More Random Observations

Freebies

Francis Porretto is giving away a good book, starting November 20th. Get in on the action if you haven’t read his work before. The money quote:

From November 20 through November 24, the Kindle edition of Innocents will be free at Amazon. Yes, friends, that’s a grand total of $0.00 for enough words to separate the wholly electronic covers. Oy vey! Such a bargain! So don’t miss it.

Far be it for me to dispute a freebie.

Moralizing Morality Morally

Leftists are prone to excessive moralizing about everything. They rationalize too much, they go too far. It’s difficult to explain but easy to demonstrate. Many might remember the woman who was free-bleeding (that is to say, going through menstruation without any sanitary devices) during a marathon. The press gave her more attention than the marathon winner, because the free bleeder was protesting the patriarchy, or some other vague thing. They rationalized how it was edgy, and a brave statement of… whatever. They overlooked the absurdity that she was visibly bleeding all over herself in public on purpose.

Lately, they’ve taken to rationalizing human extinction, the death of Western civilization (because slavery, dontcha know), why wearing a kimono is racist, or why being attracted to women is misogyny. There is no limit to their capacity to over-moralize themselves into absurdity. Here’s another grand example: Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.

I fisked the last death cult article I ran across, I’m not going to bother with this one. But suffice it to say, I tire of these supposed moral proscriptions against doing… well, anything, including even existing. Sooner or later these people will rationalize themselves into the moral superiority of suicide. Want to save the Earth from the bootheel of humanity? Fine. Let’s colonize space instead. I don’t want to share a planet with these assholes anyway.

Plato’s Cave Sucks

Sarah Hoyt touched on something today that I think everyone should read. By necessity, we are all at somewhat imprisoned by Plato’s Cave, because we are limited to the individual experiences as filtered through our consciousness. Or, put more simply, we only see through our own eyes. She explains for us:

I’ve long ago maintained that movies and other visual media is inferior to books.  Why?  Because you’re observing things happening to other people.

 

HOWEVER when you’re reading a story, particularly first person, though others work too, for a moment it replaces the voice that narrates your life.  For a moment someone else is behind the eyes.

 

Powerful writing can even create the impression you LIVED something.

Read the rest, it’s very powerful stuff. Sarah does an excellent job of explaining not only why reading is so powerful, but why the narrow-minded SJW conception of “diversity” and “authenticity” forces the reader further into Plato’s Cave. It certainly doesn’t help us escape it, even for a moment.

 

 

The Cultural Borg

We are the Cultural Borg.

You will be assimilated.

Existence, as you know it, is over.

Lower your borders and surrender your guns.

We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

Your culture will adapt to service us.

Resistance is racist.

Democrats were celebrating in the months up to the election in 2016. The emerging demographic hegemony of Democrats had finally come. They could taste victory. The time of Socialism could begin, at last. Sure, they were more enthusiastic about Bernie than another stuffy old Clinton. Hillary was to the right of where the True Believers really wanted the United States to be, and she had snagged the nomination from the Bernie Bros with her iron grip on the DNC. But she would serve her time, and drive American further Left, and no Rightist would ever win that office again.

The election of Trump shattered those dreams, and destroyed the minds of many of the Hard Leftists since then. They’ve been raging, screaming, and lighting trash cans on fire, throwing a temper tantrum. After a year of this juvenile behavior, we’re seeing signs that they are reengaging. Some of the brighter ones have realized that nothing has really changed. Trump stood in the way of the final demographic transformation necessary to bring about a Socialist United States, but he was stymied by his own party and facing constant press opposition on a scale unheard of in our history. I don’t think even Nixon had it this bad.

And there was a day most of us would have accounted Trump a moderate Leftist. That’s how far things have gone off the rails.

I don’t know that America has another hail Mary pass like 2016 left in her. If Trump fails to stop the deliberate demographic transformation of America, it will result in full-on Socialism soon enough. A sufficiently bold amnesty plan combined with some resettlement could turn Texas blue, and that’d be the end. Democrats often complain of Republican gerrymandering, but this is projection. The Democrats don’t even have to redraw districts, they just bus in new Democrats, settle them in the district, and turn it blue that way. Gerrymandering with immigration and amnesty programs, in essence.

All this bleating about racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and why America is guilty of… whatever… it’s all just a ploy to bring about more Socialism and to wipe out existing cultures. They often accuse the Right of imperialism, colonialism, etc… but they are the ones shifting people around to political ends. If you can’t make Americans vote Marxist, import Marxists from someplace else. But they’ve also done the former to great degree, too. Education and media have long been bastions of Leftism. The current crop of 20-somethings is exceedingly Marxist.

Either way, the Cultural Borg will come for you. You will have to exchange your values for theirs if you are to survive. Bake the cake, cater the pizza, obey the government, give up your shit.

Up until now, Americans moved around to escape the Cultural Borg. If your neighborhood was going bad, if crime, drugs, and section 8 made their appearance, you sold at a loss, packed your shit, and moved someplace else. My father lamented that the neighborhood he grew up in is just a ghetto shithole now. A lot of Americans share this experience. I’ve seen it happen to an old working class neighborhood I once lived in, too. Now, it’s just another cesspit. But I moved to escape it. Talk to most regular Americans, and they have plenty of stories like this.

SJWs would probably say I’m racist for doing that, likening it to white flight or some such. But what do you do when the house a block down the street becomes a crack house? What do you do when squatters come in, and the shootings start? The Cultural Borg marches on. I’m sure they’ll eventually come for the neighborhood I’m in now.

They do this to whole cities, sometimes. Even whole states, in their own way. Once they turn a state blue, they’ll impose the usual formula of high taxes, high regulation, and absurd restrictions on things like cigarettes and fountain sodas. To escape the consequences of their own policies, drones flee to red states, and begin the process of turning them blue. Salt the influx with some illegal immigrants, some refugees, and a sprinkling of amnesty, and a new blue state is created. Repeat the process until no combination of red states could exist to pull off a Trump.

