China Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” Sign Falls Off Podium as He Lies and Attacks President Trump on Manufacturing Jobs (VIDEO)

The US lost 5 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2014 after Joe Biden voted to give China a “most favored nation” trade status. Later Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden were able to pocket $1.5 billion from that same regime during an official visit as Vice President of the United States to Beijing.

The US lost 5 million manufacturing jobs to Canada and Mexico after Joe Biden voted in support of the NAFTA Agreement back in 1993.

The US lost 575,000 manufacturing jobs during the Obama years from 2008 to 2016.

But last night Joe Biden lied about his record and then lied about President Trump’s record of bringing back manufacturing jobs.

Of course, Chris Matthews allowed this monstrous lie to stand.

On Wednesday Joe Biden again attacked Donald Trump on manufacturing jobs.

During his dishonest slur the Biden sign fell off the podium.
Which, of course, was the highlight of China’s Joe’s sleepy speech.

The post China Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” Sign Falls Off Podium as He Lies and Attacks President Trump on Manufacturing Jobs (VIDEO) appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.



Source: The Gateway Pundit, China Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” Sign Falls Off Podium as He Lies and Attacks President Trump on Manufacturing Jobs (VIDEO)

US federal judge refuses to lift restrictions on religious events in Colorado as critics shred hypocrisy in allowing protests

A federal judge has rejected a request to repeal statewide restrictions on religious gatherings in Colorado, insisting the coronavirus still poses too great a risk to residents. The move was scorched by civil liberties advocates.

US District Judge Christine Arguello ruled this week that allowing such gatherings would “present a high risk of harm to the state of Colorado as well as the public in general,” declining to overturn a 175-person limit on religious events imposed by Governor Jared Polis.

“Numerous courts have considered, and persuasively rejected, nearly identical arguments,” Arguello wrote in her decision, referring to the case brought by plaintiff Liberty Counsel, a religious freedoms organization.

The state has the responsibility to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 virus, which is made more difficult when case numbers increase. The relief Plaintiff requests has the potential to increase case numbers significantly.

Also on rt.com

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser is surrounded by clergy as she speaks during a vigil as protests continue on the streets near the White House over the death in police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 3, 2020. © REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Church sues pro-BLM DC mayor Bowser over ‘celebrating mass protests’ while keeping ban on 100+ OUTDOOR worships

Representing Colorado televangelist Andrew Wommack, Liberty Counsel has argued the governor’s health orders are unconstitutional and discriminatory against religious groups, observing that authorities have allowed secular activities, such as “mass gatherings of protesters throughout the state,” to proceed “with no social distancing or other health precautions.”

“There is no constitutional justification to treat nonreligious gatherings better than religious gatherings,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said in a statement on Tuesday. “The First Amendment gives preferential treatment to the free exercise of religion.”

The virus does not discriminate between nonreligious and religious gatherings, but Gov. Jared Polis does.

The group has appealed Aruguello’s ruling, still hoping to overturn the 175-person limit on religious events, despite the judge’s insistence that similar cases have previously failed in court.

Also on rt.com

RT
NYC’s ‘mask patrols’ add insult to injury as city languishes under endless shutdown

Similar religious restrictions have been brought in states around the US, triggering a number of legal challenges from civil liberties advocates and faith organizations. Most recently, a Baptist church in Washington, DC sued Mayor Muriel Bowser for discriminating against religious groups with the city’s Covid-19 rules. While that suit also made mention of nationwide protests against police brutality, the church argued that both demonstrators and worshippers are protected by the First Amendment and cannot be hampered with restrictions.

To date, Colorado has recorded more than 70,000 coronavirus infections and some 2,000 deaths since the pandemic erupted in the US last spring, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 7.3 million cases have been tallied nationwide, along with more than 206,000 fatalities.

Also on rt.com

RT
‘Virus is off today?’ THOUSANDS rally in Brooklyn for #BlackTransLivesMatter… as Cuomo threatens bars for Covid-19 rule violations

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Source: RT, US federal judge refuses to lift restrictions on religious events in Colorado as critics shred hypocrisy in allowing protests

Japan ruling party heavyweight says to consider ‘large-scale, bold’ spending package – Nikkei

October 1, 2020

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will consider compiling a “large-scale, bold” additional fiscal stimulus package to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, ruling party heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai was quoted as saying by the Nikkei newspaper.

Nikai, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s secretary-general, said the government could compile a third extra budget to fund part of the package, the paper reported on Thursday.

