Cultural Blasphemy ? More Like Americanism

0108trumpculture02Ace quoted this piece the other day and called it very good. I agree. Yes, in Newsweek, and also yes, its liberal bias is pretty obvious. But you know we all filter things through our experiences and thus are biased. No less me than Michael Wolf. But things do work better when we talk to each other rather than at each other. I think he’s trying here to understand the rest of us here, and maybe share some of his insights, with other liberals. He’s not wrong, at least in broad strokes. In truth “Shut up, we won”, isn’t going to work much better for us than it did Obama.

That doesn’t mean we ought to be compromising things we believe. It does mean that we should return civility when civility is offered. When it’s not, well the left probably hasn’t seen The Shootist lately. They should because a whole lot of America still lives by that.

 

Here’s the article ( autoplay video)

If all his other cultural blasphemies did not finish off Donald Trump, his grab-them-by-the-pussy line, in the overwhelming opinion of the liberal media, would. That it did not might suggest that many cultural certainties are a lot less firm than most of the media and culture industry thought. Twenty years (or so) of rule tightening about how we talk about sex, gender, race and our multicultural society—what is disparagingly called political correctness, or, more inclusively, the liberal point of view—was put up for review by Trump’s election.

The ongoing expressions of shock on the part of the cultural establishment—expressed on a daily basis by The New Yorker, New York magazine and The New York Times, anything, apparently, with New York in its title—reflect their fears that the development of a more careful, regulated and corrected world is about to be undone. That the unapologetic white male has returned. You could hardly find a more threatening and throwback version of that than Trump—a rich, voluble, egomaniacal, middle-aged pussy hound. To write him you would need some combination of authors like Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, Harry Crews and Gore Vidal, all notably out of step with current cultural norms.

The culture norm is as starkly confronted as the political norm with proof that it’s not speaking to the lives of a sizeable part of the nation: that same pussy talk that shocked cosmopolitans turns out not to be of much concern, and even to express a casual day-to-day reality, for many Americans. Media fragmentation has created all sorts of thriving niches that accommodate the views of eager consumers, lessening the need to speak to a broader, more difficult-to-reach audience—the once-great mass market. (With no one speaking to it, it’s had to largely contend itself with an expanding diet of sports—another overlooked point of the Trump voter connection, his several decades of red carpet presence at major sporting events.) And, too, convincing higher-fashion cultural consumers that their concerns are paramount ones.

These are just “white man’s problems,” said an agent who in 2013 rejected a collection of short stories about middle-aged terrors and angst by 53-year-old Pennsylvania and working-class son Kevin Morris (transformed by the mysteries of American life into a top Hollywood entertainment lawyer), who promptly took that as the title for his book—think Richard Ford, John Cheever and Bernard Malamud, all writers who are also out of fashion—which he then self-published through Amazon. (The self-publishing world is an extraordinary and vibrant parallel culture, hardly recognizable to the official bookish world). When Grove/Atlantic’s Morgan Entrekin shortly thereafter bought Morris’s first novel, All Joe Knight, about sex and race and money, told through the eyes of a lower-middle-class white kid who grows up to be an alienated middle-aged white guy, “we struggled,” he said, “to think of like-minded writers who could blurb the book and could hardly come up with any.” The book, published shortly after the Trump election, and, in its political incorrectness and protean language, something of an instant samizdat-like favorite at least among other older male writers, has yet to be reviewed by The New York Times.

 

via The Trump Establishment’s Cultural Significance, Explained

Video Saturday

So, it’s Saturday. How about a video round up, of some others views. Let’s start with Pat Condell

 

A bit harshly stated, perhaps, but I can’t say that I disagree with him. The Right Angle guys have something to say, as well.

 

And a bit on fake news, and where it comes from.

 

Yep. And if you have ever had the nightmare of dealing with flat pack furniture, especially IKEA’s well, you’ll understand.

 

National Sovereignty Rising

2272458246_b77147169e_zWell, we all made it through 2016 for better or worse. It was quite a year, with many political things roiling the waters. A lot of them were merely personal, and of no account to the rest of us. Especially for us Americans, who have dealt with a president for 8 years who is a god in his own mind. Nobody gets to be president without an over-blown ego, the process makes sure of that, but most have a realization that they aren’t God. With Obama, I’m not so sure.

But it was a year of ideas, as well, especially one: National Sovereignty. What do I mean? Let’s let Ben Peterson start us off.

The year 2016 demonstrated the enduring relevance of political ideas. A political idea is distinct from and more fundamental than a stance on a policy or issue. It is a way of understanding political phenomena in light of a worldview. A political idea connects the dizzying array of available facts, forming a coherent vision of what is really happening in the world.

