Kung Flu, New Books, Preparations, and Other News

Good Lord – and I feel justified in invoking Him in this – what a mess since I’ve last dropped a blog post here. I have a mix of good, bad, and ugly. Some may prefer the bad news first, but I’ll lead with the good instead, because in light of a lot of folks being stuck indoors for the duration, this may be a helpful recommendation.

My good friend Francis is releasing his new book The Warm Lands for free this Friday (Amazon link). We’re all going to need a lot of reading material, I suspect. By nature, I am an introvert, and so I suppose being stuck indoors with a virtual stack of books is not the worst thing that could happen. In any event, folks, nab yourself a copy and pass it along to your friends. You’ll need the entertainment in the days to come.

But then I look at my various investments. You know, a friend of mine known ’round the world as ClarkHat told me I’d be better off going cash. I didn’t listen. Usually I have an internal heuristic: ClarkHat is always right. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s well north of 95%. Next time I’ll remember that a bit better. I kept a lot of my holdings in gold, and even that tanked, which was pretty damned shocking. Last Thursday I made the mistake of looking at my investment balances, and it took about a quarter of a bottle of cheap scotch going down the hatch to numb the pain.

Preparations-wise, I am good to go. Being the paranoid introvert that I am, I was well ahead of the game in stocking up with canned goods and various foodstuffs. Ammunition? Heh. It’s me. I’ve got enough to conquer my zip code without too much difficulty. I joke about leading a Mad Max Road Warrior gang up the I-4 corridor to sack Disneyworld and make it the seat of my hive of scum and villainy. I’m only mostly joking.

Look, I’m not a doctor. So I won’t dispense advice of the nature, save to mention that my brother is in medical, in the military, and he’s been indicating that things are very bad. They are working him to the bone on lab testing, and the information coming down from on high hasn’t been very optimistic. I’ll summarize my thoughts on the matter:

  1. This isn’t the zombie apocalypse. Fatality rates seem to vary from 0.7% at the low end to 7% at the high end, depending on a lot of factors. ~2% seems to be pretty standard, insofar as we can tell. That’s not enough to collapse a civilization, but…
  2. …It is enough to collapse an economy. If the lockdown/suppression activity ends in a few weeks, I expect the markets will snap back into place like a rubber band. Most of the losses will be made good. Business as usual will resume. But that does not seem likely. If lockdowns continue for months without end, I expect the economic damage will be severe. The rubber band will break. Enter a depression to make the ’08 recession look like a walk in the park.
  3. The fact that Trump is already talking about massive stimulus and UBI packages indicates that he’s well aware of this. Things are going to get ugly, economically. Prepare accordingly.
  4. If all of the above is true, we might get a major political shift. We’re talking once-in-a-generation shift.

Consider that white liberal urbanites have been spotted lining up at gun stores in otherwise gun-unfriendly locales like California. Deep down, I think they know the same truth that Francis has talked about at his place on more than one occasion: urban race relations are very poor. Add social justice race hustling to the mix, and… well we saw what happened in Ferguson. With this crisis comes the opportunity for a great deal of nefarious behavior. We know it. Hustlers know it. And the urbanite cosmopolitans – for all their supposed enlightened sophistication – know it too.

This goes far larger than that, though. Border shutdowns are being discussed even in the European Union. We may see a shift away from globalism, and its supply chain vulnerabilities to diseases like this, to stronger borders and domestic manufacturing and supply chains despite a higher cost in dollars, because now awareness of vulnerability to situations like this one is added to the “cost” column. The fact that China was saber-rattling with Trump about the possibility of stopping pharmaceutical shipments to the US is a big red flag, and probably a knee-jerk misstep on the part of the Chinese. That only adds to this perception.

So while Trump appears to be shifting Leftward on policies like temporary UBI, the rest of the populace may be shifting rightward on matters of border security and “social justice” stupidity. How much time does anyone have for genderqueer fartkin when the economy is taking a gigantic dump and a worldwide pandemic is in full swing? Expect patience for that stupidity to evaporate like a fart in a hurricane.

