning that when you meet Negan, you will probably cease to exist. The two most appealing heroes of The Walking Dead, Carol and Daryl, are no longer heroes. They are just memories now. They have been changed and demoted to secondary characters. Carol’s future role is indeterminate; Daryl has been kidnapped into Negan’s Sanctuary maw to be imprisoned and tortured, future also indeterminate.

What worried me most – but no longer, because after this review, I will have joined the “Quitters Club” – has been the new stress on the overwhelming, driving-force of malevolence in the person of Negan. In the past, the Walking Dead gang fought evil, and largely defeated it.  They lopped off the heads of “walkers,” defied and fought gangs of rampaging marauders, and worked to create a livable “environment” during an apocalypse. They lived as rationally as they could in a world in which emergency ethics was the rule demanded of their survival.  Several characters stood out, Carol and Daryl among them who became favorites of The Walking Dead watchers. In general, most of the gang would not submit to the state of the world.

Total submission, a la Islam, on bent knee, before Negan
Until now. The leader, Rick Grimes, after six Seasons of leading his gang (and friends) to some semblance of safety and security, in the latest episode has submitted to Negan’s threats and killings, and is broken, so broken that he was willing to cut his son’s arm off at Negan’s command. It was Negan’s purpose to break him, to own him, to “make him mine.” If there was anyone left alive in the gang, Rick would now “lead” them in service and in subservience to Negan. Negan almost literally dances in joy after he’s used his bat on his vicitms.

Negan's Law: the baseball bat
In “Hillary and Negan: Parallels in Evil,” I draw a wholly justified parallel between Negan and Hillary Clinton. As Negan is a psychopathic power-luster who revels in the power he wields over his mob of awed and comfortably subservient “Survivors” (her unthinking supporters and the MSM) Clinton wishes to wield the same kind of power, but elevated to a scope beyond but hauntingly similar in all its attributes to Negan’s. Hillary would like to break Americans as Negan broke Rick Grimes. Their purposes, ends, and means dovetail to exactly the same power-wielding point. They comprise a mutual-nihilist society.

Make no mistake about it; Hillary is as much a nihilist as is Negan. Negan smiles in satisfaction when he sees the sobbing, pleading look in Rick’s eyes. Negan is a first-class jihadist at heart. He enjoys killing for the sake of killing. He relishes killing spirits and souls as much as he does lives, in the most horrible, gruesome ways possible. Hillary will gloat in public and in private, when more Americans are raped, murdered, and beaten by Muslim immigrants and Mexican illegals when she lets more of them in, just as Barack Obama has. She and Obama are the cold-hearted “humanitarians” their supporters and the MSM hope to bring down the country.
Hillary's Law: the baseball bat

Do you think Hillary isn’t made of the same stuff? Think again. Her nihilism is the only explanation of her policies and behavior ever since she entered “public service.”  Remember, she laughed about how a rapist she represented got off with a light sentence because of time served in a county jail, and how she victimized the rape victim again, and ruined the girl’s life.

Do Americans really want this hellacious, nihilistic harridan laughing at them from the Oval Office?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The FEC and FCC Prepare Speech Nooses

American citizens are in for a double whammy of speech restrictions, and even of censorship.  The Federal Election Commission (FEC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) want to ratchet up the pressures on freedom of speech.

Two independent news blogs have bravely reported developments in this realm when they stand a chance of being “lawfully” obliterated by the government: The Daily Signal, and Accuracy in Media.

On the one hand, the FEC is a government agency that should not even exist. But it was pushed and encouraged by Theodore Roosevelt, a Progressive, and so the initial legislation was introduced and passed by Congress, on the premise that regulating Big Business was the natural thing to do (re the  Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 of 1890, and other Federal regulations)

As early as 1905, Theodore Roosevelt asserted the need for campaign finance reform and called for legislation to ban corporate contributions for political purposes. In response, the United States Congress enacted the Tillman Act of 1907, named for its sponsor Senator Benjamin Tillman, banning corporate contributions. Further regulation followed in the Federal Corrupt Practices Act enacted in 1910, and subsequent amendments in 1910 and 1925, the Hatch Act, the Smith-Connally Act of 1943, and the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. These Acts sought to regulate corporate and union spending in campaigns for federal office, and mandated public disclosure of campaign donors.

