June 03, 2024

Knee-Deep in the Rubicon

Well, this is one of those posts that I've tried to type several times but it just gets me depressed and afraid. 

I've noted before my misgivings about Trump. However, if one wants to beat him, one needs to make the case, to the American people. 

Given Trumps manifest flaws, that ought not to be hard. 
Simply ask"Are you better off now than you were....."
I guess it IS hard. Golly!

Well, one still needs to make the case.
That's not what the Democrats are doing.

They are trying to take out the front-runner in the current election by lawfare in the manner of a Banana Republic. 

This is particularly galling as, despite the chants of "Lock her UP!" Hillary was shown considerable magnanimity, despite claiming for 4 years that her election was stolen by Russia and in spite of the fact that the charges against her credible, easy to understand, already proven, and were quite clearly done with malice aforethought. 

Trumps charges on the other hand seem to be pretty much Bullshit. 

Yet he is going to be sentenced Next Month, quite possibly to prison.  greatly handicapping his ability to run for office. I noted this in my Myriad Misgivings About Trump post noted above, but I had assumed that they'd find something legitimate, not have a Judge instruct a jury that they need not agree on a crime, and scream at a witness who brought exculpatory evidence. 

The full horror of this verdict and the bizarre, Frankinsinian nature of the case is pointed out eloquently in this post by a PHD in Statistical Genetics who is not a Trump fan but is horrified by the potential death of the Republic.

"Such drama!" 

"Death of the republic" sounds absurd to people who have lived in the firstiest of first world countries all their lives, and never seen what happens when a nation's politics becomes a blood sport. Surly it would have seemed absurd to the citizens of Rome, who had been franchised members of a republic in its 482nd year that the splashes in a small estuary on the west coat if Italy could bring that Institution to an end. 

Caesars crossing of the Rubicon came about in part because politics in Rome had devolved into lawfare. Caesar (and Sulla before him) were caught in legal traps by their political opponents that had the potential to invoke financial ruin or death. Both men decided to take control rather than turn themselves in. These two fiascoes destroyed the institutions that held the Republic together. It could only be run by force after that. 

What we have seen with Trump in New York has the potential to become precedent and that precedent plays out every day in many of the less fortunate countries around the world, where the loss of power is likely to come with legal troubles, imprisonment and/or death. Such an arrangement is not conducive to anything other than dystopia.

What do we do?

I have no idea. 
I have a degree in history. Countries that go down this path go to dark places. Those that have done so and been consequential enough to have major international rivals tend to exist only in history books. 

There's more on the specifics of the situation as it stands now from  a former Hillary voter who has been both Red and Black Pilled. He doesn't offer any solutions other than "Give money to Trump and pray" But, it's a very good overview from someone far to the left of me politically. 

Newt Gingrich...(who is not looking well) has some thoughts. Some thoughts are funny, some are terrifying, but he does give a good presentation on what needs to be done, (less on HOW to do it) 

We are on the brink of something REALLY bad.
We've been so comfortable for so long that most cannot conceive of it.
We don't HAVE TO tread down that path. 
But we have to know we're on the path; that we might leave it before we no longer can. 

UPDATE: More thoughts on the larger matter from one of the most impressive women of our age. This piece dovetails more closely with this recent post, but says everything that post did, better. 

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March 01, 2024

Very Cursory Thoughts by a Layman on the New York Situation

My opinion of Donald Trump is summed up here. I think he's crass, ethically fraught, and unlikely to win. However, if one wants to beat him, one needs to make the case, to the American people. 

That ought not to be hard.

However, the Democrats have taken his 2016 success as an affront and are trying to destroy Trump via lawfare. They are attempting to keep him off the ballot in several states (an unprecedented bit of chicanery not seen since the lead up to the civil war). And in New York, they are attempting to destroy the man for the crime of existing. 

Specifically, they are fining him 355 million ( now over$400 million) Dollars for allegedly overvaluing his properties, in order to secure better interest rates for loans. While judgement has been reached, I say "alleged" because not only did the banks allegedly defrauded by this alleged overestimation actually testify ON TRUMP'S BEHALF in the matter, and denied that they had been wronged in any way, but the judge summarily declared Trump guilty. Now he is being charged interest every day he does not pay the fine, despite the fact that the ruling is being appealed. 

Some idea of how bad this is is that what Trump has been accused of is such established past practice that real estate developers, even those who dislike Trump, are fleeing the state because this seems to be such a bullshit verdict, based on politics, & in an era of cancel culture that's a real threat. 

The purpose of this is clear, bankrupt Trump, and make it impossible to win the election. This is third world level crap and it unleashes a huge Pandora's box when such a fine, so completely out of line with sentencing guidelines is leveed due to political animus. 

The results of this are likely to be quite dark.
When the sum total of the law becomes " I think he's bad! GET HIM" society does not become better. The history of my own part of the U.S. (the southeast) is illustrative of why this is, but it has rarely been articulated so eloquently as by Paul Schofield here...

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January 27, 2024

Holy Crap!

If the Orthodox Patriarch and the Catholic Pope each took a dump in the same chamber pot, it would still not warrant the phrase "Holy Crap!" as much as this does. 

And it might stink less.  

So: "Powerful People Back East" are willing to pay a populist large amounts of money to back out, and make oblique references to 'The cartels being active in every state' when she says no. Given the bloodbath happening across the Rio Grande that's a VERY specific reference. 

