Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Every Race is the Master Race

The Trump victory in the presidential race has spawned a number of memes, all generated by the Democrats/liberals and their mainstream media allies – among which are (1) “fake news”, (2) the notion that the Electoral College is, somehow, now invalid because it came up with the wrong result, and (3) “white supremacy”. What these have in common, supposedly, is that without all 3 Trump would never have been elected. (In the case of “white supremacy” it's not that whites are actually supreme – heaven forbid! -- but that certain people either believe they are or want them to be.)

My answer to the “fake news” issue can be summed up as follows: The problem is that much of what is called fact-checking is merely the substitution of one person's (or group's) "facts" for another's. Bonafide fact-checking, if universally applied, would mean the end of politics -- which, come to think it, would not be a bad thing.

For what is politics, after all, but the art of deception? Some will say, no, it's also about persuasion, negotiation, compromise, and so on – but why are these things always accomplished at the expense of the truth? Or, as in the case of the Clintons, why are they frequently accomplished at the expense of the idea that there even is any such thing as the truth? In that sense, politics becomes a substitute for the truth, and “political correctness” is nothing less than a tyrannical way of inflicting one person's – or a small group's – reality on everyone else.

The current post-election political debate simply continues the one that has been raging for decades, namely: What is the core reality – the “truth” -- about America? Has it been a force for good in the world, or a force of evil? Or, in the long run, neutral, the good balancing out the bad? And on the domestic side, has our system served the people properly, or has it been intended, all along, to serve the elite, with everyone else having to be satisfied with crumbs? And each side in any of these debates has the “numbers” -- the statistics and the historical records – behind them to support their position (as with “global warming”).

You can be sitting next to someone on the bus, on any day of the week, who has as wildly different a view of this country and its history and politics as you would expect from someone who just landed from Mars. And yet they have the “facts” on their side, just as you have. So if one person's “facts” are another person's delusions, rumors, conspiracy theories, fantasies, etc. -- what does “fact-checking” mean other than the imposition of one set of opinions over another? Ultimately, each individual has to judge, for himself or herself, two things – what is truth and how can one know it? These are the classic philosophical categories of metaphysics and epistemology, and no amount of political maneuvering, propaganda, or media dominance can take anyone off the hook when it comes to these core issues. Another way of putting it is that “brainwashing” only works if there's already a hole there waiting to be filled.

In other words, I am responsible for my beliefs. No one else is, and I'm not responsible for anyone else's beliefs. Oh sure, I can do whatever I want to persuade others, but if I fail to convert them, too bad, and I have to grant them at least enough respect to allow them to hold on to their reality (and hope that they will eventually be converted by experience, i.e. by life itself).

As to the Electoral College, I've dealt with that already, and yes, it is a serious issue. It's in the Constitution, but that doesn't make it sacred, because the Constitution can be changed. What makes me suspicious is that the only people who ever object to the Electoral College are the ones who just lost an election. I'd like to see the winners try to get rid of it some time. But the current debate does provide a civics lesson for those who managed to sleep all through civics, AKA “social studies”, class. To wit, the U.S. is not a pure or absolute democracy, and never has been. We have a representative government for a reason, and an Electoral College for, basically, the same reason. And it boils down to who do you trust more, the masses or the “best among them”, which, presumably, describes elected officials. And yes, I know, more often than not our elected representatives seem to be, far from the best among us, the worst among us. (I often refer to the retirement plan for Pennsylvania state politicians -- “3 hots and a cot” in the state penitentiary.) And that may be sufficient reason to convert our system over to an absolute democracy – the idea being that the “wisdom of the people”, or of “the common man”, is superior to the inevitably corrupted thinking of politicians. The main problem with this is that the supposed wisdom of the common man is not always rooted in the traditional verities; it's more likely to be a product of whims, fads, delusions, and hysteria, all of which are whipped up and exploited by, guess who, politicians and their lackeys in the media. So – bottom line – if we put “the people” in charge, they won't be any more in charge than they are now. They'll have the illusion of being in charge, perhaps, but it will be only that – an illusion, just as the whole notion of “people's republics” under communism was, and remains, an illusion.