I don’t know where this leaves the 2020 election, except that if Trump plays his cards right, he could come out looking like a prophet with regard to his on-the-record opposition to Chinese supply chain dominance in particular, and globalism in general. But either way, one of Taleb’s Black Swans has made its appearance, and I expect the ramifications from COVID-19 to continue to echo for many years. The political and economic fallout may well be an order of magnitude greater than the disease itself.

Meanwhile, active debate continues among many very intelligent people in my circle as to how bad the disease really is. It’s probably not worth buying 500 boxes of toilet paper – as some have done. But if you don’t have 3 months of food, water, and other consumables now, you better get on that. A 2% fatality rate is enough that things will be shutdown. No polity can tolerate that high of a death rate for an extended period of time in the modern era. Governments will take all kinds of measures – for good or ill – to prevent it. Navigating the suppression of the disease through social distancing while avoiding catastrophic economic collapse will be a hard road. I expect some countries will fail in this regard. Others (like China) will probably turn to outright tyranny to suppress it.

It may very well be that the WWE President Comacho… er… Trump is exactly what the doctor ordered (sorry, the pun was irresistible). Either way, as a friend of mine said earlier today, this will further reduce the Obama legacy to oblivion, sandwiched between the 9/11 president, and the Kung Flu president. An empty suit who faced little in the way of challenge.

Stay safe, my friends, and attend to your reading lists. May God keep you.

Pacifism is Cowardice

Francis posted an interesting screed this morning on having the courage to name one’s enemies. It got me thinking, as his posts often do. Tom Kratman has explained to me on more than one occasion that pacifism is moral cowardice. If you are unwilling to fight for your beliefs, if you are unwilling to confront evil, how can you call yourself good? This was one of the reasons I abandoned the Seventh Day Adventist church to swim the Tiber, as it were. Adventism preaches pacifism, and though there have been those Adventists like Desmond Doss who absolutely could not be described as cowards, the ideology as a whole comes uncomfortably close to it. Even Desmond’s heroism and sacrifice meant that someone else had to do the fighting. In other words, a nation full of nothing but Adventists would be conquered in short order.

In this sense, pacifism requires a sort of freeloading in order to exist. Someone must fight so that you do not have to fight, or else evil walks in the front door, kills you, takes your stuff, and your pacifist ideology goes extinct. History gives us a few examples of what happens when pacifism exists without someone willing to fight on its behalf, including the story of the Moriori.

Francis took issue with David French and the man’s constant bleating about Trump’s supposed disobedience of Christian morality because Trump names his enemies, and fights his enemies in the political arena. Pre-Trump, this trait was relatively rare in the Republican party. Most members were content to play the game as gentlemen, secure their sinecures, and fill the role of polite opposition to the Democrat party. A role, it should be noted, that suited men like David French well enough.

Now for one, I think it’s a mistake to ascribe “Christian values”, especially those derived from an Evangelical line of thinking, to Donald Trump. It’s silly when Trump supporters cast him as a being a gift from God or something. And it’s silly from the other side, when the Frenchies of the world disparage him because, in their mind, he’s not a good enough Christian. But more importantly, the notion that Trump defending himself from a barrage of media and political attacks is somehow immoral is idiotic at best, and cowardly pacifism at worst.

Consider what a regular person would do when accused of a crime. Would he defend himself from the accusations? If he knew himself to be innocent of the charges, and suspected his accusers knew likewise, would he not regard the accusers as his enemies? And if they were his enemies, trying to railroad him for personal gain, is he not permitted to say so? Is the Christian supposed to sit idly by and allow himself to be unjustly tried and sentenced? Why?

If the answer is “because Christ did”, you might want to rethink that. Christ had a higher mission that required sacrifice, to save humankind from its own mistakes. To knowingly sacrifice yourself for the good of others is a great and noble trait. This is not the equivalent of pacifism, however. If Trump did not fight his enemies, and let himself be defeated by them without a fight, what good is he doing? For who or what is he sacrificing himself? For the peace of mind of talking heads on CNN? For the sensibilities of Leftist politicians? For the aid and comfort of his enemies? That’s not Christ-like in the least. It’s stupid, though.

Francis explains:

Christ’s exhortation to “Love your enemies,” in the theological lexicon of First Century Judea, simply means to regard them as children of God like yourself. You are not to wish them harm, nor to harm them by any action you can avoid. But if you must fight them for a good reason, you do so.

