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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hill Transgender

The Democrats have chosen their hill to die on in the cultural war:
This week, Democrats unveiled an agenda for the midterms that carefully avoided any mention of the issues that had led to accusations they'd been playing "identity politics" in recent elections. Their message, party leaders said, would be all economics, all the time.

But President Donald Trump is -- and has always been -- a culture warrior. And he made an aggressive move to elevate those issues to the political forefront Wednesday by announcing via Twitter that he is banning transgender Americans from serving in the military.

It is reminiscent of George W. Bush political adviser Karl Rove's efforts to push a same-sex marriage ban in 2004. Gregory T. Angelo, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said Trump's move "smacks of politics, pure and simple."

This time, though, top Democrats say they don't fear that a political debate over transgender rights will damage them in the Rust Belt. And some Democratic senators running for re-election in red states were sharply critical of Trump's move.

"Democrats need to show -- and can show -- that they can simultaneously fight for a society that is both more fair and more prosperous -- and drive home the fact that Trump is delivering neither," long-time Democratic strategist Ron Klain said in an email.
Yeah, so good luck with that. If the God-Emperor will merely follow through on BUILDING THE WALL, he will secure re-election in 2020. Of course, his bigger challenge is not the Democrats, but the cucky, inept House and Senate Republicans.

The uselessness of conservatism has never been more clear than seeing these hapless posers suddenly rendered impotent by power. On tonight's Darkstream, I talked about how the cucks are now Trump's primary obstacle.

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A failure of SJW

In an announcement that will surprise precisely no one in the Alt-Tech movement, Twitter has ceased to expand its user base:
Twitter shares tumble as it reveals it has added NO new users in the past three months. Twitter had 328 million average monthly active users (MAU) in the three months through June 30, unchanged from the previous quarter.  Analysts were expecting 328.8 million, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. Shares had run up some 40 percent since mid-April as Twitter investors bet on another quarter of growth after the microblogging service reported adding 9 million more monthly active users than expected in the first quarter.
Apparently the SJW-run Trust & Safety Council is engendering neither. And I note that 800,000 is pretty close to the number of people who are now on Gab. Apparently Alt-Tech can have an impact on the social media giants even before they launch serious bids to replace them.


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Why Trump is unhappy with Sessions

Andrew Napolitano explains that the former Senator is essentially too much of a pussy senatorially collegial to take on the swamp:
During the past two weeks, President Donald Trump has made no secret of his unhappiness at the management of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Actually, Trump seems most agitated at the growing parts of the DOJ that are not under Sessions’ management.

He is also angry that the trail of the well-known evidence of the crimes of his former opponent Hillary Clinton seems to have been vacated by the DOJ.

How is it that parts of the DOJ cannot be controlled by the attorney general, whom Trump appointed to run the DOJ? And with a mountain of evidence of Clinton’s espionage — her failure to safeguard state secrets, crimes far more treacherous than those alleged against Trump’s campaign — why has she not been prosecuted?
It doesn't help that Sessions is also wandering around looking like a senile old dinosaur babbling about the drug war when literally no one gives a damn about outlawing drugs anymore, in part because pot is increasingly legal and half the millennials have been on speed or psychotropics all their lives.

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Tribalism and the Alt-Right

The Men of the West explain why the current historical trends are making the Alt-Right inevitable:
Imagine you lived your whole life in a quiet suburb that was just far enough away from the metro area where no one bothered you. It’s full of upper middle class homes, very low crime rate and you’re generally afforded a peaceful life. You don’t notice at first, but soon your way of life is getting chipped away at. The people from neighboring towns, whom you have no quarrel with and have rarely interacted with start trash talking your town. Sure, you can ignore it. Maybe it’s just petty jealousy and there is no advantage for you to get involved at all; let them say what they want.

As time goes on, the anger from the towns around you grows, the rhetoric gets dialed up and soon you’re being painted as evil just for living in your town. People from the other towns start coming through your town, holding demonstrations and demanding that you apologize for being a resident of that town and demanding that you give in to other demands from the towns around you. They demand payouts from businesses who face boycotts if they don’t relent. You find that you’re just not as comfortable being out in public anymore because your quiet life has been disturbed. Even so, you tell yourself that if you keep your head down, this will all blow over because there’s nothing to it and you’re not one of the bad guys. You’re not even sure who the bad guys are really supposed to be.

You’ve never had a reason to look down on the people from the towns around you. You’ve been more than content to let them leads the lives they see as most beneficial to them and you pay them no mind at all. You have no hatred or resentment, nor feelings or superiority either. But now you’re being pushed. Your’e being encroached on. Your way of life is threatened by people that have no business telling you how to live your life, but they’re doing it anyway. They’ve painted you as a hater, a terrorist, and any other negative label they can pin on you. They get control of the media. They shame people relentlessly for not conforming to their way of doing things. At what point do you get fed up and start fighting back?

Welcome to identity politics in America.
You can't escape identity politics because you don't approve of them any more than you can escape crime or war. It's not an option. Once they are upon you, you must accept the new situation and revise your thinking accordingly.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

All Americans are now antisemites



Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
It seems #AIPAC has forgotten with whom they are dealing. Americans will not give up their First Amendment for Israel's sake.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
I mean, since Israel is America's only ally in the ME, why would anyone want to boycott them in the first place?

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
That's irrelevant. Obviously some Americans do. And that is absolutely their First Amendment right.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
Boycotting Israel stems from deep-seated anti-Semitism, and therefore is religious discrimination. Would rather have terrorism over not being able to boycott an allied country. That makes sense.

Supreme Dark Lord @voxday
We don't give a damn. Try to fuck with the First Amendment and you go right to #1 on the enemy's list.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
You sound ridiculous, wanting terrorism over the ability to boycott an ally. Just don't buy our stuff if you don't like us, no need4 boycott

Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
We don't give a damn what you think. Americans killed their British brethren for those rights. Americans will kill Jews for them if need be.

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein
This is the anti-Semitism we deal with on a daily basis. It really is so disheartening

Isaac Hebestein, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at Academy for Jewish Religion and Adjunct Assistant Professor at HUC-JIR, New York, New York.


It's rather astonishing, actually, to observe how many Diasporans clearly have no understanding whatsoever of Americans or how Americans will react to this proposed law. I knew Jews are not Americans, of course, by definition, but I didn't understand how utterly foreign the American perspective is to many of them until now. The following was the truly funny part of the exchange. Mr. Hebestein clearly didn't understand why some Americans are very much supportive of the idea of an AIPAC-endorsed federal law against the criticism and boycotting of Israel.

Supreme Dark Lord @voxday
We don't give a damn. Try to fuck with the First Amendment and you go right to #1 on the enemy's list.

Zorost_Risen @JoeWatson1414
You convinced me, I now support a law against BDS

Isaac Hebestein‏ @isaachebestein<
With civil discourse, even the most defiant can be won over. Fight the good fight. Shalom.

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Kid Rock for U.S. Senate


Rockstar Kid Rock set off a political firestorm after teasing his Twitter followers about a potential Senate run in Michigan. News broke this weekend that Kid Rock is LEADING challenger, Dem Debbie Stabenow in a new poll 30% to 26%!

There is absolutely no question that Kid Rock would be vastly preferable Senator for the State of Michigan than anyone the Democratic Party or the Republican Party will put forward. Before we worry about ideology, cultural remoralization, or anything else, America must survive. And Kid Rock is nothing if not America First.

