I did not kill George Floyd.
The attempt to hold all whites responsible for the death of Floyd shows what a dead-end woke politics is.

There’s a new sin. Forget gluttony. Forget sloth. The great moral error today is whiteness. To be white is to be fallen. Whiteness has become a kind of original sin, an inherited moral defect one must atone for throughout one’s life. In the wake of the brutal execution of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, this almost religious treatment of whiteness as an existential flaw has gone uber-mainstream.

Listen to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Yesterday he called on ‘white Christians’ to ‘repent of our own prejudices’. Repent, ye sinners! Or if you prefer your leaders to be secular, how about the high priestess of middle-class decency, Nigella Lawson, who instructs her fellow white people to ‘acknowledge [that] systematic racism exists’ and that we are ‘complicit in it’. That brutal killing in Minneapolis – it’s your doing, white people.

Or read Time, the most mainstream magazine in existence. ‘White people’, says one of its contributors, ‘have inherited this house of white supremacy, built by their forebears and willed to them’. Inherited. The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son. The Time writer says white racism is a spectrum, stretching from those white people who tell a black woman ‘how pretty our hair looks when we wear it straight’ to ‘the more extreme end of the spectrum… cops literally suffocating black people like George Floyd as they beg for their lives’.

To compare a compliment about a woman’s hair to the merciless killing of Floyd is deeply disturbing. It sanitises the crime committed against Floyd and debases his suffering by putting it on a par with a mere uninvited compliment. It also confirms how thoroughly whiteness has been pathologised in mainstream ideology. What was once said about black men – that it is problematic when they compliment women of another race and that their racial make-up drives them towards murderous behaviour – is now said about white men. Perhaps someone can explain how replacing one form of racial fatalism with another is progressive.

Whiteness-as-sin is everywhere. ‘White America, if you want to know who’s responsible for racism, look in the mirror’, cries the Chicago Tribune. ‘White people, you are the problem’, it continues, in case you didn’t get its message that this sinful race, these fallen people, are the scourge of our time.

‘I’m talking about white people’, said James Corden in his monologue on The Late Late Show on Monday. ‘This is our problem to solve’, he said of the murder of Floyd and the problem of racism. White people, all of you, you did this. This is how mainstream the pathologisation of whiteness has become: it is now beamed into suburban living rooms across the US by famously inoffensive TV hosts. A white man telling white people about the sins of white complicity – this is, at the very least, an extremely odd state of affairs.

Let’s be clear about what is happening here: this is an effort to establish racial collective guilt for the murderous suffocation of George Floyd. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that collective guilt on the basis of racial origin is always a wicked ideology to pursue. Whether it’s Jews being held collectively guilty of the alleged excesses of ‘rich Jews’ or blacks being collectively punished for the offences of individual black people, such racial extrapolation always leads to prejudice and suffering. There is a twisted irony in the fact that so many commentators and activists who pose as anti-racist are promoting the ideology of collective racial guilt in response to the killing of George Floyd.

The second problem with this sweeping anti-white reaction to Floyd’s death, and with the pathologisation of whiteness more broadly, is that it acts as a distraction from the real problems facing the US and other societies. Collectivising the crime committed by four police officers in Minneapolis turns attention away from the specificity of police brutality and of structural disarray in modern America, in favour of pursuing a blanket suspicion of all whites. The problem is dissipated, then obscured. We are implicitly discouraged from seriously analysing specific residual political problems in the United States in favour of joining in the thrill-inducing project of bashing all whites.

It is important to understand where this distracting moral project comes from. It is an outlook of the privileged elites, very often white elites. It comes from academia, from the media class, from the younger members of the political establishment. For years now, these privileged elites have promoted hostility to whiteness.

They have projected the sins of the past on to whites living today, claiming that white people are the beneficiaries of slavery and colonialism. They have pushed the ideology of ‘white complicity’ (that is, all whites bear responsibility for racial crimes) and ‘white fragility’ (that is, any white who pushes back against this idea of collective racial guilt is showing his moral weakness). They have encouraged the checking of one’s white privilege, which is really a modern form of penance.

Anyone who thought the cranky woke idea of privilege-checking was confined to PC campuses will have had a rude awakening over the past few days. We’ve had the Archbishop of Canterbury promoting a Christian version of white self-correction. And anyone who has seen the incredibly creepy videos showing groups of white people begging black people for forgiveness for the historic crimes of racism or chanting in a massive crowd about how they will do better in future will know that privilege-checking has become the new religion. Original sin, repentance, public self-flagellation – it has it all.

Anti-whiteness comes from the top. It is most pronounced among privileged whites. It has nothing in common with the noble struggles for racial equality in the past. Rather, it expresses the nihilism and fatalism of the contemporary liberal elites and intellectual classes. It is self-loathing disguised as radicalism. It is not the friend, by any stretch of the imagination, of black people or white people. On the contrary, it condemns both to an interminable status quo in which the former must perform the role of perennial victim and the latter must engage in penitence, publicly and noisily, forever. Elite fatalism sees no way out of inequality or injustice, precisely because it has reimagined these things as ‘traits’, as the Chicago Tribune puts it, of racial behaviour. All it can envisage is a technocratic system of racial management in which black victims are encouraged to speak and weep and whites are encouraged to listen and repent. Like a forever truth and reconciliation commission.

It is striking that where past black campaigners for racial equality spoke in terms of visions, dreams, better futures in which things would be different, today’s self-styled correctors of white privilege can only obsess over the past. History is their stomping ground. Slavery and colonialism are their obsessions. A writer for Slate says these things are America’s ‘original sin’ and George Floyd’s murder shows that they infect us still. This sums up the fatalism of the new racial guardians. In describing racism as America’s ‘original sin’, they utterly demean the agency of the black people, and white people, who fought for rights and equality over the centuries and who tangibly changed America for the better. Worse, they lock America into racial permanence, into round after round of racial accusation and racial repentance, into a never-ending self-whipping for the inherited sins of the past. It is an entirely dispiriting ideology that offers nothing whatsoever to blacks and whites fighting for freer, better futures.

This is why corporate America and the new political elites have no problem at all with the woke ideology of pathologised whiteness. In fact they embrace it. In recent days some of the most powerful corporations in the US have commented on the problem of ‘white supremacy’. Leaders and officials in Minneapolis and elsewhere initially refused to condemn rioting on the basis that, as white people, it wasn’t their place to do so. The academia-born new racialism can be easily internalised by the capitalist and political elites because it poses no threat whatsoever to their influence over society. On the contrary, in dissipating the problems of racism and social inequality, in personalising these things and reducing them to ‘traits’ that exist across the whole of society, the woke ideology takes the heat off the powers-that-be and even creates a space for them to perform their penitence and advertise their awareness and in the process become part of the ‘saved’ people. It empowers them.

This is the great tragedy in the US right now. People are on the streets marching and arguing for some kind of change, but the dominant political ideology and language of our time utterly fails to meet their expectations or even to allow that meaningful change is possible. In accepting today’s ruling-class ideology – the ideology of wokeness and of forever racialism – the leaders of these protests have defeated themselves already. They have embraced an ideology that makes solidarity virtually impossible, by constantly flagging the differential ‘traits’ between blacks and whites, and which elevates backward-looking historic repentance over moving towards a better, wealthier future.

George Floyd’s death has exposed how dominant, destructive and futile the woke worldview has become. Rejecting the new racialism, spurning the woke creed, turning one’s back on elite fatalism that today comes in the garb of caring about black people – these are the preconditions for proper solidarity and real change.

Get Up Off Your Knees
By Michelle Malkin

Dear law-abiding Americans:

You have done nothing wrong.

Being white is not a crime. Being a Trump voter is not a crime. Being a police officer sworn to “protect and serve” every day is not a crime. Being a non-white police officer proud to uphold and enforce law and order is not a crime. Being a black or brown or yellow American who rejects excusing criminal behavior is not a crime.

Rejecting collective guilt is not a crime. Refusing to acknowledge “white privilege” when you were born poor, or in a broken home, or with physical or psychological challenges, is not a crime. Embracing the historic American nation, instead of erasing it, is not a crime.

Enforcing your private property rights is not a crime. Teaching your wife and children to use a gun in self-defense is not a crime. Owning an AR-15 or two is not a crime.

Do not let the media, Hollywood, academics or politicians gaslight you. Stop internalizing lies. Who are the criminals? Who are the heroes? Who are the makers and keepers of peace? Who are the sowers and reapers of hate?

