If Obama had a son…

he would look like Jeffrey Williams.

Jeffrey Williams

 

A 20-year-old man charged Sunday with shooting two police officers who were keeping watch over a demonstration outside the Ferguson Police Department had participated in the protests earlier that night, police said.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Jeffrey Williams told authorities he was firing at someone with whom he was in a dispute, not at the police officers.

“We’re not sure we completely buy that part of it,” McCulloch said, adding that there might have been other people in the vehicle with Williams.

Williams is charged with two counts of first-degree assault, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle and three counts of armed criminal action. McCulloch said the investigation is ongoing.

The officers were shot early Thursday as a crowd began to break up after a late-night demonstration that unfolded after Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson resigned in the wake of the scathing federal Justice Department report.

“He was out there earlier that evening as part of the demonstration,” McCulloch said of Williams.

A 41-year-old St. Louis County officer was shot in the right shoulder, the bullet exiting through his back. A 32-year-old officer from Webster Groves was wearing a riot helmet with the face shield up. He was shot in the right cheek, just below the eye, and the bullet lodged behind his ear. The officers were released from the hospital later Thursday.

McCulloch said Williams used a 40mm handgun, which matches the shell casings at the scene.

Williams, who St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said is black, is being held on $300,000 bond.

 

 

Double Reverse False Flag-a-Rooney

I like what Ron Unz is doing to support the Dissident Right with his website the Unz Review. Ron is very rich and very smart. He allegedly has an IQ over 200, but I have no way of knowing if that is true. Still, his business career supports the argument that he is an exceptionally bright man. Having super-smart people in your corner is almost always good. Having smart rich people in your corner is even better. Having smart, rich curious people is ideal.

That’s what strikes me about Unz. He is not doctrinaire, as far as I can tell. His site has all sorts of political and philosophical points of view. Steve Sailer is what we used to call the mainstream Right in the 1980’s. Noam Chomsky is a socialist circa 1968. It takes self-confidence and a high degree of curiosity to open the doors to such a wide range of opinion. It is something I try to cultivate in myself and therefore admire in others.

The thing you have to guard against, however, is falling for crackpot ideas with which you are unfamiliar. I’m a natural skeptic so this is much easier for me than most. My default assumption, when confronted by a new answer, is to assume that it must be wrong. I then set out to disprove it. I’m a natural puzzle solver so reverse engineering an idea or argument to see how it works is second nature. That wins me few friends, but it avoids stumbling into this sort of stuff I see on Ron’s site.

Philip Giraldi had a long career in the intelligence business as a CIA agent and later as a private dick for international clients. Therefore, his words carry an authority that most do not. He’s also a dedicated Israel hater. Here’s a quote from him:

“The Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away. “

Giraldi’s opinion of Israel is popular in Europe and, obviously, dominant in the Middle East. Arabs, fond of conspiracy, have created an elaborate mythology around Israel, international Jewry, the United States and their own plight. Westerners, who spend long periods in Arab lands, tend to pick up this habit of mind, along with a suspicion of Israel. They often return home sounding like retired Nazis to American ears. Giraldi has a bit of that to him and I would assume it comes from many years posted abroad.

Regardless, his obsession with Israel borders on the pathological. To suggest, as he does in that post, that the Israelis were behind the Paris shooting is simply nuts. All of the evidence points to two unstable young men who probably spent too much time on-line fantasizing about being the great Arab warrior. It’s not al-Quaeda or the Mosad. It was two disaffected Muslims. Instead of shooting an aging rock star to win the heart of a woman, they shot up a newspaper to win a place with Allah. But, the conspiratorial mind can never accept such banal explanations.

In his essay In Search of Anti-Semitism Bill Buckley laid out the turf that lies between criticism of Israel and/or commentary about Jews and anti-Semitism. This has remained an unresolved dispute between various factions of the Right since it boiled over in the 1980’s. The result, in my view, is that the folks chased out of the mainstream Right over the issue of Israel have never gotten over it. Their non-personhood haunts them even after all these years. The result is a deep paranoia about Israel and their neo-con supporters on the American Right.

I think Giraldi’s paranoia about Israel is simply weird. Israel is a country that does what it can to advance its interest. If it were located in the heart of Europe, it would be a Hebrew Lichtenstein, a commercial center with a big Temple. Instead it is surrounded by Arabs and it must adjust to deal with them. Americans have a romantic view of Israel so that is reflected in our foreign policy. There’s no grand conspiracy. No puppetry. No great game played in back rooms and clandestine locations. It’s just what it looks like.

The only false flags are thus fluttering in the imaginations of the deranged and disaffected.