Oh, 2016 saw a reversal in some areas, most notably Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. It was a truly amazing thing to witness. But look at the effort required to pull it off, the sheer balls on Trump to do what he did. I’ve never personally liked Trump. But I respect the hell out of him for doing something I didn’t legitimately think was possible anymore. It’s like for a moment, the Cultural Borg Collective was disrupted and there was a balls-to-the-wall effort to fight its pervasive influence.

I heard it said once, I forget where exactly (and I’m too lazy to look it up right now) that when you live in a culture, you forget you’re embedded in it. Like just a fish thinks of water as the normal state of being, like how we don’t have to be conscious of breathing air. What a lot of Americans have been feeling – and what I suspect was behind Trump’s surprising wins – is that the culture has changed so much it’s like dropping a freshwater fish into a tank of saltwater.

It’s not the same, anymore. SJWs celebrate this, of course. They like to extol the great browning of America. But by this don’t mean race, per se. To them, the virtue of a particular people isn’t in their culture, or their gifts, or any of that. It’s in their voting patterns. If Mexicans suddenly started voting Republican, Democrats would be demanding Trump’s wall tomorrow. So by celebrating the ‘browning’ of America, they are really celebrating the triumph of Socialism. Any Mexican, or member of any minority really, who doesn’t want Socialism is, of course, a race traitor or an Uncle Tom, or some such.

It is the culture the new Borg are after. They want to erase any and all cultural elements that are incompatible with Socialism. They want an all-powerful, omnipresent government to run everything. We’re fast approaching a point where fleeing the influence of the Cultural Borg won’t work anymore. Only in the rural areas is their rule still openly scorned. In the suburbs, people have to at least pretend to be Socialist-lite. And in the cities, if you are to the right of Stalin, forget it. Even then, they’ll come out to some pizza shop in the sticks to ask about gay wedding catering services in an effort to paint them as unBorgified, and in need of assimilation.

The Borg either assimilate you, and convert you into Borg yourselves, or they get rid of you. Think about that before consider caving in to more gun restrictions. You’re probably going to need them sooner or later.

More and more, the old guard establishment wings of both parties are starting to look like merely a bunch of Trotskyites. Maybe not quite as bad as their Hard-Left brethren but still sympathetic to Marxism, in the end. A lot of people were happy about Donna Brazile’s revelations of Hillary’s cheating, and control of the DNC. But to me, this looks like bad news. Yes, we get to watch the Clintons squirm, which is always fun. But it means the Trotskyite wing of the party is collapsing. The Hard Left, the Antifas, the BLMs, the “Democratic Socialists”, and the outright open Communists are gaining control.

In the ordinary course of American politics, this would alienate them from the moderates, but these days the moderates are often guilted via weaponized empathy into buying into the Hard Left SJW agenda. If you don’t hate white people, and constantly bitch about white men, you’re probably racist against [insert any other race here]. If you don’t agree with the Hard Left’s demands for demographic transformation, you’re a bigot of some stripe or another. This holds even if, paradoxically, you are one of the sacred victim groups yourself. A Clarence Thomas is as likely to get hit with it as a Rand Paul. Stop manspreading you Uncle Tom self-loathing racist Islamophobe.

It’s the deliberate dismantling of Western civilization in the attempt to remake it into a global Orwellian Socialist technocracy. It used to be that if your country fell under the Marxist bootheel, you could escape here, as my father-in-law did, and as many others have. It used to be that as it crept into America, you could leave the blue state for a red state. You could stay a step ahead of the Cultural Borg. Now, there’s really nowhere left to go. The Cultural Borg, meanwhile, continue marching on. And they are showing signs of adapting to Trump’s weaponry. I don’t know how long his rhetorical combativeness will continue to work on them.

The Cultural Borg think resistance is futile. Or, perhaps, resistance is racist. It’s up to us to disabuse them of this notion.

About the Supposed Patriarchy…

Every time I sat down to write this post, something else came up, and so it’s been on a delay for a while. However, it’s a very important topic, so today I sat down and forced myself to finish it.

It all began when I was reading a post from Sarah Hoyt, called About that Matriarchy. The thing of it is, she’s entirely correct. We don’t live in a Patriarchy, we live in a Matriarchy that disguises itself with the skin of a Patriarchy, just like any other Marxist-controlled institution, really. Sure, men are nominally at the top of the power pyramid still, though that edge is slowly falling away. College education greatly favors women now, the last I checked at a rate of about 60/40. HR departments are overwhelmingly female. And middle management is heading that way, too. Eventually that will crossover to upper management and political representation. Remember, this is on something of a generational delay timer.

But in the meantime you might ask how I could make such a claim. Sarah, having grown up in an actual Patriarchy (which she describes in her post) explains for us:

I knew the US was a matriarchy from the moment in the airport when I was waiting for my plane to come over and get married and watched a very overweight, inappropriately dressed middle aged woman boss her husband and sons around.  (It occurred to me the other day that I probably now resemble her.  Eh.)

Only in a matriarchy are all men shown as idiots in every commercial; is every boss on tv a woman; are women treated like they have special and holy insight.

ONLY in a matriarchy can a bunch of women suddenly deciding that events thirty years ago still apply today (77 is not now, and now any guy saying sleep with me or else will be taken to court.  Unless he’s in Hollywood, publishing, the news or politics, and, oh, yeah, leftist) have men scurrying to come up with #Ihave.  When they OBVIOUSLY and painfully not only haven’t but couldn’t being to.

When she talks about TV commercials, she may be channeling an earlier post here at The DeclinationPop Culture, Commercials, and White Guys. Or perhaps she merely came to the same conclusion independently. Either way, a Matriarchy is not as obvious or blunt as a Patriarchy. Given the general personality characteristics of women, and how they often differ from men, we should not expect it to manifest in the same way.

