On being free or having free stuff 1

Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek were two great 20th century thinkers who argued for freedom. They differed on one point: Popper held freedom to be in itself the highest value; Hayek thought freedom is valuable, indeed essential, because it enables innovation.

Innovation comes from the minds of individuals. A government controlled society in which the individual’s only – and enforced – duty is to serve the collective, does not allow origination. The organized mass is sterile. It cannot invent. That’s why it’s wrong to call socialism, communism, any shade of leftism,”progressive”. A socialist society cannot advance. It can only stagnate.

That’s why Communist China has had to steal new ideas and devices from countries in which free thought and its expression are permitted.

What many people who live in countries that are still comparatively free find attractive about socialism is that it promises “free stuff”. Vote the socialists into power and you will get free school, free health care, free housing, free strawberries with free cream. Well, okay, maybe not the cream. And maybe also not the strawberries. And maybe you will have to share a house. And the health panel will decide whether you may live or must die. And what you’ll be taught will be adherence to doctrine not search for truth. But still – it will all be free. At the time it is dispensed to you, whatever it is, you will not have to pay for it. The rest of your time you’ll be working for it.

Natan Sharansky was born in Soviet Russia and lived the first decades of his life there. He eventually escaped to live in freedom in Israel.

He writes about the torture of the mind in the prison of Communism:

My father, a journalist named Boris Shcharansky, was born in 1904 in Odessa, the cultural and economic center of the Pale of Settlement, where the Russian empire stuck most Jews. He studied in the Jewish Commercial Gymnasium, because most other gymnasiums accepted very few Jews, if any. By the time he was 16, he had already lived through the Czarist Regime with its anti-Semitic restrictions, the “February” Socialist Revolution, the “October” Bolshevik Revolution, and the years of civil war when power in Odessa seesawed back and forth from faction to faction, as hunger, pogroms, and destruction decimated the population.

When the Soviets finally emerged from the chaos, therefore, my father was hopeful. The Communists promised that a new life of full equality was dawning, without Pales of Settlement, without education restrictions, and, most important, with equal opportunities for all. Who wouldn’t want that? … [He]  was excited about building a world of social justice and equality closer to his home. …

Lucky for him, Odessa was emerging as a center for a new cultural medium—cinema. As silent Charlie Chaplin-type movies started evolving into more scripted sketches, my father put his storytelling talents to work. …

Of course, to succeed in his career as a screenwriter, he had to follow certain rules. His scripts, like every other work of art, had to follow the script of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, seeing the world through the lens of class struggle and class exploitation. As Karl Marx argued, and the Bolsheviks now decreed, “the history of all hitherto-existing societies is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight”.

Thankfully, in its final stage of class struggle, following Karl Marx’s teaching, the proletariat had seized power from its masters, establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat who would build a classless society of equals. So-called bourgeois freedoms, minor matters like civil liberties and human rights, were nothing more than facades for exploiting others. The old world and its retrograde values had to be destroyed in order to bring forth social justice. Today, such a singular vision might be called Critical Class Theory—or maybe The 1917 Project.

Everything had to serve Communist ideology: every institution, every medium, every art form. Lenin particularly appreciated the propaganda potential of movies, declaring, “Cinema for us is the most important of the arts.” So while all creative artists had to subordinate plot, character, and complexity to advancing the Bolshevik political agenda, movie-makers endured extra scrutiny. The term “politically-correct“, which is popular today, emerged in the late 1920s, to describe the need to correct certain deviants’ thought to fit the Communist Party Line. Any positive characters with bourgeois origins had to eventually check their privilege, condemn their past as oppressors, and publicly take responsibility for their sins.

At first, True Believers who championed the Revolution’s noble aims easily accepted these restrictions. But as the Red Terror grew … the number of True Believers kept shrinking …

I was born … in 1948. My father had fought as a soldier in the Red Army in World War II for four years, and had returned a hero. … (Our] family which had lost so many friends and relatives in the Holocaust, then watched so many friends suffer during Josef Stalin’s political and anti-Semitic purges …

Every day, my father went to work [as a journalist] …  seeking interesting stories. But, when it came to writing them up, his imagination had to shrink, his mouth had to be wired shut, his hand had to clamp tight, as he produced what the Party required. He knew the handicapped journalism he created was not true journalism, the art that resulted was not true art, the thoughts triggered were not real thoughts and the conversations surrounding it all were not real conversations. Yet my father remained a storyteller at heart—and now he had an audience—my older brother by two years and me.

When my father came home from work, he could leave the suffocating grey false universe he helped to create behind, and welcome his beloved family into a full-color world. From the time we were very young, he would tell us stories on three levels—explaining to us what the author said, what the author wished to say, and what the author could not say. When we started, from a very young age, our ritual of weekly outings to the movies, he would recreate the movie for us on the way home, filling in what the screenwriter probably wanted to write, and explain what he could not write. …

No [professional writer] was ever quite sure what would be permitted or not, what red line they might cross tomorrow; what “macro-aggression” or “micro-aggression” they might suddenly be found guilty of committing. To be a man of letters in a sea of fear was to worry about drowning constantly. …

Looking back at the history of Soviet literature, it’s hard to find any of the thousands of writers [who conformed] … who wrote anything worth reading or remembering. Their books, published on a massive scale—often selling millions—simply disappeared. … Eventually, their lies consumed both the characters and their authors, leaving nothing behind.

By contrast, the works that lasted defied Stalinist orthodoxies in the service of truths, both immediate and internal. Stalin killed some of these honest writers, like the poet Osip Mandelstam. Some killed themselves, like the poet Marina Tsvetaeva. Some lived daily with the fear of arrest, or under the shadow of purges, like Anna Akhmatova. Some, like the novelist Mikhail Bulgakov, accepted the fact that their books would go unpublished in Russia—his classic The Master and Margarita didn’t see the light of day for decades. Others, like Boris Pasternak, who smuggled Dr. Zhivago to the West, sought readers elsewhere and paid the price back home ….

By my generation there were few True Believers left. Your field of vision had to be very narrow indeed to still see the crumbling society around us as some kind of Communist paradise.

I spent my high school years as an academic grind, drowning in problem sets, working around the clock to amass five out of fives in mathematics and physics. Because I knew that I had to follow a very specific script to get the character reference I needed from the local Komsomol authorities, I also spouted the right slogans, participated in the right youth activities, and sang the right songs. Yet even after I fulfilled my young dreams and made it to MFTI—Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the Soviet equivalent of MIT—the scrutiny continued. We math and science students had to keep paying lip service to the Soviet gods, like everyone else. We kept taking tests on Marxist doctrine every semester, even when studying at the postdoctoral level. …

Our professors subtly encouraged us to brush such annoyances aside. We were the elite, they kept telling us, racing toward a golden future. It was all worth it. I was luxuriating in the sanctuary of science, an asylum protected from the daily insanity the Soviets imposed on nearly everyone else. I decided that the deeper I was into my scientific career, the less stressful this double life would be.

It was a comforting illusion—until I read Andrei Sakharov’s manifesto.

Sakharov was our role model, the number one Soviet scientist sitting at the peak of the pyramid each of us was trying to climb so single-mindedly. In May 1968, this celebrity scientist circulated a ten-thousand-word manifesto that unleashed a wrecking ball which smashed my complacent life. “Intellectual freedom is essential to human society,” Sakharov declared. Bravely denouncing Soviet thought-control, he mocked “the ossified dogmatism of a bureaucratic oligarchy and its favorite weapon, ideological censorship.”

