Vet Unvetted

This story is amusing, in a grim sort of way:

Where does an alleged war criminal accused of torture and directing mass executions look for work while living in the United States? For Yusuf Abdi Ali, there was an easy answer: Uber and Lyft.

Within a couple of days of applying to be a ride-share driver, Ali said he was approved to shuttle passengers from place to place. He’s been doing it for more than 18 months, according to his Uber profile.

Ali’s work as a ride-share driver raises new questions about the thoroughness of Uber and Lyft’s background check process and the ease with which some people with controversial pasts can get approved to drive.

Ali has not been convicted of a crime, but a basic internet search of his name turns up numerous documents and news accounts alleging he committed various atrocities while serving as a military commander during Somalia’s civil war in the 1980s.

I think David Burge puts it best:


Oh, and it gets worse:

Ali entered the United States on a visa through his Somali wife who became a US citizen. In 2006, his wife was found guilty of naturalization fraud for claiming she was a refugee from the very Somali clan that Ali is accused of torturing.

I’m half-surprised he’s only an Uber driver and not in Congress.

In 2016, CNN reported that Ali had been working as a security guard at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.

Yes, clearly it’s Uber who’s at fault here.

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Burning Ban

Reader Fay sends me a link to this article:

A standoff with the federal government is putting the future of Burning Man at risk.

The problems started when the event’s organizer, Burning Man Project, applied for a permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to hold the event in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for another 10 years.

Then the BLM responded.

The agency, which is part of the Interior Department and manages public lands, issued a draft of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required for the permit on March 15.

BLM wants 10 miles of concrete barriers installed on the event’s perimeter for security, a requirement that organizers install dumpsters and hire companies to haul out the trash and authorities in place to conduct vehicle searches at the gate.

Okay, so:

The decision didn’t sit well with Burners.

“Many of the measures recommended by BLM are unreasonable, untenable, attempt to solve problems that don’t exist, and/or create new (and worse) problems,” Burning Man Project wrote in a fact-checking statement.

“Altogether, these requirements would fundamentally change the operational integrity and cultural fabric of Black Rock City, and would spell the end of the event as we know it,” the group added. “This is not an exaggeration.”

The irony is that attendees of Burning Man are overwhelmingly drawn from the faux artsy middle classes in Brooklyn and west coast weirdos. Both sets overwhelmingly vote for massive increases in government power, particularly in the name of protecting the environment via mass-regulation. If you want to do so much as fart in New York or California you need permission from the government. Did they think they’d be exempt because they’re holding a mass orgy in the desert? Heh.

It’s been around for nearly three decades, but the last few years have seen an influx of hipsters and tech moguls and their followers, which have made the event a cultural phenomenon or target, depending on who is opining.

Just the sort of people who want to ban fossil fuels, shut down factories, and block pipelines.

But central to the ethos of the week is sense of self-governance, which is why the new government proposals are particularly grating.

Yes, the people who demand massive government in everyone’s lives believe their own events should be self-governing.

The government also has concerns about lights being used at night, including large work lights, high-intensity lasers and search lights, which BLM said can disrupt birds and other wildlife, and contribute to light pollution. As a result, the potential to ban or curtail some of the lighting is on the table.

Expanding the unchecked powers of the environmental agencies during the Obama administration isn’t looking so great now is it, Swampy?

Burning Man Project isn’t having it.

We’ll see.

Back on Earth, Burning Man has a robust nightlife…

That’s one way to describe it, yes.

Organizers also call the idea of vehicle searches at the gate “unconstitional” and unnecessary.

New Yorkers and Californians are now fans of the constitution? I look forward to their wholehearted embrace of the Second Amendment.

“For many years, BRC has published and widely publicized a list of prohibited items that are not allowed into Black Rock City, including weapons, narcotics and fireworks. We enforce these restrictions when items are discovered in vehicles during entry,” Burning Man Project said.

Ah yes, the famously drug-free Burning Man experience, matched only by sober St. Patrick’s Day.