Why The GOP Is Toast

I saw this on NRO this morning. The other day, I went around and around with some sheeple that I suspected were campaign volunteers for Ed Gillespie, the Liberal Republican running for Senate in Virginia. If you look in the comment section of that last linked post you’ll see me in there all over the place. My argument is a simple one. If you don’t see a choice on the ballot that represents your interests, not voting is always a choice and often the right one. If you’re choice is a child molester and a rapist, no one would fault you for refusing to endorse either option with your vote. In fact, everyone would applaud you for staying home and doing the right thing.

That’s the thing hod carriers like Jim Geraghty either don’t understand or would like you to ignore. The latter is a strong possibility as this has been explained to him dozens of times. A self-governing people not only selects amongst the options available, they decide on the options. One block offers up their preferred choice. Another block offers up their choice. The people unsure of which block is right ultimately decide the winners. Some will reject all of the options and seek out an alternative. They can’t do that if they always select from the offered choices.

The sheeple of the GOP insist the dissenters are being unreasonable. After all, staying home means the other side wins. They always claim the dissenters are looking for perfection and that’s the dissenters are being childish. That’s obnoxiously stupid, which reinforces the sense amongst the dissenters that the hod carriers simply don’t respect the opinions of the dissenters. Frankly, it is the only reasonable conclusion. If every time you raise an objection you’re told to shut up and sit down, what other conclusion can you draw?

What’s irritating about the “perfection” claims is they are easily disproved by recent elections. Conservatives of all stripes, even paleos, came out in force for the GOP is 1994, 2000, 2004 and 2010. The latter election was fueled by the populist uprising called the Tea Party. Their aim was to reform the GOP, not embrace it. Ever since, the GOP has made war on these people, driving out of the Tea Party wherever possible. Telling these people that perfection is the enemy of the good enough, when they have been living that life and got nothing but abuse for it, is a kick in the teeth.

The problem for the GOP is that no one believes them. The Bush years were a disaster for the Right and the GOP. I suspect a lot of Tea Party types would run back to them if the GOP leadership was at least willing to admit they bungled things in the Bush years. Guys like Jim Geraghty, no one’s idea of a deep thinker, would do the most good popularizing these confessions, not defending the privileges of an increasingly alien party establishment. But, offering up profiteers like Ed Gillespie in a winnable Senate race, however, says the GOP is more concerned with purging their party of voters than fighting the Liberal Democrats.

This can’t last. It is why UKIP is about to drive a beer truck through the Tories. The large number of Euro-skeptic in England need a party. The large number of diversity and immigration skeptics need a party. If the main parties refuse to speak to the issues important to the people, the people will inevitably find someone who will. In the fullness of time, the GOP’s decision to make war on the Tea Party will be seen as the turning point similar to what the Compromise of 1850 was to the Whig Party.

People on the Right are the most likely to accept half a loaf. It is their greatest flaw, one that the Left has expertly exploited since the birth of the American Left. The reasonableness and politeness of the Right is its broken window, through which all of the Rousseau-ist rats have entered. The party that pretends to represent the Right can no longer demand their voters reach into the bowl and select a turd for their turd sandwich.  Half a loaf is one thing. Half a turd is beyond the pale.

 

Things That Bug Me

One of the benefits to be an aging crank is you get to point out the foibles and missteps of others with impunity. In the age of mass media, those foibles are replicated and exaggerated. Some guy on TV says something clever and you hear it repeated a million times over the next week. Some phrases, like “the Chicago way” become catch phrases for the more pedestrian pundits like Michelle Malkin. She’s well intentioned and on the right side of things, but my goodness. Sarah Palin saying “crony capitalism” is another one that makes me grit my teeth.

Anyway, I thought a listical of things I hate would be a fun post.

1) Reach out and touch base: At least once a day, some young fellow calls in to let me know he is touching base with me. How I became his base is never discussed. I guess I’m supposed to be flattered. I have no idea where this came from or how it became a standard greeting, but I hate it. What bugs me about it is the dishonesty. You’re not checking on my wellbeing. You want something from me. That’s why you’re calling me.

2) The on-line symposium: I’ve been to a lot of symposiums, as in the ancient Greek sort. We did not call them that. We called them drunken arguments, often held at the pub, but sometimes around the kitchen table at three in the morning. You can’t do this on-line. Sure, I often get drunk reading the Interwebs and have even posted while drunk, but that’s not a symposium. That’s a drinking problem. What’s really irritating is these on-line things are always feminized. The participants care more about flattering one another than scoring points.

3) Pronouncing foreign words with a foreign accent: The idiot in the White House has this habit. He speaks one language, American English. He’s not exactly a word smith either. Yet, the guy will pronounce foreign words with what he thinks is a native speaker’s accent. I bet if ever had a reason to say “Slim Jim” he would try to sound like an Indian convenience store clerk. It is a ridiculous affectation that says the speaker is a punk and a nitwit.