But the real point of this post is to “drill down” into the notion of “white supremacy”. Historically, this country was founded on, among other things, the implicit notion that, of course, the white – i.e. European, and preferably Northwestern European – race was superior, and fit for independence and self-rule, whereas other races might just be better off ruled with an iron fist. (This was back before “spreading democracy” became a meme in its own right.) In fact, the premise was that, even though we were, by and large, of English descent and America was a British colony, we were, somehow, just enough better than our relatives in the Old Country that we deserved to be free of their rule, supervision, and oversight. After all, we had the gumption to escape the close, claustrophobic confinements of the Old World and dare the rolling seas in order to reach the New World.  That alone endowed us with sufficient merit to justify any attempts at gaining independence.  

Add to this that the premise of superiority was also based on the notion that we had inherited the wisdom of the Greeks and Romans and pretty much everybody else worth reading or listening to in the meantime (provided, of course, that those purveyors of wisdom were our own kind – but who listens to the Greeks these days, in any case?). This formed the basis for (usually) implicit racism, ethnocentrism, and religious prejudice, and all of the discriminatory and oppressive policies that followed. And those policies had to be challenged and broken, one by one – and the process continues to this day. This is American history, folks – and it's really quite simple. On July 4, 1776 we entered into a dialectic, and that dialectic continues and is likely to continue as long as the Republic exists. It's inevitable, based on human nature, and on the fact what while history doesn't change, our view of it and of its significance does, and that's what counts (politically, at least).

And this dialectic keeps changing, evolving, and morphing – getting renewed and refueled with each newly-discovered “issue” (or impending “existential threat”). First it was about democracy per se – what it is, what it is not, is it a good thing or something to be handled with care, etc. Next it was the question of whether “the people” should be heard and earnestly listened to, as opposed to letting the elite (gentleman farmers, merchants, bankers, etc.) run things. Next came the slavery issue. And in the meantime we had the immigration issue, which continues to this day. Then it was about America's role in the world. Did we want to become a colonial power like the dominant European nations? Was it our job to bail out Old Europe and set things right? Was democracy such a universally good idea that it ought to be spread worldwide at all costs? (Note that this particular question is just about 100 years old at this point, and not settled yet.) Then on the domestic side, is it government's job to secure not only life and property, but to see that everyone is suitably clothed, housed, fed, educated, and employed? (See what I mean by the “dialectic”? Most of these questions are still being debated.)

But to get back to the issue at hand, the consensus among the talking heads of our time is that “white supremacy”, however defined, is always bad – that it's a bad, and in fact wrong, idea... that it's simplistic, oppressive, hateful... that it leads to oppression, discrimination, “hate”, bad politics... ad infinitum. It's seldom, if ever, even spoken out loud that identification with one's own race (or ethnic group, tribe, clan, etc.), accompanied by a certain amount of pride, is the most natural thing in the world among human societies, both historically and in the present day. An honest anthropologist will tell you, in fact, that without that sense of identity a society cannot even exist in a coherent and meaningful way – that there has to be an “us” and a “them” to, in effect, define borders and boundaries, both literal and figurative. The same honest anthropologist might also be willing to acknowledge that when one asks the members of any tribe what they call themselves, the word they provide simply means “people” or “men” in their language – the implication being that anyone else – the outsider, the stranger, the other – is less than a person... less than a man.

The irony here is that our commentariat has no problem whatsoever with identity politics, or with just about any form of group “pride” -- with the exception that when white people, and especially white men, do it, it's wrong. And this is based on the unstated premise that “pride” is something that has to be kept in reserve for the oppressed, for minorities, for those seeking upward mobility, their share of the “pie”, etc. Pride is the engine of their advancement, in other words – whereas the pride of the “oppressor class” is a way of uniting them in the effort to keep everyone else down.

But here's where it gets interesting. White non-Hispanic (add “heterosexual” if you like) men are now in the minority – so why don't they now have a newly-minted right to express racial/ethnic/gender/sexual identity along with everyone else? Well, it's because they were formerly a member of an oppressive majority, and in fact the oppression continues even though they are now in the numerical minority. This is the thinking (if it can even be characterized as such). Plus, they deserve to be punished, unto the third and fourth generation, if not beyond, for the crimes of their forebears. (This is the notion that karma cannot be allowed to just happen, it has to be enforced.)