Love your enemies is not an exhortation to allow yourself to be conquered, enslaved, or murdered by them. It is, rather, to regard them as human, like yourself. When you regard your enemies as less than human, you become like them. You become what you hate. Tom Kratman has explained that your enemy will learn from you. If you do [some horrible thing], he will likewise do it to you, sooner or later. If you must fight, then fight. Sell your cloak and buy a sword. But never forget that your enemies are human, too. They are children of God, also. He may be your enemy, but after you have defeated him, it is well and good to pray for his soul, for his redemption from whatever evil was afflicting him. Consider, also, the possibility that you have been touched by evil too.

Trump has many flaws, far too many for a quick blog post. But his willingness to name his enemies and to fight them on the political stage is not one of them. That is a virtue. And David French’s virtue signalling about his moral superiority is, in fact, a vice. Christ tells us not to trumpet our works before us. Those who do good have their own reward. Virtue signalling is not required. God already knows your heart on these matters, and the opinions of the mob don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

In this respect, at least, it is possible Trump actually is more Christian than David French, at least. Not, in my opinion, that this is saying overmuch, or is even particularly relevant to politics as a whole.

The Long March of Socialism – Do Not Keep Faith

At times, I talk with my wife about Communism, the Cold War, and the like. She is generally uninterested in politics save for the fact that, as a daughter of Cuban exiles, she has an instinctive loathing for Communism. When I talk with her about these things, though, they are always personal. Her family suffered under the Castro regime, and that is enough to prove to her that the Communists are on the side of evil. No further analysis is really required for her. Another acquaintance of mine is a woman of Vietnamese descent. Her opinions of Communism are likewise informed by the experiences of family during the fall of South Vietnam and the long course of the war which preceded it.

America defeated the Soviet Union through near-Herculean economic and technological feats, while the Soviets destroyed themselves utterly trying to push their flagging, hobbled economy to keep up with us, with the boat anchor of Socialism holding it back all the while. Yet already, most of the world was Socialist or at least leaned that way to some degree. Socialism continues to gain ground. The rats of world Socialism bailed from the sinking Soviet Titanic, but did not die. My wife cannot go to Cuba, my friend cannot go to Vietnam. And though the Berlin Wall fell, it’s questionable if the long term future of Germany is improved with millions of migrants instead of Stasi secret policemen.

Movement toward Socialism is one-way and inexorable everywhere. Once a Socialist policy is implemented, getting rid of it is a Herculean feat. I remember when Bush II floated the trial balloon of allowing workers to contribute to private investment accounts in lieu of Social Security. That lasted all of about 5 minutes. The outcry could probably be heard from orbit. Obamacare is still around, despite Trump’s best efforts (at least the tax mandate is gone, though). Look at socialist programs around the West. Once passed, they never die. Its partisans will fight to the death. Its opponents presumably have better things to do.

Earlier today, I was reading a little about the fall of Saigon and the final days of South Vietnam, and it is fascinating to see how fast the South fell apart. Kill nearly a million Socialists and somehow more sprout up from the ground. One gets the feeling that America was simply exhausted at a moral level as much as anything else. Imagine fighting Communists in the bush for years on end, only to watch Jane Fonda do her little puff piece act, and watch popular support evaporate like a fart in a hurricane.

Socialists are good at hacking the human emotional landscape, so to speak. As I stated in an earlier post, the nature of this moral argument stems from a misinterpretation of the Golden Rule, or alternatively, from the optimum play strategy in Game Theory. In the first round, you ought to Keep Faith, in the hopes that your opponent will do likewise, and you may both benefit. If this fails, you should Betray in the next round, to teach the other a lesson, and to avoid being a sucker. Treat the other person how you would like to be treated and all that. However, this has a deeper implication. If the other person hits betray, then it is assumed he likewise treated you as he wished to be treated. So now we play the game by his rules: betray, betray, betray.

Socialists reset the game with each transaction, however. The moral trick of the political Left is to consider every action in a moral vacuum. Keep Faith this time, the Leftist says. And when the betrayal happens, ignore it and reset the game. Keep Faith again, and again, and again… until they march into your headquarters and finally tell it to you straight: “There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have.”

