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 They will not be published  again; or if published by some rogue publisher, not advertised;  or if advertised by some mischance, not sold; or if sold on a black market market of color,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.

To arms, citizens! 11

What are conservatives looking to, to stop the Marxist revolution now underway in America?

In what are we putting our hope and trust to save us from the national calamity that has not just begun but is gathering force and pace?

The November election.

We cling to the hope that Donald Trump will be re-elected to the presidency, both the House and the Senate will achieve Republican majorities, and then – hey presto! – the Left, its black-masked militant cohorts, its murderous thugs, it screaming mobs, its nasty leaders in Congress, its billionaire funders, its powerful propaganda media, the public schools and the universities teaching that the federal republic of America is too immoral to be allowed to continue, the governors and mayors authorizing insurgency, will give in, and all the revolutionary activity will subside like a spent summer storm.

They won’t. It won’t. If the Left loses the election, the mobs, the leaders, the funders, the media, the Marxist theorists, the little Stalins and Maos of the states and the cities will intensify their violent aggression.

If they win, the free republic of America will be finished, over, lost.

Either way, the election will not save us.

We have vaguely expected that a magic document we call “The Durham Report” will be published soon, and it will produce such facts, such accusations, such proofs of perfidy and corruption in the Obama administration that inevitably justice will be done, the guilty men and women who plotted a coup d’état against President Trump will go to prison covered with shame, and lo! law and order, constitutionality, safety and freedom will be restored.

It won’t. If this rumored report ever appears, it is unlikely to do so before the election; if it does appear before the election, it is unlikely to indict the guilty; if it does indict the guilty, they are unlikely to be brought to trial; if they are brought to trial, they are unlikely to be found guilty; if they are found guilty, they are unlikely to go to prison. Even if our hopes are rewarded, and before November the plotters are charged, tried, and condemned to long terms of imprisonment, it will not give the Leftist revolutionaries a moment’s pause.

Can we do anything to save our country and ourselves?

Mark Tapson writes at Front Page:

It is time for American patriots to turn the tide against the hateful race agitators, the masked anarchists, and the Marxist subversives terrorizing our nation and wreaking a destructive, “fundamental transformation” of the United States. That includes not just the demonic foot soldiers of the mob itself, but their enablers in academia, the news media, the entertainment arena, and political office.

It’s not enough anymore for our side to share snarky social media memes ridiculing social justice snowflakes; the time for joking about this cultural upheaval is over, because the other side has taken it very, very seriously for half a century, and those snowflakes are now waging a scorched-earth policy against every American institution and value.

What then do we do? …

First and foremost, get off our knees. … Free American citizens do not bow and scrape before any man, any mob, any tyrannical ideology. Forget trying to placate and to reason with the leftist mob; neither is possible. Simply resist and fight. If you give the left an inch, they will take mile after mile after mile. Do not give them that inch.

Speak the truth fearlessly, every day and everywhere, and never apologize for it. Teach your children the truth, and demonstrate to them what courage and integrity look like by standing up for it. Speaking of your kids: take them out of public schools (and even many private schools) at the earliest possible opportunity and commit, no matter the sacrifice, to homeschooling them – or you will lose them in the indoctrination mills of the left.

Do not kowtow to the power-lust of petty Democrat despots like governors Gretchen Whitmer, Andrew Cuomo, or Gavin Newsom, whose coronavirus strategy is to release felons from prison and allow mass, violent protests while cracking down on law-abiding citizens for singing in church. Commit to civil disobedience against their unreasonable dictates – and to uncivil disobedience if it comes to that.

Take a leaf from the Left’s playbook and community-organize. Organize to flood your representatives, local and national, with emails and calls demanding they take immediate, concrete actions to protect our heritage, defend the police, and enforce law and order. For that matter, take another leaf from the leftist playbook and pack their offices with noisy protesters who refuse to leave until our demands are met. Those demands are to stop hamstringing law enforcement and start protecting the community’s citizens, businesses, and monuments. Show up armed, if your state allows open-carry. Support law enforcement and other first responders in word and deed. Tell every cop you know and see that Blue Lives Matter and you respect and appreciate them for putting their lives on the line.

