You vote for it, and the majority of the country is in favor of it, and it doesn’t happen. Is Democracy not real anymore?

You vote for it, and the majority of the country is in favor of it, and it doesn’t happen. Is Democracy not real anymore? By Steve Sailer. About Christopher Caldwell’s new book, Age of Entitlement.

Highly recommended:

“In order to use this new right-based system, rather than the traditional voting-based system, you need to convince the government that there some historical emergency going on, some terrible abuse, that someone’s behaving wickedly — in the same way that the southern segregationists and southern sheriffs were. Increasingly that role of official wicked person gets played by people who defend ordinary American institutions.”

Ok, but we have the same phenomenon through out the West, such as it the UK, Australia, and Canada, but those other countries did not have slaves, segregation, or a large black population. Perhaps they copied the US anyway? Or the left simply learned to use these new political tools anywhere?

Steve Sailer:

The Age of Entitlement is an explosive rethinking of history since JFK’s assassination that comes to the reactionary conclusion that the only salvation for American conservatism is to repeal the sainted 1964 Civil Rights Act and restore the constitutional right to freedom of association.

This is a striking judgment for Caldwell, a sober and cultured … thinker, to arrive at; his career has been largely spent writing for the respectable right, such as the Financial Times, the late Weekly Standard, and The Wall Street Journal.

This is not to imply that Caldwell wants to go back to Jim Crow, just that, much as Burke did a better job in 1790 of forecasting the course of the French Revolution, he finds that the old Southern critics of the new order foresaw the implications of the civil rights revolution more clearly than did its advocates:

Those who opposed the legislation proved wiser about its consequences than those who sponsored it…. A measure that had been intended to normalize American culture and cure the gothic paranoia of the Southern racial imagination has instead wound up nationalizing Southerners’ obsession with race and violence. …

Caldwell summarizes his thesis:

…what had seemed in 1964 to be merely an ambitious reform revealed itself to have been something more. The changes of the 1960s, with civil rights at their core, were not just a major new element in the Constitution. They were a rival constitution, with which the original one was frequently incompatible…. Much of what we have called “polarization” or “incivility” in recent years is something more grave — it is the disagreement over which of the two constitutions shall prevail: the de jure constitution of 1788, with all the traditional forms of jurisprudential legitimacy and centuries of American culture behind it; or the de facto constitution of 1964, which lacks this traditional kind of legitimacy but commands the near-unanimous endorsements of judicial elites and civic educators and the passionate allegiance of those who received it as a liberation.

The author notes that the two parties now consisted of the winners (Democrats) and losers (Republicans) from the new quasi-constitution imposed in the 1960s:

The Democrats were the party of those who benefited: not just racial minorities but sexual minorities, immigrants, women, government employees, lawyers — and all people sophisticated enough to be in a position to design, run, or analyze new systems. This collection of minorities could, with discipline, be bundled into an electoral majority, but that was not, strictly speaking, necessary…. Sympathetic regulators, judges, and attorneys took up the task of transferring as many prerogatives as possible from the majority to various minorities.

In contrast:

Republicans were the party … of yesterday’s entire political spectrum, of New Deal supporters and New Deal foes….

Caldwell continues:

Those who lost the most from the new rights-based politics were white men. The laws of the 1960s may not have been designed explicitly to harm them, but they were gradually altered to help everyone but them, which is the same thing…and because the moral narrative of civil rights required that they be cast as the villains of their country’s history. They fell asleep thinking of themselves as the people who had built this country and woke up to find themselves occupying the bottom rung of an official hierarchy of races.

Caldwell argues that racial preferences and politically correct censorship are not perversions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as optimists like myself have long argued, but logical concomitants:

…affirmative action and political correctness…had ceased to be temporary expedients. They were essential parts of this new constitutional structure, meant to shore it up where it was impotent or self-contradictory, in the way that Chief Justice John Marshall’s invention of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison (1801) had been a shoring-up of the first constitution.

To Caldwell, privatized censorship, also known as political correctness, was:

…an institutional innovation. It grew directly out of civil rights law. Just as affirmative action in universities and corporations had privatized the enforcement of integration, the fear of litigation privatized the suppression of disagreement, or even of speculation. The government would not need to punish directly the people who dissented from its doctrines. Boards of directors and boards of trustees, fearing lawsuits, would do that. …

Once social issues could be cast as battles over civil rights, Republicans would lose 100 percent of the time. The agenda of “diversity” advanced when its proponents won elections and when they lost them. …

Aggrieved minorities no one had considered in 1964 had a mysterious set of passwords and procedures that would require government and business to drop everything and respond to their demands.

Most terrifyingly, the conventional wisdom … has drifted toward the notion that the world’s 7 billion non-Americans deserve the civil right to move to America, and only un-Americans (who are “not who we are” as Obama would taunt) would dare oppose that.

Conservatives can’t even count anymore on at least having the majority of citizens on their side when they lose in the courts, agencies, and boardrooms on issues of Diversity – Inclusion – Equity:

A Tomorrow-Belongs-to-Me tone crept into many descriptions of American demographic change. The torch had been passed to a new generation of Americans, who had a message to convey to their elders. The message was: Die.

