Sunday, October 22, 2023

The Rise Of The Middle American Radicals (MARS)

About forty years ago the hard-right columnist and political theorist Sam Francis began to devise a new framework for understanding power in modern America. Francis accepted as true James Burnham’s argument that a “managerial revolution” had superseded the old class struggle between labor and capital and resulted in a new human type, the “managerial class.” To this Francis added an idea borrowed from the sociologist Donald Warren, who in The Radical Center: Middle Americans and the Politics of Alienation (1976) described men and women who might today be called “populists” (or “deplorables”) as “Middle American Radicals,” or mars. Francis recognized them as the population left behind and disenfranchised by the accumulation of power in the hands of the managerial elite. The class conflict of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as he saw it, was between the mars and the managers.

"Managers" have mutated into Bureaucrats and the Administrative State. 

The article goes through a some attenuated history of how we moved from monarchy to "Democratic Oligarchy" over the last couple hundred years. It is worth reading. 

The new capitalist class that rose to prominence in society beginning in the nineteenth century was itself informed by Christianity—many of the great industrialists came from Dissenting Protestant backgrounds—and recognized the value of religion for instilling habits of hard work and honesty among the laboring masses. That Christianity promised a heavenly reward that would more than compensate for economic disappointments in this life also helped to defuse any revolutionary resentments among the masses.

Yet one element in the new industrial society was acutely uncomfortable with all of this. These were the heirs to the Enlightenment philosophes who had hated the Church for its moral authority over their lives. John Stuart Mill, perhaps the most important of these nineteenth-century spiritual revolutionaries, wished to be free not only of the Church’s power but also of its prestige.

Christianity worked to create a productive cohesive society, but it had those pesky morals! Mill and others figured out that the way to win was via "education" ... they needed to make Christianity and Conservatism "stupid" -- and they did. 

Conservatism from Peel and Disraeli to Thatcher and Reagan rested on three social foundations: the patriotism of the masses, the enduring cultural hegemony of Christianity, and the business community’s need for mass-based conservatism as a protection against the threat of socialism. Today the business community feels little threatened by socialism; economic nationalism and Christian morality are a greater nuisance as much of corporate America is concerned. Christianity’s cultural hegemony is over. And the national masses no longer exist. In their place, business interests and political progressives now import multinational immigrant populations. The educational establishment, meanwhile, encourages immigrants to see themselves as members of victim groups who should feel aggrieved rather than grateful toward the nation that has accepted them.

America has had many divisions in the past, but even in the Civil War both sides read the same Scripture and spoke the same language. Immigrants in earlier times were encouraged to identify with the nation’s history and its Christian, English-speaking majority. And in the epoch of the industrial masses, there were economic interests that could unify whole regions and classes, if not quite every region and class at once. Shared economic interests now tend to be more diffuse, with great divides between the educated and uneducated and between the financial elite and the educated but not very wealthy sub-elite.

Four types of "conservatives" are identified.   

  • The Restorationists - believe in a return to the industrial economy and a Christian culture is possible. 
  • The Nihilists - They don't have a plan, they just hate where we are. 
  • The Withdrawalists - Essentially "The Benedict Option
  • The Accomodationalists - They live in the suburbs, worship success and Wokeism 

The author goes with the Restorationalists as the most likely path forward, with DeSantis and Trump being the best available leadership for this ilk. As the county chair for DeSantis, that is where I am. I voted for Trump twice, but believe "he fought the swamp, and the swamp won". He is the walking dead politically, and likely physically if the Administrative State believes they can get away with it. They see him as a "clear and present danger", which he would be if the Administrative State was not as dominant as it is. 

To some degree, sitting here in total fly over Iowa, I'm praying for Restoration, but suspecting Benedict. 


Saturday, October 7, 2023

Science, Climate Change, Dogma

The linked article documents yet another case of officially supported climate predictions being wrong -- nothing new about that. In this case, predictions about glaciers in Glacier National Park being gone by 2020 have proved to be wrong (in fact, some are growing). 
Officials at Glacier National Park (GNP) have begun quietly removing and altering signs and government literature which told visitors that the Park’s glaciers were all expected to disappear by either 2020 or 2030.
What seems to be increasingly culturally "new" in the current phase of dogma is the degree to which it is being culturally mandated in the west once proud to be "free thinking". "Free thinking" is ALWAYS a contradiction to some extent -- the question is always "how costly". Agreement is at least "free in the moment", but if conditions change and new data convinces you that the dogma is incorrect, you either shut up, or will probably pay a price (lost friends, lost relations with family, maybe even loss of job). 

