If Trump Is So Evil, Why Bring In Refugees?

I really don’t get it.  The same people who are convinced we’re only a couple armbands away from the Third Reich where basically everyone who isn’t an able-bodied conservative white Christian male is about to be thrown in the camps are the same people crying about “refugees” and other immigrants not being allowed to come in.   A lot of people are convinced “we’re all going to die in a thermonuclear war” as well.

At what point is it these people’s duty as a moral human being to STOP these people from wanting to come in?   I mean, if things are heading anywhere near half as bad as these people make it out to be, shouldn’t they be working around the clock to convince these people to go somewhere else?   It just seems kind of sadistic to subjugate people from the Islamic world “looking for a better life” to the allegedly high possibility of extreme discrimination in a country where approximately half the people must be racist sociopaths due to their voting decisions.

As Obama’s Reign Comes to an End, A Few Thoughts…

Friday marks Barry O’s last day of his two four year terms as president and earlier in the evening I took a few minutes to think over the past eight years with him in office.   So I figure I’ll share a few fragmented, disjointed pieces of my train of thought on Obama…

 

When he won in 2008 against a “moderate” “Republican” “war hero” with as much credibility as John McCain, I’ll admit I was a little blown away on how that could happen.    I didn’t vote for McCain (or Obama), but I didn’t get how a guy like Obama could beat a guy like McCain at that point in our history.   It makes a little more sense to me now and I should’ve found the answer in the fact that I wouldn’t vote for McCain.    When he won against Mitt Romney, the most unelectable electable guy in America, I was considerably less surprised.

I guess I was surprised he beat Hillary too, although in retrospect the demographics of the Democratic party was shifting in a way that made that possible.  Looking back, I get why they chose Obama over Hillary, even though she didn’t quite have the same evil aura over her as she does these days.

I always had a hard time viewing Obama as being black and the idea of the “first black president”.   While certainly true, he wasn’t of the black community as we know it in the US.  His dad was from Kenya and his mother was from Kansas.   He was raised by his white mother & family and probably had little interaction with African-Americans in his formative years.   His ancestors weren’t slaves (at least not in the South) and he never had the common experiences of the African-American community.

I remember a conversation I had with a black guy at work about Obama’s race.   I told him that I think Obama would be much more at home doing brunch in Portland with white people than he would at a barbecue in Detroit.    Now that I think about it, Obama probably had more in common with me, a middle class white guy, than this black guy I was talking to who had a background in inner city Detroit and Cleveland.

Obama seems likable on a personal level, but with strong undertones of condescension and self-aggrandizement.

The guy never really impressed me, either.  I once saw someone describe him as someone who’s true calling in life was to be a professor at a community college and that sounds about right.   Certainly not a complete fuck-up, but not the first choice for someone to run the country.   He just wasn’t a very awe-inspiring guy.

I don’t think he really had any areas where he was particularly bright, like foreign policy, military, economics, etc.  No real strong points.   Just kinda all around mediocre.

I don’t think he was ready for the job.   There’s something to be said for executive experience in some capacity and he just didn’t have it or any real inclination towards it.  I don’t think Hillary had a lot of executive experience either, but no one doubted her ability to take the reigns.

Everyone thought that GW Bush was an idiot – except for the people that actually matter in the world.   He held his own with world leaders and the movers and shakers of the world.  Obama had the opposite – the people who didn’t matter thought he was the messiah and the people that did matter thought he was an idiot.   Fortunately for him/us, Obama was likable and I think he received a lot of goodwill from the world in his early years.

He did get to be a better speaker as the years went on.

Did Obama heal America’s “racial divide”?   No.   Things aren’t much different than they were in 2008 as far as that goes.   Overall I don’t think he made things that much worse, but there were definitely points in his presidency where he fanned flames he shouldn’t have or made comments that could be seen as an affront to white America.  I’m thinking about that asshole black professor with the trike and the cop, weighing in on Trayvon (although admittedly it is hilarious every time I see “If Barack Obama had a son, he’d look like <black criminal of the day>” in the comments section) and courting Black Lives Matter.

Is Barry O racist towards white people, as many conservatives say?   I don’t really think so.

Does he have the same reverence for western culture, traditional America, etc, as we would expect from our president?   I don’t think so.   I think that he did hold the belief that America should be deconstructed/reconstructed into something more closely resembling a neoliberal wonderland.

Is he a Muslim?   No.  Is he a Christian?   I doubt that, I think that’s something he just uses for political expediency and then downplays it for political expediency as well.   We could’ve had our first openly atheist president.

A lot of bad things happened on his watch – with his thumb prints on it.  I’m thinking the rise of the surveillance state and the continuation and expansion of the wars, even though he was elected to not do this.

