Ron DeSantis has emerged as America’s ‘shadow president’

Ron DeSantis has emerged as America’s ‘shadow president’. By Glenn Reynolds.

In many ways, DeSantis is serving as America’s shadow president.

In the Westminster parliamentary system of government, used in Britain and elsewhere, the opposition forms a shadow cabinet: A group of senior opposition-party members takes responsibility for issues facing various government departments. So there might be a shadow defense minister, who focuses on military issues, and the group might put together a “shadow budget.”

None of these activities has any direct impact on the actual Cabinet; the shadow government has no executive power. But it does provide a contrast to the ruling government and a source of criticism. It also cultivates people with some expertise, ready to take over the various offices when political power shifts.

America doesn’t use this system, but in a very real way we nonetheless have a shadow president in DeSantis. …

He has been doing an excellent job of drawing contrasts between his way and the approach taken by the Biden-Harris administration. …

DeSantis has opposed mandatory masking. .. Democrats, on the other hand, have been all masks, all the time — except when it comes to their own glitzy events, like the Emmys or former President Barack Obama’s birthday party, where the “sophisticated” attending crowd was deemed mask-exempt. (But not the servants.)

DeSantis has moved decisively elsewhere, as when he sent law enforcers from Florida to Texas to help the Lone Star State deal with a Biden-engineered crisis at the Mexican border. That sets up yet another contrast with the current administration, which has been letting that region groan under the weight of many thousands of illegal immigrants.

DeSantis has been antitax, pro-small-business and a strong opponent of defunding law enforcement, all in contrast with his opposition. …

Of course, being governor of Florida isn’t the same as being president of the United States. But DeSantis has been able to show the spirit, and sometimes the substance, of actions that a Republican president might take.

As the 2024 election grows nearer, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will no doubt try harder to take DeSantis down. But the more attention they focus on him, the more he will stand as a shadow president, showing Americans what someone else might do in Biden’s place.

A lot younger and without many of the negatives of Trump.

The descent of the media into incredible bias

The descent of the media into incredible bias. By the Z-Man.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was running for president, the people planning to vote for him were sure the media was biased against him. They focused only on the bad stuff and ignored the good stuff. The people voting for Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, thought the bias claim was absurd. They thought the media played it as fair as was possible in a matter of opinion. The big media players went out of their way to prove that they were just neutral observers reporting the facts.

It seems quaint today, but if you wrote your local newspaper complaining about unequal treatment, you could expect a reply pointing out the examples in the newspaper of both sides of the debate. If not a direct reply, there would be a length reply in the letters column addressing the issue. Newspaper columnists would often take the time to address the “alleged bias in the media”. Back then, it was important to the media that people thought they were neutral observers.

2000:

Fast forward twenty years and the people planning to vote for Bush still thought the media was biased, but by that point, conservatives were so sure of the bias they no longer felt a need to prove it. The center of gravity with regards to the media had shifted after the Clinton years. Even the people who were voting for Gore conceded that many parts of the media were biased, but their new line was that “right-wing” media, like Fox News and Drudge, was just as biased.

In twenty years, we moved from a world in which the consensus was that the media was mostly honest but a little biased to a world in which the consensus was the media was biased in favor of one side. …

By this point, the mass media was no longer trying to prove they were neutral observers.

2020:

Twenty years on from the Bush election, everyone to the right of Hillary Clinton looks at the media as the marketing department for the DNC. Further, the only people who think the media is not deliberately lying about everything are the nutters who watch conspiracy outlets like MSNBC or CNN.

The most popular “conservative” TV media performer is Tucker Carlson who dedicates a fair chunk of his airtime to pointing out the litany of lies that come from the mass media. …

As the left marches through the institutions, trust is collapsing:

Forty years ago, most people thought they could trust the important institutions of society. ..

Today,… few people trust the media…. Most people think the government is a blend of incompetence and dishonesty, but many still think the system can work with the right people in charge of it. Big business is another institution whose trust has collapsed, especially among right-wing people. …

Despite twenty years of failure, people still think the military can defeat any enemy if allowed to do their best. White people still proudly send their sons to fight. That is changing as it becomes clear that the people in charge are rabidly anti-white and jarringly incompetent. We may be in the midst of a great sea change in white attitudes about the military.