My thoughts on Trump have already been stated, but this is actually the sort of thing that his supporters can rightly point to that justify their forlorn clinging to him in hopes of stymieing, in some way, undeniably malevolent forces in our leadership cadre. 

As I stated before, I don't think their trust or hope is justified, but, if,  as now seems to be the case, I find myself voting for him in November, I'll hold my nose a little less tightly as I figuratively piss in the wind. 

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January 12, 2024

On Trump

There are, frankly, a LOT of legitimate complaints about the 45th President. 

He's a narcissist. 

He's crude, vulgar, and a bit of a bully.

His business practices have been somewhat predatory, and he does not have much if any personal loyalty, though he is extremely demanding of it in his associates. 

He's old.
Indeed, he seems to be loosing his touch a bit; he is nowhere near the tornado of energy and disruption he was seven or even three years ago. 

In refusing to acknowledge his defeat at the hands of Pay to Play McPuddin'Brain he has done at least as much damage to the fabric of our democracy as Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and that Crazy Lady in Georgia. 

...and despite the election of 2020 being so sus that his opponents openly bragged about colluding against his working class base, he did NOT bring the receipts on that particular claim.

He is now motivated primarily by vengeance and seeks to gut and tear apart with animalistic fury the civil institutions that he feels denied him his second term. 
And yet: He's ahead in the polls...not just for the Republican nomination, but for the presidency itself. 

So why is this happening? Has the country gone insane?

Back in November, I had a conversation with a friend about this. While discussing the toxic contempt in which many of our erstwhile leadership cadre hold anyone who does not share their costal cosmopolitan worldview, I made the mistake of pointing out that I believed this was one of the reasons that working class types support Trump so earnestly. My friend (who is one of the smartest people I've ever known) did not react charitably.  She has come to despise Trump, after the January 6 fiasco and points out his moral failings, being particularly unforgiving with regard to his sharp business practices, and quite remarkably credulous of the assault allegations against him. I was  tired after a 4 hour drive and still suffer neurological aftereffects from the stroke, so I was not able to make a good case. In fairness my friend is sufficiently passionate about this issue for completely legit reasons involving personal experience as well as rock-solid civics concerns. She eloquently rattled off all the points I made at the beginning of the post (which are quite valid by the way) and after several minutes of me ineptly trying to point out that those valid points understandably carry little weight with his supporters, my friend pointed out that "Hey. You've got a really long drive ahead of you. DON'T YOU." And so I left. We've had little contact since aside from E-Mails & thank you notes for Christmas gifts. (In fairness we live 4 hours apart and December was...busy.)

   My friends bewilderment is understandable, as the concerns about Trump are completely legit. However, they are, however principled, 'comfortable class' concerns. A lot of people, even those those like my friend, who have a ton of empathy for the less fortunate in society, have a hard time doing a conditional hypothetical on this particular issue. Conditional hypotheticals are fiendishly hard for us all, and I only have some insight into putting myself into the more enthusiastic Trump supporters shoes because I'm very much in a working class situation at the moment, so this is not any particular brilliance on my part. 

  In short, while all the criticisms of Trump listed in the first paragraph are legit... his supporters have some responses, and in some cases see his apparent flaws as features and not bugs. 

He IS a bit of a narcissist. 

He's got high self esteem! (all those years of teaching self esteem rather than ethics are coming back to bite the left). He also has confidence and a bit of swagger, which is shamefully absent in our bureaucratized ruling class now. Also, where were you when OBAMA was sitting behind Resolute Desk?

He IS crude, vulgar, and a bit of a bully.

He's blunt. If you are working class and male, mentally ill white women are your perpetual tormenters, and someone who has the guts and power sufficient to call an "ugly bitch" what she is, however discourteous it may be, is gonna at least get a nod of agreement, and additional admiration if he is not ruined by the statement of an honest opinion.  

His business practices HAVE been somewhat predatory.

He's a New York real-estate mogul. He plays the game by the rules as they exist, not as how the people at the garden parties think they should be. Furthermore, they will point out that he knows how the game is played, and can better fix the system....this is less than persuasive given that in the 4 years he was in power he did not do so, but , Americans are an aspirational lot.

He seems not to have any downward loyalty. 

Loyalty is a two-way-street! Trump WAS betrayed by his staff and lied to regarding some crucial points regarding troop deployments. His supporters, having seen their jobs sent oversees and their neighborhoods overrun by illegals, both at the behest of those who most often use this criticism...while those same critics show zero loyalty and immense hostility to anyone not in their little circle of smugness....are unpersuaded by the argument. 

In fact, this criticism can easily be turned on its head. Trump has, for well more than thirty years been rather famously gracious to his working class employees (that he doesn't fire), and respectful to working class folks in general. While an undeniably ruthless businessman, he seems to be rare among the New York jet-set in actually appreciating that the construction workers and wait staff are people, and while not the vision and drive of any businesses, they ARE human beings and, moreover, are absolutely vital to them and worthy of respect. This is in STARK contrast to so many of his peers and critics who view those folks as something akin to a mosquito or a bad odor. In fact for many years this habit of Trump's was sometimes portrayed by the wine & cheese set as odd, silly, and dumb. This only furthers his support by the tormented. 

Trump is OLD, and DOES seem to be loosing his sharpness.


