Some Time Off

I’m out with the wife on a short 4-day vacation, and I fully intend to avoid politics for those 4 days. I gave my word… so I must.

But before I head out, here are a few noteworthy items. First, Kurt Schlichter has penned a great piece around the goings on this November. At this rate, I may have to rename my blog The Ascension instead of The Declination. Things have been going well for us. The Democrats are imploding. Pelosi and her ilk were quite nearly unseated, though she managed to hold on in the end. Trump, either through an intentional Xanatos Gambit, or accident, managed to convince the SJWs to head out into the streets and burn American flags, revealing themselves openly as the American-hating bastards they are.

I should note, however, that I do disagree with Trump’s tweet about that. If you’re a citizen, you have a right to burn the flag. I don’t want to go down that road. The First Amendment exists for a reason, and its protections are as near to an absolute as you can get in politics, idiots ranting about “fire in a theater” notwithstanding. However, if you’re not a citizen and you do it… I think we ought to ensure that you never become a citizen. We’ve enough native-born flag burners as it is. We don’t need to import more of them.

But it’s starting to look like Trump’s tweet may have been another great moment in trolling history:

If it really was intentional, then I must give credit where credit is due. If it was an accident, then I must warn Trump not to tread down that path with us. Let the flag burners reveal themselves as the idiots they are in full public view. That’s more effective than banning the activity and shutting them down, anyway.

In addition to all this, we have the intelligentsia revealing themselves as the Communists they truly are, in their praising and defense of Fidel Castro, who decided to take the express bus to Hell on Capitalism’s biggest consumer orgy: Black Friday.

Our enemies are stepping out into the light in their desperation, and that gives me hope. Don’t misunderstand, though, turning this ship around will be a Herculean effort. We’ve had false recoveries before. The clerisy is deeply embedded into this Social Justice nonsense, and ferreting them out and removing them from power will not be easy, or quick. Reagan once dominated the political scene, and was still unable to unseat the bureaucracy.

And we must keep an eye on Trump to ensure he doesn’t stray from the path, too. Again, if it was a deliberate trolling attempt, good on him. If not, then he needs some Constitutional scholars in his cabinet.

In other news, here are a couple of great moments in SJW stupidity, screencapped for posterity:

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Math is racist folks. Didntcha know?

 

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Fantasy Football is the moral equivalent of plantation slavery, according to this woman… I don’t even know what to say to this one.

I’ll see you all again in a few days. Don’t burn the place down without me.

Victimhood as Prestige

Back in preschool daycare, there was a phenomenon I remember which most folks can probably relate to. Tattling was a tactical move which could either confer status upon you, or take it away. Deep down, nobody liked a tattletale, but kids often feared him and pretended to like him when the teachers were around, so as to avoid punishment. There was always a kid who would tattle frequently, even inventing stories out of whole cloth. And the teachers often liked this kid, because it appeared that he made their jobs easier by policing the other kids for them.

Of course, when the teachers were not there to watch, there was an entirely different opinion of the tattletale. An opinion that, frequently enough, turned violent. But even this played into the sanctified victimhood of the tattletale. He thought himself persecuted by the other kids, and this only enhanced his desire for vengeance through the administration. And so many children separated into two groups of deceivers, both of whom pretended to be paragons of virtue in front of authority figures. They were the tattlers and the bullies. But both may be thought of bullies, just one of a more physical sort, and another of a more mental or emotional sort. In the tradition of Lord of the Flies, this feature persists throughout childhood, but ought to be effectively resisted by thinking adults.

Yet here it is, in 2016, and the same two groups persist into the adult world. We see the tattlers in the form of Social Justice Warriors, radical feminists, and other assorted Leftist “intellectuals”. And coextensive with them we find the physical bullies in the form of Black Lives Matter protesters, criminals who use ethnicity as a shield for their behavior, and others of their like. Observe here:

The infantile nature of the Left is fast becoming quite transparent. The emotional bullies become proxy stooges for the Establishment, claiming to be victims of whatever group is currently resisting the activities and desires of the power brokers. It’s funny how many radical feminists claim to be victims of white male violence in some form or another, and yet the group that is most obviously physical in their criminal activities certainly isn’t straight white guys.