Even though these things would be “evil”, I doubt Barry is an evil guy.   I always got the impression that he was an order taker and that’s about it.   Sure, all presidents probably were order takers to some extent but at least you can see the other presidents being “in” on it and scheming alongside everyone, not just being told what to do.   I doubt he was really 100% on board with everything he went along with.   That’s not an excuse for him because yes, the buck does stop with him.

If he were a little less narcissistic, maybe he would have an interesting story to tell about the “deep state”.   Admitting he wasn’t in charge would be a blemish on his legacy.

I thought the love affair with him and liberals ended a few years ago when he was “just like Bush” but I’m seeing a lot of nostalgia for him lately from people who have a little more anti-establishment bent. Kind of funny.  I think it’s just because Trump is coming in.

It always irked me that when he talked to black crowds he would change his speech to sound more like a black preacher and then when he would talk to white people he would sound like Kermit the Frog.  But that’s none of my business (ha).

He did become a better speaker as the years went on and became a little quicker on his feet I thought.

Holy shit, did the job age him!

I don’t really know anything about his daughters and honestly that’s probably a good thing that they were largely kept out of the limelight.

A lot of people think Michelle Obama will run in 2020 and it almost seems like there’s been a PR campaign to improve her image lately.    No fucking way that’s happening.

That’s all I have for now on Obama’s eight years…

 

 

Sweden – Liberal Utopia to Liberal Dystopia

It seems like about 15-20 years ago you would hear Sweden brought up all the time as an example of how things *could* be.   Liberals loved to cite their socialized medicine, universal education, social security, top notch schools, rehabilitation-based justice system, environmental measures and their status as a humanitarian superpower…all while having one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Sweden’s success stood in contrast to all the bad things that Republicans/conservatives said would happen if the United States went down the democratic socialism route.   In the eyes of liberals Sweden was pretty much a utopia and the gold standard of how things ought to be in the world.

Today all I hear is bad things coming out of Sweden – examples of neoliberalism gone nuts. The rate of immigration from the third world is such that (combined with a low native Swedish birthrate) Sweden has another generation or so before it’s a majority non-Swedish place.   Moreover, Sweden has one of the highest (if not the highest) sexual assault rates in the developed world and there’s a direct correlation between this and the massive influx of migrants.   The Swedish government and media seems to be working in tandem to bring about Orwellian measures to silence any dissent against the “new Sweden” the elites are working on.

It seems like every week there’s a new story of some kind of insanity coming out of Sweden, like distributing bracelets that say “don’t rape me” as a way to curb sexual assault or someone in a position of power making a statement along the lines that native Swedes need to change and adapt to the migrants instead of the other way around.  There’s been reports of very, very young school children learning about homosexuality and fetishes from a sexual standpoint (I don’t think “hey, these people exist and this is what makes them different” is wrong but learning about *how* they have sex and explaining fetishes probably   crosses a line at that age)

It’s lead to a backlash within Sweden as the right-leaning Swedish Democrats pick up steam in electoral politics and metapolitically we see a lot of alt-right action coming out of Sweden with Red Ice Radio, The Golden One, Northern Brothers and probably a few others that I’m forgetting.    On that note, I should add that dissent from the mainstream narrative isn’t very popular in Sweden due to their natural communal and non-conformist disposition.

Anyways, there’s been an article floating around the internet saying that a UN report deems that Sweden will be a third world country by 2030.    Honestly, the figures are a little misleading but it’s undeniable that Sweden is slipping in national HDI (Human Development Index) and other social and economic markers.

All of this begs the simple question – why????

Why would Swedes willingly sacrifice the ability to pass their high-functioning and prosperous society to the next generation as they knew it?   It blows my mind.   I understand some immigration as pretty much everyone else is doing it too.   I understand that you can make some allowances for sexual liberation in a very high-trust society – but why would you jeopardize all of this especially if your country serves as a beacon of hope for all the ideals you hold dear?    It doesn’t exactly make people want to embrace neoliberalism/social democracy when the result is a police state where your daughter/wife has a good chance of getting raped by migrants.

I don’t really feel I’m wedded to any particular political/economic system, so I won’t write Sweden’s <pending> failure up to socialism.   In fact, I think socialism worked great for Sweden because it was a homogenous high trust society – everyone was pretty much on the same page culturally and the wealth gap wasn’t as inherently large as it is in other places like the US.

I will chalk it up to shortsightedness and a generation’s desire for “good feelings” over a responsibility to their progeny.   There’s maybe a Faustian desire for social justice here that will cause Sweden to ultimately lose all of the things that made Sweden, well, a leader in social justice.