Sakharov warned that Soviet science was imperiled without “the search for truth”. … At the time, there were few who could understand the depths of this critique. The Soviet Union wasn’t just relying on its scientific wizards to develop nuclear weapons; we now know that the research ran in tandem with an elaborate spying operation that stole as many of America’s atomic secrets as it could.

The message was clear for us. Sakharov helped us realize that the Soviet restrictions on free thought ran deep. You not only have to control your political opinions, but every interaction with your colleagues, every new insight, has to be checked and rechecked, for fear of ideological implications that could destroy a career in this world where even entire fields of inquiry were cancelled for being politically incorrect. Soviet scientists spent so much time looking over their shoulders and in their rear-view mirrors that they could not plunge ahead and catch up with their Western peers.

Long before most others, Sakharov saw in the Soviet scientific community the equivalent of the literary mediocrity we all saw in Soviet Realism. … Life in a dictatorship offers two choices: either you overcome your fear and stand for truth, or you remain a slave to fear, no matter how fancy your titles, no matter how big your dacha.

Natan Sharansky made the decision to stand for truth.

He applied to emigrate to Israel.

As a result of both decisions, he was jailed for nine years.

Once I had done it, once I was no longer afraid, I realized what it was to be free …

And that was why, during nine years in prison, when the KGB would try tempting me to restore my freedom and even my life by returning to the life I once had, it was easy to say “no”. …

Over the last three decades in freedom, I have noticed that … the feeling of release from the fear … is universal across cultures. This understanding prompted the Town Square Test I use to distinguish between free societies and fear societies: Can you express your individual views loudly, in public, without fear of being punished legally, formally, in any way? If yes, you live in a free society; if not, you’re in a fear society.

[Today] nearly two-thirds of Americans report self-censoring about politics at least occasionally … despite the magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights

To preserve our integrity and our souls, the quality of our political debate and the creativity so essential to our cultural life, we need … a test [that] asks: In the democratic society in which you live, can you express your individual views loudly, in public and in private, on social media and at rallies, without fear of being shamed, excommunicated, or cancelled?

A lot of American voters – even if not as many as the socialist Democratic Party claimed in order to seize power –  recently voted against freedom. They voted for the political party that promised free stuff. And already masters of the social media, most of them politically correct social justice warriors, refuse to let opinions they disagree with be expressed on their forums. Free speech is deeply unpopular with the Leftists now in power in America. Freedom itself is not valued. Those “magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights” are being swept aside.

You will not be free – and the stuff you get from government won’t be free either.

Anything that costs you your freedom, costs too much.

A way to escape the tyranny 2

… and not lose America?

There are two American nations owning the same country. One wants individual freedom and equality under the law; the other wants authoritarian gynocracy with a caste system graded by skin color. Each loathes and fears the other. Each wants to be free of the other. But territorial separation is not possible.

Is there a solution?

Selwyn Duke thinks there is. He writes about it at Canada Free Press:

With a stolen election, stolen culture, stolen courts and stolen dreams, many Americans are realizing that rule by the Left, absolutely corrupt even without absolute power, is unthinkable. Talk of secession, something continually entertained in various states throughout history, is again in the air. The problem is that for the most part, we’ve been supinely submissive in the face of burgeoning leftist tyranny. So it would help if there were something between secession and our current slouching toward servitude. And there is.

Too many conservatives are also waxing defeatist, saying “The republic is dead; our freedoms are gone.” And, yes, if we continue operating inside the box and being “conservative” — as in status-quo oriented — we can kiss our (remaining) liberties goodbye. But the Left isn’t constrained by any box, except what’s physically and politically possible; it doesn’t abide by rules, laws, social codes or conventions except when convenient. So why should we remain in any box … ?

Embracing Mao’s sentiment that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”, the Left trades in violence, violence done to political opponents and to our culture, history, heroes, Constitution and just liberties. Now having seized power in government’s executive and legislative branches via the violence of electoral theft, the Left aims to use that power to become autocratic. As to how we should respond, remember:

Only power negates power.

The Left has been able to steal a national election (and some down-ballot seats, no doubt) via massive vote fraud in, largely, a handful of big Democrat-run cities. Yet despite all the electoral theft, President Trump still won half the states, some by wide margins. It is these states where power should be exercised.The power I reference is what Thomas Jefferson called the “rightful remedy” for all federal usurpation of states’ domain: nullificationThis is the process whereby authorities simply ignore federal dictates, whether handed down by Congress, a bureaucracy or the courts.

There’s nothing unprecedented about nullification. Leftists engage in it continually. For example, their localities often ignore federal drug or immigration laws, and more than a score of states nullified the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Only, leftists don’t call it “nullification” — they just do it. In contrast, conservatives busy themselves conserving the status quo even though it’s leftist-born and generally abide by even unconstitutional federal laws, mandates and court rulings because “this is the way things are done”.

This said, we have seen some pushback, with county sheriffs in recent times refusing to enforce irrational China virus restrictions and some opposition to anti-Second Amendment proposals. But this effort must become widespread and organized — “Nullification!” must become a rallying cry.

To this end, we need a nullification movement. When state officials, from governor to assemblymen and senators, run for office, the first and last question must be: Will you vow to nullify all unjust federal dictates? If they hem and haw at all, they must be immediately disqualified.

In addition, nullification-disposed states should make a compact with one another so that we can enjoy the strength numbers bring.

In reality, nullification … should have been pursued long ago; the federal government has, after all, been trampling states’ powers for at least the better part of a century, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. … We now require a ton of cure.

The cure of nullification is the obvious next step for anyone serious about combating the burgeoning leftist tyranny. We’ve no other recourse. …

Reasoned argumentation only works with those who’ll yield to reason (the Left won’t).

Constitutional constraints only matter to those who respect laws and national contracts (the Left doesn’t).

Appealing to courts only bears fruit when judges have a sense of justice and duty and the guts to act rightly even when pariah status results (most don’t).

Making this more tragically comical still is that when we seek redress for federal tyranny, we expect relief from the federal government’s own judicial branch!

This didn’t help us with the 2020 election, which the Left got away with stealing. Moreover, it knows it can not only replicate the theft in the future but can expand it; thus have the Democrats introduced a bill taking mail-in voting nationwide. … The states can just pass on it.

The Democrats can hobble border enforcement so that they can further destabilize our country and import more future voters — and Texas can secure its border itself. Let the left-wing, black-robed lawyers issue their contrary “opinions” as we know they will. My response would be a paraphrase of the paraphrase of Andrew Jackson: “The judges have made their decision. Now let them enforce it.”

In sum: The power of the federal government would be nullified by conservative populist states ignoring federal laws their own majorities don’t like and don’t vote for.

But the conservative populist states are the rule-of-law states. Would it not be a betrayal of their own principle to do it?

Not if the federal government has abandoned the rule of law and become a dictatorship. The Democrats now in power have amply demonstrated their contempt for any law that stands in their way. They have gotten away with conspiring against an elected president, perjury in court, cheating in an election, encouraging violent riots. They have lost the right to be obeyed.     

So yes, defiance, or “nullification”, might be a  solution. It is the practical sort of solution that evolves in response to the exigencies of conditions (like the constitutional republic of the United States), rather than the sort conceived by theorists and arbitrarily imposed (like socialism).

Then what might a Leftist federal government do about it? Would it use the US army to enforce its will?

We suspect that the gang in power in D.C. now would not hesitate to use the army. They are already doing so in the federal capital. And the Democratic Party’s radical female novices in Congress almost certainly would as soon as they’ve risen to some seniority. Or even before.

What then? Civil war?

*

Note added three days later: The North Dakota legislature, alarmed by Biden’s extravagant issue of executive orders and their effects, is considering exercising its right of nullification.

