Friday, May 11, 2018

Eric Schneiderman Is Just The Latest

Here is something I posted on my old blog last year, long before Eric Schneiderman was in the news as a champion of women and progressive politics that likes to slap around women and call them his "brown slave":

One of my working theories is that many men on the political far Left who proclaim the loudest that they respect womyn and are "male feminists" actually hate women. I think the reason for this is that modern feminism is basically man hating. That sounds kind of Rush Limbaugh-esque but it also happens to be true. Contemporary feminism seems mostly concerned less with women having equal opportunities as men and more with the absolute degrading of men. What this leads to is a weird self-loathing from liberal men who are forced to despise and hide their own maleness to appear properly "woke". What it doesn't do is eliminate their maleness, as much as they might try to make it appear that way. What it simply does is force it below the surface where it boils up from time to time when there is an "acceptable" female target.

Just about a month later I was writing something similar about another liberal guy who was abusive towards women, Liberal Male Misogyny And Harvey Weinstein.

One of the recurring topics I have on this blog is the trait I have noticed among male liberals where they hold pretty ugly views of women that they hide under feminist rhetoric until they get the chance to unload on a "safe" target, usually a conservative woman. They also usually get a pass from other liberals because of the target of their ugliness being conservatives.

Here we are in 2018 and the news is pretty much the same. A guy appaluded as a champion for women is just another creepy perv. It sounds like it was an open secret, like Weinstein, among New Yorkers based on this interview with Tucker Carlson, which starts off with a very solid argument that liberalism is less a political theory and more like a religion.

Contemporary liberalism is at the core an ideology of hatred and that hatred falls on a spectrum depending on your identity. Heterosexual religious white males are the most favored targets for progressive vitriol and often violence and this has led "progressive" men to publicly flee from any hint of what we traditionally associate with masculinity with the above disastrous results.

Ultimately you cannot change human nature. You can try to force masculinity underground. You can drug boys, give them smartphones to stare at, video games to play. You can try to de-platform expressions of male thought on the internet. You can go after male organizations like the Boy Scouts. But masculinity doesn't go away and when you take away healthy outlets for masculinity, you give rise to uglier aspects like Eric Schneiderman. The same is true politically. Trying to drive the alt-right off of the internet is not going to make it go away, it just moves it into the internet shadows and causes it to metastasize in the dark.

As "toxic masculinity", in other words normal and healthy male behavior, continues to be attacked among liberals you can be sure that ugliness like what we saw from Eric Schneiderman will get worse.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rand Paul: It Is Long Past Time To Get Out Of Afghanistan

Watch this brief video from Senator Rand Paul making the case for getting us out of Afghanistan. We have wasted enough money and far too much blood in that quagmire already.

Conservatism Is Dead

Conservatism is dead.

Trump didn't kill it, although that is the popular finding of amateur autopsies. It was dead long before he came on the scene. What killed conservatism is what once gave it life. Conservatism today lacks any sort of unifying principles other than being against "liberalism". The Soviet Union is gone and with it the main unifier of big business capitalists, Christian conservatives and libertarians. Conservatism now is little more than screeching about the latest outrage from liberals with no real plan other than being outraged again tomorrow.

What does it even mean to be conservative today? In essence almost all of conservatism is simply a delaying action against "progressive" policies. And it is important to note that it is simply a delaying action, a lackluster fighting retreat. Our principled stand of today is gone tomorrow and the unthinkable territory has now become the new front lines. Conservatives are not really even talking about unwinding liberal policies, and are instead just endlessly redrawing the battle lines.

At the once venerable and now mostly tired and predictable National Review, author  J. J. McCullough writes that it is Time for a Compromise on Transgenderism. What? He suggests that calling people by the appropriate pronoun is "boorish and petty" and seems to think that if we just compromise on this issue a little, the Left will leave us alone in our churches. What a buffoon! Anyone paying any attention at all recognizes that this is an all-or-nothing fight. Either you go all-in on embracing whatever perversion and deviancy the Left demands or you get squashed like a bug by the media, entertainment industry and legal system. The same is true on issues like race, amnesty and feminism. If you aren't for reparations you might as well be lynching black folk again. There is no room for comprise.