In ten or fifteen years when Sweden’s welfare system begins to implode to any meaningful degree and the level of progressivism drops to accommodate the “new Swedes”, will American liberals still point and say “Well, in Sweden they do it like this….”

I doubt it.

Finally, I should add that I don’t necessarily blame the average Swede for Sweden’s predicament.   Like I said, they have a very communal and conformist culture that leads them into more nurturing roles (i.e. “let’s save the world!”) and less likely to dissent from the “general consensus”.  I think these traits are both admirable to varying extents, but again will probably create a destruction of that high-trust society that is required to keep Sweden Swedish.

Trump and the Black Vote

Over the past six weeks or so Donald Trump has reached out in various ways to African-American voters with mixed reactions all around.   He promised a better economy, a crackdown on lawlessness that plagues the inner cities and curbing illegal immigration, which helps the low-skilled domestic job market.

All of these things have been more or less promised by other Republicans to deaf ears, but maybe the best case he actually made was listing everything that’s still fucked up or even more fucked up after decades of loyalty to the Democrats and asking “what do you really have to lose?”.   It’s actually not a bad point and probably more compelling than vague promises of jobs, school vouchers, etc.

The reaction was all across the board, but most reactions were usually somewhere in the neighborhood of “laughable” and a “waste of time”.   The black vote is usually somewhere slightly north of 90% Democrat and has been for some time.  There’s always some pandering from the Republicans, but usually it amounts to nothing more than a PR stunt to other whites.   “Democrats are the real racists!”  “We’re the party of Lincoln”  “These people share our conservative family values” etc.   There’s a joke that what do you call the one black guy at a conservative event?  The keynote speaker.  There’s always a conservative black preacher around every Republican event.

Trump’s appeal got laughed at.   There’s no chance in hell that Trump will “win the black vote” for various reasons.   However, I think it’s actually a really smart move and one that other Republican candidates wouldn’t be bold enough to pull off, let alone be able to pull off.

Why is it smart?   Well, where are all the black people at????  Some of the highest concentration of blacks in the US are in highly contested swing states.    You’ve got Philadelphia and Cleveland in PA and OH.    Then there’s Detroit in Michigan and Milwaukee in Wisconsin, states that either candidate can’t write off.   Even Denver has a large “urban” black population amounting to tens of thousands in a tightly contested state.   In this election we also can’t completely write off Maryland, with a large concentration in Baltimore.   Hell, some people are saying that even New Jersey is up for grabs this time around.

Am I or anyone suggesting that Donald Trump can win over the urban black vote of the Rust Belt?  Not at all.   But I don’t think it’s too far out of the realm of possibility for him to take 12-15% of black voters – compared to the single digits of previous Republicans.

African Americans are about 13% of the population and probably somewhere in the range of the high single digits of the voting public, maybe ten percent.   Taking 12-15% of this doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of the general public or even out of the African American voting pool for that matter.

Here’s what it does mean though – for every likely black voter above eight or nine percent that votes for Trump, that’s one vote that there’s about a 90% chance that would’ve went to the Democrats.   So he would be adding to his vote count and more or less subtracting from Hillary’s at the same time.

A bump of a few percent in the black vote accounts for an increase of a few thousand votes (that would mostly come at Hillary’s expense) in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.  Maybe a thousand in Wisconsin.  Even in a state like Iowa with a low black population it could amount to several hundred votes…and these states are often won by margins so slim that a thousand votes here and there could make all the difference.

…and the way our electoral college is set up, those few thousand votes in a few key states could make all the difference nationally.

I don’t think Trump is wasting his time here at all.

Hillary To Give Speech on the “Alt-Right”

Yesterday Hillary Clinton’s people announced that the Hildebeast would be giving a speech in Reno, NV on Thursday about the alt-right and denouncing Donald Trump’s connections within that shadowy world.

Wow.    There’s been so many “I can’t believe this is actually happening…” moments surrounding this election cycle and this might be the cherry on top.   I thought it was remarkable when the term “alt-right” was used in quite a few mainstream media outlets (sometimes even in the right context) and when a few internet celebrities had publicly expressed some sort of connection with the alt-right.

I just never would’ve expected that something that seemed like such a fringe movement a few years ago would be something that would get some airtime in the arena of political discourse….and I especially wouldn’t have believed that we would have a major candidate take the time to stand up and lecture the American public in her school marm manner on the dangers of the rising alt-right and most notably, Donald Trump’s ties to it.

