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Friday, August 21, 2015

The Last Question

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way: ...

"I know all about entropy," said Adell, standing on his dignity.

"The hell you do."

"I know as much as you do."

"Then you know everything's got to run down someday."

"All right. Who says they won't?"

"You did, you poor sap. You said we had all the energy we needed, forever. You said 'forever.'"

"It was Adell's turn to be contrary. "Maybe we can build things up again someday," he said.

"Never."

"Why not? Someday."

"Never."

"Ask Multivac."

"You ask Multivac. I dare you. Five dollars says it can't be done."

Adell was just drunk enough to try, just sober enough to be able to phrase the necessary symbols and operations into a question which, in words, might have corresponded to this: Will mankind one day without the net expenditure of energy be able to restore the sun to its full youthfulness even after it had died of old age?

Or maybe it could be put more simply like this: How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?

Multivac fell dead and silent. The slow flashing of lights ceased, the distant sounds of clicking relays ended. Then, just as the frightened technicians felt they could hold their breath no longer, there was a sudden springing to life of the teletype attached to that portion of Multivac. Five words were printed:

INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

The quoted excerpt is from a wonderful short story by Isaac Asimov. Below the meta realm, another "last question" presents itself.
The great divide in the West is now immigration. On which side of the issue you fall, determines where you are on the political spectrum. If you have been paying close attention over the last two decades, this has been increasingly obvious. If you have just started paying attention, it may be a bit of mystery. After all, politicians in both parties dismiss the issue. The press is unwilling to cover it, other than perfunctorily. In polite circles, the “I” word is close to being the “N” word.

Even stranger, particularly in America where the never ending election season is boiling like never before, is that politicians are allergic to the topic. Donald Trump has made immigration his central issue and risen in the polls, yet his competitors refuse to discuss it. When asked, which is rare, they get a frightened look as if they have been asked about their desire for young boys. There’s real fear in their eyes.

What’s going on? (From, Z Blog, "The 'I' Word.")

The excellent "Z Man" goes on to explain the fundamental conflict between the Stateless, Nation-less billionaire elite and their sycophants, and the bottom 80%, whose only protection from the global race to the bottom is national borders.

Since the Enlightenment, we have been operating under the premise that it is ideas that matter, not the people who hold them. America, Europa were defined by their propositions, and no thought was given to the people who dreamed up those propositions and maintained them. This Age of Ideas is drawing to a close. We are now entering the Age of Identity, as poor old Bernie Sanders found out in Seattle and Baltimore. We like our socialism nationalist, is the message black nationalists are screaming at old-school trade unionists like Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Whitopia). And now a new theme begins to spread across the political landscape: while we're spreading the green around, why not show some love for the white Americans who still, albeit tenuously, constitute the democratic majority? These are the people beginning to show up for Donald Trump.


Donald Trump's campaign for the US presidency fascinates me on two levels. First is the quaint, "Make America Great Again" slogan, which hearkens back to Ronald Reagan's "Morning In America." I call the 1980's the Last White Decade, and that was when guys like Trump came into their own. Second is the outsider-billionaire, who has apparently decided these less-alpha lickspittles can be dispensed with. In other words, let's just cut to the chase: why should the most ruthless, wealthiest, better-looking, more-intelligent people kowtow to mediocrities like Scott Walker or Jeb Bush? I bet Jerry Jones, maverick Texas oilman and football team owner, is kicking himself right now for not entering politics instead of having to invite a marshmallow like Gov. Chris Christie into his Billionaire Bros Skybox.


Trump has injected a long-simmering issue into the presidential campaign that all the Establishment-candidates and their slick consultants and pundits have been paid not to think about since the 1960's. Immigration truly is the Last Question of Western politics. Taxes per se do not really matter: around half of us are net tax consumers; the US government runs an annual deficit of hundreds of billions of dollars per year; and in no event will government ever be able to capture more than around one-third of actual GDP in taxes. The Constitution does not matter; it's a piece of paper that means whatever the regime says it means. The Culture War does not matter; a Republican Congress cannot even bestir itself to cut off Planned Parenthoood or kick transvestites out of the military.

All that really matters, in the end, is who gets to live where. In more primal terms, it's about Blood and Soil, and always has been. The Pueblos, carving holes in sheer cliff faces to keep away from their neighbors understood it; Jewish settlers and their Palestinian neighbors in the West Bank understand it. The warring factions in Syria understand it.


