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saipov-sayfullo

FOX:

The suspect in the New York attack has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told CNN. Law enforcement sources earlier had described him as a 29-year-old Uzbek national who came to the United States in 2010.

Yes, the likes of Breitbart are going to (justifiably) ask what exactly Sayfullo Saipov was doing on a diversity visa in the United States.

But at least there’s some kind of visa involved, even though America is on the other side of the world from Central Asia.

Russia doesn’t even bother with a visa regime.

Central Asia used to have a reputation for moderate Islam, but this is becoming less true by the year. 2017 has been especially bad for it. First the ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan who blew up the Saint-Petersburg metro; then the band of Kazakh Islamist cop killers in Astrakhan; then the Uzbek terrorist in Sweden, out of an Uzbek diaspora of 1,890 people; and now the Uzbek spree killer in Manhattan.

What the hell is going on?

isis-terrorists-origin

Soufan Center: Beyond the Caliphate (October 2017).

The 70 million strong population of Central Asia now contributes around 5,000 fighters to Islamic State, about as much as the Muslims of Western Europe, which are known for their radicalization. It is also only modesly below the 7,000 contributed by the entire Middle East outside Iraq and Syria.

And Russia with its 10 million Muslims now has the dubious distinction of providing more troops for the Caliphate than runner up Saudi Arabia. Impressive export diversification.

Here’s the problem. I have often compared Communism to a freezer. Eastern European social values were essentially “frozen” for half a century, so when they thawed out after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, they ended up more retrogressive/”based” (cross out as per your ideological preferences) than the Eurovision-MTV West. But they are catching up. Now much the same process is happening with respect to the region’s Muslims. But in their case, what they are “converging” to is not always so much Shakira as sharia.

And this is going to get worse, not better, in the future as the last remnants of the Soviet carapace fall away.

But no worries. Just as in the West you have your Sadiq Khans to tell you that terrorism is part and parcel of life in a big city, so their multiculturalist colleagues in Russia, such as the “fascist” Alexander Dugin, will blame it on the liberal “sixth column” i.e. Navalny’s schoolchildren fans (no, seriously). And life will go on, just a bit more disruptively than before.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Islamism, Terrorism, United States, Uzbekistan 
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So the other day ACLU Tweeted its intention to secure the existence of civil liberties and a future for free speech.

aclu-future-for-free-speech

Ironic joking and SJW meltdowns over photos of White children with American miniature flags aside, the politically correct peeps at ACLU (who apologized for their social justice faux pas immediately afterwards) were actually far more to the point than they could have possibly imagined.

Opinion polls have shown that in the US, it is the representatives of the demographic group on ACLU’s photo that tend to have the greatest respect for freedom of speech.

We can check this by throwing up a few graphs from the GSS.

gss-racist-speech

Only amongst Whites and Jews does a clear majority support allowing free speech for racists.

But maybe this is just White privilege at work here.

Maybe the 50% of Blacks who also support free speech for racists are victims of false consciousness foisted on them by structural White supremacy.

Unfortunately for Leftists, non-Whites don’t really much care for their pet causes either.

gss-antireligious-speech

Whites support freedom of speech for anti-religionists more than anyone else.

Okay, maybe this is just the neckbeard Dawkins fan club venting their Islamophobia?

gss-homo-speech

Oh no, this isn’t looking at all good now.

gss-commie-speech

Communist speech is the only category in which a non-White minority (Blacks) has a marginally higher respect for free speech than Whites.

And one supposes Nixon might have had a point about Jewish spies. :)

gss-radical-islamist-speech

When I was in Washington D.C. in 2013 there was some crazed Islamist ranting in front of the White House.

muslim-preacher-white-house

Though Whites are not exactly thrilled with this behavior, they seem to more or less tolerate it.

But just like the possibility of small government, this will probably cease to be the case in the increasingly vibrant and diverse America of the future.

And wheresoever goes the US so goes the world.

That is because the US remains a genuinely exceptional country when it comes to free speech.

The very fact that it is Internet lynch mobs and tech corporations – the collective Society 282 – that enforces social tabooes reminds one that this task is accomplished through laws and prisons in virtually every other country on the planet.

map-pew-free-speech-poll

Once the First Amendment is annulled in the US, or riddled with multifarious exceptions to the point where it is but an empty formality, the Enlightenment ideal of absolute free speech vanishes everywhere else in the world.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Free Speech, United States 
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Will be going off to my dacha this week so probably not much poasting.

bannon-purged

Bannonade

This week’s events have been dominated by the Charlotteville clashes, and the resulting cyberpurge of the Alt Right and mass felling of Confederate monuments.

Now comes news of the resignation of Steve Bannon.

It will certainly be fun to see the 666D chess theorizing on this one. T he man himself, at any rate, isn’t bothering: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.”

This just leaves Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka as representatives of the populist wave that brought Trump to power. All the others have been purged.

Meanwhile, power has drifted towards Wall Street/Goldman Sachs globalists, the Kushner-Trumps, and a triumvirate of warhawk generals (Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly; NatSec Advisor Gen. McMaster; Secretary of Defence Gen. Mattis).

In foreign policy terms, I suppose the main saving grace of this administration – as opposed to an alternate history Hillary Clinton’s – is that Trump has alienated much of the rest of the world. Acording to a recent PEW poll, most countries trust Trump even less than Putin, who needless to say has some major PR problems of his own.

pew-poll-trump-putin

This was, perhaps, unfortunate back when America First was the order of the day, but now that the US is ruled by a nepotistic junta guided by Kushner’s vision, the world’s skepticism towards Trump might become a blessing in disguise, limiting the damage that the people around him can do in the next three years.

Main

ea_qualia

* Scott Alexander covers Effective Altruism Global 2017:

I got to talk to people from the Qualia Research Institute, who point out that everyone else is missing something big: the hedonic treadmill. People have a certain baseline amount of happiness. Fix their problems, and they’ll be happy for a while, then go back to baseline. The only solution is to hack consciousness directly, to figure out what exactly happiness is – unpack what we’re looking for when we describe some mental states as having higher positive valence than others – and then add that on to every other mental state directly. This isn’t quite the dreaded wireheading, the widely-feared technology that will make everyone so doped up on techno-super-heroin (or direct electrical stimulation of the brain’s pleasure centers) that they never do anything else. It’s a rewiring of the brain that creates a “perpetual but varied bliss” that “reengineers the network of transition probabilities between emotions” while retaining the capability to do economically useful work. Partly this last criteria is to prevent society from collapsing, but the ultimate goal is:

…the possibility of a full-fledged qualia economy: when people have spare resources and are interested in new states of consciousness, anyone good at mining the state-space for precious gems will have an economic advantage. In principle the whole economy may eventually be entirely based on exploring the state-space of consciousness and trading information about the most valuable contents discovered doing so.

If you’re wondering whether these people’s research involves taking huge amounts of drugs – well, read their blog. My particular favorites are this essay on psychedelic cryptography ie creating messages that only people on certain drugs can read, and this essay on hyperbolic geometry in DMT experiences.

* Wired: Biohackers Encoded Malware in a Strand of DNA.

So this is how Tyranids beat Necrons.

wongupparaj-memory-tests

* Wongupparaj, Peera – 2017 – The Flynn effect for verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory: A cross-temporal meta-analysis

Based on the findings from a cross-temporal meta-analysis using 1754 independent samples (n = 139,677), the Flynn effect was observed across a 43-year period, with changes here expressed in terms of correlations (coefficients) between year of publication and mean memory test scores. Specifically, the Flynn effect was found for forward digit span (r = 0.12, p < 0.01) and forward Corsi block span (r = 0.10, p < 0.01). Moreover, an anti-Flynn effect was found for backward digit span (r = − 0.06, p < 0.01) and for backward Corsi block span (r = − 0.17, p < 0.01). Overall, the results support co-occurrence theories that predict simultaneous secular gains in specialized abilities and declines in g.

James Thompson review: Working memory bombshell

* Davies, Gill – 2017 – Ninety-nine independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function include genes associated with brain health and structure (N = 280,360)

We found 9,714 genome-wide significant SNPs (P<5 x 10-8) in 99 independent loci… Genetic association results predicted up to 4% of general cognitive function variance in independent samples. There was significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function and information processing speed, as well as many health variables including longevity.

