Category Archives: Culture

Judge Kavanaugh – It’s Only A Man’s Life After All

Like most of America, I find myself riveted by the situation surrounding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. More than anything else, it should be the latest and perhaps most striking example of a point I’m fond of making – that is there is a real fight going on, and at stake is the essence of the United States of America. Even the most Principled, Decorum-Obsessed, Tone Policing conservative has to see it now, and if not he or she has no business commenting on these matters ever again. Kavanaugh, remember, isn’t some John Birch Society type of conservative, but a standard Bush GOP man. That the situation is happening to his sort highlights the fact that there is a real street fight going on in the political realm that threatens to further consume the social realm.

As of this writing, the allegation brought forth by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault at the hands of Kavanaugh, some 36 years ago, has been subjected to further investigation by the FBI. This process has been completed, and a report returned to the US Senate for analysis. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is poised to take a full vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the end of the week. Whatever the result, this confirmation process will have a lasting impact on our society.

In truth, much more than even a Supreme Court seat hangs in the balance here. This is a matter of whether due process, the rule of law and common decency will succumb to the politics of personal destruction, the female driven anarcho-tyranny that is now gender relations, and the death of Heritage America by any means necessary.

The New York Times is a standard bearer for the latter set. So naturally its Editorial Board viewed the pivotal Kavanaugh-Ford Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, called last week to discuss the allegations, as totally damning for the Judge. Its analysis provides a distillation of the “intellectual” forces arrayed against such seemingly basic values like due process, so it is worth going through. The Editors write of the spectacle:

What a study in contrasts: Where Christine Blasey Ford was calm and dignified, Brett Kavanaugh was volatile and belligerent; where she was eager to respond fully to every questioner, and kept worrying whether she was being “helpful” enough, he was openly contemptuous of several senators; most important, where she was credible and unshakable at every point in her testimony, he was at some points evasive, and some of his answers strained credulity.

Christine Blasey Ford made an allegation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party some 36 years ago, when they were both in high school. However, she cannot narrow when the alleged assault occurred down to the month, let alone any sort of date. The best she can do is say it was in the summer of 1982. She cannot pinpoint where this occurred, apart from saying it took place a few miles away from a country club she swam at. She cannot pinpoint how she got there, or who exactly was there. In fact, there is no one who has stated that this gathering occurred as described by Ford. At least 3 of the people Ford claims were attendants, as well as Kavanaugh, have stated the gathering did not happen.

Ford describes the alleged assault in detail. She seemingly knows the precise floor plan of the alleged house, but after making her escape from the assault which she claims nearly killed her, indeed describing in detail her escape route, her memory suddenly stops. She seemingly cannot remember what happened after she emerged into the fresh air of that summer night. She does not know where she went to next, how or when she eventually got home, or who brought her home.

The aforementioned is essentially the sum of the sworn testimony, under penalty of perjury, of all of the parties involved.

Not one piece of Ford’s allegation is corroborated by anything other than Ford’s own account. Rachel Mitchell, the independent prosecutor drafted by the Republicans to question Ford, stated in her summary that the case was even weaker than a “he said, she said” case which itself is near impossible to prove. Yet this is what passes for “credible” according to the New York Times editorial board, a proxy for the views of polite society.

This artificial inflation of Ford’s charge extended to the vast majority of the press, as well as the majority of lawmakers, who constantly ascribed to Ford herself and/or her allegation a veneer of legitimacy it does not deserve. She was constantly described as “compelling,” “believable,” and of course “credible,” even by Republicans.

This in turn made Kavanaugh “credibly accused.” The mere existence of Ford’s allegation, as well as others from Debora Ramirez and Julie Swetnick which have proven to be equally baseless, allowed the Kavanaugh’s political enemies to repeatedly smear him as a sexual assaulter at the very least. At worst, Kavanaugh was a serial gang rapist. For the better part of two weeks these are the sort of terms that were attached to Kavanuagh’s name by press chatterboxes, their 24 hour, 7 day conviction- by-media loudly dwarfing the standard terse denial statements Kavanaugh offered in response.

To step back a bit, generally when these sort of sexual crimes are alleged with no tangible evidence, and none forthcoming due to substantial time having passed, the man is faced with an unduly high bar to breach to successfully clear his name. In practice, the mere accusation is enough to harm the man’s standing in many eyes. Should he be cleared of the charge legally, many will still view him as a guilty man who simply had the fortune of the evidence being destroyed by time.

The man’s reputation is irreparably harmed by the ordeal, and many will never view him in the same light again. Opportunities in business and employment, public service and community participation may be closed off to him. A lot of this is a consequence of biology, in that female sexual and reproductive value is intrinsic to the furthering of a given society, and as such society is extremely sensitive to sexual violations perpetrated against females, considering it among the worst of crimes.

This is what Kavanaugh faces at the moment, and will continue to face for the rest of his life. Even if he is cleared of these charges in some official capacity, it will not be enough to undo the association of Kavanaugh and rape, which was seared into the pubic conscience by the media.

