Monday, December 26, 2016

The Fall of [Neconservatism and the Liberation of] Aleppo

Liberated vs Fallen

When a city or nation is successfully invaded by an outside entity, we tend to phrase the act differently depending on who the invader is. If the invader is an ally, or someone we empathize with, then we term it as a liberation. Iraq was liberated from Saddam. The Philippines were liberated from imperial Japan. Gondor was liberated from Sauron.

When the sides are switched, we talk about how our preferred side has fallen. We speak of the fall of Rome, not Rome's liberation by Visigoths. If you search the term "fall of Jerusalem" you will find references to its invasion by Saladin, but if you search for "liberation of Jerusalem" it will return references to Israel's successful 6 Day War of 1967 or to its occupation by Crusaders in medieval times. In the Anglosphere we know that the Fall of France refers to its invasion by Germany, and that the Liberation of Paris was the reactionary invasion by English speaking forces.

There is some fluidity of usage, but normally the opinion of the author can be determined by the phrasing used to describe these kinds of military actions.


In that context, the media's portrayal of the recent ousting of ISIS from Aleppo by the Syrian Army (with Russian support) is telling. Compare the news sources on the first page when searching the following terms in Google, at the time of this writing.

"Liberation of Aleppo"

  • OffGuardian
  • RT (Russian)
  • Mehr News Agency (Iranian)
  • PressTV (Iranian)
  • (anti-MSM source)
  • Katehon
  • Southfront

"Fall of Aleppo"

  • Daily Beast
  • The Atlantic
  • New Jersey Herald
  • The National Review
  • The Telegraph
  • NPR
  • VOX
  • Jerusalem Post
  • Newsweek

The conclusion is clear: the mainstream media sides with the previous occupiers. Their sympathies lie not with the House of Assad, the de facto government of Syria, nor with Russia, the only foreign military force invited by the Syrian government. No, the sympathies of our mainstream media are with ISIS. The Islamic State. The most cruel, barbaric, and despicable state in all of existence. You can't get worse than ISIS. North Korea is not nearly so depraved, so hostile, so cancerous. And that is who the mainstream media is openly siding with. It's so incredible I really do find myself at a loss of words. But let the conclusion be clear:


This is an interesting development for us who have been saying for a while that Obama has aided ISIS, using them as a tool of US foreign policy. This suggestion has some undertones of conspiracy theory, but with the mainstream media, who have done nothing but carry water for Obama's disgraceful foreign policy, now openly aligning with ISISian interests the argument is totally freed from attempts to smear them as wild conspiratorial fantasy. It is not so wild to claim that Obama has aligned with ISIS whenever useful after his media puppets have openly aligned with them as well. And that is something to note is that the media stance is more in defense of Obama's foreign policy than it is explicitly pro-ISIS. The ongoing US-backed invasion of ISIS-held Mosul is being touted as a liberation by his cheerleaders. And of course they aren't going hysterical about the humanitarian casualties of that operation.

Obama's Neoconservatism

Neoconservatism as I understand it can be summed up by the following three principles.
  1. American global hegemony must be extended into the 21st century to ensure world stability.
  2. No regional hegemonies will be tolerated. No national players who reject global US / Western hegemony will be tolerated.
  3. America will use any military, intelligence, political, and economic weapons at it's disposal to preempt the emergence of any power that might contest her empire.
While most associated with the Bush regime, Neoconservatism did not begin or end with W. US Empire At All Costs has been the de facto policy since World War II. (For those who aren't sure what I'm talking about, there are many analyses on the subject. I would suggest Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent as a great starting point.) The CIA has long been covertly sabotaging opponents, the IMF strangling them. The difference with Bush was that pre-emptive military attack became the stated policy. It has long been the de facto policy, but it was largely excluded from the public policy debate and was done as discreetly as possible. Under Obama the Bush Doctrine was alleged to have been overturned, and he was awarded a Nobel peace prize before the farce could be revealed. In reality all the old tricks were on the table, but they were used more aggressively, more openly, more deceitfully, and with greater incompetence. 

For example. it is not new for them to use US air power to influence a foreign war, as Bill Clinton did in Yugoslavia. Nor is it novel to secretly aid rebel groups to overthrow disliked rulers, as happened extensively in Latin America and other places. So it wasn't totally unusual that the Neocon policy would be implemented in Libya, which relied on US bombs and her aid to Islamic rebels/terrorists. But how it occurred was much more in line with the Bush Doctrine. There was no illusion that this was not a US operation. This was official state policy. Obama himself went on the record to demonize the Libyan government and advocate for war. There were UN resolutions passed, which only occurred because they lied to Russia and said the No-Fly Zone would not be used for regime change. Well regime changed did happen. It was brutal. It included Gadaffi being sodomized with a knife by an angry mob. It ended with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smugly ridiculing his demise on national television. And the outcome was a Somali-level failed state in North Africa, a disastrous refugee crisis in Europe, and ISIS free to commit mass beheadings on the beach.

To reiterate, Obama pretended to roll back Bush's stated Neocon policy but did not, and wielded the normal tactics only more aggressively, more openly, more deceitfully, and with greater incompetence. 

Fall of Neoconservatism

Aleppo is the first great defeat of Neoconservatism. The Russians, duped in Libya, resisted the US in Syria, and outfoxed us both militarily (in secretly setting up air dominance over Syria) and diplomatically (in defusing the situation after the "Red Line" which was being used as a pretext for direct military action). The US has used ISIS as a tool to reduce Assad. This is how desperate they are. The removal of Assad, a secular leader who wears a suit and speaks English, is worth supporting the scourge of the Earth who don't even concoct a pretense of being civilised. The Russians demonstrated for all the world to see that the US bombing campaign against ISIS was a ruse. It was used not to destroy ISIS, but to steer them towards Syria and away from Iraq and other allies. Under US bombing ISIS oil business proceeded unhampered. Under US bombing ISIS boomed. But under Russian attack they're being dismantled. The fall of Aleppo (or should I say liberation?) is not only a blow to Neoconservatism strategically in destroying their dream of removing Assad, who resists US hegemony, but is also devastating in the philosophical or moralistic realm. Now world observers must come to one of two conclusions.
  1. The US is no longer capable of keeping the world safe from terrors like ISIS (but Russia is).
  2. The US is willing to unleash terrors like ISIS on the world to get her way.
It can be debated which is the more damning conclusion, but the point is moot since either conclusion is damning. It could also be debated how Neocons will respond. Will they blame it all on Obama's inept leadership? Will they turn on themselves or become more resolute in defeat? I suspect that point is also moot, because our incoming administration is not friendly to them at all. The only question of importance now is whether Trump will be able (and willing) to dismantle the deep-state apparatus for enforcing Neocon foreign policy in four or eight years. The last president to attempt something like that was publicly assassinated. That is a discussion for another time, but for now it's safe to speculate that Aleppo may be the Battle of Saratoga for all in the world who oppose US Neoconservative imperialism. And any media outlet that uses any language to indicate support with the defeated are illegitimate propaganda outlets that should be immediately discredited by all rational humans who are not Islamic fundamentalists. In fact this may become my new litmus test for sorting the different outlets out. It is a proxy measure for evil that can be quantified.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Predictions and Outcomes of the Left

From what I can tell, the best that can happen for 2020, to Trump's perspective, is for the left to predict he will lose, and for Barrack Obama to campaign on the behalf of his challenger.

Note: apologies for the formatting issues. I intend to migrate this to Wordpress pretty soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Political-analytical bifurcation in the mainstream media

This article that just came out of Salon is interesting because it is effectively two separate articles, one embedded inside the other. To pull them apart, take the title, subtitle, first paragraph, last paragraph and the sentence immediately before it, and put them in their own article, which we’ll call the outer article. Then take the remainder and call that the inner article.

 The inner article is a sober and revealing look at the US foreign policy in Yemen. This policy has occurred within Obama’s time in office, so it can’t be attributed to the Bush legacy, and the prognosis is not pretty. This is the kind of analysis I would want to see promoted to the American populace, particularly the left, who don’t seem to always grasp the cold reality of US foreign policy.

 The outer article is all about Trump. It is not friendly. It contains the normal mindless and trivial name calling. And while it doesn’t quite outright blame Trump for the US foreign policy, it does display an extraordinary eagerness to transfer that blame onto him, still more than a month before he steps into the driver’s seat.

 There are two things I’d like to highlight:

 (1) This is a beautiful example of the cognitive dissonance that is occurring on the left. You see they actually have the analytical ability to sift through the public propaganda and unveil the reality of the situation. This is somewhat relieving, as many of us were starting to wonder if the left-aligned media had lost the ability of objective reasoning. The more correct prognosis is that many of these journalists are still capable of higher reasoning, and it is not forbidden from mainstream publication, just as long as the conclusion is politically congruent with ideology.

