All posts by thecerclerouge

Politics as Usual: A Soft Brexit

As I write this, President Trump is in the United Kingdom concluding talks with Prime Minister May, after having spent some time together in Brussels earlier in the week as a part of the NATO summit. Much has been made of the political standings of the two domestically in light of the events of the past week. I’d like to focus on Theresa May for now.

The tenuous nature of May’s Premiership was put on display a few days ago with the resignation of her Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. This followed the resignation of David Davis, the now-former Secretary of State of Exiting the European Union, some 24 hours earlier. The departures represent an internal vote of no confidence in May’s handling of Britain’s exit from the EU. The impetus for this rejection came from May’s first concrete Brexit plan, hatched over the weekend, and released yesterday, in full. Earlier in the week, the Financial Times provided a rough summary of what May’s plan entails:

The UK position crucially “evolves” in two ways that would allow for a Norway-style Brexit deal covering at least part of the EU single market.

The first is Britain’s proposal for a “free trade area for goods” involving the UK and the EU that in effect continues existing regulatory and customs arrangements for manufacturing and agricultural products after Brexit. This is achieved by the UK becoming a rule-taker, with a treaty-based commitment to “ongoing harmonisation with EU rules on goods”.

Just as important is Britain’s concession on enforcement. UK courts would pay “due regard” to European rulings in cases relating to EU-set rules. In other words, while Britain is a separate legal jurisdiction after Brexit, the European Court of Justice would be supreme in interpreting the UK-EU goods rule book.

There are caveats — for example the British parliament could veto changes to the rule book if it accepts the “consequences for market access”. But taken together, the safeguards offer no more freedom than Norway enjoys as a member of the European Economic Area.

This has widely been described as a ‘Soft Brexit,’ and thus not a proper Brexit. More generally, the entire Brexit ordeal which has led to this point is incredibly instructive for highlighting the still-vast chasm between what is affectionately dubbed as ‘The People’ and those who they employ to lead them – and even beyond this – the mockery which has been made of the oft-lauded democratic values which are supposed to shape the relationship between the rulers and the ruled.

Indeed, the political establishment, comprised of career bureaucrats, most politicians, foreign policy experts and mainstream political pundits did not want Brexit. The previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, the man who put the referendum to vote, did not want Brexit. Nor did President Obama, who was the US president at the time. Big business did not want Brexit. May herself did not back Brexit prior to the vote.

But The People did, and made its collective voice heard on 23 June 2016. Note that this date was over two years ago, yet it is just now that the PM has put forth a wishy washy exit plan that, despite technically removing Britain from the EU, effectively maintains the EU stranglehold by vowing to abide by whatever rulings EU courts come up with.

In other words, May’s version of Brexit says “we’re leaving the EU to stand on our own, but we are going to choose to agree with whatever the EU says in regards to regulations and prior agreements.” It is pure politics as usual. May’s proposal is reminiscent of the various legislations, regulations and even entire government bodies here in the United States which have positive sounding names or acronyms (the Patriot Act, Affordable Care act, Consumer Protection Agency, etc) which signal a bureaucracy doing right by the people, but conceals the much longer fine print which generally betrays them.

These comfy sounding titles also allow politicians to proclaim loudly about all the good they’ve done while simultaneously making very legitimate criticisms extremely difficult.  When ‘consumer protection’ is redefined as ‘public funding for exclusively leftist causes,’ it’s not hard to have concerns. However, all the sophistic bureaucrat has to do is declare “how could one be against Consumer Protection?” and rely on the base persuasion of such a sentence to do the rest in quashing those concerns. After decades of the establishment engaging in this sort of exercise in cloaking failures through language manipulation, the public has grown weary and demanded concrete change.

One great irony of the Soft Brexit proposal is that it is the precise sort of thing that contributed to the victory of the Leave campaign in the first place. For years, EU-related referenda in countries like Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Greece and even France had either been outright ignored by their respective governments or repackaged and presented as new referenda later. In the latter cases, The People were made to vote again until the establishment got what it wanted.