Leftist only appoint other leftists, and personnel is policy — so it’s a ratchet. Once an institution has gone left, the only solution is to burn it down.

Why women want sugar daddies

Why women want sugar daddies. By Zoe Strimpel.

During a recent trip to the US, I had lunch with a young man from New York, who told me glumly that many of his peers had spent the summer swanning around Europe while he stayed put in America. They were all flaunting it on Instagram, of course, but none as aggressively as a clutch of young women in their early 20s, who had spent time in the most expensive spots: the Amalfi Coast, Porto Cervo, Capri. I peered at his phone and saw images of the girls draped over each other in terrace restaurants, on the prows of boats, laid along tree branches in thong bikinis, glowing with the gold-dust of fine living.

They were either still in college or freshly out of it. But the reason they, rather than the young man, were able to go yachting off Sardinia while sipping Dom Pérignon was because rich older men ­had hired them to come on a luxury holiday with them.

The job — look hot, be nice, and be ready to accommodate more without crying assault — is called sugaring. It is — though sugar daddies or babies might not admit it — sex work. My friend betrayed no sense of surprise at the arrangement; such things had, he explained, become totally normal in his age group. …

The new normal in the globalist ruling class:

Indeed, sugar daddy-baby “arrangements” are booming, with increasing numbers of female students in the UK and US advertising on sugar websites. Unlike traditional sex work, it’s popular among young women at elite institutions; destined for fine careers, they nonetheless see it as a time-efficient way to offload student debt and, as Molly, a 22-year sugar baby who read PPE at Oxford, told me, “get a taste of luxury”.

In 2019, nearly 1000 students at Cambridge were signed up to Seeking Arrangements, the top sugar-brokering site in the Anglosphere. [Cambridge has 20,000 students, so this is nearly 10% of the female students.] …

The rise of elite sugaring among young, extremely upwardly mobile women points to two profound and rather shocking shifts.

  • One: that dating, with all its messiness and the in-built possibility (if things go well) of an actual relationship — complete with compromise, give and take, and real intimacy — has imploded.
  • Two: that feminism has morphed from a movement with ideals — which envisioned, for instance, a socialist world in which women might be free from sex work — into a hard-nosed, misandric, mercenary pragmatism.

The fruits of feminism, which was never about what it says it was:

Feminists of the first wave looked for male allies to get laws changed. Those of the second wave, freeing themselves for the first time from the trappings of normative heterosexuality, had separatist instincts. But those of the present wave see men as pathetic, selfish, hard work — and only good for two things: sex and cash.

“All the sugar babies I know consider themselves feminists,” said Molly. “But it’s more misandry than feminism. It’s ‘men are scum’. Both parties sort of despise each other.”

Aria, 25, a Cornell graduate currently in law school in DC, has been on Seeking Arrangements for five years. She, too, despises her clients, telling me over WhatsApp video from a Balkan city: “Men are nothing. They’re just fucking idiots. The hardest thing about being a sugar baby is pretending to give a shit what these older men have to say. Older men are so archaic and out of it.”

For these women, the sex is the ok bit — the easy bit. Aria “can have sex with someone without having any feelings towards them. I don’t even have to like them to have sex with them. Being a sex worker: that’s nothing. I can always pretend. Sex is easy.” This sentiment, almost down to the word, is echoed among other sugar babies.

The callous terrain created by ten years of dating apps and misapplied “sex positivity” seems to have rendered physical intimacy a shiny token whose value lies in shifting the needle of power up or down, while the relationship of sex to things like romance or affection has been cauterised. …

Nowadays “women my age see all relationships as sexual labour,” says Molly. “Why not get paid for it?” She points out that Twitter is full of women who think men should pay a deposit before they go on a date with them. Aria put it more scathingly still: “Men have a dearth of people they can share their feelings with… Thanks a lot toxic masculinity. So if I’m performing all this emotional labour — if I have to listen to a man complain for an hour — I should get $500.”

Sex work has been transformed, or rather wishfully squeezed, into the same category as any form of work. At the same time, all relationships have been reduced to a form of sex work. …

“We want that financial security while we go after our goals. Everybody sells their body. Construction workers sell their bodies. What’s different?” …

How’s it working out for them?

