www.thornwalker.com/ditch/stopcollection_2021.htm

 


 
Stop and think,  collected — 2021
   Note. 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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Nicholas Strakon: The reason you can’t get Ivermectin isn’t just that Facebook and War Criminal Fauci hate it.

If you’ve looked into the Federal Reserve’s inflation machine, you may think you have a full appreciation of how arcane the regime’s oppressive operations can be. Wrong. You haven’t seen arcane until you’ve followed Dr. Ted Noel’s (lucid) explanation at the American Thinker of how Medicare and Medicaid operate: “Why Do Doctors Go Along with COVID Panic Porn and CDC Prescriptions?” (September 22, 2021).

He writes:

Both programs [Medicare and Medicaid] are ultimately managed by the feds, one of the most humorless groups on the planet. They write a whole bunch of rules on how you have to document everything you do. If you didn’t document it correctly, it didn’t happen, and you won’t get paid. But that’s not the half of it ...
Dr. Noel ably describes the regime’s actual mechanism for suppressing the COVID medications Ivermectin and HCQ. And in so doing — I will add — protecting and subsidizing its cloutful client: Big Fascist Pharma. (September 2021)


Edna St. Louis Missouri: Yesterday’s hackers, today’s autocratic authoritarians.

Editor’s note: Miss Missouri, TLD’s intrepid internet investigative reporter, writes from behind a firewall so high, even she doesn’t know where she is. Let’s keep it that way.
Interesting how the hacker culture became part of the Washington Beltway gentle authoritarian culture when they got rich and powerful. I have often wondered where and how the internet with its promise of non-governmental freedom went bad. The answer is:
a) the government was behind it from the start (think ARPANET), mostly unnoticed, it is true, but there;

b) many or most of the hacker-culture people were narcissists and not at all interested in principled liberty; and

c) when Google, Facebook, et al., discovered how to monetize search and algorithms it was game over. (Facebook’s profit last year was $85 billion and they still have the chutzpah to whine that Apple’s software ad blockers will affect their business model? Really?) Anyway, next time some doofus argues that what Big Tech is doing in social media is OK because they are private enterprises, point out that since they are shielded by legislation, and since under the guise of “policing the internet” they are really doing the government’s bidding, they are about as private as the U.S. Postal Service or maybe the FBI.

I recently duckduckgo-ed Facebook and got this amusing result:
About Facebook - Promoting Economic Opportunity
about.facebook.com
Report Ad

See latest news on how we’re promoting economic opportunity.

Learn More. We build technologies that help people connect with friends and family, ...
1B Stories Shared Daily • $5B Raised For Causes

Protecting Your Privacy

Discover Tools To Give You Control Over Your Privacy And Data

Value Of Personalized Ads

See What Personalized Ads Can Do For You

Being More Transparent
Learn More About Our Continuing Commitment To Transparency.
Our Mission

Help People Build Community & Bring The World Closer Together.

So Facebook’s mission isn’t making $85 billion, it’s building community, promoting economic opportunity — not, however, by donating any of their $85 billion to charity, by the way, but by “allowing” people to do crowdfunding online. It may be true that they “raised” $5 billion for causes, but even here they have to be dishonest about it by implying that they gave out $5 billion rather than making it clear that they just allowed others to use their facilities to do it.

It’s a little like your city claiming they helped raise $thousands by letting some group stand on their street corners with fried-chicken buckets asking hapless motorists stopped for a traffic light for donations. Or maybe the telephone companies claiming they had raised $millions or billions by “letting” anyone from the Committee to Re-Elect Bernie Sanders call me (why are they asking someone from South Dakota to contribute to him?), to someone informing me that he is a spokesperson for MasterCard and Visa offering me a great credit debt deal (since when did MasterCard and Visa work together?), to some guy with a South Asian accent offering me free stuff from Medicare (what Medicare from where is not specified), to a State Police Benevolent Association fund-raiser soliciting me. (Aren’t you a little nervous when the SPBA person addresses you by name, and you think, “They know my name, phone number, and probably address and license plate number. I’d better be careful not to antagonize them. And, who knows, maybe putting their little sticker on my back bumper wouldn’t hurt during a traffic stop.”) Or, in the old days, when you just got letters informing you that you had won the Irish Sweepstakes. (Now, of course, the Irish Sweepstakes, whose very existence outraged public morality, has been replaced by 50 state lotteries which are not only as commendable as giving to the Salvation Army or your local Sunday School missionary fund, but — wait for it — raise money for public schools and teacher salaries! BTW, that explains why state and local expenditures for education have gone down.)

And where did Facebook’s $85 billion profit come from? It came from selling our information, which it obtained/stole from us for free. Just bear this in mind: If something on the internet is free, then you are the commodity. Think of Facebook-user number claims as indisputable proof of P.T. Barnum’s axiom “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Of course, since some 250 babies are born every minute, Barnum’s axiom might better read: “There are 250 suckers born every minute.” Not as catchy, but more accurate. And since there are a reported (note: “reported”) 105 babies aborted every minute, the actual number of potential dupes would be even higher.

Facebook claims one of their priorities is “protecting” our privacy. Could there be a bigger lie than that? Why, yes, that would be their claim of “Being More Transparent,” and showing us how “Personalized Ads” and pirating our personal info are really of extreme value to us! I hate it when people lie to me, but I find it even more irritating when they lie to me about how they only have my best interests in mind. How about you?

What to do? Quit Facebook unless you have to use it for some good reason, such as publicizing your business. If you don’t use it that much or it isn’t essential to you, then the sooner you dump it, the better. All you have to lose is marketing yourself to yourself and letting Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram steal your information and create a “virtual you” that they can market to everybody without your slightest say-so.

Second, try to get out of using Google products as much as you can. Google sweeps up and amalgamates your data from all of its products that you use. Even if Safari doesn’t work as well for you as Chrome, isn’t it worth the relatively small opportunity costs to switch? (Safari works just fine for me, BTW.) For search, don’t use Google: use DuckDuckGo, which may not be perfect, but at least claims it isn’t trying to blab your searches to Big Tech AI algorithms and thence (SPOILER ALERT) to the marketing departments of businesses, political parties, hackers, and identity thieves.

Third, if you believe in voting, vote only for candidates who will endeavor to keep what little of the internet is still free free, and might even want to help you recover control of your personal info from Big Tech. Support candidates who want to end the High Tech-Dumbocrat Party Axis of Evil by withdrawing Section 230 privileges from High Tech, thereby returning it to real free-market status unprotected from the market, no longer being shielded from the public, and no longer able to act with impunity.


Edward Morrison Morley: Welfare for the truly needy.

Editor’s note: E.M. Morley, one of the most deeply compassionate persons on the surface of the planet today and ever alert to the tragic fate of the truly needy, spots the Party that helps them out. Because of the outrageous subsidies he gets from TLD, including the use of an EV Porsche, Mr. Morley confesses to not being truly needy, and he will be even less needy if his pending candidacy for governor of a state that wishes to remain anonymous is successful.
According to “Green Welfare for the Rich,” an editorial in the Wall Street Journal (September 18-19, 2021), the Dumbocrats’ $3.5 trillion bill proposes an expanded $12,500 subsidy for electric vehicles (to replace the chintzy $7,500 now in place) and also the removing of the current 200,000 car limit (i.e., now only the first 200,000 EVs of a particular brand get the subsidy, a number that Tesla and GM have already met). Currently, about 40 percent of EV registrations are in California (guess how many of these climate-conscious citizens are among the indigent). Why?
1) Because Californians are lunatics who will support any “green legislation,” however useless it might be in combating climate change and how much it would escalate consumer costs particularly for the poor. Ask yourself: which U.S. state has the highest gasoline prices, largely owing to nutso regulations?

2) Californians are already eligible for an additional EV rebate up to $7,000. Since an EV costs somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 more than an equivalent gas-guzzler (internal combustion engines always guzzle gas), this “levels the playing field.” The proposal also creates an additional $4,500 tax credit for EVs manufactured at U.S. factories that are “under a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement.” Non-unionized plants would be that much more under a competitive disadvantage and that much more under pressure to roll over and play dead for the UAW. (Apparently workers at foreign-owned U.S. plants don’t count since their places of work are excluded from any of this.)

The net result is that wealthy taxpayers will be able to buy Teslas and electric Hummers and take a good deal of it off their taxes, while the non-income-tax-paying poor and most middle-class people won’t be buying Teslas and won’t benefit from these tax exemptions. Thus the rich are subsidized by the non-rich. The beneficiaries, oddly enough, are the same people currently being demonized by the administration. Perhaps the Dumbocrats, as the Party of compassion, have recognized that the rich 1 percent already pay 90 percent of income taxes and, thus, are the truly needy in 2021 America. (September 2021)
Related reading: “Electric Social Distancing,” by Eric Peters, September 16, 2021.

Edward Morrison Morley: The triumph of Newsom. From the New York Times, September 15, 2021: “Newsom Beat the Recall, Now Comes the Hard Part: Governing California,” by Shawn Hubler.

Editor’s intro: “Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing multiple crises. Ninety percent of California is in extreme drought. The median home price has eclipsed $800,000. Some 100,000 people are sleeping outside or in their cars.”

Somehow the Times left out California’s two principal crises: a hopelessly incompetent ideologue as “governor,” and the fact that said incompetent and the entire lefty population of the United States regard California as a “laboratory for progressive policies.” (Google that phrase and see how many hits you get. Are so-called journalists so mentally impoverished that all they can do is plagiarize catch phrases from each other? [Editor’s note: That question is just “baseless.” — Nicholas Strakon])

California reminds one of an old Soviet joke.

Boy: “Dad, is it true that the Soviet Union is a laboratory for the future?”

Dad: “Yes, my son. The USSR is a noble experiment.”

Boy: “Then why didn’t they try it out on animals first?”

 

(September 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: DIE-versity! At VDARE, Paul Kersey reports: “Black Marine General: Corps Needs ‘Increased Diversity’ to Face China and Russia — It’s an Ethical Imperative!” (September 7, 2021).

This may be the next best thing to abolishing the Marine Corps outright. Ooorah! (September 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: On the subject of abolition, here’s a worthwhile piece at (believe it or not) Salon: “Debacle in Afghanistan: Likely Taliban victory signals the collapse of American empire,” by Chris Hedges (July 28, 2021).

Editor’s intro: “After 20 years of carnage and $1 trillion, the tragic Afghan misadventure is over — and that’s just for starters.”

Hedges quotes Mark Twain to good effect. But he also delivers this boneheaded prediction: The collapse “will spawn an authoritarian state to keep order and, I expect, a Christianized fascism.” The authoritarian state, we’ve already got, of course, though it will get a good deal worse. But ... Christianized? Well, I guess leftists just gonna Left.

Imperial collapse will be a splendid thing in itself, but it is likely to result in many of us weefolk being crushed by the falling pillars. Hedges agrees. (September 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: In this video excerpt, Dan Bongino goes to work on Rolling Stone’s Ivermectin crackup and the rest of the leftist media’s demented credulity toward it.

According to Bongino, Rolling Stone even posted a (transparently) dishonest photo to illustrate their “story”!

This is a delicious comeuppance for Minitrue — assuming lots of normal people hear about it. Since it has to do with leftist hysteria here at home, it’s much tastier than ABC News’s attempt, in October 2019, to represent footage from a gun show in Kentucky as a Turkish terror attack on a Syrian village.

Minor disappointment: Sleepy Joe didn’t stumble into endorsing the Rolling Stone piece. That would have made the whole thing perfect.

So how did such a brain-dead faction of crazy-evil fantasists take over every major institution in our country? As I’ve said a thousand times before: This is what comes, after more than a century, from a lack of significant principled opposition. (September 2021)


Edna St. Louis Missouri: Here’s a surprise. Greg Ip columnizes in the Wall Street Journal (September 2, 2021): “Strategy for High Inflation? Raise the Target,” revealing that in 2017, several of the current president’s economic advisors — Heather Boushey, Jared Bernstein, and Gene Sperling, along with AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs, whom Biden is considering for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, and others — signed a letter calling for the Fed to raise its 2 percent inflation target. Another signatory, Jason Furman, who was chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under the Obama/Biden regime and is now at Harvard, thinks that inflation will be at 3 percent in 2022 and after, and suggests that the Fed raise its target to (SPOILER ALERT!) 3 percent. This seems like a return to the old “Shoot the Arrow and Then Move the Target to Where It Landed” school of forecasting.

By the way, Ip seems to think it’s a good idea. Why? Because it would “reduce economic volatility” and allow employers to cut expenses by freezing pay as inflation goes up. (September 2021)

Also see Miss St. Louis Missouri’s observation of August 31, “Economists? Us?” below.
 