The dogma of "Climate Change" (formerly "Global Warming" or more precisely "Anthropogenic Global Warming") meaning that it could be "proven" that humans were the causal factor rather than natural oscillations in solar or other inputs. Causality is always a tricky business. 

Climate Change just assumes that any change in climate is human caused, so the climate can be controlled by humans.  The only way Climate Change could be shown to be wrong is if the Earth reached a stable temperature ... in which case, we would all share that stable temperature, and thus be dead.  

Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Psychology Of Totalitarianism, Mattias Desmet

 It was hard to find someone elses review of this important book for our times. This one is pretty good

If you just can't stomach reading and you need the "spoon it to me via video, baby", this will give you a bit of "surface sample". 

One of themes of my reading and blogging the past few years has been the increasing replacement of "science" with "scientism".  Science is never "settled", it is an inductive process of hypothesis, testing, if testing appears to be successful, a theory (model) is developed, and testing continues forever at various levels of granularity and conditions. Science is ALWAYS falsifiable ... meaning it can't be "settled". 

According to Google AI;

Scientism believes that most, if not all, metaphysical, philosophical, and religious claims should be done away with. This is because the truths they proclaim cannot be apprehended by the scientific method.

Scientism can be seen as a faith that science has no boundaries.

Scientism is a religion that denies that it is a religion. It converts our universe into a "machine" that asserts that what can't be measured doesn't exist. 

Man may not realize it, but his humanity does not really matter, it is nothing essential. His whole existence, his longing and his lust, his romantic lamentations and his most superficial needs, his joy and his sorrow, his doubt and his choices, his anger and unreasonableness, his pleasure and his suffering, his deepest aversion and his most lofty aesthetic appreciations, in short, the entire drama of existence, can ultimately be reduced to elementary particles that interact according to the laws of mechanics.

This appears on page 17 as a quote, but the source is not listed (guessing Hannah Arendt). The section is describing how science became an ideology (scientism).  

Strangely, as this book laments, even though post Quantum Physics, deeper understanding of time, biology, genetics, etc with more precise measurements and greater computing power, more "true scientists" (the ones not blinded by the ideology/religion of Scientism) and realizing the universe is not a machine, but rather a left brain generated illusion of a machine. 

"The Matter With Things" gives a lot of insight into how the post Enlightenment West veered to being a "disenchanted" left brained existence devoid of meaning. 

On page 51, Desmet gives an obvious "proof" of how "objectify" really doesn't exist. 

If you measure the coastline of Great Britain based on a unit of measurement of 200 kilometers, it is 2,400 kilometers long. If you measure it with a unit of 50 kilometers, it is 3,400 kilometers long. As you decrease the unit of measurement, the length of the coastline of Great Britan increases to infinity. 

How do you select the proper unit of measure? You use some sort of "intuition". 

As you think about the mechanical universe you run into a lot of "Zeno's paradoxes".  Most resemble the form: 

Any moving object must reach halfway on a course before it reaches the end; and because there are an infinite number of halfway points, a moving object never reaches the end in a finite time.

A mechanical view of the universe sees it as made up of discrete particles. At one time "atoms", then electrons, neutrons, protons, gluons, quarks, etc, etc ...  like good old Zeno, they never got "there". The current model is described in a number of books, you could start with "The Matter With Things" .... which asserts "it's waves all the way down" (there aren't any "elementary particles" as asserted in the "why we don't matter" statement above. For entertainment,  take a look at the "It's Turtles All the Way Down" to put a smile on your face even though the subject book is scary and sad. 

Why is this important? Mass Formation ... the deeply disturbing mass psychological phenomenon described in the book. 

Mass formation arises from the meeting of four psychological conditions at the population level, Desmet explains: feelings of social isolation, the absence of meaning in life, free-floating anxiety (lacking a clear object) and free-floating anger and frustration.
For those of us probably born to be iconoclasts, the following paragraph was obvious from the earliest days of the pandemic ... and people hated us for it. 
The Psychology of Totalitarianism raises profound questions about the uses, abuses and limitations of rationality, science and technology in our fraught times and their role in creating a deeply disturbing mass psychological phenomenon. Desmet’s analysis of the response to Covid-19 seeks to fill the gap left by the exclusion of psychological factors from the existing scholarship on totalitarianism. In so doing, he shows how whole populations, atomized by but collectively caught in a technological mindset that sees science as the answer to everything, can be overtaken by totalitarianism. Desmet believes this was occurring in the pandemic’s earliest days and continues today.

If you are a Covid narrative, Climate Change, Trust the Science, Materialist, Progressive, ... in short "Dominant Narrative" believer, who sees anyone not on "your side" as likely evil, brain damaged, deplorable, neanderthal, naive, etc, you will either throw this book down in disgust, or suffer an epiphany. 