MeToo was meant to free women in the professional sphere from being treated as objects. Instead, it seems to have encouraged them to sell their bodies for work-related advancement. Aria is happy: her sugar daddy is one of America’s top political lobbyists. From the outset, he asked: “How can I help you [professionally]?” …

However lucrative, helpful, easy, or apparently “empowered”, life as a sugar baby erodes a woman’s sense of self. But if the women are losing something wholesome, the men seem to be gaining, even gobbling it. After all, sugar daddying is about more than renting a hot body. It’s also about getting a friendly, sexy therapist; someone who will listen, even nurture. Sometimes the men just want friends. Aria’s political lobbyist prefers office gossip to sex, which fades into the background when they’re together, taking up “less than five minutes” of a three-hour session. …

But in the end the cost is high. Molly felt despair and had a breakdown after her sugar daddy paid off her student debt. She is still struggling with the long-term effects of seeing all relationships with men in terms of a sexual quid pro quo.

The lessons and evolved culture from thousands of years of experience is discarded by the globalist ruling class — because, as Saint Obama said, they are the people the world has been waiting for.

Nonsense. Reality will bite them on the arse soon enough.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

A Generation of American Men Give Up on College

A Generation of American Men Give Up on College. By Douglas Belkin.

Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.

At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, …

 

 

Women make up 49% of the college-age population in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau….

American colleges, which are embroiled in debates over racial and gender equality, and working on ways to reduce sexual assault and harassment of women on campus, have yet to reach a consensus on what might slow the retreat of men from higher education.

Can’t say this, or the left shout you down and cancel you:

Some schools are quietly trying programs to enroll more men, but there is scant campus support for spending resources to boost male attendance and retention. …

Some of the schools extend offers to a higher percentage of male applicants, trying to get a closer balance of men and women. …

Ms. Delahunty said this kind of tacit affirmative action for boys has become “higher education’s dirty little secret,” practiced but not publicly acknowledged by many private universities where the gender balance has gone off-kilter. …

Systemic sexism, institutionalized by the left, actually exists — and they are proud of it:

Female students in the U.S. benefit from a support system established decades ago, spanning a period when women struggled to gain a foothold on college campuses. There are more than 500 women’s centers at schools nationwide. Most centers host clubs and organizations that work to help female students succeed. …

Jerlando Jackson, department chair, Education Leadership and Policy Analysis, at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Education, said few campuses have been willing to spend limited funds on male underachievement that would also benefit white men, risking criticism for assisting those who have historically held the biggest educational advantages.

“As a country, we don’t have the tools yet to help white men who find themselves needing help,” Dr. Jackson said. “To be in a time when there are groups of white men that are falling through the cracks, it’s hard.”

Keith E. Smith, a mental-health counselor and men’s outreach coordinator at the University of Vermont, said that when he started working at the school in 2006 he found that men were much more likely to face consequences for the trouble they caused under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

In 2008, Mr. Smith proposed a men’s center to help male students succeed. The proposal drew criticism from women who asked, “Why would you give more resources to the most privileged group on campus,” he said. Funding wasn’t appropriated, he said, and the center was never built.

We all know that if the percentages of men and women were reversed, the feminists, media, bureaucracy and academia — the leftist establishment — would be in a mighty uproar and furiously take steps to “correct” it. We know this, because 60 years ago the situation was reversed and this is in fact what happened. Looks an awful lot like permanent anti-male bias.

Now take this lesson and apply it to the current push for “racial equality”. Do you think the left’s anti-white push will stop when some sort of numerical goals have been reached? Or ever?

How not to communicate: The left cannot say what it really stands for

How not to communicate: The left cannot say what it really stands for. By Sam Leith.

Many years ago, a tabloid newspaper played an unkind prank on the author of a very long and much talked-about literary novel. They sent a reporter to various bookshops to place a slip of paper into copies of the book 50 pages or so from the end. The slip said that if you phoned a particular phone number, the newspaper would pay you a fiver. Gleefully, some weeks later, they reported that nobody had telephoned to collect their prize — from which they deduced that despite its sales figures, practically nobody was actually reading the book to the end.

About halfway through reading [Britian’s opposition leader and Labor leader] Keir Starmer’s new pamphlet for the Fabian Society – The Road Ahead – I wondered idly whether a similar prank had been played. Somewhere in italic type, halfway through a paragraph on the penultimate page, perhaps there was a message: ‘The first person to call 1-800-KEIR gets to be Shadow Home Secretary.’ It’s the only explanation — that the document is a loyalty test aimed at a very small handful of close advisers — that I could see for such a thing to be published.

