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Daily Tech News 22 September 2023 | Main | Mid-Morning Art Thread
September 22, 2023

The Morning Report — 9/22/23

unsurethingcusack.jpg

Good morning, kids. Yesterday, I had a link in the Culture Wars section about flabby, late middle-aged over-the-hill thesp John Q. Sack, nee John Cusack, who went on an unusually brutal diatribe against his political allies. It probably got glossed over, considering the lead stories sucking out all the oxygen, and I did not see any mention of it in the comments. But all things considered, I find it worth a revisit:

“They have played a major part in creating the precise conditions for fascism to flourish – Obama corporatist democrats – are to the right of Richard Nixon on domestic policy – Don’t believe me – look it up – and Dems have sold out the working class for decades – and this kind of bought and paid-for betrayal of principals [sic], fairness – historical precedent -any sense of moral or intellectual honesty – The kind of brutal selfish horrific actions one only does – because they can get away with it,” he wrote in part on X, formerly Twitter, Monday.

The 57-year-old “Say Anything” and “High Fidelity” star’s lengthy post continued with a takedown of the party’s complacency with the wealthy, not-far-enough-left politics and neglecting certain principles.

He argued that the party elite’s trajectory has planted fertile ground for Republicans like Trump to win.

“All your Yale and Harvard buddies will tell you how great and smart you all are – and they are all in bed with all the same big , big money power players- And we run the world – right ? – this kind of staggering amoral bulls—  is one of the main reason ( yes there are others ) Trump’s demagoguery works on people. The Democratic elite ARE full of s—,” he continued.

The lengthy statement came in response to an article from Jacobin Magazine which claimed some top Democrats seek to outlaw federal wealth taxes.

“Imagine what FDR would say about such a proposed law ?! Don’t worry fellas – the Democrats will save the .ooooooo1 % from paying tax – the hubris to do this – is staggering – it’s a sham and an insult to everyone’s basic intelligence – the contempt for people – To even attempt this … Unbelievable,” he continued.

He ended the spiel by accusing Obama’s famous “hope and change” slogan of becoming “another branded hustle.”

Cusack has been outspoken about his political stances in the past, slamming former President Donald Trump on multiple occasions, including by calling for an impeachment over his alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need strikes /  and we need to remove Trump from power to save lives Impeach him again / Pressure for 25th,” he tweeted at the time.

Additionally, Cusack blasted the former president by comparing him to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler.

He also blasted Trump’s supporters for voting for, in his words, a “mentally ill, virus-spreading, child-abducting Nazi rapist.”

"Say Anything," indeed. What I find interesting, once you're able to wade through what amounts to a puerile, poorly written screed (what else is new with this guy and the majority of his comrades) is both the nuggets of truth of his rant in the first paragraph and salted here and there through the rest of it. The maddening thing is the complete cognitive dissonance. His pea brain can't put two plus two together to add up to four. The failings of his party that he rails against should cause him to wake the fuck up and smell the coffee, not go crazy with fear that they will give Trump a chance to win in 2024! This would be the same Trump whose actual policy achievements created the greatest economic boom since the 1920s and 80s which helped more minorities and heretofore "marginalized" groups lift themselves up than any other administration ever.

He just can't deprogram himself from the bullshit that Democrats good and Republicans “mentally ill, virus-spreading, child-abducting Nazi rapist[s].” Yeah, he knows how to make those intellectual arguments, doesn't he.

Still, for whatever it's worth, the criticism of his own party, especially some of his points which are surprisingly right on target, I think is something unexpected. At least I can't remember him being this bitter. And is his infantile attacks on Trump, or the couching of his attacks on his own party as a putative warning to same as shooting themselves in the foot to allow a MAGA win, just reflexive or is it self-preservation to avoid becoming an outcast with his peers? Either way, I think it's one of those signs, albeit anecdotal, that there is indeed trouble in lefty Paradise on Earth.

With that, I give you yet another example from a more mature quarter of the show biz set. And refreshingly minus the equivocation and poo-flinging at Emanuel Goldstein either:

Music icon David Foster’s daughters declared their “hate” for Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday, blaming the Democrat for the state’s deteriorating quality of life — and wondering if his goal is to have California “be a socialist state.”

Sara and Erin Foster detailed their growing bitterness against their home state amid news that the latter sister was moving into a new home in Nashville, Tennessee. “I’m jealous because — if anyone follows me, you know that I have a lot of complaints about the city we live in and the state we live in,” Sara Foster, 42, griped on their joint show, “The World’s First Podcast.”

“And people are always like, ‘Why don’t you just leave?’ Guys, it’s not that easy.” Other than leaving family and friends behind, the “90210” actress complained that she could be subject to a 10-year tax to the California government if she relocates to another state. The proposed exit law — introduced at the beginning of the year — would apply to the Golden State’s uber-wealthy who might be looking to avoid state taxes on billionaires by moving to states that don’t have income or wealth tax. Although the bill is still being considered by the state’s Assembly committee on tax and revenue, the Foster sisters aimed their ire at Newsom.

