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Four years ago

 

 

 

The media have not changed. They have been against Trump since he announced his candidacy. I took this photograph on October 19, 2016. The Atlantic says “don’t vote for Trump” in the upper right corner. The New Yorker says “last chance to train Trump”. Time said “Total Meltdown”. And the Economist depicts Trump as the asshole of the Republican elephant.

Need I say more? There will be a hoax a week between now and November.

 

 

As the tsunami of unreason crashes against the shores of reason

I feel like an onlooker to a battle in the US Civil War. I can hear the rattle of musketry and the blast of cannon fire. In places our side, the Union, is falling back and needs reinforcements. In others the Confederate onslaughts are being driven back with losses. The outcome is still uncertain, but the generalship is superb. While my eyes tell me that the outcome is still in doubt, my ears are telling me that the attacks are being rebuffed. Our side is firing back accurately. Troops are moving to the right places. Commanders are keeping their cool and feeding in reserves at the right places and times.

General Biden is decomposing before our eyes, as Scott Adams says. General Trump is maintaining his cool. He was boring in his acceptance speech, largely because he was not allowed to be impromptu, and had to read off the teleprompter. His speech was long because he had so much to boast about. And the fascists of Antifa keep reminding us that the fate that awaits us is a perpetual boot to the face for being white.

In my view anti-whitism is the largely unspoken but real issue in the election. I mean that everyone is aware of the claims being made against white people, but no one is explicitly responding in public discourse to the challenge. As Barrelstrength is not in the line of fire we can respond more overtly to this gigantic lie. In brief, the manifest failure of American blacks to equal the performance of other ethnic or racial groups is being attributed to the evil power of systemic racism. Systemic racism is a weird voodoo that, unbeknownst to its practitioners, which are exclusively white people, is an evil emanation of white institutions, thoughts, and culture. Blacks are so feeble that they have fallen under the domination of these evil mojo emanations of Everything in the World made by White People, and since white people made everything in the United States (according to this view), systemic racism cannot be cured until everything white is destroyed.

This view has many white allies, which consist of BLM activists and antifa, and thier dupes in the intelligentsia.

Observe [below] the white woman in the pink sweater being menaced by an angry mob for failing to raise a fist for BLM. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your future, if Biden and the Democrats win. This picture is what the election is about. It is not anything smaller or different. It is not, therefore, about COVID, the economy, China, Russia, or foreign interference in US elections. It is about the future state of white people. Will there be a boot stomping on your face forever for being white, or not?

Seen in that light, the outcome of the election is obvious.

 

 

My ambivalence towards Trump

It is confession time. I was watching the interview between Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution and Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal yesterday. There came the moment at minute 41:00 of the interview when Peter Robinson expressed perfectly how I feel about Trump, as Peter described Trump’s leadership style. Peter holds his forehead and gropes for the right closing question to ask Kimberly Strassel, and he says, “…a lot of people who like Trump (small pause) can’t stand him up to this point” and then he notes how people may have shifted to a more positive view over the past few weeks as the Donald has handled the coronavirus epidemic.

I think I will adopt that phrase as exactly capturing my ambivalent feelings: “Even people who like him can’t stand him“.

I would still vote for him in a heartbeat.

Robinson’s comment was the preface to a more comprehensive question to Strassel about whether in the past few weeks Trump has become “the country’s President”, the guy we need to succeed. To that I say, yes, we need him to succeed.

To the Trumpophobes my reaction may be seen as tragically inadequate, and to the Trumpophiles it may be seen as insufficiently zealous, perhaps. Insufficient zeal is not yet a thought crime. As a position on the Donald I am sticking to it. I like him but I can’t stand him. But he has my vote.

Which is about as relevant as approving of Caesar Augustus if you had lived during his reign, I suppose.

Bloomberg, South Carolina, and the States generally

Mrs Dalwhinnie and I recently drove north from Charleston, South Carolina for several hours to reach the I-95. It was the most depressing landscape of poverty I can recall seeing. Crap towns. Abandoned stores with plywood for windows. No agriculture to speak of, just endless pine forests. Hovels, shacks, bungalows, trailers. Scarcely a middle class, well-maintained house, for hour after hour. Dozens of Protestant churches for every five miles of road. A dozen varieties of Baptist churches, some little better than shacks, one Presbyterian Church for the prosperous, and a few African Methodist Episcopal, which looked positively prosperous next to the Southern Baptist. Two hours of driving on secondary roads through this desolation was utterly weird.

