Something’s Happening Here

I must admit I have enjoyed the Trump-a-palooza this summer. The truth is, I have thrown in the towel on America so I don’t think our elections mean very much. It’s just a question about how fast we intend to drive into the abyss. Being old I should be rooting for slow as that means I can reach escape velocity before it gets ugly. On the other hand, life is for living and sticking around long enough to see the collapse has its attractions.

I can go either way so the elections are just entertainment at this point.

Six months ago I was thinking the Democrats would anoint Hillary, after the usual dalliances with a true believer, who excites the fever swamp types. It’s the GOP’s turn so this is when the party hands out their lifetime achievement award. The GOP would be figuring out if they can run Bush or if they have to find someone with the same polices, but a different last name.

Now, I think something is happening here. Clinton is now immersed in what could very well be the scandal of the century. There’s no way to wriggle free of the mishandling of classified data. You can finesse financial laws and ethics rules. You can’t finesse this stuff. News reports suggest there may be dozens of people who have violated the law and conspired to hide their involvement. This is Watergate level stuff given her position.

On the GOP side, Donald Trump just gave a speech in a stadium. If you are a member of the Party leadership or an advisor to one of the candidates, you should be in a panic. Trump went from sideshow at the start of the summer to leader of a revolution at the end of the summer. In-between, the GOP took their best shots at the man and did not leave a mark. Watching Trump’s crowd last night I kept thinking, “something is happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

One thing that is clear is I was the only guy to figure out that Trump was Beppe Grillo. The other thing is the ossified and blinkered chattering classes are wholly unprepared for what’s happening to them right now. They spend their time reading each other’s tweets, promoting each other’s work and chatting with one another at play time. They are not even aware of the vast network of writers, bloggers and trouble makers out there complaining about the status quo.

The best evidence of that is the deranged ranting of Kevin Williamson at National Review with regards to Donald Trump. It’s like watching a robot whose CPU errors out and the robot goes berserk, smashing itself into walls. When it is a bunch of metal it is funny. When it is a human being having a nervous breakdown, it’s sad and pathetic. In this case it is emblematic. Conservative Inc. is cracking up over what’s happening outside the Acela corridor.

Trump may turn out to be a poor spokesman for the massive crowds mobbing his events. I’m not a big fan of his style and I don’t think he has thought much about any of these things, other than immigration. That puts him way ahead of the dreary dishrags running for office, but the leader of a revolt needs a coherent platform. Maybe that comes, maybe not, but the crowds are not going away.

That’s why the rest of the candidates should be scared. To get these crowds for Bush or Walker or Kasich, you would have to round up the people at gun point. Even then, you would probably have to lock the gates to keep the people from fleeing the arena once the dreary dullard started talking. Those people at the Trump rally are not buying what the GOP is selling, even if they may not be sold on Trump as a candidate.

I don’t know what they do at this stage. These things can burn out on their own or they can break up like the Tea Party. The trouble is the GOP had corrupted the grass roots long ago so they could tear apart the Tea Party movement without too much trouble. The trouble here is this is ad hoc and completely outside the control of the “grass roots” organizations that exploited the displeasure pver Obama. This is a revolt against those organizations, especially the GOP establishment.

I’m skeptical about Trump. I think his lack of restraint will be his undoing. But, we’re seeing a collapse of the middle. The parties and the press are now bullhorns aimed at the public and the public gets it. This is not about Trump. He’s just the flag around which the dispossessed can rally. You can take down the flag and the people may disperse, but the dispossessed are still there. Someone will come along with a new flag eventually.

Inside Out

Human beings evolved over a very long time in small groups of related people. They hunted together, foraged together, ate together, slept together and did all the other things one does, in front of everyone else in their group. In all probability, all of the things we consider to be private were public for most of human existence. It’s only when you can live behind walls, away from the sight of others, that you can have privacy.

Did privacy evolve with settlement? Did the need for privacy influence settlement? Was it both, like language and religion. For as long as we know, settled humans have maintained some degree of privacy. Northern cultures seem to maintain a greater divide between public and private, but every settled society had the concept of privacy. Romans may have used communal toilets in the open air, but they did not have sex in the streets or discuss their family matters in the open.

Privacy is the key to ones identity. It’s why militaries march recruits around naked so much in their initial training. Criminal gangs, like some motorcycle clubs, will do the same thing to prospective members. Take away a person’s privacy and they can no longer stand apart from the rest. It’s hard to hold yourself distinct from others when they know even the most intimate things about you.

Today, the big challenge is keeping your financial life and medical life out of the hands of crooks and ne’er do wells. Unlike 50 years ago or 100 years or 500 years ago, a man on the other side of the globe can now peer into your life and learn things about you that you prefer to keep private. The people who signed up for Ashley Madison are now discovering that those privacy notices are not the safeguard they were promised.