Christina Hoff Summers explains for us in this video:

Masculinity is variously regarded as toxic, sexist, and at the very least in need of close monitoring and modification. The gold standard for personal behavior is the feminine, not the masculine. In essence, our society is asking why men aren’t more like women. And the needs and views of women are prioritized over men. This is often expressed as something like “happy wife, happy life” or “I put her needs first.” This isn’t even seen as particularly good behavior, rather it is the bare minimum. If you don’t think this way, you’re obviously a bad man.

Notice in the following poster how the woman is assumed to be the victim, even though the poster tells us both individuals were drunk:

072215JakeJosie

 

A woman who is intoxicated cannot consent, but apparently a man who is intoxicated can and is automatically assumed to have done so. This entire campaign is centered around a distinctly female perspective. It’s not hard to find examples of this kind of thinking everywhere.  Even the value system the West adheres to these days – at least publicly – is distinctly feminine. It’s a sort of ‘everybody just get along, and let’s all share’ passive-aggressive demand for conformity. It is the kind of thing you would see in a daycare run primarily by, you guessed it, women.

Sarah explains better than I can:

Women, being smaller and slighter and weaker than men have no built in brakes.  If we go to war, we go to war till the enemy is pieces.

The feminists who convinced American women that men were the enemy, at least as far back as I’ve been in the country, unleashed a monster that most of them didn’t anticipate or understand.

Ain’t momma happy ain’t nobody happy.  And momma knows that she can’t hold her men by force, so she must berate them and berate them and berate them, until they confess to things they wouldn’t dream of doing.

The constant accusations of racism, sexism, whatever… that are heaped upon men, especially straight white men (but other male demographics still get some of it), is off the scale. White men can do nothing that will satisfy anyone, anymore. If a white guy invented a cure for cancer, tomorrow we’d hear that he was a secret sexist because he said something hasty on Twitter once.

Meanwhile, if a woman does something a thousand men have done before her, we’ll be hearing about it for months. One of my favorite examples is this headline:

DKJaOGrUQAEw8nu

This is another case of people forgetting men even matter at all. Avery Brooks (a black man) played the lead character, Benjamin Sisko, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine over 20 years before this woman was cast in Star Trek:Discovery. But it doesn’t matter, because Sonequa is a woman. Sometimes you don’t even have to be a white male to get shafted this way, you just have to be a man. The female perspective is the only one that really matters in pop culture.

A hundred men could, for example, fly to Mars, and yes it would make headlines for a while. And people would praise the scientific achievement (even though it’s more of an engineering achievement, but that’s a separate post). But when the first woman goes, it won’t just be a mere scientific achievement, it will be an historic moment for all women, and for social justice, equality, fairness, and a thousand other Marxist buzzwords that don’t really mean what they say. Women matter more than science or engineering. Women matter more than anything.

Here’s a little social experiment to close:

The woman is always the victim. Even when, paradoxically, she’s doing the hitting. If a woman hits a man, it’s all smiles, laughter, and the occasional “you go girl” messages of encouragement. The reverse, of course, is anathema. Now, some of my readers may wonder about the difference, after all the Patriarchal way of doing things (at least in the more recent past) was generally to not hit women either. The difference is, in those days, it was understood that this was predicated on women not hitting men. If a woman started hitting a man in public in, say, the Victorian age, there would be no messages of encouragement or laughter. It would have been view with horror and embarrassment. People would think she was mental. Today, she’s a hero fighting the evil sexists, or at least entitled to hit her man as much as she wants.

Radical feminism has embraced the penultimate line of the strange 70s movie Zardoz: “The Penis is Evil.” Of course, the first line is one they’d view with horror: “The Gun is Good.” But that’s because, in the minds of feminists, the gun is nothing more than an extended penis anyway. Certainly, comparing gun ownership with penis size is common enough among them.

Either way, Sarah Hoyt is right. I can’t speak for her native Portugal, but I can say with some degree of certainty, as she does, that America is a Matriarchy. And in other Western nations I’ve visited, I’ve seen little to convince me otherwise.

 

The Spin Doctor is in the House

It’s been a crazy last few days, hasn’t it? Before we get into the meat of today’s entry, I want to express both my sorrow for those who died in the Texas shooting, and my deep respect for the men who fought back against the shooter and ran him down. You may kill people in Texas, if you are evil enough and determined enough, but know that Texas will kill you back. The two men who fought back did so quickly and decisively, before more lives could be lost. As for those who died in the shooting, I can only say that a just and true God awaits them. He knows His own. Others have said more, and said it better than I can, so I will leave it at that, for now.

Something else has been on my mind for a while as well. Rand Paul was recently attacked by a neighbor while out mowing his lawn. The neighbor broke 5 of his ribs, such was the fury of the assault. But that isn’t what bothers me per se. While I generally like Rand Paul (and that’s significant praise from me – I loathe most politicians), this hardly ascends to the level of the Scalise shooting, right? Well… kind of, in a different way. Check out this article:

Rand Paul is not a perfect neighbor, says community developer

First off, HOAs are generally as loathsome as any other political entity (which is what they are, don’t let them claim otherwise). But this is a fascinating bit of spin. Rand is not a “perfect” neighbor. Note the choice of words. My friends, none of us are perfect neighbors. I’m sure I do things that irritate some of my neighbors, and they have done things that irritate me from time-to-time, though I am generally blessed with neighbors who are very good people. Mostly, we all get along anyway. Hell, some of them are even good friends (and yes, it is still possible to irritate your good friends sometimes, too).

Point is nobody is perfect. Lack of perfection by no means excuses the actions of Rand’s neighbor. It counts for nothing at all. Zero. Zilch. So why mention it?