“We’ve already taken ample measures to support firms under a second extra budget. But we’ll take bold, additional steps if necessary,” Nikai was quoted as saying.

Nikai said the party has not received specific requests for help from industries whose profits have been hit by the pandemic, such as carmakers and airlines, saying it was up to each sector to decide whether companies need to consolidate to stay afloat.

“We’d like to take effective measures to support the economy as a whole,” Nikai said.

“If the industries reach a decision (to consolidate), the party can consider whether assisting them would be appropriate,” he said.

Japan has so far spent 234 trillion yen – about 40% of its gross domestic product – in two stimulus packages deployed to ease the economic pain from the pandemic.

The government is tapping a pool of funds, set aside under the packages, to meet the cost of battling the pandemic. But some lawmakers are calling for another spending package as the pain persists.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Global housing markets face tougher year in 2021 – Reuters poll

October 1, 2020

By Shrutee Sarkar and Rahul Karunakar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Most major housing markets won’t keep up with consumer price inflation in 2021 and are faced with multiple downside risks despite rising strongly this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and rock-bottom interest rates, Reuters polls showed.

Over 1 million people have died and more than 33 million have been infected by the coronavirus which has led to supply chain disruptions, stalled economic activity, pushed the world economy into its deepest recession and left many millions jobless.(Reuters interactive graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2VqS5PS)

But many governments around the world have lifted lockdown restrictions and reopened parts of their economies in the past few months. An unprecedented amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus has boosted housing market activity.

While the Sept. 15-29 poll of 123 analysts showed average home prices would rise in a few countries this year on pent-up demand and a shortage in supply, that surge was expected to be tamed next year. Still, the latest forecasts were slightly better than in the June poll.

“One of the long-run effects of the pandemic has been to trigger a structural increase in housing demand. The housing market recovery has exceeded all expectations and we have substantially upgraded our 2020 house price forecast in response,” said Hansen Lu at Capital Economics in London.

“Looking ahead, a weak economy, tight credit conditions and the end of these short-term factors supporting demand will hold back growth in house prices next year. We expect house prices to stagnate in 2021.”

Reuters Poll: Global house prices outlook – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/polling/xlbpgjygwvq/Global%20housing%20market%20outlook.PNG

With many businesses permanently damaged by the pandemic, high unemployment was expected to be the biggest threat to housing market activity over the coming years.

But the Federal Reserve’s latest policy shift along with the limited supply of affordable homes was expected to support U.S. house prices this year in an otherwise-gloomy economic backdrop, with predictions for 2021 less optimistic.

“Central banks provide cheap financing and increasingly negative real rates makes housing an attractive alternative investment,” noted Pernille Henneberg, global economist at Citi in London.

“But lack of appetite for lending for house purchases or tighter credit standards, due to worries about borrowers’ creditworthiness, may challenge the monetary policy transmission into the real economy.”

Over 60% of analysts, or 57 of 92, responding to an additional question said it was more likely they would cut their forecasts than upgrade them.

“House price appreciation will slow in 2021 as the number of households in forbearance rises and weighs on the broader housing market,” said Brent Campbell, economist at Moody’s Analytics in Philadelphia.

“Under our constant severity stress scenario, the U.S. enters a double-dip recession and both the labor and housing markets don’t sustain a persistent turnaround until mid-2022.”

British home prices were expected to mark a reversal and stagnate next year after a 2.0% rise this year.

Canadian home prices were set to rise slower next year than in 2020 as higher unemployment and lower immigration levels cool the market down.

“The future of immigration is the big question mark. The lack of supply, particularly insufficient affordable housing, is very unfortunate,” said Sebastien Lavoie, chief economist at Laurentian Bank in Montreal.

Indian and Australian house prices were forecast to fall this year and next on higher unemployment, while weak consumer confidence and fears of a second wave of infections has dampened chances for a sustainable rebound in China.

“For the rest of 2020, the risks are probably tilted to the upside, with the large degree of fiscal stimulus helping affordability,” said ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett in Sydney. “But in 2021 when mortgage deferrals end and unemployment peaks there is a risk of larger falls.”

(Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar and Rahul Karunakar; Additional reporting and polling by correspondents in BENGALURU, LONDON and BEIJING; Editing by Ross Finley and Giles Elgood)

Biggest Week 4 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams – What's next for Michael Thomas, George Kittle and others – ESPN

  1. Biggest Week 4 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams – What’s next for Michael Thomas, George Kittle and others  ESPN
  2. Michael Fabiano’s Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 4 Defenses  Sports Illustrated
  3. Week 4 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks  CBS Sports
  4. Fantasy football trades – Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson among players to consider in deals  ESPN
  5. Fantasy football: Buy-low, sell-high trade candidates entering Week 4  Yahoo Sports
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Biggest Week 4 injury questions for all 32 NFL teams – What’s next for Michael Thomas, George Kittle and others – ESPN

Asian shares set for bouncy session after Wall Street gains, weak dollar

October 1, 2020

By Katanga Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Asian equities were poised for a bouncy session on Thursday after U.S. stocks posted a second consecutive quarter of gains and safe-haven assets, including the dollar, were mixed.

Global investors spent the session digesting the rising number of COVID-19 cases and a chaotic U.S. presidential debate, while taking in better-than-expected U.S. private jobs data on the last day of a volatile quarter.

All three major indexes surged after U.S. House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed hope for a breakthrough in partisan stimulus negotiations.

But they pared gains after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the sides remain “far apart” in their talks.

“Between the U.S. presidential elections in a little over a month, uneven economic data and uncertainty over the COVID-19 impact … we may just see a drift in equity market pricing into Nov. 3,” said Peter Kenny, founder of Kenny’s Commentary LLC and Strategic Board Solutions LLC in New York.

“Markets exhibited heightened volatility in Q3 – largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was also uneven economic reports and data that fueled a degree of risk-off as we head into quarter end, much of which is offset today by window dressing.”

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures <YAPcm1> were up 0.19%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures <NKc1> were up 0.32%.

The Nikkei 225 index <.N225> closed down 1.5% at 23,185.12​​​​ on Wednesday. The futures contract is up 0.84% from that close.​

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures <.HSI> <.HSIc1> were up 1.38%.

Market participants were also digesting Tuesday’s contentious U.S. presidential debate, where President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden talked over each other and traded insults as they sparred over the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare and the economy.

Better-than-expected gains in ADP’s survey of private payrolls helped push U.S. equities higher.

ECONOMIC REOPENING EYED

But some analysts say the election is not the primary driver of markets now, but rather the level of economic reopening.

U.S. markets rose on Mnuchin’s comments in the morning, but sold off when it became apparent later that the Republicans and Democrats were unable to compromise on a stimulus plan.

“Global investors may be pulling back from the U.S. as the election approaches and the political dysfunction in Washington is laid bare, but they also need to take into consideration that a weaker U.S. economy could presage a weaker global economy, which may drive investors to safe-haven assets” later in 2020, said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer with Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On Wall Street, the major indexes wrapped up September with their first monthly declines since March, when mandated shutdowns slammed the economy.

But of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, 10 ended the session up, led by healthcare <.SPXHC> and financials <.SPSY>.

The indexes also ended the quarter up, with the S&P enjoying its biggest two-quarter winning streak since 2009 and the Nasdaq posting its biggest gain for two quarters since 2000.

Still, there are plenty of potential challenges ahead for investors. Many are closely tracking the presidential election in November, wary the result may not be known immediately.

Bets on volatility through the end of 2020 in markets from derivatives to currencies and bonds may be expected, some analysts say.

MARKETS

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 329.04 points, or 1.2%, to 27,781.7 on Wednesday, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 27.53 points, or 0.83%, to 3,363 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 82.26 points, or 0.74%, to 11,167.51.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.02%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.1% higher.

The dollar index <=USD> fell 0.072%, with the euro <EUR=> up 0.07% to $1.1726.

U.S. crude <CLc1> was last up 1.45% at $39.86 per barrel and Brent <LCOc1> was at $40.95, down 0.19% on the day.

Treasuries Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last /32 in price to yield 0.6857%, from 0.677% late on Wednesday.

The 30-year bond <US30YT=RR> last /32 in price to yield 1.4545%, from 1.452%.

The 2-year note <US2YT=RR> last /32 in price to yield 0.1309%, from 0.125%.

Spot gold <XAU=> added 0.1% to $1,887.35 an ounce. U.S. gold futures <GCc1> fell 0.18% to $1,884.10 an ounce.

China’s stock and bond markets, foreign exchange and commodity futures markets will be closed Oct. 1-8 for the Golden Week holiday. South Korea and Hong Kong markets are also closed on Thursday and Friday for holidays.

(Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Trump's debate callout bolsters far-right Proud Boys – CNN

  1. Trump’s debate callout bolsters far-right Proud Boys  CNN
  2. Trump’s Proud Boys comment at debate sparks pushback, outrage; Tim Scott asks him to clarify  Fox News
  3. Trump says he doesn’t know who Proud Boys are, says ‘let law enforcement do their work’  Fox News
  4. Trump backs violent white supremacists. There’s no way around it.  The Washington Post
  5. Proud Boys: who are the far-right group that backs Donald Trump?  The Guardian
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Trump’s debate callout bolsters far-right Proud Boys – CNN

Twitter's Dorsey Calls Out Coinbase CEO for Ignoring Users' 'Societal Issues' – CoinDesk – CoinDesk

  1. Twitter’s Dorsey Calls Out Coinbase CEO for Ignoring Users’ ‘Societal Issues’ – CoinDesk  CoinDesk
  2. Coinbase doubles down on anti-politics stance with exit package offer  Ars Technica
  3. Coinbase CEO discourages politics at work, offers generous severance to employees who want to quit  CNBC
  4. Coinbase offers exit package for employees not comfortable with its mission  The Block Crypto
  5. Is Silicon Valley almost too woke to function? Coinbase thinks so  San Francisco Chronicle
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Twitter’s Dorsey Calls Out Coinbase CEO for Ignoring Users’ ‘Societal Issues’ – CoinDesk – CoinDesk

Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Advances Despite McConnell Stimulus Deal Comments; Tesla Deliveries Due – Investor's Business Daily

  1. Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Advances Despite McConnell Stimulus Deal Comments; Tesla Deliveries Due  Investor’s Business Daily
  2. Dow rebounds more than 300 points on stimulus hope to end first losing month since March  CNBC
  3. Dow Cuts Gains on Stimulus Uncertainty as Mnuchin Says Talks to Continue  Investing.com
  4. What history says tends to happen after stock market logs ugly September losses  MarketWatch
  5. Wall Street closes higher as stimulus talks progress  CNA
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Advances Despite McConnell Stimulus Deal Comments; Tesla Deliveries Due – Investor’s Business Daily

Japan's Stock Exchange Halts All Trading "Due To Network Issue"

Japan’s Stock Exchange Halts All Trading “Due To Network Issue”

Tyler Durden

Wed, 09/30/2020 – 20:03

As Asian markets open for the start of Q4 trading, Japanese markets have hit a ‘glitch’ resulting in the halting of all buying and selling of securities.

Tokyo Stock Exchange operator Japan Exchange Group said in a statement:

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your exceptional support for the operation of the Securities Market on this exchange.

Today, there is a failure to deliver market information, and we are pleased to let you know that we will stop buying and selling all stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

At the same time, it is not possible to accept orders from that time.

Recovery is currently undecided, but we will contact you again about future plans.

Seems like it’s a system-wide issue:

  • *NIKKEI, TOPIX ARE NOT TRADING DUE TO SYSTEM ISSUE

  • *JPX: TOSTNET ALSO NOT EXECUTING TRADES

  • *JAPAN SAPPORO EXCHANGE ALSO HALTS TRADING

  • *JAPAN NAGOYA STOCK EXCHANGE ALSO EXPERIENCING SYSTEM ISSUES

Nikkei futures are modestly lower with the halt…

And Yen is weaker…

What will the BoJ do when it can’t buy Topix ETFs?



Source: Zero Hedge, Japan’s Stock Exchange Halts All Trading “Due To Network Issue”

EU leaders break deadlock to impose sanctions on Belarus

EU leaders break deadlock to impose sanctions on BelarusEU leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock on Friday and imposed sanctions on Belarus after hours of summit talks, assuring Cyprus that the bloc would also punish Turkey if it continues oil and gas drilling in disputed areas of the Mediterranean. The deal on sanctions against about 40 officials accused of rigging August’s presidential election in Belarus means the EU can make good on a promise to support pro-democracy protesters in Minsk and regain some credibility after weeks of delays. “The European Union is taking action against those who stand in the way of democracy,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after fraught discussions among the 27 EU member states that dragged past midnight.



