Oh, if only

Glenn posts a good ‘un from Fakebook.

The debate over immigration is over: restriction wins.

The debate over borders is over: they are needed.

The debate over globalization is over: the era of autarky begins.

The debate over Europe is over: it is a geographic expression, not a polity.

The debate over global warming is over: it is irrelevant.

The debate over international institutions is over: only nations matter.

The debate over the People’s Republic of China is over: it is a menace to the community of nations, not a member in good standing.

Crisis is clarity.

I don’t disagree, and I do realize that all these most welcome developments will be a while yet in shaking out. But purely in the interest of indulging my own bred-in-the-bone contrarianism, I have to note that things like lax border enforcement; One-Worlder globalization; the EU, UN, ICC, and the accompanying international-bureaucratic Kraken; and most especially Red China are ALL still very much with us. The legions of Leftist advocates for those things are all still with us, too.

THAT’S the problem we’re going to have to take care of first, before we can begin to tackle all those others. So yeah, gonna be a while yet. Another most edifying rumination along those lines:

“In just ten days, we discovered that neither the tampon issue, nor the participation of transsexuals in the Olympic Games, nor the climate emergency were real problems, nor emergencies, nor anything of the sort. They were just fictitious problems, the pastimes of a generation that hadn’t known tragedy.” – Itxu Diaz, National Review

How many times are we supposed to have died? Net Neutrality, Budget cuts, Donald Trump’s very existence were supposed to have killed us all already. How many failed predictions of global warming/climate change/ManBearPig destroying us in 10 years have we seen blow by us without incident? If there was an actual environmental catastrophe incoming, no one would actually believe it.

Aside from that, we have the whole woke subculture. (Have I ever mentioned that I utterly despise the term woke? It’s cheap knock-off black culture) Microaggressions? Safe Spaces? What, are you that fragile that you cower in fear of my words? I guess Evil White Males like me must be some kind of sorcerer. Trans-activism is just like the rest of their celebration of mental illness. I have never heard an actual argument about cultural appropriation, especially since the same people used to moan about inclusion. It is a giant screaming mess like an out of control daycare without the cute part.

*cough-cough* Liberalism, defined *cough-cough*

The central thesis of the Ricochet piece is that sane people can no longer afford to fritter away either resources or attention on the fake “crises” Proggy uses to incrementally advance his authoritarian agenda. Leftism has always been what you might call an ideological luxury item. Everywhere it provides entertainment for pushy, overindulged brats. Nowhere is it a real necessity. I almost just lifted the whole brief essay, but the excerpt ought to be enough of the rich, buttery goodness therein to get you headed over to savor the whole thing.

Live and (not) learn

Even when people are chanting the old “everything has changed” mantra, some things never really do.

Beyond China, the issue is preparedness. Actually, for almost twenty years, the issue has been preparedness. Since 9/11, freeborn citizens of advanced democratic societies have been subjected to a level of inconvenience and continuous surveillance they would never have previously entertained, from the pointless security theatre of the shoeless shuffle through LAX and O’Hare to the rubber-stamp FISA court warrants to monitor every aspect of Carter Page’s life for years on end with no probable cause. And what’s the upshot of all this 24/7 surveillance?

They didn’t see it coming.

New York, for example, is a city that has already had a huge smoking crater blown into it – and what’s the upshot? Eighteen years on, as I noted last night, after expenditures of billions on purpose-built federal, state and local bureaucracies, a city of eight million people can’t cope with an extra four thousand patients in critical condition.

Why? It’s not as if bio-warfare wasn’t expected to be part of our future: Immediately after 9/11, you’ll recall, there was the anthrax scare, and enthusiastic modeling about what would happen in the event of a suitcase nuke. And in the end hospitals are as overwhelmed as if all that money-no-object Homeland Security spending had never happened. As Kate Smyth has pointed out in our comments section, if Isis weren’t already planning something like this, the ease with which you can wipe out a third of the Dow Jones Industrials will surely have some of the savvier jihad boys dusting off the old bunsen burner.

The most significant change after 9/11 – “the day the world changed” – was the doubling of the rate of Muslim immigration to the west. Will we do the same now? More open borders, more flights from Shanghai and Beijing, more transfer of what’s left of western manufacturing to the Chinese Communist Party, more shrieks of “Raaaaacist!” at any questioning of Beijing’s official lies, never mind whether any advanced nation needs mass immigration or unscreened self-identified “refugees”…

The changes we make this time will be existential. We are suffused in death not only because of Chinese lies but because of those we tell ourselves, suppler and more beguiling as they are. “Preparedness” does not mean merely PPE and ICU, but requires also addressing borders and immigration and political correctness, and diversity unto death. In much of the western world, we are shutting down the economy and daily life, because our rulers could not bear to shut down their own virtue-signaling diversity bollocks.

Will it go the same next time? Absent serious sustained pushback, what do you think?

From here, I can see two possible ways things might go. Either we will continue on down the path to absolute tyranny, with states escalating from the current lockdowns to the establishment of curfews, then to declarations of martial law and the deployment of National Guard troops to strictly enforce them. The current nascent progression from verbal admonition or a citation and fine from law enforcement for infraction of The New Rules will rapidly advance to arrest and incarceration. There will be grumbling in some quarters, but no effective resistance.

Alternatively, the current restrictions will gradually be eased as it becomes evident that the coronavirus outbreak didn’t quite live up to its billing as a devastating planet-killer, and people who have grown extremely restless from their mandatory “stay home” period will be eager to return to something as close to whatever the hell “normal” used to be as they can. A general, widespread withdrawal from paying such close attention to international affairs and politics will ensue, which will in turn serve to blunt any “serious sustained pushback” against the idiotic, dream-world Leftist policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

Ever alert to any offered opportunity, the Left’s shrieked accusations of “RACISM!” at anyone with the otherwordly temerity to reference both China and COVID-19 in the same paragraph—as if the one could ever possibly have any relationship whatsoever with the other—will resume with vigor and volume. And the dastardly, genocidal perps of such naked atrocities will go back to being cowed by them, and methodically marginalized into fearful silence.

If the example set by our response to late 2001’s mysteriously-motivated “Some People Did Something” man-caused-disaster event is a reliable indication, and the Wuhan Fug doesn’t do a sudden 180 from current trends to more or less depopulate the nation’s close-packed urban areas instead, the latter option is way more likely. Such a relaxation of vigilance will allow the politicians and big-business tyros who collaborated to sell this country out to the ChiComs for a fistful of yen to quietly get back to doing dirty business with the abominable Reds more or less as before.

The treacherous and untrustworthy ChiComs themselves will face no serious consequences for their habitual lies, their brazen deceptions and misdirections, and the fact that they nonchalantly and knowingly poisoned the entire fucking world, murdered a largish portion of its elderly, and inflicted mass terror and tragedy on wholly innocent civilians. They, too, will quickly and quietly go back to Yellow-Peril business as usual, which means infiltrating and undermining as many other sovereign nations as possible, covertly sabotaging their economies, sapping their will and resolve via propaganda and manipulation, and expanding Red Chinese influence and power to heretofore undreamed-of levels.

All this Americans will proudly hail as “victory,” congratulating ourselves heartily for our courage, our perseverance, and our unswerving commitment to defense of our “freedom.” Y’know, precisely as we did after all those other wars we lost.

Coronavirus coinkydinks

Ain’t no such thing.

Time bombs are innocuous until the fuse is lit, counting down to an explosion at some predetermined future time. Did the fuse on this current novel virus just happen to light itself? Or was it lit on purpose? And why now?

Here is where the coincidences begin. Wuhan, where the virus originated, just happens to be the location of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s only level 4 biosafety lab.

Could the virus have originated in that lab? The “consensus of scientists” say no, that this is just a conspiracy theory. Perhaps, but other consensuses of scientists tell us President Trump is mentally ill and that man-made global warming is melting the polar icecaps.

Plus we have that whole Chinese scientists pretty much admitting to it thing, too.

Chinese scientists believe the deadly coronavirus may have started life in a research facility just 300 yards from the Wuhan fish market.

A new bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology says that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) could have spawned the contagion in Hubei province.

Let’s not forget about this, either:

What’s more, the People’s Liberation Army’s top expert in biological warfare, a Maj. Gen. Chen Wei, was dispatched to Wuhan at the end of January to help with the effort to contain the outbreak.

According to the PLA Daily, Chen has been researching coronaviruses since the SARS outbreak of 2003, as well as Ebola and anthrax. This would not be her first trip to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, either, since it is one of only two bioweapons research labs in all of China.