What’s amusing is the current generation of Burners are complaining this will fundamentally change the nature of Burning Man, which has already gone through at least two evolutions leaving it unrecognisable from the early years. In those days guns used to be a big part of the festival, and they even had a drive-by shooting range. As with Glastonbury, the spoiled middle classes who now attend Burning Man think they’re cut from the same cloth as the misfits who started the thing. Their whining about government regulations they’re happy to foist on everyone else is a strong sign that they’re not.

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Unbecoming

The Independent, perhaps forgetting it’s supposed to report news, runs an advertorial on behalf of Michelle Obama, the feminist icon who would be completely unknown were it not for her husband holding high office.

The former first lady juxtaposed the Donald Trump administration to Barack Obama’s presidency during a wide-ranging interview on Sunday to promote her autobiography Becoming in London, venting her frustrations at the president’s decision to radically overhaul her husband’s legacy.

There was a time when former presidents – and by implication, their wives – refrained from criticising their successors. Michelle Obama doesn’t only criticise the current president, but she goes on a world tour to do it, whining about her husband’s “legacy”. I’m not seeing a lot of that “class and grace” here.

Ms Obama took aim at the billionaire property developer in a series of jibes during which she did not mention him by name. “For anyone who had any problems with Barack Obama, let’s just think about what we were troubled by – there were never any indictments,” she told a crowd of around 15,000 at the O2.

Which is more a reflection on the African-style corruption your husband brought to the US Department of Justice and security services than his behaviour in office.

The Chicago native, who was interviewed by US late-night host Stephen Colbert, jokingly compared the US with Mr Trump in the White House to being a teenager.

I see. “When they go low, we go high” has become “I’ll go low to make some money.”

“We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled,” Ms Obama said. “Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.”

This is an interesting analogy, and I have an idea why she picked it. Barack Obama is a living, breathing, example of what happens to a boy when his dad walks out on the family. From the desperate hunting for an identity with different names and an ever-changing backstory to writing whole books about him in the hope of gaining approval, not to mention the pettiness of many of his actions in office, I think Michelle might be projecting just a little bit here.

Ms Obama, who has been married to the former president for 27 years, said her family’s life had been profoundly different before entering the White House – describing them as a “normal family” who had no time to “adjust to the rarified air of politics” when they arrived in Washington.

Which explains the entourage of taxpayer-funded servants and lackeys which made the global tours of Diana Ross look frugal by comparison.

“We were always ourselves – the presidency does not change who you are, it reveals who you are,” she added in what appeared to be another dig at the current president.

For a supposedly smart woman she’s really bad at commentary. Donald Trump hasn’t changed one jot since entering office: he was a jerk before and he’s a jerk now. Nobody who knew Trump while he was a household name for three decades has noticed any sea-change in character; indeed, the only thing which seems to change is his wife. Whereas what did Obama becoming president reveal about him? That for all his hopey-changey rhetoric he was miles out of his depth, unable to make the leap from community organiser to statesman and from campaigning to governing, leaving behind a country torn apart by identity politics.

“I don’t know if there has been a president who has been accused of not being born in this country? Who has been asked to show his transcripts? Who has been accused of being unpatriotic? There was a lot of stuff that had not happened before that happened to us.”

I don’t know if there has been an American president subject to a rearguard coup by the outgoing administration. Once again, this is more the type of thing you see in Africa. Did you write about that in your book, Michelle?

“For eight years, the president they saw in their country was Barack Obama. He was somebody who people thought was smart and would do the right thing.”

Yeah, and look what happened instead. Michelle Obama is living proof that the left really need cult leaders in their lives, telling them what they want to hear while painting a comforting alternate version of reality. It beats me why they ever stopped going to church.

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Sanctuary Blockers

One of the errors conservatives make is thinking pointing out the left’s hypocrisy will make them change their ways. They think if only we can really highlight how unprincipled they are, they’ll not be able to use the same arguments any more. Well, how’s that working out after thirty-plus years of trying?