The pace of progress in this sphere is blistering, with major papers published nigh near every month.

* Rabbit reacts to Trump’s Alt Left smear.

(The traditional Alt Left considers itself to be a subset of the Alt Right that but with less thot hate and more rocket ships and radical life extension).

* Noah Carl – 2017 – Cognitive ability and socio-political beliefs and attitudes.

This thesis looks like a very solid, comprehensive overview of the subject.

Russia

* New York Times: The engines in North Korea’s newest ICBM’s have been pinpointed to the Yuzhmash missile factory in the Ukraine.

/r/worldnews comment:

After doing some of my own investigation (thank you Google), I am of the opinion that this story is well-supported by multiple sources of evidence. The engine that NK has been using since Sept 2016 is definitely related to the Soviet engine that this factory built until the 1990′s. This factory still has these engines, and officially continued maintaining them until mid-2015. North Korean spies/officials were detained by Russia in 2011-2012 when they attempted to enter Ukraine to head to this factory. Ukraine fell apart economically and politically in the 2013-2016 period, and this factory announced it would go bankrupt in early 2015, but then somehow managed to survive. Ukraine has a long history of substantial black market arms trading, some of their rockets have ended up in Iran, Syria, and Pakistan. The best Soviet engineers were stationed in Eastern Ukraine during the Cold War for mainly political reasons (most Soviet leaders were ethnically Ukrainian). As for the engine/missile itself, the trajectory of the launches are similar to tests in the Soviet Union during the 70′s-80′s. The design is very similar in the photos that NK has shown. The dimension of the rocket body and the stages are almost a mirror image of the 1980′s examples. US intelligence officials, and the former CIA head, hinted that the US intelligence community was “caught offguard” by the “unlikely pace of the NK missile program” because of “certain factors”. That seems to indicate that the CIA believed (as of late 2016) that NK had somehow received foreign help that substantially boosted the program. Finally, NK has utilized similar tactics to gain a hold of short and medium range missile technology in the 1990′s. They worked closely with Central Asia, Pakistan, and Ukraine to boost their Ulan missile program. Let’s not forget that NK is well-known for its very savvy black market program and unofficial spy network. There were even NK officials found in Syria back in 2015, most likely eyeing the S-300 missiles that Russia brought there.

piketty-russia-inequality

* Thomas Piketty et al. – 2017 – From Soviets to Oligarchs: Inequality and Property in Russia, 1905-2016

Uses his methods from Capital in the 21st Century to calculate historical inequality in Russia, one of his conclusions is that the welfare of the median Russia hasn’t budged relative to 1989.

There is a point to Bershidsky’s critique that inequality in the USSR was primarily expressed in terms of access, not income differentials, so making direct comparisons with capitalist countries are questionable.

* Latest Navalny investigation: The son of Putin’s spokesman Peskov, Nikolay Chole, lived as hoodlum chav in the UK, with convictions and prison time for stealing cell phones with his Black and Pakistani gangmates; gets luxury car collection, horses on returning to Russia.

* Apart from all his other faults, Alexey Navalny is also a console peasant. Sad!

* Kirill Nesterov, my partner on the ROGPR podcast, has produced two (Russian-language) videos:

Misc

* Steve Sailer: Is India the world’s most reactionary civilization?

* Nicholas Nassim Taleb: The insidious racism of Mary Beard and the “diversity” operators

* Some baizuo: Beyond the pale: China’s cheerful racists

To many Chinese, ideas about racial hierarchies are not outdated anathema but unquestioned belief.

In Britain, a politician who uses a defunct idiom like ‘nigger in the woodpile’ loses the whip. In China, racism is a standard undercurrent of public debate. A few months ago, Pan Qinglin, a Tianjin politician, announced to reporters that he had found out how to ‘solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong’ — a province with a small amount of African migration. Warning that the new arrivals brought drugs, sexual assault and infectious diseases, he urged local policy-makers to tighten controls to prevent China turning ‘from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country’. …

If China wants to realise its aspiration of replacing America as the country the world looks up to, it will need to sort out its race problem. It is an issue which fuels unrest at home, and damages the country’s reputation abroad. Xi Jinping has talked about a ‘Chinese dream’ — let’s hope it exports tolerance, not racism.

map-europe-trust

* % Europeans that say that generally most people can be trusted. Belorussia can into Hajnal Line!

* Nature: China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions. (Can anyone spell them out to me?).

* James Thompson: Google Culture Wars (if anyone is still interested in the James Damore affair)

USA

This is really just about the continuing fallout from Charlottesville.

faceberg-future

* NYT: Amateur Sleuths Aim to Identify Charlottesville Marchers, but Sometimes Misfire.

The intensity of the meltdowns is something to behold. I have seen people disowning their children/parents/siblings just for supporting the racist/fascist Trump. Really hard to understand this mindset.

sjws-never-relent For instance, the father of Peter Tefft, a participant in the Unite the Right rally, went so far as to write a public letter denouncing and disowning his son. Not that this saved him from the SJW horde, which began to ask questions about the family’s responsibility for the son’s racism.

His sister, BTW, is a pot-smoking lesbian anarchist. One can perhaps imagine why he radicalized.

sjws-report-pharmacist It’s hard to be surprised after this, but perhaps the most striking case of Charlottesville Derangement Sundrome I found is a man with self-evident mental problems thinking about reporting his pharmacist for Nazism at /r/politics.

The patient’s reasons for suspicion? Because his pharmacist has a “1776 tattoo and I think maybe an 88 one too, he’s pale and blue eyed and has shaved his head.”

This was apparently an open and shut case according to the denizens of /r/politics: “Get his ass fired!”

The irony that they were singling out someone for persecution on the basis of his skin color flew right over their heads.

No wonder more and more people are writing about the potential of US Civil War II.

But keep things in perspective – the US doesn’t have the ethno-religious fragmentation of Syria or sharp ideological gradient of the Ukraine, and casualties to date have been far lower even than in the 1970/80s terror campaigns of fringe Communist groups in Europe and Japan.

* Audacious Epigone suggests the Alt Right adopt the Maltese Cross of the Crusaders instead of the Nazi swastika.

american-soldiers-support-separation* In response to Jeffrey Goldberg’s strange claim that Saving Private Ryan was about “a group of very aggressive alt-left protesters invading a beach without a permit,” Timofey Pnin points out that American GI’s were hardcore Alt Right by today’s standards.

More on the Cyberpurge

* Matt Forney: Night Of The Digital Knives: Silicon Valley Launches Biggest Internet Censorship Purge In History

* Jason Reza Jorjani, one of the three main people behind AltRight.com (the other two are Richard Spencer and Daniel Friberg), is resigning from the Alt Right to focus on creating an Iranian nationalist party in exile:

What this also means is that from this moment onward my responsibilities to the cause of liberating Iran from the Islamic Republic have dramatically increased. As I see it, we have several years to form the nucleus of a new regime, before rootless globalists and their Islamist pawns succeed in steering the collapse of the Islamic Republic in a direction that further erodes Iran’s territorial integrity and aborts its cultural rebirth.

