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Posts Tagged ‘Class Warfare

Breaking News for those who lack self-awareness

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When I saw this I almost could not believe it. Even though I’ve long been very down on the MSM and its “journalists”, the following piece is still breathtaking even for me.

Is it a lack of self-awareness? Or perhaps just a lack of awareness in general – like of recent history and current affairs?

Really, Mr Melber of MSNBC? Really? It sounds terrifying! What would that look like, because I’m having a tough time even imagining it – but I’ll give it a shot?

I’m seeing…. a tech monopoly suppressing a major story about a corrupt POS presidential candidate who spawned a son who is an even bigger POS with booze, drugs and the ladies and who grifts millions of dollars from Chinese and Russian oligarchs and corrupt Ukrainian front companies?

No? Okay. How about this?

I’m seeing …. a tech monopoly using secret algorithms to throttle speakers of one political bent while boosting those of another political bent? Or using its algorithmic power as a publisher (not a platform) to falsely claim that some unpopular stories are “Trending” and to falsely claim that some actually-trending stories are not? And all this to crush the reach of news that hurts one political party and one political ideology?

Crazy no?

Where the fuck has this prick been in the last two years? Or perhaps he’s just fallen so far into gaslighting mode that he wipes his memory each night so that he doesn’t go insane with all the cognitive dissonance?

And also right on schedule is this….

Complete with talk about “reforming section 230” and “anti-trust reform” and all the crazy stuff that a goodly (and growing) portion of US right-wingers have been pushing for several years now.

My goodness, where did that suddenly come from? What a coincidence that it came just a day after Musk takes over Twitter.

That’s government intimidation, isn’t it? That’s the government saying, “You will enforce our chosen narrative on a range of issues via censorship of your users – or we will act punitively against your monopoly position.” Sure sounds like it to me, and the response of the GOP to this will be to say how they’re not like that, even as the owners and employees of those companies snigger at their desks, curse the GOP, donate overwhelmingly to the Democrats, curse the Right even more and do everything with their considerable online power to screw them over.

This is why the GOP is often called by its own voters The Stupid Party.

In fact those voters been begging the GOP for some time now to get their useless backsides into gear and rip away the cover of Section 230 from the likes of Twitter, Facebook and their ilk, given the fact that, despite the well intentioned motives of protecting the fledging Web in the 1990’s, they’ve been acting as publishers not platforms for quite some time now in their censoring zeal:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

The grass-roots have also begged the GOP to go full Teddy Roosevelt and start using trust-busting measures against Google and their ilk – only to be greeted with whinging about the “principles” of the libertarian, pro-corporate Right-Wing when it comes to the state and private sector companies – well, giant private sector companies at least. Look at the recent moans from the National Review crowd (and others on the Corporatist Right) about the Florida GOP actions taken against Disney.

Now that the Democrats have breached that particular dam perhaps the GOP will jump on the issue. Still, it would not be surprising if The Stupid Party decides that defending Google, Facebook, Twitter and company against such outrages is a winning issue in 2022, thereby condemning themselves to a tiny win or perhaps even a tiny loss this year, rather than the Red Tsunami they’re currently on target for.

A chart worth a thousand words

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The Vet had a cartoon with this title the other day. This one is an equally powerful chart.

It’s out of the USA of course, but knowing some Wellington bureaucrats as I do, it’s likely that the same results would be found here in New Zealand

Written by Tom Hunter

December 23, 2021 at 3:26 pm

A Civil Break, not a Civil War.

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… “we don’t eat the same breakfast cereal anymore. We don’t read the same newspapers. We don’t consume the same news. We’re divided in every way, shape, and form in our culture, and thus it translates downstream into our politics”. 

In this post a few months ago I took a look at the growing talk about a possibility of second American Civil War.

But a second take on the matter has begun to emerge in the wake of the results of two criminal trials. The first is for young Mr Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty on all charges for having killed two Antifa members attacking him, plus wounding a third who aimed a pistol at his head. The second was for Mr Smollay, who was found guilty on all but one charge of faking an attack on himself by “racist, homophobic MAGA deplorables”.

Both trials have revealed that the split in the USA between two populations that has been observed at least since 2008, is growing wider. This is explored in a couple of articles. America on the Verge, and One Angry Nation, Two Wildly Divergent Explanations, both written after the Rittenhouse trial. In the first the writer looks directly at the context of the Rittenhouse shootings in 2020:

Political violence was worse in the 1960s and 1970s, but yesterday’s extremists lacked institutional backing. Today’s left-wing racial radicalism is different from the outbursts of the Vietnam and civil rights era. The inner-city explosions of the 1960s were ugly and destructive, but also unplanned and unapproved by those in power.