Where Trump brings a breath of fresh air is in using his opponents’ hypocrisy as a weapon against them. This was a master stroke:

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday the potential plan to transfer undocumented immigrants from border cities to “sanctuary cities” is “an option on the table,” though it’s not the administration’s first choice.

Sanctuary cities are Democrat-controlled cities whose administrations have decided they will refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials trying to deport illegal aliens from the United States. This is fully-consistent with the increasingly mainstream Democratic position of open borders, and is enacted and supported by liberals who believe undocumented migrants represent a net positive for the United States regardless of who they are and how many. So in order to solve the crisis on the border – which is in large part a result of Democrats’ refusal to secure it and instead encourage more people to cross over illegally – Trump announced he’d send all these migrants to the places where they’ll be most welcome: the lefty-run sanctuary cities.

“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!” he tweeted, later in the day singling out California at an event discussing 5G technology. “They’re always saying they have open arms, let’s see if they have open arms.”

Let’s see indeed:

House Democrats are formally launching an investigation into the Trump administration’s consideration of a controversial proposal to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities.

The chairmen of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Homeland Security Committees have asked the White House and Department of Homeland Security for any communications concerning the potential transfer and release of immigrants detained at the southern border to various cities across the country.

Turns out they’re not keen.

“These reports are alarming. Not only does the Administration lack the legal authority to transfer detainees in this manner, it is shocking that the President and senior Administration officials are even considering manipulating release decisions for purely political reasons,” Reps. Jerry Nadler, Elijah Cummings, and Thompson wrote in a letter.

Of course, Trump has no intention of doing this, he’s just forcing the holier-than-though Democrats to publicly declare they don’t actually want the problem of illegal immigrants brought to their cities. I expect this will appeal more to his base than swing voters but the stunt appears to have turned at least one celebrity into a staunch Republican:


How indeed?

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Omar Badly

She’s at it again:


Stephen Miller happens to be Jewish, but that matters little to the Somali congresswoman: he’s still a white nationalist.

The alt-right barely exists outside of 4chan and Gab these days, but its members never went away nor did their concerns. A little closer to the political centre are those who call themselves the dissident right, and closer again are a large number of conservatives and right wingers who’ve spent a decade or two looking for a political home. The fact all these people voted for Trump shows they weren’t too fussy about who took charge provided it wasn’t another production-line politician like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush.

Something someone said recently was that any new political movement on the right must have a positive message; it can’t just be a laundry list of complaints. The way identity politics is shaping the political landscape in America, particularly how being openly racist is perfectly acceptable for certain groups, it’s a matter of time before someone competent joins the dots and makes white nationalism the rallying call for those on the right who feel disenfranchised. This won’t happen for a while because attitudes in America aren’t quite ready for that yet, but the ground is being prepared and it’s being done so by the left.

For a start, the epithet of white nationalism is fast losing its association with prison gangs and cranks thanks to Ilhar Oman and her chums using it to describe normal people on an everyday basis. We also know that people are used to being told they voted for white nationalism because that’s all they’ve heard since Trump was elected. We know the left and the media will scream blue murder if a candidate runs on a white nationalist platform, but they do that if a Republican runs on a moderate platform. We know the political establishment will mount a coup against any such candidate because they already tried that with Trump. If America’s ruling classes are going to have a meltdown and denounce every mildly right wing candidate as a white nationalist, what defences do they have against a real white nationalist? Are they even going to be able to tell the difference?

America has been fortunate so far that white nationalists have tended to be grossly incompetent. This is because there’s been no future in subscribing to it, it’s a dead-end losers’ game. But if Somalis in headscarves are going to spend their time denouncing white people from congress, while at the same time you have a tens of millions of disenfranchised right wingers who happen to be white, an avenue of opportunity might open up. And then instead of the bunglers some competent people arrive on the scene who’ve carefully observed how the ruling classes behave, know how to evade their counterattacks, and form a movement which suddenly becomes too big to shut down. And then the fun really begins.