To trace our way back to some measure of sanity, civility, and security in America, the collectivist, racist, divisive mentality of identity politics that has spread like a cancer in this country must be eradicated. Reject this ideology wherever it rears its ugly head. Push back against your children’s teachers and administrators when it is taught in the schools. Call it out in the workplace, consequences be damned; silence and keeping your head down will no longer save you. Reject the ideology when you make your shopping choices. When corporations send you emails notifying you of the steps they’re taking to help achieve “racial justice,” email back and ask them how their virtue-signaling on behalf of anti-Semitic, black supremacist communists like Black Lives Matter helps ease racial tensions. Boycott and down-vote any entertainment featuring elitist celebrities who loudly proclaim their contempt for this country and for the people who love it. Boycott the NBA and protest their racial division outside their arenas at game time. Boycott the NFL, especially the Super Bowl. Boycott Nike and its hate-mongering spokesman Colin Kaepernick.

The time for smug complacency about our side “having all the guns” is over, unless we’re willing to actually use those guns in defense of our country and our freedoms, and not just our homes. If you are a gun owner (and if not, why aren’t you?), hone your skills and, as my friend the columnist Kurt Schlichter always advises, stock up on ammunition. Create networks of friends, relatives, and neighbors you trust and formulate a multi-stage plan for having each other’s backs in various scenarios in which the shit hits the fan – because if the mob hasn’t reached your neighborhood yet, don’t assume they’re not coming. When the lily-white, nose-pierced assistant professors of Antifa in their skinny jeans are confronted by organized resistance, they wet themselves.

Don’t sit back and expect this communist takeover of the United States to fizzle out; it will not. Don’t expect the current madness to ensure a Trump landslide in November, either; in fact, what you can expect is massive Democrat voter fraud, and if Trump survives that, there will be violent resistance surpassing anything we’ve seen so far. So the time to act is now.

It’s probable that the revolutionaries are not taking the November election seriously anyway; that they regard all the old white political traditions such as elections as empty rituals, their results of no importance, carrying no consequences. Which explains why they have put up a dummy as their candidate, a senile leftover from the Obama days, allowed to burble whatever nonsense oozes out of his poor old addled brain.

We must fight now. By all necessary means.

Antifa and the suicide of nations 2

Those innumerable politicians, historians, journalists, television pundits and other opinion-dealers who allowed the Left to get away with the claim that fascism is the opposite of communism – despite their knowing better – made a devastating mistake. Because of it, new generations learning that fascism is bad logically assume that ergo communism is good

Communism and fascism are collectivist and aim to be totalitarian. Communism is fascist.

What is not fascist is freedom. Only freedom. Freedom includes the free market, which communists prefer to call capitalism, to them a pejorative term.

Soeren Kern writes at Gatestone:

In the United States, Antifa’s ideology, tactics and goals, far from being novel, are borrowed almost entirely from Antifa groups in Europe, where so-called anti-fascist groups, in one form or another, have been active, almost without interruption, for a century.

Antifa can be described as a transnational insurgency movement that endeavors, often with extreme violence, to subvert liberal democracy, with the aim of replacing global capitalism with [global] communism. Antifa’s stated long-term objective, both in America and abroad, is to establish a communist world order. In the United States, Antifa’s immediate aim is to bring about the demise of the Trump administration. …

A common tactic used by Antifa in the United States and Europe is to employ extreme violence and destruction of public and private property to goad the police into a reaction, which then “proves” Antifa’s claim that the government is “fascist”. …

Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, in a special report on left-wing extremism, noted:

Antifa’s fight against right-wing extremists is a smokescreen. The real goal remains the “bourgeois-democratic state”, which, in the reading of left-wing extremists, accepts and promotes “fascism” as a possible form of rule and therefore does not fight it sufficiently. Ultimately, it is argued, “fascism” is rooted in the social and political structures of “capitalism”. Accordingly, left-wing extremists, in their “antifascist” activities, focus above all on the elimination of the “capitalist system”.

