Video Monday

I think video Monday is here. First with a hat tip to both International Liberty and The Conservative Woman.

TCW kindly added a couple more, Rounds 1 and 2 of Keynes v Hayek. Enjoy.

 

And here is Mollie Hemingway on the divide in America today

 

Freedom Beleaguered, On Three Fronts

American and UK flags flying together

Here we do our best to deal in the truth, sometimes gently but often unvarnished. I’ve skimmed the new Brexit deal, not thoroughly read it. I agree with the DUP and with Nigel Farage: It is unacceptable. What that really means that if Boris gets it through Parliament (and it will likely be close) it will be the end of his career and likely the Conservative party as well. Labour too, but that has several other causes as well as its muddled response to the referendum. anti-Semitism, pro-Islam, and identity politics play about as well in the shires as they do in the American heartland. The US Democratic Party also has a wake-up coming next year, I think. Insanity also doesn’t play well. In both countries, we are seeing a major realignment, from left-right to give us back our good old law, for lack of a proper term. It is what has always fueled English speaking revolutions, going back to King Stephen’s time, at least. Nothings changed, and not always have they been peaceful or even mostly peaceful. One could think of the Barons of England standing at Runnymede, in full armor fingering their swords. Regicide was in the air that afternoon.


Somebody else who tells the truth is Daniel Greenfield. Here in FrontPage Magazine, he tells us why our corporations are taking China’s part against the US and specifically against Hong Kong. There are no real surprises here if you’ve been paying attention, but he does an excellent job of pulling it together.

Think there’s a contradiction between ‘woke’ corporate titans like Apple and Disney silencing anyone opposed to China’s crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong?

It’s not hypocrisy, it’s synergy.

The same forces that made the major brands scattered around your kitchen, living room and garage broadcast their support for gun control, gay marriage and illegal immigration are fueling their support for the People’s Republic of China pulling another Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong.

The lefties in Beijing and Berkeley used the same set of ideological tools to force companies to toe the party line. They roped off access to an appealing customer base, the population of mainland China, urban millennials with huge amounts of disposable income, in exchange for ideological compliance.

Communist China is one entangled oligarchy which mingles political party and company. Sound familiar?

The CEO of Nike sits on the board of Disney. The CEO of Disney until recently sat on the board of Apple. The CEO of Apple sits on the board of Nike. Good thing we have a “free market economy” isn’t it?

There’s a lot in that, interlocking boards have been a problem in American business for well over a hundred years.

And the Mouse didn’t eat the entire entertainment industry by being unable to see the endgame. Avengers Endgame brought in $612 million in China. That’s the real endgame that it cares about.

In America and China, a lefty political elite controls the culture. Chinese and American lefties interlock cultural, economic and political power. Disney, once seen as a square family friendly studio, can rule the box offices in America and China because it advances the cultural goals of their political elites. […]

If you’re going to sell thousand-dollar phones made by slave labor in some dusty factory town where the air is poison, you need the sanction of the Communist Party of China and the culture industry of California. And if you’re going to dump your cultural garbage in American and Chinese movie theaters, both owned by the same Chinese corporations, you’ll need to run the stuff by cultural censors.

The ‘enemies of the people’ in Hong Kong are free market Christians who don’t want a police state controlling their lives. Funny coincidence, those are also the ‘enemies of the people’ in America.

Giant multinational monopolies don’t like free markets. They encourage competition.

The last thing the NBA, Disney, Apple, Nike and the rest of the ‘megas’ want is competition. What they want is a walled garden tended by a kindly Zen-Communist tyrant who will give them a virgin territory in exchange for a huge slice of the pie to be shared with local political partners. And, of course, slavish devotion to the tyranny of whatever it is the locals believe in, dialectical materialism, the transcendence of gender, which is a small price to pay by people who don’t have any principles or believe in anything. […]

Identity politics manufactures identities and then convinces its dupes that their lives are hopeless and incomplete until they also implement open borders, gun control, and a ban on fossil fuels.

Sound familiar? Buy into the revolution now. Organizers are standing by to take your call.

That’s also why religious believers are the enemy. They don’t make ideal consumers.

