No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Working & Gentry Class

Ideas out of the Past

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Over on Britain the Tory Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has had yet another brilliant idea for dealing with the fundamental problem of real estate prices getting away from working people, preventing them from buying housing.

Putting on my Class Warfare hat I have to say that this idea is entirely appropriate for a Tory:

Wait a moment, I think I’ve heard of this idea before. From history…

Debt bondage, also known as debt slaverybonded labour, or peonage, is the pledge of a person’s services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation.

I can see Boris as a feudal lord: he’s picture perfect to play the Sheriff of Nottingham in some new version of Robin Hood.

Of course it’s not just Britain. Here’s a story from 2014 in the USA:

A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government—a very old debt.

When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family—it’s not sure who—in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter.

But there are many forms of intergenerational debt and the major one leaves Boris’s idea (and feudal practices) far behind. The following educational video was made a decade ago in the wake of the GFC, back when US Federal debt was a mere $14 trillion toddler, compared to the moody $30 trillion teenager it is now.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 6, 2022 at 11:04 am

Some White Saviour Analysis

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A database of progressive white men who are thirsty for credit

On Freddie deBoer’s substack site, he has a very funny, if lengthy, article which takes a few nasty shots at people I’ve mostly (and fortunately) never heard of but clones of which exists everywhere, The Good White Man Roster.

Freddie starts with an overview:

These are the guys who have carefully crafted personas as ALLIES, as the good ones, as the right kind of white guy. These are the dudes whose every engagement on social media functions to let you know how very sorry they are, but always seem to come out on top in doing so. 

And then goes through a list. Here are some samples of his takes:

… this is the Good White Man in his Platonic form… He’s so very sorry, everybody, and it cannot escape your notice that he’s more sorry than everyone else; that’s what an advanced being he is. He apologizes, but only in the context of referring to some earlier, fallen self, and in doing so he inescapably valorizes his current self… He who humbleth himself wishes to be exalted.

Chris Hayes, MSNBC

[MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is] a living, breathing laundromat for the post-collegiate elite’s ugly feelings of superiority, reassuring them every day on his show that their snobbery and self-obsession are justified thanks to their superior moral virtue… I genuinely cannot remember the last time this man made an argument on his show that risked offending subscribers to the New York Times.

There are a lot of people competing for the “most ardent supporter of a totally undertheorized and substance-free vision of an ostensibly post-capitalist future” crown these days, but Higgins is not going to be outworked on that score. Dialectics. False consciousness. Defund the police, or abolish ICE, or whatever. Let’s uh build the exceptionally vague society of our dreams. Also he lists his literary agent in his Twitter bio, which I find truly amazing.

Hello! Would you like a sneering shithead to condescendingly inform you that the dead center of witless corporate liberal opinion is in fact the utterly spotless expression of the transcendent truth, delivered with total conviction by someone who spent fifteen minutes reading Quora answers to arrive at his position? Buddy, have I got a pundit for you!

This man is the basic bitch of Good White Men, a computer-generated NPC of a Noble Ally. Everything about his performance (and, if you’ll forgive me, his face) is so perfectly in the center of Good White Manness, I half suspect he’s been created by a creepy machine learning algorithm designed to mimic embittered social studies teachers who always told themselves they were destined for more.

The kind of guy who discovers body positivity only after his metabolism slows down at 24 and suddenly he can’t lose his beer gut. The kind of guy who develops a keen interest in Thatcher’s depravity during the Troubles while taking a semester abroad in Dublin surrounded by cute girls with republican sentiments and potentially-accessible vaginas.

His general take on such White Men is also precise

Any Good White Man who feels that their appearance on this roster is an injustice can easily be removed. They need only follow their ideology to its logical ends by shutting the fuck up.

Which they will never, ever do.

The rule of law – and other fairy stories

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Two stories on this, one from New Zealand and one from the USA, but both related in ways aside from laughing at the law, let alone justice.

