The Truth About Health Care

Humans live in a finite world. The universe may be infinite, but the world of man is finite. There’s only so much stuff. Because there is only so much stuff, there’s always going to be a shortage of the stuff that people tend to like or need. It’s not always a desperate shortage, but there’s never enough so that everyone can take what they want. There’s always going to be one more hand reaching for the last item just after it is gone.

This is a basic axiom of life and one of the foundation truths of economics. It’s even a foundation truth of communism, which assumes scarcity can only be mitigated, but never fully eliminated, by the elimination of profit. Economists of all stripes work from the assumption that scarcity is an immutable fact of the human condition. The question they wrestle with is how to increase supply and distribute the results.

What this means is that all goods and services must be rationed. Since there’s never enough to meet the maximum demand, there has to be some way to say “no” to people demanding the goods or services. The most common way to do this is price. The poor guy who wants a Mercedes is told he cannot have a Mercedes by the big numbers on the price tag. This is how the supply of luxury cars is rationed.

The other way to ration goods and services is for men with guns to take control of the supply and create rules for who can and who cannot have access to the stuff.  Rocket propelled grenades are not very expensive. An RPG can be had for around $500 and the rounds are about $100. The government, at least in America, controls the supply of RPG’s and determines who can have them. In other words, the government rations the supply of RPG’s in America.

This is an iron law of economics. All goods and services are rationed. This is true for health care too. There are no exceptions to this law. Thus, the First Truth of Health Care: No health care plan or system can ever be taken seriously unless it addresses, up front, how it will say “No, you cannot have it” to people who want it. At some point, someone has to tell the patient they cannot have whatever it is they want or need.

In America, rationing is mostly done by price, but increasingly the state is taking over this role. In Britain, most people are denied services by the long lines for those services. The long wait times for basic services is a form of rationing. If you can deliver X per day and the demand is for 2X, you solve this by giving people numbers and having them wait a long time until their number is called. This is socialized medicine in nutshell.

The fact is, most people could pay out of pocket, for their health services. It is only when poor people get old or have accidents when they need someone to pay for their medical care. Most middle-class people should be able to put away a little every payday to reserve for their later years. That is, if they were not being taxed into poverty by the current system in America that has seen prices rise five times the inflation rate.

Thus, the Second Truth of Health Care: The current insurance model is just a wealth transfer from the middle-class to the health care industry, in order to cover the cost of poor people and the metastasizing layer of people who live off the system. Those is really just a tax. Most people use about 5% of their plan for themselves, the rest is used to pay for poor people and the army of people who work in the system.

That’s the thing politicians never want to discuss, which is the whole reason they are talking about health care in the first place. How does a modern society pay for the poor, who cannot afford needed medical services? How to we address the free riders on the system? More important, how much are we willing to pay for the health services to the poor? There’s a limit to all of this and that’s the question that always has to be answered.

Of course, one of the paradoxes of modern life is that you can get very rich off the poor, which is why liquor stores and furniture rental shops dot the ghetto. In the social welfare game, the point is to lay a massive guilt trip on the public, and grease the right political palms, in order to get the middle class to look the other way as their money is siphoned off for one program or another for the poor, always administered by a rich guy coincidentally.

Thus, the Third Truth of Health Care: Health services are a massive skimming operation. Today, the one area of the economy that “grows” is the health care industry. Every year, more and more people pile into that wagon, mostly in administrative roles. The number of nurses and doctors does not grow very much, but the number of bureaucrats grows like a weed.

Then you have the pill makers, machine makers, research people and lawyers. There are always lots and lots of lawyers. The health care industry is massive and government dependent. It’s why rub rooms are now called message therapy centers. They are angling to get it on the racket, by having their service declared an essential health care service. That way, you will be paying for some guy to get a happy ending.

That’s why reforming health care has become an impossibility. As soon as anyone makes any noises about fixing the system, the army of lobbyists, hired by every vested interest, shows up to bury the reformers. If they are not able to kill the idea of reform entirely, they set about corrupting it into another grift that their clients can use to get a free shot at your wallet. The only people not represented in these efforts are the voters. They get no say.

