You can probably get the video online of Dr. Oz’s show today. The link is of the preview. He’s made a model of Epstein’s cell setup, and is asking questions about the scenario of Tim Gallagher, a medical examiner. He is going to, in a few minutes, look at the information available about the autopsy, and make some conclusions about what happened.
He did point out that most autopsies are longer than the two lines that were released; often many pages of findings. So, it appears that he may be somewhat skeptical about the official investigation.
However, I doubt that he will find that it was murder. Oz did repeat a stat I’d heard, that only about 1% of suicides have a broken hyoid bone. Gallagher calls it doubtful that it could have been broken by suicide.
He is cautious, saying that he (Gallagher) has no EVIDENCE of murder, but he hesitates to call it suicide. Oz points out that Assisted Suicide might be a possibility.
For network TV about a controversial topic, that might reflect badly on the Elite, this is not bad.
I found this article on The Intercept, on the tangled relationship between money raised for the parent political organization, and House committee assignments. It puts the chairs of each committee into a fresh perspective. Apparently, for the “money” committees – those that have the potential to use for raising money from corporate interests – ya’ gotta pay to play.
On those so-called money committees, like Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, even freshman members are asked to pay higher dues. That’s because those committees have jurisdiction over effectively every major industry, giving members a leg-up in demanding checks from corporations who need — or oppose — legislation before the panel. It is also valuable for industries to have committee members write letters to agencies they oversee.
EBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar provided the funding to launch The Intercept and continues to support it through First Look Media Works, a nonprofit organization.
If the linked article is any indication, the outlet is worth checking out. Warning: most of the stories on the site lean Left – the above article may have been planted as a strategy for the Young Turks to oust the Old Guard. But – aside from the entertainment value – such looks “under the hood” can be a valuable way to find out stuff that is usually hidden from the public.
I’m living in SC, right near the NC border (I wrote a blog post about the upcoming McCready-Bishop District 9 election here). It’s too close to call, and heating up. The mud-slinging is heavy, and just about everyone I’ve talked to is heartily sick of the whole thing.
No matter what the outcome, it’s unlikely to give a sign of how the 2020 election will go. McCready (D) may well win, but that probably will be as much due to people’s disgust with the blatant fraud that the GOP candidate engaged in last year, as to favoring McCready.
In the initial election, McCready had wide support – war veteran, entrepreneur in the solar industry, and just generally a clean-cut image. It didn’t hurt that he was the victim of some serious fraud, that likely skewed the election to the GOP candidate (Mark Harris – NOT running this time).
The current GOP candidate, Dan Bishop, is being held up as in the pocket of the drug industry, based on ONE vote against a bill – but, the full record does NOT support that characterization.
McCready’s work in the solar industry did benefit from tax subsidies, as well as Chinese-made solar panels. Read the whole story, from a mainstream source, that may put the various claims in context.
If McCready wins, the Dems/Leftists will likely begin the crowing about the upcomingTrump-collapse.
Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum.
Saint Augustine tells us (along with Gandhi, many years later) to love the sinner, and hate the sin. Conceptually, it’s easy enough to grasp. Practically, it’s not always an easy task. Drive down the freeway during peak traffic hours and tell me how many folks drive you crazy with poor driving antics. Certainly road rage wouldn’t be so prevalent if most folks managed to live by this rule. However, making the attempt to live this way is worthy even if we cannot always live up to it.
Social Justice orthodoxy demands that we hate the sinner for the sin. Paula Deen famously used the word “nigger” after being held up at gun point, and admitted that she may have said it in other contexts at some point or another in her life. This stain is considered permanent in some sense. Once you use the word, you are forever guilty, as if the offense were like committing a felony. Your record cannot ever be expunged. Forgiveness is impossible. You will be hated forever. You are an unperson, erased like a man in a Stalin-era photograph.
A good friend of mine some folks may know as ClarkHat sent me this link: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/08/my-joe-rogan-experience/594802/
Fascinatingly, the author of the piece does not appear to have a problem with Joe Rogan himself, per se. Indeed, his opinion of Joe is high enough that most of the piece is about the author’s attempt to live likewise, and Joe’s ability to relate to the common American man. Rather, he takes issue with the fact that Joe Rogan would dare to talk with sinners, with the unpersoned. The money quote:
Joe likes Jack. He likes Milo Yiannopoulos. He likes Alex Jones. He wants you to know that he doesn’t agree with much of what they say, but he also wants you to know that off camera they’re the nicest guys. If we all have fatal flaws, this is Joe’s: his insistence on seeing value in people even when he shouldn’t, even when they’ve forfeited any right to it, even when the harm outweighs the good. It comes from a generous place, but it amounts to careless cruelty. He just won’t write people off, and then he compounds the sin by throwing them a lifeline at the moment when they least deserve it.
Once a man is unpersoned, the shunning is supposed to continue forever. You must hate the sinner, and if you do not, this itself is a form of sin. It is, in the author’s own words, Joe’s fatal flaw. Talking to the sinner is forbidden. Forgiveness of the sinner is forbidden. It does not matter if the sin was three years ago, or thirty years ago. It does not matter if the sin was a casually insensitive joke, or a Virginia governor donning blackface in a yearbook. Although we might suspect that Governor Northam may have been given some level of a temporary pass for his Democratic party allegiance. Political expediency may delay your final unpersoning, for a time. Then again, it may not. Courts of public opinion are fickle, prone to whimsy, and as cruel as any schoolyard bully. There is a reason the justice system is not put to popular vote, after all.
His invitation to Jones was indefensible, and his defense was even worse. I had assumed going in that Rogan would explain himself at the top, similar to what he’d done after booting the Jack Dorsey interview. But he didn’t. He went the other way. He promised a “fun” interview with Jones, as if it was a joyful, long-awaited reunion rather than offensive for even existing, and he assured his listeners that “you’re gonna love it.”
Even before Jones sat down, Rogan seemed unpierced by the genuine anguish that Jones had caused the parents of murdered first graders. I won’t quote anything Alex Jones said on the podcast, so just picture a walrus with a persecution complex, or a talking pile of gravel. They got the Sandy Hook stuff out of the way first—Jones evaded responsibility, Joe grumbled about the media—and then they got into what Jones was really there to talk about: aliens, suicidal grasshoppers, Chinese robot workers, that kind of thing. My breaking point was at the 21-minute mark, when Jones apologized for “ranting” and Rogan replied, “It’s okay—I want you to rant.”
Alex Jones is presumed by the author to have caused genuine anguish to the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims. First, it bears mentioning that this claim is extremely dubious. If somebody doesn’t wish to listen to Alex Jones, he doesn’t have to. I’m not exactly in the Alex Jones fan club, and I generally avoid listening to him. Similarly, if Joe’s interview of Alex Jones starts to cause somebody distress for whatever reason, well, you can watch something else.