Compare then and now, when the most widespread and destructive urban violence in 50 years was cheered on by the mainstream media, the Democratic Party, and activist groups funded by corporate America. In 2020 alone, Black Lives Matter got $12 million from Google, and $10 million each from Amazon and Facebook. The organization received millions from video game companies, retail companies, manufacturers, hotels, sports leagues, celebrities, and wealthy individuals. 

U.S. embassies and federal agency headquarters unfurled Black Lives Matter flags as cities burned

That is a huge change between the two epochs of civil violence. It’s as if the various institutions of the USA want themselves to be destroyed. Given how many of the contemporary ruling class have marinated in decades of Leftist education whose analysis of the US is of a nation wracked by unforgivable Original Sins, that should not be a surprise. It’s why almost all of the same people jumped on the Smolley story to proclaim him as a victim and then Rittenhouse as the oppressor. They also likely think they can escape the destruction.

America still stands on the precipice of a dark abyss. The fact is, we live in a society where mass political violence has been normalized, and because it’s being used as a political and ideological bludgeon to threaten and intimidate the people of this country, the authorities have abdicated their responsibility to protect life and property. The people who have created these conditions are the same baying for the blood of Kyle Rittenhouse for defending himself from three of their own.

The second article is an analysis by one Peter Wood of a book recently published that tries to explain what’s going on in the USA, the author having interviewed a lot of Trump supporters

We Americans have become an angry bunch. On that Evan Osnos and I agree. Osnos is a staff writer for the New Yorker whose new book, Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury, surveys some of the same territory as my new book, Wrath: America Enraged. But on why we are angry and what it all means, Osnos and I diverge.

Osnos apparently wrote a very flattering book about Joe Biden and his campaign for President so that, plus being a writer from The New Yorker, gives a taste of where his latest work is going. According to him it’s all about irrational fear, starting with the 9/11 attacks:

Trump, the Tea Party, the NRA—they all made use of that rising unease of Americans who could not quite put a name to the anxieties they felt about the disordering of their world, about the puncturing of American invincibility, the browning of America, the vanishing of jobs to automation, the stagnation of their incomes. The language of force gained ground, Sarah Palin, in her appearances at Tea Party rallies and online, made frequent use of metaphors from the Revolutionary War and the world of guns. ‘Don’t retreat, reload,’ she liked to say.

Wood thinks this is merely the usual explanation that the Left loves…

… to psychologize away the dissatisfactions of the tens of millions of Americans.. who can’t quite put a name on their anxieties are the easily manipulated dupes of demagogues such as Palin and Trump…As Osnos puts it, those “already stewing in economic or racial resentment,” were not in possession of an ideology but had “a rootlessness of the mind—a loss of purpose, inspiration, and community.” 

Wood sees two things instead. First, that outbursts like this are a familiar part of American history and that the seeds of the current decay started a lot further back than 9/11 with the decline of admiration for self control and the rise of a new permission to display anger working its way into the broader culture. Second, that there are real reasons for the anger of the people that Osnos “analyses”:

Somehow missing in his 400-page plus account are the words that are seared in the memories of a great many Americans… Deplorables and bitter clingers are touchstones for almost every working-class Trump supporter I have ever talked with, and it seems odd that Osnos never mentions those words, despite quoting copiously from Hillary and Obama, and despite his interviewing a fair number of working-class Trump voters.

It’s notable that Obama’s contempt was actually aimed at Democrat voters who chose Hillary Clinton over him in the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, and that Hillary attacked him for his “arrogance” as well as being “elitist and out of touch” – before doing the same thing in 2016. Those voters likely still voted for Obama in 2008. In 2016 many must have voted for Trump when he won that same state.

[Had Osnos heard them it] would cast doubt on the idea that the Tea Party and the populist movement that followed it were rooted in “fear.” The roots of that movement were righteous fury, not baffled distress or unfocused anxiety. People understood perfectly well that a new governing class had arisen determined to overturn democratic norms and our self-governing republic and to replace them with domination by self-serving “experts” and a globalized elite.

English ex-pat writer (and North England Working Class boy) Clive Crook, had spotted this in 2016, Donald Trump, Class Warrior, which is very much worth re-reading together with these pieces.

Apparently Osnos thinks that things will calm down after a while and these people “will settle down to enjoy the normalcy of American life. The normalcy he has in mind, of course, is the dispensation of permanent progressive government.