As in preschool, a sort of understanding has taken place, wherein the emotional bullies and the physical bullies have, at least for the time being, joined forces to extract as much lunch money from the rest of us as possible. And we cannot go to the authorities, for the stooges have Establishment support. And we cannot fight back effectively without those very same stooges telling on us for daring to have the temerity to resist our fleecing.

In this day and age, the appearance of victimhood has become a coin unto itself.  As long as you can cloak yourself under its protections, you can steal, loot, burn, pillage, and rape, and excuses will be made for your behavior. And so being a “victim” grants prestige and power. Just as us capitalists are inventive in our search for profit, so are these people ever more creative in inventing new methods of gaining victim status.

Browsing around Twitter today, I encountered this picture from @AuditTheMedia:

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A debate as sexual violence, requiring a trigger warning…

Yes, merely by watching a debate, freely, of your own choosing, you can be granted victim status. Perhaps you will go to the counselor, and the call the sexual assault hotline. You might write a book about your PTSD, and the suffering the evil Trumpites have done to you by merely existing. And then you can go onto social media and call for the death of all white men, and nobody bats an eyelash, because you are a victim and have your ironclad documentation thereof. Bottles of antidepressants, counseling receipts, fake death threats, and sad photographs all serve as proofs. Skin color and genitalia likewise confer benefits. And it is even possible to gain them without having the requisite genitals or skin color. You merely claim transgender status, or pull a stunt like Shaun King, and invent your blackness out of whole cloth.

Anyway, once your proofs are established, you get to exercise power as an agent of the power brokers, like the tattletale in preschool. Did someone look at you funny? Time to tell on them, get the fired from their job, attack their businesses, or whatever. With the rise of the Microaggression concept, anything can be grounds for telling on someone. What constitutes criminal offense is entirely in the hands of the empowered accuser. If necessary, the story may be bolstered by fake death threats, racist text messages sent by their own, or even poop swastikas plastered on a bathroom wall by parties unknown.

Meanwhile the physical bullies have realized that they can exercise the same power, and escape justice, by cloaking their own behavior under the same proofs. If one of their own is punished for his behavior (even in a case of suicide-by-cop), that is merely an excuse for the rest of them to flex their muscle. For now, the two types of bullies have a sort of fragile truce in order to loot the rest of us as efficiently as possible. But supposing we were ever sufficiently impoverished and cowed, they would turn on each other soon enough.

The thing to understand here is that this power is an illusion, and it requires some level of cooperation from the real victims. If an accusation of racism/sexism/whatever wasn’t treated as an automatic guilty verdict by a sufficient number of people, then what power would it hold over you? If a large enough number of Americans didn’t believe every sob story they heard on the nightly news, how could you be guilted into supporting blatant bullying behavior?

In the preschools, there was always one power that could upset the bullies, both of the physical and emotional varieties: standing up to them. If you punched the physical bully in the nose, even if you lost the conflict, you made it expensive enough for him that he would probably stop. And with the tattletales, if the rest of the class presented a united front and challenged him, the teacher had no choice but to accept your victory over the tattler. In the rare case that the tattler was believed over the entire rest of the class, it was possible to bring the parents in and challenge the verdict.

Americans MUST stand up to the bullies of both varieties. And they must do so now, before it is too late. They must bring the cash value of victimhood down to zero. Indeed, we must laugh at the individual who tries to confer victimhood upon himself. Did someone use their genitals as an excuse for failure? Point and laugh. Shame them for this behavior. Did another individual cry because someone disagreed with him? Turn your back on him and ostracize him. Indeed, make the value of this product negative. As with any product in a free market, the consumer retains ultimate power to categorically reject something, and that is what we must do as a people.

Stop rewarding bad behavior, and it will eventually stop.

Political Liquidity & Rent Seeking

So, in the tradition of Anti-Think, Weaponized Empathy, and Progressive Magic, I have another useful term for you: Political Liquidity. Wherever you may stand on this bizarre election, one thing must be acknowledged openly and honestly: Hillary Clinton is more powerful than Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean she will win, mind you, but with the media firmly on her side, from major news networks down to the local business journal in my hometown, it is clear that this a home game for Hillary. Wall Street is behind her, also. The big donors prefer her, while Trump’s own party withholds support from him. Now, we know how divisive Trump is, and how those who oppose the Left have divided into three camps: NeverTrumpers, the Trump Train people, and the Reluctant “anything over Hillary” folks, of which I am a member.