He said more in this infamous photo than in his 12,000 word manifesto

Brevity is the essence:

The essence of political communication is getting your message across to voters. Who on earth does Mr Starmer expect to read 12,000 words on his political vision? We live, as he will recognise, in an attention economy — where the hour or two he asks of his readers is in competition with, among other things, catching up with Vigil on iPlayer, going for a healthful country walk, or watching the old Farrow and Ball mouse-grey mellow in colour as it dries on your living-room wall.

The only people liable to read this pamphlet are people who obsessively love Keir Starmer, who won’t be persuaded by it, or people who obsessively hate Keir Starmer, who also won’t be persuaded by it. Or people who are being paid to read and write about it, like me, who will very much resent the time spent and probably do it in a slightly half-assed way, what with the whole eyes-glazing thing. …

That is what philosophers might call a category error and political communications experts would call flat incompetence. Say what you like about Dominic Cummings (everybody does, and he doesn’t mind a bit); he recognised that the attention-span of the average British voter will run to about three words. Those words don’t need to make much sense — indeed, emotive abstractions work best — but if you repeat them often enough, they’ll have some sort of effect.

Maybe he doesn’t actually want to say anything? The left’s support mainly comes from virtue signalers going along with the dominant political ideology, and from those who profit by bigger government. Neither of these can be mentioned out loud by any leftist politician, so why say anything? He’s just pretending to be serious:

The only thing striking about Starmer’s pamphlet is how ridden with cliches, how boring, how badly written it is. It is a groaning tumbril of dead metaphors trundling along the slow road to nowhere. I imagine that his retreat into mind-numbing rote phrases is, politically speaking, an effort to avoid saying anything very much at all. …

Whole paragraphs sail by …, saying as far as I can tell literally nothing at all. …

The supposed nub of this pamphlet – promised on the very first page and only delivered on the last one as bullet-points – is Sir Keir’s ‘Ten simple key principles to form a new agreement between Labour and the British people’. …

See if you can find one among those that adds up to a specific promise; one among those that contains an original thought or an original turn of phrase; indeed, see if you can find one among those that is not so vague that any politician or voter could agree with it.

Generic politicians want to be able to promise each voter whatever it is they want, but they don’t want other voters to know about the promises — both because they make incompatible promises to different groups, and because some groups get much sweeter deals than others.

So, in a communication that can be read by everyone, if their real pitch is granting money and privileges from government then they cannot say anything, really.

Sweden, bellwether for cancel culture, comes out the other end

Sweden, bellwether for cancel culture, comes out the other end. By Malcolm Kyeyune.

Before “Trump derangement syndrome” was a thing, people in Sweden were denouncing each other, unpersoning each other for wrongthink, and having frenzied public struggle sessions.

At the time heterodox or dissident Swedish thinkers (a group I certainly belong to), almost regardless of political background, thought of the dramatic social and political convulsions gripping our country as stemming from something particular and unique to Sweden itself.

This collective madness gripping Sweden between 2015 and 2018 seemed so uniquely Swedish, that we assumed something akin to it would be impossible to replicate outside of our country. In 2016 and 2017, this argument made sense. The refugee crisis, supposedly the underlying cause of it all, was a Europe-wide phenomenon. Yet our Scandinavian neighbours — our historical and cultural kin — seemed unaffected. They not only took in far less refugees than we did, but also seemed immune to the political polarisation and, quite frankly, the form of social psychosis that became very common in Sweden at the time.

Ruling class Swedes prided themselves on Sweden being the “humanitarian superpower,” and as a result almost 10% of Swedes are now Muslims from the Middle East. In many ways this parallels what is happening now in the US, which has thrown open its southern border to the third world. But it wasn’t just the refugee crisis:

The cause of Sweden’s “special period”, which lasted between late 2015 and late 2018, looked (superficially) simple: the refugee crisis, and the bigger issue of immigration. …

The now familiar elements of a social panic that became a part of everyday life during those years, such as the public shunning of people over political disagreements, the doublespeak engaged in in order to avoid ending up as targets of social abuse, and the suppression of recent history in favour of constructing a sort of political “Year Zero” were all explained away as stemming from an overabundance of humanitarian enthusiasm.

