Stop and think, collected 20192020Note. Because of changes in the archive pages, over time, you may find that some of the links you hit to other "Stop and think" installments actually lead nowhere. If you encounter frustration with a particular link, please feel free to hold my feet to the fire. Nicholas Strakon
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Ronn Neff: Any stick will do to beat the dog. Advocates of the free market are familiar with the "counterargument" that there is no reason to think a free market can "work," because none exists anywhere and never has.
That allegation has not stopped anyone from blaming the free market for bank failures, crashes, and economic declines. A marvel! (December 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Substack has posted a major piece by the heroic Glenn Greenwald that I urge you to read: "The Threat of Authoritarianism in the U.S. Is Very Real, and Has Nothing to Do with Trump" (December 28, 2020).
Editor's intro: "The COVID-driven centralization of economic power and information control in the hands of a few corporate monopolies poses enduring threats to political freedom."
An excerpt of special interest, perhaps, to libertarians:Those most disgusted by this outcome [the political-economic restructuring of 2020] should not be socialists but capitalists: this is a classic merger of state and corporate power also known as a hallmark of fascism in its most formal expression that abuses state interference in markets to consolidate and centralize authority in a small handful of actors in order to disempower everyone else. Those trends were already quite visible prior to Trump and the onset of the pandemic, but have accelerated beyond anyone's dreams in the wake of mass lockdowns, shutdowns, prolonged isolation, and corporate welfare thinly disguised as legislative "relief."And then there's this, near the end:The dominant strain of U.S. neoliberalism the ruling coalition that has now consolidated power again is authoritarianism.Greenwald continues to fortify his position on my little list of "righteous leftists." (December 2020)
Ronn Neff: The Pretender Joe Biden says, "Our darkest days in the battle against Covid are ahead of us, not behind us."
Remember: When Democrats predict such-and-such, they're not just warning us of what can happen. They are telling us that they intend to do all they can to make sure that what they predict will happen. Good and hard. (December 2020)
Ronn Neff: Strategic differences. The Left loses a battle, and moves on to the next battle.
The Right loses a battle, and moves on to the next concession. (December 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The face diaper is the tinfoil hat of the 2020s.
And while I'm on the subject, let me ask: Does anyone think that the American genpop wouldn't wear tinfoil hats if the government and its political scientists and its media prostitutes told them to? Within a week I'd expect to see my Facebook feed peppered with ads for designer tinfoil hats.
There's one good thing about such headgear, though. Whatever cognitive damage the wearer may suffer from in the first place, a tinfoil hat at least doesn't worsen it by inflicting oxygen deprivation. (December 2020)
Ronn Neff: Great Christmas gift! I'm looking for ideas for Christmas. Anyone know where I can get an Antifa Barbie for my granddaughter? (December 2020)
Ronn Neff: Aristotle and Rand versus Robert de Niro: What is real?
Those of us with poorly formed intellects that is, those of us who are failures of the government school system are unhappy because we insist that what is real exists independent of anyone's hopes, wishes, beliefs, fears, dreams, or fantasies.
Here, Conrad Brean (de Niro) explains to us what is really real.
If you thought this 1995 movie was satire, think again. It is philosophy of the deepest sort in fact, the philosophy embraced by most of the people you know.
We thought the key to happiness was to try to be in focus. That a mind awake (to use Clyde Kelly's happy phrase) would make us happy. In fact, the key is to let the most effective soporific appliance ever created take over our intellects.
Go back to sleep, my friends. Go back to sleep. They Live. (December 2020)
Ronn Neff: I just saw an ad urging us to support small business by making our purchases on amazon.com.
That's like supporting your local sheriff by hiring Michael Corleone.Modine Herbey comments: "Or supporting your local parish by sending money to the World Council of Churches."
"Or supporting local government by sending money to the United Nations."
"Or supporting Taiwan by making an alliance with Red China."
"or ... or ... " (December 2020)
David T. Wright: The Great Realignment. There's been some talk about the great political realignment sparked by the Trump phenomenon: the white working and lower middle classes (and, to a limited extent, ethnic minorities) deserting the Democrats and flocking to the Republicans under Trump's banner.
What that portends is hard to predict, especially given the probability that once Trump leaves office he will be swarmed with legal attacks, including criminal prosecutions, under the FBI's increasingly exploited Beria principle: Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime. In the past, populist movements have been crushed or co-opted by hook or by crook, usually by crook. If history and our rulers' demented fury against the uppity peasants are any indication, this one will be too.
However, there's another movement that can't be so easily snuffed out: the physical realignment of populations. Somebody named Lynn Chu is apparently an expert on the municipal bond market, and what he or she has to say in a Facebook post, now mysteriously deleted, is eye-opening. The lockdown states, Chu says, face financial and social ruin after destroying and driving out their tax bases. So they will demand that the feds use money from the non-lockdown states to bail them out a demand that will be resisted:... this is a conflict that will come sooner than later, because blue states can't Ponzi scheme and kite their way through this disaster forever. Eventually they are going to need some big, bad dough, and it's not coming from their own populations, whom they decided to put out of work. If you look at the spread in unemployment between red states and blue states, it's bonkers. Most of the Trumpian v-shaped economy came from red states opening up vigorously and permanently and from booming real estate.To the contrary, it looks to me as if they will make things worse, not better. The result will be Detroit writ large across the country, with huge migrations to the less-oppressive states, and a resulting realignment of political power. The only questions are how long the decline will take, what will happen along the way, and what this country will look like afterward.
This Great Reshuffling is going to materially alter what this country looks like, as Texas, Tennessee, and Florida become the new California, Illinois, and New York. And the crazy thing is, they 100% did this to themselves. A vaccine may fix the paper economy overnight, but it won't fix local problems of this scale. (And chances are, a Biden administration will probably find a way to f**k up the paper economy too. The Fed certainly isn't optimistic.) Maybe over a decade they can dig themselves out of this hole, but that would involve a significant change in behavior and values.
Back in the spring, with the craziness of the lockdowns and the officially sanctioned riots, it was clear to most thoughtful people that this was going to be a watershed year. But now things look to be shaping up to one of those pivotal moments in history: the moment that a great empire's decline manifests itself. Whether it will end in an actual breakup of the United State remains to be seen. But it's clear that historians and other scholars will discuss and argue about this moment for years to come.
Meanwhile, we have to live through it. (November 2020)
David T. Wright: This would be funny, except that it stopped being funny a while back:"Penguin Random House Staff Confront Publisher About New Jordan Peterson Book," by Manisha Krishnan (writing from Toronto), Vice, November 24, 2020.Unfortunately, it appears that Penguin Random House is interested in, you know, making money. So it has turned its back on all that is good and decent and agreed to publish a best-selling author despite the tears of its amazingly sensitive staff:Another employee said "people were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives." They said one co-worker discussed how Peterson had radicalized their [sic] father and another talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their [sic] non-binary friend.The poor "non-binary" friend is apparently so fragile that if someone publishes a book it doesn't agree with, it can't tolerate it. Obviously, the answer is to suppress all books and other media unfriendly to this person's viewpoint. Somebody has to find it and ask it what things it doesn't like, so they can be eradicated from the face of the Earth. That's the only humane thing to do.
Apparently Peterson is offensive just by existing, so it doesn't really matter what his book actually says:"He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he's an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I'm not proud to work for a company that publishes him," a junior employee who is a member of the LGBTQ community and who attended the town hall told VICE World News.It's not good enough to publish a whole bunch of pro-identity politics propaganda. No, that can all be ruined by also publishing one thing from another viewpoint:"The company since June has been doing all these anti-racist and allyship things and them publishing Peterson's book completely goes against this. It just makes all of their previous efforts seem completely performative," the employee added.So Penguin has a "diversity and inclusion" committee. Does it have powers of arrest? Yet?
A third employee told VICE World News the company's diversity and inclusion committee received at least 70 anonymous messages about Peterson's book, and only a couple are in favour of the decision to publish it.
I guess the days of tyrannical bosses are truly over. Now bosses apparently cower in their offices, afraid that their employees might have a tantrum and throw their Pret a Manger lunches and San Pellegrino bottles on the floor. It's not really an improvement.Modine Herbey comments: Every time I see "non-binary" or "allyship," I think of "Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning!" (November 2020)
Ronn Neff: The System is authorized to announce: "There is no evidence of voter fraud. And we're going to make damn good and sure it stays that way!" (November 2020)
Ronn Neff: What anyone can learn from the so-called pandemic: People who are afraid have little use for even marginal liberty.
That should not come as a surprise, for we were told centuries ago by the Prince of Liars himself: "all that a man hath will he give for his life."
Truly, we should consider health-tyranny a species of the genus Satanism. (November 2020)
Ronn Neff: New rules. The pollsters and news guys were right! They said we might not know for several days who won the election, and that came to pass.
I have now formulated a new rule of interpretation: when the news readers and ventriloquist dummies tell us what is going to happen, or when (other) Democrats tell us what is going to happen, we should hear them saying:
"AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE DAMN GOOD AND SURE IT DOES HAPPEN!" (November 2020)
Recounting: Most people have forgotten that there was some short-lived controversy about whether [Jimmy] Carter had won the election in 1976. The election had been extremely close in Hawaii and Ohio, and there was some talk about a recount. But after a day or two, most of that talk had died down. Lyndon LaRouche's National Caucus of Labor Committees continued actively trying to generate concern about the accuracy of the vote count, insisting that [Gerald] Ford had won. In the end, LaRouche and the NCLC were both so marginalized that the public simply took no note of their efforts. They were like men who wear their hats upside-down and who argue that Jesus was really a Swede. And in any case, Ford was not interested in a recount and soon announced he would be working at the American Enterprise Institute, which cleared out an entire floor of its building on Massachusetts Avenue for his offices. Ronn Neff, "Time to bail: 'They just don't care,'" Unsilent Truth no. 24, September 2, 2016. (November 2020)
Ronn Neff: One of my darker thoughts: In 2016, most of the people who voted Democratic actually wanted Hillary Clinton to be president.
In 2020, not only do the people who voted for Joe Biden not really seem to want him to be president he was just a placeholder they thought they could push over the finish line but their "leaders" are already plotting to toss him out using the 25th Amendment. (November 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: More on the big blurry election, again courtesy of Ryan McMaken at Mises: "The Election Was a Tie. Now What?" (November 4, 2020).
McMaken writes: "... [A]ll the usual tired bromides about democratic elections should be more clear than ever. There is no 'will of the majority.' The winner doesn't represent 'the nation.' There is no consensus. We're not coming together 'as a people.' These tired slogans should now strike every intelligent person as nonsense uttered only by pundits and politicians desperate to claim some sort of legitimacy for a ruling cadre that has clearly been rejected by approximately half the country."
Meanwhile, he notes, "The nation continues to creep left." (November 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: That big blurry election. At Mises, Ryan McMaken writes: "Close Elections Force Us to Ask Unpleasant Questions about Democracy" (October 31, 2020).
He observes: "... [T]he longer a disputed election is up in the air, and the more a 'correct' outcome appears unattainable, the more likely a contested election is to undermine the perceived legitimacy of both the electoral system and the U.S. regime itself."Ronn Neff comments: McMaken writes that "contested elections illustrate that democratic contests have no theoretical or moral answer for the problem of a 'tie vote.'"
Strictly speaking he is correct. However, since most Americans are "practical," they do not require a moral answer, but only one that "works." And there is one that "works" in democratic contests, and we are seeing "working" right now. Fraud.
Nicholas Strakon comments: Since the invention of kings and queens, and until recently at least, the premise of regime legitimacy has been a crucial labor-saving device for the posturing criminals who presume to rule the weefolk. But over the past couple of decades I've often wondered how important that premise still is among the degraded American genpop. (October 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The leash tightens. Glenn Greenwald has been on my provisional list of righteous leftists for a long time. In light of recent developments I wonder whether I ought to render his name in all caps.
It turns out that The Intercept, of which Greenwald is a co-founder, would rather lose him than run a piece of his criticizing the Biden Crime Family: "My Resignation from the Intercept" (October 29, 2020).
His intro: "The same trends of repression, censorship, and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles."
It's no longer just we deplorable non-leftist munchkins who fall under the interdict. It's looking as though everyone on the Left, however previously respected, must now keep up with the current Party line and strictly adhere to it. Or else.
Greenwald has sought refuge with an outfit called Substack. At VDARE, Steve Sailer asks: "How much does Substack pay, anyway?
"And how is Substack set up to not be taken hostage by its own 20-something woke woman interns like everywhere else?"Strakon's list. (October 2020)
David T. Wright: Further observations on the presidential debate.
The first half of the October 22 debate was a wash. But the second half revealed why there is so much chortling on the Right that Trump won.
The tide began to turn for President Trump when the moderator disinterred a well-used leftist theme fashionable a few years ago. It was calculated to put Trump in a bad light: "How will families separated at the border be reunited?" Thousands of children are supposed to have been torn from their parents' arms and thrown in cages. And now 500 kids' parents can't be found, and it's all the fault of the evil racist Trump. I have to say, I don't understand how such a thing can happen. Would any loving parent abandon his own child to the tender mercies of La Migra? Wouldn't he instead keep in touch with the authorities in hopes of being reunited?
Trump's response: "Children were brought here by coyotes and lotsa bad people: cartels. And they used to use them to get into our country," thus explaining the mystery of the missing parents. (Trump's use of the word "coyote" resulted in a hilarious backlash the next day among clueless leftists, who gleefully mocked him for suggesting that an animal smaller than a Golden Retriever could drag a child over the border.) "They built the cages," said Trump, pointing to Joe Biden. "They said I built the cages, but ... they did."
Biden resorted to feigning outrage: more than 500 kids were "ripped from their parents!" he harrumphed. And that "violated every notion of Who We Are as a Nation!" Trump fired back pointing out that the policy of separating families was enforced under the Obama regime. When Biden denied it, Trump badgered him: "Who built the cages, Joe? Who built the cages, Joe?" Biden was beginning to look sullen and defensive, perhaps realizing that he had just put himself firmly on the wrong side of the biggest issue that got Trump elected.
A second question about immigration gave Trump the chance to hammer Biden again. Biden doggedly defended the Obama policy of "catch and release," which allowed thousands of illegals caught at the border to disappear into the interior. Trump pointed out that "they don't come back" to their court hearings, which Biden lamely tried to contradict. Trump's rejoinder was that only those "with the lowest IQ" showed up to face the music.
Biden proposed some lame immigration reform measures, to which Trump smugly replied, "You had eight years to do that. Why didn't you do it then?" He needled him again when Biden tried to pander to the black underclass with promises of penal reforms: "Why didn't you do that four years ago, Joe?"*
By now Biden was starting to look a little punch-drunk, spending more and more time looking down at his notes. Trump kept up the pressure: "You keep talking about all these things you're going to do, and you're going to do this, but you were there just a short time ago, you guys did nothing. Joe, I ran because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama. Because you did a poor job. If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run."
Biden, clearly rattled at that point, then made a huge mistake: attacking Trump on the issue of "character." That gave Trump the chance he was waiting for to bludgeon his hapless opponent. Over the frantic protestations of the moderator, Trump raised the credible influence-peddling allegations against Biden, and threw down the gauntlet: "So don't give me this stuff about how you're this innocent baby. Joe! They're calling you a corrupt politician! It's the laptop from hell. They're calling it the laptop from hell."
With Trump still mocking him silently, Biden tried to resort to the claim that the damning evidence is a Russian disinformation campaign. But Trump gleefully shot back with, "You mean that now the laptop is another Russia Russia Russia hoax? ... You hafta be kidding!"
The knockout blow came minutes later, after the moderator brought up the Holy Grail of the Left: "climate change." As an issue in the campaign for Emperor, "climate change" is a loser. Less than one fifth of the electorate really cares about it, while huge numbers rightly worry about the economy and jobs.
So Trump responded with relish. He pointed out that countries such as China and India have little obligation to clean up their emissions ("... the air is filthy!") under the Paris Accords. "The Paris Accords, I took us out, because we were gonna hafta spend trillions of dollars, and we were treated very unfairly. When they put us in there (pointing at Biden), they did us a great disservice, they wanna take away our businesses. I will not sacrifice tens of millions of jobs, thousands and thousands of businesses, because of the Paris Accord."
Biden confidently walked into the trap: "Climate change is an existential threat," he solemnly declared. "We have a moral obligation to deal with it," going on to promise "millions of jobs" from new environmental measures. Biden was starting to stumble and hesitate as the magic potion he'd been given wore off. But he forged onward, promising huge green infrastructure projects that would bring about environmental and economic paradise.
After accusing Biden of getting his plan from leftist congressthing Alexandria (Crazy Eyes) Ocasio Cortez, Trump mocked it as "the craziest plan that anybody has ever seen ... They wanna spend a hundred trillion dollars ... They wanna knock down buildings and build new buildings with little, tiny, small windows! It is crazy! It will destroy our country!"
And then Trump sprang the trap. Boasting about U.S. energy independence, he accused Biden of wanting to get rid of the oil industry and of opposing fracking, the economic lifeblood of swing state Pennsylvania. Biden denied it outright: "I have never opposed fracking!" and accused Trump of "flat out lying," but then had to backtrack and admit he opposed fracking on federal land. And then he foolishly volunteered that he opposed all oil drilling on federal land.
In response to badgering from Trump, Biden went on to admit that, yes, he wanted to replace the oil and gas industries with "renewable energy." Meanwhile, Trump joyfully mimed astonishment to the audience, and then, talking over the moderator's attempts to shut him up, said "... Basically, he wants to destroy the oil industry! ... Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma? Ohio?"
That effectively ended the debate for Biden, who had given Trump some juicy quotes to use against him in two vital battleground states, and failed to defend himself convincingly from accusations of serious corruption. He managed to pull himself together for his closing statement, but clearly realized his defeat.
Trump, on the other hand, looked like he was ready to go another nine rounds. And the next day he ebulliently addressed a packed, cheering crowd in Pensacola for an hour and a half. He's been doing at least two rallies a day, all to packed venues, while Biden and Harris seem unable to raise more than a few hundred fans at a time sometimes far fewer. At his rally in Allentown, Pa., four days after the debate, thousands of people, many of whom had come early in the cold, wet morning to secure a place, cheered themselves hoarse while Trump effortlessly entertained them extemporaneously. Not since Ronald Reagan have I seen such enthusiasm.
Trump may not have fulfilled his 2016 promises. He may be erratic and ineffectual. He may be a narcissistic, boastful manchild. But flawed as he is, Middle America seems convinced he's a lot better than the alternative.* Trump himself boasted about a penal reform plan that would put black criminals back on the streets. And his eclectic agenda includes something called the "Platinum Plan": a bundle of federal goodies for blacks, much like those of the Democrats. I've seen little indication that those have affected his appeal among either blacks or whites. Whatever support he does have among blacks and it is apparently significantly higher than previous Republicans have received despite the frantic accusations of "racism" from the Left seems to be the result of better employment prospects and the budding realization among a minority of blacks that the Democrats care about them only as a means to win elections. (October 2020)
David T. Wright: Random observations on the debate.
Unfortunately, the free-for-all pie-fight atmosphere of the first debate was nowhere to be found this time around. We were back to the same boring old candidate debate routine, both participants more or less behaving themselves.
It didn't help that the topic of debate was not supposed to be foreign policy, as is traditional, but "climate change" and the pandemic. "Climate change," of course, is a topic only 10 to 14 percent or so of voters really care about.
Right-wing commentators suggest that the shadowy but all-powerful "debate commission" substituted those topics because talking about foreign policy would leave Joe Biden vulnerable. That's because new and fascinating evidence has just surfaced of a lucrative Biden-family influence-peddling racket in Ukraine, China, and Russia. Talk about an "October Surprise" ... In any case, some foreign-policy questions did manage to make it into the discussion.
For some reason, the major networks seemed pretty reticent about discussing the debates this morning. Switching channels back and forth this morning, the only one actually talking about the debate I could find was CNN.
CNN had a "fact checker" who didn't actually offer any facts, but did say that President Trump told a lot of lies during the debate. Astounding! A politician who lies? In America? I don't believe it. For some reason he didn't comment on whether Biden told any lies.
The "fact checker" apparently checked facts that told him that the mounting evidence that Joe Biden is thoroughly corrupt is all the result of a Russian disinformation campaign. Fake news, in other words. This line, for which they've offered no evidence at all, has been taken up by all the main Minitrue organs except for the reliably Republican Fox News. NPR actually said outright that it would not cover the issue because it didn't want to "waste its listeners' time." It remains to be seen if they can hold down the lid on a huge scandal.
Having fallen asleep halfway through the debate, I can only say that Joe held his own pretty well for the first half. He didn't nod off, jabber nonsense, or go wildly off script. To the contrary, he was obviously prepped to the gills, and whatever potion they shot him up with seems to have worked to keep him focused. He got in some good, solid rejoinders to Trump, and, with the help of the moderator, managed to bluster his way through Trump's accusations of corruption.