 Typically this is done by suppressing the analysis where the conclusion is undesirable. This is not a tendency reserved to the media or politics. It is common in academia, in intelligence, etc. This is the first that I’ve noticed where the analysis is allowed to be published, but it is wrapped in more desirable conclusions. This is what I’m calling the political-analytical bifurcation. The two components of the article, the analysis and the conclusion, are allowed to proceed nearly independently of each other.

 Of course I may be overanalysing it. This is just one example, it doesn’t indicate a broader trend. But, such an article is only possible in an environment that includes a healthy dose of doublethink (where mutually opposing thoughts can be held simultaneously, or as I like to think of it, an immunity to cognitive dissonance) and where avoiding undesirable conclusions is the de facto standard. I say de facto standard because the nominal standard is always “we go wherever the facts take us”, but in reality that is not what usually happens.

 (2) This would indicate that mainstream critique of US foreign policy will, after an 8 years lapse, be back on the table again. The media that has never taken Obama or Clinton to task for the utter catastophes unleashed in Lybia and Syria, will be more than happy to do so if it can be pinned on Trump. I for one will take the trade. If Trump is blamed unnecessarily for situations he did not create, but at the same time the supposedly peaceful and anti-war left will again start calling out the bullshit of a foreign policy where no humanitarian disaster is spared in their zeal to maintain US global political and economic hegemony, that will be a positive change.

Some afterthoughts:

  •  I suspect someone might be able to write a best-selling book that critiques Obama's foreign policy legacy, but replaces all instances of Obama's name with Trump.
  • This article indicates just how quickly Obama has become irrelevant in the public eye.
  • You won't see them publish an article called "Hey President Obama, Do You Know Where Your Bombs Are Falling?" (which is what the title would be if the conclusions synced with the analysis).
  • If I was to write a satire of media in 2016 it would read a lot like this. A solid overview of the reality of some issue, coupled with a totally bizarre conclusion.
  • If I wanted to discreetly redpill liberals I would write articles like this, with headlines that are pure clickbait for Drumpf haters, but would subtly expose them to rational discussion.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Ultimate Virtue

There seem to be two types of people. Some seek happiness. They’re easy to spot. They say phrases like “you need to do whatever makes you happy” or “all you need is love”. These people are usually warm and empathetic.

On the other hand are people who seek truth. They might be analytical or competitive, but ultimately they are of a similar mold. The analytical mind seeks logical consistency to know what is right. The competitor seeks the judgment of action in the world to know what is right.

Sanity is the ultimate virtue. Sanity is the combination of the two types, happiness and understanding. People of the first type can easily slip into insanity. These empathetic people shun uncomfortable truths that may offend someone and harm the path to happiness. Thus they become shut off to aspects of reality. They lose feedback from the world, which is the definition of delusion.

But the truth seekers face their own peril too. They can become zealots, egotistical, or cruel. They share the opposite conundrum; they may become jaded when human nature interferes with the pursuit of truth, or forget about the world outside their arena. They shut themselves off from the spiritual energy of the universe, and they are often disturbed or miserable.

Sanity is the ability to both comprehend reality as it is, as opposed to how one wishes to to see it, combined with the ability to cope with that reality. Sanity is getting dumped but knowing that it was for the best. Sanity is smelling a skunk and realizing their can be a strange pleasantness to the odor. Sanity is being screamed at by your boss and understanding that he is emotionally ill, and that you won’t be infected by it. Sanity is the ability to couple Machiavellian shrewdness with Christian forgiveness.

The world is full of people who only comprehend one half of the sanity equation. They will tug you in their direction. If you don’t follow the path towards pure happiness they will call you hateful. If you don’t follow the path towards pure truth they will call you stupid. The sane person will understand the dynamic and handle the encounter gracefully. It requires both the willingness to fully perceive reality, and the empathy to relate with the other person.

Without sanity nothing matters. Worldly success without sanity is a loss. The love of others without sanity is a loss. Sanity and nothing else is bliss. But with sanity, success, love, and all the other good things are likely to follow.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A few thoughts on pregnancy abortion

I used to be against abortion. Now I'm not. I was against it because I thought it was the taking of a viable life. I still believe that to be true. I was against it because I believed that a number of people use abortion in lieu of effective birth control. I still believe that to be true. I used to be against abortion because I thought many women (or all feminists) support abortion primarily as a political action, as a way to really stick it to what they see as an oppressive patriarchy, which is most often an expression of cultural Marxism. I still believe that to be true.

I am no longer against abortion. Two things have changed. And they are not the facts, but my perspective.

First, I've realized this is a dangerous territory for a man to delve into. I am typically not one to hesitate too much to delve into topics and opinions that are social suicide (one of the many perks of a minimalist social life), but I decided that, with all the landmines, and with some understanding of the dynamics, it's best to let women lead this issue. And mostly I do.

As I've taken the mindset of more or less deferring to women on the issue, I've realized that I trust one side more than the other. For the the pro-abortion crowd, I see ulterior motives. As mentioned before, I think many of them are less concerned with the moral, ethical, and logical arguments, and just want to use abortion as a way to really express that men have no power over women. That is, I don't think they are isolating the question at hand, and I think their conclusions are heavily corrupted by outside forces. On the other hand, the anti-abortion women are resisting great social pressure when they stand by their convictions, and I tend to respect their courage and confidence to do so. It has always amazed me, and still does, that so many women make such a show of expressing their right to kill the fetus, the most vulnerable and precious form of human life.

Second, my mentality has shifted somewhat from focusing on the individual to focusing on the group. Focusing on the individual, the termination of the aforementioned innocent life is a felony of the highest order. However, looking at society as a whole,  I realize that those abortions serve a social benefit: they reduce the breeding rate of those amongst us who should be breeding less. Another argument, made by a friend of mine, has had some impact: "I don't see human life as that sacred." This is a Sea Wolf kind of brute mentality, and came from a very kind and giving person. The fact that he could say such a thing reminded me that I actually harbor such sentiments myself, but pretended I didn't.

So I'm in the weird place that I am not anti-abortion, which liberals would approve of, but for reasoning that would make them cringe.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Should the State Proscribe Non-Marriages?

For any conservatives who did not yet question the role of government in marriage (the libertarians and anarcho-capitalists sure were), 2015 was the year those questions were likely to surface after the Supreme Court legislated that gay marriage was the rule of law in all 50 states. For many people the question arose: just what exactly is the societal benefit of gay marriage? The normal argument from those who defend gay marriage is that it's a matter of fairness. If straight people can legally marry, then by extension of legal equality gays should be able to as well. But that argument (and it is a valid argument) skirts the question of what is the societal benefit of gay marriage. Also, they never explain just what exactly the benefit is that gays are missing out on. (I live with my girlfriend and our daughter. I still haven't found out what, for me, would be the benefit of straight marriage).

Basically the argument boils down to feelings. "Well it's not fair they can't marry and it will hurt their feelings." Or perhaps it's not feelings but some belief in a universal principle of fairness. (My toddler tells me about it frequently.) But that doesn't answer the question: what is the societal benefit of gay marriage? The question them might even be generalized to: what is the societal benefit of marriage? Or maybe somewhat less general: if the government acknowledges gay marriage, then what exactly is the role of government in marriage at all?

Society enforces the institution of marriage historically because it provides the most stable and productive society. It was perfectly natural (perhaps not entirely logical or ethical) that the state would enforce the edicts of monogamy. In such a culture marriage yields a very particular benefit: it is permission to have sex. But our culture no longer values monogamy overall it seems, so the enforcement of it by the government is no longer relevant. I still don't know of a single convincing argument that it makes any sense at all these days. Marriages don't enforce child-rearing, fidelity, or the permanence of the marital bond. The only material gain seems to be a tax benefit when the bride & groom (or bride & bride or groom & groom) are of very different income levels.

It is clear that our society no longer enforces the original intent of marriage. By extension, we no longer enforce the proscription of marriage-like arrangements or non-marital sex either. Legally this has not widely been done in America, that I'm aware of. Enforcement of non-marriage was done through social pressure. Even today there is a remnant of this. A couple I am friends with in rural Missouri lived together for some time but decided to marry after the gal's family received considerable pressure from their pastor. This was once the normal proscription process of non-marriages. Those who lived in a married-like state, but were not legally married, would be socially stigmatized, but it is no longer common. Of those that still even go to church, most don't give the clergy great control of their personal lives, and in part the clergy don't seek to control the personal lives of their assemblies so long as they show up on Sundays and make with the tithe.

If society no longer proscribes non-marital cohabitation, then it surely also does nothing to forbid other arrangement long considered harmful to society, most notably polygamy. All states ban the practice of a man being legally wedded to multiple wives. But as we've seen, the state has no power to proscribe non-marriages. Thus it has no power to prevent arrangements that, for all practical purposes, are polygamy. So what is the point of the law at all?

Libertarians will have no problem with this. They don't believe society should be limiting the lifestyle decisions of individuals. If the wives and husbands all willingly accept the arrangement then the government is impeding their liberty by intervening. Liberals will also applaud such an arrangement, if only because they are always seeking to dismantle the traditional order, whatever it is. Only conservatives might take a moment to ponder the benefit of laws against polygamy in the first place. The answer, as mentioned above, is that it provides the most stable and productive society, historically speaking.

