Quick Hits and Dangerous Reads: Shithole Countries Edition (12 Jan 2018)

Politics

President Trump’s alleged ‘shithole countries’ comment has caused quite the stir. The usual suspects in the mainstream media, and establishment political commentators are real mad about it. But are they mad because Trump said something offensive, or because he said something that exposes leftist views on immigration as logically inconsistent in a fundamental way?

After all, if some of these countries are not shitholes, then there is no problem sending illegal migrants back to those pristine lands. If they really are shitholes, then we should be pretty wary about bringing them in by the boatload. The funny thing is those from those ‘shithole countries’ will be the first to tell you that those countries are, in fact, shitholes. The outrage on their part would stem mostly from the fact that an outsider like Trump was saying it as well. This is a common thing among people. You can disparage your own, but he second an outsider does it all hell beaks loose.

On that score, our self-proclaimed betters on both the left and right love nothing more than to disparage huge swaths of America as shitholes, to the point where New York Times columnists cannot fathom any reason why small cities and towns are relevant to anything anymore. None of these people would lift a finger to defend, say rural West Virginia, from an attack by a smarmy foreigner, particularly now that it is Trump country. Yet they are vociferously standing up for ‘shitholes’ across the world.

Importantly, all of this exposes normies to the truth that our cultural betters deem it reasonable to import more and more of the entire world at random into the US on the basis of the lie that all cultures are equal. And despite the sanctimonious outrage, most will see through that lie, particularly when the likes of Rich Lowry are dispensing the rope with which the liars can hang themselves (money quote at 3:50).

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In a similar vein, this clip of Stephen Pinker, speaking at a Harvard panel discussing political correctness and Trump’s victory, went viral over the last few days;

What was interesting was that while he admitted that there were certain truths that have become verboten in polite society (men and women are different, Marxist countries are terrible compared to more capitalists ones, etc), he saw their suppression as a problem more because it meant that leftist explanations for those hatefacts could not be drilled into the would-be discoverer of truth.

Culture

Project Veritas dumped an explosive video yesterday exposing the fact that Twitter actively censors, sometimes in secret, those who it deems to be bad people. That is to say, anyone with political views to the right of Mao

Now, we all knew that shadowbanning existed. But it is another thing when it is right there on camera in your face. A couple side notes: a few of these guys were clearly honeypotted, goaded by an attractive sounding female in a bar setting to divulge their deepest secrets. Fantastic setup work. Particularly of note is the one guy who tried to ‘game’ the PV journalist by acting as though her asking the most basic of basic questions revealed her to have the critical thinking skills necessary to be a programmer or engineer.

The other, more insidious note is that pretty much all  of the Twitter marks were non-white, and perhaps foreign born. These are your new overlords, talking about those who proclaim their Americanness must be silenced. It’s an affront to the idea that immigrants are all desperately seeking to assimilate, as well as the H1B visa question, with regard to the immigration problem as a whole.

Related to that, we’ve got this anecdote from a Heartiste about how the Trump effect might be improving IT.

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In other Tech Giants Are Communist Dictatorships news, James Damore filed his suit against Goolag this week. The Federalist thinks that at worst, it will shine a very negative light on company practices.

During discovery, the plaintiffs will have the ability to request every document, email, and text concerning politics or political issues involving Google’s decision-makers. In a class-action lawsuit, the number of decision makers will be in the hundreds, if not thousands, including the high-level executives involved in Damore’s termination.

Further, evidence that the decision-makers held an anti-conservative bias, even if not tied to a specific employment decision, is typically admissible circumstantial evidence of discriminatory intent. What might that evidence be? Well, consider The Daily Caller’s article this week that exposed Google’s display of “fact checks for conservative publications in its results, [but] [n]o prominent liberal sites receive the same treatment.”

As Eric Liberman continued, “not only is Google’s fact-checking highly partisan — perhaps reflecting the sentiments of its leaders — it is also blatantly wrong, asserting sites made ‘claims’ they demonstrably never made.” That the world’s largest search engine targeted conservative sites such as The Federalist—and fraudulently so, as David Harsanyi established—and no liberal Web sites isn’t likely happenstance. Discovery will tell that and maybe much more—that is, if Damore’s lawyers succeeded in sidestepping the secrecy of arbitration.

By all accounts, the lawsuit is cleverly constructed to inflict max pain on Goolag. It’s development will be extremely interesting to keep an eye on.

