When an elderly couple are suddenly robbed via civil asset forfeiture, who fights for them? When a single Mom wants to start a business but can’t because of licensing laws, who helps her? When a family is being forced out of their home by eminent domain, who defends them? The heroes at the libertarian Institute for Justice, that’s who. Right now, the IJ is seeking a Production iAssistant to help with online video production. “The Institute for Justice is looking for a full-time Production Assistant to join our award-winning communications team. This position will assist the production team in shooting video both in our studio and on the road as well as care for IJ’s studio and repository of video gear. IJ’s Production Assistant will also have the opportunity to edit and create short videos for the Institute for Justice YouTube page. This is a fun and rewarding job that will take you around the country and meet a diverse group of hard-working Americans.”
It’s one of the great economic questions of our time. Does dumping money into a giant hole create jobs and stimulate the economy, or is it simply a waste? Paul Krugman has suggested that even faking an alien invasion would be good for the economy, the idea being that any activity, with or without production of value, is beneficial. Likewise, other experts have noted the alleged beneficial effects of natural disasters, which boost activity in the hospital and construction sectors. Forbes published an article on the stimulative effects of Hurricane Sandy. Some say tornadoes may also boost growth. Libertarians have argued, however, that these are simply examples of economist Frederic Bastiat’s “Broken Windows Fallacy.” The staff at The Onion consider both sides of the debate.
Bloggers everywhere will connect with this story of two intrepid Chinese individuals who have taken it upon themselves to defy Chinese censorship authorities and report the truth about events around them. In the official view of course, there is no need for amateur reporters; the job of truth-telling should be left to the professionals. (Sound familiar?) But these two, very different bloggers, keep going even at risk of arrest and imprisonment. This documentary has been a hit with audiences, both at film festivals and more broadly.
Michael Moore in Trumpland, Moore’s latest documentary, was advertised as his “October Surprise,” sure to entirely discredit and derail the candidacy of Donald Trump. The film just premiered in NYC with much fanfare. It was reviewed by the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Verge, CNN, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, etc. And what is all the excitement about? A 73-minute unfunny comedy act, i.e., a speech, about how much Michael Moore likes Hillary Clinton. That’s it. It’s not even a documentary in the usual sense. And according to the New York Times, there isn’t much about Trump in it. “If the news that the documentarian Michael Moore was releasing a surprise film called Michael Moore in TrumpLand had you expecting a rollicking, full-force attack on Donald J. Trump, prepare to be disappointed…The film is not an attack on Mr. Trump, but instead a paean to his opponent in the presidential contest, Hillary Clinton.” Apparently aware that this is not one of his greatest hits, Moore says he will self-distribute the film to chumps on iTunes. Weirdly, though perhaps for the best, no trailer is available. Moore’s latest documentary before this, the similarly mislabeled Where to Invade Next, which had nothing to do with invasions, scored an hilarious $3.8 million at the box office despite overwhelming critical support.
The Turing Law, a just-announced new amendment named after Alan Turing, will pardon thousands of gay men convicted under British anti-obscenity statutes. Turing was a war hero who broke the Nazi enigma code but who was later imprisoned under such statutes. His story was told in two films: the acclaimed 2014 film The Imitation Game as well as an earlier documentary, Breaking the Code. However, the film that should be most remembered at this point is the powerful 1961 British mystery Victim, which is credited with changing public opinion and bringing about the repeal of anti-obscenity laws. Says MoviePlot: “With its assertive hero and hopeful conclusion, Victim made a difference…In 1967, Lord Arran introduced legislation repealing the Criminal Offences Act. He wrote Dirk Bogarde about Victim, praising him for ‘your courage in undertaking this difficult and potentially damaging part.’ When Bogarde protested, Lord Arran insisted that ‘we’ve both done our bit’ to decriminalize homosexuality. He mused that ‘it is comforting to think that perhaps a million men are no longer living in fear.’”
Do Not Resist is a just-released documentary about the new normal of fully-weaponized warrior police. Says the Washington Post: “When it was over, I had to force myself to exhale. What makes this movie so powerful is its terrifying portrayal of the mundanities of modern policing.” The film won the Tribeca Festival Best Documentary Award. Upcoming screenings can be found here.
Project Veritas scored another direct hit with its latest undercover recording of Democratic Party allies explaining how they deliberately incite violence at Trump rallies. Unaware that they were being recorded, professional muckrakers detail with extraordinary candor how they train and organize operatives to make violence happen, literally scripting it out in advance. One operative is captured on camera saying, “It doesn’t matter what the friggin’ legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherfucker.” The tactics are straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. It should be noted that Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on Saul Alinsky.
UPDATE: Per CNN, one of the individuals in this video was just fired and another quit.
UPDATE: Per Daily Caller, “Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times.”
With all the Wikileaks revelations, this election is feeling pretty weird. In the mood for a good political conspiracy series with libertarians as heroes? Check out Wild Palms, available on Netflix.
“Makes Twin Peaks look like Mayberry R.F.D.” –Variety
“You wanted something different? Here it is. And Wild Palms also happens to be terrific.”–NYT
The Coen Brothers — who won the “Best Screenplay” Academy Awards for both No Country for Old Men and Fargo, — have agreed to write the screenplay for Dark Web, a movie about Ross Ulbricht and his online illegal drug marketplace “Silk Road.” The 29-year-old Ulbricht, a libertarian and follower of Ludwig Von Mises, believed bringing the drug trade online would make the world a better place by eliminating the violence associated with it. He was eventually captured and sentenced to life imprisonment. His case has become a cause celebre among libertarians, and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has said he would consider pardoning Ulbricht. The Ross Ulbricht story was told previously in the documentary Deep Web (trailer below).
The new Swedish film “A Man Called Ove” is a touching comedy about a crotchety old man who has lost interest in life after the death of his wife. Happily, the incompetence of his new neighbors awakens his instinct to help others and returns him to his former voluntarist self. Ove is apparently libertarian, which is unusual for a main character, particularly in a European film. Says the News Observer, “The film is most enjoyable and inventive during the flashbacks, which chronicle Ove’s lifelong war with the White Shirts, his term for the countless, faceless bureaucrats who have made his life miserable at every turn. He tells us of how Sonja saved him, of how they fought the system together, and of their transformative love.” The Cap Times echoes the point: “Ove has a sweet courtship of his wife Sonja (Ida Engvoll) and develops a hatred for government bureaucrats (who he disparagingly calls “whiteshirts”) who meddle in the lives of ordinary folks. There’s a strong libertarian streak running through Ove.” The film is getting very good reviews.