Power against the people 4

About half the electorate voted in November 2020 for Donald Trump to be president. Most estimates of the number of votes for him range from 74 million to 80 million, the higher number including guesses at the number that were deliberately discarded or changed by machines or human hands.

Even at the lowest estimate, that’s a lot of people – millions more than the entire population of the United Kingdom or France. National leaders who depend on the will of enfranchised citizens to attain power would surely want to win the approval of so large a portion of the electorate. But no. Having wangled a win of the presidency, gained the Senate, and retained  their majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats immediately stepped up their abusing, blaming, despising, humiliating, suppressing, impoverishing, menacing, and alienating the half of the nation that did not vote for them.

Breitbart reports:

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight host Tucker Carlson warned [January 29, 2021] about the tactics employed by Democrats and their allies to suppress dissent

We quote the transcript, slightly abridged.

Carlson said:

Maybe the single biggest mystery … is why Democrats became so vicious after they won.

So, Joe Biden got the White House, his party took the Congress, you’d think they’d be thrilled. That’s what they wanted. You’d think they’d be celebrating. But no. Instead they started a purge.

Within hours, Democrats began crushing even the mildest dissent. They shut down an entire social media company called Parler, not because Parler had done anything wrong, but simply because they couldn’t control it. They couldn’t take the chance that somebody on Parler might criticize them, so they eliminated it.

Then two days ago, they arrested a man and threw him in handcuffs, brought him up on federal charges because he made fun of Hillary Clinton on Twitter. That man is now facing 10 years in prison.

Democrats then declared war on their rival political party – not, by the way, a metaphorical war but an actual one with soldiers and paramilitary law enforcement and the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies. They denounced Republicans, even the moderate establishment figures who pose really no conceivable threat to anyone.

They denounced them as”dangerous terrorists” and likened them to ISIS and al Qaeda!

Those (mostly) all-too-inoffensive, circumspect, passive, milquetoast men and women!

Anyone who complained about this or fought back in any way, was threatened with expulsion from Congress.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what voters decided in November, in the name of “democracy” you can no longer serve in Congress. That’s what they said. Nor are dissidents permitted in the Federal bureaucracy. No one who disagrees with our beliefs, Democrats have announced, can work in the U.S. government.

We’re not overstating it; that all actually happened, and you saw it. Nothing like that has ever taken place in this country before. This is the most sweeping and audacious assault on civil liberties in American history.

So, the question is, what accounts for this? Why are they doing it? It’s worth figuring that out.

On the most basic level, of course, it’s a power grab. We said that from the first day and it remains true. The Democratic Party doesn’t exist to serve some abstract principle, liberty and justice or the Bill of Rights. No. Nor is its primary goal improving the lives of its voters. …

No, the Democratic Party exists to accumulate power, all of it. Some is never enough. The impulse is to control everything. So that’s what they’re trying to do now amidst the chaos and tumult.

But that’s not all that’s going on right now. There’s more. Look around: watch as Democrats erect a permanent steel prison fence around the United States Capitol. Why is that fence there? Well, to protect the people inside, to keep the public out of what we used to call the People’s House. That’s happening tonight as we speak.

Then notice the thousands of armed soldiers and law enforcement agents stationed outside that fence. What’s their purpose? Again, protecting the people inside.

Then ask yourself why are House Democrats planning to use federal committee funds to pay for more personal security for themselves? Why the renewed push to seize firearms from law-abiding Americans who have committed no crime? Why does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seem on the verge of tears as she describes as she was almost murdered on January 6 at the Capitol.

She is not entirely putting it on, she seems to mean it.

If you’re sensing a theme here, there is in fact a theme and the theme is panic, fear and it’s real. You are looking at leaders who are genuinely afraid of the people they are supposed to be leading.

Here’s the really interesting thing: they seem much more afraid now that Donald Trump has left office. With Donald Trump gone, they sense that a period of actual populism has begun, real populism, and they may be right.

Look at what happened this week on Wall Street. A group of guys on Reddit trading stocks in their boxer shorts exposed the entire American finance establishment as the corrupt and fraudulent scam that it often is. That’s a pivotal moment in this country.

Once you see something like that, you can’t un-see it. Once someone pulls the mask from your face, he still remembers your face. People’s attitudes about our economy will change forever because of what happened this week. It’s a big deal.

The Biden administration’s response to what happened this week? …

The truth is our leaders don’t have answers. They don’t even have explanations for what’s going on. Worse than that, they themselves are deeply implicated in the systemic problems – in some cases, the crimes – that are dragging the country down. They know all this. They know their guilt. Here’s the thing: they know that you know it, too, and that’s why they’re afraid. They know why populism is rising, and it is.

So, this really is the time to make a decision about how to respond to it. What our leaders do next will define what America looks like going forward.

It wouldn’t even be hard to begin the process of fixing things or bringing actual unity to a country that badly needs unity.

In a democracy, the first step to unifying the country is always the same. Leaders enter into a power-sharing agreement with the people they lead. They do the obvious thing, they stop lying to their own citizens, they stop attacking them, and they respect their culture. They don’t try to control people’s beliefs. That’s not their role.

They treat their own citizens like adults, meaning they treat them fairly. And above all, they cut the public in on some of the fruits of the country’s success. If all the benefits of our economy seem to be accruing to a small number of people, that’s a problem and they try hard to fix it.

Wise leaders know that unequal countries are volatile countries. They know that caste systems are not compatible with democracies. But our leaders don’t seem to know any of that. Instead, they tell us that solar cars and mandatory diversity training are the real solutions to our problems. But no one buys that, those are not real solutions, they are a smokescreen. They’re a diversion tactic.

So if not hard in theory, here and now in actuality “bringing unity” is not just hard but impossible. The two halves of the population are irreconcilable.

Populism starts when people start to figure that out, and they have. And that’s why everything suddenly feels so unstable right now, because once again, real populism is brewing.

In the face of all of that, the people in charge are doing the single stupidest, most counterproductive thing that any leader could do in the face of a populist movement. They’re refusing to admit their role in the decline. They’re refusing to admit their failures, and instead, they are blaming the people they have failed.

They’re literally declaring war on their own population. How’s that going to end?

And if you think we’re overstating it, we’re not. Here’s the former CIA Director describing what the enemy looks like.

John Brennan, former CIA director on videoclip:

And this threat from domestic violence extremists is much more challenging, I believe, than it was in terms of going after foreign terrorists. The domestic violent extremists are much more pervasive, their numbers are much larger. When we’re going after al Qaeda or other types of terrorist group cells in the United States, their numbers were in the single digits of dozens and was finding needles in a haystack. Here, there are a lot of haystacks with a lot of needles in them. They have the wherewithal, they already have the weapons that if they so choose to use them, they can in fact, carry out these deadly attacks.

So many problems in this country, evident to anyone who is paying attention, but John Brennan, the former CIA Director has isolated the real problem. The real problem is you.

According to Brennan, anyone who disagrees with say, Susan Rice is worse than Osama bin Laden and more dangerous. These people, meaning you, “have the weapons”. These “terrorists”. By terrorists, Brennan means tens of millions of American citizens who might have a firearm at home and didn’t vote for Joe Biden. They’re the threat and we need to hunt them as we hunted al Qaeda. …

It is hard to imagine a leader saying something more destructive and more reckless than that on television in a moment as fraught as the one we’re in. It’s terrifying in its stupidity

This isn’t crying fire in a crowded theater, this is using a flame thrower in a crowded theater. What are the implications of a former CIA Director talking like this? It’s not going to make anyone more moderate. That’s for certain. Just the opposite.