This is the main reason Trump’s efforts to address the problems of ObamaCare failed last week. What Ryan and the other crooks in the GOP were hoping to do is pass a bill that made it easier for their paymasters to skim money from the rate payers, while providing fewer services. Ryan’s bill was just an attempt to help the people feeding at the trough get a little fatter off the middle-class. Its failure suggests we have reached the end phase.

Talk to anyone responsible for paying health insurance premiums and they will tell you that the rates are reaching the point where they cannot be paid. When premiums are going up by multiples of inflation, there can be only one result. Once rates pass a certain level, people stop paying those premiums. You get black markets, non-compliance and a system that can only persist through brute coercion. Soon after you get collapse.

The Political Class Murders Itself

The point at which the Roman Republic moved from republic to empire is generally placed at the point when the Senate granted Octavian almost unlimited power and he adopted the title Augustus. Some historians argue it was when Caesar crossed the Rubicon or when Octavian defeated Antony at Actium. The implication is that once the transition was started, there was no turning back. The more useful analysis is to think of it as a process, with roots in the Republic, that evolved to the point where dictatorship was inevitable.

The die was most likely cast when the Republic began to compromise its own rules for limiting and distributing power. The system they had created was a reflection of the tribal realities of the early republic. In order to keep any one family from gaining too much power, they systematically limited the time anyone served in office. The system also forced an apprenticeship on those who went into public life. This had the benefit of making public men buy into the system. Therefore they were willing to defend it.

That meant the system had a policing mechanism to sort out enemies before they could cause trouble. An ambitious young man could not skip any steps on his way up the ladder, so once he got up the ladder, he was not agreeing to any changes in the process. Defending the system was a way to defend one’s prerogatives, but also a way to defend the system from lunatics. Verpus Maximus may be smart and talented, but he was not only going to wait his turn, he was going to do all the jobs necessary to prove his worth.

This system started to break down with the rivalry of Sulla and Marius. Sulla was the first man to hold the office of consul twice. He also got away with marching an army on Rome itself, in order to defeat his rival, Marius. Both of these acts were supposed to be disqualifying, but exceptions were made for expediency. Sulla sided with the Senate so the Senate bent the rules to serve themselves. A good case can be made that this is the point when it was all over for the Republic.

It was just a matter of time before someone used Sulla as a precedent.

It is a good lesson to keep in mind as the politicians in the Imperial Capital wrangle over what could be a very dangerous scandal for them.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election.

The White House and Trump’s allies immediately seized on the statement as vindication of the president’s much-maligned claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower phones — even though Nunes himself said that’s not what his new information shows.

Democrats, meanwhile, cried foul.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, cast doubt on Nunes’ claims in a fiery statement and blasted the chairman for not first sharing the information with him or other committee members.

Schiff also slammed Nunes for briefing the White House on Wednesday afternoon given that the Intelligence Committee is in the middle of an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion with the Trump team.

The political class chased Nixon out of town for talking about the use of the FBI and CIA as weapons against political opponents. The rule in politics has been that the use of the IRS or the intelligence agencies was expressly prohibited. There could be no exceptions for obvious reasons, as it would give these bureaucracies dangerous power. That was the lesson of Hoover. If the CIA or IRS are allowed to use their powers to gather dirt on elected officials, then they can control elected officials. That’s the end of democracy.

Of course, there’s another reason to take certain weapons off the table in politics. That’s self preservation. In prior ages, where the winners had the losers killed, the challengers would always have as their goal, the death of the current ruler. That prompted the ruler to get ahead of the curve and have any potential challengers killed, before they could be any trouble. This was Stalin’s game and he just about gutted the the intellectual and political elite of Russia in the process. They still have not recovered from it.