This does not actually address the issue, particularly in that we don't want to make the same mistake again, but but the sentiment is completely valid and understandable.

Then there is the matter of Trump, not conceding the admittedly very sus 2020 election, and not giving a great concession speech and going quietly into that dark night. This HAS shaken our republic. 

1st: if you believe that there was election chicanery, and you do nothing because you don't want to make a fuss, you are a coward, you are complicit and you are not doing your civic duty, rather the opposite. 

2nd: Calling for people to go forth peacefully and protest is so far removed from 'stochastic terrorism' as to render the term meaningless.

3rd: while Trump repeated some absurd and lurid claims about fraudulent ballots and flipped votes that he has indeed NOT brought the receipts for. There WERE, in fact, some very concerning things that happened in the lead-up to the election, ranging from the ubiquitization of mail-in ballots, to changes in rules regarding voting, and , most disturbingly, direct interference by the nation's intelligence services in the press to suppress stories critical of the S#!t's & Giggles campaign. The Twitter Files and the aforementioned TIME article being the receipts that Trump did not provide. This is NOT the same as the election thieving narrative that Trump has rather irresponsibly posited, and a very strong argument can be made that especially given that people were locked in there homes with nothing to do except look at the internet which contains the sum total of human knowledge, and they STILL did not avail themselves of information like the Hunter Biden story, that, despite the best efforts of our intelligence services to bury them, were available with just a little effort....that the country got EXACTLY what it deserved. Voting is not just a right, it is a profound responsibility.

But we weren't stupid and lazy. We knew about those stories WE didn't vote against the best three years since the crash of '08! WE didn't deserve this!

But it is a Republic, Trump's supporters are part of the whole of the country and as the saying goes. 'None of us is quite as stupid as all of us'. Which, as it happens, is a very strong argument for limited government.

BUT WAIT! There is a twist to all of this. There ARE actual arguments for Trump that are not reactions to the myriad of legit criticisms. 

1: Until COVID hit, The Trump administration presided over the best economic growth the country has seen since he crash of '08 and for two years some of the best we've seen this century. This economic growth was not, as has been the case since the late 90's concentrated solely on the upper echelons of the investor class, rather, industrial jobs started coming back, and real wages for Blacks, Hispanics, and working class Whites went up by historic levels.

Who cares that these inbreads have it better? THE TWEETSES ARE MEAN!

2: There were no new wars aside from a missile strike in response to a chemical weapons attack on civilians, and some counter piracy operations and counterterrorism raids. The ongoing war against ISIL/ DAESH was brought to a close, the withdrawal from Afghanistan was negotiated (in a fashion rather different than the shameful fiasco actually proceeded with by Trump's successor) and Trump opened negotiations with North Korea, a dicey proposition to be sure but one that expressed Trumps preference to "Jaw jaw rather than war war. " This is extremely important to some of his base which counts among its members a large number of the nations military families....families that feel they were lied to about WMDs for one thing. 

WHO CARES! I don't! I'm too smart to be in the military. I went to a GOOD SCHOOL 'CAUSE I'M SMART! This is affecting my portfolio! My Raytheon stock is going down! Who cares about these Chud's toxically masculine kids? He's sucking up to dictators that those stewpid hicks who signed on the dotted line need to die to stop, COWARD! TRAITOR! Did I mention that the tweets are MEAN!?

Now you may have noticed that the last two conditional hypotheticals might, just perhaps, not been quite as thoughtful, fair minded, or even honest in their assessment of Trump's foes as those of his supporters were. That's because the post is not about them, Many eloquent and well written analyses of people's good faith opposition to DJT can be found pretty much everywhere without looking too hard. However, the above noted views are the way Trump's SUPPORTERS see the arguments against their more practical arguments for Trump. And, very occasionally, with certain individuals, those views are more correct than not. 

Like it or not Donald J. Trump, is, in the U.S.A. in current year...our TRIBUNE OF THE PLEBS.

He and the rest of the movement are hated not just because of the very legitimate criticisms of Trumps behavior and policies (and if I haven't made it clear I do think that some of them are actually legit)  but rather a loathing of his working class base which is seen as unclean and dangerous by the creepy, corrupt, coastal, cosmopolitan, credentialed, class*

This has very real issues with trying to persuade them to switch over because attacks on Trump are perceived as (and frequently are) attacks on them personally. And to them, looking seriously at Ramaswamy or DeSantis feels like a betrayal. Trump, whatever his faults (and they are legion) is the ONLY president since Regan who catered to them in campaign and even TRIED to keep his promises to them. Furthermore his policies (and perhaps his inability to do a lot due to the opposition of the Civil Service to virtually everything he attempted) resulted in the lives of working class people, on average, improving dramatically under his administration....until COVID 19, that bastard child of China and the U.S. federal health bureaucracy.....brought everything crashing down. 

Then came the Biden Administration which bullied them with far more torturous lockdowns than Trump had done, MANDATED (rather than provide as an emergency option)  an untested vaccine (developed in record time thanks to the efforts of Trump), and which has been applying the law as unevenly as is common in third world countries, in what seems to them to be an attempt to punish them for voting for their perceived interests. These are people who have suffered immensely in the tumultuous advancements of the last 30 years and can palpably sense the hostility and utter contempt they are viewed with by this nations leadership cadre and they will support Trump not just because that to them he seems to be the only lifeline in a storm, but because he is a thumb in the eye to their tormentors. 

