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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
August 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Question of the day …

August 19, 2017 • 45 Comments

An NYT editorial on how ho-hum the latest jihadi massacre of 13, including one American, in Barcelona should appear to you if you are a good-thinker:

After the Terror in Barcelona

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD AUG. 18, 2017

There are always many questions after a terrorist attack, some never to be answered.

Ho hum.

… But the hard truth is that there is no sure defense against young men filled with resentment and fired up with the lethal propaganda of militant Islam, especially as they turn to rudimentary weapons like the vehicles in Barcelona and Cambrils, or before that in Nice; the Christmas market in Berlin; Westminster Bridge in London; or Drottninggatan, a major pedestrian street in Stockholm. There are questions but there are no longer so many mysteries. … So we know there will be more attacks …

But whaddaya whaddaya … Can we get back to hyperventilating over Charlottesville, please?

The real questions that remain are about ourselves — how we who live in societies that celebrate tolerance and freedom, and that guarantee civil rights and the rights of minorities, should react to acts whose very purpose is to make us turn against these rights and freedoms.

We who have relentlessly backed Muslim immigration aren’t the bad guys, we are the real victims because Muslims immigrants are making us look bad.

This is at the heart of the fierce debates over security in Europe and the United States:… Should we arm governments with extraordinary powers to surveil, investigate and block immigrants? Should we accept an element of threat as the price for our freedoms?

The important thing is to frontlash!

Similarly, the murder of two Finns by a Moroccan (who?) is too boring to think about.

Back to 24/7 Charlottesville!

August 19, 2017 • 37 Comments

From The Telegraph today:

Apple’s Tim Cook on track to land $90m bonus amid iPhone 8 excitement

Cara McGoogan Matthew Field

18 AUGUST 2017 • 12:13PM

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is due to receive a $89.6m (£69.4m) bonus after interest in the iPhone 8 boosted the company’s share price.

What a brilliant idea Tim came up with: following up the iPhone 7 with the iPhone 8!

It could have been, say, the iPhone Fukushima or the iPhone HIV or the iPhone Suicide Prevention Net or the iPhone Utah Data Center Snitch or the iPhone Big Gay Goy.

But, instead, Tim named it the iPhone 8.

Genius.

August 19, 2017 • 42 Comments

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe might be 93, but he’s more au courant than you’ll ever be. From Newsweek:

ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE: ‘WE WILL NOT PROSECUTE KILLERS OF WHITE FARMERS’

BY CONOR GAFFEY ON 8/16/17 AT 6:38 AM

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has said that people who murdered white farmers during a government-sanctioned purge in the 2000s will never be prosecuted.

Because the equal protection of the laws is racist.

August 19, 2017 • 43 Comments

https://youtu.be/P8LXbPSCopw?t=43s

From the Los Angeles Times this afternoon:

Traveler, USC’s mascot, comes under scrutiny for having a name similar to Robert E. Lee’s horse

Nathan Fenno

When Richard Saukko galloped his chalk-white Arabian horse named Traveler around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum almost 56 years ago, it was supposed to be a one-time stunt.

Instead, the brief performance before USC kicked off its season against Georgia Tech turned into one of college football’s iconic traditions. A succession of white horses named Traveler have followed — Traveler IX debuts this fall — trotting out of the tunnel as “Conquest” plays and the costumed Trojan warrior atop the horse waves a sword. But during a rally earlier this week to show solidarity in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, Va., a USC campus group linked the name to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose favorite horse was Traveller.

At the rally, according to the student newspaper the Daily Trojan, Saphia Jackson, co-director of the USC Black Student Assembly, asked students not to be quiet, and reminded that “white supremacy hits close to home” and referenced the name of the Trojans mascot. …

“The problem is this: maybe three weeks ago it was fine,” Pat Saukko DeBernardi said. “So now the flavor of the day is . . . we all have to be in hysteria. . . . It’s more of a political issue. The horse isn’t political and neither am I.”

She noted that the name of Lee’s well-known horse included an extra “l” and, besides, Traveler was already named when her late husband purchased him for $5,000 in 1958, half the asking price. The horse was a fixture in movies like “Snowfire” and “The Ballad of a Gunfighter.”

“He was a movie horse and he turned mean,” Richard Saukko once told The Times. “That’s how I got him so cheap. A few months later, he’d become so gentle again, people wouldn’t believe it was the same horse.”

… He...