But the urge to regulate corporate contributions during political campaigns can be dated to the immediate post-Civil War period.

Although attempts to regulate campaign finance by legislation date back to 1867, the modern era of "campaign finance reform" in the United States begins with the passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971 and, more importantly, 1974 amendments to that Act. The 1971 FECA required candidates to disclose sources of campaign contributions and campaign expenditures. The 1974 Amendments essentially rewrote the Act from top to bottom. The 1974 Amendments placed statutory limits on contributions by individuals for the first time, and created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as an independent enforcement agency. It provided for broad new disclosure requirements, and limited the amounts that candidates could spend on their campaigns, or that citizens could spend separate from candidate campaigns to promote their political views.

Fred Lucas in The Daily Signal article of October 20th writes:

Books, movies, satellite radio shows, and streaming video about real-life politics aren’t protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press, some government officials argue.

The Federal Election Commission hasn’t proposed banning books or movies, but in a 3-3 vote last month along party lines, the six-member panel left the regulatory option on the table.

But the six appointees are thinking about it. It’s an option “on the table.”  The FEC is divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans. It is a “bipartisan” entity. The notion of “bipartisanship” politics is counterproductive, to say the least.  In a situation when decisions of enforcing or creating arbitrary power over free men  must be made, the most consistent party will always “win.” One party must compromise its principles, if it has any. The Republicans have no principles. Otherwise they would not have encouraged the creation of FEC. It is the Democrats, with their consistent, unswerving commitment to statism and the regulation of the private affairs of other men, who have been setting the terms and establishing the “moral high ground” of altruism – that is, sacrificing men and rights for the “greater good,” for the “community” – for over a century. The Republicans have always seconded that altruism, and said, “Me, too!”  Very few Republicans have maintained an explicit, articulate fealty to the founding principles of this nation.

It’s a good thing for me that the FEC hasn’t discovered my books, such as Trichotomy ( a roman à clef), set in 1929, on how the collectivists and Progressives will take over American education, or A Crimson Overture, how Reds and Pinks have infested the American government for decades, or We Three Kings, about an American entrepreneur who is “thrown under the bus” by the State Department to be killed at leisure by a Saudi sheik over a gold coin, or The Black Stone, in which the hero deals with the Muslim Brotherhood  killers as early as 1929.  They and other titles are prescient . But that would not matter. Each and every one of these titles, although they are fiction, could be deemed too provocative, blasphemous, injurious, or slanderous to allow their continued availability for sale and reading by “deplorable,” “every day” Americans. They certainly contain what could be interpreted as “partisan material.”

There really is no way to know what would be going through the minds of the FEC. If the proposal to regulate or prohibit the content of books, editorials, radio stations, and videos is “on the table,” it is too much to hope it would ever be taken “off the table.” The itch to control, regulate, or even prohibit is too tempting to resist scratching.

It’s doubtful that these appointees take any political fiction seriously, but it’s unnerving nevertheless to know that the option “is on the table” to banish a title or a program or an Internet news site they could easily put on a Federal Index Librorum Prohibitorum. A certain presidential candidate has already said that she wants Breitbart and InfoWars reduced to ashes. What’s to stop the FEC or the Department of Justice from targeting lesser known blog sites? Nothing.

Lucas continues:

The FEC hasn’t spoken in a unanimous voice about what Goodman and others say are basic matters of free speech under the First Amendment. Rather, various commission votes open the door to applying campaign finance laws to movies, books, and other media rarely ever considered before as campaign contributions.

In the past two years, the FEC, divided equally into Democrat and Republican factions, investigated books containing partisan material (among them a book by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.), a conspiratorial film disparaging President Barack Obama, and a Republican presidential debate on Fox News Channel.

While the presidentially appointed commission sanctioned neither Ryan’s publisher nor Fox News, it avoided granting the “press exemption” to either.
“Respect for the free press shouldn’t vary based on who is on the commission or on the content of the publication,” the FEC’s Lee Goodman says.

