Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

The Difficulty Of Language In The Interpretation Of Trump’s View Of Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
9 months ago

There is no shortage of Trump supporters, here on this blog or elsewhere.  And there is no shortage of Trump detractors.  It occurs to me that sometimes language is a barrier to communication rather than the vehicle for it.

Trump might be engaging repeatedly in 3D chess, or he might not.  His art of the deal might be selling out your rights for his benefit, or it might not be.

But in either case, it must be remembered that his predilections are those of a Northeastern progressive, with certain conservative tendencies.  He isn’t a reliable, ideologically committed conservative, or a conservative (or libertarian) based on incorrigible principle.

The strata in which he communicates and flows is ever changing, a non-fixed, malleable, very unpredictable morass of ideas and statements.  The problem comes in because of the nature of language itself.  Language, as American philosopher Gordon H. Clark said, is comprised of words and sentences, all of which is designed as tags and signifiers to help one person communicate a thought to another.

When he says that he supports gun rights, he may not be saying the same thing you think you’re hearing.  Or in other words, gun rights to him means something different than gun rights to you.  It’s a safe bet that gun rights to him means submission to the authorities, full and complete, so that red flag laws wouldn’t be a problem to him.  He believes in no principle that would cause him to oppose red flag laws.

Likewise, the notion that anyone might need or want a stock is silly, and so given that there is no principle to which he can refer to oppose such a ban, he supported it.  His nomination of Barr for AG falls into the same category.  He liked what Barr had to say about the “witch hunt” to which Trump himself was subjected, and thus he will be the next AG.

Trump can appear in front of the NRA and say all sorts of things that sound as if he supports gun rights the way you support gun rights.  He isn’t lying.  he just sees things differently.  His entire world and life view is different.  But when you get past those tags that are supposed to communicate thoughts from one person to another, his ideas are far different from most real gun rights supporters.

You cannot listen to Trump on a pedestrian level, as a freshman in college.  You must understand the nature of language, how it differs from person to person, its potential lack of clarity, and how the tags that are words can be confused, misinterpreted, and misjudged, and thus become vehicles for communicating the wrong thoughts.  Language can be clear, but in order to make it so, the speaker and hearer must arrive at compatible definitions and use the care necessary to define thinking men and women.

Trump Signals Support For Renewed Assault Weapons Ban

BY Herschel Smith
9 months ago

UPDATE: My oldest son points out that this is from a year ago.  I asked him if that is important?  He says, “The Art of War” is necessary for understanding Trump.  It’s difficult to understand whether he’s serious or simply tactically owning or feigning positions.  My response: Then why the red flag laws and bump stock ban?

Via Uncle, this isn’t the Onion.  It’s real.

President Donald Trump raised the issue, unprompted, during a roughly hour-long televised meeting with Feinstein and other members of Congress Wednesday afternoon at the White House. “I think it’s something you have to think about,” Trump said at the gathering to discuss school safety. “It doesn’t make sense that I have to wait until I’m 21 to get a handgun but I can get this weapon at 18,” he added, referring to assault rifles.

Trump’s comments came the same day Feinstein and Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake formally rolled out their bipartisan legislation to raise the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons and high capacity magazines from 18 to 21. The California Democrat, sitting directly to the president’s left at the White House meeting, interjected at one point, asking if he’d sign legislation to raise the age to 21.

Trump said he’d give it “serious thought,” even though he acknowledged the National Rifle Association opposed such a proposal. The president said he’d been “asked that question more than any other question” in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people.

He also didn’t rule out the idea of outlawing assault weapons, like the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle gunman Nikolas Cruz used to mow down students and teachers at Stoneman Douglas High. Feinstein pitched her 2017 legislation to renew the ban at the beginning of the meeting, handing Trump a copy of the bill. She was the author of the original assault weapons ban that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. It expired in 2004.

Later, the president asked Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia if they could fold Feinstein’s legislation (and another proposal from Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobucher) into their bipartisan background checks bill. “Can you add what Amy and Dianne have, can you add them in?” Trump asked. Feinstein’s gleeful reaction, smiling widely and appearing to plead with Toomey and Manchin, immediately began circulating on Twitter.

Don’t be surprised.  The “Let’s make a deal” president famously said during his campaign that “Everything is negotiable.”  By that he meant everything, including recognition of your rights.  We all knew that then, and we still know it today.  Nothing has changed.