But that alone doesn’t explain what we’re seeing here, why the system, so to speak, is so strongly in favor of Hillary. Remember, this same system favored her over Bernie Sanders, and whatever else his failings may have been, Sanders was not Trump. There’s a simpler explanation: Hillary Clinton is wealthier than Donald Trump.

Does this sound strange? How could the Clintons, whose net worth is difficult to estimate (figures are all over the board, but $100 million or so may be close), be more wealthy than Donald Trump, who is estimated to be worth around $4.5 billion?

That’s just it. Money and net worth is a poor measure of wealth these days. When we talk of assets that we own, we often speak of the asset’s liquidity, how quickly it can be converted to cash. We say this as if cash was the most liquid form of wealth. It isn’t. Political arbitrage is one level above cash. Allow me to explain.

So most of my readers will be familiar with the Uber fiasco, wherein many cities are banning Uber, or requiring Uber drivers to hold the same tokens and certifications that taxi cab drivers have. The logic, they say, is that taxis are regulated, and taxi drivers have certain checks and certifications, and so on, which improves taxi service and keeps it safe for everyone. That’s the excuse, anyway. I spoke with the Uber drivers I’ve used about this. Get this: every single one of them was a taxi driver. Now, I’m betting this is partly because of my small Uber driver sample size, but nonetheless it’s interesting. These drivers explained that they make more money under Uber. Why is that?

My brother-in-law explained the problem to me in more detail. Most cities issue tokens, a sort of taxi license provided by the city, which is required to operate a licensed cab. The tokens are limited in quantity, and there are typically far too few for all of those who want to drive cabs. Usually big taxi companies will buy up the available tokens, driving up the price of what few may remain on the open market, and so if you want to be a cab driver, you must work with one of these companies. You rent the cab from them for an exorbitant amount of money ($100/day, minimum, for some outdated crappy crown vic or minivan). The lion’s share of the profit goes to the cab company. Uber, of course, bypassed all of this. Drivers could use their own car, and business was constantly coming in. The lion’s share went to the driver instead, with Uber getting a cut for hooking up driver and passenger.

It’s not cab drivers who are angry with Uber. It’s cab companies. Suddenly, their political monopoly on cab licenses (under the excuse of regulation) was threatened — the bottom had dropped out from under them. Cab drivers could freelance and make as much, or more. People could enter the industry without paying them. Yet it is mostly liberal cities that are angry with Uber, and banning them from operating, or requiring them to use taxi licenses, which puts everybody back to square one: pay the cab companies a ton of money, only now in some cases, pay Uber too. Way to fight for the little guy, right?

The reason is that these liberal cities are hotbeds of political trading. Just as we might have an auction house, or a stock exchange, or some other marketplace for buying and selling things, so does politics have an exchange mechanism, even if it’s not as obvious and well understood to those of us without such power to trade. The cab companies had enough political liquidity to convert some of their cash into political power sufficient to combat (or, more likely, to co-opt) Uber. Just as cash is a more liquid form than, say, real estate, so is political power more liquid, even, than cash.

In simple terms, the cab companies exist solely (or mostly) because of political arbitrage. It’s an exercise in rent-seeking behavior. Nobody would need them, otherwise. They must agitate for political regulation favorable to their existence and continued profit, or they would be replaced. A certain amount of their value is transmitted upwards, liquidated politically, to the powerful in exchange for royal favor.

Consider a theoretical example. Hillary decides she wants a yacht. A normal person in such circumstances would need to save up the money for a yacht, to purchase one, maintain it, crew it, etc… But someone with Hillary’s level of power need only casually say “I want to go yachting” and some big donor would surely lend her his yacht and crew for however long she should need it. She doesn’t own the yacht. It’s not on her balance sheet in any way, and her name is not on the title. And yet whenever she wants to go yachting, a yacht and crew are available to her at no cost, because she has political power, and she can convert it into a lesser asset anytime she wishes.

When you or I decide to go to a restaurant, we must pay a bill. When Hillary goes to a restaurant, people pay tens of thousands of dollars to her just to be in the same room. So how does this factor into her net worth, into how rich we perceive her to be? We only look at the official balance sheet of her official assets. The media largely ignores her foundation, and the perks and favors that someone of her level of power are given freely. Put another way, does anybody think Senators live off their $174,000 salary?

