Whose Coup?

This analysis I thought was really thorough and fascinating. With entirely wrong conclusions. It really does show you a great example of what Scott Adams calls ‘two movies on one screen‘.

Trial Balloon for a Coup?

I think you ought to read it. But before you go, think about this: what is a coup? A coup in the context of a Republic like ours would the overthrow of the legitimate government by illegitimate forces. The timescale and the bloodiness of the coup are irrelevant. What really matters is this: what is the legitimate government of the United States of America? Is it:

A) The President, elected via the electoral college as laid out in the constitution, along with (and checked by) the Senate and House, elected by their individual States, with an independent Judiciary?

B) The layers on layers of administrators in, say the State Department…

The article cites the Guardian in this quote, but it is indicative of what the author believes the answer to that question is.

… another point worth highlighting: “In the past, the state department has been asked to set up early foreign contacts for an incoming administration. This time however it has been bypassed, and Trump’s immediate circle of Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Reince Priebus are making their own calls.”

Well… I suppose the power that the administrators have had in the past must always be honored! You shouldn’t dare bypass them! And the President, you know, the commander in chief, has to kowtow to their wishes. (Definitely not fire them… heh…)

Which brings me to my final point. I’m not sure that many Trump voters would disagree with the analysis here. Trump appears to be actively taking power and authority from the administrators. So the question is, is Trump the coup? Or is the long (but exponential) growth of the administrative class; who make laws without being elected by calling them ‘regulations’, impose punishments without due process or trial by jury (looking right at the EPA fine system and the Title IX kangaroo courts), and otherwise usurp the power given in our constitution to the President and congress and courts alone, is that the coup? If the answer is the second, then indeed, we are living through a second American civil war, one that hopefully will remain in the political sphere alone. And that would mean that Trump is the people’s response to their government being overthrown by a tyrannical oligarchy of administers.

(Almost all of these links were found, over time, on Instapundit…)

Humor

I’m about to poke a wasp’s nest: not one of those 2 hour old ones with, like 5 wasps on it, but a big full one…. Are women funny?

(I was going to just put “Answer: No… :)” here, but I decided that perhaps some people would stop reading immediately then…)

From anecdotal evidence: I have a funny wife (not just claimed to avoid the couch…) a funny mom and a sister who sometimes borders on the amusing. Naturally, I’m the funniest one (NB ‘Eat the Curds of fortitude’ is exhibit A), but yes. On to the article which was… wrong… on the internet…

The article begins with an anecdote about a TA:

A few years ago, Laura Mickes was teaching her regular undergraduate class on childhood psychological disorders at the University of California, San Diego. It was a weighty subject, so occasionally she would inject a sarcastic comment about her own upbringing to lighten the mood. When she collected her professor evaluations at the end of the year, she was startled by one comment in particular:

“She’s not funny,” the student wrote.

We could start to theorize why this women wasn’t found to be funny by her students, but I think as you read the article (which is interesting on several levels) you will start to form a picture as to what might have counted as ‘a sarcastic comment’. (Also note: sarcasm is hard, you have to be very good natured, funny in other ways, and perhaps even self-deprecating to pull off sarcasm in front of students. Like everyone else, students will find untempered sarcasm to be just nastiness, not humor, from male and female alike.)

The article discusses much interesting research into humor, but the odd thing about this article is the tone… It is hard to place at first, and then one finds increasing levels of bitterness. Somewhere closing in on the end comes the moment of enlightenment for the reader.

“If funniness is an implement of power, women deserve access to it, too.”

Welp… that’s your problem right there. Feminism is fundamentally Nietzschean, where the interplay of the sexes is actually a battle for power over each other. Also, apparently humor is only about power.  Women who have spent their lives absorbing all this poison are also women who automatically dismiss criticism from men as sexist and misogynistic. (How can you learn to make men laugh if you assume that the only reason they don’t is that they hate women?) By assuming that every man that doesn’t laugh is a misogynist, these women cut off their learning feedback and so will never actually be funny. They may be adept at mockery and witty spite, but belly laughter will always elude them.

Humor comes from a real desire to have other people laughing and at ease. This can be honed by lots of trial and error, wherein if something makes your audience laugh you do more of it, and if it doesn’t, you take the instant feedback and try something else. Its possible that, if the women who are angry that men don’t think they are funny just tried and tried until they found some things that work… maybe they’d be funny too. If you look at the research discussed in the article, you’ll find that that is how men are perceived to be funny, they just try more times and more things.

Read it all…

Watch out pitiful human. Commit hubris and you insult the gods. Once you insult the gods, to hell with a logical plot. When you insult the gods you’ve entered quantum territory where the cat’s simultaneously dead and alive and the gods themselves may destroy you. Now anything can happen, from the subtle to the surreal. Why, the committer of hubris might do something depraved like unknowingly marry his mother (ask Oedipus) or, like, she might have her national security crimes exposed by a sexting pervert after she thought her political-media machine and The Clinton Foundation had managed to control or corrupt every potential threat to your presidential coronation—even the FBI.