Dear readers, the spin doctor is in the house. It’s time to make the attack on Rand look, if not excusable, then at least less bad. This is media and its allies in politics conducting damage control. They can imply that, oh maybe the neighbor shouldn’t have attacked Rand BUT and then insert a long stream of excuses that diminishes the impact of the crime. Let us fisk a few of these, shall we?

The history between U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and his neighbor, who is accused of attacking him, is filled with years of angst and petty arguments over misplaced lawn trimmings and branches, the neighborhood’s developer said.

Ah yes. Misplaced lawn trimmings and branches excuse violence. What? Note that it doesn’t even mention who was misplacing the trimmings. The piece insinuates that it’s Rand’s fault, because of the not perfect headline, but it stops short of claiming that. This is common media rhetorical technique, such that if it came out that the trimmings were the neighbor’s, and not Rand’s, the journalist can escape by saying he didn’t really claim that.

The two men have been neighbors for more than 17 years, said Boucher’s lawyer, Matt Baker, in a statement Monday.

While there’s no official word on what caused the fight, Skaggs suggested it might have stemmed from Paul allegedly blowing lawn trimmings into his neighbor’s yard.

Again with the weasel wording. Skaggs suggested that it might have allegedly stemmed from this. Yet the inattentive reader is given the picture that Rand was being an asshole. Pure rhetoric. No facts.

There have been disagreements in the past, Skaggs said, over lawn clippings or who should cut down a tree branch when it stretched over a property line. The two men live on different streets but their lots join and their homes are 269 feet apart, according to Google Maps.

Skaggs described Boucher as a “near-perfect” neighbor, but he said the libertarian politician is a different story.

By near perfect, I wonder if Skaggs means ‘shares my political orientation?’ But that is rhetorical supposition, and at least I’ll admit it is.

Paul “was probably the hardest person to encourage to follow the (homeowner’s association regulations) of anyone out here because he has a strong belief in property rights,” said Skaggs, who is the former chairman of the Warren County Republican Party.

Ah. A libertarian-leaning Republican has a strong belief in property rights. Why, what a crime that is! It almost drives a man to break 5 of his ribs! Look carefully at the last bit, however, where the journalist drops “former chairman of the Warren County Republican Party.” This is another rhetorical technique. The author can insinuate that Skaggs’ criticism of Rand is justified because they share a political party, thus deflecting the notion that the criticism is rooted in politics, not substance. But we are not informed if Skaggs is still a Republican, or if he is a liberal Republican, or anything of the sort.

Skaggs noted the 13 pages of regulations are extensive. But even from the start of Paul’s residence in Rivergreen, Skaggs said Paul has been difficult to work with.

“The major problem was getting the house plans approved,” Skaggs said. “He wanted to actually own the property rights and build any kind of house he wanted. He didn’t end up doing that, but it was a struggle.”

So Rand wanted something the HOA was not prepared to approve, but ultimately decided to follow the HOA guidelines. Why, that’s just terrible isn’t it? Why is this even news?

But Rob Porter, a 20-year friend of the senator, said he had never even heard of Boucher before.

“When I saw Rand after the incident, he even acknowledged that he hadn’t talked to Boucher in years,” Porter said. “If there was some kind of ongoing rift, i wasn’t aware of it and Rand didn’t act like he was aware of it.”

At least the author acknowledges this. If there was an ongoing feud, as Skaggs and the author imply, why would no one else be aware of it? But even if there was a feud, how does that justify even slightly attacking Rand that way?

Voter records from March 2017 show Boucher registered as a Democrat, but his lawyer said Monday that politics had nothing to do with the dispute between neighbors.

Boucher’s lawyer, Baker, said he would not comment on what the argument was over until he conducted more interviews with other neighbors.

Somehow, I very much doubt this is true. It sounds like standard lawyer boilerplate.

“We would really like to see this all over and you back in your house and him back in his house and try to be friends with each other, even though you’ll never like each other,” Skaggs said he told Boucher.

This Skaggs guy, if the author is accurately quoting him, is an idiot. How can you “be friends with each other even though you’ll never like each other”? It makes no sense. That is word salad, devoid of any meaning. What I think Skaggs is trying to communicate here is that the neighbors should pretend to be friends, even though they hate each other’s guts. So Skaggs criticizes Rand for being imperfect, but tells the attacker that he’d really like to see everyone just be friends.

And people wonder why I hate HOAs. Too bad they are almost inescapable, short of moving to the country, these days.

Modern Media, Superiority Complexes, and the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect

Social media is full of long-winded, acrimonious debates about politics, sociology, cats, etc… It’s enough to make a man seriously consider giving it up completely. My colleague at Liberty’s Torch discussed cutting that particular line earlier, and though I have not done what he did, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t think about it.  Mostly, the arguments are just for show. People don’t expect to win hearts and minds in them, not really. Rather, it’s often just a virtue signal, or the refilling of narcissistic supply.

A few posts in, and the insults about stupidity, bigotry, Dunning-Kruger, and otherwise will make themselves known. And in them we see the true purpose of many such debates: feeling superior. If you infer that your opponent is a Nazi, you feel morally superior to him. If you call him stupid, you can feel intellectually superior. The bigger the audience, the better, so more people can affirm your superiority over your enemy. The actual issue at hand is rarely as important as these feelings. Find me a Facebook debate, and I can almost guarantee you at least one participant who is engaging in this behavior.

And since no one is really arguing in a dialectical manner (though you will see the word “facts” repeated as mantra for things that aren’t), nothing gets resolved. No new knowledge is gained, no insight or deeper understanding. It is purposeless mental masturbation. It certainly doesn’t make one an intellectual, or more intelligent.