This is Generation X politics. This is 4G politics.

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College graduates are stupid

It's not your imagination. The Audacious Epigone explains:
The mean IQ scores, converted from GSS wordsum results, assuming a national average of 98 and a standard deviation of 15, of those who attended college for at least four years by the decade they graduated in* (n = 5,124, though n for 2010s is only 49 and should be seen as merely suggestive--the trend is clear regardless):

Graduated IQ
1960s 112.3
1970s 109.1
1980s 106.0
1990s 103.9
2000s 102.9
2010s 100.0

The change in the intelligence of the average college graduate over the last fifty years approaches the IQ gap separating whites and blacks.
College for everyone has been an unmitigated intellectual, academic, cultural, and economic disaster.

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LawDog is now in paperback!

The hilarious #1 Humor bestseller is now in paperback!

From the reviews:
  • Truly side-splitting! Both touching and hilarious, a glimpse into a world seldom seen by those not in law enforcement.
  • If you want to laugh so hard you fall out of your recliner and blind yourself with tears of laughter, this is the collection of tales for you. Sorta the opposite of pc. If you have worked in or around law enforcement, this might remind you of personal experiences, just written down with great verve and descriptions.
  • Hilarious -- as always! The LawDog has been one of my favorite bloggers for years. His voice is distinctive and perpetually entertaining. Run, do not walk, to plunk your money down for this collection; I promise you'll be laughing your head off.
  • Larry Correia led me to this gem. If you are at all a fan of short stories, told in a self-deprecating humourous way, get this now, and make everyone else wonder what you are laughing at. "Work for it fat man!"
  • Great stories written in a fun and thoughtful manner. Entertaining insight into the people and culture of the small communities which make up the backbone of America.

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!

LawDog had the honor of representing law and order in the Texas town of Bugscuffle as a Sheriff's Deputy, where he became notorious for, among other things, the famous Case of the Pink Gorilla Suit. But long before he put on the deputy's star, he grew up in Nigeria, where his experiences were equally unforgettable, and in most cases, every bit as funny. In THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES, LawDog chronicles his encounters with everything from bush pilots, 15-foot pythons, pygmy mongooses, Brigadier-Captain Azikiwe, and Peace Corp hippies to the Nigerian space program.

THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES are every bit as funny as the previous volume, as LawDog relates his unforgettable experiences in a laconic, self-deprecating manner that is funny in its own right. Africa wins again, and again, and again, but, so too does the reader in this sobering, but hilarious collection of true tales from the Dark Continent.

Now available for preorder.

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The DNC-Pakistan connection

While NeverTrump and the media is still muttering RUSSIA-RUSSIA-RUSSIA like a crazed homeless man, the FBI is actively investigating the DNC-Pakistan connection:
FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back, an individual whom FBI investigators interviewed in the case told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

An additional source in Congress with direct knowledge of the case, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, confirmed that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had access to the emails and files of the more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part-time basis.

Capitol Police have also seized computer equipment tied to the Florida lawmaker....

Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, his two brothers and two of their wives — plus Abbas and another friend — began appearing as IT staffers on the payrolls of other House Democrats. Collectively, the Awan group has been paid $4 million since 2009.

Fellow IT staffers TheDCNF interviewed said the Awans were often absent from weekly meetings and email exchanges. One of the fellow staffers said some of the computers the Awans managed were being used to transfer data to an off-site server.
One of the many, many reasons you don't want to hire Indian or Pakistani IT guys. They can't even manage to correctly wipe their hard drives when desperately needed to do so.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Which is the true text order?

Here is an apt demonstration of what I meant when I said that postmodern literature is bad writing. Not only is it bad writing, but it isn't even meant to be properly read at all, only skimmed for the surface impressions made by the words. In fact, it's not even necessary for the words to be in any particular order from paragraph to paragraph.

The following three passages are the same string of words taken from the 1985 National Book Award winner. I divided the original passage into 15 strings based on the punctuation and randomized it twice. Now, without looking anything up on the Internet, see if you can tell which passage is in the correct order, Number 1, 2, or 3.
  1. We simply walk toward the sliding doors ... This is not Tibet ... sealed off ... timeless. Code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering ... Another reason why I think of Tibet. Dying is an art in Tibet ... Energy waves, incident radiation ... Look how well-lighted everything is ... Not that we would want to ... Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations. Here we don't die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think. Everything is concealed in symbolism... This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die ... Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. We don't have to cling to life artificially, or to death ...
  2. Everything is concealed in symbolism ... The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. Energy waves, incident radiation ... code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering ... Not that we would want to ... This is not Tibet ... Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die ... We don't have to cling to life artificially, or to death ... We simply walk toward the sliding doors ... Look how well-lighted everything is ... sealed off ... timeless. Another reason why I think of Tibet. Dying is an art in Tibet ... Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations. Here we don't die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think."
  3. Energy waves, incident radiation ... This is not Tibet ...timeless. Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations. Here we don't die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think. We don't have to cling to life artificially, or to death ...Another reason why I think of Tibet. Dying is an art in Tibet ... Everything is concealed in symbolism... Look how well-lighted everything is ... code words and ceremonial phrases. It is just a question of deciphering ... We simply walk toward the sliding doors ... Not that we would want to ... Tibetans try to see death for what it is. It is the end of attachment to things. Sealed off ... This simple truth is hard to fathom. But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die ... The large doors slide open, they close unbidden. 

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Mailvox: bad writing is cancer

This is an email from a Castalia House author who shall go unnamed, but obviously isn't John C. Wright.

Well, now you've done it.

One of your strongest points in your discussion with Stefan on Crime and Punishment was how Dostoyevsky focused on the moral decay caused by material naturalism and did not and likely could not possibly have seen its system-wide effects.

Now, today's post about bad writing makes a similar case that Modernism, and in particular its virulent Boomer strain - Postmodernism - is culture cancer.

Many people could see that Modernist literature was, at base and overall, simply not as deep or interesting as those books which had not gottenn caught up in Modernism's well-crafted, insubstantial mopefests.

The clue that Modernism was a dead-end can be found in its best products: As I Lay Dying, The Wasteland, Invisible Man, Heart of Darkness and The Aspern Papers are ALL, at heart, about how writing from a Modernist perspective is a pointless, disjointed exercise that renders a man insignificant. Wait for death, write or don't...in the end Material Man is a Hollow Man. If even Modernist novels don't like Modernist novels, you know you've chanced on a Very Bad Idea.

When the reactionary Post-Modernism came along, the self-defeating problem became clear. There were plenty of sane readers who said, "Okay, that way lies madness. Taken to its logical conclusion, PM could lead to the end of literature!"

It is no coincidence that the era of the blockbuster genre novel exploded in a major response to academic Post-Modernism. Everybody read Dr. Zhivago or Sidney Sheldon. No one read Alphabetical Africa.

BUT...Post-Modernism clearly was not contained to academic literature. Sidney Sheldon's soap operas were not merely pop-classic melodramas, but were materialist ones. The casting couch ultimately made starlets powerful, taboo relationships were taboo because of society's evil, not personal sin. Ursula Le Guin's adventure stories became feminist meditations. Stephen King's pulp adventure horror veered badly into religious ignorance. John Updike was...Updikian.

Now, these books and hundreds more were still, in form, traditional, popular novels. They just had some spots of odd, discolored PostModern crust on them.