His family life will be altered forever, with his wife facing ostracism for supporting a ‘rapist,’ with his kids being hounded to view their father as evil, thereby themselves relegated to spawn of evil; with his community and social circle pressured to isolate the family as tainted. All of this, to be cemented in recorded history for posterity. Already we have seen this to some extent as the media views his coaching of girls basketball as problematic, implying predation of minors, while Harvard Law School has effectively frozen him out of his teaching duties.

The Times shows no empathy for Kavanaugh’s plight, writing:

Judge Kavanaugh’s defiant fury might be understandable coming from someone who believes himself innocent of the grotesque charges he’s facing. Yet it was also evidence of an unsettling temperament in a man trying to persuade the nation of his judicial demeanor.

There is no “might” here. Kavanaugh’s fury is completely understandable, and has multiple layers to it. As described, there is an special sort of disgust for sexual crimes against females that aggregates to a concentrated fury towards the perpetrators. The flip side of this is the concentrated fury of those falsely accused of such crimes, emanating from the prospect of facing the steepest of penalties with no justification.

The price Kavanaugh stands to pay here is potentially life and career ending, and certainly reputation-ending, all because someone made an allegation, with no basis, and thus no legitimacy. Well, no legitimacy apart from its potential ability to exact political damage. That Kavanaugh’s life has been turned upside down perhaps deliberately, with calculation, presents a second layer of justifiable fury. Then there are the kids. Imagine having to explain to your 10 year old what “gang rape” is.

And thus, with his life set to be wrested from him ultimately for the crime of his political inconvenience, he appeared before some of the very enablers of his predicament to defend his family, his name, his life.

And our ‘betters’ in the press act like it was a surprise that Kavanuagh showed some emotion, some fight. After all, it was only his life and his family on the line.

The fact is that when Kavanaugh was in front of the Committee in his capacity as a judge, answering questions about his judicial record as well as other questions pertaining to the Supreme Court, his temperament was fine. He was calm, engaging and respectful to all of the senators who asked him questions – including Democrats who attempted to malign him and his record.

It was only when he faced the same committee in his capacity as a Man, defending his name and his family from salacious charges that he was moved with a range of emotion.

Unmoved by this, Kavanaugh’s detractors in the NYT took the further step of using his humanity in defending his family against him, claiming that his ‘defiant fury’ was somehow evidence of a temperamental flaw which made him unfit for service on the bench.

This is textbook gaslighting. A bogus charge is levied, followed by days of constant smearing, then a declaration of mental instability when a justifiable anger is levied in response. It is indeed reminiscent of the lowest of low tactics perpetrated by totalitarians when trying to bring the hammer down on those it considers dissidents. The Editors carry on, in their role as Pravda:

On Thursday, he gave misleading answers to questions about seemingly small matters — sharpening doubts about his honesty about far more significant ones. He gave coy answers when pressed about what was clearly a sexual innuendo in his high-school yearbook.

Kavanaugh stated that “boofing” referred to flatulence, that the “devil’s triangle” referred to a drinking game, and that the “FFFFFFourth of July” referred to an inside joke about the way a friend spoke. They were fine answers on their face. However, even if you want to insist that these are actually evidence of a clear sexual innuendo, beyond having no proof of this, you are left arguing that teenage boys do not go around flaunting newly acquired knowledge about sex as much as possible, despite their vast inexperience. Above this, equating joking about sex or intimating sexual activity with ‘a tendency to sexually assault women,’ is insipid at best, irresponsible on the average, and defamatory at worst.

He insisted over and over that others Dr. Blasey named as attending the gathering had “said it didn’t happen,” when in fact at least two of them have said only that they don’t recall it — and one of them told a reporter that she believes Dr. Blasey.

In other words, no one corroborates Blasey Ford’s account. The closest she comes is “I believe her, but I can’t recall if what she is saying happened.” This allegation would get absolutely nowhere in the legal system, as Rachel Mitchell declared.

But, they tell us, this is not a criminal investigation! This is about assessing the character of a man we might be putting on the Supreme Court! And to this end,

Judge Kavanaugh clumsily dodged a number of times when senators asked him about his drinking habits. When Senator Amy Klobuchar gently pressed him about whether he’d ever blacked out from drinking, he at first wouldn’t reply directly. “I don’t know, have you?” he replied — a condescending and dismissive response to the legitimate exercise of a senator’s duty of advise and consent. (Later, after a break in the hearing, he apologized.)

Judge Kavanaugh gave categorical denials a number of times, including, at other points, that he’d ever blacked out from too much drinking. Given numerous reports now of his heavy drinking in college, such a blanket denial is hard to believe.

Indeed, the questions surrounding Kavanaugh’s drinking were the worst aspects of his testimony. However I suspect Kavanaugh was attempting to avoid being drawn into an obvious trap. The Democratic Senators were trying to establish that Kavanaugh at times drank in excess such that he forgot details of the previous night. Therefore, Ford’s account could have happened, but Kavanaugh might not have remembered it thanks to his drinking. This is indeed line of attack Kavanaugh’s enemies pursued as the various allegations started to unravel.