4) Make statements into questions: This is one that millennial pansies love using. I used to love going off on them at Marginal Revolution. Smarmy, left-wing 20-something boys do this exclusively. They lack the guts to make declarative statements so they opt for the passive-aggressive approach. Lines like “you know [fill in tantrum]?” is the standard form. The precious little snowflakes want you to know they are vexed by your opinions and want you to explain yourself. It’s the result of over investment in children. The resulting sense of entitlement give them a veto over the world around them.

5) Demand a link: Many lunatics are so thoroughly marinated in the Cult of Modern Liberalism, things the rest of us take for granted are a mystery to them. Somehow, it becomes your responsibility to provide them with material on what most of us already know. I get the sense sometimes that these people have never heard of Google. Whenever I run into something unfamiliar or objectionable, I look it up. If I choose to rebut the claim, then I post the link.

6) Ignorance as argument: I wish I had a nickel for every time someone posted “I’ve never heard of ….” It would be nice if it were methodological solipsism, but it is really just navel gazing. When presented with information or opinions that don’t fit neatly into the person’s world view, they deny its existence by claiming to have never heard of it. The implication is that the argument must be false because they are unfamiliar with it or unfamiliar with your facts. By extension, their point of view or opinion must therefore be the correct one.

7) Being right by default: Every liberal I know does this. They stake out some position and demand you convince them they are wrong. Homosexual marriage is a classic. Instead of making the affirmative argument, they demand an explanation as to why they should not push forward with it. I guess I can’t blame them, given the direction of things. Still, it is an infuriating pose. If you want to change something, it is your job to make the case. It is not my job to stop you from believing stupid stuff.

More Stupid

Like the Scottish independence vote, I can’t make up my mind on the November elections. I think the country would be best served with a massive Republican victory. They could bottle up Barry’s judicial nominees for two years and stop his planned amnesty. Barry would be a lame duck and spend the next two years playing dress up with Reggie Love. The Republicans would do nothing to address the many things that ail the nation, but at least they would probably staunch the bleeding.

On the other hand, a loss would throw cold water on Conservative Inc and the Wets in the GOP. I fear I would blow a funny fuse watching guys like Hannity burst into tears on election night. The crew at National Review would be wearing black arm bands for a week. But, there’s the danger they draw the wrong lesson and lurch even further to the left. If they can look at the 2010 election and conclude they had to try and compromise with Barry, there’s probably no amount of evidence they can open their eyes and see.

It is with mixed emotions I link to this story in the Lunatic Post.

Democrats are now (very slightly) favored to hold the Senate majority on Nov. 4, according to Election Lab, The Post’s statistical model of the 2014 midterm elections.

Election Lab puts Democrats’ chances of retaining their majority at 51 percent — a huge change from even a few months ago, when the model predicted that Republicans had a better than 80 percent chance of winning the six seats they need to take control. (Worth noting: When the model showed Republicans as overwhelming favorites, our model builders — led by George Washington University’s John Sides — warned that the model could and would change as more actual polling — as opposed to historical projections — played a larger and larger role in the calculations. And, in Republicans’ defense, no one I talked to ever thought they had an 80 percent chance of winning the majority.)

So, what exactly has changed to move the Election Lab projection? Three big things:

* Colorado: On Aug. 27 — the last time I wrote a big piece on the model — Election Lab said Sen. Mark Udall (D) had a 64 percent chance of winning. Today he has a 94 percent chance.

* Iowa: Two weeks ago, the model gave state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) a 72 percent chance of winning. Today she has a 59 percent chance.

* Kansas: Republican Sen. Pat Roberts’s reelection race wasn’t even on the radar on Aug. 27. Today, Election Lab predicts that he has just a 68 percent chance of winning.

In addition to that trio of moves in Democrats’ direction, Louisiana has moved slightly in Democrats’ favor (from a 57 percent chance of losing to a 53 percent chance), as has North Carolina (a 97 percent chance of winning now as opposed to a 92 percent chance on Aug. 27).

The fapping sounds from Chris Cillizza’s cubicle are what you think. He is one the hardest of hard thumping lunatics in the fake data journalism rackets. The “data lab” at the Lunatic Post is a room covered in posters of Barry. I’d also note that around this time in 2006 the GOP was making similar noises about polling. They were crushed  two months later.

 

 

War?

For my entire life, war in Europe has been unthinkable. In the Cold War, conflict meant nuclear exchange and the end of the human race. Therefore, war with the Soviets was to be avoided at all costs. It was also assumed, correctly, that the Russians were not interested in war with the West, at least not a shooting war. Proxies such as Vietnam or various civil wars in the third world were as far as it could be allowed to go.

Once the Cold War ended, war was looking like a thing of the past. Hammering the provinces from time to time was as far as it would go. Europe was into the end of history stuff and racing toward one worldism. If you talked about the Russian threat ten years ago, you were considered a nut. Heck, in the 2012 election, Obama mocked Romney for talking up the threat of Russia. The liberal press corp roared with laughter when Obama said “The 80’s called and they want their foreign policy back” in one of the debates.

