Better Beliefs

The one universal quality of left-wing politics that is true in every time and place is the need for an external enemy. It is onto this enemy the movement focuses its attention, making it a rallying point and a rallying cry. Ideally, the enemy is mysterious, maybe even a bit supernatural. A supernatural enemy supports the idea of the movement being in a decisive battle for the future of humanity. An important element of left-wing politics is a sense of urgency. There’s no time to wait, as the final battle is at hand.

Orwell, of course, understood this well and created two the great left-wing bogeymen in English literature. Emmanuel Goldstein is the “enemy of the people” during the two minutes of hate at the beginning of the novel 1984. In Animal Farm, Snowball is the blame for all the farm’s troubles, after he disappear. In both cases, the bogeyman is a traitor, who willingly turned on the cause. In both cases, the bogeyman is mysteriously absent, thus can be amplified as an almost supernatural villain.

Eric Hoffer said, “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.” This is certainly true, but it has a peculiar application on the Left, as the positive beliefs of left-wing politics are most often the least understood by the adherents. A feature of left-wing politics is a vague understanding of what they are for, but a detailed understanding of what they oppose. In fact, it is what they oppose that gets the attention. The bogeyman becomes an obsession.

For example, the modern Left in pretty much just a collection of incoherent bellows and yelps with no real purpose, other than opposition to white people. Last week the Left was anti-war and now this week they love war. Their position on foreign policy is dependent on whatever Trump has to say about the issue. The American Left is purely reactionary, tethered to Donald Trump like a slave being taken to market. Their politics are devoid of practical meaning It’s just ways to point and sputter.

This Rolling Stone article in the latest ways to spot an evil doer is a great example of how the Left invests everything in its bogeymen. The ADL, a left-wing terrorist organization, maintains a database of symbols they claim are used by the supernatural members of their even more mysterious enemies. Putting aside the absurdity of the bowl cut or the OK sign being secret symbols, think about the sort of person who thinks this way. It is a person obsessed with what they imagine is in the shadows.

That is why the Left invests all of its energy into inventing and describing various aspects of the Eternal Enemy. It’s not that they need the bogeyman as a rallying point for their coalition. That’s a mistake paleocons like Steve Sailer make. He’s a practical guy so he projects practical reasons onto the actions of the Left. If they were sober minded enough to reason through these things, they would not be on the Left. To be on the Left is to abandon all reason in favor of a set of beliefs.

Belief is powerful magic. Because the Left controls the high ground of the American empire, their beliefs are imposed on the rest of the world in a million little ways. For example, Neo-Nazis are the most hated group in the world. People from around the empire hate Nazis more than they hate criminals. The fact that Neo-Nazis really don’t exist, while criminals are a daily part of life is important. People have been convinced to hate an imaginary enemy more than the enemy at their door.

Of course, democracy is the most fertile ground for left-wing magic, because democracy provides no mechanism for uniting people. In fact, democracy is all about creating divisions, over which the public argues and comes to some compromise. Short of an official religion and extreme intolerance of alternative beliefs, a secular religion fills the void as a unifying set of beliefs. Democracy makes a people crazy, emptying their heads of reason in order to fill it with the nonsense of civic religion.

It is the desperate need for bogeymen that must be the focus of any successful dissident movement, because it is the spirit of the ruling class. The reason the Left advertises those lists of “hate symbols” is to encourage stupid people to adopt them as some form of rebellion. Again, the Left needs enemies to exist, so when none exist, it manufactures them. As the saying goes, the demand for Nazis long ago exhausted the supply, so the business of the Left is in creating new Nazis to meet demand.

Therefore, the successful resistance to the Left in a democracy is one that avoids playing the role cast for it by the Left. The battle for the shared reality of the public culture is a war of attrition. The winner is the one that is most efficient in the use of resources, but best at driving up the cost to the other side. Whatever comes after liberal democracy, the people who replace the Left, will fill a void created when the Left collapses after having exhausted itself maintaining its control of society.

This is a lesson of right-wing failure in its fight with the Left. The Right in American always countered left-wing belief with empiricism. Facts and logic would prevail over the emotions of the Left. Ben Shapiro chirping “facts don’t care about your feelings” is a rallying call for the Left. The reason is it turns the resistance to the Left into an easily demonized opponent. The alternative to left-wing belief is not the lack of any belief whatsoever. The alternative is a different, more appealing set of beliefs.


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The Media Awakening

In the current crisis, one of the useful and clarifying ways to divide people is in how they respond to the mass media. On the one hand are those who just assume everything reported, regardless of the alleged partisan bias, is fake. It’s manufactured for some undisclosed reason and fed to the many airheads working in media. The other side of this dive are those who still think the political theater is real. They take one side or the other in the mock battles between the two wings of the bipartisan uniparty.

You see this in the “fake news” stuff among Trump supporters and opponents. For those supporting Trump, the fake news outlets are those that “report” bad things about their guy, while the real news outlets are the sites that sing his praises. Of course, the people in the anti-Trump camp take the opposite view. In other words, these people don’t think the news is fake. They think the other side’s news is fake. It’s the same old Red Team – Blue Team dynamic, just decorated with new language for the Trump era.

For the legacy people, the fake news meme has been a coping strategy to deal with the collapse of the old politics. Every day, an assumed partisan comes out and says something that seems at odds with his side. This past week, so-called liberals have been out saying all the things neocons used to say in the Bush years, regarding the forever wars on behalf of Israel. They have all but called Tulsi Gabbard a dirty hippy for her support for a withdraw from the never-ending Middle East theater.