Does that suggest to you that the novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, may have escaped from that very lab, and that Chen’s job is to try to put the genie back in the bottle, as it were? It does to me.

Does to me too, and to anybody else who knows anything about Commie regimes in general, and China in particular. Back to the first article for more on how the “coincidences” do keep piling up.

Move from science to politics for more coincidences, under the backdrop of the Trump presidency and upcoming election. The Chinese Coronavirus was first noted in China in December 2019. What was happening politically here at home at that exact time?

The House was holding impeachment hearings over President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, alleging election interference, obstruction of justice, quid pro quo, and anything else Reps Schiff and Nadler could fabricate.

The Ukrainian allegations coincidently originated shortly after the Mueller Special Counsel investigation came up empty in their efforts to remove Trump from office. Articles of impeachment were passed on a partisan basis in December but not acted upon until January, despite the “urgency” of removing the “existential threat” from the Oval Office.

Hmmm. Most peculiar, innit? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps…not so much.

Note the sequence of events, each failed plan was followed by another scheme, all with the same goal of destroying President Trump. Why was the impeachment trial delayed until January? It’s almost as if that was the perfect time to distract the president, the media, and American people while a viral time bomb was beginning to explode.

January was when the Chinese virus was spreading. The intel agencies briefed Trump and Congress. Trump took notice and instituted a travel ban on arrivals from China. Congress ignored the warnings and plowed on with a Senate impeachment trial, guaranteeing no media interest or reporting on the new SARS-like Chinese virus. Was the fuse of the time bomb lit when it was apparent that the Ukraine phone call was a dud, with impeachment a good cover for the burning fuse?

Another way to look at this is to ask: who stands to gain by the economic and social destruction this virus is wreaking?

You’ll want to read all of this one. He makes a pretty tight case, and ties it all up in a neat little bow at the end.

Flatten their curve update! Everyone who played a role in engineering and driving this catastrophe needs to face a serious reckoning. Starting with the ChiComs.

The facts are clear. China is not our friend or ally or even a responsible business partner. Right now, between 30 percent and 40 percent of world national economic output is affected by the coronavirus shutdowns, calculated the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in a report for the G20.

China’s President Xi is petrified that after this inferno the U.S. and others will turn their backs on globalization. In a March 26 letter to the G20, Xi pledged to increase active pharmaceutical supplies and implored G20 nations to cut tariffs and keep up the unfettered flow of trade.

Xi’s words don’t match his actions. In the face of this global crisis, China has hunkered down. China has tried to pin the origins of the coronavirus on the U.S. Army and on Italy. These inept, Communist Party responses show China is not ready to act with honesty or compassion. China wants to claim victory in their “peoples war,” as Xi called, it but they don’t want to change anything. Yes, Beijing has sent doctors and face masks.  But the Communist Party’s two-month cover-up attempt cost lives around the world.

It’s time for a total reconsideration of China’s role in the world and specifically, the U.S. economic relationship with China. Decoupling won’t happen all at once, but pharmaceuticals, 5G wireless, agriculture policy and of course imports and exports all need a new look post-coronavirus.

We can do this, folks. Canada and Mexico were America’s top two trade partners in 2019, with China ranked third in total value, which is exports and imports combined. Our neighbors Canada and Mexico really are the most important partners, accounting for a combined 30 percent of U.S. total trade vs. just 13.5 percent for China.

While Washington will have much to consider, its increasingly clear that coronavirus ended globalization as we know it: the phase dating from the day China joined the World Trade Organization on Dec. 11, 2001, until December 2019, when China fumbled its response to the Wuhan virus outbreak.

I can’t say I expect much if any of this to happen; with such a huge percentage of US manufacturing now based there, we’re much too completely enslaved to China to be able to exact a proper toll from them for these heinous crimes anytime soon. But it’s still a pleasant topic to ponder while we’re all locked in our homes indefinitely, watching it all burn.

Riding the tiger

The unthinkable has now become all too thinkable.

It is a good thing to keep in mind when evaluating predictions about what comes after the great lock down. Trump is no longer talking about Easter as the back to normal date and has extended the lock down through April. Governors are now in a race to see who can come up with the bleakest prediction for when things get back to normal. The Brits now lead the race with six months as their estimate. This is an unprecedented time, which means what was considered unthinkable is very thinkable.

For example, ten years ago most Americans assumed the political classes had learned a hard lesson from Watergate. They had let the security services run wild for too long and suddenly they were a threat to the politicians. The days of a J. Edgar Hoover spying on people were over. Not only was that false, but there was a plot among FBI officials to interfere in the presidential election. They went so far as to concoct an impeachment trap in order to remove Donald Trump.

Six months ago is was unthinkable that these same security agencies would have the president removed by some other means. Six month ago we did not have a third of the country hiding under their beds. We did not have major cities turned into ghost towns by quarantine orders. How unreasonable is it to think that the same people who launched the seditious plot in 2015 would find themselves a Lee Harvey Oswald? It sounds crazy, but we live in an age where the crazy quickly becomes the norm.

What about something less cloak and dagger like martial law? State governors are getting pretty close to the line between state of emergency and assuming dictatorial powers over their states. New Jersey is supposedly issuing travel passes to citizens and arresting people for gathering in their own homes. Los Angeles has suspended the second amendment. Trump has contemplated a Federal quarantine of New York City, which would probably mean troops on the streets to enforce it.

If this does go on for months and the cracks in the ruling class begin to show, is civil unrest really unthinkable? Is civil war unthinkable? Rhode Island now considers New Yorkers persona non grata. Pennsylvania is doing the same. Mainers are now going vigilante on suspected New Jerseyites. Sure, concern for the virus is the stated reason, but a general dislike for New Yorkers is the real reason. There are lots of such divisions in this country. Is civil war really so unthinkable?

Just because something is possible, does not mean it is likely. It is possible to hit the lottery for a billion dollars, but the odds are very small. What we’re talking about here though are the things that were thought impossible or close to impossible just six months ago that are now suddenly possible. Maybe they are still unthinkable within the ruling classes, but we thought the FBI and CIA spying on presidential candidates was unthinkable until not so long ago.

Events have a way of reverbating through history, ramping up in ways the people who initially believed themselves capable of controlling them, of directing them for their own purposes, could never have imagined. And then?



Remain calm, all is (not) well

Bearing in mind the uncertainty factor—that we don’t really even know what we don’t know as of yet—stepping back for a dose of level-headed perspective seems like it might come in useful.

I’m a recently-retired Professor of Pathology and National Health Service consultant pathologist, and have spent most of my adult life in healthcare and science — fields which, all too often, are characterized by doubt rather than certainty. There is room for different interpretations of the current data. If some of these other interpretations are correct, or at least nearer to the truth, then conclusions about the actions required will change correspondingly.

The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month? Statistically, we would expect about 51,000 to die in Britain this month. At the time of writing, 422 deaths are linked to COVID-19 — so 0.8 percent of that expected total. On a global basis, we’d expect 14 million to die over the first three months of the year. The world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 percent of that total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu). Not figures that would, in and of themselves, cause drastic global reactions.

Initial reported figures from China and Italy suggested a death rate of 5 percent to 15 percent, similar to Spanish flu. Given that cases were increasing exponentially, this raised the prospect of death rates that no healthcare system in the world would be able to cope with. The need to avoid this scenario is the justification for measures being implemented: the Spanish flu is believed to have infected about one in four of the world’s population between 1918 and 1920, or roughly 500 million people with 50 million deaths. We developed pandemic emergency plans, ready to snap into action in case this happened again.

At the time of writing, the UK’s 422 deaths and 8,077 known cases give an apparent death rate of 5 percent. This is often cited as a cause for concern, contrasted with the mortality rate of seasonal flu, which is estimated at about 0.1 percent. But we ought to look very carefully at the data. Are these figures really comparable?

Cause for concern? Sure. Taking reasonable, appropriate precautionary measures? Of course. The kind of irrational panic response we’ve seen of late—upending society wholesale, wrecking the economy, throwing millions out of work, passively forsaking rights and liberties that can never be regained without bloodshed? Sorry, I just can’t see it. The good doctor makes a lot of sense to me here. But YMMV.

(Via Larwyn)

Religion versus pseudo-science?

The pseudo-science-pimping Left isn’t as anti- or a-religious as they like to think.

All pseudo-science models have one thing in common: They are essentially deeply religious, accompanied as they are by apocalyptic end times scenarios that goad the public into actions fomented by panic and despair. The use of mathematics and charts adds an air of legitimacy to apocalyptic predictions that are almost the exact duplicate of end time scenarios prophesied by cult leaders. Such prophets have used biblical verses, gnostic numerology, guilt and fear to panic their followers into selling all their possessions, buying white robes and heading to the mountains or digging shelters underground in hopes of surviving as the chosen remnant.

