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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Front Page" (Page 52)

A Republic…If You Can Keep It

Westlake Legal Group JerroldNadlerCBS A Republic…If You Can Keep It Uncategorized republicans Politics Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Congressional investigations Allow Media Exception 2A 2020 2019 2018

Rep. Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler (D-NY-10). Screengrab via CBS – Face the Nation.

Congressman Jerry Nadler Finally figures out that these United States are indeed a republic.

Yesterday, as reported by my good friend Bonchie here at Red State, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines, to hold Attorney General Barr in Contempt of Congress for insisting on obeying the law regarding Grand Jury information. Attorney General Barr is refusing to release a totally unredacted report to the committee because to do so, would violate the law…and Representative Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the committee knows this.

What is fascinating to me, is what Nadler said after the vote.

“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis, we are now in it.”

Nadler then referenced Benjamin Franklin’s response when a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked him, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Nadler further commented (emphasis, mine)

Now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government.

I cannot remember the last time a Democrat referred to these United States as a “republic.” All I ever hear is “democracy,” or “our democracy,” which of course, is highly inaccurate. Unfortunately, even some Republicans insist on doing this.

I’ve got to give President Trump credit here. It seems only he can drive die-hard Democrats like Nadler to finally admit we are indeed a republic.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

The post A Republic…If You Can Keep It appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group JerroldNadlerCBS-300x163 A Republic…If You Can Keep It Uncategorized republicans Politics Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Congressional investigations Allow Media Exception 2A 2020 2019 2018   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

When Two Companies Control 90% of the Market – It’s Not a Free Market

Many self-described free marketeers vociferously oppose antitrust laws:

“Antitrust laws also referred to as competition laws, are statutes developed by the U.S. government to protect consumers from predatory business practices. They ensure that fair competition exists in an open-market economy.

“These laws have evolved along with the market, vigilantly guarding against would-be monopolies and disruptions to the productive ebb and flow of competition.

“Antitrust laws are applied to a wide range of questionable business activities, including but not limited to market allocation, bid rigging, price fixing, and monopolies.

The problem for these self-described free marketeers is – if they oppose antitrust laws…they aren’t actually free marketeers.

Because one or a few companies overwhelmingly dominating a market – inherently means the market isn’t free.

With that dominant market power, these companies can artificially warp the market to their will.

In part – by anti-competitively crushing any competitors that might attempt to arise.

In part – by crony-ing up with government to ensure things continue to always go their way.

Westlake Legal Group Monopoly_logo-620x236 When Two Companies Control 90% of the Market – It’s Not a Free Market Music Royalties music publish Front Page Stories Front Page Entertainment donald trump Department of Justice Cronyism consent decrees collusion Business & Economy bmi attorney general william barr ascap antitrust

We’re certainly encountering this with the Leftist Big Tech companies – Facebook, Twitter and Google (owner of YouTube).

They have been massively abusing their nigh-monopoly market dominance.

Conservatives aplenty have been kicked off the Big Tech websites.  And they can go…where, exactly, to replicate the audiences they’ve built?

Without a Web search, name for me a please a competitor to either Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.  I’ll wait…. You can’t – because there actually aren’t any.

When Big Tech silences you – you’re silenced.

And Big Tech has long been bribing the living daylight out of governments everywhere – to ensure nothing will be done to alter their de facto universal rule.

Forget Wall Street – Silicon Valley Is the New Political Power in Washington

A lesser known example of this anti-free market monopolistic dominance – is the music royalty business.

Behold ASCAP and BMI – who together control the performing rights to approximately 90% of all songs.

What this means is: Just about ANY place that wants to play music – either prerecorded or live – must go through ASCAP and/or BMI.

And this certainly means the VAST majority of the most popular tunes and artists – given ASCAP and BMIs overwhelming dominance.

This absolutely means even the tiniest of places – coffee shops, mom and pop stores, bars, restaurants, hotels, retail stores,.…

ASCAP and BMI do perform a helpful service. They give these venues one place to pay all royalty rates – rather than impossibly having to chase down and negotiate with each artist and performer individually.

Except:

ASCAP and BMI have 90% market share not because they’re excellent at what they do.  They have it because they are a cartel – created by the music publishers.

Music publishers – should be free market rivals.  And they are – except in music licensing.

In music licensing, publishers combined their market share into these two institutions – ASCAP and BMI.  What this was – was the creation of a cartel.  What this is – is actual, in-practice, Russian-free collusion:

“The indicators used by the Antitrust Division in detecting antitrust violations are patterns of behavior or transactional records that suggest some sort of agreement among competing companies.”

Which artificially delivered the publishers massive leverage – and the ability to massively price-gouge.