… In an essay, What Antifa and the Original Fascists Have In Common, Antony Mueller, a German professor of economics who currently teaches in Brazil, described how Antifa’s militant anti-capitalism masquerading as anti-fascism reveals its own fascism:

After the left has pocketed the concept of liberalism and turned the word into the opposite of its original meaning, the Antifa-movement uses a false terminology to hide its true agenda. While calling themselves “antifascist”  and declaring fascism the enemy, the Antifa itself is a foremost fascist movement. The members of Antifa are not opponents to fascism but themselves its genuine representatives. Communism, Socialism and Fascism are united by the common band of anti-capitalism and anti-liberalism. The Antifa movement is a fascist movement. The enemy of this movement is not fascism but liberty, peace and prosperity.

The modern Antifa movement derives its name from a group called Antifaschistische Aktion, founded in May 1932 by Stalinist leaders of the Communist Party of Germany. The group was established to fight fascists, a term the party used to describe all of the other pro-capitalist political parties in Germany. The primary objective of Antifaschistische Aktion was to abolish capitalism, according to a detailed history of the group. …

During the post-war period, Germany’s Antifa movement reappeared in various manifestations, including the radical student protest movement of the 1960s, and the leftist insurgency groups that were active throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The Red Army Faction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, was a Marxist urban guerrilla group that carried out assassinations, bombings and kidnappings aimed at bringing revolution to West Germany, which the group characterized as a fascist holdover of the Nazi era. Over the course of three decades, the RAF murdered more than 30 people and injured over 200.

After the collapse of the communist government in East Germany in 1989-90, it was discovered that the RAF had been given training, shelter, and supplies by the Stasi, the secret police of the former communist regime.

It was “discovered” much earlier than that. My book, Hitler’s Children: the Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang*, first published in 1977, reveals that fact.

John Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University, described the group’s tactics, which are similar to those used by Antifa today:

The goal of their terrorist campaign was to trigger an aggressive response from the government, which group members believed would spark a broader revolutionary movement.

RAF founder Ulrike Meinhof explained the relationship between violent left-wing extremism and the police: “The guy in uniform is a pig, not a human being. That means we don’t have to talk to him and it is wrong to talk to these people at all. And of course, you can shoot.”

Antifa and the RAF shared the same aim – Marxist totalitarianism. Ulrike Meinhof’s daughter, the journalist Bettina Röhl, sees “the modern Antifa” as “a continuation of the Red Army Faction”. She thinks “the main difference is that, unlike the RAF, Antifa’s members are afraid to reveal their identities”. But there are more important differences than that. The RAF never became a mass movement as Antifa has become. They were a small group – only a few dozen active members – and they used terrorist tactics: kidnapping and murdering individuals as “representatives” of the state or the “military-industrial complex” or capitalism; and putting time-bombs in department stores, a newspaper’s offices, a police station. Antifa (as Bettina Röhl rightly points out) threatens violence and attacks against politicians and police officers. But the movement has not (as yet) kidnapped or killed any of them. On the other hand, its riots have rocked a nation, while the RAF never managed to lead a riot though they would no doubt have liked to.

In sum, the RAF was more lethal than Antifa, but less politically effective.

Western governments are finding Antifa a major nuisance, a contributing cause of widespread civil unrest and what can even be called insurrection in America.

The Federal Republic of [West] Germany did not perceive the RAF as an insurrectionist threat. The government treated arrested leaders and members of the gang as the criminals they were. They were brought to trial, sentenced and imprisoned. The leaders committed suicide in prison – in such a manner as to indicate to their followers that they should claim they’d been  murdered. That, they hoped, would provide “proof” of the “fascist” nature of the state, and cause such an outcry that it would spark a revolution. But the country remained unmoved by the deaths except perhaps to heave a collective sigh of relief that the pests were gone.

Germany, now including the former Communist “Democratic Republic”, has changed since those days, and much for the worse. Its so-called “conservative” government is now well over on the Left, as are almost all the “conservative” parties of Europe.

Proof of its leftward drift is provided by Bettina Röhl, as Soeren Kern reports:

In a June 2020 essay published by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, [Bettina] Röhl … drew attention to the fact that Antifa is not only officially tolerated, but is being paid by the German government to fight the far right:

The flourishing left-wing radicalism in the West, which brutally strikes at the opening of the European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, at every G-20 summit or every year on May 1 in Berlin, has achieved the highest level of establishment in the state, not least thanks to the support by quite a few MPs from political parties, journalists and relevant experts.

