The Ardern of Good and Evil

In the wake of the massacre in Christchurch, the New Zealand government led by 38 year old Jacinda Ardern has been doing everything it possibly can to disprove the oft-repeated mantra that terrorism will not change us. Before the echoes of the shots had faded completely they’d decided to impose new restrictions on the ownership of firearms, consistent with the knee-jerk reactions of other governments in the wake of a shooting spree. Within days the image of Arden wearing a headscarf was splashed across the pages of the global media, followed by campaigns encouraging all women to get with the program. Tomorrow, the Islamic call to prayer will be broadcast across the whole of New Zealand in a sign of solidarity. Meanwhile, a New Zealand bookshop has pulled Jordan Peterson’s bestselling book from the shelves, the police are arresting people for sharing the video, and ISPs are now blocking 4chan. All this within a week, but apparently terrorists will never change us.

Overseas things aren’t much better, with everyone clambering over the corpses of those massacred in Christchurch to justify what they’re doing anyway. The British police are doing their usual thing of arresting people for nasty words on the internet, US Democrats are blaming Donald Trump, Brits are blaming Brexit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using footage of the attack to fire up the crowds at public rallies in Turkey, and the usual bunch of lunatics have come out and said all white men are the problem.

The opportunism doesn’t bother me so much; activists and politicians have been doing this since time began. What I find more interesting is people’s opinions of Jacinda Ardern. Her reaction was one of a mother who’s infant son has just fallen over and grazed his knee: endless soothing words, sympathetic grimaces, lollipops, and promises of a safer world in which knees don’t get grazed. I’m not likening a gun massacre to a grazed knee, rather I’m saying a prime minister should display the characteristics of leadership not motherhood. That is, a calm, rational analysis of what is certainly a highly complex issue covering mental illness, drug use, religion, racism, disenfranchisement, immigration, and gun control. We didn’t get that, and we’re not going to.

Unfortunately, as the gushing media shows (and social media comments) the chattering middle classes don’t want leading, they want mothering; that they celebrated Arden being New Zealand’s first prime minister to get pregnant in office should have served as a warning. It’s easy to see why women like her: she’s basically the president Mumsnet would have if it were a country. That men are on board with this shows how feminised society has become, despite the claims that women live under the jackboot of toxic patriarchy. If people don’t want to be infantalised by politicians they’re going to have to quit electing women who run on a platform of being mothers before anything else.

Whats going on here is a morality play, not too dissimilar to those you see on Mumsnet where women describe a domestic situation in the hope others endorse their moral stance. Arden and her worshippers are signalling that they are the Good people, and over there are the Bad people. If this massacre hadn’t occurred they’d have just waited for the next one: the virtue signaling never stops, only this time it’s amplified for a global audience. By choosing who to sympathise with, who to demonise, and who to ignore the middle classes and their elected priesthood can demonstrate to each other how morally virtuous they are. This explains the staggering difference in reactions to an Islamic terrorist bombing children in Manchester – “don’t look back in anger” – and a white lunatic shooting up a mosque in New Zealand. It also explains why the story of a man of Turkish extraction murdering three people on a tram in Utrecht in broad daylight this week didn’t get much attention. Apparently the fact it might have “only been an honour killing” is reason enough to downplay it, as if that’s unrelated to issues surrounding alien cultures, immigration, integration, and violence – the sort of things the Christchurch shooter took an interest in, as it happens.

Proving one’s moral virtue to one’s peers used to be the purpose of attending church on a Sunday; everyone saw you, and it showed you were a good person. As I’m fond of pointing out, while the western middle classes stopped going to church they never lost  the innate desire to show their peers how virtuous they are. This part of Arden’s biography didn’t surprise me one jot:

Raised as a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ardern left the church in 2005 because, she said, it conflicted with her personal views; in particular her support for gay rights. In January 2017, Ardern identified as “agnostic”.

She’s not so much left the church as joined a new one, this confused jumble of sacred cows such as multiculturalism, environmentalism, and poor brown people which must be worshipped while denouncing temptations like conservatism, tradition, and pride in one’s culture (if you’re of European stock, anyway).

