Girrrrl Power!

One of my friends mentioned the other day that he had seen the movie Rogue One, the latest Star Wars offering. He said he liked it, which I thought surprising. From the commercials, I was under the impression that it was another Girrrrl Power! movie telling us that girls can do anything they set their pretty little heads to, even if the evil white men try to stop them. Put another way, it looks like another movie that has a tiny little female in a role that was traditionally played by a tough guy leading man.

He said it had a lot of that nonsense, but the shoot ’em up stuff and special effects were good enough to let you ignore the preachy garbage. My friend is a movie goer so he has developed the ability to filter out the proselytizing so he can enjoy the entertainment portion of films. Maybe that is a skill you acquire after sitting through a certain quantity of movies or maybe it is a natural personality trait. I know I lack it, which is why I don’t watch many movies. If it is going to be preachy, I’ll just skip it.

There’s also the Star Wars element. For good or ill, the franchise has a become Star Trek for the fake nerd movement. Women who “fucking love science” seem to be big into Star Wars. I liked the movies as a kid, but I was always a Star Trek guy. I also tended toward real science fiction, the stuff you had to read. Even as a kid, Star Wars struck me as a bad western with good special effects set in space. It’s why I only got around to watching the “prequels” earlier this year when they were on free cable.

Star Wars is a good reminder that pop culture is aimed mostly at women and kids, so it is no country for old men. Peddling movies to young people is made easier by the fact they don’t know a lot. They simply have not been alive long enough to notice that this year’s blockbuster is the blockbuster from five years ago, just with different actors and explosions. They don’t know that Big Bang Theory is just Friends, with nerds instead of hot looking Manhattanites. This stuff is all new to them so they eagerly buy it up.

Women are also easy targets for pop culture because women are hard wired to notice what other women are doing. It’s why the fashion industry exists. Most men wear the same styles their whole life. Women change every year. That’s because of biology. Hollywood has figured this out so they put out films with female leads in the newest styles and fashions. Since the New Religion says all girls are really kick-ass ninja warriors, we get lots of films where 90-pound pixie ninjas with adorable haircuts.

The odious John Podhoretz claims that Hollywood figured out that action films would always attract male viewers so they decided to cast females in the lead to bring in the females. Podhoretz is an example of reversion to the mean, his father being an exceptionally smart man, but he may be correct here. This sounds like the sort of thing a corporate studio would do, thinking it is brilliant. Whether it works or not will never be tested because the committee said it was brilliant and the matter is closed. It strikes me as plausible, at least.

No matter the reason, the thing about modern movies is the habit of putting females in roles that should be played by men. Unlike the habit of casting a black guy in the smart guy role, this feminizing of the male lead never works as intended. There are smart black guys in the real world. There are no 90-pound females beating up full sized bad guys using nothing but ninja moves. That’s never happened. It’s never going to happen either. No one comes away thinking it will ever happen, other than the crazies in the cult.

The other day, I watched a movie called Sicario, which is about Mexican drug dealers and the US efforts to catch them. The movie is well done and a good two hours of entertainment. The one problem is they put a tiny little nymph in the lead role. The viewer is supposed to accept that this tiny little girl is not just a member of a tactical team, but recruited to be part of what amounts to an off-the-books Seal Team. Most of her screen time is her brooding and crying over the fact the boys don’t play by the rules.

Of course, the writers, directors and producers of our entertainments have to work within the rules the censors give them. We’re supposed to believe the censors were all sent packing, but they never went away. It’s just that they were replaced with ideological enforcers from the Cult. Instead of a prim faced Christian lady editing the scripts, it is a vinegar drinking lesbian from the Womyn’s Studies Department. The people making a living in Hollywood like their jobs so they play along as that is the path of least resistance.

The result is a paucity of male leads in movies these days. This probably has something to do with the collapse of the male audience for movies. Guys are not all that interested in Girrrlll Power!. Young males are spending their leisure time blowing stuff up and killing people in video games. It’s why the lunatics have been making war on gaming. They will not sleep until the last pale penis person is hunted down and forced to submit to the New Religion. Given the results thus far, it does appear that the effort has failed.

Maybe that means the Girrrrl Power! era is coming to a close. Movie makers need to make money so they may be forced to bring back the normal male leads. Maybe the next big thing in movies will be men who are not sobbing pussies, but old fashioned tough guys doing the hard work of being men. I hope so as I’m getting old and it will not be long before I’m spending my days in the movie theater with the other geezers, before we head to Denny’s for a 4:00 PM dinner.

The Face of Modern Antisemitism

In a speech delivered Wednesday, that was supposed to be the pièce de résistance for one of the dumbest men to take up space in the political class, John Forbes Kerry declared himself an anti-Semite. He was not that polite about either. If he had simply said, “I hate Jews” that would be better than what he actually said. Specifically he said, “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, but it cannot be both.” In other words, he hates the very concept of Judaism, not just a particular manifestation of it.