The exemption was designed to ensure that news organizations, which generally are corporations, cannot be accused of electioneering or making in-kind campaign contributions based on news reporting or commentary on political candidates. The law states, in part:

B) The term ‘expenditure’ does not include—
(i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; …

In one case, FEC member Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat, suggested the “press exemption,” provided in campaign finance law,  doesn’t protect book publishers.

Weintraub then referred to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling, in the 2010 case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that organizations have free speech rights allowing them to spend money to support or oppose political candidates.

The work we do need to do, which some of my colleagues, including Commissioner Goodman, have blocked for years, is to write rules that respond to Citizens United and the advent of super PACs. Sadly, even routine regulatory fixes have become nearly impossible to accomplish at the FEC.

This useful and almost entirely noncontroversial technological-modernization proposal has been bogged down for years. I decided to stick with the staff’s draft in the hope of getting this done without further delaying it with nongermane but substantive proposals.

And who is to determine what is and is not “nongermane” or “substantive”? Not you or me.

Six individuals – whether they are appointed or elected is immaterial – will determine after verbal cat fights in conference rooms over the future of free speech.

As though that were not “worrisome” enough, we are witnessing the disgraceful and damning spectacle of the major American news outlets not so much censoring what they report, but dispensing with objectivity and facts in their quest to guarantee the election of their preferred presidential candidate, and so crudely and transparently biased that few people take them at their word anymore.  Today’s MSM is comfortable with lies and outright fabrications.

The press, or the mainstream media (MSM), has usually been exempted from FEC regulations. We have grown inured to that. We have also grown inured to the blatant liberal bias of the MSM, so much so that it is largely held in contempt by Americans as a notoriously untrustworthy source of news.  ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and NPR have all been “electioneering” for over a year, without disguise or pretence. The New York Times,  the Washington Post, and countless smaller newspapers and magazines have gone hog wild “electioneering” without penalty or so much as a tut-tut from the FEC.

However, “charitable” organizations that fall under 501(c)3 regulations must remain mute. The FEC virtually acts as a policeman for the IRS to enforce 501(c)3 constraints.

The “guidelines” include:

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

Let us now turn to the Federal Communications Commission.

Sold to the highest bidder!
Jerry Kenney in his October 21st article on Accuracy In Media  (AIM), “FCC Approves Foreign Takeover of  U.S. Broadcasters,”breaks the bad news:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on September 29th did something worse than give up control of the Internet. They voted unanimously to put America’s entire broadcast industry on the fast track to a foreign takeover by Chinese, Russian or Muslim Brotherhood front corporations.

This new FCC rule gives foreign interests the long sought-after tools they need to shape U.S. public opinion and to censor the opposition.

Once a foreign corporation scoops up a media business, such as a chain of radio stations, it can eliminate national and local programming and substitute its own government’s propaganda. That means that conservative talkers could find themselves off the air.

Off the air? There are so many candidates for microphone gagging and, on the Internet itself, so many blog sites that could now be turned blank and the reader advised: “Server not Found”! or “This site has been blocked for indecent or inappropriate content.” Indecent content could be calling the FCC wonks names, or criticizing Islam.

Says who?

The FCC? Or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)?  Or some petty local bureaucrat who has put a premium on publicly saying something “Islamophobic” about Muslims or Islam? Or some elitist FCC regulator who is empowered to control what you say or see and can pontificate about the “public service” of his power in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, which would allow no comments or rebuttals ?

Do you see how closely the FEC and FCC are linked in ideology? Kenney writes:

At the final FCC vote, Commissioner Ajit Pai said the new rule will “give broadcasters greater access to capital.” Accessing capital by selling 100 percent interest in a business? Isn’t that called selling out?
Only in Washington is a going-out-of-business sale called “accessing capital.” If accessing capital is the main issue, I guess by that standard we should repeal the laws that make bank robbery illegal, too. After all, aren’t bank robbers just accessing capital?