For decades, these cartels choked to death music performers and music-playing venues alike.

Until 1941 – when the Department of Justice (DoJ) stepped in. And introduced the consent decrees:

“ASCAP and BMI are governed by ‘consent decrees’ originally issued by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) as a means to curb the anticompetitive tendencies of the publishing sector….

“Back in 1941, there was only one legally recognized copyright in music—the musical composition—and the balance of power in the industry was heavily tilted to the music publishers and ASCAP.

“At the time, ASCAP acted as a kind of gatekeeper to the world’s most valuable musical repertoires, to the extent that the DOJ took action that same year to balance the scales. The result of this intervention are consent decrees that, to this day, govern how radio, whether AM/FM or digital, licenses compositions….

“Intended to promote competition in the marketplace for musical works, the consent decrees encourage ASCAP and BMI to compete with one another to attract licensees and recruit new songwriter/publisher members.”

The consent decrees – truly do assist all the Music Little Guys.  Anyone trying to break into the business ASCAP and BMI dominate:

“Under the blanket licenses made possible by consent decrees, a performance of a song published by a small independent publisher is worth just as much as a performance of a song published by a huge multinational….

“The arrangement is also useful to emerging services that may not have the capital or clout to cut direct deals at the rates demanded by the big publishers….”

Except…periodically, ASCAP and BMI try to get the Justice Department to modify their consent decrees.

I.e.: ASCAP and BMI kick up the cronyism.  And try to get the DoJ to allow them to again slam down the lid on the marketplace they used to singularly control – and wish to singularly control again.

That time of attempted DoJ cronyism – is again upon us.  Attorney General William Barr – gird your loins:

ASCAP and BMI Call On DOJ to Replace Consent Decrees: Open Letter:

“(T)he two performance rights organizations have issued an open letter endorsing that the DOJ replace the consent decrees with ones that would offer music users many of the same protections they now enjoy, albeit with a sunset clause.”

ASCAP and BMI are yet again asking for the DoJ to end the anti-duopoly protections – that have kept music royalties palatable for nearly eighty years.

And ASCAP and BMI manage to ask – with a straight face – for this duopoly reinstatement…in the name of the free market:

“We believe that a free market with less government regulation is hands down the best way for music creators to be rewarded for their hard work and intellectual property.

“A free market would create a more productive, efficient and level playing field for everyone involved. Competition is a good thing.”

Except the only thing preserving a free market in the music royalty business – is the consent decrees.

Without them, we go back to the bad old days when royalty rates killed every Little Guy trying to do anything anywhere with music.

As someone who once tried to sell fifteen million records, I know first hand that the littlest of the Little Guys in the music business – is the unsigned songwriter/performer.

Ending the consent decrees – will make those tiny people even smaller…cowering in the giant shadow cast by ASCAP and BMI.

Songwriter/musician Matt Fitzgibbons knows it:

William Barr Must Choose Between Protecting Local Musicians or Enriching Big Music:

“As a songwriter and musician, I am disappointed that the Department of Justice is considering removing the monopoly protections that have for decades protected local musicians like me from Big Music’s overreach and abuse….

“Why the Justice Department is revisiting this issue when it just finalized a two-year review of their agreements three years ago, in which it decided that they should remain unchanged, is anyone’s guess.

“While there are certainly far bigger fish to fry at the DOJ, it seems that whenever Big Music cries loudly enough it finds a shoulder to cry on in Washington.

“One thing’s for certain, though: what is good for Big Music almost always represents a disaster for everyone else in the industry and removing these DOJ agreements would be of no exception.”

So this is one of those instances in DC where the best move – is no move at all.

Attorney General William Barr and his DoJ – should keep the consent decrees exactly as they are.

What’s worked for eighty years – ain’t broke.

And if it ain’t broke – don’t “fix” it.

AG Barr: Don’t just do something – stand there.

The post When Two Companies Control 90% of the Market – It’s Not a Free Market appeared first on RedState.

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Good News: Fundraising Efforts Show Bully Brian Sims’s Mission to Silence Pro-Lifers Has Backfired Spectacularly

Westlake Legal Group good-news-fundraising-efforts-show-bully-brian-simss-mission-to-silence-pro-lifers-has-backfired-spectacularly Good News: Fundraising Efforts Show Bully Brian Sims’s Mission to Silence Pro-Lifers Has Backfired Spectacularly Pro-Life Politics Pennsylvania North Carolina Media matt walsh journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Conservatives brian sims Allow Media Exception Abortion
Westlake Legal Group AP_18176507147025-620x337 Good News: Fundraising Efforts Show Bully Brian Sims’s Mission to Silence Pro-Lifers Has Backfired Spectacularly Pro-Life Politics Pennsylvania North Carolina Media matt walsh journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Conservatives brian sims Allow Media Exception Abortion

Pro-life and anti-abortion advocates demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court early Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

We’ve written extensively over the last week about Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims (D) and his efforts to bully and dox pro-life activists at a local Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia into silence. He harassed, mocked the faith of, and demanded the address of an elderly woman, and offered his social media followers $100 to dox young girls who were praying in front of the center.