Image result for south carolina pine barrens

Anyone who thinks the US is rich compared to Canada needs to contemplate places like South Carolina before they get too confident. The same poverty exists in New Brunswick too, but I have not seen poverty so extensive as that of South Carolina. The region is a pine barrens. We have something the same as when you drive from Ottawa to Peterborough on Route 7, and come across little shacks selling blueberries. But this is the result of no soil and bare rock. In South Carolina the poverty appears to be without geographic limit.

This brings me to Bloomberg’s spending $500 million on television ads.

Roughly $1.50, for every American: 500 divided by 327

The claim that this would have produced a million dollars for every American is a mistake. The actual amount of Bloomberg’s expenditure would be $1.50 per American, which could get them a Coke or something, and not a million per American, as the people on TV seemed to think. Innumeracy is growing as fast as ignorance, thanks to modern education.

As we drove north on I-95 and then I-81, we did not see prosperity thicken until Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley looks as rich and productive as good soils can make it. At the upper end of it, near Maryland, were huge factories and warehouses, probably serving the Washington-Baltimore-Richmond prosperity zone. Even former coal mining and manufacturing towns of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Binghampton, looked wealthy by comparison to South Carolina.

Mrs Dalwhinnie, who crossed the US in February, said that west of Iowa, a lot of the American West looks much like South Carolina: people living in trailers, scarcely any towns, Walmarts every third town serving as the only shopping available, and hard, hard lives.

These are among the people who will put Trump back into the Presidency. Life may be getting better for the lowest paid of the American population under his nationalist policies, but scarcely soon enough. For the well-off, they have only to look at their retirement savings accounts. They may not like Trump, but they like what he is doing for them.

https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/01/09/trends-in-income-and-wealth-inequality/

Trump at Davos

Trump starts at the 2:26 minute mark. After a recitation of his economic successes, he reminds the audience that the US will never surrender to gloom and catastrophism, before concluding with allusions to the great cathedrals of Europe as emblems of hope, daring, and orientation towards success.

“You are going to be so tired of winning by the time I am through”, he said a while back. The prediction may be coming true.

He declared that in the previous two regimes, the US had lost 60,000 factories, and that since his coming to power, had regained 12,000 of them. 200,000 manufacturing jobs had been lost under Bush Jr. and Obama. This was the principal reason he decided to run, said he.

“The time for skepticism is over”.

He claims his policies are designed to improve the life of the American worker: “A nation’s highest duty is to its own citizens” [at 34:22] Would you not like to hear that coming from Justin Trudeau? “A pro-worker, pro-citizen and pro-family agenda”. Do you seriously imagine Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren have a chance against this?

I am ignoring the Trump impeachment hearings

I believe that what I am seeing on the Intertubes and reading in the papers is no more intelligible a message than the wind shaking the trees in a storm, the babbling of a two year old, even less, the dripping of water off a leaf somewhere on a branch of the Amazon. Crickets chirping in August. A nullity, a farce, a show told by idiots signifying nothing.

Trump did what he said he did. He attempted to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden. He released the transcript of the call. Many people heard it. Many more people have read it. So what?

He was doing a quid pro quo: you want arms? Be useful to me. Admitted, confessed, recorded, done. A crime? No.

Trump will crush the Democrats in the next election and they seek to prevent it by an act of theatre. They are that desperate.

Peggy Noonan says that pro-Trumpers have no defence to offer of Trump. He does not need one. Next they will try to impeach Trump for farting in the washroom. I have dismissed the noises emanating from Washington. You might think about doing so too.

This is what Trump is doing

Very few seem to understand what is happening. This man understands.

Trump is a) remaking the judiciary, b) dealing with China, c) reducing taxes, d) liberating the economy from regulations, and e) getting a grip on immigration.

The will and ability to address China’s behaviour is crucial to understanding what Trump is trying to do.

In other parts of James Rickards’ talk, we learn that inflation lies ahead. Student loans amount to 1.6 trillion USD. Default rates are 20%. The loans are guaranteed by the government. The amount owed is twice the size of the 2008 mortgage crisis.

I told you it was going to get worse

My Washington DC correspondent sent me a one-liner last week: “I told you it was going to get worse.” I confess I had not known what he meant when he said this mid-summer. Then Pelosi unleashed impeachment investigations. I asked for and received this explanation from my well-positioned Washington observer.

“It was clear even then [mid-summer] that the probability that Trump could/would be reelected was high and the Resistance was going to stop at nothing to prevent that. Remember a Trump reelection probably gives him 2 seats on the Supreme Court which would be a permanent shift to conservative principles. 