The Democratic primaries and 2020 presidential election are going to be interesting in this regard. I expect both will become a battle of escalating identity politics where straight, white, men are insulted, abused, and denounced for being all three. Not only has America been fortunate that white nationalists have been incompetent, but also that white Americans don’t see themselves as defined by their skin colour. The left are pushing them harder and harder to do so. Personally I don’t think it’s a hard sell especially in current economic and demographic conditions, and once that seed is planted the promotional material and campaigns write themselves. Would white Americans rather be ruled by white nationalists or Somalis in headscarves who hate them? If things carry on like this, that will be the choice inside many people’s heads.

Ilhar Omar might end up only serving one term in congress, but she could influence American politics to a degree disproportionate to both her position and intellect. Serious countries would never have let things even get this far.

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The friend of my friend is my enemy

So while you have fake conservatives making sure nobody to the right of Tony Blair or George W. Bush can gain traction anywhere without being branded a racist and blocked from social media, the right also has another problem and that is an inability to pick its battles. Julia Hartley-Brewer is one of the leading advocates for Brexit, she rails against political correctness and argues in favour of free speech, and believes Britain’s immigration system needs a radical overhaul. All good, right?

Actually, no. Yesterday some hack in America posted on Twitter a short clip of a Trump speech in which he called asylum-seekers “animals”. Only Trump was specifically referring to MS-13 when he used that word, and the video had been edited to obscure that fact and the “asylum seekers” bit added by the hack. It was also not new; it dated back to May 2018 when the left pulled the same trick. In other words it was straight-up fake news. Here’s how Julia Hartley-Brewer responded:


When people called her out on it, she doubled down:


Actually, Trump doesn’t go around calling people animals. This is yet more fake news, but it’s also a sign of something more worrying, especially if you’re conservative. If you are pro-Brexit, anti-PC, and want stronger immigration policies I’d have thought Trump’s your man – especially if he’s specifically talking about keeping unspeakably violent criminals out of the country. If Britain does exit the EU, who do they think their biggest ally’s going to be? Who is their main target for a trade deal? Brexiteers should be doing everything they can to get Trump interested in their cause, and they should be thanking their lucky stars someone naturally sympathetic to them is in the White House instead of a wet globalist like Obama who detests Britain and loves the EU.

I’m going to be charitable and assume Hartley-Brewer is genuinely conservative and isn’t just saying this stuff to ensure the London liberal set keep inviting her to dinner parties, but what I’m going to say isn’t much better: she’s simply not very bright when it comes to politics. If conservatives and right wingers want any chance of clawing back lost ground in the culture war, they’re going to have to be an awful lot smarter than this. Firstly, that means being fully focussed on what you want. If Brexit is your priority, concentrate on that, and don’t concern yourself with matters unrelated to the task at hand. Otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll inadvertently strengthen your enemies and undermine your own cause. What did Hartley-Brewer expect to achieve by joining the left in bashing Trump? There’s simply no upside here, only downsides. And it’s not like Trump doesn’t use Twitter and has no idea who’s saying what. She’s blundered straight into a bear trap set by her enemies. If this were a real war, she’d be written off as a liability. Now I’m not saying Brexiteers and conservatives should agree with Trump or even like the man. But there is an option to, you know, just shut the f*** up. You don’t actually have to comment on everything; sometimes silence works wonders. If you don’t learn to pick your battles, don’t expect to win any.

Secondly, conservatives need to recognise who their true allies are. Churchill didn’t like Stalin very much, but realised he needed him to defeat Nazi Germany. There’s plenty of time for drawing up principles once the war is won, but while it’s ongoing you do whatever’s necessary to win. If British conservatives can’t stomach Trump as an ally, they’ve already lost (again). As I’ve said before, there are things to dislike about Tommy Robinson but if British conservatives find themselves unable to throw their weight behind him when he’s being hounded by the government for speaking his mind about immigration, they ought to get ready for another few decades of cultural Marxist domination. They also need to jettison the fake conservatives and those who lack the stomach for the fight. The sort of wet conservatives who appear in the mainstream media or in Parliament can be likened to America’s supposed allies in their mission to Afghanistan: the German military wouldn’t go out at night, the French complained the country was unsafe, and the Norwegians said they’d provide a medical tent. Only the English-speaking countries – the UK, Canada, and Australia – were prepared to get stuck in, kill some folk, and take casualties of their own. The rest are free-riders waiting to step in and take charge once the enemy is defeated, or simply carp from the sidelines.