It’s getting much worse than that. If you get a Google thermostat for the house, Google can now data mine your environment and they will. Your phone, your car, your TV and your PC are all reporting on your behavior. We have gone from passively guarding our private lives to having to aggressively protecting our privacy. It’s a losing fight.

What happens when it is no longer possible to keep any of your life private? What if anyone with a curiosity can go on-line and find out whatever they like about you? It’s not just going to change how you think of others, but it is going to change how you think of yourself. Imagine a world where everyone has the circumspection of a B-list TV personality, always whoring for attention.

That’s one possible outcome. Another possible outcome is a bandit existence where on-line pirates rob people by first stealing their secrets. The Ashley Madison hack is a good example of how a small number of dirt-bags can take down a business. Granted, the business in question caters to dirt-bags, but that’s just a coincidence. The next time it could be a clinic that holds sensitive patient data.

In such a world, you will be forced to employ a combination of deceptions to build a zone of privacy around your life. Most people already have dummy e-mail accounts for signing up to websites. People use proxy services to surf the web. Imagine a world where everyone lies about everything in order to make it impossible to assemble the mosaic of their life. A world in which no one can trust anything about anybody is not one that can have much in the way of social cohesion.

I think we are seeing a case where technology has outpaced our ability to evolve the corresponding cultural and psychological traits. For a few thousand generations we have maintained some degree of privacy and now we may be suddenly thrust into a world of none. Similarly, we evolved in a world where communication was slow and personal. Now we are swimming in a aether of mass media.

Maybe the end is that of John the Savage.

The “I” Word

The great divide in the West is now immigration. On which side of the issue you fall, determines where you are on the political spectrum. If you have been paying close attention over the last two decades, this has been increasingly obvious. If you have just started paying attention, it may be a bit of mystery. After all, politicians in both parties dismiss the issue. The press is unwilling to cover it, other than perfunctorily. In polite circles, the “I” word is close to being the “N” word.

Even stranger, particularly in America where the never ending election season is boiling like never before, is that politicians are allergic to the topic. Donald Trump has made immigration his central issue and risen in the polls, yet his competitors refuse to discuss it. When asked, which is rare, they get a frightened look as if they have been asked about their desire for young boys. There’s real fear in their eyes.

What’s going on?

Rich people have always controlled our politics. That was true long before we had politics and no one should be shocked by it. Big business, unions and large issue groups have vast resources to lobby government so they have a big influence on policy. This is not a bad thing. It’s just a reality of life that often gets forgotten as we swim in a sea of Progressive nonsense about the power of democracy.

This was never much of a problem as there were lots of big business types who disagreed with other big business types. Unions opposed business and special interest groups opposed all of them. Plenty of money poured in from all sides so that the money game was just a reflection of public sentiment. A man could buy a legislator or even a few of them, but no one could buy all of them.

That’s changed a lot in the last few decades. The technological revolution and the technocratic revolution has unleashed a new force in politics and that’s the global elite. Mark Zuckerberg’s company makes money all over the world. Apple makes more in China than in the US. Countries are no longer places to global business. They are markets. Consequently, the super-rich are no longer citizens of a country. They are citizens of their class, the global elite.

What’s different about these rich people is they are untethered from their host countries. Their first loyalty is to their class. As a result, they coordinate their efforts across borders, parties and cultures. George Soros is a citizen of where? Who knows. He finances the looting of Ferguson Missouri and he backs pro-immigration parties in Europe. He has no national interests because he has no nationality.

The political and media class are the servants of this global elite. They fly on their jets to Davos and they rely on their largess to finance their think tanks and media companies. The American Enterprise Institute, for example, has no customers and conducts no commerce. Yet it has offices in Washington and 150 people on staff. Who pays for that? Donors, of course, and those donors are not school teachers and shop keepers.

The result of globalization is that a smaller class of people than the former ruling classes has a bigger impact on the national affairs of every country. The old way had rich people trying to buy influence with elected officials. The new way is elected officials trying to curry favor with the rich people, in the hopes they will finance their campaigns.

When the cost of running a campaign for Congress is over $10 million, you have to raise $15,000 every day to keep your office. Hillary Clinton will spend one billion dollars in her presidential run. The only way to raise that sort of money is to have the global elite on your side. Thus we see the Golden Rule: The man with the gold makes the rules. In politics now, it means the donors are the only constituents that matter.

That’s why everyone involved in politics panics whenever the “I” word comes up. Immigration is the one subject where the vision of anointed is revealed. On the one hand, global elites wish to get rid of citizenship and national governments because they are a nuisance. On the other hand, they imagine a world where the masses beneath them live in enforced equality. Their solution to inequality is to make everyone a peasant.

That last part is what no one discusses. The elites imagine a world like the college campus. At the top are the trustees who hire administrators to culture and cultivate the undergraduates who live communal lives. The new definition of socialism is the redistribution of happiness and self-actualization by a cloud people who rule as if they are gods.