It really is incredible to watch the assault on Gabbard. Her position on foreign policy is what we were told was the mainstream of the Democrat party. Even before Bush and the neocons bankrupted the nation on pointless wars of choice, the America Left was anti-intervention. They were the side that argued for multi-lateral talks and negotiated settlements to disputes. For eight years Obama preached this line, as he cut deals with Iran and allegedly pulled troops out of the Iraq disaster.

Now, politics is about lying, so lying about past positions, even if those positions were held just an hour ago, is nothing new. The game is to attack an opponent for their lack of purity at the moment, thus elevating yourself. When Hillary Clinton attacked Gabbard as a Russian asset, it was about trying to rehabilitate Clinton, at the expense of Gabbard, not about the facts as presented. Clinton is worried that the investigation into her 2016 election shenanigans may leave her holding the bag.

That’s something even the naivest legacy person can grasp. It is the conduct of the media that is the tell. Instead of pointing out that Gabbard is saying the same thing all of the Democrats, including Barak Obama, said during the Bush years, they are piling on the Syria issue. The far Left is even joining in on attacking Gabbard as a tool of Putin, Assad and other bogeymen of the Left. In other words, we don’t have a media in modern America. What we have are amplifiers of the party line.

It is not just the left-wing engaged in this. It works on all sides engaged in the official political process. This post in American Conservative is a good example. It is written by one of the army of dingbats in the Washington dingbat chorus. The people hired by B and C list news sites, are young, dumb and eager. They repeat what they are told with breathless enthusiasm and seriousness for whoever will pay them. They don’t ask questions, because they dream of making it big in political media.

That story is complete nonsense. It is the neocon line of attack on Trump, hoping to finally destroy Trump, before he dismantles their forever war regime. The line being pushed is that any inquiry into Ukraine is illegitimate. Since all of these people are up to their eyeballs in Ukrainian corruption, the last thing they want is a thorough examination of American involvement there. Joe Biden is not the only guy who was taking bribes from various Ukrainian oligarchs over the last decade.

American Conservative is supposed to be an anti-war, non-intervention publication, but here they are pimping the neocon party line. Like the people at Mother Jones, what the people at American Conservative want most is to be in the club. The so-called ideological positions and resulting policy claims are just decoration. In the end, even the fringe media is just another amplifier of the party line. Their dissent is a sales pitch to keep the racket going. Otherwise, they repeat what they are told.

That right there is the divide in retail politics. One side gets this and the other side is still trapped in the old model. The legacy people still spend their time pointing out the hypocrisy, thinking this time it will make a difference. The dissidents, when they pay any attention to it at all, just note that our media is propaganda. That “both sides” are working for the same team. Otherwise, retail politics is a game for legacy people, who still visit the Drudge Report and watch cable news programs.

This is probably where the awakening for most people will start. The journey to this side of the political divide begins with awakening to the fact the media, small and large, is just propaganda. The people pitching it are not any side but the official one. If word comes down that Marxism is the new conservatism, Ben Shapiro will be doing show in the glories of Lenin and Mark. When people wake up to this reality, they begin their journey as a dissident. It may be that fake news is the dissident’s best weapon.


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Cartel Land

A popular item of discussion in some quarters of the dissident right is what will be the thing that puts the current regime in crisis. The instability we see in the West is largely due to the instability of America. The economy staggers on, but no one really believes it can continue as currently constructed. The political class is looking like a pirate ship, rather than orderly democracy. The elites operate like America is a smuggler’s cove and they are the pirates. Everywhere you look you see instability.

Usually, the two top answers for what will be the spark that sets the world ablaze are economic collapse and military failure. Maybe the economy will spin out of control, resulting in a great depression. This will be the spark that ignites public anger toward a ruling class they already despise. On the other hand, maybe a great military catastrophe, something like the Varian Disaster. This will destroy the America military reputation and the order that depends upon it will begin to unravel around the globe.

Another possibility is something small that at the time seems insignificant, but in the long run turns out to be an inflection point. There is the trajectory before the event and the trajectory after the event. A great example of an event that was interpreted one way at the time, but was later seen as a great turning point was the Roman defeat of Carthage and Corinth. The consequences of these two victories changed the trajectory of Rome, creating the conditions for the shift from republic to empire.

If we are looking around for some small event, or seemingly small, that could turn out to be an inflection point today, the Mexican failure to deal with the Sinaloa cartel this past week is a good choice. The operation by the Mexican government to arrest Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of former drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, and then turn him over to the U.S, may be more than a typical Latin bungle. It has revealed that Mexico is a failed state, largely controlled by large criminal cartels.

At some level, even the dullest member of the America foreign policy elite understands that Mexico is not a normal country. The Mexican government does not have control of its territory. Much of the population is ruled over by local warlords, who operate various criminal trades. Some of those warlords wear expensive suits and show up at Davos to party with the global elites. The vast manufacturing and distribution operations in Mexico are there because global business can operate there outside the law.

From the perspective of global business and the flunkies they employ in our government, this lawlessness has been a boon, but it comes with a price. That was made clear last week when the Sinaloa cartel forced the Mexican government to hand back their leader. If you live in Mexico, you now know who is actually in charge of that part of Mexico. More important, the Mexican government and the cartel now know who is in charge and they know the other side knows too. It was clarifying.

Well, it should have been clarifying. Judging from the reactions of official Washington, it appears they barely noticed. In the long run, this staggering ignorance of what is happening just over the border may be the most important item of this age. While serious-faced politicians lecture us about the need to build a wall between Syria and Turkey, we have a new Afghanistan forming up to our south. Like Afghanistan, Mexico is now run by warlords, willing to do business with anyone.

The stupidity of the American ruling class will no doubt result in doing the dumbest thing possible in Mexico. That’s helping the Mexican government assassinate and arrest some leading cartel figures. Rather than address the problems of Mexico, it will be an effort to maintain it as a free zone for well-connected pirates to operate outside the law, but with more compliant warlords in place. The result will be an acceleration into anarchy and eventually the collapse of Mexico as a country.