So most people are probably going to ask “what’s the alt-right?”.  Hillary will answer it for them with something on the lines of a bunch of dangerous racist, sexist and homophobic misanthropes hell-bent on tearing down the foundations of American democracy…and Donald Trump’s campaign is only emboldening these people, as he’s been signaling to them and apparently has direct ties to the alt-right via his campaign staff.    That definition will work for most of the people listening, especially those already inclined to Hillary.

My answer to that question would be a little more…nuanced.   The alt-right is “right” politically in the sense that it acknowledges a timeless sense of traditionalism over conventional/contemporary thought on the political spectrum (although it may overlap at times, of course) and certainly modern progressivism.   So you have ethnonationalism over multiculturalism, traditional gender roles over feminism, hierarchy over democracy/socialism, etc.

Overall it’s a worldview that not many people will be able to fully comprehend, pro or con.  I don’t say that because “h’yuck h’yuck, people are stupid!” but rather most people have a hard time framing this kind of thing outside of the parameters of center-right/center-left political thinking.   The intellectual foundations of the alt-right really go beyond the confines of how we usually think politically.   It might blow people’s minds to find out that the alt-right is just as critical (if not more) towards present-day “conservatives”, or uh, “cuckservatives” than they are on democrats.

Ok, so here’s what I think will happen in Hillary’s speech tomorrow…   She’ll roll out the David Duke endorsements of Donald Trump right off the bat.   She’ll make a direct connection between that guy from Brietbart (NOT an alt-right publication) to Trump as exhibit “A” as far as Trump’s ties with racist boogeymen.  She’ll recount his “missteps” as far as calling for the border wall, calling all Mexicans rapists, being islamophobic, etc.   She’ll lambast him for not doing enough at the very least to denounce the racists supporting him while contrasting it with her campaign, a real rainbow coalition of concerned Americans.   Probably all pretty predictable stuff designed to keep the “Donald Trump is a racist” meme circulating.

What will the reaction be?   Well, for one a shitload of memes and mockery from the alt-right, who are absolute experts on this kind of thing.   I’d also imagine that it will have the unintended consequence of getting “angry white males” to look into the alt-right after hearing it mentioned as forbidden fruit.   I’m sure it will get a lot of press time because A.  Hillary doesn’t get out much   B.   They love her and C. Anything that they believe makes Trump look bad.  People who are already sold on Trump being a big scary mean racist guy will feel vindicated and it will probably fall just as flat as anything else with most of the population.

At any rate, as a person that has been listening to the podcasts, reading the books and visiting the websites of the alt-right for a very long time now, I’m really looking forward to hearing what Hillary has to say about the situation.   Again, it almost seems like we’re in a bizarro-world that we actually have a major candidate using airtime that she could be using to talk about health care, the economy, foreign policy, etc. to (presumably) denounce the alt-right.   Someone must’ve done something right to get things to this point.

A Few Thoughts on Wikileaks…

So the dust has settled a little bit on the recently, yet ill-timed (well, for the Democrats) wikileaks.

– Hillary did a good job of basically ignoring them and deflecting the issue.   Honestly, what she did was probably the smartest way to handle it, given all the factors.   They were able to give it a little bit of a spin so that people were talking about the Russians (possibly) behind it.   Trump took the bait and the press was able to turn it into “Trump is a traitor” for inviting another country to commit espionage.

– But that other country already committed espionage and to quote R. Lee Ermy in Full Metal Jacket “it’s because of assholes like you leaving their footlockers unlocked that we have thieves” ok, maybe that’s paraphrased a bit.   Still, acknowledging that Russia (or whoever) would’ve gotten some juicy details is admitting that the unsecure emails are a national security issue.   Trump won that one by getting them to walk into that one.

 

-On the subject of “traitors”, I’m blown away by the use of that word from the left.   Something just doesn’t seem right.  I thought this when the Confederate flag was a big issue a year ago and a portion of the “outraged” folks were foaming at the mouth over being traitors the US.   Something just seems bizarre about it.   Accusing DJT of treason for suggesting that those emails should be leaked is laughable.  I’m pretty sure everyone who really wasn’t supposed to have seen them has already had a chance to look at them.   Some of the traitor-calling is honestly probably another shred of hope from the left that something will finally stick on this guy and bring him tumbling down.   Not going to happen this time.

 

-As far as the DNC emails go, honestly they were kind of mundane and I’m sure the GOP would have some similar dirt if you dig deep enough, although I’d imagine the condescending tone towards the constituents would be down a couple notches.   I think there really is a tone of “thank God we’re here for all these poor, little people” from the DNC.   On the flip side, I’m sure the GOP talks in similar tones towards Southern evangelicals and probably really believed some of their bullshit about Trump supporters being basically idiots that only backed him because he was on TV.

