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The joys of not paying attention

The recent media kerfuffle about some boys from Covington high school and their supposedly awful attacks on some poor old Indian have turned around into a media catastrophe. The leftist press got everything wrong – no surprise – but was apprehended in the act, and had to back off. The entire incident will be forgotten in a week. I present this as an important reason why I try not to participate in the blogging of outrage.

In the time the entire event arose, spread, was refuted, and collapsed, I had to go to hospital for a cardiac procedure. (I am well thank you). The slight risk of actual death has a wonderfully concentrating effect on the mind. I turned to youtube videos about saw mills and cabin building. They are my way of engaging in escapist literature.

More than this, they concentrate me into practical efforts that bring exercise, accomplishment, and deep satisfaction in their wake.

The net tendency of Internet participation is to be constantly aggravated. If you are like me, it will be offended by the leftist assault on reason, history, religion, males, the white race, Christianity and morality. If you are anti-Trump, then everything happening these days will be offensive to you sensibilities. The best way to regain your poise and equanimity is to stop paying attention to the shadow play of politics.

Hokum and voodoo

I realize this is not what a political blog ought to say. Yet I am more concerned with my own health and sanity than I am with Trump, Trudeau or any of the dozens of points of concern, such as Brexit, Venezuala, or building pipelines in Canada. We have to remember that the reasons why we are conservatives is that most of life lies beyond and outside of politics, and it is to those wells that we go to draw our spiritual water.

It started to go bad a long time ago

Sometime ago the elites decided that we are all wrong, and that western civilization needs to be destroyed from inside. Heather MacDonald said this movement of decline and decadence began in the 1960s. She is the author of many good books, The Burden of Bad Ideas published in 2000, is among them.

This is what she sounded like in the year 2000, which is what she says in 2018. She has been right for a long time.

Sally Satel, MD, is worth listening to as well.

Fred Reed: Distributed Cognitive Stratfication

One of my favourite writer-bloggers is Fred Reed. A deplorable before the term was invented, Reed was in the US army as a journalist. He is descended of literate professional Presbyterian stock from the upper South.  He lives with a Mexican wife in Guadalajara, raises his children, and sends reports from strange parts of the globe. This one was from Washington DC:

A wag once described DC as “a federal enclave surrounded on all four sides by reality.” Just so. It is one thing to think Trump a terrible President–I do–but quite another for the national media to have no idea why he was elected. So far as I can tell, none of PC Washington has the slightest idea. This certainly includes the media. Their thinking, if it quite is, comes down to, “They’re stupid. They’re ignorant. They’re racist. They’re sexist. They’re fascist.They’re…evil.

 

The issue that Reed gets to is the complete cluelessness of our social betters in their professed ignorance of why Trump beat Clinton. As an example, Reed writes about the media reaction to Trump’s lewd talk about women in a locker room decades ago, at which the media frothed at the mouth. Not so the electorate.

 

Here we have another example of the gap between the  Bubble and the country. The talking heads exultantly said that because of the groping comments the Donald had just lost any hope of election by insulting women. Which he only barely did, if at all. Yet fifty-three percent of white women voted for Trump. How could this be, wonder the Bubblists?

Easy. White women (outside the Bubble) are intelligent and independent agents who vote according to their politics, circumstances, needs, and beliefs. They did. Apparently they thought  immigration, the economy, jobs, education and so on more important than a couple of lines of dirty talk. Washington, huge on identity politics and political correctness, expected them to be herdable ninnies. Which it expects of most of the country. Well, they weren’t.

And a word from our sponsor, the Internet”

Finally, methinks the Byzantine Kindergarten has badly underestimated  the influence of internet. Among the many intelligent people I know (a fair few, eeeeeek! supporters of trump) the Net has become primary, the media secondary. When the New York Times says something nauseatingly PC, well-informed rebuttals surge across the Web. People on the Net, not constrained by political correctness, can speak of the many topics forbidden in Washington. Sites like the Unz Review, however idiosyncratic and whatever their leanings, attract writers of high intelligence and great expertise, and appeal to similar readers. (In a bid for a place in the Hall of Fame of Linguistic Vandalism, I call this “distributed cognitive stratification.” Is that embarrassing or what?)

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Post script

A propos thinking Trump a bad president:

“It is one thing to think Trump a terrible President–I do–but quite another for the national media to have no idea why he was elected.”

I have not yet reached the conclusion that Trump is a terrible President, though I fear that this may be my final judgment. I reserve any condemnation for the time being, because the results, in terms of international peace or economic recovery, have been superb. But the Mexican wrestling costumed-avenger aspect of Trump is grating. I hope you Trumpians will feel safe enough to admit to yourself your own ambivalence.

