Great America

Antifa Aren’t Revolutionaries—They Serve The Powers That Be

It’s important to properly understand Antifa and what it means.

Antifa rules the streets of Portland and sows chaos in many other American cities. Millions of Americans don’t like Antifa, but many struggle to figure out who these black-masked radicals really are.

Conservatives like to call Antifa “fascist” or the modern-day successor to the Ku Klux Klan. Liberals will insist either that Antifa is a nonexistent, right-wing fantasy or that they’re secret white supremacists out to discredit the “peaceful” protesters. 

Conservatives and liberals both throw out terrible historical comparisons when discussing Antifa. Cable news talkers compare them to the American soldiers storming Omaha Beach on D-Day while conservatives view them as more like the Nazis fighting our boys.

It’s worth our time to explain what exactly Antifa is. 

Antifa and Its Enemies

Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” is a far-left movement dedicated to fighting whatever its adherents think is fascism. It’s a loose organization without a clear structure or public leaders. Its name comes from a Communist-organized group in Weimar Germany. Unlike their ancestors, most American Antifa would better be described as anarchists rather than Communists. But it’s a mistake to think of Antifa as particularly ideological. Yes, they are extreme leftists, but what primarily defines them is who they target and the goals advanced by their violence. And it’s not exactly Communism.

Antifa may describe themselves as anti-capitalists, but they don’t target capital. They’re not intimidating corporate CEOs or rioting over jobs being shipped overseas. They don’t try to shut down banks or financial institutions. They focus exclusively on enemies they share with mainstream liberals—Trump supporters, the police, ICE, the “alt-Right,” conservatives, etc. 

They never seem to go after targets that would draw condemnation from liberal elites. With the exception of the police and some politicians, they go after powerless people. It’s easy for them to sucker punch a random Trump supporter in the street. That person’s story will never be told in the media and reporters will believe whatever lies Antifa spread about their victims.

Commentators love to give their historic examples for Antifa. If the commentators see Antifa as Communists, they offer Communist examples. If they see Antifa as Nazis, they compare them to the stormtroopers. If they see Antifa as racist Democrats, they say Antifa is the new Ku Klux Klan. Most of these examples are peddled haphazardly and make little sense. 

Antifa’s members are not fascists or “racist Democrats” in disguise. They are on the far-Left, which makes the Communist comparisons more apt. (Some conservatives will retort: “But the fascists are on the far-Left!” Nearly all scholars, including conservatives like Stanley Payne and Paul Gottfried, strongly disagree that fascism is a left-wing phenomenon. In any case, the only thing shared between fascists and Antifa is a love of violence.)

Antifa isn’t like state-run Communist bodies such as the Stasi. They are (fortunately) not picking up people and taking them to the gulags on the orders of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 

Antifa also doesn’t resemble left-wing terror groups like the Weathermen or the Red Army Faction. Those groups operated as cells with obvious leaders and clear ideological goals. Their actions weren’t directing mindless mob violence. The RAF and the Weathermen planned and carried out bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings. While both of those groups receive some posthumous adoration from idiotic leftists, neither was tolerated by the authorities. Both groups were zealously pursued by the authorities and few dared to defend their terrorism publicly. Antifa, on the other hand, is ignored by the authorities and regularly defended in the public square.

Sanctioned By the Elite

Maoist Red Guards are the best historical analogy. The Red Guards were mobs of students endorsed by the highest authority in Chinese Communism and given free rein to attack dissidents. Their main purpose was to shore up the regime’s power and ensure the public toed the Communist Party line. The Red Guards weren’t necessarily controlled by the state, but they were sanctioned by the regime and advanced the interests of the nation’s elites. 

Antifa does the same for our liberal elites.

Individual Antifa may be anarchists or Communists, but their actions ultimately benefit liberals. The black-masked radicals can scream “liberals get the bullet, too!” all they want, but their activity helps squishy liberals the most. 

Antifa doesn’t harm big business or the military-industrial complex—they only ensure that it’s difficult for the Right to organize and speak freely in America. In fact, big business and the military-industrial complex essentially endorsed the riots and promised to donate more to left-wing causes. Most of the businesses they burn down are local shops that can’t recoup the costs of destruction, allowing giant corporations to gobble up even more of the market. The riots ensure only chains can survive. 

Several mainstream media outlets run puff pieces on the black-masked anarchists and celebrate them as American heroes, further indicating the elite’s comfort with Antifa. If they were a real threat to the current order, we wouldn’t see CNN lying for them. These anchors would demand their prosecution and denounce their violence. But the mainstream media doesn’t care about torched small businesses in flyover country, beaten Trump supporters, or injured cops. Those are all bad, expendable Americans in the eyes of liberal journalists.

Reinforcing the Power Structure

For all their bluster about the revolution, Antifa ultimately is a tool for liberal elites. That’s why the Democratic Party, corporate execs, and major media outlets sanction their violence. The only leader who wants to put a stop to their marauding is Donald Trump. His critics love to mock him for allowing this violence, but it’s hard for him to stop it when all the other powers in government and society side with Antifa.

Antifa fully exploits the anarcho-tyranny that rules this land. They don’t have to worry about prosecution, but anyone who stands up to their violence can expect the full brunt of the law. See Kyle Rittenhouse and Steven Baca for what happens when you dare defend yourself against Antifa. Elites know they must protect their attack dogs from any consequences. 

Antifa is a dangerous group, but it isn’t a truly revolutionary group. It operates more like a mob than an army. They’re not fascists or klansmen—they’re leftists. And their most distinguishing characteristic is that they don’t challenge the power structure; they reinforce it. 

The people who challenge the power structure the most exist on the political Right. That’s why liberal elites tolerate Antifa violence. The black-masked thugs do their dirty work for them. 

Great America

The Left and NeverTrumpers Justify Murder for Political Disagreement

Do liberals really want a world where their political opponents feel justified to shoot them?

America has a history of assassinations and attempted assassinations of political leaders. Saturday night we crossed the line into the assassination of ordinary partisans, shot down on the streets for their political beliefs. And the side of the now-hot culture war that led us over that line is the very one that typically lectures the rest of us about gun violence.

Trump supporter Aaron Danielson (also known as Jay Bishop), 39, a member of the Christian conservative group Patriot Prayer, was murdered in cold blood in Portland on Saturday allegedly by Michael Reinoehl, an aging snowboard dude and Antifa supporter. Danielson was participating in a “Trump 2020 Cruise Rally,” a caravan of Trump supporters that gathered in Clackamas, Oregon, about 10 miles southeast of downtown Portland, the site of three months of protests and violence by Antifa and Black Lives Matter supporters. The group planned to loop around downtown on Interstates 405 and 5, but did not plan to leave the highway to confront the protesters and rioters.

A small group that included Danielson broke off and entered the downtown area with Trump and MAGA flags flying. Clashes ensued, with Antifa spraying urine and throwing objects at the cars and the caravanners firing pepper spray and paintball guns at the crowd. At some point Danielson left the car he was riding in. (Many had been blocked by protesters.) He was allegedly accosted by Reinoehl, apparently sprayed mace at him, and was shot dead in response.

Despite the mace, Reinoehl, unlike Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has no arguable claim of self-defense. Rittenhouse’s latter two victims had pointed a gun at him and bashed him in the head with a skateboard after he’d fallen while being pursued by an angry mob. This clearly meets the general self-defense standard of reasonable belief that one is in imminent danger of death or severe injury. (The facts surrounding the first shooting are much murkier, and there is a question as to whether it would vitiate the self-defense claim in the latter shootings if he’d been the aggressor in the first one.) Being sprayed with mace during a street encounter does not.

But still, let’s stipulate that Danielson and the others in the breakaway group were probably not choir boys, and that their decision to leave the main caravan and drive into downtown Portland in an “in-your-face” gesture to the protesters was a poor, foolish, and immature move on their part. It was still clearly within their constitutional rights and in no way legal provocation justifying assault or murder.

That was settled in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie 43 years ago, in which the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment rights of a group of Nazis (bona fide Nazis, not the kind conjured up in the imaginations of the Left these days) to march through a neighborhood with a large population of Holocaust survivors. 

In 2011, the court reiterated the same principle at greater length in Snyder v. Phelps, holding that Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church cult had the right to shout “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” outside the funerals of young servicemen killed in action. Even the victims of Nazi depravity and the grieving parents of dead soldiers, the Court held, did not have the right to bar such traumatic intrusion into their personal space—much less to attack or kill the intruders. The freedom to walk on the streets of even “unfriendly territory” and not be physically assaulted for your political beliefs no matter how odious is fundamental.

Antifa obviously disagrees with this principle. As a protester attempting to block the Trump caravan put it: “Portland is supposed to be a progressive city, f–k these guys.” No conservatives need enter.

The Democratic Party and its NeverTrump yes-men apparently agree. Their reaction to Danielson’s murder came down to “he asked for it.” 

As CNN reported, “Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, blamed Saturday night’s violence on the caravan,” since they allegedly “drove into downtown Portland . . . armed and looking for a fight.” But the only weapons we know they were armed with were paintball guns, pepper spray, and mace. As bad as that may be, it was Antifa who started shooting actual bullets. Nonetheless, Brown piously intoned, without mentioning Antifa, “I will not allow Patriot Prayer . . . to bring more bloodshed to our streets.”

A writer for the Bulwark—the media organ of the capitalist wing of Antifa—chimed in even more disingenuously from the NeverTrump amen corner. After first baselessly accusing the Trump supporters of seeking to “instigate #war [sic] on the streets of Portland through attempted vehicular homicide,” he lets slip a few paragraphs later that the real instigation justifying the shooting was that they had the effrontery to go “parading through Portland with f–king Trump flags on their trucks.”

The operatives who write Joe Biden’s statements for him seemed to take a more responsible tack—until you look closely and see their fingers crossed behind their backs. The statement began promisingly by declaring that “the deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable,” condemning it “unequivocally,” and reciting eloquently, “We must not become a country at war with ourselves. A country that accepts the killing of fellow Americans who do not agree with you.” 

But then in the next paragraph the Biden handlers, echoing Governor Brown and the Bulwark, accuse the Trump supporters of having brought the killing on themselves by “spoiling for a fight” and “seeking conflict”—by exercising their right to be on public streets claimed by the Left.

The Left is playing a very dangerous blame-the-victim game here—effectively countenancing the murder of people for their political views if they dare to enter turf controlled by a mob of the other side. It should be remembered that the Right has a lot more guns. There are lots of little clusters of “progressives” with their “No Hate” signs sprinkled throughout conservative areas. Their neighbors tolerate them. Do liberals really want a world where they shoot them instead?

Great America

It’s China, Stupid

Russia isn’t the greatest threat America faces right now. Not even close.

A new report from the Pentagon paints a chilling portrait of the challenge the Chinese Communist Party poses to the United States and the world.

The annual report to Congress, “Military and Security Developments Concerning the People’s Republic of China,” details the comprehensive effort the Chinese have launched to achieve global military and economic superiority. 

The 200-page report tells us the CCP seeks “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” by which it means to revise the international order and “return” China to global preeminence.

On the military front, China has already surpassed the United States in shipbuilding with the world’s largest navy, land-based conventional and cruise missiles, and integrated air-defense systems. 

“China is the top ship-producing nation in the world by tonnage and is increasing its shipbuilding capacity and capability for all naval classes,” the report informs us. The United States largely gave up its shipbuilding and merchant marine industries decades ago. 

China’s leadership understands something that America’s leaders forgot: military power flows from economic power. While Washington encouraged the offshoring of America’s industries, Beijing knows its military depends on a growing industrial and technological base.