The spots showed up in movies and television: Laugh-In, All in the Family, the Brady Bunch, Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Heck, the massive blockbuster Jaws opened up with a nude girl being bitten, dragged, mauled and eaten by the literary aquatic symbol for Death incarnate, a "Great White" no less. That's Post-modern action: no heroes, no villains, just young, bare, feminine annihilation.

But those spots are hardly noticed in the work by most people at the time, whether it is a bit of King's "tornado-faced" lady (bad writing) or the now iconic but originally "ironic" "Episode IV" scroll in Star Wars.

But they got everywhere, and, while it occasionally worked (the unvarnished, unapologetic racism in The Godfather I and II was possible under a sort of Post-Modern "honesty" at the time), most of the time, these spots show up as an anachronism, a 'breaking of the fourth wall' or just bad dialogue.

And today?

We don't even have personal pronouns anymore.

Our culture adopted a literature that had, at its core, an anti-communication ethic. The more obscure, the more personal, the more disconnected a "text" was from its meaning, the more "authentic" it was. The more "identity" it had.

Post-Modernism didn't just end literature. It ended communication.

I think that's why there are so many landmines of bad writing today. I think that's why you can emerge from a writing program or college less literate than when you came in, even if you were borderline literate to begin with!

Bad writing is cancer.

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SJWs always lie: Patreon edition

Patreon's ludicrously lame excuse for canceling Lauren Southern's account.
Hi Lauren,

My name is Max and I am a member of the Trust and Safety team at patreon.

Here at Patreon we believe in freedom of speech. We are creating a platform that empowers creators to share and debate ideas. When ideas cross into action, though, we sometimes must take a closer look at what our creators are doing with the funds they earn through Patreon.

It appears that you are currently raising funds in order to take part in activities that are likely to cause loss of life. We have therefore decided to remove your page from Patreon, and paid out your final balance of $95.00 to you.

We understand that this will come as a disappointment. Please know that we have come to this decision after a long review process and will not consider an appeal.

Thank you for your understanding.

Regards,

Patreon Trust+Safey
Never have anything to do with any organization with a "Trust and Safety" team. Fortunately, there are rock-solid alternatives on the way, as I will be announcing soon.

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Modern literature is bad writing

Speaking of bad writing, this 2001 Atlantic essay on the form and purpose of modern literature is magnificent. The author, BR Myers, rightly crucifies several doyennes of modern literature, including one, Cormac McCarthy, whose popular appeal I have never understood in the slightest. Read the whole thing. It's long, but it's well worth it.
Parallelisms and pseudo-archaic formulations abound: "They caught up and set out each day in the dark before the day yet was and they ate cold meat and biscuit and made no fire"; "and they would always be so and never be otherwise"; "the captain wrote on nor did he look up"; "there rode no soul save he," and so forth.

The reader is meant to be carried along on the stream of language. In the New York Times review of The Crossing, Robert Hass praised the effect: "It is a matter of straight-on writing, a veering accumulation of compound sentences, stinginess with commas, and a witching repetition of words ... Once this style is established, firm, faintly hypnotic, the crispness and sinuousness of the sentences ... gather to a magic." The key word here is "accumulation." Like Proulx and so many others today, McCarthy relies more on barrages of hit-and-miss verbiage than on careful use of just the right words.

While inside the vaulting of the ribs between his knees the darkly meated heart pumped of who's will and the blood pulsed and the bowels shifted in their massive blue convolutions of who's will and the stout thighbones and knee and cannon and the tendons like flaxen hawsers that drew and flexed and drew and flexed at their articulations of who's will all sheathed and muffled in the flesh and the hooves that stove wells in the morning groundmist and the head turning side to side and the great slavering keyboard of his teeth and the hot globes of his eyes where the world burned. 
(All the Pretty Horses, 1992)

This may get Hass's darkly meated heart pumping, but it's really just bad poetry formatted to exploit the lenient standards of modern prose. The obscurity of who's will, which has an unfortunate Dr. Seussian ring to it, is meant to bully readers into thinking that the author's mind operates on a plane higher than their own—a plane where it isn't ridiculous to eulogize the shifts in a horse's bowels.

As a fan of movie westerns, I refuse to quibble with the myth that a wild landscape can bestow epic significance on the lives of its inhabitants. But novels tolerate epic language only in moderation. To record with the same somber majesty every aspect of a cowboy's life, from a knife fight to his lunchtime burrito, is to create what can only be described as kitsch. Here we learn that out west even a hangover is something special.

[They] walked off in separate directions through the chaparral to stand spraddlelegged clutching their knees and vomiting. The browsing horses jerked their heads up. It was no sound they'd ever heard before. In the gray twilight those retchings seemed to echo like the calls of some rude provisional species loosed upon that waste. Something imperfect and malformed lodged in the heart of being. A thing smirking deep in the eyes of grace itself like a gorgon in an autumn pool. 
(All the Pretty Horses)

It is a rare passage that can make you look up, wherever you may be, and wonder if you are being subjected to a diabolically thorough Candid Camera prank. I can just go along with the idea that horses might mistake human retching for the call of wild animals. But "wild animals" isn't epic enough: McCarthy must blow smoke about some rude provisional species, as if your average quadruped had impeccable table manners and a pension plan. Then he switches from the horses' perspective to the narrator's, though just what something imperfect and malformed refers to is unclear. The last half sentence only deepens the confusion. Is the thing smirking deep in the eyes of grace the same thing that is lodged in the heart of being? And what is a gorgon doing in a pool? Or is it peering into it? And why an autumn pool? I doubt if McCarthy can explain any of this; he probably just likes the way it sounds.

No novelist with a sense of the ridiculous would write such nonsense. Although his characters sometimes rib one another, McCarthy is among the most humorless writers in American history. In this excerpt the subject is horses.

He said that the souls of horses mirror the souls of men more closely than men suppose and that horses also love war. Men say they only learn this but he said that no creature can learn that which his heart has no shape to hold ... Lastly he said that he had seen the souls of horses and that it was a terrible thing to see. He said that it could be seen under certain circumstances attending the death of a horse because the horse shares a common soul and its separate life only forms it out of all horses and makes it mortal ... Finally John Grady asked him if it were not true that should all horses vanish from the face of the earth the soul of the horse would not also perish for there would be nothing out of which to replenish it but the old man only said that it was pointless to speak of there being no horses in the world for God would not permit such a thing.
(All the Pretty Horses)

The further we get from our cowboy past, the loonier becomes the hippophilia we attribute to it. More to the point, especially considering The New York Times's praise of All the Pretty Horses for its "realistic dialogue," is the stiltedness with which the conversation is reproduced. The cowboys are supposed to be talking to a Mexican in Spanish, which is a stretch to begin with, but from the tone in which the conversation is set down you'd think it was ancient Hebrew. And shouldn't Grady satisfy our curiosity by finding out what a horse's soul looks like, instead of pursuing a hypothetical point of equine theology? You half expect him to ask how many horses' souls can fit on the head of a pin.