This from the magazine that once was led by William F. Buckley, Jr. who famously said in 1955 "A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.". Now we are urged to compromise on just one more issue and at last we can have peace. This is the same lie that is destroying the Boy Scouts which will cease to functionally exist soon and has already destroyed mainline Protestantism through endless "just one more" compromises.

Mr. McCullough got some push-back from his fellow NRO writers but the very notion that what he wrote could show up on the pages of National Review is staggering and a sign of just how far the conservative movement has fallen.

Chest-thumping about how conservative you are and hollering at them lib'rals is fine for the carnival barkers on talk radio and Fox News but it isn't a coherent political ideology. Something new seems to be emerging on the Right and the 2016 election was a sign, not a cause, of it. While it still holds sway in D.C. think tanks and on Capitol Hill, old policies like "free trade" and endless nation building, spreading democracy via cruise missile, are not what is driving the new Right in America. The New Right is far more populist and less elitist, and includes a lot of people that once were solidly Democrat voters in places like the Midwest (see: Is the Midwest the Next South for the Democratic Party? ). I have often argued that in our contemporary setting all politics are identity politics but one identity isn't allowed to notice or be involved. However I think that part of that is changing and the one identity that dare not speak up for itself is unifying, at the ballot box if not out loud. The Democrats coalition is basically the very wealthy elites, minorities and a collection of crackpots and deviants (environmental nuts, wannabe socialists, radical abortion supporters, homosexuals/cross-dressers, etc.). That is the horse they have hitched their wagon to. So what does that leave? Pretty much just working and middle class whites, especially those with strong religious beliefs. We try to pretend that elections are the living out of arguments about concepts and convictions but what they really are in most cases are conflicts based on turnout among identity groups. Will white working and middle class voters in the South, Midwest and West turn out? Is the black and Latino vote energized? To the extent that the answer to one or the other is no, that is how elections are decided.

The anti-Soviet coalition of big business, religious conservatives and libertarians is dead and has been for some time. What is emerging in its place is something that looks very similar but is united by a very different set of priorities. It is not precisely conservatism as we have understood the term but it does have a conservative element of wishing to preserve the U.S. with our uniquely adapted and modified but nevertheless Western European flavor. In general this new populist/nationalist movement has been met with disdain and hostility from more mainline "conservatives" like National Review but it is the future of the Right in this country. In my own state of Indiana two solidly conservative Congressmen were upset in the nomination for the GOP Senate race. Roy Moore in Alabama last year was another example as were any number of other primary wins by "outsiders". The traditional platform cookie cutter Republican candidate is a dying breed as the electorate is looking for something more than an interventionist foreign policy and capital gains tax cuts. Maybe the Republican party will wake up to this shift or maybe something new will replace the GOP. It has happened before and it can happen again.

So join me in throwing a shovel-full of dirt on the rotting corpse of the elephant. Once "conservatism" is dead and buried we can get about the business of forging a new path for the Right in the political landscape before it is too late.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Braun Versus Donnelly. Didn't See That Coming....

Well I expected either Congressman Todd Rokita or fellow Congressman Luke Messer to be the GOP nominee after the Indiana Senate Primary. Turns out I was wrong. Businessman Mike Braun is the nominee and is now poised to take on Senator Joe Donnelly.

The Indianapolis Star calls this a "huge upset", Indiana Senate race: Mike Braun wins GOP primary in huge upset over 2 sitting congressmen, but I guess it is reflective of just how angry people are at the D.C. establishment and in spite of trying to set themselves apart neither Messer nor Rokita seemed able to shake the insider label. It is hard to grab the outsider high ground when you are a sitting Congressman. Braun won in spite getting just 40% of the vote while Messer and Rokita pretty evenly split the other 60%.