* Greg Johnson has compiled the most comprehensive list of shuttenings I have seen to date:

  • Counter-Currents has been booted by PayPal and our Facebook page has been deleted.
  • Both Red Ice servers were hacked, as were the site owners’ Twitter accounts, and still have not recovered.
  • VDare, AltRight.com, and AmRen were bounced from PayPal.
  • VDare’s conference next April has been shut down by the venue.
  • TRS was taken down by their webhosting company, but got a new host and were back online in 3 hours.
  • Mike Enoch was banned for the fourth time from Twitter.
  • KickStarter, GoFundMe, and IndieGoGo have all vowed to shut down campaigns related to White Nationalist concerns.
  • Pax Dickinson’s Twitter has been shut down.
  • Hatreon is offline.
  • PolNewsForever’s Twitter has been shut down.
  • The Daily Stormer has been targeted with massive DDOS attacks.
  • The Daily Stormer domain registration was dropped by GoDaddy, transferred to Google, and then seized by Google.
  • The Daily Stormer discord server has been shut down.
  • The Altright.com discord server has been shut down.
  • Vanguard America’s WordPress and Facebook accounts have been shut down.
  • Spotify has removed 27 “hate” bands as defined by the SPLC.
  • GoFundMe has taken down campaigns to help James Fields.
  • RootBocks has been taken down by its hosting company, but is back online.
  • Xurious has been removed from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
  • Daniel Friberg and Christopher Dulny, both Swedes, have been barred from entering the United States because of their presence at Unite the Right.
  • Lauren Southern’s Patreon account has been taken down.
  • Lauren Southern’s Instagram has been taken down, but is now back up.
  • NPI’s Paypal account has been shut down.
  • Two upcoming speeches by Richard Spencer have been canceled.
  • Identity Europa’s PayPal has been shut down.
  • Christopher Cantwell’s Facebook, PayPal, and website are gone.
  • Weev’s LinkedIn account has been shut down.
  • The Paranormies and other podcasts have been kicked off of Soundcloud.
  • YouTube had demonitized controversial videos, making it impossible for dissident video bloggers to make a living from their work.
  • Airbnb combed through the social media of people with Charlottesville-area registrations on Unite the Right weekend, and canceled the reservations and accounts of Unite the Right attendees
  • Uber has cancelled Baked Alaska’s and James Allsup’s accounts.
  • Squarespace is dropping multiple Right-wing sites.
  • A Toronto free speech event with Faith Goldy, Jordan Peterson, and Gad Saad has been cancelled.
  • Christopher Cantwell’s OKCupid account has been closed.
  • Expedia cancelled flights of people they suspected were attending Unite the Right.
  • Google removes Gab app from Android store.
  • Alternative Right, ed. Andy Nowicki and Colon Liddell, removed by Blogger
  • Mailchimp drops accounts from American Renaissance and Identity Europa.

.

 
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So Bannon the Cannon has been… fired.

All this time you were thinking you were voting against Zuckerberg’s vision…

zuckerberg-vision

… you were actually voting for Kushner’s.

kushner-vision

Goy, bye!

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, United States 
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boston-paul-revere-statue

Time to pull this sucker down.

Rich, slave-owning white men with no popular mandate who took up arms against their legitimate government deserve no sympathy, and belong to the dustbin of history.

I am talking about the Founding Fathers, of course.

That was sarcasm. Probably… I mean, this is Leftist/SJW hystrionics taken to their logical conclusion, as Trump pointed out.

“So, this week it’s Robert E. Lee,” Trump said. “I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

(Don’t worry, they’re already working down the chronological ladder of white supremacy).

Apart from some superficial differences – for instance, the Nazis there enjoy the support of Hillary McCain and the Blue Checkmarks – the atmosphere is quite evocative of one particular cargo cult of a country that the State Department helped create.

Welcome to post-Maidan Ukraine, Americans. Enjoy! :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xleCGUvozKg

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Alt Right, SJWs, United States 
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I don’t really have much to add beyond what I said on RT Crosstalk, and what Alexander Mercouris wrote here and here.

The month long reprieve Trump had gained with his Syrian human sacrifice is over, and the Swamp creatures are back, baying for his blood with renewed zeal.

expanding-brain-of-louise-menschWhat is most remarkable, and cannot be stressed enough, is that there is still no evidence of Trump having colluded with Russia.

But no matter. So far as the MSM is concerned the Russian Occupation Government already rules the White House through its intermediates, Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and TASS photojournalists. Trump spilled all of “our greatest ally’s” secrets to them personally and now that means America’s European allies are no longer going to share intelligence with them (according to one anonymous “European official,” anyway). Because the details of Islamic State plans for laptops on international flights is the sort of arcane knowledge that can overturn the global geopolitical chessboard. /s

The firing of Comey was obviously an act of petty revenge against him for taking down Flynn and getting too deep into the secrets of ROG. No matter that Flynn’s connections with Russian state structures remain entirely speculative, while it is openly known that he acted a paid up lobbyist for Turkey. And it obviously can’t have a more mundane explanation, such as Comey’s lack of interest in shoring up the incessant leaking that is incapicitating the Trump administration.

This is all so transparently obvious. But we are living in an era when a woman who by her own admission has her mind destroyed by hard drugs and believes Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart and funds BlackLivesMatter gets op-eds in The New York Times.

This is the fake reality that fake news has created, but with enough time and “manufactured consent,” fake reality has a way of becoming “actual existing” reality.

predictit-impeach-trump-odds-2017Here are a few facets of this reality. As of this week, for the first time, a near majority of Americans – 48% to 41% – want to see Trump impeached according to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling.

PredictIt is now giving 25% odds that Trump will be impeached in 2017. This is highest than at any other time this year, even thoug there is now just a bit more than six months to go.

As of the time of writing, it is giving implied odds of about 30% for Trump not being President by the end of the year, and 45% odds of not being President by the end of 2018.

I suspect these figures are plausible. While removing Trump from office via impeachment is probably unrealistic – for that, 2/3 of the Senate will also have to vote to convict him (for what?) – Trump Derangement Syndrome has become so endemic that it theatenss to make the country essentially ungovernable. This could give establishment Republicans the excuse to pressure Trump to resign (perhaps with the threat of a 25th Amendment coup, as Ross Douthat has recently suggested).

Obviously I wish Trump the best of luck against the Swamp golems but things really aren’t looking good for him.

 
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I once wrote a long article about a Korean War II.

But this one chart tells essentually the same tale.

korean-military-balance

I suspect it will be a harder nut to crack than Iraq in 2003, or even 1991. It is an ultranationalist (not a Communist) regime with a formidable secret police, so you’re not going to be buying any generals off. North Koreans have higher IQs than Iraqis (so more competent), do not practice inbreeding (so more cohesive), and a have a lot more hills, mountains, and tunnels (which partially negate South Korean/American technological predominance).

Still, the gap is too vast for the ultimate result to be in doubt. (Unless China gets involved. Then things get complicated.)

And this is why it’s isn’t going to happen.

I do think that Kim Jong Un enjoys the good life, as do the elites he’s fostered in Pyongyang the past decade – according to Andrey Lankov, one of the foremost experts on North Korea, living standards are now far higher than during the grim 1980s or the dismal 1990s – and would prefer to keep things that way. If there is a limited strike on Nork nuclear facilities in the coming days, I doubt we will see anything more substantial than outraged rhetoric.

China will probably be just fine with that. There is very little love lost between Kim Jong Un and the current Chinese leadership. Xi Jinping recently noted that whereas his father had visited China four times, the son had yet to do so, which is a rather open criticism by demure Chinese standards. This was understandable, since Kim Jong Un has spent the last few years suppressing pro-Chinese factions in his country, including members of his own family (executed uncle, assassinated half brother). I suspect the Chinese are fine with Kim Jong Un receiving a demonstrative slapdown, and wouldn’t mind seeing his nuclear program set back a few years. After all, Beijing is considerably closer to Pyongyang than is Tokyo, to say nothing of Honolulu, and there is no telling what North Korea would do in a truly serious future crisis.

Why not get Donald “I Make the Best Deals” Trump to give Kim Jong Un a good beating, especially when he’s also offering to throw in some excellent trade deals for free. It’s a bargain!

 
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So it’s been a few days since the Syria Strikes, everyone and his dog have thrown in their two cents, and there has been a set of confusing and contradictory reactions from US officials and pretty much everyone else involved in this saga.

The more the contradictions pile on, the less clear the picture becomes.

Is it a “zrada”/betrayal? Is it 666D chess/clever plan? Or is everyone involved just a bunch of opportunists and/or bumbling morons?

And what is this all going to lead to?

podcast-3d-chess Let’s try to consider all these issues one by one. But first, for those of you who like podcasts, I have already participated in two where I go indepth into these issues

***

What Happened?

On April 4, a toxic gas engulfed the town of Khan Shaykhun, which is occupied by Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Nusra offshoot (which in turn stems from Al Qaeda). There are many reasons to doubt that Assad was responsible, as I argued from the outset. Since then, the reasons for skepticism have only increased in number. For instance, see this Duran summary of a 14 page report by MIT Professor Theodore Postol on the Syria chemical attacks (full document also attached).

In response, without any sort of investigation, UN mandate, or even Congressional approval, Trump ordered a 59 Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Airbase, though not before warning Russia. This happened while having a chocolate cake dessert with Xi Jinping.