People who have a form of meaning in their lives that isn’t for sale on Black Friday aren’t good consumers. Lefties with thirty genders and a hole the size of Cleveland where meaning should be, are.

OK, I don’t know if the Hong Kongers are actually Christians, although undoubtedly some are. His point is valid in any case. Some of our founders were pretty questionable Christians as well, even apart from some that were Jews. But his point is valid, their identity isn’t tied into their iPhone and such trash, let alone the movies and crap music. What they believe in, just like you and me, is freedom. Can you imagine if a quarter of Americans were in the streets demonstrating against the government? Some 87.5 million of us? That’s what is going on in Hong Kong.

The fact that they are waving three flags is no accident either. The flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong, the American flag, and the British Union Flag. Those are historically, and even now, the flags of freedom around the world. The fact that all of us are in this same battle is also significant. The EU as we’ve said before is nothing more than a corporatist empire, that will stifle everything to make a sale, especially freedom and Christianity.

That’s why Brexit is so important now. It was an excellent idea at the time of the referendum, but the last three years have demonstrated just how evil the EU is.

The same is true here, in America, as the Democrats, the Media, and the left-wing corporatists attempt a takeover.

I’ll give Mr. Greenfield the last word.

What matters is that more people, in China and America, are realizing that what they want isn’t a sale: it’s freedom.

 

Fight Her Till She Sinks

Well, you know our problems as well as I do. We’ve got ourselves some iconoclasts running about trying to destroy our heritage by destroying anything (like statues) that remind us of who we are while quoting Marx (sadly Karl, not Groucho). We’ve got a media and deep state that thinks they know better than the people and should rule us, the people who invented the maxim that America being ungovernable is a feature, not a bug. We’ve got a lot of problems but the words of Captain James Lawrence of USS Chesapeake, “Don’t give up the ship, fight her till she sinks”.

Some say he wasn’t the greatest captain in our history, and the crew did give up the ship after he died, but his words live on, not least because Commodore Oliver hazard Perry had the first part made into a flag and nailed to his mast at the famous (and very unlikely) victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.

That legacy lives on, in Erie Pennsylvania as Salena Zito tells us in American Greatness.

Several large pieces of cobalt-blue glass panels bearing “Don’t Give Up the Ship” and a bold likeness of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry lay broken at the top of the third-floor stairs of the old Park Place building in the city’s main square.

If ever there were a motto that exemplified a place and her people, it would be those five words Perry had stitched on a flag—words that inspired him over 200 years ago when he bore the flag in his unlikely defeat of the British at the Battle of Lake Erie.

Given everything this town has gone through—from her heyday as the industrial powerhouse of the Great Lakes to a city bleeding people, jobs, and opportunity—finding this inspiring reminder in a building that used to produce “Carter’s Little Liver Pills” brought into focus the city’s effort at rebuilding. […]

John Persinger and Matt Wachter could live in any other city in the country and prosper quite nicely. Instead, the CEO and vice president of finance and development are the founding leaders of the Erie Downtown Development Corporation. They, along with Tim NeCastro, CEO of Erie Insurance, the city’s largest employer, have committed themselves to not give up the ship but to stabilize and rebuild it.

All three men are standing along a row of century-old buildings on North Park Row. The bones are good, but the buildings have all seen better days. The three men are discussing the projects they already have underway. These are projects meant to spark a cultural and culinary center, which they hope will, in turn, lead to a citywide metamorphosis.

“This is Perry Square. This is the heart of downtown. It’s often been called the ‘beating heart,’ but we’re not sure how much it beats these days because there’s not a whole lot of activity,” he said of the boarded-up buildings and scant pedestrian activity.

Here’s the odd thing: The moribund heart is surrounded by an arc of life. “UPMC Hamot campus is a few blocks away,” Persinger explains, “where they (are) putting in a new $111 million patient tower.”

There’s more: “Erie Insurance employs 3,000 people right there. They’re building a new office building. You can kind of see it over the tree line.”

And that’s how, I think, we are going to solve our problems if they are to be solved. Not by running to Washington for grant money, not by asking experts, but by going and doing it ourselves. After all, that is how we built this country, and it’s how we will rebuild it, better than ever.