She doesn’t need to convert much of her power into cash, and then convert the cash into something else. She can simply snap her fingers and go directly from power to desired asset. Her wealth is political, and it is more liquid than Trump’s mountain of cash and ponderous towers of real estate (which are even LESS liquid). She need only carry as much cash in her name as is convenient for smaller, everyday transactions.

They say money is power, but that’s not accurate. Money can be converted into power, and power can be converted into money. But of the two, power is the more liquid. Power is more widely accepted as the coin of choice among the aristocracy. They may have to buy their toilet paper with dollars, though the time may be short before they are more or less the same thing, but great transactions are ones of political arbitrage. The money is incidental, like the moldy bread you throw to the slaves to keep them just healthy enough to work for you. Yes, the slaves will trade the bread, but the masters… their real coin is power.

So it’s very hard to estimate how wealthy Hillary truly is. But she’s much more wealthy than Donald Trump, at least. And the Leftist elite has been more wealthy than the Conservative Right for a very long time — at least as long as I’ve been alive. They speak of privilege and the oppressive nature of this group and that group… but they are, quite literally, the most privileged and powerful of all human beings on this Earth. They have Political Liquidity. You and I do not.

Trump Over Hillary

Tom Kratman is not exactly a subtle man, at least not when he’s speaking politics, anyway. And he knocks one out of the park here: Trumping Hillary. The one liner that ought to stick in your memory is this little tidbit:

Our choice is Hillary or Trump or a hopeless third party candidate, presumably Johnson and Stein.

 

But Hillary? Look, if Hitler and Hillary were on opposite sides on the same ballot, I’d have to say, “Well, I’m only a quarter Jewish; how bad could Hitler be?”

Of course, he is being facetious here, though only in part. The thing to note here is that if anyone has a record of racism, sexism, corruption, hatred of the poor, and a variety of other such ills, it is Hillary, not Donald Trump. Trump is an asshole and an egotist. And he would probably say just about anything if he thought it would grant him what he wants: a place in the history books as something other than slumlord to the elite. These charges may be justly laid at his feet.

But the trifecta of bigotry that the Left is fond of using as a political cudgel? No, my friends, that is Hillary. Neither of these candidates is a literal Hitler, and I’ve spoken of this Reductio ad Hilterum phenomenon before. But if any candidate is more likely to mutate into an omnicidal dictator bent on inciting a World War, it is Hillary, not Trump.

Nonetheless we have entered into the political Twilight Zone. Nothing makes sense anymore, the old alignments are collapsing and America is fragmenting along her ethnic, religious, and economic fault lines.  Decades of divisive rhetoric from the far Left has exacerbated this, and accelerated the spiraling stupidity. We are here, at the event horizon, circling the toilet bowl of history, no hope in sight, only the slim possibility that a billionaire playboy with a penchant for bombastic speech could delay the fall awhile, perhaps long enough for someone more genuine to come to the fore. Then again, perhaps not.

All I know for certain is that a vote for Hillary is a vote for turning into that singularity of idiocy at full throttle, no brakes on this train, off the cliff, forever. I’ve never said this of any political candidate before, not even Obama, for Hillary has a level of control over the corruptocracy that even Obama could never manage.

Tom Kratman explains for us:

Conversely, I suspect Hillary intends to, and is sure she can, dictate what the history books will be allowed to say. Don’t think so? What about all those women politicians who walked point; Jeannette Rankin, Cynthia McKinney, Geraldine Ferraro, Lenora Fulani, Hattie Caraway, Linda Jenness and Jill Stein? They’ve been made unpersons, for all their contributions were recognized at the Democratic convention so that Hillary could look like the trailblazer. Why should Hillary worry about history books when she or her party can dictate their contents, their, for lack of a better word, Pravda?

 

“Call for Comrade Ogilvy. Comrade Ogilvy, Clinton Campaign Headquarters calling. Comrade Ogilvy to the red phone, please.”

Go forth and read the rest… I know, dear readers, pulling the lever for the militant hairpiece is about as unpleasant a thing as any man might do. Given the option of taking heavy grit sandpaper to my junk, and voting for this man… it’s a tough call, it truly is. But I say to you right now that there is a difference between them. They are not equally bad.

