Tags: Apple, business, Capitalism, Christianity, gadgets, Homeless, iPhone, Los Angeles, objectivism, religion, Scalpers, Scalping, smart phone, Technology, trade, value
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – September 23, 2013
“That is just wrong,” posted one commenter in response to a story out of Los Angeles which raises vital questions about the morality of the market. From Ubergizmo:
A businessman in L.A. took scalping to a whole new level, when he picked up about 100 homeless people from Skid Row in Los Angeles. He promised to pay them if they waited overnight in the line outside Apple’s retail store in Pasadena, California. Since Apple allows customers to purchase no more than two units, he would have had 200 iPhones, all while paying each hired hand $40 for the trouble.
The operation did not proceed as planned. When the employees within the iPhone store heard what was happening, they refused to sell to the hired buyers. The scalper then refused to pay those who were unable to deliver iPhones to him. That upset the homeless crowd and aroused a disturbance which prompted police to escort the scalper away for his own protection.
Tags: Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Ben Swann, bias, City Pages, Jeff Johnson, John Gilmore, Liberty Minnesota, Media, Rachel Stassen-Berger, Star Tribune
Has anyone ever asked the leftist cabal known as the Alliance for a Better Minnesota what their titular vision entails? What would make Minnesota a better place to live, work, and pursue happiness?
We might begin to decipher their vision by examining what they oppose. For instance, when they took the effort last week to smear Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson for attending an event hosted by a political action committee which seeks “to return our state to the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty,” we might assume they oppose those principles. When they base their attack on a blatant misrepresentation of an invited speaker advocating for truth in media, we might assume they oppose that as well. Apparently, the “better Minnesota” ABM prescribes would emerge from unlimited government, constricted commerce, blanket tyranny, and lies broadcast throughout.
Certainly, no shortage of lies emerged from ABM and their eager media accomplices after Liberty Minnesota (the aforementioned PAC) hosted Ben Swann (the aforementioned speaker) at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Policy on September 13th. Copying and pasting from an ABM press release, City Pages writer Aaron Rupar shamelessly used the phrase “Alliance for a Better Minnesota reports,” as if deferring to a journalistic colleague rather than a partisan political organization. Rupar began:
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is petitioning to demand that Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 MNGOP gubernatorial hopeful Jeff Johnson apologize for attending a 9/11 truther event held last Friday at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Surely, were the occasion a “9/11 truther event,” it would have included some discussion of “9/11 truth.” Yet, by all accounts, no such discussion occurred aside from headliner Ben Swann briefly addressing allegations related to his coverage of the “truther” phenomenon. Both during his address at the Humphrey School and earlier that day during a local radio appearance, Swann denied being a “truther.”
Those facts did not dissuade Minnesota Conservatives blogger John Gilmore from running wild with false accusations. Gilmore reportedly attended the event, and therefore stands uniquely liable for misrepresenting its content and participants. Gilmore’s personal disdain for the liberty movement within the Republican party has been a dominant theme of his work, offering arguments which routinely rest upon the fallacy of guilt by association. City Pages eagerly echoed Gilmore’s misrepresentation, aiding ABM under the guise of journalism.
Such shenanigans may be par for the course wherever these perpetrators operate. However, the smear campaign gained undue credibility when joined by Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In a post for her Hot Dish Politics blog, Stassen-Berger added to the misrepresentation of Swann’s work. She wrote:
Swann has also attracted controversy for breathing life into conspiracies ‘rethinking’ the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, questioning the ‘official narrative’ of lone shooters in recent mass shootings and an alternative explanation for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Apparently, reporting on events which have occurred and considering them from multiple perspectives breaths life into conspiracies; because nothing says truth to power more forcefully than echoing press releases.
Utilizing the same logic employed by ABM, John Gilmore, City Pages, and the Star Tribune, the latter two publications clearly endorse “9/11 truth” on account of their running ads from Rethink 9/11, the same “truther” campaign which Swann reported on. Right? Or, is it possible that a publication could include content which does not necessarily reflect the views of its stakeholders? Certainly, a partisan smear group like ABM cannot be reasonably expected to acknowledge so obvious a principle and apply universal standards in their conduct. But any publication aspiring to the category of journalism must. Ironically, that is Swann’s entire point.
Edward R. Murrow once said in testimony to Congress:
To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful. It is as simple as that.