What I’ve come to realize is that this behavior on social media is a microcosm for our society at large. The same behavior applies at the highest levels of media and politics. Most of these people have no idea what they are talking about, even most of the so-called experts (contrary to Tom Nichols’ assessment of political expertise). Find me an expert pilot, and we can go through his records, how many hours he’s logged, on what aircraft, and with what results. It is demonstrable. There is no similar metric for media talking heads, especially where results are concerned. And for politics, and measure of this is bound to be skewed by the political views of its members, such that our reliance upon it is already suspect.

This leads to an environment of low accountability. Oh, sure, if a man like Dan Rather gets snookered by some fake memos very publicly, the house of cards can fall down on him. But the mistake has to be high profile enough and, paradoxically, covered by the media enough, for it to get out in the first place.

Michael Crichton explained the problem as the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. Observe:

Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I call it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)

 

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

 

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

 

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.

 

But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

A combination of superficial understanding and political narratives results in articles and news programs that make no sense. The percentage of the problem attributable to either feature varies widely from case-to-case. Sometimes it is blatantly political, and it cannot be explained by ignorance. Other times, it is probably best explained with stupidity. Most cases are probably a little of both. The media and its supporters, meanwhile, are quite blind to this. I came across this gem this afternoon, and it made me laugh out loud for the sheer stupidity of it:

lolol

The amusing thing is how easy this is to disprove. A quick glance at the SAT scores of incoming college students, broken down by major, is sufficient to reveal the error (see page 13 here). Of the STEM majors, all outscored journalists (see: engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, computer/information sciences). Some did so by staggering margins (see: mathematics). That the author of that tweet couldn’t be bothered to check his work, when claiming high intellect, is actually pretty damned hilarious. It’s enough to make me wonder if the guy is secretly trolling.

Anyway, point is, try Michael Crichton’s test for yourself. It’s something I’ve spoken of before – I just lacked the convenient name for it. Talk to other people who have done the same for different subjects, people you trust. You’ll soon see just how wrong the media is. Trump frequently calls CNN fake news, but in reality pretty much every outlet I’ve seen is full of shit to greater or lesser degree. Sometime I’d like to see a counter for how many times individual journalists have been caught in lies, or made serious mistakes driven by stupidity and ignorance.

These are the same people who, like the randoms on Facebook, want to demonstrate how enlightened they are, how wise, all-knowing, and progressive. They have a bigger podium, of course, and more spectators. But the motivations are similar enough. It’s all about appearances and narcissistic supply. It all boils down to a statement even a toddler could understand, and likely hears frequently on the playground. “I’m better than you! Neener-neener!” But they aren’t willing to do the work. They all expected Hillary Clinton to win, right up until she didn’t. Never forget how badly they called that election. If you get amnesia about their smaller mistakes, at least hold on to that one. They pretend to expert status. Meanwhile Trump, the supposedly stupid bigot, baits them like a matador. It’s comical how he plays them.

They want so desperately to shout down this man. I once thought it was because of his immigration policies – and I have no doubt that was a major factor, at least at first. But I’ve come to realize that there’s a deeper reason. He makes them look like idiots. He hurts their egos. Because, deep down, they know they aren’t the superior intellects they pretend to be. They know they are fake news. And he not only sees through them, he’s exposed them as frauds in front of the world. This they cannot forgive, or forget.

Rationalizing Extinction

Here’s a doozy of a post: Kids? Just Say No.

I’ve been seeing an awful lot of this kind of sophistry lately. It’s moralism run amok. It differs from Social Justice only in degree. The SJW prioritizes certain classes and groups above others, based on an arbitrary Progressive Stack. This cretin suggests that life itself must be extinguished, in other words that nobody is salvageable. It won’t be long before something akin to this becomes orthodox Social Justice belief.

Everything they do, from the casual treatment of abortion to the constant wearing down of men, to the incessant racial polarization, and finally to the worship of Death Cults like militant Islam and Communism… it all leads inexorably to this destination.

I lack the ability to prove it (I cannot get into their heads, and I don’t think I’d want to even if it were possible), but I’ve long suspected that the underlying mechanism is disappointment in life. These people were promised utopias, heaven on Earth, a place without suffering, loss, and unfairness. If such a place exists, it is not here on Earth. Most of us eventually come to realize this, and make peace with it, and live our lives as best we can despite it. But these people never entirely let go of the expectation, and it festers into extreme disappointment and rage at the unfairness of it all.

And like all misery, it desires our company. Observe:

But even if life isn’t pure suffering, coming into existence can still be sufficiently harmful to render procreation wrong. Life is simply much worse than most people think, and there are powerful drives to affirm life even when life is terrible. People might be living lives that were actually not worth starting without recognising that this is the case.

This is full of rhetorical nonsense like “life is simply much worse than people think.” What people? Worse than what benchmark? To the contrary, human life has, in general, improved in very quantifiable ways over time. As I type this, I sit in a comfortably temperature-controlled building, with a full stomach, able to access pretty much any piece of human knowledge in seconds. Part of the desire to have children is the notion that they will have it better than us. That we leave to them a world better than we found it.

The central argument of this piece is that life is full of suffering (true), and that as a result, bringing new life into the world is fundamentally immoral. This is an argument for human extinction, something the author realizes:

The question is not whether humans will become extinct, but rather when they will. If the anti-natalist arguments are correct, it would be better, all things being equal, if this happened sooner rather than later for, the sooner it happens, the more suffering and misfortune will be avoided.

This contains many implicit assumptions: first of all that there is not a higher purpose for human beings. If one, for instance, were to believe in God, then it is possible this life is a test, and that another exists should we pass the test. Even if one is an atheist, it is possible to consider that human knowledge and evolution will eventually lead to immortality, or something like it; that even the supposed heat-death of the universe might be reversed (there is a great story by Isaac Asimov about this very thing). Regardless, the author is solipsistic in the extreme. He does not ponder a meaning or purpose outside the bounds of his own puny life. And since his life is imperfect, he presumes it a moral wrong that any other should “suffer” it. With a solipsistic worldview, it is easy to slip into madness like this, because other people don’t even necessarily seem entirely real. It’d be like a Communist reading reports on the number of people who died at the gulag last week, they are just numbers, not even real people.