Spurious at best, but when you have absolutely no shred of concrete evidence, spinning fantastic theories is your best bet.

Furthermore, the ‘job interview’ argument is disingenuous. Kavanaugh’s character is now being examined in the context of an allegation of serious crime. Whether he actually committed that crime or not is thus incredibly important to assessing his character. The flimsy nature of the allegation combined with the presumption of innocence should not damage Kavanaugh’s character in theory.

What those who constantly harp on the fact that this is not a criminal investigation are trying to do is bypass that logical conclusion by intimating that that if you are of good character you will never be accused of anything in the first place. In so doing, they render mere allegations to be damning.

This is dangerous, to put it mildly. Indeed, the mask slipped when a protestor to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation got in the face of Senator Cassidy of Louisiana. Consider the following exchange:

Protester: “I would fight. And I would make sure women are heard. Clearly you’re OK if a rapist goes on the Supreme Court.”

Cassidy: “No, I’m not. But then on the other hand, clearly you’re OK, the absence of evidence obviously means nothing to you.”

Protester: “No, there is evidence. Look at the standard. How many people are in jail for less?”

According to the protester, Kavanaugh’s lynching is justifiable because of the fact that other men have been destroyed on even less grounds than the ‘weaker than he said, she said’ case brought against him. She is no doubt voicing the id of the leftist establishment in the press, academia and politics, communist to the core, the thirst for blood palpable. Returning to the Times:

In contrast, Dr. Blasey bolstered her credibility not only by describing in harrowing detail what she did remember, but by being honest about what she didn’t — like the exact date of the gathering, or the address of the house where it occurred. As she pointed out, the precise details of a trauma get burned into the brain and stay there long after less relevant details fade away.

In other words, Ford provided no evidence, tangible or otherwise that this event occurred. Her precise description of the floor plan of the house yet no recollection of even the month when it occurred is waived away by psychology. Yet this is all seen as a bolstering of credibility.

She was also honest about her ambivalence in coming forward. “I am terrified,” she told the senators in her opening remarks. And then there’s the fact that she gains nothing by coming forward. She is in hiding now with her family in the face of death threats.

Where a man accused of sexual crime without evidence finds himself in an almost untenable situation, the female accuser in such scenarios rarely faces the same sort of potential lasting damage. Should her claim be shown to be false, or lacking evidence, the sympathetic position she garners by merely making the claim is bolstered by a further sympathy from some that The System failed her.

To the extent she faces any shorter term criticism for ruining a man’s life, this dissipates over time to the point where nothing may as well have happened.  See Jackie Coakley, the infamous Rolling Stone UVA accuser, who faced no repercussions for cooking up a totally fake story about a rape in a fraternity house. Nothing happened to her outside of internet criticism. She even found some guy to look past her obvious mental issues and marry her.

It is ridiculous to assert that Ford has nothing to gain. For a start, Ford’s political aims would be realized if Kavanaugh is prevented from the bench over this. Beyond that, her name will forever be on the lips of social justice activists from now until the end of time. She will go down in history alongside the likes of Rosa Parks as women who changed the course of American history, in this instance by saving Roe v Wade.

Even if her claims are proven unequivocally as baseless, Ford will still have her defenders. No matter what, she will gain monetarily in the shape of book deals, high profile interviews and media appearances, and even corporate sponsorships. This, on top of the three quarters of a million dollars she has seen accrue to her Go Fund Me page, despite having spent nothing on her lawyers (who happen to be big players in the Democrat political machine – not cheap by any stretch), and nothing on the two-question polygraph test many have pointed to as part of her “credibility.”

The reported death threats sound routine, in that almost every public figure, particularly controversial ones, receive them regularly. I do not trivialize them, but only mention their regularity (Kavanaugh and his family have received death threats as well) so as to highlight the fact that the preponderance of evidence points to Ford having plenty to gain and relatively little to lose. Whether she meant it that way is irrelevant.

The Times finishes thusly:

There is no reason the committee needs to hold this vote before the F.B.I. can do a proper investigation, and Mr. Judge and possibly other witnesses can be called to testify under oath. The Senate, and the American people, need to know the truth, or as close an approximation as possible, before deciding whether Judge Kavanaugh should get a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court. If the committee will not make a more serious effort, the only choice for senators seeking to protect the credibility of the Supreme Court will be to vote no.

Indeed, the committee made that more serious effort, with Senator Jeff Flake essentially demanding a further FBI investigation in exchange for a ‘yes’ vote. Interestingly enough, what led to Flake’s last second demand, apart from his natural propensity to waiver, was an exchange he had with two women who accosted him as he attempted to enter an elevator.

The women shouted Flake down, declaring that they were victims of sexual assault and that as a result Flake’s decision making on the matter, should he decide ‘incorrectly,’ would be validating  and legitimizing their stated assaults. In a way, this was a microcosm of the entire Kavanaugh saga – a shrieking woman claiming abuse, and demanding that this claim inform the sober rationality of a Supreme Court nomination. Note too that one of the women accosting Flake was obviously foreign. She is a confirmed operative of a George Soros-funded activist group. This added a nice touch in highlighting the destruction of Heritage America by foreigners from within.