Some have said that Trump is equivalent to Saruman. Perhaps so. But if it is only Saruman, or Sauron, who then? Others have compared him to Darth Vader. Yes, Vader. But if given the choice between Vader and Emperor Palpatine, what then? There are those who even say that Trump is a Mussolini. Yes, yes, perhaps even that. But then, what if the choice is Mussolini, or Hitler? History is full of decisions of realpolitik, taking the situation for what it is rather than what we wish it to be.

Realpolitik says Trump, or Hillary. Consider that very carefully, and make your choice accordingly.

What is Privilege Really?

There is not much I can add to this magnificent post over at Sarah’s place. I’ve spoken with the author of it, Sanford Begley, on occasion. And so, for me, there is an extra layer of authenticity to this:

I am privileged. This is true, but not in the way the left thinks. The other day I disagreed on social media with a woman about another program to take from workers and give to parasites. She said that she had been middle class and was now poor and I couldn’t understand because I am privileged. I thought about it and replied that she was right. That answer is the seed of this post. Many of you are even more privileged than I, but I’m going to tell about my privilege now.

 

I was born in Appalachia in the middle of the twentieth century. Well it was the middle of the twentieth everywhere else, in most of Appalachia it was still somewhere between the nineteenth century and the mid twentieth. Many places were still using “coal oil” lanterns and indoor plumbing was rare. I was an adult before living in a house that had an indoor toilet. Central heat was a coal fired stove in the middle of the living room and a wood stove in the kitchen. Being the first one up in zero weather was an adventure. Could you start a fire before the cold started to hurt?

 

Many people I knew, much of my family in fact, lived in what were known as tar-paper shacks. This was a wood frame covered with the tar paper used by roofers for waterproofing. I believe I was privileged enough that I never lived in one myself. I’m not sure, we followed the jobs and work was hard to come by then.

There is an assumption that if you’re a white middle class man, you have suffered no pain. That life was easier for you, somehow, or that people conspired to pave your way to wealth and power. The point, of course, is to ensure that the white man is last in line for jobs, and first in line for paying the bill.

I remember some SJW once pointing out to me that I would never understand what it was like to suffer domestic abuse. Except that, growing up, my stepmother (whom my father mercifully divorced eventually) was pretty much every evil stepmother stereotype rolled into one. And she was very physically abusive. So no, I told the SJW. I don’t understand what it is like to be a grown adult who is abused by his or her spouse… but I know what it’s like to be a child beaten and abused by an adult. Does that count?

But unlike SJWs who worship victim status, I look back on my experience with shame. I remember my stepmother punching me in the face when I was 11 or 12, I think, and the fact is, she was a short and smallish woman. I easily had the strength, even then, to stand up to her and hit her back hard enough that she would never hurt me again. But I didn’t, and to this day I am ashamed of this failure. To me, it was a lesson in defending yourself, to never stand idle when you should fight back.

In that I am, like Sanford Begley, privileged.

The point of all this is that SJWs only see a middle class white man who is more successful, perhaps, than they are. Someone who is happier and more content with life. And the envy, the jealousy, grows within them. They will say and do anything to drag you down, and to elevate themselves over you. They think that their experiences in life must be the worst, the greatest tragedy, and that you, by virtue of your skin color and genitals, could not have suffered equal or greater hardship in life.

But SJWs, you need to understand something. I learned from the shame of my inaction all those years ago. The next time someone tries to punch me in the face (physically or metaphorically), it will not go so easily for them.

Social Justice is a Form of White Supremacy

Today’s readings were very depressing in a bizarre sort of way. The entrenched self-loathing of white Social Justice Warriors would be pitiable if they weren’t such active enemies of freedom and sense. Here’s another bit of Leftist virtue signalling, wherein everyone is supposed to immediately agree with the premise, because it feels good and is blatantly anti-white:

Teacher: A student told me I ‘couldn’t understand because I was a white lady.’ Here’s what I did then.