The implication, the only way to interpret it, is that he thinks Judaism is incompatible with liberal democracy. There’s never been a time when he has hinted at the same argument with regards to Islam. He has not even said this about Christianity. That would be laughably stupid, but Lurch is a laughably stupid man. No, he specifically singled out Judaism for this argument. Judaism is incompatible with democracy. Presumably, he would argue that Jews can either be Jewish or citizens of a democracy, but not both.

Sensible people have pointed out for years that Islam is incompatible with modern liberal democracy. The reason we say this is Muslims regularly say that Islam is incompatible with Western liberalism. Logically, Imams and Muslim scholars are good authorities on these issues so taking them at their word is a good idea. The fact that everywhere Muslims get to vote they go for theocracy confirms these claims. Muslims are not fond of democracy and they really hate modern liberal democracy.

Israel is a Jewish state and a liberal democracy. Christians and Muslims are free to do their thing, as long as they abide by the laws of Israel, which are written by the Israeli parliament. In theory, Israelis could vote to fling open their borders and let the Muslims pour into the country. They can vote for all sorts of things, because it is a democracy, but they choose to be a Jewish state that preserves itself as the homeland of world Jewry. As a sovereign people, that is their right and consistent with western liberal democracy.

John Kerry disagrees. He does not thinks Jews have a place in a liberal democracy, even one of their own. The modern Progressive sees national and ethnic identity as obstacles to the glorious future. It’s why they embrace open borders and multiculturalism. They truly believe that obliterating ethnic and national identity is the key to the lock. Jews are the most stubborn of ethnic groups because they combine race and religion into a single, immutable identity. That simply cannot work in the glorious future.

It was always just a matter of time before American progressives got around to Jew-hating. Once you go down the road of multiculturalism, you eventually end up trying to erase anything resembling cultural identity. Now that you-know-who is far enough in the past, no longer in the rear view mirror for most people, taking on the tree stump of ethnic identity was inevitable. For 2,000 years, Jews have kept their thing going in the West, despite every conceivable attempt to erase them. Now it is the Left’s shot at them.

The Abuse of Sexual Assault

The other day, I ran across this story in the sports pages. The sporting news often resembles the police blotter, so this is not a unique news item. I usually skip these stories, but something about it peaked peeked piqued my curiosity. The accused in this case is a college football player charged with “sexual assault” along with some other crimes. Like most people, I hear the word sexual assault and I think rape, but then I remember the mountain of rape hoaxes on the college campus and I’m immediately skeptical.

In this case, the player is charged with two counts of fourth degree sexual assault, crimes resulting from the cops trying to arrest him and underage drinking. Sandbagging is the standard procedure these days so even the smallest crime ends up in a litany of charges. Because cops and prosecutors are mostly incompetent, they use the sheer mass of the system to bludgeon those caught up in the system.  The idea is to bully the accused into taking a deal, which makes life easier for the cops and prosecutors.

Of course, the charge that will ruin the kid’s life is the sexual assault charge. Looking at the news story from when it happened, you get to see the absurdity of the charges. In Michigan, fourth degree sexual assault is basically aggressive touching, at least when it is between adults. It is always leveled at males, who get into some sort of beef with a female. Two fully clothed people on a city street are not engaging in anything sexual, but that does not matter. It is the go-to charge against young males in an altercation with a female.

Common law defined rape as unlawful intercourse by a man against a woman who is not his wife by force or threat and against her will. These days, rape is legally defined as unlawful intercourse against the will of the victim. In other words, the sex of the parties and the use of force are no longer relevant. Attempted rape, of course, is a failed attempt to commit rape. These are concepts that everyone understands, with deep roots in western legal tradition. They don’t require further explanation as the definitions are clear.

Assault is a bit different. Most people think of assault as physical contact where one person causes bodily harm to another. That’s not the legal definition of assault. In the law, assault is an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. Put another way, assault is when one person does something to cause another to think they are under threat of harm. What most people think of as assault, the law defines as battery, which is why you hear the phrase “assault and battery” in crime stories.

The point here is the law has had, for a very long time, a definition for forcible sex, assault and battery. A reasonable person, particularly someone on a jury, could review the facts and testimony and render a judgement. That should have been enough to cover what happened in this Michigan case and all others like it. Maybe the accused was threatening the woman and she had a reasonable concern for her safety. That’s assault. It is patently absurd to attach sex to it, raising the specter of rape in the minds of the public and a potential jury.

But that is where we find ourselves in the modern age. We have expanded the definition of a sex crime to include anything that may give a woman the blues. The lunatics in charge encourage young women on the college campus to scream “fourth degree sexual assault” whenever they feel bad about a random hookup, which they are encouraged to do by the same lunatics. Inevitably, these cases end up dismissed, but you still have the waste of money and the ruination of reputations.