Interestingly, it was Biden who opened the door to accusations of scandal by Trump, by accusing his pal Rudy Giuliani of being a tool of the sinister Russians. That gave Trump an opportunity to land a solid hit: accusing Biden of taking three and half million dollars through his son from a Russian billionairess. Trump then diluted the accusation's impact by boasting about being "tough" on Russia.
Biden retaliated by badgering Trump about not releasing his tax returns and boasting about releasing his own. Trump could have rejoined by asking Biden if he had declared all his income from influence peddling, but instead whined about the way he was treated by the IRS and the news media.
Trump blew many of his chances to land solid hits on Biden by giving in to his childish urge to boast. For example, when Biden made an angry but vague accusation that Trump was putting people out of work due to the way he handled the pandemic, Trump could have rejoined: "But Joe, you're the guy who wants to keep everything closed down. I want to open things up and put people back to work." Instead, he became defensive and started boasting about his supposed accomplishments, which, to me, actually seemed to prop up Biden's unsupported point.
The "Russian interference in our free elections" nonsense has been exhumed and plugged into life support. This is despite its being flogged to death in 201617, and then thoroughly discredited by the Mueller investigation's failure to uncover any actual evidence apart from a couple hundred thousand dollars spent by a Russian clickbait farm. That's in an election in which billions were spent. The moderator introduced the issue, declaring that "top intelligence officials," apparently nameless, of course, have "confirmed" that both Russia and now Iran are now "interfering" in the election. No actual evidence has been offered to support these rumors, apart from the existence of an organization called Peace Data whose website is now shut down. But of course, everybody knows that Russia and Iran are thoroughly evil and threaten to annihilate us at any moment, so the rumors must be true.
To her credit, the left-wing moderator did bring up the issue of Biden's corruption, albeit in as anodyne a way as possible. Biden's way of dealing with the scandal is simply to deny everything outright: that didn't happen, I didn't know anything about Hunter's business dealings, etc. Trump brought up Hunter's trips on Air Force Two to China and Ukraine, but Biden blustered his way through and successfully changed the subject.
Biden attempted to appeal to Trump's base of support by talking about his childhood in Scranton and emphasizing his sympathy for the working class families sitting around their kitchen tables wondering how they're going to make it to the next paycheck, etc. He also used a lot of expressions such as "malarkey" and "come on!" in an apparent attempt to seem more like the common folk. Is it my own bias, or did he come off as rehearsed and insincere?
I'll have more observations after I watch my recording of the second hour of debate. (October 23, 2020)
Ronn Neff: Who knew? Columbus Day has apparently been elevated to the status of Christmas a Holiday That Dare Not Speak Its Name.
Newscasts yesterday mentioned in various contexts that it was a federal holiday (STILL!!??) but would not utter the name. (Candyman Candyman Candyman Candyman Candyman Whoooosh!)
Here's an idea: Just as it is forbidden to utter the dread word "Redskins," and the locution "the Washington Football Team" is mandatory instead, how about we refer to Columbus Day as "the Federal holiday"?
Or, following my own suggestion, "the Federal holiday formerly known as Columbus Day."
In fact, I would not be averse to changing the name to St. Isabella's Day. But I may have to live a lot longer to see that. (October 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Sweet little Trayvon, again. This Pravda-like account of little Trayvon's assassination emitted by the Associated Press and disseminated by ABC News will bring tears to the eyes of all respectable comrades: "Miami road to be named after Trayvon Martin" (October 10, 2020).
Editor's intro: "A Florida road will be named after a Black teenager whose death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012 catalyzed a movement for racial justice."
As you read, remember that this is represented to be a news story, not as a news analysis or editorial.
It demonstrates again that with respect to a given event, screamingly evident reality never actually routs and embarrasses the Left for good. When an opportunity presents itself years later, you'll discover that they've just been lurking, waiting for a good opportunity to shamelessly resurrect the original Party line, introducing it to the ignorant young and refreshing it for older amnesiacs. (October 2020)
Ronn Neff: Sith Lord Whitmer of Michigan eschewing the image of women as soft and weak complained on CNN that after the plot to kidnap her was foiled, the Trump campaign did not do "what good, decent people would do ... to check in and say, 'Are you OK?'"
Excuse me while I reach for a tissue. I haven't been this choked up since Hans Gruber fell from the Nakatomi Tower.
Maybe no one asked because if the plan was thwarted, there's no reason to think she wasn't okay.
Maybe it was because Trump doesn't care whether she's okay. Does she care whether he is? Did she call him when he was admitted to the hospital? Is he supposed to care about someone who has repeated every criticism (fair and dishonest) about him that he has been hearing for four years? Should he care about her ventriloquist?
Or maybe it was because no one in his right mind cares whether a woman is okay when she has done her best to drive the people who elected her into poverty, and the sooner she's not okay, the better.
As for me not that anyone cares my message to Sith Lord Whitmer is: "I'm okay. You not so much." (October 2020)
Paul LeMoyne: To all would-be kidnappers: Keep in mind that any plot can not only be infiltrated by the FBI, but can even be presented to you by the FBI.
Prayer, however, is a legal, nonviolent action that can be performed in privacy, and probably not under the eye of the FBI.
If you want to get rid of the Sith Lords among our politicians (i.e., nearly all of them), I invite you to join our ecumenical prayer group where we regularly beseech the deities of our faith to take [insert the name of the Sith Lord of your choice] to their bosom.
Remember: Prayer changes things! (October 2020)
Ronn Neff: Sorting the mail. Here's some news out of Virginia Beach, courtesy of a Norfolk TV station: "USPS investigating after undelivered mail found in Virginia Beach dumpster" (October 9, 2020).
Editor's intro: "USPS said there were no election ballots in the pile of undelivered mail. The bulk of it was advertisement mail."
Good to know there were no ballots in the discarded mail.
Evidently the USPS is being careful about what mail it allows to be discarded. (October 2020)
Ronn Neff: Just what the Progressive Movement ordered: A handful of economics experts who have won Nobel Prizes have endorsed the Biden economic plan. Tired of being ruled by "experts" yet? (October 2020)
David T. Wright: More random observations.
The Trump-Biden debate of September 29 seemed more like a vicious spat between two junior-high school girls than two grown men. Without the hair-pulling, of course, to my lasting disappointment. In any case, if they had closed with each other it probably wouldn't have gone any further than a few clumsy bitch-slaps and some ineffectual rolling around on the floor. Alas, the days when men were men and politicians caned each other on the floor of the Senate or shot one another in the head are long gone. I'd settle for a good fist fight, even.
Donald Trump's apparent strategy was to push Joe Biden hard and make him lose his composure. Which Biden did. The problem was that Trump lost his as well, as soon as he was attacked. Some judicious needling and then standing back and letting Biden make a fool of himself might have produced interesting results. But Trump couldn't resist reacting angrily and then trying to cram all his points into every answer, diluting his message and emphasizing his petty childishness. This was especially evident when Trump hit Biden with corruption allegations involving Biden's son Hunter.
Now there's a rich vein of rhetorical gold: When he was Vice Emperor, Joe Biden took Hunter along on foreign trips on Air Force 2 to places such as Ukraine and China. And then ne'er-do-well Hunter somehow landed deals worth millions with companies in Ukraine and China, including a seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, a field in which Hunter had no qualifications at all. Trump attacked with the latest allegation, about a mysterious gift of $3.5 million to Hunter by a Russian billionairess, but then didn't properly pursue it when all Biden could say was "That's a lie."
Trump later resorted to pointing out that Hunter has a problem with cocaine, which is apparently true, but only distracts from the evident corruption engaged in by father and son.
I can see the public growing weary of the incessant bickering and interruptions in upcoming debates. So I propose that the organizers get serious next time and provide a generous supply of overripe tomatoes to each candidate.
But enough about that. There's plenty more weirdness in the world.
The University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany, is offering "Idleness Grants" to promote inactivity and discourage achievement:"Doing nothing isn't very easy," said Friedrich von Borries, an architect and design theorist who came up with the programme. "We want to focus on active inactivity. If you say you are not going to move for a week, then that's impressive. If you propose you are not going to move or think, that might be even better."Perhaps Joe Biden should apply. He does seem to be spending a lot of time conserving his strength. He's probably got the "not moving" thing down pat.
The idea behind the project arose from a discussion about the seeming contradiction of a society that promotes sustainability while simultaneously valuing success, Von Borries said. "This scholarship programme is not a joke but an experiment with serious intentions how can you turn a society that is structured around achievements and accomplishments on its head?"
Meanwhile, in the town of Jeanette, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, the state attorney general has come down like a ton of bricks on a small-business owner for "price gouging." That's because he managed to get hold of a supply of N-95 masks and hand sanitizer in a time of severe shortages, and sold them with a standard markup. Unfortunately for him, his wholesale costs were so high shortages, remember that the prices he charged his customers were more than 20 percent higher than usual. And that's illegal, apparently, in Pennsylvania during a "state of emergency."
Now, anybody with half a brain would recognize that shortages make for high prices. What's a businessman to do, sell at a loss? Yes, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who apparently doesn't have half a brain, or even a small ration of decency, and probably has never run a business in his life. Better yet, don't sell at all, and deprive your customers of items they desperately want. Problem solved!
And speaking of officious officials, how about the county clerk in Michigan who was outraged outraged, I say! when a local with a mordant sense of humor had the effrontery to put an old toilet in his front yard with a sign reading "Place Mail-in Ballots Here!"But [Ingham County Clerk Barb] Byrum didn't interpret the toilet display as political commentary. Noting many people are voting absentee for the first time this year because of the pandemic, she filed a police report about it."It's solicitation of absentee ballots into a container," sputtered Byrum. "Our election integrity is not a game. I expect everyone to act appropriately, and this is unacceptable.""This kind of behavior needs to be quashed immediately," she said. "They are making a mockery of our elections. I'm not going to stand idly by and watch it happen."I think maybe the elections were a mockery long before some wag put a thunder mug in his front yard. And we may hope that the local plod got a good laugh out of the pompous Ms. Byrum's report and then filed it in the, well, toilet. (October 2020)
David T. Wright: Here are a few random observations about the ongoing stupidity in the Nation's Capital:
The other day near my house a large, youngish, and truculent-looking black man was begging at an intersection with a cardboard sign that said, "Help A Nigga." He didn't seem to be getting much response.
D.C.'s latest in a long line of incompetent black mayors has decreed that one must wear a panic mask outside if one might chance to come within six feet of another person.
People in Northern Virginia, for the most part, are pretty casual about masks. They wear them when they go inside a public place, because they have to. Otherwise not. And often, their noses are sticking out.
In the District, on the other hand, I've seen more than one person wearing a mask while riding a bicycle, for crying out loud. Most people wear masks while walking around in the open air.
If one of these virtuous mask-wearers spots somebody walking down the opposite sidewalk alone without a mask, he or she will give the miscreant the Death Stare.
I've even seen car drivers in D.C. wearing masks. Driving alone.
Bike riders used to stay off the Rock Creek Parkway, a thoroughfare through the heart of the city. They used the bike path that runs alongside. But after the Covid scare hit, they started riding on the road. At first the traffic was light, but now it isn't, and they're still doing it, holding up traffic. (September 2020)
Ronn Neff: Neff's Law: Any document or spoken word coming from any government official in any capacity is at least partly, and probably mostly, false.
Corollary 1: Any document or spoken word coming from any person who has held such a position is at least partly false. That includes his memoirs.
Corollary 2: Any document or spoken word coming from any person seeking such a position is at least partly false, including, but not limited to, his reasons for removing his name from consideration.
Corollary 3: Any document or spoken word coming from a person not now or ever holding a government office that corroborates (to be distinguished from merely repeating) any document or spoken word mentioned in the Law or its corollaries should be viewed with suspicion and not believed for at least six months.
Corollary 4: The Law and its corollaries apply with particular force to all words issued under oath. (September 2020)
Ronn Neff: Green Party update: The GP's candidate for president this year is Howie Hawkins. His running mate is Angela Nicole Walker.
Hawkins and Walker are also the candidates for the same positions from the Socialist Party USA.
Any questions? (September 2020)
We strongly urge you to read this essay by Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, posted September 1, 2020:"Why America Has Gone Mad."Early on, Mr. Taylor notes: "For the first time in American history, many whites are thinking and acting like aggrieved blacks." (September 2020)
Ronn Neff: Name change. The Washington Redskins still don't have a name. TLD is here to help.
We suggest that the Washington Football Team inscribe on the players' helmets an unpronounceable symbol like that guy Prince Nelson (aka for a while, "Prince"). Then the announcers and others could refer to the team as "The Team Formerly Known as the Redskins."
Good enough for a rock star! good enough for football.Modine Herbey comments: Or 'Skins,' for short. (August 2020)
"I take a very low view of 'climates of opinion.' In his own subject every man knows that all discoveries are made and all errors corrected by those who ignore the 'climate of opinion.'" C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Macmillan, 1962), p. 134. (August 2020)
Ronn Neff: I saw a sign today thanking medical personnel for "flattening the curve."
Clearly the people who composed that sign have forgotten what "the curve" is.
The idea of "flattening the curve" was that if people stayed home, wore masks, and kept their distance from one another, there would not be a rush on emergency rooms or hospital beds. The statistical curve would thereby be flattened. The curve was not a curve of "cases," or illnesses, or deaths. It was a curve showing hospital admissions. "Flattening the curve" did not save anyone's life. In fact, it meant keeping the pandemic going longer.
So it was not medical personnel who were "flattening the curve"; it was the rest of us who were doing it. We did it by not going to work and losing income. Or ruining our businesses. We did it by avoiding our friends and relatives. We did it by staying holed up in our homes watching reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Some of us paid a heavy price for cooperating with that plan: we drank too much, turned to drugs, beat our husbands, returned to taking anti-depressants, or blew our brains out. Some of us just got cabin fever, cursing the fact that the libraries were closed. And the movie theaters.
And how many of us were ever thanked for it? Did any medical personnel ever say to us, "Thank you for uprooting your life for our benefit?"Modine Herbey comments: Thus, we thank the people who benefit from our oppression. (August 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Cannon Hinnant. On Tuesday, thanks to Paul Kersey at VDARE, I learned this: "His Name Is Cannon Hinnant: Five-Year-Old White Boy Shot and Murdered Execution-Style by Black Neighbor ... for Riding His Bike in [sic] His Lawn." The crime took place in Wilson, N.C.
At the Daily Wire, Amanda Prestigiacomo writes: "#SayHisName Trends after Media Refuse To Report on Murder of 5-Year-Old Cannon Hinnant" (August 13).
Today I see that CNN has finally run a story on the atrocity. However, I feel confident in predicting that there will never be an HBO movie or Netflix documentary about Cannon, and that no politicians will be found on their knees at his funeral, slobbering tearfully.
The New York Post did cover the murder: kudos for them. An excerpt: "Sessoms [the killer] has multiple felony drug charges from over the years, multiple felony probation violations, and charges on his record for possessing stolen firearms, CBS17.com reported."Modine Herbey comments: The New York Post has emerged as a worthwhile source of news about commie and antiwhite crime in America. Imagine that a big American paper giving the (London) Daily Mail a run for its money! (August 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Evil Government Mountebank Anthony Fauci is starting to remind me of a cat toying with its prey:"Fauci urges Americans to wear goggles for added COVID-19 protection," by Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post, July 30, 2020.The sadistic technocrats may be secretly chuckling over this, but (if I may shift animal metaphors) I wonder whether it might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I'm not optimistic I'm just asking. (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Some Americans are resisting the antiwhite communist berserkers, as shown in this video posted at American Renaissance. You will see a few righteously armed Texans. And a certain flag. It's all downright heart-warming, podnahs.
At VDARE, Wayne Allensworth provides this roundup: "Middle American Resistance Organizing But Who Will Lead?"
I wouldn't be too worried about finding leaders, of course. I'd say, Let a hundred men on white horses bloom. But let them buy their own chargers. (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Protesting the Maskite tyranny. I've been frustrated in my attempts to find good Anti-Maskism protest masks until just now, when I stumbled across the Holy Grail thanks to an ad I spotted on Facebook from an outfit called Gossgear. Some of the items hit the spot, such as the one pictured on the right. The masks are a tad expensive at $17 apiece. But, you know, sometimes you've just got to spend the money.
Those who aren't fans of slogans may want to go the frightfulness route. I figure a frightful mask is almost as good as one emblazoned with some explicit protest. How about a Hannibal Lecter mask, from Redbubble? If you order four or more, the masks are $9.99 apiece. Otherwise, $12.49.
If you'd like to breathe easier, you might check out Etsy, which offers macramé masks, lace masks, and mesh masks. None, of course, offers any protection against the Magic Virus so they're no different in that respect from the "normal" masks.
Remember, the tyrants have not handed down instructions about the actual design of the face diaper you must wear. Just that you must wear one, to demonstrate your subservience. Wearing one of these alternative masks may take some of the sting out of that.
As for the tyrants, I venture to paraphrase Psalm 109:8: "Let their days be few; and let no one take their office."Late-breaking: Here's another source of alternative masks for you. And another yet, Plague Doctors ...!
I believe I shall now call it a day. (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Don't know how much you're getting about utopian Portlandia from your "mainstream" "news" sources. If you suspect there are little gaps and lapses in the coverage, you might want to roll this little video from The Daily Caller.
Now I have waxed sarcastic about Minitrue, but rather surprisingly, the Associated Press has just run a long, vivid account of the communist violence at the Portland federal building and even more surprisingly, the leftist propaganda site Politico linked to it in its morning e-mail roundup!
It makes me wonder whether some usually comfortable comrades in D.C. and New York are becoming a little uncomfortable with the protracted savagery. I do think it will take powerful elements of the leftist Permanent Regime to stop it, if it is to be stopped. (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The tyrant retreats one step. We're seeing a little pushback in Indiana against the Panic Tyranny instituted by Dictator Eric Holcomb and, mirabile dictu, it's coming not from the handful of "rednecks" waving signs whom the reptile press likes to ridicule, but from actual state officials. In other words, from people who until now had sat on their hands, month after month, as the dictator-governor shredded the Indiana and U.S. constitutions they were pledged to defend."Indiana Governor Drops Mask Violator Penalty after Criticism" (Associated Press via NBC Chicago, July 24, 2020).Editor's intro: "The Indiana Senate's leader praised Holcomb's decision to drop the possible misdemeanor offense, which could have carried penalties of up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum 180 days in jail."
So, when I visit the local Dollar General store this week, should I expect all those Maskite signs I saw last week to have vanished? Well, of course not. I understand the culture of subservience better than that. After all, Dollar General leapt to impose the masking rule as soon as the dictator announced his decree, several days before it was due to come into effect. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: Responsible, statesmanlike decision-making in the governor's office. Here's a scenario:Advisor: Governor Holcomb, I don't think that penalty you have in your mask order is legal.
Governor: You don't?
Gov.: But why not? I'm the governor.
Adv.: You're not the legislature. Only the legislature can pass laws.
Gov.: Are you sure about that? That doesn't sound right to me. I'm the governor.
Adv.: Yeah. I talked it over with some other guys on your staff, and they agree.
Gov.: Well, they're pretty smart cookies.
Adv.: Yes, they are.
Gov.: Well, gosh! I guess I'll take it out then. I had no idea. I really thought I could. Because I'm the governor.
Adv.: I understand.
Gov.: Who knew?
Can anyone in his right mind believe that that's how it went?
How did it really go?
Adv.: Governor, if you include that penalty clause, we're going to get our asses kicked in court.
Gov.: We are? But I'm the governor.
Adv.: Yeah, but it's illegal.
Gov.: But this is an emergency, and I'm the governor.
Adv.: You will almost certainly lose reelection if you go through with it.
Gov.: You think so?
Adv.: Yep, and you'll never get to be a senator.
Gov.: But I'm the governor.
Adv.: Not much longer if you sign that.
Gov.: Gosh. Well, I guess it's in the public interest not to include it then.
More like that, I think. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: Authority? Governors who think they enjoy authority over people who voted for them and people who didn't, and who think we should all wear Corona Masks, should try an experiment. Issue an advisory concerning what people should do. And then see how many people take their advice. Find out just how much their opinions count among the people of their state.
Maybe that's why they issue orders instead. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: Seeing what is in front of one's nose. Michelle Malkin referred to our late friend Sam Francis's formulation, "anarcho-tyranny," in her column for July 21, 2020, writing in part:... Where do the police stand in this regime? It pains me to say it, but those of us who have backed the blue so loyally and vocally can no longer do so under the assumption that the blue will back us.Conservatives seem to have been victims of doublethink over more than one matter for a long time.
It's rank-and-file cops who are issuing citations to citizens who want to breathe freely.
It's rank-and-file cops who are standing by while our monuments and courthouses and landmarks are burned and obliterated.