This is unfortunate, not the least because I really don't think Trump can win the General Election later this year. The polls do not agree with that last sentence at the moment, but while Trump's plethora of legal cases are seen (I think rightly to a rather large degree) to be politically motivated third world level bulls#!t, when he gets convicted of one of them (And he will! Some are probably legit and most of these are being tried in virtually kangaroo courts.) He will be a felon. And his support will drop like a rock. There's also the ongoing effort to get him off the ballot in several states, including swing states, which, as troubling as it is, may well leave him with an insurmountable hurdle in the electoral college. Combine these two factors with the white hot screeching hatred with which he is hated by Affluent White Female Unhinged Lefties and pretty much anyone in the comfortable class coalition and you have a sure prescription for an absolutely crushing debacle at the polls in November. A defeat so comprehensive and total that his coattails might well make the event be on a par with the fate of the Whigs in 1860.  

If as seems likely, he gets the nomination, I'll hold my nose and vote for him, the stakes are too high not to, but I think that if he does not bow out, and do so gracefully, he will burn down everything, including his base which sees him as their final hope. 

The alternatives though are not great. Viveck Ramaswammy is intelligent, articulate, passionate, empathetic, and smart, and as a bonus seems to hate Nicky Haley with a passion almost worthy of her loathsomeness. However, he has a definite used car salesman vibe and while a certifiable genius and competent businessman, is completely untested in government, which is necessarily quite different from business, as Trump found out to his detriment. 

De Santis is a diffident campaigner, though he has proven to be a remarkably effective governor and good steward of Florida. He sucks as a campaigner and only got the governors job by being drug over the finish line by Trump. His sheer competence helped him get a massive re election victory in Florida, in spite of extremely unfair news coverage that painted him as every sort of bigot, but his lack of campaign acumen has come to the forefront again as he ineptly seeks the advice of the Republican campaign establishment and finds himself neck in neck with and possibly behind one of the most loathsome politicians the Republicans have ever produced: Hillary with a diversity card, the cultural quisling chickenhawk girlboss, who will do anything and betray anyone to climb into the box seat and get invited to the garden party, Nickey Haley. 

Still, I like DeSantis. The fact that he is more focused on governance than campaigning is actually indicative of a level of professionalism that I have come to despair of ever seeing in a national level campaigner again. The total inability of him to tell his tone-deaf  campaign staff to stop insulting the base and sock-puppeting and  to go pound sand does not fill me with any confidence that he could win the general though. His military service is sometimes ridiculed (he was a J.A.G.) but he was forward deployed and while not a combat rate, it is a necessary one and he did sign on the dotted line in a time of war...unlike most people running for high office. 

But these three and the others are all far behind Trump in the primary polls. 

The question many in our ruling class are asking is "How is this possible?" and I think I've answered that. Torment and express contempt for a whole group of people and they might not like you very much. 

It can be and might get worse though...

The late Nelson Mandela often quoted an old proverb from the region around the Cape of Good Hope "A child that is despised and cast out into the cold by a village may one day come back and burn it down to feel it's warmth" 

It is a proverb that our ever so smug ruling class might want to ponder, lest this populist discontent turn dark out of desperation...... as so many such benighted movements have historically.  

* This post is going to piss EVERYBODY off, but at least I got off a 6 point alliteration in the text. Go Me!

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September 27, 2023

We're Having Two Different Conversations and Are Living In Two Different Worlds

Watch the whole thing. 

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June 10, 2023

Well...Looks Like Rudyard's About to Get Lynched!

Rudyard Lynch has a good overview of the history an RELIGIOSITY of communist thought (and far leftism in general). Unlike a lot on the right he looks closely and fairly at the genuine appeal this malign force has, why so many are persuaded by it's arguments and why it spread so fast. This is more honest and helpful than assuming they are all 2-dimensional pulp villains. (Which, to be fair is a rational, if misguided conclusion if one looks only at Communism's results). It's 50 minutes, but it is worth the time. 

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March 06, 2023

Kancelled Kettle

Well. Fuck. 

As was mentioned briefly in the brief post talking about the Silvervale situation, Pikamee had a similar experience to Silvervale in that she announced that she was going to be playing The Game That Must Not be Named. This also resulted in massive harassment from the degenerate hellions that get their marching orders from the latest Twitter encyclical. This included death threats and doxxing. 

You see, J.K. Rowling (the creator of Harry Potter) has expressed views that do not align perfectly with the most extreme transgender activists. Thus, playing the game is said by Twitter freaks to be literally killing somebody with gender dysphoria. 

Normally the rantings of mentally ill cultists can just be ignored, but this is more difficult when you are a public figure who has to engage the public. It is also much harder when the gleeful lynch mobs actively hound you. 

Pikamee has been to the U.S. and speaks English, but is not obsessed with politics and really has no frame of reference for our blinkered gender ideology debates and associated insanity, which was, no doubt, an out of context problem from her perspective. This foul brigading becomes very hard to ignore with when doxxing and death threats are involved and this is particularly true in Japan given fairly recent events involving idols

They mercilessly bullied this poor girl from another country who had literally nothing to do with any of this this lunatic critical studies shit. They brigaded her so ferociously that she cancelled plans to play the game. Then she was hounded into cancelling another stream. And another

Pikamee has now announced she's "graduating", which is a neurotically polite Japanese euphemism for idols that basically means retirement. 

