The People’s Avenger

The trouble with most conspiracy theories, in addition to being wrong, is they tend to distract from the more important issue. The conspiratorially minded like to play connect the dots, linking various people together in support of their favorite theory. Each node of the conspiracy has the same interests as the other, which is why they are conspiring together on some caper. More often than not, the connections are incidental and explained by other, less nefarious, reasons.

Those incidental and casual connections, however, are the important bit to study, as it explains much about the current age. For example, the current impeachment hoax is the result of conspiracy theories cooked up a social network in Washington. The people involved are all friends and acquaintances, who live in the same place and circulate among the same group of people. What looks like a conspiracy is the result of an emergent set of beliefs within a social set.

Eric Ciaramella, the CIA plant, who concocted the predicate for the impeachment hoax is friends with John Brennan, the former CIA director. He is also in the same social set as members of Adam Schiff’s crew of witch hunters. Like a religious cult, these people reinforce the paranoia of one another with these bizarre theories to explain what they think is some great anomaly. Trump could not have won the election fair and square, so there must be some hidden reason behind it.

The problem with looking at this as a conspiracy theorist would is it shifts the focus from the social networks from which this conspiracy theory emerged. The reason for this and all of the other capers we have seen of late is that these people are now a separate and insulated community, rather than civil servants living on our communities. Their roles in the state are not jobs that provide them with a salary, but a way of life that is all encompassing.

Someone like Eric Ciaramella is not hanging out with his neighbor the accountant or the lawyer across the street. His kids are not playing with the plumber’s kids. His wife is not hanging out with other moms at the soccer field. His social life is entangled with his professional life. This was clear in the seditious plot run by the FBI. These people were all friends before they became subversives. Their jobs in the bureaucracy are not what they do for work. It is who they are as people.

The social aspect is most evident in the media. This puff piece in The Atlantic about disgraced neocons Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg is a good example. Both are long time conspiracy theorists, who have traveled in the same circles for years. Back in the Bush years, Hayes pushed the insane theory that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved in the 9/11 attack. Goldberg, of course, has made all sorts of bizarre claims about Donald Trump and his voters.

Now, the glue holding this absurd vanity project together is rage over the 2016 election, but it could not happen without the wide ranging social network. These people all live near one another and socialize with one another. They have posts of various importance at the same think tanks and foundations. They work the same donor class for money for these media projects. The world of conservative opinion in Washington is a closed community walled off from the rest of us.

The temptation is to focus on the absurdity of that puff piece in The Atlantic. After all, both of these people were promoters of the Russia hoax and both were cheerleaders for the pointless wars of choice in the Bush years. Two shameless liars now claiming to operate an antidote to fake news is easy to mock. The more important part though is the fact that such a thing even exists and is promoted by other media. Again, it is the result of that community of likeminded that exists around Washington.

That puff piece in The Atlantic is a favor to friends. The guy running The Atlantic is a fanatical Zionist and anti-Trump crusader. He’s happy to promote this project as a favor to his community. The writer, McKay Coppins, is a fellow traveler, happy to slobber over this project, as he could get a job there one day. Maybe it will get him a look at one of the think tanks that prop up many of these media operations. Although, he may have to change religions to land one of those gigs.

This is fundamentally the problem with Washington. It is an incestuous community cut off from the rest of us. That’s why no one ever gets punished for screwing up or breaking the law. Bill Barr is not going to prosecute the crooked FBI agents, because their friends are his friends. That would put him in bad odor with the rest of the community and we can’t have that. It’s not a conspiracy, but a community coming together to support their own.

Of course, this is most obvious in the media, which exists to promote and defend their friends in the political class. Stephen Hayes keeps his perch at Fox News, despite being wrong about everything for two decades. Goldberg plays the affable dufus to such great effect, not one can tell if he is acting. The whole point of having pundits on to comment about the news is they are supposed to bring expertise and insider knowledge. Instead it is high paying workfare for the community dimwits.

This is why reform is impossible. Trump winning the 2016 election just stiffened the resolve of the community. If Bernie Sanders wins the 2020 election, he will be invading Syria by 2022. His supporters in the socialist camp will learn the same lesson dissident have been faced with since 2016. The community that runs the empire is immune from the consequences of elections. It is always heads they win, tails we lose. The only reform that is possible is the people’s avenger.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

A Call Up To The Bigs

I had the honor of guest hosting FTN this week. McFeels was off attending to some personal issues, so I joined Ethnarch to discuss the news of the day. It is hard to know for sure, but FTN could be the most popular show in dissident media. Stefan Molyneux has a huge YouTube audience, but it is hard to compare video to audio. The two mediums attract different audiences. Just in terms of overall audience though, FTN is in the conversation for the most popular dissident show.

I don’t do many guest appearances and I’ve never been the co-host in this sort of format, so I was unsure how I would do. There is a skill to being a guest, a skill I do not have in abundance. Working with a partner not only requires guest skill, but it requires good chemistry with the partner. Ethnarch and I worked together quite well, at least from my perspective, so I think the show came out OK. Usually I’m tired after doing a guest spot, as I have to be on edge the whole time. This was rather relaxing.