No, there is much more at stake here than just capital. It’s called a free and independent press. Thanks to the FCC, soon foreign interests will be able to masquerade as your friendly neighborhood TV or radio station (the national media sold out long ago). And you can count on them waving the American flag as they do it. Remember Al Jazeera America buying Al Gore’s Current TV?

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters have reported extensively on Chinese purchases of movie theater chains and Hollywood production companies, including a current bid to buy Dick Clark Productions. Chinese interests have also leased local underperforming AM radio stations in major U.S. markets such as Washington D.C. Based on the nature of those deals and their financial losses, it is clear that China’s interest in entering the U.S. media market is more to influence public opinion than to turn a profit.

Foreign, and especially Chinese, money has purchased great gobs of Hollywood studios. So it is no wonder that anti-Communist or even anti-Islam movies are completely absent from the big screen and TV.

Broadcasting is not just another pipe through which you deliver data. A broadcaster controls the message and the content.

So why did this happen? The current FCC commissioners are mostly lawyers and lobbyists with political connections to both political parties. These political parties depend on financial contributions from major corporations, including media corporations. They want the option of dumping their broadcast properties off on cash-heavy foreign buyers, no matter what impact it has on the public’s right to know.

The system is rigged, even in favor of the foreign interests buying up America.

Remember: China runs a very efficient and effective censorship system.

All tyranny, no matter how banal, is necessarily rigged against freedom of speech. Censorship is a kind of “Game of Thrones.” The goal in such a “fantasy” is the consolidation of power – over your mind, and over your life or your livelihood.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A non-Politically Correct Nonfiction Bookshelf

There are eleven nonfiction titles that should be highlighted with all the fiction. Most of these titles concern the war on the West waged by Islam. Others are about the war on America waged by our own government, about the decaying state of the arts, of language, and of education. Most of them are collections of my essays on Rule of Reason  and edwardcline.blogspot. These titles do not sell as well as the fiction; the fiction sells well (really! At least a dozen full sets of the republished Sparrowhawk and Cyrus Skeen series sell every month). Fiction takes readers away from the depressing state of the world (at least, mine does); the nonfiction reminds them of just how depressing the world can be and will continue to be. Do I blame them? No. But then I am indulging in a kind of catharsis every time I pen a new column about the killing machine called Islam and the depredations and betrayals of our government.

The New Sparrowhawk Companion is a republished title I also rescued from the collapse and bankruptcy of the original publisher, MacAdam/Cage Publishing. It was my idea, suggested to the publisher after Book Six; War was released. The publisher by this time had accrued a large stable of writers and an extensive backlist, but its ambition was greater than its capacity to deal honestly and fairly with its authors. It was a spendthrift. It competed with larger, mainstream publishers in bidding contests for titles and authors it thought would enhance its prestige and appeal. For example, it paid Audrey Niffenegger, a teacher of “creative writing,” a handsome sum for The Time Traveler’s Wife, which was also made into a flop of a movie. The novel did not sell as well as MacAdam/Cage Publishing expected. This was the deal that broke the publisher. Then MacAdam/Cage Publishing began its regular delinquencies with royalty payments to its other authors, and then underhandedly “leasing” or selling the e-book rights to books it had no contractual claim to, in order to raise cash. This was theft and a demonstrable violation of contract.
Having gone without royalty payments for a long time, I saw the writing on the wall and began republishing Sparrowhawk on Kindle, something MacAdam/Cage Publishing refused to do. I had even offered the publisher a chance to publish the first Cyrus Skeen novels, believing as he did not that the series was a perfect fit because the stories were set in San Fransicso,
 MacAdam/Cage Publishing’s location. Then David Poindexter, the mover and creator of MacAdam/Cage Publishing, died, and everything fell apart faster than a house of dominoes.
 The firm filed for bankruptcy, leaving all its authors high and dry as creditors, and even its staff. Its illustrator, it came out later, had even loaned the publisher money to keep the firm solvent. She never saw a penny of it back again. To my knowledge, her suit is still in court. Piles of printed books accumulated in warehouses, which would not release the titles until they were paid. These titles were eventually bought by second-hand book vendors connected to Amazon and to other major retailers. Thousands of copies of the old edition of Sparrowhawk are still being sold by these vendors. In the meantime, I had rid the original edition of all the typos and formatting errors MacAdam/Cage Publishing had never bothered to correct and now the series has been refreshed and is doing well, with cleaned up texts and covers thematically consistent with each title. (See my Rule of Reason column, “Sparrowhawk Rescued from Oblivion” from August 2013 for more sordid details.)There are nearly 800,000 words in the Sparrowhawk series. It was a long, tedious job doing what the publisher was remiss in performing.