Pikamee was a hilarious and talented bi-lingual streamer that helped to establish V-tubing as a genre. Pikamee clips have made the rounds for years, have been the basis of countless memes and have brought joy to millions. 

Now, because of some mentally ill narcissistic cultists, she's gone. 

I'm not a particular fanboi of Rowling or her views. Her TERFitude is an extension of her very anti-male brand of feminism, but her remarks on the trans issue have not been particularly hateful or insane. (Biological men in women's locker rooms is a legitimate concern, as some unfortunate schoolgirls here in Virginia found out 2 years ago). 

However, my opinion on one bit of somebody's public persona are not really germane to anything. She's an individual. Rowling wrote a popular series of books, that, while not MY cup of tea, are well crafted, beloved, and got millions of kids to actually read.  Furthermore, I generally believe that we should separate the art from the artist in most cases that don't involve violence*. 

Speech is not violence. 

Violence is violence.

But we're now in a situation where normal discourse is counted as violence and actual violence by political extremists is considered speech. 

This cannot stand. 

I noted on stream last night that I stream on an iMac and my only console is a PS2, but if I had the equipment I'd stream HOGWART'S LEGACY in a hot minute. I'll also support anyone who does so. I'm gonna buy the game (a game I cannot play) next week. I hope it is the best selling game of the year and these pitiless Jacobin myrmidons get their noses rubbed in their own impotence. 

Good by Pikamee.

Thanks for all the fun. 

*(Lovecraft's stated views on ethnicity and race were abhorrent, but his work brilliant. If he were alive, I'd not vote for him. Marrion Zimmer Bradely ran a pedophile ring, so I've tossed her books.)

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November 20, 2022

Categorizing the Un-Discussable

Devon Del Veccio has done a superb job of breaking down what fascism is and has divided it into 3 broad categories. He's brought the receipts, with a reading list that is as turgid as it is extensive. 

As it happens, I'm currently slogging through ONE of the mentioned tomes now (Sternhell's The Birth of Fascist Ideology) which, sadly, just seems like something one ought to read nowadays. I marvel at Dev's patience in reading through all these mind-numbingly opaque books.

I've been aware of the broad strokes of the origins of Fascism since the mid-90s but this video goes into specifics that are pretty interesting. 

I've long equated the struggle between Fascism and Communism in the '30s to the religious wars of 16th century Europe.One does not consider Catholics, Orthodox Christians, or, Protestants not to be Christian, though they have different means of attaining the same goal (salvation) yet they fought bloody wars over quibbles about ideology. Leftists, likewise seem to have violent, passionate disagreement amongst themselves about the minutia of how they control people's lives and will bring about their utopia, but to those of us not part of that worldview, they look indistinguishable. 

His discussion of 'post fascism' is likely to raise some eyebrows, since some of the ideologies he mentions as having fringe elements fall under that banner are not intuitively fascist by any means. However, I think a very loose analogy can be made to the difference between the American tradition of a commune, which is a voluntary association of idealistic people working together, (who can, of course leave) and the state having much the same philosophy, which always results in much less genteel outcomes. 

It's an interesting watch at any rate. 

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August 02, 2022

Some Damn Fool Thing About an Old Property Lease

The Diplomat reports on a strange international legal situation that could add yet another complication to the Balkans-in-1914-like conglomeration of conflicting interests, unclear jurisdictions, centuries old grievances, ethic hatreds, overlapping/contradictory treaties and great power intrigue that is Southeast Asia. 

The issue has its origins in a 1658 agreement by the  ">Sultanate of Brunei to cede the province of Sabah to the Sultanate of Sulu as compensation for Sulu's assistance in putting down a Bruneian revolt. 

This was somewhat complicated by an 1878 agreement with the British Empire to lease the province... a contract which was continued by the Malaysian government who continued to pay the modest stipend to the heirs of the long defunct Sultanate of Sulu after the country gained independence from the Brits. 

The Sultanate of Sulu covered northern Borneo, islands in the Sulu Sea and the southern end of Mindanao, today the southernmost big island of the Philippines. 

The Sultanate of Sulu was the focus of considerable ire from the Spanish who, having claimed the Philippines, did not recognize their territorial claim over  those islands. Sulu never actually signed a treaty of surrender however and when the U.S. acquired the Philippines in 1898 the centuries old conflict was still going on in the region known as Morro. The U.S. DID get a treaty from the last Sultan of Sulu in 1915, ending the bloody 'Morro Rebellion' and the last reigning Sultan retreated to Northern Borneo where his remaining lands were subsequently incorporated into British possessions there. 

The area became part of Malaysia when that country gained independence but the lease continued to be paid to the heirs of the Sultanate....

Well...until 2013 when the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu started an insurgency that killed at least 60 people in the province of Sabah. Given that this was an attempt by terrorists to re-establish a defunct Sultanate the Malaysian government put a stop to the payments to the family. 

From here it gets....complicated. 