The War on Racism slowly but inevitably became the War of Racism, with whites as the designated racial inferiors:

It turns out to be a difficult and unnatural thing to replace a system of prejudice with a system of real equality and respect. It’s a lot to ask of people. As Friedrich Nietzsche understood, it is far easier, for both former perpetrators and former victims alike, simply to transvalue the prejudices—so you wind up with the old world turned upside down.

Cape fear: Inside the Aurukun ‘war zone’

Cape fear: Inside the Aurukun ‘war zone’. By Sarah Elks. Australia, 2020.

It’s sweltering in Aurukun, far north Queensland, on January 4. A mob has been burning down houses and terrorising locals since a 37-year-old man was allegedly stabbed to death on New Year’s Day.

Aurukun

The victim’s grieving relatives and allies have taken to the streets of Aurukun, torching six houses and smashing two more, hunting for those allegedly responsible and their families. …

Two teenagers, 17 and 18, have been charged with murder, and 29 people have been charged over the violence that followed.

The police station in the Aboriginal community, on the far northwest coast of Cape York, is in lockdown. Police inside are watching the violence via a network of CCTV cameras lining the streets.

[Army veteran Tim White], a veteran of the bloody Somalia conflict in of the 1990s, was in Aurukun when the man’s death ignited old tensions between two of the town’s clans.

But unrest had been growing for months. Local authorities had lost control of daily fighting in the streets, fuelled by sly grog in the dry community over Christmas.

Now, in early January, senior police are calling White, asking him to find and remove Freddy, a local man being pursued by the rioters after he threw insults at the grieving family of the dead man that morning.

White is in his armoured vehicle. Two elderly women step onto the dusty road, pleading to be evacuated to a camp 80km out of town, where White is already providing sanctuary to more than 100 terrified locals. He loads them up, and they have a message: “Freddy is on the back of your truck.”

He turns back to the road. About 60 men “of fighting age” are in front of him, and 30 behind. They’re brandishing weapons — axes, metal bars — and they want Freddy. The urgent voice of a police senior sergeant crackles over White’s CB radio: “Evacuate! Evacuate.”

But there’s nowhere to go. He panics for a second, and then stops still, and the advancing mob stops too, before ransacking the truck, digging through the back for Freddy. White insists he’s got only women and children onboard. Freddy somehow slips away unnoticed and White and his evacuees are allowed to leave. …

The signs were there:

Warning signs had been obvious for months. School attendance, a symptom of community social health, had slumped to an all-time low of 38 per cent in the second term of last year.

By November, the police station had seven vacancies — two sergeants, one senior constable, and four constables — with the empty roles being filled by temporary deployments from elsewhere in the region.

There were still tensions between two of the community’s clans after a 30-year-old man was run over by a car and murdered in late 2015. The same families were allegedly involved in the New Year’s Day murder, with the roles reversed.

Minutes of council meetings tell of rising tensions, escalating violence, consumption of sly grog and home brew, regular break-ins, and daily fighting in the streets. …

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. Asked whether she knew of the unrest in Aurukun last year, whether she was personally warned, and what she did about it, Trad says: “No concerns were brought to my attention.” …

More bureaucrats and more money to pay them is always the answer, right leftists?

Someone has lost their life, eight homes have been destroyed, 400 people have been left homeless, because people are making a cheap buck from sly grog, from someone else’s misery.”

[Aboriginal leader Dion Creek] says there needs to be an overhaul of the way government deals with Aurukun.

“This idea of throwing (government) money at problems needs to stop. There’s been tens of millions of dollars pumped into Aurukun. This situation now is unprecedented. Hundreds have fled the community fearing for their lives. If this was anywhere else, there would be a royal commission.”

When are all Australians going to be held to the same standards of behavior? To ask the question is to answer it…

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Obama called Trump a ‘fascist’ during phone call, “You’ve got to keep a fascist out of the White House”

Obama called Trump a ‘fascist’ during phone call, “You’ve got to keep a fascist out of the White House”. By Daniel Arkin.

Barack Obama called Donald Trump a “fascist” in a phone conversation with Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia during the 2016 presidential election, Kaine says in a video clip featured in an upcoming documentary about Hillary Clinton.

Kaine, Clinton’s running mate on the Democratic ticket, recounts the call during an exchange with Clinton that was caught on camera in 2016. Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, was also present.

“President Obama called me last night and said: ‘Tim, remember, this is no time to be a purist. You’ve got to keep a fascist out of the White House,'” Kaine says before adding with a laugh that Obama “knows me and he knows that I could tend to err.”

Clinton replies, nodding, “I echo that sentiment.”

She then puts her hands to her chest and says, “But that’s really — the weight of our responsibility is so huge.”

Well that explains a lot. Democracy is secondary to the right outcome, which justifies  … almost anything.

Impeachment trial is Dems’ misdirection

Impeachment trial is Dems’ misdirection, by Miranda Devine.

Trump has been meticulous in keeping his promises to the American people, and his almost Tourette-like candor frustrates the Democrats’ demonization project.

Impeachment is their only way to drown out his good news because they don’t yet have a candidate capable of beating him in November. They’re afraid that any reasonable voter will say he has earned the right to a second term.

So, instead, they run protection for the Bidens. That’s the ugly truth of this impeachment. When Joe Biden was President Barack Obama’s vice president, America exported its own brand of kleptocracy to Ukraine, while giving lectures about corruption.