For those in The Narrative, this is a definite "Red Pill". 


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Politiqueros ?

Election fraud / manipulation / interference has been a cornerstone of  Democrat party since the Civil War. In the Jim Crow era it was required for them to suppress Black votes in the south to maintain power. 

As we see in the "Change the Electorate Strategy",  Democrats realize that a majority of Americans would never support their policies, since they lead to high inflation, shortages of especially energy, high crime rates, attacks on the nuclear family, crumbling infrastructure and much more that is unacceptable to the. actual majority. 

So they change the electorate, use the Administrative State (FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, etc) to attack and often jail opposition voices, and candidates. Since the media gives them nearly airtight cover, what is very obvious, doesn't seem that way to most. 

Sometimes even their government funded mouthpiece ("public" media) slips up and says the quiet part out loud

In the town of Donna, five politiqueras pleaded guilty to election fraud. Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer or dime bags of cocaine. In neighboring Cameron County, nine politiqueras were charged with manipulating mail-in ballots.

Those are actual convictions for fraud ... something Democrats assure us never happens. (Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod) 

Hustling votes has a rich political history in America. Chicagoans have been known to vote from beyond the grave. Democratic machines from New Orleans to New York City have hauled voters to the polls. In the Valley, it's all about mail-in ballots. A politiquera has a friendly relationship with a group of elderly voters, who are eligible to use mail-in ballots. They may be nursing home residents, neighbors or clients at activity centers for seniors.

A couple sad/funny statements: 

"My father was a Republican until the day he died, he always voted Democrat afterward". 

"Illegal Immigrant is a derogatory term! No human is illegal! The proper terms is "Undocumented Democrat"!

The top linked article is worth a read, and even following some of the embedded links (as I did with the NPR one). 

When he was vice president, Joe Biden said. “You know, 11 million people live in the shadows. I believe they’re already American citizens.” According to the Delaware Democrat, 11 million undocumented aliens “are already Americans, in my view.” As he had to know, they aren’t, and the number is also wrong.

The 11 million number is ridiculous, with 20 million plus likely being closer, however we really have no idea ... illegals don't register as illegal. (shocking!) As Biden says, Democrats see them as "citizens" ... well, more accurately "Undocumented Democrat voters". 

Not so shocking, If you go out and look, there is a remarkable correlation between blue states and states that have no voter ID requirement. 

Under current US law, you have to be able to speak English in order to be a US citizen

Under federal law, most applicants seeking citizenship must demonstrate an understanding of the English language — including an ability to speak, read and write words in ordinary usage — and demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government.

"Interestingly",  Section 203 of the voting rights act requires ballots to be printed in multiple languages"! 

Requires ballots to be printed in lots of languages. It appears however that this is Administrative "Law" tacked on under the "voting rights act". 

As Wikipedia says about Title 52 

Title 52 of the United States Code (52 U.S.C.), entitled "Voting and Elections", is a codification of the "general and permanent"[1] voting and election laws of the United States federal government. It was adopted as a result of "editorial reclassification"[2] efforts of the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives and was not enacted as positive law.[3][note 1]

"Editorial reclassification" certainly seems like "Administrative Law"?  Which Constitutional scholars are increasingly declaring to be unconstitutional. 


Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Change The Electorate Strategy

An excellent VDH article on the purpose of the why the Biden administration is accelerating illegal immigration.

"But why did the Biden administration deliberately unleash the largest influx across the southern border in U.S. history?

The ethnic chauvinists and Democratic Party elites needed new constituents, given their increasingly unpopular agendas.

They feared that the more legal Latino immigrants assimilated and integrated into American society, the less happy they became with left-wing radical abortion, racial, transgender, crime, and green fixations.
When the older illegal immigrants (often still illegal) became more assimilated, they realized that their religion, family values, and work ethics were being attacked, they further realized that if they "voted" (often illegall) for Democrats, they were likely to turn the Southern border states into Mexico, much like more and more US citizens that fled blue states for red, are increasinly realizing that if they vote for Democrats, they are going to end up turning the red states into failed blue states like the ones they left! 

The "change the electorate strategy via immigration" is old. I embed here a blog post I did back in 2015: 

Ted Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act: The War On America Turns 50 | VDARE - premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform:

Fifty years ago this week Teddy Kennedy and the Democrats passed legislation that moved America from being a predominantly European ancestry, to a nation that looked more like the rest of the planet  (other than Europe) -- predominantly non-white.

