Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Decivilization

It’s the culture, stupid: its art, its history, its philosophy. Mike Walsh is on it.

My thesis is simple: we can learn more about the nature and practice of politics from, say, The Oresteia or The Aeneid—to give just two examples more than two millennia old—than we can from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and that the visit of Vladimir Horowitz to the Soviet Union in April 1986 (about which I wrote a cover story for Time magazine) did more to hasten the collapse of the USSR five years later than all the white papers and policy statements from the American talking-head establishment wonks of the day.

The new book is more prescriptive—a kind of how-to combat manual of cultural touchstones from which we as inheritors of the Greco-Roman enlightenment can recollect our strengths and moral authority, reject the false equivalences of multiculturalism, accept that Western syncretism (known disparagingly now as “cultural appropriation”) is something profoundly good and beneficial to all cultures, and from which we can draw a renewed vigor in our defense of ourselves.

In Monday’s speech in the beautiful new Visitor Center, I located a signal change in the Western education system that, at the time, looked like an advance: the American reaction to the launch of Sputnik in 1957. Suddenly, America felt it was losing its technological edge over the Soviets so American schoolchildren became acquainted en masse with the wonders and joys of the slide rule and the hard sciences. The effect was immediate: we quickly regained and maintained our advantage over our antagonists, but it came with a price: the downgrading of the importance of the arts as a civilizing and ennobling force in American public (and private) life.

So while the emphasis on tech eventually resulted in the creation of the personal computer and the iPhone, it also reduced the literary and plastic arts from essential elements of nationhood to “entertainments” for the wealthy; triggered the coarsening of society and, worst of all, cut both America and, shortly thereafter, the Western European nations from the wellsprings of their shared patrimony. This may not entirely have been by design, but it was seized upon by the nascent philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which by this time had been transplanted from pre-Nazi Germany to Columbia University in Manhattan and quickly spread throughout the American system of higher education.  

The result? To take just one example, the New York City public school system went from offering a model education in music and the arts to needing police officers in the schools—a reflection of the overall changes in demography, to be sure, but also of the decivilizing effect the loss of a democratized high culture entails. More Mozart, fewer metal detectors…

In The Fiery Angel, I am not arguing that the arts should be politicized—that way lies the corpse of the old Soviet Union (and this is treated at some length in the chapter entitled “The Raft of the Medusa”). Rather, I am saying that the arts both predict and comment upon historical-political developments in ways that no dispassionate analysis can manage. Try this sequence of events on for size:

Beaumarchais–Mozart–The French Revolution–Beethoven–Napoleon.  From Le Marriage de Figarothe play, to Le nozze di Figaro the opera, to the start of the French Revolution and fall of Louis XVI is a span of only five years, and yet in that time the royal edifice was first lampooned, then sexualized, and finally pulled down around the aristocrats’ ears. Those with sensitive antennae—among them Louis XVI himself, who initially forbade public performances of Beaumarchais’ play—could see what was coming. Most could not.

Our Progressivist-run government schools have thoroughly perverted and politicized the history curriculum, “balancing” any notion of American greatness, uniqueness, and benignity (when those notions aren’t excised altogether) with immaterial nonsense like “Washington owned slaves!” and other such irrelevancies, and that’s no accident. It’s resoundingly evident that any lasting reversal of the cultural enervation the Left has deliberately inflicted on us must begin with instilling a proper appreciation for Western civilization, its achievements, and the intellectual and artistic roots of its unprecedented success in young minds.

Continue reading “Decivilization”

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Election projection

Limbaugh is pretty danged confident:

RUSH: This is Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club’s Monday night live The Kalb Report event. He’s a professor at Harvard, and he’s talking with the New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker about covering the White House under Trump.

KALB: I have been told by many of your colleagues how difficult it is to cover President Trump —

BAKER: Mmmph!

KALB: — that he simply dominates everything in the environment and therefore you get caught up, on any given day, covering the story that he sort of presents to you.

BAKER: He is a remarkable force of nature in a way I’ve never seen. So, in that environment, as you say, to kind of escape that vortex and focus on something of our own, you know, ambition, uhhh, is a challenge.

RUSH: Come on! What kind of dummkopfs do they think we are? These guys, Peter Baker and Marvin Kalb, are actually saying, “There’s all kinds of stuff we want to cover, but we don’t. We can’t! We can’t because Trump is forcing us to cover him. He does so much and he’s in the news so often that we can’t not cover…” It sounds to me like Trump has these guys wrapped around his little finger.

Continue reading “Election projection”

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The coming unpleasantness

In decrying the Great Schism (ie, the prospective partition of the country) in five simple steps, Aesop reels off a good ‘un:

3) There isn’t going to be any “amicable divorce”. The phrase is an oxymoron equal to “military intelligence”, “government help”, and “jumbo shrimp”.

He then proffers a link to a fellow I hadn’t heard of before who, for his sins, will immediately be cast into the Outer Darkness of the CF blogroll:

Continue reading “The coming unpleasantness”

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Why they REALLY hate him

I’ve always maintained that Trump is damned smart. But can he possibly be this smart?

President Trump’s tactical moves are widely publicized by the media. Now, more than one year after assuming the presidency, enough data have been accumulated to define Trump’s strategy with a certain degree of accuracy.

What is his main task? Where is the vector of his primary efforts directed?

Opposition publications represent Trump’s actions as absolute chaos — constant and unpredictable reshuffling in the government, increasing external taxes (tariffs) and reducing domestic taxes, restrictions on immigration, the deliberate disintegration of ObamaCare, and withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. This list is quite extensive. And almost every day the press receives a gift from Trump, another bone — he declares something politically incorrect on Twitter again, or he fires someone, or orders to strike another country with 60 Tomahawk missiles. The biased media has to abandon covering a subject that seemed relevant yesterday, and switches to a discussion of a more recent “scandal.”

This is all reminiscent of the actions of a skillful magician who deliberately draws the attention of the audience to his left hand at a time when his right hand is making the most imperceptible movement for which the whole trick was conceived.

So what’s the intrigue?

In fact, Trump’s policy is very tricky, and only a few have figured out his game. After all, Trump did not target immigrants. He did not target international trade. He did not target women’s rights. He did not target “global climate change.”

Trump is swinging at the complete destruction of the Democratic Party by gradually squeezing the Democrats out of the American political arena.

That is how Trump used to deal with competitors in the construction business, and he is not about to change his habits. The complete bankruptcy of competitors is the only real measure of success for him. He knows this very well, having been in the shoes of the defeated several times.

Gindler lays out a very strong case, of which you should read the all. Just the fact that Trump has retaken the initiative from the Demonrats and moved the Republicans from their comfy defensive crouch onto the offensive—dragged them, more like, since most of them have been bitterly recalcitrant and uncooperative—should maybe tell us something. Doesn’t hurt any that the Democrat Socialists, having descended into complete batshit lunacy after flirting for decades around its ragged edges, are providing an assist in their own overdue demise, either.

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Birds of a feather

One big happy family.

Rats — actual rodents — are infesting the newly renovated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s headquarters, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Hundreds of the agency’s employees moved into their beautiful $124 million headquarters across the street from the White House in October as construction was still underway. Upon entering, they discovered rats also were making it their home, according to two sources who spoke to TheDCNF on the condition of anonymity.

The $124 million price tag was double the original $55 million estimate and 25 percent over the $99 million estimate approved by Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director.

Not one word of this should come as any great surprise to anyone. The building was always going to be infested with rats anyway—of the two-legged variety.

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DAMN YOU, MONTY!

Okay, so I did in fact get on Gab at Monty’s instigation and posted a few little things there the other day, and…well, honestly, I have to admit I do kind of like it. I can see it being useful for commenting on minor things that sort of catch my eye but for one reason or another don’t inspire the kind of extended rant I’m accustomed to tossing off here. I still have a lot to figure out about how to work the damned thing—like how to post links or embed images, among others—but all in all, I think I’m gonna play around with it a little more and just see where it goes.