What other explanation is there for the undisputed fact that troubled drug addict Hunter Biden was paid more than $50,000 a month by corrupt Ukrainian energy company to sit on its board, despite having no credentials?

Hunter told us why. Because his last name is Biden.

Why did the Biden name open doors in Ukraine? Because Hunter’s dad was vice president, openly boasting of the power he had to switch off a billion dollars in aid to that struggling country.

It stinks and Biden is starting to panic, judging by his tears on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” yesterday. …

The panic set in Monday, when an ally of Bernie Sanders labeled Biden corrupt in a piece for the Guardian.

“Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate,” wrote Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School associate professor. She didn’t mention Ukraine, but alleged he did favors for donors. …

It shouldn’t matter if Ukraine conducts an investigation if Biden is innocent.

If there’s a plausible explanation for Hunter’s Burisma job, then the outraged moralists on the Democrats’ impeachment team should tell the American people.

Instead, they spend hours in the Senate weaving a fantastic narrative about “evil” Trump, trying to breathe life back into their Russia collusion myth, which actually has been discredited, not by friendly media outlets, but by the Robert Mueller and Michael Horowitz reports.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff echoed Bates Wednesday dismissing corruption allegations against Biden as “baseless conspiracy theory,” “widely debunked by Ukrainian and American experts alike . . . a smear tactic against the political opponent that President Trump apparently feared.” …

Trump’s speech in Davos on Wednesday was a tour de force of optimism showcasing the American miracle Democrats are pretending isn’t happening: “Today, I hold up the American model as an example to the world of a working system of free enterprise that will produce the most benefits for the most people.

“A pro-worker, pro-citizen, pro-family agenda demonstrates how a nation can thrive.”

The restoration of American greatness is what Trump is offering, but he is burdened by the sore losers on the other side who are doing nothing but setting up an alibi for their next defeat.

Prince Harry and Meghan have ‘no intention’ of selling milk to the Chinese

Prince Harry and Meghan have ‘no intention’ of selling milk to the Chinese, by Victoria Ward.

In a marked contrast to relatives such as Peter Phillips, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex insist they will not use their royal heritage to sell anything in the commercial marketplace. …

Royal sources confirmed that the couple were planning to pursue careers in television, investigating executive producer roles such as that taken by Prince Harry, 35, on the forthcoming mental health series he has co-created with Oprah Winfrey, the chat show star, for Apple television.

Similarly, the deal Meghan, 38, recently signed with Disney, involving a voice-over in return for a donation to Elephants Without Borders, is expected to form a blueprint for her future work.

The couple have not ruled out lucrative speaking engagements but are likely to be extremely selective about the events they choose and will be keen to maintain a focus on the causes close to their hearts such as mental health, conservation and female empowerment.

Last week, Peter Phillips, the Queen’s grandson and Prince Harry’s cousin, was ridiculed as it emerged he had used his royal connections to sell milk on Chinese television. The 42-year-old son of Princess Anne appeared in two adverts for a state-owned dairy firm boasting about being brought up on Jersey milk.

Get woke, go broke? We shall see.

People try to break messages out from WuHan as coronavirus spreads

People try to break messages out from WuHan as coronavirus spreads

There’s no hard information yet on what is happening, but there are some worrying signs. At this state, we don’t know.

Might be a wise precaution to order some face masks, e.g. on eBay.

UPDATE: Coronavirus: 10 more suspected cases in Australia investigated. By Natasha Robinson.

There are now five confirmed cases of coronavirus diagnosed in Australia – four in NSW and one in Victoria.

Six of the ten new suspected cases under investigation are in NSW, and four are in WA.

hat-tip Grant

Why the Bushfire Front Supports Fuel Reduction Burning

Why the Bushfire Front Supports Fuel Reduction Burning, by Roger Underwood.

The aim is NOT to stop bushfires from starting. The aim is to reduce the killing power of a wildfire. Even on a hot, windy day in mid-summer, a wildfire is easier, cheaper and safer to control if it is burning in light fuels. …

A prescribed burn: the fuels are reduced but the forest is basically unscathed

Eucalypt forests accumulate fuel every year, through the shedding by trees and shrubs of dry leaves, twigs and branchlets and the thickening of dry bark on the tree trunks. In some forests up to three tonnes of fuel can accumulate every year on every hectare of forest. The process of accumulation goes on for years, often 15 years or more, meaning there can be over 20 tonnes of fuel just sitting there. …

Decades of bushfire experience has shown that once fuels are more than 5 or 6 years old, the accumulated fuel loads will feed fires that will quickly become uncontrollable under summer conditions. A thousand firefighters and a hundred water bombers will not extinguish, not even slow the progress of a raging forest fire burning in heavy fuels under extreme weather conditions. …

Jarrah forest in the wake of a summer wildfire: even the mature trees have been killed

Critics of prescribed burning maintain that it is destroying the ecosystem. There is no evidence to support this. As far as science has been able to determine, not one species of native plant or animal has become extinct as a result of decades of fuel reduction burning in Western Australia. Cool fires actually refresh the bushland, recycling nutrients, regenerating wildflowers and providing a diversity of habitats for native fauna. …

Critics of fuel reduction burning argue that a better system is simply to ramp up the number of firefighters and water bombers. This is the approach that has recently been put to the test in NSW and Victoria … and failed horribly. These fires claimed several lives, incinerated beautiful forests and destroyed hundreds of homes and farms.