The integration of civilian industries and military objectives is all-encompassing. The policy is known as military-civil fusion (MCF):

MCF encompasses six interrelated efforts: (1) fusing the China’s defense industrial base and its civilian technology and industrial base; (2) integrating and leveraging science and technology innovations across military and civilian sectors; (3) cultivating talent and blending military and civilian expertise and knowledge; (4) building military requirements into civilian infrastructure and leveraging civilian construction for military purposes; (5) leveraging civilian service and logistics capabilities for military purposes; and, (6) expanding and deepening China’s national defense mobilization system to include all relevant aspects of its society and economy for use in competition and war.

While MCF has broader purposes than acquiring foreign technology, in practice, MCF means there is not a clear line between the PRC’s civilian and military economies, raising due diligence costs for U.S. and global entities that do not desire to contribute to the PRC’s military modernization.

This last point is essential: Every dollar that is invested in the PRC aids its military and techno-totalitarian goals. 

Right now, major Wall Street index providers such as MSCI and FTSE Russell, pension funds, university endowments, and other large institutional investors are pouring billions from American investors into the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a state-owned enterprise sanctioned by the State and Commerce departments for its role in grabbing territory in the South China Sea in violation of international law.

Meanwhile, some of the biggest names on Wall Street—Citibank, JP Morgan, and BlackRock—announced plans to expand in China. We can expect the LeBron James effect as these firms’ fortunes come to depend more and more on Beijing’s rulers.

Information, psychological warfare, and influence operations are a key part of Beijing’s strategy. The People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (SSF) “is responsible for cyberwarfare, technical reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and psychological warfare. Its current major target is the United States,” the report tells us.

Its influence operations target “cultural institutions, media organizations, business, academic, and policy communities in the United States, other countries, and international institutions.” Beijing pressures these targets to accept Beijing’s narratives. In a glaring example of how this works, China’s ambassador told the president of the Czech Republic’s senate he would “pay a heavy price” for visiting Taiwan. The mayor of Prague told the undiplomatic diplomat to stuff it.

Information technology, particularly artificial intelligence, is central to China’s goal of military supremacy. The People’s Liberation Army “sees emerging technologies as driving a shift to ‘intelligentized’ warfare from today’s ‘informatized’ way of war” through “the operationalization of artificial intelligence and its enabling technologies, such as cloud computing, big data analytics, quantum information, and unmanned systems, for military applications.”

The CCP’s military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy and research and development programs drive the shift to “intelligentized” warfare. It seeks to develop dual-use technologies and steal what it can’t develop on its own.

Beijing’s prioritization of AI is the context for the CCP banning the export of TikTok’s AI algorithm and the Trump Administration’s restrictions on Chinese students studying in the United States. The PLA has direct and indirect ties to numerous universities, and the MCF makes all universities in China answer to military authorities. 

The report puts an end to the 40-year-old notion that engagement, dialogue, and investment will reform Beijing’s Marxists. 

One need not read all 200 pages to understand there is now no excuse for anyone from Washington, Wilmington, or Wall Street to doubt the Chinese Communist Party poses a serious threat to America and the values we hold dear.

Forget Russia. To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s the CCP, stupid.”

Great America

Could Parental Choice Swing the Election?

Education issues could be key in the presidential race.

While government-run schooling has been the choice for a great majority of parents in recent times, change is on the horizon. The National Home Education Research Institute reports that 23 percent of parents who did not homeschool before the Covid-19 invasion indicated that they are now “very likely” to do so full or part time, and another 35 percent said they were “somewhat likely” to do so. Also, according to new Gallup poll, attendance in public schools has declined 7 percent in 2020 to 76 percent of k-12 children in the U.S. The same poll found that the number of parents who say they are going to homeschool has doubled this year to 10 percent.

The most apparent reason for the rise in homeschooling has been the shuttering of schools throughout the country, largely via the strident efforts of the teachers unions. As such, it is hardly surprising that a new Rasmussen poll shows that just 39 percent of American adults think it’s a good thing that teachers belong to unions. Another black eye for government-run schools and their leftist-run unions is that curricula now often includes radical components like sexualizing preschoolers, teaching that America is racist to its core, and that capitalism is oppressive.

As schooling issues have become more prevalent in the media, more and more parents are realizing the importance of politics in education. The latest PDK poll reveals that 60 percent of respondents and 70 percent of parents said public education plays an important role in how they will vote in November. Eight out of ten Black respondents said that the president’s performance on education is key to their vote, as did seven in ten Latinos. And the two presidential candidates could not be further apart on education issues.

Rick Hess, education policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, does a good job of laying out what could happen if the Democrats prevail in November. Hess notes that, if elected, Joe Biden would triple Title I funding, make community college tuition-free and forgive all “tuition-related” student debt. He would also end the D.C. voucher program and kill charter school growth. And just in case the teachers unions weren’t already salivating, Biden says he wants to “ban state laws prohibiting unions from collecting dues or comparable payments from all workers who benefit from union representation that unions are legally obligated to provide.”

In other words, Biden wants to throw piles of taxpayer money into a damaged education system and prevent parents from escaping it. (His forced-dues idea is most interesting because he would have to overturn the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, the 2018 ruling which stipulated that teachers and other public employees did not have to pay a union as a condition of employment. As for Biden’s “…legally obligated to provide” comment, perhaps he doesn’t know or doesn’t care that the competition-phobic unions insist on exclusivity; it is not foisted on them.)

Crossing the aisle, we find the Republicans have a much simpler education plan, and one that many parents and taxpayers will find appealing. In his speech at the Republican National Convention last week, President Trump said, “In a second term, I will expand charter schools and provide school choice to every family in America.”

While federal intervention in education matters rarely works out well, the impetus behind the statement is important. Parents need choices. Period. And increasing numbers of voters are coming around. A recent poll commissioned by the American Federation for Children found that most voters, including 82 percent of Latinos and 68 percent of Blacks, support using taxpayer dollars to send their children to a school – public or private – that “best serves their needs.” The AFC survey results are quite similar to others on the subject.

South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott makes the case for parental choice very simply. “I don’t care if it’s a public, private, charter, virtual, or a home school. When a parent has a choice, a kid has a better chance.

Needless to say, the union faithful are not happy with the Republican position on choice. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten countered with a tweet, claiming that being pro-choice “is their way pushing to defund public ed.

The proper response to Weingarten is, “Monopolies never work. Sorry, but traditional public schools will have to earn the money they receive from taxpayers by doing a better job than private schools.”

If enough poor, minority and working class parents are fed up with the status quo, the Republican education message might just be enough to sway them to vote for Trump, and the children and taxpayers of America would be the ultimate victors.

Great America

EPA Can’t Deny Farmers Their Day in Court

Here is a prime opportunity for the White House to show farmers that it stands with them and with sensible, science-based environmental regulation, and against bureaucracy gone wild.

With so much bad news circulating these days, how about some good news from an unlikely source? The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been a bastion of judicial activism for decades. But maybe that’s changing.

Late last month, a three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is not allowed to cover up evidence that they screwed up and then dodge a lawsuit by claiming the statute of limitations had expired.

The judges denied a motion by the agency to dismiss a lawsuit being brought by Washington state dairy farmers. What the farmers allege, with plenty of evidence courtesy of Freedom of Information Act requests, is a long list of actions by the EPA that are unethical, and possibly even criminal.

The Washington State Dairy Federation argues that the local branch of the EPA put together a shaky study of nitrate contamination in Yakima Valley groundwater. The farmers argue, again with plenty of documentary evidence, that EPA bureaucrats then rewrote that study over the objection of outside scientific experts to put the blame on farmers. They further state that the EPA strong-armed local farmers into signing consent decrees that cost them millions of dollars by misrepresenting the study.

The EPA filed the study as “influential” requiring a solid peer review. But no such peer review was completed. When the Region 10 staff writing the report were questioned by a senior EPA official, they claimed the study was not “influential” but “other,” requiring no real peer review. They then falsely claimed to farm leaders that the study was never classified as “influential science.”

Rather than simply apologizing and retracting the study when these facts came to light, the EPA had the effrontery to argue that since there is normally only a 45-day window to contest such studies in court, and since the hugely problematic report was issued way back in 2013, it ought to be able to get away with it.

Nice try, said the judges, but the law allows for litigation when new facts come to light. And, no, bureaucrats covering up the facts does not render them “old.”

From a legal perspective, there’s still a long way to go. By denying the EPA’s motion to dismiss the suit, the judges were only assuring that the case can move forward, not that the farmers will win it. “We’re getting our day in court, and that’s all we asked for,” Kent Krabill, attorney for the farmers, told Capital Press.

It was good to see the courts stand up for the farmers on this one, and it’s possible that there won’t even have to be a drawn-out court case.

The Trump Administration has moved on many fronts to overturn the excesses of the Obama Administration.When this administration has seen the opportunity to correct indefensible actions taken under the previous administration, it has often taken it. Rightly so.

It ought to act in this matter as well. Here is a prime opportunity for the White House to show farmers that it stands with them and with sensible, science-based environmental regulation, and against bureaucracy gone wild.

Great America

The Lockdown Has Gone From a Mistake to a Crime

The lockdown is a crime. But even more upsetting is that it is supported by so many Americans.

Four months ago, I wrote a column titled “The Worldwide Lockdown May Be the Greatest Mistake in History.” I explained that “‘mistake’ and ‘evil’ are not synonyms. The lockdown is a mistake; the Holocaust, slavery, communism, fascism, etc., were evils. Massive mistakes are made by arrogant fools; massive evils are committed by evil people.”

Regarding the economic catastrophe in America and around the world — especially among the world’s poor who are dependent upon America and other first-world countries for their income through exports and tourism — I wrote, “It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus, that created this catastrophe.”

Unfortunately, I was right.

The world should have followed Sweden’s example. That country never locked down and has even kept children under 16 in school the entire time. As Reuters reported on July 15, the number of Swedish children between 1 and 19 years of age who have died of COVID-19 is zero. And the percentage of children who contracted the illness was the exact same in Sweden as it was in Finland, which locked down its schools.

As regards teachers, Sweden’s Public Health Agency reported that “a comparison of the incidence of COVID-19 in different professions suggested no increased risk for teachers.” Nevertheless, with few exceptions, teachers in Los Angeles and elsewhere refuse to enter a classroom that has students in it. Their disdain for their profession has been superseded only by that of the Los Angeles teachers union, which announced that teachers will not resume teaching until the police are defunded.

People who defend lockdowns and closing schools point out that Sweden has the eighth-highest death rate per million in the Western world. But, needless to say, this has no bearing at all on the issue of whether Sweden was right to keep schools open or whether our country was wrong to close them, let alone keep them closed now. The overwhelming majority of deaths from COVID-19 in Sweden were among people over 70 years of age, and most of those were people over 80 and with compromised immune systems.

Reuters reported that three separate studies, including one by UNICEF, “showed that Swedish children fared better than children in other countries during the pandemic, both in terms of education and mental health.”

For more than a month, Sweden has had almost no deaths from COVID-19 while the entire society remains open and almost no one wears masks. (In Holland, too, almost no one wears masks.) For all intents and purposes, the virus is over in Sweden.

I live in California, a state governed by that most dangerous of leaders: a fool with unlimited power. Despite the fact that California ranks 28th among the 50 states in deaths per million, Gov. Gavin Newsom has destroyed and continues to destroy tens of thousands of small businesses and untold numbers of livelihoods. His continuing to forbid — a half-year after the onset of the pandemic — indoor dining in restaurants is leading to a projected permanent closure of approximately 1 in every 3 restaurants in the state. The same catastrophic destruction will likely affect retail businesses and services such as hair and nail salons. But all this human tragedy — not to mention increased depression and suicides among the young and increased abuse of children and partners — means nothing to Newsom, to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti or to the Los Angeles Times, whose editors and columnists continue to advocate for the lockdown while they receive their salaries.