August 18, 2017 • 57 Comments

One interesting aspect of the current berserkness is how much of it seems to be motivated by fear of Evil Spirits. People and even objects can embody malevolent forces that project their malign power across space and time. For example, to lessen the urges African-Americans in Madison, WI feel to murder each other, the Madison mayor this week had a brass plaque in local cemetery honoring the 140 Confederate POWs who died in the local Union POW camp effaced.

This may not make much sense rationally, but if you assume the existence, indeed, the omnipresence, of Evil Spirits, this kind of ritual behavior is easier to understand.

For example, last year the New York Times ran a series of articles on the Racist Object Menace that began:

Confronting Racist Objects
By Logan Jaffe Dec. 9, 2016

Millions of racist objects sit in the homes of everyday Americans.

As I wrote last year, the late anthropologist Henry Harpending studied during his years in the African bush the widespread belief in Africa in witchcraft and evil spells.

On his West Hunter blog, Henry observed how the most distinctively African aspect of the widespread belief in witchcraft is that a rival can project malevolent forces vast distances against you without his even consciously willing it:

A colleague pointed out a few weeks ago, after hearing this story, that if [a belief in witchcraft] is nearly pan-African then perhaps some of it came to the New World. Prominent and not so prominent talkers from the American Black population come out with similar theories of vague and invisible forces that are oppressing people, like “institutional racism” and “white privilege.”

Our intellectual discourse has been Africanized enough that the Democratic nominee in the current year is running against the evil spell menace of “implicit bias” and “systemic racism.”

Personally, I’m here to help. Did you know that Andrew Jackson was a slaveholder? So was Ben Franklin. And yet, you probably have some...

August 18, 2017 • 36 Comments

From The Oklahoman:

OKC school district responds to violent racial protests

by Tim Willert Published: August 15, 2017 11:51 AM

Several Oklahoma City School Board members said Tuesday they favor renaming four schools named after Confederate officers, but raised concerns about the costs associated with doing so.

Four elementary schools — Stand Watie, Lee, Wheeler and Jackson — are named after generals who commanded Confederate troops in the Civil War, according to the district’s website.

“Those four historical figures certainly don’t represent any of the values that we have in our district today, and I understand 100 percent the desire to change them,” board Chair Paula Lewis said.

Uh, Stand Watie? I suspect Ms. Lewis has forgotten her Oklahoma history if she ever knew it.

Stand Watie represents Diversity.

Or does he? Nobody in the press ever says Clarence Thomas represents diversity on the Supreme Court.

“We don’t want any of our actions, whether intentional or unintentional, to allow for anybody to think that we support racism, white supremacy or any maltreatment of a minority, race or culture.”

Superintendent Aurora Lora, responding to the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, acknowledged Tuesday that some facilities named after “historical” figures do not “reflect our values in 2017.”

From Wikipedia:

Stand Watie (Cherokee: ᏕᎦᏔᎦ, translit. Degataga, lit. ‘Stand firm’) (December 12, 1806 – September 9, 1871) — also known as Standhope Uwatie, Tawkertawker, and Isaac S. Watie — was a leader of the Cherokee Nation, and not only a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, but the only Native American general of the Confederate Army. He commanded the Confederate Indian cavalry of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi, made up mostly of Cherokee, Muskogee and Seminole, and was the final Confederate general in the field to cease...

August 18, 2017 • 130 Comments

From the Wisconsin State-Journal, keep reading for the poignant details:

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin orders removal of Confederate monuments at Forest Hill Cemetery

LOGAN WROGE lwroge@madison.com 9 hrs ago

A concrete slab remains where a stone and plaque memorializing the resting place of Confederate soldiers of the Civil War was removed from the Confederate Rest section of Forest Hill Cemetery on Wednesday.

JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL

One Confederate monument is gone and another is slated to be taken down at Forest Hill Cemetery after Madison Mayor Paul Soglin ordered their removal.

Soglin said in a statement Thursday that he directed city staff to remove a plaque and a larger stone monument at the Confederate Rest section of the public cemetery, saying, “There should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country.” …

It described the 140 people buried there as “valiant Confederate soldiers” and “unsung heroes.” The privately funded plaque, which rested on a granite structure, said the soldiers were buried in the Union state after surrendering in a battle and dying at Camp Randall as prisoners of war.

Oh …

From the Badger Herald in 2016:

Confederate captives in Madison: Camp Randall’s history as Civil War prisoner-of-war camp

… Despite best efforts, U.S. Army officials deemed camp conditions unsuitable. A May 1 letter written by Assistant Quartermaster J.A. Potter described the soldiers of the 19th Wisconsin as undisciplined, inexperienced and poorly-equipped to guard such a volume of prisoners. He expressed disappointment in hospital conditions, noting that of the roughly 1,200 prisoners held at Camp Randall, some 200 were hospitalized with illness.