The fact is, there is no such thing as a sexual assault. The law often conjures terms, from commonly understood words, that have meanings well outside of the component words. It is almost always a hangover from the past. In the case of “sexual assault” it is a modern attempt to alter the relationship between the sexes. When was the last time you heard a woman charged with sexual assault or a man charged when the victim is another man? The answer is most likely never as it almost rarely happens.

It is yet another example of how the Left carves out authoritarian safe spaces, so it can run wild against its enemies. The war on men would not get very far in a fair fight, because as Hitler said, there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy. The expansive use of the phrase “sexual assault” in the laws allows every deranged co-ed in America a free shot at a male that vexes them. It’s how the mentally unbalanced young woman at Columbia was indulged well past the point where it was clear she needed psychiatric help.

Rape is a very serious crime, which is why we send rapists away for long stretches in nasty prisons. Attempted rape should be similarly punished as we know that sex criminals can never be rehabilitated. This is where penal colonies make a lot of sense. Sexual assault, on the other hand, is a made up crime that is entirely political. It is a weapon used by deranged feminists and lazy cops to bludgeon young men for the crime of having a penis. It’s also why these cases have such a startling low conviction rate. It’s also why so many young women put themselves in dangerous situations.

That last bit is the worst result of the expansive use of sex crimes in the war between the sexes. Young women are led to believe the law is a force field around them, insulating them from their idiotic decisions. That leads young women to going out, getting knee-walking drunk with strange men and then waking up with regrets, if they are lucky. You can bet that some portion of the “rape” problem in Europe has something to do with unattached young woman staggering around wasted at all hours of the night.

For just about forever, humans understood that boys and girls were different, requiring different rules for both. Women need to take care to protect themselves from men and men need to take care of their women, so they are not assaulted by strange men. That is biological reality and the only way our species survives. The abuse of sexual assault is just one of many examples of what happens when the Assemblywomen becomes a law book, rather than a comedy.

Happy Kwanzaa!

Video has been updated to play in all countries

Here is the late great Tony Snow’s legendary column on Kwanzaa:

BLACKS IN AMERICA have suffered an endless series of insults and degradations, the latest of which goes by the name of Kwanzaa.

Ron Karenga (aka Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga) invented the seven-day feast (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) in 1966, branding it a black alternative to Christmas. The idea was to celebrate the end of what he considered the Christmas-season exploitation of African Americans.

According to the official Kwanzaa Web site — as opposed, say, to the Hallmark Cards Kwanzaa site — the celebration was designed to foster “conditions that would enhance the revolutionary social change for the masses of Black Americans” and provide a “reassessment, reclaiming, recommitment, remembrance, retrieval, resumption, resurrection and rejuvenation of those principles (Way of Life) utilized by Black Americans’ ancestors.”

Karenga postulated seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith, each of which gets its day during Kwanzaa week. He and his votaries also crafted a flag of black nationalism and a pledge: “We pledge allegiance to the red, black, and green, our flag, the symbol of our eternal struggle, and to the land we must obtain; one nation of black people, with one G-d of us all, totally united in the struggle, for black love, black freedom, and black self-determination.”

Now, the point: There is no part of Kwanzaa that is not fraudulent. Begin with the name. The celebration comes from the Swahili term “matunda yakwanza,” or “first fruit,” and the festival’s trappings have Swahili names — such as “ujima” for “collective work and responsibility” or “muhindi,” which are ears of corn celebrants set aside for each child in a family.

Unfortunately, Swahili has little relevance for American blacks. Most slaves were ripped from the shores of West Africa. Swahili is an East African tongue.

To put that in perspective, the cultural gap between Senegal and Kenya is as dramatic as the chasm that separates, say, London and Tehran. Imagine singing “G-d Save the Queen” in Farsi, and you grasp the enormity of the gaffe.

Worse, Kwanzaa ceremonies have no discernible African roots. No culture on earth celebrates a harvesting ritual in December, for instance, and the implicit pledges about human dignity don’t necessarily jibe with such still-common practices as female circumcision and polygamy. The inventors of Kwanzaa weren’t promoting a return to roots; they were shilling for Marxism. They even appropriated the term “ujima,” which Julius Nyrere cited when he uprooted tens of thousands of Tanzanians and shipped them forcibly to collective farms, where they proved more adept at cultivating misery than banishing hunger.

Even the rituals using corn don’t fit. Corn isn’t indigenous to Africa. Mexican Indians developed it, and the crop was carried worldwide by white colonialists.

The fact is, there is no Ur-African culture. The continent remains stubbornly tribal. Hutus and Tutsis still slaughter one another for sport.

Go to Kenya, where I taught briefly as a young man, and you’ll see endless hostility between Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya and Masai. Even South African politics these days have more to do with tribal animosities than ideological differences.

Moreover, chaos too often prevails over order. Warlords hold sway in Somalia, Eritrea, Liberia and Zaire. Genocidal maniacs have wiped out millions in Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. The once-shining hopes for Kenya have vanished.