“I blame everything on Newsom. Newsom is, like, the worst,” Sara Foster said. “Yeah, I hate him,” her 41-year-old sister agreed, adding that they once met the governor in the Bahamas. Sara Foster said the proposed legislation is especially distasteful as California grapples with “crime through the roof.” In fact, the state will now spend $267 million to help local law enforcement fight brazen smash-and-grab robberies that have become commonplace across the Golden State.

Foster doubled down on Newsom’s leadership, who has been governor since 2019. “You are running the state and your policies are whack, therefore, I’m coming for you … it’s really f–ked up what’s happening here,” she said. “And I think that it’s like, is the goal to be Venezuela? Is the goal to be a socialist state? I don’t know.” The podcast rant was not the first time the actress targeted California leadership.

In April, she took to Instagram to blast San Francisco’s “liberal politicians” following tech mogul Bob Lee’s violent death in the city earlier that week. She shared a screenshot of The Post’s article about Lee’s final moments before his death on her Instagram Story, showing a smiling Lee with his two daughters. “I have no words,” she wrote. “SF is a complete s—hole. I am a registered Democrat and feel confident saying liberal politicians are ruining cities.” Disgusting. My heart breaks for this family,” she added.

No equivocation. No couching the blasting of Newsom and California pols to warn that their actions are paving the way for Trump and his white supremacist Nazi MAGA hordes to take over. In fact, Sara Foster specifically used the phrase "liberal politicians" to rip San Francisco's insane leaders. We shall see if she retracts what she said, but I think the bridge has been burned here.

Assuming the Fosters do stand by their words, the Cusack example is still the big question mark, vis a vis the mindset of run of the mill disaffected lefties and more crucially less insane lifelong liberal Democrats. The policies that they have supported by voting for Joey Sponge-Brain Shits-Pants have destroyed their livelihoods, their cities and their sense of personal safety. Can they at least finally acknowledge that in no uncertain terms, to at the very least stay home during Election Season, if not make the great leap forward (pun intended) and vote for Republican candidates? Not just on the national level but crucially in the places where they live (assuming that the game isn't rigged, or at the very least vote in such numbers as to overcome the Dao-Min Yen factor) at the state and local levels?

From the half-full portion of the program we go to the half-empty:

Hollywood has been mostly silent on the wave of censorship washing over the culture. Consider the following examples in the arts alone.

  • “The French Connection,” an Oscar-winning classic, got snipped to remove an offensive word
  • Books by Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming got a sensitivity reader “upgrade”
  • Films and TV shows with problematic content have been erased in the public arena
  • Comedians fear the loss of their careers for telling the “wrong” jokes

    It’s just a partial list, but it’s damning all the same. And that doesn’t include Big Tech censors restricting both comedy and free speech across YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and more. Celebrities routinely weigh in on subjects they have little to no expertise on, from border enforcement to gun control. Their livelihoods depend on free expression, yet most are stone silent on the subject.

    The exceptions include: Bill Maher, Joe Rogan, Rob Schneider, John Cleese, Nick Searcy, and, to a lesser extent, both Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

    Now, a gaggle of stars is skewering so-called “book bans” happening across the nation.

    Upwards of 175 actors, musicians, authors, comedians, reality stars, models, media personalities, academics, activists and more have signed the open letter spearheaded by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton and published Tuesday via public advocacy organization and political action committee MoveOn Political Action.

    That’s your first clue the mission is politically motivated. MoveOn.org is a progressive body that promotes Democrat causes. Why make censorship a political matter? Here’s why.

    One, many of the “book bans” in question involved sexually graphic tomes that have no business being in a school setting. Conservatives are trying to protect children from inappropriate material, while Democrats want this filth in schools nationwide.

    Two, the conservative movement has embraced free speech as a core principle in the modern era. The Left, the former champions of free expression, now favors hate speech restrictions and looks the other way as the U.S. government censors American citizens.

    A lot. The next time you watch college students shout down a conservative speaker consider which party they call home. There’s only one answer. And they’re proud of it. . .

    . . . How many of those stars have spoken out against sensitivity readers? Big Tech censorship? The Biden [junta's] censorship regime? Attacks on comedians for telling the “wrong” jokes? . . .

    . . . It’s one thing for Hollywood stars to remain silent on modern censorship. It’s gross, but we can’t force celebrities to speak out on every issue of the day, even one that directly impacts their art form.

    For some of these same stars to rally behind a politically charged effort that ignores the larger, toxic threat to free speech is something far more insidious.

  • What friend of the blog Christian Toto notes above directly applies to John Q. Sack. Unless he's just reflexively brainwashed with Lefty Tourette's syndrome. But for sure, there's got to be a part of his mind that clearly understands that there is a line that he dare not cross. I think that both of those things are factors for him. He either was taught or deluded himself into "true believer" status of all these Leftist shibboleths that it's jarring for him to see the hypocrisy and bullshit of those he supported engaging in it. Then again, he also obviously still believes the rancid blood-libels against conservatives so there is that. I'd say he's a lost cause. But not the Sara Foster's of this world, and it is they that need to be embraced and encouraged.