Killing the local warlords was a strategy American employed during the War on Drugs in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Most urban areas were run by a local heroin kingpin, who controlled the drug trade in the city. He also controlled the people in the drug trade, which meant limiting the street warfare. The urban black population fell back into the normal pattern of governance. This meant big man rule, where the heroin kingpin operated like a local chieftain. He kept things under control.

In order to look good on television, the authorities decided to combat the drug problem by arresting these local drug kingpins. That allowed them to make flashy arrests, where they would display stacks of drugs, cash and guns. This, of course, was about getting bigger budgets by gaining public support for their efforts. The result was a busting up of these local cartels, but they shattered into thousands of small gangs. The result was the urban warfare we still see today. A place like Baltimore is a tribal war zone.

Turning large swaths of Baltimore into a no-go zone is easily overlooked, as people can just move away and avoid it. The same is true of the Middle East. As we have seen, the occasional exploding Mohamed has not caused the public to turn on the ruling class in great numbers. Mexican cartels taking over American towns and turning cities into war zones would not go overlooked. That is what’s coming as the American ruling class tries to maintain Mexico as a free zone for their pirate buddies.

On the other hand, if there are some sober minded people left in the American ruling class and they wake up to what is happening to our south, it could be the turning point in the ruling elite. The collapse of Mexico could force the American ruling class to sober up and start acting like a ruling class. That means protecting the interests of the people over whom they rule, by making sure the ruling class always has the public interest at the forefront of their mind. We become our greatest ally again.

The future is not written, but for those who like to think about what comes next, what bookends this interregnum, the chaos of Mexico is a good study. It is that reality which will not go away if our rulers stop believing in it. At some point, they either address it and solve it or it forces a change in rulers. There’s simply no way the public will tolerate the chaos of Mexico spilling in their cities and towns. That means the rulers, if they wish to remain rulers, will not be able to tolerate it either.


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Walking Away From The Deal

A good salesman, in the business of providing a complex product or service, will tell you that his first step in any deal is to see if there is a deal to be had. He will assess the potential customer to learn if there is a need and if the prospect knows there is a need for the product or service. Assessing needs and motivations is a big part of determining if the salesman should commit his time to the deal. Finally, he tries to assess the prospect’s willingness to actually commit to a potential deal.

The purpose of evaluating a prospect before engaging in the sales process is to avoid wasting time with tire kickers and people who simply lack the means to do a deal. The salesman is really selling time, when you analyze it. He has so many hours to work on and close deals. Every hour wasted on some guy, who has no money or is really not interested, is time that could be spent on a real opportunity. Talk to any good salesman and you learn that they are really good at managing their sales time.

Politics is a lot like sales. A candidate has so much time to ask voters for their support, so the campaign has to be as efficient as possible. In politics, the game is to motivate the natural supporters of the candidate and demoralize the supporters of the other candidate, in order to sway the stupid and uninformed. The stupid and uninformed, often called “swing voters” in America, will go where they think everyone else is going and they judge that on enthusiasm. They bet the strong horse in the race.

The way this has to work in a democracy is the successful candidate has to be seen by the opposition as someone with whom they can strike a deal. In other words, the supporters of the opponent have to look at the other side as people with whom some compromise can be reached. That’s why in America, the candidates are strident in their primary races, but become conciliatory in the general election. They want the other side to know they are going to sit down and strike a fair bargain.

Accepting the results of the election is a vital part of any popular form of rule. In fact, it is the most important element. If the losing side thinks the winning side will use its power to crush them, then they will revolt against the system that makes them vulnerable. That also means the winning side will be motivated to crush the losing side, because they will assume the losers not only will revolt, but try to crush them as soon as they win the next election. Politics becomes a blood sport.

This desire to make a deal is why Progressives have run wild in American politics, especially over the last few decades. Their opponents in every election are white civic nationalist types, who are always willing to accept the results of the election and work with the other side on a good deal. Progressives, in contrast, use this willingness to do a deal to ram their agenda through when they win. When they lose, they use the same intransigence to bottle up any effort of the winners to push through their agenda.

If you want to understand why Buckley conservatism is headed to the dustbin of history, this is the place to start. They were always so ready and eager to do a deal; they never could walk away from a bad deal. They would win an election and then cut a deal with the Left that was a complete sellout. The joke among dissidents in the Bush years was that the greatest thing that could happen to you is to find yourself across the table negotiating a deal with a Republican. It was like hitting the lottery.

Now, the reason the Left wins even when they lose is not because they are shrewd or even that the Right is dumb. It’s that they reject that central premise of popular government, where the losers accept the results of an election and the winners reach a fair bargain with the losers. For the Left, what is theirs they keep. What is yours they seek. This is the central cause of the ratchet effect in American politics. One side exploits the rules, while the other abides by the rules.

The question that has been on the minds of dissidents for a long time is when will people wake up to this reality? When will those civic nationalists and good government types realize that they can never bargain in good faith with the other side, because the other side never bargains in good faith? Unless and until the good citizen accepts the cynicism of the Left, not necessarily embrace it, but just accept it, elections will always be heads the Left wins, tails the Right loses.

Conventional critics of conservatism and the Republican Party work from the premise that a more jaded approach will work. Not only will it result in better bargaining, it will put the Left on notice that they will not get to play by their own rules. Put another way, if the Right gets as good at politics as the Left, then the system will work and elections will once again have meaning. There has always been a battered wife syndrome with conventional conservatives, who blame themselves for the failure of democracy.

