Sunday, September 30, 2018

Reluctant Radicals

Progressives in general all think it is still the 60's and Vietnam is still going on. They all imagine themselves to be principled radicals standing up against The Man, even though now the Left is completely in bed with corporate America and there is no longer a significant anti-war faction in the Democratic party. If Hillary had won we would probably be involved in at least one new shooting war by now. They all imagine themselves to be radicals fightin' the powah, marching with MLK and feeling naughty about smoking some pot. In other words, they are constantly looking for an excuse to be outraged, march in the streets and maybe throw a brick or two through a window. Most of them are little more than LARPing like people at a Renaissance fair except instead of wearing puffy sleeved shirts they dress up in what they imagine are ominous outfits and are hitting people with bike locks.

Rank and file conservatives on the other hand mostly want to be left alone. They want to go to work, raise their family, watch some football, go to church, save money for their kid's college education. They grumble about taxes and show up to vote in November but their lives don't revolve around politics, their lives revolve around family and work. At least that used to be the case. Then came the 2016 election and what has transpired in the last week. Now the world has changed.

This really struck me a few summers ago. I was driving around the lake where my parents were living at the time in Northern Michigan. The lake is surrounded by little cottages owned by mostly middle-class people from down south that scrimped and saved to buy a cabin "Up North". On weekends they were there with their kids or grandkids, mowing their little lawns, painting the cabin, watching the kids play in the lake or just going for a walk. They lived in a little bubble of routine: work all week, leave work on Friday a little early and go up north for the weekend.

I think it was the lawn mowing that was most poignant for me. Here are regular people that spend the whole year working their butts off to afford a little cabin up north to relax and they were perfectly content to drive 5 hours on a Friday to spend Saturday mowing the lawn. Now I will grant you that a summer day in Northern Michigan isn't like a summer day pretty much anywhere else. The days are long, the clouds are few, the breeze is gentle, the temperature is perfect and the sky is so blue it almost hurts to look at it. There is no place better in the summer. They aren't asking much. They willingly pay their taxes, deal with the indignities of life, all so they can have these little, fleeting moments of absolutely perfect tranquility.

The last two years and especially last week have shattered the illusion. America isn't a place where you can mind your own business and expect others to do the same. The progressive movement long ago mutated into something more than a political philosophy. It is now a violent, fundamentalist religion. The Left will not leave you alone to mow your lawn or attend your church or even raise your kids. They are coming for everything and nothing will remain that is not under the heel of their boots. Your kids are not safe in local schools. You sons are certainly not safe in college, not from ideological manipulation or false accusations of assault. Your churches are not safe, many are being infiltrated by the religious "social justice" wing of the cultural Marxists and those churches that resist will find themselves targeted for destruction. This is not a mild game of political push and shove. It is total war.

The last week of September in 2018 was the week that innocence died.

What I am seeing on social media has been fascinating. Not the bellowing and mouth-frothing of the progressives ("Believe women....just because they are women!"), that is to be expected. Nor the conservative supporters of the President backing Kavanaugh. No, what I am seeing are a lot of men and women that suddenly have had their eyes opened to what is going on. People that preferred to just stay out of it are realizing that is no longer an option. You can do everything right: pay your taxes, drive the speed-limit, obey the law, save for retirement, buy a house and still it can all come crashing down. You just want to be left alone? They will not leave you alone. Not now.

So a lot of people are finally taking the red pill and realizing that the illusion of our civil society is a sham.

This isn't what they want. But circumstances are forcing everyone to make a choice and take a side. However reluctantly, the quiet American middle is becoming radicalized.

Rod Dreher quoted a reader that he described as "resolutely not a Republican" as writing to him and saying this:

The Democratic Party has announced today that every straight Christian white man will be guilty until proven innocent wherever they hold power. This used to just be SJWs on campus. Now it’s their whole party.

Feeling extremely radicalized. I won’t let them do this to the country my son is growing up in.

I have seen many people saying something similar and recognizing that being neutral now is akin to committing cultural suicide. What the progressives seem to forget is that an awful lot of regular Americans that the Left depends on being quiet and staying content to be tax cattle are fathers and mothers to sons and we have moved from a quiet campaign against boys via drugging them and talking about "toxic masculinity" to declaring that no man, no matter what his character, is immune to being accused of misbehavior in order to advance the progressive jihad. I use that word "jihad" intentionally. The extreme Left has operated under the rules of engagement "By Any Means Necessary" for decades. It doesn't matter if you ruin a man, it doesn't matter if you fake a "hate crime", it doesn't matter if you suppress free speech, it doesn't matter if you burn a building. It doesn't even matter if you engage in wanton violence because the ends justify the means and like jihadi suicide bombers, the progressive jihadi are willing to do whatever it takes to bring about their image of paradise on earth. Those engaged in jihad can justify blowing up children because they are convinced by their mullahs and imams that the struggle and the goal are all that matters. The progressive jihadi are told the same thing by their mullahs on college campuses and the entertainment world. Instead of 72 virgins in paradise they imagine a paradise of a lifetime of free college education studying Gender And Oppression and an endless fountain of fair trade soy lattes.

