It’s Called Negotiation, Not Capitulation

Here’s how it’s supposed to work, how it used to work with Joe. C. Average (R):

  • Democrats meet with Joe and discuss several things, including the possibility that Joe would concede on X — something his base would consider a betrayal.
  • They pass a talking point to the media claiming that Joe agreed to X.
  • Many people buy it, and Joe takes the political hit (his polls go down, supporters declare they’re done with him, etc.) that would come from X, even though it never happened.
  • Now Joe has nothing left to lose by doing X, so he goes ahead and does it in exchange for a pittance from the Democrats.

This is what they keep trying to do with President Trump.  There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work on him.  He can tell when he’s being manipulated, and he doesn’t put chasing the polls ahead of his agenda.

Get a Grip

There’s heavy shilling from the mainstream media tonight on the topic of President Trump supposedly caving in on DACA and getting little or nothing in return.  The White House has already denied it, but the usual suspects are already crowing and/or crying betrayal, as usual.

We’ll have to wait and see what actually happened, if anything.  But when the entire MSM jumps on a talking point, the one thing you can be sure of is that it’s a lie, or at least not the whole story.  That’s why they’re the Fake News.  When they push a narrative this hard, it means one of two things: 1) They’re trying to make it happen by convincing everyone it’s already happening (this works sometimes in politics, but poorly on Trump, because he doesn’t care); or 2) They’re trying to distract from a part of the story that they don’t want people to see, by preemptively putting the focus on something else.

So in this case, it could be that Trump got the Democrats to agree to some pretty big concessions, so they sent out the bat signal to their media friends to keep the focus away from that.  Rather than admit he got a big win, they can shout and point to the one thing that looks bad for him, to distract from the good parts.  If he traded a deal on DACA for an end to chain migration, for instance, that would be a huge win, and not something the Left would want to admit at all.  I doubt he got anything that big, but there are plenty of things he could deal for.

The one thing I know is that nothing is ever what the media loudly insists it is.  While we don’t know everything, there are some things we know for sure.  One is that the president considers himself a great negotiator.  He’s not going to sit down with creeps like Pelosi and Schumer and give things away without getting value in return, if only out of pride.  That’s not even about politics; it’s about not being beat at his own game by amateurs.

Compare and Contrast Alt-Retard and Antifa

Very good analysis of the origins of Alt-Retard by a Vox Populi reader. In short: they’ve been screwed by having their history taken away from them and their culture spat on and corrupted, and they’re trying to reclaim it.  That’s hard to do, and it’s easy to get led down wrong avenues and used for the political goals of others.

The harder part is the follow-up to this article: how to reach them. Some suggest a friendly, welcoming approach. On the other hand, sometimes when a person is attached to a bad idea, whether it’s an ideology or a girl who doesn’t like him that way, it takes a slap in the face to get him to wake up and realize he’s making a fool of himself, before he can hear anything different. Since we’re talking about a mass of individuals, both are probably necessary — the slap first, then the welcoming.

A commenter there asked:

Is it reasonable to entertain the idea that the problems described in the email could also apply to SOME of the young men who are involved with Antifa?

Certainly there are similarities. Both are unhappy with the way things are and looking for a person or movement that will Do Something, so they are easily radicalized.

The differences may arise from the fact that Antifa are drawn more from the college educated upper and upper-middle classes, while as this article says, the Alt-White are more working-class. Antifa are just as uniformly white, but they’ve been more fully indoctrinated in standard leftist ideology and things like anti-racism. Their radicalism proceeds along a safer, more overtly leftist path to Communism, as their professors intended. Antifa also includes more females, though they’re masculinized feminists, so they don’t provide a feminine presence at all, just bitchiness.

One big difference is that alt-Retard is interested in history. They know they’ve been lied to, and they want to know who did it and why, and what is the truth. Hence the openness to any conspiracy theory. Because of the Hitler worship, that means they can get steered to particular readings of history that aren’t necessarily more accurate than the lies they were taught in school. But at least they <em>want</em> to learn something, so they may be reachable. The left-wing radicals are strongly anti-history; you won’t find them studying Lenin to find their roots. All they know is from the 1960s, just like the Boomers who taught them. They’re not reachable that way at all.