John Brennan is creating more extremists than a Pakistani madrasa. And it’s not just him, all the news channels other than this one right now are repeating this now-official line that the American government is at war with its own population.

Here is CNN’s version.

Don Lemon, CNN anchor on videoclip:

My colleague, Jim Sciutto, he has covered international terrorism for 20 years and says that the parallels to the domestic terror threat are frightening. And he points to and I quote here, “Radicalization online, demonization of the enemy to justify violence, draw to a cause greater than themselves devotion to a cultish leader.”

That said, are we doing enough to combat this threat?

Jim Sciutto, CNN anchor:

This is the way law enforcement looks at the domestic terror threat now is equal or greater than international terrorism. If we compared that to a U.S. politician propagating Islamist terrorist thought, materials, lies, et cetera, imagine the reaction. And yet sadly, there’s still a partisan reaction to this, some denying that the threat is real and that the lie behind the threat is dangerous.

Tens of millions of ordinary Americans who have done nothing more aggressive than cheer and vote for President Donald Trump pose a threat “greater than international terrorism”? 

American citizens are more dangerous than foreign terrorists?  … That is completely untrue and completely reckless. …  The Department of Homeland Security, which has been upping the domestic threat for the past week  … has no actual evidence that Trump voters are planning to hurt anyone, there is no evidence of a plot of any kind, they can see that. Trust us, they would tell you if they found a plot.

But the question you have to ask yourself is, what kind of effect do lies like that have, the ones you just heard, calculated to terrify you? What kind of effect do they have on the country?  …

When you tell people they’re evil because of how they vote or how they look, and our leaders are definitely telling them that every single day – when you train a population to tally every group of Americans by race and ethnicity, first and foremost, keep track of people’s genetic background every time you see a picture –  really, what effect does that have? When you promote group identity, even as you intentionally destroy national identity?

If you do all of those things, what kind of country do you get at the end?

Well, you get a scary divided country, the kind of country where you need steel fencing outside the national legislature.

It’s very obvious where all of this is going. And it’s very, very bad. Part of the solution is to stop talking like this immediately. No more aging spies on cable news declaring war on American citizens.  ” Domestic political enemies more dangerous than al Qaeda”? What?

No more power-mad members of Congress dividing people by race so they can conquer. “White fragility”, “white supremacy”, “white sounds” – those are racial attacks. Let’s stop lying about it. We shouldn’t talk that way in public.

Those attacks are making people crazy. … and dangerous …

Watch this clip and ask yourself what kind of effect this woman is having on the United States right now.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on video clip:

There are legitimate [?] white supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives. There’s no consequences for racism, no consequences for massaging [?[, no consequences for insurrection, and no consequences means that they condone it. We are now away from acting out of fealty to their President that they had in the Oval Office, and now we are talking about fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool.

… Think about the effect on the people listening … “Fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool“?  What does that even mean? We’re not even sure who she is talking about. Apparently, the Republican Party and its Grand Kleagle, Kevin McCarthy of California!

(In fact, Kevin McCarthy, minority leader of the House, is the very model of a milquetoast Republican.)

It’s a lie. … It’s a fantasy – a very dark fantasy, designed to terrify people and make them easier to command.

Over time, probably not long now, it will have other more insidious effects. Talk like that, from our leaders, from our elected officials, is going to turn some of our citizens very, very radical.

You don’t want to live in a country with very, very radical people.

Whatever Tucker Carlson’s intentions were when he said all that – and he concludes by stating firmly that neither he nor Fox News is radical  – his words predict civil war, real civil war, fought with fire and bullets.

If it comes to that, it will not be the fault of those who want to keep the Republic they inherited, but of those who want to force it to change.

The People are not terrorists. The terrorists are the people in power.

America goes 4

As the Catholic Church did in ages past, and Islam still does, the Left strives to bring every nation, and every last member of every nation, under its rule: a rule not of law but of lawyers, law-makers and law-breakers; bureaucrats, bankers, communication controllers, billionaires.

In America there are still tens of millions who refuse to comply, and they are being treated as heretics, infidels, and pariahs. If you are a Trump supporter, or in the least degree opposed to the Leftists who have seized the executive branch of government and now control both houses of the legislative branch, you are likely to be forced into conformity and unquestioning obedience. The means to be employed will be cutting you off from the services you need to live a normal life.

Through institutions of government and enormously powerful corporations, the heresies of patriotism, populism, anti-tribalism, individualism, and defiant defense of free speech, private property, arms bearing, and the teaching of reading writing reckoning and history to your children, will be punished.

You will be denied the services of banks, credit card companies, the internet, social media, insurance companies, the national health service, schools, universities. It will be very hard for you to find a job.

There will be degrees of deprivation. If you are a mild offender, you may be allowed some health care, for instance, and a low-paying job. If you are a grave offender – one who goes so far as to persist in speaking well of Donald Trump – you may face long imprisonment. An active attempt to reinstate him could be ruled a capital offense.

If you capitulate and submit, your life will not be easy. Your record will be held against you.

Even if you always supported the Left and voted the totalitarians into power, you will receive only the information that the rulers choose to allow you. You will have no way of knowing – unless by chance you personally witness a reported event – whether what you are being told is true or false.

Bruce Bawer writes at Front Page:

I’ve been ranting for years about the perfidy of the left. At times I’ve been accused of exaggerating. On rare occasions I feared – or hoped? – that perhaps I was exaggerating. In fact I can now see that these people are worse than I ever imagined. Worse than most of us ever imagined.

Worse than even Donald Trump “with all his insight” imagined.

He went into office determined to clean up the swamp. He was tireless. But not tireless enough. No mere mortal could have been tireless enough. Trump had denounced the swamp in apocalyptic terms, but it proved to be even deeper and more extensive than he knew. It reached into the upper echelons of the intelligence community and the military, into cabinet departments and the judiciary.

Not only did the Democrats try to derail his campaign and then his presidency. Even people whom he appointed to White House jobs proved unreliable. Far from being too suspicious, he’d been too trusting. He’d appointed two-faced D.C. insiders. He’d trusted people who turned out to be snakes in the grass.

The news media, with very few exceptions, made it their task to thwart his progress and poison his name with a constant flow of disinformation. They said Trump had told people to drink bleach. They said he’d called neo-Nazis “good people”. They said many other outrageous things that they knew were outright lies. They relentlessly repeated the charge that he did nothing but lie, lie, lie, when in fact it was they, the media, who were constantly feeding us lies. …

When enemies of Trump, and of freedom, created violence and mayhem in cities around the country, they were whitewashed, protected, and even praised by the media, by Democratic politicians, and by police officials. In a debate with Trump, Biden said Antifa was an idea, not an organization. Congressman Jerrold Nadler called it a myth.

Meanwhile Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave BLM $3 million. While the leftist gangsters went unpunished, citizens who tried to protect their homes and businesses from destruction by them were arrested by the police and demonized in the media. If you tried to spread the truth about all this on social media, you were shut down by Silicon Valley bosses who said you were lying.

And then the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Republican officials in the states affected by the steal sat on their hands. State legislatures, ditto. Even the justices he’d named to the Supreme Court refused to hear Texas v. Pennsylvania, absurdly maintaining that a state didn’t have standing to challenge the conduct of a presidential election in another state.

Trump’s supporters, ever civilized, waited patiently while every possible means of stopping the steal was dutifully exhausted. When it came down to the final vote certification in Congress, an army of [between 600,000 and 2,000,000!) MAGA folk gathered peacefully in Washington to show that they had Trump’s back.

