Somewhere Eichmann Smiles

When I was a teenager, abortion was one of the big issues in politics and social policy. Bill Buckley used to say it was one of three issues that told you everything about a man’s politics. It turns out he was wrong about that, as so many of his tribe were pro-life for effect, as a part of the Frank Meyer “fusionism” strategy. Putting that aside, for normal people, abortion was the issue that defined you politically. Liberals were pro-abortion and non-liberals were pro-life. The latter emphasized the sanctity and uniqueness of each life while the former rejected that entirely.

Here we are 30 years later and abortion is not much of an issue for our politicians. There are some who make it a centerpiece of their politics, but they are rare exceptions. The so-called conservatives that we see in the commentariat wince when the topic is raised. You get the sense they look at it like public professions of faith, something the Dirt People still do, but unbecoming of a Cloud Person. They go through the motions, as we will see with the court nominee, but the result will be that a “conservative” judge will swear to never ever think about altering abortion law.

The thing that the pro-life people never could accept is that the pro-abortion people were never really pro-abortion, at least not as they advertised it. Sure, the barren spinsters protesting in the streets for a “woman’s right to choose” are pro-abortion, but they are the dull witted shock troops of the Cult of Modern Liberalism, organized around simple ideas in order to get them out in the streets making noise. The women who were running around dressed as vaginas last month had no idea why they were doing it. They just liked the drama and the attention.

The real core of the abortion movement is blank slate ideology, which has become a foundation item for the Left. Since all humans are the same at birth, the only thing society should care about is the number of live births and the social structures for shaping and forming these amorphous blobs as they come into the world. Babies born to mothers not “properly trained” to be good citizens will not get the proper training so the emphasis of the abortion movement has always been about making sure the woman is “ready to be a mother” as if it is just another job within the state.

Anyway, another example of how far and how fast we have moved away from the idea that human life is unique and precious is what we are seeing with gene editing.

An influential science advisory group formed by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine on Tuesday lent its support to a once-unthinkable proposition: clinical efforts to engineer humans with inheritable genetic traits.

In a report laden with caveats and notes of caution, the group endorsed the alteration of human eggs, sperm and embryos — but only to prevent babies from being born with genes known to cause serious diseases and disability, only when no “reasonable alternative” exists, and only when a plan is in place to track the effects of the procedure through multiple generations.

“Once unthinkable” basically means last week. In the Bush years, we had big fights about the use of embryonic stem cells for use in experiments. Now, we’re about to start experimenting on actual humans, without really knowing the result. This is, of course, eugenics. The Cloud People will not use the word, because they believe they killed that word and the bad juju that comes with it, but that’s just the nature of magical thinking. Once you step onto the path of designing humans, you are in the world of eugenics.

The counter argument will be that this is not really human experimentation. That embryo they are editing is not a person. It’s not like they will be pulling kids out of school and zapping they with the CRISPR gun to “fix” their defects. That sort of argument is a dodge and a common one used by our betters. Left unmentioned is the reason to edit the embryo, which is so that the resulting human comports with what the editors set out to create as a finished product. It’s designer babies and that’s eugenics.

There’s another aspect to it. Mistakes will be made. In fact, dig around in the literature and that is the assumption. The process will involve multiple embryos and the correct one will be used and the rest discarded. This assumes human error. But then, maybe the human error is not detected until six months into pregnancy or six years into life. Like any other manufacturing process, recalling defects will have to be a part of the discussion at some point. If you are buying a designer baby, you will want to get what you paid for, which means sending back the lemon, if it comes to it.

Crisis and Crackdown

Imagine yourself as the head of an organization facing some sort of crisis. External pressures are revealing fissures and faults within the organization, thus magnifying the external pressures. There’s a very real concern that the organization could collapse or succumb to the external threat unless something is done to calm the organization and get it focused on the external threat. Maybe you were the boss as the storm gathered. Maybe you were brought in after the organization realized they had a problem.

A society at war is the most obvious example. For example, the Russians were locked in a stalemate with the Germans in World War I and the accumulated costs of war began to reveal the faults within Russian society. Czarist Russia, in times of peace, could provide enough food and enough authority to maintain order. The war sapped the strength of the state such that it could no longer provide enough food and enough authority. In the ensuing crisis, the state broke and eventually collapsed.

The Bolshevik Revolution is a great example of how leadership failed to respond to the crisis because their range of options was limited by forces outside of their control. Liberalism, in the European Enlightenment sense, had not taken root in Russia, because it was a land of peasants and aristocrats. There was no middle class, at least not one with power, with which the aristocrats could bargain. The Czar should have struck a deal with the Kaiser early on, but he did not and the result was disaster.

More pleasant examples are the English Civil War and the French Revolution. The former is a good example of an intransigent ruler, unwilling to adjust and accommodate to the social changes buffeting his rule. Charles had plenty of chances to strike a deal with Parliament and the growing merchant class that Parliament represented, but he chose confrontation instead. His response to crises was to crackdown, as much as possible, on any resistance to his authority. Charles made his enemies.