First up is the news that our Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has been indulging in some good old feather-bedding of relatives that any old-time American city politician would recognise and approve of:

Frankly for me this is a bit of “meh”, and not just because I’m so used to seeing it in American politics. The fact is that Maori and Pasifika whanau have a different attitude towards this sort of thing. If you achieve wealth and power your relatives damned well expect you to take them along for the ride. To do otherwise would be selfish of you. In fact I’d bet that Nanaia was pressured on these matters by her “rellies”.

I did appreciate these comments from Karl du Fresne, where I first read of this a few days ago

Revelations about government jobs and contracts awarded to Mahuta’s family connections first emerged on The Daily Examiner website on May 22, illustrating the point that it’s often online platforms, rather than ethically compromised mainstream media, that break important stories – especially those that show the government in a poor light.

That has increasingly been the case, which is a welcome addition to the likes of blogs merely taking down a reporter and their story for shallow, braindead hopelessness and/or outrageous ideological and partisan bias.

The Platform has since picked up the story and so has Kate MacNamara, a New Zealand Herald reporter who displays a gutsy independent streak that’s all too rare in political journalism – all of which raises questions about how much longer the rest of the MSM can go on pretending there’s nothing to see here.

Yay. However I doubt it will change any fundamental attitudes in the MSM – or in the Labour Government – which will move past this, with the assistance of that MSM. National can scream long and loud about this but they’ll run out of “new” news sooner or later and in any case will be intimidated into silence by a word that still holds magical powers over them, especially when uttered by Maori – “RACIST”.

The second piece of news on this front is that, as I and many other observers suspected would happen, the Clinton and Democrat National Committee lawyer, Michael Sussman, was found not guilty of lying to the FBI by a jury of his peers – which means a jury selected from a Washington D.C. population that voted 92.5% for Biden:

Turley is a long-time Democrat supporter and long-time Liberal law professor and even he can smell the stench, although it’s also a simple matter of attitudes towards such things.

“I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” the jury forewomen said, according to an account in The Washington Times. “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI”

Bigger than a lie, plus other lies, that launched a $40 million dollar investigation that handicapped a Presidential Administration for two years?

Well of course! The D.C. crowd, undoubtedly including that woman, hated Trump and wanted him and his policies stopped by any means necessary. They’re all of a piece, which is why former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy argues that Durham’s mistake was to assume that the FBI were the dupes, when the evidence of three prosecutions has by now demonstrated that at least the upper levels of the FBI knew very well who Sussman was connected with:

… he’d represented the DNC when its servers were hacked, and blocked the FBI from conducting its own forensic investigation. When Sussmann purveyed supposed evidence of a Trump-Russia communications back channel, the bureau knew full well that it was getting political information from a partisan source. The evidence at trial showed that FBI headquarters concealed Sussmann’s identity from the bureau’s own investigating agents.

Funnily enough Sussman’s own defence team made the same argument in claiming that he didn’t lie, and I think that actually has merit.

The connection between the Mahuta and Sussman-Clinton-FBI stories is that both of them demonstrate how our Western democracies are increasingly coming to seem more like feudal systems. If you know the right people, move in the right Establishment circles, and have the opinions of the Gentry Class – then you can make a lot of money and get away with almost anything.

But all this is also enabled by a public, by voters, that increasingly could not care less about such things, even as those things steadily screw them into the ground. I’ll bet that the number of people paying attention to the Heard-Depp defamation trial outnumbered the Sussman observers by millions to one.

The next Durham trials will be covered even less than this one, and slowly it will all just fade away.

No Hillbillies wanted

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J. D. Vance first became a public figure back in 2016 with the publication of his book, Hillbilly Elegy, which became a best-seller and was even turned into a movie, which I covered in the post, The Power and the Glory.

Vance himself got almost as much praise as his book, which told the tough story of his upbringing in Ohio and his family connections in Kentucky. A working class background sent him into the US Marines, thus into the Iraq War and back to the US where he graduated from Yale Law school. This caused a lot of Democrats to go all gooey on him and he even got a contributor slot on CNN, although The New Republic criticised him as “liberal media’s favorite white trash–splainer”. Criticising Trump didn’t hurt either.

