Losing Faith

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To be honest I have found Faith Goldy a bit much on The Rebel. Cute as a button but a little over the top.

And she made a rookie mistake speaking to The Daily Stormer in Charlottesville. Pretty dumb but, perhaps, understandable given that an idiot had just killed someone behind her.

But Ez, champion of free speech, takes this as an excuse to fire the woman. He’s scrambling on all fronts, he’s lost his cruise, his access to the new leader of the PC’s, he’s being “extorted” by a couple of Brits and his staff list is dwindling by the hour. So, of course, the smart move is to fire one of his most engaging reporters.

Ez needs to be in front of the camera and let smart people run the business. But, I fear, it is too late for that. Holed below the waterline The Rebel is going down.

Pro-tip Ezra. Saying “fuck” a lot does not make you tough. As I say to my boys, it makes you stupid. The audio is out there and, I fear, you sound like a suburban kid trying to use foul language to sound tough and hip. You are neither. I realized that when we had our wee moment vis a vis Richard Warman’s bluster and your capitulation. The f-bombs were flying and I was bemused. I knew you could do better but, sadly, you didn’t.

Faith was very nice. Forgiving. Down right Christian about you firing her for simply speaking.

You are about to be pushed into a very dark place. Unfairly for the most part. But arrogance and hubris are their own rewards. You never understood Breitbart’s essential truism that culture is upstream of politics. You wanted to be political without the plinth of culture.

And now you’re done.

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We Saw What You Did There

rebel media, ezra levant

As my readers know I have very little time for Ezra Levant and RebelMedia. However, the SJW bullies are now well offside.

From the remarkably self-rightous Independent:

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has bowed to pressure and cancelled a booking for a “neo-nazi” conference which was set to take place on one of its ships.

Rebel Media, a far-right group based in Canada, had planned to hold a week-long meeting on-board a NCL Caribbean Cruise. The trip was scheduled to leave in November from Miami and would take in Honduras, Belize, and Mexico. link

The quotes around “neo-nazi” don’t disguise the move. It is a move we are seeing a lot of recently.

Step 1: Ask if a person or organization was on the “right” side on something like Charlottesville. The right side here being unwavering support for the people who “opposed” the Nazis/KKKers/white supremacists who were, if you are woke, the only people who were demonstrating for the retention of the Robert E. Lee statue.

Step 2: If there is a hint, an inkling, of anything less than full Maoist denunciation of the obviously evil alt-right creeps, take that as an indication of support for Nazis. (Same applies to any less than full support for the antifa thugs confronting the alt-right creeps.)

Step 3: Where Step 2 has been successful, you are now able to call the person or organization “Nazi supporters” or “neo-Nazis” and then, and here is where the brilliance of the manoeuvre becomes apparent, you can then ask decent people – such as Norwegian Cruise Lines – if they want to be associated with Nazis, neo or otherwise.

It is a page right out of the Joe McCarthy playbook. Take a lie, turn it into a smear, spread it around.

Is Ez a Nazi? Hardly. Is RebelMedia “neo-Nazi” and is it correct to characterize any conference or cruise put on by RebelMedia as “neo-Nazi”. No and no. And is it correct to repeat the libel as Warren “Lying Jackal” Kinsella did this morning?  Frankly, calling a news organization “neo-Nazi”is libelous on its face. Ez has been known to be a bit trigger happy on the litigation front but filing in Ontario and in London might sober the smearers up a bit.

I suspect RebelMedia is going down in any event largely because it has been seduced into pushing right wing causes of the moment rather than building a solid reportorial reputation. Ez seems to think that, having got his name in the news with an epic rant what is required are epic rants on every topic which pops up on the right wing radar. Combine that with endless fundraising and you will begin to lose the audience you have worked hard to build.

But RebelMedia should not go down as the result of a nasty, fascistic, smear campaign.

Update: It may, however, go down if anything in this video is true.

Upper Date: Which, Ez says is not true and simply an attempt at extortion.

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Bannon Uncut

This is a very interesting but rather surprising interview with Steve Bannon in, of all places, The American Prospect. Go read the whole thing but a couple of quotes:

“We’re at economic war with China,” he added. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.”