That’s what makes this so dangerous. It’s now clear what happened. The Obama people started spying on Trump once he had the nomination or perhaps even earlier. They may have started earlier with an eye on helping the Republicans knock him off in the primary, but that’s not clear. They figured that Clinton was a lock so they were not careful about covering their tracks. The Clinton people are as dirty as it gets so they were not going to be ratting on anyone over it. If anything, they would expand on it.

This is where the Russian hacking story comes into the picture. Once disaster struck and Team Obama realized they had a problem, they needed cover, so they started with the Russian hacking nonsense. They would then claim that it was all an accident and they were just trying to prevent Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale from attacking our democracy! It’s also why Obama signed a retroactive Executive Order giving cover to the intel agencies for their domestic spying activities. They were creating a cover story.

The complication is that it appears that at least one person has perjured himself over this and that one person is FBI Director Comey. There’s no way to square his testimony with these new revelations. The best he can do is split hairs and claim he was not part of the spying effort. Of course, there’s no way to touch him as he runs the FBI. In fact, there’s no way to investigate any of the intelligence organizations. This is the point where many of the robot historians of the future will say the American political class murdered itself.

Unless there is some will to address it, and that’s highly unlikely, we now have a new normal where highly politicized intelligence agencies are used by both sides to discredit one another and discredit any attempts to reform the system. It’s no longer a game of rules. It is a zero sum  game of power and that cycle only ends one way, with someone marching their army on the capital and taking control. As with Rome, whoever emerges as the dictator will not have murdered the system. The system will have murdered itself.

Which Side Are You On?

Last week Charles Murray went to the Middlebury College to give a talk about his latest book and other subjects. For those unfamiliar with Middlebury College, it is a very preppy private college in New England. It is one of the “Little Ivies” and ranked in the top-10 of national liberal arts colleges. For those unfamiliar with Charles Murray, he is most famous for The Bell Curve, a controversial book 20 years ago that described the mountain of data on IQ and its relevance to social outcomes. He’s also a fixture at the think tank AEI.

I’ve never met Charles Murray or been in the audience for one of his lectures. I’ve seen him on television a few times and he seems like a nice person, but for all I know he could be a monster. I do know he was cravenly dishonest about the last election. Like the rest of the NeverTrump loons, he refused to acknowledge that the election was a choice between two options, not a choice between Trump and the model of perfection. He believed that gave him a free pass to work on behalf of Hillary Clinton, by working against Trump.

Anyway, Murray went off to Middleburry to give his speech and the campus lunatics shut down the event. They even managed to assault one of the professors, who sponsored the thing. Murray wrote up his reflections on the event, as if it was a seminal moment in the history of the republic. Normies have been getting the business from the lunatics for a long time, but no one cares about them. When Ann Coulter gets screamed at on campus, guys like Murray just shrug, because after all, Coulter deserves it. She’s a bad thinker.

That’s the thing with these guys. They don’t care about free speech or the open exchange of ideas. They care about their free speech and their access to the marketplace of ideas, which means staying in good with the Left. When a John Derbyshire is shut down by the campus lunatics, Conservative Inc is silent. To defend Derb or anyone else the Left has ruled out of bounds would risk their standing and that can never happen. The only core principle of these so-called conservatives is to remain on the good side of the Left.

This is not supposed to happen to good thinkers like Charles Murray, so it is a big deal to the people who pretend to be on our side. It also offers another opportunity for Conservative Inc. to pretend they are on the front lines fighting the Left. As I pointed out the other day, these guys are looking for a way to insert themselves at the front of the movement they claim to lead, at least until things get serious. You just know that one of them will be declaring himself the “respectable” version of the Dissident Right.

The incident is a good reminder of Official Right’s worthlessness. Murray’s piece reads like an apology. That’s because it is an apology. The boys and girls of Conservative Inc have always worked to position themselves at the edge of what the Left considers the respectable Right. Twenty years ago, the Bell Curve was right at the edge. Now, the Left considers it heresy and Murray knows it. It’s why he invested so much effort into advertising his opposition to Trump. It’s part of the long apology for his past heresy.