The Proud Boys, who have guarded their communities and country for the past three years, were the lone citizen soldiers in the battle against antifa that no one else on the ground wanted to fight. The group and its leader, Gavin McInnes, have suffered greatly for trying to stop the violence now raging nationwide. McInnes has been deplatformed everywhere and falsely labeled a “white supremacist.” Scores of Proud Boys of all colors have lost their jobs after being doxxed by antifa vigilantes. Two Proud Boys are in prison, railroaded by New York Democrats, after a Kafkaesque trial in which the cop-hating antifa “victims” who lured the Proud Boys into an October 2018 street brawl refused to press charges or testify.

Their crime? These unapologetic Americans stood on their feet, not on their knees.

Journalists and photographers who documented antifa violence for the past three years, such as Andy Ngo, Chelly Bouferrache and Brandon Brown in Portland, Oregon, have endured physical assaults, death threats and harassment. Many others have gone into hiding and suffer in silence.

Their crime? Exposing antifa anarchy, standing eye to eye against their assailants, on their feet, not on their knees.

Working-class Irish, German and Polish-American men of Fishtown, a northeast Philadelphia suburb, came together this week to prevent their neighborhood from being pillaged and burned in the name of “social justice” like the rest of the City of Brotherly Riots. They banded together outside the 26th police precinct, armed with bats and golf clubs, and faced down Black Lives Matter protesters who were there to taunt and provoke the cops.

Turn off CNN and tune into the facts on the ground. At least 25 Philadelphia cops have been hurt during mob violence this week. It’s an all-out war on the thin blue line. At least 150 cops have been assaulted — four nearly murdered — in New York City as of Tuesday afternoon. Two Buffalo, New York, law enforcement officers were run over late Monday night. In addition, 51 members of the U.S. Park Police were injured; a Cincinnati cop was grazed by a bullet aimed at his head; four St. Louis officers were shot; one retired St. Louis police captain was killed; a Las Vegas Metro cop was shot; and a federal officer was shot and killed in Oakland — all in the name of peace, tolerance and reparations.

Yet, against this bloody and retributive backdrop, Democratic leaders in Philadelphia who have coddled looters all week condemned the peacekeeping Fishtown Brigade as a “mob” of “vigilantes.”

Their crime? Standing tall on their feet, not on their knees.

Scot Mendelson, a world record-holding powerlifter, protected his Southern California gym on Monday afternoon. “If you’re going to destroy something that somebody worked so hard to build, well, you know what, maybe you should be put down,” he told Fox 11 Los Angeles. “You walk through my door, you threaten my life, I’m aiming for the head.”

Mendelson’s crime? Standing muscle-bound and honor-bound on his feet, not on his knees.

Proud and good people hold their chins and guns up in a crisis. It is how Korean grocers responded when the police abandoned them during the Los Angeles riots in 1992. It is how armed small-business owners of all colors are now facing an onslaught of crazed, greedy and evil barbarians hell-bent on destroying every enforcement bulwark that protects our civil society — from our borders to our neighborhoods to the White House.

Weakness is not strength. Confessing sins for which you bear no guilt is not noble. It makes me sick to my stomach to see virtue-signaling police chiefs kneeling before barking rioters calling them “pigs.” I am nauseated by the sight of sobbing white people groveling for forgiveness before sadistic Black Lives Matter demagogues — as if this will appease the unappeasable. It will not and never will.

America, straighten your spines. Unbow your heads. No home or nation was ever saved by kowtowing to invaders or ransackers. Unless you are praying to God, get up off your knees.

And all this had nothing to do with any ‘protests’, just Chicago Way™


16 dead, at least 30 injured in second straight weekend of violence in Chicago

Officials in Chicago said Monday that the city registered 16 deaths and at least 30 injured in shootings across the region over the weekend.

NBC Chicago reported that one of the incidents involved a drive-by shooting that killed two men who were also in a vehicle. They were shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Chicago Tribune reported last week that there were 191 deaths so far this year as the result of violence. The paper reported that the majority of the deaths were a result of gunfire. The city, under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, saw its deadliest Memorial Day weekend in years, which included 10 deaths and 39 wounded.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the city had the bloody weekends despite a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus.

Tucker Carlson: Our leaders have sided with the agents of chaos – we’re told crimes of the mob are our fault

Here’s a simple question: A police station in a major American city was occupied, looted and burned on Thursday night. Most of us assumed we’d never live to see something like that happen here. But it did happen.

So the question is, has anyone been arrested for doing it? Will anyone ever be arrested?

No one in authority seems especially interested in apprehending the people who did it. All of it happened on camera, but the perpetrators just walked away. And it’s, maybe likely, that most of them will never be punished for it.

That’s striking.

It’s a very different experience from the ones most Americans have living here.

As Minneapolis burns and crowds grow in the streets of Atlanta and many other cities, the rest of us are continuing on as we always do — dutifully following the rules. There are many of those.

Every year, there seem to be countless new rules to follow. They multiply like insects.

We do our best to keep up. We get our permits, apply for our licenses, put on our reading glasses to check the latest regulations on the internet.

We wear our little masks.

We keep our dogs on leashes.

We drive sober.

We don’t eat on the subway. We never litter.

We make orderly lines and patiently wait our turn.

In airports and government buildings, we remove our shoes and submit to body searches from strangers. We lose our dignity every time we do this, but they tell us we must, so we accept it without complaint.

In public, we hide what we really think.

We bury our natural instincts. We keep our deepest beliefs to ourselves.

We know the boundaries. We understand we will be punished for telling the truth.

This is the America the rest of us live in.

For the privilege of citizenship in a country like this, we work as hard as we can.

We never stop sharing what we earn with others.

I imagine the angst in their minds must be coming intolerable to them


Atheists are warning that Christianity may be necessary for the survival of Western civilization

Historian Tom Holland is known primarily as a storyteller of the ancient world. Thus, his newest book Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, came as something of a surprise for several reasons. First, Tom Holland is not a Christian. Second, Holland’s book is one of the most ambitious historical defenses of Christianity in a very long time.

While studying the ancient world, Holland writes, he realized something. Simply, the ancients were cruel, and their values utterly foreign to him. The Spartans routinely murdered “imperfect” children. The bodies of slaves were treated like outlets for the physical pleasure of those with power. Infanticide was common. The poor and the weak had no rights.

From There to Here …

How did we get from there to here? It was Christianity, Holland writes. Christianity revolutionized sex and marriage, demanding that men control themselves and prohibiting all forms of rape. Christianity confined sexuality within monogamy. (It is ironic, Holland notes, that these are now the very standards for which Christianity is derided.) Christianity elevated women. In short, Christianity utterly transformed the world.

In fact, Holland points out that without Christianity, the Western world would not exist. Even the claims of the social justice warriors who despise the faith of their ancestors rest on a foundation of Judeo-Christian values. Those who make arguments based on love, tolerance, and compassion are borrowing fundamentally Christian arguments. If the West had not become Christian, Holland writes, “no one would have gotten woke.”

Attracting Criticism

Holland’s book-length defense of the belief system the elites love to despise has unsurprisingly attracted some criticism. He faced off with militant atheist and prominent philosopher A.C. Grayling on the question “Did Christianity give us our human values?” Grayling struggled to rebut Holland, sounding more petty than philosophical. Holland, on the other hand, became positively passionate in his defense of Christianity. If Western civilization is the fishbowl, he stated, then the water is Christianity.

While many — including Holland — cannot quite bring themselves to believe Christianity is true, they are starting to believe that Christianity might be necessary.

In fact, the very critiques of those who condemn Christianity for various perceived injustices are rooted in Christian precepts.

A Trend Identified — Defense of Christianity

Holland’s passionate defense of Christianity is fascinating because it appears to be part of a trend. As the West becomes definitively post-Christian, many secularists are suddenly realizing that Christianity may have been more valuable than they thought. While many — including Holland — cannot quite bring themselves to believe Christianity is true, they are starting to believe that Christianity might be necessary.

Douglas Murray, the conservative author and columnist, is also an atheist. In recent years, however, he has started to warn that the decline of Christianity is a dangerous thing. Society now faces three options. First, Murray says, is to reject the idea that all human life is precious. “Another is to work furiously to nail down an atheist version of the sanctity of the individual.” And if that doesn’t work? “Then there is only one other place to go. Which is back to faith, whether we like it or not.”

Murray now occasionally refers to himself as a “Christian atheist.” Speaking with Esther O’Reilly on the Unbelievable podcast, Murray lauded the “revolutionary moral insights” of Christianity. He told her that while visiting the Sea of Galilee, he couldn’t shake the feeling that “something happened here.” And he admitted that as atheists consider morality, “the more we may have to accept that … the sanctity of human life is a Judeo-Christian notion which might very easily not survive [the disappearance of] Judeo-Christian civilization.”