The Democrats instinctively understand it is nearly impossible to unseat an incumbent president when the economy is humming along and unemployment is a record low levels…and Trump is ending the Forever Wars and has refused to fall into a trap with Iran.

This was confirmed watching the UK use trench warfare
over Brexit.

I think this forthcoming book should explain the thesis.
I read her stuff all the time.

Impeachment is just the beginning ..it is still going to get worse.  The Democrats are playing a dangerous game but in their view they have nothing to lose. Inadvertently the Democrats have damaged Biden which Trump wants.  Remember the 1972 election.  The Watergate episode was in part to find damaging material on the Democrats in order to engineer the most unpalatable candidate to run against Nixon.  They succeeded.  Ed Muskie was discredited  then this set up George McGovern and Nixon got 60% of the popular vote and 49 states.

In a Trump vs Warren election  (where this is going)  IMHO it looks like a 2016 respin.  Warren cannot take PA, MI, WI, Ohio or Florida and lose the Electoral College .   She will also win the popular vote since CA NY NJ and the liberal coasts will mount a massive effort and the cycle begins again.

The Spawn of the Devil vs the Commie Pinko. 

Trumpophobia #5: Absurdistan

Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine this week:

“President Donald Trump is absurd. His presidency is absurd. His party is absurd. We have known this ever since that absurd journey down an escalator, and the surrealism has only intensified since. Perhaps it takes a sane foreigner, not subject to years of almost hourly Trump abuse, to point out the obvious. We have no Executive branch in any meaningful or serious sense. We have a joke that’s wearing thinner by the day. There is no institution or company in America, small or large, that would allow Donald Trump to run or represent it for more than a few days — because most sane institutions see immediately that a rape-y racist with no knowledge base or capacity to learn is an embarrassment, and a huge liability. If appointed the head of, say, a local library on January 20, 2017, Trump would have been fired by January 21.”

Sullivan continues in the same mode of frustration, shame and derision, about Trump’s economic policy, his appearance, and his narcissism.

“He is a tragic farce, driven by and captive to a form of narcissism that is, quite simply, incompatible with any form of responsibility. He is delusional. And the only persuasive thread of his reelection pitch — that the economy is booming — is beginning to fray. And that could make his absurdity even worse: “We know that a humiliated narcissist must release his narcissistic rage somehow.”

After last week’s ugly behaviour towards the Danish Prime Minister about the proposed purchase of Greenland, I could begin to see some of the justification for the outrage. If only a bit. So it was a pleasant refuge to be with two other Trumpophiles last night. One of them was a European immigrant of long ago to the United States, a successful boat builder and designer.

My friend’s point was that everything Trump is doing is necessary to get control of the vast increases of the US population that have occurred in the last sixty years. In 1960 US population stood at 180.7 million people. In 2017 it stood at 327.2 million: it less than doubled. In Canada, the population in 1960 was 17.9 million people, whereas it is 36.9 million, which is more than double the 1960 figure. There would be few in Canada who would object to the level of immigration to Canada. Why the difference in feeling about population growth through immigration?

The essential feature of Canadian (and Australian) immigration is the points system that assures us we are creaming off the best the world has to offer. The problems with US immigration policy are many, but most of it concerns the inability of the US authorities to be more discriminating. Most of their immigrant streams are qualified by family unification, rather than by their talents. And the quasi-open border on its southern frontier is allowing a huge influx of illegal migrants. A useful description of how US immigration works (or does not) is given in Peter Brimelow’s Alien Nation, still relevant after twenty four years, since the law has not changed.

The other feature of President Trump’s regime that we were able to see – it takes a little space of tolerance – was the following. No President in my memory has demonstrated having as much fun with the job as Trump. Every day he makes a move; he takes apart an opponent. He shucks and jives. He distracts. He whacks. He appeals to the kind of low information voter who likes to watch wrestling. Those who have seen the connection between Trump and professional wrestling are on to something. Trump’s vulgarity dismays the upper classes, and enthuses the lower, for his regime. I feel a little perverse, perhaps, but I really enjoy Trump as an entertainer. “Life is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think.” Trump is high comedy, and no one is calling him on it.

Above all, Trump is enjoying his job and his own performance. I know it goes with being a narcissist, but his attitude is also compatible with being conscious of doing a good job.

I know, the idea is scary. For a good and rational description of what Trump and his regime are up to, try Peter Zeihan’s latest video presentation. The whole purpose is to overcome the effects of all the off-shoring of US jobs that has occurred in the last forty years. Whether he succeeds or not is unknown, but that he is trying is a certainty.