Most people all over the world over understand it. It is only Westerners, living in a prosperous, post-Enlightenment dreamscape who think pure, incorporeal ideas are what's holding it all together. When a critical mass of a country's people are higher-g, lower time-preference, you get Rhodesia. When the mean shifts toward lower-g, higher time-preference, it's Zimbabwe. The boorish, uncouth Trump, of all people, is the only one pointing out that Americans are what make America, and it has caught the financial and cognitive elites absolutely flatfooted.

Trump is probably the last gasp of White America, a term which encompasses negro-American descendants of slaves and Native Americans by the way, whether they like it or not. The future Hispanic/Asian plurality does not carry the baggage of slavery and native conquest and cannot be expected to maintain the privileges of America's traditional ethnic minorities.

I do not expect Donald Trump to be particularly effective, if at all. The forces arrayed against a nativist America are powerful and deeply entrenched, and the demographic battle is probably lost. My only hope is that he destroys the Republican Party, a toxic institution which is actually an obstacle to conservative reform. After Trump, I expect White America to accelerate its process of withdrawal to its redoubts in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Midwest, New England and scattered rural areas.

Finally, my apologies for the long delay in getting around to my 506th posting. After several hundred posts it started dawning on me how the same issues come up, over and over. Feminism, multiculturalism, egalitarianism, socialism in their various awful, gnostic iterations just keep wreaking havoc, and everybody just seems perplexed that the same bad outcomes keep turning out.

I have a lot of demands on my energy these days, so I may attempt to concentrate on shorter postings via Tumblr and Twitter. Please continue to browse the blogroll and tag cloud at the bottom of the page. Like I say, chances are I've written about the particular issue before.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The uncouth, greedy, adulterous, rude, bloviating, insensitive and intemperate Donald Trump


Who happens to be the only candidate asking the questions that matter at this point. (From Mark Steyn):

But here's the funny and consequential thing. Trump is supposed to be the narcissist blowhard celebrity candidate: He's a guy famous for erecting aesthetically revolting buildings with his "brand" plastered all over them, for arm-candy brides, for beauty contests and reality shows. The other fellows are sober, serious senators and governors.

And yet Trump is the only one who's introduced an issue into this otherwise torpid campaign - and the most important issue of all, I would argue, in that ultimately it's one of national survival. And so the same media that dismiss Trump as an empty reality-show vanity candidate are now denouncing him for bringing up the only real policy question in the race so far.

What he said may or may not be offensive, but it happens to be true: America has more Mexicans than anybody needs, and then some. It certainly has more unskilled Mexicans than any country needs, including countries whose names begin with "Mex-" and end in "-ico". And it has far more criminal Mexicans than anybody needs, which is why they make up 71 per cent of the foreign inmates in federal jails. Just to underline that last point, a young American woman was murdered for kicks in a supposed "sanctuary city" on the eve of the holiday weekend by an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He had flouted US immigration law for years - or, to be more precise about it, local, state and federal officials had colluded with him in the flouting of US immigration law, to the point where San Francisco's sheriff actively demanded the return of this criminal to his "sanctuary city", thereby facilitating the homicide of an actual citizen, taxpayer and net contributor to American society.

This would be quite an interesting topic to air in a US election campaign, don't you think? Certainly, a segment of voters seems to be interested in it. But bigshot media like NBC and Univision and craphole emporia like Macy's are telling Trump and everybody else: you can't even bring this up; this is beyond discussion. The "acceptable" Republican candidates are now obliged to denounce the guy who mentioned the unmentionable: "Will you distance yourself from Trump's controversial remarks? Do you agree such views have no place in your party?" Needless to say, Reince Preibus and the other jelly-spined squishes of the GOP establishment are eagerly stampeding to do the Macy's-Univision-industrial complex's work for them.

The Donald is not really a conservative, nor much of a Republican. He's given more or less evenhandedly to both parties over the decades, because, at Trump's level, that's just the price of doing business in a sclerotic and corrupt republic. The Clintons attended one of his weddings, because, for New York operators, that's like the King of Spain attending the Prince of Wales' wedding: it's just A-list power-schmoozing. Whether the Chinese Politburo would respond positively to a President Trump whose opening conversational gambit is "Now listen, you muthaf**kers" is doubtful.

Yet Trump, like other philosophically erratic politicians from Denmark to Greece, has tapped into a very basic strain of cultural conservatism: the question of how far First World peoples are willing to go in order to extinguish their futures on the altar of "diversity".