All the Pretty Horses received the National Book Award in 1992. "Not until now," the judges wrote in their fatuous citation, "has the unhuman world been given its own holy canon." What a difference a pseudo-biblical style makes; this so-called canon has little more to offer than the conventional belief that horses, like dogs, serve us well enough to merit exemption from an otherwise sweeping disregard for animal life. (No one ever sees a cow's soul.) McCarthy's fiction may be less fun than the "genre" western, but its world view is much the same. So is the cast of characters: the quiet cowboys, the women who "like to see a man eat," the howling savages. (In fairness to the western: McCarthy's depiction of Native Americans in Blood Meridian [1985] is far more offensive than anything in Louis L' Amour.) The critics, however, are too much impressed by the muscles of his prose to care about the heart underneath. Even The Village Voice has called McCarthy "a master stylist, perhaps without equal in American letters." Robert Hass wrote much of his review of The Crossing in an earnest imitation of McCarthy's style:

The boys travel through this world, tipping their hats, saying "yessir" and "nosir" and "si" and "es verdad" and "claro" to all its potential malice, its half-mad philosophers, as the world washes over and around them, and the brothers themselves come to be as much arrested by the gesture of the quest as the old are by their stores of bitter wisdom and the other travelers, in the middle of life, in various stages of the arc between innocence and experience, by whatever impulses have placed them on the road.

The vagueness of that encomium must annoy McCarthy, who prides himself on the way he tackles "issues of life and death" head on. In interviews he presents himself as a man's man with no time for pansified intellectuals—a literary version, if you will, of Dave Thomas, the smugly parochial old-timer in the Wendy's commercials. It would be both unfair and a little too charitable to suggest that this is just a pose. When McCarthy says of Marcel Proust and Henry James, "I don't understand them. To me, that's not literature," I have a sinking feeling he's telling the truth.
The essay finally made it clear to me what these modern literaturists - one hesitates to call them actual writers - are doing, and it's not dissimilar to what the gammas are doing with their terrible, narcissistic metaphors. Their words are not meant to be read as words as such, but are meant to be lightly scanned, so that an impression is formed by that superficial contact.

That's why there is so often no meaning to be found in their works, that there is neither action nor character to be found in the texts. No one actually reads these books! They are, instead, scanned, with no more comprehension of the empty contents surveyed than the whole language reader grasps the phonetics of the words he is reading.

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America, the overfed

Readers here well understand that government science is as intrinsically unreliable as anything else being produced by the government. And the U.S. government's dietary advice has been about as bad as it gets.
"The change in dietary advice to promote low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history."

Let's say you want to lose some weight. Which of these foods would you choose: A skim-milk latte, or the same drink with whole milk? A low-cal breakfast bar or steak and eggs? A salad tossed in light dressing or the same salad doused with buttermilk ranch?

If you're like most Americans, you either aren't sure how to answer, or you're very sure—but very wrong. And it's not your fault. It's the fault, experts say, of decades of flawed or misleading nutrition advice—advice that was never based on solid science.

The US Department of Agriculture, along with the agency that is now called Health and Human Services, first released a set of national dietary guidelines back in 1980. That 20-page booklet trained its focus primarily on three health villains: fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Recently, research has come out strongly in support of dietary fat and cholesterol as benign, rather than harmful, additions to person's diet. Saturated fat seems poised for a similar pardon.

"The science that these guidelines were based on was wrong," Robert Lustig, a neuro-endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told Tonic. In particular, the idea that cutting fat from a person's diet would offer some health benefit was never backed by hard evidence, Lustig said.

Just this week, some of Lustig's colleagues at UCSF released an incendiary report revealing that in the 1960s, sugar industry lobbyists funded research that linked heart disease to fat and cholesterol while downplaying evidence that sugar was the real killer.
I have to admit, my father called this one in the early 1990s. He never bought the "eating fat makes you fat" line, kept a low-carbohydrate diet, and stayed much slimmer than most of his peers as a result.

The thing is, you can work out all you like, but once you pass 40, the combination of becoming more injury-prone and your body metabolism slowing down means that your diet is a necessary component of losing weight. I've always been in the gym or on the soccer field at least three days per week, and I've never been that overweight, but I've dropped 13 pounds as part of my quest to get back my six-pack and return to my old fighting weight of 175 - I have four more to go -  and it is entirely the result of eating less and eating fewer carbohydrates.

It's not about major changes, just getting your caloric intake south of the energy usage line. In my case, that means a cup of yogurt for breakfast instead of a bowl of cereal, a mochacino after lunch instead of dessert, and a smaller portion at dinner, no seconds, and no snacking. I still have three cappucini - sometimes four, including the one mocha - dessert, and two glasses of wine per day. So, it's not exactly torture, just reasonable exercise combined with a modicum of self-discipline.

Note, by the way, that it's not just Americans who have been affected by this disastrous dietary science. Keep that in mind when you consider the "global climate change consensus".
In a recent editorial appearing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researcher Zoe Harcombe from the University of the West of Scotland explains that obesity rates among British men and women rose from 2.7 percent in 1972 to 23 percent and 26 percent, respectively, by 1999.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

On bad writing

I was talking to one of our authors today, trying to understand why authors so often make a certain style of mistake that has puzzled me for years. He actually managed to articulate it, and I found the explanation to be rather fascinating as well as potentially useful to those who are trying to improve their literary style. I think it is something that separates bad writing from competent writing.

What we were discussing is the nonsensical metaphor or simile. Now, I have used a nonsensical simile at least once myself, although I did so knowingly, as it was an inside joke. Some old-school Ilk might remember the phrase "then it hit him, like a cheetah" from Rebel Moon. That was something my best friend's brother used to say, because my best friend's brother is a complete goofball who gloried in saying nonsensical things like that. The point is that I knew it was a silly simile and horrifically bad writing, although I suppose it is not a nonsensical simile from a technical perspective, since being hit by a cheetah at 60+ MPH would presumably be the sort of thing that would bowl one over.

However, as the writer explained, the mediocre writer doesn't know that the metaphor or the simile is nonsensical. To him, it is an emotionally true connection, and therefore it makes sense, even when it objectively doesn't. For the purposes of reference, here are the four examples from the rough draft to which the author, Johan Kalsi, is referring, a bizarre metaphor that completely mystified me, and not only because the author utilized it FOUR FREAKING TIMES in a single scene.

Jeckell's broad, sleepy face held his lips in a strange smile, as if he had just caught a mouse between his teeth. 

Jeckell continued to chew on his mouse, doing nothing to wipe his face clean of its aura of smug supremacy.

Jeckell stopped gnawing the imaginary mouse for a moment.

Everyone gasped. Jeckell stood up and punched the table in front of him, his jaw clenched back down on the mouse.

I like to think that my editorial comments were polite, professional and helpful: "What the fuck is going on with this guy chewing on a nonexistent mouse? What does that even look like? Lose the fucking mouse!"