This line of thinking always assumes that the non-Progressives, to use a better term, will continue to support the orderly democratic process, but be more aware of the way the Left does politics. You can have the civic nationalist dream of orderly democracy, but with a clear-eyed view of the Left. The results of an election, in terms of the resulting policy, will then reflect the voting. It’s the same system, except the Republicans are not treacherous sellouts and morons.

Putting aside the probability that this is an impossibility, that the “opposition” is really just a creation of the Left, why would anyone want this? This sort of politics, which is what Buckley conservatives now talk about in response to their decline, is like volunteering to live in a viper den. A deal where one side cannot be trusted to abide by the terms is not a deal at all. It is why contract law does not exist in low trust countries, like in the Arab world. Why make a deal that no one will respect?

In the context of American politics, what happens when most white people figure out that the other side will never cut a deal with them? There will always be suckers, who never give up hope, but what happens when the majority of whites realize they can never make a deal with their opponents? How long before this realization leads to the conclusion that they can never live in the same country as their opponents, because their opponents hate them and want them dead?

Most likely, the typical white person looks at the madness engulfing the political class and thinks the fever is bound to break soon. Maybe Trump winning in 2020 or the Democrats nominating a shrill crank like Warren will break the spell. Older folks talk about how the 1960’s eventually burned itself out. Lots of normal white people think something similar will happen this time. What if it doesn’t or what if whites simply get tired of waiting for their opponents to snap out of their rage?

The good salesman, who realizes the prospect is not an opportunity, finds an expeditious way to exit the process. He’s no longer willing to commit time to the deal, because there can never be a deal. There is no deal. This is where dissidents often insert their favorite collapse fantasy, mixed with their favorite revenge fantasy, but no one really knows how this would work. If a large portion of white people are no longer willing to play the Left’s game, will the Left just let them walk away?


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Affirming The Alternative

Something everyone outside of conventional politics agrees upon is that the establishment conservatives are no longer useful or relevant. Whatever you want to call the super set of groups making a claim to right-wing politics, but outside of conventional politics, the one thing that ties them together is an antipathy to Conservative Inc. The criticisms vary in tone and specificity, but everyone agrees that the starting place for a new opposition to the Left is replacing the current Right with something new.

In fact, it is the failure of so-called conservatives that has fueled the rise of populism, neo-nationalism and various dissident movements. If you look around at the various tribes milling around the right-wing fringe, all of them are a response to some failure of conventional conservatism. The alt-right grew out of libertarianism, for example. The identitarians and race realist passed through paleo-conservatism. The paleocons, of course, have been around since their purging decades ago.

The absolute failure of conservatism needs to be more than a rallying point for a loose coalition of the dispossessed. This is not an age calling for a longer list of people purged by Conservative Inc. What is required is a replacement for so-called conservatism that will provide a true alternative to what is offered by the Left. This is something many among the dispossessed have suggested. Paul Gottfried, who gets credit for coining the term alternative Right, has been arguing this for years.

While more and more people are flowing into outsider politics, looking for an alternative to conventional conservatism, there is no agreement as what should come next. The paleocons have gone further than anyone, but their imagined replacement is mostly just a reset to the time before the neocons outmaneuvered them in the 70’s and 80’s. It is a conservatism of yore that is free of the baggage train of failure and perfidy that has come to define modern conservatism. It’s what conservatism should have been.

Other groups are far less sober minded. The alt-right never got around to thinking up a new metaphysics. They spent their time recreating an aesthetic from a bygone age that was intended to shock, rather than celebrate a new ideological movement. The closest they came to imagining an alternative Right was borrowing the idea of an ethnostate from fringe Russian thinkers. Otherwise, the alt-right was just a collection of complaints decorated with some racist and fascist language and imagery.

Other groups among the dispossessed are even less coherent in what they want than the alt-right. The neo-reactionaries want to return to the age of kings, but with the modern material items produced by liberalism. The neo-nationalists and populists, like the paleocons, mostly want to return to a convenient starting point in the past. Theirs is not a critique of liberal democracy, but of its constant companion radicalism. Like Marxists, they argue that real liberal democracy has not been tried yet.

The truth is, none of these approaches can get very far, because at their core they accept the base assumptions of liberal democracy. That means they embrace the core principles of the Left. Those being egalitarianism and the blank slate. They may place some qualifiers on these, but ultimately, they start with the assumption that there is a universally preferable form of human organization. That form of human organization assumes people are all the same with the same human potential.

In this regard, this age is not calling for an alternative Right. There’s no need to rally the guerrilla forces, aged and withered, having hidden out in the ideological and political jungles for generations, in order to reclaim the high ground of liberal democracy. Even if they were able to fight, that fight has been long over. The reason the Left holds the high ground, controls the institutions, is they won the moral argument. They now get to control the moral paradigm, altering it in order to win each fight.

When thinking about what replaces conventional conservatism, the starting point must be this dynamic. The Left controls the moral framework. This allows them to alter every political battlefield by manipulating the shared reality that is the public space. Since democracy is about persuasion, rather than truth, they can easily tilt the battle field to make their job easy. They win because the Right keeps charging up the hill to attack the institutions controlled by the Left, who always enjoy the moral high ground.

For there to be an alternative to conservatism, it must therefore be a genuine alternative to the Left. In other words, what is needed is not so much an alternative Right, but an alternative Left. What’s needed is a new radicalism that starts first with the understanding that we are entering a new age. The ideologies and moralities of the past age, the Industrial Age, are not relevant to the technological age and they are impotent and impractical for the demographic age.

The reactionary and violent multiculturalism on the Left is, in part, a response to this looming reality. The prevailing orthodoxy of today, is the result of the radicalism in later-stage liberal democracy that reached its peak in the last century. Peak liberal democracy, was also peak industrial society. The so-called radicals of today, are just the established order, kitted out in the outfits of yesteryear’s avant-garde. There is nothing radical about the modern Left. They are all reactionaries now.