This explains the gasps and shrieks from all quarters over the uncouth rantings by the novus homo with regards to immigration policy. Trump is a billionaire. His stance on immigration and his presentation make him a class traitor. That’s what’s triggering the irrational and emotional response to Trump. It’s why Progressives went bonkers over George W. Bush. It’s one thing to be mistaken. It is another to turn your back on your kind and side with the peasants.

There’s something else. The unhinged response to Trump by guys like Kevin Williamson is not really about the “I” word. It’s fear that the old Red Team – Blue Team song and dance is no longer going to play with the crowd. This is not just a Conservative Inc problem. The pearl clutching by Ezra Klein over Bernie Sanders rejection of open borders has the same source. The pajama boys fear they will be dragged into a discussion they can’t have because they can’t win.

One last thing before I end this foam flecked rant. In Europe we’re seeing old Left and old Right locking arms opposing immigration. On the other side are the kept men of the ruling class. A similar thing is brewing in America. Look at the sympathetic, if somewhat bemused, coverage of Bernie Sanders by the Dissident Right. Something similar is happening on the Left with regards to Trump.

In a multi-party proportional system like you see in Europe, this sort of fluidity is easy to accommodate as there are minority parties where voters can migrate to when the main parties are lacking. In America, with our rigid two party system, everything is invested in the status quo.

The media, financial arrangements, lobbying efforts are contingent on the Red Team – Blue Team purse fight. The “I” word threatens the whole thing because it scrambles the loyalties. If all of a sudden blacks are more concerned with the “I” word than the “N” word, Blue Team has a problem. If suburban white people stop listening to promises about shuffling commas around the tax code because they care more about immigration, Red Team is screwed.

The “I” word put everything at risk so the people in charge are putting everything they have into make the “I” word more taboo that the “N” word.

Imagination Land

Years ago, I read a story about a kid who cleverly gamed the admissions system at Dartmouth, I think, by letting them think he was black. He checked “other” on the race questions and listed on his application that he was a member of the black students union and some other groups that would indicate he was black. Once he got on campus his new adviser was shocked to learn he was white.

This was before the movie Soul Man was released, but close enough to make me think the movie was inspired by the story. The wiki page on the movie does not mention the news story so who can say. The thing is, thirty years ago most people thought it was absurd to have different rules for different races when it comes to admissions. Here we are and nothing much has changed.

That’s probably to be expected given that college is enormously expensive now compared to when these stories were oddities. What no one could have imagined is the sudden rash of white people passing themselves off as black. Two months ago we had the NAACP leader outed as a ginger with a tanning bed addiction and now we have the #blacklivesmatter organizer revealed as a honky!

An investigative blogger has accused Shaun King, a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, of misleading media icon Oprah Winfrey by pretending to be biracial in order to qualify for an “Oprah scholarship” to historically black Morehouse College. The blogger says King is white and has been lying about his ethnicity for years.
King is a high-profile campaigner against “police brutality” and “justice correspondent” for the liberal Daily Kos website who told Rebel magazine in 2012 that he was biracial, with the magazine reporting that he is the “son of a Caucasian mother and an African-American father.” He has also described himself as “mixed with a black family” on Twitter.

King has been lionised by the press, praised as hero of civil rights and social activism. He has written extensively about a childhood in which he was terrorised by “decades old racial tensions.” He claims to have been “the focus of constant abuse of the resident rednecks of my school.”

Yet, in recent weeks, rumours have been circulating about his ethnicity. A 1995 police incident report lists Shaun King’s ethnicity as white. And blogger Vicki Pate, who has been assembling forensic accounts of Shaun King’s background and family tree on her blog, “Re-NewsIt!,” has published her findings.

She claims that King is entirely white and says a birth certificate, which Breitbart has since independently acquired from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, names a white man as his father.

I think if that guy told me he was black, I’d struggle to keep a straight face. I’d have a much easier time believing he was a member of a white power or skinhead group.

“King, 35, has related the story of the hate crime on his blogs and in his recent self-help book, seemingly to bolster his credibility as an activist and as a self-help guru,” wrote the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross. “While King has said that he was attacked by up to a dozen ‘racist’ and ‘redneck’ students, official records show that the altercation involved only one other student.”

“And while King has claimed that he suffered a ‘brutal’ beating that left him clinging to life, the police report characterized King’s injuries as ‘minor,’” Ross reported.

This month, more details have emerged from King’s account that do not match up with the police report or eyewitness accounts from journalists who noticed that King’s public claims did not square with reality.

For as long as I’ve been alive, black people have hated it when whites act black. Maybe things are different with young people, but I still think blacks look at a guy like this and want to beat his ass. His fraud comes off like mocking of blacks, not imitation. How is this different than black face?