Now, here we are with the very liberal Slate posting article about the looming war with Russia.

Over and over again—throughout the entirety of my adult life, or so it feels—I have been shown Polish photographs from the beautiful summer of 1939: The children playing in the sunshine, the fashionable women on Krakow streets. I have even seen a picture of a family wedding that took place in June 1939, in the garden of a Polish country house I now own. All of these pictures convey a sense of doom, for we know what happened next. September 1939 brought invasion from both east and west, occupation, chaos, destruction, genocide. Most of the people who attended that June wedding were soon dead or in exile. None of them ever returned to the house.

When you start with a reference to the looming Nazi onslaught, you know the rest of the article is going to be seriously grim.

In retrospect, all of them now look naive. Instead of celebrating weddings, they should have dropped everything, mobilized, prepared for total war while it was still possible. And now I have to ask: Should Ukrainians, in the summer of 2014, do the same? Should central Europeans join them?

I realize that this question sounds hysterical, and foolishly apocalyptic, to American or Western European readers. But hear me out, if only because this is a conversation many people in the eastern half of Europe are having right now. In the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great. Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow. Some include Kharkov and Dnipropetrovsk, cities that are still hundreds of miles away from the fighting. Some place Novorossiya along the coast, so that it connects Russia to Crimea and eventually to Transnistria, the Russian-occupied province of Moldova. Even if it starts out as an unrecognized rump state—Abkhazia and South Ossetia, “states” that Russia carved out of Georgia, are the models here—Novorossiya can grow larger over time.

The thing about American politicians and strategists is they always assume the other guys think like they think. That’s been the problem with Ukraine since the start of this. My bet is exactly zero people in the American foreign policy bubble have heard of “Novorossiya” or what the “Wild Fields” means to Russian nationalists. Anne Applebaum is a smart woman and super connected to the deep state, yet this is the first time she has written about this. This suggests that the Western foreign policy elite knows next to nothing about what’s going on in Russia today.

That’s the scary part about this situation. It looks like the West is not just clueless about Russia, but almost in disbelief every time Putin makes a move. This story about Igor Strelkov is a good example. That part of the word has forever been dominated by out-sized and outlandish personalities. Just look at how the collapse of the Soviet Union unfolded. Boris Yeltsin was not a sober and cautious man, by any stretch of the imagination. Look at some of the characters in the “stans” or even in the Russian parliament.

Wars start for one of two reasons. One is the combatants don’t know what’s coming and blunder into war. The other is the combatants know exactly what is coming, but the stronger side will not be deterred. The American Civil War and the First World War are example of the former. If the participants had the benefit of foresight, they would have made different choices. The bloodbath may have happened under different conditions, I don’t know, but there’s no way people voluntarily submit to a mass kill-off.

That’s what’s scary about what’s unfolding with Russia and the West. The West has no idea what they are dealing with in Ukraine or with Putin. They think they can wage technological and financial war to force their preferred solution on Putin. On the other hand, Putin seems convinced the West is paralyzed by a lack of confidence. He can impose his preferred solution on the West with the force of arms. History says he is probably right in the short run, but the West is right in the long run.

What happens in between is the scary part.

The Obama War on the Middle Class

Today the leader of the GOP took to the airwaves to deride Obama’s war on the middle class. Using data from a just released study done by liberal think tank the Russell Sage Foundation, Reince Prebis pointed to figures showing that 75% of Americans are now poorer that they were under Bush. In 2003, median household net worth was $25,000 dollars higher than it is today. Pounding his fist upon the podium for emphasis, he said, “Under this administration the middle class has been hammered.”

OK, that’s not true. It would be nice if it were true, but that’s just a fantasy. The study is true, but the response from the Republicans is made up. The men running the GOP are too timid and stupid to play on the middle-class fears that their way of life is under assault from their own government. Plus, who names their child Reince? What kind of name is that? Putting that aside, the soft men of the Republican Party are incapable to addressing the concerns of their own voters.

Instead, they will allow a plutocrat like Elizabeth Warren get away with class warfare rhetoric and paint the GOP as the party of billionaires. If Lee Atwater were alive, he’d have a press conference every day bashing the Democrats for their war on the middle, forcing the press to do their damn job even if they hated it. He was probably the last Republican to show anything like a spine.

Here’s the summary:

In fairness, housing prices have not recovered, despite the trillions pumped in from the Federal Reserve. On the other hand, the hidden inflation due to that pump should have lifted all boats. Anyone who buys things like food, utilities, gas and clothing knows that things are much more expensive now than a decade ago. Still, no matter how you want to put your finger on the scale, the facts are as presented. The middle and lower class have taken in the pooper under this president.