These instances shone a light upon the farce of bureaucratic respect for ‘the will of the people.’ And with a Soft Brexit proposal, the light shines again. As President Trump stated in a post NATO press conference, ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ That means any attempt at a deal which maintains the status quo, but is sold as ‘Brexit’ simply because the word itself appears in the header somewhere is in league with the aforementioned referenda in other EU countries. It is indicative of the establishment yet again ignoring the will of the people. Indeed, Trump signaled as much in a much publicized interview with The Sun, when he remarked that should the Soft Brexit idea go through as outlined, it would mean the US couldn’t deal with the UK in a favorable manner.

And rightly so, given that a Soft Brexit is really No Brexit. Prime Minister May can go on all she wants about the 29th of March 2019 being the day that Britain leaves the EU, but if all they’ve really done is to essentially agree to EU rules and regulations, just informally and of their own volition – so as to signal outwardly a maintaining of sovereignty – from the perspective of the US there will be no functional difference. The US would be effectively be trading with an Anglo Division of the EU as opposed to the United Kingdom. That’s all President Trump was really saying.

Given the high profile of the fight, any flouting of Brexit has very serious potential long run consequences. Here, there are parallels with the US election, also in 2016, of Donald Trump. The President, like Brexit, was not favored by the establishment, yet The People did favor him in a democratic election. Much like the British establishment and Brexit, the US establishment has not accepted Trump’s electoral victory, and has sought to neuter the Trump administration through a de-legitimization campaign centered on alleged collusion by the Trump team with the Russian government in order to rig that 2016 election.

This campaign has been waged through a feedback loop of constant disparaging aimed at Trump and his associates by the media, running constant headlines filled with insinuations of this or that nefarious connection to nebulous Russians. These are buttressed by a bureaucratically driven Special Council formally investigating these matters as it relates to the 2016 election, headed by Robert Mueller.

The goal of all of this is to at the very least hang a cloud of shadiness over every action President Trump takes, particularly in the foreign policy realm. In this sense, the foreign policy establishment, which Trump disagrees with at every turn, redefines these disagreements as treason, given its declaration that Trump is really an agent of Russia. Thus, the actions that Trump takes – actions which the voters specifically backed him to do – are to be seen as illegitimate.

At most, the establishment seeks to impeach President Trump on the back of those same disagreements, and seeks to do so through the re-taking of Congress from the Republicans this fall. All in all, the establishment has actively worked to undermine the democratically elected Trump. And as with Brexit, the extent to which the establishment is successful further undermines the rosy textbook idea of the civic role played by The People in a constitutional republic, or indeed in a democratic referendum.

That would lead to a further backlash from The People against the establishment, which would put the latter in a position of needing to exert even more naked aggression in displaying the contempt it has for the former’s wishes. At that point, things would undoubtedly get hairy.

We are at this moment in time because the era of globalism, neoliberalism and neo-conservatism that came before had simply run its course, its severe flaws exposed for all to see. It simply wasn’t working for the masses, and the twin events of Brexit and Trump’s election signified a concrete rejection of that paradigm. We are shifting to a new paradigm, and our betters would do well to accept that. The demise of the old order is inevitable. Better to take it gracefully.

Corporate Marxism

One of the more interesting aspects of the Parkland shooting aftermath was the rush by large corporations to disavow the NRA. Several companies such as Hertz, MetLife, the Enterprise rental car brands, Symantec, Chubb, SimpliSafe, Delta, and United Airlines have taken steps such as ending discounts for NRA members as a show of support for the gun control movement.

The media, itself a giant corporate interest, has played its role as well, promoting these decisions as though they were the first stages of a giant snowball rolling downhill culminating in a gun ban. Those on the anti-gun side are willing Corporate America to be their knight in shining armor on this.

In truth, they don’t have to will very hard, for Corporate America has become increasingly sympathetic to the ideals of the leftist. That is, the TEPID (tolerance, equality, progressive, inclusion, diversity) views of the left are essentially the views of Corporate America as well. It is something I noted when writing about the James Damore episode last summer. Damore, you recall, is the former Goolag employee who was fired for writing a memo which, in the most polite and academically supported terms possible, outlined the fact that gender differences were responsible for the disparities in tech employment and further offered some gender-focused solutions for increasing female enthusiasm in tech.

