It’s still legal to say what you think

I have been watching a considerable amount of the Rubin Report in my leisure, which I recommend highly. The hour-long discussions allow for an exchange of views, as opposed to a ritualized six-minute interchange on cable TV of talking points.

One of the heroes of truth is Douglas Murray, who has written The Strange Death of  Europe. Asked by Rubin what words of encouragement he has for others, he responded: “It’s still legal to say what you think”.

I want to add my two cents’ worth to that observation. It is surprizing the degree to which, in the absence of any secret police, and with human rights commissions still occasionally defeated in  public and embarrassing ways, that people feel so constrained to toe the line of political correctness.

Yet they do, and for good reason. There are innumerable enforcers out there, in almost any occasion in which polite society meets.

Last year I was talking to a lady at a cocktail gathering and had occasion to observe that North American Indians or blacks were overrepresented in our prisons – and no, I did bring up the topic but did not avoid it either. She asked me quite bluntly: “Was I racist?| I thought for a moment and said, “No. I merely observe statistical realities”. What I ought to have said, and wish I had said, “Are you a member of the thought police?”

Because there are many members of the thought police and they do not hesitate to comment on the slightest deviation – it is the slightest and not the greatest deviation they are sensitive to.

More than any other thing which lies behind the success of Trump is his capacity to talk ordinary language about difficult subjects: to talk like a real person and not in a series of carefully crafted talking points. What he has done is enlarge the capacity of ordinary people to react as normal people should to violations of common sense, good manners, and good public policy. The Emperor of PC has no clothes, which we have seen for some time. Yet it is the power to force people to say that His Majesty is splendidly clothed, to humiliate the general public by ceaseless participation in lies or doubtful propositions, that gives the guardians of PC their power.

To wit:

  • mass immigration is good for all people of the receiving society
  • free trade with China is actually free – that is, standards-based, law abiding  – trade
  • there is no link between Islam and jihad
  • that different rates of criminal incarceration among different ethnicities is a sign of racism or other injustice

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said that Communism would not survive the day if everyone spoke the truth. As I have said recently, we are living in the liberal version of Oceania, and we will not get out of it until we each decide to tell the truth.

So say something.

———————————-

For  good measure, here is the interview with Douglas Murray.

 

 

 

Freedom of speech in Trumpland

From American Greatness:

The past week of Russia hysteria has me longing for the good old days. Like 2009, when a Democratic president could pull missile defense systems out of Poland and the Czech Republic to appease Vladimir Putin without facing charges of treason. Or 2010, when a former Democratic president could take a cool half-million from a suspected Russian government-backed source to speak in Moscow and that wasn’t considered treasonous, either. Or 2012, when no one was screaming for impeachment when a Democratic president on a hot mic assured the Russian president that he’ll have “more flexibility” on missile defense systems once he’s re-elected. Or when the previous Democratic administration helped Putin toward his goal of controlling the worldwide supply chain of uranium and that was really all about “resetting” relationships.

Oh, how the times have changed!

 

I was at a reception at the US Embassy in Ottawa recently. A Canadian happened to remark that he had been there often listening to the most strident denunciations of Trump by Americans. Clearly for all the talk of Trump leading to fascism, there is not the least fear on the part of any American to complain that they are approaching a condition in which their speech would be even mildly dangerous to their careers.

Hence one can conclude that political discourse is alive and vigorous in the halls of the American government and in the felt freedom of its people to complain of Trump.

Perhaps it was the alcohol talking, but I made bold predictions of Republican gains not losses in the senate and house at mid-terms. When I have the inclination and closer to the time I will make precise more predictions.

How come when a Muslim male goes crazy he kills people?

And the cover up never stops.

From Pajamas Media, which I think captures the enormous effort to divert attention from Islamic jihad to mental illness, toxic masculinity, or “look. there’s a rabbit!”.

According to police, Hussain — who had lived for a time in Afghanistan and Pakistan — had “expressed ‘support’ for a website that was seen as ‘pro-ISIL.’” This and other fishy online activity had led the authorities to speak to him. Indeed, reported Warmington, Hussain had been on the radar of the Toronto Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Well, that certainly sounds dispositive. But while Warmington was serving up this hard information about Hussain’s jihadist sympathies and shady background (what was he doing all that time in Afghanistan and Pakistan?), virtually every other journalist or public figure in Canada seemed determined to lead the public down this or that garden path –whether by calling for even tighter gun laws, meditating on the mystery of the individual human soul, serving up academic hogwash about toxic masculinity, or embracing the argument that it was all about mental problems. They were willing, in short, to make any argument, however absurd, rather than to acknowledge the manifest possibility that a young ISIS fan named Faisal Hussain might be yet another enemy within, driven to mow down infidels in the name of the caliphate.