There likely is not much we can do to prevent the erosion of monogamy and our fundamental social institution: marriage. In this democracy social conservatives are far outweighed by liberals (of both parties) and libertarians. This is yet another example where we can clearly see trends driving the degradation of our culture, but we are powerless to stop them. Powerless and unwilling. I don't pretend to lecture on the issue as I'm in a non-marriage myself. Self-interest always trumps societal benefit, and sacrificing ones well being to restore society is akin to drowning in the attempt to push back the tide.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Oppressionism: the modern left in a nutshell

Liberalism and conservatism are not ideologies. There is no way to give a brief description that explains the expanses of each. There is no single theoretical underpinning. Until recently, I've been satisfied to think that they are political platforms. But that is not accurate either, because both platforms are self-contradictory. The right is the home of Christianity, but also to pre-emptive war. (Although Obama has made sure that they don't have the monopoly on that). The left is pro-Muslim, but also prioritizes women and gay rights. These are just a couple examples I could think of off the top of my head. Perhaps they aren't the best ones but you can think of your own all day long.

If we wanted to describe liberalism then as a platform or set of principles, we must provide a set that is self-contradictory. So it's no wonder that no one can agree on what it means! I have been greatly influenced lately by the Anonymous Conservative, who puts forth a very compelling argument that liberalism and conservatism are the results of opposing psychologies. Whatever your take, the issue is complex, and at this time no one could definitely say what liberalism is.

However, at this time liberalism is being dominated by a single force. In computer science when analyzing algorithms we only ever worry about costs with the greatest magnitudes, smaller costs are ignored. So for instance if we are trying to speed up the time it takes to send an email, and it takes one second to process the email and ten minutes to send over the network, we aren't going to be focused on the one second of processing. And so with liberalism. There may be a lot going on, but right now one force is so dominant that we can effectively ignore the rest for now.

That single force is Oppressionism. There are three tenets.

  1. The primary unit of social interaction is that oppressors take advantage of victims for some personal gain.
  2. Oppression is everywhere. In all social structures, cultural institutions, even art. If you can't find the oppression, you are ignorant, and an unwitting oppressor yourself.
  3. Finding and chastising the oppressor, and giving support to the victim, is the most holy virtue of Oppressionism.

Oppressionism is only tiny morsel of the liberalism's vast philosophical background, yet it is such a powerful force that all other liberal tenets must bow before it. Let's use the lens of Oppressionism to clarify some actions of the left that seem either contradictory, or perhaps that would seem to work against the left's self interest.

Protected Classes

Generally they determine who is oppressed by race, gender, religion, and sexuality. Rule of thumb goes, if you're two or more of the following: non-white, non-male, non-Christian, non-heterosexual, then you are a inherently oppressed, a victim. While this type of identity groups is of course racist, sexist, etc, they aren't concrete, and depend on your political affiliation. For instance Peter Thiel, a closeted homosexual until he was outed by the now bankrupt liberal rag Gawker, has been a huge surrogate of Donald Trump, and the liberals have reacted by basically saying that you can't call yourself gay if you support Trump. Sure you sexual prefer men but for all practical purposes you are straight.

In these protected classes we see some contradictions. For instance, the left want to bring Muslims by the millions, and ridicule the rest of us for rejecting the notion. It doesn't seem to strike the left as insane that they would pretend to protect women and gays and then bring in Muslims by the boatload. Because they can't possibly see Muslims as oppressors. Only straight white men and prominent conservatives are oppressors. The real threat of this viewpoint may not be that so many are falsely accused of oppression, but that real oppression is not acknowledged when it does not conform to the preconceived notions of what an oppressor looks like.

Open Borders

In past decades, from 1965 when Democrats shifted US immigration quotas from Europe to the 3rd World, many liberals still took a strong stand for highly controlled and regulated immigration policies. The Democrats represented labor and the poor, the two groups most harmed by competition from outside labor. The Republicans, who represented business, stood to benefit the most from cheap labor, but there were kept in check to some extent by the more nationalist sentiments of the party's core constituency.

Oppressionism has opened the flood gates. The poor of the world are not poor because of their own corrupt governments, or because they lack high-trust societies, or because they are culturally uninterested in education, or whatever reasons there might be. The reason they are poor is because they are oppressed. And they are oppressed by the rich Western countries. Therefor it is the responsibility of the rich nations to open their borders and coffers up to the world's poor, not as charity, but as reparation.

The reasons the left have basically abandoned our own workers for the sake of foreigners is that the poor and unemployed are just not oppressed enough. Not yet, anyway.


Environmentalism has long been one of the key issues for liberals. And even it has taken a backseat to social justice (their term for oppressionism). Environmentalism is still a key issue, but they take great pains to make it a social justice issue. The official Democrat platform's stance on climate change is revealing, in that it makes the bold claim that climate change disproportionately harms racial minorities (even on a global scale minority means "not white") and that it amounts to "environmental racism". What could be worse that the threat of climate change to the very existence of numerous plant and animals species and even humans ourselves? You guessed it: oppression. Oppression trumps all concerns, even existential threats.

We've also seen that there is much more energy surrounding environmental issues where some sort of oppression can be determined. For instance, the left hasn't been quiet at all about oil pipelines. But only when they seemed to threaten a protected group did we see them converge by the thousands to an Indian Reservation in South Dakota. While the environmental risk may be real and justified, it should be noted that the pipeline was re-routed to avoid the city of Bismark, 62,000 strong with over 2500 Indians, as compared to the primary village that would be affected by the new route, Fort Yates, at under 200. The reservation as a whole is over 8,000, but it isn't clear how many would be affected by an oil spill.

My point is not to invalidate the Indian's complaints against the project. The point is that the left only massively rally for environmental causes if they can be primarily framed as a mater of oppression.

Safe Spaces

It was inevitable that liberals would find their favorite victim group: themselves! Always looking for signs of the omnipresent oppression, they decided that any speech which they disagreed with, or caused them any sort of negative emotional reaction, was oppression. Thus they created safe spaces, corners of the American academic institutions where free speech and objective truth could be shut out. I could talk all day about the insanity of this, but there are two major things to take away.
  1. Free speech is the bedrock of classical liberalism. Here we have the modern left rejecting classical liberalism as oppressive. Can the left cut itself off from it philosophical roots and survive? Or will they end up eating their own?
  2. Only liberals are allowed safe spaces, because they are not oppressors. Whites and men are oppressors. So we see even things like white student unions, when there are student unions for every other ethnicity on campus, are ridiculed as blatant racism. So whites are not allowed free association or freedom of speech, because they are labeled as oppressors by the social justice warriors.

Anti-Trump Hate Rhetoric

Those who follow my blog know I regularly defend Donald Trump. Those who know me personally were probably surprised I would be so supportive of someone who speaks ineloquently or lacks a strong intellectual bent (I'm not equating intellectual with intelligent here). And the reason I defend him so much isn't that I think he's the greatest candidate ever (well I didn't at the time I started defending him but now I do) but that what was being said about him, versus the objective reality, were just miles apart. 

It wasn't enough to say they objected to his immigration policy; it was that he's a racist. It wasn't enough to say he speaks indelicately; it was that he was sexist. It wasn't enough to say that he was caught making lewd comments with a television crew; it was that he was a child rapist. In short, it wasn't enough that he had flaws; it was the he was an oppressor.

The problems with this type of character assassination is that enough people saw through it. I didn't start defending Trump because I was a supporter. I did so because the media narrative was so far off. I became a supporter in the process. This happened to a lot of people! And the result was the worst election results for the Democrats in 28 years. Clearly taking everything you don't like about society and making it a matter of oppression by evil straight white males is not a winning platform. And what's worse, in their zeal to make Trump a monster, well they made a monster. They aren't out there rioting because of any of Trump's policies. They're rioting because American the Nazi character they created. And it is only turning more people away from their cause! If this keeps up 2020 will be a breeze for the Republicans.

Support for Clinton

As I mentioned earlier, the scariest part of Oppressionism is that actual oppression is ignored. The left was able to mostly ignore that their favored candidate, Bernie, was cheated in the primary, and still rallied to support Clinton, a woman who engages in Neocolonialism, who takes money from oppressive regimes, who treats he assigned staff as subhuman, and whose husband used his position in the Haiti relief effort for self-aggrandizement. The fact that she is so clearly what any rational person would call oppressive and won the popular vote, with liberals rioting after her defeat, shows just how dangerous Oppressionism is. This is not mere disagreement. Oppressionism is cancer, and must be eradicated before it destroys the host.

Christianity: the root of the West's downfall?

I've recently entertained the idea of returning to Christianity. I was raised Catholic, could never believe significant aspects of the dogma (although I tried to), and have basically been an agnostic my entire adult life.