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A double blast from the Audacious Epigone. First, our cultural betters want us to elect nothing but women this fall, and especially Jewish women:

From the official, blue-checkmarked account of the Democrat party (red markings are my own):

Second, Audacious points out that just importing more white people from overseas will not solve any problems, but merely slow the tide. The bottom line is that our betters want to fundamentally change America and wont stop until it is distinguishable from the rest of the world.

 

Economy

Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly letter is a must read

As is Jeff Gundlach’s start of the year presentation

 

Fun & Games

I agree with Clay Travis that if you’re betting on the NFL games this weekend you  should take Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Tennessee and Atlanta against the point spreads they’re getting:

England was thoroughly beaten in The Ashes series down under. This article attempts to explain how England can improve

…And that’s your lot. Have a good weekend

 

It’s Not Yet Time To Blackpill over DACA

In the wake of President Trump’s televised Immigration meeting:

plenty of individuals on the right have fallen prey to suspect media reports and misleading headlines about what the President said or didn’t say, and what he was willing to do. MOTUS has it right:

it’s fairly easy to understand why the President decided to go live with his reality show.

Let’s have a little of that transparency that Obama spoke so highly of but never implemented. Let’s hear the Democrats defend their insistence that our borders remain open to all comers and chain migration continue in order to ensure generations of future Dem voters. Let’s hear them insist, again, that if you give them whatthey want now they’ll work with you later on what you want.

lucy-football1

Let’s hear the Democrats tell us they want a “clean DACA” bill – meaning amnesty for the Dreamers with no strings attached. Let’s hear Trump amiably agree that he too wants a clean DACA bill, by which he means funding of The Wall and an end to chain migration and the visa lottery. Note to Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson: it’s too soon to talk about Trump being a traitor. Remember the President is fresh from a meeting with Republican leaders at Camp David last weekend. When he says “I’ll sign whatever you send me” I suspect he has an agreement with the House and Senate leaders regarding acceptable parameters. So why would they send him anything else? And I’m betting the bill includes wall funding and the end of chain migration and the visa lottery. Yes, I assume it will also include some type of legality – short of automatic citizenship – for any of the Dreamers who’ve managed to keep a clean rap sheet. But frankly I’ve always assumed that would be the case. It’s the art of the deal.

“You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal

As for Ann Coulter, bless her, but she’s overreacting:

Yes, Trump did say he wanted a “Clean DACA” bill, which he explicitly defined as including “border security” (the wall), and at another point he had added “and other things” (presumably ending chain migration and ending the diversity visa lottery) to his definition of a deal.

Yes, Trump did compromise on what the wall meant – by saying it wasn’t going to be a continuous 2000 mile structure because of mountains and rivers – something he’s always said.

Between Trump’s normal hyperbole and usual extemporaneous manner of speaking, the idea that he’s making concessions or caving in are a bit overblown. So he used Jeb-like language in talking about a “bill of love.” But he also used Trump-like language in reminding the audience that walls work – ask Israel, and repeatedly making a wall (and other goodies) a non-negotiable aspect of any deal.

And if you’re still not convinced, there was a moment during Trump’s ramblings in which he mentioned that Representative Bob Goodlatte from Virginia would get things going in the House with the introduction of a bill. Goodlatte co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlining it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • $30 billion wall funding
  • 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 5,000 Customs and Border Protection officers
  • Allows the DACA folks to remain with three-year renewable legal status – with no path to citizenship
  • Biometric entry-exit system
  • E-Verify
  • Ends chain migration and the diversity visa lottery
  • Gives the DOJ scope to keep money from sanctuary cities

That’s the deal. Which is why he kept saying things like ‘once we do DACA we’ll be most of the way to getting comprehensive done.’ His namedropping of Goodlatte (at 14:25 in the video) is pretty important.

Congress is the reason DACA has to be a part of the deal. That might be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but the fact of the matter is that congress, as it is currently constituted, wants DACA. As a result, our current options are as follows:

  1. Let DACA expire, let chain migration and diversity lottery live on, and hope midterms bring us enough Trump Republicans in both chambers to actually enact legislation without shenanigans and negotiatons
  2. Concede DACA legitimization (no citizenship), and get the wall, get no chain migration, get no more diversity lottery

#2 is far more likely and is imminent, thanks to the leverage Trump created back in September when he allowed DACA to expire, and thus Trump is going for that. It’s a simple calculation that an 80% chance of getting 70% of what you want is better than a 5% chance of getting 100% of what you want. Trump could have got rid of DACA on day one like he promised, but then he would have had no leverage to get all of the other goodies he’s after. Remember, congress doesn’t really want a wall or ending chain migration, or ending diversity visa lotteries. They are only getting on board because they have to to keep their precious DACA going.