Woods does not agree and explains why in both the article and in his own book, Wrath. In this he would no doubt be interested in the following two comments. The first one from the Chicago Boyz blog, written a year ago:

We’re already at the split. We read different books, watch different movies and television shows – those of us who still watch movies and television – follow different celebrities, earn a living in different ways, educate our children differently. We honor different things, different heroes and heroines, have wildly different aspirations and hopes for the future. We are already split.

The second almost identical one made just the other day by a Pearl Harbour historian while being interviewed about that attack:

“[Andrew Breitbart] once said, very adroitly, that politics is downstream from culture. Our culture, we don’t eat the same breakfast cereal anymore. We don’t read the same newspapers. We don’t consume the same news. We’re divided in every way, shape, and form in our culture, and thus it translates downstream into our politics. I personally think — and not that I’m hoping, I’m just an observer — but I think the United States is heading toward a breakup. It’s already happening.”

That means the numbers on this map may mean something more than just an escape from Democrat areas of high taxes, over-regulation, high crime and poor government – and the eventual result being much more than just Red states continuing to gain House seats from Blue states.

See also Secessionitis and Greater Idaho.

Angelo Codevilla on our Ruling Class

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He was killed by a drunk driver a few days ago while walking along a footpath. He was 78 and had just recovered from Covid-19.

Life eh?

You’ve probably never heard of the man. I had not until 2010 when he wrote a seminal article, America’s Ruling Class. But he had quite a background, outlined here, as a keen critic of the Pentagon and a progenitor of the Strategic Defense Initiative that Reagan pushed.

Among his many fine books are a translation of Machiavelli’s Prince, and several books on war, strategy, and intelligence that hold up very well even at a remove of 30 years in some cases. Especially recommended is his book The Character of Nations, which holds up very well because it draws upon vast historical learning that never goes out of style. His co-authored book with Paul Seabury, War: Ends and Means, is also a fantastic primer on how to take warfare seriously. And his book on intelligence, Informing Statecraft, is also a classic that can be read to great use today, because it was less about transient facts such as the Soviet Union and more about the defective culture of our “intelligence” community.

A learned but practical man then, not ignorant of politics and bureaucracy.

But back to that 2010 article, which I strongly urge you to read in light of all that has happened since. For me these are the key excerpts:

As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors’ “toxic assets” was the only alternative to the U.S. economy’s “systemic collapse.” In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets’ nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. 

Fear! The strange thing is that it was the MSM, with their usual addiction to fear pornography, plus many other political and “thought” leaders who seemed to be more frightened than the public. Moreover, when the time came to shove money at the banks, a number of the largest objected, for the simple and sound reason that they weren’t the ones who had indulged in the CDO insanity and were not in trouble. But the collective won out.

The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one. When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term “political class” came into use. 

Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public’s understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the “ruling class.”

And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class.

He makes it clear that the Republican’s “pivot” on some of these things was meaningless partisanship:

Although after the election of 2008 most Republican office holders argued against the Troubled Asset Relief Program, against the subsequent bailouts of the auto industry, against the several “stimulus” bills and further summary expansions of government power to benefit clients of government at the expense of ordinary citizens, the American people had every reason to believe that many Republican politicians were doing so simply by the logic of partisan opposition. After all, Republicans had been happy enough to approve of similar things under Republican administrations. Differences between Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas are of degree, not kind.

No prominent Republican challenged the ruling class’s continued claim of superior insight, nor its denigration of the American people as irritable children who must learn their place. The Republican Party did not disparage the ruling class, because most of its officials are or would like to be part of it.

But it is the following passages that are the key point about this new class, which increasingly apply across the Western democracies, and which lead to things like this, and this from our “leaders”. Codevilla contrasts the past American rulers with those of today:

Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and “bureaucrat” was a dirty word for all. So was “social engineering.” Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed.

Actual diversity then, even within the ranks of the wealthy and powerful.

All that has changed. Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters — speaking the “in” language — serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America’s ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.

He then contrasts this ruling class with the rest of America:

The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century’s Northerners and Southerners — nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, “prayed to the same God.” By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God “who created and doth sustain us,” our ruling class prays to itself as “saviors of the planet” and improvers of humanity. Our classes’ clash is over “whose country” America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what. The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark’s Gospel: “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

See also:

The Hunger Masks
Do as I say, not as I do
Generational Toxicity
A second American Civil War

Written by Tom Hunter

September 23, 2021 at 12:35 pm

A second American Civil War

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It’s been developing for a few years now.

Back in early 2017 there were developing conversations on the US Left about how the USA was slowly moving towards a second Civil War as a result of the horror that was Donald Trump.

There have been apocalyptic predictions before when American Presidents have been elected, so many that it has become a movie trope, some even with Presidential approval.