It was therefore entirely predictable that as he began to move towards the GOP, the Leftie love would die, and the closer he’s gotten to an actual political career – culminating (so far) with his winning the GOP primary to run for the US Senate seat in Ohio held by a retiring Republican, Portman – the more that former love has turned to hate:

In case you still harbored the faintest hope that the party has some moral red line, its unquestioning affirmation of Vance ought to dispel it.… Politicians who wish to defend democracy ought to draw a line at supporting allies who pose a threat to democracy. J.D. Vance is an authoritarian. Granted, this charge is difficult to prove without first handing him power, but the authoritarian nature of his beliefs is established as clearly as it can be without a pile of corpses.

That’s the faithful and prominent Democrat journalist mouthpiece Jonathan Chait, and his main objection seems to be to Vance’s increasingly unwoke opinions, something you’d think Chait might have re-thought given the hits he’s taken from the same sources for identifying many of the same things as Vance. Of course it could also be that Vance being endorsed by none other than the Great Orange One sent Chait into his shallow and hysterical rant.

Other Democrats are piling into Vance as well, but that may be simple partisanship, since they had been eyeing Portman’s seat and thinking they had a shot with their guy Tim Ryan, even in what looks to be a tough year for them. I think they can kiss that goodbye now against a hometown boy with name recognition, solid money backing, a life-story and opinions that fit perfectly with the times, in a state that Trump won by 8 points in 2020.

But it’s not just the Democrats bringing the hate, and after winning the primary Vance went on Tucker Carlson’s show and unloaded on those other people:

“I mean, look, if you think of some my biggest enemies in this primary, you know, the slime ball Karl Rove who shipped a lot of American jobs overseas, got rich in the process, and also sent a lot of Americans to die in stupid conflicts,…. Karl Rove spent a lot of money. He wrote a lot of op-eds criticizing my candidacy. He was even calling my donors after Trump endorsed me, encouraging them to drop my campaign.

So you know, in a lot of ways, what this revealed is that you do have some very corrupt political consultants in the Republican Party who despise their own voters. It was crazy, Tucker. I mean, a couple of days before the primary after I … I think we’d already kind of locked it up. We were way ahead in the polls. A Republican donor group put $2 million on TV to attack me, which really didn’t hurt my candidacy against the other Republicans. It actually just hurt me against the Democrats. So actually the candidacy — my candidacy revealed an incredible amount of corruption in our own party, and I think that’s one of the things that I do have to fight against.

Hoo boy. I’d bet that most Democrats have described Karl Rove as a slime ball and worse (It was GW Bush himself who labelled him “turd blossom“), but to have a Republican go after him so viciously tells you something about the struggle going on inside the GOP even as they look towards a thumping victory in this year’s Mid-Term elections.

One of the things I appreciated about the Trump Presidency was how many of these bastards were forced to pull their masks off, and there are turning out to be quite a few Karl Roves in the GOP, as I pointed out in this post, and which is noted far more forcefully here by the inimitable Ace from Ace of Spades:

  • The Lincoln Project, supposedly a bunch of “True Conservatives” who were only against Trump in 2020, are supporting Democrat Tim Ryan against Vance.
  • Texas Governor Abbott’s chief of staff just signed on to be a lobbyist for the leftwing Soros-controlled Tides Center.
  • Steve Schmidt, McCain’s 2008 campaign manager and the guy who supposedly selected Palin and ran Alito’s confirmation process for the Supreme Court, has now come out supporting abortion.
  • [National Review’s] David French used to pose as rootin’-tootin’ sixgun-shootin’ Severe Conservative himself for years and years before Trump’s embrace of actual rightwing culture war issues caused him to show his real belief system. [He] is no longer pretending he’s against the GOP’s push to get CRT out of the schools because he worries that it might cause suburban PTA Moms to desert us. No, he knows that suburban PTA moms hate this CRT poison and want to get it out of the schools themselves. He supports CRT because, get this, he just supports CRT. And he says you’re not a Christian if you oppose it.
  • Even on a small scale, in one heavily Hispanic Texas District where a GOP guy who’s door-knocked all the Hispanic areas and leads in the Hispanic vote by 5 points over the Democrat, is being opposed by the GOP Establishment (GOPe) guy who loses that vote by 11 points. Gosh, it’s as if the GOPe wants to lose.
  • Even though the GOP is killing the Democrats on the issue of illegal immigration, Senator Thom Tillis and his gang of liberal “Republicans” is back negotiating with Democrats to amnesty illegal aliens and give the Democrats one less thing to worry about in November.