It was rank-and-file cops in Denver who watched as my patriotic friends and I tried to hold a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day this past Sunday and were besieged by Black Lives Matter and antifa thugs who had declared that their sole intent in invading our permitted celebration was to "shut us down." I livestreamed the chaos as pro-police attendees were beaten....
It was always the police who enforced various unjust laws involving the EPA, discrimination, and moms who wanted to deprive dads of visitation rights. Usually it was sheriff's departments ("back the brown?") who served the warrants and eviction notices. Did conservatives not notice that?
Who did the conservatives think was going to enforce all the anti-gun laws leftists were passing?
Then there are teachers. It was teachers who brought abortion hustlers into grade schools and kept the parents from knowing; who taught children about energy "conservation," littering, pollution, ozone holes, and how to use condoms. It was teachers who brought in DARE, who told kids to rat out their drug-using parents. And who led protests against Donald Trump in which the kids left school. But then, like clockwork, conservative talk-show hosts would set aside special time on their shows to honor teachers on "teacher appreciation" days.
It's not as though cops have only this year started just standing around while mobs vandalized and destroyed memorials. And I'm not even going to mention Charlottesville, where they actually pushed the two protesting groups into one another. (Okay, I just mentioned it.)
Malkin is a sharp cookie, all right, but on this matter, she should have seen it coming. (July 2020)
At Mises, Jeff Deist writes: "About Those Spooky Federal Cops in Portland" (July 21, 2020).
Deist begins: "Dear Portlandia progressives: a federal government big enough to take care of you is a federal government big enough to 'take care of you.'"
Another redoubtable Jeff Jeffrey Tucker writes: "The Lockdowns Are Killing the Arts" (Institute for Economic Research, July 14, 2020).
Excerpt: "It's the biggest attack on art and beauty possibly since the iconoclasm of the 16th century, when mobs sacked churches, tore out paintings, and melted candlesticks in bonfires. Back then the motivation was to purify the world of sin. Now we think we are purifying the world of disease."
Well, you can't kill a civilization without killing its arts, so ... (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: You must love your Mask. On more than one occasion I have said to someone that I do not believe the propaganda or superstitions that underpin Wearing the Mask. It usually occurs within a context in which I have little choice in the matter and I am in the process of complying with an order issued by some petty re-programmed Girl Scout leader to don the uniform. I comply, but I make it clear that I do not believe.
On every one of those occasions the person who is enforcing my compliance tells me that Wearing the Mask is good protection from the virus or repeats some other transparent lie of the Cult. For a while I wondered why they do that. Do they really imagine that, having come to think that it's all a superstition, a lie, or mere propaganda, I will fall to my knees and accept their baptism at the mere repetition of some bromidic claptrap that I have already heard dozens of times on the TV and radio? that I shall slap myself on the forehead and say, "Of course! It's all so clear now!"
(Maybe I'll do that the next time just to see what happens.)
But I now think that there is a deeper purpose to the recitation of the Catechism of the Mask. Not that the catechist reciting it knows that purpose, but a purpose does not have to be recognized to function. I blush to acknowledge my tardy understanding: surely I should have realized it much sooner than this. Hear now George Orwell's O'Brien:We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him.In other words, "You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him."
You think I am exaggerating? Only today a Facebook acquaintance told me that the Cult of the Mask (not his words) was not a superstition, that Wearing the Mask works, that it is a small thing, and that it should be respected. It is not enough that I degrade myself and wound my self-respect when I knuckle under and knot a bandana behind my head and behave like One of Them. Oh, no. I must respect it. I must believe. I must be reeducated to love the Mask.
But having said all that, it occurs to me that perhaps even the squamous evil of O'Brien does not fully capture what is going on. Perhaps it is better captured by the villain known only as "Roat," in "Wait Until Dark." When he has finally broken down the blind Suzy Hendrix to the point where she is willing to take the doll he has been searching for out of hiding and give it to him, he refuses to take it. He requires more of Suzy than the doll. And he gets it when she says to him, "Please Mr. Roat. May I give you the doll?"
It is that, I think, that is being demanded of us: that we want to Wear the Mask. That we want to be allowed to Wear the Mask. That we will experience some inner peace and validation not by Wearing the Mask, but by being allowed by our betters and by fellow Cultists to Wear the Mask.
To borrow again from 1984, it may well be that the last freedom available to us will be to die hating them.Modine Herbey comments: In George Orwell's Oceania, Outer Party members wear blue coveralls; Inner Party members wear black coveralls. But the proles wear ordinary clothing. In at least one respect, our regime has outdone the regime of Oceania. Here, even proles are considered members of the Party and are expected to wear the Party uniform.
Nicholas Strakon asks: Have you reread 1984 yet this year?
For further reading on Maskism: "When Stalin sits down," by Ronn Neff, July 21, 2020.
Ronn Neff: Enough! We keep hearing about the "tragic death of George Floyd." The tragedy is not so much that he was apparently killed by a policeman, but that a man born with a rational intelligence, made in the image of an immortal and loving God, perpetrated so many offenses against his own being and had already taken such huge steps toward his own deformation and self-destruction. It is not a tragedy when most of us die. The tragedy is that most of us take what is so achingly beautiful and massage it into a turd. (July 2020)
David T. Wright: As long as we're on the subject of coconut-picking monkeys ... (See below, July 7.) Let's get serious for a moment. At least those monkeys are doing honest work. Instead, they could be: Throwing excrement at people, a vice for which monkeys are infamous.Which monkeys do you think have more self-respect? The thieves, vandals, drunkards, and kidnappers? Or the ones who reject idleness, sloth, dissipation, and a hand-to-mouth existence? Who stay sober, work hard, and contribute to the general welfare? Who pull their own weight? The question answers itself. So, obviously the correct thing to do is to give all monkeys jobs, and thus the chance to become good citizens and pillars of the community. The blind accordion player hassled by Inspector Clouseau in "Return of the Pink Panther," once a figure of fun, is revealed in this light as a noble benefactor providing his muenkey with hope and a chance for a life with dignity: the dignity of honest labor.
Getting stinking drunk.
Harassing and stealing from tourists.
Attacking people and invading their homes.
Kidnapping human children.
Gathering into huge mobs, taking over cities, and terrorizing the inhabitants like a simian Black Lives Matter.
I therefore propose a Charitable Association for the Advancement of Muenkeys, which would establish apprenticeships and entry-level positions to qualified simians and oversee their transition to hardworking responsible members of society. It is clearly an idea whose time has come. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: "Be afraid; be very afraid." On Monday, July 6, the New York Times ran a headline, "Chilling for Renters: Be Out by Tomorrow," with the subhead,"Eviction bans are little help to many, including those whose bigger fear is deportation." The article warned that "an avalanche of evictions" was coming. And that "28 million" (Yikes!) households "are at risk of being turned out onto the streets." The story tells us that "researchers" have tracked "thousands of recent eviction filings."
And on Tuesday, July 7, the NYT's little friend the Washington Post ran a front-page headline, "Evictions are likely to skyrocket this summer as jobs remain scarce. Black renters will be hard hit," with the continuing alarm, "Eviction moratoriums and unemployment benefits are expiring, which will have a bigger effect on minority neighborhoods, experts say."
The latter was merely the latest installment of a series of terror-inducing headlines. (Just Google "Washington Post" and "evictions" and see what comes up.)
It is important to note that none of these stories informs readers about what is happening, but what "is expected" to happen. And "experts" are sought out to corroborate reasons for all you renters to lose sleep. To make matters worse, anonymous researchers are out there "tracking" eviction filings. Not actual evictions, just the filings.
On July 6, one Salim Furth, the director of George Mason University Mercatus Center's Urbanity Project, was a guest on C-Span's "Washington Journal." He was asked about the NYT and said (starting at 36:56), "There's no evidence so far that we're actually having an avalanche of evictions." The Eviction Lab at Princeton University is apparently one of the groups doing "tracking" of evictions, and they have produced some statistics that Firth found interesting.
One is, "if you go back to the 2008/2009 recession, there was no increase in eviction during that time, despite unemployment more than doubling, and having a long extended period when people had no income and there was less federal support for unemployed people than there is now."
Why would that be? Isn't the market heartless? Don't greedy landlords rub their greasy hands together with glee at the prospect of putting penurious little old ladies and huddled immigrant families out on the street? Well, no. That would be the state that does that when it all but outlaws employment. Furth points out that in the market, if you're a landlord, "all of a sudden you can't get good renters. There's nobody who can show up at your open house and say, 'I've got a steady job; here's my income statement.' So when you have massive unemployment, the landlords are worried just as much as the tenants are. They have bills to pay, they have their mortgage to pay. And they would rather stay with a good tenant who has temporarily lost income but has been reliable, a good neighbor, and wait for that person to get back on their feet, than go through the process of evicting, emptying the unit, repainting. All that costs several thousand dollars. And then roll the dice on finding one of the very few people who are looking for a new place to live and have tremendously stable employment rate. That's why I think we didn't see one in the last crisis and so far in this crisis where places have lifted eviction [protections], there has not been an increase in legal evictions."
Furth then gives an account of what happened in Cincinnati, and says of evictions generally that they "have been at below-normal levels, not above normal levels, and I think we should be cautious about predicting what's going to happen when the data are going against our priors so far."
Good advice no matter what is being predicted.
Just another small example of the agenda of the major media. "Do not look at the facts. Look at what might happen." And (one can hardly help thinking), "what we hope will happen." (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: You should not miss these articles at Taki's:"The Myth That Burns Our Cities," by David Cole, July 7, 2020.Hamilton may seem rather passé by now, but I have a question: has anyone heard of a statue of Alexander Hamilton being attacked by the street savages? Are any comrades calling for his cancellation? That would be something, wouldn't it? (July 2020)
"'Hamilton': The Obama Administration on Stage," by Steve Sailer, July 8, 2020.
Ronn Neff: Leftist critics of U.S. history often claim that it is flawed because the Founders made no provision for the rights of Negroes and women.
Borrowing from an observation I once heard TLD writer Phil Collier make in conversation, I ask them, "Where did you get the idea that Negroes and women had rights?" I'll bet a Columbus half-dollar that they got it from principles first articulated by some 18th-century Christian white man. (July 2020)
David T. Wright: Think you've got enough to worry about?
And if that's not enough, here's some other problems to worry about:
Did a doggy herd the sheep that provided the organic wool for your woke hand-knitted Inca cap with cute little llamas on it and the annoying strings hanging off the ear flaps?
Did a ferret pull a cable through a pipe for your high-speed optical-fiber broadband internet connection?
Did a cow have to die to provide the rennet for your $600-a-pound Serbian Pule donkey milk cheese? For that matter, what about the poor donkeys?
Did Juan Valdez force an overworked little donkey to carry the 100 percent Colombian mountain-grown coffee beans used in your Double Low-fat Caffe Macchiato with just a touch of raw sugar?
Did an enslaved Japanese cormorant catch the fish in the expertly prepared Hamachi Sashimi you had at that divine little restaurant two nights ago?
These are deep questions. I expect honest answers. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: Notes on the State of Virginia: The Virginia DMV allows drivers in that state a wide assortment of license plate choices for their automobiles. Among them is one that carries the image of the coiled snake and the warning "Dont Tread on Me."
Just a notice for those of you who have this license plate and weren't paying attention the last three months: You've been trodden on. Good and hard. (July 2020)
Statchews be raaaycisss, and elks be raaaycisss, too."City of Portland Will Remove Downtown Elk Statue After Protesters Burned It," by Tess Riski, Willamette Week, July 2, 2020.Subhead: "The Regional Arts & Culture Council says the statue is at risk of toppling."For further reading: At PJ Media, Robert Spencer attempts to drill into the leftist mind. He may be on to something: "No, They're Not Stupid: Why Leftists Destroyed a Statue of an Elk in Portland" (July 3, 2020).
Nicholas Strakon: In 2015, I posted a "Stop and think" observation provoked by an antiwhite propaganda show impending on MTV. I believe it's time for a rerun:
Really, no thanks are necessary it was our privilege! The decivilizers at MTV are preparing a show about "white privilege." Apparently it will feature deracinated young white folks weeping and apologizing for white people in general and "what they've done in America."I'm going to go ahead and declare Mr. Neff's closing zinger the best ever in the history of "Stop and think." (July 2020)
I'll leave aside what white people have done in America in the fields of economics, literature, the graphic arts, music, movies, food, folklore, and resistance to tyranny. Instead, here's a list, by no means exhaustive, of what white people have done in America in the fields of science, technology, and industry:
First successful steamboat.
Eli Whitney's interchangeable gun parts.
Morse's electric telegraph.
The Roeblings' designs and constructions, including the Brooklyn Bridge. (Roebling the Elder was a German immigrant.)
Bell's telephone (a Scot/Canadian in America).
Edison's inventions, including electric light, phonography, and moving pictures.
Cheap, mass-marketed photography (starting with the Kodak company).
John D. Rockefeller's revolutionizing the oil industry.
Andrew Carnegie's revolutionizing the steel industry (a Scot in America).
Practical industrial refrigeration; refrigeration in the home.
Ford's Model T and mass production of motor vehicles.
Frequency modulation radio.
Carlson's xerography, leading to the Xerox machine.
Biologist Norman E. Borlaug's Green Revolution.
Big high-altitude commercial airliners (Hughes).
Transistor (Shockley and his team).
Sabin vaccine. (Born in the Russian Empire, Sabin worked in America.)
Linus Pauling's DNA research.
James Watson's DNA research (in America and, with Francis Crick, in Britain).
Kilby's integrated circuit; Noyce's silicon chip; Silicon Valley.
It would be interesting if the sad sacks on MTV were to wake up in a world where white people in America had done none of those things. Would they really want to stay there?
I don't know whether this is relevant to the discussion, but it turns out that white people did quite a few things in Europe, too, that furthered science, technology, and industry. I hear tell that they were responsible for a few cultural and philosophical achievements as well.Ronn Neff points out: White people also invented basketball. Where would blacks be without that?
Nicholas Strakon: Masquerade of freedom. Will the usual clowns dare to emit the usual gas this weekend about Arr Constee-TOO-shun and Arr God-given RI-yeets and Arr FREE-dumb? It would come across as especially wacky this year, but we're in Double Bizarro World of the Raving Simpletons now, so I'm bracing myself.
Surely the gas clowns would do better to just rave about the glories of WARRR. Actually, that does seem to have become the dominant theme for most of the flag-waving holidays. And right now the glooorious American leviathan and its constituent dictatorships are waging a glooorious war on American society itself, a war that apparently is quite popular with all patriotic comrades, even as their life is being destroyed.Related reading: "Independence Day in the Midst of Dictatorship," by James Bovard, American Institute for Economic Research, July 2, 2020.
Bovard begins by asking, "How many Americans will greet [Independence Day] with gratitude that their governor is no longer compelling them to 'shelter in place' or 'stay at home' so they can celebrate their freedom?"
Nicholas Strakon: Dr. Dark Suit delivers his diagnosis!"A National Mask Mandate Could Save the U.S. Economy $1 Trillion, Goldman Sachs Says," by Sarah Hansen, Forbes, June 30, 2020.They're so good at this: Either you'll wear our mask of obedience, or we'll crush you again. As if the either/or is some kind of natural law.
Who's to say they won't crush society again even if we all do diaper up? (July 2020)
It's called regime uncertainty. At Mises.org, Ryan McMaken writes: "Want to Kill the Economy Again? Keep Threatening More Lockdowns" (July 1, 2020). (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: Good news! I hear the NBA may resume their season soon.
In the wake of WuFlu, it will be great to see the players observing social distancing so that basketball once again can be played as the non-contact sport it was meant to be. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: If the federal government can create money out of thin air with its borrowing and printing whenever it needs it, why doesn't it just do it and stop taxing the rest of us? (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Durkan the reactionary! Odd to see a Red Guard mayor engaging in an act of Reaction."'Enough is enough': 31 protestors arrested as Seattle Police clear CHOP area," staff report, KOMO News, July 1, 2020.But it's not so strange, really. I mean, old Stalin would have taken much more decisive action a long time before this.
Lenin, too, for that matter. (July 2020)
Ronn Neff: I'm starting to see ads on TV preparing us for July 4.
I find it scandalous that people who bowed their heads and said, "I do whut Massa says and I say whut Massa says, 'cuz he know best, yes he do," can actually imagine that they are free.
Maybe one of the effects of WuFlu is to corrupt people's sense of irony. (July 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The crackpot technocrats are running a test now to see how far people's gullibility really stretches: "THREE new virus symptoms revealed including diarrhea and runny nose," by Danielle Cinone, The U.S. Sun, June 26, 2020. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: At Taki's, Jim Goad writes of "A Whole New Breed of White People" (June 29, 2020).
He asks ponderable questions:Forced tolerance ends when they smack you in the head with a brick.I still expect most whites to vanish from history not with a bang but with a whimper. Bowing their head and wearing a fear muzzle. (June 2020)
It all ends when they rape your daughter.
It all ends when they take your job.
It all ends when they burn your house down.
What happens when modern whites realize they are guilty of nothing and are the sole victims of organized modern racial hatred?
All good comrades know that he CANNOT be forgiven: "I'm Sorry." (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: At American Renaissance, Fred Reed writes of "A Country Not Salvageable" (June 24, 2020).
Namely, this one.
Of special interest to me as a quondam ruling-class analyst:We have done what Marx couldn't: Achieved communism, a true dictatorship of the proletariat, of a rabble jacquerie of much noise and no wit, the rule of the unfit. It is a rule only of the culture. The moneyed would not grant it power over anything else. Yet rule it is. We shall hear much of the authenticity of the illiterate, the purity of ghetto urges, the wisdom of the people, the need to lay low the pretensions of the mansion.My emphasis. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: The Dixie Chicks have changed their name to "The Chicks."
Dixie Cups must be the next to fall.
And eventually someone will propose changing the name of the song "Dixie" to something like "South of Pennsylvania."
But the big one comes when The Washington Post changes its name. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Great satire! Ha ha ha ha ha! This is better than anything the Babylon Bee ever No, wait ... It's REAL???
From the New York Times:"A Minneapolis Neighborhood Vowed to Check Its Privilege. It's Already Being Tested," by Caitlin Dickerson, June 24 ("updated June 26").Editor's intro: "Blocks from where George Floyd drew his last breaths, residents have vowed to avoid the police to protect people of color. The commitment is hard to keep." (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: I recommend two pieces commenting on the Troubles from different perspectives:
"The Second Defeat of Bernie Sanders," by Ross Douthat, New York Times, June 23, 2020.
Editor's intro: "In a revolutionary summer, he may be losing the battle for the future of the left."
Those interested in my own analysis of the "Dark Suits" and "Red Guards," and the changes in their relationship, may find this especially thought-provoking. I did. (You may encounter a paywall at the NYT. It's somewhat unpredictable.)
"Our Great Awokening and France's Great Terror," by Samuel Gregg, Law & Liberty, June 25, 2020.
Excerpt:... [T]hose contemporary Girondins who dominate larger municipal governments throughout America and who rule the universities throughout Western countries, would be foolish to imagine that the illiberal left can somehow be placated by letting them riot, loot small businesses, and destroy public monuments. Words like "compromise," "tolerance," and "moderation" do not form part of the lexicon of wokery. After all, once "one single will" has been established, such habits become superfluous.Will the Dark Red Suits ("woke" state-capitalists) face some unintended consequences? (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Now a U.S. state is renaming itself."Rhode Island moves to change state's official name due to slavery connotations," by Sophie Lewis, CBS News, June 24, 2020.Miss Lewis (or her editor) did not find it necessary to tell us what "Plantations" means in the context of Rhode Island history. I think someone was a little niggardly with the facts.
By the way, according to Wikipedia, the 2010 census found the population of Rhode Island to be only 5.7 percent Negro. (June 2020)
Tom Woods offers some observations today on "the nature of the primary foe we face." (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Something that nooobody should ever say to me:
"Ya know, if we'd listened to you libertarians, the country would be in CHAOS right now." (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Were they born yesterday? The New York Times has been authorized to distort: "F.B.I. Says Noose [sic] Was in NASCAR Garage Since Last Year," by Alan Blinder, June 23, 2020.
Editor's intro: "Law enforcement officials said the noose [sic] was tied into a rope on the garage door well before the stall was assigned for a race this week to Bubba Wallace, the lone black driver in the sport's top tier."
How can anyone not know that these "noose" sightings are always a hoax? And yet hordes of people get all up in arms every damn time.
It shows how a crazed and fantastic ideology can make people seem as though they were born yesterday.
No doubt that pleases our rulers.Modine Herbey comments: It could be that they're only pretending ... to be cretins.
Nicholas Strakon: Eat mor beaf. RT informs us: "US Chick-Fil-A's CEO takes knee & shines shoes of black rapper to win pardon for whites' 'shameful oblivion'" (June 19, 2020).