Continue reading Corporate Marxism

Quick Hits & Dangerous Links: Shithole California (10 March 2018)

Politics & Economics

Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un. Remember when people said that Trump was going to start a nuclear war with his Twitter account? Since then, the North and South have opened talks, showed some unity at the Olympics, and now this.

Flashback:  Trump in 1999 talking about the North Korea problem with fantastic clarity (here as well). Now, the same ‘experts’ who have been getting it wrong for 25 years now say that Trump is getting played and that this new breakthrough will yield nothing more than a photo-op

Particularly telling is this interview from former Obama administration lackey Evelyn Farkas who, like all members of the establishment attempted to pour cold water over the development so as to preserve one last shred of credibility before Trump potentially destroys it by doing what the last few presidents, and their armies of ‘experts’ such as herself couldn’t in nearly 30 years.

But what was particularly of note here was the fact that she lamented that Trump’s ‘bluster’ was what got the job done, echoing her Neocon comrades who claim to be oh so principled but would run with their tails between their legs the second things got a bit sticky. That sort loves losing admirably, and so to see an ‘uncouth’ Trump succeeding is an utterly devastating thing to behold. Her admittance that it was ‘unfortunate’ highlights the lunacy of these people.

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The vast majority of the professional economic class has predicted doom and gloom over Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, mostly targeted at China. I’ll probably write about it myself in the coming weeks, but here are some rejoinders from The Z Man, Vox Day and Conservative Treehouse (here, and here as well) which effectively make a counterargument.

Speaking of tariffs, Gary Cohn resigned as chief economic advisor to the President, signaling that the defeat for the globalist faction of the administration on the trade issue is a complete one. This defeat has triggered the petulance of our betters in the press who stand with Cohn ideologically on this issue. Their response? Claim bigotryanti-Semitism more specifically – is at the heart of the use of the term ‘globalist.’ This despite 3 years of an explicit nationalism vs globalism debate which has enveloped the world.

That the media has embarked on a full court press in this regard, highlights that element of Clown World that dictates that disagreement = hate, which is a losing argument. But it’s the only argument they know, and thus risk even further defeat. They continue to learn nothing.

Culture

Fred Reed opines on diversity:

The obvious soon became evident to those not ideologically resistant to it: In matters cultural, you can’t have it both ways. When you mix in schools populations whose values are contradictory–say, those who believe in clean language and those three quarters of whose discourse consists of “motherfucker,” one side has to give. You cannot require half of the studentry to follow a dress code while allowing the other half to wear pants almost around their ankles. Those who did not eat pork or did eat dogs coexisted uneasily with those who had opposing dietary ideas. Those who mutilated their children’s reproductive organs in one manner (Christians and Jews) and those who did it in another (Muslims) came into conflict.

The less well diversity worked, the more furiously its advocates sought to impose it. Feminists arose, hostile to men and powerful enough to impose themselves on society. They pushed women into the infantry, where they did not fit and did not belong: more ill-advised diversity. Homosexuality went from being quietly tolerated to being taught to children in grade school. though their parents abominated it.

Those inhabiting the extreme reaches of political correctness imagine a world as they think it should be and then try to move into it, dragging everyone else along. I think of the Beatles insipidly crooning “All You Need is Love” in eternal adolescent sanctimony. They of course hated those who disagreed with them. Obama, who transparently liked neither whites or America, imported many hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were almost impossible to assimilate. It was, I suspect, revenge for 1619.

It did not, of course, work. And so the papers carry endless stories of Islamophobia, dislike of Jews, attacks on Christianity, of misandry, looting of malls, burning of cities, White Nationalism, Black Lives Matter, calls for The Wall, novel policies regarding bathrooms, anger over Spanish on federal forms, affirmative action, perennial academic gaps, the demands of the various sexual curiosities, the Knockout Game, special privilege for this and that group, and a seething anger and despair over a country that many remember but no longer exists.

The whole thing is a good read

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Elsewhere, no one watched the Oscars last weekend. Well, that isn’t strictly true. Michael Sebastian of ROK did in order to further warn of the war Hollywood has planned against truth and beauty.