In contrast, the example of Louis XVI is a textbook case of how a weak leader can be swallowed up by crisis. The financial crisis that consumed the crown was avoidable, but Louis was unwilling to exercise his authority over the aristocracy in order to resolve it. At the same time, when he had chances to squash the revolution, he hesitated, allowing his authority to be challenged without response. Just as Charles should have been more flexible. Louis should have been less flexible. Like Charles, he lost his head as a result.

Modern people in Western countries don’t think much about how their rulers will respond to crisis. It is assumed that that the people in charge will examined the data, consult with experts, hold an open debate in the media and then settle upon a course of action to address the crisis.That’s because for as long as anyone can remember, there has been no crisis, at least not one that threatens the existing order. The only thing to come close to a threat to our rulers was the communist menace in the 40’s and 50’s.

That’s instructive because the response from the ruling class was the classic iron fist in the velvet glove. The government relentlessly hunted down communists, while the popular press relentlessly defended those “wrongfully” accused of being communists. The Venona Project allowed the government to root out subversives, with a fair degree of precision, at least the ones that posed a real threat. It was not until the 90’s that the public was made aware of the extensive domestic espionage operation.

The lesson of the Venona Project is that when the people in charge feel threatened, they will do whatever it takes to dispose of the threat. We’re seeing that today with the coordinated attacks on the trouble makers by the media companies. Twitter and Facebook are banning anyone that they think is in in the resistance. Even comedy posts can be deemed blasphemous. Yesterday some guy named PewDiePie was erased from the media for impure thoughts. Here’s the google search:


The level of coordination is astonishing. Google and Disney team up to erase the guy and then the mainstream press is out reporting within minutes that he was eliminated due to heresy. It could be a coincidence that all of the big media players were on this at the same time, but it could also suggest a high degree of cooperation. The people in charge are pulling out all the stops to crack down on dissidents. They consider the threat posed by errant comedians on YouTube so serious, any means necessary will be used to end it.

What’s important here is not that some comedian lost his livelihood. That’s part of the message being sent. The more important part is the coordination. The tech giants made it clear in the election that they were working together to defeat Trump. These are people who colluded to suppress wages and violate the nation’d labor laws so they have a history of this. Now we are seeing social media coordinating with the legacy media to send a clear signal that they are cracking down on dissidents.

Crackdowns on dissent are always in response to crisis. Whether it is perceived or real is the big question. A heavy handed response can turn a manageable situation into a full blown crisis. On the other hand, passive responses to challenges can lead to rebellion. The people in charge believe the lesson of the last election is to crack down hard, using every means necessary, to quell any challenge to their authority. That is the reason the intelligence agencies are now working with the media to undermine the President.

How this will play out is unknown. Charles I and Parliament were willing to fight a war over their disputes. The revolutionaries in France were willing to commit regicide to impose their vision on society. People today are not the fighting sort. The rulers struggle to imprison criminals and the people passively acquiesce to encroachments on their liberty. In other words, despite the big talk, there’s not a lot of fight in the people or their rulers. For now, it is cat ladies from HR harassing normies over their use of twitter, but that could change.

The Others

Prior to the Super Bowl, I was made aware of a television ad from Audi. The ad was based on the long ago discredited claim that women are systematically paid less for doing the same work as men. Here’s the ad. It’s one of those times when the PC proselytizing is actually worse than what you expected.  Watching it through to the end is difficult because the smug radiates from the screen like a bad odor. It’s not the ridiculous preening that is repugnant. It is the inappropriateness. Who does Audi think buys their cars?

It’s not hard to imagine the room where this ad was screened for the executives at Audi USA. Men and women in snappy business suits talked about how to target the professional female car buyer. Maybe they had data showing that Audi lags in this segment compared to its competitors. Everyone watched the ad, nodded in agreement, felt brave and wonderful and then agreed it should be the big ad for the big game. No one bothered to ask if Audi or the ad agency pays their females less than their males.

This ad, put out by a sneaker company, can only be described as offensive. It’s hard to imagine a more offensive ad. It’s also hard to imagine a more ridiculous ad. We just spent eight years with a black president and his mulatto mafia running the country and we are suddenly in need of a lecture about racism, from a sneaker company? They threw a lesbian and some black Muslim women in there, but the clear thrust of the ad is that whites are not accommodating enough to millionaire black athletes. Thanks Nike.

Of course, these ads are not whipped up overnight. They take months to produce, especially ads with multiple stars. Arranging a day for each star can take months of planning. Ads created for a big event like the Super Bowl are often started six months before they hit the air. In this case, these ads were cooked up last summer and put together in late summer and early fall. That means they were dreamed up before the people in charge noticed that the world had changed, if they noticed at all.

It’s another reminder that the Cloud People were absolutely sure that the noises coming from the Dirt People could safely be ignored. Six months ago when these ads were commissioned, the beautiful people were locking arms, certain they were heading off to the Age of Aquarius, where the Dirt People would no longer be a concern. They were so sure they were on the right side of history, they no longer had to pretend to be civil to the rest of us. These ads are a reflection of the smug, arrogant pricks who made them.