Even the Beltway "conservatives" are starting to wake up. National Review has been all over this with Kavanaugh over last week. Of course some of them are still siding against Kavanaugh because he was appointed by Trump and that is all the proof of guilt they need (looking at you Jennifer Rubin and Bill Kristol) but a lot of the generic Never Trumpers are starting to look like collaborators that are realizing that once the occupiers secure their place, they will come for them next. When the cultural Marxists complete their victory, they won't need tame conservatives anymore.

The stakes of the Kavanaugh nomination keep climbing. This was never about a particular Supreme Court seat or a particular issue, not even abortion. It has always been a proxy fight, the latest in a string of battles that started election night 2016. It is about the progressive Left, the mullahs of cultural Marxism, dropping their masks and declaring open warfare. It is about retroactively disenfranchising tens of millions of Trump voters and warning the rest of America to keep their mouths shut or they could be next. My hope is that this last week will serve as a wake-up call to the slumbering center of America. You can't just plan on mowing your lawn and watching the ball game on Sunday. You have to pick a side. A lot of us seem to be doing just that, no matter how reluctantly.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

What Makes Brett Kavanaugh "Dangerous"

In response to the ridiculous week long delay for an "FBI investigation" of a 36 year old allegation of sexual fumbling between two minors that had been drinking with no evidence, contradictory witnesses and tons of absent details, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted out this:

So set aside a moment what is obvious to anyone, namely that this is a sham deigned to keep delaying the nomination until the midterms and nothing that happens will change the vote of liberal partisans. Let me ask what is it that makes Brett Kavanaugh so "dangerous", given that we were told that Robert Bork would force women into back alleys to get abortions and that civil rights laws would be overturned.

A lot of it is just threat escalation. The Left has to keep exaggerating the "danger" of someone that might rule on the constitutionality of cases based on what the Constitution actually says to keep fanning the flames of rage and fear that drive their jihadis in the antifa and "pussy hat" brigades. This is a short attention span generation that requires an infusion of combustible rhetoric regularly or they get bored and go back to playing Fortnite. When your foot-soldiers are hyperactive young adults you are going to have to keep plying them with energy drinks or they lose focus.

But the real "danger" he poses was on display in his remarks at the farce of a Senate hearing this week. He was angry and worse he was defiant. He was accused and he was slandered and he fought back. That is not how the playbook works. The way it is supposed to work is that a Republican gets accused of something and is supposed to immediately back down and apologize. He must never push back or defend himself. That is how things have worked for decades in Washington and the current crop of mostly spineless, prissy Republican Senators is a testament to this. Republicans are supposed to be Mitt Romney, empty suits without a shred of backbone or self-respect that will get punched repeatedly without defending themselves. This is also why Trump is so dangerous to them. When the Left accuses him of racism or misogyny or whatever, he doesn't curl into the fetal position and beg forgiveness. He fights back and he often escalates the rhetoric. This has thrown the entire system in D.C. upside-down. Not since Reagan has there been a Republican President or significant leader that wasn't predictably compliant. I love this exchange, Reagan for his faults didn't take crap from anyone.

Now? Can you imagine Mitt Romney or Marco Rubio standing up for themselves like that? Please.

What makes Brett Kavanaugh so "dangerous" is that he is, not to put too fine a point on it, a conservative white man that was subjected to the same slander countless other Republican men have faced and instead of backing down he pushed back and stood up for himself and for his family. That is the genesis of the talk about him having "anger issues" all of a sudden. The Left is terrified of men that don't follow the script of groveling and bowing. As I have said on a number of occasions, I have found Judge Kavanaugh's response to this point to be incredibly restrained. If you accused me of sexual assault in the 80's in a transparent attempt to preserve your own political power and in doing so subjected my wife and children to death threats, I can assure you I would not be nearly so restrained as the Judge.

Many, many men around the country watched Brett Kavanaugh and realized that it could be them or their sons some day. Many, many women realized it could be their husband or son. That frightens them but it also makes them very, very angry. The Left cannot back down now because Brett Kavanaugh is a threat not just to their sacrament of abortion, he is a threat because he dares to stand up for himself. He upends the cultural narrative that white men are supposed to rend their garments and get slapped around because of the actions of other men centuries ago. That cannot be allowed to stand. This entire circus is not about Brett Kavanaugh. It is not about Dr. Ford who struck me not as credible but actually rather disturbed and sad. It is a proxy fight and Kavanaugh has shown a lot of men that they don't have to let the Left keep kicking sand in their faces anymore.

That is what makes him so "dangerous".

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Weaponizing Sexual Assault Allegations Hurts Women

As I stated in my previous post, What Happens When You Disenfranchise Tens Of Millions Of People?, the Brett Kavanaugh circus has very little to do with Kavanaugh or even with Roe v Wade. It is primarily an attempt to retroactively disenfranchise tens of millions of voters that had the audacity to not vote as they were told. I think that 99% of people are missing the bigger picture and think this is just an isolated situation rather than a part of a massive slow moving coup. This is the template for what will happen no matter who the nominee is when Ginsburg dies/retires and that confirmation process will make this look like a kids tea party.