My change in thought came about in part because of Stefan's interviews with Iben Thranholm (here and here). She makes the compelling argument that the West arose because of the values embodied in Christianity, that veering from those values is destroying the West, and only by returning to Christianity can the West be saved.

It is undeniable that Europeans rose to greatness under Christianity, and that we see the attack on Christianity seems to have preceded the weakening of the West and the frontal assault now being waged on all vestiges of European tradition. As goes Christianity, goes the West. Save Christianity, and you can save the West, it would seem.

When searching the different denominations in my area it's not easy task to find a church that is religiously liberal but politically conservative. The non-theist church in my neighborhood actually promotes Social Justice as one of their core values. Also down the road is the Unitarian Church, which is similarly dogma-light but hippy central. Whether the more traditional churches are more conservative is hard to tell. They at least don't stick out as obviously liberal as the non-theist churches. (Any help on this issue would be appreciated. At this point I think my best option is the Nazarene Church).

During this process of evaluating denominations based on the criteria of saving the Western tradition, the thought occurred that maybe it's not a coincidence that so many of the churches are politically liberal. What if the seed of western destruction resides in Christianity itself?

  • It idealizes generosity and service to the poor. Most proponents of the welfare state would argue that it is effectively our Christian duty to provide state aid to the poor.
  • It urges forgiveness. And in our society the biggest criminals often go unpunished. Retribution serves a purpose in society.
  • It destroys tribalism. All peoples are one under God. Nothing in Christianity inherently encourages a common ethnic or cultural identity.
  • It reserves judgement to a higher power. In our society we reserve justice to the state, which lacks the omnipotence of God. People who can manipulate the state machinery can sin against anyone and avoid judgement.
  • It condemns aggression (although this tenet seems to have no real actual effect).
  • It emphasizes an afterlife and personal judgement. A true adherent has no strong proclivity to fight to improve the material world. The most important goal is to remain pious to get into heaven. Their is nothing inherent in Christianity driving anyone to fight for the nation or to make the nation on great on Earth.
  • It generally promotes that all livers are sacred and we should go about peacefully, turning the other cheek to the transgressions of others and forgiving. That may work well on a personal spiritual level, but is hardly a way to run a nation in the modern clash of civilizations.

Christianity probably served a vital role in making the West powerful. When Christianity was mostly contained to Europe, it served to unite the various nationalities. Europe became something of a regional power, able to launch the crusades in response to Muslim encroachment, because of her ability to unite under the papacy.

Europe became a high-trust society under Christianity. The fear of eternal doom, or excommunication from the Church meant people were much less likely to steal, general less likely to sin. Christianity worked well, as long as most of the people played the game. I would compare Christianity to libertarianism or Scandinavian-style social democracy: it works so long as the people are culturally, ethically, and perhaps ethnically homogeneous.

The Church of yore was authoritarian. Redemption could be had, so long as homage was paid to the Church. In the modern world that bondage has been broken. Each man or woman is free to pursue their own salvation in Christ. We now have a Christian that embodies liberal ethos without the balancing societal order and constraints.

Am I wrong in my reasoning that Christianity and its legacy is killing the west? And if I'm correct, how do we promote western tradition without Christianity?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Liberals are making it almost impossible for Trump to fail

The Democrat party is in a precarious place. I don't think most people appreciate the full weight of just how deeply they have been exposed by Wikileaks, Guccifer, and Project Veritas. Among other things, we know they rigged their own primary, we know they colluded with the media to brainwash the masses, and we know they engaged in browshirt-style tactics and voter fraud. The only hint of credibility they have going for them is the precarious argument that at least they are not as evil as the party of Trump.

Beyond an ethics crisis -- and maybe crisis is a strong word when a large portion of the party members seem unconcerned -- is the party's loss of power (the thing they're really concerned with). All three branches of federal government will soon be held by Republicans, and the bulk of the states as well. All the while, the Democrats have a vacuum of leadership. Will they be able to regroup and run strongly in four years? Will the liberals in the party fall back in line with the Clinton surrogates, who cheated the liberal nominee and then went and lost in a landslide?

The only thing that can unite the party is a common enemy. And right now that enemy is clearly Donald Trump. If Trump succeeds, the Democrats may be out of luck for a long while; their only real hope is that Trump fails. But they are making it almost impossible for Trump to fail.

What does it mean for a president to fail? There are many things that can occur during a presidency that the president has little control over. The economy being the most notable. Presidents ride those waves, and those of global events, just like the rest of us. My thinking is a president fails when he doesn't deliver whatever it was he campaigned on. It wouldn't be fair to hold a politician to every last campaign promise, or even most given the way things seem to go. But there is always that core promise or ethos that defined their candidacy. George W. Bush ran on small-government principles, and utterly failed to do so. Obama's election was fueled on the hope and promise that basically he wasn't Bush. Given the expansion of the surveillance state, crackdown on dissent, and continuation of the Bush Doctrine, he has also failed, and it's not even close.

Trump himself has molded a platform of America First: ending trade deficits, stopping illegal immigration, restoring law & order, and so on. But that hasn't been the defining characteristic of his run. The most noteworthy depiction of Trump has been the left's reaction by him. By the hyperbolic hysteria that Trump is a racist, sexist, elitist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, anti-dentite, Russian-controlled hateful bigot. Basically, he's Hitler.

This is not exaggeration on my end. Check your facebook feed, or Twitter, or even the cable news channels. People are out there rioting because they are wholly convinced that America has basically just elected Hitler to the presidency. That makes a real low bar for presidential success. Trump doesn't have to be a great president. He doesn't even have to be a good president. He just has to not be a Nazi.

Based on this premise alone, I'm taking bets on his 2020 re-election.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why liberals are shocked and I made bank

Judging just on my facebook feed today, it's apparent that a whole lot of people still don't really understand this election, why it happened, what it means, and, most importantly, why it was quite predictable. A common theme seems to be the conviction that the election was decided by ignorant voters. Not only is that opinion wrong, but I think we can put forth a good case that the opposite is true: Trump voters were generally more informed, less ignorant.

They can't explain it

Liberals seem to be at a loss to even piece together a rational - let alone accurate - description of the election. Most are just uncontrollably spewing emotions out. Some are giving answers but they are primarily rationalizations fueled by their strong emotions. A few seem to get it, of course, and probably there are many more who are staying quiet.

I suspect we can correlate the level of emotion with their level of ignorance. The mechanism is simple: the further the psyche is removed from reality, the more shocking reality will be when it hits. The worst offenders out there, the ones ranting that Trump supporters are fascists, bigots, etc., are merely showing, besides their own hatefulness and lack of self-control, that they are very shocked by the results. They're shocked because they were ignorant of reality.

And reality came fast. Look at the timeline below. I've marked out in green where Clinton dropped down from 80% odds, to where Trump climbed to 80% odds. It was less than two hours!! That's a short span of time to have your worldview pulled out from under you. No wonder they're so angsty.

Most of us who voted Trump already had a worldview in place that understood the Trump appeal. We realized that the media was serving as propaganda, that the polls were being highly skewed by gaming the sample sizes and weightings and other tricks, and we were familiar with the ruse because we were warned by our friends in England about how things went down during Brexit. We got that information from alternate sources of media. From social media, from news aggregators such as Reddit and Voat, from alt-right bloggers and vloggers, and from new media sources, including places like Breitbart and Infowars.

Liberals would dismiss anything coming from Breitbart or the conservative blogosphere on principle. Only corporate media was a credible source, they would basically say (ironic, no?), and really no one on the left wanted to hear our arguments. So they closed their eyes and ears, assured themselves that CNN and John Oliver would only tell it straight, and their feelings and egos were spared. Most of them disregarded the Wikileaks. How many liberals actually went to Wikileaks, or read any compendiums? I bet far less than 1%. Project Veritas literally filmed DNC operatives admitting to damning criminal and unethical activities. Hillary supporters said O'Keefe was biased so the videos didn't count, or that they were edited (how do you not edit a video?). The level of denial was dangerous. When we saw Hillary supporters basically refusing to acknowledge Wikileaks or Project Veritas at all, we knew they were actively trying to hide from the truth.

Now that reality has hit all at once, they have nothing to anchor to. They know the media called Trump a racist and fascist, which they have internalized. Now they're telling the world that what must have happened is the American voters, who turned out massively to elect Barrack Obama in '08, are actually really racist and hateful. The argument is not consistent, but they don't have much to work with. They call Trump supporters ignorant, which only displays psychological projection since they don't really know what's going on. They're ignorant, so they assume we're ignorant, but they also are certain they are intellectually and morally superior.