“There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

The reason why Steve Bannon draws so much fire is that he really does not give a rat’s ass for the established formulations of the Washington Establishment. “They got us” never passes the lips of the right sort of people. 100,000 artillery tubes pointed at Seoul are just not the sort of thing people talk about. But Bannon does.

My sense is that Trump’s Presidency is on the edge. If the MSM/GOPe/Dem narrative gains much more traction he’ll be locked in the White House with pretty much zero power until he quits, is hit by the 25th Amendment or is impeached for some sort of high crime the likes of which have never been seen before.

There is exactly one way out for Trump and that is to embrace Bannon and embrace his base. The trimming, the business councils, the McMasters down the hall. Ivanka and Jared down the other hall. None of that is actually getting the job done. For Trump to come out of the Charlotteville idiocy intact he needs to get back to his populist base. He needs to wage jihad against antifa and the demonization of the right as “Nazis”. And to do that he needs a real strategist. Bannon is the only one he’s got. Tell Kelly to keep the trains running, tell Bannon to figure out where they should go.

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Free Speech, Business and Donald Trump

Business, especially big business, has a complex relationship with free speech. On the one hand, companies like to be able to advertise their products and they like to be able to contribute money to the candidates of their choice. On the other, many feel the need to police their employees’ speech for fear of either offending other employees or their customers or both. In the US, while companies enjoy First Amendment protections for their speech, they are under no obligation to extend those protections to their employees or to users of their products. Twitter or Facebook are perfectly entitled to shut down the accounts of anyone they chose and there is no “free speech” legal leverage to protect those accounts. Firing an employee for expressing opinions at odds with a company’s diversity policy is on iffier legal ground (as Google is likely going to find out) but not for 1st Amendment reasons.

The CEOs of big companies have an odd relationship to free speech. They are, after all, the public face of their company and where they chose to place themselves may have an impact on that company. If they sit on a charitable board or a government advisory commission they may be accused of supporting the more controversial positions taken by that board or government. Which is why, when the furor over Trumps various remarks on Charlottesville blew up, a number of CEOs announced they were leaving his business advisory councils. So many that Trump has shut down the councils.

A couple of points. First, dropping off the advisory councils was a weird sort of virtue signalling on the part of the CEOs. They wanted to be seen to be putting daylight between themselves and Trump’s alledged support for, or lack of effective condemnation of, Nazis, white supremacist and the other eviltons who marched on the right in Charlottesville. And, because the entire Charlottesville furor has been framed as binary, had they not done so they were open to being accused of supporting Nazis. Better to go because the left is in full smear mode.

But there is another element to this: what was a populist President doing with councils composed of CEOs in the first place? An American President from either party is well advised to cultivate relationships with business leaders. But formalizing that into councils is unnecessary. In normal course the CEOs will try to meet with the President to push their agendas.

It is a mark of the general incoherence of the Trump administration that these councils were created in the first place. By all means have the occasional, informal, round table but what is the point of a business council with formal membership and, therefore, the possibility of formal resignation?

Business councils are the stuff of GOPe and guys who worked at Goldman Sachs. They are the very sort of thing Trump ran against. The Bannonite faction in the White House (and yes I do know Bannon worked for Goldman) was pushed out of the way when the councils were set up. Now that they are gone it might be a good idea for Bannon and his people to come up with a less formal, more effective, way for Trump to get the business perspective on the affairs of the nation.

 

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Polar Cases

Trump’s continuing attempts to get “condemnation” right actually illustrate a profound shift in the political rhetoric in the US. (And, unfortunately, elsewhere.)

There were Nazis on one side in Charlottesville. From which it follows, apparently, that anything less than full throated support for the thugs of antifa means, well it means that you support Nazis. So, for example, if you make any attempt to sort the right wing sheep from the Nazi goats…You’re a Nazi supporter. If you note that the police and National Guard expressly stood down and failed to protect a permitted meeting…You’re a Nazi supporter.

Once political conversation descends to this level it is no longer conversation and it has moved from political to tribal.