How many dead bodies have been stacked up in the quest for perfection? It is and always has been a fallacy.

The thing to understand above all this, however, is that morality is a tool. People like the author of this bullshit moralize until they are blue in the face. They dig too deep. They are too far away from the purpose of morality. If humans did not exist (for the sake of argument, I’m presuming there are no other sentient species), there would be no morality; no right or wrong. These are concepts that exist solely in the minds of individual humans. What good would the universe be, then? He argues not for the peak morality, but for the elimination of all morality.

This is the danger of applying concepts of morality at a meta level. It is what SJWs do, only to even greater degree. The SJW tries to balance out the conflicting moral stances of history; slavery to Jim Crow; Genocide to Imperialism; Conquest and Jihad; Poverty and wealth. This is beyond us. Playing with morality at a meta level leads to surprisingly irrational conclusions like kill all the humans, kill all men, or fuck white people. They differ only in degree of meta-moralizing.

Think about it. Someday SJWs are bound to realize that male feminists are just as “rapey”, if not more so, than the shitlords. Sooner or later, they must learn that Islam is much harder on gays and transgender folks than Christians are. Or that groups of people far more racist than white Americans exist. SJWs will have to cannibalize themselves sooner or later. Black Lives Matter must inevitably conflict with White Girl Feminism. Chinese Communism must eventually conflict with Euro-Globalism. And so on…

Sooner or later SJWs will join our self-described “anti-natalist” in condemning the entire human species as worthless.

It all stems from a category error. Morality must first and foremost be applied to individual interactions. Bottom up, so to speak. Applying it from the top down leads to a self-destructive rationalization spiral ending with the position this man has espoused: the complete extinction of humanity. It’s something adherents of death cults like militant Islam are perfectly aware of, too, given their quasi-apocalyptic rhetoric.

Debt Sucks

Sometimes, I wonder if Francis is reading my mind or something. I don’t understand how a curmudgeonly Yankee 2000 miles away can know me so well, but there it is. Today, in Who Has A Hold On You?, Francis brings up the matter of my own bad experience with mortgage debt, documented here. It’s one of those moments that stands out in my memory because when I bought that house, I was a reader of his earlier blog incarnation Eternity Road, wherein I argued that purchasing the property in question was good. Francis was patient with me at the time, and that was a seed that took a little while to sprout.

When things went bad, I had the opportunity to reflect on why Francis had been right all along. Debt is serious business, and Americans today make far too little of it. They do not understand the seriousness of the obligation, and enter into debt casually and with minimal reflection as to the risks and costs associated with it.

It was almost three years ago that I rid myself of that property. The moment I handed the keys to the bank, I was barely clinging on to middle class. In the years since, my income has tripled, my net worth has skyrocketed, and my general quality of life has improved immeasurably. The debt was holding me back that much. The time spent managing the rental property was turned over to productive contract work. Much of my savings was put to work in investments, a couple of which paid off well for me. I paid off all other debt and deliberately lowered my standard of living.

Now I have one remaining mortgage, which is at 50% loan-to-value, and for which I have sufficient assets to cover if I really had to dispense with it. I have one investment which, if it pays off as expected in the next few months, will rid me of that last remaining debt. Even if that doesn’t pan out, the balance will be gone in a year, two at the most, even without liquidating my other assets. I have no other debt whatsoever.

The difference is night and day. No consumer good, not even a house or a car, is worth the level of stress and obligation imposed by debt. Many people will say things like “don’t flush your money down the toilet with rent” or “I can totally make more in the market than the rate I’m paying on my car loan.” Technically, these statements are true. But most folks who have car loans do not have the liquid assets to cover the balance earning interest in the market. Many of those who don’t want to flush money down the toilet by renting end up screwed by a finicky real estate market. They lose much more. These are generally hollow excuses for justifying spending, not sound financial advice that is actually followed.

Since the insurance mess that led to the problem with my old house, I’ve become a lot more sensitive to how debt shackles you in ways you don’t fully comprehend when signing the note. You think you are signing on for a relatively fixed payment on a balance that, after the accrued period, will go down. As long as the payment is sufficiently affordable, everything is okay, right? No. Financial market manipulation, government regulation, and insurance schemes can conspire to lock you into the property and shackle you to a specific geographic region. No longer can you shop for higher paying jobs elsewhere. The albatross is stuck around your neck. The neighborhood can be destroyed by government insurance scams and prevent you from ridding yourself of it if you don’t have assets to cover the note balance. That is only one scenario that can play out – I’m sure many others exist.

Point is, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t accept any debt like that for anything less than an immediate life-saving emergency for either myself or my family.

I’m not saying debt is always bad. Sometimes playing the spread for investment purposes can be good, if you have the underlying assets to cover it. Sometimes, you would rather borrow money for something than liquidate a productive asset. And in a business, where personal liability is no longer a concern, debt can be considered as part of your overall risk strategy in the business itself. But in this, I consider debt to be rather like a chainsaw: a dangerous but often productive tool when not pointed at you personally. Never turn the chainsaw toward yourself if it can possibly be avoided. Certainly don’t do it because you want a bigger house or a nicer car. It’s not worth it.

Debt can be used as a tool to silence you. It can force compliance with the Overton Window. It can shackle you to a bad job, a lower income, and bad neighborhood.

I will reiterate: since eliminating most of my debt, my income has tripled. And yes, it’s directly related to that increase in income. The elimination of a monthly loss, combined with the need to manage it as a rental property and all that time that took, plus the general stress and the tie to a specific geographic area… ridding myself of the property was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. Without debt to hold me back, and with the increase in income, my net worth exploded.