By doing this, Socialists will win any moral argument. If, for instance, they provide a picture of a poor Syrian child, and say “how could you possibly turn away this poor innocent child,” hordes of people will lose their resolve and agree to allowing millions of migrants to go wherever they please without resistance. The Syrian child doesn’t exist in a moral vacuum. You’ve been betrayed, and the Left reset the game again. Same with illegal immigration in the United States. In debates with Leftists, I have seen them refer to the conditions illegals in our custody live in as worse than Nazi concentration camps. Who believes this? And yet they will defend the point with a thousand rationalizations, and then demand we Keep Faith again because clearly we’re horrible, and the poor innocent kids need us to keep the faith.

If we do, another few million will cross the border. They hit Betray, just as they did to Reagan after amnesty. Again and again.

Socialists are relentless in their political fighting. They are like political Terminators. They do not stop until the whole world is Socialist. For them no lie is too great, nor is any murder too evil, if truth and life stand in the way of Socialism. And once they dig their claws into a place, getting rid of them is a Herculean effort. The Cold War and the defeat of the USSR was, perhaps, the greatest achievement America ever accomplished, and even that was not enough. Socialism continues its long march through the institutions.

My Cuban in-laws lament that, when America falls – as they think it probably will soon – that will be it. America was the last place for them to go and be free. If America falls into Socialism, the rest of the world is sure to follow. I’ve long suspected that fear of America is all that kept many places from openly embracing it, in full rather than in part. Meanwhile, within our borders, the disease festers and grows. I remember Bill Kristol extolling how he was embracing his Socialist side in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Even the nominal Right has been infected by it.

In a conversation with Sarah Hoyt some years ago, I remember her telling me that she was infected, to some degree, by Marxist thinking. That we all were, myself included. We were raised in it, like a fish in water. It’s in academia, media, culture, and even lower education. The simple moral reset is a sort of brain hack – where otherwise intelligent individuals are somehow stymied from critical thinking by the right picture, the sob story media puff piece, the Palestinian actors (some who forget to stop moving in their body bags when the cameras pan over them).

The gullibility of regular folks, unable to parse that an unpleasant act in the immediate moment may indeed be the correct answer to a moral quandary in the same way medical triage prioritizes some patients over others, enables the Socialists to continue forward, their opposition caught in a Kafka trap. The Socialists are pushing through the ARVN again and again, melting resistance like a hot knife through ideological butter. Donald Trump’s election was indeed a great reversal for them, but that bought us 4 years? Maybe 8?

And 2 of them are already up.

Folks, I don’t know that America has another Hail Mary pass in her like the one we pulled in 2016. I want to believe it does, but damnit… people need to get over this moral trap bullshit. It’s followed us from French Indochina to the steps of the White House. It has pushed from Havana to Miami. Where it was booted out of Moscow, it has taken root throughout the Eurozone. And one wonders if Putin himself desires to resurrect the Soviet corpse. Even in Chile, the land of Pinochetian helicopters, Pinochet has now become reviled, his sins made into the worst thing ever. The sins of Socialists, far greater though they are, are glossed over as mere nothings. One wonders if, had Pinochet never taken power, Chile would look like Venezuela today.

Everywhere I look the Socialist enemy advances, and his chief weapon was the same a hundred years ago as it is today. It is always the moral argument – and a foolish one that people really shouldn’t fall for, and yet do, time and time again. Kill a million Communists, come home, and find the Communist on your television set, lamenting how evil you were for resisting him.

Hanoi Jane should have gone into a wood chipper upon her return. Instead South Vietnam went down the shitter. Batista was terrible, they told us, and so we could not oppose Castro because the optics were bad. That’s another way of saying the State Department was then (as now) infested with sympathetic Socialists playing the moral reset game. Keep the faith with Castro, they said. He’ll see the light – whatever that is.

In the book I Was Castro’s Prisoner, John Martino, an American caught up in the days of the revolution, was betrayed by his very own embassy staff, and left to rot in a Cuban prison. All because the timing was wrong, they said. To be clear: American officials told him to report back to the Cuban prison for political reasons after a sympathetic Cuban doctor helped him escape to the American embassy. John Martino – naive at the time – agreed under the condition they would negotiate his release the following day. That, naturally, never happened.