In a similar panicked manner, there are those whose disruptive plans are now being put into play while they appeal to “science” and to their higher moral discernment; wisdom that is hidden from the rest of us mortals.

Nothing is more tempting to potential tyrants than utilization of a panic stoked to white heat in order to reinforce and extend state control. The use of partial truth — yes, the virus is real — can be inflated and massaged in order to achieve nefarious ends. Alas, the fact is that the final writhing of a diseased system built on lies can still create havoc. Some ideologues just like to see things burn. Some see ways to profit from societal collapse. Some see the possibility that society can be fundamentally transformed.

We need to consider what will happen if our entire nation is shut down. We need to consider that what is happening in our own country goes far beyond an attempt to take down Donald Trump and is rapidly morphing into hysteria that if unchecked, could change our entire nation beyond recognition.

Don’t look now, bub, but I think maybe it just did.

The coronavirus madness puts before Americans a choice: Revive the progressive/leftist Frankenstein monster or immolate it at last.

Let’s hope America chooses the latter and doesn’t accede to embracing an ideological vision that has long relied on deathly visions of apocalypse now, visions bound to destroy the flawed but redeemable peoples and institutions of the West.

All the while, hope and pray that the panic engendered by an ideological paradigm bolstered by pseudo-science and errant philosophical underpinnings at last collapses; and that true reform and restoration can begin.

And now for something completely different: a look at the brighter side.

Thankfully as a nation this crisis is causing us to reevaluate our priorities: faith, family, community and freedom; and seeing the easy dispatch of liberty also reignites that oft forgotten flickering flame…

Journalists are less important than janitors. Our nations best athletes are healthcare workers rushing to assist those in need. The true heroes are not celebrities, but rather farmers, truck drivers, stock clerks, and supermarket cashiers.

The most valuable businesses do not glitter or present themselves with self-congratulatory award shows; they do today what they have always done to keep our food supply flowing. Perhaps now, at least for a few short weeks, we stop taking them for granted.

Effective right now comfortably invisible workers are recognized as critical priorities; or as the government has official designated them “essential services.” These folks form the network of our lives; they always have, but we didn’t notice. Everything else is less than.

No-one is saying this doesn’t suck; but some people know that standing around bitching about the comparative values of current life in suckdom doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

President Trump is doing what needs to be done; with far more information than me; and in the best manner he can assemble to keep America great. He does this while simultaneously swatting away thousands of piranhas biting at him on an hourly basis.

So again, ask yourself a question: what part are you to play?

Live your best life.

You only have this moment once.

That unlooked-for burst of sunny positivity comes to us courtesy of Sundance, who also steers us to this one:

Truckers are saying “fuck the log rules, I’m hauling” and they’re getting supplies to the stores. People are stocking the shelves all night and letting old people shop first. Folks are buying meals for truckers, who (obviously) can’t go through the drive-ups. Asking ’em what they want, then buying it for them.

Carnival Cruise Line has told Trump “We can match those big Navy Hospital ships with some fully staffed cruise ships”.

GM and Ford have said “hold our cars and watch this — we can make ventilators where we were just making car parts, starting next week” — by re-engineering seat ventilators which their engineers hacked together for a new purpose. In under a week.

In a project with which I’m loosely associated, a very-effective agricultural disease-control agent was re-purposed and re-labeled specifically for Corona-virus control by the FDA and EPA in under ten days, from initial request to distribution.

Restaurants and schools have said, “we’ve got kitchens and staff; we can feed the poor kids who used have school lunch.”

NBA basketball players have said, “Hold our basketballs while we write checks to pay the arena staff.”

Construction companies are saying, “Here are some high-end masks for medical staff and doctors”.

Distilleries are making sanitizer out of distilling “heads and tails” which are normally discarded. Nasty shit to drink, but effective sanitizer.

People are tipping grocery check-out clerks and thanking them for taking the risk.

Local, state, and county governments are taking control of everything the feds cannot do. Some are doing it wrong, but for the first time in decades … they’re doing it. Federalism is re-emerging, and the smallest unit of government is the individual and the family. This, too, is re-emerging after decades of dormancy.

As Japanese Admiral Isokuru Yamamoto said, after Pearl Harbor … “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

I sense this has just happened. We have a wonderful country, the greatest single force for good in all human history. We have closed our borders, with good reason, yet we have top medical people now assisting North Korea in their response to the virus.

Many things have been re-set, and will never be the same.

By microbiological accident, we are living in profoundly transformative historical times.

No denying that. It remains to be seen how that profound transformation shakes out in the end, but we must remain hopeful to whatever extent we possibly can. Horrid as it is, if the current upheaval is what it takes to achieve the aforementioned immolation of the Left at long last, it will have been well worth the cost.

AWWWW update! What the heck, two more feel-good stories—from New Jersey, of all places—below the fold.
Continue reading “Religion versus pseudo-science?”

Requiem for the Republic

She’s dead, Jim.

In order to maintain something of an economy with most of the nation locked away in their homes, there has been a 2 Trillion dollar payment to individuals, businesses and corporations to stabilize the economy and another 4 Trillion dollar loosening of the Federal Reserve to go along with it. What does that mean? It means that created out of air is twice the annual tax receipts for the United States. There is no way that is not a significant economic event. It is the invention of 1/3 of GDP. That it would not have a drastic and detrimental effect on the future of the nation is insanity only capable of being ignored by graduates of the public school system.

In one fell swoop of a minor pandemic the United States as a nation has abandoned both the republic and capitalism. Individual rights are destroyed, never again to be seen as rational arguments against the power of the state. Capitalism has lost out to the political and economic ideology of Soviet Russia allowing for such things as “travel permits” and sequestration of healthy individuals. It might be politically acceptable to brush all of this off for the time being as we sort out how big of a problem the pandemic is going to be, but it will never return to what it was and what few and precious rights once available to us will no longer be accessible through the courts.

It’s over. The elephant is dead. Capitalism is gone, the republic is gone. What we have now is an opportunity to feed off of the dead elephant, to stockpile as much as we can, to distance ourselves from each other and prepare for the ultimate battle for survival. The economic collapse is already in motion. It would have come along anyway, eventually, but this stimulus package stacked on top of the already soaring debt and unfunded liabilities will cripple the nation forever. It will implode. That is not to say that it will not chug along on four square wheels for some time, but the last support has been kicked out from under it, that of the belief in the rule of law and an understanding of global economics. Without those, nothing prevents the ceiling up from crashing down. It is what we recognize in Christianity as faith. Remove faith (as we have) and the only thing left are words, memes circulating the popular sites with no structural substance.

I note that hereabouts at least, the Christian churches are among the many things under lockdown, but golf courses…ain’t?!? Strangely, I’ve yet to see much specific mention of mosques, nor of how our newly-decreed statewide lockdown might affect Ramadan. But I do confess the idea of holding “digital Ramadan” observances just tickles me silly.

China syndrome

Tucker expands on some of those Bigger Problems I mentioned below.

There are serious long-term problems facing America, as we’ve told you about for years on this show. Thanks to outsourcing, this country no longer has the same reserve of stable middle-class manufacturing jobs we did even 30 years ago.

In coastal cities, housing has become astronomically expensive. Prices are rising far quicker than wage growth. And most tragically, an opioid epidemic kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. One of the chief reasons for that is a synthetic opiate called fentanyl that is smuggled in from abroad.

Now, these might seem like unrelated problems, but they’re not. A single theme unites them — a systematic decision by many of our country’s most powerful leaders to sell out America to China.

Those jobs that were outsourced, they went to China. Those rising home prices, all-cash Chinese buyers are a major contributor to that, though it’s almost never said out loud. Fentanyl — made in China with the knowledge and tacit approval of the Chinese Communist Party.

China is no longer simply an economic rival of the United States; it’s becoming a dangerous enemy. But instead of protecting us from this threat, an existential one, our leadership class collaborates with the other side.

The scariest part is that as China has grown more powerful, America has grown more dependent on it. Outsourcing our manufacturing power brought American companies big short-term profits. Head to Florida, and you’ll see the houses they’ve built with those profits. But in the long run, that decision made this country dangerously dependent on a nation that seeks to displace us on the world stage.

The saddest and most infuriating part is that none of this needed to happen in the first place. China didn’t just one day magically overtake us. Our leaders made that possible. They abetted it. They profited from it. They betrayed us.