Detroit native Keith Richburg writes in his extraordinary book, “Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa,” that “this strange place defies even the staunchest of optimists; it drains you of hope …”

Richburg, who served for three years as the African bureau chief for The Washington Post, offers a challenge for the likes of Karenga: “Talk to me about Africa and my black roots and my kinship with my African brothers and I’ll throw it back in your face, and then I’ll rub your nose in the images of rotting flesh.”

His book concludes: “I have been here, and I have seen — and frankly, I want no part of it. …. By an accident of birth, I am a black man born in America, and everything I am today — my culture and my attitudes, my sensibilities, loves and desires — derives from that one simple and irrefutable fact.”

Nobody ever ennobled a people with a lie or restored stolen dignity through fraud. Kwanzaa is the ultimate chump holiday — Jim Crow with a false and festive wardrobe. It praises practices — “cooperative economics, and collective work and responsibility” — that have succeeded nowhere on earth and would mire American blacks in endless backwardness.

Our treatment of Kwanzaa provides a revealing sign of how far we have yet to travel on the road to reconciliation. The white establishment has thrown in with it, not just to cash in on the business, but to patronize black activists and shut them up.

This year, President Clinton signed his fourth Kwanzaa proclamation. He crooned: “The symbols and ceremony of Kwanzaa, evoking the rich history and heritage of African Americans, remind us that our nation draws much of its strength from our diversity.”

But our strength, as Richburg points out, comes from real principles: tolerance, brotherhood, hard work, personal responsibility, equality before the law. If Americans really cared about racial healing, they would focus on those ideas — and not on a made-up rite that mistakes segregationism for spirituality and fiction for history.

Europe’s Bloody Future

One aspect of the continuing crisis in Europe that is never discussed is why the people allegedly responsible for the welfare of their people, continue to act so irresponsibly. Closely linked to this is why the people in these countries have been so passive toward their ruler’s flagrant disregard for their duties. In any previous era, the terrorist attack on the Berlin Christmas market would have led to a swift response from government, because doing anything else would have the people in the streets building a scaffold for their rulers.

Germany continues to have a reputation for effective and efficient government administration, despite the fact all the evidence suggests Germany is now run by a collection of thumbless boobs. As someone on Sailer’s site noted, this is not a new thing. Germany has been operating like a drunk on holiday for quite some time. Angela Merkel’s decision to import a million violent low-IQ barbarians is just the most egregious example of the reckless disregard for their duties by the German rulers and the indifference of the German people to it.

It’s not just the Germans, either. The French have been tolerating the importation of useless savages from North Africa for decades. Paris is now a small tourist area surrounded by Bronze Age cavemen. Every election, the French people come out and vote for the guy promising to murder more French citizens, because the alternative risks being called a racist and that’s worse than death. The fact that millions of otherwise sensible people can vote in favor of suicide like this speaks to the power of belief.

The Europeans, at least a great many of them, are infected by the same virus that has infected many Americans. They have embraced the most extreme forms of multiculturalism, where opposition to racism is the highest calling. In America, this results in finding the nearest black guy and parading him around the streets or putting him in the White House. Secondarily it has meant an embrace of open borders and the celebration of degeneracy, but the primary focus is always on race. In recent times, it’s been black history month twelve months a year.

In Europe it is a bit different as they don’t have the long shadow of  the English Civil War and slavery. Instead, the afflicted become convinced that there is no difference between people. Since difference is the sole reason for borders, any hint of a border is tantamount to bringing back Nazism. The result is open borders above all else. Even the small steps they have taken to control the flow of barbarians into Europe were done reluctantly and after many public proclamations about how awful everyone feels about defending themselves from the hordes.

How this has happened is not a topic discussed in polite company or by the chattering classes. Read through all of the news accounts and commentary about the Berlin attack and no where do you see any questions about whether it was wise to import a million barbarians. That’s just assumed. Instead, the speculation is over how the natives somehow drove this poor barbarian to fulfill his purpose as a barbarian. The European media reads like the patient newsletter at an insane asylum.

One cause of this is the Cold War. For close to fifty years, Western Europe was America’s daycare center. Americans did all the heavy lifting with regard to the defense of Western Civilization both militarily and economically. European elites were allowed to play dress up and pretend to be in charge, but everyone knew the Americans were in charge. If something broke, America fixed it. If someone got an ouchy, America would salve their boo-boo. The Pax Americana allowed the West to remain in a state of perpetual adolescence.

The result was at least one generation of leaders lacking any training in responsible government. They dress up like proper rulers, but they have no idea what it means to defend their people. In fact, they don’t even think about the hoi polloi as their people. They are just the great unwashed, an undifferentiated mass of greedy mouths and grasping hands. They were free to evolve this way because the Americans were always there to make sure nothing bad happened. As the protective bubble is removed, all of this being exposed.

At some point, people get tired of being murdered. The young German with a taste for politics is going to start to question why he is loyal to people, who show more concern for foreigners than they do for him. A lesson of the French Revolution is that once people begin to question the legitimacy of the system, everything is soon up for grabs. The reckless disregard for their duties, by people like Merkel, is planting the seeds for something much worse than the monthly Exploding Mohamed we see in the news.