But I can’t help thinking that the USA is creeping closer and closer to this precipice, and today’s speech by President Biden may be that tipping point. Observe.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice.”

Words from an American President, the inheritor of 234 years of … ?

“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated”

In movie terms this is called “The Setup” where you explain who the bad guys are and why they’re the bad guys.

“Our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us”.

Come on Vet, Wayne Mapp, David Farrar, and all the rest of the people who cursed Donald Trump as a potential dictator of the USA. What say you now?


“Biden says GOPers are murderers…” An exaggeration you say? Stretching his words? I don’t think so.

If these governors won’t help, I will use my powers as president and get them out of the way.”

The only saving grace here is that this is a threat as hollow as the pathetic, dim, senile old man who has uttered it. But given what can be done to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by people with even some control over the Federal institutions of the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, ATF and a dozen other agencies, you have to wonder how far away we are from something far beyond January 6.

Here’s another optimistic take:

Biden campaigned relentlessly on the pandemic. He blamed Donald Trump for it, ridiculously, and pledged to end the pandemic. He expected the vaccines that were about to become available (thanks in part to Trump) to do the trick, and he expected the end of the pandemic and the resulting economic surge to ensure his popularity.

It hasn’t worked out that way, and voters are holding Biden responsible.

That’s why he has reversed course on vaccine mandates. It’s an act of desperation.

Want to know the really good news? China has been waiting for decades to be able to subvert the USA. Given the internal divisions already existing in the USA, how hard would it really be to just provide a push.

Or, over a decade, a lot of little pushes.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 10, 2021 at 10:28 pm

American Billionaires go long on China

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This doesn’t shock me of course, but it does sadden me that three men who owe almost everything they’ve got to the American system of capitalism and democracy could be so ignorant of that fact, to the extent that they don’t seem to care if it crashes.

In this case it’s three billionaires in particular, but given the circles they run in you can bet there’s plenty more where they came from.

Charlie Munger

First up is one Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman (net worth $US 2 billion):

The Chinese Communists did the right thing. They just called in Jack Ma and said, “You aren’t gonna do it, sonny.” 

He’s actually talking about Chinese billionaire and entreprenueur Jack Ma, a former schoolteacher who co-founded the gigantic Albaba e-commerce firm. To be fair, Munger does go on to say the following:

I don’t want the, all of the Chinese system, but I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country.

Thank goodness for that much. However, this genius apparently cannot see that you don’t get to have one part of such a system without having the rest. Munger also doesn’t seem to have noticed that if the CCP can take out Jake Ma (net worth $US 50 billion) then they could take out Munger and company too were he to step into areas of disagreement with the CCP.

Michael Bloomberg

Then there’s Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of NYC and 2020 Democrat Presidential candidate (net worth $US 60 billion):

“The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public . . . Xi Jinping is not a dictator.”

If I recall my history correctly even Stalin listened to his critics and would occasionally follow their recommendations – while at the same time putting extra eyes on them, readying them for the counter-revolutionary trials if he felt like it.

Then there’s the richest of the three, Bill Gates ($US 150 billion) giving a thumbs up to China’s Covid-19 response:

“What China did is helping the rest of the world.”

“China did a lot of things right in the beginning,”

China must be over the moon about such things. Who needs the Peoples Liberation Army, Navy and Air Force, or even the Confucius Institutes to help “educate” American youth about China, when you’ve got people like this on your side.

To have the most effective critics of America placed not in Beijing but in America itself; in corporate boardrooms, campuses, newsrooms, Hollywood, Wall Street, and now even the Pentagon. That’s one hell of an achievement and the funny thing is that the Chinese really had very little to do with it.

But they certainly are taking advantage of it:

The opening salvo in this all-out campaign was fired at the U.S.-China summit in Alaska on March 19. The Chinese delegation, besides publicly humiliating the Biden administration, used the summit to accuse the U.S. of “deep-seated” racism. Chinese representatives referred to the propaganda put out by the BLM movement to accuse the U.S. of ‘slaughtering’ Black Americans.

The same day, China used the floor of the U.N. General Assembly to make similar claims. China’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dai Bing accused the U.S of “deep-seated problems of racial discrimination, social injustice and police brutality.”

It’s no surprise that US Secretary of State Blinken sat silently through that Alaskan beating by the Chinese, for what response could he actually make to accusations that his own Democrat Party, indeed his own fucking President, had made about his own nation.

Many of the ideas adopted by the Alinsky-inspired New Left in the 60s and 70s came from the violent Cultural Revolution instigated by Mao Zedong in China between 1966-76. Thus ‘political correctness’ is not a woke concept developed by Western academics in Princeton or Harvard, but a notion rooted in the doctrine of Maoism. Today’s woke mob derives its intolerant instincts to ban ideas, cleanse the language, or purge its opponents from their ideology steeped on genocidal Marxism and Maoism.