Even accounting for the arrogance of these people, the main reason they thought these were swell ads to run is they have “otherized” themselves, to borrow a term from the multiculturalists. It’s not that these people have lost touch with the common man. It’s that they have deliberately alienated themselves from their country and countrymen. These preachy ads have nothing to do with selling cars or sneakers. The ads are a public act of piety by people who are no longer part of the general culture.

It is why the mass media is becoming increasingly bizarre. It’s tempting to think it is nothing more than proselytizing and propaganda, and that is a big part of it, but some of it is due to the insularity of the people inside the media bubble. To them, having a Valentine’s Day program featuring homosexual couples is not normal, it is aspirational and therefore inspirational. The fact that the rest of us find it grating and a bit offensive never comes to mind. Everyone they know thinks it is a great idea and those are the people that count.

We live in a strange age, probably not a lot different from the late feudal period, when the ruling class was largely unaware of the storm that was brewing. If you were an aristocrat, you may not have a lot of money, but what you had was social distance from the people who were not aristocrats. That distance was your currency. The provincial lawyer or merchant may have been accumulating money and lands, but he was never going to be you and never be in your circle. Making that clear was of the highest importance.

The main difference is that the sword nobility was also a defender of the old order, while the Dirt People of the day were looking to topple over the old order. Today, our sword nobility is hell bent of toppling over what’s left of the old order, simply to prove to one another they are not a part of the old order. Highlighting the distance between them and us is their primary fixation. It’s why Trump is so hated despite being a billionaire New Yorker. It’s because he is a man much more comfortable among the Dirt People because he respects them and crossing that class line is the great sin among the others.

We Need A Tom Doniphon

Recently, the nation’s cat ladies have been asking the rest of us, “Aren’t you afraid that Trump is going to become a dictator and start bullying journalists and judges just to get his way?” Of course we’re all suppose to start from the premise that Trump is Hitler reborn and just looking for a reason to impose martial law. The fact that Trump has assiduously adhered to the rules of the game to this point is just proof that he is Hitler. After all, Hitler won an election too and we all know how that worked out.

My answer to that query is, “No, I’m not afraid Trump will do all those things. I’m afraid he won’t do those things.” For the last three decades, probably longer, the guys allegedly on the side of the rest of us, have been obsessed with playing by the rules. The thing I don’t fear is that Trump will “go too far” or fail to respect the rules of the game. I don’t care about those rules anymore. Those rules are the bars of the cage. What we don’t need now is a guy obsessed with procedure. We need a guy willing to break the rules.

We have reached a point where it is heads they win, tails we lose. The game has been rigged to make reforming the system within the rules an impossibility. When a majority of the people favor a policy that the managerial class opposes, the policy gets hamstrung by the rules of the game. All of a sudden, the process is sacred. When the managerial class wants something for their masters, they change the rules so it either flies through or simply happens without anyone noticing. The process is not all that important.

All the blather about America being a nation of laws is just cover for the fact that ours is a lawless nation ruled by lawless men. An obvious example is the Ninth Circuit judges, who have fabricated a legal justification for throwing sand in the gears of a wildly popular executive order issued by President Trump. These are not men enforcing the law or respecting the laws. These are men who hold the law in contempt. All that matters to them is obedience to the weird secular cult we have come to call Progressivism.

If what it takes to break the stranglehold this cult has on society is a dictator willing to toss a few judges from a helicopter, then sign me up for dictatorship. I’d much prefer to live in a society where me and my neighbors meet once a month to govern ourselves and our community, but that’s not on offer. What is on offer now is the post-modern theocracy that uses the corrupted and degraded tools of 18th century liberalism to maintain its grip on society. Squads of government men rounding these people up in the middle of the night sounds pretty good right now.

Totalitarians attempt to change the world and human nature, by controlling all aspects of society, including the granular aspects of the political system. It’s what makes reform impossible as we are quickly seeing with the opposition to Trump’s policies. It’s not that they object, on policy grounds, to the very mild reforms that are being proposed. What is at issue is the very concept of the all encompassing world state. To permit reform is to permit questioning and that can never be tolerated.

The only way to break the totalitarian stranglehold may be with a an authoritarian willing to bust down doors and crack some heads. Authoritarianism is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty. You can still have judges falling out of helicopters as we saw with Pinochet, but the people can still go about their lives, free from the hectoring of secular fanatics living off the tax payers. Trump ordering the execution of the 9th Circuit is not ideal, but it beats the hell out of being ruled by angry lunatics from San Francisco.

The main argument against personal rule is that the person eventually dies. Then you have to hope the next guy is not crazy or dangerous. That’s also an upside to authoritarianism. Trump is not going to live forever. What follows is not likely to be another authoritarian. Pinochet eventually gave way to a form of self-government. The reason Chile did not suffer the same fate as Venezuela or Argentina is that Pinochet had most of the secular fanatics shot and tossed into a pit. As a result, Chile came out of the other end of the Pinochet years looking pretty good.

America is headed for a bad end unless things change quickly and radically. The suicide cult that has control of our society is not going to stop until we’re all dead. At some point, you have to use every means necessary to prevent a catastrophe. If that means Lindsay Graham winds up in pit covered in lime, so be it. If Bill Kristol has to write his tantrums from exile in Israel, I can live with that. In order to have a world run by Senator Ranse Stoddard, you first need a Tom Doniphon to do the dirty work of clearing out  Liberty Valance.