I know not everyone had an experience as bad as mine, but even so consider how much debt might be holding you back. And ask yourself if the stuff is really worth it. Most of my furniture is stuff I purchased second hand for 1/10 the retail price. My car is much more modest than most at my income level, but it’s mine, I don’t owe anybody money on it. I don’t have a particularly nice TV, the latest video game consoles, or a lot of knick knacks and consumer crap. The house is pretty bare compared to most. I have a few luxuries, like a humidor full of some good cigars (that was a luxury I had to give up for a while, back then) and a liquor cabinet with some of my favorite whiskies. And that is good enough for me.

Most people in my neighborhood think my wife and I are rather poor, because we live much more modestly than most of them. A few months ago, one asked me what I made in a year, and when I told him he nearly spit out his beer, and asked why I hadn’t sold the house and moved into one of the new trendy neighborhoods down the street.

No thanks. I like how things have gone these last few years, and I’ve no desire to go back to the way I lived before. It’s a good feeling knowing that, even if your possessions are more modest, and you don’t have the latest trendy whatever, what you do have is yours. If folks think I’m a little poor, or at least not well off, that’s fine too. Substance matters more than appearance, anyway. It’s a nice way to live, and I hope other Americans find their way to it eventually, too.

Pop Culture, Commercials, and White Guys

It isn’t difficult to find people complaining about how “people of color” are treated in America today. Turn on the TV, and you’ll see highly-paid NFL players lamenting this. White liberals are constantly bashing “whiteness”, and attending lectures and classes wherein white people are variously termed devils, demons, oppressors, or some other thing. It is the same for men in general, as opposed to women.

Whites, and white men in particular, are generally seen as squares. They can’t dance, can’t sing, are uncool, lame, stupid, and as the famous movie title once explained for us, white men can’t jump. If white men do anything interesting or cool, it will be seen as cultural appropriation, denounced as racism, or become an Obama “you didn’t build that” situation. White people either have no culture (that link is interesting, because many white American liberals genuinely believe that they have no culture), or their culture is based primarily on white supremacy.

Here is a video in which we see how men are portrayed in TV commercials, versus how women are also portrayed:

Men are variously buffoons, abusers, stupid, sexist, racist, misogynistic and otherwise. Women, of course, are strong and empowered paragons of virtue. They are smarter, wiser, stronger, kinder, and just better human beings. TV commercials are a great way to see this bias laid out, because marketing departments usually want to stay as tightly within the Overton Window as possible. Political Incorrectness in commercials is a no-no. When it does happen, as with the infamous Pepsi protest commercial, you’ll see a lot of back peddling and excuse-making. Somebody will likely get fired for such mistakes. So don’t think this is an accident. Marketing departments think this is normal, acceptable, and even desirable, given present sociopolitical circumstances.

Here’s one that’s a little more subtle. Because using white people stereotypes as awkward buffoons is politically correct, but doing the same of other races is not (double standard), we have commercials like those in this compilation:

Here is another video with a compilation of commercials. Several dozen are present in it.

Now to be fair, both videos contain a lot of cherry-picking. But when attempting to cherry-pick the reverse, I find very few examples, and most of those are old and/or foreign. Certainly you can go back to the 80s, and to some extent the 90s, and see all races and both genders depicted as smart or stupid, good or evil.  But in the late 90s, we see the trend begin toward only white men being stupid, evil, or lame.

Still, I searched Youtube for a long time to find what example I could. The most blatant anti-black ad I could find was actually produced in China. See below:

For the most part, Social Justice Warriors deny any such discrimination exists. Instead, white men are privileged. They have the world handed to them. It’s all so easy to be a white guy. But this doesn’t jibe with reality, where we are the butt of all jokes, the one group that it is still politically correct to shit on. Most of the purveyors of the  Twitter #KillAllMen are still around. Most of my old conservative and libertarian friends on Twitter are gone, suspended for much lesser infractions than arguing for the genocide of half the human race. Somehow most the Nazi LARPers are still around – perhaps because they make white people look evil. I don’t know.

The thing is, as the narrator in the first video explains, making fun of white guys doesn’t bother me, per se. I can take it. It’s fine. What’s wrong here is that this is only permissible one way. You may use any ethnic slur you wish with regards to white people, but they are off limits for white people to use on any other race. “Nigger” is acceptable when used by a black man, but beyond the pale when used by a white man. Any number of slurs against white peoples are permissible. Cracker, guido, greaseball, mick, paddy, kraut, hillbilly, cousin-fucker, white trash, pollack, donkey, redneck. All of these are okay. Say “porch monkey” and prepare for the army of SJWs to cry out for your head. And let us not forget that a completely non-ethnic related use of “chink in the armor” was widely decried as racist, many times, including one where it was literally being used to describe a weakness in tank armor.

Here is an old ad (early 90s) that depicts a black man the same way white guys are generally portrayed today. SJWs would go apeshit if they saw this:

The merest whiff of a possibility that someone might be insulting a “person of color” is enough to warrant dismissal and denunciation. Meanwhile crapping on white guys is so pervasive and acceptable, it’s used to sell us consumer crap on the television. Imagine if they used a dumb black person to sell watermelon on TV today. The outcry could be heard from space. SJWs would be like William Shatner screaming in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: RAAAAAAAAAAAAACISM! That’s more or less how it works with white guys.

Being a white man in today’s society means walking on eggshells constantly, every waking moment. The black coworker next to you could be cool, she could be like any other person. Or she could just be waiting for an excuse to cry racism to HR if you accidentally said something that could be interpreted as racist in some fashion. It creates a constant sense of tension when white folks interact with a person of another race.