But the self-abasement is actually OK, you see, since it was performed on a Christian rapper. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: C*l*mb*s. Always straining to be helpful, I've been trying to come up with replacement names for the capital of Ohio that might please the leftist forces that now control everything in our country, except maybe for the immediate environs of the White House.
Some naïfs have proposed "Flavortown," in honor of Guy Fieri, the restaurateur and TV chef who was born (as "Guy Ramsay Ferry," according to Wikipedia) in C*l*mb*s. But that ain't gonna cut it, comrades, and in fact it's a deeply reactionary idea. Probably racist, too.
Without making a major research project out of it (I know: this raises doubt about my own commitment to Anti-Whitism and the Totalitarian Way), I couldn't discover any major Civil Rights Negroes who were born in Ohio. So I thought that C*l*mb*s might just have to go with Tubman, Douglass, or Truth, for Sojourner Truth. (I'm afraid Georgians might object if Ohioans chose The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ... opolis.)
But no! The perfect name was sitting right out there in front of me actually on TLD, as a matter of fact, courtesy of Famed Progressive Activist Steve Sniegoski. The Buckeyes have GOT to rename the town after Ohio's own Warren G. Harding our first black president!
P.S. Jeez, I just remembered that there's a fair-sized city named C*l*mb*s right here in Indiana, so oh, wait! Indiana! Holy Stalin, comrades of the rainbow! The Hoosier state will have to be renamed! Indians must never be mentioned!Modine Herbey comments: You're just pretending to be a good rainbow comrade, Strakon. "H**sier" be RAAAYCISSS.
Nicholas Strakon: It's impossible to keep up with the craziness, but I can't help posting some of the most extreme sci fi coming out of Bizarro World."Oregon county issues face mask order that exempts non-white people," by Jackie Salo, New York Post, June 23, 2020.It's because people think black men in masks are scary. I know! The very idea! (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: I'm starting to take the WuFlu a lot more seriously. I suspect it has severe neurodegenerative effects that have turned tens of millions of white Americans into crazed suicidal morons. However, I'm sure that those subject to infection already harbored terrible premises inclining them toward indignity and self-destruction. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Some good news for once."Amid threats and political pushback, public health officials are leaving their posts," by Rachel Weiner and Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, June 22, 2020.Sic semper tyrannis.
But, alas, according to some outfit that keeps track of such things, only 20 of the apparatchiki have fled so far.
N.B. You may encounter a paywall. I don't on my iPad, but I do on my iMac. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: It's legal to burn a U.S. flag in public, sort of.
Is it legal to burn a Kente scarf in public? Is it a hate crime?
I'm pretty sure tying one to a rope that is tied to a tree branch is a hate crime, but I'm not sure just why. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Any word yet on when this statue in Seattle is coming down?
Hold on, though. According to the Wiki article I link to above, the statue of ol' Vlad is situated on ... wait for it ... private property! Unlike all the statues that the violent felonious mobs ("protesters") have destroyed, apparently.
Now there's some maximum irony for you, comrades.Modine Herbey comments: Private property, eh? Maybe the communists have something to teach us, after all.
A P.S. by Strakon: We cannot depend on the "mainstream" (i.e., leftist) media to distinguish between actual property and state "property," of course. It would be interesting to discover that some of the destroyed statues and monuments were in fact someone's actual, rightful property and were situated on actual, rightful property and that those attacks, too, occurred as government police listlessly stood by. (Minitrue did feel obliged to report that arsonists attacked the Daughters of the Confederacy headquarters in Richmond.)
Nicholas Strakon: As police stood by ... You may find these observations to be pretty obvious, but that's never stopped me in the past.
Here's why I think government police just stand around watching as mobs of savages violently destroy statues and memorials:
1) A strain of the "blue flu" is running through the ranks, whereby street cops report for their shift but otherwise try to do as little as possible, especially in response to mob violence. No one wants to get floyded in the course of defending some statue.
2) More important, leftist pols and police bureaucrats are sympathetic to the mobs (or terrified of them), and have given orders or otherwise clearly signaled that the street cops must not interfere with the loathsome scum.Ronn Neff comments: Another possible reason cops stand by while statues are being vandalized:
The statues have no meaning for them.
I think that also explains why average Whites don't say anything about it. They have no attachment to their past, and in the case of the Confederate statues they are at the least ambivalent ("I guess the protesters have a point").
In 1999, Time was proposing a cover for 2000, "The Person of the Millennium." To me, there were only three names that made any sense for that title: Christopher Columbus (my choice), Martin Luther, and Johannes Gutenberg. They went with Albert Einstein, because their vision could not stretch past the 20th century. (And, you know, who doesn't like Albert Einstein? His ideas are so meaningful to each of us and touch every one of us.)
Ronn Neff: A proposal. Black Lives Matter will not be a truthful organization until they change their name to "Black Lives Matter Most." (June 2020)
At American Renaissance, Jared Taylor writes: "How It Came to This" (June 19, 2020). Subtitle: "What is the source of this madness?"
Major crimethink highly recommended. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: Just one? I went to a bakery today and there was a sign on the door telling me I had to wear a mask in order to enter. The sign added: "Virginia Law, May 29, 2020."
I suppose I should know better, but ignorance willful ignorance at that just infuriates me. For one thing, there is no such law. What exists is an "executive order." I am not even insisting that people recognize that it is completely illegal and tyrannical, but is it really too much to ask them to distinguish between a law and an executive order?
Now that I think of it, though, I wonder whether there is anywhere in the Old Dominion a shopkeeper with the dignity to display a sign reading something like this:"Mask must be worn to enter, as required by an illegal and arbitrary edict issued by our tyrannical and lawless governor."One? Just one? Anywhere in the United States? Just one? (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The Guardian has been authorized to report: "One dead and one wounded in shooting in Seattle police-free zone," June 20, 2020.
Excerpt:... [W]hen officers responded to reports of gunshots inside the protest zone, they "were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims."Excellent! As a good libertarian, I oppose foreign interventionism! Down with Seattle Imperialism!
Revolutionary justice will prevail, no doubt. I must note, however, that The Guardian refers to CHAZ, not CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest). Did the fops at the top drop CHOP? It makes me wonder whether they've also dropped the talk about a guillotine. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The Washington Post has been authorized to report: "Protesters topple only outdoor Confederate statue in the nation's capital," by Perry Stein and Clarence Williams, June 20, 2020.
Excerpt: "D.C. police looked on but did not intervene during the efforts of the group, which lasted about an hour."
What would happen if a different kind of group attempted to destroy the Martin L. King memorial in D.C.?
Ha ha ha. I ask such silly questions.
(Dear Organs of State Security: I don't mean to give bad people any ideas. And, uh, thank you for your service! In These Uncertain Times!)
Then there's this story out of San Francisco, in The Hill: "Protesters tear down statues of Union general Ulysses S. Grant, national anthem lyricist Francis Scott Key," by Marty Johnson, June 20, 2020.
The Hill notes that "no arrests were made."
This nationwide police strike seems somewhat selective even, you might say, politicized. I realize that is a rash statement.Modine Herbey comments: I'm seeing another theme develop, alongside the one where the police stand idly by. I refer to the media's gentle description of violent and felonious vandals as mere "protesters."
Lo'Quaysheous X. Shabazz comments: Statchews be RAAAYCISSS!
Nicholas Strakon: So, this is what the state and local dictators' foot-shooting has led to: "Businesses ask Congress to bail out governments, sensing tax targets on their backs," by Katy Murphy, Kellie Mejdrich, and Bernie Becker, Politico, June 19, 2020.
Of course, as we all know, federal money is magic money. Unlike the states, D.C. can create wealth with the mere click of a computer key! (Hey, why do the feds keep collecting taxes, anyway? Just to punish productive people, I guess. That's always worth doing.)
Excerpt:As state and local governments struggle with how to plug pandemic-induced [sic: make that dictatorship-induced] budget holes, businesses see a play in helping them get aid from Congress to avoid shouldering more of the burden.No thought is given, apparently, to forcing bloated state governments to shrink, drop their tyrannical functions, and permit society to take over the non-tyrannical functions they've seized. But that's the Chamber for you. Not exactly what you'd call a free-market outfit. (June 2020)
"Part of our conversation with Republicans on Capitol Hill is that ironically, if your concern is big state government, then the last thing you want to do is force [sic] states to replace one-time lost revenue with permanent tax increases," said Neil Bradley, the U.S. Chamber's chief policy officer, in an interview.
Modine Herbey: "Organizers refocus message after Seattle's CHAZ becomes CHOP," by Vanessa Misciagna, King5.com, June 15, 2020.
They can change the name all they want. I'm still discussing Negro Lives Matter.
Ronn Neff: Who decided to change the name, anyhow? Did they have a plebiscite?
Is there a chairman? a Committee of Public Safety? a vizier? a Council of People's Commissars?
And who speaks for them and how did he get that job? Proclamation? I don't think so. (June 2020)
Take CHAZ/CHOP at their word. They are no longer part of the United States, and therefore no part of Washington or Seattle.
Cut off the electricity.
Cut off the water.
Cut off the sewage service.
Send in some Peace Corps volunteers to help them learn how to do it themselves.
End their representation in the state legislature and in Congress.
No voting against Donald Trump for them.
Remove the judges and all U.S. and Washington welfare officials.
Urge them to come up with their own currency.
Have a debate on whether the United States should send in an embassy.
Require a visa from anyone in it who wants to visit the United States.
Deny visas to anyone identifiably violent.
And maybe down the line, declare war on them if they harm the Peace Corps volunteers and see what happens. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: Lots of videos show whites saying they are sorry and asking blacks for forgiveness. Has anyone seen even one video in which anyone answers, "We forgive you"? (June 2020)
David T. Wright: I know a nice liberal lady who can always be relied upon to be up-to-date with the latest goodthink. Recently we were discussing the current insanity, and she noted that the Black Lives Matter rioters were upset about George Floyd's death.
"They don't care about George Floyd," I pointed out. "This is all about power." I noted that Black Lives Matter never says anything about the thousands of black people killed by other black people annually, as opposed to the nine unarmed blacks killed by cops last year. That was a new idea for the nice lady, but it becomes more obvious by the day.
BLM's efforts to foment chaos and destroy the lives of Americans, black and white, have paid off handsomely. In a few weeks BLM has changed from a scruffy, disreputable fringe activist group to a force to be reckoned with. Corporations are scrambling to announce their support and throw money at it. And with that windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, it is now cemented into a place at the Big Table. It makes Charlatan Al Sharpton's rise to influence look truly small-time.
Antifa, the junior partner in an unholy coalition, can't be far behind. Laboring under the handicap of being non-colored, its members still enjoy the immunity generously conferred by our rulers on leftist destroyers. The most intelligent and inventive of them will find ways to turn their thuggery to personal advantage, with the help of sympathetic elites.
So just wait. BLM and Antifa will be a part of all our lives, whether we like it or not. The least of their leaders will be given sinecures at prestigious universities; the most ruthless will become congresscreatures and senators. They will run wealthy foundations. They will sit on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. They will be treated with reverence by news anchors, who will elbow each other aside to get their comments on the issues of the day. They will be invited to all the best parties. Their children will grow up in the lap of luxury, and marry fellow members of the ruling class. They will become very rich, and the rest of us will continue to get poorer.
This is the new American Dream.Ronn Neff comments: "BLM and Antifa will be a part of all our lives, whether we like it or not."
Of course. Montesquieu and Aristotle (and how many others?) told us that this is what democracy gives you. But Americans always think that they can do "it" better, no matter what "it" is. It's no use saying, But we're not a democracy; we're a republic. A republic is just a democracy trying to outrun the laws of nature and the Law of Contradiction.
And then there is the established rule of the West: Cuius regio, eius religio: Who runs things gets to enforce the religion. BLM and Antifa are the Storm Troopers of our rulers and their religion.
How do we know that BLM and Antifa are a religion? Simple: they're willing to die for it. And there seems to be no one willing to die to stop it.
Nicholas Strakon: Duncan Lemp. His name had not appeared here in The Ditch before today. I redress that by linking in chronological order to three pieces by Jim Bovard at The American Conservative: March 18, 2020: "The Mystery Deepens over the Pre-Dawn Police Killing of Duncan Lemp." Editor's intro: "Cops are giving curiously muddled messages as to why this 21-year-old Marylander was shot while he was sleeping."The last I saw, the police were claiming that they did not shoot Lemp while he was sleeping or before they stormed his dwelling. The "mainstream" (i.e., leftist) media, while perhaps not being as stenographic as they sometimes are when reporting police killings of inconvenient white people, seem inclined to accept the police version, muddled though it may be. (June 2020)
April 23, 2020: "Duncan Lemp's Parents Threatened With Jail For Protesting His Killing." Editor's intro: "While mum on why a SWAT team shot the software developer while he lay sleeping, a Maryland prosecutor suggests COVID order trumps Bill of Rights."
June 15, 2020: "Virtue Signaling Maryland Officials Ignore Brutal Killing by Their Own Cops." Editor's intro: "They boast outrage over George Floyd, but refuse to tell us why Duncan Lemp was shot sleeping in his own bed."
The rioters' Great Leap Forward continues:1. "Protesters Topple Statue of Jefferson Davis on Richmond's Monument Avenue," by Michael Levenson, New York Times, June 11, 2020. Editor's intro: "A symbol of the Confederacy falls as demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd continue across the country."
Nicholas Strakon: Nevertheless, the mayor of Richmond still insists that the city is "filled with diversity and love for all." Puzzling.
Ronn Neff: Wikipedia cravenly writes, "Following the protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd, the bronze statue of Davis himself was removed by protestors on June 10th, 2020."
If these actions don't signal to whites that they live in a conquered country and that they are the subject peoples no matter what their numbers, I don't know what will.
Modine Herbey tries out for a job as comrade-writer for Wikipedia: "During the protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd, several shops owned by the bourgeoisie were brightly illuminated by peaceful demonstrators."
2. "HBO Max temporarily pulls Gone With the Wind over 'racist depictions,'" by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Joan E. Solsman, cnet, June 10, 2020. Subhead: "The Civil War epic will return with context, the service said."
Nicholas Strakon: Nice, eh?
That's where we're at now. Any questions?
Oh, but the movie will return "with context." More nauseating sermonettes, here we come.
3. "Why Disney fans want to change the theme of Splash Mountain," by Scott Stump and Samantha Kubota, Yahoo! Entertainment, June 11, 2020.
Nicholas Strakon: It's RAAAYCISSS.
4. "Protesters tear down Christopher Columbus statue on Minnesota Capitol grounds," by Kristi Belcamino, Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.), June 10, 2020.
David T. Wright: State troopers stood by and watched while it happened in broad daylight. Words fail me. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: Looking backwards. Remember Bill Clinton's plan to put "100,000 more cops on the streets" and how popular it was? (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: The strategies one adopts during the war must necessarily be different from the ones he adopts after losing the war.
Surrender is not an option. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: Lotus feet. After seeing so many people walking around outside with useless masks on, somehow it doesn't seem quite so mysterious anymore that someone was able to get Chinese women to bind their feet for centuries.
Weren't there any Chinese moms to say,"Well if Chen Lu told you to wrap up your feet so you couldn't walk, would you do that?"For further reading: "To Citizens Wearing Medical Masks: You're Whacko Conspiracy Theorists," by Jon Rappoport, LewRockwell.com, June 10, 2020.
Nicholas Strakon: Today's e-mail briefing from The Telegraph opens with:Covid-19 poses less risk to children than lightningNow, plans for the reopening of the government schools here in the USSA are so frighteningly heavy-handed and complicated that they don't even sound do-able. Will the wacko totalitarian social engineers and torturers of children back off in the face of these findings? As is the case with the warnings about face masks, it's SSSSCIENNNNCE, Comrades! (June 2020)
The risk is staggeringly small. New figures suggest that schoolchildren under the age of 15 are more likely to be hit by lightning than die from coronavirus. Scientists from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford have called for "rational debate" based on the "tiny" risk to children and suggested that if no vaccine is found it may be better to follow the Swedish model allowing younger people to continue with their lives while shielding the more vulnerable.
Nicholas Strakon: The biggest badge, getting bigger. Regardless of what the various communist city councils decide to do with their police departments, it appears that law enforcement in this country is destined to fall even more under the control of the Central Government thanks in part to that eminent constitutional scholar and 5D chess player in the White House. (June 2020)
At spiked, Frank Furedi writes: "Why did the protests over George Floyd turn into mass hysteria?" (June 9, 2020).
Editor's intro: "A new culture of groupthink is emerging, and it is causing mass psychosis." (June 2020)
The whole column is good, but Michelle Malkin pretty much forces us to link to her piece for June 9, "The Monumental Campaign to #CancelAmerica," on the strength of her last paragraph: BAM! But no cheating: you should read the whole thing. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Leftists abolishing the police? Tom Woods has a little something to say about the Left-statist movement to defund or abolish local police departments.
Some libertarians are excited or at least intrigued by it all, but Woods points out that, so far, the comrades behind these proposals "haven't exactly been known for their live-and-let-live philosophy."
When the Tsar was overthrown in 1917, the new Kerensky regime abolished the old imperial police and created something it called the "militia" (militsiya). I doubt it ever resembled anything that Westerners might recognize as a militia, but in any case, when Lenin and his boys took over, it became a Communist force under the direct and complete control of the state. One has to wonder just what the comrades in Minneapolis have in mind with their "community-led ... public safety strategies." The "community" may lead, but who will lead the "community"?Modine Herbey comments: As Strakon has pointed out in previous writings, governments consist of soft people in suits who give orders to hard men with guns. If the hard men do not obey, or if there are no guns, there is no government. Seems doubtful that the Minneapolis commies are really going to head in that direction!
Ronn Neff: C.S. Lewis remarked on the encouragement that allows us "to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing but, first, of denouncing the conduct of others."
In 2003, in Unsilent Truth #12, I wrote that "people who seem not be self-righteous ... get to denounce others by pretending to denounce themselves."
And so we see one more unenlightened drama in which white people get to do just that.
Most of them would never in a million years consider going to a priest and confessing their own loathsome sins their envy, their sloth, their own vanity or gluttony. Certainly not to a priest and often not even to God. But how eager they are to denounce others and beg forgiveness for supposed sins that others committed.
In that column, I said that the demands of blacks would never be satisfied: "It is not apologies that anyone making such demands wants: it is surrender and the transfer of power."
Was I right? Were the blacks and whites of Marion, Indiana, reconciled as a result of the political theater of October 2003? Or is it rather the case that nothing has changed?
See for yourself. I'm not talking about the protest itself, but about what those who are party to it have to say:"Locals protest death of George Floyd," by Jaylan Miller, Marion Chronicle-Tribune, June 2, 2020.Maybe Marion needs another Day of Reconciliation.
And another. And another. And another. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: Where's a priest when you need one? The New York Times ran this story on June 6: "The Last Anointing," by Elizabeth Dias.
An excerpt:As coronavirus cases surged in Boston, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop, designated a task force of 21 priests to be trained to safely anoint Covid-19 patients. The city, heavily Catholic, is one of the few places in the country where some hospitals have allowed priests to enter during the pandemic.
I wonder ... can anyone find one, even one, story in which a priest refused to leave a hospital until he had administered the Sacraments to those he had come for? A story in which he had to be manhandled to be removed? A story in which he was arrested because he refused to do other than what his calling demanded?
Even one? (June 2020)
[Insert your favorite puling, infantile, nauseating, maddening "anti-racist" sermonette here.] We hope that satisfies what seems to be the new law for all companies and institutions. (June 2020)
Paul LeMoyne: My apology. This week has been one of apologies. Not by people who commit crimes, but to people who commit them.
There are videos of whites debasing themselves and abasing themselves by kneeling before thugs begging their forgiveness. Most of them would never think to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament, but random negroes? Well, that's another story.
The insurrection that has followed on the death of a man who passed counterfeit money oh! if only there were someone to make Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cry out, "I can't breathe!" has inspired me to turn to the oratory of one who understood much more perfectly than anyone in public life today the nature of a mixed-race (excuse me, "diverse") society. I speak, of course, of Abraham Lincoln:... [T]here is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.And so I offer these, my heartfelt and most sincere wishes, to the negroes of America who feel that to this day they are so dreadfully and unjustly put upon:
I wish to God that my ancestors had never brought yours to these shores. I wish they had left them where they found them. And I am sorrier than you can imagine that they did not.
Moreover, since it has become important to express support for those who live in so inhospitable a home as whites have made for them:
If you wish to return to your ancestral home, I fully support you. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: A note to Catholics everywhere. Think of the lockdown and our bishops' response to it as a kind of crystal ball into the future ...
... when the Antichrist shows up!
Forget about looking to the bishops for any kind of leadership. Instead, if you want leadership, look around for any saints in your circle of acquaintances. (Hint: they'll probably be elderly women.) (June 2020)
Modine Herbey: The next stage. Back before the Virus Panic, I saw some dissident writings arguing that what the ruling Left has sought to do, mainly, during this particular stage of their irresistible revolution is not to ban religion outright but to discourage and punish its public expression.