On the other hand, a man can throw on a sundress and the rest of us have to pretend he is a woman. The same people telling us that Bruce Jenner is now a girl are the same people claiming that science says race is not real. That means this cracker is just living the life. If he wants to pass himself off as a Mohawk, he can do that too. Race is just a social concept.

This is always the problem with these crackpot ideas. They never think them through. Defending the dude in a dress because he scandalizes the wreckers from normalville is a knee slapper until Vanilla Ice shows up claiming to be Malcolm X. The old system where everyone accepted biology did not have these problems. Imagination land where you can be anything you want is fine for children, but not so good for adults.

Free South Snohomish!

News brings word that the keepers of virtue have now trained their sights on the South Snohomish girl’s softball team. Their crime, according to this story, is in playing by the rules in order to get a result the coercive authorities did not like.

A South Snohomish softball team in the thick of a major league-sized scandal has been eliminated from the Little League Softball World Series after losing a mandated one-game playoff.

South Snohomish lost a rematch Tuesday against Central Iowa, 3-2, ESPN reports. The single-game playoff followed regular pool play — where South Snohomish went undefeated — and was required after Central Iowa levied accusations of game-throwing against the local team.

On Monday, the previously unbeaten team of girls from South Snohomish lost 8-0 in pool play to a team from North Carolina at the world series tournament in Portland. In complicated play rules, the loss in the final game of pool play bumped the tough Central Iowa squad from the tournament, while still allowing Snohomish to move on.

But early into South Snohomish’s loss Monday, officials from other teams suspected something was up.

According to the Des Moines Register, the South Snohomish team didn’t only lose to North Carolina, they lost badly. The previously hard-to beat team didn’t get a hit, and they allegedly hardly tried to swing. When they did swing, they allegedly tried to bunt on two strikes or swung at balls in the dirt.

The Snohomish team’s four best players were also benched during the game, the Des Moines Register reported.

This is one of those examples that illustrates the difference between a consensual society and a coercive society. The former is all about the means, not the ends. Yes, the rules are there to give order and structure, to mitigate issues that face the society. There is an end in mind, but the focus is always on applying the rules uniformly and universally, even if you sometimes get a bad result.

Coercive societies are focused on the ends exclusively. The rules are just the tools used to get to the end. They are applied and ignored on a case by case basis, because all that matters is achieving the desired end. Utopian and religious societies are obvious examples, but every authoritarian society is an ends justifies the means system.

In a consensual society, we admonish the sort of gamesmanship by this team as poor sportsmanship. After all, throwing games is against the spirit of fair competition, but it was permitted so you accept the result. Utopian fanatics see an unwanted result and they change the rules on the fly to suit their purpose. It’s why they cooked up a big pile of goofy rules in the first place.

I think it was Alfred J Nock, but I may be mistaken, who formulated the idea of the hidden law. That’s the unofficial rules, customs and taboos that do most of the governing of society. Replace those with written rules and you crowd out the social lubricants that allow for peaceful coexistence. Put another way, written rules make crap weasels of us all because they force us to game the system, like this softball team.

Communal Salvation

The dominant issue in the West is immigration. The ruling elites are obsessed with filling up our lands with people from other lands. It’s nearly impossible to get members of the elite to discuss the matter, much less explain their reasoning. A politician or party that embraces immigration reform, even mild reform, is treated like a Holocaust denier. Even climate change, which is pretty much a religion at this point, is more open to debate than immigration.

Wholesale, uncontrolled immigration has become a spiritual good. It’s not a means to an end, as is often argued by critics. There’s no doubt greed drives some of it, but money is the not the goal for most open borders fanatics. Across Europe and now in the US, immigration is scrambling the political calculus, hamstringing the major parties as fringe parties surge. Yet, they refuse to debate the topic. Yet, the topic remains a taboo.

There’s an old line about fanatics that they cannot change their mind and they won’t change the subject. A corollary to that, with regards to immigration, is that immigration fanatics won’t change their mind and will never permit the subject to be raised in their presence.

That’s what comes to mind when reading a story like this one if the Imperial Capital Gazette:

In a gesture of German goodwill, the administration in this medieval city leased a newly renovated apartment building here to humanely — even comfortably — house dozens of desperate ­asylum-seekers. The newcomers from Syria and other war-
ravaged nations would enjoy freshly redone floors, cute balconies and shiny, modern appliances in a cheerful building near a timber-framed pub.

Then Meissen’s goodwill went up in smoke.

On a cool night six weeks ago, suspected right-wing arsonists struck the building, scorching its interior and rendering it uninhabitable days before the ­asylum-seekers were to move in. The attack added Meissen, a gothic castle town of 30,000 on the Elbe River, to a string of German cities caught up in an escalating rash of violence against refugees.