Murray is fond of the label Establishmentarians to describe his peers. While it is true that they are forever defending the establishment, they have no say in what is and what is not the “establishment.” That’s decided by the Left. Since that is always changing, most of these guys spend their days trying to justify the latest movement of the Overtone Window as conservative. It’s why a Jonah Goldberg was out declaring homosexuality a core conservative principle  It’s why a National Review is pro-tranny.

It’s also why the most important project of the Dissident Right is discrediting those palace guards of the Progressive establishment. Guys like Charles Murray are useful opponents for the Left and not just because they are always willing to take a dive. Like the tomato cans that fill up the fight card for a weak champion, Conservative Inc insulates the Establishment from a real challenge. Instead of having to face off against people who are willing to punch back, the Left likes these journeyman who are just happy for the payday.

Yeah, its a shame Charles Murray got heckled in preppy-ville, but it is important to keep in mind that these guys never do anything about it, other than complain. If Murray, or any of the others, gets an invite to speak at Middleburry tomorrow, they are volunteering to jog there if that’s what it takes. It’s why they deserve no sympathy and no support. I have more respect for Based Stick Man than any of the cowards of Conservative Inc. That guy is willing to fight back. That’s a guy who deserves support, not Charles Murray.

The Destroyer of Worlds

Since Trump has entered the White House, the Left has been spinning bizarre fantasies about how the Trump team is part of some super-secret Russian conspiracy. You cannot turn on the television without seeing a liberal nutter hooting “Russian hacking!” To date, no one has bothered to explain what that phrase is supposed to mean. The implication is that through some special magic, the Russians caused the voting machines to register results in favor of Trump. They don’t come out and say it, but that’s the game.

A big part of this lunacy is the fact that the Left was sure that Trump could not win the election. It’s not that they were sure they had the better choice. It was that they were completely convinced that there were no circumstances where Trump could become President. They were so sure, in fact, that they had all of official Washington convinced of this as well. A month before the election there was no one in either party talking about a Trump victory. In fact, the topic of debate was the size and scope of the Clinton victory.

This belief was so pervasive, that both parties spent the summer plotting how they were going to configure themselves after the disaster. Team Clinton spent the summer figuring out how they could use the landslide in order to steamroll the Republicans and enact their agenda. The Republicans were similarly planning for the onslaught and how they could somehow preserve themselves after the election. The day after the election, the stunned looks on the faces of everyone in the political class made this hilariously clear.

There’s another aspect to this that has become abundantly clear over the last couple of months. Both parties wanted to see Clinton win. The Republicans, at least the leadership, liked the setup under Obama. They got to pose as rock-ribbed conservatives fighting Obama, without ever having to do anything. Democrats liked that Obama was just issuing executive orders and bypassing the parliamentary process. The Washington ecosystem was at equilibrium as long as everyone on both sides played their part.

The proof of this is the fact that the GOP has no plans ready for the 2017 legislative session. They have been talking for years about ObamaCare and now we know they never planned to do anything. The same is true of taxes, which is the one thing Republicans like doing. They have no plans for anything, not even something symbolic. They not only have no plans, they are still staggering around in shock, not sure what they should be doing. Suddenly nothing makes sense to the people inside the bubble and they are scared.

In a world where the rules no longer apply, it quickly becomes every man for himself and that’s what is happening in Washington right now.The Left accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians is not just a reckless political attack. It’s war on the very system of governance. It’s the sort of thing that goes on when the political system is breaking down. Trump’s charge that Obama was spying on his campaign makes perfect sense in light of what see happening. The evidence of some sort of Nixonian skulduggery is pretty strong.

Of course, in a world where the scrupulous following of protocol is essential to maintaining the status quo, a break down in the rules puts everyone at risk. That seems to be Trump’s game here with the spying charges. The establishment has tossed out the rules in their effort to attack him, so he is threatening to further bust up the system, which works to his favor and to their disadvantage. it’s a foolish game the Left has decided to play as they have much more to lose in a world without rules.