 

-Bernie Sanders.    Wow.   He could’ve been the big winner out of this but he turned into probably the biggest loser in all of this.   It was made clear that the DNC stacked the cards against him, as it’s been assumed all along.   We have concrete evidence of the DNC rigging the press and conspiring with Hillary’s campaign on ways to make Bernie seem less appealing.   Although he put out a statement saying he was disappointed and this coming to light confirmed everyone’s suspicions about Hillary and the DNC, it wasn’t enough.   Many of his supporters felt left down and to me he honestly seemed pretty pathetic up there pandering for Hillary after all that transpired and his endorsement fell about as flat as possible.   Granted, some of the “Bernie bros” will gravitate towards Hillary whether they like it or not but the whole thing adds to the “system is rigged” theme of his campaign.

 

-Let’s talk “taco bowls”.   Some people have made a big deal out of the DNC referring to their Hispanic outreach as “taco bowl outreach”.   While it’s probably not the language you’d want getting out, I completely get what they were trying to say.  I think they were just trying to poke fun at Trump’s notorious taco bowl picture believed to be a poor attempt to pander to Hispanics instead of referring to Mexicans by a food they potentially eat.   I get it.    No big deal.

-Was Russia behind it?   I don’t know.   If they were, I see why.   One candidate basically promised WWIII with Russia and the other is calling for increased cooperation and dialogue with Russia.   If I were Vlad, I wouldn’t be opposed to meddling in American affairs for this one.

-Even if Russia was behind it, it doesn’t change the fact that what was said was said.   It’s been compared to someone getting caught cheating by their spouse when he/she goes through their phone and then blaming them for getting into your phone.

-I’ve noticed that Hillary’s campaign hasn’t spit too much venom towards Russia for (allegedly) being behind the hack, but rather just brought it up for domestic consumption.   They’re starting to get smart.   They know that when/if she brings up meddling in other countries’ affairs, Trump will be there to bring up all the color coded revolutions with Hillary’s fingerprints.  I think they know Hillary’s foreign policy failures will be a big sticking point and as long as they can keep the voting public on their toes about Trump’s temperament, they’re doing fine.

-I would like to think that Vladimir Putin IS behind it.   I really believed that he saved us from the Obama admin’s um, indiscretions in Syria and prevented WWIII by standing firm against them and outfoxing them on Assad’s chemical weapons program.   Is Vladimir Putin a benevolent force as the savior of the Western world?  Probably not, but he’s as close as we’re probably going to get.   He’s acting solely in Russia’s interest but it goes to show that the interests of our two countries could be aligned.   A lot of people (myself included) don’t get why Russia has to be our enemy in this day of age.   I mean, I *get* it, I think but think it could and should be different.   What happens to the neoliberal order when/if Trump and Putin change the alignment?   That’s a whole book into itself that I won’t go too far into right now.   At any rate, I like and respect Putin more than I do any contemporary US politician.

-I think this will hurt Hillary in the polls, regardless of how she deflects it now.   I think it was just kind of assumed in popular culture that she was corrupt and conniving but accepted, now there’s actual tangible substance in our era to back up those sentiments.   A lot of “independents” that lean to the left were behind Bernie without any real loyalty to the democrats.   Some people will feel obligated to vote for Hillary, but quite a few won’t.   I think Gary Johnson will really clean house in this demographic.   Trump will have the support of most Republicans and enough people like me that aren’t loyal to the GOP but tend to lean that way.  Hillary gets the democratic core and then the swath of independents that believe that Trump is “literally Hitler”.   As much as they like to drag out people like Jeb!, Mitt Romney, etc. that say they can’t back Trump, this only exists at the higher levels. He’ll get huge (or uh, ‘yuuuge’) support from rank and file Republicans with maybe only a token level of “I held my nose and voted for Trump” to it.

At any rate, I’m curious to see what else comes out of these leaks.   The other question is whether or not anything from the GOP is going to be leaked.   I’m sure there’s some dirty laundry there, such as Jeb! basically being coronated at the outset, collusion against Trump and probably Cruz too and I’m sure you can find some insensitive language and “stupid rednecks will believe…” peppered throughout the correspondence.     What an election year!

Russia’s New Conservative Allies in the US: The ‘Alt-Right’

Here’s a really good article from Russia Insider on the ‘alt right’ in general and the adoration for Russia that generally comes out of the American alt-right.

 

Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Vladimir Putin and something of a Russophile.  I think there’s an idealized vision of Russia that many people in the West with a similar worldview to mine have.  We think of an austere land where people have a strong connection to their folklore, faith and soil.  A place that has never been touched by the hands of cultural marxism, neoliberalism and soulless consumerism.   A place so cold and grim you have no other choice but to be strong.