The condition of these afflicted prisoners worsened. Despite medical care, more prisoners began to succumb to measles, mumps and pneumonia. A Private Paddock of the 19th Wisconsin Regiment wrote to his family regarding...

August 19, 2017 • 5 Comments

Will be going off to my dacha this week so probably not much poasting.

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.

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

* 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...

August 18, 2017 • 20 Comments

So Bannon the Cannon has been… fired.

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

… you were actually voting for Kushner’s.

Goy, bye!

August 18, 2017 • 62 Comments

Russia has half the world’s Neo-Nazis

This claim appears to date to a 2007 ABC News report about far right violence in Russia:

In a country that lost more people defeating the Nazis than any other country, there are now an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 neo-Nazis, half of the world’s total. They even have supporters in parliament.

We know that because we have Neo-Nazi censuses.

Oh wait, we don’t.

No original sources are cited, there are no hints as to who qualifies to be a Neo-Nazi, and ABC News had a pronounced anti-Russian agenda even by Western media standards (they were banned from continuing to work in Russia after having an interview with the Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev in 2005).

Russia does of course have quite a few Neo-Nazis, but they only constitute a small percentage of nationalists in general. This might be a hard concept for two-bit journalists who are convinced that all the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” protesters, or even Donald Trump voters, are Nazis, but in the real world definitions are important and Russian Neo-Nazism always has been, and remains, a numerically marginal movement.

Russians/(Poles, Slavs, etc.) have to be are stupid/insane/historically illiterate to be Nazis, don’t they realize the Nazis killed 27 million of them?

I never really understood how this is even an argument.

Presumably, to the extent they harbor any genocidal fantasies, Russian (Polish, etc.) Neo-Nazis would much sooner want to kill 27 million foreigners, not 27 million of their own. (They aren’t Communists, after all, whose democidal ambitions are primarily aimed at their own people).

The Holocaust regardless, the Jews constructed the most unapologetically ethnonationalist state in the First World; that very event is not infrequently cited as one of the reasons that the Jews need a Jewish state.

So clearly the mere fact of having suffered from German Nazis constitutes no logical impediment to adopting elements of Nazi...

August 17, 2017 • 198 Comments

The Cville Cyberpurge

Europe famously has hate speech laws, which run the gamut from banning Nazi propaganda to criticizing mass immigration.

Russia’s version of it is Article 282, which has been used on everyone from genuine Neo-Nazis and radical Islamists to the nationalist pundit Konstantin Krylov for stating that it’s “time to do away with this strange economic model [of federal subsidies to the Caucasus]“.

And yet if the United States has an exceptional degree of respect for absolute freedom of speech, encodified in the First Amendment, this is mitigated by its organic “Society 282,” as the Russian nationalist Egor Prosvirnin has poetically called it.

In the days the Unite the Rite march in Charlottesville, in which one antifa counter-protester was killed by a Neo-Nazi going postal with his car (the MSM version of events; reality might be rather different), Society 282 has gone on a veritable purge of Alt Right and Dissident Right content on cyberspace.

Too many people to name have been banned from Twitter.

Pax Dickinson is the most prominent one to come to mind. He was an easy target, since he has already been removed from the platform several times, though Twitter usually waits for new accounts to (re)gain popularity before kicking them back into purgatory. The trigger for the latest banning might have been his detailed, first-hand coverage of the Charlottesville rally, which features evidence that the Virginia State Policy pursued a strategy of corraling Alt Right protesters into antifa in a deliberate attempt to provoke violence.

The Alt Right blogger Christopher Cantwall has been banned from Facebook, Paypal, Mailchimp, and… OkCupid, just for good measure.

PayPal has banned American Renaissance, which had nothing to do with Unite the Right.

It is two particular cases, however, that are perhaps the most illustrative – and foreboding, at least for those who still value “freeze peach” (to use the...

August 15, 2017 • 40 Comments

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

August 13, 2017 • 248 Comments

Just some quick comments on the Charlottesville affair, where a clash between the Alt Right and Antifa has resulted in one death.

(1) No, I don’t think it’s a PR disaster by any stretch of the imagination.

The thing is, people who are already highly allergic to any displays of Nazi symbology aren’t exactly the sort of people who would think positively of let alone sign up for the Alt Right.