I expect this to get ugly as it is one of the best opportunities for the GOP to pick up a Senate seat and the Indianapolis Star agrees:

Braun will have little time to relish Tuesday’s victory. Democrats already are planning to attack him with advertisements highlighting his GOP opponents' criticisms throughout the primary. But he’ll also get plenty of reinforcements. Trump will visit Elkhart on Thursday to rally Republicans behind Braun, and national GOP groups are expected to pummel the state with advertising on Braun’s behalf.

When you combine the overwhelming support for Trump in 2016, major cash from the GOP and Braun's own wealth this should be a solid pick-up for the Republicans unless something crazy happens in national politics between now and November or if Braun has a Richard Mourdock-type gaffe that costs him the election.

A lot can happen in the next six months but I would love to see Republicans increase their Senate majority with pick-ups in my ancestral state of Ohio, West Virginia and my home state of Indiana, among others. Retaining the House and increasing the Senate majority, both of which seem likely to me, will go a long way toward setting the stage for a Trump re-election in 2020.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Primary Day!

Primary elections in an off-presidential year are usually yawners. The usual suspects, like me, that are more highly engaged will show up and everyone else doesn't even know anything is going on. Things are a little different here in Indiana this year. With a highly vulnerable incumbent Democrat, Joe Donnelly, sitting for re-election in a state with no other statewide Democrat office holders and that Trump carried by nearly 20 points, a lot of people lined up to be the torch-bearer. This has led to a pretty contentious primary that a lot of national news outlets are calling the nastiest primary in the nation.

Unlike West Virginia where Trump has personally intervened to try to sway voters, it has been pretty much an all in-state campaign. I don't think many of my fellow Hoosiers are very interested in the race between Todd Rokita, Luke Messer and Mike Braun. They all seem to agree on most stuff and the two main candidates, Rokita and Messer, are trying to out-do one another to claim the "true conservative" and "Trumpian" mantle. I think the lack of substantive difference between the candidates is the source of a lot of the rancor.

I ended up casting my vote for Todd Rokita. He is solid on the wall, immigration, being pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. He even talks about making English the official language, which dropped off the radar years ago. From what I can tell he does the retail politics thing well, he just got done criscrossing the state to shake hands and kiss babies, and also does a solid job on the social media thing (lots of twitter, email blasts, etc.). I would be OK with the other two, anyone but Joe Donnelly would be a huge improvement. It is embarrassing that a deep red state like Indiana would have a Democrat senator but thanks to a serious flub by the GOP candidate in 2012 and a solid showing from the Libertarian we ended up with one. Time to send Joe home.

Now to wait for the polls to close and the returns to come in!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Academic Conformity Stifles Innovation

Check out this video from one of my favorite Youtubers, Black Pigeon Speaks, on the seemingly strange disconnect between high average East Asian group IQ and the relative lack of technological innovations from that region. One measure of this is the relative number of Nobel laureates by nation. The Nobel prize is overwhelmingly awarded for achievements to Americans (155) and northern Europeans (Germany, the UK, France and Switzerland). Switzerland has 24 which is precisely double that of the leading Asian nation of Japan with 12.

Here is the video....

What causes this, in the eyes of a few critics, is a culture of conformity in East Asia that stifles innovation. I don't know if that is true or not but it certainly seems plausible. What is more interesting is the way BPS applies this cult of conformity to Western campuses.

To any even modestly attentive observer,  the university environment in the U.S. is a monoculture of political correctness and single-sided thinking. You don't go to college to get an education or to explore multiple viewpoints, you go to get an academic credential to help you get a job. For example this story came out a few days ago and the title gives you a pretty solid clue as to what is going on at universities: Democrats Outnumber Republicans 70 to 1 in College Religion Departments, 10 to 1 Overall. Of interest to me, in STEM departments the ratio of Republicans to Democrats was far more even ("engineering (1.6-to-1)") but in the generally useless humanities departments the ratio was deeply skewed.