One of the things Ethnarch and I discussed after recording is just how much time is involved in producing these shows. I was curious as to what was involved in putting together a three hour show about current events. A general rule is it takes 10 hours to produce one hour and that’s the case with FTN. Prep time has about ten hours of time to pull together the news items and the show outline. Recording is between four and five hours and then there is post-production to get the show up.

The prep time is what goes unnoticed by the consumer. For this week’s show, Ethnarch collected fifty or sixty stories. He collated them into categories and then organized them for easy transition from theme to theme. He told me he usually has over 100 stories in the stack of stuff for the show, but this was a light week. The listener just hears two guy talking about the news, but to reach that point means reading hundreds of stories and filtering them into a show outline. That’s a lot of work each week.

Of course, this means FTN is close to a full time commitment for McFeels and Ethnarch, as they do at least two shows a week. It’s why terrestrial radio shows can have half a dozen people in the production side. Three hours a day of airtime is 150 man hours a week in prep and production. Throw in the logistics of operating a studio and the business side of things and your drive time radio guy is a small business. A regular TV show qualifies as a mid-sized business, in terms of people and expense.

That said, for a show to have any import, it has to be a professional production. If it slapped together, the audience will just assume the makers are not serious. It’s like a house with a poorly kept lawn. People drive past and assume things about the owner based on the exterior of the home. Inside could be an immaculate palace and the shabby lawn is an exception, but people don’t think that way. The same is true of a podcast of video show. Poor production implies poor quality.

This is why livestream is never going to be serious. Two or three dudes standing in their respective bedrooms, staring into a cheap camera looks bad. The solo live streams often look like hostage videos. In contrast, guys like RamZPaul and James Allsup produce high quality video, because they know what they are doing. They understand how the viewer consumes video and how they appear in their videos. That requires a skill few live streamers possess. It’s a medium for amateurs right now.

There is a generational issues here, so I could be exhibiting a bias. A Gen-X person grew up with limited video. Cable came on strong in our teen years, but we did not grow up with our face pressed to a screen like today’s youth. Young people love using face time. Someone my age thinks it is weird. Why do I need to see the person I’m talking to on my phone? For young people, the live stream may simply be a natural way of consuming content, so I could be all wrong on the future of live streaming.

I think there is a debate to be had about what is the real impact of various media platforms, with regards to dissident politics. Social media is a closed space. The influence of Twitter and Facebook is entirely dependent on mass media picking up social media trends. That makes them worthless for dissidents. On the other hand, how much impact do YouTube creators or podcasters have? What is the impact of 50,000 views on YouTube versus the same number of readers?

If you look at some of the big YouTube guys, someone like Stefan Molyneux, for example, the ratio of views to subs is interesting. He has close to a million subs, but his videos rarely get 50,000 views. How reliable are those numbers? Who is actually viewing those videos? If his fan base is mostly libertarians, then his impact is negligible, as no one cares about libertarians. I don’t have any answers on this, but it is a topic worth exploring, so I’ll probably explore it at some point.

All that aside, the way forward in dissident media is to keep increasing the quality and the quantity of dissident media. That means not only bringing in new people, but also upgrading the skill base. Every time someone in dissident media gets in trouble, it’s because they relied on non-dissident talent. Laura Southern dropped out of the scene because she was compromised by two video guys she hired. Spencer’s media efforts have always blown up due, in part, to his relying on crazy people.

As far as the show this week, I think it came out pretty well, but I’m not the best judge of these things. The main reason is I do a solo show every week, so I don’t know how to measure myself as part of a duo. We spent most of the first hour covering immigration related items. The second hour we got into trade with China and how that relates to the culture war. We also talked about Bloody Eye Biden and the democratic primary. The link to the show is here or you can listen to it in the player below.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Regulating The Public Space

There are few things good about aging, but one of those benefits is you start seeing how history often repeats itself. There is nothing new under the sun, but when you are young most everything is new to you. When you get old, you have experienced enough to begin noticing the repeats of things you saw in your youth. For example, those old enough to remember the early the days of the internet, probably recognize what’s happening with the tech giants trying to regulate the public space.

By early days, I’m not talking about the iPhone 4 days. I’m talking about the Windows 3.1 days, when the internet was for weirdos, who knew how modems worked and liked tricking the phone company for free long distance. It was when hobbyists assembled their own computers It was when NewEgg was called Egghead and operated in shopping centers. That was before the phrase “social media” existed, but there was still plenty of social media and plenty of people on it, just smarter people.

Usenet and bulletin board systems served the same role as Twitter and Facebook, without the cute names and billionaires trying to control the platforms. Like the big social media platforms, they started with the same general idea. They would be open forums for people to debate and argue. The internet was going to be free from the censorship of the old media and free from government control. The same things people say about bitcoin today were said about the internet in the olden thymes.

What happened to those first public forums and those that succeeded them is a good lesson for understanding what is happening to the big social media platforms. Usenet, for example, started as an open platform for anyone with internet access. It did not take long for jerks and troublemakers to arrive. Soon, the squabbling and fighting fractured the community into separate channels. In short order, Usenet became a million little havens for like-minded people to talk about their thing in semi-private.