Things Are Looking Up

Like every other normal person in American, I watched the big game on Sunday. This year I was busy with some projects so I did not attend a party. Instead, I planned to get some work done and then settle in at game time. Some people boycott the Super Bowl, believing it makes them virtuous, but those people are idiots. The game is often fun and the ridiculous hype around it is a nice weird American tradition. Plus, having a pseudo holiday the next day means people can have a party on Sunday in the dead of winter.

The thing about the Super Bowl is it is the one event that everyone watches. Even if you don’t follow sports, you watch the game because it is what you do. There are similar events like the Daytona 500 or the Kentucky Derby, but most Americans don’t plan a weekend around those. You watch them if you are home or down at the pub, even though you don’t follow these things closely. The Super Bowl is the one event that everyone talks about the next day, because you know everyone watched it, except for the weirdos.

That’s what makes it a good bellwether for the state of pop culture. For the second year in a row, TV ratings were down for the game, not by a lot, but still down. Now, when an event tends to get close to 100% viewership each year, there is nowhere to go but down, but decline is still decline. When looked at in context of the general decline in TV sports, it suggests we are in the midst of a great change in how people consume their entertainments. That’s the general consensus among the people in charge of television.

Cord cutting and streaming services are finally starting to cut into the tradition television programming. It’s not just TV feeling the pinch. Live events are also seeing a drop in attendance. It’s a little hard to get good data as there is an incentive to lie about the ticket sales by the organizers. College football attendance has been in decline, which is a good benchmark, as these events are not driven by hype or the momentary success of the teams involved. Attending college football games in a generational tradition that serves as a reunion for old college buddies and extended families.

How much of this is the availability of on-demand gaming and video services is hard to know. There’s no way to measure it. Part of it may also be changes in youth culture. Despite all the blather about sharing from Millennials, they are a self-absorbed and selfish generation, preferring not to share anything with anyone. A generation of sociopaths, who see human relations as transactional are not going to be inclined to big public gatherings or public spirited activities. It’s why colleges are in a panic. Their young alumni do not donate back to the school at rates anywhere near previous generations.

Now, people don’t change that much from one generation to the next, so it is not a good idea to blame parenting or biology for the culture change. It could also just be the pendulum swinging back toward normal. Attending big public events is a late-20th century thing. Well into the 70’s, attendance for sporting events was well below capacity and the tickets were cheap. In the 1980’s I went to Red Sox games because it was cheap. I paid five dollars for a ticket and sat among empty seats in the bleachers.

The same is true for television. Well into the 80’s, families looked at TV time as an evening activity after dinner. The obsession with television, movie rentals and gaming is a new phenomenon. The steady decline in viewership may not be be driven by cord cutting. Instead, people may simply be losing interest in these services and that is what is driving cord cutting. Put another way, we hit peak TV sometime ago and now the pendulum is swinging back. People are reassessing their expenditures on these items.

There’s also the fact that micro-publishing, for lack of a better word, is now financially viable. Anthony Cumia got fired off the sat-radio platform. Instead of groveling to get back on, he started his own show from his basement. He has teamed up with Gavin McInness and they are building out a network of shows. Mark Levin is doing the same with on-demand political chat shows. There are thousands of niche podcasters making a living as content providers. We are spoiled for choice outside the traditional platforms.

It has always been assumed that the mass media culture was a permanent feature of the post-industrial technocracy. Not only would human labor be replaced by automation, but individual thinking would be replaced by the collective mind of the media orthodoxy. It could be that what makes a mass media culture possible is always what ensures its demise. Anything that shows the potential to control the culture gets corrupted by the preachy and proselytizing. That, in turn, drives away the public into alternatives.

Regardless, the ground is shifting under the feet of our cultural masters. Cable monopolies are being forced to unbundle. DirecTV is now offering a cheaper service over the internet, hoping to appeal to cord cutters. The great unraveling will bring with it an unraveling of the business model. CNN will actually have to attract an audience to stay in business. TV shows will have to sell ads based on real viewership. Live performers will have to follow the lead of Lady Gaga and not go out of their way to piss on their audience.

Things are looking up.

The Grifter

I stumbled upon this video of Nick Pell on an Irish chat show. I follow Pell on twitter and read his stuff when I am made aware of it. He is one of us so it feels like the right thing to do. I don’t know much about Irish television, other than it is every bit as silly as American television. The difference seems to be about awareness. American chat shows know they are just entertainment, while the Irish still take this nonsense seriously. But, Ireland is basically Puerto Rico with crappy weather, so who knows.

Anyway, what got my attention was the gasbag on the panel named Colm O’Gorman. It struck me that he was running a version of the Jesus con. Sometimes called the Good Samaritan con, it is a classic hustle. The very simple version is the con sets up a scenario where he can come to the aid of the mark. A fake robbery attempt, for example. The con-man thwarts the robbery and the grateful victim rewards the con-man for what appears to be a selfless act of kindness. Old ladies are the typical target of this one.

