Archive for August, 2011

Bill O’Reilly and Dick Morris: Why Ron Paul Would Unspin Them

On today’s O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly did a segment with Dick Morris, in which O’Reilly taunted Republican presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, for not accepting O’Reilly’s invitation to appear on his show, and Dick Morris stuck his nose in the air and said the reason was that Dr. Paul was afraid to answer three candidate-destroying questions on these topics:

  • How would a President Paul prevent Iran from developing an atomic bomb that could threaten Israel;
  • How could Ron Paul seriously propose putting the U.S. back on the gold standard since gold, as a commodity whose supply can only be increased slightly by more mining, could not be used to foster U.S. economic growth by expansion of the money supply; and
  • Does Ron Paul really want to legalize drugs, which in O’Reilly’s long-argued position would lead to a greater number, rather than a fewer number, of lives destroyed by drug abuse.

I’m not a spokesman for the Paul campaign, nor the Campaign for Liberty.

But back in 2008 I was a Ron Paul-pledged delegate to the Nye County Nevada Republican Caucus. If not blocked by McCain machine parliamentary tactics reminiscent of how Karl Marx threw the Bakuninists out of the First Communist International, the 2008 Nevada Republican State Convention would have sent Robert Terhune, Marla Criss, and Pat Kerby to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the Ron-Paul pledged Nevada delegation.

Oh, yeah. Ron Paul said this about my first novel:

Alongside Night may be even more relevant today than it was in 1979. Hopefully this landmark work of libertarian science fiction will inspire a new generation of readers to learn more about the ideas of liberty and become active in the freedom movement.”

(See how seamlessly I worked in the plug for my book? Discerning_Taste, Ponzer, and RARanieri, pay attention!)

Congressman Ron Paul with J. Neil Schulman

The point is, it doesn’t take anyone with the decades of interview experience Ron Paul has, not to mention Dr. Paul’s rock-solid understanding of history and economics, to answer these lame challenges. I don’t even need to go to libertarian principles; mainstream practical analysis can answer them before you even get to basic principles needed for a functioning free society.

I can do it in three paragraphs.

  • How would a President Paul prevent Iran from developing an atomic bomb that could threaten Israel?

Instead of getting mired in still another multi-trillion dollar/boots on ground war like every other Republican candidate would — and in the unlikely event Mossad couldn’t handle this themselves — President Paul could use the U.S. intelligence community, and special forces like Seal Team 6 that put bin Laden out of business — to use sabotage and destabilization tactics to prevent the Iranian A-bomb from ever getting on line. But even if President Paul were too much of a libertarian purist to do that, Israel and the United States have been collaborating on Strategic Defense against missile attacks since the Reagan years; and unlike the United States, Israel is actually competent at controlling its borders well enough to prevent anything with a radioactive signature from being smuggled into the country.

  • How could Ron Paul seriously propose putting the U.S. back on the gold standard since gold, as a commodity whose supply can only be increased slightly by more mining, could not be used to foster U.S. economic growth by expansion of the money supply?

In a nutshell, this is the problem with economically ignorant pundits like O’Reilly and Morris believing the popular junk science that is Keynesian economics. Increasing the supply of money to “grow” the economy doesn’t work. As Ron Paul points out endlessly, all expanding the money supply does is send wrong signals to investors who misdirect their investments into bubbles that pop as soon as the price rise caused by the monetary expansion has run its course. It either requires ever higher doses of new money expansion to prevent the unsustainable growth from collapsing, or the “bust” part of the business cycle as the unsustainable bubble pops, ending in the economy we have now, in which even banks with rich reserves find no real growth enterprises to invest in.

  • Does Ron Paul really want to legalize drugs, which in O’Reilly’s long-argued position would lead to a greater number, rather than a fewer number, of lives destroyed by drug abuse.

The fact that is unanswerable by either Bill O’Reilly or Dick Norris is that drug prohibition empowers drug lords and street gangs who use school children as the opening markets for their trade. When the legal tobacco industry tried this marketing tactic with Joe Camel, Congress came down on them — effectively — like a ton of bricks. Decriminalizing possession of drugs and establishing above-ground distribution outlets where sales to children can be foiled by effective ID checks, is a practical policy for reducing an epidemic of drug abuse that eight decades of substance prohibition has only assured that illegal drug traffickers are government-protected cartels.