Bulletin boards followed a similar path. Their successor, the message board also followed a similar arc. The first boards for college sports, for example, soon turned into free-for-alls and shattered into hundreds of small, private boards. Unlike Usenet, the creators of these boards initially tried to regulate the content by having moderators ban trouble makers and people trolling for attention. That just encouraged the trouble makers to find clever ways around the rules, in order to disrupt the communities.

What was discovered in those early efforts of public forums is that the public is pretty awful and needs to be regulated. You just can’t let everyone into a public forum and have them say what they wish. On the other hand, the cost of regulating who enters and what is said is prohibitive. The more you regulate the forum, the cleverer the troublemakers get at disruption. This sets off an increasingly costly game of cat and mouse between the moderators and the people seeking to disrupt the forum.

The solution to the problem was the oldest of solutions. Peaceful separation allowed everyone to have a forum, but it reduced the incentives for the disruptive. Going into the forum of a rival group, for example, and posting a bunch of troll-bait, did not provide the same dopamine rush to the troll as it did on a public forum. There was no one around to see it and cheer it. It was like being a graffiti artist in a blind community. These trolling efforts were quietly removed and the community could easily ignore them.

That is what will happen with the big social media hubs. Twitter is the first that will splinter into a million separate channels, as it is the most public. Gab has weathered the assaults and now provides a home for dissidents. Telegram is now becoming the favorite tool for young people creating small communities. Others are working on alternatives for other tribes, looking for a place on-line both free of censorship and the sorts of people who just seek to disrupt. This is a repeat of the message board phenomenon.

YouTube and Facebook are a bit different. Facebook already has the ability to let users self-segregate within the forum. That solves the trolling a bit, but the company is run by the sorts of people who liked being moderators on chat boards in the old days. They can’t help but meddle in the discourse of others, even those in private groups on the platform. Given the demographics of the platform, it will probably collapse at some point as people realize its user base is old people, robots and gullible advertisers.

YouTube is the one to watch. As server capacity outstrips demand, the cost of hosting video will keep dropping. There are services popping up as alternatives to YouTube, with some starting as commercial enterprises. This service lets you create a branded channel that can be distributed on a variety of platforms. If you have talent and can hold an audience, the days of relying on YouTube are numbered. Since YouTube has never made money, it’s hard to see a future for the service as currently constructed.

None of this is to say that the tech oligopolies will come to their senses and stop trying to suppress speech on-line. In all probability, they will exhaust themselves trying to stamp out dissent, which means things will get much worse. Apple, for example, is now censoring speech within chat programs like Telegram. Microsoft is promising to moderate speech over Skype. The people behind these efforts are driven by hatred and self-loathing, so they lie awake at night thinking about this stuff.

The trouble is, it is expensive. The latest YouTube banning probably cost the company $10 million dollars to organize. It’s pretty clear they invested a lot of manpower in reviewing specific videos. The return on that investment was mostly bad press and greater awareness by regulators that there is a problem. That’s a lesson from the old days too. No matter how right they were to regulate users, the forum moderators were always looked upon unfavorably. They were the prison guards of the system.

That last bit is probably key. A decade ago, Apple was a cool brand run by an equally cool genius who liked wearing black turtlenecks. Now it is seen as a Chinese electronics company run by an angry homosexual. Similarly, YouTube used to be a place where young people could express themselves. Now it’s where old Jewish women yell at young people for using naughty language.With every censorship effort, the reputation of the oligopolies declines. Silicon Valley is now the universal villain.

The point of all this is not that libertarians are right that the market will magically sort out the problem for us. All of this could have been avoided if the government had done its job and cracked down on these oligopolies a long time ago. The natural disaggregation of the public space will not happen without help from the state either. It’s that wide open public forums cannot last. It was tried decades ago by smarter people and a much smarter user base. Eventually, peaceful separation became the only alternative.

If you like living off the sweat of others, then ignore the following. On the other hand, if you care about your community and want to support those working hard on your behalf, consider supporting my work by donating the price of a beer or a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. Unlike those mega-corporations, I will not use your money to destroy your family and community. Or, you can send money to me at: P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432.

Joining The Merchant Right

For a few years now, I have been getting requests from readers wondering how they can donate to my efforts. I’ve always told them to donate to VDare, Steve Sailer or a good YouTuber like RamZPaul, as I don’t have a mechanism for accepting money. It’s not that I don’t like money or I am selfless. It’s just that the costs were minimum and there are others out there who could use the money. There’s also a cost to setting up a finding apparatus, especially in an age of woke capitalism and systematic de-platforming.

I’ve also been asked by other content creators to join the merchant right, because it helps reinforce the notion that a culture war is not won on love. It takes money to run these sites and many of the people doing it have no other way to make a living. If you are a guy who has been anathematized due to your politics, you need to get support from people in this thing so you can live. Part of building that support structure is building a culture of giving where we support our guys with more than just snarky comments and clever banter.

While I like money and the culture argument is persuasive, I’ve been slow to come around to the idea. The recent issue with upgrading my server has caused me to rethink things, as there is now a real cost to running this side. The new server now comes with a hefty fee every month, compared to what I was doing. Now is probably a good time to test the waters and see if being a media whore is for me. I’ve created a SubscribeStar account for people to contribute to my work. If you feel generous, please sign up.