The main difference between the Jesus con and the Good Samaritan con is that the former is relational, while the latter is transactional. You can only save the old lady from muggers once. You can be sacrificing for the starving children of East Dongo forever or until people figure out there’s no such place as East Dongo. Most charities are this type of confidence game. They pitch themselves as selflessly working in favor of some group of victims, in order to guilt people into sending them cash.

What got me thinking about this while watching the video is the way Colm O’Gorman put all of his efforts into making the issue personal. On the one hand, he kept calling Pell and the red haired woman repulsive and repugnant, then “excusing” them as well-intentioned but stupid. You can see that he practiced his lines prior to coming on the show, as he was clearly not making any effort to engage Pell or the woman. The point of his efforts was to personalize and isolate the two of them with ridicule to make them into bogeymen.

Then he wheeled around and spent a few minutes selling himself as the great champion of the alleged victims of Pell and the red head. At about the eight minute mark he does a little speech about how much he worries for the alleged victims of these two monsters sitting across from him. The list of victims is a bit comical, but that’s inevitable when the victims are imaginary. The hard part about running the Jesus scam from the Left is that they have run out of people who can plausibly be presented as victims.

Anyway, having spotted the grift, I looked this guy up on the google machine. His claim to fame is as an alleged victim of a Catholic priest when he was a teenager. He turned that into a lucrative grift, selling books and , wait for it, starting a charity that claims to defend victims of sexual abuse. A teenage homosexual carrying on with an older homosexual is not exactly new, but the Church has deep pockets and Colm is not the sort to give a sucker an even break. Now that all the juice is out of that lemon, Colm is into politics.

That last bit is not intended to dismiss the Church scandals. It’s just that normal people move on with their lives after suffering from something like this. The fragile cannot and the dishonest refuse to move on until they are paid. Maybe grifters like Colm are the price that must be paid to remedy these things, but that does not make him less of a weasel. His bio says he netted €300,000 from his lawsuit, but my guess is he netter ten times that by leveraging his victim status into book and movie sales. The Jesus grift can be lucrative.

The reason this may matter is grifters are good at sniffing out opportunity. Guys like Colm O’Gorman are not wasting their time fighting against anarcho-syndicalists, because there’s no money in it. He can’t shake them down and he can’t scare people with their specter. The alt-right, on the other hand, must strike these Progressive carny acts as a potential goldmine. That probably means the so-called alt-right has the wind at its back, at least for now. It will not be long before O’Gorman is demanding to share a stage with Richard Spencer. The Jesus grift works better when the Devil is on stage with you.

 

La Muerte Blanca

The other day, I was told about a young girl who was found dead at her home by her mother. The girl had graduated high school and was attending junior college. She had been out with friends and, presumably, taking drugs. Somehow she arrived home and went to bed, never to wake up. The girl was otherwise a good kid from a lower class home, but she made a mistake that turned out to be fatal. The exact cause of her death is unknown to me, other than it was a drug overdose, but the story is a familiar one.

The cultural revolution of the 60’s is often celebrated by the Left and Baby Boomers, but it was a disaster for the lower classes in America. The most obvious example is recreational drugs. In the 60’s, smoking weed and experimenting with narcotics was for college kids living off their parents at a university. By the 70’s, the drug culture had settled into the lower classes, along with all the other excesses of the beautiful people. It’s not an accident that crime took off, violence rates increased and we got an underclass.

Ever since, the great fear facing every parent, but especially those in the lower classes, has been the call on a weekend night from the police, telling them their kid was dead or in the emergency room for a drug overdose. Being poor or working class has never been an easy life, but the corrosive effects of recreational drugs have put a trap door under these people. Most are lucky enough to avoid a horrible mistake, but for many, the drug culture proves too much. They make the fatal mistake or throw away their lives for a buzz.

According to Kaiser statistics, whites make up 82% of opioid overdoses. Most of the drug overdoses are among the young, but older whites are killing themselves at record numbers as well. That means the spike in drug deaths is not driven by youthful foolishness or ennui. Instead, it is being driven by more white people using more potent drugs. The consensus is that the over-prescribing of pain killers has driven a rise in heroin use. Once the Feds cracked down on prescription drugs, addicts turned to heroin.

The temptation is to blame the culture or blame the profligate degeneracy of the modern age, but that would not explain the spike in youth overdoses. A middle age man offing himself is understandable to anyone who has hit middle age. Young people, even in terrible situations, naturally have hope. The better answer is that this is a case where supply drives demand. There used to be high barriers to potent opioids. Today, they are cheap and you don’t have to jam a needle in your arm to use them.

All of that means little to that mother who went in to wake her daughter, only to find her dead from a drug overdose. People can come to terms with a kid going bad and throwing their life away on drugs and crime. When a normal kid who seems to be headed in the right direction drops over dead from something they got at a party, people wonder what’s going on in the world. They naturally look to their rulers for answers. If people were suddenly dying from a virus in these numbers, it would be a national emergency.