Something else that is troubling about this, as if it wasn't troubling enough, is the way these allegations are morphing into a broader conversation about sexual assault, a "conversation" that mostly consists of scolding and hysterical lecturing from leftist women. Women are coming out of the woodwork and conflating their own allegations of sexual assault with Kavanaugh's accuser. Here is a great example.

Notice the way this unfolds. She was allegedly raped at Yale. Kavanaugh went to Yale. She was groped at a party held by Delta Kappa Epsilon. DKE is Kavanaugh's former fraternity at Yale. She claims that "multiple" friends were raped by members of Kavanaugh's former fraternity and by boys that went to schools similar to him. There was allegedly a "rape basement" in their frat house. Given the reputation of Delta Kappa Epsilon as a place where women are raped and groped and that they even had a "rape basement", it is a wonder that a strong, independent woman like Lizzie Hylton would keep attending parties there, or that any woman would set foot in their frat house. Weird. The point is that this is an insidious attempt at guilt after the fact by association, or maybe before the fact. I am not sure how old Lizzie Hylton is but based on her pictures on Facebook she looks to be in her late 20's maybe early 30's. Anyway if she is 30 that means that she attended Yale from approximately 2006 to 2010 or thereabouts. Kavanaugh graduated from Yale in 1987 and from Yale Law in 1990. So at least 15+ years before she went there. But that doesn't stop her from trying to imply that because she alleges something happened to her in 2006-2010 that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty because he attended the same school and frat almost two decades earlier. Or perhaps it is just the "all men are rapists" fourth-wave feminism. I won't hold my breath waiting for her response because no response is coming....

Nothing says "I am going to smash the patriarchy" like reinforcing the notion that women are emotionally fragile and can't take criticism. Back to my main point.

The argument that "I was a victim of sexual assault so therefore any and all accusations of sexual assault (by a man against a woman) are automatically credible and should be believed" is incredibly harmful to women. Doubly so when it is intermixed with a partisan political brawl. The accusations against Kavanaugh are so flimsy and transparently political that they are easy to dismiss out of hand. But that has a ripple effect. The Left is weaponizing sexual assault for political purposes and this has been going on for a long time. After Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill we were inundated with sexual harassment and much of it was bogus. We saw the early signs of this ploy with Roy Moore. Charges of "misogyny" and talk of "smashing the patriarchy" and "toxic masculinity", complaints of man-splaining and man-spreading, on and on and on, are being leveled by people who benefit enormously from the institutions and laws created by men. But all of it contributes to a poisoning of the relationship between men and women, a relationship that is the most fundamental in humanity and is necessary for the survival of our nation. How can it not impact the way men and women interact if there is a chance that a woman can accuse you of something after three decades and ruining your life? Victor Davis Hanson has a powerful article that addresses this, We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four. here is an excerpt.

Again, the ideological trumps the empirical. “All women must be believed” is the testament, and individuals bow to the collective. Except, as in Orwell’s Animal Farm, there are ideological exceptions — such as Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, Sherrod Brown, and Joe Biden. The slogan of Ford’s psychodrama is “All women must be believed, but some women are more believable than others.” That an assertion becomes fact due to the prevailing ideology and gender of the accuser marks the destruction of our entire system of justice.

Our legal system, and that includes how we make laws and appoint judges, only works when we to the best of our ability base decisions and rulings on evidence and fact. If you are considered more credible because you are a (liberal) woman or if you are considered less credible because I don't like your judicial philosophy, then we are just living in a system of might-makes-right, where the loudest identity group wins.

What is worse is that there are a significant number of people that don't even care if these allegations are true or not. They might be true and that is enough to demand that Kavanaugh be rejected. This has a lot of precedent. Back in the 80's during yet another widely publicized "sexual assault", the Tawana Brawley case, a "legal scholar" named Patricia Lewis said afterward: "(Brawley) has been the victim of some unspeakable crime. No matter how she got there. No matter who did it to her—and even if she did it to herself." So even if none of this happened and she falsely accused four innocent men and did it to herself, she is still a victim of a crime?

Just like hoax "hate crimes", the politicization of sexual assault allegations casts doubt over all accusations. If you can use unprovable assault allegations from three decades ago to derail an eminently qualified nominee to the Supreme Court, why wouldn't you lie about sexual assault for much smaller stakes? The Left doesn't care about the women it hurts, the only thing they care about is the end result.

Our legal and governmental system has many flaws but it is also the model and envy for much of the world. This has gone far beyond simple political gamesmanship and now threatens to tear apart the tenuous threads holding this country and society together. Sexual assault is a serious matter and those who have truly been victimized by it deserve better than to have their anguish used as a partisan political tool by the Left to reverse the results of elections.

Monday, September 24, 2018

What Happens When You Disenfranchise Tens Of Millions Of People?