The fact of the legislation having the effect of changing American demographics and thereby culture is not in question --  Democrats say that "we were just unaware what would happen". Ignorance is always possible, but it was certainly willful ignorance if so, Customs and Immigration Services knew what was going to happen.
In 1965, the political elite on Capitol Hill may not have predicted a mass increase in immigration. But Marian Smith, the historian for Customs and Immigration Services, showed me a small agency booklet from 1966 that certainly did. It explains how each provision in the new law would lead to a rapid increase in applications and a big jump in workload — more and more so as word trickled out to those newly eligible to come.
In any case, it produced the country that used to be America that now sits between Canada and Mexico. A country with no identifiable people, culture, religion or shared values. A country whose only definition is geography and the fact that it is divided.
Republicans should be sweeping the country, but they aren’t, because of Kennedy’s immigration law. Without post-1965 immigrants bloc-voting for the Democrats, Obama never would have been elected president, and Romney would have won a bigger landslide against him in 2012 than Reagan did against Carter in 1980.
In 1965, Democrats were in total control of the country. I consider myself pretty well read, but I never understood exactly why my old home town is heavily Somalian, why the Twin Cities and even Rochester have large Somali populations, nor why every small town in IA has a decent Mexican restaurant. I thought it was somehow "unavoidable" given very long term US immigration policy -- as if the same laws that brought Germans, Swedes, Irish, etc just naturally allowed the Mexican, Somali, etc immigration we have seen in the last 50 years.

The change the electorate strategy was specific decision made by specific people -- the Kennedy's being chief among them. Like a lot of Democrat actions, it was promised to be completely different than what happened, but in a rational world, we would evaluate politicians by what actually happens rather than what they promise will happen.

Here is what LBJ had to say when he signed the bill.
"This bill that we will sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions," Johnson said at the signing ceremony. "It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives or add importantly to either our wealth or our power."
I guess he was right about it not adding to our wealth or power!

Democrats tell  us through media and education that there is nothing that can be done about this now. It is over -- what was once America is dead and gone, and they and the people they have selected as voters are fast creating whatever they want to call the new nation. The culture will be what they say it is -- atheist, Muslim, totalitarian, 3rd world -- whatever. Those of us anachronisms that remember the old America need to just sit back and accept it. 

They may well be right -- but at least it is good to know exactly who it was, and when it was that they decided to stick the knife in the eagle.

If VDH is correct, and Mexicans and other illegals are smart enough to realize they are being used as pawns, perhaps there is hope after all??  

Friday, September 15, 2023

Regime Change - Toward A Postliberal Future

I find the title of the book to be unnecessarily provocative. The word "regime" can be looked at as "a way of doing things", or "culture", or possibly "worldview"."Regime Change" sounds like the replacement of  authoritarian rule -- more like "revolution", which is what this book asserts that the "creative destruction" of Democratic Capitalism as implemented is effectively a state of revolution all the time, that needs to be changed. 

What we are witnessing in America is a regime that is exhausted. Liberalism has not only failed, as I argued in my last book, but its dual embrace of economic and social ‘progress’ has generated a particularly virulent form of that ancient divide that pits the ‘few’ against the ‘many.’

Confession! As I later read the 2nd link, I got confused about which linked article I pulled which quote from. The 2nd link is "better" asin having more depth ... lots of Strauss, Machiavelli, etc. 

I would recommend Deneen's last book "Why Liberalism Failed" to be read as a prelude to this one. They are somewhat like two volumes on our failed model of governance. 

I may have missed it, but I don't see that Deneen has adequately defined "mixed regime", which shows up a lot in the book. I'll try to define this fairly nebulous beast. It is a "stew" that combines democracy (rule by the masses), aristocracy(rule by the "elite" or "best") and monarchy (rule by a king/queen). Aristotle is often credited with being the first to dream it up, but l like much of ancient history, that may be apocryphal. No matter, referring to Aristotle will always give one the patina of intellectualism! 

To try to map the "mixed regime" onto the US, as the president being the "monarch", the senate (prior to the 17th amendment which elected senators by popular vote) being the "aristocracy", and the house would be the democracy. Imprecise at best. Very simply, the book would assert that we have attempted to drift toward democracy, while really ended up being an oligarchy, a form of "rule by the elite", in our case meaning the wealthy, the democrats, big media, big business, and the Administrative State as the "means" by which they rule. Increasingly even using organizations like the FBI to attack their political adversaries. 

 One of our many problems today is that the words we use have changed meaning over time. "Classical Liberals"  (Locke, Hayek, Friedman, etc) put pretty much all their faith in Capitalism, "Creative Destruction" and "a rising tide lifts all boats". Up until recently, I would have confidently accepted the label "classical liberal" because I believe that the rising tide of greater prosperity HAS lifted all the boats ECONOMICALLY. It certainly hasn't lifted them equally, but that is impossible ... the US has given people equal opportunity, there is no way to give them equal ability! 