That’s not to say that the drug war is a good idea. After decades of squandering billions trying to stem the flow of drugs into the country, the result is the opposite of what was expected. Illicit drugs are cheaper, more diverse, more widely distributed and more normalized than when the drug war started. By any measure, the war on drugs was lost and drugs won. That’s why our rulers don’t talk about drugs or the drug war much anymore. It’s just one of those things that has been quietly forgotten.

There’s also the fact that drugs are mostly a downscale problem, something that does not touch the Cloud People so they don’t care about it. The mothers in Cloud Country are not fretting about junior riding the dragon. He’s parked in front of his XBox all day, playing the female character, because he is questioning. The drug issue is mostly a Dirt People problem now. It’s blacks slinging on street corners and crackers getting loaded in an apartment complex far away from the people who run things.

That said, it is important to note the direction of the drug flow. America has never had a problem with drugs pouring in from Canada or Iceland. The flood of cheap narcotics into America starts in Mexico. When heroin had to be imported from Asia, it was not easily attainable and the quality of the product available to the poor was quite low. Now that Mexico has take over the production and distribution, heroin is suddenly cheap, potent and plentiful. This is also true of meth, which is now made in volume in Mexico.

This sort of thing does not happen in Canada because Canada is a responsible country with mostly responsible leaders. They would use the tools of the state to cripple the large scale production of narcotics. That’s not the case in Mexico, where the political class provides cover to the drug cartels and helps them violate US laws with regards to banking and border access. Putting pressure on the Mexican political class, to crack down on their narcotics trafficking and their human smuggling over the border, would have an impact on the heroin problem in the US.

Up until now, our rulers have not seen fit to put any pressure on the Mexican rulers about the drugs and human smuggling. Real countries with patriotic leaders have no tolerance for other countries protecting pirates and drug cartels on their border. They hold the leaders of those border countries accountable. Globalists have no duty to their citizens as citizenship does not exist. America’s ruling class has nothing but empathy for the Mexican ruling class and nothing but contempt for the Americans people, especially the founding stock.

That may be changing as Trump is the first pro-American president we’ve had in close to three decades. Trump seems to get that the way to address the border problems, including the drugs, is to hold the Mexican elite responsible. They need America much more than America needs Mexico. If the cost of tolerating the drug cartels and human smuggling gets high enough, the Mexican government will do something about it. It can never be eradicated entirely, but it would not take much to sharply reduce the flow of drugs and people over the border.

Maybe then the White Death will begin to subside.

The Great Disconfirmation

In one of his recent communications with the resistance, John Derbyshire mentioned this Joel Pollak column about the demise of the Obama cult. Pollak does not come right out and say it, but Obama was essentially a totem for the Left. His election was not about him or his polices, but instead it was about returning the Ark to the Temple, so to speak. The long war with the bad whites over racial justice was finally won and the blessings of the void where God used to exist would now descend upon the righteous.

As Derbyshire points out, Pollak is not the first guy to notice this as readers of this site certainly know. The only way to properly understand the American Left is to look at it as a civic religion. Because the American Left adopted European anti-Christianity in the 20th century, it is easy to think they are anti-religious. That’s a mistake the Right has made for half a century. The New Religion, what Progressivism is today, evolved out of the Social Gospel Movement, so it carries with it many of the same habits.

The most obvious of those habits is the obsession with public morality. Public Protestantism starts from the assumption that society is judged as a whole. The righteous, like the virtuous in revolutionary France, have a moral duty to raise up the fallen into the righteous life. This is what gives them license to nose around in your business and order you around.  It’s not about fitting the economic pieces together as with European socialists. The American Left is consumed with building the City upon a hill.

Derbyshire makes the point that when a prophecy fails, it is does not mean the end of the religion.

In fact all the hysteria on the left this past few weeks yields to a religious, or pseudo-religious explanation. Clearly some of the same kinds of passions are involved that you find in committed religious believers.

Consider, however, the fact that religions very rarely fail. They just adapt.

Recall the Millerite sect that flourished in the 1840s. William Miller, who founded the sect, predicted the Second Coming of Christ at a certain date. Thousands of followers sold all their belongings and waited joyfully for the day. When nothing happened, Miller just reworked his calculations and set another day … then another.

You’d think a disappointment like that — it was actually called the Great Disappointment — you’d think it would kill a religion stone dead. Not at all. Here’s a historian writing about the Millerites, quote:

Following such a catastrophic failure, one might expect that the Millerite movement would fade away entirely. But that is not what happened. Although the fragmented Millerites languished for some time, and though many did abandon the movement, several of the competing splinter groups would ultimately gain new life. Hiram Edson’s [Millerite] sect … developed into a denomination that still exists — the Seventh-Day Adventists, who today number as many as 15 million members worldwide.

End quote. For truly committed believers, a religious or pseudo-religious passion like that can’t be put aside. It doesn’t fail, it only needs adjusting.

Again, readers of this site know where this is going. The thing that holds together these sorts of movements is an internal psychology that allows them to internalize disconfirmation. There is a famous study in psychology by three guys named Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken and Stanley Schachter. They studied a UFO cult based in Chicago that claimed space aliens were due to arrive on a certain date. When that failed to happen, the cult did not dissolve. It transformed into something else.