A fact that seems to have entirely eluded Trump and who ever it is who is advising him. [I note that Trump’s flatfootedness may very well be a consequence of the globalist cadres in the White House marginalizing Steve Bannon because Bannon understands this.] Once the left and the media have a way of proving to their own satisfaction that Trump, because he criticized both sides, is a Nazi supporter the White House is left with two courses of action. One, which will weaken and eventually destroy the Trump Presidency, is to try and find the right words to propitiate people who want nothing more than to “prove” Trump is a Nazi and will use whatever means necessary to drive home the attack. The other, which will rally the base and begin to move the general American public, is to go hard on the antifa rioters and nail the cowardice of the Charlottetown police, national guard and their political masters.

For the second strategy to work Trump will have to bring Bannon back into the loop even if it annoys the Generals. This is a political fight and Generals, no matter how well organized and disciplined, don’t do politics well.

If Trump, as is rumoured, instead fires Bannon the Trump Presidency is, at best lamed, at worst, pretty much over. In a sense, if he fires Bannon, Trump will have been housebroken and that is not what his base elected him for.

I have spent a good deal of time defending Trump because the Trump powered by Bannon is the corrective that America has needed for a couple of decades. But if Bannon is shown the door, for whatever reason, I’ll jump off the Trump train in a New York second. The populist insurgency will have been stillborn, the swamp will remain full and the antifa fascists and their Democratic party enablers will continue their terror and their misrule.

Update: Chris Buskirk at American Greatness gets the point about Steve Bannon.

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Sheep from goats

The mayhem in Charlottesville was pretty much locked in when the Swastika was unfurled and neo-Nazi chants about Jews filled the air. The antifa people are usually exaggerating when they go on about how nationalist=white supremacist=Nazi, but in Charlottesville that reasoning was not wrong.

Here’s the thing: if Nazis, real live Jew hating Nazis, join your protest and you let them, their stench will infect everything you do. Over on the left people are at pains to distance themselves from BlackBloc whack jobs. The right needs to do the same thing with Nazis.

This is not a question of free speech or free association: the Nazis have a perfect right to both; rather it is a question of whether of not the resurgent right wants to accept Nazis tagging along for the ride. If the right and alt-right people are OK with Nazis in their midst then they will simply lose the vast majority of their supporters. However, if they make it very clear that Nazis are unwelcome they can carry on an build support. And by “making it clear” I mean to the point that Nazis at right wing gatherings are more likely to be punched by alt-right people than antifa.

If the Nazis want to organize their own demos they can go right ahead; but the serious right need to make sure that there is no place for Nazis on the right side of the aisle.

(And, just to avoid confusion, America’s own KKK needs to be bunged in the same barrel as Nazis.)

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In Which Ezra Jumps The Shark

Ezra Levant

Not actually Ezra

I don’t actually watch Rebel Media. A bit too over the top for my taste; but I do get their emails and today Ezra went over the top.

There is no question that the prog Silicon Valley people are sharpening the knives for the less than PC people. And there is no question that alternatives to Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are needed.

But this is just nuts:

But making high-tech apps is expensive — all the different parts of it will cost us $302,000. From the app itself, to the video player, to the bandwidth for the hundreds of millions of video views a year that we broadcast.

Ez wants to ride the alternative horse to 300K. So dumb.

Gab got off the ground for about $3000 bucks.

There comes a point where a good idea – The Rebel – needs good management. Ez has his moments as a provocateur but The Rebel, and all who sail in her, would be best served if the “Rebel Commander” was kicked upstairs and smart people came in to run a lean, hard dollar, operation.

Update: In the comments Kathy Shaidle suggests I look at the cost breakdown of Ez’s app palace. Ok, you can read it here. But here are the line items:

Developing the app is going to cost us a lot of money. $120,000, for it to have all the functions I mentioned — all the fun notifications, all the social media, play all the video content.

To integrate it with our video hosting system, and with our payment system, that’s another $19,000.

$90,000 to build a proprietary video player, that runs the videos in the app. That serves up all the gigabytes worth of videos, on demand, quickly, in high def, to replace what YouTube gives us now free.

To move our 6,500 videos over from YouTube to the app, now, is about $13,000 — or about two dollars a video.

To upgrade our existing TV apps for Roku and Apple TV is $20,000.

And $40,000 to upgrade our computer software and servers at our headquarters, to make all of this work.

Together, that’s $302,000. I know that’s a lot. It’s the biggest expense we’ve ever had in our history.