You might, if you searched diligently enough, find a member of the commentariat who was willing to admit that racial/ethnic pride is a perfectly natural thing and not to be condemned per se. But then politics enters in, and that which started out natural becomes a weapon – either of revolution or oppression (or of revolution, then oppression). The liberal project of remaking human nature never runs out of challenges and projects – and the current one, which requires a much finer hand than any of them possesses, is to reward and reinforce racial/ethnic pride among “minorities”, and sexual/gender pride among other “minorities”, while condemning and punishing the exact same things among the (allegedly) dominant (non-) majority. I say it requires a fine hand – and that would be much finer than the knee-jerk habit of finding racists, sexists, homophobes, male chauvinists, etc. around every corner. It would certainly require something more than political correctness, one of the primary tools of the culture wars but which is brutal and ham-handed in its application – not to mention that it's one of the major means by which certain people gain and maintain power.

Anyone can see that what we are dealing with here is a form of genocide – not in the literal, physical sense but in the area of self-esteem. Make a good portion of the populace afraid of criticism and ashamed of just being alive, and you have, in effect, killed them off – wiped them off the map politically and culturally, and rendered their values (including culture, customs, habits, etc.) unacceptable and on the way to extinction. Make them non-persons and they become little more than slaves, and we are all too familiar with the charms of that state of existence.

This is, in fact, the program of the mainstream media, liberals, Democrats, academicians, and popular culture purveyors of our time – and what has them all upset is that their victims/targets have finally awakened and started to push back. The election of Donald Trump was their greatest victory to date, and the question now is, was that the high water mark, and there is nothing in the future but to lose ground and suffer further, and more severe, oppression? Or do we at the very least now have two visible and viable camps, with neither one about to go away? Well... I hate to say it, but we had a situation not unlike this prior to the Civil War. Let's hope that some other sort of accommodation can be reached this time around.

As near as I can tell, the overt “white supremacy” movement is the act of a small minority, and likely to stay that way. If there was racial/ethnic pride involved in Trump's victory it was, by and large, implicit and unstated – and even unconscious (and any true feeling of belonging ought to be, i.e. it shouldn't have to be asserted out loud at all times and on all occasions). But does pride in “my” group necessarily imply hostility or “hate” for all other groups, or for particular groups other than my own? I don't see why it should, and in fact it usually doesn't, as near as I can tell – any more than any given “diverse”, or “minority” group has to automatically dislike all the others.

I think what's more likely is that the Democratic/liberal program was rejected on its own terms, not because it was the property of “minorities”. The mainstream media narrative is that it was all about “hate”, but it's much more likely it was about a feeling of being left out – left behind. This is a feeling that has been building over the past few decades – let's say, for convenience, since the end of the Reagan presidency. It's nothing new, but this time around it found a voice. Do these people dream of taking over and oppressing minorities (again or for the first time)? I'd say it's more likely that all they want is respect, visibility, and a voice that will not be drowned out by purveyors of shame.

If bonafide “white supremacists” see an opening now, well, my guess is that they're in for a disappointment. For one thing, they're going to have a hard time getting people to distinguish their, let's call it, “coat-and-tie white supremacy” from the old KKK style – and the media are certainly not going to give them any help in this regard. And they're going to have a hard time getting people to distinguish legitimate pride from its poor country cousin. I think, in other words, that it's a dead end as a movement – and yet one can understand the roots and the causes, just as one can understand the rise of Islamic radicalism in the face of our endless meddling in the Middle East. A chained dog may be more dangerous than a free one once that chain is broken.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A G-Man for Our Time

It was enough to make you nostalgic for the days of J. Edgar Hoover. If Hoover had had as much on any president, presidential candidate, or pretty much anyone else as James Comey had, he wouldn't have talked about it, he certainly wouldn't have told Congress, and he would have kept it carefully hidden, to be used as blackmail material later on, should the need arise. J. Edgar was the great puppet master of his time, and he struck fear into the hearts of anybody and everybody who had any interest in getting, or staying, ahead in Washington, DC or in politics in general. He was, arguably, the most powerful man in Washington, at least in the later decades of his seemingly-interminable tenure.

But those days are over with, and now we're in the era of public spectacles, open accusations, open denials, and all the rest of it. Some will argue that this is an improvement over the old secretive, hypocritical days; I don't know. It could be argued that pretending is preferable to mucking about in the offal under the glare of the multi-media spotlight; at least it lent a slightly more dignified air to things.

And has corruption become worse, or is it just more public? It is certainly harder to keep secrets now, with the breaking of the old-time media monopolies and the rise of alternative information sources like WikiLeaks. The larger question as to whether increased exposure will noticeably alter human political behavior is as yet unanswered, but I'm not optimistic.