Related:  Cosmopolitanism and its war on the west

Generation Zyklon is seemingly the least likely generation to grab the guns. Don’t mind that attention whore Hogg kid.

California is A Shithole

Over the last few weeks, stories have been filtering into the mainstream press about a growing crisis in California relating to homeless people, waste, blight, and drugs. From San Francisco:

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of downtown San Francisco in search of trash, needles, and feces. The investigation revealed trash littered across every block. The survey also found 41 blocks dotted with needles and 96 blocks sullied with piles of feces.

And now in Southern California:

Orange County Public Works released eye-popping figures Thursday, March 8, on the total amount of debris, needles and hazardous waste removed when crews cleaned up the area along the Santa Ana River Trail once populated by the encampments of homeless people.

Here’s what was collected between Jan. 22 and March 3 from a more than two-mile stretch of bike trail roughly from I-5 in Orange to Ball Road in Anaheim, according to OC Public Works spokesman Shannon Widor:

  • 404 tons of debris

  • 13,950 needles

  • 5,279 pounds of hazardous waste (human waste)

We are seeing evidence of multiple decades of diversity, open borders, the rejection of heritage social and cultural norms, and so forth. Eschewing the standards that were set for us by those who came before now leaves us in a position where the country that was inherited is no longer that country.

It’s more like Brazil now, with ever shrinking pockets of normalcy surrounding by insanity. The DOJ is suing the state for getting in the way of the Law. More locally, you’ve got the mayor of Oakland giving some illegal aliens, most of whom have committed further crimes upon entering the country, a heads up that they were set to be deported soon, partially thwarting the efforts of law enforcement.

This is he same state, recall, that allowed an illegal immigrant who had been deported and re-entered several times, to walk after killing Kate Steinle. Anarcho-tyranny at its finest.

It’s perhaps fitting that sewer water may now make its way into Californian taps soon. Not the best look from the LARGEST GDP ZONE IN THE USA. You can read the likes of Fred Reed quoted above as to why things got so bad, so as to be mindful, lest it gets to that degree in the rest of the good ol’ USA.

Related: The 50 most dangerous cities in the world. The vast majority of them are in Central and South America. Their rivals in the United States are ‘diversity’ hotspots. Coincidence? I think not.

In Closing

There is hope however, and I’ll end with that. Here is Virginia House Delegate Nick Frietas giving rousing remarks about the second amendment.

That’s your lot, until next time.

 

On Big Little Lies

(Caution: Spoilers Within)

I finally got around to watching Big Little Lies, the much talked about HBO series. I didn’t go into the series with any expectations, nor had I read the book. I had no dispositions other than it was a popular show getting critical acclaim.

Ultimately, what seemed like a murder mystery set in a wealthy, picturesque Monterrey, California ended up being a tale about the modern societal themes of feminism and disdain for patriarchy. The murder mystery only served to provide catharsis for the commentary on female victimization that spanned the mini-series.

I don’t say that in a snide or dismissive way; virtually every major female character was cast out as a victim of some sort. The most obvious victim is Celeste (Nicole Kidman) who is the victim of regular physical assault at the hand of her husband Perry (Alexsander Sarsgard), who promises that he’ll change after every violent episode. We learn that Jane (Shailene Woodley) was the victim of a rape, which resulted in her becoming pregnant with her son Ziggy, whom she is raising as a single mom.


She becomes friends with Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) after moving to Monterrey in an attempt to give her son a better life. Madeline is a victim simply because she can’t have it all. She is essentially stuck between Bonnie and Renata (Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dern), who are victims of their success. Bonnie is the young, attractive twentysomething bohemian type with a superb figure, who married Madeline’s ex-husband Nathan (Jake Tupper). Renata is a Power Skirt in a Power Couple.

Bonnie reminds the middle aged ladies of their fading youth, beauty and fertility, and is thus victimized by those iciest of attitudes and scorn directed at her from the older set.

Renata is a victim of her success as a striver. She is on the board of PayPal, and her Power Skirt success, and all that comes with it, including French nanny, leads the other ladies to view her as a failure with regards to raising her daughter Amabella.