Read it all. You’re not going to get this point of view anytime soon in the climate-obsessed media.

Andrew Doyle: I may have to kill off Titania McGrath

I may have to kill off Titania McGrath, by Andrew Doyle. Oh so true:

I start the week by going through my iPhone to delete the numbers of former friends. It sounds depressing, but it’s actually quite cathartic. I suppose it all started with Brexit. I’m not a confrontational person, so it was surprising to find so many friends turning against me over their newfound devotion to a neoliberal trading bloc.

Since then, I’ve watched the ongoing curdling of rational minds with a growing sense of incomprehension. So many on the left appear to have surrendered to a collective fantasy in which the slightest point of political disagreement is interpreted as evidence of fascism. Someone I’ve known for more than a decade went all Mr Hyde on me in a pub one night, barking that I was a ‘Nazi’, which is about as antithetical to my worldview as you can get. Still, there’s something to be said for bigots outing themselves like this, and it does free up your social calendar.

Time to kill Titania?

I fear I may have to kill her off before she takes over my life. …

I’m not suggesting Titania has any violent intentions towards me, but she does get me into trouble. Recently I was accused of writing an obvious hoax piece for the Independent under the pseudonym ‘Liam Evans’ which called for offensive comedians to be prosecuted for hate speech. The intention was clearly to expose the way in which certain outlets will publish any old nonsense by anyone at all, so long as it is sufficiently woke. About the authorship I couldn’t possibly comment, but by an incredible coincidence if you take the fourth letter of every sentence of the article it spells out ‘Titania McGrath wrote this you gullible hacks’.

Greta Thunberg Incorporated: The Exposé

Greta Thunberg Incorporated: The Exposé, by Rebel News. This is quite interesting, though a little long and perhaps they are trying too hard. But, it is clear that the Greta phenomenon was  orchestrated and planned. Even the “school strike” theme is, to say the least, not the full story. We are being led to believe something not quite true, by the usual suspects, for the usual ends.

The media won’t go there, and the investigators here get bullied by police, security, antifa, and others. Greta’s guards prevent anyone questioning her.

hat-tip Mark Ellis

Barack Obama’s dealings abroad looked just as suspect

Barack Obama’s dealings abroad looked just as suspect, by Karl Rove, who twice masterminded the election of George W. Bush.

Ask yourself: What if Hillary Clinton won in 2016? After she took office, it would have been revealed that her campaign hired the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS, which assigned Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official, to reach out to Russian counterparts to solicit dirt on Donald Trump. Recall that the since-discredited dossier Steele peddled to the media in the fall of 2016 was made up of unsubstantiated rumours from former Russian agents.

It’s naive to believe the Kremlin was unaware that Steele asked Moscow pals for dirt on Trump. Those spies are retired, but they rely on Vladimir Putin for their pension checks. Who among congressional Democrats would now be calling for Clinton’s removal if she were in the Oval Office? I doubt any. I’ve searched in vain for Democratic criticism for her soliciting foreign involvement in the 2016 election — the principal charge of their impeachment case against Trump.

Democrats are now hyping a Government Accountability Office report finding that Trump’s Office of Management and Budget broke the law by delaying the Ukrainian aid. But that $125m was released 18 days before the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the deadline to obligate the funds. Not only is the GAO’s legal reasoning suspect, but the Democrats ignored the office when it found the Obama administration violated the law seven times, most prominently in trading detainees from Guantanamo Bay for the deserter Bowe Bergdahl, as well as twice spending government funds to lobby, and preventing a regional housing and urban development director (far from an immediate presidential adviser) from testifying to congress. Again, why did no Democratic leader criticise Obama, let alone demand his ­removal?

The fortunes of the Clinton Foundation rose and sank in synchrony with Hillary’s ability to change US policy. Isn’t that evidence of corruption on a huge scale?

Comments on the NSW and Victorian Fires at New Year, 2020

Comments on the NSW and Victorian Fires at New Year, 2020. By Roger Underwood, a former regional forester with over 60 years experience in bushfire science, planning and operations.

The claim by a group of “fire chiefs” and university academics that the cause of the bushfires is climate change … has been given extensive publicity in the media, is being trumpeted internationally, and has taken on a life of its own. Whether or not the climate is becoming hotter and drier, and irrespective of the cause of changes, the concept is flawed. It ignores the contribution of fuel to bushfire intensity. This is absolutely crucial, and is determined very largely by fuel, slope and wind. Even if we knew what to do to make the climate cooler and wetter, nothing can be done which will fix the current fire threat.

With all due respects to the water bomber crew who died yesterday, this needs pointing out:

The … thing that is so blindingly obvious has been the ineffectiveness of the aerial water and retardant bombing fleet in the control of high-intensity forest crown fires. The water bombing strategy being applied in NSW is difficult to understand.

Plane load after plane load of water or retardant powder is dropped onto raging fires, making not one iota of difference. Water bombers do have a tactical role to play in bushfire control: they can “hold” a small fire under relatively mild conditions until firefighters arrive on the ground, or they can saturate a burning house. But they do not and they cannot put out a fierce forest fire, or even hinder its progress.