Then a tiny percentage of them foolishly entered the Capitol building. And a tiny percentage of that tiny percentage – at least some of whom seem to have been Antifa goons – caused minor damage. Most of them appear to have milled harmlessly around the building, leaving paintings and statues untouched. The contrast with the conduct of Antifa and BLM insurgents during the previous year could hardly have been more striking. …

One of those people, an Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by a Capitol Hill policeman. She didn’t do anything to provoke the shooter. It was impossible not to think of George Floyd, the career criminal who, on May 25 of last year, died while resisting arrest after committing a crime. Floyd was black; the arresting officer was white. In the ensuing months, Floyd’s death was used to justify rioting, arson, and vandalism by Antifa and BLM agitators, none of whom ended up being killed by a cop.

But nobody’s making a martyr out of Ashli Babbitt.

I’m not saying anybody should. I’m just saying that after four years of reportage that routinely demonized Trump, sugarcoated his opponents, and cruelly mocked his supporters, and after an election that was blatantly stolen yet described in the media as eminently fair, those supporters could hardly be expected not to explode – especially since they’d seen, during the previous few months, one leftist explosion after another rewarded with praise.

But they did not explode.

On January 6, Biden, oozing faux solemnity, addressed the ongoing situation on Capitol Hill. After months of referring to Antifa and BLM thugs as “protesters”, he called the non-violent people who’d entered the Capitol a “mob” of “domestic terrorists” who, in an action bordering on “sedition”,  had made an “unprecedented assault…on the citadel of liberty….This is not dissent, it’s disorder”.

He wasn’t alone. In one voice, people who’d spent months cheering leftist violence expressed horror at the breach of the Capitol building and blamed it on Trump. Once the Capitol was secured, the planned challenges to the vote steal were scuttled and the election of Biden and Harris duly certified.

Whereupon the left – and not just the left – moved with the swiftness of lightning.

Accusing Trump of having incited the Capitol breach, [Speaker] Pelosi and [Senate minority leader] Schumer raised the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to deny him his last few days in office …

And she absurdly introduced a proposal to impeach him for a second time, though he had only a few days more as president. .

Republicans who were never strong Trump supporters to begin with were quick to profess outrage at Trump’s purported provocation. Cabinet members Elaine Choi and Betsy DeVos quit. The Wall Street Journal called on Trump to resign. Senator Pat Toomey gave a thumbs-up to impeachment. Forbes warned companies not to hire anybody with a Trump connection.

Both Twitter and Facebook deplatformed Trump, and when he shifted from his personal Twitter account to the POTUS account, Twitter silenced that one, too. Other enemies of the left were also kicked off social media – among them Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon. Facebook ejected the WalkAway movement, in the process deleting countless heartfelt posts by ordinary citizens explaining why they’d quit the Democratic Party. YouTube took down a video by Rudy Giuliani. Amazon, Google, and Apple removed Parler, a “free-speech” alternative to Twitter and Facebook, from their app stores. The CEO of Mozilla, developer of the Firefox browser, wrote an essay entitled “We Need More than Deplatforming.”

(Yet the social-media accounts of the Chinese Communist Party and Ayatollah Khamenei remained untouched.)

Pelosi tried to get the military to stop taking orders from the President. …

She urged the Chiefs of Staff to mutiny against their commander-in-chief! (They refused.)

The director of ABC News spoke of “cleansing” the Trump movement after January 20, whatever that might mean. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who’d taken the lead in challenging the vote steal, to be expelled from the Senate. Simon & Schuster canceled Hawley’s contract for a book about cancel culture. Biden likened Cruz to Goebbels. …

There’s no intrinsic magic about America that protects it from becoming Mao’s China or Stalin’s Russia. Only utopians believe in the perfectibility of man. People are people. And some of the people who are now, or are about to be, in power in the United States would, if accorded enough power, do far more to those of us who falter in loyalty than merely take away our social-media accounts.

Indeed, as scary as the situation may be right now, one thing’s for certain: worse is on its way. The Democrats now control both houses of Congress and are about to be handed the executive branch. The totalitarian-minded elements in that party are on the ascent, backed up by Silicon Valley, the legacy media, and much of corporate America.

Bruce Bawer thinks that by “listing, arresting, and imprisoning ‘enemies of the state'” – as, he reminds us, was done in the terrible reign of Stalin, and under the brutal tyranny of Mao –

These people will overreach. Their lists will grow so long, their cancelations so widespread, that, as happened with the Reign of Terror, everyone who isn’t clinically insane will finally realize that things have gone too far and will, in one way or another, put an end to the madness.

He asks:

But how far will things have to go before that happens? How long will it take? And how many lives will be destroyed before it’s over? These, alas, are the all too sobering questions that have yet to be answered.

In the meantime, those of us who care about liberty will simply have to do our best to keep enduring the daily tsunami of evil ideology, fake news, and contempt for decent people, and to continue hoping that the true and good will yet prevail.

Much as we would like his optimism – such as it is, sorrowful and tentative – to hearten us, we are less sure that such a realization will come, or that “the true and good will yet prevail”.

What has happened seems to us to demonstrate that there is a tragic weakness in freedom and tolerance. They permit those who value neither to exploit them to gain the power to abolish them. 

The once and future president? 8

Will Donald Trump return to lead America and the world?

Conrad Black thinks that he could.

He writes at American Greatness:

It is a tainted election, with a poor result and a disquietingly unprepossessing presumptive president-elect.

A tainted election it is. And the [probable] president-elect Joe Biden is certainly unprepossessing, but the pejorative is too weak. More to the point, he is senile and corrupt.

The writer goes on:

The current president did great damage to himself by his frequent lapses into boorish self-obsession.

Conrad Black has often criticized President Trump in those terms, lending strength to the unjustified contumely flung at him by his enemies. (Too many commentators who generally support him, feel compelled to ritually note something about him they disapprove of, as if to cover themselves from accusations of poor taste or weak discernment.) Donald Trump is not obsessed with himself, but with the desire to make America more prosperous, more happy, more great. He has a great talent for the comic riposte, with a perfect sense of timing, and often laughs at himself.

Example:

His haters call him “Orange Man”; so he finds fault with the lightbulbs Obama wanted to make state-approved and compulsory by saying, “They make me look orange – has anyone noticed that?”

And when insults are flung at him, as they constantly are in the most vulgar, filthy, vicious, murderous terms, he can and does retort, chiefly by applying apt tags to their names – never vicious, never cruel, never obscene, never outright lies as are those they apply to him.

Examples:

They say he is disrespectful of women (which he is not), so he retorts, truthfully – naming his most persistent female denigrator – “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”

They say he is a misogynist – and yet, with puritan tight lips, they also accuse him of adultery and prurience. True, he indulged in locker-room boasting about his prowess at sexual conquest – as men do. His haters wail that it is an immense stain on his character, making him a threat to all women. Thousands of the loathsome army of feminists put on pink hats and took to the public square to pretend they had been deeply insulted. They are the same sort of women who defended Bill Clinton against justified accusations of actual sexual exploitation and even rape.

They pretend to be appalled that he called Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man”. Considering that no name would be bad enough for that murdering communist dictator, “Rocket Man” was mild enough, and more importantly it stigmatized him for the menace that he was, firing off rockets that could carry nuclear warheads.

The president stood unflinching and unshaken as insults were flung at him continuously as hailstones, and they made not a visible dent in his composure – yet they call him “thin-skinned”! Battalions of haters with powerful means to do him harm hampered and undermined him in every way they could dream up, accusing him of absurd crimes and disgraceful actions which they knew to be pure fiction, yet he steadily proceeded to do great good for his country, and to spread peace in the world at large.