The acts include an ugly spate of arson targeting refugee centers as well as physical attacks on refugees themselves, marking the return of what critics say is an unnerving brand of xenophobia to Western Europe’s most populous nation.

A normal person would look at this and think, “Maybe it is not such a great idea after all to import tens of thousands of aliens and plop them into unsuspecting neighborhoods.” Of course, normal people would wonder why the locals never got a say in this great social engineering program launched by their government. What good is democracy if you don’t get a say in who is and who is not allowed into your country?

Immigration is one of those issues that exposes the big lie of democracy. There’s nothing more important to the life of a nation than deciding who is and who is not permitted to settle in the nation. The whole damn point of having countries is to keep the other people out. If the people are going to have a say on anything, it is the question of whether or not a country is going to remain a country.

Yet, the elites say that is not permitted. The rubes can vote on who gets to move some commas around the tax code. The rubes can vote on who will run the regulatory state. You can pick your own breakfast cereal, but the people in charge run the store, set the hours and decide what’s on the shelves.

The reason for all this is the people in charge believe, with the fanaticism of a convert, that they have a moral obligation to help the poor on your dime. This interview of Bernie Sanders is revelatory:

Ezra Klein: You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

Bernie Sanders: Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

Ezra Klein: Really?

Bernie Sanders: Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

Ezra Klein: But it would make …

Bernie Sanders: Excuse me …

Ezra Klein: It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?

Bernie Sanders: It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

In other words, open borders is about getting grace on the cheap by, on the one hand, bringing in the world’s poor, but avoiding the cost by dumping them into the proletarian neighborhoods. Sanders, for all his faults, should be lauded for leaving his religion in the synagogue and sticking with the economics.

You see this in the Post article:

The attacks are undercutting Germany’s image as the country leading the effort to aid a record flow of refugees into Europe, highlighting the rising social tensions in the region amid the avalanche of asylum-seekers. At the same time, the violence has ignited a heated national debate over what pundits here say is a rise in overt racism and intolerance — in a nation highly sensitive to both because of Nazi-era atrocities.

All this is happening as Germany takes in more asylum-
seekers than any other nation in Europe — a number set to reach an estimated 500,000 this year alone — while quickly running out of places to house them. As a result, the national government in Berlin is turning to insular and almost wholly white enclaves to take in the newcomers, who are mostly from the Middle East and Africa.

The creepiness here is that they don’t give a damn about the immigrants getting the business from the locals. What matters is the goodthinkers in Germany are being embarrassed by the conduct of the bad thinkers. Again, it’s a spiritual exercise, not a political or economic one.

The mistake immigration patriots make is in thinking the motivation behind open borders is simply monetary. There’s no doubt that greed-heads like Mark Zuckerburglar are in it for the cash, but most of these people are in it for salvation. They no longer believe in God, but they still believe in salvation and their brand of salvation is communal. To save themselves, they must save the world, however much it cost you.

Obama: The L. Ron Hubbard of Modern Liberalism

On a few occasions, here and elsewhere, I compared the recent spasm of monument desecration by the American Left to what we are seeing with ISIS in the Near East. It is an easy comparison. One group of fanatics is attacking the monuments of the past because Allah commands it. Another is attacking symbols from the past because the void where God used to exist in their cosmology commands it.

Look, the primary attraction of the comparison is it makes Progressives nuts when you point out this comparison. Their near total lack of self-awareness coupled with total ignorance of their ideological movement causes them to think they are pure logic machines, the exact opposite of the sky-god worshiping barbarians. It’s a classic example of the hive mentality of cults. Hold a mirror up to them and they shriek in horror.

The joking aside, I do think the Cult of Modern Liberalism has jumped the fence and is no longer simply a political ideology. This is fairly obvious with the reaction to Bernie Sanders, who is an old school commie. Bernie is focused on economics, not culture. When pressed, he mouths the cult-marx platitudes, but he’s clearly not into it. His defense of American jobs with regards to immigration sent the Vox boys into hysterics.

It’s tempting to think of the modern Progressives as tarted up commies from the previous age, but there are a different breed of cat. Theirs is a spiritual movement, more than economics or even ideology. They see salvation through egalitarianism and multiculturalism. Leveling the economic playing field is simply not important to them, especially since most are in the managerial elite.

An example of what I mean is early on in Obama’s tenure, he talked about creating a domestic army to address the laundry list of ills he thought needed attention. He was not thinking about a teacher corp pr civilian conservation corp. He had something closer to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in mind, an army of young people scolding the non-believers. In other words, they were building a mass movement.

That has eventually turned in Organizing for America, the off-the-books campaign operation that Team Obama used to coordinate, outside the view of Congress, their operations of the 2012 election. Presidents have campaign operations, but this was a radical departure in that it was intended to live on long after Obama left office. It would allow him to co-opt future campaigns by maintaining a private agit-prop operation coordinating with groups like the SEIU and the vast army of non-profits like Planned Parenthood.