His only “apology” has been a non-apology where he pledged to Planned Parenthood that he would do better in the future.

As a result of Sims’s reprehensible behavior, pro-life warriors like Lila Rose, Abby Johnson, and Matt Walsh are set to appear at a rally Friday at the very same Planned Parenthood clinic where these incidents happened:

Not only that, but all the negative publicity Sims has received for his actions has helped raise money that will go towards saving more unborn lives.

Joe Garecht, the father of the two teen girls who – along with their friend – Sims endangered on social media by way of his video doxing offer, started a GoFundMe page in response in order to help local pro-life efforts. The results have been amazing.

Here’s what Garecht wrote:

On Holy Thursday (April 18, 2019) my wife, two teenage daughters, and their friend were peacefully praying outside of a Planned Parenthood in Center City Philadelphia when a man started yelling at them… after ranting at them for several minutes, he left, and returned with his cell phone to record the above video.

It turns out that the man is an elected official. Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims. In his video, later posted on Twitter, Rep. Sims not only attempts to shame them for praying for the unborn babies facing abortion, but offers viewers $100 if they will identify the teen girls in the video.

It’s bad enough that a grown man would be trying to dox three teenage girls. It’s even worse that he is an elected official. I’ve got two responses to these despicable actions by “Representative” Sims:

First, Brian, if you have a problem with my wife and daughters praying outside of an abortion clinic, I’m the one you can talk to… instead of harassing teenage girls.

It seems like you like to pick on women, teenagers, and senior citizens (see him harass a senior citizen who was praying by clicking here ). That’s shameful, and unacceptable.

Second, I have a challenge for the pro-life community. Rep. Sims offered $100 to anyone who would identify these teenage girls for him. Instead of $100, let’s join together to donate $100,000 to the pro-life movement.

Garecht pledged that all money raised would go directly to the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.

As of this writing, he’s raised nearly $99,000 of his $100,000 goal.

On a related note, there are calls for Sims to resign. And the Republican Party in Pennsylvania has also gotten involved, and has called for an investigation into Sims’s actions in his capacity as an elected offical.

Democrats and the national media are still mostly silent on this issue, too. Odd.

————
Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post Good News: Fundraising Efforts Show Bully Brian Sims’s Mission to Silence Pro-Lifers Has Backfired Spectacularly appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_18176507147025-300x163 Good News: Fundraising Efforts Show Bully Brian Sims’s Mission to Silence Pro-Lifers Has Backfired Spectacularly Pro-Life Politics Pennsylvania North Carolina Media matt walsh journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post democrats Culture Conservatives brian sims Allow Media Exception Abortion   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Amy Klobuchar Reveals She Wants To Revive The Obama Iran Deal.

Westlake Legal Group amy-klobuchar-reveals-she-wants-to-revive-the-obama-iran-deal Amy Klobuchar Reveals She Wants To Revive The Obama Iran Deal. white house washington D.C. Stupid statements from the left President Trump Patriotism Muslim Threat to the US Middle East International Affairs Front Page Stories Front Page fox news Foreign Policy Featured Story elections Allow Media Exception 2019

Westlake Legal Group amy-klobuchar-300x214 Amy Klobuchar Reveals She Wants To Revive The Obama Iran Deal. white house washington D.C. Stupid statements from the left President Trump Patriotism Muslim Threat to the US Middle East International Affairs Front Page Stories Front Page fox news Foreign Policy Featured Story elections Allow Media Exception 2019

Amy Klobuchar in a Fox News town hall Wednesday night indicated she would want to revive the Obama Iran deal.

As Tony Stark said in The Avengers…”Not A Great Plan.”

According to The Federalist

The only foreign policy question of the night involved the current movement of a carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to Iranian nuclear provocations. World affairs have not been Klobuchar’s focus in the Senate, but she acquitted herself well. Her answer to Bret Baier’s question—what we she do about Iran if she were president right now—was Clintonian.

First saying that she never would have left the Iran Deal, as Trump did, she acknowledged that it had flaws, without specifying what those flaws were. She then said that Iran must never be allowed a nuclear weapon, mentioning the threat to global peace and to Israel specifically, a contrast with progressives’ increasing distaste for the Jewish state.