Opinions vary on the success of the missile strikes. At first, there were claims that 23 of the 59 missiles hadn’t even hit anything, which led to theories that either the failure had been intentional on Trump’s part, or that they have been partially intercepted by Syrian air defences. (Technical failure was very unlikely, since even in the early 1990′s Tomahawks had a failure rate of 5%, whereas here it was allegedly closer to 40%). I do not buy the first theory that it was an intentional failure. I can hardly even see how you could communicate an order like that to the military, expect it to be carried out, and not have it be leaked.

Incoming Tomahawks fly close to the ground, making them mostly invisible to ground based radar, and to my knowledge Russia does not have a continuous AWACS presence over the Syrian skies which conventional air defense systems need to take the Tomahawks out. As such, if the claims are true, I believe the likeliest explanation is the presence of a Russian EW weapon within the vicinity of Shayrat Airbase. This would be consistent with the fact that even the missiles that did get through failed to do damage; i.e., their flight path had still been affected to some extent, making them deviate from their planned course and as a result less effective.

On the other hand, more recent analyses from the past few days by ISI and War is Boring (h/t Reiner Tor) indicate a 58/59 success rate, with flights from Shayrat being sharply curtailed in the aftermath.

Reactions

syria-strike-response

politicians-behind-syria-strikes US Domestic: Defense Secretary James Mattis has raised the possibility of establishing a NFZ in Syria, and WH spokesman Sean Spicer bracketed Russia in with the Axis of Evil (2017 edition) – Syria, Iran, and the DPRK – which opposed its actions in Syria. Steve Bannon and the “nationalist” wing of Trump’s administration opposed the strike on Syria, but he has been gradually losing influence to Jared Kushner and the “neocon” wing. For instance, Katie McFarland, a Michael Flynn protege, was fired from the NSC just a few days ago and demoted to being the Ambassador to Singapore. There has even been talk of a 150,000 troop US ground intervention in Syria pushed by new NSC head Herbert McMaster and David Petraeus, though this extreme variant was apparently opposed by both Bannon and Kushner, and has already been shot down by Trump.

US International: The US and UK led the vanguard in condemning Assad’s gassing of his own people and in affirming Russian culpability in it. Nikki Haley has been busy waving photos of gassed children in the UN. Rex Tillerson and British FM were pushing for new sanctions against Syria and Russia at a meeting of the G7 before the latter’s flight to Moscow. At the G7 meeting, there was talk that Tillerson would present a carrot and stick ultimatum to Moscow: Drop support for Assad, and get reinvited back into the G8; or face newer sanctions (as it was, they failed to get European and Japanese support for the latter). The summit between Rex Tillerson and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov has just ended on an ambiguous note. Tillerson is ambivalent on Ukranie, even going so far as to describe the Russia’s incorporation of Crimea as “certain moves by Russia”, which segues with his skepticism at the G7 meeting where he asked his European counterparts why American taxpayers should care about Ukraine. On the other hand, he continued to insist that Assad should step down, and that Russia should pressure him to do that.

Russia: Russia has opposed the strikes, with Putin saying that the US-Russian relationship has deteriorated – no mean achievement, considering where it was at under Obama. More to the point, Russia shut down the military communication channel in Syria with the US, which has already resulted in a reduction in US military overflights above Syria. Just recently, Russia blocked a Western-sponsored resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council; Bolivia voted with Russia, while China and two other countries abstained because of its reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which had previously been used by the West to carry through regime change in Libya in 2011 despite having reassured Russia it would do no such thing.

China: Chinese state media started attacking the strikes as soon as Xi Jinping returned from the US. However, in tandem with the US rerouting the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group towards North Korea, it has expressed a willingness to also strike against the DPRK if it crossed China’s “bottom line”, and has moved 150,000 troops to its border with the hermit kingdom [fake news]. In his turn, Trump has also adopted a more positive line on China, retreating from his prior threats to label it a currency manipulator and praising Xi Jinping for what at least what Trump saw as his cooperative spirit.

666D Chess

clever-planm

So you have a bewildering range of factors to consider when trying to fit all these events into any sort of internationally consistent framework:

(1) A domestic power struggle in the US between Bannonite nativists and Kushnerite globalists, which the latter faction is winning. Indeed, there is good evidence to believe that it is not long before Bannon is dismissed entirely, with Trump now claiming that he wasn’t that critical to his victory in the 2016 elections anyway.

msm-on-syria-strikes(2) The strikes enjoy bipartisan support, the support of the Mainstream Media, and the support of a majority of Americans (~50-55% support, 35-40% oppose).

(3) What at a minimum appears to be a serious disagreement between the US and Russia on Syria, with the former insisting that Assad has to go, and mooting the possibility of no fly zones – a prospect that many thought had fallen by the wayside with Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

(4) A surprisingly more accomodating US position on Ukraine – more so than that of the Europeans – though Tillerson has taken care to explicitly rule out any quid pro quo deals with Russia that tie Ukraine to Syria.

trump-norks(5) Though Chinese state media have reacted negatively to the US strike on Syria, they have been – at least rhetorically – a lot more cooperative on another brewing flashpoint, that of North Korea (see above). The Chinese have no great love for Kim Jong Un, who is rumored to be a Sinophobe and who had his uncle executed for trying to create a pro-Chinese political/economic faction within the DPRK.

On the other hand, the DPRK is a vital security concern for China – not so much perhaps the oft stated issue of the refugee flood should the regime fall (population of North Korea: 25 million; population of just the two regions adjoining it: 70 million), but because it could do without American military bases peppering the Korean peninsula all the way up to its border. More to the point, China has a mutual defense treaty with the DPRK from 1961 that it has continued to renew, despite festering disagreements between the two countries. Could China be… too accomodating of Trump? Is the US walking into some kind of trap?

So, so many things to consider.

***

Donald’s Game

It seems to me that the Trump administrations actions in recent days fall into three major narrative bins:

  • Zrada: Trump has subscribed to the neocon agenda, on account of deep state blackmail, political convenience, or perhaps because he never had a strong commitment to “America First” anyway;
  • 4 Chess: Trump is playing 666D interuniversal Teichmuller chess (or “clever plan”/chess combination, as we say in Russian) to win over his skeptics with a “short victorious war” and return to MAGA;
  • Drumpf: Trump is an inexperienced politician, or just a moron, and is making impulsive decisions on the fly.

Let’s consider the evidence for and against each of these in turn:

Zrada (Betrayal)

Trump has subscribed to the neocon agenda, on account of deep state blackmail, political convenience, or perhaps because he never had a strong commitment to “America First” anyway.

kushner-trump-meme This is the main reaction to Donald Trump on both the anti-imperialist Left and the Alt Right.

Points For

One Breitbart-endorsed version of this was that Trump was driven to fling his Tomahawks on account of Ivanka’s tears on account of the poor Syrian babies and children. While this might have been a factor – after all, Trump is known to be very close to his daughter – the idea that important decisions are made in such soap opera fashion still beggar belief, even adjusting for the continuing Latinization of American politics.

Perhaps closer to the truth is the observation in a recent WaPo article that Bannonism isn’t any good for the Trump brand, quoting one Republican operative as saying, “The fundamental assessment is that if they want to win the White House in 2020, they’re not going to do it the way they did in 2016, because the family brand would not sustain the collateral damage… It would be so protectionist, nationalist and backward-looking that they’d only be able to build in Oklahoma City or the Ozarks.” If you elect a merchant, I suppose you will get a merchant.

Another major consideration is the changes in cadres, which indicate a gradual purge of Bannonists from the government (Lewandowski, Manafort, Flynn, McFarland – with Gorka and Bannon himself now coming under the crosshairs), in favor of various neocons, Goldman Sachs globalists, and members of the Kushner clan.

cohen-israel-syria

Alongside the rehabilitation of the neocons, it has also been acquiring a much more explicitly Zionist administration. It is worth bearing in mind that Kushner himself is a Zionist, and that Trump has always been very forthright about his support for Israel – much more so than Obama. The Israelis have been returning the favor – Trump was always very popular in Israel, and Israeli politicians have expressed strong support for the Syria strikes. This is not surprising, since Israelis see a united Syria as a greater threat to them to a Balkanized Syria swarming with Islamists and ethnic militias.