For America, the rule is going to have to be the one Captain Lawrence gave us:

Don’t give up the ship,

Fight her till she sinks.

Giants Were in the Earth

I think a quick detour into the culture war is needed. Not the one on the streets with Scoldilocks and Extinction Rebellion, both are mere symbols of a discredited left, hopefully soon to die. But real culture.

The Unit yesterday called my attention to an article by Victor Davis Hanson in Townhall. Even for him, it’s exceptionally good. It’s titled: Members of Previous Generations Now Seem Like Giants.

Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks.

Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forbearers’ monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.

We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.

Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?

Think about that, they built a railroad in six years, from Omaha to San Francisco, using shovels, horses, gunpowder, and their backs. The most powerful machine they had was a steam locomotive that probably had less power than the last semi-truck you saw.

Then think about California this week, over a million people do not have electricity because PG&E is not allowed to trim trees but is required to pay for fires caused by not trimming trees and clearing underbrush.

In my youth, I knew men, and my own father was one of them, that built entire electrical distribution systems, in the midst of the depression, training farm boys to do the work, and working with mostly hand tools. Their work is one of the hidden reasons we won the Second World War, both because of the increased food available, and the reduced workforce necessary on the farms. One of his contemporaries built the entire Investor-owned gas and electric utility that serves Northern Indiana in that same time frame.

There were indeed giants in the earth.

Could we do any of these things now? Frankly, I doubt it. Yesterday someone commented that we are perhaps approaching the fourth turning. One hopes so. If you don’t know, the short form of that is this:

“Hard times create strong men.

Strong men create good times.

Good times create weak men.

And, weak men create hard times.”

Well, we, or at least you young folks, will see.

In the 1940s, young people read William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck and John Steinbeck. Are our current novelists turning out anything comparable? Could today’s high-school graduate even finish “The Good Earth” or “The Grapes of Wrath”?

True, social media is impressive. The internet gives us instant access to global knowledge. We are a more tolerant society, at least in theory. But Facebook is not the Hoover Dam, and Twitter is not the Panama Canal.

Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.

“Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?”

In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.

These men:

THE Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

They say to mountains, ” Be ye removèd” They say to the lesser floods ” Be dry.”
Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd – they are not afraid of that which is high.
Then do the hill tops shake to the summit – then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

They finger death at their gloves’ end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
They are concerned with matters hidden – under the earthline their altars are
The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city’s drouth.

They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them to leave their job when they damn-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s days may be long in the land.

Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha spilled for that !
Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd – they know the angels are on their side.
They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
They sit at the Feet – they hear the Word – they see how truly the Promise runs.
They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and – the Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons !

Rudyard Kipling

That pretty much says it all, I think. But you should read the whole article.

 

Putting ourselves in God’s place

Christianity starts here:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

It is so basic that even Islam agrees. We were created, male and female. But Britain disagrees. David Mackereth, a doctor in England, was fired recently by the NHS (in other words, by the government of the UK itself) for saying (not even doing) that he would not call a 6-foot bearded male, her. And so, self-worship is now the state religion of the UK. Nathaniel Blake wrote about it at The Federalist. He reminds us:

The central doctrine of transgenderism is the belief that human will determines reality as we create ourselves. A man who identifies as a woman is therefore a woman and has always been. Social, chemical, and surgical alterations are merely the outward affirmation and outworking of this inward truth, and the imperfections of physical transition do not negate the metaphysical truth of gender identity. Not all people who identify as LGBT accept this radical ideology, but the loudest voices preach it aggressively.

These mystical doctrines of transgender ideology exemplify modern self-worship, in which the human replaces the divine dictates of revealed religion as the source and creator of meaning. Catholicism preaches the real presence of Christ veiled in the bread and wine; transgenderism professes the real presence of the woman veiled in the male body.

But discontentment lurks amid the triumphant claims that identity determines reality. Self-creation is not freedom, for it only changes our master. Desire appears as the most authentic aspect of the self, and so it, rather than reason or revelation, rules human efforts to create our own truth and meaning.

Furthermore, since we are not gods, our efforts to create ourselves are hindered by the natural laws of our existence and by what older creeds called sinfulness. Self-worship does not overcome our consciousness of sin or the given nature of our embodied human existence.

