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 TeasersIlana Mercer Blogview

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Dr. Michael Baden had determined that George Floyd died by cop. That, the courageous onlookers who filmed the snuff film could have told him.

The nation’s foremost forensic pathologist was called in to weigh-in scientifically and independently about the demise of the Minneapolis man, whom millions across the world have, by now, watched slowly suffocate to death on camera, May 25.

“Look at him. Get off him now. What is wrong with y’all. Leave him. You’re killing him. Bro, he’s not moving. Check his pulse.” Blood is bubbling out of his mouth. These good Samaritans loudly protested this police porn. There was a trickle on the asphalt, as Floyd likely lost control over bodily functions, near the end.

Dr. Baden, who confirmed mechanical asphyxiation due to pressure on the neck and back, was asked to perform an independent autopsy because the initial, official one was comical, suggesting the cops’ actions were secondary complicating factors.

The Hennepin County medical examiner made it sound like George Floyd should have been able to endure 8 minutes and 46 seconds with a knee on his neck and three Minneapolis police officers pushing down on his diaphragm, subsequently reducing blood flow to the brain. Floyd failed their “fitness” test because he was on drugs, drunk, COVID-positive, and in really bad physical shape.

I’d hate to have my physical fitness and sobriety tested that way.

The reality is that millions around the world witnessed George Floyd expire on camera because he was made to star in his own State-sanctioned snuff film.

Floyd’s death was a case of, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lyin’ eyes?” Which is the colloquial used when one is staring at an immutable reality, yet choosing to see an alternate universe.

The world saw that Mr. Floyd was not in the throes of death until that knee appeared on his neck and those hands pressed down on his diaphragm. Put it this way: Correlation in not causation, but it was not a complete mystery when 8 minutes and 46 seconds into the boot-and-back treatment the man died.

The non-violent offense Floyd was tackled and terminated for was paying for cigarettes with an alleged counterfeit bill. It’s entirely possible he was guilty of using counterfeit money. It’s also likely he didn’t know the bill was fake. Given how many hands paper money changes, this could happen to anyone.

Uncle Sam—which has its proverbial boot on the American taxpayer’s neck—counterfeits trillions with impunity. America’s central bank (the Federal Reserve Bank) and the banks are forever injecting funny money into credit markets. With government imprimatur, the banking system known as fractional reserve banking is engaged in counterfeiting, when inflating the money supply and issuing paper notes not backed by real assets. The central bank’s phony money creation is counterfeiting by any other name, except that it’s legal, because perpetrated by the State.

Next, they’ll tell us that, just as the State can forge and devalue the coin, so it can also kill us with impunity. That’s what the four brazen cops were broadcasting—that murder under the “Color-of-Law” wasn’t quite murder.

Another of our deformed society’s Big Lies kicked in when, like locusts, rioters and looters descended on America’s cities—from Minneapolis to Miami, from Los Angles to Louisville.

The specter of looting and rioting is another case of, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lyin’ eyes?

Fake Newsers, Fox News Included, then began energetically, sans evidence—other than some bricks in a trash can—to promote a fake conspiratorial narrative:

Looters were never local, but always mysterious outside agitators; well-organized “Antifa.” The fiction was promoted as enthusiastically by Fox News as it was by CNN and MSNB.

Anything to avoid the reality of crime, while signaling your own virtue.

Even John Robert Lewis, a black civil right leader, got fed up and told MSNBC that looting was local.

Seattle’s Komo New, at one point, divulged that 82 people had been arrested, after the city center was destroyed. All were homeboys.

If rioters everywhere are from somewhere not here, what’s the logic?

If so-called organized, George Soros-activated ANTIFA terrorists intend to ignite the country and operate networks and chapters across it—why would they need to migrate, to lob rocks at a Macy’s in a town away from home? Why not riot in your home town if so organized?

The truth is that conservatives, like liberals, refuse to candidly confront the indisputable realities of race and crime in America, reducing, instead, the reality of crime to a political theory—too much welfare, too little capitalism, not enough Trumpism.

The statistical relationship between race and crime, however, is as strong as the relationship between Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee and the late George Floyd’s neck.

This correlation, writes Unz Review editor Ron Unz, “so substantially exceeds the poverty/crime relationship that much of the latter may simply be a statistical artifact due to most urban blacks being poor.” To discount the immutable reality of race and crime in urban America is to discount “the real-world impact of these grim statistics.”

Never, ever are righteous individuals within a community to be fingered for what the wicked among them do. Still, seekers of truth should be able to talk about trends within communities without fearing a loss of reputation and marginalization. These are the sort of trends social science measures. Or, once measured.

As I put it in the book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa:

Provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, generalizations are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested. (pp. 41-42)

 
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The managerial elites find themselves in a pickle. The coronavirus pandemic is a serious event. Members of a serious society treat it as such; they look out for one another—and they don’t flee into conspiracy and denial in order to cope with the incongruity of it all.

Alas, courtesy of its globalist elites, America is no longer a society; much less a serious one. In the absence of solidarity between citizens, social capital—”goodwill, fellowship, sympathy”—is scarce. Hence the struggle to mount a coherent response to the pandemic.