A lot of that destruction over the last 50 years or so has come at the hand of the Supreme Court, which has taken an increasingly activist role in that time. While the court had been nominally a 5-4 split in the favor of the more conservative view, in reality Justice Kennedy’s voting record showed that the split was effectively 4.5-4.5. With Kennedy’s retirement and Kavanaugh’s prospective ascension to the court, it would be a legitimate 5-4 split.

This is the real reason for the extra bit of dirtiness coming from the Kavanaugh opposition camp. It is because of the realization that the main vehicle for Marxist advancement will be closed off, and even reversed, for a generation. Kavanaugh thus represents existential damage and is worth stopping by any means necessary.

I suspect that the rank desperation the left has shown here will prove to have been a bridge too far. The United States still has within it the soul of Heritage America in large numbers, despite its declining vitality. They will be viscerally disgusted by the willingness to so easily destroy an innocent man and his family for the sake of political advancement. Kavanaugh is no Trump. He is not an apex alpha male celebrity with decades in the spotlight.

He is a normal guy who did normal things and dated normal women. John Q. Public looks at Kavanaugh and sees himself or perhaps his good buddy in high school. Huge swaths of women see Mrs. Kavanaugh struggling to keep it together and shudder at the thought of this happening to their family. I suspect they won’t cosign what the leftists have offered. If a descent to such moral lows is what is required, perhaps those aims sought aren’t worth it.

On a more somber note, the entire saga is quite depressing. That one has to write such a tome in the defense of concepts such as a presumption of innocence until proven guilty in today’s age speaks to the declining intelligence of the country as a whole. More generally, that we have a huge slice of the population that believes that allegations are convictions, or does not value freedom of speech, the rights of one to self-defense via firearm or concepts such as the Electoral College speaks to a decline in the essence of America.

That they all have voting power leads to  the realization that country that so produced the glorious reputation the United States is on the way out absent change.  It more generally speaks to the warnings against a pure democracy from throughout history. If we haven’t already reached a sort of ‘Post-America,’ we are fast reaching it. To save America, or indeed to sit by and let it go will both come with its own horrors. As such, these are potentially dark times.

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

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

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

CS Lewis On Christmas

On this Christmas day, I find myself agreeing with the words of Lewis in his essay “What Christmas Means to Me”

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business too have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers. Neither of these circumstances is in itself a reason for condemning it. I condemn it on the following grounds.

1. It gives on the whole much more pain than pleasure. You have only to stay over Christmas with a family who seriously try to ‘keep’ it (in its third, or commercial, aspect) in order to see that the thing is a nightmare. Long before December 25th everyone is worn out — physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merry-making; much less (if they should want to) to take part in a religious act. They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house.

2. Most of it is involuntary. The modern rule is that anyone can force you to give him a present by sending you a quite unprovoked present of his own. It is almost a blackmail. Who has not heard the wail of despair, and indeed of resentment, when, at the last moment, just as everyone hoped that the nuisance was over for one more year, the unwanted gift from Mrs. Busy (whom we hardly remember) flops unwelcomed through the letter-box, and back to the dreadful shops one of us has to go?

3. Things are given as presents which no mortal every bought for himself — gaudy and useless gadgets, ‘novelties’ bbecause no one was ever fool enough to make their like before. Have we really no better use for materials and for human skill and time than to spend them on all this rubbish?

4. The nuisance. for after all, during the racket we still have all our ordinary and
necessary shopping to do, and the racket trebles the labour of it.

We are told that the whole dreary business must go on because it is good for trade. It is in fact merely one annual symptom of that lunatic condition of our country, and indeed of the world, in which everyone lives by persuading everyone else to buy things. I don’t know the way out. But can it really be my duty to buy and receive masses of junk every winter just to help the shopkeepers? If the worst comes to the worst I’d sooner give them money for nothing and write if off as a charity. For nothing? Why, better for nothing than for a nuisance.

When I was a kid, Christmas was always about the presents, with the anticipation of Christmas Eve night bleeding into the euphoria of sunrise on Christmas day. Christmas was effectively over by noon, once the presents had been opened and the new gadgets had been fiddled with for a few hours.

As I get older, Christmas is more and more about the religious festival, as it should be. It’s about the significance of the end of the year, the darkest days of the year illuminated by the lights, decoration and song, prompting solemn reflection and preparation for the year that is to come. It truly is a wonderful time, even if one isn’t religious, regardless of one’s personal life situation. A Merry Christmas to all indeed.

How Dare You

Taylor Swift has gotten herself into some trouble over the past year or so, not necessarily for anything she has said or done, but rather for what she hasn’t said or done. Specifically, she has not chosen to join the bevy of celebrities and social media superstars in declaring that every little thing President Trump does or says is going to result in the immediate extinction of mankind.