I still don’t see any reason to bother with Twitter, seeing as how they’re only going to wind up banning me anyway, and that probably right quick. I never have seen any point in trying to persuade people to let me hang around in places I ain’t wanted—especially when I don’t much like them either. There does seem to be an option to load your Gab posts on Twitter as well, which might be worth investigating just for the purpose of making a small nuisance of myself over there. But I dunno; East is East and West and West, and never the twain shall etc. Maybe Kipling was onto something there. He almost always was.

Gab handle is @Tommygunmike, for any of y’all miscreants interested in watching me flail about in a new pond to see if I sink or float.

Just remember, we all have Monty to thank for this. If “thank” is the word. Ahem.

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Fake news, fake everything

Why I don’t do Twitter, Reason the Eleventy-millionth.

A few weeks ago I read a news item about the proliferation of “bots” as a commercially crooked, fraudulent, deceitful way by which celebrities try to fool the public into believing that millions of Americans passionately follow them on Facebook, on Twitter, and on other social media. If a celebrity has fewer “followers” than someone who has absolutely no reason to be famous, no discernible genius nor other socially valuable aspect, that reveals the celebrity’s social inconsequence. As a result, there apparently are entrepreneurs who create millions of fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere — and then get paid by the insecure celebrities or their publicity agents to set those fake accounts — “bots” — as “followers” of the celebrity. In other words, the celebrities pay for “Followers.” They pay fraudulent entrepreneurs to fabricate followers for them.

Think of your own name and identity. Now look in the mirror: how many of you are there? Perhaps one. (If two, either count calories or carbograms more carefully, or get a new mirror.) Meanwhile, let’s say there are ten accounts on Twitter with your name and identity — and all of them are set to follow someone you hate or never heard of. Guess what? Without you even knowing it, that person whom you hate or never heard of is going around bragging that he or she or it has ten more “followers” on Twitter than would be the case if your fraudulent “bots” did not exist, and if the celebrity had not paid for it. In all, hundreds of thousands — even millions — of Twitter “followers” do not even exist. It all is fake. It all is a lie. And the celebrities and their agents pay for the fake “Followers.”

Out of curiosity after reading the piece, I went onto Twitter. I personally do not tweet. I have serious reasons for avoiding Twitter. My law students do not care about my views about politics and religion. My synagogue members do not care about my interpretations or discussions of the civil laws of remedies, contracts, civil procedure, and advanced torts. My law clients do not even want to imagine that I do or think anything all day and night except worry about their legal issues. So I stay out of Twitter.

But — oh, what joy! Sure enough, there I am on Twitter: Dov Fischer, with my casual Hebrew rabbinic title, and the number of commandments that appear in the Torah by the Word of G-d and the hand of Moses. Apparently I have 4 Followers — none of whom I remotely have heard of, nor have even the remotest connection to my congregation, my Judaism, my law practice, my more-than-1,500 law students whom I have taught these past 14 years, my twenty-six years of published political and social commentary, nor my beloved New York Yankees and Mets. “Bots” following a “Bot”?

And — better still! — I am “Following” 41 people including Zedd (Who the heck is he? Is it a he?), Jimmy Kimmel, Tim Cook, Kobe Bryant (the one from the Colorado hotel), Ellen DeGeneres (Nobel laureate Obama’s Medal of Freedom winner), Bernie Sanders, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (He’s still alive?), Elon Musk, SpaceX, Disneyland (Who can afford it? $600 to stand on line seven hours to go on a ride?), and just-plain Disney. Are these people or their publicity agents so insecure and desperate for attention that they actually need to pay someone to create a false Twitter account just to add a “follower”? And to buy millions more?

Are you as passionate a follower of the Rich and Pseudo-Famous as I am — or, more accurately: as my fraudulently created “bot” is? Go and take a look. Look yourself up. See whom you “follow”!

Naaaah. Don’t want to know. Don’t give a shit.

I DID sign up for a Gab account a while back, but I never have used it. I figure anything I have to say, I’ll just say it here. There are in fact plenty of Tweets I’ve linked here, as you all know, but only after seeing ’em mentioned someplace else. Don’t know why, it just never really grabbed me. Another symptom of my metastasizing old-fogeydom, I reckon.

Wonder if I have any Gab followers at all by now? Maybe I’ll go toss something or other up over there, just for the hell of it. If I can remember my login and whatnot, that is.

Just what I need, another internet time-suck update! Meh. Two followers, bizarrely enough. I posted something lackluster, just to say I did. I remain…uhh, unenchanted, shall we say, which I hasten to add is surely not Gab’s fault. The handle is Tommygunmike, if anyone is interested, but I don’t know that I’m in any real hurry to go back, honestly.

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A modest proposal

Sounds reasonable enough to me, at least at first glance.

The 2A guarantees our right to keep and bear arms, for incredibly important reasons. It does not, however, require us to be blind and stupid. It doesn’t mean we should ignore obvious warnings from aspiring mass killers, like last week’s high school shooter.

In many previous mass shootings, there were no clear prior warnings. Some vague danger signs may have been recognized afterward, but often, as with the Las Vegas shooter, nobody had any idea whatsoever of the shooter’s plans, and the shooter had no criminal or mental health history. But the Florida massacre was carried out by a teenager who announced his intention to be a school shooter. And he was still able to legally buy a gun.

Of course, we all know the two tips to the FBI about the shooter’s statements weren’t properly followed up. But what if they had been followed up? Depending on the jurisdiction, simply saying “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” isn’t necessarily an arrestable offense, isn’t necessarily a felony, and isn’t necessarily enough to justify an involuntary mental health commitment. So it’s plausible that even if the FBI had investigated, and confirmed he had made the statements, and that he talked about murdering people, and that he introduced himself as a future school shooter, and that he had a history of erratic behavior, he still would have been able to legally buy an AR-15 to murder people with. I say allowing a known aspiring mass murderer to legally buy guns is blind and stupid. And I think most of my fellow 2A supporters would agree.

So is there a way to legally prevent gun sales to those types of people, without infringing on the 2A rights of the innocent? Yes. Does supporting the 2A require us to support gun sales to people who are telling us they want to commit murder? No.

I’m not talking about banning the AR-15, advocating confiscations, repealing the 2A, or any nonsense like that. I’m not suggesting anything that would affect the tens of millions of legal, peaceful gun owners who we live and interact with every day. What I’m suggesting is that when someone tells us they’re buying a gun to commit a crime, especially a crime like mass murder, even if they haven’t broken the law or been committed, we listen to them. I’m proposing that we put laws in place to make those threats part of the background check system, and stop those wannabe murderers from legally buying a damn gun.

Like I said: sounds reasonable enough to me. But there are big problems with the idea, as Aesop points out. Basically, it still comes down to this:

I wish the FBI had done the job we pay them to do, and had gone out there to see if he’d have stepped in it with both feet, so they could haul him in, but then I’d also like a winning Powerball ticket and the phone number of the Playmate of the Year.

The sheriffs were at this nutjob’s house 39 times prior to this incident. One more visit about a FB post would probably have accomplished nothing. (Unless they screwed up in one or more of the other 39 visits.)

But somebody shooting him in the head during his rampage – say the football coach, but with a school-legal CCW  and a .45 – would have solved his problems forever.

I know you’re sincere about this, and none of us wants to see dead kids again if there’s any legal way to  prevent it.

But any “solution” that violates the Bill of Rights is de facto and de jure a cure monstrously worse than the disease.

I can’t see any way to make things work appreciably better than they do now by investigating every utterance everyone makes 24/7/365, other than people doing the jobs they’re paid to do in the first place.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen. I mean, these are government employees we’re talking about here.

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Of Neanderthals…and shitholes

Interesting take from SteveF:

  1. Homo sapiens sapiens, our species, is widely held to have evolved in Africa several hundred thousand years ago.
  2. Several other near-human species have existed at the same time as H.sap.sap., collectively known as genus Homo or the human clade.
  3. Interbreeding took place between the different species in the clade. Not just mating behavior, but fertile offspring.
  4. Interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans took place around 50,000 years ago, as confirmed by DNA analysis of de-iced corpses. Quite likely earlier, but not much later because Neanderthals went extinct around 40,000 years ago.
  5. Most humans living today have a few percent Neanderthal DNA.
  6. Sub-saharan Africans have little to no Neanderthal DNA, with any that they have being the result of relatively recent mixture from other humans coming to Africa from Arabia or Europe.