That this was the only question dealing with foreign policy was disappointing but her answer reveals something both enlighting and disturbing. She wants to bring back arguably one of the biggest failures of the Obama era.

As Rebeccah L. Heinrichs over at The Hill covered a couple of days after Trump was sworn in, the deal was junk from the get-go. That Sen. Klobuchar wants to restart it should be an issue that is followed up on.

*Would she want to give the Iranian regime more than the 100 to 150 billion dollars that we shipped to them to play nice? Remember Iran is a big sponsor of Hezbollah and the Obama administration gave up denying if any of that money went to terrorist organizations.

*Would she allow Iranian interests access to U.S. Banks again?

*Would the inspections of the nuclear facilities be tougher. Letting the Russians or Chinese on occasion take the lead with this is not in the United States best interest.

*Also as a member of the Senate she should be slightly perturbed that ANY President would go over Congress head to do a deal like this. Doesn’t the Article I branch have any backbone left?

The only people that are clamoring for this deal to be revived so far been leaders of foreign countries begging to look like they are doing something. There has been little clamor in this country even from the Never Trump forces. That Klobuchar would take a question on the current Iran saber rattling to say we should jump back into a bad deal for America is perplexing.

Hopefully, some reporter will follow up on this piece of news from an otherwise humdrum event with the Senator from Minnesota.

Check out my other post on Sen. Ted Cruz upsets Seinfeld’s George Costanza. and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2

The post Amy Klobuchar Reveals She Wants To Revive The Obama Iran Deal. appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group amy-klobuchar-300x214 Amy Klobuchar Reveals She Wants To Revive The Obama Iran Deal. white house washington D.C. Stupid statements from the left President Trump Patriotism Muslim Threat to the US Middle East International Affairs Front Page Stories Front Page fox news Foreign Policy Featured Story elections Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Students Walk Out of School Shooting Vigil After Democrat Politicians Try to Politicize the Tragedy

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-2 Students Walk Out of School Shooting Vigil After Democrat Politicians Try to Politicize the Tragedy walk out student protest Sen. Bennett Politics Moms Demand Action Highlands Ranch Shooting Hacks gun control Gross Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Disgusting Display democrats Colorado Brady Group Activists

A pretty incredible scene played out last night at a vigil being held for the victims of the Highlands Ranch school shooting, which occurred on Tuesday.

The students expected the event to be one honoring of their friends. Instead, they got a lineup of Democrat politicians and activists pushing a political agenda, including using it as an election rally.

The grossness of it all was too much for the students. They stormed out of the building, deciding to instead go stand in the rain to continue to vigil.

There is no ambiguity about why the students did this. Multiple sources are reporting comments from the students saying it was specifically because these Democrat politicians and hack activists decided to interject their own politics into what was supposed to be a solemn occasion focused on the victims.

Further showing their disdain, the students then began to chant “mental health” as they crowded around a flag pole holding up their phones for light.

This was not the time or place for these Democrats and activists to hold a gun control/2020 election rally. It’s unbelievably insensitive for them to try to do so and it ignores the greater issues at stake here when talking about these shootings.

The guns in this case were stolen. Laws already prohibit everything that occurred here. What could have prevented this wasn’t more meaningless gun laws, as many of the students recognized. Instead, there needs to be a focus on dealing with mental illness. The warning signs were all there. These two students were deeply troubled and their social media postings alone showed that.

Instead of trying to use school shooting victims as pawns and bashing “thoughts and prayers,” there are actually things we could be working towards that could help the situation.

Hopefully, this is wake up call to liberals who continue to gracelessly politicize this issue while ignoring common sense solutions that don’t fit their narrative.

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The post Students Walk Out of School Shooting Vigil After Democrat Politicians Try to Politicize the Tragedy appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-05-09-at-8.34.24-AM-300x204 Students Walk Out of School Shooting Vigil After Democrat Politicians Try to Politicize the Tragedy walk out student protest Sen. Bennett Politics Moms Demand Action Highlands Ranch Shooting Hacks gun control Gross Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Disgusting Display democrats Colorado Brady Group Activists   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Is About to Do Something Long Overdue to Combat Judicial Tyranny

Westlake Legal Group trump-is-about-to-do-something-long-overdue-to-combat-judicial-tyranny Trump Is About to Do Something Long Overdue to Combat Judicial Tyranny Supreme Court San Franciso Politics National Injunctions Long Overdue John Roberts Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump Clarence Thomas Asylum Reform

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One of the most concerning aspects of the Trump Presidency has been random judges deciding to dictate policy to the entire country with national injunctions. Even if you dislike to the President, the idea that a judge in San Francisco can stop all asylum reforms, for example, based on clearly political reasons should bother you. It’s a complete subversion of how the system was designed to work.