There’s another aspect to this. Trump has fewer skeletons in his closet than any president in generations. In Washington, that makes him a very dangerous man. All of these guys have shady deals in their closet. All of them bend the rules to reward themselves and their associates. No one says anything about it because everyone is dirty. Washington is a lot like a corrupt police precinct, where everyone is on the take so no one dares rat on anyone else. Trump’s life is an open book so he does not have to play along.

That’s probably why he went nuclear over the weekend. He’s looking around at a city full of crooked politicians calling for investigations so he is turning the table and threatening to open the investigation up to everything. Imagine Trump coming out and asking for a special prosecutor to look into Obama, Clinton, the IRS people, the DOJ and maybe even the FBI itself. There’s a lot of people in Washington with a lot to hide and Trump certainly knows it, which is why he is going on the attack over the tapping of his offices.

A long time ago I pointed out that Trump was The Mule, the character from the Asimov novels. Trump is the destroyer of worlds, not because he has some grand vision of the future and wants to plow under the existing order to make room for his utopia. He is the destroyer because the old order can only exist if Trump does not exist. His rise to the White House is the nullification of the established order. It’s why Washington is going for total war to destroy him. They see it is a matter of survival.

It’s probably too late. The Mule has arrived.

It’s All Fake

Back in Obama’s first months on the throne, Rick Santelli, a TV personality, was “reporting” from the floor of the stock exchange. He responded to a question about Obama’s housing plan with a rant about socialism, finishing it off with a call for a new Tea Party. Whether it was spontaneous or choreographed is hard to know, but at the time people took it to be entirely spontaneous. Santelli is a carny barker prone to getting carried away on the air and his rant had the feel of an old fashioned stem winder.

Regardless of the intent or the execution, the rant went viral and the Tea Party Movement was born. Middle America was ready to be pissed off due to the terribleness of the Bush years, so Obama’s poor start put the normies in a fighting mood. Before long people were showing up at town hall meetings, dressed as Samuel Adams, giving their congressman the business about reckless government behavior that had made a hash of things. Since the Democrats were the majority, they got the brunt of the abuse.

It did not take long for the moonbats to declare the whole thing a racist conspiracy cooked up by the twelfth invisible Hitler in league with the eternal cyclops of the KKK. This was when the fake hate crime stuff got its start as a daily phenomenon. It was also when it became apparent to a lot of people that the news is mostly fake. The increasingly deranged Nancy Pelosi, slurring about “Astroturf” was so weird, it begged a challenge, but the news people carried on like it was manifestly true.

The claim that middle aged suburbanites, dressed in tricorne hats, were paid agents of a nefarious conspiracy was so nutty that the response from the press should have been laughter and then derision. After all, it has been known for decades that the Left uses rent-a-mobs. They pay people to show up and hold signs. Unions have been doing this since the days of Jimmy Hoffa. For the Democrats to clutch their pearls and call the Tea Party inauthentic should have been too much of a farce for even the very liberal press corp.

I’ve often wondered if that was when a lot of people started to think the corruption in Washington was worse than they imagined. The corruption of the Tea Party by Conservative Inc surely turned a lot of people to the dark side, but the priming agent may well have been the AstroTurf stuff. It was so obvious that the media was coordinating their coverage with the Left, it was hard not to notice it. The game was rigged and nothing in the media was on the level. It was not just bias, it was collusion.

The question is, how fake is it? The answer may be, more fake than you think.

A majority of online and social media defenders of Obamacare are professionals who are “paid to post,” according to a digital expert.

“Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time,” said Michael Brown. “They were paid to post.”

Since so much of the mass media is now intertwined with social media, the authenticity of social media is a useful proxy for the authenticity of the mass media. It’s right to assume that social media is mostly fake.

The largest network ties together more than 350,000 accounts and further work suggests others may be even bigger.

UK researchers accidentally uncovered the lurking networks while probing Twitter to see how people use it.