Speaking on The Darren Grimes Show last month, he was even blunter. “There seems to be little point to me in a life spent talking about Labour Party politics rather than God.”

King Agrippa Christians

The phenomenon of atheists praising Christianity appears to be growing. Gone are the days when Christopher Hitchens (a good friend of Murray’s) and his fellow secularists raged against the “poison” of religion. Even Richard Dawkins has now admitted that Christianity might be preferable to the alternatives. He once called for Christianity to be destroyed. Now he begrudgingly says it has good effects on society.

There is also Jordan Peterson. The famous psychologist refuses to say whether he believes in God. Or at least, he refuses to say what he means by God, or Christ or faith. Peterson is attempting to synthesize Scripture with Jung and Darwin, and the result is predictably tortured. But Peterson knows that without Christianity, unspeakable cruelty is inevitable. He speaks like a secular Calvinist. He believes in human depravity, but has not yet worked out redemption.

Charles Murray, the American social scientist and sociologist, is an agnostic. Yet, he told me in an interview that he believes the American republic will not survive without a resurgence of Christianity. “You cannot have a free society with a constitution” like the American one “unless you are trying to govern a religious people,” he observed.

The late Sir Roger Scruton, too, headed back to church. He struggled with many of Christianity’s truth claims. But still, he came to believe that Christianity was necessary. While nursing doubts, he played the organ in his local Anglican church during Sunday services. Perhaps practice, he once said, would help him along. He wasn’t sure he could believe it all. But he wanted to.

These men are King Agrippa Christians. As King Agrippa told the Apostle Paul: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” They almost believe it. They believe Christianity is good. Some believe it is necessary. As Murray put it, he “believes in belief.” But they cannot (yet) bring themselves to believe that it is literally true — that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead.

Listen to the Warnings of the Atheists — Christianity is Necessary

These strange struggles also deliver a warning to the West. Without Christianity, we are heading into a thick and impenetrable darkness. Christianity gave us human rights. It gave us protection for the weak. Compassion rooted in commands to love. Forgiveness for enemies. It revolutionized the world. We are now in the process of undoing that revolution. In fact, we are replacing it with the Sexual Revolution.

We should look at what we are destroying before we carry on. We should ask why fences were built before tearing them down. We should listen to the atheists nervously telling us that Christianity is necessary. And we should fight to ensure that our post-Christian culture is again a pre-Christian one.

 

FYI, This is a ‘sticky’ until the 26th.
Honor The Fallen as we remember those who gave in full measure to defend their country. Hail the Victorious Dead.

Most Americans have no clue why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Less than half of Americans know the true meaning behind Memorial Day, according to a new survey.

The survey of 2,000 Americans revealed just 43 percent were aware it’s a holiday honoring those who died in service while in the US Armed Forces.

Twenty-eight percent mistakenly believed Memorial Day was a holiday honoring all military veterans who have served in the US Armed Forces — which is actually Veterans Day.

It was revealed to be a common mistake: A third of respondents (36 percent) admitted to being unsure of the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of University of Phoenix, the survey tested Americans on their knowledge of the upcoming holiday, which, this year, falls on Monday, May 25………….

“For many Americans, Memorial Day is a much-needed day off to relax and enjoy their family. It is important to understand that it is also a solemn day of remembrance. For me, as a combat veteran and for military members and their families, this day holds great significance. Not everyone I served with was fortunate enough to return home,” said Brian Ishmael, senior director, University of Phoenix Office of Military and Veteran Affairs and former US Army sergeant.

Even though there’s some confusion about the holiday, 83 percent of Americans believe it’s important to do something to commemorate Memorial Day.

Lessons Learned From Col. Jeff Cooper

In Col. Jeff Cooper’s armory, sitting with the legend himself, I suffered a negligent discharge—with words, not bullets.

It was bad enough that I committed a grievous English error, because I had been reading Cooper’s books since the late 60s, riding my Schwinn Varsity a couple of miles from my house to the library in Clovis, Calif. When I bought my first pistol in 1987, it was a Colt 1911 in .45 ACP, just like the colonel carried.

In 1992, working as a TV reporter, I somehow convinced my station to do a story about Gunsite Academy. Bill Jeans, rangemaster at the time, ushered me into the inner sanctum.

Cooper was equally renowned for his precision with language, and he did not tolerate incompetence. In the armory, I asked him about his personal philosophy of self-defense.

He opened his mouth, but no sound came out. It took almost two agonizing seconds⁠—I timed it because I still have the video⁠—for him to speak.

“I am not sure of that sentence, ‘A personal philosophy…’ What’s an impersonal philosophy?”

At that moment, I felt as tall as a .22 Long Rifle cartridge. But like all hard lessons, it stuck. Words are like ammo. Don’t spray and pray.

I continued to learn from the colonel. I bought a used Tikka Scout, a .308 Win. with a Leupold 2.5X scope in front of the action. In his book, “To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth,” Cooper praises this setup: “This forward mount, properly used and understood, is the fastest sighting arrangement available to the rifleman.”

In 2017, on my friend’s ranch in central California, I went pig hunting with Col. Craig Boddington. I had been reading his articles for years, and I’d also watched him on TV. I didn’t want to screw up in front of him or my friend, Anthony Lombardo, even though Tony is used to it. So, of course, I missed shot after shot.

In the Jeep, I got pretty lonely in the back when the discussion focused on my rifle. There were two skeptics in the front seats who had me outgunned.

Other shooters disagree with the scout concept, or have abandoned the idea, including the veteran hunter who sold me his Tikka. But an unconventional scope mount wasn’t causing me to jerk the trigger. Surprise Break, I heard Cooper whisper. Surprise Break.

Then I saw three pigs. Not trophies, but we were hunting for meat anyway. I picked the largest of the trio. My handload—45.5 grains of Varget under a Nosler 150-grain E-Tip—staggered the big one. Boddington held off until I connected, then joined me with his .270 Winchester as we cleaned up.

“Great shooting, partner!” Boddington is so polite that I think he was just being kind, but I gratefully accepted the compliment.

I also have a forward-mounted scope on a 30-40 Krag that once belonged to my beloved Uncle Harry. Like the Tikka, this rifle isn’t a true Scout. But Col. Cooper shared my admiration for the Krag, and I hope he would approve. When we rescue vintage guns from the back of our safes, we honor the past. The true innovators, such as Jeff Cooper, live on.

My video of the colonel’s interview includes his famous mindset lecture. I shared it with some Gunsite grads. Wyoming’s Ed Cassidy said it best: “I miss him every day.”

It seems inflation strikes everywhere


The Seven Horsemen of the Apocalypse

In dramatic lore (and great sportswriting), the Four Horsemen are Famine, Pestilence, Destruction, and Death. In St. John’s original construct, “War” stands in for Destruction. We prefer Destruction, because it captures the many types of war not imagined in Biblical times.

This morning we reread the first paragraph of Barbara Tuchman’s classic work on the worst century in Western history, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, reproduced below. Tuchman proposed seven horsemen:

Plague, war, taxes, brigandage, bad government, insurrection, and schism. Broadly defined, we’ve got six of them running around the United States right now. “Brigandage,” which involves unemployed soldiers gallivanting around the countryside looting the undefended and disarmed locals, is common in the world but has not been a feature of American life since the years following our Civil War, no matter how you might characterize gun rights demonstrations of recent moment or the violent crime of the ’60s to the ’90s.

Plague? Check. Not literally “plague,” of course, which is a specific disease with a precise cause and an effective remedy, but plague in the sense that people who do not consort with medievalists or infectious disease experts use the word.

War? Nineteen years and running. We even confess to having supported those wars once upon a time, which is more than most people will admit. My guess is that nobody will care so much about terrorism now, so maybe we should generally withdraw and let all those people resume killing each other. But what about “Destruction”? We have made a policy decision (which we admit we supported, for a while) to destroy our material well-being to save lives from plague, and there are those who argue that we need a good deal more destruction still. Maybe that policy choice is yet the most cost effective — we won’t know for several years which choices were best — but all Americans, including especially the WFH overclass, ought to have the courage to call it by its name: Destruction.

Taxes? They are coming hard. Beautiful taxes like you’ve never seen before, in every American jurisdiction.

Bad government? No matter who you are, you have your favorite examples. As we have pointed out, everybody agrees that there have been massive failures of government in the United States. One’s opinion as to the cause of those failures is a Rorschach test for one’s pre-pandemic predilections.