Now, I’m not entirely sure I am cut out to be a media whore, so I’m starting with a modest goal and one funding mechanism. I think I should begin creating some premium content as a reward to those who contribute. That seems to be the model popular with independent media, but I’m still noodling that one. RamZPaul does videos just for his subscribers. The TRS guys have a paywall that does the same thing. I’m still investigating how others handle that part of it, so feel free to offer suggestions and examples.

The other thing I’m looking at doing is crowdsourcing a book effort. I have been working on a book. I hope to have the first draft done this fall. Since I’m a terrible editor, I will need to hire a professional to edit the copy. I’m thinking the way to do that is with a crowd-sourcing effort, but I’m still looking at how that works. I might just setup something myself, but that would require a merchant account and some changes to the site. Alternatively, I could raise money for the project and then just give the book away on the site. We’ll see.

The bottom line is I am sticking my toes into the merchant waters. If anyone has suggestions on this front, feel free to offer them up. There are a lot of people making a living as a solo content producers, so I’m not breaking new ground, but maybe doing what everyone else is doing is not the right course for me. Like it or not, I’m a bit of an outlier in the dissident media, so I may have to be an outlier in the merchant game too. Therefore, I’m open to suggestions. Sometimes old puzzles need new solutions.

Happy Homelands

I was on with Frodi Midjord, RamZPaul and Tiina Wiik to discuss dissident politics on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as organizing for our future efforts. We had some technical issues with Google, so we went off-line for a while and then started over. Paul broke up the video into three parts and re-published them. The live stream service from Google seems like it has trouble every time I do one of these things. Maybe I give up some form of bad mojo that causes havoc on their servers.

I thought it was a good discussion. Frodi is a great guy, who has done great work in the Scandinavian countries. We need more sensible people out front talking about these issues. I think he made some good points, especially about people’s risk tolerance. If you think your people are worth preserving you do what it takes to accomplish it. On the other hand, I don’t think they have the challenges we have here in America with people being fired from their jobs for holding unpopular opinions. I could be wrong.

Otherwise, I think I did better on this than I normally do on these sorts of things. There is a skill to being a live streamer or a guest on these shows. I just don’t do it enough to be comfortable with it. Paul and Tiina do these shows all the time, so they make it look easy, but there is a talent to make it look natural. It’s why I have avoided getting into the video stuff to this point. I’d end up spending countless hours trying to figure out how to look normal rather than like I was making a hostage video.

Anyway, here is the show in three parts.


Ruminations On The Audience

Whenever I watch or participate in a live stream, I’m always curious about who is watching or listening, specifically the numbers. I tuned in for some of Spencer’s new gig the other day and I saw that he had about thousand people listening. When I was on with Josh Neal we had about one hundred people. Spencer is obviously a bigger name and surely draws lots of of enemies to anything he does, in addition to supporters. Still, these are small numbers, compared to what we think happens with television and radio.

Now, in fairness, local radio often has just a few thousand people listening at any one time and some small TV channels have such small audiences they round to zero. There’s also the fact that live streams are a new and different medium. It’s like watching the rehearsal, rather than the finished product, but you can interact with the performers. That and you can watch it anytime, because live streams are recorded. If you look at the views of these things, 90% of the audience is for the recorded version, not the live feed.

The newness of live streams can be seen in the radio programs that have started putting their content on-line. Lots of talk radio people have set up cameras in their studio to simulcast their shows over Facebook or YouTube. They also provide a feed to services like iHeart and TuneIn. I listen to the legendary Howie Carr off YouTube, as he is in Boston and I’m in Lagos. I’ve never seen the viewer count on his YouTube feed exceed a hundred. Most of the time, it is below 50, yet he is the #14 talk radio guy in America.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the new audience for the new media. One thing I’ve learned after a year of doing a podcast is there is little overlap between my writing and my spoken word material. In fact, I have been approached by people at secret handshake meetings who only listen and have never bothered to read my blog. Lots of readers have told me they have no interest in the podcast, but they would read a transcript. John Derbyshire has been doing transcripts for years now, because most prefer it.

My guess is the audience for live streams is a completely different animal than the audience for writing and podcasting. There is a sense of urgency to the live stream, in that watching one from a year ago feels like reading an old newspaper. Most live streams are about current topics. Podcasts are often topical, but necessarily so. The people doing history and philosophy can expect an audience long after they have published their shows. That does not seem to be the case with the live stream.

A few weeks ago I was made aware of the fact a very famous person reads this blog on occasion. They don’t read regularly because they think I’m too wordy. That person wanted to know where I was on social media, because that person prefers Twitter over longer written material. This was a bit of a revelation, but it made perfect sense. While there is overlap between the audience for longer material and the audience for social media, there are many who do one but not the other. Live stream is the social media of video.

A few years ago I predicted Twitter’s problems. A large scale public platform is either open to everyone or it allows for self-segregation. Any attempt to moderate an open platform fails and this was known long before Twitter of Facebook. UseNet and message boards were the first social media and they learned that you either have segregation or you have the Wild West. Any effort to tone police or regulate blasphemy ends in disaster. The reason is the cost of regulation eventually outweighs the benefit.