Being disenfranchised is a pretty big deal in America. I am not talking about silly stuff like claiming that showing an ID to vote is essentially disenfranchising someone. I am not even talking in this case about actually preventing someone from voting. In what I believe is a mistaken impulse, we do everything we can to give everyone we can the right to vote and encourage people that can't balance their checkbook to do so.

No, what I am talking about is making the votes of tens of millions of people functionally irrelevant. Letting them cast a ballot like in the old Soviet Union but not really following their will. I am talking about an idea I was tossing around last night: retroactive disenfranchisement. That is what is being done with the Kavanaugh nomination, a series of unprovable and really not all that serious accusations thrown out there from over 30 years ago in an attempt to thwart not just President Trump but those that voted for him.

This whole series of charges doesn't have much to do with Brett Kavanaugh and pretty flimsy and unprovable allegations of drunken shenanigans when he was 17 or 18. I am a little younger than him and the drunken behavior of boys and girls when I was in high school and living in the dorms were pretty atrocious but most of it, like what Kavanaugh is less than credibly accused of, was harmless. Some people had drunken sex with people they might not have and in college one girl got pregnant her freshman year but otherwise it was just teen rebellion and the testing of waters of freedom.

It is also not about Roe v Wade, although that is a popular talking point. Certainly the Left sees the Roe decision in danger and abortion on demand is a sacred sacrament for liberals with the bodies of unborn children as an unholy offering to their goddess Choice. No matter who is President or by what margin they won, anyone that threatens their devotion to killing babies demands that the threat be defeated by any means necessary. But that isn't it.

What is happening over the last week or so is a continuation of what we have seen since the disbelieving media, the Deep State and the cultural elite realized that Trump was going to win the election. It is the startled reaction of someone with a timid dog that suddenly turns and bites them. The reaction across the board from the Left, and a lot of "conservatives", is summed up as "How dare you!". It is shock and outrage that a population that they thought was tamed after decades of abuse had suddenly proven for the briefest moment to still have some defiance in them. Trump wasn't supposed to be the nominee, he was an amusing sideshow. The nominee was supposed to be Marco Rubio or John Kasich, the latest lackluster sacrificial lamb that would tiptoe around Hillary out of fear of being called misogynistic. They would have lost gracefully and probably even wiped away a tear during their concession speech and waxed poetic about how marvelous it is that the "glass ceiling" has been broken.

Instead those darn deplorable voters proved that they were not house-trained and did the unthinkable. Even though Trump has so far not broken out the Nazi regalia we were warned he had hidden in his closet, it doesn't matter. The slight suffered by our betters had to be punished. So we started getting the attempts to de-legitimize his Presidency almost immediately. First it was the "he didn't win the popular vote" nonsense, even though we don't elect Presidents based on the popular vote, liberals didn't seem to care when Bill Clinton won with less than 50% of the popular vote and more people voted for candidates on the Right than on the Left in 2016. Then the "Russian collusion" narrative started and is still going on with no end and no evidence in sight. On we went to the "kids in cages" theme with liberals posting pics taken during the Obama administration and the least in touch people in America boldly proclaimed that enforcing the law was "not who we are". In the middle of all of this we got the Roy Moore smear campaign which set the precedent for the charges against Brett Kavanaugh.

Now we see the latest, trying to destroy a man and his family as part of the quest to undo the 2016 elections. Our betters let us pretend to vote and they would in turn pretend to listen to us but otherwise they just did whatever they wanted and ignored us, all while importing a new, more pliable, electorate. Now they are going to burn the whole thing down to teach us our place and send us a message back in Ohio and Oklahoma and Alabama that we better do as we are told.

I think they may have underestimated what is going on in the country outside of the urban enclaves.

What happens when tens of millions of people are told: oh so sorry, I know we had an election but the results were just not what we can permit so your votes no longer count. What happens when you tell half of the country that they are supposed to be content to be wage-slaves and tax-cattle to fund the machinations of the elite, but that they simply can't be trusted to make any meaningful decisions? When people realize that they have no say in their own government, that a small cabal of technocrats and managerial elites rule over us and use progressive religious jihadis like the antifa, to attack and cow anyone that steps out of line, what are they going to do? I don't think they are going to stand for it and I don't mean writing an angry letter to their Congressman. We stand on the precipice of something really dangerous in this country. People that just want to live their lives, work their job, raise their kids, worship or not as they see fit, and vote every fall to determine who runs the government are finding out that they will not be permitted to do that. The people that have formed the bedrock of this country are looking around and seeing that the country that they love and the world envies is on the verge of disappearing. What will these quiet, unassuming people do then?

I think we might be about to find out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tucker Carlson Commits A Thought-Crime: What If Diversity Is Not Our Greatest Strength After All?

Tucker Carlson is one of the few hosts on Fox that doesn't parrot back boiler plate "conservative" talking points. He often asks uncomfortable questions and drills down deeper into issues than anyone else on Fox and certainly more so than hosts on any of the boring, predictably leftist hosts on the network news, CNN, MSNBC, etc. Even someone with his reputation of coloring outside of the lines a bit can come under fire pretty quickly if he asks the wrong questions, and he did the other night when he dared question what has become the new national motto/sacred religious text in America: "Diversity is our greatest strength". He responded to those that freaked out with a series of tweets, I screenshot them just in case they were memory-holed by the censors at Twitter...