Perhaps there were always plans to move ahead with removing Assad as soon as a convenient opportunity popped up, or maybe the percentage of neocons and Zionists reached a critical mass that tilted things in this direction. I don’t suppose it matters all that much.

Another version of this narrative is that the deep state has finally acquired some nuclear level “kompromat” on Trump, which it is using to blackmail him – for instance, one commenter here has suggested pedophilia, or an expensive drug habit. Or maybe there really is damning evidence of collusion with the Russian Occupation Government. Alternatively, maybe his family is being credibly threatened in some way. I suppose this is all possible, but I don’t think it’s all too likely, considering the diversity of other, more natural explanations.

Points Against

As early as a week ago, the Trump administration was open to Assad staying on as President of Syria. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat on good terms with Trump, paid a visit to Syria several weeks ago where she called on the US to stop arming terrorists, and just a week ago Rex Tillerson was saying that the “longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.” Nikki Haley went even further, noting that “our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out.” The sheer suddenness of this 180 turn might hint at its artificiality (666D Chess Theory).

It’s worth noting that even as of today the administration still hasn’t gone full neocon. James Mattis has recently affirmed that the defeat of Islamic State remains the first priority, and Trump clarified that the US will not be entering the Syrian Civil War. Note that Thomas L. Friedman, the globalist par excellence, is currently arguing for the US to let the Islamic State be to fight against the Syrian government on the pages of the New York Times. Anti-imperialists might bewail the neocon hijacking of the White House, but frankly, there’s still some ways to go before it plummets to the level of NYT-reading “educated mainstream.” It’s pretty depressing to think about, but in the postmodernist exhibition that is current American politics, where Antifa assaults Alt Right anti-war protests, a move to the “moderate center” implicitly involves adopting the language of interventionism.

All of which suggests a second possibility…

666D Interuniversal Teichmuller Chess

Trump is playing 666D interuniversal Teichmuller chess (or “clever plan”/chess combination, as we say in Russian) to win over his skeptics with a “short victorious war” and return to MAGA;

Points For

Let’s make one thing clear. Even if it turns out we were all ultimately cucked, there were many very good reasons why we were fans of the God-Emperor for so long. One of them was his consistency. Trump was advocating protectionism back in 1988. He condemned the bombing of Serbia back in 1999. Infamously now, he was a vociferous critic of intervention in Syria in 2013.

So it is wrong to say his opposition to invade/invite the world owes itself to “President Bannon.” He was America First for decades.

Moreover, Trump’s overtly Russophile sympathies during the campaign were completely unbecoming of a US politician, and while the gesture was appreciated by some, this stance almost certainly hindered him more than helped him. He was factually correct on Putin being popular and there being no evidence of him killing journalists, and he was right that the people of Crimea supported reunification with Russia (though since becoming President, he has demanded Russia return Crimea to Ukraine). He had no apparent reasons to do this from an electoral perspective, and yet he did it anyway.

Furthermore, the US military did warn the Russians they were about to strike Shayrat, though this shouldn’t be weighed too heavily as any Russian military casualties would have risked an outright escalation, which pretty much everyone but the very craziest neocons wants to avoid.

According to the 666D Chess theory, Trump struck Syria to win some support from the MSM and the Establishment at a time of sinking approval ratings, failures in healthcare and immigration policy, and the slow-burning scandal over his purported ties to Russia.

A good example is Mike Cernovich’s take:

cernovich-syria-4d-chess

Moreover, this would not be the first time Trump has… trumped his critics.

He mentioned he’d ban the burning of the American flag – the media rushed to show Leftists burning the American flag. He promoted the observation that many hate crimes were hoaxes – soon after, it emerged that the author of the threats against Jewish centers was a Black social justice writer for The Intercept who had been fired for making up sources. He claimed you wouldn’t believe what had happened in Sweden yesterday – we couldn’t believe what happened to Sweden tomorrow.

Perhaps what we are seeing this past week is just his most formidable “chess combination” yet, which will end in the most epic pwning of the media, the neocons, the bugmen in the moden history of the United States and the final draining of the Swamp in Washington D.C.

I suppose hope dies last.

Points Against

The first is the sheer scale of the changes in cadres (see Theory #1), and the broad range of campaign promises that Trump is going back on. For instance, just these past couple of days, he has reversed his positions on labeling China as a currency manipular (perhaps in exchange for its consent to a “short victorious war” missile salvo against the norks?), on Yellen’s future, on the Export-Import Bank, and on NATO, which he has suddenly decided is not “obsolete” after all.

Moreover, its worth noting that for the most part only two major groups of people still take this theory seriously:

(1) ROG conspiracy theoricists, such as Louise Mensch, in the style of “Putin’s puppet bombed Putin’s ally to deny that he is Putin’s puppet on Putin’s orders”:

mensch-rog-is-everywhere

(2) Trump cultists, such as Bill Mitchell:

mitchell-trump-clever-plan

mensch-war-with-russia The problem with the Louise Mensches is: At which point does this sort of argumentation invalidate itself? What can Trump do to conclusively demonstrate he is not Putin’s puppet? Firebombing Khmeimim Airbase? Dropping a nuke on Moscow? Not that she will be against any of that, mind… but presumably many of the Americans who would subsequently have to live in the Fallout universe might beg to differ.

The second group are basically unironic Trump cultists, like what /r/The_Donald has now become.

When the only people to believe in a hypothesis are Trump Nashists and Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers, I will probably bet against the theory.

Moreover, as a Russian, I have good reason to be especially skeptical about “666D Chess” because we have had our version of it for the past three years, namely, Putin’s clever plan/mnogokhodovka (lit. “chess combination), a term used by state propagandists to explain and rationalize Kremlin decisions of dubious wisdom, such as the Minsk agreements with Ukraine and the intervention in Syria. At one point they were seriously arguing that Syria could be used as a lever to end Western sanctions, whereas if anything it resulted in pressure for more sanctions.

In real life, clever plans/mnogokhodovkas/666D chess in geopolitics simply never exists, at least in the ever more incredible and complex forms that would be needed to explain this past week.

That is because, in practice, a lot of politicians are not the wily grandmasters of their supporters’ imagination. They are just retards.

Which brings us to Theory #3:

Donald Drumpf

Trump is an inexperienced politician, or just a moron, and is making impulsive decisions on the fly.

The major piece of evidence in favor of this particular interpretation is that the Syria strikes were worse than a crime – they were a blunder.

Let’s compile a balance sheet.

Advantages:

  • Demonstrate US resolve, credibility; enforce the red line, unlike Obama.
  • Kill the Putin collusion theory – and in fairness, people outside the dickpix/Menschosphere have started talking less about it.
  • Increased support, at least for the time being, from neocons
  • … from the MSM (17/20 of the top outlets support the strikes).
  • … and from a modest majority of Americans, including Republicans.

Disadvantages:

  • Neocon support is temporary – you just know they’re slavering to backstab Trump if he ever again fails to be sufficiently hard on Russia.
  • The media has a momentum of its own and now that the first cracks have appeared in the administration’s stance against intervention, they will just keep piling on, no matter that Trump and Mattis have since clarified that they are not committed to pursuing regime change in Syria.
  • Adding fuel to the fire, as Putin himself has pointed out, the Syrian rebels now have a perverse incentive to stage further false flag attacks, in the sure knowledge that Trump will definitely no longer have any option but to respond with massive force.
  • Moreover, this will also now be used by the globalist wing of the war party as a sledgehammer to batter down what remains of Trump’s anti-immigration agenda. As Hillary Clinton now asks, if you’re going to bomb Syrians – and you certainly should – how could you justify not taking in their refugees? Bizarrely, the American Federation of Teachers has also seen it fit to make a political stand, supporting the missile strikes on Syria but also calling for Trump to open up the borders.
  • He has already soured his relationships with Europe (too reactionary), the Muslim world in general (too Islamophobic), Latin America (position on immigration, “bad hombres”), Iran (too neocon), and China (trade policy, up to the point of claiming they invented global warming to acquire a competitive advantage). Now he apparently also wants to add Russia, one of his few remaining fans other than Israel, to this list.
  • Moreover, adding Russia to his shit-list won’t exactly improve European or Chinese attitudes towards him; the Europeans will now just think he’s G.W. Bush II, while the Chinese will be looking to get him bogged down in some quagmire to free their own hands in the South China Sea. Pretty much the only country of any note that this will make happy is the Poroshenko regime in Ukraine, which had ironically done its best to help Trump lose the elections.
  • It will directly increase the likelihood of a serious military clash with Russia in the skies over Syria, which can go in all sorts of unexpected directions. The military hotline between the two countries in Syria has been turned off, and the Russians are beefing up Syria’s air defenses even further.
  • It has moved Iran and Russia closer together, with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov inviting his Syrian and Iranian counterparts to Moscow. There are also several summits planned between Putin and Xi Jinping; though they long predate the Syria strikes, it is likely that relations between the two countries will now move forwards at a faster rate.
  • While Trump did demonstrate “resolve,” of a sort, as Alexander Mercouris points out, it also exacted a cost in credibility – the ease and suddenness with which Trump has reversed course from accepting that Assad would remain Syria’s President one week and then attacking him the next is going to be making not just the Russians, but also the Europeans and Chinese, asking to what extent he can be trusted.
  • Trump’s enemies will continue to hate him, and to work towards his undermining through the #Russiagate scandal. Don’t respond – evidence he is in league with Putin. Respond – evidence that it’s to draw attention away from his ties with Putin.
  • Conversely, he has thrown many of his most principled and fervent supporters overboard. Greg Johnson puts it best in his essay for The Unz Review: “Never betray your friends to court the favor of your enemies. If you betray your friends, the most principled and perceptive among them will drop you, leaving only the delusional and venal. That is not a good trade, given that the approval you gain is bound to be fleeting and contingent, whereas the contempt and distrust you create will be permanent. The people you betrayed may come back to you out of sentimentality or self-interest, but their trust and respect will never return. They will always regard you as a traitor.
  • To be sure, this probably isn’t going to massively impact on Trump’s poll ratings anytime soon. However, while the people most disillusioned with him – committed anti-imperialists and Alt Righters – might not be numerically large, but they did a disproportionate amount of the gruntwork for his campaign, making memes real while Hillary Clinton banked on and failed with traditional tools like big sponsors and TV. There will be a lot less “high energy” come the 2020 elections, assuming that he even makes it that long.

As we can see, there are several times more negatives than positives to this decision. It was disastrous by any objecture measure

But for this very reason there is reason to believe that it was something born out of stupidy instead of mendacity (Theory #1) or questionable genius (Theory #2).

I have long been skeptical about liberal arguments as to Trump’s lack of intelligence. They seemed to be all to reminscent of liberals’ Dubya obsessions in the 2000s; though I was never a fan of G.W. Bush – my first “political” experience in life was marching against the Iraq War – the psychometric evidence seemed pretty clear that it wasn’t that he wasn’t so much stupid as a bad public speaker. So I pattern matched this experience to Trump.

It also didn’t tally with Trump’s achievement in increasing his wealth by two orders of magnitude, which – contrary to media tropes – he could not have done by simply “investing in the stockmarket” or some nonsense like that. Though Trump did have a head start thanks to daddy’s money, multiplying the fortune one hundred times over does usually require brains.

However, I will now admit that I might have… “misoverestimated” Trump.

Maybe he has started to suffer from dementia, or something, but just read his latest interview, where he was describing how he informed Xi Jinping of his attack on Syria while eating “the most beautiful” piece of chocolate cake. So cringeworthy:

TRUMP: But I will tell you, only because you’ve treated me so good for so long, I have to (INAUDIBLE) right?
I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it.

And I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do?

And we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way. And I said, Mr. President, let me explain something to you. This was during dessert.

We’ve just fired 59 missiles, all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing.

BARTIROMO: Unmanned?

Brilliant.

TRUMP: It’s so incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five. I mean look, we have, in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing.

Now we’re going to start getting it, because, you know, the military has been cut back and depleted so badly by the past administration and by the war in Iraq, which was another disaster.

So what happens is I said we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this. And he was eating his cake. And he was silent.

BARTIROMO: (INAUDIBLE) to Syria?

TRUMP: Yes. Heading toward Syria. In other words, we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading toward Syria. And I want you to know that, because I didn’t want him to go home. We were almost finished. It was a full day in Palm Beach. We’re almost finished and I — what does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, you know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?

BARTIROMO: How did he react?

TRUMP: So he paused for 10 seconds and then he asked the interpreter to please say it again. I didn’t think that was a good sign.

And he said to me, anybody that uses gases — you could almost say or anything else — but anybody that was so brutal and uses gases to do that young children and babies, it’s OK.

I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Maybe the guy’s a retard after all, and the more intelligent Trump supporters were just too proficient at coming up with “clever plans” to explain and rationalize his statements to notice the awning cognitive black hole in front of them.

I do realize this reflects very badly on them, and for that matter on me, but this interpretation is less pessimistic than Theory #1 and more credible than Theory #2.

There have been persistent comments throughout the past year to the effect that Trump is just the average of the last six people he has spoken to, and that as his crowd of nativist nationalists has been replaced with neocon bugmen these past few months, so he has started adopting many of the latter’s beliefs and talking points.

Maybe, as Audacious Epigone suggests, Trump should just spend more time retweeting Twitter shitlords again – just like he did in the golden days of the Trump Train in 2016.

What is to be Done?

If Theory #1 or Theory #3 are correct, then I am afraid we are going to see the formalization of neoconservatism as the guiding light of the Trump administration, alongside its globalist accoutrements.

Invade/invite to the max.

The dismissal of Steve Bannon, which is now widely discussed in the media, will be the final confirmation that there is no 666D Chess combination after all.

In foreign policy, this will predictably be a failure. Instead of halting the process, as a wise US foreign policy would aim for, it will instead put the current trend towards a Russo-Chinese alliance into overdrive. There is also a very small but non-negligible chance of a serious escalation in Syria that could flare into a wider conflict between the US and Russia/Iran. I will explore this possibility in a later post.

Here’s the problem. Neoconservatism wasn’t cool by 2007. The Current Year is 2017. While the last ‘Murica! boomers might cheer and clap for it, those folks are not getting any younger, nor are they gaining converts; to the contrary, even many conservative warmongers of yesteryear are now opposed to further misadventures in the Middle East, such as the courageous Ann Coulter.

Meanwhile, the young MAGA nationalists, who have never cared for the more regressive elements of the traditional Republican agenda – promoting corporate interests and the 1%, hardcore social conservatism, and above all interventionism and wars for oil/Israel (cross out as per your ideological preferences) – and who are, incidentally, also the most Russophile demographic of the American population – will be utterly demoralized and repelled.

He will be left only with the bootlickers, the bankers, and the most retrograde boomers. Maybe a few token #NeverTrumpers will crawl back to him, confident now that he firmly under the thumb of the deep state, though they will still continue to despite him. That’s all!

The result of that will be a landslide victory for the Democratic candidate in 2020, which in all likelihood lead to a new sort of hell.

I’m afraid these comments by Scott Alexander from September 2016 may well prove to be prophetic:

One more warning for conservatives who still aren’t convinced. If the next generation is radicalized by Trump being a bad president, they’re not just going to lean left. They’re going to lean regressive, totalitarian, super-social-justice left.

Everyone has already constructed the narrative: Trump is the anti-PC, anti-social-justice candidate. If he wins, he’s going to be the anti-PC, anti-social-justice President. And he will fail. First of all, because he doesn’t really show much sign of knowing what he’s doing. Second of all, because all presidents fail in a sense – 80% of Americans consistently believe the country is headed the wrong direction and the president is the natural fall guy for this trend. And third of all, because even if by some miracle Trump avoids the first two failure modes, the media will say he failed and people will believe them. And when the anti-PC, anti-social-justice President fails, the reaction will be a giant “we told you so” from the social justice movement, and a giant shift of all the disillusioned young people right into their fold.

Trump is all set to be the biggest gift to the social justice movement in history. They thrive on claims of persecution, claims that they’re the ones fighting a stupid hateful regressive culture that controls everything. And people think that bringing their straw man to life and putting him in the Oval Office is going to help?

I still don’t think voting for Trump over Clinton was a mistake.

At the least, Trump’s brand of neoconservatism is going to be implemented in a cack-handed, incompetent way, as opposed to a competent and calculating one. This is good for the non-Americans who will have to deal with it.