Trump may be just a stupid hack with Northern progressive proclivities who doesn’t understand his base.  But then he could also be a Manchurian candidate for the deep state.  What else would explain his nomination of Sessions for AG, his leaving Mueller, Comey and Rosenstein in positions of authority, and his support for red flag laws and the bump stock ban?  Who knows except him?  In any case, time is running out, and the state is evolving to an even more draconian tyranny.

There is also the support by the NRA that organization will have to answer for.  Was their support just stupid, or was there some ulterior motive?

Donald Trump Versus The Deep State: Part II

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

We’ve discussed the firing of General Michael Flynn earlier, and followed it up with an informative video.  There are two more videos coming your way in this post, since it’s the best way I know to communicate things in a short and easy manner.  But before we get there, I need to convey a few thoughts.

This writer has some things to say along those lines, pointing to the deep state coup against Michael Flynn and advocating the idea that this wasn’t about Flynn.  It’s about who’s in charge, Donald Trump or the deep state.  But he gets sidetracked by adding these things.

Please don’t come and tell me that Flynn was wrong on Iran, on Islam or on China.  I agree … For better or for worse, it is absolutely evident that Flynn was the brain behind Trump’s entire foreign policy.  On some stuff Flynn was great (Russia), on some stuff he was okay (Takfiri terrorism), on some stuff he was ridiculous (China) and on some stuff he was terrible (Iran).

The writer is correct that the deep state had to bring him down.  He’s wrong on his assessment of Flynn and foreign policy generally.  As for Iran, many writers aren’t able to divorce themselves from loathing of Jews or Israel or the Mossad.  Listen to me, folks.  Our Iran policy should not be based on whatever the Mossad wants us to think.

The problem with Iran is that the Imams believe in the “twelver” view.  They want to see the final Imam come, they want to see a worldwide conflagration, they want Iran to burn in order to start it all, and above all else – yes, above the destruction of Israel – they want to see America burn.  Don’t see Iran in the idiotic Ron Paul way, where if we just stop meddling in foreign affairs we can be friends with these people and trade with them.

Horse shit.  We should stop meddling in foreign affairs, and we should close our borders.  But that won’t change one iota what the Quds or the radical Mullahs think of us or want for us in the end.  We will eventually have to confront Iran, and it’s best to do it with less military force than with greater.  Obama refused even to verbally support the “Green” movement in Iran when they needed it most.  We allowed them to humiliate our sailors, we made pussy deals with them, and thus we empowered Iran.  Sanctions were working to impoverish the country, and then they were removed.  We haven’t even tried yet with Iran, and we seem to want to give up because we have no stomach anymore for anything at all beyond sitting on the couch and watching idiot shows on the TV.

Flynn is also spot on about Islam.  I’m not sure where the writer is getting his view of Islam, but Muslims, many of them, would sooner cut his head off than to look at him, and if they outnumbered him would force conversion to the evils of Mohammedism.  Flynn knew all of these things, and more.  This, along with the fact that he knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak, is why he had to go.  He knows where the assassinated folks are.  He knows who killed the reporters looking into the oil rat lines in Libya.  He knows who killed Monica Petersen.  The writer only got it partially right.  Former CIA director John Brennan is a Muslim, Obama is at least a Muslim-sympathizer, and the country has been infiltrated with Muslim Brotherhood operatives at the highest levels.

Flynn knows all of this, information from the deep state to the Islamic threat, and he knows that there is a pedo ring operating within the highest circles of government.  And he knows that DynCorp and the CIA is taking down Libya and Syria for oil, money, human organs and children.  Flynn wasn’t just some target to show off for the deep state, he wasn’t just an example to everyone else.  Flynn represented a threat to them of the greatest caliber.  This wasn’t random.  Michael Flynn has character and knows as much as they do.  This made him their number one threat.  Got it?

Now, on to the updates and perspectives by those who know more than I do.  Listen to as much of this video by Robert David Steele as you can (it’s a long one).  If you cannot devote the time to this video in its entirety, then watch the first ten minutes.  It would have been better if Alex Jones would shut up.

Then listen to the counterargument, which is that Flynn’s firing is exactly what Donald Trump wanted to happen, the plan being hatched by Flynn himself.  I find this hypothesis very unlikely, and the evidence isn’t hard.  This is all highly speculative with only open source information, whereas I believe that Steele still has good contacts within the intelligence community.

Either way, there is civil war within the highest circles of power in America.  Those circles had better hope the right side wins.  There might be a bigger war after this if it doesn’t go well.