Some of the accounts have been used to fake follower numbers, send spam and boost interest in trending topics.

On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out. Some people pay to get bots to follow their account or to dilute chatter about controversial subjects.

“It is difficult to assess exactly how many Twitter users are bots,” said graduate student Juan Echeverria, a computer scientist at UCL, who uncovered the massive networks.

Mr Echeverria’s research began by combing through a sample of 1% of Twitter users in order to get a better understanding of how people use the social network.

However, analysis of the data revealed some strange results that, when probed further, seemed to reveal lots of linked accounts, suggesting one person or group is running the botnet. These accounts did not act like the bots other researchers had found but were clearly not being run by humans.

This would explain the strange disparity in followers you see in Twitter. I’ve had people with tens of thousands of followers post a link to this site and the traffic was a few click throughs. On the other hand, a Ricky Vaughn tweet would net thousands of hits in minutes and it would last hours. That told me real humans were reading his timeline. It also suggests that those follower counts for allegedly famous people may be fake. We know people have bought followers for social media, but the scale has never been examined.

That may be changing. ZeroHedge used on-line traffic tools to figure out that major news sites have most likely hired Chinese click farms to help them game their traffic numbers, even though these sites are blocked in China. These sorts of solicitations come through the contact page of this site on a daily basis so it is nothing new. If the big major sites have succumbed to temptation in order to fraudulently boost their traffic counts, it is safe to assume all of them are doing it.

None of this surprises those who turned to the dark side when Darth Vader was still in knickers. The JournoList scandal was thrown down the memory hole, but the hate thinkers still remember it. The rampant fraud on Facebook with regards to their advertising is starting to impact on-line ads. That was entirely predictable if you have been following these things. But now, the general public is noticing that not only is the news fake, the people behind it look a lot like people our betters have been warning us about for years.

What may push everyone over the edge is the mother of all fake news stories, the entirely fictional Russian Hacking™ scandal. There is nothing about this that passes the laugh test. No one can even explain what it is the Russians supposedly did. No one can explain how Trump people talking to Russians is different from everyone else who regularly talks with Russians. It’s as if the media has been infected with a rage virus. Of course, it’s obvious that the hysteria is part of an orchestrated campaign to undermine Trump.

In other words, it’s all fake.

And it will end poorly.

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.

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.

The Unanswered Question

Milo Yiannopoulos is out on the speaking tour, drawing as much attention to himself as possible, but also trying hard to differentiate himself from the people the Left currently hate almost as much as they hate white men. The new Goldstein of the Cult of Modern Liberalism is Richard Spencer and anyone they can associate with him. Spencer is variously described as a “white nationalist”, a “white supremacist” and, of course, a “Nazi.” As a result, Milo is trying very hard to prove he has nothing to do with any of it.

From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense. The people running the media in America are as committed to the New Religion as anyone so they will never allow a bad thinker into their thing. Milo dreams of being the gay Bill Buckley or the thinking man’s Rip Taylor. It’s hard to know what he is doing as he does seem to flit from one thing to the next, always in the pursuit of attention. Someone pointed me to this podcast by Sam Harris on Milo.

I don’t count myself a fan of Harris or Yiannopoulos so whatever issues they have are unknown to me. I don’t have anything against them either. I just don’t pay much attention to them. Just taking it on face value then, I’d say Harris is mostly correct. Milo is just an attention whore and he has found a way to be good at it in a way that causes people to give him money. It is social commentary as performance art, something comics have been doing since the Greeks.

Milo is a flamboyantly ridiculous person saying taboo things that are obviously true and everyone knows they are true. There is a long tradition in the West of lampooning the people in charge, especially the people in charge of public morality, which in the West, are often in charge of politics. Further, using a “fool” to ridicule the rulers is common. When Milo goes on campus and mocks feminists, as a ludicrously gay man, it insulates him, so he can say things about the womyn that are both true and forbidden.