If you can’t guess where he’s going with this, read on to find out. It’s a damned intriguing hypothesis, I think, and a concise but thorough presentation of it.

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Man with a plan

Bill does some pretty deft analyzin’.

Remember, Codevilla never said it was necessary to destroy the nations that supported Muslim terror, just the regimes that did so. He also said the way to do that was to empower the native enemies of those regimes to do so, because who would know better who, and how many, needed to be killed (and where to find them) than those native enemies of the regime?

And so the very first stop on (Trump’s) very first foreign trip was the capital of Saudi Arabia. And, hmmm. A few months after that, seeming arising out of nowhere, Mohammed bin Sultan becomes Crown Prince, and initiates a massive purge against the very elements of the Saudi regime that supported Islamic terror gangs like Al Qaeda and ISIL (the head of the bin Laden company was among those arrested).

This is getting very little play in the American media, because MbS is using the massive influence among American elites developed by the Kingdom over decades to sort of hide what he is doing in plain sight. Some of his actions are being reported, but our media claims that his motivations are surrounded in mystery. They aren’t at all, if you can connect the dots and read between the lines a bit.

So…Trump now has the enemies of the old theocratic regime housecleaning them right out of the regime and onto the dustbin of history. Amazing enough, ISIL was utterly destroyed as a force on the ground during the same period, and its “caliphate” reduced to smoking rubble. They probably really missed all the financing, sheltering, arming, training, and so on they used to get from the Saudi theocrats before MbS decisively shut off that spigot.

I believe that the Saudi regime is now out of the Islamic terror business, thanks to President Donald Trump.

Next item:  I’m still trying to flesh this out, but I very much doubt that it is either coincidence or accident that seemingly out of nowhere a flash revolution against the Iranian Mullahs seems to be brewing. I assume that the Israelis (and the Saudis) are involved in that. Both have far more assets on the ground in Iran than we do. If so, we see another page in a now-familiar playbook being turned: The Iranian regime has a plenitude of internal enemies. If we and our allies like SA and Israel can give them the upper hand, you can rest assured they will know who to kill, how many, and where to find them. Nor will they be much hampered by international disapproval. Whoever emerges on top, they will still have all. that. oil., and nominal control of the Straits of Hormuz.

And finally, yet another aspect of the challenge: Pakistan. It is the largest Muslim nation on the planet, and it is a full fledged nuclear power. However, it is generally acknowledged that their nuclear arsenal was financed by Saudi Arabia, and Saudi money plays an enormous role in the economic and political life of that impoverished nation. In other words, if the Saudis are willing, we have an enormous lever that can be used to pry the Pakis away from their taste for terror gangs like the Taliban.

And, lo and behold, just yesterday Donald Trump began tweeting about…Pakistan, and threatening to remove US aid because the Pakis are a “terror aiding” nation. You bet they are. And if both the US and the Kingdom pull the money plug, the Paki regime will be in a world of hurt, nukes or not.

I don’t expect our national disgrace of a media to ever put these pieces together, not, at least, for public consumption, because crediting Trump with what would effectively be victory in the war against Islamic terror would be far more than they would ever wish to give him.

But I think it is real, I think it was gamed out maybe even before Trump made his final decision to run, and I think it is playing out right under our noses.

And I think the chances are good that Bill is onto something here.

Update! Think the notion that Trump is enacting a canny and well-thought-out strategy against Muslim terrorism, rather than getting lucky here and there amidst a bunch of clueless floundering about, might just be a bridge too far even among diehard Trump supporters? Might want to reconsider that.

I, frankly, came to despair that we would ever awaken from and escape that crushing Obamista incubus. Then, of course, a November miracle; in that month in 2016, despite the polls and the sneers of the MSM and Hollywood, despite the fabulously financed Democrat Party machine, and an epidemic of fake news and phony “dossiers,” the most improbable thing happened: brash, loud and bold non-politician Trump won the election. He ran what was, in essence, the only successful third-party candidacy in the long history of our Republic since, perhaps, Lincoln. The GOP leadership was as befuddled by the Trump phenomenon as was that of the DNC. As we have commented on in this humble blog, that event led to the greatest meltdown of the left since, since…well, I don’t know since when. His election revealed the leftist rot in the US and global elites that many of us had long suspected and perhaps commented on, but had not realized the full extent.

The resistance to Trump’s nomination and election started with prominent Republicans, such as Romney and the Bush clan, and continued with brave talk of riots in the street, “pussy hats,” vote recounts, electoral college challenges, Russian “collusion” investigations, and ended with ISIS on the run, US oil production roaring along, a new tax scheme, thousands of regulations slashed, the economy booming, Hollywood in a tailspin, Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel, illegal alien criminals rounded up, UN budget cuts, a teetering EU, riots in Tehran, the “deep state” exposed, the Supreme Court turned around, the Maduro regime on the ropes, and lefties fighting over first class seats on United Airlines (BTW: I know the “teacher” who got booted from her first-class seat by that whacky leftist Congresswoman; she’s a hard-core leftist “activist” who made my life and career very difficult many years ago. Lefties like to travel first class.)

That’s a pretty damned lengthy list of solid successes for an incompetent moron, seems to me, and it is by no means comprehensive. Nothing speaks louder than results, and Trump is undeniably getting ’em. The exposure of the Leftist rot Dip mentions, and especially the public psychotic break on the Left it helped nudge along, is by no means the least of Trump’s many achievements. I believe the long-term impact of that alone is going to be…umm, YUUUGE—most especially when you consider the related revelation of the complete failure of their entire program right along with it.

No wonder they’ve all gone bug-fuck nuts right out in front of God and everybody.

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Interesting times

Taking a peep into the ol’ crystal ball.

Those of you in tax-haven Red State heaven may find you have one helluva lot more pension teat-sucking fifth columnists than you imagined, all of whom have, as their first interest, the maintenance of the entire status quo, who won’t be subscribing to your newsletter, marching in your parade, and will likely dime you out given half a chance and any enticement from TPTB.

And they’re in your AO, and they all get a vote too; either at the ballot box, or via Rule 308. You have a limited option-set for accommodating them or exterminating them, and every choice has its pros and cons.

Functional society lives in a very narrow pH range between totalitarianism and anarchy; anyone who thinks they’re going to yank the lever very far in either direction and fix everything by killing everyone who disagrees with them will pull the walls of the trench onto their own head, whether we’re talking political power, legitimacy, or getting zipped into body bags. Which all tend to be fairly correlative, especially in sportier times.

There ain’t gonna be no Grand Strategy where you carve out a Redoubt, a New South, or a Flyover Paradise.

Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

Ask a Milosevic what happens when you try.

If you’re very lucky, you may have a coherent state (as in One of the Fifty), and one that has your best interests at heart. Worst case, it’ll be coherent, and want you dead, gulaged, re-educated, or whatever term of art applies come the day.

Most folks will have a county, or a few counties, with roughly similar interests. Large counties, with geographic barriers, may devolve to civilizational outposts, surrounded by No Man’s Land areas or varying functionality.

In short, things are liable to look more like the Wild West than the Walking Dead.

Things will become better, and worse. Rougher, simpler, meaner, and more focused on your choices and day-to-day existence. There will be bandits, savages, and brigands in the wastelands. They’ll all want to come to the bright lights of the city for all the reasons folks do now, and did then.

But there aren’t likely to be front lines; scores will be settled far more personally, in back alleys or bar room brawls. Some people will try and build industry and commerce, and the order of civilization and prosperity.

Others will try to burn it out, rob it, and subjugate it. Like always, everywhere.

This, boys and girls, is why we study history: lessons from Deadwood, Tombstone, or the South Side of Chicago circa 1930 will have as much to do with reality then as now.

Expect devolution, not revolution.

Yep, I think he sees things pretty clearly. It’s a WRSA comment from our friend Aesop, so that should come as no surprise.

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If you can’t drain it, disperse it

I mentioned this not too long ago, but it bears repeating.

Amid the talk of draining swamps, restoring political might to blue-collar America and turning off the spigot of taxpayer cash that showers Washington, a familiar battle cry is ricocheting through this city: Move the bureaucrats out.