Similarly, the author notes that “Jones evaded responsibility.” What does this even mean? Alex Jones was not responsible for the shooting. There are many things one might conceivably pin on Alex Jones, to include those scam supplements sold under the InfoWars brand. But Sandy Hook – and the feelings of the victims and their families – isn’t one of them. To the author, however, it does not matter. Alex Jones is a sinner. He should therefore be unpersoned, and anyone who even talks to the unperson is himself guilty of a sin.
Perhaps a sin worthy of unpersoning as well.
I’m glad, though, that the men of America have Joe Rogan to motivate and inspire and educate them in limitless ways, including how to recognize a moron. Whatever gets the job done. It might unsettle some of us that we must rely on his fans to separate the good stuff from the bad, but that’s the hard work of being a responsible adult in the modern era—knowing what you should consume and what you shouldn’t. We all need to decide for ourselves, but trust me on this one: You can skip the mushroom coffee.
In the end, the author comes around – perhaps reluctantly – to the view I took above. For this I give him some credit, for I get the general impression from his writing that this view was difficult for him. He likes Joe at some level, but he is conflicted about his status as a sinner. But he does explain that you are responsible for the content you choose to consume. Joe Rogan’s time to be unpersoned has not yet come, at least in the author’s view. For now, perhaps, the court of public opinion has not ruled against him.
But once the you are deemed have offended the sensibilities of popular culture sufficiently, well, your time will come. There is no appeal, no forgiveness, no coming back from your unpersoning. Once a sinner, always a sinner. Once a sinner, never a real person again. You just become another caricature, a guy in a Hitler mustache, a cartoon villain, upon whom anything may be blamed, up to and including school shootings you had nothing to do with.
Hate the sinner, regardless of the sin: the new mantra of mob justice.
Not by a long shot. After seeing (on Raconteur Report) a picture of the Chinese army tanks massing at the border, I immediately opened a tab to Fox News – nada on the front page, buried on the Asia page.
I just started this post after seeing that the local news (Charlotte, NC) is showing Tips on How to De-Clutter Your Office – apparently, the very real likelihood that a lot of Hong Kong residents will die in the short term is NOT news.
So? It’s clear that the world is NOT watching, and the Chinese may freely stomp on Hong Kong to their heart’s content.
What can we do?
ONE thing we can do is to let it be known that we will NOT buy from companies with Chinese-manufatured products. Some alternatives for toys. The boycott doesn’t have to be total, just enough to cause a crappy Christmas for the Land of Self-Righteous Asians.
If you’re planning a computer buy, be aware that MOST of them are made in China – including Lenovo, notorious for spyware that is linked to the Chinese government.
Here’s a list of where computers are made (be aware, some companies may SELL them as an American company, but assemble them in China – Apple, for example).
Some companies still make them here (Dell), but the parts come from China, among other places.
What you CAN do is to install Linux as the operating system, taking back some control of your private info (although that depends on how securely it’s been installed).
A quick search here will bring up a list of alternatives. It’s still early for shopping and planning, so consider making it your first stop. Here is another source, although they are clear that full computers are NOT made here – they are assembled from parts made by foreign manufacturers.
More about computer hardware (the article is one year old).
Until I looked into the issue of Chinese manufacture, I hadn’t realized the penetration into the USA market – see here.
Consider calling, emailing, etc. your Senators, House Reps, and the White House – come to think of it, give the ol’ State Dept. a lil’ goose, as well. The State Dept link goes straight to their email system; note that one of the categories is Emergencies Abroad. If this anticipated invasion doesn’t qualify, I don’t know what does. Maybe if they hear directly from the American Public, they won’t be so inclined to make nice with their Leftist associates abroad.
One factor that hasn’t been mentioned as fueling the number of people urging the US to accept ALL the people who show up at its door is the reluctance of those people to actually travel to those countries of origin to help the downtrodden masses.
It’s just a lot safer, not to mention less unpleasant, to help those people HERE, rather than THERE.
Americans of the missionary type (religious or secular) used to travel to South America, Africa, and Asia to perform their good works. Most of them no longer do so, at least in part, because the governments of those places had a nasty habit of evicting, killing, and imprisoning those do-gooders.
Not to mention other hazards:
- Sexual assault by natives, who didn’t have the American “nuanced” understanding of sexual expression, and, instead, thought of sexually-active volunteers as “free game”.
- Resistance by the entrenched powers – civil, religious, and business/landowners – who found that the volunteers threatened the current balance of power.
- Outright war/inter-tribal hostilities.
These are just a few of the reasons that many social activists would prefer to work with the underprivileged in America. It’s safer. It is subsidized by the government. And there is less chance of the government forces coming into their homes and butchering them.
All that stuff about Trump representing a “real danger” to activists?
Pul-ease! As a friend of mine used to say.
They know they can “act out” and nothing will happen to them.
I’ve been wandering around – hither and yon – always wanted to write that – and decided to throw in a hodge-podge of news/thoughts/opinions to offload them from the back of my brain.
In short, a Brain Dump.
In no special order:
- From Raconteur Report, a film you really will want to watch. Peter Jackson is amazing – the LOTR trilogy would have been sufficient to secure his place in film history, but he also produced – WITH HIS SERVICES FOR FREE – They Shall Not Grow Old. The story of WWI, from the viewpoint of Tommy – generic term for British soldiers.
- Crusius, the Dayton shooter, has his Profile on MyLife changed from Democrat to Republican – and also adds a lot of other “info” that smears Deplorables. Funny how that “just happens”. What’s that Russian word for Disinformation?
- More social media from the Dayton shooter.
- Scary – Ebola crosses into Rwanda, that country closes its border – kind of. What they are doing is checking those wanting to cross for fever. But, apparently, fever doesn’t show up in many that are infected with Ebola, until it is too late. The African countries aren’t stupid – eventually, the countries bordering outbreaks will throw up a quarantine around affected neighbors. See the map showing distribution areas below (original at link):
- And, Ebola is not the only problem disease around. Europe has its own superbug. Graphic of deaths below from caarbapenum-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae; that antibiotic is basically the last defense against many diseases.
- The more people with weakened immunity systems that are around, the more antibiotics will be overused. That’s a major problem when 1st-World countries get overrun with unchecked immigration – the kind we’re facing at our border.
- They come in with diseases that are already resistant to treatment. Often, they are minimally compliant with directions to use the medicine for the entire period needed to ensure eradication. That’s a common problem with diseases needing prolonged time periods to completely cure them, such as TB (here’s what the CDC has to say about it, and, remember, they are probably minimizing the risk).
- Muslim women often don’t see doctors for illness, as their culture may prohibit examination by men. That’s a lot of people who may potentially harbor some downright nasty stuff.
- Apple Owners – you (and I – I have an Apple phone, 2 IPads, and a Macbook) – need to have a come-to-Jesus moment, real soon, about whether to continue supporting a company with so little concern about Human Rights and Worker Abuse – which now includes children.