Insurrection? We are closer than we have been for some time. Google “defies.” We have hair salon owners defying judges, mayors defying governors, and governors defying the president, all of which seems weirdly reasonable under the circumstances. Nobody is shooting yet, but we are one out-of-proportion bad judgment enforcement action away from another Ruby Ridge or Waco. Brace yourself for the “national conversation” about that.

Schism? The Papal Schism of the 14th century was so scary because each pope excommunicated the followers of the other. When one believes that this life is the misery one must endure for immortal paradise, excommunication is the equivalent of killing one of Tolkien’s Elves. The loss of immortality is a tragedy greater than mere mortal death, because the sacrifice is so great. Our schism today, which involves profound contempt verging on unqualified hatred for people who have a different vision of the meaning of the United States, destroys the purpose of our country, unique in the world, that moved our extraordinary ancestors to overcome challenges vastly more difficult than Covid-19. That is, or would have been to many Americans of old, a tragedy greater than mere mortal death.

The most profound sentence in Tuchman’s first paragraph may, unfortunately, be the last: “All but plague itself arose from conditions that existed prior to the Black Death and continued after the period of plague was over.”

Let us hope that history does not repeat itself.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Obama’s tour in office has been called Gangster Government, remember, he’s from Chicago.


It looks like President Obama ordered up phony RussiaGate scandal.

RussiaGate is now a complete dead letter — but ObamaGate is taking its place. Just how far did the then-president go to cripple his successor?

It’s now clear the Obama-Comey FBI and Justice Department never had anything more substantial than the laughable fiction of the Steele dossier to justify the “counterintelligence” investigation of the Trump campaign. Yet incessant leaks from that supposedly confidential probe wound up consuming the Trump administration’s first months in office — followed by the Bob Mueller-led special-counsel investigation that proved nearly the “total witch hunt” that President Trump dubbed it.

Information released as the Justice Department dropped its charges against Gen. Mike Flynn shows that President Barack Obama, in his final days in office, played a key role in fanning the flames of phony scandal. Fully briefed on the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, he knew the FBI had come up with nothing despite months of work starting in July 2016.

Yet on Jan. 5, 2017, Obama told top officials who’d be staying on in the new administration to keep the crucial facts from Team Trump.

It happened at an Oval Office meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, intel chiefs John Brennan and Jim Clapper and national security adviser Susan Rice, as well as FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

“From a national-security perspective,” Rice’s memo afterward put it, “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”

This even as then-President Obama also directed that as many people as possible across his administration be briefed on the (utterly unsubstantiated) allegations against Team Trump — and as Rice and others took unprecedented steps to “unmask” US citizens like Flynn whose conversations had been caught on federal wiretaps of foreigners.

Indeed, the Obama administration went on a full-scale leak offensive — handing the Washington Post, New York Times and others a nonstop torrent of “anonymous” allegations of Trumpite ties to Moscow. It suggested that the investigations were finding a ton of treasonous dirt on Team Trump — when in fact the investigators had come up dry.

Sadly, Comey’s FBI played along — sandbagging Flynn with the “friendly” interview that later became the pretext for the bogus charges dropped last week, as well as triggering the White House chaos that led to his ouster. This when the FBI had already gone over the general with a fine-tooth comb, and concluded that, no, he’d done nothing like collude with the Russians.

Meanwhile, Comey himself gave Trump an intentionally misleading briefing on the Steele dossier. That was followed by leaks that suggested the dossier was the tip of an iceberg, rather than a pack of innuendo that hadn’t at all checked out under FBI scrutiny.

Pulitzer Prizes were won for blaring utter fiction; the Trump administration was kneecapped out of the gate. Innocents like Flynn were bankrupted along the way.

Say this about Obama: He knows how to play dirty.

Unbearable Truths About Our Current Political Moment: What happens to a people when it can’t handle the truth?

Sometimes the truth is like mythical kryptonite. It radiates power and yet promises great destruction. And so reality is to be left alone, encased in lead, and kept at bay.

Take the Chinese genesis of the COVID-19 epidemic. We started in February with the usual Chinese deceptions about their role in the birth, transmission, and worldwide spread of the virus.

No one, apparently except Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates, was surprised by the accustomed politically correct prevarications of the Chinese-purchased World Health Organization, whose transparent lies were passed off as truth—and led to tens of thousands of deaths.

On cue, our own obsequious media accepted Chinese and globalist myths—their shared antipathy for President Trump meant whatever he is for or says, they are against and deny.

But by late March the bits and pieces of the truth had emerged. All that gobbledygook talk of a Chinese wet market, of patient-zero bats, snakes, pangolins and such, were likely ruses to deflect attention from a conveniently nearby level-4 Chinese virology lab.

We are beginning to learn that Chinese scientists were conducting research on—surprise, surprise—coronaviruses in general, and in particular, methods to enhance their lethality, all for the ostensibly exalted humanitarian aim of discovering cures and vaccinations, although how that was to be so was never quite disclosed.

China’s patient zero almost weekly was backdated by communist party officials from late January to mid-November. When the lying is exhausted, we may well learn the virus was known to the Chinese even earlier.

In addition, we learned that China variously threatened to cut off medical supplies in transit to the United States. It stopped all flights in and out of Wuhan on January 23, but called America racist for waiting a week until January 31 to issue a travel ban on China—including, but not limited to, ending direct flights to the United States from Wuhan. Consider the Chinese communist logic: running-dog American capitalists mimicked Beijing in forbidding Chinese from flying—but only after a week-long interlude of bourgeoise debate and puerile reflection.

Were the Chinese embarrassed that they had accused Washington of being racist for belatedly doing exactly what they had done earlier? Of course not. In their eyes, weak decadent Westerners welcome such help in aiding their own self-abnegation and debasement.

Unbearable American Weakness
in the Face of a Growing Chinese Lie

China went on to spin lies that the U.S. military deliberately had created the virus to harm the poor noble Chinese. They seemed intent on peddling to the Trump-hating leftist media the talking points that China as the victimized “other” served as a convenient object of racial hatred by the deplorables and clingers, who, of course, nurse their racism on “conspiracy theories” about viral labs.

China destroyed the original data concerning the discovery of the virus. Brave, gullible and naïve scientists who were willing early on to speak up about the existential danger of an epidemic ended up “disappeared” or were silenced. News censorship stopped critical early foreign knowledge of the Chinese epidemic. On various online metrics, China’s case numbers and fatalities from the virus calcified, as if the country with the most cases magically now had suffered among the least. If it was good to lie about the Wuhan virus’s birth, then all the better to lie about its adolescent spread and mature lethality.

China’s behavior follows years of patent and copyright theft, forced technological appropriation, dumping, currency manipulation, crackdowns on Hong Kong democracy, and sophisticated espionage within the United States. It now threatens sovereign nations in Asia and the Pacific, if they dare blame China for the pandemic. Its military embarks on more aggression in the South China Sea, as rumors swirl of its stealthy violations of nuclear proliferation agreements.

Americans began grumbling that China almost seemed to have made war against the United States, in a peremptory fashion that dwarfed Pearl Harbor. At least it seems so when tallying up the over 80,000 dead, the trillions in destroyed market equity and GDP, and, most importantly, the likely larger human toll from suicides, family and substance abuse, lapsed medical procedures and tests, and wrecked businesses and lives from the lockdown.

So that was an unbearable truth. But what to do?

Cancel U.S. debt held by China? That is likely a terrible idea that would undermine the world’s entire financial system.

Cut off all relations? Embargos, sanctions, social distancing on a transnational scale? Expel all Chinese students? Bring home every American business in China? Seems unlikely.

The truth is that Americans know that to restore deterrence they must do something. But that “something” is equally difficult in the case of a 1.4-billion-person nuclear nation, which has systematically leveraged and compromised many of America’s own corporate, entertainment, media, and academic elite.

The result is that everyone from Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates to the CNN/MSNBC crowd know the truth that China despises the United States, feels that America is a spent and increasingly toxic society, and is ever more emboldened to humiliate its rival. Yet Beijing wagers that we will not do much, even if we could. It sees that weakness as laxity to be exploited, not at all magnanimity to be appreciated, much less reciprocated. So, for a while longer we know the truth, but apparently it is unbearable and preferably should not be known and just go away. And it probably will.

The Unbearable Democrat Hypocrisy on #MeToo

Consider also Joe Biden. Most Democrats have long known that Biden was a blowhard, a plagiarist, and a serial fabricator. Take Bernie Sanders out of the race, and Biden would have offered little utility, and his candidacy likely would have sputtered to an end.

“Handsy” Joe Biden was also creepy. Most prudent associates in his social and business circles kept their wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters as far away from his breathing, probes, and squeezes as possible.