They could not predict it

Why were they so ignorant? Simple confirmation bias. They tended to accept news that felt good to hear, and reject all else. Everyone does it of course, but unfortunately for them, the media was 96% giving out bad information that appealed to the liberal bias. A model of the world is only as good as its ability to predict. Let's look at the media predictions right before the election:

  • The New York Times: 80 percent chance of Clinton victory
  • Huffington Post: 98.1 percent chance of Clinton victory
  • Nate Silver/538: 72 percent chance of Clinton victory (323 electoral votes)
  • 89.7 percent chance of Clinton victory
  • NBC/SM: Clinton +6
  • IPSOS: Clinton +4
  • Fox News: Clinton +4
  • NBC/WSJ: Clinton +4
  • ABC/WashPost: Clinton +4
  • Herald: Clinton +4
  • Bloomberg: Clinton +3
Those were wildly off the mark. To those who trusted the media, the numbers made sense. Trump was a horrible candidate, so of course the polls were safely favoring Hillary. Well they didn't make sense to me. It didn't make sense to me at all that if Hillary had 80% odds, that Democrats would spend the last day of the campaign in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Clearly they knew something the media wasn't saying. Judge them by their actions, not their words. I looked at their actions, and that day I bet against Hillary at 4:1 odds, in the general and in Florida and Michigan.

I bet against the media. I bet that it was all propaganda. I bet what I knew from Wikileaks, that they were colluding with the DNC to sway opinion, rather than report reality. I bet that Trump's rallies, an order of magnitude larger than Hillary's, were significant. I bet that the media was lying at every turn. I bet that voters didn't trust the media anymore. I bet my model for reality was more accurate than theirs. And I made a lot of money last night.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The FBI reopened the case because they had no other choice

Comey's letter to Congress that the email investigation is back on was a surprise to everyone. There have been a lot of theories as to what's going on. Let me lay those out for you, and then describe what seems to be actually happening.

Everything is square.

 The investigation in July was done well, and they've somehow come across emails that are potentially relevant to the case. This is the stance of pretty much all Hillary supporters (but they'll assert the emails are not incriminating).

This is not a valid theory. We know for sure the investigation was poorly executed, and the reports from inside the agency (always anonymous) point to Comey obstruction, and to a workplace angry to the point of mutiny.

The theory fails because the first investigation was a sham. The Democrats pleading that surely the emails are irrelevant is wishful thinking. No way Comey, who covered for Clinton already, would open this up just before the election if it wasn't something catastrophic.

Comey played long ball.

I wrote in my blog post on Comey's congressional testimony that it was possible Comey was nixing the email investigation, because the real scandal was the Clinton Foundation. I urged for restraint for people not to slander the FBI when this was still possibly the case. However I've backed off the theory as revelations showed just how incredibly fraudulent the investigation was. It was one thing to let the fish off the hook, it's another to chuck the rod & reel out entirely.

The agents revolted

There is lots of talk that the agents in the FBI are quite upset. Whether they want to risk their careers and pensions over it is the question. And I have been pushing the notion that, until we hear of them taking action, they whole organization must be treated as corrupt and/or incompetent, and the members of it should bear the shame of being associated with it. The theory then is that the agents threatened they would go public if he did not indict her.


Just two days prior, on Hillary's birthday, there was some buzz that her 33 thousand deleted emails would be released. These were fueled by Twitter posts from Megaupload found Kim .Com and alt-right persona Mike Cernovich. Kim ended up posting a lead where, supposedly, the emails could be accessed by authorized people from the NSA.

Two days later the case was reopened. At first it was readily apparent that it was the missing emails. The notion was that was outside entity had access, and was blackmailing the FBI that, if they didn't move forward, the emails would be dumped to the public.

However, reports are that the emails came from notorious sex freak Anthony Weiner, wife of Huma Abedin, Clinton's top aid.

What really happened

A couple of months ago US Attorney Preet Bharara took up an investigation of the Clinton Foundation. This got some attention on Reddit. I had never heard of him, but many people had and said he was notoriously effective prosecutor who had put many corrupt bigwigs behind bars. They said if anyone could crack this open, it was him. I don't recall if anyone realized he was also investigating Anthony Weiner's sexual misconduct. Everyone pretty much forgot about this. It has been information overload with the leaks, hidden-camera confessions, and all that going on.

But here is the rub. Likely what has happened is in the course of his investigation, Bharara uncovered, at the least, classified information on both Abedin and Weiner's devices. I say at the least, because this doesn't even touch all the other scandalous information that may have been found.

Comey can't contain it anymore. This is outside their control. The only options were to continue to cover for Hillary and have them totally T-boned by Bharara, or to get ahead of the story to save face. Clearly they went with the second. 

What will happen

We don't know why Comey covered Clinton in such a high-profile case. Since July there have been many connection tied between the Clintons and Comey, and to his deputy director that oversaw the case. Whether Comey was angling to stay in office under Clinton, or there was other nepotism in place, or that he was being blackmailed (far more likely than you'd think, given how dirty everyone seems to be), we don't know if he'll continue to cover. But that is an option; he does everything possible to contain damage, protect her from the most severe charges, and keep the investigative eyes from the Clinton Foundation, which will reveal crimes perhaprs up to the level of treason against the state.

Or, seeing the tides turn, he may have to turn as well. And if he turns, he will have to follow Sun Tsu's advice and destroy his new enemy entirely. For his own good, he will have to see the Clinton machine completely destroyed. 

Obvious I hope for the latter. And if so, we'll see if Trump ends up forgiving him for his dereliction of duty in July.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Prepare for deflation

I'm going to ramble on about the economy for a bit, but if you don't want to read all that then just scroll down to the advice near the bottom.

I'm not an economist, but I do sometimes stay up drinking whiskey and reading alternative sources for things like economics and politics. You get a very different signal when you move out of the mainstream. It can be hard to tell whether you're right and everyone else is wrong, or if in fact you are actually the one who is off course. But, what little investing I've done has paid off well. I bought precious metals around 2008 when they were going way up, and doubled my gold and tripled the silver (which turned into a down payment on my first house). After the crash, I knew I should buy a bunch of stock while it was low. And I bought several thousand dollars of a mutual fund right at the lowest point of the whole stock market crash. It was pretty sweet. I sold that during my time in grad school, probably for booze. So I could be crazy, but then this has worked before.

State of the economy
For those who don't really follow what's going on, our economy has been in recovery since the 2008 crash, which was caused by a collapse of the real estate bubble, for about 7 years. They say we're still in recovery, but at 1% GDP growth, that's becoming a very optimistic description. Mostly when people say that the economy is doing great, they will refer to the soaring highs in our stock market. (Go ahead, post on your facebook that Obama's economy sucks*. Watch as they come out of the wood work to lecture you on the market.)

After the crash, the Fed lowered the interest rate to stimulate the economy. For years now the Fed has kept the rate very low. When the Fed lowers the rate, the cost of borrowing becomes cheap, and thanks to fractional reserve lending, the amount of money in the economy goes higher. But more money doesn't mean more wealth. At the end of the day, the value of a dollar is the total value of the real economy divided by the number of dollars. So if there are more dollars out there (printed or imaginary debt dollars like those backing your mortgage**), the value of each will be less. This is inflation.

Does anything about this strike you as odd? There is more money being pumped into the economy, so what would we expect to happen, that we aren't seeing? That's right, inflation. While we can argue about how accurate the inflation numbers are, ultimately we are just not seeing very much. What you're probably asking is, how is this possible? The answer, I think, is that pretty much all the economic gains of the recovery have gone to the top of the pile. So those of us in our little-people economy aren't seeing more money. We're not getting big pay raises. It's all going to the top. Where are those people putting the money? Remember that interest rates are very low. So debt-based investments, like bonds, have almost no return. I think you see where I'm going with this.

The money is going in to the stock market. It has no where else to go. As money dumps in, the prices of shares go up. People who bought early enough saw positive returns, fueling them to put even more money in. The market has become less about the real value of the underlying assets, as it has become based on the trust that more money will keep coming in to raise raise the prices further. It's a pyramid scheme at this point. It is highly susceptible to a "run on the market".

What would trigger such a run? A number of things I'd guess, but the most obvious one is a rise in the Fed rate. For two reasons: (1) it will reduce the amount of new money, reducing confidence that the stock prices will increase, and (2) it will make other investments like bonds profitable again.

So the people who run our economy are in a bind. If they raise rates they could bring down the house of cards that is the stock market. If they don't, they leave no room to maneuver when the next economic downturn hits. The last one was resuscitated by lowering the rate, but the rate can't go lower. If the next downturn comes before rates have been able to return to their natural level, the whole economy may go in to freefall with no brakes left to apply***.

The advice
You don't want to be exposed to the stock market. If you have stocks, sell them. If you have a 401(k) or equivalent, reallocate them to bonds or securities. The rule of thumb for stock percentage in your investments is 100 minus your age. So if you are 40 years old, you should have 60% in stocks. I'd say subtract 20%, at least, at this point. Sell high. Sell high. Sell high. Once the market crashes you can buy the stocks back on the cheap. Bonds and securities are where you want to be. The bond rates should go up as people bail the market. Cash-backed securities will actually increase in value as deflation occurs. And we could be in store for some serious deflation. Only like 10% of US dollars are actually in circulation. The rest are sort of imaginary debt dollars. So even if the value of the real economy drops, the amount of currency could absolutely plummet. Brace for deflation.