The founders would have laughed at the idea of “judicial supremacy” and called it tyranny. They never intended for low-level judges to be able to dictate national, constitutionally supported policy. Slowly though, over the course of hundreds of years, we’ve arrived at the point where national injunctions are being routinely abused simply to oppose Trump, while not being based in any sound aspect of law.

Finally, it appears someone is ready to do something about it.

Vice President Pence on Wednesday announced that the administration will challenge the ability of federal district court judges to issue nationwide injunctions that halt policies advocated by President Trump.

The administration’s move — aimed at pushing back at unfavorable decisions from lower courts across the country — would set the stage for a vast legal debate and battle over the role that national injunctions play in the courts.

This is long overdue.

The list of ridiculous decisions by lower court judges against Trump is massive. Instead of doing something about it, the Supreme Court has chosen to handle each piecemeal to this point. That’s led to a big backlog of cases the administration is likely to win but are stuck waiting for.

National injunctions (aside from decisions by the Supreme Court) were not even a thing until 150 years after the founding of the country. As Justice Clearance Thomas has pointed out, they appear to be in direct conflict with Article III.

Injunctions that prohibit the Executive Branch from applying a law or policy against anyone…have become increasingly common. District courts, including the one here, have begun imposing universal injunctions without considering their authority to grant such sweeping relief. These injunctions are beginning to take a toll on the federal court system—preventing legal questions from percolating through the federal courts, encouraging forum shopping, and making every case a national emergency for the courts and for the Executive Branch.

I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions. These injunctions did not emerge until a century and a half after the founding. And they appear to be inconsistent with longstanding limits on equitable relief and the power of Article III courts. If their popularity continues, this Court must address their legality.

There are a few avenues for the administration to get this before the Supreme Court. They could use an injunction already placed on a policy or start a new challenge questioning the veracity of the power starting in a lower court. Either way, this needs to happen.

The Supreme Court has been sitting on it’s hands on several big questions, mainly at the behest of Justice Roberts. Instead of having the guts to reign in lower courts they are continually having to overturn, Roberts has chosen to handle things piecemeal due to his philosophy of very narrow decision making. He needs to get over that and take this issue up. Rule one way or the other on whether lower courts can decide national policy based only on their whims.

The current system encourages judge shopping and allows clearly legal execution of power to be usurped by unelected judges. That can’t work long term and it’s dangerous to our governmental system.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. You can think Trump is the worst President in history, but no one with any care for constitutional governance should be supportive of what some of these lower court judges are dong. It’s time for the Supreme Court to do it’s job and make a decision on what’s happening.

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Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

I’ve got a new twitter! Please help by following @bonchieredstate.

 

The post Trump Is About to Do Something Long Overdue to Combat Judicial Tyranny appeared first on RedState.

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CBS Censors Scene About Chinese Censorship, Revealing Hollywood’s Shift in Artistic Ethics

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Westlake Legal Group the-good-fight CBS Censors Scene About Chinese Censorship, Revealing Hollywood’s Shift in Artistic Ethics The Good Fight Television Popular Culture Hollywood Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Entertainment Culture communism China Censorship CBS

 

Just the latest example where Hollywood shows it no longer clings to artistic integrity when money is on the line.

The CBS television show “The Good Fight”, (available on the CBS All Access streaming service) is a spinoff of the previous CBS primetime hit “The Good Wife”. The program is a political-based drama that is fully immersive in real-time politics, with plots that involve real life named individuals in DC life.

In its desire to infuse contemporary storylines a recent episode was addressing the issue of China and the ruling government’s stronghold on that country’s cultural offerings. The show had a brief scene included mentioning the Chinese Communist party tendencies to censor and control the content, and in a bit dark irony CBS ended up censoring the scene. It appears the network decided late in the process that the brief scene was too sensitive to the liking of the Chi-Coms.

Viewers had initially believed the blacked out screen time was an inclusion by the writers, making a wry comment on the issue of censorship. One of the show’s writers verified that it was not a dose of intentional satire but an official move made by the network. This was eventually confirmed by an official comment from executives.

In a statement, CBS All Access said: “We had concerns with some subject matter in the episode’s animated short. This is the creative solution that we agreed upon with the producers.” A spokeswoman declined to comment further.

The animated short segment was a musical interlude, listing off a number topics that have been banned on the mainland. Supposedly, after receiving initial approval for the segment, it was decided it had to be removed just weeks ahead of the airing of the episode. This is but one example of American entertainment studios showing a growing acceptance for censoring their own products to appease the communist leadership in China.