So my view is this. Most people clearly want mother figures ruling over them rather than leaders, and they want comfort and lollipops instead of being forced to grapple with serious issues requiring tough decisions. Which is fair enough, and why not? A mother figure like Arden will preside over a much more pleasant society than that of, say, Attila the Hun. The trouble is, as I’m fond of saying, I’m not sure societies run by mother figures will last very long. If New Zealand over the past few days is any guide, I very much doubt it.

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Queen to Bishop

A few days ago a 17 year old Australian walked up behind a politician and planted an egg on the back of is head, filming as he did so with his phone. He promptly got filled in, firstly by the politician and then his mates. Due to the politician being right wing and having said nasty things about Muslims, and also because women these days think a 17 year old is a child, otherwise sensible people are leaping to the defence of Egg Boy. Here’s the founder of Quillette, for example:


If the new rule is we can make physical contact with people we don’t like if our intent is not to wound, merely humiliate, things are going to get interesting indeed. Where this will leave women I have no idea: I can think of a dozen ways a man can utterly, appallingly humiliate a woman if the only restriction on physical contact is that he must not wound her. Has anyone asked the #MeToo lot about this? Can men go around egging women or not?

I suspect what we’re seeing here is Lehmann making sure she and her publication are positioned within the boundaries of polite society, edgy enough to upset the SJWs but not enough to cause the polite middle classes to start wringing their hands. Note the I’m not a fascist, but he is gambit. As Quillette grows in stature and comes under increasing attack from the hard-left, we’re going to see a lot more of this. These days if you’re anywhere to the right of Lenin and you want to keep being invited onto podcasts and TV shows, it’s important to signal you’re not an SS officer on a regular basis.

Speaking of signaling one’s morals, here’s Oliver Kamm:


The irony is this kind of moral pronouncement and surety of one’s righteousness would be quite at home in the houses of any religion. As I’m fond of saying, religion never went away, it was just replaced with other dogmatic belief systems complete with preachers, true believers, heretics, witchfinder generals, and those constantly passing moral judgement on anyone who disagrees with them. What’s amusing is their practitioners consider themselves progressives.

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Universal Basic Idiocy

I’m about half an hour into Joe Rogan’s podcast with Andrew Yang, an American presidential hopeful who’s main platform is a universal basic income (UBI). I find discussions of a UBI to be useful and sometimes fun in philosophical terms, but as a policy idea it suffers from fatal flaws which ought to be obvious but for some apparently aren’t. The ZMan points out one, which concerns price inflation:

Imagine the government decides to help BMW sell more cars, so they offer every citizen $5000 if they spend it on a BMW, rather than some other car. BMW is now facing a wave of people coming into American dealerships toting a $5,000 check payable to BMW. The logical thing for BMW to do is raise the price of their low end models by $5000. That way, they don’t increase production costs, but they increase the profit per car. In effect, the floor for entry level buyers was just raised by $5000 by the government.

There’s a pretty good real world example of this. The government decided to do something to help working class people get into college. Since many need remedial help, before taking on college work, the scheme was to offer a subsidy to be used for community colleges. The students would use the money to prep for college then head off to a four year university, presumably using loans and aid at that level. The result, however, was the community colleges just raised their tuition by about 65% of the subsidy.

But I don’t think even economic arguments do the most damage to the idea of a universal basic income. UBI comes from the libertarian fringe of politics and they have a habit of falling into the same trap they frequently accuse communists of: they ignore human nature. The reason welfare programs came into existence a few generations ago is people decided it was immoral for someone to be left to starve or die through illness or bad luck. The reason there are giant, all-encompassing welfare states today is people now think it immoral for anyone to suffer the consequences of their bone-headed actions. Proponents of a UBI think we’re still in some bygone era, rather than an age where couples with no job pump out seven children each and suffer no social opprobrium, even as they moan their taxpayer-funded house is too small.

The idea behind a UBI is it would partially replace other forms of welfare, but the reality is this money would disappear from the hands of the feckless quicker than #MeToo campaigners at the mention of Monica Lewinsky. They’d then be worse off than before and the same people who declared their situation intolerable and campaigned for the original welfare programs would pick right up where they left off. The idea that the society which constructed today’s welfare state would ignore the plight of some idiot who blew his UBI on crack and step over him while he starved in the gutter is ludicrous; the original payments would be restored, and the UBI a handy bonus for professional grifters who fancy a new set of alloys for their E36 M3s.