So, OK! That envelope has now been pushed, hard, by state-level dictators, including some who identify as Republicans.
We now know that most of the police will obey their masters when ordered to harass the few pastors and churchgoers inclined to defy anti-church decrees. When the next government-declared "crisis" comes, how much will the comrades up the ante? And how will the various denominational hierarchs react? (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: As a companion piece to Ronn Neff's new "Unsilent Truth" column, "Contradiction and passion," I recommend Ryan McMaken's "The Moral Authority of the Lockdown Fetishists Is Gone. Thank the Protestors and Rioters" (Mises Institute, June 2, 2020). (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: Say you agree or else. I happened to be in Vienna, Va., the other day and saw there a small protest going on. Most the protesters were wearing masks, though they were outdoors and didn't have to, thereby proclaiming themselves to be idiots.
(I'm pretty sure they were CV masks, and not Antifa masks because there weren't any fights.)
Most of them were white women under 30, carrying BLM signs. A few people were driving around with signs and honking their horn.
One sign caught my attention and deserves comment:
Silence = violence (the person carrying it spelled it "violents")
What is that supposed to mean? Taken literally, it has to mean that if I refuse to "speak up," then I can be beaten up in self-defense, doesn't it? (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: We're not just beyond parody now. We're beyond science fiction:"Hundreds of White People get on the Ground and Renounce their White Privilege Death of George Floyed [sic]." The event is said to have occurred in Bethesda, Md.Well, it can't get any worse than that! you may be thinking.
Wrong!"Whites Kneel, Beg For Forgiveness."This one is said to be out of Houston, "George Floyd's home town." (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: The damn fools. The shelves at the local grocery stores here in Trantor are still carrying only occasional and small supplies of toilet paper after nearly three months since the initial spate of hoarding. (Reassuring "we're all in this together" ads from Charmin and Northern notwithstanding.)
Those hoarders don't seem so silly now, do they? Once again, the savants have been shown to be ignorant and the damn fools wise. (June 2020)
David T. Wright: An alternate universe. Well, now. Here's something interesting. NPR reports favorably on a group of armed citizens in Minneapolis protecting their neighborhood from rioters.
What's the angle, you ask? I mean, there's got to be an angle, right?
Of course, silly! The angle is that these armed citizens at least one assumes they're citizens are Hispanic. If they were all white people protecting their homes and properties, that would be doubleplusungood, and the tone of the article would be quite different. As it is, the story is all about how responsible and calm these noble people of color are. And their guns are all licensed. So there's that.
Just to make sure you get the point, we're told that "This community stands in solidarity with the demonstrations."
Then the piece starts down a predictable path:But many here say they don't understand the destruction, and they don't believe demonstrators protesting police brutality and systemic racism are behind much of the damage on this block.Is this what they told the reporter, or is this a little fantasizing on her part? The Hispanics I know here in Trantor understand the destruction quite well. They are very wary of lower-class blacks, and fear them for their hostility and their propensity for violence. But perhaps things are different up there in enlightened Minneapolis. It's interesting also that there is no mention at all in the article of any criticism of the city and state authorities' utter failure to protect their residents from the mayhem and destruction. No, they're not the problem:Just before curfew, the local supermarket manager Mauro Madrigal briefs a group of residents and business owners in the parking lot behind the store. ... He passes out a flyer in Spanish and English to the multiracial group.And bingo! Back to the old lefty hobby-horse. In all the videos I've seen, the violence was perpetrated by
"Our neighborhood is under threat from white supremacists coming into Minneapolis," it says.1) lower-class blacks, andNobody who could possibly be identified as "white supremacists." No skinheads. No Nazi flags. No stupid Tiki torches, for heaven's sake. No Confederate battle flags. No "militias" (remember what a threat those were a while back?). In fact (help me out here), I can't think of one outbreak of rioting in the past few decades that was started by "white supremacists." Don't get me started about Charlottesville.
2) white kids in black skinny jeans and backpacks spraying "Eat the Rich" graffiti.
In NPR's alternate universe, however, white supremacists are the real threat, and the Antifa kids are idealists working for a better tomorrow. They're good white people, like the reporter:As they finalize plans for the night and pass out fire extinguishers to neighbors, a group of people roll up in a truck, and a white man named Jordan he wouldn't give his last name but described himself as working with anarchists walks over in a bulletproof vest with a yellow walkie-talkie attached. He approaches Madrigal and Hernandez [a neighborhood taco-maker]. He explains he and others will be in the empty building next door to the market to provide security for a nearby theater.It's really uplifting to see, for the first time, blacks and whites rioting peacefully together. There's a division of labor, of course. The white Antifa types smash windows and spray graffiti, while the blacks loot. But both groups enjoy bashing people's heads and burning down buildings and cars.
Thank heavens we've got them to protect us from those white supremacists.Ronn Neff comments: Suddenly it doesn't seem so weird that Nero was able to blame Christians for burning Rome, does it? Or that Roosevelt was able to blame capitalism for the Great Depression?
General Secretary Strakon issues a disclaimer: Comrade Jordan is not working with any of the anarchists here at The Last Ditch.
Ronn Neff: The inescapable tune. Music Choice is a cable network available with most packages. If offers a variety of channels, each one with a different kind of music, to which you can listen without commercial interruption.
Yesterday, when I wanted to play some classical music while I did a spot of work, I happened to notice that in one of the panels where they might put commercial messages, there was a quotation from The Incredibly Reverend Martin Luther King Junior Holiday: "A riot is the language of the unheard."
A few minutes later: "The time is always right to do what is right." (same source)
And finally: "Black lives matter."
I wonder who paid for those? And would Music Choice have sold space for a message that read, say, "It's okay to be white"?
It's as if the "They Live" aliens have decided that they no longer need to transmit a signal that keeps us from seeing their subliminal messages. (June 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: And the band plays on. I went into the main Amazon page this morning to change a setting, and the first thing I saw was this notice at the head of the page:BLACK LIVES MATTERWell, of course it does. Working alongside Antifa, the "black community" has done a lot for Amazon recently, looting and smashing up the company's brick-and-mortar competitors.
Amazon stands in solidarity with the black community
A "read about" link leads to this nauseating exercise in suckology. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: "Heroes." Let's get this straight: being a doctor or nurse "on the front lines" does not make anyone a hero. Working in a carry-out or grocery store does not make anyone a hero.
"Hero" is one of those devalued words that is starting to lose its meaning. Being a cop or a soldier returning from the Malabar front does not make you a hero.
Heroes are few and far between.
But if we're going to start calling anyone who does something we like a hero, here's my nominee: the plumber who came to my house to fix my toilet on Memorial Day. (June 2020)
Ronn Neff: The worst. In terms of the devastation wreaked on human lives by stupid political decisions, I think we can now say that some of the governors of the United States have done more damage far more damage than Richard Nixon did with his wage-and-price freeze. (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: The motive? Many writers have postulated that it is pure power-lust that has motivated some of the nation's governors in issuing their arbitrary ukases. Others have suggested that some have acted because they didn't want to be blamed for "doing nothing."
No doubt both explanations are true in different ways for different governors. But I wish to suggest another explanation:
Surely some of them are thinking of their next political job, and when they campaign (in 2020 or 2022), they want to be able to say, "I led my state [or county, or municipality, or school board] through the worst threat in its history. Under my leadership, we did, etc. etc." It is a commonplace that to be a "great president" you have to be a "war president." I think we shall see that in order to be known as a "great governor" (or great county executive, or great mayor, or great school board president), you need a really big crisis.
And making the WuFlu out to be a really big crisis calling for "strong leadership" and "making difficult choices" will be just the thing.
No matter when the virus is finally a thing of the past, we can be sure we're going to be hearing about it for decades to come a kind of "Smoot-Hawley" for our day. (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: The worst. In terms of the devastation wreaked on human lives by stupid political decisions, I think we can now say that some of the governors of the United States have done more damage far more damage than Richard Nixon did with his wage-and-price freeze. (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: The motive? Many writers have postulated that it is pure power-lust that has motivated some of the nation's governors in issuing their arbitrary ukases. Others have suggested that some have acted because they didn't want to be blamed for "doing nothing."
No doubt both explanations are true in different ways for different governors. But I wish to suggest another explanation:
Surely some of them are thinking of their next political job, and when they campaign (in 2020 or 2022), they want to be able to say, "I led my state [or county, or municipality, or school board] through the worst threat in its history. Under my leadership, we did, etc. etc." It is a commonplace that to be a "great president" you have to be a "war president." I think we shall see that in order to be known as a "great governor" (or great county executive, or great mayor, or great school board president), you need a really big crisis.
And making the WuFlu out to be a really big crisis calling for "strong leadership" and "making difficult choices" will be just the thing.
No matter when the virus is finally a thing of the past, we can be sure we're going to be hearing about it for decades to come a kind of "Smoot-Hawley" for our day. (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Solution! Liquor stores that were closed in Pennsylvania are starting to reopen. Not a one went out of business. And all of them are owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
What lesson can we learn from this, comrades? Let's get government to own all businesses. Then it can close them any time it wants for any goofy reason it wants, and no one will get hurt.
Right? (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: The choice between the free market and the controlled economy can be summed up in the choice between the Invisible Hand and the Visible Fist. (May 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Motes and beams. At the Rockwell site, Gary D. Barnett writes: "The Pleasures of Life Are Being Destroyed by the Criminal State and Its Enforcers" (May 25, 2020).
It got me thinking. Isn't it remarkable that the statrons who cannot distinguish between state and society often accuse partisans of Liberty of wanting to dissolve society into its constituent atoms, resulting in "atomistic individualism"?
All I can say is: Matthew 7:3-5. (May 2020)
Modine Herbey: Have you seen 'em wearing masks outdoors? The infantilization of adults has been going on for decades in this country. The masking mania is one of the more breathtaking results.
(Pun intended.) (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Stealing holidays. On May 23, NPR announced that on Memorial Day this year they would be honoring those who had died ...
... from the Wuhan virus.
Now, I'm not big on militaristic holidays, but I do think that the way to observe a holiday is to observe IT, not something else you'd rather think of.
If you want to honor the Wuhan dead, come up with a Wuhan Day or Mourning or something. But then, as Sarah Knox Taylor's series "Lost Causes" (TLD, vol II, nos. 1-3) taught us, when the Left wants something similar to what exists, it does not create its own. It steals what it finds and puts it to other uses. (May 2020)
Tony Pivetta: "Social distancing" is just Latter Day American Imperium code for "divide and conquer." (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: I had an appointment with my nephrologist yesterday. Normally, the outdoor lot is full and I have to go into the garage to find parking. Yesterday, I had no problem finding parking in the lot.
A sign on the medical building (attached to a hospital) indicated that the door was locked on Sunday and open only about eight hours a day. Formerly, it was open 24 hours. And the information office was completely closed.
I had to wait for an elevator only a few seconds, and my wife and I were the only ones waiting. Normally, there are seven or eight people waiting and the wait can be a minute or two. (For some reason, it always seems that one of the two elevators is out of service.)
The doctor's waiting room had no one in it, and we were taken in at once, even though we were about 10 minutes early. Both facts were unprecedented. (Well, all three. We aren't normally that early.)
From these observations, I provisionally conclude that people are not keeping the appointments they made with their doctors three or six months ago. People are not going to see their doctors.
I wonder how many people have died BECAUSE of the lockdowns? We know that suicide and domestic-violence rates are high.
It's all to be expected, isn't it? Poverty kills. Unemployment creates poverty. The lockdown has created unemployment. I wonder which will end up killing more people ... the virus or the lockdowns? (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Dry run for the Wuhan virus. The following is from the December 1994 issue of The Last Ditch:In the Washington, D.C., area early this past year, natural adversity precipitated three "incidental inefficiency" crises within about a 30-day period. During the fierce winter storms, for which Southern cities are never prepared, Washington Gas warned that unless people turned down their thermostats, it would not be able to maintain heating levels. The mayor decreed that any nonessential businesses remaining open on a certain day would be fined $2,000. (Her office supplied the definition of "essential," and it did not include restaurants that fed people who had been unable, because of the ice, to get to grocery stores.) (May 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Fred Reed's take on what Ronn Neff and I would call "polite totalitarianism" appeared on May 16 at the Lew Rockwell site, in a reposting from the Unz Review:"A Bicephalous Monoparty and the Four Pillars / Totalitarianism for Dummies."(May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Social dissonancing. I went to a park the other day and noticed that because of the Wuhan virus the tennis courts were closed.
Why? Don't people who play tennis normally stay more than 6 feet apart? Are there ever more than four people on a court at a time? I could understand closing basketball courts, now that basketball has become a contact sport. And polo or jai-alai fields. But tennis?
It led me to wonder: Are the rich allowed to use the tennis courts on their estates? Is playing tennis on those courts somehow safer? (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Entrepreneurs to the rescue. I recently paid a visit to my favorite carry-outs one a Lebanese cafe that seats maybe a dozen people, and the other a German delicatessen that seats only about half a dozen. Both are now forbidden by the ukases of Virginia Revolutionary Leader Ralph Northam to seat anyone, but both have found a profitable use for their tables (other than to stack their chairs on them).
Both outlets now sell toilet paper, which is "shelved" on the tables. The Lebanese cafe even sells paper towels and sanitizers. The brand names are unfamiliar to me, though I am a lifelong user of toilet paper, and I have no idea who their suppliers are. The prices are reasonable, if slightly higher than those that used to be found in grocery stores. The stock is ample.
Neither outlet is trumpeting its service to neighborhoods "in these uncertain times." Neither of them claims to be meeting "the challenge" of our new way of life. They're just putting to new use capital (tables) to sell needed items in an effort to recover some of their losses.
I know of no government office that is putting its unused desks to any similar use. (May 2020)
Paul LeMoyne: Reason Magazine has recently published a favorable account of the Ninth Circuit's decision that YouTube was merely exercising its rights of private property and free speech in hiding certain videos with an undesirable political slant from users who take advantage of their "restricted mode" viewing service.
"Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown," wrote Reason, reminded the plaintiffs (and, by extension, everyone else) "that the Constitution protects individuals only from government censorship."
While the ruling may be correct in a technical sense, Reason and Libertarian 101 readers should at the very least have asked themselves when the 9th Circuit had ever before been so eager to defend either property rights or a strict constructionist reading of the Constitution.
It may be that when the enemies of Liberty use the rhetoric of Liberty to advance their attacks on it, libertarians can find no refutation. But they are under no obligation to trumpet the hypocrisy and pat those in bad faith on the head and say, "Nice doggie."
It is they who are then the lapdogs. (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Clarifying matters. TLD wishes to offer the following uncopyrighted text free of charge to all commercial entities in compliance with the edicts of local dictators and to their advertising agencies:
In order to serve you better, we are reducing ... our hoursWe thank you for your cooperation. (May 2020)
and product availability.
Nicholas Strakon: In Indiana, Dictator Eric Holcomb is now graciously permitting restaurants to resume dine-in service at half-occupancy.
One place I used to go to, before our rulers imposed their Great Suppression, recommends that would-be patrons call to make a reservation.
The trouble is, I'm not likely to call Jimbo's Cheeseburg Hut, or any of the other down-home places I mostly used to patronize, to make a damn reservation.
In my county seat of Huntington, Ind., Nick's Kitchen regionally famous as the birthplace of the breaded-tenderloin sandwich has decided, Naaa, we'll stick with curbside service, thanks very much.
If you're an old "Seinfeld" fan, you may remember when an aggrieved George Costanza cried out, "We live in a SOCIETY!" The bizarre technocratic decrees emitted by statrons such as Holcomb make me wonder whether they have ever actually lived in a society. (May 2020)
Ronn Neff: Sheep's clothing. I'm happy that Walmart is able to stay open. It sells groceries and is therefore deemed to be "essential," even though it also sells toys, clothes, and household knick-knacks.
At the same time, its many competitors in the small-business world that are not also grocery stores must remain closed, giving Walmart a decided advantage over them.
Moreover, consider the Walmart in Tazewell, Virginia (population, a little over 4,000). Because of its size, its managers were able to come up with an algorithm that permits it to allow 2,000 customers inside at a time.
It is a fine example of how a government/business "partnership" creates a fascist tyranny that looks like a free market in action. (May 2020)
In a recent post on Facebook, Robert Higgs cites William Graham Sumner to good effect:
I ran across someone earlier today wondering how long it would take to return to the pre-crisis situation. The short answer, I believe, is that no such return will ever be made. Yes, some things will probably go back toward where they were in, say, January 2020, but many things will not return fully, if at all.
In the late nineteenth century, the great classical liberal sociologist William Graham Sumner aptly observed (I quote from memory), "You cannot experiment with a society and just drop the experiment whenever you choose. The experiment enters into the life of the society and never can be got out again."
The present experiments are pervasive and far-reaching. I do not think that they can all be reversed, and I fear that the lasting changes will be, for the most part, for the worse so far as freedom lovers are concerned. [End of post.]
Sumner's observation appears in his essay "Laissez-Faire," posted by Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty. (April 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Breaking states. At VDare, Hank Johnson writes: "Coronavirus Policy Clashes Yet Another Indication That U.S. States Are Too Big" (April 26, 2020).
I don't expect to see any U.S. states break up before the final collapse of everything, but this is a useful piece containing much interesting info. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: A number of grocery stores and convenience stores here in Northern Trantor (all right, Northern Virginia) have erected see-through shields between customers and check-out clerks.
Does this mean that liquor stores in black neighborhoods will be permitted to restore their bulletproof glass protecting their employees from overzealous customers? (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Pakistani imams are smarter than D.C. bishops!"Imams Overrule Pakistan's Coronavirus Lockdown as Ramadan Nears" (New York Times, April 24, 2020). (April 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Wasn't "normal" already bad enough? Robert Higgs's ratchet effect and Ronn Neff's polite totalitarianism are working hand in hand, as endorsed here by two of leviathan's little friends:"Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal," by Jack Goldsmith (Harvard Law School professor) and Andrew Keane Woods, The Atlantic, April 25, 2020.Yeah, these guys seem to be serious.
Subtitle: "In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong."
I was alerted to the piece by a link on Facebook posted by Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute. Deist provides a little excerpt, prefaced by an appropriate comment:This is gross:
"Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society's norms and values." (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: The Archdiocese of Washington has sent out an appeal for funds. It seems they are running short of money.
Gee whiz! Did they forget that when they canceled public masses, they also canceled taking up collections?
My prediction: Now that 20 million people are unemployed and not making any money, you can expect a lot of churches to start sending out "meditations" on the Widow and Her Mite. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Again to the Archidocese: That's what happens when you obey secular masters. The main job of a Bishop is to administer the Sacraments, not to function as the state's lickspittle. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: A call to Virginians! Read your flag. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: The virus underground. Steve Sailer has speculated that the dependence of New Yorkers on the subway system with its attendant crowding may be a partial explanation for why the Wuhan virus hit New York City so hard.
I wonder whether it can be said that America's dependence on automobiles has been protecting us for many years from some of the illnesses and epidemics that have plagued Europe and Japan.
It's fairly likely that even when things return to normal whatever that turns out to mean those who own automobiles will be reluctant, at least at first, to use public transportation instead of their own vehicles. For that matter, I expect car-pooling to be a lot less popular. The family car is for families, that is, closed bio-units. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Don't be silly. Fairfax County, Va., is already starting to discuss possible tax increases. Even I didn't think it would come this soon.
Is there any talk that county officials and particularly the Supervisors should volunteer to take a pay cut? We don't really need to ask, do we. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Holdouts. The last I heard, there were still six states whose governors had not ordered partial lockdowns.
I wonder what their economies look like in comparison with the other 44? (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Another way to look at regulation and "compelling public interest" is that under such regimes, once the matter has been decided, dissenting minorities have no rights. (April 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Taking advice on the Chinavirus. The Times has been authorized to report: "A 'Liberty' Rebellion in Idaho Threatens to Undermine Coronavirus Orders" (April 7, 2020).
Ohhh, nooo! Not that "liberty" thing!
I found this part to be thought-provoking:"Don't take legal advice from a doctor," said Dr. Benjamin Good, an emergency medicine physician affiliated with Bonner General Health. "And don't take medical advice from a sheriff.""Don't take legal advice from a doctor" but isn't that precisely what the country's various dictators have done? (under a liberal definition of "legal").P.S. Kudos for Ammon Bundy! (April 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: Meanwhile at Airstrip One ... The daily news summary from the London Telegraph for April 4, 2020, passing along orders from Big Brother, was headlined:
"Forget the sun and obey the lockdown."
Forget the sun though sunlight reduces susceptibility to viruses by promoting the creation of vitamin D.
The regime does not know what it's doing.