And Americans voted for ’em anyway, and will again too. Which makes this depressing splash of cold-water reality look more relevant than ever:

BumsOut.jpg

What is normal, what is not

Some historical perspective, always a useful thing, from my friend Claire Berlinski’s excellent newsletter, aptly named Claire’s Invariably Interesting Thoughts.

The Principal of Somerville, one of Oxford University’s 38 colleges, recently sent a message to Somerville alumni, asking them to share with each other their reflections on the pandemic—our strange new human predicament—and offer each other their support.

In response, my dear friend, Gaby Charing, wrote the following. I asked her for permission to share her thoughts with you, which she graciously offered.

London

March 22, 2020

I already have my death booked. After living for seven years with bowel cancer, I’m no longer having treatment. An end-of-life care package is a phone call away. I’m just stopped at the lights.

Death doesn’t frighten me. I’m past all that. Truly.

You, by contrast, weren’t expecting this. Yes, anyone can be cut down in their prime, but that isn’t what’s happening here. You’re all, understandably, scared out of your wits, afraid that, in spite of being, maybe, in rude health, you will catch the virus and die. This is not normal. It isn’t normal for an entire nation to feel that way.

The last time the entire population of the United Kingdom felt so afraid was during World War 2. I agree with those who say it is the best analogy. Contrasts are already being drawn: “WW2 brought people together; this is driving us apart”. Don’t go so fast. Was the Blitz Spirit really so wonderful? Is the separation now really so bad? Time, and human ingenuity, will tell.

Since this thing kicked off, I’ve had something going through my head like a video loop. Many people know that during World War 2, the Special Operations Executive recruited British people who could pass as French to operate in France behind enemy lines. These were ordinary people from all walks of life who just happened to have excellent French. It was desperately dangerous work, and some of them ended up in Buchenwald.

I watched an interview with one, who’d come to London after the War. He and a friend encountered a funeral procession. They looked at each other and said, “Only one body?” This is not normal.

In her book Natural Goodness, my philosophy tutor, Philippa Foot, writes about the young Germans who refused to serve in the Wehrmacht during WW2. Their “choice” was to serve or be executed. She was making an argument about the irrelevance of maximising human happiness as an aim in such a situation. My point is simply that to put young people on the cusp of adulthood in that position is not normal.

June 1940: the fall of France. My mother and her British family were living in Arcachon. Her brother and my father appeared, rushed them from the beach to a car, drove as fast as they could to Bordeaux, and managed to get them all on a boat headed for England. It had to go as far out as the Azores to avoid German bombing and torpedoes. After five days they finally arrived at Falmouth in Cornwall, where the WRVS gave them Cornish pasties and mugs of tea. My mother said it was the best meal she ever had. This is not normal.

A few months earlier, a family member was part of the September 1939 intake to officer training at Sandhurst. The course was truncated from nine months to six. They were sent to their units and straight off to fight, many of them entirely ill-equipped to lead men into battle, which is what they were learning to do.

On arrival at Sandhurst, their first task was to deal with the horses. Horses were ridden all the time, for ceremonial purposes and because these were horsy young men, many of whom would become cavalry officers. But it was recognised that in what was to come, the horses wouldn’t be much use; so the order was given to shoot them and bury them in pits.

Eighteen-year-old boys obliged to do that to animals they loved. It is not normal.

We know that sustained pressure can cause normal people to behave abnormally. The Nazi camps provide examples of the most exalted and the most depraved behaviour. Some of the things that were done by prisoners to other prisoners defy belief.

You must not allow that to happen here because that is not who you—we—are.

But it isn’t who those people were either. Honestly, truly, it was not. So I think you potentially have a serious problem on your hands.

I’d say that’s putting it quite mildly indeed. And the virus problem itself ain’t the worst of ’em, either.

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SOLD! American

It smelled fishy from the start, but with every passing day the stench worsens.

A decorated scientist with four degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes the coronavirus pandemic is being used by the “Deep State” for its own purposes.

Shiva Ayyadurai said on Twitter that “fear-mongering” over the outbreak is being used to push an agenda.

“As an MIT PhD in Biological Engineering who studies & does research nearly every day on the Immune System, the #coronavirus fear mongering by the Deep State will go down in history as one of the biggest fraud to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, & push MANDATED Medicine!” he said.

It is important to note that Ayyadurai did not say the disease is man-made or a hoax.

You should follow the guidelines from doctors, federal, state and local governments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But what Ayyadurai did say is that some in the government are using the pandemic to frighten people into obedience.

Think about what has transpired in less than a week’s time. We have handed control of nearly everything in our lives to the government.

In many places, they are telling us when we can leave our homes and when we must return to them.

They have decided what events or religious services we can attend, how many people are allowed to be there and which businesses are allowed to stay open.

In the process, the global economy has crashed with the assistance of the media stirring everyone into a mass panic.

Wonder if we can now expect an increasingly stringent Coronavirus Clampdown to become an annual event, just as a reminder of who’s really in charge around here?

Update! Is the cure worse than the disease?

For the curious, if they can get past however they are responding to the what’s happening right now, this is an amazing time. We will see things that no one could have imagined seeing just a few weeks ago. No one can know what follows a 30-day quarantine of a continent sized country. No one really knows what will follow just this one week halt to the global economy. No one knows what happens if the plague fears are wildly overblown, which seems inevitable at this point.

Regardless of what follows, we are living in a time without precedent. A century ago, we had a real plague, but the world did not stop. The stock market collapse in the 1920’s did bring a closure, but it was not for a month. The bank run that happened in 1933  resulted in a week-long bank holiday, but the rest of society kept going. The past provides some samples but nothing close to what is being contemplated. Heck, we are already into uncharted territory with the one-week lock-down.

Maybe I am the crazy one, but crazy or not, messing with big complicated things always has unanticipated results. This is an iron law of systems. Even if the response is appropriate to the danger, taking a sledge hammer to the very complex system that is American society will have consequences that no one can anticipate. Another rule of complex systems is you need to understand the iron law of systems before you are allowed to even tinker with the system. That rule has been violated.

The arrogance of our would-be masters is exceeded only by their lust for absolute power.

A modest proposal

It’s time—past time, actually, WAY past—to eliminate Communism from the face of the earth, once and for all.

We must not underestimate the economic threat because the Chinese Communist Party is using the pandemic to achieve its goal of supplanting the United States as the world’s leading economic, diplomatic, and military power.

Sounds unbelievable?

Nope, not a-tall.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way, shape or form anything like an expert on medical issues. It’s why I’ve avoided much mention of the Chinese Yellow Peril Fu Manchu Wuhan Sino-Flu and its attendant panic to date, contenting myself with leaving such commentary to folks like our esteemed boozum-chum Aesop—experienced professionals in the field actually possessed of some expertise therein, in other words.

That said, though, my feeling all along about this burgeoning catastrophe can be summed up quickly and easily: the misery attributable to said Chinese Yellow Peril Fu Manchu Wuhan Sino-Flu, however severe (or not) the havoc it wreaks may (or may not) turn out to be, will almost certainly pale in comparison to the damage said attendant panic will cause.

Yeh, yeh, yeh, stop flopping around on the floor like a fish for a sec and just bear with me while I try to explain the reasoning behind this outlandish position of mine, willya?

To me, it’s something of a no-brainer. COVID-19 itself is specific, see, whatever harm it does being limited roughly to the death toll and the suffering of those afflicted with it, along with those close to them. However many folks may sicken and even die from this thing, our culture, whatever few shared ideals we still retain, perhaps even certain assumptions about our mode of living aren’t directly threatened by the disease. The disease itself could conceivably shake the foundations of American society, yes. But odds are that, as with many previous pandemics, American society can survive it.

The panic, on the other hand, is non-specific, or general; its impact is necessarily going to be spread across our entire nation, its institutions, our very way of life. It will permeate every strata of American society, much as I’m sure our self-styled “elite” would like to delude itself otherwise.

The US economy, for one thing, isn’t remotely likely to recover fully from the current artificially-imposed partial shutdown—certainly not quickly, maybe not ever. Contrary to the bland, hopeful assertions of those foolish enough to harbor a childish faith in their control over such things, national economies are complex and fragile things. They cannot simply be turned off and then back on like lights, with the mere flick of a switch.

Those bars and restaurants now closed “for two-three weeks” only, to reopen after this “crisis” has passed? Nuh-uh. Ain’t happening. More of them than some may wish to think won’t be reopening at all—ever. Bars and restaurants all run on wafer-thin margins; there is simply no way they can sustain the hit of a weeks-long shutdown and survive intact. Excepting the few whose owners have very deep pockets indeed—and who don’t mind seeing those deep pockets transformed into mighty thin ones with a quickness—many, perhaps most, of the rest will go the way the dodo did.