I was alerted to this over the last few days or so, when Swift expressed her gratitude for what was a personally fulfilling year. As you can see from that article, she was destroyed for this on Twitter, by leftists who deemed her callous for not seeing 2017 as anything but the worst year in human history, because of President Trump, and other developments which were distasteful to their leftist sensibilities.

This led me to finding out that quite a few people harbored disappointment in the pop superstar for her silence in these matters. Her recognition by Time magazine as a ’silence breaker’ in their year end review of 2017 was roasted by The Daily Beast. The same publication has put out at least three other articles (here, here and here) in the past 12 months blasting Swift for not going all in on the Social Justice Warrior warpath in the same manner as the likes of Lena Dunham, Katy Perry and Ashley Judd, who have denounced the President, and for that matter any political views to the right of Mao.

Continue reading How Dare You

The Lesson In Tactics From Charlottesville

Yesterday’s Charlottesville post was mostly concerned with the event as a whole from a legal and constitutional standpoint. And on that score, Unite The Right, who were there protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue were expressing a first amendment right, and had gotten the OK of the authorities. Any violence that occurred was because Antifa ‘counter-protesters’ showed up with the explicit intent to bring the ruckus. The police and the government, perhaps deliberately, did little to prevent the powder keg from exploding. The authorities are ultimately responsible for spiral of violence that followed.

That doesn’t mean Richard Spencer and company can be proud of themselves for the events of the weekend. They made a substantial tactical error by continuing to permit the Nazi LARPing, even feeding into it with some of the visuals from the torch rally the night before. As I said in the post yesterday: if you actually want to win the long run, where winning is restoring America to her former greatness, extolling the virtues of 1930s German National Socialism is an odd way to do it, to put it mildly. Continue reading The Lesson In Tactics From Charlottesville

On the Violence in Charlottesville

My take on what happened in Charlottesville:

Whatever you think of Unite the Right, or the demonstration against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, they had a lawful and constitutional right to stage a peaceful rally. The only reason violence “broke out” was because Antifa operate on the principle of “We don’t like you so you can’t associate, so we’ll stop you from associating by any means necessary.” This is unlawful.

To the extent to which there were Nazi cosplayers among the Unite the Right crowd is almost irrelevant. This is the United States of America, one has the right to express his or herself, no matter how terrible that expression is. Furthermore, and I reiterate – the Unite the Right crowd went through the proper channels, obtained a permit to demonstrate, working with the authorities to guarantee a safe environment. Antifa did not.

The Antifa “counter-protesters” went there with the express purpose of breaking up a legitimate, constitutionally backed assembly of individuals. That is a crime, an infringement on the rights of others. Doubly so when the means of breaking up said assembly was through violence.

Antifa responding to a rally it doesn’t like

Now, the argument leveled by Antifa is that the mere existence of Unite the Right/white nationalists/whatever is itself a violent act. Indeed, anyone who voices opinions to the right of Lenin is lumped together by Antifa as dispensers of ‘hate speech,’ and thus violent actors against whom counter-violence is acceptable, and even honorable. These are communists after all, and they don’t shy away from it, with hammer and sickle flags flying high above their congregations, and propaganda posters which highlight the influence of the intellectual progenitor of the movement, Bolshevism. Continue reading On the Violence in Charlottesville

The Meme Heard Round The World (Or, CNN Can’t Take A Joke)

The entirely media-created, faux outrage laden Trump Wrestlemania Twitter ‘controversy’ took an interesting turn when CNN, unable to take its loss like a man, decided to threaten the individual who made the meme which the President so gleefully posted over the weekend.

Of course, CNN will interpret it differently, but a look at what happened would render their interpretation invalid. Analyzing this episode is important for various reasons, which will be made clear as I go on.

But first, to the events themselves. After Trump posted the now famous tweet heard ‘round the world, the Washington Post published this article, detailing that the GIF came from a Reddit user called ‘HanAssholeSolo,’ (HAS). It then chronicled HAS’s history of questionable posts on Reddit. Other journalists took this and began to broadcast the wrongthink of HAS all across Twitter. Continue reading The Meme Heard Round The World (Or, CNN Can’t Take A Joke)

Competing Conspiracies

With respect to President Donald Trump, the Russian government, and the mainstream media, there are two narratives which have vied for the public’s attention over the past several months. They are as follows:

  1. The Russian government conspired with the Trump campaign in some capacity in order to tilt the election in his favor.
  2. The Obama administration ran surveillance on the Trump campaign, most likely illegally

The former narrative has been advanced by leftists, the neoconservative globalist element of the right, and the mainstream media. The latter narrative was introduced by President Trump himself, seemingly in response to the growing hysteria fomented by that first narrative.