Do You Doubt The Deep State’s Hatred Of Michael Flynn? Watch This Video

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Prior: The Strange Case Of Donald Trump And Michael Flynn

The Strange Case Of Donald Trump And Michael Flynn

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Donald Trump stepped on his dick with tungsten cleats today.  It was an unforced error of huge proportions, and it doesn’t bode well for his battle against the deep state in the future.

Oh to be sure, there is no question that Obama and his loyalists have waged a campaign to get rid of Michael Flynn.  His ouster was a political hit job, due in part to the fact that Obama knew that Flynn would bury Obama’s foreign policy legacy, for what it’s worth.  But they could only be as successful as Trump allowed them to be, and only Donald Trump could have fired him, and there is speculation, even early reports, that Reince Priebus was responsible for whispering in Trump’s ear to “fire the bastard.”  The mole inside the Trump administration may in fact be him, or it may be VP Mike Pence.  Who knows at this point?

What we do know is that in order to excise the cancer of the deep state, leadership will be required.  Trump didn’t display that today.  For this failure, he now faces the prospect of ugly Senate investigations of whatever they want, with hysterical calls for someone’s head because shut up and do what we say.  How’s that attention to Obamacare repeal working out, Donald?

In fact, remember the deep state?  You know, the NSA/CIA/FBI campaign, along with DynCorps and the Clinton Global Initiative and the Council on Foreign relations to topple seven countries in North Africa and the Middle East for the purpose of trafficking oil, humans, money and weapons.  Yes, that deep state, the one who ousted Michael Flynn.  How much attention have you and Jeff Sessions paid to that deep state?  You have folks actively working against you and for a shadow government, Donald, and the price for your lack of vision and failure to lead is that all of this attention just got buried in an unnecessary and hysterical witch hunt for a boogeyman.

The charge is that Flynn talked with the Russian ambassador (my God, I hope he did, someone needs to be talking to someone else in representative authority in Russia), and that there was some sort of miscommunication back to the administration about these conversations.  Frankly, I don’t give a shit about the details.  But the deep state does, and here’s why.

The deep state wants war with Russia for a host of reasons, including the fact that war is business model, war buries past sins and keeps them on the back burner so that they’re not investigated, and war opens up vast new frontiers for oil, mineral, precious gems, human trafficking and money trafficking.  The deep state is into all of that, as are most of the Senators.

Furthermore, the U.S. government has a death wish, and apparently wants to flood the country with illegal aliens South of the border to access cheap labor for the corporatists (while the middle class provides their medical care), as well as flood the country with Mohammedans because of whatever reason.  Each ruler has his own religious or monetary reason, moral perfidity or pathological condition for bowing to whose who would abuse them.  For whatever reason, there is also a Muslim invasion in the U.S.

Here is the problem for the progressives and the deep state.  Michael Flynn knows all about the deep state, and he also knows all about Islam and the danger it represents to America.  Just listen for a moment to comments at The Small Wars Journal on an article about Michael Flynn.  The article is irrelevant, but the comments aren’t.  For the record, the SWJ is where the lefty progs hang out who are attached to the military or foreign policy think tanks.  CNAS was good friends with the SWJ, and CNAS is where Obama got one of his loyalists, Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense for policy.  Listen now to someone who calls himself Outlaw, who is anything but an outlaw.

Flynn to a reporter: “Islam, Mike, is a political ideology based on a religion” , at 1:55:
https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/32086541/lt-gen-flynn-islam-is-a-political-ideology-based-on-a-religion/#page1

This article fails to actually indicate that the SecDef ruffled privately the Flynn feathers for actually leaking his document to CNAS……

Notice that the article also does not explain the firing from DIA “for cause” ie poor performance as DDIA……basically an attempt to create an image of a great mover and shaker for change…and to bridge his failures at DIA…..

When’s the last time you saw a Klan leader getting excited by an Attorney General…a DCIA and a NSA appointments?

David Duke must know something we all do not know about the three?????

Wonder if Flynn will reject the joy expressed in his appointment by the KKK?????

here is my beef….

1. Flynn’s anti Islam rhetoric while it pulls with many…does not play well in the entire Sunni and especially Shia ME……
2. Flynn got caught tweeting an anti Semitic tweet out and then when caught at it apologized so is anti Semitism really his core believe…
3. Flynn has fully failed to explain his trips to Moscow and how much he has received from Russian Today and 400% owned Russian propaganda machine
OR how he came to be invited to speak at the FSB/SVR Moscow Headquarters and just who invited him OR his personal ties to Manafort and Page Carter
4. Flynn led the RP Convention chants of “jail her”…to me personally a direct threat to the US Constitution….that supposedly he is now protecting from enemies near and far

Notice the charges.  Not seeing Russia as the “enemy.”  Flynn uses anti-Islam rhetoric.  Flynn led the chants of “jail her.”