Edna St. Louis Missouri: Dead internet theory.
Editor’s note: Did I mention that Dr. Edna is now also TLD’s internet and legal issues correspondent? Well, she is and she’s here, so get used to it. — Nicholas Strakon
There is a theory that has been circulating on the internet that the internet died in 2016 or 2017. What this means is that practically everything you see on line is created not by actual people but by artificial intelligence (AI), and is spread by bots. The theory breaks down somewhat when it allows that “influencers” are being paid by mega corporations in cahoots with the government to get us both to buy stuff from the big tech/industrial complex and to buy political wares on offer from the government and big media. These seem like live people — so to speak — who aren’t any more dead than the people behind recorded television and radio broadcasting and ads.

However, if you check Wikipedia for “dead internet,” you get the following: “The page ‘Dead Internet’ does not exist.” That pretty much proves the theory. (September 2021)


Edna St. Louis Missouri: Economists? Us?

Editor’s note: Dr. Edna St. Louis Missouri is TLD’s new education and economics columnist. Raised as a child by Ludwig and Margit von Mises, but eschewing Ayn Rand (“I never could stand Aynie or that oafish Branden character either,” in her words), she later went on to study with Frank Chodorov “of blessed memory,” though not imbibing of his Georgism; and Rose Wilder Lane. Dr. Missouri is well-qualified to comment on education and economics, as she now serves as an advisor to several hedge funds that prefer to remain anonymous. — Nicholas Strakon
According to news reports on Friday, August 28, 2021, the White House has more than doubled its forecast for inflation over what it had predicted in May 2021. Consumer prices are expected to rise 4.8 percent, up sharply from a 2 percent rise foreseen only three months earlier. How did the administration describe this? “We think this trajectory is very much consistent with the inflation outlook we’ve been discussing pretty much since we got here.” So a forecast with a 140 percent margin of error is “consistent” with what they’ve been saying all along? The good news, however, is that officials reduced their projections for an annual budget shortfall from $3.7 trillion to a mere $3,100,000,000. No wonder people learn to keep their hands on their wallets when economists are in the room.

Conclusions:

1. Whatever happens with inflation, the Biden administration will describe it as “very much consistent” with their forecasts; and

2. eventually they hope that people will come to see trillion-dollar deficits as pretty much inconsequential and not really worth much attention. (August 2021)


Edward Morrison Morley: The Newspeak Dictionary now has an entry for “chaplain.”

The New York Times has been authorized to report: “The New Chief Chaplain at Harvard? An Atheist,” by Emma Goldberg, August 27, 2021.

Editor’s intro: “The elevation of Greg Epstein, author of ‘Good Without God,’ reflects a broader trend of young people who increasingly identify as spiritual but religiously nonaffiliated.”

One presumes his job is to tell students to ignore what the other “chaplains” are telling them.

Goldberg writes: “Mr. Epstein, 44, author of the book Good Without God, is a seemingly unusual choice for the role.”

“Seemingly” is the giveaway here: the rest of the article explains why he is the logical choice, given that 1 billion people are atheists (according to his book). With a world population of nearly 8 billion, that would clock in at 12.5 percent, and given that the proportion is likely larger at Harvard, he would be the chaplain of the largest religious (or non-religious) group on campus. (The story later relates that “a Harvard Crimson survey of the class of 2019 found that those students were two times more likely to identify as atheist or agnostic than 18-year-olds in the general population.”

Epstein mentors dozens of “students about the progressive movement that centers people’s relationships with one another instead of with God.” An awkward sentence since the authoress (they hate that word) feels the need to work “progressive movement” in there. “‘We don’t look to a god for answers,’ Mr. Epstein said. ‘We are each other’s answers.’” What was the question again?

Goldberg advises further: “Mr. Epstein’s community has tapped into the growing desire for meaning without faith in God. ‘Being able to find values and rituals but not having to believe in magic, that‘s a powerful thing,’ said A.J. Kumar, who served as the president of a Harvard humanist graduate student group that Mr. Epstein advised.”

The article is mainly loaded with testimonies by former Jews, Catholics, and others about how cool Epstein is (he is also a chaplain at MIT), how they have found true meaning in life, and how consoling it is during COVID. (August 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Kangaroo scientists. I highly recommend this very observant, readable piece on scientific culture in the age of COVID by Peter G. Klein, at the Mises Institute: “Scientific Credibility and the File-Drawer Problem” (August 22, 2021). Excerpt:

[One] problem is the idea that, in addressing a complex public policy issue with a variety of social, cultural, and economic ramifications, only the views of infectious-disease epidemiologists (and the personal experiences of health-care professionals) are relevant in deciding if cities should be locked down, children prevented from attending school, businesses closed, and the like. Issues such as the constitutionality or legality of mitigation measures, what risks people consider reasonable, and how to assess marginal tradeoffs among specific health outcomes and other goals — even the idea of tradeoffs and marginal analysis itself — are considered irrelevant.
This relates to what I call the “kangaroo scientist” problem, whereby a scientist illegitimately jumps from his scientific expertise to pretend he’s also an authority on social, economic, and political questions about which he may well be a complete ignoramus. Powerful people take his utterances seriously because it serves their purposes. “It is no accident, comrades,” that the kangaroo scientist’s opinions on out-of-discipline questions usually reflect the prevailing ideological tendency of our time: that is, totalitarianism. Years before the COVID panic struck, we were already seeing much kangaroo-leaping with respect to Emergency Global Climate Warming Change. (August 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: The worms turn. I don’t mean to slip into conspiratorialism here (heaven forfend!), but I can’t help wondering whether certain Deep Statists orchestrated the chaotic U.S. skedaddle from Afghanistan in order to undermine Old Slow Joe.

To be sure, some blame would spill over onto other figures of the public regime — and that is happening — but as Tucker Carlson pointed out the other day, “Top officials are contradicting Biden in public” with respect to the Afghanistan humiliation. It looks like damage limitation, and it could be abandonment as well.

It is remarkable also that the leftist reptile media are now criticizing Figurehead Biden for “his” foreign “policy.” Provocative, in light of the fact that Kamala Harris must have many fans at Minitrue. Maybe more than Biden has.

If women now emerge alleging more touchy-feely outrages on Biden’s part, and Minitrue takes them seriously, we’ll have a clearer idea of what is up. Readers of Kipling may recall the line, “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains....”

The dim duffer has been a dutiful servant of the ultimate powers in the seven months he’s been in the palace, but as Carlson says, he’s losing his mind fast now. I wonder whether the Dark Red Suits have decided that the time for a change has arrived. If so, it would be coming later, actually, than some of us predicted when Biden was installed in January. (August 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: In another remarkable turn by Minitrue, the New York Times has been authorized to report: “Those Anti-Covid Plastic Barriers Probably Don’t Help and May Make Things Worse” (August 19, 2021).

The paywall on the story slams down almost immediately, but you get the point. The Times’s apparent departure from the COVID Party line initially startled me ... until I realized what was probably going on: The Party line has changed again, and Oceania is no longer at war with Eurasia. Instead, it has always been at war with Eastasia.

In short, the only thing that can save you from COVID is the Magic Jab!

True, Masking has not gone away among the True Believers, and forced Maskism is even making a comeback. But you didn’t exactly expect consistency from the mad kind of totalitarianism we’re afflicted with, did you? Masking is still important because it signals deference and obedience to the superior beings who have been selected to rule over us. (August 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: At VDARE, Steve Sailer quotes NPR: “The [Afghan army] leaders were not only corrupt. Some of them were illiterate.”

In a different piece at VDARE, Lance Welton writes:

... [I]t seems likely that average Afghan IQ is very low. Video clips posted by Jared Taylor show U.S. advisors straightforwardly dismissive of their trainees’ abilities. According to Richard Lynn and David Becker’s book The Intelligence of Nations, there are no reliable Afghan IQ studies. However, the IQ of neighbouring Pakistan — with which there is significant ethnic overlap, Pashtuns make [up] 15%-18% of the population — is 80. Psychologist James Thompson, organizer of the London Conference on Intelligence, says the highest estimate he has been able to find for Afghanistan is 83.
How many thousands of those unfortunate folks will the regime and the leftist “charities” it subsidizes seek to resettle in our country? (August 2021)


Edward Morrison Morley: Here’s an instructive headline from an “Editor’s Pick” opinion piece in the New York Times. Yours is not to do and die, nor is it to reason why; yours is but to read and cry:

“Actually, Wearing a Mask Can Help Your Child Learn,” by Judith Danovitch, August 18, 2021.
Next Up: “Terminal Cancer Is Actually Good for Athletes and Journalists,” “Government Surveillance of the Internet Actually Prevents Brain Diseases”; and “Restaurant Lockdowns Actually Reduce Obesity.” (August 2021)



Edward Morrison Morley: The news marches — or stumbles — on.

1. Looks as if this is Beat Up on Andrew Cuomo Week. In the Wall Street Journal on August 3, a story by Jimmy Vielkind announced, “New York Set to Finish Cuomo Investigation in Weeks.” The story notes that though “High-level Democrats have joined Republicans in calling Mr. Cuomo to step down ... he has argued he should be afforded due process by the investigation.” But the same day, New York’s dishonorable attorney general, Letitia James, actually beat forecasts by releasing her 165-page report (based on 74,000 pieces of evidence and 179 interviews), which probably caught the Gov with his pants down (figuratively speaking). “Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women, Probe Finds,” according to a front page story also by Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, August 4, 2021. I know some of you perked up at the word “probe,” thinking of possible involvement with aliens, but this seems to be a more down-to-Earth story.

“Due process by the investigation” to the contrary notwithstanding, the Gov issued “a fiery rebuttal” to a probe he had actually set in motion by requesting it (oops!) back in March, saying that the “facts are much different than what has been portrayed.” Also seeming to forget the mantra “The Woman (in this case, actually, 11 women) Is Always to Be Believed” that he espoused just last year, Cuomo issued a videotaped statement that “the report was a biased review” and “that is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been.” He followed up this evident personal identity crisis by declaring he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” again skirting (pardon the pun) the issue of who was defining “inappropriate.”

The video statement (which apparently he conveniently had already made) included “a montage of photos at political events, kissing, hugging, and embracing men and women supporters.” The attorney general’s report, by the way, did not contain any mention of the Gov’s sexual interest in “men supporters,” which however might come out upon further investigation. The Gov “defended his behavior with the women to investigators as ‘old fashioned,’ possibly a reference to olden days when old-fashioned governors and old-fashioned slaveholders had a sexual right to women within a 10-mile radius. This rebuttal was so effective that even President Biden awoke from his dogmatic slumbers to say, “I think he should resign.”

Among the more interesting aspects are harassment charges being made by a female state trooper who had been assigned to the Gov’s security detail at his specific request.
 

2. “Portland Struggles to Rebuild Police,” by Zusha Elinson, Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021. “Leaders in Portland, Ore., are looking to combat the city’s rising homicide rate by resurrecting a police unit focused on gun violence. But after a year of growing tension within the department, they can’t find enough officers to join.” No kidding. Only four officers have applied for 14 job openings in Portland’s new “Focused Initiative Team,” which replaces the old “Gun Violence Reduction Team” shut down a year ago. The new job description calls for demonstrated “ability to fight systemic racism” and to be able to “work to lower tensions with residents.” No indication of whether or not the new officers have to provide their own crayons. Meanwhile, Portland already has 53 homicides this year and is well on its way to beating its all-time record of 70 set in 1987, following last year’s City Council decision to cut $15 million from the police department.
 

3. “The Cost of the School Shutdowns” is the subject of a Wall Street Journal editorial, July 29, 2021, which summarizes a report by the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company that examined spring 2021 test results for 1.6 million students in grades 1-6 and compared them with a similar pre-pandemic group. And what did they find? Spoiler Alert: pandemic-era children are on average four months behind the control group in reading and five months behind in math. Minority-dominated schools and low-household-income students did even worse. McKinsey estimated that this “lost learning” might cut lifetime earnings by $50,000 to $60,000. No news whether McKinsey is preparing other reports comparing public schools with home schooling and with private and parochial schools. Another Spoiler Alert: the editorial tags teachers unions as the main villains responsible for the school lockouts.
 

4. But in the midst of all this gloom and doom, here’s a cheerer-upper: “Obama’s Vineyard Birthday Party Is On,” by Jon Kamp and John McCormick, Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021. Excitement! Delight! Ecstasy! As of August 3, former President Barack Obama is still “planning a 60th birthday party with hundreds of guests.” Despite climbing COVID-19 rates and the advent of the Delta variant, the Obama birthday bash is a go, with the blessing of local authorities. The confab will be held on the former community organizer and advocate for the poor and needy’s $12 million 29-acre Martha’s Vineyard estate. “President Biden isn’t expected to attend the gathering,” probably because it would be past his bedtime. No word yet whether Strakon will be among the favored hundreds. [Word: I ain’t goin’, regardless. — NS] And no word on whether the assembled throng will reflect the amazing social, economic, class, racial, ethnic, creed, gender (all several dozen of them), color, national origin, religious (all several dozen of them), height, weight, education, literacy, intelligence (all several dozen of them), etc., Diversity that has made or might make this country great again. Inquiring minds want to know.