Centrally Planned Diversity Begets Disunity

Coherence is certainly not a thing immigration policy has supplied. If anything, policy makers have cheapened citizenship.

The populations from which chosen, future citizens are drawn come to America not in search of constitution and community. Rather, the corporate state’s preferred immigrants bring their own community with them and hyphenate its members.

On arrival, immigrants are encouraged to cling to a militant distinctiveness. The only tacit agreement shared by a majority of Americans, native and newcomer, is that America’s exceptionalism obligates it to both control the world through military and moral crusades and welcome it to America.

The extent to which Americans have, nevertheless, managed to galvanize logistically against COVID-19 is a testament to just how energetic a people we are.

Still, the credentialed, cognitive elites who’ve turned the country into this multicultural, money-focused, built-on-sand Tower of Babel, now find that many Americans—united by commerce, not creed—don’t want to go the extra mile for the strangers who make up their country.

Contrast the U.S., vis-à-vis COVID, with a more homogeneous nation like Japan (or Singapore, or Taiwan or South Korea).

Thirteen minutes and 35 seconds into this interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum quizzes him about Japan.

The country, 127-million strong, has had only 846 COVID deaths, and has, according to Ms. MacCallum, not implemented the social mitigation strategies seen in the U.S. and Europe.

Adjusted for population size, this is as though the U.S had suffered only 2,198 COVID deaths! For Japan to “live up” to America’s COVID cull-rate, 38,484 Japanese would have to have perished from the coronavirus.

Other than that its people sport a culture of fastidious cleanliness and have long-since adopted the etiquette of masking— you and I sense what else is afoot in Japan.

So does Dr. Fauci. Certain counties, conceded the good doctor, have “different sizes and different borders, and different infusions from outside.”

Differently put, Japan is almost completely homogeneous, with little immigration, and, consequently, a strong sense of unity. Citizens are more inclined to pull together in common purpose when there is a fellow feeling to bind them.

“The measures that most successfully contain the virus … all depend on how engaged and invested the population is,” explains Ed Young, a science reporter. All the testing, tracing and isolating are for naught if there is an “antagonistic relationship” with and between the people involved in the effort.

And America, it’s fair to say, is no longer a people in any meaningful way; it is a Walmart with missiles, where the fusillades we direct at one another.

Private Property In A Pandemic

In our irreparably fractious and fragmented country, polite requests by private property proprietors for customers to cover their mugs and conduct themselves considerately on private places of commerce have caused Antifa-like anger and deadly violence to erupt. Some of our countrymen have even killed or injured innocent others for such daring.

The violent urges to violate the personal space of others aren’t surprising.; they’re a symptom of a society that has lost all social bonds.

“You are in violation of my f—ing constitutional rights and my civil rights,” hollered a man when he was stopped from shopping at a Miami Beach Publix for not wearing a mask.

Such people are barking mad—and clueless (and certainly not Barry Goldwater conservatives).

Whatever laws have arisen to govern how private property must behave—civil rights law, in particular—these have constituted an assault on that sacred sphere, launched with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and valiantly opposed by the aforementioned Republican).

If you support the right of the baker to choose the clients for whom he bakes cakes—you will similarly uphold the right of private property to protect customers and employees from a deadly contagious disease by dictating the terms of commerce on said property.

Given that there’s more spite than sense in the displays against responsible private-property enforcement of social distancing and masking—the idea that protest comes from a place of individualism doesn’t quite wash.

Private property is boss: it decides who comes and goes. It’s the way a free people should want it.

Private Property Is Choice, Not Force

It is the absolute prerogative of private property to compel social distancing and masking on its premises, or, to refuse it.

The operative verbs that informed the column “Real Societies Use Prophylactics, Part 1” were: “asked to,” “requested,” “make an effort to.” In the context of social distancing and masking, these words imply good will, not force.

Good will, in the context of COVID, is a commodity that issues not from government, whose edicts are backed by police powers, but from private property.

In an ideal libertarian world, social distancing and mitigation would be voluntary, not mandatory.

Some—hopefully most—commercial establishments will choose to protect their clients, colleagues and associates by sanitizing, suiting-up and spacing consumers and employees; others, sadly, will opt not to.

Choice, or voluntarism, is the libertarian way.

It is also true that private property is delimited by its boundaries; by its borders. It is supposed to be clearly bounded and demarcated. I can do what I like on my property and you on yours. More crucially, my actions do not affect you and yours do not affect me, because each respects the boundaries and rules of private property.

Here’s the rub: A highly contagious virus that jumps from host to host and from house to house makes a mockery of the choice and voluntarism associated with private property.

 
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Ideas about liberty have evolved, thankfully.

Egas Moniz, a Portuguese neurologist, received a Nobel Prize for performing lobotomies on his vulnerable, unconsenting psychiatric patients, or victims. Today, he has the contempt of decent mental-health practitioners. (If he doesn’t, they’re not decent.)

The same fate may await Alan Dershowitz’s status as a constitutional scholar for his coronavirus jurisprudence. Dershowitz has stated that the State has the power of precedent to drag you to a doctor’s office and plunge a vaccine-filled syringe into your veins.