Islamic jihad taunts the liberal vision of diversity and inclusion with the adamantine fact of total rejection. No we will not assimilate. Yes you are fit to be slaughtered. You are vermin and we will destroy you.
Jihadists preach it, and all jihadists are Muslim, though not all Muslims are jihadists. I do not know what is to be done, but what I want to hear is public authorities wrestling with the question.
In Canada, as elsewhere, we hear the choirs preaching diversity and inclusion. Actually, if there was one style of masculinity I would call toxic, it is the Islamic male’s sense of rightfulness to seize or women, kill and enslave there rest of us, all in the name of the Prophet. This has gone on since the beginning of the creed’s war against all, kuffar.

 

Fareed Zakaria interviews Steve Bannon

Start at 38:17.

Bannon locates the inception of the populist revolt which led to Donald Trump in the financial crisis of 2008.

“If people think the Washington elite is arrogant towards the rest of the country, it is as nothing compared to Brussels and the City of London financial elites towards their own countries”.

 

I like people who are able to explain at a high level of abstraction what is happening: fact driven, insightful, and as much as possible, above the fray.

Jordan Peterson does this in academic subjects, Peter Zeihan in energy, demographics and large scale political outcomes,  and Steve Bannon in why Trump made it to President, and why he must prevail.

“With China and NAFTA and everything else, we are at the beginning stages of a major  renegotiation of the economics of the United States and how we are treated in the world and what our place is in the world. It’s at the heart of the Republican Party and the re-formation of the Republican Party. His biggest enemies in this are the Republican Party….”

Zakaria has some good points in rebuttal, too.

And Bannon comes right back.

A superior interchange among very intelligent people.

“The United States is more than an expeditionary humanitarian military force that is there to be the world’s police force and they [the deplorables]  are paying for it. They are asking for a re-calibration.”

 

 

 

 

Links

Social justice warrior is shamed by former colleagues.

  • from Quillette

White lives don’t matter, or any victims of crime, in Chicago

  • from City Journal

Stefan Molyneux on race and intelligence, on the David Rubin show

  • if it were just racism, it could be fixed
  • when you adjust for IQ, people have the same crime rates and the same capacity for wealth generation. Think about that for a moment.

Steve Bannon, Trumpite and agitator for the American working class, and Lanny Davis, former White House adviser and a Democrat, engage in a real debate

  • a polite, intense and well-mannered contest of ideas!
  • “50% of the families in our country do not have $400 for an emergency” – Steve Bannon
  • “We got here because we have allowed the global elite to run the show”. – SB

Everyone is smarter than Trump.

  • especially the media

Observations on China

 

 

 

 

The following is drawn from a university professor who has spent nine years in China. From my perspective it is always fascinating to hear the testimony of what it is like to live in a society that has not known Christianity and which has no God but the political leadership, where Caesar is God, and no gods, no ethics, and no general sense of how life should be lived apart from scrambling for money. When there is nothing else but Mammon and tyranny, this is what it is like. (Francis Fukuyama writes more generally about the corrosive effects of tyranny on social cohesion).

In a way, I sympathize with Chairman Xi’s emphasis on rule of law because in my experience laws/rules/norms are simply ignored.  They are ignored quietly so as not to embarrass the enforcer, however, frequently, the enforcer knows rules or laws are being ignored but so long as the breaker is not egregious, both parties continue to exist in a state of blissful ignorance.  Honesty without force is not normal but an outlier.  Lying is utterly common, but telling the truth revolutionary.

I rationalize the silent contempt for the existing rules and laws within China as people not respecting the method for creating and establishing the rules and laws.  Rather than confronting the system, a superior, or try good faith attempts to change something, they choose a type of quiet subversion by just ignoring the rule or law.  This quickly spreads to virtually every facet of behavior as everything can be rationalized in a myriad of ways.  Before coming to China, I had this idea that China was rigid which in some ways it is, but in reality it is brutally chaotic because there are no rules it is the pure rule of the jungle with unconstrained might imposing their will and all others ignoring laws to behave as they see fit with no sense of morality or respect for right.