All those waitresses, bartenders, cooks, managers? Even the illegal-alien dishwashers and busboys? To the bread lines with ye, and tarry ye not. The impact of the now-imminent restaurant-biz bloodbath will then wend its savage way through the restaurant-supply houses, the food-and-beverage-supply vendors, the alcohol distributors, the cleaning staff for the tonier joints that hire outside companies to do it, etc.

No big deal really, though, right? I mean, how much of an impact can the restaurant industry really have on the greater US economy anyway? I mean, we’re talking here about an industry that only accounts for…ummm….let’s see, now…carry the naught…

$899 billion-with-a-B in projected 2020 sales, employing 15.6 million people. Gee, guess those numbers are gonna be dropping some soon, eh?

And here’s the hell of the whole thing: all this was done to us on purpose.

By fucking Communists. Who, even now, propose to keep right on doing it to us.

A new report from Horizon Advisory consultants details Beijing’s post-virus strategy—already operational—to leverage the pandemic to seize global market share in key industries, further global dependence on Chinese manufacturing, and reverse efforts in the United States and elsewhere to decouple from the People’s Republic.

“Beijing intends to use the global dislocation and downturn to attract foreign investment, to seize strategic market share and resources—especially those that force dependence, and to proliferate global information systems; to as Chinese sources put it, ‘leap-frog’ industrially, ‘overtake around the corner’ strategically, capture the ‘commanding heights’ globally. Beijing intends to reverse recent U.S. efforts to counteract China’s subversive international presence; at the same time to chip away at U.S.-Europe relations. In other words, Beijing will use COVID-19 to accelerate its long-standing, strategic offensive,” the Horizon report states.

We’re witnessing Beijing’s attempt to scrub its culpability for the pandemic from the world’s memory. Chinese Communist propagandists declare, “China is owed a thank you for buying the world time” and the New York Times dutifully repeats it.

After covering up the novel infection and unleashing it on the world, Beijing’s rulers bought up the world’s supply of protective gear and respirators.

Then they sell these critical goods to Italy while portraying themselves as the heroic humanitarian savior of the world, not unlike a pyromaniac who takes credit for calling the fire department.

Now, as China’s factories come back online at the same time the West’s economies shut down, Beijing sees further opportunity to extend its soft power and tighten its grip on global supply chains.

Don’t take my word for it. Authoritative policymakers and leading players in China’s government-industrial system have told us.

And damned if they haven’t at that. Do NOT miss a word of the rest of this article; it’s going to infuriate you no end, I promise. Which is exactly what it damned well ought to do.

Contra my title up there, I do admittedly understand just how unrealistic a proposal it actually is. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or somehow in error. As fantastical as it may seem to some, the simple fact is that Red China has wantonly and willfully inflicted a disaster UPON THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD that is of truly staggering proportions, a monstrous crime against humanity for which they MUST face vengeance and retribution.

Worse yet, this atrocity was inspired by the insidious imperialism of Red China, a nefarious lust for power that festers at the root of the black Communist heart to rule the world entire. As the cited article confirms, even after the ChiComs’ evil acts have been laid bare for all with eyes to see, they continue to scheme in hopes of advancing the Great Cause of global Marxism despite exposure of their brazen criminality.

Worst of all, this is by no stretch the first such murderous atrocity for the ChiComs specifically, nor for Communism more broadly.

It is more clear than ever before that the vile scourge of Communism is a threat the world can no longer afford to tolerate, indulge, or ignore. With this abominable act, Communists have now proven themselves to be deadly enemies not just of all who would live free of their yoke, but of every living human on the face of this Earth. There is no “peaceful coexistence” to be had with such as them. One way or another, sooner or later, here as everywhere, it must be destroyed—leaving neither root nor branch, to purloin a fine phrase.

Update! Via Vanderleun: take heart, people.

NoFarmsClosed.jpg


It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

Groundswell of support update! It ain’t quite as, shall we say, stringent an approach as the one I favor. But I’ll take it anyway, and will view it as a a good start.

The idea that the People’s Republic of China can become a responsible stakeholder in the international community—that it can “be like us”—is being laid to rest behind the masked faces of petrified Westerners scurrying through airports to get home.

Amidst the 24/7 breathless media coverage and calls for politicians to “do something,” one fundamental question still needs to be addressed forthrightly and in the open: Who did this to us and what to do to prevent it from happening again?

The question about assigning agency and blame is pretty straightforward to answer: The communist Chinese state, which for more than three decades has been draining capital and knowledge from the West, benefiting from our greed and myopia, has just let loose a virus that in the coming months is about to effectively paralyze Europe and the United States and bring severe pain, both human and economic on the world. The “eruption at a wet market” explanation for the virus has to be questioned until we know the full story, if for no other reason than the fact that Beijing suppressed data for two months when the coronavirus first appeared, and even to this day refuses to come clean as to exactly what happened. Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now spinning propaganda stories that both seek to somehow pin the blame on the United States, and that try to frame their bungling, denial-ridden, heavy-handed reaction as some kind of model for the world.

As a result of all this, the West is now shutting down, at least for a while. The ultimate cost to the world, in terms of new government debt, failed businesses, and human lives and suffering, is difficult to quantify at this point. But there are indications that the fallout from the Wuhan Virus could be transformative.

We must acknowledge our own complicity in what is now unfolding. The belief that globalization, through the radical centralization of market networks, was the unavoidable path forward has been exposed as a grave, near-delusional miscalculation. The offshoring by corporations of supply chains to China has not only eviscerated communities that were previously reliant on manufacturing jobs, but has also brought with it an unprecedented level of vulnerability and fragility to our economies. The populist revolts that have wracked Western democracies for the past several years are in part rooted in the pain that these dislocations have caused. Worse yet, for the past three decades, this offshoring process has favored an adversary that is determined to replace us as the hub of global economic and military power and place itself at the new normative center of the world.

Should the fallout from the Wuhan Virus prove to be as damaging as it looks like it might be, the first casualty should be China’s quest to become the premier manufacturing center for the world.

It should be the first of many, too.

(Via Ace)

Permanent revolution, permanent crisis, permanent instability

All features, not bugs.

What this means is that socialism, at least revolutionary socialism, cannot function outside of a crisis. It is a last resort position a desperate people will tolerate in times of extreme duress. That’s the odd thing about the concept. It is an admission that the radical program cannot exist in easy times. It can only thrive when the people, or at least a large swath of them, are sure their existence is on the knife edge. It also means the revolution can never achieve its stated goals.

This contradiction within radicalism is important to keep in mind when looking at modern politics, broadly inclusive of current events. In America, we have been in some form of crisis since the turn of the century. Under Bush the Minor, it was Islamic terrorism that put us on permanent war footing. The ruling class stripped away most of our remaining rights in the name of fighting this existential threat. America now has political prisoners and a security state that spies on citizens.

In the Obama years, the permanent crisis over Islamic terrorism slowly gave way to a laundry list of left-wing bogeymen. Racism, antisemitism, various imaginary crimes against imaginary identity groups. The rape hoax on campus was a classic example of trying to maintain the permanent crisis. Coeds were supposed to act as if Chad and Biff were lurking around every corner, ready to rape them. Of course, this warranted preemptive strikes against Chad and Biff in self-defense.

What the last two decades have been, really starting after the Cold War, is the bourgeois version of permanent revolution. The managerial elite maintain a militant and independent approach to politics, seeing themselves outside of society. They are the revolutionary class that is driving progress by driving the revolution. When they shriek about threats to the democracy, they really mean a threat to the revolution, their revolution, the managerial revolution.

The old radicals understood something about the class war they promoted. Marxist intellectuals understood they lacked the stones to fight for their cause. These were soft men who lived soft lives. The working class, on the other hand, had lots of tough guys comfortable with violence. The bourgeois class was also full of soft men, comfortable living the liberal lifestyle. In a genuine class struggle, they would not stand a chance against the working class. They would not fight.

Ahh, but that’s one of the things that demonstrate the true genius behind Gramsci’s revision of Marx’s original revolutionary theory, see. A slow, semi-clandestine takeover of society’s culture and institutions renders it unnecessary to fight. When done according to Gramsci’s clever recommendations, the frog ends up boiled without any struggle at all.