Why can people eat with no mask in an airplane — inches, not six feet, from strangers — but cannot eat in a California restaurant, which is so much bigger than the inside of an airplane, while sitting six feet from others? Because Newsom ordered it, the Los Angeles Times supports it and, like sheep, Californians have accepted it.

According to the California Association of Museums, “Museums are losing over $22 million a day due to the statewide quarantine. As of August 1, 2020, California museums have lost more than $2.9 billion in revenue. Museums have a $6.55 billion financial impact on California’s economy, support 80,722 jobs, and generated $492 million in tax revenues for the State of California in 2017 and over $1 billion in federal taxes.”

And the American Alliance of Museums issued results from a survey on July 22, 2020, that warned 1 out of every 3 museums may shutter forever as funding sources and financial reserves run dry.

On Aug. 3, The Wall Street Journal wrote, “In March … There was broad public support for the prudent goals of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed and buying scientists time to develop therapies.” But the left — the media and Democratic governors and mayors — immediately moved the goal posts to “bending the curve” and “saving one life,” enabling them to get away with destroying lives and livelihoods.

I conclude with the words of a Swedish medical doctor, Sebastian Rushworth:

“Covid is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected any more. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place … Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.”

The lockdown is a crime. But even more upsetting is that it is supported by so many Americans. This country is unrecognizable to those of us who lived through the 1968-1970 pandemic, which killed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100,000 Americans — the 2020 equivalent of 170,000 Americans. Nothing shut down. Not one mask was worn.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Great America

John Stankey, AT&T’s Accidental Kamikaze, Strikes Again! 

It will be interesting to see if future economists smile at the regeneration of AT&T in the 21st century.

John Stankey, formerly Warner Media’s casual, open-collared Joe Cool and now AT&T’s new CEO, apparently is losing control of his multi-billion dollar behemoth.

Obviously he has no clue how to discipline his corporate underlings, and so the AT&T stock price is glued in the so-so $30 range.  

His DirecTV acquisition continues to bleed customers, with no sign of a spinoff yet. And another subsidiary, whizz-bang CNN, led by Jeff “Mother” Zucker, continues to air televised Kamikaze attacks on the USS Orange Man Bad.

John Stankey’s AT&T is the amalgam of life products of three American titans: Alexander Graham Bell, Jack Warner, and Ted Turner. Imagine if those three were on the AT&T board today! 

So John, what do you call it when Zucker’s buffoonery in vilifying teenager Nick Sandmann leads to the loss of a huge chunk of money because the kid sues and the network settles? Indiscipline

As you know, Zucker is not a career newsman; he’s a misguided cheerleader with delusions of grandeur bent on attacking the president, no matter what the cost. Look at Zucker’s dismal ratings share, John. He’s costing AT&T money and engendering ire among the stockholders, who worry about share value and dividends. Not to mention egg on their faces.

So John, what do you call it when, after losing all that money to Nick the Teenager, Zucker allows Clintonite hack Joe Lockhart to open his big mouth on CNN and call Sandmann a “snot-nosed kid,” potentially opening another lawsuit? Indiscipline.

So John, what do you call it when CNN Sports lets basketball Coach Doc Rivers go on a non-sports diatribe? Especially when he has an AT&T logo right beside his head? Indiscipline. So John, what do you call it when you send ham-fisted CNN “reporter” Omar Jimenez into Kenosha, and into career self-immolation, to stand in front of a flaming neighborhood with the chyron font: “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING”? Indiscipline     

While Bell, Warner, and Turner on the AT&T board is fantasy, it will be interesting to see if future economists smile at the regeneration of AT&T in the 21st century, or if they shake their heads, thinking that John Stankey’s AT&T joined giants like Bethlehem Steel, Kodak, and Pan Am in epic failure because of, well, indiscipline.

Great America

Why Kenosha Riots Could Matter in November

If security concerns in Kenosha persist, Nov. 3 may not shape up to be a good night for Democrats.

Of all the riots that have gone unchecked in the country this summer, the one in Kenosha, Wisconsin, might matter most with regard to the November presidential election.

The vivid imagery in the days following the police shooting of Jacob Blake shows a town in devastation. Rioters blocked traffic. And they stole gasoline from a nearby gas station to start fires that took out numerous small businesses, car lots, an apartment building and a Family Dollar store.

Other businesses that were not burned down nonetheless were looted and had their windows and doors smashed.

It is a war zone, and no one wants to live in a war zone. No one wants their children and grandchildren to live in a war zone. No one wants to own and run a business in a war zone.

Consequently, no candidate running for president should be silent about it. Because in moments like this, people want safety, security and to know elected officials have their back.

The potential electoral consequences are not just due to the fact that riots, destruction and lawlessness are happening in a swing state. It is because Kenosha is the Everyman of America’s midsized cities.

People have known for decades the city officials in Portland and Seattle have looked the other way when anarchists rage. No matter where a person lives in this country, when people see Kenosha, they see their hometown, their suburb, their schools, their Middle America, and they say, “By the grace of God, there goes the country.”

They are looking to see who is rising to the occasion.

Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil was on-site immediately. The Republican, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Kenosha, said the question he has heard from people on the scene in the aftermath of the wholesale destruction of the business district is: Who is going to step up?

“Just broadly speaking, people want to see public safety restored to the city of Kenosha,” Steil said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “I don’t think they care if a Republican does it, a Democrat does it, if the man on the moon does it. They just want to see it done. They want to see leadership.”

Steil said that after two nights of rioting, he was deeply concerned there were insufficient resources, so he asked local officials and community members if they were open to receiving additional support from the federal level. They said they were, and he called the White House.

“I called the president, and he graciously gave me time to discuss what was playing out in Kenosha, and at my request, he called the governor and offered additional resources,” explained Steil.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers “rejected that offer,” Steil said.

The next night, two people were shot and killed in the continuing mayhem.

Steil said Evers was extended the White House offer again the next day and accepted it.

The deaths in Kenosha during the riots and the perceived lack of response by the Democratic governor caused a flurry of tweets from Democratic politicians, such as Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, all calling for the end of riots, violence and harassment in their own cities.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden did as well. You don’t have to wonder for too long why that suddenly happened. Portland has been rioting for months. The same goes for the D.C. protests.

CNN’s Don Lemon let the cat out of the bag Tuesday night when he told fellow anchor Chris Cuomo: “The rioting has to stop. … It’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in the focus groups.”

A Marquette Law School poll found that in Wisconsin in June, voters approved of the Black Lives Matter protests 61% to 36%. But by early August, 48% of people disapproved, and 48% approved. That represents a net 25-point swing. And this poll was taken before the recent Kenosha rioting.

Kenosha County voted for both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump. It went for Republican Scott Walker for governor and then against him. It went for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson twice and for Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

It is the swingiest county in the swingiest 2020 state.

It is the place Biden should have been immediately Tuesday morning, calling for calm and order.

“It is the place that President Donald Trump delivered that type of leadership to the humanity to restore public safety now — not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Now,” said Johnson in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

Kenosha County is bordered by Lake Michigan to its east, where it retains its early Rust Belt roots, thanks to the railroad and factories that lined it. Its western portion is rural. The center of the county is where it has seen the most growth in the past few years.

Intersected by Interstate 94, linking it to Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, its growth is driven by location, an exodus from Illinois taxes and a renowned work ethic.

The county has a population of just under 170,000, and the city of Kenosha has nearly 100,000, making it the fourth-largest city in the state and along Lake Michigan.

People come here to live with peace of mind. When that peace is shattered, it is hard to imagine them wanting to settle for someone who does not have their back.

“I talked to so many people today who were scared,” Steil said. “They were concerned for their public safety, for the safety of their family, for their home, for their small business. You can hear it. It’s real.”

In his speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday evening, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the violence in the streets, admonishing Biden for not doing so at his convention a week earlier.

“So let me be clear: The violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha,” Pence said. “Too many heroes have died defending our freedom to see Americans strike each other down.”

In 2016, Trump flipped the Great Lakes “blue wall” states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin due to the pull of cultural and economic concerns. No state embodied that shift better than Wisconsin. If security concerns in Kenosha persist, Nov. 3 may not shape up to be a good night for Democrats.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

Great America

Facts Be Damned

The media and those who want to curry favor with the media have a dual agenda.

Every left-wing radical who thinks of himself as a “journalist” with his camera phone and Twitter account knows the pathway to success and a mainstream media job: first, you create a crisis of whatever size possible. Perhaps it’s about race or #MeToo or some obscure LGBTQ matter; ideally, it involves all three of those things. Promote it no matter what the facts may be. Then attack the Right and Fox News for it, regardless of the truth.  

It worked phenomenally well for Ben Smith, the former editor of Buzzfeed who rode his lies and misinformation all the way to a cushy job with the New York Times.  Recall that Smith while at Buzzfeed published the now fully discredited Steele dossier that is at the center of the Russian collusion fairy tale, now the subject of no less than three different investigations by U.S. attorneys offices around the country.  

Smith’s slipshod work, which in reality provided yeoman’s work for former FBI Director James Comey, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and perhaps even segments of the Russian intelligence community, also jumpstarted fraudulent congressional investigations. It also launched millions of online rumors, tweets, and TV talking head careers—including Smith’s own. 

At some point, you might expect accountability and repercussions. In a healthy, mature, and responsible society, that is what takes place: the rule of law is enforced, there is equal application of justice, and those caught in monumental and intentional lies are punished. With a truly free and honest press what we have seen over the past three and a half years might have engendered just a modicum of shame and inspired some cause for the media to step back, take a deep breath and consider facts over ratings and clicks, ego, and the sneering distaste so many show for the majority of Americans and the country that has blessed all of us with so much. 

Nope. 

All of what has made the media even less trusted by the public than Congress and used car salesmen was on display last week with the reporting from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Over the past few days due to the shooting of Jacob Blake, the media converged on the city using the same playbook that worked for them in Minneapolis earlier this summer. First, spread misinformation and half-baked reporting, then help light the fuse for violent riots and social chaos, then staggeringly pretend that the protests are “fiery but mostly peaceful.”

In the case of Blake, the initial reporting indicated that the man was simply walking away from police for no apparent reason before being shot seven times. That reporting alone, with no context or additional information touched off a level of violence, looting, property damage, and physical harm more common to the nightly rioting in Chicago than a suburban community in Wisconsin.  

A day later, the important facts that a responsible media might have sought out before reporting told a somewhat different story. Blake’s girlfriend had called police fearing for her and her children’s safety. Police attempted to calm the situation, but when Blake continued to be perceived as a threat, police attempted to use a taser. Blake ran to his car and police believe he was reaching for a knife when he was shot. 

No doubt, the police use of force must be part of this investigation. But none of the above facts that would have added important context were part of any initial reporting on the scene, creating a very different narrative that played into the hands of Black Lives Matter terrorists and Antifa scum headed to Kenosha on Monday. I am going to remind everyone, again, of the Ned Ryun Rule: always, always, wait 24 hours to see what happens to the mainstream story. Ninety-nine percent of the time it changes as the original narrative is a falsehood meant to cause political damage, not report the truth. 

The Wages of Media Malpractice

Out of the media’s irresponsible and false reporting were last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights’ devastating riots and arson that damaged family businesses, created chaos in neighborhoods, and bred unnecessary fear. If the reporting had been more responsible, perhaps the state of Wisconsin and local officials would have acted responsibly instead of standing by helpless while Kenosha residents saw their lives burned to the ground and felt threatened in their own homes. As it was, local authorities allowed BLM and Antifa to treat Kenosha like their playground. 