The New Sparrowhawk Companion is a collection of essays about the six titles in the Sparrowhawk story by other contributors, and includes a list of characters (over 300) and in which title each appears, a lexicon of 18th century terms, a bibliography of some of my research sources, and other features created to help a reader grasp and appreciate the series and the period in which the story is set.
Rational Scrutiny: Paradoxes and Contradictions in Detective Fiction, is another animal entirely. It is a collection of essays, some old, some new, about the art of writing detective fiction. They focus mainly on the Chess Hanrahan first person narrated novels, and on what then was only a handful of Cyrus Skeen novels (seven). It includes “The Wizards of Disambiguation,” a critique of politically correct speech and writing and of academics who claimed that The Maltese Falcon was, among other things, a fictional diatribe against capitalism. It was my submission to the Western Illinois Press to be included in its compendium of essays about the art of detective fiction (it was rejected). The Cunning Craft was eventually published, but I have no idea what is in it or whose articles were included, because its Amazon selling price of over $200 did not entice me to reward the Western Illinois Press for its Marxist snubbing. Marxists do not like to be contradicted with facts. “Wizards” could be treated as a companion essay to “The Ghouls of Grammatical Egalitarianism,” from 2013, a review of Guidelines for Bias-Free Writing, by Marilyn Schwartz and the Task Force on Bias-Free Language.
The remaining nonfiction titles are collectively potpourris of my Rule of Reason columns on politics, the culture, Islam, and freedom of speech. Islam’s Reign of Terror, however, was commissioned by Voltaire Press and I was paid for it. The essay appeared on Voltaire Press’s site. When I proposed to the owner of Voltaire Press that we convert it into a pamphlet, I received no response. So, I went ahead with the project and it is now available as a print book, on Kindle, and on Audible. The piece bears a Voltaire Press copyright notice, which I included for legal reasons. However, there were miseries connected with that site. See my article “Thumbs Down on Voltaire Press” for details. I later learned there was a reason why Voltaire Press never responded. The founder had been arrested, I think in Mississippi, as a fugitive from the charge of having absconded with Duke University funds (in North Carolina). I have been blocked from Voltaire Press’s site, unable to leave comments. Indeed, an Internet search for Voltaire Press turns up nothing. It had a Facebook page, from which I was also blocked, and that has vanished, as well. The new “owner” of Voltaire Press never replied to my queries about Reign of Terror, his identity remains unknown, and he, too, has gone the way of all puff balls. Exciting times for me, but now water under the bridge.  Islam’s Reign of Terror has a companion pamphlet, A Handbook on Islam, published later. The new “owner” of Voltaire Press never replied to my queries about Reign of Terror, his identity remains unknown, and he, too, has gone the way of all puff balls. Exciting times for me, but now water under the bridge. 
The first nonfiction collection of my Rule of Reason  essays is in Running Out My Guns, and like the others with the naval warfare-themed covers (the exception in terms of covers is From the Crow’s Nest), includes pieces about Obama, Islam, the state of the culture (including a longish piece on the film about Mozart, “Amadeus: A Pinnacle of Cultural Corruption,” the Danish cartoon uproar, censorship and freedom of speech. These titles, including Letters of Marque, Corsairs & Freebooters, Broadsides in the War of Ideas, Boarding Parties & Grappling Hooks, and the latest and the longest, Routing Islam, represent a wide panoply of subjects and issues. Of special interest is the four-part essay on the rise and attraction of Barack Obama, “The Year of the Long Knives,” from 2008, and pieces on Geert Wilders, and on Cass Sunstein, Obama’s wannabe speech “czar.” And I mustn't forget Cogitations, another non-naval warfare collection of essays.