Late-breaking: The emperor-emeritus has now downsized his imperial extravaganza, ostensibly because of the popular “Delta variant,” but really because of some raised eyebrows on the part of people who count. (Video: Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald.) — Ed.
 
5. And even more good news! “The Disney Princess Debate,” by Julie Jargon, Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021, reveals that parents’ fears about the effects of “princess culture” on their children are misplaced: a five-year study of exposure to princess culture (is this better than no culture at all?) argues “it isn’t so toxic.” How about a tiny, tiny bit toxic? Anyway, parents worried about body image need not worry. Those concerned about Disney’s influence on the minds of our children can safely remain fearful. Will the happiness ever stop?
 

6. “Businessman’s Arrest Spurs Extradition Fight Between Turkey, U.S.,” by Vivian Salama and Jared Malsin, Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021, really doesn’t belong in this rubric, but it seems like a fun story and potential blockbuster movie that you ought to know about. Seems that this Turkish businessman (obviously, bad guy = businessman) is in jail in Vienna, and both Turkey and the United States want him for laundering funds from a U.S. renewable energy tax-credit scam. Sezgin Baran Korkmaz apparently laundered $133 million scammed from the U.S. gummint by brothers Jacob and Isaiah Kingston (members of a heretical polygamous Mormon group in Utah), who “falsely claimed they had produced and sold biofuels in transactions that qualified for the tax credits, but instead sent tanks of water or diluted gasoline to co-conspirators.” (I told you this was interesting.) They netted $470 million from these shenanigans.

To launder the dough, they hired Lev Dermen, an Armenian immigrant to the United States, who in turn hired Korkmaz to dispose of $133 million. Both the Kingston brothers (who pleaded guilty) and Dermen were convicted and are now in federal prison. The fly in the ointment for the Turkish government, headed by the egregious, dictatorial President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is that if Korkmaz shows up in U.S. courts, that would turn an international spotlight on corruption in Turkey and further tarnish the reputation of a regime that has wrecked its economy, faces plummeting poll numbers (as if that made any real difference) because of its repression and disastrous policies, and is dealing with increasing allegations of corruption at the highest levels.

And if that’s not interesting enough, here’s the exciting, all-new Last Ditch Challenge: suggest those who might play the lead roles in the forthcoming big-budget movie based on this story, tentatively titled: “Erdoğan’s Empire Strikes Back ... to Avoid Falling into The Last Ditch.” Some roles are already tied up, including Joe Biden as himself, Barbara Streisand as Kamala Harris, Jay Leno as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Orange Man as Erdoğan, Lady Gaga as Mrs. Erdoğan, and Paul Newman as head of the Mormon Church. Winners will be notified by postcard. (August 6, 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: A ponderable observation about the DOOOOM Machine. A Facebook friend posts this comment attributed to Dr. Patrick Moore, author of Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom (Ecosense Environmental, 2021):

“It dawned on me the other day that most of the scare stories in the media today are based on things that are invisible, like CO2 and radiation, or very remote, like polar bears and coral reefs. Thus, the average person cannot observe and verify the truth of these claims for themselves [sic]. They must rely on activists, the media, politicians, and scientists — all of whom have a huge financial and/or political interest in the subject — to tell them the truth.” (July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Escape from Chicago (not a movie title; a suggestion).

At the (London) Daily Mail (a good source for American news) I find: “Rapper, 31, dies after being shot 64 times by two gunmen who ambushed him as he walked out of Chicago jail.”

Unusually good Negro marksmanship, here: the shooters only hit two bystanders. Of course, the fusillade was probably delivered at short range, and the hitmen may have been what passes for professionals in the “community.”

All that aside, this is no doubt the greatest loss to music since the death of Richard Strauss. (July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Finally! (Hang on. You’ll see what I mean.)

James Kirkpatrick writes at VDARE: “Face It: Controlled Opposition Cucks Like David French, Ross Douthat Are Traitors.” The field of battle here is Critical Race Theory. Excerpts:

There is a word for a government that indoctrinates the nation to hate itself, destroy its identity, and dispossess themselves via moral blackmail or outright threats or force. That word is occupation.

If this is the future “our” own leaders — including “conservatives” — have in store for us, it is very hard to understand why Americans should care about the growth of Chinese or Russian power, even if these countries were to outright seize American territory.

And
CRT should be rejected with scorn and defiance, but that should just be a beginning. Parents need to not just organize to take over school boards, but work to defund public schools entirely — and, ultimately, dismantle much of the frankly destructive American higher education system. [My emphasis.]
Yes! That urging is what prompted my “Finally!” It’s what has been missing from all the previous conservative writings I’ve seen about CRT. If school and state were separated, French’s premise — All of Our Democratic People’s Schools Should Teach This, Not That — would at once be wholly undermined. Thousands of flowers would bloom, and statists such as David French would be lost in the garden.

By the way, I’d wager that French would support a move by state school boards to explicitly ban the writings of J. Philippe Rushton, Hans Eysenck, Richard Lynn, Jared Taylor, Sam Francis ... (The matter is moot, since implicit, silent bans are already in effect.) With specific reference to American history, I could throw in the names of a bunch of anti-leftist revisionist historians, too.

Leftists and neocons seem to be reliably hypocritical on such matters. (July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: As a libertarian I can’t actually endorse this, but it’s remarkable to see that the Organs of State Security are finally getting serious about resisting Antifa!

“FBI Urges Americans To Monitor ‘Family Members and Peers’ To ‘Prevent Homegrown Violent Extremism,’” by Bradley Devlin, The Daily Caller, July 12, 2021.
Oh, no, wait ... Never mind. It’s Stasi stuff as usual. (July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Pathological. At Chronicles, Christopher Roach writes: “Diagnosing the Right as Pathological” (July 2021 issue).

In defining “the Right,” the enemies of civilization do not, of course, distinguish between libertarians and conservatives, so I recommend that those mindful of the liberty philosophy attend to Roach’s observations.

Excerpt:

... [T]he left is like the dog that caught the car: Trump’s absence leaves them in need of a new cause. The left’s internal need for a common enemy, more than the facts, explains their campaign to categorize Trump voters, and the right in general, as extreme. Countering extremism is the new unifying principle of the left. [Not really new, but certainly worsened since the removal of Trump. — NS]

Media figures, politicians, and law enforcement executives describe extremism as the end product of “radicalization.” The narrative of radicalization includes several layers of misrepresentation. First, the left defines right-wing beliefs as extreme by reference not to actual moderation, but to the revolutionary modern center. Then, they describe these beliefs themselves as a type of violent threat. Finally, they move the disagreement from the realm of politics into the more intrusive realm of psychology, where right-wing beliefs are treated as a type of mental illness.

At TLD we were alive to the extreme leftward movement of the “mainstream” long before our rulers ever imposed the COVID panic and tyranny. I’ve written about it over the years. We’ve also long recognized the pathologizing of dissent, in the style of the Soviets and the Frankfurt School. It is apparent in the Red Guards’ coinage of such faux-psychiatric words as “homophobic” and “transphobic.” (July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Once again, “national service.” The slavers of the American political class, and their odoriferous little friends outside the regime, are shameless. And relentless: the leftists resurrect this slavery scheme every two or three years. James Bovard writes:

“Can Mass Subjugation Save American Democracy?,” American Institute for Economic Research, July 7, 2021.
Bovard observes, “If the federal government is the beneficiary of forced labor, any quibbles about the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude are moot.” An important point. The government employees called judges have shown that to be the case since their first endorsement of military conscription.

I don’t mean to let Republicans off the hook. How many of them ever opposed military conscription during the Empire’s wars? I’m sure that if the “national service” scheme advanced through Congress, some (many?) Republicans would vote for it — in order to “shape up” those aimless video-gaming youngfolk — despite the fact that such a scheme would always be controlled by the Left, like practically all other institutions in our sinking wreck of a country.

P.S. Exercising self-restraint, I pass over the reference to saving democracy in the title of the piece.

(July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: The great Robert Higgs, author of the indispensable Crisis and Leviathan, posted the following assessment to Facebook in July 2014. (I have embedded the “NAP” link.) Was he wrong?

For libertarians, the nonaggression principle (NAP) is the touchstone of our ideology. It is so obviously appealing as a moral foundation that it is accepted as axiomatic — that is, as self-evident.

Yet, for the world's population, it is impossible to imagine that even 1% would be willing to endorse the NAP. Nearly everyone regards one thing or another — and often a huge collection of things — as having such great value that aggression (the initiation of violence or the threat of violence) against other persons is acceptable in order to attain those things.

Can people ever be weaned from their tendency to resort directly or indirectly (usually via the state) to violence? In my estimation, only a small minority can be. Libertarians are therefore doomed to remain permanent freaks in social, economic, and political affairs. We want social peace and voluntary cooperation to prevail, and the world at large does not. Most people simply want to get what they hold dear, regardless of how it is obtained.

In order for us to see what we might be able to save, we must first see the world as it is. (July 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Walter Block and I are on the same page with this one: “Is There a Silver Lining in the PC Woke Snowflake Cancel Culture?,” Lew Rockwell.com (originally published at International Man), June 19, 2021.

Ever since this kind of thing really got rolling under Obama, I’d been waiting for someone to make the point Block makes, but all I’d seen — apart from the goofy rah-rah propaganda of the regime — had been anguished wails from national-security conservatives and apparent obliviousness from libertarians.

Imperium delendum est. (June 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: “Juneteenth.” At VDARE, I find some ponderable commentary on the travesty recently enacted by leviathan: “GOP (with Brave Exceptions Like Rep. Matt Rosendale) Rolls Over for Anti-White Juneteenth Scam,” by “Washington Watcher II,” June 17, 2021.

The “Watcher” writes:

The vast majority of rank-and-file Republicans side with the skeptics. Only seven percent of Republicans polled by Gallup support it; 43 percent oppose it, and 50 percent don’t know or never heard of it. Even the general population isn’t enthusiastic for the holiday. Only 35 percent of those polled back it; 25 percent say no, and 40 percent don’t know or are unfamiliar with it.
The leftists who run the state schools (and most other schools) have no doubt been laboring to alleviate this tragic ignorance of one of the most important events in human history.
The one upside to all of this: July 4th will now be a day essentially for white Americans.
I’m afraid that for Americans white and otherwise, July 4th is mostly a day off devoted to burgers on the grill and fireworks. That’s unlikely to change soon.

In any case, I don’t buy the writer’s prediction that “Juneteenth” will come to overshadow July 4th. But maybe I should rephrase that. The Final Collapse will occur before it does. Perhaps the Chinese will eventually choose the holidays to be observed in whatever islets of organized society remain on this continent.

 
Now, don’t get me wrong. I oppose all government involvement in holidays. But the Central Government’s declarations that certain days shall be official holidays and other days shall not be are a valuable measure of what factions are dominant in the ruling apparatus at any given time, so I pay some attention to those declarations. One crude measure of our adversaries’ power is that, at present, they can add government holidays but cannot eliminate the traditional ones: Columbus Day and Christmas still survive. (It was not the Democrat Left who blurred Washington’s Birthday out of existence.)

I understand that American Negroes may seek to slap together an inspiring “people’s history,” even if they must do so using unlikely ingredients. And even if the events celebrated reflect white paternalism, as “Juneteenth” does. It’s when leviathan and all its loathsome stink-bug friends in the so-called private sector push the slumgullion into our face that I become, let’s say, fed up.

 
One “Juneteenth” celebrant may have gotten an early start. Some good, sustained camera work here.

(June 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: The inherent value of extortion. At Mises, Jeff Deist addresses a question that some anti-statists have posed: Why do the feds still bother to extort taxes from the ruled, when they can conjure all the magic dollars they want using their magic computers?

“The Real Tax Scandal,” June 9, 2021.
Excerpt: “... [F]ederal income taxes are almost entirely about control and not revenue.”