Inconvenienced Vs. Violated

Contra Dershowitz’s forced-vaccination violence, social distancing and masking are mere inconveniences. They are not rights-infringing. Being inconvenienced is not the same as being unfree.

That you are asked to sanitize, suite-up and give people space means only that you are inconvenienced. That you are being requested not to encroach upon others—not to rub-up against them, or expel sputum on them: This is but an inconvenience.

In the context of a pandemic, these are quotidian requests, to be associated with civility and comity. They crimp your style, not your rights. The thing that infringes on your natural rights to sustain life and liberty is the lockdown.

Sequestering you so that you cannot feed yourself and your dependents is a violation of both natural and constitutional rights.

But prevention? Please!

Prevention is about delayed gratification. When you go out on the town or to work, you have to make an effort to protect others.

After all, isn’t asking members of society to cover-up and keep a distance as non-invasive as a request can get? Give it some thought.

Real men use prophylactics: Remember that ad campaign?

The Mañana Mentality

Who can deny that we Americans have a mañana mentality? Consume in the present; worry not at all about tomorrow.

The defining characteristic of the Unites States is debt—public and private, macro and micro. America is a debtor nation. Ours is a credit-fueled, consumption-based economy, not one founded on savings, investment and production.

This creed pivots on instant gratification, on the Pleasure Principle. Unless something is pleasurable, it excites suspicion and is deemed unworthy of pursuit.

Mañana certainly epitomizes the state of our pandemic preparedness reserves.

Without going into the perverse incentives operating in the safety-net hospitals, “Making the case for investments in material and hospital planning has long been challenging as most people have difficulty envisioning a major disaster,” admits Dr. Eric Toner, an authority on pandemic preparedness, from Johns Hopkins University: “Hospitals are also under pressure to keep margins thin and eliminate spending on staff and supplies that aren’t used all the time.”

Even if the US government were as enlightened as Singapore’s, which distributed reusable masked to all households—too many Americans would refuse to wear them on the grounds that you can’t take a good selfie, or that it’s momentarily inconvenient.

Look good today, worry about COVID tomorrow. And, “my rights”: If something is not pleasurable, it is often mistakenly considered an infringement of rights.

To equate liberty with petulant incivility is a mistake; it cheapens liberty.

Let us, then, suspend the mañana mentality and think beyond pleasure and convenience. And let us all retain a redeeming belief that, in America, your body is your property alone and nobody can pump you with potions without your consent.

**

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. Latest on YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease 
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“Nothing unusual; its [sic] my jogging routine,” writes a Twitter user.

His sarcastic words are appended to a doctored image of joggers running through a construction site, while Ahmaud Arbery loiters in the background.

The Twitter lampoon is of the young black man, shot to death by Travis McMichael and father Gregory McMichael, in Satilla Shores, a community near Brunswick, Georgia. The incident happened on Feb. 23, 2020.

Prior to the shooting, as surveillance footage suggests, the deceased had wandered onto an open construction site, looked it over, but removed nothing from it.

The image is “funny”—only if you were not killed on your jog (real or not), ostensibly because you took a suspicious detour. Trespass, innocent or suspicious, does not warrant a death sentence.

“He’s been caught on camera a bunch at night. It’s kind of an ongoing thing,” said an anonymous caller to the 9-1-1 dispatcher, minutes before the fatal shooting.

The caller, it now transpires, was referring to surveillance footage dating back to Feb. 11, on which a younger, more slender black male can be seen strolling on the same property.

Fast forward to the 23rd, and the dispatcher is quizzing the caller as to whether a break-in was underway. “I just need to know what he was doing wrong. Was he just on the premises and not supposed to be?” That indeed seemed to be the case.

It so happens that I’m a runner who … stops at open construction sites. My bad. But they’re interesting. Especially those earthquake constraints. It’s not incorrect to state that the guy who lumbers behind me (yes, a possible relative) might have wandered into one or two such structures. He’s an engineer. They—guys in general—love construction sites. It’s a hairy-forearm relic. Anyhoo, given the fuss, I’ll plead the Fifth.

Black and white, Americans peer at each other from behind parapets of suspicion. Hopelessly bifurcated, some condemn Ahmaud Arbery; others have canonized him. So ingrained are these positions, that parties fail to consider Freud’s funny observation.

When quizzed about his incessant cigar smoking, Freud humorously chose to sidestep what was, according to the very theory he had invented, a manifestation of his own oral fixation. He said: “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

Arbery was training to become an electrician. Perhaps he was simply curious about the wiring and the finishes, like myself and my, err, alleged spouse?

In interviews with the press, Larry English—he owns the house being built—claim ed that “the structure was not burgled.” He had never filed a police report, alleging stolen property or theft from his properties.

Certainly, any analysis of a criminal case must proceed from the facts of the case, on the day of the shooting. It should not proceed from assumptions about the race of any of the unfortunate participants.