- For those needing to make a switch in computers, may I suggest the Raspberry Pi family? I’m on my 2nd Pi (my Pi 3B went to my sister, and I bought the new Pi 4).
- They now make laptops using Linux, too (when my MacBook dies, I will make the switch – I’m not a fan of dumping working tools for philosophical/political reasons).
- Appropo of tech, this piece about Andrew Yang does put his proposed solutions into perspective. His indifference to human desire to be free of government interference – a basic tenet of the American Way of Life – marks him, not just as another soulless technocrat, but, perhaps, captive to his Asian heritage.
- Last, a site I just found today, that moved me to put it at the top of my Blogs I Have to Read bookmark list, Tsionizm. The post that got me to Get All In? Here. Definitely a guy I’ll be referencing in Leftism 4 Beginners (which is slowly moving along – I should be able to post another chapter by next weekend).
“Saint Dominic presiding over an auto-da-fé”, Pedro Berruguete, c. 1495
In his latest tome “Skin In The Game”, Nassim Taleb discusses at length how societies can (and frequently do) have their mores, values, traditions and principles shaped thru the imposition of a minority’s views on those of the majority. The discussion is lengthy and offers many examples, but reproducing it here in full would be impossible. However, one very noteworthy example Taleb provides is that of Salafi Islam, perhaps more accurately described as the Wahhabi strain of Islam, which models itself as a return to the presumed original Orthodoxy as evinced by the behaviors and standards of the first three generations of moslems (known as ‘the Salafi.’) Taleb demonstrates how the more intransigent and intolerant the minority, the more resolutely it drives the conversion of a majority’s ethics, laws and values. He also flatly proclaims that by not using the expediency of temporarily abandoning its own standards and legal paradigms in order to suppress Salafi/Wahhabi moslems in their midst and ruthlessly combat their influence, the West is in fact committing suicide.
There are some who would respond quite emotionally to this stance, denouncing the injustice of persecuting all moslems for the actions of a few. There are others who would have an even more extreme reaction by vitriolically saturating social media with screeds of self-righteous, spittle-flecked fury that condemned Taleb over his “Islamophobia” and “racism.”
A logical counterargument would be that Taleb did not, in fact, criticize or attack all of the Dar Al Islam or call for their general persecution, but singled out only a tiny percentage of moslems who swear by the Wahhabist creed and energetically attempt to impose its rules and mores on the West. Yet the absolute truth of the argument would fail to impress Taleb’s critics from the SJW social media mob, as its logic would rebound from the emotional storm generated by his accusers.
Would a retraction or apology appease Taleb’s social media antagonists? Time has proven from multiple occurrences that the answer is “No”, as even the barest hint of an acknowledgement by the accused of ‘guilt’ for the alleged thought crime only serves to refresh and enhance the mob’s appetite for impassioned indignation and social ostracism. In this way, the SJW social media mob behaves much like Torquemada’s Inquisitors, pressuring the targets of their animosity thru public humiliation and threats while hinting that redemption and relief awaits confession of their sins, and once received, incites them to redouble their condemnations and excoriations in order to justify the heinous acts they will soon commit against the victims and their families. Granted, Torquemada and his minions tortured their victims and often executed them while confiscating their wealth and property, and the SJW social media mob doesn’t. They do, however, do everything they can to ruin their targets and their families professionally and socially and relish destroying their lives.
The most recent focus for the Progressive/SJW/Neo-Maoist daily ‘2 minute hate’ has been over the issue of gun ownership. The ‘triggering’ event, of course, has been the spree of mass murder over the last 7-10 days by three profoundly alienated young men in widely dispersed locations – the California Garlic festival in Gilroy, a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio. The Left’s wrath has, with the eager and deliberately inflammatory assistance of the MSM and several democratic presidential candidates, settled on a theme for these three events – that they were committed by angry, white acolytes of the ‘alt-right’, using ‘automatic assault weapons’ that should be banned, and deliberately fostered, encouraged and radicalized by President Trump, who the Progressive/Neo-Maoist Left feels justified in labeling the most racist president in history. An extension of the theme popular in Progressive circles is that those who voted for and continue to support President Trump are all angry, racist, uneducated whites who are by nature and culture inclined to commit mass acts of violence against people of color.
Is any of this true? A brief analysis of the facts quickly reveals that the precepts of the above theme range from laughably ridiculous to delusionally psychotic. Briefly:
- Are all the perpetrators white? Well, the Gilroy looney was a California native with Iranian and Italian heritage. The El Paso nut was a Texan. The Dayton psychopath was from Ohio. They may all share a general similarity in skin tone, but does that really mean anything to an actual adult with even the slightest bit of education and/or worldly experience? They all come from very different parts of the country and have different backgrounds. However, such individual distinctions do not hold any significance to the Progressive Left and the narrative of the MSM. In their world view/ideology (or should I say theology?), skin tone imposes certain attributes on people and is a delimiter for appropriate behaviors, thoughts and actions. “Stay in your lane” is a pillar of Progressive ethos, and the ‘lane’ to which they assign someone is heavily dependent on a person’s skin tone.
- Were they angry? I feel very comfortable in going a lot farther than that and assert that all three were not just angry, but neurotic, deranged, unhinged, alienated screwballs suffering from major mental pathologies. But this has been brushed aside by the Progressive Left. Their assertion, again supported and aggravated by the MSM and various democratic presidential candidates, is that their skin tone is a determining factor. In the Left’s current dogma, ‘white’ people are resentful that they are being ‘replaced’ by ‘people of color’ and are expressing their resentment thru acts of violence that are an inherent part of a fundamentally racist ‘white culture.’ The multiple ironies of such a position are evidently lost on Progressives, who appear to not be a very reflective or self-critical bunch.
- Were they ‘alt-right’? At the moment, there is no evidence that either of the three were. Police have stated that they have yet to find a genuinely coherent ideology in all the social media accounts and personal belongings of the Gilroy looney. The El Paso nut had a rather eclectic ideology outlined in a manifesto currently attributed to him. His belief system apparently included a desire for separation of the ‘races’ in America by physical, legal, economic and social means (an idea which, to be frank, resonates not just with the ‘alt right’, but to a great extent the Neo-Maoist/’alt left’ as well), a radical environmentalism, support for universal health care and a government provided minimum income/standard of living. He also made it clear that he had formulated his ideas well before President Trump took office and was not a “Trumper.” If one had to lump him into a category as far as political ideology goes, he is for the most part a Leftist. The data on the Dayton psychopath, though, is crystal clear, and being actively suppressed by the MSM: he was an avid supporter of Elizabeth Warren and a fan of Antifa – a Progressive with a viciously militant bent.