As for people within the Alt Right itself, well, they’d have to have lived under a rock to not know that the Alt Right has a significant Nazi and Neo-Nazi presence from the mostly ironic /pol/ to the larping Right Stuff to the utterly hardcore Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer.

There is a name for the “civic nationalist” subset of Trumpism Inc. that would have nothing to do with the Nazis: The “New Right,” or “Alt Lite.” But they are also not the sort of people who’d turn up to defend a Confederate monument.

Actually as noted by my partner on the ROGPOR podcast Kirill Nesterov, we already have a precedent for this sort of thing: Spencer’s Heilgate (Nov 18).

It generated many furious headlines, and even scared away some anti-imperialist leftists who might have had some smidgeon of sympathy for the Alt Right, but in the larger picture it neither helped nor harmed them.

I think Alt_Left gets it: The Alt Right is a youth movement, and the memory of WW2 is “ancient history” to them. It is no longer sacrosanct. Another way of putting it is that for them, Hitler is becoming just another Napoleon, or Alexander the Great. And you can’t get too emotional about those.

(2) No point in disavowing. It’s not like ZOG will thank you for it.

I mean, is Heartiste actually wrong?

(3) What’s the big deal anyway? America has a long way to go even to reach “European” levels of political violence.

To be sure, this is a significant escalation from the last confrontation between Antifa...

August 11, 2017 • 125 Comments

Went to the North Korean restaurant in Moscow the other day to fight American imperialism.

The food at the Koryo Korean Restaurant was actually rather good – I assume it must have improved considerably since Varlamov’s review from 2013.

The kimchi was properly fermented, as it ought to be (it has been about a year since I last had proper kimchi); the spicy duck soup was genuinely spicy; the cold noodles were superlative; the classic grilled meats were competitive with what you’d get at Korean eateries in the US. The one downside was the sashimi, which someone in our party insisted on ordering for some reason; the fish was almost frozen and the amount of wasabi offered was sufficient for just a couple of pieces. That said, I don’t blame them for that, it serves us right for kowtowing to the Jap aggressors.

However, the service was classically sovok – one dish was not the one we ordered (though it was delicious anyway), one guy’s beer took 40 minutes to arrive, the Nork qt’s waitressing us had minimal knowledge of Russian. Though one might take exception to this at any other establishment, I appreciated it as a nod to tradition – an immersion amplified by the DPRK patriotic songs blasting over from the no frills mirin bar.

And it all came out to just a bit more than to $140 for five people, including drinks ($28 per person; $22 without the lamentable sashimi). I would definitely go there again.

***

Main

* So about North Korea. China has made its position pretty clear in The Global Times, especially by Chinese standards:

China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.

A reminder that the Chinese don’t actually much like Kim Jong Un...


August 9, 2017 • 151 Comments

Prosvirnin is the most talented writer. Limonov has by far the most colorful personality. Dugin has been the most effective at promoting himself in the West. Prokhanov probably has the most name recognition in Russia. Galkovsky created the most powerful memes. Krylov provided the esoteric flavoring.

And yet out of all of Russia’s right-wing intellectuals, there is perhaps none so unique as Egor Kholmogorov.

This is ironic, because out of all of the above, he is the closest to the “golden mean” of the Russian nationalist memeplex.

He is a realist on Soviet achievements, crimes, and lost opportunities, foregoing both the Soviet nostalgia of Prokhanov, the kneejerk Sovietophobia of Prosvirnin, and the unhinged conspiracy theories of Galkovsky. He is a normal, traditional Orthodox Christian, in contrast to the “atheism plus” of Prosvirnin, the mystical obscurantism of Duginism, and the esoteric experiments of Krylov. He has time neither for the college libertarianism of Sputnik i Pogrom hipster nationalism, nor the angry “confiscate and divide” rhetoric of the National Bolsheviks.

Instead of wasting his time on ideological rhetoric, he reads Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and writes reviews about it on his website. And about 224 other books.

And this brings us to what makes Kholmogorov so unique: He is an extremely well-read autodidact.

This allows him to write informed and engaging articles on a very wide variety of different topics and breaking news.

In my opinion, Kholmogorov is simply the best modern Russian right-wing intellectual, period.

Unfortunately, he is almost entirely unknown in the English-speaking world; he does not angle for interviews with Western media outlets like Prosvirnin, nor does he energetically pursue foreign contacts like Dugin. Over the years I have done my very small part to remedy this situation, translating two of Kholmogorov’s articles (Europe’s Week of Human S...