The ultimate origin of Conspiracy #1 is the unconventional views President Trump holds on the topic of Russia. Congressman Dennis Heck referenced this during the much hyped Congressional hearing on Russian intervention in the 2016 election, dutifully playing up the idea that the Trump campaign may have colluded in the scheme:

Republicans who are always so strong against geopolitical foes like Russia, I know my colleagues on this committee take the Russia threat very seriously. Why wouldn’t the people who inhabit the White House? How else can we explain an Administration that beats up our oldest allies, like Australia and Britain, and our strongest and most sacrosanct alliance, like NATO, but never, ever say a bad word about Putin. In fact, they say a lot of good words about Putin.

An administration that we have heard decisively makes up baseless wiretapping charges against a former United States President, equates our intelligence agencies to Nazi Germany, and argues moral equivalents between a repressive, authoritarian states with an abhorrent human rights record like Russia in our free and open democracy. And yet, this Administration never, ever utters any criticism of Russia.

During the presidential election, Trump was one of the few candidates who did not, implicitly or explicitly, advocate for war with Russia. The Republicans, with the notable exception of Rand Paul, opposed Trump on this point, constantly falling over themselves describing how tough they would be on Putin and how badly they wanted to “punch the Russians in the nose,” in the words of John Kasich.

Hillary Clinton also expressed her desire for aggro with the Russians, consistently stating her support for  no-fly zone over Syria, even after it was pointed out by top generals that establishing such a zone would lead to war. Chris Wallace explicitly laid this out to her in the third Presidential debate, all but asking her “do you want war with Russia?” She brushed aside the grave implications and stood by her position.

That Trump stood so steadfastly against Republican and Democratic establishment orthodoxy meant that the media establishment had no choice but to fall in line against Trump. Given that this orthodoxy was, and is an anti-Putin, anti-Russia position, the media had no problems with this course. After all, Putin is a massive check on the globalist, leftist policy prescription for world. Geopolitically he resists NATO, and culturally he has promoted more traditionalist, Christian views within Russia, and has been critical of the West and its relative abandonment of those views.

Prior to the election, the media angst over Trump’s Putin views was limited to just another bad view in a long list of bad views Trump held.  The media and his political opponents were far more interested in exploring the RACIST SEXIST HOMOPHOBE XENOPHOBE line of criticism. To the extent Russians were mentioned before the election, it was to deflect attention away from the substance of the DNC leaks and the Podesta leaks. The fact that the Democrats were exposed as corrupt and duplicitous was supposed to be forgotten, simply because it was allegedly Russians who exposed that truth.

It was only after the election that the view that the Russian government ‘hacked the election’ for the purpose of installing Donald Trump as president took shape and metastasized to the point where a much hyped Congressional hearing on that matter took place this past Monday. Having failed in denying Trump the presidency on the basis of him being a ‘bigot,’ the coalition of leftist, neoconservative globalists and their media mouthpieces moved to paint Trump’s political stance on the subject of Russia and foreign policy as something much more nefarious than just an opposing viewpoint.

Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee which held the aforementioned hearing on Monday said in his opening remarks that Trump’s continued insistence on NATO countries paying their fair share, as they had already agreed to, was evidence of a quid pro quo, in which the Russian government hacked documents to help Trump in exchange for Trump’s tough talk:

The hacked documents would be in exchange for a Trump administration policy that de-emphasizes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and instead focuses on criticizing NATO countries for not paying their fair share. Policies which even as recently as the President’s meeting last week with Angela Merkel have now presently come to pass.

Rand Paul, who, as mentioned before, was one of the few Republicans unwilling to sign on to a policy of war with Russia during the campaign, found himself in an explosive tiff with Senator John McCain last week. McCain, the foremost symbol of neoconservative  globalism, wanted to put forth a resolution which would support Montenegro’s entrance into NATO. McCain was asking for a unanimous consent request which would have allowed the measure to go to a full Senate vote, without debate, had it been passed without objection.

In the stunning video below, McCain, knowing that a Paul objection was imminent, moved to declare anyone who would object to be in cahoots with the Russians. Paul remained unnerved, raised his objection and left the room.

McCain then launched into an angry invective against Senator Paul, accusing him of ‘working for Vladamir Putin.’  All because Paul wanted the Senate to have a discussion about the merits of including Montenegro, a poor country which would almost certainly end up being a ward of NATO, into the organization. The only clear ‘merit’ would be that geopolitically, it would annoy the Russians. Thus, the unwillingness of Paul to unnecessarily provoke Russia must mean that he is a Russian agent. Such is the rationale of globalists of every political bent.

Of course, there was the infamous ‘dossier,’ which contained unsubstantiated information collected by a British intelligence agent at the behest of Trump’s political enemies, which alleged that the Russian government had ‘kompromat’ on Trump which was held over his head as blackmail.

Then there was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who during his confirmation hearings, was asked by Senator Al Franken whether he would have an issue investigating associates of the Trump campaign who had contacted Russian officials in the context of the 2016 election, as had been reported at the time.

Sessions answered that he himself, having been such an associate, did not have any contact with the Russians. It was later unearthed that Sessions had in fact had one meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and an informal meet-and-greet with Kislyak at the Republican National Convention, publicly, in the presence of several other ambassadors.