Then you turn your attention back to the media and the establishment opinions, and you go: “Yay Trump!! Go get ’em, Donald”.

Listen elites: There is a guillotine in your future if you don’t sharpen up

Image result for gilets jaunes france

 

 

Three articles of value I found in this morning’s sieving of the internet krill through my baleen.  I will let them speak for themselves.

Victor Davis Hanson in American Greatness:

Globalism is both an ideology and a culture of behavior. The creed is that the Western world, given its colonial and imperialist past, has a duty both to make amends to the former third world through magnanimously lending the global community elite Western expertise—whether through Kyoto- or Paris-like climate accords, foreign interventions guided by Western humanitarian principles, asymmetrical trade agreements, open borders, or U.N. mandates.

The globalist alone knows how global warming threatens us and how the ignorant masses must sacrifice to cool things down, how nationalism supposedly causes world wars, how sexism, racism, and homophobia have warped Western, but non-necessarily non-Western, society, and how human nature can be modified to avoid these pathologies through greater coercion, more relevant social education, improved material conditions, and greater secular ecumenicalism—a far better religion than calcified Christendom. The Western consumer—fat, “lazy,” played out—surely does not need any more affluence or income. His nation, therefore, can afford to subsidize, through his superfluous lifestyle, far nobler international crusades for mankind.

The nation-state then is passé. Transnational organizations, the larger and more powerful the better, tame mindless Western chauvinism, while enhancing and making invaluable alternative post-Western paradigms. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the chief executive officer of the World Bank, the Secretary-General of NATO, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the President of the Council of Foreign Relations, the president of CNN Worldwide, all these are certainly to be listened to in a way an elected senator from Kansas, the nuts who stirred up the gilets jaunes, the unhinged Poles and Bulgarians who wanted to build fences on their borders, or renegade British MPs pushing for Brexit should not be.

The Indiscreet Charm of the Gilets Jaunes  by C.J. Hopkins

 

Nothing scares the Identity Politics Left quite like an actual working class uprising. Witnessing the furious unwashed masses operating out there on their own, with no decent human restraint whatsoever, Identity Politics Leftists feel a sudden overwhelming urge to analyze, categorize, organize, sanitize, and otherwise correct and control them. They can’t accept the fact that the actual, living, breathing working classes are messy, multiplicitous, inconsistent, and irreducible to any one ideology. Some of them are racists. Some are fascists. Others are communists, socialists, and anarchists. Many have no idea what they are, and don’t particularly care for any of these labels. This is what the actual working classes are … a big, contradictory collection of people who, in spite of all their differences, share one thing in common, that they are being screwed over by the ruling classes. I don’t know about you, but I consider myself one of them.

And porn is unplugged from Tumblr. Poof! Imagine what they could do to you, what you read, and what you publish?

Then They Came for Tumblr: Yes, Tech Totalitarians Can Just Pull the Plug, by Hubert Collins

Set aside, for just a moment, however you feel about porn, its purveyors, and its connoisseurs. What Tumblr is doing here is really quite incredible. It is purging from its rolls one of its most defining and popular aspects—the ability to post porn.

There are hundreds of thousands, if not more, of loyal Tumblr users who have been running porn-centric blogs for years—some for more than a decade. They have built up voluminous archives to their liking, and in many cases amassed huge followings of folks with similar, shall we say, “tastes.”

Then, one day, Tumblr announced that in fourteen days it will all be gone. It is not just that users will no longer be able to post porn, it is that all porn that has been posted will be deleted—and the WayBack Machine preserves precious few Tumblrs, and in general is bad at preserving photos and videos anyway. Archive.org volunteers are trying: see The frantic, unprecedented race to save 700,000 NSFW Tumblrs for posterity |Volunteers are scrambling to download up to 800 terabytes of content from Tumblr’s adult-themed community before it disappears from view on December 17,By Sean Captain, Fast Company, December 12, 2018.

I think porn is as necessary to human well-being and happiness as toilet paper and flush toilets: they are all so much better than anything that went before. Masturbation is as necessary to human well being as blowing one’s nose or washing. The attack on porn is just the beginning. They always start with porn and the private possession of weapons. They do not stop once they get going.

That is why I am saying that we are in a pre-revolutionary situation. There are days when I can just feel it. And no, I do not have murderous intentions towards our social betters. Superficially I can blend in with upper class twits quite easily, until I spout my opinions. But listening to a few raging anti-Trump snobs, liberal élitists, Davos men and women, I can see some major political disturbances ahead. In fact they are with us now. we have just have to open our eyes. That is why, en passant, I think that Maxime Bernier may (just possibly) have a future in Canadian politics.