Or does it? (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Memories of things to come. During the wuhanvirus closures, people and businesses are making less money. It won't be long before the state governments start noticing that they are getting less money from taxes. What will they do about that?
Raise taxes, of course. I fully expect that many state governments will raise, or try to raise, taxes during the next few months. They can force us to make do with less, but will they do likewise?
Now THERE'S a good coronavirus joke. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Distance. The New York Post reported on March 30: "DC mayor threatens jail time for leaving home during coronavirus."
What we need these days is not social distancing so much as POLITICAL DISTANCING. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Soo-PRAAHZ! Soo PRAAHZ! On March 30, Virginia Dictator Ralph Northam decreed excuse me, "revolutionary leader" (leftists are never dictators) that nonessential businesses more or less cease operation.
One cannot know what counts as nonessential (it is a property of dictatorships that laws not be objective see Atlas Shrugged for a fuller treatment), but it is not as difficult to see what is essential. In Virginia, for example, the liquor stores remain open, though with somewhat shorter hours. Not only is liquor an important source of income for the Commonwealth ("As a revenue-generating agency of the Commonwealth, we do not rely on state funding. During budget difficulties or economic downturns, Virginia ABC is less susceptible to furloughs or layoffs," they boast on the ABC website), but the stores are operated by the Commonwealth. (They do not have the temerity to say that they are "owned," perhaps sensing that the concept carries within its bowels the sense of justice.) (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Spring reading: Since the first day of its existence, The Last Ditch has always recommended that 1984 be read often, even once a year. This year, in a time of ukases concerning the mobility of people who imagine themselves to be self-owners and free, we add some supplementary reading:
Ray Bradbury, "The Pedestrian."Complete text. A YouTube narration. (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: Revolutionary leader Northam has also ordered that we Pompeiians of Virginia stay home except to conduct necessary business.
I've got $50 that says his order will not apply to abortuaries. Any takers? (April 2020)
Ronn Neff: It takes an anarchist. Is anyone else getting tired of hearing that stuff being done by Congress is wrong because this is a "government of the people, by the people, for the people"?
Lesson #1: That phrase is not in the Constitution.
Lesson #2: It's not in the Declaration of Independence.
Lesson #3: It's not in any official document whatever.
Lesson #4: It comes a speech given by a president who at the time was waging war against some of "the people."
Lesson #5: The tragedy of all this is that it takes an anarchist to explain all this crap to conservatives who say they love America, its history, its traditions, and its Constitution.
My aunt Loralee Jean they do! (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: Several bank branches in these here parts are closed, except for their ATMs. Most banks still have their drive-throughs open. And some lobbies are open by appointment.
Now, a speculation.
I keep wondering whether this wuhamania will end up serving as an important turning point on the war on cash. When you use your credit card or debit card, the teller doesn't have to touch any dirty old cash, and you yourself do the swiping or chip-inserting. (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: Was you ever bit by a dead bee? There has been some discussion of the effectiveness of "herd immunity." The idea is that those who are highly vulnerable to a virus should confine themselves ("self-quarantine") and those who are less vulnerable should continue to go about their business as usual. The idea is that the virus will have no place "to land" and will become more or less unthreatening.
This strategy cannot be employed in America, with the result that all must suffer more inconvenience than is necessary. Why can it not be employed?
Because it would be discriminatory. (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: One wag pointed out that for three years, the Dems have been calling Donald Trump "Hitler." Now they say he's not being Hitler enough.
Where's a Hitler when you need him? (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: What to do, what to do. Last year there were 36,560 people killed in auto accidents, which works out to about 100 a day. Every day. For a year. 100.
And no one thinks very much of it and everyone just goes about driving here and there as though they're going to live forever.
We are grateful to the toilet-paper-buying public of America for showing us the way to deal with this terrible statistic.
Self-quarantine. (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: One of the problems with the many coronashutdowns is trying to imagine what comes next. I'll give you an idea of what I mean:
Where I live, the Harris Teeter grocery stores, normally open 24 hours, will now be closing at 9 pm. The time between then and opening will be used for "sanitizing" the store.
Now when people come to their senses (relatively speaking), what is Harris Teeter supposed to do? Announce that they don't need to do all that pesky sanitation work anymore? Implicitly concede that the stores were not sanitized before and they won't be again?
Or will all that is being lost (e.g., the possibility of purchasing some canned fruit cocktail at 3 am) be permanently lost? Or lost until people forget what happened in 2020?
Another idea altogether: will children invent some new game about the spread of the coronvirus (along the lines, it is said, of "Ring Around a Rosie" as a playful reenactment of the Black Plague)? (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: Just wondering: Do Mexican liberals in Mexico refer to the Indian populations there as "Native Mexicans"?
Canada, of course, has opted for "Indigenous Peoples," but why, oh why, did they reject "Native Canadians"? (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: Getting in touch with my inner Randian: The Left always aware that "you never let a serious crisis go to waste" have relaxed their efforts to impoverish us with their "save the planet" nonsense, and now focus on impoverishing us with their alarmist coronavirus politics ("coronapolitics"). But it must just kill them, you know, to have to appeal to our self-interest instead of our impulse for self-destructive sacrifice. (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: Now that we know it's racist to refer to the coronavirus as the Wuhan virus, will the Politically Correct crowd set about to change all textbooks referring to:
The Spanish Flu
The German Measles
The West Nile Virus
The French Disease
The Bohemian Quarter
The Blue Danube Waltz ...?
My real fear is that it will turn out to be "time-ist" to refer to the Three-Day-Measles.
Or the nineteenth century. (March 2020)
Ronn Neff: Solving the impeachment embarrassment. Back in 2010, concerned that she might not get Obamacare passed in the House, Nancy Pelosi considered using a procedure by which the House could "deem" that it had been passed without a vote.
After Donald Trump's acquittal, maybe she could try deeming him to have been convicted and removed from office. That might spare her and the rest of the Left a great deal of anguish.
For that matter, following the debacle of the Iowa caucuses, how about deeming Donald Trump to have lost the 2020 election, and getting around to declaring who the winner was later? You know ... after they decide whom to deem as the winner. (February 2020)
Ronn Neff: Again and again I hear that people who attended the Second Amendment rally in Richmond hope the legislators will "hear what the people are saying" or "listen to the people" or something like that.
Surely the leftist legislators could (and will?) reply, "Yes, we listen to the people. They voted for US. They voted for OUR agenda."
And those with a more sardonic sense of humor may go so far as to say, "By the principles of democracy and elections, the people (including you) chose US." (January 2020)
Ronn Neff: But for Wales? The Democrats are insisting that there cannot be a "fair" impeachment trial without witnesses. (They forget that the call for a "fair trial" usually refers to a fair trial for the defendant, not for the prosecutors.)
I thought of this the other night when I watched the 1988 performance of "A Man for All Seasons" (the one with Charlton Heston and Vanessa Redgrave). During More's trial, there is a witness indeed, only one.
And he is a perjurer. (January 2020)
David T. Wright: There's no holiday from the Revolution!
Columbus Day is now Indigenous People's Day, because racism.
Thanksgiving is a celebration of white atrocities to native people.
Washington's Birthday was deep-sixed to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day because, well, racism.
Christmas is under attack from both sides: on the one by the relentless consumerization, on the other by the efforts of the Left to destroy it.
But we've still got New Year's, right?
"'The Slaves Dread New Year's Day the Worst': The Grim History of January 1," by Olivia B. Waxman, TIME, December 27, 2019. (January 2020)
Nicholas Strakon: The Evil Empire has sickened but survived under a long line of psychopathic Emperors. Maybe someone even more ... unusual was needed to deliver the fatal blows.
At Gold Goats 'n Guns, Thomas Luongo writes: "After Soleimani Killing Suddenly the U.S. Is Alone" (January 6, 2020).
We can only hope it is so.
I hadn't encountered President Putin's observation before that the U.S. is "not agreement capable," but it seems to be an accurate assessment. The first thing Vladimir Vladimirovich was thinking of, surely, was Poppy Bush and James Baker's promise of no NATO expansion eastward after the fall of the Iron Curtain, in return for Russia's acquiescing in German reunification. NATO expansion eastward began in '99. (Let's see ... who was Emperor then?) (January 2020)
Ronn Neff: Impeachment. TIME magazine's December 16 cover story warns that Donald Trump's 2020 campaign is benefiting from a possible impeachment by the House. It seems that the president is raising money from people who are opposed to the idea.
Question: If Donald Trump benefits politically from an impeachment, is that an impeachable offense? (December 2019)
Ronn Neff: Homer nods. Joe Sobran made two bold assertions in a 1977 article that can serve as metrics for comparing what was once inconceivable (in the "Princess Bride" sense) with what today is completely conceivable. The first:
"The fact is that we are not going to have legalized infanticide in the foreseeable future, for the very simple reason that nobody wants it."
And from the same essay, "Infanticide and animal liberation are not going to acquire either traction or momentum in our culture...." (December 2019)
Joe Sobran wrote: To hold the proper progressive attitudes is to be certified as "open-minded," no matter how osmotically you've acquired them from your immediate cultural environment, no matter how reflexively you adopt and update them. By the same token, to maintain the traditional attitudes, no matter how reflectively, no matter with what resistance to the current, is to be "narrow-minded." The liberal can always spot the open mind: it's the one that agrees with himself.
From "AIDS and Social Progress," Human Life Review, Fall 1987.
Hair-raising new essay by Stephen J. Sniegoski at the Unz Review. Posted this very day, in fact [November 29, 2019]. Steve lays out a horrible possibility, arising from the already horrible state of the Democratic presidential field: "Obama Takes the Field and Hillary May be Around the Corner." Are the flying monkeys on high alert?
Young Master Buttigieg also features here. As well as other noxious entities. (November 2019)
David T. Wright: Do you, Henry, take this ... ? In a recent essay at VDare, Lance Welton addresses a question posed by shamed and fired British academic Noah Carl. Carl was removed from his fellowship at Cambridge University because his research into the average intelligence of different groups offended the sensibilities of the usual kind of eagerly offended people now infesting the academy.
Carl's question is simply: "Are we at peak Woke?" He refers, of course, to the current post-Modern madness affecting our rulers and their hangers-on, and afflicting everyone else.
Welton thinks that "peak Woke" is fairly close, and that when it arrives there will be a huge backlash. John Derbyshire, in a speech back in 2012 linked in Welton's essay, predicted that the elites will rebel against the now-dominant Weltanschauung when cognitive dissonance grows too extreme to ignore and its effects begin to harm their interests. Then, he said, they will either become moderate, reasonable "race realists," or just outright racist haters.
Either one's a bit difficult to imagine, but I do remember how impossible the fall of the Soviet Empire seemed before it happened. I also remember how the jubilation of the East Germans as they knocked down the Wall with sledgehammers finally proved without a doubt the regime's utter brutality and corruption. When that happened, most of the bien pensants who had jeered and ridiculed anti-communists suddenly pretended that of course! they had known the Soviets were bad all along!
In any case, I don't think we're anywhere near peak Woke just yet. So how will we know? Here's a partial list of what to watch out for:1. Zoo animals are given sex-change operations.
2. Sexually molesting prepubescent children is legal.
3. Legalizing marriage between animals and children is the current cause célèbre.
4. People applying for jobs must have their DNA checked to make sure they don't have too much white blood.
5. Churches are stormed by violent mobs and have their tax-exempt status removed if they don't agree to bless the marriages of homosexuals to each other, or humans to animals.
6. Membership in the Catholic Church, or a more conservative evangelical sect, is grounds for dismissal from your job, and may result in a visit from concerned FBI agents or local police.
7. The entire U.S. Women's Olympic team is composed of creatures with a Y chromosome.
8. Statutes require "jazz hands" instead of clapping in public venues.
9. Furries are a protected class.
10. Child molesters are a protected class.
11. Ex-convicts are a protected class.
12. People who have sex with animals are a protected class.
13. Thirteen-year-olds can vote.
14. Illegal immigrants can vote.
15. Animals can vote and sue through their appointed representatives.
16. And last, but not least:Normal, heterosexual people are regarded as perverts. (October 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: It's always worse than you think. A startling new essay by Steve Sniegoski was posted yesterday at the Unz Review, and I heartily recommend it to your attention:"Full Voting Rights Si, Statehood No:If you're anything like me, and live a long way from Mordor, you didn't even know this business was in play again. Or how bad it could turn out to be.
Washington, D.C., and the Plan to Control Congress and Change America"
Apparently the Left has decided that its complete domination of the country isn't proceeding quickly enough.
Steve asks: "If you like this article, I would appreciate very much if you would hit 'Like' (or add a comment) on the Unz website and, if you engage in such an activity, share or tweet it." (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: Hillary Clinton's assertion that Jill Stein is a Russian agent whose presidential candidacy was designed to elect Donald Trump is a typically Clintonian demonstration of ingratitude:
It was Jill Stein, after all, who paid $3.5 million to initiate a recount in Wisconsin, in an effort to deliver the Wisconsin electoral votes to Clinton. (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: Elijah Cummings. The Baltimore Sun has been authorized to report: "Cummings had been absent from Capitol Hill in recent weeks while under medical attention. But his death came as a surprise as it was not publicly known he was in hospice care, when medical and other services are provided for people who are terminally ill."
Weeks?!? How many news stories were there informing the public of Cummings's fragile health? How many stories about his needing a motorized wheelchair or walker to get around?
Keep your answer in mind the next time you hear, "But that can't be true! Someone would have talked! You can't expect that many people to keep those things secret!" (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: Democratic presidential candidate Robert O'Rourke thinks the American people will turn in their weapons if there's a law telling them to do it. Is there any evidence that he's right? Or is he being naive?
Well ... Franklin Roosevelt's seizure of people's gold comes to mind. Most people did just bow their heads like sheep and turn it in.
Have Americans become bolder in the past 85 years? More suspicious of their government? More likely to disobey? (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: ABC News says that President Trump's pulling U.S. troops out of "a key part of Syria" is "abandoning the allies who help fight ISIS."
Similarly, Joe Biden has said that Trump has "betrayed a key local ally in the fight against terrorism."
Neither ABC News nor Joe Biden and certainly none of the news puppets who repeat what their ventriloquists put in their mouths seems to know that there is and can be no treaty between the United States and the Kurds, because the Kurds have no nation-state of their own. They are not and cannot be "an ally."
It's a small point, but so-called fact-checkers have blasted any number of politicians (not least of all, Donald Trump) for smaller mistakes.
But there is more: Biden rhetorically asked what was Trump doing to NATO. He seemed to forget that Turkey is in fact a real ally and a member of NATO.
It seems that America's Ministry of Truth wants the United States to use its military to assist a people not its ally against a nation-state that is its ally.
Don't like this state of affairs? You might want to rethink your ideas about nation states.
Nicholas Strakon: Speaking of ABC ... We've recently been treated to another triumph of that department of Minitrue, namely, shocking footage of a Turkish attack on a Kurd town "Slaughter in Syria" that turned out to be footage of a gun show in Kentucky.
On a recent "Part of the Problem" podcast, libertarian commentator Dave Smith proposes that the network could have gotten away with this kind of thing as recently as the '90s.
The fun begins shortly after the 3-minute mark. (Warning: Smith is addicted to the F-word.) (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: Columbus Day. Lots of jurisdictions are discarding observations of Columbus Day and renaming it "Indigenous People's Day." One thing they wish to draw our attention to is the mistreatment of Indians by Europeans.
I contend that "Indigenous People's Day" doesn't quite capture the cause of the problem. I suggest that the holiday be renamed in a way that captures what caused the oppression of the "indigenous peoples" by the Europeans and the disappearance of their cultures. I propose:
"Open Borders Day." (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: Back home agaaain, in ...? The progressive Left loves to rub our faces in their wacky ideas. We have to change our pronouns, we have to change the names of streets and holidays, and we have to change the names of races.
I think it's time we strike back and do some renaming ourselves. I can think of no better beginning than to rename the home of TLD itself to ...
To be followed by renaming its capital to Columbianapolis.
With Colombia to be recognized as a kind of "sister homeland." (October 2019)
Ronn Neff: A constitutional principle. We were told in school that when the Constitution was presented to the people of the United States, they demanded that a bill of rights be added to further protect them from the new government's possible depredations. We were also told that some champions of the new Constitution argued that a bill of rights was not necessary, because if a power wasn't mentioned in the Constitution, it didn't exist, and there was no worry.
I realize that at this point, this is probably an unanswerable question, but why didn't it occur to anyone just to amend the Constitution to say, "No power not explicitly mentioned in this Constitution may be exercised"?
Similarly, we often hear the response to critics of proposed legislation that "there is no language in this legislation to permit that." Very well. So why not add language that would explicitly forbid whatever the critics are worried about?
It does seem as though legislators, even the Solons of 1787, avoid using the most explicit language for protecting what they say they want to protect. (September 2019)
Ronn Neff: "I like to argue," said G.K. Chesterton, "because I dislike quarrels."
Can it be that people especially college students no longer argue because they think that to argue is to grant legitimacy to a view they oppose? I sometimes hear of their saying that. But if arguing does grant legitimacy, then that leaves quarreling as the only way to oppose views with which one disagrees.
And modern-day quarreling has taken on the attributes of drunken disputes, full of name-calling, vulgarities, and obscenities, which surely is an apt comparison to what we hear in public gatherings of opposing sides. (September 2019)
Steve Sniegoski has a new article at The Unz Review: "Biden's Foreign Policy: The New World Order and Woodrow Wilson." It was posted yesterday.
Excerpt: "What has not been given much attention in [Joe] Biden's foreign policy is a strong element of Wilsonian idealism, which came out strongly in Biden's attachment to the concept of the New World Order, a term that President George H.W. Bush often used during the time of the Gulf War [...] though his version was far less developed and idealistic than Biden's would be. Biden would maintain that Bush's term lacked clarity, which he intended to provide."
As focused as most of the Democratic candidates have been on domestic issues in the debates, if one of them is elected he or she will still have to try to run the Empire. Steve offers us an informative look at the ghost of Wilson still twisting around Uncle Joe Biden. (September 2019)
Ronn Neff: "Exclusionary," comrades? The New York Times and others are eager for Americans to consider that America was founded in 1619, because American history is all about slavery.
I wonder how the Indians feel about that. Excluded, maybe? (September 2019)
Ronn Neff: On Labor Day we celebrate organized labor. That is, we celebrate organized crime and the smashing of the heads of those who disagree with you. Such are the underpinnings of liberty and the keystone of prosperity. (September 2019)
Ronn Neff: "Presidential candidates support rescinding medals for Wounded Knee Massacre," by Lisa Kaczke, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, August 21, 2019.
The elimination of statues, memorials, and honorifics relating to various evildoers of U.S. history certainly cannot stop until all mention of them is either wiped out or at least paired with a plaque "setting the statue (or memorial or honorific) in context."
The Last Ditch Historical Society and Committee for Reconciliation hereby proposes that as another step in this worthy direction all almanacs, encyclopedias, and history books include a Roger Maris-style footnote explaining that George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and other Indian-genocidal maniacs were not really presidents, but pretenders whose inclusion is merely a courtesy.
Nicholas Strakon: Will Establishment pols now pressure the government to rescind the medals it gave Paul Tibbets and the other mass-murderers aboard the Enola Gay?
According to Wikipedia, the Americans crewing that plane killed "between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima." That occurred not 129 years ago but 74 years ago. (August 2019)
Ronn Neff: Using Emma Lazarus's poem as the foundation for American immigration policy is like using Ernest Gold's soundtrack to "Exodus" as the foundation for American foreign policy. (August 2019)
Ronn Neff: You want an image for private/public partnerships and democratic socialism: guards falling asleep while prisoners hang themselves. (August 2019)
Ronn Neff: A self-identified college student asked the self-identified Joe Biden, "How many genders are there?" He answered, "At least three."
The student asked him, "What are they?" He didn't know the answer, but we do:masculine(Unless you're French, and then there's no neuter.)
By the way, the answer to the first question was not "at least three." It was "exactly three." (August 2019)
Alert: New essay by Steve Sniegoski at the Unz Review. A must-read for TLD folk!"Iran Delenda Est"
"[Middle-of-the roaders] think they have been successful when they have delayed for some time an especially ruinous measure. They are always in retreat. They put up today with measures which only ten or twenty years ago they would have considered as undiscussable. They will in a few years acquiesce in other measures which they today consider as simply out of the question."
Ludwig von Mises, "Middle of the Road Policy Leads to Socialism" (Libertarian Press, South Holland, Illinois; 1950); pages 19-20. (August 2019)
Ronn Neff: Reassuring, right? Kevin Drum at the leftist magazine Mother Jones opines, "Liberals Need to Be Lincolnesque in Our Latest Race War."