Because the Sultanate of Sulu had a large par of their historical territories in the Philippines, the Philippines, for most of their existence as an independent country laid claim to Sulu's historical territories in what is now Malaysia including Malaysian islands in the Sulu Sea and northern Borneo. (Note that the U.S. never made this claim)  

The Sultanate of Sulu was somewhat at odds with the other Islamic Kingdoms in the area because their interpretation of the Koran was....less nuanced... than the other, comparatively moderate Sultanates in the Southeast Asian archipelago. Their beliefs seem to be somewhat similar to the Whahabists of the middle east.  Note that at least one of the Morro factions in the Philippines (which even today are waging a nasty insurgency there) aligned themselves with ISIS a few years ago. The Morro themselves, as mentioned earlier are a Sulu remnant who never accepted the peace treaty. 

The heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu consider the Government of Malaysia, to be too moderate to be a legitimate ruler of Muslims. 

Thus, when the heirs to the old Sultanate made their putch in Malaysia in 2013 the Malaysian government naturally cut off payments to them. 

Which is where Luxembourg gets involved. 

The Petronas corporation, Malaysia's big oil conglomerate (you may have heard about a couple of their buildings) holds the actual lease at the crux of all this. Well, the company was just taken to court by the remnants of the Sultanate of Sulu...in, uh, France. There it was found that was found that, Petronas Corporation, by complying with Malaysian government, had unjustly denied the heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu the approximately $5,300 annual stipend that had been promised them by the British in 1878 and grandfathered in upon Malaysian Independence. Thus they were awarded 14.9 B...B...Billion and their subsidiaries (which were registered in Luxembourg) have been seized.


Let us review:

A group of heirs to a defunct kingdom with territorial claims that overlap two countries and known ties to Islamic extremists as been awarded almost 15 billion dollars because a company stopped paying a $5,300/yr lease the company inherited from the British after the government asked the company to please not fund terrorists.  

15 billion will buy a lot of suicide vests and other kit, but there are more troubling implications. It appears that the remnants of the Sultanate of Sulu, in addition to insurgents and suicide bombers, possess a weapon that is singularly formidable and heretofore not thought of as a large part of their arsenal. 


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June 05, 2022

When Someone Tells You What They Want To Do, BELIEVE THEM

Especially if their mask comes off. 

This blog is based in the U.S.A. and that has the happy benefit of being in a nation that is kept from falling into a state of anarchic autocannibalism or Hobbesian totalitarianism by it's institutions and laws, which form a set of checks and balances on the ill-considered passions of the people as well as their leaders. 

History, of our nation as well as others has taught us that when those safety rails are torn down, then terrible sorrow of one form or another will soon follow. This holds true even if the reasons for removing those guardrails was noble and somehow not clouded by hysteria and emotional passions. 

Thus, one should ponder closely any politician that utters such a phrase as this...

"If the filibuster obstructs us, we will abolish it. If the Supreme Court objects, we will expand. We will not rest until we've taken weapons of war out of our communities."

Or this...
"spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights”

Be sure to watch the short videos, and read the context (which is absent from most of these videos.) 

SPOILER: the context doesn't help. 

Whatever the the merits of a particular political goal might be (and with the goal in question the merit is near zero) removing all of the legal system's arrestor switches and the political system's pause buttons then one is guaranteeing that something very dark will soon come to pass. 

The left of today assumes that they will always have the power and that removing the governors and guardrails from the engines of society will only bring suffering upon their enemies. Their current feral mindset does not allow them to recognize that the club they wield could easily be lifted by those they now drive before them, and that those who pursue power without mercy might find themselves begging for it from those they now torment. 

Such clubs are hard to put down.

If institutional safeguards and constitutional rights are removed, then which ever side might win a given political contest, ALL of us will ultimately lose. 

Paul Schofield has timeless thoughts on the matter here:

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May 23, 2022


Rudyard has a good overview of the phenomenon.
It's a much better take than several of my history professors, who would angrily declare that "countries don't fall do to decadence" and seem to feel that expressing  concern about decadence is a warning sign of being a NAZI .

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January 27, 2022

A Distinction Often Lost

So Justice Steven Breyer announced his retirement today. A milestone in his storied life that was somewhat robbed from him by the little weasel that leaked the news yesterday. 

After an unusually coherent introduction by the POTUS, Bryer today gave a short speech.

The speech really rather emphasized the stark difference between an actual, old school American Liberal, and a Leftist/Progressive. 

Should be cued up to the 5 minutes of clarity in the 58 minutes of...stuff. 

Direct, to the point, and brimming with optimism, Bryer avoided punitive language and threats as he laid out a Raison 'detre for our judiciary, a bit of cautionary perspective to those who think the system we have should be abandoned, and a much needed word of hope extolling the virtues of civics. 

Breyer is indeed a man of the left, but he is a Liberal.

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November 02, 2021

Voting Day Observations

As some of you know, I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the current elections in which, is, at the moment, the focus of a great deal of attention from national pundits as it is assumed to be a bellweather.

As they are constitutionally mandated to happen every other odd numbered year, Virginia's elections are not just 'off year' elections, they are double secret off-year elections.
Turnout tends to be even lower than the turnout in non-presidential federal elections we have on alternating even numbered years.

I've been voting since 1988, and I have NEVER seen a line at the polls stretching out into the rain on an off year, let alone a state election. That was the case this afternoon. 

I was pleased to see that the dems had not removed all the Republican election signs from outside the polling place as is their habit. It IS possible that they were simply replaced, by Republican poll-workers but there was no pile of Republican election signs at the usual spot in my neighborhood. 