 

I work for government

Scene: Ron Swansons’s office in Parks and Recreation

Secretary opens door and asks: “Am I interrupting anything important?”

Ron Swanson: “Impossible, I work for the government”.

While not exactly true, Ron Swanson still delivers a good line. Lower layers of government can use a few staunch libertarians. Higher levels of government can use some conservatives, if by that you mean people with the tragic view of life. The limited vision of government praised by Thomas Sowell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kavanaugh, men and the Democrats

 

“Some people regard rape as so heinous an offense that they would not even regard innocence as a defense.” – attributed to Alan Dershowitz

People! You have seen the wimmyn’s mob try to take down a man whom I and most men believe to be innocent. You have experienced the expression of the racist and sexist notions that a group of white men are, by nature of their race and sex, disqualified from ruling on any matter. You have experienced the unleashing of witch hunts. As Senator Lindsey Graham said to two wimmyn “Why don’t we just dunk him in water and see if he floats?”.

I shall make a few predictions this morning.

  • As a result of what men have witnessed over the past month, they are beginning to realize that innocence is no defence; that their lives can be destroyed at any time by any woman recollecting any indiscretion, advance, or any figment of their (florid) imaginations, which may have occurred, or not occurred, at any point in their lives, including before they were legally adult;
  • that these accusations will cripple and scar their future existence, reputations and earning power, and that they will be held to mob shaming in a pillory of feminist vengeance;
  • That the Democrats have become officially anti-male, not merely pro-female;
  • That men have an interest to defend, that the male sex as a sex has an interest to defend itself from this calumny, harassment, denigration and illegal discrimination;
  • That men as a sex are realizing this fact;
  • That men will shun the Democrats in droves for a decade to come, and that the sex difference in voting Republican or Democrat will get larger, not smaller.
  • Finally, I think that enough people have seen what their future will be under the Democrats that they will provide enough votes for the Republicans to maintain their majorities in House and Senate.

I will say to all men, as males, your future is bleak unless you start resisting, in every dimension of your existence, the insistent, constant, ubiquitous denigration of your sex by the Feminist Thing.

I observe that Scott Adams, in milder but equally emphatic tones, is saying the same thing.

I think people, men especially but not limited to men, have reached their moment of reckoning.

Bret Kavanaugh will be confirmed and appointed. I do not wonder what mood he will be in for the next fifty years.

Refresher course: The constrained and unconstrained vision

 

Thomas Sowell has spent a life time fighting the unconstrained vision which, crudely, comes down to “I know best and there is no institution that should stand in my way of doing good as I conceive it”. The sincerity and passion with which they hold their view is the guarantor of its truth. “Man is born free, and yet everywhere he is in chains” said Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Only bad institutions make us behave badly. Since man is the creature of social arrangements, if we change the institutions we will change man, for the better. Nothing prevents us from the attainment of this goal except reactionaries, people of ill-will, ignorance, and the forces of evil.

Sowell, on the subject of sincerity in politics:

“People who have the constrained vision will understand that people make mistakes. and so therefore when someone says something the disagree with,…they see no need to question his sincerity, his honesty or whatever. But for those with the unconstrained vision, what they believe seems so obviously true, that of you are standing in the way of it, either you must be incredibly stupid, utterly uninformed, or simply dishonest.” (at minute 24 of the interview)

Hence, in the days when I still watched broadcast television, I saw the three political party reps talking about gay marriage (as I recall). The little faggot from the NDP [there is no more swiftly accurate designator] was insisting “we shouldn’t even be debating this”. His views exactly typified why normal people find leftists so intolerant.

And that is how it is with everything on the Left. We should not even be debating this, when what they think should not be debated is precisely what should be debated.

 

More on Google’s interference in the last American election

In case you think that our search engines are neutral, I have a bridge to sell you.

Be assured, as Victor Davis Hanson reports, every Mexican American he knew who spoke English voted for Trump. Apparently 29% of American “Latinos” voted for Trump to the shock of many.

Partisan and pro-Democratic action by Google is undenied. It makes the nonsense about Russian-sponsored  Facebook advertisements seem trifling.

 

 

 

 

 

Scruton on what conservatism is

 

“The goal of the intellectual conservative  is to articulate the real reasons  why you should not have reasons.” At minute 5 of the interview.

“The initial instinct on the Left is outrage at the state of affairs, that things are wrong,  but the only solution for the Left is to seize power. But once you have got power, the negative is still there in your heart, because it’s driven you all along.”