MP Renate Künast (Greens) recently complained in the Bundestag that Antifa groups had not been adequately funded by the state in recent decades. She was concerned that “NGOs and Antifa groups do not [meaning should notalways have to struggle to raise money and can only conclude short-term employment contracts from year to year.”  There was applause for this from Alliance 90/The Greens, from the left and from SPD deputies.

What can it mean if a state pays a rebel movement to destroy it? That apparently is what the German government is doing, or has done, and is being urged by some elected political leaders to do again more generously. We learn that the “conservative” dominated Bundestag  – not just lunatic-fringe Green and Alliance 90 members, not just the socialist deputies – has been (however “inadequately”!), funding Antifa.  

Do the Germans want to commit national suicide? Is their government trying to get the deed done in such a manner as to inspire all the nations of the West to do it too?

On the face of it the idea seems preposterous, impossible, absurd.

But Germany has already brought in its replacement population from the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East. It finances Antifa. Where Germany goes, there goes the EU. What Europe does, Britain and Canada do too.

Will America alone resist the rising red revolution?

 

Jillian Becker   June 19, 2020

 

*Click on the ad for Hitler’s Children in our margin.

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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We are persecuted, oppressed, victimized 6

… and so respectable conservatives at last!

Facebook has suspended us for 30 days. We cannot even access our page, let alone write anything on it.

No reason is given.

The last thing we posted was an observation by Mark Steyn found at his website:

A truly great lawyer, Sidney Powell, is the lady who single-handedly rescued Michael Flynn from the pit of hell into which dirty investigators, dirty prosecutors, a dirty judge and even his own former legal team had lowered him. 

We added a comment of our own that the dirty villains were doing what their master, Obama, ordered them to do. Maybe that was what Facebook’s zealous far-left censors objected to.

 

Later: It seems that we cannot post or comment anywhere for 30 days – except here on our own website. How did Facebook work that, we wonder.

 

Later: Suddenly we can again access our Facebook page through the link in our margin. We wait to see if this is a temporary resumption of normal use or if the censors have reversed their decision.

 

One day later: Our “test” post is still up on Facebook. So it seems that the censors who suspended us have changed their minds.

Posted under tyranny by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Oops! Sorry, world! 9

Catastrophe. Cataclysm.

Have billions of lives been devastated and millions of people reduced to poverty by a computer software error? 

Thomas D. Williams writes at Breitbart:

The UK’s coronavirus lockdown was caused by “the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost,” according to a report by a British newspaper.

The essay is referring to computer modeling by Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London that predicted enormous deaths in the UK and elsewhere and led to draconian lockdown measures.

The Imperial College team published a 20‐​page report on March 16 forecasting that an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain and as many as 2.2 million deaths in the United States.

The predictions, which were considerably wide of the mark were the result of radically deficient modelling, according to a report in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph by software developers David Richards and Konstantin Boudnik

Imperial’s unreliable microsimulation model moved policymakers to “mothball our multi-trillion pound economy and plunge millions of people into poverty and hardship,” the authors note.

The simulation code was so bad, the writers insist, that they “would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust.”

Imperial’s model “is vulnerable to producing wildly different and conflicting outputs based on the same initial set of parameters,” they state. “Run it on different computers and you would likely get different results. In other words, it is non-deterministic.”

In their contention that the Imperial model was “fundamentally unreliable”, the authors question why the government did not get a second opinion before radically altering the lives of millions of citizens.

The writers register their suspicion that “the [British] Government saw what was happening in Italy with its overwhelmed hospitals and panicked.”

Did the Ferguson team’s wildly wrong computer modeling also influence the US federal government’s decision to quarantine the entire population, causing businesses to close, many perhaps permanently, and impoverishing millions?

It seems that it did.

Can even the Midas touch of President Trump restore the lost wealth of America? Is there a doctor or magician who can resurrect the late economy?