- Did the gun spree crazies use ‘automatic assault weapons’ and should these firearms be banned? Apopleptic protestations by Leftists to the contrary, definitions matter here, folks. The phrase ‘automatic assault weapon’ is used by people who have zero understanding of firearms and is a substitute for the more applicable phrase ‘guns that look extra scary to me and make me wet my panties.’ The primary weapons used by the three scumbags were civilian variants of the M-16 and AK-47. They are not automatic, but semi-automatic rifles, since full auto firearms have been effectively illegal in the United States for over 80 years. They are certainly dangerous weapons, but anti-gun screechers are hyperventilating over them mostly for their appearance. For instance: the Ruger Mini-14 fires the same caliber as the M-16 and AR-15, and the SKS the same cartridge as the AK-47, but both rifles, though just as potent as their more ‘scary’-looking counterparts, look much more innocuous, and thus fail to attract the ire of the anti-gun fear mongers. Furthermore, one could make a legitimate argument that a shotgun is significantly more dangerous. Depending on the model, the cartridge employed and the use of barrel chokes, shotguns can spew far more potentially lethal projectiles at short and medium ranges over a given period of time than the above cited rifles. There are also 10’s of millions of them in circulation. Banning the sale or ownership of ‘automatic assault weapons’ would thus be futile, as future mass murdering filth would simply switch to weapons that, while less ‘cool’ looking, were just as lethal or more so.
- Is President Trump a bigoted, rabble-rousing fear monger who is fomenting racism? Again, a quick examination of the President’s speeches and public statements put the lie to this vomitous and hypocritical calumny. Trump has repeatedly and consistently stated since the beginning of his term that he has no problems with immigrants, but wants them to use LEGAL immigration channels; furthermore, he reserves America’s right as a sovereign nation to filter out any would-be immigrants that have a criminal past or who may pose a national security risk, as well as limit immigration if it threatens the financial welfare of people who are already citizens of this country. There’s absolutely nothing unusual about such a position, as every country in the world does it, and most employ significantly more severe criteria to control their borders than does the USA. But the Progressive Left rejects this factual truth in favor of their hallucinatory narrative truth. Since the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are from Latin America, anything short of an open borders policy has been deemed by our Leftist moral and intellectual superiors as a policy based on skin tone discrimination and is thus an expression of White Nationalism and a defense of America’s inherently racist roots & heritage. One cannot help but notice that the entire platform of the Democratic party is built on identity politics, and democrats have been grievance-mongering with demographic groups for decades. Thus, accusing the President of racism is an act of fraudulent mendacity and sanctimonious hypocrisy of galactic magnitude.
There are other facts we could go over that would simply add even more overwhelming weight to disproving of the Left’s argument on the recent shootings. Progressives are calling for a return to the Clinton era ban on ‘automatic assault weapons’ as well as magazine capacity restrictions. Not only did these bans have no effect on gun crime statistics for 10 years, but they had some ugly side effects. For instance: it became rather common for police confiscating combat rifles and machine guns from criminals to find full capacity magazines in their possession labeled “For Police and Military Use Only.”
The complete ignorance of firearms among Leftists also reveals itself starkly when they fail to realize how reducing the capacity of a pistol magazine from 13-15 rounds down to 10 rounds simply means that an individual would be inconvenienced by a mere half to one second delay when switching to a fresh 10 round magazine while firing. In fact, anyone with a halfway decent machine shop setup in their garage could build their own high capacity magazines from some sheet metal, a few pieces of plastic and a spring, bans be damned.
And there are yet more facts: The incidence of ‘mass shootings’ (defined as a shooting where 4 or more people are either wounded or killed) has been dropping steadily for years, including during President Trump’s administration. Mass shooters are not a ‘white’ phenomenon – the great majority of them are perpetrated by minorities trapped in perennially poor, despairing, crime-ravaged neighborhoods that are in solid Democratic congressional districts (a fact which, if widely known, would cause Progressive heads to spontaneously detonate nationwide.) An abysmally small percentage of gun crimes are committed by people using “automatic assault weapons” and, as discussed earlier, can be easily replaced with weapons of equal or even greater relative lethality, so confiscating them and removing them from store shelves would have no salutary effect on gun crime statistics. More gun laws and regulations – and there are apparently somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 already at the local, state and federal level – are very unlikely to improve public safety, since if such a gigantic body of legal constraints was indeed effective, cities like Baltimore and Chicago would be the safest places on the planet.
Yet none of these facts have any effect whatsoever on Progressives, either at the leadership or rank-and-file level. The data is scoffed at, ignored, ridiculed, scorned or dismissed as the fabrications of the White Male Patriarchy and White Nationalists to use as tools to further their history of oppression. There are many people living in deep blue cities and states who are never even exposed to these facts, as their media outlets make sure to never make them aware of it or present it to them in a manner tailored to discredit it.
There is an increasingly loud drumbeat sounding in the MSM for the idea of imposing “Red Flag” laws as a ‘compromise.’ A growing number of Republicans are once again demonstrating that they have the moral resiliency of (to borrow a phrase) “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” and in their panic seem eager to embrace anything that will help them avoid the malign attentions of the SJW social media mob. The chances of such laws actually preventing the next gun spree are, in my opinion, quite low. After all, most of these lunatics have a history of mental illness and the authorities had frequently been advised of worrisome behavior – but this did not in the end make any difference. Red Flag laws nonetheless serve the aims of Progressives, as they place citizen’s gun ownership ultimately in the hands of centralized authority.
If you think such authority is immune from abuse, think again. About ten years ago, a very good friend of mine had an unfortunate incident with his teenage son. The boy had been diagnosed with epilepsy at an early age and had been put on medication to counteract the potential for seizures. These drugs, however, were known to cause extreme mood swings in adolescents, and one day the boy, now about 13, quite suddenly snapped and lunged at his father. My friend, a big and athletic man, fended the lad off easily and the altercation immediately came to an end as the boy just as suddenly calmed down. However, he accidentally received a small bruise under one eye (not from a blow.)
When the boy went to school the following day, a teacher noticed the bruise and decided to take action. A day or so later, my friend opened his front door to see two policemen studying him. They entered his house and proceeded to interrogate him, clearly in preparation for making an arrest. By pure good fortune, a schoolteacher who was very familiar with his son’s behavioral problems had been visiting to discuss the boy’s educational progress with his mother. She entered the room where my friend was being grilled by the local PD and immediately gave them the full story regarding the boy and his prescription drug-influenced behavior. At this point the policemen relaxed and the affair ended.