If the culture wars were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped the fight years ago. Conservative fortunes won’t improve until they acknowledge this and change their approach entirely. They need to fight smarter. This means focusing on the handful of things they really want, seeking allies who want the same things, and getting rid of the grifters and hangers-on. Above all, it means shutting the f*** up for most of the time.

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Pick a Colour

One of the things which separates Western Europe/North America/Australia & NZ from the rest of the world, and makes these places infinitely better, is politics is not divided along racial lines. Even with the legacy of slavery and the civil rights movement, US politics has never been divided into white parties, black parties, Hispanic parties, etc. The idea British political parties could divide along racial lines is so absurd you’d have to explain it a few times before anyone would understand what you even meant.

This isn’t the case almost everywhere else. In Nigeria, it is generally expected that presidents – who are elected via a pretty free and fair process – will alternate between one from the north and one from the south. The northerners are generally Muslim and look quite different from the generally Christian southerners, and each side wants one of their own in charge. I also happen to be friends with a chap from Trinidad, and he told me the politics of Trinidad & Tobago are split along ethnic lines between Afro-Caribbeans and those of Indian descent. When it comes to voting, everyone votes for a candidate who shares their ethnicity. Whenever I stumble into some information about an election in Africa or Asia, the candidates’ ethnicity or tribe is always mentioned because it lets you know who their supporters are.

Back when I was in university, the only time term “white nationalists” got used was in documentaries on American prison gangs. When I saw the film American History X with a bunch of fellow students, the whole concept of white nationalism seemed absurd. Twenty years later however, and we are told that white nationalism is “on the rise” and “a growing threat”. Until recently, I was quick to dismiss this as nonsense, but I’m slowly coming around to the idea it might be true. The trouble is, white nationalism is being promoted by those very people who have brought the term into everyday use. Here’s an example:


The idea that Trump is a white nationalist is preposterous, but if we have a Somali congresswoman wearing a headscarf bellowing from the rooftops about white nationalism in chorus with hundreds of other prominent figures, people are first going to start getting used the idea and then wondering if there may not be something in it. The Obama years saw America’s racial fault lines widen substantially, a process not helped by the president himself (and that’s putting it charitably). Since Trump’s election, it has become routine for Democrat politicians to openly campaign along racial lines, all with one thing in common: whites are there to be denigrated. Accusations of white supremacy are simply a tool political charlatans deploy to hobble their political opponents, but it appears to be an effective one. But a consequence of ethnic minorities playing divide and silence along racial lines is that, sooner or later, whites will start to play the same game. It’s not the extremists like the Christchurch murderer that people need to worry about as much as ordinary people who hadn’t even heard the term five years ago being slandered as white supremacists by grifters who want to make everything about race. They will start to think, and indeed are starting to think, if minorities are voting along racial lines and using any obtained power to launch attacks on whites, they should recalibrate how they see the future of politics.

The response by the ruling classes to such fledgling opinions has, as usual, been precisely the wrong one. Take this for example:

Facebook has said it will block “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism” on Facebook and Instagram from next week.

The company said it had deemed white nationalism an acceptable form of expression on a par with “things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity”.

But in a blog post on Wednesday it said that after three months of consultation with “members of civil society and academics”, it found that white nationalism could not be “meaningfully separated” from white supremacy and organised hate groups.

So while our benevolent rulers and their media stooges wax lyrical about the importance of letting ISIS barbarians return to civilised society, governments – via tech giants and “members of civil society and academics” – have decided white people discussing what might be best for them is to be banned. So I have a question: do you think this will make it more or less likely that white people will consider voting along racial lines in future?