The anger expressed by the Left toward various challenges, real and imagined, is like a child throwing a tantrum, frustrated at a toy. Their anger starts from the secret sense that their moral framework is no longer relevant. They are unable to quantify or even comprehend it. They just sense it, like an ill wind. Like primitives confronted with some natural mystery, the men and women defending the established order are in a defensive panic at the shadow of change falling on the West.

The new alternative must start where all radicals start, as a rejection of the founding principles of the prevailing order. There is no universally preferable form of human organization, morally, ethically or practically. Human beings are not all the same, born with the same stock of natural talent. Further, humans are not infinitely malleable, able to be shaped into whatever society designs.  These values may have had utility in the prior age, but in this age, they are a liability that must be abandoned.

Whether one chooses to call what comes next an alternative Right or something else, it must be a genuine alternative. The main reason conventional conservatism failed in its opposition to the Left is that it was not an alternative to liberalism. It was a slightly different implementation of it. What replaces conservatism cannot start from the same error, but must be a radical departure from both Left and Right, as commonly understood. It must be a radical alternative to the prevailing morality.


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Unraveling Impeachment

In the days after the election, when the Left was howling about Russian collusion, it was clear they were hiding something. The theory they were pitching was so ridiculous, it had to be about something else. The mendacious mediocrities in mass media could be convinced it was real, but that’s their job. Normal people always knew the claims were absurd. We later learned that the Russian hoax was part of an effort to conceal the seditious plot by the intelligence community.

The Russian collusion hoax is a good place to start when trying to unravel the latest impeachment panic. That caper was about getting a special prosecutor named before Team Trump could figure out what was happening. Mueller, the horse-faced flunky, would provide cover, while greasy operatives on his staff would hoover up anything related to the FBI caper. The whole affair would be sequestered while they figured out how to get rid of Trump and anyone too curious about what happened.

Put another way, the point of the caper was never really about Trump. He was just a useful pivot point in order to address a different issue. They were much more concerned about people like Devon Nunes, who were doggedly pursuing the case. The special prosecutor was a way to end-run Congress and pests like Nunes, so the whole thing could be hidden from public view. If not for a few Congressional Republicans, there would never have been a need for the Russian collusion hoax.

It’s pretty clear that this new gambit is being run by many of the same people who were involved in the original caper. It has the same signature. There is a fake whistle blower, who was purpose built for the task. His claims were systematically leaked to the media, so the Democrats could pretend to be outraged and demand an investigation. The media was ready for a full onslaught of impeachment stories. Like the Russian collusion hoax, this one is highly coordinated with the press.

If the last impeachment hoax was about covering up the FBI spying and seditious plot to overturn the election, the question is what are they trying to cover for now? The original investigation of the FBI seems to be heading in some strange directions after Barr took over the case. Reportedly he is on official business in Italy. That has the Democrats going bonkers, as it suggests he is looking into the CIA role in the Russian collusion hoax. They seem very worried about Bill Barr all of a sudden.

The thing that has been ignored that probably is important is that Pelosi was trying to put an end to the impeachment stuff until recent. When she went to meet with her caucus over this whistle blower stuff, the pundits assumed she was going to squash the whole thing. Instead, she came out of those meetings fully on board with not only impeachment, but fast tracking it. Maybe her caucus was in revolt and she felt she had no choice or maybe she learned something and felt she had no choice.

Regardless of the internal dynamics of the party, this latest impeachment frenzy seems to be related to what Barr has been up to lately. This post at Conservative Tree-house goes into a lot of detail, but what stands out is the Mifsud item. It was his involvement with Papadopoulos that allegedly set off the FBI probe. If he is actually a CIA asset used as part of the larger plot, then that changes things considerably. It now brings the CIA into the mix as co-conspirators in the seditious plot to overturn the election.

That could be why the CIA had one of their people work with the Democrats to create the whistle blower story. They are worried that they are now in some jeopardy. Their concern may be that they have been secretly listening to Trump’s official calls with foreign leaders. Notice that the Democrats are now claiming the transcript the White House provided is a forgery. They could only think that if they were told there is stuff missing from the transcript, by someone who saw the original.

In other words, the first impeachment hoax was about covering up the FBI plot to overturn the 2016 election. This latest impeachment hoax is about muddying the waters in order to conceal CIA involvement. The hope is the Democrats and the media can someone gain jurisdiction over the whole thing and prevent public disclosures that will be very bad for the CIA. The FBI spying on politicians is bad, but the CIA working for foreign countries to spy on politicians would be devastating.

The thing that does not make a lot of sense is that the Congress cannot take over an investigation like a special prosecutor. Perhaps that’s what the game is here. They will dirty up Barr while claiming to investigate this latest hoax, then demand another special prosecutor. That would explain why they are in such a rush to get started. As we saw with the first hoax, this one may not be about Trump at all. It may be about taking out someone who is asking the wrong questions about the right people.


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Too Corrupt To Fail

In all of the big institutional scandals, there is always a question that rarely gets addressed and that is, how did it go on for so long? By the time the thing starts to become public, the number of people involved, either actively or passively, has reached a point where it became impossible to hide. In some cases, the issue at the heart of the scandal just became a normal thing to the people inside the institution. For some mysterious reason, no one raised the alarm until much too late.

The best example of this is the Catholic Church scandal. By the time the story of the homosexual priests was public, the Church was infested with them. The lavender mafia had taken over whole orders. The number of pederasts had reached a point where moving them around the system was just a part of the administration. As people started asking questions and making claims, the system rallied to defend itself, without much thought about what it was defending. The corruption was systemic.