If this is the best Outlaw can do, my estimation of Flynn just went sky high.  Flynn knows what’s going on, and he knows the threat posed by the real enemies of America.  Thus he had to go.  Flynn was a wall around Trump that couldn’t be breached, someone who had Trump’s ear, someone who had a history with this stuff.  Someone who had authority.

The other objections are just fabricated problems and intramural squabbles found throughout the military.  Flynn was axed for the same reason Stephen Coughlin was axed.  No one wanted to hear what he had to say.  Coughlin was a scholar and in many ways like “the weeping prophet.”  Flynn was a militarized prophet, and he posed a danger to the deep state.

In the end this can be recovered, and in the end Trump can show the leadership he needs to rid America of its shadow government.  This is not a good beginning.  The press conference he should have given would have gone like this.  Trump walks to the podium and says, “Flynn is my man.  The rest of you can go to hell.”

And that would have been the end of it, focusing all attention back on him and his agenda.  But if Trump continues to listen to mole Reince Priebus or VP Pence or any of this other “advisors,” he might just hear what the deep state has to say rather than what the people have to say.  And in the end, that probably means civil war.

Trump The Carpetbagger

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

NRO:

Since he locked up the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump has furiously backtracked on a number of key positions he took during the heated primary. As my colleague Jim Geraghty has written: “Within 24 hours of becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump had reversed his positions on tax increases, paying down the debt, raising the minimum wage, and self-financing his campaign. It was a busy day.”

Now, Trump seems to be backing away from one of the three signature issues (renegotiating trade agreements and building the border wall are the other two) that added rocket fuel to his quixotic presidential campaign: the “temporary Muslim entry ban.”

Last night in an interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren, Trump said, “sure I’d back off on [the Muslim ban]. I’d like to back off it as soon as possible. Because frankly, I’d like to see something happen [to solve the problem].” He then pivoted to proposing a commission — headed by former New York City mayor Rudy Guliani — that would look into the problem of Islamic terrorism.

Also on Wednesday, in response to a question from Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade, Trump defended the proposed ban, while also appearing to hedge his bets. “We have a serious problem, and it’s a temporary ban — it hasn’t been called for yet, nobody’s done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on,” Trump said.

A commission on Islamic terrorism, to solve problems and answer questions for the New Yorker who apparently hasn’t read the history of the previous millennia.

Mr. Trump is laughing all the way to the convention, saying “Thanks for voting for me, SUCKERS!”  You know, at one point in American history, other Northerners came South to sell their snake oil.  They were called carpetbaggers.  The rich boy from the outer boroughs of New York convinced enough Southerners to buy his own brand of snake oil that there’s no turning back now.  Suck that oil down, guys.  Hope it helps you.

Bidding Farewell To Politics

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

We all knew it would happen one day, this final divorce from the political scene.  It’s been building for a long time, but before I get ahead of myself, let me explain how I got into politics.

I’ve never really been in politics, per se.  I’ve never run for office, I’ve never been an active part of a party, but I have donated, worked hard to persuade others of my views, and diligently voted, as well as followed the political scene very closely.  It all began my final year at Clemson University.  I recall being in Johnston Hall in a small dormitory room (are there any other sizes?), along with about twenty other guys.  We were packed in, and all watching Jimmy Carter debate Ronald Reagan.  Reagan handed him a resounding defeat, and at that time we were all Reagan supporters.  The entire campus, it felt like, thought like we did.  There couldn’t be found a single student on campus who supported Jimmy Carter, or if there could, he didn’t say so out loud.

In addition to studying engineering into the late hours every night, we were carefully and diligently following every particular, every detail, of the political scene, and understood fairly well the theoretical and philosophical basis of the choices the candidates made.  Those were heady days – from Calculus and engineering mechanics to political theory and theology and the Bible and back again to physics and chemistry (Even then, the humanities department was infected with progressives, and if we wanted to learn we had to teach ourselves.  I’m reminded of a friend studying philosophy at another college who had to ignore his classes and read Frederick Copleston to learn philosophy, but that’s another story).  The Reagan revolution was strong at Clemson in those days, and we survived on caffeine and late night snacks.  More than a few pots of coffee were made in that horrible kitchen in Johnston Hall at midnight.