I guess the first question that needs to be asked is just what exactly does that word mean, "diversity"? It doesn't mean what it used to mean and it doesn't mean what most people probably think it means. Like "racism" which now means something completely different than it used to, "diversity" really only has one meaning and application: where there are too many white people, too much European/Western culture, it must be reduced. It is not a stretch to say that "diversity" is simply code for "fewer white people". As an example, the NY Times recently complained that New Hampshire was too white and that this was a problem to be solved but you never see editorials saying that Africa has too many blacks or that Mexico has too many mestizos. Try to find an example of something needing more "diversity" that doesn't translate to "this country/city/school/church" has too many white people. No one ever says that a historically black college or Christian denomination is too black. The Left is always talking about "dog whistles" but one of the clearest examples of a dog whistle is when they use the word "diversity".

So having defined diversity, let us then ask: is diversity really our greatest strength? If it is, can you point to an example of why being more diverse is inherently better than being less diverse? Schoolhouse Rock videos about the "melting pot" not withstanding, America has generally not been that diverse of a nation. As recently as when I was born in the 70's, America was 87.7% white, around 11% black and less than 4.5% Hispanic, with under 1% Asians. The black proportion has stayed fairly constant for the last century, fluctuating between 9.8-12.6%. But since the 70's our national demographics have changed rather dramatically. As of 2010, America was 72.4% white and 12.6% black, as the population has grown from 203 million to 308 million, a total growth of 105 million. In terms of actual numbers, the number of whites in America as of 1970 was 169,622,593 and in 2010 it was 196,817,552, or an increase of 27 million. So only about a quarter of the population growth in the last 40 years came from whites, and that increase is pretty much through natural growth via childbirth. We are not importing a ton of Europeans like the early 20th century. About 16.5 million of the increase was among black Americans. Less than half of the growth came from growth in the two heritage groups in America, whites and black descendants of slaves. So where did the growth come from? Some of it came from Asians as their numbers grew from 1.5 million to over 15 million which is pretty significant. But the big number came from Hispanics. Hispanics went from 4.4% of the population to 16.3%, in raw numbers from just under 9 million to over 50 million. Not as much of a difference from a percentage standpoint as Asians but in overall numbers it was a huge increase. Whites now outnumber Hispanics by a ratio of around 4 to 1 but in 1970, the year before I was born, the ratio was almost 20 to 1. Depending on who you ask, whites will cease to be an absolute majority in America very soon. As recently as 1990 whites were over 80% of the population, which is a pretty homogeneous racial make-up. So for around 90% of American history, our nation was at least 80% white. In 1940 on the eve of World War II and the era of the "Greatest Generation", America was at her least diverse with the white population being at the high water mark, just 0.2% shy of 90%. That percentage held mostly steady in the 1950s when America dominated the world in affluence and productivity. Tell me with that in mind: when did "diversity" become our greatest strength?

Of course diversity means more than race. Diversity also means fewer men and more women. Fewer Christians and more anything other than Christians. Fewer sexually normal people and more people with deviant sexual behavior. In the broadest sense, diversity means fewer white, male, heterosexual Christians, or in other words fewer of the very people that explored the globe, discovered the American continent, settled here, conquered and tamed a wilderness continent, and formed a nation that is the envy of the world. So our greatest strength really means fewer of the people that made this nation in the first place. When people today talk about diversity they don't mean the sort of diversity that was historically the case in America, a significant black population and a bunch of different kinds of Europeans. They just mean less of the historic inhabitants of the U.S.

Back to the question. Why is diversity our greatest strength when historically, for 90% of our history, we have not been diverse by today's standards? Let me ask it more broadly. Is diversity itself an unqualified good? I really don't see any indication that it is. Like America, Europe has long been a pretty racially homogeneous continent. For example, the United Kingdom is still 87% white/white British. Germany is ethnically 89% European although that doesn't give a great racial breakdown. There is pretty significant evidence that as once racially homogeneous nations like the UK, France, Germany and Sweden become more "diverse", it is causing a great deal of social strain. In a small country like Sweden with a population of less than 10 million, the rapid influx and higher fecundity of non-Swedish immigrants has led to a drastic increase in crime and various social ills. Nations with larger populations like the UK and Germany have been able to absorb the non-European populations so far but in places like London there will quickly be a point, if not already reached, where white British will be a minority. Not coincidentally London and England as a whole has seen a dramatic rise in stabbings, murder, acid attacks and all too frequent terror attacks. That is not because white people are better people but because diversity brings conflict.

What about America though? Is diversity a strength? Not to be flippant but apart from music and food, has an influx of diversity made America "better"? How would you define that? For many on the Left who see white male heterosexual Christians as the Source Of All That Is Bad™, even though most of the most vocal and vicious critics of white men are wildly benefited by structures and institutions created by those very white heterosexual male Christians, simply reducing or eliminating white heterosexual Christian men is itself an intrinsically good thing. But can you say objectively that things are better now and getting better in the future as America becomes more diverse, in other words less white?