Whether or not it is too late to save Europe is open for debate. It is also possible that more sober minded politicians will rise up, push aside the reckless and begin the task of rebuilding their countries. The future is not written and there is no such thing as the tide of history. Even so, it appears Europe is headed for a very ugly and perhaps bloody reckoning. No society can last when its rulers are perpetually at war with its people and that is what Europe is today. At some point, the people will join the war.

Humbug

I hate Christmas

That’s right. I hate Christmas.

Throughout history, at least since Dickens, guys like me get dubbed a “scrooge” or worse because it is assumed my animus toward the holiday is due to being cheap. Christmas is a gift giving holiday so if you don’t like the holiday, it means you don’t like gift giving. The only people that don’t like gift giving are tightwads and misers. The most famous hater of Christmas is, of course, old Ebenezer from A Christmas Carol, but Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life is a close second. Both are heartless misers of the first order, who are smote by Christmas.

Well, I’m neither of those guys. I don’t have a problem with gift giving. Gift giving at Christmas is one of the few things about the holiday I find heart warming. I enjoy taking the time to think about a nice gift for someone I care enough about to give a gift. Like everyone, I tend to take for granted those around me that care about me. When it is time to buy them a gift, I take the time to think about all the nice things they do for me and I appreciate how lucky I am to have them in my life.

It is a mostly selfish act, of course, We give gifts to say something flattering about ourselves. That something makes us feel good because we hope that others will agree with it. “What a nice gift” implies “what a nice person you are for giving me this gift.” We give the gift to let the other person know we are kind, thoughtful, generous and so forth. It’s not all there is, but it is the big motivator. Jewelry stores exist so men can let women know they are good guys, who can and will provide for them. Diamonds are man’s second best friend, just behind dogs.

The issue I have with gifts is in the receiving. I’m terrible at gift receiving. I always feel like an obligation has been bestowed on me. My ideal Christmas is one where I give the gifts and no one gives me anything. That way I don’t feel obligated to wear the ugly shirt, carry the useless wallet or read the Ann Coulter book. I have been given every one of her damned books and I have yet to read a single one. God bless Ann Coulter, but I would rather have my testicles hooked up to a car battery than read one of her books.

I could live with the gift receiving hassle, but the whole experience is wrapped up in weeks of traffic jams and people acting like idiots. We know retail is way down. We know people are buying more and more stuff on-line. We see the malls and big box stores closing down. Why are there more people out on the streets each year at Christmas? Where are they going? Why are they out driving around and making a nuisance of themselves? The best gift we could get at Christmas is an EMP so no one can go out and drive around for two weeks.

I could even get past the traffic and the hassle of gift getting, but there’s no payoff to Christmas. You make yourself miserable for weeks, open gifts and then nothing. It’s often in a flash. The kids get to play with their toys, but the adults get nothing for their trouble. That’s because Christmas is not a good food holiday like Thanksgiving or a summer cookout. There are treats we associate with the holiday, but America is a rich country overflowing with treats.

The unique foods at Christmas are things like god-awful casseroles and stuffings that taste like ass. As a kid, I was often forced to taste oyster stuffing even though I hated it with the intensity of a thousands suns. No one liked it, which is why it was always left over and then thrown away. The same is true of the casseroles. Bad cooking is not improved by dumping cheese and mushroom soup. Green bean casserole is a crime against nature and should be outlawed. When I’m ruler of these lands, casseroles will be banned.

In fairness, I used to enjoy Christmas mass. When I was a kid, the one thing I really liked about Christmas, the only thing I liked, was the big hullabaloo of Christmas Eve mass. I could just imagine what it was like in the medieval times with candles and torches lighting the church instead of electric lights. A big old church had that ability to awe a person. I’ve always found it comforting to know that I am just one tiny insignificant fleck in the grand tapestry of life. The most miserable people are those who believe they are important.

But, I no longer go to mass so that’s on me. Even so, the terribleness of the modern Christmas far outweighs whatever pleasures I could pluck from it. This is not a new thing either. I’ve felt this way since I was a kid. Once they killed off Santa, I started thinking this holiday was a bit of a rip-off. It’s just one big pitch to buy stuff and spend money. The fact is, Christmas is for cops and kids, as they say in Boston. Most of us just staple a smile on our face and get through it as best we’re able. Another week and life gets back to normal.

Until then, Bah! Humbug!

Immigration

If you had asked me about immigration 30 years ago, I would have shrugged and said it was a good thing for the country. My family, like most everyone I knew, came over from the old country. It was not until I reached adulthood, living in New England, that I became aware of people who traced their roots to the colonial times. Even so, I was trained in the American mythology about a nation of immigrants, so I just assumed immigration was mostly a good thing, when I bothered to think about it, which was not often.