Couple of points. Why bother migrating the entire Rebel catalogue of 6500 videos? Rebel is on the news and, like any other news enterprise, its output fades to irrelevance very quickly. The last couple of hundred vids would be more than enough. Building a “proprietary video player” – what the heck is that? There are dozens of off the shelf video players available for various devices. In terms of video hosting there are dozens of outfits who provide much the same service as You-Tube and some are happy to do so on a “white label” basis.

However, the larger question is why Ez is so convinced the Rebel needs to have proprietary apps and players. It would be a lot smarter to get together with Breitbart, Daily Caller, Gab, GoDuckGo, wikileaks, The Intercept, Kim Dotcom and a host of other “right wing”, no censorship, entities and actually construct the necessary backbone on an open source, distributed basis. The Rebel building its own little walled garden just isolates it from the general conversation on the right. Useful for fundraising, perhaps, but bootless if the objective is to build a work around for SJW and liberal censorship.

 

 

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I Claudius: Whitehouse edition

My theory about Canadians commenting on American politics is that we need to focus on the entertainment values. Politically there is nothing we can do and we have lots of stuff to deal with at home.

That said, the Trump Whitehouse is brilliant. It is the classic clash of insiders versus outsiders. But it is also a three or four way battlefield over style. Reince Preibus is the consummate, slightly geeky Washington insider with great connections on the Hill and in the still shell shocked Republican Party. Steve Bannon is an outsider who actually reads books and thinks about policy stuff. And now, in the great tradition of pro Wrestling we have Anthony Scaramucci aka “The Mooch” who has had direct access to Trump from day 1 and speaks his language far better than the wussy Preibus or the, relatively speaking, cerebral Bannon.

When Trump took office Preibus was made Chief of Staff to make the trains run on time. I think it is fair to say that his hooks into the Republican Party and connections on the Hill have barely made the trains run at all. Worse, there have been a series of judgements by Trump which would have benefited from some savvy counsel as to timing and tone – Comey, the Special Prosecutor, some position on healthcare – which they clearly did not get.  As well, the message coming out of the White House has been, to put it charitably, diffuse. Trump, himself, seems to be settling into much of the role of the President; what he is not doing is effectively using the power of the Presidency to push his agenda. And that lands at the Chief of Staff’s door.

Preibus is a bit of a “pleaser”. He has had to be in his various roles with the Republican Party. A Chief of Staff is never a pleaser. He’s the guy who gets what the President wants done with a minimum of fuss and bother. The nature of the position is not conciliatory, it is actually pretty brutal. The Chief of Staff sets up the field so that the President can do what ever conciliation is required. Preibus is simply not up to that job.

Neither is Bannon. Because Bannon’s function is to develop the policy concepts and the strategy to “Make America Great Again”. In many ways Bannon should not be operational at all. In his own way, Bannon is a policy guy and it is always a bad idea to bring a policy guy into the rough and tumble of getting stuff done.

So, right now, my bet is that Trump sees The Mooch as a clear threat to Preibus. Along the lines of “Do your job Reince or The Mooch will throw you over the top rope.” I would say Preibus has about a month, call it to Labour Day, to prove he can get the trains back on schedule or over the top rope he goes.

In all of this the Trump children and assorted in-laws play the role of the Roman Emperor Augustus’s children and relatives. They may be important, they may not but they have no independent power, only influence. For the players, like The Mooch, Bannon and Preibus, the Trump children are, at best, temporary allies.

If you are an I Claudius fan the Trump White House is showing great promise of engrossing entertainment. And, best of all, it is driving the Democrats and the left into a perpetual tizzy.

My bet is that Trump will back whoever can show him results and a resolute sense of direction. Right now the foul mouthed new guy seems willing to kick butt and take names. We’ll see how that works out.

Update: Republicans just defeated their own “skinny healthcare repeal”. That train is not only late, it’s derailed and that is the sort of thing a Chief of Staff does not let happen.

Upper Date: So Preibus was out last week and today The Mooch vanishes as quickly as he came on the scene. Rumour has it that The Mooch was kicked at the request of General Kelly, the new Chief of Staff. Stay tuned.

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CNN Blackmails a 15 year old??