I had a lawyer tell me about the corruption crackdown, and even most convicted of crimes, that people referred to them as “unlucky”.  As he noted, there was almost no concept of justice even if people recognized the person had done what they were accused of having done.  The discipline stemmed not from their behavior but they were cannon fodder for some game chosen by a higher authority.

China wrestles with these issues like clockwork every few years after a tragic incident goes viral.  A common one is when someone is run over by a car and pedestrians just step over the body until a family member finds the body.  The video goes viral, prompts a week of hand wringing, and then censors step in to talk about Confucianism and how the economy is growing.  There is no innate value given to human life as precious.

A friend of mine in China who is a Christian missionary, told me a story about a time he was invited to speak at the local English corner they had in the apartment development where locals would get together hopefully with foreigners and practice English. He was asked to speak on what is the meaning of life, perfect for a part time missionary. He said he knew what people would say having lived in China for sometime but even so was stunned at how deeply and rigidly held the belief that making money was the entire meaning of life. There was no value system.  There was no exogenously held right or wrong, only whether you made money.  With apologies to a bastardized Dostoevsky, with money as God, all is permissible.

I could talk at length about that what I have observed, but I am not a human rights expert and what type of cultural changes or evolution it engenders.  However, while the well known cases draw attention, these attitudes and responses set the tone for a culture where individuals, respect, and truth mean nothing.

This has impacted my broader thinking in that executive space (thinking of the United States but also applicable elsewhere) is that laws need to be enforced consistently not at the whim of the superior.  If the law exists it should be enforced and consistent, otherwise it should be removed.  Currently, the United States is going further and further in a direction where laws are applied inconsistently shifting from varying enforcement regimes under different executives.  Law is not law if the government can choose whether to enforce it. Law has become the whimsy of sovereigns prone to political fancy.

and much later in the article, after a discussion of the openness of the USA to immigration, he continues:

Conversely, China is a rising power but probably more importantly is a deeply illiberal, expansionist, authoritarian, police state opposed to human rights, democracy, free trade, and rule of law.  Just as we need to consider the state, speed, and direction of change in the United States, China has been deeply illiberal authoritarian for many years, is becoming increasingly illiberal, and is accelerating the pace of change towards greater control.  It both puzzles and concerns me having lived in China for nearly a decade as a public employee to hear Polyanna statements from China “experts” in the United States who talk about the opening and reform of China or refuse to consider the values being promoted. I was left mouth agape once when someone I would consider a liberal internationalist who values human rights informed me he was focused on business and would leave those other issues aside.  The values represented by China cannot be divorced from its rise and influence.

The rise of China represents a clear and explicit threat not to the United States but to the entirety of liberal democracy, human rights, and open international markets.  We see the world slowly being divided into China supported authoritarian regimes of various stripes that support its creeping illiberalism across a range of areas.  The tragedy of modern American foreign policy is the history of active ignorance and refusal to actively confront the Chinese norm or legal violations. The Trump administration is utterly incapable of defending the values and assembling the coalition that would respond to American leadership as they face even greater threats from China….

The concern is not over Chinese access to technology to facilitate economic development for a liberal open state. The concern is over the use of technology to facilitate human rights violations and further cement closed markets.  That is a threat for which neither the United States or any other democracy loving country should apologize for.

I should note that I like many other am concerned about the level of government surveillance on citizenry.  However, equating Beijing to Washington in many of these specific issues is simply non-sensical authoritarian apologetics.  Let me just briefly run through some of the enormous differences. First, some have argued tech firms gather data which is true but does not distinguish what happens to the data. Unlike China, the US government does not have free access to all electronic data.  Second, China uses control over electronic communication in vastly draconian cyber dystopia ways compared to the wide range of opinions that are allowed online in the rest of the world.  By simple comparison, Winnie the Pooh is censored in China while in the United States the debate is over whether some information should be restricted that is deemed inaccurate. It is nothing less than authoritarian apologetics to attempt to equate the two in any serious manner.

 

How the media work

The press is dissected in this entertaining interview by John Cleese of  Graham Johnson and John Ford, tabloid journalists. There is only one line and one story allowed. All the questions are directed to reinforce the chosen line.

“Fake news” was made identifiable by Donald Trump, says Graham Johnson. Stories are made up, and the penalty for failing to do so is to be fired. It is that simple.

 

For evident reasons, trust in British journalism is especially low. See

https://www.statista.com/statistics/683336/media-trust-worldwide/

for a comparison of the level of trust in media across countries. It proved impossible to block and copy.