Remember, guys: the permanent DC “Republican” Swamp Dwellers of the Lincoln Project are and always were “True Conservatives” Fighting For You.

He also points out that this is not new:

When Mark Levin entered the Reagan administration, the chief obstacle to implementing the agenda Reagan had run on, and which the public had, with full informed consent, voted for, was not the scattered and battered Democrat Party, but the resistance from the liberal Establishment GOP, the northeastern George Bush Republicans who came into the Administration with Reagan’s conservatives. They were the Disloyal Internal Opposition who thwarted Reagan at every turn, coordinating with Democrats, leaking to the media to block conservative policies, etc. They were Democrats in all but branding.

Sounds familiar.

In another post he quotes a Twitter thread from John Hayward (aka Doctor Zero, whose waspish commentary I’ve long enjoyed) talking about prissy side of the US Right Wing:

For these timid elements of conservatism, the worst offense of the Right is questioning the motives of the Left. Nothing makes them spring into action against other conservatives faster than insinuations of bad faith or sinister motives against the Left. The Left must always be regarded as the loyal opposition, good people who want the best for everyone, but are simply mistaken about how to achieve these noble ends. Accusations of malevolence or hidden agendas against the Left are denounced as ugly conspiracy mongering.

This attitude holds among timid conservatives even as the Left wages all-out war and loudly asserts there are no honest, sincere, good-faith arguments against its agenda. Is there a political argument on the Left that doesn’t begin with denying the good intentions of opponents?

Run through the list of top issues: if you want border security, you must be a xenophobe. If you oppose abortion, you must be a blind religious fanatic or misogynist. If you want smaller government, you’re cruel and greedy. Question global warming? You’re a tool of Big Oil.

But Ace disagrees with Hayward’s take on such Conservatives, arguing that they’re not “prissy” about fighting wars, but are bad faith actors who are actually on the other side, and he then describes how this “fight” goes using the example of illegal immigration, starting with this point about Vance from, of all places, National Review.

The Open Borders contingent did not want to admit they’re open borders – they’re dishonest, craven, shifty motherfuckers who do not confront arguments honestly and fairly by head-on engagement, but by subversion and innuendo and sidewinder collateral attacks – but they did want to kneecap the border hawk position.

So they just began making a series of basically-insincere attacks on Trump. Oh, there was some sincerity in the attacks on Trump – they genuinely disliked him. But the attacks were made in place of the real attack, which was: “He’s ruined the Comprehensive Immigration Reform sell-out we were just about to broker!”

So they began offering up collateral attacks. “Say, you Rubes like Morality, don’t you? Well this Trump feller’s been divorced twice, doesn’t that just steam your beans?! This Trump feller’s had four business bankruptcies! What a lout! And look at all this rubbish he says on Twitter! What an absolute heel! So unchristian!”

You’ll notice they never talk about immigration, whether to support Trump or to oppose him. That’s because they’re sneaky, cowardly rats who do in fact oppose him, and support Open Borders – Oh, I’m sorry, I mean, Comprehensive Immigration Reform that Welcomes Undocumented Americans with Love and Kindness – but they know they can’t win on that so it’s just this constant series of dishonest attacks on side-issues about “character.”

They’ll talk about “Free Trade” as a stand-in for what they won’t talk about, which is Open Borders. But when they say “Free Trade” – understand, they also mean Open Borders.

And they will not stop subverting us and throwing elections until we submit and give up and agree to their Comprehensive Open Borders schemes. This isn’t even just an economic corporate play at this point – though it is that too – it’s a holy, racial-redemption religious point for them at this point too. This is how they prove they’re #NotRacist to their liberal friends, wives, and lovers.