Sadly however it is increasingly clear that the "Golden Goose" of Capitalism/Creative Destruction has killed the culture that it appears will now kill that creator of plenty (too much?) that Capitalism/Creative Destruction bequeathed us with. "Stuff" has created a "matter over mind/spirit" culture where most live lives of despair

The "liberals" of today, commonly called "progressives", want to keep all the economic progress, but "somehow" have it be "equal". 

Progressive liberalism has held that through the overcoming of all forms of parochial and traditional belief and practice, ancient divisions and limits could be overcome and instead be replaced by a universalised empathy. With the advance of progress, the old divisions – once based in class, but increasingly defined in the terms of sexual identity – would wither away and give rise to the birth of a new humanity.

Utopianism is a perpetual danger to mankind. The road to "perfection" in this world has proven over and over again to be the road to Hell. The ancient problem of the conflict between "the few and the many".  I agree with Anton: 

Deneen has our elites’ number, yet even in Regime Changs early pages I found myself disagreeing a bit. He maps the ancient conflict between the few and the many onto our present predicament in a way I find a little too one-to-one. What we face today is less the age-old struggle between rich and poor than a coalition (conspiracy?) of high and low against the middle.

Anton goes on to say:

Perhaps it’s more precise to say that in contemporary America there is not one “popular” or downscale class but two: one that benefits from, and hence is aligned with, the present ruling class and one that is hurt by it and thus opposed. These two humors of populares cannot unite because their interests are diametrically opposed: the former are not only direct clients of the ruling class but often direct beneficiaries of elite depredations against what the late Angelo Codevilla called the “country class.”

From the 2nd linked review: 

What is needed — and what most ordinary people want — is stability, order, continuity and a sense of gratitude for the past and obligation toward the future.

I believe that is what "ordinary people" SHOULD want if they think about it, but I'm afraid we are too far gone into meaningless distraction and consumerism for most to think about much of anything at that levl of cogence ... but the pessimism tends to be strong with me.  

 In 2016 we were introduced to the strange coalition. between the Bernie supporters and the Trump supporters. The elites hate both Trump and Bernie, thus they coronated Hillary, one of their own. Trump united the lower class people that wanted to get back to decent paying jobs and the lower middle class people that knew they were being screwed by the elite. A lot of the far left Bernie Bros just sat it out, but some were so mad at seeing Hillary coronated that they even voted for Trump! 

Deneen begins his book, “nobody can look at America and think it is flourishing.” I suppose one can always find someone to say anything, but the qualifier is decisive here and Deneen is exactly right. If you think America 2023 is in good shape, that is ipso facto proof that you lack sense.

So we are a divided disaster with a real lack of any idea of how to get back to something where there is agreement on working together for "the Common Good". 

We need to go deeper to understand a "way back" if such exists:

Indeed, very little, if anything, Deneen proposes would have been alien or anathema to the American Founders or their philosophic forebears. Deneen is well known for being one of a small (though perhaps growing) group of “integralists,” thinkers who wish to reintegrate not just religious faith but religious observance with political practice. To contemporary ears, that sounds profoundly illiberal. And perhaps it is—depending on one’s definition of “liberal.” But the same John Locke who is Deneen’s Bad Liberal #1 held that there is no conflict between religious liberty and government’s right to teach its own preferred religion. He even advocated government prohibition of open atheism. That position is not “liberal” by contemporary standards nor even in Deneen’s understanding.

For those of us with Christian belief, it seems some more study of the "integralists" is in order.

It is a worthy book, somewhat dense as any book on a topic so vast and complex is doomed to be. I highly recommend the review which is excellent ... it also points you off to other excellent important books to aid in comprehension of our increasingly obvious peril. 

Monday, September 11, 2023

Mass Formation, Where Did Meaning Go?

Quite possibly the best hour for you to spend for this, or maybe a decade of years. 

Just ignore your Tucker Carlson bias (whatever that may be or not to be), Desmet does all the talking. 

The book is on order. 

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Iowa Has The Most Structurally Deficient Bridges!

Wow! That seems scary! 

Why did I decide to blog on it? Because "scary headlines" are what are pushed at us all the time, and they tend to have a political agenda, even if there may be neither anything political nor scary involved. 

If you read the whole article, you find: 

But despite the rankings, officials say drivers should not be worried.

“If there’s any concern about safety and the traveling public, they will either post a bridge for load, which means they’ll restrict the weight, or maybe truck traffic that crosses the bridge or in extreme cases, they may shut down a lane or the entire bridge,” ARTBA Chief Economist Alison Black said.