Source: Yahoo News, EU leaders break deadlock to impose sanctions on Belarus

The Individual Against The Odds

The Individual Against The Odds

Tyler Durden

Wed, 09/30/2020 – 20:00

Authored by Kym Robinson via The Libertarian Institute,

There is a genre in fiction that celebrates an individual’s adversity against seemingly impossible odds. Whether this is a person who takes the war to organized crime (Mack Bolan), a secret agent saving the world for their government (James Bond), a wronged loner lost and bullied by the law and the society that rejects them (John Rambo), one who wants something so bad that they will defy social conventions (Velvet Brown), or even a rogue that hides behind a mask and inspires a revolution against tyranny (V), they are in some way inspiring. They are better than most not just because of courage, but also often principle. They are the outsider, the curmudgeon, and blowhard, or worse.

In the coming eclipse of cancel culture and layered censorship, certain allegories and metaphorical fiction will become a dangerous device for story tellers to use. It is no longer a method of sedition to lift a mirror up to a wider culture or society, to reveal an imagery that the victims or an outsider may see. The marketplace of varied opinions and diverse perspectives that is supposedly a hallmark of the abstract known as western civilization is becoming less welcome to such variations. Instead, through technology and a paternalistic tendency society is becoming a dystopia tinkering between the prose of Huxley and Orwell, but especially that found in the film ‘Demolition Man.’ It is a creation of the timid, those who shy away from difference while claiming to champion it.

“First Blood” (1982)

Social media, like most innovations, was a promise to open our worlds and to connect and share so many different ideas and experiences. Instead it becomes a series of cultivated echo chambers that snuff out certain viewpoints and celebrate others, always confirming a particular bias. It is with an unofficial handshake that the public, made of shrill and easily offended individuals, unite with corporations and states to mash out a new moral order that mutates in instances of outrage and crisis. It clings to central planning and yet it is not necessarily centrally planned. It is a negative instinct to constrict and subvert any desires and needs for liberty. It is the widespread transformation of language to duplicate words into meanings that could only be conjured up inside the laboratories of intellect inefficiency. It is born from a need to be safe and correct, but it is a dangerous approach to any issue or problem.

The story of the individual saying no or wanting to be left alone is now one that is deemed selfish and dangerous. It is bad that one or a few may defy the collective good. The abstract religion of social contracts and duty to the state are the order and safety that a majority cling to. A society of so many dependents who demand and extract from the individual hinder productivity and creative instincts while demanding more. It would be as much of a cliché to invoke Ayn Rand as it would George Orwell—both would simplify the moment—but alas, the Randian term “moocher” is perhaps apt at times. The moochers rule. Tyranny inevitably is like a kind chef cooking a frog in warm water slowly until it boils, so that it may not leap for freedom until it’s too late.

It is with great concern that if the fiction of the past is not censored, redacted, or destroyed that it will be viewed, and that many will view the villains of the story as the hero. The individual, those who fight for freedom and liberty, are now the bad guy.  Those with the imperial conviction to control and impose law and order, however maniacal, are the true heroes, the pillars of society. John Rambo after all was carrying a knife and Sarah Connor was stockpiling weapons. Will great firemen like Guy Montag burn the pages of dangerous books and char the words of seditious thought to maintain a society of ignorance?  It is after all a state of bliss to be hidden from such dangers.

What does it say about a society or culture that will not leave people alone? That it will not let them be or demand that they must not merely comply, but pay tribute? The one who does not want these conditions is considered selfish, while those who exist at the expense of others are normal. The myth is that the elites and rulers are the only benefactors from the centrally planned nightmares that always lead to tyranny. There are many who benefit from such a regulated society, where grants, welfare, and subsidies feed the ineffective and perpetuate an ideology of employment over outcome. The many planners, agents, and ‘moochers’ all benefit, enjoying the trappings of such a state.

The individual must speak in whispers like a thief, yet they are the one getting stolen from. They must plan around impositions as though a conspirator, but it is those in conferences and on committees who conspire against them. They are the ones whose homes are invaded if they possess contraband, do not pay enough tribute to the state, or if they speak wrongly on social media. The terror regimes of North Korea and the Peoples Republic of China are often pariahs, yet the more the open nations of the west condemn them, the more they seem to employ their methods of control and order.

The majority tends to yearn for a comfortable status quo that allows them to enjoy life, often at the expense of others. They are the opulent living city dwellers of the Capitol in ‘The Hunger Games.’ They are the humans inside the pods that will not swallow the pills in ‘The Matrix,’ and those who refuse to wear the sunglasses in ‘They Live.’ To have a bitter truth revealed is painful. That means the victims of the wars, the unintended consequences of regulation, the trampled innocent of policy, all cannot have a voice, and if they do it is often skewered and redirected. The status quo is always preserved. Partisan politics allows the steering wheel to keep turning, even as the direction stays the same.

