Playing the Indian Card

Sunday, February 21, 2021



Scott Adams, in his daily podcasts, has pronounced himself puzzled by the apparent truth of an insight from Tucker Carlson: that whatever the left accuses the right of doing seems to be just what they have been doing themselves.

They accuse Trump’s followers of trying to stage an insurrection; they use this as an excuse to try to stage an insurrection. A second or third insurrection, following the Russia hoax and the Ukraine impeachment. They accuse Trump of encouraging rioting; after a year of encouraging rioting. They accuse Trump of authoritarianism, for considering calling in the National Guard to protect the White House under siege, or for considering calling in the Guard to cities torn by rioting. As soon as they are in power, they call in the National Guard to protect Washington, and keep them there. And plan to impose COVID regulations on the states. They accuse Trump of colluding with Russia; Hillary Clinton was colluding with Russia, Joe Biden was colluding with Russia, not to mention China and the Ukraine. They impeach Trump for supposedly, perhaps, interfering in Ukrainian legal affairs and demanding a quid pro quo for aid. Yet Biden is on video boasting about interfering in Ukrainian legal affairs and demanding a quid pro quo for aid. They have called Republicans Nazis and Fascists for years; that’s the entire “Antifa” thing. Then when Gina Carano tweets a comparison of the left to the early Nazis, this is intolerable. She must lose her livelihood for it. They declare the right “anti-Semitic” while being anti-Semitic. They accuse the right of being racist, while making everything about race. They actually declare not being racist, racist. They claim the Republicans are for the rich and against the poor, while openly expressing contempt for the poor.  It is only too obvious there is a pattern here.

The principle is simple, and known since ancient times. When someone commits consciously to evil, to something they know is wrong, the truth becomes their enemy. They feel the need to get as far away from truth as possible. They will come to consistently say the opposite of the truth, and accuse the innocent of their sins.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

War by Other Means


Joe Biden is working for the government of China.

I was recently watching a video on the history of Iran. As a matter of policy, Britain controlled the government of Iran for years in the early 20th century simply by strategically bribing key officials.

Why not? In the end, it is the cheapest option: cheaper than fighting a war, or sending foreign aid, or making any sort of a government-to-government deal. And it avoids provoking possible conflict with other powers also seeking influence.

So why not China? Now that China’s prosperity gives its government some serious money to work with, why wouldn’t they do the same thing Britain once did? They are not strong enough to overcome the US in war; strategic bribery costs much less.

Especially since, unlike in the case of Britain, bribery is a part of the traditional Chinese way of doing business. 

Surely, then, they will have tried; they will have tried to bribe key figures in a country as important to them as the USA.

If this has not previously been an issue, it is because, in the developed world, we could count on most of our elite being too honourable to sell out their country. That was in some significant part why Britain could control Iran through bribery, but Iran could not control Britain. 

But we have seen a visible decline in the morality of our elite in the past few decades. That sort of patriotism is long dead on the left. They will openly declare the US evil in its inception.

We know, in fact, that the Chinese are doing so: they are bribing, infiltrating, and compromising. We heard recently of prominent academics accepting secret funding from China. We hear of Diane Feinstein’s office, and Eric Swalwell’s office, being infiltrated by Chinese spies. We hear of huge numbers of Chinese spies present in the US. 

Joe Biden, as a longterm senator and then VP, on the left and not publicly predisposed to be anti-CCP, would have been an obviously worthwhile target. He must have been approached.

Biden has a reputation of being for sale. He has acquired a personal fortune in office. He has long been understood to be in the pocket of the insurance industry in his home state.

And we have direct evidence he is on the Chinese payroll, from his son’s laptop, confirmed by his son’s business partner.

I think Biden spoke with surprising openness when asked about China’s treatment of its Uyghurs at a recent town hall:

“So, the central -- to vastly overstate it, the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that. I point out to him, no American president can be sustained as a president if he doesn't reflect the values of the United States. And so the idea I'm not going to speak out against what he's doing in Hong Kong, what he's doing with the Uyghurs in western mountains of China, and Taiwan, trying to end the One-China policy by making it forceful, I said -- by the way, he said he gets it.

Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

He is excusing the Uyghur genocide as “different cultural norms.” And he seems to have assured Xi Jinping that his opposition to the genocide or to the Hong Kong takeover is purely pro forma, to satisfy public opinion. It does not reflect his own views, and he is not actually going to do anything.

The same attitude could have maintained good relations with Hitler in 1938. Biden sees himself as fundamentally on the same side as Xi, and essentially in opposition to the US population. They must just be kept quiet so business can be done.

If China owns Joe Biden, who else have they bought? 

Justin Trudeau probably need not have been bought. He looks to me like what Lenin used to call a “useful idiot,” with delusions of glamour about Communism. On the other hand, Trudeau has shown himself to be buyable by others. And his actions towards China seem contrary to good sense and Canadian interests. To be sure, his government has also been in conflict with China; but that seems to have been forced on him by the need to honour an extradition treaty with the US.

I suspect from their actions and public stances that China has down payments as well on President Duterte of the Philippines, and President Moon of South Korea.

Nobody in China goes in through the front door. Everything has a back door.

The US, or Britain, or someone, ought to be smart enough to buy Xi Jinping.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Work of Human Hands


These are the words of consecration at the mass:

“the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.

“the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.”

I suddenly realize it is significant that the bread and wine have two sources: nature plus human effort. This is their essential nature, and this is why they are the things we consecrate.

They are works of art, in the proper sense: they are co-productions of God and man.

This is the divine plan of salvation: God made the natural world to be perfected by man in art. God offers each of us grace and salvation, and it is up to us to respond and to work with it, as in the creation of art.

This is the contrast between the wine of the Eucharist, and the apple of Eden.

We are saved by art—not just the fine arts, but by every craft and skill. We are made, in Genesis, to be gardeners. We are made out of red clay by Yahweh, as a pot is made, and made in his image—to be potters. We are to imitate Christ--and Christ was a carpenter.

Through each work of art, we are building the New Jerusalem.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Wild in the Senate Chamber


Many are celebrating the acquittal of Donald Trump in his Senate trial. Others, of course, are lamenting it.

I am more shocked that 57 Senators could vote for a conviction. The only practical result of a conviction would have been to prevent Trump from running in the next election. That would be irrelevant unless the Democrats believed he had a real chance of getting re-elected. In other words, their intent was to subvert the will of the people, to subvert democracy. To deny the entire population the right to vote.

This was an attempted coup.

It was also a blatant assault on freedom of speech. Trump was being tried for something he said, and for campaign rhetoric. Besides the issue of human rights, freedom of speech is necessary, as John Stuart Mill demonstrated, to have a functioning democracy. This is why no representative can be sued for slander, for example, for anything they say on the floor of the House of Commons. It is essential that political speech by elected officials be unrestricted. Unless all views are heard, the people are not being allowed a choice.

This was an attempted coup, shameless and in broad daylight. It was an attempt to overturn the constitution of the United States, and its system of government. The regrettable January 6 incident, whoever was responsible, was not.

And this attempted coup in the Senate came alarmingly close to succeeding. With alarmingly little objection from anyone.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Thinking Way Too Far Ahead


Possible Republican contenders for presidency in 2024:

Donald Trump. The Republicans make a grave error if they turn away from Trump. If they do, his followers will stay home or form a new party. He is their best shot.

He may, on the other hand, not be up to it after four more years. If so, the ideal contender for the leadership of the Trump faction is Jared Kushner. His involvement in the Abrahamic Accords has demonstrated his ability; he would not just be a Trump surrogate or dynastic successor. And he comes with Ivanka.

There are other possible contenders for the Trump crown: Mike Pompeo, any of Trump’s children; but only one of this group can run. The advantage this faction has is that they will probably only run one of their number; the others will stand down, ensuring a strong showing in the early primaries. If any of them ran against the Trump-backed candidate on their own, they would lose all support for doing so.

If not Trump, there is a large constituency for another non-politician. Another populist candidate might convince people he could do a better job than Trump at draining the swamp, and that is the underlying source of Trump’s appeal. Politicians in general are in disrepute, and the just-concluded impeachment trial has accentuated this. 