The last time someone was Lincolnesque, it cost more than half a million lives. (July 2019)
Ronn Neff: On the Don Lemon Show, July 11, Phil Mudd (CNN's counterintelligence analyst) discussed the "citizenship question" (which, so far as I know, is not usually the sort of thing counterintelligence analysts are experts on, but what do I know?). He said that the question was "about telling his [Donald Trump's] supporters people who don't look like you don't belong in this country." (Transcript.)
Since 88 percent of the black vote went to Hillary Clinton in 2016, I think we can safely assume that relatively few blacks are included in the grab bag, "Trump supporters."
So here is my question for the counterintelligence analyst: "Sir, are you aware that there are more than 37 million blacks in this country and that nearly all of them are citizens? Are you really saying that Donald Trump does not know that they could answer 'Yes' to a question about their citizenship on a Census form? Do you really think that Donald Trump's purpose in including the citizenship question was to tell his white supporters that blacks do not belong in this country?"
By the way, no one on the panel discussing this question thought to ask Mr. Mudd about that. Apparently they didn't know blacks were citizens, either. (July 2019)
Ronn Neff: The demand for women's soccer. Fans in the stands chanted "Equal pay! Equal pay!" for the U.S. women's soccer team. They wanted the girls to get what the boys get when they win their respective World Cups.
I agree. And the way to accomplish that is for the fans to pay more for their tickets. Let them put their money where their mouths are. (July 2019)
Ronn Neff: A shoe on the other foot. A lot of people thought the Trump show on July 4 was a little over the top. A celebration of his massive ego. Maybe it was. But at least he is actually the president of a great empire.
Were their refined sensibilities similarly graveled by Barak Obama's appearance among Greek columns and North Korea-style Dear Leader posters in 2008? And he was just a senator, not even officially the Democratic candidate yet. (July 2019)
Ronn Neff: Epstein, old Bill, and the taking of hits. Webster ("Webb") Hubbell, a close friend of Bill Clinton (and rumored father of Chelsea), spent 21 months in prison for overbilling clients while he was a partner of the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas. (Overbilling clients, Tom Cruise fans will remember, was the crime that brought down Bendini, Lambert, and Locke in the movie "The Firm.") When Kenneth Starr indicted him for conspiracy, tax evasion, and mail fraud, it was in the hope that Hubbell would crack and reveal some of the Clintons' secrets, in exchange for lenient treatment. When it appeared that he would be going to jail again, he is said to have told his wife (one of Clinton's sometime lovers), "I guess I have to take another hit for Bill Clinton."
With the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, the question naturally arises whether he has information concerning Clinton that he could similarly use to cushion the blow of the looming sentence. Or will he "take a hit" for Bill Clinton?
There is an important difference between Jeffrey Epstein and Webb Hubbell. Epstein does not need to fear Bill Clinton, as Hubbell had cause to do, for unlike Hubbell, he has a lot more money, and may command a fair amount of fear himself.Modine Herbey comments (July 11, 2019): I've gotta say, I'm proud of Mr. Neff and Mr. Strakon (who wrote the headline for this installment). Both of them avoided referring explicitly to the Mob meaning of "hit" hard to do in a context involving la Famiglia Clinton!
Ronn Neff: How the women can beat the men. Trannies hold the key. Once lots of women self-identify as men, they can get on the men's teams in professional sports. Meanwhile, men who identify as women can get on the women's teams.
At that point, it will at last be possible for the women to play against the men on "a level playing field." Because the girls will have debased the guys' teams and the guys will have pumped up the gals' teams.
But look: You can't make an omelette without ... greasing the pan. (July 2019)
Ronn Neff: Without getting into whether the Census itself is legitimate, there are two matters that should be made clear, which almost never get mentioned in all the blather that passes for debate over the citizenship question:
(1) Even if a person answers "No," he will still be counted. The citizenship question does not preclude being counted. The only thing that keeps a person from being counted is not returning the form.
(2) There are lots of people in this country legally who are not citizens.
As an anarchist, perhaps I am unqualified to comment on this matter, but it does seem to me that if you are going to have a government, it makes sense for it to want to know how many citizens it has. If people are worried that illegals will refuse to fill out and return the form (which carries the penalty of being fined by no more than $100), the thing for them to do is to inform illegals that they only compound their legal troubles by not answering.
Democrats are really good at finding illegals and getting them to the proper welfare offices and registering them to vote; they should have no trouble getting them to reply to the Census form. (July 2019)
Ronn Neff: The difference between socialism and anarchism, according to Ernest Lesigne: "One aims to establish happiness for all; the other to enable each to be happy in his own way."
Quoted by Benjamin Tucker in "State Socialism and
Anarchism: How Far They Agree and Wherein They Differ."
Ronn Neff: Captivity. Nicholas Johnson, Federal Communications Commissioner from 1966 to 1973, remarked that the network news media were not interested in free speech. By way of evidence, Johnson pointed out that when Pacifica Radio was threatened with losing its license, "Not one word of moral support came from any network news department."
Things haven't changed all that much. When Jim Acosta lost his White House press pass, the media all circled the wagons around him, even though CNN had other White House correspondents who would surely have been eager to take his place. But when Andy Ngo gets the crap beat out of him by left-wing darling thugs from Antifa, not a word, except from the conservative press.
We do not have a free press in this country. We have a captive press. (July 2019)
Nicholas Strakon declares a "must read." First, a grabber pullquote:Calling an aversion to endless military violence "isolationism" is the same as calling an aversion to mugging people "agoraphobia."That's the redoubtable Caitlin Johnstone, in "The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is 'Isolationism'" (June 29, 2019).
As you may know, a small but troubling peace scare has broken out within the Democratic Party.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the closest thing the Democrats have to a peace candidate in the grindingly protracted struggle, already under way, to be nominated to run for Ruler of the United State. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is another candidate, not so peace-oriented. I'd never heard of him before reading Johnstone's essay, since I didn't watch either episode of the Democrat TV miniseries last week. (I heard it was very talky.)
Field Marshal Ryan and his people have criticized Gabbard because of her apparent lack of support for the Forever War. They accused her of isolationism.
Johnstone writes:... Ryan's campaign using the word "isolationism" to describe the simple common sense impulse to withdraw from a costly, deadly military occupation which isn't accomplishing anything highlights an increasingly common tactic of tarring anything other than endless military expansionism as strange and aberrant instead of normal and good. Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism. This removal of a desirable opposite of war from the establishment-authorised lexicon causes war to always be the desirable option.The war liberals and neocons naturally smeared antiwar Republican Ron Paul with the same "isolationist" charge when he was running for president in 2011 and 2012. Here's one of many examples of the nonsense, by Richard Cohen at the Washington Post (2011): "Isolationism redux via Ron Paul."
This is entirely by design.For further reading: "The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War onto the Democratic Agenda," by Danny Sjursen, The American Conservative, June 28, 2019. Editor's intro: "She is the only candidate who has made ending the wars a centerpiece of her campaign, which will likely lead to her undoing." Well, no one actually expects her to win, surely. The most we can hope for is that she shakes things up and momentarily disorients the bloodthirsty war robots from hell.
Ronn Neff: Doing good wrongly. "The ills and woes which beset our society at present and strain it to the breaking point were born of a concerted effort to right wrongs and do good...." (Eric Hoffer, First Things, Last Things (Harper & Row, 1971; page 100).
I speculate that the reason the effort to do good went bad was that justice is not applicable to groups, but only to individuals. Groups do not have souls, they do not have minds, they do not have rights. To try to right the wrongs done to groups is wrong-headed at the outset, for wrongs are not committed against groups. They are committed against individuals, and it is to and for the sake of individuals that justice must be administered. (June 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: The section of Minitrue called Netflix has posted a miniseries purporting to tell the story of the Central Park Five, the fun-loving youngsters whose exuberant hijinks acquainted the civilized parts of the world with the term "wilding" back in 1989.
I encourage you to read the following articles. It is necessary now to label them "revisionist," because the fictional account of the attack has become the Party line of the comrades who control our culture, including the entertainment industry: "Propaganda Posing as Documentary," by Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, June 19, 2019.
"Who You Gonna Believe: Netflix, or the Evidence?" by Ann Coulter, Taki's Magazine, June 20, 2019.
Nicholas Strakon: And if that didn't make your day, here's some pleasant reading from the Huffington Post: "Are Pride Parades Kid-Friendly? Parents Say Children Can Handle the Kink," by Brianna Sharpe, June 13, 2019.
Editor's intro: "A question about whether pride is 'sexualized' got a lot of people talking."
"Pride" nowadays is short for "sex-deviant pride," of course. (Will "pride" go the way of "gay" and become unusable by normal people?)
As far as I'm concerned, the pullquote here is: "First of all, nobody likes nakedness more than children." According to Sharpe, that observation was uttered by "writer, educator, and publisher S. Bear Bergman."
There's been much speculation about why we haven't gotten any signals from advanced alien civilizations out there in the cosmos. I'm beginning to suspect that when civilizations reach a certain point, they all just self-destruct.
On the other hand, maybe the aliens have landed and are transforming our planet to suit themselves.Comment by Ronn Neff: Or maybe they take one look at ours and say, "What the hell?!?!" and zoom away.
Ronn Neff: With what result? At MIT Technology Review, Charlotte Jee informs us: "YouTube is deleting videos on Nazi history as part of its hate speech crackdown" (June 7, 2019).
Characters: Madison (a bio-male male-identified sixth-grader, race not specified) and Jork (a bio-female male-identified sixth-grader, race not specified)
Madison: Hey, Jork! So cool!
Madison: I was looking at some old movies my momndad and dadnmoms had and ... have you ever heard of this guy Hitler?
Jork: No. Who was he?
Madison: He was, like, so cooooool, man! He had this salute and uniforms. His gang was, like, magNORmous.
Jork: What did he do?
Madison: I don't know. I couldn't unnerstan any of the words. But, like, he was GREAT! An' everybody loved him and did what he told them to and kept repeating his name.
Jork: That's just movies, Madison. Why don't you spend your time with something important like, you know, marmoset studies and the forest's oppressive structures? (June 2019)
David T. Wright: The Times has been authorized to report: "Tankers Are Attacked in Mideast, and U.S. Says Video Shows Iran Was Involved," by David D. Kirkpatrick, Richard Pérez-Peña, and Stanley Reed, June 13, 2019.
Of course, this has to be the responsibility of Iran, because what else would the Iranians do but force a confrontation with the most formidable military power on the planet, which same power has been spoiling for a fight with Iran for a few years now and has the ability to utterly destroy the country. I mean, that's what you would do if you were they, right? (June 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: Emergency! Everybody to Get from Street!
At The Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch reports: "Another Major News Outlet Ditches 'Climate Change' for More Alarming Language" (June 12).
Another, eh? I had no idea any had.
It will be interesting to see how fast this addition of "emergency" spreads throughout the Hive.
If there's one thing all the Left-totalitarians are big on, besides outright physical tyranny, it's changing the language. (June 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: A day before the dastardly Iranian attack on Our Ships ... well, OK, technically they weren't Our Ships ... as you'll read in approximately the 193rd paragraph of the Times story ... anyhow, on June 12 the irrepressible Caitlin Johnstone posted this essay, which I strongly recommend to your attention:"Propaganda Is the Root of All Our Problems"Johnstone's leftism is a bit more evident here than usual, but she's really on to something with respect to narrative control, which will only become more insidious and effective, unless or until technological civilization collapses. Good Deep State stuff.
David T. Wright comments: "The hidden bombshell in the story is the State Department troll farm that actively interfered in Americans' free expression of opinions on the coming war on the Iranians. It was a lot bigger and a lot more effective, apparently, than the pathetic Russian clickbait enterprise. Why hadn't I heard of it before?"
Another interesting piece appearing on June 12, and at an organ I don't often cite the Huffington Post was this one by Jesselyn Cook:"Deepfake Videos and the Threat of Not Knowing What's Real"Editor's intro: "The rapid spread of technology that can essentially bend our digital reality has alarmed experts worldwide."
Since it's a Huff Po thing, you'll read that, among public figures, it's leftists who seem to be most at risk from digital manipulation. Ha ha. (June 2019)
Ronn Neff: It seems that once one Democratic candidate comes up with a nutty idea, suddenly they're all on board. It's like catching a cold.
One such idea is restoring the "right" to vote to convicted felons and terrorists while they are still in prison.
I think that while they are filling out the voter registration forms, the inmates should also be given applications for concealed-carry permits. I'm not saying that they should have guns, but they should be able to have the right to have guns. Assuming they can pass the background checks.
What could possibly go wrong? I think the Northern Indiana-based TLD should send this proposal to Pete Buttigieg. In no time "Shotgun Joe" Biden will pick it up, and we'll be off to the races. (June 2019)
Ronn Neff: What I want to know is whether Nazis should start calling themselves Nazix. Dorany Pineda of The Los Angeles Times informs us: "From 'Chicano blowout' to blowup: Turmoil over MEChA name change was decades in coming" (June 3, 2019).
I wonder how long it took the original MEChA group to decide not to capitalize that "h"? Of course, every minute these crazed leftists spend quarreling about the names of their endless organizations is a minute they can't spend hunting down memorials to obscure Confederate generals and slave-holding philanthropists to tear down.
But one does wonder: will we see a Winston Smith kind of effort to rewrite every book in which there are victims in order to change that "s" to an "x" (victimx?) just to show that "people of color" and "LGBTQPOIUYT" were also massacred? Will the day come that there will be books called "The Last of the Mohicanx"? Or movies called "Dances with Wolvex?"
One we will never see is "Dark Suitx and Red Guardx."Nicholas Strakon comments: You darn tootin', podnah.
Ronn Neff: An irredeemable story that will just have to go.
Goldilockx and the Three Bearx:
The girl has blond hair, so she's white.
She's a girl who identifies as a girl.
The bearx do not have traditional rolex according to birth genetaliax (i.e., we are not told that Papa Bear is actually a biologically male bear), but the Bear family is structured along traditional lines in that Papa Bear seems to be bigger than Mama Bear.
Goldilockx is depicted as vulnerable, not strong, and it never occurs to her to uncover her breasts just to show she is powerful.
Baby Bear seems to be the same race as Papa and Mama Bear, and therefore not adopted from some sh... I mean, developing nation.
I haven't quite figured this next part out yet, but I'm pretty sure that porridge is a symbol of the oppression of hungry peoplex. (June 2019)
Ronn Neff: A good thing about Joe Biden! Take a look at this story from the Daily Wire (May 9): "Biden Flashback: D.C. Schools Worse Than Iowa Because of High Black Population," by Amanda Prestigiacomo.
Because Biden's so dumb, we can count on him to tell the truth.
He'll apologize for it later and his staff will say he didn't mean it, but he'll tell it.
As Joe Sobran once said, "How can you tell a politician is telling the truth? He apologizes the next day."
David T. Wright, from Washington City: What's that smell? I'm sure you're aware of the stinking cesspits that San Francisco, Seattle, and parts of LA have become, and why. So it shouldn't surprise you that the same kind of thing is happening right here in Trantor, in posh Cleveland Park, of all places, in one of the most beautiful, stately old apartment buildings on Connecticut Avenue. And yet, it's still rather shocking.
Sedgwick Gardens was designed by the same architect who designed the Wardman Park Hotel and a lot of the really nice houses in Woodley Park. It used to be the kind of place in which respectable middle-class people lived quiet, comfortable lives. Now it's been overrun by people who defecate in the stairwells, die from drug overdoses, and attack other people, parachuted in by the D.C. regime. That's the result of a policy of giving extravagant subsidies to drug addicts, bag ladies, and other marginal types, allowing them to live there. The people who run D.C.'s welfare programs aren't sorry at all:City officials insist those mistakes have not been made at Sedgwick Gardens, calling the disturbing incidents isolated cases.Didya get that? It could just as easily have been someone who can afford two or three thousand dollars in rent a month who decided to relieve himself in the stairwell. Besides, all those uptight white people deserve to have their lives upended because, well, just because. The idea that anyone apart from the elites can live safe from the chaos and nastiness they foist on us is just offensive.
"I think the reason the issues at Sedgwick Gardens came to a head is that there were a couple of residents that were causing a problem. That could have been true whether they had a voucher or not," said D.C. Council member Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), who chairs the council's Committee on Human Services. "I want us to be careful not to demonize everyone who finds stable housing through a subsidy because not everybody who needs a subsidy is a criminal."
Of course, the irony is that the respectable middle-class people being shafted by this arrangement are almost all "woke" Hillary voters. So there is an element of poetic justice here.
But that doesn't mean it won't happen to you. (May 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: Pete Buttigieg suggests state-servitude "program." For clarity, I slightly revise the title of Matthew Choi's piece at Politico: "Pete Buttigieg suggests national service program" (April 15).
I suppose none of us had much doubt about the hideousness lurking behind Boy Buttigieg's gooshy-gooshy mask.
The interesting thing is how he's on the very cutting edge of what Ronn Neff and I have dubbed Polite Totalitarianism. Check out these excerpts from Choi's article (my emphasis, of course):"One thing we could do that would change that would be to make it, if not legally obligatory, but certainly a social norm that anybody after they're 18 spends a year in national service.""We" could "make it" a social norm. I guess we know who "we" is. It ain't us.Buttigieg was vague about what would constitute national service, but both he and Maddow [oh, no, my bottle of Emetrol is almost empty!] acknowledged it would most likely not be a military draft. Without saying the program would be mandatory, Buttigieg did suggest colleges and employers ask applicants about participation in it.I'm confident the commie colleges and the commie-fascist corporations would welcome such a "suggestion," from Buttigieg or some other totalitarian president, Democrat or Republican. (Maybe even from Trump, as much as they all hate him.)
P.S. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that membership in the Hitlerjugend and the Young Pioneers was not actually mandatory, in their respective countries. (April 2019)
David T. Wright: "Brazil" in Rome. In Terry Gilliam's film "Brazil," set in a dystopian, 1984-ish future, the protagonist hires an underground repairman after the mandatory state repair service botches the repair of his air conditioning in a progressively disastrous fashion. That, of course, leads to problems.
In modern Rome, a similar situation apparently exists, in which underground repairmen calling themselves "Gap" surreptitiously repair crumbling infrastructure. They must do their work in secret for fear of offending incompetent officialdom.
Of course, this story being in the Guardian, it has a slight, shall we say ... slant:Critics might argue that citizen action like that of Gap could discourage the government from doing its job: why spend time and money to fix holes when there are residents doing it for free? But Gap members hope their intervention energises the local administration into action.Yeah. Critics might argue. Which critics, I wonder?
It's funny that our own news media don't report this and other stories about what is happening in Europe. It's almost as if they don't want the American people to get any ideas.
The story includes a bit about an exploding city bus, which reminds me of a couple of incidents back in the 1980s, in the D.C. area, when a couple of propane-powered tour buses burst spectacularly into flames a couple of years apart one right in front of the Old Executive Office Building where I worked at the time. I took to calling the tour bus company "Hindenburg Bus Lines."
Actually, in Rome, it's not just one city bus. It's at least 46! That means the Roman bus system deserves the moniker far more than poor Old Town Trolleys ever did. And the reason is, apparently, that diesel engines, which used to be considered wonderful, and which the regimes of most or all of the Western European countries encouraged and coerced people to buy, are now considered evil and polluting. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
So they have turned to natural- or other gas-powered buses. The problem with them is that, unlike diesel, if the gas leaks owing to ham-handed guvvamint maintenance, there's the risk of fire.
Which reminds me that I saw a Washington Metro bus just the other day that advertised that it was powered by, wait for it, hydrogen, the volatile, extremely flammable gas used in the real Hindenburg. Let's hope that the maintenance workers of the new Imperial City are a little more competent than those of the old. (April 2019)
Ronn Neff: Obvious questions? Guess not. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said that there is evidence of "open collusion" between Trump and Russia.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has said that there is "ample evidence of collusion in plain sight."
Now, I didn't go to journalism school, and I've never been a prosecutor or a defense attorney, but it seems to me that the next thing out of the mouth of anyone with such a background would be: "How do you know?" After all, neither of the congressmen has seen the Mueller report yet.
The next thing I would expect to hear is, "Since you know about this evidence, why don't you just show it to us? or tell us what it is?" Ronn Neff: The hands-on media. So many videos are coming out showing Joe Biden's "hands-iness"!
All these videos were available to the news agencies during the eight years he was vice president, and during both of his campaigns with Obama. Some of them were available while he was a senator and running for president.
Why weren't they known to the American public? This is a pretty clear example of how the media help a candidate (in this case, Obama) win an election and how they help create the image of his presidency.
And we are seeing now how they help deep-six a candidacy.
As usual, this kind of information is coming out long after it might have made a difference to the "voting public" in past years.
The irony is that most of these videos would have remained the media's open secret if only Biden had said months ago that he was not running for president. (April 2019)
Ronn Neff: Not for nothing, but I am getting a little tired of hearing that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 and that without the Electoral College, she would be president.