It was only after I came to know recent migrants that I started changing my mind about the topic. The people, who had recently gone through the system, had very different ideas about it than Americans born here. More important, they had no illusions about the state of the population in the old country. Talk to recent migrants and they will be happy to tell you that most of the people they left behind should stay over there. The recent migrants left the old country for a reason.

This came to mind the other day when I sat listening to a Turk and an Indian discuss immigration. Both were Trump people exclusively on the immigration issue. Both had come to America the old fashioned way – legally. The Turk was a Coptic Christian. He left for America thirty years ago as a young man, figuring there was no future for Christians in Turkey. The Indian had come here on a student visa, got a job, fell in love with America and decided to stay. In both cases, it took ten years to gain citizenship.

One of the things you learn from immigrants, when it comes to the immigration issue, is they place a high value on citizenship. That’s because they spent a lot to get it. Acquiring citizenship was a transaction for them, not an accident of birth. The Turk in this story left his home, and all that he knew, because he correctly saw where things were heading in Turkey. He was a guy that sold all his stuff, bought as many black chips as he could afford, and pushed them into the middle of the table.

The other thing immigrants know is that America is a lonely place. Europe, for example, is full of old cities and villages where people grow up in the shadow of ancestors. There’s no fresh start in a place like that. Every man is just a dot on the timeline started by people long ago. In other parts of the world, there’s the shadow of history and the entanglements of tribe and clan. In a place like India, the obligations to family and custom are more limiting than anything government can conjure.

In America, immigrants are free to start their own timeline. The past is no longer a set of boundaries on them. Just as important, they are free of the family and tribal restrictions. The Turk in this story married a Greek woman, who was also an immigrant. The Indian went into a career that does not exist in India and even if it did, his family would not have approved. You can do those things where it is just you, striking out on your own. That’s the attraction of America. It’s a blank canvass for immigrants.

None of this means we should fling open our borders and let the world move to America. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Borders and barriers are a filtering mechanism that helps tamp down the number of bad migrants a country gets. If the Germans had been more scrupulous, for example, they would not have murderous Muslims rampaging through their streets right now. Europe is headed for a very dark time solely due to their rulers forgot that good borders make for good citizens.

America should be learning from this. We have no shortage of workers and we no longer have vast tracks of unexploited land. We could have zero immigration and no jobs would go unfilled. There’s also the cultural aspect. We have had high levels of immigration for half a century, but low levels of assimilation. Even if there is an economic argument for more migrants, and there isn’t, it is far outweighed by the cultural arguments. It will take many generations to absorb the current migrants.

Even so, low levels of legal immigration are probably a good thing. The people willing to go through all the steps it takes to migrate legally are going to be people who scrupulously observe the law. They are not coming here just to screw it all up for everyone including themselves. Recent legal immigrants tend to be hyper-patriotic for that reason. They take nothing for granted because they had to earn their citizenship. Their presence is a healthy reminder that citizenship has value.

That’s ultimately the truth about the open borders crowd. They place no value on citizenship. That’s because they put no value on people. To the open borders enthusiasts, humans are just undifferentiated raw material, inputs they can manipulate. Whether the material comes from home or abroad is irrelevant because everything normal people associate with being human is of no concern to the managerial types. They see people the way normal people look at furniture.

Good News From TV Land

The news brings word that Hollywood is planning to “reboot” some hit TV series from the olden thymes. Shows like All In The Family, The Jeffersons and Good Times are on the drawing board for new versions. Presumably there is a market for 1970’s nostalgia, although the people old enough to remember those days are getting long in the tooth. If you were an adult in the heyday of these shows, you’re past 60 now. Perhaps the children or grandchildren of these people suddenly have a taste for these old programs.

Or, maybe it is time to retcon the 1970’s.

The idea currently being discussed by Lear and Sony executives would be to have new actors recreate classic episodes of the shows, working from the original scripts, and package them as short, six-episode anthologies. The scripts would be treated similar to plays being mounted in new productions.

“There is some talk about doing some of the original shows, redoing them with today’s stars,” Lear toldVariety. “There is a possibility that we’ll do ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Maude,’ ‘The Jeffersons,’ “Good Times.’”

Discussions about remaking more of Lear’s catalogue come as Sony gears up for the premiere of the new “One Day at a Time,” which re-imagines Lear’s ’80s sitcom about a single mother raising two children. The new series, which premieres on Netflix Jan. 6, focuses on a Latino family with a female Army veteran at its center.

It’s not hard to imagine how this will go. All In The Family will feature a mixed race family, where the patriarch is a transgender white man. Gloria will be a gay male and Meathead will be a gender fluid lesbian, who enjoys lifting weights. The Jeffersons will be the same show, but not funny, because nothing has changed for black people since the ’70’s and that’s not funny. Good Times will have Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan forced to live in a tenement owned by Donald Trump and managed by Richard Spencer.