Even Amabella is a victim, as we find out in the first episode. One of her male classmates choked her, and throughout the series she continues to suffer physical abuse. When her mother Renata noticed the marks on her neck and when it was discovered the perpetrator was a boy, she asked Amabella to identify him, saying that “Little boys don’t get to go around anymore hurting little girls, and none of us want to raise bullies.”

Continue reading On Big Little Lies

Quick Hits and Dangerous Reads: Guns & Tariffs (2 March 2018)

First, we’ve got more on the gun debate in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting.

The Z Man is just about at his wits end with Trump over his Guns Roundtable stuff from earlier this week. Honestly, I’m surprised given Z has shown to be better than the average commentator at understanding Trump’s political machinations. In general the blackpilling over the whole thing is completely unwarranted in my view.

An hour of Trump talking shit has flipped the script in terms of the screeching twaddle from anti 2A folks since Parkland. Trump knows there is zero political benefit in gun-grabbing, so his BS will only entice Democrats into putting their names on Gun Grabbing going into the midterms.  Gun Grabbing and Immigration are just about the biggest stimulants for Trump supporters to get engaged and to vote Republican in November, in with two Round Tables in two months; the President has awakened that sleeping giant.

When Trump ultimately does the right thing, and his governing position strengthens, the blackpillers will be overjoyed about how they ‘got to Trump’ and saved him from doing something catastrophic. They’ll be patting themselves on the back, until the next time Trump ‘abandons’ them.

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In other gun news, a Democratic congressman is fine with a situation in which only a rich, ruling elite own guns, thus cementing their power over the Dirt People. Rarely do they make their ambitions so clear.

I can forgive Z Man for going so hard at Trump, given that any flirtation, even in jest, with neutering the Second Amendment should be verboten in America. The reason it is exists is so that things like this don’t happen:

SOUTH Africa’s parliament has voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country’s Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.

“The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice,” Mr Malema was quoted by News24 as telling parliament. “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”

Tim Newman has some analysis of that development here. Furthermore, the deteriorating conditions in South Africa bring up the issue of a potential refugee crisis – for Afrikaaners, which in turn would raise some interesting political debates given the refugees would mostly be whites.

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President Trump has placed tariffs on steel and aluminum, much to the chagrin of the globalists in the media and around the world generally. You can read a typified bawling session here, from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. You can read the antidote here.

Zero Hedge points out what happened the last time such tariffs were imposed, but the difference between those Bush tariffs and Trump’s are that Trump’s cover Mexico and Canada. The past tariffs were short lived because they were easily circumvented by the Chinese dumping in Cananda and Mexico, who in turn could dump into the US via NAFTA.

Speaking of globalist media wailing sessions over things not going their way, The Atlantic has published this piece in which it laments the fact that the ‘CNN Effect’ – the idea that merely showing humanitarian injustices on TV will lead to intervention, military and otherwise – has been undercut by New Media and the Internet:

Gowan recalled how NGOs and Hollywood activists had marshaled evidence of genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur to pressure China into supporting a UN peacekeeping force in Sudan in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “That sort of extended media-driven shaming process would just fall apart in the current environment,” he said. “Now it would be so easy for trolls and spoilers to undercut that campaign.”

Visuals of human misery in Syria have occasionally cut through the noise. In 2015, several countries staked out more welcoming positions on Syrian refugees partially in response to a viral photo of a dead Syrian boy washed up on a beach. Two years later, U.S. President Donald Trump cited pictures of stricken children as one of the reasons he decided to strike the Syrian military for using chemical weapons against civilians. Trump’s reaction was “a reminder of how the CNN effect was meant to work,” which was fitting for “a cable-news junkie,” Gowan said. But these humanitarian interventions have been ephemeral (sympathy for refugees quickly faded, Trump’s strikes were a one-off) and arbitrary (many hundreds of boys and girls have died since the boy on the beach, the Trump administration has held its fire as Assad has unleashed barrel bombs and chlorine gas on his people).