Nearly every political idea involves at minimum three components, corresponding to these questions:

  • What is a good society—in other words, what should the world look like?
  • Why doesn’t it look that way?
  • What would set things right?

Many of the major events of last year revolved around the political idea of national sovereignty. Scholars, journalists, and analysts have attributed Trump’s victory, Brexit, and other nationalist advances to the forces of populism, demagoguery, and xenophobia.

As Mene Ukueberuka, reviewing The Shipwrecked Mind, Mark Lilla’s timely new book on reactionary political thought, argues in the New Criterion, there is also a tendency toward explanations that psychologize these movements and their supporters. Far from signifying mere “irrationality,” the global wave of populist nationalism is partly based on an explicit political idea: that national sovereignty matters.

Trump advisor Steve Bannon—“the man with the idea” as journalist Michael Wolff described him—has presented the national sovereignty idea most clearly, if sparingly. The best place to look for his expression of it is a Skype-in lecture he gave for a 2014 conference at the Vatican. In answering the second question above, Bannon in effect summarized his political views, saying:

I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis . . . and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West in our beliefs.

The “crisis of capitalism” stems from the twin corruptions of statist crony capitalism and excessive libertarianism, which have estranged elites from common people. The financial crisis of late 2007 to 2009—which financiers and securities traders caused, but for which none was really held accountable—is a key episode in the story of how corrupt, globalized capitalism favored elites and left middleclass workers behind. Underlying the corruption of capitalism is a “crisis of faith,” an “immense secularization of the West.”

This decline of faith has crippled the West, which cannot summon the will or foresight to prosecute the “global war” against “jihadist Islamic fascism.”

via National Sovereignty, Political Idea of the Year – Online Library of Law & Liberty. Go and read the whole thing, right now. I’ll wait for you. And then we’ll talk a bit

Back? Good. He makes some really good points, doesn’t he? He also says some things, especially quoting Bannion, that I disagree with. Well, no real surprise there, I wasn’t a particularly strong Trump supporter, and part of the reason is some of his economic beliefs, I think we’d be far better off if the government got out of our business, more or less completely. But it is still a major improvement.

Nor does it preclude international cooperation. A strong United States infers a strong United Kingdom, France, Germany Russia, whoever, and when our interests coincide, we can cooperate, when they don’t we can compete. Doesn’t mean we have to fight about every detail. The world is big enough for us to differ as well as agree.

I think the United States has turned the corner, going back to nationhood. The UK may have, but is much more hesitant, but will eventually, I think. The rest, well, we will learn much this year. But it may well be the year of the nations, rather than the Davos elite. We shall see.

 

Once More Into the Breach, Dear Friends?

American and UK flags flying together

We have spent most of last week trying to explain to Europe why we are quite happy with the election of Donald Trump. As I reflect on what we have said, and read, it struck me that one cannot understand this intellectually. At one point I was asked if I identify as Anglo-Saxon.

Well in a sense, I am heir to that legacy in self-government, and more. But I also combine it with the Viking traditions of my ancestry, and with the specific American ethos. None of these lead to a quiet, and calm citizenry. There is a reason why the Anglosphere is what it is, we are pretty much all this way, if you scratch beneath the surface.

I think this post, written in 2014, explains us fairly well.


On 26 September 1580, a ship docked in Portsmouth, England. That wasn’t unusual, then as now it was one of England’s great ports. But this particular docking would echo through history. For this was the Golden Hind, returning from the first circumnavigation of the world by a non-Spaniard. Soon the captain, Francis Drake, would be knighted on the ship’s deck, by Queen Elizabeth I, and in a few years he would play a key role in the Battle with the Armada.

Elizabeth’s father Henry VIII, did some things that are important to this story, he established the Royal Navy, for the first time it became a force that was always ready. And he took England out of the Roman Church, which allowed her to go her own way, mostly looking outward, and not being involved with European politics as much as before.

But the reason this echoes so loudly in history wasn’t evident that day or even after the Armada had been stood off. It started to become apparent when England went to war with its King in the Civil War and even more so when the second chapter of that war saw the end of the first Empire, and the establishment of the United States.

Because what Sir Francis Drake accomplished that day in Portsmouth, was nothing less than the founding of the modern world, with all its freedom. If you look around at the world we live in. A world without legal slavery, where we are governed by our consent through objective law, and all the rest, you will find something surprising. It is all an English invention. It took England about 800 hundred years to put it together, and the rest of us in western civilization mostly copied it. Too often we forget that as Lady Astor somewhat unfairly said, our revolution was simply, “English freemen fighting against a German King for English rights”.