Something similar protected Jewish perverts like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein from being exposed. In both cases, lots of people knew these men were involved in degenerate activities, but no one dared say it publicly. In the case of Weinstein, the excuse was that outing him would be bad for the career. In the case of Epstein, the excuse was he had dirt on powerful people. No one knows if that is true. It’s one of those just-so answers to avoid having to think much about it.

It seems that corruption has a dynamic that starts with the first flexing of the rules that are supposed to control the institution. Somewhere along the line, it becomes expedient to overlook some minor infraction. Like a cancer, the exception making starts to spread through the system. At first, a small number of people are breaking rules and tolerating the rule breaking. As each new person learns of the practice, he is a smaller minority relative to the set of rule breakers. Thus he is less inclined to oppose it.

At first it is a handful of senior people, for example, involved in some sort of minor shenanigans that violates the spirit of the rules. The first person to learn of it is faced with taking on that cabal of senior people. Alternatively, the rule breakers are junior people, but their bosses look the other way, because they have other political interests or they are just too lazy to address it. Either way, the potential whistle blower is always outnumbered. That alone is often enough of a discouragement.

At some point, another dynamic kicks in. Those who cannot tolerate the corruption, but lack the courage to do anything about it, are boiled off. They move on, leaving behind a mix of cowards and corrupt. Of course, the corrupt flock to corruption, so the institution becomes a magnate for the type who like rule breaking. Before long, you go from a system where rule breaking is not tolerated and the rule breakers fear exposure, to a system where rule breaking is normalized and rule enforcers fear exposure.

The best example of this is the rotten police precinct. In every case, the corruption begins with a small number of cops. The good cops try to do something about it, but run into lazy or fearful superiors, who refuse to address the issue. Those cops either move on or find a way to justify their silence. Other cops either tacitly support the bad cops or justify their willful blindness in some way. Before long, the rotten precinct becomes an organism with its own immune system and defense mechanisms.

Put another way, the corrupt organization or system becomes too corrupt to fail, as everyone has some reason to protect it. For some at the heart of the corruption, the reason is obvious, but all around them are people who fear being shamed for having said nothing or fear being implicated for having looked the other way. The fallacy of the sunk cost becomes an operating principle. Everyone assumes there can be no turning back, so the corruption accelerates until eventually it does collapse.

This dynamic of corruption is something to consider when trying to sort out the many scandals engulfing Washington. For eight years, the media was celebrating the fact that there were no major scandals under Obama. They never said it, but there were no big scandals under Bush. The Scooter Libby stuff was the only thing that approached major scandal status and that was only because the press was bored. Otherwise, it was just eight years of partisan howling about trivial matters.

Yet, Trump hits town and the city is hit with a tsunami of front page scandals. The fact that most are hoaxes and the rest are scandals those hoaxes are intend to obscure, suggests something about the system. It sees Trump as not only a foreign body, but a threat by reason of being a foreign body. He’s the new precinct captain taking over a rotten precinct or the new bishop with a reputation for piety. The defense mechanism of the corrupt organization just assumes virtue is a vice that must be expelled.

This would explain why the whole system seems to have reorganized itself to defend even the pipsqueaks in the system. Andrew McCabe should be a perfect fall guy, as he is high profile enough to be a nice trophy, but not so high up as to be important to anyone in politics. Yet, he has been funneled millions of dollars by the system, through jobs and speaking fees. His legal defense fund quickly filled up with millions of dollars from Washington lobbyists. The system wants him safe.

Something similar is happening with the fake whistle blower story. The system saw that Trump people were looking into the Biden stuff. Instinctively the system responds with the fake whistle blower, so the democrats can bellow about impeachment, rather than defend Joe Biden. Why not just let this very corrupt old man go down in flames so Warren can be the nominee? The thoroughly corrupt organization lacks the ability to sacrifice any part of itself, so it instinctively defends the whole.

This video of Rudy Giuliani talking about the Biden corruption is interesting for a number of reasons. One is the level of corruption. It does appear China bought Joe Biden, while he was Vice President. Putting that aside, Giuliani seems to be realizing, as he is talking, that Washington is just like the organized crime he prosecuted back when he was making a name for himself in New York. It is an organism whose purpose, in addition to the corruption, is to defend itself against exposure.

Back during the mortgage crisis, the expression “too big to fail” became a catchphrase for justifying government support for the banks. Something similar is at work in Washington, in that it is too corrupt to fail. It’s not that so many people depend on politics as usual. It’s that the graft and corruption is so wide spread, no one thinks they can afford even a little exposure. The business of Washington is now concealing the fact it is thoroughly rotten. The business of the empire is organized crime.


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The Ghost Of Alexander Butterfield

For reasons that no one can quite explain, the Democrats are once again roaring about impeachment. This time they are promising to have a meeting about holding a hearing on whether or not to start impeachment proceedings. For his part, Trump seems to be enjoying this more than usual. He gets to stand in front of the cameras and unload on the “fake news” and Joe Biden’s crooked son. This is his element. He is a man who likes to be in the middle of the whirlwind. He loves this stuff.

The core story here is a puzzle. The Democrats demanding impeachment are relying on someone pretending to be a whistle blower. This person cannot possibly have information damaging to Trump. There is a strong suspicion that this person is another menopausal nut like Blasey-Ford, the women who accused Brett Kavanaugh of being Jack the Ripper in another life. Given that the same team of lawyers behind that stink bomb were involved in the FBI plot, it’s a smart bet.

Of course, all of this is great political theater and that is the point of it. People get paid a lot of money to go on television and conjure complex four-dimensional strategies for why this is happening. No one in the Washington media knows anything that is not handed to them by someone in government, so they are left with reading those scripts or playing make believe. For a week or so, the impeachment show will be center stage, then the dogs will bark, but the caravan will move on.