But that was a decade ago. Imagine a scenario where today you live in SF, Portland or Seattle and decide to send out a tweet stating “I like cauliflower.” You are immediately attacked by a vigilant SJW fulfilling his/her self-appointed role as a Twitter social justice patrol guard and are accused of fostering white supremacy by advocating for a vegetable which was “forced down the throats of First Nations peoples in America by mass murdering white male imperialist colonialist rapist patriarchs.” Multiple sycophants join in to create a viral virtual signalling chorus of condemnation over your tweet. Two days later, a couple of “Boys in Blue” arrive at your home, having heard from SJW-sympathetic social media monitors in local government that you had used ‘aggressive, triggering language’ on Twitter and had made many people fearful. The policemen sadly announce that they were required by law to confiscate your firearms, assuring you that you’d get them back once this had all ‘blown over.’ You would have to calculate the chances of your ever getting your guns returned to you – and in such deep blue, far left urban areas as mentioned above, I’d be willing to bet you $1k and give you 5:1 odds that you never see those guns again.
Regardless of how severe the erosion of your 2nd amendment rights could potentially be as a result of any rushed, thoughtless passage of federal “Red Flag” legislation, the politicos and likely a significant number of citizens will cooperate in the hope that this would result in the furor finally blowing over so everyone could calmly get back to their daily routines. But they would be fooling themselves.
And at this point, we return to Taleb and his example of a Salafi moslem minority gaining cultural ascendancy over a non-moslem majority. If, for instance, a small Salafi/Wahhabi moslem portion of a nation’s citizenry exerts sufficient pressure on government officials to ensure that all foods were ‘halal’, the majority would very likely have an easy time adjusting to this ‘new normal.’ After all, many foods available in American supermarkets are already designated as kosher compliant, and halal requirements are apparently more lax than kosher. The cost to the provider is minimal and the upside is small but noticeable – the foods vendors can entertain halal consumer business and the halal advocates finally shut up and leave the food providers in peace. The matter seemingly comes to an end with this resolution.
But the ‘veto power’ of an intolerant minority and the associated leverage of a dedicated Salafi/Wahhabi moslem group will eventually intrude into other cultural, social, political, economic and legal spheres. For the truly committed Wahhabi acolytes, the only acceptable world is one where Sharia Law reigns supreme. Thus, everything which is nonconforming is ‘haram’, or illegal in a literal sense (to the Wahabbi islamist.) They will be utterly inflexible on such matters and stubbornly insistent until they get their way.
It is much the same with sufficiently committed and zealous hard left Progressives/Neo-Maoists. They also rely on a self-proclaimed destiny as Chosen Ones who have had the True Word revealed to them – a date in the future where their triumph is assured and they will be the righteous, holy, wise and ideologically/theologically pure masters of all they survey, as they will have reshaped the entire world in their own self-image. What lies astride their path as an existential roadblock on the prophesied road of the inevitability of history is American Civilization, whose foundation stone is encompassed by…the Constitution.
There are two components of the US Constitution which immediately present themselves as particularly odious and infuriating to hardcore Progressives/Neo-Maoists:
The 1st Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The many court interpretations of the 1st amendment have proved useful on occasion to Neo-Maoists, but not in terms of whether the interpretations were just, factually correct, or within the original spirit of the Founders’ intent. Their only concern has been whether successive interpretations along with legislative or regulatory ‘additions’ have helped advance Progressivism.
For instance: is burning the Stars and Stripes in protest covered by the 1st amendment? Per the most modern court interpretations, it is, and is considered an act of free speech. But to the true Progressive, what is far more important is that it permits a direct and degrading attack on a symbol which has great historical significance to the nation and is part of the underpinnings of America’s social and political unity.
Another field in which the applicability of the 1st amendment has been heatedly debated is Social Media. Again, hardcore progressives have used court rulings to their advantage – for years now, they have defended Google’s progressive-manipulated news searches and Twitter/FB/Youtube/etc suppression of non-progressive participants on their platforms by reminding critics that these are private enterprises, not public spaces, and thus legally exempt from the same level of speech protection. However, a federal court recently ruled that President Trump’s PRIVATE twitter account could not be edited and contributors could not be blocked ON FREE SPEECH GROUNDS. Thus, the federal courts currently view social media as part of the ‘public square.’ Combined with the DoJ’s new antitrust investigation of social media companies, the stage is currently set for Progressives to experience a disastrous defeat in their war against the 1st Amendment.
Is the 1st amendment legitimately subject to interpretation, especially in terms of constraining it?
Progressives believe the protection of religion should be overridden by their own social causes, principles and directives, such as forcing Christian organizations to offer health insurance which covers contraceptive products and abortion services. They consider their doctrine on these issues to be morally superior to those of any Christian institution and are intolerant of any objections to their dogma.
An objective, rational adult would agree that free speech should be curbed IF AND ONLY IF the employment of it actually violated any rights defined in other constitutional amendments. An example would be yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Another would be inciting an angry mob to attack someone. Yet another would be purposefully spreading known falsehoods concerning another in order to cause them economic or physical harm. But diehard Progressives view free speech in a very different light. To a true Progressive, it not only is constrainable, but MUST be constrained if it does not aid and abet Progressive agendas and objectives.
This is what motivates Progressive efforts to criminalize what they consider to be ‘Hate speech’, which is any idea expressed verbally or in writing which contradicts to any degree the approved Progressive canon. Another more pernicious illustration is the invention of gender pronouns and the criminalization of their ‘inappropriate’ use or lack thereof serve a dual purpose. These language contrivances are useful in directing and controlling speech while also damaging social traditions and undermining people’s understanding of gender and social roles. Progressivism understands that one cannot reshape society and human minds to create the New Socialist Man of Marx and Lenin, the perfect and blissful ‘noble savage’ of Rousseau’s primitive communalism or the contented and unquestioning servant faithfully keeping his place in the hierarchy of Plato’s Republic unless the wise, all-knowing, infallible and pure Progressive rulers of these Utopian realms have total control over the range and nature of every thought the lower castes are permitted to consider and express. George Orwell’s O’Brien character in the novel 1984 would heartily approve of Neo-Maoist efforts in this field.
The right of peaceful assembly and demonstration has also been warped by Progressives to serve their ends. Antifa regularly applies in court for the right to assemble and demonstrate, but doesn’t seem to be terribly interested in the ‘peaceful’ part. The police in Boston, Phoenix and most especially Portland, Oregon can testify to that – especially the ones assaulted by Antifa filth wielding knives, milk shakes with quick-dry cement, bottles with urine, feces and molecular acids, bricks, fireworks, pipes and clubs. Their goal is not to petition government to redress grievances, but to ensure more moderate leftists toe the line and ‘keep the faith’ while Antifa tries to bully and intimidate any opposition. In other words, Progressives use demonstrations not to defend themselves against abusive government, but to attack government, weaken its resolve and co-opt it.
Now let’s look at the 2nd Amendment, which states in full – A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Progressives entertain a multitude of fictions about this amendment to assauge their ignorance-fueled fears and avoid considering the topic in a reasoned manner. “It’s just for hunting. People should only have hunting rifles.” “People back then had muskets. That means people today should only be allowed to have muskets.” “A Well Regulated Militia is an army. That means you can have a gun only if you’re in the Army.” “The Deplorables are stupid! If we listened to them, people would be able to own tanks and artillery and fighter jets and nuclear weapons. Just ignore those unlettered rubes.” “We should all agree that it’s desirable to have reasonable and sensible gun control laws. Now turn them in, you White Nationalist!”