Taking the given numbers as true (a questionable supposition in the light of possible illegal voting throughout the country, but especially in California), we have:Clinton: 65,853,652Who won the majority of votes? No one. Clinton won a plurality of votes, and in a parliamentary form of government, that would make her the putative prime minister, with a need for forming a coalition government with someone.
Total votes cast: 137,125,484
Similarly in the 2000 election (with the same assumptions concerning the legitimacy of the official figures):Gore: 51,009,810But what would such an outcome mean in a government in which "the majority rules"? It's hard to say. Another election? A run-off election?
Total votes cast: 105,425,985
In other words, what the Electoral College does (among other things) is answer the question of how to select a president who does not win the majority of votes cast.
Those opposed to the Electoral College should tell us in their efforts to repeal it or circumvent it how they would solve the problem in the event that there is no majority winner.
But whatever they come up with, please stop telling us that Clinton won. She didn't. She didn't win under the Electoral College system, and she didn't win under a popular-election system. (April 2019)
Ronn Neff: Look who's talking! Pat Buchanan is claiming that the only reason for Joe Biden to consider having Stacey Abrams as his running mate is to solidify his standing among blacks, and to inoculate himself against rival candidates.
Someone help me here: When Buchanan ran for president, who was his running mate?(March 2019)
Ronn Neff: The practical executioner. New York Public Radio's broadcast of March 16, "Millionaires Funded by Billionaires," featured a discussion with Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian and author of the book Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World. Bregman is an advocate of the Universal Basic Income, or "UBI."
Bregman claims that the UBI is an idea that's been around for a long time, but that in the 1950s a "small group of thinkers," such as Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek and others of the Mont Pelerin Society, began a movement for small government and lower taxes. Their ideas, he says, took hold in the 1970s, and the people who picked up their ideas more or less created a setback for the idea of what Richard Nixon called a family assistance system.
Bregman does not actually say that Friedman and Hayek themselves opposed the idea of a universal basic income, but he certainly wants us to believe it. In that, he is half right, and the half that he is right about is Hayek. But Richard Nixon did not come up with the idea of a basic income by himself; it was an idea that was promoted by, among others, Milton Friedman in the years that Nixon was president.
Friedman called it the negative income tax. Bregman, who is regarded as a historian, seems to be completely unaware of this. But, as the man says, "You can look it up." In fact, you can look it up in Wikipedia. Bregman, who had fun at Tucker Carlson's expense when he said that they had the Internet in the Netherlands, should perhaps spend more time with it.
The point here is not just that Bregman's idea of Friedman seems to be what he thinks it should be because, perhaps, of Friedman's reputation and that he is wrong. No. The point is that this is the sort of thing that happens when someone like a Milton Friedman sets about to reform the state or to streamline it.
He ends up promoting policies which in his mind can be tamed or managed in a way that may or may not be an improvement. But they will not stay in his mind. They will get into the minds of others, and in the end become the tools of economic ruin and the destruction of liberty.
Friedman enjoys a reputation as a champion of liberty. But it was not a principled liberty; it was a practical liberty. Whenever he thought that liberty was not practical or was not "practical enough," he became one of liberty's executioners. It is not that he meant to be anti-liberty; it is rather that practicality and pragmatism are. (March 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: The murders at the mosques. At Chronicles, Srdja Trifkovic writes: "...[T]his regrettable incident will dominate the headlines infinitely more than any comparable carnage involving Christians, notably the 2017 Palm Sunday church bombings in Alexandria; it killed 45 people, and was all but ignored by the Western media and politicians." ("New Zealand Attacks: Repercussions and Perspective," March 15, 2019.)
We also direct your attention to this impassioned video by Paul Ramsey ("ramzpaul"), "Christchurch the wages of multiculturalism." I had never heard of Ebba Akerlund, the 11-year-old Swedish victim of multiculturalism, until now.
Down with imperialism and the subsidizing of immigration; up with the freedoms of property and association. (March 2019)
Ronn Neff: Politicians don't have beliefs; they have positions. Let's think about this a minute:
In 2008, Sen. Joe Biden said of Barack Obama that he was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." The next thing you knew, Biden was the vice president.
In 2019, ex-Vice President Joe Biden, speaking of the silent reaction by an international gathering of politicians to remarks of Vice President Mike Pence, said that "it [the silence] was followed on by a guy who's a decent guy, our vice president." The next thing you knew, Biden was attacked by the Left he helped to create and has probably killed his chances for a run at the presidency in 2020.
So, insult the entire black American community, and you're rewarded; praise a guy with the gentlest of praise, and you're out on your ear.
P.S. Biden has since retracted his remarks about Pence. Presumably he no longer thinks Pence is decent. (March 2019)
Ronn Neff: Who's kiddin' who? The argument against supporting Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency most often used by Republicans is that it sets a bad precedent: A future Democratic president might use it to declare a national emergency regarding gun control or climate change.
This is an absurd argument:
(1) Does anyone really believe that Democrats haven't already thought of this?
(2) Does anyone really believe that Democrats would need a precedent before they tried it? Have they already forgotten the presidency of Barack Obama?
(3) There have been plenty of times when the GOP did not worry for one second about the precedent they were setting. (For an example, see the penultimate paragraph of my 2001 essay, "Ron Paul's Gift.") What makes this "precedent" so very different?
Now, it's entirely possible that there are some Republicans who actually believe what they are saying. But I don't believe that there are. I believe that it's merely cover for when they have to face the folks back home. When the final count is taken, it will be interesting to see how many of those who vote against Trump on this matter are up for re-election in 2020. (March 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: Making the nutballs bearable. I saw this the other day at the irrepressible and irreplaceable Babylon Bee: "Grizzly Bear Shatters All Pro Wrestling Records After Identifying As Human."
My own dream is that the identity maniacs decide they're grizzly bears, and attempt to join up with them and tell them what's what.P.S. I should be more careful, throwing around that word "irrepressible." The Bee still shows up on Facebook, but one has to assume its days there are numbered.
Ronn Neff: Did you ever notice? Women who "self-identify" as men never try out for men's sports. (February 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: Funny and serious. This has got to be the best thing I've ever read by Caitlin Johnstone, and that's saying something: "If Every Debate About US Interventionism Was About Godzilla Instead," Steemit, February 25, 2019. (February 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: Racism alert! I was disturbed, upset, and, liyeek, super-disappointed to see this news at the Daily Wire: "Ocasio-Cortez: People Maybe Shouldn't Reproduce Due To Climate Change / 'Is it okay to still have children?'" by Ryan Saavedra (February 25, 2019).
In 2017, the UN predicted there will be 4 billion sub-Saharan Africans by 2100. Is Señorita Ocasio-Cortez saying that black Africans should refrain from reproducing so that figure is not reached?
Does she hate black babies?
If Señorita Ocasio-Cortez doesn't stipulate that her skepticism about having children applies only to white people and especially to non-communist white people then I think the tarbrush of RACISM! must be applied, and she must immediately be purged from public life. And barred from renewing her bartender's license.
(I think this may be a secret not sure but I seem to have heard that some Latinx don't get along too well with people of African heritage.)Another view: "Nation Breathes Sigh of Relief As Ocasio-Cortez Comes Out against Having Children," The Babylon Bee, February 25, 2019.
Nicholas Strakon: Wright is right. In a message to some of my co-conspirators the other day I observed that I feel some cognitive dissonance when contemplating the leftists who have seized so much power over us and who seem destined to seize absolute power.
I was wondering about Russia in 191617. Did the normal literate folk soon to be shot or carted off as counter-revolutionaries double over with laughter sometimes when watching the antics of the Bolsheviks and their Left-totalitarian allies? I doubted that it was so.
But I wrote my friends our own Left-totalitarians, evil and deadly as they are, are so clownish. They're so damn funny. I can't help being horrified and entertained at the same time.
David T. Wright responded: "It's a little like being in a concentration camp run by Laurel and Hardy." (February 2019)
Ronn Neff: "A Simple Plan." Now, let's see if I have this right:
The plan was for the "attack" to be captured by a street camera, and somehow that was supposed to help Jussie Smollett's report to be believable.
If the camera had been pointed the right way, wouldn't it have shown at once that the "attackers" were not white? Were not wearing MAGA caps? In fact, wouldn't it have helped the cops to identify the Nigerian brothers?
What did the brothers think was going to happen? "But, if we get caught, won't we go to jail?" And the only way to stay out of jail would be to rat Smollett out. Which is what happened.
Somehow, I can hear Andy Brown saying, "Kingfish, is you sure dis is on de up 'n' up?"
Nicholas Strakon comments: All in all, this does not seem to have been one of the better-designed Nigerian Scams. (February 2019)
Ronn Neff: Monumental question. Is slavery any worse than collecting taxes and living off them?
Will libertarians demand that all government officials grovel and apologize? Will they insist that all statues and other paraphrenalia honoring those who collected taxes and lived off taxes be removed? Should all parks and streets be renamed? (February 2019)
Ronn Neff: A lesson in media bias. In many "news" stories reporting on something Donald Trump has said, the publication will often say, "President Trump said, without evidence, that, etc." The New York Times seems particularly fond of this construction, but is certainly not alone.
Now consider this story at the Washington Free Beacon, "Omar: Refugees at U.S. Border Are 'Detained and Tortured'" (February 7, 2019), in which Rep. Ilhan Omar (DMinn.) is quoted: "They are separated and processed. They are detained and tortured." The story does not say, "Congresswoman Omar said, without evidence, 'They are detained and tortured.'"
I do not mind that the president's assertions are often reported by high-minded logicians who note that he has not provided evidence. But where are they when others are speaking? (February 2019)
Ronn Neff: How leftists think. The other day I heard the following exchange between Kamala Harris, who considers herself qualified to run my life (and yours) as president of the United States, and Neomi Rao, whom Donald Trump has nominated to the U.S. District Court of Appeals:Harris: You said when having a conversation with Senator Ernst, "Women should take certain steps to avoid becoming a victim." What steps do you have in mind that women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?Harris says that she found the responses from Rao "unacceptable" and "deeply troubling," apparently believing that they are the first step in a program of "blaming the victim."
Rao: Senator, it's just sort of a common-sense idea about for instance excessive drinking, y'know that was advice that was given to me by my mother.
Harris: So that's one step that you believe women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?
Rao: It is just a way to make it less likely. It's not to blame the victim; rape and sexual assault are horrible crimes, but we're talking about what can you do to keep yourself safe.
Harris: Are there other steps that you believe women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?
Rao: That is one of the issues I discussed; I'm not sure if there are others.
Harris: So do you believe that if women do not take those steps that she is at fault or partially at fault for what happens to her?
Rao: Uh, no.
Harris: So what is the significance of taking those steps?
Rao: Well, it's just the significance of trying to avoid becoming a victim of any crime. We take different steps to protect ourselves from horrible crime, such as rape. And I think what we want is for women to not be victims.
I could not help but wonder whether Harris thinks that drivers who dash into a 7-Eleven to pick up a coffee and newspaper should be warned not to leave their keys in their car. (February 2019)
Ronn Neff: Rashaad Thomas is black, and his skin is thin. In a Phoenix restaurant, he saw a photograph of coal miners with soot on their faces and said it was blackface and a "threat" to him.
He said that it was part of the issue of "lack of representation of marginalized people and their voices in Phoenix."
He said that the photograph said to him that "people like me are not welcome."
I wish people like him were not welcome. I believe that civilized society can do without people who go around looking for reasons to be offended. I wish society would not welcome them. I wish a polite and civilized society would ask them to please leave and never come back.
Alas, we do not live in such a society. We live in a society in which such people get to be featured in the opinion pages of USA TODAY affiliates. We live in a society in which such people are not nearly marginalized enough and are afforded too loud a voice.
Thomas thinks that taking down the photograph would be an instance of "sacrificing one image for the greater good." Unfortunately we live in a society in which people such Thomas get to define the "greater good."
I believe that the greater good is served by shunning people like Thomas. (January 2019)
Ronn Neff and Nicholas Strakon: Have you ever noticed how often when a leftist is called on something he said it turns out he wasn't talking about what you thought he was talking about?
CNN's Jake Tapper said of Roger Stone's going to prison, "He might like it" there. When he was accused of making a "homophobic" remark, he (and dozens of others) assured us all that he wasn't talking about that. He was talking about the publicity that Stone would get in prison.
'Cause, you know, lots of publicity hounds wish they were in prison.
They never seem to mean the plain meaning of the words they use.
We see a variation of that in this Daily Mail story: "'Not married? Fall in love with someone who doesn't have the right to stay here': Aid group rescuing people in the Med appears to suggest supporters MARRY illegal immigrants," by George Martin, January 28, 2019.
When protests resulted, "[T]he NGO's co-founder rejected the idea that the tweet was about marriage, saying instead it encouraged people to 'show love towards migrants.'"
This time we can believe the leftists. They'd never endorse marriage per se, but only as a tactical maneuver to speed demographic replacement or advance another of their destructive goals. (January 2019)
Ronn Neff and Nicholas Strakon: Brokaw and the American language(s). Tom Brokaw yesterday advised Hispanics in this country to "work harder at assimilation." Whah-oh! According to Politico, a "flurry" of apologies soon followed from the (formerly) great man. But one of Brokaw's critics, fellow by the name of Alcindor, was slow to accept them, declaring that "... Spanish and other languages were always part of America."
Sure they were. Like Hopi and Apache.
Not to mention, German.
That's why the Founders printed the Declaration of Independence in so many languages.
And, of course, that's why Brokaw had translators on his show whenever he did the news. (January 2019)
Savage amusement. From today's Politico Playbook:AXIOS' JONATHAN SWAN: "Scoop: Trump mused about 'military option' in Venezuela with Graham": "Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told me that as recently as a couple of weeks ago Trump mused to him about the possibility of using military force in Venezuela, where the U.S. government is currently pushing for regime change using diplomatic and economic pressures. ... Graham, recalling his conversation with Trump, said: 'He [Trump] said, "What do you think about using military force?" and I said, "Well, you need to go slow on that, that could be problematic."
"And he said, 'Well, I'm surprised, you want to invade everybody.'" Graham laughed. 'And I said, "I don't want to invade everybody, I only want to use the military when our national security interests are threatened."' 'Trump's really hawkish' on Venezuela, the hawkish Graham added in a phone interview on Sunday afternoon, adding that Trump was even more hawkish than he was on Venezuela." Axios.
Nicholas Strakon: Writing of the Indian drummer affair, Robert Hampton at American Renaissance asks, "Who Will Defend Innocent Whites?" (January 24, 2019). And he starts by saying, "Clearly, not 'conservatives.'"
Later on he writes: "The knee-jerk reaction from Catholic and conservative leaders reveals their impotence in the face of left-wing hatred."
Yes. I keep asking: Given the Left-statists' rabid craziness and incessant internecine squabbling, how have they taken over the culture? How do they continue to rule it? And ever extend their rule?
The only answer I can think of is: They encounter almost no principled opposition.
The nightmare figure of Cthulhu looms at the center of all, tremendous; he is hard to miss. His uncountable tentacles, running under the surface, thrusting deep into the mind of many millions, are harder to see. (January 2019)
David T. Wright: The leftist drumbeat. Yet another moral panic is upon us, after vicious Catholic white high school kids harassed a noble Native American "elder," a "war veteran" no less, who was peacefully chanting and banging his drum at the Lincoln Memorial in Trantor. A video surfaced showing the noble Native American, identified as "indigenous rights activist" Nathan Phillips, being smirked at by a kid in a red MAGA cap, while other kids in the background laughed, cut up, and generally acted like teenage goofballs.
Minitrue talking heads, understandably outraged at such effrontery, helpfully interviewed Mr. Phillips about the incident. Phillips told them that the kids were taunting a group of four noble Black Israelites, and he began to chant and bang the drum to prevent the "mob" of "hundreds" of kids from "tearing apart" the innocent black men. Also understandably, the talking heads neglected to seek the other side of the story from the kids in question, because, well, they're white Catholic Trump supporters who, to top it off, had been participating in a huge March for Life anti-abortion rally. I mean, obviously they're racist scum, so why bother? Especially when they were confronting a noble Native American war veteran elder indigenous rights activist, and four noble African American religious men who, according to the Minitrue story, were "singing hymns."
In the uproar that ensued, celebrities called for the heads of the guilty kids, left-wing activists attempted to reveal their identities and addresses, others called for them to be physically attacked, and the kids' own Catholic diocese condemned them and threatened expulsion, apparently without first investigating the matter.
Unfortunately, further video evidence surfaced that threw the incident in a different light. It turned out that the noble African American religious men were members of a weird sect known for provocative behavior, and that they had been shouting scurrilous taunts at the kids and everybody else in sight for over an hour as the kids waited for a bus to come and pick them up. Not only that, but Phillips walked over to the teenagers and apparently did his best to provoke an incident with them, only for them to do nothing much at all except act like kids. The entire narrative pushed by our informal Ministry of Truth was a lie, and the carelessness and bigotry of Minitrue and the Establishment were on display for all to see. This is yet another example of how the Internet needs regulation and oversight by wise monitors to prevent crimethink from disrupting the official narrative.
Dense fog over the Atlantic
But don't worry! Ian Bogost at the Atlantic magazine has taken a look at the new evidence and called upon all goodthinkers to revise their opinion about the affair. His conclusion? A whole lot of things happened, so let's forget that the white kids were slandered, and instead meditate on the nature of reality:But rather than drawing conclusions about who was vicious or righteous or lamenting the political miasma that makes the question unanswerable it might be better to stop and look at how film footage constructs rather than reflects the truths of a debate like this one. Despite the widespread creation and dissemination of video online, people still seem to believe that cameras depict the world as it really is; the truth comes from finding the right material from the right camera. That idea is mistaken, and it's bringing forth just as much animosity as the polarization that is thought to produce the conflicts cameras record.But the Atlantic is here to tell you that it doesn't. In the immortal words of Groucho Marx, "Who you gonna believe, me or your eyes?"
Because the newer video of the Lincoln Memorial encounter is so much longer, some would contend that it offers clarity about how the conflict arose.... For example: At one point, the Black Hebrew Israelite protester holding the camera engages with a woman who had pointed out that Guatemala and Panama are indigenous names with their own meaning, different from names such as Indian or Puerto Rico ascribed by Spanish conquistadors. "I am from Panama," the cameraman claims, "so now I'm indigenous from Panama ... We indigenous, so we out here fighting for you."And so on, blah, blah, blah. You see, the issue is the uncertain nature of reality as portrayed by the camera, NOT the fact that the kids in question were deliberately set up and then slandered and their futures put in jeopardy by the leftist establishment, just for the crime of being white and Christian.
As best I can tell, the speaker means to argue ...
Meanwhile, it looks as if this may be Phillips's Tawana Brawley moment. Now that he's got the spotlight on himself, can he exploit the publicity to become a media player and make himself a lot of money? He certainly seems mendacious enough; the question is, is he as clever and ruthless as Al Sharpton, and can he pose and bloviate as effectively? I'm skeptical, but I'm rooting for him. (January 2019)
A zinger, razor sharp. "Remember: if you see a mob picking on a boy, Gillette wants you to intervene." libertarian economist and commentator Robert P. Murphy. (January 2019)
Nicholas Strakon: Changing the indictment. Tom Woods has something to say about the new "blackface" accusation against Covington students. Leftists on social media are promoting this charge, which if anything is even more self-evidently preposterous than the original one involving the Indian drummer.
Now the Left, on Facebook, is promoting the charge brought by a girl from Connecticut that some of the Kentucky boys harassed her by shouting political slogans at her, possibly accompanied by the word "slut." She presented an eight-second video showing ... something. Our own boffins, frustrated, are submitting it to the NSA for painstaking analysis. See what you think.
I am reminded now of Joseph Schumpeter's most famous observation: "Capitalism stands its trial before judges who have the sentence of death in their pockets. They are going to pass it, whatever the defense they may hear; the only success victorious defense can possibly produce is a change in the indictment." Just substitute "normal white Catholic boys" for "capitalism," and Bob's your commissar. (January 2019)
Ronn Neff: Good news from the Great White North! The Coop les Récoltes, a "bar and solidarity co-operative at the Université du Québec à Montréal," gives us this "definition" of "cultural appropriation": "when someone from a dominant culture appropriates symbols, clothing or hairstyles that come from historically dominated cultures." (Note: Evidently at the UQAM no one teaches the mush-heads that a proper definition does not begin with the word "when," but moving on ...)
Greg Robinson, a UQAM professor specializing in black history, explains further that wearing dreadlocks and blackface is "like the N-word." "Blacks can use it among themselves, but if someone from outside uses it, even if he wants to be like blacks, among blacks, there is still an aspect that remains rooted in history."
Good news here:
(1) Blacks can spearhead the revival of the minstrel show! And they can do it without wearing blackface! I look forward to this return of a lost treasure of Western civilization.
(2) Whites will (thank God!) at last be forbidden to sing "Were You There" and other Negro spirituals on Good Friday or any other time. (January 2019)
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