Hmm

Makes you wonder how bad it is, that they couldn’t find an excuse to put it off until after the election….

UPDATE: Per the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, the investigation will be complete prior to Election Day, in “two or three days, max.”

Trying to sort out the byzantine system of injustice that surrounds Hillary… Like maybe Comey was bought, but not that bought… you know… or maybe whats there isn’t anything, and she can crow for the last week on how awesome she is… or what…? We are nearly at Borgia levels of intrigue in our government… and I suspect we will get the whole way there if Hillary becomes president.

 

 

An Apology (old school) for Trump

Well the time has come… I have reached the conclusion that actually supporting Trump is the best choice we have for America. (In fact I’m starting to think that what we need is a Trump landslide…) I even got the hat. This election, supporting Trump is difficult for many conservatives, and so I feel I owe an explanation, or apology in the old sense, for the hat…

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Just after the Indiana primary I was aghast that we were stuck with Trump. After a brief toying with the idea of voting third party (this ended long before the inanity of the ‘Libertarian’ ticket was fully exposed) I found myself convinced that the proper position of a conservative was the #NeverHillary camp. After all, I voted for Senator ‘only ever does something in the senate if it sabotages conservative goals’ McCain and Gov. ‘I basically invented state-run healthcare in America’ Romney in my own personal #NeverObama voting pattern. Sure, those candidates only pretended to be conservative when it suited them, but they were better than the alternative. And so it seemed to me that voting for Trump was not really any more of a ‘compromise’ of my conservative principals than voting for those two. I have long held a political theory that voting for principled governors and state representatives, school boards, alderman etc is where the real conservative revolution needs to be. (This is why I am a Scott Walker supporter, and a Sheriff Clarke supporter.) As for the presidency, in my personal system, I vote for the best candidate that might be able to win, and I hope that our bottom-up conservatism can take effect before our country’s top-down authoritarianism can ruin us. Its a close thing right now, and so I decided sometime just before the conventions that Trump might be able to buy our bottom-up conservatism some time, while Hillary would be game over. So I decided to vote for Trump.

So how’d I get from ‘ok I’ll vote for Trump’ to actual support. I mean, look at the garish hat, right?

Well, it started with an rant from Ace at Ace of Spades HQ. I don’t remember the actual page, but if you read through enough you’ll catch the general tone from Ace. I think, like Ace, that the conservative intellectuals who are actively working against Trump with the idea that we’ll get a conservative in 2020 or 2024 have lost their way. Basically, my general thoughts and feelings were summed up in toto by Publius Decius Mus in the ‘Flight 93 Election‘. What with Obama using the government to target and suppress political opposition (documented fact, not conspiracy theory) I do not have much confidence at all that there even would be a meaningful election in 2020 or 2024 with a Hillary presidency. I know… that sounds histrionic; but the entire government has been politicized and weaponized with just 8 years of Obama, into an entity that suppressed the political opposition in 2012 and that permitted Hillary and her entire guilty staff off the hook after being caught committing crimes. After all this, Obama is found out to have used a pseudonym to email Hillary, making one wonder if he has a privet email server… and what he might be using it for. We also have had the tyrannical, despotic, ‘John Doe’ investigations here in Milwaukee… does it stretch the imagination all that far that under Pres. Hillary we would have people who voice political opposition have their doors kicked in by SWAT at 3am? If you think this impossible, just remember, that that is exactly what happened in Milwaukee county and the man most directly responsible just got reelected!

Its not just this, though. There is a fundamental principal I’ll call the truth  of little things. It is an apt saying that a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time, but Trump has said uncomfortable, true things, enough times that I am starting to think that, though crude and unpleasant, he is often right. I saw it said somewhere that Trump is like a doctor with no bedside manner saying ‘You’re fat, you need to lose 100 lbs and stop smoking like a chimney if you want to live much longer.’

Allow me to digress a little bit and then return to this ‘Truth of little things’ which I believe is something utterly fundamental to our (conservative) cause. We have come upon a time in America where the elected and media elite believe themselves unaccountable to the normal voter. They promise balanced budgets every year, and every year they build the debt. We’ve gotten border securing promises from politicians from both parties over and over and over… and hmm… they don’t do that because that is not what they, the enlightened ones, think is best. They think Trump is a disaster because the un-college educated want to vote for him, and because he is crude and unpolished in presidential debates.

In our age of trigger warnings and microagressions and men who are pretending to be woman being read into title IX… our elite government, the leftist totalitarians and their ‘right-wing’ enablers are very close to enforcing actual despotism upon us. When we fear being beaten in the streets for supporting a major-party candidate… when we fear that so much we buckle under and vote for what the powerful want us to vote for, if we do that, America will lose its very soul. We will have participated in our own subjugation. It is like the theory on communist propaganda. Kim Jong Il never pooped, not because people would believe it, but because forcing people to force themselves to believe something ludicrous is tantamount to making their reason and self-identity commit suicide so that they can be integrated into the collective whole.