What’s happening in social media is segregation, as people retreat to their own kind. The dissidents are the first to start building their own, but it will spread everywhere. Your social media platform will be your tribe. That or platforms like Facebook will simply acquiesce to reality. This has happened to some extent as there are private Facebook groups populated by alt-right people. Something similar will have to happen with Twitter or it will collapse under the weight of its own stupidity.

This brings me back to live streams and video is general. The live stream is a response to YouTube censorship. The hosts make sure to stay within the rules and they have the option to not post the recorded show if it could cause problems. The thing is though, even the most berserk member of the volunteer morality police is not sitting through three hours of Spencer talking about himself to find some blasphemy. The use of guarded language and the format allow for some self-segregation within the YouTube platform.

One final thought on all this. I mentioned that I’m not a very good live stream guest. Some people with small brow ridges will accuse me of false modesty, but I think there is a skill at being a host and a guest. This has always been true. A good host features the guest and keeps the guest from getting lost in the sound of his own voice. On the other hand, good guests have answers like a woman’s bathing suit. They are big enough to cover the material, but small enough to keep it interesting. They keep the show moving.

With these new formats, developing new skills to exploit the format is something we see all over now. The cut and paste bloggers, for example, have mostly faded away, as that has been displaced by social media. Those pithy comments are easily done on Facebook and Twitter. Content driven bloggers like J’Onquarious and Heartiste are the future of the format. The group blog is the new magazine and the solo blog is the new pamphleteer. Similar skills, but more interactive and responsive.

On the video side, that’s where things will be more interesting, as the format has no analog to the analog age. Live streams are not like TV. YouTube channels are not like a cable channel. PewDiePie is not Howard Stern. As Paul Ramsey talked about in his chat with Millennial Woes the other day, the internet video format continues to evolve as people try to figure out how to use it. Look at old videos of a guy like Molyneux and they are nothing like what he is doing today, because he evolved with the format.

That also means the audience will change too. Fifty years ago, movie stars never did television, other than chat shows to promote themselves. That may be how things unfold with video, at least initially. The live stream guys will be a special skill, while the recorded people, with high production values, will appeal to a different audience. Bloggers and writers that can be good guests will use appearances to promote their work. Otherwise, like the difference between book readers and TV watchers, there will be little overlap.

The Death Of Edgytarian Man

The other day, Paul Ramsey had an amusing take on Gavin McInnes dramatically quitting his fan club, the Proud Boys. Everyone is assuming this was in response to the FBI using the word “extremist” when describing the McInnes fan club in a bulletin they issued to the Portland Oregon police department. The assumption is that the FBI is now going to treat Proud Boys as a criminal organization or a terrorist group. McInnes is disavowing them in order to avoid legal guilt by association or any financial culpability stemming from lawsuits.

Maybe that’s what motivated McInnes, but the more likely answer is something I pointed out a year ago with him and other edgytarians. For right-wing edgytarians, the game is always to keep an eye on where the Left is drawing the line. To be edgy on the Right means always staying just inside that line. When the line moves, make sure you move with it, maybe do so reluctantly, while lecturing those to your Right about the need to play nice or be civil. A good discourse on principles and “who we are” always helps.

It is a tough life and many trip up and fall into the void. That’s what’s happening with McInnes and his fan club. Let’s not kid ourselves about the Proud Boys. It was never intended to be anything but a fan club for McInnes. He got the idea from hanging out with alt-right people in the run-up to the presidential election. He saw that guys like Mike Enoch and Richard Spencer had built an audience around a personal brand, so McInnes created what he thought was a mom-safe version for himself. Proud Boys is alt-right-lite.

Now, the assumption that the FBI is about to RICO the Proud Boys is way off base. The use of the term “extremist group” is meaningless. There is no such formal designation in the law or with the FBI. It is as meaningful as saying the Proud Boys are a drinking club or they like wearing polo shirts. The FBI is a corrupt and broken organization, but they are not about to RICO a TV clown’s fan club. The dramatic reading of his resignation was about getting inside that line again, so McInnes can keep his career alive.

It’s why it is always wise to think about the motivation of popular figures who dabble in dissident politics. A guy like McInnes is primarily a performer. He has spent his life feeling around for a vehicle that will get him a big audience. He’s tried edgy magazine writer, edgy polemicist, TV clown, YouTube clown, jokey political analyst, cheeky ad-man and now he is the hipster gadfly. His instincts, with regards to politics, are conventional white guy politics, but they have always been a a decoration for his performing career.

Another example is Stefan Molyneux, who built his career being a dramatic, somewhat edgy, anarcho-libertarian YouTube performer. His edginess was to flirt with things like biological realism, by posting available data on things like race, sex and IQ. Molyneux is a trained stage actor, who has developed an act that works well on YouTube. As soon as he got some heat from the Left, he has quickly retreated into generic libertarianism, which is completely safe, because it is completely harmless. The show must go on.