Are things in America better in 2018 than they were in 89.5% white 1950? Well we have new civil rights protections for blacks, so that is good. On the other hand the absolute state of black America is awful right now. As economist Walter Williams points out:

Today's black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action" and was widely condemned as a racist. By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56 percent, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

There is no surer way to ensure a life of poverty than being an unwed young mother. As the black family has collapsed, generational poverty and inter-racial violence have skyrocketed. Every weekend hundreds of young black men are shot and often killed by other young black men in our most "diverse" cities. For example, here are the five most violent per capita cities in the U.S. with their percentage of black population in parenthesis in 2010: Baltimore (63.7%); Milwaukee (40%); Memphis (63%); Detroit (82%) and the champion St. Louis (49%). In St. Louis, crime statistics indicate that an enormous percentage of the violent crime, especially murder, is concentrated in the black community. On the other hand, in similarly sized cities with the lowest crime like San Jose, with a violent crime rate one fifth of the rate of St. Louis, the black population is 3.2% or Portland where the black population is only around 6%. This is reflected in another statistic. Although blacks are around 13% of the population, they are around 40% of the U.S. prison population. For comparison, Hispanics are 16% of the total population and are 20% of the prison population. I know, I know. The common response is "It is not their fault! Poverty! Lack of jobs and after school programs!". We are supposed to believe that poverty causes crime but I think the opposite is true: crime causes poverty. More on that on a different day.

Depending on which stats you use, over 20% of blacks live in poverty (around 20% of Hispanics do as well, versus 9% for whites). Whites have a home ownership rate of over 70% (2000 data) but blacks and Hispanics are both well under 50% and that rate might have fallen since. America is more divided than we have been since the Civil War and political violence is becoming more common. As the competing tribes and identities gain numerical prominence, our political world has turned become a huge exercise in identity politics.

Based on an awful lot of factors, I don't see that things are improving much in America as we have gotten more "diverse" and a lot of things are worse. I am not really sure that the American system, which is still better than most any other system ever tried, is really appropriate for a nation of 350 million people spread out over 3.5 million square miles that is increasingly made up of a diverse population that doesn't share any common values, are actively competing based on identity with other citizens and often times really, really despise each other. We are often told/scolded that America is a propositional nation, we are not "blood and soil" like old Europe but a nation of ideas and as long as you share those ideas you are as American as someone with a family lineage stretching back to the pre-Revolutionary War era. I don't think that is true anymore and probably never was. How can we be a nation held together by shared ideals when no one seems to agree what those ideals are in the first place?

We are told over and over that "diversity is our greatest strength" but when you ask why diversity is our greatest strength you are called a racist and yet no one can seem to point to any concrete way that diversity makes things better at all. For most of our history America was not a very diverse country, overwhelmingly white with a significant black population that were segregated, literally and figuratively, from every day American life. Far from being our greatest strength, I believe that ultimately "diversity" is going to spell the end of America as it has existed. You might consider that to be great news but I don't. Whether you think diversity is swell or not, there is no doubt that America of 2050 is going to be a radically different place from America of 1950, assuming America survives intact.

It is one of the rules that I live by to assume that the questions we are not allowed to ask are precisely the sort of questions we must be asking. Tucker Carlson's question deserves a serious response and just as importantly we need to be ready to ask some follow-up questions based on what we find. Unfortunately there are very few prominent people even willing to ask the question he did and fewer still who will face the ramifications of the answer.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Libertarians As Spoilers

I am on the record having voted Libertarian for President in 2012 and 2016. Indiana is a pretty safe state for Republicans and like many people I have found myself drifting further to the Right as the years have gone by to the point that I got tired of generic neo-con dominated Republicanism that promised those of us on the Right great things if only we elected Republicans just one more time. But I also voted for the Libertarian candidate for the Senate in 2012, Andrew Horning. The GOP candidate that year was a disaster and Horning managed to pull in a significant 5.67% of the vote (145,282 votes). That is not the entire difference between the Democrat winner Joe Donnelly, who beat Republican Richard Mourdock by 147,560 votes but it was awfully close. Way back in 2012, I am pretty confident in saying that most Libertarian voters were far closer to the GOP than Democrats so in general Libertarian votes were drawing people who otherwise would have voted Republican or not at all. Mourdock was a lackluster candidate so I don't feel badly about casting my vote as I did.

Fast forward to today. The national Libertarian party today is a circus. To the casual observer it seems most LP leaders and many of the most prominent Beltway Libertarians are a mix of social libertines that are primarily concerned with legalizing pot and cheering on sexual deviance and a lot of fanatical open borders advocates. The libertarian future seems to be one of a whole bunch of gay people smoking pot with their Mexican neighbors. Smaller government? Whatever man, pass me another bowl.