This is accomplished by a video of the shooting that led to the arrest of the McMichaels. It is described quite accurately by Court TV:

“The leaked video shows a black man running at a jogging pace. The truck is stopped in the road ahead of him, with one of the white men standing in the pickup’s bed and the other beside the open driver’s side door. The running man attempts to pass the pickup on the passenger side, moving just beyond the truck, briefly outside the camera’s view. A gunshot sounds, and the video shows the runner grappling with a man over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot can be heard, and the runner can be seen punching the man. A third shot is fired at point-blank range. The runner staggers a few feet and falls face down.”

Missing from the visual field is when Ahmaud Arbery tries to pass the pick-up on the right and might have, somehow, been prevented from so doing.

Less convincing is the account given by George E. Barnhill, district attorney of Waycross judicial circuit:

“Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and Bryan William were following, in pursuit of a burglary suspect, with solid, first-hand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/telling him to stop. It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia Law this is perfectly legal.”

Notably, the D.A.’s version omits that there was no evidence or report of a crime committed on that day. The call to 9-1-1, aforementioned, underscores that a crime was not in progress and none had been committed, all predicates for a citizen’s arrest, under Georgia Law.

Did the few minutes Arbery spent on the open lot amount to criminal trespass, a misdemeanor? It honestly doesn’t appear so.

Police reports have it that the McMichaels, prompted by calls from a neighbor that a suspect in neighborhood burglaries had been spotted, grabbed a long gun and a .357 magnum handgun and got into their pickup. (I’m shooting a Smith & Wesson 686P .357 4″ in the pic. It’ll drop a bear.)

Police further detail how the men in the truck chased Ahmaud Arbery, and attempted to “cut him off,” while the runner dodged around them and tried to sprint away. Eventually, the McMichaels got ahead of Arbery and positioned their truck to block his path. The deadly confrontation ensued.

At 17 minutes and 41 seconds into one of his interminably long broadcasts, Stefan Molyneux asserts—for he fails to argue this aspect of his case—that Ahmaud Arbery wrestled with his killer “in order to kill Travis and Greg McMichael. That’s why you take people’s guns,” asserted Molyneux.

Molyneux’s logic is manifestly faulty. Never presume to know what’s in the head of another. There is more than one reason for attempting to remove another’s rifle in a scuffle. Given the detailed police report on the hunter-prey dynamic that might have developed while he was being chased and cornered, Arbery’s lunge for the long gun could have been the consequence of situational panic.

Much more astute about the deadly confluence of events that led to an unnecessary death are my regular Gab readers:

 
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Nate Silver, a statistician, is a mediocre mind.

In this “glorious commonwealth of morons”—H. L. Mencken’s description, not mine—there are many minds even more mediocre than Silver’s, who hype and highlight his banal observations. In the context of the coronavirus, I imagine this is motivated by their own pandemic politics.

But first, to Mr. Silver’s political prognostications during Donald Trump’s election campaign. As chronicled in my June 29 book, The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed:

… whether they’re missing the Trump phenom or the casus belli for war in Iraq—America’s deeply stupid, self-anointed cognoscenti recognize truth only once card-carrying members arrive at it independently, grasp and broadcast it, sometimes years too late. Not so the marginalized writers of America. Not in 2012, but in 2002 did we pinpoint the wrongness of the Iraq War. And not in 2016, but on July 19, 2015—when this chronicle began—did some of us, not fortuitously, finger Trump as “a candidate to ‘kick the crap out of all the politicians’” and “send the system’s sycophants scattering.” (August 14, 2015). His appeal, as this writer has contended since late in 2015, transcended left and right, at the time.

Conversely, vaunted statistician Nate Silver ‘calculated that Trump’s support was “about the same share of people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked.”

No wonder Professor Tyler Cowen of George Mason University properly downgraded wonder boy Silver’s intellectual prowess. His prose, ventured Cowen, was a sprawl that “evinces a greater affiliation to rigor with data analysis than to rigor with philosophy of science or, for that matter, rigor with rhetoric,” wrote the good teacher, adding that to him, the Silver columns are “tweener” pieces, “too superficial for smart and informed readers, yet on topics which are too abstruse for the more casual readers.”

(MORE in “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed”.)

Now, Nate, that national treasure, is back. This time, he is constructing a straw argument on Fox News, to say nothing of wading into coronavirus politics. I thought he was an objective numbers man?

Nate states the obvious, saying that, “By focusing on coronavirus case counts, the media … makes the numbers look superficially worse … [since]… increases in testing [are what] have led to more cases being diagnosed.”

D’oh! And so obviously true. Does Nate really need to state the obvious? I guess so. (Meanwhile, Silver calls out others for their “boringly conventional positions in … political punditry.”)

The more fundamental point is this: Certainly in the U.S, the coronavirus case count is less significant than the death count: rates and absolute numbers. (Which is why, presumably, Ron Unz highlighted mortality in “The Government Employee Who May Have Saved a Million American Lives.”)

America’s case count, moreover, is scandalously inaccurate. According to the Economist:

Throughout April the number of daily tests has averaged around 150,000, with the share of positive tests staying around 20%. That suggests America is testing only people who are probably infected (in Taiwan, for instance, one in every 132 tests is positive), which in turn suggests that many mild or asymptomatic cases are going undetected. America may have 15 to 20 times more actual infected people than confirmed cases.