The result was the story of Kyle Rittenhouse, an Illinois teen who traveled to Kenosha when citizens there asked for civilian help to protect lives and private property. A member of a youth police cadet program in his nearby hometown, Rittenhouse showed up in Kenosha to help protect property, even assisting several protesters in need of first aid. But he was caught up in the riots, assaulted, and allegedly opened fire to defend himself, killing two protesters and injuring another.  I believe we can all agree that what happened is tragic; this should never happen on American streets.  

Watching a small Midwestern town explode in mob violence resulting in deaths is not in the least bit healthy for society. But the mainstream media’s irresponsible reporting and distortions—consistently characterizing as “mostly peaceful” these and all the violent protests in cities and communities across America—have only fanned the flames of anarchy. 

The Rittenhouse shootings were caught on video. Tucker Carlson last Wednesday night used the Rittenhouse story to highlight what happens when communities surrender to mob rule and governments fail to protect their citizens. Carlson rightly, correctly, and responsibly noted that there was more to be learned about the Rittenhouse case and that a court will determine if Rittenhouse’s act “qualifies as self-defense.”  

For those reasoned comments, the Ben Smith wannabes went, well, ballistic. The reporting was irresponsible, misleading, dishonest, and included all the elements that furthered their agenda in the hopes of becoming the next Smith, or Don Lemon, or whatever brand of idiocy MSNBC is broadcasting nowadays.

As we’ve seen in so many instances with the media’s unethical misinformation war against the Trump Administration, or its role in hysteria and misinformation around COVID-19, or the BLM and Antifa riots, the media and those who want to curry favor with the media have a dual agenda: facts be damned. Do whatever it takes to gain the respect of future propaganda employers like the Times or the Washington Post, which nowadays pretty much entails whining and spreading misinformation about Tucker Carlson’s effective demolition of the other side.

Great America

Do Young Lives Matter?

Take a knee or walk off the court if you like, but if you truly want to save poor lives, demand educational freedom and demand it now.

Do young lives matter? Especially poor ones?

LeBron James and many other professional athletes are taking a stand against racism and what they consider unjust actions by police across the country. One can argue about the wisdom of these actions and even the basis of the complaints but one can’t argue that a leading cause of dysfunction in our society is crappy public K-12 schools and the damage they do to young, innocent lives. The poorer you are, the worse are the schools you’re forced to attend. 

And far too many of the children forced by our society to attend these factories of failure have black and brown skin. How many of the adults shot by police in recent times can trace the root cause back to a child’s failed education?

If one wants to talk about systemic racism, there is no more obvious example than the schools poor kids have no choice but to attend.

A Narrow Window

It is well-accepted in education circles that at some point in a child’s life, if he isn’t participating at grade-level, the odds thathe never will catch up become overwhelming. Most believe it is somewhere around 3rd to 5th grade. 

That’s around 10 years old. So if a 10-year-old isn’t operating at grade level, his or her life opportunities are going to be damaged severely.

Think of the implication of this fact for every child in the land, especially poor ones. Far too many of these schools don’t act as institutions of learning but rather just as one step along a pipeline that leads to prison or the cemetery.

And this fate is forced upon the most vulnerable population in the country; a population whose need for its children to get a shot at a decent education exceeds all others. If Lebron and others want to take a stand and truly make a difference, they should save a little energy for focusing on saving children; not solely shedding tears on damaged adults. 

Frederick Douglass, who knew a thing or two about racism and disempowerment, noted “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Let us focus on that.

And we have so very little time to fix these schools. Every moment is precious for both the child, the school, and society at large. 

Bureaucratic Intransigence

The public schools are massive organizations that are quite resistant to change. It is simply the nature of large organizations, even if they all wanted to change—and many don’t— to resist it. It is an impossibility for them to self-reorganize. It can’t be done. And I have years of experience as an expert in driving organizational change so I know what I’m talking about.

If we can’t fix these schools in one year, then the 9-year-olds are screwed. Can’t fix them in two? Then the 8-year-olds are screwed.

Can’t fix them in five years? Then all 5-year-olds are out of luck. 

Can’t fix them in 10 years? Then every poor child whose heart beats today, even those still in the womb, are screwed. This cannot be allowed.

Think of that, every single poor child in the entire country faces a bleak future since the odds of these schools significantly improving, even in 10 years, is close to zero.

Again, speaking as an expert in organizational change, there is only one force on the face of the planet that can potentially save these innocent children and that is freedom. Only freedom has the power to transform these schools in the shortest period of time.

Give all of the money used to educate their children to the parents—in some sort of state-regulated environment of course—and watch the world change. On average, in the United States this would put over $15,000 per child per year under parentental control. In many of the inner-cities across the country, that number is often closer to $25,000 per child!

Only this process and the forces it would unleash have the power to save these children.

So take a knee or walk off the court if you like, but if you truly want to save poor lives, demand educational freedom, and demand it now. Or accept the fact that the assembly line of school-to-prison-to-cemetery will continue to provide an almost unlimited supply of damaged people just waiting for their next encounter with the police.

Raise your voice for every poor child in the land or please just go back to your mansions and STFU.

Great America

WHO’s on First with Joe Biden

“White coat supremacy” meets watermelon environmentalism.

Building back better means building back greener,” sounds like the latest bromide from the Democratic Party’s chief cellar-dweller Joe Biden. But the speaker is actually World Health Organization boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, back on August 21.

 The coronavirus pandemic, Tedros said, “has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change” and “given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers.” Yet “at the same time, we will not, we cannot go back to the way things were,” he warns. 

The millions suffering from the pandemic, particularly the unemployed, might wonder about the man who plagiarizes Joe Biden’s slogan. 

 Tedros is a veteran of the Marxist Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), responsible for atrocities against the Amhara ethnic group in northwest Ethiopia. Tedros earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1986, but never completed medical studies to become a physician. During his tenure as Ethiopia’s health minister from 2005 until 2012, Tedros purposely covered up cholera outbreaks in 2006, 2009, and 2011.

 The next year, as Ethiopia’s minister of foreign affairs, Tedros strengthened his country’s ties to Communist China, which has loaned more than $13 billion to Ethiopia. In December 2014, Tedros and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi co-authored an op-ed hailing the close bonds between the two countries.

 In 2017, Tedros became the first WHO chairman not qualified as a medical doctor. One of Tedros’ first actions was to name Zimbabwe’s Marxist tyrant Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador. In 2019, when the coronavirus hit, the WHO mirrored the policies of Communist China.

 In late January, after a trip to Beijing, Tedros said China’s actions “actually helped prevent the spread of coronavirus to other countries,” and the WHO boss was “very impressed and encouraged by [Xi Jinping’s] detailed knowledge of the outbreak.” 

Tedros’ actions, in turn, duly impressed Dr. Anthony Fauci. “He has been all over this,” Fauci said. “I was on the phone with him a few hours ago leading a WHO call.” 

Non-doctor Tedros is not the only high roller to link the pandemic to climate change. According to Bill Gates, efforts to get the coronavirus pandemic under control will facilitate the fight against climate change. As the software billionaire explains, “that idea of innovation and science and the world working together—that is totally common between these two problems, and so I don’t think this has to be a huge setback for climate.” 

Former National Security Council official Jason Bordoff says he believes “COVID-19 may deliver some short-term climate benefits by curbing energy use, or even longer-term benefits if economic stimulus is linked to climate goals,” which the NSC man did not spell out. Call it pandemic convergence, and Tucker Carlson of Fox News was all over it. 

“For Dr. Tedros and Bill Gates, pandemic and climate change share a very different connection,” Carlson noted recently. “Both are useful pretexts for mass social control. Both are essentially unsolvable crises they can harness to bypass democracy and force powerless populations to obey their commands.” 

A couple of backstories are playing out here. 

The modern environmental movement is a kind of fundamentalist pantheism pushing for Gaia rights. It was quickly outed as “watermelon environmentalism”—green outside and red inside—and as such ideal for social control. The “Green New Deal,” most stridently espoused by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in effect is a suicide note for the America that actually exists. Joe Biden is on board with it and WHO mouthpiece Tedros now joins Biden’s far-left puppeteer korps

 On the pandemic side, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has been wrong so often—see Peter Duesberg’s Inventing the AIDS Virus and Michael Fumento’s The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS for details—he’s not even a broken clock. Yet this medical doctor, whose bio shows no advanced degrees in microbiology or biochemistry, recommends a lockdown that wrecked a thriving U.S. economy. (For further reading, see Angelo Codevilla’s “The COVID Coup.”) 

Fauci, 79, has headed the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and like his pal Tedros, he’s never had to face the voters or own up to his mistakes. This is white coat supremacy in action, and the unmasked WHO boss now proclaims “we cannot go back to the way things were.” 

As Dennis (Michael Palin) explains in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses. Maybe that’s why Tedros shrink-wraps pandemic convergence in a slogan of presidential candidate Joe Biden. The election takes place on November 3, and as President Trump says, we’ll have to see what happens. 

Great America

Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!

The Right must unapologetically reject the very idea of policing, purging, and persecuting people for holding and expressing politically unpopular ideas.

Racism consists of a mindset or a worldview that boils down to impolite and impolitic thoughts and words written, spoken, preached, or tweeted.

If that’s all racism is, you ask, then what was the knee on George Floyd’s neck? Was that not racism? 

No, it was not. 

Judging from the known facts, the knee on Floyd’s neck was a knee on a man’s neck. That’s all that can be inferred from the chilling video recording in which Floyd expired slowly as he pleaded for air. 

Floyd begged to breathe. But the knee on his neck—“subdual restraint and neck compression,” in medical terms—was sustained for fully eight minutes and 46 seconds, causing “cardiopulmonary arrest.” 

There are laws against what transpired between former Officer Derek Chauvin and Floyd. 

And the law’s ambit is not to decide whether the offending officer is a correct-thinking individual, but whether Chauvin had committed a crime.

About Chauvin’s mindset, the most the law is supposed to divine is mens rea—criminal intention: Was the officer whose knee pressed on Floyd’s neck acting with a guilty mind or not?

Fact-finding is the essence of the law. The law is not an abstract ideal of imagined social justice that exists to salve sensitive souls.

If “racism” looks like a felony crime, then it ought to be prosecuted as nothing but a crime and debated as such. In the case of Derek Chauvin, a mindset of depraved indifference seems to jibe with the video. 

This is not to refute the reality of racially motivated crimes. These most certainly occur. It is only to refute the legal and ethical validity of a racist mindset in the prosecution of a crime. 

Surely, a life taken because of racial or antisemitic animus is not worth more than a life lost to spousal battery or to a home invasion.

The law, then, must mete justice, in accordance with the rules of evidence, proportionality, and due process. Other than intent, references to the attendant thoughts that accompanied the commission of a crime should be irrelevant—be they racist, sexist, ageist, or anti-Semitic.  

Ultimately, those thoughts are known only to the perp.

To make matters worse, legions of libertarians and conservatives have joined the progressive establishment in the habit of sniffing out and purging racists, as though they were criminals. 

Sniffing out thought or speech criminals is a no-no for any and all self-respecting classical conservative and libertarian. We should never persecute or prosecute thought “criminals” for utterances not to our liking (unless these threaten or portend violence). 

If those who think and speak the unthinkable don’t act out in violence—it is incumbent upon civilized citizens in a free society to refrain from doxing, firing, canceling or otherwise hounding dissidents to suicide.