The truth is, those descriptions are far too conservative. People who watch a lot of television probably just filter out the endless proselytizing, but that’s pretty much all TV is these days. It is an endless stream of agit-prop. The mere fact that Amy Schumer can get work on television says the people in charge hate their customers. According to the ads, there is a show called Samantha Bee, where a middle-aged prude screeches at a camera for an hour every night. Why would anyone make such a show?

The sudden interest in the 70’s by the crazy liberals who run Hollywood could simply be a bit of cosmic humor. The last great Progressive Awakening started in the early 1960’s and burned itself out by the middle of the 1970’s. Even though Jimmy Carter is remembered as a dreary liberal, he was not a darling of the Left in 1976. By that point it was clear that the Progressives were spent and it was just a question as to when the normal adults would regain control and begin cleaning up the mess left by the Progressive lunatics.

Today, we are at a similar spot. Hillary Clinton was the only person the Left had as an option. Progressives have burned themselves out to the point where it is a movement run by broken down old geezers. Just as TV in the 70’s was full of preachy liberals when the country was increasingly tired of preachy liberals, the current year will be filled with despairing moonbats railing about the current year. Recycling the great liberal hits of the last period of Progressive decline is a logical starting point.

The big difference is the current year has cable, streaming and cord cutting. The Progressive proselytizers in Hollywood cannot rely on a captive audience. For example, the endless ads for the Samantha Bee show suggest no one watches it. Why else run all of those ads? A quick search reveals that her program gets a peak of 700,000 viewers, which would have got it cancelled immediately in the 1970’s, but today’s subsidies from the cable monopolies keep these fringe shows on the air, mostly as vanity projects.

All of this should be viewed as good news for normal people. The fever appears to have broken and we are heading into a period where the normal adults take over from the nutters. The Progs will be left to proselytizing to an increasingly disinterested audience on TV. Unlike the 70’s, where we had to sit through liberal crap on television, we can now watch whatever they call the new Top Gear on Amazon or something on NetFlix. We are, with regards to our video entertainments, spoiled for choice. That’s ultimately the best antidote to Progressive lunacy – choice.

The Fake News

There’s not much new under the sun. Governments have been putting out propaganda to fool the public since the first guy figured out he could order some other guys to stack one rock on another. The trick is for the people in charge to appear to believe their own bravo sierra, but not actually believe it. If a ruler begins to think he is actually a god, for example, he is going to start making terrible errors. He needs the people to think he is a god, but he has to know he is a man and vulnerable to all the same defects as any other man.

Put another way, rulers must never get high off their own supply. A good example of this is the agit-prop about the Russians hacking the election. Polling shows that close to 60% of the public thinks the “Russians hacked us” stories are ridiculous. About 20% seem to think it happened and matters. That 20% is most assuredly the back benchers from the Cult of Modern Liberalism. That would not be a big deal, except the news media and the White House, at least for a few more weeks, are run by these people.

The result is the Obama White House is getting pressure from their toadies in the press to do something about the Russian hacking that never actually happened.

Over the past four months, American intelligence agencies and aides to President Obama assembled a menu of options to respond to Russia’s hacking during the election, ranging from the obvious — exposing President Vladimir V. Putin’s financial ties to oligarchs — to the innovative, including manipulating the computer code that Russia uses in designing its cyberweapons.

But while Mr. Obama vowed on Friday to “send a clear message to Russia” as both a punishment and a deterrent, some of the options were rejected as ineffective, others as too risky. If the choices had been better, one of the aides involved in the debate noted recently, the president would have acted by now.

The options are risky because the White House knows the hacking story was made up to pacify the lunatics. They also know the Russians know it was made up. Creating a diplomatic crisis over something both sides know is a fiction – and a ridiculous one at that – is very dangerous. The Russians will assume there must be some other reason for the move. Once countries are left to guess about motives, things can spiral out of control quickly. Thus the White House has to just make a show of it, but not actually do anything.

The “Russians hacked us” stuff does show how the Left is expert at narrative management. They can easily retrofit the past, even the very recent past, into the official story line. If necessary, they will rewrite the narrative on the fly. You see that in this section of the linked story.

Mr. Obama is the president who, in his first year in office, reached for some of the most sophisticated cyberweapons on earth to blow up parts of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Now, at the end of his presidency, he has run headlong into a different challenge in the cyberwarfare arena.

The president has reached two conclusions, senior officials report: The only thing worse than not using a weapon is using it ineffectively. And if he does choose to retaliate, he has insisted on maintaining what is known as “escalation dominance,” the ability to ensure you can end a conflict on your terms.

Obama did nothing of the sort. It was the Israelis who sabotaged the Iranian reactors with malicious code. In fact, the US intelligence community was as baffled as everyone else about how the Israelis pulled off one of the great cyberwarfare capers of all time. But, that does not serve the narrative so the past will now be restated. The new past is Obama opened a desk drawer and pulled out a “cyber weapon” to deploy against the Iranians, like the Bond villain often does when he thinks he finally has Bond trapped.