The fact this doesn’t get acknowledged by proponents of the UBI makes me wonder if they know much about the societies they claim to inhabit. The best that can be said is this makes them indistinguishable from most other politicians.

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Dark Continent

Last summer, Cape Town suffered severe water shortages. While the global media ran interference blaming global warming, an article in Nature magazine – hardly a hotbed of climate change denialism – explained why:

Since the 1980s, South Africa’s major conurbations have used systems models to guide their water management. These models, run by the national government, are considered world-class. They map links between river basins, reservoirs and transmission channels and use historical hydrological data to predict probable stream flows. Those are then matched to projections of demand to assess how much storage is needed. The models support real-time operations of the water network as well as planning for development. Crucially, they allow planners to assess risks of supply failures to different categories of users and evaluate the effectiveness of responses such as restrictions.

For two decades, policymakers heeded the models. They guided managers, for example, on when and where to tap sources and build reservoirs to enable the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) to meet rising demand from urban and industrial growth.

But dam building stalled in the 2000s, when local environmentalists campaigned to switch the focus to water conservation and management of demand. Such opposition delayed the completion of the Berg River Dam by six years. Eventually finished in 2009, the dam helped to keep the taps running in Cape Town this summer.

South Africa is repeating what’s happened across much of the English-speaking world and mainland Europe: contemporary politicians inherit a perfectly adequate system which has worked for decades and, through the application of ignorance, fanaticism, and arrogance in equal measures, proceed to f*ck it up completely. Unfortunately for South Africa, they seem to be taking things to the next level:

Blackouts in South Africa intensified to a maximum level on Saturday after the state power utility said it lost additional generation, including electricity imports from Mozambique.

The power cuts, first implemented over the weekend to replenish water and diesel designed for surplus generation, were raised to so-called Stage 4, removing 4,000 megawatts from the grid, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said in a statement on Saturday. It marked a third consecutive day of outages rotated throughout Africa’s most industrialized nation.

Eskom’s operational and financial woes stem from years of mismanagement and massive cost overruns on two new coal-fired power stations that should have been completed in 2015. The utility is seen as one of the biggest risks to the country’s economy.

It is tempting to blame this on an African government that’s reverting to type; they can certainly ask their brothers up in Nigeria for advice on living in a place with unreliable, intermittent electricity.

However, if this has been brought about by affirmative action policies, general incompetence of the political class, and religious-like commitment to environmental dogma foisted on them by supranational bodies and Geneva-based NGOs, how is this different to what’s going on in the developed world? The governments of France, Germany, the UK, and Australia have all decided to throw their electricity generating capacity into serious jeopardy by embracing windmills and closing nuclear plants, all for the purpose of impressing their peers at jamborees in resort towns. How long before supposedly developed countries are suffering brown-outs, or watching other parts of their infrastructure collapse? Italy can’t even keep its bridges from falling down, and I don’t think there’s a government anywhere which is capable of building anything without years of delays and quadrupling of costs. HS2, anyone? And it’s not as if South Africa is the only country in the world where people are appointed to senior positions based on skin-colour or other characteristics unrelated to experience, skills, and competence. Western organisations not only do this, they openly brag about it on their websites and give each other trophies for their efforts.

It used to be said that South Africa was a third-world country with first-world infrastructure. If they can’t even manage to keep the lights on, I think it’s fair to say that label is now obsolete. But what’s more concerning is the number of first-world countries which seem determined to have third-world infrastructure.

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Beta O’Rourke

I’ve got my fifth and final exam of the week today, so I’ll keep this short. In case anyone is interested they’ve gone well so far, mainly because I’m not dumb enough to fork out for an MBA then flunk the exams because I’m too lazy to study. My observations tell me that if I were 22 and my wealthy family were paying for it this might be the case, but alas it isn’t.

Anyway, here’s a video of presidential hopeful and darling of divorcee Democrats Beto O’Rourke:


He comes across as one of those corporate types you meet who’s waited ten years longer than his peers for his first chance at management, and when it finally arrives he takes his subordinates to the pub and gives them a rousing speech without realising he’s addressing seasoned, middle-aged professionals not teenagers.