In the case of criminal acts of aggression, racist thoughts or taunts that accompany the violence should be irrelevant.

If all lives matter, then the targeting of one innocent because Jewish or black is not more egregious an offense than the harming of another innocent just because

Thoughts and words spoken or written that are not politically polite—for example, racism—ought to retain protected status as speech beyond the adjudication of law-makers, bureaucrats, mediacrats, educrats, and technocrats.

Good people are being pushed to the floor. The mental anguish and material loss that a mere accusation of racism carries in America is untold. It’s crystal clear that the constitutional freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights have been lost and alienated. 

In 1978, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “took a controversial stand for free speech by defending a neo-Nazi group that wanted to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie, where many Holocaust survivors lived.”

These days, this once-venerable champion of unpopular expression no longer vigorously defends marginalized speakers and thinkers. Instead, the ACLU is purveying and protecting the ideology du jour

Paradoxical as it may seem, the ACLU defrauds the public about its mission when it devotes its resources to the well-popularized causes of the Left’s privileged populations: LGBTQ demands, illegal immigrant claims-making, seekers of abortion-on-tap, looters of property and destroyers of peace and prosperity (in Orwellian speak, “peaceful protesters”). 

The ACLU is a disgrace to its proud roots. In retrospect, a return to the good old days of ACLU free-speech radicalism is required.  

In the current climate—and considering the inherently paranoid style of American politics—it’s worth contemplating special protections for politically impolite, racist speech, to be offered by a loose association of employers in the private sector and across civil society.  

As I’ve argued here, racism amounts to a thought “crime.” Thought crimes are the prerogative of a free people. To intellectually disembowel the Left, the Right must unapologetically reject the very idea of policing, purging, and persecuting people for holding and expressing politically unpopular ideas.  

Watch a video version of Ilana Mercer’s column,Systemic Racism Is Systemic Rubbish.

Great America

Cultural Suicide Is Painless

The story of all Dark Ages is that when civilizations finally prefer suicide, they do it easily, and the remnants flock to the countryside to preserve what they can—allowing the cities go on with their ritual self-destruction.

In February, New York was the world’s most dynamic metropolis. By August, the city was more like the ruins of Ephesus. It is not all that hard to blow up a culture. You can do it in a summer if you haven’t much worry about others.

When you loot and burn a Target in an hour, it takes months to realize there are no more neighborhood Target-stocked groceries, toilet paper, and Advil to buy this winter.

You can in a night assault the police, spit at them, hope to infect them with the coronavirus, and even burn them alive. But when you call 911 in a few weeks after your car is vandalized, your wallet is stolen, and your spouse is violent, and no one comes, only then do you sense that you earlier were voting for a pre-civilized wilderness.

You can burn down a Burger King in half an hour. But it will take years to find anyone at Burger King, Inc., who would ever be dumb enough to rebuild atop the charred ruins—to prepare for the next round of arson in 2021 or 2023.

Today’s looter carrying off sneakers and smartphones in 10 years will be tomorrow’s urban activist, understandably but in vain demanding stores return to a charred no man’s land, to do their fair share, and to help restore the downtown, neighborhood, inner-city, or the “community.”

Old Liberal Ideas Are Being Destroyed

We are living in the most racially polarized climate since the 1960s. America’s past, present, and future are in the process of being recalibrated entirely through the lens of one’s skin color. Columbus is reduced to nothing more than another racist white Italian sailor of a half-millennium past. Grant might as well have fought for slavery in the mind of today’s campus ignoramus. Apparently, the Antifa thug thinks he could just as easily have written the Gettysburg Address or sculpted a statue of Frederick Douglass.

The old liberal ideas of assimilation, integration, and intermarriage are being destroyed by the Left under the specious doctrines of cultural appropriation, or “acting white” or “how we look is who we are.” 

A new fuzzy Jim Crow returns with racially segregated campus safe spaces and theme houses or the race-based reeducation and training sessions in the workplace—all predicated to stop racism! Somehow selecting strangers on the basis of their race to bully in a restaurant, or targeting old anonymous men and women to beat up in the street by their race, or singling out suburbanites by their race for racial taunts and profanity is redefined as reparatory justice or overdue payback—on the assumption that no one would dare say that the arson, looting, and rhetoric are descending into ever more hate-filled nihilism.

Our collective future of nationalized tribalism will become what always results when citizens identify by superficial appearance or shared religion. Just go to Lebanon, the Balkans, or Iraq to see what is in store first hand. 

Tribalism Rising

To survive, all groups will self-identify, at first quietly, but eventually unapologetically. Some will form alliances of self-preservation, others will war with each other. Tribal gangs, as they already do now in our streets of fire and looting, will assume they are exempt from consequences; and so will their antitheses of vigilantes who band together to guard their stores in the absence of a defunded police.

Liberal elite whites themselves are now uneasy, since the abstract doctrines they so nihilistically advocated, from defunding the police to recalibrating looting as “redistribution,” are now becoming reified and closer to home. They see that when BLM protestors jam a restaurant to demand fealty or lecture on “white privilege” or march into a suburb to wake up the commuter to apprise him of his immorality, the racialists will not qualify their agendas with “except for woke whites.”

When tribalism is distilled to its innate and terrifying essence, there are never exemptions for individuals: you are reduced to what you appear superficially as to strangers. The white felon is no different than the white Harvard president, the black shoplifter is the same as the black physicist. We are all condensed to a sort of collective nothingness, or rather a racial “allness.”

The Self-Immolation of Pro Sports

Professional sports, once an integral part of American life, appears to be nearly in ruins. Professional baseball, basketball, and football might have survived the virus, the lockdown, and the recession—and then maybe they might not have. After all, millions of the bored more quickly than expected got acculturated to the idea of soon not listening to a boring rant from LeBron James or the sad confessionals of Drew Brees.

But what the NBA and NFL, and perhaps MLB won’t survive is cultural suicide as players fragment into causes. The NBA existed on the premise that billionaires were willing to pay multimillionaires to lose billions as a prestige lark—as a franchise became a sort of a huge, showy Louis Vuitton bag. But even billionaires have limits. Snobbery and appearing cool do not always trump losing the equivalent of a Ferrari every hour or a Gulfstream each week.

The NBA, we are told, is a woke industry.

But it’s also the strangest, most nondiverse, right-wing, money-obsessed woke institution in America. More than three-quarters of the multimillionaire players are African-American. Over 90 percent of the billionaire team owners are white.

Yet the entire industry—players, coaches, owners, staff—lecture Americans ad nauseam about their supposed sins. The monotonous sermons have become transparent medieval redemptions—given the mortal sin that the NBA sold its very soul to a racist, genocidal, and totalitarian China—to recover billions abroad for the billions lost in viewership and attendance at home.

Nondiverse multimillionaires, working for even less diverse billionaires, finger-pointing at middle-class Americans on the evils of privilege, in the pay of the Chinese Communist Party, is not a way to win back fans.

Institutional Crack-Ups

Universities are in for hard times. The federal government eventually will get out of the $1.5 trillion student loan subsidy business, and force spendthrift colleges to accept their own self-created moral hazards. Charging $30,000-40,000 for tuition over Zoom is a bad business model in a recession. And the alphabet soups after the names of professors and deans will not make a bit of difference. 

Thousands of college-educated protesters and rioters are not especially good advertisements for the building of lifelong character on woke university campuses. Once undergraduate institutions decided to make students socially conscious rather than educated, and once their graduates seem to be neither, then who really finds their mentors essential?

Our major cities, emerging from lockdown, and on the edge of nightly violence, remind us of what Procopius, the Byzantine historian, saw of Rome in AD 538, once the cultural and political megalopolis of the world: a mostly deserted shell of weeds, deserted streets, collapsed stone, choked fountains, and fortified villas where lawlessness reigned and feuding tribes were what was left of a government that once had enshrined habeas corpus. 

No city gets a pass from history, not Athens, not Rome, not Alexandria—not Detroit, Baltimore, or Chicago.

After all, there is no rule that just because Bill Gates and Amazon headquartered in Seattle that its mayor, city council, and state governor will not abandon its signature downtown. What once made Portland great can be undone in a few weeks. 

Wall Street may run the world, but it certainly does not run the New York City government. Electronic capital really does still have human legs and when the proverbial suited investor thinks he will be infected, short of toilet paper, or assaulted on the street, he leaves, taking his laptop with him. Bill de Blasio is left to govern, like a horned and bearded Visigoth, over an increasing shell of former grandeur.

To venture into San Francisco is to return in a time machine to 1855, a boomtown based on silicon chips, not gold dust, but one likewise lawless, fetid, and safe only for those with private security guards. To the casual visitor, it appears a lunatic place now recalibrated for the homeless, the looter, the assaulter—and the very rich. Crimes like public defecation and drug use, or shattering the windows of a parked car window to steal its contents are not crimes unless the targets are the well-connected.

The story of all Dark Ages is that when civilizations finally prefer suicide, they do it easily, and the remnants flock to the countryside to preserve what they can—allowing the cities to go on with their ritual self-destruction. 

So it has begun to seem this endless summer.  

Great America

Where Kyle Rittenhouse Went Wrong

We should not lift a finger on behalf of our opponents who pine to enslave us and wish to recreate the worst tyrannies mankind has ever known on our shores.

Patriots are forged during times of strife, and 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse heeded the call in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday night. He stood to defend freedom while others were cowering. He did exactly what the Founding Fathers would have done.

And for that, he is being charged with murder.

Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree murder for firing his way out of a mob attack by left-wing terrorists. He showed up from Illinois to stand for the property owners who were being besieged after sustained rioting turned humble Kenosha into a third-world nightmare. He wanted to be a Good Samaritan and was willing to put himself in harm’s way to do what was just. The video evidence makes it clear he was acting in self-defense.

The so-called victims of Rittenhouse’s gunfire are a great cross-section of Antifa’s social justice frontliners. Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, who Rittenhouse shot dead, was a convicted pedophile. Anthony Huber, 26, also shot dead by Rittenhouse, was a serial domestic abuser. The mensch of the group, 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz, had intoxication and gun charges on his record. 

For doing what a patriotic American should do in these circumstances, the media spin machine is painting Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist” without any evidence. Just the fact that he is white, was carrying an AR-15, supports the police, and is willing to exercise his God-given freedoms makes him guilty in their eyes. They want to crucify this young man for defending himself against a mob.

“The #1 terrorist threat in the USA is the right wing & white supremacist groups. Their #1 enabler & funding source is the white establishment,” Black Lives Matter activist Bree Newsome Bass tweeted.

“A 17-year-old white supremacist drove from another state with the intent to kill multiple people. Please stop justifying terrorists,” Massachusetts reporter Shakala Alvaranga wrote in a tweet.

New Yorker writer Lane Moore declared her support for white children to be stripped of their First and Second Amendment rights in another tweet: “normalize viewing white teenage boys with guns who post misogynist and white supremacist shit on social media as terrorists.”

It does not matter to the left-wing jackals that Rittenhouse made it clear in interviews before he was attacked that he was in Kenosha to help keep the peace. He looks a certain way and his skin is a certain color so he must be eviscerated. His arrest report indicated he is actually Hispanic, but that fact is no obstacle to a smear, as “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman discovered after shooting Trayvon Martin in 2012. This is how law and order works in a diverse society.

“People are getting injured. Our job is to protect this business and part of my job is to also help people,” Rittenhouse said of his volunteer group that showed up to defend law and order.

“If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I can protect myself, obviously. I also have my medkit,” he added.

From everything that is known about the kid, Rittenhouse was a model citizen. He was formerly a member of the youth police cadet program, so the leftist corporate press maligned as a young man “fixated on supporting police”—as if that’s a bad thing. Open carrying a rifle is not a crime, protesting with a firearm is not a crime, and bringing a legally-owned firearm across state lines is not a crime. 