In any case, in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign came James Comey, an apparently scrupulous and honest man who happened to be working for, and within, a remarkably corrupt administration. So his life must have been an endless series of decisions, on an almost daily basis – do you please the boss by adhering to her suggestions and “guidance”, or do you follow the mission statement of the agency you're in charge of? In other words, do you do the right thing, and damn the consequences? The FBI is, I would say, more above politics than the average government department or agency, but can it possibly be totally above politics? Highly unlikely. So anyone in that position has to choose, and they have to fall back on their own principles on a regular basis. (Or, if they have no principles, fall back on politics.)

So what comes out of all this seems strange at times. Comey recommended that Clinton and/or her aides not be indicted, but then laid out an elaborately detailed case that made it clear that they could have been, except (implied) that his boss, i.e. the attorney general, would never have pursued the matter. And then three months later, after having effectively said (to Congress) “case closed” he comes back with new information – all in the interests of full disclosure, avoiding the appearance of a cover up, etc.

I think in the first case he knew full well that no indictment was ever going to come out of the Justice Department, so to save face (the agency's and his own) he declined to recommend it. But because he is an honest man, and wanted to “make a statement”, basically in defiance of the overall corruption of the administration, he laid out the case. So, on balance, were Clinton & Co. pleased or annoyed? They certainly acted pleased, but when someone hangs out a pile of your dirty laundry you're bound to be annoyed as well. Did Comey have any reason to think he was going to be fired by Obama/Lynch? I believe he had taken care of that matter by his recommendation not to indict – plus, he had to be aware of the long-standing ambivalence in the relationship between Obama and Clinton. It wouldn't be the worse thing in the world for Clinton to be in a bit of hot water, in other words; in some ways it would validate the fact that Obama had been nominated in 2008 and had won.

But did Comey have any reason to think he would be fired on Day One of the next Clinton administration, assuming that Hillary had won, which – up to that point – seemed like a certainty? It seems like he would have ample reason to think that – and so when the next avalanche of e-mails happened, he figured he had nothing to lose by not only notifying Congress, but by telling everybody that he had done so.

There is nothing more dangerous, in a sense, than a dead man walking – if that dead man still has some weapons at his disposal. And you'll notice that, although Justice put up a fight on this, he was not totally slapped down or fired. Perhaps they knew better, at least prior to the election – you know, “optics” and all that. Their real attitude would have become much clearer on Nov. 9, but we'll never know for certain.

I must say, though, that there is something particularly delicious about the fact that the entire second look at Hillary's e-mails started with an investigation into Anthony Weiner's “sexting” with an underage female. The karmic significance of this cannot be overstated. And to add to the deliciousness is the possibility that the attorney general held off on quashing Comey's letter to Congress because she had been compromised by her airside chit-chat with Bill Clinton, as explained in this article:

This has to be one of the “funnest” connect-the-dots puzzles in recent memory – especially when the picture that emerges is, not surprisingly, one of bottomless corruption spiced up with incompetence, grandiosity, and a towering attitude of entitlement. How often do we see people really and truly getting the comeuppance they deserve? It's a gift that just keeps on giving – and the reason it does is that the dead keep coming back to life, like in a B-grade horror flick. Hillary lost (1) the nomination in 2008, (2) the election in 2016, (3) the recount in 2016, and (4) the Electoral College vote in 2016. As Rush Limbaugh said, shouldn't we at least give her a participation trophy?

(And by the way, if Trump doesn't keep Comey on as FBI director, he's betraying the guy who may well have put him into office. In this respect at least, I agree with Hillary.)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Unholy Silence

Two quarters that we are hearing next to nothing from since the election are (1) Hillary and (2) Israel. Other than being in the cheering section and one of the prime supporters of Jill Stein's recount crusade, Hillary really has been remarkably silent, as have her minions. The explanation for this... well, it could be a number of things.

“Optics”: She may not want to “distract” from the pristine purity of a complete underdog – Jill Stein – going up against The Power, which is another way of saying she doesn't want to look like a sore loser. But why not? Isn't she finished in politics? Not a bit of it. I suspect the “Hillary in 2020” campaign is already being organized (the way the “Hillary in 2016” campaign was launched the day after the Democratic convention in 2008). So – let Stein look like a sore loser; she's expendable. If she succeeds, it will only benefit Hillary, and Stein will be thrown into the same dustbin as Bernie Sanders.