That’s an important lesson to keep in mind when watching the antics of the Left of late. Their lunacy is not directed at the rest of us. They don’t care what you or anyone else thinks about what’s happening. Their public acts are about signalling to the rest of the believers. By holding protests and making fools of themselves in a public way, they are providing support for one another as they work through the disconfirmation. Like herd animals, they are huddling together in the face if danger. It is pure instinct.

If they were left to sit alone at home, they would have no one around to help them through their doubts. These are people whose entire sense of self is dependent on the identity of the group, so getting out and “making their voices heard” lets them focus on something other than the disconfirmation. Trump as Hitler provides a short term bridge between the failed prophesy and whatever comes next for the New Religion. They can tell themselves that their faith was not wrong, it was just subverted by mysterious forces, or Hitler.

In the past, Progressive Awakenings were followed by period of hibernation as new missions and causes were conjured by the next generation of believers. The trouble for them this time is there is no obvious replacement for identity politics and social justice. When you’re reduced to championing the rights of mentally ill men in sundresses, you have run out of victims. The nation’s changing demographics also means that identity politics will play against this sort of utopianism.

In the mean time, the rage of the true believers will result in more public displays of incoherent misery. The reason they have no point is they cannot face the cause of their pain. It has nothing to with Trump or his policies. It is an unspeakable rage at having failed to reach the promised land. The rage is a distraction and a source of comfort to the believers as the Cult of Modern Liberalism comes to terms with the great disconfirmation of the last decade. Let’s hope they to make their way through it.

Are Performers Stupid?

Are actors and actresses stupid?

Are performers dumber than normal people?

Like most people, I just assume this is so, because actors tend to say stupid things when not following a script. The actress Meryl Streep took to the stage at some awards show to say Donald Trump gave her the sads. I’ve watched it a few times trying to figure out what it is she was trying to communicate. Streep is a great actress so it was well choreographed, but it contained nothing more than some hyperventilating about imagined bogeymen. My take away from watching it is that Mx. Streep is not spending her free time working math puzzles.

Even more obvious examples were on display at the Waddle in Washington this past weekend. Ashley Judd went on a deranged rant that suggested she needs to be in a nervous hospital again. Madonna of all people was carrying on about respecting women and committing acts of treason. Madonna, like all other performers, degrades herself for a living. Other than being a cautionary tale, she should stay out of any discussion about respecting women. Yet, this was lost on her and her fellow performers.

That brings us back to the original question. Is Madonna stupid? Judd apparently has had a lot of mental problems, but Madonna and Streep have no history of mental illness. Short of handing out IQ tests, there’s no way to know if performers are unusually stupid, but perhaps there are other cognitive traits that performers have in abundance that present as a low IQ when displayed outside the narrow realm of the stage. Quants are super smart, but lack social skills, so they are often assumed to be retarded.

The first thing that springs to mind is that you need a near total absence of self-respect to be a performer. It is, at best, a degrading way to make a living. Anyone who has stood in front of a crowd to give a speech knows it is not as easy as it looks. Imagine standing in front of cameras, pretending to be someone else, while a crowd of people watch you play make believe. Often times, the job requires the performer to make a fool of themselves or do degrading things for the amusement of the crowd. Most people will not do it.

Even if you put limits on how much you will degrade yourself in public in order to be a performer, it is a humiliating road to success. Even the greatest thespians started out as complete hacks, often being laughed at and yelled at for being dreadful on stage. Movie and TV people get their start in terrible shows or making commercials for things like hemorrhoid cream. Then there is the casting couch, which is a feature of the business for both sexes. Male actors spend their youth biting a pillow or something else.

There’s something else that is universal to being a performer and that is a near total inability to judge risk. About one tenth of one percent of people who go into show business end up with a productive career as a performer. Most struggle for years and drop out or go into some other part of the business. New York and Los Angeles restaurants are famously staffed with the next big stars of stage and screen. Going into show business is about as logical as spending your life savings on lottery tickets.

This is probably why performers have money woes and tax problems. Just google actors and tax problems and you get half a million hits. People who are terrible with risk assessment are probably never going to be very good with their money, no matter how much they make. Nicholas Cage has probably earned half a billion dollars in his career and he is broke. People with any sense of risk assessment will not waste their life chasing a dream that is unlikely to materialize, but that’s what it takes to be a star.

Of course, the big key for any performer is their ability to draw attention to themselves over the others, who are also good at getting attention. The world is full of pretty blondes, who know their way around a penis. In order to gain the attention the star makers, you better be really good at standing out in a crowd of beautiful people with the same dream as you. This is why famous performers often have some weird tick or skill. Samuel L. Jackson got famous because he is a living satire of the militant black man.

There’s something else. Performers are much more likely to make it when young than old and young is defined as teens and 20’s. It’s why so many of the top starts are people who literally grew up in the business. Their parents were in the business in some capacity. This means that the typical star is someone who has had little exposure to the world outside acting. Even those who left home and went to Hollywood to become stars as young adults have had little experience with the normal world.