Unfortunately for Progressives, the Founding Fathers clearly explained in writing what it is they intended by this single sentence. It’s really quite simple, and I will paraphrase their numerous articles and written statements concerning the amendment:
“We just fought a Revolution to free ourselves from a tyranny that attempted to keep us subjugated thru force of arms and to curb us from having the means to resist their injustices. Now that we are a nation, we will require a standing army to defend our soil and people. However: in the eventuality that at some point in the future a government attempts to shake off its legal controls and instead determines to subjugate its citizens, the People must be able to resort to their own arms to enable them to contest effectively against the enemy’s forces.”
The Founding Fathers did not intend every citizen to be part of a standing Militia, but to be citizens able to resist tyranny from their own government. The standard of comparison for the drafters of the Constitution was the composition of armies of that day, which were entirely composed of infantry. Thus, in a literal sense, we are all violating the 2nd amendment because few to none of us possess actual military grade assault rifles and a satchel of grenades.
Nonetheless, despite the compromise we have all accepted in banning the sale of machine guns, assault rifles and grenades to citizens, the objective of the 2nd amendment remains whole and true. While we gain an important benefit from having the means to defend ourselves, our loved ones and our property from criminal elements, the primary purpose of protecting the right of citizens to bear arms is to prevent a government from reducing its citizenry to a level where they cannot defend themselves against that government’s exercise of abusive and illegal power. The closer we are to being as well equipped as today’s infantryman, the more our government will have reason to respect and heed us. Governments, after all, are not good, but a necessary evil, and the larger & more distant they are, the greater their capability and temptation to commit self serving, evil acts.
The Left’s screeching about a rising tide of “White Nationalist Terrorism” is so ludicrous that anyone espousing it should be considered a danger to themselves and immediately taken to a psychiatric care facility. What would be infinitely more upsetting for the Left would be to force them to confront the Reality of things – that over 2/3 of America’s violent crime, including gun-related crime, occurs in urban areas, and particularly in the poorest sections of longtime democrat-controlled urban polities. On a per capita basis, Baltimore is in the top 5 of the most criminally violent places in the world, while Chicago is in the top 20. Draconian gun control regimens have not been productive in those cities. The reasonable conclusion to make from these facts is that both Baltimore and Chicago would likely benefit if the many local ordinances impeding citizens from owning firearms were removed.
But violent crime is obviously not a real concern to Progressives, even if over 2/3 of it is happening in their poorest districts. Their true beef with private firearm ownership is the freedom and individuality it fosters. They instinctively recognize that citizens must lose their individuality so that their intellectual and moral betters can mold them into their correct class and level, contributing to society in a manner ordained by their betters as most fitting. Since firearm ownership stands in the way of such feudal collectivization, either the guns or the gun owners have got to go.
Furthermore, since the Constitution is the greatest roadblock in the way of the Progressive March to a Socially and Economically Just Future and its first two amendments are arguably the most powerful portions of that unique and amazing document, the Progressive movement is focused on the destruction or neutering of those amendments most of all. These amendments are in direct contradiction to fundamental rules and diktat in Progressive dogma.
Here’s an example of how pointless dialogue has become on these basic issues. In this video, a 2nd amendment advocate attempts to reason with two thoroughly indoctrinated progressive acolytes from TMZ. Notice how the two sides are so far apart that there can be no understanding reached. In fact, the progressives simply refuse to entertain a mutual exchange of ideas and the ‘interview’ rapidly degenerates into a one way lecture in scolding and derisive tones.
So where does that leave us? Is Taleb’s ‘minority veto’ going to lead us inexorably to a Maoist future? Is the Progressive Left foreordained to erode our civil liberties to extinction and suborn all of our civilization’s institutions which they do not outright destroy? Will North Korea, China, Iran and Venezuela one day be criticizing the USA for its terrible civil rights record?
Let’s take a more nuanced look at this phenomenon.
“Grand Chroniques de France”, Simon Marmion, 15th Cent. (All 8 parts of The Song of Roland in one frame)
Historically, when an intransigent and intolerant minority tries to impose its views on a majority, those views need to impose effects on that majority that are either neutral, extremely minor or offer a distinct benefit/upside. Furthermore, the minority needs to be small indeed – ideally, in Taleb’s view, about 3% of the population. If the minority becomes sizable, then its priorities tend to shift and it seeks accommodation with the majority. Above a certain size, minority groups actually have something to lose in a conflict with the majority and usually have interests in common anyway.
The campaign to introduce kosher foods in American grocery stores is an excellent example of this. America’s jewish minority was indeed intransigent on this, but not militantly so. They simply had to have kosher foods or they would be unable to buy them. The majority didn’t care, as long as it didn’t impact their wallets. The grocers and packaged good producers saw the opportunity for a small upside with very minimal cost impact. So it happened.
The arab moslem conquests of Christian lands in the early middle ages provide multiple examples worthy of analysis. The Near East and Egypt were Byzantine lands. Constantinople’s Orthodox church exercised coercive ecclesiastical power in the region, but was nevertheless resisted by many splinter Christian groups.
There were several reasons why the Arab jihadists were so successful in absorbing those regions into the Dar Al Islam. Firstly, their practices in those days reportedly weren’t terribly different from those to which Orthodox Christians of the time were accustomed, so the adjustment was a modest one. Secondly, the splinter Christian groups saw in Islam a savior from Orthodox oppression. And finally, the early jihadist conquerors were shrewd enough to recognize that they needed the administrative talent and experience of the Christian ruling families in the area, and thus offered them a deal – convert to Islam, and you get to keep your administrative positions, titles, privileges and lands. That turned out to be a very easy sell.
However, things did not go so well when the Ummayad-led moslem armies invaded Spain, Portugal and southern France. In the Iberian peninsula, their numbers were small indeed compared to the local Christian populace, but they cursed themselves right at the start by making their presence and the nature of their demands for societal change odious to the locals. Thus, attempts to ‘islamisize’ Iberia were painfully slow and never converted more than 50% of the population, who converted back to Christianity readily as aggressive Christian kingdoms to the north and northwest steadily expanded southwards over the 700 years of the Reconquista. Affairs north of the Pyrenees fared even worse for moslem conquerors, as they were so paltry in numbers compared to their southern French subjects and were regarded with such hostility that they couldn’t even dare attempt changes to the cultural fabric. It took 50 years for the Franks to retake the south, but their conquest was complete, and the former Arab and Berber rulers left no lasting signs of their presence.