 

 

People really cared about refugees, and in their enthusiasm, things maybe got a bit out of hand. But is this really what happened?

There is a grain of truth to these claims of humanitarian enthusiasm. For a short period, donations to — and volunteers for — civil society organisations dealing with refugees exploded. Unfortunately, these explosions often turned out to be fairly shallow and counterproductive. Organisations were inundated with items like toys and clothing meant for small children, even as most of the people coming to the country were older men.

Pointing this out, however, was a risky proposition. The accusation of being a racist, and its attendant risk of social and financial ruin, loomed very large indeed. A lot of things became unspeakable during those years, including the question of demographics, to the immense financial strain that was being placed on various municipalities, to the larger question of what sort of negative consequences, the unprecedented pace and scale of migration to Sweden could lead to.

Ironically, one of the reasons Sweden is far less polarised today than many other Western countries is probably the belated discovery that these consequences of immigration are in fact very real, and that methods of ”shaping the narrative” cannot really change material reality.

Reality intervened to clip the wings of the ruling class virtue signalling eventually, of course, but only after the damage was done. Now what? Take note, rest of the west.

More critically, there is the realisation that nobody — certainly not middle class progressives — wants to live with those consequences at all.

Crime, overcrowded schools, social and ethnic tensions, and violence toward ethnic Swedish children committed by gangs of immigrants have all conspired to cool attitudes on the subject. Indeed, the word förnedringsrån (literally “humiliation-robbery”) has now entered the Swedish lexicon as a term for robberies that display a particular sort of sadistic cruelty, where the aim of the perpetrators mostly seems to be to inflict pain and humiliation onto their victims.

 

 

As such, it is hardly surprising that the recent fall of Kabul to the Taliban was not in fact met with calls to increase Sweden’s humanitarian commitment, but rather with conspicuous silence, except for a speech by Prime Minister Löfven promising that the country would “never return to the days of 2015”.

Immigration is seen by the globalist ruling class as a way of punishing the country class, of hurting the deplorables, while making the ruling class feel superior. Oops.

With the benefit of hindsight, immigration now appears not as a question important in and of itself, but as a form of wedge corresponding to a very particular political moment of establishment fear and anger at parts of their own electorate. The Right populist Sweden Democrats entered parliament in 2010, but many were convinced they were a passing fad that would soon be gone. In 2014, however, they had more than doubled their vote share, becoming the third biggest party in the Riksdag. This caused an immense amount of political anxiety among the “chattering classes” in the weeks and months following the election, in a preview of the shock caused by Donald Trump.

Sweden entered a political and social state of exception similar to the one experienced by the US after the 2016 election. Rather than an explosion of blind humanitarianism, the way the refugee crisis affected Sweden should probably be better understood as an explosion of political anxiety of the urban middle classes.

Semi-open warfare between the ruling and country classes broke out earlier in Sweden than elsewhere:

The battle lines drawn up during the refugee crisis were very simple: on the one hand, you had the deplorables (though this term was not yet in use in 2015). They were the enemy. They hated immigrants, gays, and women. This hatred didn’t stem from being the losers of a particular set of economic policies. No, the “hatred” of “those people” came from a general odiousness, lack of education and moral fibre. The professional and managerial classes who opposed the plebs cast themselves as friends and allies of humanity itself.

Sweden was a portal into the future. The intense polarisation of 2015-2018 followed the now extremely familiar Western pattern of rural vs urban, “anywheres” vs “somewheres”. In 2015, the real fear and hatred of the (mostly imaginary) SD-voting country bumpkin could suddenly, miraculously be drawn in stark terms: good versus evil, humanitarianism versus selfishness.

But now, years later, we can see that these battle lines were a fantasy. The narratives of uneducated deplorables meanly trying to keep their children from interacting with immigrants have been replaced by the reality: Swedish middle-class families go to great lengths to avoid their own kids mixing with immigrants in school. They worry about the academic implications — not to mention the risk of violence and disorder — of letting the immigrants into “their” schools. …

Really. I’m wearing my shocked face.

Sweden, being a historically egalitarian and homogenous country, never engaged in city planning meant to keep the poor from meeting the rich. The ability of the middle-classes to isolate themselves from the less desirable consequences of immigration has collapsed; with people living in extremely well-to-do neighbourhoods such as Stockholm’s Strandvägen now complaining about street racing, thefts, and drug dealing out in the open.