Hoping that Stein succeeds, and the campaign to bag “faithless electors” succeeds, Hillary might just wind up winning! -- or so she thinks. In which case, there is plenty of planning to do, but it has to be kept super-secret (not unlike HillaryCare) or she risks looking like a fool if Stein fails.

Plus, she doesn't want to be too closely associated with the Green Party, which – much to their shame, if they had any – is what the Democrats should be like rather than what they are like, namely one head of the two-headed monster that serves the Regime.

Bottom line – Hillary has not given up on politics, and she hasn't given up on this election. She and her inner circle are plotters and schemers, and they never sleep. And she and Bill are, lest we forget, still in charge of the Democratic Party, which means they have an army of unthinking slaves, like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. You can be sure they're up to something, the only question is what.

Now we come to Israel, which is even more of a conundrum. Has Bibi phoned Trump to congratulate him, or Hillary to commiserate? Not that I'm aware. And after all, whose side was he on? He came over here in 2012 and campaigned for Romney – an absolutely outrageous act which should have caused great indignation, especially among the Democrats – but no one seemed to notice. The Republicans were glad to have the support, and the Democrats didn't dare criticize, because to criticize Israel or anything its leadership does is to be anti-Semitic, a Nazi, blah blah blah. So the Dems were tongue-tied, and it was a marvel to behold, since it happens so seldom.

But this time around? We know the Russians seemed to be favoring Trump, for some reason – maybe because they see him as a non-ideologue, and Hillary as just more of the same Obama-esque “cold war lite” nonsense. And in our time, anyone the Russians like will more or less automatically be disliked by Israel, except that things have been a bit icy between them and Obama, and Hillary would, as far as they knew, continue Obama's foreign policy with nary a bump. (My theory was that her foreign policy would look more like Bush's, which should have been just groovy with Israel.  But apparently they had their doubts.)

In any case, Israel didn't make a peep during the election, and hasn't made a peep since. I suspect they've adopted a “wait and see” attitude, since Trump is a bit of an unknown in many respects (unlike Hillary, who is all too transparent, which is one reason she lost). They figure once he takes office they can sit down and reason together, which is true – and yet their stony silence is nonetheless intriguing.

Unless they know more about this recount issue than we do; maybe they're hedging their bets. After all, their intel and spying apparatus is the best in the world by far, not to mention the fact that pretty much any Israeli teenager can hack into the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. -- not to mention the Democratic Party, and who said that hacking them was the sole privilege of Russia?

(Note that there was a widely-circulated “conspiracy theory” among anti-Clintonites a while back that many if not all of the voting machines in the U.S. were either owned or programmed by, or both, Israeli companies. I never looked into this because I figure, they don't need to get down in the weeds that way, they have our politicians in their back pocket anyway, so why should they care who wins? But it was an interesting theory if only in that it reflected a common assumption that of course the Israelis wanted Hillary to win. But of course it could have just as readily been the other way around, and that's what Stein & Co. are obsessing about at this point. Not about Israeli involvement, I mean, but about the hackability of the American electoral system – which never seems to bother them when they win, needless to say.)

Anyway – these are, arguably, sidebar issues, but intriguing nonetheless. Hillary in particular is much more dangerous when she's silent and out of sight than when she's out in public. This, as I've theorized before, is the main reason Obama made her secretary of state, just so he could keep an eye on her and cut down on her scheming. And it did seem to work for a while, plus it gave her a chance to completely muck up our foreign policy, which, on some level, might have been quite satisfying to Obama -- “Aren't you glad you didn't nominate and elect her to the presidency?” (I suspect a similar mindset is behind Obama's silence regarding the outcome of the election. The possibility that he can out-scheme her and Bill must be pretty darn irritating to both of them.)

The problem with people who are entirely political in their motivation is, well, that they're entirely political. They have no loyalty. They will desert and abandon friends, supporters, and colleagues at the drop of a hat. There are countless buses just waiting for some Democratic politician to throw some other Democratic politician under them. It's a very primitive, brutal, dog-eat-dog world they live in. The Republicans are far more gentlemanly, which is probably why they typically lose political battles; they just aren't cut out for the way things are done in our time. And I'm sure that was a big part of Trump's appeal – here's a guy who doesn't even pretend to be a gentleman, or refined, or a diplomat. He's more like a Democrat than a Republican in that sense – which may be one reason why he appealed to the lusty, rough-and-ready portion of the electorate – you know, the people with their organs of reproduction still intact, unlike the army of eunuchs that currently comprises the White House staff and the DNC.