And by doing it this way, Trump is creating a situation in which he can get things codified through legislation, as opposed to via Executive Order, which could just be undone by the next SJW president who takes over. Ironically, Obama’s desire to ride roughshod over the legislate process for the benefit for illegal immigrant will turn out to be the very thing that stems the tide in the other direction. None of this is 4D chess – just good politics. 

At the end of the day though, the meeting was probably done to highlight the fact that, no, the president is not a mentally unstable, semi-illiterate buffoon who watches 20 hours of cable news per day, as the media has been saying over the last week or so. In their clamor over the Wolff book, they set such a low bar for the President to hurdle that all he has to do is show the American public a rare glimpse of the sausage being made, with him confidently and assuredly leading the discussion. All while flanked by the very Democrats who are supposed to lead the charge of impeachment-by-mental instability; the imaging of them sat at Trump’s right and left engaging with him in serious discussion alone neuters the Wolff fan fiction to anyone with an inkling of common sense, making a mockery of said media hysteria to boot.

It was superb politics.

Is the Political Class Mentally Stable Enough to Provide Meaningful Political Analysis?

The short answer is: no. But I don’t do short answers, so here’s the long one.

In How Dare You, I described the fact that nearly a year into Trump’s presidency, his opposition has yet to come to terms with the fact that he did actually win the election:

The larger issue here is that those who would consider themselves our cultural betters have affixed to their beliefs the status of The Truth, by fiat. What is accomplished by this is the elevation of what really are mere opinions to base maxims of the sort that are the foundation of the country, thus in theory unassailable.

And so when Trump disagrees with this or that leftist talking point, and vehemently to boot, there is a collective shock that permeates the commentariat. How dare Trump express views which aren’t in agreement with the one Truth that is Leftism in all its forms? How dare Taylor Swift not instantly condemn Trump despite having no reason to voice an opinion, and furthermore how dare Taylor Swift disagree when she is declared to be a white supremacist? How dare Sidney Crosby, a white man, turn up to the White House to accept praise from Trump?

The fact that leftism has gone without a real challenge for multiple decades, and in particular through the Obama years, has rendered the nascent Trump era to be nothing short of a hammer blow through the sensibilities of most leftists. Many still haven’t come to terms with the fact that Trump really is the president, and more fundamentally that the Leftist Truth is not held as such by a YUGE swath of America.

The recent excitement over Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, which bills itself as an exclusive inside look at the Trump White House, is further evidence that the failure to come to terms with Trump 45 is as prevalent as ever. Indeed, it seems that Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached levels that shouldn’t be possible. In the past week, this book has been endlessly covered in the mainstream media, with Wolff himself doing interviews with basically every network and media publication to drum up the hype, bolstered by stories of how the book has been flying off the shelves in record time.

President Trump has unsurprisingly said less than favorable things about the book, and in fairness it does require the reader to suspend logic at regular intervals. For a start, it tries to advance the popular meme that Trump really didn’t want to be president. Wolff’s ‘evidence’ for this is the fact that Trump actually ran the campaign of an authentic outsider.

The Trump campaign had, perhaps less than inadvertently, replicated the scheme from Mel Brooks’s The Producers. In that classic, Brooks’s larcenous and dopey heroes, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, set out to sell more than 100 percent of the ownership stakes in the Broadway show they are producing. Since they will be found out only if the show is a hit, everything about the show is premised on its being a flop. Accordingly, they create a show so outlandish that it actually succeeds, thus dooming our heroes.

[…]

The Trump calculation, quite a conscious one, was different. The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their fundamental worldview one whit: we don’t have to be anything but who and what we are, because of course we won’t win.

Many candidates for president have made a virtue of being Washington outsiders; in practice, this strategy merely favors governors over senators. Every serious candidate, no matter how much he or she disses Washington, relies on Beltway insiders for counsel and support. But with Trump, hardly a person in his innermost circle had ever worked in politics at the national level—his closest advisers had not worked in politics at all. Throughout his life, Trump had few close friends of any kind, but when he began his campaign for president he had almost no friends in politics. The only two actual politicians with whom Trump was close were Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, and both men were in their own way peculiar and isolated. And to say that he knew nothing—nothing at all—about the basic intellectual foundations of the job was a comic understatement. Early in the campaign, in a Producers-worthy scene, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate: “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”

Almost everybody on the Trump team came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president or his staff.