Follow the money:

The astronomical cost of these aerial operations is simply money wasted. There is very little footage shown on TV of time-tested fire control techniques such as creating mineral earth breaks to contain the flank and tail-fires … yet this is the only way in which forest fires can be controlled, and stay controlled. …

Government failure:

It is hard to believe how poorly prepared many NSW communities were in the face of an incoming bushfire. To see whole towns having to resort to the Dunkirk Strategy, or being evacuated along clogged highways, reminds me of something out of Europe in the 1940s. You would think that every rural community adjoining bushland would have a bushfire risk management plan, and a well-rehearsed emergency strategy where people can move to prepared and defendable safe havens. You would think that every Local Government would have emergency generators that, at the very least, would keep the power up for mobile phones. You would think that people living in bushfire-prone areas would have self-defense plans in place, just as do those who live in cyclone-prone regions.

The most puzzling thing of all, is that this calamity has not just arrived out of the blue. NSW has been in the grip of a terrible drought for years. On top of this the amount of fuel reduction burning in national parks and forests in NSW and Victoria has significantly declined and the majority of their forests are long-unburnt and carrying massive fuel loads. The combination of drought and heavy fuels has been at the root of every major bushfire crisis in the history of Australia. This crisis should not have come as a surprise.

The carbon emissions of prescribed burns count against Australia’s carbon account (Kyoto etc), because they are man-made. But the carbon emissions of wildfires do not count as Australian emissions, because the fires are natural. Thus, the international carbon accounting rules incentivize our bureaucracy to avoid prescribed burns, and instead inflict the occasional catastrophic fire upon us instead. Now how do you feel?

The Trump Impeachment

The Trump Impeachment, by Mark Steyn.

I had a very good view of the last impeachment trial – from a largely empty Senate press gallery, the US media collectively agreeing from about Day Three or Four that the whole thing was a crashing bore, notwithstanding the oral sex and cigars and “distinguishing characteristics”. Not like a phone call to Kiev, is it? …

The left, being not terribly imaginative, always accuse you of what they’re doing themselves. So, in this case, President Trump is charged with interfering with the 2020 election by men who have been interfering with the 2016 and 2020 elections for over three-and-a-half years now. Which is why we have the preposterous spectacle of four Democrat presidential candidates preparing to vote to remove from office the guy they’re running against.

This is a joke. I gave up on it when, on the eve of the trial, the laughably named “Government Accountability Office” released its supposedly entirely separate conclusion that Trump had acted “illegally”. Aside from the fact that that “finding” is flat out wrong, I wonder whether the permanent bureaucracy ever thinks, “Gee, maybe we should be a little more subtle about putting our Deep State thumbs on the scale.” …

The accelerating madness drags a cowed and quiescent political class along in its wake. A Ukrainian phone call is a “national security threat”, but presidential candidates announcing their pronouns isn’t a threat to anything. We’ll see how that works out.

Talk of impeachment reminds me of the Clintons:

How Trumpism Swallowed Conservatism

How Trumpism Swallowed Conservatism, by Jeffrey Tucker.

In the summer of 2015, Donald Trump came to FreedomFest in Las Vegas –an event for conservatives and libertarians — as an eccentric outsider. Almost a gate crasher. People wondered why he was there. He presented his message of protectionism and immigration restrictionism, while railing against Iran and China. Only a strong leader can save us from them, was his message. So far from Reaganism was his message that it was surprising that he received even a smattering of applause.

The next year, it was different. True, a “Never Trump” movement had developed in conservative circles but it didn’t have legs. Mostly, the activists were coming around. I spoke from the FreedomFest stage with warnings that Trump’s ideology is neither libertarian nor conservative but from a different tradition altogether, one that was historically and philosophically statist. I was booed by perhaps two thirds of the audience.

I did the same the next year — Trump was now president — and I was basically shouted down. I’m glad no one in the audience was carrying vegetables.

At least Trump fights the left effectively, unlike so many previous “conservative” leaders.

I get that people like a winner. His political victories are legendary. They also fear the left, which seems to have lost all rational moorings. …

The new intellectualism on the right:

It’s common that mainstream venues attribute Trumpist ideology to working-class whites without advanced education. This is now a caricature. There is an emerging brain trust forming out there, which suggests to me that the nationalist/protectionist/restrictionist mindset is spreading and entrenching itself. As in markets where success speaks for itself, and attracts imitators, so too in politics. The remarkable rise and persistence of Trump as politician has caused a shift in thinking among serious-minded people. The thinking is leaning against liberalism (classically understood) and for a new version of statism: what I’ve called right-wing collectivism. …

To me, it is a disappointment to see how and to what extent the intellectual class is trapped into a state-dominated mindset, flinging left then right without considering classical liberalism as a viable option. …

Remember that statism is what left and right have in common: the determination to mold society according to some pre-determined end; they only differ on their end-of-history eschaton. The means of obtaining it are the same: capture the prize of power and impose one’s view on everyone else. …

The trouble is that this right-wing longing for control of the centers of power normalizes what should never be considered normal in a free society: a state that knows no limits to its power.

Trump is a 1990s Democrat, who didn’t move onto the anti-white, identity politics of the new left.

WTF Happened In 1971?

WTF Happened In 1971? By a website of the same name.

In the late 1960s the US tried to have both guns and butter. It fought the Vietnam war abroad and launched the welfare state at home. They couldn’t afford it, so they printed and borrowed.