On the surface, the right-edgytarian feels like a good thing, because through humor (McInnes) and dramatic presentation (Molyneux) they can help normalize and popularize heretical ideas. Lots of alt-right people love Moly, because his videos are useful in making clever social media memes. The trouble is these guys can just as quickly vilify dissident ideas, when they are sprinting to catch up with the new line Lefty has drawn. Effectively what McInnes is doing is throwing his own fans into the gaping maw of Lefty outrage.

The trouble, of course, is that in an age of extreme intolerance, like we see today, the ideological enforcers are less tolerant of edgy clowns like McInnes than the serious dissidents. They see the edgy clowns as mocking their identity and that can never be tolerated, so they go after these otherwise harmless performers. It’s why a relatively safe performer like Molyneux gets mass reported and protested. The ideological enforcers know they are defending a dead and brittle orthodoxy, so there is no room for tolerance.

It’s why edgy guy is doomed, at least for now. As I pointed out a year ago, in an ideological age, you pick one side and only one side. There’s no bridging the gap or performing on both sides of the street. The edgytarians, if they are to exist at all, will have to operate on this side of the great divide. That requires a new type of performer with a grounding in dissident ideas. None of the edgy guys today have that, so they will eventually end up on the other side, singing to an audience of true believers.

Wall Street Jihadist

One of the positive developments of the last few years has been the collapse of respect for the mass media by white people. Blacks always assumed the media was run by “the man” and no one really cares what Hispanics think, so the mass media has always relied on gullible white people. Most whites have always assumed the media was biased in favor of the Left, but now most white think the media is just making stuff up. Older whites still fall for the lies coming out of the magic box, but younger people assume it is all fake news.

The funny thing about this is the collapse of trust in the media has changed the media and not for the better. Thirty years ago, media people would fight tooth and nail against the charge of bias. Today, they routinely hire Progressive activists and give them a platform for their activism. The Daily Beast, for example, pays Antifa spokesbot Kelly Weill to harass white people. The New York Times famously hired anti-white rage-head Sarah Jeong to their editorial board. They were worried it was not anti-white enough, apparently.

Further, the media is not only just a conduit for anti-white propaganda, it is now a part of the activist wing, directing doxxing and de-platforming campaigns. This post last week at the Wall Street Journal, by anti-white activist Yoree Koh, was an effort to force YouTube to shut down channels that don’t comply with the sensibilities of our imported overlords. The fact that Mx. Koh would be working in a rice paddy if not for the heroic efforts of white men most certainly never comes up in her commentary. She just hates white people.

Since the Journal has fire walled the piece, I’ll post it in full.

After Robert Bowers stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, far-right personality Ethan Ralph launched a live stream on YouTube to discuss the shooting that claimed 11 lives. Soon, some viewers began paying to have their comments featured on the live chat scrolling alongside the streaming video, through a feature YouTube launched last year called Super Chat.

During the live stream, which YouTube said Mr. Ralph has since deleted, one user paid two British pounds to write, “How u get a Jewish girls number? Roll up her sleeve.” Another viewer paid $5 and wrote: “If you want to know if the Synagogue shooting was a false flag then check out the lucky Larry life insurance policies on those dead Jews.”

YouTube said late on Friday that it had permanently removed Mr. Ralph’s channel, “Ralph Retort,” from its platform for policy violations and for going against its terms of service.

Mr. Ralph, whose channel had 22,500 subscribers, is one of several far-right YouTube celebrities who have used the Super Chat function to make money. Topics among such users can be wide-ranging, from events like the tragedy in Pittsburgh and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to critiques of the media and internal debates among members of the far-right online communities.

Most Super Chats generate a few hundred dollars in revenue, according to an analysis conducted for The Wall Street Journal, with YouTube typically collecting 30%, people familiar with the matter said.

A spokeswoman for YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, said the company donates to charity the proceeds from any Super Chats that violate its hate-speech policy.

“Hate speech and content that promotes violence is prohibited on YouTube,” the spokeswoman said. “We have also been working over the last several months to refine our policies on who has access to monetization features, and while this work is ongoing, we are dedicated to continuing to improve in the fight against hate online.”

Like other popular social-media platforms, YouTube has struggled to draw the line between cracking down on hate speech and allowing freedom of expression. The company relies on a sprawling ecosystem of “creators” to supply a steady flow of content to the world’s most popular video site, where they get access to special benefits and resources on the platform.

Super Chat was launched last year to further encourage those creators to produce more content and attract more viewers. Paid comments receive special treatment: The video host often reads the comment out loud on air, and it gets pinned to the top of the fast-moving chat thread. The more someone pays, the longer the comment stays featured at the top of the chat box.

While the Super Chat function is available to YouTube’s vast cast of video celebrities, and was made primarily to appeal to gamers, it hasn’t gained the same traction or scale among those groups as it has with the far-right crowd, according to an analysis by Storyful, a social-media intelligence firm that is owned by News Corp, the Journal’s parent company.

Racist comments are not uncommon. Just as troubling, according to researchers, are the comments that stay within YouTube’s guidelines to avoid getting taken down through the use of coded language in place of hot-button topics and slurs. For instance, some commenters use the term “basketball Americans” rather than a slur against African-Americans and “population replacement” when referring to conspiracies about white genocide. Some users spell certain words with numbers to avoid detection by YouTube software.