In short, Wolff is perplexed at the fact that Trump was genuine, a trait foreign to those who work in journalism and politics. According to Wolff’s logic, the measure of Trump as a ‘serious candidate’ would have been his reliance on hundreds of so-called experts, who would have run every word he was to utter in public through carefully curated focus groups so as to craft the message which had the highest possibility of winning according to BIGDATA analysis.

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On the Unrest in Iran

Anglo interest in Iran has always centered around oil and gas, which is unsurprising. The British discovered oil early on in the 20th century and promptly set up shop. Fast forward to 1941, and in the midst of World War II, Iran was once again strategically important. Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had been in power since 1925 sought to modernize Iran, and in doing so had invited German assistance so as to reduce the British oil-centric influence.. This became a problem for the British from the onset of war, and after the Germans attacked the Soviets, Iran became vitally important to both countries as an conduit for arms supply between them.

The shah refused to cut ties with the Germans however, proclaiming that Iran was a neutral country. So the Soviets and British put the squeeze on him, invaded Iran and forced him to abdicate the throne so that his son, the more amenable Mohammed Reza Shah, could take over. After the war, both the British and the Soviets withdrew their troops (although the latter required some ‘coaxing’), and the arrangement went back to how it had been before. The British controlled the oil interests, and the Shah went about implementing modernizing reforms as his father did.

In doing so, he came into conflict with factions which wanted to nationalize the oil, and who were concerned with the Shah’s growing power accumulation versus a more equal relationship with Parliament. This came to a head in the early 1950s, when the Mohammad Mossadegh spearheaded the Parliamentary move to nationalized the oil, against the wishes of the Shah (and of course The West). On the back of this, Mossadegh became Prime Minister and sought to kick the British out, while attempting to consolidate power himself and thus weaken the monarch.

In the process, Mossadegh also came into conflict with the religious clerics (mullahs). Although they approved of the nationalization of the oil, and opposed the Western-influenced secularization and modernization efforts of the Shah, they were concerned that their role and influence would be even further diminished in a new Mossadegh-led order as opposed to the standard quo of the monarchy. So they joined the growing chorus concerned that Mossadegh was getting too big for his britches (as the shah himself was also accused of), and supported his ouster.

This came in 1953, and included help from the British and the CIA, who of course were interested in the oil above anything else. Much has been made of this 1953 ‘coup,’ but the reality was that even though there was CIA involvement, it wasn’t a clean operation. Furthermore, to the extent the CIA intervened, it was in line with the domestic trend of the day, which was to get rid of Mossadegh.

One aspect that caused a lot of consternation, and opened the door for a lot of historical revisionism was the fact that the shah was quite feckless and indecisive. He had every right under Iranian law to get rid of Mossadegh, and even though he wanted Mossadegh out, if it had come from his hand it would have reinforced the growing idea that he was an authoritarian riding roughshod over the rule of law. Thus, he sought support from the British and Americans in fomenting internal discord before doing what he had the right to do on his own.

This dynamic has been twisted a bit in contemporary accounts of 1953, which almost universally state that Mossadegh was a ‘democratically elected’ leader who was overthrown by the CIA. This is not accurate. Mossadegh was democratically elected to Parliament. From there, however, he was nominated by the Shah to become Prime Minister, and approved by the rest of Parliament in a vote. ‘The people’ had no say in Mossadegh ascending to the premiership, and it had always been the shah’s right to nominate and get rid of Prime Ministers at necessary.

Indeed, all it takes is a cursory glance at the list of Iran’s Prime Ministers to see that during Mohammed Reza Shah’s 36 year rule, there were 33 different terms. One was lucky to be in the job for more than a year. PM’s coming and going had always been the way of things, and Mossadegh’s order to leave was no different.

The fact that Mossadegh arrested the officials who informed him of the Shah’s decree, and the shah’s subsequent fleeing to Italy is suggestive of the fact that a coup was going on – but one led by Mossadegh, who at that point was illegally in the office. This was August 13th. By August 16th, Mossadegh had surrendered under the weight of pro-shah protests and the realization that many officials both in government and the military supported the shah. Recall that Mossadegh himself was viewed as becoming increasingly authoritarian, and his actions in 1953 were probalby seen as confirmation of that. CIA influence or not, the Iranians themselves ultimately preferred the Shah to Mossadegh.

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