But now, in 2014, we are watching in horror as an evil group of thugs, misappropriate a religion, Islam, for the purpose of enforcing their will on the world. Nobody can claim they don’t aim high, at any rate.

anglosphere1But once again, the main obstacle between these thugs and their victory are the English Speaking Peoples. We are the ones that could have stopped Hitler easily in say 1934, but we were tired and worried about making a living. We paid for that mistake later, but Hitler and his henchman caused a holocaust of unparalleled scope in Europe. We learned from that and managed to face down Stalin and his successors without ending the world. But as the Soviet Union self-destructed, we declared it the end of history. We should have known better, evil never sleeps, it always looks for room to expand.

And so, we were attacked, in New York, and in London as the new century started, and we responded, as we always have. But this time we tried a kinder, gentler form of war, and attempted to make it easy on the local population, and to help them become like us. It seems as if it may have been a mistake.

The Hollow Men 5And so, here we are, with the weakest leadership our country has had since we entered the world stage in about 1900. They seem to have no clue what to do next.

That’s not surprising, the president has spent his entire life voting present while denigrating the military. Nor has he ever either led or managed anything. And yet, we elected him, twice. I guess we were/are tired of war.

But is war tired of us?

In business, as in war, one must have a strategy (an overriding plan). It seems to me, with an enemy as close to pure evil as ISIS, the only reasonable objective is to destroy it, root and branch, as we did the Nazis.

One level down from that is how are you going to accomplish your goal. Well, kids that’s why we have a military, and all its planners. We knew (and so did the British) on 7 December 1941 the broad outline of how we were going to fight World War Two. It was called RAINBOW. And we went on to execute it, and win, unconditionally. This is a specialized area of planning, and politicians are well advised to leave it to the military, just as I don’t tell a journeyman how to do his job. Give him the tools, and tell him what needs to be done.

And the same is true for tactics, if the guys in the field want an A-10 don’t send a B-2, at least if you can help it. In many ways our forces are best used as a force multiplier, they can do things no one else in the world can do. But a rifleman is basically a rifleman, whether he’s from London, Omaha, or Baghdad.

But the key thing here is, as it always is, the will of the people, and especially the leadership, and that is what worries me. When Obama said these guys are the JV, he spoke the truth, but the JV is much better than the girls 5th grade team, especially if they know that to lose is to die. And the JV will win if the varsity doesn’t show up.

But neither is that preordained, we have not only agency over ourselves but over what we do for and to others, for we are free people, and we are sovereign over our governments. For nearly five hundred years we, the English Speaking Peoples, have built the modern world in our image. We have endowed it with most of the comforts, including a full belly, that we innovated, and with the possibility of making oneself free to act in one own best interest. And so the question becomes, “Have we become too soft, too self-centered, to act once again for the good against evil, or will we once again rise to the challenge to make the world a better place, for ourselves, certainly, but also for others, whom we will never meet or know?”

And some of our nationalities have won their fame with all of us

For a long time now, they have been known as “The Ladies from Hell”, and they have earned it, from friend and foe alike, by their uncompromising stand, for freedom from oppression, no matter the odds.

But this isn’t “proud Edward’s power, with slavery and chains”. This is a bunch of ragtag so-called terrorists, who are really no more than well armed bullies. Are we, the guarantors of freedom for five hundred years really going to sit back while they murder and enslave ancient civilizations? All Europe will do is finance them by paying ransom but, our people learned about that long ago, when we found out how hard it is to get rid of the Dane when you pay the Danegeld.

A bit more than seventy years ago, a guy by the name of Hitler, said he would wring England’s neck like a chicken. Churchill said “Some Chicken, some neck”. A friend of mine, an Englishmen reminded me yesterday that we are the same people who Churchill was speaking of. Maybe we should begin acting like it again.

When have we ever not heeded this call

Truly, it is time to once again

And this explains, above all reasons, why the west is free,

and why Donald Trump will be President, and England shall be free.

Irrelevant Trump Wingeing, and Some on the Free Market.

129445-quotes-about-can-do-attitudeYesterday, Jan Hansenn in comments proposed that we are not logical in our hopes for Trump, that others fear him, not because he may succeed but that he may damage the country, and finally that his business career is not all that successful. He also referenced sites that I consider mostly fake news, the New York Times, and Newsweek. But that’s still common, and many share the delusion (including the purveyors) that they provide real news.