Another difference is that Antifa are total noobs online. I’m not sure why, since they surely all had computers and Internet growing up. But they have no memeing ability whatsoever, and no staying power in online fights.

(I’ve decided to use this blog to do longer riffs on other blogs for a while, and see how that goes.  I might end up turning comments back on, but I’ll decide that later.  In the meantime, feel free to quote and riff further on this anywhere else.)

Happening Status: It’s

I did a video/podcast that’s a wrap-up and some analysis of the “happening” on July 27th and some of what led up to that. One thing I forgot to mention was the Fusion GPS news: Congress is now learning that the Democrats used Fusion GPS to create the Trump dossier, which we knew involved a British spy, but is now also known to have involved Russian help.

Pakistani information thieves, British spies, Russian hackers, uranium dealers…. is there any shady foreign entity the Democrats won’t jump into bed with for political gain?

Some, presumably not all of them shills, want to shrug this off as if it’s no big deal unless major players are being dragged off in cuffs.  That would be nice, but it has to start somewhere. If the situation were reversed — if one of Trump’s IT people were arrested trying to leave the country and multiple new investigations were begun on several of Trump’s top people, all in one day — the media would be going wild. We can count on them to suppress this instead, but it will happen without them.

Download the audio here or watch it below.

DNS, Malware, Russia, Oh My

I’ve started doing a podcast (under another name).  Mostly it’s been personal stuff there wouldn’t be any interest in here, but today’s was on the Salon article that was supposed to be last year’s October Surprise, why I knew it was bunk, and a theory of what might have actually happened that got blown up into the Trump/Russian server connection.  So I thought I’d share it here too.  It includes a bit of a tutorial on how DNS works to let computers on the Internet put addresses to names so they can communicate.

I’ll be linking more things here soon, as I’ve been figuring out what I want to do with this blog, in possible conjunction with other projects I’ve got going.

You can download audio-only versions of the podcast, or listen to it on YouTube embedded below.

Reap What Thou Sowest

Great post at Men of the West (a site I need to pay more attention to) on how the left is forcing the right to resort to violence, which will backfire spectacularly.  Some scenes that have been coming to my mind lately, in addition to the one he gave from the great Quigley Down Under:

We didn’t have a TV for several years growing up, but the radio was often tuned to country music.  A song that had an impression on me was “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers.  The story is that a young man with a bad temper has learned to control it and turn the other cheek, because his father’s fighting led to a death in prison.  This causes people to think he’s a coward, and eventually three men rape his girl, and then he lets loose and ends them.

Then there’s Ender’s Game, with whom many of my readers will be familiar.  At age 6, Ender explains his philosophy of violence:

“We’re willing to consider extenuating circumstances,” the officer said.  “But I must tell you it doesn’t look good.  Kicking him in the groin, kicking him repeatedly in the face and body when he was down–it sounds like you really enjoyed it.”

“I didn’t,” Ender whispered.

“Tell me why you kept on kicking him.  You had already won.”

“Knocking him down won the first fight.  I wanted to win all the next ones, too, right then, so they’d leave me alone.”  Ender couldn’t help it, he was too afraid, too ashamed of his own acts: though he tried not to, he cried again.

Another example, which isn’t as direct but keeps coming to mind because of the wording, is from the Hitchhiker’s Guide series.  The planet Krikkit is enclosed in a thick cloud, so its people are not only not aware of other life in the universe, they’re unaware of anything else in the universe beyond themselves.  When they manage to travel into space and discover other stars, their reaction is a bit extreme, but…

“It’ll have to go,” the men of Krikkit said as they headed back for home.

On the way back, they sang a number of tuneful and reflective songs on the subjects of peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms.

Another related scene is from Roadhouse:

Dalton: I want you to be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.

Guy: Well uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?

Dalton:  You won’t.  I’ll let you know.

From Smoky Valley, by Donald Hamilton, which features an ex-captain in the Union Army who goes west for his health and has had his fill of violence so he won’t even wear a gun, but eventually he’s forced to fight:

“That’s enough,” a voice said behind him.  “You’re killing him.”