 

The Quaint Days of Bold Artists

It was maybe a generation ago when Hollywood entities would rise up loudly at the mere suggestion that any type of dramatic content should be altered, or worse, removed and stifled as a result of possessing offensive content. There was a time when the phrase “In the name of artistic integrity” was almost a knee-jerk reaction to any level of criticism. The invoking of this phrase has almost fallen to disfavor, and that is a result of two factors — political correctness, and Chinese profits.

These offset influences reflect a willingness of Hollywood in recent years to actually impact its own artist freedom, but in two differing arenas; one domestic and one foreign.

Domestically the issue is usually political correctness. In days past Hollywood would almost sneer at those who might give a voice of disapproval to something portrayed on screen. The First Amendment would commonly be invoked, and the cry of “censorship” would follow, and most of the time that was all that was needed to squelch the complaints.

These days studios find that they are boxed in by their own messaging. For years now (decades?) celebrities and producers have been taking up the cause of oppressed groups and segments of our society. This leads today to the occasional conflict when activists from those same groups declare they are being oppressed by some selected or maybe an objectional portrayal on screen.

What choice does a studio have when a mouthpiece from a particular segment opposes specific content? Even if a targeted film or show does not itself go through the crucible of being censored it can affect decisions made on future content.

A case of this type happened last year when it was announced that Scarlett Johansson was tabbed to play the role of a transexual character in a film project. Trans activists loudly balked at the idea of the role going to a straight performer, and Johansson stepped away from the role. These activists though were short-sighted in their outrage, as the actress was also a producer on the film, so her removal meant the project itself has been killed off. Not only will their acceptable performer be denied work but a story centered on a trans character now will not be told.

 

The Yuan Thing More Important Than Art

The story in China is less social and more financial…or entirely so. The Chinese marketplace has exploded over the past decade, specifically with motion pictures. The Chi-Com government has worked hard to greatly expand the number of theaters across the country, all of them state-run. This means they also control the content shown on those mushrooming screens. Currently, Hollywood, while salivating at the prospect, is only permitted to have a few dozen titles released on the mainland each year.

The result of this fertile but challenging market is not only are studios jockeying for limited slots and currying favor with the Chinese film authorities they are also willing to capitulate. If the Chi-Com film board dictates that certain content in a film is unacceptable to them they will demand it either be removed, or the title is denied a release. Growingly Hollywood opts for the former choice, artistic freedom be damned.

By example, Disney was willing to trim a character out of one of its “Pirates of the Caribbean” titles because the Chinese pirate was deemed offensive. In order to play in China “Iron Man 3” watered down the character Mandarin to make him palpable for the Chinese censors, and an additional four minutes of footage made with Chinese performers was spliced into the Chinese cut. In one ridiculous example, a Tom Cruise chase scene from the “Mission Impossible” franchise that was actually filmed in China was ordered to be cut out of the film; scenes in a neighborhood showed laundry drying on clotheslines, and the censors did not want the rest of the world to now most citizens do not own washers and dryers in their homes.

The leverage the Chi-Coms have over Hollywood is more than simply access to their theater marketplace. Most studios are part of multinational corporations, and if the Chinese authorities are angered enough they could also dictate that access to other markets is impacted. If a Disney-owned Marvel film provokes them enough, maybe permission for a theme park is denied. If a Sony Entertainment film offends then possibly imports from its electronics division could be embargoed. The desire to stay on the good side of the ruling party could be felt across numerous divisions of a corporation.

The starkest example was seen with the remake of the film “Red Dawn”. MGM produced the new version in 2009, with the United States being invaded by the Chinese military. The struggling studio could not release the film on its own, and as a result it faced a massive problem; no other company would distribute their film. Though an entirely MGM-made product all studios and distributors declined to release “Red Dawn” out of fear of angering the Chi-Com authorities. This meant MGM had a completed film that it could place in theaters, so they had to go through the expense of digitally “scrubbing” all Chinese iconography from their film and converting the invading army to the North Koreans.

CBS did not need the MGM example to arrive at its decision — it had its own history to look back on for reference. “The Good Wife” found itself banned in China following an episode that had a negative portrayal of Chinese authorities. Currently “The Good Fight” is not under a ban. According to one person affiliated with the show:

He was told that CBS had concerns for the safety of its employees in China if the segment were included. CBS also has a Chinese audience, and when releasing content that is critical of China, American entertainment companies often have to weigh the risk of having their shows or movies blocked in the country.

These are the kind of moves on the finished product that not so long ago were unthinkable. Hollywood now appears more than willing to let their artistic integrity take a back seat to a chance at bigger profits, and it should only continue to do so. Within the next couple of years, the Chinese annual box office gross is expected to exceed that of North America for the first time. As the studios have shown they are more than willing to bow to the pressure of the Chinese censors in order to preserve access to a booming marketplace.