Out in Twitter Land at  there is a very interesting story emerging about the silly Trump WWF/CNN tweet. Apparently, CNN took it upon themselves to track down the perpetrator of this lese majeste. While they can’t quite find the evidence of Trump colluding with the Russians they were able to find the evilton. Who is 15.

CNN nobly declined to publish his name while referring to him as “the man” who created the video.

CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
Huge mistake.
What CNN has now done is let loose the firestorm of Reddit, 4Chan and 8 Chan on their unsuspecting heads. Internet rule is you do not threaten to “dox” someone, especially some 15 year old kid with a silly sense of humour unless you are willing to reap the consequences.
At the moment Twitter is hosting the address and home details of Wolf Blitzer’s house. And it will get worse. Much, much worse.

Once the “anything goes with CNN” meme gets going there is an army of technically sophisticated, boundary free, kids out there ready, willing and able to hack feeds, websites and create brilliant memes.

End of CNN? Not likely. Rather the end of CNN as any sort of respected news source. Those kids are brilliant and seriously without constraints. Pretty much anything can happen when they take up a cause. And looking at Twitter tonight they are ready to roll.

You think BLM is irritating…wait until you see 4 Chan unleashed.

Update: Trump’s tweet tomorrow:

Kid had spunk. Funny guy. CNN blackmails him….He’s coming to the White House. Like the clock guy.

Update #2: So CNN is saying that it was not a 15 year old they were attempting to blackmail, it was an adult. Oddly, this does not seem to have helped their case much.
Plus, there seems to be a good chance that the meme Trump used was not the meme the “kid” actually made. (OK, it is Buzzfeed via Twitchy but still more reputable than CNN.)
As predicted the internet has gone nuts with the meme jihad dumping all over CNN.
Once again, the lefty media establishment’s total lack of any sense of humour is forcing errors. Add to that the MSM’s complete lack of any sort of crisis management skills and you have the perfect storm.
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You Can’t Do That

donald-trump (1)American Media (no doubt to be followed by what is left of Canadian media) are having a collective meltdown about President Trump’s Tweets.

Reaction ranges from tsk, tsking “not Presidential” all the way through to “this is evidence that Trump should be removed from office via the 25th Amendment because he’s crackers.”

Of course Trump is having a whale of a time because a) he loses nothing, b) the media are making themselves look like precious idiots, c) his base loves his body slams on what is generally seen as a corrupt and partisan media elite. Where Ronald Reagan was a movie actor (used to taking direction), Donald Trump was a reality TV entertainer where a good deal of the fun is in the ad lib.

The nice ladies in pantsuits and the chaps in the bow ties and horn-rimmed spectacles are, of course, shocked and appalled at these goings on. Largely because they know that they have no one who can play the game at the same level. In fact, they really have no response at all other than running to the principal and demanding that this disruptive person be medicated or something.

The right response would be to mock and be funny while mocking. But the po-faced media and left in general simply don’t have the sense of humour necessary. So they bleat and eash time they bleat Trump, and legions of righty, 4-Chan, Twitter enabled, meme shapers take the piss out of the media bleaters.

For the media and the left generally Trump’s election is still beyond comprehension. My pal Dr. Dawg wrote a long and mighty screed on the Trumpian Ending of the American Dream. Well worth reading to get a picture of just how deeply adrift intelligent lefties are in the face of Trump.

All of which Trump seems instinctively aware of. Where other people might have stopped at a food fight with Morning Joe, Trump wades ever deeper into the swamp of the media’s lefty derangement. He is completely willing to keep pushing their buttons and yanking their chains until he reduces them to howling, gibbering caricatures. It isn’t hard to do. Trump’s great insight was that the media had no sense of humour or proportion at all. Which means that there will be an over the top reaction to even the tiniest taunt. And that reaction will make the media look even sillier and petty and Trump will take another trick.

At some point some media type will realize that to preserve a shred of credibility the MSM are going to have to stop responding to Trump’s taunts. Which will give them tons more time to objectively report the news. And if they get on with actually reporting the news – rather than breathlessly whinging on about Trump’s taunts – they will cease to be a laughingstock for much of the American electorate. As every parent has said to a child being teased by another child, “Just ignore him and he’ll stop.”

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