I suppose it’s one of those things that seem obvious — but only after some smart analyst points them out. (June 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: In case you still harbor any doubt: “It’s Clear Now Anthony Fauci Isn’t A Fool, He’s A Villain,” by Georgi Boorman, The Federalist, June 7, 2021. Excerpt:

The policies Fauci pushed night and day for months destroyed millions of livelihoods, ensured a year of lost education especially for underprivileged kids, killed about 200,000 businesses, caused an alarming drop in critical blood donations, and bears much of the blame for ... thousands of additional lives lost by overdose (up 42 percent in 2020) and increased refusal to seek medical care due to concern about contracting COVID-19.
As an ignoramus, I take no position on either the lab-origin theory or the wet-market-origin theory. In fact, I still don’t know whether Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia or always at war with Eurasia. I will say that I don’t dismiss out of hand Julia’s theory that the rocket bombs striking Oceania are launched by the government of Oceania.
 
Have you reread 1984 yet this year? (June 2021)

Nicholas Strakon: “Fear is crucial for state authority.” That’s not actually a quote from Robert Higgs. It’s from the honorable Glenn Greenwald, in an important piece at Substack that I missed when it came out on June 2. In case you did, too:

“The New Domestic War on Terror Has Already Begun — Even Without the New Laws Biden Wants.”
Editor’s intro: “Homeland Security just issued its fourth danger bulletin this year. And both the weapons and rhetorical tactics of the first War on Terror are increasingly visible.”

The regime has a history of such terrorizing, and Greenwald explores the past twenty years of it. It goes back much further than that, of course. (June 2021)


David T. Wright and Nicholas Strakon: Strakon recently forwarded this Daily Caller piece to some fellow deplorables, including Dave Wright:

“Peter Doocy Presses Jen Psaki on ‘Climate Leadership’ after Biden Blocked Keystone XL Pipeline, but Allowed Putin’s Pipeline,” by Marlo Safi, May 21, 2021.
Strakon wrote: “A new reason to be disgusted with conservatives, or many of them, at least. They’re criticizing the Biden regime for being less imperialistic than Trump, in easing the economic warfare (‘sanctions’) against Russia.”

In effect, of course, the “sanctions” were also an act of aggression against Germany.

Mr. Wright was inspired to respond in this wise:

The Conservative playbook:

1. Accept your enemy’s premises.
2. Never challenge the enemy’s policy victories. Instead, wait a little bit and then pretend you were for them all along.
3. Use the enemy’s rhetorical language.
4. Avoid legislative fights.
5. Concentrate on boring issues such as tax cuts and “deregulation.”
6. Quote Martin Luther King a lot.
7. Be completely indifferent to history, culture, and tradition.
8. Support military spending no matter how outrageously expensive and wasteful.
9. Support aggression against weaker countries no matter how stupid and counterproductive.
10. Support Israeli interests no matter how destructive to American interests.
11. Treat your grassroots constituents with utter contempt between elections.
12. Don’t hesitate to condemn other conservatives for being too conservative.

It’s a recipe for victory every time! (May 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Another story in the Daily Caller, dealing with parental resistance to the Red Guards, caught my eye, but not for the reason you might expect:

“School District Shoots Down Critical Race Theory after Heated Debate,” by Christopher Tremoglie, May 22, 2021.
Yes, the gist is moderately encouraging — but only “moderately,” because after all the parents mentioned here continue to send their children to state academies of totalitarianism and degeneracy. And that is not good. What interested me more were the story’s last three paragraphs:
After the vote, many parents said they were left confused by the outcome based on how the question was worded, MSN reported.

Bailey Katzenstein, a parent in the district, claimed the people on the school board also had problems with how the question was worded and cited two abstentions as evidence, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“The board didn’t even know how to vote. He [sic] literally said, ‘I’m confused by the wording of the question, of the motion. I don’t know if I’m supposed to vote for it or against it based on the way it was worded,’” said Katzenstein.

I wonder who wrote that motion. Not the school board itself, apparently. It’s true that we must not overlook the possibility of official incompetence and illiteracy. But my guiding attitude nowadays is, “There are no accidents, comrades.” So if I had to guess, I’d say the motion was composed by some busy operative or operatives representing the political tendency that is BY FAR the most skilled in manipulating language to advance its own destructive purposes. You know who it is I’m talking about. (May 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Warning — This may get your blood boiling. Surely no other commentary is necessary:

“Watch: Uniformed Troops Go to Bars & 7-Eleven in Dallas to Randomly Vaccinate ‘Younger Crowd,’” by Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, May 18, 2021. (May 2021)

RNN: Political Theory for the Undeceived.  No Tears for the Rich. Or: “The Democrats Are Trying to Buy Votes.” Bill Bonner is not an anarchist. But he understands the realities of political life much better than sandbox libertarians. Master this piece, and you’re on your way to being the next Montesquieu. (May 2021)


RNN: You get what you pay for. From the Daily Mail, April 7, 2021: “New program gives $9,000 to cover cost of burials from COVID deaths.”

If you want more of something, subsidize it. Conversely, if you subsidize something, you will get more of it. Including inflated death figures. (April 2021)


RNN: Taking bets? Hank Azaria has apologized to the whole world (and the peoples of undiscovered solar systems) for having voiced the cartoon character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons, having thereby caused unspeakable harm to Indians everywhere (dots, not feathers). And he feels really, really bad about it.

Maybe he’ll make up for it by donating all the money he made as Apu to someone who actually helps the Indian people? Maybe the Missionaries of Charity? What are the chances? (April 2021)


RNN: Perhaps you can recall ... The Pretender last night referred to the riots of January 6 as the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” Conceding that the Civil War was an attack on democracy, lots of right-wing radio talk-show hosts (who always seem to concede the terms of the discussion to the Left) are taking umbrage at this, and naming their own picks for the worst since then — Peal Harbor, 9/11, leftists blowing up the West Wall of the Capitol in 1971, PRs shooting up the Capitol in 1954 ... you get the idea.

Personally, if I were enamored of democracy, I would have picked the election of 2020. (April 2021)


RNN: Hunger and poison. A friend told me he had stopped watching the news or listening to it on the radio or reading any printed sources (including the Internet). When I asked him why, he said, “I’d rather be uninformed than misinformed.” (April 2021)


Duke O. Erle: What happens when a people lose faith in the individual decency and judgment of their neighbors. [We] are looking at a future where security is illusory and the loss of day-to-day personal freedoms is a given. Our lives will become even less civilized, and the daily horror stories will mount. (From “Step Right Up — Your Stealth National ID Card Is Waiting,” [August 16, 2002].) (April 2021)


RNN: The obvious question. It’s that joyous time of the year again when the NPR radio stations go a-begging. They just can’t say anything wonderful enough about their stations and their services. People are so eager to send money to them that they have to be bribed with virtual-signalling and mostly useless gifts (another coffee mug? another tote bag?) to get them do it. To the right is a graphic I found at the IU NPR station’s website.

As I look at it, I just have to ask myself: “Independent of what?” We know they’re not independent of the state. And they’re surely not independent of all the left-wing corporations that support them. Or the mindless do-gooder Do Bees who send them money. So exactly what are they independent of? I think it’s independent of you and of me and everyone else who isn’t “one of them.” (April 2021)


RNN: Protecting the Department of Candles. You want equity? Here it is: “Virginia moving to eliminate all accelerated math courses before 11th grade as part of equity-focused plan.” Gifted students — or should that be “privileged students” — will not be allowed to advance in their intellectual development, but will be stunted to the level of every dullard in the district who thinks “math is harrrd.” To parents who continue to send their children to these educational child-abuse abattoirs, I can only say, “Brothers, you asked for it.” (April 2021)


RNN: And take up golf. For anyone who believes that Derek Chauvin got a fair trial, I recommend that he consider making what efforts he can to help O.J. Simpson in his neverending quest to track down the “real killer or killers” of Nicole Simpson and Ron Brown. Simpson, of course, is a strong advocate of the trial by uncontaminated jury. (April 2021)


Edward Morrison Morley: The strange insurrection. According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the death of the officer who died on January 6 owed to natural causes. This means that the only other fatality was that of Ashli Babbitt. Five people died on January 6: Officer Brian Sicknik, Babbitt, two others who died of heart conditions, one other who died of amphetamine intoxication. Presumably, then, of the five, four were “insurrectionists.”

I look forward to hearing legacy media pointing out that it wasn’t a “fatal” insurrection after all, as well as noting that it was a strange insurrection to which almost all of the insurrectionists neglected to bring weapons with them. The two being held for assaulting Officer Sicknick sprayed him with a pepper spray of some sort, which apparently still qualifies as a “dangerous” weapon. (April 2021)


NS: The verdict. The Chauvin verdict should result in at least two good things: even more prosperity for urban doughnut shops (those that escape arson by rioters, at least), and very slow and careful driving by cops responding to calls in Negro districts. (April 2021)


RNN: The trial. I can do no better than enlarge on a remark made by Jared Taylor: What does it say about a country when it has to mobilize thousands of men with rifles to keep the peace in case a duly empaneled jury does not deliver the verdict mobs have been howling for, for nearly a year?

What does it say about the trial?

I urge all our readers to read Gregory Hood’s article “We Can’t Police These People,” with its sad but true conclusion that “a society that kneels before the memory of a George Floyd is not one worth serving or saving.”

I also urge all our readers to support the samizdat publications they find most useful. Don’t just visit them; send them whatever mites you can afford. You’re sure not going to get anything resembling news or the truth from the well-heeled cognoscenti party organs of Minitrue. (April 2021)


NS & RNN: The samizdat press and Ashli Babbitt’s killer. Matters in the United States have not yet reached the point where those in the samizdat press risk harsh prison terms or worse when they are caught, or, as we say now, “doxed.” But they have reached a point where we cannot rely on the established media or their on-line allies to tell the truth — let alone “the whole truth” — so we must turn to the on-line samizdat press, with all its flaws of awkward organization and presentation, to find out what’s going on.

A case in point is the murderer of Ashli Babbitt. When Daunte Wright was accidentally shot while (for all the arresting officer knew) reaching for his unregistered gun, it seemed that, faster than you could say “Little Trees Car Freshener,” we knew who had pulled the trigger. More than three months after the event, we are still waiting for the name of Ashli Babbitt’s killer to be made public. (Does anyone really believe that that name is unknown to the ventriloquists of the major media? Remember: they are the same kind of people who knew the names “Fiddle” and “Faddle,” yet never reported on them because they liked John Kennedy.)

John de Nugent is one samizdater who has dared to reproduce data first released by Redpilled Media claiming to have identified the black Capitol cop who shot Miss Babbitt in cold blood. While there are many screenshots from videos taken on the spot showing Redpilled’s suspect as the only Capitol “peace officer“ with his finger on the trigger of his service weapon, and him the only black man on the scene, the argument primarily relies on photos of the shooter’s wearing a particular wrist ornament. For all we know, such ornaments are popular among Negroes; we cannot say, therefore, that Redpilled has nailed the matter, but we will say that they have made a case that cries out for refutation — and no one that we know of has come forth even attempting refutation. Moreover, the man accused has not denied being the perpetrator of the crime.

While we regret to say that samizadat amateurs often don’t know what they are doing, the established media do know what they’re doing, and it’s lying, covering up, suppressing, and slandering. And it’s a good rule that when the damned fools disagree with the well-heeled cognoscenti, you won’t lose much money betting on the damned fools. (April 2021)


RNN: Move along; nothing to see here. Almost as if to reinforce the point made in the Stop and Think below, NPR had a segment on today’s All Things Considered by Jason Beaubien, “The Ramifications of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccination Halt Are Global.” In it he tells us that most of the blood clots reported from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine have occurred in women in their 20s and 30s. In other words, the nations of the world have been giving blood clots to healthy women.

Not to worry! Rebecca Weintraub, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, tells us in the Beaubien story, “This is standard practice. We expected a set of adverse reactions to a vaccine that ... not only because it was new but this happens with any routine vaccination process.”

Funny. I don’t remember anyone’s mentioning that when getting the vaccines was being hyped earlier this year. You might want to keep that in mind the next time a new vaccine is pushed through and the government urges you to go right out, get in line, and get it. (April 2021)


RNN: Maybe Biden actually did win. The fools and con-men in this country are on Biden’s side. And to borrow from Mark Twain, that’s a big enough majority in any country. (April 2021)


RNN: Lenin’s WuFlu policy. Lots of broken eggs. No omelettes. (April 2021)


RNN: Paranormal news. “We all wish to express our condolences to the Royal Family for the loss of Prince Philip.” So said countless news readers and conservative talk-show hosts this past Friday. Which got me wondering: In order to get a job in journalism or on the radio or TV, do you have to demonstrate the ability to read the minds of millions of people you don’t know and never will meet? Or is this just another of the enormities of living in a republic, where others get to “represent” us without our permission? (April 2021)


Guest Editor: Jon Utley. Who knew what and when did they know it? [During my search for what had become of my father] the most interesting facts I learned were about how the Soviet government during the Stalin terror was so successful at keeping the conditions in the camps a secret. Most camps were intentionally isolated from one another. A common theme in America during the 1940s and ’50s was that if Russians didn’t like communism, why didn’t they resist it more? In fact they did, but the information didn’t get out to the West. There were many other strikes and resistance like the one led by my father.