That more people are infected is a double-edged sword: More people infected means more people infecting other, but also, we hope, more population-level immunity.

A much more meaningful and reliable number is mortality, death rates and absolute numbers. Right now, the latter stands at 80,037. RIP.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Donald Trump 
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Both apartheid and the atlantic slave trade have generated an endless spectacle of remorse, or at least a media-generated pretense of remorse, especially in America and Great Britain.

Spectacle aside, the real motive is to define, and therefore control, the past by reading it as an aspect of present political aims. “[R]itual apologies,” argues Jeremy Black, author of “The Slave Trade,” “are moves in a political game that relies on “fatuous arguments about ‘closure’ [and] ‘resolution,’” but fails to reach closure, since the purpose of such policies is to keep the imagined wounds suppurating.

Plainly put, racial-grievance politics are levelled, in general, by Africans who were never enslaved or who were not born into apartheid, against Europeans who did not enslave or segregate them.

Only in the West could such a vicarious cult of self-flagellation thrive. As I wrote in my book, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa, “White South Africans are told to give up ancestral lands they are alleged to have stolen. Should not the relatives of cannibals who gobbled up their black brethren be held to the same standards?”

Part of the problem is our ignorance of southern African history. There was bitter blood on Bantu lands well before white settlers arrived. The Bantu were not indigenous to South Africa. They migrated there out of central Africa and, like the European settlers, used their military might to displace Hottentots, Bushmen and one another through internecine warfare.

Westerners have committed the little San people of Southern Africa, the “Bushmen,” to folkloric memory for their unequalled tracking skills and for their delicate drawings on rock outcroppings. The San were hunters, but they were also among the hunted. Mercilessly so. As late as the early 20th century, the Boers, Hottentots, and Bantu made frequent sport of tracking and killing the San.

In “The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation,” historian Donald R. Morris places Cape Town’s founder and Dutch East India Company official J. A. Van Riebeeck, on landing at the Cape in 1652, 500 miles to the south and 1,000 miles to the west of the nearest Bantu. Joined by other Protestants from Europe, Dutch farmers, as we know, homesteaded the Cape Colony.

Doubtlessly, the question of land ownership deeply concerned the 19th century trek Boers, as they decamped from the British-ruled Cape Colony and ventured north. Accordingly, they sent out exploration parties tasked with negotiating the purchase of land from the black chieftains, who very often acted magnanimously, allowing Europeans to settle certain areas. Trek Boers, it must be said, were as rough as the natives and negotiated with as much finesse.

Still, the received narrative about the pastoral, indigenous, semi-nomadic natives, dispossessed of their lands in the 17th century, is as simplistic as it is sentimental.

When Boer and Bantu finally clashed on South Africa’s Great Fish River it was a clash of civilizations. The Bantu regarded their traditional lands as clan possessions in perpetuity. A chieftain could grant temporary rights, but could not permanently alienate the land. The European mind in general could not grasp the concept of collective ownership and thought of land purchases as part of a binding contract on the individuals involved. As Morris observes in his matter-of-fact way, “The Bantu view insured European encroachment and the European view insured future strife.”

South Africa has since reverted to the “Bantu view.” It is perhaps inevitable that 21st-century claims for “restitution” in South Africa are not dominated by individual freehold owners reclaiming expropriated land on the basis of title deeds kept on record. Rather, a group of blacks scheming on a property will band together as a “tribe,” pooling the taxpayer grants, which its members have received gratis, for the purpose of purchasing occupied land.

No sooner does this newly constituted “tribe” launch a claim with the South African Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, than related squatters—sometimes in the thousands—move to colonize the land. They defile its grounds and groundwater by using these as one vast latrine, and terrorize, even kill, its occupants and their livestock in the hope of “nudging” them off the land.

Back in the day, Shaka Zulu himself considered the European clansmen to be the proper proprietors of the Cape frontier, with whom he would need to liaise diplomatically if he wished to subjugate his black brethren, the Xhosa-Nguni peoples, on the southern reaches of his empire, abutting the Cape.

And boy, did Shaka subjugate his brethren!

The white civilization which formed south of the Orange River did not encounter the black civilization in the interior for some time. But during that time, the black coastal clans warred against one another, continually raiding other kraals, driving off the cattle and exterminating the victims.

Before the consolidation of the Zulu empire, some eight hundred Nguni Bantu clans vied for a place in the sun in the Natal region between the mountains and the coast.

Where are these lineages today?

Particularly brutal was the period from 1815 – 1840 known as the Mfecane, “the Crushing.” Up to two million natives died, depopulating what is today the Orange Free State. This death toll was not entirely the fault of Shaka. Other causes included rising populations and vicious competition for land among tribal groups. Nonetheless, Shaka—who once sated his psychopathic scientific curiosity by dissecting 700 pregnant women—destroyed the clan structure in Natal.

Again, as noted in my Into the Cannibal’s Pot, during the mass migration caused by tribal warfare, “not a single clan remained in a belt a hundred miles wide south of the Tugela River; in an area that teemed with bustling clans only thousands of deserted kraals remained, most of them in ashes.” A few thousand terrified inhabitants found refuge in the bush or forest in pitiful bands, while cannibalism ran rampant, as it did whenever the kraal economy was demolished in ongoing warfare.

