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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.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Okay. I'll do it.

Since Ryan Hunter won't.


Post my comment, that is.

Matthew Heimbach is apparently back in people's sights, for no other reason than that the conscience of a New York grad student weighs heavily upon him in the wake of the Charleston shootings.

The very white Ryan Hunter, whose CV, interests and appearance suggest he is not around a lot of diversity, has declared anathema on Mr. Heimbach.

(Matt's on the right.)

My conscience obliges me to report to Your Eminence [+Demetrios, GOA] that a white supremacist named Matthew Heimbach, who claims to be a practicing Orthodox Christian, has unfortunately been receiving major media coverage from ABC News in the wake of the recent Charleston shootings. Only yesterday, an article appeared in ABC News in which Heimbach was interviewed while wearing an Orthodox cross. Mr. Heimbach has publicly claimed that the suspected shooter in the Charleston attach is a “victim” of a culture which, supposedly, hates and oppresses white people. Mr. Heimbach has claimed, and continues to claim –falsely– that his racist views somehow are in line with those of Orthodox Christianity. He further claims, despite having been excommunicated for his views by Bishop Anthony of the Antiochian Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, to be an active Orthodox Christian in good standing. While his constitutional rights to free speech allow him to do this, I and a number of my friends from across Orthodox jurisdictions are greatly concerned that Mr. Heimbach’s views will cause non-Orthodox members of the public to associate the Holy Church with his radical, un-Orthodox views. He is furthermore presenting a false narrative, claiming himself to be an active member of the Church when in fact he is excommunicated. I am especially anxious that the memory of your illustrious predecessor Archbishop Iakovos not be profaned by the shameful association of such an ignoble man with Holy Orthodoxy.
Apparently he sent an identical letter to Met. +Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese, lest Matt still be lurking in one of his parishes.

My comment, still awaiting moderation:
Well, wait a minute, phyletism means Bulgarians in Istanbul must answer to the local Greek bishop and not their Bulgarian bishop back home. More broadly, the Church's ecclesiology is local, not ethnic. However, this has never meant that Greeks and Bulgarians are canonically forbidden from drawing lines around themselves and declaring themselves the Greek or Bulgarian nations. That is actually part of the catholicity of Orthodoxy: every Nation gets its own Church. Thus, we have liturgies in the local Romanian, Greek, Russian, etc. forms in these ethnic groups' geographic redoubts.

The canons against phyletism are violated, every day, by the clergy, hierarchs and laity of the OCA, GOA, AOANA, ROCOR and surely some others I am forgetting. There is even a Carpatho-Russian jurisdiction floating around somewhere for, presumably, the remaining ethnic Carpatho-Russians. There is also, apparently, Mayan Orthodoxy: http://www.mayanorthodoxy.com/

And then there are the non-Chalcedonian Churches: the Armenians, Egyptian Copts, Ethiopian Copts, Assyrians; all proudly and persistently ethnic. Heimbach is, like most of us, an Anglo-European mutt, but he is unquestionably part of an American ethno-cultural subgroup which, seemingly, is the only one that cannot be nationalistic.

There are two facts in these debates which don't seem to get much acknowledgment. First, the Church's ecclesiology no longer represents the facts on the ground, where people can pick up and move to other countries when the jobs run out or the bullets start flying. Second, people generally prefer religious worship with their own cultural expressions, which is the very reason there are separate jurisdictions in secular, propositional America. Nor are these issues unique to America; there are problems in the Jerusalem patriarchate, where Greek hierarchs are in conflict with the local Arab culture and peoples, and the ludicrous persistence of "Constantinople" in what is unquestionably Istanbul, the capital of the Turkish nation-state.

Here are some more nuanced thoughts on this topic:

https://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/church-and-nationality/

It strikes me that Heimbach is being declared guilty of violating the American secular canon, not the Orthodox one.

This would be an interesting public debate, if people were allowed to debate these issues publicly. But since frank discussion of reality is a hatecrime, nobody can figure out how to reconcile Orthodox ecclesiology with a world where people take their nations with them wherever they go.