So it is that voting for Trump is a revolutionary act. Perhaps these last few weeks before the election are our last days of being able to speak our mind. Our last few moments to believe what our eyes see: to say, if you have an X and Y chromosome, you are a man. And for Christians, this may be our twilight days of our being able to say that homosexuality is sinful without being fined, our business shut down, our churches closed… This might happen even if Trump wins, our Republic may have been lost already. But one way or the other, I believe we ought to go down fighting, saying ‘I want to be alive, I want my country and my culture to live. I will tell the truth, even though the would-be god-kings of DC don’t want me to.’

I leave you with this from Chesterton: I think we may have come upon these days…  ‘Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.

 

Huh…

The craziest thing is, once you start noticing the Hillary head movement problem that’s what holds your attention, rather than the unhinged tone or the persistent stare…

Watch the first one again on mute… and the head motion is totally weird, like she is trying not to bob her head but her head has other plans…

Wonder if she is going to stand and nod the whole time Trump talks at the debate… huh…

(h/t Ace)

The ‘Obscure Move’ rule

Many of you are familiar with Chesterton’s fence: wherein he will not allow anyone who says ‘I don’t see the purpose for that gate’ to take the fence down. Rather, the man who understands why the fence is there might be permitted to take it down.

I propose a variation on that theme, but with the mechanisms of a political campaign. But I need a new analogy, and so I will use the game of go.

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We will call this the ‘obscure move’ rule. For this example, perhaps some knowledge of go ranking will be helpful. There are amateur ranks called ‘kyu’ and there are professional ranks called ‘dan’. At the IGS (a go server) that I play on sometimes the ‘amateur’ levels start at ‘beginner’ and then the first ranked ones are 17k at the bottom and 1k at the top. These are roughly 10 in steps of 10 point differences in skill. I play at about the 9k level currently (though I have been up closer to the 6k before I got rusty). So, say for example, that I am playing a 2k… and as we play the 2k plays a move that makes no sense to me. There are all sorts of moves on the board that seem to me to be more important to play at this point. I know from experience (when playing a 12k for example) that the most common response form most people is to assume that the better player just made a mistake. I, on the other hand, will spend as much time as I can afford on the game timer trying to figure out why that move was so important to the better player. I assume that I don’t understand the move because the player sees things that I cannot.

To take this a little further, lets say you are an average person… (by definition, this is the most likely place to find people, intellectually or in go playing ability…) and lets say that you are watching two people play a game of go and as far as you can tell the game seems tied. Then black makes a move that seems to be unimportant or a mistake to you. This move is obscure to you, it is the eponymous ‘Obscure Move’ and you want to rant about why it makes no sense.If your criticism is: ‘I don’t know why black just did that, but these other moves were much better’ I shall ignore you and all your subsequent analysis. You haven’t even tried to understand the move. If, on the other hand, you go and think for a while and come back with ‘I think black was trying to accomplish so and such but these moves would have yielded a better outcome’ I shall give you my full attention.

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That is from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight election forecast. And I am tired of hearing people say ‘I don’t know why Trump doesn’t have a ground game… I don’t know why he doesn’t buy ads… I don’t know why he doesn’t have tons of paid staffers for his campaign! He will clearly lose without these things! Obviously! Because Romney dumped a ton of money and lost, so obviously more money must be spent to win!’ Perhaps these people are right, perhaps Trump has no idea what he is doing. But before they speak so stridently, these strange people who insist that Republicans must continue to run their campaigns the same way they keep losing their elections really ought to at least try to come up with a reasonable explanation for the ‘Obscure Moves’ they are criticizing.

As for me, if money and ads won elections, the Republican Nominee would be named Bush. And perhaps staffers are actually parasites on the funds raised for their political cause… If anyone would do a cost/benefit analysis one would think that Trump might have done so, and decided that the return on investment for staffers is nil. As for the ads… I suspect that Trump might be the only candidate who really groks the American people’s short attention span. If ads actually yield a return on investment, perhaps all the conventional wisdom of ‘define your opponent early’ is wrong, and most Americans decide based on the last 2-3 weeks… maybe Trump is letting the voters get sick of Hillary ads and is deciding which states actually make sense to play ads in. Maybe this is an electoral version of holding ones fire until you can see the whites of the eyes… Maybe not. Maybe Trump is incompetent, but at least I don’t start with that assumption and then presume that the strategic choices are incompetent. I look for the possible competent/intelligent strategy possibilities first, then make a judgement as to the possible efficacy of the strategy.

So, when you encounter an ‘Obscure Move’ take your time to try and understand why it might be a good or even brilliant move before you conclude that it was a mistake.