“Without the concept of truth, there is no real exchange between people”

“Power is not a lens through which to see things, it is a corneal transplant” {Hamza Yusuf}

“The typical conservative finds things that he loves and wants to preserve them; the typical person on the left finds things that have gone wrong”

“Language is the evolved gift of previous generations”.

“It’s absolutely true that grammar is elitist, because it makes a distinction between the people that know it and the people that don’t. And that’s the kind of distinction we’er all going to need if we are to survive as a civilization and as individuals too”.

“We mustn’t be too pessimistic about everything”.

Hamza Yusuf is the first Muslim I have heard who makes sense, and explains what is good about Islam. Double bonus.

As Scruton says to Hamza Yusuf, “we are agreeing about too much”.

 

 

Kant versus Cant

This is the text of an opinion piece recently published by Sir Roger Scruton in the Spectator on June 13, 2018.

‘Kant vs cant: How liberals lost their way’ – Spectator Life, June 18

I recently attended an academic seminar, along with some of the most thoughtful and distinguished members of what is sometimes called the ‘liberal establishment’. The topic was ‘the crisis of liberalism’. Many of those present believed that there is such a crisis, and that it is caused by the inability of liberal ideas to prevail over the growing threat of ‘populism’. The thing called populism is amorphous and eludes every attempt to define it. However it is out there and ready to pounce, as it did with the election of Donald Trump, with the vote for Brexit, and with the recent emergence of the Italian Five Star Movement, the German AfD and the National Rally in France, formerly the Front National.

Whether or not there is such a thing as populism, there is certainly such a thing as liberalism. It is associated with the great names of Enlightenment thinking, including Locke, Montesquieu, Hume, Kant and Smith, according to whom the business of government is not to gratify autocratic power, but to maintain individual liberty. Liberalism is the philosophy of limited government. It seeks to reconcile the liberty of citizens with the equal liberty of their neighbours. It has an ideal of civic patriotism, which unites us in a shared commitment to defending the government that protects us all. It leads of its own accord to democratic institutions, since it aims to make government accountable to the people.

Hence liberalism frees the law from all more visceral ties. It regards citizens as equal participants in the political process, regardless of ethnicity, religion or class. We belong together, liberalism tells us, because we ourselves create the law that governs us, with the aim of freeing and protecting us all.

That vision is shared by conservatives too. Even the movements dismissed as ‘populist’ subscribe to the liberal idea of constitutional government. In a real sense we are all liberal constitutionalists now, and the presence among us of religious fanatics prepared to murder in the service of their God has only served to confirm our commitment to the liberal inheritance.

But is that the view of liberals? Liberals, I have discovered, are suspicious of traditional loyalties. They defend alternative lifestyles and nonconformist behaviour. They are not attached to any religious institution and feel the call of patriotic duty only weakly. In the recent referendum they would have voted with the Remainers, and when confronting a Leaver they are likely to sniff out the traces of ‘racism and xenophobia’, which are the odours emitted by populists when cornered by their sophisticated critics.

As a result, when it comes to any form of traditional attachment, liberals are against it. When it comes to the big questions they are resolutely opposed to established interests. They identify with oppositional causes, even if — especially if — it is our tradition of liberal government that is the target. Two recent issues have convinced me of this.

The first is the law that makes hunting with hounds a crime. This aimed to extinguish an activity central to rural society for centuries. Of course hunting has no place on the list of liberal amusements. But either you believe in limited government or you don’t. And if you do, you must recognise, with John Stuart Mill, that the business of government is not to mend our morals but to protect our freedoms. What was most striking was that no self-described liberal spoke out against this outrageous expansion of legislative power. The aim was to extinguish a way of life that was of no interest to liberals. So why should a liberal bother?

The other example is the sexual abuse of young girls by immigrant communities. About these cases (in Rotherham, Oxford, Shrewsbury and elsewhere) nobody in authority would tell the truth until forced to do so, for fear of the ‘racist’ label. ‘Racist’ is an accusation that liberals will go through any amount of contortion to avoid, and if, in order to avoid it, you have to grant immunity to gangs of immigrant criminals, so be it.

These cases remind me that the tradition of liberal government exists because we wish to extend the protection of the law to everyone, regardless of faith, ethnicity or family connections. The fate of the Rotherham girls should have awoken the indignation of the entire liberal elite. But it was the liberals who decided that it was best to keep quiet about it, for it was they who had invented and thrived upon the ‘racism’ meme. I conclude that there is indeed a crisis of liberalism, and that the crisis is liberals.

Published in Spectator Life 13th June 2018