And now they’re proving it by trying to take Vance down. If that means losing a Senate seat to the Democrats that’s an acceptable short-term loss for a long-term policy gain.

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.

Two crises, same response.

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It’s often said that a photo is worth a thousand words, but there are few photos that convey the same message about two different and vast crises afflicting humanity.

That’s Barack Obama, photographed talking with a bunch of construction workers about the work on his new multi-million dollar beachfront house in Hawaii. To be fair he’s probably fairly confident about the oceans not overflowing his mansion because of his ascension to the Whitehouse way back in 2008 – which is why he also owns another mansion at Martha’s Vineyard, about 1m above sea level in Massachusetts.

This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

The other thing about that photo is that Obama does not have a mask on while all the lowly construction workers and others do. He’s not alone in that.

Obama knows that the oceans won’t rise in any significant way over the next decades or even centuries, just as he knows he’s not at serious risk of dying from COVID.

But it’s very important that the little people be frightened enough of these and other things so that they can be more easily controlled, for their own good of course.

Biting back at the Masters of the Universe

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Given the post I wrote the other day about “The Masters”, inspired by an execrable little commentary from one of them at the WEF, it’s nice timing to write about something that bites back at them a little.

The truckers convoy in Canada being the No. 1 bite-back at the moment. It’s some 70km long (the longest such protest in history) and its arrival in the capital, Ottawa, has so frightened Prime Minister Trudeau that he and his family fled the city.

Naturally this is being held up by the MSM as a scary development, Canada’s own January 6 incident – after they chuckled about the Secret Service moving Trump from the Whitehouse to a more secure location during Antifa riots in 2020, riots that injured some sixty members of the Service.

There’s also lots of honking going on in Ottawa now. My God, the honking. I’m literally shaking.

In keeping with frightened little people like “Stephanie”, PM Trudeau has also tried to smear the truckers, calling them “a ‘fringe minority’ who hold ‘unacceptable views,’ opposing the way ‘most Canadians’ feel.”  Brave words from the tiniest human to ever be Canadian PM.

The MSM, following his lead, at first ignored the convoy

… unless it was to demonize it — as it was proof-positive that the people are not with them, the politicians they serve, or the ideology they support, despite all their claims to the contrary. The issue was that this gathering over the weekend around the truckers was so large that they had to acknowledge it.

But you could tell they weren’t happy about it and the “villains” narrative was the play, with plenty of smearing.

MSNBC Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski spent a segment of their program bashing the convoy and the accompanying rally. Brzezinski, arms folded and head shaking, described how the convoy escalated in reports of vandalism and severe criminal behavior including “the desecration of national monuments.”

I thought the Left loved desecrating national monuments?

She also took to Twitter to highlight a tweet claiming that the protesters had reportedly demanded free soup from a soup kitchen, and the kitchen gave in to prevent conflict.

“So these anti-vaxxers actually took food from the mouths of the homeless?” asked Scarborough. Scarborough then made fun of the rally-goers, labeling them as hypocrites for protesting the vaccines mandates while being vaccinated, then fired off the idea that these people have some sort of religious belief in their cause.

“This. Is. A. Cult,” Scarborough finished.

That’s funny coming from people who worshipped the likes of Governor Cuomo, Dr Fauci and others, even to the extent of having action figures of them and prayer candles!

The New York Times:

Thousands of protesters on foot, many carrying handmade signs on hockey sticks, wandered through the parked vehicles and the slow-moving traffic or gathered on the lawn in front of Parliament. Some of them carried Canadian flags upside down; at least one flag had swastikas drawn on it.

The London Times was more blatant:

There were chaotic scenes over the weekend as scores of articulated lorries began to roll in on Friday, joined by hundreds of pick-ups and cars, paralysing a large chunk of downtown Ottawa near the parliament building and filling the air with honks. Yesterday Canadian flags, “F*** Trudeau” banners and messages about tyranny mingled with Confederate flags, swastikas and the emblems of far-right groups.