We won, and it wasn’t that we won, so much as our ideas held sway.  I do wish that Reagan had been a little more into the details of things, because I hold these four things against him: (1) the first amnesty, (2) Sandra Day O’Conner and Anthony Kennedy, (3) The Hughes Amendment, and (4) deploying the Marines to the barracks in Beirut, only to withdraw them after attack by Hezbollah.  Every one of these things have been shown to have deleterious effects on America (including the Hughes amendment which has caused a lack of investment and design engineering in weapons for our military).  Those are four big failures, but still, we knew that the unborn had a champion, small government had an advocate, and that the danger of “near peers” wouldn’t be underestimated.

Over the course of time, compromise began to occur.  Deals were made, and the mantra of electing the “conservative” who was most electable replaced principled conservatism.  As the democratic party moved more to the left, republicans moved with them in order to stay “relevant.”  The same disease afflicts the American church, leading to the defenestration of doctrine in favor of relevancy.  Whereas the church used to talk about the vicarious atonement, the sovereignty of God and the Council of Nicea, it now focuses on racial reconciliation, nuclear weapons, and gender identity.

We all knew this would happen one day.  By not stopping the diminution of the party, we fed the monster of big government, largesse, entitlements, debt, money printing, high stakes gambling on Wall Street, corporatism, open borders to feed low wage labor, hospital emergency rooms functioning as primary care clinics all paid for by the middle class (so that those low wage workers can work for the corporate masters), crony capitalism and its attendant involvement in the drafting of millions of pages of law, regulation and federal register notices to ensure that the corporations “get theirs.”

I wasn’t surprised at the revolution of the voters this election cycle.  I suspected that it would occur.  What did surprise me was the popularity of Donald Trump.  South Carolina broke my heart, and I knew it was over for Ted Cruz at that point.  Here was the perfect chance to elect someone who would come as close as possible to taking us back to the Reagan revolution, and perhaps even do better than that, in Ted Cruz.  He is a champion of the unborn, has an even stronger position on work visas than Donald Trump, is against the imperialistic military meddling in the affairs of other states and has said so quite clearly (the effect of this position in alienating him from the likes of George W. Bush, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the rest of the neocons, has been underestimated and is ripe territory for study), has always been a strong supporter of the right to bear arms, has successfully argued before the Supreme Court and understands its machinations well enough to appoint reliably constitutionalist jurists, favors a flat tax, has tried his best to shut down funding for Obamacare (with no help from his senate colleagues), and has sworn to overthrow the single payer health care system.

I have relayed what I heard Louie Gohmert say regarding the meetings between Cruz, Lee, Brat, Gohmert and Duncan, among others, in Cruz’s office, to overturn support for the “gang of eight” bill.  Cruz was hated inside the beltway for very good reason.  While Jeff Sessions was telling us that only Trump would “bust up the Oligarchy” in Washington, Cruz was doing just that.  Busting up the Oligarchy is sure to make the Oligarchs mad.  It doesn’t bother me at all that Cruz was hated by others in Washington.  I would have been even more his supporter if Cruz had advocated an old fashioned lynching of most of the Senators and Representatives, or perhaps tar and feathering.  No one is angrier than I am over the devolution of things in Washington.

And yet the people have chosen Donald Trump.  A man who mocks the handicapped, who considers free speech a disgrace, who triangulated a position so nonsensical on North Carolina’s bathroom law that no one knows what he means, who is a proven hypocrite on foreign workers and immigration, who wants to increase the lands owned by federal government rather than decreasing federal power and turning over the lands to the states, who has never asked anyone for forgiveness, most especially God, who only recently triangulated his position on gun rights when previously supporting an “assault weapons” ban, who supports abortion, who believes that Maryanne Trump Barry (who supports infanticide) would make a fine supreme court justice, who criticizes women for their appearance, who calls people disgusting because of pictures taken of them while they eat, and who believes in a single payer health care system.

It’s like watching an awful reality show or perhaps an interstate wreck at high speed.  Donald Trump is an obscene, narcissistic, self serving, hateful, vengeful, grotesque, moral monster who hates anything that isn’t rewarding him for being him.  He is the post-modern man, evolved past Sartre and Camus and (I suppose, finding emptiness) circling back to the pinnacle of self indulgence, Marquis de Sade.  He is an awful man.  I’ve repeatedly heard that Ted Cruz was born in Canada or wherever, or that he took a loan from such-and-such bank.  The former issue never got any traction with me, and as for the later issue, so taking loans is now illegal or immoral?  I have a loan on my house.  So what?  And as for Trump’s bankruptcies?  That’s okay, because sadism is all about self indulgence at the expense of someone else.