Do not Keep Faith. They. Will. Betray. Every fucking time. I don’t know how much more clear I can make it: DO NOT KEEP FAITH. John Martino should have followed the advice of the Cuban doctor and insisted he was staying in the embassy, and if they wanted him removed, they would have to do so by force. The optics of that would have looked bad even in the Socialist-infested State Department.

The Long March of Socialism continues. It has suffered reverses at various times – some of them severe – at our hands, but this has made them hate us more. And by our hands, at this point I mean anyone who doesn’t want to see the world fall into darkness and tyranny; anyone opposed to this Communist crap. I am not choosy about my allies, so long as the thought of Hanoi Jane disappearing out of a chopper somewhere over the Atlantic gives them shivers of joy.

This is why, despite the fact that I was never much of a fan of Trump at any kind of personal level, I was did not fall into NeverTrump stupidity. Donald Trump may have a myriad of flaws, but he fights, and he has made his stance against Socialism clear. NeverTrumpers stupidly kept the faith with the Left again. Stop doing this, for the love of all that is Holy it DOES NOT WORK. We no longer have the luxury of picking perfect, upstanding, flawless men to fight this battle. We’re against the wall. If we don’t fight now, at the very end, we’ll die against that wall. Anybody who wants to fight gets a weapon and gets his chance to dive into the fray. If Trump isn’t nice, well then I don’t care. He gets his pitchfork to stick the Socialist shitstains if he wants it.

I don’t want to be nice to them. My Cuban in-laws lost their country. My Vietnamese friend lost hers. I have a friend in Venezuela, trying to flee that place… and for him, the result is likely to be the same. That’s us if we don’t stop this madness, folks. Kurt Schlichter is fond of telling us that the other side hates us. They do. They want us dead, and they lack the patience of their Fabian Socialist forebears. You think, after they gain power, that we’ll be around much longer? Look all around, everywhere, and you see that this is it. We live in the time when fighting Socialism or bending the knee to Socialism are the only two viable options.

My knees are not so good anymore. I don’t like bending them. It’s uncomfortable. In any event, the American knee does not bend easily, or naturally, in the service of tyrants. I’d rather fight. That’s my decision. So I don’t Keep Faith with Socialists anymore. Never again. This shit has to stop. We’re the last line of defense.

What’s your decision? Unlike my wife’s family, there will be nowhere for us if America falls. There will be no helicopters over Saigon to evacuate us to friendly territory. So either bend the knee or take up the pitchforks. Make your decision. If you choose the latter, stop listening to their moral preening. It’s all a bunch of bullshit designed to con you into hitting Keep Faith one more time.

That’s all it ever was. That’s all it ever will be.

Better to be Feared…

Francis hits one out of the ballpark today, expanding on an earlier Kurt Schlichter column. The money quote:

Prior administrations have foolishly attempted to purchase North Korean cooperation with carrots: thousands of tons of free oil, a light-water nuclear reactor, and so on. What those administrations failed to realize was that once the oil, the reactor, etc. had been delivered, their power to maintain the agreement lapsed. But a credible threat of invasion and regime decapitation has enduring influence over the mind of the satrap of a lesser power…even one with some notional nuclear capability.

Foolishly, liberals have long sought to purchase not merely cooperation, but approval also. There is a subtle difference. Satraps of lesser powers, as Francis describes them, may be made to avoid troubling us through judicious application of leverage. Stop waving around your nukes, or we’ll kill you all. However, this does not purchase likability. The enemy will resent you and hate you (not that I particularly care – he’s the enemy, after all).

Leftists often lament that America is not well-liked by various powers and peoples around the Earth. We are supposed to care about how much the French approve of us, or the Pakistanis, or even some random country in the middle of nowhere. The approval of the Muslim world is of endless importance to Leftists. And so, when dealing with tyrannical regimes, the Left requires a solution that theoretically will both work, and make the other side like us more. Bribery of the sort Francis and Kurt describe is the oft-used tactic. After all, who doesn’t like being given heaps of free shit?

Naturally, the tactic fails to achieve a long term balance of power. Foreign aid money must continue to flow to purchase cooperation and approval. Disapproval becomes leverage the other country may use against us. “Sorry, America, our people just don’t like you much anymore. Perhaps if you gave us more, they might approve of you once more.” The market price for political approval grows, the incentive to crap on America likewise grows. Few get heaping piles of money and free reactors by being our friend, after all.