As far as why the Democrats are stepping on this rake, the most likely answer is they need to make noise. Joe Biden is on video bragging about getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired. That prosecutor was investigating a shady deal involving Biden’s shady kid and some other Democrat connected people. Screaming impeachment is a useful distraction. Biden gave a presser yesterday and the media largely ignored it, because they were told to focus on the Trump impeachment flap.

It’s important to remember that this is not about Trump or Biden. What this is about is the corruption that went on during the Obama years. We know, for example, that several Senators were colluding with the FBI plotters. While no smoking gun has been unearthed, it seems likely that Obama’s inner circle knew about the plot. Then there is the Clinton factor. No one really knows what she was auctioning off out of the State Department and no one wants the public to know about it either.

This is probably why Trump is grinning like a chimp over this Ukraine stuff. It’s another chance to bring that story into the sunlight. Trump has been trying to get the classified documents surrounding the FBI case released for a year now. His AG, Bill Barr, is sitting on them as the political establishment works to prevent the disclosure. The more the media and the Democrats demand documents and testimony from the Trump administration, the greater the odds of an Alexander Butterfield moment.

Alexander Butterfield was a White House staffer in the Nixon years. He revealed the existence of the White House taping system, during the Watergate investigation. It was his testimony that changed the nature of the scandal. Investigators suspected there was a recording system, but they had no way of knowing. In questioning Butterfield about another matter, he revealed that there was a taping system in the Oval Office and most important, everything was being taped. It was the turning point of the scandal.

There has always been speculation that the Butterfield story was not just serendipity, but that he was maneuvered into a position to make the revelation. The famous scene of Republican lawyer Fred Thompson questioning Butterfield during the televised hearing was completely staged. It was a made for television event that spelled the beginning of the end for Nixon. Soon, there were demands for the tapes and public opinion flipped against Nixon, who resigned the next year.

Theatrics aside, the lesson of the Butterfield story is that you never can know what will slither into the daylight once you start turning over rocks. The Trump administration is in possession of a lot of classified material related to the political corruption of the last administration. They can’t just dump it into the public domain. A big ugly political fight with the Democrats, heading into an election, is perfect cover for putting someone in front of Congress to accidentally on purpose say something important.

This is why Pelosi has no intention of holding formal impeachment proceedings. It’s far too risky to her party. She may be high on happy pills all day, but she is shrewd enough to know such a hearing would be very dangerous. Of course, this is why Trump seems to be daring the Democrats to open the hearings. It’s good politics, but it also creates the sort of atmosphere conducive to letting things slip into the public domain. Thanks to this Ukraine flap, we now know Biden’s political campaign is over.

The trouble for Pelosi and the Democrats is their media and back bench is staffed with the sorts of lunatics they have been courting for decades. The Washington press corps is full of hysterical females, convinced Trump will stuff their uterus with Bibles and sew their legs shut. The Democrat back benchers are cranks and dingbats like Ocasio-Cortez and Corey Booker. Keeping these loons from rushing into the minefield may prove impossible. Trump seems to think so, at least.


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Questions

A good rule to live by in modern America is that you can never be too cynical. No matter how negative your view of something, particularly politics, you are most likely being naive or optimistic relative to reality. If you go back a few decades, you’ll find that every cynical joke about how things will get worse turned out to be sunny optimism, at least with regards to politics and culture. Sadly, the doomsday predictions about economics, meteor strikes and other catastrophes turned out to be false.

As the Biden – Ukraine story begins to unfold, that old rule about being too cynical starts to look prudent. The degree of corruption in the Obama years among the Democrats is beyond what even the cynical imagined. So far, this looks like Joe Biden, while Vice President, pressured the Ukrainian government to give his crooked son a pass on some crooked energy deal in Ukraine. Biden’s son was being paid fifty grand a month for what appears to be a no-show job in a business about which he knows nothing.

Financial shenanigans are nothing new in politics, but this rises to a whole new level, which raises the first question. How crooked were these people? It’s one thing to use your influence to pressure a business for favors to a relative or political ally. This appears to be an effort to manipulate foreign policy in an effort to funnel cash to the son of the sitting VP. This is much more flagrant and much more dangerous than shaking down a contractor or taking a bribe from a donor.

This is not some one-off thing with Biden’s kid. His crooked dealings in China have long been part of the background noise of the Democrat primary. He’s also been into shady dealings with domestic financial firms and lobbying shops. The picture that emerges is of the loser son, who uses his family name to facilitate get-rich-quick schemes. He’s protected from scrutiny by his famous father. This is not Hillary Clinton level corruption, but the flagrant and reckless way in which it has gone on is amazing.

Speaking of Clinton, the effluvia of corruption that surrounds Hillary Clinton’s time in the Obama administration adds some context. The assumption has been that she was selling favors out of the State Department while she was Secretary of State. She was also eyeball deep in the Uranium One scandal. You can’t help but notice how the old Soviet Union keeps playing a role in these stories. The whole Russian collusion narrative takes on a new meaning in light of these revelations.

Of course, this not only leads back to the Russian collusion hoax, but to another question that naturally flows from all of this. How stupid are these people? Take a look at the recent Biden flap. It has been known for a while that the Trump administration was trying to get that story in the media for a year. It was ignored for the obvious reasons, so they appear to have pushed this whistle blower story. The media took the bait, only to learn that it was not the smoking gun of impeachment they imagined.

Now, this may have been dumb luck on the part of Team Trump. In politics, it is better to be lucky than good. Luck in politics is to be blessed with very stupid opponents. That seems to be the case here, but at a much wider scale. Biden had been bragging in public about throwing his weight around with the Ukrainians when he was VP. Rudy Giuliani had been pushing this story for a year. It should not have been too hard for the media to see what was coming, but they fell for the story anyway.