I get the revolutionary flavor of the current political scene.  But instead of supporting the only real revolutionary, the GOP voters have collectively dropped their drawers and mooned God and everyone else in a protest of the preceding years.  It’s a sad thing to watch.  They chose the wrong symbol of protest, and will end up getting what they most loathe, as they become what disgusts and repels them.  The people have raised their fist to God and shouted, “give us a king like all the others.”  And the Lord has said, “very well.”  Suck it up folks, because you’re getting ready to reap the rewards of your choice.

Voting for the least bad candidate is partly what got us here.  Oh, I blame the GOPe, the establishment, 100% for this debacle.  This is a protest vote.  The voters are burning it all down because of your corruption, and the sad, sorry truth is that you still don’t get it.  But it doesn’t stop there for me.  I also blame the voters, 100%.  It isn’t either-or with me, it’s both-and.  No one held a gun to your head and forced you to vote this way in the booth.  You could have chosen to be thinking men and women, but you didn’t.  You became an unthinking mob.  So we are where we are.

And for me, that means that I’ve cast my last vote.  I am bidding farewell to voting.  I am now a disenfranchised conservative Christian, and if a third party opens up for me, I might decide to rejoin in the struggle, but I’ve won’t vote GOP again for the rest of my life.  The GOP has left me – establishment and voters.  It’s no longer my party.  I have no party.  But if I ever vote for an upstart party that is true to my conservative, constitutional ideals, I won’t cast my vote because I think politics will save us.  I don’t.  As John Adams has observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

If we are to be saved, no piece of paper or parchment will do it.  Thus, I sympathize with my friend Claire Wolfe on our sad state of affairs.

In part it’s because I see so many angry people putting so much hope in Trump — a man who, should he manage to buy his way into office (or tumble in by default after Hillary gets indicted) will betray them even worse than than the poltroons of 1994 betrayed We the Hopeful Fools.

But also because, horrible as the prospect of either President Trump or President Clinton the Second is, it’s a relief not to feel hope.

Or despair, for that matter. Horrible as the prospects are, it’s glorious to know how very little it really matters. For freedom. For anything that counts. Oh sure, either pretender to the throne has the potential to make a ghastly mess of things — up to and including World War III (unlikely, but someday somebody’s going to do it). Or building a wall to keep us all in. Or decreeing that all guns must Go Away Now, So There, I Have Spoken. More likely not much happens except the routine bad getting routinely worse. And millions ignoring whatever “the most important leader in the world” says, decrees, promises, etc.

And those poor hopeful fools losing hope. Been there. Done that. It hurts. It burns. It makes you want to go postal. (That was the state of mind I was in from about February 1995, when the betrayal became obvious, to late 1996 when I took my life back, laughed, sat down, and wrote 101 Things to do ‘Til the Revolution.)

Yeah, it hurts. But it hurts like growing up and learning that Santa didn’t really put those presents under the tree.

To be sure, while Cruz called out Senator Mitch McConnell for being the liar he is, I fully expect to see Trump rubbing shoulders with McConnell, Paul Ryan, and so on.  He will cut deals with them.  He said so.  Have you ever heard Trump attack McConnel, Ryan, Eric Cantor, or any of the other creeps that helped to get us here?  No, you’ve only heard him attack fellow candidates.

But unlike Claire, I never expected government to work right any more than I believe presents come from Santa Claus.  I’ve always treated my vote as a precious gift from God whether I effect change with it or not, a power over which I had stewardship and for which I will one day answer to the most high.  I have always voted based on principle rather than pragmatism, or at least I have tried to, and because of principle I am now out of the process until a third party develops that is true to my beliefs.

As for the voters, enjoy what you have created.  When you build you house on sand, don’t be surprised when the first heavy rain knocks it down.  I bid you farewell.  Oh, I’ll poke fun on occasion and remind you of your choices, and I’ll get a good chuckle out of all of this.  But I’m out of the political scene.  I won’t be voting for Donald Trump.  As for my mockery of the situation, I’ll see you over the transom.

Donald Trump On The North Carolina Bathroom Law

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 5 months ago

CNN:

“Well look, North Carolina did something that was very strong, and they’re paying a big price, and there’s a lot of problems,” he said. But he then agreed with a commentator’s argument to “leave it the way it is.”
“You leave it the way it is,” Trump said. “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble, and the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment that they’re taking. So I would say that’s probably the best way.”