Incentives are such that it is more profitable to disapprove of America. Indeed, America-hating is so profitable now that Americans themselves are agitating for a slice of that action. Yell from the rooftops that America is the worst nation since Nazi Germany, and you’re likely to get a cushy gig as a political adviser, a journalist, or as a tenured professor. On the other hand, wave an American flag, and you’re the worst bigot since Leonardo Dicaprio’s character in Django Unchained.

The obsession with approval runs deep in Leftist circles. Tolerance of homosexuality, for instance, was a good and decent thing to ask for. After all, it is not us who are inclined to exterminate gays by throwing them off of buildings (see the people Leftists want to suck up to for examples of that behavior). Yet tolerance was insufficient for the Left. They required approval also, a wholly different affair. To tolerate you means that I must merely leave you alone to do as you will so far as you likewise leave me alone. Quid pro quo still applies. Smoke the sausage if you want, but do not cause trouble for me because I do not share your proclivities, nor have any particular wish to be involved in them. Yet the “bake the cake” and “cater the pizza” examples show us that tolerance was not their game. Approve of it, they demand. Participate in it or you are a bigot and we will ruin you.

Approval is everything to them, because approval is the high; the aphrodisiac of politics. One is made to feel popular, loved, and worshiped by such. Feelings like those reinforce a notion of superiority, the idea that one is better than everyone else. In reality, it merely makes the narcissistic wimp vulnerable to sucker tactics. Power flows the other way. The person expressing disapproval controls the entire situation, and once the great big pile of free shit is accepted, the disapproval begins anew. Bake the cake, they will say. Next it might be “gays should get an oppression discount on the cake.”

It is no different from the Oppression Olympics in our domestic politics. The offended person possesses all the power. Thus we get more offended people, not less. Similarly in international politics, we get more posturing assholes demanding free shit from America, not less.

Trump, at the very least, has restored some level of balance to this. He is willing to brandish the Stick, long covered in cobwebs and dust. And what’s more, his enemies know well his willingness to use it. They will grumble, they will not approve of us. But what does that matter? Toleration is all that is required. That Kim II ding-dong whatever doesn’t love us certainly doesn’t bother me. That China is probably irritated with Trump’s trade negotiation tactics is irrelevant. I don’t even care if NATO members like us. I’m not losing any sleep over any of this.

Remember your Machiavelli:

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

All Your Base Still Belong to Us

Just shy of a year ago, in cooperation with Tom Kratman and a few others, I put together this bit of memetic homage:

Francis Porretto reminded me of it in a comment this morning. It’s crazy to think that it’s been nearly a year since Trump took office. It has been a year of triggered SJWs, helicopter memes, and media self destruction. The hatred for Donald J. Trump is beyond anything I’ve seen directed at a political figure in my lifetime. Not even Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon engendered such vitriolic hate.

This, naturally, is all coming from the peace-love-tolerance crowd. Peace-love-tolerance, of course, only applies to political conformists, Overton Window adherents, and proper Socialists. The level of cognitive dissonance demonstrated by the political Left is staggering to witness.

Trump is supposed to be an evil reincarnated Hitler, or something like that. And yet his daughter and grandchildren are Jewish. And, furthermore, he has done something no President has dared to do: called for the move of the American embassy to Jerusalem. Trump was widely hailed as the harbinger of economic apocalypse. Trickle down won’t work, they said. As a businessman he his a bankrupted failure, they claimed. And yet the economic growth of the last year hasn’t been seen since, perhaps, the Reagan administration. They said he wouldn’t last a year before impeachment or resignation, and yet here we are.

The reason for all this is simple. Trump is blunt and open about his beliefs, occasionally to a fault, something that drives the politically correct into conniption fits. With the politically correct Overton Window adherents, all language must be monitored for proper tone, current “in fashion” political jargon, and otherwise. They aren’t illegal aliens, they are undocumented immigrants. They aren’t stupid, they are intellectually challenged. Whatever. In some cases the meanings of PC jargon shift so fast, it is difficult to keep up with them. Cisgender is a great example. Until a couple years ago, I’d never even heard of such a term. Now it’s ubiquitous on social media, added to such SJW jargon as white cisheteropatriarchy.