Steyn mentions the other old white guy in the race, Bernie Sanders, the guy Vermonters keep re-electing to keep the world safe for juche socialism. Here's Bernie, not faring too well with the Democratic Party's most loyal demographic:



It's hilariously under-remarked how old and white the Democratic party leadership is. The old fossils have gone all in on ethnic identity politics despite the fact that they're still spouting all that classical Marxism from their college classes about the poor chimney sweeps, the pipefitters' union, the right of affluent white women to not have children and work at high-octane corporate jobs, etc. QED, those old bromides will come across as pretty stale as the party shifts towards pure redistributive justice for its constituent ethnic tribes. That is why the pundits are hoping and praying that the nice old WASP lady in the pants suit wins the nomination, to postpone the circular firing squad about to break out on the Left.

Donald Trump is a ballistic missile aimed at the Republican Party. The Left is not going to walk away from this fight. The Republicans will either incorporate a frankly American, nativist plank in their party platform or they will go the way of the Whigs.

Here are some video clips of The Trumpster in action. The man is no buffoon.



Friday, July 17, 2015

The Stranger, pt. 2

The shootings by a Kuwaiti Muslim yesterday got me thinking it would be a good idea to post The Stranger by Rudyard Kipling. Then I vaguely recalled posting it before and sure enough, here it is from April 9, 2013, so this is part 2.

The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk--
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control--
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father's belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf--
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

--Rudyard Kipling (1908).

I don't remember what current event prompted that first posting. There certainly has been enough grist for this mill lately, what with the shooting of Kathryn Steinle by a Mexican national with no visible means of support, who is probably schizophrenic. Then there was the slaying of a Washington DC businessman, his wife, their son and their housekeeper by native Guyanan Daryn Wint, whom somebody for some reason thought would be a good addition to the country.


The strangely orthogonal Washington Post article on Wint's attorney includes this gem:
Initially, Wint was represented by the D.C. Public Defender Service, but Hanover said that the family preferred to hire a lawyer. He thinks they found his contact information on an Internet legal referral service such as Avvo.com.

Hanover said that Wint’s family wanted someone who specialized in immigration issues, fearing that this case could trigger Wint’s deportation. Wint, who was born in Guyana in South America, moved to the United States with his family in 2000 and became a permanent resident after obtaining his green card.

Less pertinent to immigration and more pertinent to the general theme of a society showing marginal breakdown, there is the murder by immolation of Jessica Chambers, and the targeted shotgun assassination of Carrie Jean Melvin.

In the Chambers case, the young woman lived in a community of 500 people, and of course nobody don't know nuffin. In the Melvin case, the suspect was calling herself a CEO of some pretend company and holding down several jobs chasing her dream of desperate, striving existence in Hollywood. Who did this soft 30-year old prey piss off to be shot by a black assassin who then makes a leisurely get-away in a four-door car in broad daylight?

I've got one more: a young liberal named Kevin Sutherland was punched and stabbed 40 times by some of the savage, dead-eyed diversity he so adored while a trainful of cubicle-dwellers cowered in fear. (Per the linked article, the uh, suspect weighed 125 pounds.)

We are all strangers in a strange and frightening land.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Nassim Taleb speaks


Everybody listen.





Read the sub-tweets too.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Home

Friend of the blog Patrick Sheridan asks, in response to the preceding post, "What about people far-sundered, like me? I have no means at all, just a Bible and my own conviction."

My answer is, you need a home; we all need a home.

Home. Yes, it’s critical to our psychic health and general well-being to have one of those. I’m certain young Ms. Makin is a dutiful and tolerant liberal not yet sufficiently seasoned to logically expand on her sentiment. Though one day, at least subconsciously, she will.

Home is not just geography. Home is a place of comfort, safety, and familiarity. Of mutual trust and understanding. Of common past and shared future. Home is where children play without fear in a parent’s eyes. Home is where speaking honestly offends no shrill aliens. Home is what is passed from your father to your son. And most importantly, home belongs uniquely to you.

There are great swaths of her country now no more Ms. Makin’s home than the violent North African city she longs to escape. And when those swaths broaden to encompass everything, where will her daughter seek sanctuary upon saying…

I want to go home.

?

And of all people, Christians are apparently the ones least likely to accommodate you on that point.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How many times do I have to post on how right I am all the time?