I mean, this was, by any measure, bad writing. Fine, everyone commits their clunkers from time to time. But this is a weird mistake, and one I see far too often these days, with authors using words they apparently don't understand and images that simply don't make any kind of sense. Fortunately, Mr. Kalsi was able to put this particular example into perspective that at least make a modicum of sense, and should help people avoid making this particular mistake.
  • I was trying to emulate Asimov's long Q&A scene from Foundation, which I don't like, and I was being lazy - I hadn't figured out good words to make the bureaucrat both human and annoying, so I just wrote that mouse thing in, because I had an image in my head of this fat old barn cat I came across when I was a kid. I opened a bag of feed, and this cat was in there, chewing on a wriggling mouse. It was a disturbing, vivid, shocking thing, and I still remember that cat's dead eyes looking at me like, "What, asshole? Just watch it wriggle."
  • Emotionally, I thought of the bureaucrat like that - this perfectly harmless guy that the First Technocrat had known for decades, who suddenly held his life in his hands, and didn't care a bit.
  • Of course, some random personal memory means nothing to you or any other reader, and that's why it is such an annoying dig at the reader.
  • A bad writer or a lazy writer won't see when he does this (I think it got mentioned 3 times in a page or something, and I didn't even remember I had written it at all when you pointed it out to me.)
  • A gamma will cling to this personal image as a secret king thing - "Oh, the peasant reader doesn't get me - I'm a genius!" and as an excuse thing when the criticism comes. - Delusional
  • The old big writers I can think of who did it a lot were Stephen King (the lady in Misery has "a face like a tornado" twice in two pages, for example - memorable for the wrong reasons) Piers Anthony and Philip Jose Farmer.
Kalsi is right. A face like a tornado makes no more sense than a man gnawing on a mouse. Remember, writing is communication. So, off-hand implied references to personal memories or associations that are not accessible to your readers is not going to make you look brilliant, it's just going to make you a bad writer.

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They've learned nothing

They are still lying about GamerGate, Trump supporters, and the Alt-Right.
The use of humor, irony and the destabilization of the truth is important. For years, my friends and I dismissed assholes in video game chat rooms spouting hateful rhetoric as performance artists and comedians. They didn’t mean anything by it, we told ourselves, they were just trying to get a laugh or a reaction.

“It is an extremist movement built on destabilizing meanings, making people distrust their senses and doubt reality, and deny responsibility by pretending to be joking or just playing,” Cross said. “Gaming culture, which has long shielded its native abuses by cleaving to the idea that it’s all ‘just a game’ was an ideal seedbed for this classic fascist two-step.”

It’s a tactic we’ve seen Trump employ repeatedly both on the campaign trail and in his presidency. Aside from the violence, the nasty rhetoric and the death threats, this destruction of objective truth is the biggest threat Gamergate and the alt-right represent — they make us doubt our senses and our sensibilities.

Which is why we have to fight. I love video games and, for years, I’ve muted or ignored the vile communities festering there. Most of the people, and I believe most of the men, playing video games aren’t racist, sexist or mean. But for too long, gamers have allowed the worst of us to represent the entire community. For too long, we’ve muted the racists instead of challenging their ideas. For too long, we turned the other way when someone creeped on women on the Counter-Strike server.

We can’t afford to do that anymore. We had the opportunity to shut these bastards down for decades and we didn’t and now they’ve spread from the chat rooms, message boards and online shooters into the real world. They’ve shut down public speeches, tortured journalists and run politicians out of public life.

Fans of video games watched the birth of a new fascist movement and we didn’t even realize it. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we have to do our part to stop it. When you’re playing a game and someone’s acting like an ass, let them know. If someone threatens to gas the Jews or rape a female player, report them. If you’re brave enough, engage with them and try to dismantle their ideas.

If we don’t fight them online, and now, we may have to fight them in the streets.
It's amusing that they are still pretending, nearly two years later, that they haven't been fighting us online and in the media as viciously as they know how. It's a little less amusing, though not at all surprising, that they are not honest about the way we are simply using their tactics against them.

Regardless, we know them. They do not know us. They simply refuse to acknowledge the truth about either us or themselves, which only works to our advantage.

If you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
- Sun Tzu

To paraphrase something I wrote around the time I published SJWAL, both their history and their rhetoric is incoherent. They have to cling to the idea that their enemy is stupid - to do otherwise would risk harming their fragile self-esteem - but somehow this "abysmally stupid" opponent is a dangerous risk. This can only be explained by attributing the danger to evil that goes well beyond the pedestrian variety, and reaches the level of disturbing malignity.

So, they choose to believe in a very stupid, very malignant enemy rather than an intelligent and legitimate opposition. Needless to say, this violates the first principle mentioned above, which is to know your enemy. And they can't afford to be sufficiently honest with themselves to do that.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Brainstorm tomorrow

The member's only session for July is tomorrow night, at 7 PM. Invites have gone out, and what I'd like you to contemplate in the meantime is what sort of video lectures you would be interested in seeing me produce.

What my Periscopes have taught me is that there is an entire body of people who much prefer to learn by watching rather than reading. As with rhetoric and dialectic, you cannot hope to reach these video-learners with books or blog posts. Furthermore, it is evident that this is increasingly how the younger generation prefers to intellectually explore. And there is little point to rewards such as books when I am already an author and the editor of a publishing house.

So, I've selected a video artist from the Dread Ilk and the focus of my future pseudo-Patreon will be producing several videos each month, in lieu of my nightly Periscoping, which I'll cut to 2-3 times per week. The question is, what topics would be of most interest to people and how long should they be?

I assume between 30-45 minutes would be ideal, which means that more complicated topics such as inflation or credit money or responding to atheist evangelicals, or listing the many errors of Sam Harris would need to be multi-video series, whereas simpler topics like the idea of time-to-civilization or omniderigence might only require a single video. Anyhow, I'd welcome hearing what people think here, and then we'll discuss the various ideas that come out of this at Brainstorm tomorrow night.

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No, you can't be Chinese

Said the Chinese woman who calls herself an American.
A white scholar’s recent op-ed suggests he might need some lessons on his own privilege.

Daniel Bell, a white dean at China’s Shandong University, recently penned a piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Why Anyone Can Be Chinese.” In it, he laments how he’s not considered Chinese despite his self-proclaimed dedication to the culture.

China, he argues, should look at identity as cultural rather than racial, concluding the piece with his ultimate hope:

“President Xi Jinping describes his broad agenda for the country as the ‘China dream,’” Bell writes. “My own China dream is more modest: to be viewed as a Chinese not just in my own mind but in the minds of my fellow Chinese.”

Bell claims to have respect for the Chinese. But his piece shows that he’s not looking at identity through the lens of the Chinese, John Kuo Wei Tchen, associate professor and director of Asian/Pacific/American Institute, NYU, told HuffPost.

Bell begins his piece, making comparisons between himself and a Chinese-American who “doesn’t speak Chinese or identify in any way with Chinese culture,” and “forcefully rejects” the label “Chinese.”

But the connections Bell makes are apples to oranges. Bell, a white man from Canada, ignores the real, human experiences that Chinese people live through, Tchen noted.

Bell isn’t someone whose family has been brought up in China through generations, communicating through insider references. His ancestors haven’t lived through events like the Opium Wars or the Cultural Revolution that have shaped the population’s outlook. Bell is a white man whose roots and values come from elsewhere.
Do you see, civic nationalists, what chaos and confusion inevitably must follow your incoherent madness? You denied that America was an actual nation, thinking that the nonsense would magically stop there. But it didn't, and now we're seeing your fellow proposition nationalists claim that England and Sweden have always been nations of immigrants, and that anyone can be Chinese as well as American.

The truth is that civic nationalism is a lie. Proposition nationalism is a lie. There is no melting pot and nations are groups of genetically related people sharing a common language, common traditions, common religion, and common experiences.

Everything else is just empire and ethnic conflict by another name. A reader who lives in China, but unlike the deranged academic, does not claim that makes him Chinese, adds his observations.