To my surprise, Deanna Stanton, the Republican Candidate for the local house of delegates seat was just outside the "no campaigning line" actively greeting people in the parking lot and handing out sample ballots...which helped in identifying who to vote for for school board as school board elections and candidate positions are notoriously opaque and their party affiliation is , by law, not listed on the ballot. 

In this blue district she has a snowballs chance in a blast furnace, but it was nice to see a Republican with pluck and verve making a go of it. 

Despite much hyperventilation , and McCaullif's odious nature, I'm not optimistic.

Democrats are like tonail fungus in that when you get them in control of your government they are almost impossible to get rid of. They put in place laws district borders and pollworkers to ensure their perpetuation. They also have undeniable appeal to a segment of the electorate: 
Enthusiasm is certainly very high in this blue city. 

Still, it's good to see people care enough to vote in one of these off-year elections.

There were reports of pollworkers turning people away for not wearing masks, which is illegal and was overturned this afternoon, but damage was still done that adds to the institutional headwinds faced by Youngkin and company. 

I'm not very optimistic, but in a couple of hours we'll know. 

UPDATE: It's been a couple of hours...we know nothing. Mcauliffe did not concede and instead noted that they had lots of votes to count, before walking off the stage with a Cheshire Cat grin on his face. In most definitely unrelated news, Fairfax, the most populous county in the state announced that they have had "difficulties" and won't know anything for a while. Youngkin has a comfortable lead that will soon be firm enough to establish how many votes will be needed to be found in Fairfax to catch up. 

Neither is particularly anxious to make such a call, so I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm tired so I'm going to bed, and hope I'm not disappointed when I wake up.

UPDATE:  McAuliffe conceded! Bill Clinton's bag-man and bundler, the guy who set Virginia on a path that has seen it circling the drain for the last 8 years, has finally thrown in the towel. There is a chance, however slim, of turning this around.

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October 09, 2021

Excellence is Racism, Bigotry is Intellect

New York City has declared that they will eliminate their gifted and talented program. Mayor DeBlasio seems to think that getting rid of a means to enable bright kids to excel is striking a blow for equality.

Harrisson Bergeron call your office. 

Neo has thoughts on the matter as an ex leftist and her take is always worth reading, but the thing that leapt out at me was the NYT articles subheading, which reads
  The mayor unveiled a plan to replace the highly selective program, which has become a glaring symbol of segregation in New York City public schools,
  Emphasis mine. 

There are few more racist notions than those implying that the act of demanding excellence is somehow racist. The implication is, of course that black students are too dumb to possibly compete.  This reinforces some of the most wicked and pernicious stereotypes of black inferiority and white supremacy.

This is one of the toxic fruits of the equity fixation the left has. White supremacists and "race realists" will point to current standardized test scores and make much the same point. However white supremacists and "race realists", repugnant and vile though they are, are not as stupid and logically challenged as DeBlasio and company in that they do not support putting people who DO NOT make the cut in various highly skilled positions for the sake of balance. 

Both the avowedly racist, the "race realist" and woke falsely claiming not to be racist Brahmins come to the same racist argument albeit for different reasons. 
This racist argument is ostensibly based on education data going back to about 1970, but the data is flawed. One of the advantages to being a southern history buff is that Sons of Confederate Veterans of all people is made up of history enthusiasts who look at the history of our misguided ancestors 'warts and all'. We've had this conversation with the racists who try to enter our spaces. You see, in the 1950's and early '60s African American students were, (despite the poorer physical condition of their schools) on a par with and not infrequently outscored white students on the standardized tests that were then required in the south to matriculate from primary school to junior high school and into high school. This was partly a product of the fact that African American families pushed their kids to learn in much the same way as Jewish and Asian families are thought to do today. Additionally, the segregation of the age, while certainly abominable, did mean that the Black teachers, were teaching black students and pushing them hard. One result of this can be seen by reading Letter From a Birmingham Jail by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. This historic document used to be required reading in the freshman year of high school. It was favored as a teaching tool not just because of its eloquence in expressing Dr. King's message of racial tolerance and human dignity, but because it teaches modern readers a lesson in cross referencing. King references, amongst other things,  the Bhagavad Gita in reference to Gandhi's then recent struggles in India, and the whole thing is written at such a level that the text is, today considered too advanced for freshmen...in college. However, King wrote this for and got it published as a letter to the editor in an African American paper. It was written at, what was at the time, a SIXTH GRADE READING LEVEL..among black students in 1963.

The error all three groups of racists (the white supremacists, the "race realists" and the woke,) are making, is assuming that African American educational attainment of current year is a product of African American abilities in the cognitive space. Again, prior to the currently used data set that was NOT the case, but  the older data sets were not well preserved , are not well researched outside of redneck history nerds and are not as readily reference-able online. The latter data set feels like it affirms the preexisting bigotries of all three groups of bigots quite well. The "Woke" in particular cannot abide the truth of prior African American academic excellence because the problems with present day African American academics are the result of catastrophic cultural changes that happened very rapidly and mostly after 1968, including, but not limited to, the devastation of black families through divorce and out of wedlock births leading to the sudden ubiquity of single motherhood in that community.  