Here’s another story:

Austria’s government has said it may disband a far-right group that received a donation from the main suspect in the New Zealand mosque attacks.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government was investigating whether the Identitarian Movement Austria (IBÖ) was a “terrorist organisation”.

Prosecutors confirmed that the group’s leader, Martin Sellner, received about €1,500 (£1,290) from Brenton Tarrant.

Mr Sellner confirmed the donation but denied any ties to the suspect.

“I have nothing to do with this terror attack,” Mr Sellner said, arguing that his organisation was a peaceful anti-immigration group.

He said investigators raided his flat in Vienna on Monday and seized his phone, computer, and other devices.

Here’s another question: do you think designating this organisation a terrorist group because it received a donation from the Christchurch murderer will soften or harden attitudes to immigration in Austria? One would also have thought that Austrians of all people might have paused before wielding a law which can so obviously be abused in future should the wrong people come into power. Hell, Sebastian Kurz is already way to the right of every other political leader in Europe; if he’s having to resort to this to stop himself being outflanked further to the right, who knows who could find themselves propelled to power on an anti-immigration platform?

Had this blatant race-baiting not occurred in American and (increasingly) British and European politics, white nationalism would be confined to the Aryan Brotherhood behind three rows of barbed wire fence and a concrete wall. Now it’s being advertised as a political movement, and people are showing an interest. If someone out there wanted white people to vote along racial lines, this was a good way to get the ball rolling. If that does start happening in large numbers, things will get ugly indeed.

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When they go low, we go lower

Remember Jussie Smollett, the American actor/singer who claimed he’d been attacked by a couple of rednecks in downtown Chicago in the early hours one morning, only for it to emerge that he’d paid a couple of Nigerian lads to fill him in? He was staring down the barrel of serious criminal charges but whaddya know, they’ve been dropped.

Readers may recall that Smollett’s original claim had the entire Democratic presidential field rushing to his aid, and it seems his connections have come through once more. However, the Chicago PD and mayor are less than impressed:

In a striking news conference [which can be seen here – ed], the mayor and the police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, sharply criticized the State’s Attorney’s Office and the actor himself.

Mr. Emanuel said that Mr. Smollett’s celebrity had played a role in the decision, calling it “a whitewash of justice.”

“You cannot have, because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and one set of rules apply to everybody else,” Mr. Emanuel said.

“Our officers did hard work, day in and day out, countless hours, working to unwind what actually happened that night,” he added. “The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud.”

Mr. Johnson said, “I think this city is still owed an apology.”

“At the end of the day,” he added, “it’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax.”

Nor are we finding much remorse from Smollett:

Exoneration or no, for Mr. Smollett, who maintained his innocence, the outcome could hardly have been better. After the hearing, he read a statement outside the courthouse without taking questions. He thanked his family, friends and “the incredible people of Chicago and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me.”

That’s right, he still maintains he’s innocent. And I wasn’t very surprised by this:

[T]he state’s attorney’s office had already drawn scrutiny for its handling of the case. The Chicago Tribune reported that after police department sources began leaking their doubts about Mr. Smollett to local reporters, Tina Tchen, a former chief of staff to Michelle Obama, had emailed Kimberly Foxx, the top prosecutor, saying the actor’s family had “concerns about the investigation.”

Firstly, why did Michelle Obama have a chief of staff? Secondly, far from embodying “class and grace” as his worshippers claim, the more I read about the Obamas the more they look like low-grade grifters, neck-deep in the sort of corruption that infests Chicago. If I were to be even more cruel I’d point out that Americans elected a half-African for a president who displayed African-style governance – including the prominent, high-spending wife and an inability to retire gracefully and silently.

Now on the one hand this is nothing new. The wealthy and connected were always subject to different laws from the rest of us – look at Edward Kennedy, for example. But on the other hand, now they’re not even pretending. They’re corrupt, and they don’t care who knows it. Also, I’m sure a lot of young black men will be contrasting Smullett’s fate under what passes for a justice system with their own were they to face similar charges. The American justice system is stacked against black men, and the sheer scale of gross injustices meted out against them should be a matter of priority for any governing party. Kim Kardashian, for all her faults, has done an admirable job in pushing Trump for prison reform, a bill which the president passed.