Utley’s efforts to learn what had become of his father are recounted in an interview with Howard Phillips here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIM81FKrlM4) and in the documentary “Return to the Gulag” here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIM81FKrlM4 English wth Spanish subtitles). (April 2021)

RNN: Failure in every part. The existence of the state poses more threats to the liberties of man than most of us ever think of. Those enthusiastic about the U.S. Constitution will explain that the genius of the document was in erecting barriers to thwart those threats. And yet, every one of those barriers has been breached. That is, every barrier imagined by the best minds ever to be found in a single room has been shown to be inadequate to the task given to it. (April 2021)


RNN: Bet on it. The only thing government is sure to accomplish with regulation — always and everywhere — is to increase costs. (April 2021)


Guest Editors: Plato and Karl Popper.

Plato: “As long as the war lasts ... nobody may say ‘No’ to [a soldier]. Accordingly, if a soldier wishes to make love to anybody, whether male or female, this law will make him more eager to carry off the price of valour.”

Popper: “The state, it is carefully pointed out, will thereby obtain two distinct benefits — more heroes, owing to the incitement, and again more heroes, owing to the increased numbers of children from heroes.” (April 2021)


RNN: No joking. Some readers may remember the trillion-dollar coin. It was proposed during the Obama tyranny as a means of circumventing the need for raising the debt ceiling. The idea was that the Treasury could mint such a coin, and sell it to the Federal Reserve, and then the U.S. government wouldn’t have to go into debt to meet some of the spending goals of the madmen in Congress.

What is hilarious now is that if that zany plan had been attempted, the coin today would barely cover half of the Biden $1.9 trillion “stimulus” bill.

To the right is a trillion-dollar coin you can purchase. Formerly $79.95, it has been marked down to $9.95.

Such a deal! Get yours now and you may still be able to afford a bottle of Yoo-hoo in a year or two. (April 2021)


RNN: War and the welfare state? When a country goes to war, it never first completes a cost-benefit analysis. No one ever asks, “Can we afford this?” There may be some empty talk about using a rescued country’s oil to pay for it, but whether repayment by some means is possible or not is never a deciding factor.

It only makes sense, then, to ask, If we can go to war without worrying about the cost, why can we not do other things without worrying about the cost? Why not make college and health care free? If we don’t have to make provision for paying for war, why do we have to make provision for paying for anything?

Except for tax cuts, of course. Them, we have to pay for. (April 2021)


RNN: Freedom is ... what again? The Freedom Foundation is filing a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District and against the teachers’ union. They want to force the teachers to go back to teaching in the schools.

It has been obvious for years upon years that government school systems are the enemies of the children held captive in them and of education itself. One would have thought that closing the schools last year was a terrific opportunity for parents to finally pull their children out of them. Surely the policies demanded by the teachers and what the parents could hear for themselves while their children were connected to the teacheers by Zoom should have made that clear even to morons. But apparently not.

We are compelled to cry out, “What on Earth is it going to take?”

Frankly, anyone striving to get children back into the government school system should be charged with child abuse. (March 2021)


Edward Morrison Morley: Not exactly Hank Rearden material. Gotta love the new alphabet and other jargon code words and phrases: DEI, CSR, Social Impact, social good experts, intentional social good campaigns, and who knows what.

BTW, Wikipedia has this on CSR [Corporate social responsibility]: “While it has been considered a form of corporate self-regulation for some time, over the last decade or so it has moved considerably from voluntary decisions at the level of individual organizations to mandatory schemes at regional, national, and international levels.” From voluntary to mandatory? What a surprise! (March 2021)


RNN: March 29, 2021; 4:10 DST. The information in the following chart (except for the percentages, which were calculated by TLD’s Department of Arithmetic and Figures) comes from AKIpress.

According to Wikipedia, “AKIpress News Agency is the first independent news agency in the Kyrgyz Republic. It is based in Bishkek, the capital city of the Kyrgyz Republic. The agency is commercially focused: AKIpress earns money from paid access to archives and from the sale of advertising space on its websites.” If it is not immune to influence from Western Dark Suits, it is at least not quite as infected by it as the West itself is. What other corruptions may be present are unknown, but at least they are different.

The figures in the chart were posted here within 15 minutes of their being posted on the AKIpress website, which itself is updated every 30 minutes. Stop and Think about them, remembering that the countries listed are backward by Western standards, and make of the figures what you will.

Location Confirmed Recoveries Deaths Mortality Rate
Worldwide 128,103,167 103,231,963 2,800,216 2.186%
Kyrgyzstan 88,163 84,653 1,497 1.698%
Kazakhstan 241,873 217,168 3,014 1.246%
Uzbekistan 82,536 80,667 626 0.758%
Mongolia 7,589 4,711 6 0.079%
Tajikistan 13,308 13,218 90 0.676%

(March 2021)


NS: Virtue, or ideology, signaling. Amazon’s home page trumpets,
 

We stand in solidarity with Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

#StopAsianHate
 

What group is it, again, whose members are most likely to assault Asians in this country?

Unmentionable!

It’s certainly not the group the wokapitalists at Amazon are referring to now. (March 2021)


Henry Gallagher Fields: More on D.C. statehood. If the object is really to give the residents of D.C. conventional congressional representation and conventional local government, another possibility (and one simpler than Headmistress Bowser’s preposterous plan) is to follow the lead of Virginia in 1846, and retrocede to Maryland those parts of the District that are not included in Bowser’s “federal parts of the city” (presumably, e.g., Georgetown).

Even with a Republican governor, Maryland already functions pretty nicely as a one-party state when voting for president. This plan would give Maryland one new congressman, but no new senators. And Headmistres Bowser has assured us (wink, wink, nudge nudge) that getting the extra senators is not the purpose. Heck, the new area could even be renamed along Bowser-ish lines: the County and Commonwealth of Frederick Douglass, Social Reformer, Abolitionist, Orator, Writer, and Statesman and the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior, Blessings Upon Him, Incorporated (modeling it on the endless names given to a few local churches).

Modine Herbey interjects: Or they could name it after a famous family of actors from Maryland!

Under this plan, D.C. residents could continue to be taxed and conscripted to their hearts’ delight and not feel deprived. Alas, it would do nothing to correct the centuries of racism that has kept the area so downtrodden all these centuries.

Some intra-Party elements in Baltimore and Annapolis might oppose such an Anschluss as disruptive (but not because D.C. wouldn’t be getting its extra Democratic senators, no, no), but it would be interesting if some Establishment Respectable at least proposed this plan. And even more interesting if the Maryland delegation were the most outspoken against it. But why would that be? Who wouldn’t want to add a city with a pretty low crime rate (“if you don’t count the murders,” said Mayor Marion Berry once)? (March 2021)


RNN: Spoiler: No reasonably sane person will accept the use of the word “they” and its relatives (“them” and “their”) as a singular pronoun, though it has become a commonplace when the antecedent is a word such as “anyone.”

Even so, I have recently had cause to look at Wikipedia’s discussion of Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Take a look at it (the discussion, that is), and notice that the author insists on referring to the narrator/murderer as “they” and so on. Apparently the Wikipedia writer made this demented choice because as he says, “Some critics have suggested a woman may be narrating [the story]; no pronouns are used to clarify one way or the other.”

On that rickety basis, the Wikipedia writer elects to make the narrator/murder a consortium of Earth-units. After all, no effort is made to assure the reader of the story that the narrator/murderer is not some 19th-century Mr. Ed, either.

If you want to learn how to pointlessly confuse a reader, I can think of no better piece of trashy writing to study outside the works of William Faulkner than this Wikipedia article. It is now my primary exhibit in the case against the use of “they” in places where it imparts no useful information whatever. (March 2021)


RNN: Good reading: The next best thing to reading a good book is reading a good review of a good book. Take some time to read Jared Taylor’s review of The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, by Peter Cozzens. It’s a review to make you want to read the book, in which, Mr. Taylor says, the author hoped to present a balanced account of America’s longest war (1860s to 1890). The book, then, immediately replaces Dee Brown’s tendentious Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The review suggests to me that Cozzens realized his hope and pulled no punches when describing both the savage war-making of the Indians and the “rogues gallery of bickering backbiting mediocrities, drunks and martinets in epaulettes” who were the officers leading soldiers, who in many cases had “never fired a rifle or ridden a horse.” Not exactly the stuff of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon or Rin Tin Tin adventures.

Given the incompatibility of the way of life of the Plains Indians and the American settlers, as Mr. Taylor puts it, “There was never a chance for peaceful coexistence; only a choice between levels of horror.”

What the book chronicles, then (though the author seems not treat it this way), is a 30-year war that helped fashion the American empire, the path for which had been laid by the war with Mexico (1846–1848) and before that by the Louisiana Purchase (1803). (March 2021)


RNN: The explanation: For those of you who still haven’t received your stimy checks by direct deposit, be patient: It just takes time to print up all those new electrons. (March 2021)


RNN: And the point would be?? Just in case you didn’t know it, the reason Washington, D.C., isn’t a state has nothing to do with the Constitution. That’s just a cover story. Can it be that the real reason — as it is for everything else wicked in this wicked world — is anti-black racism? Well, if you think that might be the case, then Kyla Sommers’s article in yesterday’s Washington Post (where else?) is the just the reading matter for you.

But maybe you thought it had something to do with the Constitution? Well, my friends, you would be deeply mistaken, because Muriel Bowser — the headmistress of the city — knows just how to circumvent that problem: she just wants the federal part of the city to be the part covered by the Constitution, and the rest of it to become — get this — “the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.” Really. You can look it up.

I think I like Jamie Raskins’s argument best. He’s a congressman from Maryland (did I forget to say “Democrat”?). He knows the essence of statehood, and he’s not afraid to be explicit about it: “The question is, are these [i.e., the residents of Washington] taxpaying, draftable American citizens ... deserving of equal rights?” My bet is that the residents of D.C. would be willing to give up the call for statehood if they could be free of their taxability and draftability. By the way, does it sound to you that maybe the Democrats in Congress would like to reinstate the draft?

But Bowser and Eleanor Holmes Nornton — the faux representative-for-life to Congress for D.C. — know that for the whole trick to work, they have to throw in some “civil rights” lingo. Just to make sure that whitey feels bad enough about the question to go along with it. And of course, they deny to the high heavens that making any part of D.C. a state has anything to do with the two Democratic Senators that will go along with the idea. (Question: Would that mean that the federal city would keep its three Electoral votes and the State, excuse me, “Douglass Commonwealth,” would get three?)

No, there is another argument, and it’s a sure-fire winner. It doesn’t mean anything in particular, but it’s guaranteed to work, because it depends on a magic word that even Libertarian 101 writers are using these days: “democratic.” Yep. That’s it. Making Washington a state is undemocratic. And we can’t have that.

I can just hardly wait for all those “we’re a republic not a democracy” types to answer ... So what? (March 2021)


Thomas Jefferson (or maybe Thomas Paine): Guest edtorial. [Mankind] are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. [Emphasis RNN’s] (March 2021)


David T. Wright: Fool us once. As most of the country continues to cower under the rule of High Priest Lord Fauci, signs of rebellion are on the rise. Texas and Florida months ago decided to leave some precautionary measures largely up to the judgement of their citizens, treasonous actions that provoke dismay and outrage among the bien pensant types keeping a deathgrip on acceptable opinion.

Texas, Maryland, Mississippi, Connecticut, Arizona, West Virginia and Wyoming are all beginning to moderate their anti-freedom decrees, allowing those restaurants that survive to reopen on restricted bases, and so on. Even California is easing off a little, now that the Trump menace has been vanquished, allowing Disneyland to let in a trickle of customers.

Florida has led the way in ignoring the sacred teachings. Not too long ago, someone posted a “terrifying” video of a walk through a busy Florida supermarket, in which nobody in sight, customer or employee, was wearing a sacred facial covering. The resulting outrage on the part of Minitrue functionaries was dreadful to behold.

So it was no surprise to see the recent breathless announcements on Minitrue’s broadcast organs that the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida has now passed the 2 million mark. Not only that, the grim-faced newsreaders announced, but deaths supposedly due to WuFlu * now number 33,000 in that benighted province. Clearly the Florida regime’s flouting of the High Priest’s decrees is causing a massacre of hapless Floridians. And the fact that Florida has such a high proportion of aging retirees makes it that much worse. They’re murdering grandmas by the bucketload!