What?  Really, what?

What?

North Carolina did something very strong.  Okay, was that good or bad, being strong?    We’re paying a big price, and there’s a lot of problems.  Okay, what are those problems, Donald?

Leave it the way it is.  What way is that, Donald?  The way it was before Charlotte made the decision to do gender neutral bathrooms, or the way it was after the state passed a law against cities doing that on their own?  Which way is it you like, Donald?

So people use the bathroom where they “feel” it’s appropriate.  Is that what you want, Donald?  So is it the Charlotte regulation you like, or something else?  You want gender neutral bathrooms, or not, Donald?

Oh, okay I see, it’s the strife you don’t like.  That means that you’re unwilling to cause strife by your actions, right?  Is that what it means, Donald?  What way is best, Donald?  What do you mean when you say “So I would say that’s probably the best way?”

Listen, I think your tendency to random-speak is causing confusion as to where you stand.  But that’s the way you want it, is it?  You could speak more clearly, but then people would actually know where you stand.  Hey, you know, now that I think about it, your transition from anti-PC to the non-strife candidate didn’t take very long.

What Happens When WrestleMania And Gawker Have A Baby Together?

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 6 months ago

PJM:

Trump is a master of the nihilist style of the web. His competitors speak in political jargon and soaring generalities. He speaks in rant. He attacks, insults, condemns, doubles down on misstatements, never takes a step back, never apologizes. Everyone he dislikes is a liar, “a bimbo,” “bought and paid for.” Without batting an eyelash, he will compare an opponent to a child molester. Such rhetorical aggression is shocking in mainstream American politics but an everyday occurrence on the political web, where death threats and rape threats against a writer are a measure of the potency of the message.

The “angry voter” Trump supposedly has connected with is really an avatar of the mutinous public: and this is its language. It too speaks in rant, inchoate expression of a desire to remake the world by smashing at it, common parlance of the political war-bands that populate Tumblr, Gawker, reddit, and so many other online platforms. By embracing Trump in significant numbers, the public has signaled that it is willing to impose the untrammeled relations of social media on the U.S. electoral process.

To be fair, I think this is right but I think there is more at play than this.  There are legitimate grievances, but voting for Trump to fix those grievances is sort of like placing your penis on an anvil and beating it bloody, shouting “you won’t do it to us again,”  while a Fascist does it again to them as he sings, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”  Turning now to the other parent, pro wrestling.

He parlayed his appearances on Monday Night Raw into a prime-time WrestleMania 23 match. The mega event was billed as the “Battle of the Billionaires” and featured a showdown between a wrestler sponsored by Trump (Bobby Lashley) and a wrestler chosen by McMahon (Umaga) — and was refereed by none other than famous McMahon antagonist Stone Cold Steve Austin. Even the taunt-filled ringside contract-signing showcased Trump, prefiguring his insult-laced debate performances. At stake was a golden head of hair: The loser would be forcibly shorn of his famous locks in front of a record pay-per-view crowd.

I’ve been toying with the idea that Donald Trump isn’t a human, but an apparition of some sort, designed by evil forces to have an adverse impact on behavior.  My thoughts still need to be fully formed before laying that out there as a mature idea, but Trump is certainly having a bad affect on behavior.

The goal is to harden men.  It is to force them to bare their asses, pull their pants down in public, use foul language, discuss obscene things, hurl baseless insults towards other people, to be able to do or feel anything without shame, and manifest utterly narcissistic feelings in all things.

The target is to destroy all etiquette, kill the notion of love, grace and kindness towards others, and coarsen the discourse, both private and public.  Trump has no ideology beyond this, and the increase of Donald Trump.  His values are “without form and void.”  He is an empty vessel, into which anything can be poured that benefits Trump and humiliates, trashes, denigrates and dehumanizes others.

And America is enthralled with the shameless reality show that is Donald Trump.  It is a sick society, sick unto death.

Trump’s Lies And Triangulation

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 6 months ago

I have said for a very long time to my family and others that the experience of parents having and raising children isn’t really about the children.  God will handle the children as He sees fit.  It’s about the parents, and there are two experiences that test your mettle more than any other: marriage and children.  It’s one of God’s way of sanctifying His own, but it has the opposite affect on others.

One reason I care about the election cycle isn’t because I think we can make a difference.  Oh, we can in some ways, we can’t in others.  We can make a difference in the medical care situation in the country, but we can’t in the global financial system.  This discussion is saved for another time.  But one thing the individual vote does at one and the same time is affect the soul and show the content of the soul of the voter.  It’s a deeply moral act that has eternal consequences for the one who is given stewardship of the vote.