Pay off all the debt you can. If you have $20,000 in stocks and $20,000 in mortgage you need to even that out. While you should take advantage of 401(k) matching at your company, don't put in any more than they match. Otherwise, if you have any debt, including mortgage, you should not be putting any money into retirement (some people will cringe to hear that advice) or the stock market or taking out new loans. Here's the thing about debt: it's set at a nominal value, a certain number of dollars. If the total number of dollars available becomes smaller, it will become much harder to get the same number of dollars to pay the debt. Your income will fall. It will be harder to make those payments. And if you have a floating interest rate you'll suffer a double whammy. Not where you want to be.

Good luck. Please keep in mind my advice is free and comes with a money-back guarantee.

* I don't actually like getting in the habit of blaming or crediting a president for economic ups and downs. This suggestion is for illustrative purposes only.

** By the way, if you are considering taking out a mortgage now if the time to do so. The rates are as low as they can possibly get, unless they take the extraordinary step of setting the target rate to below zero. Be warned though if you lose your job in the coming crash, you may lose your home no matter how low the rate is. Also, the price of real estate will surely fall in a deflationary event. So there's no right answer, but take advantage of the low rates if you can. Fixed-rate mortgages ONLY!

*** The apocalypse scenario. I wrote about that a while back, and I have a preppers guide I've been sitting on forever that I may finish this fall. But you can find lots information on that if you're in a hurry.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Analysis of the Four Debates

The infographic here breaks down all four debates (includes the Presidential Forum) into the number of times different issues were mentioned. I will only be looking at the rightmost column, which gives the total number of mentions.

Clearly favors Clinton

Even at a quick glance it should be apparent that just the topics at hand favored Clinton. Unfortunately the compiler of this list didn't include all of the personal controversies, but did highlight the highest for each in yellow. In at the number 4 most referenced issue was Trump's tax returns, at 80 mentions. Now there is no requirement for a presidential candidate to release his tax returns, but it has been the tradition for some time now. So for Trump to forego the release of his returns is a break with tradition, and it is fair game for coverage, but he has broken no rules or laws.

On the other hand, Clinton's most referenced controversy, at 30 mentions, includes apparent violations of several federal laws, including FOIA, the Espionage Act, federal regulations for the handling of classified information, the internal policies of the State Department for information technology, and, maybe most damning, a subpoena issued by Congress.

Trump's non-criminal controversy was given almost 3 times the attention of Clinton's controversy, which was at the least "extremely careless", and at the worst, extremely illegal. 

Also note that Campaign Finance was barely mentioned. Clinton has huge contributions from Wall Street, from foreign nations, and from big corporations, including the behemoths holding the media companies that supplied the debate moderators and aired the debates. Having the issue largely glossed over was 100% in her favor. The debates didn't convey the conviction that many of us have about Trump: he is single handedly fighting the corrupt government, media, and corporate oligarchy.

Most concerning of all this, to me, was that Libya was only mentioned 3 times. I have long long been saying, that Libya should be the single issue in regards to Hillary, or any candidate eminating from the Obama administration, back to February at least (according to my earliest post on the matter) but I believe I was saying that other places well before that, and before the primaries were even close to being decided.

Libya is Hillary's signature foreign policy venture. It was a stunning success, but only if you look at it thought the Neoconservative lens. As leaked emails from Sydney Blumenthal revealed, the purpose of the war about rebuking a challenge to western hegemony. If you are a neocon, Libya was great. I'm not entirely sure what the neocons think about the resulting downsides of the war: the power vacuum that allowed ISIS and other Islamists to operate with impunity, and the European refugee crisis. To the first, I think Washington always likes having a plausible enemy to fight. To the latter, I'm not sure, there's probably not uniformity. But to the rest of us looking on, Libya is a shocking horror. Not only for the sort of humanitarian reasons of removing the stable government of a relatively prosperous nation (for Africa), but also that it clearly demonstrated that the change candidate Obama was clearly continuing the Neocon policy, Bush Doctrine, of pre-emptive war under false pretenses.

Not only that, but we also violated trust. The Russians could have vetoed the action at the Security Council, but declined to do so under American assurances that the no-fly zone would not be used as a vehicle for regime change. What an utter deception. And the Russians learned not to trust us, which is why they opposed us in Syria, and why were are so near to war with them now. The US aggression in Libya is perhaps the most despicable thing our country has ever done. Most Americans have been shielded from the reality. And they barely talked about it. It was all about Trump's tax returns.

Russia, Russia, Russia!

You probably noticed that far and away the most discussed topic was Russia. And not in the context from above; that the foreign policy under Obama, largely lead by Clinton, has pushed us nearly to war with them. No, it was mostly about those wily Russians and there gosh darn hacking. The DNC "hacks" informed us that the DNC was not only unfairly siding with Clinton against Bernie, but actively colluding with the media to destroy his bid, to the point of obtaining the debate questions in advance but only providing them to Clinton. For those leaks, which were very likely to have been internally leaked by an appalled insider, they blamed Russia.

Now we have the ongoing Podesta "hacks", which again confirm what we've always alleged about Clinton (I'll refrain from getting into details, but there is incrimination all over the place). And again, whenever pushed on it, she pivots to blame Russia. Does anyone not realize how fucking insane this is?!? Here we have the woman who was responsible more than anyone else for our disastrous relations with Russia (save maybe Obama, who was stupid enough to give her control of the apparatus of state), and here she is blaming her egregious corruption, on that very same country. Is she actually intent on starting a war? Why blame Russia and not China? Or, I dunno, North Korean (a la Sony). It's like war with Russia is actually her goal. Despite her claim in the last debate that there was all this evidence that hacks were Russian, there's not. Even the White House has admitted as much. All that has been said is that it looks like what the Russians might be doing, given their past cyber activities. That is not enough for what she's claiming, and she is totally irresponsible for doing so.

Here we have a Secretary of State who was a monumental disaster, not content enough with her legacy in office of ruining relations with the only world power capable of completely destroying all major US cities and military facilities, but to keep driving it home during the debates. I'm truly... I don't know what to say. This is all like something out of a subpar Tom Clancy knockoff.

What's most alarming is our media has completely gone along with it. Why are they so intent on defending Clinton? The only answer can be they are so afraid of Trump. But what we know is this: the topics show that the debates were clearly orchestrated to the benefit of Clinton, and the major disqualifications of her as world leader were barely touched. We should be very concerned with the obvious failure of our political process.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Why Trump Shouldn't Win

I have been extremely supportive of the Trump campaign. I was defending Trump fairly early on in the election, during the primaries, when it was almost a social taboo to do so. Almost everyone who supported him was sort of in the closet about it. While I now see Trump sign and bumper stickers all over the place, back then I just never saw them. It was very rare and memorable to see a Trump yard sign. People were called racist, had their vehicles vandalized, even lost their jobs for openly supporting Trump.

So many probably think of me as someone who supported Trump fairly early and eagerly (although very early I was supporting Bernie Sanders). And people seem to interpret that as me claiming that a Trump presidency would be a great thing, or even the best thing. But if you dig through my history, you'll see that, I believe, I don't really make those claims. The bulk of my support has been defensive. Defending him against baseless claims of his personal hatred for other groups of people, or exaggerations, or the simple fact that most of the establishment media, political, corporate, and other forces are openly hostile towards him. Anything negative to Trump gets amplified ten times over, and anything positive to Trump is heavily downplayed, hedged against, or, most often, ignored entirely. So my attempt has always been to do my small part to bring some balance to the situation, to share things that people aren't seeing in the news, but should be. If the media did its job, there would be no need to say much at all. Whatever you might think of Alex Jones, he really hit the nail on the head when he called his website InfoWars. Because we are embroiled in some serious informational warfare, whether you like the fact or not.

So my stance has been in standing against a massive propaganda machine that is so threatened by Trump it has lost itself ability to conceal itself. I supported Bernie Sanders for the same reason. I actually disagreed with him on most issues (but strongly agreed on a few major issues). I am now of the conviction he is an absolute disgrace and failure. But Trump has not been. He is taking on the establishment, and he is winning. People have sort of taunted me that I will be quite miserable when he inevitably loses in November. But that's not true. For the following reasons.


People who assume that I will be very happy if "my team" wins, and very miserable if not, seem to have an internalized the team mentality themselves, and they are projecting it on to everybody else. These are the people who will be miserable if Trump wins, who go as far as saying they will leave the country. On the other hand, they will gloat as if in personal victory over Trump. I suspect a number of taunts in this case, which I will mostly find amusing.

The truth is my emotional state has very little dependency on the outcome of the election. I have always voted against the system. I've never voted for a major party candidate in the general election. Not once. I've never voted for any President ever. Not in the primary, not as US Senator from Illinois, nothing. Why do people think I will be upset when the establishment candidate I dislike gets elected? That's just the way it's always been for me. If it was terribly upsetting to me, I'd do what so many seem to do, and bet on the winning horse. 