Indeed, Sessions had had over 25 similar meetings in his Senate office in the same Armed Forces Committee capacity as his meeting with Kislyak, including one with the Ukrainian ambassador the day before. Yet, this seemingly routine meeting was used as evidence to suggest that Sessions had perjured himself during his confirmation hearings, prompting calls for his resignation from the post. The Russian Conspiracy frenzy was at its highest.

 

Connecting the Dots

 

It was then that Trump dropped his infamous tweet storm, early on a Saturday Morning:

[Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!]

[Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!]

[I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!]

[How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate.Bad (or sick) guy!]

_____________________________________________

The conspiracy Trump put forth was largely sourced from the first conspiracy, that his campaign colluded with the Russians. In spinning that narrative, the media continually cited anonymous officials who were essentially leaking classified information. Consider the following news items:

January 19/20, 2017, NYT: Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates. The version of this story that ran in the print version had this headline: Wiretapped Data Used In Inquiry of Trump Aides – Examining Russian Ties:

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

That would be the Obama White House, as all of this took place before Inauguration at noon on January 20.

February 9, 2017, Washington Post: National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

Pence also made a more sweeping assertion, saying there had been no contact between members of Trump’s team and Russia during the campaign. To suggest otherwise, he said, “is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”

Neither of those assertions is consistent with the fuller account of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak provided by officials who had access to reports from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that routinely monitor the communications of Russian diplomats. Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

All of those officials said Flynn’s references to the election-related sanctions were explicit. Two of those officials went further, saying that Flynn urged Russia not to overreact to the penalties being imposed by President Barack Obama, making clear that the two sides would be in position to review the matter after Trump was sworn in as president.

February 14, 2017, NYT: Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

[…]

The National Security Agency, which monitors the communications of foreign intelligence services, initially captured the calls between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russians as part of routine foreign surveillance. After that, the F.B.I. asked the N.S.A. to collect as much information as possible about the Russian operatives on the phone calls, and to search through troves of previous intercepted communications that had not been analyzed.

March 1, 2017, NYT: Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence.

Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.

[…]

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.

The mainstream media’s own reporting details a story of intelligence officials speaking under the cloak of anonymity to disclose classified information, or in the case of General Flynn, to disclose the fact that his name had been improperly identified as the American in conversation with Kislyak, given Flynn himself was not under investigation.

The media then went on to report with glee the manner in which the Obama administration sought to widely disseminate this information across the government to ensure that such leaks as we have seen happened.

All of this was done to buttress the Russia/Trump collusion angle with the innuendo provided by those numerous anonymous intelligence officials. The legality of the leaks were hand-waved away by political pundits as merely the sort of thing that happens in every administration, and thus was no big deal.

Trump’s tweets changed all of that. In directly accusing President Obama of tapping his phones, Trump brought the legality of the leaks front and center.

The globalist set, who were quick to exalt the leaks with religious fervor when it came to spinning the Collusion Theory, were all of a sudden on the defensive. They made sure to emphasize the fact that Trump had offered no evidence to back his tweets (despite having no evidence themselves with respect to the Collusion Theory). A clear example of the mental gymnastics invoked to contort oneself from a tricky situation was seen in this piece from Liz Spayd, Public Editor of the New York Times.

In it, she dealt with the obvious discrepancy between the Times explicitly reporting on the existence of “wiretapped communications” and the idea that Trump’s tweets were inaccurate by essentially saying that the Times never wrote that Obama himself directed the wiretapping.

Which brings me to the issue of semantics. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote a fiery piece condemning Trump based on his supposed rocky relationship with the Truth. It used as its centerpiece Trump’s claims that Obama had him wiretapped. These claims were officially shot down by FBI director James Comey and NSA chief Mike Rogers during the aforementioned hearing on Monday, giving the media the green light to officially brand Trump a ‘liar.’

This logic ultimately relies on a hyper-literal interpretation of Trump’s tweets. As in President Obama personally ordered some sort of wiretap – as in a physical method from a 1960s spy novel. It is true that no such, literal wiretapping occurred.

However, it is clear – from the media’s own reporting – that the existence of “intercepted communications,” which is the digital age equivalent of wiretapping, was involved, and indeed was instrumental to the narrative building which occurred. Furthermore, these communications were intercepted by various intelligence agencies, which, owing to their being a part of the executive branch, were under the authority of one President Obama.

Said differently, President Obama did not personally direct a fake painting crew to enter Trump Tower one afternoon and bug the place while Donald Trump was out to lunch. What undeniably did happen was that agencies in the Obama administration ran into members of Trump’s team as they were monitoring the communications of foreigners (which might have been legal), and then proceeded to leak some of the details to the media (which definitely is not legal).

Further credence to this point was given on Wednesday by Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He came forth with the revelation that information he had received indicated that individuals associated with the Trump team had been involved in an “incidental collection,” meaning that those individuals had been subject to surveillance owing to the fact they were on the other end of a call with another individual who was being monitored, as opposed to being monitored party themselves.

The magnitude of this will be more apparent as time goes on.