Thus comes the full circle.

Still, throughout history, smart people have been notorious for making very dumb mistakes, for there is a difference between being smart and being wise. As the following Spectator article by Melissa Chen points out, the CCP may have recently moved too far and too fast:

But the party’s increasing insecurity about its grip on power led China to turn inward and ultimately, with the rise of Xi Jinping who purged corruption in the politburo to preserve loyalists and removed presidential term limits, it fell back to a personality cult not seen since Mao. Steadily in the last few years and particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, China has turned the world against it by proving itself to be an irresponsible world actor.

After a century of existence, the CCP has made a strategic mistake and played its hand too early, revealing the game and the true nature of the party. How should we respond in the next century?

That last is a question the likes of Bloomberg and company have not even asked from the perspective of 2020/21. They’re still stuck in the early 2000’s with regard to China.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 6, 2021 at 2:30 pm

What journalists don’t know

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An interesting article on the topic of how increasingly disconnected journalists are from the societies they live in and report on.

It’s from a US perspective but I think the same thing applies in NZ. Sure, there are journalists for Farmers Weekly and the like, but the dominant faces and voices are concentrated in Auckland and Wellington.

This is Charles Cook in National Review; Have Journalists Ever Met the People They Write About?

This isn’t a conservative-vs.-progressive thing. It’s not a Republican-vs.-Democrat thing. It’s not a coastal-elite-vs.-flyover-country thing. It’s not even a Trump thing. It’s a journalists-vs.-normal-people thing. Outside of the narcissistic and incestuous Thunderdome that houses the American media, it remains the case that people simply do not think in the way that the Beltway-media class believes they do.

They are not traumatized by the daily news. They do not make key life decisions based upon the behavior of the president, nor wait for him to leave office before deciding that they are so disturbed that they no longer wish to work. They are not fixated upon the latest congressional MacGuffin or the implications of a given riot or the occasional mistakes of the police. And when they are looking to enjoy a good “cultural drama,” they do not look for it in the same places as the editors of the Washington Post do.

Only journalists and politicians do that. Why? Because they’re freaks. I mean that quite seriously, and I happily include myself in the description.

Cough … freaks … cough. Yes, well the difference is that freaks like moi don’t have a platform reaching vast numbers of people, and I’m well aware of where I sit in society:

People who argue about the national news every day are straight-up oddities — doubly so when they do it from New York or Washington, D.C.; triply so if they do it in pursuit of a comprehensible political ideology; and quadruply so if they do it using the digital funhouse we call Twitter. Don’t mistake me: There’s nothing wrong per se with being a weirdo. It’s a free country.

But there is a lot wrong with being a weirdo who is totally unaware that he is a weirdo. And there’s even more wrong with being a weirdo who spends his days projecting his own interests, obsessions, anxieties, pathologies, and ideologies onto an unwitting and normal population that is nothing at all like him, while claiming that he is giving a voice to that same unwitting and normal population. Increasingly, I see it accepted that “Twitter isn’t real life.” Well, journalism isn’t, either, I’m afraid.

It reminds me much of Englishmen Clive Crook, who wrote a very interesting article in 2015 analysing the rise of Trump by contrasting the area he lived and worked in – Washington D.C – with the area he was going to retire in, West Virginia, Donald Trump, Class Warrior:

I’m a British immigrant, and grew up in a northern English working-class town. Taking my regional accent to Oxford University and then the British civil service, I learned a certain amount about my own class consciousness and other people’s snobbery. But in London or Oxford from the 1970s onwards I never witnessed the naked disdain for the working class that much of America’s metropolitan elite finds permissible in 2016.

That’s a hell of statement coming from a product of the English class system. And the US MSM are right in with those attitudes. Back to Cook’s article:

Once again, I must ask: Has the average member of the press corps ever actually met anyone in America?

Secessionitis and Greater Idaho

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In the last twenty years, every time a Republican has been elected President, there has been a squall of voices from Lefty celebrities about how they’re going to move to Canada or some other clime more hospitable to the Left.

Because of their lightweight nature, few people take any notice of them, especially since it’s been heard three times now (2000, 2004, 2016), but with no appreciable followup actions on their part, aside from crashing the Canadian Immigration website on election night 2016.

Still, the calls are growing louder with each subsequent Republican victory. After the 2016 election no less an august personage than Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reflected that she might have to retire to New Zealand. I’m sure she would have appreciated our lack of a written constitution since she never seemed overly impressed by the US one.