It has the ring of a Trumpian fantasy. Dislodge arms of the federal government from Washington and reattach them in faraway places, spreading the wealth generated by these well-paid agency workforces and forcing senior bureaucrats to face the people they affect.

But the idea has established populist roots that spread across party lines, and they are reemerging at this unique political moment.

The swaggering Interior secretary from Montana is putting the finishing touches on his plan to move the headquarters of three large public lands agencies to the West. The Stanford economist representing Silicon Valley in Congress sees opportunity to strategically seed regions of the country with pieces of the federal bureaucracy that can benefit them — and that they can benefit. The unlikely prospect of locating the Department of Transportation in Los Angeles is dangled by Republicans eager to show this crusade has bipartisan cred.

There hasn’t been so much buzz about getting “Washington” out of Washington since Franklin D. Roosevelt sent 30,000 federal workers to the Midwest after a presidential commission advised such moves would ensure the prototypical federal employee “remains one of the people in touch with the people and does not degenerate into an isolated and arrogant bureaucrat.”

It’s a fine idea for more than just one reason. Which makes it somewhat surprising that any Democrat Socialist would be anything but howlingly, immovably averse to it. Walsh adds:

The problem with Washington today is that far too much power and money is concentrated in a small geographical area, which lends credence to the Leftist fantasy that a country as large and diverse as the United States can be controlled from central command. Westerners, for example, have long known that the Bos-Wash corridor kidz have no real understanding of the issues that lie beyond the Hudson and Potomac rivers; getting some federal agencies closer to their areas of jurisdiction can only help.

After the war, the West German government was dispersed, so as not (to) allow a concentration of malevolence such as occurred during the National Socialist regime to repeat itself. Now that the Left has declared the “Resistance” to the GOP victory in the 2016 election, we might want to think about the German example, before it’s too late. At the very least, it will ease pressures on the D.C.-area real estate market, give the bureaucrats some much-needed fresh air and sunshine, and expose them to the real world beyond the Mall. Who knows, they might even learn something.

“Concentration of malevolence”—I really like that bit, which is as pithy a description of Mordor on the Potomac as I can think of. But let’s not get nuts with our hopes here, Mike; I mean, “learn something”? Naaaah, not a chance.

One of the nicer aspects of such a move, though, is that dispersing DC power would be a fine practice run for dispersing the libtards en masse themselves. Say, to a nice little Caribbean island, maybe.

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A consummation devoutly to be etc

We can only hope Lifson is onto something here.

When Rod Rosenstein evaded the answers being sought in a congressional hearing and deferred to the inspector general investigation underway, I thought it a reasonable response, even though Rosenstein is now a hate-object for having appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel. The I.G., Michael E. Horowitz, is no political stooge. (For background on the inspectors general, see Ed Lasky here and here. There are unsung heroes of our constitutional republic among them, hero-federal bureaucrats.)

And letting any of the I.G.’s cats out of the bag early could have serious consequences.

He then points us over to another of Sundance’s thoroughly researched and insightful posts, to wit:

The text messages between FBI Agent Peter Strozk and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, have been released to both Fox News and CBS.

The messages reflect a strong bias against President Trump. However, the bigger story is not the anti-Trump bias within the text communication, the BIGGER story is why the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (OIG), began even looking at Agent Peter Strozk’s communication in the first place.

Remember, the original mandate by the Inspector General’s office was initiated to review and discover any politicization of the FBI and/or DOJ officials.

After news broke of Strzok’s removal from investigative duty within the FBI counterintelligence unit, what the OIG responding statement said was for 11 months the Dept of Justice OIG office has been investigating the politicization within the DOJ and FBI and deciding if the actions, or lack of action, was driven by the political ideology of the participants therein…

Getting caught as a leaker is likely the reason Strzok was removed and reassigned to the HR post; not the bias. The bias, writ large, is essentially a snipe hunt; it makes good media clicks, it feeds a good headline, but ultimately it’s a nothingburger. The reports on this angle are flak and countermeasures.

However, Agent Strzok leaking information to the media; his changing the outcome of an FBI investigation into a political ally, Hillary Clinton; and his investigative involvement in the Trump Russia Conspiracy, via the Steele Dossier and FISA warrant, well, that’s the real issue evident here.

Interesting indeed. Without falling into the old wishful-thinking trap of assuming that Trump is some sort of 3D chess-playing wizard here, I will note that he’s shown himself to have patience enough to be capable of playing a longer game than people often assume, in both business and politics. This is convoluted, twisty, tangly stuff for sure; also, Occam’s Razor still makes for an excellent guide in most circumstances, and should perhaps be carefully borne in mind in this case, too.

All that said, though, I wouldn’t bet against Trump playing a pretty Machiavellian game here himself: one of his most under-acknowledged and useful skills throughout his career has been his ability to get adversaries to underestimate him to their own great detriment, as we’ve seen demonstrated again and again since the beginning of the Republican primary campaign. And Sundance himself has been adept enough at seeing forests instead of trees for long enough now that I ain’t willing to bet against his having the right of things here, either. Not quite yet, I ain’t. I seem to recollect seeing somewhere or other that Horowitz’s final report is scheduled to drop in April of next year; all will come clear by then, I guess. Back to Lifson:

We should be hearing from the I.G. in the early part of next year, in time for this to start to unfold in TV prior to the November midterm elections.

Sundance looks ahead the next couple of steps, toward prosecution, and follows the potential chain upward. Momentum, and consequently timing, is critical because of the expected all-out resistance. Watergate was nothing compared to this.

Well, no, it wouldn’t be, would it? I mean, Watergate was a bungled coverup of a penny-ante burglary—which, I think, hardly rises to the level of a soft coup aimed at nullifying the results of a legitimate presidential election and removing a duly-sworn-in chief executive from office without real justification. Not to even mention the revelation of partisan corruption from top to bottom of entire federal agencies, with arguably treasonous treachery and manipulation at the very highest levels.

Update! Steyn on the big picture:

Politically, America is a bitterly divided 50/50 nation, where a few hundred thousand votes in a dwindling number of swing states determines control of the national (it’s no longer really “federal”) government. That places an ever greater burden on the professional civil service to behave professionally, and to be perceived as behaving professionally. Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Page and the rest have engineered a situation that ensures half the country will never accept the legitimacy of whatever their “investigation” concludes. If they indict Trump, one half will regard it as a coup by Deep Staters in the bag for Hillary. If they exonerate Trump, the other half of the country will blame Trump for discrediting these fine upstanding career public servants.

So Mueller and his team have made things worse. Thanks a lot, corruptocrats.

It is not unreasonable to conclude that this pseudo-investigation is an elaborate bit of FBI dinner theatre to obscure Strzok and others’ attempt to subvert the election. What Strzok and Ohr have done is far worse than anything Flynn and Papadopoulos did: why should only the latter face jail time?

Why, because Stroke and Ohr are liberals, see. That makes it diff’runt.

Until we reach the heads-on-pikes stage, I mean. At which point I will eagerly look forward to Obama, Hillary!™, and the rest of the dirty gang sharing the same fate.

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Ruminations on Civil War v2.0

So TR sends an e-mail, to wit:

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that the Dems are successful in stealing the Alabama seat, and perhaps winning control of Congress back in 2018. Then they immediately impeach Trump. For what? Doesn’t matter – the Constitution doesn’t matter to them. Then the Senate, with a cabal of Dems and NeverTrump “Republicans,” convicts and removes him from office.

Do they really think that it’s over? That Pence will be inaugurated as President and that Trump supporters will go gentle into that good night? If they think that, I do believe that they are sadly mistaken. I think that is the moment when the “cold Civil War” becomes a hot Civil War. I think that’s the final straw for those of us who have tried to do things the right way, in accordance with the Constitution and our political system, and that we will realize that we are under a dictatorship by another name.

I’m sure the Romanovs felt quite secure, too, on November 6, 1917.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this finally shakes enough of us out of our stupor, or do we continue down the road to serfdom?