However there are still a lot of people with politics similar to mine that are supportive of Libertarians. I understand this completely. Republicans control the White House, Senate and House and we haven't seen Obamacare repealed. We haven't see any progress on the wall. No immigration reform. Sure corporations got a big tax cut and while I support that on principle, the reality is that the entire corporate world is completely sold out for the Left's social agenda and is actively opposing or even suppressing and censoring any dissenting thought on the Right. So thanks to the tax cuts many workers got pay increases, great!, but now corporations have more cash to actively work to undermine America's heritage values.

As we approach the 2018 midterm elections a lot is on the line. The incumbent President's party often loses seats in the midterms after his election. The media has also been wildly openly partisan in opposition to Trump since he won. We have been hearing about a "blue wave" for most of the year. With thin margins in the Senate and House, this election could flip one or even (unlikely) both houses of Congress to the Democrats which would signal an end to Trump's agenda at least until 2020 and usher in an inevitable push for "impeachment", which now apparently means "redoing the last election because I didn't like the outcome until we get an outcome I do like". Certifiable lunatic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a leading advocate of "impeachment", has recently said that once they "impeach" Trump they are going to go after Vice President Pence as well.

“I had a conversation here today, when someone asked, ‘Well what about Pence? If you were able to impeach, Pence will be worse,” Waters recalled. 

“And I said, ‘Look, one at a time.'” said the congresswoman as the audience applauded. “You knock one off — one at a time. We’ll be ready for Pence. We’ll get him too.”

She has yet to offer any reason for impeaching Pence if he somehow ended up as President but she also doesn't care. She is mad about 2016 and thinks she has the right to reverse the results of that election. Calling for the impeachment of Trump and then Pence for no reason other than political differences is tantamount to calling for a coup. Like I said, absolute lunatic.

So clearly this is an important election. Trump has already nominated two Supreme Court Justices, Kavanaugh who should be confirmed in a few weeks, and Gorsuch. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer is 80, simple life expectancy suggests that a retirement or death of one or both of them is at least probable in the next two years so controlling the Senate is likewise important. But Beltway left-libertarian Reason magazine recently ran a piece, Libertarian Lucy Brenton Polling at 8 Percent in Toss-up Indiana Senate Race, cheering on the solid poling of several Libertarians in key races, including my home state of Indiana.

According to the very useful Wikipedia page on 2018's U.S. Senate elections, exactly four races are currently deemed by all nine campaign forecasters as tossups: Arizona, Florida, Missouri, and Indiana. As we saw last week, the Libertarian Party's Japheth Campbell is pulling a respectable 6 percent in Missouri, and his inclusion in the one poll so far appears to be bumping the race from a dead heat to a four-point lead for incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Something closer to the opposite appears to be happening in Indiana.

In an August 26–29 Marist College survey of 576 likely Indiana voters, Libertarian Lucy Brenton, who received 5.5 percent of the vote running for Senate in 2016, polled at 8 percent, compared to incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly's 44 percent and Republican Mike Braun's 41 ("other" was 1 percent, "undecided" 6). What happens when you take Brenton's name off the poll? It's 48–42 for Donnelly, with other at 2 percent and undecided at 9.

Reason seems to think that Lucy Brenton is pulling support from Democrats but what exactly is her appeal to liberal voters? It seems more likely to me that this poll reflects the poor name recognition of Mike Braun. If these poll numbers hold up, which I doubt, Indiana could re-elect Joe Donnelly in a state that went overwhelmingly for Trump. The same is true in other close elections like Missouri. If Campbell pulls 5% in Missouri that could toss the election back to Claire McCaskill, a weak candidate.

What you see over and over is that Libertarians are polling around 5-6% which is a little more than what Gary Johnson got in 2016. In our sharply divided country that is enough to flip races but I also believe that it is a hard ceiling for Libertarians. In 2016 in an election between two deeply flawed and unpopular candidates, Gary Johnson received over 4 million votes but that was still only 3.8% in what I view as the best chance for a third-party Presidential candidate since Ross Perot. What that tells me is that the Libertarian Party simply doesn't have enough appeal or natural constituency to get more than around 5% of the vote in national elections and never will. I made this point last year in my post R.I.P. L.P. Or Why Libertarianism Isn't A Viable Political Party.

More broadly speaking, I see Libertarianism as equal parts an academic exercise and an online treehouse. It is fun to post "Taxation Is Theft" memes on Facebook and talk about Austrian economics on Twitter. It is especially gratifying to have the smug sense of intellectual superiority compared to those sheep who vote Democrat or Republican. It is kind of like being a Calvinist. Half of the fun of being a Calvinist is commiserating with other Calvinists and chuckling over a craft beer at how simplistic and inferior Arminians are.

I stand by that. Libertarianism, especially in the 2016 and forward iteration, isn't a serious political philosophy. It appeals only to a fringe constituency and is arguing about issues that either almost no one cares about (fiat currency) or that actually makes it less appealing to rank and file voters (open borders).

I once had high hopes that libertarianism would increase in influence and become a viable political party and movement. It isn't going to happen. It is still an important philosophy but in the real world it is irrelevant and certainly can't be trusted to govern. I made this point in my post Open Border Libertarianism Is Self-Defeating. Libertarians love to talk about absolutely free movement of people and capital but don't seem to understand that in practice this would ensure that libertarianism never gets beyond blogs and thinktanks.