Ben Swann operates by that creed, and was invited to Minnesota by an organization which shares it. Lost in ABM’s manufactured controversy is any consideration of that message, of the value of truth, and the growing advocacy for individual rights in our state. One might wonder why an organization purporting to ally toward a better Minnesota seeks so desperately to draw attention from those topics.
Tags: Activism, libertarian, liberty, Movement, Nick Espinosa, Occupy Homes MN, Occupy MN, Occupy Wall Street, Protest, tea party, Walter Hudson
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – September 2, 2013
The phenomenon occurs among activists on the Left and the Right. Regardless of their ideological perspective or particular cause, amateur activists sabotage their own effort at every turn. Whether due to ignorance of processes or – more likely – stubborn defiance of reality, citizen activists focus too much on grinding their axe and not enough on achieving a goal.
Three recent examples warrant consideration. First, in Maine, a group of libertarian Republicans including a National Committeeman authored an open letter to the state party secretary tendering their resignation from the GOP following a rules fight which didn’t go their way at a meeting of the RNC. Dave Nalle, former national chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus, an organization working within the party to steer it toward greater advocacy of individual rights, called the mass exodus a “betrayal” in a public Facebook post:
After years of working to gain those positions of influence and as a key component of a liberty coalition which controls the state party, they have thrown everything away because of losing one battle over the rules with the RNC leadership.
Tags: Bill Paulsen, Bylaws, Congress, constitution, David Gerson, Election, Endorsement, John Kline, Keith Downey, Matt Erickson, mngop, Party, Paul Tuschy, Republican Party of Minnesota, Walter Hudson
by Walter Hudson – August 26, 2013
The Great T-Shirt Rebellion of 2013 seems a title of appropriate grandeur for an inflated controversy splintering the liberty movement within the Republican Party of Minnesota and causing much rabble in the Second Congressional District. Social media caught fire over the weekend, and an online petition has formed asking state party chair Keith Downey to apologize after refusing to allow a challenger to Congressman John Kline to campaign from the MNGOP state fair booth.
Over the weekend, activists Paul Tuschy and Matt Erickson showed up to work a volunteer shift at the booth, each wearing campaign t-shirts promoting David Gerson for Congress. Gerson ran against the party’s endorsement in 2012, challenging incumbent John Kline. Fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility to protect the party’s brand, Chairman Downey asked Tuschy and Erickson to turn their Gerson campaign shirts inside-out while representing the party at the booth. Were that as far as the story went, it would hardly merit a mention.
Activists often become their own worst enemy. Not understanding how things work or – worse – insisting that things ought to work differently, activists tend to flail about in episodic tirades, wasting energy where it cannot reasonably be expected to advance their cause.
Those of us who learn the lay of the land and engage in party politics nonetheless tend to revert to our protest roots when we meet with significant resistance. For example, we may caucus for a particular candidate, only to write off the entire process if that candidate is not endorsed. Or we may work to advance a particular issue, only to write off anyone who does not give it the same priority we assign it. Protest pumps through an activist’s veins, and the impulse to throw down and make some noise can often overwhelm rational political work.
Tags: homeschooling, News, Racism, school choice, WCCO
WCCO News at 10 was busy Wednesday night jockeying to deploy more force in your home, business, and school. In their ‘Good Question’ segment, they attempted to answer why Minnesota has one of the worst achievement gaps between white and black students. After stating that there was no simple answer, they offered one anyway – a lack of “civil rights laws.” Don’t be fooled by the connotation. “Civil rights” mean more government telling you what you can and can’t do.
How about we give people more options? How about we look at school choice? Let’s empower minorities along with everyone else in this state with control over their education dollar. It has the virtue of expressing faith in our neighbors, rather than the cynicism inherent in WCCO’s rush to accuse us all of racism.
Tags: family, Samsung, Technology, television, Walter Hudson
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – August 19, 2013
A new category of television now available for purchase enables two viewers watching from different angles to view different full-screen high-definition content. The Samsung 55-inch Curved OLED TV retails for about $9,000 and boasts “deep blacks and vibrant colors, while providing an immersive experience with improved viewing angles.”
Can you see yourself buying something like this? Let’s say the price comes down in a couple of years, which it surely will. Does the notion of watching something completely different from the person next to you carry appeal?
Scoffs come cheap. Putting the question to my Facebook friends produced a list of emphatic negatives. “Might as well not be near each other if not sharing the experience,” one wrote. “As if technology isn’t creating more isolation and poorer communication already! Arrgh!” exclaimed another.