That’s horrible. Not like Martha’s Vinyeard.

The ruling class has been defeated by reality and has withdrawn, confronted by the disastrous consequences of what they forced on their country:

Identifying the cause of fighting the deplorables with the cause of accepting immigrants backfired for the urban middle-classes. …

Just like in the UK, everyone blithely accepted that globalisation’s losers would have ”no other choice” but to vote for the same parties that engineered their dispossession. On the other hand the middle-classes have discovered, like the parents of Trollhättan, that they do not like the consequences of migration. Their genteel humanitarianism has vanished.

Today Sweden’s cultural revolution finds itself in an odd spot. An uneasy ceasefire prevails in Swedish society now. While the deplorables are still mocked, there is no bite to it anymore. SD voters are no longer at risk of having their careers cancelled. In 2021, an unspoken attitude of ”don’t ask, don’t tell” prevails. …

The hard, eliminationist edge of Swedish politics is mostly gone; wrongthinkers should perhaps be subtweeted on Twitter, but they shouldn’t necessarily be fired, driven out into the wilderness, or subjected to violence. …

Outside of the inner core of the progressive sphere, such as NGOs and universities, you can no longer be summarily fired for sympathising with a party that has the support of between a fourth and a fifth of the nation. The radicals are slowly abandoning their old cancel culture methods, in favour of such quaint notions as having democratic debate (the horror!).

But who is going to pay the price for fixing their mess? Sweden isn’t up to that part yet.

The lesson for the west is that reality will eventually blunt the hatred and excesses of the ruling class:

It’s doubtful that the Swedish example ought to inspire optimism elsewhere. After 2014 the “losers of globalism” made their play for political relevance, pitting themselves against the urban middle-classes who dominated the political scene. A year later, those same urban middle-classes had declared a no holds barred war against the “enemy within”.

In Sweden’s case, the casus belli of that war — accepting a historically unprecedented amount of refugees in a very short time, without contemplating the consequences of doing so — created a situation where the issues of immigrant crime, cultural shock, and ethnic violence became more odious than the deplorables themselves.

Sweden was in many ways the first Western country to noisily declare war on a growing segment of its own population. In 2015, the social madness gripping the country made it seem like a fairly unique outlier, briefly confirming the deeply held national exceptionalism that makes up part of our country’s national ideology.

Today, it is clear that Sweden was simply the canary in the coal mine; just a couple of years later, many other Western countries would noisily be at war with their own homegrown ”deplorables”. Political demonisation against the internal enemy continues to grow. “The unmasked”; “the unvaxxinated”; “chuds”; “magatards”; “Brexiteers”. All of these labels, as it turns out, are incredibly malleable and thus politically useful.

Because the ruling class rules by controlling the narrative, and the narrative is based around a dozen or more fantasies that defy reality but inspire virtue signalling by its followers, the ruling class will inevitably run aground on the shoals of reality. Eventually. It has already happened in Sweden — not that the mainstream media in the west are going to admit that any time soon.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Donald Trump tops poll, voters ‘regret’ supporting Joe Biden

Donald Trump tops poll, voters ‘regret’ supporting Joe Biden. By David Charter.

Donald Trump has overtaken President Biden in favourability ratings among American voters only eight months after the transfer of power …

He has a positive rating of 48 per cent compared with Biden’s 46 per cent in a new Harvard/Harris poll, a result that reflects dismay among US voters over the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, surging numbers of coronavirus cases, migrants flocking to the Mexico border and deadlock in Congress, where the Democratic president’s ambitious plans are stuck in the mud.

Biden’s top team also fared badly compared with Trump’s: 55 per cent of respondents said that Mike Pence was a better vice-president than his successor, Kamala Harris, and 63 per cent believed that Mike Pompeo was a better secretary of state than Antony Blinken. …

A range of other surveys show the same trends, with a poll in the bellwether state of Iowa putting Biden’s approval rating at 31 per cent, down from 43 per cent in June. …

Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard/Harris survey, said. “People see Pence as a better VP by ten points and overwhelmingly see Pompeo as far better than Blinken, who has been out front on Afghanistan.”