Trump, meanwhile, calls Haiti a “shithole” and garners a media shitstorm for it. What of it? Haiti is a shithole. Perhaps he was somewhat vulgar and less than presidential in his delivery, but here’s the important question: is he wrong? To the politically correct, appearances matter more than substance. They don’t want to call Haiti a shithole, regardless of the fact that it is one. They say racism, but how can something be racist if it is true? Must we embrace “non-racist” lies in favor of “racist” truth? To the politically correct, that answer is obvious.

Donald Trump has done us one great service, above all other things: he has exposed the politically correct as dishonest, superficial, egotistical liars. #AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs indeed. We have witnessed a year of collective PC meltdown. I don’t know that it is enough to reverse course in America, much less the rest of the world. I remain pessimistic on our long-term future. And we still need that border wall Trump promised us. The illegals must go back. Our immigration system must be radically overhauled. At this point, I’m not sure we’re going to get that.

But in the short term, the PC meltdown has been epic to witness. It’s a thing I never thought I’d see. If, a few years ago, you had told me Donald Trump would run for office, get elected in one of the greatest upsets in political history, and bring journalists to tears on live TV, I’d have laughed in your face.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us.

Wednesday Randoms II

Today there is a new weekly column up on Dangerous: THALES: Turning Empathy Into a Weapon, How Social Justice Fights Dirty. This is a summary of a concept that’s been central to my posts here at The Declination.

Weaponized Empathy is a chief weapon of the Left, and we need to deprive them of it. To do so will impose a cost. Namely, many Leftists will hate you, and say the worst about you. But its a cost that must be lived with if the truth is to prevail. Indeed, the longer the cost is deferred, the worse it is likely to be.

On Monday, Francis penned an interesting post which touches upon the idea delayed gratification, something most Americans do not practice. By pushing instant gratification, and kicking the cost can down the road, our civilization has incurred an enormous amount of debt, and not merely financial debt (though that too).

The perverse incentives of our political figures has made this possible. But the citizenry itself cannot avoid responsibility either. After all, Americans have been voting en masse for short-sighted, destructive policies as long as I’ve been alive. The money quote:

We the People have earned a certain suffering-debt for our previous sociopolitical sins – never mind that we were set upon our sinful courses by an earlier We the People, who passed their accumulated suffering-debt down to us – then our choice is simple:

 

We could accept the penalty, endure it, and come out healed;
We could reject the penalty, which would compound the ultimate suffering.

 

Since World War II at least, the public has preferred politicians who will “kick the can down the road.” In consequence, government has gone ever further astray and our accumulated debt of ultimate suffering has compounded year by year. At some point, though the moment is difficult to predict, the debt will be paid. If it’s grown large enough, it will destroy our society completely.

 

But a payable sociopolitical suffering-debt is like a prison term: it’s finite. It will end. It can and should be endured, especially if the alternative is to raise it to an unpayable level. Our unwillingness to accept and endure the penalties that have already accrued is propelling such debts toward the threshold of sociopolitical bankruptcy.

Note, when Francis speaks of sociopolitical bankruptcy, is essentially discussing the fall of the United States as a functional, intact nation. And the longer we kick the can down the road, the more likely that outcome becomes. Indeed, I’m not even sure we can still avoid it.

On a positive note, Trump managed to push tax cuts through. They are not anywhere near as extensive as I would have liked, and I am sorely disappointed with the behavior of the GOP (more with the Senate than the House), but this is something.

Tax cuts used to be a sort of bread-and-butter of GOP politics, alongside strong foreign policy. The various factions within the party would jockey and argue over everything else, but low taxes and strong military were generally always agreed upon. That this much infighting was required to get the GOP to push through a tax cut – any tax cut at all – is disturbing. It demonstrates the slow evolution of the GOP Establishment away from the base, and toward a more Fabian Socialist agenda, agreeing with the Democrats in principle if not in time frame.

Still, this was why many folks chose Trump over Hillary. We knew we weren’t getting what we wanted, but a tax cut is better than a tax hike. Still, some Dems are going off the deep end telling us the tax cuts will literally kill people. They’ve clearly left sanity behind.

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