Except, if you look at the Chinese Virus death rates by state, it turns out that Florida is more or less right smack in the middle of the distribution, with 152 deaths per 100,000 people. New Jersey leads the country with 272, and New York, under the heroic Andrew Cuomo of nursing-home fiasco fame, is just behind with 254. California, with one of the most draconian lockdowns destroying businesses, living standards, and quality of life, is just a few notches down from evil Florida, with 146. Hawaii, which wisely quarantined people coming into their island state, is at the bottom with 32.

Internationally, the picture is much the same. Sweden, famous for letting its subjects make their own decisions about the pandemic, enjoys open restaurants and cinemas, freedom of movement, no lockdowns, and no mask requirements. Its death rate per 100,000 is less than Florida’s at 130: below those of countries such as Britain (190) and Spain (156) with restrictions even worse than those in the United States.

The obvious conclusion is that all the destruction and misery during the last year’s ukases has been for nothing. The panic masks, the lockdowns (a term that originated in prisons, by the way), the shutting of businesses, the lonely deaths away from loved ones, the suicides, the explosion of opioid deaths, the ruined lives — all of it. The only measure that might have helped, restricting entrance to the country at the beginning to people from outside, especially from China, was shouted down when Trump proposed it. Oddly enough, the shouting was done by many of the same people who now support the most restrictive measures.

We’ve been had. How many Americans are aware of that?

* The number of deaths
attributed to the Chinese Flu should certainly be viewed skeptically: a Colorado county coroner protested the classification of two local deaths as caused by COVID, because an autopsy revealed significant comorbidities. The bodies contained bullets. (March 2021)


RNN: So many grievances! With so many demands for reparations flying around, maybe there ought to be reparations for any group that has been abused in any way by any other group. Descendants of Saxons could demand reparations from descendants of Normans. Descendants of Southeastern Europeans could demand reparations from Turks for the Ottoman Wars that started in the 13th century; and Venetians could get into the act for the Turks’ unprovoked attacks that started in 1423 and lasted until 1718.

And Spaniards clearly have some claims against Berbers and others who invaded and enslaved them starting in 711.

But why dwell only on “ancient” injustice? Or even limit our search to injustices involving conquest or slavery? How about ordinary, everyday injustices? Women (as a class) could demand reparations for rapes committed by blacks. Jews could demand reparations for having been excluded from country clubs.

Heck! why not even reparations for political parties who lost fraudulent elections? You know, if you can think of any. (March 2021)


George Orwell: Guest editorial on Joe Biden’s first prime-time speech (March 12, 2001). ”When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases ... one often has the curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself... This reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.” (March 2021)


RNN: Remember the word embattled? First Lady Hillary Clinton was said to be “embattled” when all that was happening to her was that employees of news organizations were asking her inconveninet questions. Well, now Andrew Cuomo is embattled, but by calls for his resignation rather than by questions.

Readers who think that what’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose lack Mr. Cuomo’s undertanding of the World. He knows that just as feminism was never meant to benefit certain kinds of women (“women of modest means, heavy makeup, and big hair,” said Joe Sobran), so the “cancel culture” was never intended to bring down certain kinds of politicians. He seems to have every expectation that as a faithful lackey of the Dark Suits (and Red Guards) he is deserving of their protection.

He may be right about that, but sometimes things just get out of control, especially when ambitious rivals smell blood in the water. We shall have to see whether in the end, the governor pulls out a win here or ends up as chum. (March 2021)


RNN: Keynesianism and The Twilight Zone: The Minnapolis city council has made George Floyd’s family multimillionaires by awarding them $27 million. I guess that in trying to support his family by passing counterfeit money and taking lethal doses of Fentanyl, ol’ George was on the right track.

My first thought was a Keynesian one: Great! The money has been taken out of the public sector and has been returned to the private sector. We can be sure it will be quickly spent on various luxuries (perhaps supporting jewelers whose shops were smashed up during the Floyd riots) and generaly stimulate the economy of Minneapolis.

This happy thought was instantly overruled by consideration of the origin of the money, which has been extorted from the good people (and let’s admit it: the bad people also — you know, local antifa and BLM members) to make the council members believe themselves compassionate and caring. It seems unlikely that they have done it to protect the city from further riots, since so far they have given evidence of no such concern.

Oddly enough, I have not yet come across any report of a family member sniveling and wailing, “But this won’t bring back George!” (a fact about which the rest of us may have mixed feelings). In fact, I have a sense that the old Twilight Zone episode “Mr. Garrity and the Graves” may be instructive. (March 2021)


RNN: Forty years? Conservatives and libertarians who harbor some hope that Americans will some day realize that in accepting the account of events for the last, oh, 20 years, they have been had, should contemplate this: the majority of Americans still believe that Franklin Roosevelt “got us out of the Depression.”

I put it to you that what are now standard accounts of the events at Charlottesville in 2017, some of the police shootings of black men, and the election of 2020 will find their way into textbooks for years to come (supposing that there are textbooks much longer). And that — just as the number of articles and books arguing that Roosevelt prolonged the Depression have had no effect — so the books that come out disputing the conventional accounts will have no effect.

When one contemplates how enormous has been the distortion of history, one may perhaps acquire a deeper understanding why it was that in the account of Moses, Israelites who had witnessed the great miracles that brought them out of Egypt and still feared to enter Canaan, had to wander the desert for an entire generation, just to purify the minds of those who did finally enter. (March 2021)


Bill Bonner: Guest editorial. “The world, of course, is an infinitely complex place. But we can’t produce infinitely complex models. So our models are always simplified... like a school book for sex education leaving out the racy parts. That’s why the modelers are almost always wrong.” (https://www.rogueeconomics.com/bill-bonner-diary/theres-more-to-inflation-than-the-numbers/). (March 2021)


RNN: Deader’n a can of corned beef. The $15 minimum wage is dead. At least for now.

All the Republicans voted against overruling the Parliamentarian’s decision that the minimum wage could not be included in a budget bill without being voted on by both houses of Congress, which effectively meant voting against the $15 minimum wage. Including Mitt Romney, who is a Republican only for very large values of “Republican.” But so did eight Democrats, who apparently (but see the penultimate paragraph) could not see the merit in increasing unemployment figures.

The Dems who voted against it (together with the last year they were elected) are:

Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) – 2018 
Jon Tester (D-Mont.) – 2018 
Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) – 2018 
Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) – 2016 
Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) – 2020 
Tom Carper (D-Del.) – 2018 
Chris Coons (D-Del.) – 2020 
Angus King (I-Vt.) – 2018  (King likes to pretend he’s not a Democrat, but, well, we’ll count him anyway.)
The Progressives — which is to say, those in the Party whose views would have been judged retrograde by the Paris Communards — are furious and swearing to “primary” the defectors in 2022. But take another look at those election dates and see just how mathematically disabled they must be even to bring up "primarying.” There’s a non-zero likelihood that some of the Dems who voted against the minimum wage did so precisely because they are not up for reelection in 2022.

Another possibility with a non-zero likelihood is that all of it — even the huffing and puffing by the “Progressives” — may have been sheer theater, giving something for everyone to take to the suckers back home. After all, the vote to override the Parliamentarian’s judgment required 60 votes, and that was never in the cards, giving the Eight “permission” to buck the Party without doing any real damage.

And a final possibility: the whole thing was a set-up, even the Parliamentarian’s judgment, just so that Republicans could be blamed for something. It just doesn’t do to take these things at face value. (March 2021)


David T. Wright: The life of the party. Nobody with half a brain and the initiative to use it really thinks that Joe Biden is on the ball. The only question is how far gone he is. Certainly the staff of the Presidential Palace are doing whatever they can to protect the public from the truth. The latest little bit of evidence is the fact that when he went off script in an Internet appearance and offered to take questions, they cut him off.

rumble.com/vebz61-biden-offers-to-take-question-white-house-cuts-his-video-feed.html
But does it really matter that Biden is gaga? The president’s power is always dependent on, and enabled by, his staff. If the chief of staff and his cronies have an agenda, they can promote it by using the Big Guy as their puppet: telling him what to say, what to sign, et cetera. Especially if he is weak, or, in this case, slowly losing his marbles.

The big problem then becomes public appearances. But there they have the support of the news media, which will do everything possible to shield the public from the obvious truth. Have you noticed how nobody comments on the lack of a State of the Union address? Sure people notice things. But the media and the thought police will make noticing a thought crime.

How much you wanna bet that the next idea that gets suppressed by Big Tech, like the Hunter Biden corruption scandal, is the notion that Biden is non compos mentis? That idea will be stomped on as a Threat To Our Democracy. People who advocate it will become outcasts, and their Facebook and Instagram accounts will be suspended. YouTube will demonetize and remove videos discussing the issue.

They’ll continue to wheel Biden out, like Jeremy Bentham, for carefully staged and managed events — after having first instructed him once again, “Remember, don’t take questions from random people!” And his deterioration will be like the emperor’s new clothes: seen by everyone and remarked on by none. And the show will go on.

That’s not to say that there won’t be conflict behind the scenes. As it was in dynastic China, when the emperor is weak or sick, the court eunuchs start fighting over power. And meanwhile, Camel the Harris is apparently fronting for Joe on foreign policy. Because Joe wants her to, of course.
Harris gets a crash course on foreign policy (Politico)
Hannity asks “who’s really in charge?” (Fox News)
If Harris, an outstanding mediocrity with absolutely no foreign-policy experience, is moving into that field, it’s probably part of a plan to become senior partner in the regime. It could be that she’ll gradually take center stage as acting president. If that happens, it will, of course, be spun as totally normal: nothing to see here, move along, move along.

RNN comments: The corpse pictured above seated on the chair is Jeremy Bentham’s. ’Nuff said. (March 2021)


Ronn Neff: Remiss on another front. Yesterday was the anniversary of the execution of the death sentences passed in 1942 on Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst, members of the predominantly Catholic intellectual resistance group known as the White Rose. (It wasn’t only Communists who opposed Hitler.)

The charges of treason had as their base, among other things, the students’ pamphlets urging their fellow citizens not to support the troops on the Eastern Front. They understood that tyranny required the state’s success in war to survive, a lesson America’s fellow Catholics (and “Catholics”) would do well to keep in mind when The Pretender goes to war, as he (or she) surely will.

More about the movement (and translations of their pamphlets) is available at the White Rose Project. More than one movie has been made about them and their trial.

This S&T will remain on the home page longer than is usual. You just can’t be reminded of the White Rose’s lessons too often. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Yet another death. It’s a little after midnight, the beginning of February 27, and I have just learned that Carl Watner died this past December.

Carl was one of the Great Men (a term I almost never use) of libertarianism, and I shall be writing more fully of him in a day or two.

His Voluntaryist project spanned more than 40 years without compromise. I urge all our readers, however few of you there may be, to visit The Voluntaryist. It is the only free-market project, other than TLD, that I unhesitatingly recommend to your attention and to your charity. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Russian “wrongthink.” Nebojsa — the name means “Fearless,” and he lives up to it — Malic does what the Left used to do: he keeps track of who’s who. It used to be that only a few words were not to be spoken (you can probaby list them without too much trouble), but now ideas you never would have thought were too blasphemous for virgin ears have suddenly become career-killers:

‘Undermining faith in NATO’ is now grounds for Twitter ban, because certain kinds of politics have become a religion
Mr. Malic is a Catholic who is perplexed by a military alliance that apparently requires that we have “faith” in it, which he thought was a category of religion. But Mr. Malic is not deceived by the theological demands being made on us. He knows bad faith when he sees it and he uncovers for us the conflicts of interest and special pleading hidden in Twitter’s executive offices, and how they are related to “Russian bots” and TV stations in Ukraine that have been shut down.

If the FAT PIG (Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, PayPal, Instagram, and Google) continue to expand their interlocking power, writings like Mr. Malic’s will be as hard to find as Albigensian spiritual manuals. (February 2021.)


Ronn Neff: Who knew? “U.S. District Judge John Barker, a Trump appointee, ruled in favor of a group of property managers and landlords who challenged a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order that prevented them from temporarily evicting tenants for non-payment of rent during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

“The CDC order in question was initially issued in September 2020 and was originally set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. It was extended to Jan. 31 and then again until the end of March.” (
Federal Judge Rules Nationwide Eviction Ban Is Unconstitutional)

Did you know that the CDC was issuing orders that have nothing directly to do with health? Or controlling disease? What other powers lie hidden in this monster of an agency?

I don’t the idea of ordering landlords not to collect rent. But it has more to do with not liking tyranny than it does with not liking landlords. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Lady in the Lake. We note with some regret the passing of Fanne Foxe, “The Argentine Firecracker.” Those of you too young to remember who she was should consult her entry in Wikipedia.