Lockdown: a colossal misjudgment 7

Our reader and commenter Cogito, a General Practitioner, wrote the following as a comment on our post Boom again? (May 9, 2020).

With his  permission, we feature it here as an article with which we wholly agree.

We don’t know everything about the COVID virus certainly, but we know quite a bit.

We know that the virus can be very dangerous to the elderly and the medically fragile. Indeed the vast majority of deaths are precisely in this group.

We also know that the overwhelming number of people who contract the disease (possibly 99.9%) will survive. We know that most people will have minimal or minor symptoms.

COVID is not and should not be seen as a significant threat to our way of life. It is not the biggest crisis ever faced by Western Civilization. It is not the biggest public health crisis ever faced by Western Civilization.

Yet, it is astonishing that a virus of such low lethality and morbidity could bring the world’s mature market economies to their knees. It makes no sense logically or empirically.

Furthermore, there is no convincing scientific evidence that lock-downs even work. We know this simply by observing and comparing those states such as Sweden and Taiwan, and Japan which did not lock-down or did so only minimally have fared as well or better than those states who locked down tightly.

Another issue about lock-downs that disturbs me is that they run contrary to medical science and history. Quarantines, as far as I can determine, have always been used to isolate the sick. But here, we are isolating healthy symptom-free people. Most unusual.

In addition to these medical observations, I have other concerns social, legal, and political. Lock-downs are proving to be harmful. We are beginning to see (anecdotally for now) more suicides and domestic violence. I witness the growing depression and anxiety in my patients every day.

Then there is the question of civil liberties and overreach by our political masters. Political leaders threatening to follow us on our cell phones, lock-downs which are nothing but a kind of house arrest of citizens who are guilty of nothing, police ticketing people for sitting in parks, “snitch” lines being instituted so neighbors spy on neighbors. Readers of George Orwell would find these measures disturbingly fascistic.

And then, of course, there is the catastrophic economic downturn we are facing now. If Mr. Trump can’t turn this around, we are doomed to a new Dark Age of grinding poverty and misery.

Under (probably gynocratic) communist tyranny.

Posted under communism, Economics, Health, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Monday, May 11, 2020

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Totalitarian Catholic Communism – an ideal for America? 8

Adrian Vermeule is a Harvard professor of Constitutional Law who doesn’t like the US Constitution, is nostalgic for Roman Catholic statist totalitarianism, and proposes a new dispensation for Americans under “authoritative rule for the common good” which, he gleefully declares, requires the “overriding” of “the selfish claims of individuals to ‘private rights’”.

Vermeule is a convert to Catholicism. He does not mention Catholicism by name in this article, but his belief that morality is rightly defined and imposed by a central authority for the “common good” belongs to his religion. And the idea that self-sacrifice is the highest moral good is essentially a Christian teaching. A fear of heresy – people being allowed to voice an opinion that the state-as-church does not approve – suffuses his political philosophy.

Free speech and free-speech ideology — that government is forbidden to judge the quality and moral worth of public speech,” he writes, “should be not only rejected but stamped as abominable, beyond the realm of the acceptable forever”.

The article in which he propounds these views appears in the Leftist journal, The Atlantic, as “part of the project The Battle for the Constitution, in partnership with the National Constitution Center”. (Go there to see how all the contributions to this project are actually against the Constitution.)

It is easy to see why The Atlantic likes his ideas. Stalin would have applauded them.

As for the structure and distribution of authority within government, common-good constitutionalism will favor a powerful presidency ruling over a powerful bureaucracy, the latter acting through principles of administrative law’s inner morality with a view to promoting solidarity and subsidiarity. The bureaucracy will be seen not as an enemy, but as the strong hand of legitimate rule. The state is to be entrusted with the authority to protect the populace from the vagaries and injustices of market forces, from employers who would exploit them as atomized individuals, and from corporate exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. 

The close resemblance between Left statism and Catholic Christianity could not be more candidly displayed.