The question of competence is even stronger when you bring in the seditious plot run by the FBI against Trump in 2016. There was never a reason to do this. All Clinton needed to do was run a reasonably competent race and make sure to grease the Democrat machines in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Instead they went for the insanely complicated entrapment plan. Cartoon super-villains in the movies are more sober minded with regards to their schemes than these people.

This brings up something else. Why did they go after Paul Manafort, who was also involved with the Ukrainians? The assumption has been that he was low hanging fruit, but now that it is clear Biden was involved in similar dealings with Ukraine, the case takes on a new dimension. Maybe going after Manafort was about protecting Biden and by extension the Obama administration. It could be serendipity, but if you were going to look into Biden’s corrupt dealings, paying a visit to Manafort in prison is a good idea.

When Hillary Clinton arrived in Washington, her first move was to seize the raw FBI files on the political class. At the time, it was alleged she did this to get dirt on Republicans, but everyone knows Republicans are harmless. Given that Clinton operatives eventually made it to the top of the FBI, it brings that scandal back to life. Is it possible that the point of that caper was to seed the FBI with Clinton operatives? Maybe that caper was really about turning the FBI into an arm of Clinton Inc.

That sort of thinking raises the obvious question as to the purpose of the Obama administration. It is looking more and more like it was taken over by Clinton cronies and Obama was just a decoration. The most cynical said Obama was a figurehead and the real power were left-wing ideologues. Maybe the real power was the Clinton graft machine that had slowly consumed the Democrat party and the political class of Washington. Team Obama was just assimilated by the Clinton Borg.

Every time a new rock is overturned, new questions arise about what went on in the Obama years. They always seem to have some connection to Hillary Clinton, which raises a lot of other questions. The main question, of course, is will we ever get the answers to any of this. The answer to that is where we started. You can never be too cynical these days, with regards to politics. That means we will never know the truth of these scandals and we will never reach the end of them either.


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Coaching Markets

In America, a fall Saturday often means watching some college football or possibly heading off to tailgate at the alma mater. Sunday is for the NFL, which remains the top television draw, despite its problems. For much of the country, Friday night is for the local high school games. Some parts of the country play their high school games on Saturday morning, but for most it is Friday night. In Texas, high school football is a two billion dollar business. Americans love their sports, especially football.

Currently, the two best coaches in the game are Nick Saban, who coaches the Alabama Crimson Tide and Bill Belichick of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The fact that the ancestors of both men are from Illyria is an interesting fact. Not only are both the best of their era, it is possible they are the best ever. Both men have a similar style of managing their programs and both are known for being something less than charming with the media. The shadow of Diocletian is very long.

Anyway, the thing that stands out about Saban and Belichick is they are smart men, who are excellent organizers. They are gifted at working within the constraints of the game and the constraints of their situations. They are not married to a style of play, instead adapting to the talent on-hand and the state of the game. They are known for getting the most from each player, often creating a niche for the player that did not exist. They also adapt to their staffs, shuffling people in and out of their organizations.

The thing is, what makes both men remarkable is that they are exceptions. Coaching football is a very lucrative profession in current year America. Bill Belichick is thought to make close to $15 million per year. Nick Saban makes $9 million per year. Both men are probably worth over $100 million at this point. In the case of Belichick, he could be worth a quarter billion or more, as he surely has been given investment opportunities unavailable to most people. Sports teams are owned by oligarchs.

Now, for two of the greatest of all time, that is probably justifiable, but further down the talent scale, the money is still very good. All over the NFL, there are head coaches making millions per year for being very bad at their jobs. There are lots of assistants making big money for being bad at their jobs. Many assistants, are often known to lack the talent to ever be a head coach, while others are simply happy to be a mediocre NFL coach making a very good living in the game.

At the college level, the cost of mediocrity is most obvious. Many of the college head coaches are dumb people, even by the standards of sport. Will Muschamp coaches the University of South Carolina football team. He makes over $5 million per year. He is not very good at coaching football. He got fired from his last high paying gig and he will be fired from this one. He’s not alone. The game is littered with guys who are not all that bright, but somehow rise to the top of the profession.

If libertarians were right about anything, this would not be the case. There is very little government interference in the coaching business. These are contract employees, so they can be fired at will. Moreover, the colleges seem to be immune from charges of discrimination like private business. Blacks are wildly under-represented in the coaching business. There are few Jews in the management side. Women are just about non-existent in the game. Sport is free to be a free market for coaches.

In theory, the lucrative salaries and the lifestyle should be a magnet for smart young people in America. Every year, thousands of young people head to Hollywood and New York hoping to be a star. They want to be famous. You would think something similar would happen with coaching, where the money is great and you don’t have to have sex with guys like Harvey Weinstein as a condition of employment. Smart young people should be flocking to sports coaching trying to make it big.

Of course, something similar should be true of politics. Congressman and Senators are not pulling down football coach money, but they live a great lifestyle. They also get perks like the right to trade on their insider knowledge. Paul Ryan, for example, went to Washington penniless and retired with a net worth of $6 million. He landed in a seven figure job bribing his fellow colleagues. That should draw hundreds of candidates into every race, but politics is largely a closed shop, despite being democratic.

There’s not point here, other than that to point out that “natural markets” don’t exist, even in the absence of government. There’s almost no government role in the football coaching business, but it is a closed world controlled by relationships and insider information among the coaches. The same is true of politics. In theory, anyone can run for Congress. In reality, they allow in only those they want in. The Senate is the world’s most exclusive club, followed by the House and the football coaching fraternity.


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