I anticipate some comments to the tune of, "haha, I guess you were wrong about your boy Trump." As if every argument I've made is somehow invalidated by verdict of the mob. We can assume 3 things about anyone who makes such a remark (and those who think them, but are quite so brazen to say so): (1) They have adopted a team mentality to politics, (2) they are emotionally invested in the outcome of the election, and (3) they consider group consensus to be the ultimate measure of correctness, rather than epistemological approaches. 


A number of months ago, when it seemed Bernie was going to be endorsing Hillary, I wrote an appeal to Bernie supporters. In that post (which I believe I never promoted, given its low view count) I had to assure the reader that my suggestions, such as supporting Stein instead of Clinton if you were a liberal who couldn't bear Trump, were not ill-intended. I wasn't saying those things just to help get Trump elected. In fact, if I was going to let the non-virtuous side of me show, I would actually promote Hillary!

The reason is that I loathe our federal government. I think it's incompetent, corrupt, it lives way outside the scope of the US Constitution, and it doesn't represent the typical citizen. I'm something of a nihilist when it comes to our federal government. I see it as inherently evil, so anything bad that happens to it is a good thing. I like to think of it in terms of this great programming post: broken gets fixed, but crappy lasts forever. (Although in the case of societies, crappy eventually fails spectacularly). There's not really a whole lot Donald can do. Surely he can repair our foreign policy, but there's not much he can do about our economic issues. The most he can do is maybe buy us some more time on a sinking ship. (And as I've indicated, the longer it stays crappy, the worse it'll be when it breaks.)

I think Clinton will be a catastrophe as a president. Foreign wars, widespread and almost open corruption, rewarding of key positions based on bribes rather than merit. She will poke holes in the sinking ship, get the whole thing good and broke. For this reason alone, I almost want to see Hillary elected, but not quite. 

Self Interest

But pure self-interest is pushing me towards favoring a Hillary presidency. Let's assume I have something of a preferred agenda, which we all do. Let's assume that Trump generally reflects my agenda, or at least he's closer that could be reasonably expected. It seems pretty obvious that I would very much want Trump to win the presidency.

But this is no normal election. The entire establishment is hell-bent on destroying the frontrunner. Let's compare it to the election of Barrack Obama. He was generally hailed as a history-making candidate, he got enormous funding and support from Wall Street (which he paid back many times over), he was a media darling, and he got a huge benefit of the doubt from moderates who were not happy with the results of the Bush years, and America's appearance as something of an evil empire. And despite all that, he showed up to work, and got almost nothing done. The Republicans snubbed him where ever possible. He had vast establishment support, and still couldn't power through the normal petty partisanship in Washington.

By comparison, Trump is despised by the media almost entirely, he has no backing from Wall Street, the Democrats and media have managed to portray him as a bigot, as they colluded to, and he doesn't even have the full backing of his own party. The only thing he has is his own resources, and the backing of a plurality of the American people. But we know how much clout the American people carry in Washington D.C. (not a lot). So I know my agenda largely will not be carried out under Trump. The most we can hope for is logjam (usually the best we can hope for in Washington!). The exception to this is US foreign policy, over which the president has great control. And for that reason alone I would be all-in as a matter of self-interest, except....

The economy. The entire Obama presidency has been spent in a supposed economic recovery. They say we're still in recovery. But we're at 1% growth. That's no recovery. It's not even considered to be a good steady-state level of growth. During this time, spending has been out of control. National debt has doubled under Obama. That's after doubling under Bush. That is exponential debt growth! For those who fail at math, that is super very much bigly unsustainable debt growth. And there is no sort of corresponding economic growth. We have exponential debt growth, and anemic economic growth. It's like one of those word problems from school. "If Billy has zero wage growth and doubles debt every 8 years, how long until he ends up out on his ass?"

There are some rosy numbers coming from the government that are a bit questionable, such as unemployment and inflation. But what's really not being talked about is the Fed's interest rate of close to 0. We've had nearly free money for almost a decade. By the way, if someone ever tells you that the soaring stock market is proof of Obama's competent economic leadership, feel free to ignore that person, or call them an idiot. The stock market valuation is just a bubble blown up by the loose monetary policy. Think about it: the fed makes borrowing money artificially cheap, so there is lots of money. Where do people invest that money? In bonds or savings accounts with virtually no return? Of course not! They send it to the stock market.

It's become just a big casino, where everyone puts in their money because it's the only place to get a return, and assuming they can get out before they bubble pops (if they are even aware of the risks). When a typical investor buys stock, they aren't typically looking at the realistic valuation of that company (of course some do). They're just betting that other people will keep buying the stock too, and the nominal price of the shares will continue to increase. They aren't investing in a particular company so much as in public trust in the stock market as a place to grow money. Gee, does that sound like a certain real estate market prior to say, I dunno, maybe 2008? The market becomes more of a belief system than anything. A religion, almost. So when someone tells you that the high stock market prices are proof that Obama is a great president, just walk away from that person. Run if possible. They have not even a basic understanding of monetary economics, yet here they are pretending they do. What else do they pretend about? That there is no poison in that cup of wine? You can't trust these people.

The point of all this talk about economic indicators is this: I find it very likely we'll see a major economic correction during or maybe even before the next presidency. When this happens, not only will Trump's hands be tied to do a lot, but the establishment forces will do everything in their power to lay the blame directly on him, even if it has been a disaster long in the making. And they economy won't be all of it. We have an increasingly divided citizenry. I hold the opinion that we are one serious economic shock away from seeing something that looks like sectarian violence in this country (we already there to some extent).

So you almost look at this flaming dumpster fire of a country and have to ask yourself: why is anyone fighting to inherit this mess, which is all about to come crashing down? It seems something more like a hot potato that the two parties would be trying to pass off to the other. I'm becoming of the opinion that, as Trump engaged in his scorched-earth tactics, as he really lays fire to the establishment, and the Wikileaks cut all legitimacy from a Clinton presidency, maybe losing the election is the best long-term outcome.

If it weren't for the looming Supreme Court nominations, and the threat that the current path of the government is leading us to war with Russia, I would be fully convinced this is the correct outcome. As it is now, I'm a bit uncertain. But it very well may be the case that winning now opens the anti-establishment and alt-right conservative movement to a premature death. But if Trump all but destroys them, and they finish themselves off through exposure in another term in office (subject to the brunt of the economic failures and blowback from our disastrous foreign policy), I think that puts us in an excellent position for the pendulum to swing back very hard in the next few years.

UPDATE: this was meant somewhat as a devil's advocacy, and at his point I would back off the arguments almost entirely, save that the Trump will be blamed for economic failures under his watch. But that is the cost of winning, I suppose.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Trump outrage may be real, but it's not genuine

Right now the major news story is still Trump's lewd comments that were leaked out of a taped private conversation. The timing was suspiciously coincidental in obscuring the much more relevant wikileaks on Hillary Clinton. I suspect they've been holding on the tapes just waiting to use them. Unfortunately our media is so biased that they will happily cover Trump saying something offensive over Hillary committing federal crimes.

They also know Trump controversies generate views. They know people are just waiting to be offended by Trump. And that's why I don't buy any of this. The most recent false fiasco before this, about Trump's personal income tax deferrals, was the most ridiculous that I can recall off-hand. Here we had a full-out media assault alleging that Trump may have used legal provisions to significantly reduce his required personal income tax. Not just the media, but Tim Kaine made it his centerpiece argument in the vice presidential debate, and Anderson Cooper tried to grill him on it in the most recent debate.

Whenever I argue with someone attacking Trump for these things, the usual pattern is this:
  1. They say Trump is unethical for something.
  2. I make the case that the thing is not really unethical, and often can show their preferred candidate is as bad or worse in a similar fashion.
  3. The person responds, "Well Trump is evil for these other reasons."
They quickly move to the next Trump grievance very quickly. It's hard to get a Trump hater to stay on the topic at hand. Why? Because they're not genuinely outraged by the things they claim. They'll look for any excuse to rage against him. It doesn't really matter what it is.

That's why I don't trust this latest outrage at all. For the people who are genuinely outraged by his comments, as opposed to those who are just looking for anything to be outraged at (all will claim to be in the first group), their message is being lost in the noise. Because no one who isn't full of Trump hatred believes the outrage hype anymore. We see it all as desperate propaganda until proven otherwise. They no longer get the benefit of the doubt.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2nd Debate Thoughts


The major takeaway of the 2nd debate was Trump's vastly improved performance. As a Trump supporter since around March, I've watched a fair number of his speeches (mostly sans telepromtper) and some of his other public speaking, and cringed through most of the first debate. But this was as good as I've seen him, I'd say. Very on point, surprisingly articulate, a fair amount of facts and policy; frankly it was far better than I expected it to be. (I'll be honest I didn't even want to watch it).