The Libertarian Party now only serves in one capacity: being a spoiler for Republicans. While it may draw some disaffected white Democrats that want legal pot, most Democrats are now completely sold out on identity politics. There is no appeal for a Democrat to vote for a Libertarian. What does the LP offer them that Democrats don't? I want to see Libertarians calling out the two parties on issues like the national debt and war. I want to hear from real libertarians on questions of liberty. I think libertarian thinkers like Tom Woods and Stefan Molyneux, Ron and Rand Paul, Justin Raimondo and Hans-Hermann Hoppe are important voices for the Right. But the Libertarian Party is just a useless spoiler.

Libertarian philosophy, especially actual libertarianism, has an important place for the future in the political philosophy of the Right. It just has no electoral purpose other than helping to elect Democrats.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Seventeen Years Later

It is the anniversary of 9/11/2001 and like so many people it seems hard to me to comprehend that it has been 17 years since the events of that fateful day. In just another year, babies born on September 11th will be old enough to enlist in the wars started following that day.

I am not going to spend time memorializing the dead or reminiscing about where I was. What I want to look at are the years that have followed the attacks. Every morning for the last 16 years when I wake up on September 11th, it seems like Groundhog Day. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years and we are still at war.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are never ending. Sure we mostly drew down from Iraq and some from Afghanistan but we are still there, and in the interim we have managed to get troops killed all over the globe in the "War on Terror". We still have around 15,000 troops in Afghanistan and the Taliban is showing no signs of going away. To compound matters, the neocon forces in Washington are doing their best to get us involved in completely unrelated conflicts with Syria (and by extension possibly Russia, their ultimate prize) and Iran.

Let's look at what we have lost. American casualties in Iraq number around 4500. In Afghanistan the number is around 2400. 6900 dead in those two wars, or more than twice as many Americans as were killed on 9/11.

That doesn't take into account the tens of thousands of U.S. troops that were wounded, including hundreds and hundreds of amputees, and the tens or hundreds of thousands more that have suffered traumatic brain injuries and that still suffer the effects of PTSD. And of course there are those civilians killed in the insurgency in Iraq and by attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan that easily top over 100,000 civilians dying.

The Middle East is a mess. Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria. The "War on Terror" has compounded the chaos in the Middle East and Africa.

Our civil liberties have been badly eroded. Domestic surveillance, the hypocritically named "Patriot Act", the daily indignities suffered by citizens at airports, all have helped to make us less free than we were when the towers came down.

The financial cost will have repercussions for generations and might help ensure the end of the United States. On September 10, 2001 the total U.S. national debt, according to Treasury Direct, was $5,773,172,068,291.89. As of Friday, September 7, 2018 the total debt was $21,456,483,108,262.84. Granted that is in raw dollars that are not inflation or GDP adjusted but the simple math is that the debt now, after 17 years of war, is rapidly approaching quadruple what it was before the attacks. This chart from Marketwatch gives you a visual sense of what has happened.

That is a pretty ominous chart and one major factor in that debt increase are the deficit spending budgets that have been common since the attacks. Here is a custom chart showing this annual deficit spending, including projected deficits.

Of course there is a huge spike during the Obama years, especially '09 through '12, where President Obama spent like the proverbial drunken sailor but President Trump isn't doing much better. The military accounts for a significant chunk of this deficit spending. Our military spending has skyrocketed since September 11, going from around $300 billion to being regularly in excess of $600 or even $700 billion, and that is just the spending directly attributed to the Department of Defense.

In short, the response to the attacks on September 11th have left the United States with twice as many dead as actually died that day, tens of thousands wounded and maimed, tens or hundreds of thousands with permanent brain and mental trauma. We are far less free than we were. We are far deeper in debt, dangerously so. After the short lived patriotic unity after the attacks, and thanks to both the divisiveness of Obama and the relentless attacks on Trump by the media (and his responses if I am being fair), we are farther away from the ideal of a "United States" than at any point since the Civil War.

If you accept the general narrative of 9/11, a ragtag group of 19 terrorists managed to pull off the "greatest" terror attack in history but then the government of the United States has managed to respond to these attacks by being wrong in just about everything we have done since. I can't imagine that those 19 terrorists could ever have, in their wildest dreams, imagined how deeply the response to those attacks has wounded America and undermined our most cherished beliefs.

It is time to close this chapter in American history, a dark and destructive 17 years of war and eroded liberty. It is time to pull out of Afghanistan completely and to withdraw our various operations around the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It is time to put the liberties of American citizens back at the forefront and to focus on fixing America instead of playing terrorist whack-a-mole around the globe.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Who Could Have Predicted It?

Stefan Molyneux asks a serious question on Twitter. Here it is:

Democracy as it is practiced today is little more than taking money from some people at gunpoint and using that money to bribe other people for their votes. Even though we are a republic, the temptation is still there. There is a very thin line indeed between democracy and mob rule.