In fact, he looks and sounds an awful lot like my ex-boss.

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Robinson Screwed So

Yesterday while in the car I listened to James Delingpole’s podcast with Tommy Robinson. Unless Robinson is lying through his teeth, which I doubt, it appears he has been the subject of highly illegal treatment at the hands of a panicked ruling class acting in concert with the police, courts, and media. What’s worse, the government gets away with it because they can count on the support of the middle classes. Nobody’s going to stand up for a far-right, racist thug, right?

Hence when he was wrongfully imprisoned, rather than the darling lawyer of the internet pointing out the gross injustice, he or she used the situation to signal their own virtues while slandering Robinson’s supporters. When the truth came out and he was proven wrong, the Secret Barrister wrote four thousand words to the effect of “Well, who can blame me for assuming the worst about this kind of man?”  Some barrister. The media’s handling of the subject is even worse, littered with smears, falsehoods, and libelous accusations as they play their assigned role as propaganda organ for the ruling classes. Not without reason does Robinson believe the upcoming BBC Panorama programme accusing him of child abuse is a last-ditch effort by the authorities to make him impossible to support. The campaign led by BBC staff and British politicians to get him banned from social media platforms looks carefully timed to ensure he has no way of responding to these allegations.

Two things sprang to mind when listening to the podcast. The first is that not a single MP, newspaper, or public figure questioned the treatment of Tommy Robinson. Contrast this with the way Labour politicians, Guardian columnists, and other Establishment figures fall over themselves to prevent jihadists, child rapists, and knife-wielding thugs from having to face justice. Apparently Sky News can travel to Syria and give sympathetic interviews with ISIS brides aimed at swaying public opinion towards repatriating them, but are uninterested in the fact that the state conspired to throw a British man who has broken no laws into solitary confinement for two months. When we are unable to deport hooked-hand lunatics inciting terrorism in London mosques, the chattering classes stroke their chins and deliver earnest sermons on the importance of human rights. But when Tommy Robinson is chucked in jail they say nothing, except perhaps to remind us of his real name and his highly suspect mortgage fraud conviction. Who do you think this inconsistency will harm in the long run? And where are the Conservatives in all this? That’s a rhetorical question.

The second thing that sprang to mind is the ruling classes had better be sure of their position here. Things are changing fast; the government is on the verge of collapse, the streets are boiling with anger, and the status quo is looking shaky indeed. If things get really chaotic and British politics flipped on its head, there is a reasonable chance Robinson might find himself in a position of power before he hits retirement age. It might seem unlikely now, but history is littered with pariahs who were jailed by failing governments and found themselves in charge a few years later. Now I doubt Robinson is ever going to be Prime Minister, but who knows where power and influence will lie if the current system is upended by a populist revolt? If even half of what Robinson says on the podcast is true, he will be fully justified in finding those politicians, judges, policemen, prison staff, and CPS agents who were responsible for his treatment and holding them to account. What form that will take I don’t know, but I’m not sure I’d want to rely on principles of human rights to save me if I were being fixed with a blindfold. That ship sailed in May last year, and the chattering classes were fine with it.

Go and listen to the podcast, and tell me I’m wrong.

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No Defeat, Whole Surrender

An article in The Spectator – the magazine for Britain’s centre-right political classes – contains a telling passage:

[T]here is no one to lead Britain through a no-deal Brexit and not enough MPs to support it. This is what Brexiteers have to accept.

Apparently British citizens just have to accept the fact their rulers are hopeless incompetents without an ounce of leadership skills among the whole lot of them. There is no other option, it seems. They are in the same position as Abraham Lincoln who said after the Battle of Antietam:

“There is no one to lead the Union armies to a decisive victory over the Confederates. This is what Americans have to accept.”

Actually no, he didn’t say that. Instead he fired the hapless George McClellan and (eventually) appointed the rather more capable Ulysses S. Grant.