They say he is a racist. But he has worked all his adult life with and among people of many races and has never shown the least trace of race prejudice. To justify this accusation they say he called Mexican aliens entering the US illegally “rapists” – which too many of them, whatever their number, were and are.

They say he is anti-Semitic. But not only are members of his own family including some of his grandchildren Jewish, no American president has ever done as much for the Jews as he has done. No leader of any country has done as much. His amazing achievement of brokering peace between the Israelis and the Arabs alone has earned him a place among the great leaders of history.

They say he called neo-Nazis “good people”, which is a flat lie. That he encourages “right-wing extremism” though he never has and never would. That he welcomes the support of the KKK. He does not. The KKK was founded and manned wholly by his enemies, the Democrats.

Even some of his friends and supporters blame him for habitually writing short messages to his followers on Twitter. How else should he communicate with the millions of them when the media refuse to report the truth of what he says or what he does? Conrad Black grants him that, saying: “In a pioneering way, he used social media to communicate directly with the public and successfully countered the traditional political media.”

Some of those friends speak of him as being “flawed”, as if a there could ever be a human being – even that revered Jew who they say lived in the age of Augustus – who is not “flawed”.

Conrad Black is one of those friends. But his admiration for Donald Trump is nevertheless strong. He writes:

He also had an outstanding  term of achievement in the face of unprecedented obstruction and illegal harassment, as well as the almost unanimous and hysterical antagonism of a totalitarian opposition media. And so he’s being evicted.

The new administration comes in for serious censure:

Taking his place is a ramshackle coalition of big media, big money, big tech, big league sports, Hollywood, most of Wall Street, and an odious ragtag of urban guerrillas masquerading as civil rights crusaders. … The Democrats … have been effectively taken over by socialist, self-hating whites, white-hating blacks, and guilt-ridden renunciators of any recognizable version of American history and values. …

The political atmosphere is so charged, it is intolerable.

Donald Trump narrowly won his campaign in 2016 against the bipartisan post-Reagan political class that he and an adequate number of his countrymen believed, with a plenitude of evidence, had thoroughly misgoverned the country. The previous 20 years under administrations and congresses of both parties had been an unsatisfactory time of endless, fruitless war in the Middle East and an immense humanitarian refugee disaster, the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, millions of unskilled immigrants pouring illegally across the Mexican-U.S. border, unfavorable trade arrangements, and China advancing by leaps and bounds at America’s expense. Trump effectively ended almost all of that and eliminated unemployment and oil imports as well. 

Much, probably all, of the good that President Trump did will likely be undone by the corruptocracy coming to power.

Conrad Black, consolingly, declares that the incoming administration will fail:

The celebration of Trump’s enemies will soon bore the public and the media will soon cease to lionize the ungalvanizing Biden and his entourage of political manipulators and faction-heads. There will be little leadership, little unity, and they will be to the left of the country, stalled by the Congress, and generally tedious and ineffectual. The times will not be gentle and the attempt of Anthony Blinken and John Kerry and the other quavering Obamans to sanitize the world and collegialize the Western Alliance will be an almost total failure.

He conjectures that Donald Trump could return triumphantly to power :

If he holds his fire for a year and allows the mediocrity and ineptitude of Bidenism … to be exposed in its infirmity, Trump will make the greatest American political comeback since FDR came out of his convalescence from polio and rolled his wheelchair into the White House, which would be his home for the remaining 12 years of his life.

A return of the great president is deeply to be desired. But the ramshackle coalition of Leftist forces that Conrad Black describes is united in one thing – a passionate determination to take away every existing and imaginable means and opportunity the Right could make use of to regain power.

As our commenter Cogito has several time pointed out, the reign (so to speak) of Donald Trump can be likened to that of the Emperor Julian (361-363 C.E.). Emperor after emperor had allowed the dark tide of intolerant Christianity to spread over the Roman Empire. Julian tried to stop it. But he was killed in battle before he had succeeded. For a little while there was light, but when he was gone the darkness came back and Europe remained stagnant for a thousand years.

We would liken it also to the decade of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership in Britain. She tried, against ferocious resistance, to stop the advance of socialism. For a time the British people were free and prosperous, share-owning and property-owning. Then swamp creatures in her own party and the opposition defeated her and the decay of the kingdom resumed.

While Donald Trump has been in the White House, America has enjoyed prosperity and freedom. Was it nothing more than a brief bright interval in a time of Western decay that is now again gathering pace?

Or will President Trump return?

Trump: a great revolutionary leader 40

Alexander, Caesar, Washington, Napoleon, Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan, Trump.

There he stands among his peers – people who personally redirected the course of history. No matter what he does from now on for as long as he lives, he has already earned his position among the greatest leaders of our common Western past.

Matthew Boose, writing at American Greatness, seems to go even further in his admiration of Donald Trump, suggesting that he may be uniquely great, at least in American history:

There’s a reason that Trump commands a fierce devotion … He is an historic phenomenon, a singular personality the likes of which we have never seen, and are unlikely to see recur, in our lifetimes. 

Trump has done what few men can say of themselves: he altered the course of events in a way that no one saw coming. Totally by surprise, he presented an opportunity to save a nation in decline, an opportunity which, if lost, … may never return. That is what has made these four years so momentous, so eventful, and so full of conflict. Trump’s enemies sensed it too, which is why they have worked so desperately to crush him.

Few men could have withstood the extreme pressures that Trump has faced these four years. Millions of Americans have been inspired by his incredible tenacity through it all.

America does not produce many great men anymore, but Trump is a great man: he has an unusual degree of courage and willpower, qualities rare in our time in any measure. …

Trump and his supporters understand that the opposition is vicious, evil, and totally without honor, and that future leaders who want to defend America in more than name would have to be willing and able to incur enormous hostility and personal risk. …

“Trumpism” is a vague thing, and the Republican establishment and the kept Right are eager to jettison Trump and leave us with an ersatz version of his movement. Trump’s primary achievement … is that he made the Republican Party the home of a multi-racial working class. [Which is true but] this elides an essential part of Trump’s rise, which was that he acknowledged American whites who had felt put upon and alienated in an increasingly hostile regime. Any “Trumpism” that lacks the courage to push back against the relentless, anti-white sentiment of the Left is counterfeit.

Trump’s movement is a genuine revolution. Like any revolution, it is liable to corruption and change. This has happened with many movements before: the momentum gets lost, and it turns into a husk of its former self. … It is possible that Trump’s movement dies with him. History does not always [or ever? – ed] offer second chances. …

If Trump’s downfall really is a fait accompli, then millions of Americans will take his loss like a deathblow to America. If that is cultism, count me in. We are lucky to have Trump. He is an American hero, the best—the only—real defender we have had in generations.

Can Trumpism survive without Trump?

Can America survive without Trumpism?

Posted under Economics, liberty, nationalism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 4, 2020

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Free thought as heresy again 9

The Left has captured the culture. That’s well known and oft repeated. Education is now religiously Leftist from kindergarten to doctorate. The entertainment industry – stage, film, television –  faithfully carries the sacred messages. The media, both “mainstream” and “social”, are packed with acolytes.

Not only the guardians of the culture have converted en masse to the Church of Marx. Big panjandrums of our capitalist economy are dropping their checks for hundred of millions of dollars into the collection boxes of the Left’s terrorist curates – buying time, they foolishly hope. That would be more surprising if we didn’t have Vladimir Lenin’s (possibly apocryphal but highly plausible) prophecy that “the capitalist will sell you the rope you’ll hang him with”.