Read more »

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Diasporans, cucks, and free speech

This is a bit disjointed, but that is an unavoidable consequence of the second article's lurching from one topic to another. First, demographics has its consequences: the inevitable divide between increasingly religious right-wing Israelis and increasingly secular left-wing Diasporans in the US is growing, if Haaretz is to be believed.
The basis for Netanyahu’s diplomatic activism is his assessment that America is growing weaker and gradually withdrawing from the Middle East. The visit to Haifa Port by the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush, the first such visit since the beginning of the second intifada, doesn’t change the overall trend.

Oil is cheaper, and America no longer depends on the Middle East for its supply. Public opinion is isolationist, opposed to wars far from home. America’s internal rifts are deep and getting wider, and Netanyahu has taken the conservative side without even a pretense of bipartisanism. Perhaps bipartisan support is no longer even possible when Americans are so divided over everything. It’s better to have the Republicans’ support, since their control of Congress seems unassailable.

Netanyahu sees the Christian community as Israel’s most important bastion of support in America, alongside Orthodox Jews. His recent decisions against the Reform and Conservative movements – canceling the Western Wall deal and advancing the conversion bill – reflect a strategic disengagement from liberal American Jews.

This wasn’t a caprice caused by momentary pressure from Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties, but a calculated decision that won almost wall-to-wall support in the cabinet. Netanyahu’s circle sees liberal Jewry as a transient phenomenon that will disappear on its own in another generation due to intermarriage and disinterest in Jewish tradition or Israel.

For years, liberal Jews have threatened to break with Israel if it continues discriminating against their denominations, and some have also vocally opposed the unending occupation of the territories. They didn’t expect a right-wing Israeli government to break with them first.
Whether the divide is real or not - and it probably is, many liberal Diasporans hate Netanyahu as much as they hate Trump - Netanyahu would be well-advised to rein in AIPAC and encourage the Israel Firsters in the U.S. Senate and Congress to abandon the proposed anti-American law S. 720, presently co-sponsored by 43 U.S. Senators of both parties, and supported by 234 Representatives. It is a tone-deaf action that is absolutely guaranteed to backfire on Israel... unless Netanyahu is playing a deep game and intends to make life in the USA less comfortable for the diaspora.

Amazingly, even the pro-Israel cucks at National Review understand that the proposed law is a terrible idea, and to their credit, have come out against it. Of course, they couldn't help but try to take the opportunity to tangent into taking shots at the pro-free speech Alt-Lite in the meantime.
Sometimes in the course of our political life, someone proposes something so mind-bogglingly stupid that it’s hard to know exactly what to say about it. Senate Bill 720 is one of those things. Over the past few years, a small but prominent movement has cropped up, using the age-old tactic of boycott to protest what it sees as Israel’s unjust occupation of territories that are assumed to belong rightfully to the Palestinians. Called “BDS” (boycott, divest, sanction) after the strategy it employs against the state of Israel and goods produced therein, it has acquired a certain notoriety on college campuses, not least for its uncomfortable associations with veritable anti-Semites.

Israel’s supporters in the Senate, justifiably seeing this as a problem, have come up with an innovative solution: Make participation in BDS or other boycotts of Israel a felony, punishable by enormous fines and up to two decades in prison. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act enjoys remarkable bipartisan support: It’s not often you can get Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse to sign onto a measure alongside Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Its proponents number 43 in the Senate and 234 in the House....

And, yes, when it comes to Mike Cernovich and Milo Yiannopoulos or Tomi Lahren, that’s more or less correct; they really are distasteful hypocrites who care not one bit about free speech and who use the principle instead to advance their particular cause. They are of the new breed of conservatism that views its primary goal as melting special snowflakes and doesn’t give much of a damn about anything beyond that. But we knew that already; we’ve always known they’re unprincipled actors seeking only to aggrandize themselves.

Their silence on Lisa Durden tells us nothing new or interesting about their character. Their place in the intellectual debate over free speech is marginal in any case, and what really matters is not what they think but what the more rational, principled minds of the Right and center say.
I tend to suspect their "silence on Lisa Durden" is because a) what is an Essex College? and b) who is Tyler Lisa Durden? There are massive violations of free speech every single day; most of us are far more concerned about Patreon shutting down Lauren Southern and Brittany Pettibone for their defense of Europe than we are about some employee of a minor college that no one has ever heard of being held accountable by her employer. Why aren't these more rational, principled minds of the right and center speaking out against Patreon? I guess they must be distasteful hypocrites who care not one bit about free speech....

And it is downright bizarre to see National Review - NATIONAL REVIEW - questioning the principles of others who actually fight the Left when their only observed principles involve a) gracefully going down to noble defeat and b) not overly upsetting the editorial page of the New York Times. But to return to the point, if you've lost the cucks, you've lost everyone.

The Alt-Right is inevitable, even in Israel, as it is in every nation that wishes to survive the 21st century.

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Meme of the Week

The Meme Warriors have spoken. An easy win for Zimbabwe 2014-16. I was a little surprised by that, as the Feminism is Cancer meme had the most impressions.
  1. 34.5% Zimbabwe 2014-16
  2. 21.2% Feminism Cancer
  3. 20.0% Conservatives and the Ladies Room
  4. 15.7% Doctor What?
  5. 08.6% Godfrey Jedi
To get a vote and receive fresh daily memes guaranteed to trigger the SJWs in your life, sign up for the Daily Meme Wars. Regular meme service will resume on Monday.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

AIPAC vs 1st Amendment

In case you didn't believe that immigrants have never, ever, understood literally the first goddamn thing about the Rights of Englishmen or the U.S. Constitution. Note that limiting the 1st Amendment rights of Americans is AIPAC's top legislative priority for 2017. Everything below is straight from Congress.gov.

S.720 - Israel Anti-Boycott Act
115th Congress (2017-2018)

Sponsor: Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] (Introduced 03/23/2017)
Committees: Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Latest Action: 03/23/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

This bill declares that Congress: (1) opposes the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution of March 24, 2016, which urges countries to pressure companies to divest from, or break contracts with, Israel; and (2) encourages full implementation of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 through enhanced, governmentwide, coordinated U.S.-Israel scientific and technological cooperation in civilian areas.

The bill amends the Export Administration Act of 1979 to declare that it shall be U.S. policy to oppose:
  • requests by foreign countries to impose restrictive practices or boycotts against other countries friendly to the United States or against U.S. persons; and
  • restrictive trade practices or boycotts fostered or imposed by an international governmental organization, or requests to impose such practices or boycotts, against Israel.
The bill prohibits U.S. persons engaged in interstate or foreign commerce from:
  • requesting the imposition of any boycott by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States; or 
  • supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.
The bill amends the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to include as a reason for the Export-Import Bank to deny credit applications for the export of goods and services between the United States and foreign countries, opposition to policies and actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with citizens or residents of Israel, entities organized under the laws of Israel, or the Government of Israel.