For centuries, all currencies (except for a few short lived “experiments”) had been based on gold. After WWII the US had lots of the world’s gold, and other countries had too little. After the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944, other countries based their currency on the US dollar, which in turn was based on gold. But in the late 1960s the US was printing too much money to be able to back its currency with gold, and were running out of gold. So in 1971 President Nixon closed the gold window. No longer could other nations exchange fistfuls of US dollars for gold. It affected the whole world.

After 1971, all currencies in the world have been entirely paper affairs. Free of the constraint of convertibility to gold, governments could print as much as they wanted, subject only to the new constraints of inflation and trade balances. This gave the money printers, asset shufflers, and banks the upper hand economically. Why work, if you can just manufacture money or know when to buy or sell on borrowed (i.e. newly manufactured) money?

Real workers suffered. Bargaining power flowed to the money men. Hardly anyone knows this today, yet it shapes our social and economic landscape.

A few interesting graphs:

With printing now possible after 1971, “inflation” took off until governments learned to manage inflationary expectations by redefining it as the CPI:

The US has the world’s reserve country. Other countries need US dollars for trade, especially to buy oil from the Arabs. This huge demand meant the US could just print and export dollars, and receive real good and services in return. So let’s do it:

With increasing wealth inequality, populism is back:

Why did rock and roll take off in the 1950s? Did humans never realize before what fun it was? Were people in the 1950s so more musically advanced? Not really. The electric guitar had been invented around 1950. Prior to electronic amplification, the only way to get a really satisfyingly-loud musical noise was to mass 40 violins together into an orchestra (yawn).

Why did divorce take off in the 1970s? It wasn’t just due to feminism (which in turn came about partly because of the invention of the washing machine and other time saving household machines in the 1950s). Economic friction and money problems in families exacerbate divorce, and kids cannot afford to move out as early:

Unprecedented hail, phenomenal damage in Canberra: 1871, 1877, 1897, 1919, 1936, 1956, 1963

Unprecedented hail, phenomenal damage in Canberra: 1871, 1877, 1897, 1919, 1936, 1956, 1963. By Joanne Nova.

Canberra aims to be 100% renewables (but they aren’t cutting the line to the coal power). Will we ever find out how much the bill for the solar panel damage was?

I’ll bet they keep quiet about solar panel damage. Maybe blame it on climate change.

But all it takes is a search:

Dec 28th, 1936: Hailstorm in Canberra: Hailstones the size of hazelnuts battered … Canberra. … Hail pierced the hood of a sedan car.

Jan 24, 1951: Hailstorm causes Severe Damage in Queanbeyan “Hailstones almost as large as hen eggs and golf balls weie reported from several parts of the town.”  “Police described the storm as the worst they could remember”.

Feb 16th, 1956: Hailstorm Canberra’s Longest:   …lasted 29 minutes. Some of the largest hail ever seen… “4.8 inches” fell on Yarralumla in 12 minutes. The hail caused “up to 100% losses in stone fruit”… “the most disastrous storm for many years”. 182 points of rain fell on the suburb of Griffith.

Etc. etc. More at the link.

So, are lefty organizations and lefty governments going to spend their money for bushfire relief on solar panels and international carbon credits like their ideology says they should, or are they going to use to help people directly, rebuild infrastructure, and hazard reduction?

Academia spearheads the return of race-sorting

Academia spearheads the return of race-sorting, by Daniel Hannan.

Last week, it emerged that two of Britain’s private schools had turned down a bequest from a philanthropist, Sir Bryan Thwaites, who had wanted to set aside a million pounds to provide places for white working-class boys.

Sir Bryan, who had himself attended both schools on a scholarship, pointed to a mass of evidence showing that white, working-class boys are the single worst-performing group in Britain. But the schools refused his gift, arguing that bursaries should be offered wholly on the basis of need, without regard to color.

No such objection was made a year earlier, when Cambridge University accepted a donation from the musician Stormzy to fund two scholarships for black students. Stormzy, I should perhaps explain, is a grime artist, grime being a British form of rap music associated with gritty urban life, redolent of gangsterism. Stormzy has taken the genre to a new audience. Indeed, as far as I can tell, his fan base is largely made up of middle-class white children. His politics, naturally, are far-Left: He led the 2019 Glastonbury Festival in a chant of “F— Boris!”

The arguments for and against:

The argument for racially limited scholarships … is, in essence, a libertarian one. It is Stormzy’s money to do with as he will. He is offering extra funding, so there will be no losers, only winners. There are plenty of other awards that, in accordance with the donors’ instructions, are restricted, to military personnel, say, or to children of alumni, or whatever. So, why not to black children?

That argument has a certain force. But it is, I think, outweighed by a higher imperative. In an open society, we are treated as autonomous individuals, equal before the law, free to make our own decisions, and answerable for our own actions. The idea that we should be defined by birth or caste or race, though common for the last 10,000 years, has no place in a post-Enlightenment, liberal country. Schools and universities, especially, should have no truck with the notion of sorting students into racial categories. The duty of preserving Enlightenment civilization falls most heavily on them.