Good questions, and weighty ones. I sat down intending to dash something pithy and concise off in response. But since these days I just can’t seem to limit myself to pithy and concise anymore, the whole thing sort of ran away with me, and I ended up with the following extended peroration instead, which I’ll tuck below the fold to spare those of you whose interest in meandering speculation from me is, shall we say, constrained.
Continue reading “Ruminations on Civil War v2.0”

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Still stinks

Aesop remains on the Vegas case.

And oh, BTW, they have no idea why Paddock is supposed to have started shooting. Nor why he stopped. Nor why he quit with over 4,000 additional rounds remaining.

I repeat, this wasn’t a mass shooting as much as it was a photo op. One or two weapons is a shooter. Twenty-three is a press release.

And quitting while fully healthy, with over 80% of your rounds remaining?

The simple answer is that the shooter didn’t want to get caught. And didn’t. 

But he (or they) left us Schmuck Paddock, helpfully already dead on the suite floor, likely the exact same place he was when the shooting started, as he/they made their retreat a full 10 minutes before anyone from LVMPD arrived to secure the shooting scene’s perimeter.

And both the Clark County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI know this, but they have no idea who they’re actually looking for, so they don’t want to reveal that nugget.

Or, alternatively, they know exactly who they’re looking for, and don’t want to reveal that nugget.

Either way, once again:

Top. Men.

Has there EVER been one of these incidents that was less closely examined by the media, which seems unusually disinterested after dropping it unusually quickly; in which the stated conclusions of the “investigation” hung together less coherently; in which the handful of “facts” we’ve been allowed knowledge of have been less credible and more contradictory; in which Occam’s Razor has cut so sharply against the crooked grain of the official narrative right from the start?

It’s looking more and more like what happened in Vegas is gonna stay in Vegas for sure this time. Even JFK’s assassination wasn’t this suspiciously opaque…and that was in the days before every urban area had security cameras every five feet, running 24/7/365.

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“Drain the swamp” won’t even BEGIN to cover it

Codevilla weighs in on GrabAssGate.

During my eight years on the Senate staff, sex was a currency for renting rungs on ladders to power. Uninvolved and with a hygroscopic shoulder, I listened to accounts of the trade, in which some one-third of senators, male senior staff, and corresponding numbers of females seemed to be involved. I write “trade,” because not once did I hear of anyone forcing his attention. Given what seemed an endless supply of the willing, anyone who might feel compelled to do that would have been a loser otherwise unfit for survival in that demanding environment.

This, I wager, is not so different from others’ experiences in Washington. Senior female staffers were far more open than secretaries in describing their conquests of places up the ladder, especially of senators. There was some reticence only in talking about “relationships” with such as John Tower (R-Texas) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) because they were the easiest, and had so many. The prize, of course, was Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)—rooster over a veritable hen house that was, almost literally, a “chick magnet.” Access to power, or status, or the appearance thereof was on one side, sex on the other. Innocence was the one quality entirely absent on all sides.

In the basic bargain, the female proposes. The power holder has the prerogative to say “no,” or just to do nothing. By a lesser token, wealthy men need not offer cash to have female attention showered on them. Money is silver currency. Power is gold. A few, occasionally, get impatient and grab. But taking egregious behavior as the norm of the relationship between power and sex willfully disregards reality. Banish the grabbing, and the fundamental reality remains unchanged.

Which is one reason why, as I’ve said, my sympathy for most of these “victims” is limited, to say the least. Of course, that’s excluding any truly innocent women who have in fact been raped. But I have serious doubts as to them being anything but a tiny minority, more or less the exception that proves the rule.

What this all still looks like to me is a Uniparty scheme to get at Trump via Moore which has blown up in the plotters’ faces. Now the Democrat Socialists, always the Uniparty branch harboring far more degenerates than the Repubs could ever get away with, are in the unaccustomed position of being hoist on their own petard, of being embarrassed by having the chasm between what they profess and what they do brought right out in the open.

And it reminds me again of the futility of campaigns to “get money out of politics.” As long as we’re saddled with a government as overgrown, powerful, and intrusive as this one, it will never happen. Both sex and money will continue to be the means by which people will attempt to purchase influence or favors from any entity so entangled with every facet of our lives—even if that favor is only to be left alone.

A properly limited federal government operating within Constitutional constraints simply wouldn’t have as much to sell, and therefore wouldn’t inspire nearly as much corruption. Not none, of course. But nothing like the impenetrable and almost incomprehensible web of sleaze and degeneracy woven about Mordor on the Potomac now.

The Clintons and the Weinsteins, yesterday’s ruling class paragons, are useful foils. When, inadvertently, photos implicate a member of the current ruling class leadership, such as Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) in beastly behavior, ruling class colleagues and media give him a pass (“he apologized!”) and use his case unfavorably to contrast the real enemies—always on the Right: President Donald Trump and Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. “They are disqualified from office because they haven’t even admitted their guilt!”

In short, penalties for breaches of any item of political correctness are and will remain what they have been in the past, without exception: thinly veiled excuses to harm whoever stands in the way of the ruling class’s members.

The conclusion Codevilla reaches might not be at all what you’d expect; I confess to having been quite taken aback by it myself. But he’s far too smart and perceptive, and has been right far too many times already, for me to even think of betting against him before giving it some serious thought. If he has the right of it, the rot goes far deeper than even I in my cynicism ever imagined…and will be damned near impossible to root out without just burning the whole damned place to the ground and starting over.

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“Before I can teach you how to reason, I must first teach you how to rid yourself of unreason”

Ground rules.

Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky. Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult.

Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.”

Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful.

We will have to pull out all of the weeds in your mind as we come across them. Unfortunately, your mind is full of weeds, and this will be a very painful experience. But it is strictly necessary if anything useful, good, and fruitful is to be planted in your head.

One of the falsehoods that has been stuffed into your brain and pounded into place is that moral knowledge progresses inevitably, such that later generations are morally and intellectually superior to earlier generations, and that the older the source the more morally suspect that source is. There is a term for that. It is called chronological snobbery. Or, to use a term that you might understand more easily, “ageism.”

Second, you have been taught to resort to two moral values above all others, diversity and equality. These are important values if properly understood. But the way most of you have been taught to understand them makes you irrational, unreasoning. For you have been taught that we must have as much diversity as possible and that equality means that everyone must be made equal. But equal simply means the same. To say that 2+2 equals 4 is to say that 2+2 is numerically the same as four. And diversity simply means difference. So when you say that we should have diversity and equality you are saying we should have difference and sameness. That is incoherent, by itself. Two things cannot be different and the same at the same time in the same way.

Furthermore, diversity and equality are not the most important values. In fact, neither diversity nor equality is valuable at all in its own right. Some diversity is bad. For example, if slavery is inherently wrong, as I suspect we all think it is, then a diversity of views about the morality of slavery is worse than complete agreement that slavery is wrong.

Similarly, equality is not to be desired for its own sake. Nobody is equal in all respects. We are all different, which is to say that we are all not the same, which is to say that we are unequal in many ways. And that is generally a good thing. But it is not always a good thing (see the previous remarks about diversity).

Related to this:  You do you not know what the word “fair” means.

Look for this brilliant professor to be reprimanded at the very least, if not fired outright, in the wake of this. Read all of it; the man is just starting out in this excerpt from the prefatory portion above, and it just gets better from there. I especially like his third rule, and believe it should be enforced not just in his class but throughout the whole of our faltering society. At gunpoint, if necessary, and on pain of flogging.

Via Steyn, who adds: “My admiration for this professor’s manifesto is mitigated only by the melancholy reflection that two generations ago every single thing he said would have gone without saying.” Sure enough.

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Image problem

Zman on white nationalism and its future. If any, that is.

The term is not a new one. That means it comes with baggage and that baggage is not easily overcome. When most Americans hear “white nationalism” they think of snaggle-toothed rustics, wearing wife beaters and jorts, complaining about the coloreds. Getting modern whites to overcome the cult of anti-racism is hard under ideal conditions. Having Cletus as your sales rep makes it impossible.

That’s something the white identity people need to accept. For generations, Progressives have tightly associated racism with the South. The good white/bad white thing that John Derbyshire discusses is based entirely on this image. Bad whites shop at Walmart, like domestic beer and hate black people. Despite the fact that blacks have been moving back to the Old Confederacy for decades, black culture holds that the South is still aggressively racist. It’s at the core of the statue toppling and confederate flag burning manias.