This story in the Times about how Obama is doing something different folds in nicely with his dreams of being the spiritual leader of global liberalism, defining the morality of the New Religion and by extension, the nation.

Publicly, Mr. Obama betrays little urgency about his future. Privately, he is preparing for his postpresidency with the same fierce discipline and fund-raising ambition that characterized the 2008 campaign that got him to the White House.

The long-running dinner this past February is part of a methodical effort taking place inside and outside the White House as the president, first lady and a cadre of top aides map out a postpresidential infrastructure and endowment they estimate could cost as much as $1 billion. The president’s aides did not ask any of the guests for library contributions after the dinner, but a number of those at the table could be donors in the future.

The $1 billion — double what George W. Bush raised for his library and its various programs — would be used for what one adviser called a “digital-first” presidential library loaded with modern technologies, and to establish a foundation with a worldwide reach.

Supporters have urged Mr. Obama to avoid the mistake made by Bill Clinton, whose associates raised just enough money to build his library in Little Rock, Ark., forcing Mr. Clinton to pursue high-dollar donors for years to come. Including construction costs, Mr. Obama’s associates set a goal of raising at least $800 million — enough money, they say, to avoid never-ending fund-raising. One top adviser said that $800 million was a floor rather than a ceiling.

What Obama does not want to be doing in his retirement is grubbing for money. What he enjoys most is standing in front of adoring crowds telling them his inner thoughts. Obama speeches have always been an interior monologue broadcast to whoever is within earshot. If the Obama Foundation is a self-perpetuating financial engine that keeps him and his wife in a lifestyle they believe they deserve, Obama is free to spread the gospel.

One top aide said Mr. Obama respected Mr. Bush’s decision to limit his time in public after leaving office, but also admired Mr. Clinton’s aggressive use of the spotlight to press his agenda.

“My sense is that he’s probably a blend of the two,”’ said David Plouffe, one of Mr. Obama’s closest former aides and a member of the library foundation board.

In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.

In their conversations with Mr. Obama and his advisers, people from Silicon Valley and Hollywood are pressing for a heavy reliance on cutting-edge technology in the library that would help spread the story of Mr. Obama’s presidency across the globe. Ideally, one adviser said, a person in Kenya could put on a pair of virtual reality goggles and be transported to Mr. Obama’s 2008 speech on race in Philadelphia.

Some discussions at the dinners have focused on the role Mr. Obama might play internationally after the diplomatic opening with Cuba, the nuclear deal with Iran, the confrontations with Russia and the drawdown of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama is not the hardest working guy in the world, something I actually admire about him, so I question whether he will really want to be the spiritual leader of his own cult. His people clearly think that is his future. Undoubtedly, Organizing for Action will be a part of this initiative. That will allow Obama to control the Democrat Party by wielding financial and spiritual power long after he is gone from office.

Progressive Awakenings tend to run out of steam after a decade or so. The reason is the charismatic leaders tend to die off. Wilson was a vegetable at the end. FDR dropped dead. JFK, MLK and RFK were all shot in the 60’s and there was no one to pick up the torch.

Obama is young and in good health so he could possible keep the torch lit well beyond the normal active phase. He could set himself up in New York City and a mountain lair in Hawaii, where he can direct his followers and issue encyclicals to the faithful. Another book is on the way so it could perhaps be the Dianetics of the Cult of Modern Liberalism.

The Red Pill Revolution

I’ve been fond of the red pill-blue pill formulation to describe what is happening with non-liberals in America. It’s popular with the hobbits of the Dark Enlightenment so I never use the terminology, but it is a good way to describe what is happening. It’s not disillusionment. That’s just a precursor to a healthy cynicism. What we’re seeing today is more of an awakening, where people suddenly confront a truth they used to think was nonsense.

It’s popular to compare the Trump surge with the Perot surge, blaming it on populist anger, which is another way of saying the losers are making a racket. That’s the George Will and Charles Krapphammer view of things. Both have been ranting and raving about this on Fox for a few months now. That’s an easy temptation and even easier when you get paid to mail in bite sized commentary for an hour each night. As Buchanan used to say, they have gone native.

Anyway, the thing people forget about Perot is he started as a third party guy, even though he had a special hatred of Bush. His campaign was never a fight within the GOP. That fight happened with the Buchanan challenge of Bush in the primary. Trump is starting as a Republican and while not making his campaign about challenging the GOP power structure, that’s how people are responding to it. If Trump were running as a third party candidate right now, no one would care.

Another big difference in this cycle is the Democrats are not desperate to win like they were in 1992. They were also going through a reform effort of their own in the Bush years. The DLC emerged as the “New Democrats” promising to drag the party to the center. That’s how Bill Clinton grifted his way to the nomination. The desperate could overlook his vulgarity and the reformers could overlook his near total lack of a moral compass. Everyone in the Democrat side just wanted to win.