Many payments, for example, are made in the amount of $14.88—the number 1488 is often used as shorthand among white supremacists to signify their ideology, and related merchandise is often sold for $14.88.

“What they’re doing is transmitting these ideas in other ways,” said one researcher. The researcher has been targeted in the past by white supremacists and other members of the far-right fringes.

After a BuzzFeed article in May detailed the popularity of Super Chats among white nationalists and other far-right personalities, YouTube said it had started using machine-learning technology that can detect hateful comments and put them on hold for further review. The company doesn’t disclose how much it makes from Super Chats overall.

When YouTube temporarily suspends a channel for a violation, that creator often appears as a guest on a like-minded person’s channel until the ban is lifted. The problem for YouTube, said this researcher, is that “YouTube is going to be continuously trying to apply a technological fix to what is a social problem.”

Mr. Ralph didn’t respond to a request for comment. On Thursday evening, after the Journal approached YouTube with questions for this article, Mr. Ralph opened a new live stream by reading what he said was a Super Chat submitted earlier in the day, in which the viewer wrote “Abort Hebrew babies.” The stream continued for more than 20 minutes before it was shut down for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech, according to a notice posted on his Twitter account. Mr. Ralph then shifted to another channel and continued for several minutes before that also was shut down.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this week arranged to return donations raised in September during a live stream by Mr. Ralph dubbed a “Super Chat for Good,” even as the comments section became populated by anti-Semitic comments and the hosts talked about a Holocaust meme. The money totaled about $26,000. Many on Twitter complained Friday about having their donations returned to them. They also attacked the Journal and members of its staff, blaming the news organization for the return of the money.

When contacted earlier in the week, St. Jude said it was aware of the chats and was making arrangements to reverse any donations. On Friday, a spokesperson said: “We had no intention of receiving or accepting any of the funds associated with the live stream.”

Following the Journal’s questions, YouTube also took down a live stream by far-right personality Jean-François Gariépy that was broadcast after the Pittsburgh shooting and included a number of anti-Semitic and racist comments in the paid Super Chats.

Mr. Gariépy said his channel doesn’t allow hate speech and that he tries to delete Super Chats that “are either hateful or that constitute calls for violence.” He said his channel has banned thousands of viewers from his channel for repeatedly violating that policy.

Mr. Gariépy, who calls himself a white nationalist, said he doesn’t see a problem with people referencing 14/88 or Hitler, saying such comments “are aimed at encouraging people to gain a better historical understanding of Germany during the first half of the century.” He added that it would be easy for YouTube to prohibit donations made in that amount “if they differ from my interpretation.”

Mr. Gariépy’s live stream in the wake of Pittsburgh generated $244 in revenue, according to the Storyful analysis.

Write to Yoree Koh at

Corrections & Amplifications

YouTube said Ethan Ralph deleted a video he posted about a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that YouTube deleted the video. (Nov. 2, 2018)

You’ll note the reliance on the site Storyful by the activist who wrote the story. Storyful is a company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, that bills itself as a social media intelligence firm. That means it researches content found on-line. In reality, it is just a hive of Progressive activists. For example, anti-speech activist Michael Edison Haden is one of their “researchers” and probably the guy who fed this story to the airhead activist at the Wall Street Journal. Mike Enoch explained this on the Jean-François Gariépy show.

The point of all this is that the media is not just biased or even just fake. The media, including allegedly right-wing sites like the virulently anti-Trump Wall Street Journal, are activists now. There’s no question that cucky outfits like the Wall Street Journal and Fox News fear the growth of alternative media on economic grounds. When a guy like Ethan Ralph, who is not even very far to the right, is able to get audiences bigger than most of the cable chat shows, just by showing up, the conservative model has much to fear.

It’s more than just economics though. It is ideology. The people running the Wall Street Journal, hiring anti-white activists like Yoree Koh, are operating from the same animus as the New York Times. The approved media does not just want to shut down your ability to speak and hear alternatives. They want to stop you from eating. When Trump says the media is the enemy of the people, this is exactly what he means. That’s why the Wall Street Journal hired Yoree Koh to try and deprive dissidents of a way to make a living.

Kept Men

In a series of tweets yesterday, someone calling herself Emerald Robinson announced she had evidence that at least one “conservative” magazine was taking payola from a tech giant. The implication was that the magazine was taking money in exchange for countering the stories about the tech oligarchs censoring dissidents.The woman works for an outfit called One America News, which is a small operation that has made a name for itself during the Trump phenomenon. Here are the tweets in case they vanish.

The most likely candidate, before examining the hints in the tweet, is National Review, which lost its moral compass when Rich Lowry took over the operation. It’s also the one conservative publication with any influence, at least before it hurled itself onto the NeverTrump bonfire three years ago. If you are going to bribe a conservative publication, you may as well bribe the biggest one. It’s not like any of these operations are making so much money that they would say not to a bribe. It’s their reason to exist.

Of course, the clue about the subscriber base evaporating adds to the speculation that the culprit is National Review. When you look at the tax filings for the 501(c)(3) they use to launder contributions, it appears their donations shriveled up during the campaign. Their ugly smear campaign against Trump and his voters turns out to have been a costly blunder. That is if the tax filings tell the whole story. It is possible that the tech giant or some other wealthy patron is paying writers directly or using another vehicle.