“We have a level of real-time information about conflict that would have been unimaginable two decades ago, but it’s actually coinciding with a decline in our ability to respond,” Gowan observed. “The sheer amount of information we get, coupled with the fact that we often don’t know if it’s real, contributes to a sense of hopelessness. … Because no one is ever quite certain whether that picture of a dead kid is real or whether it’s going to be revealed to be a photo from two years ago that’s been recycled, it creates cynicism.”

In a similar vein, our betters in the press were not happy that Marion Le Pen, niece to RIGHT WING EXTREMIST Marine, spoke at CPAC last week. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Washington Post is ringing alarm bells, but it shouldn’t be surprising that the squishy ‘moderate conservatives’ are stomping their feet either.

It is just another reminder, as Pat Buchanan gleefully put it on The McLaughlin Group last week, that “it’s over.” As in Bush/Buckley Republicanism is a thing of the past, and the Hostile Takeover by President Trump is nearly complete.

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We’ve got some Russian Collusion Delusion stuff as well this week. The much anticipated OIG Report is set to reveal that Andrew McCabe leaked to the press, among other shady misdeeds. The Conservative Treehouse covers it here, and the NYT and WaPo crank up the spin machines (here and here).

For reference, here is a comprehensive list of the events of the Russian Collusion Narrative put out by the consistently excellent Sharyl Atkisson.

A few fun topics in closing:

That’s your lot. Until next time.

Parkland: Emblem of a TEPID Cuture

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, President Trump put out a tweet in which he pointed out the culpability of the FBI, in that it had been made aware of the potentially imminent danger posed by the eventual killer and failed to respond. Trump went on to further suggest that the Bureau would have done well to focus on threats such as those as opposed to its infatuation with anti-Trump fan fiction such as the infamous Steele Dossier. That, in turn, led to things like the recent indictments against 13 Russian nationals for shitposting on Facebook, amongst other crimes.

Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!

That snide remark from the President was predictably picked out and ridiculed by the press and the vast majority of our betters in the ruling class, who launched into another episodic wailing of “How Dare He!” Yet, Trump’s main point was spot on. There is a certain complacency running through our much vaunted Institutions, which should be patently unacceptable given the growing amount of freedoms relinquished by the public in tolerance of them, and the growing tax burden to fund them. The founding fathers would look on aghast at the existence and theoretical capabilities of agencies such as the FBI and CIA, while the likes of Stalin and Mao in their wildest dreams could never have envisaged them in their modern iterations.

Yet the land of the free and the home of the brave not only tolerate them, but bestow upon them a rarified status as though woven into the national identity.  As such, the consistency with which mass killers have slipped through their grasp (the FBI in particular) is concerning. The perpetrators of Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, Garland, San Bernandino, the attempted New Jersey bombings, and now Parkland had all been made aware to the FBI before they carried out their acts. And while unknown to the FBI in advance, the killer in the Charleston church massacre had obtained his weapons thanks to an FBI related flaw in the background check system.

With respect to Parkland, the lackadaisical attitude filtered down to the local enforcement level, as it was reported that the police had been called some 39 times because of the killer’s misbehavior, which necessitated 23 police visits to his residence over the past few years. Some of the reasons included threatening behavior with a firearm. Yet nothing was done.

Drilling down further still, during the shooting itself, the officer stationed at the school allegedly just waited outside for over four of the six minutes of shooting. Later reports suggest that a total of four officers did the same, and it was officers from a neighboring police department which were the first to enter the school. The officers may have been ordered to stand down, or they simply lacked the fortitude to engage. In either case, nothing was done, which enabled the killer to exit alongside other evacuating students and head to multiple fast food restaurants a few blocks away before being caught.

All of this makes a mockery of the ongoing argument that Americans must turn in their guns and allow the ‘authorities,’ relatively small in number, to handle completely the task of defending us all. At Parkland, the very people who were meant to defend the innocent bottled it at nearly every turn. Beyond this, however, the abject failure on multiple levels of what is meant to be the steel in our institutional backbone is increasingly widespread, indicative of a deeper rot in society.

Continue reading Parkland: Emblem of a TEPID Cuture

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.

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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.

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

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.

Continue reading On the Unrest in Iran