Finally, we can look at contemporary instances. The horde of african and middle eastern illegal immigrants invading Europe have tried to wield influence over their host countries and cultures, but with uneven success. Eastern Europe has by and large rejected their presence forcefully – after more than 4 decades of subjugation to a militant slavic communist power to their east, they appear to be extremely uninterested in trading their current freedom and cultures for that of interlopers with truly alien customs, traditions and religions, and the EU’s sanctimonious protestations be damned. Parts of western Europe have woken up to the cultural peril themselves and are now reacting quite aggressively – in particular Italy, where right and center-right parties have risen to power and resentment of the invaders (some of whom have committed horrific crimes on their hosts) now crosses political divides within the voting public, even as Leftist parties have lagged behind the changing sentiments of their own constituents.
Where the illegal immigrants are having success in transforming their host nations into something much more like home are, quite surprisingly, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, the low countries and Great Britain – the “Teutonic Tribal Arc”, if you will. Their peoples by and large appear to have lost faith in their own cultures and institutions and seemingly lack the will to defend their heritage. Germany, for instance, is passively allowing Sharia law to gradually displace its own statutes and legal codes. Great Britain’s local and national governing bodies preferred to ignore the plague of moslem rape gangs in at least a half dozen cities over the last 15 years for fear of ‘causing offense’ and instead have gravitated towards arresting people who publicly object to the lack of government efforts to integrate recent immigrants (illegal or not) for the crime of ‘hate speech.’ The illegal immigrant minorities in these nations do not, as best as I can tell, exceed 5% of the population. But despite the outrageousness of the changes they demand to the cultures of their northern hosts, they are steadily achieving their aims because the majority are deficient of the level of courage and/or cultural pride needed to resist them.
There are valuable lessons to draw from these examples for our current situation.
Gettysburg National Cemetery
All of us know that America has been almost evenly divided between Left and Right for many decades. Many of us remember that traditionally the two parties have been rather civil to their opposites, and their adherents hardly gave a damn about it when interacting with each other. Today, however, the breadth, depth and emotional intensity of the divide is certainly much worse than it was in the late 60’s (some of you will remember this), and has likely not been this great since the Civil War.
Nonetheless, even a growing number of people who traditionally vote Democrat are disturbed by the hard left policy positions, bitter anti-Americanism and psychotic rantings of hardcore Progressives (who I have termed – accurately, I think – “Neo-maoists” throughout this essay) along with the shameless race-hustling, faux scandal-mongering, bug-eyed sensationalism and vicious polemic of their MSM cheerleaders. The Neo-Maoist’s policy direction has become so radically marxist and the tone so caustic and antagonistic that even unshakeably loyal demographic groups are expressing their unease and either withholding support or, increasingly, switching sides. President Trump’s approval ratings with minority groups has been growing rather steadily since his election, with no sign of abating – a fact which is giving the Democratic party conniptions.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Neo-Maoists are only a small minority of Left-aligned voters. Push 90-95% of registered Democrats or left-leaning independents on the issues and you’ll find that as soon as a particular policy details starts impacting their wallets or way of life, they start acting and talking like moderate Republicans (read David Mamet’s “The Secret Knowledge” for an intimate dissertation on this.) Nevertheless, the ability of the Neo-Maoists to punch so far above their weight is classic minority veto leverage, as is their single-mindedness and complete intolerance of even fractionally dissenting views. Thru their media support – both conventional and digital – and the vitriolic extremism riddling their proclamations, the Neo-Maoist wing of the Democratic party has gained near-total control of the party apparatus, ideology, policy platform and PR strategy. The party Old Guard has tried to put up resistance but is now mostly toeing the line, clearly jittery about the neo-Maoist’s demonstrated ability to win seats at the local, state and federal level, as well as their fearlessness in challenging Democratic incumbents who they denounce as lacking sufficient zeal for pursuing social and economic justice. Very much like committed Wahhabi islamists, the Progressive Left has determined that their mission is holy – no diversions or deviations from their chosen path can be tolerated, and anyone who appears to lack sufficient commitment and zeal will be denounced as an Apostate and Heretic, with punishment sure to follow.
Yet as we have seen from examples of minorities attempting to exert leverage on a majority, the Neo-Maoists have clearly miscalculated. Three years ago, they were convinced victory was at hand. Progressives had stealthily crippled, corrupted or infiltrated political, social, educational, religious, and economic institutions across the american cultural landscape for seven decades and, in October 2016, believed they were just a small step away from successfully completing their efforts to fatally undermine American civilization, with an inexorable transformation into a long dreamed-of Post-Modern American Socialism, this time in a perfect and pure form, certain to follow. The shock of their failure to cross the finish line and the painful jolt of experiencing a reversal of a magnitude that they hadn’t endured for 36 years was too much for them, and the mask came off to reveal the foul, America-loathing monster underneath in all its hatred, bitterness, envy, spitefulness, ruthlessness and ugliness.
But they will not abandon their struggle, as they still believe that ultimately theirs will be the victory. Such is the way with fanatics and cultists – and there can be no doubt that the far Left Progressivism of Neo-Maoists is just as much a cult as were the Branch Davidians and the Peoples Temple of Jim Jones in Guyana. When Neo-Maoists do not succeed with a plan or stratagem on a given issue, they simply regroup, fine tune their tactics, turn up the volume and try again. The continually rising intensity of their angry & defamatory language, violent behavior and fraudulent accusations has been starkly evident for the last 20 months, and especially so with the radioactive insanity they exhibited last week.
These are not people with whom one can negotiate, reach a settlement, agree to a compromise or have a meeting of the minds. Their indoctrination is so profound that they simply do not think in the same terms as we do and arrive at completely different interpretations of the same event or phenomenon. For instance: if a black Republican woman tours Baltimore to talk to its citizens and capture their difficult living conditions on video, or if a Native American democratic congresswoman votes in favor of a bill to provide emergency humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants at the southern border , Neo-Maoists denounce them for “fostering white supremacism.” Let that sink in for a bit.
They can’t help themselves – they see the world thru an ideological lens and are simply unable to absorb Reality, but must twist it to fit the doctrinal narrative which structures their thoughts, guides their lives and gives their existence meaning and purpose. Any sensory input which threatens this ideological/theological framework is thus either warped beyond recognition to fit the ‘architecture’ of their minds, or is rejected entirely.
The opportunity for negotiation, compromise and reaching a mutual understanding or consensus has passed. For those of you who still think reason, compromise and gestures of goodwill can ameliorate their animosity or dampen their enthusiasm for demagoguery and polemic – give it up already. They only see it as a sign of weakness on your part, and they perceive it as validation of the effectiveness of their efforts and the quasi-divine justness of their faith.