Officials say many cities may struggle to raise the money for necessary repairs, especially in rural areas.
I'm sure that headline will show up on a lot of papers in Iowa, and get a lot of political attacks on Republican officials.  Why are we so divided again?  While the article is "true",  I wanted to look at a little context, often missing in todays "headline news". The end of the article does give a hint ... 
Officials say many cities may struggle to raise the money for necessary repairs, especially in rural areas.

Iowa is blessed with a LOT of rural roads! Most people will read just the headline, and it will likely be endlessly repeated on social media.  

Why would Iowa have so many bridges? 

At least in NW Iowa there are mostly quite small bridges over the many tile drainage ditches. From my not super extensive travels around Iowa, this seems to be true for much of the state. A glance at this chart of where the defective bridges are at, shows that many of those states are in areas where there tend to be significant parts of the year that alternate between freezing and thawing, which means more salt as well as just the effects of the temperature changes. 

Minnesota and Wisconsin are an interesting challenge to my theory. Having traveled extensively in both states (grew up in WI, lived in MN for 40 years), one thought is that once they freeze, they tend to mostly stay frozen ... the frost doesn't tend to partially come out during the winter. 

Iowa has a lot more truck traffic than either MN or WI in rural areas.The above chart shows that neither makes the top 13 for number of bridges.

 Small dairy farms are pretty much replaced by multi-thousand cow herds, while in IA, the 23 million hogs are housed in 5,400 separate farms that need tending with big trucks. Why so many farms vs concentration?  Needing to knife in 10 billion gallons of hog manure demands a lot of dispersion, meaning a lot of 120,000 lb tank/tractor combinations running over mostly side roads with all those small bridges over tile drainage ditches.   

I don't really want to ramble on about the MN/WI rating possibly disproving my theory. Maybe they just really do have much better government, and Iowa is derelict. The main point is that the article doesn't really go to enough depth to tell much of anything beyond a ranking that causes attention to be focused. 

A lot of US infrastructure is in bad shape ... roads, bridges. canals. electrical grid, etc. About what one would expect in a rapidly failing nation, more focused on which bathroom to use rather than mundane things like infrastructure. 

Perhaps articles like this can "hide the decline", or at least divert attention from the federal government to red state governments. 

As I've often seen in Democrat writings in IA, the simple solution is to get rid of the hog farms! (while they enjoy their bacon. sausage on pizza, ribs, etc. Deep thought is often not a Democrat characteristic! 

I'm REALLY biased. I LOVE my pork and one year I worked for my brother in law as the team of 3 tank/tractor units running 24X7 pumped and knifed in a tiny fraction of the hog manure. A mere 50 million gallons. 

Friday, September 8, 2023

The Extinction of American Trust

This is mostly a "bookmark" for a solid chronicling of the many crimes of the Democrat Big Media lies and deceptions from 2015 to now. It is concise and like anything from Victor Davis Hanson (VDH), worthy of reading in it' entirety. A snippet: 

Yet the media can no longer hide the reality that the President of the United States [Biden] likely took bribes to influence or alter U.S. policy to suit his payers. Those two crimes—bribery and treason—are specifically delineated in the Constitution as impeachable offenses.

I pray that Victor is correct that the truth can no longer be hidden, but I fear not.  

A Google search with the string "percentage of americans that believe the media is trustworthy" gives you;

Just 7% of Americans have "a great deal" of trust and confidence in the media, and 27% have "a fair amount." Meanwhile, 28% of U.S. adults say they do not have very much confidence and 38% have none at all in newspapers, TV and radio.

OK, we don't trust the media. How about elections? 

In January 2021, shortly after the attack on the US Capitol, 59% of Americans said they had at least some confidence that US elections reflected the will of the people. That included 36% who were very confident that elections were representative of the public’s wishes.

Now, a year and a half later, only 42% have some confidence, and just 16% are very confident.

As I've often and recently commented on, those 42% that have "some confidence" must really not be paying attention. We have the worst election integrity in the developed world!  

Americans don't trust the media, and they don't trust the integrity of our elections, so at least a plurality of Americans are reality based. That is a bit of good news! 

HOWEVER, since our elections are not trustworthy, how can this be remedied?

The Democrats, likely to be in complete control after the 2024 elections that they are presently interfering with in plain sight,  using the politicized "justice" system to attempt to pick, (and possibly jail) the opposing presidential candidate, makes 2024 even LESS trustworthy! No hope there! 

The highly virulent and dangerous Electionyearicron variant is already being detected. Perhaps only 100% mail in ballots can save us from this terror? 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Empire Of Pain

A book that gives a lot of opportunity to look at addiction, bias, human greed, government ineffectiveness, anti semitism, ongoing results of the Holocaust, family loyalty/disloyalty, corporate vs private ownership, how lawyers make a lot of money, how business works, creation and destruction of narratives, and much else.