Facts notwithstanding—many more of which will come out at trial, should the case get that far—Rittenhouse is still getting thrown in the ringer with left-wing jackals cheering on his railroading.

Let this be a lesson to those misguided libertarians and conservatives who sympathize with Black Lives Matter’s grievances with police. These people hate you. They want to strip you of your rights. They want you subjugated or dead. The nuance behind your opinion doesn’t matter to them. They might pat you on the head as you are doing their bidding, but the alliance ends there.

Rittenhouse had the best of intentions. In his youthful naiveté, he thought that the “peaceful protestors” could have their rights protected while business owners could be kept safe from the “few bad apples” causing the violence. He did not realize that the peaceful protestors are running cover for the terrorists causing destruction. This is an immutable characteristic of the movement. It’s how it was designed.

The BLM and Antifa terrorists are causing destruction and making innocent people pay because they are following the ISIS blueprint. They want the people to become so broken and so hopeless that they bow to their captors. This is why Democrats look the other way. This is not about George Floyd, Jacob Blake, or whomever the felon of the week may be. This is about domination and control—and, incidentally, stopping President Trump.

Where Rittenhouse went wrong was in having compassion for his soulless enemies. He did not have the wisdom to understand his circumstances. He still thought he was a free man in this country. 

Rittenhouse felt a common unity with his fellow Americans. He did not realize he is a subject in a globalist technocracy that has already dehumanized him and marked him for replacement. He will now learn the hard lesson of where he stands in a 6-foot-by-8-foot prison cell.

We should all of course be standing in Rittenhouse’s corner as he goes through this cruel and merciless system. We should pray that he is vindicated and found not guilty. He has already retained attorney L. Lin Wood, who helped Covington high school student Nicholas Sandmann vindicate himself. 

Rittenhouse deserves to be supported as a hero, but we should be careful not to repeat his mistakes. We should not lift a finger on behalf of our opponents, who pine to enslave us and wish to recreate the worst tyrannies mankind has ever known on our shores. We should never sympathize with these folks—to do so is to develop Stockholm Syndrome.

We should not make it easy for our enemies to target us. There are many ways for patriots to defend liberty at this moment. Hold a “Back the Blue” rally, rally to defend statues, and knock on doors for the cause. Always make sure to be surrounded by like-minded people while engaging in these endeavors. There is strength in numbers, and the left-wing mob loves an easy target. This is a protracted, intergenerational war, and patriots need to remain on the battlefield for when the fight truly escalates.

Great America

Our Smaller, Hotter World

By collapsing the volume of the human world almost to zero in the space of just a few years, we have created a dense and highly reactive state unprecedented in the history of our species.

For those of us old enough to remember life before the Internet, what’s often striking about the current era is how “twitchy” it is. In the former age of the world, news traveled far more slowly, and influences percolated only gradually through the culture. Ideas propagate by contact, and in the pre-Internet days the extra time it took for a notion to make its way around the culture had a cooling, moderating effect. By making contact easier and more immediate, technology, again and again over the centuries, has made the world a smaller and smaller place. The Internet and social media have now collapsed its size almost to zero.

For a long time now we have had a model for this sort of thing: the laws describing the behavior of gases in containers, and the differing properties of phases of matter. While no metaphor is perfect—and of course the human world is infinitely complex, and ultimately unpredictable—the behavior of simple physical systems often can provide fascinating clues to seemingly unrelated phenomena. I think that’s the case here. 

The idea is simple enough:

Imagine a gas, consisting of a certain number of particles in a closed container.  The particles are in constant motion, and they collide with each other, and with the walls of the container. The higher the temperature, the faster each particle moves—and because particles have mass and momentum, the faster they move the more energetically they collide. The pressure on the walls of the container is a function of how often the particles hit the wall, and how hard they hit it.

It’s easy to see that the more particles there are in the container, or the smaller the volume, the more often they will collide with each other, and with the container itself. Another way of looking at this is to say that the likelihood of collisions has to do with the average distance between particles, and how fast they’re moving. Shrink the container, and you shrink that average distance.

This model maps easily and naturally onto the human world. We can think of every person as a particle, and the world as the container. This gets interesting when we think about what it takes for one person to interact with another.

Human Scale

Thousands of years ago, the human world, effectively, was of infinite size. For a random person in Asia, someone in North America might just as well have been in another galaxy: the chance of a “collision” between these two “particles” was almost zero. 

Technology began to change this, though. Through sea travel, and trade, and the printed word, regions of the world that had always been isolated began, slowly, to impinge on each other. This meant that a human “particle” on one side of the world could “collide” with someone on the other. To do so, centuries ago, was still slow and expensive—and quite out of the question for most people—but it had become possible. In this way, the average distance between human “particles” began to shrink—which, in our physical model, is the same as saying the container was getting smaller. And as volume decreases, pressure and temperature go up.

There’s more to this useful model. Consider, for example, the three forms, or phases, of water: ice, liquid, and vapor. 

In its coldest, solid phase, water supports reactions poorly, and at a global level forms static “domains”: regions of local structure that may be oriented quite differently from domains elsewhere in the system, with clearly visible boundaries. (Anyone who has looked at frost on a window-pane knows what this looks like.) In a block of ice there is very little chance that molecules will interact with distant counterparts. Diffusion is so slow as to be almost nonexistent. Dissolved reagents are unlikely to react. In short, not much happens—and what does happen, happens locally.

Increase the temperature, and you get a “phase transition”: the ice melts. The domains and rigid structure vanish, and suddenly everything is in play. A drop of ink in one corner of the container will now diffuse through the entire volume of liquid—slowly if the water is cold, and more rapidly as it heats up. The water, instead of locking particles in position, becomes a solvent in which reactions happen. Because the particles are so much freer, the chances of collision are vastly increased; it’s as if the average distance between them had been vastly reduced. In such an environment, interesting things begin to happen. Complex structures form.

Raise the temperature further, and another phase change occurs: what was liquid is now gas. As the pressure and temperature go up, collisions get more frequent, and more energetic. As things get hotter and hotter, it becomes harder for stable structures to form: so constant is the impingement of other energetic particles that they are swiftly battered to pieces. This is why steam-cleaning is so effective: the solvent properties of water, and the high kinetic energy of the hot vapor, blast and disintegrate whatever they touch.

We see, then, that there is a “sweet spot” for the building-up of complex structures from chemical reactions and interactions. Ice is too cold, and too solid: nothing can move. Particles diffuse with glacial slowness, and distant particles interact rarely, or never. As far as the effective distance between individual particles is concerned, we might achieve the same effect by greatly increasing the volume of the container. A block of ice is, in effect, a big world.

From this perspective, a similar volume of cold, liquid water is a much “smaller” place. Gone are the confining crystal structure and sluggish motion of molecules locked in ice. Diffusion and reaction may be slow, but now they will happen.

Hot water is a smaller world still. Diffusion is rapid—ink dropped into a glass of hot water will very quickly spread evenly throughout the glass—and particles suspended or dissolved will soon encounter one another. Things happen fast.

If we continue to heat our volume of water, it will pass through another phase transition, and boil off into vapor. Its constituent particles have taken on so much energy, and now move so swiftly, and collide so energetically, that they can no longer maintain the cohesion and relative stability of the liquid state, and distribute themselves evenly, and chaotically, throughout the entire volume of the container.

This is a very small, and very disorderly, world. It is hard for orderly arrangements of matter to form; they’re battered to pieces as soon as they do.

Gradually, but at an accelerating pace, the human world “warmed up,” too, in much the same way—and as it did, it got smaller and smaller. After sailing vessels and the printing press came steamships, telegraphs, radio, air travel, and then a global telephone network, built first on wires, and later on satellites. The latest global innovations—the advent of the Internet, which ushered in effectively cost-free communication between any two people on Earth, and the arrival on the scene of Internet-connected cell phones in the hands of billions of people—have now, in the space of just a few years, suddenly diminished the average distance between any two people. 

For the first time in human history, every single person on Earth, in principle at least, is connected in real time to every other. Because of its scale and its swiftness, this revolution in communications has been a historically disruptive transformation, with effects we have not yet begun to grasp. The size of the human world has collapsed almost to zero.

Likewise, we can see parallels with the human world in the domains formed by ice crystals because it is in the nature of human societies, too, to “crystallize” in different ways. 

One example is language. All normal humans are born with the capacity to create, learn, and use language, and we have learned that the structures these languages can take is not infinitely variable, but is constrained by certain grammatical patterns. Within these constraints, though, there is no intrinsic bias toward any “orientation.” As humans dispersed and differentiated around the world, coherent “domains”—regions of shared culture, language, religion, etc.—began to form. In a large, cool world, where communication and transportation were slow and costly, and diffusion between widely separated regions was difficult, these domains persisted, often for a very long time. 

As the world grew smaller and hotter, though, collisions and diffusion increased—and many of these previously stable structures began to dissolve. For example, languages long spoken by well-insulated ethnic groups around the world are now winking out of existence at an accelerating pace, battered into extinction by collision with regions of higher “temperature.”

These, then, are the characteristic changes that occur in a system as it gets smaller, hotter, and more crowded: collisions occur more often, reaction and diffusion proceed more rapidly, and domain boundaries melt.

The History of Shrinking

With this in mind, as we look at the history of the world we see the same changes—from colder to hotter, larger to smaller, “ice” to “water” to “steam”—occurring in nearly every aspect of human affairs. (Steam is not, technically, the same thing as water vapor, but the word feels apt here.)

Look at money: in a cold, “ice” world, economic transactions are almost exclusively local, and involve the direct exchange of physical goods, such as livestock, tools, jewels, weapons, and furs. In a warmer, more liquid world, where value diffuses across broader areas, we begin to see lightweight tokens of no intrinsic value—currency and instruments of credit—that are far more easily moved from point to point than the hard goods they can purchase. In a “hot water” world, these in turn give way to completely massless instruments: electronic transactions that can travel around the world in an eye-blink.

Look at business: the first billion-dollar company, United States Steel, grew slowly, over a span of decades. It deals in a commodity that, by its nature, is heavy, local, and slow. To consume what USS produces takes time, physical transportation, and physical storage.

For contrast, consider Facebook, which made a billionaire out of its founder in a day. Their product is pure information: massless and instantly available from anywhere on earth.

Human societies have seen the biggest changes of all. In the vast “ice” world covering most of human history, societies were mostly local social structures, with relatively stable demographics, in which external interaction was limited to physically adjacent groups.

Advances in transportation made the world smaller and warmer. Trade and political influence began to diffuse across domain boundaries. In this more reactive environment, larger and more complex social structures—nations, empires—began to form.

In today’s small, “hot water” world, movement, collision, structure, and reaction are everywhere. We have globally connected markets and economies, and worldwide diffusion of populations. Formerly stable, ethnically and culturally defined nations deliquesce as domain boundaries melt away, replaced by global trait-group associations like corporations, transnational elites, and scientific and artistic communities. 

National identities based on shared ethnicity, culture, and history have begun to disintegrate, replaced by abstract structures with less binding power than ancient human instincts of association, with the result that social cohesion has begun to crumble throughout the developed world. As the energy and frequency of collisions increase, ethnicities and cultures are no longer able to buffer and isolate themselves against continuous impingement.