Ok, so in reality Russia probably isn’t the right-wing wonderland that many people imagine but in practice they do act as a counterweight to a lot of the things that the US/Team West does in the world that we disagree with.    Lots of places aren’t happy with our intervention, but Russia is about the only place in the world with the teeth to back up their disapproval.

Although I consider myself a good, red-blooded American I’ve found myself cheering Russia outfoxing our leaders several times in the past decade or so.   Russia invaded Georgia?  Probably not the nicest thing they could’ve done, but Georgia kinda had it coming and we shouldn’t have made any deal with Georgia to back them.   We’re about to bomb the shit out of Syria?  Putin stepped on Obama’s dick really, really hard and refused to back down.  I truly believe that man deserved the Nobel Peace Prize (Vlad, not Obama!) for that and if I ever met the guy, I’d thank him for saving us from our leaders.   Problems in the Ukraine?   The Russian government called ours out on their hypocrisy and continue to do so – Putin has put our politicians on roast in quite a few of his public speeches….and many Americans like me laugh a long with it.

Sometimes it feels like this guy looks out for us more than our own politicians do….but in reality I know that he’s just looking out for Russia’s best interests….which amazingly enough, often aren’t too dissimilar.   We’re concerned about terrorism and stability in the Middle East.   We’re concerned about Europe’s economic health.   Both nations are (or “were”) interested in space exploration.   We both have mutual energy concerns.  We are both beginning to look to the Pacific for our futures.   We need to cooperate on the Arctic.

Although we have a lot of reasons for dialogue and cooperation, our leaders aren’t interested.   The Bushes and Clinton administration honestly just kind of gave Russia the cold shoulder.   This is maybe understandable given how recent the Cold War was, so I can see a reluctancy to get too cozy.   Russia was also a complete basket case for most of this time though too…

The Obama admin has been outright hostile to Russia since her resurgence and challenge to *complete* US hegemony in the world.   The whole Pussy Riot ordeal several years ago seemed like a concocted scheme to demonize Russia at a time when Putin had some really, really tough questions for Obama over Syria.  I remember he cancelled a meeting over “humanitarian concerns”, i.e. in protest of the alleged treatment of LGBTQLMNOP Russians.   I don’t use the “I was so embarrassed of my country!” statement lightly, but I was when Obama ranked the meeting with that bullshit excuse.  I also recall a meeting that happened between Obama and Putin where he tried to stare down Putin – bitch, please!   Putin would fuck you up!

Anyways, one of the big selling points of the Trump campaign to me is the idea of treating Russia like a friend or at least civilly.    Every other candidate including Bernie Sanders has called for anywhere from increased sanctions and more mean words to Russia all the way up to World War III.   Although Trump gets the “reckless” label, I really believe that Hillary would be a lot more likely to get us into a tangle with Russia.

As of very late Russia has been the boogeyman in Democrat circles, as they were just accused of leaking the emails that have been giving the DNC so much grief recently.   They say that Putin’s people are endorsing Trump.    While it’s probably a deflection tactic to see if they can get people worried about Russians over the content of the emails, I could see why Putin would want Trump in office, just because his foreign policy talking points are much less antagonistic towards Russia as the alternatives.

Putin has publicly stated that he wants no involvement in American internal affairs, but I don’t doubt that they would try something if they really wanted to affect the outcome.   If Putin’s dudes are actively trying to take down Hillary, again, I’d like to thank him for saving us from our own politicians.

 

“Why Doesn’t Anyone Change Their Profile Pics to Turkish Flags?”

Earlier in the week there was a bombing at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.   The bombing was tied to ISIS and it killed something in the neighborhood of 50 people.

 

Immediately after the bombing, there were quite a few “Why doesn’t anyone care when terrorism happens in _____”, as there always is whenever something happens in the Western world.   Someone brings up an attack (that they probably didn’t know about either, btw) that happened in Beirut, Baghdad or whatever that didn’t get any significant media airplay and certainly didn’t get an outpouring of support from American do-gooders.

This question is more or less meant to be rhetorical, just making a statement how close-minded, racist, sheltered, etc. we are.    It never really gets answered, partially because it comes from the clickbait/SJW memes world and usually probably gets written off as “Oh, there’s little Billy trying to save the world again!” or whatever.    To actually answer it is pretty damn simple though…
No one really cares because it happens all the time.   An attack in Paris or the United States  doesn’t happen nearly as often as it does in these places that are basically war zones.   It really sucks for the people who have to live with a real, tangible threat of this kind of violence but people become desensitized to it if it becomes viewed as one of the hallmarks of that civilization.   If you were to plan a trip to Lebanon or Egypt, one of the first things people would say to you would be “oh man, watch out for terrorists!”.   When my ex-wife and I went on our honeymoon to Istanbul years ago, her mom cried because she was worried about us being in that part of the world.  Maybe it was a bit of an overreaction but it’s not exactly unfounded to worry.   It’s also worth mentioning that one of the color revolutions was going on in Egypt at the time.