Even if you can somehow get past the image problem, white nationalism is not some new concept developed by the alt-right. It has a history and it has a lot of veterans of its prior iterations. Those people are still kicking around. The web site Storm Front, in addition to being an FBI honey trap, is the home of the old White Nationalist guys, who used to follow guys like David Duke. If you borrow the language and symbols of these guys, you are inviting them and their ideas into your new version of white nationalism.

There are two problems with this. One is many of these guys were not the best people or the most stable people. Stepping way outside the moral framework is never easy, but it is a lot easier if you’re crazy. It’s also easier if you have nutty ideas that no one takes too seriously. Even the most generous evaluation of White Nationalism 1.0 says it was mostly a reaction to the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. It never came up with a plausible way forward politically or culturally. It was mostly old racists who just liked to complain.

Again, even if you manage to rehabilitate the language and symbols, you can’t get past the fact that prior efforts were a failure. A pretty good rule of life is that failure is assured if you follow in the footsteps of previous failures. It’s why adopting Nazi symbols is stupid. The Third Reich was most notable for being a disastrous failure. Associating your thing with failure is just bad marketing. It also tends to attract people who find some sort of satisfaction in losing. New Movements need need language and new symbols.

Putting all of that aside, prior iterations of white nationalism always suffered from the fact they were reactionary. At their very best, they could only offer a critique of the prevailing order. They had nothing to offer as an alternative, beyond demands to wind the clock backwards. Reactionary movements always fail in the long run for the simple reason that yesterday can never follow tomorrow. Even if everyone agrees the current arrangements are not working, what comes next is never a return to the old order.

That’s a problem not just for the white nationalists, but for everyone eager to see a second civil war in this country. Sure, you may successfully fight that war, you may see your enemies vanquished in it; you may even see the Leviathan State dismantled, its malign, suffocating influence destroyed for good. But there’s no guarantee that what will follow will be a restoration of the Constitutional order. In fact, if history is any guide, there’s every chance in the world that we’ll wind up with something much worse than what we now have, at least for a while.

Although it must be admitted that there would be much satisfaction in seeing our enemies vanquished just by itself, sure enough.

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Man bites dog!

For the most part, the news has been as predictable as the sunrise, and as uninteresting as a HILLARY!™ speech: Trump says something obviously true, the media goes apoplectic; Trump underlines a principle most of us hold dear, and the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) descends into apoplexy over the OUTRAGE! of it all; some disaster or Moslem atrocity occurs, and Trump is blamed for it. So a genuine shocker like this is pretty rare.

He’s NOT dead, Jim?

The hero Mandalay Bay security guard who vanished hours before he was due to give interviews with major TV networks will now break his silence on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Jesus Campos, who was shot and wounded in the Las Vegas massacre, disappeared from the public eye last week ahead of several TV interviews, including with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

But DeGeneres has now confirmed that the security guard sat down with her for a pre-taped interview that is set to air on Wednesday.

‘Tomorrow, the first people to encounter the Las Vegas shooter are here – security guard Jesus Campos and building engineer Stephen Schuck,’ DeGeneres tweeted late Tuesday night.  

Well, how about that. Guess he didn’t offend the Clinton Machine badly enough for them to hire out one of their Death Squads to be sent after him. I do note, however, that they don’t mention exactly when this “taped interview” was actually conducted, just that it airs tonight. Doesn’t mean anything, I’m sure. But this still does:

His disappearance came just hours after MGM Resorts International disputed the official timeline of the shooting.

They rejected any suggestion that hotel staff delayed calling 911 for six minutes after Paddock opened fire.

The latest chronology raised a series of questions about whether officers were given information quickly enough to possibly have a chance to take out the gunman before he could carry out the bloodshed.

But according to resort officials, it was no more than 40 seconds between the time Campos used his walkie talkie to call for help and Paddock opening fire on the crowd from two windows in his suite.

Yep, still stinkin’.

(Via Ironbear)

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A different view

John Ringo shares it with us.

I may be the only person in the ‘pundit’ world who can put what we know about the Las Vegas shooter in perspective because I’ve dealt with something similar before. My personal take, at this point, is ‘homicidal psychotic break, rationale currently unknown, possible pharmacological.’

To debunk a few of the recent urban legends and prolapse some of the stupider arguments:

ISIS: Nothing in his electronic trail indicates any contact with ISIS despite their claims and some rumors. Nothing.

‘There were multiple shooters/he was a patsy!’: All the guns in the room were registered to Paddock. He was covered in GSR and even had burns on his hands from hot barrel/rounds.

‘He was antifa killing Republicans!’: Nothing in his electronic trail indicates the slightest political affiliation or interest. Nothing.

Well, perhaps not. But the videos of him at various anti-Trump events wearing a Pussy Hat might tend to lead one to reasonably suspect a certain, umm, inclination, shall we say. Onwards:

He was a perfectly normal, successful, retired accountant well-invested in real estate with very little or no recent change in demeanor or actions.

Perfectly normal guy and only a ‘loner’ to the extent he wasn’t terribly socially active. ‘Loner’ apparently means he didn’t frequent wild parties. If he had the narrative would be ‘wild party animal.’

‘Homicidal psychotic break means he couldn’t have done the planning!’ 

Au contraire. Deep sigh. Been here, had someone in my life nearly do if not that than similar. With their permission I will now recount a story and show why everything about this makes a terrible sort of sense to me. The story is about my lovely and extremely loving wife, Miriam, and her descent to homicidal psychotic break due to a nasty drug interaction.

It’s a fascinating—and heartbreaking—story about the twists and turns of mental disorder and the nearly incredible influence psychotropic drugs can have on a person chemically susceptible to the side effects. Hats off to Ringo for sharing it, and his wife for granting permission. Agree or disagree with the likelihood of its applying to the Las Vegas atrocity, it’s certainly worth pondering, and is well worth a read. John closes with a summary, and a warning:

So, Paddock doesn’t really surprise me. I’ve seen it before.

My guess is it will be doctors who figure it out. And if they do they’ll find he either was having a bad drug reaction (in which case nobody will admit nothin’ just as they’ve never admitted it was Cymbalta that caused the Westroads Mall Shooting) or neurological degeneration of some sort. (A tumor caused the University of Texas ‘Bell Tower’ shooting.) If pharmacological, the drug doesn’t even have to be a definitively ‘psychotropic’ drug. Many drugs these days from heart medicine to anti-malarials have some psychotropic effect.

(If this had anything to do with a drug reaction, any drug of any type, I hope the survivors sue the shit out of the drug manufacturer. Because most of these recent ‘crazy’ mass kills, going all the way back to the ‘postal worker’ epidemic (overdosage of Prozac) and Columbine (both kids were hopped to their gills on prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs), have had SOMETHING to do with psychotropic drugs pushed by drug companies. Many of the murder/suicides of returning military personnel were closely linked to an anti-malarial. And nobody seems to be willing to speak truth to power on the subject. Just writing this post will probably get me sued.)

The only lesson to take from this is ‘keep an eye on your loved ones especially if they have ANY changes in prescription.’ Doesn’t matter if it’s heart medication. Keep an eye on their personality as well as health.

Homicidal break does not always happen quickly. Sometimes it creeps in like the fog on cats feet. It is only at the last that the cackle of madness is heard. By then it is too late.

May God rest all their souls and let them find peace.

That, I think we can probably ALL agree on.

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What’s that smell?

Still stinking.

Las Vegas police, while saying they’re still stumped on the motive behind Sunday night’s massacre at a country music festival, said today that they haven’t found any evidence to indicate Stephen Paddock had political or “radical ideologies” that motivated the attack.

Yeah, he “just snapped.” Over a one-year period, during which he was meticulously planning, preparing, and setting up his little “event,” learning all about guns and how to shoot them with deadly accuracy over a long distance with a bump-stock, which is…uhhh, pretty much impossible.

McMahill said he was “very confident, very certain that there was not another shooter in the room as he conducted this mass murder rampage.”

Which I haven’t seen asserted yet by anyone. Now the FOURTH FLOOR, mind—well, that’s another matter entirely (see numbers 2 and 3). Which we won’t be addressing right now. Or ever, if we can avoid it.