Lest one imagine that cannibalism was a common practice at the time, it “was fully repugnant to Bantu civilization as it is to our own, [but a point was reached] … where entire clans depended on it to feed themselves.” Mobs on the move marked their aimless tracks with (DNA-rich) human bones. Was there never a duty to employ these bones for purposes other than soothsaying—say, to do the devoured justice?

To repeat the opening salvo: Should not the descendants of cannibals who gobbled up their black brethren be petitioned for reparations? What about the descendants of Shaka Zulu? Don’t they owe reparation to the remnants of the Nguni Bantu clans they hounded in the course of consolidating the Zulu Empire?

The Bushmen are, indubitably, the First Nations of Southern Africa. These long-suffering people have been barred by the Botswana Bantu from claiming their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari. Where’s the international uproar?

 
• Category: History • Tags: Boers, South Africa 
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“In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance.” (“The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.”)

If businesses want customers to resume consumption and workers to stay safe and productive on the job—they must, within reason, provide a safe working and shopping environment.

The market incentivizes business to protect customers and employees and thus to also reduce the spread of COVID. If business acts recklessly, customers will stay away. And if companies place workers in a precarious position, then the worker who gets sick on the job generally has recourse through litigation.

The free-market and the law—more so than government regulation—provide corrective mechanisms to ensure workers and customers are safe. Government regulations are generally agreements between industrial special interests and the state. Duly, they mostly benefit those interests alone.

By removing the incentives aforementioned, so necessary in a society based on ordered liberty, the government sabotages a safe return to work, as it fails to allow corrective mechanisms to work.

Trust the Republicans, then, to strive to remove the incentives for business to fit the workplace for success in the age of coronavirus.

To hell with the desperate young worker, who toils in a crowded, unclean, meatpacking facility, currently a “serious vector for the pandemic.”

Or, the flight attendant who was told by the airline she’d be fired if she wore a mask. If they get sick on the job because their employers refused to set up and suit up for COVID—the worker will have no recourse, courtesy of the Republicans’ liability protection guarantees.

With half of all U.S. states forging ahead with strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses shuttered by the coronavirus crisis, business groups have been pushing for protection against COVID-19-related lawsuits …The Trump administration is also pushing for liability safeguards … [Reuters]

The Hill:

GOP lawmakers have warned that without additional protections they believe business owners will be too fearful of litigation to reopen.

McConnell, during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, called the extra protections his “red line.”

“Let me make it perfectly clear, the Senate is not interested in passing a bill that does not have liability protection. … What I’m saying is we have a red line on liability. It won’t pass the Senate without it,” he added.

Stripped of baffle-gab, this means that Republicans wish to shield business from the consequences of reckless disregards for the safety of shoppers and workers. For the courts will examine cases on their merit, and throw them out if they are frivolous.

Fail to allow corrective mechanisms like litigation to work—and you’ll increase illness, death and poverty and spread more devastation.

 
• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Lawsuit, Republican Party 
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On March 31, the number of Americans dead from Coronavirus stood at 3,900! A mere month on, at the time of writing, 63,801 Americans have perished.

American deaths by COVID account for a fourth of the world’s, including those in the undeveloped world. To ignore this Third-World-like specter is to dismiss the dead and the dying. It’s tantamount to Cancel Culture!

China sucks. But if the United States must rely on the Chinese government to keep its citizens safe, then what kind of a micky-mouse country is it?

If the American people can be convinced by their government to saddle a foreign power with the responsibility for their existential welfare—what kind of people are we?

China didn’t force the traitors of the American economy to shift crucial production lines to its country and strand Americans without surgical and N-95 masks and medication; homegrown turncoats made that decision, all by their lonesome.

Decades ago, the political, corporate and industrial leaders of the West chose to enmesh the fate of their pliable people with that of the vigorous, voracious Chinese.

Like the U.S., another hard-hit region—Northern Italy, so progressive and tony—had swung its tollgates open. Like greedy, northern, Yankee industrialists, Italy outsourced whole production lines to China.

Free trade in goods is great. But trade goods, not places. The tollgates were swung open to human trade, or population replacement.

Since the Chinese had begun settling in Northern Italy and buying up assets, I hazard that, much like youngsters of King County, in Washington State—local Italian girls and boys have had a hard time affording life in their homeland. And now, their grandparents and parents are dying.

Italy constructed gleaming tarmacs to accommodate the many direct flights to and from Wuhan. Over 100,000 citizens from China moved to Italy. As the Chinese accrued wealth over the past two decades, still more took up residence in Northern Italy, and bought-up Italian firms.

See if you can spot the trend. New York City, by Wikipedia’s telling, is home to far and away “the highest Chinese-American population of any city proper.”

Courtesy of an Italian strain of COVID-19, the New York metropolitan area has been as badly struck as Italy. In … early April of 2020, it was said that “coronavirus was killing a person roughly every four minutes in New York state, and about every six minutes in New York City.”