It is a good book for those with a generally critical and especially self critical mind. For those whose worldview aligns with the authors, it will be pretty much pure enjoyment, For those of use whose don't, there will be challenges and soul searching. 

I could somewhat tongue in cheek summarize the book message as.
  • Never trust the FDA, (or any other government agency) of approval, disapproval, mandate, etc
  • Beware of Jews working hard to become wealthy to create a good name, and show their ability to rise from the Holocaust. 
  • If Jews are involved, the sins of the fathers should never be forgotten (unlike Germans, Kennedy's, etc) 
  • Big time lawyers that defend Democrats are absolved. Clark Clifford is mentioned, a VERY influential lawyer that defended the Sacklers, but there is no hint as to HOW "influential".
  • I believe everyone deserves legal representation, and bigger targets require stronger lawyer defence, and they understand they need to acquire it, and pay huge fees for it. 
  • In the case of Trump, "guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt" (vs innocent until proven guilty ...) , lawyers pay a high price for defending even a president that the weaponized "justice" department will do anything to convict of SOMETHING (even while he is in office). 
It is reasonably well written, but there is a lot of ink spent on the negative soap opera of the Sackler family that seemed excessive. It instantly brought to mind the Kennedy family for me. and my reading the "Dark Side of Camelot" a long time ago. That book made no attempt at "fairness" either, as many books of this ilk don't, The only way to get anything like a clear picture is if there are multiple books on the same family, company, event, person, etc We all have an agenda, even if we don't want to admit it, and there is always something in the "closet" that can be brought out, sensationalised, or in the case of of information against your agenda, buried. 

Another personal bias. As a Christian,  I'm very pro-Jewish because my Savior is a Jew. Besides that, I have worked with a number of Jews and without exception I have been impressed with their dedication, intellect, and character.  

As I read the book, I kept wondering how many times I REALLY needed to reminded that the Sackler family was Jewish. So the review I chose is from The Jewish Insider . I find it to be a good review, and even though there were others out there that cautioned of the "odor" of anti semitism, the fact that this one didn't, led me to thinking that was less of a factor than it seemed to me. 

I found this quote from that Insider review to be interesting. 
JI: Is the implication that the Sackler family is kind of like a modern American drug cartel?

Keefe: No, I mean, I think [that’s] kind of pushing it too far, and I wouldn’t go that far. I guess this is what I would say: I’ve always been interested in the ways in which illegal drug organizations resemble legal businesses, and I became very interested in some specific ways in which legal Big Pharma practices sometimes resemble those of drug cartels — for instance, offering free samples to an addictive product. In the case of Purdue, they offered these coupons for a free prescription, and that’s something I know because I’ve looked into it at great length. When the Sinaloa cartel decided that methamphetamine was going to be their big new product, they started sending free samples to Chicago so that people would try it. But I think sometimes people get a little carried away with the rhetoric and they try and draw too precise an analogy there. Let’s remember, nobody’s suggesting that the Sacklers, or Purdue, had roving gangs of armed assassins, right? I mean, I think this is a business that did break the law and engage in crime. They pled guilty again in 2020, just a few months ago. So there’s illegality there, but it’s of a different category than the Sinaloa cartel, and I wouldn’t want to suggest otherwise.
Notwithstanding the quoted denial, the comparison to Mexican Drug Cartels in the book, especially relative to some of those drug lords losing all their wealth, while the Sackler family kept much of theirs, was brought up a few times. "Free samples for doctors", as well as trips, dinners, etc are a staple of Big Pharma. The idea that it was "special" with the Sacklers is just specious. 

 The idea that they "got away with it" even though their name has been erased on many of their huge philanthropic donations seemed like a special sort of "not getting away with it". The book made clear that their good name was very important to them. While very few of us outside the elite even have heard of the name, it's destruction was a major goal of the book and the research behind it. 

The laser focus on the Sackler family relative to their supposed "cause" of America's drug crisis was strange, along with the strong denial that our declining culture was not causal. I'm sure Oxy contributed, but it was far from "causal". Causality is notoriously hard to prove. Did someone die OF Covid, or WITH Covid? An important distinction depending on what narrative you want to push. 

Up until reading this book, I didn't have much interest in the origin of Fentanyl, just that it is an extreme problem killing 100K Americans a year at this point, heavily connected with the open Southern border -- although there is a strong push to claim the open border makes no difference. 