There was something odd about the presence of the voice in this place at this time, but he had no strength to waste upon the problem.  “Yes,” he said.

“Let him breathe,” the voice said.

‘”No.”

I could probably go on all day: “He brings a knife, you bring a gun.”  Western history and literature are full of this dichotomy, of men who are capable of great violence choosing peace even at cost to themselves, holding out violence only as a regrettable last resort, but then going at it full-bore when forced.  We certainly have men on our side who like to fight and seek out violence.  But perhaps more importantly, we have many men who don’t like to fight — for whatever reason — so if they have to fight, they want it to be quick and final.  It’s not about anger; by the time they’re forced to fight, they’ve gone past angry to implacable, seeing the fight as an unpleasant task that must be done, so it should be done as efficiently and decisively as possible.

The Left also has men of the first group, who like to fight.  But it really doesn’t have the second group, because that mindset flows from things the left rejects: a commitment to objective reality, traditional virtues, defense of home and family, etc.  Instead, the Left has people who like to take cheap shots, because they think they’re too smart and enlightened to fight face-to-face like dumb jocks.  We’ve seen that online the last couple years, as the Alt-Right has begun using the Left’s tactics like doxxing against them.  Do they respond with, “Finally, a worthy opponent!  Let the battle be joined!”?  No, they respond by whining to authorities and concern trolling for mercy.  They don’t want to fight; they want only to attack.

The same will be true in the physical realm.  Leftists thought it was great fun to “punch Nazis” at Trump rallies as long as the cops disarmed their targets and the Right continued to play fair.  As some on the Right accept that playing fair and being nice have become counter-productive, and it’s time to escalate and put a stop to the nonsense, the Left will run and cry to Daddy Government and Mommy Media.  But by that point, it’ll be too late for shaming to work.  Once you’re sitting on top of the bully pounding away at him (add A Christmas Story to the list above), shame isn’t part of the equation anymore.  You’re just making sure he doesn’t do it again.

If the Left keeps pushing, it will get ugly for them very fast.  The best thing would be for all the college kids who think throwing a few bricks at right-wingers sounds like a fun afternoon romp, to realize they’re out of their element and find something else to do.  Maybe the Left’s core fighters and paid mercenaries would back off without that crowd to hide them and give them fake legitimacy.  Or they’ll keep it up, and it’ll be easier for people on the Right who still want to play nice to see what’s going on, and step up to end it.

Error of Recency

There’s something in human behavior called the “Error of Recency.”  It means that humans tend to overvalue recent information, giving it far more importance than what they previously knew, and sometimes even forgetting the previous knowledge to let the new information take its place.  Our opinions tend to be based on first impressions and last impressions, with too little value placed on the stuff in-between.

So if the events of the previous 99 days convinced us that A is true, and then an event today suggests that not-A is true, we don’t give the new event 1% credence against the other 99%.  We give it far more than that, often even letting it overrule everything we knew before.  If you’ve been married for ten years and you’ve never had any hint that your wife is unfaithful, but one day someone tells you she’s been messing around, the tendency for many is to believe it, or at least to doubt ten years of knowledge, instead of putting the claim in its proper context as one data point against thousands of data points accumulated over a decade.

Now, sometimes a new idea should overrule the old because the old was wrong.  So combatting this error isn’t as simple as ignoring anything new that contradicts our current beliefs, of course.  That would keep us from ever learning.  We have to be willing to entertain new ideas that contradict previous ones.  If the person who claims your wife is unfaithful has video, you have to accept that what you believed before was wrong.

But the natural human tendency is to overvalue recency, and these days, the media uses that tendency to get us chasing narratives that seem convincing and dreadfully important in the moment, but that we’ll be mildly embarrassed for chasing once we settle down.  (Although they try to help us avoid the embarrassment by always having a new tennis ball for us to chase.)