Among the Humanities, not one subject had less than 15 Democrats for every Republican. Psychology (16.8-to-1), history (17.4-to-1), philosophy (17.5-to-1), language (21.1-to-1), classics (27.3-to-1), theater (29.5-to-1), and music (32.8-to-1) did not quite reach the absurd imbalance of 40 Democrats to 1 Republican, but other disciplines did. Some science disciplines also had surprisingly high imbalances: biology (20.8-to-1), environmental science (25.3-to-1), and geoscience (27-to-1). Perhaps the influences of evolution and scientism in biology, and climate change orthodoxy in environmental and earth science explain these imbalances.

In art (40.3-to-1), sociology (43.8-to-1), and English (48.3-to-1), there were more than 40 Democrats for every Republican. As noted above, religion proved even worse, with 70 Democrats for every Republican — a surprising statistic considering the hubbub about evangelical Protestants supporting Donald Trump.

Little wonder our colleges and universities are pumping out snowflakes that are incapable of thinking critically or engaging in ideas outside of their own narrow political cults.

As BPS pointed out, many (most? essentially all?) universities are more interested in "social justice" than they are with truth. The truth is often messy and controversial but social justice can mean whatever you want it to mean so it is far easier to simply push an agenda and to focus on the supposed injustice of the colonization of the American continent than to deal with the human condition and the reasoning behind the Bill of Rights. Few people are courageous enough to challenge the politically correct social justice narrative so "students" get a single, narrowly focused indoctrination that bears little semblance to reality. Even still we grace this anti-intellectual enterprise with the term "education".

One of the keys to academic growth and exploration is the willingness to challenge the conventional wisdom. This is becoming harder and harder in the modern university setting. Try to imagine a PhD student that wanted to do his dissertation on why man-made climate change wasn't real. He would be run out of the campus on a rail. Entire topics like climate change, race and IQ, human evolution, etc. are off limits for discussion. Our university system, once the envy of the world, is turning into a network of anti-intellectual re-education camps that we subsidize and perpetuate.

To quote Satoshi Kanazawa: "Science is not democracy; it is inherently elitist.". In trying to turn universities into hyper-egalitarian monocultures we are destroying the very nature of what made them incubators for innovation and exploration in the first place. I am not sure what the solution is. If there is a more cowardly group of people than the adminstrators of colleges and universities, I haven't run across them but something needs to change or innovation will die (outside of new and exciting ways to amuse ourselves to death). To paraphrase BPS, you can pursue truth or you can pursue social justice but you can't pursue both.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Free And Independent Republic of California

The news came out this week that California is now the world's 5th largest economy:

California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest, according to new federal data made public Friday.

California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion, the data said. Meanwhile, the UK’s economic output slightly shrunk over that time when measured in U.S. dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations.
California’s economic output is now surpassed only by the total GDP of the United States, China, Japan and Germany. The state has 12 percent of the U.S. population but contributed 16 percent of the country’s job growth between 2012 and 2017. Its share of the national economy also grew from 12.8 percent to 14.2 percent over that five-year period, according to state economists.

Given that California is politically and culturally wildly different from much of the U.S. as a whole (Hillary won California by over 4 million votes, accounting for her entire popular vote margin), and has an enormous economy that rivals or outpaces most industrialized nations, why not spin it off into an independent nation? Many people in California seem miffed that their two Senators have as much power as the Senators from places like Wyoming and Rhode Island. In spite of their massive vote numbers they only get a proportional number of electors for President.

As a first step in dissolving the Union, why not bid California farewell and let them become their own nation, say in ten years or so? That would give people who want the sort of government California has to move in and those in California who want to stay in the Union to move out. Given the evaporation of the Californian middle class which has been replaced by a massive number of low income, frequently immigrant and often illegal alien, population with a small and extremely wealthy oligarchy, it would be interesting to see how California would do with a massive social welfare state on their own.