Temperature=Attention

As we consider the idea of a “hotter” world, some of you may at this point be wondering what just what it is we mean, in this model, by “temperature.” What corresponds to the energy of a “particle” in our new human world? Perhaps the best candidate is what energizes a node in the social network: attention. Attention is a precious commodity, and it is highly fungible. Advertising, for example, monetizes attention, and the metric used by online advertisers gives us what we’re looking for: the energization of a node on the network corresponds to the number of other nodes that link to it. Bringing a particular node into the glare of public attention can heat it up very rapidly, these days—and just as with a hot object, that energy diffuses into the human “particles” around it. This corresponds surprisingly well with physical temperature. 

As the temperature and pressure continue to rise, then, it seems likely that there will be increasing chaos in the human world, as systems and structures designed for a larger, cooler, slower world can no longer keep up with the pace of change. In universities, students in technical fields find that much of what they’ve been taught is out of date even before they graduate. Governments struggle to control and regulate technology that is already obsolete by the time new laws come into effect. 

In short, the smaller and hotter the world is—in other words, the more likely it becomes that any two “particles” will impinge on each other in a given time, and the more energetically they do so—the more volatile, reactive, unstable, and “twitchy” it becomes. And as the rate of change itself increases, it becomes more and more difficult for systems and institutions that operate at an inherently limited pace—the cumbersome legislative processes of large democracies, for example—to respond effectively to innovations and crises.

Controlling What is Seen

At the same time, however, the vanishing distance between any two points in the world-network makes it possible for governments to monitor people and events, and to exert sovereign power, with an immediacy and granularity that is without historical precedent. The more a government can see, the more it wants to control, and modern governments are able to supervise their subjects far more closely, and extend their power over them far more directly and individually, than any absolute despot could have done a hundred years ago. Our smaller world may well provide increasingly fertile ground for technological tyrannies of the sort foreseen by George Orwell (although access to advanced communication networks may also make it easier to organize an effective resistance).

As we move away, then, from the cooler, larger “ice” world toward a smaller, hotter one, we see governments expanding and centralizing power, due to the exponentially increasing coverage and immediacy of all forms of monitoring and communication. As this happens, the scale and scope of government, and the depth and breadth of the administrative and legislative tasks that government must perform, grow rapidly as well. But the capacity of a finite number of human legislators, administrators, and civil servants to operate this expanding hierarchical apparatus, across all its parts in real time, does not “scale up” at the same rate, and so the ability of these increasingly vast hierarchies to respond flexibly and effectively to accelerating change—that is, the increasing battering of energetic collisions from every direction—falls farther and farther behind.

Something, sooner or later, has to give. What might happen?

Looking Ahead

One possibility is that our large-scale structures of social organization and control may simply collapse under the rising heat and pressure. Already we see signs of increasing tension and strain in both the United States and the European Union; this may lead to peaceful disaggregation, or something far less agreeable. The large nation-states of the early 21st century might not be sustainable much longer, except under increasingly totalitarian control.

Another possibility is a functional disaggregation, a reversal of the centralizing tendency of the last century or so. In such a scenario, administration of local affairs would be redistributed to local governments, and the responsibilities of the central authority would be pared down once more to only those organizational tasks that are necessary for the integration of the parts: primarily the maintenance of communication and transportation infrastructure, regulation of currency and interstate commerce, and the management of external relations and the common defense. The reallocation of other governmental functions to smaller, more flexible, and loosely coupled local structures would make the higher-level organization far less brittle.

A third possibility is a wholesale reaction against the technology itself—something like the “Butlerian Jihad” described by Frank Herbert in his classic fantasy novel Dune. This seems unlikely: people seldom give up technology on which they have grown dependent. Invention is the mother of necessity.

What will mankind’s next “phase transition” look like? We really have no idea—and if history is any guide, what will come of all this will most likely be something that we haven’t yet imagined. By collapsing the volume of the human world almost to zero in the space of just a few years, we have created a dense and highly reactive state unprecedented in the history of our species. 

A final thought: in many ways, what we are bringing into being today is not unlike the “critical mass” that we achieved at Los Alamos 75 years ago. Make of that what you will.

Great America

Stay Out of Kenosha

Young patriot, don’t go to Kenosha, or Seattle, or Portland. Blue state governors, blue county prosecutors, and blue city mayors don’t want your “help” against the mobs they have made possible.

Late Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old boy from Antioch, Illinois, shot and killed two Antifa thugs and wounded a third. Even if, as the video circulating seems to show, Rittenhouse was acting in the heat of the moment in lawful self-defense, and even if he is successful in making that defense in the courts, that does not change a basic fact: Rittenhouse should not have been in Kenosha.

A “good guy with a gun” is useful in self-defense—yet Rittenhouse wasn’t engaged in self-defense, he went from Illinois to Wisconsin as an armed counterprotester to the Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters.

A good guy with a gun can be useful in the militia, yet the militia serves at the call of and is subordinate to the relevant authorities. The Wisconsin authorities did not call for Rittenhouse’s assistance, nor did the Illinois state government send him to Wisconsin—at 17, Rittenhouse is a year too young to serve by the statutory definition of the Illinois militia

As elsewhere, the riots in Kenosha happened in part because Tony Evers, the Democratic governor of Wisconsin, took the side of the rioters against the police in the shooting of Jacob Blake, a convicted criminal shot seven times in the back by police while fleeing arrest and possibly armed. Evers at first refused federal assistance in restoring law and order to Kenosha, but has now backtracked and agreed to welcome the help he should never have refused. 

But Evers did not call for assistance from Rittenhouse, and the sheriff in Kenosha refused the offer of the armed counterprotesters to serve as his deputies.

Finally, a good guy with a gun can be useful as a rebel. Seventeen was old enough to fight and die at Bunker Hill or Camden. Where Democratic governors, mayors, and prosecutors turn a blind eye to riots and looting, government has failed to secure citizens in their natural and civil rights. A prolonged train of such wilful failure might very well justify another American “revolution in favor of government.” Such a revolution, like the revolution of 1776, will attract the young, the committed, and the bored.

Yet Rittenhouse didn’t go to Wisconsin to fight the Wisconsin authorities, he went there to demonstrate his support for them—support they neither asked for nor welcomed.

So young patriot, don’t go to Kenosha. Don’t go to Seattle, or Portland, or New York City. Those blue state governors, blue county sheriffs and prosecutors, and blue city mayors don’t want your “help” against the mobs they have cheered on and facilitated. When government wants to govern, and needs your help to govern, the government will let you know. 

If, as heaven forfend, your older and presumably wiser neighbors decide that they have had enough failed government and decide that order must be refounded through arms, you will hear the call.

Until then, keep your powder dry, your sights aligned, and read Johnny Tremain. In the more spirited year of 1944, that novel of the American Revolution in Boston won a Newbery Medal for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,” for the teachers, fathers, and mothers of that greater generation understood that political violence was the proper and practical study of the young. 

Civil war, Johnny Tremain will show you, is a complicated and ugly enough business that you can wait to be asked to fight—the call will come in good time, and always too soon for your mother.

Great America

The Left Stands Athwart the Tide of History, Yelling ‘Cancel!’

Despite this trying, passing moment, heed the sweeping tide of history and take heart: the future is freedom.

In the middle of the 20th century as traditional liberalism neared its zenith with President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” William F. Buckley said, “a conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling ‘Stop,’ at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”

Today, history’s tide has turned. Clinging to a destructive 19th-century collectivist ideology of envy and misery—the Left cannot or will not accept it. This is an ironic dilemma for those on the Left who once thought the triumph of socialism was “scientific.” 

Their solution? The Left now stands athwart history, yelling “cancel!” 

Moreover, because those who will cancel your history will cancel your liberty, the Left is coercing and punishing those who refuse to abet their efforts. But as their socialist ideology has done time and again, the Left will fail.

We’re living in the midst of a communications revolution. From the palms of our hands or on our desktops, human beings are able to make our own decisions and express our views to extents undreamt in human history. Every second of every minute of every day, people are creating, expressing, scheduling, purchasing, and every other imaginable form of intra- and interpersonal activity in cyberspace. In sum, people exercise their exponentially increasing power to control their own destinies and pursue their own happiness.   

Yet, the communications revolution has experienced an odd outcome. A solid majority of Americans believe that government is broken and must be fixed; and solid majorities of conservatives, independents, and liberals hold views they are afraid to express publicly. Consequently, at this historical moment when exponential increases in personal empowerment should be a cause for universal celebration, who is trying to control and silence the majority of Americans?

It is the Left that wants government to control your decisions by making them for you—your pursuit of happiness be damned. It is the Left that wants to tell you what you can and cannot say—the First Amendment be damned. In short, the Left wants to damn the tide of history.

But the tide of history will damn the Left.

Given the Left’s cultural echo chamber, it may appear as if history can be told. The wannabe totalitarian Left has spent decades insidiously infiltrating the cultural levers of power. While their elected power varies by election, what has only increased is the Left’s hold on relatively unaccountable positions within the government’s bureaucracy, media, academia, and corporate suites. This “long march through the institutions” has given the Left an enormously disproportionate power to demand and coerce history’s cessation.

Enthralled with their half-assed secular religion, which in reality constitutes a bargain bin mishmash of lowbrow Marxist cant like intersectionality and its identity politics, leftists are foisting cancel culture, government-mandated indoctrination and reeducation sessions, among other coercive measures aimed at controlling the actions and the thoughts of Americans. This mirrors evil regimes such as communist China, North Korea, and barbarous Iran that are doing their level worst to curtail and reverse the current revolution in human personal empowerment.

But it is this very need to coerce Americans that reveals the futility of the Left’s attempts to reverse the tide of history. The diurnal empowerment of people cannot and will not be stopped. With every stroke of a key, human agency is reinforced; people increasingly are free; and the Left and their global comrades are a day closer to eradication. Despite this trying, passing moment, heed the sweeping tide of history and take heart: the future is freedom.

Thus, while the Left stands athwart history, yelling “cancel!” rest assured. It is the Left that is going to fall on its ass in the ashcan of history.  

Great America

When Will It End?

How long will we have to ask these questions before someone gives us some answers?

Masks don’t work according to the CDC, yet the agency recommends the public wear them anyway. If they don’t work, why are we wearing them? Why do some states have emergency orders from their governors to require wearing masks? Why does Joe Biden want a national mask mandate? Is it really just about this virus or is it something else?

Why are we willingly complying with these orders if masks don’t work? If they do work, why are many businesses mandated by emergency orders to stay shut down?

What if we must live with this virus forever and get used to it being here? Are we going to allow them to mask us forever? Are we finished going to concerts, bars, churches, festivals, and football games? Is this what you want for yourself and your family?What if these orders that suspend the United States Constitution don’t end because the virus doesn’t end? What if some people in power get used to having this kind of control on all our lives and begin to feel and enjoy the power they have? What if our trust in these state and local governments is misplaced? What if they really don’t have a good plan, other than shutting down small businesses while keeping giant corporations alive and prosperous?

What if schools are made to shut down for years to come every time one kid or teacher tests positive, whether or not they actually have any symptoms of this disease? Why are we not allowing our children to go back to regular school life, if their risk of death from COVID-19 is so low? What lasting damage is this having on our children? What about the children who don’t have the means to be taught effectively at home? Why would we allow our children to fall further behind in learning with each passing day? What about the children with special needs whose parents don’t have the necessary skills to teach them?

Why are we not allowing churches to open to their congregations, but somehow the same amount of people milling around each other at the grocery store each day is perfectly fine? Why are we allowed to feed our fat bodies at Walmart but not feed our starving souls at church? Why is our freedom of assembly being taken away in one place but overlooked in others? What lasting damage is this having on our spiritual lives?