 

 

Good news: The Cold War may be over

As the media go hysterical over Trump and Putin meeting, it is important to ask yourself this question: who gains by making Russia the bogeyman? Instead of, say, Islamic terrorism, Islamic invasion of Europe, mass emigration from Africa or Mexico, or the advent of thinking machines, autonomous cars, and microbiological weapons? Eh?

As Spengler observes, Russia has always been governed by thugs, and on the scale of Stalin or Lenin, Putin’s long list of assassinations is less than the first 3 days following the  Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

 

President Trump offended the entire political spectrum with a tweet this morning blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia. “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity,” the president said, and he is entirely correct. By this I do not mean to say that Russia is a beneficent actor in world affairs or that President Putin is an admirable world leader. Nonetheless, the president displayed both perspicacity and political courage when he pointed the finger at the United States for mismanaging the relationship with Russia.

The hysterical shouts of “treason! Munich! disgrace!” are a sure sign that the Party of Davos  is offended, and they are getting really scared that the changes they deplore keep on happening despite their shrill control of the mainstream media.

Something new is aborning, and like all births, it is messy, bloody, shitty and horrible to look at. But wipe off the baby and cut the umbilical cord, tie it up and tuck it in and you have a new baby. The birth of the new will look ghastly for a while but the process of replacing the Post World War 2 American Imperium with something else is underway. As Steve Bannon says, “we don’t want a European protectorate, we want a European alliance.”

Mostly we want to go on living as nations, and not as helots in service of the Davos crowd.

John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, has not exactly adapted to the news.

John Brennan, who led U.S. intelligence under Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter: ‘Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors’. It was nothing short of treasonous.’

You may expect more of the same. Unless you realize that the world is changing before your eyes, and that the US Deep State in particular does not want to change its anti-Russian focus, nothing will make sense. As Orwell once noticed, it is hard enough to see what is in front of our eyes. It is not treason, it is the downgrading of the threat from a declining Russia to its actual proportions. In the meantime, beware of Russians bearing soccer balls, but not more than one should be wary of open borders, Davos thinking,  intersectionality and the decline of educational standards.

The last time I can remember an event so large was the fall of the Soviet Union, but the important fact is that this time the change is happening here.

Vladimir Putin gives Donald Trump a football from the 2018 World Cup in Russia during their press conference in Helsinki 

 

Good news: the ice age is ending

From the National Post today:

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016. All of them shrank a little bit, said (glaciologist Adrienne) White.

White found glaciers lost more than 1,700 square kilometres. That’s a loss of almost six per cent over a period of 16 years.

Most of these glaciers probably aren’t coming back.

The Canadian Arctic is experiencing some of the fastest climate warming anywhere on Earth. The annual average temperature on Ellesmere Island has increased by 3.6 degrees.

I do not deny global warming. I celebrate it. As you will observe from the chart below, the earth has been getting colder for the last fifty million years.

Wikipedia reports:

There have been five or six major ice ages in the history of Earth over the past 3 billion years. The Current Ice Agebegan 34 million years ago, its latest phase being the Quaternary glaciation, in progress since 2.58 million years ago.

Within ice ages, there exist periods of more severe glacial conditions and more temperate referred to as glacial periodsand interglacial periods, respectively. The Earth is currently in such an interglacial period of the Quaternary glaciation, with the last glacial period of the Quaternary having ended approximately 11,700 years ago, the current interglacial being known as the Holocene epoch.[1] Based on climate proxiespaleoclimatologists study the different climate states originating from glaciation.

 

Mother American Night

Mother American Night by John Perry Barlow and Robert Greenfield

Once upon a time I was in Ghana for an Internet conference. A group of ten or so had gathered in the lobby in comfortable chairs and were chatting after dinner. I got on to the topic of acid and the Grateful Dead and how much I missed doing LSD, as I had not had any for years, maybe decades by that time. John Perry Barlow, as it happened, reached into his pocket, pulled out his wallet, and tore of two Owsley tabs from a small collection, in front of everyone and with no hesitation, and I took them from him gratefully. It was some time later that I actually tripped on them. They were sublime. Thank you, John Perry Barlow.

More conventional reviews of John Perry Barlow’s autobiography can be found  hereherehere and here. Also here.

Barlow was at the centre of so much in recent American life. Do yourself a favour: if the description of Barlow in the hotel lobby in Ghana intrigues you just a bit, buy and read his book. You will not be disappointed.

If on the other hand the idea of LSD frightens you, why are you reading this blog?