Cosponsor and Date Cosponsored
Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH]* 03/23/2017
Sen. Nelson, Bill [D-FL] 03/27/2017
Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL] 03/27/2017
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] 03/27/2017
Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] 03/27/2017
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] 03/27/2017
Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC] 03/28/2017
Sen. Young, Todd C. [R-IN] 03/28/2017
Sen. Boozman, John [R-AR] 03/28/2017
Sen. Isakson, Johnny [R-GA] 03/28/2017
Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] 03/28/2017
Sen. Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT] 03/30/2017
Sen. Perdue, David [R-GA] 03/30/2017
Sen. Roberts, Pat [R-KS] 03/30/2017
Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] 03/30/2017
Sen. Hoeven, John [R-ND] 04/04/2017
Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] 04/04/2017
Sen. Fischer, Deb [R-NE] 04/04/2017
Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV] 04/24/2017
Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS] 04/24/2017
Sen. Crapo, Mike [R-ID] 04/24/2017
Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D-WA] 04/24/2017
Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA] 04/25/2017
Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV] 04/26/2017
Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY] 05/01/2017
Sen. Ernst, Joni [R-IA] 05/01/2017
Sen. Hassan, Margaret Wood [D-NH] 05/08/2017
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 05/09/2017
Sen. Lankford, James [R-OK] 05/16/2017
Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC] 05/17/2017
Sen. Donnelly, Joe [D-IN] 05/23/2017
Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC] 05/25/2017
Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX] 06/05/2017
Sen. Manchin, Joe, III [D-WV] 06/05/2017
Sen. Strange, Luther [R-AL] 06/05/2017
Sen. McCaskill, Claire [D-MO] 06/06/2017
Sen. Thune, John [R-SD] 06/12/2017
Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] 06/12/2017
Sen. Sasse, Ben [R-NE] 06/15/2017
Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE] 06/26/2017
Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO] 07/12/2017
Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK] 07/12/2017
Sen. Cassidy, Bill [R-LA] 07/18/2017
Sen. Tillis, Thom [R-NC] 07/19/2017
Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR] 07/19/2017

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Dragon Awards deadline

If you want to nominate for the Dragon Awards, you've got to do so today or tomorrow. Here are my recommendations. Remember that a work cannot be nominated in two categories.

On a not-at-all-unrelated note here is a pair of recent book reviews by Jevaughn Brown, the latter of which concerns A SEA OF SKULLS, which is eligible in the Best Fantasy Novel category and is written by an author who is not only handsome and charming, but is also said to be "the most underrated fantasy author in fiction."
A THRONE OF BONES

A Throne Of Bones in one book is the kind of story/world in essence that I had thought A Song Of Fire And Ice was going to develop into by now, but hasn't quite. I loved how thoroughly embedded and powerful the Magic systems are into the fabric of Selenoth, yet they're not a cure-all in the slightest, playing a part at fitting moments within "believable" limits.

The interactions between characters based on their circumstances and personalities had the feel of Real People rather than caricatures acting in contrived ways only to advance the plot. When we're taken inside a character's perspective, you really get how justified they feel in their worldview - as we all are.

I personally haven't read more detailed yet visceral battle scenes. Vox retains the grandness of ancient armies and big sword-and-shield battles without washing out the fear and carnage and courage and confusion and skill and luck they really entailed.


A SEA OF SKULLS

As richly developed as its predecessor was, A Sea Of Skulls added many new dimensions to this world and the crisis it's in. All the positives I spoke of in my review of A Throne Of Bones, and more, were leveled up.

The standout achievement of this novel could be how well Vox takes us into the minds of the non-humans of Selenoth, and gives us just a taste of their civilizations - The underground dominion of the Dwarves, the stagnant decadence of the Elves, and the structured melee of the Orcs. Such is the depth Vox goes with such viewpoint characters that you may even find yourself *almost* starting to kinda sorta briefly feel a little empathy for an orc!

Minor characters are used meaningfully and there's no one I would want to cut out. There's a lot of traveling or being camped-out for extended periods, but we don't get lost in dozens of pages of interminable wandering or stagnation, a major grievance I had with parts of both A Song Of Fire And Ice and the Wheel Of Time series.

Also much appreciated was the expansion on Dalarn culture as its warriors made their last stand, and on the Savondir side of the world through Marcus' struggles and Theuderic serving his kingdom. If Book 1 left you asking for more elves and more battle magic, then your wish was granted. But again, the magic is the icing on the cake of well-scripted battles that feel as real as epic fantasy can get.

Things get unapologetically dark several times, so gird your mental loins going in. Every fan of Epic Fantasy should read this series.
You really should read it. At present, Theuderic is busy assisting the Marquis de Poncheaux perform a fighting withdrawal at a bridge near the town of Rouvillier. It's a cracking scene.

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Reclaiming our heritage

The God-Emperor comes out swinging hard against free trade and anti-American globalism.

My fellow Americans,

On Monday, I signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring this to be “Made in America Week.”

We believe that our country is stronger, safer, and more prosperous when we make more of our goods and our products right here in the USA.  When we purchase products Made in America, the wealth, revenue and jobs all stay in our country – to be enjoyed by our people.

Since we first won our Independence, our Founders and many of our greatest leaders have promoted that we should afford a special level of protection to the products and goods manufactured within our borders.  They understood that as a nation, we have common bonds with our fellow citizens and common obligations to each other.  Making and buying made in America products brings us closer, and strengthens the ties that link us all together.

For too long, our government’s policies have punished production in America while rewarding and encouraging the movement of production overseas, which is totally ridiculous.  The result has been the loss of numerous industries, the decimation of entire communities, and years of sluggish growth and flat wages.

Throughout American history, our nation’s best leaders have believed in the importance of protecting our domestic industry.  This includes every President on Mount Rushmore.

George Washington encouraged Americans to produce their own goods so that our young nation could become truly independent.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that Americans should choose products made in America whenever possible – and by the way, I’m asking you to do that.

Abraham Lincoln warned that abandoning the policies that protect American industry would “produce want and ruin among our people.”

Theodore Roosevelt stated in his First message to Congress that “Reciprocity must be treated as the handmaiden of protection.”

James Monroe called on our nation to “cherish and sustain our manufacturers.”

James Garfield said of our nation’s manufacturers: “To them the country owes the splendor of the position it holds before the world.”

William McKinley believed that when America protects our workers and industries, we “open up a higher and better destiny for our people.”

And Calvin Coolidge stated that protecting American industry “enables our people to live according to a better standard… and receive a better rate of compensation than any people, anytime, anywhere on earth, ever enjoyed.”

We are now, under the Trump Administration, reclaiming our heritage as a manufacturing nation.  We are fighting to provide a level playing field for American Workers and Industries.  Other countries will cease taking advantage of us, believe me.

We are going to build works of beauty and wonder – with American hands, American grit, and American iron, aluminum, and steel.

No longer will we allow other countries to break the rules, steal our jobs, and drain our wealth.  Instead, we will follow two simple but very crucial rules: We will buy American and we will hire American.

Already, we have created over a million new jobs this year – and doing even better than anticipated.  We are just getting started – believe me, we are just getting started.

For every job that comes back to this country, and every factory that reopens, and every town that is revitalized, we aren’t just restoring American wealth, we are restoring American pride.  We are restoring America’s future – a future where millions will be lifted from welfare to work, where children will grow up in safe and vibrant communities, and where our nation will stand stronger than ever before.

And most importantly, it will be a future in which you – our citizens – always come first.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America – we are truly making it great again.

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To scalzi or not to scalzi

It's all so confusing. Of course, the confusion is further complicated by the fact that the real John Scalzi is a fraud.


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Too woke for this world

James Delingpole laments the passing of Godfrey Elfwick, the truest social justice warrior and the wokest of them all.
To have your tweet singled out for praise by Godfrey was the kiss of death. It meant that you were a humorless, self-righteous, deluded, smug, sanctimonious, insufferable Social Justice Warrior. Just like Godfrey purported to be.