People in California already functionally and culturally live in a different country than the rest of us. When I see news out of California it doesn't sound like anything I recognize as America already. Why not make it official and free the people of California from the rest of us and in turn free us from them? The only thing keeping us together now are some legal bindings, nostalgia and inertia. Those three factors are insufficient to sustain a nation.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Perpetuating Racial Grievances Is Big Business

And as Candace Owens points out, business is very, very good.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Peace On The Korean Peninsula?

It was a surreal moment on Friday when North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un stepped over the symbolic border and crossed into South Korea holding hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. At 46 years old the perpetual state of war between South and North Korea was firmly in place long before I was born and there was no reason for me to think that would change during my lifetime. But here we are. Now, a lot can go wrong of course. This may be a ploy by Kim to buy time for his nuclear program or he may be looking for a handout but at this point the indications are that this is sincere. I have to admit that watching the video that morning got me a little emotional. Could this really be happening?

If peace can break out on the Korean peninsula, maybe the two nations can be reunited into one Korea at some point? Like the Korean war, I also assumed that East and West Germany would always be divided and hostile to one another but then while I was in high school the wall fell and eventually the two nations were reunited. Today some of the divisions can still be seen politically but for my kids Germany has always been just Germany, not West and East Germany. Likewise the break-up of the Soviet Union seemed impossible but then seemingly overnight it happened and today we take for granted that Russia and Ukraine, in spite of contemporary hostility, along with the other former Soviet states, are now independent nations. So if that can happen, why not a unified Korea?

Unless you are a progressive or member of the media (but I repeat myself), it is pretty clear that this whole historic event is largely, but not entirely, the result of the Trump's hardline foreign policy. I am sure pressure from the Chinese, also driven by Trump, helped but Trump's bellicosity seems to have been the language that Kim understood. One can try to deflect all you like but you have to ask this question: if anyone other than Trump was President, would this have happened? If you are being honest, the answer is almost certainly no.

I suggested on Friday morning two things should happen as a result of this turn of events. First, Trump should be given the Nobel Peace Prize and second, U.S. troops should come home from the Korean peninsula where they have been perpetually for over 60 years. The first will never happen, remember these are the same people that gave the Peace Prize to Barack Obama just for showing up, making the Nobel Peace Prize into the Nobel Participation Ribbon. It is more likely they will give the award to Kim, or his sister or anyone else because giving it to Trump is something the committee couldn't possibly stomach. The second might happen though. The 23,000-28,000 troops the U.S. has in South Korea could easily be recalled and I would expect that if the peace process continues that the removal of our troops from South Korea will become a negotiating point. I am all in favor of bringing them home, along with our troops in Germany and Japan, as well as the Middle East. I would rather have 20,000 armed guards on the southern border than 20,000 soldiers sitting around on their collective butts in South Korea. Or better yet we could try not spending that money at all but that is nothing but a fanciful dream.

I don't know Kim Jung Un's true motivations and neither does the media and neither do you (unless you are reading this Kim.....). Probably a lot had to do with the idea of regime change coming to North Korea if he kept acting out. I would suspect that looking at the wealth of China and desiring to see some of that come his way was another factor. Being a closed hermit kingdom makes you totally in control but it also limits how much wealth you can accumulate and with China poised to become the world's largest economy, while retaining a form of communism, Kim might see that opening up to the world could mean vast riches for himself. Maybe he just had a change of heart. My wife sees Kim as a little kid that just wants some attention and even a little discipline and I think there is some truth to that. It is likely that Kim spent some time as a child studying in the West, perhaps that left a desire to see some liberalization come to his nation. Whatever his motivations, having peace on the peninsula and a de-escalation of the hostile stance of the two Koreas is a positive step, one I was uncertain I would ever see without the necessity first of a major conflict to remove Kim that would have led to massive loss of life on both sides. One less global hotspot in a state just removed from open warfare is something that everyone can and should celebrate.