The managerial revolution, on the other hand, is led by radials, who make many of the same assumptions. The difference is there is no working class. They destroyed it by auctioning off the industrial base. Instead they will use their power over institutions, like the police, the security apparatus, finance and so on, to intimidate the middle-class into going along with the program. The permanent crisis legitimizes endless intrusions into daily life by the managerial state,

The thing is, the permanent crisis has another flaw. It channels the natural energies of a people away from industry and community. The permanent revolution becomes a bonfire onto which is thrown the social capital of a people. For the revolutionary, society is the sum of men, exclusive of their inner connections. They place no value on the social capital they burn for revolutionary fuel, because they see no purpose in it. To the managerial class, society is just kindling.

We are getting a glimpse of this with the Chinese Flu. The federal state is paralyzed by the growing incompetence of the managerial class. State and local responses have been incoherent, because the normal social capital that would animate such a response has been largely destroyed. You cannot have a community response when there are no natural communities of people. Clusters of strangers in temporary developments named after what was knocked down to build them are not communities.

The purpose of government either eventually becomes or is from the beginning to grow, to consolidate and then expand its power over its subjects to the widest extent it can. The problem is that it’s just not possible to effectively micromanage a nation as enormous and heterogenous as this one, no matter how overgrown and intrusive the central government may become. The more power it tries to reach, the more its grasp is exceeded, and the more apparent its metastasizing failure.

Worse (for them), this escalating failure drives them to attempt to regain the upper hand by imposing a veritable blizzard of niggling laws and regulations, which only results in most of those petty edicts being either slyly circumvented, ignored, or even contemptuously defied. Lather, rinse, repeat, until one of three things happens: 1)the bloated system collapses under the weight of its own incompetence and futility; 2) the subjects rise up in righteous outrage to overthrow it, either violently or through other means; 3) the whole mess spirals down into exhaustion and irrelevance, the collapse into dissolution, decrepitude, deprivation, and utter futility more or less accepted by its population as just the natural order of things. Unless and until things get so bad that large numbers of them begin to starve, at which point see No. 2.

Why, it’s almost as if God His Own Self might have stacked the karmic deck against Big Government and all its works, ain’t it?

A brief explainer

Cpl-three weeks ago, Skeptic inquired:

Mike, why do you insist on using “Democrat Socialist” or “Socialist” as the descriptors? That is THEIR terminology. Call them what they are. Communists, Fascists, Totalitarians, Authoritarians. “Socialist” is merely the well marketed term for what they really are. I can understand retards like Ben Shapiro prattling on about “Socialism” as if he still thinks that term will dissuade anyone from voting D. I can’t understand YOU doing it.

Actually, I have a fair-to-half-decent reason for it. Some of you whippersnappers may not recall this, but see, way back in the days when Michael Steele was heading the RNC, this happened:

A member of the Republican National Committee told me Tuesday that when the RNC meets in an extraordinary special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party.”

When I asked if such a resolution would force RNC Chairman Michael Steele to use that label when talking about Democrats in all his speeches and press releases, the RNC member replied: “Who cares?”

Which pretty much sums up the attitude some members of the RNC have toward their chairman these days.

Steele wrote a memo last month opposing the resolution. Steele said that while he believes Democrats “are indeed marching America toward European-style socialism,” he also said in a (rare) flash of insight that officially referring to them as the Democrat Socialist Party “will accomplish little than to give the media and our opponents the opportunity to mischaracterize Republicans.

Bold mine, to highlight the exact brand of hapless roll-overism that so perfectly characterized the pre-Trump GOP, and still does for all too much of it.

Umm, HELLOOO?!? What further “opportunity” for “the media and our opponents” to mischaracterize us might you think they need, pray tell, when the rat bastards are constantly not just “mischaracterizing” but outright lying through their fucking teeth about their hated enemies, brazenly and without shame, 24/7/365? That being so, and it most certainly was and is, why NOT start dealing out some minor payback to return the favor simply by calling the Demonrats by their rightful name?

At any rate, Steele eventually got the common-sense resolution advocating for labeling a spade a spade and a commie a commie dumped, more’s the pity. But I liked the idea then, and I still like it now. So I went right on using the thing, and Steele’s No-Ball Bastards just be damned all to Hell and gone. If I remember right, and I betcha I do, a lot of the fragile Loser GOPe punditry who so indignantly harrumphed and spluttered over the outlandish, gauche WELL-I-NEVER of referring to the Democommies at least somewhat accurately then went on to blossom into the insufferable NeverTrumpTards we endure today.

Go figure.

As for “socialist” being a too-tepid term for them…well, okay, so stipulated. On the other hand, though, I am waxing indifferent at best to such fine distinctions myself. Far as I’m concerned nowadays, a Marxist is a Commie is a socialist is a Nazi is a fascist is a &c. They’re all adjacent stripes running up and down the Left/Prog/whatever barber pole, in the end adding up to the selfsame thing: iron-fisted, comprehensive top-down rule by totalitarian despots. Slice it however you like, it’s still baloney.

My grandpa on my mom’s side was a lifelong yellow-dog Democrat, as was/is the entirety of that side of the fam. Milton Hubbard, bless his dear departed soul, died in 1976—too early in the year to enable him to cast a vote for Jimmeh Peanut, which he surely would have done with enormous pride. But I am quite confident that he is rolling in his grave rotisserie-style at around 750 RPMs from seeing what a sordid, anti-American sewer his beloved party has crashed and burned into—a party of traitors, bigots, degenerates, saboteurs, liars, cheap two-bit con artists, the mentally ill, and HILLARY!™ Clinton.

My mom’s baby brother Larry, another stubborn Yellow Dog thanks in no small part to the malign influence of his parents and older siblings, happily abandoned the Treasoncrats for Trump right around the time the Donald took his fateful escalator ride, although for some years I had noticed his commitment to the Democreeps gradually weakning, while he watched them continue the long slide into hundred-proof, no-chaser moonbattery. Uncle Larry’s late-life transition was akin to Reagan’s: he didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left him. And boy, you should hear him talk about his former party NOW.

As well he might. This, after all, is a party that flies into spittle-flecked hysterics at the very idea of trying to “make America great again”; that reflexively sides with the enemy in every military conflict we’ve been involved in since Korea, no matter how truly monstrous that enemy may be; that is depressed rather than cheered by splendid economic news; that vastly prefers amplifying our shortcomings and failures over acknowledging our achievements and good works; that is this very minute hoping fervently that a viral pandemic will exterminate massive numbers of their (erstwhile) countrymen, for no better reason than that political advantage from those deaths might be gleaned for themselves.

Perhaps Skeptic is right after all, and my favored Democrat-Socialist appellation IS a spot of weak tea at this point. He most likely is, admittedly, in an era when they’re openly running unabashed Marxists, Red in tooth and claw, for the nation’s highest elected offices. Better get cracking on finding something worse still to fling at those suppurating pustules, I reckon. Suggestions along those lines from all and sundry are more than welcome, natch. Meanwhile, I’ll just carry on as I have been.

The fight is forever

Sundance quotes a bit from a classic old Mike Vanderboegh post, which I just had to track down and excerpt some of myself.

Are we not already two different countries, the liberals and we traditional believers in free men and free markets? If we cannot agree on something so philosophically findamental as the sanctity of life, what else can we agree on? Have we not just been agreeing to disagree on when the next American civil war will break out?

We must admit that the reason we are losing the world war for western civilization both at home and abroad is because we have elected not to fight it. And we will continue losing it until we do.

Those of us who long for the restoration of the Founders’ Republic are out of time. We cannot allow ourselves to pushed back from our God-given, inalienable liberties any longer. WE MUST REFUSE TO BE SUBJUGATED A THIN SALAMI SLICE AT A TIME. We must refuse to concede to our own enslavement. In the end, and it may come sooner rather than later, we must fight.

This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can’t be done? And if we do not try, it most certainly won’t be done. The Founders’ Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.

But I tell you this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist good night. Indeed, we will make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from that day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.

And when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.

Along those same lines, Aesop is all in.

It cuts against the grain. Because when they’re enforcing just laws in a just manner, the police are doing Good. I am neither a copsucker nor a knee-jerk cop-hater, and my record in calling out the douchebadges when they royally screw the pooch is beyond reproach. But there’s still quite a lot of them doing God’s work all the time. (In Chicongo, not so much. But I digress.) If I were a bank robber, a rapist, or a murderer, caught red-handed, that would include shooting me in the face.
 