Which is why, of course, Twitter had to silence him. Sure, the official reason given for Godfrey’s permanent ban was because he had broken Twitter’s terms of service – apparently having upset a millionaire potato chip salesman called Gary Lineker.

But the real reason, as we all know, is that Godfrey Elfwick did the thing the totalitarian cry bullies of the liberal-left fear even more than facts and reasoned argument: he ridiculed them.

It is a truth universally acknowledged by anyone who has spent more than a moment glancing at social media that SJWs can’t do jokes. Or banter. Or memes. Given that social media is mostly about jokes, banter, and memes, this means that SJWs spend their every moment on the internet in a state of near-impotent pique. They cannot strike back with wit or charm or facts or evidence or amusing images of Pepe the frog, for these are all things they singularly lack. So every time they are forced to resort to the only weapon in their armory: censorship.

The reason they can do the censorship thing is because, by unhappy accident, most of the dominant tech sites – not just Twitter, Facebook, and Google but also ones like Patreon which recently cancelled Lauren Southern’s account because she’d committed the crime of being a conservative – are run by liberals who want the whole world to think and act like liberals.

This explains their appalling double standards.

In the case of Twitter, for example, anyone on the right who tried to belittle someone with an offensive racial epithet would undoubtedly be punished with an instant and permanent ban. But when Black-Lives-Matter-endorsing rapper Talib Kweli branded Breitbart’s Jerome Hudson a “coon” for the crime of being black and conservative, no action was taken by Twitter against the rapper.
He made us all better.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Pseudo-Patreon

As you may know, both Brittany Pettibone and Lauren Southern were kicked off Patreon this week. That's one reason why I've never bothered with it; I knew that I wouldn't last 24 hours there. However, there are several alternatives that have been founded, one of which is sufficiently trustworthy from both a philosophical and a structural aspect, and so I'm probably going to set up a Patreon account style there.

So, two questions:

1) What sort of rewards are of interest? Gab TV and a YouTube channel are all in the works.

2) Should I simply focus on project-related crowdfunding instead? You see, I do not wish to disincentivize people to support Infogalactic or ALT HERO, which will be launching its crowdfunding soon. On the other hand, simple observation dictates that more people are more willing to support an individual on an ongoing basis than a specific project.

Anyhow, share your thoughts, please. I have not made any decisions as of yet.

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Spicer is out

Who is next? See, they should have gone with Milo in the first place.

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The glorious youth

There is hope for the children of America. They know who is lying to them. The Alt-Right is inevitable.


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DO talk to the media?

Although I initially turned it down, after consulting with Mike Cernovich, I decided to accept a request from a Rolling Stone reporter to do an interview concerning "a profile of Castalia House—particularly its success in sci fi and fantasy."

Why do this after repeatedly instructing people to not talk to the media? Isn't it hypocritical? Allow me to explain.

First, there is a massive difference between being used as filler to support an existing narrative and simply marketing one's products. I have turned down dozens of interview requests this year. I expect to turn down even more over the second part of the year. If this reporter tries to pull a bait-and-switch like other reporters, such as David Pakman and Amy Wallace, have done before, I'm simply not going to answer those questions. I am there to talk about Castalia House, its books, and its authors. I'm not there to discuss the Alt-Right position on immigration.

(That being said, I still enjoy this quote from Wallace's piece: "Having a conversation with Day feels sort of like walking around a room designed by M. C. Escher." If nothing else, that should suffice to explain the concept of the 2SD communications gap.)

Second, as the Lead Editor of Castalia House, I have a professional responsibility to talk to the media about our books, and given the 100-percent year-on-year growth we have averaged for three years, it's not surprising that the media has begun to become aware of our existence. I am not personally interested in talking to the media or becoming a public figure, nor, as an editor, is that a likely consequence. It is the books that are the compelling subject, not me or my political, religious, or sporting beliefs.

Third, the most interesting narratives about Castalia House do not involve the fact that one of its editors are Alt-Right. We have world-class authors from across the political spectrum publishing with us, from Steve Keen and Martin van Creveld on the Left to Vox Day and Tara McCarthy on the Right. We have first-rate scientists, such as Dr. Sarah Salviander and Dr. Christopher Hallpike. We have authors from around the world publishing with us, everywhere from Israel and Japan and Singapore to the UK, France, and the USA.

Fourth, as Mike pointed out, Rolling Stone is one of the few media institutions that is sufficiently important to our potential readers to justify spending the time. Few media institutions are interested in books, after all.

And fifth, even if it is a hit piece, what are they going to say? That our books suck? That's laughable, as even a cursory glance at the Amazon reviews will suffice to show. That they're all Nazi Nazi tomes written by Nazis? That's absurd on its face. Charles Stross alone publishes more about Nazis than all the Castalia House authors combined. That we're a sophisticated institution of unmitigated right-wing evil run by highly intelligent individuals who are actively engaged in the literary cultural wars?

You know, I tend to think we can live with that, said the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil.

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Criminalizing non-trade

This is, quite possibly, the most insane proposed federal law I have ever heard about. And it has bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats alike.
THE CRIMINALIZATION OF political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West. In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel. The U.K. has enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism. In the U.S., governors compete with one another over who can implement the most extreme regulations to bar businesses from participating in any boycotts aimed even at Israeli settlements, which the world regards as illegal. On U.S. campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as “the Palestine Exception” to free speech.

But now, a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

The proposed measure, called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), was introduced by Cardin on March 23. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.” Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 lobbying agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year....

The bill’s co-sponsors include the senior Democrat in Washington, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, his New York colleague Kirsten Gillibrand, and several of the Senate’s more liberal members, such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Maria Cantwell of Washington. Illustrating the bipartisanship that AIPAC typically summons, it also includes several of the most right-wing senators such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Marco Rubio of Florida.

A similar measure was introduced in the House on the same date by two Republicans and one Democrat. It has already amassed 234 co-sponsors: 63 Democrats and 174 Republicans. As in the Senate, AIPAC has assembled an impressive ideological diversity among supporters, predictably including many of the most right-wing House members — Jason Chaffetz, Liz Cheney, Peter King — along with the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer.
It is becoming abundantly clear that it is not boycotts of Israel - or anything else - that should be outlawed, but rather, AIPAC. Those corrupters of the already corrupt seem to believe that forcibly preventing criticism is going to somehow magically make the badthink go away. But it doesn't work like that; quite to the contrary, it intensifies existing hostilities and creates new enemies out of those who were previously neutral.

I don't boycott Israel myself; one of our best authors is Israeli. But everyone, in every country, should be absolutely free to do business or not do business with Israeli organizations and individuals as they see fit. And every U.S. Senator or Representative who has endorsed this bill should be hounded out of the offices for which they are clearly unfit.

The ever-inept Republicans can't repeal Obamacare but they have time for this idiocy? And even if you are the most philosemitic Christian Zionist who ever declared his willingness to shed the very last drop of American blood for Israel, you must be able to see that this proposed legislation is not just absolutely and utterly wrong, but completely un-American.

This is further evidence that direct democracy is not merely preferable to representative democracy, but a moral imperative.
Meanwhile, some co-sponsors seemed not to have any idea what they co-sponsored — almost as though they reflexively sign whatever comes from AIPAC without having any idea what’s in it. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, for instance, seemed genuinely bewildered when told of the ACLU’s letter, saying, “What’s the Act? You’ll have to get back to me on that.”

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