This leaves a big opportunity for Tucker Carlson, who is sounding populist now; but I doubt he would want to give up his media position, which probably has more real power to change things. Or Kanye West, as another billionaire; but since he is reputedly crazy, and inexperienced in politics, he comes with a high risk of self-immolation. Other obvious billionaires lack Trumpiness—as Arnold Schwarzenegger discovered when he tried to replace the master on The Apprentice, or as Mike Bloomberg discovered in the Democratic primaries. Doing the in-command billionaire role is not that easy. Elon Musk might be able to do it, but Elon Musk has more important things to do with his genius. Candace Owens has hinted at interest in running; but I’m not sure she has the intellectual chops. I’ve seen her flat-footed in an interview. If it were my choice, I’d love to see Ben Shapiro.

Traditional and religious conservatives are another large constituency within the party. Trump and Trumpites are actually rather odd bedfellows for them. They ought by rights to coalesce around Mike Pence; but Pence may not be capable now of being a unifying figure within the party. He was unfairly blamed by Trump for accepting the Electoral College results, and if he has to run against Trump or a Trumpite in the primaries, this adversarial image will be reinforced.

Ted Cruz is another prominent possibility for the TRCs. He has kept on the good side of the Trump populists. The rap against him is that he is unlikeable. That stopped Bob Dole; it did not stop Richard Nixon. Other possibilities in this slot are Tom Cotton, Tim Scott, Josh Hawley. The problem here is that there are too many possible standard-bearers, and they are unlikely to step aside for one another. This may spread the TRC vote too thin in early primaries, and eliminate them all.

Then there is the libertarian wing of the party. They have an obvious leader in Rand Paul, who has also stayed on the good side of the Trump faction. Paul’s problem, to my mind, is that he sounds unpresidential, whiny. Cut out for opposition, not leadership. Someone has floated a unity ticket of Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard. Great idea, but probably not achievable, politics being the art of the possible,

Ron DeSantis as Governor of Florida is making waves these days. But sitting governors are sitting ducks; they have to govern, and bucks stop there when things go wrong. Andrew Cuomo has recently gone from Democrat star to Democrats demanding he resign. Kristi Noem has faded as COVID numbers have risen in her state. Chris Christie was supposed to be the odds-on favourite for the nomination in 2020--and then there was that bridge thing. Some governor may rise, but it is unpredictable four years in advance. 

Dan Crenshaw looks good, and charismatic. But he also seems too new and inexperienced.

What about the party stalwarts, the professionals, the guys who would have backed Jeb Bush last time? I think they have long had their eyes on Nikki Haley. I think Haley may have won their support, but killed her chances of becoming president, by coming out publicly against Trump recently. I don’t see the Republicans winning if they run against Trump instead of the Democrats.

My track record for predicting nominees has been awful. I called it for Jeb Bush last time, for Newt Gingrich the time before, for Rudy Giuliani the time before that. So don’t trust me on this. But I think the next Republican nominee will be Nigel Farage.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Real Issue


Some years ago, on an email list populated by professionals, I came out as a fan of free markets. The immediate response was that I must be an objectivist, a Randite. And that, apparently, would have been okay. But when I insisted I was not, that her philosophy seemed to me immoral, I was suddenly shunned.

When the left shows itself so intolerant of the right, it is not “capitalism” or any sort of economic policy that bothers them. It is the hint of a moral order. This is why so much of leftist politics is about sex.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Art


This CBC Report is disturbing: the government of Canada is giving $19 million dollars to the families of missing indigenous women for works of art.

Even if we ignore the RCMP statistics, common sense tells us that murdered women and girls are relatively unlikely to have been murdered by random strangers. The likeliest suspect is a family member. Aside from such direct murders, girls vulnerable to murder by a stranger are most likely in that vulnerable position because they are trying to escape an abusive family situation. They are trying to “disappear” as a matter of survival. And of the rest, neglect or rejection by their family is most likely to have led them to be on those remote highways alone.

Indians, especially Indian youth, are being sacrificed by the Canadian government to twin idolatries: on the one hand, the myth of the “noble savage,” which holds that no Indian can be held morally responsible for their actions; and on the other, the myth of “family values,” which holds that all families are loving and supportive.

Rejecting the reports of the police, the federal government set up a commission that interviewed only family members of the missing women, in order to get to the “truth” about the missing women.

Great idea. Kind of like interviewing only OJ Simpson to get the “truth” about the death of his wife Nicole.

And OJ didn’t even get a painting out of it.