The post CBS Censors Scene About Chinese Censorship, Revealing Hollywood’s Shift in Artistic Ethics appeared first on RedState.

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Student Artwork that Portrayed Police Officers as Pigs Removed from a City Building in Ohio After Outcry

Westlake Legal Group student-artwork-that-portrayed-police-officers-as-pigs-removed-from-a-city-building-in-ohio-after-outcry Student Artwork that Portrayed Police Officers as Pigs Removed from a City Building in Ohio After Outcry Politics police Ohio North Carolina law enforcement law Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Education democrats Culture Art Allow Media Exception
Westlake Legal Group PigAsPoliceOfficerWCPO2 Student Artwork that Portrayed Police Officers as Pigs Removed from a City Building in Ohio After Outcry Politics police Ohio North Carolina law enforcement law Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Education democrats Culture Art Allow Media Exception

Screen grab via WCPO.

A student’s artwork that depicted a pig dressed in a police officer’s uniform was so controversial that it has been pulled from the Madeira Municipal Building in Ohio.

The Cincinnati Inquirer reports:

A piece of student artwork portraying a pig in a police uniform was removed before the opening of a long-running annual art show following complaints.

The Madeira City School District is not identifying the student but said organizers of the annual Madeira Art Show requested removal of the artwork. The piece, along with other student work, was displayed in the Madeira Municipal Building for public viewing prior to the May 5 art show.

Public reaction to the student art, specifically the piece depicting police as pigs, was strong.

[…]

The artwork was part of the student exhibit that hangs annually in the Madeira Municipal building, according to City Manager Tom Moeller. The works feature the original creations by Madeira students of various grade levels. There were dozens of pieces of art displayed.

Per WCPO, the building also houses the city’s police department, which was part of the problem:

The choice to display it in a city building, however, sparked threats against the student artist, outraged calls to the Madeira Police Department — which is headquartered in the same building as the art display — and, ultimately, an early removal. In a statement, Madeira City Schools said it had arrived at the decision “out of concern for the safety of the student.”

Watch their report on the controversy below:

The National Coalition Against Censorship condemned the decision to remove the student’s work:

As defenders of free expression and artistic freedom, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) condemns the removal of a student artwork from an exhibition in Madeira, Ohio. The removal of the work shows a deep disregard for the young artist’s constitutional right to free expression, and is a flagrant violation of free speech principles. It is a sad day when the message school administrators choose to send to students is to refrain from expressing their opinions about contemporary social issues lest they offend someone.

Judging from the mixed reactions in local news reports to the artwork and the decision to remove it, local residents and community leaders are torn between believing in the First Amendment rights of the student and understanding why the police department would be upset and concerned.

The department did not say in its statement whether or not they had requested the artwork be removed.

(Via The Blaze)

—————–
Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

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There She Goes Again: AOC Manages to Insult Men for Their Ignorance While Displaying Her Own

Westlake Legal Group there-she-goes-again-aoc-manages-to-insult-men-for-their-ignorance-while-displaying-her-own There She Goes Again: AOC Manages to Insult Men for Their Ignorance While Displaying Her Own Women The Sexes reproductive health men law Heartbeat Bill Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocaio-Cortez Abortion

Westlake Legal Group ocasio-cortez_1-620x349 There She Goes Again: AOC Manages to Insult Men for Their Ignorance While Displaying Her Own Women The Sexes reproductive health men law Heartbeat Bill Georgia Front Page Stories Front Page Feminism Featured Story Featured Post AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocaio-Cortez Abortion

Yesterday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the state’s “heartbeat bill” into law. The law, which has drawn sharp criticism from the left, including celebrities like Alyssa Milano and Amy Schumer, prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected (usually around the 6-week mark) but preserves exceptions for cases of incest, rape, or the life of the mother.

Naturally, everyone’s favorite Democrat had to chime in on the matter:

Way to broad-brush there, Ocasio-Cortez. Let’s see, how many assumptions are rolled up into this one little tweet?

  1. It’s only/primarily men writing the bills;
  2. Those piggy men only know about sexual gratification, not reproduction;
  3. Most women don’t know how their own bodies work and have NO IDEA they’re pregnant before 6 weeks.

Okay – let’s examine these assumptions:

First: Only/primarily men are writing the bills. Took me about 5 seconds to look up the sponsors of Georgia’s HB 481:

  • Ed Setzler (man)
  • Jodi Lott (woman)
  • Darlene Taylor (woman)
  • Josh Bonner (man)
  • Ginny Ehrhart (woman)
  • Micah Gravely (man)

Wait a second…hang on…you mean to tell me there are lady legislators who advocate restricting abortion?! (Brainwashed, Stepford Reps, no doubt!)