We at TLD celebrate her primarily for the riddle she inspired: “What’s the difference between Wilbur Mills and Ted Kennedy?” Answer: Mills got his girl out of the water. (February 25, 2021)


Ronn Neff: Think piece. Lee Smith draws some lessons from Machiavelli and from Athens’s experience with the Thirty Tyrants. Mr. Smith is more sympathetic to the Trump presidency that we TLD hold-outs are (still less are we sympathetic to keeping children out of school), but that doesn’t keep him from seeing connections between America’s Dark Suits and China that we hold-outs should be looking at. In particular, Mr. Smith knows that the Dark Suits operate both in the private and the public sector.

A quotation from his February 3 article “The Thirty Tyrants”:

And because it was true that China was the source of the China Class’s power, the novel coronavirus coming out of Wuhan became the platform for its coup de grace. So Americans became prey to an anti-democratic elite that used the coronavirus to demoralize them; lay waste to small businesses; leave them vulnerable to rioters who are free to steal, burn, and kill; keep their children from school and the dying from the last embrace of their loved ones; and desecrate American history, culture, and society; and defame the country as systemically racist in order to furnish the predicate for why ordinary Americans in fact deserved the hell that the elite’s private and public sector proxies had already prepared for them.
He can’t resist ending on a positive note, and, though it is a little out of character for us, today neither shall we: The rule of the Thirty Tyrants lasted less than a year. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: A review to read. John Jackson has reviewed Andy Ngo’s Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy at the American Renaissance website.

The Libertarianism 101 crowd have yet to come to grips with some of the tactics of Antifa that do not involve actual violence. (They were even praised as “non-violent” in one article!) Most of us have been spared crossing paths with Antifa, but those who have, know them to be an utterly ruthless and conscience-less enemy of civilization. Check out Ann Counter’s account of how fast they can mobilize and what stood between her and them last year.

I can’t say for certain that Andy Ngo’s book is a “must read,” but I can say that Mr. Jackson’s review of it is. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Vichnaya pomjat’. Again. I have been remiss in not noting the death of Tom Bethell this past February 12.

Tom was a faithful Catholic and the co-creator with Joe Sobran of the metaphor for the ruling-class “The Hive.” Definitive essays developing that metaphor are here. Along with Phil Nicolaides, Joe Sobran, and Fran Griffin, he was one of the first conservatives to speak and write against U.S. entry into the Gulf War.

For many years he had a regular column at The American Spectator. His writings include a few articles on the Shakespeare authorship question, and the books The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science (in which he discussed HIV/AIDS, anthropogenetic climate change, and intelligent design), and Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary?

Kennedy Assassination buffs will not want to miss his diary from his days with the Garrison investigation. Or his essay “Was Sirhan Sirhan on the Grassy Knoll?”

I have no hesitation in saying of him what I said about Rush Limbaugh. I’m just sorry I took this long to say it:

Well fought, old friend! Well fought. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Vichnaya pomjat’. When an opponent falls and goes to his reward, we men of the West either remain silent or we recognize his strength and devotion to his cause by saying, “Well fought!” We do not celebrate and dance on his grave. We leave that sort of thing to men without honor: the white trash and the scum on the Left.

Well fought, Rush! (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Boss-lady. Kamala Harris is talking to foreign heads of state (e.g., the president of France). The Pretender's position is apparently becoming ceremonial only. It's like what we see in several professional organizations in which the vice president is really the boss-man, holding a permanent salaried position, while the president is the front man and is replaced every year or so. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Anti-civilizational conservatives. Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health, is a man posing as a woman. (And, may I say, ugly enough to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.) Why do conservative radio talk-show hosts (e.g., Mark Steyn) refer to him as "she"? Why do they let Red Guards dictate to them how to use English pronouns? (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Occupation. WTTG radio (Washington, D.C.), has obtained an e-mail transmission from the National Security Council "asking the Department of Defense to engage Capitol Police on planning for post- March 12th support."

Stars and Stripes reports, "There are now about 6,200 National Guard soldiers and airmen supporting the security mission in Washington," with 5,000 authorized beyond March 12.

That's more troops than the United States has in Iraq. And Afghanistan.

Combined. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Not a sandwich. Hospital workers, postal workers, and grocery clerks are all "heroes" now. If the word "hero" still had any real meaning, you wouldn't be hearing it so much. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: "Just so you know": Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump in the recent impeachment trial. The dates they will be up for reelection are as follows:

• Mitt Romney (Utah) — 2024
• Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) — 2026
• Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) — planning to retire
• Richard Burr (North Carolina) — planning to retire
• Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — 2022
• Susan Collins (Maine) — 2026
• Ben Sasse (Nebraska) — 2026
Republican functionaries are fuming "mit cursers und swearing der revengers," but the only test case they will have soon will be Lisa Murkowski. The others who are not planning to retire can sit back and see whether she is "primaried," elected, or defeated. My guess is that they will breathe easy.

In the House, all ten of the Republicans who voted for impeachment will be up for reelection in 2022. The dates indicate when they came into Congress:

• Tom Rice (South Carolina, 2012) — petition to resign in circulation
• Liz Cheney (Wyoming, 2016) — facing a primary challenge
• Peter Meijer (Michigan, 2020) — facing a primary challenge
• Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio, 2018) — facing a primary challenge
• Dan Newhouse (Washington, 2014) — facing a primary challenge
• Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington, 2010) — petition to replace in circulation
• Adam Kinzinger (Illinois, 2012) — facing primary challenge
• Fred Upton (Michigan, 1986) — unanimously censured by the local GOP
• David Valadao (California, 2020 [previously elected in 2012, 2014, and 2016]) — facing a primary challenge
• John Katko (New York, 2014) — in a district that usually votes Democratic
We shall see whether the GOP establishment is either willing or able to protect these incumbents. And, of course, in states that have open primaries, we can be sure that Democrats will vote to protect them.

The results should tell us something about the relative strength of the GOP's conservative faction. (February 2021)


David T. Wright: How they stole the election. Time Magazine (yes, it actually still exists!) reveals how the Left and its allies among Conservatism, Inc., and Big Business conspired to make sure that Trump lost the election: "The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election," by Molly Ball, February 4, 2021

This article brings the conspiracy (Time's words, not mine) into the open:

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs.

Ball details a secret campaign to "save democracy." That's right. To "save democracy," they had to do things in secret.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws, and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers, and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time.

Only a few years ago, it was generally recognized, even by Democrats, that voting by mail is an invitation to fraud. Not anymore. Now it's how you save an election.

To save democracy you have to prevent people from spreading unapproved facts and dissenting opinions:

They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump's conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction.

But it's not enough to keep dissenters from talking. You have to track them down and destroy them, too:

Laura Quinn, a veteran progressive operative who co-founded Catalist, began studying this problem a few years ago. She piloted a nameless, secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it. One component was tracking dangerous lies that might otherwise spread unnoticed. Researchers then provided information to campaigners or the media to track down the sources and expose them.

And democracy couldn't survive if Trump were allowed to used the constitutional process to contest the results:

After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result.

You have to understand that all this underhanded, secret plotting was to save open, free, and fair elections, and prevent the chaos that threatened:

The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

In other words, a Trump victory.
  Apparently, the threat of continued Antifa and BLM violence pressured some factions to take part:

The summer uprising had shown that people power could have a massive impact. Activists began preparing to reprise the demonstrations if Trump tried to steal the election. "Americans plan widespread protests if Trump interferes with election," Reuters reported in October, one of many such stories. More than 150 liberal groups, from the Women's March to the Sierra Club to Color of Change, from Democrats.com to the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the "Protect the Results" coalition. The group's now defunct website had a map listing 400 planned post-election demonstrations, to be activated via text message as soon as Nov. 4. To stop the coup they feared, the left was ready to flood the streets.

If that had happened, of course, it wouldn't be an "insurrection," which is bad. It would be an "uprising," which is good. In any case, according to the article, the possibility encouraged big corporations and their Washington City mouthpiece, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to throw their weight behind the coup:

But behind the scenes, the business community was engaged in its own anxious discussions about how the election and its aftermath might unfold. The summer's racial-justice protests had sent a signal to business owners too: the potential for economy-disrupting civil disorder.

What I find so fascinating is the fact that the Left, the Dark Suits, and their allies, are now apparently so confident of their power over us that they believe they can afford to have their plot exposed and publicized. Imagine the arrogance, the sense of entitlement embodied in these words:

This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group's inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. "Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated," says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. "But it's massively important for the country to understand that it didn't happen accidentally. The system didn't work magically. Democracy is not self-executing."

That's why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream — a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system's fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures.

To the people ruling us, democracy means doing everything their way. The "proper outcome" of the election was a Biden victory. Anything else could not be allowed. And now they apparently believe that they are finally in full control, having openly begun the process of shutting down all means of expressing dissent. They are so confident that they are taking off their masks to reveal their true faces: power-mad, bigoted, and utterly pitiless.

The message they are sending is this: Now we are in control. We mean to stay in control. What you want doesn't matter. And if you resist, we will crush you. David T. Wright: No decent person could endure such viciousness. You may have heard about the incredibly woke woman who reacted with horror when her Trump-loving neighbor plowed her driveway. She's apparently fit to be tied, unable to know how to react. Sure, she should show some gratitude. But that would mean being nice to Trump people! How can she stoop to that?

That woman is what psychologists call "ideologically possessed." She can only see the world through her ideological lens: "Trump is evil. They're Trump supporters. Therefore they are evil, no matter how decently they behave." Their act of neighborliness only causes cognitive dissonance.

The hell of it is, she believes that because she thinks this way, she is enlightened, and morally superior to anyone unlike her. So she works hard to fight off any decent feelings of gratitude or kindness, because to be friendly would mean acknowledging that her neighbors are not completely despicable, and that her way of viewing the world — which defines her entire identity — is seriously screwed up.

"This is also kind of weird," she moans. "Back in the city, people don't sweep other people's walkways for nothing."

Yeah, treating people with decency is pretty weird, all right. If you're a selfish, bigoted, conceited egomaniac.

The poor thing escaped the plague-ridden city only to move unsuspecting into a nightmare world. It's a place where people don't think the way she does, and behave in ways that she finds incomprehensible. Down is up, black is white. Evil is nice, and does nice things for no reason.

There's no telling what further horrors await her. Perhaps it's like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers": her neighbors all belong to some kind of weird kindness cult or something, and are just waiting for the right moment to kidnap her and gently but firmly escort her to a secret location, decorated with soothing colors, with soft music, nice, comfortable furniture, and wonderful food: there to convert her into a nice, wholesome zombie like themselves. Relax, they'll say. We know you're not as nasty as you pretend.

The horror. The horror. (February 2021)


David T. Wright: Dare we hope? Tucker Carlson has apparently kicked over the traces and is out of control. His rhetoric has become increasingly contemptuous of the Establishment and dismissive of contemporary pieties. He's actually worth watching now.

Robert Barnes, a maverick civil-rights lawyer who successfully represented the Covington High School kids victimized by Minitrue as well as Alex Jones and other modern-day pariahs, says that Carlson told him he just doesn't care about his career anymore. Carlson allegedly thinks he has enough money for him and his family to live well for the rest of their lives, and he'd just as soon go fishing as put up with corporate BS. So he decided he'd just say what he wants until he gets fired.

(By the way, Barnes has an interesting weekly dialogue with a right-wing Jewish Canadian lawyer on YouTube that's actually worth checking out.)

Carlson regularly says on the air that the elites hate ordinary Americans and that they are actively working to make us their slaves. His fiery monologues have resulted in spectacularly successful ratings.

But Carlson isn't what prompted me to write this. On Takimag, somebody who calls himself "The Z Man" says that Middle America no longer believes in the system. Until recently, most middle-class whites thought that reforming the system, electing the right people, and so forth, was the way to participate in governance. Now they are awakening to the fact that the system is rigged against them:

The death of civic nationalism is no small thing. The managerial elite has depended upon it for generations. The managerial class relies upon middle-class whites following the rules and believing in those rules. Just as the slave owner relies on the slaves accepting their condition, the managerial class depends on the white middle class to support and defend the liberal democratic order.

While it has been a wild few months, it promises to get crazier. No one really knows what will happen when the white middle class collectively decides the system is hopelessly broken. The Tea Party Movement is a good example of how quickly these people can organize when motivated. Now that Conservative Inc. is on the enemy's list, they cannot be counted on to subvert the next populist movement.

We can only hope. (February 2021)


Ronn Neff: Sovietizing America: Those who have been following the GameStop story may have noticed that the U.S. press has decided to borrow a strategy from the Soviet Union's method of dealing with setbacks: Demonize the speculators. (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Replace the cops: Folks at the U.S. Capitol want to make it harder for their constituents to talk to them. (Lobbyists, of course, will always be welcome.) They are talking about building a permanent fence around the building, to be supported by "the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol."