If you want to combat this tendency and prevent the media and other enemies from leading you around by the nose, you must force yourself (because it doesn’t come naturally) to consciously down-value new stories.  When something new comes in, don’t let it fill your mind.  Confine it in a box mentally, and consciously remind yourself, “Okay, this may be total bullshit.”  If it contradicts your previous beliefs, remind yourself why you believe what you do — surely there are reasons — and try to give those pieces of knowledge equal value to the new one.  If you’re picturing this mentally, the box the new thing is in shouldn’t necessarily be larger than the boxes around the old ones.  Then, with recency taken out of the equation (as much as you’re able), you can try to judge them rationally.  You may even find that, when you’re not distracted by your emotional response to the new data, you’ll see that the new data can be explained in ways that don’t contradict the old.

If you learn to do that, you’ll have a correct understanding of what’s going on more often.  You’ll be the guy who stays calm when everyone else is freaking out and jumping to new conclusions at every new story.  When stories develop and new facts emerge that contradict or scale back the original hype, you won’t have to swing back the other way like an emotional pendulum.

Civic Nationalism Isn’t

Civic nationalism is the hope that you can have the beneficial aspects of a nation without real nationalism — that you can replace natus, the connection to the land and its people through birth, with patriotism and civics.

America gave it a pretty good shot in the 1950s. They had probably the best possible combination of circumstances for it: low immigration, the patriotism that followed winning a war, Hollywood having helped to spread that patriotism and sense of national sacrifice for the common good, a booming economy, and every school child dutifully reciting the Pledge every morning. All the elements were in place, and it lasted what, maybe a decade, before they started tearing it apart?

Nationalism comes naturally, by birth. Civic nationalism, as an attempt to create nationalism artificially, doesn’t.  It’s not really nationalism, and before long, it’s not very civic.

Civics 101

Here’s a free civics lesson for fake news organs like CNN:

“Freedom of the Press” means that you can print and broadcast whatever you like — short of outright libel or slander — and can’t be arrested or charged for it, or have your business shut down.  It doesn’t mean anyone is required to talk to you or pay any attention to you.  If someone refuses to answer your questions or kicks you out of an interview session, your freedoms have not been violated, only your pride.  The reporters at my local newspaper and TV stations out here in flyover country don’t have White House press passes, so why should you?  Because you’re a Big Cheese in the Beltway?  Give us a break.

Your dominance of the political conversation was an historical accident arising from the centralized mass communications of radio and television in the mid-20th century.  FDR was the first president to invite a select group of reporters into the White House for regular interviews.  He thought that by flattering the major news outlets in this way, he could guide the message they put out — and he was right.  Subsequent presidents followed suit.  When there were only a few TV networks, it made a certain amount of sense to bring them all in and let them carry the news out to others.

That doesn’t make sense anymore.  We don’t need you.  If I want to know what a politician said about something, I can watch the video of him speaking.  If I want to know what happened at a riot, I can watch video taken from a bystander’s phone and make my own conclusions.  I don’t need you to tell me it was actually a peaceful protest — or bury the story altogether if it doesn’t fit your narrative.  If I want to know what’s happening in Sweden these days, I can ask some Swedes.

Not only don’t we need you, but we don’t trust you.  Your approval levels are at an all-time low because Americans are tired of your lies.  Even leftists don’t trust you; they just like the lies you tell.  Generation X, my generation, never learned to trust you in the first place.  Millenials never even learned to pay attention to you.

If you were smart, you’d purge your organizations of people dedicated to pushing a political narrative and replace them with people who only care about discovering and reporting the truth.  You’d dedicate yourself to hard-nosed but fair journalism, and work on earning back the trust of the American people by adding something to the conversation instead of trying to control and suppress it.  Give that a decade or two, and you might gain back some ground.

You won’t do that.  You’ll double-down, because that’s what you do.  You’ll complain, lie more about your non-existent rights, and throw around words like “fascist” and “racist” twice as much, not realizing that no one cares about your shrieking anymore.  You’ll still be shrieking as you file bankruptcy, and no tears will be shed for you.

Along the way, you’ll also try to get your buddies at big Internet corps like Google and Facebook to help you out by shutting down your competition online.  This will be the best part, because it’ll be like watching a sumo wrestler wearing oven mitts try to catch a greased pig.  We can’t wait.