Asked if Paddock had help planning the attack, the undersheriff said that’s why investigators are “combing over this man’s life from birth to death.”

“It’s hard to believe that one individual planned this attack and executed without anybody else knowing anything about it,” McMahill said.

Or, y’know, helping. But you said a mouthful there, bub. In fact, it ain’t just “hard” to believe; it’s damned near impossible at this point.

Investigators are also trying “to understand, to evaluate whether he had any political, any economic, any social, any radical ideologies that may have led him down a particular path,” he said. ISIS has repeatedly claimed this week that Paddock conducted the attack on their behalf.

“What I can confirm to you today is we have found no evidence of any of that as I’m standing before you today,” the undersheriff added.

And by the time you do, Praetorian Media will have dropped this story like the smoking-hot potato it is. As for his motive, it might just be hiding in plain sight:

The fact pattern in this event is striking for not fitting any known profile. In particular:

The gentleman concerned had no known political or religious affiliations.

Well, except for attending anti-Trump rallies, that is. Anyways.

The level of premeditation is unusual and crystal clear from his mass buying of guns and the cautious systematic smuggling operation to ferry them to his room together with the illegal modifications and the position of the room he chose and occupied for several days beforehand.

This denotes a deeply serious commitment to his act. And one which leaves no doubt that act was conceived to generate the maximum possible publicity.

The question then is: ‘publicity’ for what exactly?

And the answer would appear to be ‘nothing that can be identified’.

There is only one plausible motive for what this man did. And here it is:

This man wished to telegraph to America in graphic form the hard irrefutable evidence that guns and gun ownership and the ease of gun purchase in America are an evil and must be controlled. On that hypothesis everything now makes sense. And it must be said his concept has a certain demented genius.

Because even if the public learns and believes that his motive was all about ‘guns’ the horror of the act itself – an act to protest such acts—is in some ways even worse for being plain evidence that there is no limit to the insanity to which guns can be put.

Seems silly enough to be dismissible out of hand, right? But Steyn doesn’t, quite:

So our London analyst is arguing that this was an act of mass murder to protest the ease with which Americans can commit mass murder. I’m reminded of the entirely idiotic Liam Neeson movie from a year or two back, Non-Stop, in which he battles terrorists who’ve hijacked a plane to protest the ease with which terrorists can hijack a plane. At the key moment in the bad-guy monologue, my kids and I burst out laughing. But presumably Universal Pictures found it credible enough to greenlight the project – and, as I recall, most people in the movie theater seemed to be taking it seriously.

At one level, it’s a ludicrous explanation – and yet it has the ruthless logic of a psychopath, of a man who, like a good screenwriter, subordinates all other considerations to the internal logic of an absurd proposition. It’s also a rare explanation that explains everything: the guns in the hotel, the explosive material in the car, the guns in his house, and in his other house, and doubtless in his other other house. To reprise my reader’s joke: He was smuggling suitcases.

And, as our analyst notes, in the void of any motive, the Democrats and media are now talking about the armory – should we restrict the number of guns? the types of guns? the modifications to guns?

If it seems crazy, but it works, then it ain’t crazy.

The gun-grabbers ultimately have a much bigger problem, though, which is this: we’ve now reached a point in this nation where our formerly high-trust society has become one in which nobody trusts anybody at all. Differences in political opinion have now become unbridgeable chasms; authorities and institutions that once enjoyed near-universal trust and respect have been exposed as dishonest, treacherous, and corrupt. Our shared heroes and role models, from cops to professional athletes, are now either feared, despised, or both. Our national government, once perceived as one “of, by, and for the people,” stands revealed as an aggressive, rapacious, grasping entity imposing its malignant designs on an unwilling population by intimidation, coercion, and raw deceit.

In such a climate, what sane 2A supporter would even dream of surrendering his guns to the people who so obviously lust to seize them? As others have said: when they lecture about “reasonable, common sense gun control,” deny any desire to take anyone’s guns away or interfere with the fictitious 2A emphasis on the right to hunt (hint: they don’t like that either), and then in the next breath cite Australia and Britain as the role models we ought to be emulating…well, that ought to tell you all you really need to know about what it is they really hope to achieve.

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Just the facts

No wonder libtards hate ’em. But good on this one; hers is a remarkable story of true open-mindedness, of willingness to adjust one’s own beliefs when a careful examination of hard facts fails to unearth any evidence to support them.

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an “assault weapon.” It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.

As for silencers — they deserve that name only in movies, where they reduce gunfire to a soft puick puick. In real life, silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer. Magazine limits were a little more promising, but a practiced shooter could still change magazines so fast as to make the limit meaningless.

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

All of which adds up to make this bird (yeah, I said it) the most rare of rara avises. My cap is duly doffed to her for her integrity, at the very least.

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The milkman’s kid

Annnnnd it’s Muslims liberals both.

I don’t usually post on events like the Vegas atrocity in the early days for the simple reason that almost everything the newsies are talking about in the early going always turns out to be wrong. In this case, now that the media dust is starting to settle a bit, I feel comfortable in asserting a few things. One—what with photo and video proof that he had attended anti-Trump rallies and the like, plus the allegation that Antifa fliers were found on-scene—he was a Leftard whackjob. Two, there is at least some speculation on a link to ISIS.

Three: there is WAY more to this than meets the eye.

So “Mr. Not A Gun Guy” with no prior military service or training, rented two rooms, for three days, at weekend rates during a music festival across the street, from the highest vantage point, covering two different directions, in a hotel where 2/3rds of the rooms could never even see the venue because they face the wrong way, and had 30 weapons in total, including at least 10 recovered in the hotel, and had either illegally modified semi-auto weapons or legally purchased full-auto weapons (with a six- to eight-month wait for the BATFE approval on that) and ammunition sufficient to shoot something approaching 300 people, from mag after mag after mag, and took his time (several minutes) hosing down throngs of unsuspecting random strangers across the street before committing suicide, but he supposedly “just snapped”.

(cough)BULLSHIT!(cough)

This has to be about the most meticulously-planned mass-shooting in US history.

The woman “roommate” LVMPD was looking for was “coincidentally” in Australia when this happened; is a Phillipine immigrant who was formerly (or is currently, it’s unclear) married to a barking leftard moonbat; and the picture she claims was taken of her and Shooter “in L.A.”…

…was one she had previously tagged online as being taken in Dubai.

Show of hands: everyone who’s hooked up with a married émigré from a country with an ongoing Muslim terrorism problem, and who was with her in the world capitol region of Muslim terrorist problems, who’s retired, but blew $15-50K on weapons, ammunition, and a 3-day stay in the ideal sniper roost for a full-auto attack on a crowd of packed targets, coincidentally, with no one being the wiser, and for whom the FBI could rule out any terrorist connection entirely within 60 minutes of the incident, please raise a paw.

Sh’yeah, thought so.

“Just snapped”, my ass.

That’s just the first of a whole slew of posts from Aesop taking note of the distinct cow-pasture odor rising off of this one in waves. Which leads me to another thing I feel completely safe in asserting: Praetorian Media will milk this for any possible gun-control gains they think they can get out of it for another two-three days, then a pillow gets put over its head until it stops kicking, and the corpse gets crammed as deep down into the memory hole as they can stuff it.

Update! Rush handily dispenses with the gun-control angle—not that it will make a tin dime’s worth of difference to the irrational, childish hoplophobes of the Gun Grabbin’ Left and the cynical would-be despots stampeding them:

What law that we do not have that you could enact that would have prevented this guy from getting his arsenal, Senator Schumer? That really is the question. There isn’t a magic law you have out there. We have 59 people dead. We have laws against murder. People still get killed in America. Not even laws against murder stop it from happening. What law could you come up with here that would, quote, “prevent guns, especially the most dangerous guns, from falling into the wrong hands”?

The guy already broke every law on the book getting these guns. What’s another law gonna do? Automatic weapons are essentially illegal. Is the NRA advocating new laws to make them legal? Of course not. The NRA has no involvement whatsoever in trying to make the acquisition of illegal automatic weapons easier. What’s tough about this is this shooter had nothing in his background, at least that’s been reported, that would disqualify him from owning a gun. Not a thing. But even at that, he had to violate every law on the books to accumulate this kind of an arsenal.