Mike Pompeo might make a good President or VP.

Biden’s Aides Won’t Let Him Speak

Biden’s Aides Won’t Let Him Speak. By John Hinderaker.

How far gone is Joe Biden, mentally? I don’t know, but his aides do. And the frenzy they display whenever it appears that Biden might have to talk without a script tells us that they think he is incompetent.

The latest instance occurred yesterday when Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did a joint appearance at the White House. They chatted for a few minutes and then Johnson took a couple of questions from British reporters. White House aides were so concerned that someone might ask Biden about the Southern border or another unacceptable topic that they interrupted the Prime Minister in mid-sentence and loudly hustled the reporters out of the room. …

Reporters complained to Jen Psaki, who professed to know nothing about the incident. But really, no comment is necessary.

The White House thinks it is better to interrupt the British Prime Minister in mid-answer and suffer the humiliation of herding reporters out of the room, rather than allow Joe Biden to answer a question. Enough said.

Sad. Western civilization is crumbling, and the west is lead by a decrepit old man heading up a woke political machine.

The rule of law is cracking in Victoria — and so is the Labor establishment

The rule of law is cracking in Victoria — and so is the Labor establishment. By Ken Phillips.

Victoria, but perhaps more specifically Melbourne, is in serious trouble. Law and order is not just breaking down, it’s already cracked.

When a supporter of firm policing Andrew Bolt refers to Victoria as a ‘police state’, the situation has in fact become dire. Bolt was commenting after watching considerable footage of the police’s handling of Melbourne’s lockdown protests last Saturday; footage, Bolt says, plainly shows police initiating violence.

The infighting here is a wonder to behold. The state government of Dan Andrews is Labor, Labor is mostly financed by the unions, and the CFMEU is a (the?) lead union. The CFMEU is the union for construction workers, and, like Dan Andrews, is left wing.

The CFMEU rules the Victorian construction industry by force and intimidation. Make no mistake, they use thuggery for economic gain, while government looks the other way. The CFMEU are monopolist suppliers of construction labor for large projects in Victoria, and extract large and onerous rents as a result. Union members are very well paid — well above market. The union then passes some of those ill-gotten gains on to the Labor Party, in return for political protection.

But this cosy arrangement of lefty parasites is publicly breaking down.

Andrew’s government allowed many exemptions for construction workers when the latest round of lockdowns came into force. How sweet. But, it now turns out, the construction industry was doing a lot to spread covid — it might even be said they rendered the lockdown ineffective, and prevented Victoria from returning to zero covid. That left Andrews between a rock and a hard place, so he placed restrictions on the construction workers and mandated vaccinations. The union leadership accepted that, but not the membership. Well…

The construction union, the CFMEU, is at the core of this establishment. The CFMEU controls who builds what in Melbourne, extracts massive amounts of money from builders and feeds this to the Labor political machine.

But on Monday the CFMEU’s ‘boys’ turned violently against the CFMEU leadership over mandated industry vaccinations. The video footage of CFMEU boss Setka retreating into the CFMEU fortress-like HQ is eye-popping. The Victorian Labor establishment is breaking from within in a way entirely unpredicted.

The ACTU’s desperate spinning of the incident as the work of “violent right-wing extremists” just doesn’t stand up against the facts. Live feed video footage from within the crowd on Monday clearly shows overwhelming numbers of typical construction workers in union badged clothing.

Tuesday’s follow up rally was massive in its size. Again, live feed footage gave the evidence of construction workers. In this case, building workers banned from working so they spent the day ‘strolling’ through the CBD. The scale of the CBD mass stroll was surely unprecedented. It had all the appearance of a Melbourne, middle suburbia, tradie groundswell.

What is not being publicly discussed is the selective enforcement of laws in Victoria in a way that privileges the government and certain of its left-wing thuggish supporters:

All of this is very headline catching but what is equally disturbing — and what is not being reported gives even greater cause for concern.

In a telling development last week, reports from an industry trade magazine describe how WorkSafe Victoria is investigating a business over the death of a worker from Covid-19. The WorkSafe move comes after the Australian Services Union “…called for an investigation…” The ASU said that it will be “supporting a WorkSafe investigation” and “will hold all employers accountable”.

And here we get to the very heart of what could be called the ‘Victorian comrade racket’.