And now it is all too horrifyingly possible that the Left will re-capture the legislative and executive branches of the US government. As for the judicial branch, seven of the Supreme Court  justices – all nine of whom were formerly Jewish or Catholic which was not harmful to determinations of law – are dancing arm-in-arm leftwards through a side door into the C. of M., where doctrinal orthodoxy is strictly enforced. Could SCOTUS become the tribunal of the next Inquisition?

A dark age lies ahead. But need we despair? There is consolation to be found in the records of the fast fading era of free thought (roughly 1700-2000), that will still be available to us in books.

Or will they?

Oh, oh! It seems that books by or about the great  – mostly white – scientists, inventors, discoverers, philosophers, visionaries, economists, historians, educators whose ideas debunk the doctrines of the C. of M., are to be removed from libraries, bookshops, even probably our private rooms, and destroyed. Blotted out of human memory. They will not be published  again; or if published by some rogue publisher, not advertised;  or if advertised by some mischance, not sold; or if sold on a black market market of color, confiscated and destroyed.

On the other hand, books supporting the doctrine of the C. of M. (chiefly concerning anti-racism and the evil of being White) will abound. Vast libraries will be built to contain them. There’ll be at least one in every hotel bedside drawer. There’ll be cutely illustrated versions of some on the shelves of kindergartens; thousands to be checked out by students in all grades or else; and subterranean university bookstores will be chockfull of them.

Bruce Bawer, observing the trend, writes at Front Page:

Of America’s most powerful and prominent cultural institutions, it’s quick work naming those that aren’t entirely left-wing satrapies. TV? Fox News, although things are looking less and less encouraging there. Colleges? Hillsdale, I guess, though how many Ivy League faculty members would ever admit to having heard of it? Newspapers? The New York Post (sometimes), Wall Street Journal (kind of)and perhaps one or two others from sea to shining sea. Silicon Valley? Nothing. Hollywood? ¡Nada! Big business? Hmm: what is there, nowadays, honestly, other than that My Pillow guy?

One field in which there’s at least a soupçon of ideological diversity is the book trade. Yes, staffers at the major publishing houses are overwhelmingly on the left. Ditto bookstore employees. Plus the people who give out the major book awards. Not to mention that the heftiest advances for political books go to Democrats. Since the turn of the century, the biggest nonfiction book deal, amounting to at least $65 million, was for Michelle Obama’s Becoming (2018) and for an as-yet-unpublished opus by Barack; second – raking in $15 million – was Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004); third – at $14 million – was Hillary’s Hard Choices (2014).

One more thing about the reflexive leftism of the book scene. Thanks to today’s lethal cancel culture, even classics are at risk. Recently, in an article for the School Library Journal headlined “Little House, Big Problem: What To Do with ‘Classic’ Books That Are Also Racist”, Marva Hinton identified both Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird as racist. No, she didn’t just say that they contained racist language, which would have been fair enough; she asserted that these two books – both of them key texts in the history of the American struggle against racism – are in fact racist.

Hinton quoted Julia E. Torres, a Denver school librarian, as saying that when she’s consulted by teachers who want to assign Harper Lee’s novel to their student, she often suggests replacing it with Samira Ahmed’s dystopic novel Internment, “about a teen sent to a U.S. internment camp for Muslim American people”. Alternatively, Torres “suggests they teach To Kill a Mockingbird using excerpts or through a critical consciousness lens, which would include lessons on white saviorism and the weaponization of white women’s tears”. Check, please!

I’m not familiar with the novel Internment – just out in paperback from Little, Brown – but it’s part of a full-court press by the book business to normalize Islam and demonize “Islamophobia”.  Also in on this effort are the major pre-pub reviewing outlets, all of which gave Internment starred reviews that were short on praise for aesthetic values and long on PC drivel. (“Taking on Islamophobia and racism in a Trump-like America…” – Kirkus.  “A very real, very frank picture of hatred and ignorance…” – Booklist. “An unsettling and important book for our times.” – Publishers Weekly.)

In 2006 I published a highly critical book about Islam. Even then, it was savaged by bien pensant book-world types. But criticizing Islam has become so verboten on the left that I doubt any major publisher today would touch a book like While Europe Slept – even though the problems described therein have grown far, far worse.

Meanwhile, to peruse the latest catalogues from those same publishers is to discover a blizzard of dreary-sounding new or forthcoming novels that, judging from the plot summaries, are drenched in identity politics. (Two quick examples from Knopf, perhaps the most respected of literary publishers: Burning by Megha Majumdar, about an Indian girl who’s falsely accused of terrorism and turns for help to a trans woman; My Mother’s House by Francesca Momplaisir, a novel that takes on “the legacy of colonialism” and “the abuse of male power”. …

Amazon’s current list of top ten bestsellers includes several far-left books on racism: Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning, Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk about Race, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. You might think there’s a market for at least one book criticizing these authors’ views; but I’ve been assured by industry insiders that no major New York house would even consider publishing such a book.

Even in book publishing, then, the left is way ahead. But this isn’t good enough for Alex Shephard, a young staff writer at the New Republic, who in a recent article maintained that the book industry is “overdue” for a major “reckoning”. Here’s his article’s subhead (italics mine):

The industry is facing demands to live up to its stated values. That might mean ditching writers like Donald Trump Jr.

And later there’s this (italics again mine):

…these publishing houses are, like many corporations in the country, being asked by their employees and customers to live up to a set of values. And that would seem to be impossible while also publishing the likes of Tucker Carlson…

What does Shephard mean by “stated values”? Simple: left-wing ideological purity. In his view, conservative books are, with exceedingly few exceptions, “valueless”. (Shephard implies that “quality control” alone would eliminate most conservative titles.) Also by definition, they’re awash in “factual inaccuracies”. Because of course you can’t possibly mount a convincing non-leftist argument for anything without radically distorting the truth. (As Shephard puts it: “Being forced to tell the truth is not an existential issue for most of publishing; it is for conservative imprints.”)

Hence, if book publishers began to be serious about fact-checking, it would, argues Shephard, “make it impossible to publish a great many conservative books”. Indeed, even the “more ‘respectable’ side of conservative publishing”, as represented for Shephard by Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 bestseller Liberal Fascism (note, however, those scare quotes around the word respectable), would be challenged by a responsible fact-checking apparatus.

According to Shephard, another attribute of many conservative books is that their authors aren’t serious. He quotes Kimberly Burns, a book publicist: “I’m OK with books being published from different political viewpoints – in fact, it’s necessary for debate and being able to see a whole picture … The problem is when authors write things only to get themselves attention or to make news, instead of to enhance a dialogue…” Apparently this isn’t a problem with left-wing books.

Bottom line: Shephard really likes censorship of his ideological opponents. And he really admires his fellow “woke” types who put pressure on publishers to cancel books. He notes with obvious satisfaction that Henry Holt, the publishing house, “drew fire for its decision to continue publishing Bill O’Reilly after multiple accusations of sexual harassment were made against him”. (There’s no indication that Shephard believes multiple accusations of sexual harassment should affect Bill Clinton’s publishing career.)

Shephard approvingly mentions Simon & Schuster’s 2016 decision to drop the book Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos, whom he identifies as “a troll known for shallow publicity stunts”. And he tells us that he’s spoken to employees at another publishing house, Hachette, who “expressed discomfort about the company’s conservative imprint, Center Street, which publishes Donald Trump Jr., among others”.

Boy, I’ll bet they did. Since Shephard’s article appeared, Hachette staffers – largely lower-level Gen-Z brats – have said that they won’t work on J.K. Rowling’s forthcoming book because she’s criticized transgender ideology. Hachette is the same house that, in response to workers outraged over unproven quarter-century-old sex-abuse allegations, canceled Woody Allen’s about-to-be-published memoirs in March. Allen was never charged with any crime, let alone found guilty of one; years later he was permitted to adopt two children. Yet thanks to those junior Jacobins – every one of whom should’ve been fired – Allen was unceremoniously cut adrift.