I grow weary of this fallacy that whites are uniquely or specifically responsible for history’s ills, for all the wrongs that must be righted. Even if I accepted the premise that you carry the sins, not merely of your father, but of all of your ancestors and all those who looked even remotely like you (which I don’t), this would mean that “People of Color” are likewise responsible for great sins against humanity. Mao killed millions, and he was not white. Islamic Arabs are responsible for wiping out entire civilizations. China and Japan have been going at for thousands of years. What about Genghis Khan, or the Aztec habit of human sacrifice?

No, SJWs, whites are not some kind of unique form of human evil. They are just human, with all the fallibility that implies. These twin notions that whites are either the great master race, or the evil oppressive race, are mirror inversions of one another born of some strange sense of self importance.

Here’s an unpleasant truth my readers may or may not be familiar with, but which I know SJWs are unaware of:

How many, once lauded in song, are given over to the forgotten; and how many who sung their praises are clean gone long ago!

-Marcus Aurelius

One of the fascinating things about reading Meditations, is that you soon discover Marcus Aurelius was very aware of how small he truly was in the grand scheme of things. He even understood that, though some fame would linger around his name, no one in the future would know him. He would be words, a name, a series of quotations and histories, but never a living person again. Once he was gone, and all those who knew him were gone, everything was dust.

In simple terms, he did not do things in order to win greater fame, or to elevate his own sense of self-importance. He knew that he was just a man, and would soon go the way of all men in death.

If a Roman Emperor knew that he was not such a big deal, how much smaller are the SJWs? How soon will they be forgotten? How small is their effect on the universe?

SJWs think that white people are a great evil just for being white. Nazis thought that white people were a great good just for being white. But both were equal in their estimation of relative importance. In this way, SJWs can be said to be a form of white supremacist themselves. They believe whites are the superior evil.

Marcus Aurelius would laugh at their own overly-inflated sense of self-importance. He would know them as small men who would soon die, and be forgotten as all men must be, someday.

The teacher in the article above tells us this:

I can’t change the color of my skin or where I come from or what the teacher workforce looks like at this moment, but I can change the way I teach.

Her shame, her sadness comes through in her words. You can tell that there is a longing to change. She doesn’t want to be this superior evil. She probably wishes she could change her skin color, as Shaun King pretended. She, at least, realizes this is impossible. But she now dedicates her life to excising this great evil from the classroom.

Talk about the racial and class stereotypes plaguing our streets, our states, our society. You may agree that black and brown lives matter, but how often do you explore what matters to those lives in your classroom?

Keep in mind that this teacher is supposed to be an English (Language Arts) teacher, ensuring that her students can read, write, and comprehend literature. But her focus has now become educating her students on the evils of whiteness, and the unmitigated good of their own history and ancestry.

Of course, we know that is all bullshit of the highest order. Slavery continues today, in Africa, right now, and the perpetrators of it are not white. Homophobia in America means a pizza shop owned by rednecks might not be amenable to catering a gay wedding. Homophobia in Syria means death for gays. But, since whites are the superior evil, ways must be found to blame them for these things, also.

I’m exhausted of this human tendency to go from one extreme to another, from white man’s burden to whatever this woman is doing. From supremacy to supreme evil. I just want to be a man, who will live his time, and then pass on, as Marcus Aurelius tells us. And that is the one thing both extremes cannot permit.

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Arthur Chu could not be a “just a man.” He has to be a great practitioner of Dark Arts, a Social Justice stormtrooper. He must, necessarily, be “great” in some fashion. There is no neutrality, no middle. You are either with him or against him.

All of this is profoundly depressing, because the lack of neutrality, the force-feeding of extremism, means that rationality is the first casualty of the Culture Wars. An English teacher cannot merely teach English, and excuse herself from political matters. She must be political. She must, as Arthur Chu explained, mindkill herself.

Take a side, they say. You are either uniquely evil for being white, or uniquely good for being not-white. All good in your history is to be excised. All evil is to be stressed and emphasized. You are not only responsible for the sins of the father, but his father, and his father before him. You are nothing more than the collective representation of your ancestors, with no Free Will whatsoever.

So this teacher’s speech is nothing more than her declaration of conversion and submission to the dictates of Social Justice. She is admitting her guilt, she is admitting the superior evil of the white race, and asking for mercy and support from her fellow, self-loathing compatriots.

She doesn’t know it, of course (and would be loathe to discover it), but she is also a white supremacist.

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