The truth is not that any complainant, such as Tara Reade, who makes a career-ending accusation—fraught with contradictions and well beyond any fair notion of a statute of limitations—should be believed automatically. She shouldn’t at all ruin a life without compelling evidence.

Nor is the Democratic dilemma just that the progressive write-off of Tara Reade has essentially destroyed the #MeToo movement, and exposed left-wing feminism as a cynical method of obtaining power, unconcerned with gender justice for the oppressed.

The point instead is that Joe Biden’s accuser should be believed—but according to Joe Biden’s prior own standards, statements and sermonizing. Tara Reade, playing a stronger hand than Christine Blasey Ford, has lodged a sexual assault charge against a far more likely suspect offender than Brett Kavanaugh. Biden, in most other circumstances, would be cheering her on to pursue her charges and pursue her truth were it not against himself.

The Democrats know all this, but the truth too is unbearable. In other words, so what?

What is the remedy? Have a long inquiry in which women come out of the woodwork to describe Biden’s squeezing, sniffing, breathing, and whispering with dozens of victimized young and teenage girls? There are many.

Does the donor class abort Biden’s candidacy to avoid hypocrisy and save its feminist credentials—so buffeted by Harvey Weinstein and fallen liberal media superstars?

Or do they appoint investigators, as they did for months in the manner of the Mueller investigation, to examine and to leak to the media Reade’s accusations and supporting testimonies, as Joe Biden daily bleeds out, nicked by a thousand cuts as a sexual pariah?

So, the truth is again intolerable. The fact is that Reade could be privately believable, given what one knows of Joe Biden’s wayward hands and unbridled narcissism. But such a reality certainly is publicly unpalatable.

So watch as Tara Reade disappears into a media decompression chamber, designed to let her vent to mute walls, and thus be contained until she is recalibrated, exhausted and inert and the danger passes.

The Unbearable Truth of Biden’s Cognitive Impairment

There is another unendurable truth: Joe Biden himself is not cognitively able to run a presidential campaign. Even if successful, he is not prepared to serve as president.

Biden proved more exhausted in seclusion at home than in public on the campaign trail. He is neither seen nor heard much anymore.

His planned series of fireside snarky critiques of the president’s handling of the virus imploded when he could speak neither with or without notes, nor with or without the teleprompter, nor with or without friendly media prompts from his progressive interlocutors, nor with or without his wife’s encouragement at his side.

His party pros know that if turned loose on the campaign trail, Biden will give us another spooky squeeze, one more bizarre Corn Pop or hairy legs story, still more biographical myths and plagiarisms, and daily lying dog-faced pony soldier incoherence.

Names, dates, places, things?

They have become shapeless ripples in Biden’s mental river of Lethe, flowing by and changing shape, before finally disappearing in a nothing stream of forgetfulness.

The Democratic Party also knows that Biden cannot schedule a rendezvous with Dr. Bandy X. Lee and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test, given the result would terrify his handlers.

On any given day, at any given moment Biden can say something not just controversial in the manner of Donald Trump, but something that simply cannot be deciphered or translated into any known language.

So, what does one do with kryptonitic truth?

Nothing.

What would one instead suggest? Hand the nomination over to the runner-up and, in theory, most deserving candidate Bernie Sanders—and see the Democrats lose the presidency, the House, and the Supreme Court for a generation?

Or do they keep Joe in the basement, outsource his campaign to future cabinet picks, his vice-presidential candidate and his family? Do they cancel the debates, seek to postpone the election or do it all by mail—and thereby confirm the albatross around their necks?

Or still again, do they have a therapeutic “intervention” and tell Joe to take one for the team, stand aside and allow non-candidate free-riders like Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, or Michelle Obama to usurp his delegates? Do they simply shaft the runner-up, nutty socialist Bernie Sanders and his legions of true believers?

No, of course, not. The truth is simply too foreboding even to contemplate.

Instead, we will hear that Joe is fine, in the manner that FDR was in great shape in November 1944. He will run not against Trump and his record, but against a fantasy who, they will say, fiddled while an unfettered and non-quarantined America was consumed by viral fires, and yet somehow as Herbert Hoover incarnate also fiddled while America ossified in an amber lockdown.

When the legend of a hale Biden is belied by the fact of his impairment, print the legend—but first get the necessary holograms, photoshopping, and testimonials to get him across the November 3 finish line.

A Final Thought on Obama

Add up Michael Horowitz’s inspector general’s report. Review the wreckage of the Mueller investigation. Collate the evidence that Christopher Steele was an utter fraud and dupe. Remember that Hillary Clinton destroyed her hard drives and communication devices, that the FBI liquidated hundreds of text messages of Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, and that Christopher Steele destroyed all his emails and data about “Russian sources.”

Compute in the new discoveries that all the principles who fueled the “collusion” hoax had long ago, when pressed in secret and under congressional oath, confessed they had no evidence for the lies they spread in the media. Recall the pseudo-summaries of Susan Rice to whitewash an Oval Office session. Then, finish off these revelations with the reality that Barack Obama was always privy at best, and at worst orchestrating the effort to destroy a presidential campaign and transition. And where does it all lead?

To the unendurable truth that a sitting president unleashed his intelligence agencies to warp an election, feigned ignorance of his central role, and yet finally was so furious about the winner that he sought to sabotage his successor’s transition and, by association, his presidency.

How could the media, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, the bureaucratic state, academia, and entertainment ever process that reality: that a deity was likely the most corrupt president in a generation?

As suggested by a comment:


America the Wuss – From Rugged Pioneers to Cowering Sheep
What happened to the American spirit?

On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, the paramount question becomes: What happened to the American people?

Is this the nation whose soldiers braved withering fire wading ashore on Omaha Beach, that produced the Battling Bastards of Bastogne — whose Marines raised the flag over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima after a month of brutal fighting?

What happened to the American spirit? We’ve gone from the nation of rugged individualism and the pioneer spirit to shutdowns, social distancing, and face masks. Citizens who are treated like children meekly obey.

The battle cry of America the Wuss (“People are dying”) has drowned out “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Where totalitarians have failed, a triumvirate of the political left, fake news and medical bureaucrats have succeeded in subjugating the American people and ruining the U.S. economy.

Many Americans want to live in a bubble, avoiding contact with anything that might threaten their comfortable existence. Their fear makes them easy to stampede.

In reality, safety is an illusion. Step out your front door and you risk your life. As of May 3, 67,595 had died from the coronavirus in the United States.

In 2018, 647,457 Americans died of heart disease, 599,108 of cancer, 169,936 from accidents of all kinds (including roughly 40,000 highway fatalities), 55,672 from influenza and pneumonia and 47,173 from suicide.

To stay safe, don’t smoke or drink, don’t get too excited, get in a car or climb a ladder, stay indoors, lose weight, avoid human contact during flu season and don’t get depressed. Try not to think about Fingers Biden as president.

Despite the initial hype (first one million would die, then 500,000, then less then 100,000), the coronavirus turns out not to be more contagious or lethal than a really bad flu. The probability of dying from COVID-19 in the United States is 1.5 out of 10,000. Not bad odds.

In Sweden without a draconian shutdown regime, the probability of death from the coronavirus rises slightly to 2.0 out of 10,000. In the United States, the risk for healthy individuals under 55 is probably 1.5 in 100,000.

COVID-19 isn’t the first time a flock of squawking Chicken Littles, feathers flying in all directions, has tried to terrify us with dire warnings of impending doom, just the most successful…..

Overpopulation – In “The Population Bomb” (1969) Paul Ehrlich predicted worldwide starvation in the 1970s, due to population growth outstripping food production and the depletion of natural resources.

Nuclear War – In 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock, which was supposed to show how close we were to planetary annihilation, due to stockpiles of nuclear weapons among other factors.

Man-Made Climate Change – Due to burning fossil fuels, the ozone layer is shrinking. Soon, sea-levels will rise to unimagined heights, polar bears on surfboards wearing Hawaiian shirts will glide by the island of Manhattan (if it isn’t under water) and they’ll be growing tropical fruit in Antarctica.

And now we have a lockdown going into its sixth week, so Dr. Fauci can do nightly briefings and Democratic governors can be little Caesars. And when it’s all over, they’ll present themselves as saviors. If It weren’t for social distancing and the lockdown, you’d all be dead, the Michigan Dominatrix and New York’s Il Duce will tell voters. If you object, they’ll label you anti-science.

Add to the current death toll civil liberties, representative government and all of the economic gains since the end of the last recession.

Earlier generations of Americans wouldn’t have stood for it. Tar and feathers would been in short supply.