The nasty anti-white politics that drives it:

But what we see throughout the Anglosphere is a truly bizarre double standard … Celebrating blackness is a form of happy, multiculti diversity, whereas celebrating whiteness is tantamount to being a Nazi. Offering scholarships to poor black children is uncontroversial; offering scholarships to poor white children is racist. …

Liberal academics … have no problem with the collectivism involved in racial categorization. Indeed, it attracts them. They argue, and seem truly to believe, that a wrong done to someone else, possibly long ago, is somehow felt by another who simply happens to share that wronged person’s physiognomy, an odd superstition that justifies all manner of random social engineering.

An anti-apartheid comedian in the 1980s used to end his routine by simply reading out the number of people who had applied for racial reclassification in South Africa, from “black” to “colored,” or “colored” to “Indian,” or whatever. The sheer absurdity of that list made the case against apartheid more strongly than anything else he said. Yet now, we are watching the most liberal of institutions tell people to self-define primarily by race. What a world.

The modern left is as racist as, while decrying its opponents as racist. Like so much of political correctness, it’s just crazy, wrong, and done for political gain by the left. What’s next? Trying to tell us that women can have a penis? Yep, now they want us to believe that.

French Intellectual Sentenced to Two Months in Prison For Calling Mass Immigration an “Invasion”

French Intellectual Sentenced to Two Months in Prison For Calling Mass Immigration an “Invasion”, by Paul Joseph Watson.

French intellectual Renaud Camus … will only avoid jail by paying 1800 euros to two “anti-racist” organizations, SOS Racisme and the LICRA (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism). …

France suffers Islamic terror attacks on such a routine basis that it’s barely even an important news story anymore. Many of those terrorists are radicalized by mosques that escape any police scrutiny, but Camus must be punished for his crime of opinion.

And there you have it. Free speech is now a crime in France.

Impeachment and Civil War: The Possible Fruits of Identity Group Politics

Impeachment and Civil War: The Possible Fruits of Identity Group Politics. By Michael Goodwin.

Chants of “USA, USA” happen only at Trump rallies while Democratic candidates put their faith in identity politics and big government.

To be fair, these trends have been at work for decades, but the Trump phenomenon has helped create a chasm that could be too wide to bridge.

The impeachment trial that begins Tuesday is the clearest evidence of a looming national crackup. House Democrats made kangaroo courts look like models of fair play yet still could cobble together just two anemic articles, neither of which alleges an actual crime.

Coming after the three-year hate-fest against Trump, the process and results expose this impeachment as uniquely partisan and spiteful. The Ukraine matter is a piffle, and never before was anything so small used to try to remove a president. …

All of which explains why a new book by F.H. Buckley feels so timely. Called “American Secession,” it examines the growing prospect of a national divorce. …

“In all the ways that matter, save for the naked force of the law, we are already divided into two nations. The contempt for opponents, the Twitter mobs, online shaming and no-platforming, the growing tolerance of violence — it all suggests we’d be happier in separate countries.”

Record-breaking 100,000 people want tickets to Trump rally in New Jersey

Record-breaking 100,000 people want tickets to Trump rally in New Jersey, by Jennifer Harper.

100,000 people are now seeking tickets to one of Mr. Trump’s signature Keep America Great rallies, to be staged in Wildwood, New Jersey, on Jan. 28 in a venue that only seats about 7,500.

The last time a president visited the area was in 1891, when Benjamin Harrison came to call.

Impossible. The media assure me Trump is very unpopular and a terrible president.

The great truth dawned: The spirit triumphs over materialist ideology

The great truth dawned: The spirit triumphs over materialist ideology. By Gary Morson.

If Americans want the truth about a historical period, we turn to historians, not novelists, but in Russia it is novelists who are presumed to have a deeper understanding. … The reason is that great writers, like prophets, see into the essence of things. …

In assuming the role of “Russian writer,” [Aleksandr ] Solzhenitsyn was therefore claiming a status less comparable to “American writer” than to “Hebrew prophet.” …

Young boys in a gulag, Molotov, USSR (date unknown). Courtesy David Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

But when Solzhenitsyn got to the West and encountered the globalists:

The very intellectuals who had once defended Solzhenitsyn condemned him when they discovered he did not share some of their views. They could not entertain the possibility that they had something to learn from a very different set of experiences. No, no, it was only his experience that was eccentric, while theirs reflected the way things really are!

Foolishly, this survivor of Communist slave labor camps revealed himself “to be an enemy of socialism.” Solzhenitsyn recalls a Canadian TV commentator who “lectured me that I presumed to judge the experience of the world from the viewpoint of my own limited Soviet and prison-camp experience. Indeed, how true! Life and death, imprisonment and hunger, the cultivation of the soul despite the captivity of the body: how very limited that is compared to the bright world of political parties, yesterday’s numbers on the stock exchange, amusements without end, and exotic foreign travel!”