Most Americans have never been to Africa so they only know about the place from books and television. As a result, Americans talking about Africa sound like morons to people who have lived in Africa. This is the problem for performers. They talk about America as if it is a foreign country to them. That’s because it often is a foreign country. How much does Meryl Streep know about America at this stage of her life? She has been cooped up in a museum for decades. Death row inmates have a better feel for America than actors.

That brings us back to where we started. Are performers stupid? The safest answer is yes, they are very stupid. Being stupid makes it easy to not notice the long odds of being a performer. Being stupid lets these people avoid thinking about the moral dilemmas that are inevitable in the business. Those who are not stupid are so divorced from reality that they can no longer apply their intelligence to the normal world as it has become a foreign place for them. This means that most of the stars are both stupid and ignorant, which is why they so often sound like drooling idiots when speaking off-the-cuff.

The Long Civil War

John Derbyshire was the first person I heard use the phrase “cold civil war” to describe the culture war in American society and politics. His argument, if I recall correctly, is that the Civil War may have ended, but a cold version of it has festered ever since, largely over the issue of race, but other issues are part of it. The result has been the Blue side of the conflict, the good whites, imposing their will on the Gray side, the bad whites, using the “transcendent morality” of racism as the main weapon.

It is a good way of looking at things. The recent hysteria about the bogeyman of racism, for example, is almost all coming from suburban white women, who live in all white neighborhoods. They don’t really care about blacks in a practical sense. Their real concern is the specter of bad whites holding opinions the good whites find unacceptable. It’s what caused them to go bonkers over Bush and then force the ridiculous Barak Obama on us. The bad whites needed to be taught a lesson and put in their place, which is at the bottom of the social order.

The whole red state/blue state business that got going with the 2000 election was another manifestation of this. The bad whites voted for Bush and tended to live in awful places like the South and Midwest. The people who voted against Bush lived in cool paces like New York and LA. This was made more obvious in 2008 when the states not going for Obama were conspicuously Southern. More than a few lefties noted that the Old Confederacy did not vote for Obama and everyone knew what that meant.

Now that this Progressive Awakening is sputtering to a comical end, the Left is increasingly convinced that the nation is headed for a civil war. This post on The Daily Lunatic from last year is humorous, but representative. Here’s another from the Huffington Post. This piece in The National Interest is a recent example. TNI is not explicitly Left, but it is certainly not explicitly Right either. It’s always been a neocon hangout, which puts it on the Left, mostly as a home for heretics who broke with the Left on foreign policy.

The reason the Official Right was willing to join arms with the Left in opposition to Trump last year was their belief that Trump was leading some sort of rebellion of the bad whites against the benevolent rule of the good whites. Now that Trump has been installed as ruler, the same people are imagining a counter rebellion by the good whites, like the cat ladies, who waddled into DC on Saturday. The only thing they were missing was having the geriatric Madonna lead the crowd in singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

It is easy to dismiss it, as the Left is prone to these sorts of histrionics whenever they don’t get their way. Even so, what we may be seeing is not a new civil war or even a continuation of the Civil War. Maybe what we are seeing is the final, long delayed end of the Civil War. The political realignment we are witnessing is not the start of anything, but the end of a long cycle of American history that started in the 19th century with the Hartford Convention. After several delays, we are reaching the final denouement.

If you think of America in terms of The American Nations model or maybe the Nine Nations model, the last 200 years can be looked at as a long hegemony of Yankeedom over the rest of the country. Following the Civil War, the South was excluded from having a say in how the nation was governed. The Midwest and Mid-Atlantic were subordinate to the Yankee ruling class, while the West was simply not a factor. This remained the case into the 20th century, as America went from provincial backwater to an industrial power.

The 20th century should have been when this post Civil War arrangement began to fall apart as the South rebuilt and the West joined the Union. Instead, the Great Depression, two world wars and the Cold War locked everything more or less in place. Nixon’s “southern strategy” to win the presidency was an early sign that the old order was unstable. The necessities of the Cold War kept things in place, but the dominance of the old Yankee elite was showing it’s age as far back as the 70’s.

Look at something else. The Conservative Movement got going strong in the 1960’s and came into its own in the 70’s. The election of Reagan made conservatism the alternative to liberalism, but it did not change the regional alliances in the country. Up until very recent, conservatism was strongest in the South, but it had no Southern leaders. The GOP, the alleged home of the Right, remains a party of Southern voters, but Yankee leaders.The Trumpening has mostly been about the long overdue eviction of the Bushies from party leadership.

Perhaps what we are witnessing is the start of a process where America returns to being a collection of regions more or less cooperating only on the big issues like national defense and trade. On those items, perhaps the national ethos returns to something like the John Quincy Adams model, rather than the Theodore Roosevelt model. A lot of what Trump says about foreign policy and trade may be a reaction to the neocon debacles of the last three decades, but they are also an echo of the pre-Civil War consensus.

One final thing. The Left is suddenly talking about the need to restore powers to the state as they face a federal government controlled by their sworn enemies. There are many on the Right who would like to see an Article V Convention. One side fears what the Federal government might do and the other side has had enough of what the Federal government has done. The one thing all sides of the political class may accept in the end is a restoration of the natural regionalism that has always existed in America.