But these calls have often applied to individual states, and it does go the other way, though in a more joking form. Hence the occasional cracks from Texans when a Democrat gets elected President. In their case they have more history behind them, since Texas stood as an independent nation for a few years before joining the Union.

More often, and more seriously, California is regarded as the state that could secede. It’s the world’s fifth largest economy on its own, it has long regarded itself as quite different to the rest of the USA (and vice versa – even the Lefties of Chicago and New York consider California to be “weird”), and given its natural resources and gifts it could theoretically stand on its own. I say theoretically because its government and people seem determined to screw their gifts up with government policies.

The thing is that while the Californian Left may talk of this occasionally, there actually have been plans made by their fellow Californians for a different proposal; for parts of the state to secede from California and form new states:

Frankly I can’t see “Northern California” doing too well with San Francisco and all its insanity still embedded. Better to let that belong to the coastal state, along with LA. It’s what most people think of when they consider the current state anyway. One billionaire venture capitalist has taken that into account with his proposal for six states to be carved out of California:

Admittedly getting six rather than three states is a tougher deal, but for various reasons none of this is likely to happen, as with this proposal for the state of Oregon, although it’s counties themselves making the push, and they’re hoping to pull in surrounding neighbours to Greater Idaho:

The grassroots group Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho wants to move Oregon’s mostly rural eastern and southern counties into Idaho, believing they’d be better served in the neighboring state’s more conservative political environment.

That would leave a small portion of Oregon, including Portland, Salem, Eugene and Bend.

Phase 2 of the plan would bring in parts of southeast Washington and northeast California. The California counties under consideration, the group says, are Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Modoc, Lassen, part or all of Plumas, and parts of Butte and perhaps Sierra.

The California area includes Redding, which would become Idaho’s fourth-largest city.

There’s always a boundary that cannot be crossed and such was observed by a South Carolina politician during the increasing arguments over secession prior to the Civil War:

“South Carolina is too small for a Republic and too large for an insane asylum”.

But the real stumbling block to all this is that the originating state has to approve of such things. This has happened in the past, perhaps most notably with West Virginia. It was originally part of Virginia until it was admitted as a new state in 1863 after the General Assembly of the “Restored Government of Virginia” (heh, heh, heh) magically consented to the request in 1862. Now you may wonder how Virginia consented since it was one of the Confederate states. What happened was that anti-secessionist Virginians formed a government in exile during the Civil War and were recognised by the Federal Government, which then approved the state’s partition.

I doubt the Democrat leaders of these states, nor their partners in crime in Washington D.C. will allow this to happen to them again, especially since it would lead an influx of new, and decidedly. non-Left Wing senators. However, since such accommodations were made in the past perhaps several such things could be negotiated across the nation so that things are kept even at the Federal level.

But further down in the grassroots of the US left it turns out that these proposals may actually get some traction:

Basically they think it’s a great idea for their Democrat Controlled One Party cities to detach themselves from all those useless rural areas that create no IT billionaires and other Super Smart People but produce food, oil, gas, timber, and minerals, as well as being fiscally conservative along with having healthy communities and little crime.

Nothing would make me happier than to divide all urban areas from all non-urban areas and separate entirely.

Let’s do it.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 26, 2021 at 6:00 am

The Power and The Glory

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I don’t like linking to MSM sources, especially the $1 item known as Newsweek, but if they’re willing to publish an article by J.D.Vance then I figure it’s worth it.

Vance is the author of the massive best-selling book, Hillbilly Elegy, published in 2016 and foreshadowing the rise of populism within the Republican Party, epitomised by the political success of Trump that year in winning the GOP Presidential primary and then the 2016 election:

Vance describes his upbringing and family background while growing up in the city of Middletown, Ohio, the third largest city in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. He writes about a family history of poverty and low-paying, physical jobs that have since disappeared or worsened in their guarantees, and compares this life with his perspective after leaving it.

But in the Newsweek article Vance describes the new world he has been increasingly encountering as he begins to move through “elite” circles, courtesy of the success of his book (recently made into a film by Ron Howard). For Vance it’s a bit of shock:

One of the things I had no idea about, coming from a working-class background, is that America’s ruling class loves to celebrate how much power and money it has. I call these “masters of the universe” events, and they’re held all over the country in fancy hotels, ski lodges and beach resorts. On this particular evening, my wife and I found ourselves at a roundtable with the CEO of a large hotel chain on our left, and a large communications conglomerate on our right.

The Republicans, we’re often told, are the party of the rich and famous. Yet nearly everyone assembled at this dinner simply loathed Donald Trump. He was the focus of nearly every conversation.