Why are we testing people without symptoms when asymptomatic people are far less likely to transmit the disease? Why are we counting multiple positive tests for one person asif they were multiple people who had tested positive? Is there a reason asymptomatic positives are counted at all? Are we subtracting the number of false positives from the overall numbers? Shouldn’t we narrow our focus to symptomatic cases, hospitalizations, and deaths?

What is the endgame here? Will the mask mandate mysteriously go away the day after the presidential election, or will Democratic mayors and governors around the country continue their unconstitutional lockdowns, quarantines of people with no symptoms, and mask mandates when Donald Trump gets reelected? 

How long will we have to ask these questions before someone gives us some answers?

Great America • Online Censorship

The Power of Big Tech Is Greater Than Ever

The culture that we’re being steered into has no sense of humor. No ability to laugh at itself.

Earlier this month Twitter engaged in something that has become all too common among the online communications giants: they banned more conservative content from their platform. This time, their targets were conservative humorists.

Two of the banned accounts, Titania McGrath and the Babylon Bee, offer some of the most hilarious satire to be found anywhere. And as with any great satire, sometimes at first glance, the uninitiated will not even realize it’s a joke.

After a few days, Twitter reinstated both of these accounts, but another target of the ban, the satirist Jarvis Dupont, remains inaccessible. Dupont’s musings can still be found at Spectator USA, but because the focus of his ridicule is trans ideology—which constitutes the uttermost pinnacle of intersectional sanctity—he likely will never be seen on Twitter again.

It is difficult to overstate the global power of these companies. Not quite two years ago, an article titled (all too accurately) “How Big Tech Will Swing the Midterms, Then Take Over the World” included a financial snapshot of the seven biggest high tech and social media companies in the world. That graphic is reproduced below. 

These are companies of almost unimaginable financial power. Twitter, by far the smallest kid on the block in terms of market value, was nonetheless sitting on nearly $6 billion dollars in cash in late 2018. That’s cold, hard, cash sitting in the company’s checking account.

Together, these seven companies, which collectively exercise almost absolute control over which information reaches the vast majority of Americans, had $386 billion in cash in late 2018, and a combined market value of $4.4 trillion. For those who haven’t thought this through, a trillion is equal to one thousand billion, or one million million. And that was then.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the shutdown of small businesses across America, many of them gone for good. It also empowered the further consolidation of the U.S. economy in the hands of multinational corporations. But among those behemoths, few have done as well as Big Tech. 

With outdoor activities sharply reduced and shops closed, screen shopping and screen entertainment fills the void. The total market value of these seven companies is at an all-time high; all of them have nearly doubled since October 2018. Combined, they are now worth $7.6 trillion, up 71 percent from less than two years ago.

As for their cash positions, these seven companies now have just shy of a half-trillion dollars to deploy, anywhere, anytime. Twitter, still the small fry among these titans, now has nearly $8 billion in cash. Here is a financial snapshot of these same companies today:

Companies this big have the power of nation-states. Of the five companies on earth that have market values of $1 trillion or more, four of them are Big Tech companies. The only other company in the world that’s worth over $1 trillion is Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. 

In comparison to national GDP, the market value of these seven Big Tech companies, $7.6 trillion, puts them in third place, behind the United States and China. Even when making the more apt comparison of the combined sales of these seven companies, $1 trillion, to national GDP, they come in at No. 17 in the world, right behind Indonesia ($1.1 trillion) and ahead of the Netherlands ($0.9 trillion).

Financial Power Is Only Part of Big Tech’s Power

It’s important to describe just how wealthy a handful of companies, controlled by a few dozen people living on America’s West Coast, have become. It’s far greater than many people might casually assume. These are companies that are financially powerful enough to buy small nations. They are powerful enough to invest in almost any market sector on earth and dominate it. They are powerful enough to absorb or crush any emerging competitor, any time—and they do. 

But that’s only half the story.

What Big Tech does with their money and technology is far more significant than the mere fact of their immense wealth. For all practical purposes, these companies exercise monopolistic control over how we access information and communicate

In an earlier article on Big Tech, the way these companies accomplish this is covered in some detail. They are rewriting history, redefining language, arbitrating international borders, and manipulating how we perceive physical geography. They are managing the information to which we are exposed, or not exposed, as well as controlling the underlying messages in news reports. And of course, they are using this power to influence elections.

To expose the grip Big Tech wields on how we communicate and access information, however, is still only to reveal a fraction of their power. A troubling video released on August 15 by online journalist Millie Weaver called “Shadowgate” alleges that government-directed and funded private contractors are using radical new technologies to manipulate public opinion and retool law enforcement. Weaver’s video only lasted a few days on Facebook and YouTube, but can still be found on BitChute.

As an aside, it is perhaps futile, yet pertinent, to ask exactly how YouTube justified the Shadowgate video being “removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech,” or, why Millie Weaver was arrested a few days before she released her video.

To discuss all of the allegations included in the Shadowgate video would require a lengthy report. And the question of how interlinked the Big Tech giants are with these private contractors was not answered. Clearly the technologies being employed to microtarget individual American citizens with so-called “internet influence operations,” as well as the desire to see Donald Trump replaced by Joe Biden in January 2021, are shared by these contractors and Big Tech. But to what extent are they working together?

The whistleblowers interviewed in the Shadowgate video—who do not enjoy whistleblower protection because they worked for private contractors, not the government—explained how it is now possible, using existing online surveillance assets and AI programs, for private contractors to “get inside their minds, know what makes them angry, happy, get into their world, know everything about them, their friends, their secrets, their injuries, use their fears, their anxieties to control their behavior”—for every individual person in America.

Where mental manipulation fails, there is law enforcement. In this realm as well, Big Tech is ushering in a paradigm-shifting revolution. In the Shadowgate video, the people interviewed allege that the anti-racist “defund the police” movement, as well as the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and even provisions of the “Green New Deal,” are all being used to facilitate this paradigm shift.

As they put it: 

AI and robotics for law enforcement are already here. There is an international push for autonomous law enforcement to remove the human factor. The objective is full integration of all data including the internet of things, autonomous patrol robots, autonomous drones, computer vision software, tracking and tracking systems, nanotech vaccines, contact tracing apps, predictive modeling for social distancing, and forecasting tools such as systems and methods for electronically monitoring everyone to determine potential risk.

An ominous corollary to this is the medicalization of all three of the facilitating initiatives being pushed by Big Tech and the state establishment. Along with COVID-19, “systemic racism” and “climate change” now increasingly are being touted as medical emergencies. Housing and homelessness are now “public health issues.” And as the COVID-19 pandemic has made all too clear, medical emergencies supersede the Bill of Rights as well as property rights. These emergency declarations could begin the day Joe Biden takes office, and it’s awful hard not to conclude that is the reason that Big Tech and the state establishment are doing everything they can to make certain Joe Biden becomes the next president of the United States.

Against this backdrop, it is almost a sideshow that Big Tech is canceling anyone and anything online that contradicts their preferred narrative and political agenda. 

Online censorship violates everything Americans traditionally have believed. It is a fundamental threat to freedom of speech—a right that Americans used to take for granted. But it is nonetheless only a part of something much bigger. Big Tech is using its considerable power to restructure American society in what may well be a fatal erosion of all the freedoms Americans have taken for granted.

In that context, the fact that Twitter banned three conservative satirists, and then allowed two of them back (gee, thanks), is relatively insignificant. But it does indicate something more about where we’re headed, thanks to Big Tech and the establishment state. The culture that we’re being steered into has no sense of humor. No ability to laugh at itself. There are few signs of tyranny more obvious than the failure to appreciate a clever joke, especially one that mocks the dominant culture.

So go tell a trans joke, if you dare. But watch out. It may be your last public utterance.

Great America

How To Think About Conservatism Post-Trump

Whether Trump wins or loses this November, American conservatism faces a crossroads.

With this week’s Republican National Convention and the formal coronation of Donald Trump as the party’s 2020 presidential nominee, many have seized the moment to speculate about the political future of the Republican Party—and, by extension, the intellectual and pragmatic future of American conservatism itself.

The 2016 romp of Trump, the reality TV star-turned-commander in chief, upended decades of outmoded GOP orthodoxies and ushered in a seismic shift in American politics. Throughout the Cold War, and even in the two-and-a-half decades between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Trump’s infamous campaign-launching 2015 golden escalator descent, conservatism in America had assumed a credal, almost cultish tenor. What emerged as an instrumentality to retain a viable political coalition and counter the Soviet foe—”fusionism,” in the parlance of National Review, which morphed into Ronald Reagan’s “three-legged stool” platform—had, by at least the time of the lackluster 2012 Romney-Ryan presidential ticket, decayed into a hodgepodge of some claimed political truths with warmed-over policy nostrums befitting the idiosyncratic problems of three decades prior.

Worse, by 2012, it had become clear that the gap between what Republican voters in flyover country wanted and what bicoastal Republican elites in the political and donor classes deigned to offer their subjects was positively yawning. The median Republican voter wanted law and order secured, religion protected and promoted, immigration levels reduced, a more restrained (if, paradoxically, still forceful) foreign policy, and an unabashed defense of the greatness of the American regime and the American way of life. The median Republican congressman or senator, by contrast, whispered, in a hushed voice, conservative pieties to credulous voters while duping those very voters behind their backs with a neoliberal agenda, in thrall to Wall Street and Silicon Valley, that secured mass benefits for some at the expense of many.

The Trump phenomenon exposed this long-simmering dissension for the whole world to see. The old, washed-up hands of Conservatism Inc. expressed either bemusement or outright disdain. But the Trump revolt, especially viewed in tandem with its 2016 cousin, Brexit, is no passing phenomenon. The astonishing nightly ratings of Fox News host Tucker Carlson help demonstrate that, contra the old guard’s wistful pining, there will be no putting this nationalist, populist genie back into the bottle.

Many on both the Left and Right speculate whether the “Trump effect” might be dismissed as a one-off electoral fluke attributable to the president’s universal name-brand recognition and overwhelming personality. But decades of opinion polling belie this conceit. The reality is that there are more voters concerned with the core tenets of cultural Americanism—secure the border, limit immigration to promote assimilation, fight multiculturalism, support law and order, promote religion, and orient economic and foreign policy around a narrowly tailored conception of the American national interest—than there are voters wedded to the lofty precepts of Lockean classical liberalism. Reagan himself may have once asserted that “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” but on this, the Gipper was wrong.

A conservatism that steadfastly refuses to grapple with changing circumstances, preferring instead to wax poetic from the stale hymnal of yore, is not conservatism at all. There is no epistemological humility—the cornerstone of Burkean conservatism—in consigning oneself to the ruinous confines of a performative perennial political minority. Humility comes instead from a willingness to reassess a moment in history and rethink the proper means to meet the timeless ends of politics—justice, human flourishing, individual liberty and the good life. There is no virtue, nor any moral high ground, in stubbornly refusing to change one’s ways.

Fortunately, though Trump was a crass wrecking ball to the old paradigm, many on the American right are now constructively engaged in helping to shape the future of our movement. That future will meet conservative voters as they are—rather than as elites would prefer they be. It will be more avowedly nationalist and worker-friendly and less tied to laissez-faire absolutism, in matters of economics. It will vehemently resist the siren song of liberal internationalism, preferring instead a foreign policy rooted in disparate alliances that, assessed independently, redound to the national interest. Above all else, it will be ordered toward the elevation of the inherent dignity of the American citizen and the robust defense of the American way of life.

Whether Trump wins or loses this November, American conservatism faces a crossroads. But there is only one proper path: that which recognizes the stakes of our roiling cold civil war and is unafraid to wield the levers of state power to promote good political order and subdue the civilizational arsonists who would burn down our nation. The fight will only get uglier in coming months, but thankfully, the path forward is clear.

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