It is very likely at this point that whoever wins the 2020 election will be faced with a loser who will refuse to accept the defeat, and sooner or later civil disorder on a major scale will ensue. I, for one, believe it more than likely that not only will President Trump win re-election, but that the Senate will stay Republican and the House will switch back to the GOP. Looking at the ongoing evolution of Antifa and the increasing shrillness of the Democrats (driven by their support for or fear of the Neo-Maoist faction of the party), all enthusiastically bolstered by the MSM and highly sympathetic social media firms, I believe the Left will resort more frequently to violence and civil disorder in the days and months leading to 11/3/20, including many false flag events (recent Antifa messaging between city chapters has been calling for precisely this, including crowds of Antifa kamikaze opening fire on police while wearing MAGA hats), and that the level of violence will rise significantly. Should they somehow make gains politically, though, and re-take control of Washington D.C., I fully expect that they will resolutely begin pushing us Normals to exhibit the same levels of anger and violence thru deliberately provocative and escalating political, social and economic oppression. Regardless – I have no doubts that it will be the Neo-Maoists who will strike the first blow, and they’ll have convinced themselves that they are fully justified in doing so. Their rhetoric is clearly intended to build a narrative for just such a purpose.
Please understand: I am by nature a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. And I very badly want things to be ‘normal’ again, like they were in the 80’s and 90’s. But I’ve come to the conclusion that Kurt Schlichter is absolutely right. The Neo-Maoists hate us. They genuinely regard us as Deplorables and, above all, Irredeemables. And they will never be content until we are either broken to their yoke or dead.
The border wall – a REAL wall, not a metaphorical one – was the cornerstone of Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Yes, there were other issues, but that’s the one that put him over the top in many precincts.
So, now, as he is more than 1/2-way through his first term, some are loudly unhappy about his performance, and are proclaiming that they will NOT vote for him in 2020.
This is a mistake – I’ll explain below.
I believe that the wall is crucially important, AS DOES TRUMP! But, if he had focused his efforts for the first two years on building it, not only would it not be finished, but he wouldn’t have:
- Improved the economy, and reduced unemployment (and, not with make-work jobs from government)
- Gotten rid of a lot of rules, regulations, and government over-reach that crippled businesses, enforced mandatory PC actions on school districts, and enabled the Left to impose their agenda on the rest of us
- Managed international relations to reduce foreign entanglement, put American interests front and center, and kept the Neo-cons from getting us into war (that last part required a firm hand on decision-making)
- Generally drove the Left MAD – or, even madder than they already were
Not bad accomplishments, but what about The Wall?
What about it?
You do realize that building physical objects requires a lot of planning, siting, materials considerations, blueprints, and working with local governments and regulators to make it all happen, don’t you?
But the most important aspect of any building project is probably the most time-consuming – building the Foundation. Often, it takes 1/2 to 2/3 of the construction time.
Trump has been building the foundation. He’s been swatting away the entrenched interests, schmoozing with the local powers, buying off those unions/interests/politicians that he has to, and generally getting ready for the quickest part of the job – the actual construction of the project.
Trust me, his first priority HAD to be on the things that kept him from just putting up the Wall. He had to fight off impeachment, fake investigations designed to weaken him politically, foreign interests that wanted to drag America into solving their problems, invasion by a substantial portion of the Southern Continent, and a media that wants him to die, after prolonged torture.
The Wall WILL get built. I have some confidence that someone as experienced as Trump has been in building large projects will get ‘er done. Hopefully before the next election, but – even if it’s not complete by then (unlikely to be finished, given time constraints and the dedication of a good part of the Left on obstructing it), I WILL be casting my vote for Trump.
For those of my readers who are not yet in the know, my short story for Tom Kratman’s Carreraverse will appear in Terra Nova: The Wars of Liberation. Look for it on sale at Amazon and Baen.com on August 6th.
This is an exciting time for me. It is my first published fictional piece, and for it to be set in the Carreraverse is all the more epic. I really appreciate Tom giving me this opportunity and helping me smooth out the rough edges of my writing. And furthermore, I am grateful for Francis Porretto for reading a very early version and supplying me with some helpful pointers that led to a major plot point.
From this, I think I’ve gained the confidence and practice I needed to make my first attempt at a full-length original novel in the near future, using a story outline I’ve had in my head for years. Look for some snippets of that here on The Declination in the near future!
But on to the Carreraverse and why it interested me. Tom is, of course, an expert in war, although I’m not sure he would describe himself as such. And the fighting makes for highly entertaining reading, but there is something more buried in the pages of these books.
In Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, I was first introduced to the idea of military service as a thing that might be tied to voting rights. This is, of course, not necessarily a new concept historically speaking – military service and citizenship were almost one and the same for Spartans, and the Romans (and others) used the military as a citizenship path for some – but it’s one that doesn’t enter public political discourse all that often.
It goes back to a concept Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses frequently. If you’re going to have responsibility for a thing, you should have skin in the game. If you have a stockbroker who makes money regardless of whether you win or lose in the market, why should you trust his advice? He has no skin in the game. He suffers no consequences for being wrong.
The characters in the Carrera books are strongly tied to their respective worlds. They have skin in the game. The titular character is wed to Balboa through marriage and through fire. The villains are similar, and in fact you can even feel somewhat sorry for one of the major ‘villains’, in that she does have a conscience of sorts, and is merely doing what she can with the hand she was dealt. She has skin in the game, too.
Tom isn’t an armchair general writing about some fanciful space laser blasters. He gives us a world that is very real, very relatable, and filled with believable tactics and strategy. I am not a military man myself. But most of the other men in my family are, as are many of my friends, and while I will likely never have the knowledge of these matters that they possess – for anything I learn is coming out of a book, and lacks a real perspective – I can appreciate the authenticity of it.
Most folks can relate to how flippant things like rank, tactics, supplies, etc… are treated in many science fiction worlds. Not so in the Carreraverse. This is a real world, for all the science fiction behind the scenes regarding Terra Nova’s settlement. The stories are real, the reactions are real.
No fanciful space blasters. But there are lasers. Just of a more real sort.
The philosophy behind the Carreraverse is just as interesting as the fighting, the conflicts, and the characters themselves. Tom has a message woven through these books, though he doesn’t beat the reader over the head with it. Again, it’s done believably. It’s more real.
The Wars of Liberation anthology rewinds the clock and shows us some small slices from when Terra Novan settlements were relatively young, and when the world Tom describes in the main books was first taking shape from the milieu of Old Earth cultures and polities. It is a mix of the high tech and the low tech.
As one line in my short goes, one which was Tom’s idea, it’s “stone knives and bearskins.” But with drones, explosives, and hacking into networks aboard orbiting spacecraft. And a Pringles can, for a bit of inside IT humor.
My story started with a proposition: what would happen to a pair of regular IT folks if they were dropped into the middle of all this? How would they survive? How would they make themselves useful? Or would everything they knew be functionally useless on a new planet about to experience some revolutionary upheaval?
Well, if you’re at all curious, you don’t have long to wait.