The British people delivered a mandate to its rulers to negotiate, organise, and execute an orderly departure from the European Union in a manner which would maximise the long-term benefits for the country. What that precisely means is open to dispute, but the results of negotiations are rarely known in advance; a large part of the skill is being able to recalculate as positions shift. What is not open for dispute is the fact the British political leadership has utterly failed to deliver their mandate. It’s difficult to think of a single part of the process they’ve managed to get right; it’s just been one bungled catastrophe after another. The best they’ve come up with is an embarrassment of an agreement more akin to those signed by nations defeated in war, with the other option of simply exiting on 29th March being forced on them by virtue of their own incompetence. Even if you think No Deal is a good thing, it’s an indicator of how useless our politicians are that this is the most likely outcome. It’s like meeting for peace talks which drag on until everyone’s dead. Nobody’s going to get a Nobel Prize for that.

A term I sometimes hear to describe the current political philosophy, particularly in Europe, is “managed decline”. Our current crop of leaders have no interest in doing anything worthwhile beyond that which will elevate their personal status, power, and privilege. They are wholly uninterested in the future of the country beyond the next month, and treat the whole thing as a game where everyone’s on the same side except the general population who doesn’t even get to play. They have no standards, no self-confidence, no vision, and no ambition beyond that of a teenager singing into her hairbrush in her mother’s high heels. When Sadiq Khan glibly stated that Islamic terror attacks were just part and parcel of living in a big city, he should have been driven from office and into obscurity. He wasn’t, because for too many people this craven, pathetic, mediocrity is what they’ve come to expect from their leaders. That The Spectator is now endorsing this mindset speaks volumes. I’m beginning to think even “managed decline” is overly generous.

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Canada Goof

I think anyone who’s spent time on social media knows that men who describe themselves as feminists and spend half their time white-knighting and virtue-signalling to women are the sort you’d want nowhere near your daughters.

Last summer Canada’s manchild of a Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood accused of groping women:

The self-described feminist, who has said he has “no tolerance” for sexual harassment, said he did not recall the event.

“I remember that day in Creston well. It was an Avalanche Foundation event to support avalanche safety. I had a good day that day. I don’t remember any negative interactions that day at all,” he said, nodding and smiling to reporters.

But on Thursday, he told reporters that he apologized to the woman in question “in the moment,” although he also said he is confident he “did not act inappropriately.”

Now it’s likely the allegations were invented by a deranged lunatic, but what’s interesting is how quick Trudeau was to dismiss them given he spends half his time blathering on about gender issues. As is common with male feminists who chant “believe all women”, he carved out an exception for himself. However, Trudeau is now in a lot more trouble in part due to his treatment of another woman:

Mr Trudeau has been accused of pressuring his former attorney general to cut a deal with a company facing corruption charges – and retaliating when she refused to play ball.

The revelations could cost Trudeau the October general election, some pundits say.

The former AG, Jody Wilson-Raybould, says Trudeau and his staff spent months trying to convince her that taking the company to trial would cost Canadians jobs, and their party votes.

She also says she was subject to “veiled threats”, which she believes were made good when she was shuffled out of her department.

Now another minister, Jane Philpott, has quit saying it was “untenable” for her to continue due to “serious concerns” raised by the case.

So a gurning SJW who’s never missed an opportunity to virtue-signal and polish his feminist credential turns out to be a corrupt, bullying, nasty piece of work especially to women who won’t do as they’re told. Now there’s a surprise, eh?

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Baby Doc Watson

Blogger Rob Francis has written an article on the slow escalation of political violence in the UK, and how it is a situation that urgently needs to be arrested before things get worse:

At the weekend, whilst paying a visit to a mosque, Jeremy Corbyn was hit on the head with an egg. A man has been arrested; there were suggestions online that the egg may have still been within the alleged attacker’s fist at the point of impact.

This is entirely wrong. All of our elected representatives should be free to go about their business without fear of assault.

I did wonder whether that part of the left which has always shown a soft spot for a bit of political violence might find Sunday’s events a cause for introspection, an assessment as to whether they may need to rethink their stance on this.

Rachel Riley, amongst others, was quick to note that online Corbynite mouthpiece Owen Jones had previously supported the egging of Nazis. Would Owen reconsider his position? Of course not. The doubling down came through loud and clear.

The problem is, the left are not risking escalation and widespread violence only through encouraging attacks on right wing political figures. They are also risking serious violence through actions such as this:


Does Watson have any idea how dangerous it is for an elected politician to write a letter to a social media company demanding a British citizen be permanently banned from using its services? This is a flagrant abuse of position, akin to a politician in a tinpot kleptocracy getting a landowner evicted because it’s a nice spot on which to build his new mansion. That this hasn’t drawn widespread criticism from Establishment figures or opposition MPs neatly demonstrates this is now considered acceptable behaviour for elected officials.