The union comrade bosses demand. The ‘justice’ institutions jump! It’s selective! Businesses (of any size) are taken to be ‘bad’ and must be punished. But when it comes to holding government itself responsible, under exactly the same laws, the justice institutions block.

It’s now 18 months since the Victorian hotel quarantine disaster first started (March 2020). WorkSafe took up to 4 months before it says it started investigating the Victorian government for OHS breaches. It’s nearly 12 months since Self-Employed Australia wrote to WorkSafe requiring it to investigate. And it’s now 11 weeks since WorkSafe was required under its own statutory obligations to give to the Director of Public Prosecutions its investigation material into the hotel quarantine disaster.

Delay. Delay. Delay! Where is justice? …

It is deeply concerning that WorkSafe is ignoring what seems to be its clear legal obligation. But the apparent refusal to act is consistent with the theme that of the Victorian Labor establishment. Andrew Bolt’s observation of a ‘police state’ extends beyond the police force itself. But this has to be robustly tested.

We admire the protestors for their stand against mandatory vaccination, of course. And we are sympathetic to their demands for less lockdown, because lockdowns in Victoria are increasingly pointless — Victoria cannot return to zero covid now, and half the population is vaxxed. And yes, the police have overstepped the mark and indulged in their own thuggishness as well.

But many of the protestors are looking for trouble, and are not protesting peacefully. They are accustomed to using violence to get their way. They are throwing tap handles, batteries, bottles, and golf balls at the police, who naturally hit back. It is nice to see the union bosses being disregarded by their troops. And it is long overdue justice to see the violence of union thugs being suppressed with their own medicine — why didn’t the state Labor government suppress their violence when those same thugs were intimidating the construction industry?

All in all, there’s something in this for ideologues of all stripes. Sadly our overseas cousins are projecting their own domestic situations onto this news, and are embarrassing in their misunderstanding and selective reporting.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Medical Schools Update Hippocratic Oath To Exclude The Unvaccinated

Medical Schools Update Hippocratic Oath To Exclude The Unvaccinated. By the Babylon Bee.

Members of The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) voted this week to make major changes to the Hippocratic Oath for the first time since the 1960’s. Specifically, the Oath for new doctors is being adjusted to exclude both the unborn and the unvaccinated.

“The changes we’re making to the Oath are long overdue,” said Dr. Sarah Butcher, a member of the AAMC ruling council. “The concept that physicians should attempt to do no harm to the unborn or the unvaccinated has no place in modern society.”

Butcher said the famous first line of the Oath will be updated to read, “I promise to do no harm unless it’s killing a little unborn baby who’s really not a person yet. Also, since anyone who refused the vaccine is basically asking to die of COVID, I will let them suffer and die a horrifying death to set an example for others.”

It’s satire, but you know the ruling class wants to.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Chinese communists now threatening to nuke Australian cities

Chinese communists now threatening to nuke Australian cities. By Tyler Durden.

During an Australian TV primetime segment this week, the well-known China-based expert Victor Gao, who is vice president of the Center for China and Globalization and once served as communist leader Deng Xiaoping’s translator, issued a chilling scenario and shock to his Aussie audience over the controversial AUKUS defense pact between the US, Australia and the UK.

Gao bluntly warned that the deal which will see Washington give Canberra nuclear submarine technology now makes all of Australia a target for nuclear strike:

The watershed moment will be if Australia is armed with nuclear submarines to be locally produced in Australia, Australia will lose that privilege of not being targeted with nuclear weapons by other countries

Do you really want to be a target in a possible nuclear war? Or do you want to be free from the ‘nuclear menace’ going forward?” …

Beijing is declaring that Australia will become fair game for nuclear first strike. The incredulous ABC Australia news host then questioned back at him: “It is extraordinary that you’re talking about nuclear war and attacks on Australia,” the anchor said.

The questioning then turned to whether what Gao was saying reflects the position of Chinese government, to which he responded…

Listen, as a general policy Australia is not targeted with nuclear warheads right nownow if the Australian government wants to… go nuclear, with nuclear submarines, they will lose that privilege of not being targeted with nuclear warheads going forward. It’s as simple as that… this is the most profound consequence.

Subtle.

Isn’t it funny how all of China’s neighbors love the Chinese communists?

We all know what Australia needs now. No country with nuclear weapons has ever been attacked.