But when the only alleged “crime” is that some shrieking nancypants got the hebejeebees because I own a gun (or ten, or fifty, or whatever I’m up to these days), and anyone – president, congress weasels, governor, district attorney, hysterical mother, or some black-robed fuckwit too stupid to get into a STEM program – thinks that gives them the a priori right to circumvent Natural Law, the Constitution, and due process in one fell swoop, and send Officer Jackboots And His Merry Men to come take them, without any bill of indictment, witnesses, defense, or any other shred of due process in common law going back to Magna Carta, you’d better send your minions in their serious Kevlar underpants, with their insurance paid up and their wills up to date, and leave the married men at home. Because at that point, the range is now hot in both directions, I shoot Expert, and that red range flag means “No quarter given, nor expected.”
 
Now, go home and think about your wife and kids. Your friends, family, and hobbies. Everything you hold dear.
 
That’s what you’re risking for me, and for you, when you decide a paycheck trumps the Constitution.

So think long and hard about whether today is a good day to die, for treating me like a criminal, when we both know I’m not.
 
Doing that is the day you decide to become a criminal.
And you’ll answer for it, both here, and hereafter.
 
The war may well end, someday, and either my side or yours will win.
 
But you won’t live to see it, if I have anything to say about it.
So, do you really want to make all kinds of enemies out of the last people in the country who think what you do is something worth having?

Instead of being so tewwibly, tewwibly fwightened of all those big mean scary-looking guns, they probably ought to be afraid of guys like Aesop, and the millions upon millions more of us out here nodding our heads in quiet agreement with his sentiments. Because it’s as Heinlein’s Sgt Zim said: There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.

Aside: I’m going to put Vanderboegh’s hallowed halls into Ye Olde Blogrolle. Yes, I know Mike’s gone and the blog is defunct as of 2016, alas. But his stuff is every bit as pertinent now as it was back then, so I’m gonna provide myself with a handy reminder to go back and poke around in his archives now and then.

Lessons from The Hunt For Red October

There’s way more than just one or two.

Thirty years ago this month, “The Hunt For Red October” was released in the United States. The film is important because it taught my generation a truth known well by our parents and our grandparents: It is virtually impossible to screw up a submarine movie.

Is it heightened drama born of salty submariners jammed into the confined space of control rooms “rigged for red”? The simultaneous dangers of fire and water, burning and drowning, explosion and implosion? The terrifying suspense of depth-charge attacks? Yes, yes and yes!

But the genre’s advantages alone cannot explain the staying power of “The Hunt For Red October”. The truth is, the movie taught Generation X, my generation, so much more. As befits a submarine movie, we must go deeper when considering what makes the film so special, even after 30 years.

Kerrigan dives deep (a-HEHN!) into this truly classic flick with a quick plot recap, enthusiastic critiques of various technical aspects of the film, and such-like. But for me the most important Red October takeaway, especially in these parlous times, will always be this:




Words to remember.

(Via Insty)

Hey, they don’t call it the Surveillance State for nothing, you know

Rand Paul has an idea for a good start.

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump told Sen. Rand Paul that he does not support a clean extension of expiring surveillance authorities, throwing the future of the program into doubt ahead of a fast-approaching March 15 deadline to re-up key features of the Patriot Act.

The Kentucky Republican told reporters that Trump made the comments to him on Wednesday, just a day after Attorney General William Barr told GOP senators that Congress should extend the expiring provisions regarding roving wire taps, lone wolf actors and the most controversial provision: call data collection.

Asked about the discrepancy between his conversation with Trump and Barr’s remarks to senators, Paul said there was “misinformation that got out from some people in the administration” about the expiring surveillance authorities.

“The president was out of the country and somebody mischaracterized his positions. I’ll leave it up to y’all to figure that out,” Paul added.

Paul said Trump is “very supportive” of his amendment to prevent the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act from targeting Americans, a reflection of conservative unease over the way the Trump campaign was surveilled in 2016.

“FISA warrants should not be issued against Americans,” Paul said on Thursday afternoon. “Americans shouldn’t be spied on by a secret court. I think he agrees completely with that and that’s the amendment that I’m going to insist on. I’m not letting anything go easy without a vote on my amendment.”

Paul’s amendment is all well and good as far as it goes; certainly, it’s a vast improvement over the Barr proposal, which McConnell and Graham also endorse. Myself, though, I’m with Sundance all the way.

Yesterday CTH warned of a scenario where congress would attempt to slip a clean renewal authorization into the Coronavirus appropriations bill.   Today, that exact scenario was being discussed on Capitol Hill.

Following the conversation with President Trump, Senator Rand Paul is planning to propose legislation that would force reform to the current FISA authorities.

While CTH disagrees with the Rand Paul proposal, and would rather see the bulk data gathering/collection and opportunities for exploitation eliminated, at least Senator Paul is attempting to stop the system from being abused against political campaigns. 

Two issues…and again CTH is not attempting to dismiss the righteous effort by Senator Paul…However:

(A) Isn’t it already illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and grossly corrupt, to use FISA as a political surveillance tool? If so, why do we need another law or rule change to make it more illegal, more unlawful and more grossly corrupt?

(B) Why do only elected officials or candidates for office get protection from having their fourth amendment rights violated by exploitation of the FISA courts? Shouldn’t the same standard of protection apply to everyone?

CTH understands what Rand Paul is attempting to do, but it’s the FISA process being used against *any* American that is the problem. No American should have their constitutional rights travel through a secret court in order to usurp them. Let FISA apply to “non Americans”; and if there is a need for surveillance or collection of information on Americans, then let the government approach regular Title-3 courts for domestic warrants.

Unfortunately, we know all too well just how likely Deep State operatives are to relinquish as powerful a tool as FISA—a grotesque affront to absolutely every principle this nation was founded upon—has turned out to be for them.

Ain’t skeered

Schlichter’s title contains an unfounded assumption. But other than that, he nails it.

The D.C. establishment and their media rump-kissers went into a full-on spazz mode when President Trump continued his unbroken streak of awesomeness by appointing Ric Grenell the acting Director of National Intelligence, thereby threatening the intelligence community’s unbroken streak of failure. None of our media idiot savants – a term which is only half-accurate – thought to ponder the question of exactly how Ric’s appointment could possibly make the IC worse. Its legacy of ashes is a national embarrassment. But then, the purpose of the currently-constituted intelligence community, the foreign policy community, and every wing of our incompetent, inept, and corrupt establishment is not to serve the people of the United States. Its purpose is to serve the personal interests of the currently-constituted intelligence community, the foreign policy community, and every wing of our incompetent, inept, and corrupt establishment.

Dead on the money so far. But then:

Its denizens fear that this fearless patriot is going to burn down their whole shoddy edifice, and we can only hope they’re right. 

Flick that Bic, Ric.

We can hope so, yeah. No real harm in keeping a positive attitude, right?

On the other hand, when has anybody seen any evidence of fear on their part, really? I haven’t. Anger? Yeah. Narcissism? Sure. Assumptions of superiority and entitlement? Absolutely. Vengefulness, pettiness and spite, a strong determination to fight in defense of their presumptive turf? Yep, yep, yep, and damned skippy.

So what real evidence can be cited in support of Kurt’s contention that they’re afraid, they’re very afraid? Or even that they should be? Yes, the Deep State establishment is shrieking, all right. Along with the rest of their ideological confreres on the Left, when are they not? They’ve been shrieking about absolutely everything Trump has done or attempted to do since November 2016, even before. In the case of FedGovCo specifically, however, I do NOT take the anguished caterwauling as evidence Deep State termites are actually afraid of anything. I think of it more along the lines of battlespace prep. Or psyops, maybe.

Kurt goes on from there to laud Grennel for previous accomplishments and overall attitude, and rightly so. Grennel’s appointment bodes well for several reasons. And this bodes even better:

Today, we’re hearing that Kash Patel, a National Security Council staffer and former aide to Devin Nunes, has been tapped as a senior advisor to Grenell. Patel has also been a loyal ally to the President and to Republicans. Patel wrote the famous February 2018 “Nunes memo,” a document which alleged that the FBI used the phony Steele dossier as the basis of their application to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. In his December 2019 report, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed the accuracy of the entire document.

The importance of having two loyal and like-minded Trump allies in place at the helm of the DNI cannot be overstated.

CBS News’ Catherine Herridge reported that Grenell has been given a mandate which is to “#cleanhouse including a “top to bottom” review of DNI operations.”

This is good news indeed. It appears that President Trump is starting the clean sweep of the government agencies he hadn’t known was so crucial early on.

It’s good news right enough, and I’m glad to see it. Nonetheless, where Kurt sees a glass at least half-full here, I can’t help but also see…well, this:

Three separate stories converged to drive home the obvious truth that America has a two-tiered justice system: the Justice Department’s decision to not indict the guilty-as-sin plotter Andrew McCabe, the attempt to give Roger Stone an outrageous jail sentence, and the Army’s decision to shrug that one of its officers attempted to orchestrate the removal of his commander-in-chief.