So it gets called racism that people don’t care.  I think there’s something here, actually, but only in the sense that people identify and empathize more with people like them.  It’s easier to put myself (and yourself, admit it) in the shoes of a Parisian at a rock concert or even a gay nightclub patron in Orlando than it is a street peddler in Baghdad that winds up on the unfortunate side of a car bomb.   The situation in Turkey is a little different though, as the kind of people who would’ve been on the receiving end of this bomb were probably people that had a western-orientated consumer-based lifestyle that we would recognize.    I haven’t checked the nationality of the victims, but I’m sure plenty were probably European tourists that we would definitely identify with.   Even if they were all Turkish nationals, they would be people with one foot in a world we WOULDN’T identify with (Muslim, “developing world” and so-on) and one foot in a world we WOULD recognize (secular, democratic, consumerist, etc.   Turkey isn’t exactly a first world country, but in the grand scheme of the world, they’re doing pretty good).   Overall, people seemed to care a little bit more than if it happened in Ramadi or even Jakarta.   On this note, if it happened in Japan (which obviously isn’t white), I think people in the US would care just as much as if it happened in France because our lifestyles are so similar…and maybe they would be viewed as more of an innocent party than Western Europe/USA/Canada.

Now let’s talk Turkey…   For some reason Turkey has managed to raise the ire of ISIS, even though they’ve been accused of aiding them covertly against Assad in Syria.   It’s kind of a confusing situation, but I think that in the grand mile-high view of these terrorist groups, neo-ottomanism is a huge obstacle against eventually gaining an Islamic caliphate.   Also it could’ve been done to get Turkey to double down on terrorism and hit the Kurds/PKK even harder than they have been, since they’ve been one of the biggest hurdles for ISIS and a constant thorn in the side for Turkey.   Apparently once Russia entered Syria and Turkey shot down that plane, Russia made a huge showing of bombing the shit out of “assets” immediately across the border believed to be sponsored by Turkey against the Kurds.   Ha ha.

Anyways, yeah, it sucks that human life has different relative values but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if people “care” in Kansas that people are getting blown up in Baghdad – there are still places in the world where the kind of violence that is rare and notable in part of the world is an everyday occurrence and no amount of “awareness” will change that.

The Sky Is Falling!!! Brexit Woes

Well, the UK voted to leave the European Union the other day about 52% to 48%.  To be honest, I was a little surprised that the results went this way.  I figured it would be about…52 to 48 to remain, with the usual (and probably accurate) accusations of shenanigans and hijinks at the polls to seal the deal for the “remain” crowd.

First, I’m happy for the UK.  The EU has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare that seems intent on turning Europe into nothing but a large economic unit based on vague universalist ideals – the spread of neoliberalism.

It seems like the EU has been a case of trying to make everyone happy (or at least “function”) and making no one happy.   Everyone has some complaints about the arrangement, big or small.  Instead of “preventing another world war” as they always say, the EU seems to have created a lot of divisions between the members – the “core” vs. the “periphery”, the pro-Turkey vs anti-Turkey factions, North vs. South and various smaller interests vs. smaller interests of other countries (i.e. British working class vs. Polish economic migrants).  I don’t think there would be anywhere near the animosity between say, Greece and Germany as there has been over the past couple years if there were no EU – where would they have the flashpoints?

Although I think Britain walking out of the EU is a good thing, great thing even, for the UK I still don’t think it’s as alarming in practice as many people have made it out to be.   Despite Great Britain’s current dysfunction (and I say that lovingly as an American anglophile that considers Britannia as my/our “mother country”), it’s still a large and important economy and political player in the world and will continue to be so.    There’s no. fucking. way. that the suckers still hanging around the EU will cut off business with the UK or magically find a replacement for such a large market.   Believe me, both parties will find a way to continue business as usual.

I would really like to think that this means there will be a shift towards nationalism and traditionalism in the UK, but realistically they’ll probably continue more or less down the same path politically.   I consider this a defeat for neoliberal labour/conservative party mainstream politics, but it would take more than this to simply move the UK out of that paradigm.    When liberals around the world were pussyaching over “xenophobia and racism winning”, realistically the UK will continue the same kinds of immigration/multicultural policies that they have been although I think this really could signal to put the brakes on it somewhat.