Rather than just organically connecting with that person as used to be the case in America (I remember in the 80s, it was still largely like this), now you have to micromanage every interaction, be on constant lookout for possible narrative violations, microaggressions, and otherwise.  It creates a demand for ideological perfection that poisons any interaction between people of different races.

I’m part Southern American English(-ish, I found a few Dutchmen from the 1700s in the woodpile recently), through my father’s side, and half Armenian through my mother’s side. My Cuban/Spanish in-laws and I trade barbs back and forth about Cubans, and gringos, and about the Kardashians being distant relatives of mine (I’d throw the Kardashians into a woodchipper if I could, but it IS funny). One of my closest friends is a full-blooded Irishman. The drunk jokes and potato jokes write themselves. I participate in a closed conservative science fiction community with a lot of Jewish folks. And yes, even Jew jokes are permissible. Every once in a while, they’ll even provide me with a Jewish joke I’ve never heard before.

Nobody cares. Nobody takes it so seriously. And so folks of differing backgrounds can laugh, drink together, and make friends.

But outside of closed-off communities and personal relationships, this never really happens anymore. Everybody is so uptight about race, gender, sexual preference, whatever. The interactions are poisoned before they even begin. And the so-called “Safe Spaces” just make things worse, because in such places the echo chambers reinforce one another, and the hate festers and spreads. The benign social divisions (Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, for example) are destroyed. Toxic ones like SJWs safe spaces and neo-segregation (except this time, keep whitey out) are erected in place of them.

It’s almost like these people can’t wait to hear something they can spin as racist/sexist/whatever, no matter whether or not it really is. They are excited and salivate over opportunities to divide people, to further poison interactions between people, and to deprive us all of things like humor, fun, and genuine friendship. Remember folks, if your friend is outed as a “racist” you must immediately purge him and say twenty Hail Anitas in recompense.

In the end, hating white people is not merely permissible, it is required. Even if you are white. No, especially if you are white. Hating men is also required, especially if you are a man.

Social Justice purports to be a movement of tolerance, love, and diversity. Me? Fuck them. I’ll go hang out with my people and make tasteless jokes we can all laugh at. SJWs? You go be boring and unoriginal, because at this point I think every funny white guy joke has already been done to death. It’s so cliche it’s a TV commercial, now.

Tuesday Afternoon Observations

Truly, I was hoping for some more insight into the motives and background of Stephen Paddock, the perpetrator of the Las Vegas shooting, but it appears even a week later, facts are thin on the ground and few definitive conclusions have been made. It was a very unusual attack, such that if a man wrote a movie script with such a character, I’d dismiss it as completely implausible. I do hope something is discovered soon, for the conspiracy theories have already multiplied and grown several new legs in the days since.

On a more positive note, Francis, the proprietor of Liberty’s Torch, has released a new book. as of last week. A few snippets from the book were released earlier and were quite intriguing. With all the crazy news we’ve heard lately about the demented state of Hollywood, from Joss Whedon’s ex-wife outing him as a philanderer who took advantage of women in his employ, to the current case of Harvey Weinstein, a story about sexual slavery and perversion (but with a genetic engineering twist) is most appropriate for the times. Give Innocents a try if you’re looking for an appropriate read. I’ll post a full review later, when I get out from under this mountain of work I’ve made for myself.

If you haven’t seen it already, give this Project Veritas video a watch. I don’t know how James O’Keefe manages to get all these folks to admit their agendas so openly, although in this video we hear a woman’s voice, so possibly he used the honeypot technique. But I’ll be damned if he isn’t doing some of God’s own work here. We get all sorts of connections here, between Comey, Antifa, and the New York Times. None of these are surprising, per se, but to hear them freely admitted is relatively new.

Lastly, in light of current events I wanted to bring some more attention to an older post of mine: RadFems, Cenobites, and the Lament Configuration. We are seeing Hollywood and politicians getting exposed for this kind of hypocritical behavior more often lately. I’m not entirely sure why – some have speculated that the power of old print media waning has deprived them of cover, others suspect it a sort of housecleaning on the Left, where the old Clintonistas are getting kicked out from under their protective umbrella in light of her loss to Trump. But whatever the reason, the contradictions are starting to see daylight.

The trouble is the hypocrisy of it all, the person who protests Nazis, then wants to be beaten by a Nazi, the person who says all sex is rape, and then fucks a dozen guys in a cocaine-fueled mega orgy.

If you want to experience these things, and admit it to yourself, that is one thing. But the next day, you are suddenly a neo-Puritan? The standard bearer for why every time a guy in front of his computer jerks off, he’s committing the equivalent of rape? You say you are anti-fascist, dressing in black and either pretending to be a Nazi, or wanting to be dominated by one?

And so the TV cameras come out, and you’re Cotton Mather, praising the Salem Witch Trials… while at night, you are the witch. Who is the real you? These people are so very confused.

Most of Leftist politics, at least from these people, is pure theater. During the day, they are paragons of proper behavior. Why, they are almost Puritan-like, save for the fact that they don’t worship any stupid sky wizards because they are Brights, or something. But at night, they are something else entirely – ruled by drugs and lust.

It’s about time people started noticing the hypocrisy and speaking of it openly.

Las Vegas… To Be Cont…

I don’t have much to say right now on the Las Vegas shooting that hasn’t already been said by folks smarter than I am. So here are a few links for your perusal that I found interesting:

The Las Vegas Shooting and the Attack of the Carrion Crows – Sarah Hoyt

WTAF?! Brother says Las Vegas shooter was multi-millionaire real estate investor

The entire Twitter timeline of Kurt Schlichter right now…

CBS Legal Exec: No Sympathy For Vegas ‘Because Country Music Fans Often Are Republican’ – Note, I’m seeing reports that she was fired.

Anyway, seems like Stephen Paddock is rotting in Hell already, so there’s that. I’ll have more to say on the subject when more is definitively known.

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