Certainly not perfect, but for most of the debate he more than held is own against Clinton, an extremely competent adversary. And it times he really dominated and outshined. This is the Trump we'd expect; the confident alpha male. He was hit pretty hard early and repeatedly on the leaked private lewd conversation. He handled it well, minus an awkward attempt to make it about ISIS. I think people could see what he was trying to say. That in a world where ISIS is having mass beheadings on the beach, the adversaries of America are likely amused that we're quibbling over a potential leader's dirty words. But, he didn't deliver well. Fortunately for him, the moderator's were really wanting to bash him for it, and brought it up again. He handled it better the second time. They inadvertently did him a favor (as they've been doing for months). 

I have a theory as to the difference of his demeanor between the two debates: he was using beta blockers to control anxiety. I have used them myself for public speaking and performances and can speak well to their effects. In the first debate Trump was flustered (of course he was debating two people), he was red in the face, and he just couldn't compose his statements well. It was painful to watch in a sort of subconscious way: it just raised my blood pressure. In this debate he was not only surprisingly restrained (for him) but really had his thoughts in order a lot, whereas he normally drifts around. I think he used beta blockers and that's why we saw him in command of his thoughts. It would also explain why he seemed to lose composure towards the end. (I turned it off after 1 hour 15 minutes). Either the stress of the event started to catch up with him, or the drug was losing efficacy. Now I don't view him using such drugs negatively. I am certain that Hillary is heavily medicated, with a drug schedule expertly timed to put her in the best shape for performance. (I also believe that is why she falls off the radar before debates: to go on a drug holiday to increase their efficacy when needed.) It was clear at the DNC that her husband Bill was heavily medicated. He was alert for his own speech, but couldn't even stay awake for hers!

Trump missed on a couple things. He was about to nail her on Russia, then went on a tangent about his own taxes. He missed dropping the hammer on her, and then brought up his own controversy! Very bad, this is when he went from really owning the debate to kind of struggling. He also missed a golden opportunity when asked by an audience member how he would serve all Americans as president. He should have talked about his business in New York, with a very diverse crowd of seemingly happy employees. He really could have painted a feel-good all-American story. Instead he went negative on Clinton. He went negative on her far too much. He should really focus on working to calm undecided voters nerves about him. Clinton followed up with an uplifting answer. He should take a cue. But, he's not an experienced debater. He clearly got some good advice from the people around him, and did a good job delivering those improvements. Hopefully he can bring a positive message to the third debate.

Oh, and one more thing. If you read my vice presidential debate analysis (not on this blog, it was on facebook), I posted I had serious reservations to Pence's stance on Syria. I said this was a far different version to what I had heard from Trump, and it sounded a lot like Clinton's policy on Syria. The moderators asked Trump about this discrepancy, which I thought was a fantastic question. And Trump, without hesitation, said he disagreed with Pence. That is some fantastic leadership, I felt reassured on the issue, and I bet it will be the most underrated response of the evening.

She didn't have the same advantage as she did in the first debate. Something was fishy with the first debate. But here she clearly showed unease at answering the second question. (In the first question both candidate basically answered with prepared monologues.) But it seemed right off the bat she didn't have the same advantage.

Hillary is good at what she does. She's still sharp, and she's smart. As much as her health has been a concern, and is still a valid concern, she really puts that to rest when she's on point for the debates. She fumbled a lot, many times more than Trump, and there was a very awkward moment when she tried to defer her question to Trump. And as always, she lied, or resorted to old tropes. For example, calling Trump a bad man for attacking the Khan guy who lost his son, etc. But that event has been entirely discredited for anyone paying attention. Not only does Khan personally make money off Muslim immigration, he was paid some $600,000 to give that speech by the DNC, where he savagely insulted Trump throughout. Trump was defending himself, yet Hillary keeps bring it up like mean Trump is attacking a sweet little immigrant just trying to get some American dream for himself. It's bullshit, and there were number of similar attacks from her. 

She also somewhat annoyingly said Trump never apologizes for anything, in response to his comment in which he apologized for his lewd comments! This is the kind of verbal switchbacking that Trump catches so much hell for. Well, she did it right there on the debate stage. You'd think someone as sharp as her would be more careful about those things.

UPDATE: I almost forgot. When pressed on email leaks that showed she talked about keeping a private and public stance on certain matters, she tried to invoke Abraham Lincoln. That's right, she lies because of Honest Abe. Incredible guile there.

The moderation was okay at best. They did ask some tough questions to both candidates. But both Anderson Cooper and the female commentator (I lost her name, I've never heard of her before) seemed to want to engage in some gotcha journalism. They really wanted to drill him on the lewd comments, which he mostly navigated out of. But where they really failed was when she was trying to beat him up on a specific question about humanitarian relief to Aleppo (practically the same question that I called out for being bad in my vice presidential debate analysis). When Trump answered the question on more general lines about Syria (a reasonable navigation, and one he handled with an unexpected level of insight) she because almost desperate to shoehorn him into the trap she was setting. These question have no place in presidential debates. Hard questions are good, gotcha questions are not.

The theme of this election has been the media's lack of impartiality. Often they manage to get their way: they make Trump look bad (or worse than he otherwise would, I should say), but lose credibility. But when they become desperate but fail to pin him down, they lose credibility for nothing, and he gets a double victory. To their credit, at least, they did ask some genuinely difficult questions to Hillary, some of which did make her look bad. So I wouldn't call it completely impartial.

I would tend to think Trump won the thing. He really missed a chance to go positive. He has a big chance to improve. Hillary is sort of the static candidate. If Trump shows the same amount of improvement in the next debate, he'll knock if out of the park. He is the dynamic candidate in this election.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Bear threatens to swat down US warplanes

Syria Update:

Haven't posted about this in some time. Things are getting tense so I thought I'd put out some info for people who aren't hearing about it on the news. Here's what's been going on.

-- The Syria peace agreement was broken when the US fired on Syrian national forces.
-- The Russians stated that the US government is fundamentally incapable of keeping agreements. The Saker believes that this is because President Obama does not firmly control the government. He believes the deal was intentionally sabotaged by people in the Defense Department. This is plausible. Remember it came out earlier this year or maybe late last year that the Intelligence side and the Military side of the executive branch were supporting different factions, that were ACTUALLY FIGHTING EACH OTHER. I believe I posted at the time that US foreign policy had hit peak insanity.
-- At a special meeting of the Security Council, Russians were accused of war crimes by US allies. The US ambassador walked out on the meeting, as well as the delegates from France and Britain.
-- The Russian Foreign Minister basically accused the US of supporting ISIS.
-- The Russians are now warning that they will shoot down any US aircraft that attack the Syrian army.

This is possibly the closest the US has ever been to war with Russia / Soviet Union. Here we have the Russians not just threatening military action (there is always an implicit threat of military action if certain boundaries are crossed) but threatening military action for what we are already doing. I'd be confident the Russians are not bluffing. They've established their boundaries, and will be probably behave as they've stated they will. That is, the won't push for a shooting war with the US, but at the same time I would have to believe they will stand by their promise to defend the Syrian army.

The question then is how will President Obama respond? He is in a bind. He won't want to appear weak. He's already been gravely embarrassed twice, maybe three times in Syria. First when he failed to enforce his famous Red Line (largely thanks to Russian diplomacy on the matter). Second, the US was seemingly caught unawares when the Russians showed up one day in Syria with a sizeable air contingent, thus depriving the US of air supremacy in the region, and removing their plans for a no-fly zone (as we saw used in Libya, which was use to overthrow their government). Third, once the Russian bombing campaign began, the Syrian army began making large gains against ISIS. This after a year of US bombardment! The obvious conclusion was that the US was either incapable, or unwilling, to execute an effective bombing campaign against ISIS.

Obama also can't appear strong. The Nobel Prize winner, who promised a more friendly American empire, and who apologizes for American strength where ever he goes, isn't going to stare down Putin. No chance he risks a real fight. But the bigger worry is that some faction of the US might ignore his orders. They may have already done so. He's in a bind where no one relevant respects him. The Russians certainly don't. If they did he could intimidate them to back off. The scarier question is how much the military and other government agencies respect him. Was the decision to break the Syrian peace deal a mistake? Or was it broken by people who believe it to be a bad decision? Or, most worryingly, is there a faction so fed up with Obama that they are starting to mutiny no matter what his orders are? That may sound like an extreme conclusion, but we've had one peace deal broken already. Do the Russians even trust us enough that we can negotiate another agreement? It might be that Obama is incapable of keeping us out of war no matter how much he tries.

Now I'm not beating the war drum here or warning of impending doom. But there is cause for concern. The Russians are clearly concerned. We can't trust this government to handle the situation well. Their incompetence has been shown consistently. They've all but lost any notion of legitimacy of the American empire. US foreign diplomacy consists mostly of issuing dictates and ultimatums, and then not enforcing those ultimatums. I believe nothing will happen. The Russians / Syrian Army have the upper hand. This will probably end up a loss for US neocolonialism (oh well), and might one day be considered the turning point of US hegemony. Although people probably said that about Vietnam. Very interesting how ever it turns out, and there is a decent margin for catastrophe in all this.