That’s all good stuff and well within the Western tradition. In Germany, Till Eulenspiegel is a folkloric hero, who mocks politicians and public figures with political satire. He holds a mirror to make us aware of our times. The English had their court jesters, with some becoming quite wealthy. A fellow known only as a Stańczyk was a famous Polish jester and is a national hero to the Polish people. The point being is that fools like Milo are both useful and necessary, because they tell us something about our age.

That’s where guys like Sam Harris miss the point and get it wildly wrong. There’s a good case to be made that even Milo is not grasping the implications of his shtick.

“The reality is, if you force everyone to play identity politics, if you insist in pitting whites against blacks, women against men, straights against gays, the reality is you guys are gonna win and the left isn’t going to like it very much,” declared MILO. “But there’s a better way. Don’t fight identity politics with identity politics.”

That sounds great. What is it?

“White pride, white nationalism, white supremacy isn’t the way to go,” he continued. “The way to go is reminding them and yourselves that you should be aspiring to values and to ideas.”

Wonderful. And what are those values and ideals?

“You should be focusing on what unites people and not what drives them apart,” MILO concluded. “You shouldn’t give a shit about skin color, a shit about sexuality… You shouldn’t give a shit about gender, and you should be deeply suspicious of the people who do.”

So, nothing.

This is reminiscent of recent forays into doubt by big shot intellectuals like Charles Murray, Steven Pinker and Robert Putnam. In all three cases, they work through the case against the prevailing orthodoxy of the blank slate, egalitarianism and multiculturalism, only to be horrified by where it leads. In the case of Murray, he has been trying to atone for the Bell Curve ever since. Pinker now sounds like a raving loon and Putnam chants Progressive pieties to avoid finishing his thought.

In the case of Sam Harris, he is smart enough to know that the foundations of the Progressive orthodoxy are oogily-boogily of the first order, far more detached from reality than conventional religion. He’s either afraid to take his critique through to its logical conclusion or he lacks the imagination to see what comes next, so he rolls into a ball and starts gassing on about “unifying people with values and ideas.” Any variation of the word “unify” is a signal that what comes next is gibberish.

This is, in the realm of practical politics, why the Buckley crowd is circling the drain as a political force. Way back in the 60’s, they could not bring themselves to challenge the implausible claims by the Left with regards to civil rights. Instead, they picked the losing hand of state’s rights, hoping to avoid facing the Left over the “negro question.” As a result, they ceded the moral high ground to the Left with regards to race and identity. No amount of legal precedent could stand in the way of social justice!

Ever since, the Buckley-ites have had to fight the Left while acknowledging that the Left is their moral superior and the arbiter of civil morality. That’s a battle that can never be won as the other side will simply declare your latest position to be heresy and out of bounds. No matter how logical and right your position, it can never withstand the moral authorities saying it is wrong. That’s why the Left has won every battle in the culture war. They can thunder, “you may have facts, but we have righteousness!”

There’s another problem with what Milo and Sam Harris are saying. Let’s stipulate that identity politics are a bad thing. Is playing that card better or worse than losing to the Left as they relentlessly play the identity politics game? Unless you have a serious mental illness, you have to see that the Left is nothing but identity politics now and they are winning. Just turn on the TV. Just look at the best seller list. The people of the New Religion hate white people, particularly white men and they will not be talked out of it.

The question that faces every man is not “what sort of society do I want for myself and my children?” That’s a lie and it has always been a lie. The question is “What are my choices and how do I achieve my preferred option?” The choice pushed by our betters is a world run by Black Lives Matters and women dressed as vaginas. If the other option is white pride, white nationalism and white supremacy, it is not hard to see how this is going to go.

All of the howling and complaining from the Official Right about the rise of the so-called alt-right is due to the unanswered question from the Milo piece. If the identity politics of the alt-right are bad, what’s the other option? If the answer is submission, which has been the case for the last three decades, at least, then the response is not just going to be “no” it is going to be “hell no!” No amount of moral preening is going to work because that is the thing people are rebelling against. What’s left is what is always what’s left and that’s force.