Progressives always try to imply that if someone draws a swastika it means that person is pro-Nazi. Actually, it means (in this context, at least) that the person is accusing the Canadian government of using Nazi-like tactics. Smearing by inverting the intent behind the signs.

The BBC quoted Defence Minister Anita Anand that the incidents were “beyond reprehensible”.

What crap! No incident described in that report was even remotely violent, as that NYT report grudgingly acknowledged (“Despite fears that the demonstration could turn violent, by Saturday evening the police said there had been no significant incidents.“)

My personal favourite to laugh at was the Canadian Broadcasting (CBC) host who suggested that the Russians might be behind the protests.

Wow! A Canadian January 6 and Russia Collusion event.

But the worst was the Washington Post, with this opinion column and cartoon:

Yes! Really. This take sums up the MSM coverage very well:

This is the actual working class, the ones who kept things going during the last two years of General Tso’s Lung Rot pandemic while the laptop class (politicians, media, the professoriate, billionaires, etc.) sheltered at home. These people – whether truckers, store clerks, sanitation people, bus drivers, police, or dozens of other jobs that needed to be done – bravely went out despite the fear of an unknown disease, and were praised for doing so by the likes of Trudeau.

But now they’re Fascists.

These truckers stand for all the people in the West who have done everything their political leaders forced upon them. It turns out that most of these truckers are vaccinated, not surprising given the Canadian mandates, but they’re now sick of such mandates at the US-Canada border when they return, with testing and then isolation for Omicron. Hence the protest. There’s been talk of arresting people standing on roadsides cheering it on, that’s how badly TPTB have lost control of the story.

There was at least one MSM source (although one always sneered at for being “low class”) who got it, the NY Post:

Disdainful media, of course, spent days warning of violence to come and searched supporters’ messages for evidence of racism. “ ‘So many angry people’: Experts say online conversation around trucker convoy veering into dangerous territory” read a CTV News headline. CBC, Canada’s PBS and NPR, called Saturday’s protest “a raucous demonstration that has police on high alert for possible violence even as organizers urge the crowd to be peaceful.” Police said that night that “no incidents of violence or injuries” were reported and no protesters faced charges.

The elite media also paint the protesters as stupid hicks, claiming they don’t understand that provincial governments all have restrictions that Ottawa can do nothing about. But Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe told truckers he supports their “call to end the cross border ban on unvaccinated truckers” and announced his government will soon “be ending our proof of negative test/proof of vaccination policy in Saskatchewan.”

It’s also nice to see at least one billionaire who also gets it.

Meantime, enjoy some non-MSM sources, including these videos made by the truckers themselves. You might find yourself cheering them on, as Mark Steyn has.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 1, 2022 at 1:14 pm

Masters of the Universe

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Oh but I hate these fucking people.

Watch and observe the superior cluelessness and surprise of this creature, and the smirking silence in which it is received at yet another confab of the World Economic Forum.

Perhaps if these assholes really were as smart and wise as they think they are they wouldn’t be implementing crap that screws up the lives of ordinary people, as this post explains on just one angle, an Unraveling, Not a Reset:

Now go read the Wikipedia quote from the IPCC again. The transnational globalists want to shut down petrochemical extraction because of alleged climate impacts. Doing so has already caused fertilizer shortages, but the globalists are fine with that because they want to significantly restrict and change industrialized agriculture as well.

Presumably they think they can escape food shortages and the impact on supply chains around the world. I doubt any of them know how to plant a vegetable garden or cut up a beast.

In the short run, the transnational globalists will attempt to use such events to assert increasingly totalitarian control of people, movement, goods, and more. It won’t take long for those attempts to exacerbate the chaos, the shortages, the conflict, and the disease. The tighter their attempted control, the greater and deeper the damage they will cause.

The funny thing is that the woman above reminded me very much of famous actress Katherine Hepburn, complete with a “mid-Atlantic accent”, trained for movies where her Connecticut Patrician voice would not play well.

