Category Archives: Politics

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.

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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.

Compassion

Here I sit, listening to Bruce Springsteen… yeah… ok, on with the thought.

A while ago I wrote for Independence Day that we do not live in a Christian nation, and neither do we really live in the free country that we dream of: all that is left is the dream. I said that I  was afraid that we have already slipped so far down the slope into despotism that the options to clamber back out as a nation are grim and few. We are passing, what the Tocqueville critical mass… In that same post I shared a poem (a just ok sort of poem) where I wrote this:

O Lord I know not if to pray
For justice swift and soon today,
Or if like Abraham, to plead
For yet more time and grace indeed!

I put a lot of weight to the songs that people listen to, and to what they say. And while listening to ‘The River’ I put words to a long held thought.

With the key verse being:

“I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember
Mary acts like she don’t care”

And suddenly, it was clear that many (or most) Republicans have given up on Republicans… the voters don’t trust any of the people running for office, and there are so very many tired people: people who have slid the most of the way into the final nihilism of Godlessness that they are like the monopoly player against whom the rules now feel stacked, who cannot win no matter what, and they flip the table. At least Trump doesn’t pretend to be truthful… at least he doesn’t pretend to be moral. He is the candidate for the guy in ‘The River’. These people who vote for Trump, who support Trump, deserve… compassion.  They do not need or deserve condescension or hatred or bitterness for their support of the ‘kick the table over’ candidate. Any opportunists jumping on the Trump-train for their own benefit deserve excoriated… but the normal Trump voter has been abandoned by the education system (Almost no one is well educated, even with a Bachelor’s degree) and trapped into unproductive lives, and have largely abandoned Christ. They believe that if they are good, God will give them good things, and therefore: since they are miserable, they prefer to not think about God at all rather than follow the logic to its end.

They need, like most people in this sick and wicked world, compassion, and the preaching of the Law out of compassion, so that their ears are ready for the Gospel.

(And, perhaps the hardest thing to accept is that, despite the stink of nihilism and despair, perhaps they are right about one thing – perhaps America has past the point of no return on the path to despotism, and that a reformer (Cruz) wont be able to do any good, and that the only option left is to kick over the table and draw the steel at ones side. … In which case the proper response is probably to buy ammo… and step into the storm with with the ‘joy of Giants, the joy without a cause’)

 

((You should really click through and read that last link… Kurt Schlichter appears to be one of the last sane people on the Internet… so click through and read the other stuff he writes too.))

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PS… if Kasich doesn’t do well in IN today, and Cruz wins… I predict that Kasich will drop out and endorse Trump within a week…. 

Since When?

Probably the most important question to be asked right now… since when?

For example: after the Iowa caucus, Ben Carson did exactly everything he could to damage Ted Cruz in favor of Donald Trump. Then, when there wasn’t any more strategic damage to do, he dropped out and shortly thereafter endorsed Trump.

Chris Christie destroyed Marco Rubio in a debate just before New Hampshire, a move that also showed him as his unlikable self. The damage Rubio took was probably enough that it is why he did not pull the extra couple percent to beat Trump in South Carolina. Shortly thereafter, Christie dropped out of the race and then proceeded to endorse Trump.

I realize that this sounds conspiratorial but think about it happening like this:

  1. Carson feels cheated out of a strong finish in Iowa
  2. Phone rings
  3. Trump says ‘You were robbed! Ted lied and lied and cheated you (and me) out of our rightful Iowa wins (slash second place).
  4. Together we can take him down…
  5. And so Carson runs with Trump’s attack lines, thinking (as implied by Trump possibly) that Cruz’s support will evaporate and drift mostly his way.
  6. Trump nurtures the delusion
  7. Carson only gets out after he cant hurt Cruz any more, and is promised a position in Trumps admin… illegal, but basically he admitted there was an offer made in exchange for the endorsement…
  8. Carson may still not realize that he was played… or he participated the whole time.. either way, his voters (who would probably not have voted for Trump) ought to be outraged.

As for Christie

  1. Cant gain any traction in NH
  2. ‘Phone rings’
  3. I have a great line of attack against Rubio… but it wont work from me… says Trump
  4. Christie dices Rubio
  5. Christie realizes that he was played for a fool…

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So, at what point did Carson and Christie become Trump supporters… Since When? Supporting a candidate after dropping out is normal… doing so beforehand is at the very least fraudulent in ethical terms… not sure about legally though.

Which begs the most important question: What is Kasich doing the the race? If we list his actions, it would seem that everything he is doing disproportionately assists Trump. He campaigned in Utah, on the off beat chance he could keep Cruz under the 50% cutoff. He tried to take delegates in WI when, camping in NY and Pennsylvania would be certain to gain him delegates, where spending time and money in WI would almost certainly not, and also almost certainly affect Cruz, not Trump….

Since when?

Or better yet: When will Kasich exit the race and endorse Trump?