I think he is wrong and Kurt Schlicter is right, categorically, that is my conclusion, and the only one that fits. My article and Colonel Schlichter’s had little to do with Trump, in fact. They were expositions of why the so-called Progressives are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who want a do over. The thing they, and Jan, need to realize is that about 12 Noon on January 20, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Your reservations, fears, and my hopes, in fact, all of our feelings about him are simply irrelevant. He is the President -Elect.

But what is the wonder of an age to me, is the sight of a plurality of the country, and a good percentage of the world, denying these facts. Trying to reverse a deal as done as Jodl’s signature on the surrender of Nazi Germany. It’s over, kiddies. We can argue about cabinet picks, Supreme Court justices, policies, and many other things. For the most part you, and occasionally I will lose. It’s real simple, elections have consequences, and he won. For good or bad, he will be President. Deal with it, Snowflakes.

America doesn’t do do-overs. That’s Europe’s thing, to keep voting until the elites get the answer they want. If you remember way back there in 2008, most of us thought Obama had some pretty looney ideas, but we were prepared to give him a chance, until about the time of that speech in Cairo, anyway. Speaking of damaging the country. We managed to survive, although it was tough, and I’d guess we’ll make it through the next fortnight as well.

Then we’ll see, all of us, how he does. I’m pretty confident he’ll be the best president since Reagan, and perhaps since Coolidge. But that remains to be seen, he could be a total flop, but if he can accomplish a third of what he wants to, it’s likely to become known as ‘the Roaring Teens’.

There is a reason, several really, but one salient one, why I am almost always opposed to government interference in markets. It could easily be summarized as “they do not know what they do”. Mostly we call it the law of unintended consequences. It echoes through almost every piece of legislation and regulation that the government does (see Obamacare). That’s why Coolidge was right, it is much better for the government to not do, than to do, especially if they know not what they are doing. The best thing for the workers, whether blue or white collar, for the investors, and indeed for the country, is for the government to get the hell out of the way.

That is why we were a bit disappointed with Trump’s handling of the Carrier thing. Offsetting that, though, is this: a promise is a promise.

Dan Mitchell has more on the economic thing, here. Read it and absorb it, because he, and Bastiat, are simply correct.

For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly

Over at Townhall, Kurt Schlichter has caught fire again, and it’s a joy to read. Some excerpts:

[Speaking of Liberals] Fear is going to make them go nuts – not the fear that Trump will be a failure, but the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing fear that Donald Trump will be a success.

And it looks like Trump may very well be one – something I previously and publicly doubted.

Let’s step back and think about who Trump has shown himself to be. Sure, he’s vulgar, and his knowledge of traditional conservatism is … limited. But he’s a competitor, and if he’s stupid like the liberals say then what does that make the liberals who Trump keeps beating as enthusiastically as Josh Marshall tweeting past midnight? Look, the guy is a property developer. If he does not deliver what he promises, the buyer won’t take occupancy and he loses money. Trump knows from his own experience – and the painful experience of the follow-through-free GOP – that the way to win is to deliver on his promises. It may ruffle our conservafeathers, but Trump promised to keep Carrier in the USA and he did it. As promised, the market is in the stratosphere and consumer confidence exists again. Trump promised to nominate conservatives and he did – do you think that whiny puffball Jeb Bush would have put up a cabinet full of Mad Dogs and activists aching to burn their own useless agencies to the ground? […]

News Flash: Donald Trump is not only going dance with the ones who brung him but afterwards he is going to take them to his limo to make out. This guy is interested in trying to please the people who elected him, not the urban swells who write for or read the NYT or WaPo […]

Sure, I think the Russians’ truthful revelations of true stuff that showed the true depth of Democratic corruption in a true way hurt Hillary. I just think that the left is deluding itself when it tells normal people that they were somehow suckered by the Russians’ truthful revelations of true stuff that showed the true depth of Democratic corruption. “You flyover rubes are so stupid that you can be manipulated by the facts that we were too incompetent to effectively hide from you!” is probably not a great way to win hearts and minds, but hey progs, feel free to go with it. […]

That Trump laughs at how a creaky ex-superpower is so relentlessly trolling the feckless Obama – President Faily McWorsethancarter even makes acting butch seem super femme – draws cries of “Treason!” and “Traitor!” from the same set who never saw a flag they didn’t want to burn, mourned Castro, and who know damn well it isn’t them or their gender indeterminate children who would get to fight and die in the war they seem so eager to provoke to close out Obama’s pathetic reign.

For Democrats, 2017 Will Be The Year of Living Stupidly – Kurt Schlichter

Heck, I was going to comment on this, but why? It’s simply glorious to see him writing like this again. And watching their heads explode is going to be even better, in my judgment. Colonel Schlichter really brought it here, read the whole thing™.

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