So the idea that asking for academic achievement is racist is deeply flawed, and if ones goal is greater African American participation at the higher levels of society, one should look at the root causes, which are cultural in nature and better handled through black churches and institutions and not through holding back others "so the poor blacks can catch up" which only serves to power up resentment, and reinforce the most evil and racist of stereotypes.

But this decision is worse than that.

We have, in the U.S.A. a toxic and aloof ruling class that has become very insular. Whereas in previous years it was filled largely with the best people of all walks of life who clawed their way to the top, it has become, since about 1970, much more stable, based on credentialism and patronage rather than raw merit. Ironically this happened just as the nation was becoming serious about removing racial obstacles to advance into the upper echelons of society. 

That is another thing that is toxic about this decision:
It eliminates a way for outsiders to get into the elite schools that are necessary to enter the new aristocracy. These gifted and talented programs were a way for ANYONE of any race, who was smart enough, to move into the program, get out of terrible schools and move on to big name universities. Eliminating this rout not only slams the door in the face of poor kids, it removes competition from the children of the elite, making out pernicious ruling class even MORE self-perpetuating.

Finally there is a utilitarian argument for why this decision rests at the intersection of stupid and evil. It stops the practice of picking out our best and brightest and making them the best they can be. It stifles them, and does not allow them to meet their full potential. 

How many Madame Curies, Einsteins, George Washington Carvers, Freeman Dysons, or Sequoyahs we are loosing because of this decision is unknowable, but if this decision stands it will be vast. 

Finally, while equality under the law is a civic virtue and moral good, equality of outcome is the worst form of tyranny, and those who have tried to enforce the latter, have filled more graves than one might think possible. 

The Khmer Rouge prized equity highly, and saw to it that people who had an educational advantage were not allowed to compete unfairly with those not so privileged.

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September 25, 2021


By no means a dispassionate analysis; but one that, between expletives, handily puts into perspective what was and what was not found. It also provides some historical context regarding senate race shenanigans in AZ that explain why conservative Arizonans were so hot about this thing.

There is more on this here and here and the current mainstream take on this....ignoring the elephant in the room...can be found here.

A few things. 
This is 1 county. This is NOT going to decertify the 2020 election, at least any time in the next year or so. 

Even if it turns out that Biden did not win this (and other states sufficient to swing the election)....and even though that does seem quite possible, this will not change anything. There is no constitutional process for fixing this. The election was certified. That's it. The end. A president can be impeached, but that replaces the president with the Vice-President, not the opposition in the last election. As gobsmackingly inept and malicious as  Dull Joe's Bizarre Misadventure has been, Kackels Mc Karen is almost certainly going to be a step down for the country and it behooves us to delay that inevitable transition as long as possible.

This audit does lend credence to the notion that our election systems are seriously broken and need to be secured. Mail-in voting has always been exceedingly vulnerable to fraud and needs to be massively limited. 

The very real possibility of screwed-up ballots aside, the total subversion of the media and tech landscape has "fortified" our elections for a decade, to the extent that they're not even hiding how rigged the system is, they're bragging about it. If there is to be any hope of voting our way out of our pickle, the out and out scam of mail in ballots will have to be ended. 

But as important as pushing for reform, indeed even more so, is to not give up. The only reason I can come up with that the bizarre Time mea-culpa was published was  wave in our faces that they could admit what we'd long suspected and do so without fear. The Time story was an expression of dominance intended to demoralize the right. Whatever horrid revelations come of this ongoing process it is imperative that everybody (who is legally entitled to) vote. Because if we beat them larger that the margin of fraud, we still can save the country, but if we throw our hands up in despair and say "What's the point?" all hope is lost and we will never carry the day again.

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August 10, 2021


Kill 15,000 people by either utter malice or by violating all common sense and you're OK.

I guess we know where the real power lies.

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June 27, 2021

Recent Omissions From The Newspeak Dictionary

‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well." - Syme (from some book by some reactionary no one remembers)

The following words are now disallowed. 

Victim / Survivor 
Disabled person
Mentally ill
Child prostitute
Non-consensual sex
Abusive relationships
Homeless person
Spirit Animal
"Everything going on right now”
Committed suicide, 
Failed suicide 
Successful suicide
Completed suicide
Child prostitute
Abusive relationships
"I'm going to kill myself" 
"Kill me"
You guys,
Ladies and Gentlemen
"People of Color"
Long time no see
No can do
Sold down the river
Killing it
Take a shot at it
Take a stab at it
Trigger warning
Rule of thumb
Go off the reservation

From here, I've omitted the ones that were ALWAYS slurs that they sifted into the list in an apparent attempt to make the list seem less Dystopian. 

We'll be taking bets on when 'Dystopian', 'cautionary tale', and 'how-to-manual' get on the list.  

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May 28, 2021

Suddenly: A Video Appears

How'd THAT happen?

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May 23, 2021

Dave Rubin asks....the Question.

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May 18, 2021



A unanimous decision from SCOTUS. Meaning it's not another example of our liberties hanging by a thread. Also meaning that they'll now have to go for a 19 justice court. 

More here, here, and here

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a warrantless seizure of guns while a man was in a hospital for a suicide evaluation.

That there was any question about this is a sign of how screwed up things are, but the decision, especially its unanimity is a most welcome surprise.  

This may well kneecap the red flag laws in addition to the now debunked idea that people can just express "concern" about a gun owner and have all their guns seized without so much as a warrant. 

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