Still, its very sad that it has come to this. I believe that Trump still has the time and opportunity to reverse his ill-starred course, but the clock is ticking down.

 
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Funny thing is, just the other day I was on a podcast where I joked/predicted that Antifa would try to beat up Richard Spencer’s merry band of Alt Right anti-war protesters.

Buzzfeed:

Spencer has long been an outspoken supporter of Trump and his policies, including building a wall on the southern border and banning refugees form entering the country. But his decision to lead a handful of protesters to speak out against the strike has been emblematic of the split between Trump and some of his most ardent and far-right supporters.

“We want walls, not war!” chanted some of the protesters accompanying Spencer in front of the White House. …

At one point, Spencer called the counter-protesters, “storm troopers of the establishment.”

“Commies go home,” Spencer and his supporters chanted while opponents yelled, “Nazis go home.”

As AltLeft noted today, “I never anticipated that we would be organizing and participating in actual anti-war demonstrations, but here we are.”

What a timeline!

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Antifa, Syrian Civil War, United States 
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Emil Kirkegaard dug through a PEW dataset to find out who supports big government.

big-government-support-by-race

This is in line with the finding that 94% of American libertarians are non-Hispanic whites:

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of libertarians are men, while 32 percent are women. They are also racially homogeneous, with nearly all (94 percent) libertarians identifying as non-Hispanic whites. They also skew significantly younger. More than 6-in-10 (62 percent) libertarians are under the age of 50, including one-quarter (25 percent) who are under the age of 30.

Here are the US Census Bureau projections about America’s future demographic makeup:

us-population-by-race-2010-2050

Charles Murray isn’t going to be happy about this. His is a doomed ideology.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Demographics, Libertarianism, United States 
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Or so the fake news industry wants you to think.

Latest exhibit in a vast museum: This Reuters “investigation” of the share of Russian ownership in Trump properties in southern Florida.

A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records…

The tally of investors from Russia may be conservative. The analysis found that at least 703 – or about one-third – of the owners of the 2044 units in the seven Trump buildings are limited liability companies, or LLCs, which have the ability to hide the identity of a property’s true owner. …

In an interview, Gil Dezer said the project generated $2 billion in initial sales, from which Trump took a commission.

Assuming the average Russian bought between one and two Trump properties, that means they 63*2/2044 = 3.1%-6.2% of them.

$98.4 million / $2 billion = 4.9% of Trump properties by value.

Note that Miami is by far the most favored destination in the US for Russian offshore kleptocrats, which is presumably why Reuters chose to focus on it for its investigation.

Russia’s share of world billionaires = 77/1,826 = 4.2%.

There are two possible explanations for this:

  • All these dozens of people answer to ROG (Russian Occupation Government) and have been tasked to finance Trump by… buying his towers instead of having some Arab sheikh do it for them.
  • The Russian share in Trump property ownership is in fact commensurate with the number of Russians financially capable of this as a percentage of the global total.

The media, of course, would very much rather you take away the impression that it’s the former, but like all good propaganda, it doesn’t quite spell it outright.

Especially since Occam’s Razor and basic sanity would indicate the latter.

Otherwise, if property ownership determined political allegiance, London would basically be a Saudi fiefdom. (Okay, come to think of it, perhaps that’s not the best example).

 
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goodbye-cuckryan This is one beautiful defenestration:

In the Oct. 10, 2016 call, from right after the Access Hollywood tape of Trump was leaked in the weeks leading up to the election, Ryan does not specify that he will never defend Trump on just the Access Hollywood tape—he says clearly he is done with Trump altogether.

“I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future,” Ryan says in the audio, obtained by Breitbart News and published here for the first time ever.

Now, Ryan—still the Speaker—has pushed now President Donald Trump to believe his healthcare legislation the American Health Care Act would repeal and replace Obamacare when it does not repeal Obamacare. Ryan has also, according to Trump ally Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), misled President Trump into believing that Ryan’s bill can pass Congress. Paul and others believe the bill is dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate since a number of GOP senators have come out against it, and there are serious questions about whether it can pass the House. This is the first major initiative that Trump has worked on with Ryan—and the fact it is going so poorly calls into question whether Speaker Ryan, the GOP’s failed 2012 vice presidential nominee who barely supported Trump at all in 2016, really understands how Trump won and how to win in general. …

“The President gave Ryan a chance,” one source close to the President said. “If he doesn’t get his act together soon, the President will have no choice but to step in and fix this on his own. He’s the best negotiator on the planet, and if this were his bill not Ryan’s it would not be this much of a mess.”

It’s not exactly a conspiracy theory that the main dividing line in the White House is between the MAGA revolutionaries Trump and Bannon, and the representatives of the GOP’s old neocon orthodoxies, Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, and Mike Pence.

But they are not united. For instance, Mike Pence has long been a political opportunist, and can be expected gravitate towards the stronger force.

Paul Ryan, however, will always be a wrecker, riding The Donald to impose the GOP’s anti-working class agenda and ditching him soon afterwards.

Wouldn’t it be great if Bannon could twist in the shiv just as Ryancare faces its inevitable collapse?

Let the old GOP choke on its own retarded ideological obsessions. Replace Obamacare with a single-payer system once the dust settles. Move on to more important things, such as immigration, protectionism, and dismantling the neocon infrastructure.

Now, on top of all of this, this new audio file raises questions as to how loyal Ryan is to Trump politically—and is asking the new president to use precious political capital to push through legislation that seems arithmetically destined for congressional failure. That could doom or at least dampen other key elements of the Trump agenda, like tax reform, immigration reform, national security efforts, budgetary reforms, building up of the U.S. military, trade renegotiation and more.

As such, as Breitbart News has previously reported, there are now rumblings among House Republicans that they may want a replacement not just of Obamacare but a replacement of Paul Ryan as Speaker. A new Speaker, some argue, would make life much easier for President Trump as he moves forward with his agenda. So the argument goes, as some House GOP members have told Breitbart News, is that if healthcare is this rocky then tax reform, immigration, trade policy and other key Trump agenda items will be worse.

david-frum-trump-is-stupid This is 7D chess – and most convenient, the bad guys are convinced Trump is playing checkers.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Politics, United States 
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us-campus-disinvitations-by-ideology-2000-2016Data Source: FIRE.

Before 2008, campus disinvitations were slightly tilted towards the Right. But after I came to the US, it became overwhelmingly dominated by the Left.

Campus disinvitations also became much more frequent in absolute terms.

SJWism only really got going around 2012-2013, so the rise of the campus Pink Guards seems to have predated it by 2-3 years.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Academia, SJWs, United States 
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cant-cuck-the-king

This isn’t even half of it.

For instance, last July, there was this:

“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

He is completely correct, of course.

murray-human-accomplishment

He is also reasonably sane on Russia, at one point pointing out that if Putin really was a dictator, he’d have had Kasparov whacked a long time ago.

In reality, as I pointed out, life for opposition minded Russians is considerably safer under Putin than it was under Yeltsin.

So naturally he rejects the conspiracy theory that Russian hackers stole the US election as a CNN narrative, while Democratic Senators and Louise Mensch want the US to go to war with Russia over it.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Politics, United States 
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Here is why the US needs a Big Beautiful Wall in one graph:

usa-vs-central-american-births

Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua are the top four source countries of illegal immigrants to the US.

The American White percentage of the population has been dropping relentlessly for more than half a century, in large part due to immigration itself.

Here is the same graph compared to just US Non-Hispanic Whites:

births-us-nonhispanic-whites-vs-central-america

Let’s play with some simple, easy to understand numbers (also the necessary autism-borne disclaimers: No radical life extension, no artificial wombs, no singularity, etc).

A very loose but useful rule of thumb in demographics is that the steady state future population (minus migration) equals the numbers of births per year times the life expectancy.

Life expectancy can be set to 80 for everyone.

The steady state population of the US, with around 4 million yearly births in recent years, is therefore around 320 million, which is exactly what it is today (this makes intuitive sense, since the TFR is around the replacement level rate).

Of that number, about 160 million will be Whites, down from 200 million today, and the other 160 million will be minorities, up from 120 million today.

With annual births stabilizing at around 2.5 million, there should eventually be around 200 million people in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, up by about 60 million people relative to today.