Nothing unusual about that but then my background is not as harsh as Vance’s; I’ve always been aware of how many rich people are left-wing.

Well, “left-wing” about certain subjects, but not others, those closest to their moneymaking hearts:

And then the hotel CEO announced, “Trump has no idea how much his policies are hurting business. I mean, we can’t keep people for $18 an hour in our hotels. If we’re not paying $20, we’re understaffed. And it’s all because of Donald Trump’s immigration policies.”

There are those in the Free Trade/Free Market world who treat immigration as simply one facet of that, which it is. The likes of Peter Creswell are especially vociferous about having completely open borders: Open Borders Are A Trillion Dollar Idea.

But as Vance puts it from his perspective:

Let’s pause for a second to appreciate one of the wealthiest men in the world complaining about paying hard-working staff $20 an hour. The only thing he was missing was the Monopoly Man hat and cane.

And I’ll bet he voted for Joe Biden and probably every Democrat down the line, on that issue alone. Increased tax rates he can ignore.

His argument, while vile, was at least intellectually honest:

“Normally, if we can’t find workers at a given wage, we just get a bunch of immigrants to do the job. It’s easy. But there are so few people coming in across the border, so we just have to pay the people here more.” 

Something which showed up clearly in the income stats for 2018-2019, with the lowest income levels making the biggest gains in more than twenty years, not to mention the positive impact on Black and Hispanic rates of employment. Vance nails the central point:

It’s about money. Nearly every major business and financial leader in this country is a supporter of the Democratic Party. They love illegal immigration for the simple reason that their livelihoods are subsidized by illegal immigration—while illegal aliens themselves are subsidized by the taxpayer. It’s a redistribution scheme from the poor to the rich. More immigration means lower wages for their workers and easier access to servants for their decadent personal lives.

Yeah, those lawns aren’t going to mow themselves, and this redistribution scheme is protected by that magical word, “racism”.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 6, 2021 at 10:55 am

The Revolutionary Pigs Begin to Walk on Two Feet

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US Historian Victor Davis Hanson lives and teaches in California, his lifelong home state. Moreover he remains living in a farm house in the Central Valley built by his ancestors over a hundred years ago, commuting to the coast each week for his lectures. Raised on the farm and with a WWII Vet as a father he is able to see the rural/city divide but also that between the Big Tech class of the Coast and the working classes of the rest of the state and the changes over the decades. He’s not the first or the only one to observe how rapidly that divide is growing, but his experience of university in the 1960’s also allows him to draw the connections from today all the way back to that era, as he does in his article, Our Animal Farm, first setting the scene of more than fifty years ago:

First, remember the 1960s and 1970s agendas of the once impotent, young, and supposedly idealistic leftist revolutionaries. We were lectured 60 years ago that “free speech” preserves were needed on university campuses to be immune from all reactionary administrative censorship. Transparency and “truth” were the revolution’s brands.

The First Amendment was said by them to be sacred, even as the “free speech movement” transitioned to the “filthy speech movement.” Leftists sued to mainstream nudity in film. They wanted easy access to pornography. They mainstreamed crude profanity. The supposed right-wingers were repressed. They were the “control freaks” who sought to stop the further “liberation” of the common culture.  In those days, the ACLU still defined the right of free expression as protecting the odious, whether the unhinged Nazis, the pathetic old-Left Communists, or nihilistic Weather Underground terrorists. 

“Censorship” was a dirty word. It purportedly involved the religious bigots and medieval minds that in vain had tried to cancel ideological and cultural mavericks and geniuses from Lenny Bruce to Dalton Trumbo. “Banned in Boston” was a sign of cretinism. Only drunken “paranoids” like Joe McCarthy resorted to “blacklists.” We were reminded that the inferior nuts tried to cancel the brilliant careers of their betters whom they disliked, or feared.

Snooping, surveillance, wiretaps—all that and more was awful—the purported work of nutty J. Edgar Hoover. His flat-topped, wing-tipped “G-men” usually outnumbered Black Panthers, Weathermen, and SDS members at secret strategy sessions. 

Hollywood went wild in the 1960s and 1970s by warning us about “them.” Endless movies detailed the solo efforts of heroes, who were watched and threatened by the “government,” working hand in glove, of course, with either corporations or the “rich.” In films like “Three Days of the Condor,” “The Conversation,” or “Blowup,” we were warned of the nefarious powers of surveillance. 

Journalists, professors and students were in the forefront of all this, “speaking truth to power”, and so forth, and this was developing well into the 1980’s when I was at varsity. The so-called “neo-liberal” revolutions (technically viewed by the Left as Reactionary counter-revolutions) of Reagan, Thatcher and here in NZ, Roger Douglas, only made the Left-wing fight harder as they they saw all those 1960’s dreams being crushed.