This Constitutional Law professor would not allow a thread of the Constitution to remain … Oh, wait! He does allow a few threads to remain, useful for the re-construction of the United States of America:

The general-welfare clause, which gives Congress “power to … provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”, is an obvious place to ground principles of common-good constitutionalism (despite a liberal tradition of reading the clause in a cramped fashion), as is the Constitution’s preamble, with its references to general welfare and domestic tranquility, to the perfection of the union, and to justice.

And he could endure the retention of some words, provided they were re-interpreted:

Constitutional words such as freedom and liberty need not be given libertarian readings; instead they can be read in light of a better conception of liberty as the natural human capacity to act in accordance with reasoned morality.

“Reasoned morality” being the “common-good” morality such as was propounded by the Catholic Church and for many centuries enforced by the Papal and Spanish Inquisitions.

This imposed “common-good” morality will be resisted at first, but –

Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.

Notice that citizens have become “subjects” under this ideal regime. And the state run by bureaucrats has become “the ruler” – more pope than king.

If it can be taken that The Atlantic speaks for the Left – and surely it can? – we are being told in the strongest possible terms that the Left wants and intends to abandon the Constitution – which alone binds the states of America together into a nation – and substitute a federal government with totalitarian policies and absolute powers that would establish Roman Catholicism as a state religion, substitute central planning for the free market, and implement the “green” policies of environmentalists further to restrict our lives as “subjects” of the Moral State.

If it was just one Catholic religious nut pleading for the establishment of this utopia, we could laugh at it and forget it.

But it is not just one. It is millions of – mostly young, school-indoctrinated – Leftist religious nuts wanting dependence on parental government; the drowning of individuals in an ocean of common-good; the implementation of anti-industrial “green” policies with the hard forced labor and poverty they’ll entail; sacrifice of personal ambitions and talents; acceptance of chastisement for sin (you “will come to thank the ruler” for it) and life-long indebtedness for food, shelter, and apportioned health care; total loss of self-determination; obedience.

Obedience. Bureaucrats will tell you what to do. Do it!  It is for the common good.

Above all, obedience. 

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.

No to liberty, yes to libertinism 5

Yesterday we discussed the Left’s excitement over the prospect of controlling us all by using the internet and a multitude of other surveillance techniques. (See the post immediately below: The end of liberty? April 28, 2020)

Now we note an exception. There is one activity the would-be controllers, or at least an avant-garde among them, do not want to control. Do not want anyone to control. Would not allow anyone to control.

Even – or especially – self-control is to be discouraged. No, forbidden.

The name of this exception?

Sexual intercourse. 

In this vision of lust set free, there are no moral restrictions. No one will be let off because of feelings of shame or modesty. Every body must be ungrudgingly available to every other body.

But has such a vision been actually added to an avant-garde progressive agenda? Is this concupiscent dream being openly expressed?

Well yes – incipiently. There is a slow viscous movement, likely to flow strongly soon, towards normalizing polygamy, polyamory, “non-monogamism”.

Monogamy is above all things hated by its proponents. But they are not just against marriage and the “nuclear family”. They are for

John Murawski, writing at The Daily Signal, explains what they are for:

Activists are moving to dismantle the legal and social barriers to polyamory, and say their goals are beginning to take shape….

Polyamorists are at present scorned, but the arc of lechery bends towards libertinism:

Not too long ago … marginalized groups [such as homosexuals] were also viewed as unnatural, depraved, or inferior, until negative judgments became socially unacceptable and often illegal.

The aspirations of non-monogamists don’t sound like such a moonshot in an increasingly tolerant society where a transgender man can menstruate and experience childbirth, and Pete Buttigieg, a gay man married to another man, can make a serious run for U.S. president.

As the topic breaks into the mainstream, some churches are beginning to grapple with the issue, and polyamorous students are forming university clubs and organizing events.

“There is plenty of evidence that consensual non-monogamy is an emerging civil rights movement,” said Heath Schechinger, a counseling psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-chair of the Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force, recently created within the American Psychological Association. “I’ve heard from a number of people advocating for relationship structure diversity over the past 20 years who are elated about this issue finally gaining traction.”

What? Is this a satire, you ask? Not at all. The issue is serious and important.

Activists are already working with elected officials in more than a dozen local governments, especially in California, to expand local anti-discrimination ordinances to include a new protected class, “relationship structure,” said Berkeley psychologist and poly activist Dave Doleshal.