I speculated during the campaign that Dan and Farris Wilks were buying support for Ted Cruz and funding the NeverTrump lunacy among so-called conservatives. The two are members in good standing of the donor class and the guys bankrolling people like Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager and Glenn Beck. My suspicion was they were spreading cash around on the side to the various pens for hire at operations like National Review and the Federalist. It would explain some rather obvious patterns we saw in the campaign.

Now, in fairness to National Review, we don’t know if the person tweeting this stuff is legitimate or correct. Her name suggests she should be swinging from a pole, rather than covering the White House, but these days, the differences between the two professions are microscopic. In fact, it would be a relief to learn that the mass media is simply singing for their supper, delivering what a handful of billionaires demand. Otherwise, it suggests a systemic failure that can only be addressed by madame guillotine.

Still, even if the rumor is just that, it raises an important point. The media in America has never been objective or bound by a code of conduct. Into the twentieth century, everyone understood that the newspapers were owned by rich guys with an agenda. There were newspapers for the parties and for the factions within each party. What happened in the Cold War is the bias was concealed in an effort to fool the public into supporting the struggle against the Soviets. Suddenly, reporters became journalists and priests.

When you dig through the tax forms of the various not-for profit operations used by Conservative Inc., you find that their stars are living lifestyles that would make the people who read them faint. Jonah Goldberg is a great example. He’s gets 200 large from the National Review Institute. He gets a similar figure from American Enterprise. Then he has a cable deal from Fox. He writes books that no one reads, but the not-for-profit system buys these books in bulk. Add it all up and he lives like royalty for doing very little.

Of course, this explains why the so-called conservative opposition is unwilling to oppose or conserve anything. They are afraid to bite the hand that feeds them. To wander off the reservation and possibly anger their pay masters, means leaving a life of extreme luxury for, at best, a middle-class life. It’s not as if a Jonah Goldberg could replicate his earnings in the dreaded private sector. The life of a kept man is one of trepidation. They live in fear that the fads will change, they will be deemed heretical and ejected from the hive.

At the human level it is somewhat understandable, but when you look at the whole, it means the whole system is a massive scam design to fool the public. Just as campaign finance laws are designed to obscure who is bribing your politicians, the labyrinth of 501(3)(c) operations that finance the commentariat are designed to conceal who is controlling public opinion. Even if we never get the full story about which publication was taking the bribes, the truth of it is slowly bleeding into public consciousness.

In the meantime, the kept men glance furtively at social media, wondering if it will be their publication that gets outed or if maybe their name will turn up in the story. Maybe some are reaching out to their friends at other media operations, just in case they need to find a new landing spot. It’s the whore’s life they chose, so no one should feel pity for them. In fact, these people deserve nothing but scorn. They choose to play an active role in the decay of our society, by undermining social trust. They deserve what’s coming to them.

Site Plans

Some may have noticed some performance issues with the site recently, as well as some down time and connectivity issues. There were at least two de-platforming efforts, but most the trouble here has been technology related. Part of the problem is the traffic, which keeps ticking up despite my best efforts. The server this site lives on is just not up to the task so it results in downtime. There’s also the problems that come with using WordPress, which is fine for what it is, but it is not without its problems in terms of reliability.

After many hassles with broken plugins and comments systems not working, I’m now committed to looking at alternatives. I have the move to a bigger, better server ready to go, but I want to do it when I do the site redesign. That way, I can work out issues with the new software before going live with it. Conversions are always full of surprises, so it is best to measure twice, covert once. The domain is not going to change, so the only change for the user will be look and feel, and I hope better performance.

With that in mind, now is the best time to solicit suggestions for features of changes in the new system. Number one on my list is a better comment system. One option I’m considering is a system with an integrated message board. This will mean commenting is for registered users only, but you can use your social media account to register. This means that the character you play on Twitter of Facebook can become your character on this site. It also means more commenting features as well as granular privileges.

Another thing I want to do is make it easier to get around corporate firewalls. What I’m learning is that many companies just block anything running WordPress. I found this out the other day, when I sent a link to a business to someone. I did not notice that the business was using WordPress for their website. My client tried to o`pen the link but his firewall blocked it. Using something like Joomla or Drupal would get around that, but there are other less complex options that may be better and require less work on my part.

Another item on my list is a better way to organize posts. I write a lot so not every post is going to be a winner, but some are clearly better than others. Organizing posts by popularity seems like a good idea. New readers can look at the greatest hits selection and see if they should stay or paddle back over to normieville. The ability sort and search by subject matter could be useful too. I have over 2300 posts now. I’ve written something about almost everything. Organizing by subject matter strikes me as useful.

With that said, the floor is now open. if anyone has suggestions, demands, desires, whatever that they would like to see in the next version, post them up. Obviously, I’m working with a limited amount of resources, so I will not be building a site to rival Facebook, but there is a lot that can be done for very little. Developing a community around the content posted here is certainly possible. Adding the ability to start a premium service, if I ever decide to go full on Dinesh D’Souza is also a possibility.