Will this act as a catalyst to spur other anti-EU sentiments in other countries?   Yes, I’m sure it will spark something and create some major headaches for the EU.   The real question though is were those sentiments already there in other places before the UK jumped first?   Certainly.  If say, Hungary, decides to say it’s not you it’s me to Brussels, no one can say with a straight face that they weren’t already thinking that before the UK left.

I also think it’s funny that this is portrayed as some drastic move that will throw the UK into uncharted territory….like 1997.  Remember those dark days?   Ha!

I do wonder if it will cause the UK to look more abroad rather than to Europe.   There’s always been the strong Anglosphere connection between us, them, Canada, Australia, NZ and to a lesser extent South Africa.   Maybe it will cause a little more of a realignment with Britain’s traditional allies but I doubt it means a complete shunning of the continent.

Now let’s talk about the reaction to the vote from the left.  It just shows how out of touch some of these people are with the “commoners”.   While some people benefit from cheap labor and interesting restaurants that immigrants bring, others see their neighborhoods transformed and labor undercut.   Everyone knows my thoughts on these kinds of things, but even if the left/elites do not agree with their “uncouth” countrymen, it’s bullshit that the idea that people can say that they don’t want certain people to come and live amongst them is just written off from the start without any consideration.   All I hear is “that’s racist/nativist/xenophobic” and no real discussion beyond that.   This factor deserves more discussion and the “common people” deserve to be heard on this one because more often than not it affects them/us the most.

I like the fact that the liberals have made the connection between the Brexit and Donald Trump’s campaign in the US.    This was in the works way before DJT came into play across the pond, but I believe there is some synergy in the world against neoliberalism/globalism and I like the fact that the kinds of people who want to see the world as nothing more than producers, consumers and two-party voters are starting to shake a little bit.   Nigel Farage says it’s time to GTFO of the EU, Trump says we’re not going to “sing the false song of globalism”.    Vladimir Putin is still going strong, Viktor Orban in Hungary is railing against the EU and there are nationalist parties gaining momentum across Europe.  Hell, even some of the populist leftist movement, including Bernie Sanders here, Podemos in Spain and…some party in Italy that the name escapes me are even examples that people are sick of the current status quo.

Here’s the other question that this brings up…   So they always said the EU was there to prevent conflicts in Europe and they keep claiming that the rise of people like Trump, the Brexit, nationalist parties, etc. meant a return to WWI & II era militarism.   Is this true?   I don’t see it happening like that.   I see the kind of internationalism and the steadfast commitment to vague ideals (well, when it suits our interests…) as something that creates the conditions for conflict.    I see absolutely nothing but love and support between genuine  nationalist factions of the various countries.    Do you think that someone from Alternative For Germany and Golden Dawn in Greece would point fingers at each other as far as who’s to blame for whose problems?  I doubt it.

 

At any rate, congratulations to our cousins across the pond on their new found quasi-freedom.   Make the most of it and be a shining example to the rest of the world.

 

 

 

Trump’s 1.3 Million vs. Hilary’s 43 Million

The Media is making a big deal out of Hilary having raised $43 million dollars in some specified period of time while Trump only raised $1.3.   Let’s look at this….

First, a lot of people are guffawing over this as a sign of Trump’s campaign being dead in the water.   These same people have said “it’s all over for him” about two dozen times already this campaign season and of course have been wrong.  I really think there’s a lot of wishful thinking involved in this.

 

Second, if anyone believes that Hilary’s $43 million came from kindergarten teachers, senior citizens and “working families” writing $50 checks to the war chest, you’re absolutely fucking delusional.    This is pretty much all “big money” – people expecting favors in return.    As far as I know, Trump doesn’t have any significant “big money” donors (well, besides himself) so Trump’s money probably came from the sale of Make America Great Again hats and the small time donations.   He hasn’t actively solicited funds from his supporters yet.

 

Third, some of the same people who complain about “big money in politics” and pussyache about the Koch brothers are the same ones applauding Hilary for having funds and laughing at Trump for NOT going after big time donations.   Funny how that works out.

 

Lastly, and most importantly Trump is doing a lot of what he does for little to no money.   This guy has the media clamoring to put a camera in his face and whatever he tweets on his smartphone has a bigger impact than the 30 second prime time ad of yesteryear.   I don’t think a lot of people have really grasped this yet that through social media (and manipulating *the* media) he’s getting himself across while others are still stuck on outdated paradigms.

At the end of the day, this guy knows how to get a good return on his money.    Does Hilary?  We’ll see what she does with her $43mil compared to Trump’s paltry $1.3.

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