What law, Senator Schumer, could you pass that would have prevented these weapons from falling into his hands? What does that even mean? We need a law to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. What does that even mean, falling into the wrong hands? This guy didn’t have anything fall into his hands. He went out there and got them, and he violated laws to do it.

I have had so many debates in private settings, not public, private settings with typical establishment liberal political types who just utter whatever they say on gun control because it makes them sound like they care. It makes them sound very sophisticated, but they don’t know what they’re saying.

And I’ve asked these leftists that I’ve had these debates with — one of them was at a dinner party on Fifth Avenue right across from Central Park. The guy was a former Treasury official in the Nixon administration. He was a dinosaur. This was in the mid-nineties, and he was a dinosaur then. I don’t even know if he’s still alive. And he’s giving me all the clichés the left has about gun control. And it’s all about gotta get guns out of the society, the murder rate, the guns, there’s no sense in having people have guns. It’s senseless, it’s cruel, it’s stupid. “Why don’t you conservatives join us,” he said.

So I pointed out to Central Park. And I said, “Mr. Dinosaur, if you can assure me that whoever’s over there lurking under the cover of darkness is also not gonna be able to get their hands on a gun, then we might have something to talk about. But, Mr. Dinosaur, the only thing you’re gonna do if you succeed is take guns out of the hands of innocent people who defend themselves with them, and you’re not gonna solve anything.”

You’re gonna make people more at risk, more vulnerable, the danger will increase, and in fact let me repeat this. These are stats from the American Enterprise Institute. From 1994, the percentage change in number of firearms versus gun homicides. The number of firearms since 1994 has increased 56%. That’s pretty substantial. Whatever the number is, it’s substantial. A lot of guns have been purchased since 1994. Fifty-six percent increase over what it was in 1994.

But what about the gun murder rate? Well, guess what? The percentage of murders, the gun homicide rate is down 49% in the same time frame. Now, the left says more guns equals more crime, more guns equal more mayhem, more guns equals more dead people, more guns equals more murder. No, it doesn’t. Fifty-six percent increase gun ownership, 1994, 49% decline in gun homicide rates at the same time. You could say that having more guns has reduced the number of gun homicides.

Yeah, but that’s counterintuitive, and far too complex a concept for minds already crippled by liberalism’s core illogic to grasp.

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Tear down all the things!

T’is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

The proper response of conservatives to the moronic and vicious attack by leftists toward any monument that could conceivably offend the highly developed leftist sense of aggrieved feelings is to join the campaign by identifying monuments to corrupt leftists who have been eulogized in politically corrupt history.

There is no problem finding such corrupt leftists. Consider JFK and all the wicked machinations involving his sordid career. He used organized crime to win the West Virginia primary in 1960, which paved the way for his winning the nomination. JFK stole the 1960 election through massive voter fraud. JFK had affairs not only with movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, but also with underage interns whom he tried to entice into using drugs. 

Or consider Betty Friedan, another idol of the far left. This Marxist toady fought ferociously for America not to send help to Britain when Britain was standing alone against Hitler. Friedan took the position that there was no difference between Britain and Nazi Germany right up to the day Hitler attacked Stalin. During the period in which this ghastly woman was on the side of both Hitler and Stalin – what could be more evil? – she followed Moscow’s party line slavishly.

Friedan rewrote her life into something that never resembled truth. She wrote of the drudgery of housework, though she had household servants who did the real work. She invented whatever was needed to fill her narrative as an exploited woman.

Might we also want to remove all public images of Franklin Roosevelt, who allowed the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War and who sold down the river all those people in Eastern Europe who had been victims of Nazism – Poles, Czechs, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Yugoslavs – into being victims of Stalinism? These were not people whose government had sided with Hitler. They had resisted Hitler.

FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court. He created fascist-like government departments whose oppression of ordinary Americans was well documented at the time. FDR might have even allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor – John Tolland and a number of other historians found that argument compelling, which would surely qualify FDR as the most monstrous president in history.

Surely also America ought to remove every monument to Robert Byrd, the middle-level leader of the Ku Klux Klan, who elicited not the slightest protest from “Civil Rights” leaders, lackeys of the Democratic Party.

If Americans could be persuaded to remove these goons and creeps of the left from all monuments and buildings, then who should replace them? Barry Goldwater would be a good choice.

He damned sure would. I like it. Ohhhh, how I like it. But should this delightful idea ever somehow come to pass, you can be sure it won’t be Republicans who make it happen.

Certainly another candidate is President Reagan, whose life was another example of courage, wisdom, and strength and who, like Goldwater, had not a hint of scandal, bigotry, or self-indulgence. If everywhere that a statue of Robert E. Lee was taken down, a statue of Ronald Reagan were put in its place, that might cool the left into reluctant quiescence. 

Okay, now you’re just dreaming, man.

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Choose a side

Schlichter expounds on the difference between then and now.

Now, the old rule for us conservatives was that businesses could do pretty much whatever they pleased, with minimal regulation, if they focused on maximizing profit and thereby rained benefits down upon society in the form of wealth and job creation. It was a good system, but, like all systems, to get benefits you have to meet certain obligations. For businesses, one obligation was to generally stay out of the cultural and political octagon.

But the Woke Weenies of Silicon Valley, flush with cash, power, and unearned smugness, decided that they just couldn’t keep on the sidelines and make their money. No, they had to make change, as in, changing us. They violated the most important of the old rules – they chose a side. In the past, when a company or even an industry crossed the line, it rarely made much difference. So some insurance company was outspokenly progressive? So what? The one exception was the mainstream media/Hollywood complex – its actions were extremely annoying (and destructive), but it had the First Amendment to protect it and we conservatives had alternate channels to get our ideas across.

Not so with the Googles, the Facebooks, and the Twitters. Their antics are not necessarily protected by the First Amendment, their internet monopolies choke out alternative channels, and, unlike the line-crossers of the past, they possess enormous amounts of personal information that can be used to manipulate, intimidate, and punish political opponents – you know, us. Worse, their leaders are evangelists of cultural Marxism, so these companies don’t even have the fig leaf of objectivity that the mainstream media has (or had) to constrain them.

Yet they still expect the same laissez-faire treatment as any other business even as they try to gut us politically. They discriminate against conservatives, they actively assist leftist partisans like Felonia von Pantsuit, and they aggressively silence conservative voices within their apps. They imagine that they can adopt new rules for themselves while keeping in place the old rules that prevent us from defending ourselves because of “free enterprise” or something.

Nah.

The day’s second-most-stunning irony: that so many of these damned dilettante Marxists, from Soros on down, are so stinking, filthy rich. But Kurt has a proposal for a solution, and it’s a damned good ‘un.

Yeah, I know that heavily regulating private businesses is not “free enterprise,” but I don’t care. See, “free enterprise” is a bargain, and they didn’t keep their part of it, and I see no moral obligation for us to be played for saps and forgo using our political power to protect our interests in the face of them using theirs to disembowel us. I liked the old rules better – a free enterprise system confers huge benefits – but it was the left that chose to nuke them.

So what are we talking about? Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let’s apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies. For example, Google and Facebook’s tentacles have slithered into every corner of the web and strangled the competition. There was a word for that back in the day – what was it? Oh, yeah. “Monopoly.” The left used to like breaking up monopolies until its leftist allies starting controlling them. But the leftists don’t control the executive branch. Since Attorney General Sessions isn’t busy investigating the Democrats, maybe he can get his army of lawyers busy breaking up these enormous, bloated, anti-competitive conglomerates.

Remember, no corporation should be too big to fail – or nail.

He has plenty more ideas too, winding up here:

Not exactly old school conservatism, right? Well, it’s not exactly old school America. Too bad. We liked the old system, but you tech twerps decided to change it. So be it. Too bad that, for some reason, you thought we wouldn’t change too.

Like I always say, you’re going to hate the new rules.

Ah, but it’s all just a beautiful, beautiful dream, until we either find, make, or take over a political party willing to actually do something about these smug, slippery bastards at long last.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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