And Shephard fully approves. He actually calls Allen a “pariah”. The ease with which this smug punk swats away the legendary writer-director is chilling. No matter what you may think of Allen or his films, the whole ugly spectacle is just too reminiscent of the way things worked under Stalin and Mao. And it’s all too representative, alas, of the atrocious attitudes of the rising generation of lockstep cancel-culture creeps who, like it or not, are well on their way to becoming our nation’s official cultural gatekeepers.

Two American nations 9

Millions who want to live in freedom with limited government cannot compromise with millions of big-government collectivists.

Those to whom an individual’s race is of no consequence cannot endure race quotas (euphemized now as “diversity”).

Those who want secure borders cannot share territory with those who want “open” borders (effectively no borders at all).

Those who want impartial justice and equality under the law cannot co-exist with those who want judicial discrimination on grounds of race, class, sex, or history.

Those who know that only free market capitalism makes for prosperity and wish to pursue their own economic goals unhampered by regulation will not tolerate “redistribution” of wealth,  whether by means of high taxation, state-run health care, nationalization of industries or any other government-imposed impoverishing devices on which collectivists insist.

Those who know that slight changes in climate will not endanger human life cannot endure being bludgeoned by global warming mythologists into accepting a poorer way of life “to save the planet”.

Those who want one (hospitable and expanding) culture with one official language, cannot accept multiculturalism and multilingualism being imposed on them by the others.

These are two different nations.

There is nothing to be gained for either of them by alternating administrations, each undoing what the other has done – a fruitless, weakening, wasteful procedure.

Two incompatible nations are sharing one country. Territorial division is not possible.

What can be done?

Posted under America, Climate, Collectivism, Economics, Law, liberty, nationalism, Race, Socialism, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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Of rights and wrongs 1

Questions about rights – what they are, who or what grants them, how they may be upheld – are not and cannot be settled. They’re continually subject to debate in our culture.

Everyone’s right to life is quite widely accepted – though not by Communists and Muslims, and only provisionally by French philosophers and American Democrats. A right to liberty has been acknowledged increasingly by most governments – not yet all – over the last couple of hundred years. But other proclaimed rights continue to be passionately demanded and challenged: Does everyone have a right to medical treatment, to education, to housing? Do we have a right not to be offended? If these are rights, how might they be protected?

Rights are things that can be possessed. Individuals own them.

Wrongs are things that people do, or have done to them.

What it is wrong to do was settled for civilized peoples thousands of years ago: it is wrong to kill, to harm, to steal, to lie.

But unsettled questions linger about wrong-doing:

How can wrong-doing be assessed? How should it be dealt with? By whom?

Are some killings not wrong? Is it not wrong to kill in war, in self-defense, in the execution of justice?

And to acknowledge certain (uncivilized) schools of thought we note that it is not wrong according to Communists for a leader to kill individuals for the benefit of the community; not wrong according to Islam for Muslims to kill non-Muslims or their own children; not wrong according to certain French philosophers to kill for the erotic excitement of killing; not wrong according to certain American Democrats to kill an elected president.

Posted under communism, Islam, jihad, liberty, Muslims, Philosophy, Slavery, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 29, 2020

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Waiving or waving the Constitution 5

We ask an urgent question:

MILLIONS OF OUR ANCESTORS GAVE THEIR LIVES TO SAVE OUR LIBERTY. WILL WE NOW GIVE UP LIBERTY TO SAVE OUR LIVES?

Governors are using fear of the coronavirus pandemic to assume tyrannical powers.

The Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, for example, believes she has the right in such an emergency to issue dictatorial orders.

But the Republican governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, takes a contrary view. She defends the liberty granted to all Americans by the Constitution, in which there is no instruction that it must – or may – be suspended if a pandemic occurs.

We quote from an article by Jodi Giddings from Victory Girls, where “outspoken conservative women” express their opinions:

Americans are growing restless. We’ve done a decent job of doing what we can to help quell the coronavirus outbreak, but some of us are recognizing that many of our governors and other officials are jumping headlong into dictator-status in their efforts to fight coronavirus (or at least that’s the excuse they’re using). In response, a growing number of us are opposing the overreach. We’re Americans; we’re hard workers; we love our freedom; so it’s in our nature to resist anyone usurping our rights. And no two governors in America stand in starker contrast than Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem.

You might have heard that Whitmer restricted hydroxychloroquine a couple of weeks back, and most recently ordered that no group of any size may congregate, and has decided for her constituents what is and is not “essential” to their daily lives. … So, no, you can’t buy seeds and plants for which to grow your own food until she says you can, plebes. And to you small businesses: go get a small business loan and shut up.

Except Michiganders are not shutting up.

More than 15,000  cars and trucks “descend[ed] on Michigan’s state capital on Wednesday to protest what they’re calling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s tyrannical new guidelines to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state”.

Why? Because they recognize that freshman Governor Whitmer has governed like a dictator. …

She was forced, by active protest and a lawsuit, to “amend her dictate”.

The media had to report, though no doubt they hated to:

“Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is backing down in t“““he face of a pro-life activist’s federal lawsuit against her and Detroit police.”

… She got caught violating the First Amendment rights of her constituents. But make no mistake, the woman who’s made herself the decider of what is and isn’t “essential” would have continued trampling all over the Bill of Rights had no one punched her in the neck.

“Quarantine is when you restrict movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people,” Meshawn Maddock, an organizer of the protest with the Michigan Conservative Coalition, told Fox News. “Every person has learned a harsh lesson about social distancing. We don’t need a nanny state to tell people how to be careful.”

The other governor discussed in the article has no wish to be a political nanny:

In contrast, Governor Noem of South Dakota has thus far refused issuing a stay-at-home order, or dictates that tell her citizens what they can and cannot buy, or where they can and cannot go….

For which she was subjected to “near-constant slings and arrows from just about every direction”, especially from the media.

She’s issued guidelines [for keeping safe], but Noem, to her credit … remains rooted in the principles of freedom and personal responsibility.

She declared that she had faith in the people of South Dakota. Which is to say, in their common sense.

The South Dakota Medical Association sent Noem a letter last week asking her to issue a stay-at-home order but there’s no indication she has any plans to reverse course.

And just yesterday, Noem proactively announced a statewide hydroxychloroquine clinical trial to test the malaria drug’s effectiveness on battling, and even preventing, coronavirus.

She said:

“The public deserves the truth. And the truth is all the facts. And I would appreciate it if our media would remember that.”

Jodi Giddings believes South Dakota will gain residents. And we expect it will. Because people move from oppression to freedom.

I predict South Dakota will gain itself some freedom-seeking residents post haste

The moral of the story is this: we are witnessing in real time what socialism looks like. The bread lines, the joblessness, the freedom-crushing dictates, the withholding of life-sustaining necessities that are inherent in that destructive system are on full display all across our nation. But we are also witnessing what the bedrock, unwavering principles of liberty look like, where a governor with a spine of steel, against massive pressure from all around her, has resisted the siren song of “give up your liberty for a little security”.  Instead she has empowered both her citizens to make their own decisions on how to keep themselves and others safe amid this health crisis, and her state’s medical professionals to make the right decisions for their patients without her interference. … And the [clinical] trial will both save lives and provide further data about the drug’s effectiveness to the country itself in its time of need, all without draconian dictates from the executive.

The contrasts between the two governors amid this crisis are clear: tyranny versus freedom; dependence versus self-reliance.

The shut-downs must end; Americans need to get back to work.

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