Now let me turn for a moment to a recent commentary by Jonah Goldberg.  Sometimes I disagree vehemently with him, but other times he hits on all cylinders.  This day the engine was running to perfection on the dynamometer.

This week there have been some cracks in the façade. Trump’s attacks on Heidi Cruz unsettled even Ann Coulter. And his abortion remarks are still sending tremors through the granite foundations of Trump can-do-no-wrong-ism. Joe Scarborough and Breitbart’s John Nolte are talking about what a bad week he’s having and gravely warning Trump to get his act together. As Jim Geraghty has been writing, the problem with such second thoughts is the assumption that something is amiss with Trump or his campaign. This is Trump. This is his campaign. The Trump we see before us is the same Trump. It’s a bit like when Barack Obama said that the Jeremiah Wright he saw denouncing America wasn’t the man he knew. That was nonsense. Obama knew exactly who Wright was, having attended his church for 20 years. It was only when Wright’s act moved to a larger national stage that all of a sudden he became inconvenient to Obama.

The analogy isn’t perfect, of course. But the basic point is the same. The Donald Trump of the last week is the exact same Donald Trump many of us saw a year ago or five years ago. He’s always been full of sh*t. He’s always been a total ignoramus when it comes to public policy, lacking the simple sense of patriotic duty to do his homework on the issues. He’s always been a nasty and boorish cad. He’s always pretended to be a conservative while working on liberal assumptions of what conservatives want to hear.

His “punish the women” comments were of a piece with his refusal to condemn the Klan on CNN. It’s not that he wants to punish women who have abortions — I’d bet he’s paid more abortion bills than he will ever sign — it’s that he thinks that’s what pro-lifers want to hear. It’s not that he’s a Klansman or that the pillowcases at Mara Lago come with eyeholes cut out in advance. It’s that Trump thinks lots of his fans like the Klan and he wants to pander to them. I have heard first-hand stories from people who’ve worked with Trump about how he disparages women’s appearance routinely. That’s who he is. If you’re attacking him because he retweeted a bad picture of Heidi, that’s not you being principled, it’s you getting cold feet. Indeed, I am sure that the same opportunism that has caused so many supposedly principled conservatives to hitch their wagons to Trump is now causing some of them to question their choices, not because Trump has changed but because the climate might be changing around them. By all means, if Trump continues to unravel (a huge if), please abandon Trump. But don’t think for a moment that the rest of us will automatically take your word for it when you say this or that statement changed your mind about the man. He hasn’t changed, your calculations have.

[ … ]

Like all demagogues, he’s using his lies as a loyalty test for his followers. He’s exploiting his popularity and abusing the devotion of his fans to force them into going along with his fictions, until they are in so deep psychologically, they have no choice but to carry on. It’s an ancient psychological tactic of authoritarians, Mafia dons, and the like: Force your followers into sharing the blame for your misdeeds so that they can’t break ranks.

Jonah is right.  He thinks we want to see women who have gotten abortions in the town center in stocks and chains.  He’s pandering to the social right, but he missed on this, and he missed badly.  His other positions – support for the second amendment, advocacy for closed borders – can only be assumed to be pandering as well.

Not to worry, though.  Just about as soon as he said it, he triangulated his position again, to something like abortion laws are already set and we have to leave it that way.  Trumps views on abortion aren’t the topic here.  Trump is the topic.  He is a mirror in which everyone sees what he or she wants to see, its just that the mirror has to be adjusted based on the onlooker and Trump isn’t really as good a triangulator as he is made out to be.

And that brings me to the conservative voters who have already cast their votes for Trump in the primaries heretofore.  Do you remember when socialized medicine was the most important thing about the Obama administration, the holy grail of the progressives?  It still is.

And yet, you have jettisoned that most important piece of your world view to support a man who sees things far differently than you, who supports socialized medicine, and who has said that the only thing he would change about the current system is to allow it to cross state lines.

Trump has woven you into his deception, his lies, his evil.  And when socialized medicine is codified and solidified for you, your children, and your children’s children to the tenth generation of your progeny, when you see that your seed will hate you and this generation for what has been done to the country, it will be far too late.

Open wide, and suck it down.  This is what you voted for, whether in the end it’s Hillary or Trump, or some replacement for Hillary.  Own it.  It’s yours.  The Mafia don asked you to pull the trigger and do the deed.  It’s no longer about him.  Now it’s about you.


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