Most efforts are at the informal stage but the city of Berkeley did consider a formal proposal to extend protections in housing, employment, business practices, city facilities, or education to swingers, polyamorists, and other non-monogamists.

The proposal stalled last year amid concerns that it would have required employers to provide health insurance to numerous sexual and romantic partners outside of marriage.

Undaunted by that setback, advocates continue to generate a body of ideas and theories that normalize non-monogamy as a form of positive sexuality—and possibly an identity—following a script followed by other marginalized groups.

Their efforts have led to reassessments of non-monogamy in the psychological and legal fields, contending the relationships are emotionally healthy and ethical, and thus forging a social movement with a shared identity, shared vocabulary, shared history, and a shared desire for full recognition.

And, yes, there is already a polyamory pride flag.

 

Over the past two decades, nearly 600 academic papers have been written on the subject of non-monogamy, according to one count, including an assessment of the benefits to children in polyamorous families.

Such research creates a body of scholarship to counteract ingrained social attitudes that poly advocates call prejudices and misconceptions.

At the same time, the field has spawned more than 50 books, mostly written by women, said Kenneth Haslam, 85, a retired anesthesiologist and polyamorist in Durham, North Carolina, who helped create the polyamory history archive at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana.

Brian Watson, author of Annals of Pornographie [sic]: How Porn Became “Bad” (2016), is co-authoring a book on non-monogamy throughout history. He said it will feature 50 to 100 prominent figures, such as Victor Hugo and Virginia Woolf, and is deliberately modeled on earlier works about famous gay people.

Just as women’s rights grew from feminist legal theory and LGBTQ rights from queer theory, non-monogamy is also developing its own historiography, scholarship, and theoretical frameworks.

Still, it’s not easy to pinpoint a polyamorist profile. They are less likely to identify as heterosexual or to conform to gender norms, but academic studies and anecdotal evidence don’t tell a single story.

While some non-monogamists consider themselves neo-pagans, anarchists, or socialists, others are libertarians or outwardly conventional suburbanites.

Some studies say the lifestyle attracts more men, others say more women. Some say it appeals to affluent whites, others say a polyamorist’s average annual income is under $40,000.

(That last sentence does not improve on re-reading.)

In the legal arena, sympathetic scholars are arguing for the extension of legal reforms adopted in family law in recent decades in response to the continued erosion of the nuclear family, which is no longer America’s dominant family structure.

At least a dozen states now recognize or allow for the possibility of a child having more than two parents, an accommodation for surrogate parents, grandparents, stepparents, and other nontraditional families, according to a February legal article by Edward Stein, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York.

These expansions of the legal concept of family are potential pathways for non-monogamous families to win legal rights of their own, Stein said.

Another potential legal opening could be the existing precedents in domestic partnerships and civil unions that were set up locally for gays and lesbians before same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in 2015.

In both cases, legal victories for one group could be extended to another group, a common way that legal developments happen, he said.

The first steps would likely have to be decriminalizing of adultery in the 38 states that don’t distinguish between consensual and non-consensual non-monogamy.

The prohibition of adultery is comparable to anti-sodomy laws whose repeal by the Supreme Court in 2003 cleared an obstacle for recognizing gay marriage, Stein said.

The world of polyamory overlaps with the subculture of kink and BDSM, which refers to the erotic practices of bondage, domination, submission, and sadomasochism. …

Conservatives had long warned that redefining marriage to allow same-sex unions would throw open the door to allowing any kind of marriage, from polygamy to incest.

Incest?

Well, clearly polyamorous non-monogamous persons are less likely to know who their own children are than married heterosexual couples. So isn’t there a danger … ?

We anticipate an answer from the Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force or the University of California, Berkeley:

Are your consensual polyamorous copulations to be postponed because of a possibility that the object of your desire may be your own child or sibling? Are you to wait each time for the results of a DNA test? Ridiculous. The time has come to stop viewing incest as depraved or unnatural and make it socially acceptable and legal.

Because moral progress is unstoppable.

Posted under Anarchy, Leftism, liberty, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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