How many times have John Stossel and Judge Andrew Napolitano answered this question for O’Reilly? Bill O’Reilly is a graduate of the Catholic Chaminade High School and surely understands the concept of “invincible ignorance” — that when you simply ignore a fact for which there is no reasonable answer, you have betrayed the commitment to truth that an honest soul requires.

Dr. Ron Paul has this commitment to truth and principle. Bill O’Reilly and Dick Morris are spin doctors — in a so-called “No Spin Zone — who don’t.


Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available as a DVD on Amazon.com and for sale or rental on Amazon.com Instant Video. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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Nick Gillespie at Reason.TV Interviews J. Neil Schulman at FreedomFest 2011

From http://reason.tv/video/show/author-and-filmmaker-j-neil-sc

At FreedomFest 2011, Reason’s Nick Gillespie sat down with author and filmmaker J. Neil Schulman to talk about some of his most recent projects.

J. Neil Schulman at FreedomFest 2011

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 libertarians and advocates of limited government. Reason.tv spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now.

Scroll down for downloadable versions, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to receive notifications when new material goes live.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available as a DVD on Amazon.com and for sale or rental on Amazon.com Instant Video. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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A Warning to Indie Filmmakers About IMDb

Posted today on the IMDb “Help” Board

A caution for other indie filmmakers
by Jneil (Sun Aug 7 2011 20:55:29)

I strongly caution all independent filmmakers not to use the IMDb message board for their film as a way of communicating with movie viewers or potential movie viewers.

A quick view at the message board for Lady Magdalene’s, a feature film I wrote, produced, and directed, will provide plenty of examples of what happens if you try: the board has been overwhelmed by attack messages trashing my film, me personally, anybody who writes in support of the film, and anyone who has ever said anything nice about it. The troll messages have included every form of libel and today has escalated by an attempt by one troll to shake me down for money or “I’ll make it my life’s mission to hurt this film.”

Poison

Complaining to IMDb staff does nothing. It’s beyond their power to patrol the message boards and reporting any troll message results in a coordinated campaign by other troll accounts to spam the message board even more.

This hacker attack is so well organized they managed to input 103 “1″ (worst) ratings for my film overnight — this was a calculated counterattack because in a previous post to this “Help” board I noted attack votes coming from overseas where my film has never screened nor been available for sale.

In fact, this warning message will result in additional retribution. Let them do their worst; I no longer care.

Today I emailed the following to Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com is the parent company of IMDb):

Subject: IMDb encourages asymmetrical warfare against indie filmmakers
Date: Sun, 07 Aug 2011 15:36:25 -0700
From: J. Neil Schulman
Organization: Jesulu Productions
To: Jeff Bezos

Dear Mr. Bezos,

By allowing and encouraging anonymous users to register ratings, write user reviews, and post on the IMDb message boards, IMDb has created a toxic environment for independent films and filmmakers, because IMDb is overwhelmed by trolls using multiple anonymous accounts which they use to attack independent films and independent filmmakers who use IMDb for its intended purpose of providing information about their films to the viewing public.

The only correction for this is to institute the same policy Amazon.com has adopted: only allow users to post comments, make votes, and write reviews under accounts tied to real and verifiable identities.

J. Neil Schulman
IMDb Pro Subscriber
Withoutabox filmmaker
CreateSpace customer
Amazon.com merchant

Until this troll problem is eliminated, IMDb film ratings are hopelessly untrustworthy, the message boards toxic, the user reviews contaminated.

I am seriously contemplating cutting all external links to IMDb. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

JNS


Posted August 7, 2011 on the IMDb “Lady Magdalene’s” Message Board

Policy Statement
by Jneil (Sun Aug 7 2011 14:12:53)

To avoid feeding anonymous trolls who create multiple accounts to spam the IMDb message boards, I will no longer respond to any post on this board from any account that is not linked to a real name, an authenticated identity, with a verifiable website.


Posted August 1, 2011 on the IMDb “Lady Magdalene’s” Message Board

Webtrash on the IMDb
by Jneil (Mon Aug 1 2011 16:59:05)

Let’s acknowledge a few easily checked facts.