Of course, the bigger problem here is that running endless fake news stories erodes public trust in the media and their government supervisors. Fifty years ago, people could suspect something was bullshit, but proving it was often impossible. Today, there is too much information and too many ways to disseminate it. This stuff is quickly exposed and the public becomes more skeptical, as well as better able to spot the lie. That’s why only nut jobs believe the Russian hacking stuff.

Russian hackers are real. So are Ukrainian hackers and Chinese hackers and Nigerian princess looking for your bank account number. The great threat to network security, however, is not a secret team of super villains writing malicious code. The broken window is the old guy, who is uncomfortable with technology, using “pass123” as his password. John Podesta was not hacked. He had a childishly simple password and he left it lying around for people to see.

According to research, 4% of people use “123456” as their password. Cracking that is not hacking. It is guessing. According to the revelations in WikiLeaks, the people working for Team Clinton at State shared passwords with one another. That means one person leaving the door open exposes everyone, which is what happened in every conceivable way. The reason all of this private information ended up in the public during the campaign is the people producing it are morons and should never be trusted to keep secrets.

That’s ultimately the real news behind the fake news. A skeptical public was presented evidence that confirmed their skepticism. The attempts to retroactively discredit these revelations is only reinforcing the general sense that the mainstream media cannot be trusted. Trust in major media is at all time lows and their audience is dissipating as people seek out alternatives. There’s nothing mysterious about it. As the gatekeepers lose control of the gates, the public learns the truth about what lies beyond the gates.

Travelogue: The Imperial Capital

I have been out of pocket, as they say in the South, for the last few days. A project in the Imperial Capital has required me to commute from my estates in the ghetto to the capital each morning. Early days and long nights, with the addition of a vicious commute, has made the past week feel like a stay in prison. I’m just now getting my bearings about what has happened in the world the last few days. I am happy to report that the counter-revolutionary traitors have been rooted out and the city is prepared for the ascension of our new ruler next month.

Those of you in the provinces can never fully appreciate the scale of the Empire until you spend some time driving around the capital. Government, at least the Federal government, is an abstraction. You bump up against it when you file taxes or go to the post office. Otherwise, the Empire is just the background noise of the universe. When you spend time in the capital, you see it face to face. It is not an abstraction or background noise. It is the dominating feature of life in these parts, warping all the normal functioning of society.

It’s why anyone talking about reducing the size of government is either lying, crazy or terribly uninformed. Reducing the size of the Federal government means reducing the size of the Imperial Capital. Fairfax County, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, has over a million souls. The District is roughly 600,000. Start adding up the populations attached to the capital and you get to five million. Expand out to include the entire Baltimore – Washington area – the two cities are slowly merging into a megalopolis – you get close to ten million people.

That’s a lot of people with a reason to keep things as they are and maybe expand on them. Reducing the size of government is like saying we will reduce the size of Los Angeles or Manhattan. This sort of thing can only happen if the city falls on hard times or is sacked by invaders. It took decades to blight Detroit and they worked really hard at it. Their people are low-IQ morons. the Federal government is stocked with smart and clever people who know how to keep the party going. Any and all attempts to reduce the flow of cash into the city will be thwarted.

Another aspect of the Imperial Capital is that it is much more international than the rest of the country. Lots of smart people from other nations come to Washington to work on projects, lobby Imperial officials and otherwise benefit from proximity to the Imperial Capital. I’ve spent the week with people from all over, none of whom had a reason to be in the capital area, beyond economics. They left the provinces to make their fortune in the capital and they did. They get to live in big house and dine at nice restaurants, thanks to the generosity of you, the sans-culotte.

The result of this is the people inside the capital are blinkered. They simply have no idea what is going on in the countryside. it is why they are horrified by the Trump election. Donald Trump is their black swan. The people inside were sure that such a result was an impossibility. Imagine if you came home and found Big Foot riding a unicorn around your neighborhood. There’s simply no way for the people living in the capital to understand why they should accept limits. There can be no argument to convince them that the state must be reduced.

Throw in the fact that 7 of the 10 richest counties on earth are attached to the Imperial Capital and it is not hard to understand why the people living here love government. Even the chattering classes, who hold no official position, live like royals compared to the people in the provinces.Jonah Goldberg, for example, lives in a seven figure home, in one of the more exclusive neighborhoods in the area. He got rich making armpit noises and singing the praises of the managerial state, but mostly the latter. He’s not going back to the former without a fight.

That leaves two possibilities. One is the city is sacked by angry peasants or foreign invaders. The other is we run out of money. That last one is the most likely answer. The proposed tax cuts and reforms from Trump are getting an icy response from Washington, but the private sector is tapped out. They need a jump start to begin growing again. Eventually, we will reach a point where a choice must be made. Either the peasants sacrifice to keep the Imperial Capital stocked with cash or the ruling class tightens its belt. I would not bet on the latter.

My advise. Go long on pitchforks.