Trump’s Wall will play a big role in determining the geographic distribution of that future 200 million north or south of the Rio Grande.

 
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In my 2017 predictions, I wrote:

Russians have a more positive view of the US than of the EU as of the last Levada poll in that year: 60%.

Latest polls:

russia-approval-usa-eu

The gap is only 2 points now.

Republicans, at least are returning the favor.

us-approval-of-russia

The New Cold War might well be petering out in a premature end.

The Germans are far less happy with Trump, though.

german-approval-of-usa

Feel free to spy on their Chancellor to your heart’s content, but don’t you dare refuse to accept Infinity Moslems into your country.

 
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Russian human rights lawyer Matthew Tszen speculates:

I suspect that the global Womens March was originally conceived of as a sort of victory parade to mark the inauguration of the first US female president (Hillary Clinton). And only the unexpected victory of Trump forced them to change not even so much its character, as its tone – from that of a festive victory, to a protest. This is evidenced by its own international character – for instance, the concept that “French women are celebrating the election of a woman to the US Presidency” makes sense, but the concept of “French women protesting against the election of President Trump” is practically meaningless. Not to mention the fact the the “protesters” aren’t really able to formulate what, exactly, they are protesting, and what their demands are. Some of their slogans, e.g. “pussy grabs back,” would have looked much more natural against the background of a Clinton victory.

I still think it was organized largely after the fact by a panicking Soros, but this is an interesting theory.

It would tie in well with my speculations that a great deal of fireworks – both literal and figurative – were painstakingly choreographed to go off on Hillary Clinton’s election, possibly including a serious purge of “fake news” instead of the decidedly slapstick affair we actually got.

I am getting the distinct impression that this is a very well planned information operation that was that was meant to kick into high gear upon Hillary Clinton’s election, perhaps in conjunction with the “Russia bombed The Last Hospital in Aleppo” meme to set up the groundwork for a showdown in Syria (there are hints that this is indeed what Hillary Clinton was planning upon assuming the Presidency).

I suppose we now don’t really have any choice but to continue speculating, at least until some new whistleblower comes along to leak the deep state’s secrets to Wikileaks. Still, that’s far preferable to having had them play out in reality.

 
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Robert Stark has just released his latest podcast in which we discussed all sorts of topics including My American Decade along with co-host “PillEater.”

Robert Stark is a journalist who specializes in interviewing various interesting figures from the Alt fringes. So you could I suppose view him as The Unz Review on podcasts.

Here are some of my previous episodes with him:

Some notes/highlights:

  • My thesis from American Decade that American society has been “Europeanizing” this past decade.
  • The fragmentation of the US political spectrum: “Clinton democrats, Sanders socialists, Rubio/Bush etablishment conservatives, Cruz Bible-bashers, and Trump nationalists.”
  • A big chunk of US income inequality (relative to Europe) disappears once you adjust for race.
  • My political views: “Fairly socially liberal (except for rejecting political correctness, and radical feminism), economically centrist, and closest to Rabbit’s AltLeft.” (The main reason I don’t overtly identify as Alt Left is that I am probably considerably to the right of most of them on economics).
  • The SJW problem – today’s campus Pink Guards will be future elites in 20-30 years.
  • The Bay Area and its remarkably high density of interesting people.
  • The first global warming models were constructed by the Swede Svante Arrhenius, who was also – in what will surely blow the minds of Kochservatives – a eugenicist.
  • Amtrak as a little-known national treasure of America.

This didn’t make it into the podcast due to time constraints, but we also had a little discussion about the ideas of Michael Hudson, an economist (and UR columnist) who criticizes the financialization of the US economy. I am not actually convinced the problem is especially acute in the US – according to the statistics I’ve looked at, the financial sector’s assets relative to GDP are higher in the EU than in the US, and twice as large in the UK. That said, it is surely a pretty big misallocation of cognitive resources at the global level. The people now eking out a few more percentage points in greater economic efficiency (=a couple of years of normal growth) could instead be designing nuclear powered spaceships.

 
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esoteric-pepe

Trump has fulfilled the prophesies of Kek.

That was clear pretty early on, as soon as it became clear he was winning Florida and the markets started tumbling as they realized the false song of globalism was about to end.

That is because Trump and his protectionist platform was almost certainly going to perform much better, relatively speaking, in the rustbelt than it would in the less industrial South and West – and that is indeed exactly what happened.

I did think there was a shy Trumpist effect that would make the election very close, much closer than the polls were letting on – I very much doubted there would be a 300+ HRC landslide, unlike mainstream opinion – but I did underestimate its magnitude, just like I did with Brexit; I thought Florida and most of the rustbelt would both be extremely close, but overall for HRC by the smallest of margins.

Of the closest swing states only North Carolina did I consider safe for Trump.

Instead, he has confidently smashed his way through almost the entire Midwest and seems to be on track to end up with 300+ electoral college votes.

lse-no-like-trump

I spent the election roundup drinking at a London School of Economics student common room. I am pretty sure that I and the Russian student who invited me were the only Trump supporters there out of 30 or 40 people. This is not that surprising when one considers that Trump Derangement Syndrome is universal throughout Yurop and Britbongistan, and furthermore, that this was: (a) London; (b) millennials; (c) students; (d) at a pretty elite institution, which made for a quadruple whammy. It was all good though since I got to feel like the physical embodiment of trollface.jpg.

Though I do regret not sticking to my guns and continuing to insist on a Trump victory as I had been doing a couple of months previously, I am nonetheless very happy to have been wrong. The bankers might not be so happy, but who cares.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Politics, United States, US Elections 2016 
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us-elections-2016-predicted

Final EC Prediction – Will be very happy to be wrong. I do think there is a Shy Trumpist factor, which will really make itself felt in rustbelt Michigan, but I fear that it might be canceled out by higher Hispanic turnout, especially in Florida and Nevada.

The person who likes to bomb a couple of brown people countries every decade paints Trump as a racist for his gall at wanting to cut down on immigration to levels that are still orders of magnitude higher than in Japan and for wanting to build a wall like the Israelis have.

She has portrayed him as a national security risk even though any other person who handled top secret information like she did would be serving a long prison sentence.

Her sycophants portray her as an economic progressive even as she runs a giant money-funneling operation powered by donations from Arab oil sheikhs, Goldman Sachs, and the esteemed guests at Lynn de Rothschild’s wineyard.

And assuming the McCarthyism mantle, they have run a truly unprecedented campaign of vilifying Russia – all but comparing its actions in Syria to the Holocaust (see second debate) – and Donald Trump’s outrageous proposal to restore normal relations with the Dark Lord of the Kremlin. Instead, he has been implied, without any evidence whatsoever, to be an agent of the Kremlin – a far more serious attack on the legitimacy of the US political process than Trump’s refusal, quite understandable in these circumstances, to commit to accept the results of the elections.

The media has been so completely and utterly in HRC’s pockets – there are too many cases to count by now of media companies directly coordinating with the DNC, as revealed by Wikileaks – that it makes the Russian state media look free and partial in comparison in relation to Putin and Untied Russia.

And yet what do Americans overwhelmingly care about? Many of the same middle-aged women who made Fifty Shades of Gray into a bestseller reproach Trump for chasing skirt a decade ago. Instead of asking questions about what it says about the system of power in their country that the Bushes were in possession of this kompromat for more than a decade and released it to help their “enemy” dynasty.

Let’s be forthright: Donald Trump is a very socially savvy who might not be the most intelligent of people but who has sane, everyman views on both social policy and international relations. He does not appear to have any substantial investments in Russia (unlike Romney!), but even if he did, would you rather have Russia or the Islamic State-with-better-PR? Yes, it is likely that he used all sorts of loopholes to grow his business (welcome to real estate!) and to avoid taxes (again, like Romney!), but most people who’ve known him tend to speak very well of him – something that cannot be said for his rival.

Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, cheating, lying warmonger whose mental issues and overinflated sense of moral superiority might result in World War 3. I suppose there would be a certain comedy to living in Fallout/Metro 2033 on account of HRC’s determination to protect the bearded apemen who carried out 9/11 against her own putative country, but we will only be able to appreciate it on the most cosmic of scales.

Let’s MAGA, not war.

kek-wills-it

 
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.