In my state of Washington, the overwhelming majority of Chinese reside in King County and Snohomish County, where the infection was seeded and from where it spread.

The West’s political and corporate leaders, not China’s, had opened their borders to the world’s flotsam and jetsam. Agreements to exchange goods and people reflected the choices of these gilded global elites, not those of their people.

The sphinxly Bill Gates, we are told, foresaw the pandemic. Gates also pioneered the outsourcing of American lives to China (and India). I say “lives,” because, as it has become abundantly clear, in the wake of COVID, the very stuff of life has been outsourced to China. Not mere jobs; but careers, not just some products, but entire production lines; not one or two manufacturing plants, but the means of production.

Engineers who can think hate Mr. Gates. America’s best and brightest have done time supervising and titivating squalid, sub-par Chinese factories, when they knew full well that, instead of cheap, nasty, and disposable, their colleagues back at home could have delivered classy, attractive, durable and sustainable products and production capability, around which real communities would have coalesced.

Instead, Mr. Gates’ vision has given us transient labor that flits between Wuhan and Washington, for, these “global beasts with their vast balance-sheets” aren’t interested in the kind of economic growth around which authentic, organic, enduring communities congregate.

The attitude of American business toward economic growth is rooted not in healthy, community-based practices (stateside and abroad), but in some aberrant economic gigantism; in an economic elephantiasis undergirded by hubris and greed.

Bill Gates, the point-person, the pinhead, who pontificates about pandemic best practices—he was among the powerbrokers who decided, with his benefactors in D.C., that the “new economy” would hum not in America, but in China and India.

And it’s not merely for profit. Tech superstars like Gates are true believers in the borderless multicultural state. These arrogant CEOs and their minions are social-justice warriors, first; giants of industry, second. They are cosmopolitans who believe consumption alone makes the world go round. Community? That’s when you press flesh with George and Amal Clooney, at the World Economic Forum in Davos!

To the gilded globalists, America is not a country to be bounded by strictly controlled borders and to be patrolled and policed against viruses and villains. Rather, Bill Gates’ America is a territory for trade, not a nation.

A “shopping mall with nukes,” as a reader put it.

Whereas China has positioned its cohesive people for success, the American ruling class, Democrat and Republican, have long since sold their countrymen out. It is American leaders, left and right, who’ve convinced their population that Americans are nothing unless strangers are streaming into their country at a rate of 2 million a year, speaking in tongues and inaugurating wet-markets in New York City. This is who we are, they tell us.

No such thing did the Chinese government perpetrate on its people. It doesn’t welcome immigrants; the Chinese don’t want immigrants. Several [Chinese] “women vow to leap off the Great Wall rather than marry a foreigner,” reports the Economist with consternation. Indeed, the Chinese people have no qualms or fear about expressing Han racial superiority, this, as the West embraces a multicultural mess of pottage that is now killing it and consigning us to years of penury.

Stupidity is not a virtue.

Ironically, and although almost all reinfection in China involves Chinese nationals, “curbs on foreigners are tightening,” and the “border has been shut to most of them.” Conversely, the American travel ban—I hope you know—was nothing more than a rerouting of the Chinese influx to allotted U.S. airports, where thermometers were pointed at foreheads, and tens of thousands of Chinese were sent on their merry way, entrusted to go home and self-quarantine.

The outcome of future pandemics hinges on the American people’s ability to strike fear into the hearts of their leaders, irrespective of party affiliation—a fear that’ll make it impossible for these shiftless characters to shift blame for their failings.

 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Coronavirus, Disease 
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Very few of my Followers on social media, most of whom are on the Right (for some reason), seem to care about this number: 61,349 Americans dead from Coronavirus. On March 31, it was 3,900 deaths! This is Cancel Culture!

But I care. American deaths account for a fourth of the world’s deaths, including the undeveloped world. Without making you more weary than you already are, I’ll get to the data I find useful amid the white noise—provide some periodic clarity in this age of chaos.

From Barely A Blog:
http://barelyablog.com/:

1. Here Is What Canada’s Outbreak Scientists Knew About WuFlu By December 31 (And The US Was Too Callous and Incurious To Find Out)
http://barelyablog.com/what-canadas-outbreak-scientists-knew-about-wuflu-by-december-31/

2. If you get COVID, and it’s not the mild kind, you want a good outcome. Listen, then, not to the Just-The-Flu cohort, but to the brilliant, heroic, Dr. Richard Levitan:

Dr. Richard Levitan, an airway[s] [pulmonary] specialist who has practiced emergency medicine for over 30 years, is well aware of the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the virus began to overwhelm New York City at the end of March, he rushed from his home in New Hampshire to volunteer at Bellevue Hospital.

The Levitan interview is one of the clearest presentations I’ve watched. I’m honored to share this humble man’s wisdom and intelligence: “Patients Should Be Going to Hospitals Sooner.” You want to avoid the ventilator. And it’s a good time to acquire an oximeter. Listen:

https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/amanpour-co/why-covid-19-patients-should-be-going-hospitals-sooner-2a6jq/

As someone who has a daughter who suffered severe asthma as a child, I recognize the overcompensation Dr. Levitan describes so poignantly. Like the asthmatic, COVID patients compensate to the point of irreversible, dangerous, breathing difficulties. They can be blue around the mouth, yet still walking and talking.
I will never forget my daughter’s South-African pediatrician scolding me, then a young mom: “You waited too long to bring her in! Do you know how heroic these kids are! They learn to function with low oxygen levels.” What passion. The same passion for his patients I detect in Dr. Levitan.