Nations in which politicians brazenly engage in extralegal vendettas against private citizens tend not to enjoy long periods of peace and stability. Once officials taste such power, it starts being used more liberally; as I said the other day, Lammy and Watson are just getting warmed up. If they continue like this, abusing their positions to deprive citizens of freedom and liberty without due process, they will lay the foundations for political violence. The system only works if peaceful avenues of dissent remain open. Watson is publicly bragging that he is working to close them off. This is far more serious than an inconsequential gimp like Owen Jones trying to get middle class wannabe revolutionaries to throw eggs at Tories. One is a matter for the police; the other is a matter for another sort of organisation entirely.

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TriPod

There have been a few podcasts I’ve listened to recently that have turned out to be better than expected. First up was Lauren Southern’s appearance on James Delingpole’s new podcast. I’m no great fan of Southern but she actually showed considerable maturity when talking about her most recent documentary Borderless, about illegal immigration. She said when she and her crew moved from the destination areas to the places the migrants come from she realised the whole documentary would have to change. What she learned was there are professional people trafficking operations selling a dream of an idyllic life in Europe, and charge hopefuls several thousand dollars to make the trip. They have all the logistics worked out, they know the crossing points and which techniques to use at each (which includes charging fences en masse), and coach people to pass the refugee assessment process. They tell migrants they will be welcomed on arrival, given every means of support, and presented with opportunities for work. They get away with such lies because half the west – including politicians and national newspapers – publicly declare that refugees are welcome and citizens have an obligation to accept them. Every time a politician gives a speech about how tolerant their country is and how migrants have always been welcomed there, it is used by ruthless gangsters to sell their people-trafficking services. Only when the migrants arrive they find themselves sleeping rough having blown $5k to get there, and spend years bouncing from one country to another on rumours of better opportunities. Southern showed a degree of empathy towards these people’s plight which is all at odds with her public image, and she reserved her disgust for those in the west who are directly or indirectly aiding and abetting the people traffickers. She was particularly contemptuous towards those anonymous people in the British government who ensured she was permanently banned from entry to the UK. She is right on both counts.

The second podcast was Johann Hari’s appearance on Joe Rogan, in which he talked about drug addiction, its causes, and the history of America’s war on drugs and its appalling consequences, particularly in Mexico. I never liked Hari, having been aware of him when he blogged over at Harry’s Place and made a big deal of his being gay (he never once mentions this in his Rogan interview), and I assumed his career was over once he’d been caught manufacturing quotes. I started listening in the expectation I wouldn’t get through the whole thing, but I was pleasantly surprised by how Hari stuck on topic and really got deep into the issue at hand. It’s worth a listen.

The third was Alex Jones on Joe Rogan. Alex Jones has a deserved reputation as being a nutter, but the way social media giants conspired to remove him from their platforms should concern everyone. The interview isn’t great in terms of a listening experience (although Jones in full rant is somewhat amusing, especially when he stops himself and apologises) but what is clear is Jones is not a hateful person, let alone dangerous. Sure he believes in some seriously deranged ideas, but then so do lots of people including senior politicians. The most disturbing thing in the interview is when he spoke of being added to some obscure list as “promoting hate” which had the same effect as being labelled a terrorist. All but one of his banks withdrew their services at the same time, citing his inclusion on this list. As I’ve said before, governments are increasingly leaning on private companies to silence inconvenient voices, a process helped by those on the right who insist this is their right and targeted individuals are free to find another bank or start their own. As the Zman says, Americans now have more to fear from corporations than their own government:

Banks are now cancelling accounts, because they have deemed the client to be in violation of their HR polices. Visa and MasterCard are making private war on the gun industry. How long before someone like Jared Taylor finds he cannot get a credit card or bank account? How long before his bank calls his mortgage or his insurance company cancels his policy, because he is a blasphemer?

Between encouraging people traffickers, financing drug cartels, and silencing wrongthinkers it’s sometimes hard to justify voting for politicians instead of putting them in front of a firing squad.

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