That in turn reminded me that there once was an American elite who had very similar sorts of attitudes: the WASPS. That article has girth but I think it’s worth a read to get an insight into an elite who had begun to die off in the 1960’s. A couple of excerpts, starting with Katharine Graham, famous owner of the Washington Post and one of her friends, Joe Alsop:

He was in many ways a disagreeable man. A Cold War hawk, a foppish toff in a demotic age, he was the epitome, indeed the travesty, of WASP hauteur. In the morning, he would emerge from his bedroom at 2720 Dumbarton Street in Georgetown in a purple dressing gown piped with lilac, and he would spend much of the rest of the day putting people in their place. He growled at waiters, made scenes at parties, pushed to the front of every line, and bullied his wife, Susan Mary Jay. “Oh, that’s petty nonsense,” he would say when he cut her short in front of guests. In his relations with those lower in the scale, he had all the tact of Dickens’s Marquis St. Evrémonde, and he once tried to break the ice with a Minnesota farmer by nudging him with his stick and asking him, “What do you make of it all, old boy, eh?”

Sounds like a right charmer. And yes, he had a punchable face. Unsurprisingly a closeted gay, but one who told the KGB where to stick their blackmail when they got him on camera in 1957.

There seem to have been a lot of such snobbish aristocrats in the WASP class and the article delivers American writer Henry James as a classic example, delving back into their glory days in the 19th and early 20th century to examine what they built:

At the height of the Gilded Age [these Jamesian WASPs] sought to remedy the deficiency by incorporating, in their schools, museums, parks, and concert halls, bits and pieces of premodern poetry to create spaces that would touch neglected places in the American mind. Gardner established a Venetian museum in Boston; James’s friend Charles Eliot Norton, the Harvard humanist, indirectly inspired an experiment in civic humanism at Columbia in which young people were initiated in older poetries through the study of Great Books.

The civic humanism of the WASPs was secondhand and perhaps second-rate, yet it involved them in all that anomalousness of motive that characterizes even our most generous acts. You can’t foster more potent kinds of culture without wielding less-ideal forms of power.

Sure, you can be snarky about the spaces they built, but they’re a damn sight better than the Modernist monstrosities of spaces that followed them.

...revived Gothic, reworked Romanesque, and parodic Athenianism… “[an] effort to evade the logic of modern civilization by insincere gestures of respect to the culture, the feelings, the ornamental systems of previous ages.”

But precisely because it was plagiarized from premodern poetries that closely integrated the needs of the soul and the realities of everyday life, it made their spaces civically generous and aesthetically accessible in a way the lonely stages of alienated modern genius so often are not.

This also sounds familiar:

… they liked power, and once they had grabbed a certain amount of it out of the hands of Gilded Age plutocrats, they were in no hurry to share the deeper secrets of their own patent medicines. Their museums and concert halls were open to the public, but their most potent humanizing poetry was concentrated in their fenced-off schools, clubs, and houses. No mere pleb shared in the mock-Palladian glories of Joe Alsop’s 2720 Dumbarton Street.

What the hell have the new elites of the WEF done for the good of humanity with all their power? I think the following piece from journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon best sums them up:

The elites don’t even bother hiding their contempt for “the majority of people” anymore. It’s exposed the emptiness of the stories they tell to push their own interests. The sides aren’t Right and Left anymore. They’re the side that has that contempt and the side nauseated by it.

This clip is saying the quiet part out loud: Elites like to masquerade like there are major policy debates dividing them. But political polarization is a pantomime that disguises the crucial things they share–enormous wealth, capture of over 50% of GDP, the desire for control.

Working people know this. They know that it’s all kabuki theater at the top. It’s why they just don’t care who you voted for. Because the struggles that unite the bottom just outweigh whether you think abortion should be legal in the second trimester, or how you feel about Trump.

It’s disgusting to see these people nattering on about threats to democracy when they believe they should have control over every aspect of the lives of working people and it’s “bad news” that regular people are onto them and see them for the self-serving oligarchy that they are.

I think Jacinda Ardern is one of these people. So are Chris Luxon and David Seymour.

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.