Anyone can get an account to post on the IMDb message boards and vote on the movie ratings.

IMDb is not in the business of fact-checking anything posted on its message boards. Its staff only fact-checks submissions to the database, itself.

IMDb also has no ability to prevent vote spamming of the movie ratings. Anybody can vote on a movie without any proof that they’ve even seen it. This problem doesn’t really affect major studio releases which get thousands or tens of thousands of votes from moviegoers, but a few determined spammers can tilt the IMDb movie ratings of independent films by creating a few hundred phantom accounts and voting multiple times. If you see hundreds of “10″ votes or hundreds of “1″ votes it’s a good indication a movie rating has been spammed.

Anyone can make up anything they want and post it here anonymously without any consequence, for any reason, demented or not, truthful or not, factual or not.

The only power anyone really has here is the power of being an active reader to figure out what’s fact and what’s made up. They can cry about their posts, in violation of IMDb policies, being reported and removed by IMDb staff. It’s crocodile tears from people who delight in random destruction of other people’s creative work. It’s the Internet equivalent of arson, vandalism, and lost souls writing dirty words on walls.

Anonymous posters on this board have been talking trash about Lady Magdalene’s. A lot of these posts are sheer unsupported nonsense, easily proved false by anyone who checks the facts both in the IMDb database and elsewhere on the web.

I wrote, produced, and directed the movie, but I could not have done any of that without a wonderful cast and crew headlined and inspired by Nichelle Nichols.

Lady Magdalene’s is available on Amazon.com, both as a DVD and as an Amazon Instant Video. Here’s the page link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004ZMSDIK/.

Lady Magdalene’s: The Musical Soundtrack is also available on Amazon.com. Here’s the page link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002OSWWDE.

Linked from the Lady Magdalene’s official movie website at http://www.ladymagdalenes.com are dozens of real reviews and comments on the movie — written by people using their real names — plus extended video excerpts and music videos from the movie, photo galleries, and so on.

Off IMDb, these vandals have no power. Here they have the power of clutter. Like people who litter any commons, it’s their goal to drive away anyone who wants to use it for ordinary enjoyment.

Basically, they’re criminals without even the courage to commit real crimes. They’re webtrash.

If you’re interested in learning anything real about Lady Magdalene’s, please look for facts in the IMDb database, on the official movie website, and on my blog at http://jneilschulman.rationalreview.com, where it’s not so hard to keep the creeps out.

Signing off and God bless you,

J. Neil Schulman


Posted August 9, 2011 on the IMDb “Help Board

Re: A caution for other indie filmmakers
by Jneil (Tue Aug 9 2011 04:21:09)

This discussion is probably moot. I’m guessing IMDb already has a solution in mind.

You pointed out in a previous discussion that with IMDb cutting all links to Amazon.com the only products IMDb has left to sell are subscriptions to IMDb Pro, the resume service, poster service, etc.

It’s obvious that to maintain revenue IMDb will adopt a new business model in which one needs to be an IMDb Pro subscriber to rate movies, write user reviews, and post on all but one or two strictly moderated message boards.

I even imagine that IMDb will sell editorial control of the message boards for productions listed in its database to studio execs, publicists, or producers associated with those films.

This solves all of IMDb management’s problems in one fell swoop, since IMDB Pro subscribers have to use verifiable identities (equivalent to Amazon.com customers) to make use of the enhanced services; and if the companies listing their productions on IMDb have editorial control over the message board for it they can make their own proprietary editorial choices of how proactive they want to be in moderating their own product boards.


Posted August 9, 2011 on the Lady Magdalene’s Official Website

Lady Magdalene’s
IMDb Info

Lady Magdalene’s has been listed on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) since its original announcement of production on March 23, 2006, and for the most part the IMDb database contains accurate information. IMDb staff does a good job of vetting information input into the database itself for production info and cast and crew links.

There are, however, severe problems and deficiencies with IMDb.

Of the three film-festival awards that Lady Magdalene’s has received, IMDb only lists the first one. IMDb does not allow listing of awards for festivals not already listed in its database, and the list of film festivals has not been updated for the most part since 2007.

IMDb will not link to the Amazon.com User Reviews for those customers who have actually purchased either the Instant Download or DVD of Lady Magdalene’s.