The Great Reset

My county out here in Krazifornia ostentatiously banned single-use plastic bags back in 2012, to “save the planet” naturally. So I whooped a whoop of joy through my mask when the local grocery store bagged my haul in plastic bags over the weekend. My guess is plastic bags will be back for good.

The aftermath of the virus crisis is going to change a lot of things—a process I’m calling “The Great Reset.” A lot of bad things are going to happen. A number of businesses have closed down for good already. Many others are going to shrink. Several department stores, like Macy’s, were already in trouble before the virus crisis, and J. Crew has filed for bankruptcy. General Electric has just announced that it expects to cut 25 percent of its workforce in its jet engine division permanently.

But not every business change will for the worse. The Wall Street Journal reports that another casualty of the COVID-Crash is corporate “sustainability” and other virtue-signaling luxuries of “corporate social responsibility.” The article opens with the confession of a green entrepreneur who specializes in selling products with minimal packaging and living a “zero-waste” lifestyle:

Ms. Singer, who prided herself on producing no trash that needed to be landfilled, stocked her kitchen with packaged food that would last for weeks. “I sacrificed my values and bought items in plastic. Lots of it.” She also learned a lesson: “I have many values and sometimes, as circumstances change, one of those values may take priority above another.”

Funny how that happens when things get real.

Today, every occupant of every C-suite is trying to figure out what they’re willing to throw overboard as the economic storm spawned by the pandemic is swamping their ships. Businesses that were planning to help save the world are now simply saving themselves. . .

Others are making their own cuts in response to the downturn. Unilever PLC suspended a number of its “change initiatives” that tackle complex social and environmental problems. (The company’s initiatives include water conservation and sustainable farming.) General Motors Co. killed its car-sharing program. Ford Motor Co. canceled an electric-car projectand postponed autonomous vehicles. Starbucks has paused the practice of filling reusable cups.

The end of nonsense is even spreading, like a contagion, to decadent Europe. Behold this report from the Financial Times:

Investors Blast EU’s Omission of Oil from ESG Disclosures

Investors, politicians and campaigners have hit out at EU regulators’ “ludicrous” exclusion of oil and gas from a definition of fossil fuels, arguing it will lead asset managers to understate their environmental risks. Under draft proposals for the EU’s sustainable disclosure regime, the European authorities responsible for banking, insurance and securities markets define fossil fuels as only applying to “solid” energy sources such as coal and lignite. This means asset managers and other financial groups would have to follow tougher disclosure requirements for holdings in coal producers than for oil and gas company exposure. . .

The latest EU proposals represent a significant watering down of its ambitious sustainable disclosure rules, which aim to give end investors clear information on the environmental, social and governance risks of their funds. . .

Wolfgang Kuhn, director of financial sector strategies at responsible investment group ShareAction, said that the EU regulators’ proposal was “like disclosing the amount of fat in a chocolate bar, but conveniently failing to mention the sugar content”.

According to Mr Kuhn, the exclusion of oil and gas “could, at best, result in an underestimation of the true investment risk, and at worst, contribute to further support for energy sources incompatible with Paris goals”.

Yes, I think ignoring the Paris goals is precisely the point of this bowing to reality. The EU apparently (or conveniently) “forgot” that while coal takes the most heat for its pollution, the main target of environmental campaigning for 50 years now is the oil industry.

Meanwhile, in Britain, demand for electricity is expected to be so low this weekend that utilities want to reduce the load on the grid, lest an overloaded grid suffers blackouts. So how do they propose to accomplish this load-shedding? You’d think this would be the time for renewable sources to shine, so to speak. But no. The intermittency of renewables destabilize the grid in these circumstances. Heh:

Blackout risk as low demand for power brings plea to switch off wind farms

Britain could be at risk of blackouts as extremely low energy demand threatens to leave the electricity grid overwhelmed by surplus power.

National Grid asked the regulator yesterday for emergency powers to switch off solar and wind farms to prevent the grid from being swamped on the May 8 bank holiday, when demand is expected to be especially low.

In its urgent request to Ofgem, it warned of “a significant risk of disruption to security of supply” if the “last resort” powers to order plant disconnections were not granted.

National Grid has to keep supply and demand balanced to ensure stable voltage and frequency on the network. When there is an imbalance the network can become unstable, leading to blackouts.

In other words, corporate America and corporatist Europe are relearning Milton Friedman’s understanding of “corporate social responsibility”: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business— to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” Because if you don’t have profits, you can’t hire back a lot of the 30 million Americans who have lost their jobs. Think of it as the economic equivalent of Dr. Johnson’s famous quip about how the prospect of hanging concentrates the mind.

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed With Physical and Emotional Safety

It’s a common refrain: We have bubble-wrapped the world. Americans in particular are obsessed with “safety.” The simplest way to get any law passed in America, be it a zoning law or a sweeping reform of the intelligence community, is to invoke a simple sentence: “A kid might get hurt.”

Almost no one is opposed to reasonable efforts at making the world a safer place. But the operating word here is “reasonable.” Banning lawn darts, for example, rather than just telling people that they can be dangerous when used by unsupervised children, is a perfect example of a craving for safety gone too far.

Beyond the realm of legislation, this has begun to infect our very culture. Think of things like “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.” These are part of broader cultural trends in search of a kind of “emotional safety” – a purported right to never be disturbed or offended by anything. This is by no means confined to the sphere of academia, but is also in our popular culture, both in “extremely online” and more mainstream variants.

Why are Americans so obsessed with safety? What is the endgame of those who would bubble wrap the world, both physically and emotionally? Perhaps most importantly, what can we do to turn back the tide and reclaim our culture of self-reliancemental toughness, and giving one another the benefit of the doubt so that we don’t “bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security,” as President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about?

The paranoid style in COVID-19 America.

To grasp the urgency of lifting the ubiquitous economic shutdowns, visit New York City’s Central Park, ideally in the morning. At 5:45 am, it is occupied by maybe 100 runners and cyclists, spread over 843 acres. A large portion of these early-bird exercisers wear masks.

Are they trying to protect anyone they might encounter from their own unsuspected coronavirus infection? Perhaps. But if you yourself run towards an oncoming runner on a vector that will keep you at least three yards away when you pass each other, he is likely to lunge sideways in terror if your face is not covered. The masked cyclists, who speed around the park’s inner road, apparently think that there are enough virus particles suspended in the billions of square feet of fresh air circulating across the park to enter their mucous membranes and to sicken them.

These are delusional beliefs, yet they demonstrate the degree of paranoia that has infected the population. Every day the lockdown continues, its implicit message that we are all going to die if we engage in normal life is reinforced. Polls show an increasing number of Americans opting to continue the economic quarantine indefinitely lest they be ‘unsafe’. The longer that belief is reinforced, the less likely it will be that consumers will patronize reopened restaurants or board airplanes in sufficient numbers to bring the economy back to life…………

Our Virus is a Violent Teacher

“War is a violent teacher.”—Thucydides

Before this virus has passed, those of the New York Symphony, like the defeated Redcoats at proverbial Yorktown, will be playing the real “The World Turned Upside Down”:

And then strange motions will abound.
Yet let’s be content, and the times lament,
you see the world turn’d upside down.

Before the virus, apparently we were prepping for our brave new progressive, centrally planned dystopia.

During the Barack Obama years, government agencies had begun to chart a new inclusive future for hoi polloi Americans. We were lectured frequently that the Obama arc of the moral universe was long, but it always bent toward his sense of justice. Translated that meant, like it or not, we Americans had a preordained moral rendezvous with a progressive destiny.

Suburban lifestyles, yards, grass, rural living, and commute driving were to be phased out. High rises, government run-buses, and high-speed rail were in: more people in less space, with less energy consumed, meant less trouble. Granny was better off in a green rest home, not the back bedroom.

Ohio was over; the EU was our future. Clean coal was a 20th-century embarrassment; the next and future Solyndra would be cutting-edge. The idea that the United States ought to be self-sufficient in energy and food seemed worthy of yawns.

Instead of the backyard barbeque and a lawn, apartment dwellers would enjoy shared green belts around their communal towers—albeit not as large as the Martha’s Vineyard estate of Barack Obama or the palazzo of Nancy Pelosi.

Universities were to speak truth to power in new race/class/gender missions and diversity/inclusion/equality agendas. The old boring curricula of math, science, engineering, literature, language, history, and Western Civ were sputtering out, or recalibrated to include social activist themes.

After all, China and India would supply the world’s next boring generation of rote engineers. But they could not invent, compute, or formulate without our brilliant peace studies and ethnic studies geniuses to give them moral instruction.

“Knowledge” became a relative construct, not an absolute that could be roughly calibrated. Students needed to appreciate that traditional curricula and grades were merely models of leveraging power by arbitrarily setting “standards”—pathologies that could only be understood by appreciating how the marginalized “Other” was victimized by them.