It’s tempting to credit the Sanders surge as merely a late reaction to Clinton, who is about as appealing as rectal cancer. Even her friends describe her as a moral nullity so there’s room for a not-Clinton in the primary. That’s not what’s going on though, as Sanders has tapped into some of the things we’re seeing on the GOP side. One is immigration and the other is economic nationalism.

Sanders is pretty good on the national question, to the horror of liberal elites. He’s also an economic nationalist, a reminder to many Democratic voters that the party used to be about the working man. Within living memory, Democrats championed the middle and working classes, while today’s liberal is the champion of deadbeats, weirdos and corporatist plutocrats. A lot of Democrat voters are pissed at what has happened with their party and they are flocking to Sanders.

I think the biggest difference here is the role of the media. The primaries were over by the time Perot started talking about a run. It was the summer of 1992 when he became a story and started building a campaign. The press filled the summer promoting Perot because they wanted an interesting story. He was treated like a rock star, just about living on CNN. Eventually, Perot’s nuttiness was the better story and the press started making sport of him.

In contrast, the media has been hostile to Trump from the start. The Conservative media has been a mix of mocking, insulting and incredulous. This column by George Will is revelatory:

He is an affront to anyone devoted to the project William F. Buckley began six decades ago with the founding in 1955 of the National Review — making conservatism intellectually respectable and politically palatable. Buckley’s legacy is being betrayed by invertebrate conservatives now saying that although Trump “goes too far,” he has “tapped into something,” and therefore. . . .

Will starts out by asserting that conservatism was not always “intellectually respectable and politically palatable” and then he calls anyone not scandalized by Trump a subhuman. At least he did not demand they be shoved into ovens. He later goes on to say that a political party has a duty to defend its borders. This from a man who is an open borders fanatic. If you are a normal person who considers themselves a patriotic conservative, how can you not root for Trump over a man calling you a scumbag?

This where the red pill – blue pill concept comes in. Fox and the conservative media have been walking around thinking they are the authentic tribunes of the people. They truly thought they would be heroes to the cause by taking out Trump in the debate. Instead of their viewers throwing rotten cabbages at Trump, they were chucking them at Fox. Watching these folks, it’s clear they are off-balance and they don’t know what’s happening to them.

Unlike the Perot phenomenon, the Trump wave is as much about the general disgust with Conservative Inc. and the mainstream media as it is about populist outrage. A lot of people have started to figure out that Fox is there to move product and sell GOP Inc. to the gullible people on the Right. These are people who signed onto the Tea Party, but have been radicalized by the GOP’s efforts to marginalize them.

The reformer wants to save things. The revolutionary wants to destroy. Perot was leading a reform movement. Trump is leading a revolution, whether he knows it or not. Maybe that’s why guys like George Will are suddenly incontinent over Trump. Maybe they sense the danger. It’s hard to know, but the antics of guys like Erick Erickson are just throwing logs on the fire. Once you take the red pill, you cannot untake it so things will never be the same now that revolution is in the air.

Ramblings on Race, Racism and Race Realism

If you live around a lot of diversity, you learn how to recognize others who live around a lot of diversity. It’s like the difference between the world traveler and the provincial who never left home. The change in perspective results in a change in demeanor. I’m comfortable in alien places because I’ve been around a lot of people not like me on a daily basis for a long time. I just don’t think it is strange to be the guy who sticks out like a sore thumb.

One of the things you learn when you spend a lot of time around non-whites is that not all white people are the same. That sounds odd, but it works like this. You get to know a lot of “Hispanics” for example and you quickly see that they are not a singular race and they often don’t speak the same language. Guatemalans are a different breed of cat from Cubans or Dominicans or Mexicans from El Norte. Lumping all these people into the bucket called “Hispanic” is mostly worthless.

That revelation leads to rethinking what it means to be white, black or Asian. Italians and Spaniards are called white, but they are not Germans or Swedes. Travel around America and you see that a place like Indiana is part Yankee New England and part Appalachian hick. The term “Hoosier”, by the way, was an insult for Virginia hillbillies. Head a few clicks north and you are into a different population of honkies altogether.

From an anthropological perspective, the old categories of race are falling apart. If you read Nick Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance, it becomes rather clear that race classifications based on skin tone don’t hold up. It’s better to think of people as belonging to large extended families. There’s lots of cross pollination between these large extended families, but at the edges where they interface. Swedes share a lot with Germans, but very little with Bantus.

The fact is, skin, eye and hair color are just one part of it. There are character differences that are just as rooted in biology as skin color. Those character and personality traits impact culture, which in turn has impacted biology. This article by Peter Frost is a great explanation of how biology, culture and environment work on one another simultaneously. Swedes are built for a culture built for the environment of Sweden, which is different from the Bantus, who were built for a culture built for flourishing in Africa.