Linda Hamilton playing Sarah Connor in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

A man like John Rambo—a vagrant used by his government and then rejected—is a danger not because of his skills and experiences, or because he carries a large knife, but because he wants to be left alone. He is directionless and does not have a generic path in mind. It is a long road, but it is his to take. In time the radical individual becomes embraced and utilised by the state, in life and fiction. In the United States, for example, Martin Luther King Jr. is no longer a dangerous emblem of civil rights defying the order of his time, but a murder victim of cause, likely killed by the very government that now enshrines his name. But his ideals?

Mack Bolan, a former Vietnam war veteran like John Rambo, comes home to a society that no longer needs him. His family is murdered and wronged by the Mafia. So, Bolan deserts the military and wages his own war. In time, as the franchise succeeds and the 1970s climate of anti-establishment thinking grows into Reagan’s America, Bolan fights the Soviets and terrorists. He works with the CIA and other covert government agencies, and like the Punisher (inspired by Bolan), he serves Uncle Sam. Around the same time as this switch, so too does John Rambo in the sequels. These individuals become implements of the state, however begrudging it may be.

As the new century loomed it was not merely the state itself that was the danger, but corrupt actors from within. Gene Hackman and Will Smith as an ‘Enemy of the State’ do not go up against the U.S. government but instead rogue elements of it. This becomes the theme as the individuals continue to defy the odds, but only in a watered-down way. Mark Wahlberg in ‘The Shooter’ is a wary ex-serviceman, a loner, living remote with conspiracy inclinations. We are shown this as the camera pans across his library. He is bought in by the government as a consultant but is betrayed and used as a patsy. But again it is the secret agency of corrupt individuals, not the government itself.

Perhaps the peak of this genre was the 1990s when so many things culminated: the promise of a technological future where liberty and decentralized markets could thrive, and where no more would Cold War threaten the globe with nuclear misery and endless proxy wars. Instead the new century arrived, and it was like the last one. All those promises were betrayed. Like the fictional individuals ultimately going on to serve the odds, Arnold Schwarzenegger would become the governor of California. The man who championed Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose and appeared in the documentary series introduction, the Austrian ‘Austrian’ economist of free markets who starred in many ‘individual against the odds’ films, ultimately became another statist. ‘The Running Man’ would go on to run the show in the sequel. It defeats the point.

The animated film ‘Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,’ perhaps one of the greatest tales of individual liberty told, shows a defiant horse that does not want to be owned and broken in by humans, whether that’s by a native American boy or a U.S. army cavalry officer. In the end the native American boy accepts the horse’s wishes and the cavalry officer realizes that he cannot break the stallion’s spirit. It is a beautiful and basic story, that if you love something you should let it to be free. To respect freedom itself is in a sense love.

In the follow-up sequel, the whole point is missed. It is a cynical defeat of an established franchise, an all too common theme for any fan that has seen the terrible litany of remakes in the modern era. Instead of Spirit the stallion being free—a rebel—he becomes submissive and a prop to a city girl. It is a complete about face of what the original film was about. The hero of individual defiance is again saddled and broken in by the very odds that he was heroically defying. No longer does the individual stand up to do the right thing despite personal risk, but instead he is relegated to be a vapid avatar for contemporary consumption, spiritless and all too common.

Perhaps this is the theme: no longer will individuals be this feral radical, but instead be tamed in the end. The uniqueness and dignity of their principles becomes perverted by a mandate devised inside the cauldron of academia by a committee of experts or the reactionaries on social media. In the end, like Spirit the stallion they must be broken in and ridden for some collective monolith. Maybe in the future the spirit of the individual will be found inside the broken algorithms of a machine’s mind, like WALL-E, a lowly robot with basic AI that eventually sees the world for what it is. And the comfortable obese humans wrapped in technology, having destroyed nature—both their own and the wider world’s—will be saved by the touch of a machine who simply thinks for itself and says, “no more.” By then will it be to late? Will the sacred beauty of the individual flower pushing through the filthy mess of the collective be plucked for good?

Bryce Courtenay, in The Power of One, wrote, “Pride is holding your head up high when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.”



Source: Zero Hedge, The Individual Against The Odds