Indeed so. It reminds me that G.K. Chesterton remarked that “The danger of loss of faith in God is not that one will believe in nothing, but rather that one will believe in anything.” And so it has proved. Especially that we will put ourselves in God’s place. God had something to say about this of course, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” But many of us have made ourselves gods ahead of God himself, and this is the result.

Self-worship elevates our desires and thereby sets us at war with others and the world. We see other people as the problem, rather than the purpose of life. Self-worship cannot eradicate the problem of sin, however, nor bend the world to one’s will, and so it often results in self-loathing, which in turn is redirected toward others. Private-jet environmentalists who lecture working families about having children illustrate this, as do transgender activists who want to force everyone else to affirm their mystical sense of self, rather than biological reality.

The judge in Mackereth’s case got it backwards. The teaching of Genesis 1:27 that God made humans, male and female, in the image of himself is the firm foundation for human dignity and human rights. The real threat comes not from a Christian doctor’s refusal to pretend a man is a woman, but from a mystical ideology that worships the self.

Yep, says it all, really.

The Streets of San Francisco

I’m going to assume that you all know who Heather MacDonald is. She has done some of the best research-backed work this century. Here’s some more of it, on the homeless in San Fransisco. And don’t think it’s merely Frisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, increasingly New York, and even London are starting to see the same thing. And the cause is always the same. Writing for City Journal here’s Heather. A warning this is both a very sad, and a quite long read.

Everyone’s on drugs here . . . and stealing,” an ex-felon named Shaku explains as he rips open a blue Popsicle wrapper with his teeth. Shaku is standing in an encampment of tents, trash, and bicycles, across from San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church. Another encampment-dweller lights a green crack pipe and passes it around. A few paces down the street, a gaunt man swipes a credit card through a series of parking meters to see if it has been reported stolen yet.

For the last three decades, San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. The city has done so in the name of compassion toward the homeless. The results have been the opposite: street squalor and misery have increased, even as government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles that have guided the city’s homelessness policy remain inviolate: homelessness is a housing problem; it is involuntary; and its persistence is the result of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

Not much of a surprise there, is it? People with common sense have been saying that for 50 years, if not 500 or more.

An inadequate supply of affordable housing is not the first thing that comes to mind when conversing with San Francisco’s street denizens. Their behavioral problems—above all, addiction and mental illness—are too obvious. Forty-two percent of respondents in the city’s 2019 street poll of the homeless reported chronic drug or alcohol use; the actual percentage is likely higher. The city relentlessly sends the message that drug use is not only acceptable but fully expected. Users dig for veins in plain view on the sidewalk; health authorities distribute more than 4.5 million syringes a year, along with Vitamin C to dissolve heroin and crack, alcohol swabs, and instructions on how to best tie one’s arm for a “hit.” Needle disposal boxes have been erected outside the city’s public toilets, signaling to children that drug use is a normal part of adult life. Only 60 percent of the city’s free needles get returned; many of the rest litter the sidewalks and streets or are flushed down toilets.

Drug sellers are as shameless as drug users. Hondurans have dominated the drug trade in the Tenderloin and around Civic Center Plaza and Union Square since the 1990s. They congregate up to a dozen a corner, openly counting and recounting large wads of cash, completing transactions with no attempt at concealment. Most of the dealers are illegal aliens.

Again, no surprise. Wh it amounts to is the ruling elite have decided that these cities are only for the rich, who can one way or another protect themselves, and the very poor, who can not defend themselves against anything, but those elites talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk. All they do is signal their social justice to make themselves feel good and look good to their peers.

Actually, it saddens me as much as it angers me. I haven’t been in Frisco since the mid to late 60s but I remember how gloriously beautiful it was. Enchanting really. That was then, this is now.

There’s lots more, including ways to actually solve the problem, which undoubtedly will not be enacted, let alone enforced. So read the whole and you’ll not only know why Frisco is a shithole but what the rest of us have to do to keep from living in one too. And that is a worthy cause.

Rights are great things but they also bring with themselves responsibilities. It appears to be something our so-called elites have forgotten.

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