3. Pulmonary specialist and ICU physician Vin Gupta, out of my state of WA, mentioned that COVID-19 is present for 21 days at least in the nasal tract. He noted that, while saliva tests are promising; antibody tests are inconclusive. Why not impart such practical data at the White House briefings?

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus 
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I was running up the mountain the other day. A couple was walking down it. I quickly crossed over, so as not to expirate all over them. To my surprise, they thanked me profusely.

I’m healthy; they looked fit. Distancing may not have been necessary in this case. Yet, in this simple act of conscious distancing, in the epochal age of a terrifying, communicable disease—my neighbors and I had come closer than ever before. Fear gave way to fellow feeling.

Having lived in both the developed and underdeveloped world, I have always associated social distancing with civility and civilization.

Cultures that honor personal boundaries have always seemed better than cultures which don’t—more genteel, refined and respectful.

Ditto people who keep a respectful distance: They have more merit than those who get in your face.

Which is why the wish expressed by so many freedom-loving protesters to violate the personal space of others is vexing.

Which is why comments such as the following are anathema:

Your ‘health’ does not supersede my right.”

“Give me liberty or give me COVID-19.”

“I am not required to descend into poverty for you.”

In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance. Why would anyone wish to infringe on another’s personal space, when the stakes are clearly so high?

Insisting on unfettered freedom to come and go as one pleases, sans protection, comes at a grave cost to others—it could constitute aggression against innocent others.

By the same token, the shuttering of private property by the State is an incontrovertible violation of private property rights.

“Without property rights,” wrote Ayn Rand, “no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life.”

Even more fundamental, however, is that without dominion over one’s self—self-ownership—there can be no property rights. Rights to the avails of your labor originate in the right of self-ownership. If you don’t own yourself, you cannot own anything else, or produce anything, the avails of your labor and the products of your mind included.

And if you are DEAD, DYING or INCAPACITATED—you own nothing (at least metaphysically; legally, you still own what you own).

In libertarian theory, private property rights originate in that most important of all titles: The title in one’s own body. That body, that fount of life whence all rights originate, is the legitimate object of government protection in a pandemic.

For, as I noted years ago, “Whether they are armed with bombs or bacteria, stopping weaponized individuals from harming others—intentionally or unintentionally—falls perfectly within the purview of the night-watchman state of classical-liberal theory.”

The volcanic anger is understandable. The heartbreaking calls from restive protesters to reopen the American economy come from across the country: California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Washington state.

Against this background, the natural rights of economically stricken individuals to reopen their businesses are righteous; they stem not from a state-created right or regulation. Rather, the right of ownership is the very extension of the right to life. In order to survive, man must—and it is in his nature to—transform the resources around him by mixing his labor with them and making them his own. Man’s labor and property are extensions of himself.

So, my countrymen are correct to protest the shuttering of their privately owned property, also their sole means of sustaining their lives.

All the same, there is another, equally compelling side to the ethics of this emergency situation. It is this:

Each and every individual is or could be, inadvertently, harboring a weapon of mass destruction. Yes, a WMD—for how many men and women have died and will still die because of the inadvertent actions of the coronavirus-carrying Index Patients, during the “seeding events”?

Each one of us could be firing off deadly virus into a defenseless population, bereft of immunity. Each one of us could become armed and dangerous, or be felled by someone who is.

In this case, individuals who willfully violate social distancing strictures can be viewed as willful aggressors against innocent others.

At once succinct and to-the-point, a reader whose online handle is “Mister Bigglesworth” summed it up: “I’m not a constitutional scholar, but you know what’s unconstitutional to me? Dying from some Oriental virus.”

If I appear to be struggling with the ethics of this emergency—it is because I am. I must. This is vexing stuff.

One thing I know, and it is that the sin of abstraction here is unforgivable—it is the propensity to settle for nothing less than an ideal version of liberty. Refusing to grapple with the political reality in which we ordinary mortals are mired is to dwell in the arid arena of pure thought.

In conversation with a colleague about the ethics of this situation, she remarked: “We live under a given political system, and we can’t just wish it away. Hence, there will be actions taken within that system that are relatively good or relatively bad. The thing we must always guard against is this:

Governments use crises to expand their power. Even when the crises are over, the expanded powers are often left in place, or certain key vestiges of these powers become a part of the institutions.

“This we must guard against.”

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. Latest on YouTube

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Libertarianism 
Ilana Mercer
About Ilana Mercer

ILANA Mercer is the author of "The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed," (June, 2016) and “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011) She has been writing a popular, weekly, paleolibertarian column—begun in Canada—since 1999. Ilana’s online homes are www.IlanaMercer.com & www.BarelyABlog.com. Follow her on https://twitter.com/IlanaMercer.


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