What most disturbed Solzhenitsyn was a “surprising uniformity of opinion” that life was about individual happiness — what else could it be about? — and that it was somehow impolite to refer without irony to “evil.” Still worse, Solzhenitsyn traced this trivializing of human existence to “the notion that man is the center of all that exists, and that there is no Higher Power above him. And these roots of irreligious humanism are common to the current Western world and to Communism, and that is what has led the Western intelligentsia to such strong and dogged sympathy for Communism.” …

A collective autobiography:

But wasn’t Solzhenitsyn himself once an atheist and a Communist? Indeed he was, and The Gulag Archipelago narrates how, bit by bit, he changed his view of life. The book is not only a history but also an autobiography, and because Solzhenitsyn’s experience was shared by so many others, Gulag offers itself as a collective autobiography. I was arrested this way; here are the ways others were arrested. I suffered this brutal interrogation; others underwent these other kinds of torture. As we examine the progress of souls in extreme conditions, a story — or rather a set of closely related stories — unfolds, and these suspenseful narratives command considerable dramatic interest. One way the book works as literature is as a sort of encyclopedia of possible novels. …

Ideology creates monsters:

Anyone can succumb to ideology. All it takes is a sense of one’s own moral superiority for being on the right side; a theory that purports to explain everything; and — this is crucial — a principled refusal to see things from the point of view of one’s opponents or victims, lest one be tainted by their evil viewpoint. …

Lev Kopelev, the model for Solzhenitsyn’s character Rubin, describes how, as a young man, he went to the countryside to help enforce the collectivization of agriculture. Bolshevik policy included the enforced starvation of several million peasants, and Kopelev describes how he was able to take morsels of food “from women and children with distended bellies, turning blue, still breathing but with vacant, lifeless eyes,” in the ardent conviction that he was building socialism. …

The contrary view, held by ideologues and justice warriors generally, is that our group is good, and theirs is evil. “Evil people committing evil deeds”: this is the sort of thinking behind notions like class conflict or the international Zionist conspiracy. It is the opposite of the idea that makes tolerance and democracy possible: the idea that there is legitimate difference of opinion and we must not act as if God or History had blessed our side as always right. If you think that way, there is no reason not to have a one-party state. The man who taught me Russian history, the late Firuz Kazemzadeh, used to say: remember, there are always as many swine on your side as on the other.

Good and evil exist:

Kopelev, Solzhenitsyn, and others describe the key event of their life as the discovery that just as the universe contains causal laws it also contains moral laws. Bolshevik horror derived from the opposite view: that there is nothing inexplicable in materialist terms and that the only moral standard is political success. …

Many, including Solzhenitsyn, took the next step and accepted God. Why not remain an atheist who believes in an absolute moral law? Here again we must understand the thought-shaping power of Russian literature, particularly Russia’s specialty, the great realist fiction of ideas.

Great novels test ideas not by their logical coherence, as in academic philosophy, but by the consequences of believing them. Novels of ideas … exhibit a masterplot: a hero or heroine devoted to an idea discovers that reality is much more complex than the idea allows. For example, a materialist believes that love is nothing but physiology and that individual people differ no more than frogs, yet he falls deeply in love with a particular woman (the plot of Turgenev’s Fathers and Children). A moralist asserts that only actions, not wishes, have moral value, yet winds up consumed by guilt for a murder he has fostered only by his wish for it (the plot of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov). … Epicurus, the great materialist of the ancient world, had said: “ ‘You should not fear physical suffering. Prolonged suffering is always insignificant; significant suffering is of short duration.’ But what if you are deprived for days of sleep in a box without air? What about ten years of solitary confinement in a cell where you cannot stretch your legs? Is that significant or insignificant?” …

Thinking novelistically, Solzhenitsyn asks: how well does morality without God pass the test of Soviet experience? Every camp prisoner sooner or later faced a choice: whether or not to resolve to survive at any price. Do you take the food or shoes of a weaker prisoner? “This is the great fork of camp life. From this point the roads go to the right and to the left. . . . If you go to the right — you lose your life; and if you go to the left — you lose your conscience.”

Memoirist after memoirist, including atheists like Evgeniya Ginzburg, report that those who denied anything beyond the material world were the first to choose survival. They may have insisted that high moral ideals do not require belief in God, but when it came down to it, morals grounded in nothing but one’s own conviction and reasoning, however cogent, proved woefully inadequate under experiential, rather than logical, pressure. In Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales … a narrator observes: “The intellectual becomes a coward, and his own brain provides a ‘justification’ of his own actions. He can persuade himself of anything” as needed.

Among Gulag memoirists, even the atheists acknowledge that the only people who did not succumb morally were the believers. Which religion they professed did not seem to matter. Ginzburg describes how a group of semi-literate believers refused to go out to work on Easter Sunday. In the Siberian cold, they were made to stand barefoot on an ice-covered pond, where they continued to chant their prayers. Later that night, the rest of us argued about the believers’ behavior. “Was this fanaticism, or fortitude in defense of the rights of conscience? Were we to admire or regard them as mad? And, most troubling of all, should we have had the courage to act as they did?” The recognition that they would not would often transform people into believers. …

The great truth dawned: unexpectedly, astonishingly, this harrowing story of cattle cars and the secret brand has a redemptive ending. A person — not a hero, just a flawed person — finds faith. Everybody has been indoctrinated with the slogan that, in a material world where nothing beyond the laws of nature exists, “The result is all that counts.” But camp experience taught that that was a lie. “It is not the result that counts . . . but the spirit!”

Once you realize this, “then imprisonment begins to transform your character in an astonishing way.” You begin to appreciate friendship differently. Recognizing your own weakness, you understand the weakness of others. When another prisoner relates how he became a Christian, Solzhenitsyn recognizes that when he had been most certain he was doing good he was actually doing evil. He understands “the truths of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (every human being).”