Which is ironic, don’t you think? The supposedly racist president Trump has signed a bill aimed at putting fewer black men in prison for non-violent crimes. What did Obama do to redress the balance in his eight years in charge? And now his wife’s mates are intervening in the justice system to ensure a wealthy celebrity gets sprung without charge despite overwhelming evidence that he’s guilty. It’s not surprising black Americans became so disappointed with Obama, and this latest incident will hardly have helped. While it’s probably too much to expect them to vote Republican, we can at least hope some will start to see that Democrats are not their friends either. What’s going to be really interesting is whether Kamala Harris can bring out the black vote. She’s on record as going all-in for Smullett, and her black credentials are sketchy to begin with. If she can’t, Trump’s a shoo-in for 2020.

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Parallel Lies

So Trump has been cleared of conspiring with Russia to seize the 2016 presidential election in a manner so emphatic that even the BBC has been forced to run it as a front-page headline; when the news broke over the weekend they were doing everything they could to keep it buried on page 2. Not that they couldn’t resist putting a negative spin on it:

But Attorney General William Barr’s summary is inconclusive as to whether Mr Trump obstructed justice.

Meaning, there is no evidence he did so.

In a sane world, this ought to bring to an end two years of what I expect historians will see as an immensely damaging episode in American history when the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces decided to fabricate charges of near-treasonous activity against a sitting president simply because they didn’t like that he won a free and fair election. Worse, many of those accusing Trump actually did conspire to throw the election using every means available short of assassination. For all the hysteria that Trump is trying to re-establish the Third Reich, if this were true he’d be embarking on a mass trial right now which would make Nuremburg look like the small claims court. Hell, the behaviour of certain politicians and FBI directors would have seen them jailed for life or executed by past governments which fell way short of being dictatorial. As I’m fond of saying, America is lucky it was Trump who stumbled into the job back in November 2016. Had it fallen to a smarter more ruthless man who didn’t show his cards, he’d have been gifted a strong excuse to start handing down lengthy prison sentences to his enemies now – including newspaper editors and even owners. The way America is going, this chap may well yet appear.

I’ve said before, there are many parallels between the 2016 election of Trump and the British vote to leave the European Union the same year, and the reactions from the ruling classes to both have been strikingly similar. In each case, they have refused to accept the result and done everything to subvert the democratic wishes of the population simply because they don’t like the outcome. It’s a titanic shift, not just because it paves the way for future skulduggery (which will now become the norm, a la tin-pot basket-case countries) but also because the old left and right designations, which were already severely worn, have finally been destroyed. In the USA, Democrats and Never Trump Republicans joined forces to unseat Trump via fabricated charges of collusion while proper conservatives and the blue collar workers traditionally courted by Democrats wanted him to get on with building walls and bulldozing the EPA with everyone inside. In the UK it’s the same thing: the Metropolitan professional classes who voted for both Blair and Cameron attempting to thwart the expressed democratic wishes of those they consider beneath them. Worse, neither Americans nor the British seem to understand the damage they’re doing to their countries. People honestly think if Trump is impeached, or Article 50 simply withdrawn, everything will go back to normal. It’s hubris and self-delusion on a scale I’d not have thought possible only ten years ago.

The ZMan is fond of pointing out to members of the dissident right that there is no voting their way from where they are now to where they want to be. As is being proven, voting does not change anything and no the odd occasion it does, those in charge simply ignore the vote or attempt to reverse it. Instead, they’re going to have to reframe the entire argument and reject most of what passes for contemporary politics. In practice, this means adopting a pretty ugly sort of tribal-based politics. If that scares you, ask yourself what we’ve got right now.

UPDATE

This long piece by Matt Taibbi is an excellent summary of Russiagate. It’s worse than you can imagine.

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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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