Second: The men involved know nothing about women’s bodies other than how they provide sexual gratification. That’s right, you heard Alexandria: Men are ignorant pigs! That includes you, Ed Setzler, and you, Josh Bonner, and you, Micah Gravely. You know nothing about women, their bodies, the reproductive process.  (And don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies!)

Just out of curiosity, I spent 5 more seconds and clicked on their profiles:

Representative Ed Setzler [spouse – Tracie] is a businessman, veteran, and father of four who has served northwest
Cobb County in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2005.

Representative Josh Bonner and his wife Michelle have four children and are members of New Hope
Baptist Church, where Josh serves as a deacon and youth leader.

Representative Micah Gravely resides in Douglasville, South Paulding County, with his devoted wife Heather, their
three beautiful daughters Hope Elizabeth, Bella Faith, and Abigail Jane, and dogs Reagan
and Lucy.

Hmm…would you look at that? They’re all married with children. Now, I’ll freely admit that such status does not necessarily equate to knowledge regarding women’s bodies and their reproductive functioning, but I’m willing to go out on a limb here and surmise that they have at least a basic understanding of menstrual cycles and pregnancy.  And lest one assume the three women co-sponsors have no such understanding, they all have children, as well. And Rep. Lott is an RN.

Third: Most women have no idea they’re pregnant before 6 weeks. Funny. That’s not been my own experience, nor that of most of the mothers I know. I do get that contraceptive methods can fail. But outside of those instances, you generally know when you’ve had unprotected sex, and you generally know when your period’s gone AWOL. Unless you’re in denial.

I do find it interesting that the underlying premise of Ocasio-Cortez’s reproductive snark is that women don’t legislate and/or don’t support pro-life measures and/or don’t understand how their own bodies work. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations.

And as for her assertion that “It’s relatively common for a woman to have a late period + not be pregnant,” one must wonder just exactly how/why a woman who’s not pregnant would be seeking an abortion?

I believe my colleague, Joe Cunningham summed it up best:

 

 

 

 


Follow me on Twitter @SmoosieQ

Find my RedState archive here.

 

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The ‘Cartel’ in Full Effect: Nifty New ‘Cocaine Mitch’ T-Shirt Message Has People Rushing to Donate

Westlake Legal Group the-cartel-in-full-effect-nifty-new-cocaine-mitch-t-shirt-message-has-people-rushing-to-donate The ‘Cartel’ in Full Effect: Nifty New ‘Cocaine Mitch’ T-Shirt Message Has People Rushing to Donate washington D.C. Social Media Senate republicans Politics North Carolina Mitch McConnell Kentucky Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020
Westlake Legal Group CocaineMitch The ‘Cartel’ in Full Effect: Nifty New ‘Cocaine Mitch’ T-Shirt Message Has People Rushing to Donate washington D.C. Social Media Senate republicans Politics North Carolina Mitch McConnell Kentucky Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections democrats Culture Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020

“Cocaine Mitch” graphic. Image via Team Mitch.

The 2020 reelection campaign for Mitch McConnell is off to a smooth start with some team merch that has people talking.

The Hill reports:

The reelection campaign for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is selling “Cocaine Mitch” t-shirts, an embrace of the label given to the Kentucky Republican by failed 2018 West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship (R).

[…]

Blankenship last year ran an advertisement in which he said “one of my goals as U.S. senator will be to ditch Cocaine Mitch.”

He later said in a news release that he was referring to McConnell’s “father-in-law who founded and owns a large Chinese shipping company [and] has given Mitch and his wife millions of dollars over the years,” adding that the company was implicated in alleged cocaine smuggling.

Here’s a Twitter image McConnell’s team posted after Blankenship lost his primary race:

The t-shirts cost $35. Here’s what they look like:

In addition to the t-shirts, the campaign is also selling “Cocaine Mitch” stickers for $10:

Liberals are, of course, fauxfended by the t-shirts and stickers:

…. but others think they are pretty nifty and have already placed their orders:

The Senate Majority Leader even reportedly answered his phone last year as “Cocaine Mitch”:

Don’t be surprised if you see “Grim Reaper McConnell” or “Nuclear Mitch” t-shirts one day soon, too:

Like the “Cocaine Mitch” nickname, McConnell embraces the others without a shred of regret:

Indeed:

And oh yeah, this, too:

More, please!

—————–
Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post The ‘Cartel’ in Full Effect: Nifty New ‘Cocaine Mitch’ T-Shirt Message Has People Rushing to Donate appeared first on RedState.

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