Being “woke” meant fathoming how unmet personal expectations ought always to be attributed to the fault of someone else—and, even worse, that “someone else” might be dead or alive. The Squad just told us so. Now Chairman Xi agrees.

Billions of dollars of university capital and budgets were diverted to new administration and faculty investments that might focus on how young people thought of themselves rather than what they actually knew. Everyone understood the job of vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion might easily disappear in a nanosecond and never be missed. No one dared to hint at the suggestion.

All were cynically aware that the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion made enough money to avoid living in a “diverse” neighborhood, put his own kids in a school where all were equally not poor, and wanted to be included among the elite.

There were new winners and losers in a transnational United States, and such university administrators were among the winners.

Globalization was to be seen as some sort of ultimate talent meter that finally told us not only who was talented but, more important, who was worthy. The dumb un-globalized losers could not figure out how to code, or lacked a communications major or international relations degree, or had not spent a semester abroad in China, or did not understand global investment. They clung to some ancient shibboleth—“Made in America”—as if producing stuff here really mattered.

So the deplorables and Lysol drinkers more or less deserved the hollowed-out manufacturing landscape, closed assembly plants, and industrial wasteland of the nation’s interior that anachronistically and foolishly had bet that muscular labor still had a place in the postmodern world.

Erasing Reality

Dummies! Fitness comes from the Peloton, not mastery of masonry or welding. Drones, artificial intelligence, and robots could easily crawl under the house and fix the drainpipe, or shimmy into the attic to wire a new kitchen. No more need for plumbers or electricians.

In the minds of the new citizens of the world, the ossified working classes, when they were not smelling up Walmart or hiding their missing teeth with corny smiles, were written off as a basket full of deplorables and irredeemables, or the dregs of the earth, or the clingers who always retreat to their guns and religion—the worst nightmare of Robert Mueller’s dream team and all-stars.

The more refined and bigger winners in the global crapshoot were unafraid to tell us that our fates really had been predetermined by “grey matter” (as in lots of theirs) that adjudicated who did “anybody-can-do-them” rote things like dropping seeds in the ground—or, in contrast, who excelled in capitalizing Chinese Communist companies.

The ancient principles of autarchy and autonomy—economic self-sufficiency and political independence—became passé. Borders, fair trade, and the U.S. Constitution paled in comparison to models like the Schengen Agreement, outsourcing and offshoring, and transnational organizations.

After all, who could ever imagine a time when you might need a constitutionally protected gun? Even if one could ever conceive of the unlikely act of letting prisoners out en masse, they were likely to return to productive lives, proving they never belonged in jail in the first place.

And we were assured by experts and science that the World Health Organization would warn us in plenty of time if a dangerous flu-like bug popped up 7,000 miles away.

Inventories were old and in the way. Just-in-time supply chains needed just enough Chinese products to arrive the day before they were sold out in stores. Who wished to pay for useless stuff stacked sitting on shelves for an excruciating 72 hours?

The idea that the United States might wish to be self-sufficient in pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and rare earth minerals was written off as an update of Bonaparte’s failed continental system.

For the global Right, the market would adjudicate borders (when entry-level wages dropped below sustenance level, immigrants would wisely stay home).

For the Left the greater the number of the “Other” who arrived illegally, and the poorer they were, the more fodder they’d have for flipping those bad-people red states into good-people blue states.

If there ever was some sort of zombie apocalypse-like collapse, the survivors in New York would show the doomed yokels in Texas the consequences of being Texas and not New York.

No one was supposed to want his children to be a skilled plumber, a master electrician, an effective teacher, or a heroic nurse. Better it was instead to owe $100,000 in student loans to land an environmental studies degree, branded by a supposedly hard-to-get-into college. Even our Hollywood geniuses knew that—and were willing to go to prison to prove it.

Slick, shiny modern living magazines advertised the latest stone counters, metal refrigerators, and wood floors. Today’s in-brands and tastes became, in a blink, tomorrow’s proof of mundanity. Rarely did our elite wonder, much less care, from where the stone, the ores, and the timber came—much less who were the miners, the smelters, and the ax-men who harvested the stuff of their kitchens.

The Violent Teacher

Then the virus hit.

Panic ensued. Former madness was declared genius. More were needed in overalls, fewer in yoga pants. A Chevy van was preferable to a year’s pass on the metro. A first-class ticket to Milan was nothing but a trip to nowhere.

Roomy yards were again correct, nice elevators not so much. The bigger and more “mine” the car, the better to get away from “them” and “theirs” in the subway.

Driving wasn’t all that bad; flying apparently was. The quaint country cabin three hours from Manhattan was now a brilliant last redoubt. But living in Utah was even cooler than in Brooklyn Heights.

For some reason no one wished to vacation in Tuscany or see the Great Wall; all dreamed of an isolated lake at 7,000 feet in the Rockies, or the Sierras.

Vegas odds-makers, independent stock junkies, and the expert toilet-paper finder were deemed savvier than Ph.D. modelers from the Imperial College and the University of Washington. When the former’s numbers were screwed up, they at least paid in real-time and money, when the latter’s did, they sighed and screwed up again.

Toilet paper became bitcoins, hand sanitizer more valuable than Chanel.

Bankers were stuck in apartments trying to figure out a circuit breaker from a toilet baffle, and in Shakespearean fashion cried to spouses, “A handyman, a handyman, My kingdom for a handyman!”

For this moment at least, a ventilator producer, a bleach brewer, and a mask maker were our hoplites. The “I wouldn’t want to be him” slob with a big belly and big arms was abruptly needed to drive all night to get arugula and asparagus in Whole Foods by morning—and did.

Travel bans, the “wall,” and passport control were OK. Not so politically correct caravans of thousands of foreigners crashing through decrepit wire border fencing, nor those recently inaugurated direct flights from Wuhan. Take-out from MacDonald’s, grease and all, was wiser and safer than a choice reservation at Le Coucou.

Our best and brightest policymakers now said it would have been nice to trust China less, and Western Pennsylvania more. Just having Augmentin seemed wiser than did the chance of paying less for it.

Some 360,000 Chinese children, mostly of Communist elites, in American universities were no longer touted by universities as proof of their diversity, but shamelessly lamented as a vanishing herd no longer to be targeted and price-gouged.

Zoom, Skype, and online courses proved to be the little boy who looked at the parading gaudy professors and asked why they went naked? Was it all that bad to see just the professor’s videoed head without his strut?

There likely won’t be much of a “new normal.” Because when all the data is in, all the panic ended, the antivirals appearing, all the vaccinations working, the herd immunity growing, and the real lethality rate dropping, most of us, despite the tough barroom talk of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the dreams of governors Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom, will go back to business as normal.

Yet we should hope not quite normal, either.

For a brief season in time, we glimpsed from the awful epidemic what was wheat and what was chaff, what was mahogany beneath and what a scrapped thin veneer above, who were the V8s and who the mere gaudy, tail fins—and how America ultimately got by and how it almost didn’t.

America: Responses to Tyranny

The United States needs to stop playing the chump.

For generations America has fattened up the very nations that would seek to destroy us.

Prior to Tokyo’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans bought Japanese goods, helping pay for the bombs and torpedoes that would sink the American fleet at anchor on December 7th, 1941. Japan’s sneak attack would be paid back with two nuclear strikes on Japanese cities four years later.

Our addiction to Middle East oil helped fund the terrorists who would hijack airliners, turning them into flying missiles on the morning of September 11th. Our nation’s smart use of fracking to access enormous reserves of oil hidden under our own feet finally broke that stranglehold.

Despite these hard won lessons, over the last twenty years America has handed China hundreds of billions of dollars every year to buy cheap goods, watched American firms ship their jobs and factories to China, and provided the Chinese with the means to create technology that threatens to eclipse our future. In the meantime, the money we sent there is allowing the Chinese to grow their nuclear arsenal and strengthen their military. In return, China has shipped us Covid-19.

If Half the Country’s Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?

According to The New York Times coronavirus report, as of Sunday, April 19, 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, there were 35,676 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, 18,690 were in the New York metropolitan area……..

That means that more than half (52%) of all deaths in America have occurred in the New York metropolitan area.

What makes this statistic particularly noteworthy is that the entire death toll for 41 of the other 47 states is 7,661. In other words, while New York has 52% of all COVID-19 deaths in America, 41 states put together have only 21% of the COVID-19 deaths. And all the 47 states other than New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have less than half (48%).