I think it is a mistake to use the Capitol Police or other law-enforcement personnel for this task. It would be a much better idea to hire instead social workers and diversity trainers. And maybe a hypnotist or two.

In fact, now that I think of it, when was the last time Congress (not the employees, but the elected and semi-elected officials) had to attend diversity training sessions? (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Doubleplusinevitable. As soon as pro-freedom people allowed themselves to be called "the Right," they were doomed. It meant that they were on the side of Hitler.

Leftists, therefore, by the terms their opponents had accepted, were free to see those opponents as fascists. Especially since those opponents opposed the Soviet Union, the enemy of Nazi Germany. If you think in binary terms, to oppose the Soviet Union makes you a fascist. (One must also keep in mind the fixation leftists had on the U.S. employment of Germans and former Nazis in science and intelligence.)

As if that weren't bad enough, there was the outcome of the 1964 election, in which the only section of the country that was pro-freedom was also the "racist" South. So conservatives and pro-freedom folk were doubly on the side of Hitler.

And finally, there was the ceding of the word "extremists." Not just right-wing extremists, but anti-abortion extremists. (That was a fait accompli by the time Al Gore was running for president.)

SO: anti-Soviet; racist; extremist. Of course they were fascists!

Given the way the war against the Nazis was prosecuted (along with the aftermath of "denazification") it was really just a matter of time before the Left (including liberals) considered all opposition to be fascistic (and themselves to be non-fascists, of course). In fact, I will go further: it was the logically necessary outcome. The Law of Contradiction in action.

(When I was on a debate team, our coach advised us, "Never accept the other team's definitions.") (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Libertarianism 101: Of course Facebook and Twitter can block posts or cancel membership. It's their property, isn't it? Of course restaurateurs and others can refuse service to Trump supporters. It's their property, isn't it?

Isn't it just wonderful how leftists who used to insist on the virtue of anti-discrimination laws have suddenly discovered property rights? Surely we should all be celebrating this great advance toward liberty. (January 2021)

Related reading: "When the Left Refuses Service, They're Preventing Violence. When the Right Denies Service, They're Bigots," by Kylee Zempel, The Federalist, January 18, 2021.

Nicholas Strakon: Dr. Schumer's treatment plan. The Daily Caller reports: "Schumer Says Impeachment Trial Is Necessary To Bring Healing" (January 26, 2021).

The Democrats certainly have a liberal understanding of "healing," don't they? Another important part of their humane therapy seems to be the (further) crushing of dissent in the name of unity. (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Conservatives want to know. Conservatives are all wondering what they should do now. Should they try to reform the GOP? Should they form a new party? Maybe they should infiltrate the Democratic Party and see what they can do there?

So far I haven't heard anyone ask: How about a tax revolt? (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Thou sayest: "You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about." — Hillary Clinton, October 9, 2018. (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Your representatives? When people (whom the media assure us again and again were Trump supporters) entered the Capitol to make their views known to their congressmen and senators, it is worth noting that NOT ONE of those representatives of the people, NOT ONE of those tribunes for liberty and democracy came out to say to them, "What's on your mind?"

Maybe they just didn't want to know. (January 2021)


Ayn Rand said: "A territory inhabited by men engaged in perpetual conflict, chronic fighting, physical violence, and general hatred of all for all is not a nation nor a country but a bloody mess."

"A nation's unity," Ford Hall Forum, 1972 (beginning at 3:34). (January 2021)

Nicholas Strakon: Unity, Democrat style, will begin when all dissent is crushed. (January 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Conservative Angelo Codevilla has written another ponderable essay, appearing at American Greatness (January 19, 2021): "Clarity in Trump's Wake."

Editor's intro: "The United States of America is now a classic oligarchy. The clarity that it has brought to our situation by recognizing this fact is its only virtue."

Codevilla writes:

Enjoyment of power's material perquisites is classic oligarchy's defining purpose. Having conquered power over the people, successful oligarchies foster environments in which they can live in peace, productively. Oligarchy, like all regimes, cannot survive if it works at cross-purposes. But the oligarchy that seized power in America between 2016 and 2020 is engaged in a never-ending seizure of ever more power and the infliction of ever more punishment — in a war against the people without imaginable end. Clearly, that is contrary to what the Wall Street magnates or the corps of bureaucrats or the university administrators or senior professors want. But that is what the people want who wield the "intersectional" passions that put the oligarchy in power.
If there is reason for hope, perhaps it does lie in an inherent fragility in the latest ruling coalition, as Codevilla suggests. It isn't encouraging that the liberal-fascist elite seems to have universally adopted the "woke" anti-culture of Hollywood, the dorms, and the mean streets, but we may wonder what will happen if that madness should conflict with its material interests. (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Progress report. In the 2020 election for president, the Libertarian Party retained its hold on genuine third-party status. It is the third party in America, at least for now. Jo Jorgensen was the only non-major party candidate to be on the ballot in all 50 states. She received more votes than all the other "third parties" put together and more than four times the votes the fourth-place party (Green) won.

And still no electoral votes.

In all, the LP spent almost $3 million to get just under 2 million votes. Jo herself spent less than $1,000 of her own money.

Money, time, effort all well spent, wouldn't you say? (January 2021)


David T. Wright: Further random observations.

1. Pop music is getting stupider all the time, both in its lyrics and in its actual musical settings. That's bad enough for the people who are forced to listen to it in public places such as supermarkets and shopping malls. But have you noticed it is getting louder, too? They've definitely turned up the volume in my local pharmacy, Home Depot, Safeway, and other retail venues I am more or less compelled to patronize. It seems to be part of an effort to infantilize the proles. And it's working.

It seems that nowhere public can be quiet anymore. Instead, we must be continually assaulted by boring, infantile, and enervating noises wherever we go. Even the local Barnes & Noble bookstore plays pop music at a volume that makes quiet contemplation impossible, forcing anyone with a minimum of awareness to grab what one came for and get out as soon as possible.

The worst thing is that most people seem to have become used to continuing cacophony. I am repeatedly amazed by how oblivious most around me seem to be. Libraries used to be whisper-quiet places where one could peacefully browse, read, or study. Today in the Imperial capital area, they are chaotic and noisy, with small children unrestrained and adolescents chattering away as if at a Dairy Queen. And everyone, including the librarians, seems unaffected. Does no one else care at all? At least libraries don't play pop music over speakers. Yet.

2. On the subject of creeping infantilism, a drive around Trantor's prosperous, white Northwest neighborhoods reveals a liberal sprinkling of Black Lives Matters signs, smugly proclaiming the correct attitudes of the inhabitants. Interestingly, the more white and upper-class the neighborhood, the more numerous the signs. On the other hand, in black neighborhoods, BLM signs are not generally seen in front of houses. Far more often, they're in local shop windows. Even in the Gold Coast neighborhood, the traditional home of the wealthy black elite in Washington City, BLM signs are rare in front of the elegant mansions.

3. The response to the so-called insurrection at the Capitol has been instructive. The horror and outrage from the anointed (some of it feigned or exaggerated, to be sure), and their sanguine attitude to the much worse Antifa/BLM riots, has been much remarked upon by right-wingers. Surely that reaction springs from the fear and contempt the elites harbor toward Middle America. As long as we common folk have our towns and cities wracked by riots, our businesses looted and burned down, our lives ruined, and our peace and quiet destroyed, they don't care. But if we dare to trespass on their territory, it's Armageddon.

That's not to say that I think the incursion was a good move. It's just what the State and the new Metastate — the tech oligarchs — have been waiting for: an excuse to discredit and crack down harder on dissent. Which is why I find it interesting that Robert Barnes, the civil rights attorney, believes QAnon is a psy-op by the Deep State. QAnon is the conspiracy web commenter that suckered Sidney Powell and Lin Wood into their ridiculous challenges on behalf of Trump against voting-machine totals (the vote fraud was obviously carried out with absentee ballots). It was QAnon acolytes who led the Capitol invasion, and the woman shot by the police was a follower.

4. All this got me to thinking. The Negro civil rights movement was another populist movement. It arose, as all populist movements do, because part of the population was facing huge problems, and nothing was being done to address them. Martin Luther King, Jr., for all his faults, was sharp enough to understand that non-violent protests would have a huge effect on public perceptions. And they did. People were horrified to see dogs set and fire hoses turned on peaceful, respectably dressed demonstrators singing hymns. I think such sights took a lot of the fight out of white Southerners, who at heart were decent, God-fearing people, even if they didn't like blacks or the Federal government telling them what to do.

Would such an approach work today? Or is today's America so brutalized, so coarse, so uncaring that most people would cheer on the cops as they beat up the demonstrators? I think that's possible. The ramifications for Middle American dissidents are obvious.

5. The tech oligarchs wasted no time in taking the opportunity to ban Donald Trump from his personal Twitter account, which is what he's been using to communicate. But it soon transpired that Trump's own staff had also excluded him from his official Office of the President account. Trump is now virtually alone: stabbed in the back by the Republicans in Congress, some of whom voted to impeach him; by Mike Pence, who refused to help him fight the vote fraud; by his own judicial appointments, who went out of their way to crush his legal challenges; and finally by his own staff. Et tu, Brute? Thus always to those who challenge our rulers, however ineffectively.

6. The Ministry of Truth has been authorized to report that the hideous outgoing Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has scheduled the second Trump impeachment trial, if it can truthfully be called that, after the coronation of the new Emperor. Trump's ritual defenestration and banishment will thus be the trial of a political corpse, a modern replay of one of the most ridiculous moments in the history of the West: the Cadaver Synod.

7. The tech moguls' crackdown raised their arrogance and power to new heights. Not only was Trump banned from Twitter; soon after, Reddit banned him for "inciting violence." In no time he was banned from Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Shopify, Twitch, Snapchat, and TikTok. Groups and individuals who supported Trump were also banned.

Then they took it up a notch. To keep Trump from founding a new forum on Parler, a Twitter rival that claims to support actual free speech, the Apple Store and Google's Android expunged the Parler app from their sites — just when millions of customers were downloading it. Their excuse was violent postings: the same sort of violent postings, including death threats, that are made by left-wing patrons of Twitter without repercussions. Then Amazon, which runs the largest web-server service in the world by far, announced it was kicking Parler off the internet entirely, in contravention of its contract, which allows for a 30-day warning period. That was followed by Parler's law firm, its bank, and a number of other support firms with which it had contracted withdrawing their services. At the very time Parler's customer base was skyrocketing, the entire infrastructure of services on which it depended ganged up to destroy it.

The lesson, of course, is that no dissent will be tolerated any longer. Dan Bongino, who helped found Parler, says Internet Service Providers that provide web gateways to unapproved groups will be attacked next. He may be right. Perhaps it's time to buy a ham radio.

8. Some commenters now argue that the tech cartel is now more powerful than the formal State. I don't know whether that's true or not. Certainly, its economic and political power is now unprecedented in the history of the United State. The destruction of Parler, in part by Amazon, which recently signed a big business deal with Twitter, is a case of combination in restraint of trade if there ever was one. But will the Sherman Antitrust Act be used to any effect against the perpetrators?

More important, it makes me wonder whether, in the future, Amazon, already bigger economically than many nation states, will have its own armed forces, its own police, alongside those of Google and the other giants. Or perhaps they'll get together to build their own army, navy, and police. Will they become the new State? Will traditional states have the means or the will to prevent them?

Douglas Olson comments: Even if and when they take the House and/or the Senate, Republicans won't have the intestinal fortitude to as much as whisper this to themselves when they're sitting alone on a toilet in the privacy of their own homes.

GOP = GUTLESS Old Party!

Modine Herbey comments: We may have to return to communicating by the government snail. Will the USPS hire a horde of busybodies to check for mail to and from dissidents, intercepting and opening it as necessary?

Oh, pardon me. I'm old. Of course they'd use some ultra-sophisticated computer — that renowned tool of liberty. (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: Impeach Franklin Roosevelt! (January 2021)


Nicholas Strakon: Does anyone else have the impression that even before Kerensky has been sworn in, Lenin is already taking over? (January 2021)


It's not too early to re-read 1984 this year! (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: I think Trump's last official act — executed minutes before Biden takes the oath of office — should be to issue a pardon to Biden and to Harris for any guilty knowledge they may have regarding the fraudulent election of 2020. (January 2021)


Ronn Neff: The Constitution is circumvented. Specifically, the Twenty-Second Amendment. Apparently Joe Biden will be able (well, legally able) to hold three or more terms. The text speaks of limiting the term of a person who has been elected to the office. And the only limitation on holding the office is that he cannot be elected to it. Biden just won't need to worry about that. (January 2021)


2019–2020 archive.

Published by Thornwalker, 2021