 Fentanyl, Where did it all go wrong? Turns out the FDA approved Fentanyl as well ... and again, my bias is involved. My wife needed Fentanyl to control extreme pain from having her spinal column expanded and rods  put in to save her from being paralyzed from the neck down. Should the FDA not have approved it because it could be misused and cause addiction? As much as I believe the FDA to be a corrupt inefficient agency primarily concerned with enriching officials via the revolving door to the drug companies, my answers is no. Inefficiency and corruption in government, private and corporate greed, and people unable to resist addiction are often the price we pay to get helpful drugs. We should work to limit damage, but not at the cost of killing ot submitting people to tortuous pain to protect the addicts. 

I wonder what percentage of people realize that the Nobel Prize is funded by the fortune of Arthur Nobel, the inventor of dynamite? Certainly the number of people killed by TNT and it's derivatives makes the opioid crisis look like nothing in comparison.  

Here is a list of the top explosives manufacturers. Certainly, there are MANY positive uses for explosives, there are also a lot of people killed by bombs of all sorts. Are the explosive manufacturers responsible? Should those companies be hounded like the Sacklers? Should the Nobel Prize be renamed? I say no, but other than being Jewish, why the Sacklers? 
Page 407, "In recent years , some observers have begun to suggest that the opioid crisis was actually just a symptom of a deeper set of social and economic problems in the United States, that suicide and alcohol related deaths were also on the rise, and that all of these fatalities should be understood as part of a larger category of "deaths of despair". 

On page 230 we see: 

"It is a particular hallmark of the American economy that you can produce dangerous products and effectively off-load any legal liability for whatever destruction that product may cause by pointing to the individual responsibility of the consumer".  

The removal of individual responsibility seems more to be a direction of Western civilization than uniquely "American". Naturally the author specifically points out guns ... indirectly asserting that gun manufacturers ought to be sued when their products are used for murder. The removal of personal or government responsibility, and moving it to external sources seems a large part of the books agenda,  

The idea that "deaths of despair" is somehow "caused" by Oxy because there seems to be a statistical correlation is quite naive. Basic statistics teaches the maxim "correlation is NOT causation"! It MAY be a hint, but often a poor one. Increased Ice Cream sales have a positive correlation with drownings. Ice Cream is fortunately not guilty of causation (lese it be banned!!), it is the fact that more people swim and eat ice cream on warmer days that leads to the correlation. 

Can there be a free society without individual responsibility? Should car companies, both domestic and international be held responsible because they produced cars that can exceed 200 MPH? People bought them, and people died. Increasingly, the companies that produce products are the targets of lawsuits because "that is where the money is". We are increasingly beset by paying large sums for insurance against litigation already ... the US legal system is the most expensive in the world, and that is a big contributor to why our medical system is expensive. 

Another admission of personal bias here. Both my wife and I have benefited from Oxy. The original reason for it's invention and approval by the FDA is that it's patented coating allowed it to be released over hours, thus avoiding the initial "hit" that was (and still is) considered a significant risk for addiction. The abuse of Oxy started out as people figuring out that by crushing the pills, they could defeat the timed release mechanism and get the "heroin rush" back. 

My wife's surgeon was especially outraged by her unwillingness to take Oxy for her pain because of fear of addiction based on the idea that "oxy is addictive". It is, if abused, it isn't if used as directed.

Much of the rancor against the Sacklers was their constant attempt to separate the family from Oxy, and their general arrogance (at least as portrayed by the author). In arrogant rich families of all races, religions, national origins, etc that is not at all uncommon. 

The Kennedy family immediately comes to mind, only because of the level their wealth enabled them to influence America. Joe made lots of money in correctly predicting the explosion of liquor sales in the US after prohibition investing accordingly, lots of real estate deals, sometimes shady with Mob connections. He also dabbled in Fascism.  
Kennedy thought solely in terms of economics. Although he said he cared about the fate of Jews and persecuted minorities, in the end he thought they would have to be sacrificed for the greater good of the United States and its allies. Like Hitler, Kennedy believed in a Jewish cabal, which had thwarted him and that was intent on instigating incidents that would draw America into a disastrous war. “To defeat fascism,” Kennedy argued in a memorandum, the United States would “have to adopt totalitarian methods” and strike deals with dictators.
The danger of wealthy privileged families is well known. That Teddy Kennedy was privileged enough to get away with murder. and the name still really didn't suffer, galls me the most relative to the Kennedys.  Perhaps Teddy being denied the presidency was enough punishment in that case. 

For many, the US has become an "Empire of Pain", somewhat because we have become lazy about questioning narratives, and enjoying our own biases without admitting them, even to ourselves. My deep bias is that "Culture Matters", and in our case, especially being "One Nation Under God". We lost God, and we have largely "gone under" as Reagan warned us. Without God, everyone really dies a death of despair. 

Like all technology, drugs are a two edged sword, as are wealth, power, ethnicity. We need to always understand that everything man creates has a dark side.