IMDb no longer links to the Amazon.com catalog pages for the Lady Magdalene’s DVD, Instant Video, and Lady Magdalene’s: The Musical Soundtrack CD or MP3′s.

The User Rating for Lady Magdalene’s on IMDb is artificially low due to hackers and spammers having artificially input multiple “1″ (worst) votes — many of them from overseas users where Lady Magdalene’s has never screened, and 103 of these fraudulent votes were hacked or spammed overnight after director J. Neil Schulman complained on the IMDb Help Board about the prior spammed votes from overseas. IMDb does not require any verifiable ID to rate movies on its system, so that system has been completely corrupted by spammers, hackers, and Internet trolls.

Positive user reviews of Lady Magdalene’s have been deleted by IMDb staff after false and malicious reports by IMDb trolls charging that these reviews were written by the movie’s director, J. Neil Schulman. This was done in retaliation for J. Neil Schulman’s reports to IMDb staff that an early rough cut of the film — an early cut not up to the standards of the final commercial release — had been stolen from a distributor and used by a troll as the basis for a malice-filled “review” full of false production information and other assorted libels.

Finally, the IMDb message board for Lady Magdalene’s has been overwhelmed by anonymous posters who write falsehoods (such as that Lady Magdalene’s never won any real film-festival awards, or repetitions of the charge that positive reviews were written by J. Neil Schulman) and such spam postings have clogged and overwhelmed use of the message board for legitimate discussion of the film.

For these reasons, Lady Magdalene’s producers advise not relying on IMDb for accurate information about Lady Magdalene’s.

For background on how these campaigns of malicious disinformation are conducted throughout the Internet, see the Wikipedia article Sock puppet.

If, however, understanding these cautions, you still wish to proceed to the IMDb Page for Lady Magdalene’s, it’s at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0783538/combined.


Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available as a DVD on Amazon.com and for sale or rental on Amazon.com Instant Video. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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Become An IMDb Troll in Ten Easy Steps!

The IMDb message boards are a fertile breeding ground for anonymous posters with seemingly endless energy, no life, and a bloodsucker’s parasitical attachment to any independent filmmaker who does what appears to be beyond their imagination: actually make a movie that somebody might like to watch.

My film, Lady Magdalene’s, has become an object of their attention, due to my writing on the IMDb “Help” board that multiple spam “1″ votes (“1″ being worst, out of a possible “10″) were being registered from outside the United States, where the movie has never screened or otherwise been sold.

The troll’s retaliation was the registration of 103 more “1″ votes overnight.

So if you’re a fucking moron with nothing better to do than trash movies you’ve never seen, here’s an easy guide to becoming a troll on IMDb.

1. You’ll need a minimum of five anonymous IMDb accounts since your activity will eventually cause IMDb staff to delete one or two of them — but if you can manage over one hundred anonymous accounts, you can spam the movie rating system for indie films and dramatically lower the IMDb rating.

2. It is considered UnTroll Activity ever to watch any of the movies you trash.

3. If the film you’re trolling has won film-festival awards, deny that the film festival exists, and demand proof that the award was ever given. If anyone from the production responds, demand links proving the festival award exists, and if the link is posted repeatedly claim it doesn’t work.

4. Accuse anyone posting a positive user review of the film you’re trolling of being a paid shill of the filmmaker. Report their review to IMDb staff as being written by the production staff and have it removed.

5. Accuse anyone objecting to your lies as being an unlibertarian Orwellian who believes in censorship.

Whynne's iconic 'Troll'
From DeviantArt, Whynne’s iconic ‘Troll’

6. Posting a lie once is ineffective. Any lie must be posted at least two dozen times to have any effect.

7. Claim that any filmmaker responding to questions on the IMDb message board for their film is violating IMDb rules by commercially promoting their film on the message boards.

8. Call the filmmaker a Jewish shyster and invoke as many antisemitic stereotypes from movies as you can find. Don’t worry if these comments are reported; that’s why you have all your backup accounts.

9. Call the filmmaker a troll whenever he calls you a troll.

10. Remember: you’re anonymous! Nobody can do a damned thing about anything you write, so lie, lie, lie, and lie again!


Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available as a DVD on Amazon.com and for sale or rental on Amazon.com Instant Video. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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