 

Delegitimizing 45

 

No matter how this saga ends up, the intentions of the globalist cohort of establishment Republicans, Democrats and the media is clear – Delegitimize the Trump presidency. One can easily see this in the hypocrisy surrounding Trump’s tweet claims vis-a-vis the assertion that the Russians ‘hacked the election.’

The propensity of the media to talk up Trump’s loose, bombastic, exaggerative manner of speaking, while somewhat accurate, renders its deliberate decision to adhere to the most hyper-literal interpretation of Trump’s tweets to be a bit odd. After all, if all Trump does is speak in exaggerations, then why were those Tweets not treated as simply another exaggeration? Why was the language in those tweets not treated as the colloquialisms they were, but made out to be gravely literal?

These rhetorical questions are relevant given the phrase ‘hacked the election’ was never scrutinized along its literal meaning with the same aggressiveness, despite being equally as colloquial as ‘Obama wiretapped my phones.’ On top of this, the literal meaning (that Russian operatives would have remotely tampered with voting machines to get certain desired outcomes), had been put down by the intelligence community on several occasions, including the Monday hearing in which it was reiterated that not one vote was altered, and that the tallies from November 8 were correct.

Even the colloquial meaning of ‘hacked the election,’ that Russian operatives via their alleged dissemination of DNC and Podesta emails, and the propagation of ‘fake news’ changed the tenor of the election in a way that favored Trump, faces scrutiny.

Stanford University conducted a study into the matter of fake news, and concluded that the phenomenon had a marginal impact at best:

The researchers also noted that, though social media is an important outlet that Americans use to get their news, only 34 percent of those surveyed trust the information they get from social media, while most still depend on television as their main source of information. In comparing the top 690 U.S. news sites with 65 fake news sites, they found that only 10 percent of total site traffic to news sites comes from social media. However, fake news sites predominantly depend on social media for views. Therefore, it is misleading to focus on Facebook metrics in citing fake news as a major issue during the election.

Allcott and Gentzkow concluded, “Our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news, and even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans. For fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake news story would need to have convinced about 0.7 percent of Clinton voters and non-voters who saw it to shift their votes to Trump.” They added, “For fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.”

Given the fact that the vast majority of Americans still depend on the television and more conventional sources of news, and given the fact that the vast majority of the coverage therein was negative to Trump, to the tune of 90%, it is more accurate to allege that the leftist mainstream media ‘hacked the election’ with the purpose of electing Hillary Clinton.

The reason for the hypocrisy is that intellectual honesty, journalistic integrity and plain fighting fair is secondary to the aim of delegitimizing President Trump’s administration in the eyes of the American public. Having failed to prevent Trump from winning the presidency, the globalist set has taken to undermine him as a foreign agent. Note the words of Congressman Heck from the Monday Intelligence Hearing:

Let’s be clear though. This is not about party. It’s not about relitigating the election. It’s not as if anything we do here will put a President from a different political party in the Oval Office. So, I hope that it’s clear that it’s about something much more important. And no, it’s not about political motivation, to my friend who said and suggested that earlier, this is about patriotism, about something way more important than party.

The game plan has been, and will continue to be playing politics under the guise of patriotism. Trump’s original sin was disagreeing with the globalists and their visions of war with Russia and continued NATO expansion. For this he is being made out to be a Russian agent, the figurehead of a Red Scare 2.0. Every time Trump orders a salad with Russian dressing, or the leaked workout routine of one of his associates is shown to include Russian Oblique Twists, the media will be there with the knives out.

It’s already begun, with CNN releasing a counter attack to the Nunes news, alleging that Trump associate Roger Stone colluded with Julian Assange of Wikileaks, and perhaps notorious hacker Guccifer 2.0. That assertion is based on various tweets and interviews Stone gave, in which he was essentially cheerleading the imminent release of Clinton information by Assange. The intimation, is that Stone, who publicly declared having spoken to Assange on several occasions, was in on it because he knew Assange was going to leak information.

However, Assange himself publicly declared that he was going to release information months before he did, rendering most of Stone’s alleged inside knowledge of the coming leaks to be nothing more than speculation on what the publicly declared upcoming leaks would be.

It is this sort of reporting, full of innuendo, and the rehashing old narratives, which will wear thin on the American public. Much like the constant charges of racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia which laced the pre-election coverage of Trump, the Russia conspiracy will end up being the post-election version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

With each passing report propagating the Collusion Theory (and burying deep within them the fact that there is no evidence, in order to retain legitimacy), the public will continues to see the game for what it is – an attempt at the political assassination of President Trump.

The fact of the matter remains, that to this point, the only thing that we know for a fact happened, based on public reporting, is that Trump officials had been the subject of surveillance, and had those communications illegally leaked to the media. Thus, Trump’s ‘Wiretap’ Conspiracy Theory is far closer to being Conspiracy Fact than the Collusion Conspiracy.

And it will remain so. This is a fight the globalists cannot win, and it will only be a matter of time before that is made apparent to the masses.