Now let us imagine that the reverse were true. Imagine that Georgia and North Carolina — two contiguous states that, like the New York metro area, have a combined total of 21 million people — had 18,690 COVID-19 deaths, while metro New York had 858 deaths (the number of deaths in North Carolina and Georgia combined).

Do you think the New York metro area would close its schools, stores, restaurants and small businesses? Would every citizen of the New York area, with the few exceptions of those engaged in absolutely necessary work, be locked in their homes for months? Would New Yorkers accept the decimation of their economic and social lives because North Carolina and Georgia (or, even more absurdly, Colorado, Montana or the rest of what most New Yorkers regard as “flyover” country) had 18,960 deaths, while they had a mere 858?

It is, of course, possible. But I suspect that anyone with an open mind assumes that New Yorkers would not put up with ruining their economic and social lives and putting tens of millions of people out of work because of coronavirus deaths in North Carolina and Georgia, let alone Montana and Idaho (and, for the record, I would have agreed with them).

Even more telling, the media, which controls American public opinion more than any other institution, including the presidency and Congress — but not churches and synagogues, which is why they loathe evangelicals, traditional Catholics, faithful Mormons and Orthodox Jews — would not be as fixated on closing down the country if it were killing far more people in some Southern, Midwestern, Mountain or Western states than in New York City.

The media is New York-based and New York-centered. New York is America. The rest of the country, with the partial exception of Los Angeles (also a media center) and Silicon Valley, is an afterthought.

Having grown up and attended college and graduate school in New York, and having lived in three of the city’s five boroughs, I know how accurate the most famous New Yorker magazine cover ever published was. The cover’s illustration depicted a New Yorker’s map of America: New York City, the George Washington Bridge and then San Francisco. The rest of the country essentially didn’t exist.

One would have to visit people who had never left their rural village in a developing country to find people more insular than New York liberals, which is what nearly all New Yorkers are………

In his latest column, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman inadvertently revealed how New York-centric his view of America is. Friedman, like virtually all his colleagues at The New York Times, opposes opening up any state in America at this time. He writes: “Every person will be playing Russian roulette every minute of every day: Do I get on this crowded bus to go to work or not? What if I get on the subway and the person next to me is not wearing gloves and a mask?”

Only a New Yorker would write those two sentences. In the 40 years I have lived in the second-largest city in America, I have never ridden on the subway or any other intraurban train or bus. In fact, it is common for New Yorkers to look at Los Angeles with disdain for our “car culture.” Like the vast majority of Americans everywhere outside of New York City, in Los Angeles, most of us get to work, visit family and friends, and go to social and cultural events by car — currently the life-saving way to travel — not by bus or subway, the New Yorker way of getting around.

But Friedman is a New Yorker, and because his fellow New Yorkers walk past one another on crowded streets and travel in crammed buses and subway cars, South Dakotans should be denied the ability to make a living.

First-Time Buyers Explain Why Coronavirus Drove Them to Gun Stores in Record Numbers

Aaron Eaton learned how to shoot in the Army back in 2006 but holstered a pistol for the last time when he left in 2009 and took a job as a technician for a sewer company. That all changed on March 26 when the father of four walked out of an Alabama gun store with a Beretta 92FS, the same gun he handled as a military policeman at the height of the Iraq war.

“Simply put: I wanted peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my family,” Eaton said.

Eaton’s pistol was one of 2.3 million firearms to fly off the shelves in March, the single busiest month for gun sales ever. The Washington Free Beacon spoke to half a dozen new gun owners who purchased a total of six handguns and two shotguns. All of the new gun owners provided proof of purchase, though some asked not to have their last names published because of potential career backlash.

“To me, it’s all about protecting my family, and if a gun makes that easier, so be it,” Scott, a California tech worker with a wife and daughter, said.

Many of the new gun owners cited concerns about personal protection as states began emptying jail cells and police departments announced they would no longer enforce certain laws. Jake Wilhelm, a Virginia-based environmental consultant and lacrosse coach, purchased a Sig Sauer P226 after seeing Italy enact a nationwide lockdown on March 9.

“[My fiancée and I] came to the conclusion in early March that if a nation like Italy was going into full lockdown, we in the U.S. were likely on the same path,” Wilhelm said. “Given that, and knowing that police resources would be stretched to the max, I decided to purchase a handgun.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade group, said new customers represented a large swath of new gun sales even as gun stores faced depleted stocks and shutdown orders from state and local governments across the country. “A large portion of the 2.3 million sales during the month of March were to first-time buyers is what we’re hearing back from our retailers,” Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the group, said.

Retailers told the Free Beacon they’d never experienced anything like the recent surge of new buyers.

Lexington and Concord — Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The New York Time’s controversial “1619 Project” and the historians’ war it sparked illustrate how this country’s founding — the American Revolution — is the cornerstone of our collective understanding of this country’s present. The “1619 Project” gives readers a race-themed narrative of the Revolution in an effort to help them see racism as pervasive in American life today. Such efforts to enlist the Revolution for a cause are not new — attempts to shape public opinion and public policy in the present often begin with a retelling of the country’s birth.

When, in 1861, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln delivered their inaugural speeches — Davis as president of the Confederate States of America, Lincoln as president of the United States of America — both included a narration of the Revolution. Davis’ history lesson supported his claim that secession was peaceful and constitutional, that Northerners should accept it as such, and that the upper South should feel free to follow the lower South into secession. Lincoln’s history lesson supported his own claim that secession was unlawful and insurrectionary, that Americans in the North and upper South should reject it as such, and that the deep South should return to the Union. During that deadly war, both sides continued to retell Southern and Northern audiences about the Revolution, connecting the cause of the Civil War to the cause of the Revolution. These were efforts to inspire Americans to recommit themselves to the spirit of 1776, endure the hardships of war, and sacrifice more for victory. Most famously, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address began with a particular framing of the Revolution and ended with a challenge to his generation of Americans to vindicate — with military victory — what his history lesson asserted as the core cause of the Revolutionary generation.

Proponents and opponents of future major national projects — from foreign wars to various domestic initiatives and Constitutional reforms — have likewise used the Revolution as a springboard for their public-relations campaigns. Public-policy advocates have thus introduced Americans to various reinterpretations of the Revolution, as correctives to the traditional explanation of what had animated Americans to rebel in 1775. In place of the original explanation offered by the colonists themselves (about a lawless British government that violated its colonists’ ancient English liberties), Americans have been introduced to alternative interpretations that claim to identify the rebels’ true agenda — class conflict, national self-determination, lower taxes, white supremacy, slavery, commercial expansion, anti-Catholicism, or hunger for land on the western frontiers.

The Revolution’s military history is notably missing in these new narratives.   This is because the Revolution’s battlefields (and Lexington and Concord in particular) are where these reinterpretations of the Revolution are tested against common sense.   When an average reasonable person contemplates the 70 American farmers and shopkeepers who ventured to stop 700 redcoats on the Lexington Green 245 years ago today, s/he has a hard time reconciling that scene with the narratives listed above.   This reasonable reader cannot see how those 70 militiamen, with guns suicidally drawn against a vastly larger force of professional soldiers, were advancing their economic self-interest, suppressing class tensions, claiming land out West, promoting commerce, or defending slavery.

The Revolution was, first and foremost, a war.   The Revolution’s battles and campaigns thus offer sound insights as to the rebels’ motivation and aims;  the Battle of Lexington and Concord more so than any other.   The Revolution’s military history offers a prosaic, simple, and traditional narrative about what spurred Anglo-Americans to take up arms against Britain in 1775-76.   It paints the Revolution as a mass movement of common people, both on the home-front (where innumerable Americans offered military service through local militias) and on the front lines.  There is no need to seek hidden motives for this rebellion when the rebels’ stated rationale is utterly believable.  Colonists believed that their benign imperial government had suddenly turned against them, becoming lawless in curtailing longstanding English practices of self-government in American courts, towns, and legislatures.   Lawless governments are genuinely scary — in the 18th century as in the 21st — and Americans’ alarm was plainly on display in countless public addresses and private letters, pamphlets and editorials, petitions and remonstrances, street demonstrations, and election returns.

When they were punished for this resistance, they left their homes and their daily lives to fight against their government —  many of them never to return.   And while we know that the Patriots were eventually victorious (and that the United States went from strength to strength thereafter), they did not know they would succeed.   In fact, they had good reason to fear that they would fail.   It’s an extraordinary story.   For many, it is too extraordinary to be true, which is why they gravitate to those alternative Revolutionary narratives that claim to identify Patriots’ unspoken motives and designs.   To judge whether these are more credible than the rebels’ own narrative, put them to the Lexington and Concord test.

Longfellow–

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height,
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river-fog,
That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When be came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.