The trouble with discussing any of this is that there’s a another part of the puzzle. Humans are built to distrust those who are not their kind. While it is as natural as left handedness, our culture eschews anything that even hints at racism. This is not illogical as we in the West live in multi-ethnic societies. Keeping the peace means suppressing the instinct to not like the “other” or the foreign. The argument from race realists is that you can take this too far and when you do the results are worse than naked racism.

I have no way of knowing if that is true, but I think it is probably time for people calling themselves “race realists” to simply drop the term in favor of something more biologically correct and less provocative. I’ll refer to myself as a biological realist, for example, because I think you cannot overcome biology with wishful thinking. This has the added benefit of handling the feminist lunacies.

“Fixing the schools” is a waste of time because 80% of education is the IQ and character of the student. Another 10% is family life and the rest is the community in which the school exists. Maybe the school has 2% of an impact and I may be generous here. Put the ghetto boys into a nice prep school, but somehow maintain the ghetto home and community life, and you get the same result as you get from the local public school. Maybe one or two end up better than otherwise.

Similarly, the people who left the Borderlands of England for the New World ended up in Appalachia. They recreated their culture from home, without the interference of the Crown. When those people migrated into the Midwest, they recreated their mountain culture in the new lands. Southern Illinois is not like West Virginia by accident. There’s a strong Scandinavian flavor to the upper Midwest for a reason.

It’s why America can never be a land dominated by a central government imposing a universal culture on the whole nation. The differences are simply too big between the people of Vermont and the people of Texas. No amount of hooting and bellowing from Progressive loons will change biology and culture. It’s another area where biological realism could gain some traction. You can shame the Yankee busy-body out of trying to impose his values on the world. Mention race and he loses the ability to feel shame.

That’s why HBD and race realist people need to free themselves from the plain old racists. The people attracted to your movement for the racism are mostly idiots who will cause you nothing but trouble. That and white nationalism is about the dumbest thing going, given the ethnic and cultural diversity among people who call Europe their ancestral home. The crackers from the hills have as much in common with the German low-landers as they do with Arabs.

That said, it’s probably easier said than done. Saying you don’t like black culture is fine, but most people will call you a racist, even if you are married to a black person or are actually black. Racism used to be an action. Then it became words, then thoughts and is quickly becoming a lack of enthusiasm. If you are not enthusiastic enough in your praise for non-whites, you’re called a bigot.

Thinking about it, the image that comes to mind is of a train slamming into a mountain. Whatever distance and uniqueness there is between the cars, the collision eliminates it, leaving a pile of twisted metal. That’s what has happened with public discussion of anything that relates to ethnicity. It’s slammed into the wall of Cultural Marxism and you can no longer tell the racist crackpots from the Progressive loons.

I’m Famous

I was reading Doug Ross this morning and spotted this post on the top conservative websites. I love lists because they are also categories. If you are ranking things, you are also putting those things in the same category. A list of hottest peppers would includes only things you consider to be peppers. You can also learn about the list maker from reading his lists.

At the same time you learn a lot about what others think about the entries on the list. I see ZeroHedge is on the list at Doug’s site, which is interesting to me. I’ve never really thought of ZH as conservative, more anarcho-libertarian if anything and I’m not sure it is anything ideological. But, it all depends on your definition of “conservative.” I’m probably a bit more granular in my definitions.

On the other hand, I’ve never heard of Western Journalism. That means I need to get out more as it is ranked as the seventh most popular conservative site. Similarly, The Week is top-20, but I have only a vague recollection of visiting the site. That’s the other thing about lists, you often find things that you might like simply because others like them or associate them with things you know and like.

What got my attention is that I’m on the list, coming in at #268 which is not much, but it’s not nothin’ either. Of course, it means there are 968,417 other sites out there pulling in a bigger crowd, but no one starts out at the top. Maybe with hard work and a little luck, I can break the 900,000 barrier! There’s a billion websites out there so I probably should not be dismissive, but this is just a hobby and rankings are not something I think much about.

I am surprised at how unpopular many sites are, relative to my interest in them. National Review Online is the go-to source for establishment conservative opinion on TV so I figured they had a big broad audience. The Hill has a bigger crowd and that caters exclusively to the political class inside the beltway. Rush Limbaugh is way down the list, but maybe he is no longer a thing. I don’t know.

Looking at the list, I think you can argue that the Dissident Right is mostly small sites with small audiences. The Trump surge suggests the middle-class radicals are a big cohort, but only hobbyists target these people. Many of those hobbyists have other agendas like naked racism or crackpottery. A lot of the HBD people engage in race-baiting which will turn off normal people.

Anyway, I’m #968,418, I’m number #968,418!

In your face #968,419!