    Are there more of her than him? That remains to be seen. If we are ever to claw back from the abyss, it should be a mission to convert more Fosters to overcome the perpetually blinkered, unreconstructed, unsalvageable Cusacks.

    How we do that when shit like this is going on is a good question:

    Sometime during the summer of 2023, I posted a review of Elliot Page’s memoir Pageboy on Amazon. I take words seriously, even the words that constitute Amazon reviews. Language can convey truth; language can empower lies. The difference between truth and lies is the difference between life and death. In my faith, Satan is the father of lies. God is the logos, the Word; God is truth and the truth sets us free.

    Elliot Page’s Pageboy is a poorly written book. I said so in my review. I said this because bad writing matters. “Writing clearly is thinking clearly.” Writing poorly underwrites destructive behavior. Identifying bad writing is a worthwhile use of time. . .

    . . . In my review of Pageboy, mindful of current speech codes, I did not refer to Elliot Page as “she.” Rather, I focused on, as I said in the review, “sentence structure, punctuation, narrative flow, and coherence.” I received a cheerfully-worded email telling me that my review was up, thanking me for the review, and providing a link that allowed me to visit the review. I did so. I saw the review on Amazon.

    A few days later I thought of the review again, clicked on the link Amazon provided, and saw an error message. “That page does not exist,” the message said, or words to that effect. I had received no notification from Amazon that the review would be removed. I received no explanation as to why it was removed. I received no warning telling me that if I posted another honest review of a poorly written book, I would be banished from Amazon forever. I received no instruction on how to write reviews that Amazon would not delete.

    Perhaps a month after that, I again attempted to review a book on Amazon, Christian Cooper’s Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World. Again, I received a cheery notification from Amazon telling me that my review was posted. I clicked on the link Amazon sent and I saw the review. Again, a few days later, I clicked on that same link and got the same message. “This page does not exist.” Again,  I received no notification, and no explanation. . .

    . . . On September 7, 2023, weeks after the above events, my inbox was flooded with approximately one hundred emails from Amazon. The emails that I read before deleting them all said the same thing. “Thank you for reporting a fake review,” or words to that effect. This made no sense. I hadn’t been reporting fake reviews at Amazon. At the end of this avalanche of spam from Amazon came the final email. That final email informed me that all of my reviews, reviews going back almost thirty years, had been removed. I would never again be allowed to post reviews on Amazon, not for books or for anything else. If I bought a spatula that was a really good spatula, I could never say that on Amazon. . .

    . . . I posted about the Amazon canceling on Facebook. A Polish friend said he couldn’t believe it. He knows I’m an honest person and would not make this up. He just couldn’t believe it. Another Polish friend said, “I’m so glad I’m not an American.” He believes he has greater freedom of speech in Poland than I have in the US.

    Yes, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites are private entities and they can dictate whatever terms they want. But there’s more to the story than that simplistic analysis. Activists often sneer at any mention of the harassment and threats that JK Rowling has endured ever since she posted that women should not be fired for saying that “sex is real.” Some sniff that Rowling has Midas money and can hire all the security she needs. That’s true, but it misses the point. Most people are not JK Rowling. Most people observe the vitriol and death threats inundating JK Rowling and say to themselves, “I can’t afford to risk that. I’d never find another job. My kids’ safety is paramount. I need to keep my mouth shut.” Just so, when Amazon makes a decision about what can and cannot be said, it has far-reaching consequences.

    Many people have sent me private messages on social media. “I agree with you. I can’t say so publicly. I can’t risk it.” My leftist, Atheist, and Christophobic social media contacts love to cite my church, the Catholic Church, as the epitome of the suppression of free speech and freedom of conscience. I ask them, are you aware of those who have had to go into hiding, who have lost jobs, who have lost access to their own children, because of something they said? It’s not conservatives squelching free speech. It is the Left. . .

    . . . I just took a break from writing this essay to check my email inbox. A friend just wrote to tell me that he just finished a book on early Soviet Russia – and he he is now afraid to review it on Amazon.

    And what does it say about the mindset of whoever it was who carried out the campaign against me? The spamming of my email inbox, which was confirmed by Amazon to be from them. Sending me a link that would damage my computer, again, confirmed by Amazon to be from them. The erasure of all of my reviews going back decades, with no explanation, no recourse. Whoever did this is no Stalin, but this person is surely a totalitarian. What does it say about America that people who cannot debate, but who can only destroy, wield any power at all? What is this anonymous and unreachable Amazon saboteur like as a spouse, as a citizen, as a friend? When corporations train their employees to be little Robespierres, they undermine society.

    Corporations are now doing the oppression and persecution that the Junta can't. At least not openly. And then it can crow about how they are the protectors of "our precious democracy" (*vomits*) because they are merely allowing the free market to flourish unimpeded as our founding fathers meant in the Constitution, don't you know?!

    Of course, John Q. Sack and his fellow travelers would concur. H8tr!

    Have a good weekend.


    NOTE: The opinions expressed in the links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

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