Reporters were either iconoclastic Gonzos or shoe-leather investigators on the scent of deep state overreach. They were obsessed with wrongdoing at the CIA and FBI. Politicians, of course, weren’t to be trusted—given the corporations who pulled their puppet strings.

The enemy of America, we were told, was the “big guys,” especially the international conglomerates like ITT with global reach. The corporationists refined the arts of the cartel, trust, and monopoly. “Small is beautiful” was the antithetical mantra. Radical sons of the Left crusaded against “dirty money” and “the plutocratic rich” with their “concentration of wealth”—as if the Rockefellers or the Gettys posed existential threats to America by their abilities to insert huge amounts of cash to warp elections or to buy officials.

It’s quite the list but all these things did have one focus:

The point of the 1960s, again we were taught, was to tear down the rules, the traditions and customs, the hierarchies of the old guys. The targets were supposedly the uptight, short-hair, square-tie, adult generation who grew up in the Depression, won World War II, and were fighting to defeat Cold War Soviet Union

Ironically, in New Zealand at least, “the rules, the traditions and customs, the hierarchies” torn down included the system of a heavily regulated economy built by those old squares who’d returned from WWII. On the Left you’d get the nuclear warships ban, easier access to abortion and homosexual law reform, as long as you shut up about de-regulation and privatisation. As one of those 60’s youngsters (but also Old Leftie) Chris Trotter bemoans, that deal is still in place. But back to Hanson:

The good guys, the students, and the activists, if they only had power, were going to break up corporations, shame (or “eat”) the rich, and bring in young, hip politicians. Reformers like the younger Kennedy brothers, the John Kerry war hero-resisters, the Bay Area Dianne Feinsteins, and the hip Nancy Pelosis would disrupt the “status quo” of politics.

When Orwell wrote his books, Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm, it was not the totalitarianism of the Nazis or the Fascists that he was attacking but the Stalinism of his era, created by revolutionaries who were going to tear it all down and build a new society. Had Orwell lived a few more years he would have seen the process repeated in China under Mao. Had he lived another three decades he would have seen it again in Vietnam, Cambodia and other nations.

The argument has been made that this only happens when Leftism cuts out democracy, and that the same could be said of any ideology so unfettered – the anarcho-capitalists being a prime example. But what the Left is doing to our democratic societies today is producing a soft authoritarianism so widespread and all-consuming that it is increasingly controlling every aspect of our lives in ways that Stalin and company could only envy – and all without firing a shot – but without establishing any of the Old Left’s dreams of state-owned industries and strong unions with the rest of the private sector heavily regulated by central government.

Instead the likes of Amazon (it’s creator Jeff Bezos being one of the richest men in the world) is fighting hard against the unionisation of their workplaces, and – unlike their stance on the 2020 US election – are completely opposed to union votes by mail-in ballot, claiming it’s too vulnerable to fraud. But they’ll make sure Parler is not hosted by their web services. The so-called Robber Barrons of the US 19th century could only dream of having being able to co-opt their Left-Wing enemies so easily.

Hanson shows where are now with the 1960’s Counter-Culture winners in charge:

… as Orwell predicted, revolutionary pigs began walking on two feet and absorbed all the levers of American cultural influence and power: the media, the bureaucracies, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, publishing, the academy, K-12 education, professional sports, and entertainment. And to them all, the revolutionaries added their past coarseness and 1960s-era by-any-means-necessary absolutism.

We are now finally witnessing the logical fruition of their radical utopia: Censorship, electronic surveillance, internal spying, monopolies, cartels, conspiracy theories, weaponization of the intelligence agencies, pouring billions of dollars into campaigns, changing voting laws by fiat, a woke revolutionary military, book banning, bleeding the First Amendment, canceling careers, blacklisting, separate-but-equal racial segregation and separatism.

Giant corporations and government agencies like the FBI and CIA are now the good guys, to the astonishment of only a few of the Old Left:

Surveillance and spying are now good. How else to ferret out “right-wingers,” “white supremacists,” and “insurrectionists”?  So the FBI and CIA have transmogrified into heroic agencies run by stalwart social activist fighters like John Brennan, the old Gus Hall supporter, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe. They cut to the quick to achieve social justice, without the messy give and take of Congress, or that albatross, the relic Constitution.

Bank of America helps to find out which enemy of the people bought which coffee where. 

Of course once such power is obtained it might not take much to tip over into hard totalitarianism.

They won. They are now one with—but also far, far worse than—what they rebelled against.

‘Twas always thus.