In February 2014, I advanced the thesis that the age of evangelism is over, and Christendom, if she is to have a future, would need to focus on natalism and community.
The age of evangelism is over. The Church is fading because she frankly offers nothing to people that any other positive, purportedly compassionate movement--such as political liberalism--does not. The Church thrived under the pagans and the Bolsheviks by virtue of the contrast between her charitable practices and the godless brutality of the ruling regimes. Now, the secular state provides the poor with all the food, clothing, shelter and medical care they need. The poor now manifest the sins of the Biblical rich; secular capitalism generates sufficient tax revenue such that the poor need not even ponder marriage when deciding to reproduce. All that's left for the Church to do is lecture the well-nourished, sheltered and medicated citizenry on the need to curb their sexuality. Really? Or what--Hell?

The religious orders that are doing well these days seem to be the ones that are trying to knock the sharp corners off life for their adherents. For example, in exchange for being an Amish or Hasidic male, you get a job, a definite place in the community's pecking order, and a decent-looking wife who'll have sex with you, bear your children and keep your house. Likewise, Amish and Hasidic females get a guaranteed provider, standing in the community, a reprieve from the status games and career ambitions that occupy the lives of non-Amish and non-Hasidic women, and nuclear and extended family to keep you busy to the end of your days.

Until the Church can offer that sort of arrangement, then from the perspective of the world it's just a lifestyle and ideological choice among innumerable others.
Of all the things I say on the Internet, the above sentiments are the ones most likely not to make it through the moderation queue.

Turns out, once again, that I was just ahead of the curve:

Communion and community.

Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country:
I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts. How do we take the Benedict Option, and build resilient communities within our condition of internal exile, and under increasingly hostile conditions? I don’t know. But we had better figure this out together, and soon, while there is time. [Oh, I've had a few thoughts over the years, Rod. But I'd probably get sued or reported to Homeland Security.]

Christian Communities: From the comments, brother Orthodox and fellow-Tolkein fan Patrick Sheridan puts it beautifully and succinctly: "A way for the community to say 'come and see.'"

Desperation:
I've written this elsewhere and I will repeat it again: you cannot win a culture war if you do not offer a vision of a counter culture for people to adhere to. Putting a different shine on the veneer of the status quo does not suffice. You are still left with the same rotten culture as you had before, just more palatable for conservatives.

Whatever the future brings for Christianity in the West, neither compromise nor despair will prove the catalyst for a powerful response that leads to another awakening. Christianity will either benefit from events out of the control of any human agency, or it will come terms with the last vestiges of the Constantinian order being wiped away and look to its past for the means of engaging the present.

The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling appears to be something of a catalyst. There really is only room for one reigning ideology at the top, and the secular state has decided it has remained neutral long enough.


UPDATE: What's also puzzling is the rather hysterical "What-do-we-do-now?!" expressions. Rod, for example, says he has no idea where to start but that may be somewhat Straussian on his part. Dreher very deliberately carved out a cultural space for his family in rural Louisiana. Collectively, the Amish, Hasidim, Mormons and others seem to have been successful carving out their own cultural spaces. Fr. John Peck has been talking about this since September 2008, although on third reading, I think his homily could bear some modification:
Vastly diminished parishes, both in size and number. There will be a few exceptions, (and they will be exceptional!) but for the most part, most current Orthodox parishioners will age and die, and have no one to replace them. Why? Because as they have taught the context of their culture, instead teaching the context of their faith. Some parishes will simply be merged with others. Many will close outright. A few will change how they do ministry, with a new vision of parochial ecclesiology. These newer parishes will be lighthouses of genuine Orthodox piety and experience. Some parishes, I believe, will actually be formed specifically, in the old fashion, by purchasing land, building a chapel or Temple in the midst of it, and parishioners building or buying homes around it. The Church will be the center of their lives, and many will come from far and wide to experience their way of life.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Porter explains.

I could prepare a detailed analysis of Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage) or King v. Burwell (Obamacare), or I can cut and paste three sentences from Porter.



Meanwhile congressional Republicans, terrified lest they be found insufficiently prostrate before the multi-national corporate gods, rescued Barack Hussein from his own Left flank and granted him Trade Promotion Authority to cut secret, cronyist deals across Southeast Asia. The hog-tying and gutting of the American middle class can proceed apace.

Remember that this Congress was voted into power just seven months ago to do nothing but oppose Obama. "No enemies to the Left!," is now the Republican's governing creed.

Time to start thinking outside the box, folks.

Also, this is my 500th post.