There are a couple of simple reasons for this. The most obvious reason is that the entire federal bureaucracy is one giant Democrat machine. This cannot be repeated enough. Nearly every member of almost every single department is a Democrat.

How bad is it? Back in 2016, 95 percent of campaign contributions for the presidential race went to Her Royal Awfulness. The Justice Department overachieved, coming in at 97 percent.

Liberal scolds are always lecturing Americans on how they are racist, imperialist, misogynistic, homophobic monsters, even if they don’t know it due to implicit bias. This is nonsense. But it is curious that these same fools see no problem with implicit bias when the entire government-media-academia complex is one giant exercise in leftist groupthink.

Daniels is talking about the DoJ here, but it’s still relevant; if anything, the IC is even worse. And, as he later cautions, “Identifying the problem is far simpler than coming up with practical solutions.”

It’s as I’ve said all along: a single President is never going to be able to force the Shadow Government genie back into its bottle; no, not even Trump, not even with two terms. The nation has been lured, tugged, and/or dragged—according to which MO seemed most practical or effective at the time—consistently Leftward for nigh on a century now, with a strident, near-continuous effort beginning in the 60s. Anyone seriously thinking that all this might be corrected in a scant eight years, by just one man, isn’t really thinking. He’s dreaming.

“The un-American Deep State and the malevolent Obama administration”

Extremely apt nomenclature and some harsh reality courtesy of John Nolte.

There is no justice in this country, only them the persecutors and we the persecuted.

Democrats and their Deep State allies can lie and leak to destroy innocent people, they can destroy evidence, they can seek to manipulate and overturn democracy, and all they get are movie deals, book contracts, speaking fees, and cable news cash.

And now there’s this…

The Democrat frontrunner for the 2020 presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders, was briefed last month that Russia is attempting to help him win the nomination.

Did you catch that?

Bernie.

Was.

Freakin’.

Briefed.

Briefed.

Bernie got a briefing, y’all — a heads up, a warning…

And you know what? That’s appropriate. That is exactly what should have happened. But…

If you’ll recall, that is not what happened to Donald Trump in 2016.

Nope, in 2016, the un-American Deep State and the malevolent Obama administration did not offer the Trump campaign a heads up, did not give them the courtesy of a briefing over potential Russian interference.

Oh, no…

Instead, the un-American Deep State and malevolent Obama administration chose to use Russian-interference-that-didn’t-end-up-interfering-in-anything as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign using spies, to wiretap the Trump campaign using wiretaps, to commit perjury against the Trump campaign using forged warrants filled with perjury.

And then, after Trump won in an electoral vote landslide, the un-American Deep State and the malevolent Obama administration committed crime after crime (classified leaks, more perjury) to launch a coup against Trump by way of a three year drip-drip-drip investigation, even though the  investigators knew the investigation was bullshit on day one.

We are second class citizens in our own country.

Sad to say, but I think most of us know that by now, or at least we should. Which makes the only pertinent question confronting us all the more unpleasant: What, if anything, are we gonna do about that? The answer:

It’s all got to come down… All of it.

Yep, ‘fraid so.

How the Trump admin went off the rails

Personnel is policy.

Unlike a George Bush (either of them), Donald Trump arrived in Washington, D.C. with no connections to the DC policy establishment. In fact, he arrived after a bruising primary and general election that left him alienated from the GOP establishment. The GOP establishment might not have called his supporters “a basket of deplorables” but they nodded their heads and chuckled when they heard it. The same establishment had gotten rich and fat off illegal immigrant labor and outsourcing American jobs to wherever. They were used to keeping the GOP base in line with promises and crumbs (George W. Bush had GOP majorities for 6 of his 8 years, how much did they accomplish in regards to slowing illegal immigration or reducing abortion?) while delivering zero. When Trump arrived in Washington he was reliant upon the very same people who had opposed his election to staff his administration.

Some hard-core NeverTrumpers were hired in an attempt to placate factions in the GOP. Some cabinet secretaries, like, for instance, James Mattis and Rex Tillerson, pressed to retain Obama appointees or bring in registered Democrats with whom they had worked into senior policy positions. The head of the White House personnel office overseeing the hiring of political appointees went to an “end of the world party” when Trump dispatched Ted Cruz in Indiana. A guerrilla war was fought against the Administration by using the security clearance process to force out many of Trump’s most loyal followers.

Streiff then links to this piece, which fleshes things out a bit further.

In past administrations, a candidate’s allegiance to the president was vetted and considered a plus, if not a must. So why is the Trump White House filling any of these spots with people who have been openly (or privately) hostile to the president?

Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor summed up the absurdity of the situation on Fox News. “I think President Trump lost control of the whole appointment process in staffing the government shortly after the election,” he said. “He ended up appointing large numbers of people who subsequently brought in their friends, almost all of whom were opposed to Donald Trump and his agenda.”

Indeed, the appointment of never-Trumpers was aggressively championed and insisted upon by some senior Cabinet members. Some candidates were directly approved by the president himself, while others were proposed by White House political staffers as compromise picks with Cabinet secretaries. Many others slipped in because, despite their anti-Trump sentiments, they had not revealed — or were not asked about — their views in public. Some of the appointments appear to have been downright disastrous. Although many never-Trumpers hired early in the president’s term have departed, others have been elevated or reshuffled as new never-Trumpers continue to enter the administration’s ranks.

The permanent-bureaucracy insiders, in serving their own interests and safeguarding their sinecures, are keeping their eyes on the long term. Back to Strieff.

This, by the way, is not unique to Trump. Historically, party outsiders have failed or been co-opted by the system because, just like Trump, they arrive with a popular mandate but because they are outsiders, and threatening outsiders at that, the formal and informal levers of power are often out of their reach because they can’t put enough of their supporters in mid-level policy positions. When results don’t materialize, the reformer is turfed out by the voters and we all go back to the way it was.

Which, of course, is the desired outcome, the whole point. It’s the grimmest of ironies, and the neatest of tricks: the system has been so thoroughly rigged to serve the interests of its career players by thwarting any true outsider elected to clean out the rot—to “drain the swamp”—that it actually functions as a self-perpetuation mechanism, ensuring said outsider will be removed when he inevitably fails to get the job done.

Put another way, the Deep State ouroborus produces antibodies to counteract and flush away potential threats to its own continued existence and supremacy. Kinda daunting to think of FederalGovCo being so awesomely resilient, virtually immune to all but cosmetic, trifling reform or restriction. More daunting still, though, is the question of whether this systemic self-defense mechanism came into existence organically, just as a natural consequence of the gummint having metastasized far beyond its intended limits, or whether its establishment was the intentional, coordinated result of insider engineers who knew just what they were building, why they were building it, and how to build it right.

The latter scenario isn’t merely daunting but downright scary, in truth—because successfully animating such a monster would have required true genius on Dr Frankenstein’s part. A people who value Constitutionally-ordered liberty will need him to be something a good bit less than that if he’s ever to be defeated, his abominable creation laid to rest.

Shut up, he explained

Another complaint about Trump’s Tweeting.

In a surprising rebuke Thursday, Attorney General William Barr criticized President Donald Trump’s tweets about Roger Stone’s case and other Justice Department matters.

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News’ Pierre Thomas in an interview.

Trump on Tuesday blasted federal prosecutors’ recommendation that Stone serve up to nine years in prison for a conviction that stemmed from a case that started under the special counsel.

I doubt Barr is gonna get very far with that one, although I must also say I can somewhat understand his concern. As supportive as I’ve been all along of Trump’s deft, canny use of Twitter, Barr could have a point.

In essence Bill Barr is working to emphasize there’s no undue influence, and also emphasize the appearance of no undue influence. The problem, however, is that the media will create the impression of influence even if, and despite the reality of, no Trump influence.

Nothing Bill Barr does and/or says will stop the media from falsely creating a narrative that says President Trump and Bill Barr are colluding to target their political opposition.

With that reality in mind, the answers in the ABC interview as delivered by Bill Barr only pour fire on a furnace of media intent to controversialize President Trump’s communication approach.

Barr’s intention may have been good (albeit selfish), but declaring that President Trump’s free speech and opinion as an impediment to Barr’s ability is just nonsense.

Yep, pretty much. Ultimately, though, there’s a solution to Barr’s dilemma, one which is simplicity itself:


Right out of the damned park, girlfriend!

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